Dec
05

The Tough Get Tougher

By

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

As I’m sure you are well aware, the Red Sox and Padres have agreed in principle to a trade that would sent All Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to Boston in exchange for a package of four prospects. A contract extension is holding everything up, but it’s only the matter of time before Gonzalez caves and accepts the millions of dollars Boston is throwing at his feet. The deal will undeniably make the Sox a better team not just in 2011, but for the next half-decade as well.

Still just 28, Gonzalez is a .285/.387/.523 hitter with 107 homeruns over the last three years, but outside of Petco Park he’s hit .310/.390/.599 with 70 homers in just 282 games (40.2 per 162 games) during that time. Ready to be blown away? Here’s Gonzalez’s 2010 spray chart from Petco overlaid onto Fenway…

Click for larger. (Courtesy of katron.org)

Yeah, that’s nuts. I count about 18 non-homers that would have theoretically cleared the fence in his new park, but of course we can’t assume that. It’s just fun to look at, more than anything. Even if the Petco-to-Fenway transition adds just five homers to Gonzalez’s output, that’s a ton. About the only negative thing you’ll fine in his game is that he’s merely very good against southpaws instead of great (.258/.347/.440 over the last three years). Ultimately, as Marc at Red Sox Beacon puts it, the Sox just landed themselves a Joey Votto. Boston improved its team immensely, but then again we all knew they would this winter.

I fully expected to end up thinking the Padres didn’t receive enough, but once I saw the names involved I thought it was actually a pretty fair trade. The Sox gave up their first, third, and sixth best prospects (according to Baseball America), two of which are top 100 guys. A corresponding Yankee package would have been something like Manny Banuelos, a better version of Brandon Laird, and Slade Heathcott. Plus there’s the player to be named later, who may not be significant, but is still someone that holds some kind of value. All that for just one year of Gonzalez and the right to talk to him about a contract.

With Victor Martinez heading to Detroit, the Sox have already lost one of their best hitters this offseason. The Gonzalez pick-up also signals the end of the Adrian Beltre era as well, and he was brilliant for them in 2010. Kevin Youkilis will slide over to third base and most assume he’ll be fine there, though he hasn’t started more than 55 games at the position since 2003. When you add Jacoby Ellsbury, J.D. Drew, and David Ortiz to Gonzalez, the lineup suddenly becomes very lefty heavy, which can be a problem when you’ve got CC Sabathia, David Price, Brian Matusz, Ricky Romero, and Brett Cecil in the division. Nevermind mind the possibilities of Andy Pettitte and/or Cliff Lee.

Given how Gonzalez’s current contract is structured, with just a $6.2M salary in 2010, Boston can still go out and sign a Jayson Werth or a Carl Crawford. Werth in particular would make sense, given the left-handed issue I just mentioned. Once the big money in Adrian’s presumed contract kicks in after next season, Boston will have shed about $50M off its payroll in the form of Ortiz, Drew, Mike Cameron, and Jonathan Papelbon. Factor in healthy returns from Josh Beckett and Dustin Pedroia, and the Red Sox are getting monumentally better this winter.

In the end, there’s nothing the Yankees can do but sit back and watch. Their offseason plans don’t change at all; they still need two starters (one being Pettitte or his replacement) and a few spare parts here or there, but no major makeover. They don’t need to make a move to answer Boston’s pick-up of Gonzalez because it’s not a game of one-upmanship. The Yankee lineup is good enough to win as it is. There’s no getting around it though, life in the AL East just got a little tougher, but that’s what we all expected to happen anyway.

Categories : Hot Stove League
  • Not Tank the Frank

    God in heaven he is going to mash in that pinball machine they call a ballpark.

    • Big Stein

      it’s so funny.

      the boston blogs are already boasting how well AGon will do in the pachinko palace. But during the season, whenever someone points out how playstation is a hitters park, they get all indignant and insist it’s a pitchers park.

      • Not Tank the Frank

        Pachinko Palace that’s funny! I’ll have to remember that.

        Seriously that place is a joke. They might as well put a circus tent over it and put secret trap doors in the outfield that players can… oh shit wait…..

  • OldYanksFan

    What do you think AG will ask for a contract? He would be a FA next year, so my guess is he will want prime FA money.

    I think players are not smart to sign a contract through their age 36 year, unless they plan on retiring. My guess is a guy like AGon would still command a big contact at age 33. So…. does he want to BIG deal, like 8/$150m? or the first of 2 deals, say 5/$110m.

    State your opinion. What does AGon get from the Sox?

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      I think players are not smart to sign a contract through their age 36 year, unless they plan on retiring.

      Giving up a guaranteed 60m because you might make more in 4 years is the smart move? He should ask for an opt-out clause so he has the option, but he’s not leaving 60m on the table.

  • Big Stein

    Typical Boston!

    Trying to buy the World Series!

    The filthy rich getting even richer, pillaging a low budget team.

    I’m sure (any minute now) sportswriters, general managers, and owners will be calling for a salary cap.

    • Not Tank the Frank

      The Red Sox are lauded in the media for the same reason the Yankees are loathed.

      • Big Stein

        exactly.

