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Roche: A Skinny Pablo Sandoval, Farrell’s Option & Other Red Sox Thoughts From Winter Meetings

WASHINGTON, DC (CBS) — Just a few quick thoughts on the Red Sox as we hit a Day 2 of Baseball’s Winter Meetings here in the DC area:

– I know he gets second-guessed non-stop and his in-game managing can be questioned, but John Farrell deserved to have his option year picked up. He needs that as a show of faith from management to the players. Also, don’t discount just how big of an impact Farrell can make as far as player evaluation is concerned. I would think the Sox would value his input there immensely.

– My “wow” moment came when a friend sent me this picture of Pablo Sandoval:

Dave Dombrowski had just finished telling reporters that Sandoval was in “tremendous shape” while Farrell added that Sandoval has “an opportunity to make a major impact on our team next year” when I received the picture. Maybe the message has finally sunken in. Who knows? But, we do know that it’s a start and that Sandoval can atone for his disappointments here in Boston by simply contributing next season. Maybe he can be a John Lackey from the sense of being able to finally give the Sox value on what looks like a bad contract.

But just because Sandoval lost weight doesn’t mean he can return to being a productive player. However, its a start. And with the team reportedly trading away Travis Shaw on Tuesday, it paves the way for Sandoval to take over a third next season.

– Listening to Dombrowski talk about the luxury tax makes you feel like the Sox won’t do anything major this offseason. With severe penalties for going over the $195 million threshold and the Red Sox eight million or so short of that number, they would have to move Clay Buchholz and maybe others to get anything done.

– It’s clear that another set-up reliever is first and foremost on the agenda for Dombrowski. Add one more arm (Holland, Davis) to Kelly, Smith, Barnes, Ross, Scott, Hembree, etc. and you’ll have a solid cast in front of Craig Kimbrel.

Dombrowski addressed that need on Tuesday by reportedly acquiring Tyler Thornburg, who notched 13 saves with a 2.15 ERA and 0.940 WHIP last year for the Brewers.

– By the way, I wouldn’t mind seeing either or both Uehara and Ziegler come back.

– If Dombrowski does indeed wait for an impact left hand bat, Brandon Moss would be fine by me.

– I know I’ve said the Red Sox could use some veteran presence, especially with the departure of David Ortiz, but part of me would like to see Blake Swihart as a utility man next season. Swihart could DH, play left field and catch. Mix and match him in with Brock Holt and I think it could work.

– Put me down with the majority in that there’s no way I’m parting with Andrew Benintendi as part of a package to bring in a front line starter or hitter. Yoan Moncada maybe, but I still want to see more of him.

– I would like to see the Sox bring in some veteran starting pitching. Late in the offseason, those unsigned veterans that could help at some point, even if they start at a Triple-A.

– I’m curious to see Christian Vazquez this spring. He could be a real impact player in 2017.

More from Dan Roche
Comments

One Comment

  1. Ever hear of Photo Shop? Jared Sullinger ring a bell. Last year they showed a picture of Sullinger all thin and in shape, and when you saw him in the pre-season games he was fatter and heavier from the year before. I believe Sandoval is in shape when spring training rolls around. Until then he is still the belt BUSTER!

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