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   1. The Marksist Posted: April 20, 2010 at 01:35 PM (#3508368)
Lots of good stuff going on in the minors these days. Iglesias not looking overmatched in AA, Yeiper Castillo (who, you ask?) turns in two excellent starts in three chances, Kelly yet to give up a run (ok, it's only 5 innings, but still), etc. I'm excited to hit Sea Dogs games this summer (once it warms up a bit here in Portland).
   2. OlePerfesser Posted: April 20, 2010 at 09:03 PM (#3508928)
OK, not because I'm a wet blanket over-reacting to a small sample size or anything, but purely as an academic exercise, I'm wondering about the following:

What if June is approaching and we're stumbling along around .500. At that point, you're at a fork in the road. You have to decide to turn left and maybe give up prospects in exchange for the pieces of the puzzle that might get you back into serious contention, or to turn right and dump a few old guys and accelerate the development of some valued prospects by putting them on the 25-man and giving them some PT while you play out the string.

If you're going to go for it, which prospects do you think of giving up 'cause they're a little over-valued relative to their real chances of turning into something good? Or if you punt, which prospects (if any) merit promotion toward the latter half of the season?

Of course, neither of these questions are relevant to the real world, since we are about get get realy, really hot and avoid this hypothetical fork. But still...
   3. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 20, 2010 at 09:12 PM (#3508940)
Realistically the only guys I feel truly compelled to hang onto in the minors are Kelly and Iglesias. There are a number of other guys I'm interested in (Rizzo, Kalish, Doubront) but if I'm making the decision to go for it, then I go for it. As a general rule (and this is an oversimplification) anytime I can trade a prospect for a player, I do it. Obviously at some point you need to develop some in-house talent but even at the upper levels of prospectdom the attrition rate is extremely high. The guy who is 6th or 7th on a team's prospect list is probably 25/75 to be an impactful big leaguer.

As far as being really specific, I don't see anyone as particularly overvalued. Buchholz is the guy I'd love to see them get something for, I think he's a JAG masquerading as a potential star. WYSIWYG. Bowden is overvalued by the organization (or at least was) but I don't think he has any particular value elsewhere.
   4. Sean Forman Posted: April 21, 2010 at 05:02 PM (#3509788)

What if June is approaching and we're stumbling along around .500. At that point, you're at a fork in the road. You have to decide to turn left and maybe give up prospects in exchange for the pieces of the puzzle that might get you back into serious contention, or to turn right and dump a few old guys and accelerate the development of some valued prospects by putting them on the 25-man and giving them some PT while you play out the string.


If you are .500 in June you are probably 10-15 games out of a playoff spot at that point. I think you need to white flag it at that point given the quality of the opposition you are trying to catch. Tampa and New York are both beasts and while you may catch them with a big bump from a couple of 4-5 win players (who would cost a bundle are probably only a 4-6 win upgrade for the rest of the year if that much), the chances are low of making the playoffs and you'd be gutting your minor league depth.

That said, the sox don't have a lot of chits to trade at this point.

Victor Martinez
Papelbon (to Phillies ??)
Cameron
Beltre
Drew??
   5. OlePerfesser Posted: April 21, 2010 at 06:22 PM (#3509882)
If you are .500 in June you are probably 10-15 games out of a playoff spot at that point. I think you need to white flag it at that point...

Very true, Sean. Turning right is the smart play. Of course, I still have emotional scars about a particular 14-game lead in mid-July:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYY/1978-schedule-scores.shtml

And the only name I'd consider adding to your "chit" list is Ellsbury. If we don't like his D enough to leave him in CF, I wonder about his long-term status on a championship-caliber team.
   6. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: April 21, 2010 at 07:17 PM (#3509928)


If you are .500 in June you are probably 10-15 games out of a playoff spot at that point. I think you need to white flag it at that point given the quality of the opposition you are trying to catch.


I see no way team that's .500 in June would find itself 10-15 games out of a playoff spot. Through 70 games a 95 win team would be 41-29, six games ahead of our mythical 35-35 Sox. A team ten games ahead, at 45-25, would be on pace for 104 wins. A 50-20 team, 15 games ahead of our .500 team, would be on pace for 116 wins. There's just no way that not one, but both the Rays and the Yankees would be on the kind of pace necessary to leave a .500 Sox team 10-15 games out of a playoff spot in June. If a $170M team finds itself at .500 in June they should be improving the team, not tearing it down.
   7. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 21, 2010 at 07:27 PM (#3509935)
You are underestimating how late the ASB is. This year it happens after game 88. If the Sox are 44-44 and the Rays and Yankees are both on pace for 100 wins they would both be 54-34.

