Would you think I’m crazy if I said the Yankees should be thrilled at this deal? When you look at the what the Red Sox acquired versus what they gave up, it’s very hard to knock the Victor Martinez deal. They got an All-Star level bat who can play 2 positions for 3 pitchers who may never be anything more than mediocre. Masterson is a pretty average reliever who has the potential to be a very good reliever or a third to fourth starter. Hagadone and Price have terrific arms but have shown little in terms of consistent results. Subtracting Masterson’s 4.50 ERA from the Sox pen shouldn’t hurt Boston very much, while Martinez, in his best years, often added 5+ wins per year to his team in terms of WAR (Wins Above Replacement Level Player). This number may even go up when you consider that his bat will typically be replacing Lowell, Varitek (who between the two of them give you almost 1 win above replacement with their bats) and Ortiz, who is a minus with his bat. V-Mart’s versatility gives them some nice options, allowing them to mix and match to their heart’s desire.
So how the heck am I happy with this deal? It’s not so much that I’m pleased with the deal as I’m thrilled that the Sox didn’t get Halladay. The Red Sox, you see, have a host of pretty respected prospects that, when they packaged them together, may have been able to lasso the big bull. A Buchholtz, Bard, Masterson, Anderson package may have gotten it done, putting the Yanks in a position where they’d have a very difficult time beating Boston in the playoffs. V-Mart gives you 2-3 W’s for the rest of the year, which makes them competitive with the Bombers, but Tampa didn’t pull anything off, so the Yanks still have an excellent chance of making the playoffs and once the playoffs begin, it’s all about pitching.
The Sox main weakness this year is not scoring runs. They’re 5th in the A.L. in that category. Their primary issue is starting pitching, where they are a very average 8th in the A.L. A Boston lineup adding Victor Martinez doesn’t scare me. V-Mart and Jason Bay, as good as they are, aren’t exectly Manny and Ortiz in their (steroid inflated) primes. A post-season rotation of Halladay, Beckett, and Lester, however is pretty damn fearsome. I would be very nervous having to face those guys. A rotation of Beckett, Lester, Penney (+5.00 ERA) or Wakefield (currently injured) or Smoltz(+7.00 ERA) or Dice-K (injured AND +8.00 ERA) doesn’t exactly put the fear of God into you, does it? The Red Sox can trade all their chips to get as many bats as they want, as far as I’m concerned. As long as that rotation stays the way it is, I’ll be happy.
What about you guys? Does Victor Martinez scare you? Do you think he pushes the Red Sox past the Yankees?