The Red Sox head into the All-Star break 2.5 games out of the Wild Card race with a 43-43 record. Here are the latest notes and rumors surrounding the team:
- Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald hears the Red Sox could be discussing a deal involving Ryan Sweeney. The Cubs are one possible destination, Silverman writes. Boston GM Ben Cherington may consider deals for Sweeney once Jacoby Ellsbury returns from the disabled list.
- Longtime Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that Daniel Bard will rebound from his early-season struggles. “He’s going to be fine. I really do think he’s going to be fine,” Papelbon said. “He’s taking some bumps and bruises right now but who doesn’t."
- The Red Sox should be sellers this month, John Tomase of the Herald writes. Cherington should strongly consider trading players such as Mike Aviles, Cody Ross and Kelly Shoppach, Tomase suggests.
- The Red Sox sent just one All-Star to Kansas City (David Ortiz) and until their best players start performing at an elite level, it's hard to imagine the team emerging from its current state of mediocrity, Alex Speier of WEEI.com writes.
I think its time to start rebuilding. Get some new faces in boston and bring some excitment to this team. I would move try to move Lester, beckett, ellsbury (once healthy) first. We have barnes and bradley jr knocking on the door.
Barnes is in A ball, and Bradley has only been in AA for a month; they aren’t exactly “knocking on the door.” I can see a scenario where trading Ellsbury makes sense (likely in the off season, or next year’s deadline because his value will almost certainly still be too low for it to make any sense at this year’s deadline), but Lester is a very good pitcher who should be a big part of this team for the next few years, and people are too down on Beckett to be able to get anything for him (you’re either going to get salary relief and no prospects to speak of, or you’re going to have to eat most of the contract and get goodish prospects for him) – you’d also be giving up on this year if you traded either of Beckett or Lester and they are only 2.5 games out of the wildcard.
Bradley is batting .350 in AA. he’s pretty close. Barnes will be in AA by the end of the year. I’d move lester forsure. hes clearly not an “ace” adn plus he would be the most covented pitcher at the deadline because he has a few years left on his constract and is pretty cheap. Texas would bit on beckett no doubt. We need to move some guys and get a new atmosphere in Boston.
Lester wouldn’t bring back nearly what he should because he’s been struggling this year, so you’d be selling low on him, and he doesn’t need to be an ace to be a good pitcher (I hear that argument all the time – “he’s not an ace, so we should trade him” – but it makes no sense. There are like 5-10 true aces in the game, Lester is a very good pitcher); Beckett wouldn’t bring back enough to make it worth it unless they ate most of his contract and he’s more valuable in the rotation than in a trade (he was in the Cy Young discussion last year until September, and now you’d have to eat his contract to get anything at all for him).
Neither Bradley or Barnes will make the opening day roster next year, so you’d not only be punting the rest of this year, but all of next as well, if you’re counting on them. And neither of them are going to step right in an replace the production of the guy they are replacing either, let alone be better. (you do realize that Barnes isn’t projected to ever become the ace you think Lester needs to be right?)
Good points here….you trade guys when they have value up not down. I like Bradley, and Barnes too along with a few others but the timetable does not fit to trade Ellsbury now, that would be ludicrous unless an unbelievable offer is thrown at the Sox at the deadline and the team at that point has fallen even out of the wild card race which would be quite a fall.
I’m certainly not ready to give up on Lester, his stuff is too good and he is controlled financially too.
The key for this team is simply getting healthy and turning around the starting pitching.
Moving Lester would be incredibly regrettable. Everyone has a bad season and unfortunately, Lester is in a funk when the team needs him MOST. Over the last couple of years, he has become the most consistent, productive pitchers on the Boston staff. And watching the game on Fox against the Yankees last week, they showed an interesting stat about Boston’s all-time winning percentage for starting pitching… Lester is fifth all-time behind Smokey Joe Wood, David Ferriss, Roger Moret and some guy named Pedro Martinez.
