Frigid weather brings thoughts of spring

Now that this whole overblown J.D. Drew contract snag is behind us, the team is officially in place and it’s time to start looking ahead to Spring Training.

On this coldest day of the year to date, I’m very much looking forward to my arrival in Fort Myers on Feb. 15. Here are the issues I wonder about now that there is no more Patriots to obsess about:

Who the heck is going to close for this team? I’m just not buying the whole Joel Pineiro thing. Do we think Theo has a trade up his sleeve?

What kind of shape will Lester be in? And if he’s on schedule, how will they fit him into the rotation?

Is Pedroia a legitimate starting second baseman?

Will Manny show up on time?

Will Coco be the Coco we hoped he’d be last year?

How will Papelbon fare in the rotation?

What are some of the things on everyone else’s mind? Let’s talk some Red Sox. I’m sick of winter.

Ian.

64 Comments

I posted this on the last blog right as Ian updated so I will write it again here. Anyone who could inform me I would appreciate it.

I was looking at the changes made it to the Red Sox schedule and noticed that now the Fox Saturday afternoon game is being played at 3:55, rather than 1:25 like it used to be. Anyone have any answers as to the reasons for this? I always enjoyed watching those games in the early afternoon, and Fox might lose an audience around the conclusion of the game when most people start to go out on Saturday nights. It doesn’t make much sense to me.

I am in charlotte NC and it’s cold here so can’t imagine how cold it is in New England area. Not real sure about the fox schedule changes. Cant wait for pitchers and catchers.

You can bet that whatever changes that the Fox Network makes to their schedule, it won’t be something that will lose revenue for them… but then again on Saturday they have exclusive rights to all games. That means that even if you have MLBTV or MLB.com if our Sox game is scheduled before 6pm we can’t watch it. That’s what really yanked my chain last year.

parts, i’m in southern connecticut and with the windchill it was 0 out today (16 degrees not factoring wind).

Ellen, I heard round home it’s 73 though, my parents got a kick out of that one. In maine with windchill I heard it was -19.

I choose to omit my comments on the question marks I see for the sox, I think they have all previously been covered. Though I often wonder the year will manny will not produce like manny produces. How old is he now, 34 or 36? I think my main curiosity is how varitek does this season, the rotation has been butchered with conversation all offseason, as has the bullpen and the rookie movement, but I wonder how guys like lowell, varitek, youkilis and schilling (the guys that have been there for awhile) will do.

granted lowell has been there for a year, I meant to include him seperately, i’m just curious with his hot start and cold finish, where he will finish this year offensively.

has there been any reaason given for the release of jerry trupiano form the Red Sox radio broadcast team? I really enjoyed the way “Trup” called the game and he seemed like a thorough professional. What happened?

I know i dont have too much to complain about here in sunny SW florida, but its been pretty chilly lately, compared to past weeks. The low last night was (drum roll………..) 44 degrees! Walking to class in shorts/tshirt yesterday and today was not an option haha. I cant wait for it to warm up a little more and then it will be baseball time!!

By the way, does anyone know how I could purchase just the letters for the name on a matsuzaka jersey? I have an old nike Johnny Damon jersey that Im looking to convert to a Dice-K. Can anyone help?

i dont know if anyone has posted this already but the sox are talking to the rockies about trading for todd helton.

//has there been any reaason given for the release of jerry trupiano form the Red Sox radio broadcast team? I really enjoyed the way “Trup” called the game and he seemed like a thorough professional//

You’re joking, right?

Trupiano can be summed up in one incident (there were many, but this one stands out in my mind, because I was so flabberghasted when I heard it):

Sometime last August, Trupiano was doing his usual Manny-bashing when he cited Ken Caminiti as a shining example of a guy who played hurt, no matter what.

Ken Caminiti. The guy who used so many drugs (including cocaine and steriods) that they killed him soon after he left baseball. The guy who was so drugged up when he played that it’s no wonder he played hurt – it would have taken an elephant gun to bring him down. A shining example for Manny to emulate!

That comment was typical of Trupiano. Almost every time I listened to a broadcast, I’d wonder what it would take for them to let him go. Good riddance.

As for Ian’s questions:

Who the heck is going to close for this team? I’m just not buying the whole Joel Pineiro thing. Do we think Theo has a trade up his sleeve?

There are plenty of relief arms on the Sox right now. Why trade for another, when you really don’t know what you’re getting? How many dependable, stud relievers are there in MLB that Theo could trade for? You’ve got several weeks of ST for the bullpen to sort itself out. Someone will step up.

What kind of shape will Lester be in? And if he’s on schedule, how will they fit him into the rotation?

Lester should start at Pawtucket and get his feet under him, then see what happens. He was in Boston too early last year as it was.

Is Pedroia a legitimate starting second baseman?

Yes. I watched him play in the minors and he was great. Give him a chance. He’s ready.

