The return of the original Dirt Dog and more speculation that will likely be made irrelevant by tomorrow’s speculation

November 30th, 2006 → 12:12 pm @ // 14 Comments

It’s three weeks into the free agency season…and when all’s said and done, here’s what we know about the 2007 roster:

Curt Schilling will be a starting pitcher
Jason Varitek will be the catcher
David Ortiz will be the DH
Jonathan Papelbon will be on the roster

And that’s it. No joke: there are no other untouchables. Youk? Pedroia? Hansen? For the right deal, they could all go. Wily Mo and Coco? Make an offer. Mike Lowell? His $9 mil price tag might seem cheap in comparison to Juan Pierre’s deal, but he could be packing his bags, too.

There are some intriguing possibilities out there, though, at least one of which hasn’t been much discussed, and that’s the possibility that Trot Nixon ends up back in Boston on a one-year deal. Said possibility was raised by Peter Gammons — an unabashed Nixon fan and someone with more than his share of confidantes in the Red Sox front office — when Gammo said Nixon could still accept arbitration from the Sox and end up back in Boston on something akin to a one-year, $7 million deal. In a frenzied free agent market, it’s somewhat shocking how little interest there’s been in the original Dirt Dog: this is, after all, a guy who’s only 33 and had a .974 OPS in 2003. Of course, since then his power has pretty much gone out the window, and he seems more fragile than J.D. Drew…but shit, he still looks like he’d be a decent option for some team out there.

If Trot does end up back in Boston and if Manny does end up somewhere else and if the Sox do end up signing Julio Lugo and J.D. Drew and Matsuzaka — a whole mess of ifs, I know — we could be looking at something like this:

Tek – C
Youk – 1st
Pedroia – 2nd
Lowell – 3rd
Lugo – SS
WMP – left
J.D. Drew – right/center
Coco – right/center
Ortiz – DH

Trot – right/left supersub

Schilling — SP
Matsuzaka — SP
Beckett — SP
Papelbon — SP
Wakefield — SP

Of course, that’s not taking into account who’d come to Boston in return for #24. And that’s sure to be something spicy.

All pure speculation. But a lot better than some of the speculation out there. Like that of Steve Phillips, whose entire career on ESPN has been devoted to showing the world why he no longer has a job as a major league GM. He said — in public! — that Barry Bonds might end up patroling left field.

This makes perfect sense. Except that:
* Bonds has said the whole city of Boston is full of racist jerks and he’d never play here
* The Sox would be getting someone who’s arguably the only person in baseball who could be more of a distraction that Manny
* His barcalounger wouldn’t fit in the Sox’s clubhouse
* He’s a near-cripple
* He’d bring a circus at a time when Theo Epstein has shown a consistent interest in reducing the circus-like atmosphere at Fenway.

Tune in tomorrow, when Phillips explains why Nomar might be included in the Dodgers’ proposed deal for Manny.

There’s more smoke and mirrors in this Globe piece from Gordo, although it’s not Edes’s fault: he’s just reporting the disinformation coming from various MLB execs. But the explanations offered up for why Manny wouldn’t want to go to San Diego — he’s not familiar with NL pitchers, the big dimensions of Petco would be bad for his power numbers, the Padres wouldn’t want a $20 mil a year guy — seem pretty silly. It’s hard to conceive of Manny being afraid of any pitcher, anywhere. And anyone who’s seen him plant a ball on the pike knows he’s not too concerned with the dimensions of whatever field he ends up playing on.

Post Categories: 2006 Hot Stove Season & Daisuke Matsuzaka & Manny Ramirez & Peter Gammons & Steve Phillips & Trot Nixon

14 Comments → “The return of the original Dirt Dog and more speculation that will likely be made irrelevant by tomorrow’s speculation”

  1. cursemyreverse

    9 years ago

    Hey Seth,

    From what you’ve learned, what percentage of the leaks from “executives” and unnamed sources is probably strategic disinformation. And do reporters (especially in Boston) probably know its bullshit but report it anyway since they just need words at this time of year..?


  2. Mr. Furious

    9 years ago

    If Manny goes to SD, he will demand they pick up his options and/or extend him, so it will likely be his last contract. With a deal in hand, I doubt he’d be that worried about his stats suffering (as if they would). At this point in his career, his health will be a far greater factor on his production than changing leagues or park dimensions.


  3. rln2433

    9 years ago

    Boston reporters are a sadly uninformed lot who’s columns read like company spokesmen rather than sports reporters. They get used like cheap whores by the team’s front office to spread disinformation and hit pieces and yet they keep presenting themselves as being in the know.

    I think the Sox next year are going to suck come August/September. Last year’s team simply couldn’t hit for power outside of Manny/Ortiz, they struck out a lot and showed no plate discipline. Pitching is important no doubt but this team will have no pen and I expect to see stats like 30/55 in save opportunities by year end.


