Dreaming about trading Beckett and Crawford OR a nightmare about a Disaster Decade


What if a Red Sox fan had a dream last night that two teams claimed Crawford AND Beckett from the waiver wire?  And, they both got traded!

There were some rumors that Texas had discussed Beckett with the Sox and that Miami had discussed Crawford.

Today the Phillies placed Cliff Lee on waivers; $75 million over the next three seasons, not to mention a $27.5 million option in 2016.

[For a summary of the waiver rules go to the end of this post.]

Dreamer! Who would want Beckett or Crawford?

Limiting our list to teams, who believe that are still “contending” for a Wild Card slot.

AL:  Yankees, Texas, White Sox, Oakland, Angels, Orioles, Detroit, Tampa.

NL:  Reds, Nats, Giants, Pirates, Braves, Cards, Dodgers, D’backs.

Let’s eliminate teams that do not have the cash to pay Beckett or Crawford; that leaves:

AL:  Yankees, Texas, White Sox, Angels.

NL:  Dodgers

Let’s add in teams with special circumstances—players on big contracts they want to unload.

NL: Marlins; Heath Bell [$21 Million through 2014 [team option for 2015]

Phillies; Cliff Lee [$75 million over the next three seasons, not to mention a $27.5 million option in 2016]

Semi-Finalists

AL:  Yankees, Texas, White Sox, Angels

NL:  Dodgers, Phillies, Marlins

The Yankees still need a reliable rotation starter, but believe they have found a sub for Gardner with Ichiro.  So, they will not want Crawford and might consider Beckett.

Texas believes they have solved their starter hole problem with Ryan Dempster, but they did nibble with the Sox about Beckett.  They might imagine Crawford as a replacement for FA Josh Hamilton; especially if Crawford went in for his TJ surgery immediately.

The Angels are satisfied that they landed the best starter available in Greinke and they have spent a ton of money on Pujols, C J Wilson and So, scratch the Angels.

The new Dodger owners are not willing to trade their top tier pitching prospects, but are willing to spend more to win the NL West.  They missed out on Dempster, but added offense with temperamental head-case Han-Ram.  The Sox would have to settle for a bunch of second-tier position player prospects in a deal for Beckett.  This is not a good fit, so scratch the Dodgers.

The White Sox were shopping for some bench depth during the trading period and the ownership is worried about money; the Cubs rank eighth in the majors with a home average of 37,250—80 percent more than the 27th-ranked Sox (20,662).  Kenny Williams is on the hot seat and not likely to take on a projects like Beckett or Crawford.  Scratch.

The Phillies are in a “pre-fire sale” mode and would like to unload Lee’s contract.  They would accept prospects and might take on Beckett as a reclamation project.

The Marlins would love to unload their Moby Dick, Heath Bell, and his leviathan contract [three-year, $27 million.]   For that reason they may consider Beckett, who had his best years with the team, or Crawford, who could rehab from TJ and be a vet “anchor” for their rebuilding team.

 Finalists

NL:  Phillies, Marlins

AL:  Texas

Our three finalists for a trade include two teams that are desperate to swap out huge salaries and a team that has little motivation to take a flyer; unless the price was right for Beckett…

PHILLIES

Crawford is due about $110 million through 2017 or about 18.3 per year; he is 30 years-old.

Lee is due $75 million over the next three seasons, not to mention a $27.5 million option in 2016.  Using 4 years as a base, he gets $102.5 million, or 25.1 per year; he is 33 years-old.

The Phillies are stuck with Crawford for a year longer, but @18.3 M per year.

The Sox are stuck with Lee for a year less, but @25.1 M per year.

Crawford is an injury risk, but has three more years on the odometer than Lee.

If Crawford gets TJ surgery immediately, he is back after mid-season 2013; the Phils are going nowhere in 2012 and can wait for the fully-recovered, former star, OF.

The Sox need an ace for the rotation and Lee has that potential.

Lee is only 2-6 this season, but his record was drastically impacted by the Phillies’ damaged offense [Howard, Utley]. His 3.73 ERA is still very good, and he only walks about one batter every five innings.

Maybe you toss in Iglesias and you get rid of Crawford?

Would Crawford approve the deal?

Beckett is due $31.5 million for the next two seasons, plus about 7 M for the remainder of 2012. So, let’s put a 38.5 price tag on him.

If the Phillies think he can turn it around with a new team and a return to the NL, they might envision him as a vet anchor for their rebuilding team; maybe a #3 or #4 slot starter.  Beckett is a year younger than Lee.

The Sox take on Lee, $102.5 million, or 25.1 per year for 4 years and dump about 38.5 for the rest of 2012 and 2013 and 2014.  [Discounting the first half of 2012, it leaves 92.5 M.]

The Sox have Lee for two more years [2015-16] than Beckett @ 26 M per year.

The Phillies are out about 16M per year for 2013-14.

Maybe you toss in Iglesias and you get rid of Beckett?

Would Beckett approve the deal?

MARLINS

Recall:

USA Today reported that the Red Sox are discussing a deal that would send Crawford and a prospect to the Marlins for Ramirez and closer Heath Bell, but a source said the concept had no traction.

