In the past two days there’s been a flurry of roster moves made by the Red Sox in the past couple days. Yesterday the Red Sox said in a press release:
“BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox today placed outfielder Ryan Sweeney on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured bone in his left hand and recalled both outfielder Ryan Kalish and right-handed pitcher Clayton Mortensen from Triple-A Pawtucket. Kalish and Mortensen will be active for tonight’s game against the Tigers at Fenway Park. Additionally, the club today activated right-handed pitcher Chris Carpenter from the 60-day disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Pawtucket.”
Sweeney is likely done for the season if the Sox miss the playoffs, but he may return for the final games of the season. Kalish is returning to the Sox after a brief and largely unsuccessful stint in the majors earlier this year. Mortensen was called up to fill the open spot Albers left, until Craig Breslow arrived which was just a few minutes ago. Chris Carpenter has missed the entire year with a right elbow surgery. He was the compensation received by the Sox for Theo Epstein.
Now on to the trades. Yesterday the Sox made two trades. The first was the Sox acquiring lefty Craig Breslow from the Arizona Diamondbacks for right-handed Matt Albers and Scott Podsednik. This move was made to give the Sox bullpen flexibility, so that Franklin Morales could be put back into the starting rotation. I like this move, because Morales had been very effective as a starter and I love that he’ll be returning to this role. Also the bullpen doesn’t lose anything, because Breslow is a great left reliever. I am a huge Albers and Podsednic fan, but there wasn’t a need for either of them (although you can never have enough pitching.)
The other trade was between the Cleveland Indians and the BoSox. The Sox acquired righty, knuckleballer Steven Wright for first baseman Lars Anderson. This a great move, because it brings everyone’s favorite pitch, the knuckleball. Also, Lars needed to be moved, because he had been blocked for a long while now and I’m glad they got a good return for him. Another great thing is that Tim Wakefield will work with Wright, so he’ll be taught well.
Today there were a few more roster moves that took place. Daniel Nava was placed on the DL with a sprained left wrist and able to be activated on Sunday August 12th. Ryan Lavarnway was recalled from Pawtucket to take his place. Clayton Mortensen was optioned to AAA to make room for Craig Breslow who was added to the 25-man roster.
And with that, that’s all the Red Sox have done the past two days. Ben Cherrington is a very busy man.
Last year Jacoby Ellsbury stunned the baseball world by going from a slightly above average outfielder to MVP caliber player. His numbers were off the charts, producing a .321/.376/.552 slash line alongside 32 home runs and 39 stolen bases. He provided the Red Sox with something every team dreams of having, a five tool player. Now with all that said, I think it’s best if Ellsbury and Sox part ways.
Now most of you would probably dismiss this as madness. After all he is one of the leagues premier players, but how much has he really proven. Coming off an amazing season his value is at an all time high, but he’s yet to back it up due to his subluxed shoulder. Since he has been unable to prove he can consistently play at an MVP level, his value has not been diminished. This is a huge reason why he should be moved, because I doubt that he’ll be able to have many 30-30 seasons, but he’s currently perceived as a guy who can.
Another reason is he struggles to return from injuries. Back in 2010 he fractured 4 of his ribs, which is a fairly severe injury, but it took him the entire year to recover. He did make 2 attempts at a comeback, but his ribs were sore which is understandable, but recovering from soreness shouldn’t take 4+ months. I do realize playing any professional sport takes a toll on your body, but being sore for several months shouldn’t qualify. You look at Dustin Pedroia and what he’s done this year with a bone bruise which gets re-aggravated whenever he gets jammed and he refused to go on the DL until now where it looks like it needs a full 15 day DL stint to recover, but after that 15 days is up he’ll be right back in the lineup. Also this year with his subluxed shoulder he has been slow to recover. it’s said to take 4-6 weeks to recover, and I know he needs to rehab, but it’s been 12 weeks since he was injured which is ample time to return from the injury. If this continues you can never be sure when he’ll be back from any injury. So it is a major reason why the Red Sox should be compelled to move him.
Now the biggest reason is his contract situation. In a perfect world Ellsbury would have signed an extension following last year eating his final 2 years of arbitration. Sadly this world is not perfect and Jacoby’s agent is Scott Boras. Boras is notorious for not wanting to give up arbitration years, and Ellsbury said that despite his love for Boston he’ll leave his contract negotiations up to Boras. This means he will hit free agency following the 2013 season. He’ll likely demand a 7 year 100M+ contract much like the one given to Carl Crawford. Now many people who were against the Carl Crawford contract said his age could be a factor due to declining speed being a part of aging. When Ellsbury hits free agency he’ll be a year older than Crawford was when he signed with the Sox. Now Ellsbury could end up being like Johnny Damon, who always seems to find a way to stay productive, or a an Alfonso Soriano, who has been a disaster. I doubt he’ll end up like Soriano, but after the Sox have gotten burned by bad contracts several times, they may not want to venture into a long term deal.
