1. We really have very little idea exactly what the front office is planning for this offseason. They got the coaching staff they had their heart set on, but otherwise they've given little indication what direction they're planning to go in for the 2013 season, be it punting, rebuilding, reloading, or re-inserting your favorite metaphor here.
2. The Red Sox have a history of making trades and signings nearly every offseason. They're usually an active team, so it would be a big surprise if the team as currently constituted were the team that goes into Spring Training. Let's not pretend this is what the team will look like.
3. The Red Sox have almost never started the season with rookie players (or really, any players) in starting positions who didn't project to be league-average or better hitters.
Now, this said, the Red Sox have a few different options for 2013.
A. Nothing succeeds like excess - Oscar Wilde
You Only Live Once, flags fly forever, and the Red Sox sign Hamilton, Greinke and Napoli. Maybe they slip in a Sanchez/Jackson/Marcum/Haren signing for good measure, dealing Doubront or Buchholz for, I don't know, Elvis Andrus. Maybe Justin Upton comes to town in lieu of Hamilton. The team is pretty much immediately a strong contender for a wildcard spot, if not the division.
Given the insatiable hunger of the vampyr Boston media for new souls to devour, I don't really see Hamilton or Greinke signing with Boston, given their histories. Upton seems like he'd cost a fortune in talent. This is probably pretty unlikely, although the Red Sox do love to make a splash. I wouldn't rule it out totally (just mostly).
B. Moderation in all things, especially moderation - Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Red Sox hedge their bets and sign Drew, maybe trade for Morneau or sign Napoli/Reynolds. They re-sign Ross and/or bring in a Victorino/Cabrera/Hunter/Pagan/Swisher/Upton/Drew on a shortish expensive deal. Maybe a trade for a Choo/Ethier/Gordon or one of the FA pitchers in A. The team can probably contend for a wildcard spot, assuming health and bounceback from the returning stars.
I personally think this is the most likely. It's in keeping with what the Red Sox have historically done, and makes sense in a major market with the new playoff format.
C It takes a very long time to become young - Pablo Picasso
John Henry decides he needs a yacht with a helicopter landing pad and Liverpool needs a new striker, and the Red Sox go cheap with what they've got plus Ross and Ortiz probably. Maybe Ellsbury is dealt for Andrus or a deal is swung for a Pence/DeJesus or something, and they bring in the Irish Jose Iglesias, Brendan Ryan, to teach young Jose how to keep a job while hitting 200. 1B/Corner OF is a Gomez/Sands/Kalish/Sweeney-headed monster, with Brentz filling in when all those guys inevitably get hurt by June. The team is a longshot to contend.
I don't see this as particularly likely either, but probably more likely than scenario A. Given points 2 and 3, I'm pretty confident something splashy will happen.
I'm also generally thinking they don't bring in much new pitching, since the point of Farrell seems to be that he 'gets' the current pitchers. You don't bring in Farrell and then trade the guys he worked well with, probably, so I didn't include many speculative pitching deals. YMMV. (Also, Rubby and Felix have the kind of names and strikeout rates you don't trade away)
I see this as more of a "what do you think the Red Sox will do" thread than a "this is what I think the Red Sox should do" thread. There are plenty of threads where we talk about what should happen. What do you think will happen?
Edited by alwyn96, 02 November 2012 - 03:29 AM.