That deep, talented farm system that’s going to eventually yield Adrian Gonzalez? Yeah, maybe not.
According to a piece by Fox’ Jon Paul Morosi, in which he advocates the importance of the Sox re-signing Adrian Beltre above any other move, he points out that both Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America see Boston’s farm system in freefall mode.
In doubting that the Sox would have enough to land Gonzalez or Milwaukee slugger Prince Fielder, Jr., Morosi writes:
I also question whether Boston’s farm system is rich enough to deal for either player without including prized pitching prospect Casey Kelly. (Even then, Kelly had a 6.75 ERA in the Arizona Fall League this year.) First baseman Lars Anderson, once viewed as one of the best 20 prospects anywhere, has been ordinary over the past two years.
Kevin Goldstein, the prospects expert for Baseball Prospectus, said the Red Sox farm system ranked fifth entering this season but has “dropped significantly.”
Baseball America also ranked them No. 5 in the spring. But Jim Callis, the Baseball America executive editor, figures they would be in the 11 to 15 range now.
“Many of their top prospects were injured or underperformed,” Goldstein said. “They have a lot of interesting and/or intriguing young players who are VERY far away — as always — but the upper levels are far thinner than they have been in the past…I think there are a lot of other teams who could offer more attractive packages.”
Lars Anderson is still only 23, and despite falling off BA’s radar entirely (the first baseman wasn’t included in their top 10 franchise prospects list released last week), he could still have a productive career. But he’ not going to yield you Gonzalez at this point, and Theo Epstein would probably rather give David Ortiz a new, five-year deal than he would surrender Casey Kelly.
There’s also the question of Gonzalez’s health, as he went on a San Diego radio station yesterday and revealed that he underwent surgery for labrum repair and won’t even be able to swing a bat for four to five months. Then he went and pulled a Papelbon explaining why he was out for top dollar. For the kids, you know.