Congratulations to our very own Wessel Brocken!  The Amsterdam Pirates have offered him a spot on their Rookie League team, which is the Dutch equivalent of the Minor Leagues. For those that don’t know, this means he’ll now play on the same team as former Sox farmhand Raoell Kortstam.

Wessel Pitching

Approximately 4 months after Tommy John surgery struck inconsistent starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, Gordon Edes just tweeted today that John Lackey will be going under the knife for the same procedure.

My gut reaction was to jump for joy and go cartwheeling down my street, but for every reason that this favors the Red Sox, it also hurts us.  Lackey posted a 6.41 ERA this season, so for him to be sitting out the season is actually probably a blessing, because even a waiver pickup could probably put up a better ERA than that.  Lackey was signed to be an innings eater, but I’ll take a starter who gives us less innings at a higher quality.  Also, I had hoped that Lackey was gonna be the victim of a bad contract swap this offseason, but this surgery pulls the plug on that plan.  The final bad piece of news is that Lackey’s option for 2015 at the league minimum vests, meaning that we’ll be stuck with him for another season!   However, having him at league minimum will at least ensure him of earning his contract that year…hopefully.

In all seriousness though, Lackey sitting out will be a blessing for the Sox (and Sox fans) in 2012. Now his overpaid contract will just be sitting on the bench, instead of hurting the team on the field, and it might increase the likelihood of taking a one-year flier on another pitcher, seeing as we now have an opening on our rotation for a majority of 2012.  It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out, and we at Bloodysox wish John the best of luck in his surgery, and all we can do now is hope that when he returns, he returns as the LAA version of Lackey, and not the one we’ve seen in 2010 and 2011.

 

Lackey better get used to this pose for the next several months, as Tommy John looks to wipe out his 2012 season!

Curt Young

According to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports Curt Young will be the pitching coach of the A’s next year. He was the pitching coach for the A’s until becoming the Red Sox pitching coach after John Farrell’s departure.

Overall Young had a rough first year, with Red Sox pitching struggling all year. His lack of leadership when it came to the pitching staff’s ability (or lack thereof) to stay fit and healthy.

In an interview with reporters Curt Young said “Obviously it was a fun year in Boston, but not finishing the way we wanted to finish, I think has a lot to do with my being let go.”

The firing of Young adds his name to the long list of Red Sox coaches that have been given the ax. It is almost certain that Young will not be the last head to roll. Count me as a fan who wants Bogar gone like no other.

ESPN Chicago is reporting that the Cubs plan to have their new president of baseball operations, Theo Epstein, unveiled on the World Series travel day tomorrow with a press conference in the works.  Matt Szczur, Trey McNutt, and Brett Jackson won’t be joining the Sox in this trade, but no mention of Josh Vitters being off the table, although he isn’t exactly a coveted commodity in the Cubs system.

Theo will not be the Cubs General Manager, but instead he’ll be the president of baseball operations and rumor has it that former Epstein assistant Jed Hoyer will be joining the Cubs as the new GM, and that the Padres won’t ask for compensation for Hoyer as they’ll promote another Epstein assistant, Josh Byrnes, to Hoyer’s vacated position.

That’s right, Boston fans. The Red Sox demanded Matt Garza for Theo Epstein, and the Cubs balked at that offer. The Sox also were rumored to be trying to get Brett Jackson, but it appears for now that he’s off-limits.   Who can blame the Sox for trying either? As mentioned in my previous article, Brett Jackson to me represents more than just another quality outfielder–adding him would set up some interesting negotiations for Jacoby Ellsbury.

The Sox have also shown interest in Josh Vitters and Matt Szczur, not surprisingly, as these are two more of the Cubs top 5, but the Cubs seem unlikely to move either at the moment. So the Sox have their sights set on 22-year-old Trey McNutt, currently sitting in AA with the Cubs, and this season wasn’t his best. He posted a 5-6 record averaging a little over 6 strikeouts per 9, and 3.5 walks per 9, en route to a 1.67 WHIP.  McNutt is still one of the most promising arms in the Cubs system though, and I’m not sure whether that’s a good or bad thing–they gave up Chris Archer to the Rays in the Garza deal, and he was one of the only “stud” pitchers at the time.  As I previously noted, McNutt features a fastball, a curveball/slider combination, and a changeup, although I read that his changeup needs some work.

McNutt wouldn’t be a horrible tradeoff for Theo, but I’d like to see them add some smaller prospects as well. If they could pull off McNutt and Vitters, I’d be pretty excited as a Sox fan. The Sox hold the cards here, since if a deal doesn’t get done, they can just retain Theo and the Cubs will have a PR nightmare on their hands, whereas Theo has been occupying his office doing Red Sox-related work even through this compensation negotiation, prolonging Ben Cherington’s ascent to General Manager (for the second time).  There seems to be a rush to get this done before the World Series, as MLB discourages any announcements during their biggest stage, but everything I read all weekend didn’t look promising that we’d get resolution by Wednesday. Time will tell!

