Posts Tagged ‘Boston Red Sox’

Let the Adrian Gonzalez To The Red Sox Rumors Start…Again

February 4, 2010

Yesterday was a pretty sad day for a special group of people. Around 4:00 PM est yesterday, it was announced that Monster Worldwide purchased Hotjobs, a place I had called home for four plus years, from Yahoo!

As I wrote on my Facebook page, I had the privilege to work with some truly great people and few companies can say they had the talent that walked through those doors all those years. It was a great place to work.

I compare Monster buying Hotjobs to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) buying World Championship Wrestling (WCW) back in 2001. WWE was the established brand like Monster and WCW was an upstart trying to take over the top spot like Hotjobs.

Sure, there were times where WCW and Hotjobs claimed the top spot, but you always felt that no matter what happened WWE and Monster were still No.1. Like WCW (AOL/Time Warner), Hotjobs was purchased by a large media company and that media company treated Hotjobs–just as AOL/Time Warner treated WCW– as an afterthought.

In the end, both WCW and Hotjobs were sold for a fraction of what they were actually worth to the top players in their industries just so the poorly run media companies can get rid of them. A very sad day.

The reason I bring this up during this post is A. because it just happened and B. it reminds me of what is going in San Diego.

When former Boston Red Sox Assistant GM Jed Hoyer took the GM with the San Diego Padres, many assumed that at some point Hoyer would get together with his old team and strike a deal that involved star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.

With the Red Sox going in a different direction this offseason, many of the Gonzalez to Boston rumors died down. Now, thanks to a couple of interesting quotes, I am guessing those Gonzalez to Boston rumors are going to heat up again during the season or next winter.

In an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune, Padres CEO Jeff Moorad had this to say about the future of Gonzalez:

“I think the fairest description of our point of view is that we continue to be committed to doing what’s best for the long-term interest of the organization,” Padres CEO Jeff Moorad said yesterday. “As a result, no player is untouchable. And while we’re mindful of players’ individual popularity, we won’t put one player ahead of the long-term interests of the club.

“I’m confident that (General Manager) Jed (Hoyer) and John Boggs will have a discussion at some point about Adrian and his future. While I’d be thrilled to have him part of the organization for the long term, the early signals indicate his cost will be greater than our ability to pay.”

I appreciate Moorad’s honestly and candor, but where is his bedside manor? About 12 days before pitchers and catchers report to spring training, he is telling his fans they most likely won’t re-sign their star player when he becomes a free agent in two years.

Way to excite your fan base or what’s left of it Jeff.

If you are a Padres fan (all 20 of you), it has to be beyond frustrating to continue to support this team. This team plays in the 28th largest market in the America, the nicest city in America, and has a new ballpark (PETCO opened in 2004) that should create additional revenue streams.

On the surface, there is no reason for the Padres not to have a payroll hovering around the $80-$90 million mark. But thanks to almost always shaky ownership, the Padres have been in cost-cutting mode for as long as I can remember.

It seems like for every step forward this organization takes, it takes two steps back.

Just look at a team like the Milwaukee Brewers. They play in the smallest market in baseball, but have a great owner, who does his best to make sure the Brewers put a winning product on the field.

I don’t think there is a person on the planet would rather call Milwaukee home than San Diego, but the Brewers are constantly making moves and attracting players to the home of George Webb Restaurants.

The biggest difference between the Brewers and Padres is ownership. Now Moorad might turn out to be a good owner in the future. He has only been the Padres owner for a little more than a year, but at some point he is going to have to make a commitment to the players and the fans.

A commitment that Yahoo! and AOL/Time Warner never made.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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The “O-Cab” Will Make A Stop In Cincinnati

February 1, 2010

Isn’t it amazing how Orlando Cabrera always ends up playing in the postseason? Every October I turn on the TV and there I see Cabrera playing shortstop for a team contending for the World Series. However, it seems that no team ever wants Cabrera to stick around.

