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   1. nicksmith Posted: November 07, 2007 at 05:42 PM (#2607990)
I'd be willing to trade Coco for a cheap corner infielder to replace Lowell and save up money for the next couple offseasons when Johan, Sabathia, Bedard, Miguel Cabrera, Teixera, Dunn, Frankie Rodriguez, and Peavy are all scheduled to be available. Nick Johnson would make sense, with the Nats maybe throwing in something extra to make up for his health concerns. Both are guaranteed $11M over the next two years. Andy Laroche or Brandon Wood would make sense, if you could find a third team to work with and threw in a little extra.

But I think the Sox first priority should be to call Florida right now and offer them Ellsbury, Bowden/Masterson, and Lars Anderson for Cabrera. Kevin Golstein's got Ellsbury as a 5 star prospect, Masterson as a 4 star, and Bowden and Anderson at 3 stars, which seems about the right price to pay for a guy who'll be making $25-30M over the next two years. Under no circumstances can I see them giving up Buchholz (because of his talent) or Lester (because of his talent and his story).
   2. Darren Posted: November 07, 2007 at 05:55 PM (#2608024)
The Dodgers are reportedly looking to move Pierre to LF (???) and acquire a CF. So LaRochoe might work if they liked Coco.
   3. Joel W Posted: November 07, 2007 at 05:57 PM (#2608032)
I completely agree. Getting Cabrera would be the biggest coup, and I'd be willing to give up basically any of our young guys other than Buccholz.
   4. Darren Posted: November 07, 2007 at 05:58 PM (#2608034)
But I think the Sox first priority should be to call Florida right now and offer them Ellsbury, Bowden/Masterson, and Lars Anderson for Cabrera.


Am I a fanboy for thinking that's too much? On another thread, Temple has suggested Ellsbury/Lester/Anderson. That sounds like a lot too.
   5. karlmagnus Posted: November 07, 2007 at 06:07 PM (#2608055)
What we really need is for a team that needs a CF to sign Dan Duquette and then we can swap Crisp for Dan Duquette!

I think going for Cabrera and giving Ellsbury Bowden and another pitcher for him may be a stretch, only justifiable if it keeps Cabrera from the Yankees, and possibly not even then. I agree we need a new Manny soon and indeed a new Ortiz, but I'm not sure Cabrera is quite it. For '08, stockpiling pitching and enjoying Ellsbury seems a better idea, and in '09-10 we may get another slugger through the minors if we're lucky and draft well. If Manny stays close to Manny we can keep him till '10 just by writing two $20m checks, which is easy.
   6. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: November 07, 2007 at 06:21 PM (#2608084)
I think Ellsbury is totally sweet and would be very sad to see him go to the Marlins, but the fact is the Red Sox already have an adequate CF. I don't think Coco is much more than adequate, but the Red Sox did win the division with him. If Ellsbury can bring back Cabrera, then I think you have to consider doing that deal.
   7. Rowland Office Supplies Posted: November 07, 2007 at 06:28 PM (#2608098)
Well, at least "Miggy being Miggy" wouldn't be a very difficult transition.
   8. nicksmith Posted: November 07, 2007 at 06:31 PM (#2608106)
I assume Cabrera would move to first if we got him, right? And what about signing him long term? In the abstract, you want to get your 24 year old superstar signed to a megacontract asap. But with Cabrera, I'd strongly consider waiting half a season and seeing if the Sox training staff can get his weight under control. I think an organization like the Sox that's intimately involved in every aspect of a player's life (daily strength tests for pitchers, individual goals and metrics to measure progress for each player) would have a better chance at making this happen than a low-budget one like Florida. You do not want to give him $200M and then see him eat himself into Cecil Fielder.
   9. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: November 07, 2007 at 06:34 PM (#2608111)
- I would pass on the close to ready catching prospect. Ride Varitek for another season, play Kottaras for his mid- to late twenties while the catching prospects the Red Sox have develop.

- What about Cabrera's weight? Buster Olney was on ESPN Boston and said he gained 70 pounds since he came up.

- "Johan, Sabathia, Bedard, Miguel Cabrera, Teixera, Dunn, Frankie Rodriguez, and Peavy
How many of these do you think will be locked up, by either his current team or a team that trades for them? That has been the trend for the last few years and I don't see it changing.
   10. Toby Posted: November 07, 2007 at 06:45 PM (#2608134)
Crisp to Cleveland for Marte and Shoppach?

