Manny, etc.



Looks like Sox/Mets deal involving Manny is heating up again. Let's
assume for the sake of discussion that the Sox *will* trade Manny. So
this isn't a referendum on whether we *want* them to trade him (I'd
vote to keep him at this point). But let's think it through.

Sox trade Manny + 6 mil in cash ($2 mil each of the next 3 years to
defray some of the cost) to NY and receive back: Milledge, Heilman,
and a 3rd player. It would probably have to be Floyd. The problem
with this, of course, is that, while Floyd is pretty decent (34 hr, 98
rbi last year), he's left-handed, and thus, doesn't provide the kind of
protection for Ortiz that you'd like. The plus is that he's in the
last year of his contract and makes $6.5 mil this year. So he's not
too expensive.

But what then? You can't just have Floyd in at LF and be done.
There's still 1b and CF to work out, and Floyd/Ortiz are a left handed
combo. Need a righty in there instead. What do they do at this point?
Heilman gives them another very good bullpen arm, and Milledge
suddenly becomes the CF of the future. I see Boston needing a CF for
'06, a RH power-hitting corner OF, and a very good LH hitting 1b.

Then you do Wells to SD for Otsuka and Roberts. Seems to be what
everyone expects. Roberts promptly becomes the starting CF. Not
nearly as good as Damon, but good enough to hold down the fort until
Milledge is ready, probably (hopefully) in '07. Otsuka is another
excellent bullpen arm.

The roster is now this:

C - Varitek, Shoppach
1b - ??
2b - Cora
3b - Lowell, Youkilis
SS - Renteria
LF - Floyd
CF - Roberts (Milledge in the wings)
RF - Nixon
DH - Ortiz

SP - Schilling, Beckett, Clement, Wakefield, Arroyo, Papelbon (that's
6)
RP - Otsuka, Heilman, Timlin, Delcarmen, Mota, Foulke (Hansen??)

That's a solid rotation and a very good bullpen. But I think the
lineup has problems: (a) not enough pop replacing Manny, (b) too many
LH hitters, and (c) no 1b.

Financially, the Sox are way better off, with Damon's $$ gone (about
$8.5 mil/year) and the difference between Manny and Floyd being about
$11 mil, including the $2 mil/year Boston assumes). That's $19.5
million available to go hard after Konerko. Blow him away - 3 years,
$36 million. Overpay if you have to. That still leaves you with $6.5
million left to spend. Now the lineup is:

C - Varitek, Shoppach
1b - Konerko
2b - Cora
3b - Lowell, Youkilis
SS - Renteria
LF - Floyd
CF - Roberts (Milledge in the wings)
RF - Nixon
DH - Ortiz

SP - Schilling, Beckett, Clement, Wakefield, Arroyo, Papelbon (that's
6)
RP - Otsuka, Heilman, Timlin, Delcarmen, Mota, Foulke (Hansen??)

The batting order, at this point, could look like:

CF Roberts
SS Renteria (don't love him in the 2 spot, but there isn't a better
option, really)
DH Ortiz
1b Konerko
LF Floyd
C Varitek
RF Nixon
3b Lowell
2b Cora

That's a very good lineup. If Lowell sucks, bench him and plug
Youkilis in there. If Lowell rebounds and becomes a 25 hr, 85 rbi guy,
then this lineup becomes unbelievable. Plus, it's better defensively,
and the pitching staff is better.

If you trade Lowell, I don't know what you're going to get.

John

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