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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

red sox - He’s no Manny: The complexity of trying to deal Josh Beckett - WEEI | Alex Speier

Sometimes Red Sox Nation is absolutely crazy. Right now talk radio is absolutely nuts about Beckett right now. Yesterday I heard suggestions that the Sox should dump him by including as much as $25 million in the deal. Such talk is completely ridiculous. Although I can appreciate the concerns about his health, dumping him will accomplish nothing. Read the article for a great take on the Beckett situation. 

As more than one major league source noted in recent days, the team is not looking to dump Beckett simply for the sake of doing so. A trade has to be for the betterment of the team, whether in the players received in return or the financial relief afforded by moving him. The team doesn’t feel like it’s under the gun to make a deal right now regardless of the return or offer.

That being the case, the Sox aren’t going to, say, pick up $30 million of his remaining balance with little player return. Doing so would hamstring the club for years to come.

After all, financial transfers to subsidize old contracts count against the team’s payroll as calculated for luxury tax purposes. If the Sox pick up a huge amount of Beckett’s deal and then sign another pitcher in the offseason (for the sake of argument, let’s say the team signs a pitcher like Hiroki Kuroda to the same sort of one-year, $10 million deal he received from the Yankees this past season), it would be a double whammy for luxury tax purposes.

Rather than helping the Sox to get under the luxury tax threshold – an important goal for the team by 2014 – subsidizing a Beckett trade heavily could have the opposite effect of nudging the Sox towards (and perhaps over) the threshold.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 31, 2012 at 11:19 AM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox, trade rumors

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   1. Nasty Nate Posted: July 31, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4196995)
If he had agreed to be traded during last offseason, he would have had positive trade value....
   2. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 31, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4197034)
Dealing Manny was not complex?
   3. Nasty Nate Posted: July 31, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4197044)
From the article: “I don’t see any parallel [between Ramirez and Beckett],” said Sox GM Ben Cherington on Friday, a sentiment since echoed by several team front office and clubhouse sources. “Josh has taken the ball whenever he possibly can for as long as he’s been here."

I'd like to ask Cherington why he didn't take the ball in the 18 inning game earlier this season?
   4. karlmagnus Posted: July 31, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4197063)
Quite right; he's not Manny. Manny was REALLY good and his loss is the principal reason Sox have had no WS since 2007.

That said, I'd keep Beckett, who's very good from time to time, and averages as a B+ pitcher. Don't think we'd get value for him anyway.
   5. Mayor Blomberg Posted: July 31, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4197070)
“Everyone thinks he’s just a hard-ass, Texas, ‘I’m going to do it my way or the highway’ kind of guy. He’s not,” said Jon Lester, a hard-ass, Texas, "I’m going to do it my way or the highway’ kind of guy."

Looks like a clause got edited out.
   6. Dan Posted: July 31, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4197077)
Except that Jon Lester is from Tacoma, WA.
   7. Dan Posted: July 31, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4197128)
I also don't think it would be shocking to see Beckett traded after passing through waivers sometime in August, especially if the Sox go into another rut.
   8. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 31, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4197156)
Dealing Manny was not complex?


Speier explains it pretty well in TFA. Whether you agree or not is a different story but where Speier is coming from makes some sense at least;

The Sox had reached the point in 2008 where they could no longer live through keeping Ramirez on their roster. He engaged in acts of outright mutiny, inventing injuries, declining to play, going through the motions when on the field. Ramirez was sick of the Red Sox, and his teammates had reached a similar point with him.

Beckett is different. He remains a popular clubhouse presence, one who cares about the performance of his team (witness his ejection on Sunday night while arguing a blown call during a Will Middlebrooks at-bat).

As such, the Sox do not feel any compulsion to move the right-hander. They’d reached a breaking point with Ramirez in 2008. The same cannot be said of Beckett right now.
   9. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 31, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4197160)
Right now talk radio is absolutely nuts about Beckett right now.


Why on earth do you subject yourself to that stuff? It's been years since I've voluntarily listened to sports radio and based on the snippets I hear from time to time I've made the right call.
   10. Mayor Blomberg Posted: July 31, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4197168)
6 -- aww ####, sorry
   11. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: July 31, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4197181)
I'd like to ask Cherington why he didn't take the ball in the 18 inning game earlier this season?


