Cafardo On Upton, Phillies, Red Sox, Mariners

In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe ranks the top ten managers in baseball.  Don Mattingly of the Dodgers tops the list as he has the club off to a surprising 38-22 record, putting them four games above the Giants in the NL West.  Robin Ventura (White Sox), Terry Collins (Mets), Bobby Valentine (Red Sox), and Buck Showalter (Orioles) round out the top five.  Here's more from Cafardo..

  • Only Kevin Towers knows for sure if the inconsistent Justin Upton could ever be available in a deal.  However, a few baseball evaluators wouldn’t mind tempting the Diamondbacks with a package.  Arizona doesn't need pitching, so the Red Sox can't use someone like Clay Buchholz to get him.
  • The Phillies may be more interested in Will Middlebrooks than Kevin Youkilis, a major league source told Cafardo.  However, it doesn't look like the Red Sox would have interest in dealing Middlebrooks.
  • The Orioles' new six-year, $85MM deal with Adam Jones has led to speculation on how the Red Sox will approach Jacoby Ellsbury, who can be a free agent after the 2013 season.  However, there's reason for both sides to wait.  As an Oregon native who shuns the spotlight, Ellsbury may want a quieter market.  The Sox, meanwhile, would want to see Ellsbury stay healthy for a while before committing 6-8 years to him.
  • While the Mariners haven’t given indications that they will sell off veteran pieces, teams are targeting them as a seller.  The M's have already received some inquiries for Brandon League.
  • The Rays have to be looking for a middle infielder, which are extremely hard to come by.  Tampa Bay is anxious to upgrade from the defensive play of Sean Rodriguez.
  • The Red Sox really like Jorge Soler, but they don’t appear to be the front-runners for him.

99 Responses to Cafardo On Upton, Phillies, Red Sox, Mariners Leave a Reply

  1. Dylan 3 years ago

    Why would Red Sox want to trade him?

    There are some interesting guys like Olt, Seager/Liddi/Franklin, or Cox (and they just drafted another 3B) that could be available because of being blocked…not Middlebrooks.

  2. StanleyHudson 3 years ago

    Just like the Phillies aren’t getting Middlebrooks, the Red Sox aren’t getting Justin Upton.

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

       You left a key factor out.. Phillies have nothing to send in exchange/desirable who would be under control for over half a season..

      Middlebrooks would take the Phillies farm system nearly in it’s entirety.. So in that regard? Yeah.. Philly has no chance to get Middlebrooks…

      • MaineSox 3 years ago

        I’d send them Middlebrooks for one of their Aces.

        • johnsilver 3 years ago

           It still does not make sense to move him for reasons gave lower in the topic.. The next 3b they have with a chance is Cecchini, or the closest.. Then maybe Bogaerts if he plays 3b.. Vitek isn’t going to cut it.. Spears is a nothing.. They will have to pick up Youk’s 13m option next year forcefully..Intend to or not out of no other option.

          As it is, moving Middlebrooks would be a very poor decision and switching Aviles to 3b, letting Iglesias play SS next season even worse and all that to get 2 months of Hamels, or 100m of Lee’s salary? No thanks.

          • MaineSox 3 years ago

            Well, with a trade for Hamels they can ask for a signing period to get him signed to an extension (like they did with Gonzalez) or no deal, so it wouldn’t have to be for 2 months of Hamels.  Lee would be a great addition for the Sox, but where they are trying to get under the luxury ta threshold by 2014 you’re right that he might not be their first choice (they could always get creative with moving other guys around so there’s a bit of a salary swap, or send additional talent and get the Phillies to pay some of the contract though).

            I also only mentioned them because they were the topic of this thread, but there are other teams who are looking for corner infielders who would presumably prefer Middlebrooks over Youkilis who also have top of the rotation type starters who could be moved, so it wouldn’t necessarily have to be Hamels or Lee.

