Red Sox Focus on 2015 in Jon Lester Trade

Breaking up is hard to do. Jon Lester is without a doubt one of the 10 best pitchers in Boston Red Sox history. Since he returned to full-time duty with the Sox in 2008, he made 80 more starts than any other Red Sox pitcher. He was one of three players still around from the 2007 World Series championship team. Trading him is going to sting in a way that hasn’t stung for Red Sox fans since Manny Ramirez was traded, or depending on your feelings towards Ramirez, since Nomar Garciaparra was traded. But this wasn’t a typical trade, and getting Yoenis Cespedes back in return for Lester and throw-in Jonny Gomes does take some of the sting out of this deal, and signals to the Sox fan base that they aren’t looking to rebuild.

Cespedes is the power bat the Red Sox have been coveting. It was the one thing, as Buster Olney noted this morning, that isn’t really plentiful in their otherwise stacked farm system. His powerful bat, combined with good defense, makes him a player that really isn’t going to be available on the free-agent market this winter either. Giancarlo Stanton wishcasting has been a thing in Boston for some time, but in order to land Stanton, the Sox would have hard to part with enough prospects that it would have been close to a zero-sum return. They didn’t exactly get the next-best thing — Stanton ranks eighth in isolated power this season, while Cespedes ranks 27th — but considering what they had to give up, it might as well have been. It’s only for one year, as thanks to the contract he signed, Cespedes must be non-tendered, so there will be no compensation pick if he hits free agency after the 2015 season.

And he might just land in free agency. While Cespedes is a solid player, who is a great fit for Boston’s needs as well as being perfectly suited for Fenway Park — careful if you’re driving on the Mass Pike during Sox games for the foreseeable future — he has never quite achieved the promise of his rookie season. As a 26-year-old, he stormed into the American League and posted a 137 wRC+, which was 21st-best in baseball that season. It wasn’t enough for him to take home Rookie of the Year honors, as some guy named Mike Trout happened, but the three-win campaign whetted appetites for more to come. Cespedes had only suited up for 129 games in his rookie season. Given a full season of play, it looked like he had a chance to be a four-win player.

Last year, Cespedes got six games closer to that full year of play, but he regressed across the board, with his on-base percentage dipping under .300. He was still a two-win player on the strength of good defense and scratch baserunning, but his hitting tool was just average. He did deal with thumb and wrist injuries though, so perhaps a mulligan was warranted. The truth, as they often say, lies somewhere in the middle. Cespedes’ OBP this year looks a lot like it did last year, but he has cut his strikeout rate while maintaining his ISO, and that has made an impact. He’s also handling curveballs much better this season, which should hopefully stow any Pedro Cerrano comparisons for the time being.

It was never realistic for the Sox to get a premium, top 30 prospect in return for Lester, so the trade-off they were facing was to whether to go for a shorter term addition or a longer term project. Cespedes is clearly the former, and probably makes more sense for a team with the Red Sox roster than waiting a couple of years for an A-ball guy to make the big leagues. The deal gives the team an outfield of Cespedes in left, Jackie Bradley Jr. in center and Shane Victorino in right, with Daniel Nava, Mookie Betts and Brock Holt looming. Netting Cespedes also gives the team, if they desire, the freedom to move Victorino this offseason in order to open up a permanent spot in the lineup for Betts.

Betts seems like the one player who is set to suffer the most as a result of this trade. Two months ago, his arrival in Boston seemed imminent, and it was, but when he came up he essentially wasted away until he was sent packing. He has posted a .318/.348/.515 line in his first 10 games back in Triple-A, and for the season, he has hit .321/.401/.478 in Triple-A, good for a 146 wRC+. He seemingly has nothing left to prove there, but he now also seemingly has no permanent place on either the 2014 or 2015 Red Sox. And with Holt having staked out the super utility role, there may not be a place for Betts at all. Surely, things will change between now and next April, but for the moment, the Red Sox have one of those good problems on their hands.

By trading Lester to Oakland, Boston not only did him a solid — as Dave Cameron noted earlier today, this deal might not move the needle much for the A’s, though they are one of the big favorites to win it all this year — but the Sox also may have done themselves a favor. The A’s are all-in this year, but it’s basically impossible to see them re-signing Lester this winter. While the Sox now will need to compete with many other teams in order to re-sign Lester in free agency, the exclusive window the A’s have to bring him back may become moot, and that’s probably not something that could have been said if Lester had ended up with, say, the Dodgers. If the Red Sox still want to sign Lester long-term, there’s likely some benefit to sending him somewhere he won’t re-sign.

