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Posts Tagged ‘Reymond Fuentes’

Wow.  Just, wow.  Hugeness this week.  Trust me, there is epicness to discuss.

Beltre and Felipe Lopez both declined arbitration, but there is still hope for the former.  We all know that the A’s are offering Beltre a sweet deal, but he’s taking his equally sweet time in signing it.  He stated publicly that he wants to return to Boston, so he’s waiting to see what Theo’s got.

It turns out that what Theo’s got is a seriously awesome replacement.  Adrian Gonzalez, welcome to Boston! Finally! He went to Boston yesterday for a physical to make sure his right shoulder is on track after his surgery, and he passed.  We’ll be sending Anthony Rizzo, Casey Kelly, outfielder Reymond Fuentes, and a player to be named later to the Padres, which fortunately shouldn’t hurt our farm system too much because last year’s draft was so successful.  Although it’ll be rough to see them all go.  The important thing to keep in mind about prospects is that you never know.  They could be awesome like Hanley Ramirez.  Or they could be terrible like Craig Hansen.  We already know what Adrian Gonzalez is capable of at the Major League level.

There’s room for a contract extension; Gonzalez is entering the last year of his current deal and we already acquired permission from Major League Baseball to hammer out a new one by this afternoon.  That didn’t happen, so Theo might wait to watch his shoulder in the spring, and of course there are the luxury tax implications.  But he won’t be giving up all those top prospects if he weren’t assured that an extension could be worked out, which would give us stability at all three bags.  Given Gonzalez’s age, anything from five to eight years can be considered feasible.  We offered six, but he wanted eight.  So there you go.

But one thing’s for sure: celebration is indeed in order.  Gonzalez will succeed in Boston.  His lefty swing was practically built exclusively for Fenway Park, and he was able to excel in a quintessential pitcher’s park.  Seriously.  Most of his fly balls in Petco would’ve been out in Fenway.  That’s why I’m convinced that he’ll get over his National League-ness in a hurry.  By the way, he’s got two Gold Gloves at first.  And he started almost every single game for about the last five years.  Without DHing once.  So here’s to you, Theo.  Two years later, you finally closed the deal.  And the fact that the Padres’ general manager and assistant general manager of scouting and player development both used to work with Theo is the icing on the cake that didn’t necessarily work to our advantage since they basically knew our farm system inside-out.  Gonzalez will play first and replace V-Mart’s bat, we’ll move Youk to third, and Beltre, who’s older anyway, will now probably sign with the A’s.  The deal is done on principle.  All they need to do is announce it on Monday at Fenway and that’s it.  The Adrian Gonzalez Era in Boston has begun!

One more thing.  Fundamentally this deal was not about New York; it’s about us, our team, our organization, and our hunger.  But while we’re on the subject, I would just like to point out that, not only is Adrian Gonzalez the answer to Mark Teixeira, but we now have a young infield that’s locked and entering its prime while the Yanks have guys on the downward slope of their careers.  I’m just saying.  I would advise New York to be afraid.  Very afraid.

Tek signed a one-year deal with two million dollars plus incentives; those rumors about him going to the Dodgers couldn’t have been more wrong.  They started circulating because the Dodgers had to decide whether to tender Russell Martin, who’s awesome except for injuries.  We didn’t tender Okajima, given his poor performance last season, but we already tendered Paps and will be making offers to Ellsbury and Taylor Buchholz.  Rumor has it that we made an offer to Mariano Rivera before he signed a two-year deal with the Yanks.  The Yanks seem to be avenging this action by showing interest in Carl Crawford to drive up his price.  I honestly don’t think the offer to Rivera was serious.  And I honestly don’t think New York’s interest in Crawford is serious.  Unless they don’t get Cliff Lee.  If Lee stays in Texas, New York might seriously start looking at Crawford because they could always deal Brett Gardner for a starter.

Pedroia’s foot is almost at one hundred percent.  He’s been cleared to jog and will be ready for Spring Training.  We have officially met with both Crawford and Werth, who, according to Dwight Evans, is the best right fielder in baseball and similar to himself.  This is Dwight Evans, people.  That’s seriously high praise.

