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Sunday, March 28, 2010

ESPN Boston: Source: Sox hold line at 4 years for Beckett

“and which of course I soon lost, or threw away, or gave away, or swallowed.”

Talks are ongoing for a contract extension for Josh Beckett, who is scheduled to pitch the regular-season opener next Sunday night at Fenway Park against the New York Yankees.

But it turns out that the benchmark for a new deal will not be the five-year, $82.5 million contract the Sox gave free agent John Lackey this winter, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations. The Sox will not go beyond four years in a deal for Beckett, the source said.

At 30, Beckett is a year younger than Lackey, but it appears that long-term concerns about Beckett’s right shoulder have dissuaded the Red Sox from going to a fifth year with Beckett, whose three-year, $30 million extension he agreed to in 2006 expires at the end of the season.

Early in his minor-league career, Beckett had evidence of some fraying in his rotator cuff, which led his former team, the Florida Marlins, to limit how much he threw, according to a maor-league source. And when the Red Sox acquired Beckett from the Marlins in 2005, Sox officials who inspected his medical records were concerned about his shoulder, but not enough to walk away from the deal, according to a baseball source with direct knowledge of those trade negotiations.

Repoz Posted: March 28, 2010 at 02:36 AM | 60 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, red sox

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   1. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: March 28, 2010 at 02:54 AM (#3487366)
so with this leaking to the press, does this mean beckett is a goner?
   2. Dr. Vaux Posted: March 28, 2010 at 03:30 AM (#3487375)
Bye, Josh.
   3. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 28, 2010 at 03:38 AM (#3487376)
What is it with the Red Sox FO, throughout the team's history, slagging stars as a routine part of contract negotiations?
   4. Dr. Vaux Posted: March 28, 2010 at 03:49 AM (#3487377)
Well, this could be a negotiating tactic, or it could be the beginning of a slagging process. It's too early to tell.

The Yankees will be desperate for a starter after this season, though. They certainly won't be wanting to resign Javy Vazquez Part II, and probably won't be wanting Pettitte anymore, either. With the way Clay Buchholz and Daiske Matsusaka are going, the Red Sox will be desperate for a starter, too. They'll probably wind up with Vazquez . . .
   5. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: March 28, 2010 at 04:24 AM (#3487390)
The Yankees will be desperate for a starter after this season, though. They certainly won't be wanting to resign Javy Vazquez Part II, and probably won't be wanting Pettitte anymore, either.
I think the Yankees are already expecting to pursue Cliff Lee. The Red Sox may let Beckett walk to give them more room to bid for Lee.
   6. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: March 28, 2010 at 05:37 AM (#3487403)
If I'm Beckett, that has to hurt.

Josh is a better pitcher in every measurable way than is Lackey. And Lackey's injury history is more recent than is Beckett's. Still, the Sox go five years on John, but won't go five on Josh.
   7. akrasian Posted: March 28, 2010 at 06:18 AM (#3487408)
Josh is a better pitcher in every measurable way than is Lackey. And Lackey's injury history is more recent than is Beckett's. Still, the Sox go five years on John, but won't go five on Josh.

Well, if they gave him 5 years now, with a year left on his contract, they would in effect be betting on 6 years out, so it shouldn't hurt that much. If he has a good season, or even a good half season, I wouldn't be shocked to see this revisited.
   8. asdf1234 Posted: March 28, 2010 at 06:19 AM (#3487409)
They're already on the hook for this year; a four-year extension to Beckett would entail the same risk as a five-year contract to a free agent.
   9. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: March 28, 2010 at 06:44 AM (#3487411)
My initial response to this is to say, "Good," but then one wonders how the team comes to a valuation that prefers Lackey to Beckett. He's a year older, and though his best seasons are considerably better than Beckett's, they're also not terribly recent. All I can think is the that fact that a five year extension keeps Beckett on the team, in effect, for six years, because he's already signed for this year, is influencing the calculus.

