Monday, January 29, 2007


There's rumors flying around The Nation about the Red Sox acquiring Todd Helton in a trade. This isn't the first time that Helton and the Sox have been rumored to be involved together. But I kind of hope it is the last.

I'm failing to see why the Sox would want to do a deal for Helton.

1. I think we're pretty much set at first base and offensively. Our biggest question marks are in the outfield, not at first-base. Youkilis had a good first full season in 2006, offensively and defensively. He's not going to make any All-Star teams, but he'll be solid enough. First base is not a hole on this team. And let's say Youk gets hurt or something, Ortiz can play there.

2. Todd Helton is a decent hitter that seems much better thanks to Coors Field. Over the past 3 seasons, Helton's numbers are much better at home as opposed to away. He has a .469 OBP at home, .409 away. .353 batting average at home, .293 away. Looking at the power numbers, one can see that he benefits a great deal from the lack of atmosphere at Coors Field. 42 homers in Denver, 25 away from home. 119 extra basehits at Coors, 91 away. .613 slugging at home, .473 away. 1.082 OPS at home, .882 away. Don't get me wrong, he isn't a bad hitter in general, he's good. But Coors makes him seem great.

3. He isn't as good as he used to be. Over the past 4 seasons, his average, OBP, slugging, HR, and RBI have all gone down lower and lower each year. He's 33 years old and not getting any younger.

4. His salary is way too high. He got $16.6 million last year. Even if Colorado paid half of this, I'd still think that $8 million a season was too much for him. This would be a 5 year commitment, too. That's just too much.

So why would we be willing to pay a large amount of money, give up any prospects, for a player who is on a 3 year down-swing, who hits much better at Coors Field than away from it when we already have a good first baseman and really don't have any glaring offensive holes?

I don't know. Hopefully this is all speculative rumor-mill stuff concocted by bloggers like me, and bored Boston sportswriters who are scrambling to write Sox material after being forced to scrap their typical Patriots Super Bowl bye week stuff.

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