Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lester is a Stud

Well, everyone in Minnesota ate two Red Sox for dinner last night when John Lester got his no-no. As I am sure you all remember, the Red Sox were offering John Lester, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Jed Lowrie for Johan Santana this past winter. So, the Twins could have had a solid #2 or 3 in Lester, and two potential all-stars in Lowrie and Ellsbury. I thank the baseball gods everyday that the Red Sox didn't make that move. I knew I liked Ellsbury. I thought Lester had the potential to be a stud, (I didn't think he had a no-no in him) and Jed Lowrie is just waiting in Triple AAA for Julio Lugo to start throwing the ball into the right field stands. Could you ever justify giving up those three guys for Santana? Now, Santana is an ace, but the Sox would have had to pay him a lot, like $25 million/six years. So, I am glad they stood by their young guys and didn't sell the farm for one guy.

Check out a post later this week when I will examine if Hanley Ramirez was worth Josh Beckett.


Dennis said...

I think people today seem to have this idea that to make a good trade you have to send out a bench warmer and get back a hall of famer. The point of a trade is that one team has a shortage of something, another team has a surplus, and they exchange players to even this out. When a trade helps both teams that means it is a good trade, not a bad trade.

Mike said...

I'm a Twins fan and I can tell you that nobody in the organization is regretting the decision to take the package that the Mets offered.

Carlos Gomez and Jacoby Ellsbury have almost identical numbers, with the exception of K/BB ratio (where Ellsubury has been MUCH better), but Gomez is two years younger.

Rumors had the Sox offering Lester OR Ellsbury, but not both. Plus, while I'll admit Lester is off to a good start, he doesn't project to be anything more than a #2 or #3. The Twins already have Perkins, Blackburn, Baker, Slowey, Liriano and are loaded with minor league pitching talent. Because of this, they decided to go with the upside of Deolis Guerra. He's holding his own in High-A, despite being only 19. I realize he's far from ready (and anything but a sure thing), but his potential is greater than Lester's.

I think Lowrie will be a very good Major Leaguer, but there is ALOT of concern that he cannot play shortstop and will eventually end up at second (although...obviously not with the Sox).

My point is that the Twins are not wishing they took the Red Sox package because of one game. Maybe someday they will. By the same token, the Red Sox may have won the next 5 World Championships if they had Santana at the front of that rotation. This trade is going to take years before we can sit back and determine what the "right" choice was.

Dan said...

I am still pretty happy the Red Sox did not make the Santana trade. I understand Mike's point, that you cannot judge this thing right now. But I believe there is something to be said for chemistry. Boston was in an amazing groove through the playoffs last year and that has continued into the 2008 regular season to this point. I think that is in no small part to letting Ellsbury and Lester expand on the rolls they worked themselves into during the playoffs. There is obviously nothing wrong with having Santana in your rotation, but you see how many championships the Yankees have won since they went to their hired gun mentality. I like the philosophy of building around the younger players, keeping them around, and leaving the team chemistry intact. Thanks for reading the blog, Mike. It’s nice to have someone other than relatives and close friends posting comments.

Mike said...

Dan, those are all very good points. Even though my personal opinion is that the Sox and Yanks should have both pursued Santana more than they did, there is never anything wrong with keeping the young players in your system.

You are absolutely right about your point about the Yankees not winning anything with the hired gun approach. During their dynasty years they made a few good trades (Tino, Nelson, and Jim Mecir for Hitchcock and Russ Davis), but the core of that team was developed in their own system.

The Red Sox have started to do the same thing and that's why they're going to be good for years to come.