Here's five thoughts on the recent shake-up of the Red Sox roster.
1. The biggest difference between the pre-trade deadline line-up and the line-up today is the fact that Boston went from having two players (Ortiz, Napoli) with 25+ HR potential to having five (Ortiz, Napoli, Middlebrooks, Craig and Cespedes). I included Allen Craig even though the most HR he's hit in a season was 22 (but it was in just 119 games). That's a huge difference in pop in the line-up.
2. I have to wonder if Shane Victorino was healthy enough to pass a deadline physical whether he would have been traded too. My guess is he's shut down for the season and dealt once he's healthy. Did I say guess or hope?
3. How do the Red Sox hope to compete for top talent if they are not willing to pay the going rate? The Yankees gave Masahiro Tanaka a 7-year $155 million deal while Boston management looks like it was unwilling to give Jon Lester something comparable to a 5-year $110 million deal.
4. Conversely it should be noted that Oakland had the best record in baseball while relying mainly on young arms (plus 30-year olds Scott Kazmir and Jesse Chavez). Ace Sonny Gray 24, Tommy Milone 27, Dan Straily 25, and Drew Pomeranz 25 have made a combined 53 starts for the first place A's this season. Compare that to Boston's young arms of Brandon Workman 25, Rubby Del La Rosa 25, Allan Webster 24, and Anthony Ranaudo 24. It looks like Boston is looking to use the A's blueprint next season.
5. The speculation is that with payroll down to just $95 million for next season the Red Sox will use their stockpile of prospects to make a big splash in the trade market. The focus has been on Giancarlo Stanton but the two names I'd like to see on a Boston Opening Day roster next season are Troy Tulowitzki or Cole Hamels. Both would be great.