Wednesday, September 1, 2010

MDC stands for Memories of a Damn Champion

The MDC era is over. Manny Delcarmen was traded unceremoniously to the Colorado Rockies for a pitching prospect yesterday as the Red Sox front office gave a JD-level effort of announcing it's over by jettisoning some of its more expendible talent, shedding a player with little value outside of Roxbury for someone who, honestly, I don't know much about.

Feel free to share your favorite memories of Delcarmen. There are plenty to choose from, as he's been a typical middle reliever since the time he was actually a prospect until the time he was heralded as a prospect by many despite being 28 years old and just flat out not that good. Maybe your favorite memory is giving up five straight hits. Maybe it's a balk. Maybe it's a bases loaded HBP or a 475-foot grand slam.

Or maybe you can cherry pick one month here or there (and to his credit, these happened at least once a year) and use it as an argument that he was more than just a typical middle reliever who just happens to be from the Boston area.

IN OTHER NEWS, the fact that Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre are the two players who are playing like they want to still win a baseball game here or there is probably no coincidence, as they are both going to be free agents at the end of the year. September is a job interview, and it is pretty well-established that the Red Sox will have to choose between one or the other.

Or just suck big time in negotiations and let both walk. I thought you were gonna ask me about that.

So if you had one, who would it be? Beltre or Victor? They're both 31. They both have leverage, albeit limited. And they can both be somewhat-replaced by various roster moves. Who would you pick?

Despite my love for the one-knee home run, and my faith in Jarrod Saltalamacchia, it's gotta be Martinez. It would be Youkilis at third, Martinez most likely at first, Salty behind the plate, and possibly either Ortiz (on a one year deal) or someone like Adam Dunn at DH. I'll even entertain the fact that the team might decide Adrian Gonzalez is worth both the posting fee of prospects and the free agent money. I've lost so much faith in their free agent negotiation skills that I have determined a trade's the only way they'll get him. Pay Martinez at a catcher-like rate (there's a lot of money coming off of the books) but save his legs. Or use him as a catcher if Saltalamacchia keeps going Jed Lowrie on us. Pay him as a catcher and maximize his offensive production.

The way I see it, Beltre will use this year to justify the "Safeco Field Sucks" argument and milk a team for way too much money and way too many years. He's thirty-one, just as Martinez is, but that guy has almost as much mileage on his legs as I do: He's been playing in the bigs since nineteen. It also saves the hassle of more Boras negotiations, and there will be some team that will pay Beltre more money than whatever Martinez gets as a free agent.

I predict that this will happen, and I also predict that thirty years from now, we'll see someone hit a home run off of one knee and have trouble remembering the guy who made doing that into an art form.

2 comments:

The GM said...

For the record, I understand that this is the prevailing ideology - most people would go for Victor over Beltre, especially seeing that Beltre drops off in any non-contract year. Martinez's hot streaks transcend to many ballparks and bring to the table all the elements Beltre has only inconsistently had over his career(i.e. average and eye).

Anonymous said...

DV

Agreed that Victor is the more consistent guy and the fact that he isn't represented by Scott Boras is probably what will ultimately lead him to a contract in Boston. Or at least it makes him less likely to leave than Beltre.

That said, Beltre does have his advantages over Martinez. First, he plays 3rd base, a position that he can play for the next 4-5 years, whereas there is serious doubt as to whether Martinez will be catching in the near future. More importantly however, is the fact that Beltre is a far, far superior defender. One of the best in the game. Beltre/Youk/whatever-DH-works could be a formidable trio if they can't bring back Martinez.

With all that in mind, I still think I'd rather have Martinez just because of the consistency and because I like his switch-hitting ability.

--the Gunn