January 30, 2007

THERE GOES THE TODD:

Helton talks are off: Choice of prospects is the deal-breaker (Nick Cafardo, January 30, 2007, Boston Globe)

Helton is Epstein's type of guy, a tough out who wears down pitchers (.430 career on-base percentage) and a tough player. So Epstein listened and listened. He laid down the ground rules to the Rockies:

take on two big veteran salaries, pay some of Helton's contract, and we'll also give you one or two mid-level prospects.

But when the Rockies asked for more, the deal broke down, and the collapse became official last night. [...]

In the end, the Red Sox and Rockies were far apart on two major issues: how much of Helton's $90.1 million contract the Rockies would be willing to assume , and which prospects the Red Sox were willing to part with.

While numerous reports and sources indicated the Rockies were willing to eat half of Helton's salary, the last amount the Red Sox heard was about $27.5 million, or just more than a quarter of the contract.

Also, the Rockies wanted to choose one or two players from a list of Jon Lester, Craig Hansen, Jacoby Ellsbury, Daniel Bard, Manny Delcarmen, and Clay Buchholz. The Red Sox wouldn't part with any of them. Epstein countered with more of a second-tier prospect list, and that's when the negotiations broke down.


Having Colorado pick up half or more of the contract was what made the deal worthwhile, so if they weren't going to it's fine to have bailed. But if the stumbling block was really just a relief pitcher -- the most overrated commodity in baseball -- that would be silly.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 30, 2007 7:33 AM
Comments

Relief pitchers are definitely overrated. I see that every draft day in my fantasy baseball league. It's insane what some people will do for a few measly saves.

Posted by: Bartman at January 30, 2007 3:42 PM
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