MLB: Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays April 27

We are starting to move beyond the “it is early” excuse for the Red Sox record. The club has issues and it may be too late to resolve them. Even the most optimist projection of the Olde Towne Team’s chance of making the postseason is only at twenty percent. The Red Sox should be planning to sell off pieces this summer.

Nick Cafardo said in a recent piece for the Boston Globe.

Being the GM in Boston means:…2. Don’t ever think of retooling. You can’t give up the season and make the necessary deals with veteran players to replenish your farm system. Uh-uh, don’t dare do that in Boston;…

Yawkey Way will need to forget the public pressure to play for today. If this is truly not your “Father’s Red Sox”, then we may see the best example of it this July.

If the Red Sox standings demonstrate an unrealistic mountain to climb after the All-Star Break, a large segment of fans may not revolt to the white flag waving. Many will understand that the Olde Towne Team needs to take a step back to move two steps forward. The parts of the “Nation” that can not be swung will be back on the local bandwagon once the club is back contending. This is New England not Tampa. If you contend, all will come. But that is not likely to be in 2010.

The plan to get to the playoffs next season should involve trading Mike Lowell, Victor Martinez, Adrian Beltre, and David Ortiz. All of whom are not currently under contract with the Red Sox for 2011.

Lowell is sure to go under most scenarios. The return for the former All-Star will be little given his contract and presumed limited defensive ability. The same can be said about Ortiz, except John Henry may not allow Big Papi to be moved after getting a better understanding about the owner’s affection for the DH.

Beltre and Martinez’s reasonable contracts make them the most probable to be elsewhere come August. Beltre more than Martinez as the catcher will be a Type A free agent. Given his struggles behind the plate, contending clubs may project V-Mart more as a first baseman than a battery mate thereby decreasing his demand and value. The Red Sox may not find an offer better than two top fifty picks next June.

Of the four, Beltre could bring the most return to Fenway. The Twins, Tigers and Cardinals are possible destinations. Beltre would be a significant upgrade for any of those three teams. Under certain circumstances, the Angels and Giants could be players too. Even though Miguel Tejada and Jhonny Peralta will be trade bait too, the Red Sox should be able to bring back a pair of prospects or more for Beltre.

It should be about 2011 since the Olde Towne Team got too far behind over the last forty plus games, which has contributed to them having such a small shot at the postseason. Hence, it would be prudent to plan and act, if nothing drastic occurs, for next year at the trading deadline. Any players not in the plan for 2011 should be moved to improve the shot at hanging future flags from Fenway.