General Red Sox General Yankees The Wire

Mind Games

There's never a dull, administrative moment in this rivalry! Buster Olney reports:

When the New York Mets and Red Sox worked out a trade for left-handed reliever Billy Wagner earlier this week, Chris Carter, an outfielder-first baseman currently playing for Triple-A Pawtucket, became part of the deal as a player to be named headed to Boston, sources said. In preparation for the deal, the Red Sox placed Carter on waivers, with the intention of moving him on to the Mets.

But the Yankees, sources said, placed a claim on Carter — perhaps to create some 40-man roster discomfort for the Red Sox. In order to complete the Wagner trade, the Red Sox are now pulling Carter back from waivers, and for the rest of the year they must carry him on their 40-man roster.

And Boston may struggle to squeeze bodies onto its 40-man roster in September.

Meanwhile the Yanks are also interested in Brad Penny. The chances of him passing through waivers to the Yanks are slim since a few other teams seem interested. New York sees Penny as an improvement on their current fifth starter Junichi Tazawa (zing!) Sergio Mitre.

82 replies on “Mind Games”

Someone clue me in, I am having a hard time understanding this. Could the Mets have claimed Carter, the Sox just let him go to the Mets? The Yankees have last shot, best record in baseball. Or does Carter first go through the AL teams, and then to the NL for waiver claim? I don’t understand this, I have to be missing something. Why wouldn’t the Mets have claimed Carter off the waivers from the Sox prior to the Yanks doing so? What are the waiver rules for players going in return?
Someone help me out here.

Ok, so AL teams get first crack.
I can’t see any good, decent reason why the Yankees would have done this. It doesn’t hurt the Sox, if they make the playoffs they won’t have to worry about Carter. And on September 1st they expand to 40 men anyhow, so he won’t be a factor, that is just not impactful, I don’t buy it – Olney should know better.
The person that this punishes is Carter, who probably would have spent a month+ in the Majors and gotten a chance with to play at the ML level for a more extended period of time, and he’d have had no impact on the Yankees. Really, this isn’t gamesmanship, it’s just a dick move the more I think about it. It has no impact on the Mets or Red Sox whatsoever. The Yankees did this because they could, there is no other good reason.

So we have to leave Carter on our 40-man roster? This seems like it certainly hinders the Sox a little bit; not a lot, but enough that it’s annoying. Keep in mind that the Sox guaranteed Paul Byrd a spot on the 40-man roster as part of his contract.
I do agree with SF that this really sucks for Carter. Though wouldn’t it be funny if Baldelli or Drew gets seriously injured, and we’re forced to use Carter, and he does exceptionally well? If that happened in, say, the ALCS it would be ridiculously ironic.
That’s assuming way too much though.

Yeah, the only reason they did it was to make the Sox keep him on their 40-man roster. I don’t know much about the state of the Sox’s 40-man, but I imagine they had some kind of plan for Carter’s spot. I guess you could call it a dick move, but I can only imagine the laudation Theo would get if he did it to the Yankees.

I guess the order teams have to pick someone up from waivers is the reverse of last season win-loss record. So the Nats or Pirates would have first choice,an it would pass on until the Phillies claim him or not. Just gotta check it.
And about the other part that Yanks are interested on Penny?I don’t think he’ll sign with an AL team,he’s got a better chance pitching to NL,and I think we got our hands full with Joba’s inconsistent starts.

I agree with Andrew. It seems mildly disruptive to the Sox at a time when they are entering the homestretch of the season. And it simultaneously screws their cross-town rival. How is that anything but a good and proper move by their division rivals? I would have found it more troubling if the Yankees considered this action but then decided to pass it up.
And the sympathy for Carter is frankly misplaced and a little silly. Let’s not pretend that in the place that Carter might have played for the NYM no one else is going to get a shot. On the contrary, someone else will get to play. That’s the nature of this business. Would we have wept for the Mets prospect who didn’t get called up because the big-budget Sox were able to pull a multi-million dollar rental off for 2 months but only by throwing Carter in the mix so that he blocked some other up and coming talent? Seriously. I also think Theo would be admired for doing exactly the same thing.

