Red Sox’ Rebuilding Cycle Could Take Less Time Than Expected Due to Team’s Financial Flexibility


Red Sox' Rebuilding Cycle Could Take Less Time Than Expected Due to Team's Financial FlexibilityIt's been a long and winding road for the Red Sox to reach this point in the season. Looking back, it seems unlikely that anybody could have seen things ending up the way they have.

One of the people who is probably most surprised about the way things have turned out is Bobby Valentine, who seems to have developed into something of a lightning rod for the Red Sox in 2012.

This picture of the week has me wondering if Valentine had any
idea what he was in for when he did this interview at NESN studios
the day he was introduced as the new Red Sox manager.

Red Sox' Rebuilding Cycle Could Take Less Time Than Expected Due to Team's Financial Flexibility

What or who would you give up for a No. 1 starting pitcher —
maybe King Felix [Hernandez]?

— Eric Blanchette

The Red Sox now have less to offer after the trade of Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto. It will take
many major league players and a few almost-ready major league players to get it
done. I am not sure the Red Sox have a match for what Seattle would want in
return. Felix Hernandez is Seattle's only key bargaining chip, and when they eventually make a
trade, they will need to supply their roster instantly with good players. Prior
to the trade the Sox made, I would have given up just about anybody to get King
Felix. To me, the Red Sox have not had a consistent front-line ace since the
days of Pedro Martinez and Curt Schilling, where every start was an event. I just
don't see how they can get Hernandez via trade right now.

What do you foresee the Sox doing in the offseason to prepare
themselves for a better year in 2013?

— Darren Wayne Hatch

I see a very interesting, exciting offseason ahead for the Sox
as they rebuild. The Sox can go get free agents while blending in young players and essentially start over after amazingly being able to unload many of their cash restraints with
the recent trade. I think Ben Cherington will choose
wisely. Do not expect any long-term deals to be handed out. As part of the
new thought process, I believe six- and seven-year deals will not be part of the team's framework.

Will Josh Reddick continue to have success and make the Red Sox
regret trading him?

— Tom Roosa

I think he will. I think he really lucked out in the trade
to Oakland. He was always over-aggressive here, and I understand why. Every time
he was called up, it was for a short period of time, and he felt he had perform
above and beyond, so he added great pressure on himself in his efforts to stay at the
big league level. He was trying to hit four home runs in every at-bat, if you will. Then he
gets traded and has a chance to bat third and play every day, knowing he is now
a major leaguer. He has relaxed, and his true talents have come to the surface.
As for the Red Sox, they needed a closer, and I still believe Andrew Bailey will
return to his past success. Hopefully can stay healthy.

How long do you think this "rebuilding" cycle will

— Jeffrey Mason

Hard to tell. I know the patience level of Red Sox Nation is going
to require it to be shorter than most places. I think it will be fun
to see the team rebuild in this time ahead. I think it is fair to think that it could take into
next year for things to come together. The one reason I think it could be
sooner is that the Red Sox now have some financial flexibility to sign players.
Most teams that are rebuilding take three or four years to do it, like Cleveland in
the past, but those teams do not have the resources to do it quickly like the Sox do.

I like what I've been seeing of James Loney. What are the
chances the Sox re-sign him?

— John N. Mondalto Jr.

I also like what we have seen so far from James Loney. His power
has always been a question mark for a corner infielder. I think his glove has
been solid, and his plate appearances have also been better than I anticipated.
I think he could be a viable option on a short-term contract for less than he
was making with the Dodgers. He is a free agent, and it is hard to tell what
other offers he may have. He certainly will have time to show the Sox what he
can do in the next couple of weeks.

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