Not that that’s going to help anyone.  Not even Werth himself.  Werth is now officially out of the picture and off the deep end.  He signed a deal for seven years and 126 million dollars.  With the Washington Nationals.  I’m not kidding.  That tells me two things: one, he’s not hungry, and two, he’s essentially a fool.  He’s not going to win a ring with the Nats, and seven years from now, when his contract is up, he won’t be starter material, which is obviously something that the Nationals don’t care about.  So his ring with the Phillies will be the last of his career as a starter.  If he wanted security, he sure got it.  He knows where he’ll be for the majority of the next decade, and he’s getting a whole heap of money for it.  To be honest with you, he would have been great in a Boston uniform, but I wouldn’t want someone only interested in money and years to play for us.  Especially not someone who would ever seriously consider both money and years with the Nationals.  I mean, they’re the Nationals.  Not only are they National League, they’re the worst in the National League; in fact, they’re the worst in the Major Leagues.

But wait; it gets better.  He says he’s been considering signing with the Nats since hiring Scott Boras as his agent last season.  Let me get this straight: he hired Scott Boras to get him a deal with the Washington Nationals.  That’s ridiculous.  Why would you hire Scott Boras to cut a deal with the Nationals? Jayson Werth doesn’t need an agent to negotiate a deal with the Washington Nationals; Jayson Werth can walk up to the Washington Nationals, write down a year amount and a dollar amount on a piece of paper, hand it to whoever is spearheading the process, and receive a “yes” to everything in five seconds flat.  He says he’s impressed with the Nats’ acquisition of young talent? Give me a break.  Nobody expects all that young talent to stay there; as soon as they’re able, they’re writing one-way tickets into free agency and out of town.  And then he went on this tangent in which he basically implied that he only signed with the Nationals because they assured him that they’d continue to acquire the talent necessary to compete and win, because that is very important to him.  Oh, sure.  If it’s that important to him, he would not have signed with the Nationals.  So they present their future plans to him and he asks questions about the team.  Great.  Now let’s see the Nationals follow that plan, the young talent stay put, and Werth stay in shape long enough to merit his salary at the end of his contract.  I don’t think so.

We signed starter Brandon Duckworth to a minor league deal.  He was part of the Billy Wagner trade.  We are supposedly interested in reliever Matt Guerrier.

Oh, and I fully expect Mike Cameron to morph into some sort of hitting specialist against lefties, being that many of the AL East’s elite pitchers are lefties and some of our middle bats struggled against lefties last season.  The only potential hindrance to that expectation is playing time.  Cameron has the potential to get rolling, but he can’t get rolling if he never gets going.

The Spring Training schedule is out.  We’re opening with an exhibition doubleheader with Boston College followed by Northeastern.  March features competition with Minnesota, Atlanta, Philly, both New York teams, Florida, Baltimore, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Toronto, and Houston.

On Saturday, Sox Pax and tickets for twenty-one games in April and May will go on sale.

Get psyched.  The Winter Meetings are starting on Monday, and they’re going to be very interesting.  And by interesting I also mean hectic, since most of the important offseason deadlines have moved up.  Theo has his work cut out for him; we have a bat to replace V-Mart, but we’ll need another, preferably a righty, to replace Beltre since he’ll sign elsewhere, and relievers.  Good ones.  We’ve already made a splash; the key is to fill the club’s needs without removing all of our flexibility for next year.

In other news, the Bruins dropped Sunday’s game to the Thrashers, 1-4.  But then we shut out the Flyers, three-zip, and completely decimated the Lightning, 8-1.  Krejci and Ryder each racked up three points.  It was awesome.  If this were baseball, that would be considered a slugfest.  Then we lost in a shootout to the Leafs, but at least we get a point.  The Pats take on the Jets tomorrow.

NESN.com
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Last night was exactly what Girardi didn’t want and exactly what the Red Sox, Terry Francona, the front office, and Red Sox Nation did want.  AJ Burnett was horrible.  I hope the Yankees enjoy four and a half more years of his mediocrity.  His delivery was too fast, he looked like he was in a rush, and to be completely frank it looked like he let go of the ball and had no idea where it was going.  His ball-to-strike ratio was about fifty percent.  He threw more balls than strikes.  And he’s delusional if he thinks he’d ever be able to get away with that in Fenway Park.  He only lasted 2.2 innings, and with New York’s bullpen as bad as it is and Chien-Ming Wang throwing tomorrow, that’s the time to ask if it could possibly get worse.  Oh, wait.  It did.  During that time we scored five runs, three of them earned (thank you, A-Roid and Posada; so much for the Yankees’ errorless streak, which stopped at eighteen).  After that they had to use three pitchers: Brett Tomko, who gave up another run, Jose Veras, who gave up another run, and David Robertson, who was the only one to not allow any runs.

