Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In Theo I Trust.

While I was driving back to Hartford, I was listening to WEEI, and heard them discussing possible trade packages that would bring King Felix Hernandez to Boston... Combinations like Jonathan Papelbon, Clay Buchholz, and Michael Bowden were thrown around.

And then, the kicker: "If you were Theo Epstein, would you even consider that possibility?"

Ummm... What? Theo entertains EVERY possibility. That is his job. No matter how far-fetched, you can bet out GM has looked into it.

Here, for instance, Theo discusses Roy Halladay for a pack of Big-League Chew and Javier Lopez with good friend JP Ricciardi.

We've come to appreciate Theo's style: covet your prospects; don't be afraid of a trade; don't get into bidding wars.

Just take a look at this year's postseason rotation: Lester, Beckett, Buchholz. Jon and Clay are products of the player development machine, and another homegrown talent (Hanley Ramirez), brought Beckett to town. Prospects are a valuable commodity, and the development team that Theo has put together continuously turns out good ones.

Everyone remembers Nomar: fan favorite, but causing unneeded drama in the clubhouse, accompanied by declining production. Theo shipped him off to Chicago at the deadline, cementing the roster of the eventual 2004 World Series Champions. Flash forward to 2008: Manny Ramirez heads to LA, Jason Bay comes to Boston, and prospects go to Pittsburgh (do the Pirates LIKE being a farm team for the rest of MLB?). That team came within one game of the World Series, and with a healthy Mike Lowell, might have gone further.

Last winter was an exception: Mark Teixeira was everything Theo looks for in a player (excluding the neurotic wife) - OBP, power, defense, relative youth. When it became clear that Boras and Leigh successfully drove Mark to the Bronx, Theo went with several low-risk, high-reward players... Not all of them worked out, but with some shrewd dealing at the deadline (hello, Gonzo and VMart), the Red Sox won their targeted 95 games and went to the playoffs.

The accepted sabremetric description of the playoffs is that they're essentially a crapshoot... This year didn't turn out so well, but everyone needs to calm down. Sure, the roster needs some tweaks, but Theo will make them. The 2010 Red Sox will be competitive: in Theo I Trust, and you should too.


  1. This would be my exact take as well. I'm bullish on trading Papelbon, just because he's probably a bit overrated because of the saves, but I'd rather keep two to four of our prospects if we can include him in a deal instead. The guys on WEEI and in the mainstream media still overrated the importance of a closer.

  2. I completely agree. In fact, today's post is going to focus on just that... are you a psychic?