  4. miles44

    9 years ago

    Am I the only one who’s noticed Trot has a higher lifetime OPS than Soriano?


  5. Mannybeingmanny

    9 years ago

    I am constantly amazed that Steve Phillips is able to keep his job at ESPN. This guy can’t even get consideration for the Royals, D-Rays, or Nationals GM positions during the years since he left the Mets.

    Seems the folks in MLB know something that ESPn doesn’t. Did you see Karl Ravech’s reaction when Phillips first floated the Bonds rumour on the 6 pm Sportscenter yesterday. Ravech looked like he was choking.

    High comedy.


  6. gkershaw1105

    9 years ago

    Barry has always held a grudge against Boston. I believe around the ’99 All Star game, he said he would never come to Boston because it was a city of racists. That has a lot to with the Red Sox organization not allowing Willie Mays, his godfather, to try out for the team. Granted, the team does have a long history of racism, but I think 40 years is a long time for a grudge.


  7. egrasso10

    9 years ago

    Clement and Lester better in the bullpen or in the starting rotation in some capacity? what are the chances of Papelbon going back to the bullpen if Lester returns to be the great-lefty-hype that he can be?


  8. branatical

    9 years ago

    I think that offering arbitration to Trot in the 7 million range is not the worst thing in the world, especially in this market. Eventually, somone will come calling for him.

    I would suspect that teams are waiting to see whether the Sox will offer him arbitration then make their moves. We could get good value in return for him or keep him as you suggest as a super sub/defensive replacement for WMP and Coco (not sure if I see Coco playing right field though.) Trot still plays defense well and he still has the ability to get on base.

    We haven’t heard anything about Huff either (unless Olney talks about him in his new Insider article), another player who you would think would have a lot of value in this market. And what about Hinske, what’s the plan with him?

    If they trade Manny they need another power bat in that lineup. I don’t see any way around that really. I haven’t heard much about the possibility of getting Jones but I would think it’s an option considering he was available last year. Maybe one/some of the prospects we get in return for Manny could be used in a package that could include Hinske or Trot or Murphy or even WMP and Crisp. To me that makes sense. Get Jones, lock him in to a long term deal wave good bye to Manny, we loved ya, but you didn’t love us…so piss off!

    Then an ideal lineup could look something like this…

    Lugo – ss
    Crisp – lf
    Ortiz – dh
    Jones – cf
    Drew – rf
    Tek – c
    lowell – 3b
    youk – 1b
    pedroia – 2b

    Then you have one of these outfielders off the bench: WMP, Hinske, Trot and or Huff at 1b and you have a solid team.


  9. vintage

    9 years ago

    Rumours I’d like to hear:
    1) Sox brass responds to “don’t sign Drew” petition by pulling their $70 million offer for the pansy “slugger”.
    2) Sox looking to plug 2nd base hole by signing Ray Durham to a 2-year, $14M deal. Pedroia goes to SS where he belongs.
    3) Manny to be dealt to Dodgers for Matt Kemp & Jonathon Broxton.
    4) Sox turn attention to Jason Schmidt after Roger Clemens is named as Floyd Landis’ steroid “connection”.


  10. gmschmidty

    9 years ago

    It’s pretty amazing how much worse these hypothetical lineups look when anyone other than Manny Ramirez is hitting behind Ortiz. As I have made embarassingly clear in comments past, I am an unabashed Manny supporter. However, I don’t think I am being biased when I say NONE of the deals I have seen proposed make the Red Sox a better team for the forseeable future. You don’t trade a guy because he is a pain in the ass every once in a while…you trade a guy to get better. Show me the deal that makes the Sox better, and I will gladly say goodbye to one of the three best RHHs of this generation. Last I heard, Pujols and Carpenter are unavailable.


  11. shedmyskin

    9 years ago

    no offense, but I have quiestion your baseball knowledge when you list Crisp as a potential RF……My beer league softball team wouldn’t put that arm in RF. Its barely passable in CF. He is an idealy a LF’er with his throwing arm.


  12. bguth3

    9 years ago

    Seth a couple of quick notes: There is a reason why nobody is biting at Boston’s original Dirt Dog. He just isn’t worth the money. Now I know that he has plenty of fans in Boston and believe me when I say I’m a hugs Sox fan but 8 mil for a guy who has lost his juice at the bat, can’t hit lefties, and just has a hard time staying healthy seems plain crazy.

    My second thought is with all of this Manny trade talk I’m amazed that the name Tejada hasn’t been thrown around. He is one of the best in the game and would make a gret complement to Ortiz hitting out of the three spot or if they were reversed. Not sure why the Sox are so stuck on Lugo.

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