This is the calm before the storm. 24 hours from now, a trail of scorched earth motherfucker might line the path to and fro the Phillies’ dugout. Anyone can be traded. Cliff Lee is the flavor of the hour, and bow tie man himself, little baby Ken Rosenthal, says the Red Sox should trade their top prospect, Xander Bogaerts, for him:
The Sox boast the sixth-best farm system in the majors, according to Baseball America. They’re in a dogfight with the Rays and Orioles in the AL East. Lee, 34, could prove the difference in that race, and potentially in the postseason as well.
Because, according to sources, the Red Sox are the team most active in discussions with the Phillies heading toward the non-waiver deadline at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday.
Of course such a trade would be painful for Boston; Bogaerts, 20, indeed looks like the real thing. The Sox, in fact, regard him perhaps even more highly than they did Ramirez in Nov. 2005. Ramirez, even in his youth, sparked makeup questions. Bogaerts, a native of Aruba, speaks four languages, “lights up a room,” according to Farrell.
The kid is wonderful. The kids are always wonderful. But winning a World Series is wonderful, too – yes, even more wonderful than rising to the top of Baseball America’s organizational talent rankings.
The Sox won’t do it. They should.
Yep. He wrote an entire column based on something he doesn’t think will happen. Welcome to the world of forced content thanks to corporate overlords who demand advertising revenue, a model perfected by CSN.
Rosenthal’s opinion is in direct contrast with what Mike Salk of WEEI (Boston) thinks. He said the Red Sox should call up Bogaerts:
That said, the Sox need an offensive spark, and Bogaerts could provide it.
At age 20, Bogaerts is ahead of the curve. According to Baseball America, he was the top prospect in the organization coming into the season, and he’s done nothing to dishonor that distinction. After crushing Double-A pitching at Portland (to the tune of a .909 OPS with six home runs in 56 games), he has torn up Triple-A well. He’s hit eight home runs for the PawSox in just 40 games, while getting on base at a .377 clip.
“He has a short swing that can handle fastballs inside,” explained a clearly impressed Ryan Rowland-Smith, his Pawtucket teammate who has spent parts of four seasons pitching in the majors. “Most good major league hitters can hit that inside heater, whereas the majority of Triple-A guys get jammed or roll over on it. Bogaerts stays inside that pitch and can hammer it.”
I just came reading Bogaerts’ AA OPS. I don’t think the Phillies should trade Lee if they believe they have any chance of competing between now and 2015 (which is totally possible). But getting a top-flight – near can’t miss – prospect like Bogaerts (can we call him HUMPHREY?!) should be the only reason they’d even consider it.
For what it’s worth, Charlie Manuel told 94 WIP today: “I think [Lee's] here [at 4 tomorrow].”
UPDATE: As Rosenthal said, the Red Sox appear unwilling to trade Bogaerts. From John Tomase of the Boston Herald:
The odds of Cliff Lee joining the Red Sox remain remote, but the viability of any potential deal has come down to this – whether the Phillies or Red Sox will blink over Xander Bogaerts.
Industry sources familiar with the thinking of both teams make it clear that even if it’s a longshot, there’s theoretically a deal to be made that will bring the All-Star left-hander to Boston, but it will require concessions on both sides that are currently proving too much of an impediment.
P p p p p oker face.
Xander Bogaerts is not being traded, period
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) July 30, 2013