Will Manny show up on time?

Of course he will.

Will Coco be the Coco we hoped he’d be last year?

A healthy Coco is a very, very good player. Yes.

How will Papelbon fare in the rotation?

I have no doubt he’ll do fine. He’s a standout pitcher and a hellacious competitor.

Stars, where did you see the report about Todd Helton? Not sure if the Sox should acquire him considering what the Rockies would likely want in return. I don’t want the Sox to surrender a couple top prospects, and/or Youkilis or Lowell, which is likely what would happen.

Hacaro, I agree about the bullpen. Someone will emerge from the pack this season. Next season, likely Craig Hansen, Edgar Martinez or Bryce Cox will be ready to take over the closer’s role. Hansen’s time might even be this season.

LEster and Papelbon will excel this year, I firmly believe. As will Coco, if he is healthy. I hope the best for Pedroia. I’m not convinced yet, but I do think we should give him a chance, just as we should give J.D. Drew a chance. Manny may or may not show up on time for spring training. Likely, he will not. But that won’t be news. Manny rolls out of bed and hits. He’ll be fine.

Jeff

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

Jeff the article is on the denver post, http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/ and http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=2744952&type=blogEntry
if they ate most of contract, and we got rid of Matt Clement, i would welcome it. At best, Helton could give you 40 HR, 130 rbi, and a .340 average. He’s been hurt for the last season, so his power has been affected. At worst, he’ll give you .300 20 hr, 85 rbi, .400 obp. Its like another Youk. I think in this lineup, he could definately have a .320, 30hr, 100 rbi season, if he’s healthy. Just like drew, he doesn’t have to be the man. I’m defineatly for it, if hes available for under 10 mil a season. With helton, we’d have a very yankee-esque offense.

Lugo

Helton

Ortiz

Manny

Drew/WMP

V-Tec

Youk

Coco

Pedroia

Absoulutely Nasty

Whoa whoa whoa. If, and I’m stressing if, the Red Sox do acquire Helton, I doubt he would put up that gaudy of numbers. Still, he is an offensive presence that would be greatly appreciated. I just wonder how much of his contract the Sox will have to pay. That, and I don’t know exactly which players the Rockies are going to get. I’m okay with seeing Hansen go, but I’ve seen the name Jacoby Ellsbury thrown around. I really hope he doesn’t go. I doubt Boston would trade him, but you may never know. I would love to see him patrolling the Fenway outfield for years to come.

He hasn’t been completely healthy for 5 years. But, i was stressing, IF healthy, he could put up nice numbers. Maybe not 40 again, but 30 doesn’t seem impossible. I don’t know. I guess we’ll have to see how healthy he is. Last year he did have a really serious stomach condition that sapped his strength, and before that, his back has been giving him issue. But, at the same price as lowell, he’ll put up a better average, gold glove 1st base skills, and a monster obp.

I sincerely doubt it is a coincidence that helton’s numbers dropped the same time the rockies developed their first formidible rotation….ever. Coors field has been a numbers exploder since it opened (bichette, castilla, helton, walker), whether it is the field, the air or the balls, it doesn’t matter, numbers are bloated.

If you got a healthy helton, it would more than likely be numbers youk is capable of (20 hrs, 80-90 rbi, .310 average), so therefore, if I’m a sox fan, this deal makes no sense whatsoever. If you’re trading lowell you’re trading a gold glove defensive player for .30 pts in batting average and if you’re trading youk, you’re trading a guy a decade younger for the same numbers….and if you’re trading prospects, that would just be funny.

Helton is not worth dealing Ellsbury (who will likely be the starting center fielder in 2008), Hansen (who could emerge as the closer as soon as this season) and/or Clay Buchholz (who scouts believe will be a top of the rotation starter). And definitely not Youkilis, who will be steady for the long term. Matt Clement’s contract expires at the end of this season anyway. Henry can afford to keep it through 2007. I agree that Youkilis is a better option at first because he is tough and steady, and he actually can be counted on to play mostly every game.

Jeff

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

The Red Sox aren’t going to trade Youk. The Rockies aren’t going to trade for Lowell. That leaves the prospects. Hansen will go, Ellsbury will stay, and I dunno about Bucholtz. If they get Helton, they’ll most likely trade Lowell for even more bullpen help, most likely a proven closer, if available.

ok everyone, here’s my final prediction on the Sox team for next year:

SS – Julio Lugo (.285/.340/.440), 15HR, 30SB, 65RBI. Lugo was having an all-star caliber season prior to being traded to LA, where he struggled in a part-time gig. Now that he’s got the starting role at electric Fenway, expect him to have an excellent season.

1B – Kevin Youkilis (.290/.380/.480), 20HR, 80RBI. It’s easy to forget that last year was Youkilis’s rookie season. He posted a tremendous OBP and fielded beyond expectations. Expect him to become better next season and have more power.

