Thursday, April 07, 2005

Hanley for Howard?

I'm making the same change that I've seen a few bloggers already made. I'm not sure if anyone clicks the player links here, but I'm going to be switching from Baseball Reference to ESPN when I link to a player. ESPN updates their stats daily as opposed to the yearly updating by Baseball Reference.

Kellen, a frequent commenter on this site, had an idea while we were watching the game today. He's one of many Sox fans who isn't a very big fan of Kevin Millar and he'd like to see him gone. At the end of the year he's a free agent so the Sox are going to need a first baseman. There are a few options out there. They could overpay for Paul Konerko and hope that he doesn't regress back to his 18 homer 2003. They could pay a fortune for Todd Helton. They could resign Millar. There are a few options out there, but none of them are very desirable. The Sox top prospect at first base is Ian Bladergroen, the young, inexperienced guy that came over in the trade for Doug Mientkiewicz. He won't be likely for at least three more years if he ever will be ready. Why don't we go and get a young firstbaseman that could help us right now and for years to come? Picture this...We trade Hanley Ramirez to the Phillies for Ryan Howard. Hanley is a year or two away from helping the Sox and he's blocked at short anyway. So far there has been no talk of moving him to a new posistion and I think it's likely that the Sox are going to move him this year anyways. Instead of trading away Hanley for a rent-a-player who may or may not be the "last piece of the puzzle" why not trade him for a guy that can help now and in the future? Howard was one of the biggest power guys in the minors last year. He's 25 years old and ready to show off his bat in the bigs, but he will forever be blocked by Jim Thome. He could kick Dave McCarty of the team this year and take over for Millar full time next year. I'm not sure if the Phillies would go for it because they're a bit blocked up the middle with young talent, but Hanley would have a much better shot breaking through in a couple of years then Howard will have trying to break through any time soon.

When I came up with that idea I did it without any thought to the Phillies situation, but it still makes sense. The thinking is Hanley can be moved to a few different positions due to his athleticism, yet where can Howard move to? I haven't heard of him playing another position, I believe Thome used to play third but he probably couldn't go back there even if he did play there before, and there's no DH in the NL.
According to BP they're trying Howard out at the corner outfield spots but it's not working out so well.

I don't think it will happen. Teams seems to take more pride in their own home grown talent rather than trading to get someone else's prospect. But I doin't think it'd be too bad a deal if it did happen.
We should let Ian Bladergroen up as soon as possible, so we can give him a nickname, like "The Groen Monster"...thank you Will Carroll for coming up with a great nickname. What has happened to nicknames in baseball? I demand justice!
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