I guess you could call it a dick move, but I can only imagine the laudation Theo would get if he did it to the Yankees.
It’s a little early in day to break out Godwin’s Law, isn’t it?
I think it certainly effects the Sox 40-man plans, especially considering Byrd is guaranteed a spot. It cost the Yankees nothing and may absolutely hinder the Sox a bit.
Regarding Penny: supposedly one condition of his release is that he wouldn’t sign with an AL club. It makes sense too, considering he’s going to want to bring his ERA down a bit to get a good 2010 contract.

I dont see how this could be viewed as anything but a smart move for the yankees to make. It ties up a roster position for the remainder of the season for the sox. Thats one less pitcher for the stretch run. It may not be a huge difference but every little bit can help. Im sure that theo would have done the same (and likely has in the past) if the tables were reversed. Frankly, I think its a bad loophole in the system that the trade can actually go through by using the player to be named later. This kind of defeats the whole purpose of the waiver system anyway. This claim should have blocked the deal IMO.

The Sox are currently using 38 spots on the 40-man, one of which will go to Daisuke when he returns, the other of which can go to Byrd, assuming he replaces Tazawa.
So how does this hurt the Sox again? They now won’t be able to make Ryan Kalish the seventh or eighth outfielder on their roster? They might be forced to DFA the great Brian Anderson or the even greater Hunter Jones to add someone else?

…assuming Byrd replaces Tazawa on the 25-man. Obviously, Tazawa would stay on the 40-man.

come on Paul. Is your argument really that the Sox don’t mind at all having another team determine who takes one of their 40-man roster spots?
Of course, if you are right and they didn’t have plans for anyone else to get called up – you know, someone who might actually play for them next year and so they want to give him ML experience, then this is not at all an annoyance to them and therefore not at all a d*+k-move as some are claiming here. On the contrary, it sure is charitable of the Yanks to protect the slot of that NYM prospect who will now get called-up to fill the slot that Carter would have otherwise taken. Maybe someon should give Cash a humanitarian award.
I swear, sometimes the reticence to credit anything done by one’s division rival gets downright silly.

This is a move that is not done. When we discuss all the “unspoken rules” (and personally I am not a huge fan of relying on unspoken rules) this one will come up.
This IS about Carter, it’s not about the Sox. This move can’t possibly impact the Sox’ chances at the wild card: it’s a fringe player at the very fringes of the organization during a month in which they will be playing their best players. This is not a depth-changing move, either, with the arrival of Martinez and the flexibility accorded by the 40 man expansion. This really DOES only hurt Carter. If it hurt the Sox I might buy into the gamesmanship, but I just don’t see it.
Never mind that the Sox aren’t really competing for the division, either, so this has nothing to do with the competition for the division. I don’t think Theo gives two shits that the Yankees claimed Carter (nor do I, from a baseball-in-Boston standpoint). But it does suck for Carter, and he really is the only one truly affected by this. This may sound inconsequential, but wouldn’t Carter add service time and draw a ML salary for the 40 days he’d be up? This is valuable to a player of his type.
This move is pretty rotten, I think. If it had baseball impact I might be more inclined to say “smart move, Yankees”, but it really doesn’t and won’t.

I should clarify – Carter will likely rot on the Sox’ bench now, not play regularly. He’ll get his money and service, if the Sox add him to the September call-ups.
But I can’t help but think this move really stinks for Carter.

And let me add this: this move points out the absolute IDIOCY of September roster expansion, which I detest. 130 games at a small roster and then suddenly managers have 40 guys to choose from, during the pennant stretch? Talk about altering the calculus and the dynamics of a season for no good reason. Roster expansion is illogical, a result of the CBA and the MLBPA’s power.

