Chad Cordero as the Sox Closer in 2007?

Lots of new Hot Stove talk in today’s Globe. Here are some highlights, with the Globe’s words listed first, followed by my thoughts:

Boston Globe:

One industry executive insisted the Sox were dangling outfielder Wily Mo Peña to the Nationals for closer Chad Cordero, though Nationals GM Jim Bowden, through a club spokesman, denied any such discussions. Bowden, who traded for Peña when he was with Cincinnati, has long held Peña in high regard.


This would be an exceptional deal for the Sox. Cordero is a young and effective closer. I like Wily Mo, but it is easier to find a young outfielder than a young closer, and the Sox have an array of outfield prospects in the minors.


Second baseman Mark Loretta said he considers it unlikely he would be back in Boston next season, though he didn’t rule it out altogether. "They haven’t made an offer," said the 35-year-old free agent, who hit .285 in 155 games last season. "Everything we’ve heard is that they’re going with [Dustin Pedroia], that they don’t want to retard his development."

Loretta was mentioned as a possibility with the Mets, but that went away when the Mets re-signed Jose Valentin.

As for Trot Nixon, the free agent right fielder? Multiple team executives and scouts said his name was barely discussed at last week’s GM meetings in Naples, Fla.


Like most of you, I like Loretta. He is stready and dependable. However, I do understand if Theo decides to start Pedroia. The Sox have reached a point where they either need to give Pedroia a chance, or trade him. I prefer to keep him, especially after dealing past top infield prospects like Freddy Sanchez and David Eckstein. As for Trot, maybe if Wily Mo is traded, and the Sox don’t sign Drew, they will resign Trot and platoon him with someone like Aubrey Huff, who is the free agent I would most like the Sox to sign.


The Sox also announced several procedural roster moves yesterday. They added righthanded pitcher Kyle Jackson and lefthanded pitcher Phil Seibel to their major league roster. Jackson’s contract was purchased from Double A Portland, Seibel’s from Triple A Pawtucket. The Sox also activated three pitchers — righthander Matt Clement, lefthander Jon Lester, and righthander David Pauley — from the 60-day disabled list. They assigned lefthanded pitcher Abe Alvarez outright to Pawtucket after activating him from the 60-day disabled list.


Does anyone know the status of Matt Clement? About six weeks ago, I read where he would likely not pitch in 2007 due to injuries. Has this outlook changed? Also, I wonder how Jon Lester’s treatment is going, and if he will return next season.

I’m not going to comment on the ongoing rumors about Manny. Truth be told, I’m tired of reading about it. Either make the deal, or keep him. I think if he is traded, it will be to Anaheim or Texas, since the Mets signed Moises Alou for left field and are pursuing Barry Zito. OK, I admit that was a comment, but it was a brief one!




    Too bad about Loretta, it’s sad to see him go.

    Good point about the ESPN highlights Jeff. I never thought of that. But if I was featured on Food network deglazing a saute’ pan with flaming brandy…who knows, maybe I’d be tempted to do that until my eyebrows were singed off.

    That still leaves the issue of the Batting Averages. If the pitching is really of poor quality, wouldn’t you think some enterprising young singles hitter might take advantage of that and hit for huge BA so he’d get noticed? Maybe the pitching is not all that bad?


    Jeff basically agrees with me if I interpreted correctly. It was Tom Glavine, btw, that used to be my 2nd favorite sports commercial behind “It must be a homer simpson ’cause the pitcher just went DOH!”…”I am the king of all the land!” …”YAHTZEE!” and it just shows griffey hitting homerun after homerun as a Mariner.
    Vik also brings up a good point, pitchers pitch for power now too, there were maybe a handful of guys in MLB back then who threw hard, which produces more homeruns and K’s naturally. Now, you probably find one on each staff which is a minimum of 30, but I would say closer to 40 or even 50….plus all the specialized pitchers in the bullpen. You didn’t have a Zumaya coming in in the 8th inning back then who is pretty much guaranteed to K somebody. All these new looks late in the game are bound to up the K percentage

    Posted by: | November 21, 2006 01:21 PM

    I forgot it was the old blog.

    I still wouldn’t mind loretta to play first, but Teixera, if at all possible, is my dream.


