Sunday, January 28, 2007

What the Hell...ton?

Ok, so the Globe's Nick Cafardo is floating trade talks with the Rockies (initiated by the Rockies). The Rockies are seeking what looks like Hansen for Helton (and they will pay a big portion of Helton's contract). Why wouldn't you do this? Hansen more than likely won't make the big league roster (at least to start the year), and he isn't going to be the closer (even late in the year). The Sox lineup would be devastating.

Also, you could then try to move Lowell and move Youk back to third.

Think of the lineup:


Of course, Helton's power numbers are way down, but he'd be your number 6 hitter and you'd be getting him for an unproven pitcher.

The down side is that your defense in the infield really isn't very good (minus Helton). Youk is a downgrade at third from Lowell, Lugo (anyone) is a downgrade from Gonzalez, and Pedroia (well, we haven't seen much of him)...

Anyway, I doubt (*seriously doubt) that this is much more than Cafardo trying to stir something up during a very quiet on the baseball front month. But it is cool to think about...sort of...


  1. Hi there! I wrote about this, and the news took me by surprise. If the Rockies want Julian and Mike, although I'd HATE to part with Mikey, and then our Youk would move back to his original place at the hot corner, where he will do just fine, then, Still shellshocked, I guess. It is a huge amount of money, but Helton would thrive hitting at the Fens, and his bat is more than dependable. But still, Theo, can you hear me? NO YOUNG ARMS!
    I haven't commented here in a while, but I'm still here everyday. A habit I'll keep!

  2. And he'd be the number two hitter.

  3. I can't see them hitting Helton second...Maybe fifth or sixth...

    And not every young arm is going to pan out. If it takes Hansen or Delcarmen you have to consider it.

    The Rockies aren't going to give up their most valuable player if they aren't going to get some young guys in return...

  4. This would be a terrible trade. Look how much the power numbers are down. And Helton isn't even close thei best player anymore. Even at half the price I can't understand tying up nine million on this aging guy. Yikes. Through age 38 nonetheless.

  5. This X (logging in troubles - that was me above as well). The story is being reported nationally (its not just Nick), but I think this is just one of those deals where COL called and Theo is listening. COL owner told the press about the talks - and maybe Theo thinks that could scare the Yanks into actually taking the guy. Or maybe COL gets so desperate or dumb. But really look at his numbers and he is no better than Youk - high OBP little power - albeit with an excellent mitt. I think this is like the Manny talk - in the end nothing happens.

  6. I like how with the amount of money they'd send us we'd actually be saving money while upgrading Lowell. If we can convince them to take someone like Breslow or Murphy this would be a steal on Theo's part.

    Mike Edelman

  7. Unless all the pieces fit for us, Theo will not do it! They want one of the "Super Six." In ADDITION to Tavarez and Mikey. Nope, no, no way, bye.

  8. I'm not sure it would be a "steal" if the Sox are paying 9MM in 2010 and 2011 to a very old nonproductive player. Theo didn't want to give four years to Damon who had not begun his decline - why essentially commit five to a player in decline. Take a look at those non-Coors numbers the past few years.

  9. 9MM in 2010 might not seem like that much money then...And while his power is down, he is still able to get on base and a very good fielder.

    9MM is Mike Lowell money...and I have to think that Helton will produce more in the long run.

  10. Sure 9MM will be less as a percent of payroll come 2010, but not that much. And Lowell gets 9MM this year only. Come 2010 Lowell will be earning what a player in steep decline "deserves" to make - maybe Nixon money. I'm confident Theo knows all this and knows what he is doing. My guess is that Helton stays in COL. This year. And probably for a few more years until he either reverses the downward spiral (or even levels off) or has just a few short years left on his contract.

  11. Now that I have read the updated reports...Tavarez, Lowell, and two more players...forget it.

    The only thing about Helton is that he could turn into an Olerud type...Big average, great OBP, great fielder (makes everyone in the IF better). He can hit almost anywhere in the lineup...not many guys can do that effectively.

    Lowell and Tavarez are gone soon anyway. So you would basically be giving up a young arm (if you can keep it to just one)...

  12. As the shock of this wears off a bit, my stance on this is softening a bit. I do think it foolish to commit five years. But if I am okay with the Drew contract, I guess I have to be okay with Helton for the same number of years and fewer dollars. The power is gone. Long, long gone. But he can still get on base. Supposedly this last year he was hurting and still got on base at a 400 clip.

    And the way $$ is being thrown around, $9MM is Juan Pierre cash and his OBP is only .320 - .330 with little power.

    So, the Sox will field a lineup with Manny and Ortiz for three more seasons (barring a trade of Manny). Assume Drew will be healthy for at least two of those seasons and figure Helton to get on base around .390 and decline .010 each year - you have a formidable lineup. And the Sox have a damn good chance of winning a WS in this window. All of us should then not mind (except for simmons who will likely violate his own grace period rule) when the team has a couple of rough years in 2010-11 when Manny is gone, Drew and Helton are at the back ends of their contracts and Ortiz is potential declining. But hey, if they win another WS, Theo will have cemented a decent legacy.

  13. The rockies owner is a dumbass. Now he is saying the talks are over. Talks that they initiated. And they made public. No wonder that team is a joke. They have some great prospects. And a nice park. But what a bafoon this guy looks like. This is almost as silly as Glavine "choosing" between the Braves and Mets.

    I think this confirms all along that Theo was listening. And if the Rox offerred anything stupid, he would have pounced.

  14. X, that's the whole point of this lovely piece of news....the Sox DID NOT do anything stupid. And yes, the Rockies would have pounced. And Mike Lowell in "STEEP DECLINE?" I forgot who said that, but wow, did you watch him ALL of last season. A vacuum cleaner at third, with ear-spliiting (bouncing off the green wall, wonderful sounds) doubles all year long. To me, he was the best all-around infielder we had last year. And I will enjoy watching him yet again in '07, where only the lack of a closer prevents me from picking the Sox to be AL East champs....and more!
    Take care everyone. I hope you are all well. P

  15. AL EAST CHAMPS? big a Sox fan as I am, I can't see them winning the East at this point.

    Are they better than last year? On paper, yes...but they aren't like 15 games better than last year. And even if they add a closer, I doubt he would be 15 even 5 games better than Papelbon was last year...

  16. Really? I could see them winning the east just as easily as the Yanks. I also could see either team in third. A while back we had the posts on the pitching and if things and we outline the incredibly variable expecations for each of the pitchers in BOTH rotations. If Beck, Schilling, Dice-K, Paps and Wake all live up to their potential of 15-18 wins each, the team will be sitting pretty. And I don't care who the closer is. Same with the Yanks, Moose, Pettite, Wang all could win 15-18 and Igawa and Pavano/Hughes could step in and win 12.

    On the flip side, throw in an injury or two (Schilling, Beckett, Moose, Pettite), a failure to live up to expectations (Dice-K, Wang, Igawa, Hughes) and both teams could decide they need to heavily bid for Clemens come June 1.

    Sure, I'll pikc the incumbent as well. They have won 9 years in a row. And, hell put the pressure on them - A-Rod seems to thrive on pressure. Not.

    For all the talk of imbalance, I really think there are about 10 teams in the AL that have a real shot at the playoffs (if everything breaks right). Sorry, KC, Bal, TB, and SEA (and probably TEX)

  17. I think that the Jays are going to be even better this year...The Yankees are going to be just as good. The Sox are going to be good...It is just something about the Sox lineup that bugs me. Yes, Manny and Ortiz...I know...But while Lugo will "probably" be pretty good, he might not be that great...and the bottom of the lineup is mediocre. Yes, Tek and Crisp could have good years, but they could also not have good years.

    I think that the pitching looks pretty good.

    It is just looking at this team and thinking that they are 12 games or so better than last year, with a bunch of games against the Yankees and Jays is hard to see...

    98 wins gets the division is my guess, and I have a hard time seeing the Sox get that many...

  18. Just remember all the injuries that bit last year. Manny missed 30+ games, Ortiz had the heart scare, Tek and Nixon missed huge chunks of time. Schilling missed a start or two down the stretch, Paps had to be shut down. Lester got cancer. The team was like a MASH unit.

    The rotation should be much improved.

    10-12 games sounds like a lot. But remember the team went into absolute freefall in Aug.

    They were 65-43 on august 4 - a pace to win 98 games. And that is when the shit really hit the fan.

    Of course they have to play better against the good teams given their record in interleague and against BAL. But still those wins count just as much.

  19. Right...and they also can't have injuries.

    Drew played the most games out of any of the starting outfielders for the Sox last year...

    Crisp will probably not break his finger again...Manny? Who knows what was even wrong with him...?

    So the outfield is probably ok...

    I just don't know about the infield...Youk, Pedroia, Lugo, and Lowell...This infield just doesn't excite me...None of them are scary at the plate...Lowell (as far as we know) is the only vacuum.


    That looks good. If Matsuzaka is good, Beckett is better than last year (should be), Papelbon can handle the innings, and Wake doesn't get hurt again. While I expect all those things to actually be true, can you count on all of these?

    And the pen is still...Timlin (will he rebound?), Tavarez (if he isn't dealt, and not pissed about the Sox trying to deal him), Donnelly (my favorite guy out there right now), Delcarmen (maybe my second favorite), Hansen (AAA), Piniero (???).

    To win 98 you need a lot of things to go right. The Sox need a lot of "ifs" to pan out.

    You know that I am usually the "everything is going to go great with the Sox", I am just not that trusting this season. Not pessimistic, but usually teams don't win 98 games when they have many question marks heading into the season.

  20. Yeah, I hear what you are saying. The encouraging thing is that the jump from 85- to 98 wins does seem like a big step forward, but the team probably was better than 85 wins last year - they weren't as good as they played in the early part of the year (through August 4) and they were not as bad as they played the last two months.

    And you are right, they have to stay healthy. And they need some breaks. But every team has some questions. And as the season evloves the Sox will figure out what there needs are and hopefully do a better job of addressing them before July 31.

    In 2003 (when they won 95 games), they had no clser to start the year,they did not know what they had in Ortiz, Millar was an unknown quantity, Meuller was coming off an injury and John Burkett was one of our starters. And they made it to the 7th game of the LCS.

    In 2004 (98 wins), Nomar and Nixon were hurt to start the season, Schilling was coming off injury, their fifth starter was either some guy named Arroyo, who had been cut since he last started a MLB game, or Byung Hung Kim, last seen giving the finger to RSN and blowing a playoff game in OAK.

    Even the 2005 team, with fatal flaws, won 95 games. Schilling's ankle and a patchwork of other staters plugged the gap (Jeremi Gonzalez, John Halama, Wade Miller). Yikes.

    I guess I would put the over under on this team at about 90.5 wins -and the standard deviation is about 8. As in if everything goes well, they would win 100 or so games. If things hit the fan in a hurry, they could slip back to .500.

  21. Their offense in 2003 was way better than this year's offense is going to be...I would say 100 runs better.

    I don't think you need a closer to start the season. There is time for someone to emerge. Look at the last couple of WS teams (minus the Red Sox) and their closers arrived somewhere during the season...

    Also, I totally agree with what you're saying about "questions"...None of those Sox teams won the division, though...And like you said in an earlier post, there are 10 legit teams vying for the WC at least in the AL.

    Actually, I just kind of figured out what I don't like about this team...It's that feeling that I've had in the past with them...The Yankees get Sheffield, we get Jeremy Giambi...It just seems that other teams made runs at the real big names out there and paid big bucks. We chose upper second tier guys with "possible" upside. It worked with Ortiz, but he is the exception generally...

    I hear people projecting Lugo to be a .300 hitter when he really hasn't done that, yet. He also makes a bunch of errors.

    The Drew deal still is not "official"...Yes, it pretty much is, but, again, something must have been sticking pretty seriously with that physical which is a worry.

    And Daisuke...I am hoping he is "lights out"...Were there other high-end pitchers out there??? Not really, and I understand this guy is young with some nasty stuff...just not a proven commodity, Contreras was...(but we didn't get him anyway...)...

    I am going in to this season rooting harder than ever for the Sox (obvious tag here)...I think the Yankees pitching is suspect. We potentially have (by far) the best rotation in the AL. We potentially have one of the strongest lineups in all of 5 potential at the least.

    But I am with you...could be 98 wins, could be 82 wins...I just can't make the prediction that this year is the one where they win the East.