It’s official – Boston has given up on catching the Yankees. The Red Sox acquired shortstop Alex Gonzalez from Cincinnati for minor leaguer Kris Negron. Let’s look at what Boston is getting. Three years ago, Gonzalez was a below average hitter (4.2 runs per 27 outs) and a below average fielder (7.6 plays less than the average shortstop per 800 balls in play). He played a little better in Cincinnati – slightly above average as a hitter, but still below average as a fielder (-2.3). Then, he missed all of 2008 with an injury. So – if you were expecting Gonzalez to perform any better than, say, 2006, you were extremely optimistic.
For 2009, Gonzalez is hitting all of .213 – which, admittedly, is better than Nick Green has hit since June, but not going to keep up with the Yankees. Julio Lugo was a better option, but he was given up for lost (and then given up for a AAA outfielder in Chris Duncan). A lot of moves are made in desperation – and this was definitely one of them. Certainly Jack Wilson would have been a better option, but apparently Pittsburgh must have wanted too much.
John Smoltz isn’t going to retire – though his contract may make it difficult for Boston to deal the veteran pitcher. So, look for Boston to release Smoltz, and then a small bidding war between four or five teams looking for extra bullpen arms. [FoxSports]
Let’s talk surgery. Erik Bedard’s was a success, and he looks to a return for spring training, though what team’s spring training is up in the air. Bedard’s contract is up, and the Mariners can either (a) exercise an option, (b) resign him through arbitration or contract negotiations, or (c) let him go as a free agent, though possibly without future considerations given Bedard’s lack of playing time due to injuries since he arrived in Seattle. [FoxSports]
Another pitcher looking forward to the knife is San Diego’s Chris Young, who has scheduled his surgery for Monday. Young’s season was over, and he could have tried rest and rehab, or a minor operation and rehab. So – bring on the knife. [MLB]
The Rangers got Ian Kinsler back from the DL, but lost Nelson Cruz to the same list… Cruz sprained his ankle against Oakland more than a week ago and it’s healing slowly. [FoxSports]
Yankee Alex Rodriguez sat out a game with a sore elbow (he was beaned squarely on the point of the elbow Wednesday night), but missed last night’s game with a sore back. He remains day-to-day… [SI]
Welcome Back! Tampa gets back side armed reliever Chad Bradford from the DL.
Hurry Back! Pittsburgh’s Jose Ascanio heads to the DL with shoulder tendinitis. White Sox infielder Chris Getz heads to the DL with a strained oblique.