Red Sox Rumors: Andre Ethier

Could Andre Ethier And Dustin Pedroia Team Up For The First Time Since Playing Together At Arizona State University?

Andre Ethier

There are three pros (why the trade will/should happen) and three cons (why the trade won’t/shouldn’t happen). But we’ll start with the pros.

1.) The Dodger’s Financial State.

By now everyone is at least somewhat aware of the Dodger’s current finical state. And Yesterday, a judge rejected owner, Frank McCourt’s financial plan. This means that now, McCourt will have to receive a loan from MLB.

Like said in the previous story, with McCourt barely meeting his recent payrolls, the Dodger’s might try to dump as much salary as possible. Ethier is the third highest paid player on the Dodgers and is due about $3,166,667 for the rest of the season. Ethier’s two-year, $15.25 million dollar contract is up after this year. However, he would stay under team control for one more season.

The Dodgers are trying to lock up their two young stars in Ethier and Matt Kemp, whose contract at the end of this season, but will remain under team control for one more year. Yet, since the Dodgers don’t exactly have cash to spare, they may only be able to sign one player, if any. The Dodger’s need to realize that Ethier and Kemp will be long gone and need to trade them ASAP so they can get a few prospects.

2.) Dustin Pedroia

It doesn’t hurt when the guy who is campaigning for you is probably the most vocal guy on the team. Like mention in the photo caption above, Ethier and Pedroia (as well as Ian Kinsler), played college ball together at Arizona State University and are best friends. And it isn’t like Theo Epstein doesn’t listen to who his players want to play with.

3.) J.D. Drew

He’s thirty-five years old, hitting .129 in his last ten games, and lost his starting job to twenty-four year old kid. Sorry J.D., but your time is up. As for Josh Reddick, can you honestly expect him to keep hitting .356 in September? He’s just a kid and can’t be trusted when it matters most.

Who do you want to have up with two outs and the bases loaded? A player hitting .219 who needs to call it quits, an untested kid, or arguably the clutchest player in baseball in Ethier. In 2009, had six walk off hits (four of them where home runs), the most in the majors since 1974. Subsequently, he won the MLB Clutch Performer of the Year award and won a Silver Slugger.

Now, on to the cons.

1.) The Dodger’s Future

Next year, the Dodgers could have a new owner who has enough money to sign Ethier long term. While Ethier’s return value will decrease if he is traded in the offseason or at next year’s trading deadline, is it a risk worth taking? I mean is getting Felix Doubront (the Red Sox’s number two prospect) and not Anthony Ranaudo (Boston’s number one prospect) that bad? If I were general manager, Ned Colletti, I’d hold on to Ethier until January and if McCourt was still the owner, then trade Ethier. One thing to think about though, is that after the World Series is over, a lockout will occur.

2.) The Prospects

We saw Ryan Kalish blossom last year and if it wasn’t for shoulder and neck injuries, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had been called up before Josh Reddick. Boston has two future stars in Kalish and Reddick and Boston may end up having a position battle in spring training next year. Or have them share time in the outfield. Their last option would be to trade one, because they only really need one of them. And when you have two future stars in right-field do you need a right-fielder who is already a star? No.

3.) Josh Reddick

Simply put the kid is on fire! He has four home runs, eighteen RBI, three triples, slugging .622, and has an average of .356, in just ninety at-bats. When you stretch those numbers out over the amount of at-bats Ethier has, Reddick’s numbers would be superior to Ethier’s and look like this . . .

Would I like Ethier on the Red Sox? Sure, but with Josh Reddick and Ryan Kalish waiting in the wings, this deal isn’t necessary.

Photo Credits:

Andre Ethier

Advertisements

Red Sox Rumors: Hiroki Kuroda

With The Dodgers 13.5 Games Behind The Giants, It Makes Since For Them To Trade A 36 Year Old Starting Pitcher With An Expiring Contract.

 Hiroki Kuroda

According to ESPN Boston.com, “Boston Red Sox more likely to make small deadline deal than blockbuster.” Shortstop, right field, and a lefty reliever are all desires. A starting pitcher though, is a necessity. Even when Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester come back, either Tim Wakefield, Alfredo Aceves, Andrew Miller, or Kyle Weiland will still be in the rotation. Wakefield has a WHIP of 1.33, Aceves is more valuable in the bullpen, Miller is averaging a walk every 0.71 innings, and Weiland is just a rookie.

