Cafardo On Rays, Cameron, Gonzalez, Hale

Jim Hickey has one of the most important roles in the American League this year, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. The Rays pitching coach is responsible for rebuilding a Rays bullpen that was depleted by free agency. Hickey says he expects at least one of the team's unheralded arms to break out unexpectedly, adding that if there's going to be a 2011 version of Joaquin Benoit, he'd put his money on Juan Cruz. Here are some of Cafardo's other Sunday notes:

  • Domonic Brown has struggled this spring and is now set to undergo surgery on a broken hand. As such, Mike Cameron remains a potential fit for the Phillies. Cafardo argues that "the only problem with a Cameron-Phillies hookup is that he may be a very valuable member of the Red Sox now that he’s completely recovered from abdominal surgery."
  • Alex Gonzalez doesn't like changing teams as much as he has in the last two seasons, and would have liked to stay in Toronto. Now that he's playing in Atlanta, the shortstop tells Cafardo that he'd "love to stay here for a long time." Gonzalez will be a free agent at season's end.
  • DeMarlo Hale was interviewed for two managerial openings this past offseason, and Cafardo wonders if he'll be hired away from the Red Sox next winter. "Right now," Cafardo says, "there doesn’t appear to be an obvious place for a managerial change next season."

57 Responses to Cafardo On Rays, Cameron, Gonzalez, Hale Leave a Reply

  1. qbass187 4 years ago

    It makes ZERO sense for teh RED SOX to trade Cameron to anyone!
    First he’s making $8 mil so they’d probably have to eat some $$$. Second, he’s the ONLY right handed OF they have besides Darnell McDonalad.
    Maybe at the deadline if they have another guy in their sights but that’s really putting the cart before the horse at this point.

    • I am Urban Legend 4 years ago

      plus Cameron is the only RH OF option…

      all lefties…
      they actually need Cameron…

      • Yeah, that’s exactly what the guy you’re replying to just said.

      • RahZid 4 years ago

        They also have McDonald as a RH 5th OF. That being said, Cam is a huge asset for Boston this year.

        Also, maybe you should read the posts you reply to.

      • BobMexico 4 years ago

        Plus, the Red Sox have a lot of left handed hitting outfielders. They may need a righty like Cameron.

      • elclashcombo 4 years ago

        Does anyone know if Cameron bats righty or lefty?

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      “It makes ZERO sense for teh RED SOX to trade Cameron to anyone”

      nick cafardo will not let the fact that an idea is senseless, stupid, and completely impractical intimidate him from writing about it! he is a man of great honor

      • Diehard Philsphan 4 years ago

        The red sox and the phils r gonna meet in the world series so it makes zero sense whatsoever for the sox to trade a quality bat like camerons bat to their likely world series opponent

        That being said I wouldn’t be upset if raj made a deal with Theo to get him

  2. NYBravosFan10 4 years ago

    With the crazy amount of young talent the Braves have coming in at shortstop the thought of Alex Gonzalez signing a long-term deal with them is nothing short of ridiculous. Edward Salcedo and Matt Lipka are on their way with Tyler Pastornicky as a stop gap.

    • I agree that there’s no way the Braves(or any team, really) lock up Gonzalez, but they’re not as deep at SS as it looks. Salcedo, if he pans out will likely be moved to 3B or 2B. Can’t remember which one, but one of Lipka or Pastornicky isn’t being projected to stick at SS either.

      You know, I really didn’t mind the Teixeira deal until Escobar was shipped off last year. Up until that point the Braves seemed set at SS, catcher, and the rotation so the loss of Andrus, Feliz, and Salty didn’t bother me too much. But now I’m forced to watch Alex Gonzalez take swings on a regular basis…….:(

      • bbxxj 4 years ago

        Lipka, Pastornicky, and Simmons are all projected to be SS and the only people projecting Salcedo to move off of SS to 3B are outside evaluators due to his size but all of the Braves people think he can stay there and compare his body type to other big SSes Tulo and Arod.