      • cwinnipeg 3 years ago

        Cole Hamels

        • MannyBeingMVP 3 years ago

          What, for a couple months, before he signs long-term with the Dodgers?  :-)

      • frank_costanza 3 years ago

        You clearly don’t know anything about the Phillies system. Don’t believe everything you read, do some research for yourself. The Phillies happen to have a plethora of young top-tier pitching. The Red Sox (as far as I know) do not. Plus their current rotation is pretty bad.

        • StanleyHudson 3 years ago

          Practice what you preach, man. Sox low A(Salem, Greenville) is loaded with talent. Even double A has a few guys with lots of potential. It’s just Pawtucket that’s lacking prospects with a lot of upside, aside from Lavarnway and Iglesias. Sure nothing major league ready yet but they’re in good shape for the future.

          • frank_costanza 3 years ago

            Well I look at Boston having two SP in their top 10 prospects vs. the Phillies four, two of whom are having good seasons in AA. Although May has gotten touched in his last two starts.

          • BLB25 3 years ago

            The difference is that the majority of the Phillies top 10 guys wouldn’t crack the top 10 of other teams prospects.  You seem to think that just because the Phillies have a top 10 prospects it means they’re all good.  There’s not much upside in that group and most of the power arms that do have upside are still either at the very lowest levels, struggling with command, or both.  Every team has a top 10 prospect list, but not all top 10 lists are equal.  

          • MaineSox 3 years ago

            Trevor May, their consensus top prospect coming into the season, would likely fall somewhere around 5th in Boston’s current farm system.  That’s not to take anything away from May, just to show that those four pitchers in Phillies top ten wouldn’t likely be in Boston’s top ten, so you can’t really compare the two that way.

          • Croagnut 3 years ago

            LOL “do some research for yourself” about philly, then “as far as I know” bout boston.  good call Stan.

        • BLB25 3 years ago

          Biddle looks good, but he’s in A ball and May has struggled with the transition to AA.  Beyond that there aren’t really any big upside arms that have shown enough to be major parts of a deal that lands a young bat like Middlebrooks.  Middlebrooks would’ve been far and away the Phillies best prospect coming into 2012 and his stock has skyrocketed since the season opened and most of the Phillies top prospects coming into the year have seen their value dip a bit.  I don’t know what kind of research you’re doing but the Phillies certainly don’t possess the pieces to get a Middlebrooks deal done unless it involves one of their great big league pitchers.  I’ll be a little surprised if they can even scrape together the kind of young pitching the Red Sox want to land Youkilis without breaking up their current rotation or completely cleaning out their already barren farm system.  

      • StanleyHudson 3 years ago

        I just thought that was all assumed. But, yes.

        • johnsilver 3 years ago

           Seriously.. The MLB Philly roster is on the older side and is built to win now.. Why would they want to give up a large prospect package in exchange for Middlebrooks and then.. Boston’s top players are at the lower levels also (as you know) and even a fit possible at all..

          I can’t see Philly going the expensive acquisition route in going for the possible higher cost to acquire player really, though interested in hearing your reasons.

      • Steve_in_MA 3 years ago

        Jesse Biddle, but that would be for Youk, not Middlebrooks.

  3.  sox should sell the farm including middlebrooks to philly for hamels

    • Dylan 3 years ago

      …they could sign him in a couple months and keep Middlebrooks..

      I see Rangers, Angels, Pirates, Cardinals, Tigers, and Indians being very aggressive.

      How bout Victorino to Pirates? That’d be interesting.

      • why would the Rangers go after Hamels? That doesn’t make sense for them considering what it would take to acquire him.

        • frank_costanza 3 years ago

          Exactly what would it take though? The returns for SP traded mid-season in recent years have not been good.

        • Dylan 3 years ago

          Olt for Hamels? Why wouldn’t they with the injuries. Plus, if they don’t and the Angels get him, they could be in trouble.

    • For half a season? Why not just wait til hes a free agent and sign him?

      • vtadave 3 years ago

        …because not having him on their roster for half a season would be worse than having him?

        • BLB25 3 years ago

          And you then not only don’t have to give up a compensatory pick if you sign him as a FA, but you also receive 2 picks if you get out-bid for him in the offseason.  

