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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Boston Red Sox

Acquired P Matt Duff from the St. Louis Cardinals for IF Tony Womack.

I hated the Red Sox signing of Tony Womack awhile back, but have to eat my words a little now.  Not that Womack isn’t a no-field, no-hit weight, but that the Red Sox actually turned a pointless signing into an actual body.  Duff is your typical minor-league veteran reliever - doesn’t throw a blazing fastball, but can control the strike zone well and keep his stuff down.  The Sox could turn to Duff in an emergency and get some decent fill-in time from him.

As for Womack, just hope that TLR thinks of him as an uber-utility guy rather than a serious contender for time at second and maybe even left.

Dan Szymborski Posted: March 23, 2004 at 01:25 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   301. The Original Gary Posted: May 30, 2003 at 04:10 PM (#566006)
I love rutabaga!
   302. Mr. Crowley Posted: May 30, 2003 at 10:41 PM (#566010)
It's a trade.
   303. Noffs Posted: May 30, 2003 at 11:10 PM (#566011)
Here's the thing - the D-Back's second best prospect is a third-basemen who hits for a high average and plays decent defense, i.e., just like Shea Hillenbrand.

Big plus for the Red Sox - see Baseball Prospectus Today for great analysis. Kim is the perfect Goose Gossage-like "relief ace" that Bill James and the Red Sox favor that can give them many high-leverage innings, and more than one at a time. There's probably only three guys that can do it - Kim, Scott Williamson, and Octavio Dotel.

The D-Backs' team OBP was like .327, second-last in the league (I think), and Shea's is only ~.330 - not a big upgrade, and certainly not worth giving up a pitcher who can pitch in any spot and post an ERA around 3.
   304. Walt Davis Posted: May 31, 2003 at 04:42 PM (#566014)
To clear up the money/contract situation:

Hillenbrand becomes arb eligible after this season. Keeping him for 3 years is probably gonna cost them about $10-12 M. Of course they can release him before he gets real expensive.

Kim is in his 4th year (service time wise) meaning he has two years of arb eligibility left. Making $3.25 M already, keeping him for the next 2 years is gonna cost $10-12 M.

So there are some substantial "savings" here for the D-Backs. But it's not like Hillenbrand for the next 3 years at $12 M is a "bargain," especially when Tracy could probably do the same job.

To me, this trade is great for the Red Sox because they traded something they didn't need (they have plenty of players that can give them Hillenbrand's level of production) for something they did; the D-Backs meanwhile traded something that it sure looks like they need for something they already have (i.e. Tracy).

I don't however make much of the age difference. Yes, his youth means Kim has a chance to be far more valuable than Hillenbrand over time, but the Red Sox are unlikely to be the team that gets that value because Kim will be an FA in 2 years -- or if they do, they'll pay a fairly steep price. In 2006, when Kim has left the Sox while Hillenbrand is playing an adequate 3B for the D-Backs, the fact that Kim will be 27 and Hillenbrand 30 won't do the Sox any good.
   305. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 24, 2003 at 11:22 PM (#566177)
Nice pickup, though I have no idea where they'll play him.
   306. Darren Posted: June 25, 2003 at 03:44 AM (#566179)
Vlad, they should play him in RF against lefties and as a defensive replacement in LF.

Grady will probably play him at 1B as often as possible, in order to "sure up the right side defense," or in other words, "assure we don't have our best hitters in the lineup and Giambi never gets any kind of an extended look.
   307. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 25, 2003 at 12:05 PM (#566180)
"Gabe Kapler has played in hitters' parks all of his big league career".

Technically, this isn't true. Tiger stadium was pretty much a neutral park, though it was a better place to hit than Comerica.
   308. Cal Posted: June 26, 2003 at 01:19 AM (#566183)
Trot, I may kill myself if I ever see you hit against another lefty.
   309. flournoy Posted: June 28, 2003 at 08:43 PM (#566186)
Has anyone in any of the organizations he's played for recommended that Kapler lighten up with the body building? If he weren't Arnold Schwartzeneggar, maybe he could swing a bat correctly.
   310. True Blue n/k/a "DeJesusFreak" Posted: July 30, 2003 at 06:46 PM (#566953)
There's also timing at issue -- I believe when the Reds asked for Claussen, it was Bowden doing the asking and it was a couple weeks ago. Now, of course, Bowden's gone and there are all sorts of rumors that the Reds orders are to unload Williamson, Graves, et al.

