Trade Preview Extravaganza 2009

Almost two months of the season have passed and people’s minds and thoughts inevitably turn towards what can be done to improve the team. I’ve heard some whoppers out there, like trading away our top 4 prospects to get Hanley Ramirez back. Uh, no. But here’s a more realistic look at what is brewing:

Sox turned down Nick Johnson for Manny Delcarmen

Washington has made it no secret they would like to unload some veteran contracts, and Johnson is having a good year so far. But the Sox are not interested in a guy who is injury-prone and has showed diminished power. His OBP is great, but he’s not the one we’re looking for (Sox Therapy disagrees). MDC’s agent said that this proposal was “immediately shot down”. Plus, Manny’s a local boy and wants to stick around. Not to say he won’t be traded, but this wasn’t nearly enough for the Red Sox to bite. The Nationals bullpen has been a mess, and they want Delcarmen to close games for them.

Brad Penny WILL be traded

Penny has built up quite a bit of value, and as many as six teams have already inquired about him. Clay Buchholz and Michael Bowden are tearing up Triple-A, and according to John Smoltz’s deal, he must be activated by June 19th, or he can opt out. You do the math.

The question for me is whether one of Buchholz, Bowden, Justin Masterson or Daniel Bard will have to be traded.

Some interesting players who might be available

Oakland, clearly not ready yet, may have to trade Matt Holliday at the deadline. Unfortunately for them, Holliday’s performance so far has not met expectations. That could mean the asking price also has to drop.

Seattle has decided to sell, and topping the list of players to consider is Erik Bedard, former Red Sox slayer. If we weren’t so overloaded in the rotation already, I’d like that move.

If it’s a matter of finding a short-term replacement for David Ortiz, the Cubs are overloaded with two talented 1B/OF guys who can’t get any playing time, Micah Hoffpauir and Jake Fox. And don’t forget Chris Carter down at Pawtucket, a .303/.371/.491 hitter in 4 Triple-A seasons, who I think deserves to be up here right now.

Other rumors

St. Louis is shopping shortstop Khalil Greene, who has a reputation as a good fielding shortstop and is hitting .200/.287/.295. He has shown much better plate discipline, but his defense has been off the charts (in the wrong direction). He’s posted -3.8 UZR runs in just 29 games, showing barely average range and committing 7 errors. We already have Julio Lugo, thank you. I’ll pass.

There have been a couple of people saying the Red Sox were scouting Jeff Francoeur. Say what? The same Francoeur who drew 23 walks his first full season? The guy who’s hitting .247/.269/.346? I doubt that, as does David Pinto. Perhaps they’re looking at as a potentially undervalued player, but he’s not a fit at DH or anywhere else, so far as I see. He has been a good fielder in the past, so maybe they want him as a right-handed backup for J.D. Drew?

Looking ahead

Joe Mauer has electrified baseball the past few weeks, and if he was seen as a top catching free agent in a couple of years, now he’s Carlton Fisk in his prime. Nick Cafardo wants to spend $200M to sign him up long-term. I agree that Mauer is the most exciting young catcher out there, and there’s no one like him in all of baseball, but that contract would be a mistake. First of all, the recent HR numbers are likely an illusion, and secondly, catchers don’t tend to last as long as other position players. Signing Mauer to a 10-year deal would be foolhardy, and I don’t think the Sox would do it.


4 Responses to Trade Preview Extravaganza 2009

  1. Pat says:

    I’ve been wanting our team to improve its defense, primarily on the left side. I think it would go a long way. I really like your idea to get another fielder in left, and put Bay in the DH spot.

    Better defense in left, paired with replacing Ortiz’s .189/.291/.290 line (sorry David) would go a long way.

    I’ll take Chris Carter as that guy.

    As for SS, I have to patiently wait for Lowrie.

  2. Pat says:

    Basically I’m saying I would be fine getting a prospect for Penny, rather than an impact player.

    Our depth is strong enough.

  3. redsoxtalk says:

    Looking at potential trade candidates, I think 30-year old Rick Ankiel could be an intriguing option as well. At .244/.320/.395 with 7.5% walks and 24.5% strikeouts, he’s not exactly a great hitter. However, he is undervalued, underutilized and has really good power potential (.210 ISO lifetime, 25 HR in 413 AB last year). He is left-handed and can play all three outfield positions passably. In the event that Papi can not return to normal, he could be acquired cheaply and could play LF against RHP, allowing Jason Bay to DH on those days. He could provide lefty power off the bench too.

    Jeremy Hermida might pique my interest if he weren’t such a terrible fielder. I had no idea what a butcher he is out there accoring to UZR (-28.4 runs in 405 career games, mostly in RF).

  4. Pingback: Links: Sox on the mend, Francona’s health « Red Sox Talk

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