Tuesday, August 01, 2006

WINNERS AND LOSERS

Nothing like a billion knee-jerk reactions to moves made or not made at the trading deadline. Moves made and unmade have been over-analyzed, dissected, and declared genius or idiotic. Somehow, I have a feeling most of these moves are merely the shuffling of unwanted players for unspectacular prospects. In other words, much action for little result.

In Boston, the media has been whipped into a frenzy as the Red Sox have stood pat and given their young pitchers a chance to prove their worth to the big league club down the stretch, while the Yankees went out and plopped down the entire payroll of the Florida Marlins in order to pick up a guy who is no better than what they had in the outfield (Melky Cabrera) and a fifth starter who, if they are really lucky could turn out to be as useful as Jeff Suppan was for the Sox when they unloaded All-Star infielder Freddy Sanchez for him back in 2003.

Sidenote: Yes, I know the trade was not Sanchez for Suppan, but at the time, any of us who had seen Freddy in Pawtucket knew he was the best infield prospect they had and that he had the potential to put up the numbers he has for Pittsburg so far in 2006. The trade in 2003 was Brandon Lyon and Anastacio Martinez (what the heck ever happened to that guy?) to Pittsburgh for Scott Sauerbeck (aka Sour Grapes) and the immortal Mike Gonzalez. Of course, Lyon had an elbow problem, so the Pirates traded him back to Boston along with Anastacio Martinez and Jeff Suppan for the immortal Mike Gonzalez and Freddy Sanchez (plus a boatload of cash to so the Sox could say they were sorry). Regrettably, had the first trade not blown up over the elbow of Brandon Lyon, the Sox could have kept Sanchez. Lyon, bad elbow and all, was of course packaged with Casey Fossum and Jorge De La Rosa for Curt Schilling. Not exactly a franchise builder for the Diamondbacks.

Sidenote to the Sidenote: Diamondbacks? Did the Arena Football team already have the rights to Arizona Rattlers? Diamondbacks has to be the worst team name this side of the Brooklyn Bridgegrooms.

Back to the subject matter, that being that the Red Sox did not trade away Craig Hansen, Manny Delcarmen, or Jon Lester for a big name starter. Sure, I would love to have landed Roy Oswalt, or Mark Buehrle, or even the Rocket, but trading two young pitchers and a position player creates more holes, it does not fill them. The injury to Trot Nixon is a blessing in disguise, as there is no way he should have been playing over Wily Mo Pena. I have seen the future of right field at Fenway Park and it is Wily Mo. Keep him close to Big Papi and let him rip.

Yes, the Sox definitely have some short-term issues (injuries to Jason Varitek, Trot Nixon, Matt Clement, Manny Delcarmen, and Tim Wakefield), but these issue will work themselves out one way or another. Making a knee-jerk trade and undoing all the hard work done to develop these kids for the future makes no sense to me. Let the Yankees, Rangers, and Tigers dump poor prospects for marginal players, I prefer to watch the young guns blow these teams out in September and October.

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