    It must just be that I am either resistant to change or that I really like Loretta. I know that Pedroia needs to flex and get steady everyday work to ensure his consistency and growth, but Mark did a realy fine job at 2nd base and in the 2 hole.


    as a Yankees fan, i’ll tell you that the Red Sox are making yet another mistake

    Mark Loretta is a great player both offensively and defensively. he and Lowell were not only consistently hitting but also consistently getting extra base hits – great support for the power duo of Ortiz and Manny. that Boston doesn’t want to keep Loretta is great for the Yankees.

    i’m sure Pedroia will do quite well, but letting Loretta go? imho, it’s yet another mistake by the FO in a string of mistakes starting from letting Damon go to not doing much by July 31 to dropping $51.1 to ‘talk’ to Matsuzaka.

  5. Jeff

    Level, we will agree to disagree about your assessments. Theo has done well as a GM. I don’t think Damon was worth the length or the money of the contract he received. Crisp has a high ceiling and is young. If Manny is traded, you will see him in left and Ellsbury in center in 2008. Not sure about 2007. John Henry is the one who forked over the $51.1 million. He is a billionaire, and an astute businessman. So if he drops $51.1 million to negotiate with D-Mat, that is his right. D-Mat, in my opinion, is definitely worth whatever they give him.

    Theo did make a few deals that led to questions to due unforeseen circumstances at the time. In retrospect, it would have been better to keep Arroyo with all of the injuries last season, but Wily Mo is a future all-star. He can hit 30-40 dingers and hit .300 as well. WIly Mo is trade bait right now, and if it lands the Sox Cordero, that would be significant. The Mirabelli deal was a bust, but whose to say that Bard and Meredith would have performed so well in the AL? Theo redeemed himself by acquiring Eric Hinske and George Kottaras in September.

    As for Loretta, you’re right. He is consistent, and he is a true professional. But there comes a time when you have to let the top prospect take over. Pedroia is in the same class as Ecktein and Freddy Sanchez. I think it is worth the risk to let him start in 2007. I prefer Lugo at short and Pedroia at second than Pedroia at short and Loretta at second.


    DMat is worth nothing until he is on the field pitching.

    very very close mvp voting, but maybe more seperated than I expected. I think Bob Klapisch brings up a good point when he said because the redsox fell apart entirely from injuries and from the boston massacre, writers may have forgotten a little bit what jeter meant to the team all year in June and July when it was still a race. He also brings up jeter’s hit off papelbon in the third game of the five game series as the turning point in both teams seasons, I agree with that. He left out Jeter’s 8th inning bases clearing hit the night before too.


    Remember to cook your turkey to 165 degrees, and DON’T stuff the turkey the night before and put it in the fridge! Great way to get food poisoning.
    If you brine it, it will be more moist. Use a ratio of one cup salt to one gallon water, soak for 24 hrs. Rinse it before you roast.


    Jeff, I just felt like taking this time to thank you for this blog are your regular posts. i’m actually on this blog a lot more than ian’s official one lol. anyway… onto baseball assessments:

    Loretta IS getting old… 2004 was his career year, and an AMAZING one at that. However, Pedroia needs regular playing time, and not in AAA either. I like the fact that Theo has truly in such an amazing prospect. Those who write him off are greatly mistaken.

    Cordero… I realize that Bowden didn’t do the best of a job in Cincinatti but he’s not THAT stupid to trade such an amazing closer for an unproven outfielder… who no longer has any options to the minors…

    Matt Clement will not play a single game again. See, the thing is, even if he gets a bit better and regain the ability to swing his arms, he won’t pitch so that the Sox can claim insurance and gain back about 7m of his 9m yearly salary.

    Henry has guts in spilling 50m. good for him!


    morneau won the MVP, Jeter second, Ortiz third.

    That’s pretty reasonable. As long as Jeter didn’t win, i’m happy =)


    Jamie, I’m definitely not ready to trade Loretta. If, as you say 2004 was his year, I think that he really stepped up and did the job (and more) that he was contracted to do. He did remarkably well at 2nd in the A.L. and performed much better than any one of us on the blog expected him to in the 2 spot. Look at his fielding %. Not many better than his performance were to be found this year, and on a trade!! In a new environment, new coast, new league?? I think he desreves to be here at least another year with an option!!
    As for Lowell, if they trade him I think they are really nuts. Yeah, these two might be getting a little bit up there, but the commitment that they play with is hard to find these days. You know it seems like with the new players, on the past 5-6 years the emphasis has switched ffrom “team” to me first, and while I can’t blame guys for looking out for their futures, you have to build for your future before you have one, and you can’t so that without TEAM.