I think Boston took advantage of the timing to strike while the iron is hot, particularly because although Dumatrait is supposed to have a nifty curve, I've read that he's been using it too much instead of (rather than in addition to) a change-up.
   311. Ziggy Posted: July 30, 2003 at 08:10 PM (#566956)
It seems that incompetence was a flaw not of the leadership, which has thankfully been changed, but was somehow inherent in the franchise. The Reds had three respectable players: Kearns, Williamson, and the Rob Deer clone. They desperately need pitching. So they trade their only respectable pitcher. In the end this may work out well, who knows what Dumatrait will do with his career, but the risk-to-reward ratio on single A pitchers is awfully steep. Reds loose big. Sox are now set for the post season bullpen wise.
   312. Darren Posted: July 30, 2003 at 08:25 PM (#566957)
Whatever the case/timing was with Claussen+$2.5 mil, I'm sure the Reds would have dealt with the team who had a better offer. Maybe, as true blue points out, it was timing. Maybe after the Reds asked for the moon, Cashman told them to go to hell. Or maybe his final offer was less than what the Red Sox gave.

In any case, there's no reason to think anyone's trying to screw the Yankees. So quit your whining Cashman.
   313. Steve Posted: July 30, 2003 at 08:29 PM (#566958)
Of course Cincy is going to ask for something big first. It's Cashman's fault if he didn't revisit the trade with a counter proposal instead of laughing at the initial offer. I think he's just in shock that teams aren't groveling at his feet.

This isn't the Yankees organization that he took over 5 years ago. The farm system does not have the unlimited chips it once had. Ironically enough, Claussen is the only blue chip prospect Cashman has drafted and developed in his tenure.
   314. NTNgod Posted: July 30, 2003 at 10:16 PM (#566961)
Reds just traded Jose Guillen to the A's for Joe Valentine and Aaron Harang
   315. MM1f Posted: August 24, 2003 at 10:49 PM (#566965)
PTBNL was named, Tyler Pelland.

From baseballamerica.com

"Aug. 6 update: Baseball America's Red Sox correspondent, John Tomase, reports that the player to be named will be lefthander Tyler Pelland, Boston's ninth-round pick in the 2002 draft. Pelland can't be traded until one year after the date of his signing, which was Aug. 17, 2002. He would have gone in the first five rounds if not for his strong commitment to Clemson, and he signed for $240,000, easily the highest bonus in his round. Pelland is making his pro debut this year, and has gone 2-3, 1.65 in nine games (seven starts) for the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Red Sox. He has a 31-16 K-BB ratio in 33 innings, while opponents have hit just .200 with no homers against him. He'll need plenty of time to develop but has a very good arm for a 19-year-old lefty. Pelland throws in the low 90s, and also uses a curveball and changeup."
   316. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 30, 2003 at 04:27 AM (#567693)
I don't really see what's in it for the Padres. They waived relief prospects better than Miniel several times earlier this season.
   317. scott Posted: August 30, 2003 at 06:32 PM (#567694)
currying favor for the future? Towers is part of the Beane mafia, just like Epstien.

scott
   318. fracas' hope springs eternal Posted: August 31, 2003 at 12:59 AM (#567695)
The Padres had no rights to Merloni after this season, so basically they got something for nothing. Miniel looks like nothing, but Towers has parleyed throw-ins into usefull players before. The players he traded for Giles cost the Padres almost nothing, for instance.
   319. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 31, 2003 at 05:40 AM (#567696)
Yeah, but Miniel's a 24-year-old righty reliever striking out about 6/9 in Sarasota. If there's gold in them thar hills, it's buried pretty deep.
   320. Jason Posted: October 30, 2003 at 04:01 PM (#568011)
I disagree. They can get a lot more for $20 M than what they'll get from Manny in 2004.
   321. Matthew Rich Posted: October 30, 2003 at 04:38 PM (#568017)
the exact same thing in the form of a trade

But this isn't the exact same thing as a trade. Any likely trading partner for Manny (and I honestly can't think of any off the top of my head) is going to require the Red Sox to take salary in return. I think Epstein et al. figure that either outcome of this move -- keeping Manny, or losing him and having $20 million off the payroll for the next five seasons -- is better than saving, say, $10 million and getting some stiff in return.

