In a desperate attempt to salvage the 2015 season, here are some gambles the Red Sox can afford to make:
- trade for a front line pitcher using some of the following as bait:
- Pablo Sandoval
- Mike Napoli
- Jackie Bradley Jr.
- Joe Kelly and any one pitcher in the current rotation.
- Seal off the infield with Brock Holt at third, Xander Bogarts at short, Dustin Pedroia at second, and a platoon of Travis Shaw, David Ortiz or Allen Craig at first.
- Outfield: Hanley Ramirez, Mookie Betts and a platoon of Shane Victorino and Alejandro DeAza; Daniel Nava as another left-handed bat.
- Catcher is actually a bright spot- everyone deserves a role in the second half of the season.
- The rotation is a crapshoot, but let’s start like this, until the frontline pitcher arrives.
- Rick Porcello, Eduardo Rodriguez, Justin Masterson, Wade Miley, and Brian Johnson. Three left-handers is good insurance against the Yankees.
- The bullpen is a disgrace, except for Tazawa and Uhehara, but let’s keep Layne and Ogando for the middle innings and bring up Steven Wright.
- The rest of the bullpen is nuisance value: Craig Breslow, Robbie Ross, Heath Hembree. Probably none of them will be valued in trade.
A “frontline pitcher” does not necessarily mean Cole Hamels or Johnny Cueto. It means a healthy, consistent performer who can win 8-9 games for the rest of the season. Anyone need a free-swinging third baseman?
If the Red Sox weren’t so close to forming a contending team, there would be no need for desperate measures. A roll of the dice could still turn the season around and make Ben Cherrington and John Farrell look like geniuses, instead of bumblers.