Don’t Trade Starters Yet

A piece on Thursday by Nick Cafardo talks about the Sox pitching staff. He mentions possible moves, including a deal involving a veteran starter. With Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz pretty much untouchable, he suggests that either John Lackey, Ryan Dempster or Jake Peavy might be involved.
 
With the team seemingly overstocked with pitching, such a move might appear to make sense. I disagree. The eight men I see as possible members of the rotation seem to be an excellent mix, especially age-wise. Youngsters Allen Webster and Brandon Workman are 23 and 25 respectively. In the middle are Felix Doubront (26) and Lester and Buchholz (both 29). Then there are the vets- Peavy at 32, Lackey at 35 and Dempster at 36.
 
Unless a great deal appears, I see no point in trading any of these hurlers, at least at the present time. Moving Lackey at this point would be a mistake; the man has gone from pariah to hero in the space of a year. His experience is very valuable, especially in the postseason. As the winner of the Tony Conigliaro Award as a player who overcame great adversity, he belongs on the roster for at least one more year. Peavy and Dempster also have experience, and could probably be used in long relief if needed. The only situation I could foresee is if one of these men could be packaged in a deal to bring in an Ellsbury-like base stealer, but that is very unlikely.
 
There have been few times in Sox history that the team has been so rich in starters. Usually it has been the other way around- the Bosox loaded with hitters but relying on journeymen to fill at least two starting spots. Often the Townies have had apparently strong staffs depleted by serious injuries. One of the most infamous was in 1968 when Jim Lonborg tore up his knee skiing and, after a strong start, no. 2 man Jose Santiago hurt his arm and was never the same. Too much pitching is a luxury the Sox have seldom had- let's think twice about fooling with it.

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