Deal or NO Deal? Your Take?

As the Trade Deadline clock ticks off the seconds to Wednesday [4 PM EST] the posted fans’ comments on Red Sox websites run the gamut from “Panic!  Get Lee and Stanton and pay the price in prospects!” to “Stand pat! Don’t trade away the roster for the “Next Great Red Sox” team!  What do YOU think?

But, somewhere between “He who hesitates is lost.” and “Don’t just do something, stand there.” there is a middle of the road consensus congealing that says: If the price is reasonable, get some help.”

My unscientific, invalid, random study of the comments by Sox fans suggests the following options:

  • Do not trade Bogaerts or Jackie Bradley, Jr. .
  • All other prospects are on the table.
  • Do not trade Middlebrooks.
  • Do not trade Pedroia, Ortiz, Lackey, or Uehara; the rest on the 40-man roster are on the table.

Most of the moderate cohort of fans is looking to acquire one or more of these players:

  • Jake Peavy
  • Bud Norris
  • Michael Young

So, let’s target those three players and propose some realistic deals.  We stipulate that the deals will not include Bogaerts, Pedroia, Ortiz, Lackey, or Uehara.

After reviewing all the lists of Sox prospects, I am going with this ranked list from John Sickels at Minor League Ball. You can refer to the list with scouting reports at the end of this article, or go to:

[NOTE:  You can read his full analysis at the end of this article.]

3) Matt Barnes, RHP, Double-A Portland
4) Garin Cecchini, 3B, Double-A Portland
5) Allen Webster, RHP,Triple-A Pawtucket
6) Henry Owens, LHP, High-A Salem
Bryce Brentz, OF, Triple-A Pawtucket
8) Blake Swihart, C, High-A Salem

9) Brandon Workman, Double-A and Triple-A
10) Deven Marrero, SS, High-A

11) Pat Light, RHP, Low-A Greenville

14) Drake Britton, LHP, Double-A and Triple-A

15) Brian Johnson, LHP, Low-A Greenville

16) Keury De La Cruz, OF, High-A Salem
17) Ty Buttrey, RHP
short-season Lowell in the New York-Penn League.
18) Jose Vinicio, SS, Low-A Greenville
Brock Holt, 2B, Red Sox and Triple-A
20) Cody Kukuk, LHP,
Low-A Greenville

Sean Coyle, 2B; Austin Maddox, RHP; Travis Shaw, 1B.

OTHERS: Mike Augliera, RHP; Jamie Callahan, RHP; Chris Carpenter, RHP; Sergio Gomez, RHP; Alex Hassan, OF; Chris Hernandez, LHP; Aaron Kurcz, RHP; Juan Carlos Linares, OF; Tzu-Wei Lin, SS; Manuel Margot, OF; Simon Mercedes, RHP; Francellis Montas, RHP; Miguel Pena, LHP; Noe Ramirez, RHP; Christian Vazquez

I am adding Mookie Betts, 2b and Trey Ball, LHP [?]

We can suppose that Red Sox trading partners have ranked Boston prospects in the same general way as Sickels.

Please feel encouraged to propose your own deals in the COMMENTS section \/ below.

Here are my ideas for 3 trade packages:


Context:  GM Rick Hahn is on the hot seat and cannot admit that his team is aging and fading; former GM Kenny Williams was “kicked upstairs”  and handed Hand one of the worst minor league player development systems in the MLB.  So, he will be looking for a starter for 3b and a promising pitcher.


from Bruce Levine |

“A clubhouse attendant walked into the Chicago White Sox‘s locker room with five packed suitcases and Jake Peavyin tow. The veteran pitcher is preparing for what seems to be inevitable, a trade that would end his four-year tenure with the team.

“It is sad to think that this is probably my last day in here,” Peavy said on Sunday morning. “We all realize the reality of the situation and I am prepared with that to happen soon.”

RED SOX GET: Peavy [2013-2014]

WHITE SOX GET: Middlebrooks, 3b and Brian Johnson, LHP, Low-A Greenville.



Context:  Houston is at the “level the dirt for the foundation” rebuilding stage and looking to swap out current MLB talent for a bucket of prospects in hopes of fielding a competitive team in 3-5 years.

RED SOX GET:  Bud Norris, RHP and Brett R. Oberholtzer, LHP.

