Gordon Edes, late of Yahoo! late of the Boston Globe and now writing for ESPN Boston doesn’t like Red Sox’ recent moves very much. He notes that the Sox don’t usually sign free agent pitchers to big deals. He outlines Lackey’s health history, making what seems like a more aggressive case for Lackey as an injury risk than I’ve seen from anyone else.
Edes’ takeaways: (a) the Red Sox have money to burn and feel that Lackey’s worth the risk; (b) the Sox were kind of improvising here, having not initially planned to go after Lackey but calling the audible once the Bay negotiations hit an impasse; and (c) this could all be a long play to cover for the absence of Josh Beckett, who Edes thinks the Sox may allow to walk next year.
Finally, Edes doesn’t like the Cameron signing. While Buster Olney characterizes it and a potential Adrian Beltre signing as the Sox building “the second best pitching and defense team after the Mariners,” Edes simply worries about whether or not there will be enough pop in the Sox’ lineup. It’s a legitimate concern.
This doesn’t happen often, but the Sox’ moves yesterday were largely overshadowed by what went down in Lee-Halladay land. Are these moves as unpopular with Red Sox fans as they appear to be with Edes? Edes usually seems to be sensible about such things, but I feel like he’s being overly harsh here.
Jon Morosi reports that that the Detroit Tigers will make all veterans available via trade if they’re still under .500 by the end of June.
This was the position they entered the offseason with — everyone is available! — but they ended up gearing up for one more push with the core of veterans they currently employ. It was not a bad move, I don’t think. With the exception of the Indians, the AL Central is mostly down, or at least appeared to be over the winter, with the Royals in decline and the Twins and White Sox seemingly a few years away from contention. The Twins, however, have been fantastic and the Tigers have mostly underachieved.
So we’re back to this. Which veterans the Tigers can reasonably unload, however, is an open question. J.D. Martinez is in his walk year, so while tradable, he may not bring back a big return. Guys like Justin Upton, Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera either have very large contracts or no-trade protection.
The end of June is still a while from now, of course, and while the Tigers are under .500, they’re only 4.5 games behind the Twins. But they had better turn it around or else it sounds like the front office is going to turn the page.
As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.
The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.
Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.
Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.