I suppose it's possible that they see Beckett and Lackey as roughly equal -- not an outrageous conculsion -- but they feel that there are better options coming open next year or the year after or . . . something.
   10. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: March 28, 2010 at 06:46 AM (#3487412)
No it wouldn't, unless they increase his salary for 2010. Otherwise, he'd be getting paid well under market for 2010.
   11. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: March 28, 2010 at 06:49 AM (#3487414)
It likely means that Beckett and his agent aren't willing to go the Lackey route and effectively insure his own contract. So the sox are sticking to their guns.

Frankly, I don't get the need or rush to sign beckett before he reaches free agency given the sox pitcjing depth and money.
   12. Scott Kazmir's breaking balls Posted: March 28, 2010 at 02:02 PM (#3487455)
Why not 4 years guaranteed and 1 year team/player option? Both Beckett and Lackey would have their contracts expire at the end of 2015, but if Beckett's shoulder holds up, they could keep him on board another year.
   13. jyjjy Posted: March 28, 2010 at 02:29 PM (#3487471)
How often are mutual options actually picked up by both sides? Seems like it would be quite rare.
   14. jyjjy Posted: March 28, 2010 at 02:32 PM (#3487473)
The Yankees will be desperate for a starter after this season, though. They certainly won't be wanting to resign Javy Vazquez Part II, and probably won't be wanting Pettitte anymore, either. With the way Clay Buchholz and Daiske Matsusaka are going, the Red Sox will be desperate for a starter, too. They'll probably wind up with Vazquez . . .

I don't understand this logic... why would the Yankees "certainly" not want to resign Vasquez but the Sox will want him?
   15. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 28, 2010 at 03:25 PM (#3487499)
I don't understand this logic... why would the Yankees "certainly" not want to resign Vasquez but the Sox will want him?
I assume this is a somewhat hyperbolic reference to the peculiarities of the Javier Vazquez Experience. From a distance, he's at least a solidly above average, highly durable major league starter, and at best a playoff ace who's had bad luck on balls in play through most of his career. Up close, he's usually horrifically frustrating, firing five brilliant innings and then timing his homers allowed seemingly to taunt you.

Is it really that hard to argue for Lackey over Beckett? Lackey has put up ERA+ numbers of 150, 118, and 119 the last three years. Beckett 145, 115, 122. If your medical staff believes that despite Beckett's greater recent durability, Lackey is the better health bet going forward, you'd take John Lackey as the better option based on the numbers.

Beckett's got that same stuff that made him the greatest prep pitcher evar, but he's gonna be 30 this year and has only once put together a Cy Young season. I'd still probably take him over Lackey based on stuff, but I can understand why someone would have ceased hoping.
   16. villageidiom Posted: March 28, 2010 at 03:25 PM (#3487501)
What is it with the Red Sox FO, throughout the team's history, slagging stars as a routine part of contract negotiations?
"A source with knowledge of the negotiations" does not necessarily equal "a source in the Red Sox FO". If it's so clear to you that this is not on Boston's interest, then why assume this leak is from the FO?

An agent can't negotiate with other teams while their player is under contract. But he can certainly talk about news stories. All he needs is for a few GMs to make comments like TVerik did above, and he knows he has a potential market for a 5-year deal this winter.

Honestly, I don't know where the leaks are coming from this time. And I'm not denying the FO has done stuff like this in the past - the main reason Epstein left the team way back when was because he thought leaks like this (from Lucchino) were not in the best interest of the team. But that's my point. Since Epstein returned there have been far fewer mid-negotiation "slagging" leaks.

Add ESPN to my "media mouthpiece for the Red Sox front office" list. As of now the list includes:

ESPN
The Boston Globe
Tracy Ringolsby
David Biderman
Deadspin
Paul Sullivan
The St. Louis Cardinals
BTF
Jason Bay
Toolsy McClutch
   17. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 28, 2010 at 03:31 PM (#3487503)
Honestly, I don't know where the leaks are coming from this time. And I'm not denying the FO has done stuff like this in the past - the main reason Epstein left the team way back when was because he thought leaks like this (from Lucchino) were not in the best interest of the team. But that's my point. Since Epstein returned there have been far fewer mid-negotiation "slagging" leaks.
Have there been? (This is an honest question). I agree with your interpretation of the great gorilla suit controversy of aught-five - well, in part - but I hadn't really thought much about what, if anything, has changed since then. Which negotiations have been atypically quiet?
   18. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: March 28, 2010 at 03:32 PM (#3487505)
Does an agent really want to leak a story about how a team's medical staff doubts the future health of his client?
   19. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: March 28, 2010 at 03:51 PM (#3487511)
I want to know what in the article was any kind of shot at Beckett. I mean a ten year old story about his rotator cuff or a five year old story about an arm injury so horrible that it changed absolutely nothing don't exactly sound harsh. It's not like there is anything in there about Beckett's negotiation tactics or asking for unreasonable years or money. This is a case of people seeing what they want to see.

