Multiple sources confirm that the Red Sox have agreed to a one-year, $9 million deal with a player option for $5 million. Beltre will fill the void the Red Sox have at third base, and opens up a possible trade with the now useless Lowell.
This is a pretty good deal for the Red Sox. They got him cheap, he’s a pretty good player, and he fits right into their needs. But does he fit into the team?
Using data from fangraphs.com, we see that Beltre doesn’t come close to your typical Red Sox star.
First, lets just go with some stats. Beltre is 31 years old. He has been injured many times in his career. He is a .270 career hitter, with a below average .325 career OBP.
The thing that popped out to me was 36.8% of the pitches Beltre swings at are out of the strike zone. Compare that to the Red Sox team average which is 22.6%, the lowest in the Majors. He also swings at 54.2% of the pitches he sees, compared to the Red Sox team average of 42.3%, again the lowest in the Majors.
Last, let’s look at the Bill James projection for next year. Barring an injury, James predicts Beltre to hit .269 with 17 home runs and 78 RBI’s. Again we look at the essential free agent signing question: Is the team better now then they were before? Well, considering Lowell hit .290 with 17 home runs and 75 RBI’s in 2009, the Red Sox are no better suited now then they were before.
The bottom line here is that Beltre flat out does not make the Red Sox a better team. He doesn’t fit into the patient apporach of the team. That, along with his often injuries, make him a huge threat to the success of the Red Sox. Sure he can be good, but he can also be a disaster.
Here are some of the latest news stories from various sources:
- ESPN.com reports that the Cardinals are getting closer to a deal with Matt Holliday. The deal could be a seven-year deal.
- Wang’s agent told 1050 ESPN
that he has heard from 15 teams who are interested in Wang. The Yankees
were one of them, while the Mets were not. No other teams were
- The Red Sox have made an offer for third baseman, Adrian Beltre, according to ESPN.com. Other teams are also interest including the Angels, Athletics and Orioles.
- Buster Olney tweets that the Athletics have pulled their offer off the table for Adrian Beltre.
- According to SNY, Jason Bay has passed his physical and is officially a New York Met, to be announced tomorrow.
- An AP source tells NBCSports.com that Bay’s deal with the Mets will have a $17M option for 2014.
- Mike Axisa of River Avenue Blues says that the Yankees should go after the A’s, Travis Buck, to play the outfield.
- The NY Post reports that David Cone will not be returning to the YES Network. Tino Martinez is a possible replacement.
- 7:40 p.m. SI.com has learned that the Red Sox are now close to a deal with Adrian Beltre. The deal is believed to be at least two-years with an opt-out option after this season.
- 9:19 p.m. Peter Gammons says via Twitter that the Red Sox have agreed to a one-year deal worth $9M, with a player option for $5M. 9:31 p.m. FOXSports.com confirms.
- 9:25 p.m. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com tweets about a possible trade that would send Luis Castillo to the Red Sox, and Mike Lowell to the Mets. The deal would work out for the Red Sox with Beltre coming, and with Castillo gone, the Mets could go after Orlando Hudson.
- 9:29 p.m. Chad Jennings of The Journal News reports that the Indians have signed Shelly Duncan.
“No chance on Matt Holliday, no chance on Jason Bay,” the official said. “Zero. None. Underline it.”
The newspaper also said that the Yankees are looking to guys like Jerry Hairston Jr. or Reed Johnson to fill the void in left field, while still considering the idea of Gardner as the full time left fielder.
The Yankees are clearly not inspired by this years free agents and are likely to make a splash in next years market, maybe by pursuing Carl Crawford, says the Daily News.
To me this is a big mistake. Holliday is a great, great player and there is no reason to wait out for a worse player in Crawford who is also likely to seek a long term deal. Holliday has said he wants to play in New York, so there is a good chance they can get him cheaper than what he seems to want.
As for Hairston and Reed, do they really think these guys can make a difference? Are the Yankees really considering defending their 27th title by putting Hairston, Johnson, or Gardner as their everyday left fielder? Big mistake.
I still don’t know about this. It surprises me that the Yankees are prepared to have that weak of a left fielder. I would still be very surprised if the Yankees don’t target some kind of big time left fielder. I don’t care what the official said, I’m still not convinced.
Poll of the Day:
Are the Yankees making a mistake by not getting Holliday?(online surveys)
The defending champs had no secrets when moving into the off season, there were certainly some holes to fill. The additions of Granderson, Johnson and Vazquez, along with the resigning of Pettitte, take care of most of those holes. But, there’s one hole still not filled; left field.
Yankees GM, Brian Cashman, has been quoted many times saying that a big time signing in left field would be “innaproripte.” But, as Brian Hoch writes for Yankees.com, that is no clear indication for what is to come.
Remember in 2004 when Cashman insited that Bubba Crosby would be the everday center fielder, and then went off and signed Johnny Damon? How about last year when Nick Swisher was said to be the next Yankee first baseman, and then Teixeira swooped in with a long term signing? This year is no different, and a big deal for a left fielder may be in the near future.
There have been multiple reports about the Yankees interest in outfielders such as Jason Bay and Jermaine Dye. But their ages and lack of fielding abilities will most definitely keep them out of New York. So, that leaves Matt Holliday, who’s young age and fielding ability would seem to fit perfectley into New Yorks mold.
The conistent quotes and reports would make a big deal for Holliday seem impossible. But, something in the pit of my stomach just gives me the feeling that Brett Gardner is not going to be the everyday left fielder for the Yankees. Yes, they had him as the everyday center fielder last year, but Melky was right there to back him up. That is not the case this year.
Holliday got a huge deal from the Cardinals that he hasn’t accepted. That would indicate he is waiting for something else. The Mets are reportadley pursuing Holliday but reports also say he doesn’t want to play in Citi Field. The Red Sox are also a player, but their big deal for Lackey may make them a bit vulnerable.
