Cafardo On Red Sox, D’Backs, Nats, Oswalt, Ichiro

The Red Sox and Phillies, two teams that played each other this weekend, took very opposite paths, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.  The Phillies spent $50MM over four years for Jonathan Papelbon while the Red Sox went for the low-cost approach with arbitration-eligible Andrew Bailey.  So far, things have worked out for both clubs, but in different ways.  Papelbon has converted all of his save opportunities while Boston saved themselves a nice chunk of change while filling in for Bailey just fine with Alfredo Aceves.  Here's more from Cafardo..

  • The Diamondbacks are now among the teams that may have interest in Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis, as GM Kevin Towers is looking to upgrade offensively at the infield corners.  The Reds and Giants are also in need of upgrades. Of course, the Sox would have to decide whether Will Middlebrooks can handle the position.
  • The Red Sox called the Nationals after catcher Wilson Ramos went down, but they said they would stay in-house.  Lately, the Nats have been scouting teams who have depth behind the dish, and Boston is one.  Kelly Shoppach would be available, as the Sox could call up Ryan Lavarnway.
  • The initial reports on Roy Oswalt’s sessions with Boston and Philadelphia were good, but not great. "Not in midseason form by any means," said one scout. “His fastball was off a tick, but he’ll get that up. He wasn’t throwing too much secondary stuff, but he looked fluid. It probably would take him a few weeks to get ready, but everybody’s going to need pitching a month from now, so it’s a good investment for down the road."
  • Mariners rightfielder Ichiro Suzuki is in the final year of his contract and there’s some reason to believe retirement is a possibility.  Those who know him don’t think that he wants to play for anyone but the M's.

68 Responses to Cafardo On Red Sox, D’Backs, Nats, Oswalt, Ichiro Leave a Reply

  1. start_wearing_purple
    start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

    I really hope Ichiro doesn’t retire. Assuming no major injuries there’s a good chance he can reach his 4,000th career hit next season.

    • Brad426 3 years ago

      What now? He’s at 2,476 right now… that would be a really awesome 2013 season.

      Edit: Even if you meant 3,000th career hit that would be back-to-back 286 hit seasons to get there.

      • James Attwood 3 years ago

        I think the OP might have been referring to total professional hits. Ichiro had 1278 in Japan before coming over. If he plays another season, he will almost certainly blow past 4,000 hits total for his career.

        It doesn’t go in the MLB record books, but it’s still a significant stat to pay attention to.

        • Brad426 3 years ago

           Gotcha. That makes way more sense.

          • start_wearing_purple
            start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

            He’s right, that’s what I meant. I think it’s worth noting since only 2 players in baseball history have broken the 4,000 hit marker.

          • Brad426 3 years ago

             I’m with you now and I agree that’s worth him sticking around for.

          • Actually, at least 4 players have more than 4000 professional hits. Hank Aaron (4095) and Stan Musial (4001) top the mark when their minor league hit totals are included.

          • Brad426 3 years ago

             More than that if you count little league and wiffle ball, I’d imagine.

    • Guest 3 years ago

      Not to mention 3,000 hits in the MLB. He’d likely need to play just about two more seasons following this one, assuming no injury and assuming he can get past 2,600 this season, which seems very possible.

  2. HerbertAnchovy 3 years ago

    I also hope Ichiro doesn’t retire. His batting the last season and a bit has been down, but he’s still a phenomenal athlete.

    He is by far my favorite player.

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

       Probably going to depend on how much less he signs for next year. Seattle isn’t the Yankees and are not about to overpay just to keep someone in order to get his 3000th hit in their uniform..

      His 17m annual contract expires after this season, if he can get half of that on a 1 year deal..39YO and a slap hitter..It would be a miracle..

      • HerbertAnchovy 3 years ago

         I agree to some extent.

        He certainly isn’t going to get 17MM, but I do believe Seattle will overpay to keep him. The attendance has been down the last few seasons, and if they let Ichiro walk, it would be dire.