I think it's worth noting that while the Sox gave Lackey five years, they included a protection based on a potential shoulder injury. Reading between the lines I get the sense that the Sox have asked Beckett to take the same clause in his deal and he is rejecting it.
   20. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: March 28, 2010 at 04:14 PM (#3487518)
If this is true and the Sox stick at 4 years, I wonder what Beckett does. I have a tough time believing he couldn't find a longer, more lucrative deal on the open market given Lackey's and Burnett's deals. But there is always the appeal of signing a deal a year earlier and not having to worry about an injury or a bad year messing things up. There's also the draw of pitching for a team you know. I think it makes sense for the sox to use this uncertainty as a bargaining chip in their favor. The risk, I suppose, is alienating beckett.
   21. Dock Ellis Posted: March 28, 2010 at 04:26 PM (#3487524)
I want to know what in the article was any kind of shot at Beckett.

Without RTFA, I don't think it was the article that took a shot at Beckett. The shot is (assuming source is true), Lackey is a year older than Beckett and got 5 years. The Sox are holding at 4. Maybe Beckett accepts that it's a business and doesn't take it as a personal insult, but if I'm Josh Beckett, hearing that would definitely gives me pause.
   22. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 28, 2010 at 04:31 PM (#3487526)
It's not a shot at Beckett, exactly. It's a leak of information unfavorable to Beckett, meant to explain the Red Sox negotiating position and play on the sympathy of fans for the front office. The Sox are negotiating through the media by sharing negative information about Beckett. I find the behavior obnoxious, especially since the 24/7 'EEI sports culture of Boston totally buys everything the front office says.
   23. Digit Posted: March 28, 2010 at 05:11 PM (#3487541)
I think part of the reason Boston agreed to a fifth year with Lackey was that if Lackey lost time to surgery due to a pre-existing condition, the Sox would be able to pick up a club option at minimum salary.
   24. Darren Posted: March 28, 2010 at 05:14 PM (#3487544)
The problem with trying to assess VI's assertion in #16 is that every news story about Red Sox negotiations is treated as the team slagging the player (which is his long-running point, of course). This is a good example. I don't see a lot of incentive for the Red Sox to leak this kind of story at this time. I'd think, if it was coming from them, there'd be some some anonymous quotes saying how he was looking for six years and wanting CC money, etc. But look at this story--it's all about how the Red Sox are not willing to give Beckett what they gave Lackey.

On the broader issue, when they signed Lackey, I assumed it was because they didn't think they'd be able to bring back Beckett (or wouldn't want to). I'm not surprised that they don't want to commit to him for 6 years from now, especially since they have Lackey/Lester locked up. It's a bummer, though, and I won't be surprised to see him in NY next year.
   25. villageidiom Posted: March 28, 2010 at 05:49 PM (#3487560)
Nomar - traded. Didn't want to be there, a malcontent, clubhouse happy after he was gone.
Pedro - FA. Greedy, simply using Boston to bid up others. Wanted to leave. Injury risk.
Lowe - FA. Two-timing drunk.
Mientkiewicz - traded. He stole our ball!
Payton - traded. ######## about playing time, to the point that Saint Terry wanted him out.
Damon - FA. He didn't want to play here, the liar. (More a fan construct than FO message.)
------------- Gorillagate ----------------
Renteria - traded.
Arroyo - traded.
Wells - traded.
Foulke - FA.
Nixon - FA.
Pineiro - traded.
Clement - FA.
Gagne - FA.
Ramirez - traded. Towel-smearing, geezer-shoving, optionally-running, non-fielding flake.
Schilling - FA.
Crisp - traded.
Lugo - traded.
Smoltz - released.
Penny - released.
Bay - FA. Injury risk.