;-)
   11. Toby Posted: November 07, 2007 at 06:47 PM (#2608142)
But seriously, I don't support trading Crisp. He's not only Manny/Drew injury insurance, he's also Ortiz injury insurance because in that case Manny goes to DH.

And I still like the idea of turning Drew into a 1b/of in the grand tradition of Yaz, Evans, etc.
   12. nicksmith Posted: November 07, 2007 at 06:47 PM (#2608145)
I'm not sure acquiring the type of catching prospect you could get for Coco makes sense either. First, there aren't many good close to the majors guys out there and second I'm not sure you could get anyone better than a Gerald Laird -- someone who projects to be league averagish. Varitek's getting $10M next year and I could see the Sox re-upping him for another year or two. There's just nobody else out there and the years wasted at the beginning of Varitek's career just might extend the end of it. Posada's another old catcher who got started late and is finishing strong. If he's got an OPS close to 800 at the All Star break, I think they extend him.
   13. bibigon Posted: November 07, 2007 at 06:52 PM (#2608158)
God - I wouldn't do Ellsbury, Lester and Anderson for Cabrera.

Yes, it's the weight. Yes, it's the defense. Per the Fielding Bible numbers (which are eminently reasonable), Cabrera's defense is to the point that Lowell was a comparable or better player in 2007.

At 1B, and Youkilis, his defense wouldn't hurt as much, but it would still hurt, plus we need to move Youkilis to 3B, where he probably isn't GG level anymore.

Lowell and Youkilis combined to be +17 defensively in 2007. I'm skeptical that Youkilis is more than league average at 3B (the level of defense at 3B is very high right now - not a lot of dogs at the position). Bad 1B are -15ish at 1B. We're looking at a difference of around 30 runs defensively there by moving Youkilis to 3B, and putting Caberera there if he's going to be that bad (which I expect he will). 30 runs is the difference between Lowell and Cabrera offensively in 2007.

The Red Sox are a better team with Miguel Cabrera than they are with Mike Lowell in 2008. But that difference is far smaller than it might look. Not a big enough difference to lose that much talent.

A huge outlay for Miguel Cabrera makes sense if:

1. We think we can fix the defense at 3B.
2. We think he's better than awful at 1B defensively.
3. We expect Ortiz to be gone soon, and the DH spot is about to open up.

I would not give that kind of talent to be stuck with another defensive sinkhole for eight years. A lot of people wishcast defensive problems away it seems, with reasoning like "sure he's bad defensively, but he's a once in a generation bat" - that doesn't actually address the serious impact that his defense has on his value. It's a real impact, and merely being cognizant of it is not the same as taking it into account.

That's without considering any NL issues, which is probably valid, since most research suggests that the hitting in the NL is what's causing the disparity, not the pitching, so his numbers are more or less "legit." But it's still something to bear in mind - MGL has found some evidence of a disparity in pitching as well.
   14. nicksmith Posted: November 07, 2007 at 06:52 PM (#2608159)
Drew's still a plus defender in right field, so it doesn't make sense to turn him into a first baseman just because you've got a hole there.
   15. Darren Posted: November 07, 2007 at 07:07 PM (#2608193)
The Posada deal this year will almost assure that the Red Sox cannot re-up Tek for 1-2 years. He'll want at least 3 at more equal to or more than he's making. And he'll get it because no one else is out there.
   16. tfbg9 Posted: November 07, 2007 at 07:36 PM (#2608225)
Miggy Cabrera's Interleauge stats, FWIW: In 321 PA's- .294 .358 .522 , much of them against the D-Ray's, I'd assume?
   17. Jon T. Posted: November 07, 2007 at 07:53 PM (#2608245)
Yeah, Coco has to go. We have Moss and hopefully Kielty as Drew/Manny injury insurance.

Coco and Kotteras for Teagarden?
   18. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: November 07, 2007 at 08:41 PM (#2608327)
Just noticed this tidbit in BA that I missed in the playoffs excitement - Lowrie selected for the BA Minor League All-Star Team:

Shortstop: JED LOWRIE
Red Sox

Lowrie re-established himself after a disappointing and injury-marred 2006 season by clobbering both Double- and Triple-A pitching. The switch-hitter's 47 doubles for Portland and Pawtucket was the fourth-highest total in the minors, and he ranked 10th with 68 extra-base hits. The 23-year-old Lowrie, a supplemental first-round pick in 2005, also flashed an above-average arm and solid range, suggesting the inevitable move to second or third base may not be so inevitable after all.