Wouldn't you want to ask Valentine this question? Oh, that's right, the answer is probably "well, Josh and I didn't talk about that."

That said, I'd keep Beckett, who's very good from time to time, and averages as a B+ pitcher. Don't think we'd get value for him anyway.


Totally agreed. A 200 inning 95 ERA+ pitcher IS valuable. To those that want to get rid of Beckett, who could the Sox get to replace him for 2013? And, if you could get that person, why wouldn't you use them to fill in the much larger 5-spot in the rotation (Lester, Buccholz, Beckett, Doubront, ??, Morales/Minor Leaguer/Old guy on a one year deal).

EDIT:
Should add - Beckett is a 95 ERA+ pitcher THIS year. Which means he will be back to at least 115+ next year.
   12. Joel W Posted: July 31, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4197197)
On what basis do we think Josh Beckett is a 95+ ERA pitcher going forward other than his ERA so far this year? He has good components, he's shown no tendency to underperform his components over the past few years. For his career he's had an ERA mildly above his FIP. This isn't Lester, I don't think, where there seems to be something obviously wrong causing him to underperform.
   13. Dan Posted: July 31, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4197204)
Lackey will be in the rotation next year, for better or worse. There isn't really a spot right now: Lester - Buchholz - Beckett - Lackey - Doubront/Morales
   14. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: July 31, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4197208)
On what basis do we think Josh Beckett is a 95+ ERA pitcher going forward other than his ERA so far this year?


Um, the easy way out basis?
   15. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: July 31, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4197218)
Lackey will be in the rotation next year, for better or worse. There isn't really a spot right now: Lester - Buchholz - Beckett - Lackey - Doubront/Morales


If the Sox acquire a shiny new pitcher I would much rather see the Sox use Lackey in the 6th role than have them dump Beckett.

I think some people get upset because there is no clear-cut ACE on the pitching staff. The depth is theoretically very solid though. Is there any reason the projected rotation for next year, with no changes to the current roster, wouldn't be highly rated?
   16. Dan Posted: July 31, 2012 at 02:03 PM (#4197225)
Lester, Buchholz, and Beckett have all pitched well enough at some point in the last few years to be an ace. The problem is that they're all underperforming, not really that there is no ace. Buchholz has at least been a very good pitcher, ace quality even, for the last several weeks. But he was so bad in his first half dozen starts that it's completely obscured his good performance in his overall stat line.
   17. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 31, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4197230)
“I don’t see any parallel [between Ramirez and Beckett],” said Sox GM Ben Cherington on Friday, a sentiment since echoed by several team front office and clubhouse sources. “Josh has taken the ball whenever he possibly can for as long as he’s been here."

You have full and perfect knowledge of the future, including the voices in Manny's dreadlocks that tell him to break things. Do you trade a Manny Ramirez in his imaginary walk year which will end up being his personal best season for a one-year rental of Josh Beckett in what is guaranteed to become his #1 apex season? Would you trade 19-year-old Burlington Indians outfielder Manny Ramirez for 20-year-old Kane County Cougars righty starter Josh Beckett? It might be time for the Boston Red Sox organization to rub some lotion on that burn.
   18. karlmagnus Posted: July 31, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4197235)
Given that the Sox can't afford five aces, in some ways the present setup with three pitchers capable of being an ace, but unreliable as such, maximizes the chance of a WS year, given a uniformly strong and overall reliable lineup. If each of the 3 have a 50-50 chance of being an ace in any given year, then one year in eight, all three should fire simultaneously and sweep the Sox to a division title and a WS. Not yet, definitely not this year but maybe next?
   19. Dale Sams Posted: July 31, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4197269)
I'd like to ask Cherington why he didn't take the ball in the 18 inning game earlier this season?


Don't think Ben is on the roster.
   20. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 31, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4197273)
Is there any reason the projected rotation for next year, with no changes to the current roster, wouldn't be highly rated?