In short, Lester will bounce back. The guy is elite, with an off-year… so far.
Just my opinion but I don’t see any point in rebuilding. Crawford and Ells when healthy are going to be huge, health in general would be huge for this team. Down the line if we gotta get rid of Ellsbury then thats absolutely fine (No this year though). We should use the money saved by him leaving on some nice pitching to compliment Lester who is still a very good pitcher. I say keep Beckett too. In the next couple years if all goes well we will have a nice nucleus of young cheap players to lower our payroll considerably in Lavarnway, Middlebrooks, Bogaerts, Barnes, and Bradley among potentially more. I still see us very much in it for the wildcard, and I think next year can only get a bit better with what will hopefully be a full season of Ells, Crawford, and Middlebrooks. I’m not hitting panic mode on the team because of severely bad luck.
Yeah Daniel Bard is going to be great when he comes back with that 94 mph straight fastball with no movement.
Right, because he’s physically incapable of throwing 98-100 now.
I think the whole starter experiment has had a negative effect on him. Obviously I’m a Yankee fan and I felt it was INCREDIBLY arrogant that people felt Bard could just make the switch from “elite set up man” to a “front/middle rotation” starter. I just couldn’t understand why people felt that would be an easy transition. However, I’m sure he can rebound to a dependable back of the bullpen guy in 2013.
Bard was showing control issues as far back as September of last year (.396 OBP against and a 1.22 K/BB ratio). I’d be shocked if there weren’t an underlying physiological reason behind his struggles.
this. bard’s problems did not begin with the starting pitching experiment. they continued
Even more of a mind boggling reason to wonder why they felt they could depend on him to be a middle or better starter?
doesn’t seem confusing to me. particularly if they thought the issue was related to durability and throwing every day, getting him into a starter’s routine could have been a big benefit
but apparently not
Bard thought that too.
I hope that this “attempt” at moving Bard to the rotation doesn’t do to him what the same “attempt” did to Joba Chamberlain… That being said, the last time Bard was a reliever (2011) he was a top 3 setup man in BASEBALL… so lets relax a little bit on him having nothing but a 94 mph straight fastball… Things are a little different when your throwing 10 to 20 pitches rather than dialing it down so you can throw 6 innings or more.
Funny how it hasn’t affected Chris Sale or Jeff Samardzija
Sweeney is a goner. Was figuring he wouldn’t be around when CC and Ells both come back and also Pods soon. It’s bad when 36YO speedy Pods has more power than the 6’4 Sweeney
Pods already came back and the Red Sox quietly banished him back to AAA Pawtucket.
Sweeney has never shown any semblance of power throughout his career. His huge frame just screams natural raw power, but his mentality, along with his swing, really limit him to a line-drive hitter with gap to gap power. Sort of a shame really.
Hard to imagine the Sox selling when they’re 2.5 games out of the wild card and getting some talent back. If they do want to sell, why not give up guys like Ellsbury and Beckett? You can get real value back for those guys instead of small pieces like Aviles and Ross.
Ellsbury’s value is too low to sell on right now, and Beckett is more valuable to them in their rotation than as a trade chip (his value is also low, but it’s arguable whether it will ever actually come back up).
I agree though that trading guys like Aviles and Ross isn’t exactly “selling” by the normal use of the word.
True, but Ellsbury can have 2 healthy weeks before the deadline and someone will take that chance. I’m guessing that given the shot at an elite player, a team is going to take that chance.
I disagree about Beckett’s value. He’s been very mediocre the last 12 months and his value has dropped. However, I think people understand that he could turn it around any day and would want him in the rotation. I’m not sure he can turn it around in Boston. I can see Cherington trading Beckett for merely salary relief (5M more this year and $30M over the next two… yikes).