DH – David “Papi” Ortiz (.290/.430/.630), 50HR, 130RBI. After a legitimate MVP season, don’t expect our best hitter to decline anytime soon. He strikes fear in the hearts of all those who pitch to him, and should continue his ungodly dominance.

LF – Manny Ramirez (.310/.440/.630), 45HR, 130RBI. Manny will always be Manny. That means an MVP season every single year. I think that’s worth any headache he may cause…

RF – J.D. Drew (.280/.380/.540), 25HR, 90RBI. Drew’s injuries over the last few years have been flukes – being struck by a pitch can happen to anyone, so Drew isn’t as injury-prone as the media portrays him. Expect him to hit admirably.

3B – Mike Lowell (.270, .350/.460), 20HR, 80RBI. After rebounding from a horrible 2005, Lowell kept his nearly-infallible glove while regaining his bat. Expect much of the same from him next year.

CF – Coco Crisp (.300/.350/.450), 18HR, 65RBI, 25SB. Coco was hitting very well until he broke his finger, and didn’t quite heal last season. I foresee a return to his 2005 production.

C – Jason Varitek (.270/.350/.450), 15HR, 65RBI. The Captain’s primary role is to guide his young pitchers through their initial seasons. Any offense that me may provide should be seen as a bonus. Next year, I see a pretty good bonus from him…

2B – Dustin Pedroia (.280/.360/.460), 15HR, 70RBI. Pedroia is the most underrated prospect in the Sox system. He hit very well in the minors and should be able to translate that into a solid MLB season.

OF – Wily Mo Pena (will rotate into the outfield) .280/.350/.540 (counting stats undetermined)

SP – Curt Schilling (16-9, 3.80ERA, 210IP, 180K, 1.10WHIP). Schilling wants more than anything to finish his career on a high note, and should be able to accomplish this goal with a healthy body and nasty splitter.

SP – Josh Beckett (18-9, 3.60ERA, 220IP, 190K, 1.15WHIP). He’ll do next year what he was advertised to do this year. As soon as he gets over fear of blisters and start throwing his plus-plus curveball, he should become one of the best pitchers in the AL.

SP – Daisuke Matsuzaka (19-9, 3.60ERA, 220IP, 200K, 1.10WHIP). MLB will be tougher than the Japanese league, but the best pitcher available this offseason should be able to transition very nicely.

SP – Jonathan Papelbon (16-9, 3.60ERA, 200IP, 170K, 1.15WHIP). Even if he QUADRUPLES his ERA from last season, it’ll still be enough to establish him as a more than solid enough starter. Though this will be his first season as a starter in the big leagues, he’ll be able to adjust well enough.

SP – Jon Lester (15-10, 4.20ERA, 150IP, 110K, 1.25WHIP). After recovering from cancer, our premier pitching prospect (not including Matsuzaka, of course…) should be able to pitch nicely in his rookie season. Just don’t expect any miracles, and you’ll be satisfied with him performance.

Closer – Pineiro, Hansen, or Donnoley? We’ll see!

If Theo Epstein traded Ellsbury ALONE for Helton, I’d check his office for signs of pod invasion.

84 wins from our starting rotation? Jamie…comon. 1st, our bullpen better be really good, and that’s never the case. 2nd, these guys would have to be pitching 7-8 innings every game…another improbability. Yeah, they’ll have their run support, but it only goes so far. Where did Wakefield go? And, we’re in the AL East, no need to explain that any further. This ain’t the 1971 Orioles here. Its optomistic, and I hope it happens, but here’s what im thinking.
Curt 14-8, 3.9 ERA

Beckett 17-10 4.2 ERA

Matsuzaka 16-8 3.7 ERA

Papelbon 14-7 3.8 ERA

Wakefield 12-10 4.5 ERA

Maybe more wins for Schilling, and a higher ERA for Beckett. I’d be very suprised if we had a 20 game winner on this staff with the BP (as of now)

Lester will get time in 2008 when Schilling retires. I’d only expect to see him in 2007 if 1) he has a spectacular spring training, 2) Papelbon gets moved back into the BP, 3) One of our starters gets hurt.

Wakefield is better in a long-relief kind of role. Lester has already started his training and should be able to return to form by March. Again, I put him at 150IP because I’m not sure he’ll be with the Sox the ENTIRE season… maybe Wake will start in April and May, with Lester taking over by June.

We have the best starting staff in baseball, as far as I’m concerned. Why not 84 wins from them? Especially now that our offense has gotten alot better… (more runs from us = more wins for our starters)

I think you underestimating Schilling. He is still one of the better pitchers in baseball. Here’s my win projections (not sure about the losses):

Schilling – 17

Beckett – 20

Matsuzaka – 15

Papelbon – 15

Wakefield – 8

Lester – 8

I think we will definitely see Lester. He’ll have extended spring training to help rebuild strength and stamina, but he will return. The Sox have talked about a six-man rotation for part of the season, an idea I favor. I do think this starting rotation can win 80-85 games. I think the bullpen will be solid, and we will definitely have ample run production. I think you are all underestimating how productive the bullpen will be this season.