While I can see an argument for any of those three things happening like that, I would be surprised if all three happened that way though.
   8. Nasty Nate Posted: April 21, 2010 at 07:32 PM (#3509939)
It makes a difference if we are talking about when June is "approaching" (aka late May) or when the deadline is approaching (late July).

Even if they are a longshot due to the standings in June, I don't think you wave the white flag. Especially if DH is still a problem, because that is the easiest spot to fill - meaning you would have to give up the least in a trade.

But, if they are 10-15 games out of the wildcard on July 25th, trading Victor Martinez makes a ton of sense.
   9. OCD SS Posted: April 21, 2010 at 09:58 PM (#3510074)
Especially if DH is still a problem, because that is the easiest spot to fill - meaning you would have to give up the least in a trade.


Perhaps you should suggest a specific replacement rather than speaking in hypotheticals that are so vague as to be useless. Would you give up Kalish and Lars for Adam Dunn? I have a hard time seeing the Sox part with the talent it would take to land Adrian Gonzalez/ Miggy Cabrera/ Prince Feilder (and that's if any of them are even available in the first place).

I really don't see a single player as a savior to this team, so I would not gut the farm to try and salvage the season against strong Yankee and Ray teams...
   10. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: April 22, 2010 at 02:13 PM (#3510668)
If Martinez doesn't start throwing out at least some baserunners, he's going to have to move to DH, taking off the table an in-theory reasonably priced trade for a 1B/DH type. But if he is able to play there at least the majority of the time, a guy who could make sense is Lance Berkman. He's got the ability to play a corner outfield spot if the team is still gimpy out there mid-season, as well as slot in at first or DH. He isn't quite the hitter he once was and is only signed for this year, so he wouldn't empty the farm system like Gonzalez/Cabrera/Fielder.

The Astros are going to be terrible and from a baseball-ops perspective should be looking to cash in their trade chips come July. But ownership in Houston has proven very reluctant to make veteran-for-prospect trades. A way around that would be to frame it as Uncle Dayton caring so much about his players that he wants to give them one last shot at a championship, even if it isn't in Houston. There are already signs of this narrative developing with Roy Oswalt.

And since we're trying to give specifics, if Berkman is healthy and OPSing .900, I'd be willing to give up someone from the Reddick/Kalish/Rizzo group, and another guy from the next group down, Stolmy/Doubront/Gibson. But as I'm making a trade proposal where the Red Sox receive a good player, I expect to be shouted down by the Primate hordes.
   11. AROM Posted: April 22, 2010 at 02:29 PM (#3510680)
But as I'm making a trade proposal where the Red Sox receive a good player, I expect to be shouted down by the Primate hordes.


I wouldn't shout that down. Berkman is a fine player, but he's in the last of his contract and not particularly cheap. If he's traded, the cost of a guy like that is going to be a medium range prospect or two. It's not like you're proposing taking some team's 120 OPS+ catcher who is signed cheap for this year and has two arb years left for anything less than a haul. That's the kind of idea that makes my blood boil.
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: April 22, 2010 at 02:42 PM (#3510700)
Perhaps you should suggest a specific replacement rather than speaking in hypotheticals that are so vague as to be useless.


wow thats harsh. I was thinking about guys who are worse than Dunn/Agon/Berkman. If Ortiz turns out to be a lineup black hole (.220/.300/.400), I think there will be guys available for not very much that would be an upgrade, guys who you could hope for .340obp/.450slg even if they have stonehands (maybe even a Stairs/Branyan type). I don't know enough about the Sox minor leaguers to be specific about what someone would cost, but I can't imagine it would be that much. How highly-regarded were the minor leaguers traded for Laroche last year?

There will always be teams looking to shed salary, so the Sox could get someone (again, a tier or 3 below Dunn/Berkman) without much damage to the farm. Of course, if Lowell can continue to hit, there might not be a need.

I guess my point was there is a middle ground in between (A) empty the farm to get an all-star, and (B) wave the white flag and trade anything not bolted down.
   13. John DiFool2 Posted: April 22, 2010 at 02:47 PM (#3510706)
Back on-topic, anybody who wrote off Almanzar was a fool. In most US school districts he'd have been a high-school junior last year. No, he won't skyrocket to the majors like Heyward has in Atlanta (still kind of raw at this point), but he has tons of time to develop.
   14. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 22, 2010 at 02:51 PM (#3510712)
It's not like you're proposing taking some team's 120 OPS+ catcher who is signed cheap for this year and has two arb years left for anything less than a haul. That's the kind of idea that makes my blood boil.


Despite being a very good hitter the Angels have yet to give Napoli more than 84 starts in a season behind the plate and so far he has started just 8 of 16 games (though with Mathis' injury that should move up). I don't think it's a stretch to understand why people might believe the Angels are not really high on him. I'm 3000 miles away and don't follow them closely so maybe they love him but their usage of him suggests they see some sort of problem with him.