Beckett was in consideration for the Cy Young until he completely fell apart in September of last year, and now you’re talking about trading him for salary relief – that’s exactly what I was talking about when I said he’s more valuable in the rotation than as a trade chip.
And two weeks of Ellsbury isn’t going to make teams feel good enough about him for his trade value to be back up to where it could be. I don’t care if he hits 10 home runs between now and then, it’s still going to be lower than it could potentially be at the end of the year.
Def agree about Beckett. We would have to eat salary to get anything back, meanwhile we are still in it for the wild card so its kind of pointless.
like he would have won it…no
I don’t know if he would have won it, but his name was mentioned every time the Cy Young was brought up until he fell apart in September.
Through the end of August last year Beckett had a 2.54 ERA (2.43 prior to 8/31), 7.89 K/9, and 2.38 BB/9 over 170 innings (not that ERA tells you how good a pitcher actually is, but that’s what voters look at for the Cy).
Ross and Aviles are stop gaps so as much as I like them selling high on them is not rebuilding at all. Ross has good value, if we could package him together with Aviles or Sweeney we could probably snag a very good prospect.
Only reason why Sox would be sellers at this point is to free up some logjammed roster spots. Obviously they’re going to sell OFs. There’s no reason to sell Aviles unless the Sox believe that Iglesias is ready, which he clearly is not – otherwise we would have seen him up against the Yankees instead of Ciriaco (easily could have put Aviles at 2B).
I think they should keep Ross unless they get a pretty nice package for him. Sweeney should go, no question about it. Nava would be a luxury to have, but I’d probably trade him too if you could get anything out of trading him (to be honest, whatever he brings back would be a huge win for the Sox considering they first bought up his rights for $1).
And to anyone who wants to trade Beckett, Lester, Ellsbury, or anyone else: The Sox are not going to get good value for any of these players as there are about 5 A-grade pitchers (rumored people on the market include Hamels, Shields, Wandy Rodriguez, King Felix, Garza, Dempster, Volquez, Greinke, etc.) on the market right now and a bajillion OFs (see MLBTR’s recent post).
As far as I see it, the Sox have very little benefit being sellers in this market because the teams that really should/have to sell have players performing better and would cost less than almost any of the players our couch-surfing GMs here on this board are trying to trade.
The only reason Ciriaco was up instead of Iglesias is because Iglesias has just started playing against after missing time with a stiff back. And it’s not like Aviles is any good, so it wouldn’t hurt to play Iglesias instead of him once Iglesias’ back is good to go (Aviles is a terrible hitter and an average hitter, Iglesias is also a terrible – although, amazingly, more patient – hitter, but a once in a lifetime defender).
FWIW, if you compare Aviles’s WAR to Lowrie’s WAR – it’s about the same. No one would be complaining with Lowrie’s numbers. I don’t see why people don’t see the value of Aviles. He’s been a very serviceable SS this year.
As great as Iglesias’s defense is, would he be able to add enough benefit to cancel his poor offense? Aviles almost has a 2 dWAR. It’s not like he is that bad of a defender and he is most definitely a better hitter than Iglesias (and shall I mention much more durable too.)
All of Avile’s WAR is tied up in an extremely fluky year defensively (literally; he’s had negative value with the bat). And yes, Iglesias’ defense would easily be enough better than Aviles’ to more than make up for the difference in their offense (Aviles has been 20% worse than league average this year).
That’s fine if you’re anticipating Mark Bellhorn-esque offense out of Iglesias…minus the home runs of course. But I don’t think his defense will matter much if the Sox SPs keep giving up the long ball.
I’m thinking somewhere between Cesar Izturis and Ronny Cedeno offensively. And Boston is right in the middle of the pack when it comes to giving up home runs (league average is 1.02 HR/9, and the Red Sox are 1.06 HR/9).
Since you’re good with checking facts, check the SPs rate of HR/9 compared to other teams. I think Izturis and Cedeno would be the peak of Iglesias’s career…which he’s easily 4-5 years away from.
