Quick turnaround…

So the Red Sox made some swift moves after losing out on bringing Jon Lester back.  But were they good ones?  They wouldn’t overpay for Lester, but seemingly overpaid for average pitchers?

At first blush, I can’t say that I am all that excited about any of them.  They got decent pitchers, but no aces, obviously.  Let’s hope the Sox aren’t done making moves.  Because there is still a lot of work to be done.

Let’s take a look at each deal individually:

*Wade Miley to Red Sox; Allen Webster, Rubby de la Rosa and Raymel Flores to Arizona:

Miley seems to be a decent pitcher.  Lefty.  Young enough at 28.  Middle of the rotation guy.  But ummmm, that is not what they need.  Have plenty of those already.

No one seems concerned that, since being an All-Star and 2nd in the Rookie of the Year voting in 2012, his ERA and WHIP have increased every year?  And if you are a “win” guy, his wins have been cut in half?  I’m not going to hold a lot of weight on the win part, but the other trends are a little concerning…especially since he was doing this in the National League West.  Other than Colorado, aren’t the other parks pitchers’ parks?  Maybe my understanding is wrong.  The American League East seems to be no longer the powerhouse it has been for years.  But I still believe it to be stronger than the NL West.

Sure, he pitches 200 innings and his strikeout rate went up last year.  Big deal.  The Sox could get Tim Wakefield back and he could throw 200 innings.  Throwing 200 innings is nice, especially since Clay Buchholz has never done it and will not likely ever do it.  But it’s better to be actually…good.

He’s cheaper than Jon Lester sure, but his salary will go from 500k to estimates of 5 mil in his first year of arbitration.  Must be nice to regress and then cash in.

As for the departed, the one guy in all these trades that I would’ve liked to have kept is de la Rosa.  Maybe because I have no idea how Flores will turn out to be in the future.  He is only 19 years old.  I’m sure I saw him play in Lowell more than a few times last year, but he doesn’t stick out as someone that was anyone special.  But who knows with 19 year olds?

As for Rubby, most of all I liked his ability to throw gas, which is something the Sox do not have a lot of.  He showed flashes last year and has had the best performance career-wise so far of all the “kids” that the Sox supposedly have.  I thought at the very least that he could transition to the back end of the bullpen well if he didn’t work out as a starter.  I felt there was a lot to like about him and would’ve stuck him in the rotation.  Time will tell on this one.

You can have Allen Webster though.  He did pitch better the more he was in the majors, but I have never been overly impressed with him.  Despite all the praise he has received all along.  And that the Sox “stole” him from the Dodgers.  Just didn’t see it with him.

So the Sox apparently had guys like Henry Owens (obviously), Chris Johnson, Anthony Ranaudo, Matt Barnes, Eddy Rodriguez, etc. rated ahead of the two pitchers they dealt, and were comfortable letting them go.  And I am almost always in favor of trading “prospects” for proven major leaguers.  But is Wade Miley that “proven major leaguer”?  Felt like this was an overpayment actually.

*Justin Masterson signed to 1 year deal for 9.5 mil:

Not much to really say here, as the Sox didn’t have to give up anyone.  Just the dough.

I actually don’t mind this move, though the money seems to be a little steep, especially since he could end up in the bullpen.  Believe it can go to 12 mil with incentives.  But it’s only 1 year, so I’m not going to get too hung up on it.

Again though, it’s not like they are actually “replacing” Lester here.  They are just adding another arm.  And who’s to say that someone like Owens or Rodriguez can’t give you what Masterson will give you?  Keep one of them up and spend Justin’s money on…well, an ace!  That seemed like a better option to me.  But based on the circumstances, I will live with him for this year.

*Rick Porcello to Sox; Yoenis Cespedes, Alex Wilson and Gabe Speier to Tigers:

Porcello seems to be a better bet than Miley…he’s younger, has pitched in the AL his whole career, has improved yearly for the most part…and all of that.  But that doesn’t make him an ace.  They also had to give up significantly more, in trade capital as well as upcoming dollars (8.5 mil last year, maybe 12 plus this year through arbitration?).  He can also be a free agent after this year.

Let’s also not go crazy about him being a “200 inning pitcher”, as everyone seems to be harping on and lauding him for.  He has thrown 200 innings in a season exactly ONCE in his 6 year career.  Sure, he was up around 175 for the other 5 pretty much.  But 200 is a significant barrier these days.  Doing it once does not make him a “horse”.  And definitely not an “ace”, as I have already said.

I’ll take him on the staff, don’t get me wrong.  I’ve never been huge on him, but of the 5 slated to start the season in the rotation (Buchholz, Joe Kelly, Miley, Masterson the others of course), I actually probably like him the best.  That’s not saying much with that crew however.

I’m a little bothered by the fact that Yoenis Cespedes only provided Porcello in return.  AND, the Sox had to throw other bodies in.  The Tigers can have Alex Wilson, though when he was in Boston he always seemed to perform.  He has been talked about as a decent prospect in the past, but you could tell how the Sox really felt about him when he did pitch.  He couldn’t crack their bullpen full time, for one.  He was a short reliever in his minor league career, did some closing as well.  But when they brought him up here, they would toss him 2 or 3 innings and then ship him back.  Definitely didn’t seem too concerned about his arm.  Bet a lot of people didn’t know he was 28 years old either.  Getting up there for someone who was supposed to be a prospect.

Same thing goes for Speier that went for Flores above.  Except he wasn’t in Lowell last year, so I know I’ve never seen him.  But who knows at age 19?  I’ve never seen either of them on “top prospect” lists either, for whatever that’s worth.

But I expected a greater haul for Yoenis…as well as no need to throw other bodies in.  The guy has POWER, of which a limited supply of that exists out there.  Sure, he has only 1 year left on his contract.  But so does Porcello.  Sure, he has pretty much made it clear he intends to test free agency.  But I imagine Porcello will too.  Sure, everyone knew that the Sox planned on playing Hanley Ramirez in left.  And that the Sox had extra outfielders.  But this shouldn’t have hurt them in the market.  Maybe he did refuse to play RF next year.  Maybe those rumors of not being “coachable” were true.  Just seems like they could’ve gotten at least a little more for him and maybe they could have waited a bit before pulling the trigger.

As I stated in my last post, I am going to refrain from going too crazy about all of these moves and non-moves until the roster is set sometime in February.  This is a decent start, though still underwhelming for an organization of this stature.  Let’s just hope this is not the finish though as well.



About mpdenton

I am a passionate and life long fan of the local teams...and by local I mean New England. I remember the days of Ray Bourque, Larry Bird, Steve Grogan and Wade Boggs...meaning I have lived the highs and lows of the Boston sports scene. With all this pent up Boston sports emotion, I clearly have a lot to say about the local teams and sometimes about sports in general. Maybe even the Revolution... I appreciate you reading my blog and hope you enjoy my rants.

Posted on December 13, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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