So Lowrie may have some trade value as well.
   19. Joel W Posted: November 07, 2007 at 08:44 PM (#2608332)
Bibigon,

But for beyond 2008 aren't we looking at a growing disparity between the two, plus a huge cost savings in these first couple years over Lowell that could compensate for the talent lost. Also, Manny is gone after next year, so, couldn't we stick Cabrera in the Manny spot?
   20. Mushroy Posted: November 07, 2007 at 08:45 PM (#2608334)
I completely agree. Getting Cabrera would be the biggest coup, and I'd be willing to give up basically any of our young guys other than Buccholz.

Is it me or is Lester rated way lower (both here and elsewhere) than he was before he came up last year? And if so, are we really sure we've ever seen him at 100% in the majors? In '05-'06, Lester was dominating the minors and was considered absolutely untouchable. In the last couple of months we've seen him pitching well with a good cutter and touching the mid 90's with his fastball. Is that not an accurate portrayal of Lester's performance in those two periods, or is it his performance in the ten months following his cancer recovery that's dropping him so far below Buccholz (and Ellsbury)? Is it at least possible that you get a more accurate picture of Lester by basically ignoring his MLB numbers?
   21. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: November 07, 2007 at 09:13 PM (#2608388)
What concerned me is that when he came up, he had poor control, maybe worse than the walk totals show, and ended up throwing a lot of pitches.

He had always had relatively poor control (about 3.7BB/9IP) in the minors, but the scouting reports on him were glowing, and I think, people who had not seen him pitch discounted the walks to a degree. Upon seeing him pitch in the majors, people became more concerned about his control.

I am making a huge generalization and this obviously doesn't apply to the people who saw him pitch.
   22. Joel W Posted: November 07, 2007 at 09:15 PM (#2608390)
I think the difference is that we just don't know w/ Lester, whereas with Buchholz we seem to. Lester has always had the control problems he showed this year, they're not new, even just looking at '05. The claim was always that his stuff was nasty and he'd get better control, but I think it's reasonable to think he's significantly below Buc.
   23. JB H Posted: November 07, 2007 at 09:20 PM (#2608401)
I think people are overrating Cabrera. He's probably a double digit negative UZR guy even at 1B. I also don't expect him to keep putting up .370 BABIPs. I think Teiixieiaraiieraiia is clearly a better player and the package he cost wasn't all that close to the packages that have been thrown around for Cabrera.
   24. Dizzypaco Posted: November 07, 2007 at 09:27 PM (#2608416)
I also don't expect him to keep putting up .370 BABIPs

Why not? He's done it three years running, which means it isn't some kind of fluke. When a guy has an OPS+ of 150 or more at ages 22, 23, and 24, and plays over 150 games in each season, I would expect him to at least keep it up for a few years. I wouldn't bet on Cabrera to be a superstar at age 32, but I would bet on him to be a superstar at age 27, as long as he isn't still playing third base.

That said, I'm a big fan of Ellsbury, and the Red Sox are the one team that I would be nervous about taking another great bat/no glove. Cabrera would be one hell of a DH for someone else.
   25. Joel W Posted: November 07, 2007 at 09:28 PM (#2608419)
Pecota thinks he will. I think if he leaves Florida it's possible his BABIP will go down, but his homers will go up. Regardless, he's hit this well his entire career, and he's still only 24. I guess I had forgotten he'll only have 2 more years left on his arb years, which isn't a good thing.
   26. bibigon Posted: November 08, 2007 at 02:33 AM (#2608756)
But for beyond 2008 aren't we looking at a growing disparity between the two, plus a huge cost savings in these first couple years over Lowell that could compensate for the talent lost. Also, Manny is gone after next year, so, couldn't we stick Cabrera in the Manny spot?


I'm not sure how much the disparity will grow - sure Lowell will get worse, but the young talent we send to Florida will presumably improve as well.

Moving Cabrera to LF doesn't solve things either - it just replaces one defensive sinkhole with another. The point is that if Cabrera is actually a -15 to -20 defensive player, then that seriously negates his awesome offensive skills to a real degree.

