Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Major League Baseball's Hot Stove needed a little something to get it going.
Enter the Boston Red Sox.
Boston kick started the offseason into high gear, agreeing to deals with both third baseman Pablo Sandoval and shortstop Hanley Ramirez.
We knew the Red Sox were in on both of them, but it was hard to imagine that they would sign both. The smart money was on Sandoval, considering the Red Sox seemingly jumped on him the minute he became a free agent, but when news broke late Sunday that they were nearing a 4-year deal worth close to $90 million with Ramirez most figured they were then out on Sandoval, or at the very least that the Panda had chosen to stay in San Francisco.
Sandoval's agent confirmed on Monday that his client had also in fact signed with the Red Sox for five years and around $100 million.
Now you figure Sandoval will play third base for Boston, but where does that leave Ramirez? He's spent the majority of his career at shortstop, but has also played some third base. The Red Sox, though, have one of the more talented young players in baseball in Xander Bogaerts playing short.
The thought is that Ramirez will play left field, a position he's never played in his 10-year big league career. A team may be able to get away with stashing someone in left at a normal ballpark, but do you really want to have Ramirez battling that Green Monster 81 times a year?
Oh and Yoenis Cespedes plays there already.
So, there are a lot more moves to be made, especially since the Red Sox still haven't addressed their biggest need from a year ago: starting pitching.
The Red Sox have been connected to Jon Lester, but they'd probably have to go higher than the reported $110 million they offered. And if they wanted Lester so bad why didn't they just give him the extension he wanted last season.
For whatever reason I just don't see Lester going back to Boston when teams like the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves and probably the New York Yankees will throw more money his way.
And Lester apparently can't stand Ramirez.
If the Red Sox are going to upgrade their starting staff it's going to be through the trade market. And they have a ton of chips to get something done.
Most people assume Cespedes is all but gone from Boston. But I'm not so sure.
Don't be shocked if you start hearing Bogaerts name come up in trade rumors over the next few weeks. The Philadelphia Phillies have supposedly engaged in talks with the Red Sox concerning Cole Hamels.
Wouldn't Bogaerts be a nice place to start?
Cespedes was linked to the Mets earlier this offseason given how much young pitching they have. The Mets are also looking for a shortstop. Maybe they deal some of that pitching for Bogaerts instead.
Bogaerts, who won't turn 23 until after next season, was the consensus No. 2 ranked overall prospect according to Baseball America, MLB.com, and Baseball Prospectus heading into last season. However, he struggled, batting just .240 with 12 home runs and 46 RBI in 594 plate appearances.
Still, he's only 22 and the Red Sox would probably get a whole lot more for him than Cespedes, who can become a free agent after the 2015 campaign.
Who'd have thought the Red Sox would sign both Sandoval and Ramirez? So it may not be that much of a surprise if they deal both Bogaerts and Cespedes in the coming months.
This is the type of thing that happens when you lose over 90 games a year after winning a World Series title.
We are just getting started here. It should be an interesting couple of months.