The Mets tentatively get one of their men. Does this mean Manny is staying put? We can think of lots of worse things…
by SF on November 23, 2005 at 1:33 pm in
General Baseball · 13 comments
Lets put it all on the back burner – just for the day.
Or at least until my Broncos beat up on the Cowgirls today…Let’s go Snake.
Happy Thanksgiving Guys. Enjoy your holiday.
Brad-SF November 24, 2005 at 10:18 am
If I were Joe Girardi I’d be pretty pissed about all this.
mattymatty November 24, 2005 at 11:17 am
Hey, Brad, you’re a Broncos fan, too?? Right on! I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop re Plummer (knock on wood), but so far, so good. Let’s go get Tuna today…
ps – SF, I know you’ll probably cross-reference this back to the Simmons bit, but it’s easy enough to counterargue his claim, as I’m sure ya realize. Simmons’ main point is about fan loyalty, anyway, and not so much hometownerism (if that’s a word).
Spidey November 24, 2005 at 12:41 pm
Spidey, I have been a Broncos fan since the start of the Dan Reeves era. I’m just as passionate about the Broncos as I am the Sox.
Please, don’t mention any shoes dropping. I’m loving him right now, and I think he FINALLY gets it.
PS – Don’t you think the Marlins would have actually hired a manager if they were interested in what the baseball team actually may accomplish this year?
brad-SF November 24, 2005 at 4:25 pm
The Sox got Beckett AND Guillermo Mota. I don’t know who their GM is, but he’s doing a great job!
mattymatty November 25, 2005 at 12:42 am
As always, the House of Dewey and Cursed to First provide much-needed insight and critical analysis about things Red Sox and greater. Both blogs views of the trade are a far cry from most I’ve seen.
When I first heard about the Beckett trade, I frankly was upset because I thought it was a steal for the Sox. But, the Sox did give up a lot, and Beckett is no sure thing, while Lowell is close to dead weight, and Mota’s probably just league average at this point.
I really wonder if Theo would have made this trade. Or is the type of move he was talking about when he said he and Larry Legend had a difference in philosophy?
Nick November 25, 2005 at 11:26 am
I read through those post-mortems, Nick, and I have to say they are reasonable arguments, though I disagree with them. First of all, at Cursed to First, there is disappointment that we will be stuck watching Renteria and miss out on seeing Ramirez develop. These things are both true. But the analysis also ignores two crucial facts: Renteria isn’t going anywhere else with his contract (though I guess a shift to 3rd would have opened up a spot for Hanley), and Ramirez isn’t ready for the majors and might not be until 2007.
Meanwhile, of Lester, Papelbon, and Sanchez, Papelbon is already up, Lester is next in line, and Sanchez was at least 2 years away by most estimates. So Sanchez was dealable, in a big way, since he was neither the #1 or #2 prospect, and the minors are deep. As I stated in the earlier thread regarding this trade, there’s always risk: Hanley may be the new Tejada, Sanchez might turn into the next Santana, and Beckett may blow his arm out irreparably. But that’s a risk worth taking within the context of the AL East, within the context of the Sox’ farm system, and within the context of a roster that needed pitching upgrades, and immediately.
Looking at this trade in terms of risk/reward, I think it passes muster – the risk is there, though I think nominal, the possible reward incredibly high – remember, it might be a year or two years before we even start to regret trading Ramirez or Sanchez, and that’s in the case that Beckett needs TJ surgery. Was there much hand-wringing about losing Navarro last year in the RJ trade, even though Johnson is 42, has no knee cartilage, and a history of a bad back? Nope – there was a comprehension of the risk involved in picking up Johnson but also a good sense of the reward, and that’s why the trade was made. There’s always risk in trading for young pitchers, whether in AA, AAA, or at the Major League level. But in this case, the rewards from a guy like Beckett (we know what he can do against big leaguers, which cannot be said for Sanchez or Ramirez, obviously), if healthy, will be much more immediate and quite probably, considering his age, much longer-lasting. Then again, he could be seeing James Andrews in May. I, for one, can live with that risk.
Finally, as for whether Theo would have made this deal, I think though that might be fun for speculative purposes, it’s an exercise I care almost nothing about. We can probably safely leave it at yes, Theo would have had conversations about acquiring any player of Beckett’s stature. As for pulling the trigger for the cost of Ramirez, Sanchez, et al? Who knows, and who cares. Seriously.
SF November 25, 2005 at 12:30 pm
To nitpick: By some accounts, Sanchez is a bigger prospect than both Lester and Papelbon.
Also, I posed the question about whether Theo would have parted with these prospects to understand if anyone might think there has been a change in organizational ethos from long-term planning to a win-now mentality. In effect, do you think Larry L, as he is more the business man/less the baseball man than Theo was, is less patient? And does that make you less confident in the front office?
The Sox’s farm system has lost 4 prospects in return for one potentially great young pitcher, a 34 year old reliever whose numbers have delined the last two years, and a third baseman with an albatross contract. I wonder if you’re at all nervous that the Sox are beginning to turn to an early 2000′s Yankees’ approach to player development.
