Hi everybody, my potential trade will be with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Pirates get: Kolbrin Vitek and Felix Doubront
Why the Red Sox Should Do This: The Red Sox' pitching needs are well documented and to pick up a guy like Morton as a #4 or 5 starter would be fantastic. Morton had a very good year in 2011, after switching up his windup in the offseason. The windup switch could potentially ensure that this change for the best may be permanent as there may be more than just luck behind it. Morton's pitching line in 2011 was 3.83/3.77/4.08 which compares favorably to his career line of 5.11/4.39/4.35. However, his strikeout rate of 5.77 dropped from his career average of 5.94 and his walk rate raised from 3.91 to 4.04. There are certainly concerns-- mainly the walk rate in my mind, however, I do get the feeling that this is more than luck. His BABIP was exactly on line with his career average of .320 and his home run rate dropped from 0.79 to a stellar 0.31 this past year. Morton would complete their rotation and actually make one of the most formidable rotations in baseball.
Why the Pirates Should Do This: If the Pirates were to give up a guy like Morton-- who could become a stud one day, they would want at least a pitcher in return. In Doubront, the Red Sox would be giving them a guy who could start the season in the Pirates rotation if he's healthy. Doubront effectively missed a year of development in 2011, as he was injured all season long. However, in AAA, he put together a 4.22 ERA and 4.51 FIP after going 3.16/3.34 the previous year. In both 2010 and 2011, he cracked the major leagues, putting together a career 4.84/4.51/4.49 pitching line as well as 7.39 K/9 and 4.58 BB/9. Doubront ranks 13th among Red Sox prospects on Sox Prospects. The Red Sox have a glut of third base prospects, what with Will Middlebrooks, Garin Cecchini, and Kolbrin Vitek. Of these, the least impressive in 2011 was Vitek. Vitek posted a fairly unimpressive .281/.350/.372 line, but there is still hope. He is just 22, and was the Red Sox' 1st round draft pick in 2010-- higher than Cecchini, who was taken in the same draft. This means he definitely has the tools to be a good third baseman, and if highly-touted third base prospect Pedro Alvarez doesn't work out for the Pirates, Vitek would be another option. Also, while I think he will, the Pirates don't know if Morton will post numbers anywhere near what he did last year ever again so they could sell high now.
Thanks for reading!