In addition to getting Cespedes, that hope that maybe the Sox can get back in the Jon Lester business after the season ends will make this deal a little easier to swallow for Red Sox fans. For the better part of a decade, Jon Lester wasn’t just a Red Sox pitcher — he was the Red Sox pitcher who won the clinching game of the World Series 14 months after being diagnosed with cancer. Lester has been the rock for the Red Sox. This month, he passed Luis Tiant for fourth place all-time in games started by a Red Sox pitcher. Only Tim Wakefield, Roger Clemens and Cy Young have made more. Whether you prefer WAR, RA-9 WAR, RE24, WPA, FIP- or any other stat, Lester is among the best in the franchise’s history.

Losing Jon Lester is going to hurt, and it’ll hurt even more if the team doesn’t bring him back into the fold this winter. But the A’s are unlikely to keep Lester long-term, so perhaps the Red Sox will get their chance to bid for him on the open market. Either way, the team took one-third of a season from Jon Lester and turned it into a season and a third of Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes may not be the long-term solution in left field for Boston, but he gives them some additional right-handed thump in the middle of the lineup, and this deal gets the ball rolling for a productive offseason in Boston.




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Paul Swydan is the managing editor of The Hardball Times, a writer and editor for FanGraphs and a writer for Boston.com. He has written for The Boston Globe, ESPN MLB Insider and ESPN the Magazine, among others. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan.


74 Responses to “Red Sox Focus on 2015 in Jon Lester Trade”

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  1. jdbolick says:
    FanGraphs Supporting Member

    Wouldn’t it make more sense for Boston to play Cespedes in right field?

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    • Jim says:

      No, Fenway has a very large right field which is almost like center field and Victorino fits perfectly there with his fantastic range. Cespedes in Left Field will also help tremendously with his great arm by turning doubles off the monster into singles

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      • Cory S. says:

        I agree. The only real change would be if Shane is traded in the offseason. Then it would be Holt/Betts and maybe Nava somewhere. Nava is pretty bad either way.

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      • jdbolick says:
        FanGraphs Supporting Member

        Cespedes has played 600 innings in center field and his huge arm has less use in left field at Fenway than any other outfield spot in the major leagues. Preventing balls off the Monster from becoming doubles has much less to do with the outfielder’s arm than it does securing the ball quickly.

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    • Yirmiyahu says:

      Fenway’s LF is probably the best place in the majors for a guy with a great arm and crappy range.

      Meanwhile, Fenway’s RF is so big, you really need a guy with a CF’s legs there.

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      • jdbolick says:
        FanGraphs Supporting Member

        Please explain the logic that the shortest outfield distance in the major leagues is where you should use phenomenal arm strength.

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        • Steve says:

          “Please explain the logic that the shortest outfield distance in the major leagues is where you should use phenomenal arm strength.”

          I would guess that the presence of the monster presents many more throwing opportunities than for an average LFer. Flyballs that are outs in other parks now become hits where the ball is in play and creates more baserunner movement.

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        • jdbolick says:
          FanGraphs Supporting Member

          Steve, that might be an argument for an accurate arm and a quick release, but not one for arm strength. Again, left field in Fenway requires the least arm strength of any outfield position in major league baseball.

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        • Yirmiyahu says:

          I’d say the wall makes more balls playable for a LFer. It’s a pretty regular occurrence to see an inexperienced hitter run into an out at 2B after hitting the ball hard off the Monster.

          Arm strength isn’t just about being able to throw the ball *far*. If a guy has arm strength, the ball will travel *faster*.

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        • The Dude says:

          jdbolick, it’s very simple. Regardless of how good your arm is, nobody is going to throw a guy out at home at 380. If you are going to have a guy stationed in an area that is 310 or less, where a throw CAN be made, you want that throw to be hard and accurate every time. Putting your strongest arm in 380, and your worst arm in 310, neutralizes your outfield. You put your worst arm in 380, because he’s rarely ever going to throw over y our cutoff man. 380 is really 250.

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      • tz says:

        Jim Rice and Fenway’s LF were made for each other, especially as his knees killed his mobility.

        And absolutely right on Fenway’s RF. Range is about as important as arm there.

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    • d.petkanas says:

      I agree, his UZR isn’t awful in LF and his arm would play much better in RF.