Jeff

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

The entire staff is great, no doubt. Its the bullpen that im worried about. If the bullpen doesn’t blow any leads, i could see 17 from schilling and 17 or more for Beckett (though he has to get a better changeup and use his curve more…no more waiting on the fastball). My predictions aren’t what I hope to happen, but im trying to be unbiased and account for lackluster play, injuries, and other variables. By all means, i hope all of my predictions are low! Lets hope the bullpen is solid!

with the helton trade the rockies and sox agree on everything but prospects. the rockie want hansen and delcarmen. but it would be lowell+taverez+ whoever for helton. move youk to 3rd and helton would be at 1st and its not like he’s a bad defender. hes probably at or near the same level as lowell offensively.

No,I would not trade Lowell for Helton Tavarez can go anyday anywhere as far as I am concerned

Tavarez gets bombed everyday, everywhere.

Actually I would be curious to see how poorly(or should I say well) he would pitch at Coors field seeing that he cant pitch at fenway and it is alot easier to give up homers in Coors field then Fenway=)

I would think the tigers and angels (everyone forgets those guys were just rookies last year)for starters (no pun intended) would be better than the sox.

Lester coming back in may and 150 innings? The guy pitched 5 innings a start most of last year, now he’s missing part of the season, no way he reaches anything near 200 if he was not missing a month, I would think 120 max. He is not an ace until he pitches like one.

I’ve already projected how I felt about the sox starters and I think that was pretty **** unbiased too.

I didn’t give wins because there are too many variables, esp with an otherwise suspect bullpen (particularly if helton is traded for), but I did say this about their era’s.

Schilling: 4.20

Beckett: 4.15

Wakefield: 4.50

papelbon: 4.25

Matsuzaka: 3.60

Best case scenario. And if you watched the 2006 redsox, or the 2005 yankees, you know best case scenario generally never happens, especially with pitchers.

I recognize those are all similar, but I really did put much thought behind it, it just worked out that way. Schilling was based on tracking his age progression and his era’s, matsuzaka was mainly based on adjustment’s being taken into account, beckett was based on other “ace” pitchers the year after their adjustment and his past, wakefield was based on his past when healthy, and papelbon, perhaps the biggest ?, was based on hunch.

Vince, my prediction about Beckett was contingent on his throwing more of his DOMINATING curveball. If you look at the 03 World Series (or the entire season), you’ll see just how unbelievably amazing Beckett is when he mixes his 97mph fastball with his hammer curve. It’s almost scary to think that he was still only 23 back then…

Schilling will throw EVERYTHING he has in his final season. The 06 season was actually a disappointment for him, so expect him to improve DRAMATICALLY for next year. His ERA will definitely be below 4, perhaps even as low as 3.5! Remember, he’s moving further and further from his injury of 05, so he can probably return to his ace status next year.

Papelbon probably deserved the Rookie of the Year. He would DEFINITELY have gotten it if it weren’t for his injury. If he can post a 0.92 ERA as a closer, there’s no way he’ll post a 4+ as a starter. Keep in mind: hitters are most aggressive in the 9th inning… far more aggressive than in the 1st or 2nd anyway. Even if he QUADRUPLES his ERA, it’ll still be 3.68. Expect that.

So what you’ve posted is probably the WORST case scenario barring any extensive injury to the staff. We’re about to enter 07 with the best rotation Boston has probably ever seen. Matsuzaka, Beckett, and Papelbon are all 25 yr olds… and each of them can claim ace status next year. I think Yankee fans should be pretty scared right now.

o, and I actually do see Matsuzaka posting a 3.60ERA. It’s not by any means the best case scenario, but it’s pretty realistic.

ya if i was a yank id be #$@% my drawers. why would they be interested in helton anyway, at best he’s a slight offensive upgrade from lowell in a league with new to him pitchers. giving up bullpen help doesnt make sense. in reality it would eventually be lowell who goes, and I disagree with this one. lowell was argueably the best glove at his position in baseball last year. helton may be great at first, but id prefer great at third and a slight drop in offensive production and a decent bullpen over helton. As for the sox starters, if lester is ready it would be nice to have him in the starting rotation. wake in the pen, and I can see between 75-80 wins In a good case scenario.

lol no way you can get me to ever watch a beckett start int he 03 world series jamie, I don’t care if the cure for cancer is in it.

