Cubans for everyone!

Cigars, of course.  In celebration of the Yoan Moncada signing with the Red Sox today.  If you are celebrating the signing, that is.  Couple of brief thoughts on this and another recent Red Sox related matter:

*Moncada.  Hey, it’s not my money.  The Sox apparently shelled out 31.5 mil to the player.  They also handed Major League Baseball a matching 31.5 mil as a luxury tax for signing him.  Hey…what the hell is 31.5 million right?

I personally have no problem when my team spends money on good players, even if it is perceived to be an overpayment.  All indications are that this kid is a good player.  Potentially great.  The Sox always have money to burn, despite what they always try to tell you.  So why not?

Sure the tax hurts.  But will that preclude them from making other major moves?  It shouldn’t.  And it probably won’t.  Although, as I wrote previously, I don’t believe they will make any major moves anytime soon, I do believe one or even two will come at some point this year.  I mean, they HAVE to get a stud pitcher, again, despite what they tell you.

This move should help.  Adds another prospect to the mix.  Of course they won’t trade Moncada.  But it frees up another prospect on the list to be traded to get that ace.

As for worrying about where the kid plays when (if?) he gets to the majors…no need to be concerned about this now.  The kid is 19.  He still has some growing to do.  Although reports are he looks like a fullback.  So maybe not.  But his body will change as he gets older, and also as he gets adjusted to “American” training.  Something different in the water in Cuba.  Especially when you don’t play games for a year and apparently just trained, as Moncada supposedly did…and was similar to what Rusney Castillo did the year before he joined the Sox.  Ummmm…let’s leave it at that.

Just hoping the investment is more worthwhile than the exorbitant investment in Dice-K…

*John Farrell.  The contract extension through 2017 with a club option for 2018.

Was it necessary?

I say no.  He had this year and an option year next year.  If the goal was to eliminate “lame duck” status, couldn’t they have just picked up the option?  Granted, Farrell won a World Series in his first year here.  But promptly followed that up with a last place finish.

Go ahead and blame Ben Cherington for not upgrading the roster for 2014 after the improbable Series win.  And various injuries.  And Ben selling off many pieces of the team by the trading deadline, including 4/5’s of the Opening Day rotation.

But Last Place?!  Doesn’t seem right for a World Series defender.  Not to mention an organization with plenty of resources.  And some talent, if not necessarily “repeat World Series winner” talent.  Though the San Francisco Giants have won 3 out of the last 5 World Series without the best talent in the world.

Throw in the two mediocre Toronto years, where he seemed to lose the clubhouse at the end of the second year, and 3 of his 4 years managing are less than stellar.  Does winning the World Series one year overrule three other bad years?  I guess it does in this case.

Listen, I am not a John Farrell basher by any means.  I don’t mind the guy.  Some of his in-game decisions leave me scratching my head.  But I suppose I could say that about probably all of the managers that have rolled through Boston.  I’m just saying it really wasn’t necessary to re-up him right now.  What if the team goes out there this year with this re-tooled roster that should be a contender and falls flat on its face again?

That would be a real indictment on Farrell.  The lineup should be infinitely better, despite Panda’s weight, Papi’s age, Hanley’s fragility, etc.  So they definitely should be competitive there.  It will come down to pitching.  Farrell made his bones as a pitching coach.  And he claims they have “five #1 starters”.  I know, what is he supposed to say, that they have 5 stiffs?  But you know what I mean.  That’s kind of an asinine statement, even for a manager to say to support “his guys”.

If the lineup produces as expected and the pitchers are subpar, doesn’t that reflect even more poorly on Farrell?  I know Juan Nieves is technically the pitching coach.  But you can’t tell me Farrell has no input.  You know, since he was a pitcher in the majors and again, came up as a pitching coach.

Furthermore, what if the remaining young pitchers don’t develop under Farrell?  He is on record as saying the “6th starter” will come from a group including Eduardo Escobar, Matt Barnes, Henry Owens, Brian Johnson, Eduardo Rodriguez and Steven Wright.  All who are young ‘uns, other than the knuckleballer Wright.

Factoring in the relative failure of the “kids” who came up last year (Allen Webster, Anthony Ranaudo, Brandon Workman, you may even add Rubby de la Rosa…who I did like, but they didn’t think enough of him to keep him around obviously), this could be a real black mark against Farrell if none of them develop.

Granted, all of the kid pitchers will not blossom into aces.  Just not conceivable.  Some of them will be merely bullpen fodder and bounce around as journeymen.  But if NONE of them develop, isn’t that saying something?  Something to consider…

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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 February 23, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. I am beyond baffled by the contract extension for Farrell. There is absolutely no reason for that extension when the Red Sox had an option year. How about this Ben…see how JWF does during the first month or 2. If the Sox line up is hitting and somehow JWF has figured out how to handle his five number one starters then you pick up his extension. Yes he won a World Series, but he also ended up in LAST PLACE and is 4 games under .500 lifetime.

