Cafardo’s Latest: Bogaerts, Bradley, Phillies, Masterson, Uehara

In the latest edition of his Sunday column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that the early struggles of Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. have left many around the game wondering how good each player truly is. Bogaerts’ youth makes his scuffles more understandable, but one NL adviser said that Bradley has fallen from a prospect that would be the centerpiece of a trade to a “throw-in.” The 24-year-old is a standout defender, but he’s hit just .208/.284/.303 in 470 big league plate appearances and has shown “absolutely no sign of the hitting getting better,” said the adviser. Boston will commit to Bogaerts for next year regardless of his finish, writes Cafardo, but he concludes that Bradley will have to show improvement over the final seven weeks in order to handed the center field job in 2015.

More from his column…

  • In 30 years covering baseball, Cafardo says he cannot recall an instance of a team scouting another club as much as the Phillies scouted the Red Sox without pulling the trigger on a trade. The Phillies have continued to send scouts to all three of Boston’s post-deadline series, and Cafardo wonders if the team could be preparing for offseason negotiations regarding Cole Hamels. He hears that the Sox, Rangers, Angels, Dodgers and Cubs will be the big players for Hamels this winter.
  • The Red Sox will have interest in bringing back right-hander Justin Masterson back to the organization as a free agent this winter.
  • James Shields will be one of the most sought-after free agents on this year’s market, and while his age presents risk, one AL GM tells Cafardo that being older than Jon Lester and Max Scherzer actually has some appeal: “He’s thrown a lot of innings and pitched a lot of games and there’s always the possibility of breakdown, but the fact you might be able to get him at a shorter term reduces that big risk.”
  • “The Phillies are just unreasonable in their demands,” an AL official said when discussing the trade market for Jonathan Papelbon. Still, that official feels that Papelbon will indeed be traded in August, though it may not happen until the end of the month when the Phillies will be forced to “get a bit more realistic.”
  • The Red Sox want to retain Koji Uehara, but they don’t want to go as high as the approximately $15MM qualifying offer. It appears that Uehara wants to return, though Cafardo notes that the Orioles could be a factor, as the closer’s family makes its home in the Baltimore area.
  • The MarinersChris Young just picked up his 10th win, but he tells Cafardo that the statistic doesn’t mean much to him these days. “Earlier in my career, I think it’s something I’d get excited about,” he said. “But at this point in my career, I know that wins are so far beyond a pitcher’s control. One day, the media will stop evaluating us on that.”


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60 Comments on "Cafardo’s Latest: Bogaerts, Bradley, Phillies, Masterson, Uehara"


Federal League
11 months 17 days ago

Bradley is checking in at 1.4 fWAR and 1.8 bWAR despite being a complete black hole at the plate.

LazerTown
11 months 17 days ago

Doesn’t take much for a speedy outfielder to get some decent war in the outfield. His bat is just useless though.

Federal League
11 months 16 days ago

Right, but an average starter is around 2 WAR. That’s about what Bradley is projected to deliver this year despite being a worst case scenario with the bat.

11 months 17 days ago

All defense.

Federal League
11 months 17 days ago

Yes.

ztoa
11 months 16 days ago

What does that tell you about WAR? At this point he’s a defensive sub. WAR should have a * or something next to it when it’s all defense.

Federal League
11 months 16 days ago

No, I don’t think it needs an asterisk. WAR is a pretty general summation of a player’s total contribution to his team — and that includes defense.

Bradley is on track for being worth around 2 WAR, which means he’s been an average starter regardless of what he’s done with the bat.

ztoa
11 months 15 days ago

WAR, wins above replacement. If all Bradley is or will be looks as though he’s a defense only player, isn’t that the definition of being a ‘replacement’ player, a substitution. It just seems a bit off… maybe it’s just me.

Karkat
11 months 17 days ago

I was gonna point out that Bradley Jr. slashed .278/.325/.347 in July, but .377 BABIP gives me pause

LazerTown
11 months 17 days ago

And that everyone has good and bad months. When your best month is putting out an 86 wRC+ then you really have a problem, because that isn’t nearly enough to average out to decent.

Karkat
11 months 17 days ago

He’s had two average months (April, July), and two terrible ones (May, June, August is off to a bad start but he hasn’t been starting). His brief appearance in the second half last year was decent. No one’s going to claim he’s going to be an elite player, but he definitely still has the potential to be an average-ish hitter and an elite defender.