Somehow after doing better in the regular season 11 years in a row, I won’t be shitting anywhere out of the ordinary. And no, that is not denile or blindness, it is waiting to see how a large amount of high ceiling question marks translate. Schilling is not god, he can’t just harness what he may no longer have left in him. Age bites everybody, even people like bonds who try to artificially delay it. I guarantee schilling was not feeling any residual effects of his 2005 injury last season. He had 5 months he was either pitching or not playing to recover before april even came, and he started off hot. Hitters are either the most aggressive or the most tired by the 9th inning and that has nothing to do with how well papelbon can manage a game for 7 innings as opposed to throw electric stuff for one. Yes, hitters are usually most aggressive, but papelbon going out for an inning and throwing his arm litterally out, can not be compared to managing an entire start. All 0.92 means is he is capable of dominating big league hitting, nothing more, and nothing in regards to some scientific formula for figuring out what is starting era will translate to.

If you look at giambi 3 years ago he was a 300 hitter, lots of stuff can happen in three years and it is probably not the best to rely on a guy regaining three year old form. If schilling is going away from his “ace form” as the years go on, it probably means he is getting old and no longer has “ace form” not that a year old ankle injury prevented him for an entire season.

Maybe Mike Mussina will post 18 wins next season, come on, we can all make statements about aging pitchers like that.

Matsuzaka beckett and papelbon COULD claim ace status next year….matsuzaka could also blow his arm out after 1400 innings in 6 years, beckett could remain a 5 era pitcher and papelbon’s adjustment could be a huge disaster as well. Like I said, I will be pretty scared if the yankees are 10 games out of first place come august….then again, maybe the sox can go back to their numbers from the previous year around that time and give us the division anyway:)

lol ouch on that last statement, but I see what you mean. Matsuzaka’s arm isn’t in trouble. Sure, he’s had some long games in Japan, but then again he doesn’t pitch over 200 innings in any given year. I’m sure he’ll have a successful MLB career. The only question is whether he wins 15 or 20 games.

Beckett’s ERA will go down for sure. He has a dominating curveball, but risks blisters whenever he uses it. It’s a real dilemma; being limited to 170IP or having a 4+ ERA. I think he’ll somehow manage to get around that and have a good year in 07.

Papelbon did make some starts. In his first game (against the Twins in 2005), he struck out the first 3 hitters or something like that, and had 7Ks in 5IP. That’s not too shabby at all. I don’t expect him to keep his 0.92ERA, in fact I expect him to QUADRUPLE it. Even then it’s less than 4.

Schilling is not God, I agree, but he’s an extremely determined guy who refuses to fail. I would shocked if he has a had year in 07.

Mussina is an excellent pitcher, definitely capable of 18 wins with an offense as potent as the Yankees. I think that Mussina, Wang, and Pettite constitute a good rotation upon which the Yankees can build a season, especially when Hughes comes up in July or August. I’m not going to go into the faults of the Yankee rotation, but I do want to assert that the Sox have a superior one.

But then again, we’ll just have to wait and see!

It’s all just numbers on paper until the season is on the when it’s over it’s all just numbers on paper with memories.
I don’t understand the Helton trade talks. What is it about this guy that makes him interesting to the Sox? He has played in a hitter friendly park, so I don’t trust the numbers all that much. Is having a gold glove first baseman better than the same at third? Why tie themselves down with a guy with a contract as long as Helton’s? Is he going to be worth having around in 2009, 2010, or 2011? They may move Lowell, for yet another reliever? But, they can only have so many arms out there. Trading young arms to get Helton and trading Lowell to get an old arm seems disjointed to me. I just don’t understand this trade possibility. I’m glad I’m not in the front office thinking these things up, I couldn’t handle the stress.

yea personally i would oppose trading for helton also, but who knows? Theo and Lucchino have my trust.

lol you don’t have to convince me that on paper the sox have a better rotation than the yankees, I agree with that and I agree they have 3 solid front men and 2 GIANT ?’s.
I’d settle for mussina winning 15 this year and staying healthy all season. Matsuzaka will probably be very solid for a long time, I’m just saying it wouldn’t be the most shocking thing in the world if a guy who has pitched that much in a 6 man rotation is going to take an arm that has been through that and pitch in a 5 man rotation and injure it.

First of all, I’m convinced moving Lowell is a flat out BAD idea. 1st and 3rd base are the positions I actually like the way they are.

I think that some of us are being a bit too optomistic. The problem is that not enough of the players have proven track records.

Lugo- Good speed, but average around .250

Youk- .290, solid and steady production

Manny-.300/40/120, as usual

Papi-.290/50/130

Drew- I don’t expect too much from J.D. I believe his signing was a bad move. .285 average

Lowell- Great defense, good offense. .290/25/89

Varitek- Bounce back year on offense .280/20/80

Pedroia- Will struggle first half .250

Crisp- Will have decent year, but it won’t make us forgot Johnny

Wily Mo- Should get a good number of At bats, and slug a good number of dingers. We’ll see him alot in center if Crisp doesn’t heat up this year.

