The Argument for Jacoby and Clay

Yesterday morning news broke all over the internet that the Boston Red Sox were “working hard” on acquiring 1st baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the San Diego Padres.  With this news, I promptly went through a plethora of emotions.  I understand the need for a “big bat” in the lineup with the loss of Jason Bay as well as Mike Lowell.  Who will replace those 50 homeruns and 200 RBI’s?  In order to get something of value you have to give up value.

Gonzalez the number one overall pick in the 2000 draft, hit .277 with 40 home runs and 99 RBI’s playing at pitcher friendly Petco Park.  He is no doubt a stud and a cheap one at that.  He is currently under contract through 2012 making at the most 6 million a year.  Throw him in Fenway Park surrounded by Pedroia, Youk, and VMart and one can imagine that statline he can throw up.

Unfortunately, in order to acquire him the Sox would have to trade an arm, a leg, and numerous other assets.  With the Red Sox signing Mike Cameron and John Lackey earlier this week the Sox have the flexibility to  move fan favorites Jacoby Ellsbury and Clay Buchholz.  GM Theo Epstein has deemed young stud Casey Kelly untouchable.  The more I think of this potential move the more I become very uneasy.  I am not a fan of trading proven players.  And to me Jacoby certainly proved himself all of last season as one of the most exciting players in baseball and Clay came on huge down the stretch.

Jacoby upped his batting average from a .280 rookie campaign to .301 last seaso, stole 20 more bases, and his on base percentage rose 20 points as well.  Saying he has game changing speed is a vast understatement.  With he and Mike Cameron in the outfield there is virtually no way balls will be dropping in for cheap hits.  If Ellsbury is traded I have to wonder who will set the table for the Sox? Marco Scutaro? Please.

Buchholz was fantastic down the stretch last season.  He did finish at 7-4 with an ERA above 4.  However those stats don’t tell his story.  After dominating at the triple A level, Clay came up and featuring a knee buckling curveball mixed with a magnificent changeup.  From August on he went toe to toe with baseball’s best in Roy Halladay, CC Sabathia, Justin Verlander, and Matt Garza, not losing to any of them.  The idea of a rotation in which Buchholz is the 5 starter behind Lester, Beckett, Lackey and Dice-K has me craving October 2010.  This team is near unbeatable in a series.

I am a proponent of trading uncertain prospects.  The Red Sox gave up Brian Rose, Carl Pavano, and Tony Armas Jr. for a man named Pedro. At the time these were three premier prospects in the game.  How did that work out for all parties involved?  In November of 2003 the Sox traded Jorge De La Rosa, Casey Fossum, and Brandon Lyon for Curt Schilling. This promptly led to the first Red Sox World Series win in 86 years.  Sure the Red Sox lost Hanley Ramirez but they did get Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell. This is one time in recent history that prospects panned out.  My point is it does not happen often. Kevin Garnett was brought to town with the same principle with the Celtics only really losing Al Jefferson and Ryan Gomes.  Gerald Green mind as well be working at McDonald’s right now. The Pats brought in Randy Moss for a 4th round draft pick. 

Given the choice I am more inclined to give up Casey Kelly, Ryan Westmoreland, Junichi Tazawa, and Lars Anderson for the likes of an Adrian Gonzalez. With that I can live with a lineup that looks a little something like this.

CF Jacoby Ellsbury, 2B Dustin Pedroia, C Victor Martinez, 1B Adrian Gonzalez, 3B Kevin Youkillis, DH David Ortiz, LF Mike Cameron, RF JD Drew, and SS Marco Scutaro.

A rotation of Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, John Lackey, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Clay Buchholz. With Bard setting up Papelbon at the end of the game.

Yes, yes I like that very much.  Keep Jacoby and Clay in Boston!

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2 Responses

  1. But what if the question is Clay and Jacoby and no deal as opposed to the Sox making the decision to trade prospects or Clay and Jacoby…I think that’s a decision the Padres would make…what would you say to the Padres if they said Jacoby and Clay or no deal?

  2. I’d say no deal, Howie.

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