A Trade Begats A Trade Begats A Trade

The Red Sox were involved in a flurry of trades today, all reacting in another trade by the receiving team. As has been planned for days, righthander Chad Bradford was acquired from the Oakland Athletics’ for Jay Payton. I cover Chad Bradford a lot more in-depth here, when this was just all speculation.
With Jay Payton becoming an Athletic, the question was now … Eric Byrnes, Bobby Kielty, Mark Kotsay, Jay Payton, or Nick Swisher? Five outfielders who deserve/want to start, so what to do? What to do? Well, the Athletics did a shocker today (at least to me, because this could be a trade Beane didn’t actually win) and traded OF Eric Byrnes to the Rockies for SP Joe Kennedy, as I had called days earlier. However, I had felt that the Rockies would include a minor leaguer just to get the deal done, but the Athletics were the one who included the minor leaguer, and the Rockies added in RP Jay Witasick. While Dan over at Up in the Rockies may miss “The Sickness” it is quite evident that Jay Witasick (career) is what he is – a journeyman who has caught lightning in a bottle and is by no means destined to complete it. The bullpen for the Athletics was more than capable of doing damage, but it sounds like Beane wanted an even better pen. Joe Kennedy and Jay Witasick should overtake Ron Flores’ and Ryan Glynn’s spot in the bullpen, giving them one heck of a bullpen plus the promise of Joe Kennedy from 2004 re-emerging after escaping Coors Field.
If Kirk Saarloos stumbles in the rotation, Joe Kennedy could step in and shore up the pitching staff. With this trade, the Athletics have a potential pitching juggernaut this year… but still, Joe Kennedy has been horrendous this year and Jay Witasick is a career journeyman.
So the Athletics gave up Eric Byrnes, who Red Sox Nation is not fond of, and I think will take to Coors Field quite nicely. Even though we dislike him, he has the talent in Colorado to turn into a cleanup hitter. He will benefit quite well from Coors and is the right person to get for Colorado, an outfielder with speed who can cover the gaps in the outfield and with his doubles power, some can catch the gaps and some can get carried out of the park.
The Rockies also get their probable second baseman next year. Aaron Miles is not the answer at 2B, and while Omar Quintanilla is not having that good of a season this year, he still has the talent there (as shown by his career totals thus far) and what he’s hitting now is what Miles hits in the majors. Quintanilla could be a more than serviceable second baseman for the Rockies for at least the next six years.
So what did the Red Sox get? A middle reliever to help solve their beleaguered bullpen, who, incidentally is excellent v. RHP which takes Bronson Arroyo’s possible (and no longer probable) role in the bullpen away. So now Arroyo would be misused as the longman, which means Wade Miller could be the one earmarked for the bullpen now! The Athletics get a cranky outfielder who, attitude aside, should give the A’s more offense than Byrnes had. That’s all well and good, but they recieved a journeyman reliever and horrendous starter (although I will say he has the possibility to be a very good lefty, to take over for Barry Zito) and the Rockies recieved a potential clean-up hitter and future starting second baseman.
The Rockies continued their streak of luck, dumping Preston Wilson on the Washington Nationals. Now, I think this move make sense for the Nationals for it gets them a better defensive outfielder than what they were currently utilizing and Preston’s added power can add a bit of punch to their lineup. It makes sense, but it makes a whole hell of a lot more sense for the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies recieved Zach Day (who is a groundball pitcher, which the Rockies need), who is esssentially Joe Kennedy but a righty (both on previous success and current disasters) and JJ Davis, a toolsy outfielder who actually reminds me of Preston Wilson (if he’d only get the playing time), plus either cash or a player to be named later. Not a bad haul at all.
That brings me to the rest of the Red Sox happenings today. Scott Cassidy was outrighted straight to Pawtucket, which means every other team had no interest in Cassidy. (Surprise.) That opened up a roster spot for Chad Bradford, and then they demoted Kevin Youkilis to AAA Pawtucket and activated Curt Schilling.
Some have theorized that the demotion of Youkilis assures that Millar will remain, for if Millar was on the way out, Youkilis would have stayed up. You know, I’m not so sure about that. But first let’s concentrate on Schilling. We now have twelve pitchers, which we should have, based on the bullpen struggles and even on the fact that we now have two relievers returning from injury – one who needs to settle in on a new team, one who needs to get used to relief. It makes perfect sense (although I hate 12 pitchers) to carry 12 pitchers.
There is also rumors abounding about Chad Qualls moving to Boston from Houston for Kevin Millar, which I mentioned earlier in the week to friends and which I first saw at this location. I am very for this trade, and while Houston would benefit in that it would give them more offense and allow Berkman to push back to left field, it would also be a dream for the Red Sox.
It accomplishes two things. One, it gets Chad Qualls. Always a good thing to get a reliever of that caliber. Two, it gets rid of Kevin Millar. Now, while some (including I) may mourn the trade much like we mourned the Nomar trade, we will move on. There have been too many rumblings that people such as Kevin Millar and Johnny Damon have adopted a “me-first” attitude, that they should be bowed down to for their accomplishments last year. Truthful or not, most rumors are rooted in truth.
This allows AAA Barry Bonds to arrive on the Red Sox. Not the real Barry Bonds, which would be one hell of a coup, but AAA Barry Bonds, as in the man hitting just like Barry Bonds in Triple-A, Roberto Petagine. So sending down Kevin Youkilis makes perfect sense when you realize that it would be Petagine coming up. As for Qualls coming in, that would be yet another pitcher needing to adjust to new surroundings. Add in the woes of the bullpen, Bradford and Schilling, it makes sense to stay at twelve pitchers. If Qualls came in (who gets lefties out at a career clip of .232 Batting Average Against and 1.17 as opposed to .311 and 1.41 against righties) it could push out John Halama (a low-risk, high-reward experiment that failed) or Alan Embree. Not many better things have happened in Soxland.
One last note:
Cine King Studios, an independent movie production company from Essex, MA, will be in Beverly on July 28, to promote the late summer release of its Red Sox fan documentary. You are cordially invited to come and view a portion of the
movie, enjoy music and refreshments, and be interviewed for the documentary. Whether you wish to be interviewed or just enjoy a night with fellow Red Sox fans, come on down. If you have any photos you

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