Monthly Archives: July 2013

Trade deadline thoughts…

A few Red Sox related trade deadline comments:

*Probably 99 times out of 100, I support trading prospects for proven major league stars.  Prospects are prospects…never know if they are going to pan out.  Proven major leaguers already have.  No brainer.  Armas Jr. and Pavano for Pedro.  Every day.  Rizzo, Kelly and Fuentes for Adrian Gonzalez.  I’d do that one again.  Jury is still out on the 3 kids, and Adrian obviously is no longer here.  But a worthy gamble.  Even the Gagne trade was fine.  Gagne was atrocious, but what did you give up?  David Murphy?  Solid 4th OF, no more.  Kason Gabbard?  Nothing.  The “jewel” of that trade was a then 17 year old kid by the name of Engel Beltre.  6 years later this June, he finally got called up by the Rangers.  9-29 in 12 games thus far, plays sparingly in the OF.  Minor league stats aren’t special.  Big deal he got traded.

*However, for some reason, I feel differently about the prospects the Sox have…TODAY.  You’ve all heard the names:  Bogearts, Bradley Jr., Brentz, Barnes, Webster, Workman, de la Rosa, Swihart, Marrero, Ranaudo, Owens, Britton, Vasquez, Cecchini, etc…probably a couple of guys like Mookie Betts or something that the Sox think highly of too and we just don’t know it.  Plus there is still Middlebrooks and probably Iglesias can be included as well.  And Daniel Bard.  OK, kidding on Bard.  But clearly, all of these guys will not make it…or at least make it big.  Also, there is the fairly big factor that 40 man roster space will be needed for some of these guys come the winter.  That can’t be overlooked, since there may not be enough room for all of them.  So there WILL have to be trades.  Just a matter of when.

*I expected this to be kind of a transition year for the Sox.  82-80, I said.  There is still time for them to regress, but that seems to be unlikely at this point.  Their next 16 games (including tonight) are soft.  I’m thinking 12-4.  I’m also thinking that anything they do this year is a bonus.  I also understand that when you are close, you should probably go for it.  But do the Sox really need to give up 4 top prospects for Cliff Lee?  Or 3 for Jake Peavy?  I think a couple of minor moves are in order, but major ones for this year?  I’m still debating that internally actually.  The Sox should know the guys with the highest upside.  I’m hoping that if they do make deals, they keep those guys (ie:  Bogaerts).

*Speaking of Cliff Lee, I would absolutely love to have him.  But for Bogaerts?  Nope.  15 year age difference for one.  Supposedly Xander is the next big thing, for two.  And the Sox should care about the salary disparity, even if they can obviously pay the freight on Lee.  I wouldn’t care about taking on the contract.  But if the Phillies are looking to get out from under the dough (and I am not sure that is their motive, since they can afford him as well), then let’s not give them real prospects too.  Like the Dodgers did for the Sox last August.  They took all that salary and gave the Sox real prospects in Webster and de la Rosa.  The Sox should not return the favor to the Phillies.  And no one else really should either.

*I’d take Papelbon back.  But isn’t it curious that Detroit got Jose Veras instead?  They can afford Pap, but went with a journeyman.  Tells me that Pap’s value is down.  But if the Sox could get him for a low level prospect, I’d still do it.

*No thanks on Michael Young.  It’s not that I like Brandon Snyder, Brock Holt or Drew Sutton at 3rd.  Or even Middlebrooks the way he is this year.  But Young ain’t solving any problems.  What I WAS going to write was to bring Bogaerts up right now and stick him at 3rd (a la Manny Machado in Baltimore last year), move Iglesias back to SS and tell Stephen Drew to get used to playing twice a week, since he is awful and won’t be here next year anyway.  If he doesn’t like it he can hit the road.  But apparently Iggy is headed out in a Peavy deal.  So much for that idea.  But I’d still bring Bogaerts up now.

*I’m not sure how I feel about the Iglesias deal as we speak.  I’d like to see what other pieces are involved first.  I know Iggy isn’t going to hit .330 over the course of a full year.  But he has improved as a hitter, no question.  And his D is off the charts, as everyone knows.  If he hits .240 and plays SS defense like he does…isn’t that pretty damn good?  Maybe they feel Bogaerts and/or Marrero will be close defensively and better offensively and are selling high on Jose.  Still processing.

*Still wonder how I like Peavy too.  I think they need more help in the bullpen (and I am not counting on Jose Contreras, even if he is mowing them down in Pawtucket…or Brandon Lyon for that matter…though I don’t mind them providing depth).  But with the 4 starters they have in Lester, Lackey, Dempster and Doubront, the return of Morales (hopefully), the possibilities that Workman, Webster and de la Rosa present in the next couple months…and maybe Buchholz will grow a set and come back too…is it necessary to spend a lot of dough on this kind of starter?  Great year in 2012, but hurt a lot in the previous several years and also this one.  Maybe they worry about Morales staying healthy, the kids actually being productive, Buchholz actually coming back, Doubront piling up innings, Lackey holding up, etc.  All legitimate concerns.  But let the trade be finalized and we’ll see what else is involved and I’ll have more of an opinion.

