Sunday, December 2, 2012

2012 Winter Meetings are Here!

The baseball world has converged on Nashville, and the actual meetings begin in the morning.
Let's use this post to gather any and all rumors, notes, news, or commentary on completed deals.

  Two quick thoughts: 1) many folks in and out of the game speculated that the Red Sox would be more active on the trade front than the free agent market.  If this is to become true, the Red Sox front office has certainly kept talks quiet.  Other than the Wil Myers-Lester rumor that came out of KC, there have been no concrete trade rumors. 2) on Sirrius/XM radio tonight, Larry Luchinno said the Sox were in on Josh Hamilton, the biggest concern being length of the deal.

40 comments:

  1. Way to go Larry! Get right in on those Hamilton talks! I feel so confident knowing that every time Larry gets out in front of a move it always works out well. Nothing Larry has pushed for has ever worked out poorly to the best of my knowledge.

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    1. That was a "sneaky funny" post Brandon!

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  2. The Sox are not willing to give up their prospects right now so the only way they will make a trade is if it means giving up players off the big league roster. They do have some catching and bullpen depth to trade from. For that reason it is more likely that we hear rumors about the Red Sox being players in the free agent market. Even then they will not be offering contracts beyond 2-3 years.

    The pursuit of Mike Napoli will probably be the top story line of the meetings for the Sox and my sleeper move has the Sox signing Nick Swisher by the end of the week. Swisher won't be cheap, but 3 years for between 45 and 60 million just might get it done. My other sleeper prediction is Stephen Drew signing for 2 years at 20 million to play SS.

    On the trade front I think the Twins and Indians are the two most likely trade partners for the Sox. With Justin Morneau and Shin Soo Choo being the targets.

    All of these moves depend on how the dominoes start to fall. Napoli is the key to the whole thing. If he signs then you can take 1B off the list of needs (unless it's for a defensive replacement). Then the Sox will look at their options for RF which include C. Ross, Swisher, Choo, Hamilton, Josh Willingham and others then make the deal that makes the most sense for the team.

    On the pitching front I read on mlblogs that the Red Sox were the team pursuing Dan Haren the most aggressively early in free agency along with other east coast teams, but that he would prefer to stay on the west coast. He also said that he is in no hurry to sign and wants to see how things shape up in the market. Look for the Sox to pursue other veteran starting pitchers on the free agent market.

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  3. Multiple reports inclduing weei and and espn are reporting that the Red Sox are close to signing Mike Napoli to a 3 year deal.

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  4. Buster Olney just reported live on ESPN that the deal for Napoli is 3 years for 39 million dollars. He also said that the Sox plan to use Napoli at 1B the majority of the time but see him as a 1B/C/DH "hybrid". 13 million a year is a little bit high, but the length of deal is acceptable. Now the Sox can turn their attention to the OF. On the same ESPN report Jayson Stark said that the Red Sox have a lot of "balls hanging" on outfielders here at the operyland hotel. He mentioned the names of Cody Ross, Nick Swisher, Shane Victorino as possibilities for the OF.

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  5. According to various twitter accounts the Sox brass are now in a meeting with Nick Swisher and there is a chance they will sign him as well. Nick Cafardo said on Twitter that the Sox are in on Shane Victorino. It's clear that the Sox had a plan going into these meetings. They've signed their primary first basemen and are now looking at outfielders. Signing Swisher along with Napoli would give them some serious roster flexibility. With Napoli at C, Swisher at 1B and Victorino or Kalish in RF. Or Ross at C with Napoli at 1B and Swisher in RF.

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    1. It appears as though Swisher is going to wait until after Hamilton signs to see if one of the losers of that sweepstakes will over pay him.

