In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe hands out his midseason awards. His award for "Most Surprising Team" so far goes to the White Sox in the American League and the Mets in the National League. Cafardo credits the Mets' management team of Sandy Alderson, Paul DePodesta, and J.P. Ricciardi for piecing together the scraps and overshadowing the team's Bernie Madoff public relations nightmare. Here's more from today's piece..
- Red Sox starter Josh Beckett can block any deal with his ten-and-five rights, but it wouldn’t shock baseball people if Boston eventually pursues it. “He would get some interest if some of the money was absorbed,” said one National League GM. “He’s not what he was, but he can still pitch. He’s got the postseason resume and still seems to have some competitiveness on the mound, which are all things you look for. The things you have to evaluate would be the issues in the clubhouse, to some extent, and breaking down a little more than he used to.”
- Earlier today we learned that the Pirates have had preliminary talks with the Padres about Carlos Quentin. Cafardo writes that the outfielder could be the next big bat to go and would also be desirable for the Dodgers and Blue Jays.
- Mariners General Manager Jack Zduriencik keeps insisting he will not trade Felix Hernandez, but he would likely be able to take care of three or four positions by doing so. However, Zduriencik has been tempted with great offers in the past and declined to part with the right-hander.
- While the Phillies are obviously giving serious thought to dealing Cole Hamels, one consideration for the club is that they have aging pitchers in Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, and Hamels is younger. The 28-year-old would be even more valuable down the road and rebuilding in Philadelphia is tough.
i would love to move beckett. I would also love to see the red sox move a lester. We need to mix up our roster and clearly the sox arn’t going anywhere this year.
Honestly i think you need a new manager first
Kidding me?!? Hes done a hell of a job with half our starters on the DL. We need to change the roster up. with bradley jr and barnes coming fast, move ellsbury when he gets healthy and lester.
What do you think it would take for the Nats to get Ellsbury?
harper or strasburg. lol jk idk i really don tknow their farm system. i would rather see ellsbury go to mariners his hometown.
Right now? More than they would be willing to give up. Boston would be working from the perspective that he is what he was last year, and the Nats would be working from the perspective that he’s injured and last year was a fluke. Boston really has nothing to lose by hanging onto him for now, and everything to lose if they trade him too soon/while his value is low. If they hang onto him there’s at least a chance that he comes back and plays like last year, and then they could get way more for him, so there’s really no reason to trade him right now.
I don’t think Boston really entertains trade offers for him until he has been healthy for a while and shown whether last year was a fluke or not, unless a team is willing to gamble on last year not being a fluke and is willing to give up prospects accordingly. If they trade him it almost certainly wont be until this off-season.
i dont want the sox to resign ellsbury anyways. no need to have 2 20mm oOF’s on the roster and plus we have bradley jr waiting.
As good as Bradley is, he’s not going to be what Ellsbury is. And it’s far from certain that Ellsbury will get $20m at this point. I think he needs to come back healthy, stay healthy, and play at last year’s level for the next year and a half to get that kind of money, and if he does that he will be worth that money anyway.
when you say, “what ellsbury is”, do you mean what he was in 2011 or something in between 2011 and the rest of his career?
Something in between. And I guess what I should have said is he’s unlikely to be, because Ellsbury was unlikely to be what he actually became when he was a prospect.
I think Ellsbury’s career averages would be a reasonable ceiling for Bradley (value wise; they are obviously different types of players, and Bradley would do it with a higher OBP and fewer steals).
Err.. I guess the best way to put it is Ellsbury has averaged just over 5 WAR per 150 games, and I think that that is probably the absolute perfect world scenario for Bradley.
all true facts. bradley’s got a very good chance to be an elite table-setter, though, with above average centerfield defense
ellsbury’s 2011 was phenomenal and fun to watch, but i think we both agree it’s not worth paying the price for the chance to see it again
if ellsbury lights up the last couple months of the season, i’m all ears for trade offers
Oh, absolutely. I agree completely with all of that.
I was just trying to dispel the notion that Bradley is going “replace” Ellsbury, or that Bradley is reason enough to let Ellsbury go.
The combination of the (presumed) future contract, the chance to sell high (if he comes back on a high note), plus Bradley being around makes a good reason to move Ellsbury, but you don’t move a guy like Ellsbury just because Bradley is in AA.