Regarding the Johnson trade, there were several Yankees fans who had reservations about packaging Halsey and Navarro for the Big Unit. Like you, I felt it was an undestandable risk to take: after all, Johnson was the best pitcher outside of Santana in 2004. But, so far, the trade might do a lot to hamper the Yanks in the future. Posada declined significantly in 2005. Navarro could have performed a much needed role on the team. Halsey could be a useful swing-man lefty at out of the bullpen. And that’s not even to mention Johnson’s contract and decline.
Nick November 25, 2005 at 12:55 pm
Re: Sanchez and Lester – no, he’s not a bigger prospect than Lester, by the organization’s measure or by almost everyone outside the organization. I have no clue who is actually better, since I have never seen either pitch. I also have no clue who will have a better ML career, but from everything I have read Lester is more highly regarded, though Sanchez was also highly regarded.
Everything you say has substance, Nick, but one phrase you write is the key: “in return for one potentially great young pitcher”. That’s it. If this trade was for a 34 year old guy, a Frank Viola, or a position player (like, say, Carlos Delgado) that is easier to find on the open market, then all of the questioning has more weight. But, it was for just what you say: a young, gifted, and potentially great pitcher who has already proven he can win at the Major League level. Big thing, that.
Regarding the Sox’ organizational ethos and a possible change, I see no reason how trading for the young Beckett (one year older than Papelbon!) exposes any change at all. Time will tell with future moves, and especially at trading deadlines. For now, this only indicates that building a deep farm system gives a team flexibility; I’ll take the move as validation of Epstein’s and the Sox’s more recent intelligence in drafting, and hope that Epstein’s departure doesn’t cause the organization to lose sight of the spoils of that fact.
SF November 25, 2005 at 2:10 pm
Here’s a kind of off-topic counterquestion for you, Nick. What if the Sox trade Manny for prospects and a stop-gap veteran for left field? Would that prove the Sox are “patient”, interested in building a crop of young talent over high-priced HOFers? Or would it be the Sox throwing in the towel on the season? Or would it show that Lucchino et al are cheapskates and not willing to pay marquee players? I figure that if Manny gets moved for blue-chip minor leaguers, it would follow that they would be showered with praise for thinking long-term by someone like you, no?
(As I see it, it’s not such a black and white indication of a team’s ethos, this trading of minor leaguers for proven talent)
SF November 25, 2005 at 2:24 pm
SF, I honestly don’t know of there’s been a change in ethos, or if this trade reflects a change in ethos. Just asking sox fans who might have a better feeling than I for their team. However, when the Yanks made similar trades (for instance, the nick johnson and Juan Rivera trade for Javy Vazquez), this was evidence of the team’s disregard for player development…at least according to some people (would I be wrong to include you in that group?).
re: the Manny situation. It’s a tough hypothetical as it would occur in the context of a trade demand. I would certainly praise the team for a deal that would yield blue chip prospects and a stop-gap left-fielder if the team was able to pull that off. But then again, it would not exactly have been part of their master plan.
Nick November 25, 2005 at 2:39 pm
Ah, Master Plans. So often non-existent, so often assumed to exist when in fact they don’t, so often assumed to have been blown out of the water by trades with teams looking to dump salary.
In my opinion, I don’t think the Vazquez or Johnson trades indicated, on the surface, a change in the Yankees’ ethos. I think the Yankees weakness hasn’t been in the idea of spinning lower-level talent for established players, it’s been the terrible drafting and player development that failed to replenish the system. That has been the indicator that they weren’t focused on this part of the developmental game. For the Red Sox, I think this trade indicates how deep they are, and until other transactions transpire that show they are “gutting” the minors I can’t help but be encouraged by a move like this, not discouraged. Just one fan’s opinion.
SF November 25, 2005 at 2:52 pm
Like SF, I too am encourage by this move. For one, I didn’t think this team would have the direction to make a move like this, whether you like it or not. It is possible that I have over-valued Theo, and the direction that this franchise has taken over the past three years is at least as much due to the ownership and the president as to the ex-GM. Thats not to take anything away from Theo who did a magnificent job and whom I was and still am upset about. In any case, the trade is one that is defensible on many counts, many of which SF made in the preceding thread.
There are numerous questions about Becket’s home/road splits, the decline in his K/9 rates over the past three years and his injury history. But there are also similar questions about Hanley Ramirez (lots of hype, little production) and Sanchez (TJ surgery). In fact, it is highly infrequent to have make a trade where there are no questions attached. Will Lowell be any good or has his ship sailed? Is Mota over the hill? Is Becket a product of his environment and a few good post season starts? It comes down to this: it is worth one of the organization’s top pitching prospects and a few other unproven minor leaguers to find out? I say it is. As a Red Sox fan I’m excited about the potential of adding Becket to the rotation, and right now thats good enough.
mattymatty November 25, 2005 at 4:47 pm
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