A new week of the Hot Stove Season dawns with this rumor: That Tim Wakefield will retire rather than pitch in 2009.
A New Pitch?
If true, that leaves the Red Sox with a big hole — you cannot replace a starter who consistently posts a 100-115 ERA+ over 200 innings with a salary of just $4 million. On the other hand, it would eliminate the need for a specialized Wakefield-only catcher, making perhaps more possible a Varitek-Saltalamacchia semiplatoon as the one passes his baton to the other.
And if true, it makes more likely a push to bring back Derek Lowe, an idea that just won't go away, and makes those Julio Lugo-for-Dontrelle Willis (or Nate Robertson) rumors much more attractive — if the Sox can figure out what has gone so terribly wrong with what was once such a terrific young pitcher.
Could a rotation of Lester-Beckett-Matsuzaka-Lowe-Willis work for the Red Sox? Sure, as long as Michael Bowden is ready to start at any time.