Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Signings Bring As Many Questions As Answers

After an extremely SLOW hot stove for the Red Sox we finally have some movement and it has some fairly big repercussions for the team. With each of the new signings for we have a little bit of controversy or at least some unanswered questions. Let's take a look at the impact of each.

John Smoltz- A great picture in the twilight of his career. Smoltz has said he does not want to be in the pen so that creates a little bit of competition for the 5th starter spot. Going into Spring Training the Red Sox will have Smoltz Buchholz, Penny, Bowden, and Masterson (if he doe not go back to the pen) competing for the spot. Smoltz will not be ready to pitch until May at the earliest so he will not be in the spot at the start of the season but could be by the All-Star break. Where does that leave Penny and Buchholz? Does the acquisition of Smoltz point to Buchholz being traded elsewhere? There will be injuries and you can never have too much pitching so the Red Sox are in a great situation here.

Rocco Baldelli- It is always nice to have a hometown player on the team. Baldelli has a good bat and speed on the bases but his health is always going to be a question mark. Aside from the misdiagnosis of his current condition, Baldelli has also frequently suffered from typical injures like torn hamstrings. J.D. Drew is always one game away from an injury and Ellsbury showed some fatigue last season so the Red Sox need someone who can fill the void. If healthy, Baldelli can be that person but will he be there when needed?

Josh Bard- After leaving the Red Sox, Bard had 2 great years with the Padres making Theo look foolish for the Mirabelli deal. In his last year in San Diego Bard struggled and was not seen as one of the premier free agent catchers this off-season. You can blame most of last year's struggles on a series of injuries so Theo may have righted a wrong with bringing Bard back. Josh Bard could be the starting catcher for the Red Sox in '09; he has the talent to win the position but that leaves us wondering about the captain. Did the Red Sox sign Bard to put pressure on Tek and Boras and show them that they do not need to bring back the captain or are they planning on keeping Bard as a backup? Sox and Dawgs has an interesting tidbit on Heidi Watney moving on from Tek, have the Sox?

Looks like Theo, Tito, and the rest of Red Sox management have some big decisions to make in the upcoming weeks.


Bottom Line Rob January 8, 2009 at 6:48 AM  

The beauty of all of these recent moves is that they only effect the fringe...

Until we siogn another catcher: Tek, Salty or whoever, the Bard/Kottaras duo worries me. But otherwise, Smoltz and Baldelli will add depth, but the core remains intact. And Penny enables us to keep the youngsters focused on getting better.

If only we could see the future and know that Ppai and Lowell will have a healthy and productive 2009... then I'd reall feel good.

Bottom Line Rob January 8, 2009 at 6:49 AM  

wow that was some bad typing!

who knew one band-aid would mess me up so bad!?

Fenway West January 8, 2009 at 7:08 AM  

I am right there with you about wanting to see into Papi and Lowell's health this season. If they are healthy the Sox will be the team to beat, if not it is going to be a season much like '08 where they can compete but it will be a bumpy road.

Vic,  January 8, 2009 at 10:06 AM  

I see the Penny and Smoltz deals as potential precursor to trading at least one of the young pitchers for a catcher like Salty.


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