It does have a baseball impact. The Sox are now forced to make a different move than the one they had planned on. It may seem minimal, but maybe it’s not. You don’t know. And if it hurts the Sox, a division rival, then it helps the Yankees. It’s just good business. It’s not an unwritten rule just because you speculate that it is. Come on, SF.
And like IH said, how come you’re not thinking of the prospect that would be screwed out of major league service time on the Mets side? Chris Carter already got his callup. Let another player have a chance. What a rotten move.

I have 3 problems with your argument SF:
1. There are 2 reasons guys get called up in Sept as you know: a. To help a team’s playoff push, b. To break in prospects who are still a year away by getting them some late-season MLB experience. Your argument only addresses the first (saying that no one who would have filled the slot that Carter will now occupy on the 40-man roster could possibly have helped the Sox playoff push – itself a highly questionable assertion in my opinion…I really don’t see how you can be so certain of this) and it doesn’t even address the latter – the Sox may very well have wanted to get someone who won’t help them this year some experience in prepping for the 2010 season.
No matter how you cut it, the Sox made a determination that Carter would go to the Mets and they would bring someone other than him up for the 40-man spot. Now they have to take Carter in that spot instead. I really don’t see how you can possibly argue that this doesn’t hurt the Sox even a little bit by messing with their plans – whether they be plans for Sept ’09 or plans working toward 2010 or both.
2. Even if you insist that the Sox are not at all affected in any way, the sentiment for Carter is almost bizarre in light of the fact that for every Carter who is not called up there is someone else who will be. Seriously. Every time you feel terrible for him you can cheer yourself up by imagining the elation felt by the Mets minor leaguer who gets called into his manager’s office and being told he is going to the Show. Or the borderline guy already in the Bigs who gets a few more weeks to prove himself.
I am not trying to be a jerk, but I really feel like you are trying to both claim the Sox are not at all affected by a move that is also somehow really “rotten”. And I think this is entirely tainted by which team you root for.
3. You have been insistent lately that the Sox are not in the division race. That’s your prerogative. But if Brian Cashman took that view, I think it would be an absolute derelection of his responsibilities as GM. 6 games back with more than a month to go??? You really think Cashman should act as if Boston is no longer in the picture? There are virtually ANNUAL examples of at least one team making up a deficit of that (or more) of a size and often seasons of multiple teams doing so. For the record, I don’t think Boston will do it. And I understand you as a Sox fan not wanting to keep that hope alive for your own psychological health. I’ve been there too. But the GM of the Yankees better not be thinking that way or he would be doing a terrible job.

I don’t detest 40-man rosters. It’s exciting for the fans to see prospects you wouldn’t normally see. It’s good for the team, to give their players cups of coffee, and it’s good for the players to get those cups of coffee. Remember that it’s up to the team which players to call up. They don’t have to call up anyone. Poll every single person in baseball and there will likely be a unanimous support of 40-man rosters. I think you woke up on the wrong side of the logic bed this morning, SF.

is almost bizarre
Not a good choice of words, IH, way over the top. How is feeling bad for a guy who has been toiling in the minors, who had, perhaps, a chance to get regular action in the majors, “almost bizarre”?
So much for being a human being with sentiment. This isn’t a video game.
We disagree on the baseball impact. I think this is a non-impact move (you don’t, you could be right, we disagree, that’s all) that hurts a guy in the short term, and I think that stinks for Carter. Wow, controversial.
And I do still hate 40 man roster expansion, it just makes no sense for the final month of the season to be played in a different roster dynamic than the rest. Why not make the 40 man roster available for the playoffs? Any good argument against that? Why September and not after?

SF, I disagree, it makes perfect sense to make September the 40-man period. Teams have a choice. If you’re in a pennant run, yeah, you probably keep your team intact, maybe add another long man or two to keep your best bullpen arms fresh. Maybe a pinch-runner. Nothing more than that.
But if you’re completely out of it, like many teams are come September, you love to have the option of playing your young guys in preparation for 2010. It’s a perfect situation.
Again, it’s completely up to the teams which players to add, if any.