Now, maybe I don't remember the FO throwing these players under the bus. I remember fans throwing some of them under the bus based on performace, and I remember a small handful of the players taking the low road. The only one with a bunch of negative stuff coming out about him was Manny, but the towel-smearing thing was out of the Cleveland clubhouse, and the geezer-shoving thing was made known by media friends of the geezer. The rest was, well, true to any observer. And as much as people wanted to make something out of the Bay departure, Boston "sources" merely said they wanted him for longer but were concerned about his injury risk. Bay took it a LOT further.

Note that above I'm focusing on players who parted ways with the Red Sox. To my recollection there weren't any acrimonious negotiations that ended up with the player signing with Boston anyway (except maybe Matsuzaka). In some of the cases the "negotiations" were simply, "See ya," without any slagging.

Did I leave any out? Am I missing the acrimony?
   26. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: March 28, 2010 at 05:54 PM (#3487563)
Your recollection of Manny's departure is somewhat different to mine. I seem to remember leaks that the team didn't think Manny was injured when he said he was, that they made him take MRIs on both knees, etc. That stuff is not "true to any observer."
   27. villageidiom Posted: March 28, 2010 at 06:13 PM (#3487567)
Good catch, AG. Absolutely correct.
   28. tfbg9 Posted: March 28, 2010 at 06:38 PM (#3487573)
Great post VI.
   29. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 28, 2010 at 06:50 PM (#3487579)
Seconded. I'm gonna go back and double-check some of the primary research, because I'm a dork, but that was damn convincing.
   30. Walt Davis Posted: March 28, 2010 at 07:29 PM (#3487595)
How often are mutual options actually picked up by both sides? Seems like it would be quite rare.

Depends on how they're structured. Many (most?) aren't really "mutual" as in both sides need to agree. They're structured such that the team has an option at, say, $8 M and (if they don't exercise it) the player has an option at $6. (That would be for somebody worse than Beckett obviously). So if the team thinks the guy is worth $8 or more and they've got the money, they'll take him at $8. If they don't and the player thinks he can get more than $6 elsewhere, he declines too; otherwise he exercises his option.

They must be a bear to negotiate and price. In the scenario above, you run the risk that it acts like an $8 M option with a $6 M buyout -- which no team would agree to. So, to be "fair", the team price has to be set such that they've got a tough decision and the player price such that he's got a tough decision and all based on where you think the market might be 4-5 years from now. Seems like it would always be an unnecessary risk for a team when they're signing a pitcher -- a team option with a few million buyout seems safer (if that little extra is required).
   31. villageidiom Posted: March 28, 2010 at 08:37 PM (#3487608)
It's worth pointing out that I left off the departures of Mueller, Bellhorn, Millar, Cabrera, Gonzalez, Embree, Kim, and many others. The same can be said above the line, though without researching I'd guess it's to a lesser extent. (That assumption supports my argument, so feel free to toss it.)

- - - - - -

OK, setting all that aside for now, I'm going to pick on #22 - not because I want to pick on MCoA (I don't*), but rather because the comment encapsulates the stereotypical reaction to these kinds of leaks. It plays on fan sympathy for the FO? To what end do they need to start angling for FO sympathy now? They want fans to like the team, buy Beckett jerseys, etc. Nobody's buying a Ben Cherington jersey. Giving fans the impression that they might tear apart a team they're ready to like seems unwise at best and just plain stupid at worst. If Beckett leaves, then I could see the argument that they'd want to throw him under the bus explain their rationale in negotiations. But now?

One could posit that they want to convince Beckett to meet their demands by getting public opinion on their side. But the same argument could be made that Beckett wants to convince the Red Sox to meet his demands by directing public opinion. Based on the way this is written, it sounds (to me) more like the latter. The article is written as if to say, "The Red Sox refuse to give Josh Beckett a deal as good as John Lackey's, despite having no valid reason for doing so." That's one hell of a FO leak.