I'd comfortably sign Cabrera to a massive free agent contract to replace Manny, but no, I don't send major talent Florida's way when it's not clear that it even improves the team in 2008.

I'm not a "don't trade the kids" guy - I just think Miguel Cabrera is a tremendously overvalued player because people don't actually take the defense into account. They know abou it, but they don't factor it in substantively. Cabrera needs to play for an AL team that needs a DH - the Yankees for instance.

Furthermore - I think the Sox know this, and I don't expect to see us going after Cabrera particularly hard as a result.
   27. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: November 08, 2007 at 03:10 AM (#2608778)
I think going for Cabrera and giving Ellsbury Bowden and another pitcher for him may be a stretch, only justifiable if it keeps Cabrera from the Yankees, and possibly not even then.

The Yankees had a better 3B last year and where did it get them? I agree with those that think Cabrera is a time bomb waiting to go off. Why not let him explode in NY?
   28. Hugh Jorgan Posted: November 08, 2007 at 03:48 AM (#2608814)
I hear NY could use a decent fielding CF, maybe trade for a set up guy....Chamberlain perhaps :-)
   29. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: November 08, 2007 at 04:05 AM (#2608831)
I think the Sox will see what is out there for Coco, but they won't trade him for the sake of trading him.

Saw Marte mentioned above, is he finished??

Would he be worth taking on a flyer back in Boston? I gather the Indians wouldn't be asking for much.,...
   30. Dan Posted: November 08, 2007 at 07:18 AM (#2608980)
Marte has been abysmal at AAA. His walk rate has completely tanked, and his BA is not high enough to be productive without walking.
   31. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: November 08, 2007 at 07:43 AM (#2608987)
SEE YA COCO

Still, dealing away Shoppach looks dumb right now.

The Dodgers are reportedly looking to move Pierre to LF (???) and acquire a CF. So LaRochoe might work if they liked Coco.

Nobody is this retarded
   32. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: November 08, 2007 at 02:49 PM (#2609061)
There were some rumors -- only rumors -- in the Braves org that Marte was fond of chemical based training. Again, ONLY RUMORS. I have no idea if it's true or not, but it's fun to rumor-monger nonetheless.

On topic, I think you guys are drastically over-estimating the value of Coco Crisp to other organizations. Sure, you can hang onto him as an insurance policy because you have Yankee-esque money to spend, but I doubt you'll get a prime return for him otherwise. Good guy to have around CF, certainly, but not worth Kelly Johnson or the like.

Miggy may very well improve in the training room and defensively if he actually had fans to play for.
   33. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:31 PM (#2609321)
Apparnelty the Yankees are going to spedn big money on Hitoki Iwase.

DO SOMETHING THEO. Not outrageous though. Two year deal or something along those lines, more money than Okajima.
   34. Sean Forman Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:42 PM (#2609339)
Would you trade Ellsbury, Lester and Masterson/Bowden for a little less than the last three years of Albert Pujols? Because, I'm guessing that is about what you'd get from Cabrera.

I see no reason to think that he'd be that bad of a liability at first. He's bad at third, but that is a much tougher position. You could even platoon Youk and Cabrera based on the handedness of the pitcher. Flip them for relievers, the whole nine yards.
   35. Sean Forman Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:44 PM (#2609343)
   36. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:46 PM (#2609345)
Would you trade Ellsbury, Lester and Masterson/Bowden for a little less than the last three years of Albert Pujols? Because, I'm guessing that is about what you'd get from Cabrera.

Albert Pujols is one of the best 1B defenders in the game. He can also play a good LF and a below-average 3B if needed. He's also a physical masterpiece.
   37. Sean Forman Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:56 PM (#2609353)
And Miguel Cabrera is almost as good of a hitter, can play a poor 3B, can play a ??? 1B and I've never seen him naked, so I can't comment on his physique.