So why not extend it into October for the teams that make the playoffs, Andrew? What’s the rationale?

I have always seen the roster expansion as a way to give non-contending teams a chance to have more of their prospects compete at the MLB level, as opposed to helping a playoff team.

Teams as a rule do not call up all 40 players on the roster Sept. 1 because that’s simply not practical, so the chances that this move actually affects the Sox in rgards to whom they promote is basically nil.
I’m irritated by this move precisely BECAUSE it has no bearing. If it were to significantly — or even marginally — affect the Sox, I’d be a lot more understanding of why it’s done. Instead, it really does look like a move done just to try to dig at the Sox; otherwise, it’s irrational, a pot shot done in the hopes that in some strange series of circumstances the Sox will be inconvenienced. It’s telling, I think, that the last team to do this to the Sox was the abominally incompetent and petty previous management of the Baltimore Orioles when the Sox tried trading Adam Stern for Javy Lopez (although maybe they’ve been misunderstood and were actually trying to do the Sox a favor).
Let me put it this way: If the Sox’ season rides on how they can best fill the 40th spot on their roster, Chris Carter filling it is the least of their problems.

‘So why not extend it into October for the teams that make the playoffs, Andrew? What’s the rationale?’
The same reason why teams don’t have 40-man rosters the entire season.

Paul – it’s not irrational. Ask yourself, does it harm the Yankees in any way? I don’t think so. Worst case, they get Chris Carter and have to waive, say, Kevin Cash. So no, it doesn’t harm the Yankees.
Can it harm the Red Sox? That’s the x-factor. We don’t know if it does or not. But if there’s the smallest chance that it messes them up even a little, then the GM of the Yankees, a division rival to the Red Sox, wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t take that chance.

You wonder why I keep stopping by. This “controversy” is hilarious, especially the crocodile tears for Carter. And of course Theo would toasted if the roles were reversed. Plus, I have little doubt this has happened many times before but we didn’t hear about. Cashman et al are always aggressive with waiver claims. And damn well they should be, as IH notes.
Also, anyone pause to think that the Yankees might actually have a place for Carter? He’s young and left-handed and they have no organizational depth at 1B if something were to happen to Teixeira. I know, crazy thought, that this move might be as transparent as it seems. The Sox weren’t going to give him away, but if they need the 40-man slot that’s a choice they’ll now have to make.

‘So why not extend it into October for the teams that make the playoffs, Andrew? What’s the rationale?’
The same reason why teams don’t have 40-man rosters the entire season.

I have no idea what this explains. Can you try again?
Why, if the minor league season is over and players are available, doesn’t MLB extend the roster expansion into the post-season? Please, honestly, I want to know your thoughts on why this doesn’t happen.

SF I dont understand why the yankees should give two flying f*cks about Chris Carter’s development. Im sure that when the sox and every other team make moves they think about the development of minor league players on other teams. Where was the indignation about whoever the SS prospect was for the Marlins when the received Hanley Ramirez? His development and chances of reaching the majors was certainly hampered by that trade with the Sox. I know its a reaching example but seriously teams need to worry about their major league team first and their own farm system. Beyond that its all just business.
Paul is right in that this move likely wont have major implications but in this game any advantage that a team can get over its rival they should take advantage of. I can absolutely assure that the sox have been making claims for the past month on players to block the yankees from trading for a player that could help them. As they should be just as the yankees should have done this. I really do feel that the arguments that SF and Paul are putting forth here are influence by your allegiances. There is no reason to think the sox wouldnt have done the same thing in the reverse situation.