And if I'm Epstein, I could give a crap about making Manny angry. We like to make fun of Mystique and Aura, and ridicule the idea of keeping a Luis Sojo or a Mark Grace around to keep the clubhouse loose -- so why should we care if the opposite is true? Is Manny going to stop hitting because he's pissed off at the front office? I suppose it's possible, but I think he's able to separate his employment status from his actions on the field.

I don't expect anybody to claim Manny. I hope the Dodgers claim him, I pray the Yankees don't, but in any case I don't think the other front offices are going to be psyched out by this "hard sell" maneuver by Epstein. But even though the chances of success are pretty low, I don't see a downside for the Red Sox. It was worth the gamble.
   322. Brian Posted: October 30, 2003 at 05:38 PM (#568019)
Ira,
   323. Matthew Rich Posted: October 30, 2003 at 06:00 PM (#568021)
But Manny isn't free, is the thing. The only way Manny comes for free to another team is if the Red Sox are still paying his salary. So I still say that nobody is going to take him in a trade without requiring the Red Sox to pay part of his salary or take on salary in return.
   324. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: October 30, 2003 at 06:02 PM (#568022)
Dan, I think it's more like:

TE: Hey, want Manny for free?
   325. Matthew Rich Posted: October 30, 2003 at 06:24 PM (#568024)
they're not going to claim Manny without the Red Sox picking up any of the contract.

I agree that the likelihood of this happening is extremely low, but it's not zero. I think the Red Sox's strategery is to put teams under pressure to make a decision RIGHT AWAY because THE CLOCK IS TICKING in the hopes that some other owner or front office will grab him on impulse. But again, this is almost certainly not going to happen. There's no downside to trying though.
   326. jeff angus Posted: October 30, 2003 at 07:06 PM (#568026)
I think it's a very clever move, though perhaps not a good one.

I agree with ETC in his suggestion:
   327. Cris E Posted: October 30, 2003 at 07:56 PM (#568032)
I suppose we should try to keep all these threads in sync and point out that after the Wilson Bar Fiasco Manny did ponder a trade request to NY. This could be related to that and definitely color how he receives this news. We just don't know what's driving the move from the office or how Manny is taking it. Perhaps he's doing another one of those Outside the Lines specials like during his last contract negotiation and we'll know everything in a month or two.

I'm already loving this offseason.
   328. Dusty's Least Favorite Base-Clogger (Roy Hobbs) Posted: October 30, 2003 at 08:07 PM (#568034)
Personally, I don't see any reason why the Red Sox should get touchy-feely with Ramirez and worry about his feelings. Christ, the guy will have made hundreds of millions of dollars in his career and will continue to rake it in in Boston or somewhere else. Ramirez doesn't seem to care much about others so why do people think he would care what others think of him?
   329. Dusty's Least Favorite Base-Clogger (Roy Hobbs) Posted: October 30, 2003 at 08:21 PM (#568036)
"Other players pay attention to these things"

Players seem to mostly follow the money. After all, they still sign with the Yankees even though they realize that Steinbrenner may criticize them.

And most free agents don't have a lot of teams pursuing them. It's hard to believe that a high payroll/high visibilty organization like the Red Sox will not continue to be a preferred destination because of this move.
   330. NTNgod Posted: October 30, 2003 at 08:30 PM (#568038)
Angelos has to be creaming his pants about now.

He's got the money to burn and the desire to spend it.
   331. Dusty's Least Favorite Base-Clogger (Roy Hobbs) Posted: October 30, 2003 at 08:53 PM (#568039)
"This would essentially cap the market at ~$17M/year because anyone willing to bid more than $17M for Vlad should claim Manny "

That's a great point, of course, Free Mesen. The way that free agent salaries are affected by this move is ultimately the real story here--not Ramirez's feelings.

It will be very interesting to see how this plays out--and if any other teams follow suit with a still very desirable, but "overpriced for the current market" player.
   332. Ziggy Posted: October 30, 2003 at 10:23 PM (#568041)
Is it possible that this move really is about capping the FA market this year? Perhaps the Sox want to go after Vlad and don't want to pay him >17M/year? Wild speculation of course, but it's fun.

On the other hand, maybe this move was Bud's idea. He could be trying to shape the market here...
   333. Ziggy Posted: October 30, 2003 at 11:10 PM (#568043)
Because he costs $20M/year.
   334. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: October 30, 2003 at 11:16 PM (#568044)
Beatagain has shown a predilection to not waste $$ lately, and I think they think they have a shot at Vlad, Tejada, or Javy (whether they actually do or not).