Izturis and Cedeno are considerably worse then Bellhorn (who you mentioned).
Izturis career line: .254/.294/.321
And the starters are 1.18 HR/9 to a league average of 1.06 HR/9 for all other starters. Still pretty close to average and certainly not anywhere near bad enough to actually try to say your SS’s defense doesn’t matter. I don’t care if they give up 3 HR/9, SS defense still matters.
Bellhorn’s career line: .230/.341/.394 – mostly propped up by his crazy year in 2002.
Right, which makes his career OPS 100-150 points better than either of those other guys. Bellhorn was essentially a league average hitter while the other two were 35-40% below league average, and he only had three years where he hit worse than either of the other guys’ career averages.
Half season UZR is also incredibly unreliable and unpredictive, and Aviles’ WAR is based on a super-high defensive number.
Aviles posting elite UZR numbers after perennially posting negative ones is a huge red flag.
Yeah, no way Aviles is this good defensively. The rosiest projection of his defense coming into the season was from the defensive bible, and they were expecting almost league average. Give Aviles league average defense and he’s a sub-one WAR player so far this year (cutting his value in half – his only value would be coming from positional adjustment, and replacement level adjustment).
i don’t know that we can say he’s any worse than average at short defensively. in 2000 innings he’s saved 27 runs above average according to DRS and 18 according to UZR
in a sample half as large at 2B, he’s done worse. below-average worse
you’d think he could handle 2B if he could handle SS, but really all signs point at at least an average defender
also, i still don’t like him
Bard will figure it out again and regain that 100mph fastball…When he does, than all his secondary pitches will be that much better due to the separation in speed…
what trades could you guys see the red sox making? and who could you see the sox getting for ross, aviles, shop?
A mid-level prospect or two for each of those guys would be my guess.
of those three? Ross is needed just as a workhorse to get the rest off the team off their rears and work.
Aviles… maybe a high level RP prospect (mid level if the SS experiment had only gone as expected)
Shop – most likely to actually be traded Mid-level prospect and bring up Lavarnway.
Whether they should trade Ross or not kind of depends on what other roster moves they make, but just in the context of Potrzeba’s question, Ross would likely bring back a mid-level prospect or two.
Aviles hasn’t hit well other than the first month of the season, but he has played a good SS and has some pop (and his overall offense isn’t terrible as far as SS go), so I don’t see any reason why he could get a mid-level prospect in return (plus, he’s cheap and under control through 2014).
Shoppach is another guy who has performed pretty decent (actually pretty well, only in a limited sample) and could potentially even pique the interest of a team looking for a starting catcher, so I don’t think it would be hard to see him bringing back a decent return either.
sign me up
Right? I say get it done already, especially if it means Lavarnway, Iglesias, and (well… I’m not sure who replaces Ross actually) get to play.
The Cubs are one possible destination” Ummmmmm………. WHY?
This reporter obviously is grasping straws here… The Cubs have ZERO need for Sweeney, ZERO. They already have a backlog of outfielders. LaHair, Soriano, DeJesus, Campana, Bret Jackson…No need for Sweeney, unless they trade Soriano to another team first.
Even if they do trade Soriano, Sweeney and DeJesus have the exact same skillset. Plus defensive (mostly because of range, not arm) RFers who are above average against RHP but should never be allowed to hit LHP.
DDJ just does all of that better than Sweeney.
You forgot Mather and Reed Johnson too. But yeah, why the heck would the Cubs want Sweeney?
Wasn’t this the same reporter who thought Garza would be adequate compensation for Theo, or was that somebody else?
Why would the Cubs want a 27 year old, 4th OF w/ no power or speed? They already have Reed Johnson & David DeJesus?