  3. johnsilver 3 years ago

    Tuck wanted Lavarnway on the roster when the season began and that is interesting.. he is also the guy who is credited for fixing Salty.. Not Varitek, who some Fans think was the one who helped him get over throwing the ball away back to the pitcher and also fixed his issues last season throwing the ball to 2b..

    If Tuck thinks he could have helped, it’s probably because his defense was ready, contrary to what has been put out in the press thus far.

    Time to actively look for a partner and move either Salty, or Shoppach and if Shoppach is the one to go.. Get Lavarnway in to at least 50% of the games as the starting catcher as he is the future starter, not Salty.

  4. I could see a Youkilis for Wade Miley trade which would also open a spot for Bauer who’s clearly major league ready

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

      Boston already has a back end L/H starter with peripherals as good as (or better) than Miley’s in Doubrant who is also younger. Miley would server no purpose to Boston, but Youk would help the D-Backs.

      A trade has to help both teams.

      • I present you Vernon Wells for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera, a trade that helped neither team. It helped the Rangers who also screwed over the Blue Jays

        • Siouxfan 3 years ago

          No I think the Blue Jays screwed
          the Blue Jays!

    • James Attwood 3 years ago

      The Dbacks radio announcers had KT on during the game against the Royals and they asked about Trevor Bauer. KT made it pretty clear that Bauer will still be spending some time maturing down in the minors while he works on pitch count and limiting walks. Although things can change quickly in Baseball, I would not be surprised if Bauer is left in AAA until sometime in July or August. There is no pressing need for the Dbacks to call him up right now.

      Miley doesn’t really help the BoSox all that much other than perhaps shoring up the 4 and 5 spots in the rotation. I would actually be surprised if the Dbacks moved any of their pitching prospects for a Youk rental though. The Dbacks have a surplus of pitching, but it is almost certain that not all of it will pan out.

      Because Youk would be a rental player (there is no way AZ picks up his $13MM option) the Dbacks would likely not move anything other than one or two position prospects or maybe a B prospect and one of the excess OFs on the 40 man roster like Pollack. But that doesn’t really help the BoSox either.

      Mostly, the Dbacks could probably benefit from a half season of Youk, but they are poor trading partners for Boston when it comes to matching up a trade. The only way Boston should get one of the Dbacks top pitching prospects would be for a Youk + other (likely bullpen arm or catcher).

  5. I know Adam Lind, the Blue Jays and Orioles, weren’t mentioned here, but I wanted to give Chris Melito a shout-out because of this line because it’s tremendous!

    In any case, the entire AL East is a little topsy-turvy. As long as the Baltimore Orioles remain in first place, any kind of basis for analysis is probably a complete crapshoot

    • mjlowe 3 years ago

      When the Yankees figure things out & the Sox & Rays get their injured stars back, the O’s wouldn’t even need the inevitable fall back to earth for a huge shift in the standings to occur. 

  6. monkeyking42 3 years ago

    I don’t get why the Giants keep being mentioned as needing help at the infield corners.  Sandoval will be back in a couple weeks, and while none of their 1B options are great, Belt at least looks like a legit major leaguer, and Posey will be getting some starts there as well.  Meanwhile, 2B is a black hole and SS isn’t much better.  Those are the real positions of need.

  7. mrsjohnmiltonrocks 3 years ago

    I think the Reds could really use Kevin Youkilis – maybe they could take Dice K off the Sox hands when he’s ready to go too.  Kevin is from Cincinnati and Dice K has pretty much worn out his welcome with the Sox.  I think a change of scenery would help him enormously.  Even with all of the trades the Reds have made they still have some players they aren’t going to have a spot for in their minors.

    • flickadave 3 years ago

      The Red Sox are thin at pitching this year. There is little chance that they are going to trade a solid pitcher (if he once again is healthy) just to get rid of him. 

    • bigpat 3 years ago

       If they can get someone like Homer Bailey for Youk, they’d have to dot it, but I’m not sure that would happen. Boston can maybe throw something else in, but I’m just not sure Youk as much value right now. He’s a strong bat when he’s healthy but he’s breaking down and I’m not sure how much longer teams will feel comfortable playing him at 3B.

