The Boston Red Sox formally introduced John Farrell as their new manager on Tuesday afternoon, and Boston's new skipper isn't looking at 2013 as a rebuilding year. Farrell believes the Red Sox can contend in 2013 – if Boston's core players play like they're capable.
Farrell spoke at length about contending and what needs to happen, at his introductory press conference via WEEI 97.3 FM:
"With the roster that's there now, there's a core group there that you can build around. I think a couple of things will need to happen [to contend in 2013]. Certain players return to the form and the performance that they've established for themselves, and not just a one-year situation – guys who have estabilished a cereer path and a career record of being above average and get the guys back who were taken out because of injury, to get them back fully healthy and then whatever additions are brought forward into this group,"
Boston will certainly need players like Jon Lester and Jacoby Ellsbury to return to form in 2013 if they're going to compete, and will need young players such as Will Middlebrooks to continue to develop at the Major League level.
Whether or not Boston contends in 2013 also depends largely on how general manager Ben Cherington attacks this offseason. After trading Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford, the Red Sox suddenly have money to play with in free agency – if they choose to do so.
Still, Red Sox fans have to be encouraged to hear Boston's new skipper talk about contending, after an absolutely miserable 2012 season.