ASTROS SOX GET:  Travis Shaw, 1B, Jose Vinicio, SS, Ty Buttrey, RHP, Cody Kukuk, LHP, Keury De La Cruz, OF.



Context:  Amaro still can’t admit that the his team is not a contender, perhaps because he thinks his job is in the lurch.   So, it is likely that he will pretend to contend and still get fired.

“I definitely didn’t come here for this,” he said.

Papelbon carries an influential presence in the Phillies’ clubhouse as the team’s closer, a nine-year veteran and World Series champion. Asked what he thought about the direction the organization is headed, he sighed.

“Oh, man,” he said. “We could be here all day.”

So then what about this team’s ability to turn things around, if not this season, then next season?

“It’s going to take, in my opinion, a lot,” he said. “And in my opinion, I think it’s going to have to be something very similar to what the Red Sox went through a couple years ago. From top to bottom.”

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., declined comment.

Amaro need to dump high bigger contracts [C Carlos Ruiz, 2B Chase Utley, 3B Michael Young, RP Jonathan Papelbon] and find a replacement for Ben Revere.  No tomorrow for Amaro…get a move on Junior.

This gang won’t get any team to the Playoffs: D. Young, J. Mayberry,,L. Nix, S. Susdorf, M. Martinez, D. Ruf.

RED SOX GET:  Michael Young, UT

PHILLIES GET:  Bryce Brentz, OF

Last winter I suggested that there would come a time of temptation for GM Cherington, during the 2013 season, to try for a “Big” trade to get the Sox to the World Series; I was anticipating that the Red Sox would be good enough to earn the WC in the AL East.


Worth the Wait: 2015 home-grown crop

–Cherington’s “Next Great Red Sox Team”

by Earl Nash

It’s time for Red Sox fans to practice “delayed gratification.”  Instead of copying old “Yankee” model—annually recycling FA veterans to stay competitive every year–let’s give Ben Cherington, Lord of Discipline, some time—say a year, or, two—to build his “Next Great Red Sox Team”– a home-grown core of players that will be a contender for post season for a decade.


Now it’s your turn to offer your trade [or no trade] advice to Ben Cherington…


Sickel’s rankings:

Here is a review of the Top 20 2013 Boston Red Sox prospect list. Keep in mind that was the PRE-SEASON List. It is NOT a new list. These are the pre-season grades and rankings!

This list was originally published on January 7, 2013 and revised on January 14, 2013.

Xander Bogaerts, SS, Grade A: Remains an elite prospect; .311/.407/.502 in 56 Double-A games, .256/.360/.465 in 36 Triple-A games at age 20.

2) Jackie Bradley, OF, Grade B+: .284/.382/.516 in 52 games for Triple-A Pawtucket, .155/.258/.310 in 23 major league games. Playing the roster yo-yo but I think he will be ready to contribute fully next year.

3) Matt Barnes, RHP, Grade B+: 4.75 ERA with 98/31 K/BB in 78 innings for Double-A Portland, 84 hits. Has had some outstanding games (10 strikeouts in seven shutout innings in his last start for example) but he’s had some real stinkers as well, elevating his ERA. I’d look for him sometime next year but he could struggle if rushed too quickly.

4) Garin Cecchini, 3B, Grade B: Borderline B+. I assume this grade may surprise people, but I’m thinking he will start to show more power to go with his OBP skills, speed, and greatly improved defense. I don’t always play it safe with the grades. Initially I had him at a B+, but have kicked that down slightly. It isn’t that my opinion about Cecchini changed, but rather that there were a couple of guys I had at strong Bs that I felt were slightly better. My original instinct was right and I should have left him with the B+. He’s hitting .343/.452/.523 with 19 steals combined between High-A and Double-A.

5) Allen Webster, RHP, Grade B: Borderline B+. 4.40 ERA with 67/28 K/BB in 59 innings for Pawtucket, 9.57 ERA with 21/14 K/BB in 26 innings in the major leagues. Report hasn’t changed much: plenty of stuff, but command remains troublesome.

6) Henry Owens, LHP, Grade B: 2.78 ERA with 116/50 K/BB in 97 innings for High-A Salem, 62 hits. Love the strikeout rate; still needs to lower walks. Reports are still oddly mixed on him; some observers really like him, others are pretty “meh.” I tend to optimism with him.

