Seems like Bay and his agent were taken by surprise at how quickly the Red Sox moved on?
Luke, Joe Urbon, Bay's agent, has really kept quiet in the last couple of weeks about the process, but I would have trouble accepting the notion that he could have been "surprised" by the Sox in this process. I would imagine that it was conveyed to him that the Sox were prepared to move on if Bay didn't sign.
Hey, it just occurred to me that I should give a proper intro to this chat. Merry Christmas to those who are celebrating the occasion, happy holidays to all the rest, and may you all find in the New Year sufficient reason to come back and visit us often at ESPNBoston. We're psyched to be here, and we intend to pump out as much stuff as we can to you. That said, on with the chat!
I saw that Ryan Westmoreland was Baseball America's No. 1 prospect in the Sox system. How high are the Sox on Westmoreland?
Joe, They absolutely love him. This is a guy JP Ricciardi wanted last summer in the Roy Halladay talks, a guy that was brought up again by new Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos, and is certainly on Jed Hoyer's wish list in any trade the Padres make for Adrian Gonzalez. Westmoreland and Casey Kelly come as close to being untouchables as the Sox have right now. Westmoreland projects to be a potential 30-30 centerfielder, a great commodity to have.
I like his speed, but i'm not sure Ellsbury is ever going to be the player that Scott Boras is going to try to get him paid as. If I were the Sox I'd be looking to sell high on him.
The good news for the Sox is that Jacoby is still not arbitration-eligible, so the salary battles lie ahead. The bar is raised high for Jacoby, who did a much better job of ramping up the OBP in the second half, in addition to leading the league in steals, and the Sox believe his defense improved. There is a large segment of Sox fans who recoil at the thought of trading Jacoby, but if he could be part of a package that would bring back an Adrian Gonzalez in return I'd do it. But with Ellsbury just a year away from arbitration, I think he might be more expensive than what Jed Hoyer wants in San Diego.
Gordon -- if he's still out there closer to the season, do you think the Sox would re-visit Adrian Beltre if they could get him cheaper.
Rick, To me this would seem to be more plausible than signing Bay or Holliday, although let's be clear: This is completely speculative on my part. The Sox would seem prepared to live with their OF as presently constituted. If Beltre's price would drop substantially, I think the Sox would be content to keep Youkilis at first and bring in Beltre, the best glove in the league at third and a better hitter than he showed at Safeco
was that smart of the YANKEES!!!! to let milk man go?
Johnny, I think the Yankees strengthened themselves a lot by getting Javier Vazquez in the deal for Melky. They have Granderson to play CF, and they'll get a LF. I think Johnny D. would be the ideal guy to sign, but Brian Cashman insists he's not making a big-name sign. But the Yankees can easily live without Cabrera.
Hey Gordon -- for the Red Sox to even think about Bay they'd have to get rid of Cameron, right?
Jimmy, that would certainly seem to be the case, unless the Sox dealt Jacony instead. I contacted Cameron's agent, Mike Nicotera, earlier today and he said he'd heard nothing to suggest that the Sox were still in the market for a new LF. A club source told me last night you never say never, but said Bay was a real longshot.
what do you think of the trade that atlanta just made? I think it stinks. i am an avid braves fan and the last couple of years has been crazy with the trades. i was furious when smoltz left along with maddux and glavine. javier is a good pitcher. they sign these big contracts with guys who don't produce what they are paid to produce. i hope they keep laroche. no wonder bobby cox wants to retire
I can understand your frustration, Barbara. All you heard about last year at this time was how the Braves had to get better starting pitching, Vazquez performs very weill, and he gets clipped. I guess we can't evaluate the deal fully until we see what the Braves do with the $8 million or so they got in the deal, but right now the deal looks tilted towards the Bronx.
Big Sox fan, so maybe my bias is getting in the way, but shouldn't Yankees fans be a bit more concerned about Vazquez, he's not exactly a big-game pitcher, Burnett is injury prone and Pettite is about 40. Could make Javier their #2 guy instead of #4
What GM do you think is having the best offseason so far?
technical glitch, kids. I can't post another question. I'll keep trying. Should just be a minute.