I wouldn't be surprised if they pass on Manny. Then, I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't. why am I even posting this wishy-washy comment?
   335. Darren Posted: November 14, 2003 at 06:25 PM (#568155)
Wow, ZiPs seems very kind to others and just brutal to Timlin. His quick and dirty DIPs ERA were 3.77, 4.65, and 3.69 the last 3 years. And that doesn't include his superman impression in the post season.

I'd put him below 4.00 especially considering that the Sox seem to understand the best usage for him (under 20 pitches per game).
   336. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 15, 2003 at 06:24 AM (#568157)
I think Boston overpaid by about $500K a year, but they got a decent reliever out of it, and as long as Mr. Henry doesn't mind, it's his money.
   337. Howie B. Posted: November 29, 2003 at 03:05 AM (#568870)
1-0 Red Sox.

George - your move.
   338. stephen Posted: November 29, 2003 at 06:05 PM (#568875)
Oracle - your list of likely 2004 starting options is a smidge incomplete. I'll let you fetch the 2003 MLB ERA/2004 ZiPS projections, but here are a few guys I believe have a real shot at the 2004 rotation, led by the guy that SHOULD have been in the 2003 starting five (can you believe Dessens led the staff in 2003 starts?!!?):

Oscar Villarreal (if you are seriously considering de la Rosa. . .)
   339. Andrew Edwards Posted: November 30, 2003 at 01:02 AM (#568877)
Sheffield will also plug up their up-the-middle defence.
   340. Miles Posted: December 01, 2003 at 09:34 PM (#568879)
Schilling will be fine....better get that bullpen a little more consistant.
   341. Ben Posted: December 09, 2003 at 07:27 PM (#569542)
I'm not too impressed by the 1:2 BB/K ratio, but they're probably not paying much either, so the biggest cost is a roster spot. Not a bad play I guess.
   342. Cal Posted: December 09, 2003 at 11:53 PM (#569546)
he's 26, lefthanded, strikes out a decent amount of guys. this seems like a good no risk claim. His zips numbers aren't much different from Ligtenberg's. I also wonder why other organizations didn't seem see him.
   343. pyrite Posted: December 10, 2003 at 03:40 AM (#569547)
One thing I noticed the Real Men of Genius running the Sox seem to take advantage of is their position towards the end of the waiver wire priority list.

Last year, when the Pirates waived Bronson Arroyo, the Sox claimed him and then shortly after that put him on waivers themselves.

The tactic seemed pretty clever, as they cleared a roster spot and could be pretty certain nobody would claim him after just passing up the opportunity to do so.

Mr. Really-Fake-Toupee-Wearers, indeed.
   344. Darren Posted: December 10, 2003 at 07:03 PM (#569551)
What I find more surprising is that no one picked up Matt Diaz on waivers, a 26-year old OF that ZiPS optimistically projects at .315/.365/.465.

Why get him when you could have:

Graham Koonce: 0.247 0.385 0.454
   345. MM1f Posted: December 13, 2003 at 03:06 AM (#569555)
The Diaz thing is pretty surprising.
   346. pyrite Posted: December 13, 2003 at 07:31 PM (#569556)
ESPNews is reporting that Gammons says Red Sox sign Foulke to a 3yr 21M deal with a vesting 4th year option.
   347. pyrite Posted: December 14, 2003 at 08:29 PM (#569558)
Hooray!!

Houston trades Geoff Blum to Tampa Bay for Brandon Backe!

Which means...

Geoff Blum will not be a Pirate! Quick, someone, anyone, sign Fernando Tatis!
   348. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 15, 2003 at 02:43 PM (#570035)
He's already signed with the Rockies, Adam, though that doesn't necessarily rule it out.