        When they were on the verge of signing Tex, the usual suspects were fawning over boston’s prowess, but when he signed with the yanks, there was an immediate avalanche of demands for a salary cap.

      • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

        This too:
        i like texas #rangers style. acquired everyone at deadline. now in on lee, crawford, greinke, vlad, etc.
        http://twitter.com/SI_JonHeyma.....6744785920

        Their style is to fill needs via trade during the season and sign FAs in the offseason….that “style” looks familiar.

    • Not Tank the Frank

      And I GUARANTEE no one will say squat when the Red Sox ink one of Crawford or Werth to a big money deal; except that they are the favorites to win the World Series. The big backlash will come when/if the Yankees sign Cliff Lee.

  • Not Tank the Frank

    Oh, and read this and try not to vomit: http://sports.espn.go.com/bost.....id=5885325

    I remember the Sox getting killed for their failed “pitching and defense” philosphy that the media fell in love with (they fall in love with everything the Red Sox do) just a few months ago. One trade and he’s back to being the boy genuis again.

    “Epstein still needs to refashion the bullpen — and if nothing else, wasn’t that an entertaining tweak of the Yankees when he offered Mariano Rivera a two-year, $30 million deal?

    Oh that Theo!! He’s just toying with the Yankees now!! Hahahahahaha Earth to Gorden Edes; that shit was serious. The Red Sox would have been more than happy to sign Mo and kick Papelbon to the curb.

    • Luke

      Damn you!! Can’t stop vomit now. That’s your fault!!! Live with that now! haha

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

      This article is absolutely the worst. The “bridge year” comments about 2010 are ridiculous. They had a $160M payroll.

      Don’t even get me into the other stuff. Iglesias’ “dancer’s grace” or whatever? Gasping over the brilliance of the “bridge year” or whatever? The entire Casey Kelly/John Lackey paragraph, which I’ve read something like 47 times and still makes no sense? Terrible article.

    • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

      Gonzalez is the centerpiece of that plan, which gives the Red Sox certainty at virtually every position on the diamond for at least the next five years.

      Oh I didn’t know Adrian Gonzalez was going to play shortstop.

  • Evilest Empire

    If Boston gets Werth too, they’re probably the top offense in baseball – the Yankees are the only team you could also put in the conversation. They could realistically have 5 or 6 players with a .380 OBP or better.

    The way I see it, Beckett and Buchholz are going to decide just how good Boston is overall. If Beckett rebounds and Bucky repeats last year’s season, they’re as stacked as the Yankees.

    • Not Tank the Frank

      I don’t think Beckett rebounds and I think the Sox are paying for his decline. He’s becoming increasingly homer and injury prone. His walks have also gone up each of the last two seasons. Buchholz won’t duplicate what he did last season but he should be solid.

      Let’s honestly compare the lineups:

      OF – Gardner > Ellsbury – both offensively and defensively this is absolutely true. At worst it’s a wash.

      OF – Swisher > Drew

      OF – Granderson Varitek/Salty – Good God…

      1B – Teixeira = A-Gon – People are down on Teix because of his down year but he’s every bit as good as A-Gon. Every bit.

      2B – Cano > Pedroia – This is only a slight edge IMO. Pedroia is better defensively and he can keep up with Cano offensively in a good season.

      SS – Jeter > Scutaro – Jeter is still better than Scutaro. They had identical seasons in 2010 but Jeter is still capable of putting up a season Scutaro can’t dream of. At worst it’s a wash right now.

      3B – Alex > Youkilis – Heh…

      DH – Posada/Montero < Ortiz – I still like Ortiz here because of injury and uncertainty. He still hit 32 HR last year but it wouldn't surprise anyone if he fell off a cliff this year.

      The only TRUE advantage I see is IF the Red Sox sign Werth. Then they'll have a comparable outfield to the Yankees.

      • Not Tank the Frank

        We need that edit feature back fellas…

        I tried to say Werth would be better than Granderson and Posada/Montero would be better than Varitek/Salty. I don’t know how that all got mixed up in the end.

      • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

        Let’s honestly compare the lineups:

        Then you compare Granderson to their Catchers?

        • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

          Nevermind, you edited it.

      • FIPster Doofus

        Youk is better than A-Rod, IMO, and that’s not easy for me to say.

        • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

          Youk is a career .294/.394/.497 hitter. That’s not .300/.400/.500 but it’s damn close, and a couple of good years could realistically see him there.

          There are only 20 players with 3000 PAs who hit .300/.400/.500 for their careers, and they are all in the Hall of Fame (Ruth, Cobb, Speaker, Musial, Hornsby, Ted Williams, Gehrig, Ott, Foxx, Heilmann, Hank Greenberg), will be in the Hall of fame (Pujols, Chipper, Frank Thomas), should be in the Hall of Fame but aren’t guaranteed to because of the writers (Manny, Larry Walker, Edgar Martinez, Helton), are banned for life (Shoeless Joe) or only played five full seasons (Lefty O’Doul).

          Youkilis is good at baseball.

          • Eric

            Will ARod get into the HOF?

            • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

              He’s not on the list because he has a career .387 OBP. If that were 13 points higher by the end of his career (extremely doubtful), he would be in the “should be in the Hall of Fame but isn’t guaranteed to be because of the writers” category, just like Manny, and for the same reason.

            • FIPster Doofus

              If common sense prevails, he should be a first-ballot slam dunk.

              • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

                So should Bonds and Clemens. You know they won’t be.

                • MikeD

                  I don’t know that.

      • Evilest Empire
        • Evilest Empire

          Eww. Major formatting fail. It took out some of my post too.

          • Not Tank the Frank

            Same happened to me. I wish there was resut button somewhere…

            Also, I don’t think you can compare Drew to Gardner. Drew is better offensively. Drew had a down year last season in Garder’s first full season. The year’s before that Drew had a wOBA of .390 and .400. He’s better than Gardner.

            • Evilest Empire

              I guess you can hang the injury label on both of them, but I did make the comparison thinking Gardner plays 15 or so more games than Drew.

              Drew is in his mid 30s and coming off the down year. Gardner is right in his prime years, but heading in the season coming off wrist surgery. Its really one of the more interesting comparisons.

              • Not Tank the Frank

                In my mind, I just can’t compare a player who hits 20 HR to a player like Gardner.

                • OldYanksFan

                  My gut says Drew is much better on O then gritner, but… JD has a career line of:
                  .255 .341 .452 .793
                  If Gritner can post a line of:
                  .380 .381 .392 .773

                  some would say Gardner is more valuable on O,
                  (because many believe that OPS undervalues OBP)
                  especially adding his speed to the equation.

                  Also, Gritner’s 2010 wOBA of .379 compares to Nancy’s career wOBA of .382

                  Of course on D, Gritner certainly gets the edge.

            • MikeD

              I wouldn’t trade Gardner for Drew.

              Drew is more of an impact hitter, but Gardner’s strengths from OBP and his fielding push him past Drew on a WAR basis.

    • bonestock94

      I think they’ll be damn good but not better. I don’t believe Arod and Tex will have such “down” years as they did in 2010.

      As for their pitching, I fully expect Beckett to bounce back and Buccholz to regress to high 3 low-4 era.

      • Not Tank the Frank

        Beckett’s numbers are trending in the wrong direction in accordance with his age. Not a good sign…

        • bonestock94

          He was injured in 2009 and 2010 though. He showed flashes of his old stuff in the second half. The velocity is still there.

          I really can’t stand this guy, probably my least favorite guy in the game, but I don’t think he’s toast.

          • Not Tank the Frank

            He was injured in 2008 too… this is what I’m saying. Except I didn’t know he was injured in 09. He made 32 starts. He’s got good velocity but it is trending downward.

            http://www.fangraphs.com/pitch.....P#velocity

            I don’t think it’s all a coincidence.

          • FIPster Doofus

            I wouldn’t count on Beckett to bounce back any more than I would Burnett. Though Beckett has the better overall track record, they’re both similar pitchers nowadays.

            • Not Tank the Frank

              Beckett’s control >>>>> Burnett’s. That will keep him in the fold a lot loger than Burnett will as they continue to age and their velocity decreases. You can afford to be homer prone if you keep the walks down. Beckett does that. 2010 was the first time his BB/9 was above 3 since 2006.

              • FIPster Doofus

                That’s true. I was thinking more in terms of the volatility of both pitchers, though. It tends to be all or nothing with the two of them – more often nothing these days.

        • Evilest Empire

          If Beckett only have a minor bounceback and performs like a mid-rotation guy, a Cliff Lee-included Yankee rotation definitely outperforms it.

    • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

      They could realistically have 5 or 6 players with a .380 OBP or better.

      Assuming health, Adrian and Youkilis are pretty much locks.

      Drew could have a bounceback year–he had been over .380 in four of his previous five full seasons, and was at .373 in the other one. That said, he dropped off considerably last year (.255/.341/.452/.793) and is now 35 years old.

      Pedroia has OBPed .380 just once–his rookie year, when he was .380 on the nose. He has a .369 OBP for his career. That’s solid, but not .380.

      Ortiz hasn’t cracked .380 since 2007, and is another year older.

      Ellsbury’s two full seasons he OBPed .336 and .355, and Cameron hasn’t been above .350 in five years and his career high (.365) was eleven years ago. He’ll also be 38 in January.

      I can’t think of anyone else who will come close, barring a Bautista-esque fluke season from someone. Could they have 5-6 .380 OBP guys? I guess it’s possible, but absolutely everything would have to go right. And how can it? They traded Casey Kelly.

      • Evilest Empire

        Werth, Youk, Drew, Adrian, and Pedroia were the guys I was thinking of when I wrote that, with Ortiz being a guy who generally OBPs at that level from May onward (not that April doesn’t count).

        A lot of things have to work out for that to happen, but for that to be a legitimate possibility on paper coming into the season says a lot of good things about the team.

        • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

          Fair enough, but teams like that are insanely rare.

          The winningest teams of the last 15 years (1998 Yankees, 2001 Mariners, 2004 Cardinals) had three, four, and three .380+ guys.

