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Sox Involved with Rockies in Helton Trade Talks


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Helton

 

Yah, this one's up in the air. Recent updates say that the Rockies are leading the trade discussions so this is no reason to worry from a Red Sox standpoint, just trying to explore all possibilities. According to Olney, the Rockies would be willing to part with Helton and pay about 40 million of his contract for Mike Lowell, Julian Tavarez, and prospects. They're particularly interested in Craig Hansen and Manny Delcarmen, both pitchers who the Red Sox expect to play huge roles in the bullpen for this season and more. I look at this a couple of ways...

 

Pros: Another player with a .400 OBP to bat second and give the Red Sox a lineup to match the Yankees with Lugo-Helton-Ortiz-Manny-Drew-Youkilis-Varitek-Crisp-Pedroia. If the Rockies were to pay 40 million of Helton's contract, that would leave the Sox on the hook for 50 million, or on average, 10 million a year for each year left on his contract. This would also give the Sox an offense to lean on for the upcoming years. Don't forget a three time gold glove winning defense at first, though you'd be losing Lowell's at third.

 

Cons: Then again, Helton has fallen off offensively (due to numerous reasons) and some fear that his best days are either behind him or lost in the mostly defunct Coors Field Effect. His contract would be hefty and the Sox are not in any position to trade away key cogs in their rebuilding farm system. There's no way they'll consider the likes of Ellsbury or Buchholz but most other prospects could be free game. Though one should expect the Sox to remember who they gave up last year in the Beckett deal.

 

Expect this one to play out for a while.

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Yeah, I'm just very wary of this whole strategy, what the Orioles used to do and what the Yanks have done recently. Trying to piece together a new team every year. Too much instability. That and the fact that all of these pieces have big question marks next to them. Then again, Delcarmen and Hansen haven't shown me a whole lot yet, and I'm afraid to go through another season with them underachieving, then really having no trade value. I guess you move Youkilis over to 3rd under this scenario. Hate to lose Lowell, though. Great glove, great clubhouse guy.

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Helton could possibly turn to shit in the AL, let alone the AL east. If I were a Sox fan, I'd be screaming.

 

Well, there are worries as a whole about his current capabilities but I don't see a league shift having that much of an effect. He would be leaving an NL West known for expansive ballparks (Dodgers, Giants, Padres), Launch pads (Diamondbacks), and the now neutral Coors field for a more hitter friendly environment. My worries are more in money and the future than Helton's current abilities. I personally love the guy's ability to hit for average and reach base, but I don't want to pay up the wazoo and watch us trade away another RoY and an SP who broke the longest non-no-hitter streak in Major League history.

 

Let's see, suppose this trade were to go through.

 

Other than Adam Dunn at 1st base and Mike Lowell at third, next year's free agent market doesn't provide any opportunities for the corner infield positions. Granted, we could resign Lowell, but a lot is pending on what he pieces together this year. Possibly in a pre-emptive strike, the Sox would be able to fill in 1st base with an amazing defender for the next five years who can hit as well despite recent injury woes...he's no JT Snow or Doug Mientkiewicz, that's for sure. But okay, so our lineup would be...(followed by the year they're signed through)

 

1 - Lugo - 2010

2 - Helton - 2011

3 - Ortiz - 2010

4 - Ramirez - 2008

5 - Drew - 2011

6 - Youkilis - 2010 (arbitration eligible through)

7 - Varitek - 2008

8 - Crisp - 2009

9 - Pedroia - Long Ass Time

 

That is an insane lineup which features players with OBPs above .370 - Helton (career .430), Ortiz (.374 - which has risen dramatically since coming to the Red Sox), Ramirez (.411), Drew (.393), Youkilis (.379), and Pedroia (.392 minor league OBP). With that sort of ability to get on base, the organization will follow it's philosophy and tire the pitchers out and then mash the relievers. Hey, you saw how well it worked for the Yankees last year whose .363 team OBP led the majors with Boston second with .351. We'd be able to reach base consistently which, most of the time, leads to increased offense. Now this would leave our lineup set for a decent time as long as nobody utterly collapses and will give us an opportunity to focus on pitching in the coming offseasons. That's a monster lineup though, comparable only to the Yankees.

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Trading Meredith was a mistake, I wouldn't want to trade any more bullpen.

 

Well, I'd say the bigger mistakes were Anibal Sanchez and Hanley Ramirez but definitely Cla Meredith and Josh Bard deserve mentioning. Right now, despite a weaker bullpen, our strength is in our numbers...we have a bunch of shitty guys and reclamation projects.

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Well, I'd say the bigger mistakes were Anibal Sanchez and Hanley Ramirez but definitely Cla Meredith and Josh Bard deserve mentioning. Right now, despite a weaker bullpen, our strength is in our numbers...we have a bunch of shitty guys and reclamation projects.

 

At least you got bona-fide pitching for Ramirez and Sanchez. You traded a prime bullpen piece and a pretty good catcher for a backup catcher to catch a knuckle ball.

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At least you got bona-fide pitching for Ramirez and Sanchez. You traded a prime bullpen piece and a pretty good catcher for a backup catcher to catch a knuckle ball.

 

True, true. Though I do appreciate the move to maintain members of the 2004 World Series winning Boston Red Sox. While I appreciate change, I feel like our team is changing too quickly and the fact that the only players remaining from the 2004 team are Ortiz, Ramirez, Varitek, Mirabelli, Schilling, Timlin, and Wakefield. And of course I'm only considering the players who were on the team, not the multitude of people, including those who pitched all of one inning in the regular season, who got rings.

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The Colorado Rockies announced this evening that trade talks with the Boston Red Sox regarding first baseman Todd Helton have ended. There will be no further discussions.

 

"This is not a trade that we were anxious to complete, but we are always exploring ways to improve our team," said Rockies Chairman and CEO Charlie Monfort. "Discussions like these regarding a player of Todd's talent and character are never easy, and it's not surprising we were not able to reach an agreement. Todd has been and will continue to be an important part of our franchise, and we can't wait to see him with the rest of the Rockies in Tucson."

 

I wonder if there is a chance that these talks will re-open come midseason. Granted that all depends on the performances of both teams but I can’t see the Red Sox standing pat with Youkilis and Lowell at the corners, no dominant corner infield prospects in the system, and no immediate solutions on the free agent market. I don’t know who is coming onto the market in 2009 so signing Lowell to a one or two year contract could be an option but he is definitely not a long term solution despite being a class act and a wizard with the glove. I guess the reality just hit me when I was reading The Sporting News’ ranking of the top AL infields and the Sox were 13/14 (Yankees were 1st). Part may be because of the questions surrounding Pedroia and Lugo’s disappearance last season but there really isn’t any power from the infield either with Lowell leading the pack with 25 HR capability. I can’t really take a ranking like that very lightly despite the fact that both Youkilis and Pedroia are capable of .370+ OBPs.

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