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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Deal revived, Rockies acquire 2B Marco Scutaro from Red Sox

Il Milione Man March heads west…

The Rockies have agreed in principle on a deal to acquire Boston infielder Marco Scutaro for pitcher Clayton Mortensen, according to a source with direct knowledge of the talks.

The Rockies’ earmarked Scutaro as a target when the offseason began, seeing him as a starting second baseman and potential No. 2 hitter in the lineup. The deal went on life support Friday, but was revived today when the Rockies were able to work through some financial issues to take on Scutaro’s $6 million contract.

It will become official shortly as the players involved are notified.

...Mortensen is an extreme groundball pitcher, relying heavily on a sinker. He went 2-4 with a 3.86 ERA, splitting between between the bullpen and rotation.

With Scutaro in the fold, the Rockies will enter spring training with one of their deepest lineups in franchise history. He will join outfielder Michael Cuddyer and catcher Ramon Hernandez as key acquisitions, completely reshaping the lineup around Carlos Gonzalez and all-star cleanup hitter Troy Tulowitzki.

Repoz Posted: January 21, 2012 at 07:33 PM | 75 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox, rockies

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   1. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 21, 2012 at 07:44 PM (#4042034)
So presumably a pitcher with the six million savings right? How much did they have to spend before that? Could they possibly take a shot at Hanley Ramirez (assuming he's truly disgruntled). Not really sure what they'd have to land him with as far as players though.
   2. puck Posted: January 21, 2012 at 07:47 PM (#4042036)
Wow. Nice trade, 2nd base was definitely a hole for the Rockies, though this seems schizophrenic from O'Dowd. W/Scutaro and Cuddyer, you'd think they were adding the final pieces for the championship run.

Does Boston have a shortstop? Are they dumping salary on the Rockies?
   3. UnclePab Posted: January 21, 2012 at 07:51 PM (#4042039)
Does Boston have a shortstop?

That's what I want to know. I don't like the idea of Punto or Aviles playing there every day, and Iglesias isn't ready. I'd expect there to be another move (or two) as I don't see any viable internal options.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 21, 2012 at 07:54 PM (#4042040)
Red Sox reportedly pursuing Roy Oswalt, presumably to play shortstop.
   5. Live and don't learn. That's us. Posted: January 21, 2012 at 07:57 PM (#4042041)
From the ESPN article:

The Red Sox had exercised the $6 million option they held on Scutaro's contract for the 2012 season, in what Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington termed a "significant acquisition" just two days ago. But with the Red Sox still looking to improve their starting pitching depth, and Carl Crawford's wrist surgery leaving them thin in the outfield, the decision was made to move Scutaro.

So... The solution to having a lack of depth in pitching and the outfield is to open a black hole offensively at shortstop in exchange for a pitcher who had an ERA+ of 63 heading into last year? As a Yankee fan, I like this trade.
   6. puck Posted: January 21, 2012 at 07:59 PM (#4042042)
With this trade, Denver Post beat writer talks up the Rockies'offseason this way:

With Scutaro in the fold, the Rockies will enter spring training with one of their deepest lineups in franchise history. He will join outfielder Michael Cuddyer and catcher Ramon Hernandez as key acquisitions, completely reshaping the lineup around Carlos Gonzalez and all-star cleanup hitter Troy Tulowitzki.


Scutaro should do better than what the Rockies had (half season of Ellis plus junk), and even a decrepit Blake will improve on the horror show of last year's collection of 3rd basemen. But Cuddyer is not a huge upgrade on Seth Smith, Hernandez won't improve on Iannetta. The bench is still weak with a bunch of AAA players trying to show they can hit in the majors.

I guess none of the old guys are blocking anyone, so it's not so bad. But if they're expecting a playoff team, I don't think this is gonna do it.
   7. Greg K Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:00 PM (#4042043)
I read the headline and thought "since when is Scutaro a 2B?".
Then I saw what team he had gone to.
Funny how the mere existence of Troy Tulowitzki can fundamentally change a man's identity.
   8. puck Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:00 PM (#4042044)
Red Sox reportedly pursuing Roy Oswalt, presumably to play shortstop.