Bryce Brentz, OF, Grade B-: Borderline B: Hitting .272/.321/.487 with 16 homers in Triple-A before going on the disabled list in early July with a knee injury. Not much change here either: power bat with questionable contact skills. Could be a trade rumor guy.

8) Blake Swihart, C, Grade B-: So far, he scouts better than he performs. Defense seems to be coming along, but hitting was disappointing in the Sally League given all the pre-draft hype his bat received, and at age 20 he was old for a 2011 high school draft. He’s a solid prospect certainly but I am going to wait and see beyond that. Catchers have weird development curves, though, and New Mexico background also factors in. He still scouts better than he performs; .270/.348/.408, 36% of runners caught in High-A, not bad but not the “future star” stuff you hear about. Has hit nine homers in 170 pro games. Controls the strike zone well, which helps his chances.

9) Brandon Workman, RHP, Grade B-: 3.21 ERA with 108/30 K/BB in 101 innings between Double-A and Triple-A; has a 13/3 K/BB in his first 14 major league innings. Looks like a solid inning-eater type to me; doesn’t receive enough attention outside of Red Sox circles.

10) Deven Marrero, SS, Grade B-: Another trade bait possibility. Hitting .263/.342/.344 in High-A, which isn’t great, but he’s got outstanding skills on the bases (18-for-18 this year, 42-for-48 in his pro career) and is a very good defensive shortstop. It is possible his hitting can improve further.

11) Pat Light, RHP, Grade B-: 8.06 ERA with 24/13 K/BB in 26 innings for Low-A Greenville; was put on the disabled list in May with a hamstring injury.

12) Jose Iglesias, SS, Grade C+: His glove is excellent but his bat is so bad that it may be tough to keep him in the lineup anyway. If they are lucky he can be the Cuban Adam Everett and hold a job with positive WAR even with poor hitting. If they aren’t lucky, keep in mind that Rey Ordonez had a great glove but couldn’t hold the job anyway. This is baseball. Weird shit happens sometimes. He hit .202/.262/.319 in 33 games for Pawtucket, which is horrendous, then comes up to the majors and hits .343/.391/.428 in 201 at-bats. Yeah, driven by an unsustainable BABIP. I’ll be very surprised if he’s hitting anything close to this by the time he gets to 600 plate appearances.

13) Brandon Jacobs, OF, Grade C+: Traded to the Chicago White Sox for Matt Thornton; hitting a combined .252/.337/.441 this year with 11 homers between 81 games in High-A and 10 in Double-A. Toolsy outfielder who hasn’t lived up to expectations with the bat yet.

14) Drake Britton, LHP, Grade C+: Recently promoted to majors; 3.77 ERA in 103 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, 85/37 K/BB, 104 hits. Track record is erratic but he has good stuff and could be a useful power bullpen arm, or possibly a back-end starter.

15) Brian Johnson, LHP, Grade C+: 3.64 ERA with 44/19 K/BB in 42 innings for Greenville in the Low-A Sally League; spent much of the spring on the disabled list but was just reactivated. Strike-throwing fourth starter type when healthy.

16) Keury De La Cruz, OF, Grade C+: Hitting .284/.324/.422 with six homers, 12 steals, 24 walks, 78 strikeouts in 384 at-bats for Salem. Plate discipline will be an issue at higher levels.

17) Ty Buttrey, RHP, Grade C+
: Limited pitch counts at short-season Lowell in the New York-Penn League result in 2.22 ERA, 14/10 K/BB in 28 innings over six starts. Being handled conservatively.

18) Jose Vinicio, SS, Grade C+: Hitting .218/.256/.284 with 18 steals, 12 walks, 78 strikeouts in 296 at-bats for Greenville. Combination of lack of patience, high strikeout rate, and no power makes him ineffective as an offensive player at this stage. Has the tools to be a good defender but is still raw in that area too.

19) Brock Holt, 2B, Grade C+: .259/.331/.292 in 216 at-bats in Triple-A; .290/.333/.290 in 31 at-bats in the majors. Undone by lack of power at this point. I thought he could be a useful scrappy utility guy with a decent bat, but it isn’t happening this year.

