|08.01.14 at 10:44 am ET|
Red Sox assistant general manager Mike Hazen joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning to talk about the team’s trade deadline deals. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
The last-place Red Sox went on a full fire sale Thursday, making four deals and trading five players before the 4 p.m. deadline. The most notable name dealt was lefty Jon Lester, who was shipped to the Athletics with Jonny Gomes for Cuban slugger Yoenis Cespedes. The Sox also traded John Lackey to the Cardinals, Andrew Miller to the Orioles and Stephen Drew to the Yankees by the end of the day.
The Red Sox not only got an All-Star in Cespedes, they also got major league talent in return for Lackey, acquiring outfielder Allen Craig and starter Joe Kelly from St. Louis.
“I think we had had that in the back our mind the entire time,” Hazen said. “We wanted to make sure we put as much talent on the major league roster as possible. I will say, you can’t go into those situations with that plan. You can have the plan, that’s great, but it’s not typical that you would get offered or find teams that have the ability to give players off their major league club when they’re making a playoff push.
“So that’s not something you can necessarily go in there and say, ‘We really want to do it.’ Every trade takes two to tango. We can go to a team and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got Jon Lester, we’ve got John Lackey, guys that we believe will really help you down the stretch.’ On the flip side, they can say, ‘Great, but we can’t take guys off our major league club.’ ”
Added Hazen: “In a lot of cases you end up talking to most clubs with prospect packages because they’re major league clubs in deep. I think what we ended up finding was that there were a lot of clubs that had depth on their major league roster. The Cardinals, everyone talks about the talent they have. Obviously the A’s have the best offense in baseball, so they were able to sacrifice something off of those major league clubs in order to get something in their rotation.”
|08.01.14 at 10:37 am ET|
Friday has quickly turned into a milestone day for two of the Red Sox‘ top pitching prospects.
With Anthony Ranaudo set to make his major league debut against the Yankees, the Sox are promoting left-hander Henry Owens to Triple-A Pawtucket, according to multiple industry sources.
Ranked No. 2 by Baseball America on the team’s prospect list in December, Owens has been impressive for Double-A Portland this season. The 22-year-old is 14-4 with a 2.60 ERA in 20 starts, throwing three complete games and two shutouts in the process. Owens has 126 strikeouts to 47 walks with a WHIP of 1.124, and is second on the Sea Dogs with 121 innings pitched.
The 6-foot-7, 200-pound California native was drafted out of high school by the Sox in 2011 in the supplemental first round. He’s in his third year in the Red Sox‘ minor league system after starting out in Greenville in 2012.
|08.01.14 at 10:11 am ET|
There is no question the Red Sox were lacking power in their outfield, as going into Thursday the team was last in the American League with a .344 slugging percentage among outfielders and a major league-low 14 home runs.
With the trade for righty-hitting Athletics slugger Yoenis Cespedes, this will change in a big way.
The 28-year-old is hitting .256 with 17 home runs and 67 RBIs this season after belting 23 and 26 home runs in his first two seasons in the majors, all while playing his home games in the pitcher-friendly confines of O.co Coliseum. He’s also won the All-Star Home Run Derby the past two seasons.
The lack of outfield power was something that led the Red Sox to Cespedes.
“We think he will thrive — he is a guy we’ve gotten to know a bit when he signed and we had a chance to scout him ourselves in the Dominican before he signed,” general manager Ben Cherington said. “We obviously followed him during his time in Oakland. He is someone who seems comfortable on the stage given his performances in different events and whatnot, the postseason. It’s a really powerful dynamic player in his prime that in our ballpark and in the outfield, we will probably take a look at him in right field and see how he looks out there. He obviously can play center and left, too, but we will take an opportunity to see how that looks.
“He’s obviously a power bat who hits the ball out to all parts of the park and should benefit from Fenway. He’s going from a ballpark in Oakland that doesn’t help right-handed power hitters quite as much as Fenway does, so we’re excited to have him. He’s clearly someone we don’t have. As we were going through the options, finding someone we didn’t have was appealing to us.”
|08.01.14 at 8:18 am ET|
Just a day removed from a memorable trade deadline that saw the Red Sox part ways with ace Jon Lester and four other players, Boston will look to get on back on track when it hosts the Yankees for a three-game set at Fenway Park.
Anthony Ranaudo will make his first major league start in the series opener Friday, facing off against former Boston reliever Chris Capuano.
Ranaudo will be looking to help bolster a depleted Boston rotation that lost four of its five season-opening starters over the past five days.
Taken by the Red Sox with the 39th pick of the 2010 draft after a stellar career at LSU, Ranaudo has overcome a series of setbacks and injuries on his way to posting one of the strongest seasons of his career in 2014.
