The month of July is one that major league GM’s spend the majority of on their cell phones seeing who they can buy to better their teams for a playoff push or for those who have the future in their sights ditching some payroll in exchange for prospects is the goal at hand. Ben Cherington had the most nightmarish situation that a General Manager can have. The second wild card spot is still within a grasp with the Sox only being 4 games back with the division title a much more lofty goal as the Yankees have a strangle hold atop the AL East. Decisions needed to be made on whether or not obtaining a wild card spot was a worthy goal that would keep management from breaking up this talented group who on paper looks as good as any but in the standings is merely mediocre. Making only two moves on the day solidified that the Red Sox brass believes that this group of guys within their major and minor league systems can produce at a high enough level that will hopefully end in a playoff appearance come October…
Josh Beckett’s name stood front and center as the candidate that Red Sox Nation would like to close the book on. After surveying the market that already had the likes of Dempster, Greinke, Garza, Lee and a couple other big names on teams wish lists, Red Sox management decided to stay put with the Texas tough guy. The remaining $37 million dollars on his contract stood as the biggest burden that did not entice many contenders to add the veteran righty. His diminishing skills, bloated ego , and poor sportsmanship are just a few other reasons why he could not be moved which may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back when it comes to dealing him in the offseason; a move that will most certainly happen or else pigs will probably be seen flying in the sky. With youngster Ryan Lavarnway waiting in the wings, Kelly Shoppach seemed as good as gone. The Nationals and Brewers inquired about Shoppach , but it seems that the return was not equaled to the value he brings to this ball club in the backup catcher role. Cody Ross was also rumored to be heading elsewhere with his attractively cheap $3million dollar salary and free agent status after seasons end making him a very attractable power bat for contenders. Luckily number seven won’t be going anywhere for the remainder of the season as more arrogant bat flips will be present for the Fenway faithful to endure. The one “Big” move the Red Sox made was with Arizona as they shipped reliever Matt Albers and outfielder Scott Podsednik to the Diamondbacks in exchange for Lefty specialist Craig Breslow. While this move may not be flashy in the least sense, Breslow could be a very important arm for this team if they plan to contend down the stretch. This allows Bobby V to put Franklin Morales back in the rotation giving him Miller and Breslow as lefty options out of the pen. Albers and Podsednik were extras that produced in their short times in Boston, but they were more of a surplus that was expendable. The other move of the day involved longtime prospect Lars Anderson being dealt to the Indians for a 27 year old knuckleballer Steve Wright. Anderson has been viewed as a highly touted prospect since he was drafted by the team in 2006, but has yet to produce at the major league level much in part to their being a log jam at the positions he plays; first-base and outfield. He should be able to crack Cleveland’s major league roster at some point in the near future. All in all I agree with the moves, or lack thereof, made by the organization this afternoon. They have a plethora of talent in their entire lineup 1-9 with a pretty solid core of bench players as well. The starting rotation sadly is what it is. Adding Dempster or Grienke would have been far too costly of a rental for players that will most likely walk when the season commences. Hopes are that Lester can come around, Buchholz can continue his dominance and everyone else who is called upon will plug away. Patience is a virtue which is a phrase that cannot be taken lightly when evaluating this team and what they will do following this important time of the year.
About the Author
Written by Jefferson Mills
I am a 22 year old aspiring sports journalist. I graduated from Hofstra University with a BA in Broadcast Journalism and was born and raised in Norwood, MA, twenty minutes south of the great city of Boston. Sports consume my life in every which way as I have been an athlete since the age of 8 playing organized football, baseball and basketball throughout high school and have been an avid die-hard Patriots, Bruins, Red Sox and Celtics fan. I Interned for the "Mecca of Sports Radio" WFAN 660 AM while in college and also interned for News 12 Long Island. Working as a member of the hardest working sports department in one of the most talented college radio stations 88.7 FM WRHU is the one thing I am most proud of when it comes to my work in the field. My passion and work ethic define who I am as a writer, person and friend which is why I hope to become successful in the sports Broadcasting spectrum in years to come.