Sunday, November 16, 2008
The_BGC: What's the Sox' No. 1 priority this winter?
Tony Massarotti: signing Teixeira!
If the Sox are going to go hard after Teixeira as Mazz continues to indicate as well as others, then they need to have trade scenarios in place. And they should involve Kevin Youkilis and not Mike Lowell.
Lowell’s contract, age, and injury diminishes his trade value. Youk is coming off his best season. He demonstrated a more aggressive approach at the plate that resulted in better power numbers. Youk drove those early fastballs instead of letting them go as he did in the past. Now, no GM would be hesitant about adding Youk to their team. He is a versatile gold glover, a complete hitter and under team control at below market salaries for the next two seasons. But those years will be at the age of 30 and 31. It is unlikely that Youk’s production will fall off a cliff in the next two seasons, but it is likely to get any better too. As Branch Rickey coined "Trade a player a year too early rather than a year too late."
A number of clubs - Twins, Giants, Phillies, Indians - clearly need a third baseman and others are likely to get into the bidding once it is known that Youk is available. With a thin free agent market, the Sox could get a similar to return to what the Rangers received for Teixeira and Ron Mahay. The Rangers got the Braves top three prospects and top 100 overall in Salty, Matt Harrison and Elvis Andrus plus now 100 mph man - Neftali Feliz and Beau Jones. If the Sox could only get a top catching and pitching prospect, then signing Teixeira makes sense.