          • ugen64 3 years ago

            didn’t the new CBA change that rule, so teams only get a comp pick if the player stays with them for the whole season?

          • MaineSox 3 years ago


      • Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

        That doesn’t help you win this year.

  4. The Real D Guar 3 years ago

    Now that is one weak set of rumors/thoughts.  Nothing about Joe Blanton being dangled for Josh Hamilton or something this week?

  5. MaineSox 3 years ago

    Man, where do you even start with this one?

    Bobby Valentine is the fourth best manager in the game?  Really?

    Now is not the time to be trading Buchholz anyway, his value hasn’t been lower in years.  And the last thing this team needs to do is trade away pitching for more offense.

    I’m going to guess that pretty much everyone would be more interested in Middlebrooks than Youkilis (with the possible exception of teams with an established 3B who are specifically looking for a 1B).

    He basically says Kendrick was right about Drew, and says Boras is only looking out for the player “just as he did with Jacoby Ellsbury a couple of years back.”  The most ridiculous thing a player and/or agent can do in that situation is try to take as long as possible to get back on the field; the only way they can build any value back is by playing, and the longer they sit out the lower their value goes.

    • MaineSox 3 years ago

      I’ll also just say that I would actually be in favor of trading Middlebrooks (assuming, of course, that they got good value for him).

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

        Not set against it.. He could be the next Ted Cox (look him up from Eck to Indians if you like) who made a huge splash on the field for a month and a half.. Long enough to get valued highly enough to help Boston land Eckersley..

        The next real 3b the Sox have is Cecchini though.. Spears is nothing, Vitkek either and that motley collection at Salem have little faith in either.. They move Middlebrooks and then they must pick up Youk’s 13m option next year.. Costing the team money and take years longer for the next 3b to come along.. Please think of those 2 scenarios and Boston also unless they think Middlebrooks plate discipline is something that will get exploited as a weakness more and more.


        I still have a #18 Ted Cox jersey around someplace. HAHAHA

        • MaineSox 3 years ago

          Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I want them to trade him, but if they could get a true top of the rotation starter by trading him it would be well worth it.  They still have Youkilis for next year, and they can always get a stopgap type after that if the younger guys aren’t ready by then.  There’s also a chance that Vitek turns out to be useable player, or that Cecchini is ready by then (both maybe slim chances).  And while it wouldn’t be ideal they could always put Aviles at 3B for a year with Iglesais at SS.

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

             Understand where you are coming from also here. Remember there is a decent shortage of average to above 3b in the game ATM and Middlebrooks is right now a future above average one with 6 years of control.

            Now.. If by involving him in a move for a top of the rotation pitcher.. not a 3 month rental.. Out of the question.. 3b (for reasons described) are nearly as rare as catchers ATM.

            Don’t think (and hope) they move him either. Am of the opinion they choose to not pick up Youk’s option next year and invest that 13m towards a better SP.. Say Sanchez which 13m would just about cover.. Just add maybe 3 more years to it at 4 years total and 13-14mAAV

            Vitek (from what have read) needs to learn how to field the 3b position and has no power (yet) to go along with his struggles.. I see Cecchini passing him within a year or 2 and Bogaerts next season if they move him F/T to 3b.

            The scenarios both of us have thrown out however involving Middlebrooks being moved and possible replacements are iffy at best. Planning on long term development from several high end people at A ball, or Aviles to go to 3b and his non patie4nce approach at the plate which pitchers have finally figured out.

            They might be better off getting the O’s to pay most of Reynolds deal and stick cast iron glove himself at 3b for a season.. Back to the Butch Hobson days of “no d/high K, but hit the ball a mile” he always was.

          • MaineSox 3 years ago

            The fact that 3 of their top 5 and 4 of their top 10 prospects are third basemen makes it a bit easier to swallow, and any time you can upgrade a position of weakness by dealing from a position of strength it is likely a good move, but you are right that it wouldn’t be without its risks.

      • Dylan 3 years ago

        Yeah, his BABIP suggests he is over achieving, bit I like him a lot. Good player.

