The 5 Free Agents I Want In Red Sox Nation
I remember being about five or six years old and writing a letter to Santa every year around Thanksgiving. I would grab a sheet of paper with the huge lines, and write a list as long as I could with the smallest chicken-scratch handwriting I could muster.
It would include all things Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, or Darkwing Duck. I would never get everything I wanted, but if I had gotten just one or two of the items on my list, I would always be exceptionally happy.
I expect this list to have a similar effect. I'm writing this to Theo Epstein, who I know will never read it, but if he gets one, maybe two, of these free agents, I'll be just as happy as the time I got the Technodrome. That's right. Be jealous.
#5 - Johnny Damon
There is one caveat here: He must grow back the beard and his long, flowing locks.
This is one of those guys that I don't actually want. Johnny Damon is the BeeBop figure, he is not the White Ranger's sword.
I purely want Damon back on the Red Sox for the proverbial middle finger back at the Yankees. I'm not above being vindictive purely for the sake of being vindictive.
The Yankees did nothing wrong when they acquired Damon in 2005, and Damon did nothing wrong in signing with them. He went to the money and to an organization with stability at the top—this was the season The Theo Epstein decided to take a break from baseball.
Regardless, I want him back for Damon's Disciples, for the girls at the bars who wear his pink jersey, and for every other Red Sox fan that still feels like he was a major part of breaking a curse.
#4 - Rafael Soriano
Rafael Soriano didn't save every game he entered, but he also wasn't terrible. He had 27 saves, a 2.97 ERA, and pitched 75.2 innings. I'm totally OK with having those numbers come solidify the bullpen.
Soriano is kind of like the Darkwing Duck cape your eccentric Uncle gets you. You didn't necessarily ask for it, but you'll use it every now and then, and it's a really nice gift to have.
Soriano isn't really expensive, but for someone who would probably be a bridge guy, or spot closer, he's not really cheap either. The Red Sox have not been discussed in possible names for a Soriano signing, but a man can dream.
#3 - Aroldis Chapman
Aroldis Chapman has been clocked throwing a 102 mph fastball. He has officially defected from Cuba, and when he visited with the Boston Red Sox, he came away "impressed." When you look at the next slide, just replace him with Chapman, and the rotation would be just as awesome.
Chapman is the BB gun you ask for when you're 13. You're still not quite responsible enough for it, but you hope that your dad can convince your mom that you are.
The only reason that Chapman isn't higher is because he has not once stepped on a mound wearing a big league uniform. He has all the tools to become a very good pitcher, and it would be wise for The Theo Epstein to take a good look at Chapman.
Come on, The Theo, we've been really good fans this year, promise.
#2 - John Lackey
He's big. He's ugly. He's the best available pitcher in free agency.
John Lackey has "nasty" and "junk." He has "filthy" and "it." Simply put, Lackey is a stud. Now imagine this: Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Tim Wakefield.
Take into account that Matsuzaka and/or Wakefield will sustain an injury, and add Clay Bucholz into either spot, and that's a recipe for a World Series caliber rotation.
Lackey is the BB gun you ask for when you're seven. Not likely to unwrap it, but you hope beyond hope that there is one really long present propped up against the wall that your parents urge you to open last.
The addition of Lackey to the Red Sox, albeit far fetched, is one that will continue to keep me salivating.
#1 - Jason Bay
This is more than just keeping a solid left fielder in Boston. This is about someone with intangibles that has helped the clubhouse stay as close as possible over the last few seasons.
Jason Bay is the Technodrome.
He's the present you want so bad that you actually mention it in your bedtime prayers out loud in case God and Santa are drinking buddies.
He keeps his answers short when someone in the media asks him a question, but he's always right there to congratulate a teammate after a three-run home run. He's the kind of player Red Sox Nation loves.
Come back Jason, for all that is good in the world.