Wednesday, December 15, 2004


Well, that didn't take long, huh? About 24 hours after Pedro bolted for the warmth of Queens and the architectural beauty that is Shea Stadium, Theo took the $40 Million that had been earmarked for pitching and redirected it.

Edgar Renteria is a good shortstop, and from all accounts will fit in well with the Red Sox. While defense is difficult to quantify, it certainly looks like Edgar knows what he's doing to the left of second base. As for hitting, well he's a couple steps above the lovable Orlando Cabera.

Renteria doesn't have much power, but seems to be a selective hitter (over 4 pitches per at-bat on average last year, which is way above league average) who probably will bounce some doubles off the monster in the next four years. Also, he gets on base at almost a .350 clip, which is good.

Theo might have overpaid a little bit, but theres little doubt that the Sox GM paid market price for a 29 year old all-star shortstop. The signing of Edgar does three things. 1) It spends all the money that was saved after Pedro headed south, 2) it fixes the Red Sox at shortstop for the next three years, and 3) it sets up both Hanley Ramirez and Dustin Pedroia as trading chips which can be used towards getting some more of that precious pitching.

The one question that this deal poses for me: does this signing hinder the Red Sox pursuit of more starting pitching? I doubt that it does. I keep hearing AJ Burnett and Matt Clement's names bandied about. (always wanted to write 'bandied about', though now that i've done it it's quite a letdown.) While neither of those is likely a replacement for PEDRO, they are certainly a decent replacement for Pedro, our former #2 pitcher.

The Sox will never be able to get another Pedro circa 1999, but if Theo can come up with someone who can suitably replicate Pedro's 2004 stats then the Sox should be set for the '05 season.

If I were Theo, I'd make a run at trading for Burnett, but I'd keep Arroyo out of the deal. It won't do the Red Sox much good to pick up a starting pitcher if they have to get rid of one at the same time. If it isn't doable, then grab Clement. Not that it's that easy, but if you want to defend the World Series title, then we're gonna need another pitcher. Unfortunately it's that simple.

Good job with Edgar, Theo. Now get back to work.

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