    • Steve_in_MA 3 years ago

      There’s one little balancing fact that you’re not factoring into that equation.  It behooves the player to get back and establish value.  But it doesn’t behoove the player to come back if they will potentially play poorly.  Boras will stall Drew’s return if there is any reason why he won’t come back as a superlative player, because sucking would hurt his value more than delaying.  At this point, I think its more Drew’s state of mind and not the injury that has Boras worried about “how” he would perform.

      • MaineSox 3 years ago

        Nobody expects great performance coming back from a long layoff like that; they use scouts to look for talent and ability.  Obviously a scout would be able to tell if his timing is off or whatever, and be able to say that yeah, the talent is still there.  Getting labelled as fragile or injury prone is going to hurt his value a lot more than struggling after missing more than a year (that’s to be expected).

  6. UltimateYankeeFan 3 years ago

    Why in the world would the Diamondbacks even remotely consider trading Upton for Buchholz even if they needed pitching.

    • lol it would take more then buchholz, the redsox would practically have to clean out their farm for upton. I wouldnt mind seeing the yankees getting him, but not at the price of the farm system. but i doubt the dbacks would really trade upton. it could be talk to light a fire under his @** to get him to start hitting.

      • Croagnut 3 years ago

        Umh guys, he says “can’t use Buck”.  And never equates their talents.  It would take a package deal.

        • Sky14 3 years ago

          No he said you can’t dangle a Clay Buchholz (MLBtr re-worded the article). I doubt any Gm is salivating at the prospect of getting Buchholz especially in a deal for a guy like Upton. Even in a package Buchholz would be a throw in like Volquez was in the Latos deal. 

  7. if sox could sign hamels long term then middlebrooks would be gone in a flash 

  8. $6101468 3 years ago

    Slow day so the old rumor mill is in full force – was there anything about those magical “unnamed sources?” Color me in as a cynic with 99.9% of the rumors since it usually is fabrication or too much wine on the part of the monger.

    The Red Sox have a rather substantial commitment via contract to Beckett, Lester and Buchholz. Then they have Lackey to return in 2013 and the emergence of Dubrount. Who knows what awaits with the enigmatic Dice-K and Bard?

    The Sox have also decided to do some payroll paring and that means Youk can start packing since Middlebrooks will be baseball cheap for a few years. Ellsbury is a dynamic player but with the long term commitment to Crawford it is a duplication of services and – who knows – maybe Kalish is the real deal.

    I just can’t see the Sox moving in on either Upton or the soon to be quite pricy Hamels.

    • MaineSox 3 years ago

      The goal is to get under the luxury tax by 2014, and Youkilis will be gone by then either way.  They have already acknowledged that they are going to be over the luxury tax threshold this year.

  9. MannyBeingMVP 3 years ago

    I am pretty impressed with the job that Collins is doing a manager of the Mets.  Other than David Wright and Johan Santana, I am not sure that the Mets have many players that impresss that much.  Yet they are in the race in a highly competitive division.  I don’t expect them to win, but I am impressed that they are able to compete.

    • mrsjohnmiltonrocks 3 years ago

       Me too.  He certainly has gotten the most from the least.  Of course it helps that two of their best players are healthy this year, but they have also had a large amount of players on the DL and virtually nothing (again) from Jason Bay and less than nothing from Ike Davis and Mike Pelfrey blew his arm out.

      Dickey, Captain Kirk, and Duda have performed well above expectations.  The Mets have been scuffling as of late.  Let’s see if he can get them back on track.

  10. The Phillies may be more interested in Will Middlebrooks than Kevin Youkilis.
    Hmmm, I never thought about this. Although, would the Phillies trade Cliff Lee for him? Would the Sox want that in return?

    • bergeraj 3 years ago

       Why on earth would they trade Cliff Lee?  Hamels seems destined for FA and Halladay is injured (and could be a FA), Blanton is a a BUM and a FA.  SO depending on who they would sign next year the Rotation would be Halladay, Worley, Kendrick, and pick from May, Bush/Elarton (if signed for another year) Cloyd, Hyatt.

