Get it? Get it?!? Oh man. Sometimes I crack myself up.
Yesterday the Boston Red Sox traded a boatload of top prospects to the Chicago White Sox for all-world ace Chris Sale. The BoSox’s marketing department immediately cancelled all throwback jersey games for the foreseeable future.
The local nine’s obviously in win-now mode, and rightfully so. Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Rick Porcello all came of age and proved they’re ready to be the core of the next great Sox team. Andrew Benintendi looks ready to take over in left. David Price would seem primed for a bounce back season, especially given that he no longer has to be The Guy. Dustin Pedroia proved he’s still got a few good years left. And, perhaps most importantly, the rest of the American League is still looking a little iffy. This was absolutely the right time to cash in a few prospects for an elite player that fills an immediate need and hopefully saves us from Clay Butthole.
But Scott Colby, you protest, that was a lot of good prospects to give up! True, but I’m not real worried about it. Yoan Moncada’s often listed as the top prospect in the game, but he’s blocked at his best position by one Dustin Pedroia. The more I read about Michael Kopech the more he sounds like a closer or a setup man. Luis Alexander Basabe’s super athletic but super raw. And Victor Diaz hasn’t made a professional start and looks like a pure relief prospect, which might as well make him a non-prospect because come on. The White Sox brought on some talent, but none of it’s a sure thing other than Moncada.
So yeah, I really like this deal for the Red Sox, even though they’re the Red Sox and so Sale’s funky arm action will probably make his entire left limb just fall out of the joint sometime in July. What I really don’t like, however, is another recent trade the Red Sox pulled off: corner guy Travis Shaw and a pair of prospects to Milwaukee for setup man Tyler Thornburg.
Remember the days when “smart” baseball teams didn’t spend big on relievers because they’re fungible, volatile, and tough to predict? Seems to be a thing of the past. San Francisco just gave Mark Melancon four years and $62 million. Speculation is that both Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen could command deals for at least four years and over $80 million. These are good players, sure, but those numbers are nuts. Thanks, Kansas City.
Granted, Travis Shaw and a pair of nobodies isn’t exactly a huge loss, but Shaw’s proven to be a competent-but-streaky bat who can fill in at multiple positions, and he works as a good source of left handed power off the bench. Thornburg, meanwhile, is coming off an elbow injury in 2014 and just one successful professional season. You can find that in free agency. All would be forgiven, of course, if Dave Dombrowski brings Edwin Encarnacion and his pet ghost parrot to Fenway, but that’s looking unlikely now that they’ve added Mitch Moreland, who…yeah, he’s basically a more expensive Travis Shaw, except with a Gold Glove. Shit.