If Martinez doesn't start throwing out at least some baserunners, he's going to have to move to DH, taking off the table an in-theory reasonably priced trade for a 1B/DH type.


The problem is there is little reason to believe that Varitek would be better in any meaningful way, or at least in a way that would offset the value of their respective bats.

I'd be shocked if the Sox did anything significant to fill the DH slot if they finally decide it ain't happening for Ortiz. Between Lowell and Hermida they have a couple of in-house options that I think would be more appealing to them than dealing a kid they like for a short term rental. If they can land a Berkman or a Dunn, that would change, but I wonder if the organization would want to make even the deal PCR suggested in #10.
   15. Textbook Editor Posted: April 22, 2010 at 02:56 PM (#3510719)
#11--It's moot now that Napoli's not going anywhere with the Mathis injury, but if/when the Angels trade him, we'll see if it's a "haul" they get in return. I have my doubts, but hope for your sake they get at least 3-4 ponies from someone's system so your blood does not reach boiling level... I'd try calling Ed Wade or Omar; they're good for a fleecing.
   16. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 22, 2010 at 03:08 PM (#3510729)
On the Napoli / Berkman / Red Sox get a good player thing, here's the problem with the Napoli trade proposal. Napoli is obviously, as ARoM says, a very valuable commodity. If he can be acquired for much less valuable players, that's a great trade. It's a trade anyone would want their team to make, on one side, and a trade no one would want their team to make, on the other side. That's not going to lead to an interesting or useful discussion.

Yes, the Angels have handled Napoli quite bizarrely, and it's possible they don't fully realize what a good player they've got. But then why would the Red Sox be the team to fleece them? Anyone could do that. All fans of clubs without an all-star catcher would want their team to do that. It's a pony trade. Even if it's a more plausible pony trade, it's still a pony trade, and as such not worth discussion.

On the DH / trade thing, I have a rule of thumb that I rather like for mid-season trades. You make a midseason trade either (a) to acquire a top-level star or (b) to move a replacement-level player to the bench. What Nate was talking about, above, was a (b) trade, in the event that Ortiz simply can't hit anymore and Lowell isn't capable of everyday play, the Sox would be looking for a Jack Cust kind of player, a reasonably average DH who would amount to a significant upgrade because the Red Sox options suck.
   17. RJ in TO Posted: April 22, 2010 at 03:19 PM (#3510736)
But if he is able to play there at least the majority of the time, a guy who could make sense is Lance Berkman. He's got the ability to play a corner outfield spot if the team is still gimpy out there mid-season, as well as slot in at first or DH.

Berkman has had his knee drained on something like 6 occasions since spring training started. At this point, it seems extremely doubtful that he could handle an outfield spot on anything more than an emergency basis.
   18. Textbook Editor Posted: April 22, 2010 at 03:19 PM (#3510737)
MCoA--My frustration with getting beaten upside the head for my proposed Napoli trade is that it seems folks think I wanted Napoli traded for just a 100% free Mike Lowell, and that's not at all what I was proposing (something I explained about 4 times in the other thread).

On the other hand, it is ludicrous to expect anything close to the same package for Mike Napoli as you'd get for A-Gon, and that seems to be the position of the Angels fans here--they want an A-Gon package for Mike Napoli. I've given up trying to argue it won't happen and now just wish them the best of luck with that.
   19. tfbg9 Posted: April 22, 2010 at 03:28 PM (#3510746)
That's not going to lead to an interesting or useful discussion.


OK, I'll bite. How are any of these discussions useful, besides entertainment value? You either think Darren is qualified to
manage the Red Sox or you don't, you feel Wakefield helplessly rattles in the bright lights or you don't, you hold the Duke as superior to
Kid Theo or you don't.

Don't tell me anybody here change your mind? No way, right? :-)
   20. AROM Posted: April 22, 2010 at 03:32 PM (#3510750)
textbook, nothing personal. But I'm going to metaphorically beat anyone upside the head who suggests trading Napoli. One of my favorites. And if the Angels don't realize his value, then maybe its my fault for not being loud enough about it.
   21. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: April 22, 2010 at 03:41 PM (#3510758)
If Martinez doesn't start throwing out at least some baserunners, he's going to have to move to DH, taking off the table an in-theory reasonably priced trade for a 1B/DH type.

The problem is there is little reason to believe that Varitek would be better in any meaningful way, or at least in a way that would offset the value of their respective bats.


