Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sawx Almost Stole Offseason Thunder

Via River Ave. Blues, both Jon Heyman and Tom Verducci are reporting that the Red Sox opened discussions with the Marlins in an attempt to re-acquire Hanley Ramirez. Florida apparently brought up Jacoby Elsbury and Clay Bucholz, but it is unclear where the negotiations hit a standstill. Joesph P. at RAB says:
I know some of you are thinking it, and I’m sure someone has said it in the comments section at MLBTR, but it’s not what you think. This is not Boston retaliating. Signing Carl Pavano and trading for Randy Johnson? Retaliation for 2004. Bidding 27 freaking million dollars on Kei Igawa? Retaliation for Daisuke Matsuzaka (or at least one could make the argument). Attempting a trade for Hanley Ramirez? Not retaliation for the Yankees nabbing Teixeira.
Well said. I think it was retaliation in timing only. I would think that the Teixeira signing might have provided some inspiration, but retaliation is typically foolish and impulsive. Like much of what the Red Sox have done recently, like hiring Bill James, this was a brilliant, calculated maneuver, which would have stolen a whole bunch of off-season thunder from the Yanks. If the Marlins' return was Bucholz, Ellsbury and some lower prospects, it looks initially like a good deal from both sides, just like the deal that sent Ramirez to Miami originally. It would have made me reevaluate my inclination that the Yankees are favorites to take the AL East crown.

The Sox have a loaded farm system and maybe I'm underrating the two principle components of the trade, but it seems like they have a great deal of talent at the AAA level and at a certain point, you can have too many prospects for too few major league spots. It's a nice problem to have, and hopefully the Yanks are headed in that direction as well.

I don't have an encyclopedic knowledge of baseball history, and its kinda late, so I think I'm just going to pose a question instead of researching it. Has a similar trade (where teams go back and forth with a player of Ramirez's magnitude) ever happened? The guy gets slept on because he plays in Florida, but look at these numbers for a 24 year old shortstop, playing in a pitchers ballpark (.308/.379/.527 career line). And the Sawx already have Jed Lowrie at short and were thinking about Hanley to CF. Moving a SS to CF, what a novel idea...

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