Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What's Next For Red Sox at Winter Meetings?

The 2012 Winter Meetings are half over and the Red Sox have been the busiest team so far.  The Red Sox had plenty of money to spend in Nashville and it appears that their plan was to use that money to get players to sign shorter deals.  By upping the annual salary average over less years they were able to land Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli.  Rumor has it that the Indians offered Victorino 4 years and 44 million, but Victorino took the higher annual salary and a chance to play for a big market team and the shorter deal which is what the Sox wanted.  So far that plan has worked, which begs the question: What's Next?

Their biggest need now appears to be starting pitching.  There are a number of free agent options like Ryan Dempster, Kyle Lohse and Edwin Jackson.  Those three guys would all appear to fit the Red Sox free agent strategy.  There are a number of trade possibilities as well.  Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe mentioned Cliff Lee, but there are other pitchers who are available.  Some of the rumored names available in trades are Chris Capuano, Homer Bailey, R.A. Dickey, Gavin Floyd and Derek Holland.  The Rangers need a CF and now that the Sox have signed Victorino perhaps a trade could be worked out for Ellsbury to go to the Rangers for Holland.

Other needs appear to be a left handed hitting first baseman for when Napoli catches, a veteran SS to provide insurance for Iglesias, perhaps a relief pitcher and another outfielder if Ellsbury gets traded.

I think, and it's only my gut instinct, that the Red Sox want Nick Swisher to take one of those 3 year deals with a higher annual salary so that he can split 1B with Napoli and RF with Victorino.  He would fill 2 of the four needs listed in the paragraph above.  If the Sox trade Ellsbury then I think the Sox will go after Swisher very aggressively.  Or they may sign Swisher first (who is supposedly waiting for Hamilton to sign to set the market) and then trade Ellsbury from a position of strength.  We could do a whole post on Ellsbury trade options and we probably will soon if rumors start to heat up, but overall I think that Sox fans should temper their expectations for what they could get in return for Ellsbury.  If they can get one blue chip pitching prospect I would take it.  The Atlanta Braves have the prospects and need a CF so that could be a fit.  If the Sox could get one strong SP for this year's rotation, I would take it, like the Rangers and Derek Holland mentioned above or the Phillies and Cliff Lee. One thing is for sure, he is as good as gone after next year.  Get something for him now.

The Sox could also trade from their catching depth and bullpen depth to get a starter with a little less talent then what they could get in return for Ellsbury.  Then they could keep Ellsbury and get one good year out of him and an extra draft pick after he leaves.

There are some decent free agent bullpen options available like Mike Adams and Rafeal Soriano.  However, I think this need is of much less importance than the others.

The Red Sox have been busy so far in Nashville, but I think they've got one more move left in them before they leave.  If Ellsbury is going to be traded it will happen after the meetings, but I look for them to sign a free agent SP before they leave the Opryland Hotel.  Let's hear who you think they should pick up to fill their remaining holes at SP, left handed hitting 1B, OF (if Ells is traded), RP and SS.  Leave your thoughts in the comments section.


25 comments:

  1. According to the Twitter box at the right, Mazz re-tweeted someone named Jen Royale, who said this: "Source: Ben Cherington wanted nothing to do with Nick Swisher. He highly preferred Victorino #RedSox". Mazz noted that Ben loves the draft picks, meaning I assume that signing Swisher would have meant giving up a pick to the Yanks. If this can be believed (and it seems rock solid.....riiight), then there is about 0% chance of Swisher signing with the Red Sox. Which I am thrilled to hear. I personally believe Benny C is about done, unless a team blows him away with an offer for Lester or Ellsbury. As I said on the previous thread, I would love to see them sign Stephen Drew and either Edwin Jackson (durable as hell), Brandon McCarthy (the opposite of durable, but top-of-the-rotation stuff), or trade for Gavin Floyd, but beyond that I don't see a lot more happening.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Also, can't Big Papi be our left-handed hitting 1B? If I remember right, he wasn't half bad there last year during interleague play, and now that interleague play runs through the entire season not just certain months, we could use him there more. Napoli also hit better last year against righties than he did against lefties, so I'm not sure a platoon is needed there.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Despite the talk of Hamilton, Swisher, LaRoche, and Kyle Lohse all of those players have compensation attached to them. This means the Sox would lose their 2nd round pick ( somewhere around #44). More importantly in the new system that begn in the last draft, as Peter Gammons and other are reporting the Sox also would lose about $1M of the draft pool budget. I would very surprised, very surprised if any of those gentlemen join the Sox. I think the most likely free agent pitching targets are Shaun Marcum and Brandon McCarthy. If Ellsbury is dealt, Cody Ross likely joins the OF mix, and how about dealing for Lars Anderson for the 1B partner/backup to Napoli.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The Rule V draft is completed and the Red Sox lost RHP Josh Fields and RHP Ryan Pressly. They selected an IF named Jeff Kobernaus from the Washington Nationals and then promptly traded him to the Tigers for minor league outfielder Justin Henry. They also picked up a couple guys in the triple A portion of the draft, a LHP named Jack McGreary and RHP Jonathan Bachonov (great name).