20) Cody Kukuk, LHP, Grade C+:Big 6-4, 200 pound lefty with good stuff, 3.82 ERA with a 76/61 K/BB in 73 innings for Greenville, 43 hits. K/IP and H/IP are very impressive and reflect his potential, but his walk rate is way too high. Upside remains intriguing.

OTHER GRADE C+: Sean Coyle, 2B; Austin Maddox, RHP; Travis Shaw, 1B.

OTHERS: Mike Augliera, RHP; Jamie Callahan, RHP; Chris Carpenter, RHP; Sergio Gomez, RHP; Alex Hassan, OF; Chris Hernandez, LHP; Aaron Kurcz, RHP; Juan Carlos Linares, OF; Tzu-Wei Lin, SS; Manuel Margot, OF; Simon Mercedes, RHP; Francellis Montas, RHP; Miguel Pena, LHP; Noe Ramirez, RHP; Anthony Ranaudo, RHP; Christian Vazquez, C; Alex Wilson, RHP; Steven Wright, RHP.

[Full report here:]


from Bruce Levine |

“A clubhouse attendant walked into the Chicago White Sox‘s locker room with five packed suitcases and Jake Peavyin tow. The veteran pitcher is preparing for what seems to be inevitable, a trade that would end his four-year tenure with the team.

“It is sad to think that this is probably my last day in here,” Peavy said on Sunday morning. “We all realize the reality of the situation and I am prepared with that to happen soon.”

  •  Peavy looks fully recovered from his rib injury earlier in the season, returning to the mound after the All-Star break with just about the same velocity as he had prior. While he’s given up six earned runs over 13 innings in those outings, they’ve come against Atlanta and Detroit—two of the very best teams in baseball. Metrically, he was a little below-average in both outings, but any team would be more than happy to have either outing in September and October with Peavy as their second or third starter.
  • The season as a whole has been an up-and-down affair. Eight of his starts have been considered quality starts, meaning he gave up three or fewer earned runs while going at least six innings. That’s the good. Peavy has also given up six runs on three separate occasions, one of which came against the lowly Cubs.
  • From an advanced perspective, Peavy’s 2013 is better in line with his frustrating 2011 campaign than any other season in Chicago. His 4.10 FIP would be the second-highest of his career, and he’s also on pace to set a career-low groundball rate—a concern considering that trait has been trending downward each of the past four seasons. And should the campaign end today, Peavy would finish with the highest home run rate of his career.
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Tags: Ben Cherington Bud Norris Jake Peavy Micheal Young MLB Trade Deadline Readier Comments

  • Rick M

    You sign guys like Diaz, Holt, Snyder, Rowland-Smith, Beato to bolster your team for late season replacements. Ditto with your top prospects. Filter them in and give a taste. If it doesn’t work send them on their way back on I-95. You reward those guys if they have shown they have the stuff.

    So I’m for the minor moves like Thorton. Forget the fat contracts. Let NY have all of those. But in RSN the big thing is the big name – such as Lee. Going for the Big Ticket – I’d have both thumbs down, Earl.

    My opinion is this team as now constructed will make the playoffs.

    • John Fahrer

      NY can’t afford any of them in terms of prospects AND money now. They do seem like they really want to get under the LT threshold for 2014.

  • Wayne Bowlen

    Isn’t Michael Young w/the Phillies? Either way go w/Middlebrooks or Boegarts. I’m for standing pat unless you can get Peavey cheap. Look to the future.

    • Earl Nash

      “Uh, check that, Earl…” Yes, Michael Young is indeed with the Phillies…duh! Never do your homework while watching TV…
      Thanks for the heads-up Wayne!

      • Earl Nash

        Today, Jayson Stark: “The Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers have talked about a deal that would send the Rangers’ all-time hits leader, Michael Young, back to Texas.”

  • John Fahrer

    Young? Maybe for a low cost. Don’t really see him as much of an upgrade. Decent right-handed bat and versatile fielder but his power’s fading.

    Norris? No. The package would wind up being way too much for a guy who would be a 4 or 5 in the Boston rotation.

    Peavy? If the price is right. The ChiSox are reportedly not interested in taking on any of the remaining salary if they deal him. If that’s the case, that means a lesser return in prospects.

    • Earl Nash

      Agree. Young would be a useful veteran UT guy, who has played all over the field, but even Brentz might be too much to pay. Perhaps an A-level pitcher [reliever].