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  2. Tom says:

    “It was never realistic for the Sox to get a premium, top 30 prospect in return for Lester”

    Easy to say this after the fact. Matt Garza, a worst pitcher, netted Olt and CJ Edwards just last year.

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    • jdbolick says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      Mike Olt had a Round Rock wRC+ of 92 at the time. While prospect analysts who aren’t me had been touting him as top 30 prospect, I’m guessing that major league teams had also already figured out that he had major problems at the plate.

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      • Cory S. says:

        Looks like it wasn’t just Olt’s eyes that were doing him in.

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        • LHPSU says:

          Olt’s injury occurred well before the trade and his strikeout problems have been well-known even before that.

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      • Stan Gable says:

        Yeah, I feel like the bloom was off whatever was left of Mike Olt’s rose in the eyes of most, yet a lot of fans who were casually aware of him as a prospect didn’t seem to realize that last summer when that trade happened. CJ Edwards was the prize there (at least in terms of then-present day prospect value).

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        • jdbolick says:
          FanGraphs Supporting Member

          That’s a little bit revisionist given that Hulet said Olt just missed his midseason top 50 in 2013 after having him #47 overall before that season. If you go back and look at the latter you’ll see me in the comments section cautioning against it, along with the Rangers’ top 10 piece and columns where Olt was mentioned in 2012. I think most major league teams were already on to Mike’s flaws, but almost all prospect analysts were slow to accept it because the power at 3B was so enticing.

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    • Jon says:

      “It was never realistic for the Sox to get a premium, top 30 prospect in return for Lester”

      Theo thinks differently.

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      • Valentine says:

        Theo was trading a season and a half of Samardzija, plus Hammel as a kicker. Half a season of Lester is a step down from that package.

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  3. Tom says:

    And someone’s gonna have to explain to me why dealing Lester to get better in 2015 makes sense but dealing prospects for Stanton doesn’t and is “zero sum.”

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    • jdbolick says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      Boston doesn’t realistically have the prospects to get Stanton. I think the tongue-in-cheek comment was basically suggesting that they would therefore need to empty out the entire farm system.

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      • Dr. Mantis Tobaggon says:

        What are you talking about? Boston is one of 5 or so teams in MLB that does have the prospects to get Stanton. I think what he was saying is that giving up Betts, Swihart, Barnes, and Ranaudo, or something like that, ends up being not worth the return.

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        • jdbolick says:
          FanGraphs Supporting Member

          Boston has no “A” prospects, just a lot of B or B+ ones. Typically superstars don’t get dealt without at least one “A” prospect in return, no matter how many B ones you include.

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        • japem says:
          FanGraphs Supporting Member

          They absolutely have A prospects. Betts, Swihart, and I’d say Owens too are all extremely good prospects.

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      • thistakesgumption says:
        FanGraphs Supporting Member

        > Boston doesn’t realistically have the prospects to get Stanton.

        …Really?

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        • jdbolick says:
          FanGraphs Supporting Member

          Yes, really. I like both Betts and Swihart and had them rated higher than most coming into this season, but they’re both high floor, medium ceiling type players. Owens has major command issues to go along with less than elite stuff. Holt and Cecchini are yet more young players with promising skills but less than impressive ceilings. Bogaerts is the only young player Boston has who has the realistic potential to become elite.

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        • arc says:

          They don’t have enough because you, random guy, don’t like their top prospects? 3 top 50 prospects plus others (there were 7-9 in the preseason top 100s) is certainly enough for Stanton, regardless of what are your I’m sure very well-informed biases.

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        • Tom says:

          Betts was BA’s #12 guy on their midseason list. Cameron said he’d take him over Taveras. You can talk about “B+” and “high ceiling” all you want, a top 10 prospect is a top 10 prospect.

          And what about Xander Bogaerts, one of the 30 most valuable trade pieces in baseball?

          The only question is would the Marlins move Stanton, and yeah they probably wouldn’t. If they decided to, Boston would be first in line.

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        • Tom says:

          Betts’ ceiling is Dustin Pedroia in his prime. That’s one of the 10 best players in baseball.

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        • jdbolick says:
          FanGraphs Supporting Member

          Not “random guy” so much as a guy who has been paid to write about prospects for over a decade and has a respectable track record at doing so. As for biases, please let me know if you’re aware of anyone who had Betts higher than my ranking of 39th coming into this season. Better yet, give me an actual argument as to why I’m wrong in suggesting that Boston has no “A” prospects.