      With that said, it would probably be too risky to trade Middlebrooks and rely on Youk to man the position. They should hope Youk’s name recognition will get them a useful piece at the deadline, because they should be operating as sellers this year, or be open to moving pieces to fill other needs.

      • MaineSox 3 years ago

        The Red Sox aren’t trading Youkilis for Homer Bailey, they already have 7-8 pitchers as good or better.

  8. I want Ichiro to retire. It’s depressing watching him hit third every day.

    • HerbertAnchovy 3 years ago

       Blame Eric Wedge.

      •  I do. I just don’t like Ichiro in general. I was against the contract when he signed it. I wouldn’t mind him as a fourth outfielder, but I know the FO would never allow that.

        • Stephen Luna 3 years ago

          ichiro doesnt have much power but he gets on base a lot. his average is down a lot yes however that’s cause he is batting third where he isn’t comfortable. he has a very low strikeout rate and still dispite the average decrease still has a decent average. he would do better on a team that could hit more just because he could get more RBIs off his hits. without him though the mariners would lose much worse. he is a key component. not to mention he is fast and gets many stolen bases a season. he is similar to Reyes just on a team that can’t hit. if he were on the red sox lol he would have a bazillion more hits because or the green monster. the mariner’s stadium is also much bigger than many in the mlb.

  9. hawkny1 3 years ago

    Ben Cherington has already indicated he will not trade a player while he is on the DL.  So, for the moment, Kevin Youkilis is not going anywhere.  Once off the DL, Youk will, in all likelihood, be given an opportunity to regain his spot at 3B.  However, having been in and out of the lineup so often these past 20 months, he will not be given a whole lot of slack.  The pressure will be on to “produce to play” because those are the terms he created for himself with his manager earlier in the campaign.  

    As for Middlebrooks, he does seem to be fooled  by a lot by major league curve balls, sometimes looking pretty raw when he swings, but he does have excellent power when he makes contact.  He definitely has been having problems with balls hitting to his right, along the foul line.  Whether it is positioning or being caught napping, I do not know, but he needs more work getting to those balls and making the long throw to 1st base.  There are simply too many ground balls getting by him on that side that roll into the corner, sometimes for 2 base hits.  

    I would like to throw the St. Louis Cardinals in the hopper as a potential landing place for Youkilis.  They just lost Lance Berkman, perhaps permanently, so they may need an experienced 1st baseman soon.  They are bringing up a prospect, Adams, who has put up big numbers offensively in the minors to play 1B but if he is not ready, there may be the potential for a deal.  I might add, the Cards also have need for a 2nd baseman who can hit and another good reliever or two.  Motte, their closer, is the only dependable reliever they have at the moment. 

    I would love to see Alan Craig in RF at Fenway and would go so far as to suggest Youkilis, Bard, Albers and Aviles in return for Craig, even though he is injured and on the DL right now.  SS Iglaises, at Pawtucket is hitting in the .280-.290 range now, after a slow start at the plate.  So, he is apparently is over his injuries and the widely thought belief that he is unable to hit with consistency.

    • Stephen Luna 3 years ago

      The Cardnals will not take youkilis just because they already have a much younger player whom they are calling up in adams. Yes it is possible that he could not be ready yet however youkilis is looking for a long term deal with somebody and chances are if the cardnals are looking for a big bat they’d look for a player to fill a position long term. The Craig scenario yes, he does seem like a good pitcher for us however no way in hell should they get rid of youkilis, bard albers and aviles. aviles is a possible allstar candidate currently, albers is doing well in the bullpen and bard is lights out in the bullpen as well. if anything buchholz gets traded and bard goes back to the bullpen. plus, craig isn’t nearly THAT good. yes it is possible for him to become a star in a few years but he isn’t yet, and he isn’t nearly worth 4 key parts in the sox’s team. If the sox trade bard for anyone or do anything I would actually, trade bard and/or buchholz for Zack grinke or King Felix. Grienke is young at 28 right in his prime and would be a great addition to the team while felix is only 26! and the Mariners are looking for good prospects. The Sox could trade say Lin, buchholz and say Matt Barns and possibly a player to be named (maybe Albers come the Allstar break when baily, elsbury, crawford should return by if not soon after) then the sox would have king felix, lester, becket, bard and debront. would be a much better rotation plus we’d have aceves to continue his long relief and spot starts like he was so good at last year! Not to mention we still have melacon in the minors who should be ready soon to be the set up man.

