Ok...We've discussed this before, but I am noticing that some of these Sox prospects that we've traded have turned into fairly nice players.
Two in particular are Freddie Sanchez who has come into his own this year, hitting .365 with a .405 OBP. He is roughly on pace for two hundred hits and is going to the All-Star game. Very nice. The other is Hanley Ramirez...he was put right into the majors by the Marlins, and (admittedly, he's cooled off from his torrid start) but .274 avg., and 25 stolen bases...not too shabby. He strikes out a ton, but that will get better as he matures. (Let's not even include Eckstein who was released).
Now, the Sox have made these trades already. done...Ramirez brought us Lowell and Beckett which is working out very well (and Gonzalez has been great at SS). Sanchez got us Suppan and Sauerbach which (in hindsight) is a bad deal.
Now, you can ponder a couple of things. Without those trades, you'd have Sanchez at 3rd and Ramirez at SS. It sort of leads me to this conclusion:
No matter what transpires for the rest of this season, don't trade away the young guys. This means, don't trade Pedroia and Hansen (or someone else) for Smoltz. Don't trade David Murphy to Houston with Delcarmen and Pedroia for Clemens. If you are going to trade away some prospects, get a veteran with a lot of tread left on the tires that you can have for a few years.
This Sox teams has some holes. They need to get the young guys more pressure-filled mound time. Better to do it now instead of down the stretch (that way there still might be time to find another arm). They need another starter as Johnson is not cutting it. I am also interested in seeing how Lester does the second time through the league, and, as great as he has been, he still has trouble locating pitches which could hurt him against patient lineups. So, the Sox are probably looking for a number 3/4 and an arm for the pen. Another bat off the bench would be great, and they should have that when Wily Mo gets back.
The front office has to take a realistic look at what they have and truly believe that this is a championship caliber team to make moves including younger players. Yes, they might win the division. But...are they a championship caliber team? Are they even a player or two away? If not, just get to the postseason with what you have and take your chances...Don't give up the very near future for a very few months...
The Sox were right with Ramirez and Sanchez, they are both big league players. Ramirez looks like he's going to be great, and, as mentioned above, Sanchez is suddenly an All-Star. Obviously, Youk has been fantastic, too. So, don't trade Pedroia, Murphy, or Ellsbury. Don't trade the young guys for some rent-a-player...That's what I am getting at here.