Monday, March 20, 2006

Are You Serious?

The bright young star that is Bronson Arroyo has been traded. The guy who signed a contract because he loved us so much has been shipped away. And what's worse, he's been traded for a bag of magic fucking beans. A guy who hit .254 last year to raise his lifetime average to .248.

You can make fun of the front office for selling pieces of the field, but I make fun of them for doing shitty things like this. I'm waiting for them to reveal the fact that "Oh, how could we forget to tell you, we also got three Reds pitching prospects in the deal."

I thought Theo was back. What the shit is this?

I'm glad they had the sense to trade him to the other league. Because I wouldn't blame him if he pulled a Rick Vaughn and stuck it up our fucking ass whenever he pitched against us.

(Note: I don't hold this against Wily Mo Pena. I will root for him, of course. I just hope he can maybe add 30 or 40 points to that pathetic average. Or at least hit a bunch of homers.)

Jere, I hate to see Bronson go too. He was a big part of Boston's success and I'll keep rooting for him. But this is a good deal for us. Pena is 24 years old. He's very young and very talented, and has LOTS of power. He doesn't hit lefties very well, but thats ok because My-Man-Trot does. He'll platoon with My-Man-Trot this season, and give us some insurance if My-Man-Trot gets hurt. And it eases somewhat the logjam at starting pitcher, though I doubt thats why Theo pulled the trigger.

This is going to hurt Bronson's record sales, I suspect

Assholes like David Wells get to stay with the team while good guys like Bronson get shafted?

Theo can go fuck himself.
I think this was a fantastic deal. Wily Mo is a 24 year old power-hitting monster, who showed an ability to get on-base in the minors at would could develop to a league average level. We have him under our control for three years, and he's Trot's perfect platoon partner this year. Remember, he's developing. His BAs aren't where he strengths lay- it's his power.

BA wasn't, with all due respect, a bright young star though, Jere. He's a 29 year old reclamation project that gave us one good season and one below average one- the most recent one- that portended to bad things to come. Trading him now for a young, developing power hitting corner OF while he still had value was a great idea.

On-the-field, this was a pretty great trade, and if Wily Mo continues to develop, moving his OBP to, say, a 330 neighborhood this year while maintaining his SLG, this would be "steal" territory.
In my state of being-pissed-ness, I didn't even think of Wells. I'd been meaning to do a "David Wells, Go Away" post, but I forgot. Now this makes me that much madder about this. I'd have taken absolutely nothing for Wells over Bronson for anyone.

I think Theo was buried in the Pet Sematary, and we dug him up, and he doesn't smell so good.

But, Matt, I will hope for the best for Wily Mo now that he's here.
BSM-- He just better be good is all I'm sayin' In the words of Principal Skinner, "Prove me wrong, children. Prove me wrong."

I don't know, this one wasn't about stats with me as much as it was all the other stuff. So, in a case like that, when I look at what we're getting in return and see a huge .250 staring me in the face, it doesn't exactly ease the pain.
I'm not a huge Wells guy either, and its entirely possible that we'll trade him too (which would be fine by me). Of the three who were reportedly on the trading block, I'd want to keep Clement the most. I think he's a great pitcher to have at the back of their rotation.

Just thought of something: My-Man-Trot's contract is up after this season, so this could be Theo preparing for that too.

I've been reading some Reds blogs to see what they think and they're pretty split on the trade. They say that Wily Mo can't play the outfield very well, which makes me think that maybe this deal is also about insurance in case Mike Lowell keeps sucking. The Sox could move Wily Mo to first, and Youkilis back to third. Hopefully that won't be necessary, but Lowell was pretty awful last year and he hasn't looked much better this spring.

I can appreciate the inability to react 100% logically when it involves a player we like- but it's hard to argue the value of this trade. Simply put, Bronson Arroyo is not much of a pitcher, and of our seven SP, he was easily the worst. In fact, he wasn't going to be a SP this season as it stood.