Ranaudo has been on the top pitchers in the International League this season with Triple-A Pawtucket, leading the league in wins (12) while ranking second in ERA (2.41) and third in WHIP (1.15).
Ranaudo is in the midst of one of the strongest stretches of his career, as the 6-foot-7 righty has compiled an ERA of 1.94 since June, striking out 46 and walking 17.
|08.01.14 at 12:35 am ET|
Given the pure volume of trades that the Red Sox made at the deadline on Thursday, former Boston Bruin Shawn Thornton expressed concern at Thursday’s Buchholz Bowl charity event at Jillian’s and Lucky Strike Lanes in Boston.
“I’m coming to the game on Saturday and they might need me to pitch,” Thornton said with a chuckle.
Jon Lester and John Lackey not only represented the team’s most consistent pitchers, but also provided leadership for the group in the clubhouse. Buchholz said that he was slightly shocked to see two of his rotation mates shipped out of town.
“To be able to make friends and be lucky enough to be with the guys that I’ve been around, it’s a little different,” Buchholz said. “That’s the business side of baseball. Hopefully, they can make a move on and help another team reach the playoffs and reach another World Series.”
As the pitcher with the most experience on the staff, Buchholz would appear to be the de facto leader for the rotation. When asked if he was ready to lead the group, Buchholz was noncommittal and instead started to talk about his health.
“I feel good where I’m at right now. I feel healthy,” Buchholz said. “Obviously, the numbers haven’t gone the way that I wanted it to this season yet, but if I have 10, 11, 12 starts left, I’m going to go out there and treat it like it’s another game and go out and try to do the best I can to help the team win.”
|07.31.14 at 11:31 pm ET|
While there were a few media reports linking the Marlins to the Lester talks, Miami’s involvement might have been the most surprising of any team, with most of its attention was thought to be on acquiring Red Sox pitcher John Lackey, who, unlike Lester, has another year of control on his contract. Mike Redmond‘s team stands at 53-55, six games out in the National League East, and five games behind for the final wild card spot.
As of Tuesday night, a source confirmed that the Orioles were perceived to out of the hunt for Lester. But Baltimore looped back Wednesday, falling short, thanks in part to an inability to offer either the major league piece or minor league power hitter desired by the Red Sox.
As it turned out, all the teams heavily involved in the negotiations for Lester’s services (which also included the Pirates) were offering packages centered around prospects. With their farm system somewhat depleted, the A’s were the only club ready to make a major league-ready player the focal point of their offer.
In the end, the Lester deal was done when Oakland sent Yoenis Cespedes (and a competitive balance draft pick) for Lester and Jonny Gomes.
For more on the non-waiver trade deadline, go to weei.com/redsox.
|07.31.14 at 11:23 pm ET|
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington knows he completed just half the job on Thursday by trading away Jon Lester and John Lackey, completing a wild week that saw him deal away four-fifths of his opening day rotation.
“That is not something we would have expected to do at the start of the season, trade away four-fifths of the rotation,” Cherington said. “And obviously, each trade done for different reasons and different circumstances. Ultimately, at least the ones — I talked about the Peavy trade before, and that was done at a little bit different time for us.
“The two trades we made today, in Lackey and Lester, were difficult to do, but we feel fit into our desire to be as good as we can as quickly as we can. With that said, we recognize we will have to, we will need to do some work with our starting rotation. We hope and expect many of the answers for that can come from the guys who are here. But I’d expect us to be involved in starting pitching this winter.”
Dealing Lester and Lackey for position players who project to be everyday players for the team in 2015 is only the beginning. Now, Cherington has to go about rebuilding a rotation that lost 40 wins from a 97-win World Series championship team a year ago.
Part of that answer could come from the minor league system, which is stocked with names like Henry Owens, Matt Barnes and Anthony Ranaudo, who makes his major league debut Friday night in the series opener against the Yankees at Fenway Park.
“Obviously some of those young pitchers are going to get a lot of opportunity the rest of the way, the guys that are already here,” Cherington said. “Ranaudo is going to start [Friday] night. We have an opportunity to watch that and they have an opportunity to pitch and develop. We’ll know a lot more about that group by the end of the season and that will help inform us, to some degree, going into the offseason. It would be my expectation that we would be active no matter what happens the rest of the way.
“My expectation is that we would be active in the starting pitching market this winter with trades, free agency, whatever. But we’re going to learn a lot more about our young group. We liked our young group of starters two weeks ago and now we’ve added a couple more to that in [Eduardo] Escobar and [Eduardo] Rodriguez — two young starters we got. We feel very good about the depth of young starters that we have in the organization. Obviously they’re not proven major league pitchers and so we’ve got to learn more about them the rest of the way and see what’s available to us this winter.”
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