          Going back further, the 1975 Reds (108 wins) had three, the 1961 Yankees (109 wins) had just two (and Maris wasn’t one of them), and the 1954 Indians (111 wins) had three.

          The last team to have five was the 2004 Red Sox, and the last team to have six was the 1999 Indians (who were also baseball’s only 1000-run offense outside of the 1930s).

          • Evilest Empire

            Thanks for sharing those stats, it seemed like a pretty ridiculous number. Plus, Youk and A-Gon could both do it at a 40% clip or better.

            But the sheer rarity from what you just said does makes it seem like a much less likely outcome. But you can bump that number to .360 and it feels much more obtainable and still worthy of going GOD DAMN.

  • Big Stein

    I have to wonder if Jed Hoyer is a Manchurian candidate, chosen by the Red menace to infiltrate san diego to deal the long coveted AGon.

    There’s no way Towers deals AGon for Cy Kelly.

    • bonestock94

      I don’t see the lopsidedness of this trade as much as everyone else apparently. The Padres gave up a 1 year rental. Now I know everyone thinks of giving up Montero or Smoak for 1/2 a season for Lee, but ace pitcher >>> power hitter 1b.

      • Big Stein

        put it this way, would jed hoyer accepted a comparable offer from the Yanks? No.

        • bonestock94

          How do we know? I don’t think we have someone comparable to Rizzo so it’s impossible to argue.

          • Gonzo

            Mark Texiera was traded for Casey Kotchman and Stephen Marek in the deadline before his free agency! I think the Padres did fine here. Like Mike said, Banuelos + Laird + Heathcott is probably what the Yanks would have to give up.

            • Evilest Empire

              Mike said an *upgraded* version of Laird. That basically would mean a near-MLB ready 3B with the talent level of an every-day player.

              • Gonzo

                That helps my point that the Padres did fine. He’s basicall saying Rizzo is a better prospect than Laird, which I agree with totally.

  • pat

    He apparently won’t be picking up a bat for another 4 or 5 months.

    http://www.sportingnews.com/ml.....trade-talk

  • futureman

    I wonder how Pedroia’s rehab is going. While he obviously is going to have access to fantastic medical care, screws in the foot could turn into a long term problem.

  • http://yanksdraftsandprospects.blogspot.com/ Jake H

    I’m impressed that Mike could post this while on a flight to the winter meeting. Gonzalez is going to be a beast for the Sox. I do think that he will want close to Teixera money since when the contract extension goes into effect he will be the same age as Mark.

  • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S
    • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S

      WHY DID EVERYTHING HIGHLIGHT!!!!????

      • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S

        wait… figured it out. continue.

      • Evilest Empire

        IT HAPPENED TO ME TOO ZOMG

    • 28 this year

      where’s Cano and where’s gonzalez?

    • Not Tank the Frank

      Is Granderson better than Cameron?? That’s questionable. Is Gardner = Ellsbury?? I really think Gardner’s better.

      • http://www.facebook.com/cecala Joseph Cecala

        Cameron is an injury red flag and turning 38.

      • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S

        Ellsbury gets on base a bit less, but he’s a better base-stealer and has a tad more power.

  • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

    I don’t see how the Pads got enough. The Ms gave up more for half a season of Lee.

    The plain fact is Rizzo and Fuentes just aren’t that good. More products of the Boston hype machine than anything else. Rizzo has power and nothing else. Fuentes has speed and nothing else. As for Kelly, he’s got a long way to go to justify his hype. He should have been a 20 year old in A+ and because they rushed him, he stunk. This is not a Hughes with results guaranteed.

    The comp with Laird is off – he can at least play more than one position while Rizzo was playing with boxing gloves last year. Otherwise, Manny B plus Laird and Heathcott for a legit MVP candidate? It’s comparable to what the Sox gave up but that’s not nearly enough either. At least it shouldn’t be. And if Hoyer were dealing with the Yanks he would have been demanding Montero plus Manny plus Laird plus Heathcott.

    Here’s an easy question: Who here thinking Hoyer went with the best deal possible? Who here thinks he picked the team then made the best deal possible? There’s a huge difference between the two.

    • pat

      If you substitute Rizzo for Kalish I think this trade makes a lot more sense. If Kyle Blanks comes back healthy (not a guarantee I know) then you essentially have two mlb ready 1b. Kalish is a good defender and is still only 22. I guess they didn’t like the fact that he has some service time already?

      • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

        Blanks will be fine. TJ for non-pitchers has a very very very high success rate. The first time, anyway.

      • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

        Even then that’s second tier. Of all the teams and prospects, no one was interested in getting 5-6 wins next year for $6M and one top-10 prospect? Even if AGon walks, they take the draft picks.

        The Rays weren’t interested in a deal like that with all of their pitching depth?

        I don’t think it’s a stretch to say Hoyer never tried.

    • Reggie C.

      Not sure there’s much of a difference between Fuentes and Heathcott. Both are intriguing, toolsy CF prospects who lack polish at the plate.

      Its fun and all to rag on the Casey Kelly hype, but Jed Hoyer knows better than most of baseball insiders the potential Kelly offers. He’s front-line potential and with impressive physical measurables + SS-level athleticism, you can’t blame Hoyer for wanting to take the chance on kelly.

