Theo Epstein Is Smart, But Is He Smart Enough?

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It pains me to no end to compliment Boston's Boy Wonder of a GM, but when he goes out and follows my advice and signs the under-appreciated Mike Cameron, it's hard for me not to give credit where credit is due for an intelligent move. Now the only question is, can Theo Epstein follow through and improve his team even more?

As always, there are reports of the Red Sox being interested in Adrian Gonzalez. You'd have thought with all the interest they're expressing for A-Gon, that the deal would already be in place, but Theo is allegedly balking at the asking price of Clay Buchholz and Jacoby Ellsbury. To the untrained eye, this hesitancy makes total sense. After all, while Buchholz is a bit more expendable because of the signing of John Lackey, Ellsbury had himself one heck of a year: .301 AVG, 114 wRC+ and 70 stolen bases. That isn't the type of player you part ways with on a routine basis, especially considering his age. And yet, Ellsbury only posted a 1.9 WAR last year, a result of some utterly horrendous defense.

Cameron on the other hand has boasted WAR above 4 each of the past two seasons, a more than adequate replacement for the departed Native American. Plus, the Red Sox would be getting Adrian Gonzalez, an often unheralded, yet supremely effective run producer during the latter years of this past decade. Cameron could serve as an adequate short term stop-gap while allowing the Red Sox to bolster their lineup and still have an effective defensive club in 2010. With players like David DeJesus and Carl Crawford entering their primes and looming in 2011 free agency, and with Josh Reddick among others regarded as a viable prospect for CF, the Sox could just as easily reload for the long term in the outfield and not ever have to to think twice about missing Jacoby Ellsbury.

So if you're Theo Epstein, do you pull the trigger on this supposed trade to get A-Gon?


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10 Comments

Well if Theo is to believe the 94 Red Sox fans who signed up for Fangraphs and projected Ellsbury to be a 4 WAR player in 2010, then no, Theo does not pull this trigger.

But if he doesn't believe that malarkey and DOES make the trade, how pissed would the Padres fans be knowing that their new general manager just sent away their best and most popular player to his old employer for a Navajo and a laptop thief?

I flat out guar-an-tee that CHIPPER will be playing for San Diego in 2013 purely for the opportunity to wear camo to work.

Something tells me that Gonzo won't have the same appeal with the female fanbase in Beantown that Team Jacob-y does. Less Pink Red Sox hats sold = less profit, so no, Theo won't pull the triggah.

The thing about all of this is that the Padres don't HAVE to trade Gonzalez right now. His contract is laughably small, it runs through 2011, and if the Padres wait till the dealine this season with Gonzalez putting up his expected numbers than his asking price will only go up.

wRC+? Now you're just picking characters out of a hat and calling them statistics, aren't you?

If you have an opportunity to get Pujols-lite, you take it. Jacoby Ellsbury roaming the outfield at Petco would be Mays on the Mets bad.

Ellsbury could also be moved to left where he's played some and been better. Shallow area there would take some of the burden off of his, ahem, arm.

Cliff Lee is now a Mariner. Good grief.

I agree with the Greek. Wait until the deadline. Let us have four more months of an honest-to-goodness major leaguer.

The only problem with waiting till the deadline is Adam Dunn will probably be available then too.

Not if I've chained Adam Dunn to my radiator first.

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