After selling the sizzle of a new name and logo and a “new beginning” for his “starting to smell fish,” owner, Jeffry Loria, chipped in $155 M and got the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County to pay the balance, $470 M for Marlins Park.

There was then the matter of the SEC investigation:

The Miami Herald reported on December 2, 2011 that the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) had issued subpoenas to the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County, requesting financial records, meeting minutes and communications with executives from the Marlins and Major League Baseball dating back to 2007.

The executives named in the subpoena include baseball commissioner Bud Selig, ex-MLB president Robert DuPuy, Loria and Samson. The investigation may revolve around the Marlins’ claims that the team needed public help because it could not afford to pay for a new ballpark.[33]  Wikipedia

The total cost is: $2.4 billion, spread over 40 years, to repay $409 million in bonds that will primarily, though not exclusively, cover stadium construction.

Then, after all the hoopla and Happy Horseshit and all the dreams and  treasure that the tax payers put into the new stadium for his team, after just half a season, Loria has a “WE QUIT! Going Out Of Business Sale” to pull  his money out of the team.

Yet carpet-bagger Liria is still stuck with a financial liability, a failed closer, who is owed $21 Million through 2014, or three years @ $7 M per year.  He might be willing to discount it by $3.5 M, since half of the first season is more than half over.

Since Loria is trying to liquidate his assets, he will not be willing to tie Crawford’s contract around his neck, so let’s see what a Beckett for Bell deal might look like.

Financial commitments from now until end of contracts:

Beckett:  $31.5 million for the next two seasons, plus about 7 M for the remainder of 2012. So, let’s put a 38.5 price tag on him.

Bell: $21 Million through 2014, or three years @ $7 M per year.  He might be willing to discount it by $3.5 M, since half of the first season is more than half over.  Final retail price: 17.5 M.

As both contracts are the same length we get:

Beckett:  38.5

Bell:        17.5

If the Sox admit they are done for this year, why not sweeten the deal by paying the remainder of Beckett’s contract for 2012?  About 7 M. Thus:

Beckett:  31.5

Bell:        17.5

But wait; don’t the Red Sox need a top-tier SS?

Jose Reyes [29] is owed $92 million through 2017 [discount: Marlins cover 2012 10M] = 87 M

The Sox have Reyes at SS for five years @ 16.4 M per year.

For the two years 2013 and 2014:

Reyes at SS @16.4 per year =        32.8 M

Bell [closer?] @ 8.75 M per year = 17.5 M

Not Beckett   for two years @+19.25

Here the Sox would essentially be swapping Beckett and Bell and “saving” 2 M.

Deduct that 2 M saving from the total 5-year deal for Reyes 82-2 = 80 M for 5 years = 16 M yr.

Luria dumps two huge salaries, eats one huge salary and comes out “ahead” financially; he really doesn’t care whether Beckett returns to his 2007 Marlins’ form or not.

The Sox dump Beckett and get a possible closer, or set-up man.

They get one of the top SSs in the game for 5.5 years @ 16M per season.

[A-Rod @ 27.5 M per year; Jeter 15.7 M; Rolling 11 M; Tulo 8.5 M]

August 3, 2012:

“The Marlins shortstop bunted for a single in his first at-bat against the Nationals on Friday, extending his hit streak to a career-high 21 games.

Reyes’ streak started on July 13, in Miami’s first game after the All-Star break. And he entered Friday’s doubleheader at Washington with a .342 (27-for-79) over the stretch.”

[http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120803&content_id=36048136&notebook_id=36052718&vkey=notebook_mia&c_id=mia]

Maybe you toss in Iglesias and you get rid of Beckett?

Would Beckett approve the deal?

 

RANGERS

A scan of the Rangers depth chart shows no major “holes” in the team fabric.  The addition of Dempster sent Oswalt to the pen and, as long as Joe Nathan’s arm holds up as closer, the team looks good to go all the way TO the World Series. But Nolan Ryan wants to WIN the World Series.

So, if you are Nolan Ryan and you have lost two RHPs, rotation starters, to surgery for the season, you might be willing to consider a physically healthy reclamation project, if the price was right.  You might have sympathy for a fellow Texan who is stuck in a “turr-ble fix”with a bunch of “Yankee, city-slickers” pickin’ on his good ole boy ways.

A shrewd businessman like CEO Ryan also knows that, if he can get Beckett at a bargain price. Josh has a good chance of reviving, once he is back in his comfort zone in Texas, near his family and his 7,000 acre hunting resort.

That’s why we heard that Ryan’s GM was nibbling at Cherington:

“According to WEEI’s Rob Bradford, the Rangers and Red Sox discussed a blockbuster trade that would have sent Jacoby Ellsbury, Josh Beckett and Kelly Shoppach to Texas for undisclosed players.

The Red Sox might not have needed much back in return for Beckett and Shoppach, but they would have wanted some top talent in exchange for Ellsbury, the 2011 AL MVP runner-up who won’t be a free agent until after next season. They may have even requested shortstop Jurickson Profar, who is regarded by many as the game’s top position prospect.”