“Why, if the minor league season is over and players are available, doesn’t MLB extend the roster expansion into the post-season? Please, honestly, I want to know your thoughts on why this doesn’t happen.”
Because a typical active roster is 25 players. If they increased the typical roster size to 27, then it would be 27 in the postseason. There’s no real reason to have a roster size bigger than that in the postseason, as the last man on the bench or the last man in the bullpen typically sees no time or at most a few appearances. However, there is every reason to allow teams to have 40-man active rosters in September, for the reasons already listed.
I suppose it wouldn’t be terrible to have 40-man rosters for the postseason, but honestly, what team would bother?
I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone come out against 40-man rosters. It’s a win all around, for everyone. And a curious position for you to take considering your sudden concern for Chris Carter’s playing time.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone come out against 40-man rosters.”
Im in full agreement with SF on this one. I hate that the most important games of the year are played with different rules. To me the effect manifests itself more with pitching than with the hitting. Teams can use like 9 pitchers in one game with very little effect down the road.

Because a typical active roster is 25 players.
Aha! So why does it go to 40, why play one anomalous month of the season, in particular the final month of the season, then jettison this for the playoffs?
It’s an anomaly.
here’s no real reason to have a roster size bigger than that in the postseason, as the last man on the bench or the last man in the bullpen typically sees no time or at most a few appearances.
This is patently untrue. I recall an ALCS in 2004, where pitchers were stretched to the breaking point. Wouldn’t a longer roster have made a difference?

Sometimes they’re the most important games, but most of them are the least important games. Different rules? What, does it take 5 balls to get a walk?
I think we can trust that teams in the heat of a pennant race will absolutely use their best players, and those are typically the guys who were already on their 25-man roster. The teams who are out of it or the teams who are so far ahead don’t take the games all that seriously, and can take a look at younger players or prospects. This has the affect of rewarding the teams with the best records, which is a good thing, and helping teams with the best records try and be better the next year.
Rules change all the time during the regular season. Why not come out against the trade deadline? Why should teams operate under a different set of trade rules after July 31st?
There’s every reason for 40-man active rosters in September. There’s so much more positive than negative there.

I think we can trust that teams in the heat of a pennant race will absolutely use their best players, and those are typically the guys who were already on their 25-man roster.
So then why block Chris Carter? ;-)

It’s not an anomaly. It provides some great excitement and several positives to the major league season, meanwhile it minimally affects the quality of the actually meaningful games. It also fits perfectly with the gap between the end of the minor league season and the fall-ball and winter-ball leagues.
Seriously. There’s so many more positives than negatives.

I really do feel that the arguments that SF and Paul are putting forth here are influence by your allegiances.
No, they aren’t. You can not believe that if you want, but this just seems shitty for Carter, and inconsequential for the Yanks and Sox.
That’s it. We can disagree on the perceived potential consequences, baseball-wise, that’s the argument.

“Almost bizarre” is not even close to over the top SF abd you are now trying to shif the debate simply because your argument is pretty indefensible. “Bizarre” means strikingly unconventional or far-fetched. The “almost” was doin you a favor and trying to be polite. Feel free to retract it now that you’ve decided to go in this school-master-scoldin direction which is a very tiresome act frankly.
As to the argunent: don’t pretend that I am calling it bizarre to “care” about Carter as a prospect, a human being, whatever. What I explicitly and now repeatedly – along with others here – am pointing to as bizarre is the degree of care you exhibit for his losing a MLB spot for 1 month while refusin to acknowledge that someone in exactly his kind of circumstance will now get the same as a result. You ignore that argument completely and I believe you do so because you have no good reply to it. You instead turn to scolding me for my choice of words which become all the more spot-n the more you twist into a proverbial pretzel to tilt at any windmill with a Yankee logo on it.
You keep trying to turn this entire issue into something that ONLY affects Carter. I argue that it also affects two other parties: 1. The Sox – probably only a little, but certainly a little and 2. The guy who gets to play in the spot Carter loses out on.
Neither is all that debatable frankly. Say what you want. I can’t recall a time you have ever acknowledged fault in any of your arguments and I don’t expect you to now. But your argument this morning is ridiculously weak and has nothing to do with analysis and everything to do with being a fan of the Sox.

