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Gammons chats about the Sox' offseason plans

Nov. 2, 2004
ESPN's Peter Gammons stopped by to chat about the Red Sox' offseason plans. Read on for his thoughts and insights.

Fred_C__Church:Q: Hey Peter, thanks so much for taking time out here. It's been mentioned that you once said the St. Louis Cardinal's fans are the "best fans in baseball." I know they are very loyal, and collegiate-like in the true midwestern spirit, but I know another team that could get that "best" tag...
PeterGammons:I did once say that, and it was because they are so loyal. It was meant in the eyes of players, because there is little booing, only one paper covers the team so no one asks tough questions, and there is no Ch. 4-CBS to explore issues. Hence, McGwire and Edmonds and Rolen sign for way below value. However, in terms of passion and knowledge, Boston is unrivalled. Compared to Yankeeland, Mike Myers said, "New Englanders love the Red Sox, New Yorkers love winning." Very true.
Andrew:Q: Hi Peter, I know we've just finished the greatest celebration in quite sometime, but I'm already excited about next year. Where do the Sox spend money? I would imagine Varitek is the number one priority, but what is Pedro asking for and how can the Sox accomodate him?
PeterGammons:Varitek won't be easy, because of Scott Boras, but he loves Boston and they want him. The figuring is that Boras has so many free agents, that a charge at Jason might work early. I think they'll make a reasonable run at Cabrera, and if Pedro and Lowe are going to be protracted, I think they'll make a hard run at Brad Radke. They paid Pedro and Lowe $23M this year. They might be able to get Radke and Pavano for a little less, if Pavano will leave Florida.
JRKnRSN:Q: Hey Peter, which player(s) is most likely to be in a Red Sox uniform on Opening Day... Carl Pavano, Matt Clement, Morris, or other? By the way you need to pick up the new Howie Day CD, pretty amazing...
PeterGammons:Howie Day is great, as is the new Susan Tedeschi in Austin. Radke is their priority if Pedro drags out. Clement? No. I think the Yankees and Red Sox will duel for Steve Kline, as well.
ghost_of_fred_lynn:Q: Where will Theo be spending this Thanksgiving?
PeterGammons:I hope with his parents and Marie. How about Southington, Ct. with the Pavanos? Part of the deal could be that Pavano Cleaners is the official cleaners of the Boston Red Sox.
Utica_Blue_Sox:Q: Hi Peter, will the Sox look to trade Nixon this off season?
PeterGammons:I doubt it, unless they think they can get Magglio Ordonez or another outfielder cheaply. Trot is a big part of the makeup of the team.
Go_Sox:Q: Peter, is there any chance the Red Sox move Manny? Are the Mets the only team interested as of now?
PeterGammons:The Mets would love him, but even though they discussed it a month ago, replacing his bat would bew difficult. Personally I would love to see them get Troy Glaus to bat behind Manny and Ortiz, but the cost and position is prohibitive.
TG:Q: Peter, I'm from Indiana, and went to game 4 of the WS. I thought the atmosphere was unbelievable, what were your thoughts? Also, as of right now, where is Beltran going to end up?
PeterGammons:The Red Sox wives were shocked to have fans congratulating them, and I personally thought the Cardinal fans were tremendous. As for Beltran, the Astros think they have a legit shot because he loves it there--remember, he is a very serious, religious kid and his family friend Chi Chi Rodriguez has ties to Houston. But the Angels, Cub s and Yankees will be big players
Greenwellen:Q: Did I see you on the campaign trail with Ralph Nader yesterday? What do you make of the Schilling/Bush vs. Kerry/Theo competition? Should they all butt out?
PeterGammons:I find Nader a comic book character. Hey, I have no problem with Schilling doing what he believesm because he is smart and honest; I just hope he convinces the president that repressing stem cell research would be a terrible blow to ALS research. Theo, like Kerry, went to Yale and comes from a politically active and Actually, the first big west coact Kerry fundraiser was last November, by Arn Tellem and Tom Werner hooking up.
SouthernComfort:Q: Did you get the sense Kevin Millar was backtracking on the whiskey shots when you spoke with him yesterday? What's your take on the situation. Did it happen? Should we care?
PeterGammons:He knows he talked too much, and in a way sold teamates down the river with his enthusiasm. I believe there was the paper Gatoraid cup and it was symbolic, and if they did get 20-25 guys to touch the cup, great. That's what being a part of teams is all about.
Western_Mass:Q: Is Pokey Reese likely to return as a part-time player or is he looking to start some place? How do you rate the chances of keeping Dave Roberts and Gabe Kapler?