Yeah, I don't think Varitek would be the solution if the Sox get fed up with Martinez's defense/Ortiz's offense. There's been talk since spring training by various Sox insiders about the possibility of the team trading for a catcher rather than a bat if they need to make a move. The problem is there's just not really anyone to trade for. Russell Martin would solve a lot of problems and there were even rumblings that the Dodgers were frustrated with him and considering a trade after his down year. But as long as LA's contending, he's not going anywhere. Even if they fell out of it, I still don't think they'd trade him if he's playing even decently. And if he's not, then why would you trade for him?

Who else? Well, Ivan Rodriguez is off to a hot start, but after 3 years of ~700 OPS hitting, color me unconvinced. Kurt Suzuki, perhaps, if Oakland falls out of it. But that's going to be tough to do in that division. Maybe Chris Snyder, if Miguel Montero comes back healthy. And once you start getting into the next tier of guys, the John Bucks and Rod Barajases and Ramon Hernandezes of the world, is that really so much better than Dusty Brown or Mark Wagner that it's worth trading for?
   22. RJ in TO Posted: April 22, 2010 at 03:49 PM (#3510763)
Who else? Well, Ivan Rodriguez is off to a hot start, but after 3 years of ~700 OPS hitting, color me unconvinced.

He's also signed to a two-year deal, so you'll be stuck with him for 2011 as well.

Kurt Suzuki, perhaps, if Oakland falls out of it. But that's going to be tough to do in that division.

Oakland would probably have to be blown away in an offer and, while Suzuki is a solid hitter for the position, he's not likely to be worth trading what Oakland would want.
   23. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: April 22, 2010 at 04:02 PM (#3510779)
He's also signed to a two-year deal, so you'll be stuck with him for 2011 as well.

You'd be stuck paying his 2011 salary, which at $3M doesn't much matter to the Sox. If he's got an 800 OPS come July and is throwing out 25% of runners, he's going to look real attractive.
Oakland would probably have to be blown away in an offer and, while Suzuki is a solid hitter for the position, he's not likely to be worth trading what Oakland would want.

There did seem to be quite a few glowing articles about Suzuki this spring, which I take as shorthand for what the organization thinks of him, or at least what it's telling reporters. Not that it's surprising a team would want to increase the perceived value of its players. We won't know for sure what Oakland thinks of him until/if he gets traded.
   24. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 22, 2010 at 04:10 PM (#3510789)
On the other hand, it is ludicrous to expect anything close to the same package for Mike Napoli as you'd get for A-Gon, and that seems to be the position of the Angels fans here--they want an A-Gon package for Mike Napoli. I've given up trying to argue it won't happen and now just wish them the best of luck with that.
I don't know what an "A-Gon package" is. Gonzalez is without precedent I can remember - a superstar signed to a ludicrously below-market contract to a team whose owner is in financial crisis and might push for a trade of a player whom no other team would trade. I don't think there's any arrangement of Red Sox players that could be traded fairly for Gonzalez that the Red Sox would be willing to part with (ie, this package couldn't include major contributors to the major league team) that the Padres would have any reason to take. The whole discussion of trades for Adrian Gonzalez is weird to me becuase there's just no damn reason for the Padres to trade him.

Mike Napoli, a very good hitting catcher signed for cheap and forced under team control for a couple more years, should not be traded for second-tier prospects. If you're not talking about at least a package centered on Kelly or maybe a healthy WMD, it's not a package that makes much sense for the Angels - and given that the Angels are trying to win the AL West, they'd probably want a major league contributor, and the Red Sox have no good young major league ready prospects who aren't already key parts of the active roster. The only reason that the Angels would make a trade for less than that is if they're dumb and don't know, not only how good Napoli is, but more importantly how much Napoli could fetch on the open market. The Sox and Angels only match up if we first stipulate that the Angels are dumb.
   25. Textbook Editor Posted: April 22, 2010 at 04:50 PM (#3510850)
MCoA (and AROM)--

The Sox and Angels only match up if we first stipulate that the Angels are dumb.


I do think we can all agree that--by virtue of the playing time they've given Napoli the past 2 years, the playoff usage last year, etc.--that on some level the Angels are dumb... at least when it comes to valuing Mike Napoli.

AROM--I hope for your sake they get religion there in Anaheim, but your manager seems immune to persuasion here.
   26. Harold Reynolds Number Posted: April 22, 2010 at 05:18 PM (#3510874)
On a more sox-centric note, the Carolina league may lose its reputation as a pitcher-friendly league... Salem's offense is currently averaging 6.5 runs/game.
   27. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: April 22, 2010 at 05:18 PM (#3510875)
I do think we can all agree that--by virtue of the playing time they've given Napoli the past 2 years, the playoff usage last year, etc.--that on some level the Angels are dumb... at least when it comes to valuing Mike Napoli.
I think you're way underestimating the Angels value of Napoli. He did play in 114 games last year, given that a catcher normally only plays in 145 (give or take) they clearly see him as the guy they're comfortable taking 75% of a starting catcher's time.

