Monday, January 29, 2007


So here's what the Rockies want in exchange for Todd Helton:third-baseman Mike Lowell, pitcher Julian Tavarez, prospects Manny Delcarmen, and Craig Hansen.

This is entirely too much to give up for Helton. First of all, I'd rather have Lowell as opposed to Helton. Lowell is getting paid $7M less this season, has proven he can hit in Fenway Park, has similar numbers to Helton (Helton has a big edge in OBP, but Helton also hits at Coors), and we're only tied to him for 2007. Helton would be on our payroll until at least 2011, and then in 2012, it will be either $4.6M to buy out his contract, or over $23M to keep him for another year.

Then we'd have to include Tavarez, whose versatility could come in handy in the ever growing question mark that is our bullpen, and two young pitchers. You know, you can never EVER have enough pitching in this league. To give up two young pitchers, along with a solid hitter, and a decent reliever/spot-starter for an over the hill, expensive ex-slugger is just stupid.

In lieu of running for Senator in 2008, Curt Schilling would like to continue pitching. His contract with the Sox expires at the end of the 2007 season, and Curt says he wants an extension. And he wants it now.

You know, I love Curt, he was a big part of the 2004 team, and I'd love to see him finish his career in a Sox uniform. But he turned 40 last November. He'll be 41 for the 2008 season. He did have a solid 2006 season with 204 innings of 3.97 ERA work, but I think he needs to have a bit more patience here. He as yet to throw a single meaningful pitch this year and he already wants us to extend his contract? For how much, exactly? He got $13M last year. Will he be worth that much in '08? How the hell can anyone tell?

I think perhaps a tentative contract with incentives might be a good thing to keep Curt happy. But let's say he only goes 150 innings this year with a 4.00 ERA, should we really re-sign him if we have better options for pitchers? Would he be willing to work out of the pen in his final year?

Curt really sprang this one on the Sox at a really awkward time. I could understand wanting this done after a nice April, or even a good Spring Training. But now? C'mon, Curt. Just pitch.


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.