Josh Beckett, metaphorically, has evolved from a hemorrhaging hemorrhoid to a rectal cancer that will kill any chance the Red Sox will get out of the Recovery Room and be alive for the Playoffs.
Smart money says that Josh would leap at the chance to go home to Texas, where he owns a vast hunting retreat, so let’s see if that is possible.
The Rangers are shopping for pitching; they have money to spend and the have likely figured out that Beckett will emerge from his funk, once he leaves Boston.
The Houston “We have a problem” Astros are in pre-complete rebuild mode and ready to deal veteran talent and salary bucks for a buck wagon full of prospects.
If the Red Sox want to continue to play for a Playoff slot, they need to be willing to deal prospects and pay about half of Beckett’s salary to get what they need.
Here is the perfect 3-way trade for all teams:
RED SOX GET:
Wandy Rodriguez *[Sox and Astros split remaining 2012 salary; $2.5 million each.]
Josh Beckett *[Sox and Rangers split remaining 2012 salary; $4 million each.]
Lars Anderson [1b]
Jose Iglesias [SS]
Kolbrin Vitek [3b], Rank: 8, ETA: 2014, 23, R/ R, 6′ 2″, 195 lbs
Vitek had a solid, yet unspectacular first full season in the Class A Advanced Carolina League. Known for his bat, he was expected to hit for average and he did that, particularly in a stronger second half that saw him hit .300, finishing seventh in the league in hits. He runs well, though he stole just 12 bases in 2011. He played a number of positions before being drafted, but the Red Sox settled him in at third, where the lack of power may stand out more. How much pop he’d have as a pro was a question entering the Draft, and he hasn’t quite answered it yet. If that part of his game doesn’t come, there is the potential to move him to the outfield. An intercostal strain put him on the DL in mid-May.
Roman Mendez [RHP], Rank: 5, ETA: 2014, Age: 21, 6′ 2″, 190 lbs
“The Rangers acquired Mendez from the Red Sox in the Jarrod Saltalamacchia deal in 2010. His first full season in the Rangers’ system was a good one, using his electric stuff to baffle South Atlantic League hitters. He throws his fastball up into the mid-90s with very good movement and he has a plus slider to go along with it. His changeup still lags behind the other two, and past delivery issues have created command problems. He did cut down his walk ratio considerably in 2011, a promising sign. If his command continues to improve and the offspeed stuff comes, he could be a frontline starter. If not, he has the power stuff to excel in the back end of a bullpen.”[http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/watch/y2012/]
“Just after his 18th birthday, Alfaro went to the advanced short-season Northwest League and promptly hit .300 with an .826 OPS. He’s a physical specimen, with strength and plus bat speed. Alfaro has raw power to all fields. Once he cuts down on his swing/learns plate discipline, he should be an outstanding all-around hitter. Behind the plate, he has a plus arm that should allow him to control a running game as he learns his defensive craft’s nuances. Alfaro runs better than most catchers, and that athleticism should help him behind the plate as he moves to full-season ball.” [http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/watch/y2012/]
Leury Garcia, [2b] Rank: 8, Frisco RoughRiders (AA), ETA: 2014, 21, Bats: S, Throws: R, 5′ 7″, 153 lbs
“Garcia might get more attention in a weaker system, but this sleeper prospect probably woke a lot of people up with his outstanding Arizona Fall League showing against a higher level of competition. He showed more ability to hit there than he had previously while his other tools, namely his outstanding speed and throwing arm, were also on display. In an organization with a great big league shortstop (Elvis Andrus) and a terrific prospect (Jurickson Profar) ahead of him, Garcia may have to find another home. He did play a good amount of second base in the AFL and that’s where he moved to in order to play alongside Profar in Double-A in 2012.”
WHY IT’S A GOOD DEAL FOR THE RANGERS
The obtain a former ace with a high upside and expectation that a happy Josh, back home in Texas will win 10-12 games and then give the team a loaded rotation for the Playoffs and the World Series.
They give up their #5, #6, # prospects and none of their the top 4 players [#1 Jurickson Profar [SS], #2 Martin Perez [RHP], #3 Mike Olt [3b], #4 Leonys Martin [OF], players who are ready for MLB this year, or next.
WHY IT’S A GOOD DEAL FOR THE ASTROS
They dump three veterans salaries and get a stage coach full of quality prospects, who will arrive in a few years; including a full infield with a switch-hitting 2b; a catcher with a high ceiling; and a front of rotation starter. Just add 3 OFs and you have a complete team to field.
Lars Anderson [1b]
Leury Garcia, [2b]
Jose Iglesias [SS]
Kolbrin Vitek [3b
Jorge Alfaro [C]
Roman Mendez [RHP]
WHY IT’S A GOOD DEAL FOR THE RED SOX
They get rid of Beckett and that clears the air in the clubhouse and let’s Valentine focus on baseball.
It costs them $6.5 million for the Beckett and Rodriguez salaries; they get Wandy for $13 million in 2013 and have a team option of $13 million with Rodriguez for 2013. They dump half of Beckett’s 2012 salary and the entire commitment $15,750 for 2013 and 2014.
The get a LHP [7-6, 3.37] who has a better record than Beckett [4-7 4.43] and it balances the rotation, 2 RHP/2 LHPs.
After all the drama and worry about SS, they get a proven [to them] player who can hit .270 and that allows them to put Aviles back in the INF UT role.
They get an arm for the pen in Brett Myers with a career K-W [1345/542], which is way above the acceptable 2-1 ratio and a pitcher with a winning record [94-88] and a 3.34 ERA and in 2012 has converted 18 of 20 SV opportunities.
When it is difficult to find a workable match in a two-team trade, adding a third team can work.
“General manager Ben Cherington delivered a message to that segment of the Boston Red Sox fan base/media types who contend that the best course the Red Sox could take is to blow up the roster:
That’s not happening.”
[Gordon Edes: http://proxy.espn.go.com/blog/boston/red-sox/post/_/id/20860/sox-gm-were-not-blowing-it-up]
“There’s a lot of talent on the team. We’re right in the thick of the wild-card chase.” [Cherington]
Or, maybe the Fenway Brain Truss has just already given up on winning the AL East?
Tags: #3 #4 1B 2b 3b AL East Wild Card Ben Cherington Brett Myers Buyers C ETA Gordon Edes Houston Astros Jed Lowrie Jon Lester Jorge Alfaro Jose Iglesias Josh Beckett Jurickson Profar Kolbrin Vitek Lars Anderson Leonys Martin Leury Garcia LHP Mike Olt OF Playoffs Prospects RHP Roman Mendez Sellers SS Texas Rangers Wandy Rodriguez Wild Card Wildcard World Series