According to the Providence Journal's Sean McAdam the Red Sox have had internal discussions about obtaining the Oakland A's, Joe Blanton. The deal being discussed would package disgruntled centerfielder Coco Crisp and a top prospect for the defacto ace.
It is an interesting idea, and there actually could be something to this. Despite the recent development that Curt Schilling might not be able to pitch at all this season, the Red Sox rotation seems pretty well set with Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Tim Wakefield, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholds. However, after the top 2 the rest are a bit questionable.
Wakefield, battled injury last season and claims he is healthy going into the 2008 season and seems enthusiastic about sticking around to get to 200 wins, or top Roger Clemens as the winningest pitcher in Red Sox history. Do not forget, Wakefield missed the World Series last season with a bum shoulder, and it seems odd that a knuckleballer would have to battle an injury like that, making his health questionable going into the 2008 season.
Lester and Buccholds are young guns, with great stuff, who are both capable of putting up stellar numbers over the course of a long season. Of course, as I said, they are young and generally young pitchers have difficulty staying healthy and not breaking down over the course of along season.
The Red Sox would have to pay a decent chunk of Crisp's salary to get a deal like this completed, but it could make sense for both teams. Blanton can eat up innings and would be a solid, stabilizing force in the back end of the Sox rotation. The deal would further the Red Sox as the preseason favorite to repeat as World Series champs.
The A's are clearly in rebuilding mode and could use a steady player to patrol the vast centerfield of McAfee Coliseum. Crisp has become expendable thanks to the emergence of Jacoby Ellsbury, but the real value fo the A's wold be in obtaining a top level prospect from the Sox should this deal happen.
Blanton's value would remain about the same. Sure, he is going to a much better team, but he is also going to a much smaller ball park, in a much better hitting division. He could eek out 15 or so wins, just doing what he does, and keeping his team in ball games.
The fact that this rumor is out there is also a clear indication that you should go into your draft confident about being to draft Ellsbury and not have to worry about his playing time. Ellsbury can hit for average, and steal a base. Look for his power to develo a bit also as his playing time increases.
Coco Crisp, is good for one thing, stolen bases. The A's style of playing ball, does not mesh with his strength, making Crisp essentially useless for fantasy. Let the moron who thinks "Coco Crisp" is a funny name draft him.