Around the Horn, Red Sox (and Former Sox) Edition

  • The Red Sox announced the signing of John Smoltz and introduced him to the media today.  Smoltz offered up the same platitudes and yadayadayadas that most new acquisitions do, but with some humor, citing his unwavering support of the Detroit Lions as a sign of his loyalty.

  • The Sox and Diamondbacks continue to talk shop about Miguel Montero.

  • Derek Lowe agreed to a 4/60M contract with the Braves, smartly staying in the National League and dealing a double blow to the Mets, who have now missed out on a chance to bolster their rotation while a division rival improves theirs.

28 comments… add one
  • Help this naive Yankees fan out here…if the Sox do in fact make a trade for Montero, Salty, etc…do they also bring back Tek? That’s where I get lost. They have Bard, a serviceable backup, do they need Tek?
    Also, there are reports that Saito’s deal with the Sox could earn him up to 15 Million over 2 seasons.

    John - YF January 13, 2009, 1:50 pm
  • Nitpick – it’s John. I was a fan of Smoltz growing up, and was surprised when he became a closer. I hope he does well in the rehab.. providing the Sox miss the playoffs and he gets killed by the Yanks, of course! ;)

    Lar January 13, 2009, 2:14 pm
  • Also, there are reports that Saito’s deal with the Sox could earn him up to 15 Million over 2 seasons.
    I wonder how Papelbon is going to feel about that.
    Montero is decent enough. But if they’re going make a trade why not go for someone even better – like Clement or Salty. It’s not like better catchers are on the horizon in the market (and no, I don’t think Mauer will make it there).
    Has Theo ever traded top-rate prospects? It seems he has the same disease as Cashman. I really wonder if he was around whether Han-Ram would have been dealt. It seems they’re both willing to deal middling prospects, but sometimes to have to give up something to get something.

    Rob January 13, 2009, 2:15 pm
  • I wonder how Papelbon is going to feel about that.
    I am not sure Papelbon feels anything about anything.
    As for Theo trading prospects, he traded Beltre as part of the deal for Gagne, and that came under pretty heavy fire around these parts.

    SF January 13, 2009, 3:13 pm
  • Fixed, Lar. Had a little Lester on the brain.

    SF January 13, 2009, 3:13 pm
  • “have Bard, a serviceable backup, do they need Tek?”
    Let’s hope not. This is truly the case where not accepting arbitration is going to really hurt the pockets of Jason Varitek (and probably a little bit of pride too). Live and learn: if you bat below the mendoza line for more months than not, you should probably accept the arbitration offered you.
    I don’t think Papelbon will have any problem with the other contract, because if in fact he earns that money, that means he was excellent, and Papelbon is probably the closer on another team staring at the playoffs.
    Having a need is one thing, but being fleeced in the trading process is definitely another. If Arizona wants more than their own player is worth, especially if it hinders the Red Sox depth, then you say no, and move onto other alternatives.

    Brad January 13, 2009, 3:29 pm
  • Beltre? He was what 16 when they traded him? I guess I can see how some might get upset given the trade was for an old relief pitcher. But still, he wasn’t exactly an A prospect.
    Any one else?
    I mean, if the right deal came along and Theo could get Teagarden or Clement for Buchholz, why not pull the trigger? Same for Cashman and Hughes and a CFer like Kemp.

    Rob January 13, 2009, 3:30 pm
  • Rob, where do you think Mauer won’t make to? Boston, or the free agent market itself? If you say the market, then I couldn’t disagree more – No way Minny ponies up that money unless he’s just a huge proponent of staying there. If you say Boston, then I think it’s a possibility. He’s going to demand a boat load of money. But, as we’ve seen, it’s hard (if not impossible) to have deeper pockets than NY when it comes to getting those big names – especially if there is a chance of him landing in Boston.

    Brad January 13, 2009, 3:33 pm
  • I think at this point, both NY and Boston have invested so much towards their two big young pitchers, it’s hard to justify letting them walk for lesser talents (at least in your own opinions). By trading them now, after both GM’s have passed on what could have been bigger deals, they’re both admitting they’re wrong in their judgements of talent.

    Brad January 13, 2009, 3:37 pm
  • Plus, I still think that both guys are still holding fast to the idea that both Clay and Phil are front of the line starters. Both have shown that capability in the past, and if that’s the case, you don’t move talented starters for talented catchers or CFers.
    A team can survive with cathers and CFers who live at the average line; average pitchers don’t win playoff games (well, at least not normally).

    Brad January 13, 2009, 3:39 pm
  • Better question: since Theo was the GM, what young player should the Sox have traded that Theo held on to? Clay, Lester, and Ellsbury last year? What other deal should he have made?

    SF January 13, 2009, 3:41 pm
  • And regardless of Beltre’s age, at the time, he was considered one of the top prospects in all of the minor leagues. He was more highly touted than anyone in Boston’s system at the time (for the very, very short time he was there). His age had very little to do with his actual talent level or his hype. When Theo made the deal, he was definitely under the impression that he was trading away a superstar in the making if he was to believe all that was written about the kid.

    Brad January 13, 2009, 3:42 pm
  • That’s an excellent point, SF. Not many moves come to mind right away. I think the only valid one was maybe Johan Santana, but nobody really knows for sure what Minny was asking in return, but whatever it was, I’m sure it was a boat load.

