Well, rumors have been swirling the last few days about a deal that would send Trot Nixon straight up to the Phillies for Bobby Abreu.

While I’m sure some Phillies fans would be ecstatic to see their team aquire another outfielder who will run face first into walls, I have to say, this would be a *GREAT* trade for the Red Sox – they would get a durable OBP machine in exchange for an injury prone “gamer” who still hasn’t figured out how to hit left-handed pitching (.227 average this year). And I think that Paul did an excellent job putting to rest the idea that Abreu is somehow not a clutch hitter in his comment on this post.

The irony is, Red Sox fans are nearly as in love with “gamers” like Trot as Phillies fans are, and would probably boo Abreu nearly as much. After all, Trot Nixon has somehow acquired that elusive status as a “True Red Sox” (Red Sock?), probably because he has crashed into a certain requisite number of walls in his career.


11 Responses to “Nixon for Abreu?”

  1. Sarah Green says:

    TROTTER MUST STAY. To what should I handcuff myself to keep him in Boston?

    Why does Theo always have to bump the fan favorites? I mean, come on. Come ON.

    NO. I draw a line in the SAND.

  2. Sarah, you are a homer of Iliadyic proportions. I made up that word, but I like it.

    Final year of contract + Trot’s definite trip to DL at some point + statistical comparison between these two= slam dunk deal.

    Trot’s # since 2004:

    250 games, 25 HR, 133 RBI, OPB around .300

    Abreu’s # since 2004:

    406 games, 62 HR, 266 RBI, OBP around .420

    If the Sox don’t take advantage of their roll as “buyer” (and the Phils as “seller”) now- you, me and Trot could be watching Abreu and the Yanks in October. Gotta do this if you can.

    The only tangible advantage Trot brings is that his dad invented the kidney dialysis machine and he’s a better QB. I love Trot, but if this rumor is real, its a make or break move.

  3. By the way, where is this rumor coming from?

  4. Nick Kapur says:

    Not sure, but several newspapers reported it and it was picked up by a few columnists. I first read about it on SI.com.

  5. I have to admit, I’m surprised. When I first read this post (it’s the first I’m hearing of the rumor), my initial reaction was “why would Philadelphia do this?” On the surface, this looks like a lopsided deal. As someone who appreciates Bobby Abreu, I had thought that Philly could do better than Trot Nixon. But I was curious to see what the disparity was between the two players so I calculated some numbers and took other things into account. Now, I’m not so sure that it is a no-brainer.

    IF this were to happen, I think I can at least understand the general logic, which goes something like this. The Phillies want to build a team around Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, and maybe Jimmy Rollins. They want to clear some payroll, and while they’d love to move Pat Burrell, Bobby Abreu is the more appealing trade piece. Not that Abreu is cheap by any means. He’s got two years left on his deal (including this year) worth $23 million plus a team option for 2008 worth an additional $16 million. Kick in his no-trade clause, and Abreu has the upper hand here. He can demand that the option be picked up before he goes anywhere, which Boston may be inclined to do, provided he agree to eliminate the no-trade clause from his contract altogether, seeing as the Sox management refuses to be handcuffed by such things. So for $39 million or so, the Red Sox will be getting a mediocre right fielder (sorry Coley) who magically managed to win a Gold Glove, and has some pop, bats lefty, and is an OBP demigod. He can either bat first or second and help set the table for Ortiz and Ramirez, furthering their number of at bats with runners on base. Makes sense. Moreover, Nixon’s contract is up at the end of the year, so the Phillies can go off-season shopping with all the money they’ve saved, and maybe pick up a pitcher.

    But here’s what I’ve been surprised by – the platoon of Trot Nixon and Wily Mo Pena (when healthy) hasn’t been that much worse than what Abreu brings to the table. Abreu’s numbers for this year is as follows: .293AVG, 56R, 22 2B, 8HR, 59RBI, 18SB, .447OBP, .467SLG, .914OPS. That’s not bad at all. Granted, his homeruns are a little down, but it’s very conceivable that he picks up the slack at a bit after the break (yes, I know what happened after the break last year. It’s an anomaly. Drop it.). Aside from that, though, there’s not much to complain about. But here’s what the Red Sox duo of Nixon and Pena has done (scaled down to match Abreu’s 287AB so far this year): .313AVG, 46R, 20 2B, 8HR, 47RBI, 0SB, .402OBP, .463SLG, .865OPS. That’s pretty damned good, too. The difference in runs scored can be attributed to the fact that Abreu hits at the top of the order while Nixon/Pena are at the bottom. The difference in stolen bases may appear huge, but I’m not sure how much it’ll mean considering how seldom the Red Sox run. If the trade were to go down, I figure that Abreu’s batting average would go up hitting in front of Ortiz and Manny, as would his runs scored – but the same could be said of Nixon. Another big thing to consider is that Abreu’s current home field, Citizen’s Bank Park, is a hitters’ park. Fenway? Not so much. Although he’s a lefty, Abreu’s not a pull hitter, so I’m not sure how often he can take advantage of the short right field porch. On the other hand, he does hit the ball the other way very well, so he can probably take advantage of the Green Monster to pad his number of doubles. But overall, I think his power numbers are going to decline playing half his games at Fenway. His true value to the Red Sox lies in his ability to get on base. The Red Sox will just be paying $39 million to get it. I’m not saying that Abreu’s no better than what the Red Sox already have. He’s just not as big an improvement as I had initially assumed he would be.

    Although I do wonder what the Phillies would do with Trot. They already have four decent outfielders without Abreu (Burrell, David Dellucci, Aaron Rowand, and Shane Victorino). Either Dellucci or Nixon, both as lefties, is going to be the odd man out. Both Burrell and Rowand is going to play. Victorino can take the ABs against lefties for either Dellucci or Nixon. But I guess they can live with the excess if they can put Abreu off the books.

    The weird part about all that I’ve written is that I don’t think this is going to happen. Which means that I just wasted about 45 minutes of my life figuring this all out. What am I doing?

  6. Sarah Green says:

    Gee, is it even possible to be too tough on man who beats his wife?

    He is literally a foot taller than she is. He weighs 240 lbs, she’s 120—half that. He dragged her down the street by her hair. He punched her–twice–in the face. No, I don’t think you can be too hard on him.

    But this is what Bill Conlin writes about it:

    “Dickie Noles made Brett Myers look like a Nobel Peace Prize candidate. And one important disclaimer: Myers is not an alcoholic or drug abuser. Brett pitched extremely well in San Francisco yesterday, by the way.”

    So Myers gets a gold star now for the problems he *doesn’t* have? And gets extra credit for pitching well? Tell that to Kim Myers. Maybe that will help the swelling go down.

    Then, reflecting Myers’ initial, clumsy half-apology (“I’m sorry it had to get public”—yeah, things do tend to get public when you do them in the middle of the street, Brett), Conlin writes, “The mishandling of the entire Myers incident and its aftermath was on the level of Abbott and Costello Meet The Three Stooges.” Yes, Bill (she says, her voice dripping with sarcasm) let’s compare a wife-beating to slapstick comedy, please. Maybe you could throw in a line about how after he dragged her by her hair and punched her in the face, Myers shouted “Nyuk nyuk nyuk!” and asked her who was on first. Yeesh.

    Conlin concludes, “It is time for us all to step back a few hundred yards and let the best setup man in Phillies history do his thing.” But it wasn’t too long ago that police officers wouldn’t respond to domestic violence calls at all–because that was a “private matter” between a man and his wife, as if a woman gave up her right to be safe when she gave up her maiden name. And this column smells a little too much like that old attitude for me.

    I don’t think Conlin is malicious, just a bit of a bonehead. Just because one player kicked his booze habit doesn’t mean another player should get a pass for assaulting his wife.

  7. I’m with Sarah on this one. If you (not you personally, Coley) were arrested for beating a woman on the street, do you think that you’d be able to keep your job? If so, how much sympathy do you expect from your co-workers? If you are fired, then how easy would it be for you to find another job once your potential employer finds out about your arrest? The fans should have nothing to do with how Brett Myers ought to be judged because this isn’t a baseball issue. It’s a social one. He ought to be judged not from the perspective of the fans, but from the perspective of human beings. If he didn’t have the ability to throw a fastball by a major league hitter, then there’d be no reason for Conlin or Phillies fans to even consider cutting him any slack. Myers would simply be another wife beater and we’d judge him based on that. If knowing all this, you can still forgive him, then fine. But it’s pretty selfish to forgive the guy just because he makes you happy by winning games for your team.

  8. I was in the Fenway visitors’ dugout the rainy day after Myers was arrested when he gave his statement to the media. Someone asked him, “Do you see this being a problem going forward?” He answered, “Naw- when you go out there between those chalk lines, its a whole different world.” I thought that the reporter was refering to BEATING A SMALL WOMAN.

    The only question I asked was of Pat Gillick. “How is Kim doing?” He quickly said, “She’s fine,” before adding, “We haven’t talked to her, but I hear she’s fine.”

    So many athletes that act as if the only rules that pertain to them are the ones on their respective field believe this, because its true. They are adulated because of athletic superiority at a young age, and never held to the same standards as normal people. For Myers, this reinforcement still comes from his boss and the fans. (In fairness, the vast majority of pro jocks are not wife beaters, druggies and so not throw firecrackers at kids- see Coleman, Vincent).

    The idea that Myers can now finally “turn things around” is especially silly when you look at his record. I’m willing to ignore that he’s a former amatuer boxer who claims that “The Incredible Hulk” is his hero (no lie), but how about his history of inexcusable violence? You can’t “turn around” a guy who is destined for this kind of behavior, and then appeased when he explodes. You might as well ask him to throw lefty.

    We never have to forgive the Mike Tysons, the Kobes, the Vinces, the Robert Parishes (tossed Mrs. Parish doen a fight of stairs), because they don’t need to be forgiven. The fans don’t matter to them, because the fans reflect normal standards of human behavior that these guys don’t subscribe to.

  9. I referenced his history of violence above without backing it up. I’m trying to track down some reference to when he went haywire and beat up a former minor league teammate. I’ll post it when I find it if anyone cares.

    (apologies if this is incorrect, but I think I’m right.)

  10. Sarah Green says:

    I am really glad we are all dumping on Myers. It just feels so right, and good, and like what Jesus would do. Seriously. Normally I feel a teensy bit guilty about mocking people’s Unfortunate Facial Hair or general lameness or whatever, but I am fully enjoying our collective beat-down.

    I also got confused when I read that Q and A about “a problem going forward” and the chalk lines. I was all, “Are there chalk lines in prison? What is he talking about?? Does he mean….is he saying that…oh my GOD. He can’t be. He IS!”

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