Re: Is Ike Davis a Possibility ?
posted at 9/20/2012 10:45 PM EDT
Fred, your posts make no sense. You can’t credit everyone else in the front office for the salary dump and still blame Cherington for bringing in Loney. Either he made the deal or he didn’t. Also, there was no way the Sox were going to get Zach Lee in that move without having extremely compromising photos of Ned Colletti. Frankly, I thought getting Webster and De La Rosa was a massive coup for a team jettisoning about a quarter billion in underperforming future obligations and with very little SP depth above A-ball. The guy who got schooled in that trade was Colletti, far and away. Just because Colletti was stupid enough to take all our cumbersome contracts doesn’t mean he was stupid enough to completely destroy his own farm system in the process as well.
Its also a little ridiculous to assume Cherington will re-sign Loney, and then blame him for it. If he was not responsible for bringing him in, why do you think he has an obsession with him? The chances that Loney is manning 1B in Boston next season are only slightly greater than the chances that I am. And if he is there, it is only because the team decided to go into full rebuild mode and save money, in which case it won’t matter anyway. (And not necessarily a death nail. Have you seen who is playing 1B in Oakland this year? Or Baltimore? Or Milwaukee?) With regards to DeJesus, who I agree seems to play with an heir of entitlement, his best case scenario might be as part of the utility INF mix next season, and even then he is likely battling with Aviles and Ciriaco. He could very easily be non-tendered or stuck in the back end of a larger deal. Much like Loney, taking him was more of a return favor to the Dodgers, whom we really did owe a favor or two to at the time. (Although it sadly breaks up the Dodgers quartet of sons of major leaguers at shortstop.)
Ike Davis is certainly a very good idea, and while I don’t know Fred Wilpon or what his plans are, it is hard to imagine the Sox getting him without giving up Lavarnway in a good package. The Mets were desperate enough at catcher to take Shoppach, so it is hard to think Ryan wouldn’t top their list of non-pitchers. Davis is only about 6 months older than Lavarnway, and I am not as down on Saltalamacchia as most. I think this pitching staff will need some semblance of continuity with their catcher. Its one thing to shuffle shortstops every season, but the catcher is the most important position defensively and far more involved in the game, pitch to pitch. Lavarnway is also more likely to be adequate return than Saltalamacchia for reasons related to salary and control. Really, for me it comes down to who else has to be involved.
I also like the Uggla suggestion a lot. He has never played 1B, but he certainly has plenty of experience as an infielder. Physically, he is certainly not the ideal choice for the position, being both short and right-handed. But first base is also the easiest position to play defensively, and, all comedic moments from Moneyball aside, the easiest one to learn. Most of your chances are balls thrown to you, i.e. balls other people intended you to catch. No other position outside of catcher has that advantange, and catcher has numerous other responsibilities. If Uggla (3yrs / $39mill) could be had for Lackey (3yrs / $31.5mill), it should be done yesterday. Heck, expand the deal and make it Lackey and Sweeney for Uggla and Jurrjens, who is a prime non-tender candidate. Jurrjens has been nothing recently, but was an All Star as recently as 2011 before a knee injury threw him into a tailspin. By ST, his knee injury will be nearly 2 full years behind him, and hopefully he can recapture some of his form. And really, if he makes the rotation, he is only replacing Lackey. He wouldn’t need to be a 15 game winner with a sub-3.50 ERA. Jurrjens is still only 26, although he could make up to $7mill in arbitration (which might be a necessary process to keep him if he is traded for). This solution is probably more fun speculation, as it is difficult to imagine the FO being this imaginative and risky after a very disappointing 2012.
I do expect at least one major FA signing this off-season, for two reasons. First, spending stimulates fan interest and is a public show the ownership wants to win. Second, for the first time this millennia, the Sox have a protected first round pick, so the risk is somewhat mitigated. (Imagine where the Yankees would be if they had passed on Teixeira and instead drafted the guy the Angels took with the compensation pick – Mike Trout.) I hope they avoid Hamilton, although the stars are aligned for some interest. The team has money to spend, a rare need to spend, and a desperate need for an outfielder or two. Hamilton is not only the biggest name, but there is very little this off-season for corner OF on the FA market. There is Swisher, and then the next two best options, not in order, are Delmon Young, who is not the best choice for a team with PR and likability issues, and Torii Hunter, who is the best choice for a team with PR and likability issues.
If the Sox forego the big name OF, the other big name will be Zack Greinke, who is the better target than Hamilton, though not without concerns. I expect Greinke, who presumably knows more about his own anxiety issues – which have not been apparent in years - and pitching in big markets than I do, to make a decision that is best for himself with all things considered. This is a guy who operated without an agent for years, so he probably knows how to take care of himself professionally.
Should those two avenues not happen, which is very likely, Peavy might be the last clear choice. Zero chance his option gets picked up, and there is very little else behind him that will be available. I like Haren, but expect the Angels to extend him or pick up his option, despite his mediocre season taking what was once a no-brainer option and suddenly making it merit consideration. However, they will also be losing Greinke and Ervin Santana, who did nothing to change the status of his option from no-brainer, where the obvious decision was always to decline. Barring a second straight spending spree, the Angels would not expect to compete with only 2 returning starters, so Haren is very likely back, unless they re-sign Greinke (which could happen, but as they did spend heavily one year ago, they might have to pull back a bit).
Assuming Ortiz and Ross return. an offseason that nets Davis, Peavy and Swisher would not surprise me. While many fans may have grander designs, it really wouldn’t be all that bad. And I state that as an Anti-Swishite.
I like the Upton suggestions, but the Sox might be lucky if the asking price is as low as Bradley, Webster, Cecchini and, say, Melancon. That is a tough trigger to pull, although I will admit I would not decline it as rapidly as most. Down season or not, Upton will generate interest from a lot of teams, and that alone escalates what he is worth in a trade…