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Epstein and Trades

Postby walkoffblast » Thu Jul 23, 2009 6:18 pm

So the red sox make two moves. The same type of moves Theo has been using to win ever since he has been running the team. Now the interesting part is not so much what he does do as what he does not do, which is trade top prospects for top players. Now the question is do the red sox have a team that just needs his patented tweaks or do they need that big move? Even more interesting is how good is Epstein at making big moves?

Recently we had stuff like this http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/07/d ... stein.html resurfacing again. When you look at Theo's history he basically has never acquired anyone with a big name that was not Schilling (and schilling was basically a gimee; they got bay last year but manny forced their hand). As some of you will recall the Hanley-Beckett swap essentially occurred while he was not with the team and has been an integral part of there success. There are plenty of legitimate questions about how Epstein has fared in his larger free agent signings (although I think he gets a bad rap on the JD drew signing, look at fangraphs values and I see one terrible year, a year where he outperformed his salary and this year which is looking about neutral).

So two questions, where does this interesting dialectic place Theo on your GM list and is he the right guy to have at the switch right now if you are a Sox fan? A team that is solid as usual but overflowing with prospects and floundering a little bit as of late maybe lacking that one more player to put the team over the top ever since they missed Teixeira.
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Re: Epstein and Trades

Postby JMB05 » Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:21 pm

You want an honest opinion? He is just a marginal GM. With the supporting cast and sheer amount he can spend he has been hit and miss on his deals.

Writing off the Drew deal is really just short sighted. But if we must give a pass on that, then how about the Lugo deal? How about the Renteria deal?

The reality is he has been good, but I would venture not the best the Red Sox can do.
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Re: Epstein and Trades

Postby rookies and cream » Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:59 pm

While Theo hasn't been great with trades or FA signings, he and his staff have done a tremendous job with drafting.

2002 - Jon Lester
2003 - Jonathan Papelpon
2004 - Dustin Pedroia
2005 - Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz, Michael Bowden, Jed Lowrie
2006 - Daniel Bard, Justin Masterson, Lars Anderson
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Re: Epstein and Trades

Postby walkoffblast » Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:33 am

I would not say he has been bad on trades. He usually makes smaller deals so they cannot be too bad no matter what. One thing I was getting at is that he basically never has made one of those high profile deals aside from the schilling deal. He seems to be above average at almost everything except the really big move. So its an interesting question. Would you rather you GM do really well in big deals and hit and miss on the smaller stuff or vice versa. I think for a big market team what Theo does might be the better choice because you can weather the storm and operate knowing that ahead of time while all the small stuff really gives you the risk taking advantage. To me you have to look relatively. Lugo looks like a bigger mistake than he was because of the high payroll team thats like making a mistake on a 5 mil a year guy for some of these guys people will say are better GM's. How many times do we have to prove that payroll is only a part, at best, of what makes a winner?
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Re: Epstein and Trades

Postby jake_twothousandfive » Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:47 am

I think "rookies and cream" nailed it. The Red Sox draft picks have been excellent with Epstein. However, his signings and trades have been mediocre at best.
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Re: Epstein and Trades

Postby Bloody Sox » Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:56 am

Yeah, Theo has done a phenomenal job with the scouting department and drafting talent. He's done fine in the trading department as well - no blockbusters, but that's a function of him not trading away the farm for short-sighted goals. But the free agent signings have been atrocious. The Drew and Lugo signings were unbelievably bad from Day 1, and have only managed to get worse over time. They made absolutely no sense, since neither guy had done anything to justify those dollars. And even worse, the stupid Drew deal is making it tough to sign Bay since that contract is being used as a benchmark by Bay's agent (IMO). And thanks for reminding me about Renteria - that one at least looked good on paper to begin with. Surprised no one has mentioned Dice-K yet...

On the whole, I'd give Theo a "B".
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Re: Epstein and Trades

Postby KCollins1304 » Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:14 am

Bloody Sox wrote:Yeah, Theo has done a phenomenal job with the scouting department and drafting talent. He's done fine in the trading department as well - no blockbusters, but that's a function of him not trading away the farm for short-sighted goals. But the free agent signings have been atrocious. The Drew and Lugo signings were unbelievably bad from Day 1, and have only managed to get worse over time. They made absolutely no sense, since neither guy had done anything to justify those dollars. And even worse, the stupid Drew deal is making it tough to sign Bay since that contract is being used as a benchmark by Bay's agent (IMO). And thanks for reminding me about Renteria - that one at least looked good on paper to begin with. Surprised no one has mentioned Dice-K yet...

On the whole, I'd give Theo a "B".


That's a pretty sound analysis.

Prospect development: A (Youkilis, Ellsbury, Pedroia, Papelbon, Lester, Buchholz)
Free Agency: C- (Drew, Dice-K, Lugo, Renteria have not worked out, he gets a big plus from landing Ortiz though)
Trades: C (He really hasn't made that many trades. The Manny trade was a net loss for me when they had to pay Manny and Bay last season plus lose Hansen and Moss, but he made the best of what he had. He gave up Arroyo for WMP who was a decent inning eater, though not a major loss. He has mostly traded role players other than that. It makes me wonder how much he really values his prospects vs. how gun shy he is to roll the dice on trading prospects for a big name player. They're busting at the seams with pitching prospects that they don't have room for, but he seems afraid to trade them for an impact player like V-Mart or A-Gon.)

Overall: Solid B/B+ (He's done so well with developing that it has offset a lack of trades and lackluster FA signings and then some. You can't argue with 2 WS in his 6 fulls seasons.)
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Re: Epstein and Trades

Postby walkoffblast » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:02 pm

It makes me wonder how much he really values his prospects vs. how gun shy he is to roll the dice on trading prospects for a big name player. They're busting at the seams with pitching prospects that they don't have room for, but he seems afraid to trade them for an impact player like V-Mart or A-Gon.)


This is what I was wondering how people felt about. To be fair until arguably now he has had no reason to make such a deal beacuse they are risky and the team was not prospect heavy or in need.

To defend him people are clearly placing too high a value on what has happened recently and what the media says. Understanding the Drew deal is understanding the difference between being a little overpaid for what he does (although not last year) and being a total disaster (which it obviously is not). As far as signings unless you only judge the big ones then people seem to be forgetting he basically put together the first red sox championship team of many peoples lifetimes drawing heavily on other teams castoffs. If the only way to be good at signings is to make big money ones look good then maybe but to me thats half the equation at best.

On trades someone needs to give him some credit for the schilling deal besides me. As far as matsuzaka goes I am not sure why people are writing him off because he got injured and stuff this year. It seems like no one can get past the signing bonus, which obvious had some emphasis on the teams japanese market that seems to be succesful if people like tazawa think the red sox are the team to develop japanese pitchers. Even with adding in a reasonable portion of the signing bonus, using fangraphs again Dice-k was worth the money the first two years he played for the team.

Maybe the most important thing that gets overlooked is that no matter how he is doing it in six seasons only one team won less that 95 games.
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