Is it just me or do other Red Sox fans have a funny feeling about this off-season? I have these lofty expectations for what Theo needs to do in order to create a new look lineup for 2010. As expected, Bay wants to test the free agent waters, which should strike fear into the hearts of Red Sox fans. Bay is a top tier free agent that will draw attention from all of the higher budget teams. If Bay is to return to the Red Sox, Theo will have to shell out high market prices, crimpling the ownership\’s ability to pursue other top free agents. Given recent history, I am beginning to doubt Bay will not be under the shadow of the Green Monster next year. The other elite OF is Matt Holliday who is drawing much attention from possible employers. Holliday is a bit younger and better defensive player than Bay, and has already drawn interest from the Mets and Cardinals, creating it stiff competition for Boston.
In terms of other power bats, Adrian Gonzalez has been an object of the Red Sox\’s affection for a year or two now. He is a young, strong first baseman with a ton of pop and a decent glove. If the Sox were able to land Gonzalez, which is probably more likely that any other power bat, they would have to either include Mike Lowell in a trade or have another trade lined up. The problem with that scenario, is that Lowell\’s trade value has plummeted over the last year or year and a half with is chronic hip problem and his increasing age.
Over the next few days, the first few days of unrestricted free agency, we will have a better feel for the market for all of these players, but the early indications are not great for the Red Sox. If last year\’s Teixeira sweepstakes is any factor, however, Theo may be looking to prove his worth and may spend more than normal. More analysis of free agent pitchers and other batters to come throughout the next few days and weeks.