I'm not reading this as snarky at all. I like to discuss the Red Sox. Lets.
We've established that Aceves isn't a closer but can have a role in a good bullpen. Why penalize him for being misused last season?
Hanrahan hasn't been much different than *insert middle reliever here*; he just happens to pitch for a bad team which allowed him to close, he accumulated saves in one great season and a couple average seasons, and now his value is sky high as a result.
The Red Sox are going to be paying the premium for a relief pitcher whose value is where it is on the trade market because he has saves, a statistic that should be irrelevant when evaluating a player.
Also, please clarify, what does a certified closer mean exactly? Did Bailey fall into this category last year?
I'm not ready to write off Sands. I understand that he wasn't in the plans, so I'm okay with him being the center piece of this deal for the reasons you state. But how is he not Rizzo? It's actually the perfect comparison if you've followed these two kids. Success in the PCL, eaten up by Dodger Stadium and Petco respectively, then traded for peanuts.
I mean certified in two ways: one, performance -- the numbers, all of which appear here and elsewhere on the board; but, mainly, as "commodity." That is, whatever one might think of the label, or even the practice, of closer and closing, that is his role. That is how he is identified, and how he is paid. Aceves, to use your example, has no role per se. Some see him as a starter (as I do); some, the rubber-armed long relief guy; Valentine -- partly, I think, as a sop -- tried to make a closer out of him. Hanrahan may close in Boston; he may set-up; they may try some system of alternating that role between him and Bailey.
Whatever they do, his "role" is valuable as a commodity: more valuable than any of the individual parts going back. For all of the headscratching and naysaying, this is a nice hedge move by Cherington. If he pitches well and the team does well, you ride him into August and September and see if you can't steal a playoff spot. If he pitches well and the team bombs, you move him in July or August -- very likely for a piece with higher upside than the pieces you moved for him. Of course the team could play well and he could suck, or both the team and the pitcher could suck -- but if those things happen, again IMO, you didn't give up anything earth-shattering to get him anyway. I still believe Pimentel has a shot to click, he more than Sands. And of course so does Pittsburgh. But those are risks inherent to the whole idea of a trade that isn't a salary dump.
The last thing I would worry about is whether this is a "good" deal. We are talking bullpen arms and replacement parts here, which are by their nature volatile.
Between this and the other active threads, there is in my view a lot of worrying about the trees and very little forest-gazing. I am prepared to see 2013 as a competitive year -- but I don't worry whether Joel Hanrahan or Shane Victorino or Mike Napoli is going to lead us to the promised land in 2013. I worry about 2015: by then I want to see a contending team, made up of core group of young talent, playing the game the way I like to see it played, in an organization that is still committed to developing deep depth throughout the system so that I can reasonably expect the playoffs 6 or 7 years out of every ten. That to me is "success."
So the question for me this offseason is: "Has Cherington put the Red Sox on the path to that forest?" The answer to me is a resounding yes. Rudy calls this Kool-Aid. Fine. I would rather drink it than be so worried about this or that move, or even 2013, than be drowning in the constant plop-pop-fizz-fizz of what those folks are drinking.
Edited by someoneanywhere, 23 December 2012 - 10:34 AM.