Tuesday, February 17, 2009
From the HOFer’s blog,
“…there are going to be some very significant players available in June to any team capable of assuming the contract. The recession-impacted teams simply have to understand that legitimate prospects have value and probably won't be available from teams willing to assume bad contracts.”
The Sox pitching depth makes it (knock on wood) unlikely that they will need to pay the high price for a summer rental. They will probably be looking at position players, if anything. The Red Sox Position Player Trading Partner Criteria is:
1) non-AL East team since trades rarely occur with a division rival,
2) Baseball Prospectus projects the club to win less than 80 games or out of contention,
3) player's 2009 salary is greater than $5 million or the market value for a slugger (see Bobby Abreu) making him overpaid,
4) the contract runs no longer than through 2010; no contract is that bad for a year and half for the Sox,
5) the contract does not contain any kind of no trade clause, which gives the player leverage; this possibly excludes: Adrian Beltre, Brian Giles, Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, Jermaine Dye, A.J. Pierzynski, Gary Sheffield, Troy Glaus.
Please note that Magglio Ordonez does not make the list to follow, as he will likely get 457 PAs in 2009 which will vest his 2010 and 2011 options at $18M and $15M, respectfully. Adam Dunn is another, since he could demand a trade from the Red Sox if traded in the first year of his multi-year contract.
The possible targets are as follows (please note all option buyouts are included in the last guaranteed year):
* Miguel Tejada - $13M
* Austin Kearns - $8M/$10M
* Nick Johnson - $5.5M
* Jack Wilson - $7.85M
* Adam LaRoche - $7.05M
* Freddy Sanchez - $6.7M
* Ramon Hernandez - $9M
* Alex Gonzalez - $5.875M
* Garret Atkins - $7.05M
* Brad Hawpe - $5.5M/$8M
* Jose Guillen - $12M/$12M
* Hank Blalock - $6.2M
* Frank Catalanotto - $6M
* Brandon Inge - $6M/$6.6M
* Randy Winn - $8.25M
* Dave Roberts - $6.25M
* Bengie Molina - $6M
A healthy Nick Johnson, Garrett Atkins or Adam LaRoche would be nice substitute for an ailing Mike Lowell or David Ortiz. The signing of Adam Dunn makes Johnson possible trade bait. Ian Stewart in Denver could lead to Atkins heading out of the Rockies before 2010. But the most likely to become a Red Sock, relatively speaking, is LaRoche. The Pirates will want to save money and get something better than a 2010 draftee (in general, prospects are still more valuable than draft choices). LaRoche will be on the block this summer and the Sox could scoop him up, if necessary.
Regardless, my prediction is that Frank Catalanotto gets traded to the Sox for a player to be named later. Theo Epstein has always liked Da Cat. He tried to sign him after the 2006 season, but Catalanotto wanted the playing time that Texas offered. Da Cat would be a great bat for off the bench for Tek, Bard, Lowrie or Lugo. He will get a big hit for the Sox.