Who needs pitching in the MLB anyways – Lester gone. Lackey gone. Peavy gone. Doubront gone. Miller gone. Let us not forget, just reported a few minutes ago, Stephen Drew has also been dealt. Let’s not also forget about the ‘Team Tune-up’ Jonny Gomes.
So basically here’s the Red Sox day in a nut shell – it was a full out yard sale and what became of it, to me, was the loss of Lester:
Jon Lester – got traded to the the Oakland A’s, along with Jonny Gomes, for Yoenis Cespedes, a power hitter with a ton of strike-outs. The deal is merely mediocre if you’re a Red Sox fan because although they needed outfield help and a bat, Cespedes isn’t even the best bat on the Red Sox currently. The deal becomes a little better if they can extend Cespedes and turn his one remaining year into something like four more.
My point being, if I give up my ace, the World Series MVP and legit number one, I want a prospective hitter of that caliber, or a better hitter than Cespedes, but that’s all the A’s had to offer and he’s better than a trade exception if the Red Sox lose Lester this winter. I don’t initially love it except for the idea that Cespedes’ numbers should be better in Fenway, but that worked out so well with Gonzalez, or Carl Crawford.
Dealing Lester was stupid for a third most valuable franchise in baseball, with plenty of money to sign an ace this winter. Any ace will cost the same or more and will be unproven in Fenway park that favors batters. Going into the 2014 season without a legitimate ace would be stupid.
Felix Doubront – had to be gone. He practically got on his hands and knees begging for it. He gave up on his final stint on the mound as a Red Sox pitcher and his attitude made it much easier. The Red Sox pulled a deal with the Cubs to get a player to be named later for Doubront. It was virtually a dump and Felix gets to go back to Theo Epstein. No love lost.
John Lackey – is dealt in a transaction that I love to the St. Louis Cardinals. The Red Sox get back Allen Craig and Joe Kelly. The right-handed Kelly, who was a starting pitcher during game three of the World Series against the Red Sox, is a serviceable pitcher – not as good as Lackey, better than Doubront.
Allen Craig is struggling this season, but was an all-star in 2013 with 13 homers and 97 RBI’s. He definitely adds a bat to a struggling offense, even if it doesn’t seem like it this season. On top of that, Craig’s current contract takes him all the way up until the end of the 2017 season with a team option in 2018. Craig is a career .300 hitter and it stands to say that Fenway will be better to him.
Lackey was going to give you a headache anyways with his contract, so it’s good to get something for him and Kelly is not a horrible pitcher. This season, 26 year old Kelly has a 4.37 ERA and a 2-2 record with 25 K’s and 10 walks. He has career 3.25 ERA in 68 appearances.
Andrew Miller – gets traded within the division to the Baltimore Orioles for a prospect Eduardo Rodriguez in a lefty-for-lefty trade. The 21 year old Rodriguez was listed by Baseball America as the third best prospect in the Orioles system. He’s 3-7 with a 4.79 ERA and has struggled with a knee injury this season, but at just 21, there’s still a ton of room for growth.
Stephen Drew – was the final transaction of the day within the division to the New York Yankees for utility man Kelly Johnson. Johnson has 22 RBI’s and won’t be helping the offensive woes of the Red Sox as he’s batting .219. The deal wasn’t for Johnson, but for the salary dump of a bad signing of Stephen Drew.
An eventful day for writers, but as far as the overall outlook of all those moves collectively, the pitching has suffered majorly, and they got marginally better offensively with a struggling Craig and Cespedes, who strikes out a lot. Solidifying their line-up was a steeper price than I would have paid, but I expect a grander plan this winter when it comes to starting pitching.