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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Full Count » Tim Kurkjian on MFB: ‘I’m going to say that Jon Lester is not going to be traded’

I don’t agree with Kurkjian. As long as the Red Sox continue to sell their moves as an attempt to get a lot better next year and in the future, they will be fine with most of their paying customers. This is especially true with Lester, who could very well be traded away for two months and end up back here in next season. Winning three World Series, with one coming just last year, buys you more latitude not less.

Kurkjian continued: “This is a different situation here in Boston. These are not the Cubs. This team won the World Series last year, they’€™re selling out virtually every night, it’€™s an expensive ticket, you can’€™t just give up on the season when you’€™re the Boston Red Sox and that’€™s the tricky spot that they’€™re in.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 29, 2014 at 10:48 AM | 33 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: jon lester, red sox

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   1. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:42 AM (#4759636)
How much is a pure two month rental, even a very good one, worth in this day and age? A B prospect? I think that return makes sense for the Red Sox, but I could also see that counterargument that it's not worth the intangible cost of losing Lester for the rest of the season.
   2. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4759653)
counterargument that it's not worth the intangible cost of losing Lester for the rest of the season.
...or the possibility that it makes him actually resigning with them a lot less likely (assuming they want to of course).
   3. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4759654)
I don't think there is much in the way of intangible cost to trading Lester. Their fans have already given up on the season and even the casuals would probably be fine with picking up a B prospect, and Lester has said on the record that he'd happily re-sign with the team if they happened to offer him the most money--though they certainly will not.

Fans aren't going to show up in September whether Lester starts five games for them that month or not.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 29, 2014 at 12:06 PM (#4759657)
I don't think there is much in the way of intangible cost to trading Lester. Their fans have already given up on the season and even the casuals would probably be fine with picking up a B prospect, and Lester has said on the record that he'd happily re-sign with the team if they happened to offer him the most money--though they certainly will not.

Fans aren't going to show up in September whether Lester starts five games for them that month or not.


Concur. I don't see how trading Lester affects their fanbase, or their chance of resigning him.

Free agency is pretty simple, if your club is at all an attractive destination; offer the most money, and you get the player.
   5. Nasty Nate Posted: July 29, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4759670)
How much is a pure two month rental, even a very good one, worth in this day and age? A B prospect?


All it takes is one team with visions of pennants and parades dancing in their heads to act irrational and desperate and the trade return becomes very good...
   6. Nasty Nate Posted: July 29, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4759674)
I don't see how trading Lester affects their fanbase, or their chance of resigning him.

At least theoretically, it would be easier for the Sox to sign Lester if their competition had to give up draft pick compensation.
   7. Sonic Youk Posted: July 29, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4759675)
They've already taken the PR hit by failing to sign him. Holding onto him is just a pointless, bad move now.
   8. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 29, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4759682)
They've already taken the PR hit by failing to sign him. Holding onto him is just a pointless, bad move now.


Only if they consider it certain that he'll sign with them after the season, no matter where he finishes this season. If he signs somewhere else, then they lose a draft pick by trading him.
   9. Scott Ross Posted: July 29, 2014 at 12:33 PM (#4759686)
If two months of Larry Andersson fetched Jeff Bagwell, just imagine what Lester might bring.
   10. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: July 29, 2014 at 12:33 PM (#4759687)
Would and should the Sox trade him to the Yanks for Betances?
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 29, 2014 at 12:44 PM (#4759698)
Would and should the Sox trade him to the Yanks for Betances?

They should, but I doubt the Yankees would.
   12. JRVJ Posted: July 29, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4759724)
Trading Lester makes sense if the Red Sox get anything better than the equivalent of a sandwich pick, which is what they would lose if Lester is offered a QO and he rejects it.

(There's some very small salary relief in trading away Lester, but I can't think that's a big thing with a team like the Red Sox).

Anything less than that, don't trade him.
   13. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: July 29, 2014 at 02:33 PM (#4759756)
Off-the-wall trade idea: Lester, Victorino, and cash to Oakland for Cespedes.

A's might do it because they're clearly going for it this year, and Cespedes is a FA next year. They were looking to trade him coming into the season. Victorino would be needed OF depth coming back.

Red Sox might do it because Cespedes could be a good long-term fit, a qualifying offer candidate, or the centerpiece of a Stanton trade. Hell, make this a three-way trade:

A's: Lester, Victorino, $$$
Red Sox: Stanton
Marlins: Cespedes, Betts
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 29, 2014 at 02:52 PM (#4759764)
A's: Lester, Victorino, $$$
Red Sox: Stanton
Marlins: Cespedes, Betts


Why would the Marlins want Cespedes? They don't want to pay anyone.

