Thursday, December 08, 2005

One And Done, Or Hire Jed Hoyer!

A year after signing him to a 4 year, $40 million contract, the Boston Red Sox appear to have traded Edgar Renteria to the Atlanta Braves for third base prospect Andy Marte. This trade appears to have been consumated less than a day after a three-way deal involving Tampa Bay (with Julio Lugo going to Boston and Marte to the D-Rays) fell apart.

Renteria, probably most famous for being the final batter in 2 different World Series' (blooping the game-winning hit in the '97 Series, and making the final out in the '04 Series), struggled mightily in his first season with the Sox, batting .280 with low power numbers, and committing 30 errors. The Braves are picking him up to replace Rafael Furcal, while the Sox will go with Alex Cora, pending another acquisition, at SS this year. No word on whether or not the Sox are picking up any of Renteria's salary. If they aren't, it's worth noting that the Braves will only be paying him $9 million less in total over the next three years than the Dodgers are paying Raffy Furcal.

While it's perhaps unfair to malign Renteria for a bad year, I'm happy to see him sent out of town. He struggled with Boston, and perhaps wasn't cut out to play in a high-pressure city. Marte is considered one of the best prospects in baseball, despite putting up poor numbers in his brief major league experience. Assuming he stays in Boston, he now has the next two years to apprentice under Mike Lowell, which should ease some of the pressure on him to perform.

With this move done, and ready to be announced any time, let's look at the moves the Red Sox have made since the start of November (aka Year 1 Post-Theo).

• Traded their top positional prospect, 2nd top pitching prospect, and two other prospects to Florida for starter (and potential ace) Josh Beckett, 3B Mike Lowell, and set-up man Guillermo Mota.

• So far have refused to offer Johnny Damon a contract for longer than 3 years.

• Have shopped Manny Ramirez, but haven't rushed into a trade.

• Reportedly worked out a trade to send David Wells to Oakland for set-up man Justin Duscherer (which would be a GREAT move if it happens).

• Let Kevin Millar, who struggled this year, walk.

• Traded underperforming SS Edgar Renteria to Atlanta for 3B Andy Marte, who was Baseball Prospectus' Top Prospect in Baseball this past February, and ranked 9th in Baseball America's prospect rankings this past March.

• Traded back-up (and Tim Wakefield) catcher Doug MIrabelli for 2B Mark Loretta, who was an All-Star in 2004.

I can't complain about any of those moves, and am downright thrilled about 4 of them, 5 if the Oakland trade happens. I'm only mildy concerned about resigning Damon, and worry about the return on a ManRam trade. The only questionable move so far is offering arbitration to 3B Bill Mueller.

My point is, things are working in this make-shift front office. I'd hate to see things thrown out of whack, or for people to leave, once Jim Beattie, or whoever they pick to be GM, is brought on board. The Sox have had one of the better off-seasons of any team so far, and whoever has been making these moves deserves to be rewarded. Since I can't seem to find an answer anywhere, I'm assuming that current Assistant to the GM Jed Hoyer has been the main player, since all signs point to him.

So let the campaign begin...I'm calling for the Sox to give Jed Hoyer a shot at being the full-time GM. He has more experience than Theo did when he got the job three years ago, and in the past four weeks has proven himself to be more competent than the vast majority of executives who have the title of 'General Manager'. Also, he attended Wesleyan University, the same school as Bill Belichek. That has to be good karma, right?


At 1:43 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Jesus. I can't keep up with all these moves. It's like watching the trading deadline in hockey. I like the pick up of Loretta, but I wonder how Wakefield feels about it. Plus, I saw Varitek catch Wakefield in the ALCS in 2004. It was scary.

Okay, apparently they consulted with Wake about a replacement before they made the trade. Whew.

Couldn't they have asked for Roberts in the deal too?

Bye, bye Edgar!

At 11:09 AM, Blogger Alex said...

A couple of things to update on, courtesy of today's Boston Globe.

- It appears that Bill Lajoie, special advisor to the front office, has been acting as the de facto GM at the winter meetings, so throw his name in there for contention as GM along with Hoyer and everyone else in the front office.

- The Sox are picking up about $9 million of Renteria's contract over the next 3 years; the Braves will be paying him $6 mil per year, or less than half what Rafael Furcal is making in Los Angeles.


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