Wily is really young, and he's never going to hit .300- so if it's BA you're looking for, you're going to be disapppointed. However, he hits for a lot of power, and has pledged often to begin working on his plate discipline- a few quotes of which I posted on my blog. If that comes around, you won't be too worried aobut the BA anymore, I bet.

You just have to look at what these players are likely to do going forward- and then it's a pretty favorable trade. David Wells just isn't going to be traded- he's depth at this point, and we'd get nothing for him, the personal animosity towards him aside. Arroyo had youth and a cheap price tag, which made him more palatable (and brought more in return as a result), but I don't think he'll even outperform Wells in 2006.

Also, PECOTA loves Wily Mo going forward, starting this year- so that's another good thing.
I missed this until just now. We also threw some cash into the deal.

"Here ya go, Reds, you have an ace now. And, go get yourself somethin' nice."

Unfortunately, my calendar doesn't read "April 1," though I keep checking it.
This makes so much sense on all levels. Let's not overthink this, guys.
And Cyn, typical reaction. Arroyo's contribution to the club has been unspectacular, an inning eater with a slightly better than .500 record. We will remember this deal come July, and smile. That I guarantee.
BSM, I'm always glad when a smart person is in favor of something I'm not in favor of. So, thanks for your point of view. It may be the only thing keeping me from busting out of work and just strangling the first yankee fan I see just to get my agressions out.

Still, I feel like this guy is Rob Deer or something, with the really low average but a homer when he does hit the ball. But I really thought this was the player we were trying to avoid obtaining. I'm not looking for average, I'm just sayin', if we're going to trade a pitcher who really could have helped our bullpen, if not been a starter (which, I just think he could have been again), can we get .270? .265 even? I mean, regardless of what else he can do at the plate or on the field (which, fielding-wise, I understand isn't much), can he please hit .265? This is an era where shortstops are hitting .300, and some of them are morepowerful than Pena anyway.

I kind of feel like it's the "3 Strikes game" on The Price is Right. It's like, Okay, we've looked at this and determined it's a big red x. Reach in the bag and try for someone else.
Jere- this deal could totally suck, absolutely. In fact, it's plausible that Arroyo goes to the NL, has a season like his 2004 where hitters are unfamiliar with his breaking ball, and his K rate improves and there's the illusion of progression, while Wily Mo never gets the ABs to blossom. These are all possibilites.

That being said, I think they're less likely than the idea that we got a player moving in one direction (the right one) for a player moving in another direction (the wrong one). That's always a good thing.

But, we'll see. Just like any trade, there are a plateful of risks on the side.
We''l just hope after Vilanch eats them all, he shits out some rewards for our side...
I'm going to let the 'typical' comment slide, Peter, even though it could signify you thinking I only don't like this deal because "Bronson is cute".

Bronson has done a lot more for this team than you give him credit for. Along with that, he put his trust in the front office and they just roto-rootered him up the giggy.

I will never feel about Theo the way I once did. Now he's just like all the rest of them.
Yeah, it's just not as warm and fuzzy as it was when he called Freddy Sanchez to tell him he was traded in that movie.

And yeah, Peter, that "typical" remark did sound kind of, well, it's between you two.
Does this deal really screw Bronson? With Wells staying, he probably slots as starter #6 (behind Wells and Clement). I think in Francona's mind he might even be behind Papelbon. With this trade he probably is the Reds #2 or #3 starter. Who knows - he might have even requested it - until I see a grumpy outburst on his way out, I don't really have an opinion on whether they did something not-so-classy by trading them.

What I don't like is that we seemed to have decent cheap options for 4th/5th OF in Mohr and Stern (and Kapler). Unless Trot or Pena are moving to 1B, or unless this means another effort to move Manny Ramirez, something isn't adding up. Is it that the Mike Lowell is done (steroids effect..) and we need Youk at 3B? Is it that Manny will be traded?