Because 2012 counts. I think there would be every reason to feel relatively confident in next year's rotation but any projections are going to include Lester's ERA+ of 80-85, Beckett's 95-100 and Buchholz' 95-100. I think it's going to be tough to enter 2013 and say "the Sox can count on X" having a big year. Maybe Buchholz if he maintains this through October 1 but that remains to be seen.
   21. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 31, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4197278)

You have full and perfect knowledge of the future, including the voices in Manny's dreadlocks that tell him to break things. Do you trade a Manny Ramirez in his imaginary walk year which will end up being his personal best season for a one-year rental of Josh Beckett in what is guaranteed to become his #1 apex season? Would you trade 19-year-old Burlington Indians outfielder Manny Ramirez for 20-year-old Kane County Cougars righty starter Josh Beckett?


Well Manny Ramirez is superior to Josh Beckett so any such analysis is going to favor him. I do think if you are looking at the current scenario the ratio is "2 months of Manny or 2 years and 2 months of Beckett." That extra time can easily swing the pendulum in the direction of the lesser player, i.e. Beckett (and this all assumes the option wasn't being picked up because there was zero chance of that happening).
   22. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: July 31, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4197326)
Given that the Sox can't afford five aces, in some ways the present setup with three pitchers capable of being an ace, but unreliable as such, maximizes the chance of a WS year, given a uniformly strong and overall reliable lineup. If each of the 3 have a 50-50 chance of being an ace in any given year, then one year in eight, all three should fire simultaneously and sweep the Sox to a division title and a WS. Not yet, definitely not this year but maybe next?


Jesus, this is the second time I agree with km and this time I agree 100%.

Because 2012 counts. I think there would be every reason to feel relatively confident in next year's rotation but any projections are going to include Lester's ERA+ of 80-85, Beckett's 95-100 and Buchholz' 95-100. I think it's going to be tough to enter 2013 and say "the Sox can count on X" having a big year. Maybe Buchholz if he maintains this through October 1 but that remains to be seen.

This is why projections can mean too much sometimes. Yes, Lester has a shitty year now in his resume. Beckett has another off year. Buchholz had a shitty start. How many other teams would trade their top 3 pitchers straight up for Boston's? Most.
   23. Nasty Nate Posted: July 31, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4197425)
How many other teams would trade their top 3 pitchers straight up for Boston's?


I assume you mean not considering contracts, but I would guess only about half the teams, maybe slightly less - and those teams would be the ones with bad pitching.
   24. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 01, 2012 at 07:46 AM (#4197833)
I assume you mean not considering contracts, but I would guess only about half the teams, maybe slightly less - and those teams would be the ones with bad pitching.


Yes, not factoring contracts. Jeez maybe I am just being a fanboy but I would put the Sox in the top 10.
   25. Nasty Nate Posted: August 01, 2012 at 09:55 AM (#4197912)
Hmmm, maybe you are right. At first glance Tampa, Angels, Seattle, Washington, Philly, SF, Dodgers, and Tigers wouldn't trade their 3. After that there are probably another 5-10 teams which are borderline. I think you may be overrating Clay a little, though. Almost all teams have a guy like him: youngish, with potential, but hasn't really put it together over an extended stretch of time.
   26. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 01, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4197937)
According to Rob Bradford, the Sox were in talks with the Rangers on a blockbuster that could have sent Beckett, Ellsbury, and Shoppach to Texas. He doesn't know who would have been coming back (Profar!). In all likelihood, this means nothing, and the Sox had very preliminary talks about any of those players, but never actually got anywhere towards a real trade.
   27. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 01, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4197960)
According to Rob Bradford, the Sox were in talks with the Rangers on a blockbuster that could have sent Beckett, Ellsbury, and Shoppach to Texas. He doesn't know who would have been coming back (Profar!). In all likelihood, this means nothing, and the Sox had very preliminary talks about any of those players, but never actually got anywhere towards a real trade.


IF Profar was the headliner then that trade looks pretty much the same as the Sox-Marlins trade, with the Sox playing the Marlins role this time.
   28. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 01, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4198039)
According to Rob Bradford, the Sox were in talks with the Rangers on a blockbuster that could have sent Beckett, Ellsbury, and Shoppach to Texas. He doesn't know who would have been coming back (Profar!). In all likelihood, this means nothing, and the Sox had very preliminary talks about any of those players, but never actually got anywhere towards a real trade.


Hamilton and a prospect (not Profar, Olt maybe?). Sox get an upgrade in center (theoretically) and get out from some contracts heading into the off-season to either re-sign Hamilton or go after someone else? Just spitballing here.

I think you're probably right, this never really advanced very far.

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