I would guess that he would have as good a shot at getting back into shape as not. I'm doubting he is going to slip much further.
   38. Famous Original Joe C Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:58 PM (#2609356)
37. Sean Forman Posted: November 08, 2007 at 11:44 AM (#2609343)

All batters from age 1-24 with 2400 PA's sorted by OPS+


Thanks, Sean. Man, Ted Williams was INCREDIBLE.
   39. Nasty Nate Posted: November 08, 2007 at 06:03 PM (#2609360)
just for fun, a lineup made up uf the top 33 from post # 37:

RF Cobb
LF Ballgame
CF Mantle
SS Rodriguez
1B Pujols
3B Mathews
C Bench
2b Hornsby
P Gooden
   40. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: November 08, 2007 at 06:03 PM (#2609361)
Sean Forman is the Ted Williams of BBTF. He's not AS badass because he hasn't killed Koreans, but he's still badass.
   41. Sean Forman Posted: November 08, 2007 at 06:04 PM (#2609362)
Ages 21-24, Min. 2400 PA, sorted by OPS+

Based on this report, Cabrera looks like a lock to be an inner circle HOFer. Certainly, he lacks the defensive value of some of the guys on that list, but would you trade Ellsbury, Lester and another pitcher for something in the neighborhood of Jimmy Foxx and Frank Robinson's peak? I sure as hell would. He was a better hitter than A-Rod over that period!
   42. chris p Posted: November 08, 2007 at 08:12 PM (#2609545)
arod over arky vaughn? not by ops+!
   43. James Darnell's #1 Fan Posted: November 08, 2007 at 08:56 PM (#2609594)
You know, the phrase "Coco to go?" actually makes me hungry.
   44. OCD SS Posted: November 09, 2007 at 02:39 AM (#2609929)
I think that people here are drastically under rating Coco here. After his "Manny adjustment" Coco was the best Cfer in baseball last year. He's signed to a cheap deal in his prime years. The idea that he can is not worth Andy LaRoche is kind of silly.

I really like Jacoby, and can understand why the Sox are high on him. But with so much elite talent seemingly available in trade it makes sense to me to dangle Jacoby because when the return may never be higher.
   45. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: November 09, 2007 at 11:19 AM (#2610174)
I can only watch a weak as piss groundout, to second from Coco so many times in one year, ocd ss.
   46. OCD SS Posted: November 09, 2007 at 01:59 PM (#2610191)
And Jacoby never does that?

Or are you counting on him being amazingly lucky his entire career and having those dribble through the IF for hits...
   47. villageidiom Posted: November 09, 2007 at 03:28 PM (#2610246)
48. ocd ss Posted: November 09, 2007

That reminds me. In a way, I do miss Nomar.
   48. Dizzypaco Posted: November 09, 2007 at 03:39 PM (#2610261)
And Jacoby never does that?

Everybody does it. Coco has made it into an art form.

After his "Manny adjustment" Coco was the best Cfer in baseball last year.

I honestly don't know what that means.
   49. villageidiom Posted: November 09, 2007 at 03:46 PM (#2610266)
I can only watch a weak as piss groundout, to second from Coco so many times in one year, ocd ss.

And we already have JD Drew for that.
   50. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 09, 2007 at 03:55 PM (#2610272)
Sean:

Setting aside the defense MC has put on in the neighborhood of 30 lbs since he came into the league. Now some of that is a guy maturing as he was just a baby when he joined the Marlins. But a lot of NL fans around here were commenting early in the season that Miguel didn't just look a bit heavy. He looked kind of sloppy. It appeared that the Florida heat slimmed him down a bit as the season wore on but that's a worrisome sign. That and his bullfighter routine on some ground balls is a tad annoying. Can't imagine the Bosox would be too thrilled with a guy going "Ole!" at every fourth grounder because he didn't feel like bending over.

First base would be a waste of a good arm. Outfield would put him a position to mind his conditioning and leverage one of his few defensive assets.

Everyone is correct in that the lad can seriously hit.
   51. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: November 09, 2007 at 03:57 PM (#2610273)
After his "Manny adjustment" Coco was the best Cfer in baseball last year.

I honestly don't know what that means.


I think the Fielding Bible had has Crisp as the best fielding CF in the AL last year when an adjustment is added for the Wall. That is a far cry from being the best overall CF however, which is what the other comment implied.
   52. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: November 09, 2007 at 03:58 PM (#2610275)
Such an important distinction that I double-posted.
   53. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 09, 2007 at 03:58 PM (#2610277)
I think it's obvious that if a package headlined by Lester and Ellsbury would fetch Miguel Cabrera, you have to make that trade. I don't like it, entirely, becuase I have a lot of fandom invested in Lester and Cabrera, but I think Sean makes the basic point - even if they reach their upsides, neither Lester nor Ellsbury would be as good as Cabrera is right now - and Cabrera still could even get better.