Mathis was hitting the ball very well in the playoffs and to start this season so he got a bit more time, but the notion that Angels don't value Napoli as MCoA says is, I think, not sustainable by the evidence. I also think, aside from "fair trade value" one has to assume the Angels and Red Sox would be reluctant to deal with each other given their history of recent encounters and likelihood of it happening again.

Anyway, it's all moot now since Napoli isn't going anywhere.
   28. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: April 22, 2010 at 05:24 PM (#3510883)
I don't know what an "A-Gon package" is. Gonzalez is without precedent I can remember - a superstar signed to a ludicrously below-market contract to a team whose owner is in financial crisis and might push for a trade of a player whom no other team would trade.


How quickly we forget Miguel Cabrera. He had 2 years left, right? His deal wasn't really "ludicrously" below-market, but it was quite below-market, plus he was still in arb. He was traded for Dallas Trahern, Burke Badenhop, Eulogio de la Cruz, Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller, Mike Rabelo and Mike Crudale. Maybin, Miller and Badenhop were the real moving parts in that deal. Maybin was pretty highly thought of at the time, and while Miller's stock was falling, I think he was still considered a decent bet to be a good starter. I'm not sure the Red Sox have anyone with the pedigree that Maybin and Miller had at that time. They don't look to good right now, but I don't think many people were saying the Marlins got ripped off back then.
   29. Harold Reynolds Number Posted: April 22, 2010 at 05:29 PM (#3510888)
They don't look to good right now, but I don't think many people were saying the Marlins got ripped off back then.

The Tigers also acquired the Marlins' cost-controlled ace starting pitcher in that deal, no?
   30. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: April 22, 2010 at 05:36 PM (#3510897)
The Tigers also acquired the Marlins' cost-controlled ace starting pitcher in that deal, no?


Oh, I totally forgot about Willis. Amazingly, Young, Garland and Gonzalez seem to be the only guys on the Padres with guaranteed deals. Can that be right?
   31. Swedish Chef Posted: April 22, 2010 at 05:41 PM (#3510903)
The Tigers also acquired the Marlins' cost-controlled ace starting pitcher in that deal, no?

That was a very Boras-like way to describe him.

You should be an agent.
   32. Harold Reynolds Number Posted: April 22, 2010 at 05:50 PM (#3510914)
The Willis part of the deal didn't work out too well... I can't get BB-Ref's ERA+ to work right, but I recall him still being considered a good/very good pitcher at that point, at least in the press. I can't believe Willis is still only 28.
   33. Nasty Nate Posted: April 22, 2010 at 05:51 PM (#3510915)
they clearly see him as the guy they're comfortable taking 75% of a starting catcher's time.


but thats the issue. Other people are valuing him as a guy who should be getting 100% of the starting catcher's time.

Its possible that the Angels simply value BOTH catchers very highly, which is why neither has been either traded or unequivocally given the starting job.
   34. Darren Posted: April 23, 2010 at 02:26 AM (#3511667)
Mike Napoli, a very good hitting catcher signed for cheap and forced under team control for a couple more years, should not be traded for second-tier prospects. If you're not talking about at least a package centered on Kelly or maybe a healthy WMD, it's not a package that makes much sense for the Angels - and given that the Angels are trying to win the AL West, they'd probably want a major league contributor, and the Red Sox have no good young major league ready prospects who aren't already key parts of the active roster. The only reason that the Angels would make a trade for less than that is if they're dumb and don't know, not only how good Napoli is, but more importantly how much Napoli could fetch on the open market. The Sox and Angels only match up if we first stipulate that the Angels are dumb.


Napoli's also a player who is not considered by his team to be worthy of starting. Those guys never (that I can recall) get traded for full value. Nobody wants to trade for a player and then find out he's not starting because he's mentally unstable or whatever. So no, they would not have to be dumb to deal Napoli, and that's not the only way the Red Sox match up.

But this is par for the course in any discussion of a possible Red Sox trade. A chorus of fans here will scream that the Red Sox have no chits to trade while others are sure that they simply must trade more for a player than anyone has ever done before.
   35. OCD SS Posted: April 23, 2010 at 02:55 AM (#3511682)
The whole discussion of trades for Adrian Gonzalez is weird to me becuase there's just no damn reason for the Padres to trade him.


Since he's declared that he won't take a hometown discount in his next contract and the Padres have already stated that they will be keeping payroll pretty low for awhile and don't have much expectation to compete, it looks like a simple matter of getting the most for him so the team can accelerate its rebuilding process since they're certain to lose him as a FA anyway.

