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But Can He Pitch?

Updated: 2017-12-11T11:00:04-05:00


The slow Red Sox offseason is not something to fret over


Just relax for a minute Earlier today, I discussed the Giancarlo Stanton trade that sent the slugger to New York from the point of view from the Red Sox. Essentially, I argued that this shouldn’t alter Boston’s plans and they certainly shouldn’t go out and make a quick panic move to keep up. Now, I want to look at things from the fans’ point of view. Obviously as fans we don’t have any real say in what the team does. We’re not in the meetings and Dombrowski probably isn’t following us on Twitter taking notes of our offseason suggestions. We vent and we share our opinions because we care and (hopefully) other people care what we think. In this case, it’s been a lot of venting. As I said in the linked post above, it is entirely understandable why people are angry. The Yankees lineup is absolutely bananas right now and it looks like it’s going to stay that way for years to come. Who wouldn’t be distraught after seeing that. Hell, it’d be upsetting enough if it were any other American League competitor, but it’s made approximately a billion times worse when it’s the goddamn Yankees. People are mad, and many of them are directing that anger towards the Red Sox. Specifically, they are mad that Boston didn’t prevent this trade to New York and they are mad that the Red Sox haven’t done anything yet this offseason. Anger and dejection are natural, but if you’re one of the people mad at the Red Sox for their slow offseason, just chill out for a few minutes. Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports First, we’ll look at the whole Stanton thing. It’s always frustrating when the Yankees add a big-time player via trade, and the natural reaction for Red Sox fans is always that they should have blocked it. This has been a dynamic between the two teams for the better part of two decades (probably longer, but I’ve only been watching baseball for about 20 years and anything that happened before 1998 doesn’t count) and both sides expect it to happen every time. This was a unique situation, though, as Stanton had a full no-trade clause and could pick his landing spot. Although reports indicate that Boston never really showed a ton of interest in Stanton, they also indicate that Stanton never showed a ton of interest in Boston. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation, but the bottom line is that the slugger gave Miami a list of four teams to which he’d approve a trade, and Boston was not on that list. There’s been no indication that there was a course of action for Dombrowski that would have ended with Boston being on said list. The other part of the anger towards the Red Sox front office right now is about the fact that Boston has yet to make a move this offseason. This is coming from a place of pure frustration, and it’s a nice reminder that frustration is rarely logical. People are craving a big bat in the middle of Boston’s lineup and apparently aren’t willing to wait for it. It’s hard to even understand what people have expected them to do, as the only two big pieces to move this winter have been Stanton and Shohei Ohtani. Boston made a push for the latter, but like Stanton he did not put them on his list of potential suitors. There’s nothing the Red Sox can do about this. Now, the Red Sox can start really making moves for their lineup. While Boston probably would love to get things done as quickly as possible, free agent signings and trade markets are two-way streets. The agents running negotiations for players as well as opposing GMs who are selling off their pieces aren’t idiots. They knew that teams would be focusing on Stanton and Ohtani and that there would be plenty of teams left in the dust with neither. Now that we’re at this place, the markets are clearer for players like J.D. Martinez and Jose Abreu. The competition is clear and negotiations can start in earnest. If the Red Sox were to make a move earlier, they would have had to overpay by a fairly large margin to convince the agent/team to act prematurely, and everyone would have been complain[...]

Red Sox making Jackie Bradley Jr. available in trade, per report



This is to make room for a power bat

With Giancarlo Stanton and Shohei Ohtani making their way to new teams, it’s time for the rest of the offseason to finally get rolling. With a glaring hole in the middle of their lineup, the Red Sox are going to spend the neat future searching for a new power bat. There are a number of different ways this can go, and one of them involves that bat playing in the outfield. In that scenario, Boston will need to make some room. To that end, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, the Red Sox have made Jackie Bradley Jr. available in trade talks and are letting teams know about it.

Wright missed almost all of 2017 with a knee injury but was expected to come back in 2018 and serve as an important piece of depth in the rotation. Back in 2016 he really broke onto the scene with a breakout season in Boston’s rotation that included an All-Star Game appearance. The plan was likely for Wright to start the year as Boston’s fifth starter with Eduardo Rodriguez on the shelf, though there’s a good chance he’s now looking at a suspension to start his season.

This, of course, is a very serious situation and everyone involved needs to handle it carefully and correctly. Domestic violence certainly isn’t a new thing in sports or in our society, but leagues including MLB have finally started taking it more seriously. Obviously, at this point, we have no idea if Wright will be convicted of a crime at this point, but that doesn’t matter in terms of suspension. In recent years we’ve seen Rob Manfred use his commissioner powers to suspend those charged with domestic assault regardless of the legal outcome of the case. Examples of this include Aroldis Chapman, Jose Reyes and Jeurys Familia.

