Why the Red Sox Don't Need Johan Santana

Mark MarinoSenior Analyst INovember 29, 2007

Boston's Michael Bowden or Justin Masterson could potentially seal the deal.

My advice: Don't do it, Theo.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

The Red Sox pitching staff needs no changes or additions.

After Boston's second World Series win in four years, there's really no justification for the Sox to deal three young prospects for Johan—other than perhaps to keep him away from the New York Yankees. 

Santana is certainly a top-three pitcher in the AL. But his rumored salary—six years at $150 million—could be money better spent in Boston.

As I see it, the Sox would do better to offer extensions to young arms like Lester, Masterson, and Clay Buchholz. Keeping them will ensure a promising future for the Sox rotation.

Cy Young runner-up Josh Beckett made a base salary of $6.67 million last season—an absolute steal considering his ridiculous 2007 performance.

Think there could be some ill-will in the clubhouse if the Sox signed Santana for $25 million a year?

Boston also recently came to terms with veteran starter Curt Schilling, who will be returning to the starting rotation for his final year.

Schilling missed his fair share of starts in '07 due to injuries, but he's good for 150-200 innings a year in the No. 2 spot.

The 23-year-old Lester, meanwhile, was promising in his first year back from cancer. His 11-2 record and 4.68 ERA in 27 starts augur well for his performance as a fourth or fifth starter.

The 23-year-old Bucholz is another option at the back of the rotation. The youngster tossed a no-no in his second MLB season for the Sox, and has the stuff—a nasty curveball/changeup combo and 97-MPH heater—to be an anchor for the Sox staff down he road.

The 6'6", 22-year-old Masterson will wait for his shot in Triple-A Pawtucket, while Daisuke Matsuzaka and knuckleballer Tim Wakefield be stalwarts in the middle of the Boston rotation.

The bottom line here is that future looks bright for the Boston Red Sox—even without Johan Santana.

The team would be foolish to do anything to spoil it.