      Minor league performance numbers for a 20 year old starter in AA doesnt mean much.

      • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

        Agreed – Fuentes = Heathcott. Laird has the same bat but more versatility than Rizzo. And Manny B will actually be ranked higher than Kelly this year. Hoyer gave the Sox the only chance to bid.

        That’s fine, but Kelly isn’t all that highly ranked and he’s yet to show that potential. If he doesn’t make major improvements this year then people will be rightly calling him a bust. He’s riding on his 1st round slot. Nothing more.

        If the Rays offered Davis or McGee, that’s not a better front end?

        • Gonzo

          You do realize that Laird is almost 2 years older than Rizzo, and both spent exactly 107 games in AA.

          Also, Callis and KLaw prefer Kelly to Banuelos.

          • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

            And Laird outperformed him in the same league at a tougher position.

            Let’s see what BA’s final top 100 says.

            Regardless, who here wants to argue that Hoyer got the best possible deal?

            • Gonzo

              Laird will probably not be in the BA 100. Rizzo will probably land in the back end.

              • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

                At that level, there really isn’t much difference between prospects. We’re not talking top 20 talent either way.

                Even still, Lars Anderson was once highly rated. How’s he looking?

                • Gonzo

                  Ok, so you said wait until BA 100 comes out. Then you say, it doesn’t matter what BA 100 says because there is no difference?

                  Lars Anderson? I heard Todd Van Poppel was rated high too. What does one have to do with the other. Players don’t alwasy pan out.

                  My point is that Rizzo is a better prospect than Laird. I never said by how much. I only said he is a better prospect. Do you agree or disagree?

                  • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

                    I realized that BA weigh Rizzo more heavily because of his age. But where they put him won’t be a great final call on anything because they recently overvalued Anderson for the same reasons – young and decent at AA and in the same system. That’s as close to a comp for Rizzo as we’re likely to get.

                    As for your last question, I’ll call it a push. Rizzo is younger. Laird plays defense. The offense is very close.

                    • Gonzo

                      Ok, it’s an agree to disagree. I will say that most prospect people, including Mike A., will agree with me though. I don’t think you will find many people who agree with your point. Also, Laird’s defense isn’t considered good. Some scouts beleive he will have to be moved from 3b because of it.

                    • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

                      Ok, and where does Rizzo play if they have to move him? He was putrid in the field last year.

                      Honestly, I think they’re both borderline major leaguers. The OBPs are not very good.

                    • Gonzo

                      On what basis are you calling his defense putrid? Are you a Gold Glove voter?

          • http://www.retire21.org Mike R. – Retire 21

            KLaw has said in his chats that Banuelos and Kelly is essentially a toss-up. That there is “no wrong answer” when choosing between them.

            • http://twitter.com/adamhobson Adam Hobson

              Yea, I think Banuelos has a higher ceiling, but I can’t imagine a world in which Kelly isn’t at least a #4 starter, while I can imagine Banuelos never making it or being limited to relief. So what do you like more, certainty or ceiling?

        • Reggie C.

          The Rays simply could never take on the financial commitment of A-Gonz’s next contract so comparing Rays prospects just can’t be done in a vacuum. Wade Davis is supposedly front-line potential as well and is a hell of a lot closer to the bigs, so in that respect, yeah… Davis makes a better front-end piece.

          Rizzo’s power is darn intriguing.

          • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

            So, the Rays wouldn’t trade a pitcher better than Kelly for 5-6 wins in 2011 for $6M then two first rounders?

            Rizzo’s power is nice, but he’s got nothing else. His defense is supposed to be good, but he committed 15 errors in about 100 games last year. At 1B that’s horrid.

            • Gonzo

              You do realize that Adrian Ganzalez had 16 errors in his age 20 season at AA, right? And yes, that’s at 1b.

              Would youconsider his defense horrid?

    • MikeD

      Rizzo is a better prospect and projects better than Laird. I’d swap Laird for Rizzo right now.

      I will admit that have a similar reaction to Laird as Mike A. has Eduardo Nunez. I think his hype is far greater than what he’ll provide. I’m sure he’ll run into a pitch here and there, but don’t think he’ll provide much of anything else offensively or defensively. I would have sold high on him in AA last year.

      • Gonzo

        Exactly. There is still time to sell high on Laird…hopefully.

      • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

        Rizzo has power and nothing else. I fail to see how he’s a major leaguer at 1B. And if he’s not there, then he’s not a major leaguer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cecala Joseph Cecala

    Last time I looked Boston had a big payroll, with the A-Gon extension and the possible Werth signing they should be close to 200mil but 2012, am I right?

    • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

      Doubtful–they have about 30M coming off after this season in the form of Ortiz, Drew, Papelbon, and Cameron.

      • http://www.facebook.com/cecala Joseph Cecala

        But you have to figure ~20mil for A-gon ~15 for Werth assuming they get him and then the Beckett extension kicks in next year which pays him 17 mil a year.

        • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

          Forgot about the Beckett extension, but that kicks in now, and pays him 15.75 annually, with a 5M signing bonus. Not sure if that’s counted as 15.75 or 17 for luxury tax purposes.

          Assuming it’s 17, that’s still just a 5M raise for Beckett over what he made this year. Overall, the payroll will rise, but probably no higher than 180 (cue SMALL MARKET whining).

      • deadrody

        That would be AFTER this season. According to MLBContracts, they were at $168 Million last year. They will likely be right back there, and maybe a little higher. They take off about $30 M or more due to losing Lowell, Martinez, and Beltre. And will add more than that for just Gonzalez and Werth, plus arbitration increases for a number of guys.

        • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

          Adrian is only making 5.5M this year, and they only have two arb-eligibles that don’t have contracts yet–Papelbon (third time) and Ellsbury (first time). Those won’t add a lot. Werth would be the big one.

        • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

          It all depends what they do with C, SS, LF and DH.

          They have 75m committed for 2012, 110m if they have Werth and Adrian. Ellsbury will get a raise in his 2nd arbitration, and Buchholz will get a raise in his 1st. Just for the sake of argument say that’s 15m, that leaves them at 125m. Say a NJ/Vlad/etc DH for 5m, that’s 130m.

          So the question is do they roll with Salty, Iglesias and Reddick/Kalish for pennies or do they sign/trade for 10-15m players? Their payroll could be as low as 130m, or could get up to 170m+

  • rek4gehrig

    3 words. Pitching, pitching, pitching. Yanks get Lee, all the hitting in Blosox town wont matter.

    • ultimate913

      Unless Werth enters the frame, of course.

    • JerseyDutch

      Blosox. Heh.

  • Reggie C.

    Over/Under: Adrian Gonzalez hits 40 hrs next season.

    • Not Tank the Frank

      I’ll say (and hope) under if nothing else because of a down season coming off shoulder surgery.

    • Evilest Empire

      I’d take the under, but not by much. And I’d set his doubles over/under at 50.

      • Reggie C.

        Ugh. With a standard feeding of plate appearances for Gonzalez it looks like the RS just landed a +.900 OPS man.

        • Evilest Empire

          Not that I’m looking forward to it, but I have a great deal of confidence about A-Gon in Fenway. I think a .280/.390/.560 slash line is very obtainable for him.

          • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

            I’m curious to see how his OBP looks; he had 75 IBB the last 3 years, that’s 34% of his walks. I did quick math and if you cut that down to 30 IBB then his OBP is only .374 over the last 3 years.

            Just for reference- Youk has 16 IBB over the last 3 years.

            For the record Adrian is an elite player, just curious to see if his OBP really stays that high.

            • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

              I imagine that would be offset by leaving Petco

          • MikeD

            I think that’s under on the BA side. He’s a .288 hitter since becoming a regular player in San Diego, once hitting over .300, and just falling short this year at .298. His off years were just at .280. Yet he did that in Petco, the toughest hitting ballpark in MLB. (As I think Mike A. pointed out above, he’s a .310 hitter away from Petco.) So he is now moving from the toughest park to what is arguably one of the three best hitting parks in MLB. To balance that slightly, he is moving to the tougher of the two leagues, and the AL East should be loaded with good pitchers and good lefties. Against the Yankees, he’ll have to face CC and hopefully Lee and Pettitte.

            He’ll be a .300-.320 hitter/40 HR guy, even against the tougher competition in the AL. No way to sugarcoat it. He’s an impact hitter for the Red Sox!

            I think I mentioned this yesterday when comparing him to Teix. Overall, I’d rate A-Gon a better hitter, but the gap is not that large, unless what we saw this year is the new Teixeira. A-Gon will hit for a higher average. Teix has a better eye and will draw more walks. As someone else noted here, A-Gon’s OBP is heavily driven by his league-leading intentional walks, as well as being pitched around when not being intentionally walked. That won’t happen on the Sox anymore than A-Rod was intentionally walked on the Yankees. So higher BA for A-Gon, but the OBP between the two should be pretty close. I think both will hit 35-40 HRs if healthy. Defensively, both are regarded as “gold glove”-level defenders. The advanced metrics seem to favor A-Gon more, but as I think most of us know, the defensive ratings for first baseman are pretty worthless.

            Maybe a one WAR difference between the two.

    • http://www.facebook.com/cecala Joseph Cecala

      Under, this sounds like when Granderson came here and everyone was predicting he would hit 35 HRs because of the short porch. I say hes going to hit 35-40 but of course hes going to hit like 5 in a row at the beginning of the season that’s going to let Peter Gammons and the rest of the MSM to blow a load and declare the THE GREATEST TRADE OF ALL TIME!!!!!.

      • Monteroisdinero

        He may have come close without a 4 week leg injury and probably a few weeks to recover his swing when he came back. 5-6 weeks of good health there and maybe he hits 32/33 HR’s

        • http://www.facebook.com/cecala Joseph Cecala

          I have no doubt in my mind Granderson is probably going to have the second highest HR total on the team this year barring an injury, it is just a matter of consistency from him.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Under because he’s still months away from being able to swing a bat.

