Everyone knows that the Red Sox top three priorities are starting pitching, starting pitching and starting pitching. Everyone also knows that Plan A to address starting pitching is Jon Lester. However, I agree with Tony Massarotti that pitching not Lester is the priority for Boston. I also agree with Brian MacPherson that the Red Sox need to cash in their trade chips for a starter or two no matter what happens with Lester.
It would be best for Boston to trade Yoenis Cespedes, Jackie Bradley Jr.. Allen Craig, Will Middlebrooks and Shane Victorino. These guys really have no place in the 2015 line-up right now (although Middlebrooks and Bradley could be stashed in Pawtucket and I'm curious if Craig can bounce back after his awful 2014 season - I wouldn't mind keeping him as the 13th position player instead of selling low on a potential All-Star). I have Daniel Nava and Brock Holt as my super-utility guys so they are not on my trade list.
Use the above guys plus some pieces from the well stocked farm system to trade for two of the following (maybe just one if Boston signs Lester); Jeff Samardzija, Jordan Zimmerman, Doug Fister, Matt Latos, Rick Porcello, and of course Cole Hamels. If the Red Sox add two veteran starters they would be in good shape and well positioned to make a move at the 2015 trading deadline.
I have faith in Ben Cherington that he'll make the right moves. I am worried, however, that on Friday Boston principal owner John Henry goes to visit Jon Lester and then on Saturday we see the pieces from Massarotti and MacPherson saying "this isn't all about Lester you know." The conspiracy theorist in me questions the timing of the articles.
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