Beltran to the Sox? Joel Sherman Thinks So

This morning on his blog Joel Sherman puts on his GM hat and presents a trade idea that he thinks could help the Red Sox.  As he states in his article "This is not something I am actually reporting as a fact. IT IS NOT
BEING DISCUSSED. I am merely throwing this out there to stimulate some
debate and to get everyone to play GM for a while
."  His idea: "Beltran to Boston for Daisuke Matsuzaka and Jacoby Ellsbury."  While I understand his core thinking, the trade that he proposes makes little sense if you are the Red Sox.  Sherman thinks this is a good idea for the Sox "Because Beltran has much in common with Teixeira. He is a switch-hitter
with power and patience from both sides, and is an excellent defender.
Beltran is three years older, but his contract term is five years
shorter than would have been necessary for Teixeira, plus he provides
speed that Teixeira would not
."  Sure the Red Sox could probably use another middle of the order guy like Beltran, but at what cost?  The Red Sox strength going into 2009 is their pitching staff.  Beckett, Lester, Daisuke is as formidable a "Big Three" as there is in the game.  By pulling off this proposed trade they are weakening a strength, adding to the payroll and getting older just so they could add some middle of the order punch.  Why not sign Adam Dunn?  There has been little to no interest in Dunn, he's two years younger than Beltran and the Sox would get to keep their staff strong, stay young and keep their payroll reasonable.  Another option is Milton Bradley, sure he's a head case, but he can hit.  He too would come fairly cheap.  The second part of Sherman's plan would have the Red Sox sign Derek Lowe to replace Daisuke.  Derek Lowe will be 36 in June and posted an ERA of almost half a run higher in the weak hitting NL West.   

One other important factor that Sherman is failing to realize is that both Daisuke and Beltran have full no trade clauses in their contracts.  Sure they could waive them, but that's highly unlikely in this case.  Daisuke is comfortable in Boston, something that didn't happen over night.  Beltran's personality is also an awful fit for Boston.  In a town that loves and respects gritty, hard nosed play Carlos Beltran's laid back, let the game come to me approach might not go over too well with the fans and media.   

Daisuke is 28 years old.  He's signed through 2012 and is scheduled to make $8 million in '09 and '10.  His salary will increase in '11 and '12 when he gets a $2 million dollar raise putting him at $12 million.  He is also coming off a season where he posted a 2.90 ERA in the American League East.  Affordable, check.  Young, check.  Very good, check. 

Ellsbury is 25 years old.  He already plays comparable defense to Beltran, if not better.  He also made $406K last season.  Sure Beltran adds significantly more power, but Ellsbury's speed is game changing, something you do not give up on this soon.  Affordable, check.  Young, check.  Very good, not yet, but soon. 

Beltran will be 32 years old in April.  He's signed through 2011 and is scheduled to make $18.5 million in '09-'11.  Affordable, no.  Young, no.  Very good, check. 

Dunn is 29 years old.  He is a free agent.  He will provide very little defense, he is all offense.  If Lowell isn't healthy he also provides another option at first base, so that Youkilis could move to third.  In 2008 Dunn hit 13 more home runs than Beltran and posted a higher OBP and SLG.

If Sherman's goal was to strike up a discussion, he was successful.  Unfortunately his argument is really nothing more than a conversation starter.  It doesn't make sense from the Red Sox point of view, no matter how you slice it.  Meanwhile I am quite certain Mets and Yankee fans would endorse Sherman's idea whole heartedly.

33 comments… add one
  • Annnnnd now we see why again why sites like FJM existed.

    310ToJoba January 2, 2009, 12:32 pm
  • One correction: Dunn isn’t a Type A free agent. If the Sox signed him, however, I do wonder how’d they juggle the line-up. I assume he’d sign thinking he was going to play every day. But the corner outfield spots are taken. If Lowell is healthy, do you still sit him and move Youk to third making room for Dunn at first? Or is the idea that he’d fill in here and there and get enough bats to be happy? My guess is that the Sox would have to move someone to make room for him, and in that case, I’m not sure Dunn is worth it.
    The Beltran deal doesn’t work for the reasons you pointed out, although it should be noted that Beltran is one of the two best centerfielders in the game, and he and Lowe probably represent a sizeable net gain in wins in 2009 as compared to Ellsbury/Dice-K.

    Nick-YF January 2, 2009, 12:35 pm
  • Joba, honestly I don’t see how Sherman’s blog post deserves ridicule. He does put the disclaimer in. It’s a conversation starter on a dull baseball day.

    Nick-YF January 2, 2009, 12:36 pm
  • I thought legitimate newspaper columnists like Sherman detest blogs for being full of precisely what that post is full of. Or is he trying to make that same point?
    I don’t like that trade for either team, really. Beltran frustrates a lot of Mets fans, but not me. Replacing him with Ellsbury might be a long-term gain, but it could squander in the short term the offense the Mets are hoping for the next couple of years. And Jacoby’s best current skill set is already present at the top of the Mets lineup.
    John makes an excellent point about Matsuzaka having had two years to get comfortable in Boston. I’m sure the transition would be easier in a Boston->NY move than it was for Japan->Boston, so the clock won’t be reset entirely, but that’s a pretty big chunk of offense they’d be giving up to find out.
    Also: Bay-Beltran-Drew? Would that be the mellowest outfield in MLB history?

