Boston’s recent flurry of moves — to say nothing of its seeming glut of outfielders and stockpile of young talent — have left the league waiting to see what strategic direction GM Ben Cherington takes, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News writes. The organization has given signals that it is lining up some further major transactions, with starting pitching an obvious possible focus, but possibilities abound.
Here are some notes that bear on the question of how Boston will proceed:
- The Red Sox are not presently concerned with sorting out playing time for next season, and will continue to play top prospect Mookie Betts in the outfield for the balance of the year, reports Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com. Cherington said that he hopes all three of the team’s unproven center field options — Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., and the recently-signed Rusney Castillo — will pan out, indicating that decisions as to who plays (and where) will be sorted out in the future.
- Assistant GM Mike Hazen weighted in on the matter as well, telling Dennis & Callahan of WEEI.com (via WEEI.com’s Jerry Spar) that he envisions both Betts and Castillo being on the roster next year. Other changes, however, could be afoot. “We know we have some redundancies in some areas, we have some holes in other areas that need to be plugged,” he said. “And there’s two ways we’re going to plug those holes. We’re going to do it with money in the free agent market, and we’re going to be able to do it via trade, having good major league players, not just minor league players to trade.”
- Hazen specifically mentioned that the team has power bats that it could make available, noting that could represent a valuable commodity on the trade market. Of course, two of the main pieces of the overfilled outfield mix — recently-acquired corner bats Yoenis Cespedes and Allen Craig — would seem to be at least hypothetical trade candidates. The 2015 free agent crop does have some power options available, with players like Nelson Cruz, Michael Morse, and Josh Willingham set to hit the open market.