Q: Where can Cherington find a young, MLB-proven, lefty, #3 slot starter?


 

Dear Fellow Citizen of Red Sox Nation,

Does this list inspire your confidence?

ROTATION:
• 1. J. Lester
• 2. J. Beckett
• 3. C. Buchholz
• 4. D. Matsuzaka
• 5. D. Bard

Didn’t think so…
So, where can the Sox find a young, MLB-proven, lefty starter for the #3 slot?

[Yeah, I know, The Clay Buck or The Bard might slot into the #3 and #5  slots and maybe “Roll The Dice” K  could fill the #4 hole, but, admit it, you would have more confidence, if the Sox could find a young, MLB-proven, lefty starter for the 2012 Redemption Campaign…right?]

OK, so, to help out our recently dismissed and dissed GM; let’s find one that we can afford. With the Luxury Tax limit weighing heavily on the budget, let’s eliminate Free Agents and their annoying agents. Let’s think trade.

AND…

Forget that Garza gabagou; new Cubs’ GM, “Thief-o Epstein,” is asking gourmet deli, caviar and crackers, prices for his “Mediocre Matt “ lunch Special, a sub sandwich with Cappicola [AKA: gabagou, an Italian luncheon meat rendered from cured pork shoulder butts.]

Forget trading The Yook; remember how the Sox did when he was on the DL? [Let’s wait until his replacement, Will Middlebrooks, can cut down on his strikeout ratio.]

Forget trading Ellsbury, the only live body in the clubhouse during the September Swoon. [Remember, he’s a 30-30 guy and turns doubles and triples into outs.]

And, no, sorry to all you guys who call in to sports talk shows and make Pollyanna proposals for trades like: Scutaro and Salty for Wandy Rodriguez.

Let’s stop praying for a miracle deal and find prey to pry from a pathetic organization that is “rebuilding;” maybe one with a new GM…[hint]

Mr. Moneyball has cleared his pitching shelves to build the “San Jose Haze” [“Hazletics’] team 2014, plus or minus a decade.

San Diego?  Nope: won’t deal Latos, and Cory Luebke and Clayton Richard are not “proven” commodities yet.
Jays’ Bret Cecil? 1.40 WHIP.
Baltimore’s Brian Matusz? 1.51 WHIP?
Pirates Erik Bedard? [Not funny, you back there in the last row…]
Mariners Felix Hernandez? Throws right– so, wrong! Right-handed starter and they want a right arm and a leg for him.
Royals’ Bruce Chen? 4.52 ERA.

Anyone else?

O.K., then let’s narrow our criteria [MIT fans may draw a Venn diagram.]

1. Prefer not to trade to AL competitors; prefer trade to NL.
2. Desperate “rebuilding” team that needs just about anything.
3. Team with a new GM.
4. A young MLB-proven, lefty starter.

“The envelope please…”

A:

1. NL, [X} check!

2. Desperate “rebuilding” team: Houston [X} check!

3.  Jeff Luhnow [put down your Baseball America Prospects annual, he’s not the “young veteran lefty starter.”  New GM, [X} check!

[drum roll]

Wandy Fulton Rodriguez
Position: Pitcher
Bats: Right, Throws: Left
Height: 5′ 11″, Weight: 195 lb.
Born: January 18, 1979 in Santiago Rodriguez, Santiago Rodriguez, D.R. (Age 32)
Signed by the Houston Astros as an amateur free agent in 1999. (All Transactions)
Debut: May 23, 2005
Team: Astros 2005-2011
2012 Contract Status: Signed thru 2013, 3 yrs/$34M (11-13) & 14 team option (details) [*]
Service Time (01/2012): 6.105, Free Agent: 2014 [*], Agents: Barry Praver [*]
[Source: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/rodriwa01.shtml]

Let’s look at the chart:

2005-2011: 73-75 .493 4.07 206 [G] 1176 [IP]
162 Game Avg: 12-13 .493 4.07 35 [G] 198 [IP]
2.38 Ks to every W. W/9 3.2, K/9 7.7
WHIP: 1.346

Considering this was on a terrible Houston team and I rest my case.

Q: What does Houston need?
A: Everything!

Remove Aging Carlos Lee, Brett Myers, and starting SS, Jed Lowrie from the 40-man roster and you are left with a AA roster, who would regularly lose to the Portland Sea Dogs.

So, which of those Doggies do we have to cough up to grab the “Magic” Wandy?

Reviewing the Astros’ Top Ten Prospects [http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/watch/y2011/] we find five uninspiring pitchers and a bad Draw Poker hand of position prospects. The two who may make it as starters are Jonathan Singleton, the key for Houston in the Hunter Pence Hold-up, whose only competition at 1b is the immobile, future AL DH, Brett Wallace. Singleton’s ceiling is a .300 BA and 25/80.

The other possible MLB caliber prospect is Delino DeShields, Jr., who has exceptional speed and no power and batted .220 in A-ball; he had 30 SBs, but his .305 OBP may limit his steal opportunities.

Since the pungent “Houston Swiss” has more holes than cheese,  we could offer them a “quantity for quality” deal; one where we keep our best prospects, like #1 Middlebrooks [Da New Yook], #3 Anthony Ranaudo [Bard-like heater], #5 Jose Iglesias [Gold Glove SS], #7 Drake Britton, RHP [high ceiling] and fill a gift bag with 4 prospects from this list:

Bryce Brentz, RF, Rank: 2, Salem Red Sox (A+), ETA: 2013 [RF, 115 Ks/115 G’s]
Felix Doubront, LHP, Rank: 4, Navegantes Magallanes, ETA: 2011 [MLB, 6.10, 1.94]
Lars Anderson, 1b, Rank: 6, ETA: 2011 [Adrian Gonzalez]
Stolmy Pimentel, RHP, Rank: 8, Estrellas de Oriente, ETA: 2013 [6.79, 1.61, 65K/39W]
Oscar Tejeda, 2b, Rank: 9, Gigantes del Cibao, ETA: 2013 [lacks power, speed, glove]
Kolbrin Vitek, 3b, Rank: 10, Salem Red Sox (A+), ETA: 2013 [Will Middlebrooks]

Most likely the Astros’ GM will take the top four from the list, but, even if we gave ALL SIX to Houston, what’s the big deal? OK, we get Brett Myers too! That gives the Red Sox TWO potential rotation guys, or, at worst, Myers [21 SVs with the Phillies] goes to the pen.

So, Ben, here’s what we propose…

4 for 1 deal:

Bryce Brentz, RF                                                            for           Wandy Rodriguez, LHP
Felix Doubront, LHP
Lars Anderson, 1b
Stolmy Pimentel, RHP

OR

6 for 2 deal:

Bryce Brentz, RF                                                            for              Wandy Rodriguez, LHP
Felix Doubront, LHP                                                                         Brett Myers, RHP
Lars Anderson, 1b
Stolmy Pimentel, RHP
Oscar Tejeda, 2b
Kolbrin Vitek, 3b

So, Fellow Citizen of Red Sox Nation, what do you think?

Fax immediately to Ben?

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