MLB Trade Deadline 2008

Well, it’s now the end of non-waiver trades in MLB.  Some surprising moves were made.  The biggest being the end of the “Manny-Era” in Boston.

Manny Ramirez, the mercurial OF for the Sox, was shipped off to the land of granola (all fruits and nuts), while the Sox got Jason Bay, and the Pirates got a bevy of prospects.  This was the block buster of the day, and perhpas the season, trumping even CC Sabathia going to Millwaukee. 

Manny had to go.  He had quit on the team, supposedly to “punish management,” which made him expendable not only to the brain trust, but to his teammates as well.  I doubt even Big Poppi could defend Manny after his antics the past few weeks.  So now Manny is Joe Torre’s problem with the Dodgers in LA.  Can’t wait to see how Manny and Larry Bowa get along.  Yes, the Sox gave up alot to get rid of Manny, they’re paying his salary, and gave up Craig Hansen and Brandon Moss as well.  The Dodgers gave up Andy Laroche, and another prospect to the Pirates, who sent their star OF Jason Bay to Boston.

I actually kind of like this deal.  The Sox get Bay, who is under contract for next year, and get rid of Manny, his antics, and the headache.  The money really isn’t an issue, as they’d have been paying it if Manny had stayed.  The Dodgers get a HoF hitter to help bolster their line up, and don’t have to pay him. The Pirates really make out on this deal.  They get four players, trim their payroll slightly, and get set for having a solid team for the next 4-5 years.  This makes up for them getting ripped off by the Yankees in the Nady/Marte deal.

The Yankees meanwhile picked up Pudge Rodriguez for Kyle Farnsworth.  This is an intriguing deal, as the two were exchanged straight up.   With Jorge Posada going down for the season (and perhaps longer, depending on his surgery), the Yanks were in the market for a solid all round catcher. The Tigers have been fading a bit, and seem to be very comfortable with Brandon Inge at catcher.  In return for Pudge, the Tigers got a much needed reliever, one that had become expendedable in NY, and was finally getting his act together.  Expect Fransworth to close some games the rest of the way for the Tigers. 

The Brave’s actually dealt Mark Teixeira.  Yes, this means that the Brave’s are surrendering this season and next.  The Angels make out good with this deal, as Teixeira is a big time upgrade at 1B over Casey Kotchman, offensively and defensively.  The Braves do get younger, and Kotchman is cheaper, and under contract for the next few years.  The Halos will be very, very tough down the stretch, and in the post season. 

Strangest deal was Junior Griffey going to the White Sox.  this one makes very little sense to me.  Other than giving Junior a shot at a ring (which he deserves), thsi doesn’t make much baseball sense.  The White Sox are set at the corner OF poisitons (Carlos Quentin and Jermaine Dye), and Junior isn’t all that great in CF anymore, and hasn’t played there regularly in years.  The DH slot isn’t much of an option either with Jim Thome entrenched there.  I understand that Junior and the White Sox GM (whose neame escpaes me ATM, Ken Williams?), have a relationship going back a while, but even still.  This one seems to be just about giving a bone to Junior.

And that was about it.  The two earlier trades for pitchers, Sabathia to Milwaukee, Rich Harden to the Cubs, weren’t deadline deals, though were significant.  As ESPN called it, this was a “dud line.” 

I was suprised that certain players did not get moved.  Jack Wilson from the Pirates, Brian Fuentes from the Rockies, Jeremy Hermidia from Florida, were all rumored to be going.  None of them moved.  I was more surprised that the Brave’s didn’t deal Jeff Francouer.  I would have thought he had all but worn out his welcome in Atlanta.  He may yet go, but probably not untill the off season.  Some talked about guys like George Sherrill in Baltimore, but I doubted he would move, not after the Bedard trade which brought him to Baltimore, unless a team really overwhelmed the O’s with an offer.  Dealing may not yet be done, but any deal will involved players needing to clear waivers before being traded.

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Three Players the Red Sox should pursue

With the trade dead line at the end of the month, we all turn to speculation as to who will go where.  We’ve already had one major deal, the Brewers trading for CC Sabathia of the Indians (a good all aorund deal IMO).  So, I thouoght I’d step into Theo Epstein’s shoes for a moment, and talk about who I’d go after this season.

1. Ken Griffey jr:  The biggest name I’d go after.  With Big Poppi David Ortiz out for who knows how long, the So need a game changing bat.  Griffey still has it, and I think would hit well in Fenway, having a bit of a revitalization.  It would mean that Manny can DH full time, and save his hamstring.  This would probably mean shipping Coco Crisp to the Reds, but that’s OK.  This would also give Junior his best shot at a ring ever, and he deserves one after all he’s done.  That and if Ortix does come back, it gives Francona a lot of maneuverability with his line up. 

2. Jack Wilson:  The PIrates SS is on the block, and the Sox could really use him.  Julio Lugo has been so terribly inconsistent, both at the plate and in the field, that he’s just short of becoming a liability.  Jack Wilson is better offensively, better defensively, is cheaper, and is under contract for another two years IIRC.  This would free up Lugo to be traded for a pitcher, and give Jed Lowrie a bit more seasoning in AAA.

3. Brad Henessey:  The SF Giants’ pitcher is a swing man.  He can relieve and start, filling a role vacated when Julian Tavarez was sent packing.  He’s not the lights out 8th inning guy everyone talks about, but his role as longman would free up other pitchers for later use, reducing the strain being put on guys like Delcarmen, Hansen, and Okajima.   Now with talk if Justin Masterson being moved to the bullpen in AAA, this is even a better move, allowing a guy like Chris Smith to get more time and work at Pawtucket.

 

A note on a rumor that was running around on ESPN last night.  Supposedly, the Sox worked out Barry Bonds.  Don’t get any thoughts beyond this though.  Yes, he wouldn’t cost the Sox anything to get (he’s a free agent), and would hit well in Fenway, but the baggage that comes with him isn’t worth it.  I doubt that anyone beyond John Henry and company have even seriously considered this move.

The David Ortiz Situation

This is a tough break for the Sawx, but not a killer.  As Jerry Remy pointed out on last night’s boradcast on NESN, the Sox have enough fire power in the line up to more than get by.  But, if the injury to Ortiz’s wrist is going to keep him out longer than a few weeks, then Theo Epstein should get on the phone immediately.

My suggestion would be to call Cincinnati, and see what it would take to get Griffey jr.  Why?  Several reasons.  One, he’s a left handed power threat, which would be a very good “fill in” for Ortiz’s bat in the line up.  Two, as either Coco Crisp or JD Drew would be moved, he could play in LF or RF, while Manny DHs to save wear and tear on his hamstring, and Ellsbury would slide to CF full time.  Three, it would give Junior his best shot at a ring, the one thing his career is missing.  As Junior is getting up there in age, his time to win a ring is getting very short, and he would be cheaper than a lot of bigger names out there.  Four, he’s generally considered a good club house pressence.  Now this can be tricky, as one never truly knows how a guy will fit in with a ball club (in any sport), but I just can’t see it being a problem.  Not like the other idea that was briefly floated of bringing in a certain roid-monster late of San Francisco.  Finally, when/if Ortiz came back, and the Sox had Junior, just look at that line up, with Ortiz, Manny, and Junior hitting back to back to back.  Ouch.