*Jackie Bradley Jr. removed from Pawtucket game tonight.  Trade to follow?  He’s supposed to be considered untouchable.  But if he goes in a package for Giancarlo Stanton, sign me up!  Marlins apparently claiming they won’t deal him, and they probably shouldn’t (until he actually has enough service time to make some real dough).  But stranger things have happened.

Not many hours left to wait ’til everything is all said and done, we shall see…

 

My mistake…part II

Celtics, next up.  Some of the bigger story lines over the past few months:

*Doc–Hit the road Doc.  Love Doc Rivers as a personality in front of the camera…seems to be funny and a good dude and all that stuff.  But when did he become a legendary coach?  That’s what he is paid to do, right?  I don’t care if Belichick is surly and generally horrible to the press (and by extension, the fans, who would like more answers).  If he keeps winning games and going deep in the playoffs every year, he can be whatever he wants (sure I’d like him to finish off a couple of Super Bowls, but…).  But people forget that Doc’s first three years in Boston he was 102-144 and went from 45 wins in 2004-5 to 24 in 2006-7.  24 is pretty bad, even if Pierce missed 35 games, Tony Allen (!) missed over half the season as well (on the showboat dunk after the whistle, no less…but he was doing a lot of scoring after Pierce went down).  Sure the roster was filled with kids (Rondo, Perk, Jefferson, Green, Gomes, West, Powe) and stiffs (Scals, Kandi-Man, Wally, Telfair, Allan Ray (who?)).  But 24 wins?

One of Doc’s biggest problems was he couldn’t decide who to play.  Could never set a rotation.  The trades for KG and Ray changed that.  Then they only had a few guys that could actually play.  Plus having a roster of 3 Hall of Famers and a perennial All-Star out of those guys didn’t hurt either.  Then all of a sudden he’s a great coach?  Nope.  It’s all about the players.  As it likely is for 95% of the coaches out there.  Sure a team can catch lightning in a bottle for one year, despite not having the talent.  But it won’t be sustained.  This past year the players got old, hurt and tired.  Plus, Doc had that rotation problem again.  So back to 41 wins we go.  And don’t get me started on how announcers always rave about Doc’s incredible play calling at the end of quarters/halves/games.  What, give the ball to Pierce, back off and let him start the play too late and lose the ball, not get a shot off, or get and awkward one off?  And if he hits one of every ten, everyone only remembers the one.  Thankfully, that one is out of the playbook next year.  Bottom line:  First round pick for a coach?  Every time…

*KG and Paul–Yup, a tough one here.  But easier in KG’s case.  Just like Ray (Ray Allen, not Allan Ray!), these guys have been on other teams earlier in their career.  Though KG absolutely had an impact in Boston, no question.  But, he is 37.  And the C’s weren’t winning a championship this year if they brought the whole gang back again.  Time to move on.  Pierce is obviously tougher to take.  But he will be 36 in October, really shouldn’t be playing 40 minutes a game anymore (like Doc loved to do), so the C’s really had to see what they could get for him while he still had value.  Could they have kept him as a sort of mentor for the new guard?  I suppose.  But did he want to sit around and watch the team win like 30 games a year for a while?  And would he have restructured his deal (if even allowed) to help for cap purposes?  Or signed an extension for much less money he is used to making?  Not sure he was up for any of that.  Really going to be tough to see him in another uniform, but that’s the reality of sports these days.  Almost no one stays in the same uni for their entire career.  Sad, but true.  It’s almost as if Pierce HAD to move on based on all of the circumstances.

*Brad Stevens–Why not?  Like the move myself.  First off, they probably would have had trouble hiring an established coach due to the current state of the roster.  Who’d you want anyway, George Karl?  Aaaaah, no need for that now.  Take a chance on a young coach and hopefully he can grow as the roster keeps turning over and growing itself.  And hopefully he isn’t Pitino.  Although the contract they gave him was a little steep, I suppose it shows the players that the organization is committed to the coach for the long-term.  So that may help.  But Stevens seems level-headed, seems to be on the same page as Ainge (likely won’t force anyone to give up a VP title in the front office anytime soon, as Pitino did with Red), and had success at a mid-major at the college level.  So give him a chance and see what happens.  And hopefully a spat with Rondo doesn’t ensue and ruin everything…

*Overall team–If the roster stays similar to the one that is currently constituted, then the fans that hope they tank this year to try and get this Wiggins dude, or any of the supposed talent coming out next year, are going to be sorely disappointed.  There may be no superstars here (especially if Rondo misses half the year), but there is enough talent to win 30-35 games I would say.  Bass, Bradley, Brooks, Green, Lee, Rondo, Sullinger and Wallace all are capable players to varying degrees.  Crawford can score, Humphries can rebound, etc.  There is enough.  I think there are more moves to be made (and I am not counting the decision on Shavlik Randolph that is due on 8/1).  I, for one, would not be shocked if they move Rondo.  May not happen until the trade deadline or close to it, after he proves his health.  But if he gave Doc headaches, as has been said, imagine how he will be with a first time head coach in the NBA, on a rebuilding team.  Maybe he changes, now that he is the unofficial “leader” on this team.  I’m not sold.  Guys like Wallace, Bass & Humphries may have value to other teams as well.

