08 July 2010
Daniel Bard has already been overworked. Hideki Okajima's ERA+ is now down to 75 and opponents are hitting .330 against him (lefties at .333). Ramon Ramirez' ERA is at 94, but he remains unreliable and is now second to Bard in IPs at 34.0. And Manny Delcarmen is hurt.
The Red Sox could really use some bullpen help, but is it wise to trade away a promising prospects for an experienced reliver that another team is willing to part with? Tricky question... but it all depends on the players in question.
Here's a quick look at a few guys that might be worth trading for:
Kerry Wood, CLE: Wood has been closing games for the Tribe lately, but while he was on the DL, Chris Perez did the job and did it well (7 SV, 3 BS, .207 BAA). Perez gives them the flexibility to trade Wood and steal a solid prospect to help rebuild a team that is currently 13.5 games out of the race in the AL Central. Since being activated in early May, Wood has saved 8 games and fanned 18 over 18.2 innings. The problem is... he's also blown 3 saves and has 6.27 ERA... can you say Eric Gagne?
Octavio Dotel, PIT: Dotel is closing for the Pirates this year, but has spent most of his career in middle relief. He's saved 19 games for Pittsburgh and has 41 Ks in 33.2 innings, but he's 37 years old. The Pirates have a lot of young talent, but are 18 games out in the NL central and really don't have a shot this season with the Cardinals and Reds playing so well. What they need is starters, so the question is: Would you trade a guy like Michael Bowden, Felix Doubront, Stolmy Pimentel or Casey Kelley for Dotel?
Craig Breslow, OAK: The A's has quickly fallen 10 games behind the Rangers in the AL West and are in the midst of a rebuilding project. Breslow posted a 32/14 K/BB rate with a .180 BAA though 38 IP with the Twins in 2008. In 2009 he was traded to the A's and posted a 44/18 ratio with a .191 BAA and 13 holds through 55 innings. This year he's already tallied 40 Ks and through 39 innings and continues to keep batters off the bases with a .167 BAA and a 1.00 WHIP. But the best part is... he's a lefty.
The Rockies: The Rox are still in the mix for a playoff spot, but they have struggled all year in the bullpen. Houston Street was supposed to be the closer, but got hurt. Manny Corpas notched 10 saves filling in, but he's been erratic at best. And Franklin Morales saved a few games as well, but has since been options to AAA due to command issues. Meanwhile, Matt Belisle and Joe Beimel has quietly dominated in middle relielf. In short, the Rockies have plenty of RPs and could afford to trade one in the hopes of getting a young starter in return... They've leaned heavily on Matt Belisle (55+ IP) and received positive returns (.229 BAA, 53 K) and got lucky with lefty-specialist Joe Beimel (14 holds, .209 BAA) so they'll want to keep those guys... my guess is they would part with Rafael Betancourt (14 holds) since he makes the most money ($3.75M). Raf had a rough start to the season, but has been better since June 1st - notching 6 holds, and posting a .179 BAA. He's got experience and toughness and I can see him playing the role of Billy Wagner for the 2010 Sox.
Bottom Line: Maybe giving LHP Dustin Richardson more responsibility and adding Michael Bowden to the pen will be enough, but I'd be willing to discuss a trade for the guys above. Hit up the comments section and make your arguments...
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