Thoughts on trades as they cross the Mismatched Sox desk.
CRAIG KIMBREL!!!! FOR HEUER AND WHAT??????
Does it help or hurt the Sox? I mean, if Kimbrel is this version of himself and he and Liam get along, my sweet lord is that awesome. But down the road….
Should Rick have made the move? Yes. No. Yes. Noooo….yes!!! Damnit. It’s complicated.
Codi Heuer can go. Fair dinkum including him in a trade of this magnitude, and frankly Rick is fleecing the Cubs with Codi. Big arm, no clue how to use it.
Nick Madrigal???? On one hand he showed amazing bat skills, and he was the future at 2B. His loss was up there with losing Eloy and Luis. On the other, he wasn’t the amazing baseball savant as he’d get brain farts on the field. And, maybe the Sox have an idea about his future after this leg injury. If they have serious doubts that Madrigal will heal and regain his speed and foundation for batting, then he’s expendable. I don’t think that will be made public if that’s the case, but it could be Mike Sorotka again. The Cubs know Madrigal is hurt. So it’s not quite that level, but Nicky Two Strikes without decent wheels is, well, Willans Astudillo?
AHHH this is tough. For this year the Sox are insanely locked and loaded. But without a plan for second base beyond César Hernandez…Damn.
Ok. Bottom line, losing Madrigal sucks but Kimbrel makes the Sox ridiculously strong at the back of the bullpen and ups their chances in the playoffs in a ridiculous fashion. If this is about winning championships, then yes 100% Rick made the right move. Yes.
Should fans be frustrated? No. Go for it now. Screw tomorrow. Now is the chance and the time. This is what we wanted fans. Well, we got it.
CÉSAR HERNANDEZ FOR KONNOR PILKINGTON
Does it help or hurt the Sox? More help than hurt now.
Should Rick have made the move? Yes. Hernandez is a traditionally very reliable 2B, good defense (gold glove actually) with a solid bat but nothing spectacular. He’s only 31, but being around since 2013 gives him that well worn feel. His BA is down this year from career norms, .231 is a career low, but he was around his regular numbers last year and 2019. Career wise .272 with an OPS of .736 will get it done in the 9-hole, where Hernandez may reside. His BABIP is way down from prior years, so maybe there’s bad luck involved because his other stats are pretty much in line with the rest of his years in the bigs. He’s maybe due for regression in a positive way after leaving a bad Cleveland lineup.
Pilkington was the best Sox starter at AA Birmingham with a WHIP of .92 and an ERA of 3.48, better than his career numbers. He threw 71 strikeouts over his first 62 innings, not bad at all and a tick above his career 9.65 K/9. Though he had tumbled from the Top 30 prospects, based on performance it seemed possible he might get the call in case of injury to an MLB starter, especially since AAA isn’t flush with guys doing well. Not an ace in the making, but a guy that the Cleveland Baseball Assemblage can still turn into a thorn in the Sox’ side and right soon at that. Still, he’s not a guy that Sox fans should miss given that he may have not cracked the rotation anytime soon. Overall, a solid veteran to replace Madrigal is worth a decent starter prospect, and Pilkington was hardly the future of the rotation let alone a future member of it.
Should fans be frustrated? No!!! This is a good move!! Hernandez compares to other guys available and Rick didn’t give up Burger or any top prospects to get him. He can still get more done if needed.
RYAN TEPERA FOR BAILEY HORN
Does it help or hurt the Sox? Helps!!
Should Rick have made the move? Very much so. 2.91 ERA with 50 K’s and a 0.78 WHIP in 43 games? Sounds like a good plan!!! Tepera was a part of the Blue Jays bullpen from 2015-2019 with decent enough results, rebounded after a down 2019 for the 2020 Cubs and is having a really good year at age 33. He’s a rental, but he’s also a guy with experience and on a better roll than, say, Evan Marshall. Tony has another professional option.
Bailey Horn is a guy who probably doesn’t have the makings of starter, but could be a lefty reliever very easily. Primarily because he throws left-handed. His ERA of 5.53 and WHIP of 1.33 at Winston-Salem means there’s a way to go before he’s in the majors, and there’s a chance he never makes it. Exactly the type of player you send for a rental reliever.
Should fans be frustrated? Nah. Solid add. Not flashy, but solid.
O.T.T. (Other Teams Trades)
BRYANT IS A GIANT
Does it hurt the Sox? For a moment he was tired to the Sox, so a little.