MLB Roundup 12/11: Jack Morris and Alan Trammell make the Hall of Fame



The Modern Era candidates are voted upon and the market is starting to move

Jack Morris and Alan Trammell are heading to Cooperstown

On Sunday, the Veteran’s Committee announced the results from their Modern Era ballot, a ballot that former Red Sox great Luis Tiant was a part of. The Cuban star from the 1970’s didn’t get enough votes to make it, but a couple of former Tigers did. Jack Morris and Alan Trammell were the only two who made it. There are a lot of opinions on this, and while I certainly share most of them regarding Morris, I am past the point of caring about the Hall of Fame. The voters clearly no longer care about telling the story of baseball and including even some darker moments. The museum as a whole is a really great place, but the room of plaques has been tainted by voters taking themselves too seriously and feeling the need to be the morality police. I’ll begin caring about this process again when they decide to acknowledge the era of baseball on which I grew up. Worse than Morris making it was Marvin Miller not getting voted in. Every year in which Miller does not have a plaque in Cooperstown is a stain on that section of the museum. There may not be more than five more important people in the history of the game.

The Mets might trade Matt Harvey

Once upon a time, the Mets had the most fearsome young rotation in baseball with Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz. They still have loads of potential, but injuries have derailed the progress of all four of them at one point or another. Harvey has been affected the most in recent years and it’s been a while since he’s pitched as well as he’s fully capable of. Now, it seems as if New York is ready to move on. According to Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News, the Mets have discussed the righty with at least two teams and could even be willing to trade him for a reliever. Harvey’s stock has fallen quite a bit in recent years, and it’s startling to see. There is still some potential here, but as for the Red Sox there is no reason for them to take that chance. Anything beyond depth starters who will sign minor-league deals is probably a waste of time.

  • The reliever market got moving a little bit on Sunday. The first deal was between the Cubs and Brandon Morrow. The former starter has seen a career rejuvenation in relief and he really put himself on the map this past postseason. The deal between the two sides is not done yet, but it seems like it’s only a matter of time.
  • The Cubs’ rivals in St. Louis also signed a back-end arm, taking on Luke Gregerson for two years and $11 million. Gregerson doesn’t have the upside possessed by Morrow, but he’s been a really strong setup man for a long time now and could be a total steal for the Cardinals.

Daily Red Sox Links: Winter Meetings, Kyle Schwarber, Luis Tiant



Today’s links take a look at how the Red Sox will respond this week to the Giancarlo Stanton trade.

With the Winter Meetings really starting in earnest today, is it time for the Red Sox to make a move? (Tim Britton; Providence Journal)

Michael Silverman certainly thinks so, and he believes the Red Sox need to respond to the Yankees by signing J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer. (Michael Silverman; Boston Herald)

Speaking of the Yankees and Giancarlo Stanton, Rob Bradford looks at how this deal should be a wake up call for the Red Sox. (Rob Bradford; WEEI)

Would Kyle Schwarber be a possible target this week? (Christopher Smith; Masslive)

Sunday marked the Veteran Committee’s Hall of Fame vote. They voted two players into Cooperstown, but Luis Tiant was not one of them. (Peter Abraham; Boston Globe)

Matt Kory looks back at a shockingly competent year for Doug Fister. (Matt Kory; BP Boston)

The Red Sox exposing Henry Owens to waivers and losing him for nothing is another reminder of the team’s poor track record of developing pitching. (Sean McAdam; Boston Sports Journal)

