Peter Gammons appeared on WEEI's Minor Details podcast to discuss the value of a deep minor league system, the difficulty in finding power hitters, and, of course, the Red Sox. WEEI's Alex Speier has the partial transcript, and here are some of the highlights…
- The value of top prospects, Gammons notes, is higher than ever before since teams are realizing that it isn't cost-effective to sign free agents when those older players are entering a decline phase. Dealing for a star player in his prime is now the preferred option for a team like Boston that has a strong minor league system. “Having three really good prospects and getting Adrian Gonzalez so they won’t have to pay him past the age of 35, I think that’s part of it," Gammons said.
- To wit, Gammons believes the Yankees will forego trying for a free agent pitcher and instead use their own deep minor league system to acquire a pitcher like Brett Anderson or Gio Gonzalez "if Oakland doesn’t get off to a really good start." I'm not sure I agree with Gammons on this one. It's hard to believe the A's would deal Anderson or Gonzalez for anything short of a totally absurd offer, be it from the Yankees or anyone.
- Shortstop Jose Iglesias and outfielder Ryan Kalish are "without question" going to be regulars for Boston in 2012. This puts them right on track to succeed incumbents Marco Scutaro and J.D. Drew, who are both in the last year of their contracts.
- Theo Epstein told Gammons before the 2005 draft that drug testing was going to create "a new game over the next five to 10 years," and then the Sox drafted Jacoby Ellsbury in the first round. Gammons notes that Boston has yet to develop a consistent power hitter in Epstein's regime, aside from Kevin Youkilis (who was drafted by former Sox GM Dan Duquette).