American League East Roundtable: Boston Style

This is what you've all been waiting for. The American League East Roundtable featuring the Boston Red Sox. Enjoy.

New Red Sox 3B Mike Lowell snatches a ball during spring training.
Marc Normandin from BeyondTheBoxscore.com: Boston made a great number of moves this offseason. Name your favorite and least favorite of the moves, and explain why.

Scott Christ from CamdenChat.com:
My favorite, being unbiased, is adding Josh Beckett. Considering the money AJ Burnett got on the free agent market, Beckett was an absolute steal. I think their worst move was probably not getting something for Arroyo or Clement, but I believe that for the most part Boston had a nice offseason that a lot of people are reaching to call bad just because it was so tumultuous.

Mark Willis-O'Connor from BlueBirdBanter.com:
My favourite (by far) is the acquisition of Mark Loretta. Prior to last season, he was generally considered to be one of the best second basemen in the game. And now he'll move from pitching-friendly PETCO to Fenway Park. I think that's a bunch of value in return for a backup catcher. My least favourite move was trading away Andy Marte for Coco Crisp (other were involved, but those were the main two). It'll be interesting to see how Covelli adapts to playing CF.

Jacob Larsen from DRaysBay.com:
Favorite: Probably Coco Crisp. They weren't going to bite the bullet and get a non-existent power source in Joey Gathright. Coco Crisp is a very underrated player and will fit in very well in Boston. I figure that he'll stay and move to LF when Jacoby Ellsbury is ready. Worst: Josh Beckett. Great potential as a pitcher, but I don't believe that going to Boston will help him achieve that potential. He's yet to prove that his blister problem is gone and he's never surpassed 200 IP in a season yet. The only upsides I see in Beckett is that he's young and his girlfriend is/was LeeAnn Tweeden.

John Amato from PinstripeAlley.com:
Losing Damon was an awful move in my mind. He epitomized the new breed of Red Sox (winning) as much as he looked ridiculous in beard and long hair. Beckett was the key pick up because after what he did in the playoffs the year Florida won, he can easily become a major stud in the AL. Lowell was the money throw in, but could rebound and supply another big bat and excellent glove at third. I'm not sure how solid their bullpen is at this point.

Randy Booth from OverTheMonster.com:
My favorite move would be the Red Sox not trading Jon Lester or Jonathan Papelbon. I would say Coco Crisp would be the best move, but when we talk about moves, I think we talk about the actual trade. And that trade wasn't the greatest, losing Andy Marte who may be a stud for the next 10 years. Josh Beckett is an obvious choice, but I'm skeptical how well he'll do in the AL against the DH and better hitters. I know he'll do well, but I don't think he'll put up Roger Clemens-like numbers (not many can). He won't be average, but I don't think he'll be the best ...not yet at least. The worst move they made was letting Theo Epstein go in the first place. It had no effect on the team, as Theo was running the team behind the scenes, but it just added turmoil to the off-season; something we seemingly can't get rid of every year. Everything is well in Boston, though, and the AL East should be scared.

Camden Chat:
Coco Crisp will not only be a lot better than Johnny Damon around 2008 and beyond, he'll be better than Damon this season.

Bluebird Banter:
I agree.

Over The Monster:
Ditto.

Pinstripe Alley:
Now that's wishful thinking, but I'm only a Yankee fan. He hasn't had to face the media hysteria in Boston before. That magnifying glass can have an interesting effect on players especially when the slump happens. I like him as a player too.

Camden Chat:
That's true, but I think the fans are going to love him and the media will probably just pick up from there.

Over The Monster:
He loves playing under pressure, though. The guy will thrive in the atmosphere and in the love of the fans.

Bluebird Banter:
He's pretty marketable (I'm mostly basing that on his name).

Over The Monster:
I agree, but I think he has the better chance to survive than a guy like Jeremy Reed.

Bluebird Banter:
Yeah, I don't think most fans even know who Reed is. He'd have to impress upon arrival.

Beyond The Boxscore:
Who would you rather have: Boston's trio of pitching prospects (Papelbon, Lester, Hansen) or Arizona's three top hitting prospects (Quentin, Jackson, Drew)? This question inspired by Rob Neyer's recent posts at ESPN.com.

Camden Chat:
Having watched the Orioles attempt to pitch for the last decade or so, I'd take the pitching prospects and not think twice about it.

Bluebird Banter:
Based on limited knowledge about this, hitting prospects seem less likely to get hurt. But I think the team's needs should be taken into account as well. Interestingly, it seems like Boston has too many pitchers and Arizona has too many hitters. A 3-for-3 prospect swap, perhaps?

DRays Bay:
Though Arizona's Hitting Trio's stats are very, very park adjusted, I'd rather have the hitters over the pitchers. Also, I feel that one of Boston's pitcher will fall prey to the very volitile Fenway dimensions and the "TINSTAAPP" syndrome.

Over The Monster:
It feels good to have good, young players in the farm system. After saying that, I choose to have my boys Papelbon, Lester and Hansen rather than Quentin, Jackson and Drew. Why? Because pitching wins championships. And when you have arms like that, you're going to be in good shape. Hansen throws 97+ with a slider that can hit 90. And the movement on those pitches? It's like throwing a wiffle ball. Lester and Papelbon are in the same spot. Papelbon is more proven than either Hansen or Lester, but it won't be long before Hansen, Lester and Papelbon all are mainstays of the Red Sox pitching core.

Beyond the Boxscore:
What does everyone think of Mike Lowell's ability to contribute to the Red Sox this season?

Over The Monster:
I think Lowell will benefit from playing in Fenway and get back to the form he was in pre-2005. I think he'll create more runs than Bill Mueller, but I don't think Lowell will have the batting average that Mueller gave the Sox. He's going to have the stellar defense and the power. He'll be valuable.

DRays Bay:
Unless Lowell's bat is resurrected from the dead, he's as good as done as a consistent power hitter in MLB. He'll have his days where he looks like the powerhitter of old, but he'll have alot more "bad days" than good ones. I wonder what happened to cause this dropoff in production (sarcasm).

Camden Chat:
I like Lowell to bounce back some with the bat and be a fine third baseman, plus a positive guy to have on the team. The park will help and changing leagues can't really hurt. I figure something like .270/.350/.485, 20 homers or so.

Bluebird Banter:
Considering his age (32), it's more likely he'll continue his '05 form than play as if he were still in his prime. However, in that strong lineup, a resurgence is certainly possible.

Pinstripe Alley:
I think he's the dark horse. If he stays healthy he'll thrive there and hit 30 hr's behind Manny and Ortiz. That will be huge for Boston with Toronto so much improved. I hated him leaving the Yanks for the minor leaguers they got for him.

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