Matt Albers Must Go As Soon As Possible
You may remember a time last year when Matt Albers was one of the key pieces to the Red Sox bullpen. Looking back on his 4.73 ERA in 2011, it may be hard to believe, but entering August– Albers had a sparkling 2.09 ERA and was rivaling Alfredo Aceves and Daniel Bard in terms of effectiveness. As we enter the latter part of July, there’s a similar story afoot as Albers is 2-0 with a 2.21 ERA this season with, once again, peripherals that don’t support that. With a ridiculously lucky BABIP of .210 and a mediocre K/BB ratio of 1.85, Albers is set to unravel soon.
They say history is doomed to repeat itself, and I think it just might. Because of this, the Red Sox need to sell high on Albers before he breaks apart. One team that may bite on Albers is the team with the worst bullpen ERA in the league– the New York Mets at with a miserable 5.03 mark. However, with a 46-45 record and the second wild card, the Mets are certainly still in the mix– just 5 games out of Wild Card contention. If the Mets want to contend this season, they’ll need to fix that bullpen and they may be tempted to take a chance on Albers because of this.
Rather than scalping the Mets of a starting pitcher with a blockbuster trade, I think that the Red Sox should try and grab a starting pitching prospect. If they planned on trading only Albers, they would have to aim fairly low and one name that I picked up on was Cory Mazzoni. Mazzoni is currently 22 years old and pitching for the double-A Binghamton Mets. MLB.com ranks him as their #18 prospect, but he has done a good job at double-A, pitching to a 3-3 record and 3.50 ERA in six starts. He walks almost nobody and has averaged six innings a start; he seems ready to move quickly through the minors as a power pitching prospect.
If the Red Sox could grab Mazzoni, he could be a member of their rotation in two to three years. Seeing as it’s entirely possible that Albers is going to explode in the next few weeks, I’d be very pleased with a deal for Mazzoni. He seems like a guy who could really help the Red Sox in a few years, although he wouldn’t help with their pitching woes this year. I think that Mazzoni for Albers could be an even straight up trade that would help both teams; just, it would help the Red Sox a little bit more in the future.