That said I don't see him as being a good fit for the Sox unless they think Youks can go back to 3B.

wow thats harsh. I was thinking about guys who are worse than Dunn/Agon/Berkman.


You're right that the tone is probably a bit harsh. I guess I don't see the point in giving up any chips for a player at the talent level you're suggesting; such a player isn't going to be enough for the team to make up the ground against the Yankees and Rays in the proposed scenario. It sounds like they already have a better option in Hermida.
   36. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: April 23, 2010 at 03:38 AM (#3511699)
There's some talk that the White Sox are shopping AJ Pierzynski, before he becomes a 10 and 5 guy in June. It seems pretty unlikely, but one never knows.
   37. Swedish Chef Posted: April 23, 2010 at 07:08 AM (#3511752)
A chorus of fans here will scream that the Red Sox have no chits to trade while others are sure that they simply must trade more for a player than anyone has ever done before.

Well, if you believe they can get him with what they have to offer the Red Sox are ####### stupid if they don't trade for A-Gon right now.
   38. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: April 23, 2010 at 11:04 AM (#3511775)
Mathis was hitting the ball very well in the playoffs and to start this season so he got a bit more time, but the notion that Angels don't value Napoli as MCoA says is, I think, not sustainable by the evidence.


This is exactly the opposite of the truth, as far as I can tell. There is in fact very little evidence that the Angels value Napoli highly at all. They don't see him as a full-time starter, rarely let him DH when he's not catching, pinch hit for him in key situations last season, and have continued to play one of the very worst hitters in all of baseball ahead of him with some regularity -- including at the beginning of this season, until Mahtis got hurt, suggest that the Angels continue not to value him particularly highly. They have acquired players to block his playing time (Matsui, Abreu before him), and have made no move to ensure that he is the starting catcher.

The very statistic you cite -- that he started 75% of what would generally be called a "full load" for a catcher last year -- is evidence of the opposite of what you're trying to prove. If they valued him particularly highly (commensurate with his ability to hit, say), they'd find a way to get him in the lineup a lot more than 75% of the time.

I don't think that the Red Sox and Angels match up terribly well as trading partners, really, because neither has anything that the other desperately wants: the Red Sox already have a good hitting catcher who can't field, and can't afford to give up major league contributors in order to get them back. (Not that I think Napoli will necessarily cost that, but if that's what people are expecting, it's not happening in this instance.) The Red Sox do not have a large revenue advantage over the Angels, and so can't do like they did in the case of Beckett and take a big contract back to get a good player at the cost of a high variance prospect. Add that to the fact that the two teams play each other in the playoffs a lot, and I don't think either one is particularly interested in helping the other.

Beyond all that, now that Mathis is hurt, the Angels need Napoli, whether they want him or not.
   39. Norcan Posted: April 24, 2010 at 10:59 AM (#3512835)
They don't see him as a full-time starter, rarely let him DH when he's not catching, pinch hit for him in key situations last season


This isn't true. When Guerrero was out hurt, Napoli DHed on the days he rested from his starting catcher's workload. When Guerero came back, obviously Napoli stopped DHing but it wasn't due to a lack of appreciation for his hitting. Very rarely was he ever pinch hit for either. Napoli was also on the DL last season too so that cut into his total playing time.

I don't think there's anything all that wrong with Napoli's catching. He blocks balls in the dirt well and throws well. Sciosa just doesn't think he's as good defensively as Mathis, which means a lot to the ex-catcher but even with that, Napoli's been the starting catcher over Mathis except for the beginning of this season. That's a large reflection on just how bad a hitter Mathis has been but at the same time, if Napoli was truly so horrible behind the plate, Sciosa wouldn't have played him as much as he did. I think what's gone on is that maybe they think Mathis has turned the corner on his hitting--he was after all a very highly rated prospect coming up with a solid hitting track record in the minors--and coupled with Napoli not doing much with the bat during his early opportunities, the load has fallen to Mathis. I doubt however that they would be too comfortable with Mathis' bat to deal Napoli when Mathis returns from the DL even if Napoli is still struggling with the bat.
   40. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: April 24, 2010 at 01:28 PM (#3512861)
They pinch hit for him in the playoffs last season.

As to the DL thing: I'm looking at his game logs and seeing no long gaps in playing time, just lots and lots of scattered missed starts. All I see evidence if is that he spent a quarter of his time sitting on the bench, not that he was hurt. He was on the DL two years ago, which cut some into his playing time, but he wasn't really the regular starting catcher tht season, either. And this year he got benched based on spring training performance. I really don't understand how anybody can mistake this pattern of behavior on the Angels' part for anything other than a lack of desire to let him play.
   41. Darren Posted: April 24, 2010 at 09:18 PM (#3513167)
This isn't true. When Guerrero was out hurt, Napoli DHed on the days he rested from his starting catcher's workload.


