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Posts Tagged ‘Marlins’


The trade deadline has come and gone. It was not a very turbulent time for baseball. This was due to some level of uncertainty as to when the BioGenesis cases would come down. Mostly this was due to a greater level of parity in baseball and the expansion of the Wild Card. Too many teams are in contention for a playoff position. This means there were too few sellers and too many buyers. This drove up prices in many instances (see Garza for instance).

Just before the trade deadline, the Red Sox were struggling offensively. This was largely because they had 2 shortstops playing on the left side of the infield. Old school shortstops not particularly known for their bats. While Jose Iglesias won a Player of the Month award, he was now regressing to the mean via a horrific slump throughout July.  The bottom third of the Red Sox line up was quite unproductive.

The Red Sox had already addressed some of their bull pen issues by trading for the White Sox’ Matt Thornton. He has been a bit inconsistent, and this weekend experienced an oblique injury. His status is uncertain at this point. But the sense was that other bull pen issues could continued to be addressed internally as they largely had been as Hanrahan, Bailey, Miller, Morales etc. have struggled with injuries.

The big question was Clay Buchholz. When would he be ready to pitch again? The spot starters had generally done well, unlike the last 2 seasons. The Red Sox had more depth in their system this year with Workman, Webster, Aceves (who has now been buried and come up lame) etc. They actually got wins. But with at least a month to go before Buchholz returns, they needed more than spot starters. They needed a legitimate 2-3 starter to fend off the surging Rays. This despite the solid outings by Workman.

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Boston.com reports that John Henry cut 1/4 of the staff of his Florida investment firm.  He has taken some big losses in the market (most of us have, except my friend in prison who has been able to make money).

This makes me wonder about the Red Sox payroll.  In recent years they have not kept up with the Yankees’ payroll.  They have tried to integrate young talent, and have made some good deals to keep young talent at reasonable prices.  But where the Yankees have continued to expand their payroll the Red Sox have not.  The Red Sox no longer have the 2nd highest payroll, but are slowly sliding down the scale.

Our New LF?

As the Red Sox sought to extend Jason Bay, they just couldn’t seem to get it done.  They didn’t offer the money he wanted, and possibly the number of years.  Now that he is on the market, they probably won’t be able to afford him with suitors like the Yankees (unless they get Holliday), Mets and Giants interested in adding a big bat (4 teams, 2 big bats, you do the math).

Josh Beckett has approached the Red Sox about an extension.  But Peter Gammons notes that he may want Sabathia-type money, which the Red Sox are loathe to give a pitcher over 30.  If they can’t compete in 2010, they may trade him (or trade him to compete in 2010).  Otherwise, they may have to let him go and use the compensatory picks.

John Henry’s financial troubles may mean some cost-cutting down on Yawkey Way.  It may mean that the Red Sox can’t compete with other big market teams for top free agents and international players for a few years.  It just makes we wonder, is our ride of success just about over?

Case in point- Jeremy Hermida.  His role on the 2010 Red Sox was not defined in the press conference.  They talked about his potential, the potential that has had them interested in him for years but which has not turned into reality.  Of course, in Florida he has not been surrounded by good to great players that offer any protection (Hanley Ramirez’ stats truly are amazing in THAT line-up).  Truth be told, I was one of those sucked in by his “potential” a few years ago, drafting him in a fantasy league.  It was supposed to be his breakout year.  Theo is hoping this turns into his breakout year in a park suited to this swing and a team that might need him to swap sides of the field.  Yes, the Sox may still spend money since they generate so much money, but they may not be willing to spend the $18-20 million/year necessary to bring back Bay or lock up Holliday.  So Hermida may be a low-cost option in LF.  He might not, but he might.  Then again, he might be trade bait, as Harold Reynolds thinks.