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  6. Great signing! 13 million a year is a little steep, but the Sox have money to burn and they probably had to go that high to convince him to sign without a fourth year. Napoli has 120 HR the last 5 years, more than all but 28 other major leaguers. He also has a 1.107 career OPS at Fenway Park. I'm already imagining balls flying over the Monstah. The poop in the soup is his 1B defense, or C defense as well, which is said to be poor. We may want to sign a backup 1B who is good with the mitt unless Mauro Gomez or Jerry Sands can be that guy, but they are both right-handed as is Napoli. A left-handed slick-fielding 1B may be needed.....oh gawd, is Swisher good with the glove? Sigh. Is Casey Kotchman available? Yuck. Aw hell, who needs defense? As long as he mashes bombs over the Monster, he can bumble his way around the 1B bag for all I care.

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  7. I also saw a tweet from Buster Hymen.......errr, Posey.........errrrr, Olney that said the Diamondbacks have been among the most aggressive teams thus far at the meetings. Multiple execs told him that they very well may move Justin Upton this week. I would love to get in on that! If they could somehow build a package with anyone-but-Boegarts, I say throw most of the rest of the farm at him. For that matter, I also saw Edes tweeting yesterday that Giancarlo Stanton could be had for three top prospects. I would throw Bradley, Barnes, and Brentz at them and see if we could get a player named Giancarlo on the Sox!

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    1. Brandon, I'm sure you and a lot of fans feel that way, but from all accounts it seems as though the Sox are not going to be trading prospects especially the ones whose last names begin with B. They seem determined to keep them all with the idea that many of them will be ready to play by 2014. Bogaerts, Bradley, Brentz and Barnes are all key pieces of the future that will NOT be traded, rightfully or wrongfully I don't know. Plus, from what I saw today the Diamondbacks would insist on Bogaerts being a part of the deal.

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    2. Waaaannnnn waaannnn.....Barry Downer strikes again. For what it's worth I agree with this approach. It's just when young uber-talented names at positions we need become available, I would think long and hard about emptying out the prospect closet for guys who are proven big leaguers.

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    3. I'm not being a downer. I'm just telling you what all the reports say the Red Sox are going to do or in this case not going to do.

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  8. I'm lukewarm on Victorino. Not sure why. Isn't he like 34 years old? I need to look up more numbers on him to have an opinion I suppose...

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    1. I think Victorino would only be an option if Cody Ross and others fall through or as a 4th outfielder.

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  9. Cafardo notes on Twitter that the Chicago Tribune makes a case that Salty could be a good fit for both Chicago teams. Notes a Salty for Gavin Floyd trade could make sense. Let me say this as best I can through type: YESSSSSS PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF PEDRO MARTINEZ AND ALL THAT IS GOOD IN THE WORLD TRADE THAT SALTY BAG OF PUS FOR GAVIN FLOYD!!!!!!!!

    Is it just me or is Gavin Floyd comparable to Clay Buchholz, or as he is known around here, our second-or-maybe-even-first best pitcher on our entire roster?

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    1. I've seen that rumor floating around and I'm totally 100% on board for that trade as well. In fact the thought that we could get a SP of that quality for Salty makes me think that Xmas will come early this year.

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  10. Try out this quiz just for fun:
    http://www.sporcle.com/games/lineupquizzes/RedSox

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    1. This was fun, although I'm embarrassed to admit I only got 140 out of 220. I blanked on a few easy names and misspelled a few (Daisuke, Tim Naehering). Who remembers that David Wells was the opening day starter in 2005 the year after they won the series? Not this guy. How about Jay Payton starting on that 2005 team? Not me. I also seem to have blocked the Mike Cameron signing out of my mind because I missed him. I'm embarrased to admit I forgot about Shea Hillenbrand and Jose Offerman. I also somehow forgot Victor Martinez! Good time though. Pretty cool to see the Sox have only had 9 opening day starters in the last 22 years

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  11. The Napoli deal certainly is no surprise, although I thought Texas might grab him back at the last minute. He will be an important bat in the middle of the lineup. As far as Salty goes I bet he is traded this week, and I bet he brings back more than you might think. A catcher who can hit 25 bombs, despite his other deficiencies is valuable and lots of teams have no catching at all. Besides the Chicago teams( and count me in on Gavin Floyd as well) watch the Mets.