Honestly, if they could extend Ellsbury at a reasonable price, I would love an outfield of Crawford, Ellsbury, and Bradley – at least on paper (it would maybe be odd to move someone who is as good defensively as Bradley to RF, but he has the arm for it, and having a good CF in Fenway’s RF isn’t a bad idea).
Agreed. Bobby V isn’t the problem, players’ health & their reluctance to accept a new skipper is the problem. Theo left this team in absolute shambles w/ all his amazingly bad contracts. This problem is going to take a couple of more years to fix because too many contracts like Crawford & Lackey are too big to move. Hell, even Agon is a giant disappointment w/ his 12 HR pace…
Plus, on any given night the Sox have a spot starter on the mound & more guys in the lineup that were in AAA in April than in the bigs — what’s Bobby V supposed to do?
Actually communicating with the players would be a good start. Not running players out of town would be a nice second step. Then maybe he could work on his in-game management.
“Theo left this team in absolute shambles”
“even Agon is a giant disappointment”
i am begging you to find another team to root for. fans like you make me want the red sox to lose forever
So, you are happy with the production that the Sox are getting out of AGon this season? I’m sorry but for $21 million I would hope for better than that. Which leads us tooooo….
The Red Sox ARE an absolute shambles and it’s only going to get worse. The contracts that Theo gave Crawford, Lackey, AGon, etc. are going to cripple the Sox ability to sign and retain players for years to come. I know that you are a Theo fanboi but come on. Reality is reality.
Gonzalez is one of the best hitters in the game, don’t let 3 months worth of sample fool you.
thanks in large part to theo, you have no idea what a team in shambles looks like
Yaz was brutal in 71-72 also, then came back and was pretty decent the rest of his 10 year career. Only after the ’71 season did fans find out he had that injury that ortiz had a few years back with his wrist.. Forget the name of it that robs one of their power and motion in it and Yaz postponed surgery until after the season and wasn’t right the next year even the surgery was so new.
Point? Gonzalez might be playing hurt now, or even still having effects from his shoulder surgery from a season and a half ago lingering. We don’t know. At least the Fenway “faithful” are not booing him like they did Yaz for 2 seasons….
if gonzalez is playing hurt, he needs to be DLed NOW.
I believe that you are probably right the AGon is fighting thru some sort of injury but that doesn’t change the fact that he is currently a huge disappointment. Hopefully things turn around and he becomes the productive hitter that we traded for. I just take offense to being told to find another team to root for simply because I can look at things objectively.
Valentine is a disaster, he’s been forced to play the replacement guys because of the injuries, it’s simple luck that it has worked out as well as it has. And he created half the problems in the clubhouse, and he was the reason for them having to trade Youkilis when they did, for as little as they did, while still paying most of his salary.
His bullpen use is ridiculous, he sends guys in non running situations, he gives away out with sacrifice bunts in the worst situations, and he is terrible when it comes to communication with his players.
If he makes it the rest of the season he should be fired before next year.
no thanks to quentin
If the Red Sox offered Lester, Ellsbury, and Iglesias like Cafardo suggests, Jack Z better jump on that. In fact I think he may have been joking when he said that but I can’t tell?
id trade lester, ellsbury, and a propsect for hernandez, walker and paxton.
Yeah but the Mariners wouldn’t, and trading is a two-way street.
Zduriencik wouldn’t even listen to that offer.
How about a trade of Jacoby Ellsbury for Seattle lefthander Jason Vargas?
Jacoby Ellsbury, DOB 9-11-83, controlled through 2013, 2012 salary $8.05 million
Jason Vargas, DOB 2-2-83, controlled through 2013, 2012 salary $4.85 million
The Red Sox get salary relief in their attempt to get under the luxury tax threshold by acquiring a dependable starter who has made 82 starts since the beginning of the 2010 season for an outfielder who has played in only 183 of his team’s 409 games over the same period. Throw out one of Vargas’ 19 starts this season and his ERA drops from 4.07 to 3.48.
I compare it to the difference between investing in the bond market (safe investment for modest return) and investing in a volatile stock market (risky investment for a potentially high return … or loss).
I’m only half-serious, but this proposal is more realistic than the proposal tha included Felix Hernandez, Taijuan Walker and James Paxton.
I don’t think the general idea is a terrible one, but Vargas appears to be a product of SafeCo (low strikeout rate, low groundball rate, and a FIP quite a bit higher than his ERA), and Boston doesn’t lack back of the rotation starters, they lack top of the rotation pitchers, so Vargas (even assuming he isn’t completely a product of SafeCo) wouldn’t really be an upgrade to their rotation. And unless they move him in a deal for a true top of the rotation pitcher they would likely prefer to get prospects for him.
