Like the Jake Peavy trade that preceded it, yesterday’s acquisition of Alex Rios just proves once again that Kenny Williams means business when he says the Sox will do anything to win.
KW has said over and over again that he’s all about championships and his recent moves underscore how serious he is. Before the Williams era, most Sox fans weren’t as confident that the right–and, if necessary, bold–moves would be made to help put the club over the top.
Is there risk in both the Peavy and Rios deals? Of course. These are both long-term contracts and there is certainly a chance that one or both won’t live up to expectations. But if we are to be a perennial contender and relive the magic of 2005, this is the right course to take. If you can get a No. 1 starter who is a former Cy Young Award winner, do it. And if you can get a former All-Star, who admittedly is having an off-year but has a huge upside, get him–especially without having to give up anything in return.
It terms of the money, relief may be coming as the contracts of Dye, Thome, Contreras and Dotel all expire at the end of this season. This is not to say all four will be gone, but I think it’s pretty safe to say all four won’t be back. And it’ll give Williams flexibility to continue the transition to a younger and more athletic team.
So that’s next year and beyond. What about the rest of ’09 as the Sox attempt to reach the postseason for the second straight year? Ozzie has a challenge on his hands as he will attempt to make everybody happy with playing time. What seems most likely is a rotating platoon of sorts, which will keep guys fresh and give the Sox a better chance to win at the same time.
I see Pods and Quentin in left, Pods and Rios in center, Dye with help from Rios in right and Quentin and Thome at DH. Although nothing’s been announced yet, Wise is the logical one to go. If that’s the case, he sure made his mark in his final days in a Sox uniform. Good for him.
Note of the day: If the Sox had won in Seattle last night, I would have focused some attention on the victory. Since they lost 6-4 and remain three games back as the Tigers lost to the Red Sox, I’ll just try to forget and hope they’ll bounce back tonight.