So, the opportunity is there, will the Yankees take it?
UPDATE: 7:56 p.m. Bryan Hoch of Yankees.com confirms with me via twitter that he will also be surprised if Gardner is the opening day left fielder.
UPDATE 10:03 p.m. Just found out that Holliday said in April of last year that he would like to play in New York. His father also said that he would like his son to play on the east coast. That explains why he hasn’t accepted the Cardinals offer.
UPDATE 10:14 p.m. Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News points out on his blog that the Yankees are unlikely to make a big move considering that their payroll would be way higher than last years, which is something they don’t want to do.
Poll of the Day:
Do you think the Yankees will give an offer to Holliday?(trends)
The NY Post is reporting that the Yankees are in serious talks with the agents of free agent outfielder Reed Johnson. The Yankees have been in search for an outfielder, as it seems Johnny Damon will not be returning. With Granderson in center and Nick Swisher in right, left field is weak with just Gardner. Would Johnson be a good choice?
- He has hit over .300 twice in his career.
- He hits .313 against lefties in his career and could fill in for Granderson who is weak against lefties.
- Gardner may not be consistent enough to start everyday in left.
- He can play all three outfield positions.
- He most likely won’t require a long term deal.
- He hit just .255 last year.
- He really isn’t a strong enough player to start in left, at least not any stronger than Gardner.
- The Yankees have some other options for left within their system.
Chat or Chuck?:
Chuck. If anything, I would like to see the Yankees go after another pitcher. The Yankees were lucky enough to make it through the playoffs with just three starters, and you have to think that won’t work again. Last year, everything went right, you have to expect some adversity. And right now, the Yankees pitching depth can not deal with that as easily as the outfield can. Bottom line, a pitcher will help this team more than an outfielder right now.
POLL UPDATE: 100% (7 votes) of you think that the Vazquez trade was a good idea.
The NY Post reported a couple of days ago that Cashman wanted to get a starter by the New Year. Today, that goal was accomplished. It has been confirmed by MLB.com that the Yankees have traded Melky Cabrera to the Braves for SP Javier Vazquez. I’ve said it before, the Yankees needed a starting pitcher. But, was the price too high? Let’s take a look:
- He had a 2.87 ERA last year in 32 starts.
- He had a 5.41 SO/BB ratio last year.
- He strikes out 8.1 batters per nine innings in his career.
- He has a career 3.48 SO/BB ratio.
- He gave up just 0.8 HR’s per nine innings last year.
- He has 200+ strikeouts in his last three seasons.
- Melky has never hit over .280 or had an OBP over .360 in five career seasons.
- Melky only hits an average of 10 homers per year.
- The Yankees needed a starter more than anything else.
- He could have said no to this trade, so you know he wants to pitch in New York.
- Melky is a good outfielder.
- The Yankees now need an outfielder, unless they trust Gardner everyday.
- Vazquez had a 4.91 ERA in his one year with the Yankees.
- Vazquez will cost more than Melky over the next couple of years.
Smart or Smack?:
Smart. To me, the question with any trade is: Is you team better equipped to win? The answer here is yes. The Yankees really needed a starter. Vazquez is a verteran who has proved that he can be dominating. Yes he has had medioker years, but as a number three or four starter, that would be okay. As for Melky, he never really made a difference. The only reason people don’t like this deal is because they think Melky has great potential. Well, he hasn’t shown that in five seasons. You can’t fall in love with these guys who you are wating to see production from. In the end, the Yankees are now a stronger team.
UPDATE 6:14 p.m. Just remember that this deal is taken out of context. The Yankees are now players for an outfielder such as Jermaine Dye (Jon Heyman) and still Johnny Damon (Yankees.com). Better off talking about this trade in a month.
UPDATE 6:59 p.m. You can add Mark DeRosa to that list of possibilities (WFAN.com).
UPDATE 7:03 p.m. Also remember that the Yankees are unlikely to make a big deal for a Matt Holliday or Jason Bay, considering what the free agent market plays out for next year. Maybe Carl Crawford is a possibility?
I was surprised to see a report in the Daily News today that the Cubs might make a move to send Melky Cabrera or Brett Gardner to Chicago in exchange for a pitcher. According to FoxSports.com, the move would be initiated by the Cubs GM.
With the recent loss of the Cubs OF Milton Bradley and the Yankees shortage of pitchers, coupled with the fact that the Yankees have extra outfielders and the Cubs have extra pitching, the deal would make sense.
As the Yankee outfield looks right now, its Granderson in center, Swisher in right and Melky in left. Gardner and recent Rule 5 draft pick-up, Jamie Hoffman, would be the fourth and fifth outfielders respectively.
Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lily, Ryan Dempster and Randy Wells are the Cubs top pitchers. Zambrano is a head case that I don’t need to watch everyday, freaking out in the clubhouse. Dempster had a great year in 2008, but is iffy otherwise. Lily is a solid, veteran starter. Wells is an extremely young starter who seems to have a lot of potential.
So, in the rumor stages of this deal, you can pick which pitcher you would like to see. Either way, the Yankees need pitching. As it looks right now, these options on the Cubs look a lot better than what’s left on the market. Neither Gardner or Cabrera is going to be a huge difference maker, but will the Yankees be willing to give one of them up?
UPDATE 8:58 p.m. Ken Davidoff of Newsday tweets that the Yankees talked to the Cubs about a trade for Zambrano. No talks are active as of now. Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated also tweets that if this trade were to happen, the Yankees could go after Jermaine Dye to fill in for Melky/Gardner.
Poll of the Day:
Should the Yankees trade Melky/Gardner for a pitcher?(online surveys)