  10. notsureifsrs 3 years ago

     a youkilis trade is fine if and only if it brings back value. you can’t sell low on a player of his caliber

    the other, possibly more desirable option is to sell high on middlebrooks, who may not be as good as his hot start suggests. a package around him would certainly bring back something valuable. and in addition to one more year of youkilis, boston has plenty of prospect depth at 3B

  11. start_wearing_purple
    start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

    The only real issue with Middlebrooks is he’s only gotten 3 walks in his time in the majors suggesting he lacks a little in patiences which has been a big trait of the Red Sox offense for the last several years.

    That said, it seems like the best place for him to work on that issue is in the majors. Youk has been one of my favorite players over the last several seasons. But it does seems like trading him could be the best move right now.

  12. johnsilver 3 years ago

     I thought so to at one time, then they traded Miles. Renfroe has never broken out and his struggles seem to continue. Vitek is a singles hitter who will probably end up a corner OF anyway. Cecchini is probably the only legit guy (other than who knows where Bogaerts ends up position wise) and he may not ever develop much (if any) power.

  13. start_wearing_purple
    start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

    Considering all the scouting reports on Middlebrooks I’d say this month could very well be around what we can expect from him on average. 

    Also I doubt it matters. Odds are the Sox are going to want to cut payroll next year to ensure they’re under the luxury tax threshold, one simple way to do that is cut ties with Youk and save $12M by having Middlebrooks play 3rd full time. 

    Sure the Sox have good depth at 3rd but only one of them is in AA ball and he hasn’t exactly been impressive this year. Unless something crazy happens, don’t expect Middlebrooks to be traded for anything.

  14. stl_cards16 3 years ago

    I keep seeing Red Sox fans saying this. You’re telling me if Youk comes back and hits like he has over the last 4 years, you’re okay with the Red Sox trading him because he has built back up his value? I can’t see the front office doing that. If Youk is healthy and hitting, the Red Sox are much better with him and would ONLY trade him if they’re out of it in July.

  15. start_wearing_purple
    start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

    Honestly I don’t think it’s a great move to trade Youk is he returns to form. And yes, I’m well aware I’m giving 2 mutually exclusive answers. 

    It comes down to a couple of points:
    1) Trading Youk and keeping Middlebrooks has decent potential in the long run. Youk is already 33 and frankly should be moved back to first in the next couple of years. Add to that he could probably net a decent prospect. 
    2) Trading some offense wouldn’t hurt that much. Even with their awful record the Sox still have one of the top offensive teams in the league. I can’t find any stats that simply look at their numbers without Youk, but I doubt they’d be much different.
    2) It would be a business decision. Trading Youk now means they don’t have to decide on his option and will be able to cut $12M from next year’s payroll.

    Trading Youk would suck. However the more I keep thinking about it, it seems like it could be best for the team.

  16. mjlowe 3 years ago

    You mean like over the last four years when he’s never played a full season?

  17. stl_cards16 3 years ago

    I’m not arguing that Middlebrooks is the future at 3B. I’m arguing that teams with a chance at the playoffs don’t trade impact bats away. It just won’t happen. It’s fun to speculate about or whatever but the only way he gets moved is if he continues to struggle or the Sox fall way out of the race before the deadline.