Kuroda on the other hand, has a record of 6-11 (which isn’t his fault as the Dodgers have averaged just 2.18 runs per game in his starts), an ERA of 3.13, a WHIP of 1.20, averages a walk every 0.25 innings, and made his professional debut in 1997 as a member of the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in Japan’s Central League. Kuroda has been pitching in MLB with the Dodgers since 2008. Kuroda like Jose Reyes and Ryan Ludwick has an expiring contract and is due about $4 million for the rest of the season.

One thing to take into consideration is that Kuroda has a complete no-trade clause in his contract. However, according to reports, Dodger management has contacted Kuroda about waiving his no-trade clause. Yet, Kuroda hasn’t given the Dodgers a list of teams that he’ll accept a trade to and each day it starts to look less and less likely that Kuroda will waive his no-trade clause. One last thing to note on his no-trade clause is, that there is a rumor the Kuroda won’t accept a trade to an east coast team.

Kuroda has mixed postseason numbers. In 2008, he went 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA in 12.1 innings. Yet, in 2009 in a start against the Phillies, he gave up six hits and six earned runs in just 1.1 innings pitched. Despite his horrible start back in 2009, there is no reason that Kuroda shouldn’t be able to pitch in the 2011 postseason like he did in the 2008 one.

With the Dodgers’ current financial state (for starters, Manny Ramirez, Juan Pierre, and Andruw Jones are owed a combined $15,033,333 at the season’s start), they might try to trade every player they can in order to dump salary, as owner Frank McCourt has barely met payroll according to reports. Kuroda is the second highest paid player on the Dodgers behind Rafael Furcal, the only players in eight figures.

Depending on the availability of Ubaldo Jimenez, Kuroda is probably the best starting pitcher on the market. Kuroda is also one of the most likely players to be traded to the Red Sox. The Indians, Tigers, and Yankees are also looking at Kuroda just to name a few teams.

Photo Credits

Hiroki Kuroda

Red Sox Rumors: Ryan Ludwick

Could Ryan Ludwick Reunite With Former Teammate Adrian Gonzalez In Beantown?

Ryan Ludwick

The Red Sox have been rumored to be interested in a right-handed hitting right fielder and while Ludwick hasn’t played right field this year, he has played right field in over sixty percent of his career games. From the Padres perspective, it only makes since to trade Ludwick. The Padres haven’t been able to capture last year’s magic and are currently last in the N.L. West.

Ludwick will be a free agent at the end of the 2011 season and is scheduled to make $6,775,000 this season. Ludwick is the second highest paid player on the Padres behind closer Heath Bell ($7,500,000) who will also most likely be traded before the deadline.

As of right now, the Red Sox have five outfielders on their active roster: Carl Crawford, J.D. Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury, Darnell McDonald, and Josh Reddick. If Boston did acquire Ludwick, McDonald would probably be the odd man out. However, Reddick could be sent down in order to get more playing time.

McDonald isn’t the same player that we saw last year. In 2010 he had an average of .270 with thirty-four RBI in 117 games. This year, in forty games, McDonald is batting just .160 with thirteen RBI. On the other side, Reddick batted .194 with just five RBI in sixty-two plate appearances last year. Yet, this year, Reddick is batting .347 with eighteen RBI in seventy-five plate appearances. Reddick is twenty-four, still developing, and has a bright future, while McDonald is thirty-two with dimmer future. Since neither Reddick or McDonald would start unless an injury, Reddick could get sent down to AAA in order to get more playing time, as previously noted.

Could Josh Reddick Serve The Role As The Fourth Outfielder, Or Even The Starting Right Fielder, For The Rest Of The Season?

Reddick is the one thing that makes this deal less likely. If Reddick continues at his hot pace, Boston doesn’t need to make a trade for an outfielder. However, unlike Ludwick, Reddick is a lefty and not a righty when it comes to hitting.

If the Red Sox were to acquire Ludwick, you might think the Red Sox would platoon Drew and Ludwick. They could start Drew against righties since Drew is a lefty and Ludwick against lefties since Ludwick is a righty. However, against righties, Ludwick is batting .002 points higher than Drew, slugging .061 points higher than Drew, and has an OPS .032 points higher than Drew.