Rotation:

Schill- Will have very good final year

Beckett- I’m not sold Beckett will be back on form. ERA in high 4’s

Matsuzka- 15 wins. Will not dominate

Papelbon-Not sold on this wonder boy either. 10 wins, era in 4s

Wake- Will have solid year, 14 wins, ERA in mid to low 4’s.

Lester-Bullpen, spot starts

I wouldnt be suprised to see Pap in the bullpen if Lester seems up to starting. We’ll see.

bro2

What the heck are the Red Sox(THEO) thinking? Trying for an over the hill 1B(Todd Helton) They sound like the freakin Yankees. Didn’t last year teach them anything? Pitching and More pitching. Even talking about giving up Hansen or Delcarmen for a 33 1B whose production has been down for several years, is STUPID! Helton hit 266 on the road last year and he has a huge contract. He has no upside. Youk is a decent 1B and they have a Gold glover on the other corner already. They don’t need an ALL-Star(Yankee) lineup.
THEO still hasn’t got a closer -does he think this will fool anyone? NOT

They lost last years becasue of a lack in pitching depth and health-especially in the bullpen.

I for one am excited about the thought of Helton. Yes, I’m a Lowell fan, but as good as he is he is not Todd Helton with a bat. Helton’s production has slipped the last two years, but Lowell had an AWFUL year before the Red Sox picked him up, and he bounced back. Someone said that Helton was playing in a hitters ball park; well the air maybe thinner, and MAYBE the ball carries further, but with the short right porch, and the Green Monster 310 feet away in left, I think Helton could do a lot of damage at Fenway. Youk is a thirdbaseman by trade and was converted to first base because the Sox wanted his bat in the line up and to make room for Lowell. We might lose a little at third but we will be gaining a lot in the line up. Think about a line up with Lugo leading off, then Youk, Papi, Manny, Helton, Drew, Varitek, Coco, and Pedoria. 1-6 is absolutely scary, if Varitek and Crisp bounce back 7 and 8 are very solid, and 9 we’ll just have to see how good the Sox predictions are, (I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for now). Theo hasn’t let me down yet. The rotation and bullpen are loaded enough right now to let Delcarmen and Hansen go, and then use Lowell for a more proven relief pitcher. Perhaps not as much potential, but potential doesn’t always come through. I think it’s a good move, I say go for it.

I think that if we can get Helton for relatively cheap, he’ll be worth the prospects that we’d have to give up. It’s key to remember that he’s been INJURED the last couple of years. I don’t think Helton’s numbers were inflated by steroids, so I see no reason why he can’t bounce back to being a 30/100 guy.

Ultimately Helton makes a better 5th hitter than Drew.

Ultimately Helton bats better than Lowell

Hi, everyone –
This talk of trading for Helton seems very strange to me, but, and this is a big but, he has the best BA (.333) of any active player in the majors right now, and he gets on base all the time. Our lineup would be ferocious and could stand up against the Yankees and the Blue Jays without question. If Lowell is offered, though, my heart says no way. To me, Mike Lowell was one of the best parts of the Sox last season. He can certainly be expected to do the same this year, possibly even better! How can we practically dismantle our entire infield, the BEST infield in the MLB last season, and not have to worry about soemthing going terribly wrong? I am all for giving Lugo a chance in Boston, he seems like he really wants to play for the Sox, but to trade Lowell would be wrong, IMO. If we can acquire Helton without trading Lowell, I say yes. GO SOX!

dowdy, i like Lowell as much as any other Sox fan, but hear me out:

Helton plays 1B. He can’t play any other position and will not do so.

1B + 3B = 2 positions. If we kept Lowell, we’d have THREE corner infielders (Youkilis, Lowell, Helton)

So we’d have to trade away youkilis if we are to keep Lowell. I like Youk alot more because the Sox have control over him for a longer time, he has more potential, and he is actually a better hitter.

That’s why I wouldn’t mind trading the guy who deserved the Gold Glove last year. Lowell, Taverez, and Delcarmen… I think that’s a good package.

Hey all,
I’ve seen Helton play out here in Co. and the dude can PLAY. Hit, field, team guy all the way. Don’t let the Coors Field #’s fool you. Remember that Fenway is a hitters park? Sounds like the Rockies want Delcarmen or Hansen, I have no idea how it would work. Helton, with the protection of the Sox’ lineup would be HUGE. Just my opinion.

Guys:

No one has mentioned that Helton is a three-time Gold Glove winner. With Lugo at SS this year, we could use that.

Youk was better than expected at 1B last year, but Helton would be an improvement. Helton’s glove at 1B could make up the difference between Lowell and Youk at 3B.

I’ll take Helton for Lowell, Tavarez and Delcarmen in a heartbeat. (Edgar Martinez will take Delcarmen’s minimum salary spot)

Just imagine Lugo, Youk, Ortiz, ManRam, Drew and Helton running up pitch counts and getting into bullpens early in the game over the course of the season.

