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…
Nice NCAA final the other night. Nice B’s win against a bad team the same night. But time to get back to the Sox projections…before the season is over.
Like the 5-2 start, but not all-in yet. Too early to get excited. That’s the negativity in me. But I will say that it was important that this team got off to a good start to keep people in the region interested. The offseason moves did not come with a lot of fanfare. I especially did not like most of them. The Celtics and Bruins are heading to the playoffs…though how long the C’s stay in can be debated. Even the NFL draft at the end of April will take some attention away. So the Sox playing well out of the gate will help keep some eyes on them…and maybe keep that bogus sellout streak alive.
Anyway, onto the numbers, Starting pitching for the year here:
*Lester–Look for some improvement out of him from last year, but not sure as much as people think. First two outings have been nice, but we know it is a long season. Just hope that he doesn’t turn into a guy like Avery, Kazmir or the D-Train…pretty good lefties in their 20’s that are essentially done by age 30.
*Buchholz–Think he will put up the best numbers on the staff. Problem is, he won’t make 200 innings again…kind of a drawback if you want to call yourself an ace. If he ever can get there…
*Dempster–Not excited about bringing a long-time NL pitcher to the AL East (outside of a stint in Texas last year, which the record was good, peripherals were not). Should be able to eat innings however, and with Buchholz and questions at #4 & #5, isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
*Doubront–Still like the potential of the kid. But expect him to take a little bit of a step back in Year 2. Partly because his inning total was a huge jump from previous years. Partly the division. Partly the question on whether he can stop being affected by close calls not going his way.
*Lackey–Everyone is on his bandwagon, I am not. Full disclosure: I was ok with his signing initially. Yes, he got wildly overpaid. But they were going to spend the money on someone. The other option was Matt Holliday. Not a bad player, but I preferred pitching. What is done is done. But everyone now is excited about his weight loss, his coming back from Tommy John surgery supposedly being stronger and his performance in his first start. Well, outside of the fact he got hurt again, I am not sold…yet. We’ll see…
*Aceves–Expect this lunatic to get most of the starts the previous 5 do not. But also don’t be surprised if he gets traded when the first opportunity arises. He’s got talent, but is also a major head case. Not a problem a lot of times. But with the Sox trying to rebuild their clubhouse, as well as their team, as well as having excess bullpen arms (when all are healthy…and if you can ever really have “an excess”), I think if he pitches well enough he will be gone sooner rather than later.
*Morales–Wild card here. Can be another lefty in the bullpen. Can take the 6th starter role if Aceves is dealt. But can he remain healthy bouncing back between those roles? May have been a little generous in his appearances. But a nice piece of the staff when he is active.
*Webster–Would love to see a lot more of this kid. But I don’t believe that the Sox will rely heavily on him at his age, regardless of the circumstances. I see them giving him a few starts toward the end of the year to give him a taste and that is about it. Future is supposedly bright, however. So we have that to look forward to.
*Wright–Knuckleballer is on the 40-man roster. So I would guess that he would get called up at some point, whether it be injuries or when rosters expand in September. I would also say that if he is up, he will get a couple starts and not mess with the catchers if he comes out of the bullpen. Not counting on much from him, obviously.