Boston Red Sox Trade Speculation: Hunter Pence or Ubaldo Jimenez?

Robert YeeCorrespondent IIJuly 29, 2011

DENVER, CO - JULY 19:  Starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez #38 of the Colorado Rockies works the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Coors Field on July 19, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

I would bet my house that the Boston Red Sox don't acquire either Ubaldo Jimenez or Hunter Pence before the trade deadline. That's not the point of this article.

The question I want to raise is: for the next three years, would you prefer an All-Star all-around right fielder or an All-Star ace pitcher?

The heart of this question, for me, lies not in statistical analysis (because how do you compare a pitcher to a position player?), but in impact to a team.

The conventional answer is the right fielder, who will play 150 games and contribute on a daily basis, would be the safe choice.

However, most teams buying at the trade deadline are contenders. The question then morphs into: who will help you win the next 60 games and the playoffs?

A contender, say the Red Sox, are usually all set at the plate. Sure, the Sox could use some production out of shortstop (not normally an offensive position) and right field (usually a very offensive position), but an extra ace for a playoff contender almost guarantees a deep playoff run.

A star pitcher is the better option because he decreases the opposition's offensive output by more than the right fielder increases his team's.

Rather, Jimenez will deter more runs than Pence will produce. It's not Wins Above Replacement (WAR) because that stat doesn't work between pitcher and outfielder. This is common sense.

We've seen it before: CC Sabathia carried the Milwaukee Brewers to the playoffs in 2008. Cliff Lee wins wherever he goes. Don't even get me started on Roy Halladay. I could watch him pitch every day.

Usually, I say grab as much offense as humanly possible. Offense, like Adrian Gonzalez, carries teams through the regular season. For a team that's all but sure to make the playoffs, like the Red Sox, snatch up that Cliff Lee type, game-changing pitcher.

Related

    What Is Going on with Matt Barnes?

    Boston Red Sox logo
    Boston Red Sox

    What Is Going on with Matt Barnes?

    Over the Monster
    via Over the Monster

    Farrell Enjoying Post-Red Sox Career as A...Lobster Fisherman?

    Boston Red Sox logo
    Boston Red Sox

    Farrell Enjoying Post-Red Sox Career as A...Lobster Fisherman?

    NBC Sports Boston
    via NBC Sports Boston

    Eckersley Responds to Stroman Criticism: 'I Get It'

    Boston Red Sox logo
    Boston Red Sox

    Eckersley Responds to Stroman Criticism: 'I Get It'

    masslive.com
    via masslive.com

    Why Trout Picked Halos Over Free Agency

    😇 Appreciates Angels’ loyalty 💰 $426.5M deal kept him in SoCal 🎸 Turned down ‘Mick Jagger’ lifestyle at home

    Boston Red Sox logo
    Boston Red Sox

    Why Trout Picked Halos Over Free Agency

    😇 Appreciates Angels’ loyalty 💰 $426.5M deal kept him in SoCal 🎸 Turned down ‘Mick Jagger’ lifestyle at home

    Scott Miller
    via Bleacher Report