        All of those guys except for Pastornicky are at least two years away so giving Gonzalez another year around his current salary (2-3M) might be a good idea as we ease in Pastornicky and stopgap to the high upside guys.

      • bbxxj 4 years ago

        Lipka, Pastornicky, and Simmons are all projected to be SS and the only people projecting Salcedo to move off of SS to 3B are outside evaluators due to his size but all of the Braves people think he can stay there and compare his body type to other big SSes Tulo and Arod.

        All of those guys except for Pastornicky are at least two years away so giving Gonzalez another year around his current salary (2-3M) might be a good idea as we ease in Pastornicky and stopgap to the high upside guys.

    • Jeff 4 years ago

      With Uggla at 2nd and Chipper at 3rd, you need a SS with real good range if you’re going to get rid of A-Gon. Those two both have below-average range.

  3. rockfordone 4 years ago

    Royals have a ton of of’s available for very little.

  4. Karsch 4 years ago

    What grudge do the Phillies have against Ben Francisco? He should be the starting right fielder especially with his red hot Spring Training.

    • bbxxj 4 years ago

      He is a mistake hitter and in spring training you see alot of mistakes.

      • garettf 4 years ago

        bbxj we know your a braves fan. Stop being a huge homer.

        • NYBravosFan10 4 years ago

          he’s not being a homer, he’s telling the truth. Pitchers aren’t fully stretched out yet, have gotten their full command back, haven’t worked with the catchers in game situations a whole lot yet…the list goes on. With Ben Francisco’s history of not being the best hitter it’s very hard to believe he’s not just pouncing all over pitchers at the moment.

          • nm344 4 years ago

            you’re a Braves homer too.

          • And you are a Phillies homer whats the difference. They both make good points. Most hitters are actually mistake hitters but the good hitters are the ones that can turn pitchers pitches into hits. I do not know if Francisco can do that though.

    • The big question I have is just how long will Brown be out. Francisco has been a role player at best since coming to Philadelphia, never totaling more than 180 plate appearances in a season with the team. Is he capable of filling in for Brown for a few months? Yes, I’d think so. But I don’t see him as a starter over the long run.

      However, this entire discussion may be a moot point. Brown is having surgery for a broken hand. That is not the type of injury that should keep him out for a significant amount of time. In fact, it is highly likely he’ll be back on the field in April. With that said, why would the Phillies need to go out and acquire anyone?

      • Karsch 4 years ago

        Just because Brown’s healthy doesn’t mean he is the starting right fielder. If you have seen him lately he hasn’t hit since the Phillies called him up last season. After going 2 for 29 in Winter Ball, and 1 for 16 in spring training, he probably won’t evin make the team after he gets healthy.

        • phil33 4 years ago

          The injury might be a blessing in disguise for brown. This way it gives the phils an excuse to let him regain his confidence in AAA when he returns from the injury and it takes some of the pressure off him.

      • deere5800 4 years ago

        A broken hand can be a tricky thing too. He might return quickly, but it could also struggle with regaining his strength in his hand. Could take a while to return to 100%

    • Seriously? He should be starting because of his 20 or so PA’s in ST so far?

      Nate McLouth is hitting something like .475 in roughly the same amount of plate appearances. Alex Gonzalez has a 1.200 OPS or something, it doesn’t mean anything.

      Francisco should be starting in right field for lack of a better option. I understand them wanting Cameron, but the Phillies really don’t need anymore injury risks……especially ones that aren’t a significant upgrade over what they already have.

      Francisco is a good 4th outfielder, but I think what we’ve seen is what we’ll likely always see with Francisco. He’s a .775 OPS guy with adequate pop, defense, and speed.

      • Yeah and McLouth has 6 hits in 13 ABs, 2 2B, 5 BBs, 2 HBPs, and NO strikeouts. For perspective, last year in all of ST, McLouth was 6-51 with 16 strikeouts and virtually no XBH or patience. Call me a fan of the moment but he is already outdoing his ST last year which he replicated in the regular season. Say what you want that ST games are pointless but it is big in setting a guys confidence.