    What is with Boston teams giving coaches, players and managers extensions before necessary??

    • I would have been ok with them picking up the option now. I suppose you never really want to have a manager with a “lame duck” status, even if you have a team full of veterans who should be able to ignore any fallout that may come from that. And if the team had to fire him after this year, well, eating a year would not kill them. An extension definitely could have waited until next offseason though, most definitely. Not sure why early extensions seem to happen around here…maybe it’s because all the teams have money to burn!

  2. On Farrell. Can it be hardly said last year was his fault when they conducted a fire sale? Albeit a very good fire sale that I think will make this year worthwhile. You guys are right. He didn’t do a great job last year and BB’s points on the young pitchers that fizzled are good ones. I think you can even throw in Jackie Bradley. He isn’t a hitting coach, but is the Manager, but that said, it was one year and I think I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Should he have gotten the extension? I guess it seems a bit odd as I think about it, but he seems to be revered by the Sox, as well as the brass. Time will tell.

    My question on Moncada is – where do you think he will be in a few months? Fenway? He is only 19. He seems to possess Pedroia’s spot in the field as well. So, Panda, Boegarts and Pedroia? Do they plan to make him an outfielder? Or throw someone else in to the Cole Hamels sweepstakes? Is the plan for him to contribute this year? I like the move actually. A lot. I guess Cherington has more tinkering to do and I think something else big might be on the horizon.

    • I think Farrell definitely plays a part in the last place finish last year. Injuries and lack of performance play some role, as does a roster that wasn’t really tweaked after the WS win in 2013. But to be 48-60 before the trade deadline and the actual fire sale, yes, Farrell absolutely has to be held accountable to some degree. I think we all knew they weren’t repeating. But a record like that which provided the impetus for the fire sale…that just can’t be ignored. Fantastic point about JBJ. He absolutely took a step backward at the plate last year. When you throw in Bogaerts disappointing performance and Middlebrooks’ pure putridness, along with the young pitchers…maybe Farrell isn’t the right guy to bring youngsters along? I don’t know..like you said though, timing was odd…and time will tell. Management and the players both seem to love him. Due to that fact alone, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised he got the extension?

      As for Moncada, it is really hard for me to see him here until the September, 2016 40-man roster expansion, at the very earliest. Even if the guy really is the real deal, 2017 seems more realistic, again, at the earliest. He’s 19! He’s never played in cold weather. Needs to get acclimated to so many things here. His performance in the minors could change things of course…either way too. But I have to believe he is farther away than people think (or want him to be, for that matter). As for position, I would guess they start him out at SS, since he is one they say. Long-term…who knows? I’ve heard him ticketed for every place on the diamond, besides P and C. He’s a ways away, but there are still many questions with the guys who are here now. Can Hanley play left? Can Xander play SS? How long can Panda play 3B? Will JBJ ever hit enough to take CF back and push Rusney to a corner? When will Papi retire? Where is Betts’ long-term position? Will Pedroia shake his 2 years of hand injuries and get back to the player he was beforehand? Etc. There are a lot of moving parts. Things will become clear before Moncada even gets here, I would guess. I would also guess there are trades to be made with some of the youngsters still here. Too many “prospects”. Can’t fit them all on the roster, if they do make it. Same situation with all the young P they had/have. Not surprised to see some of them go this past offseason, simply because there was not enough room to keep them all. So we shall see where Moncada plays. It’ll be interesting watching his progress, that’s for sure.

  3. Too many prospects. Man, in the 90’s we could have used those words! It is amazing how good the farm system is…but as you say with these guys coming up, is Farrell the right guy? I am not sure either. I like the mix of prospects and vets for sure, but I think you are right…there might be too many. You think Cole Hamels is being talked about, or media speculation? JBJ and Betts with Rusney around seems like too many. Of course Victorino is only here for another year so…who knows. I tell you it is shocking the amount of great players that come out of Cuba. It is like the size of Florida and the players coming out of there are incredible. Potential at least.