We can also disagree on whether or not it was a ‘dick move’, like you stated above.
It wasn’t.

“This is a move that is not done. When we discuss all the “unspoken rules” (and personally I am not a huge fan of relying on unspoken rules) this one will come up.”
Ive never heard of an unspoken rule about this can you point to an instance where someone has mentioned such an agreement?

Okay, it is an anomaly. So is the Wild Card. So are expansions. So is the trade deadline. So is the draft. So is free agency…

LOL at the idea that this was some sort of underhanded eeeeevil Yankee thing. It’s a (very minor) smart mess with your rival thing. Theo does this, and it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. Boo hoo.

while refusin to acknowledge that someone in exactly his kind of circumstance will now get the same as a result.
I am not “refusing to acknowledge” this. This may well be true. But the subject of this is Carter, the player who would have been afforded that opportunity. So for Carter, this stinks.

Okay, it is an anomaly. So is the Wild Card. So are expansions. So is the trade deadline. So is the draft. So is free agency…
Well, some of those have an impact on the run of play, some don’t. And trade deadlines aren’t “anomalies”, there have always been trades, though the deadline may be arbitrary, or somwehat controlled arbitrariness.
I understand the rationale behind roster expansion, in particular for teams without playoff hopes; this is the most compelling thing for me. But it’s not compelling enough for me to like the roster expansion itself as a concept. It’s not going anywhere, so my distaste for it is something that I will probably always have to live with.

So is the Wild Card. So are expansions. So is the trade deadline. So is the draft. So is free agency…
I don’t have a dog in the fight over the 40-man. I can’t say I’ve ever given it much thought, and I did enjoy, say, Nomar Garciaparra’s call-up when the Sox were out of it in 1996.
But, that said, this is simply not an accurate equivalency. SF is obviously saying that baseball plays by a certain set of rules for roster construction from April through August, then tosses them out the window for September, then goes back to them for October (though these also are an anomaly in that they are actually stricter than the April-August rules).
That is in no way equivalent to the draft, free agency or the Wild Card, which, though anomalous at their inception, were permanent in nature and do not wildly change their rules during the course of a given year. Now if every five years, they decided that teams would draft in reverse order, that would be an appropriate equivalent. Expansions are a little closer, but given the controversy that surrounds the expansion process — and the fact that it’s not done every year, or even every decade — I can’t go with this one either.

Theo does this, and it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. Boo hoo.
I hear Sarah Palin’s writing a Facebook post along these lines for her next big intelligent line of argument.

There’s always been roster expansion, too.
There’s an article here by a guy who thinks roster expansion is the worst thing ever.
Thing is, I disagree with his points. Eliminates in-game ‘hard choices’, overemphasis on small-ball? Really? Lengthens games? Who cares? Exacerbates small-market vs. big-market? I don’t think anyone values $300,000 over getting a sneak preview of their prospects while adding no service time.
Especially about the ‘unfair advantage’ to those with big divisional leads. That’s a great, great thing. The postseason is a crapshoot where the best team wins 1 out of 8 times, but we make the odds better by benefiting the best teams with advantages like this.

And again, baseball works with a specific rule of trading from November through July, then throws them out for even less good reason. Should we get rid of that too?

As someone who doesn’t care about either argument, I’d like to suggest that we all take things down a notch. Both sides sound really stupid right now, so how about we talk about something else?
I buy into the theory that the Yankees claimed Carter in order to increase their OF/1B depth.

I am not reading the entire thread, so if it was answered I apologize, but I saw SF’s question above. SF it’s my understanding that you can only trade players (on the 40 man roster) that have cleared waivers.