    Anybody noticing a trend?

    2002-Redsox have closer by committee, struggle throughout 2003 to find one but realize a dominant closer is necessary.

    2004- Redsox find good closer

    2006-After 2005 is another off year for closers, they find a dominating closer, thus solving their problems for years to come

    2007-Redsox looking for a new closer, one they will have to take a risk on.

    2006-redsox make no moves at the trade deadline and epstein says they cannot afford to spend a lot of money and will build from within

    2007-Redsox blow everybody out of the water in matsuzaka bid, then spend outrageous money on a teflon right fielder to replace a cheap, also injury proned but redsox homie, Trot Nixon. They dismantle their cheap left side of the infield, and replace them with an overpriced shortstop and potentially an overpriced first baseman, once youk moves back to third. I say overpriced because everyone this offseason is.

    2005/2006-redsox will build from within. They follow it up by trading for josh beckett and giving away two all star caliber prospects that turn into all stars. They also give away an all star caliber 3rd base prospect, and then hold onto the least proven prospect and get rid of a cheap and solid Mark Loretta.

    2004-Team has tremendous team chemistry, wins WS

    2005-sloppy defense and weakening team chemistry

    2006-infield makeover, they sharpen all of their defense and lose team chemistry completely

    now: remaking infield again so they can sacrifice some defense and even more team chemistry. Don’t try to argue this, Lugo and Drew are very good when healthy, but drew is no team player. Nixon was. As was arroyo, but at least ur keeping timlin, right?

    It just seems to me the sox FO makes these proclamations every year and then completely changes the direction the next year.

    At least the Yankees made no secret that they were going to field the best team money can buy and keep their homegrowns, then realizing, that did nothign but boost payroll, they decided to cut down on spending and develop the farm. Outcome still pending.


    Vince, you do need to remember that the Sox have new management, only what,4 years? That may seem like a long time, but contrast that with th NY ownership 30 or more. And G.S. did not always manage his team well in the beginning. All the craziness with Billy Martin et al. So your assessment is correct in one way and unfair in another. I can clearly remember when the same things were said about GS, there were plenty of baseball “experts” who said he was ruining the Yankees.
    When you buy a business it can be a learning experience for a while. How fast they can adjust and set a consistant course is anyone’s guess. We shall see.


    And remember also, running a business is not NEARLY as easy as it looks from the outside. Not even close to what you suspect. I know. I’ve been on both sides, employee and owner. Obviously not a baseball team! That, I would suspect is much harder than what I do. So give Henry and Theo time, Lord knows George has had enough time. Try to be fair here.


    I’m not necessarily saying the sox are doing a bad job in FO, I’m just not saying they are doing good either. But that is neither here nor there, all I’m saying is what is the point of telling your fan base you are going to take a certain approach and then change that approach every single year, I mean I’m not even a sox fan and I listed what, four different examples in the last three years? And for sox fan’s sake I hope they don’t take the same path steinbrenner took because hten they are in for 15 years of exactly what happened to them last year, high expectations, high payroll and no playoffs.


    And to top it off, they say one thing, slight their enemies for doing the opposite, and then they turn around and do exactly what they were insulting another team for doing. I mean, gain some credibility in your words before you start insulting other teams and calling them names, and if they legitimately are in the testing stage and new ownership phase (they put together a champion i can’t see how you could still say they are too new to have vision) then don’t make these silly announcements every single year and then do something different.

  16. Jeff

    Vince, I think it’s evident that Theo has a clear direction. The Sox have built a solid farm system which will supply pitchers and position players for the long term starting in 2008 and beyond. And when he acquires players through trade, most of the time they are young players with a high ceiling. Also, when free agents are signed, they are usually younger players with high ceiling, like D-Mat. They are headed in the right direction.


    i totally agree, Jeff. Theo’s not about to make a stupid move like signing Soriano until he’s 38 or 39… that’s pure stupidity! by the 5th year of his contract, he’ll be batting .250 with like 15HR and 10SB. that’s not even AVERAGE for a RF…

    Happy thanksgiving, everyone! Let’s all take a break from baseball and bask in the love of our family and friends.


