The Spectacle Blog

Red Sox Clean House; Did the Rays Pay Too High a Price?

By on 7.31.14 | 6:33PM

The Red Sox weren't done dealing after sending Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes to Oakland for Yoenis Cespedes.

Boston traded starting pitcher John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder/first baseman Allen Craig and pitcher Joe Kelly. They then sent lefty reliever Andrew Miller to the Baltimore Orioles for a minor leaguer. If that wasn't enough they even made a trade with the Yankees dealing shortstop Stephen Drew to New York for the versatile Kelly Johnson. Let's not forget that Boston sent lefty Felix Doubront to the Chicago Cubs yesterday for a player to be named later.

Throw in the Peavy deal and in less than a week the Red Sox have traded away nearly a third of their roster. The Red Sox will have a very different lineup when they take run on the Fenway Park tomorrow night against the Yankees. Their rotation is now Clay Buchholz, Rubby de la Rosa, Brandon Workman, Allen Webster and Kelly. 

I really like that we got Kelly. He could be a mainstay in the rotation for years. I'm surprised they gave him up. Yes, he's been hurt most of the year with a bad hamstring and he's been ineffective since coming back from the DL. But he's 26. Lackey is almost ten years older and probably won't be back in St. Louis next year. Sure Lackey and Justin Masterson (another ex-Boston hurler who was acquired yesterday from Cleveland) could help the Cardinals down the stretch, but trading Kelly away might be the worse thing they've done since sending Steve Carlton to the Phillies for Rick Wise. 

If nothing else, Kelly has a good Boston name. If he makes it here then I wouldn't be surprised to see him do commercials for Kelly's Roast Beef

The best thing about the Drew-Johnson deal is that Xander Bogaerts gets to go back to short. When the Sox moved Bogaerts to third to make room for Drew at the beginning of June, the team had won seven in a row and were on the cusp of reaching .500 at 27-29. Bogaerts has struggled at the plate and so has the team. They are 21-31 since. Look for Bogaerts to go on a tear.

As a consequence of the Lester deal, the A's have sent pitcher Tommy Milone to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for outfielder Sam Fuld. Milone was actually the odd man out after they acquired Samardzija and Hammel from the Cubs. Despite a record of 6-3 and a 3.55 ERA, the A's demoted Milone to Triple AAA. Milone demanded a trade. While the Twins are in last place in the AL Central at least Milone will get to pitch. As for Fuld, he actually began the year in Oakland before being designated for assignment. Our own Larry Thornberry sang Fuld's praises in 2011 when Fuld was a member of the Tampa Bay Rays. 

I wonder what Larry thinks of the Rays dealing David Price to the Tigers in a three way deal with the Mariners. The Tigers now have three Cy Young winners on their staff with Price, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. Throw in Anibal Sanchez and you've got a rotation that matches the A's and might edge Oakland yet again in the post-season. The Mariners get fleet footed outfielder Austin Jackson while St. Pete gets infielder Nick Franklin and pitcher Drew Smyly from Seattle and Detroit, respectively. If I'm running the Rays and have just traded the best pitcher in the franchise's history I think I want more than a back up infielder and a number five starter in return. Are the Rays giving up on 2014?

It's true the Rays are 8 games back of the Orioles. But on June 10th, the Rays were 15 games out as they sported a 24-42 record. Since then, they've gone 29-13. Price earned seven of those victories. Sure the Rays have Jeremy Hellickson, Alex Cobb, Drew Archer and now Smyly. But it isn't enough to make up for Price's absence. When the Rays struggled earlier this year it was when Hellickson and Cobb were on the shelf. Despite their depth and manager Joe Maddon's ingenuity, the Rays have cut off their right arm.

Meanwhile, the Arizona Diamondbacks dealt Gerardo Parra and Martin Prado to the Brewers and Yankees, respectively. I'm surprised Aaron Hill is still with the club.  

Chris Denorfia will join Austin Jackson in Seattle's outfield having been acquired from the Padres for a couple of minor leaguers.

I wonder what Wlady thinks of the Nationals getting Asdrubal Cabrera from the Indians. With Ian Desmond ensconsed at short and Ryan Zimmerman hurt yet again, look for Cabrera to play second while Anthony Rendon to move to third. 

As for the Red Sox, their clubhouse staff will be very busy tomorrow. A few introductions will be in order before the first pitch. Name tags may be required. 

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