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        • jdbolick says:
          FanGraphs Supporting Member

          Tom, midseason lists tend to overreact to feelings that you underrated a player coming into the season. As for Dave’s comment, he’s not a prospect evaluator and is nuts for ranking Betts over Taveras. Furthermore, Betts’ ceiling is not Pedroia so much as a poor man’s Pedroia. Mookie’s minor league contact skills have been very good, whereas Dustin’s were absolutely ridiculous.

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        • jdbolick says:
          FanGraphs Supporting Member

          And for clarification, I was not including Bogaerts given that he is no longer a “prospect.” If Boston does offer him with prospects then a Stanton deal is possible.

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        • tz says:

          jdbolick – I have to side with Tom re: Betts. Pedroia had better numbers but was a fairly polished college player. Betts is doing his thing at a younger age, and has made up a lot of ground on Pedroia.

          So a Pedroia ceiling is reasonable given Betts’ age. The “best estimate” of his future value would be lower just because of all the things that can go wrong in a young player’s development path.

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        • jdbolick says:
          FanGraphs Supporting Member

          tz, the contact skills that make Pedroia demonstrably better than Betts typically do not improve with age.

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        • jdbolick says:
          FanGraphs Supporting Member

          Also, they’re only one year apart in age at their respective levels.

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        • OLIVER projection system says:

          I rated Mookie #3 among position players before this season, estimating his MLB age-22 season at 5.5 WAR.

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  4. MDL says:

    I’m hoping this move is an eventual play for Stanton; prospects for Stanton was never very realistic, but in my opinion Cespedes + a couple prospects can get it done.

    /armchair GM

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  5. everdiso says:

    The premise in this article that a 3ish war player like Cespedes can’t be easily found on the free agent market every year seems to me to be a flawed one. I guess $10m is a bit of a bargain but they’ll have to extend him at $15m until age 35 to have him past next year anyways. Sure he has power but his battle with the .300obp mark goes against everything that made the sox so deadly in recent years.

    IMO the sox just gave up their prime trade chip for a very replaceable asset.

    I really don’t get what ben is thinking here. They must have really liked how his spray chart lined up with fenway dimensions. But then again they did for Agone as well.

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    • Team’s are hesitant to part with top prospects for a two month rental. The Sox got a valuable asset for 2015, showed their fan base that they’re still going to be competitive in 2015, and also netted a draft pick. If Cespedes was a free agent after 2014, you can bet that he’d sign for a heck of a lot more than one year and $10.5M. Above-average players aren’t as easy to come by as you think, especially at a roughly 50% discount without having to commit any future payroll to decline years.

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    • Izzy says:

      You say that like Adrian Gonzalez played poorly while he was here. He was terrific for the Red Sox. They just had to include him in the “Punto” trade in order to get rid of Crawford’s albatross of a contract.

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  6. Matt says:

    Couldn’t Boston just resign Lester?

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  7. With Cespedes projecting as roughly a 3 WAR player for $10.5M, he’ll provide about $10M in excess value in 2015. Combined with the ~$4M value of the competitive balance pick they received, they’re netting about $14M in net value.
    Had they kept Lester and he signed elsewhere, they would have gotten a compensation pick around 30, worth around $6M. This looks pretty good for the Sox.
    However, if the Sox did keep and re-sign Lester, they wouldn’t have received the compensation pick. In theory, other teams would have discounted their offers to Lester knowing they would have to give up valuable pick to acquire him, but at least this past offseason the draft pick penalty didn’t seem to influence the cost of top-tier free agents.
    So, if they’re planning on being aggressive in re-signing Lester this offseason, they just netted themselves about $14M in future value where they would have gotten next to nothing if they had kept him.

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  8. BMB says:

    and now that allen craig is going to Boston, where will he play? 1B? RF? Wouldn’t he be terrible in RF? If he plays 1B where does Napoli go?

    1B Napoli
    2B Pedey
    SS ?? Holt?
    3B Bogaerts
    RF Craig
    CF F if I know – Bradley+Victorino I guess
    LF Cespedes
    DH Ortiz
    C Vazquez

    I guess its better to have options than to not.

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    • MDL says:

      I think it’s safe to assume there are more deals coming…

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      • BMB says:

        I think so too, but who’s left for them to deal that others want? Except for Andrew Miller of course but I see that as being a prospect deal since he would go to a contender, but no contender would trad a starting pitcher for a LH not quite LOOGY…would they?