The key signal to which way the Red Sox go is not just the free agent market, but whether they can get the Padres to trade Adrian Gonzalez.  He would be a monster, people think, at Fenway.  But after the uncertainty of whether or not ownership will use him to rebuild, there is the price to be paid and whether or not a suitable deal can be made.  Keep watching.

Update: MLBTradeRumors speculates that the Red Sox sign Jason Bay, oft-injured Rich Harden, Mark Scutaro, and Cuban hurler Aroldis Chapman.  I’m not sure I see them spending that much money, but I’d welcome most of those moves.

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This year the baseball trade deadline has prompted to some very exciting deals- if you cheer for the Yankees and the Angels.

The Yankees are repeating the pattern of the past, though with a bit less luster.  They are taking on additional payroll (with that ever end???) and sending back prospects or low money guys in return.  First they bring over Xavier Nady and his .320+ average to fill their hole in left field, as well as giving them a right handed bat that has been missing to restore balance to their line-up.  That deal also brought them a solid left-handed reliever.  The analysts basically agree this deal was a steal for the Yankees.  They have Nady signed for next year at an affordable salary, and an option for Marte.  So, this is not a rent-a-player situation.

Marte’s presence allowed them to  ship out Farnsworth, which saddens me.  The hard throwing relief pitcher was hittable often enough.  In return they pick up an aging Ivan Rodriguez.  He started the year slowly at the plate, but has brought his average up to about .290.  So, they add a strong bat behind the plate, replacing Posada who is done for the year.  From the Tigers’ perspective, this move surprises me since they seemed to have climbed back into the AL Central.  This is basically a salary dump.

They have positioned themselves nicely for the stretch run in an organization where failure is not an option.  The weak and vulnerable Yankees of April-June are once again gone as Brian Cashman made some wise moves internally (some forced by injuries to guys who weren’t performing as expected), and brought in some guys to address the remaining weaknesses.  All we can hope for is that they lack chemistry.  Only they could do this because they added millions in payroll.

The Angels also made a really good move in picking up Teixeira for Kotchman.  That is a big improvement in my book.  Though he might be a rent-a-player.  But the Angels see this as the year they could go all the way.  They have the pitching, and needed 1 or 2 more good bats.  Teixeira is the piece they needed to avoid a repeat of last year’s playoff sweep at the hands of the Red Sox.

If you haven’t noticed, the Red Sox payroll has been decreasing over the years.  They are showing greater financial restraint, but this may come back to bite them like it did in 2005.  They are trying to dump Manny and his primadona act.  His recent actions seem to be mostly about his desire to make more money.  It is hard to avoid thinking that he no longer wants the Sox to pick up that option because he wants another $100 million contract- which seems unlikely with his diminishing skills.  But Scott Boras only makes money on Manny if he does get a new contract instead of the option.  So ….. this round of Manny Being Moronic seems to be driven by money since he sure is hitting well for a guy with a bum knee.  But he seems to play better when there is drama going on, so who really knows.

The only remaining possibility out there, after the Phillies, Mets and Dodgers have all denied any interest, seems the Marlins of all teams.  It is reported the Red Sox could get either Josh Willingham or Jeremy Hermida and a prospect in return.  I doubt anything will happen though.  Maybe the Marlins think Manny will actually put some fannies in the seats there.

The Rays have been mentioned in rumors, but I couldn’t see them picking up any of these guys, contrary to what I hear on the local sports radio.  The owners don’t want to spend that much extra money, and they don’t want to give away their prospects.  You aren’t getting any of the players traded for Johnny Gomes, folks.  They have survived a stretch where they have not produced many runs, which is a positive.  The local jock talkers think they have the guns to score lots more runs.  I suspect this latest stretch was a “regression to mean” after some superlative play.  The real Rays are somewhere between those 2 offensive extremes.  Longoria has been killing my fantasy team the last few weeks (as have a few other guys- I even dumped Ellsbury which may come back to haunt me).  But the re-constituted Yankees will surpass the Rays until A-Fraud does his typical October disappearing act.

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