Depends on if he can find some more consistency at the plate, but it’s definitely too early to write him off entirely.

Tko11
11 months 17 days ago

Still waiting for that average-ish hitter part to get here…hes really seems lost at the plate and keeps changing his stances which doesn’t help. I think offensively this season is a lost cause for him, he needs to be reassessed at the plate by the coaching staff and come into the Spring with a set plan. No more jumping from batting stance to batting stance.

Karkat
11 months 17 days ago

I was really optimistic when that open stance seemed to be working in July, but now it looks like he’s falling back on bad times.

Tko11
11 months 17 days ago

Yeah, if he could just hit around .270 with a decent OBP (like he did in AAA) Id be happy. Those might be high expectations though.

Karkat
11 months 17 days ago

Honestly if he could hit consistently around .240 his defense could probably make up for the rest

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
11 months 17 days ago

I wouldn’t even mind a .220 BA if Bradley raised his OBP to around .320. Between his range and arm, he’s one of the best outfield weapons I’ve seen on the Sox in a long time.

David Coonce
11 months 16 days ago

Exactly. He’s 23. His numbers remind me of carlos Gomez, before he learned how to hit – great defense but nothing with the bat. CarGo’s first full season he slashed 258/296/360, in a much better hitting era, at age 22. With outstanding CF defense. Way too early to give up on Bradley.

kungfucampby
11 months 17 days ago

Overrated Red Sox prospects why I never.

Karkat
11 months 17 days ago

Because the Red Sox have just never had successful prospects, and all the other teams never overhype anyone!

kungfucampby
11 months 17 days ago

I’m sorry I can’t hear you over the sound of Lars Anderson mashing dingers.

stl_cards16
11 months 17 days ago

It seems that Boston has done as good of job developing major league talent as any team in baseball. Over the past few years, I’m pretty sure they are #1 in homegrown WAR. I’ll have to look for the article when I have time, I believe it was on Fangraphs.

SFGiantsfan_10
11 months 16 days ago

Huh. I would expect the Cardinals to have the most, considering how much of their talent is homegrown/ successful in the majors.

Doug
11 months 16 days ago

What in the name of Paxton Crawford are you talking about?

SFGiantsfan_10
11 months 16 days ago

Homegrown WAR. Because they’ve developed a good chunk of their major league talent if I’m not mistaken, such as Wainwright, Molina, Adams, Carpenter, etc.

The Giants actually could be a leader in homegrown WAR too. They have Bumgarner, Cain, Posey, Belt, and Sandoval producing a lot of WAR.

MB923
11 months 16 days ago

That is correct, I read that too. Though that was through the 2011 or 2012 season. I’m sure the Angels are at or near #1 because of Trout by now.

SFGiantsfan_10
11 months 16 days ago

Trout would contribute a lot of WAR, but considering how he’s one player out of 25, I don’t think that would put the Angels at number one.

kyle_schmendrick
11 months 17 days ago

I sure as hell hope that Ruben is gone after this dreadful season. It’s way overdue and there’s no way he should be trusted to rebuild or make good trades

LazerTown
11 months 17 days ago

Xander I think still has a decent shot. He shouldn’t be given up on yet, but still laugh at the poster here who was claiming that Xander was a 6 WAR player this year.

Nick Kopke
11 months 16 days ago

Some of these kids need 700 to a 1000 MLB at bats before they really figure it out. I believe he and Javier Baez are the 2 youngest players in baseball. Xander could be a stud in 2016 or 2017. I hope Boston fans give him some time the tools are there.

Theresa
11 months 17 days ago

Was Masterson ever on the Red Sox? I could’ve sworn he was an Indian until he became a Cardinal.

Justin Case
11 months 17 days ago

Actually he was a big time prospect with the Red Sox till he got traded for Victor Martinez, I believe.