    Vince, yes, they put together a champion in 04. They had gotten a team that was pretty good but needed a little tweaking. Where Theo & co. messed up was in how to maintain that winner. That’s where they seem to be fumbling around. Personally, I’d have kept Lowe, Arroyo, Cabrerra, Dave Roberts, Damon, Meyers, maybe Embree from the 04 team. Pedro, I think will spend more and more time on the DL. But what do I know. I get more attatched to players than I should.
    The farm system is strong, that’s a good thing for the future.

    I just think it is not so easy as people assume, too many variables.

    Right Jamie, Happy Thanksgiving to all!


    Oh yes, I agree they should learn from other owners who have gone before and shut their mouth and get the job done. Let the success on the feild speak for the FO.


    OR they could speak in platitudes like “We are committed to giving the team the best chance to win every year.” They can babble on about ‘the best interests of the team’ and such drivel. Gives the naysayers less ammunition. After all, the players carry the message onto the field. We can all see the results of every move they make.

  21. Jeff

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Thanks to all the regulars for making this blog a part of your Sox routine (and Yankees routine for Vince and the other Yankees regulars)! Hopefully, we can keep growing the readership of this blog. There will soon be more news and debate as the winter meetings approach. Anyway, once again, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I’m freezing here in Ohio, but it’s nice to be visiting with family!


    hey everyone! hope you all had a great thanksgiving! i had a really nice time at Church… i love the people there, some pretty good friends there.

    And now… on to Black Friday… i wanna hear everyone’s story of people trampling over others to get into BestBuy!!

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS! (Christmas isn’t far away now either… hohoho)


    Woody williams also signed with the astros.

    I just saw Casino Royale, I strongly recommend, particularly if you are into Bond movies. This is easily the best of the new ones, dethrones any roger moore or george lazenby movies, and probably even chips into some connories.

  24. Jeff

    Hi, All:

    Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday weekend. I’m preparing for my dad surprise 60th birthday party tonight, then flying back to Orlando tomorrow morning. I have to work on some writing deadlines tomorrow, but I’ll probably write a new post on the blog as well.

    I hope that the Sox now keep Manny since Soriano and Lee have signed elsewhere. A 3-4-5 trio of Ortiz, Manny and Drew would be very productive, and Lugo at the leadoff spot followed by Crisp in the 2-hole would give the Sox some base stealers and tablesetters. So, if we keep Manny, I don’t mind the idea of signing Drew, but I wouldn’t want Drew to be the replacement for Manny, if that makes sense.

    Anyway, I look forward to the Hot Stove action heating up as the winter meetings near.


    i say let’s just take a chance on Drew. After all, we will have insurance on him the way we have for Clement, so the FO doesn’t risk all that much. Ortiz-Manny-Drew-WMP… wow that makes me salivate!


    hey guys, i was just wondering: Boras doesn’t necessarily need to get Matsuzaka a huge deal – he could make ALOT of $$ through ADVERTISING!! some deals can be worth upwards of 10mil…

    so yeah, I think we’ll be able to sign him without a hitch!


    Well I guess the whole signing Matsuaka should be easy and the sox can get away with lowballing him kind of went out the window.

    They make it seem like cabrera was better than both renteria and lugo….Why did you guys get rid of him anyway? He was so fundamental and clutch in 2004. Trading Manny is bittersweet if it happens as a Yankee fan. I LOVE that he can finally not kill us, and his absense of bat in the lineup makes ortiz easier to deal with, but what you are capable of getting in return worries me.


    Is it me, or does Theo seem to make things too complicated? Every year a new shortstop. New 2B. Rework the pitching staff so we have older and/or injured starters. Don’t even ask about the bullpen.

    Hey, this reminds me; years ago, when JD Drew was nursing one of his injuries, a reporter said he had run into JD’s wife on the street. So he asked her, “Mrs. Drew, how’s JD?” She says,”Well, better than nothing.”

    Sorry, I’m just bitter over the Giants’ loss yesterday. Oy gevaldt!!! as my dad might have said.

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