The Boston Red Sox have been very active in the pre-trade deadline period, moving Jake Peavy and Jon Lester from their starting rotation and Jonny Gomes from their outfield platoon. In return, the Sox have received top-level prospects and major league leading talent, with Yoenis Cespedes being an All Star player that benefits the team immediately.
In addition, the Sox traded Felix Doubront to the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday for minor league considerations. The Doubront trade was a relative no-brainer, as the lefty was unhappy in his relief role on the Sox and his performance of late did not warrant giving him a rotation spot.
One would imagine those trades alone being enough to reform the roster for the remainder of 2014 and beyond. Before the ink could dry in the Lester trade agreement, the Sox shipped John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-handed fire-baller Joe Kelly and 2013 All Star first baseman Allen Craig. Although Kelly and Craig are having sub par seasons, their past performance should be more than enough to convince most Red Sox fans that this is a roster enhancement for the future. Given the fact that Boston would have been challenged to get Lackey to pitch for the $500,000 he is guaranteed for his final contract season in 2015 (and the Sox would not want to lock him up long-term), the risk-reward ratio for this deal improves greatly.
Still, the Red Sox were not done dealing; as Andrew Miller was shipped to the Baltimore Orioles for pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez. Of all the talent on the Red Sox roster, Miller seemed to draw surprisingly high level of interest. While the left-hander is a high-octane reliever, his occasional bouts with control problems make the demand for him a bit perplexing.
The deals made to date all provide Boston with ready-made talent to contribute immediately; especially with Cespedes, Kelly and Craig as well as minor league prospects that can supplement the farm system. The maneuvers do not close the door on the Sox signing Jon Lester after the 2014 season concludes. Lester has gone on the record to state a trade would not impact his free agency destination. Should the Red Sox be serious about having Lester anchor their rotation for the next four to five seasons, they have the financial wherewithal to make it happen. The issue here is how much the Sox want Lester long-term; with their initial contract offering bordering on offensive based on Lester’s contributions.
With minutes remaining before the pre-waiver wire trade deadline occurs, the Red Sox still possess coveted assets; each of whom are not in the franchises long-term plans. Closer Koji Uehara, along with Shane Victorino and Stephen Drew each could be moved, although the later is a real stretch. The 2015 Red Sox roster is already beginning to take shape. and the team has the financial and talent resources to supplement the talent for a playoff run in 2015 and beyond. With all that has transpired thus far, Red Sox fans should stay tuned; as the team we see today may look completely different tomorrow.