So 2009 was a disappointment. What's new for 2010 (or Old)?
We start with the old (players). Red Sox are bringing back Tim Wakefield for 2 years, $5 million. Still servicable, but not a solid option. #5 rotation at best. At this rate, he may pitch till he can collect social security.
Declined, the option for Jason Varitek. No surprise here, as he has become a liability. After a good start, his hitting woes didn't just fall back to 2008 levels, they dropped below as the season dragged on. The team did however, express interest in signing him to be Victor Martinez's back-up. Ouch! Can he still wear the C on his Jersey in that role?
Declined, the option on Alex Gonzalez. This one troubles me, as iot was only $6 million. The teams intent is to sign him, but for less money. His bat is weak, but he offers solid defense, which the team has proven they need out of that position.
Still a potential issue is Left Field. With Jason Bay on the free agent market, there are no gurantees. The Sox will make a strong bid to keep him, but will it be strong enough?
The team needs hitting, and another solid starter. Jos Beckett, John Lester, Clay Buchholz are the clear 1,2,3, with what looks like Daiske Matuzaka and Tim Wakefield as the 4, and 5. Some how I am just not thrilled.
So what's available? Hank Blaylock (29 years young) jumps out as a 1B/DH hitter. Would remove Mike Lowell from every day play, but he is barely that now.
If Bay can not be retained, the Sox have to get Matt Holliday. There is no other answer, other than a one year bandaid approach for 2010. Someone like Jermaine Dye.
Then pitching, what's there? John Lackey (?) Randy Wolf (?) Erik Bedard (?). Who out there confidently replaces the Diceman? Not sure the Sox make a big move here.
Long way to go, but unless the Sox want to sign a bunch of free agent senior citizens, there are very few top tier options.