*First, wanna apologize for the lack of posts. Life has gotten in the way, but that’s over with now. Gonna be on my grind for a long time now.
Yesterday, the Red Sox traded the guy who loves duckboats more than just about any Boston athlete we’ve seen, which hurts me given the name of this website. But, if there’s one thing that trading Pierce and Garnett taught us, it’s that you have to appreciate a good trade on business alone. (Hey Brooklyn, how’s that team looking next year? Thanks for the 47 first round picks. I look forward to the Celtics having an insane starting 5 in the 2019-2020 season who are all still on rookie contracts, which will open up space for whoever is a free agent at the time. Thanks again.)
Moving on. Ben Cherrington was able to get a great return for Peavy by acquiring minor league pitchers Edwin Escobar and Heath Hembree, who were ranked 2nd and 7th respectively in the Giants’ farm system. Again, this is for a 33 year old who is about to be a free agent and hasn’t been himself at all this year. The Red Sox sold high on Peavy’s stock, and anyone who has a problem with the trade would be a moron. I say “would be” because I (gladly) haven’t heard of any knowledgeable fans who take issue with the trade.
As for Cherrington’s overall direction, let’s all finally agree that anyone who bought into his “we’re trying to go for it” BS about 10 days ago was simply being naive. Of course he has to say that. Now, the Sox have lost their last 5, and of course Cherrington knows enough to sell. After all, he’s not Ruben Amaro Jr.
The only guy who is practically guaranteed to be traded is Mike Carp, who admitted that he asked for a trade. That’s a smart move by him. He deserves to play, and because the Red Sox can’t offer him a starting gig, there’s no reason to stay. Maybe he put up with in 2013 because a World Series title is a World Series title, but in 2014, he’d be dumb not to ask to leave.
There’s a chance that Jon Lester could be next among the pitchers. The guy that I want to be traded is John Lackey. Considering the magnitude of these potential two moves, they deserve their own column each. Coming soon.
As far as position players go, Jonny Gomes has no value right now. Neither does Stephen Drew. Or AJ Pierz- oh, my bad. Screw him. Mike Napoli could be an intriguing trade option, but my guy tells me that the value won’t be there. Nap is doing better than last year statistically, but teams will understandably be scared of his injury history. Also, the Sox wanna contend next year, and Mike Napoli at first base for 1 year and $16 million in a contract year is pretty appealing. Shane Victorino is in the same boat — won’t get the right value, and the Sox will be smart to use him next year in his own contract year.
Daniel Nava could get a decent return, and it could be pretty smart to move him, actually. Maybe teams will fall in love with the fact that he’s boosted his stats a ton from the beginning of the season, but his total 2014 line is still pretty mediocre. The last possibility is Will Middlebrooks, who might be traded for the whole “change of scenery” thing, especially when NESN and the Red Sox (basically the same thing at this point) hate his new fiance.
As for the pitchers other than Lackey and Lester, I’m a big fan of trades involving relievers, both when you’re buying and selling. Even though general managers are now smarter than ever, buyers are still going to value bullpen arms more than the sellers do. Relievers are so volatile from year to year, so there’s no reason for the seller not to sell high. At the same time, I don’t buy that, when you look at each year as a timetable of its own, that a reliever’s stats are quite as random as many statheads do. Each season is still one in its own, and how a guy pitched in April is a far better indicator of how he’ll pitch in October than, say, last season, at least in my mind. Because of all that, relievers automatically should have more value to the buyers than sellers.
Trade Andrew Miller. He’s a very good pitcher, and he’s much better than his career 5.10 ERA suggests. From 2012 through 2014, he’s had an ERA of 3.35, 2.64, and now 2.52, respectively. That’s a good trend, but this year is such an outlier. Just look at his WHIP alone from those 3 years: 1.19, 1.37, 0.94. That last one isn’t gonna hold. Sell high.
And sell high on Burke Badenhop for the same reason. (Note: I realize this is Burke freaking Badenhop. He might get no return whatsoever, but let’s think positively for a second.) Badenhop’s ERA is 2.76 with a 1.39 WHIP and a 3.61 xFIP. His xFip has always been in between 3.40 and 3.77 since 2009, so that suggests some luck with the ERA this year.
I’m cool with either trading or keeping Junichi Tazawa. He’s just 28, and pretty consistent. If the Sox think that having him next year is worth whatever value they can get for him this week, I won’t complain either way.
Lastly, and this hurts me to say this, but Ben Cherrington has to trade Koji Uehara. I love Koji almost as much as David Ortiz does, and I love Koji almost as much as I love his kid. But he’s a 39 year old lights out closer with a 1.51 ERA, .79 WHIP, and a pedigree of shutting people down in the playoffs. Some team is going to give the Red Sox a king’s ransom for Koji. I know he seems like the kind of guy to pitch well until he’s about 42 or 43, but cmon. His value will never be higher, and we all know that. Not enough reason to keep him for 2015 to outweigh the tremendous value they’ll get for Koji.
Posts on Lester and Lackey coming soon.