Tag: jarrod saltalamacchia

Would You Trade R.A. Dickey to the Red Sox?

In today’s edition of “Would you …?” we discuss the fantasy of trading R.A. Dickey to the Boston Red Sox.

As you know, the Mets could use a catcher — preferably one that can catch, throw, and hit a bit. Ideally, such a backstop would also be on the young side.

Enter Ryan Lavarnway.

If you haven’t heard of Lavarnway, here are the basic details: 6’4, 225 lbs., 25 years old, righthanded hitter who hit 32 homeruns with a .390 OBP and 1.002 OPS in the minors in 2011. That wasn’t necessarily a surprise — he led all D-1 hitters in batting and slugging as a college sophomore and set the Ivy League record for career homeruns. Lavarnway is a graduate of Yale, so he might be relatively intelligent. All scouting reports on him boast about his hard work ethic and discipline. Sounds good, right? Would you be willing to trade R.A. Dickey for someone who appears to be the next Johnny Bench — if the Red Sox would be willing to part with him? Not so fast.

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Braves, Giants, and Red Sox Acquire Players, Mets Do Not

Just before the trade deadline, the first-place Braves made two separate trades to bring in Kyle Farnsworth, Rick Ankiel, and Wilkin Ramirez.

This is the second go-around in Atlanta for Farnsworth, who was quietly having a spectacular season in Kansas City. He sports a sparkling 2.47 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and 36 Ks/12 BB in 45 IP. He hasn’t been in the NL since 2005, so in addition to his rediscovered skillset, he may also have the benefit of mystery.

Also coming from the Royals is outfielder Rick Ankiel, whose season has been marred by a leg injury and sporadic playing time. He will be a welcome addition to centerfield for the Braves, who lost patience with a struggling Nate McLouth and now have Melky Cabrera manning the position. It does, however make them a little lefty-heavy and vulnerable to effective LOOGYs (such as the one acquired by the Marlins a few hours ago). The Braves sent Gregor Blanco, Jesse Chavez, and Tim Collins to the Royals.

To further add to their outfield depth, the Braves also acquired Wilkin Ramirez from Detroit for a player to be named later and cash. I don’t know if he will be added to the 25-man roster or assigned to their AAA club. He was hitting .216 in AAA prior to the deal, but was a highly touted prospect before 2010.

In other news, the Giants picked up righthanded reliever Ramon Ramirez from the Red Sox and lefthanded reliever Javier Lopez from the Pirates. They gave up John Bowker for Ramirez and Joe Martinez for Lopez.

Finally, the Red Sox made a corresponding move, acquiring Jarrod Saltalamacchia from the Rangers in return for two players not named Mike LowellRoman Mendez, Chris McGuinness, a player to be named later, and cash.

Meanwhile, the Mets stood pat, having no need for relief pitchers, outfielders, or players whose names don’t fit on the back of a jersey.

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Buzz Around Burnett

The Yankees, Red Sox, Braves, Phillies, Orioles, and Blue Jays are all in pursuit of A.J. Burnett, according to various sources.

Supposedly, the Yankees are going after Burnett fairly hard, and would like to sign both him and C.C. Sabathia this winter — and may also extend an offer to Derek Lowe. I for one wouldn’t put it past the Bronx Bombers from signing all three of the top starting pitchers available on the free agent market. They can certainly afford it.

Buster Olney believes a guaranteed fifth year will seal the deal for Burnett. Ken Rosenthal thinks the Red Sox are interested, perhaps to keep him from pitching against them.

I’m not sure any team will give Burnett five years, based on his injury history. As for Boston’s interest, that may have waned since this morning’s trade of Coco Crisp for Ramiro Ramirez. Obtaining Ramirez means they can move Justin Masterson to the rotation. The Bosox already have four strong starters returning in Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jon Lester, and Tim Wakefield, in addition to youngster Clay Buchholz. Of course, a team can never have enough pitching, so perhaps they will be after a free agent starter such as Burnett or Derek Lowe, who reportedly would like very much to return to Boston. Further, one of those returning arms could be used as trade bait — such as in a deal to the Rangers for Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

The Cubs’ retention of Ryan Dempster suggests that they will be less active in their pursuit of a big-name starter — and increases the demand for Burnett and the other starters still available.

Where do the Mets fit in on all this?

So far, no buzz has suggested interest in Burnett by the Mets, probably due to his injuries and possibly also the fact that until 2008, he was a .500 pitcher. Fishy, isn’t it, A.J.’s best season came in a walk year?

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