BOSTON (CBS) — Locally, it can be difficult to take a proper perspective when analyzing and dissecting the moves of the local baseball team. Watching every game every night can skew opinions, so it’s a good idea to take a look at what the national outlets are saying to get a better understanding of how good or bad the team’s moves really were.
And the reviews seem to be almost unanimously in praise of the Red Sox.
ESPN.com’s Jim Bowden, formerly the general manager of the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals, gave Red Sox GM Ben Cherington an “A” grade for his work at the deadline to acquire Jake Peavy, as well as his addition of Matt Thornton earlier in the month.
“Cherington has quickly become one of the best in the game,” Bowden said of the Sox GM. “Best of all, they didn’t have to give up any of their top prospects (such as Xander Bogaerts or Jackie Bradley Jr.) to make it happen.”
Bowden’s “A” grade was just one of five he distributed to the 30 MLB clubs, so it’s certainly high praise.
CBSSports.com’s Scott Miller likewise credited Cherington and the Red Sox as winners at the deadline.
“Ben Cherington already clinched the Most Improved General Manager award for 2013,” Miller wrote, placing the Red Sox among just six “winners” for July dealings.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports listed the Red Sox first in the group of 10 winners.
“The best player on the move was Jake Peavy, and he went to the team that needed him most,” Passan wrote. “Between Peavy joining the Red Sox’s rotation and Matt Moore hitting the disabled list for American League East-leading Tampa Bay, it was a fruitful 24 hours for the Red Sox, especially since they didn’t give up any of their best prospects.”
CBSSports.com’s Mike Axisa gave the Red Sox a B+ for the Peavy deal, noting “he’s not cheap (owed $14.5 million in 2014) and he’s kinda injury prone, but he had a 128 ERA+ just last year and comes with Cy Young pedigree. Peavy will unquestionably shore up the rotation.”
Sports Illustrated’s Jay Jaffe declared the Red Sox winners of the deadline as well.
“They sold especially high on slick-fielding shortstop Jose Iglesias, who won’t ever replicate that torrid 165-PA run (.403/.455/.517) in his career,” Jaffe wrote. “They’re not likely to miss any of the three other prospects they parted with, either. The pitchers who have patched the rotation beyond their current front four and the injured Clay Buchholz have delivered a 5.63 ERA across 16 starts. Peavy is a significant upgrade on that, one who could be the difference between a division title and a wild-card game.”
MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince expressed some “reservations” about praising the Red Sox’ trade, because trading away Iglesias was not an insignificant loss. Still, he gave credit to the Red Sox for making the most of a thin market to make a needed upgrade.
“This market didn’t offer much, especially in terms of starting pitching, and Peavy’s bulldog demeanor will fit in well in a revamped Boston clubhouse,” Castrovince wrote. “Sometimes you take the best of what’s around, as Dave Matthews once sang, and that’s what the Red Sox did.”
It should be considered that the near-unanimous praise of the Red Sox is partly due to the work of Cherington, but also partly due to the fact that there were hardly any trades completed at all on the deadline day. When there’s not a lot of action, it’s easy to stand out. Nevertheless, the Red Sox were one of few teams able to improve prior to the deadline.