PeterGammons:Pokey wants to play every day, likely in Cincinnati replacing Barry Larkin(whom tthe Sox would love as a three position utilityman); problem is, Pokey is hard to keep on the field because of injuries. Roberts is back as a four year arbitration guy, and I think they'll do everything to keep Kapler, because Roberts and Kapler are great team people.
mengland00:Q: Was LaRussa upset about how Oquendo handled the Suppan slip up? Oquendo seemed to walk away in the middle of the play as if to say, "You're on your own." Seems like he could have handled that better rather than distancing himself from responsibility.
PeterGammons:At that point, there was nothing he could do. He walked over before the pitch, pointed out how far Mueller was wide of the bag and suggested a bigger lead and to run on contact.
mengland00:Q: How realistic is the possibility that the Sox might trade Millar in the offseason and anoint Mientkiewicz the starting first baseman? At 30 years old, could Mientkiewicz be a .280, 22, 79 guy and get on base at a similar clip as in previous years for Min
PeterGammons:I don't think they know yet. Millar's a tough guy to trade, but Mienkiewicz in their eyes will blossom in Fenway, a doubles park. I could see a .300/17 HR/55 2BH year.
KBIZZLE87:Q: Peter im a big fan of your stuff and I sat 2 rows behind you for game 2. Anyway, is there any truth to these theories that are flying around the Boston airwaves today? Namely, Posada to Az. for Johnson then the Yanks push for Tek? Would Tek even consider
PeterGammons:I don't think Arizona would do Posada now. But the Yankees love Varitek and respect him, but that's far-fetched. One rumor was Posada for Hudson. Never. The Yanks called and were told they don't have anything that interests the A's, who will trade Hudson, Mulder or Zito.
Kurt_Wetterlow:Q: Dear Peter, do you think that the Red Sox may let Pedro walk and, instead, pursue a young pitcher such as Carl Pavano?
PeterGammons:Brad Radke is there preference, then Pavano. Both? I don't know. They used to like Odalis Perez, but he's fallen off the radar for now.
Pete_Townshend:Q: Is Hanley Ramirez brash or arrogant? That type of player never goes over well in this market. Any chance they may use him to trade for cheaper starting pitching and keep Cabrera?
PeterGammons:Ramirez is assured, but not brash or arrogant. He is also a phenominal talent, and for now they wouldn't even discuss trading him unless they could get a Hudson,
rajwolv:Q: Hey Peter, Will Nomar sign a one yr deal with the Cubs, and try to re-estalish his market value?
PeterGammons:I hear the Cubs are focused on Beltran and signing 1 shortstop. They seem as interested in Cabrera than Nomar, if not more. If they don't get Beltran, they may run at Renteria.
Archie_Bell:Q: Not to jump the gun, Peter, but do you think the game has passed the Boss by, ala Al Davis? George spends a ton on players that prove not to be "Yankees" in the classic sense. And I don't think Cashman steers the ship.
PeterGammons:I am hesitant to say he's Al Davis, but his club president likely will jump when all the backended contracts come due. Hey, it was George that insisted on Sheffield, and he was great. We'll see. Cashman is a great GM and Gene Michael is one of the best minds out there, but if George wants STARS, he may have a $240M payroll.
TerryAdams:Q: Not to be a killjoy, but now that Curt Schilling is scheduled to make something like $14 or $16 million when he is 41 years old, isn't there a high probability that Curt's tenure in Beantown won't end particularily well?
PeterGammons:I don't think so. People will remember that he brought New England a world series. Never underestimate the man's ability to adjust.
alexstajos:Q: What is your prediction for the Red Sox 5man rotation for 2005?
PeterGammons:I have no idea. But Schilling, Pedro, Arrojo, Radke, Wakefield?
justintime:Q: Now that the Sox have one a world series , I would like to see some new home grown blood in the mix. Do you think our farm system will see any new Trot NIxons or Nomars coming by shortly?
PeterGammons:Hanley Ramirez is their best prospect, ETA 2006. But they think that RHP Jon Papelbon, LHP Jon Lester, LHP Abe Alvarez and/or RH Rel. Manny Delcarmen could be ready come September.
foulketheyankees:Q: Pedro has become a 6 or 7 inning pitcher who folds after 100 pitches. Wouldn't it be a wiser move to sign Lowe to a long-term deal, given the longevity factor and that Schilling could be a mentor to him and help sort out his mental issues?
PeterGammons:You have a point, although I'm not certain that Derek would listen to him. In Game 3 in St. Louis, Pedro pitched to hitters' weaknesses, not off his perceived strengths. If he will do that and forget the macho power, he can still win big.