Should we get rid of that too?
Actually, I’ve always been mystified as to the purpose of the trade deadline. Is it just to keep teams who are clearly out of it on Sept. 15 from fire-selling to a contender looking to reload from the playoffs? I can see that happening…

this has been done in the past, and will be done in the future Tampa Bay did it to the sox a couple years ago iirc with a ptbnl.
I’m sure the sox did it to others as well (although it would be harder for sox and yanks to do something like this given their records over the last decade)…
It’s all part of the games played, wether on the field, in the front office, or by free agents and their representatives

Anyway, I have no doubt that my irritation at the Yankees’ move says more about me as a person and my ability to handle annoyances than the Yankees as an organization, but that doesn’t change the fact that it really is pretty much a pointless move on the Yankees’ part. Hey, more power to them.
But this whole, “You’d be praising Theo” thing has got to stop. It’s lazy and, really, beneath the intelligence of several of the people who have used it in this thread.

Trying to waive Carter was a shrewd move by Theo as well. By waiving Carter he was not only going to be able to trade him to the Mets, but in turn free up a spot on the 40 man roster. Like I said above the only way Carter could have been traded (because he was already on the 40 man) was if he cleared waivers. So Theo was taking a risk as well. I would venture to say this (trying to waive members of the 40 man roster and having it blocked) is probably done more than we are made aware of. I am sure that contending GM’s keep a close eye on other contenders trying to free up space on their 40 man. The Yankees (Cashman) knew the Sox were trading/had traded for Wagner and that he required a 40 man spot, so Cashman went ahead and made it a more difficult move for him. Eventually it was done, but Cashman made him take a round about way to get there. Claiming him means nothing, they don’t even have to negotiate a trade if they don’t want to, but once he’s claimed, he’s claimed, he would just return to his team. It’s win/win for the Yankees. In the end they forced/pushed/influenced them to possibly waive Penny instead. Think of Penny as you wish, but he has more value than Carter come playoff time. Sure the move sucks for Carter and as a coach and a fan of the players I feel for him, but overall this was a well played move by Cashman short term.

“In the end they forced/pushed/influenced them to possibly waive Penny instead.”
I think this is the exact reason this isnt a pointless move. I dont think that SF and Paul are giving enough credit to the fact that even a slight potential advantage that can be gained at absolutely no cost is worth doing.

Dr. Nick. Scheming from the far side of the world, dropping what seemed a gentle, succulent tropical fruit basket on our doorstep to entertain us on a lazy late summer Friday. But when the wrapping paper is pulled back, BEES! A nest of angry, genetically-enhanced super bees, crafted in his island lair and lobbed like a bomb into the middle of our formerly peaceful rivalry. Well played, sir. We’ll be watching you.

Ok, so I have actually been somewhat convinced by the groundswell of comments here. I certainly don’t think, having processed the information, that this was a “dick move” by the Yankees, though it results in a tough scenario for a player who had a real opportunity in front of him. Poor choice of words. It wasn’t personal, this is business. 100% correct, whoever said that above.
But I do stand by my sense that this move is of barely any consequence in the end, and the guy it hurts most is Carter, and it is hard not to feel for the guy. And my thoughts on the 40 man roster aren’t going to change, but that’s a separate (and interesting) discussion, I think.

If Olney’s reporting is accurate, sure it pisses me off – because I’m a Red Sox fan and because this could present an obstacle to the Red Sox. And because it could deny Chris Carter playing time. (Yes, it potentially is a shame for him, although it could benefit someone else. This kid can hit and could finally blossom.)
All of that said, all’s fair in love and war. If it helps you and potentially hampers someone else, and, of course, if the rules allow it, do it. Anything to gain an advantage, even if that advantage is only perceived.

In the end they forced/pushed/influenced them to possibly waive Penny instead.
Even with the large number of qualifiers in this sentence, there aren’t enough. This is speculation only, and it ignores a pretty big fact: That the Sox released Penny because he requested that they do so.
I see what you’re saying: That maybe the Sox were hoping to replace Carter with Wagner, and instead went with Penny, but if Penny had any value to the Sox, they could easily have waived Hunter Jones first, especially given that Jones is a fringe lefty reliever and now has zero role on the team with Wagner’s arrival.