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        • MDL says:

          Well between the logjam created by Cespedes, Craig, Victorino, and Bradley and the fact that Miller is a free agent I’m sure they’ll find someone looking for a RP and a corner outfielder with power (I’m assuming they now flip Cespedes or Craig since I don’t see anyone trying to acquire older/injured Victorino or the Red Sox up on Bradley).

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    • Emcee Peepants says:

      I might swap Craig and Cespedes in RF and LF, Craig is slower and doesn’t have the arm, so the smaller LF would minimize his weaknesses as an OF. Craig’s bat could be interesting in Fenway, assuming he figures out how to get the ball off the ground again.

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    • jdbolick says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      Craig would have to play LF or 1B. This lends credence to the idea of putting Cespedes in RF.

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    • David says:

      For the remainder of 2014 they’ll probably mix and match as it doesn’t really matter.

      For 2015 I think Craig in LF, Cespedes in RF, and Betts/JBJ fight for or job share in CF. Victorino will be gone. Nava and Holt probably fight for a bench job. Best bet is find a taker to trade away Nava and give Holt the super-utility gig.

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      • Victorino says:

        Are they trading me away???? Or are you just assuming I’ll be injured most of the season again in 2015?

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    • redsoxu571 says:

      It’s also safe to assume that Boston wouldn’t let Craig anywhere near that vast RF. Cespedes plays there before Craig.

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    • Eric F says:

      I hope they move xander over to short

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  9. Tom says:

    “Tom, midseason lists tend to overreact to feelings that you underrated a player coming into the season.”

    Lol, what? Are they more or less accurate than lists that came out 6 months ago? More. Betts is a top 15, arguably top 10 prospect in baseball. You might rank him lower personally, that’s nice, but since we can’t talk to Marlins’ scouts here let’s just go with the consensus, ok?

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    • jdbolick says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      *sigh* Tom, please stop getting defensive and try to think about this logically. Preseason lists are typically going to be more accurate than midseason lists because midseason lists often overreact to the smaller ongoing sample whereas preseason lists involve more extensive evaluation of the player given that you have much more time to review each individual.

      Also, referencing the consensus might not be the best move for your argument given that the consensus ranked Betts considerably lower than I did coming into this season. Perhaps you should pay more attention to the guy that had him more accurately rated to begin with.

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      • AK7007 says:

        jd, you might have been publishing prospect stuff for a long time, but you are getting pushback because you post in a self-important, know-it-all manner. That your opinion = always right, that prospect ranking is super precise.

        Did you know, people rather enjoy personable writers?! That try to explain their position without third person references to their own preseason prospect rankings. It’s one thing to say “I wrote a prospect handbook before the season and thought these things about the players.” It’s another to say “I like both Betts and Swihart and had them rated higher than most coming into this season.” The tone will just make people nicer to you. Really.

        Also, if you want to come to an analytical site and start firing off your personal prospect rankings and only back them up with useless platitudes along the lines of “Player X has major command issues to go along with less than elite stuff. Player Y and Z are yet more young players with promising skills but less than impressive ceilings. Player W is the only young player Team A has who has the realistic potential to become elite” – prepare for pushback. Because the focus is analytics here, readers are often interested in why a particular player is likely to succeed, while another is not. Platitudes along the lines you use in a lot of posts describe just about every minor leaguer. “Promise” “Less than impressive” “Potential to become elite” – these things don’t actually say anything.

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        • jdbolick says:
          FanGraphs Supporting Member

          AK7007, the things you’re saying may sound good in your head but have nothing whatsoever to do with reality. It would have been easy for you to look at time stamps of posts and notice that I was getting “pushback” long before I mentioned that I do this for a living, and that I only mentioned that in response to arc’s “They don’t have enough because you, random guy, don’t like their top prospects?” comment. So you’re stating things that are factually wrong, and moreover, you’re doing it in a very condescending and self-important manner by lecturing on the proper way to make a post.

          The rest of your screed is equally at odds with reality given that I’m the only one in this argument who has actually mentioned statistical elements, while those who disagree with me are the ones who have spoken solely in empty platitudes. Betts’ contact rate being inferior to Pedroia’s at the same level is a statistical fact. Owens’ walk rate is a statistical fact. It’s mildly amusing that you don’t realize your own post consists entirely of “useless platitudes.”

          I don’t mind criticism, just please make it worth my time such that I actually learn something from it. The only value in your post was in its irony.

