I admit it would have been nice to watch Tori Hunter rob power hitters all year. I was excited thatevery deep fly ball to center would be a pleasure to watch. I am NOT however broken hearted that Mr. 18 million dollar man is on the Angels. 18 million a year for Tori Hunter? The Sox would have been slightly overpaying him at a 15 million clip, but 18 million? A good hitter, and a great centerfielder is not a 90 million dollar man. The Sox could have two high quality players, if not three high quality players for that type of money. Sure Hunter might hit 30 HR, might bat .280, won’t walk, will strike out, and does not provide protection for Guerroro. There isn’t in a manager in this league that would not rather face Hunter than Vlad. In fact they would rather face Hunter than lots of hitters in the American League alone. He was the third best hitter on the Twins anyways. Another queston, will Hunter be worth 18 million dollars in 2011 and 2012 when his speed declines? But lets back to the Sox-
The bullpen as it stands is good enough to be solid, not a liability. If Macdougal can bounce back at all the pen actaully could be a strength.
A hole remains in centerfield, unless of course you think Brian Anderson and Jerry Owens can fill out the outfield. In a rebuilding year yes, but not for Kenny "I can win this thing every year but have only made the playoffs once" Williams. I really think that Coco Crisp at 6-8 million a year makes a lot more sense than Rowand at 15 million. His defense is overrated and his "amazing" offensive year last year was not exactly 15 million dollar statistics. He did not hit .320, he did not hit 30 HR, and he did not drive in 100 runs. I can tell you one thing, he can’t bunt and though he runs into walls like a grinder he doesn’t really play like one. He can’t bunt, he strikes out, and he isn’t really a threat on the bases. Crisp is no superstar, but neither is Rowand. Crisp has speed, can bunt, can make contact, and comes from a team that wins. A lineup with Crisp, Owens, Cabrera, and Richar has the potential to be truly embody the "Ozzieball" mentality that has been lost since ’05. These guys are great athletes, with speed, defense, and a knowledge of how to handle the stick.
the lineup with Crisp:
thats lots of speed 8,9,1,2 and lots of power in the middle.
Also, Crisp provides a little leadoff insurance if Owens falters.
But getting to the third base situation.
I don’t understand why Williams is ready to hand the job to Josh Fields. His bat looks ready for the majors, but his glove clearly is not ready. This isn’t a rebuilding year remember? You are not going to win a World Series with a below average fielding third baseman who is learning on the job. Williams should trade Crede if he can get EQUAL value. Unfortunately because he has ran his mouth about needing to move Crede no one is going to give him that. Even if you don’t trade Fields for a starter or outfielder, you can get both Crede and Fields a ton of at bats in these ways…
Put Fields at DH against every left handed starter,
Thome doesn’t hit lefties and this would give him rest so he can stay on the field.
Give Fields a few starts at first to give Paulie a breather.
Give Fields a few starts in left against lefties, spells Owens, provides insurance against Owens,
Throw him at third now and then, rests Crede’s back.
If Ozzie gets creative he can get Fields 350-400 at bats, and if God forbid Crede’s back isn’t really fixed he can step in full time, or Thome breaks down, or Paulie breaks down.
Having two valueable players at the same position is not a problem. I am just concerned that Kenny wants to trade Crede because he wants to prove that the Sox can actaully turn a high draft pick into a major league star (on the Sox!)
Imagine a defensive infield with Crede, Cabrera, Richar, and Konerko, an outfield with Owens, Crisp, and Dye. Thats the type of defense you need to help out a young back end of the pitching staff. Speed, defense, and pitching won in 05′ with a mediocre offense. It can win in ’08 with a better offense…
Keep Crede… beware of Rowand…..