January 29, 2007

The Helton Deal

So the Boston Red Sox are supposedly on the verge of acquiring first baseman Todd Helton from the Colorado Rockies, the team with which he's spent his entire career, and for which he is the all-time greatest player. In the deal, according to various versions, the Sox would give up Mike Lowell, Julian Tavarez, Craig Hanson and/or Manny Delcarmen, and possibly other prospects; the Rockies would also likely agree to pay more than half of the roughly $90 million remaining on Helton's contract.

Do I like this move for the Sox? I suppose so, as their lineup becomes downright scary with Helton plugged in among Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, J.D. Drew, and the rest. But, Helton's age, contract-length, and recent injury history are cause for concern, and look at it this way- the Sox have taken some BIG risks this offseason, throwing huge money at Drew, Julio Lugo, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and now (possibly) Helton. If two or three or even all four of those deals turn out to be busts, that could hamstring the Sox for years to come, and maybe even cost Theo Epstein his job.

The other problem is, this idea of the Sox trading prospects for a high-salaried, downside-of-his-career veteran is the sort of move often made by a certain other team, that the Bosox are sort of known for having a rivalry with.

UPDATE: The deal is now off, apparently. If the A-Rod precedent repeats itself, it'll be rekindled and die again several times between now and spring training, and the Yankees will end up swooping in and getting him instead.

Posted by Stephen Silver at January 29, 2007 03:38 PM
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