* Why would I? He nailed the description of the Javier Vazquez Experience™.
   32. pkb33 Posted: March 29, 2010 at 12:22 AM (#3487677)
Out of curiosity, how many of the things you post in 25 do you believe look accurate in retrospect?

That is, of course, relevant...though probably not helpful to what you were trying to show. That's not to say there isn't a question to be asked, I think, but the bottom-line is that the totality of those things seems to be mis and overstated rather often, as it was here.
   33. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: March 29, 2010 at 12:50 AM (#3487686)
I think an "upcoming FA is an injury risk, and may be a bad guy" is beneficial to the FO in lots of ways. The Red Sox aren't worried about selling tickets (they would with or without Beckett), and most MLB revenue is split among the teams. What they are interested in is the price of their own FA players, and the financial flexibility that comes with it. I suspect that if this type of story reduces Beckett's contract demands by a single dollar, it was completely worth it to the Sox.

I don't think it's likely that it's an orchestrated FO leak designed to make Beckett look bad, but I wouldn't be shocked if this were the case.
   34. Darren Posted: March 29, 2010 at 01:08 AM (#3487691)
I suspect that if this type of story reduces Beckett's contract demands by a single dollar, it was completely worth it to the Sox.


But you've got to answer how this would lower his demands. As VI points out, this article essentially says that the Sox are being jerks for not giving Beckett as much as Lackey got.
   35. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: March 29, 2010 at 01:17 AM (#3487693)
The way I read it, it's saying that medical experts are doubtful about his long-term health. If I were another bidder on Beckett, I sure as hell would be a bit afraid of that. Particularly if my own medical staff amplifies this.

I read something awhile ago from an orthopedic surgeon, saying that "99% of veteran pitchers have conditions that could fail a physical, should the team want that". If the narrative about Beckett is pushed towards "fragile health, long-term", I think enough evidence could be found to support it that Josh's FA price is depressed noticeably.
   36. CrosbyBird Posted: March 29, 2010 at 01:43 AM (#3487701)
This made me take a closer look at Beckett and Lackey, and I was really surprised about how close they are in numbers, although I think unless you think Lackey is the better health bet, you should prefer Beckett because of the much better strikeout rate (with similar BB/9 and HR/9 even though Lackey has marginal advantages in both). I seem to remember something about K-rate being one of the best predictors in maintaining career value.

The health issue is no easy call, mind you. Lackey was incredibly durable through his 2007 season. Beckett, on the other hand, has pitched 200+ innings in three of the last four seasons. I would prefer Beckett but it's a very marginal difference.

Still, a FA has more leverage than a guy in his last year of team control. The Sox didn't have the luxury of choosing between paying Lackey a relatively small amount in 2010 to mitigate the risk in exchange for potentially losing him in 2011 to a higher bidder. Plus, even if they lose him, they'll get a great draft pick in return. They had to overpay Lackey in this offseason in order to make sure he didn't go elsewhere because there was nothing else out there that was reliable. They're not under the gun with Beckett.
   37. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: March 29, 2010 at 02:18 AM (#3487706)
They had to overpay Lackey in this offseason in order to make sure he didn't go elsewhere because there was nothing else out there that was reliable.


Well, they could have gone after Holliday, who as a non-pitcher is automatically more reliable, and would probably have made the team better this year and into the future. That would have actually been my preference.
   38. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: March 29, 2010 at 02:31 AM (#3487711)
I really don't see the evidence that this article is an example of the Sox slagging Beckett. The only newly reported information is that Boston isn't offering more than four years and the Marlins limited his innings due to some potential fraying in his rotator cuff. Unless you're Pedro, a team offering you fewer years than you'd like isn't a personal insult, it's just a difference of opinion on future value.

The bit about the Marlins capping his innings I find questionable -- he had chronic blister problems and was age 21-25, both of which were already limiting his innings. Regardless, it's much more likely this came from someone who was in the Florida FO at the time, not a current Sox official.