Could Rick have made the same move? Yeah? Yoelqui Cespedes and maybe Jonathan Stiever could match the guys the Giants sent over. A toolsy OF and a starter.
Bryant would have been an OF or maybe give Yoan a blow now and then. Could have been cool. Meanwhile he’s a fit in SF for sure.
Should fans be frustrated? No. It would have been rubbing it in Cubs fan faces but not really worth it.
Does it hurt the Sox? If they meet in the World Series, but that’s a good kinda hurt.
Could Rick have made the same move? No way. Not even close. The Dodgers sent two prospects from the top 50 of the entire MLB, where the Sox don’t have anyone in the top 100. This would be the Sox giving up Kopech and Vaughn, with two more from their top 30.
Max Scherzer is certainly a guy that would knock Dylan Cease or Dallas Keuchel out of the rotation. And Trea Turner would not only replace Nick Madrigal this year, but maybe one of the few guys you’d have to think about moving TA out of SS or Nick out of the lineup. He’s that good. For the Dodgers he’s probably their SS for a chunk of this year and then next year when they don’t resign Corey Seager. The Dodgers are just the rich getting richer.
Should fans be frustrated? Well, not so much as hopeful that years into the contention window line the Dodgers, that the farm system has this caliber of player to trade away for star help. It’s kinda sad that there’s no Sox prospects in the top 100 even though we know that’s because the big club had all that young bacon.
JAVY BÁEZ AND A PITCHER ARE METS
Does it hurt the Sox? Nah.
Could Rick have made the same move? Probably but neither Javy nor Trevor Williams is an upgrade. Bãez is a mess at the plate and a magician in the field. And the Cubs may have taken Micker Adolfo for him but Hernandez is probably better overall fit for the price they paid.
Should fans be frustrated? No. Pass.
GOMES AND HARRISON GET A’s
Does it hurt the Sox? Not especially. A’s get deeper.
Could Rick have made the same move? Not sure. The prospects going to the Nats are pretty good but not great, and this night be where Rick is handcuffed by what’s on the farm but being all that appealing. Meanwhile, Harrison and Gomes would have been great fits for the Sox given the injury situation. If Rick had overpaid a bit it would have been fine.
Should fans be frustrated? Harrison might have been the better get for 2B but Gomes would have just been Yas insurance. Minor frustration if Harrison is really your jam.
JAYS GET BERRIOS
Does it hurt the Sox? That’s a playoff problem. And a next year problem fire a few next years.
Could Rick have made the same move? No chance. The Twins are getting a possible front end starter and bat. The second and fourth prospects from the Jays, both in the MLB Pipeline 100. The Sox don’t have any of that to offer unless you gut the 26-man. Nope. Meanwhile Berrios would have been a nice back end starter but not needed at the price.
Should fans be frustrated? Only at the lack of ability to make this kind of deal and the fact the Twins may be better for it.
EDDIE ROSARIO IS BRAVE
Does it hurt the Sox? Would you believe that Cleveland giving up means the Sox might relax too much?
Could Rick have made the same move? Yeah actually. If Cleveland will take Pablo Sandoval in the trade they’d take anyone.
Should fans be frustrated? No. He’s not that good this year.
ADAM DUVALL IS ALSO BRAVE
Does it hurt the Sox? Really no outfielder trades are of consequence.
Could Rick have made the same move? Yes. Alex Jackson is Seby Zavala. But Duvall is just a part time power guy.
Should fans be frustrated? Nope.
PADRES GET ADAM FRAZIER
Does it hurt the Sox? Only to the extent that Frazier was a target to handle 2B in the absence of Nick Madrigal.
Could Rick have made the same move? No, not in the sense that the main prospect heading back was a young versatile shortstop, a power outfielder and a power arm. The Sox equivalent places the emphasis on the power guy, sixth best Sox prospect Micker Adolfo, and the SS would be a lesser guy off the pipeline list. Sounds like Ben Cherington wanted this one guy.
Should fans be frustrated? Probably not. If there’s a source of frustration it’s that a guy that would be an everyday player for the Sox is just a depth piece for San Diego. UPDATE: given that Madrigal is now a Cub, Frazier not being here is worth being annoyed by.
BREWERS GET EDUARDO ESCOBAR
Does it hurt the Sox? Only to the extent that Escobar was a target to handle 2B in the absence of Nick Madrigal.
