JT Snow to Red Sox?
It has been reported that JT Snow is close to signing with the Boston Red Sox. I like this move. I have long advocated the signing of a left-handed hitting, lower cost first baseman to compliment the right-handed Kevin Youkilis.
Youkilis has been patient and it is now his turn to be an everyday starter in the big leagues. The Red Sox front office seems to agree. If Youkilis plays 134 games like Kevin Millar did last year - I'd look for him to seriously upgrade on Millar's 9 HR and .754 OPS. I hope Snow will be OK with just the range of about the 173 at bats that John Olerud got last year. If Snow signs - then as far as I'm concerned - first base is all set for 2006.
If Snow (and his career .826 OPS against righties) doesn't sign - then I'd look for the Red Sox to trade for either Hee-Seop Choi (career .808 OPS vs. righties) or Carlos Pena (career .811 OPS vs righties).
Just a couple of miscellaneous thoughts to throw in:
- Kevin Millar was the worst fielding first baseman I've seen in my life. Every ball hit on the ground to the right side of the infield pulled him out of position. Every ball. And every throw to him that wasn't in plenty of time and chest high was an adventure with Millar. Kevin Youkilis will be a HUGE upgrade over Millar defensively.
- Signing Snow will not cost much other than money (he's a type B free agent). Trading for either Choi or Pena will cost some minor league talent. Pena and Choi are both much younger than Snow and could blossom into pretty good HR hitters. My first choice was Pena to be 100% upfront. I just think Pena would rake the ball at Fenway (he has in the past - .925 OPS in 11 games at Fenway). Plus Pena went to college in Boston at Northeastern and he's Dominican (which should help keeping Manny and David Ortiz happy - I know this is a strange thing to consider a positive but I'm being 100% upfront).
- Both Carlos Pena and Hee-Seop Choi are available because they are buried on the depth charts of the Tigers and Dodgers respectively.