Verducci: Sox face tougher A.L. East

Verducci: Sox face tougher A.L. East
February 14, 2014, 11:00 pm
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Quick trivia question: When was the last time the Red Sox won back-to-back division titles? 

Take a second. 

Ready?

If you guessed a year, any year, you'd be wrong. The Red Sox have never won consecutive division titles. 

They face a tough road if they're going to accomplish that task this year. 

The Red Sox were 12 games over .500 last year against the Yankees and Rays. Both teams re-stocked in the offseason (which is a huge understatement in the case of the Yankees, who spent roughly half a billion dollars) and figure to give the Red Sox all they can handle. 

Tom Verducci checks in with Bob Neumeier and Kirk Minihane to discuss a number of Red Sox topics and see if the Sox have what it takes to make history in 2014.

Stephen Drew

It looks like every MLB team has called Scott Boras' bluff and as a result, Drew is still on the market. 

Minihane wonders if Drew might go un-signed until June, at which point he would no longer be tied to draft pick compensation. 

Verducci says a mid-March deadline is probably more likely. 

"I still think if the market doesn’t develop, his best option is still to come back to the Red Sox on a short term deal," says Verducci. "I think it’s a great fit for the player and the team." 

Starting Pitching

The Sox have six established starting pitchers on their roster, and a number of promising young arms looking to work their way into the rotation. Many expected the Red Sox to trade one of those arms to clear the logjam and perhaps address depth at another position. 

But as the saying goes, "you can never have enough pitching."

"I would suggest they hold onto every arm that they have," says Verducci.

Biggest Surprise

"The guy that I really like as an ‘X’ factor is Felix Doubront," says Verducci.  “I think he’s at the cusp of having a breakout season.”