While the rest of the league was enjoying a few days off, the Red Sox got up, came into work, and acquired an additional starting pitcher. Left-Handed Pitcher Drew Pomeranz was acquired from the Padres in exchange for top Right-Handed pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza who is currently ranked among the top 20 prospects in baseball.
The Padres acquired Pomeranz, 27, from the A’s this winter for the now-bargain price of Yonder Alonso and Marc Rzepczynski. After talking his way into the rotation mix in Spring Training, Pomeranz has broken out as the ace of the San Diego staff and fulfilled a good deal of the potential that pundits believed him to possess when he was selected fifth overall by the Indians back in 2010. In 102 innings this season, the first-time All-Star has posted a 2.47 ERA with 10.1 K/9, 3.6 BB/9 and a 47.8 percent ground-ball rate. He’ll immediately slot into the middle of the Boston rotation and can be controlled for another two seasons beyond the 2016 campaign via the arbitration process. Not only does he have two years of club control left, he’s earning just $1.35MM in 2016, which will help to suppress his future arbitration salaries despite this season’s breakout.
Pomeranz is under team control until after the 2018 season.
Espinoza, 18 is currently the youngest player in the Class-A South Atlantic League. He sports a 94-95 mph fastball that can hit as high as 99, as well as a plus change-up and curve-ball. He reportedly repeats his delivery well, which allows him to locate effectively.
5 thoughts on “Red Sox Trade For Drew Pomeranz”
Very good move by the Sox. In A-ball this year Espinoza has 8 appearances and a fantastic 1.17 ERA, but it’s all in relief of an average of less than two innings per outing. In the rest of his Sox minors career he’d been a starter, and an outstanding one, but now it seems they’re not using him as a starter. He’s not finishing games either. So he’s not closing. This seems to indicate they’re grooming him for a high quality setup role (I can’t find game logs for Greenville to see what innings he’s being brought into)–that ERA is too good for 5th inning relief.
I just stated a bunch of reasons why the trade might not be good for the Sox, but Espinoza just turned 18 in March, and is still in A-ball. It could be a while before we see if/when he pans out at higher levels. Meanwhile, Pomeranz been outstanding this year as a starter, though in years prior he seemed to be a spot- or fill-in-starter. The amount of club control is great.
What does worry me is that he’s going from San Diego to Boston. Boston is very often a notoriously hard market to play in. Some people love it (Pedro). But some people crumble. San Diego hasn’t had a winning record in over 6 seasons. They are considered a small-market team despite last year’s payroll. They are bad this year. Hence, there’s probably a good deal less pressure in San Diego for the players. Boston is the exact opposite. Here’s hoping it works.
I think the difficulty of playing in the big markets is way overstated. No doubt the media are jerks, but these guys are pros.
The real challenge in Boston is that left field wall. He is going from an extreme pitcher’s park to a strong hitter’s park.
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They did move the walls in at Petco, but that’s certainly true. However, I’ve seen it over and over again here: prized FA signing/trade asset comes to Boston, did well before Boston, and sucked in Boston. David Price, while hardly terrible as starters go, has an ERA+ that is second-worst in his entire career: 104 now, 98 in 2009. Even with all those strikeouts, he’s just above league average.
Carl Crawford, in 2011, posted an 85 OPS+ for Boston. The last time he had an OPS+ that bad was 2003. After Boston, his next two years for LAD were 107 and 118 (after that, injuries took over).
John Smoltz, in 2008, posted the worst ERA+ of his entire career: a staggeringly bad 56, albeit only in 8 starts. His other 7 starts that year came for STL, where he had a nearly-respectable 96. It was clear at that point in his career that his skills were failing, and he did give up 8 HRs, but only 2 of those were at Fenway. He also gave up 59 hits in 40 IP, whereas he gave up 36 hits in 37 IP with STL the rest of the year.
Hanley Ramirez, in 2015, posted the lowest OPS+ of his career (if you don’t count the 2 games in his rookie season). Hanley’s been much better this year, but somehow his power numbers are fairly low, especially for a right handed hitter at Fenway.
Granted, some of this is the effect of coming from the NL to the AL, or vice versa. But not Crawford in all his years at Tampa. And not Price, for the same reason.
I could probably go on but this is long enough.
Price is a lefty with a short left field wall. I expected him to do worse this year.
Oh, and I wish the trade could’ve included bringing Don back to the booth, with the corresponding move of jettisoning Dave O’Brien. I liked Dave at first, but for someone who’d been alongside Joe Castiglione calling games for WEEI radio, his assessments can be remarkably inept. I don’t remember saying “Don, shut up” much at all, and I’ve already told Dave to shut up a bunch of times.
(Doesn’t help that the overall booth experience is adulterated by the likes of Steve Lyons…and Eck too. Eck can have good analysis, but he’s been getting on my nerves, and this isn’t the first season where this happened when he needed to fill in for Jerry–cf Jerry’s cancer, Jared Remy)