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So there is much bad news for Sox GM Ben Cherington, but there is also a bright side. As the trade deadline approaches, Ben doesn’t have to worry about breaking the hearts of Sox fans if he wants to move a veteran or two. There is just no love for the players on this team. Trade one, trade all, do what has to be done.
Start by putting Beckett and Lester up for bids and go from there. No one is safe, not Pedroia, not Ellsbury, no one. Show some guts. Take some chances. Smart Sox fans will understand, probably even applaud. This team is like Crawford’s elbow. There’s something wrong inside, and sooner or later, it’s going to pop. Don’t wait, Ben. Remove the problem before it’s too late.
Herald | Lost causes: Red Sox season and Carl Crawford
It doesn't happen often, but I actually agree with some of Gerry Callahan's impressions in this piece. However, there's one piece where he, like many Sox fans, lets his anger get the best of him.
I've reached a point where, like many Sox fans, I almost hope they lose the majority of their games in the next two weeks, just to allow Ben Cherington even more reason to feel like he can make moves for the future.
Where I differ from most Sox fans is that I don't have the unending hatred for Josh Beckett. I don't think his attitude is why this team is .500. He's one of the few pitchers who even remotely resembles his talent. And he's signed to a reasonable contract, if by reasonable you mean something similar to what he could get as a free agent. Doubt it all you might, but if he were available, he could get three-plus years of eight figures. So a deal that dumps him for nothing is useless.
I'm also on board (and have been on board for some time) with us starting a legit youth movement next year. My preferred lineup would include Ryan Lavarnway, Jose Iglesias, Ryan Kalish, and Will Middlebrooks joining Carl Crawford, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, and Adrian Gonzalez to begin essentially a new era for the Sox. It's time to see what we have with these kids.
So while I agree with Callahan that most everyone should be available at the deadline, I disagree in just trying to sell low on guys we don't like. I'd rather see us test the waters on guys who have played well but don't necessarily play into the long-term vision of the club. For me, that includes Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Cody Ross, Ryan Sweeney (if he can play two consecutive games without getting hurt), Daniel Nava, Scott Podsednik, Mike Aviles, and any reliever a contender is willing to overpay for.
You may notice I haven't mentioned one significant name here. I've long been advocating a trade of Jacoby Ellsbury. It's not that I don't think he's good; I just don't think he's as good as a lot of people do, and I'm certainly not willing to shell out $160-200 million next offseason to find out. However, with him being hurt, now isn't the right time to deal him. This offseason, with, theoretically, the second half for him to establish good health, Cherington needs to send him off either in a package for a great player, or for a package of prospects. The timing will be right, we have options in the outfield, and Jackie Bradley Jr. isn't far away (at least a year off, but still).
All of this said, I'll still be happy if the Sox manage to string together a few W's and stay in it. I just don't think it's likely, and I hope Cherington has a game plan similar to the one I've outlined above in that case.
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