Blog Entry

Sawx Fans Pipe Dreams

Posted on: July 15, 2009 12:19 pm
As a Red Sox fan, I am partial to thinking Boston is the best baseball town in the country, and Red Sox fans the most knowledgable and passionate fan base there is (besides this new "Red Sox Nation" crap and the friggin pink-hat post-2004 yuppies with the season tix and Boylston brownstones). Anyways, I listen to a lot of sports-talk radio (103.7 WEEI in Providence and 850 AM Boston), and I hear Sox fans calling and trying to play Theo.

One big problem with some fans is they think real sports can be managed like a fantasy team. This Roy Halladay situation, much like the Johan Santana situation a few summer back, has gotten everyone off their rockers. People calling in thinking the Sox can trade guys like Lugo, Drew, Penny and Saito in a package for the likes of Halladay is absurd. Also, a package of prospects that wouldn't include both Buchholz and Lars Anderson is also not a reality. Toronto, to move the arguably the best pitcher in baseball to a financial behemoth within its own division is ballsy already, therefore, you have to know that J.P. Riccardi is going to want top-flight guys that he can have under his control for a long time. A likely deal would look something like Buchholz, Bowden, DelCarmen and Anderson...something like that. A lot to give up for sure. Other names out there include Reddick, Westmoreland, Masterson, Bard, Hagoden and Casey Kelly.

With these names, we are talking about the latest fruit off the vine of Theo's "player development machine", which has already helped secure one championship in 2007. Now, money is not the issue here, the Sox could certainly afford to sign Halladay to an extension, which he would surely want to facilitate any trade and waive his full no-trade clause. Toronto doesn't want to have to deal him obviously, but they can't afford to keep him with terrible contracts they doled out to Vernon Wells and Alex Rios. Their future lies around Aaron Hill, Adam Lind, Travis Snider, their young pitchers and whatever they can get for Halladay.

Sox fans need to realize to get this guy is going to cost a TON. Also, forget about Hanley Ramirez and Joe Mauer, two other names I've been hearing for next year. While those are two positions the Sox certainly need addressed, both those guys are young, franchise faces. Also, both Florida and Minny are opening new stadiums next year, so those guys aren't going anywhere. We are going to see the Pohlad's finally pony up and pay, because Mauer is the local boy hero demigod.

The Sox will rely on their young guys and the fact that in the next 2 seasons, they have guys like Drew, Ortiz, Lugo and Lowell coming off the books. Papelbon will chase bigger money somewhere else (the Bronx perhaps?), so Bard needs to be kept. The Red Sox priority this season should be to hold onto the young guys, find a deadline bat, and re-sign Jason Bay this offseason. Glad the AL got home field too!!!!

Category: MLB

Since: Mar 27, 2009
Posted on: July 17, 2009 12:15 am

Sawx Fans Pipe Dreams

I can't see a scenario where Papelbon stays in Boston. With all of the up and comers Rhody mentioned, you've still got Manny DelCarmen sitting there too. Boston has so many options to close out games right now that it's really a no brainer. Even if Daniel Bard doesn't pan out, the Sox could very well still find that go to guy from within.

Signing Jason Bay has to be a number one proirity. He's asking for extremely reasonable numbers given his talent and production. And with Ortiz, Lowell,  and Varitek on the downsides of their careers, Jason and Youk really have to anchor the offense. There is no free agent talent out there even remotely comparable to Bay, and the Sox would end up overpaying for someone else who won't come close to matching production as a knee jerk reaction. I still have nightmares where Jose Offerman and Dan Duquette chase me down a dark alleyway screaming about matching run production...

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: July 16, 2009 11:33 pm

Sawx Fans Pipe Dreams

Can we move on from the Halliday talk...The move for Beckett panned out for both teams.Lightning in a bottle twice is not a given. If we do any trading, it needs to be for up and coming position players, most notably some power corner infielders or outfielders. The organization has proven it can groom pitchers year in and out (see Papelbon, Lester, Delcarmen, Bard, Bowden and Bucholz), and has done a very good job with position players (Petey, Youk and Jacoby), but none of them are power guys. Papi is getting old, Tek is almost through, and at this point Lowrie might be the final answer to the never ending shortstop saga, but we need to see him play for a while to prove it. With contracts coming up in the next two years (Tek, Papi, Drew, Bay if not re-signed), we need to get some long term power to enhance our very steady if not spectacular on bas machines. I am not shy about trading away talent, I just want to see it go where it needs to, and right now, and as it appears for the next 5 years, it does not appear to be pitching. Re-sign Beckett and Lester to longer deals, trade Dice-k and Penny and ride what we got with a few bats to increase runs per game production.

Since: Jul 16, 2009
Posted on: July 16, 2009 2:35 pm

Sawx Fans Pipe Dreams

I couldn't agree more about trading for Hanley, or Mauer.  First, Hanley is locked up for quite some time, and his salary increases dramatically between this year and his final season.  It would make more sense for Florida to trade him when his number is over $10 million.

Now, to address Roy Halladay.  I was a big believer of trading any talent in our system for Johan, and I feel the same about Roy.  These guys are WORTH the prospects we are giving up.  Bucholz and Bowden are each 1 slider away from being Mark Prior. 

