Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Back From the Brink

Like other Sox fans, I've recently suffered from a major dose of discouragement. But the way David Wells has performed this month (one of the few Sox players to play well, if at all) has brightened things up a bit for the Sox. He is now in line to be traded and the buyer appears to be the Padres, for a AAA catcher named George Kottaras. I'm sure Bosox West will be writing plenty about this soon, but I wanted to get my thoughts out there.

Look, 2006 is done. The Sox are making the right move here. Wells is not going to be playing for the Sox next year, so why not get something in return for him. His price is as high now as it's ever been due to the pitching market (Ramon Ortiz, anyone?), how he's performed this month, and the fact that he's a veteran with a ton of postseason experience.

Kottaras, a Greek-Canadian catcher, has progressed nicely at every minor league stop. His OPS has been over .800 at each level (his lowest is currently at AAA, where it's a very respectable .788 in just 18 games) and his OBP hovers right around .400, which is gold. The big knock on him is that he strikes out a lot, but the frequency with which he reaches base negates that and then some. He had 36 doubles last year at AA and 19 in just about a half season this year before being called up to AAA 6 weeks ago.

So why would the Sox want a catcher if they have Jason Varitek for 2 more years? Well, they'll need a backup for Varitek at some point and then someone to replace their Captain after 2008. They likely won't resign Varitek at that age when his contract is up. Kottaras is only 23 years old and could be the catcher of their future. He hit a double and a homer in the Futures Game this summer and is considered the second-best prospect in the Padres organization by Baseball America.

This sounds like a great deal right now, helping the Sox get younger while still maintaining their core. So, while this season's walls are crashing down around you, keep in mind that there is a bright future. I just hope they don't need to include any of their future in this trade.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That light at the end of the tunnel.... it is not the sun.