The Boston Red Sox have positioned themselves for an eventful offseason.
By stockpiling both prospects and major league talent, the Red Sox can be aggressive this winter, whether it be through trades or free agency. Red Sox assistant general manager Mike Hazen expects the organization to leave no stone unturned in its quest to return to contention in 2015.
?I think what we?ve tried to do as we?ve moved through the trading deadline and into the rest of the regular season was to acquire or amass as many really good major league players as we could,? Hazen said on WEEI?s ?Dennis and Callahan? on Thursday. ?We know we have some redundancies in some areas, we have some holes in other areas that need to be plugged. 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.
?We may trade some minor league guys as well, but having those good, established major league hitters — a lot of these guys that have power, which is a commodity in the game — set us up fairly well in a strong position at least.?
It?s been a disappointing season for the Red Sox, to say the least. But it would have been even tougher to swallow if Boston continued limping toward the finish line rather than taking a proactive approach in gearing up for next season. The Red Sox made several trades before the deadline that should benefit them sooner rather than later. And they continued their aggressiveness after the deadline by signing Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract.
?I think the name that was thrown out a lot in our room was Ron Gant. We?re going back a little ways there,? Hazen said Thursday when asked which major leaguer — past or present — Castillo could be compared to. ?A guy that has pretty good power. The ability to get out to both right field and left field. He?s a very good athlete, he can run. Where he?s going to end up in the outfield given his throwing arm, we project him as a center fielder right now. Whether that ends up being his ultimate position, we believe center fielder. We?ll see.?
Castillo is part of a suddenly crowded outfield, as the Red Sox also acquired Yoenis Cespedes and Allen Craig in their deadline efforts to improve the offense. While one could view the situation as a logjam, Hazen is viewing it as an area of strength, which could be one of several such areas come next Opening Day.
?I know trades are tough to pull off no matter what you?re dealing with because you need two to tango on this,? Hazen said. ?But we?re going to be in a pretty good position, we think, going into the offseason given the assets and the players that we have, both on the roster and in the minor leagues, and the financial resources that we have coming off the books currently to be able to fill the holes that we need to fill.?