It is safe to say the Red Sox can write off the 2014 season regardless of how they finish the remainder of this year. So Ben Cherington’s job from here on out is to continue to rebuild this team. So far he has added a big bat in Yoenis Cespedes, hopefully a bat that will once again hit for Average and Power in Allen Craig, both Right Handers.
As far as adding a bat for next year I would look for Ben to add a left handed bat or two. Though the available names may change by this Winter, one name that pops out immediately is Pablo Sandoval, a switch hitting 3rd/1st baseman the Red Sox have had “eyes” on for some time now. Given Will Middlebrooks inability to seize the position and make it his own leads us to believe the Sox have no choice but to replace him before next season begins.
Beyond adding someone like Sandoval and re-signing David Ross,I don’t see an immediate need to add any other bat, especially if Xander Bogaerts and or Jackie Bradley Jr learn to hit for Average. (They have 6 weeks to prove this).
The biggest areas of concern for Cherington will be the Starting pitching staff and the Bullpen. At this point we don’t know all of the pitchers that will be available but there is one big name that we already know, Jon Lester. I would like to see the Sox bend on their philosophy of not signing players over 30 years old to long term deals.
Beyond re-signing Lester I would like for them to either sign or trade for a solid #2 Starter. James Shields would be an excellent option for the open #2 Starter slot; IE a viable replacement for John Lackey.
As for the Bullpen, luckily there will be a number of solid Relievers to be had this Winter. Pat Neshek will be the most coveted Right hander and old friend Andrew Miller from the Left side. If the Red Sox could add two relievers of their stature they’d have one of the best bullpens in Baseball.
We all thought Ben had a busy deadline day, the offseason may be even busier. Go Sox!