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    1. Red Sox talked to Mets today about R.A. Dickey. For what it's worth I saw a tweet from Nick Cafardo today who said that the Mets thought they could do better than Salty at catcher, implying that they aren't interested.

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  12. The Mets have rumored ( and sometimes rumors are just that) to have interest in Saltalamacchia since at least July. And as far as doing better, is it just posturing? What team has a surplus at catcher other than Boston. One that I can think of which is Toronto. So if they can pry JP Arencebia or if they want John Buck, good luck. The only Mets I heard that were remotely interesting were Ike Davis ( no longer a need) or Jonathan Niese, until RA Dickey's name came up and I am not sure how keen I am on him, either. If not Gavin Floyd, how about Salty in a package to the other Chicago team for Garza.

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  13. ESPN is reporting the Mets asked the Sox for Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley, Jr. for RA Dickey. ESPN reports further it is "unlikely" Boston would trade these two for Dickey. Let me just state for the record it is more likely the Red Sox formally announce through the commissioner's office that they have agreed to contract the franchise so the AL can go back to 14 teams.

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    1. See, for a guy like R.A. "Regression to the mean in 2013" Dickey I would cackle heartily while clanging the phone back onto the hook. But for a guy like Justin Upton or Giancarlo Stanton, I would think long and hard about these top prospects. The only one that reeeeeeally gives me shutters to think about trading is Boegarts.

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  14. James Loney signs with the Rays for 1 year at 2 million dollars.

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  15. Looks like Victorino is better than I thought. He's only 32, and he did have his worst year of his last five this past season. He might be beginning the downside of his prime, or he might be a bounce back candidate after a pretty darn good four year run from 2008-2011. He has two All-Star teams and three gold gloves. He has averaged 14 home runs and 10.4 triples a year over the past five. He has averaged over 30 stolen bases a year the past five years, including a career high in 2012 with 39, showing he hasn't lost his speed. He has been durable, with over 500 ABs each of the past five seasons. Despite getting 7 more hits in 2012 than in 2011, his BA dropped 24 points, meaning....you guessed it, his BABIP was low last season, he was unlucky with the bloops, and he was dealing with having to leave Philadelphia for Los Angeles. Good bounce back candidate. He has played in a big market in the playoffs with high expectations for basically his entire career. I'm actually in on Shane Victorino. CBS was reporting that he could be had for 3 years $30 million, or less than they gave Napoli. He would be a much cheaper and less risky signing than Hamilton, who I have been advocating for.

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    1. You've got me convinced. Another thing he has going for him is his defense. Cherington is on record as saying that he likes to have a RF who can also play CF which Victorino can. Victorino could also give them some insurance after Ellsbury leaves and before Bradley is ready for full time action in CF in 2014. The only drawback is that Victorino is a RH hitter and all of a sudden they are looking awfully right handed. They may want to get a LH hitter (Swisher is a switch hitter) to give the line up some balance.

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    2. According to Victorino's baseball reference page, he is a switch hitter.

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    3. My bad I thought he was a righty but apparently he is a switch hitter.

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    4. Well Done Brandon!! Looks like you convinced Ben Cherington too!!!!

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  16. Lots of good stuff being thrown around, I feel bad for not having gotten in on the banter earlier. I was too busy getting drilled by the Dexter Tigers tonight, so much for the momentum the Huskies built over the weekend against NYA and Winthrop. Anyone try the Sporcle quiz I posted earlier? I scored in the 160s when I took it, FYI. Let me start with the Napoli signing, I'll be the naysayer, as I am only like warm on this deal. PeteAbe just made some good points on NESN however so I could be persuaded. I think his defense or lack thereof is alarming and I know he is supposedly a good clubhouse guy but I feel like there was something negative on that front in Anaheim and that the Rangers would not have let him go without some red flags. I like the idea of Shane Victorino, I think he gives you the positives of Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ross, all in one package. I also like Salty Nuts for Gavin Floyd, isn't he the same guy that sang the theme song to One Tree Hill? I loved that show until it jumped the shark in about year 5. No thanks on the RA Dickey front however. I'll leave you with one tidbit from PeteAbe tonight, the potential for Napoli (loved their pizza as a kid BTW) to catch John Lackey based on their years in Anaheim, could this be the magic bullet to help Lackey become a solid starter again, or should we just take him out to pasture and shoot him?

