Re: Saltalamacchia Tracker...
posted at 4/12/2014 12:37 PM EDT
In response to Joebreidey's comment:
You mean you think there was no AJ P type catcher available last year?
Extend Salty in the winter of 2012-2013 or trade him for something good rather than lose him for nothing.
It's okay to let players play out. The only valid reason for a big market team to trade a player for value, is if they have someone to take their place. If we traded Salty last year, we'd have had to trade for another catcher to take Salty's place. It'd be different if we weren't competitive, but trading a player to create a hole is never going to work.
Look, I get that we got a lot of value out of Salty last season. As much as many here want to believe otherwise, Salty was a net plus last year. Could we have won without him? Maybe- maybe not. Could we have won with Lava, Ross (healthy or otherwise), Butler and maybe a journeyman type add-on catcher? Maybe closer to no than yes.
First, I want to say that I was for extending Salty last winter, and we probably could have gotten better terms than what he ended up signing for this year, and his deal may have ended after 2014 or 2015, instead of 2016 as now. That would have matched up better with the Vazquez/Swihart projections as well. I liked Salty and saw he was improving in just about every area of his game, except throwing (which I think the importance of is over-rated).
I admit that part of my reasoning for saying extend him now or trade him was that I did not think we were going to be highly competitive last year. I was grossly wrong. I agree that competitive teams sometimes have to let players "play out", even if we get nothing in return after they leave. It's hard to argue with the strategy Ben employed last winter- it woked like a charm thanks in part, to Salty's fabulous regular season and key hit in the Tiger series.
I wish Salty well. I do not think it is unreasonable or disrespectful to track his career going forward. It's interesting to watch ex-Sox players and wonder "what if". That's part of what makes MLB exciting and multi-dimensional.
I'm happy with AJ P. I think we may get close to the same offense from our catchers this year as last, and I think the defense will be improved. The one year deal vs the 3 year Salty deal is a plus on paper, but that is assuming a kid is ready and does well for us very soon, otherwise, we will be desperate for a catcher next year.