YOU’RE BEN CHERINGTON: “MLB Executive of the Year, 2013"

YOU’RE BEN CHERINGTON and you are trying very hard to keep a straight face in public; but, you must be laughing your ass off during your morning shower.

This is almost as good as pulling off the best deal in franchise history; dumping  Beckett, Crawford and Gonzalez and their outrageous salaries on the Dodgers last winter.

Could it be true?  Did you really get a front-of-rotation starter for a Gold Glove/Iron Bat SS and three “prospects,” who are down near the 100 slot in the franchise rankings?

And, unlike Theo–with Beckett, Gonzalez, Crawford, Lackey–you didn’t jam up the payroll for years; Peavy is yours for the remainder of this season and next year; then, it’s your option.

YOU’RE BEN CHERINGTON and you elegantly threaded the needle between the fans and media “experts” who said:

“Panic!  Get Lee and Stanton and pay the price in prospects!” and “He who hesitates is lost.”

And the ones who said:

“Stand pat! Don’t trade away the roster for the “Next Great Red Sox” team!  and

 “Don’t just do something, stand there.”

YOU’RE BEN CHERINGTON, the Dean of Discipline,  and you demonstrated patience and prudence and you answered the prayers of the citizens of Red Sox Nation:

If the price is reasonable, get some help.”

YOU’RE BEN CHERINGTON and you outplayed your AL East rivals.

And, as you earnestly scrub your scalp with Head and Shoulders, you mull over the moves of your competitors…

Sure, the Orioles acquired a mid-range starter and a former closer, but they had to give up better prospects than I  did: their #4 prospect, 3b Nick Delmonico; #12 prospect, OF LJ Hoes,  and their #20 prospect LHP Josh Hader.

SP Bud Norris
International Signing Bonus Slot #91
OF LJ Hoes
SPJosh Hader
Competitive balance round A pick
RP Francisco Rodriguez INF Nick Delmonico
RH P Scott Feldman
C Steve Clevenger
 RHP Jake Arrieta
RHP Pedro Strop
International-signing money.

[ED. NOTE: They added a number of lesser known players as well (see below article), but no game-changers.]

YOU’RE BEN CHERINGTON and you figure Duquette did a good job; he was active and, with the addition of Norris [a #2?] , F-Rod [2-month rental], and Feldman [4/5?], the Orioles improved their starting rotation and bullpen with mid-level talent. Still Dan’s come a long way from when John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino fired him at a breakfast at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort eight hours into their ownership in spring training back in 2002.

YOU’RE BEN CHERINGTON and you wonder about what the hell happened to Toronto, the pre-season consensus pick for AL East crown? Alex didn’t make a trade from Opening Day to the end of the Trade Deadline; he went the expensive FA route, like Miami last year and they’re in the cellar at 49-57.  Not for us anymore; we build from within…

YOU’RE BEN CHERINGTON and you wonder if maybe the rumor is true: Cashman has had it with the Steinbrenner Youth and is hoping to get fired to get a nice severance package.  He publicly went against his boss and reacquired the man that no other team would take with his contract and whom Cashman did not want either, Alphonso “Sorry, I know” Soriano; he will likely be a net loss: his defensive WAR is on the negative side, at -10.3 for his career; he is 37 and has never been on base enough to take full advantage of his younger years speed; walks raised his .272 career batting average to an on-base percentage of only .321.

His offensive WAR, before the trade was -0.4.  He may provide the occasional spark, but his career is at setting sun stage and with a -0.4 on offense and a career -10.3 on defense, he will cost New York 5-6 during the balance of the season.

Cashman couldn’t move Hughes and he didn’t have much to trade from his Minor league rosters; after MLB ranked #36 [C, Gary Sanchez] and #40 [OF, Mason Williams] the Yankee prospects drop off the cliff to Suspects Land.

OF Alfonso Soriano                RHP Corey Black
Cash considerations

 

YOU’RE BEN CHERINGTON and you are surprised that the Rays were not able to add a bat…Instead, knee deep in pitchers, they trade for an injured lefty reliever?  We looked him over, and he has great stats…0.74 ERA over 36 2/3 innings…2-3 record with 19 holds and 46 strikeouts.  But he has been out with a shoulder injury since the first week in July…I just couldn’t stomach another closer on the DL, or gone for the season…

RP Jesse Crain Players to be named later or cash considerations

 

We took Thornton instead; he can handle both lefties (.646 OPS career) and righties (.681). …Yeah his K rate has been declining the last few years from his roughly 30% to 18.1% in 2013 and his HR rate jump though moved up, but that’s what you’d expect from a short reliever and the sample is small.

He’s still averaging out at 94 MPH and will combine that with a slider to be effective. OK, Thornton is no longer a dominant reliever, but his velocity charts show a general rise in recent games. And, with Miller out, he fills the LOOGY role.

Jacobs has power potential, but may never hit for average; we had Brentz ahead of him in the RF anyway.