    But the bigger news of the day is that Ben Cherington told reporters on his way out the door of the Opryland Hotel that "they had one more thing that was almost done, but not quite ready to report" He wouldn't specify if it was a trade or a free agent. He also said that it would be ready to announce "very soon". I haven't seen any reports of what it might be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here it is...according to boston.com the Red Sox have signed reliever Koji Uehera to a one year deal. They also completed the Zach Stewart deal by acquiring RHP minor leaguer Kyle Kaminska.

      Delete
    2. Uehera is a nice addition. He had good numbers last year with Texas, and showed great control with a 0.63 WHIP and a 14.33 K/BB ratio.

      So does this mean that the Red Sox in essence traded Kevin Youkilis straight up for Kyle Kaminska? I can't stop laughing.

      Delete
    3. hehehee...yea, that's exactly what it means. I suppose it's better to laugh than cry!

      Delete
  5. I love the last 2 signings by Bennie! Uehara was even decent when pitching for the Orioles a couple of years ago.

    ReplyDelete
  6. According to Alex Speier the Red Sox have acquired a pitcher named Graham Godfrey from the A's to complete the Sandy Rosario trade (the biggest team in recent memory of course ;) He was voted as having the best command in the AAA Pacific Coast League last year.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Another is off the list of starting pitching free agents. Brandon McCarthy has signed with the Dbacks, 2 years 15.5M

    ReplyDelete
  8. I also saw that Ryan Dempster turned down a 2 year 25 million dollar offer from the Sox and is now being pursued by the Cubs and Brewers. Also reports are coming out that the Yankees are doing some background checks on Josh Hamilton and may be planning on making him an offer.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Update on the Lester for Myers trade situation...AINT HAPPENIN'...The Royals traded Wil Myers to the Rays for James Shields and Wade Davis. The Royals also gave up pitching prospect Kyle Odorizzi plus two minor leaguers. In all the Royals gave up 3 of their top 10 prospects. I guess we're gonna get a close look over the next 6 years at just how good Myers is. For Red Sox fans who say that the Sox should have made this deal I don't think it's as easy as whether or not they would give up Lester. The Rays were dealing from a position of strength and depth. Even after giving up two starters the Rays still have a better rotation than the Red Sox. The Red Sox are not in a position to be able to give up two starting pitchers in a deal like this. Would you have traded Lester and Doubront or Buchholz and Doubront for Myers, Odorizzi and two more minor leaguers?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Correction Odorizzi's first name is Jake not Kyle

      Delete
    2. Of course, the Tampa angle was another reason the Sox probably should have pulled the trigger on Myers, if he is half as good as advertised, we will get sick of seeing he and Longoria anchoring the Rays. In effect I think the Royals dealt Myers straight up for Shields and traded their best pitching prospect, Ordozzi and other kids for Wade Davis. Therefore I think you could have had Myers for Lester pretty much straight up. I still am not sure that would have been wise or not, but I think the deal could have made basically for just Lester. Hopefully Lester reunion with John Farrell will make us wonder why this was even discussed. And hopefully the answer to my recent post " Sox need an ace but from where?" will be Jon Lester.

      Delete
    3. Hopefully this trade will end up falling under the "sometimes the best trades are the ones you don't make".

      Delete
    4. Here's a tweet from Buster Olney this afternoon: "Wil Myers is sport's No. 3 prospect. Baseball America's No. 3 prospect 2006-2010: Brandon Wood; Delmon Young; Joba; Rasmus; Mike Stanton." To me, that says there is only a 20% chance that Myers fulfills his potential at the major league level (only one of the five listed in Olney's tweet is a very good player). This is why it might have been sexy to make that trade for Lester, but in the end I think Benny C was right to ride out Lester and forgo the potential of a prospect. Now we need the Farrell/Lester combo to make it happen!

      Delete
    5. Olney neglected to mention that Myers was this year's Minor League Player of the Year ( by Baseball America) also and the last five winners are Jay Bruce, Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Wieters, Jason Heyward, and Mike Trout. Just sayin'

      Delete
    6. Only time will tell how this trade will play out, ultimately the Rays had the starting pitching depth to trade from to get a very good prospect and the Red Sox did not. What would the rotation look like if we traded Lester and Doubront? I shutter to think and told tell me that they could go out and sign Lohse and Dempster those guys are terrible american league starters.

      Delete
  10. I mentioned this in a new comment on the Rumored Sox Targets post by the Deacon, that the Red Sox should be interested in Lance Berkman to be their LH hitting (he is a switch hitter, but does well from the left) first baseman and 5th outfielder. Berkman could be had on a one year deal and as long as he's willing to take a reduced role he could be a good fit for the team. Cherington Said he wanted a LH hitting player who could do more than just play 1B and Berkman could still play the OF occasionally without hurting you too much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As long as Berkman is healthy enough, he would be an excellent fit for the role described by Barry. The only team you may have for competition is his hometown Houston Astros looking for a DH.

      Delete
    2. "Astros looking for a DH" looks kinda weird!

      Delete
  11. Per Ken Rosenthal and others the Sox have signed Ryan Dempster for 2 years 26.5M

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And they won't be signing Josh Hamilton because he signed with the Angels.

      Delete
    2. And Ryan Dempster will be putrid in the AL East, terrible signing. I'd rather throw $26.5 million in a dumpster, see what I did there.

      Delete
    3. Since Interleague play will be dispersed throughout the season maybe they will use him only against NL teams! And maybe an occasional start against the AL central and the Mariners.

      Delete