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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Red Sox trade Franklin Morales, minor leaguer to Rockies for utility infielder

The Red Sox have traded left-hander Franklin Morales and minor-league right-hander Chris Martin to the Rockies in exchange for infielder Jonathan Herrera, a switch-hitter without much offense but considered a decent defensive player who can play second base, shortstop and third base.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 19, 2013 at 10:31 AM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: boston, colorado, general, red sox, rockies, trades

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   1. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 19, 2013 at 01:44 PM (#4620937)
Because of Martin's unlikely journey through pro baseball, he is 27 (will be 28 next June). Because the Red Sox have the resources, are currently competitive, and have guys like Andrew Miller on the roster, Martin isn't a good fit for Boston...but it wouldn't surprise me to see Martin do a nice job as a very inexpensive left-handed reliever/set-up man for a few years. You have to root for him, once you read his story...

Morales is absolutely maddening to watch on your team. There are times when you think he is thisclose to putting it all together, but then he becomes terribly hittable and inconsistent. His three appearances in the 2013 playoffs for the Red Sox were arguably the three most uncomfortable moments to watch, as a Boston fan. You just felt disaster about to strike...and we weren't disappointed. (Three appearances, 1.1 IP, three hits, two walks).

I wish Morales well...but you can have him.
   2. puck Posted: December 19, 2013 at 02:15 PM (#4620963)
I wish Morales well...but you can have him.

We already had him, and know all about him.

I wonder if the Rockies were impressed how the Sox brought him in to shut down Todd Helton with two K's.

I wrote in the dugout about this deal and the Stubbs deal that it seems like rearranging deck chairs on the Coorstanic. Is Stubbs sort of redundant given the guy they got from the Astros? And that guy's much cheaper.

Herrera seems fungible since he doesn't hit well, but he was well-liked because he generally looks like a good baseball player. Seems to handle the middle-infield positions well defensively.

I guess the Rockies' new utility guy will be Josh Rutledge? He has more upside offensively but doesn't seem as good defensively, and has been inconsistent. And as we've seen, backup shortstop is an important position for the Rockies.
   3. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 19, 2013 at 02:42 PM (#4620992)
Is Stubbs sort of redundant given the guy they got from the Astros? And that guy's much cheaper.


Stubbs is a worse hitter, but a better runner and fielder.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 19, 2013 at 03:22 PM (#4621042)
Stubbs is a worse hitter, but a better runner and fielder.

So, they both suck?
   5. J. Sosa Posted: December 19, 2013 at 04:00 PM (#4621104)
I'll second post 1. Pitchers like Morales drive me nuts.
   6. Davo Dozier (Mastroianni) Posted: December 19, 2013 at 04:06 PM (#4621108)
Jonathan Herrera is one of the tougher guys in the league to strike out, which seems like a pretty valuable skill to get out of your utility infielder. He can play all over the infield and apparently fields pretty well--in other words, the cheaper and less gritty version of Nicky Punto.
   7. puck Posted: December 19, 2013 at 04:13 PM (#4621114)
Stubbs is a worse hitter, but a better runner and fielder.

D'oh. I figure the people who thought Fowler struck out too much will love Stubbs.

Was there ever anything to that theory that Coors helped guys who struck out a lot...I mean, to a greater extent than it helps hitters in general?
   8. KJOK Posted: December 19, 2013 at 05:45 PM (#4621224)
Morales and Herrera were teammates at Modesto, Tulsa, Colorado Springs, and Colorado.

   9. Walt Davis Posted: December 19, 2013 at 06:47 PM (#4621283)
in other words, the cheaper and less gritty version of Nicky Punto.

He's also most likely much worse than Punto ... and not that much cheaper.

Herrera made $900 K last year in his first arb year. I don't have a clue how arb progression usually works for utility IFs but I'll guess something like $1.2 to $1.5. Punto is on a 1/$3 contract.

Herrera has 1.7 WAR, -1.7 WAA in 1100 PA. Punto for his career has 15 WAR and 2.5 WAA in 3500 PA. Over the last three seasons it's 4.5 WAR and 2.2 WAA for Punto in 692 PA vs. .4 WAR and -2.1 WAA for Herrera in 786 PA.

4 wins better over a season's worth of PAs. WAR/PA probably over-rates bench guys like this, picking up defensive and baserunning WAR without PAs, but Punto has 139 starts over the last three years vs. 164 for Herrera so that would only explain a small part of that gap. Herrera might have a better claim to being a SS these days but it's not clear.

I suppose this means no job for Ciriaco and makes a Drew return seem a little less likely.
   10. puck Posted: December 19, 2013 at 06:56 PM (#4621292)
As an aside, Herrera has a .075 ISO at Coors field for his career. That seems kind of amazing.
   11. Publius Publicola Posted: December 19, 2013 at 07:23 PM (#4621317)
His move is nearly irrelevant, given that the Red Sox have several minor league infielders who can play. Bogaerts everybody knows about but it would not surprise me if Cecchini displaces Middlebrooks by the end of the year. He may do it in spring training.
   12. JJ1986 Posted: December 19, 2013 at 07:45 PM (#4621325)
His move is nearly irrelevant, given that the Red Sox have several minor league infielders who can play. Bogaerts everybody knows about but it would not surprise me if Cecchini displaces Middlebrooks by the end of the year. He may do it in spring training.


The Red Sox turned to John McDonald as a utility infielder last year and also gave at bats to Brock Holt, Pedro Ciriaco and had Brandon Snyder playing 3B. It'll be useful to have a full-time backup.
   13. Davo Dozier (Mastroianni) Posted: December 19, 2013 at 08:29 PM (#4621348)
#9--Good post, thanks. I guess I'm pretty off-base here!

Still seems like a useful chit, even for a team as good as Boston.

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