Also and obviously, both players are past their prime. Drew (thirty-five years old) peaked back in 2004 as a member of the Atlanta Braves and Ludwick (thirty-three years old) peaked back in 2008 as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.

So far this season, Ludwick is batting .241, with fifty-seven RBI, eleven home runs, and seventy-nine strikeouts in 345 plate appearances. Drew, on the other hand, is batting .223, with twenty-two RBI, four home runs, and fifty-six strikeouts in 233 plate appearances. I think it is safe to say that Drew will not be resigning with the Red Sox when his five-year, $70 million dollar contract expires at the end of the season.

It has been a decent run, J.D. and while you’ve given Red Sox Nation some good memories (a grand slam in game six of the 2007 ALCS), it is time to either call it quits or step aside and let someone else, patrol right field at Fenway Park. Wether that person is Reddick, Ludwick, or someone else, someone besides Drew needs to start in right.

Photo Credits

Ludwick and Gonzalez

Reddick

Red Sox Rumors: Jose Reyes

Could Jose Reyes Be Playing In A Red Sox Uniform In October?

With the trading deadline less then two weeks away, leading up the the trading deadline, Soxoholics will be taking a look at some guys the Red Sox reportedly have their eye on.

Jose Reyes

Even though according to various sources it is looking less and less likely that the Mets will be trading their star shortstop, an all-star with an expiring contract on a sub .500 team can never be counted out until August 1st. Jed Lowrie has been on the disabled list for a month now and he’s, “. . . growing stronger, may swing bat soon,” who knows how long he’ll actually be out. Every American league team at least five games back has a better shortstop than Marco Scutaro (no disrespect). Derek Jeter (NYY), Asdrubal Cabrera (CLE), Jhonny Peralta (DET), Alexi Ramirez (CWS), Elvis Andrus (TEX) and Erick Aybar (LAA) are all significantly better than Sctuaro.

Now, even though a trade like this is highly unlikely, what would the Red Sox have to give up in order to get Reyes? Well, if the Mets demanded that they get a shortstop in return, the trade would be completely off as the Red Sox see twenty-one year old, Jose Iglesias as their shortstop of the future. After that the Mets would probably ask for either Stolmy Pimentel or Drake Britton. Lastly, the Red Sox might “toss in” Lars Anderson now that his path to Fenway Park has been blocked do the the Adrian Gonzalez trade. That’s the Red Sox’s first, fourth or sixth, and their fifth ranked prospects. Obviously, that is probably a little too much which is why people negotiate.

One thing to take note on Reyes is that he was placed on the disabled list with a strained hamstring on July 7th. While it isn’t anything serious and he is due to come back within the next few days, it is just a thought that General Manager and Executive Vice President, Theo Epstein should have in the back of his head.

If the Red Sox do decide to go all in and acquire Reyes, their lineup would feature a player with all-star experience (including four players this year, not including Josh Beckett and Jon Lester) at every position with the exception of Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Personally, combined with Josh Beckett, a hot John Lackey, and hopefully a healthy Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester, I can’t see how they could be stopped.

However, with so many all-stars in one lineup, what would the lineup look like? This is what I have in mind . . .

1.) Jacoby Ellsbury: CF

2.) Dustin Pedroia: 2B

3.) Adrian Gonzalez: 1B

4.) Kevin Youkilis: 3B

5.) David Ortiz: DH

6.) Carl Crawford: LF

7.) Jose Reyes: SS

8.) J.D. Drew: RF

9.) Jarrod Saltalamacchia/Jason Varitek: C

It’s essentially the same lineup the only difference being Reyes. Crawford and Reyes as well as Drew and Saltalamacchia/ Varitek are interchangeable in my mind. And if Pedroia or Ellsbury begin to slump Reyes could bat first or second. This trade is most likely not going to happen, but if it did, it would take the Red Sox to the next level in my mind. A level that right now, no one is on.

Photo Credit

Reyes: http://www.theheckler.com/2011/06/13/reyes-contract-demands-include-changing-first-line-of-anthem-to-jose-can-you-see/

Big Papi in the Home Run Derby

David Ortiz at the 2010 State Farm Home Run Derby

On Friday (7-1-11) Red Sox DH and returning Home Run Derby champion, David Ortiz found out that he will be participating in the 2011 State Farm Home Run Derby. Not only will Ortiz be participating in the Home Run Derby this year, but he is also captain which means he has the honor to choose 3 AL teammates to join him the Home Run derby against the 4 man NL team.