      Now if they did indeed trade both Lee and Hamels that would be a lot of talent brought back to the team, just cant see them trading Lee and signing Hamels for 7 years!

  11. mgsports 3 years ago

    Figgins/Prospects to the Phillies with Victorino to the Red Sox because an Outfield of Shae/Jacob and Crawford would be good and Youklis to Mariners?

    • bergeraj 3 years ago

       Figgins???  Really??? What would that solve for the Phillies?

  12. heberts811 3 years ago

    How is Bobby V  a top five manager? They have been in last place most of the year and he has been far from brilliant handling what he has.

    • MetsEventually 3 years ago

      Because their top outfielders are hurt and their closer has been out. I see why he says that, but I don’t agree with it. 

    • Steve_in_MA 3 years ago

      Once again, its about doing the most with the least.  The Sox had something like 8 starting players on the DL, and somehow, BV has managed to keep them within 4 games of the lead in the division.  He certainly has managed the bullpen well – one of the best in MLB for May.  His outfield is made up of replacement players and a starting first baseman who alternates in right to make space for Youk.  It’s a hell of a juggling act.

      • And yet he doesn’t put Joe Maddon in his top 10.  The Rays have been without their closer all season, their best player for 2/3 of the season and their lead off hitter for almost half.  At one point a few weeks ago they had 10 guys on the DL and were starting multiple replacement level players.  All Maddon has been able to do during all this is lead the Rays to the best record in the AL. 

        • The Red Sox have also been without their closer, their best hitter and Crawford and have had alot on the DL also this season.

    • cbbruuno 3 years ago

      It is about kissing up to the Red Sox/Valentine so he has access (Boston writer). Valentine developed a reputation in NY as someone who shut out any reporter who was overly critical of him. 

  13. $6101468 3 years ago

    As a Sox fan since 1952 I have to say Bobby V. is the best manager in the game.  Man….this Jack Daniels stuff is great for breakfast.  Anyways…..I may reconsider….Pinky Higgins was damn good, also. 

  14. mgsports 3 years ago

     3B intill a Prospect is ready and can play other postions to.

  15. Millwood/League packaged & shipped. Name your price sir!!

  16. Tony Matias 3 years ago

     If they’re going to do it, let’s just see them go all the way. 😉

    Millwood, League, Gutierrez, Olivo and Ryan – gone. For who and how many is the obvious question, but none of them truly play into the long-term plans of the M’s and/or their value more than likely won’t be any higher than it is now.

    I’d also try and get something for Ichiro, but I’m sure he would block most anything at this point in his career. I would also shop Carp around. My understanding is he has no more options so moving him down won’t be done and keeping him here may prove to be a wasted slot of the roster.

    • Tyrell Osborne 3 years ago

      I’d keep Ryan for another year. I hate him, but his glove is making him on pace for 6 WAR for the year. Franklin wont be up till next summer so keep up and trade him next year, who’s gonna replace Ryan anyway?

      • Tony Matias 3 years ago

         Considering the M’s (it will never happen) put all the guys I listed on the block and actually trade some of them, then who knows what will be received in return.

  17. Typical Boston writer leaves Joe Maddon who should be coach of the year. First place in the AL East, 11 players on the disable list. 

  18. chee1rs 3 years ago

    doesn’t work that way

  19. wont get felix in return though. so your going to give up middlebrooks for vargas or anyone else in that rotation for that matter besides felix? seattle is not even worth talking about unless they come out and say their willing to pack up hernandez and ship him oout to another team.

  20. harmony55 3 years ago

    Here are the minor league lines for Will Middlebrooks and Alex Liddi, 6-foot-4, righthanded power hitters, born less than a month apart, who were the opposing starting thirdbasemen in the 2011 Futures Game:

    WM 1706 PA, 128 BB (7.5%), 449 K (26.3%), .276/.333/.454/.787
    AL 2951 PA, 255 BB (8.6%), 731 K (24.8%), .277/.344/.465/.809 

    Disregarding their respective 31-game MLB samples in 2012, Middlebrooks and Liddi could be statistical twins.