  18. notsureifsrs 3 years ago

    there isn’t a scouting report anywhere that projects middlebrooks as a .300+ ISO power guy. and if you take away the flukey power numbers, his line isn’t all that good

    i like middlebrooks, but my main point here is that he isn’t a reason to trade youkilis. the secondary point is that if one has to be traded (not the case), it may make more sense to move middlebrooks than youkilis

    the luxury tax issue is a good point though

  19. MaineSox 3 years ago

    It obviously wouldn’t be ideal (or not as ideal as Middlebrooks at 3B), but they could always play Aviles at 3B next year (where he is actually supposed to be a pretty good defender) and Iglesias at SS if they are truly worried about getting under the luxury tax.

  20. Spit Ball 3 years ago

    Depends on the year Youkilis has as to whether they decide to pick up his option or not if he is not traded in season this year. If Youkilis ends up playing the year out with the Sox and puts up Youk numbers the last 2/3rds of the year they might pick up the option and trade him to a team needing 1B/3B help. Since you do not get the same haul for departing free agents under the new CBA you might see some options picked up for the purpose of trade thay you did not see before. Barring the unforseen Middlebrooks is the hot corner man of the future going forward. If not this year than opening day next.

  21. notsureifsrs 3 years ago

    i think the question is still what middlebrooks is exactly. in most of the comments, people are taking for granted that he’s a major leaguer already. but he isn’t. he’s much less risky than a bogaerts or a cecchini, but he isn’t a known commodity. youkilis is

    having said that, it’s all about value added. if youkilis can in fact bring back a solid return (even if just in prospects), i’m on board. but right now people are overrating middlebrooks and underrating youkilis. it’s the former you usually want to sell in these situations

  22. MaineSox 3 years ago

    The one big worry about Middlebrooks is that he wont be able to adjust to major league breaking balls.  He’s struggled with off-speed stuff in the minors (striking out us much as 30% of the time); his numbers so far in the majors look like he is not handling them well (it’s a small sample, but it’s a known issue with him), so he at best still needs time in the minors to adjust to good breaking stuff, and at worst is going to strike out too much, and walk too little, to be a truly valuable hitter.  It’s very, very rare to find a hitter who strikes out >25% of the time, walks ~5% of the time, and is considered an “good” hitter.

    Even as an average overall hitter, with his above average defense, he would be a valuable player to have, but not what people currently think he is (or expect him to be).

  23. notsureifsrs 3 years ago

    i generally agree with your sentiment, but that’s simply not true here. it’s a matter of filling needs. if you have two capable players at one position and a glaring hole at another, you move convert that surplus into something that suits your needs. happens all the time

  24. MaineSox 3 years ago

    I can definitely see the idea behind trading Middlebrooks.  I don’t see Youkilis having enough value by the deadline to make a trade worth it; even if he hits like we know he can between now and then people are going to have to many questions about him, and Middlebrooks’ value will likely never be higher.  If there’s a chance you can get a top of the rotation type starter for Middlebrooks (or maybe Middlebrooks and a mid level prospect), I think I’d do it.

    Having Vitek, Cecchini, and (most people assume) Bogaerts coming up at 3B doesn’t hurt either.

  25. Spit Ball 3 years ago

    300+ iso power guy? Does he need to be that to be of help to the Sox on the cheap in his pre arb and even arb years. He does look like a 30 homer, 30 double guy to me and his 2011, 2012 numbers seem to support that.  23 homers, 26 doubles in 116 games and 439 at bats. He’s also a little faster than average. His defense needs a little work but the skills are there.

  26. flickadave 3 years ago

    Last time I watched a Red Sox game, Middlebrooks was the third baseman. Doesn’t that, by definition, make him a major leaguer?

    Middlebrooks has more than held his own so far and the team seems to play better with him on the field than with Youk manning 3rd base. Isn’t that what matters? Furthermore, Youk is now 33 and on the downside of his careeer. Meanwhile, Middlebrooks is just 23 years old and has several years until his career should peak. Compound this with the fact that the Sox almost assuredly won’t be exercising their option on Youk, and that makes this one of those times where the team can actually get a return on a player that they no longer need while getting younger, cheaper, and (arguably) better by trading a player away.

    The only way to find out if Middlebrooks is, by your definition, a major leaguer is to let him play.

