Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Farewell to Those Red Sox Players Who Were Moved Before The Trade Deadline

Starting with Jake Peavy on July 26th, the Red Sox began a fire sale of players that was really something to behold.  With the 2013 World Series Title Defense boat taking on an insurmountable amount of water, the Red Sox surprisingly became sellers less than a year after winning the title, and in the process moved the 1-2-3-4 pitchers in their starting rotation who began the year, plus many more.

Here's a quick recap and tip of the cap to those players that moved on to other teams in the last couple of weeks, in chronological order.

Jake Peavy

Date Moved: July 26th
New Team: San Francisco Giants
New Faces to Boston: LHP Edwin Escobar; RHP Heath Hembree

From all accounts, Peavy is a great teammate.  Hell, he even bought himself a duckboat after the Red Sox won the World Series.  The problem this season for him was no run support from the putrid offense.  He was last in the American League in run support which explains some of his 1-9 record with the Red Sox this season before the trade but he did tend to give up solid contact this year throughout and his walk percentage has been way up since coming over to Boston.  He's an absolutely fierce competitor who can help the Giants compete in the playoffs this very season, so hopefully a return to the NL will help him.

He pitched pretty well in 2 of his 3 starts in the post-season on the Red Sox way to a World Series, and for that, I thank him.

Felix Doubront

Date Moved: July 30th
New Team: Chicago Cubs
New Faces to Boston: A Player to be Named

Right after complaining about his role coming out of the bullpen for the Red Sox, Doubront proceeded to get absolutely hammered in his next start against the Blue Jays.  This season was a disaster for Doubront as his ERA ballooned over 6 by the time he left, so I think he should've probably started by playing well if he was going to start asking to go from the bullpen to the starting rotation...just a thought.  At that point he was sour grapes and playing like shit, so A Player to be Named, seemed pretty awesome to be getting for the crap he was pulling.

He pitched twice in the 2013 playoffs, allowing only 1 run over 7 innings, so for that, I say thank you...but he better check himself before opening his mouth when he's pitching terribly in the future.

Jon Lester

Date Moved: July 31st
New Team: Oakland A's
New Faces to Boston: OF Yoenis Cespedes & a 2015 Competitive Balance Pick

If the Red Sox are somehow able to re-sign Lester in the off-season AND retain Yoenis Cespedes in the process, it would be one of the best GM moves in history, bar-none.  He was the heart and soul of the pitching staff, a true ace, leader, and having arguably the best season of his career this year.

If renting him out for two months to the A's (as Billy Beane finally decides to go all in) yields them an All-Star outfielder with a cannon and they can sign Lester long term, I'll never question Cherington ever again.

He has been one of my favorite Red Sox and has never been anything other than a class act.  He has the lowest ERA in the World Series of all-time (0.43) and is a workhorse who is showing no signs of breaking down while he maintains his velocity and a devastating cutter.

If he doesn't come back, then the Red Sox totally botched his contract situation and lost an ace for possibly one year of an outfielder who can't really get on base.  And that may be the biggest blunder they've made in the last 50 years.

Thank You Jon Lester.

Jonny Gomes

Date Moved: July 31st
New Team: Oakland A's
New Faces to Boston: See Above with Lester

An elite teammate and a great pinch hitter, Gomes brought a lot of intangibles to a last place Red Sox team and helped change their entire mentality in a short time.  A big personality with some pop in his bat, Gomes was the perfect fit for a city like Boston.  With injuries this year to a couple of outfielders, it really put light on the fact that he should be your team's 4th outfielder or platooning with another player instead of an everyday position player.  He was hitting just .234 before the trade, although a decent .267 against lefties this year.  If platooned with a guy who can hit righties, he can be a good pick up and still a great option as a pinch hitter.

He can absolutely contribute to a winning team and should fit in swimmingly with the A's on their run to a World Series.  Thanks for everything Jonny.

John Lackey

Date Moved: July 31st
New Team: St. Louis Cardinals
New Faces to Boston: OF/1B Allen Craig & RHP Joe Kelley

I severely dislike the Cardinals and their holier-than-thou mentality but moving over to the NL can only help Lackey.  His contract is absurd at just $500,000 next year due to a clause that had the discounted price in the last year if he were to ever have Tommy John surgery at any point during the duration of the contract.  He started out as terrible with the Sox, then had Tommy John surgery (and may have actually been better for the Sox that year than the one previous), but then somehow turned into to a hoss last year on his way to a stellar season that included a win in each playoff series in 2013.

He's been a legit number 2 starter this year, so I want to see him pitch well in the postseason, while also having the Cardinals lose every game that he doesn't start.  Win-Win.  Getting back two big league players for him is good, as long as Craig can bounce back from a down year this year.  Thanks Big John.

Andrew Miller

Date Moved: July 31st
New Team: Baltimore Orioles
New Faces to Boston: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez

Andrew Miller has been absolutely great this year and one of the bright spots of a down season for the Red Sox.  He was hurt a little bit last year but was still very, very good when he was able to pitch.  There is no doubt in my mind that he will sure up that Orioles bullpen and provide some shutdown stuff in the 7th or 8th innings.  He had a 2.64 ERA in 30 innings last year and had a 2.34 ERA in 42.1 innings before being moved this year.

On the flip side, Miller's contract is up at the end of this year, and the Red Sox were able to get the number 3 prospect from Baltimore's organization.  That's a nice haul for a relief pitcher, especially one who isn't signed long term. 

Thank you Andrew.

Stephen Drew

Date Moved: July 31st
New Team: New York Yankees
New Faces to Boston: INF Kelly Johnson

Much like his brother J.D., Stephen was much maligned when he was bad but praised when he was good.  A lot of it has to do with the money involved in their contracts that they signed with Boston (like you would refuse more money...) and their even-keeled demeanor but both were able to get a World Series ring in their time here, so Sox fans can't be too upset with either of them in the long run.

Stephen was a great defensive shortstop and hit extremely well against lefties but it was his mighty struggles against righties and his propensity to strike out looking in big moments that always left you feeling lukewarm.  Of course, I'll always have a soft spot for him, and unlike Ellsbury, he didn't actually choose to go to the Yankees.  So, as long as they don't make any noise in the post-season and he sings somewhere else over the winter, I couldn't care less that he's in New York right now.

Kelly Johnson is basically a less expensive option than Drew.  Don't get too used to him in Boston.

Thanks for the World Series Stephen (even if you couldn't hit a lick during the run, I still love ya)!

Mike Carp

Date Moved: August 1st
New Team: Texas Rangers
New Faces to Boston: None

Much like Doubront, Carp was complaining about playing time while having an atrocious season.  He was batting a paltry .198 and somehow thought that should be good enough to get more ABs.  Carp is a 4th to 5th outfielder at best and somehow the team with the worst record in baseball picked him up on waivers.

It's a perfect matching of Carp and Crap from this season.  We got nothing back for him and that somehow seems like a steal.  Addition by Subtraction.

Thanks for the 2013 World Series Boys!  Here's looking to 2015 and another worst-to-first season!