Cabrera has been on six teams in the last six years. 2010 will make it seven teams in seven years. Cabrera is to baseball what the Klopecks were to the movie The Burbs’.

The Hans Klopeck of baseball?

Cabrera will make his new home in Cincinnati. That’s because the Reds have signed the 35-year-old shortstop to a one-year, $4 million contract. There is also a $3 million option for 2011.

Cabrera was deciding between the Reds and Colorado Rockies, but chose the Reds because they gave him an opportunity to play shortstop. The Rockies wanted to move him to second.

While Cabrera isn’t the prototypical top of the order batter because he is a free swinger, he does all the little things to help a team win. He’s durable (played in 150 plus games eight out of the last nine years), a good hit-and-run guy, has led his league in sacrifice flies three out of the last four years, and his teammates love him.

There is a reason why Cabrera is always playing in October.

The signing of Cabrera means that Paul Janish is out of a job. Janish is playing in the wrong era to be a no-hit, great glove shortstop. If we were still in the 70’s or 80’s, then Janish would still be starting in Cincinnati.

But we are in the 2000’s and guys like Janish don’t last long in this day and age. Janish hit just .211, but had a pretty slick 11.7 UZR last year in 90 games with the Reds.

Nothing about Janish’s offensive minor league numbers jumps out, so to see Janish struggle at the major league level is not a surprise. Janish only hit .250 in his final year at Triple-A.

Now just because the Reds signed Cabrera, doesn’t mean they are headed to the playoffs in 2010. Even with Cabrera, the Reds are still a fourth place team next year.

I think if the Reds pick up his option in 2011, then Cabrera will have a chance to return to the postseason with the Reds. I believe the Reds will be a contender in 2011 and be a World Series contender in 2012.

I know its been 20 years for Reds fans, but be patient for just a little longer. You are almost there.

Cabrera will be entering his 14th year in the majors and has a career .275 average with 114 home runs, 197 stolen bases, and a .322 OBP with the Montreal Expos, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Chicago White Sox, Oakland A’s, and Minnesota Twins.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Random Thoughts From Around Baseball

January 29, 2010

Since there is nothing going on so far today in baseball, I thought I would just give some random thoughts from around the majors.

Orlando Cabrera is deciding between the Colorado Rockies, Cincinnati Reds, and Washington Nationals today. The guy is a winner and will get a chance to win next year if he signs with the Rockies.

I can’t believe there was a “sweepstakes” for Derrick Turnbow. The guy hasn’t been good in four years. The Florida Marlins were the luck winner of the Turnbow “sweepstakes.”

On this day two years ago, the New York Mets traded for Johan Santana. Despite not making the playoffs in his two years with the team, Santana has been everything the Mets hoped he would be.

Santana was acquired by the Mets 2 years ago today

I waiting in line for Shake Shack today at Madison Square Park in NYC in 16 degree weather. Yeah, it’s that good.

Sticking with the New York theme, the Mets are getting crushed in the Big Apple right now. They have had a rough offseason and a lot of fans are losing faith in his ownership group.

Ken Griffey Jr. apparently got “ripped” this offseason. I still think the Seattle Mariners need a better DH option in 2010.

Thanks to injuries, Erik Bedard has probably cost himself close to $75 million the last two years. Ouch.

I would say it would be a major upset if the Cleveland Indians land Orlando Hudson. I still think the “O-Dog” ends up on the Nationals.

Watching Nolan Ryan’s seventh and final no-hitter from 1991 on the MLB Network now. From the first pitch, the Toronto Blue Jays didn’t stand a chance that night. Glenallen Hill looked as befuddled as any hitter I have seen at the plate against Ryan that night.

Francisco Liriano was dominant in the Dominican Winter League. In the final game of the DWL World Series, Liriano struck out 10 in five innings and was consistently in the low to mid-90’s with his fastball.

The Caribbean World Series starts next Tuesday. Those games will be on the MLB Network starting at 2:30 pm ET. Always good talent in those games.

My trivia team is still in first place after two weeks. Questions are much harder than the ones we were faced with in Milwaukee.