        As far as Alex Gonzalez, the guy is not that terrible. Was he what we thought we were getting from Toronto? Not entirely but give the man time to adjust. It even says above he is tired of moving around so much recently and at the time he would’ve preferred staying in Toronto. I take that as it was a mental block he had

  5. dc21892 4 years ago

    Well Juan Cruz has to stay healthy first. A bum shoulder = tough comeback.

  6. Whoa, stop the bus…..

    Does this mean that Bill James had Brown all wrong with his insane projections for his 2011 season? You know, the projections that had him hitting 26 HR, stealing 28 bases, and contributing a .288, .346, .505 line with 94 RBI. Pretty sure a season like that would’ve resulted in a unanimous ROY selection. I’ve never seen projections that high for a rookie….

    • BentoBox 4 years ago

      If I recall correctly, Chris Davis from Rangers had insane projections as well. Something like 35 HRs.

    • That was his projection. Might as well have given him RoY now based off of that(sarcasm). You are talking about doing better than both Posey and Heyward who both had solid year and wouldve been better had; A) Heyward had not played with a bad thumb for 2 months that completely sapped his power, and B) Posey actually started the year in the majors.

  7. davengmusic 4 years ago

    The Rays have every reason to thank Astros owner Drayton McLane for a lot of their current success. McLane personally fired Gerry Hunsicker, and had his lackey GM (Purpura) fire Jim Hickey. Those two guys were responsible for the most successful time in Astros history, and, by no coincidence, they’re now a part of the most successful time in TB history. As long as they’re with the organization, the Rays will always be a factor in the hunt for the postseason.

    If Hickey and Hunsicker never go to TB, there might not be a single person making an argument against contracting the Rays.

    • Ferrariman 4 years ago

      They also gave the Rays Ben Zobrist for a sack of peanuts :)

      • buddaley 4 years ago

        No. It was for Aubrey Huff, although they also gave up Mitch Talbot. In any case, at the time it was a good deal for the Rays as it appeared Huff had begun a decline, and they needed to get whatever value they could for him. Neither Talbot nor Zobrist was a top prospect, but each had some skills the Rays prized.

        Even so, it made sense for Houston also. Huff was still a decent hitter and while it was not particularly good for a corner fielder who was poor defensively, he did have a 107 OPS+ for Houston the rest of that season. Since then his career has been up and down, but he has had 2 outstanding offensive seasons. Hardly a sack of peanuts.

        And after acquiring him Houston actually had a better record than early in the season and ended up just 1.5 games out of first place. Huff was not great, but he contributed to keeping them in the race.

        • davengmusic 4 years ago

          His overall stat line looks ok, but he was terrible with RISP (.181/.287/.304/.592 for the season, might have been even less with Houston). I remember watching him, and the only time the guy would get a hit is when it didn’t matter. The fans didn’t like him, and he didn’t want to be there. Losing Zo and, to a lesser extent, Talbot would have been OK if it were Randy Johnson pt. 2, but the Astros won IN SPITE of Huff, not because of him.

          • buddaley 4 years ago

            I will not dispute your view of his tenure in Houston, but whether you are right or not, the Astros did not trade 2 minor leaguers, neither of whom was considered a premier prospect, for a sack of peanuts. They received a legitimate major leaguer only 1 year separated at age 29 from 3 consecutive years of excellent production, and hitting better than the previous year as well.

            At the time, Zobrist’s future was considered at best as a light hitting utility infielder in the majors, one who might prove good at getting on base, and Talbot a back of the rotation starter or long reliever. Regardless of how well or poorly Huff played for Houston, it was a perfectly legitimate deal for them, and as demonstrated in later years, he was far from done.

  8. Dom Brown’s latest injury just solidifies the fact that he will start this year off as an Iron Pig. Despite Francisco’s torrid spring training, he will most certainly be in a platoon type situation with a left handed hitting outfielder yet to be acquired. However, I am more concerned about Utley’s health status in addition to our closer situation than that of RF. Perhaps Amaro could kick the tires on David Eckstein, see if he is willing to accept a minor league deal.