The rest of the "negative" stuff in the piece, about the Sox trading for and extending Beckett despite concerns about his shoulder, has been out for years.
   39. CrosbyBird Posted: March 29, 2010 at 02:43 AM (#3487712)
Well, they could have gone after Holliday, who as a non-pitcher is automatically more reliable, and would probably have made the team better this year and into the future. That would have actually been my preference.

I'd agree with that, but I don't think Holliday was going anywhere but St. Louis.
   40. villageidiom Posted: March 29, 2010 at 02:45 AM (#3487713)
Out of curiosity, how many of the things you post in 25 do you believe look accurate in retrospect?
In terms of what the team said about the player? Well, they seem to have assessed Pedro pretty well, and one could say the same about Damon I suppose. Manny's knees were healthy enough through the rest of 2008. They missed on Lowe, as he never was the PR albatross (or the on-field failure) that had been implied.

Time will tell on Bay, though generally speaking being signed by the Mets is a leading indicator of severe injury.

Regarding Beckett/Lackey, I suggested a while ago that Lackey is Beckett's replacement, with one year of overlap... kinda like Schilling with Pedro, though with them I see it that way only in retrospect.
   41. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: March 29, 2010 at 03:05 AM (#3487718)
This is my favorite line of the Edes article:

Beckett and the Red Sox have both pledged not to discuss negotiations.


Hmm, it's almost like he's poking fun at his source.

Regarding Beckett/Lackey, I suggested a while ago that Lackey is Beckett's replacement, with one year of overlap... kinda like Schilling with Pedro, though with them I see it that way only in retrospect.


I can see this. In any case, the Lackey signing gives them leverage in their negotiations with Beckett. Reports like this suggest to me that the Sox have a price for Beckett that is below market and that's why they are trying to get this done before he reaches free agency. If Beckett, however, is willing to risk pitching another year without the security of a longer-term deal, than I think the Sox have already concluded he won't be coming back in 2011.
   42. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 29, 2010 at 02:17 PM (#3487846)
It plays on fan sympathy for the FO? To what end do they need to start angling for FO sympathy now? They want fans to like the team, buy Beckett jerseys, etc. Nobody's buying a Ben Cherington jersey. Giving fans the impression that they might tear apart a team they're ready to like seems unwise at best and just plain stupid at worst. If Beckett leaves, then I could see the argument that they'd want to throw him under the bus explain their rationale in negotiations. But now?
This argument seems to prove far too much, and depends on an undefended presumption of idealized rationality. I certainly agree that negotiating through the media will be typically unproductive. But clubs and players negotiate through the media *all the time*. Most of the stories you listed in #27 were spread before the player had left town. What I mean by "prove too much" is that you already acknowledged the various ways the Red Sox have used the media to advance their negotiating position, but the above argument would hold that those things could not have happened, because it would have been irrational.

I think that the Red Sox, particularly certain parts of the front office, want the fans to believe that the front office is in the right, during major negotiations. As you note, there's a problem here in that no one buys Larry Lucchino jerseys, but their history on this is clear. I assume it's mostly an ego thing, partly a case of losing perspective in the course of negotiations.

To be clear, I found the analysis in your post 25 compelling, and I think it does appear that the Red Sox are doing this a lot less than they used to. That's a really good thing.
   43. Rally Posted: March 29, 2010 at 02:39 PM (#3487857)
Well, they seem to have assessed Pedro pretty well, and one could say the same about Damon I suppose.


Damon? The guy who played well and for 140+ games per year every season with the Yankees? I can see that he might not have fit in the team's plans, needing to move out of center field, obviously can never play in right, and not going to move Manny Ortez from the LF/DH spots. But this is not like the Pedro situation, where the team was right that he wouldn't hold up for as many years as he was offered elsewhere. Damon was worth pretty much exactly what the Yankees paid him over the last 4 years.
   44. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 29, 2010 at 03:16 PM (#3487880)
This made me take a closer look at Beckett and Lackey, and I was really surprised about how close they are in numbers

I am surprised that nobody has mentioned yet that Lackey and Beckett are each other's most similar players on Baseball-Reference (although Lackey is a year older so they are not the most similar at their current ages).
   45. Rally Posted: March 29, 2010 at 03:41 PM (#3487899)
I am surprised that nobody has mentioned yet that Lackey and Beckett are each other's most similar players on Baseball-Reference


I never realized that before, but come to think of it, both are total ##########.
   46. Gaelan Posted: March 29, 2010 at 04:16 PM (#3487917)
This argument seems to prove far too much, and depends on an undefended presumption of idealized rationality.