    • I know, right?! “Too many prospects”! How many times have we heard that regarding the Sox in our lifetime? Like…zero?! Except for every time the Sox told us themselves that their prospects were great…but no one else was saying it. That’s the big difference now…other teams think the Sox have good prospects. We shall see, as we know they don’t always pan out of course. But there are a lot of names on the list. I think Hamels is absolutely being talked about. But I saw today where the Sox are in no hurry to consummate a deal. And that they were offering major league players (Nava? Craig? Mujica?), instead of prospects. And that the Phil’s are not now inclined to pick up some of his dough to increase the quality of players coming their way. Looks like a staring contest, as I said, the Sox are willing to wait out. The thing about Cuba is that as soon as someone down there sees any kind of talent in any kid at any age, the kid is probably forced to go to some military style baseball camp and do baseball 24/7. Or something like that. Plus, everyone plays it down there. What is it, baseball or soccer I guess? Playing year-round helps too. I’ll take my chances on kids coming out of the Carribean or anywhere in Central America over the lads from the Far East any day, with all due respect. In any event, it’ll be interesting to follow Yoan’s and Rusney’s progress, that’s for sure.

  4. By the way. You need another Celtics post. I clicked on Celts and all you had was one from June 25th! Come on! This team is overperforming! Stevens may be the next great coach and Isiah Thomas was a steal! Sully is a fatty, Jae Crowder maybe another steal, Marcus Smart development, Jerebko goes for 20! Lots of story lines. Rondo benched in Dallas! These Celts might even sneak into the playoffs, albeit with a less than stellar record.

    • Click on “Boston Celtics” and you will find waaaaay more Johnny Kid!! But you are correct, I am overdue. The last one was 1/16/15. I was actually talking to someone last night about Jae Crowder possibly being a steal…well, a steal for someone that was essentially a “throw-in” it seems. It does appear he can be a useful bench guy, but I’m not going to get too carried away right now. Speaking of carried away, it was nice to see Jerebko get 20 yesterday. BUT, it was mostly garbage time against the worst team in the league. Not going crazy for him either. But I do want to see more from these 2…and others. I’ve written plenty on Rondo…not very much of it is positive. So I’m not surprised by the events in Dallas. Isaiah? Seems to be a nice player. I said last night in the same conversation that the thing I liked most was the 11-11 from the line. Attempts and percentage made…quite a difference from what we are used to here at PG. I’ve heard whispers that Isaiah has had his 2 teams sour on him because he kind of hogs the ball I guess. So although the early returns are positive, let’s see where it goes. The production, contract and the cost to get him though? Can’t argue with any of those.

  5. The thing about Jerebko who went for 16 and 10 again last night, was there was no place for him in Detroit with Monroe and Drummond obviously. I am telling you he can play. The problem is the Celts are stacked with PF and no Centers outside of Zeller who is a good bench player, but not really a starter if you want to be good in this league. With Isiah – certainly he likes the ball in his hands, that was the problem with Phoenix, Dragic and Bledsoe and Thomas liked the ball, and really need the ball to flourish. I think the Suns got hosed on it though. Thomas and Dragic for Brandon Knight basically. Weird. There are times I do see he shoots when he should not though. Reign him in Stevens! Anyway, don’t see the playoffs really, unless it is a real turnaround. They have a pretty tough schedule…as for the B’s – I can’t comment because I have no idea and I really don’t care! I follow the Seattle Mariners more than the Bruins or the Portland Timbers and Blazers for that matter! Just can’t get into hockey for some reason.

    • Hope you’re right on Jerebko. I do want to see more. Just not going to go nuts on him…yet. Agreed on Zeller. He has proven he can be a piece off the bench for sure. I’m cool with Thomas having the ball in his hands. Just don’t want him to wear out his welcome here like he may have done elsewhere. Definitely like what I’ve seen so far though. They may not make the playoffs, but it’s nice that they have something to shoot for. This team is far from complete, as we all know. But they have pieces in place. And still plenty of assets to work with going forward, as far as draft picks and trade exceptions and all go. Would love to see them get a stud C…but they don’t grow on trees. I have heard in the past that this upcoming draft could be deep at C, but that remains to be seen of course. I’m excited about the direction they are going in definitely. Now if they don’t blow what once was a 26 point lead tonight against Golden State, that would be great too!

  6. They blew it! Ugh.

    • Had a feeling they might. Still like where the team is heading. I did NOT like Jae Crowder hoisting up 17 shots last night, especially when he only made 4. Something about him is appealing, but I don’t think it is his offense. Let the other guys take the shots.

  7. Rusney to the majors! Thank goodness! I think Clay is pitching pretty good as well as Joe K. lately, but this team seems to lack something. I was iffy on Ramirez and Pablo. I still am.

    • Lacks hitting…especially timely hitting. I’m ok with those 2 guys, thought Panda has been atrocious against lefties. Didn’t love the money, but they haven’t been too much of the problem. Love that Rusney is up, but it remains to be seen how much he plays with Victorino and Nava still here and at Farrell’s disposal. More moves need to be made and I am confident they will be. But we shall see…

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