By the same token, Jacoby Ellsbury would probably be no more than a .265/.310/.400/.710 hitter playing in the American League West with half his games at Safeco Field.
only if he decided to bat right-handed there
I was giving Jacoby Ellsbury the benefit of the doubt that he would improve on his career performance at American League West ballparks:
LAA 62 PA, .263/.323/.298/.621
TEX 65 PA, .217/.277/.383/.660
OAK 36 PA, .143/.167/.143/.310
SEA 53 PA, .250/.308/.375/.683
Looking ahead, and based on an even smaller sample, Ellsbury has fared much better in Houston:
HOU 21 PA, .278/.381/.444/.825
he is 4-for-5 when wearing superman underwear, though, so as long as he wears those out west he’ll be fine
that’s a valid analysis right
My limited-sample analysis offered 216 plate appearances of reality while your analysis offered … well, some Superman fantasy.
However, I agree that we can draw no conclusions from Will Middlebrooks’ even smaller sample of MLB plate appearances.
it does make a lot of sense to bring up will middlebrooks right now
As notsureifsrs is alluding to, the sizes of those samples make them utterly useless. That’s like asking how he does in day games on Tuesday in May.
Aside from last year power was never really part of his game (and it’s likely not a big part of his game going forward); he’s always been a gap hitter, and SafeCo isn’t going to hurt that (like Reyes playing in Citi Field).
I’m OK with that. Vargas might give up a few more hits off the monster, but it probably would reduce his home run rate. But a straight swap isn’t going to do it. Seattle will have to kick in something else.
for s pitcher struggling and injury plaqued player for a top 5 pitcher and top prospect, oh kay keep smoking.
Um…no. We’ll just leave it at that.
first off that trade is pretty even when ellsbury is healthy. A healthy ellsbury would easily fetch walker and paxton.
That’s less than 1.5 years of a nearly 29-year-old outfielder who has played in only 183 of his team’s last 409 games (and who becomes a free agent after the 2013 season with Scott Boras as his agent) for six years each of two of baseball’s top-ranked pitching prospects.
You might want to reconsider your position.
Not even.. Walker has been compared to Bob Gibson, and Dwight Gooden, its not going to happen..
Lester has been in the Majors 7 years and has pitched about 440 fewer innings. That indicates to me you’re talking about a lot less wear and tear on the arm. Comparatively Felix is a better pitcher. Lester is from WA state–Ells is from the Northwest and would be an upgrade in CF. Iggy would stabilize the SS position for the M’s as would Ciriaco or Bogaerts.
You could get creative and say that threesome for Felix and Figgins–NO CASH ADDED.
If Bogaerts is include I would want Dustin Ackley or the M’s third baseman in addition to Felix.
stabilize the SS position? they already have jose iglesias. his name is brendan ryan
I don’t know why Ellsbury keeps getting mentioned in a Felix trade that contract makes no sense for the M’s and Boras is his agent he isn’t signing an extension unless he rips the team off. Back then Ellsbury was a prospect and we would have had him for much longer.
From a Seattle perspective, trading 2.5 years of ace Felix Hernandez for a combined three years* of Jon Lester and Jacoby Ellsbury makes no sense. The Mariners would get two older players, neither of whom remains under team control for longer than Hernandez does, for years in which the M’s are not expected to contend with or without Lester and Ellsbury.
If offered, should the Red Sox trade Xander Bogaerts, Matt Barnes, Jackie Bradley and Garin Cecchini for Felix Hernandez?
The Mariners might consider the proposal, although Seattle has two pitching prospect ranked higher than Barnes and a shortstop prospect with a similar ranking to Bogaerts’. Barnes and Bradley, whom the Red Sox drafted in 2011, would need to be players to the named.
I’m not suggesting the Red Sox should make that offer, but that’s what it might take to get the attention of Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik.
* four years with Lester’s 2014 option
no it isn’t. boston had jack’s attention in 2009 with a lesser offer (five of buchholz, bard, masterson, hagadone, bowden, dobrount, reddick, and navarro)
hernandez has not gotten better since the. the only thing that’s chanced is his contract status, which is less valuable now than in 2009
The reported 2009 deadline offer — five of eight players, six of whom have appeared on Baseball America’s Top 100 prospect list — was far better than my proposal of Xander Bogaerts, Matt Barnes, Jackie Bradley and Garin Cecchini.