Foulke's going to a tougher ballpark, and Boston's defense is significantly weaker than Oakland's. It might feel a bit high to me, but I wouldn't be too surprised if his ERA's over 3.
   349. b Posted: December 15, 2003 at 06:24 PM (#570038)
The Globe and Herald both say that the deal is in the 3/21 neighborhood with an option (either a player or team option depending on what vesting goals are reached) that puts it at 4/27 or so, not 4/24.
   350. Darren Posted: December 15, 2003 at 09:15 PM (#570043)
Adam, couldn't you have dreamed a little bigger? Vidro, Kent, maybe? You're like the guy who wastes wishes from a genie on a really tasty sandwich.
   351. Darren Posted: December 17, 2003 at 05:40 PM (#570332)
UZR makes him look pretty average at both 2B and 3B. Nice pick up. I wonder what his role will be. I'm hoping for a Tony-Phillips-esque super-sub who starts 100+ games.
   352. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: December 17, 2003 at 07:14 PM (#570044)
What the hell is NESN gonna cost now?
   353. Ken Arneson Posted: December 17, 2003 at 08:12 PM (#570336)
he's a fair second baseman

That means he usually stands on the correct side of the foul lines.
   354. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 17, 2003 at 10:25 PM (#570337)
I saw him about a dozen times when he was with Chicago, and he seemed adequate at both second and third. He didn't react very quickly but had good lateral range once he started moving, and his footwork on the DP was nice and smooth. If anything, I thought he was better suited to second than third.
   355. John Posted: December 18, 2003 at 06:43 AM (#570338)
I've seen Bellhorn play 2B, 3B, SS, and 1B. He looked great at 1B, but that might have been because he was following stump McGriff. He looked natural at 2B like he actually knew what he was doing. I'd say only a little below avg range and good positioning seemed to make up for it. At SS he was passable...think Kevin Elster's range with less sure hands. At 3B he looked like Kevin Mitchell. If Bellhorn hits like 2002 this is a great pickup.....if he hits like 2003 he'll be bench fodder at best.
   356. Noffs Posted: December 18, 2003 at 06:52 AM (#570339)
Versatile infielder with a .362 expected OBP and passable D for cash? Even this NYY fan must approve.
   357. NTNgod Posted: December 19, 2003 at 03:13 AM (#570342)
So the Red Sox acquired a guy who can hit and is a so/so fielder (Bellhorn) and they're poised to acquire a guy who can field and is..umm..able to grab the correct end of the bat (POKEY!!!).

Now, if the Red Sox could only combine the two into one player....
   358. NTNgod Posted: December 19, 2003 at 10:33 AM (#570344)
Denver Post says Pokey signed for 1 year, 1 mil:

Pokey Reese, as expected, withdrew from consideration, signing a one-year, $1 million deal to play second base for the Boston Red Sox.
   359. ColonelTom Posted: December 19, 2003 at 07:13 PM (#570346)
From that Denver Post article linked in #13:

Antonio Alfonseca, a right-handed reliever the Rockies would like to add to their bullpen, is drawing heavy interest from the Atlanta Braves.

Even with their plethora of offseason moves so far, that might be the best news the Phillies have heard this entire offseason!
   360. Grady Little Posted: December 30, 2003 at 09:54 PM (#570927)
Finally, a pinch runner...wait, I'm not in charge anymore?
   361. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: December 30, 2003 at 10:07 PM (#570929)
Pawtucket, Max, now that the Andy Abad era is over.
   362. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: December 30, 2003 at 11:01 PM (#570930)
A minor league deal for Daubach?? Seriously this guy could start for the Mets right now.
   363. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: December 30, 2003 at 11:33 PM (#570932)
For some reason #1 made me laugh out loud, as opposed to the meager internalized chuckle that is usually provoked by the anonymous first-person type posts on primer.

thanks whoever you are.
   364. Darren Posted: December 31, 2003 at 02:45 AM (#570934)
That projection looks good but I prefer Andy Abad's .370/.450.
   365. jeff angus Posted: December 31, 2003 at 04:26 PM (#570936)
I never liked this guy as a starter, but his projected 350/450 is an attractive bat off the bench, and his l/r splits

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/splits3?statsId=6118&type=batting

are spread just enough that you get some extra value against right-handers and he's not carne muerto against southpaws. And here's one contrary split...his numbers against pitchers the first time he see's them in a game is essentially the same as his composite; an unusual and useful trait in a pinch-hitter. And it looks like that lineup is going to have at least one bat (Reese) who's gonna need a PH.

Small price, a sweet little potential benefit.
   366. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 31, 2003 at 11:32 PM (#570937)
There was a while last year where I thought the White Sox were going to try to shoehorn him into CF. They went with Rios instead, and I'm not 100% convinced that Daubach would have been worse.
   367. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: January 04, 2004 at 04:40 PM (#570357)
I never really saw anything in the media substantiating any kind of off-field problems between Bellhorn and Baker. For the most part, Bellhorn started the year in a power and average slump -- he started almost every game through the end of April, but his numbers were only .200/.356/.300 by the end of the month. He was drawing a lot of walks, but coming in to the season he was being relied on as someone to hit homers and drive in runs based on his 2002 performance. He continued to start and struggle into May, and after about May 15th he played only sparingly before being traded.

