Evaluators analyze prospects coming to Boston

864989.jpg

Evaluators analyze prospects coming to Boston

Around baseball, most talent evaluators see the block-buster deal between the Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers as a clear win for the Sox -- if only because of the salary relief (nearly 260 million) the Sox are realizing.

"I'm like...wow!'' said one veteran scout when told how little the Sox were paying on the money due to Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto.

But there's another component, too: five players will eventually head to the Red Sox from the Dodgers. Three -- first baseman James Loney; pitcher Allen Webster; and infielder Ivan DeJesus -- were identified.

Two more will be transferred once the season ends, since waivers couldn't be obtained on them.

We asked around baseball for some observations on the four minor leaguers. Here are their thoughts:

1BOF Jerry Sands.

Evaluator No. 1: "He has big-time raw power, but he hasn't been able to put it together.''

Evaluator No. 2: "He's a pretty good sized guy, but not a great athlete. He's a fringe guy at best. Even thought he's righthanded, he reminds me of a lefthanded-type hitter -- a low-ball hitter. He could use a change of scenery.''

Evaluator No. 3: "He's got pretty good power from the right side, but he doesn't have a position to play. He doesn't run well. I see him as a marginal guy. Maybe he could be a platoon guy, but he's inconsistent. The (Triple A) numbers are skewed -- he has too many holes and major league pitchers will find those if you pitch him correctly.

INFIELDER Ivan DeJesus

Evaluator No. 1: "He can played second and short OK, and maybe a little third. I think second is probably his best position.''

Evaluator No. 2: "I'm sure (the Red Sox) see him as an insurance guy. If you have injuries, you can bring him up and he won't hurt you. I don't see him as a regular, but he's not a bad guy to have around.''

Evaluator No. 3: "I remember seeing him at shortstop and he was OK. But he had (a leg injury) and he's never run well since. He's a marginal guy, an extra guy at the big league level. He has a little thump with the bat, but something's missing. He's not an everyday guy.''

RHP Rubby De La Rosa

Evaluator No. 1: "I saw him when he was healthy (before undergoing Tommy John surgery). His fastball, even when hitters knew it was coming, they couldn't catch up. He's a real power arm. Whether he's a starter or not I don't know, but he could definitely be a tail-end reliever. The fastball is his key pitch and for a guy throwing as hard as he was, his command was pretty good. There's no reason he shouldn't help the club.

Evaluator No. 2: "I like him a lot. There's a lot there. The key will be how is he coming off surgery. Sometimes you have to take a chance on those guys, and he's one of those guys.''

Evalautor No. 3: "I saw him starting, but I have him projected as a bullpen guy. He's a legit power guy. The ball gets on the hitter real quick. He can come in and throw the ball by you for an inning with no trouble.''

RHP Allen Webster

Evaluator No. 1: "I haven't seen much of him, but I know the Dodgers loved him. I'm a little surprised. (Our club) tried to make a deal for him earlier and were told they wouldn't let him go''

Evaluator No. 2: "He's the best guy in the deal for me - a power arm. He's mostly fastball and changeup. I think he's had some command issues, but that's not unusual at this stage (Double A). I've seen him throw 96 mph.''

Evaluator No. 3: "I like his mechanics. I saw him in April and he was pretty consistently 95 mph. I really like him. For a guy with his stuff, his record isn't very good. He's got better stuff than his numbers. But he's got a chance to be a top-of-the-rotation guy, probably a No. 2. And there's not many of those guys around.''

Sox hope to bring David Ortiz back to Boston for new role

Sox hope to bring David Ortiz back to Boston for new role

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- David Oritz’s time in Boston as a player is over. He continues to say there’s no Brett Favre-type comeback, no matter how many people ask him.

However, that doesn’t mean his time with the Red Sox is over.

Sam Kennedy, Tom Werner and Dave Dombrowski are heading down to the Dominican Republic to tour the team’s academy on the island to see what changes, if any, need to be made.

Ortiz will join them on those tours.

“He’s just a good guy to go to the Dominican with,” Kennedy said. “We thought it’d be great to catch up. Haven’t seen him since before the holidays.”

But the front office members intend to exchange more than just pleasantries and stories from the holiday season. One goal on the trip is to bring Ortiz back to the organization as an employee.

“Yeah that’s something on the agenda,” Kennedy said. “We’re gonna talk about what he may or may not want to do. He did say after the season let’s just talk in January. He was so overwhelmed and tired so it’s a good time to start those conversations.

“I know he has a lot of plans, broadcasting, a lot of businesses he’s involved with and we’ll see what he’s up to. But we hope to cement something so he’s a part of the organization.”

What role that is yet to be determined. Assuming he doesn’t pursue a broadcasting career.

“I truly don’t know what’s on his mind,” Kennedy said. “He’ll obviously be good at whatever he decides to do, but I would hope that we could create a role where he has influence in the baseball operations side, he has influence in marketing, as an ambassador. A lot of our alums we’ve found really enjoy working with young players. Pedro [Martinez] is a perfect example of that.

“So we’ll see what he’s interested in doing, but I have heard him talk about broadcasting in the past and I think he’d be great at it if he decides to do it.”

Swihart, Wright fully recovered for Red Sox' spring training

Swihart, Wright fully recovered for Red Sox' spring training

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- Dave Dombrowski told reporters at the Red Sox Winter Weekend at Foxwoods both Steven Wright and Blake Swihart are ready to go for spring training.

Wright suffered a shoulder injury from sliding back into second as a pinch runner against the Dodgers in August, ending his All-Star season far too soon. The knuckleballer went 13-6 with a 3.33 ERA in 24 starts last season.

“His shoulder has been feeling good,” Dombrowski said of Wright, who was not at the event due to a prior engagement. “He’s out there throwing, so he feels good.”

Swihart saw his season end even sooner than Wright, after spraining his left ankle June 4 tracking down a foul ball in left field near the wall at Fenway Park. He played in only 19 games last season. 

“[Swihart] said he feels great,” Dombrowski said. “He’s going right from here down to Florida and he said he’s ready to go.”

Swihart will move back to the catcher position for spring training, with his goal of winning the job over Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez. The ankle might’ve been a cause for concern had the Red Sox handled the situation differently, but by all accounts he’s OK to catch again.

“They tell me [there’s no reason for concern],” Dombrowski said. “I guess I’m really not knowledgeable to say that, but the doctors and trainers have told me no.

"That’s why they went and had the surgery because they felt the way the tendon kept slipping that [there was a] possibility it would bother him more. But after the surgery now, they feel there will not be any problems in that regard.”