Tim Wakefield expects to be a full-time member of the Boston Red Sox rotation in 2010. Umm yeah, I am not sure about that one Tim. Unless Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, John Lackey, or Clay Buchholz get hurt (knock on wood), he will be used an old-fashion swing man.

I still haven’t figured out why the Chicago White Sox didn’t bring Jim Thome back. They need a DH and he could have helped.

That’s all for now. Have a good weekend everyone!!!

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

MLB Network Announces Top-50 Prospects In Baseball

January 28, 2010

Last night, MLB.com announced their top-50 prospects in baseball through a special on the MLB Network. While there were few surprises on their list, there were a couple of players that caught my eye.

No. 8: Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates. When the Pirates promoted Andrew McCutchen to the major leagues last season, Alvarez became the jewel of the Pirates’ farm system. The Pirates really need Alvarez to become the player they think he can be.

No. 24: Tim Beckham, Tampa Bay Rays. Beckham was the No.1 overall pick in the 2008 draft. As a matter of fact, Alvarez was the No.2 pick in that draft.

The Rays took a chance on the less polished Beckham and he struggled somewhat in his first year of professional baseball. Beckham is only 19, so he has plenty of time to figure things out, but 2010 is a big year. The Rays could have drafted Buster Posey.

No. 28: Casey Kelly, Boston Red Sox. Kelly and the Red Sox organization were faced with a big decision in 2009. Where was Kelly going to play full-time moving forward? Shortstop or pitcher? Kelly is now a full-time pitcher and it was the right decision.

Kelly had a 2.05 ERA in 95 minor league innings last year. He could be in the Red Sox starting rotation by 2012.

No. 30: Yonder Alonso, Cincinnati Reds. The Reds are going to be faced with an interesting decision a year or two from now. Alonso is a first baseman and the Reds already have a star in waiting at first in Joey Votto.

Alonso isn’t as athletic as Votto, so I suspect Votto will be moved to the outfield. A broken bone in Alonso’s hand limited his power in 2009, but this guy can rake. Once he figures out how to hit lefties, he will be good to go.

No. 40: Drew Storen, Washington Nationals. Not only is Storen fun to follow on Twitter, but he is also on heck of pitcher. Stephen Strasburg is getting all the hype, but Storen isn’t far behind him.

Storen is being groomed at the Nationals’ closer of the future. He could be their closer by 2011.

The Texas Rangers, Kansas City Royals led the way with four players in the top-50. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Chicago White Sox, New York Mets (Ike Davis could have been on this list), and St. Louis Cardinals were the only teams not to have a player in the top-50.

You can find MLB.com’s complete list of top-50 prospects here.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Starting Rotation: American League East

January 18, 2010

Update:

I would like to make a correction to this post. I would also like to apologize to Blue Jays fans for making this error.

Shaun Marcum will be starting for the Blue Jays in 2010, not Dustin McGowan. Both are coming back from injuries in 2009, but Marcum will get a chance to earn his starting rotation spot back in spring training.

Again, I apologize for this oversight.

Original Post

On the heels of our Starting Nine posts that debuted last week, I thought we would take a look at the other side of ball this week. This week, I wanted to take a look at each team’s starting rotation as presently constructed.

Like last week, each day I will look at one division in baseball until all the divisions are analyzed. And like last week, we will start this segment with the American League East.

The American League East lost one major pitcher this offseason (Roy Halladay), but also gained a pretty good pitcher (John Lackey). While the offenses in this division get most of the headlines, the pitching staffs are no slouches.

Here are the starting rotations for each American League East team as presently constructed.

New York Yankees

1. C.C. Sabathia, LHP

2. A.J. Burnett, RHP

3. Andy Pettitte, LHP

4. Javier Vazquez, RHP

5. Joba Chamberlain, RHP

Quick Take – The Yankees’ starting rotation got better in the offseason with the addition of Vazquez. He becomes a pretty impressive fourth starter. There is still some debate as to who will start in 2010–Chamberlain or Phil Hughes. I believe Chamberlain will start.

