Lots of Jed Hoyer and his new gig in SD
October 22nd, 2009 by czar

A Gonzalez trade makes a ton of sense for both teams, and Hoyer’s knowledge of the Sox farm system and its players should make the trade even easier to pull off — Hoyer knows the players they’ll be talking about (Bowden? Reddick?) and won’t be worried he’s getting fleeced.

You’d also presume he knows quite intimately that the shine may very well be off Bowden, Reddick wasn’t exactly spectacular above AA, and expectations for Lars might have been a bit too high last year. I think the trade value of the system as a whole took a bit of a hit in ’09 if you are considering Buchholz and Bard untouchable; and Hoyer had a front-row seat.

He might be comfortable with the Sox system because of the familiarity but, assuming he and Theo value players on the farm the same, him being in SD would seem to decrease the odds of a move getting made just because both would share the opinion of who is desirable and who is not; which logically would create a roadblock.

I don’t really agree with that. It’s a subjective argument either way, but while Anderson and Bowden did lose a little luster, other legit prospects made notable jumps. Kelly and Westmoreland certainly did, and will presumably be targets of teams we talk trade with. Kalish, Reddick and Tazawa each improved their stock this year, as did a few others.

I’m not denying that the stock of a lot of low-level guys went up and I agree it’s an extremely subjective argument (and this is about as far on the limb I’ll go since there are many people on this board with deeper knowledge of the system than myself); but I don’t think it’s an unfair assessment to question whether or not the Sox have the blue-chip, major league or near-major league talent to pull off a blockbuster trade this offseason (e.g., sending people to a Hoyer-run SD for Gonzalez) without having to sacrifice a Buchholz or an Ellsbury from the major league roster.

Last offseason you might have been able to sell teams on a Bowden/Anderson/Lowrie package for a big-time player– in fact, I’m sure there are people here that would have cried “too much!” I just don’t think you can do that this year. Raw, toolsy, 19 year-olds like Westmoreland are a necessity for teams looking to develop deep farm systems; and, in a couple years, he might very well be hanging out in BA’s top 10. But (anecdotally) low-level guys like that typically aren’t the cornerstones of trades for in-prime, under-contract star players like Adrian Gonzalez.

The top of the farm system can’t get better and better every year; and we appear to be in/headed into a bit of a lull relative to the last 4-6 years that saw Lester, Youkilis, Pedroia, Papelbon, Buchholz, Bard, Ellsbury, Masterson and many others contribute significantly at the big league level. And guys like Kalish, Reddick, and Tazawa are great guys for us to have working their way through the system, but it doesn’t feel they are getting the hype that the aforementioned farmhands got coming up through the upper levels. Whether that is justified or not, the hype is probably a reasonable indicator of their value to another team; particularly if one has to sell their fanbase on shipping out a marquee name.

Another fact is that it would not look good for Hoyer to move the teams marquee player to his former team unless he got a great haul back in return.  He needs to make Theo overpay.  While it’s true the Padre’s should move Adrian, it’s not clear that ownership and the organization accepts this yet. Hoyer may not want to fight that battle right at the outset.

Regardless of whether or not it *looks* good; I’m working on the assumption that Hoyer’s definition of “overpay” is likely similar to Theo’s. If Hoyer is really searching for an overpay (or even the best value) for Gonzalez, it’s extremely unlikely to come from our FO due to the philosophical similarities unless the Sox are overvaluing Adrian Gonzalez relative to the rest of baseball.

I would expect a similar package to the Victor Martinez trade would be on the table for Gonzalez. And both sides will get value out of it.

You think the Martinez trade is a good comp for a Gonzalez offer?

The Sox can have all the young, high-upside players in class A they want; it’s not an indictment of the system, either. (And I don’t think any thoughts in this thread reflect poorly on the farm system) That doesn’t change the fact that aside from the occasional outlier; blockbuster trades for marquee players almost never involve only guys who are still years away from even broaching the major leagues, let alone making an impact.

Lastly, there’s a point upthread arguing that a roadblock exists because both Theo and Hoyer know who’s desirable and who’s not. While I think that’s always a consideration, I don’t think it accurately reflects the art of a deal. You want to give talent for talent.

See, I don’t think this is true. They certainly aren’t trying to sell lemons; but I don’t think Theo is doing his job if he’s not trying to maximize the return in every possible transaction; financially or talent-wise. In this era of the information, the burden of scouting shifts to the team acquiring the player. If Theo says “Craig Hansen’s awesome, trust us,” teams will just figure out he’s crazy– not make that move and suddenly hate (and refuse to deal with) the Sox three years later for misrepresenting him.

There was the CC Sabathia for Matt LaPorta, Rob Bryson and Zach Jackson trade last year. Granted, LaPorta was highly touted, but still playing in AA ball, and you never know about any prospect; Jackson was in AAA but never did much in the minors; Rob Bryson was in low A ball.

This is actually a good comp for me. LaPorta was widely recognized as one of the top 15 prospects in baseball. He was 23 and broached the major leagues within the next year. He’s the textbook definition of a “near major-league ready marquee prospect.”

Not to mention the Sabathia trade was a mid-season acquisition for an impending FA. That package MLW gave up was for 0.5 seasons of him, wheras any team trading for Adrian Gonzalez would get 2 seasons of a cost-controlled all-star, plus (likely) first crack at re-signing him. Again, not apples to apples.

What is the best comp for an Adrian Gonzalez trade then?

Miguel Cabrera is the best recent comp I can think of. Offseason trade of an under-30, perennial all-star who was still arb eligible for 1-2 years following the deal.

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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