Pedro_s_Jehri_Curl:Q: Varitek 5/$50M???? Come on, I love the guy, but he isn't worth that kind of dough. Is that contract rumor true, tell me it's a Bora$ exagguration.
PeterGammons:I can see 4 years, $36-40M. His worth to this team transcends money.
agoos:Q: Have the Red Sox initiated any discussions with any of the free agents to re-sign them? Have they made any offers?
PeterGammons:They are working on that this week. It's a long process.
cursebuster:Q: Which free agent do you think the Red Sox need to pursue signing the most?
PeterGammons:Of their own, Varitek. If Cabrera goes--and his agents are highest dollar guys--they have their work cut out for them if it is true that Omar Vizquel is going to the White Sox to be with his fellow Venezuelan shortstop legend Ozzie Guillen.
Foulke:Q: Will Mirabelli be a hot commodity on the free agent market? If so would the Sox really go with Shoppach as a back-up?
PeterGammons:I think Mirabelli will get a 110 game offer, which will be tough to turn down. And he will be missed, because he's the best backup in the game. They might start the year with Sandy Martinez--a great guy who can really catch and throw--and hope Schoppach gets off to a better start at Pawtucket. Shoppach's inadequate season required going to Buffalo and getting Martinez.
CurtSchillingsSock:Q: Isn't Carl Parvano a concern? After all he has been oft-injuried throught his career
PeterGammons:No question. He's been healthy the last two years and is now in incredible shape, but he doesn't have the reliable history of Radke or Lowe, for that matter.
greenBelt74:Q: What is the contract situation for the Sox advance scouts? And another music tip: Lynard Skynard tribute CD, featuring Blues Traveler covering "Free Bird". Good stuff.
PeterGammons:I believe all the major scouts are signed. Dave Jauss should be a hero in this town.
JohnB:Q: Since the Sox picked up the option on Mueller, where does Youlk fit in next year?
PeterGammons:He could play some third, second and first, or be traded. Remember, Mueller can play second, as well. I like Youklis. He's better than the scouts think.
tobster:Q: Nobody seems to discuss Brandon Moss in the Red Sox farm system. Yet he had out of control numbers at both augusta and especially sarasota. What is your take on his future?
PeterGammons:He is a bigtime prospect who can really hit. He was the Sally League MVP. Hopefully he and Murphy will have good years in 2005 and be on the horizon for 2007.
steve:Q: Do you think Abe Alverez will be available to help the Sox this year, or is he still another year away.
PeterGammons:He's probably another year away, but I believe he will be a starter in the big leagues because he throws strikes and can follow a plan. Does he have the upside f Lester or Rozier? No. But he can be a 4th starter and he's lefthanded.
Interpol:Q: Is there a remote chance the Sox will go after someone like Jeff Kent for second, and fill in SS with a no-bat fielder?
PeterGammons:Maybe, although I think Mark Bellhorn comes back. They have always liked Kent's bat, and tried to sign him as a first baseman. Good though.
fromMa:Q: What did you think of Curts take on ARod? Also if that deal went through would we still be talking world Championship?
PeterGammons:What ARod did at times was dumb, beginning with taking on the one player you wouldn't take on, Varitek. If ARod had a great year at shortstop and Magglio were healthy? I'm not sure Alex was ready to be a dirt dog, so I'd say they would not have won
Joey:Q: Peter - Does winning the title create good will that will help the Sox resign their free agents, or does it serve more to increase the players' value to the point where the Sox will not be able to sign more than one or two?
PeterGammons:Great question. We don't know yet whether or not the incredible atmosphere in Boston will touch players and their agents. My guess is that it won't help, and that Lowe and Cabrera saw their values increase. But I also think a lot of players will want to come here.
Mr__Bad_Example:Q: Hi Peter - Was the decision to vote Nomar a full playoff share endorsed by most of the players, or was it really a show of how influential Varitek and Nixon are in the clubhouse? Also, have you listened to any of James McMurtry's stuff?
PeterGammons:I understand that if a player is with a team for more than half the season, he gets the full share. But the players were sincere.
Wally:Q: Hi Peter, Can't wait for this years Hot Stove at the Paradise. Any chance you could tell us who might stop by for the Sox and other special guests?
PeterGammons:It's Jan. 9, and Bronson Arroyo and his band will be playing. At least a half-dozen players have said they are coming--Millar, Wake, Mueller--but we'll see when the time comes. Thanks This has been an honor and priviledge.
BostonDotCom:Peter, thank you so much for stopping by. We look forward to your, TV, and radio reports this off-season.
PeterGammons:One thing about living here--we eat baseball 366 days this year.
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