    FenSheaParkway January 2, 2009, 12:54 pm
  • John - YF January 2, 2009, 1:04 pm
  • But he was never offered arbitration, so there’s no worry about losing a draft pick.

    Nick-YF January 2, 2009, 1:05 pm
  • Nick, my thinking was really all predicated on the assumption that Lowell won’t be healthy. That seems to be a common theme around here, people are doubting Lowell’s ability to bounce back. Dunn’s signing would have the same repercussions that signing Tex would have had, only Dunn isn’t Tex, but same scenario. If Lowell can come back and be his self, the Dunn move isn’t needed obviously.

    John - YF January 2, 2009, 1:06 pm
  • So simply putting a disclaimer in something completely counteracts any idiocy discussed? I don’t think so.
    At least make it a somewhat plausible series of moves or as a previous comment says, stick to reporting news not trying to make it.

    310ToJoba January 2, 2009, 1:06 pm
  • “At least make it a somewhat plausible series of moves or as a previous comment says, stick to reporting news not trying to make it.”
    This is Sherman’s blog. He’s not reporting news. I don’t think he’s been part of the old media guard that has denigrated the medium (at least I’ve never read anything by him that has been anti-blog), so I’m not quite sure I understand the annoyance. His overall point is that the Sox are a bold and creative team that could possibly make a bold and creative move. It’s half thought out, so yeah, there are a lot of wholes in the idea, but it’s a conversation starter. There are worse conversation starters.

    Nick-YF January 2, 2009, 1:11 pm
  • wholes= holes

    Nick-YF January 2, 2009, 1:13 pm
  • Gotcha Nick, I will change that now.

    John - YF January 2, 2009, 1:19 pm
  • So simply putting a disclaimer in something completely counteracts any idiocy discussed? I don’t think so.
    Agreed, 310. This is a professional writer!? Seriously, why would the Sox trade Dice-K STRAIGHT UP for Beltran? They paid a massive posting fee, which though not salary or payroll still has to factor into the equation – the Sox are gathering benefit from the posting fee in signings like Tazawa, why would they jettison Matsuzaka for Beltran when there is still much to be gained by his presence in a Sox uniform? Forget the fact that he’s excellent and currently quite a bit below market. Then throw in Ellsbury on top? Seriously?
    Hey, I have an idea, and, you know, it’s just a conversation starter: Julio Lugo to the Cardinals for Albert Pujols. And, just to make it sound good, the Sox pay 50% of Lugo’s salary. Discuss.
    FJM, come back. PLEASE.

    SF January 2, 2009, 1:25 pm
  • tough crowd

    Nick-YF January 2, 2009, 1:26 pm
  • The Beltran trade sounds sensible compared to the idea of possibly trading for Mauer or Sizemore which he goes on to propose as plans B and C for the Sox.
    Sizemore is under contract through 2012: 09:$4.6M, 10:$5.6M, 11:$7.5M, 12:$8.5M club option. Plus the fact that he’s one of the games brightest young stars and the Indians think they can compete in ’09 or else they wouldn’t have traded for DeRosa OR signed Wood.
    Mauer is a little more feasible because his contract is much higher than Sizemore and only signed through ’10. But even still, that’s a huge reach. Minnesota wouldn’t trade their hometown boy.

    John - YF January 2, 2009, 1:30 pm
  • Ha, I didn’t even get to the “sign Lowe to replace Dice-K” part. So he thinks the Sox should a) trade their #2 starter who is underpaid and cost $50M to talk to, b) acquire a more expensive outfielder for that pitcher, c) throw in a cost-controlled potential gold-glove high-upside Jacoby Ellsbury, and then d) spend $40-50M to replace the pitcher they just sent away.
    Words almost escape me. That’s some breathtaking stuff.

    SF January 2, 2009, 1:31 pm
  • I think Joel Sherman’s plan A in college was to hook up with the eleventh hottest girl in school, and to promise her jewelry and dinner to get her to go out with him in the first place. His plans B and C were the hottest and second hottest girls, but for some reason he took the diamonds and filet mignon off the table.
    Why bother with logic, John?

    SF January 2, 2009, 1:38 pm
  • Great trade 10/10 Red Sox should get on this right away. >_>
    I’m a Yankee fan, why did you ask? :D

    Jimmy January 2, 2009, 2:40 pm
  • Happy New Year from Europe!
    Daisuke + Ellsbury for Beltran is idiotic. Beltran is good but not worth the money, and he’s aging quickly. Daisuke is great for how much he costs and Ellsbury’s speed and defense far outweigh his mediocre OPS+.
    Our top 5 minor leaguers for Hanley Ramirez makes more sense.

    Atheose - SF January 2, 2009, 3:00 pm
  • John..
    Just read your Casino remark.
    If you’re going to be free, we’ll grab a drink of something.
    Just shoot me a buzz.