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    1. Just make sure you've got plenty of BL on ice after that game is over. I feel like Nap and Lack could throw down A LOT of cold beverages after a game!!

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    2. Wow a lot of Dexter Tigers have been handing out beating lately I hope the Lady Tigers didn't bring their floor hockey sticks and wiffle ball bats.

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  17. In Abraham's Notes on the Globe website this morning, he has this gem from Ben Cherington: "We’re working on free agent alternatives, trade alternatives. Different flavors of ice cream. We’d like to add in that area.” Personally I hope he looks at black raspberry, because that's always been my favorite.

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    1. I saw that...how about some neopolitan, 3 flavors or vanchocstraw?

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  18. Both Nick Cafardo and Jon Heyman of CBS/MLB Network are reporting the Sox are very near a deal with Shane Victorino for about the same deal as Napoli got, about a million or so less also for 3 years. Apparently indians and a third team still in the hunt. Boston considered the favorite. Not my top choice, but he is younger than I thought ( as mentioned by others above) and does provide the needed defense for Fenway's rightfield, and a possible platoon partner for Jackie Bradley Jr. in CF for the post-Ellsbury era.

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  19. Looks like the Sox have inked Victorino to the exact same deal they gave Napoli - 3 years/$39 million. As I outlined above, I think this is a good deal for the Sox. Cost effective, only on the hook until he is 35, and a good bounce back candidate with experience in the bright lights of a big city and the postseason. I suppose this will take them out of the hunt for Hamilton, but I suppose they could always look to land him for a LF with Gomes as a fourth outfielder, but it now seems massively unlikely. Looks like Benny C wasn't just blowing smoke when he said the team would look for cheaper guys with the long-term future of the team in mind.

    Here's a potential lineup:

    Ellsbury CF
    Victorino RF
    Pedroia 2B
    Ortiz DH
    Napoli 1B
    Saltalamacchia C
    Middlebrooks 3B
    Gomes/Kalish LF
    Iglesias SS

    Lester
    Buchholz
    Lackey
    Doubront
    Morales

    Not too shabby. I would still like to see them go after Stephen Drew as Barry mentioned above as a veteran SS and look to trade for Gavin Floyd or sign Edwin Jackson. Good work Benny C.

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    1. I like the Victorino signing, but I never imagined he'd get 13 million a year...is that what Cherington had in mind when he talked about discipline?! Now word comes down that Dan Haren signed for 1 year and 13 million with the Nationals. If Haren was willing to take one year how could the Sox not top 13 million?? Unless Haren just simply did not want to play for the Sox I find this unacceptable. The Sox should have signed Haren.

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  20. Will the Victorino signing open the door for an Ellsbury trade? I read one thing that said that the Red Sox may now shop Ellsbury for a SP. What SP out there would you trade Ellsbury for?

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    1. Buster Olney has an extensive piece on possible Ellsburt trade partners today in his ESPN column. He mentions Atlanta for Randall Delgado or Julio Therean, the Reds for Homer Bailey or Mike Leake, Texas ( no name mentioned but I would find a way to make it Derek Holland), Phillies maybe in a Cliff Lee deal, the Mariners or Padres. My choices in order would be Lee ( but I find this unlikely, except the Sox could take his $$$ ),Holland, either Braves kid starter,then Homer Bailey.

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  21. Important note: according to his Twitter page (@ShaneVictorino), Victorino's nickname is "The Flyin' Hawaiian". I feel like this was worth an extra few million dollars on the contract.

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