Those six at the top of the lineup will only help Tek, Crisp and Pedroia at the bottom of the lineup.

NEWS FLASH: Schilling says he’ll pitch in 2008.

SCHILLING! SCHILLING! SCHILLING! SCHILLING!

Booya!

Schilling’s announcement just made my week! Let’s hope he’s right and he can come to terms with Theo so he’s in a Sox uniform in ’08.

One thing about Helton: I respect the **** out of him for his loyalty and willingness to do what he signed up to do. There was an article about him in ESPN the Magazine two or three years ago, and basically his attitude is “Sure, I could ask for a trade or a renegotiation. But I signed a contract to play in Colorado for a certain number of years for a certain amount of money, and that’s what I’ll do.” A lot of ballplayers that put up numbers like his a few years back would have been whining about wanting to be traded to a contender. He just kept his mouth shut and did the job he said he’d do.

That said, I’d still rather see Lowell and Youk at the corners in Fenway this year.

Good to hear about Schilling. Hopefully, the Sox can sign him through 2008 soon. He is still one of the top starters in MLB, and his veteran presence will be helpful to a staff full of young arms, not including guys like Daniel Bard and Clay Buchholz, who could be in Boston by 2008.

Regarding Helton, if Theo thinks this is a deal that should be made, the only prospect I would include is Delcarmen, and that should only be done if the Rockies are willing to pay for at least half of Helton’s remaining salary. Otherwise, just include Lowell and Tavarez.

Jeff

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

I think Lowell and Tavarez will be included, whether Delcarmen is in the deal or not. I realize money seems to be no object this winter, but they can’t take on even half of Helton’s salary without dumping some salary. Plus, The Rockies will be cruicified by their fans, if they have any if all they get for Helton is a second tier prosepect like Delcarmen.

Does anyone else think this trade proposal is caused by lingering doubts about J D Drew? I think the Sox looked at the prospects of Drew batting behind Manny and decided he wasn’t up to it.

Like robnbetsy stated, I’d rather see Lowell and Youk at the corners this season. Perhaps what rrossi is right in regards to still having issues with Drew, but if they still had doubts about him, I don’t think they would have signed him.

Again, as for Helton, @ 33, he’s getting older and he’s had a semi-decline. We DON’T need to get older. However, if Helton has gotten much healthier and if his long term outlook is very good, then yes, at least take a look at the possibilities as Theo and Co. are doing. I just don’t want to lose too many good prospects in the process.

Remember Theo, you said it yourself, don’t sacrifice the team’s future for the present. I’m sure something good will work out…I hope.

Well, Manny’s 34 and no one seems to mind. I understand the length of Helton’s contract is an issue. We’ll see what happens. It seems as if the Rockies are in a bind because of the contract so maybe the Sox won’t have to give up too much.
rrossi, there are a few Rockies fans here and they dearly love Helton, but you are right, Denver is a football town bigtime.

It doesn’t look like the Helton deal is going to happen, and I don’t think that’s so bad. The way the Red Sox line up is even without Helton, this was kind of like getting a hot fudge sundae after a huge steak dinner. Sure, you’ll eat the sundae if it’s there, and it comes with the meal, but you don’t really need it. The asking price for Helton is way too high, and he’s not a huge upgrade over Lowell, who he would be replacing in the starting 9.

You might be right, rrossi. I was listening to talk radio here and the rockies are having second thoughts about the deal. If the Sox trade Tavarez and Lowell and the Rockies pick up 1/2 of Helton’s contract it would only save them about 5-6 mil. a year, not enough to replace Helton’s bat with a FA. So they need a top prospect, too. Will Boston give them a top pitching prospect and 2 veterans? Hmm… then it may not be worth it. But you are wrong, Helton would be a huge upgrade over Lowell. Huge. But, here they are talking that the Rox wanted Manny. So that really is not a great deal for the Sox. So looks like no Helton in Boston. Too bad.

Helton is in his decline phase so unless we get him for cheap (both in $ and prospects…), I say let’s just forget about it.

I’m glad Schill is pitching in 08. Maybe we can sign him cheap, for 8-10m? He’s still got some good pitches.

