How Much Does V-Mart Help the Red Sox?

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?

31 thoughts on “How Much Does V-Mart Help the Red Sox?

  1. I don’t think they were ever getting Halladay, heck if they wanted him they could have gotten both because they didn’t use anyone the Jays coveted… being happy about the Red Sox adding one of the best hitting catchers in the league just because they didn’t get Halladay is like being happy you HIV and not AIDS either way your still dead it’s just later rather than sooner. We didn’t add a pitcher and that will ultimately kill us in the playoffs.

    • still time to get a pitcher – a lot of guys will get through waivers this year. I wouldn’t be too worried about that. Don’t freak out yet.

      • I doubt any good pitchers make it through… I would think after his admission Arroyo is out completely, Duchscherer probably could make it through but I don’t want to part with a prospect for a pitcher who might not even be healthy and might not be able to come back from his injury well.

  2. So if we get beat in the playoffs by the Red Sox I swear I will bring this article up and we will have a discussion on the impact adding a starter would have had on our chances.

    • Actually, this article wasn’t about whether the Yanks should have or shouldn’t have added a starter – it was just about V-Mart. Whether the Bombers need another starter is another article. I think it’s necessary. I was disappointed in not getting Washburn, but I don’t think all is lost, just yet. With the economy, a lot of guys will get through waivers.

      • Yeah but a guy like Bannister isn’t going to get through he is very cost affordable and Justin can’t stay healthy.

  3. You make some good points. Plus the sox have created a bit of a log jam at dh and 1st and they have no speed on their bench. Masterson gave them a lot of flexibility along the lines of Aceves. If someone goes down (and they have a lot of rehab arms) then they may miss him.

    • I think the “log jam” may not be that big of a deal with the Red Sox when you look at the fact that Lowell and Varitek the two guys who this affects the most are getting older and are going to need a day off in the week like Arod. Let Martinez start at 1B and sit Lowell, when Varitek’s legs or bat needs a rest put Martinez at C, if Big Pappi has a slump sit him for a day and put Martinez at DH there are going to be some problems originally but I don’t see it ruining whatever chemistry the team has they don’t seem like the bonded together group of 2004 anyway so it’s not a big deal.

      • They needed an outfield bat more. When you have Drew in your outfield and Baldelli is your back up thats not great depth. Someone to play first was the last thing they needed.

        • Have to agree with Chris on this one. Drew is still an above average OF (+21.5 runs above replacement) even in a down year and Rocco is a nice backup (+1.5). Meanwhile, Varitek, after a fast start is starting to revert to his typical automatic out form and Ortiz looks like he can’t catch up to a decent fastball anymore.

          • Drew is fine when healthy but his back is worse than my Grandmothers’ and he has had more epidurals than most of us. Baldelli dosen’t play in back to back games which I think adds up to a lack of depth. Varitek’s bat isn’t V-Marts but he is their Captain so it will be interesting to see how that plays out.

  4. This is a great deal for the Sox. Damn. This may equalize the situation with Boston, at least until Joba runs out of innings. I hope Cashman has a good plan in store. Perhaps a waiver wire trade?

    • I think we are still a better team UNTIL Joba runs out of innings that is my major problem with not getting a starting pitcher at the deadline. If you are going to go with Chamberlain as a starter in the playoffs I still think we would have an advantage because he has pitched well against them historically even when he didn’t have great stuff but with no Washburn or Bannister to help skip Chamberlain’s starts I don’t know how he can start when playoff time rolls around. Maybe there is some free agent available we don’t know about or don’t remember being available… I doubt Ben Sheets can pitch this year but who else is available? [not named Paul Byrd].

      • Duchsherer didn’t go anywhere, nor did Bannister. You’ve got to realize that the Sox had many more chips than the Yankees did. They are in a much better position in terms of salary and prospects, so, personally, I’m actually just happy that the Sox didn’t pull off a deal for Lee or Halladay. Sherman reported that the Tigers wanted Ajax for Washburn which I wouldn’t do. Arroyo is an obvious possibility (unfortunately). I’m sure there are a few other guys with tough contracts that the Yanks could target. Yes, they’re playing with fire, to an extent, but let’s see what happens in the next month. The deadline is much less meaningful this year.

  5. I agree… The Roid Sox improving their pitching would have made me nervous. Especially in the short postseason series, whether it’s a 5 or 7 game series.

