Boston Globe baseball writer Gordon Edes checks in every week (usually on Wednesdays or Thursdays) to answer your questions on the Red Sox. Ask yours now, and come back next week to see if it was answered.
Hi Gordon, some people feel our team only needs a quick facelift in '07 to once again have a chance to contend. I feel a larger overhaul is needed like this that could be done with a little creativity. I feel we can make two trades and make a couple of free-agent signings that would finally give us an all round team with a mix of youth/power/speed and pitching.
TRADE #1: I feel its time to trade Manny Ramirez to the Mets who want him badly but don't want to give up any real talent. I say we re-sign Alex Gonzalez, then try to package him along with Manny and DiNardo to the Mets for Jose Reyes and Tom Glavine, who could help us for another year or two. Reyes would really be the only long term talent they would be giving up. The Mets look like the front runner to sign Julio Lugo, who could take over as their leadoff hitter so they may go for it.
TRADE #2: Make the Marlins a trade they may not refuse for Miguel Cabrera (who they may not want to/or have the money to re-sign long term). Offer the Marlins Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, and David Murphy. I really feel Jacoby Ellsbury is our future CF and Pedroia can't replace Mark Loretta. We could move Mike Lowell to 1B, re-sign Loretta, then sign Carlos Lee and Gil Meche as free agents and have a new lineup that looks like this ...
Wily Mo Pena RF
Jason Varitek C
Coco Crisp CF
Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Glavine, and Meche as starters and Jon Papelbon, Tim Wakefield and maybe someone like Scott Linebrink through a trade in the 'pen.
Losing salaries like Javy Lopez, Trot Nixon, Julian Tavarez, Mike Timlin, buying out Keith Foulke and hopefully finding a team to pick up Matt Clement's last season should free up some cash.
How do you feel about this Gordon?
Steve Frazier, Bethlehem, Conn.
A: Steve, it's a fun exercise, and one that many Sox fans are probably doing these days, but I'm afraid there are some basic flaws in your scenarios. No. 1: What makes you think the Mets are still lusting after Manny, when they have a lineup that's already loaded with David Wright, Carlos Beltran, and Carlos Delgado. Why would they want to pay $20m a year for Manny? And surely, you know the Mets aren't going to part with Jose Reyes; he's one of the game's brightest young stars.
No. 2, if you're going to make the Marlins an offer they can't refuse for Miguel Cabrera, who is an MVP-candidate-in-the-making, you're going to have to do better than the package you're offering. That won't even come close to getting it done.
Gordon, I have to raise a flag on your answer [in a previous mailbag] to the fellow claiming Melky Cabrera, Robinson Cano and Chien-Ming Wang as "home-grown". Aren't they really in the same category as Hideki Matsui, international players not subject to the draft? If that's the case, once again, it is their team's unending source of money that allows them to accumulate players where the other teams cannot all compete. Really -- what is Matsui doing with the Yankees? He should have been offered by MLB to the team with the first pick in the draft, not first in revenue stream.
Bob Sutton, Chantilly, Va.
A: Bob, I would agree with you that there is a distinction to be made between home grown -- like a Jeter, Posada, Bernie Williams or other players taken in the amateur draft -- and some of the expensive acquisitions the Yanks have made on the international front. But I do think the Yankees deserve some credit for the job they've done internationally. There was little any other team could have done about Hideki Matsui's desire, first and foremost, to play for the Yanks, but other well-heeled teams, including the Sox, have thrown some big money at international talent or shown a willingness to go toe to toe with the Yankees on some players, as I'm sure you'll recall in the case of Jose Contreras. They've done a good job identifying talent such as Wang and Cabrera as well.
Gordon, a fellow reader raised the point that the Yankees are often disparaged for buying their talent, yet he listed seven players who came up through the Yanks' minor leagues. However, his list is further proof of their spending because only Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada were drafted by them. The other five were signed as international minor league free agents, something the Yankees have historically dipped into more than other teams -- because they can afford to miss more than other teams can. The only conclusion one can draw regarding the Yankees and their spending habits is the other teams must be profitable businesses for their owners, because we never hear the KCs of the world complain about an unfair system. They obviously KNOW they have zilch of a chance, yet it seems they'll accept the profits over competitiveness, or else they would have fought harder for a change at the last CBA.
Jason Harris, Golden, Colo.
A: Jason, that's a very interesting analysis you offer of the passiveness of some owners. Others would argue that for the amount of money the Yankees are putting into revenue sharing and are getting whacked for exceeding the luxury tax threshold are reasons that the KCs have no excuse for being as bad as they are, not when 17 teams were within 6½ games of first place on Labor Day, and some lesser-market teams like the Twins, Athletics, Marlins, and Reds are very much in the playoff hunt.
Great columns, my question is shouldn't the Red Sox concentrate more on American
League players versus National League? Bronson Arroyo has done well, but I believe that
it is because the NL is inferior. Likewise Beckett came from the NL. I believe
that acquiring NL players and expecting decent results is a risky business.
Paul Hana, Honolulu, Hawaii
A: Paul, I really believe that this superiority of the AL to the NL is a cyclical thing, and that while it is to be expected that pitchers changing leagues should be expected to have higher ERAs because of the overall strength of AL lineups (and the DH), there is no discernible difference in the caliber of players entering the league. Tell me that you wouldn't want a young Matt Cain of the Giants, or a Stephen Drew of the D-Backs, David Wright of the Mets or Miguel Cabrera or Dontrelle Willis of the Marlins, to name just a few National Leaguers who would surely thrive in the AL as well.
Has anyone made the connection between the complete changeover of the medical and trainer staffs and the Red Sox' injury riddled season?
Al Lawler, Pensacola, Fla.
A: Al, I am not unaware of that fact, but am disinclined to blame Dr. Gill, Paul Lessard and Mike Reinold, capable men all, for the astonishing run of injuries the Sox have had.
Saw your Foxx-Big Papi article. Wanted to let you know that my Dad (now deceased) was the driving force behind erecting the Jimmy Foxx statue. I was actually born in Sudlersville (early 50s) but raised my family in New England and follow the Boston/NE sports teams. Anyway, it is a cool statue in an otherwise unnoteworthy little town and my Dad was rightfully very proud of it. Good luck. Go Pats!
Rick Goodhand, Arnold, Md.
A: Rick, thanks for letting me know and here's to your dad for caring enough to honor a man who by all accounts was one of the nicest people to put on a uniform, certainly not someone you'd expect to go by the nickname, "The Beast." I really enjoy doing stories like that and like to believe it fleshes out somebody who is just a name to most of us. Foxx did some extraordinary things on a baseball field, but certainly his life contained more than its share of sorrows.