Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports notes in a column this morning that the Red Sox will not move Xander Bogaerts in a deal for Cliff Lee, which means they won't move him for anyone. This note comes up in a column about...how the Red Sox should trade Bogaerts for Lee.
Rosenthal makes the requisite comparisons to the Hanley/Beckett deal, with the hacky conclusion "Don't they want to win a World Series?"
There are a lot of problems with his argument, number one being that the Phillies won't move Lee just for Bogaerts. Via MLBTR, Jon Heyman says that Lee will cost an organization's "three or four" best prospects, plus paying Lee's remaining salary (roughly $25 million a year for three seasons, plus a big buyout). That would make the cost something like Bogaerts, Matt Barnes, and Jackie Bradley, Jr., for the right to pay a mid-30s pitcher $25 million a season.
I get the argument, and of course I'm all for winning. But Cliff Lee guarantees nothing for this or any other year. The Red Sox, despite their early success, have a lot of problems. The bullpen is thin. Four of the starting pitchers -- not one -- have been very inconsistent or injured. The team has gotten better-than-expected returns from players like Daniel Nava and Jose Iglesias, suggesting declines ahead. Meanwhile, the bulk of the offense has been abnormally healthy, which could turn at any point.
It just doesn't make sense for the Red Sox to surrender multiple high-ceiling prospects to take the risk on Lee when they have so many holes this year. I'm not saying they should give up on the season or anything like that, but they aren't one player away. And Bogaerts, the Aruban darling who is mashing his way through the minor leagues and might make an impact on the Sox as early as this season, is not worth surrendering to take a chance that everything falls into place for the Sox and they make a run.
He's off limits, period.
...also of note: Jake Peavy will not make his start today. With his price expected to be much lower than Lee's, the Red Sox (along with the A's and, at times, the Braves) have been reportedly in on him leading up to the deadline. Keep an eye out.