Of course, the Red Sox have the money to sign both Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval. Plus, since Ramirez – who is a lousy defensive shortstop – is being moved to the outfield, young shortstop Xander Bogaerts never has to worry about the bench. Plus, he now has a plus defensive third baseman playing beside him. What this does do is make an already major logjam in the outfield that much worse. Now, either right-fielder Shane Victorino or now former left-fielder Yoenis Cespedes is almost definitely destined to be included a trade for pitching. Center fielder Rusney Castillo, the young Cuban who signed a major deal last season, is going nowhere.
The current scenario for the Red Sox makes sense. Since Ramirez and Sandoval are free agents now, you have to sign them now. The Red Sox are at a juncture where they don't exactly have much offense coming through the system outside of Mookie Betts and perhaps the raw, but powerful Bryce Brentz. They can't trade Betts, really - too valuable in his versatility. They can't trade much from their pitching depth in the minors (Henry Owens and Brian Johnson) and they can't trade Christian Vazquez (slated to be their starting catcher). Their top prospect, catcher Blake Swihart, is a stud who could be starting by 2016 in the Major Leagues.
I like these moves for the Red Sox. The question now is what to do with Allen Craig, Daniel Nava, and Jackie Bradley, as well as having to move Yoenis Cespedes (1 year left, $10 million) or Shane Victorino (1 year left, $13 million) or both – as the Sox have made it clear that Betts will play. But that could be a very good problem to have as there are pitchers on the trading block and the Sox are loading up to make another worst-to-first run in 2015.