    Brad January 2, 2009, 3:00 pm
  • I like the idea of atleast kicking the tires on a deal for either Adrian Gonzalez and possibly even Jake Peavy.
    Im not sold on Lowell and Ortiz both being back to their old self… I think Ortiz will rebound, but I have no faith in Lowell.

    TJ Sox Fan January 2, 2009, 3:03 pm
  • sorry John.
    Don’t use the other one, I’m not at my office for a few days.

    Brad January 2, 2009, 3:06 pm
  • I’m a huge fan of Dunn. At worst he’ll DH or play first awfully, but will put up 40 hr’s year after year and tons of strikeouts but also tons of walks.

    Lar January 2, 2009, 5:57 pm
  • Sherman: Not the sharpest knife in the Post’s drawer full of dull cutting implements. (I say that as a former NYP columnist myself, though not on sports, and quite some time ago.)

    Hudson January 2, 2009, 7:34 pm
  • If we’re going silly season, why not?:
    Josh Beckett (09:$10.5M, 10:$12M club option)
    Julio Lugo (09:$9M, 10:$9M)
    Jacoby Ellsbury
    For –
    Carlos Beltran (09:$18.5M, 10:$18.5M, 11:$18.5M)
    Mike Pelfrey
    Beckett is about to get expensive and they get out of the Lugo contract. Mets get a legit #2 that they can re-sign. By filling need holes (Mets – starter, 2B; Sox – CF) without increasing payroll, the Mets sign Manny while the Sox sign Sheets.

    Rob January 3, 2009, 12:03 am
  • You got to admit SFs – an outfield of Bay, Beltran, Drew would be pretty sweet. Sign Baldelli for backup and that’s a sick lineup.

    Rob January 3, 2009, 12:06 am
  • I think the Mets would be better off with Wang, Cano, and Damon for Reyes.

    go4ball January 3, 2009, 12:59 am
  • With all due respect, John, why are you posting this? YFSF isn’t where I come for silly silly season news. I come here for silly news, and little as the difference is, it doesn’t include trade offers Joel Sherman makes to himself in his mother’s basement that no one would accept. The only way this trade offer could be worse is if it was Mike Vaccaro’s offer, and then it would probably be more entertaining, at least.
    (See how I turned the ol’ blogger “type” on its head?)

    Hit Dog January 3, 2009, 3:38 am
  • You know, Beckett for Beltran doesn’t sound half-bad.
    Last three years:
    Beckett – 34.6 VORP (2008); 58.6 (2007); 19.9 (2006)
    Beltran – 57.6 VORP (2008); 51.1 (2007); 68.5 (2006)
    Beckett’s best season is equivalent to Beltran’s average season. If Beckett were really automatic in the postseason then maybe he’s a keeper – now and on a long-term extension. But last year showed he’d just as inconsistent there are during the year. Cut ties now while they can get something valuable or nothing in two years when he signs with the Mets any ways.
    The problem is the difference in money. That’s where Lugo comes in. Good call. Fills that need for the Mets. I don’t know about the kids swapping places, but it wouldn’t be a bad way to fill out depth.
    Damn, this would give the Sox a player of Teixeira’s quality (plus speed) at a more important position and for significantly fewer dollars. Those dollars could be reinvested in existing players without destroying the payroll structure because the Sox would have acquired Beltran’s contract. Signing Lowe or Sheets would give them a very solid pitcher behind Dice-K. If I were slotting the rotation for 2009 Beckett would be a #3 any ways.
    If Sherman had proposed something like this, there would be more interesting debate. But then maybe that was the point. A blogger’s role is to generate on-line discussion in places like this. Without them helping to stir the pot, what’s the point? To bitch and moan?

    Dave SF January 3, 2009, 8:37 am
  • Last three years:
    Beckett – 34.6 VORP (2008); 58.6 (2007); 19.9 (2006)
    Sheets – 51.7 VORP (2008); 31.4 (2007); 24.0 (2006)
    D.Lowe – 49.0 VORP (2008); 30.5 (2007), 49.5 (2006)
    Seems like Beckett is replaceable. And we know Lowe can be just as good in the post-season. So huge upgrade in CF, little difference in the rotation, and for only the cost of a two (Sheets) or three year (Lowe) moderately priced pitching contract? Where do I sign up?
    Too bad it will never happen but it is fun to think about.

    Dave SF January 3, 2009, 9:15 am
  • Wow. Just… wow. I am dumber for just having read a summary of the article.
    Joel Sherman, you receive no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

    Paul SF January 3, 2009, 12:38 pm
  • check out Jed Lowrie
    search: “IL All-Promoted Team”
    How many more Sox than Yankees?

    red sox fan January 3, 2009, 5:48 pm
  • The Texas redneck’s response to a content-less post? An even dumber, content-free, comment.

    Anand January 4, 2009, 8:55 am
  • Wow, someone’s got a case of the Mondays Sundays!

    Atheose January 4, 2009, 10:36 am

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