  27. johnsilver 3 years ago

    So Boston could end up with a fast 3b who has no power (Cecchini) and thus far, a high strikeout rate that approaches that of Jacobs?

    You know.. The Sox used to draft people with plate discipline as one of the most important attributes and it seems as if they may be getting away from that now.. Many of their recent (post 2006) high round + high bonus picks have had extremely poor plate discipline.

  28. johnsilver 3 years ago

    ” The one big worry about Middlebrooks is that he wont be able to adjust to major league breaking balls.”

    I question is staying pull happy, even with pitchers now beginning to throw him FB on the outer part of the plate, sometimes off of the plate.

    Not that he couldn’t learn on the job, but he needs to figure out the field is more than LF and LC. Even watch Lavarnway, who he has played with as an example to himself maybe what to do when the pitcher throws every pitch during an AB on the outer third…

  29. MaineSox 3 years ago

    That’s not really a fair assessment of Cecchini.  Look at Middlebrook’s numbers in Lowell compared to Cecchini’s there last year – Cecchini put up better counting stats (including power #s) even having his season cut short by a broken wrist.  Cecchini is project to have above average power compared to Middlebrooks’ plus power (so he will likely hit fewer home runs), but he is projected to have better plate discipline and pitch recognition, as well as being better at hitting for average, so he will likely have a considerably higher OBP while still having respectable power (I’ve heard it said that if one player has an OBP 10 points higher, the other would have to have a SLG 30 points higher to make up the difference).

  30. notsureifsrs 3 years ago

    “Last time I watched a Red Sox game, Middlebrooks was the third baseman. Doesn’t that, by definition, make him a major leaguer?”

    by the least useful definition — “is in the major leauges” — sure. but why would you cling to that one?

    the question is very obviously about his true talent level. after a red hot start, he’s been coming back to earth. and as his power numbers and BABIP stabilize, his line looks…bad, actually. low average, low OBP, solid but unspectacular power. he strikes out too much, never walks, and can’t hit breaking pitches unless they’re hung over the middle

    i like him. he’s a good young prospect. a good young prospect who hasn’t yet proven that he’s ready to hit major league pitching fulltime

    youkilis has. in a small sample, one of these two players has hit unsustainably well and the other has hit unsustainably poorly. you want to believe that bother are sustainable trends and make your decision based on that belief, but you have no reason to do so other than the small sample itself

  31. MaineSox 3 years ago

     Middlebrooks is actually very good at hitting the ball the other way; he actually had to be taught to pull the ball.  What he needs to work on is learning when to pull the ball (which he is getting a lot better at) which goes back to pitch recognition – recognizing early if is going to be in or away.

  32. johnsilver 3 years ago

     Really hope it’s not true in the long run and yes.. Remember he broke his wrist last season had a… Torn ACL wasn’t he that caused his draft status to fall??

    Been watching his numbers and speed numbers climb. K totals as well, then renfroe after 3 seasons do a *very* little at low A ball. Vitek showing no power and from what have read? An awful glove at 3b, Shaw having to be moved (eventually) to 1b.

    It’s like they need Cecchini to get a grasp here on the K Zone and not just him, but several of the propsects they are counting on have very poor bb/k ratios. yeah, maybe Cecchini’s is his 1st *full* season of pro ball without injury, but people like Jacobs, Middlebrooks who have been in the system for years have never shown a decent ratio and have to wonder if the system is even preaching it anymore like they used to, something that has been done since the 60’s..

  33. MaineSox 3 years ago

    It’s definitely still a big part of their philosophy in the system, and they have a lot of guys who do it well, but most of the guys you mentioned are power hitters (who tend to strike out more by the nature of the way they swing) and all of the are young (plate discipline can be learned, but it takes time to learn it).

    I actually find Jacobs’ K numbers fairly encouraging.  He came in as a guy who had focused almost solely on football (he had what was considered a “football body” and is still working on turning into more of a baseball player) and while he had tons of ‘tools’ and potential he was very, very raw.  So his K% of 24-25% is fairly reasonable (especially considering his power, and his BB% up around 10%), and he has also been able to keep them steady as he has moved up a couple levels rather than having them increase.