 

LHP Matt Thornton OF Brandon Jacobs
and Cash considerations

YOU’RE BEN CHERINGTON and the pundits are saying you gave up a future All-Star SS for Peavy; maybe so; maybe Iggy will bat better than .230 for his career and be the best defensive SS in MLB and good for him.  But, you were leery about his bat…

YOU’RE BEN CHERINGTON and you desperately wanted to pick up veteran UT man Michael Young from the Phillies, but Amaro wanted too much; he seemed ambivalent.  He’s keeping Utley? Has Ruben seen the MRIs of the guy’s knees lately? 

Yes, you have some concern about playing the kid Holt at third; but, maybe, Middlebrooks has closed that hole in his swing—he loves that “high cheese…”

YOU’RE BEN CHERINGTON and your over-achieving 2013 “bridge team” has exceeded even your wildest expectations.  Geez, who knew Lackey would come back so well from Tommy John?  Larry didn’t want to give into Papi, but I knew David would come back and have another productive year for us.  Pedey has been a putting in a Hall of Fame year.

Gomes has added to the clubhouse atmosphere and keeps the guys loose and Carp has been better than you expected.  Victorino gives us some speed on base and in the outfield and is having a good year…

Even though Hanny and Bailey went down with injuries, Uehara stepped right in and is getting the job done.  Getting Peavy will allow me to strengthen the pen with Workman.

YOU’RE BEN CHERINGTON and you made a great deal for Peavy and he will give this “bridge team” a shot at a Post-season slot and move it deeper into the Playoffs.

Sure, it makes you a little nervous that Peavy had radical surgery that reattached his right shoulder tendon, but he has been healthy thus far.

YOU’RE BEN CHERINGTON and you kept your prospect pack intact; you are on track to build your “Next Great Red Sox Team.”  You think about the three, low-level prospects you traded and how it was more important to recognize the many prospects, besides Bogaerts and Bradley, that you DIDN’T trade and you are secretly satisfied.

YOU’RE BEN CHERINGTON and as you towel off, you review the premise of your plan: applying your astute evaluation of talent, developing a large pool of cost-controlled young talent; it give you some trade chips to fill in the cracks with trades and a mid-range FA or two, as needed.

YOU’RE BEN CHERINGTON and you have put in your time learning how to assess talent; your first job with the Red Sox was in amateur scouting. Then you coordinated international scouting before becoming director of player development.

YOU’RE BEN CHERINGTON and your prudent trades have now reassured Sox fans that you will not mortgage the future; you will not be tempted with splashy FA signings; you will have the discipline to stay on course to your future, your personal legacy—the “Next Great Red Sox Team.”

YOU’RE BEN CHERINGTON and, as you privately check the longitude of your receding hairline, you daydream about your All-Homegrown Red Sox team roster:

C  Blake Swihart [maybe Lavarnway, if he can hit.]

1b/DH Xander Bogaerts

2b Dustin Pedroia

SS Deven Marrero

3b Will Middlebrooks

LF Garin Cecchini

CF Jackie Bradley

RF Brad Brentz

DH/1b Travis Shaw

SP Allen Webster

SP Matt Barnes

SP Jon Lester

SP Clay Buchholz

SP Drake Britton

CL Rubby de la Rosa

RP Anthony Ranaudo, RP Brian Johnson, RP Miguel Celestino, RP Brandon Workman

BENCH

Christian Vazquez [C]

And you smile a disciplined smile and you think: “That’s  21 roster slots and just a few to fill from the outside via FA and trades.”

YOU’RE BEN CHERINGTON and you are privately, prudently proud of the Peavy deal.  Maybe it wasn’t as great as the deal in 1997 — Carl Pavano and Tony Armas Jr. to Expos for Pedro Martinez—but, maybe pulling the Peavy deal AND the “L. A. Salary Dump Trade” in the same year

YOU’RE BEN CHERINGTON you allow the phantasm scene of you accepting the “MLB Executive of the Year Award” to float behind the steam on the mirror of your medicine cabinet for just a few seconds, when, Tyler, draws you out of your reverie:

“Ben, breakfast it ready!”

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TEN OF THE MAJOR RED SOX DEALS:

10. Dec. 6, 1976 — Cecil Cooper to Brewers for George Scott and Bernie Carbo

9. Dec. 7, 1978 — Bill Lee to Expos for Stan Papi

8. July 31, 1997 — Heathcliff Slocumb to Mariners for Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe

7. Nov. 28, 2003 — Casey Fossum, Brandon Lyon, Jorge De La Rosa and Michael Goss to Diamondbacks for Curt Schilling

6. Nov. 24, 2005 — Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, Jesus Delgado and Harvey Garcia to Marlins for Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell and Guillermo Mota

5. May 25, 1984 — Dennis Eckersley and Mike Brumley to Cubs for Bill Buckner

4. July 31, 2008 — Manny Ramirez to Dodgers in three-team trade that landed Jason Bay in Boston

3. Jan. 23, 1981 — Fred Lynn and Steve Renko to Angels for Frank Tanana, Joe Rudi and Jim Dorsey

2. July 31, 2004 — Nomar Garciaparra to Cubs in four-team deal that landed Doug Mientkiewicz from Twins and Orlando Cabrera from Expos

