Bloody Sox

Red Sox Rants — and other random opinions about sports

Archive for the month “November, 2010”

Attention V-Mart swappers!

The Red Sox willingness to part ways with the fairly affordable Victor Martinez makes me think they must feel as if they have a long-term solution at first base waiting in the wings. Adrian Gonzalez? Kevin Youkilis (with a long-term third baseman coming on board)? Anthony Rizzo?

Any other explanation is unfathomable. Martinez signed with Detroit for four years at $12.5 million per year. That’s what the Sox will be paying David Ortiz next year. That’s $2 million less than they will be paying J.D. Drew. Martinez is younger and a better player than either of those two. He’s a switch-hitter who devours lefties. And they don’t have another viable major league catcher on the roster.

Sure the Sox may have been leery of his catching ability, especially in a couple of years after his skills have deteriorated some. But Martinez is a capable first baseman. Which is why I think they are concerned about creating log-jam at that position. If nothing develops along that front this off-season, then the casualness with which Theo and company let Martinez walk away is going to look like a colossal mistake as well as an act of arrogance.

And speaking of mistakes, why is it the Red Sox don’t have a major-league ready catcher waiting in the wings? Jason Varitek didn’t lie about his age. The Sox knew he was going to coming to the end of his career one day. They had plenty of time to cultivate a young prospect. Yet their nearest prospect appears to be a year or two away from graduating to the big leagues. This feels like another major failing on the part of Theo Epstein, or at least the scouting department.

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Don’t let the hot stove burn you!

The deadline in which teams had exclusive rights to negotiate with their own free agents passed over the weekend and we are now in full free-agent wheeling and dealing season.

The Red Sox have already made a significant move by picking up the $12.5 million option to make David Ortiz a member of the 2011 team. I can’t help but feel this is a mistake. That’s a lot of money for an only-slightly-better-than-run-of-the-mill DH. Adam Dunn will sign for less. Even Manny Ramirez will probably be playing for less than that. I’d rather this money go into bringing back Victor Martinez or even Adrian Beltre. And I just can’t stomach another excruciatingly brutal April with Ortiz struggling to get his average over .200.

But beyond this, it just feels like it is time for the Sox to focus on the future and not on the past. Ortiz is definitely the past, and this will surely be his last year with the club.  Let’s move on already!

As for other possibilities, I hope the Sox do not trade a lot of quality prospects for the opportunity to pay Adrian Gonzalez $100 million for the next five years. If you end up paying him that much, don’t give away a boatload of prospects too! That’s too much money for one guy and we already have Kevin Youkilis at first base, who is at least as good as Gonzalez. If you’re going to empty the farm system for a good player, think about trying to pry Ryan Zimmerman away from the Nationals. He’s actually younger than Gonzalez. He’s owed about $35 million through 2013.  Gonzalez and he have similar stats, though Gonzalez is clearly the better slugger, with a slighly higher OPS. 

Zimmerman at 3rd and Youk at 1st would be a great corner infield tandem. Why would the Nationals be willing to trade him? Probably they wouldn’t. But if you dangle the same prospects in front of them as those that it would take to get Gonzalez, it just might be enough. Remember, their franchise player, Stephen Strasburg, is probably not going to pitch again until 2012. Perhaps the Nationals would be willing to invest in the future. Or not. I’m just trying to think outside the box.

Well, I’ve got to go now and find out if the Dallas Cowboys have fired head coach Wade Phillips yet.

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