You are right Paul, it is speculation, but most of what we discuss here is just that. It’s our ideas and thoughts of why or how something went down. I am certainly not above admitting that my ideas could be 100% off base or wrong.
I will say this though…the Sox waived Penny (and he was claimed by the Yankees, motivation not known) earlier this month. With that I am sure came a discussion about where he fit into their (Sox) plans as they make a push towards the playoffs. So he probably “requested” a release once this was made known to him. If he was still in the Sox plans, there was zero way he would have had that request granted.
Who knows if the Sox view releasing Penny as a loss, but on paper regardless of his ERA, record, etc…I think it’s more of a loss than Chris Carter would have been being that the Sox have 4 first baseman on their roster, all significantly better than Carter.

I’m not aware that the Yankees were the claiming team when Penny was placed on waivers after the trade deadline. I really doubt that, given the reported interest of teams like Minnesota, who would have had first crack.
At any rate, it did become clear that he had no place in Boston — right about the time that he was pushed to the pen for Tim Wakefield, and then Wakefield went out and delivered a sterling post-DL performance. There was no one else on the 25-man roster as expendible as Penny at that time, and the only way to remove him from the 25-man involved removing him from the 40-man.
The key here is the 25-man. With Wagner coming on board, Carter may have been seen as the man to kick off the 40-man, but who would Wagner replace on the 25-man? Well, the only pitcher who just lost his job: Penny. So I just don’t see the answer as ever having been anyone other than Penny, regardless of whether Carter was claimed by the Yankees.

This is slightly off topic, but relates to an earlier question about the stakes of the Wagner deal. SF had thought there was some way that the Sox could walk away if they didn’t like the arbitrator’s decision. Turns out he was closer to being right than I expected. In his column today, Tom Verducci writes:
“Wagner has the right to accept an arbitration offer after the season from Boston, but it’s not without some risk. Salaries established through arbitration are not guaranteed, so Boston theoretically could cut him in spring training if they don’t like the way he’s throwing and be on the hook only for some termination pay, not what could be a $9 million arbitration award.
I did not know that arbitration contracts were non-guaranteed. Very interesting. Whole article is at, though most of it’s not about this.

“The Post reported that the Yankees have an interest. The Yankees claimed Penny off trade waivers earlier this month, but that could have been a blocking move.”
-Pete Abe
“3:37pm: The Yankees claimed Brad Penny earlier in August, only to see the Red Sox pull him back, according to’s Buster Olney.”

Re: The arbitration stuff from Verducci.
This rings a faint bell with me. Didn’t the Sox waive someone who won arbitration some years back? I seem to recall a player who won in arbitration but then was cut because the team didn’t want to pay that amount. I know this happened, but for the life of me I can’t remember who it was. Maybe it was a Patriots or Bruins player? … Theo’s never had a player go to arbitration.
Stupid too much beer …

I believe what you are thinking of was a hypothetical situation that Varitek could have found himself in this off-season. I dont remember the specifics but i do recall one of his concerns was about being non-tendered…maybe?

Kazmir? As in, SCOTT Kazmir?
How the hell did that happen? Wouldn’t he have to pass waivers or something? I’m confused.

Apparently, he did pass through waivers, Ath (he’s still owed $20 million, I believe, so it’s not that surprising). But it’s now being reported that the deal fell threw:
So, who knows.

Read an article this morning and it said the claim was made in order to complicate things for Byrd. He has to be called up 9/1 it’s part of his contract. Apparently the Yankees were privy to this early on because they to negotiated with Byrd.

Oh, Paul Byrd. That actually makes a little more sense. I’d forgotten about him. Still, I won’t weep if Hunter Jones or Brian Anderson get DFA instead of Chris Carter being immediately traded.

Leave a Reply