Boston Red Sox

1. Josh Beckett, RHP

2. Jon Lester, LHP

3. John Lackey, RHP

4. Daisuke Matsuzaka, RHP

5. Clay Buchholz, RHP

Quick Take – Beckett might be the No. 1 starter, but this staff is really led by Lester. He will be a leading candidate for the Cy Young award in 2010. Lackey gives this staff incredible depth. Look for Dice-K to have a bounce back year.

Tampa Bay Rays

1. James Shields, RHP

2. Matt Garza, RHP

3. Jeff Niemann, RHP

4. David Price, LHP

5. Wade Davis, RHP

Quick Take – This rotation won’t miss the highly overrated Scott Kazmir in 2010. Garza has really turned the corner and has developed into a very solid No.2 pitcher. Starting rotation will only go as far as Price and Davis take them.

Baltimore Orioles

1. Kevin Millwood, RHP

2. Jeremy Guthrie, RHP

3. Brad Bergesen, RHP

4. Chris Tillman, RHP

5. Brian Matusz, LHP

Quick Take – The Orioles acquired Millwood to mentor this young staff and to eat up innings. Tillman and Matusz are two top prospects, who will have to earn their stripes pitching in the very tough AL East. The Orioles need Guthrie to really step up in 2010.

Toronto Blue Jays

1. Ricky Romero, LHP

2. Scott Richmond, RHP

3. Brandon Morrow, RHP

4. Brett Cecil, LHP

5. Dustin McGowan, RHP

Quick Take – Any time a staff loses a pitcher of Halladay’s caliber, they are going to experience a major drop off. It looks like Morrow is going to start in Toronto, so perhaps he can realize his potential. Romero (and I think he is good) becomes the Blue Jays’ No.1 starter by default.

So that’s it for the AL East. Tomorrow, I will take a look at the American League Central, home of the reigning AL Cy Young award winner Zack Greinke.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Starting Nine: American League East

January 11, 2010

I was rummaging through some articles last week and I came across a piece by Morgan Campbell of the Toronto Star. He gave an early look at what the Toronto Blue Jays’ starting lineup might look like in 2010.

That piece got me thinking. With all the moves that happen during the free agency period it’s hard for a casual fan to keep up with their favorite team. Why not take an early look at each lineup in baseball as presently constructed?

So what I will do give each team’s starting lineup by division for the next six days. Obviously this will change as the offseason progresses, so I will do an update to these posts as the season approaches.

We will start in the American League and with the best division in baseball, the American League East.

New York Yankees

1. Derek Jeter, SS

2. Nick Johnson, DH

3. Mark Teixeira, 1B

4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B

5. Jorge Posada, C

6. Robinson Cano, 2B

7. Curtis Granderson, CF

8. Nick Swisher, RF

9. Brett Gardner, LF

Quick Take – Best and deepest lineup in baseball. Could made even better if Johnny Damon accepts a one-year deal to play left. Cano and Posada could flip-flop between fifth and sixth in the order.

Boston Red Sox

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, LF

2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B

3. Victor Martinez, C

4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B

5. David Ortiz, DH

6. Adrian Beltre, 3B

7. Mike Cameron, CF

8. J.D. Drew, RF

9. Marco Scutaro, SS

Quick Take – Not a classic Red Sox lineup. Not a lot of high OBP guys and nobody jumps out and scares you. Terry Francona is loyal to Ortiz, so he bats fifth ahead of Beltre in the lineup.

Tampa Bay Rays

1. B.J. Upton, CF

2. Carl Crawford, LF

3. Evan Longoria, 3B

4. Ben Zobrist, 2B

5. Carlos Pena, 1B

6. Pat Burrell, DH

7. Kelly Shoppach, C

8. Gabe Kapler, RF

9. Jason Bartlett, SS

Quick Take – This lineup will go from very good to great if Upton and Burrell come back strong in 2010. Kapler will find himself in a platoon situation with Matt Joyce to start the season.