Theo is all but gone.  He has a new deal in place, Ben Cherington has been informed that he’ll be the guy replacing Theo, all sides are happy.  So why is Epstein still sitting in the General Manager’s office in Fenway?  Shouldn’t he be getting in his gorilla suit with his box of stuff to head to the Friendly Confines?  Not quite—the Red Sox fully expect to be compensated for Epstein leaving his contract in Boston behind in pursuit of riches and success elsewhere.

Many articles on the Internet have speculated about the possibility of compensation, and rumor has it that the Cubs are trying to offer cash, and the Red Sox are more adamant about players, rightfully so, since recent precedent (See: Guillen, Ozzie) states that top prospects are indeed fair compensation for a manager; but Theo isn’t a manager.  He’s not on the field, and he’s not the guy in the trenches.  Theo’s more like the admiral—he’s calling the shots from somewhere far away, and listening to his generals concerns and complaints and ordering more troops to make things run smoother.  Under that assumption, Theo is in essence more valuable than someone like Guillen, so should the Sox receive equal or better value than what the Marlins gave up?  And what is the fair value of an executive?  That’s the tough question that these teams try to tackle, and here’s my take on a few possibilities that could happen.

 

So Theo is off to Chicago, that part of the exchange is set--now what's coming our way?

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According to Yahoo’s Tim Brown, the Red Sox have made the decision to name Ben Cherington as the replacement to Theo Epstein as Boston’s General Manager.  The news means that the reports of Epstein’s deal being complete ARE indeed accurate, and that we are just awaiting a compensation agreement before that move will be made official as well.

This is not the first time Cherington has been the Red Sox GM, as he briefly served as Co-GM with Jed Hoyer in wake of Epstein’s leave back in 2005, only to be reassigned as Epstein’s assistant when he returned in January of 2006.  Cherington has worked for the Indians and Red Sox in his career, and he has been involved in the Red Sox player acquisitions and arbitration cases, and reportedly had been very involved in the meetings to select candidates for filling Boston’s other missing link, the manager, a spot that the Red Sox and Terry Francona agreed to mutually vacate following the Red Sox collapse last month.

Good luck to Ben, we at Bloodysox look forward to seeing the direction you can take us in!

To say Felix Sanchez is fast would be the understatement of the century. After not stealing many bases for the GCL and Dominican Red Sox in 2008 and 2009, Sanchez lit up the base-paths. For the Lowell Spinners in 2010 Sanchez stole 38 bases in 57 games. For the Greenville Drive this year Sanchez stole 55 bases in 119 games. He has “elite speed” according to SoxProspects.com and will have the ability to make a big impact on the base-paths. While his bat needs work, his amazing speed should boost him through the minors and he could find a role as a reliable 4th outfielder or possibly even a starter if his bat develops.
For the Spinners in 2010 Sanchez was great with the bat, hitting at a .323/.399/.368 slash line with 6 doubles and 2 triples in 57 games. Although he struggled for the Drive in 2011, hitting at a .233/.314/.279 slash line, he is still very young and has a lot of room to grow. Interview after the jump.
Felix Sanchez

Photo credit Kelly O'Connor

Theo Epstein is nearing a deal to take a position with the Chicago Cubs according to the Boston Herald. The position is expected to be one with greater power than that of a GM. Reportedly, two sources have spoken on the issue, stating that a deal could be announced with the next 1 or 2 days. One of those officials also said that the Red Sox are expecting compensation in exchange for Theo.

 

More details coming.

Now that some of the dust has settled on what was probably the most hyped Red Sox team in history, it’s now time to reflect and review the 2011 Red Sox season. This team was in first place in mid-August even with the lackluster performances of John Lackey and Carl Crawford. Then September happened. In the worst regular season collapse in the history of baseball the Red Sox went from first to third and in turn spawned an offseason that will be very interesting.

Sure the Red Sox had some injuries down the stretch, but they weren’t the reason the Red Sox failed to reach the playoffs for the second straight year. It was the September team ERA of 5.84 or Josh Beckett and Jon Lester’s average ERA above five. Or the lack of hitting when it mattered most. Or the bullpen’s collapse at the end of games. All in all it was a brutal month that won’t ever be forgotten. But the season wasn’t all bad. There were many surprise performances from the Red Sox and even though it was a disappointing season the Red Sox future looks as bright as ever. It’s time to review the 2011 Red Sox season.

Jacoby Ellsbury

#MVP

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