Someone has been writing a paper.
   47. tfbg9 Posted: March 29, 2010 at 04:50 PM (#3487942)
Someone has been writing a paper.


That's pretty funny.

(sorry MCOA, but it is)
   48. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 29, 2010 at 05:20 PM (#3487970)
It is. And I was.
   49. villageidiom Posted: March 29, 2010 at 05:21 PM (#3487973)
What I mean by "prove too much" is that you already acknowledged the various ways the Red Sox have used the media to advance their negotiating position, but the above argument would hold that those things could not have happened, because it would have been irrational.
I've acknowledged that the Red Sox have used the media to disparage players during negotiation. I've not acknowledged that they did so to advance their negotiating position; as you've noted, I see no rational reason for them to have done it for that purpose. Here I completely endorse your quote from above:
I assume it's mostly an ego thing, partly a case of losing perspective in the course of negotiations.
   50. Danny Posted: March 29, 2010 at 05:22 PM (#3487975)
The article is written as if to say, "The Red Sox refuse to give Josh Beckett a deal as good as John Lackey's, despite having no valid reason for doing so." That's one hell of a FO leak.

Of course, the article very clearly states Boston's reason for doing so (worries about Beckett's shoulder longterm), and it introduces previously unpublished (IIRC) facts to lend support to that reason (medical records gave FLA and BOS reason to worry).

One might conclude that the stated reason is not valid because Beckett hasn't had a serious shoulder injury, but the article does not state so.

If your takeaway from this article doesn't include the fact that the Sox are worried about Beckett's future because of what they've seen in the medical records, then it's no wonder that you think accusations of front office leaks are wrongheaded.

Add ESPN to my "media mouthpiece for the Red Sox front office" list. As of now the list includes:

Did your list already include Gordon Edes? Because he's the one who wrote the article.
   51. villageidiom Posted: March 29, 2010 at 05:26 PM (#3487982)
Damon? The guy who played well and for 140+ games per year every season with the Yankees? ...Damon was worth pretty much exactly what the Yankees paid him over the last 4 years.
To put a fine point on it, Damon was probably worth somewhere between what the Red Sox offered ($48m) and what the Yankees paid ($52m). You don't suppose they assessed him well?
   52. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 29, 2010 at 05:43 PM (#3488010)
If Beckett makes it through the year without injury, someone is likely to give him a 5-year deal given recent signings. If Boston intends to replace Beckett with someone about the same caliber, that might also require a 5-year deal in the current market. Worst case scenario is Lackey getting injured while Beckett pitches well but moves on because Boston wouldn't make a 5-year deal when it mattered. Not sure any money is going to be saved, and I'm doubtful that bad-mouthing a free agent to be lowers his price or increases his inclination to re-sign.
   53. villageidiom Posted: March 29, 2010 at 08:08 PM (#3488157)
Of course, the article very clearly states Boston's reason for doing so (worries about Beckett's shoulder longterm), and it introduces previously unpublished (IIRC) facts to lend support to that reason (medical records gave FLA and BOS reason to worry).
The article very clearly hypothesizes Boston's reason for doing so. It clearly indicates each piece of information that is sourced; the reason for the 4-year limit is not among them. It introduces facts that were twice immaterial to the team's decisions to employ the man. It suggests that (4 years tacked on to 1 year) is inferior to 5 years. It also points out that Lackey has had two significant injuries in the last two years, has more mileage on his arm, and is older. In short, the article seems informed more by Beckett's agent than the Red Sox FO. YMMV.
Did your list already include Gordon Edes?
No. Well, unless he's Toolsy McClutch...
   54. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: March 29, 2010 at 08:23 PM (#3488174)
Damon? The guy who played well and for 140+ games per year every season with the Yankees? ...Damon was worth pretty much exactly what the Yankees paid him over the last 4 years.