He does sort of have a shortstop's build.
   9. Morph Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:01 PM (#4042046)
Scutaro was horrifying, speaking as a Yankees fan. He had quality at-bats and seemed to own Mariano Rivera, for reasons unknown. As long as this isn't a prelude to reacquiring Hanley, I give the Red Sox a big thumbs up on this one.
   10. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:04 PM (#4042047)
Does Boston have a shortstop?

That's what I want to know.


They have Jed Low... er, no.
   11. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:09 PM (#4042048)
Scutaro was horrifying, speaking as a Yankees fan. He had quality at-bats and seemed to own Mariano Rivera, for reasons unknown.


I believe the reasons are "anything can happen in 20 PA."

But hopefully this is a prelude to acquiring Hanley.
   12. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:10 PM (#4042049)
There's a method to the madness here, but it seems to involve cornering the market on backups and emergency guys. I got ridiculed here for suggesting that the Red Sox are punting on 2012...at the very least, they seem to be holding serve until next offseason. I'll be surprised if they get Oswalt, now.
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:13 PM (#4042050)

So... The solution to having a lack of depth in pitching and the outfield is to open a black hole offensively at shortstop in exchange for a pitcher who had an ERA+ of 63 heading into last year? As a Yankee fan, I like this trade.


Concur.

It's a pure salary dump. Mortensen has a 1:1 BB:K ratio in the bigs. He's worthless.

I got ridiculed here for suggesting that the Red Sox are punting on 2012...at the very least, they seem to be holding serve until next offseason.

Sure as hell looks like it.
   14. Textbook Editor Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:18 PM (#4042052)
Yeah, unless this is some kind of move for Hanley, I'm not seeing the sense. They don't have a guy who can play 130+ games at SS. Punto at SS everyday would be... just godawful. Aviles has the ability to fake it in LF and play other positions--he's your utility guy.

Unless this is to make Iglasias the starting SS in a sink-or-swim move, I'm baffled by this. Just baffled... And I'm not convinced Oswalt won't get roughed up a bit moving to the AL East. I'm really hoping this is a precursor to a Hanley move.
   15. pyrite Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4042054)
ZiPS projections (as Red Sox):

Player            B    PO  Age     BA  OBP  SLG   G  AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  BB  SO  SB  CS OPSDEFENSE
Marco Scutaro     R    SS   36   .277 .339 .390 123 477  65 132  28   1   8  51  45  53   6   3   93 AV
/85
Mike Aviles       R    SS   31   .273 .301 .417 115 422  52 115  23   4  10  49  17  62  12   6   88 AV
/103
Jed Lowrie        B    SS   28   .252 .316 .406  86 286  34  72  19   2   7  38  28  57   1   1   89 FR
/108 


If it's just Scutaro to Aviles, that's not a huge downgrade. Aviles looks perfectly cromulent -- looks like they can spend $6 million more effectively elsewhere.
   16. Textbook Editor Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:21 PM (#4042055)
Ugh:

Neither team has confirmed the deal, but The Globe's Nick Cafardo tweeted that the deal was "likely," according to a Red Sox source, and that the team would replace Scutaro by platooning Mike Aviles and Nick Punto at short.


I'm going to go out on a limb and say that an Aviles/Punto platoon is not going to win you any WS.

Gut feeling: Blech.
   17. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:22 PM (#4042056)
Ugh, this sucks. In theory there could be another shoe to drop, but this looks like Henry and Werner have set a strict salary limit. This move frees up money to acquire a pitcher, but it's a 1-2 win downgrade to the lineup. don't like it.

What sucks, to be clear, is that this move is very strong evidence that the Sox have a set salary limit that Cherington has to work around. I would have hoped he'd have a little wiggle room.
   18. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:22 PM (#4042057)
Scutaro was horrifying, speaking as a Yankees fan. He had quality at-bats and seemed to own Mariano Rivera, for reasons unknown.



I believe the reasons are "anything can happen in 20 PA."


I agree with the previous point. Scutaro seemed to have good ABs when it meant the most, particularly late and close. Since Bill Mueller, I don't remember the Sox putting a guy on the field that was guaranteed to hit a single every time the Yankees desperately needed an out.

Didn't Scoot hit a big HR against Rivera as an A?
   19. Nasty Nate Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:23 PM (#4042058)
So... The solution to having a lack of depth in pitching and the outfield is to open a black hole offensively at shortstop in exchange for a pitcher who had an ERA+ of 63 heading into last year? As a Yankee fan, I like this trade.


Concur.

It's a pure salary dump. Mortensen has a 1:1 BB:K ratio in the bigs. He's worthless


No, not a pure salary dump - he adds to the pitching depth which everyone knows that the Sox need. I don't really know why the original poster quoted his ERA+ heading into last year. That 36 innings is an even smaller sample size than the 58 innings he had last year with a 117 ERA+.

I have no idea what the Sox are doing at SS...
   20. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:35 PM (#4042060)
this move is very strong evidence that the Sox have a set salary limit that Cherington has to work around.


If it's true that a hard salary limit is the problem, then what was the boon that allowed Lucchino et al to spend more than usual for 2011?
   21. Xander Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:38 PM (#4042062)
Ugh, this sucks. In theory there could be another shoe to drop, but this looks like Henry and Werner have set a strict salary limit. This move frees up money to acquire a pitcher, but it's a 1-2 win downgrade to the lineup. don't like it.

What sucks, to be clear, is that this move is very strong evidence that the Sox have a set salary limit that Cherington has to work around. I would have hoped he'd have a little wiggle room.
And that strict salary limit is almost surely the projected luxury cap threshold.

Cherington is biting the bullet for Theo's mistakes. You can't miss on two big contracts in consecutive years without repercussions. The edict is surely, "Reset the luxury tax now so we don't get hit hard when it goes up to 40%." There's no point in going marginally over the limit this season if it's going to significantly handcuff you in the future.
   22. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:39 PM (#4042063)
If it's true that a hard salary limit is the problem, then what was the boon that allowed Lucchino et al to spend more than usual for 2011?
They didn't. The Red Sox spent the same amount of money in 2011 as in 2010. The question is how they had so much more money to spend in 2010, and why after the big jump in 2010 they haven't found any more money. It looks like they have about the same amount of money to spend for 2012, but unlike in '10 and '11, they aren't shedding enough salary and they have too much salary deadweight to be able to fill out the roster as they want without cutting elsewhere.
   23. Live and don't learn. That's us. Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:40 PM (#4042064)
I don't really know why the original poster quoted his ERA+ heading into last year. That 36 innings is an even smaller sample size than the 58 innings he had last year with a 117 ERA+.

This is a fair point. I knew when I wrote my post that it was a little misleading. On the other hand, Clayton has a career minor league ERA of 4.87 (including 5.26 in triple A ball) and even last year in his 58.1 good major league innings he only struck out 4.6 batters per nine innings while walking 3.7 batters per nine innings. So while 36.2 innings is clearly not a big enough sample size to draw conclusions, I thought that it got across my general point that Clayton's track record is really, really bad without writing enough words to compromise my snarky reaction to the trade.
   24. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:43 PM (#4042066)
There's no point in going marginally over the limit this season if it's going to significantly handcuff you in the future.
But how will it handcuff them? In 2011, the Red Sox had their highest luxury tax bill ever - $3.4M, paid at a 30% rate. If they had to pay at a 50% rate, they'd have owed $5.5M, and if they had to pay at a 16% rate, they'd have owed $2M. We're talking about just a few million in difference. Even if they doubled the amount they went over the cap, they'd be saving only $7M.

The downgrade from Scutaro to a Punto/Aviles platoon is 1-2 wins. If they're costing themselves 1-2 wins now to save $7M in the future, that's a bad tradeoff. The only way it makes sense is if the Sox plan to significantly exceed the luxury tax limit, by at least 3x what they've exceeded it in the past.
   25. karlmagnus Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:45 PM (#4042068)
Looks to me as though Henry has run out of money. Hedge fund business very iffy, and Henry's haven't been successful of late. Not enough $$$ to manage both Liverpool and Sox vanity projects properly.
   26. pyrite Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:47 PM (#4042069)
From 2008 to 2011:

PLAYER  WAR  PA   WAR/600PA
Punto    7.6 1271 3.59
Scutaro 12.7 2412 3.16 
   27. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:47 PM (#4042070)
And Clayton Mortensen sucks. He's never been good in the high minors. Never, in four tries.

2008: 140 IP, 4.96 ERA, 105/64 K/BB
2009: 137 IP, 4.39 ERA, 100/48 K/BB
2010: 165 IP, 4.25 ERA, 112/53 K/BB
2011: 64 IP, 9.42 ERA, 54/29 K/BB

Mortensen's a waste of a 40-man roster spot.
   28. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:50 PM (#4042071)
PLAYER WAR PA WAR/600PA
Punto 7.6 1271 3.59
Scutaro 12.7 2412 3.16
Yeah, this is the one case for the trade I can imagine - that Little Nicky Punto projects as an average baseball player or better, as the strong side of a regular platoon. That's something I'm not ready to sign on to.
   29. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:53 PM (#4042073)
Thanks, MCoA.
   30. Nasty Nate Posted: January 21, 2012 at 09:05 PM (#4042076)
Looks to me as though Henry has run out of money. Hedge fund business very iffy, and Henry's haven't been successful of late. Not enough $$$ to manage both Liverpool and Sox vanity projects properly.


hahaha you've been writing this every year for 8 years
   31. Mattbert Posted: January 21, 2012 at 09:14 PM (#4042081)
If it's true that a hard salary limit is the problem, then what was the boon that allowed Lucchino et al to spend more than usual for 2011?

FSG hadn't sunk $150MM into a dazzling array of mediocrity to adorn Liverpool FC yet.
   32. greenback calls it soccer Posted: January 21, 2012 at 09:19 PM (#4042083)
WAR/600PA

Punto had about twenty different injuries last year starting from the first week or two of spring training. He's a nice, little ballplayer, who apparently is popular in the clubhouse because he rips off teammates' shirts, but I wouldn't count on him staying healthy.
   33. Darren Posted: January 21, 2012 at 09:21 PM (#4042084)
The numbers don't bear this out, but Scutaro looked absolutely terrible last year. They might have decided that simply wasn't up to playing ss anymore. If that was their evaluation, then the Punto acquisition makes some sense too.

If the Sod are coming close to hitting their budget, then the really tough call was Ortiz. They probably could have gotten a much cheaper dh.
   34. Textbook Editor Posted: January 21, 2012 at 09:22 PM (#4042085)
God damnit, that stupid-ass Andy Carroll transfer has forced the Red Sox to pinch pennies. This is maddening.
   35. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 21, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4042089)
Darren - I kind of agree with you but why pick up his option then? No reason you can't sign Pujto then anyway.

Generally though there is more doom and gloom than this warrants. Maybe I'm wrong but I'll be shocked if the Sox don't announce another move in the next 48 hours. I feel like I can't evaluate this until that happens.
   36. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 21, 2012 at 09:30 PM (#4042094)
Wasn't Mortensen on waivers not long ago? Even for a pure salary dump I think the Sox could have done better than this.
   37. Jim Wisinski Posted: January 21, 2012 at 09:32 PM (#4042096)
Seems like this means that the team the Red Sox have on Opening Day with is pretty much the team they've got for the season (counting minor leaguers). If acquiring pitching or outfield depth requires them to trade the starting SS and his salary then I can't imagine Cherington would be allowed to add more than marginal salary through trade mid-season.
   38. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 21, 2012 at 09:34 PM (#4042097)
I thought Scutaro would fetch more than this as well.

I haven't looked in the mechanics of the new cba via a vis Boston and the tax yet but - wasn't the CW that this is their reset year?
   39. Pleasant Nate (Upgraded from 'Nate') Posted: January 21, 2012 at 09:56 PM (#4042103)
If you want to go with the Aviles/Punto platoon and use the Scutaro money to buy Oswalt, that's understandable. I don't think it's hard to make the case that Oswalt in the rotation, with Aceves in the pen and as SP insurance to go with A/P is better than Scutaro/Aceves in the rotation/crappy RP.

That said, this is still an awful trade. Scutaro has surplus value at his salary, and they dealt him for squat. At least go get a high upside lottery ticket arm in A-ball.
   40. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: January 21, 2012 at 10:05 PM (#4042106)
If the Sod are coming close to hitting their budget, then the really tough call was Ortiz.


I think they realized (rightly) that Ortiz's value is just as much about marketing as it is performance. A lot of the team's identity would go away if he weren't back.
   41. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 21, 2012 at 10:06 PM (#4042108)
That said, this is still an awful trade. Scutaro has surplus value at his salary, and they dealt him for squat. At least go get a high upside lottery ticket arm in A-ball.


Morosi is tweeting that the Sox are "intensifying" their chase for Oswalt (MLBTR). I suspect that the Sox acted quickly to make sure they could strike quickly if they could get Oswalt to agree.
   42. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: January 21, 2012 at 10:07 PM (#4042109)
I suspect that the Sox acted quickly to make sure they could strike quickly if they could get Oswalt to agree.


I get to be full of #### again if this happens.
   43. Pleasant Nate (Upgraded from 'Nate') Posted: January 21, 2012 at 10:13 PM (#4042114)
Morosi is tweeting that the Sox are "intensifying" their chase for Oswalt (MLBTR). I suspect that the Sox acted quickly to make sure they could strike quickly if they could get Oswalt to agree.


That's some pretty poor planning, if so.
   44. Walt Davis Posted: January 21, 2012 at 11:28 PM (#4042143)
Now back to the Rox and this "one of the deepest lineups" in franchise history:

C Hernndez 36
1B Helton 38
2B Scutaro 36
3B Blake 38
RF Cuddyer 33

WTF are they thinking?
   45. puck Posted: January 21, 2012 at 11:36 PM (#4042149)
WTF are they thinking?


I don't know if this is their attempt to field a reasonable team this season without blocking Rosario (c) or Arenado (3b) or if they think they can win this season by doing this? The Cuddyer deal was the head-scratcher for me since $34 million is a lot of money for this team and he doesn't appear to be that large an upgrade.

They are all big on "changing the clubhouse culture," too. That's why Stewart, Iannetta and Smith are gone. They're ok w/losing, don't throw enough bats in the dugout, etc.
   46. joeysdadjoe Posted: January 21, 2012 at 11:45 PM (#4042156)
So the Red Sox traded a legit SS in a clear salary dump so they could play a guy (Aviles) who couldn't take at bats from Yuni Betancourt in KC. Granted KC didn't know what to do with the guy but they knew he wasn't a SS.
   47. booond Posted: January 21, 2012 at 11:48 PM (#4042158)
Never question how smart Theo is. He won with a huge piece of Duquette's team and got out as this team hit the banana peel.
   48. Dale Sams Posted: January 21, 2012 at 11:58 PM (#4042166)
Hard salary cap?

LF McDonald
CF Ellsbury
RF Sweeney
3B Youk
SS Punto
2B Pedroia
1B AGon
DH Ortiz
C Salty

Sox finish April 10-12, kiss sellout streak goodbye during A's series.
   49. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: January 22, 2012 at 12:58 AM (#4042195)
Didn't Scoot hit a big HR against Rivera as an A?

Yes.
Scutaro v. Rivera ended a nothing game, April 15 2007, but it was by far the wildest conclusion to a baseball game I've ever witnessed in person: Marco, then hitting .050, came to bat with two outs & two runners on, bottom of the ninth, A's down 4-2; he took a called strike, fouled one off, and then hit a long low drive off the left-field foul pole to win the game, 5-4. I was sitting down the 3b line, and I feel like I can remember the whole stadium holding its breath while the ball was in the air, and then EXPLODING as it rattled off that fair-territory fence stuff. Just amazing.
   50. Nasty Nate Posted: January 22, 2012 at 01:00 AM (#4042199)
Never question how smart Theo is. He won with a huge piece of Duquette's team and got out as this team hit the banana peel.


haha insane. The Sox are in a better position now than when Theo inherited the team.
   51. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 22, 2012 at 01:11 AM (#4042205)
C Hernndez 36
1B Helton 38
2B Scutaro 36
3B Blake 38
RF Cuddyer 33


IF Giambi 41
   52. puck Posted: January 22, 2012 at 01:17 AM (#4042209)
I forgot Scutaro is Venezuelan. It must be part of the Rockies' Venezuela strategy. Chacin, Moscoso, Betancourt, Hernandez, Herrera, Scutaro and Gonzalez.
   53. booond Posted: January 22, 2012 at 01:26 AM (#4042213)
haha insane. The Sox are in a better position now than when Theo inherited the team.


They were 93-69 with a 100-62 pythag in 2002. He took over in 2003.

They were 90-72 in 2011 pythag was 94-68. Yeah they're better.



   54. Nasty Nate Posted: January 22, 2012 at 01:38 AM (#4042219)
Well a non-moron might judge a team's position on player's under contract going forward, players in the minor leagues etc, so get back to me if you do that.
   55. booond Posted: January 22, 2012 at 01:56 AM (#4042227)
Well a non-moron might judge a team's position on player's under contract going forward, players in the minor leagues etc, so get back to me if you do that.


Weak man's position is always to insult.

This is a team with limited funds with large chunks of money tied to unproductive or aging/injury prone players - Lackey, Crawford, Ortiz, Youk, Beckett. Their biggest off-season move is to turn Bard into a staring pitcher. That would be great if he wasn't one of the worst starting pitchers in the minors a few years ago. Can they win 90-95 games? Sure. But I'd feel better if we had Manny and Pedro than Ortiz and Beckett.



   56. Nasty Nate Posted: January 22, 2012 at 01:59 AM (#4042228)
I guess I missed it when the Sox gave up years of control of Pedroia, Ellsbury, Gonzalez, Lester, Buccholz etc and when they became a small payroll team, my bad.
   57. Dale Sams Posted: January 22, 2012 at 03:06 AM (#4042238)
booond you can't judge Bard by minor league stats 'a few years ago'...and Nate, you can make a good case for your OP, but right now the Sox are going backwards. IMHO.

man...both this place and SB are looking more and more like an ESPN thread.
   58. Boxkutter Posted: January 22, 2012 at 03:23 AM (#4042244)
From 2008 to 2011:

PLAYER WAR PA WAR/600PA
Punto 7.6 1271 3.59
Scutaro 12.7 2412 3.16


I think most of that is based on defensive metrics. Scutaro has easily been the better hitter.
   59. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: January 22, 2012 at 04:05 AM (#4042249)
I hope Inglesias ends up starting. If the Red Sox are going to punt SS, may as well have great D.
   60. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: January 22, 2012 at 06:40 AM (#4042259)
They are all big on "changing the clubhouse culture," too. That's why Stewart, Iannetta and Smith are gone. They're ok w/losing, don't throw enough bats in the dugout, etc.


Didn't the Rockies have the famously Christian clubhouse just a couple years ago? That would seem to consist of the type of player who isn't a sore loser or throws tantrums.
   61. tjm1 Posted: January 22, 2012 at 08:28 AM (#4042267)
I see another option for how the Sox run the shortstop position, which is right up Bobby Valentine's alley. They use both Aviles and Punto a lot. Aviles starts when the strikeout/flyball pitchers are going, and Punto starts when the groundball pitchers are going. Punto gets pinch hit for any time it's late and either tied or the Sox are behind by 1-2 runs. Depending on the matchups, Aviles may get pinch hit for a lot, too, in key situations. If the Sox are willing to burn two pinch hitters, they should be able to force matchups like McDonald against the other team's lefty specialist, or Sweeney/Kalish versus a right-handed, which is a pretty good matchup. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the Sox go the whole season without a clear starter at shortstop, and if each of them has about 275 at bats, with another 80 of the at bats from their spot in the lineup going to the Sox backup outfielders.
   62. Something Other Posted: January 22, 2012 at 08:46 AM (#4042272)
There's a method to the madness here, but it seems to involve cornering the market on backups and emergency guys. I got ridiculed here for suggesting that the Red Sox are punting on 2012...
I can't see this. A very few wins are very likely to separate the team that just misses the playoffs from the worst team that makes it. "Punting" just wouldn't make any kind of sense. Sticking fast to a maximum payroll of, for arguments sake, $170m, makes sense. But that's a completely different approach than is punting.

That said, this is still an awful trade. Scutaro has surplus value at his salary, and they dealt him for squat. At least go get a high upside lottery ticket arm in A-ball.

Morosi is tweeting that the Sox are "intensifying" their chase for Oswalt (MLBTR). I suspect that the Sox acted quickly to make sure they could strike quickly if they could get Oswalt to agree.
Given that the Sox were willing to take nothing for Scutaro, and assuming that makes him easily tradeable, why would they have to deal him before picking up Oswalt? It's not like an overlap of a week or two would have cost them much at all. I suppose you might argue they could have gotten stuck with Scutaro, but that's a chance I think you take.


Didn't the Rockies have the famously Christian clubhouse just a couple years ago? That would seem to consist of the type of player who isn't a sore loser or throws tantrums.
Don't you mean, it would consist of fabulously wealthy, fabulously self-absorbed young men who think that the entity that put the planets in their orbits prefers to meddle in ball games rather than send water and crumbs of food to stick-thin infants?

Just a thought.
   63. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: January 22, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4042418)
Don't you mean, it would consist of fabulously wealthy, fabulously self-absorbed young men who think that the entity that put the planets in their orbits prefers to meddle in ball games rather than send water and crumbs of food to stick-thin infants?


God helps those who help themselves!
   64. Daunte Vicknabbit! Posted: January 22, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4042442)
I think this is actually part of a Scutaro plot to play near all former LBSU shortstops. Don't be surprised if he forces a midseason trade to Tampa.
   65. puck Posted: January 22, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4042457)
Didn't the Rockies have the famously Christian clubhouse just a couple years ago? That would seem to consist of the type of player who isn't a sore loser or throws tantrums.


Shh...don't confuse the front office.
   66. puck Posted: January 22, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4042458)
Don't you mean, it would consist of fabulously wealthy, fabulously self-absorbed young men...


Hey! Did you just think of that, because that's really clever! You should take it to the NFL thread.
   67. Brian Posted: January 22, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4042475)
For me it's funny that Scutaro got traded to the Rox because physically, the way he looks and moves, Scutaro has always reminded me of Mike Lansing. Lansing went from the Rox to the Sox but never did much in Boston.
   68. toratoratora Posted: January 22, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4042476)
Never question how smart Theo is. He won with a huge piece of Duquette's team and got out as this team hit the banana peel.


Yeah, a banana peel (Named Lackey, Crawford and Dice-K) that Theo threw.
Let's not give him too much credit here. He sandbagged the Sox with terrible contracts, then fled for the hills...
   69. Nasty Nate Posted: January 22, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4042481)
Also those albatross contracts he left behind for Gonzalez, Lester, Beckett, Pedroia, Youkilis, and Buchholz - this team is in terrible shape for the future...
   70. Dale Sams Posted: January 22, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4042500)
They MIGHT sneak in with Selig's "Goddamnit, why can't we just give the Yanks and Red Sox automatic berths every year" spot.
   71. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: January 22, 2012 at 05:54 PM (#4042592)
Sure. But I'd feel better if we had Manny and Pedro than Ortiz and Beckett.

Wait, what? Are you actually suggesting Manny and Pedro in 2012 could be better then Ortiz and Beckett? Surely you aren't suggesting that?

I think going forward they have some excellent contracts that'll provide amazing value over the next few years. I for one cannot see Crawford being as bad as he was last year and at this point in time, as has been suggested by other posters, I'm willing to give the club a mulligan on this offseason with respect to the reliever to starter conversions. They obviously think it's somewhat viable and I assume they know more then we do. Hence, I'm typing this from my desk at work in IT and not from my desk whilst being employed by a major league ball club as an analyst.
   72. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: January 22, 2012 at 07:54 PM (#4042658)
Don't discount the idea of reliever-starter conversions. As much as I hate to use the cliche term, it seems to be "the new market inefficiency".* Look at what the Rangers have done with tons of success with Wilson, Ogando, and most likely Feliz. (I expect a "breakout" of sorts with Brandon Morrow this year too).
   73. toratoratora Posted: January 22, 2012 at 09:13 PM (#4042708)
Also those albatross contracts he left behind for Gonzalez, Lester, Beckett, Pedroia, Youkilis, and Buchholz - this team is in terrible shape for the future...


Oh, I'm not hugely complaining about the long term prospects for the Sox. Per Cot's, the Sox in 14 look like:
Starter 2014 2015
Gonzalez,Adrian 1b $21.86 $21.86
Pedroia, Dustin 2b $10.25 $10.25
Iglesias, Jose ss $2.06
Youkilis, Kevin 3b $1.00
Saltalamacchia, c Arb 3 FA
Crawford, Carl lf $20.86 $21.11
Ellsbury,Jacoby cf Arb 3 FA
Kalish, Ryan of
Lavarnway, Ryan dh

potential bench
Tejeda, Oscar ss
Sweeney, Ryan cf Arb 3 FA
Punto, Nick 2b-ss $1.50 FA
Shoppach, Kelly c FA
Aviles, Mike inf Arb 2 Arb 3

SP
Lester, Jon lhp-s $11.63 $0.25
Buchholz, Clay rhp-s $5.75 $7.95
Bard, Daniel rhp Arb 2 Arb 3
Beckett, Josh rhp-s $17.00 $17.00
Lackey, John rhp-s $15.95 $15.95

Potential RP
Aceves, Alfredo rhp Arb 2 Arb 3
Bailey, Andrew rhp Arb 2 Arb 3
Atchison, Scott rhp Arb 1
Melancon, Mark rhp Arb 1 ? Arb 1/2
Doubront, Felix lhp
Bowden, Michael rhp
Albers, Matt rhp Arb 4 FA
Miller, Andrew lhp Arb 2 Arb 3
Morales, Frank lhp Arb 2 Arb 3
Tazawa, Junichi rhp Arb 1 Arb 2

payroll pre-arb $107.85 $94.36

That's a pretty nice team. The IF is locked up and the OF is OK if (Big if-I have lots less faith in CC's skill set than others-lifetime .773 OPS doesn't impress me much) Crawford comes back and Kalish produces. The Lester/Buch top of the rotation is fine and Beckett is a serviceable #3.If Bard makes the conversion and one of the Tazawa, Bowden etc... come through, the rotation isn't 1/2 bad.


Course, none of that does any good now. The Lackey signing was and remains a baffler, Dice-K at least gave the Sox something (Heartburn more than anything else) and Crawford has been, to put it kindly, a major disappointment and the cash being paid out is money that is needed elsewhere.

I'm not knocking Theo-he put together the team that has given me more joy than anything else in sports, but to say that he left as the team hit a banana peel is to downplay his part in the creation of said peel.
Theo signed two mega contracts that are hurting the teams short term financial flexibility and then left, leaving Ben holding the bag . That's as much a fact as his many successes.
   74. Walt Davis Posted: January 23, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4043420)
Presumably you mean 13-14 for those contracts. And of course they don't have Youk for $1 M in 13, that's how Cot's portrays option-year buyouts; in this case the option is for $13 M which, assuming a productive 2012, I assume they'll exercise.
   75. Nasty Nate Posted: January 23, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4043500)

I'm not knocking Theo-he put together the team that has given me more joy than anything else in sports, but to say that he left as the team hit a banana peel is to downplay his part in the creation of said peel.


I was disputing that they have hit a banana peel, not Theo's role in their current situation.

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