    • MikeD

      That’s a fairly placed number. I think it’ll be within a couple either direction, but I’ll say he goes slightly over.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Over.

    • Mike HC

      Under

  • MikeD

    Does that spray chart account for height? Wondering how many of those balls would hit off the wall as opposed to going over the wall.

    I remember the Red Sox put together a similar spray chart when they signed J.D. Drew. He was supposed to be a machine at Fenway. Didn’t happen. A-Gon is a different level hitter than Drew and he’ll do very well in that park, but these things never quite play out as planned, but he could easily hit .320 with 40+ homers next year. I think I might be more concerned facing him at Yankee Stadium. Sign Lee and come back Andy. We’ll need lefties!

    • deadrody

      Agreed. His average is likely to go up more than anything because routine fly balls to left will now be hits off the Monster, but plenty of no-doubt HRs go to Fenway to die because they are line shots off the monster.

    • http://twitter.com/adamhobson Adam Hobson

      MikeD, That’s the first thing I thought of too. Just because a ball landed a longer distance than the fence, doesn’t mean it just dropped out of the sky there. It had to travel there with some sort of horizontal movement, and most of those that are only a few feet behind the fence, would likely just hit off the fence or be catches at the fence, especially the Green Monster one’s.

      That said, I’m also looking in left field at a whole bunch of singles that will now likely be turned into outs since they’ll land right where the shallow left fielder plays in Fenway rather than way in front of where the deep left fielder plays in Petco.

      So in total, his end year numbers will likely look better than they ever did for the Padres, but they won’t be insane. I can see them being very Mark Teixeira-like, but without the first/second half splits and maybe some more average, but likely a few less walks. The hype alone will probably make him an MVP candidate next year, just like Tex was in 2009. But considering positional value, I’m not entirely sold he even replaces Adrian Beltre’s full value from last season, much less improve on that value.

  • Carcillo

    This is a tremendous pickup for the Red Sox and I won’t try and spin anything to the contrary of that.

    All I will say is that with Beltre and Victor both gone (or will be gone), it won’t be the easiest task replacing the production of both, especially Beltre. This only goes as far as replacing one of them, albeit, a helluva first baseman.

    I’ll wait for the uproar towards the Yankees signing Cliff Lee in the coming weeks. The same uproar that is busy kissing Theo’s ass right now.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

      Seriously. When the Yankees do it it’s bullying. When the Red Sox do it it’s omgsosmart.

      • Mike HC

        Every non Yankee fan basically grew up a Yankee hater. There are almost no objective analysis of them, because you either love them or hate them.

      • Carcillo

        Thank God it’s football season, so ESPN hasn’t been oggling on TV like (I presume) they have been on their website.

        Though when ESPN does their annual 3 hour BBTN special before spring training, I anticipate Eddy Perez being on the set, and immediately proclaiming the Red Sox over the Yankees, regardless of whether they were truly better or not, on paper. Eddy doing that before this season really astounded me, and not much ESPN/Red Sox stuff astounds me. There was simply no justification for saying that whatsoever, and I don’t even remember the Red Sox being ahead of the Yankees in the standings at any point after April 7. No, really.

        • Not Tank the Frank

          http://sports.espn.go.com/bost.....id=5885325

          I’m assuming you read this article. If you haven’t…well you probably shouldn’t.

          • Not Tank the Frank

            Other teams complete trades; whatever those are. The Red Sox complete MASTERSTROKES.

            • Carcillo

              It’s easy for us to accuse ESPN of Sox bias just because we’re Yankee fans (I’ve read the opposite before), but in the event the Yankees made a trade like this to fill a hole (lets use Cliff Lee as the likeliest comparable), I can’t fathom Wally Matthews, you know, the ESPNNY version of Gordon Edes, writing a puff piece like that, essentially re-establishing the Yankees place on baseball’s proverbial pedestal. And why is that? Because Wally writes like he hates the Yankees.

              It might be coincidence that ESPNBoston has promoters while ESPNNY has haters as beat writers, but I refuse to actually believe that to be the case. I can’t be led to believe that..

              • MikeD

                I think you hit the nail on the head. ESPNBoston does have promoters and ESPNNY has haters. Perhaps it was by accident, perhaps it was design. I will say, even though Edes is a homer, I’d love to have someone like him covering the Yankees for ESPNNY. His cranks out a much higher volume of stories and updates/Tweets than Matthews.

                I checked out one or two of Matthews’ chats, and I was pretty stunned by his lack of knowledge of baseball. I’ll leave it at that.

                • Not Tank the Frank

                  Matthews and O’Connor are perhaps the worst writers you can possibly have.

              • Not Tank the Frank

                It’s not so much where their loyalties lie as it is the nature of the business. The media (all media) set the agenda. ESPN writers, from NY or otherwise, will always write negative and/or panic pieces about the team because that’s what sells.

                It’s much more interesting to write about the weaknesses and the downfall of the $200 million, 27-time Champion then it is to write about how good they are.

                Why they continue to write puff pieces about Boston year after year, and why no one even attempts to draw a line with Peter Gammons, is another topic.