Bellhorn was definitely struggling, striking out more than he walked and hitting for almost no power. But given the alternative (Harris), it was indefensible for Dusty to remove him from the starting lineup, particularly since Lenny's numbers were even worse (he hit for even less power and a lower OBP, but he had a higher average -- which, coupled with his veteran presence, is probably why he got the nod from old-school Dusty).

I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Bellhorn, if he gets a chance to put up 400 ABs this year, post a season similar to his 2002 campaign. The only good thing that came out of giving up on Bellhorn was that the Cubs were forced to go out and steal Ramirez from the Pirates, who is likely a better player than Bellhorn and should put up terrific numbers playing at Wrigley for a full season.
   368. scott Posted: January 24, 2004 at 12:23 AM (#572016)
ouch, taking it right to NYTCURSF!
   369. Neil Posted: January 24, 2004 at 12:23 AM (#572017)
I summon Forces of Nature. 8/8. Eat it, you're dead Szymborski.
   370. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: January 24, 2004 at 01:14 AM (#572019)
That's a pretty good postseason bullpen of Arroyo, Timlin, Embree, Kim and Foulke.

Also, isn't Tim Wakefield the 6th best starter on the Sox? I'd take Kim and Arroyo over him any day. Also, Lowe should be much better now with Pokey behind him instead of Walker.
   371. mommy Posted: January 24, 2004 at 02:46 AM (#572024)
Not in primer, shea, here you can be a superstar, a prospect, or fungible. (= suck)

sorry, try another website.
   372. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 24, 2004 at 03:00 AM (#572025)
Shea clinched his inclusion in the "sucks" category by what was one of the most claseless post-trade tirades in MLB history. Don't forget, the slang "sucks" can simply mean objectionable.
   373. Randal Posted: January 24, 2004 at 03:28 AM (#572027)
Are you the biggest idiot ever?
   374. Darren Posted: January 24, 2004 at 04:46 AM (#572030)
I agree with Knucksie except about how many games Kim's started. Wakefield has been a very good starter each of the last 3 years and he's at an age where knuckleballer's often peak.

I dunno. $10 million for two years would be OK if he was going to be the closer...and I agree with you about the "playoff choke" stuff...but for a guy who (1) insists on wanting to be a starter, but has not demonstrated that he has the durability to be a good starter,

He's insisted on wanting to do it, but he happily moved to the pen last year.

(2) apparently came up sore at the end of last year while being a reliever, quite possibly from having been a starter earlier in the season for the first time in many years,

Possibly, but I thinks it's more likely that he came up sore from being used 5 days in a row or pitching relief between starts with no extra rest.

(3) is apparently disliked by everybody around him,

Really, everyone? Is there any evidence that he's disliked by anyone? Timlin was angry about him giving the finger, but the next night held Kim's arms down jokingly during introductions. Haven't heard much else about "everyone" not liking him.

(4) won't be able to fill the role of closer because the team already has a very, very good one

this is already covered in your first sentence and in your point (1) where he insists on being a starter. You don't like paying him to be a starter, got it.

<I> and (5) would resist being moved into a relief role, there is a very good chance that the second year of the contract turns out to be an albatross...I wouldn't have done it.
   375. Mike Piazza Posted: January 24, 2004 at 11:03 AM (#572032)
I like cowboys....UP!
   376. dirk Posted: January 26, 2004 at 12:47 AM (#572067)
I guess I'll have to stop making fun of the Miguel Cairo signing.
   377. Danny Posted: January 26, 2004 at 02:10 AM (#572070)
Reese is underrated, not overrated.

Reese has made $9.5M over the past 4 seasons to play 106 games per year. I'd say he's definitely overrated.
   378. Mikαεl Posted: January 26, 2004 at 03:02 AM (#572072)
Is a Tony Womack the best way to fill the 25th man spot? It's an interesting roster construction question.

As it stands, the Red Sox seem to have a set group of 24. 11 pitchers, 9 starters, 4 reserves. The reserves are Mirabelli at C, Daubach at 1B/OF/DH, Kapler as Nixon's platoon partner, and Bellhorn as backup at 2B and 3B. What is the most valuable skill set to fill that bench?