“I’m talking to some guys,” Ortiz said, “I’m not going to tell you guys right now. I’m going to tell you guys a few days later after the guys agree to be in. We’re just going to try to put a show on.

“I remember, when I went back to my country after last year’s season, man, it was unbelievable how many people came to me and told me how excited the whole country was about the Home Run Derby. It seemed like everything just stopped for the Home Run Derby last year. From here, I don’t even have to tell you, everybody is really enjoying the Home Run Derby. We exchanged ideas, me and some people from MLB, and they came out with that idea, and yeah, now we’re going to move it on.”

Although Jose Bautista is the most popular player for this years Home Run Derby. There is also a possibility that he couldn’ t be one of the three players chosen by Ortiz. There is also his teammate Adrian Gonzalez that is also another popular candidate.

“I have three guys in mind, but I haven’t talked to them, so I can’t give you guys any details right now,” Ortiz said, “But you guys will find out.”

Miller Earns His 2nd Win

Andrew Miller pitching

On Saturday evening Red Sox pitcher Andrew Miller had his second start and his second win of the season. Miller (2-0) allowed two earned runs on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts over six innings to earn his second win since the Red Sox purchased his contract.

Although he wasn’t spectacular, Miller took advantage of facing an Astros team and capitalized on plenty of early run support from Boston’s outstanding offense, with Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis each compiling three hits.

Could Miller be in the starting rotation for the 2012 season?

The Curious Case of John Lackey

h

Physically he's fine. Mentally though, he's just not there.

3.1 innings, four hits, five earned runs, four walks, one home run (Will Venable’s first of the year), a wild pitch, two hit batters, and a big “L” in the loss column. How is it that a man can have those stats against the team that scores the least runs per game? Yet, he can pitch eight “solid” (four earned runs) innings against the N.L. Central leading Brewers.

Maybe, physically something is wrong. He did go on the D.L. on May 17th due to a right elbow strain.

However, manager Terry Francona said, “He’s more than willing to pitch through anything. He said he’s pitched through this before, and worse. But it’s May, not September. If we don’t do something now it might not get better. We talked with the medical staff. I don’t think he’s too happy about it. He’s such a competitor. But it’s the right thing to do.”

The fact that Lackey was willing to pitch through it shows that the injury was relatively minor. A big factor in Lackey’s most recent poor outing was definitely the weather though. The game had a total of four rain delays and two while Lackey was still in.

Catcher Jason Varitek said, “With the delay, it might have shown more maybe in the second inning after he sat down. It looked like he couldn’t get as loose, then once he did, it was pretty wet. It was wet and it was obvious that he was loosing some feel. There was a fastball that shot away from him, some changeups. Couldn’t quite figure out what was the best pitch to get him in the zone with in that situation. It’s a tough one for him to have to wear because he has been throwing the ball well. It was sloppy out there. It was even hard for me to throw balls back to the mound. It was that entire game.”

But, the weather on Wednesday doesn’t fully explain his 7.26 ERA. Maybe something bigger than the game of baseball is affecting Lackey. I think Chris Jones best explained it when he said, “His wife, Krista, has been fighting breast cancer. And now his right arm had failed him, too.”

When Tiger Woods went on his, “leave of absence,” many wondered why Phil Mickelson didn’t go on a tear and start racking up wins. Mickelson’s mother and wife were both fighting breast cancer.

One in two men will get cancer and one in three women will get cancer. It just so happens that his wife is one of those one in three women. When Lackey is pitching it seems to me like his body is on the pitching mound, but his mind is with his wife, wherever she may be.

Lackey is the eighth highest paid pitcher in baseball and signed a five year, $82.5 million contract on December 16, 2009. In Lackey’s last five starts against the Blue Jays, the A’s, the Blue Jays again, the Brewers, and the Padres, Lackey has an ERA of 7.89 with thirteen walks, twenty strikeouts, a record of three and two, and a whip of 1.51.

On the season Lackey is five and six, with a 7.36 ERA, a WHIP of 1.60, has given up eight home runs, and has struck out 38.

For more read the following articles by Chris Jones and Alex Speier.

Photo Credit

Lackey: http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2010/0819/bos_a_lackey_b1_300.jpg