I disagree completely about Melky. Javier Vazquez is a good aquizition, but Melky left his heart on the field.
You'll feel differently, Jacob, after you've watched Granderson for a couple of months.
Gordon: do you think that the Bay/Holliday talk adds a little fire to the Adrian Gonzalez smoke? And do you not think that Hoyer would have to think seriously about a deal centered around Buchholz and Ellsbury? (Personally, I'd prefer to keep them.)While the Sox might resist including Kelly and Westmoreland, I wonder if the aforementioned duo, plus Lars Anderson (despite his down year in '09) and another high-upside prospect, would get it done...
From what I'm hearing, Paul, neither Buchholz nor Ellsbury are at the top of the Padres' list because they will soon be arbitration eligible and SD will have to lay out some serious coin to keep the. I believe that Jed Hoyer would prefer some (a boatload) of the Sox prospects instead.
gordon, what are the odds that the sox sign a power set up arm along the lines of valverde, mcdougal, calero??
Jason, I think it's more likely that if they add another reliever, it will be a lefty. Daniel Bard/Ramon Ramirez is a nice 7th/8th inning combo from the right side.
Nice story on Nick Francona -- Terry clearly raised a pretty solid kid.
Hey thanks, Billy, and I recommend to those who haven't seen it the story on ESPNBoston this a.m. on Nick Francona, Terry and Jacque's son, who was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps and anticipates being deployed to Afghanistan sometime in the next year. And really, given how much Terry is away because of his job, you can't give enough credit to Jacque Francona, his wife, for raising the family they have.
best guess - what are the odds lowell is traded by 4/4/10?
I'd say book it.
Do you think acquiring Joe Mauer would take as many (or more?) prospects than Adrian Gonzalez? Vmart could play 1b..
Ben, I know the Twins got relatively little in return for Johan Santana in similar circumstances a couple of years ago, but with Mauer being a hometown guy, and the Twins moving into a new ballpark, I would think they would exhaust all avenues before even thinking of trading Mauer, one of the top 5 players in the game. I can see the Twins having more interest in a package built around Buchholz and Ellsbury than the Padres would--they're a contending team and would need big-league ready players back--but again, it's hard for me to imagine the Twins trading Mauer this winter, on the cusp of playing in the new yard.
It pains me to type this, but how long til we stick a fork in Big Papi???
Sammy, if it hurts so bad, why do it? Ortiz was .350/.516/.866 in the second half of the season in terms of OBP, SLG, and OPS, which is not indicative of a guy in the death rattle of his career. He's 34, hardly an age where it's unreasonable to expect he can have a bounce-back season. He can't afford another brutal first half, and he has to do something about the .315/.388/.703 on the road.
If I were to trade for Adrian Gonzalez, I'd give up Max Ramirez (if the lowell trade went through, but it will hopefully) to give them a young catcher, jed lowrie (if healthy) to give them a long-term shortstop because we have scutaro now and igeleias for the future, michael bowden and felix dubront for pitching depth. Then I'd trade casey kotchman for a 40-man roster type prospect and give him to the padres. But to finish the deal the sox will need to send cash, because possibly some of the players could be arbitration-eligible. Are there any more pieces needed to be added? And if not Adrian, Prince? Adam Dunn? Hanley(to SS, Marco to 3B)?
Jack, the Sox would make that deal in a heartbeat, too, except for one problem: Those players won't get it done for the Padres. Ramirez is rated below-average as a catcher and Lowrie's wrist makes him a big health risk. That kills the deal right there.
what are the realistic odds that Bay is back in Boston? If he does come back, how would the OF play out? Are there options that dont include trading Els? how would a 4 player platoon work? I really like Bays bat in our line up, but how big of a drop off is cameron to bay? I know it sounds rediculous, I'm just trying ot figure out how this could work to the sox advantage.