The problem, as I see it, is just what I outlined above. Beinfest is not going to jump at an Ellsbury/Lester offer. He's going to try to get Buchholz, and he's going to wait around on Kemp and Chamberlain and such. So the Red Sox would then be in the position of either (a) signing Lowell and letting the Cabrera dream go or (b) waiting around for Cabrera, probably losing Lowell, and quite possibly not completing the trade for Cabrera if a player better than Ellsbury/Lester is offered. The problem with trades is the downside - if you can't make them quickly, you're probably better off not running the risk of missing the player and letting the market pass you by in the first place. If Theo doesn't think he's got a good chance of landing Cabrera quickly, then I think he's right to pursue Lowell.

The thing left unsaid here is that Buchholz probably nets you Cabrera. It's quite possible I can't be rational on this - looking back at the 2007 rotation preview thread, and my optimism on Papelbon and Matsuzaka, maybe I should learn something - but I don't think I can. Keep Buchholz.
   54. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 09, 2007 at 04:02 PM (#2610282)
First base would be a waste of a good arm.
I don't disagree with you about the risk of Cabrera's gut, but I don't have any problem with taking a relatively slow guy with a huge power bat and "losing his arm" at 1B. If the Sox stars could knock just a little bit of sense into Cabrera on conditioning, I'm sure he'd be a more than adequate first baseman. And with his 150 OPS+, he'd be a tremendous addition.

As said, my guess is that the structure of the offseason means that Cabrera to the Sox won't happen, but I think making Cabrera a first baseman makes all kinds of sense.
   55. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: November 09, 2007 at 04:05 PM (#2610285)
I'd eat a significant portion of Coco's contract to make him a more valuable trade asset. Yay or nay?
   56. chris p Posted: November 09, 2007 at 04:11 PM (#2610287)
if they sign lowell and then think they have a chance at cabrera, they could always trade youk.
   57. PJ Martinez Posted: November 09, 2007 at 04:16 PM (#2610292)
Well, I think they should trade Youk only if they land Cabrera-- but, yeah, that's what I was going to say. No reason they can't sign Lowell and still be in the Cabrera sweepstakes. In fact, Youkilis could be part of the package, perhaps.
   58. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 09, 2007 at 04:22 PM (#2610299)
if they sign lowell and then think they have a chance at cabrera, they could always trade youk.
ah, yes, that. Ok, the Red Sox should be in the Cabrera sweepstakes. I don't think it would be completely crazy if Ellsbury/Lester were the best package - ie, it hurts enough to me that I don't think it's a pony plan, I realize I am opening myself to obvious petard-hoisting - and so while I don't think the Sox can expect to get Cabrera for that package, they should be in the bidding with a real shot.
   59. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: November 09, 2007 at 04:29 PM (#2610313)
I'd eat a significant portion of Coco's contract to make him a more valuable trade asset. Yay or nay?


I think they'd have to in order to get anything of value in return. Or at least take on some other team's crappy contract.

No reason they can't sign Lowell and still be in the Cabrera sweepstakes.


It's not my money, but I wonder if getting both Cabrera and Lowell might not be approaching a little too expensive. They'd be getting rid of Lester, Ellsbury, and by extension Youkilis - three cost-controlled players, and hurting their pitching staff by replacing Lester's innings with Tavarez'. It's still a deal that makes the team better, but does give up a lot of cheap talent.

I suppose Manny could be gone after next year (gulp) so that would certainly clear some payroll space....
   60. Dizzypaco Posted: November 09, 2007 at 05:14 PM (#2610377)
I know how great Cabrera is as a hitter, but for a bunch of reasons, I prefer to keep Ellsbury, keep Lester, and sign Lowell. Ellsbury and Lowell are not spare parts - they are, I believe, important to the future of the franchise. Trade them, and you are creating holes that may be difficult to fill. I am not happy with Coco as the starting centerfielder, and I'm pretty confident that Lester will be an important part of the rotation for years to come, after both Schilling and Wakefield are gone. Furthermore, their below-market salaries will make it easier to sign or trade for other key players. If Cabrera has problems at first (a possibility), its not like we can move him to DH.