1. Nov. 18, 1997 — Carl Pavano and Tony Armas Jr. to Expos for Pedro Martinez

Boston acquired the reigning NL Cy Young winner for minor league pitchers in Pavano and Armas Jr., which could rank as the best deal the Red Sox ever made. While Pavano had one All-Star season in 2004, Martinez gave the Red Sox an amazing seven years that included the a 2004 World Series title. Pedro won back-to-back Cy Youngs in 1999 and 2000, finishing his Red Sox career with an absurd 117-37 record and a dominant 2.52 ERA. It’s hard to decide which season was better, his 1999 campaign when he went 23-4 with a 2.07 ERA, or his 2000 season when he went 18-6 with a 1.74 ERA.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

RED SOX PROSPECT WHO WERE NOT TRADED:

  1. Xander Bogaerts, SS,
  2. Jackie Bradley, CF

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
7) 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
19) 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

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

Notable Minor Leaguers

Catcher

C Adalberto IbarraA+

C Blake Swihart** BA#6 BP#5 A

 

Infielders
1B Jake DaviesGCL (21-661)
1B Mark HamiltonAAA
1B/OF Drew HedmanAA
1B Nathan MinnichA- (8-271)

1B/3B David Renfroe A+

1B Travis ShawAA

2B Sean Coyle A+

IF Jonathan Diaz AAA
2B/SS Mike Meyers GCL (12-24)

3B/1B Michael Almanzar A+  AFL 

3B Garin Cecchini* BA#7 BP#6 A

3B Nick Moore** A-

3B Kolbrin Vitek AA
SS/3B Xander Bogaerts BA#1 BP#1 AA
SS Deven Marrero BA#10 A- (1-24)
SS Wendell Rijo A

SS Jose Vinicio** A

IF Heiker Meneses AA

IF/OF Justin HenryAAA
IF/OF Drew SuttonMLB

Outfielders
OF Bryce Brentz BA#8 BP#8 AAA  AFL  +  LEG INJURY – questionable for start of season 
OF Jose ColoradoA-

OF Keury De La CruzA+

OF Jeremy HazelbakerAAA
OF Brandon Jacobs A+

OF Juan Carlos Linares AAA 
OF Henry Ramos** A

 

Starting Pitchers
RHP Mike Augliera A- (5-181)

RHP Matt Barnes BA#3 BP#3 A+

RHP Ty Buttrey GCL (4-151)

RHP Jamie Callahan GCL (2-87)

RHP Miguel Celestino A+

RHP Keith Couch A+

RHP William Cuevas A-

RHP Terry Doyle AAA
RHP Sergio Gomez GCL

RHP Justin Haley A- (6-211)

RHP Kyle Kaminska AA  AFL  
RHP Kyle Kraus A (7-241)

RHP Pat Light A- (1-37)

RHP Austin Maddox A- (3-118)

RHP Michael McCarthy A+

RHP Noe Ramirez A+

RHP Anthony Ranaudo AA
RHP Brandon Workman AA
LHP Chris Hernandez AAA
LHP Brian Johnson BP#10 A- (1-31)

LHP Henry Owens BA#5 BP#7 A

LHP Miguel Peña A

 

 

Relievers

RHP Pedro Beato MLB

RHP Chris Carpenter MLB
RHP Tyler Lockwood A+

RHP Chris Martin AA  AFL 
RHP Matty Ott A

RHP Carlos Pinales GCL

RHP Pete Ruiz A+  AFL 

RHP Nathan Striz A

RHP Scott Swinson A+
RHP Oscar Villarreal AAA

RHP Jeffrey Wendelken GCL (13-421)

LHP Cody Kukuk GCL

LHP Francisco Taveras A-

 

OTHER ORIOLES ACQUISITIONS SINCE OPENING DAY, 2013:

3B Russ Canzler RHP Tim Alderson
1B Alex Liddi Orioles’ ISB Slot #2
SS Eric Thames 3B Tyler Kelly
SS Brandon Wood Cash consideration
C Chris Snyder RHP Rob Delaney
LHP Chris Jones RHP Luis Ayala

 

OTHER YANKEE ACQUISITIONS SINCE OPENING DAY, 2013:

 

3B Chris Nelson Player to be named or
Cash consideration
2B Alberto Gonzalez Player to be named or
Cash consideration
3B Reid Brignac Cash consideration
RHP Yoshinori Tateyama Future considerations

 

OTHER RAYS ACQUISITIONS SINCE OPENING DAY, 2013:

RP Erik Hamren Player to be named later or
Cash consideration
RHP Jeff Beliveau Cash considerations

 

 

OTHER RED SOX ACQUISITIONS SINCE OPENING DAY, 2013:

SP Graham Godfrey Cash consideration

 

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