baseball · Red Sox

2019 State of the Sox at the Trade Deadline

 

I couldn’t resist. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The July 31st trade deadline is better than Christmas for me. Sitting at my desk with my laptop open so I can watch twitter, while refreshing Ken Rosenthal’s twitter feed is where you will find me all day on Wednesday. Heck, maybe even today.  This is my happy place. My she shed. 

Here are my thoughts on the Red Sox at the trade deadline. 

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The Red Sox farm system has little to offer. There are few bright spots. They flicker, but do not burn bright and strong. Triple-A Pawtucket is what Dante and I like to call Purgatory. None of the players are good enough for heaven (the Majors) nor bad enough for hell (continued play on the farm system). They are all just stuck. A few that stood out as potential for trade bait include Chad De La Guerra, C.J. Chatham, and Cole Sturgeon. All are position players. The pitching is at its best average, and at its worse, utterly impossible to watch. There is no one player to get super excited about. I love the minors, so this is hard for me to admit and even harder for me to write. If it were up to me, none of them will play for the Red Sox. So what do we do with them? Trade….if we can put together a compelling package.

As dumb as the Mets ownership may be, I’m willing to wager that they know what they have in Edwin Diaz. He was lights out with the wrong team in Seattle last season. Then Diaz moved to the Mets, and has been halfway decent as a closer for a team that really has little use for one. They are, like us, over 10 games back in the National League East, but don’t have the talent the Sox do. The Mets will want more than just one position player. I would like to see the Mets ask for Michael Chavis, plus two of the following…D. Hernandez, Bobby Dalbec, Tristan Casas, or C.J. Chatham. I do not want to see Andrew Benitendi go. It does not make sense. Plus we have too many third basemen and other outfield players that the Mets could develop over time. 

This makes sense because the Red Sox are going to need some time to get the most of Diaz. This is not a deal for this year. Yes, Diaz would help during this season, but we’ve dug ourselves a hole halfway to China. It’s not our year. We have the horses, they just need an attitude adjustment. Diaz will not be able to change the clubhouse culture.

This year this team needs an enema! The entitlement factor has been running high with this team since March 2019. Heads are so far up asses that only a saline rinse will work. Managers need to get all Red Sox players on the same page, last year’s page! Remember when they were hungry to win, to prove everyone wrong, to go to war as a team against their opponents? Yeah, it was awesome. The sniffling about not hitting a home run, an inability to throw pitches and go deep into games, and inconsistent play in the field. Where is the crispness of last year?  You have to go out there, make plays, catch balls, get on base, and pitch.

I’m sick of wondering if Red Sox players have a team attitude problem, are individually feeling entitled, or are injured. Is it some combination of all three? Where is the unifying voice of reason this team needs to be a success? Who did that last year? Chris Sale? Well, if it was Sale, then he has not had the talent or cache to fulfill that role this season.

Which leads me to my next point: pitching. The pitching, from top to bottom, truly is the major weak link this season, sending everyone else on the team into a tizzy. A new closer is not going to be the answer to all our woes. Something needs tweaking with the starters. The bullpen is bad and overtaxed. We can do better. Dana Lavangie needs to rejigger what he is doing with these guys. 

I’m really frustrated on so many levels with this team. Many nights they are tough to watch. Sometimes I even cheat on my nightly date with NESN, turning to Bravo. I’m sure Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, David Price (to some extent), and Eduardo Rodriguez feel the same way.  Heck, perhaps David Ortiz himself would have healed faster from his horrific attack sooner if these guys played better. Okay, even that was too far for me.

I’m so confused I do not even know whom to blame. Dave Dombrowski is the easy scapegoat as we have seen him destroy farm systems with his win now attitude. We like winning in Boston, so we must hoist some of the blame on our backs, too. The players and coaching staff because they play the games. This season has me baffled. All the money in the world can not buy you a place in the divisional race after we ran the tables last year. 2018 was too damn easy…and now this? I just don’t get it.

The future is unclear. The move right now is to acquire Diaz. We need a closer. Acquiring Diaz would allow the players, fans, and management to feel better about the bullpen for the remainder of the season and next. More personnel should be added come October or November. It pains me to watch this team I love self destruct after a World Series win. Like the New England weather, if its too hot or too cold, all of Red Sox Nation needs to wait a minute (or a quarter of a season) and hopefully it will get better. 

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