Its hard to see the Sox as sellers. I mean they are ONLY 2.5 games back of the second wc. Yea I know they are 9 back of their division but come on do you really think the sox management would sell off their assets when they have cc and ells coming back? Trading sweeney makes sense, I mean when cc and ells do come back they will have more ofs than they need for the first time this season. Since only one of them went to the All Star game(still shocked by that) I think the others will use the time off to work on themselves and come back with strong second halves(pedroia and a-gon). Esp since a gon doesnt have to play the of anymore. Sox are still in it, not an easy climb but by no means should they be sellers.
It’s kind of funny actually. Every time the Red Sox becoming sellers is mentioned by one of the writers they go on to talk about trading guys who amount to little more than spare parts.
If they traded Aviles, Sweeney, Shoppach, and a couple of relievers would anyone really consider them sellers? I know I wouldn’t (if those moves led to Iglesias, Lavarnway, Tazawa and Wilson being called up, I would consider it getting better).
Does that mean you are tired of seeing Avilles chasing everything out of the K zone also? opposing pitchers have figured out you don’t have to throw him a strike now to get him out and over the last month plus, his numbers have tumbled after he ripped through the month of April and early May.
I wanted them to get rid of him even back when he was hitting the ball in April; now that he’s not hitting I just want him gone even more. I can’t stand watching him play baseball even when he’s playing “well.”
justin upton or not, it’s time to give jose the job. who knows, maybe adrian gonzalez can transform him into…almost average
I think he should have had the job on openings day. If he’s going to learn to hit, he can do it just as well in the majors as he can in AAA.
Aviles is what he is…a stop gap as a starter and a very nice utility guy…I don’t see Ciriaco as a SS, but if they continue to slide I would keep Aviles and get Iglesias here, regardless of his bat. The defense bothers me more on Aviles, he is ok but just ok.
Sweeney when platooned with Ross before both were injured did a nice job, and is also probably worth more here then he would bring back in a trade.
It is ridiculous. Gotta love the boston media! If they were actually selling papi would be on the move.
However, when the Yanks did it with Joba i’m sure you were thinking the same… oh no, only Sox fans are arrogant.
I personally thought he would be good, not great but b/c of the Joba experiment i was worried that there would be issues i was not all that happy that the team allowed Bard to decide himself that he wanted to be worth more $$$ (which is why he wanted to be a starter)
Joba actually had success as a starter in the minors and had been a starter his whole career, other than that ya same thing…
Can’t see Boston throwing in the towel on the season with so much money on the way back from injuries. Maybe if they really slide after the break, 5-6 games under .500 then yes, but I don’t see that happening. Red Sox look like a very dangerous team in the second half.
The Sox have nine players under contract for next year~ $100M AAV. Of those Punto and Iglesias account for $3M. So of seven players for $97M, two are untradeable due to injury(Lackey and Crawford), two are basically untouchable (Pedroia and Gonzalez). Three are left:Lester, Buchholz and Beckett. Lester and Buchholz have AAV of $6M and $7.5M respectively. That’s value for what they are (Lester) and still could be (Buchholz). That leaves Beckett. But the Sox couldn’t get a comparable arm this year unless they deal top prospects so that won’t happen.
Ortiz is more valuable as prospective FA if he turns down the QO. No team will give up much in July or August comparable to a compensation pick.
That leaves Ellsbury. Any team trading for him gets a player for two pennant races at a manageable contract (Sox pay the $2.7M due this year, next year his arb is probably $9-10M), plus a compensation draft pick if he leaves after ’13. His power may not return this year depending on the extent of his shoulder’s recovery, but speed, defense and contact make him valuable for the remainder of this year. It’s too bad he plays the same position as McCutcheon. I wouldn’t want to deal for him and make him play the corner OF at this juncture. WASH might give up something valuable. Anyway I think he has more value than people give credit.
Realistically I think the Sox swap out some redundant pieces for controllable pieces with options, or maybe a failed top prospect a la Heredia or Salty, or Zach Stewart, still under control and hope that the core players pick it up a bit in the second half.