    I think we can all live with the addition of V-Mart to the PED Sox. An addition of Halladay would have been tough to beat.

    • I would be careful about calling them the PED sox we have Arod and Pettitte and have had Giambi, Clemens and others.

  6. I’m sorry, I fail to see your logic. You are HAPPY because the Red Sox improved their team, but could have improved it even more? Seems to me this was a steal for them, and as such they STILL had the tools to land Halladay had they desired. Honestly, I woud have been fine with them completely depleting their system for these two players.

    In the end, though, they didn’t improve enough to guarantee anything. Much of their WC competition bettered themselves, and we know they aleady had the tools to beat us. Will V-Mart alone be enough to make up 2.5 games? Probably not, but if we end up a game or two behind the Sox at the end, this will likely be a bigfactor.

    • That’s my problem exactly the Red Sox upgraded in a manner that won’t change the WS outcome but can impact a a game or two that has big importance to us getting a starting pitcher evens it back out again.

    • Not completely sure, but I think you just agreed with me. Like I said earlier, the Sox have a very favorable situation in terms of prospects and salary flexibility, so I was nervous about what they’d do. We really don’t have any expendable upper level prospects like the Sox do right now.

      Regarding ending up behind the Sox – don’t really care much about that. As long as we make the playoffs, anything goes in the post-season. I’m watching the Rays more than the Sox right now.

  7. I think Sterling should start doing sarcastic home run calls for the White Sox tonight. “MITre… with a MEATball!!!”

  8. I agree Victor Martinez isn’t the difference in the world series but he could be the difference in us winning the division or fighting for a wild card spot, todays game proves how bad we need a starter to add to the rotation. The Rays are dead in the water we are 0-8 against the Red Sox worry about the team we probably have to face in the 7 game series.

  9. You basically have a guy you can play in three positions (DH, C, 1B) meaning the same guy will never sit twice and in fact the one I would see being the most pissed probably won’t be and that’s Youkilis because hes the one going from 3rd to 1st every few days which will hurt his defense in the long run.

    • the thing i don’t understand is why trade a suddenly irrelevant laroche for an equally irrelevant first baseman? Jon is right that, with the addition of V-Mart, they could trade laroche for OF depth rather than Kotchman – weird

  10. Nothing is really funny when you lose 10-5 and are coming off losing 2 in a row…

      • Yeah and when I “can” is after wins no one should be OK with a loss of any kind that’s weak and only losers buy into that mind set (not an attack just a point of view).

  11. Tom Gaffney: the thing i don’t understand is why trade a suddenly irrelevant laroche for an equally irrelevant first baseman?Jon is right that, with the addition of V-Mart, they could trade laroche for OF depth rather than Kotchman – weird

    I guess maybe on the defensive end it was upgrade and they value defense since Martinez can bring the offense to 1B and Kotchman will be the defensive replacement late.

  12. I too am happy about this trade, the Halladay thing aside, beyond that I think this trade does three things…it pisses off your veterans: Varitek, Lowell,Papi,and Youkilis are gonna be juggling their shit for awhile. No one is gonna be happy giving up at bats. Varitek is their captain, and when Schilling discussed the deal prior to it being done he discussed how loyal those pitchers are to him and he couldn’t fathom this option, I’m sure he’s not the only one of that opinion. Second, V Mart is a replacement player for the aforementioned, he isn’t a really significant upgrade over Papi, their hottest hitter right now Lowell, or Youk. He is an upgrade over Varitek, but equally bad defensively, and not enough to warrant pissing everyone off. And three Masterson of the 4.5 ERA has that ERA because he pitches all over the place putting out fires, he is a good reliever that the Red Sox rely heavily on, this move significantly weakens their bullpen flexibility this year. Throw in Kotchman and honestly this whole deal just doesn’t look eh, it looks bad.

  13. You have no idea what you are talking about! Even if this was a move that pissed a veteran Mike Lowell is gone at the end of the year and then everyone has a spot and no one is out of at bats. The year after that Varitek is gone and you have the replacement catcher you always wanted and can fill in your first base or third base hole with either free agents or their farm system. Anyone who think this “weakens” the Red Sox are just refusing to see the truth once we lose today’s game we are a .5 game up in the division meaning we have lost a game every single game since we didn’t make a trade.

  14. Turns out roster flexibility was the reason for the trade… Sox sent Kotchman to triple A.