  • Eric

    My fantasy 2011 Yankee lineup/roster:

    1) Gardner CF
    2) Crawford LF
    3) Cano 2B
    4) ARod 3B
    5) Teixeira 1B
    6) Swisher RF
    7) Posada DH
    8) Montero C
    9) Jeter SS

    ***

    1) Sabathia
    2) Lee
    3) Pettitte
    4) Hughes
    5) Burnett

    (Shouldn’t have made the Granderson & Vazquez trades last offseason. We would now have extra pieces like Austin Jackson, Vizcaino etc., to trade for some kind of reliever)

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

      Wouldn’t really wanna trade Austin Jackson for a reliever.

      • Eric

        Not even for a very good, top-of-the-line one like a Soria for example?

        • bob

          you’re dreaming

  • Andy

    Why so afraid? The way I look at it, the 3rd place Sox replaced the .321/.365/.553 super defender for a .285/.387/.523 hitter and questionable defense at third; plus, the 3rd place Sox replaced their .302/.351/.493 catcher with frickin’ Salty for the love of goodness. Seems to me they still are down on offense from what they had last year, injuries notwithstanding…

    • Carcillo

      Anticipate them signing one of the OF’ers, though. It’s probable, I’d say.

    • Not Tank the Frank

      That really wasn’t a .321/.365/.553 player though. He had one season similar to that in his entire career and he’s very unlikely to produce a season like that again. He’s just not that kind of player.

      Gonzalez, on the other hand, consistently hits 30-40 HR, he’s walking 90-100 times now (though there are some IBB there), and he’s a GG type defender at his own position.

      Beltre had a fluke season. The Red Sox got better.

      • Andy

        You miss the point – fluke season or not, you still have to replace that production to get better next year.

    • Mike HC

      Agreed. They lost two big hitters and only added one. They are one short as of now, but it seems like they are going to add Werth or Crawford as well, or at least try.

      • Poopy Pants

        But they’re also losing VMart’s shitty shitty defense.

  • bonestock94

    lol if this doesn’t go down. It’s coming down to the wire.

    • http://twitter.com/tjamato T.J.

      I think it’s definitely going to happen but it’s got to be nerve-racking for the Sox.

  • Wil Nieves #1 Fan

    What are the odds the trade doesn’t go through…whether it’s AGon caving in to the Sox or the Sox caving in and giving the extension. There’s like *no way* this thing could not happen, right?

    • bonestock94

      Idk, some writers have made it sound like it could not happen. Let’s hope. Deadline is 1 pm cst, I guess 3 minutes away.

  • Carcillo

    I figure the league gave the Red Sox and Gonzalez an extension on negotiations, otherwise the deal is now null, no?

  • Ben Hall

    Mike – Is that spray chart overlay thing something anyone can use?

  • http://twitter.com/kschmidt2 Kiersten

    dead·line
    –noun
    1. the time by which something must be finished or submitted; the latest time for finishing something: a five o’clock deadline.
    2. a line or limit that must not be passed.

    • bonestock94

      Deadlines like this are never that firm. Nothing new.

  • Yank The FRank

    The Red Sox will cheap out as is their way.

  • Carcillo

    12:41pm: Gonzalez’s camp doesn’t want to discuss an extension unless it happens now, tweets Dan Hayes of the North County Times. He adds that this could be a sticking point in the talks.

    –snip–

    1:32pm: Boston might be okay with just laying out parameters with Gonzalez and finalizing a deal during Spring Training if the slugger is healthy, says Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter).

    Those don’t seem to jive.

  • pete

    Meh.

    Ellsbury > Jeter
    Pedroia > Granderson
    Youkilis A-Rod
    Ortiz < Cano
    Drew < Swisher
    Cameron Montero
    Salty < Gardner

    A. That's being generous to the sox on several counts (Jeter, Granderson, and A-Rod are capable of reversing that with rebounds, and the Montero ranking is assuming that he'll suck in 2011).

    B. Where the Sox have an edge, the edge is slight. Not true for the Yanks.

    In the end, the Yanks still have a better lineup. If the Sox landed Werth, things would be different, but I'd rather have Jeter be the worst hitter in my lineup than Saltalamacchia

    • Not Tank the Frank

      I think it works better if you compare players by position rather than where they hit in the lineup.

  • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

    Heh, now Heyman:

    RT @SI_JonHeyman: Source; gonzalez deal fell thru

    RT @SI_JonHeyman: #redsox just could not reach deal w a-gon. #padres

    POPCORN.GIF

  • bonestock94

    HAHAHAHAAHAHAHHAHAAHAHAHAHHAHAAHAHAHAHAH

  • Carcillo

    Well, to credit Heyman for once, he was pretty concise.

  • FIPster Doofus

    Well, this is fucking awesome.

  • John

    lol.

  • Carcillo

    So all the concern in the ’09-’10 off-season was for naught (really once Lowell failed his physical), now the concern this off-season is seemingly for naught.

    Alas for the Red Sox…las? for the Yankees.

  • http://twitter.com/kschmidt2 Kiersten

    Going to avoid ESPN for the next few days until the series of “wah wah small market Red Sox” articles passes.