Monday, July 31, 2006

The Trade Deadline

In mid-January, I lamented the offseason woes of the Red Sox in a post entitled Traitors and Traders. At that point, Johnny Damon had already cut his hair. A-Rod wasn't mired in a slump (though I don't know of any bad seasons where a guy has 22 HR, 74 RBI or an .882 OPS at the end of July) with those ingrate Yankee fans booing him. Manny was waiting to be traded, then retracted his demand, then retracted his retraction...

Well, the trade deadline came and went at 4:00 pm Eastern, today. Up until this afternoon, the only Red Sox outfielder who was untouchable was Manny (hell, even Coco Crisp was available for the right offer, and he was our big off-season signing).

The surprising Red Sox West (aka the Dodgers, led by Grady Little and Nomar's bat...with some help from D-Lowe and Bill Mueller...there's even been an Aaron Sele sighting.) traded for Greg Maddux and all they had to give away was weak hitting, slick fielding Cesar Izturis. Then they picked up Julio Lugo from the D-Rays, which all but ushered in the BJ Upton era in Tampa. The over/under on an Upton trade is 3 years. Though the Dodgers are in last place, 5 games under .500 at the moment, they are just 5 games out of first in their division. Sele may pitch a few more gems as an aging gun-slinger, Lowe might not make the Derek Lowe face, and Brad Penny could continue his excellent year with Maddux's guidance. All that has to happen is that Grady Little can't screw up with Maddux as he did another aging star pitcher in 2003.

Meanwhile, the Yankees traded Shawn Chacon and junk to Philly and Pittsburg and got Bobby Abreu, Cory Lidle, and Craig Wilson (by the way, who is going to play 1st in Pittsburg, now that Wilson and Sean Casey have been traded?). What does this mean? The Yankees just picked up a rightfielder, to fill in very well for Sheffield. Secondly, Wilson can play outfield or 1B, which means Giambi and he can both get days in the field, and Bernie Williams can even get a day off every now and then. The Yankees now have a solid #4 or #5 pitcher with Lidle, behind Mussina, Unit, and Wang. They also have a plethora of outfielders, despite the fact that earlier in the season, with all the injuries, the Yankees had NO outfielders. The same vast numbers are available at first (Giambi and Wilson), as well as DH (Giambi, Wilson, Abreu, Sheffield, Matsui, Bernie) once everyone is healthy. Next year, the Yankees have Abreu, Wilson, Matsui, Damon, and Melky Cabrerra...with an option on Sheffield's contract (I don't care what the NY Times says about it), plus Bernie doesn't have to retire. This is amazing...simply amazing. Why? Because despite the Yankees woes earlier this season, the Red Sox have not put ANY distance between them and their rivals. Plus, where does Melky get off having a better year than Coco?

Now, what moves did the Red Sox make? None. Yes, that's right. In January, I couldn't wait for Theo to (hopefully) return. Sure enough, he did, after a few months off from the GM job. Does the lack of a trade make me nervous? Sure. Soriano was available, Manny was a right fielder in Cleveland, and Christopher Trotman Nixon went on the 15-day DL today. Don't get me wrong, I love Trot. However, I'd be willing to trade Wily Mo Pena and some junk for Alfonso Soriano, if it also meant Trot had to ride the pine some days in Boston. I also wish we could have the Arroyo/Pena trade back, because Boomer Wells has looked HORRENDOUS in his last two outings...both coming off the DL! In fact, the Red Sox only won tonight because David Ortiz hit a walk-off, 3 run bomb...typically clutch, as always! By the way, here are his current stats...AVG .287 HR 36 RBI 102 OBP .391 SLG .615 ...not bad for an entire season, and it's only the end of July! The rookie pitchers have been great this year, Becket has been what was expected, and hopefully, the rest of the staff can get their act together.

Hell yes, I'm slightly worried Theo didn't pull the trigger on a trade. But still, he didn't do it last year, and we ended up okay. He did it two years ago, and we won the Series. The man knows what he's doing, and though I'm nervous, I'll let him be the GM.

Besides, it's August, starting tomorrow. As long as I can remember, the Red Sox have been a GREAT August team. Maybe they'll finally open up some breathing room on the Yankees...and this year, I'd like to hold on to the AL East...not having it slip away in the final weekend of the season...

Theo, I hope you know something I don't.


I wonder what the Sports Guy thinks.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

From a Yankee fan to a Red Sox fan thank you for Damon. Not only is he nice to look at, but a great asset in the field (pun intended?). August has been a good month for the Red Sox, I will not disagree but the Yankees are good at keeping up. I am just happy we are finally beginning to work on the pitching staff.

By the way, we went to college together :-)