Could Rick have made the same move? It feels that way. The return wasn’t all that huge, a very young athletic middle infielder and a catching prospect. Neither were pipeline guys for the Brewers, so conceivably the Sox would have some equivalents in their system. Rumbles are that the Diamondbacks simply didn’t like what they saw on the Sox’ farm.
Should fans be frustrated? Probably. In addition to the frustration that a guy that would be an everyday player for the Sox is just a depth piece for Milwaukee, its that a team as down as the DBacks can’t find two guys they like in your system. If that’s really true, that’s a huge problem.
ASTROS ACQUIRE RELIEVERS FROM MARINERS AND MARLINS
Does it hurt the Sox? Ask again in the playoffs.
Could Rick have made the same move? Probably. The Mariners took a reliever and 3B youngin’ Abraham Toro for two relievers including Mariners closer Kendall Graveman, and an organizational arm for Yimi Garcia of the Marlins. Toro and Jake Burger have some commonality while the arms that went out are just guys that are getting upgraded. But relief isn’t a priority right now, even though Graveman and Garcia works have been nice additions. Montero maybe, he’s been inconsistent.
Should fans be frustrated? Not really. The Sox pen could use another arm for sure, but they have bigger fish to fry and these are not the only arms out there.
A’s GET STARLIN MARTE
Does it hurt the Sox? Ask again in the playoffs? Probably not.
Could Rick have made the same move? Probably, but no need. Jesus Luzardo has a Reynaldo thing going on where he was really good then fell apart. But Marte doesn’t help the Sox as he’s not really better than what they have on hand or are getting back from injury.
Should fans be frustrated? No.
MARINERS GET SP TYLER ANDERSON
Does it hurt the Sox? Not a bit. The Mariners are in the hunt for a wildcard spot, but Anderson isn’t a guy the Sox would worry about in a playoff game.
Could Rick have made the same move? Probably, but not worth it. Nothing special went back to Pittsburgh but Anderson isn’t an upgrade for the Sox. He’s competent, and for the Mariners helpful since they’re down several starters. No need for him on the Southside.
Should fans be frustrated? No. The only team that should be frustrated is the Phillies who thought they had a deal for him.
REDS GET RP HELP FROM YANKEES AND ROCKIES
Does it hurt the Sox? Nope. The Reds aren’t likely to be seen by the Sox.
Could Rick have made the same move? Hard to say. The Yankees sent Luis Cessa, not bad, and Justin Wilson, meh, for a player to be named. That likely means the Reds have a few guys the Yankees like and the Reds are just going to wait and see whether they need someone from that group in a different trade. They sent two arms from their top 30 for Mychal Givens, who is having a great year but isn’t a lockdown closer. Might be an overpay. Again, if the scuttlebutt that the Sox farm system isn’t impressing teams is true, top-30 prospects are needed elsewhere and the Yankees might not have found anyone worth taking back for two relievers.
Should fans be frustrated? Not for these particular players going to other teams. But if the deadline passes without moves because of lack of interest in Sox farmhands, that’s something to get mad at.
YANKEES GET JOEY GALLO
Does it hurt the Sox? The Yankees aren’t a given to get into the playoffs, but Gallo was a popular target for the Sox RF job.
Could Rick have made the same move? Doubt it. Gallo and a pitcher to the Yankees for 4 prospects. A couple from the Yankees top 30. To give up those many bodies to basically replace Gavin Sheets would be short-sighted. For 4 prospects the Sox need a second baseman and a pitcher. Gallo is versatile and signed into next year, but he’s not a 2B.
Should fans be frustrated? Nah. Gallo was a guy that needed to be here in March. At the moment he’s not a dire need.
JAYS GET BRAD HAND
Does it hurt the Sox? Probably not. Hand isn’t what he was and the Jays aren’t a given to make the playoffs.
Could Rick have made the same move? Doubt it. Riley Adams had some time in the majors this year and looks to be a serviceable backup catcher. Seby Zavala looks…yeah. Also he’s needed here until Yas returns. Trading Yermin Mercedes for a fading Brad Hand would be a wild overpay.
Should fans be frustrated? Nope.
RIZZO IS A YANKEE
Does it hurt the Sox? Maybe if the Yankees get in.
Could Rick have made the same move? Without much more effort to ID the prospects involved, yeah. It’s a teenager (a 6-6 one at that) in the OF and a 24 year old arm in rookie ball/high A. For Sox purposes, Rizzo is Gavin Sheets with a bad back and more personality. Your mileage may vary.