I think the one thing that you take away from this trade is that Juan Gonzalez isn't going to be playing for the Sox anytime soon.
Oh he's not screwed in terms of playing time. He's a guaranteed starter/possible ace oer there. But he made it pretty clear he wanted to stay here.

And I don't think he'll do anything like throw a tantrum, he's not that type. He will say goodbye to us and just move on.

I didn't mean he should go nuts like Rick Vaughn did, more like just prove us wrong on the field by doing really awesome, which he has such potential to do, especially in the NL.
I've explained to Cyn that when I said "typical," I meant her view will be typical of many a Sox fan. It was not directed at her and she knows it. Tell you the truth, Jere, when I reread it, my thoughts were exactly the same...that I could be misconstrued in a bad way. I'm not that type of person, and wrote a comment on her blog immediately after. Thanks, Jere.
Dustan Mohr does not have a guaranteed contract, so he'll likely be traded or cut loose. Something along those lines. Gonzalez was only signed probably as injury insurance- high ceiling depth.

I can't believe someone would think of Theo different after making a trade to dramatically upgrade the team just because they think Bronson was a nice guy. It's a business- and this was a no brainer.

In addition, that "handshake agreement" was non-existant, and there was NO promise to not trade him. That was erroneously reported and has been corrected by the FO fairly often. They simply stated to him that they weren't signing him to trade him, and that no deals were imminent.

Bronson took a couple bucks less, but got himself three years GUARANTEED money, and is no going to a place where he'll be on the centerpieces of the rotation.

I personally would "never feel the same" about Theo if he had this deal on the table but passed to be nice to Bronson Arroyo. I'd fire him if I were his boss and he did that.

We want them to win, right?
I wish BS Memorial would use the phrase "in the future" rather than "going forward." Unless he's a corporate type and can't help it.
From Jere's Mom whose heart is broken over the loss of our corn-rowed boy. (Had to take it out on someone, B.S.)
Fair enough, Jere's Mom :) Going forward, I'll try to forgive you.
That was a low blow, mom. You don't see me treating Maeve like that.

Anyway, BS, I do thin kthat Bronson is gonna be a really good pitcher for years to come. So I think he would help us win more than this dude, but again, I hope I'm wrong.

And, also, if they said we've traded the whole team for the yankees, and the yanks were clearly better, I would stop rooting for the team at that moment. An extreme example to answer your question. Same with Clemens. I just don't want him back, no matter how great he may be.
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I think he made it clear that he wanted to stay when the assumption was Wells was definitely gone. With Wells in the mix, and facing a demotion to being the long man in the pen / swing starter, would he really want to stay? He has the same problem next year with Wells going and Lester pushing for his job.

I do like that Pena is right-handed. Right handed power is such a rare thing - we kept Millar in the lineup for so long last year while he was struggling - because he was our only rightie option.
But, t ofurther answer it, if they really want to win, why are they struggling to find rightfielders to hit against lefties. Witch City says this all the time: They should be spending a lot more and getting more all-star types. While I don't fully agree with her, I do think she's right if she's saying that now. Like, why can't we spend a couple of extra bucks to just get into a situation a little better than what it is now. Or, bring up the young'ns now, instead of signing Juan Gone.
yeah, I like the thought of him hitting mega-dongs over the monster, but not the thought of Randy Johnson striking him out repeatedly.
I don't think the entire team should be all-stars, but if the difference is a couple of million (remember that Damon's offer from the Yanks wasn't much more than ours), why be so cheap? In the case of Clemens, though, I am totally against it. No way would I want FO to whip out the bucks for that guy.

I really think that we should have received more in return for Arroyo. It's pretty insulting to get traded for a bench guy. That's not a slight to Pena or anything, but I really think Bronson is worth more than that.