11 months 17 days ago

(+ Bryan Price and Nick Hagadone)

Karkat
11 months 17 days ago

He never had the level of success in Boston he had in Cleveland, but he logged some serious relief innings in the 2008 postseason

Justin Case
11 months 17 days ago

Oh, Ruben…

bigbadjohnny
11 months 17 days ago

Phillies wanted Russell, Baez or Bryant and CJ Edwards……….that trade was not going to happen.

dylanp5030
11 months 17 days ago

Asking for one of them isn’t out of the question. I don’t think Bryant is on the table, but if I were the cubs, isn’t trade Russell for Hamels in a second if phillies eat some money so they can pair another top tier pitcher like Shields with him. Just my opinion tho. I’m not sure what Phillies would wasn’t exactly. I’m thinking ideally they’d want an OF with power and a TOR prospect.

Robbieb7
11 months 16 days ago

according to who

NotCanon
11 months 16 days ago

Ding ding ding.

Ace2095
11 months 17 days ago

I doubt the Red Sox will trade for Cole Hamels in the offseason unless 1 of 2 things happens.
1) RAJ is fired
2) The Phillies get realistic about what they would get in a Hamels trade.

dylanp5030
11 months 17 days ago

Just curious, what do you think is a realistic trade for Red Sox?

Christopher Usewicz
11 months 16 days ago

very curious, he isn’t just a run of the mill pitcher and the money is one thing but the sox shouldn’t worry about that but who else are they going to get that is out there like him? Cubs just got a good haul with samardizja… I for one don’t want to see Ruben in there to make any deals except that with all the flak he catches for giving away prior players, he isn’t making it easy for anyone, he could really help another team but it’s not important that he gets traded either

Hey Its Placido Polanco
11 months 16 days ago

We have absolutely no idea what, if anything, they’ve asked for in exchange for Hamels from any team, so why are we already starting on the “Get real, Rube” meme? This isn’t an overpaid/underproducing/aging player, this is an ace in his prime on a contract that is more palatable then what you’ll have to spend on someone in FA. He should bring back a treasure chest of some sort.

Ace2095
11 months 16 days ago

Same thing could be said for Cliff Lee last year, I know he’s older then Hamels but pitchers regress fast. Emptying a farm for a pitcher in his 30s in this day and age is a risky business and I don’t think cherrington would overpay like RAJ would want him to do. If the phillies asked for Xander and other pieces for Cliff Lee it’s pretty obvious they are going to ask for the moon on Hamels as well.

Hey Its Placido Polanco
11 months 16 days ago

Except Lee is 5 years older and the Phillies weren’t eating money at the time. So not really similar at all.

Ace2095
11 months 16 days ago

Look at what they were asking for at the deadline for players like Byrd and try and tell me that what RAJ is going to ask for in return for Hamels is not going to be steep,, also look at what they were asking for before the deadline for Hamels and you will see my point

Hey Its Placido Polanco
11 months 16 days ago

Once more, no one knows what they wanted for Hamels. The last Rosenthal report was that they didn’t exchange offers with anyone for him because they weren’t serious about moving him at the deadline. Just because Ruben has a history of asking for too much for OK players, doesn’t automatically mean he’s asking for too much for a blue-chip asset. And subsequently, it’s pointless to talk about how he needs to “get real” about a demand we don’t have any idea about.

Chris Koch
11 months 16 days ago

There was a post here before the trade deadline that said the price for Hamels was Pederson, Seager, and Urias.
Based off of Seager’s numbers, that should be enough(.350/.402/.617 18HRs)
Urias is 17 in A adv with nothing but above avg stuff
Pederson has every tool .300+ in AAA 26HRs.

What gets me is the Phillies are asking for these high profile “Prospects” that to me, would be on their 25man roster today if they were in their organization(urias no but seager/Pederson yes)
1 is fine. asking for 2ML ready Prospect starters in return I’m not thrilled about. With a 3rd having the future potential of Hamels in 3years. It’s like trading for 20-25WAR in Hamels for 20-25WAR in the ML ready prospects and then having the Lotto ticket that could turn in to Cy Young Pitcher.

Hey Its Placido Polanco
11 months 16 days ago

…which was followed up by a post that said no names were exchanged with any teams.

guest_54
11 months 16 days ago

I’ve only read the summary above, but it seems to be saying that someone (an AL official) DOES know what they are asking for in return; and, the person who seems to know said RAJ needs to “get a bit more realistic.” I realize that section was specifically regarding Papelbon, but logically we can extend that type of thinking to his other assets (Hamels in this case).