Should fans be frustrated? No, but that’s a kinda meager haul for the face of the franchise so feel free to laugh at Cubs fans.
DODGERS GET DUFFY
Does it hurt the Sox? They don’t have to face him…so…No.
Could Rick have made the same move? Player to be named, seems the Sox aren’t flush enough with interesting guys for that move. So, we’ll see. Duffy might have been a useful pickup, except he’s hurt.
Should fans be frustrated? No, but dream of a day when the Sox can trade for what amounts to a fantasy baseball bench stash.
DIEGO CASTILLO TO MARINERS
Does it hurt the Sox? They traded a closer and this guy is his replacement. So probably not.
Could Rick have made the same move? Two prospects, maybe he could have. Castillo is the closer in that he has saves, but it’s usually a committee and Nick Anderson is nearly back. Castillo might have fit.
Should fans be frustrated? Maybe. Castillo could be better than Tepera. But as a closer he’d cost more.
RED SOX NAB SCHWARBER
Does it hurt the Sox? A likely playoff foe just added a big bat, so yeah it could hurt.
Could Rick have made the same move? Yes. In the off-season instead of signing Adam Eaton. But that’s neither here nor there. Yes, had the Sox of White needed a lefty thumper at DH they could have had him. He’s hurt anyway.
Should fans be frustrated? No, he’s injured and doesn’t fit in. But if he has a good playoff run again and the White Sox scuffle on offense, the woulda coulda shoulda.
PADRES GET DANIEL HUDSON
Does it hurt the Sox? Nope, other than being a possible trade target.
Could Rick have made the same move? Maybe, the compensation is in the eye of the beholder. But assuming there’s something the Nats want from the Sox in the fire sale Hudson was getting moved. Hudson would have been a nice fit seeing up Liam Hendriks.
Should fans be frustrated? He’s a guy the Sox could have used but Tepera serves the same role.
BREWERS GET DANIEL NORRIS
Does it hurt the Sox? Nope, other than being a useful lefty reliever he’s not really a guy the Sox were after.
Could Rick have made the same move? Maybe, but he wouldn’t have. Norris is a LOOGY in a three batter minimum world.
Should fans be frustrated? No, he might have been useful but there are similar in house options.
GIBSON AND KENNEDY TO PHILLY
Does it hurt the Sox? No. Oddly a lot of fans seemed to want Kennedy.
Could Rick have made the same deal? Not really. The Phillies sent a top prospect and other decent guys for these two, and even though Spencer Howard had been dog meat in the show, he’s still their Kopech. Meanwhile, Kennedy is a good reliever in the end stages of his career and Gibson is a good starter, but not sure he’s an upgrade. Kimbrel and Tepera were better grabs even at the steep cost.
Should fans be frustrated? Some might be over Kennedy but overall not worth thinking about.
RICH RODRIGUEZ IS ALSO BRAVE
Does it hurt the Sox? Actually no, even though his name was bandied about as a target.
Could Rick have made the same deal? It’s a Reynaldo type starter and an A ball pitcher, so yeah on paper. But really that’s eye of the beholder stuff and two guys for Rodriguez is a decent price if they aren’t guys you want to keep. I’m guessing this is yet again Ben Cherington having some targets in mind.
Should fans be frustrated? He’d be a nice get so a little, especially if you’re sour about Madrigal.
DEALS NOT WORTH DISCUSSING:
Happ to Cards: meh guy for other guys
Phil Maton for Myles Straw: Cleveland gets a new bad CF, Astros get an arm.
Andrew Heaney to Yankees: a frustrating lefty starter, Sox don’t need a project.
Jake Marisnick to Padres: bench bat OF who isn’t as awesome as Billy Hamilton.
Joakim Soria to the Jays: he’s not what you think you remember him as.
Jon Lester to the Cards for Lane Thomas: Sure.
Hansel Robles to Boston: a Kimbrel consolation prize.
Freddie Galvis heads to Philly: another guy the Sox could have gone after. Meh.
Jorge Soler is Brave: interesting, how many guys does it take to replace Ronald Acuña Jr.?
RP Austin Davis to Boston for Michael Chavis: for a second Chavis replacing Madrigal seemed like a thought but he’s been bad this year.
To quote a cartoon pig: Th-th-thats all folks!