Baltimore Orioles

1. Brian Roberts, 2B

2. Nick Markakis, RF

3. Adam Jones, CF

4. Luke Scott, DH

5. Nolan Reimold, LF

6. Matt Wieters, C

7. Ty Wigginton, 1B

8. Garrett Atkins, 3B

9. Cesar Izturis, SS

Quick Take – First four in this lineup is very good, but after that, this lineup gets very weak. Orioles are still looking for a first baseman, so don’t expect Wigginton to be a starter for too much longer.

Toronto Blue Jays

1. Jose Bautista, RF

2. Lyle Overbay, 1B

3. Aaron Hill, 2B

4. Adam Lind, DH

5. Vernon Wells, CF

6. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B

7. Travis Snider, LF

8. Alex Gonzalez, SS

9. John Buck, C

Quick Take – My lineup is a little different than Campbell’s as I have Overbay hitting in the two-hole. This lineup has the potential to be good, but Gonzalez and Buck represent too many automatic outs to be really dynamic.

Tomorrow, I will cover the American League Central.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Reds Shock Baseball, Sign Aroldis Chapman

January 11, 2010

There were a lot of teams rumored to be in the hunt for 22-year-old Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman. We heard the Florida Marlins, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, and Toronto Blue Jays all express interest in Chapman.

However, it was a surprise team at the end of the day that was able to land the left-handed pitcher. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the Cincinnati Reds have swooped in and signed Chapman.

Chapman goes from Cuba to Cincinnati

The Reds have signed Chapman to a five-year, $25 million contract. There is an option for a sixth year and the Reds will pay out Chapman’s salary over a 10-year period.

I think there are a couple of ways you can look at this signing.

I think the first question people have–like my friend Justin–is why would the Reds sign Chapman? There are a couple of reasons.

First, Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo and their combined $24 million can come off the books after the 2010 season. The Reds figured they can suck it up for one year in order to give themselves long-term success in the future.

Secondly, the Reds are building a young, dynamic team for the future and Chapman can be a part of that. In 2011, the Reds could have a pitching staff that consists of Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, and Chapman.

That pitching staff along with Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs, Yonder Alonso, and Todd Frazier could make the Reds NL Central favorites for years to come.

There is also a another way to look at this signing. I think this signing is good for baseball.

I know every New York Yankee fan and Red Sox fan thinks it’s their right to sign every foreign free agent. As today proves, that is not the case.

It’s good for baseball when teams like the Reds or Blue Jays are in on a free agent like this. I clearly know that it doesn’t work this way, but the Reds signing Chapman is what revenue sharing is all about.

Of course a signing like this doesn’t come without risks. Many have questioned Chapman’s maturity and some question whether or not he is major league ready.

If you were to ask me, I believe Chapman will start the year in the minors and the Reds will gradually bring him along depending on what he does in the minors.

For those of you not familiar with Chapman, here is a scouting report by ESPN.com’s Keith Law:

“Chapman is the wild card of the free-agent market, as his track record is largely unknown, he has barely thrown for clubs since defecting and he is represented by agents who haven’t handled a free agent of this magnitude before.

“When Chapman is on, he’ll show No. 1 starter stuff, with a fastball in the mid-90s (and yes, as high as 101 mph) with good tail and a mid-80s slider that will show plus with legitimate tilt, although the latter pitch isn’t consistent. He does have a soft changeup, but he lacks feel for it and pushes it out of his hand rather than selling it with good arm speed.

“His command isn’t good, and he’s more thrower than pitcher, with a very loose arm that makes the velocity come out easily. Since defecting, he has worked on his body, and scouts who’ve seen him recently say he’s stronger and in better overall shape.

“He might be a No. 1 starter; he might be an ace closer; he might be a mountain of frustration. Is that worth $60 million? Or the fourth- or fifth-biggest contract of the offseason?

“Not to me, but he’s worth some eight-figure amount because of the almost limitless upside.”