Offseason Choose Your Own Adventure - Spurned by Ohtani


Well that wasn’t a shocking result, but ultimately, not everything can go your way. Hey, it’s been a while. Here’s the story if you need a refresher. I do not think we need to say this again, but work of fiction. Real life Ohtani is saying many of the same things as fake world Ohtani, but that doesn’t mean Ohtani has leaked into our universe in earnest. Real life events do influence some things. Alexander Henry’s House - November 25th, 11:15 AM EST The next day, Henry sent his response and plans for Ohtani to the agent. Agent - “Thank you for your interest in Shohei. We’ll get back to you within a week or so.” And that was it. There would be no more that could be done. Alexander Henry’s Office - December 4th, 5:30 AM EST Alexander Henry returned to his office early on the morning of December 4th, and saw a voicemail on his in office answering machine. Naturally, he fiddled with the answering machine for a solid hour before he could finally play the message. Susan would not be in until closer to 9:00 AM, after all. Agent (recording) - “Thank you for your interest in Shohei Ohtani. Unfortunately, Ohtani has decided he wants to play on the west coast, so there will be no further correspondence between us. Multiple teams on the west coast offered Ohtani the chance to both pitch in hit, in both the American and National Leagues, so there seems to be little draw in Boston, which has also had multiple Japanese stars over the years. We’re sorry for this inconvenience, and wish you a happy holiday.” Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images Shohei Ohtani is going to the Angels. Both in this game, and in real life. Womp womp. A couple of profanities could be heard from Henry’s office, and honestly, who could blame him. Ohtani was a legitimate talent, and Henry was essentially told there was no chance of signing him, regardless of how much money they pooled together, or what they offered Ohtani. All because they lived on the wrong coast. Such is life. Alexander Henry’s Office - December 8th, 2:05 PM EST Henry read his emails in his office, not really expecting to get much of anything done. After all, he had acquired his star player already, and with the Winter Meetings so close, there was no incentive for anyone else to sign early. Suddenly, there was a buzz on the intercom. Henry - “Yes, Susan?” Susan - “Twitter is telling me you should turn on the TV.” Alexander Henry tuned in to the MLB Network, where news had just broken that Shohei Ohtani had just signed with the Los Angeles Angels. Of course, this was disappointing news, but Henry had kind of moved on after the voice mail from a few days ago. More pressing was the information that the New York Yankees were planning on pursuing J.D. Martinez, in the interest of keeping up with their rivals, who had acquired Giancarlo Stanton. Whether this was wise or foolhardy was anyone’s guess, but at least the front office was showing a little proactivity with trying to continue to contend. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images J.D. Martinez is still out there. Waiting. Henry didn’t think a deal would get done before the Winter Meetings, but it wouldn’t hurt to give Scott Boras a call, and ask how he and his client were doing. Due diligence, after all. Henry - “Hello? Is this Scott Boras?” Boras - “Why, yes, may I ask who is calling?” Henry - “I’m...” Boras - “I know it’s you, Mr. Henry. I have your contact information stored in my phone. How can I help you?” Henry - “I was just checking in on you and J.D. Martinez. Hope the holiday season is treating you both well.” Boras - “We’re doing fine, and I think we’re about to do even better once the Winter Meetings come along. Lot of good offers on the table for J.D., that will keep both of our holidays comfortable.” Henry - “That’s good to hear. So am I to assume the price hasn’t dropped at all[...]

MLB Roundup 12/9: Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees is almost done



Everything is bad and also dumb.

Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees seems like a done deal

So, I wake up around 4:00 AM most mornings for work, which is always a good time. It’s even better when you wake up, log on to Twitter and see Joel Sherman reporting that a deal that will send Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees is “virtually done.” He reports that the Marlins will get some good, but not top, prospects along with Starlin Castro. Life is real dumb sometimes. The Yankees now have the most fearsome middle of the lineup in baseball with Stanton joining a group that already includes Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez. To say this is bad news for the Red Sox is quite the understatement. The Yankees now have a fearsome lineup that will be together for years and also has prospects like Gleyber Torres and Clint Frazier coming up for full-time roles. All of that being said, the Red Sox can’t overreact to this news and try to keep up with the Yankees at the plate. That’s just not going to happen. Yes, the Red Sox do need to add another bat to their lineup, but they can’t watch this happen then decide they need to overpay for multiple bats just to try to keep up with New York’s explosiveness. I’ll have more on this after the deal actually goes through, but that’s essentially where I stand right now.

Shohei Ohtani is going to the Angels

The last 24 hours have been mighty busy in the baseball world, which has been refreshing after the snooze-fest of an offseason it’s been of late. Before we heard about the Stanton rumors, we learned the final decision made by Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani. After narrowing his list to seven teams, most presumed he was going to end up in Seattle. Instead, the pitcher/outfielder/designated hitter will be in Los Angeles to play for the Angels. It’s not quite clear exactly how they’ll use him just yet, but he will certainly hit and pitch since that was one of the things he was looking for in his new team. Whatever role he plays, this could be a franchise-altering move for the Angels who have kind of been stuck in place as a mediocre team with the best player in baseball. Mike Trout now has Ohtani along with a full season of Justin Upton around him and the Angels could be major players. Don’t be shocked to see them chase Yu Darvish or Jake Arrieta, too, and become full-fledged American League contenders.