At The Ballyard ... with Steve Weissman

Friday, December 02, 2005

’Tis the Season: Checking the Red Sox’s Christmas List

Baseball’s winter meetings start on Monday in Dallas, and with the holiday spirit blooming all over, let’s take a minute and look at what may be on the Boston Red Sox’s Christmas list.

  • A first baseman, preferably left-handed, to platoon with right-hander Kevin Youkilis, who, thanks to the acquisition of 3B Mike Lowell, seems to be in line to play the position in 2006. All things being equal, I bring back John Olerud if he’ll have us, even despite his age.
  • A second baseman to front Alex Cora and up-and-comer Dustin Pedroia, who has yet to prove he’s ready for prime time. Me, I make a play for Tony Graffanino, who was everything the Sox could have hoped for, and more, during his time in Boston last year, but who reportedly wants more years than the Sox are likely to offer him.
  • An outfielder or two or three, to patrol the Fenway lawn and to provide some strength off the bench … how many depends upon whether Manny Ramirez is traded (and whom the Sox get in return), whether Johnny Damon signs elsewhere, whether Trot Nixon emerges from his recent dark-cloud of injuries, and how soon Gabe Kapler can be expected to run again (see you in ’07).
  • One more middle reliever, especially if the Sox don’t re-sign lefty specialist Mike Myers; two more if significant questions exist about the readiness of either or all of Abe Alvarez, Manny DelCarmen, Lenny DiNardo, and newcomer Jermaine Van Buren.
Best holiday wishes to free agents Kevin Millar and Bill Mueller, two key cogs in the ’04 championship wheel and by all accounts great guys in the clubhouse, neither of whom likely will be back. You will be missed!

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