You’d think three losses in four games for the Celtics would spawn a basketball column, or the fact that the Bruins won their 9th straight, 5-2 over Pittsburgh would spawn a hockey column. Even Patriots rookie linebacker Jarod Mayo winning the Defensive Rookie of the Year would spawn a tribute of some sort. Well, no. A deals a deal and I promised hot stove talk so here it is.
The Sox reached an agreement with Brad Penny. Now I know he’s coming off an injury, but let’s not forget that this guy has been a horse. For $5 million a year it’s a great signing. You’re basically getting an AJ Burnett for a third of the price. This guy played with Beckett and Lowell in Florida so let’s hope that will make him comfortable right off the bat. If nothing else he’s an insurance clause in case Wakefield or another starter has to hit the shelf for a little while.
The big one is that the Sox are pursuing Hanley Ramirez from the Marlins. Yes, the same Ramirez that was traded to the Marlins as part of the Beckett deal. So the Marlins asking price is Jacoby and Buchholz. I make this deal 10 times out of 10. Look, Jacoby may be the next Ricky Henderson, but he also may be the next Otis Nixon. Hanley is a proven commodity who could easily move to center and solidify the top of your lineup. In essence it breaks down to Jacoby, Buchholz, and Anibal Sanchez for Beckett, Lowell, and Ramirez. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t make that deal.
The Sox brought back Josh Bard. I don’t think he’s the solution at catcher. After batting .338 following his trade to the Padres in 2006, he slid to .285 in 2007, and a Varitek-esque .202 average in 2008. I’m not opposed to the signing as he’s only 30, but I’d like to see one of the younger guys come up and contribute. It happened giving Pedroia a shot and Lowrie a shot, maybe a catcher is the next one to step it up. Just saying.
That’s pretty much it for the hot stove talk. Good luck out in the snow today. Drive safe.