General Red Sox

That Time of Year

The Red Sox rumors, they are a-flying, with most reports centering on Victor Martinez.

Sean McAdam, the best reporter on the Sox beat, says:

One baseball source said the Sox have been very aggressive in attempting to deal for San Diego first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, but have been rebuffed. Another source suggested the asking price on Cleveland catcher/first baseman Victor Martinez is, at least currently, too prohibitive.

That hasn't stopped Jon Heyman from digging up a source that says the Sox and Indians have been in talks "for weeks." Earlier in the week, Peter Gammons buried a nugget in his LaRoche story informing us the Sox tried and failed to get Martinez when Cleveland asked for Clay Buchholz.

Heyman knows Buchholz is not for sale, so he offers what appears to be simply his own speculation:

Assuming Buchholz is off limits, the Indians might seek a two-pitcher package from a group of Junichi Tazawa, Casey Kelly, Michael Bowden, Daniel Bard and some others — though the Indians prefer starters and Bard is a classic closer type and Bowden is viewed as a possible reliever. Bowden's stock actually seems to be falling a tad.

Martinez is something of a conundrum — as a catcher, he's one of the best hitters in the game; as a first baseman, where the Sox have their greatest need (assuming Mike Lowell is as done as he looks in the field, and Kevin Youkilis slides over to replace him), he's slightly above average. Is the upgrade to Youkilis at third worth the downgrade to Martinez at first?

Oh, and he's 30, which is significantly younger than Mike Lowell, but still 30, in a lineup where Youkilis, Jason Bay, J.D. Drew and David Ortiz are all over 30.

Gonzalez, of course, is the real prize — assuming the Padres are even inclined to give him up midseason. He also plays first, but he has an OPS+ of 152 right now, and he's just 27. Twenty-seven.

Will the Sox offer enough to land either of these players? Should they?

Edit: Oops. Never mind on Gonzalez. Maybe.


32 replies on “That Time of Year”

I’d love to know what the Sox could be offering to even think they have a shot on Gonzo. He’s effectively signed for 2010-11 for $5 million per. I can’t see any way to doesn’t start with Buchholz and Bard.
Martinez has always made some sense, and as a switch-hitter he could sub Lowell against righties and Ortiz against lefties. But there has to be some willingness to move him and I don’t think that’s there in Cleveland or else you would have already had him by now.
Nick Johnson still seems like the most likely candidate for you guys. Whether Washington moves him though is the open question.

You’re right, Rob. They’d essentially have to move every big prospect (or Papelbon…please!) they have for him. And even then, how much sense does it make.
If they get Nick Johnson, I think I’ll just be done with this year.
Martinez makes the most sense to me as well.

The other articles ive seen (for what they’re worth) say that the Padres have flat out turned down any offers for Gonzo. They clearly know what they have and I dont see them moving him unless they get the stars and the moon…

SD is such an odd situation because of the team’s financial troubles, new ownership, lousy outlook for the near future. Gonzalez is pretty clearly unhappy there, but the Padres also aren’t going to trade away their top draw — who is actually affordable — just because he’s not thrilled to pieces with playing for a losing team.
Still, if any team has the pieces to acquire him, the Sox do. I’m just not sure they would or should give up what it would require.
Also, I would expect the Padres to flat turn down offers for Gonzalez until very close to the deadline, which is probably the only time before the offseason they’d get an offer worth discussing.

As I note above, Heyman says the Pads have actually refused to discuss Gonzalez at all (as opposed to turning down offers). Still, one can hope, right?

I would give up whatever it takes to get him. he’s in a pitcher’s park now, can you imagine in Fenway?

Are there two teams who have made trades with each other involving impact players more than the Cards and Athletics? McGwire. Haren/Mulder. Now Holliday. I realize Billy Beane is at the center of a lot of these deals, but these two teams seem to have hooked up on some big ones.

You’d think, given the track record, that the Cards might stop dealing with Billy Beane.

You’d think, given the track record, that the Cards might stop dealing with Billy Beane.
Or everyone for that matter.

Martinez on the Sox seems like a very good fit, given that players like Varitek, Ortiz and Lowell could benefit from more rest. The net effect of having him rotate between first, catcher and DH would be positive.

I don’t see the Sox matching up with Cleveland and Martinez without giving up Buchholz. Sorry, but Cleveland is looking for stud pitchers in exchange for its rather cheap stud offensive player. Bowden, Tazawa are not studs, and they don’t combine to form a stud. Kelly is much too far away to be the centerpiece. Bard is a reliever. They probably don’t have much interest in Anderson, as LaPorta is already a better prospect. It’s got to be Buchholz.
As for A-Gon, the package would start with Buchholz, Anderson, Reddick and Bard. Start. The Padres have absolutely no reason to give him up for anything less. Remember the rule for blockbuster deals, if it doesn’t hurt, it’s not happening.

the package would start with Buchholz, Anderson, Reddick and Bard. Start.
I ask this sincerely: Has there been a trade recently in which a team gave up that much in talent for a superstar? My first instinct is to say no. We always overrate prospects when discussing plain-ole trades, then overestimate the market when the player is a superstar. That’s my impression, anyway.