    • Slopeboy 4 years ago

      Last I heard, Juan Rivera was in Texas,the Rangers could use some pitching. You think the Phillies would be interested in Rivera in exchange for some some pitching help?

      • Jobus_Rum 4 years ago

        Rivera is still with Toronto. It was Napoli they traded to Texas.

        Rivera is definitely available.

    • vonhayesdays 4 years ago

      although i like valdez , what about Aybar , hes available , who do think the phillies should go after , i thought they were gonna platoon Ben with Ross Gload

  9. “the only problem with a Cameron-Phillies hookup is that he may be a very valuable member of the Red Sox now that he’s completely recovered from abdominal surgery.”

    Does this mean a Cameron-Phillies hookup would’ve not been a problem if he was not completely recovered from abdominal surgery?

    • woadude 4 years ago

      Fun way to look at it, but he meant he would of been unmovable and useless for both teams, but now that he has recovered, as movable as he now is, he is more valuable to the Sox than he would be to another team such as the Phillies.

  10. hawkny1 4 years ago

    Cameron to Philly for Blanton, even up. I would do this deal in a heartbeat.

  11. The Rangers should trade Rivera and some guy for Lidge because I’m assuming Feliz will be a starter

  12. How about Cameron and Dice-K for Blanton and Victorino?

  13. Brad426 4 years ago


  14. bbxxj 4 years ago

    The word is he could be either. If one of the other guys sticks there they will move him but if not I’m sure they will keep him there.

  15. Ferrariman 4 years ago

    i don’t think they have the best lineup with Brown TBH.

  16. they are far from having the best lineup,believe it or not they may have one of the worst, First most of their dominant part of their lineup is lefties.The health situation on almost every lineup star is a major concern.Werth leaving definitley weakens the lineup production. Lets go through their lineup

    Rollins:concern out almost half the year last year
    Utley: concern having problems now and last year
    Howard:moderate concern did have problems last year
    Victorino:no concern/mild concern did have a injury
    Polanco:none to mild
    if you look at this lineup up and down the majority of the stars are having or already had problems.The issues may continue too grow. Brown is now injured aswell.The rotation maybe the best but the Phillies most certainlly cannot afford anymore injuries.Anymore will cause problems.

  17. The guy show less pop and struggled defensively when he was traded. I honestly cant say I am disappointed completely with the trade because Escobar continued his struggles offensively (given he had a good span of 3 games right after the trade (7-13 2 HRs 7 RBIs)) but that was mostly it. Add to that Gonzalez did not make his attitude apparent in the field. When one of the best player managers “hates” you there is a problem.

  18. vonhayesdays 4 years ago

    brown definitely didnt look ready , he got his first hit of spring training the same at bat he broke his hand , ben francisco is the Rf this year

  19. RedSoxDynasty 4 years ago

    Nava’s also a lefty which hurts his chances to stick this year!

  20. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    nava’s a switch-hitter. but he’s also not very good, so his chances are still hurt

  21. BoSoXaddict 4 years ago

    Who said Nava’s not very good? Word from Red Sox camp is that there might be some interest in him from an NL team as a bench guy..

  22. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    if anyone is interested in him for anything useful at all, the red sox should get the deal done yesterday. he’s 27 years old and the 8th best outfielder on boston’s 40-man roster. i’d have DFA’d him before coello

  23. Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

    Nava hits decently and throws very well. Its just that running/catching thingy that he has some trouble with. He would be a decent bench bat but I might think he’d be better in the AL, where he didn’t necessarily have to take the field.

    Coello was a 5-tool guy, which in this case I mean, he was such a major TOOL that he equalled 5 other guys who were all regular TOOLS. I’d have DFA’d him for a doormat. It was like Xmas and St. Paddy’s day, all rolled into one, when they announced he was designated. Since we get to play the Cubs this season, perhaps Coello can come out for them and lay down on the mound, just like he did for us at the end of last season. Oh yeah, he was practically unhittable in AAA. Shhh … he’s lulling them into a false sense of security by issuing them 7 consecutive walks.

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