In response to 2004Idiot's comment:
Sunday morning thoughts concerning the trade deadline
Cliff Lee is a better pitcher than Peavy. There's no doubt about that. Lee is in the elite class, and Peavy is both a class behind and more prone to injuries. That's indisputable.
But it really comes down to price. Getting Peavy for Iglesias -- who projected as a utility infielder going forward for the Red Sox -- was the right price for a Red Sox team trying to stockpile as many assets as possible. If it was going to take Xander Bogaerts to get Cliff Lee, that was never going to happen. Same with Jackie Bradley Jr. and Garin Cecchini, probably. Those are guys you hang onto.
In other words, a Mercedes is better than a Toyota Camry, but if you can get a Camry for $10,000 and the Mercedes costs $500,000, at a certain point, you have to get the one that makes sense at its price.
This wasn't the Red Sox choosing Peavy over Lee. We all know Lee is a better pitcher than Peavy. But we do not know what the Phillies would have accepted for Lee. It very well might be that the Red Sox chose Peavy, Bogaerts and Anthony Ranaudo over Lee and Iglesias.
If the Phillies wouldn't budge off Bogaerts as an asking price, the Red Sox were right to turn them down.
But to get Peavy for Iglesias and lower-level prospects in this market really seems like a good deal to me.
The Marlins have three more years to trade Giancarlo Stanton, so if they're going to do it now, they'd have to be bowled over. The Sox would obviously be more willing to discuss Bogaerts for a 23-year-old OF than a 34-year-old LHP, but you still wonder if you'd trade a SS with 30-HR potential for a corner OF with a 40-HR track record..
The Red Sox will go into the offseason with four pitchers either on one-year deals or one-year-with-an-option deals, all in the $13-15 million range -- Dempster, Lackey, Lester and Peavy. Add to that Buchholz and Doubront, and then add to that Workman and Webster, not to mention someone like Ranaudo, who should be a factor next year the way Webster and Workman were this year. That's a lot of depth.
The Sox can't match Tampa Bay's starters. Even if the Sox traded for Lee, they wouldn't have been able to match Tampa Bay's starters. The easiest way to match Tampa Bay's starters is to have guys like Webster, Ranaudo and Workman develop into Hellicksons and Moores and Archers.
It's not as simple as going to the supermarket and buying a No. 1 starter.
The goal here is to win the World Series and continue to contend in future years, not to get Cliff Lee or a similar No. 1 starter and then run a pennant up the flagpole. If getting the No. 1 starter means depleting talent elsewhere -- i.e. trading Xander Bogaerts -- it does more harm than good.
Here's the other thing in regard to the Peavy trade: Workman absolutely has been terrific. But if the Red Sox hadn't traded for Peavy, what happens if Dempster's groin starts to hurt again or Lester turns an ankle or any other number of things that can happen to pitchers? It's a much better situation to have Workman available in the bullpen should something happen to one of the other starters.
Remember the elite shortstop group in the late 1990s -- Jeter, Garciaparra, Rodriguez, Tejada? There's a reason no one ever lumped Vizquel into that group. A slick-fielding defensive shortstop is an asset, no doubt, but a shortstop who can hit 30 home runs is a franchise-changer.
Here’s the thing about Iglesias -- this is what "selling high" looks like. It's hard to sell high because you want to believe that what you're seeing is the real thing. But other than his first five or so weeks in the major leagues this year, Iglesias has never demonstrated an ability to hit consistently. He never hit in the minors, and he's hit about .220 in the last six weeks in the majors. The Red Sox got a very good starting pitcher for parts of two seasons in exchange for a great defensive shortstop who might never hit. Would you ever trade Lester or Buchholz for a shortstop who hits .220? That's what this deal amounts to, in the other direction.
Iglesias' final numbers this season will probably look pretty good at the end of the season. But those hits are banked, and he can still have pretty good offensive numbers even if he hits .220 the rest of the way.
Iglesias's entire professional career aligns more closely with that offensive production than with what he did in April and June in the majors. Iglesias has had a better approach this year, but it's not like he was hitting .450 with a bunch of gappers. It was obvious luck was involved.
Holt probably isn't the starting third baseman on September 1, and a left side of Iglesias and Drew probably doesn't pass a definition of "championship-caliber" either. Part of this trade was an endorsement of Middlebrooks and/or Bogaerts at third.
When Bogaerts or Middlebrooks comes up, it'll be at the expense of Snyder, not Holt, who's up because he can back up Drew and Pedroia at shortstop and second.
Who's will play third base on Sept. 1, WMB or Bogaerts, is going to be fascinating to monitor. I'm not sure even Ben Cherington knows the answer to the question at this point. I think they'd like it to be Middlebrooks because he'd probably be a better defensive third baseman, but his OBP since he was sent down to Pawtucket to get back on track is .306. Bogaerts is a more high-upside play, but Mike Trout's 2011 season -- he hit .220 with a .281 on-base percentage in his first 135 plate appearances -- is a reminder that top prospects don't always hit the ground running.
And yes, the Bogaerts-Machado comparisons are everywhere. The major difference is that Bogaerts doesn't bring the same kind of glove to the majors that Machado did, even at third. (If you watched the series in Baltimore last weekend, you know what I mean.)
Bogaerts' bat is further along than Machado's was, but it's still unreasonable to expect him to come in and be a middle-of-the-order guy.
Bogaerts isn't on the 40 man roster. When Bogaerts is deemed ready, he'll be called up. Roster considerations aren't going to stand in his way.
Bogaerts has to be put on the 40-man this offseason anyway. A month or two earlier doesn't make a significant difference.
One aspect of the Red Sox system that sometimes gets overlooked is the presence of Deven Marrero. It might only be a year or two until he's pushing for playing time at the major-league level, too, but he's a factor. If Bogaerts outgrows shortstop in a couple of years, Marrero could be his successor.
I concur that Peavy for Iglesias was the better play. In the hypothetical world of fantasy trades the cost of aquiring Lee in prospects and dollars just doesn't make sense. I also question whether Lee is truly a big game pitcher. I don't question his ability to go out and give his team 30 quality starts and 200 plus innings. Just not sure that I would take him in a game seven matchup.