  21. Dylan 3 years ago

    He meant Liddi, Franklin, or Seager for young 3B. Had nothing to do with Felix.

  22. harmony55 3 years ago

    The Red Sox would be wise to trade Will Middlebrooks while his value is high. In the minors, Middlebrooks struck out more and walked less than did Mark Reynolds, who made a similar MLB debut in 2007 as a 23-year-old thirdbaseman called up in May. Here are their comparative stats for their first 30 MLB games:

    WM 119 PA, 6 BB, 30 K, .310/.345/.531/.876
    MR 120 PA, 11 BB, 30 K, .290/.353/.514/.867

    Mark Reynolds is a reasonable comp for Will Middlebrooks … which should help define his trade value.

  23. johnsilver 3 years ago

    Please.. Middlebrooks also took until 2011 to figure out what was going on at the plate (some are late bloomers) and carries well above average range at 3b, plus an excellent arm, where Reynolds always was considered a cast iron lead gloved defensive 3b..

    Part of scouting report on Middlebrooks defense:

    “Plus-to-better arm. Light on feet defensively with strong anticipation, reactions, and first step. Solid footwork and stays square to the ball.”

  24. melonis_rex 3 years ago

    – plate discipline is a learned skill and not as significantly talent based. through factors such as experience and coaching, players can and sometimes do demonstrate better plate discipline in the bigs than they did in the minors. 

    -a 30 game sample size signifies very little, if anything.

  25. bergeraj 3 years ago

     Why are you bringing that up to me?  I have no opinion on that matter my comment was about Trading Cliff Lee at all!

  26. harmony55 3 years ago

    Perhaps because Will Middlebrooks’ high-strikeout, low-walk rates don’t fit in the with Red Sox philosophy.

    Even with Middlebrooks’ hot start and adjusting the for number of 2012 games played, the thirdbase WAR rankings have Middlebrooks behind Kansas City’s Mike Moustakas and Toronto’s Brett Lawrie, who both are younger than Middlebrooks, and Seattle’s Kyle Seager, who is only 10 months older.

  27. bergeraj 3 years ago

    For 9.5 Million and hitting at a whopping .175 hes really not better than many players

  28. bergeraj 3 years ago

     And just as I say that Wigginton is unable to handle a bad hop at 3rd and O’s get another run that should not have happened

  29. MaineSox 3 years ago

    The most significant factor, I think, is that Will was a football player in high school who also happened to play baseball, and even as a baseball player he was also a pitcher, so not only did he not focus a lot on baseball, but even when he was playing baseball he wasn’t focusing on hitting as much as a straight hitter, so he was very, very raw when he started pro-ball, and he’s improved his plate discipline every year with the Sox.

  30. harmony55 3 years ago

    I acknowledge the limited value of the 30-game sample, but here are the comparative minor league statistics for Will Middlebrooks’ 416 games and Mark Reynolds’ 335 games:

    WM 1706 PA, 128 BB (7.5%), 449 K (26.3%), .276/.333/.454/.787
    MR 1402 PA, 137 BB (9.8%), 326 K (23.3%), .279/.360/.522/.883

    Granted, Middlebrooks was drafted out of high school and Reynolds out of college, and Reynolds’ numbers were inflated by a stint in the hitter-friendly California League, but the 96-point difference in OPS is hard to ignore.

  31. harmony55 3 years ago


    You are delusional if you think persons running MLB clubs care what you or I write in the comments section of an MLBTR forum … but at least I offer statistics and citations to make my point.

    The similarities of Will Middlebrooks and Mark Reynolds go beyond having impressive MLB debuts as 23-year-old thirdbasemen called up in May. Each could be considered a late bloomer: Middlebrooks was a 2007 fourth-round pick (out of high school) whom Baseball America never ranked among the organization’s Top 10 prospects until his impressive 96-game stretch at Double A in 2011 propelled him to the top of the 2012 Red Sox list. Mark Reynolds, a 16th-round pick (out of college) in 2004 was never ranked among his organization’s Top 10 prospects until landing at No. 7 the year of his MLB debut.

    johnsilver offered a scouting report from SoxProspects, a website with a decidedly pro-Red Sox bias (although I admire the work that goes into that site).

