With the recent announcement by the Red Sox that John Farrell will return as manager could be a risky proposition. In five season as a major league manager Farrell has finished fourth twice with Toronto that included one five hundred season and one world title in”13 with the Red Sox.The other years were three seasons of last place in the AL East.
This could truly prove to be a margin of error for the Sox. With a pretty good stretch run since he went down with cancer the Sox have some promising arms and talent to compete. Eduardo Rodriguez emerged as a dependable starter. Henry Owens could be a number two or three.Rookie Brian Johnson is still developing and could be ready by mid season.
With the emergence of center fielder Mookie Betts, Outfielder Rusney Castillo and Jackie Bradley the Red Sox have a good reason to be excited. Not to mention shortstop Xander Bogarts who is emerging as one of the best shortstops in the league. With the youth movement in place Farrell may or may not screw up the nucleus. Farrell had an infortunate incident in June with lefty Wade Miley. The two had a shouting contest in the dugout this shows clearly lack of control.
With attractive free agents available this off season the Sox clearly have to add an ace in order for Farrell to succeed.Clay Buchholz failed as a number one and couldn’t be counted on as a stopper. Other notable free agents are Matt Harvey, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzia and of course David Price. Price is an attractive player who has a working relationship with Dombrowski in their Detroit days. Price however is thirty four and is 1-5 in post season His only win was the AL champioship with the Rays.
A Dustin Pedroia trade would be gutsy. Perhaps to Oakland for Sonny Gray who has one year left on his deal. Considering Gray’s age and the Red Sox philosophy Gray would an area worth exploring. Matt Harvey on the other hand is signed through 2016 and is arbitration eligible in 2019. Harvey is a Scott Boras client. Samardzia is thirty years old and makes 12 million a year. Samardzia being thirty and his salary would not make sense for the Sox
This leaves us with the bullpen. The Sox bull pen was so so at best. Koji Uehars went down midseason and is forty years old. Robbie Ross did excellent finishing with five saves. Jean Machi was up and down.. Juniinchi Tazawa was overused towards the end. If Farrell is going to succeed the Sox need fresh arms out of the pen or else it will be another dismal season.DH wise David Ortitz is another area of concern. Travis Shaw a midseason callup has a nice stroke and has the durability to play third. Chris Davis is a free agent who should be considered. He’s just thirty years old and makes 12million dollars a year. He has the perfect swing for Fenway Park. A nice alternative considering Ortitz’s age.
No matter what happens in the off season the success of the 2016 team hinges on the moves the GM makes. This could make or brake Farrells tenure in Boston.