Trade talk, A-Rod, WMP vs. Ellsbury, homegrown talent
July 3rd, 2007 by czar

Would Wily Mo, Lugo, Moss, and Hansen even come close to netting the Red Sox Michael Young and Akinori Otsuka from the Texas Rangers?

Wait, what? No.

Are you implying we pay the Rangers like eleventy billion dollarsas well to cover up the fact Lugo is hitting .195 with a 4/36?

Otherwise, ain’t happening.

I could see A-Rod and Theo agreeing to a 5-year, $120 million contract with two or three vesting years. That way, Boras can tell everyone he got his client another huge contract, the Red Sox get a prolific slugger, and A-Rod can sign a little below market value to leave the pressure-cooker known as New York and sign in a less frenzied environment in Boston.

Couple “vesting” years might take A-Rod until he’s 40. Just so we’re clear.

And for those of you who think he’ll sign for below market value just to leave the Yankees and play for the Sox, please… stop living in a fantasy world where people want to spurn the Yankees and give away millions of dollars to sign in Boston.

Whether or not A-Rod signs with the Red Sox will come down to the question of “Do I demand humongous, ridiculous, max-out money so that I can have more coin than I’ll ever spend and more toys and houses than I’ll ever use? Or do I take a little less to get out of this zoo where my bimbos and my wife’s shirt are front-page news?”

Here’s the other question. If this was an issue (which I don’t think it won’t be when it comes to taking pay cuts) why would A-Rod choose Boston then? Don’t you think he’d rather go play somewhere– I don’t know– a little more out of the spotlight?

Again, I can’t imagine him taking less money to come to Boston to get out of the spotlight of NY, because he’s walking into a spotlight that’s probably 2nd in the bigs to NY. Flawed argument for those of you who keep saying “He won’t be front-page news here in Boston, maybe he’ll take a pay cut to come here!”

The Red Sox are using the model of the 1996 Yankees– a great example of a team with homegrown talent.

Neither the 1996-2000 Yankees, nor the 2007 Sox are great examples of teams with substantial home-grown talent.

If you want a real example of a homegrown team, check out the Twins– 7/9 starters have played they’re whole careers in Minny, and 3/5 of their starting rotation came up through their farm system (not including the injured Liriano or recently called up Garza).

Of course, I’m not really differentiating between drafting players and trading for guys in the minors to play in your farm system. While a slightly greater emphasis needs to be placed on drafting players, the fact that compensation and sandwich picks are awarded for free agent signings makes it a little more hazy.

The Sox are becoming impressive with the guys they are holding onto, but with their payroll and market, they still are never going to be a team that grows their whole team from the farm up. Not to discount what Theo has done in regards to player development however. This team has the pieces at the big league level and in the minors to compete for a very long time.

You really stretch at ways to put down WMP. His poor performance can easily be traced to sporadic playing time and small sample size. He should have gotten the nod in CF when Crisp went down– no doubt.

The only issue I have with the “WMP SHOULD BE PLAYING!!!11″ crowd is that clearly the FO has a reason behind not playing him in the OF. This isn’t some dumb “Tito doesn’t want to play him” thing. Honestly, I think they see his defense as a problem, even if a terrible SSS of -1 FRAR or whatever he has this year isn’t significant. The other issue I have at hand is how everyone immediately writes off his terrible season as an issue of not playing. This *could* be the factor, but let’s be honest, he has looked poor at best at the plate this season. I have a tough time believing the hardcore WMP backers (I say hardcore, because I’m still a big fan of the potential myself) when they tell me “He’ll be fine once he gets regular at bats.” So this works for all slumping guys on the bench? I don’t think GM’s around MLB go around making those generalizations. It’s one thing to expect a modest bump in numbers, I will concede that. But the guy has a .224/.297/.383/.680 line in ’07. I can’t see him suddenly bumping him to .300/.400/.550/.900 just because he plays everyday. There is something at work behind those 07 numbers, and it’s foolish to just explain them totally away with lack of playing time. Consistancy is one thing, but good hitters don’t just drop to sub-.300 OBPs just because they are only playing once every four days.