[http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/08/01/report-rangers-red-sox-discussed-ellsbury-beckett-deal/]

Suppose the Sox are so eager to dump the irredeemable Beckett, they are willing to include Ellsbury in the deal.  Jacoby is a valuable player, but he is also eligible for arbitration at the end of 2012 and he becomes a FA in 2014 and [wait for it] his agent is Scott Boras.

The Sox have an Ellsbury clone in Jackie Bradley [#5 Sox prospect] and #7, toolsy OF Brandon Jacobs, who will be ready for 2013-14.  Then there’s #1 Bryce Brentz who has solid power and an arm to fit in RF, who may be ready before the other two.  Toss in Xander Bogaerts at #2; he’s just 19 and already 6’3” and 175 lbs.  In two years he may well outgrow SS and be ready for 3b, where he will be blocked by All-Star Third baseman Middlebrooks, so it is not a stretch to see “Bogey” moving to the OF.

Suppose the Sox see a way to save a bundle by playing one of their young prospects instead of Ellsbury, who is about to reap the just rewards for his performance?

Let’s take that proposed deal and fill in the blanks.

To Texas: Jacoby Ellsbury, Josh Beckett and Kelly Shoppach.

If Texas assumes all the contracts immediately, it is a huge savings for the Red Sox; they dump the $38 million from Beckett right away  and pocket the difference between a prospect’s salary and the huge money that Ellsbury will get in arbitration in 2013 and in a long-term contract from 2014 to say 2019.

Shoppach is a throw-in and it has the advantage of letting Lavarnway start his star career.

But, what would the Sox accept from the Rangers?

Some say the #1 SS prospect in baseball Jurickson Profar and that might be the deal:

To Texas: Jacoby Ellsbury, Josh Beckett and Kelly Shoppach.

To Red Sox:  Jurickson Profar

With the arrival of Mike Olt, Michael Young becomes less needed in Texas.  The Rangers might want the Sox to take over his salary [8 M in 2012 and 16 M in 2013].  He would give the Sox a vet UT sub who can play all four INF positions and a 13-year career BA of .302.  He would need to approve the trade, but he might rather play regularly in Boston than sit in Texas.  It would reduce the Sox “Beckett Savings” to 14 million.

On the same night that the Red Sox fan in Amherst, New Hampshire had the dream that a team claimed Crawford and another claimed Beckett from the waiver wire, a Red Sox fan in Amherst, Massachusetts was tortured by a nightmare:

The Red Sox suffer for a “Disaster Decade,” due to the budget drain placed on the team by the Lackey, Beckett, and Crawford contracts and he thought he saw the ghost of a former Boston LHP, who was 23-12 and led the AL in ERA [1.75] in 1916,  The Babe, in the cotton candy clouds, above the Green Monster, laughing like a jolly Santa Claus.

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WAIVER RULES

If a player is placed on waivers, the other 31 teams have 47 business-day hours to claim him, according to FanGraphs. If that player is claimed, the team can either work out a deal with the team who claimed him, they can just let that player go or they can take that player off of waivers. That same player can be placed on waivers again, but if he’s claimed he cannot be pulled off and therefore will be traded or let go. If not, the team will be able to trade him before the Aug. 31 waivers trade deadline.Or, if a team is just hoping to dump a player’s salary, it can simply allow a team which claimed that player to have him for a small waiver fee. If that happens, the team that gets the player has to pay his entire salary. That’s how the Yankees were stuck with Jose Cansecoand the Padres were stuck with Randy Myers in recent years: They claimed those players, thinking they were just blocking other teams from getting them. Instead, their old clubs said: “You claimed him. You got him.”

  In the past, many teams claimed players just to keep them from being traded to contenders with a better record. This year, that isn’t expected to happen as often, because most teams can’t afford to get stuck with a big contract if they’re awarded a player they really didn’t want.

August Trades

By Ben Nicholson-Smith [August 1, 2012 at 8:37am CST]

Teams can still deal after the July 31st trade deadline passes. This MLBTR Glossary entry explains how trading in August works:

  • Teams have to pass players through revocable waivers to trade them after the July 31st deadline.
  • Players acquired after August 31st can’t play in the postseason.
  • Teams will often put most of their players on waivers to determine interest, since they don’t have to give up every player who’s claimed.
  • Unclaimed players can be traded to any club in August (or even September).
  • Teams don’t have to trade players who are claimed. They can hand the player and his salary over for nothing.
  • If a team places a player on waivers after he is claimed, but not traded, the team loses the right to pull its player back. In other words, the waivers are revocable at first, but not revocable afterwards.
  • Clubs have two days to deal claimed players, but they can only negotiate a trade with one team.
  • If only one team claims a player, he can only be dealt to that team.
  • If more than one team claims a player, he can only be traded to the claiming team in his league with the worst record.
  • If a player’s only claimed by teams in the other league, he can only be dealt to the claiming team with the worst record.
  • Teams cannot pass players on the disabled list through waivers.

Thanks to Cot’s Baseball Contracts and this article by ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark. This post was first published on June 25th, 2009.

[http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/08/trading-in-august.html]

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