July 18, 2012 Leave a comment
Bob Nightengale of the USA Today sent the baseball world abuzz earlier today when he posted an article stating that the Red Sox and Marlins have had discussions about pulling off a blockbuster trade. In the trade Carl Crawford and a prospect, presumably a high level starting pitcher would go to the Marlins in exchange for third baseman Hanley Ramirez, the former Red Sox prospect who was traded for Josh Beckett back in 2006, and former closer Heath Bell, who just signed a 3 year 27 million dollar contract prior to this season. It’s worth noting that Nightengale reports that the Marlins have approached the Red Sox with the offer.
Having said that I see several reasons why the Red Sox wouldn’t do this deal. First off they have no definitive need to move Crawford. With Jacoby Ellsbury’s long term status with the team in question as he approaches free agency it doesn’t seem prudent to move Crawford at this point. Then there is the players that the Red Sox would get in return. First off – despite being in desperate need of a closer in the off-season the Sox passed on Bell. In Miami Bell has already lost his closers role and has a 6.48 ERA out of the Miami bullpen. Considering that the Sox have one of the best bullpen ERA in the majors since they blew a 9 run lead to the Yankees in April it would seem that acquiring Bell would actually make the bullpen worse. Not to mention paying him another $18 million in guaranteed money in 2013 and 2014. Regarding Hanley Ramirez, sure he is a great talent and he may need a change of scenery to resurrect his career but I don’t think he makes sense either. The Sox have Will Middlebrooks, Jose Iglesias, and Xander Boegarts to play the left side of the infield. Acquiring Ramirez would block two of those guys from making it to the majors. It’s unlikely that it will be Middlebrooks, who was all but crowned the third baseman of the future when Kevin Youkilis was moved to facilitate more playing time for him, which means Hanley would move back to shortstop where his defensive play is sure to decline as he ages. Neither player seems like a particularly great fit for the Red Sox.
I am sure that the Marlins approached the Red Sox about this deal and why not? They would get rid of a mistake contract (Bell) and an unhappy player (Ramirez) for Carl Crawford and a prospect pitcher which they desperately need (all 5 of their current starters are slated to hit free agency by the end of next season). The problem is it takes two to make a trade and this is a trade I can’t imagine that the Red Sox would be eager to make.