|ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick on M&M: Teams not ‘jumping through hoops’ to acquire Josh Beckett||07.30.12 at 2:33 pm ET|
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick joined Mut & Merloni on Monday afternoon, a day before the MLB trade deadline, to talk about Josh Beckett‘s value, what the front office might do in the next day, Carl Crawford and team issues. To hear the interview, go the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
Beckett has been at the forefront of trade rumors for the Red Sox, though his somewhat negative reputation and large contract present an obvious obstacle for a trade.
“I can tell you this, I think that obviously he’s not the pitcher he used to be,” Crasnick said. “He’s making a lot of money and, frankly, I don’t think his reputation as a guy who’s going to come into a situation and improve your clubhouse is the best. And teams are conscious of that. It’s probably unfair, I think if he went into a place that was winning he would go in there and fit well. But he hasn’t pitched that great, he’s been pretty good, but if teams are going to pick up that kind of money, I think they want superior performance. Right now on a good staff people look at him as a three or fourth-starter type. To be honest, I don’t think people are really jumping through hoops on this from what I’ve seen.”
Added Crasnick: “I think Ben Cherington downplayed [trading Beckett] a little bit, which is in his interest. He wouldn’t be doing his job if he wasn’t calling around on this guy. … I just think his market is undercut from some of the other options out there. I just don’t know that they’re going to get a lot for him, unless they’re willing to pick up an awful lot of the salary. If they’re spending a ton of money to get rid of the guy, is it really worth making the trade to begin with? Because you’re not getting any salary relief.”
If the Red Sox choose to trade righty-hitting outfielder Cody Ross, it could be a signal of the team’s selling nature.
“He’s another guy we haven’t heard a ton on his name,” Crasnick said. “He’s a pretty good rental type of player. He’s a good guy in the clubhouse. He’s a good right-handed hitter, he hits lefties. I don’t know that the Red Sox are really in a position in that market to start pumping on the season. … I think teams like Boston and Tampa, especially Boston given the demands of that market, I don’t see them becoming a huge seller. I think they can strategically move some guys and move some salary. Cody Ross is a pretty handy guy to have, and I don’t know that what you’re going to get in return really exceeds the value of what he gives to your team now.”
At 51-51 and four games back of the second wild card, the Red Sox are in a tough position at the deadline.
“I think the Red Sox are in that in-between situation,” he said. “Ben, I know, has a real fondness for player development people and the kids in the system. I don’t know that it would be worth it to trade away those guys. I guess it depends on what you’re trying to get back in return. You’re not going to get a top-flight starting pitcher. You’re half trying to trade Beckett but then you’re going to need another starter and you’ve had injuries. You also have guys that are making a lot of money who aren’t performing up to their ability. It’s not a black and white thing.”
Crawford has missed 89 games because of an elbow injury and may miss even more time if he elects to have Tommy John surgery.
“It just goes to show that chasing that money is nirvana,” Crasnick said. “He’s a simple guy, a hard-working guy, sincere. But Boston can chew guys up and spit them out. I don’t think he was comfortable there from the moment he got there. It seems like it was a bad fit and obviously with the underperforming and the injuries I think he’s a guy who puts a lot of pressure on himself.”
The 2012 Red Sox have been the recipient of negative press more times than not, and it may be a contributing factor as to why the team sits at .500.
“It’s not just the Crawford thing with the Red Sox,” Crasnick said. “Between [Terry] Francona being in the clubhouse and the [Kevin] Youkilis-[Bobby] Valentine thing, I’ve never seen a team that’s a mediocre team generate more ridiculous headlines in a course of a season that have nothing to do with baseball. … They seem to have their focus everywhere but on the field, where it needs to be.”
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