In other words, in a vacuum, trading Lester and Ellsbury for Cabrera is a good trade, but I don't think it meets the current and future needs of this team.
   61. nicksmith Posted: November 09, 2007 at 06:50 PM (#2610488)
I saw this nice little rundown of rumors in Gammons' column today:

Boston has offered Mike Lowell three years at well more than $30M, but the J.D. Drew $14M-per-year barrier is still a major problem. Boston would like to get Lowell done and move Coco Crisp for young pitching and/or catching (Minnesota has the pitching), but the Red Sox have to get Lowell signed or make a move for a third baseman. They can get Hank Blalock in a Crisp deal, but don't seem inclined, as of now. The Padres wouldn't discuss young third baseman Chase Headley for Crisp.

Blalock's a pretty interesting guy. When he came up he was considered one of the best young hitters in the game, then stagnated, then got pretty bad. Last year however, he put up a .293/358/543 line in 232 PA. If the Sox scouts and stats guys think this improvement is real and that he can stay healthy, they should jump at this deal. With just $5.95M guaranteed for next year and a $6.2M option for the next, I think this is a good gamble.
   62. nicksmith Posted: November 09, 2007 at 06:58 PM (#2610498)
Then again, he's never hit away from Arlington, and even last year his OPS splits were 999 home/790 road. He'll still be just 27 next year though, which I hear is a pretty good age for hitters...
   63. chris p Posted: November 09, 2007 at 07:00 PM (#2610502)
bottom line is that cabrera's a good enough hitter that if he's available, you have to make a run at him. i don't know what it's going to take and i'm not sure how high the red sox should be bidding ... but ... yeah. they should try to get him.
   64. Mattbert Posted: November 09, 2007 at 07:16 PM (#2610527)
If they can't get Lowell signed for something in the neighborhood of 3y/$45M or less, I'd pull the trigger on a Crisp for Blalock deal in a heartbeat. I'd also look for a Plan B at first base (Dan Johnson has been bandied about here) in case Blalock stinks and they have to shift Youkilis over to 3B.
   65. bibigon Posted: November 09, 2007 at 07:34 PM (#2610536)
I think Sean makes the basic point - even if they reach their upsides, neither Lester nor Ellsbury would be as good as Cabrera is right now


I just don't get this reasoning. Factoring the Fielding Bible's evaluation of Cabrera (which is very reasonable it seems), he was 23 runs better than average last year. If Ellsbury hits .310/.360/.410, with good defense, then he provides that kind of value. I wouldn't be particularly surprised to see Ellsbury do that next year - let alone at some distant point in the future.

If Lester ever reaches the Leiter/Pettitte comp, then he can also top where Cabrera is now. I have no idea if those comps are realistic however.

Miguel Cabrera, playing the kind of defense he does, is one of the most overrated players in the game. He's a historically good hitter - but there is more to the game - there really is.
   66. Gambling Rent Czar Posted: November 09, 2007 at 07:43 PM (#2610544)
The Padres wouldn't discuss young third baseman Chase Headley for Crisp


good. glad to read it.

One of Headley or Kouz off can play the outfield in the next few years if necessary. and there are other center field options besides the big names. The Friars shouldn't have to spend too much or give up too much to get somebody. Brian Anderson is only 25, fallen out of favor in the windy city, and could be had for pennies right now.

thanks for sharing guys.
and props on that ring.
   67. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: November 09, 2007 at 09:10 PM (#2610638)
Think Lowrie can Ellsbury Lugo this year, Mcgriffy?


I'd really like to see what Lowrie can do, but I have a weird, probably wrong, feeling that Lugo will bounce back next year. The fact that the Red Sox were World Champions with Drew, Lugo, and Crisp sucking as much as they did is pretty amazing.
   68. Dan Posted: November 09, 2007 at 10:45 PM (#2610754)
The fact that the Red Sox were World Champions with Drew, Lugo, and Crisp sucking as much as they did is pretty amazing.

Not nearly as amazing as the fact that they had the biggest run differential since Seattle in 2001, while underperforming in converting their component stats into runs scored.
   69. The Ghost's Tryin' to Reason with Hurricane Season Posted: November 10, 2007 at 12:00 AM (#2610848)
Boston has offered Mike Lowell three years at well more than $30M, but the J.D. Drew $14M-per-year barrier is still a major problem.