Chapman will undergo a physical and the deal should be officially announced today.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Red Sox Officially Trade Casey Kotchman To The Mariners

January 7, 2010

When the Boston Red Sox signed third baseman Adrian Beltre a couple of days ago, it meant that someone was expendable on Boston’s roster. That person was Casey Kotchman.

Kotchman has been rumored to be traded to the Seattle Mariners since Beltre was signed. Today, those rumors turned into reality as Shannon Drayer of ESPN 710 radio in Seattle is reporting Kotchman was officially traded to the Mariners.

Kotchman was traded yet again

The Red Sox will be receiving Bill Hall, a minor leaguer to be named later, and cash from the Mariners.

Kotchman has had a hard time finding a permanent home these days. He was traded from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to the Atlanta Braves in the Mark Teixeira trade, then he was traded from the Braves to the Red Sox less than a year later, and now he is traded from the Red Sox to the Mariners less than six months after his previous trade.

It’s not hard to understand why teams are always trading Kotchman. A GM probably looks at Kotchman as says, yeah he is good, but can’t we do better than him?

Kotchman is a very little hit, very good glove first baseman. He averages about .270 a season with 12 home runs and a .760 OPS.

He is a poor man’s Mark Grace. He’s even a poor man’s Lyle Overbay, which isn’t a ringing endorsement.

That being said (cue Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld), Kotchman is the type of player Mariners’ GM Jack Zduriencik is acquiring these days. The Mariners’ roster is now littered with players who bring very little power and can flash some leather.

Now that’s not the worst thing in the world. The Mariners are building their team around pitching and defense. With Kotchman, Franklin Gutierrez, Ichiro, Jack Wilson, and Chone Figgins, the Mariners have some of the best defensive players at their positions in the game.

And with the newly acquired Cliff Lee and Cy Young candidate Felix Hernandez at the top of the rotation, the Mariners should be serious contenders in the AL West.

However, and I am going to sound like a broken record here, the Mariners at some point are going to need someone to drive in some runs in order for them to take the next step in 2010. There starting rotation and bullpen isn’t that great where they can consistently win 3-2 every night.

Remember, despite winning with pitching and defense in 2008, the Tampa Bay Rays still had Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena as guys who could drive in the speedsters and average offensive players.

I don’t see those type of players on the Mariners right now. If the Mariners are going to play Milton Bradley in left, then a DH type like Jim Thome or Carlos Delgado would be perfect for Seattle.

For the Red Sox, they shed Kotchman’s salary (around $3 million), they got some money back, and were able to acquire a super-utility player in Hall. Hall can play left, right, second, and third for the Red Sox in 2010.

The acquisition of Hall, is music to my buddy Odie’s ears. He has been on the Hall bandwagon since 2005.

In 2006, Hall hit 35 home runs and had an .899 OPS and since then he has done nothing in the major leagues. It’s kind of puzzling since Hall is only 31-years-old.

Hall hit .201 last year with the Milwaukee Brewers and Mariners, so this might be his last chance to prove he can be a value major league player.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Red Sox Go On The Defensive Again, Sign Adrian Beltre

January 5, 2010

Theo Epstein looked at the defensive statistics and saw his team was one of the worst–if not the worst defensive team in baseball last season. His goal this offseason–to improve the Boston Red Sox overall defense.

First he added Marco Scutaro to play short, then he added Mike Cameron to play left and now he has added another superior defensive player.

According to Peter Gammons via Twitter, the Red Sox have signed 3B Adrian Beltre to a one-year, $9 million contract with a player option for $5 million for 2011. The deal is pending a physical.

Beltre is the latest free agent to join the Red Sox

This a great value signing by the Red Sox.

Beltre is one of the best defensive third baseman in the game and completely fits with what Epstein is trying to do defensively. Over the last three years, Beltre ranks fourth amongst all major league third baseman with a 23.7 UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating).