Now if the Sox do go through with the idea of trading Ellsbury what would they get. They could make him the center of a deal for an impact starting pitcher such as a Zack Greinke or a Cole Hamels. If they were to go for a pitcher at the deadline, trading Ellsbury would have a lot less long term ramifications than trading a high ceiling prospect like Anthony Raunado or Xander Bogarts. They could also sell him for a huge prospect package. If they were to sell him they’d likely wait until after the season, so that they could try for the World Series this year. If they were do a trade like that, a trade like the one that brought Matt Latos to the Reds would be very good. The Padres received a major league pitcher and 3 major league ready prospects. This would be fantastic for the Sox as you can always use more pitching and an infuse a young talent would be good for the Sox especially to complement guys like Will Middlebrooks and Ryan Kalish. Now a deal for Ellsbury is a stretch, but as the deadline approaches anything could happen.
I know this a little late, but Darnell McDonald has been designated for assignment. He’ll likely suffer the same fate as Marlon Byrd without the suspension. He was a decent fourth outfielder for the past few years, but it was his time to go. With Kalish and Nava surprising everyone with their play he got pushed out. Although I thought Mortensen would get sent down, but he would’ve only lasted a few more weeks if he had stayed with Crawford and Ellsbury returning soon. I would have never guessed he would’ve lasted with the team as long as he did when he first came up. He’ll be missed in the clubhouse and by fans across Red Sox Nation, but it was his time.
After being featured on mlbtraderumors.com I got some love and a lot of hate. I meant to respond to the comments right away, but life and laziness got in the way. Now I’m finally going to talk about all your critical points.
First off I’ll admit I forgot to mention Marlon Byrd. He’s a good fit, but that’ll be saved for a little later.
I got some heat about Spilborghs and not backing it up. I know he’s not a star, but with a platoon with Sweeney and/or Kalish he’d work nicely. He can hit for a decent average with a little pop. The lineup doesn’t need much work and Spilborghs just enough to help out the team. A .272/.345/.423 line isn’t that bad, better than Drew’s last year.
Johnny Damon’s arm took some hits as well. Sure, the guy can’t throw, but Crawford can play right and Damon fits in at left. This wasn’t a list of perfect fits it was basically just the available outfielders.
Lastly the comparison between Sweeney and Gonzalez was their hitting styles not performance. They both are powerful opposite field hitters. The reason why Sweeney hasn’t shown it much is his struggles with big league pitching, and the Coliseum didn’t help either.
I hope that helped clear up any confusion. If not complain so more, it gives me more ideas. Thank you.
Since the end of the season the Sox right field picture has looked hazy. With several options no one knows where Bobby, Ben, and the Sox will go.
Ryan Kalish: Kalish was the favorite to land the opening day nod until today. Today he annoucced he had surgery on his throwing (left) shoulder. Once he’s fully healthy which, will be in May or July, he’ll most likely start a rehab stint in Pawtucket then platoon in right.
Ryan Sweeney: Sweeney was part of yesterday’s Andrew Bailey trade. Sweeney is an average outfielder, but don’t expect to see him out there opening day. The reason I say that is because he’s a lefty who can’t hit lefties, the oposite of what the Red Sox need. I expect him to be an effective fourth outfielder.
Darnell Mcdonald: Mcdonald is a longshot, and even that’s an understatment. He’s just not good enough to start everyday. Maybe Bobby will surprise us, but I doubt it.
Johnny Damon: How crazy would it be if Johnny Damon came back. He’s not a horrible fit, but he still doesn’t work well. If he comes back he’ll recive mixed review and heavy scrutiny from the fans. I’m not a Damon hater anymore, but he’s a questionable fit.
Coco Crisp: Here’s another former Sox who could return. I loved Coco when he was Sox. He brings a great attitude and a quality bat to the team I wouldn’t mind seeing him back in Boston.
Ryan Spilborghs: Spilborghs is a great fit in Boston. He’s a cheap effective outfielder. I really wanted the Sox to get him at the deadline, but now they can get him to play everyday in 2012. He’d make an excellent right fielder.
Cody Ross: Ross had huge expectations for a contract only to have them shattered. This is where the Sox come in. Once his asking price is reasonable they could pick him up. Ross is a guy with warning track power so he’d benefit from playing at Fenway. I’m not a huge fan but if he produces I won’t complain.
Seth Smith: I like Smith. He’s a lot like his former teammate Ryan Spilborghs. A cheap effective outfielder. Smith is a better player then most of the guys above, but he’d cost prospects which isn’t ideal.
Carlos Quentin: Quentin is the best player on this list without a doubt. He’s a fantastic hitter who brings a lot to a club. He’s a perfect fit, provided that he can handle the strange right field corner. The only stipulation is it’s via trade so it takes something to get something. I’d like to see him playing for the BoSox, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.
If you any questions or ideas e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a tweet @thebestsoxblog.