Womack brings speed and the ability to play SS and CF plausibly, if not well. When would Womack play, exactly? He'd pinch run for Ramirez, Ortiz or Millar. (As an aside, Kevin Millar may be the worst baserunner I've ever seen.) He'd play CF or SS if both of the better options got injured. That's a pretty thin job description.

Womack's just on a Pawtucket contract, so hopefully if a better option presents itself, said option will get a chance. The Red Sox are reportedly also exploring adding an RH bat like Burks or Galarraga - my guess is that player could partially platoon with Ortiz. It seems like another RH bat makes a lot more sense than a 3rd SS or 3rd CF.

One thought: how about Andy Dominique? He bats right, put up a .265 MLEqA between AA and AAA and can even catch in a pinch. I have to think he'd be a better 25th man that Womack, himself.

As to whether Reese is under- or over-rated, I'd say the terms need to be defined. Danny's right that Reese's previous teams likely over-rated him, but I'd agree with JBH that the sabermetric evaluation of Reese before we had a better grasp of defense likely underrated him.
   379. Robert S. Posted: January 26, 2004 at 04:21 AM (#572044)
I thought that Kim looked good as a starter in AZ. It's too bad that he didn't have any run support and the team was stuck with Hillenbrand.

He's too inconsistent out of the pen, especially for the AL East and Fenway.
   380. Mikαεl Posted: January 26, 2004 at 02:59 PM (#572082)
Q-10 is a playable hand when you have position. Q-10s is a solid hand multi-way.

Womack is more like an unsuited baby ace. Many people seem to think it's good, and it does pull in a pot occasionally, but you're losing a lot more than you're winning if you insist on playing it.
   381. MM1f Posted: January 28, 2004 at 05:48 AM (#572093)
Freddy Sanchez would be nice for the Sox right now...
   382. Ron Johnson Posted: February 03, 2004 at 10:31 PM (#572096)
Dunno about Millar being the worst baserunner. I got the chance to see Jack Cust in the minors. He's agressive, not particularly fast and doesn't seem to know it and runs with his head down.
   383. MM1f Posted: February 08, 2004 at 04:49 AM (#572357)
Damn, I was hoping he'd come back down South and be the Braves RF next year.

oh well, he's still one of my favorites...
   384. Darren Posted: February 08, 2004 at 07:31 AM (#572367)
Uh oh, don't get Free Meson started on Bellhorn! :) I agree though that those players and not Womack will be on the team.

Burks' seasonal age will be 39, so saying he "will be 40" is kind of misleading, especially when it bumps him up into a different decade and all. I doubt there's much nostalgia behind this. He's a great value at $1 mil. and a credible everyday DH if any of Ortiz/Millar/Manny go down or tank.

McCarty is interesting in that I think he's trying to learn to pitch and become a 2-way guy. He'll be doing that at AAA and not the pros, I'm guessing.
   385. jeff angus Posted: February 08, 2004 at 06:07 PM (#572369)
(#7) - Obscure Reference Police suggests:
   386. Stephen Posted: February 09, 2004 at 12:52 AM (#572371)
Generally when you sign a player for less than he's made in 13 years and less than 15% of what he made the previous year, it's a good value.

Except for Roberto Alomar, because everyone knows he sucks. Burks was a below average DH last year, has a vast injury history (including last season), and is 39 years old.
   387. APNY Posted: February 09, 2004 at 02:09 AM (#572372)
As the 24th guy on a team with an $80MM payroll

The Sox payroll is down to $80M? Wow, I guess I missed it when they dumped Manny, Nomar, Pedro and Lowe.
   388. Darren Posted: February 09, 2004 at 03:49 AM (#572373)
Is Burks a great value at $1 mil/year? Here's three different ways you could say it is:

1. Burks, used as a strict platoon, would play about 1/4 of the time. He's a good bet to hit about .380/.500 in that role. If you had a DH who played fulltime and put up those numbers for $4 mil/year, then I'd say he was a great value. But that's not all Burks is. He can also hit righties pretty well and will be a plenty good replacement for any of Manny/Ortiz/Millar.