And I'm really tired of everyone saying that so many Sox fans over-estimate the value of their players. Isn't that what being a fan is all about, anyway? If I wanted to look at baseball objectively, I wouldn't choose a team and root for it.
This is one of those "we'll see how it turns out" trades. Pena has a great upside, and perhaps fellow Dominican David Ortiz will be a good influence on him. Arroyo heads to Cincy as a starter, probably something he'd rather do than relieve. But I could understand if he's rather pissed about the deal, especially after giving the Sox a "hometown discount."
And to even further answer the "they want to win, right?" question: I think, as joyofsox said (before the trade), that this is something that won't want to make players come to the team. Seeing a guy who really wants to play here, who helped the team win it all, and who's still pretty damn good, be told he'd be staying and then just get dealt away. With cash, for a 250 hitter.

And I totally agree with WCSG. I'd much rather have a guy I like than a guy with better stats. There should be a mix, I think. Obviously, if it was all just nice guys who don't even know how to play, it wouldn't be fun either. But, I hate the thought of the Red Sox turning into robots. Not like Wily Mo is one, because I'm sure he'll be laughin' it up with Papi and Manny. But why not trade Wells, who nobody likes, doesn't want to be here, and causes trouble? How? Throw in more cash! I just spent 60 bux on a fan package thing. That should be enough right there!
>>this is something that won't want to make players come to the team. Seeing a guy who really wants to play here, who helped the team win it all, and who's still pretty damn good, be told he'd be staying and then just get dealt away. With cash, for a 250 hitter.<<

This is an excellent point. The "being told that he's staying" was totally stinky. At least be honest and say, "We can't make you any promises. You might be traded right away, you might not." Don't tell the guy one thing, then reward him for his loyalty by whipping the rug out from beneath him.
Sad to see Bronson go (I really liked him), but I agree with BS - Theo had to do this. Willy Mo is only 24, and can hit for big-time power. A little time with Papa Jack, his Dominican homies Manny and Papi, and this guy could be a major, major steal. Arroyo would've been wasting away in the bullpen anyway.
And Theo still gets a lot of leeway with me. I admit I was one of the many fools who initially couldn't believe he traded Nomar for some no-hit shortstop from the Expos and Doug Mientkiewvitisxzz in 2004. How'd that turn out?
I feel the same about Theo as I did before this deal-he's the GM who built the team that killed the Yankees and brought home the title in '04. This trade doesn't lessen my opinion of him at all.
I thought of the Nomar thing as well. I was pissed at the time, thinking he'd go on to a Hall of Fame career. But I think that taught us that pitching and defense were key. But now we go and trade a nice arm that would have been good to have coming out of the pen, for a guy who can homer every once in a while, but that's it. I think if you trade pitching for hitting, the hitter better be better than the pitcher. The dude hits .248. I looked at his 162-game average: 27 homers. But only 72 RBI. And again, .248. maybe Fenway and the Sox will make him better. But i can't imagine he'll be as important as a key arm might end up being. Theo even admitted it today: "Don't hold me to it if we're scrambling for arms in June."

I'm still down with theo, but I think he's just overthinking now. He's filling holes that aren't there.
Well, he's only a .248 hitter, but he's also really young (something we're not used to as Sox fans). Perhaps a little Papa Jack magic can point him in the right direction, and he'll mature and develop into something sweet. He's young enough where this is not out of the question.
I'm pretty surprised by the negative reaction here to this deal. Put me very squarely in BSM's camp as liking this deal; I think he did a great job articulating the case for it. Pena is a young, raw player who has demonstrated considerable power in the major leagues at an early age. The fact that he projects out very well with folks whose opinions I hold in high regard is very encouraging; so is the fact that Pena has articulated a desire to become a smarter, more disciplined hitter, and by the accounts I've read has a strong work ethic. At worst, he gives us a very solid platoon partner for Trot, and a potential 1B option if Lowell turns out to be finished and they need to move Youks back to 3B. His upside is as a very solid everyday corner outfielder in a couple years, when the Sox will likely need one. Arroyo was not going to make the rotation, and probably is as good as he'll ever be at this point...based on his strikeout rates, he might even decline some over the next couple years. Nothing personal against Bronson, but these are the types of trades that Theo really has to make.
I don't buy it at all. I don't remember anyone saying, "If only we could find an unproven platoon outfielder with a .250 average to trade Arroyo and cash for."

