August 1, 2012

Trade Deadline: No big splash from Sox

As always seems to be the case, there were a lot of rumors flying around about what the Red Sox might do at the non-waiver trade deadline yesterday.  Most of these scenarios involved major deals that included Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and others, but the Sox settled for two smaller deals. By not making a major move, the Sox can spin the idea that they feel the team is talented enough, but I think it is more likely that they don't want to give up prospects for this season.

Sox Deadline Deals
*Red Sox acquire P Craig Breslow from Diamondbacks for P Matt Albers and OF Scott Posednik
*Red Sox acquire P Steven Wright from Indians for 1B Lars Anderson

Breslow gives the Sox a solid lefthander out of the bullpen.  His numbers (2-0, 2.70 ERA) look good against righties (.226) and lefties (.243) so he will most likely not just be a lefty handed specialist.  Overall it seems to make sense to swap the righty Albers for Breslow.

Steven Wright just seems like someone the Sox took to get rid of Lars Anderson.  Anderson was a decent prospect at one time but he could never make the big leagues.  He was never going to overtake Adrian Gonzalez at first and he does not have enough power to be your DH. Wright is a 27-year old that is still in double A.  What does that say about a guy? Ben Cherington, the Sox GM, had this to say about him:
"He does a lot of things that we feel give a guy a chance to succeed with that pitch in the big leagues. He's pretty athletic, he repeats his delivery, he can throw a fastball and breaking ball for a strike, and the action on his knuckleball, we think, is major league quality."
Although dealing Beckett would be good for this team, keeping him for the end of the year so he can be traded during the off-season could be the best move.  Teams seem to be more willing to take on salary like that after the season.  I bet the Sox truly looked into trading him but the deals were not that great. Some fans have hope that Beckett will turn it around and be a stud at the end of the season. That is a tough call because it hasn't really happened and he left last night's game with a back issue.

The biggest problem with not doing much at the deadline is that almost everyone they are in the playoff race with did some major retooling.  The Angels got Zack Greinke, the White Sox picked up Francisco Liriano, and Brett Myers, the Tigers picked up former Sox pitcher Anibel Sanchez and Omar Infante to play second.  How are the Sox going to come back against teams that improved themselves when the Sox basically stood pat?