Beltre replaces Mike Lowell as the Red Sox starting third baseman. Lowell was a statue last season. Lowell’s UZR last season was -10.4. Beltre’s was 14.3.

To say Beltre is an upgrade defensively is an understatement.

This move also allows Kevin Youkilis to concentrate on being the full-time first baseman rather than having to worry about shifting back-and-forth between first and third. Casey Kotchman’s reign as Red Sox starting first baseman lasted about three weeks.

With the moves Epstein has made this offseason, the Red Sox should be one of the better defensive teams in baseball next season.

Offensively, there are some concerns about Beltre. First and foremost, let’s get something out of the way–he is never, ever, ever going to have a year again like he did in 2004.

His .334 average and 48 home runs was the aberration of all aberrations. He is just not that good of a player. He is a guy who is more likely to hit .265 with 20 – 25 home runs, which is what he has done over the last five years.

While he has been consistent over the last five years, his OPS has dropped three years in a row, which is a little concerning. However, moving into a hitter friendly ballpark and hitting in a very solid lineup should help Beltre’s numbers.

It wouldn’t shock me if Beltre hit around .275 with 25 – 30 home runs in 2010.

With every signing there are two sides–the team’s side and the player’s side. And for the player’s side in this deal, this has to be considered a loss.

At the beginning of the offseason, Beltre was reportedly seeking a four-year, $40 – $50  million contract. He essentially priced himself out of the range of the Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants, and maybe even the Seattle Mariners.

Now two months later, he signs a one-year deal not even worth $10 million a year. That has to be a little disheartening for Beltre’s agent.

However, this is not a total loss for Beltre. Beltre and his agent realized he wasn’t going to get the money he wanted, so why not sign what is essentially a one-year deal with a team and a ballpark that gives him the best chance to succeed in 2010.

If Beltre has a big year, he can test the free agent market again in 2011 with better stats and perhaps a better economy behind him. It’s not such a bad strategy.

And while we are on the subject of strategy, how bad does the Phillies strategy of rushing to sign Placido Polanco look right now? Phillies’ GM Ruben Amaro Jr. looks like a complete buffoon right now.

Mark DeRosa signs for two-years and $12 million, Beltre signs for one-year and $9 million, and Polanco signs for three-years and $18 million? That deal is looking worse and worse every day.

I would rather have both of those guys than Polanco.

Beltre has a .270 average with 250 home runs and a .779 OPS in 12 major league seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Seattle Mariners.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Mike Lowell Has Surgery On His Famous Thumb

December 31, 2009

Has there been a body part on a player more talked about this offseason than Mike Lowell’s thumb?

Lowell was supposed to be part of the trade that would have sent him and $9 million to the Texas Rangers and catcher Max Ramirez to the Boston Red Sox. The trade was really a salary dump by the Red Sox in order to free up money to pursue Adrian Beltre or other free agents.

Lowell had surgery yesterday

As we all know the trade was called off by the Rangers because they found a ligament tear in Lowell’s thumb. Yesterday, Lowell had surgery on that thumb.

According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, Dr. Donald Sheridan performed surgery on Lowell’s thumb and found a 95 percent tear in the radical collateral ligament in that thumb. Lowell will need six-to-eight weeks of recovery time.

Here is what is confusing to me.

Lowell had a 95 percent tear in his thumb, which is obviously pretty significant. The season for the Red Sox ended almost three months ago. Why didn’t Lowell have this surgery as soon as the season ended?

Also, did the Red Sox not think the Rangers’ medical staff wouldn’t notice a 95 percent tear in Lowell’s thumb? I would think even a first year student in med. school would be able to diagnose that.

Now that Lowell has had his surgery, he will remain with the Red Sox when the 2010 season starts. Lowell might be ready by Opening Day, but he has zero trade value now.

When the season starts, my best guess is Lowell will play third against lefties and Casey Kotchman plays first base against righties. Kevin Youkilis will be in the lineup everyday and play third against righties and first against lefties.

Of course, nothing is ever set in stone with the Red Sox as they always look to improve their roster.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg