Monday, December 17, 2012

And we thought Theo had problems with shortstops

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Ben Cherington.  Carrying on the recent tradition of another Red Sox GM, Theo Epstein, Ben is fucking up the shortstop portion of the roster.

Ben sent Scutaro packing.  Admittedly, Scoots wasn't really a shortstop anymore, as the Rockies and Giants favored him over on the other side of the bag.  After trading Scutaro, Jose Iglesias was brought into spring training and told that he might make the big club.  In fact, Bobby Valentine made it known that he wanted Iggy on the team.  Instead, Mike Aviles was foisted upon us.  Aviles was like a typical shortstop: played good defense, but didn't hit a ton.  So Ben sends Aviles north of the border in exchange for a new manager, fires Cupid, and now -- yes, NOW -- Iglesias will be the starting shortshop of the Red Sox.

Except Ben just signed Stephen Drew.  Drew spent 11 months nursing an ankle injury he got from a slide into home in 2011, a feat that not only makes Ellsbury go "Whoa, why didn't I think of that?", but it reminds me of Stephen's brother in all the wrong ways.  So I really wonder about Stephen Drew's attitude and if that's anything this team really needs, but I'm also annoyed that Ben just give a $9.5 million deal to a 29 year old, injury prone shortstop who has only shown potential to be a great player, but he's never achieved his potential.

Remind you (JD) of anyone (JD) that might (JD) be a similarly (JD) disappointing (JD) player?

In the meantime, Pedro Ciriaco's minor league stats and contributions at the MLB level indicate that he's finally getting things together.  At 27, Ciriaco is old for a prospect, and his AAA numbers were disappointing.  He batting .231 at Indianapolis in 2011, but that average spiked to .301 for Pawtucket in 2012.  Additionally, Ciriaco kept that pace going with Boston, hitting .293 with 16 stolen bases in 272 plate appearances.  You know how many times Stephen Drew has stolen 16 bases?  Never.  Between AAA and MLB last season, Ciriaco stole 30 bases.  Also, unlike Drew, he's been fucking healthy for the past two seasons.

I understand that the organization doesn't want fans to think that it's stealing their money by not signing veteran free agents, but it doesn't mean that a vet has to be signed if you have a better option sitting right there.

The only silver lining to Drew's signing -- indeed, the only way I see this signing amounting to any value at all -- is that it frees up Iglesias to be traded.  The Red Sox can now package Ellsbury, Iglesias and either Salty or Lavarnway into a deal for some prospects.  I doubt they can get MLB level help for those players, and at this point, why would they try?  Blue Jays just signed Dickey, the Rays just improved their offense and they have a pitcher in the minors ready to fill the hole left by James Shields; and even if the Yankees and Orioles don't improve they were still better than the Red Sox last season.  The 2013 Red Sox will still be a basement team even if they got Cliff Lee, so it doesn't really fucking matter.

The only way that grossly overspending on shitty free agents makes sense is if Ben can trade other players for prospects.  If he's unable to do that, then he's pretty much a complete failure. Because these free agent signings suck.  And, at this point, the organization has so grossly mishandled Jose Iglesias that you almost need to trade him elsewhere because he I doubt he thinks that the Red Sox will let him start at shortstop, and those doubts will be reflected in how he plays.  He's set to become a failed prospect, and the only way he'll have value to the Red Sox is if they trade him this offseason.

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