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        • AK7007 says:

          Timestamps say that at 12:42 you got pushback to platitudes/nobody knows who you are, (seriously, the self-important comment was surrounding the idea that you somehow expect people to know who you are) then offered contact rates to back up your platitude only assessment of Betts at 1:13. So, my statement was congruent with reality that people were pushing back to you just generally talking about Betts. Actual worthwhile discussion only happened after you brought up contact rates.

          All I was saying was to perhaps be a little less abrasive and abstain from telling potential readers that “things you’re saying may sound good in your head but have nothing whatsoever to do with reality.” Because that’s what these commenters are, or should be to you – potential readers/customers.

          You can interpret my comments as contradictory, condescending, self-important platitudes if you would like, but I don’t know how it helps you as a person or an author. If these posts are worth so little of your time, then you might just ignore them.

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        • jdbolick says:
          FanGraphs Supporting Member

          AK7007, the timestamps for the “pushback” as you described it are: 12:34 pm, 12:36 pm, 12:48 pm, and 1:01 pm. You shouldn’t be dishonest to avoid admitting that you made a false claim. The pushback had nothing to do with me mentioning what I do, as that didn’t come until later. The pushback came because people disagreed about Boston’s system, which like certain other prominent teams tends to be overrated.

          There was nothing wrong with my posts until you popped up to put down the way I was posting. My tone was moderate even in the face of abrasive disagreement, and at no point did I ever give any indication that people should know who I am or accept my judgments simply based on having done this for a long time. I responded to arc’s barb about me being just some “random guy,” and disproved his contention about me being biased by informing him that I had ranked Betts higher coming into the season than anyone else I know of. When evaluating Betts now it obviously makes sense to prioritize the opinion of someone who was more correct before the season than someone who was less correct.

          Because your “advice” was based on claims that run contrary to the actual facts and therefore had nothing to do with reality, it’s clear that your posts are not “advice” at all. They’re an attempt by you to set up false superiority and be condescending. That kind of nonsense really doesn’t serve anyone, so I suggest that in the future you don’t bother with it. If you see an actual flaw in someone’s argument, feel free to share that.

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  10. James says:

    This trade really came out of left field!!!

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  11. Jon says:

    Just when you thought they couldn’t do worse than they did for Lester…

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    • redsoxu571 says:

      And yet a majority seems to like what the team got in these trades. So you might want to check on the use of “you”.

      I agree that these returns are pretty polarizing, but given how unusual the trades are (I’d say that’s the best way to describe them) I think it’s unwise to assume that people don’t like the returns.

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  12. BillyF says:

    “Jon Lester wasn’t just a Red Sox pitcher — he was the Red Sox pitcher who won the clinching game of the World Series” — Well said, Mr. Synder. That’s the thing management needs to consider, and teammates believe in. The game changer, the presence of reassuring victory. That’s Lester. Without sure thing of signing Lester and a comp.draft spot guarantee long term return in prospect depth next year, BoSox needs to extend Cespedes to even out this trade.

    It’s Win Now for A’s, it’s Beane outsmarting this one.

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  13. Joe R says:

    Hopefully this all comes back full circle, and Lester can come back to the Red Sox at a reasonable price. It’s pretty clear the Red Sox were going to let Lester test the market anyway, else we would’ve re-signed him weeks, maybe months ago.

    It clearly sucks to lose Lester, and chance him going elsewhere, but the economics have to be right. Obviously a pitcher that performs like a solid front of the rotation guy, and is never hurt, is immensely valuable (see Andy Pettitte), so I’d love to see him back. Does 5/$120 get it done?

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  14. Mr Punch says:

    Gotta be Craig-Bradley-Cespedes in the OF (with Nava as the fourth), Bogaerts at short, Middlebrooks and Holt at third. The Sox must have real concerns about Victorino’s health. JBJ’s job is secure if Craig’s in the OF.

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  15. Walt Coogan says:

    “A solid” represents incorrect grammar.

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  16. JasonBVT says:

    As a Sox fan, I hate this trade. The constant “theme” from management is that the Sox are competing for 2015. But I ask: how? The rotation is headed with 130 wishy-washy innings of Buchholz and is followed by (currently) 4 players in their first 2 years of MLB, all of whom are mid-4 FIP pitchers. Sure, they could all make the improvements we hope to see from young pitchers, but unless the Sox sign one of Scherzer or Lester this offseason you can’t realistically expect a competetive rotation.

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