To put a fine point on it, Damon was probably worth somewhere between what the Red Sox offered ($48m) and what the Yankees paid ($52m). You don't suppose they assessed him well?


Well, I think Damon was worth more to the Yankees, than he would have been to the Red Sox. 4 years of Damon in CF likely would have been a disaster. And Boston already had encumbents in LF and at DH.
   55. Digit Posted: March 29, 2010 at 08:40 PM (#3488196)
Actually, what Damon was worth to the Yankees was, apparently, 52 million and a first round pick (which the Sox turned into Daniel Bard), which was given up to the Red Sox. (And I don't remember who the other compensatory pick was, I think he never did make it.)

I think a lot of those departures are basically "These are what we'd take for you to stay, but if you go, we'll take the compensation picks".
   56. Danny Posted: March 29, 2010 at 08:43 PM (#3488201)
The article very clearly hypothesizes Boston's reason for doing so. It clearly indicates each piece of information that is sourced; the reason for the 4-year limit is not among them.

yes, it introduces three pieces of information that we didn't previously know: 1) The Red Sox won't go 5 years with Beckett, 2) The Marlins were concerned about Beckett's shoulder when he was in the minors, and 3) The Red Sox were concerned about Beckett's shoulder when they saw his medical records. Your theory is that not only were the Red Sox not the likely source of this information, but that Beckett's agent was.
It introduces facts that were twice immaterial to the team's decisions to employ the man.

Employing someone is very different from signing him to a huge extension.
It also points out that Lackey has had two significant injuries in the last two years, has more mileage on his arm, and is older. In short, the article seems informed more by Beckett's agent than the Red Sox FO. YMMV.

The fact that Lackey missed time with injuries is very public knowledge that has been often discussed. Edes doesn't need Beckett's agent to tell him this. Conversely, Edes did need insider source(s) to tell him about Beckett's shoulder history. I don't understand the thought process that leads one to believe this information was more likely to have come from Beckett's agent than from the Red Sox.
   57. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: March 29, 2010 at 09:04 PM (#3488228)
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2232211

ESPN article at the time of the trade, they reference Beckett having had a shoulder problem during the 2005 season;

Beckett went 15-8 with a 3.38 ERA last season, when he had problems with his shoulder and recurring blisters on his right middle finger.
   58. Famous Original Joe C Posted: March 31, 2010 at 01:50 AM (#3489129)
ESPN is reporting now that there's optimism a deal will get done in the next week or two, and that there is a 4 year, 65-70 million offer on the table.

I could see something like 4/70-72 with a team option/buyout for the 5th year when all is said and done (IF they can sign him).
   59. villageidiom Posted: March 31, 2010 at 03:00 AM (#3489163)
yes, it introduces three pieces of information that we didn't previously know: 1) The Red Sox won't go 5 years with Beckett, 2) The Marlins were concerned about Beckett's shoulder when he was in the minors, and 3) The Red Sox were concerned about Beckett's shoulder when they saw his medical records. Your theory is that not only were the Red Sox not the likely source of this information, but that Beckett's agent was.
My theory is that Beckett's agent is a possible source of (1), and that linking (1) to the outdated info in (2) and (3) - which this article apparently does, since you said it "clearly states" they were directly linked - works in Beckett's interests moreso than Boston's interests.
I don't understand the thought process that leads one to believe this information was more likely to have come from Beckett's agent than from the Red Sox.
Now that you're working with my summary theory rather than your somewhat hamhanded summary of my theory, I hope it's easier to understand.
Employing someone is very different from signing him to a huge extension.
The second "employment decision" I referenced was signing him to a big extension.
   60. villageidiom Posted: March 31, 2010 at 03:13 AM (#3489171)
ESPN is reporting now that there's optimism a deal will get done in the next week or two, and that there is a 4 year, 65-70 million offer on the table.
$70m for 4 years, plus the $12.1m for this season, puts him at $82.1m over the next 5 years vs. Lackey at $82.5m for the same.

It'd be funny if their valuation system is 99% based on B-R similarity scores. Then again, if they go $82m for 5 years for Ted Higuera in the next few weeks, that wouldn't be funny at all.

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