OK, I am tired of waiting so I've decided to help Ben Cherington out. He listened to me during the 2012-13 offseason, but ignored me this past offseason. I understand-- he wanted to try and branch out on his own. You see what the results have been like. I'm giving Ben one last chance to fix this. Here is my open letter to the Red Sox GM:
First off, this season is not lost. Disregard all the talk about being sellers. You can be sellers, yet improve your team at the same time-- this year. Call it addition by subtraction. You did it with the Dodgers trade a couple of years ago. You can do it again.
You've started the ball rolling with cutting ties with Chris Capuano and A.J. Pierzynski. (By the way, what were you thinking signing A.J.? OK, nevermind)
I hear you are shopping Jake Peavy around. Good! The Cardinals want him? Throw in what you have to (Will Middlebrooks, Garin Cecchini, Anthony Ranaudo) to get Allen Craig. As luck would have it, you should have held on to A.J. one more day as Yadier Molina got hurt last night so St. Louis may be looking for a catcher.
The Cardinals have soured on Craig. They just called up prospect Oscar Taveras and he has forced Craig to the pine. Combine that with Craig having a down year and this is a perfect buy-low opportunity!
That's all you need, Ben. One big bat! Craig led the majors hitting .454 with runners in scoring position last year. This year's team has lacked that clutch gene, but I don't have to tell you that.
This is what your lineup should look like going forward:
1. Mookie Betts- RF
2. Dustin Pedroia- 2B
3. David Ortiz- DH
4. Allen Craig- LF
5. Mike Napoli- 1B
6. Brock Holt- SS
7. Xander Bogaerts (Aramis Ramirez?)- 3B
8. Jackie Bradley, Jr.- CF
9. Christian Vazquez/David Ross- C
Yes, Mookie plays every day and bats leadoff. Why did you call him up if you're not going to play him (like the first week he was here)? I believe the costliest loss to this team this year has been Shane Victorino. He is the catalyst to the team. You did right in letting Jacoby Ellsbury walk. That was asinine money. What you couldn't afford was to lose both Ellsbury and Victorino. That was killer. Betts can be your Victorino.
I totally support your signing of Stephen Drew. I think he will supplant Holt as your starting shortstop by September. But you have to ride the hot hand right now. Maybe I'll be wrong and Holt won't ever cool off, and that's more than fine by both of us.
You need to play Bradley, Jr. every day in center field. His glove and arm are too valuable. End of discussion.
Disregard any talk of sending Bogaerts to the minors. This shouldn't preclude yourself from looking for a third baseman via trade, though. You know I love Aramis Ramirez. How would a heart of the lineup of Ortiz, Craig, Napoli, and Ramirez look? Check in on Chase Headley out in San Diego.
The pitching staff is solid. You just need to get rid of some of the dead weight. You've gotten rid of Capuano. Peavy should have some trade value to a National League team. Here's your starting rotation the rest of the way out:
1. Jon Lester
2. John Lackey
3. Brandon Workman
4. Rubby De La Rosa
5. Clay Buchholz
Why did you send Workman down? Workman and RDLR need to stay in the rotation for the remainder of the year... starting NOW! I've been encouraged by Buchholz' increased velocity the last few outings. Maybe he is still salvageable. If not, Allen Webster and Anthony Ranaudo await in the minors. There is no need to trade for a starting pitcher. These starters can get it done.
Here is your bullpen:
Closer- Koji Uehara
Primary setup man- Junichi Tazawa
LHP- Andrew Miller
LHP- Felix Doubront
RHP- Burke Badenhop
RHP- Edward Mujica
Craig Breslow could have some trade value. I heard the Angels might be interested. I don't know why.
Check to see if anybody is interested in Doubront. I've had it with him. You could probably use another arm out of the bullpen. They've been overworked this year. Maybe an Adam Ottavino or Matt Belisle from Colorado. Casey Fien from Minnesota, Dale Thayer or Joaquin Benoit from San Diego. It shouldn't cost you much (except maybe for Benoit).
This thing is salvageable. The Yankees have Tanaka hurt. The Blue Jays have Edwin Encarnacion out for a while. I am not a believer in Baltimore (although they now have the best chance of running away with the division). Get rid of some of your dead weight. Bring some excitement back to the park. Give the kids a chance. You're too young to remember Morgan Magic in 1988. Heck, you may have not even been born. Just kidding. (Were you?)
Isn't it about time that this Red Sox franchise is on the right end of an incredible comeback story?