    The more objective ScoutingBook this spring had this to say about Middlebrooks’ defense: “His fielding, on the other hand, is lagging behind, and he’ll need to get a lot more sure with the glove and arm before he’s ready for everyday MLB duty, especially at third base. But if the BoSox grow injury-riddled again, they may decide some power is worth a few kicked grounders …”

    In his rookie season, Reynolds posted a UZR/150 of a negative 8.0 in 842.1 innings at third base.  Middlebrooks has posted a UZR/150 of a negative 18.7 in 254 innings at third base this season. Even with the standard small-sample caveats, Middlebrooks has much to prove defensively at third base.

    I value all opinions offered on this forum, but this 56-year-old has greater respect for opinions backed with statistics and other references instead of a flippant “what are these kids … smoking these days.”

    Best regards.

  32. Dylan 3 years ago

    I didn’t know Liddi played OF. Thought they were all SS/3B.

  33. Dylan 3 years ago

    In that case, that’s a heck of an infield if Smoak lives up to his potential: Smoak Ackley Franklin Seager with Liddi in OF and Montero catching plus their pitching prospects.

    It may be in their best interest to trade Felix for a top CF/C prospect and two arms…

  34. MaineSox 3 years ago

    You need at least three years worth of UZR to make any judgements about a players actual defense, so those numbers you put out there don’t mean a thing.  If you look at what scouts say about Middlebrooks’ defense though it should tell you all you need to know:

    Goldstein: “His defense has always impressed, and he has plus range, good hands, and an outstanding arm.”  and  “He’s one of the better defensive third baseman in the minors with quick reactions, soft hands, and a well above average arm.”

    Mark Anderson (BPN): “Has very good hands and good fundamentals in every phase of his
    defensive game. A true asset at the hot corner. Could be a potential Gold Glove caliber defender
    once he settles in at the big league level.”

    Law: “showing raw power and plus defense at third base

    Sickels: “He’s a very good defender at third base with above-average range, and a strong arm”  and  “particularly impressive on defense.”

    Callis: “above-average hitter and defender.

    Also, as you already noted, Reynolds was drafted out of college, whereas Middlebrooks was drafted as a multi-sport – two way player out of high school (he played football and baseball, and on the diamond he played SS and pitched), so he never really focused on baseball until he turned pro (and what time he did spend on baseball was split between SS and pitching), so he was an extremely raw hitter, and had never played 3B.  Both his hitting and his defense have improved every single year since turning pro.

  35. notsureifsrs 3 years ago

    everything up ^there, and:

    all told, the one and only feature common to the two players is their k/bb ratios. even those are deceiving, though, since reynolds is a patient three-outcome hitter and middlebrooks is a hacker. more importantly, if mark reynolds played defense like will middlebrooks, he’d be a very good player

    i’d be the first person to trade the kid while his value is high, but that comparison is just an altogether awkward way to try to talk him down

  36. notsureifsrs 3 years ago

    how dare you

  37. harmony55 3 years ago

    Thanks for the thoughtful response.

    John Sickels in Feburary 2011 wrote a nice Mark Reynolds retrospective that included his first write-up on Reynolds from February 2008. Sickels’ pieces give Reynolds’ fielding mixed reviews.

    For what it’s worth, Mark Reynolds reportedly was a four-year letterman in three sports — baseball, basketball and golf — at First Colonial High School in Virginia Beach.

  38. MaineSox 3 years ago

    The thing with trading Felix now is that his value is so high that they’ll never reasonably be able to get what he’s actually worth.  They can sit on his production for another year (maybe even two) and still get essentially the same value that they would get for him now (because there is a limit to what teams will be able to give up, and that limit is lower than what he is worth at this point).

