The Red Sox need to make a trade if they are to truly compete for the World Series. They need a very specific type of player to become that team. That specific player needs to be a staff ace with a healthy arm that can handle intense media pressure. He must be on the trade market and not be a prima donna. Acquiring this rare form of life becomes more complicated by their need to also juggle a hefty payroll. That’s why the first move they should make is to contact Nolan Ryan about trading Josh Beckett to the rotation needy Rangers. This may look like a backwards move but it really is about the Red Sox moving forward. The Boston big three: Beckett, Lester, and Bucholz have lost their mojo. They have been fighting inconsistency and injuries this season. These inconsistencies could be symptomatic of deeper issues. The 2011 collapse hangs over this team like a large dark cloud. I suspect the reason Beckett and Lachey were so creepy indulgent during games last year, was jealousy about Gonzo and Crawford making more money than they did. Every MLB team has a pecking order and money plays a very big part in that order. Beckett possibly felt he lost his top dog status after those acquisitions. Maybe, he wanted to show he still had big time juice in the clubhouse by flaunting the rules. After a dominating August, when it looked like the Red Sox could coast into the playoffs, did Pandora’s Box get opened and jealousies manifest themselves into the fried chicken and beer brigade taking place in the Sox bullpen?
Beckett has been big brother to Lester and Bucholz. The Sox fans rightfully blame Becket more than anyone else for the September nightmare of 2011. For that reason he is hated by many fans. Its not hard to imagine that Lester and Bucholz feeling the hatred toward their mentor has also played hell with the self-confidence of these younger pitchers. Add to this mix their own guilt over this dark episode and their mojo has gone bye bye. Beckett’s smug, defiant, defensive presence on the team is a constant reminder of last September. Regardless of exactly why the collapse happened, it’s quite reasonable to believe he is weighing down the Red Sox. He and his big contract need to leave Boston and I have just the place for him to go to. Texas needs a starter. Nolan Ryan is tempted to get Cole Hamels from the Phillies but is reluctant to give up too many prospects for a short term rental. Beckett, in spite of his inconsistencies, still has lots of talent and two more years on his contract. He fits the profile of the type of pitcher that Ryan is willing to give up prospects for. Josh Beckett cannot be traded without his permission. That’s why you want to trade him to a team like the Rangers with a legit shot to win it all.
My next post will get into trade suggestions about getting a stopper to replace Beckett and cover more details about trading him to Texas.