To get Stanton, start with your 2 best prospects, then add shiny stuff.
   15. Swedish Chef Posted: July 29, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4759771)
Why would the Marlins want Cespedes? They don't want to pay anyone.

Oh no, it's more complicated than that. They need a designated payee to get the union of their backs. It is a win if the guy is actually good, but in emergencies they can throw random millions at just about anyone.
   16. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 29, 2014 at 03:01 PM (#4759772)
Fans aren't going to show up in September whether Lester starts five games for them that month or not.

Good thing the Derek Jeter Retirement Tribute series will boost Boston's attendance.
   17. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 29, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4759773)
As a diehard Red Sox fan, talking with other diehard Sox fans in New England every day, believe me: the fan base doesn't give a #### about the rest of this season. We'd like the team to do this:

Team: "We'll give you a 5 yr deal at $24m a year; we'll do a 6th year that vests if you stay healthy and productive in years four and five at the same money, or it will be a buyout of $5m. That makes this a 5/$125m deal. Agree to it by 9 am on the 31st, or we will trade you for prospects to a good team, and then after the season, if you are still healthy, we will make a similar offer."

If they do that, and Lester declines, then nobody is going to be mad if they trade him. In fact, I will be more likely to follow the team in the final two months if they play more of their young players, because that will be interesting. You want to trade Lackey, who has a ridiculously cheap 2015 contract, for more talent? I'd listen to that. Let me see some of these guys between August 1st and the end of the year:

C: Vazquez
1B: Napoli
2B: Pedroia
3B: Bogaerts
SS: Marrero
OF: Betts, Bradley, Victorino
DH: Ortiz
Supersub: Holt
SP: Buchholz, De La Rosa, Workman, Webster, Ranaudo
RP: Uehara, Doubront, Tazawa, Mujica, whoever doesn't get traded, etc.

   18. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 29, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4759777)
A's: Lester, Victorino, $$$
Red Sox: Stanton
Marlins: Cespedes, Betts


How stupid do you think Billy Beane is? And Miami trading Stanton? Really?
   19. Dale Sams Posted: July 29, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4759779)
SP: Buchholz, De La Rosa, Workman, Webster, Ranaudo


The hilarious thing is that's also the rotation for next year...assuming the Sox don't waste 2/30 on some POS/Dempster-Peavy type
   20. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 29, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4759783)
Red Sox might do it because Cespedes could be a good long-term fit, a qualifying offer candidate


Cespedes cannot be offered a qualifying offer because he would not be eligible for free agency. The contract prohibits offering arbitration after it expires next year, but you cannot decline to offer arbitration and then make a qualifying offer. It doesn't work that way.
   21. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: July 29, 2014 at 03:28 PM (#4759801)
For Beane to make the above trade, he would have to accept the following:

1) Lester and Victorino help the A's more than Cespedes does this year.
2) A reasonably healthy Victorino is comparable to Cespedes in 2015.
3) Adding $3MM to the 2014 payroll and $4MM to 2015 does not constrain the A's roster. This assumes the Red Sox would not send any money.
4) Giving up a potential sandwich pick from a Cespedes QO is an acceptable opportunity cost.

Trading Russell for Samardzija/Hammel indicates to me that Beane sees this year as his best chance to date of winning a World Series. In that light, I think the assumed risk and opportunity cost would be worth it to him.

Regarding Stanton, I didn't know he had three years of arbitration left. The last two years may be relatively expensive, in which case they'd look to trade him in the next year or so. If so, that makes the above proposal more realistic.

Plus, Miami might be willing to sign Cespedes. I'd imagine they'd be intrigued by the possibility of building around two Cuban stars in Fernandez and Cespedes.
   22. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: July 29, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4759811)
Larry, I don't think arbitration is part of the QO process. Cespedes is a free agent after 2015, full stop.

Can you help clarify?
   23. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 29, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4759813)
SP: Buchholz, De La Rosa, Workman, Webster, Ranaudo


The hilarious thing is that's also the rotation for next year...assuming the Sox don't waste 2/30 on some POS/Dempster-Peavy type


I think the best argument for keeping Lackey is that he will be a reliable, sturdy, above-average starter making $500K next year, and his dependability will help balance out what will be a very young back of the rotation. Remember that Workman and De La Rosa have done some starting pitching for Boston already this year, and generally pretty well. Starting the season with Ranaudo (or Steven Wright, a knuckleballer in AAA who has been excellent, but is not treated as a prospect) is what is really unsettling. Lackey avoids that problem.