  39. Tyrell Osborne 3 years ago

    We have out future C in Zunino and Montero splitting time, and Saunders has really been figuring it out as of late.

  40. Dylan 3 years ago

    Good point. Never thought of it that way.

  41. MaineSox 3 years ago

    Right, but Reynolds had more seasoning in College, where Middlebrooks went right from high school to pro ball, so he was far more raw than Reynolds was.  I think “mixed reviews” is likely the most glowing thing ever said about Reynolds’ defense, while Middlebrooks has pretty consistently had terms like the one by Goldstein (“He’s one of the better defensive third baseman in the minors”) thrown on him.

  42. notsureifsrs 3 years ago

    it really isn’t, though. the difference between a college hitter and a high school one is significant. and given that ~1200 of those “minor league PA” for both come at the lowest levels of the minors, that difference is especially important

    as we all know, “the minor league” isn’t a singular playing level; it’s a group of several distinct ones. if we take a second to be a little more precise, the entire comparison falls apart

    despite very different starting points in terms of age & experience, they both hit AA at age 22:

    middlebrooks – 400 PA – 5% BB – 24% K – .385 wOBA
    markreynolds – 300 PA – 11% BB – 24% K – .405 wOBA

    the one similarity they’d shared before is already gone. the only thing left is that they both strike out a lot (hardly a unique trait among AA hitters). reynolds still strikes out a lot, but he also walks a lot. and is a worst-in-the-game defender

    middlebrooks strikes out a lot and barely walks at all. he is a plus defender

    the players just aren’t similar. again, if mark reynolds played defense the way WMB does, he’d be a very good player. if WMB suddenly triples his walk-rate and becomes mark reynolds with the bat, he too will be a very good player

  43. MaineSox 3 years ago

    Montero is a DH who pretends to be a catcher and Zunino hasn’t even signed yet, let alone played a single professional game, so it’s far from certain that he ever even makes it to the majors.

  44. Steve_in_MA 3 years ago

    With all due respect, you don’t get it.  We have the supply.  Your team has the need.  We set the price.  You get to say yes or no.  But you don’t get to tell us what we’ll trade him for.  Biddle would be the price.  Its a fair price based on an adjusted comparable of the Beltran deal.  Youk’s not as good as Beltran.  Biddle’s not as good as Zack Wheeler.  But even if you don’t think its fair, we don’t care.  That’s the price.  You don’t have anything else we want, other than Vance Worley, and hey, at least we ain’t asking for him, right?

  45. Steve_in_MA 3 years ago

    If they have a BA Top 50 prospect to trade for him we’ll gladly do business with them instead.  Doesn’t matter who it is, Youk is not going to come cheap.  He’s a career average +5 WAR player, and despite his current small sample statistics, the Sox are gonna make whoever trades for him pay a significant cost in quality.  Dollars wise, we’ll probably pick up some of the cost.  Otherwise, we’ll just keep him.

  46. MaineSox 3 years ago

    There aren’t many teams with general managers who put as much stock into miniscule sample sizes as you do.

  47. MaineSox 3 years ago

    No.  Catchers make suggestions but the ultimate pitch decision and execution is up to the pitcher.  And there is a lot more to catching than calling a game.

  48. Steve_in_MA 3 years ago

    There’s going to be at least 3 or 4 bidders.  Why wouldn’t Cheri play them against each other to score the highest return value he can?  The D-backs might be buyers, and if they offer someone like Archie Bradley, then Biddle alone wouldn’t be enough to compete.

    One could sign the best player in the game … someone like, say … PUJOLS … and they might have a bad month or two.  Do we relegate him to the dustbin on that basis?

    Youk returned from injury and hit .313 in May, while playing decent D at both 3B and 1B.  He’s had a bit of an early June slide.  But he’s a career value performer.  And even in his injury years (’10 & ’11) he had +4.1 and +3.7 WAR figures.  Plenty of GM’s are going to be willing to bet on that kind of long-term value performance.

  49. Archie Bradley for Youkilis would never happen.D Backs aren’t expected to go after Youkilis now for financial reasons.

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