That is the good news.
The bad news is, the Red Sox just finished a three game sweep of the Minnesota Twins. A team they are supposed to beat. Sure, before the series the Twins had a better record than the Red Sox at 5-11 (versus the Sox's 4-10), but the teams are on two different plateaus in terms of talent.
Lest we forget that the Twins have the 29th-ranked pitching staff (in terms of ERA) in baseball at a plump 5.76. I'll give you three guesses which team is ranked 30th, two of which don't count. It is worth noting that the Red Sox are also ranked 30th in WHIP at 1.58.
Yes, positives can be derived from the series, please don't misunderstand me.
We learned that David Ortiz is still capable of some jaw-dropping bombs. Cody Ross is fun to watch. Josh Beckett still has a potty mouth, Clay Buchholz is suspect and the team can still almost give away games courtesy of the bullpen.
I'm looking at you, Alfredo Aceves.
In an article posted for ESPN Insider, Jim Bowden lists five moves that he believes will make the Red Sox better immediately.
One move stands out above the rest in my eyes: a trade to acquire Huston Street.
Before the Hot Stove season even heated up, I called for the Sox to aggressively pursue Street. Needless to say, I think he would be an excellent fit in Boston.
Bowden appears to agree with me.
This is what his piece had to say:
Street has been remarkably effective in 2012, starting the season with an ERA of 1.80 in five appearances with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 7.0. The Red Sox would then make him the closer, leaving Daniel Bard in the rotation for long-term development. The Padres could then put Andrew Cashner in the closer’s role and likewise develop him for their long-term benefit. Street can serve as a stopgap in the closer’s role until Andrew Bailey returns in July and lessen the pressure on [Mark] Melancon when he finally returns from Triple-A.
Gibson and Tejeda are decent prospects, and will help San Diego build even more depth in its farm system, and the Padres shouldn't expect to get a blue-chipper for Street.
I can't say that I disagree with this line of thought in general terms. However, I do think that this move should still result in Bard being moved back to the bullpen as the setup man for the time being, providing stability to an otherwise volatile staff.
Gibson is hitting just .260 in Double-A Portland, while Tejeda is batting .280 for the Sea Dogs.
Street is under contract for this season with a $9 million option for 2013 or a $500,000 buyout. Even utilizing him as a stopgap for Bailey, an arm like Street is one to retain. Bailey is going to be under team control through 2015 (through arbitration.)
It would seem like a luxury to have both arms on the staff.
While many of the other trade rumors swirling around seem laughable at times, this is one that could offer immediate dividends for your Boston Red Sox.