The Red Sox have reportedly signed Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval according to multiple media outlets. Someone should let them know their ace heading into next season is Clay Buchholz currently. The need for a third baseman was there, but should have been an afterthought.
The situation now becomes clear to everyone – the Red Sox have too much on the left side of the infield. If Ramirez is to play left field like some reports suggest, they added more to an already jam-packed outfield and they filled a spot that had zero need to be filled. This means a trade is definite.
The problem a lot of Red Sox fans will run into is to get something, you’re going to have to give something in the form of prospects. This means the potential loss of Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, Garin Cecchini, Blake Swihart, Christian Vazquez, or even Henry Owens. One, or some, of those players packaged with a veteran may get the Red Sox a top-two pitcher via trade. Don’t give me Jackie Bradley or Will Middlebrooks because those players are getting you squat right now in the market.
Personally, I would deem Henry Owens as untouchable because when you are without a long term solution at starting pitching, it makes no sense to trade away someone that could fill that role ultimately. Maybe Owens isn’t ready now, but given another few seasons he will be. The problem is, for most teams parting with a top caliber pitcher, they are going to want that pitching prospect in return.
For now, I think the Red Sox made a splash to satisfy, but they had better already have a plan to unload some players. I mean a real wink and a nod before hand because if they are stock-piling talent and hoping a team bails them out like the Dodgers did, then they have already failed.
The obvious contract to go first would be Yoenis Cespedes with one year remaining and good power at the plate. Cespedes is a bit superior to Hanley Ramirez at the plate in my opinion and they really could have just stuck with Cespedes in left and had Ramirez play third if they didn’t also sign Sandoval. You had a whole season to scout the Cespedes situation with a bunch of options if he didn’t flourish.
What I gather from the two contracts is the Red Sox are now exposed. Instead of being in good position to make a trade, they now have to make a trade. Teams know this and for those teams with good depth at pitching, they will take advantage of the fact that the Red Sox need to dump players.
They still have money to sign Lester, but not much else. I think Cherington has already shown the entire MLB his hand and that’s a piss poor move.