So ’08 looks like Schill, Beckett, Matsuzaka, Paps and Lester… one old sage taking 4 young pitchers under his wings… lol

I’m not sure at all that Helton is in a decline phase. Two consectutive years with a lower production MIGHT be a decline phase, or it might just be two years with a little less production. Maybe the person he had behind him wasn’t as good the last couple of years. Maybe there it was just one of those things; Maybe, maybe, maybe. No one is talking about Manny getting too old at 34 and playing left field; nobody is taiking about Shilling getting to old at 40+ (I know that’s a totally different story), and nobody is talking about Papi’s age, I’m not sure exactly what it is but I believe he is 31 ish. Remember, old outfielders and thirdbasemen never die, they just become first basemen; meaning you can play first for a long time, certainly longer then nearly every other position, except maybe DH. I absolutely love Lowell, but the Red Sox would absolutely be better with Helon. I think Youk would take care of the Hot Corner with no problem whatsoever, and you are adding a Gold Glove firstbasemen who has been a protential Triple Crown candidate within the last five years, and Lowell’s contract is up after this year, so there is no guarantee he’ll be here next year anyway. Why is this even an issue; If we can make the trade, go for it.

One last thought, think about the Red Sox line up with potentially 4 15 game winners. With this line up a pitcher that has a 4+ era could win 15 games; pitchers that are around 3-3.5 could be up nearing 20. This could be the most feasome pitching staff that the major leagues has witnessed in a very very long time.

to get over 20 wins, you need to pitch deep into games, and have an effective bullpen. Both of those things didnt happen last year. Time will tell.

yea no matter now good the offense and starters are, if a reliever blows a lead, the starter loses his W.

Our bullpen looks pretty solid (though there is a ? about closer) with Timlin, Pineiro, Delcarmen, Hansen, Okajima, Donnolley, et al.

I agree that the bullpen looks solid. I think Hideki Okajima will be the darkhorse, and he could emerge as a closer. With Brendan Donnelly as the main set-up man, Timlin will have less wear and tear, and I think he will return to 2005 form. I’m glad that Hansen and Delcarmen will remain with the Sox now that the Helton trade talks are over. And Edgar Martinez could make the team with a solid spring. Throw in Joel Pineiro, Julian Tavarez, Devern Hansack, J.C. Romero, Craig Breslow (who pitched effectively last season), and Runelvys Hernandez, and you have a dozen guys competing for seven spots. Don’t forget Kason Gabbard and Kyle Snyder either. They are decent middle relievers. Also, when Jon Lester returns, Tim Wakefield could go to the bullpen. I think that the bullpen in Boston and Pawtucket will be deep. I’m not even including Bryce Cox because I hope the Sox give him another season in the minors before bringing him to Boston. Someone will emerge as the closer in spring training. The deep bullpen will do a better job of preserving leads for the starters. I’m excited about the depth of the rotation and the bullpen. I’m already ready for spring training to end and opening day to arrive!

Jeff

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

What is the story on Matt Clement? What is his contract status and is this guy going to pitch this year? If yes, could he be a closer?

Steve

Not sure why you’re “not buying” the whole Pineiro thing,Ian? He looks to be the prime cantidate,although Theo could be amassing extra arms for a trade. Maybe Cordero?
Hopefully,Lester is 100%. If he is,I’m sure fitting him into the rotation somewhere along the line will take care of itself.

Pedroia would seem to be legit. He came on late,after a terrible start last year. I think he’ll be helped by having veterans around him in the infield,and by batting ninth(less pressure). He’ll just be asked to play his game,and not be a star.

Manny will show up. Always does. Not to worry.

I think that Coco will establish himself with the Sox in his second season,and become a fan favorite. Too much to overcome last year. He’ll be much better this year;probably one of the keys.

LAst but not least,Papelbon will be fine in the rotation. A rising star. Don’t you think so?!

CLOSER: If no one steps up, panic will set in within a week and Theo will deal prospects for somebody. A repeat of the Mirabelli deal. Not buying the “don’t need a closer right off” line. Much depends on John Farrell.

PEDROIA READY? Ready to be Jody Reed. Not bad, not great. Glad Cora is signed.

PAPELBON AS STARTER – great if healthy, although I’ve always wondered if he has a big enough bag of nasty pitches. Wonder if they won’t start guessing right by the fifth inning.

Willy Mo will get lots of playing time. Drew is a great Fenway hitter but sorry he’s just too fragile. I’m amazed Willy Mo played winter ball, I was hoping he’d rest that sore wrist. What power in that bat! If he’s not healthy, McEwing, Robinson, Murphy or Hinske may get lots of at bats. I thought Hinske was terrible last year, when it mattered he struck out almost every time.

LESTER READY? Get real. I figure he’s a Triple A long reliever, then a starter, then (if needed) he rejoins the Show.

MANNY ON TIME? Who cares? Put him in the lineup, stuff your ears with cotton if you have to. In recent years he has had fewer “Manny Moments” in the field and on the bases, too. One of the reasons they won in ’04 is that for the first time in his career Manny played his whole game with intensity and intelligence.

COCO: will do much better if he can avoid the baserunner’s bane of the broken hand/finger. Amazed that so many valuable ballplayers risk everything by making repeated head first slides into first base and elsewhere. If you’ve got real talent, don’t blow it by getting hurt on the basepaths.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 85 other followers

%d bloggers like this: