GOOD LUCK HUNTER
It is inevitable in baseball. Trades are a part of the game. This week the Red Sox dealt lefty Hunter Jones to the Marlins for outfielder Jeremy Hermida. I hope the trade works out for both clubs. I espeially root for Jones, the Palm Beach Gardens, Florida native. He spent parts of the last couple of seasons with the PawSox. Jones hasn’t had an easy road. He pitched collegiately at Florida State University and had fractures in his pitching arm misdiagnosed. He went undrafted, but persevered and was signed as a free agent by Boston in 2005. Jones worked his way up the chain and ultimately appeared in a handful of games for the Red Sox. Jones told me that he was going to devote the offseason to weight training in an effort to become a major leaguer for good. His path to the Bigs is much more clear now. He is a big strong lefthander who can throw the ball hard. Hunter Jones will have a good opportunity to make the Marlins and become an integral part of their bullpen. I really hope Jones enjoys a long successful career. He is one of the good guys. Jones will join former Red Sox farmhands Hanley Ramirez and Anibel Sanchez in Florida. Boston has had pretty good luck with former Marlins like Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell. Hermida is a former first round selection who has been tabbed with the “under-achiever” label. Theo Epstein said this week that he hoped a change of scenery would be what Hermida needed to reach his potential. I like the idea of Hermida as a fourth outfielder, but I’d feel a heck of a lot better if Boston signs Jason Bay. The Sox will not overtake the Yankees if they don’t re-sign Bay or someone similar.
It will be interesting to see who Terry Francona names as a successsor to bench coach Brad Mills. Mills was named the manager of the Houston Astros. One possibility is PawSox skipper, Ron Johnson. Tito has a great deal of respect for RJ and likes the job he does preparing the young prospects for the Major Leagues. Francona has extended an invitation to Johnson every September since 2005 to join the Red Sox staff for the final month of the season. Another twist to Mills heading to Houston also involves the Johnson family. RJ’s son Chris is a third baseman in the Astros organization and made his Major League debut in 2009. The younger Johnson is a prime candidate to make the Astros in 2010.