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.
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.
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.
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.
Gotcha. That makes way more sense.
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.
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.
More than that if you count little league and wiffle ball, I’d imagine.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
I could see a Youkilis for Wade Miley trade which would also open a spot for Bauer who’s clearly major league ready
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
No I think the Blue Jays screwed
the Blue Jays!
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).
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Red Sox aren’t trading Youkilis for Homer Bailey, they already have 7-8 pitchers as good or better.
I want Ichiro to retire. It’s depressing watching him hit third every day.
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.
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.
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.
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.