Is that true? I remember having Napoli on my fantasy team last year and dropping him because they wouldn't DH him enough while Guerrero was out. Maybe I'm misremembering the timing though.
   42. Darren Posted: April 24, 2010 at 10:26 PM (#3513216)
Red Sox reacquired John Van Every and sent down Reddick.
   43. Dan Posted: April 24, 2010 at 11:17 PM (#3513241)
What's the point? I'd rather see Reddick playing in CF than Darnell McDonald or Bill Hall anyway.
   44. karlmagnus Posted: April 24, 2010 at 11:30 PM (#3513246)
What a silly move! How the hell is Reddick expected to become ML-ready if he's sent down to Pawtucket when there's an opportunity for him to play. Hall is a waste of space, McDonald a 31-year old fluke who got hot. Reddick should be playing ahead of both of them. Now he's even further down the depth chart and will doubtless be traded in July or next winter for some worthless but expensive veteran.

I suppose Scutaro's OK (but so were the last six SS, except for Lugo) but recently there's been a very small percentage of the management's moves I've liked. Lackey is mediocre and expensive and V-Mart is causing Wake to be demoted to the bullpen, a pointless and damaging move.
   45. Darren Posted: April 25, 2010 at 01:36 AM (#3513359)
I suppose Scutaro's OK (but so were the last six SS, except for Lugo) but recently there's been a very small percentage of the management's moves I've liked.


"Recently" means in the last decade, right?
   46. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: April 25, 2010 at 02:32 AM (#3513418)
I could see playing Reddick through his struggles is the Red Sox were 12-6 or something right now, but they're 8-10. They need to win some frickin' games. They can't afford the luxury of watching Reddick's growing pains, especially when he's far from a sure thing and it's not clear that he could ever be a decent major league player. The minor leagues still clearly have a lot to teach him.
   47. Darren Posted: April 25, 2010 at 02:40 AM (#3513422)
Looking over the minor leagues--the Sox top hitters all seem to still be striking out at amazingly high rates. Lars and several others are putting up nice numbers everywhere but K's, which are generally 1/game. I wonder if it's something they're teaching ("Don't be afraid to take a strike!") or the type of player they've drafted or what.
   48. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 25, 2010 at 02:52 AM (#3513429)
Josh Reddick isn't yet a good AAA player, let alone a good major league player. For his development, he should be in AAA. If the Sox have a reasonable replacement for him on the roster, returning Reddick to Pawtucket makes sense.
   49. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 27, 2010 at 02:27 PM (#3515228)
The minors have been really fun so far, in direct contrast to the mlb club. (How many more damn 1-run games can the Red Sox back into?) Almanzar has picked up more hits this week, while keeping the Ks in check and showing very good power. Tejeda and Anderson remain on fire. And there's lots of others as well.

I have a request for information on two guys who had big Aprils but who didn't rate a mention in the BA top 30, and neither came all that close, it seems, to touching the list. Ryan Lavarnway and Manny Rivera. Lavarnway had a very nice year for a catcher in 2009, but with way too many Ks for a college product in low-A. He's completely destroyed the Carolina League in April, hitting a ridiculous 379/423/727 and holding Ks down to once every seven PA. Is this guy blooming into a real prospect? The SoxProspects page says he's got plus power and is recovering from a wrist injury, so maybe it's possible he's made a real step forward?

Likewise with Rivera, though there seems to be even less about him. In BA, Rivera rated the lowest of the Red Sox LHP prospects, even though he was the best Red Sox pitcher in the DSL in 2008 and in the GCL in 2009. The SoxProspects page for Rivera again doesn't have a lot to go on. A 20-year-old lefty with that performance record and now a 2.37 ERA with 19 Ks and two walks in four starts looks a lot like a prospect to me. Why isn't he one? Is he one of those command-control guys that are expected to faceplant in the upper minors?
   50. Darren Posted: April 30, 2010 at 01:55 AM (#3518130)
Per Soxprospects, Lars has been promoted to AAA.
   51. Darren Posted: May 04, 2010 at 12:08 PM (#3521821)
@49--Sox Prospects profiles both those guys for this month's player/pitcher of the month.
   52. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: May 13, 2010 at 05:52 PM (#3531646)
LARS ANDERSON UPDATE: Lars continues not to suck in AAA, but also continues to strike out too damn much. 297/458/486, 9/11 BB/K in 48 PA, for a .400 BABIP.
   53. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 13, 2010 at 06:06 PM (#3531669)
I find that pretty encouraging. Even with the high K rate he's hitting for power and he's drawing walks at a pretty good clip too. He's destined to be a TTO guy so as long as he's keeping the walks in range of the strikeouts I think he's OK.
   54. JB H Posted: May 13, 2010 at 07:07 PM (#3531762)
The May 1st CHONE update had Lars at -1 WAR. He's still a long ways away from being much of an asset IMO. CHONE thinks Kalish is a better hitter

