– Trade Julio Lugo to the Detroit Tigers for Dontrelle Willis. The Tigers would do this trade today, but the Red Sox are hesitant to add Willis’s salary, which is about $4 Million more than Lugo. This would allow the Red Sox to play Jed Lowrie at shortstop, who is a better fielder than Lugo, and is fastly becoming a better hitter than him as well. With the magic that Sox pitching coach John Farrell has worked so far, its worth a shot on Willis. Fenway Park has always been a park built for left-handed pitchers. Pitching in Fenway could allow for Willis to help rejuvenate his career, that has taken a slide over the past three seasons. This would setup the Sox rotation to look like: Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka, Wakefield, and Willis.
– Sign Jonathan Papelbon to a 4-year $52 Million dollar extension. It’s a must. Papelbon is one of the most important players on the Sox. He had very little help this year in the bullpen and it wore him down at times, but was excellent in the playoffs.
– Sign Kerry Wood to a one-year $7 Million dollar contract. The Sox desperately need help in the bullpen and Wood could be a great eighth inning guy. The Sox had interest in signing him in the past, and last season Wood had 34 saves with a 3.26 ERA and 84 K’s in 66.1 innings. Durability is a concern, but Wood would be worth the gamble. The Sox just added Ramon Ramirez another power arm, that the Red Sox covet in the bullpen.
– Sign Juan Rivera as your fourth outfielder to a two-year $10 Million dollar contract. Rivera, would be an excellent addition as your fourth outfielder, who could play a lot of time when JD Drew inevitability gets hurt. He’s been a major part of the Angels over the past few seasons. Last season in 89 games Rivera hit .246 with 12 HR’s and 45 RBI’s.
– Trade Manny Delcarmen and George Kottaras to the Colorado Rockies for catcher Chris Iannetta. The Sox would not need Delcarmen any longer after signing Wood and trading for Ramirez. Delcarmen has never taken off liked the Red Sox had hoped, and adding Iannetta the pride of Providence could be a big addition for the Sox. He could be your backup catcher if you re-sign Varitek, or he could split time with whoever they add. Last season was a career year of Iannetta who hit .264 with 18 HR’s and 64 RBI’s.
– Sign Jason Varitek to a two-year $14 Million dollar contract. He didn’t hit last season, but he is of an immense importance behind that plate. Who else could communicate with Dice-K ? Hopefully, now that his divorce is over he’ll come around and start to hit the ball again.
– Sign Willie Bloomquist as your utility infielder. This guy can player everywhere, and would be an upgrade over Alex Cora. The versatility of Bloomquist would allow the Sox to keep another pitcher because he can play the outfield as well. He isn’t that much of an upgrade of a hitter over Cora, but Bloomquist will hit in the .270’s, which is good enough. Cora wants to be a starter somewhere.
– Acquiring Prince Fielder might make some sense for the Sox, since they want to add another power bat to the lineup, but he’ll cost you a boat land and his weight has to be an issue. So, the Sox should go out and trade pitcher Michael Bowden and outfielder Ryan Kalish to the Minnesota Twins for Delmon Young, who can play outfield, or be moved to first base. Young, the former #1 pick in the draft has a great bat, and his potential is unlimited, but he had a down year with the Twins and they want to move him for more young players. He’s been known as bit of a headcase, it just maybe a maturity issue. The Sox would be giving up a lot for Young, but his kind of potential is rare to come by, and would be worth the gamble for the Sox, since their farm system is so deep in talent. He is the young bat the Sox desperately need.
– The Javier Lopez era is over and the Sox should go sign Brian Shouse to a 2-year $7 Million dollar contract, and he can be your new lefty out of the pen. He played here way backin 1998, and would be a major upgrade over Lopez. Last season lefty’s hit only .180 off of Shouse in 100 at bats. He doesn’t walk many batters either, just 14 last season, but righties do hit him hard.
– Re-sign Jason Bay to a 4-year $56 Million dollar contract. Bay will never be a star, but he is a must for the Sox. He just maybe one of the most underrated players in the game and the Sox cannot afford to lose him.
– Sign Kevin Millar as another player off the bench. The fans love him, his teammates love him, and he could be a decent bat off the bench. He won’t be that expensive either. You could probably get him for something in the $3 Million dollar range.
– This is a must, re-sign Josh Beckett to a 4-year $68 Million dollar contract. Keeping Beckett is a must for the Sox, now while the economic market is in the dumps you maybe able to get to for a reasonable deal. That’s if you call $17 Million a season reasonable.
– Take a flier on Brad Penny, you can never have enough starting pitching and you know Penny wants to sign for just one season so he can get his value up again, when he’ll become a free-agent next season. Penny will definitely want to pitch for a contender, so a lot of people can see him shine in the big spot. This guy always puts up good numbers, but gets hurt more than Ben Sheets does. It may take $8 Million to sign him, but it maybe worth it.
The winter meetings begin Sunday, so we should see a lot of action out of the Red Sox next week. Look for them to try to strike quick and sign Mark Teixeira.