Let me preface this by saying that 2013 was a magical season. Koji Uehara was one of the best closers in all of baseball for an entire season at the ripe age of 38. With a 1.09 ERA and 21 saves, Uehara's not-so-overpowering fastball baffled hitters as it was mixed in with a vicious splitter.
Now, however, we can see Koji's age. While his 2.39 ERA may look stellar, he has started to get hit. Hard. Throughout the entire 2013 season, I cannot remember Koji struggling or giving up unnecessary runs. In 2015, however, he has blown a couple saves and went through a stretch earlier in the season when he was struggling mightily.
Nevertheless, Koji might have had some of the highest value on the trade market at the Deadline this year.
And for some reason, the Red Sox still decided to hang onto him.
With the rumors of Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman being floated around, one would think that the Red Sox would start the transition towards 2016 and bring some new, young blood into this team. While I am thankful for what Koji did for us in 2013, his time has passed.
Unless the Red Sox think they have their man in Matt Barnes, who, while I've seen flashes of uniqueness, has not shown me yet that he can be the shutdown closer needed on a championship contending team.
By Pete Packowski @Pete_BBS