Trade Fodder

It's coming. The 2011 MLB trade deadline.

The Red Sox are certainly not in need of more offense, on pace for 885 runs and, even more stunningly, a 120 OPS+, which would be the highest team total in the American League since the 1982 Brewers of Yount, Molitor, Cooper, Oglivie and Gorman Thomas. (By comparison, the only teams to come close in the past 15 years are the 1997 [119] and 2001 Mariners [117] and the 2003 Red Sox [118].)

So forgive me if I don't put much stock in rumors that the Sox are interested in Carlos Beltran or even Hunter Pence (who is at least a cheaper, younger, overall more attractive possibility but not necessarily more attractive than simply playing Josh Reddick full time). They could go after pitching, if there were any quality pitching worth having. As Theo Epstein has said, the best move the Sox could make would be adding a healthy Clay Buchholz to the roster. In fact, that isn't quite right. The best move the Sox will make occurs today, when Jon Lester replaces Kyle Weiland in the rotation, and this despite the fact that Boston has been 12-2 since placing Lester on the DL.

No wonder, then, that Fangraphs rates the Red Sox the team in baseball with the least need to make a move at the deadline.

The Yankees aren't much worse off, coming in at No. 23, with strengthening their rotation the team's obvious priority. But, again, is Derek Lowe or Wandy Rodriguez really the savior here?

So have at it, Yanks and Sox fans. What should the teams do to prepare for the playoff run and the playoffs themselves. Who should they be willing to give up to get 'em?

10 comments… add one

  • I am so indifferent in re: to this year’s trade deadline. I don’t want the Yankees to go after Beltran, obviously. I don’t want them trading 3-4 prospects for Ubaldo Jimenez. There are no answers out there. We don’t need Mike Adams or Heath Bell. The Yankees need pitching and there are no overly attractive options out there. If Cuddyer was available at a reasonable price I’d say that might not be an awful move. I’d even be open to them kicking the tires on Aaron Harang. He’s been decent enough for the Padres (Yes, I know NL and huge pitchers park) and they wouldn’t be asking the world for him by any means. Some nice low risk moves are fine by me and let’s hope we can catch some breaks and make a run in October. Anything more is really spitting in the wind in this market.

    John - YF July 25, 2011, 1:22 pm
  • I don’t think either teams NEEDS to do anything to make the playoffs.
    But given the the trade deadline is a chance to improve your team, it’s always OK to think pie in the sky.
    Regardless, it sure seems like whatever might be available will be costly. So I don’t want to go after Beltran, Francoeur, Bell, Pence …
    The Sox probably could use some depth at a couple of positions.
    * RF – If Drew goes on the DL. With Kalish on the DL and probably in need of a rehab sting in Single-A before returning to Triple-A, there’s ot much reliable depth. Sutton and Navarro are serviceable in the OF, but can they successfully maneuver in Fenway’s RF? But given that Reddick and Kalish are such good prospects (particularly Kalish), I don’t want to give up a ton for a rental when one of those guys should be a reliable RF for years to come.
    * SS – I like that Scutaro has been solid, and Lowrie will help IF he ever comes back. And Navarro can play there, as well. But it is a weak spot, and Iglesias hasn’t progressed this season as much as I’d hoped.
    * SP – If Buchholz’s return isn’t imminent, if Lackey doesn’t continue to push closer to being the pitcher he was signed to be, and if Lester’s injury resurfaces, they will need to make a move here. They cannot depend on significant innings/contributions from Weiland and Miller, and to a lesser degree, Wakefield.
    * RP – Perhaps a lefty. Morales hasn’t proven to be reliable. But the rest of the pen has been pretty terrific of late.
    From my limited perspective, it certainly seems as though the Yanks could use a starter or two. But it’ll cost them.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 25, 2011, 2:04 pm
  • I haven’t been reading everything in sight, so i don’t know if this has come up, but has there been any buzz about Pettitte joining the Yanks?
    He’d be better than most of what’s available.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 25, 2011, 2:07 pm
  • Less than what I expected ibm, at least from what I follow, though there was some NY-area sport-talk-radio discussion of Pettitte a week or so ago (I think on WFAN but forget now). In my view he would be exceptional for them esp given the alternatives. Even if it took him 8 weeks to get himself in pitching shape – which it might – the Yanks have a good shot at making the post-season without him anyway and to land him in late Sept with 2-3 full starts under his belt would be just fine with me. And it costs nothing but money, which they have plenty of, and not commitments beyond this November.

    IronHorse (YF) July 25, 2011, 3:24 pm
  • I am with you- I don’t think the Sox need anything drastic. People keep talking right field- but with Reddick in, we’ve got the Drew back up. And I don’t want to spend money on a rental. No more Jason Bays. If we do add to our lineup, I want it to be someone we can count on for the long haul, and I’m just not seeing anyone scream out at me… Maybe a lefty? I’m interested to see what happens.

    Toosoxy.wordpress.com July 25, 2011, 4:10 pm
  • While I’m sure that Theo et al are going to look at everything like they usually do at the trade deadline, it’s nice to be in a position where we really don’t need anyone. I would think if they do go after a starter, it may be a sign ( and a bad one at that) that Buchholtz may not make it back this season.

    BillsBurgSF July 25, 2011, 6:56 pm
  • I don’t see how the rotation is a problem area for the Yankees. This is the best rotation the team has had in a decade. It’s allowed the second fewest runs in the AL. There are four starters on pace to pitch 162 innings and be league average or better (and three of them are much better than league average). This rotation is really good. Hughes is the only question mark, and we always have Nova (once he gets done with this short DL stint) ready to pitch better than most every other team’s #5 starter.

    DustyDrB - YF July 26, 2011, 1:43 pm
  • Nobody will deny that the Yankees have gotten great performances out of guys they didn’t expect to: Colon, Garcia and Nova. The question most people have is whether or not they will continue to perform at such a high level in August, September, and [probably] October.
    Sabathia is a God, but do Yankees fans really trust the rest of the rotation to start Game 2, 3 and 4 in the playoffs? Honest question.

    Atheose - SF July 26, 2011, 2:38 pm
  • Yeah, Dusty, you’re actually the first YF I’ve read who feels comfortable with the rotation as is. Heck, I’m not comfortable with the Sox’ rotation, and it’s got Beckett and Lester at the front of it.

    Paul SF July 26, 2011, 3:26 pm
  • It’s something that would have sounded crazy at the beginning of the season, but I do have confidence in Colon and Garcia. I think the two bad starts vs the Red Sox stick out much more in other YFs minds than it does mine. But CC also had two bad starts against them this year. That stuff happens.
    Nova is no sure thing, but I’d take him as a #5. He can do well enough if needed in a low-pressure role such as that.
    Really, I think the only moves this team should make are to acquire a good left-handed reliever and call up Jesus Montero.

    DustyDrB - YF July 26, 2011, 3:41 pm

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