NotCanon
11 months 16 days ago

I don’t see why that’s particularly logical – he just traded Roberto Hernandez (who started weak, but has been dead-on solid recently) for “2 PTBNL or Cash Considerations.” That is exactly the sort of realistic deal that should have been made.

In the case of the quote, Papelbon has a number of major impediments to trades (he makes too much money, with a vesting option that’s too easy for yet more money, has a big NTC, has a chip on his shoulder about closing and plays a position whose value is already overblown). Any move involving him will have to take those into account, and as such Amaro’s initial asking point (though possibly only meant as way to start the conversation) is likely too high.

Hamels is incredibly valuable, and should be valued as such.

cscd1111
11 months 17 days ago

Its not unrealistic Raj got roped when they traded for Hunter Pence, then roped again when he traded him away. Raj can not afford to get roped again he should and probable will drop his demands a bit and thats ok but if the Phillies as rumored are planning to pay part of Papelbons salary shouldn’t that make a return a bit higher?

Mike1L
11 months 16 days ago

if you look at papelbon’s raw stats, you might understand why RA might be thinking he’s worth a king’s ransom. But he’s also going to be 34 next year, his velocity is declining (as is his k rate) and he’s being paid a fortune. And there’s the vesting option for 2016, which will kick in if he stays healthy and successful, which is, after all, what you would have to root for at his price. And Papelbon can be difficult. What RA needs is luck–an injury to front line closer on a contending team that has money. Not that many opportunities out there.

NickinIthaca
11 months 16 days ago

It’s a good thing Papelbon’s biggest concern when he was a FA was becoming the highest paid closer in history. Now he’s stuck in Philly complaining about being on a last place team, all the while turning off any potential suitors. I wouldn’t want to see it any other way for such a nice guy….

Gersh
Gersh
11 months 16 days ago

I can be interpreting it wrong but it seems like you are implying he went to Philadelphia just for the money and not the potential of contending with that team; you have to take into account when he signed with the Phillies they just came off of an 102 win season.

NotCanon
11 months 16 days ago

To be fair, he’s doing better with this lower velocity and K rate than he’s done in a long, long time. He seems to have learned how to pitch more effectively (whereas before he hurled more than pitched most of the time), and has significantly increased the usage of his slider (which has turned into an incredibly good pitch for him) while dialing back the use of his 2-seamer dramatically.

I wouldn’t expect this kind of result next season or the one after, but I think something in line with his recent numbers (say, 2.0-2.5 ERA) could be reasonably projected. Especially if he keeps his HR numbers down (1 in 49 appearances this year).

Lefty_Orioles_Fan
Lefty_Orioles_Fan
11 months 16 days ago

In 30 years covering baseball, Cafardo says he cannot recall an instance of a team scouting another club as much as the Phillies scouted the Red Sox without pulling the trigger on a trade.
It takes the Phillies time, Nick!
A Phillies Scout and GM has to know his limitations.

flyerzfan12
flyerzfan12
11 months 16 days ago

Looking at our farm system, I’m guessing the scouts spent more time eating hot dogs and cotton candy than actually watching the Red Sox prospects because they clearly do not evaluate young talent well.

ztoa
11 months 16 days ago

Phillies need a judge to step in. Ownership is clearly unfit to run the team if they believe RAJ is the best man for the job. If mean HE is delusional/out of touch with reality, what does that make the guys/gals that employ him?

amoreperfectunion
11 months 16 days ago

I feel bad for Jackie Bradley. He has a double toe-tap in his stance that makes him late on everything (by picking his foot back up he loses all momentum in his hips) and if he turned it into a single stride he could time the ball better. I can see it on every pitch he takes – how has the hitting coach (or anyone else) not seen it and corrected it?! If people give up on Bradley they are myopic and lazy – the point of being a coach is to help players get better. A toe-tap is fixable. Don’t ship him out (or send him down) because *you* didn’t do your job.

Nick Kopke
11 months 16 days ago

John Kruk did point out two eeks ago that Bradley had changed his approach again at the plate. He also pointed out the toe tap he included created too many moving parts and that he was behind on 90 mph fastballs. Seems like he needs to find his approach from Spring Training 2013 when he was hitting consistent line drives and hopefully he can apply that against MLB pitching. Boston could also just be to high of a profilecity for a young kid to play in. There is still a lot of talent there but Boston may not be the place for him.