Daily Archives: August 28, 2012

Game 129 Lineup: Blue Jays vs. Yankees

Lineup vs. Blue Jays:

Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Steve Pearce DH
Russell Martin C
Curtis Granderson CF
Andruw Jones RF
Jayson Nix 3B
Ichiro Suzuki LF

RHP Phil Hughes

Pregame Notes:

— Alex Rodriguez took batting practice today for the first time since his injury.

— Joe Girardi  says Mark Teixeira will be out “seven to eight to 15 days.”

— Casey McGhee was optioned to Class-A ball for Steve Pearce. Charleston isn’t going to the play-offs so McGhee will be with the Yankees again next week.

A Shocking Blockbuster Trade

One of the many old sayings in sports is that it is easier to fire the manager than the players. The Boston Red Sox tried firing their manager in the offseason and it did not do them any good. Now, they found a way to fire some of the players and trade some of the worst contracts in baseball. Last week, the Red Sox traded Beckett, Crawford, Gonzalez and Nick Punto to the Los Angeles Dodgers for first baseman James Loney and minor leaguers Allen Webster, Ivan De Jesus, Rubby De La Rossa and Jerry Sands.

There is no doubt that this is one of the biggest trades in MLB history. The Dodgers took on an incredible $272 million in salary for four players, all of whom have question marks. The Red Sox managed to get out from under the contracts of three players who were not only not living up to their contracts, but also were causing issues in the clubhouse.

Beckett was one of the ring leaders of the beer and chicken in the clubhouse incident from last season. Also, he had an incident this season where he played golf two days before he missed his scheduled start due to stiffness in his lat muscle. Beckett’s conditioning and his commitment to the team have always been in question as well. Meanwhile, Gonzalez was never a fit in Boston despite producing solid numbers. He blamed the Red Sox collapse last season on God and the fact that the Red Sox played too many ESPN Sunday Night Baseball games. Those kinds of excuses will not fly in a city like Boston.

The Dodgers new ownership group, led by global investment firm Guggenheim Partners, has not been shy about spending money since purchasing the franchise for about $2 billion dollars. They re-signed Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, traded for Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton, and now have made this enormous deal.

There is no doubt that this trade should help them right now because Gonzalez is a huge upgrade over James Loney. Gonzalez is having a down season, but he should be a lot more comfortable playing out west again. Loney is about as bad as it gets at first base, as his highest OPS in his career for a full season is .772, which is not even close to Gonzalez’s career worst .814 OPS this season. Beckett also may be more comfortable out west, but he is a guy that just may bring clubhouse problems wherever he goes. Also, Crawford won’t be able to help them until next season after getting Tommy John surgery.

The Dodgers are obviously going for it all and have unlimited funds, but one must ask whether they spent their money wisely? If you are going take on $260 million dollars in salary the players you receive should come with as little risk as possible. Crawford, who is owed $102.5 million over the next five years, was a complete bust for Boston and just received Tommy John surgery. Beckett, who is owed $31.5 million over the next two years, has seemed to have lost his stuff as a pitcher and doesn’t seem to care enough to make the necessary adjustments to be successful. Gonzalez’s deal at six years and $128 million is the best out of the three of them. The Dodgers probably could have spent all this money they have in the future on better players and still be in contention for a title this season.

The Red Sox managed to get rid of players who would have been holding them back for years to come. They also received two young pitching prospects in De La Rossa and Webster, who respectively placed #90 in 2011 and #95 in 2012 on Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects list. It is amazing that Boston got rid of such high priced players and got legitimate prospects for them. They still have a lot of work to do to be in contention in the AL East again, but at least now they have that opportunity again.

It will be interesting to see if they have learned from their past mistakes of giving big contracts to the wrong players. Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton will be out there on the open market this offseason, but they’re two guys who again might not be the best fit in Boston, due to Greinke’s anxiety issues and Hamilton’s past drug and alcohol issues. They would be smart to pass on those guys, develop some young players in 2013, sign some big free agents from a better free agent crop in the 2013 offseason and be ready to compete in 2014. They may now keep manager Bobby Valentine as well because his personality fits much better with a younger team than with a veteran one.

This trade can end up going in many different directions. The Red Sox should be the big winners if they play their cards right, but there is no guarantee that they will do that. The Dodgers can be big winners if the players they received live up to their contracts and they win a championship, otherwise they will be losers.  This is one of the most significant trades in MLB history and it will be fascinating to see the results of it in a few years.

Spanning the Yankee Blogs: Cashman, Mark Montgomery, Jeter, Swish & more

* An A-blog for A-Rod asks if Cashman fired up Jeter in 2010.

* Bleeding Yankee Blue thinks Cervelli will bring some much needed energy to this team.

* It’s about the Money Stupid wonders if the Yankees could ever become the Red Sox.

* Pinstripe Alley looks into the Mark Montgomery option.

* River Ave Blues writes how Jeter & Swisher have been carrying the Yankees offensively.

* The Captain’s Blog has a good article on how the Yankee dwindling lead could make history.

* The Yankee Analysts looks into one reason why the offense has declined since 2009.

* Yanks Go Yard has a good piece on Eric Chavez.

Morning Bits: Soriano blows off the media, Stretch run & More

What a horrible day for the Yankees in many ways last night.   They lost the game and lost Mark Teixeira for at least a week.  The year of the injuries continues.   Also Baltimore moved up in the standings.  The Yankees are back at it tonight with first pitch scheduled for 7:05PM EST.  On the mound will be Hughes vs Romero.   I will be at the game tonight as well.

Enjoy the day.  Now for some links….

Johnette Howard of ESPN NY writes that the Bad News Bombers are going into the stretch run the wrong way.

Ian Begley has some notes on the Bombers including that A-Rod will take batting practice today.

Greg Zeck of MLB.com has the preview of tonight’s game.

John Harper of The Daily News mentions that Soriano blew off the media after blowing the game last night.

Standings from ESPN.COM