If we absolutely had to trade him, how about a proven dude or more prospects. Or, if you really need to have Pena on your team, give 'em Wells and twice the cash you just gave 'em.
This idea that Bronson was promised not to be traded is 100% false and is getting way overblown. At the time he signed his three year deal, he was assured that there were no imminent deals, and that he wasn't being signed simply to be traded. At no point did they promise him they wouldn't trade him, and at no point did they break any promise. The media got it wrong from the beginning and have been predictably slow in correcting it.

Don't feel bad for Bronson. He's guaranteed a heap of cash over the next three years despite being a below average innings eater. He went from a situation where he was guaranteed to start the season in the bullpen, to being a #2 starter on a rebuilding team. I guarantee you he realizes this, and if these guys couldn't handle getting traded, they should not go into baseball. I mean, feeling sorry for him for getting traded is crazy, in my humble opinion. It happens every day.

I love the Boston Red Sox, not the players. I come to love the players as a result of their association with the Red Sox, and I love players that are not on the Red Sox, but at the end of the day, my exercise as a fan is to want this team to be better than anyone else. If that means getting Clemens, absolutely I'd want to. If that meant acquiring the entire Yankee roster- and that made us demonstrably better- I'd be 100% for it. I'd love Derek Jeter if he became a Red Sox. Ditto A-Rod. Sheffield... pass.

The point is, if you're going to say that you're judging a trade by how much you personally like a player, that's totally fine- and absolutely legit. But that's never, ever, ever how I personally look at it. I try to look at it long term and what's best for the team- something that oftentimes leads you to make cold, hard, calculated decisions- one of Theo's gifts, I think. And to WCSG's point, I think often overpaying for just above average talent (ie, Damon) is a faulty enterprise, as the Yankees have found in the last few years. I think you try to acquire young, undervalued players that give you flexibility in the event they don't work out, but provide ceiling comparable to their more expensive counterparts. Moreover, you overpay only for elite talent- Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens, Miguel Cabrera, Manny Ramirez, etc. That's where the financial advantage should be employed for the Boston Red Sox.

Again, to each his own. On the field, I find it hard to fault this trade whatsoever. Off the field, Bronson seemed like a nice guy, but I'm willing to bet Wily is a good kid, too. They come, they go, the uni stays the same, you know?

The dude hits .248. I looked at his 162-game average: 27 homers. But only 72 RBI. And again, .248.

To this point- it's rough to get a comprehensive analysis of Wily from his career numbers- he was rushed to the big leagues because (shock) the Yankees fucked up in signing him by handing him a major league deal. Thus, his options ran out and he was in MLB WAY before he should have been (~20). His early numbers are understandably poor.

Plus, the RBI rates are largely a function of sporadic playing time and hitting on the Reds- who never have anyone on base. Hard to fault him for that. Consider this stat:

David Ortiz: 47 HR's in last 601 ABs
Manny Ramirez: 45 HR's in last 554 ABs
Willy Mo Pena: 45 HR's in last 647 ABs

Wily can mash. He's absolutely a more valuable player than Bronson, and I'm guessing he's our starting RF in 2007.
I saw that stat, or something like it, on Royal Rooters, and again, my first thought was, But those other guys hit .300.

It still doesn't fit together with me. You wanna try out this kid? Fine. You wanna get rid of Bronson? Okay. But one for the other, and we give them cash? Doesn't seem right. We might be in serious need of arms at some point, if people start getting injured, and Bronson was just the type of guy that can give you what you need, and, unlike seemingly most ballplayers, was happy to do it. I just think he was a rare guy, and good enough to at the very least keep a spot on this club.

I don't see how this move fits in with the "pitching and defense wins championships" thinking.

