Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

SOX & ROX STILL IN TALKS

The Rockies/Red Sox trade talks regarding Julian Tavarez aren't dead yet. Now that Tavarez has been designated for assignment, leaving him in a virtual limbo, the Red Sox have nine days to trade or release him. Though discussions cooled when the Sox asking price was deemed too high, apparently they are heating up again, with a swap possibly coming within the next few days.

Colorado has said it is willing to deal from its outfield depth, in particular, at Triple-A, where Cory Sullivan is making $1 million. But Sullivan will be 29 in August and his stat line with the Rockies is hardly tantalizing.

In 2005 Sullivan hit .294, with 4 HR, 30 RBI, and 12 stolen bases in 139 games. The Rockies saw enough potential to grant him the center field position, as well as the lead off spot in the batting order, for 2006. That season he hit .267, with 2 HR, 30 RBI, and 10 stolen bases in 126 games. As if those numbers weren't lackluster enough, Sullivan actually went backwards the next year. In 2007 he hit .286, with 2 HR, 14 RBI, and 2 stolen bases in 72 games.

The sad truth is that Sullivan has only regressed as he's gotten older. He's simply not a Major League caliber player and obviously should be avoided.

The Red Sox are prepared to eat the majority of Tavarez's remaining $3.85 million salary this season, which could leave them in position to receive a better prospect. We can only hope.

One has to wonder why the Rockies think the Red Sox would want Sullivan and how he would serve the Sox needs? The answer is he wouldn't. They already have reserve outfielders Brandon Moss and Bobby Kielty, both of whom will come off the DL and become available shortly. So getting Sullivan wouldn't expedite a Coco Crisp trade. Sullivan couldn't possibly replace Crisp. Tavarez, while no pitching treasure, is an experienced big leaguer who can fill any roll asked of him. He is worth more than Cory Sullivan. Pitching is scare and sorely needed all over baseball.

The Rockies are simply floating Sullivan's name and hoping that someone -- anyone -- will bite. They're desperate to dump the excessive salary of an underachieving minor league player, and surely the Sox will be too smart to take the bait.

My best guess is that the Sox will wait for the best player they can get, regardless of position. Aside from additional bullpen help, they have no pressing needs right now. They'd be better off with a solid, young prospect who will help them in the future.

Cory Sullivan is not that guy.

Copyright © 2008 Sean M. Kennedy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the author's consent.

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