Wednesday, November 29, 2006
The last post was the Reader’s Digest version of…if El Guapo’s Ghost was GM for a Day. As I said, Manny to the Dodgers for future ace closer, Jonathan Broxton and sweet swinger, James Loney or Adam LaRoche. The Sox move Manny now - possibly a year early rather than a year too late - for financial flexibility next winter, when the free agent market is much better than this year, and a low risk corner position prospect and a dominate young reliever.
The Dodgers get another former Red Sox, and more importantly, the power hitter their lineup needs with the lost of J.D. Drew. Manny and Grady are two of a kind (mental midgets); they are a perfect pair. The signing of Nomar gives the Dodgers corner infield depth to move a Loney or LaRoche. The Dodgers could balk at including Broxton, but the emergence of Takashi Saito should alleviate the worries that Grady will screw up the pen in Game 7 of the NLCS.
The Manny trade would allow the Sox to offer Mike Lowell to the other LA club for the emerging right fielder Juan Rivera instead of giving Drew $50 million. LAA is desperate for a man on the hot corner. Lowell is unlikely to duplicate last season’s production. Lowell is a prime candidate for the Sox to buy low - sell high. The crazy signing of Gary Matthews gives LAA the appearance of OF/DH depth. They can move Rivera and live with Figgins as a part-time DH and super temp.
The poor short-term future possible shortstops within the organization and outside make the signing the Julio Lugo as near must. Theo Epstein may see this as well.
“Cora is great protection for us at shortstop. [Dustin] Pedroia came up as shortstop and is certainly capable of moving back across the bag and playing shortstop. We do have shortstop prospects, they aren’t major league ready at this time, but we do have some coming in the minors.”
Lugo seems to be an average shortstop in the field. With the bat, he is a late bloomer as he never really got going until traded to Tampa three years ago. It makes Lugo a tough case to forecast. Regardless, Lugo has shown an average walk rate with improved ability to make contact thereby increasing his batting average and OBP. He has below average power, but good base stealing ability. Even though Lugo is a lesser player compared to Furcal in this market, Julio can command a similar deal - $39 million over three years. The Sox should get this deal done pronto before some club, like the Giants, feels the need to spend some cash to get fannies in the seats.
Of course, the Sox should pay Dice-K, but not give him the all the money buried below Fenway bullpens. They paid $51.1 million to have negotiating leverage. Don’t throw it away as they did with Josh Beckett.
In all, these moves would make the Sox competitive once again this summer and put them in a position to dig into the first communion money next winter for the great crop of free agents. A Vernon Wells, Carlos Zambrano, and/or Andruw Jones type acquisition could set the Sox up for another big-time run starting in 2008. If Jack Bauer can save the world in 24 hours - five times nonetheless, then El Guapo’s Ghost can remake the Sox over a day.
NO TO NANCY DREW
The signing of J.D. Drew at $70 million over five years is Isiah Thomas-esque. It would be less foolish if Drew ended up playing centerfield and the Sox were able to deal Coco after regaining form with the stick this spring. Coco is not a centerfielder and his bat doesn’t play in left. He is a good tweener with a nice contract. He has value but it will be hard to win the A.L. East with him in the outfield.
One other note on Drew. He can not be compared to Damon. Drew is a five-tool stud that can’t spend enough time on the field at age 30. Damon is a liar at age 32. Also, a tremendous contact hitter with a good walk rate, but limited power; he only crushes mistakes down and inside. Damon has good range in center with a weak arm. Damon and Drew are not similar players at all.