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.
A trade to acquire Rich Harden of the Oakland A’s has fallen through according to MLB.com’s Ian Brown. It’s unknown why the deal fell apart, but I will post updates as they come in.
UPDATE 10:55 Apparently the Sox saw something they didn’t like in Harden’s medical reports.
The Red Sox are close to acquiring A’s starting pitcher Rich Harden for first baseman Lars Anderson and a player to be named later. This deal is pending a physical due to Harden’s poor health. If Harden’s able to stay healthy this is a great pick up for the Sox.
Carlos Quentin and Matt Thornton might have to switch dugouts for Sunday’s series finale. The Red Sox are rumored to be making a strong push to acquire the outfielder and lefty reliever from the White Sox. Quentin would solve the problem in right and Thornton would give the Red Sox a solid second lefty reliever out of the ‘pen. The White Sox have put a high price on Quentin, but it’s expected to come down as they try to work out a deal. The Red Sox would be able to hit him anywhere 3-7 and he’ll produce. He’s got really good power, but occasionally can go on power slumps. Thornton is a top notch lefty who the White Sox really liked going into the season but have “fallen out of love” with him. The Red Sox are also discussing a deal with Oakland for Rich Harden and Josh Willingham or Coco Crisp.
The Red Sox main focus for the upcoming trade deadline appears to be starting pitching. Their four biggest targets are Hiroki Kuroda, Ubaldo Jimenez, Rich Harden, and Erik Bedard, who is making his first off the DL tonight. The Red Sox are said to be “all over” Bedard. Personally I’d like to see Kuroda in Red Sox uniform. He’s not held together by band-aids, like Harden and Bedard, and he’s more consistent than Jimenez, whose only been able to win 10 games since 2010 All-Star break. Any of the four, if they can stay healthy, would be a huge lift to the rotation while Clay Buchholz’s back woes continue.
UPDATE 10:51: In Bedard’s start tonight he allowed 5 runs on 3 hits and 4 walks in an inning and a third. He never found any rhythm or groove and being his first start off the DL the Mariners didn’t want to risk his health at 57 pitches in the second inning. This should lower the price on Bedard, but it also shows the risk of adding Bedard.