2. Last year, the Red Sox got the following production out of David Ortiz at DH: .369/.592, with him putting up .260/.414 vs lefties and .404/.654 vs. righties. Slotting in Burks expected .380/.520 vs. lefties, gives an overall combined line (assuming 1/4 ABs vs. lefty pitchers) of .398/.615. Would improving Ortiz that much, plus having a great bat off the bench for the rest of time be a great value? Yes.

3. Compare Burks to other "lefty-mashers" that have signed recently. Karros cost more and isn't as good. Any others?
   389. Darren Posted: February 09, 2004 at 03:57 AM (#572374)
Oh, one more way to look at it:

The Red Sox payroll is around $130 mil this year for 25 players. Divide that money up equally between:

9 starting position players
   390. Darren Posted: February 09, 2004 at 03:34 PM (#572377)
Yeah, if you want to add it up correctly, it would be 17. Nice work by me. Change the numbers to $130 mil/17 players, avg=$7.6 mil. 1/4 time player = $1.9 mil.

Part-time DH? And we thought the ninth-inning closers were absurd.

Those 1 inning closers aren't so absurd if they're paid correctly. It's when they're making $8 mil/year that it gets silly.
   391. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: February 09, 2004 at 06:07 PM (#572359)
Nixon's power numbers were up because of the added muscle he put on before last season, but that added weight also adversely affected his performance in the field. Not MUCH, admittedly, but he was noticably a bit slower out in RF than in years past. The days of Trot being able to fill in at CF are over.
   392. Miko Supports Shane's Spam Habit Posted: February 09, 2004 at 07:13 PM (#572360)
I wonder if Nixon doesn't get credit for what a good hitter he is simply because his weakness is so easily identified

Another part of it is probably also because of this steady improvement. Last year was his best with the bat by far. At one point in his career delerious Sox fans hoped he'd be the Sox's Paul O'Neill (resident intense no-BS RF) and it seemed far-fetched. But he's grown into that role.

but that added weight also adversely affected his performance in the field.

Was it the Matsui double in game 7 that went over his head? I wondered if he would have caught it in previous years. His UZR numbers are down for him for 2003 compared to consistently good numbers 2000-2002, but MGL et al. say 1 year swings can be due to chance. The regular ZR and RF numbers on ESPN suggest he's hanging in there. He did appear slower last year, but my memory could be colored by that one fateful inning.
   393. Darren Posted: February 09, 2004 at 08:41 PM (#572361)
Nixon definitely should have had that ball in the playoffs, but don't forget he was questionable to even play in the playoffs because of a leg injury (hamstring?).

I wonder if Nixon doesn't get credit for what a good hitter he is simply because his weakness is so easily identified.

I've argued a few times on Primer that Nixon is actually more valuable because of what his weakness is. With Nixon, you can easily sit him for his worst 30 games each year. Not so easy for a guy who can't hit a curveball very well, etc. Bill James, if I recall, says that Nixon is underated because he does many things well but nothing great.
   394. Greg Franklin Posted: February 10, 2004 at 12:37 AM (#572378)
Speaking of the Mariners, they just added free agent Ron Villone to their bullpen. 1-year, $1M contract (same as Burks). $1M in incentives (??!).

And holy crap, Jose Offerman a Twin! Title is secure!
   395. Greg Franklin Posted: March 05, 2004 at 07:20 AM (#569579)
Red Sox agree to terms with Malaska, along with the following players. (This means they are on the 40-man, correct?)

P Bronson Arroyo
   396. Sam M. Posted: March 19, 2004 at 03:39 AM (#572961)
I didn't realize Brooks could be placed on waivers without being offered back to the Pirates. Does this mean that the Sox have to offer him back to the Pirates if he doesn't make their ML roster? Or does this mean the Pirates declined to buy him back already, from the A's?
   397. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 19, 2004 at 04:42 AM (#572962)
yeah, everyone gets a shot at the rule 5er before he's offered back. Sox are in the same boat with Brooks.
   398. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 19, 2004 at 04:53 AM (#572963)
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Brooks won't survive Boston's lefty death derby, either. It's encouraging that he slid almost all the way through the AL on his first go-round.
   399. Sam M. Posted: March 19, 2004 at 06:53 AM (#572965)
Why did the A's waive him, rather than offer him back to the Bucs? What did they have to gain by that move, unless this was a pre-arranged deal with the Red Sox?

I also bet this means the PTBNL the Mets are owed from the original Brooks deal is going to be pretty craptastic . . . .
   400. Neil Posted: March 19, 2004 at 07:18 AM (#572966)
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