  34. MaineSox 3 years ago

    Middlebrooks’ BB% of 11 was in 2009 in A ball, other than that he has been between 5-7% and his K% has mostly been between 25-30%.  It is definitely worth noting that his K% has been declining pretty steadily, which is encouraging.

    The minor league depth at 3B wouldn’t have anywhere near the value that Middlebrooks would, which is really the only reason trading Middlebrooks would be suggested.  Vitek has no real value at the moment (potential, but not real value), Cecchini would have pretty good value as part of a trade but not anything like Middlebrooks, and Bogaerts (who would have the most value of any of the minor league guys) is likely as close to untouchable as prospects really get and he still wouldn’t have anything like the value Middlebrooks would have.

  35. johnsilver 3 years ago

     “Middlebrooks doesn’t seem to be wildly swinging at horrible pitches, like Reddick would do at times.”

    Reddick actually looked better last season and if you have the MLB package.. Watch the A’s games (or some) this year and he’s got a really sweet approach so far at least this year and doing a nice job of fouling off what he doesn’t want.

    i was glad when Boston moved him (and Miles) for Bailey, but Reddick has so far looked really good for Oakland and has been one of the few bright spots on that team. he has been crushing the ball might add and good “D” in RF.

  36. MaineSox 3 years ago

    Potential all-star at 3B who is close enough to major league ready that he wouldn’t kill you out there, and who has all of his team control left?  I wouldn’t be too surprised to get that kind of value for him, especially if they find a team that is at all swayed by the number he has put up in his short time in the majors so far.  Even if he is used as the main piece in such a trade (along with a couple of mid-level guys) I think you would have to think about it.

  37. johnsilver 3 years ago

     Glad u mentioned his BB rate of late.. Noticed that also on a recent topic someone posted at Soxprospects his BB/k rate was down since 5/1.

    Think saw during ST one of the members reported he resembled a BB player now, moreso than a FB player and had lost much of the mass over the winter from his chest area..

    Hope that is a good thing and give him more mobility. He is one am trying to keep an eye on (as much as possible) prospect wise.

    It would be nice if they would add Portland to MiLB TV and 1st of all.. Portland would have a TV broadcast locally.. Have a feeling come 2013 many people will be on that team worth watching from “our” point of view. Listening was in vogue  years ago, but it ain’t the same anymore. LOL

  38. MaineSox 3 years ago

    His defense is actually the most refined part of his game, and he’s a slightly below average runner.

  39. notsureifsrs 3 years ago

    you are projecting 30-30 in the bigs based on his 30-30 pace in AA? embarrassing

    purple said (paraphrased): “based on the scouting reports, this month could be typical for middlebrooks”

    this month he has a .300 ISO. without it, his line would not be very good. no scouting report projects him to have that kind of power, so that’s where that comment came in

    middlebrooks is a very good prospect. he is not yet a very good mlb player

  40. flickadave 3 years ago

    Holding on to Youk at this point is like holding onto a stock that used to be solid but is now in serious decline. Do you get out and get something in return or do you wait until it’s worth nothing at all?

    Is Middlebrooks going to be a superstar? It’s waaay too early to tell but it’s also too early to tell whether he will be unable to hit major league breaking pitches. What did Pedroia’s line look like after the same amount of at bats? Give the guy a chance. The team is red hot with him playing 3rd as opposed to their record with Youk manning third this year. In addition to winning more, the team would save up to $11.5 million in payroll if they made the switch now with the extra bonus of whatever they get back in a trade.

    By the way, I love that Derek Lowe and Ubaldo Jimenez are both on the Indians now. You still sticking with “Ubaldo is an ace”?