In July 2009, Felix Hernandez remained under his team’s control for less than 1.5 years, or a year less than now (although his current contract is far more expensive).
Hernandez apparently got better when the Seattle righthander won the Cy Young Award in 2010.
wrong-wrong-wrong. wrong jackpot! in reverse:
Hernandez apparently got better when the Seattle righthander won the Cy Young Award in 2010
yeah and omar infante got better when he was named an all-star. no, he didn’t. and neither did felix with the cy. according to FIP & SIERA, he is no better now than he was in 2009 or 2010. according to ERA, he is actually considerably worse now than he was then
In July 2009, Felix Hernandez remained under his team’s control for less than 1.5 years
no, he didn’t. in 2009, hernandez had just over 3 years of service time. a player needs 6 in order to become a free agent. let’s get out our calculators!
which has more value: 2.5 years for $49M or 2.5 years for ~$25M?
The reported 2009 deadline offer was far better than my prosposal
no, it wasn’t. your proposal includes three top-50 prospects in barnes (13), bogaerts (31), and bradley (32). you also threw in cecchini, a top 10 organization prospect whose current performance will probably land him in next year’s top 100
how many top 50 prospects did the 2009 offer include? i will help: zero. in fact, bowden and bard were the only two that made any list. they were fringe top 100 guys preseason
masterson peaked at 64 in 2008 and had lost ground pitching as a reliever since then. buchholz was the only real prize, peaking at #4 in 2008. but he hadn’t shown much of that potential at all since then either, pitching to a mid-4’s ERA, FIP, and SIERA
you offered 3 top 35 prospects and another fringe top 100. that’s better than 1 plus a grab bag every time
Thank you for the correction on the 2009 contract status of Felix Hernandez, a 26-year-old whose peripherals has remained remarkably consistent since 2009.
Your prospect rankings for Matt Barnes and Jackie Bradley, who generally were unranked preseason, come from the recently released midseason rankings. We’ll see whether each can maintain his ranking beyond the 81 career innings (Barnes) and 427 career plate appearances (Bradley) at the minor league level.
The bottom line is that Seattle rejected the reported Boston offer at the 2009 trading deadline and now would be likely to entertain only a better offer.
faulty logic. the team’s status, the money owed to the player, the other options on the market — all of these are factors. we know felix hasn’t gotten better, but even if he were the exact same commodity now that he was in 2009, the mariners aren’t equally likely to accept a deal
not that i’d want boston to trade for him anyway
“Mariners General Manager Jack Zduriencik keeps insisting he will not trade Felix Hernandez”
He must get asked about this 100 times a day
I would say Jack Z entertains every offer — even if Hernandez isn’t on the block.
An offer from Toronto could be interesting, but I’d bet they wouldn’t be willing to part with Lawrie + additional talent to make it happen.
I love getting notifications about how Felix is not available, but some clown writer (who probably can’t locate Seattle on a map) thinks he should be. Felix loves it here, we don’t have anyone to take his place, and I doubt any club is going to make the kind of offer Z would want for him. Therefore he isn’t going anywhere.
I dont know all his contract specifics, but does he have any no trade power? I ran into him and his family at one of the ski hills this winter, and he would not leave Seattle if he had a choice.
He can reject a trade to ten teams a year
I’m sure teams have made ridiculous offers for him. I really don’t see why the M’s are completely insistent on Felix wasting his career in Seattle, while the M’s get nothing in return (not from him, but the team overall).
Well if those are the kind of trade offers he gets, no wonder he says no all the time.
I’ve never really wanted to see Felix traded but i don’t care anymore… Mariners are beyond pitiful and Felix is wasting away here. We need HITTERS. Lets get a haul and call up AA in Toronto!
I’m not being bias, but I’m pretty sure the M’s best offer would come from the Rangers.
Blue Jays interested in Carlos Quentin? That seems to be out of left field (bad pun and all)
Must be annoying to because he keeps saying he isn’t trading Felix and has been for the last 2 season’s have no idea why he is most likely going to sign an extension to stay with Seattle. Yes, I do trust his word that he want’s to stay with Seattle before someone asks he signed an extension in his last year of his contract and keeps saying he want’s to play here for the rest of his career.
I just can’t see Boston trading Beckett this season. A contending team is not going to trade away their #2 pitcher. Beckett and the rest of the Red Sox SP are not having great years, but his numbers are all around similar to Doubront and Lester’s.
