With the World Series pretty much over and either of a deplorable fanbase or deplorable team set to host a winterlong party, we can now all turn our attention to that more enjoyable and idiotic pursuit of Solving The Team’s Problems. Sure, the club is considerably worse off now than it was even in its sad state of a year ago and yeah, the economy isn’t going to do the team any favors. Still, with a weak division not likely to get any tougher and the Sox in dire need of help to contend in even this lamest of competitions, there remains but one way to make a strong team while making an even stronger statement:
Trade Gordon Beckham.
No, no, the Sox aren’t likely to do it and no, this isn’t an advocation of such a measure; if anything, Beckham represents one of the few reasons the Sox could stand a chance in 2010, even with a lineup bolstered by designated “hitter” Scott Podsednik and the so-called defense of Alexei Ramirez.
At the same time, what is Beckham, really? A solid fielder. A sharp situational bat. An award-winning rookie. A glimmer of hope in an otherwise dismal future. These are all fantastic things, and all signs point to a bright future for young number 15, but you know what? We’ve said every single one of those things about a laundry list of players past, and what became of them? For every Robin Ventura, how many Jeff Abbotts? How many Brian Andersons can you buy with a Magglio Ordonez?
The point is not that Beckham needs to go, nor is the point that Beckham will inevitably fail in ways as spectacular as so many players who’ve come before him. But right now, Beckham is more valuable than he will ever be; young, cheap, and offering his team not just potential but actual bona fide hope. Would there be folly in selling high? And if Beckham improves next year, what are the odds he improves enough to put this team over the top? At best, he gives the Sox a chance; at worst, he leaves one in his wake. These are not horrible outcomes.