So, I’m a bit late with the Jon Lester pity party. Actually, there’s not that much pity to throw around. If the Red Sox were truly serious they would have offered him an appropriate contract last spring. They were looking to be cheap, thought he might take a discount, and misread the free agent market. It happens. I really liked Lester. He’s a solid pitcher, a top of the rotation guy, and he’ll be missed. There’s no ill will against the Cubs either. Theo threw “crazy money” at him and it worked. The Cubs needed someone. They desperately needed a face for the franchise and now they have it. I wish Lester and the Cubs all the luck in the world.
That said, we need to move on. Pitching needs to be acquired. As much as I want to believe in each and every prospect, you certainly can’t start the season with Clay Buchholz, Joe Kelly and 3 guys from AAA. There were also the other problems that needed addressing. Will Middlebrooks’ performance, too many outfielders, etc.
So far, Cherrington seems to be maintaining the trust of the Fenway Faithful. He’s made moves that, for the most part, have made sense. He’s bolstered the infield, added a few key bats, and started the rebuilding process with the rotation. Let’s take a look at the players who’ll be changing zip codes.
Today is the MLB trade deadline and holy crap, it’s been insane. It’s
1pm (central time), so there’s still a little time left, but there’s already been major moves, most of them centering around the Red Sox.
Red Sox sent Lester and Gomes to the A’s for Yoenis Cespedes and a Comp B pick
I was honestly hoping that the Sox would hold on to Lester and get a contract deal done by the end of the year. He was easily our #1 starter and the loss stings. On the flip side, the acquisition of Cespedes is insanely good. There was no way I thought the A’s would part with him. The Red Sox needed help in the outfield, desperately and went out of got it. The real question is, after the rental of Lester to the A’s, would he be willing to come back? Having Lester and Cespedes in 2015 would clearly be better than Cespedes alone, but they’re going to have to throw crazy money at Lester to do it. Does getting traded sour Lester on Boston in general? That remains to be seen, but in my mind he’s gone for good. Losing Gomes as well would have been bad without a replacement, but Cespedes more than makes up for any production loss. So, essentially, we upgraded left field but lost an ace, who was going to be a free agent anyway. Food for though, Cespedes has out homered the entire Red Sox outfield, combined, this year.
I’ll give it a B for now, an A+ if they can somehow resign Lester in the off-season
Red Sox send Lackey to Cardinals for Allen Craig and Joe Kelly
I’ve never liked Lackey, there, I said it. Something about his mouth-breathing weirdness, I don’t know, he just never really impressed me. He wasn’t going to pitch well next year, he looked like he had given up. He was talking retirement rather than make the league minimum on this extension/club-option year. Getting anything more than a bag of balls for him was a win-win. It gives the Cardinals a mid-rotation guy that has post season experience while giving Boston another bat (Craig) to try and get something working as well as a potential back of the rotation replacement (Kelly). IF Kelly works out, he’ll be joining a whole platoon of young pitchers from Pawtucket. Best of all, since we’re clearly abdicating this year, you can let them all get some big league experience. Webster, Barnes, Wilson, Workman, De la Rosa, now Kelly. Let’s see what the kids can do!
Final review – A-. Lackey was done. Getting something for nothing works for me.
Red Sox send Jake Peavy to Giants for Edwin Escobar and Heath Hembree
Yes, this happened prior to today, still counts. I liked Peavy, and I know he liked Boston (he even bought a Duck Boat), and he was great in the post season, when we needed him the most, but something never really fit. He never got any run support, he never really endeared himself to fans. If we had gotten Peavy 4-5 years ago, I would be more upset, but it seems like he might be past his prime, he’s getting ready to retire as well. Getting Escobar (a starting pitcher) who’s just on the edge and ready to be brought up and Hembree (relief pitcher) has a lot of upside coming out of the bullpen, was certainly better than just letting Peavy walk after the season.
Trade Grade – B – Not so much for the loss, but for the two players in return may/may not work out
Red Sox send Andrew Miller to Baltimore for Eduardo Rodriguez
Hmm, initially I didn’t like this one. I really really liked Miller. He’s a solid, proven, highly valuable, left-handed reliever. I’ve never heard for Rodriguez. The only thing that slightly changed my perspective is that Miller was going to be a free agent. It had been reported, multiple times, that Miller liked Boston and wanted to resign. So, the question is, is this another rental? Will Miller want to come back? What did we get in return? Apparently Baltimore’s #3 prospect, although the numbers don’t really bare that out. He’s 3-7 with a 4.79 ERA in Double-A. I don’t really understand how that’s a good deal. Miller was dominant. I hope, pray, that they “know” that Miller will resign in the off season, otherwise this one is a loss.
Trade Grade – D
Steven Drew to the Yankees for Kelly Johnson
Who in the hell is Kelly Johnson? Doesn’t matter. Steve Drew is gone! Huzzah! Getting anything more then a bucket of popcorn for Drew is a huge win.
Trade Grade – A++
The Red Sox are a better team today than they were yesterday. Yes, they gave up pitching, but they were potentially losing FOUR of the pitchers at the end of the year anyway. Getting anyone, let alone several solid pieces, in exchange is kind of a best case scenario. In my mind, major league baseball players (and major league “ready” players) are under-valued and low-minor league players and prospects are over-valued. If you can get major league usable players, now, to me that’s better than taking the gamble on prospects who might not work out. Also, not only do you have pieces you can plug in now, you have an excess of prospects you don’t technically need. Those all become trade bait for the off season. If Edwin Escobar never pitches for Boston, but gets traded for someone else who might, that’s not really a loss is it?
On my desktop there is a folder. A folder called “Blog Cards”, into which I dump all my scans. There are currently 74 items in said folder, all waiting to be talked about. Some are common, some are random, some are just too awesome to stay unmentioned any longer. Those include the latest editions to my Brock Holt collection.
Let’s pause for a moment and appreciate the human highlight reel this kid is…
Today I have a teaser. I wanted to duplicate the HDR-ish effect of Gypsy Queen card photos and I think I came pretty close. Here’s a preview of the effect, and a side-by-side comparison with an actual real card. Tomorrow, I’ll show you how to actually do it.
I have a saved search for the phrase “Red Sox Refractor” and randomly I’ll check it for good deals. Mostly it’s stuff I already have, or stuff that’s /5 and way to expensive. The other day however there was a couple of lots of Bowman Chrome and I picked a few up with combined shipping. Chase the rainbow… or catch the wave?
Last weekend there was a major card show here in Houston. I went and scoured the dime-boxes for hidden treasure. I picked up quite a few but I decided that I wanted to post the “other” pickups I made this month before I flood everyone with posts from the card show. So, these are the random ebay pickups from the month of January. I’ve got hundreds of cards to scan for my cardshow posts, but in a lot of ways these outshine what I was able to find at the show. The show was all about quantity, while my ebay hunting was just cherry-picking the good stuff.