    Brad January 13, 2009, 3:44 pm
  • Don’t forget that MIN is about to move into a new stadium. Mauer could easily be a player they decide to keep.
    you don’t move talented starters for talented catchers or CFers.
    I disagree. The latter are that much rarer and more easily project-able. Kemp for Hughes is a no-brainer, IMO. Same with Teagarden or Clement for Buchholz.
    since Theo was the GM, what young player should the Sox have traded that Theo held on to?
    It all depends on the deal available. I don’t follow Sox rumors close enough to know deals that were passed up. But it needn’t assume the prospects kept/traded away become failures. Just that they traded from a position of strength to address a need.
    For the Sox (and soon the Yanks) that’s up the middle of the diamond, except 2B. If guys like Kemp and Teagarden are out there, go get them with pitching or positions players where you already have depth. For the Sox right now, how much would really be lost by trading Buchholz for Teagarden? Same deal with the Yanks and Hughes for Kemp. In both cases, you address real needs in 2009 and going forward. So what if the cost is a prospect that might turn out well. That’s exactly the point.

    Rob January 13, 2009, 4:18 pm
  • For the Yanks, the Santana non-deal would have certainly qualified if they had missed out on Sabathia. But now they have an equal-type lefty pitcher AND the prospects. Now it would be a mistake to sit on all of the prospects, as the Yanks usually do, especially with the pitching depth they have in the system. Trade Hughes. Kemp would be a perfect fit – in 2009 and afterwards.

    Rob January 13, 2009, 4:41 pm
  • I think Kemp is just as likely to fall off as Clay and Hughes are to pick up. That’s the problem with being young. They’ve all shown too much talent just to start tossing them around and give up on them.
    I’d much rather have a great starter who can control a game than a great CF who can’t. Just my opinion though.

    Brad January 13, 2009, 5:17 pm
  • Hughes. Was. 22. Last year.
    In his second year, and his first scheduled complete season, he was the 5th youngest player in the league. He might not be the ace that the Yanks like him to be, but damn, people jump off that boat fast..

    Lar January 13, 2009, 5:29 pm
  • Bard = Varitek. Similar production last year, more effective against lefties, except Bard was injured while Tek was not, and Bard is much younger.
    There’s just no reason to sign Varitek if Bard is in the fold.

    Paul SF January 13, 2009, 11:52 pm
  • Hughes could still live up to his potential. But Kemp is already much closer to that and he’s only going to be 24 years old. Given the team’s needs in 2009 and beyond, I think you have to make that trade given the team’s needs going forward. They’re basically locked into three pitchers over the next 2-4 years. And Joba is much further along than Hughes. So basically that leaves Hughes and all the other pitching prospects fighting for one spot in the rotation and for the call up in case of injury. A full-time CF is worth more than any of that.
    That what frustrates me about Cashman. They have a lot of prospects clogging the 40-man who will never really get a shot. It’s time to think about moving some of them for pieces they actually need and before those prospects lose any value. Hughes is #1 on that list. Kemp is a really good fit.

    Rob January 14, 2009, 6:09 am
  • Well, there’s a reason why the “good” Yanks prospects are nearly all pitchers! Catcher aside, offense is easily found and replaceable in the market. Sure, it’ll cost cash, but not as necessary as pitching.
    Heck, even the Cameron rumours makes more sense, and makes sense for that reason, hitting can come and go! Over the past few years, we had Shef, Abreu, Matsui, etc, and they all produced, mostly. Hard to say that about the pitching..

    Lar January 14, 2009, 10:32 am
  • Catcher aside, offense is easily found and replaceable in the market.
    I’d extend that to CF and SS as well. That’s why the Sox and Yankees have been without for the last few years. Those positions are valuable exactly because they aren’t so easily replaceable.
    Cameron is an expensive, one-year stopgap (with horrid on-base numbers and far too many K’s). It delays the solution. Kemp may not stick long-term in CF, but if he can be had, especially if they re-sign Manny shifting Pierre to CF, then Hughes is a good place to start.

    Rob January 14, 2009, 11:16 am
  • It’s expensive, but do-able. I haven’t studied the future FA market though.
    But looking at all the pitchers that haven’t panned out (for us anyhow), either through FA or trade, Hughes is not so bad.
    Also, I thought the Yanks were still trying to trade one of Nady/Swisher, so I guess we’ll see what they do with that..

    Lar January 14, 2009, 11:26 am
  • By the way, I’m a fan of Nick Swisher’s patience, hopefully to offset some lost with Abreu and Giambi, who were always amongst the league leader in that..

    Lar January 14, 2009, 11:29 am
  • Yeah, Swisher is primed for a decent year. Word is they’d rather trade Nady. That’s the smart move. Still, if they can’t use him to upgrade CF or the bench (Chone Figgins?), then it would be silly to kill depth for another bullpen arm.

    Rob January 14, 2009, 11:40 am
  • why is Swisher primed for a decent year?

    Brad January 14, 2009, 3:04 pm
  • Kemp is a really good fit.
    If you’re LA, why would you trade a guy who is “already at his potential or closer to it” for a guy who “could” maybe someday reach his, even if Cashman throws in a bunch of never will be important type guys?

    Brad January 14, 2009, 3:08 pm
  • why is Swisher primed for a decent year?
    Two reasons, I think:
    1) BABIP in 2008 of .249 versus .275 in his career.
    2) Seeing pitches in the Yankee lineup will help more – pitchers will have to attack the weakest hitters and so that will give him more opportunities.
    If you’re LA, why would you trade a guy
    If they sign Manny (or Dunn), that’s four full-time outfielders (with Pierre, Ethier, and Kemp – not sure what to call Jones). Pierre would be expensive on the bench. Plus they need the pitching. There’s a legit argument to be made that Hughes can be a #5.

    Rob January 14, 2009, 3:36 pm
  • One note on Swisher – in 2008 he had the highest Pitches per PA of any batter, not just in 2008, but since ESPN started keeping track of the statistic. If nothing else, he wears pitchers out.

    AndrewYF January 14, 2009, 10:50 pm

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