Sunday, October 16, 2011

Conor Says... Take Austin Kirk and Marquez Smith As Epstein's Compensation

The only thing holding Theo Epstein to the Red Sox is the fact that the Red Sox need compensation for the one year left on his contract. It has already been established that the most likely compensation will be some of the Cubs' prospects. So, yesterday, I took a look at the Cubs' Top 20 prospects and I found some names that I like. No, not Brett Jackson. Jackson is going to be a star, yes, but so is Ryan Kalish and probably a few more of the 1,000,000,000 outfield prospects the Red Sox have. I have decided on the names of left-handed pitcher Austin Kirk (right) and second baseman/third baseman Marquez Smith.
      Kirk is 21 years old, and was selected by the Cubs in the 3rd round of the 2009 draft. So far, he has genuinely impressed at the minor league level. At A level Peoria in 2011, Kirk had himself his worst season in professional baseball, and he was pretty good. He was 5-12/4.29/122 in 151 innings pitched. Plus, there's always the good aspect that he's a lefty starting pitcher. Although he won't be ready for the majors until, probably, late 2013, he would be a good pickup that would certainly help this team.
       My other idea was Marquez Smith (left), a 26 year old AAA third baseman/second baseman in the Cubs' system. Smith took a step back from his stellar 2010 season with a mediocre .278/7/36 season in 2011, coming after a .314/17/53 season in 2010. However, his career batting average in the minors is a decent .282, as he's been a good performer with the Cubs and I'm surprised he hasn't gotten called up to the majors. If he was healthy in 2012, something he was not in 2011, he would probably join the Aviles/Lowrie mess on the bench. However, if he outperformed them, he could become a starting third baseman as a bridge before Will Middlebrooks is ready. I think the Red Sox should seriously consider both of these players as compensation.

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