About contracts and stuff. It just seemed like they wanted him. They said a trade wasn't imminent. This could be considered imminent. And why is everyone believing Theo now, about the handshake deal? Nobody believed him when he said there was no problem betweeen him and Lucchino.
Well, I'm not personally of the mind that defense and pitching win championships. I think well rounded ball clubs do.

"Imminent" means "about to happen"- as in, Arroyo was worried the deal was to buy out his arbitration so that a trading partner would have him locked up for three years. This was months ago- that doesn't fit the "imminent" deal terminology and, in fact, most reports have this coming together well after the new GM was inserted in CIN, which was after Arroyo was signed.

Further, there's no reason to believe Lenny DiNardo can't easily give you what Bronson Arroyo gives you- the thing is, Arroyo wasn't really a rare guy- he was a below average innings eater that was going to be a bullpen pitcher for us. DiNardo can likely be counted on for an ERA in the 4.6o neighborhood, which would be a nice Arroyo projection as well (BP has Arroyo at 4.5 ERA, DiNardo at 4.7). DiNardo's just one example- the Sox feel like Lester could make bullpen contributions by mid-season.

Jere, he won't hit .300. BA is not one of his strengths- but BA is also a really, really unreliable and narrow stat. No one's claiming Pena will be as good a hitter as Manny or Ortiz, just that he has power comparable to the two of them. That alone is more value than what Arroyo represents. In fact, his hitting LHP like Nixon hits RHP would also make him more valuable than what Arroyo represents. Arroyo's destination as bullpen pitcher is getting lost in the shuffle of this debate a bit- he was 7th in the Red Sox SP depth chart. For our 7th starter, we got a 24 year old power hitting corner outfielder who's only going to get better. Arroyo, at best, will tread water.

The cash is a peripheral part of the deal I'm not totally clear on, but likely is simply to even out salaries, a luxury the Red Sox have in trades they make- they can throw $$ at a trade to make them move along quicker. I'd bet it's a nominal amount and nothing they even thought twice about including.

The "happy to do it" part is relative, too- does DiNardo seem especially surly? And what of someone that is, but does it anyway- and better? Isn't that still a better option? I happen to think it is.

Bronson Arroyo projected 2006 VORP- 18.1
Wily Mo Pena projected 2006 VORP- 24.1
Wily strikes out every 3rd at bat. At least to this day. He might improve with good coaching. The point is, if he hits after Manny, let's say, and he strikes out. leaving runners in scoring position time after time, no one is going to be beaming over this guy. And his every 3rd at bat strike out record is actually worse than Bellhorn's. I suppose if he really has all this great power that Theo claims he does and he miraculously starts hitting consistently, we'd have given ourselves a good player. But I still agree that tossing a young arm and a pretty decent pitcher away for a bench dude is not exactly a balanced trade.

Blame Bronson. And his naiveté. Had he taken one year instead of 3, he would have been less attractive to other clubs.

Also, I never said that I think we should we throwing big bucks out there for any old player. I have always maintained that the best club is one with a mix of veterans and young talent. However, if the difference isn't much and we have the available fundage to retain quality players, I don't think we should be overly cautious.
There's no way it was naivete- it was a guy giving up some dollars for guaranteed money- the same guy that was DFA'd by the Pirates after flaming out in their system. Certainly he appreciated the value of being guaranteed money the next three years.

I think Bronson's need and desire to stay in Boston is being a bit overstated here- he's been here three years, and he's going to a situation better for him professionally. If he can pitch along the lines he did in 2004 for the next three years as a SP, he'll make some decent dough. He never would have had that chance in Boston.

K rates, at Wily's point of development, are largely moot- an out is an out is an out. Doesn't really matter how he makes it. Again, I've mentioned the story on his development, but in his time in the mLs, he's shown a decent ability to get on base. His BB rates are what should be of concern. They're not currently very good. They can easily (and almost certainly will) improve, however.

What is the specific example where we went cheap and the difference isn't much? If the difference isn't much, you go with the cheaper player. That way, you can overpay for the elite player. I'm guessing you're talking about Damon (maybe not)- but Crisp is likely just as good and infinitely cheaper and younger. That's just smart GMing.

