What This Means

Assuming the Adrian Gonzalez deal gets done, the Red Sox will have added some power to their line-up. But at the same time it means Adrian Beltre is gone as he has no position to play. Beltre was great in Boston in 2010 and added a great deal of power (.553 slg%). But what worried me most about him is that his 2 best years, by far, have been contract years. And in 2009, another contract year, he was hurt. I just don’t think making a long term commitment to a career .790 OPS player is a good risk and that OPS is skewed by 2 really good seasons.

Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com also brings up a good point that with the addition of Gonzalez, Carl Crawford becomes a much less likely addition as the team would be too lefthanded (Ortiz, Gonzalez, Ellsbury, Drew). So maybe Jayson Werth is their next target. Werth has more power, a better eye, but doesn’t run as well and is as good a fielder. He is also older. I’d still like Werth though as he has power and patience.

Back to the Gonzalez deal, the Red Sox reportedly are giving up Ray Fuentes, Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo and a player to be named later. Those are the 1, 3 & 6 ranked minor leaguers per Baseball America and 1, 3 & 18 per SoxProspects.com. San Diego is getting a big haul, but the Red Sox are getting a proven player. I like this deal. It adds a very well rounded player in his prime.

Here is the line-up if these deal goes through and no other adds are made:

c – Saltalamacchia
1b – Gonzalez
2b – Laser Show
3b – Youkilis
ss – Scutaro
lf – Ellsbury
cf – Cameron/Kalish
rf – Drew
dh – Ortiz

Adrian!

No, that’s not a Rocky quote, but rather a shout out to the Red Sox new 1b Adrian Gonzalez (maybe). According to multiple sources, the Red Sox and Padres have agreed to a trade and only Gonzalez’s physical (off-season shoulder surgery) and a contract extension stand in the way.

Buster Olney says that MLB has opened a window for negotiating the new deal which will likely be in the Mark Teixeira range.

Further proof the Red Sox read my stuff, getting Gonzalez will give the Red Sox a legit bopper in the middle of the line-up, but also introduce some energy to this organization. Oh yeah, Gonzalez is a multiple gold-glove 1b as well.

Of course nothing is final yet and the Red Sox are going to be giving up a bevy of talent. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo is suggesting it could be Anthony Rizzo and Casey Kelly as the primary bait. According to Soxprospects.com, Kelly and Rizzo are the #1 and #3 top prospects respectively in the organization.

You have to give to get.

Leverage

That has been the missing ingredient for Derek Jeter all along in his negotiations with the Yankees. He has needed another team to come and make a serious run at him.

I mention this because the word is out that Mariano Rivera had that leverage. In fact, he apparently had a lot of leverage. Jon Heyman is reporting that three teams, including the Red Sox, offered Rivera a three-year deal to leave the Yankees. Mo being Mo, turned them down and is going to take two years from the Yankees. If you really needed another reason to love Mo, there it is. I am also fascinated that the Red Sox would offer Rivera three years. I wonder what Mr. Papelbon thinks about that? I am amazed that any team, let alone three, would offer a 41-year old a three-year deal.

For the Yankees, this deal is one more year than I would have liked, but it is obvious they didn’t have a choice if other teams were offering three. The problem is going to be the balance Joe Girardi will need to strike between keeping Rivera fresh and blowing out his bullpen. To avoid that, the Yankees should seriously rethink the way they use Joba. Assuming he pitches up to his capabilities, the Yankees should look for 100 or so innings of relief from him. If they use him like the 1996 Rivera they would go a long way to solving the problem of the bullpen wearing out.

I’ll worry about that the another day. For now, I am going to enjoy the fact that my favorite player is back where he belongs.

*****
One other rumor Heyman reported is that the Yankees almost swapped Cervelli to LA for Russell Martin. With Martin making $5 million in 2010 and heading to arbitration again, I would have hated that move and I am glad the Yankees avoided it. Cervelli regressed as the season went along, but he still got on base at a .360 clip. That’s good value for a guy making the major league minimum.

Did You Hear?

Jon Heyman tweeted that the Red Sox offered Mariano Rivera 3 years and $45mm. Now that would have been interesting. Normally I’d say giving a guy that old that kind of money would be dumb (I did 3 years ago too), but Rivera seems to be some kind of freak. I really do hope he gets old quickly and becomes ineffective, but he is looking more and more like a reliever’s Nolan Ryan.

What?

So the Yankees announced they have non-tendered Dustin Moseley and Alfredo Aceves!

The Aceves move is one I can’t begin to understand. Yes, he had back trouble and yes he broke his collarbone, but he was expected to return around March 1st. Plus, he will not be eligible for arbitration until after 2011 and he pitched pretty well when healthy. This is a guy who would have cost 1/2 of what Mitre signed for in 2011, why would you get rid of him? I assume his back is doing better since he was out biking when he broke his collarbone. The 40-man roster would have been at 32 if they had kept Aceves, plenty of room to bring back their free agents and sign some other ones. I don’t get it at all.

Anyone have any answers?

Is He Still Captain?

The Red Sox have re-signed Jason Varitek to a 1 year, $2mm deal plus incentives according to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.

That means the catchers will be Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Varitek. The Red Sox obviously wanting to give Saltalamacchia a mentor of sorts. Not many better than Varitek. I’m more than fine with this deal as while Varitek is no longer the player he was, especially offensively, he can still contribute 2 times a week and will hopefully help Saltalamacchia learn the staff a bit.

Also much talk of the Red Sox meeting with representatives for both Jayson Werth and Carl Crawford. Where there’s smoke there’s fire? I think so, but we’ll see.

Why?

Why do the Yankees keep bringing back Sergio Mitre? I have detailed my disdain for Mitre here and here and here and plenty of other places, so I won’t rehash my objections.

What bothers me about this move is that I have seen a lot of people saying it’s “only” for 900k. That’s true, but the Yankees signed Marcus Thames for 900k last year. Plus, Mitre will now take a spot from someone like a Romulo Sanchez or perhaps an Ivan Nova, pitchers with more promise and lower salaries. I don’t know why the Yankees keep knocking on this door, but I can only hope they won’t compound the problem by offering Dustin Moseley a contract. One mediocre righty is enough.

Back when we hear the non-tender decisions later tonight.