See the Santana debate a couple of years ago here. The rule is that whenever a big-name player is traded the response from the jilted team’s fan is “how did (team b) get him for so little?”.

Does Beckett count? Not trying to troll, and it’s obviously easier to see how good Hanley is in retrospect..

Honestly, I’m just not sure the Sox have what it takes to get a guy like Gonzo, unless they were willing to trade ML-ready talent like Masterson and Delcarmen in addition to Buchholz. As an organization, the Sox are strong, but there’s no superstar-potential in the minors like Montero. And Gonzo requires an excellent return exactly because he’s so cheap and for two more years. If they don’t get something they want they could simply wait until the off-season and even next off-season. There’s no rush. The Pads may want to save money, but I’m sure they’d rather trade Peavey, who makes significantly more.
Martinez has always been a very good fit. But if the Sox weren’t going to meet the asking price in May, why would they now?
I think it’s helpful to distinguish guys who could be traded (Gonzo, V-Mart) from guys who should be traded (Nick the Stick). In the former case, the trading team is in control because they don’t have to make a move. In the latter, the trading team should be taking bids and make a deal with the best. If you think V-Mart is a good fit, Nick the Stick offers the same offense for significantly less cost.

“for significantly less cost”
depends what the Nats are asking for, doesn’t it?
As for the Beckett deal, I believe the Rangers thought they had Josh in return for Blalock, and the Fish backed out, went for Ramirez. Smart move, but at the time I don’t think many people thought Hanley would pan out quite so well. Not just in Soxland. My recollection of the CW was that the Sox made out.

“I ask this sincerely: Has there been a trade recently in which a team gave up that much in talent for a superstar?”
No, but then again when was the last time a hitter of Gonzo’s caliber and contract situation was traded?
That’s why it would take that much talent to get him, and that’s why it won’t happen.

“I ask this sincerely: Has there been a trade recently in which a team gave up that much in talent for a superstar?”
The Orioles got a ton in return for Bedard. Adam Jones is already very good and could very well be a superstar soon.

depends what the Nats are asking for, doesn’t it?
Sure. But they have a clear incentive to move him apart from money. I’m not even sure if they’d get one draft pick when he walks.
Gonzo and V-Mart are very, very different. Not only are they both ridiculously cheap, they are for 2010 as well. If neither the Indians or Pads make a move, they’ve lost very little if anything.
My recollection of the CW was that the Sox made out.
I agree, but I think that’s the case with almost every prospect for star deal. Those dishing the CW will tend to overvalue the major league return because they just don’t know much about prospects. For me, this is true of almost every team with these deals. I have to do research to get a sense of the prospects. Even then, like with Holliday, I’m mostly clueless.
Does anyone know, something I’ve been wondering: What was Theo’s role in the Beckett trade? Did he approve or was he not involved? Given the Sox reluctance to trade almost anything of value since, I’m going to guess the former. Hanley was in Baseball America’s top 100 for three years prior to the deal including #10 before the 2005 season.

The Orioles got a ton in return for Bedard. Adam Jones is already very good and could very well be a superstar soon.
And Bedard isn’t even a superstar! Horrible trade by a horrid GM.
The other trade that comes to mind is Colon.
This is actually a pretty decent list. Some of you won’t like the inclusion of the Beckett trade, but he’s right.

Sports Guy going hard on trading Buchholz in latest podcast. I’ve got to say it’s a tough call. Victor Martinez is a really great fit. If you’re going to trade Buchholz for anyone, at any time, Martinez would seem to be it.
Still, Nick Johnson gives the same bat and I don’t see how the Nationals can hold out for Buccholz-type talent and get it. We’ll see.

Supposedly (MLBTR) the Rays are in on Martinez too. In that case, I think the Sox have to make a call about whether they’re willing to miss the playoffs. Martinez fills the Rays’ one clear hole and they could make a real run with him. And they certainly have the talent to move.

I don’t give up Buchholz for Martinez. I would for Gonzalez, but not for Martinez.
The Beckett-Hanley trade is a win-win in which the Sox gave up more value than they received, but won a World Series with what they received. I’d make the trade again, and most Sox fans would, I think. It defies the neat little “winner-loser” labels pundits try to attach to deals. Crasnick treats it well. I’d give Florida an A on the deal, as well. I’d also give Boston an A.

Things pretty quiet in Yankee trade-rumor land other than some chatter about going after Cliff Lee. With Wang seemingly done for the year and Joba getting to within 5-7 games of the upper limit they likely set for him this year, they are going to have to shore up the back of their rotation. They may look to swap Joba and Hughes out, but doing so plus relying on Mitre seems too iffy for a team that has positioned itself to go into October strong. Very curious to see how they manage this, the Joba-transition and the likely Hughes-transition.

I don’t give up Buchholz for Martinez.
If that means missing the playoffs? What about most SFs? Would they agree?
IronHorse –
I bet the one move is to get a decent reliever. Rumors has them in on Scott Downs and Chad Qualls. I can deal with it if they give up Grade B prospects like Dunn and Nova.

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