I mean, honestly, everyone sat here and griped(s) about Coco’s low OBP, when it is still a rather sizable amount above Pena’s CAREER numbers (to help– ditch this fluky ’07 if you’d consider this season that). My inherent problem is not with WMP’s ceiling, it’s that people (and it seems to be a minority) have this fetish with taking WMP’s potential and calling the Sox idiots for not playing him when he has shown little in the way in ’07 of being close to realizing that potential. You can’t just do that; you can’t just say “He doesn’t get at bats, don’t worry, he’ll be flipping sweet if we play him every day, I promise.” WMP has had one good year peripheral wise (IMO, which was 2006) and when you look closer it’s startling to see how high his BABIP was. His CAREER line is .258/.313/.472.

So great, he has potential. But I also want to see tangible proof of him USING that potential (other than hitting some empty HR) before I start proclaiming him the next big thing. It’s a shame he can’t get full playing time in AAA which would make this debate much easier to answer, but the Sox have to play the hand they were dealt when they acquired him. I want to see SOMETHING at the big league level in 2007 that merits him playing full-time. And to date I don’t think the FO has seen that. If he goes on a tear off the bench, starts walking some more, makes some really nice plays in the field, I’m sure Theo and Co. will consider giving him more time in the OF.

And of course, that’s just from the offensive argument, my subjective analysis is that he’s not a terribly good fielder for this staff. Statistics show him around breakeven in CF, but I feel a larger sample size will play out differently. I also could be wrong there, since it’s just my eye and 15 years of baseball playing experience talking, and unfortunately, considering he hasn’t even played a full-season’s worth of games in CF in his 6 year CAREER, we might never see that anyway.

(I need to do better breaking up my sub-points. Should have paid more attention in that argumentation class. Easy A too. Damn.)

I can’t believe WMP is getting benched in favor of Ellsbury. I am convinced the Sox for some reason think Ellsbury’s brief hot streak in the minors this season is far more significant than WMP’s last 4 seasons’ worth of work.

You mean the last four seasons of .258/.313/.472? Those 66 HR in 430 games and 1300 AB?

It’s one thing to argue that WMP has to potential to do great things, I’ll discuss that, but it’s not like they are sitting a perennial All-Star on the bench here.

Yeah, those last four years, I mean– but Ellsbury’s have been way better than that, right? </sarcasm>

So by that logic, prospects would never break into the big leagues? I don’t understand how the fact that Ellsbury doesn’t have 6 years in the majors has any bearing on this argument whatsoever.

If you compare WMP and Jacoby Ellsbury’s stats at corresponding ages (e.g. WMP at 22 and Ellsbury at 22) you’ll see that WMP has been at higher levels and produced better.

I understand, but it’s irrelevant because they are in such different scenarios. WMP didn’t go to college until he was 21/22, Ellsbury did. WMP signed a big-league contract so he’s forced to stay in the bigs, Ellsbury didn’t. It’s apples to oranges if you try to lay them out side-by-side like that. And that isn’t an argument FOR Ellsbury, it just nullifies the possibility of saying “WMP has done more in the last four years.” You just can’t compare the last four years with these two, it’s impossible because they were in such different situations.

If the Sox trade for Chipper Jones, his contract expiration would jive with the arrival of Lars Anderson.

I’d hope the Sox aren’t TOO worried about getting contracts to match up with the “arrival” of a 19 year old A-baller. A lot of things can happen between now and then.

Posted in Message Board Ramblings


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  • Traversing the land that is known as Red Sox Nation, The Czar Who Wears Red Sox is an attempt at compiling a repertoire of my ever-so-sexy forum posts (when I'm too lazy to write my own damn entry) and other random baseball thoughts that strike. For those whose posts serve as the inspiration of my epiphanies and rants, do not be angry, but merely, be honored that you have achieved such status. Names will never be revealed. Feedback appreciated, as this is a work in progress.

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