This recent surge the Red Sox have been on has really gotten a lot of fans excited about 2016. The Red Sox have added key guys to their front office including Dave Dombrowski and Mike Hazen. These two are on a mission to build a championship contender for 2016 and beyond. Here's what I think are some top priorities for the Sox heading into the offseason.
1. Do anything to keep Torey Lovullo in Boston
There is no doubt in my mind that these players aren't just on fire, they finally have a great leader in their clubhouse. If you ask me, I'd say they give up on John Farrell because Lovullo has them playing some great baseball as of late. He's impressed the entire league and, with new managerial openings around the league (i.e. Miami, Philadelphia, and probably Washington) it's almost certain they'll all want to take a look at Lovullo.
Now as for why this is problem, Farrell will likely be back next season.
The Red Sox are too classy to relieve John Farrell of his duties while he's undergoing treatment for cancer: an act of "kicking him while he's down."
So Farrell will most certainly be back in 2016, but on thin ice.
2. Bring back Ryan Hanigan
Hear me out on this one. It's apparent that with Vasquez coming back next season, that Ryan Hanigan will not be an every day catcher in Boston. But I believe it is in the best interest of the organization that they retain him for the foreseeable future. Hanigan may not hit for a top-notch average, but he's an on-base machine and is an above average defensive catcher. Not to mention that he is an intelligent man that can handle a pitching staff. I could see him being of value to young teams such as Miami or Philly, but I believe he will be back in Boston as a mentor for Swihart and Vasquez in 2016.
3. Acquire Sonny Gray from Oakland
Dave Dombrowski's track record shows that his top priority is putting a winner on the field right now, and he's willing to do away with prospects. So when a guy like Sonny Gray comes up, it gives you the ability to put an ace in your rotation for 2016 and beyond. Billy Beane has made deals with Dombrowski in the past and it is evident that Oakland is rebuilding again, and we have the prospects they'd want.
4. Keep Rich Hill around
If you're giving up Henry Owens in a deal for Sonny Gray, that fifth spot in the rotation is up for grabs and, as of this month, Rich Hill is a prime candidate for that spot. Torey Lovullo claims that "everyone loves Rich Hill. I always get texts of people wanting me to say 'hi' to Rich for them." Rich Hill is a man that is respected in the clubhouse and is making the most of his opportunity with Boston. If he cannot take that fifth spot, you could always put him back in the pen where he had tremendous success with. Boston back in 2010.
The Red Sox are sitting in a good spot heading into the offseason, only a few key moves away from rebuilding a contender year in and year out. I believe that these may not be the only moves that needed to be made, but they're definitely moves that will benefit the franchise.
By Jordan Leandre @Jordan_BBS