One more note, on the batting average argument- Mike Schimdt, the greatest 3B in baseball history, career BA: .267. Doesn't tell nearly enough of the story- BA is a flawed stat. Especially in Wily's case as expressed as a career number.

I suppose if he really has all this great power that Theo claims he does

He does have the power- look at his SLG numbers the last three season. That's his current demonstrable talent- it's nearly everything else he's a bit "raw" in. But power is not "when?" but "how much more?"

But I still agree that tossing a young arm and a pretty decent pitcher away for a bench dude is not exactly a balanced trade.

Not if presented as such. But
a) Bronson isn't young
b) Isn't decent- he's below average
c) Is likely getting worse

Plus, as for Wily
a) He's only a bench dude for the 2006 Sox- at 24. He's potentially a future star, and helps us at RF immediately. It's a perfect situation
b) He represents value at a need for the Red Sox where Arroyo doesn't- we had 7 SPs, and Arroyo was the worst. We had no true young power hitter, a weak platoon partner for Nixon in Mohr, and dealt from strength.

To me, this is a B+ trade. It has the ability to tank, of course, but every trade does. This makes the 2006 Sox better, I think, and could be an Ortiz-level steal ultimately.

Bronson Arroyo just isn't going to be very great in the future...
I think that the Damon deal was an example of not wanting to spend the relatively small difference between the two offers. I still wish we could have retained him, and I know that this isn't the most popular opinion. Also, I'm not really sure what sort of opportunity Boras gave the Sox to counter-offer, but anyway, that's not the point.

I think that Bronson would have made a great long reliever and would have been happy to do so. He's flexible (IOW, he's not going to get pissed if he doesn't make the starting rotation) and he's not an old-timer by any stretch of the imagination. He doesn't even need to ice his arm after his starts.

I hope you are right re: Pena's potential. I definitely want my skepticism to be squashed.

I just wish that maybe we could have waited a little longer to make a move like this. Our situation really didn't seem dire enough to necessitate the trade.
I just think that maybe Bronson's affability is playing into this more than his on-the-field abilities. Any combination of Lenny DiNardo, Abe Alvarez and, eventually, Jon Lester should have no problem replicating what Arroyo would have put together in a long-relief role. I don't know- the idea of using our long reliever to get a 24 year old power hitting monster is an automatic to me.

But, re: Damon- I just think we got a player that could be better than Damon as soon as 2007, and for a third the price (and younger). Margin-saving stuff like that gives you money to do something like sign the next Pedro, etc. I didn't love losing Marte, but the end ledger has us coming out on top in that respect. We got younger, less expensive, and maybe even better.

I'm a big, big fan of this offseason thus far, to say the least.
Isn't Pena what Marte was supposed to be for us?: a young player with tons of power but little (as yet) plate discipline?
From what I understand, Marte was way better than this guy overall.

Also, the comment I deleted in this thread was just a duplicate.
Marte was definitely a better overall player - better defense, fewer K's, far better discipline. I'm actually not in either of the camps on this deal; I have no problem trading Bronson, he was a useful cheap alternative for a while, but guys like that need to be expendable. We traded him at the height of his value, and, theoretically, got a high ceiling guy. My problem with the deal is actually that I somewhat question Pena's ceiling. Sure, if his patience improves and he can get better vs. RHP and learn better D he could be a great player. If he can do any one of those things he'll be a good player. But while 24 is young, it ain't that young. Patience is a tough skill to teach, and that impacts the RHP numbers too. Defense... well, that's more learnable, but who the hell knows? Pena definitely has upside, and I could see him being a Papi-esque breakthrough. But I could also see him being an adequate platoon and no more. I can't complain about the trade, because Bronson just wasn't that good a pitcher - I agree with everything BSM has said here in that regard - and this did fill a nice hole and potentially set us up for the future. But I can't quite get on board with the 'great for the future' bandwagon; I'm just not convinced he will be.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States