  41. notsureifsrs 3 years ago

    “Holding on to Youk at this point is like holding onto a stock that used to be solid but is now in serious decline.”

    remember what i just said? you want to believe that both are sustainable trends and make your
    decision based on that belief, but you have no reason to do so other
    than the small sample itself

    that’s all you’re doing here, repeating a conclusion based on unimaginably weak evidence: 18 games

    as for jimenez, he has lost a full 4 mph on his fastball since the trade. if you saw that coming, i tip my cap. i definitely did not

    how about you, though. do you remember every prospect who has come up, hit well for a month, and flamed out? probably not. it’s a very long list. do you remember every veteran who has slumped for a month and then returned to form? that list is probably even longer

    what you’re doing here is operating on a hunch. that’s a fine thing to do; it really is. but just say that that’s what you’re doing. don’t pretend that you’re being objective or that the data backs you up. you could be right, but it’s just a hunch

  42. MaineSox 3 years ago

    It’s not that I’m so much worried about Middlebrooks, I think he’ll be fine once he adjusts, it’s just that there are aspects of his game that still need refining (and it would be best to do that refining at AAA).  That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have all-star potential – if he doesn’t improve his K/BB numbers he still has the potential to be an occasional all-star; if he does improve them he has the potential to be a perennial all-star.  It’s just a matter of what he ends up being.

    I kind of see it as whether he goes the Scott Rolen route, or the Brandon Inge route – both have good power, both play good defense, neither one walks a lot (at least not any more for Rolen, strangely he walked a lot more when he was younger), but Inge strikes out too much to carry a decent average/OBP.

  43. MaineSox 3 years ago

    His BB% may not stay as low as it is, but to assume that it should come up because it was (slightly) higher in the minors is faulty logic; it’s not uncommon at all (in fact it’s basically the norm) for guys to put up worse #s in the majors than they did in the minors (BB% included), so to think that he might be a 4.4 BB% guy in the majors right now wouldn’t be unreasonable.  That’s one of the things they wanted him to work on in AAA this year (until Youkilis getting hurt forced them to cal him up).

    I also doubt that Youkilis would have more trade value than Middlebrooks.  Even assuming Youkilis comes back and plays to his old form and stays healthy between now and the deadlin, he’s still being paid a ton more than Middlebrooks (it’s a good deal for Youk’s talent, but it isn’t $400k good), and he only has two years of control left (vs 6 or 7 or whatever for Middlebrooks).  Teams judge value based on talent, cost, and control – Youkilis is more talented, but he costs a lot more, and has a lot less team control.

  44. flickadave 3 years ago

    Once again, I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

     Middlebrooks, in my opinion, has shown that he is more than capable of playing in the major leagues. He is doing so at or near league minimum salary. The team has been winning with him playing so he obviously isn’t bad enough to derail the offense. If he knew he was to be the permanent starter, he might surprise some people and develop some plate disciple. Players have a tendency to be free swingers when they are trying to make a team.

    Youkilis, on the other hand, wasn’t playing well before he went on the DL. How much of that was due to the back injury is unknown. He might play better when he comes off the DL but nothing will change the fact that he is now 33, making over $12 million, had a (by his standards) mediocre year last year, and is in the last year of his contract if the Sox don’t pick up his option.

    I just don’t get why you want so badly to hold onto him when you have a ready made replacement who is making league minimum and, based on this years sample, is a decent replacement who has many years til he theoretically peaks offensively. You can statistically continue to play past years games if you want but what actually matters in real life is how a player is performing now.

    Jimenez is a perfect example of that. He had already lost quite a bit of steam off of his fastball when he was traded last summer. Add that to the fact that he had to pitch to all 9 hitters instead of having the pitcher spot to bail him out of trouble and it wasn’t hard to see this season going the way it has.

  45. mjlowe 3 years ago

    Really? I’ve only seen him play this year in the series against the Sox, but he looked as ghastly in the field as he did when he was here last year.

  46. mjlowe 3 years ago

    Well if he’s going to be a 1B, it certainly wouldn’t be for the Red Sox anyway, and look at how they’ve played since MB started playing, I’m not drawing causation into it, but they’ve definitely improved in his absence, their record only looks awful because of their division & they’re managing to turn things around a bit despite their horrible excuse for a rotation.

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