If you thought the “haves” had an advantage in baseball last winter, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
In a trade that is a foreshadowing of how this winter is going to play out in baseball, the Florida Marlins sent former first-round pick Jeremy Hermida to the Boston Red Sox for LHP’s Hunter Jones and Jose Alvarez.
Due to the economy, these are the types of trades you are going to see this winter. Teams who can’t afford to wait on young players or can’t afford a player’s salary will be forced to trade them to teams who can.
Even as a Red Sox fan, I am not arrogant enough to say that this isn’t a disturbing trend in baseball.
Hermida was a former first-round pick of the Marlins (11th overall) back in 2002. He was so highly regarded that Baseball America ranked him as the fourth best prospect in baseball at one point.
In 2007, it looked like Hermida was going to realize his potential as he hit .296/.369/.501 with 18 homeruns in 123 games. But injuries and overall inconsistent play over the last two years left the Marlins wondering if Hermida would ever reach his potential.
Where the Marlins are financially they can’t pay Hermida roughly $3 million in arbitration to be a mediocre player. I know $3 million doesn’t seem like a lot in baseball money, but to the Marlins it is.
So now the Marlins are faced with the decision of trading Hermida or not tendering him a contract, which would allow him to become a free agent.
Because the Marlins can’t afford to wait to see if Hermida will ever blossom, they had to trade him.
The Red Sox swooped in and acquired the 25-year-old. Since the Marlins weren’t in a position of power, the Red Sox only had to surrender a couple of fringe prospects for Hermida.
To get a guy with Hermida’s potential is a steal for the Red Sox. With an aging lineup the Red Sox need an infusion of young hitters. The Red Sox are hoping that with a change of scenery and better talent around him, Hermida can blossom.
Hermida will start out as a fourth outfielder with the Red Sox, but I just have a feeling he is going to play a bigger role with the team in 2010.
This was a good trade for the Red Sox, but in the bigger picture, this trade was a sign of things to come this winter.
It’s going to be a winter of the “haves.”