I was told by a Sox source that you can never say never, but I think it's a real longshot. Someone would have to go, and as my ESPN colleague Buster Olney noted, Cameron, as a newly signed FA, would have to give his permission to a trade. I don't see it happening...but of course, I didn't see Lackey coming, either.
what are the chances the dodgers are in the playoffs next year? happy holidays
That answer depends in part, Dave, on which Manny Ramirez you expect to see in '10. The Manny who bedazzled L.A. upon his arrival and for the first six weeks of 2009, or the Manny who sat out a 50-game suspension and scared nobody after his return. Plus, the Dodgers appear to be in a no-spend mode while the McCourts' divorce plays out, which makes their prospects uncertain at best.
What do you think the red sox need to do to compete with the yankees and win the world series?
How about upgrading the defense on the left side and strengthening the starting pitching, which is what Theo has done to date. The trick is to qualify for the tournament; what happens after that is a crapshoot. Could the Sox use another big bat? Of course. Can they win as presently constituted? Put all those aces on one table, and your chances look pretty good.
Hey Gordon, what do you think is more likely? 1) The Sox head into 2010 with their current roster (including the inevitable Lowell trade) and if at the halfway point they are way behind the Yankees they will look to acquire a big bat (A. Gonzalez) or 2) Theo will look address the issue now and will sign/trade for another bat? What's your hunch?
Alex, I think if they're close to the Yankees at midseason but are dissatisfied with their offense, that's when they make their push for Gonzalez. I think the Red Sox believe that will be the optimum time for San Diego to be receptive to a deal, unless the Padres shock the world and are unexpectedly in contention.
Gordon, forgive me for not getting worked up about an .866 OPS in a 1/2 season when his lowest full season OPS in Boston was .877 in last year's similarly down year. I'd like to see the Sox give Lars a shot at the DH slot sometime this year so I don't have to watch anymore infield popups with men on base. Thanks
Sammy, no one is debating there has been slippage, but what about Lars Anderson's 2009 in Pawtucket (.328 OBP/.345 SGP, 9 HRs) persuades you that he's ready for the big leagues?
By the way, if I may interject a couple recommendations here, check out Baseball America's list of the Sox top 10 prospects at ESPNBoston, then go to the BA site, and to keep up with the prospects, check out Soxprospects.com, a terrific site.
The Sox signed Mike Cameron...I called it. Merry Christmas.
Steve, take a bow. And Merry Christmas to you, too
Hey Gordon - do you think Theo and the gang speak positive things about JD Drew because they overpaid for him and are trying to justify a mistake they made? Do you also drink from the same cool-aid bucket as Theo that JD is a very good baseball player for the Red Sox?
Not even Manny was as polarizing a player among Sox fans as J.D. Drew. No question. The numbers would tell you that JD Drew ranked as the top right fielder offensively in the game last season with a .914 (.392 OBP/.522 SLG) and his defensive metrics are also good. The anti-Drew crowd would demand to know when was the last time he got a big hit and would probably cite his .213 average with runners in scoring position. I think Drew is a good player who would be seen as such by more people if he didn't have the big contract.
The Padres might not want Ellsbury, but what about a team who needs a CF like the Cubs? Ellsbury would probably have a lot of value to them, and if the Sox could package some solid Cubs prospects with a few of their own, Hoyer might bite on a Gonzalez deal.
Jon, that is a very interesting suggestion, and one probably worth keeping an eye on, but then you take Ellsbury out of the mix for a prize you may really want, like Mauer.
I liked the Jeremy Hermida pick-up. But it seems like we're really not going to be able to see what he can do given Cameron's presence. Will Hermida be one of those guys who doesn't get enough at-bats and then looks bad in the ones he gets?
Paul, Theo likes the Hermida pickup, too, and wants to make sure he gets his share of ABs. He may get to do so, rotating among the OF spots to give guys a day off. And if he hits, he'll get more
Hey Gordan - When do the sox envison Westmoreland being ready for the big leagues? I'm assuming the Cameron signing was a bridge until then?
Rick,Westmoreland projects to start the 2010 season probably at Class A Greenvile. He could advance quickly, but I think you're looking at a big-league ETA of no earlier than 2012.
Thanks everyone for chatting, and we'll do this again soon. Have a healthy and happy holiday.