Thursday, December 11, 2014

NJ's Rick Porcello Traded To the Red Sox

So it ultimately comes down to this -

The Red Sox traded Jon Lester for Rick Porcello.

Photo courtesy of the Associated Press
I have my own theories about just how badly the Red Sox screwed up the Jon Lester negotiations - did ownership REALLY think that the reported 4-year/$70 million offer to Lester last spring was anything remotely close to what their star left-hander would accept? - but we'll leave that for another time. The bottom line is that Boston sent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who was never really in their plans for 2015 to begin with, and two minor leaguers to the Detroit Tigers for right-handed starting pitcher Rick Porcello.

Porcello, still only 25 years old (he turns 26 at the end of December), was a first-round draft pick of the Tigers in 2007 out of Seton Hall Prep in New Jersey. I actually saw Porcello pitch in high school where it was obvious that he had a boatload of talent. He won a career-high 15 games for Detroit in 2014, and has never won fewer than 10 games in each of his six major league seasons.

Cespedes, you'll recall, was acquired by the Red Sox back in July in the trade that sent Lester to the Oakland Athletics.

On the surface, the end result of Jon Lester being in Chicago while Rick Porcello is in Boston isn't even close to being an even swap. You're talking about one of the premiere left-handed pitchers in baseball (especially in the post-season) and comparing him with a kid who, while he's had some success at the major league level, is still very young. But as noted above, Porcello has notched at least 10 wins since coming into the league, and he's good for at least 200 innings a season. I also happen to like pitchers who come from the northeast where the weather can be a determining factor in developing tougher players.

Porcello figures to be either the #2 or #3 pitcher in the Boston rotation.

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