Believe it or not folks, the Boston Red Sox are less than a month away from beginning their Spring Training schedule. They will open things up on February 27th with a pair of college exhibition games before getting their first crack in the Grapefruit League the very next day.
I’m going to be starting a new weekly segment called “Countdown to Spring Training.” Each week, I will provide you guys with a one-stop shop where you find all your Red Sox needs in one spot. Basically, the segment will run the gamut on all Sox’ news, all the time.
So, let’s get started.
(“The Rundown” will be a quick bullet list of every Sox story going on that week.)
- David Ortiz expressed his interest in a multi-year contract extension from the Red Sox, stating “It might be time to move on” if it doesn’t come to fruition. He will turn 39 in November and is signed through the 2014 season for $15 million dollars.
- Left-handed reliever Jose Mijares, formerly of the San Francisco Giants, has signed with the Red Sox on a Minor League deal
- The Red Sox farm system has been ranked No. 5 overall by Keith Law
- Jerry Remy will reportedly return to his position alongside Don Orsillo in the booth for the Red Sox for the 2014 season. Remy left last summer after his son, Jared, was arrested for murder.
- Dustin Pedroia absolutely believes that Big Foot is real. Link here via WEEI.
Burning Question of the Week
The burning question for this week: Are the Red Sox done making moves this offseason?
While plenty of teams were throwing their wallets and cashing in on big-name players this offseason, the Red Sox kept relatively quiet, choosing instead to continue the philosophy that GM Ben Cherington instituted when he took over of spending smart and not getting sucked into six-digit bidding wars.
Now, obviously Stephen Drew’s future has yet to be decided, but that topic has been discussed ad nauseam, and it’s not what I’m here to talk about so remove Drew from your minds for a second and take a look at the current roster: If you’re Boston, do you make any more moves?
My answer, in short, no.
Boston has already addressed many of their needs (not that there were many to start with) this offseason. They had to get Mike Napoli re-signed. Check. They needed to acquire a position player who could play the left-side of the infield. Check. And finally, they needed to add more arms to the bullpen. Check.
People will argue that it would be in Boston’s best interest to trade away a member of their surplus of starting pitching — more than likely Jake Peavy or Ryan Dempster — but I advise against it. One of the best cliches in baseball is that “you can never have enough starting pitching.” Cliche, or not, truer words have never been spoken. Injuries are just as much a part of the game as anything else; you really don’t want to be that team who trades away a quality starting pitcher in February, only to be in desperate need of an arm come August.
There could still be some minor tweaks in the roster from now til’ opening day, but my gut instinct tells me the front office will stand pat.
Meet Jose Mijares
The newest addition to the Red Sox’ roster is the 29-year-old left-handed reliever Jose Mijares, who spent the last two years over on the West Coast donning the orange and black of the San Francisco Giants.
After a stellar performance in 2012, Mijares faltered heavily in 2013, posting an abysmal 4.26 ERA through 49 innings pitched. Even worse, his effectiveness against lefties dropped dramatically. In 2012, lefties batted .211 off of Mijares with 35 strikeouts in 123 plate appearances. And in 2013, that average jumped up all the way to .276 vs. lefties, and .360 vs. righties.
This could be another one of those ingenious moves by Ben Cherington where you get a quality guy with a lifetime 3.23 ERA for next to nothing.
Prospects, Prospects, Prospects
According to Keith Law’s top 100 prospects heading into 2014, the Boston Red Sox find themselves in excellent position, boasting 7 players in the top 100.
Xander Bogaerts ranks 2nd among all prospects behind Minnesota Twins prospect Byron Buxton.
Heres where the other 6 Red Sox are on the list:
Matt Barnes (89), Mookie Betts (61), Blake Swihart (56), Garin Cechhini (53), Jackie Bradley Jr. (51), and Henry Owens (42).
*Attention readers: I would really love to feature a mailbox portion each week where I could answer any questions that any of you may have. So, if you would like to send me a question to answer for next week, leave it in the comment section, or get at me on firstname.lastname@example.org. Much appreciated.