As I watch Jason Varitek retire it inspired me to get back to writing on my blog. Also as the month turns over it seems like a good time to an offseason review, so here it goes:
Subtractions:Jonathan Papelbon, J.D. Drew, Jed Lowrie, Hideki Okajima, Josh Reddick, Marco Scutaro, Jason Varitek, Tim Wakefield, Kyle Weiland, and Dan Wheeler
The biggest loss was Jonathan Papelbon. He was force at the back of the pen, but when your biggest loss is you’ve had a good offseason in terms of losing guys. Lowrie and Scutaro hurt the Sox infield depth, but with three guys (Punto, Aviles, Iglesias) who can handle any position in the infield They should be fine. Drew, Reddick, and Wheeler won’t hurt at all considering they found better players to replace them. Kyle Weiland might be a huge loss or nothing at all, we have to wait and see. It’s sad to see Wakefield and Varitek go, but they weren’t going to be key players this so they aren’t huge losses at all. All in all this list could be much worse.
Andrew Bailey, Chris Carpenter, Aaron Cook, Mark Melancon, Clayton Mortensen, Ross Ohlendorf, Vincente Padilla, Nick Punto, Cody Ross, Kelly Shoppach, Carlos Silva, and Ryan Sweeney
I like who the Sox added this year. Bailey, Carpenter, Melancon, and maybe Mortensen will provide much needed help help in a weakened pen. Sweeney and Cody Ross will platoon in right. Punto will provide nice infield depth, or maybe even become the starting shortstop. Cook, Ohlendorf, Padilla, and Silva will all compete for a shot at the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation. Shoppach will be an alright backup to Saltalamacchia. Like I said before I like this group. A lot of them are hit or miss guys, but they can end up being key players down the stretch.
I’d give this offseason a B. They didn’t lose any real key players, and filled the necessary holes with good enough players, but nothing spectacular. Although none of the additions are sure things they could become huge players or huge failures. All in all nothing great, but nothing bad.
Yesterday the Red Sox acquired Andrew Bailey from the Oakland A’s. The Sox gave up Josh Reddick, Miles Head, and Raul Alcantara for Ryan Sweeney and Andrew Bailey. Although I wasn’t a huge fan of Bailey, I like this deal. Reddick won’t be much more than a fourth outfielder despite what many fans believe. Head and Alcantara are both at least 3 years away from playing in the big leauges. Also Head isn’t projected to be much. He’s an undersized out of shape first baseman. Alcantara, is expected to be the real prize. He could become a top level reliever one day.
The reason I like this deal so much is not because of Bailey, but Sweeney. Ryan Sweeney is nothing more than an average corner outfielder, but what makes him special is power to the opposite field. He’s a terrible pull hitter, but he becomes great when he hits out to left field. He’s a lot like Adrian Gonzalez except Gonzalez has the ability to be a pull hitter. Sweeney will thrive at Fenway and is a fantastic throw in. Bailey on the other hand is a great closer. They’re questions about his health, but even when he’s not healthy he puts up great numbers. Overall this is great deal because of what they gave up for the two of them.
Most Red Sox fans, myself included, are saddened by Theo Epstein‘s looming departure, but it does have some positives. Theo has made some great moves throughout his career. He made fantastic trades and found some great under valued players. But in recent years he’s slipped up on one thing. He has read the free agent market terribly. He has also taken advantage of John Henry’s wallet by overspending on just about everyone of the free agents he’s picked up. He just struggles with making an adequate contract offer that meets both sides needs. He’s always gone way over the top for veterans services. He should know that their near decline, and if they want more years than their bodies are going to give them than just stay away. Theo was never able to stay away. He was so overly aggressive that it hurt the Sox rather than helped them. The only time he’s backed off a contract for health is with Jason Bay, and it proved to be an excellent idea. Didn’t anybody learn from that, or is everyone still upset we lost a guy whose hit .251 the past two years? The Mets are just as upset as we are with the contracts of Carl Crawford, John Lackey, J.D. Drew, and Mike Cameron. If Theo takes this approach in Chicago, the Cubs will be buried in debt due to terrible contracts. Another problem I’ve had with Theo is his protection of the farm system. Guys like Lars Anderson whose value was sky high a few years ago and the Sox had no use for him, but Theo had some sort of plan for him. Now he’s not even worth an unhealthy Rich Harden. Years ago he could of been used as guy in a Adrian Gonzalez type trade, but now that will never happen, except as a throw in. I’m not saying toss away all homegrown guys, because that would be insanity, but guys who aren’t going to serve a purpose when their value is at his highest needs to be moved if the right deal is made. Another good example is Josh Reddick. Right now, other teams are admiring the fantastic job he’s done this year, but he still wasn’t the most consistent guy. The Sox can sell high with him, because they have a plethora of internal and external options in the outfield. Hopefully, Cherrington will realize everything Theo did wrong and do them right.
Sorry once again for the absence. Today will be my catch up day.
Compensation for Theo suggestion: Take Lackey and Jenks too. Give us Garza.
Then we package Garza with Bowden, Doubront or Miller, Reddick, Lowrie, and either Tejeda or Pimentel for Tim Lincecum and Sergio Romo. Then we sign Willingham for one year. Re-sign CoJack and sign Andruw Jones and Jose Molina to round out the bench.
Why it would work: For what we’d be giving the Cubs it seems like a fair enough deal to get Garza in return. Then shipping him to San Francisco would be a huge package for Lincecum and Romo. The Giants would have to at least consider it. And also, signing Conner Jackson, Josh Willingham Andruw Jones, and Jose Molina wouldn’t be to bad of a deal.
Why it wouldn’t work: They’re are plenty of flaws with this proposition. First of all Garza is the Cubs ace, and they don’t want to part with him. They also don’t want another washed up pitcher with a huge contract like Lackey when they already have Carlos Zambrano. They could want Jenks, but it’s unlikely that he’d serve much of purpose there. In the other half of deal the first that doesn’t work is that involves Tim Lincecum. He’s probably the biggest piece in San Fransico, and they never want to lose him. Also the package for them is a bit ridiculous. The front office loves Reddick, Lowrie, and Doubront, and are too valuable to the Sox after they lost they’re top three prospects last year. Lastly, I don’t have a problem with signing Josh Willingham, Andruw Jones, and Jose Molina, but resigning Conner Jackson just isn’t a good idea. He can’t hit very well anymore, plus he’s nothing special on defense besides his slightly above average arm.
If you want your idea on here please comment below or any article, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send me a tweet @thebestsoxblog.
The Sox rolled past Bruce Chen and the Royals tonight, but aside from that not much went right today. Carlos Beltran has been traded to the Giants for grand total of one prospect (although he does project to be a front of the rotation guy.) Now the Sox are left with limited options to upgrade in right even though Josh Reddick’s play has been exceptional he is starting to show signs of slowing down. Another player the Red Sox lost out was Edwin Jackson of the White Sox. Now this isn’t to bad of miss, because the Sox weren’t too high up on him, it still shrinks the starting pitching market. Now probably the worst thing that happened today was that Colby Rasmus became a Toronto Blue Jay. He’s under team control until 2014 which means the Sox are going to see a lot of this future star. The only positive is that the only thing standing between him and stardom is his attitude, which is what got him sent out of St. Louis. I think this move might be able to make the Jays contenders in 2012, because they’re not too far off now and adding a piece like Rasmus only strengthens their team. Plus they only lost one prospect today, and for adding a huge piece like that is impressive. Hopefully after today’s events the Sox will still be able to add an impact player and keep the Jays away from AL East crown.