10-22-09 Links: Successful surgeries, Aroldis, Kikuchi, staff changes and Bay versus Holliday

Tim Wakefield had successful back surgery yesterday, and is expected to make a full recovery in time for Spring Training 2010. I hope this means he can come back for an encore. Outfield prospect Zach Daeges also had surgery to remove an extra bone in his ankle, which sidelined him for the 2009 season. His prognosis is also good going forward.

Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman, a 21-year old (supposedly) left-hander, has arrived in New York and will begin meeting with teams. Legend has it that he hit 102 mph with his fastball, but that’s as dubious as his age, at this point. The Sox will show up, but I think the bidding gets too out of hand for them to have a good shot at landing him.

The Red Sox have been eyeing another young lefty, Yusei Kikuchi. The 18-year old has never played professional ball, so we don’t know much about him. The reputation says he can touch 96 mph, but Dave Cameron says otherwise. Still, there’s a lot to like and the Sox do have an advantage in Japanese recruiting. Perhaps we’re looking at the lefty complement to Junichi Tazawa?

John Farrell declined to interview for the Indians managerial position (probably out of respect for previous manger and friend Eric Wedge), but it looks like Jed Hoyer may be the new GM of the San Diego Padres. Here’s an outside perspective on what he seems to bring to the Red Sox. The problem is that when a guy becomes a GM, he takes people with him. With Brad Mills and Tim Bogar both interviewing for the Astros job, this could be a turbulent offseason in Boston, regardless of what happens with the players.

For those of you who just can’t get enough of the pre-Hot Stove talk, here’s a nice article comparing Jason Bay and Matt Holliday. They agree with me, BTW, on the relative value of these players. For what it’s worth, I have Bay at .251/.356/.473 next season, hitting 29 HR with 106 RBI. My projection of Holliday is .290/.376/.485 with 24 HR and 104 RBI (NL projection).


2 Responses to 10-22-09 Links: Successful surgeries, Aroldis, Kikuchi, staff changes and Bay versus Holliday

  1. Jeff Carini says:

    Instead of committing years and cash to Bay or Holliday, Maybe the Sox should look at a stopgap option such as Xavier Nady. He’s coming off Tommy John surgery but should be ready for opening day and could be signed to a 1 year deal with an option for relatively cheap money. He missed the 2009 season but is only 30 years old and in 2008 hit .305 with 25 homeruns and 97 rbi with a .867 OPS. That’s production close to what Bay and Holliday will bring and they will not have to commit the years or dollars and in 1 or 2 years can move a prospect such as Reddick, Kalish or Westmorelan into left field.

  2. redsoxtalk says:

    Nady is a pretty decent player, a very good line drive hitter with good power. He seems to have success against offspeed stuff, and he’s right-handed, which the Sox need. He used to have a huge platoon split, but has evened that out over the past 3-4 seasons. I have him at about .287/.347/.478 (22 HR and 85 RBI if he reaches 514AB) if he’s healthy in 2010.

    However, there are a few drawbacks we’d have to consider with him; he’s maybe too aggressive at the plate (51.6 swing%) and doesn’t walk nearly enough by Red Sox standards (6.0% for his career). He had a great 2008, but that lifetime .335 OBP and .342 wOBA suggest that he’s only slightly above average offensively, looking at the whole picture.

    Defensively, he’s more used to playing in right, but in limited time in left, he has acquitted himself well, playing about average according to UZR. He also has a lot of positional flexibility, having put in time at 1B/RF and even some CF. I could see him shifting over to RF when Drew’s hammy starts barking.

    I think the Sox must be looking at him as an option, but he is not plan A (or B) as far as I can tell.

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