Hot Stove 2010: The shortstop situation, more on Halladay, Sox acquire Hulett

The Toronto Blue Jays signed Alex Gonzalez this week to a one-year deal for $2.75M. They also hold a $2.5M option for 2011. The Sox reportedly had offered one year and $3M, but they weren’t ready to sign Gonzalez without checking out their other options at the upcoming Winter Meetings, so they lost him. This is one case in which Boston’s circumspection hurt them. Some see Marco Scutaro as the only remaining viable option on the free agent market, but he’s 34 and coming off of a career year (he has mentioned Boston as one of his top choices). Don’t be surprised if the Sox try to get a younger shortstop via trade rather than give an overpriced three-year deal to Scutaro and a first-round pick to Toronto.

We’ve been talking about Roy Halladay here on the site, but it’s starting to look like this deal will not get done. The hangup? Jays GM Anthopolous seems to be keying on top prospect Casey Kelly, who Theo Epstein really, really doesn’t want to trade. Supposedly the Blue Jays also want to trade Halladay by the Winter Meetings. There is also a rumor suggesting that Toronto ideally wants a Major League-ready arm and bat in return for the ace.

The Sox swung a minor deal for infielder Tug Hulett this week, promising cash or a PTBNL back to the Royals. The 26-year old Hulett has shown good on-base skills at Triple-A, and figures to provide middle infield depth a la Nick Green and Gil Velasquez last year.

Speaking of ex-Sox, Jeff Bailey has gotten a write-up as a potential value signing for some team this year. Good luck to him. Also, with the Indians looking flush with catching prospects, Kelly Shoppach might be available. Not that I’m suggesting anything.

Those of you intrigued by Marlins starter Josh Johnson, it seems unlikely that they will trade him this offseason. His salary is so low for a pitcher of his talent that it makes little sense to deal him before his first arbitration year. We’ll check back on him in July.


7 Responses to Hot Stove 2010: The shortstop situation, more on Halladay, Sox acquire Hulett

  1. Pat says:

    How soon before Hanley is up for trade? This season? Next?

  2. Jeff Carini says:

    I wonder what the D-Backs would want in return for Stephen Drew. Is he available?

  3. redsoxtalk says:

    Hanley’s year-by-year salaries, starting with 2010:
    $7M, $11M, $15M, $15.5M, $16M

    That’s an incredible deal, so I don’t think Beinfest has to trade him at all. The Marlins’ MO has ben to trade guys before they get too expensive, but Hanley is the face of their franchise (literally the only one people know), plus they are getting a new stadium. Also, shortstop is one of the hardest positions to fill well (I don’t have to tell Red Sox fans this, do I?) He might possibly be available at or after the 2011 trade deadline, but we’ll have to see how it goes. I still think that contract is a steal compared to what Ramirez would get on the free agent market.

    I love his potential, but Stephen Drew has not even reached arbitration yet, and the Diamondbacks need as many good, low-cost players as they can get. It’ll be hard to wrangle him away unless we offer quite a bit of talent and service time in return. As a side note, D-Backs fans have many of the same complaints about Stephen as we hear about his brother J.D. Personally I’m not bothered by it, but there could be some backlash for bringing in another player who “lacks toughness”.

  4. Jeff Carini says:

    Even though he’s signed to a huge contract, I still like the idea of trading for Michael Young and moving him back to short stop. His defense at short hasn’t been great, but it hasn’t been terrible either. Maybe Theo could get the Rangers to take Lowell back in the deal. Something like Lowell, Bowden and Reddick might get it done if the Sox take on all of Young’s contract. Youkilis can move over to 3rd if they can find another 1st baseman. Maybe Kotchman gets some more at bats with Victor continuing to get time at 1st. otherwise, maybe the try to sign Beltre to play the hot corner and help make up for Young’s defensive deficiencies on the left side of the infield.

    It just doesn’t seem like there are many good options to fill the revolving door at this position. Lowrie can’t seem to stay healthy or hit lefties. Marco Scutaro had a career year but can he improve or even match 2009’s numbers at age 34? Miguel Tejada is also aging and doesn’t have the range to play short anymore. Adam Everett can’t hit. Hanley is most likely unavailable. It would take a lot to get younger players such as Yunel Escobar and Stephen Drew. Michael Young just seems like a pretty good option at this point.

  5. Pat says:

    If they were to trade Han Ram, it would be before his salary hit 15 million, but even that is a steal. Oh well.

    I really doubt the front office wants to allot 16 million dollars a year to Michael Young. An aging Young whom Texas moved to third.

    I can picture a ‘throw in a lot and see who sticks’ bullpen style approach to shortstop next year.

  6. redsoxtalk says:

    Hi Pat, I think I agree with you. The Red Sox don’t know what they have with Lowrie, so they don’t want to sign ‘just a veteran’ who’s going to block him out completely. We may see them bring on an Adam Everett type so that he can hold down the position until they can determine what Lowrie can be at this level. That way, they don’t need to invest into the position until they’re certain they need to. The Red Sox have money, but even they are feeling the pinch.

  7. Jeff Carini says:

    Now there’s talk that the Sox may ask Pedroia to move to short stop. This could open the door to aquire a offensive-minded second baseman such as Dan Uggla.

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