Former Red Sox Players on the Oakland Athletics?

oakland athletics

How did all these former Red Sox players end up on the Oakland Athletics?  Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie, Brandon Moss, Josh Reddick seem to all have gone West Coast on us. Is it the weather or the team that was the attraction?  Well, it can’t be the weather. They did great against us on Tuesday night in the rain.

Reddick left in August of 2012 and was happy to go, which after the events of that season who could blame him. He said to ESPN that the clubhouse culture was far more “open.” There are strong bonds among the veteran and new players in Oakland; seems as though Reddick just needed a more welcoming home. His performance reinforces this as he earned Golden Glove and MVP honors.

Crisp departed from the Red Sox in 2008, after playing as part of the 2007 World Series Championship team. He was traded to the Kansas City Royals and joined the Athletics in 2009, but did not play until 2011 due to a fractured pinkie finger in 2010. He had his lowest batting average the year that he spent with the Royals batting approximately .288. His career journey has certainly been an interesting one, as he slowly moved across the country.  He seems to be thriving with the A’s this year. Currently, batting .309 and holding down a .420 on base percentage.

They must be doing something right in the clubhouse in California. Whether in California or in Boston, we have all learned in the last year, that if the players are happy then typically they play better. By the time one becomes a professional in any sport, skill and talent are set, and it is the mental wellness that is the ‘X factor.’ Clearly, Crisp, Reddick, and Moss needed the right clubhouse environment to bring out the best in them.

oakland athletics

Courtesy of yahoo.com/blogs/big-league-stew

Reddick and Moss are feeling so positive they were kind enough to visit Boston Marathon bombing victims in hospitals this week. They still love the city of Boston and its fans.

Vernon Wells: Signed, sealed, and delivered to the Yankees

Vernon Wells

Vernon Wells officially joined the Yankees this past Tuesday, March 26. In exchange for the left fielder, the Yankees shelled out minor leaguers Exircado Cayones (outfielder) and Kramer Sneed (left handed pitcher) to the Angels.

The addition of Vernon Wells, and the $42 million dollars that is left on his contract, put the Yankees as the team with the highest projected payroll on Opening Day. However, if you read the original Vernon Wells post, you know that the Los Angeles Angels are paying for $28.1 million of his remaining salary. This deal will help the Angels stay under the tax luxury threshold this season, which is currently $178 million. When it rises to $189 million in 2014, this deal will also help the Yankees get under the threshold.

Apparently, joining the New York Yankees has been a sort of dream to Wells. He became a fan of the Yankees when he was in AAA Syracuse in 1999. The team played the Yankee’s farm team in Columbus and he got to play against the infamous Daryl Strawberry.

“I remember the first time I played the Triple-A Yankees when I was 20 years old and [Darryl] Strawberry was on that team,” he said. “It was the first time that I actually got goose bumps playing against another team. From that day, I’ve quietly been a Yankees fan. Obviously not when we played against the Yankees, but every time or any time the Yankees were in the playoffs and I was sitting at home, I was cheering for the Yankees.”

On receiving the news of his trade:

“They called me into the office and said they have a deal in place. When they told me the team, I tried not to smile too big in the office.”

Well, good for him. I’m always excited for players that get to play where they want to play. There’s more good news for Wells: former Blue Jays teammate, Lyle Overbay, has just signed with the Yankees as well! As of right now, both will be starting for the team on Opening Day.

All that aside, I’m personally not thrilled that Wells is part of the Yankees. However, if he plays like he has the past year or two, he’ll be no threat for Boston this year. In the past two years, he’s batted .222. He’s averaged 18 home runs and 47 RBIs a season. He only played 77 games last year after he tore a ligament in his right thumb. Wells’ .230 average, 11 home runs, and 29 RBIs are his career lows. I don’t think the Red Sox will have much to worry about.

Four Sox Players Traded to the Dodgers in 2012 to Improve This Season

players traded

How am I feeling right now?  At this point, after reading about the “Blockbuster deal” that happened last year between the L.A Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox, I feel invigorated and excited, yet nervous and slightly annoyed.  Although I am ashamed by not knowing about such an enormous event, I can look past it, and be taken aback by what I know now.  This truly is a huge and exciting trade.  So why haven’t I heard about it until now?  Here I sit in the quaint, quiet coffee shop called Pleasant Street Coffee House, in Gloucester, MA on the edge of my seat, as I read more and more into this extravagant and historical event.

The guys involved in the trade: Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto, James Loney, Allen Webster, Ivan de Jesus, Rubby Del La Rosa and Jerry Sands. Gonzalez, Punto, Beckett, and Crawford were all traded to the L.A Dodgers in 2012. It was a clean sweep for the Sox. After all, the Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine wanted to rid the players who ‘underperformed’ last season. With that said, the Red Sox threw approximately 260 million dollars’ worth of salaries at the Dodgers.  A trade is a trade.  So what did Boston get from it? The Sox acquired four minor league players and James Loney (a first baseman), as well as an enormous salary cut. When I say enormous, I mean it’s a ridiculous sum of money! The Sox now have to afford only 12 million dollars to the new prospects who have been sent to the minors (Triple A Pawtucket), leaving a lump sum of money to improve the team elsewhere. The 260 million dollar responsibility was left to the Dodgers when they signed the deal to gain Gonzalez, Crawford, Punto and Beckett. To me this seems like an impressive financial move for the Red Sox, but only if the prospects turn out.

Allen Webster, 23, and Ivan De La Rosa, 24, proved to have the potential the Red Sox seek for the 2013 season.  Sent to the minors this year the players are proving their worth, and expect to be on the team this season.  Both Webster and De La Rosa have strong right arms and deem stable for the defensive team.  Christian Vasquez, 22, (not a part of the deal), was also sent to the minors to improve the team’s status, and is also expected to come up to the big league this season.  Vasquez is known for his forceful throwing arm.

What a rush! I’ll be curious to see how things pan out.  This was a grave move.  Hopefully we see the results needed to craft a winning team.