One other thing: The Red Sox may not be having a very good year in 2014, but they have an amazing amount of starting pitching depth in the upper minors. For much of the year, they've had five guys in AAA that are all legitimate starting prospects (De La Rosa, Ranaudo, Webster, Workman, and Barnes); a 6th guy who has been excellent, and is a wild card (Wright); and two guys in AA who have dominated the level, but cannot go to AAA because there is no room (Henry Owens and Brian Johnson, both legit prospects). And that is not even counting Edwin Escobar, just acquired from the Giants. The organization needs to start figuring out what to do with these nine starting pitchers. Which ones should be in the rotation in 2015? Which ones could be turned into quality bullpen arms? Which ones could be traded for help elsewhere, especially in the outfield? This is made more difficult by the fact the best one in the whole group is probably Owens, who is not ready for Boston yet, but probably will be by late in 2015/Opening Day 2016.
   24. DCA Posted: July 29, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4759814)
You forget 5) Beane doesn't want Stanton for his own team.

If the price for Stanton is Cespedes plus not that much more, then why don't the A's just keep Stanton? Pomeranz + Robertson is probably worth more than Betts, and both are expendible.

Cespedes, Betts, Devers, Middlebrooks, & Bradley might get a return call, and the A's can't match that.
   25. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 29, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4759830)
Larry, I don't think arbitration is part of the QO process. Cespedes is a free agent after 2015, full stop.

Can you help clarify?


Cespedes is not eligible for free agency - he hasn't played 6 seasons. His contract merely prohibits the A's from offering him arbitration, which would *make* him a free agent. Which is why he is not eligible for a QO.
   26. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 29, 2014 at 04:49 PM (#4759882)
There's more to it - and this is why the "let the potential FA go, then sign him after two months!" strategy doesn't actually get done as much as one would think.

If the Sox traded Lester to a (probable) playoff team, they completely lose control of his usage. What if they put him as part of a four-man rotation for the rest of the year? It's almost certain that they'd shorten the rotation for the playoffs. What if they ignore pitch counts? What if he actually gets hurt in his sojourn over there?

   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 29, 2014 at 04:51 PM (#4759887)
If the Sox traded Lester to a (probable) playoff team, they completely lose control of his usage. What if they put him as part of a four-man rotation for the rest of the year? It's almost certain that they'd shorten the rotation for the playoffs. What if they ignore pitch counts? What if he actually gets hurt in his sojourn over there?

Then you don't sign him.
   28. Swedish Chef Posted: July 29, 2014 at 04:53 PM (#4759889)
If the Sox traded Lester to a (probable) playoff team, they completely lose control of his usage. What if they put him as part of a four-man rotation for the rest of the year? It's almost certain that they'd shorten the rotation for the playoffs. What if they ignore pitch counts? What if he actually gets hurt in his sojourn over there?

What if they brainwash him into becoming The Manchurian Pitcher when he rejoins your pitching staff?
   29. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 29, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4759923)
Team: "We'll give you a 5 yr deal at $24m a year; we'll do a 6th year that vests if you stay healthy and productive in years four and five at the same money, or it will be a buyout of $5m. That makes this a 5/$125m deal. Agree to it by 9 am on the 31st, or we will trade you for prospects to a good team, and then after the season, if you are still healthy, we will make a similar offer."

If the Red Sox were willing to offer that much, wouldn't they already have done it? Weren't the published reports from the spring closer to half that money?
   30. Nasty Nate Posted: July 29, 2014 at 10:53 PM (#4760101)
MLBtraderumors is saying that Lester is scratched from his start tomorrow....
   31. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:32 PM (#4760136)
I don't think he'd help the Dodgers too much. But he might be the piece the Mariners need.
   32. Walt Davis Posted: July 30, 2014 at 02:43 AM (#4760204)
Florida might well trade Stanton sometime in the next couple of years but not for somebody like Cespedes even if offered. If the Marlins need to spend money on somebody, they might as well spend it on Stanton. The only reason to trade Stanton is to not pay anybody Stanton money -- and get a farm system in return.
   33. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: July 30, 2014 at 03:14 AM (#4760207)
If the Red Sox were willing to offer that much, wouldn't they already have done it? Weren't the published reports from the spring closer to half that money?


4/$70M was the leaked opening offer. Presumably they've moved on from that.

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