And when you say that Hill, Lind, and Snider are the future of Toronto, you are kidding yourself.  There is NO future for Toronto.  Being stuck in the AL East with powers of Bos and NYY they are going to struggle in the standings, leaving them no choice but to trade 1 or 2 of those guys, most likely for pitching. 

For me, I would drive Bucholz, Anderson, Bowden, and 1-2 other mid-level prospects to the airport right now for Roy Halladay.  Beckett, Halladay, Lester 1-2-3 for the next 2 years, potentially longer could give this team a legitimate shot at back-to-back WS Championships, possibly longer.

You say that 2007 we won the WS with homegrown talent.  Indeed we did.  But would we have won it without trading Hanley and Annibal Sanchez for Lowell and Beckett?  Absolutely not.  We wouldn't have won it without Manny, Papi, Tek, or Drew either.  Sure Pedroia is AMAZING, and Ellsbury was a spark.  But let's not get crazy.

Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: July 15, 2009 10:53 pm

Sawx Fans Pipe Dreams

Hmm...well, if that's how it is with Papelbon, then I guess Bard really is the better choice.

It's really awesome that the Sox have all that young talent stockpiled.  They're younger than me, so they really are young!

I wouldn't trade anything worthwhile for Atkins or Nick Johnson.  Mark Teahen is a little more intriguing to me, though.

Halladay isn't moving, unless Ricciardi gets a wild hair up his butt and decides to lower the price out of goodwill or some other nonsense.  The word seems to be that Philadelphia is going to end up acquiring Halladay, but I can't see them burning all their good prospects plus a ton of money.  These people also seem to think that Philadelphia has a good chance of repeating.  If the Sox make it back to the World Series this season, I sure as hell don't see them losing to Philadelphia.

Since: Jan 9, 2008
Posted on: July 15, 2009 8:22 pm

Sawx Fans Pipe Dreams

Great Posting SoxinRhody!  Very Knowledgable and Intelligent.  I agree with you about Bard.  I believe he is our future.  Not that I'm hating on Paps but he is going to ask too much and he is already showing signs of not being the Paps of old.  Not saying get rid of him but don't morgage the team for him either.  I think thats why Bard won't be going anywhere.  If nothing else it's a bargaining chip for the Sox.  I'm a big believer this year, don't fix it if it isn't broken.  Things are going well, but I have to say I hope the Skanks lose out on the Halladay deal.  

Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: July 15, 2009 4:33 pm

Sawx Fans Pipe Dreams

He counts as young talent, being only 28. But Masterson, Bard, Buchholz, Bowden, Hagadone and Kelly are all 24 or under. Papelbon will be 30 when his contract is up, not old, but also the $$$ is going to be HUGE. There is no reading between the lines here  big_red....Papelbon has made it quite clear he wants to be the highest paid closer in the game. The timing seems to be on a course where Rivera could be retiring right when Papelbon is hitting the market. Don't think the front offices in both New York and Boston haven't seen that coming. The Red Sox of the Theo Epstein-Jeremy Kapstein-Bill James era are the kings of the sabermetric world. They understand having a top-notch, shutdown closer is important to winning...that being said, they also understand the very short shelf life of that back end guy (guys like Rivera and Trevor Hoffman being the exceptions to the rule). How many guys have their run where they save 40-50 games for 5-6 seasons, then fade into oblivion? Danny Bard is the answer eventually, and the Sox aren't going to sign Pap to a 5-6 deal worth a ton when they have a promising, younger, cheaper alternative. That's where being a major market team gives them some flexibility. Even if Pap leaves AND Bard doesn't work out, they can sign a guy short term until they develop another talent.

Remember...Papelbon came up as a starter, and was converted into a closer. These guys aren't always pegged as the next great 9th inning guy on their way up; sometimes its a lightning-in-a-bottle circumstance. There was never a question of Pap's arm, just like there obviously isn't a question with Bard's. The difference is, Bard is being groomed for the role in a way Papelbon wasn't. Pap isn't going to take the overblown "hometown discount" just because he's been here and won here and is beloved here. He wants the money, and someone else will likely offer him more than the Sox will be willing to when the time comes. So in that case, bon voyage and get ready to buy your Danny Bard jerseys.

As far as bats at the deadline this year...its thin. There isnt going to be that big Manny-type deal out there this deadline. Matt Holliday is killing his own value in spacious Oakland Coliseum. His non-Coors numbers have regressed to the mean, and sage Billy Beane might be better off with the compensatory draft picks than with the prospects he would get. The more likely scenario is the Sox make a smaller move for a Nick Johnson, Garrett Atkins, Mark Teahan kind of guy. Nothing exciting. The deadline seems like it will be pretty boring this year unless Halladay actually moves, which I doubt will happen.


Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: July 15, 2009 4:01 pm

Sawx Fans Pipe Dreams

Does Papelbon no longer count as "young talent"?  Also, is Theo really willing to let him go in free agency?

I understand he's been having some difficulties this season, but I'm not sure Bard is the answer to replace Papelbon should he leave for greener pastures (pun intended).  Then again, I wasn't sure Papelbon would become as great as he did.

Clearly, the bullpen is a position of strength.  If it was up to me, I wouldn't let go of Papelbon unless he asks for some ridiculous Rivera-esque number (cuz nobody does greed like the Yanks, haha).

I agree about re-signing Jason Bay.  I'm a little surprised it hasn't gotten done already.  As far as the deadline bat goes, who might some of the options be?

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