This year may not be a “tanking” year, but it is absolutely a year in transition.  I think most fans are ok with it, as long as a plan is in place and people can at least somewhat see it.  It’s going to take time, but I think changing things up are better than most other plans.  I saw a plan earlier this offseason in which one scribe suggested they keep 12 of the 15 on the roster at the end of the year (losing only Wilcox, DJ White and Terry…huh?!) and add a couple of vets and a pick and go from there.  Atrocious plan, can’t believe a guy covering the team actually wrote this.  That crew wasn’t winning a championship.  Neither is this current one.  But with youth and picks and roster flexibility, I would have to say the future looks brighter under this scenario.  We’ll see…

Next:  Red Sox

All Star bogacity-Part 2 (Better late than never…)

Right on time, per usual.  Here is my National League team.  Based on the 34 man rosters (21 position players, 13 pitchers).  Every team represented.  No liberties here.  (S-starter…probably quite obvious…)

C:  Molina (S), Posey, LuCroy

Notes:  Looks like 3 C’s again.  It’s close, but Molina gets the start over Posey.  D.

1B:  Goldschmidt (S), Votto, Craig, Freeman

Notes:  Numbers are fairly similar, Goldy has more RBI’s, Votto takes more walks.  Tiebreaker must be that Goldy actually has 10 SB’s.  OK, that wasn’t the tiebreaker, but you could go either way here too.  4 1B, Craig can play some OF if necessary.  Or 3B.  Not well, but he could.

2B:  Carpenter (S), Phillips

Notes:  Ouch.  Weak position.  Phillips has a ton of RBI, but last I looked his OPS is lower than guys like Aoki, Garrett Jones, Valbuena and Uggla.  Need someone to back up though.  And it won’t be Valbuena.

3B:  Wright (S), Alvarez

Notes:  Opposite of AL here, this is a weak one for the NL too.  Alvarez kind of makes it by default, though if you take away April the numbers are pretty good.  But no wonder why Scutaro made the real team this year.  Of course having his manager pick him in real life helped too.

SS:  Tulowitzki (S), Segura, E. Cabrera 

Notes:  Still gotta go with Tulo here, despite him missing time.  Wanted to take Desmond over Cabrera, but he is the Padres rep.  No one else even close on that team.  Jason Marquis?  Please.  So much for Chase Headley too.

OF:  C. Gonzalez (S), C. Gomez (S), Beltran (S).  Left to Right.  Reserves:  McCutchen, D. Brown, Cuddyer, Choo

Notes:  CarGo in LF.  Though I hate to still put all these Colorado players in.  Cuddyer is all of a sudden an All-Star?  Fowler was in the conversation?  Denver.  You could make an argument for McCutchen over Beltran.  Maybe even Brown.  But tried to keep true to actual positions as much as possible.  Choo’s having an underrated year.  Someone check Marlon Byrd for PEDs please.  He was somehow up for consideration.

SP:  Kershaw (S), Harvey, Wainwright, J. Fernandez, Lee, G. Gonzalez, Corbin, Zimmerman, Bumgarner, Wood

Notes:  Harvey probably rightfully started in his home park, but Kershaw should have really gotten the call.  Lot of quality candidates left off too.  Couldn’t take Locke over the rest…actually would have taken him over Wood, but he is clearly the Cubs rep.  Miller, Minor, Strasburg, maybe even AJ Burnett had cases.  Leake is having a good year too.  Only so many spots though.  Fernandez gets a spot as the Marlins rep, but it is deserved.  No one is talking about Gio this year (besides the Biogenesis stuff…oops), but the numbers are there.

MP:  None.

Notes:  Still can’t here.  Especially after the catastrophe Melancon was in Boston last year.  Now he’s back in the lesser league and dominating in middle relief and he is supposed to be an All-Star?  Nope.  Brothers, Clippard doing well, as is some guy I’ve never heard of on Atlanta, Luis Avilan.  But I’m good here.

CP:  Kimbrel (S), Grilli, Mujica

Notes:  Grilli may be the popular pick based on his road to the game at age 36.  But Kimbrel is the man.  Was only going with 2 closers and was going to add another starter.  But then I realized Mujica had only walked 2 guys in 44 appearances so far.  Pretty remarkable.  Some other guys decent…Chapman, Romo, Pap for the most part.  But went with starters for good reason.

That’s that…

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