Jose Iglesias has been on fire lately. I'm convinced he's the best prospect in the system.
   55. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: May 13, 2010 at 07:24 PM (#3531768)
The May 1st CHONE update had Lars at -1 WAR. He's still a long ways away from being much of an asset IMO. CHONE thinks Kalish is a better hitter


I tend to agree, although if injuries played a big role in Anderson's disastrous 2009 (and I'm not sure how much of a role they played), then CHONE might be putting too much weight on a non-representative performance. That said, I agree he's not really a strong prospect yet until he can cut down on Ks and show he can hit AAA pitching for a while.
   56. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 13, 2010 at 07:28 PM (#3531772)
The May 1st CHONE update had Lars at -1 WAR. He's still a long ways away from being much of an asset IMO. CHONE thinks Kalish is a better hitter
There are two distinguishable issues here. One is that Lars was really terrible in 2009. Any projection system will have to give full weight to those numbers, and Lars will not project as a quality major league player until he has a quality major league season. I think that given the way in which player development is characterized by qualitative changes in ability, it's reasonable to imagine that Lars really is as good as he seems to be in 2008 and 2010, and as good as his scouting reports claim he is - something which the projection systems aren't going to capture. I think Lars isn't all that far from being an asset because I think his quality is better measured when you discount his 2009. We'll see.

(The second issue is the strikeouts - without making significant improvements, he's going to be a low-BA major league hitter, and while he's got power, Lars does not have Ryan Howard / Mike Stanton light tower power, so he's at more risk of struggles. That's my worry.)
   57. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: May 13, 2010 at 08:29 PM (#3531843)
The second issue is the strikeouts - without making significant improvements, he's going to be a low-BA major league hitter, and while he's got power, Lars does not have Ryan Howard / Mike Stanton light tower power, so he's at more risk of struggles. That's my worry.


That's my worry too, although I looked at Ryan Howard's minor league numbers, and it's interesting - Ryan Howard didn't really turn into RYAN HOWARD until he was 24. His power just blew up.

Ryan Howard - 23, A+
304/374/514, 50/151 BB/K in 553 PA, 23 HR
Ryan Howard - 24, AA/AAA
291/380/637, 60/166 BB/K in 560 PA, 46 HR

I'd forgotten what a late bloomer Howard was. Anderson is 22 this year, and while I highly doubt he's going to suddenly acquire insane power-hitting ability, he's still pretty young. I think cutting down on the strikeouts is going to be a big challenge for him, but it's not impossible to be a good player while striking out a lot. It's just really hard.
   58. JB H Posted: May 13, 2010 at 11:28 PM (#3532098)
Anderson's 2008 was a mirage. His 3 months in Lancaster were almost as bad as his 2009 season once you adjust for league and park. His month in Portland was great but he also got a hit every time he made contact.

I don't see any compelling reason to ignore half the guy's career
   59. Darren Posted: May 14, 2010 at 02:23 AM (#3532301)
Even accounting for park, his time in Lancaster wasn't as bad as his 09.
   60. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 31, 2010 at 05:29 PM (#3546601)
For those in range of NESN the Portland/New Britain game is on right now. Casey Kelly pitching for the Sea Dogs but Jose Iglesias is out after being hit with a pitch on Saturday.
   61. John DiFool2 Posted: May 31, 2010 at 05:35 PM (#3546605)
Kalish has really picked up the pace, and should be in AAA in 5..4..3..2..1...
   62. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: June 01, 2010 at 01:29 PM (#3547004)
LARS ANDERSON UPDATE: Back to sucking. 228/330/413 in 92 AB, 11/29 K/BB. 27.4% K rate.

Welcome to Pawtucket, Ryan Kalish!
   63. John DiFool2 Posted: June 01, 2010 at 01:37 PM (#3547010)
Lars seems to be the Sox version of Francouer...

If Ells continues to have health problems there might be a chance of seeing Kalish before the year is out, but let's see how he handles AAA.
   64. Joel W Posted: June 01, 2010 at 04:22 PM (#3547157)
Kalish's improved contact rate is incredibly encouraging.
   65. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 01, 2010 at 04:35 PM (#3547161)
Lars seems to be the Sox version of Francouer...

How? They seem to be near opposites in their approach...
   66. John DiFool2 Posted: June 01, 2010 at 06:56 PM (#3547323)
But identical in results. Month long hot streaks followed by 3-4 months of suckitude. This season is still young however, hypothesis subject to change.

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