Amazing that it took a Yankee fan to bring a little bit of reason into a discussion about Beckett/Boston’s pitching.
I’m unbiased and give credit when it’s due (and I criticize when it’s time to do that too lol)
That’s probably why Boston wants to trade him. They aren’t contending!
yes they are.
they should be adding to their pitching, not subtracting from it.
I keep hearing about Beckett’s “post-season resume” but has anybody looked at it closely. He was great in the post season in 2003 & 2007, but since 2007 he has been TERRIBLE in the post season.
HAHA. Maybe because most pitchers wouldn’t even be pitching with the issues beckett does.. 2008 for instance, his back was well past “out of order”, yet he tried to throw anyway and was rocked. 2009 he was not good, but those 2 games in ’08 he was on the mound with heart only.
Most people who know the game realize it and would potentially want to acquire him…
From 2008 – present, he has a 7.71 ERA in 4 postseason starts. It’s a small sample, but you’re right. His career postseason stats, even with his last 4 poor starts, are still impressive.
You don’t acquire him for his past you acquire him for his future…He his not healthy and has had more bad seasons than good for Boston. He was bad in 2006, 2008, 2010, and so far in 2012. In 2009 he was good not great. He was nowhere to be found last September.
No. He was one of the best pitchers in the game from ’07-’09, had a terrible (and injured) year in 2010, was in discussion for the Cy Young until September of last year, and is pitching a lot better than his result indicate this year (his FIP is almost identical to what it was in ’09).
There are only a couple of players that trading Felix would make sense, and Lawrie is one of them. The Blue Jays do have what it takes to get a deal done, but they would never do it.
Great point. That is one of the hang ups that will keep a deal from ever happening. We want more for Felix than any team would be willing to offer.
If Jack Z made a trade with Felix, and we didn’t get back a couple perennial all stars, his career in Seattle would be over. And I think he knows that.
Not sure. I think if BAL offered Bundy or Machado, then SEA would have to stop and listen. Not sure it makes sense for BAL, but it would be an interesting starting point.
It would have to be Bundy and Machado. I think thats the point MSU was making. There is no way the O’s would do it.
No we wouldnt, we have so many pitching prospects, the only trade that would be good for Felix is Trout Trumbo, and Richards, thats it, even then it;d be hard, the M’s arnt going to trade the King, and he will stay with the M’s till he retires, he also has a no trade clause to the Yankees, and another big team
Bundy and Machado are both top 10 prospects, and the O’s have no one in the top 100 beyond them. It would have to be the two of them. I’m not sure that’s a good idea for either side.
Jays should try to pry Doc out of Philly. The Jays aren’t looking for a rental and he wouldn’t be as he’s under contract through next year with a vesting option for 2014. Sure, he makes $20 mil a season but I believe the return of the Doc to Toronto would definitely bring people to the park.
you assume Doc would want to come back. That’s not clear to me.
Don’t the Sox need pitching?
it’s not about what the sox need; it’s about what cafardo’s career needs
AJ Burnett, Josh Beckett, Dontrelle Willis… Something about being a marlin, the team that takes in Zambrano and Ozzie.
The age of Phillies big three pitchers is irrelevant at this point. Two of them are under contract for big money. After Hamels walks (or gets traded), they can look to replace one of the other two through free agency when their contracts expire. There’s always someone out there each offseason ready to gobble up $20m/yr from a team with a $180m payroll.
I think Nick Punto has a better chance of having a breakout second half than the Red Sox trading Josh Beckett…maybe???
Only a handful of teams can afford Felix without them eating any of his contract (25 Mill in the final year of his contract) and Z already wants a bounty disregarding that fact. Also their is the problem of retaining the Felix at the end of his 2.5 years remaining on his contract, he’ll be 28 and reaching the end of his prime and you’ll probably need to pay a premium on his over 30 years with a Sabathia type contract to retain him. There’s also the threat of Felix pulling a “Cliff Lee” type scenario where he can’t be retained and returns to Seattle and if Felix is traded in a contract year there won’t be any compensation. Felix has stated that he wants to stay in Seattle and the Mariners would pony up to keep him would any team be willing to offer 5-7 years at 25 Mill to retain Felix into his 30+ years like the Mariners would?
Yes, i believe Felix will be just as good as Doc and CC in his 30s
Beckett probably won’t be going anywhere.
Don’t be hard-headed, Jack. Take the offer. – Jon Daniels