Play the GM: What Changes Will Be Made?

Well … that was a better game. I still don’t think the Red Sox are all the way back, but they played crisper tonight, more awake. Hopefully with the Reds and Pirates in town, two teams above .500, we can go home after a long, draining road trip and change the direction of the ballclub. Speaking of changes, changes might be in the air as GM Theo Epstein has intimated there will be changes. Some of them certainly have to be the bullpen, but what? We have no way of knowing, but here are some possibilities. Leave a comment and pretend you’re Theo, too!
Put Alan Embree on the Disabled List with an injury, and call up LHP Mark Malaska or Lenny DiNardo. A no-brainer move here.
Bench Mark Bellhorn, who can play virtually every position. It makes our bench deeper. Start Youkilis at 3B, and shift Mueller to 2B. Bellhorn is just too tiresome striking out and while is very solid defensively, you get to a point where you don’t care about defense. Youk has had a hot bat and really impressed and it is time to get him PT.
Put Nixon back in the two-hole, Millar in 5th, Varitek 6th, and Renteria 7th. This simply makes our lineup more streamlined. If we do what I advocate below, Nixon could bat 3rd, switching with our new Red Sox.
TRADE Manny Ramirez to the New York Mets for OF Mike Cameron and SP Jae Weong Seo (minors). Omar Minaya is the type of GM that would like to make a big splash, and we’d be better off dealing Manny now rather than later. There is still promise that Manny can turn it around, and we get Mike Cameron, mashing the ball, and a free agent. We also get Seo, with MLB experience and promise, who is 3-1 with a 3.34 ERA for the AAA Mets. We might throw some money to them as well, but this sounds like a perfectly reasonable deal. Cameron could start off in left field and platoon with Nixon so he can get used to the sun at Fenway. Nixon could use the rest in left.
That’s pretty much it. There’s more to be done, but I would stop there. Too much upheaval is a bad thing, and this would already stir things up. I’d still like the bullpen addressed more, but I look at the bullpen and outside of Embree, I don’t really see anyone terrible. Halama has not been good so far, but he’s usually more than solid, but then has outings now and then where he gets bombed, inflating his ERA. The bullpen is so unpredictable year in and year out (Brendan Donnelly wasn’t exactly brought into baseball with a silver spoon in his mouth, and go look at the careers of the Brewers bullpen) that it’s tough to build a team around the bullpen. You just have to pretty much build the ‘pen the best you can based on previous years and consistency and cross your fingers.
Mantei is a reasonable player to think is on shaky ground because he’s had a 5.66 ERA so far this year. He holds so much promise, that people wouldn’t mind dealing for him, but it’s that promise that makes me want to keep him. It’s just Embree who’s looked awful all season long. While the bullpen needs the most improving, shifting the offense around a little bit would help more. Also, just changing a few pieces in the bullpen could do wonders. Really, when you think about it, with Foulke progressing back, Myers and Timlin providing stability and Halama not being too bad, it’s Embree and Mantei really creating holes. The promise of Mantei holds off on doing anything, but if you do something with Embree, it could solve everything. Perhaps a callup of Dustin Pedroia would help things as well, but at this point he should just be called up to AAA (along with SP Jon Papelbon) and hope that Youkilis provides the bang he did in the 8-1 win over the Cubs yesterday. Then of course, the Manny trade. Not really much to say about it, but that it should be done.
If you do these four moves, you’re hardpressed to say you’re worse off than before, and could even be better off, both now and the long-term. How about you? What moves would you make?
(Boy, am I glad the Cubs series is over. I just despised the media saturation and all this ‘forgetfulness’ that the Red Sox won it all last year, so the Cubs and Sox are still brothers in arms…? It was nice to see the Red Sox visit the Cubs in Wrigley Field, but really the media saturation just was terrible. Also, as someone mentioned today, Cubs fans “find excuses to justify the [mistakes/lack of talent], we b-tch about how to fix”. I don’t know, frankly I’m all Cubbed out and I’m looking forward to moving on.)