Five Questions: What Moves Should the Sox Make?
–Should the Red Sox pursue Roy Halladay, and if so, at what cost?
I think so, but the cost depends on the topic really. Money? Like everyone else it’s not mine, so it’s not an issue. Compensation in players? Certainly not at any cost and the cost would be directly tied to the time I had him under guaranteed contract. If I got a signed extension pre-deal, that changes what I would pay.
–What stands out about how Halladay approaches pitching – either on the mound or between starts – that has allowed him to excel?
It’s the entire package. Same situation as a Beckett or a Lester. I know I am getting a guy that hates losing so much that he’ll do whatever it takes to avoid it. I also know that he thrives on working with and helping young pitchers that are receptive to it, and there are quite a few of those guys here. I also know that he is a further insurance policy for my bullpen. The amount of innings I can project on him is far more than most other starters, which means I am projecting less innings from my bullpen.
–Based on what you’ve seen, what, if anything, do you feel the Red Sox need between now and the July 31 trade deadline?
Health, period. A healthy Mike Lowell is huge, maybe the biggest piece. They don’t need anything if they have health because in my opinion if they stay completely healthy they are going to run away with the division. No team can match their staff 1-5 and certainly not in a five- or seven-game series.
–How, if at all, does the clubhouse atmosphere change during the weeks between the All-Star break and the July 31 deadline?
Depends on the players. In this clubhouse, not a lot changes simply because the usual change in other clubhouses is from some semblance of normal to frantic, and it’s always frantic in Boston so it really doesn’t feel any different. The major difference, and I would argue advantage, is that you never walk into this clubhouse worried that you may be seeing your team trading its way out of contention. Now remember I was in this clubhouse as a veteran — it’s different for young players who have heard their names on the block.
–What is Jason Bay worth as a free agent?
Whatever you can lock him up for, for the next four to five years, obviously within reason and what the market is dictating. Locking him up now requires two things in my opinion.
1) The team accurately projecting market value, knowing the player, and then figuring out if they can obtain that player for less than the market value
2) The player accurately projecting market value and being willing to accept something less than that. No team pays a player market value at this stage, when they can do it six months from now. And no player accepts less than market value at this point unless it’s money that is somewhat close, they aren’t going after every last penny, and they are playing in a place they really want to remain in.
I do think Jason wants to play here, and I do think they want to keep him here. How much of each side’s desire there is, I don’t know. It’s a perfect fit in the clubhouse I think, simply because he’s a very good teammate and a genuinely good guy. He’s as perfect a fit on the field as you could ask and has proven the market is not going to affect his performance in any way.