Let’s compare that to our pitching, shall we? Josh Beckett started.  And dominated.  And won.  He one-hit the Yankees through six and no-hit them into the fourth.  To be frank, yes, I was thinking no-hitter.  But then the bid was broken up by Robinson Cano, who hit a line drive on the ground to the left of Youk.  Pedroia ran that down beautifully and caught the ball but couldn’t make the throw.  So you could make the argument that Beckett had back-to-back bids.  Scary.  Two walks, eight strikeouts, no runs.  He’s won all of his last five decisions.  Delcarmen, Ramirez, and Bard held the fort in a similar fashion. Since May 10 and heading into last night, our bullpen had an ERA of 1.84.  I don’t even want to think about how low it is now.  The final score was 7-0.  A shutout in which New York had absolutely no chance.  I love it.  It was fantastic.  One other thing: Boston pitching gave up four walks.  Four.  New York pitching gave up seven.  We’re second in the American League in walks.  Not a good combination for New York.  So that’s pretty much the compare and contrast.  Speaks for itself, no?

As for the offense, we can compare and contrast that too.  It was a shutout, so offense for the Yanks was nonexistant.  We, however, were a different story.  Pedroia went hitless but walked.  Drew hit a nice two-run double.  Youk went two for four, walked, and scored.  Bay hit, walked, and took a pitch in the ribs.  Ouch.  I don’t know how Bay likes his ribs, but I’m sure he doesn’t like them bruised and sore.  Lowell hit, walked twice, scored, and batted in two.  Tek walked and scored.  And now we get to the fun part.  David Ortiz.  Always been a Yankee killer.  And you’d think his slump would affect that.  Not so, my friends, not so.  In his first at-bat of the game, he hit his third home run of the year.  Huge.  Two-run shot with Lowell on base after walking.  And this was the best and most powerfully hit of the three.  It sailed right into the center field bleachers, a few feet from the center field wall.  No “inches from the pole” or “inches from the field.” This was out by a good margin.  The problems causing the slump do not include bat speed.  Ortiz has plenty of bat speed.  He’s just setting up late.  But there was no lateness on that swing.  None whatsoever.  So he’s showing progress.  And against the Yankees.  Awesome.  Nick Green followed that with a home run of his own.  A solo shot in the seventh for our last run of the game.  Youk stole, and Lowell got caught by a mile.

The draft started yesterday, and with their first overall pick the Nationals selected Stephen Strasburg, a right-handed pitcher from San Diego State University.  His fastball reaches 103 miles per hour.  I don’t even want to know what that looks like.  And his breaking ball is very sharp.  Tossed a no-hitter in his last home start and played for the U.S. in the Olympics in Beijing.  Congratulations, kid! You were passed over in high school but went to college, stuck with it, wanted that Number One selection, and got it.  We look forward to seeing you pitch in the Majors, as long as you don’t pitch against us if you’re good.  We drafted twenty-eighth, and we selected Reymond Fuentes, an outfielder from Fernando Callejo High School in Puerto Rico.  He’s mostly played center field, is very quick, and has a very healthy swing.  He’s actually Carlos Beltran’s cousin.  I agree with that; I think Theo and scouting director Jason McLeod chose wisely.  We could use another bat in the lineup, and a solid outfielder is always helpful.  We already know Theo is a baseball genius; I’m sure in some years down the road we’ll see this choice come through.  Before the day was done, we also drafted pitcher Alex Wilson and shortstop-pitcher David Renfoe.  Not bad.

So we take game one of the three-game set, tying us with New York in first place.  Wakefield is pitching tonight and has the advantage of the contrast between Beckett’s fastball and his knuckleball.  He’s pitching against Wang, as I said, who’ll be making his second start since coming off the DL.  Needless to say, I think I speak for all of Red Sox Nation when I say we’re looking forward to this one.  Joe Girardi went on record on Mondays saying that this series, despite being early in the season, is crucial and that the Yankees have to take at least two out of three to prove to us that they’re better.  Yeah, right.  Since last year, we’ve won seven straight against the Yankees.  And that streak isn’t going to end with Chien-Ming Wang.

Surviving Grady

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