How does Mike's agent use this as a selling point? Does he say "My client will exceed the crappy production that you paid $14 million for this year, so he's worth more"?
   70. OCD SS Posted: November 10, 2007 at 02:12 AM (#2610905)
I think the Fielding Bible had has Crisp as the best fielding CF in the AL last year when an adjustment is added for the Wall. That is a far cry from being the best overall CF however, which is what the other comment implied.


Dewan's system does not distinguish between the AL and NL. Before the adjustment Beltran was +25 runs in CF and Coco was +22; with it Coco was +26 runs, which is the best ranking in baseball in '07. Even allowing for other systems/measures Coco was one of the best defensive CFers in MLB last season.
   71. Miko Supports Shane's Spam Habit Posted: November 10, 2007 at 03:02 AM (#2610923)
How does Mike's agent use this as a selling point? Does he say "My client will exceed the crappy production that you paid $14 million for this year, so he's worth more"?

Why not? There's all sort of points they could make. "You spent 5/70 on a guy new to the team, my client has proven he's a leader on this club both on the field and the clubhouse so9..." That sort of thing.
   72. CardinalsDyanasty Posted: November 10, 2007 at 06:42 AM (#2611073)
I think that the Red Sox should keep Crisp around. He is only costing them $3.8 million, plus he and Ellsbury could share the CF positon or if Manny or Drew get hurt you know that you have a little power in Crisp and a solid defensive player in him too. You might be able to get some young players off of a trade for him or mabey some team will take him, but if i were the Sox i would keep him around as a back up to Ellsbury or at least let Ellesbury start for awhille and see how it goes.
   73. Marcel Posted: November 10, 2007 at 01:34 PM (#2611157)
"Then again, he's never hit away from Arlington, and even last year his OPS splits were 999 home/790 road. He'll still be just 27 next year though, which I hear is a pretty good age for hitters..."

I couldn't find his spray chart, but I think it'd be good to see if he's the type of hitter that could take advantage of the wall.

"Ellsbury and Lowell are not spare parts - they are, I believe, important to the future of the franchise."

It's never a good idea to view a 35 year-old (especially one that fell off the face-of-the-earth offensively two seasons ago) as a part of a franchise's future.

"[...]and hurting their pitching staff by replacing Lester's innings with Tavarez'"

Not to mention by lessening their infield defense, since I highly doubt Cabrera will be anywhere near as good at 1b as Youk.
   74. OCD SS Posted: November 10, 2007 at 05:01 PM (#2611245)
Edit to # 72:

The measure is plays, not runs, but the point still stands. Of course I am only considering defense; if you want your CFer to hit in the middle of the order then you're going to need to pay more than $5M for that on the market...
   75. JB H Posted: November 10, 2007 at 11:36 PM (#2611426)
In the back of my head I think UZR/Dewan/Pinto all think Blalock has always been a butcher at third, but I'm not really sure. Anyone know?

I think he's a pretty good bet to put up an 800 OPS next year. PrOPS thinks hes gotten pretty unlucky the last couple years.
   76. Darren Posted: November 10, 2007 at 11:44 PM (#2611428)
I've always liked Blalock but I'm not sure why.

I think Cashman's going to go hard after Lowell. His saying that he thinks Lowell's going back to the Sox seems aimed at lulling them in to a false sense of security. I can see a Damon-esque 24-hour offer of 5/70.
   77. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: November 11, 2007 at 03:26 PM (#2611615)
Hank Blalock: A reminder of when Eric Gagne was good.
   78. Valentine Posted: November 11, 2007 at 07:42 PM (#2611697)
The Posada deal this year will almost assure that the Red Sox cannot re-up Tek for 1-2 years. He'll want at least 3 at more equal to or more than he's making. And he'll get it because no one else is out there.

Let's cross that bridge when we come to it. I wouldn't be surprised to see Varitek's batting average fall below .230 in 2008, and if that happens he'll be in no position to demand anything. Glad to see that Kottaras hit better towards the end of the year. Maybe he isn't a completely lost cause? And there's always the possibility of patching for a year, if Wagner makes enough progress to be projectable.

Is it me or is Lester rated way lower (both here and elsewhere) than he was before he came up last year? And if so, are we really sure we've ever seen him at 100% in the majors?

The major issue with Lester is his poor control. If he figures it out, he could become Erik Bedard. If not, he could become Daniel Cabrera. (I always get the two confused... <grin>)

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