I enjoy the conversation. I agree that the bullpen is much easier to construct than the rotation. However, I think people who are advocating the "move Bard to the rotation" are vastly underestimating the difficulty of the transition and what could be expected from Bard. If we are lucky, he would give us 150 IP at replacement level. For that, I think I'd rather roll the dice with rotation filler and keep our one reliable reliever available.
Fair enough and I'm new, so point taken. Mainly I was trying to settle out with Kid T, since he was habitually crushing every point I was trying to make.
To the topic at hand, there's been a lot of sports radio talk lately about moving Bard to the rotation, not that sports radio is a particularly informed or rational section of the fanbase. It does indeed seem that decisions aren't being made, or at least made public, until the new manager is in place. Will we make a single important player transaction until that time? Given this ownership group's methodical pace about such decisions, I hope we don't lose out on any free agents. It's good to hear reports that we're talking to people, but it'll be interesting to see how this Cherington dynamic works out.
I maintain that given the choice (i.e., can't have it both ways) a rotation should be carefully sculpted together with a long-term view in mind, including the back-end of the rotation (which is really the same as the front-end in the regular season), while a decent bullpen can be thrown together every offseason. That's why it would be so sweet to have a rotation of Lester, Beckett, Buchholz, Aceves, and Bard together for the next several years, assuming they would all be productive (big assumption).
To your point about innovative thinking with a bullpen by committee approach - they are no poised to actually employ that strategy if they sign a FA closer (Nathan?). It would allow Bard to pitch in the most critical late inning situation regardless of whether that occurred during the 6th inning or 9th. Since I still don't know what we could reasonably expect from Jenks, I think it would be smart to take a gamble on some high-risk, high-reward relievers looking to reestablish themselves (Broxton and Lidge). I'm thrilled Cherington stuck to his principles and avoided signing any reliever to a deal longer than 3 years. My new concern is whether the new Sox manager will be able to employ these strategies. I don't have the confidence a Valentine or a Lamont would have guts to go against convention.