Thursday, December 13, 2007

Jacoby or Johan?

gnarlyThe winter meetings might be over now but it’s still fantasy baseball for real people time in baseball. With that mind I am imploring the Red Sox not to trade for Johan Santana. A year ago I’d be calling myself an idiot but not so much right now. It’s taken me sometime to come to this decision but I feel it’s the right one.

Santana is probably the best lefty starter in the game right now and has been for the last few years. If the trade was the Lester and Coco package I’d be all for it but I’m ok with dealing Jacoby Ellsbury. If Manny didn’t get hurt and we didn’t see much of Ellsbury I’d be saying the same thing I said when the Sox dealt one of my favorite up-and-comer Hanley Ramirez to the Marlins for Beckett (oh and Mike Lowell). My argument at the time was why wouldn’t you trade an unknown up-and-comer for a proven frontline ace that had already won a World Series MVP.
This time I don’t feel the same way. Granted in Santana you’d be getting a top-tier starter, no doubt, but instead of giving up an unknown you’d be giving up a guy who has shown that he can be a franchise centerfielder for the next decade not to mention he helped spark your offense to a World Series Championship.

You can never have enough pitching, I whole-heartedly agree with that statement but with Lester able to pitch an entire season in 2008 you’ll have an opening day rotation looking something like – Beckett, Schilling, Dice-K, Lester, Wake/Tavarez/FA/Buchholz – The fifth starter looks a little iffy right now and Santana would definitely make the Sox rotation unbelievable but there is still the possibility of a trade involving Crisp for another starter.

Coco would not be a bad addition to a lot of teams, he plays great defense and has good speed unfortunately he’s bat never really recovered after his injury in 2006, I do think that a change of scenery could help him and I’d certainly like to see him succeed. Again unfortunately for him he couldn’t quite come around and Jacoby took advantage of his opportunity.

I’d love to have Santana, I think the Sox would have the best rotation in baseball and it easily gives the team another year to work with Buchholz, he can be a second half call up and have another year getting his innings up slowly before he is made a full time starter. However Ellsbury is such a dynamic player and having him and Pedrioa at the top of the order is only going to give Big Papi and Manny more RBI chances. Maybe one of them will finally pull down an MVP Award, which they more than deserve in my mind.

The best-case scenario would have been the Twins agreeing to the Coco-Lester package but now I think it’s Santana going to an NL team so we don’t have to worry about facing him. I don’t want to see Jacoby go and become a perennial All-Star in Minnesota but I have a great deal of faith in Boston general managers recently.

Pioli and Belichick don’t even need a mention but they get it done, Theo has delivered two World Series titles and even though I said Danny Ainge was probably on his last legs with the Celtics a couple months ago he made the monster move the team needed and now it’s looking good for the C’s. Whatever Theo decides to do will most likely be for the best. He’s had a couple of gaffes but for the most part has been spot on.

Finally, I don’t see them making a deal for Santana that involves Jacoby Ellsbury, he isn’t untouchable but I would be surprised if they dealt him.

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