Seven years later, the book still isn't closed on the mega-deal between Boston and Florida.
After the 2005 season, Red Sox GM Theo Epstein donned a gorilla costume and snuck undetected out of Fenway Park. Going back centuries, this is how Epsteins quit their jobs. A few months later owner John Henry coaxed Epstein back to work. (He wore, as is the family custom, an alligator outfit). While he was gone, the Red Sox’ reins were held jointly by three people: Jed Hoyer, now general manager of the Cubs under Epstein; Ben Cherington, Epstein’s eventual successor as general manager in Boston; and Bill Lajoie, a veteran front office man and former player who ran the Tigers in the mid-to-late ’80s. Despite persistent rumors that Epstein would come back, the Red Sox didn’t sit around waiting. While Mark Loretta and top prospect Andy Marte were intriguing acquisitions, the group’s crowing achievement was sending Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, Harvey Garcia, and Jesus Delgado to Florida for Josh Beckett, Guillermo Mota, and Mike Lowell. It was a polarizing trade at the time and remains one to this day.
This past summer, seven seasons after the trade was consummated, an ending of sorts occurred. The Dodgers acquired both Ramirez and Beckett from Miami and Boston, respectively, while Miami dealt Sanchez to Detroit. Thus, as the 2013 season dawns, all of the players in the deal have moved on from their acquiring teams. This seems like the perfect time to look back at the deal.
If an expansion team with a Yankees budget wanted to build a team out of this year's free agents, what would it look like?
You can’t build a team around free agents, say the people who don’t think you can build a team around free agents. To them, the only way to build a team is through the draft, waiver claims and occasional trades. To paraphrase the great movie Waterboy (which is such a great movie that you can watch it for free on YouTube), “Free agents are the devil!” Well, maybe so if you’re living in the real world, but this is Baseball Prospectus where we can do anything we want provided it fits on a spreadsheet and won’t wake our parents upstairs.
Another thing some people like to say is that baseball teams aren’t just names on paper. They’re real people. Well, not here they aren’t, mister! Here players are one-dimensional entities devoid of emotion and everything else that won’t show up on our computer machines. In that spirit, I’m not only going to build a baseball team exclusively out of free agents, but I’m going to do it only on (virtual) paper. Eat that, straw men I just created!
A retired pitcher considers a comeback, the Rockies come closer to naming a manager, and the Dodgers are interested in every starter.
With all eyes on the election, Tuesday was yet another quiet day on the hot stove. But for the second time in as many offseasons, we might be in for another blast from the past.
Javier Vazquez considering return to the majors
In March, Andy Pettitte—seemingly done after sitting out the 2011 season—signed a one-year deal with the Yankees that few could have foreseen. Now, according to Peter Gammons, Pettitte’s former teammate, Vazquez, is reportedly itching to return to the mound, too.
The names baseball will be obsessing over for the next three months.
With free agency beginning at just after midnight Eastern early Saturday, it’s time to look at this year’s class. Along with Ben Lindbergh, Sam Miller, and others, we put together a list of the top 50 free agents available this winter. Some analysis and predictions are also included. You can quibble with the rankings (especially after a certain point) and many of the predictions, but this is meant to serve as a primer for the free-agent period.
1. Zack Greinke (Angels): Greinke may not consistently perform like an ace but he is a durable no. 2 starter with a deep arsenal, and an understanding of how to use it. After trading three top prospects at the deadline for Greinke and then having his club miss the postseason, Jerry Dipoto is in an unenviable position. Dipoto cannot recoup draft picks, which provides further incentive to re-sign Greinke. It seems Dipoto is heading down that path if recent payroll shearing is any indication.
For one night, the Giants' pitching wasn't dominant, but it didn't change a thing, and Detroit dropped its third in a row.
Have you ever had déjà, déjà, déjà, déjà vu? Because it sorta seems as if I've written this recap before. The Tigers’ latest 2-0 loss came against a new starter in a new setting, but the outcome was SSDD—same score, different day—for Detroit. The Tigers, who were shut out just two times during the regular season, have now been shut out two times in their past two games, becoming the first team to fail to score in consecutive World Series games since the 1966 Dodgers (and the first AL team to do it since the 1919 White Sox, who didn’t want to win).
Down 2-0 but back at home, the Tigers need a win to avoid an elimination game.
The Giants held serve at AT&T Park, winning the first two games of the series by thrashing Justin Verlander behind Barry Zito in the opener and riding Madison Bumgarner in a duel with Doug Fister on Thursday night. Now, it’s up to the Tigers to take at least two of three in Detroit to send the series back to San Francisco. Step one is winning tonight’s Game Three, which may hinge on one offering by each starter that is crucial to his success.
Michael Pineda's labrum tear doesn't bode well for his future, but it's not the death sentence it used to be.
On Wednesday, the Yankees revealed that Michael Pineda had suffered a torn labrum, a devastating turn of events both for the 23-year-old righty and for the team that acquired him from the Mariners for top prospect Jesus Montero back in January. Pineda will miss the entire season and part of 2013, thinning the Yankees' surplus of starting pitching—and underscoring the fact that you can never have too much—while raising the question of whether they will ever get much value out of him.
A look at why Scott Baker, Brandon Beachy, Anibal Sanchez, and, yes, A.J. Burnett can be value picks in 2012 drafts
It’s a fun time of year, isn’t it? Pitchers and catchers have reported to camps across Arizona and Florida, Frank McCourt is set to be exiled on a rocket into the sun—from what I understand—and fantasy drafts are really starting to get moving. Remember, it’s fun to look for the big trade as the deadline approaches over the summer, but the overwhelming majority of leagues are won and lost now, when keepers are decided upon and draft strategies are solidified. Here’s a look at four starting pitchers who may not be first round picks but should be on your mind when draft day arrives. As always, feel free to suggest others in the comments.