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   1. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 07, 2010 at 03:41 PM (#3704724)
A more positive thought I just had - I guess the Red Sox are sort of going with depth over stars. Darren talked about this last year, about what a "Theo-style" offseason would look like. It would, he suggested, involve mostly the acquisition of multiple pretty good players as depth options at positions of need.

That may be what the Red Sox are doing at LF/CF, SS, and C. At shortstop they've already got two guys who both have the potential to be well above average. At LF/CF and C, they need a third good player to create the necessary depth.

There are various outfield options. Catcher's kind of the problem here. Unless you've got wildly unrealistic expectations of what Jason Varitek can do as a regular, only one of the team's catchers has a reasonable shot at being an above-average catcher. The Varitek contract is kind of a problem, though, since in theory one of the three catchers would need to taxi-squad at Pawtucket, and obviously that won't be Varitek. The optimist's view of the catching situation is that Varitek and Saltalamacchia will platoon, but that just further reinforces the need for depth - the optimist's view kind of requires both players to be good.
   2. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 07, 2010 at 04:09 PM (#3704762)
I feel like the key unknowns on this team are Lowrie and Ellsbury. The Sox were regularly winning 95 games since 2004 despite generally giving away one position on the diamond. RF in 2004 (Kapler), SS in 2005 and 2007 (Renteria and Lugo) and C in 2008 and 2009 (Varitek - Martinez only started 31 games that year behind the plate). If Ellsbury can play like he did in 2009 and Lowrie (or Scutaro though I've come around to wanting Lowrie to win the job) can give the Sox a boost over the 2010 performance at those positions I think this team should be fine. They cannot afford to have multiple positions playing at replacement level though.

I also think that there is one more domino in the outfield. Probably not Crawford at this point but acquiring Ordonez/Willingham or some other solid bat is probably going to happen I think.

Adding that to what I believe to be realistic expectations of improvement from Beckett and an improved bullpen I think this team should be fine. There is some unknown as you note but I think it is worthwhile for the Sox to see if Lowrie can do it.

I'll add that I'd love to land Russell Martin. He's been about 1.5 WAR (BBRef) the last two years which is not great, but he is a bit more of a sure thing than Saltalamacchia and in my opinion has every bit as much upside.
   3. Josh Posted: December 07, 2010 at 04:17 PM (#3704770)
I think its probably not necessary to wish-cash in order to get to a playoff team. I agree, though, that as of right now -- with five months before the season starts - this team is not as good as the Yankees, esp the Yankees with Lee. That is in large part b/c the Sox

First, projections will assume a good deal of decline from other teams. The window for the Rays seems to be closing a bit. For a number of reasons (talent loss and performance regression being chief, but also expectation that they will be less healthy than last year), they will likely project a good deal worse than they performed last year. The Yankees will be projected to experience more injuries than they experienced; Gardner will be projected to be a good deal worse, C is a question mark, Teix will project to be better, but not by a ton, etc.

Second, projections will likely assume that Cameron is still a useful player. If you disagree, that is reasonable -- he is old and he suffered a very serious, time consuming injury, and his skills were never elite level (so dropping a little more than simple expected age decline bit makes him a good deal less valuable). I don't think it is wish-casting, too, to assume normal health across the board. The expectation isn't that all players will always be healthy, just that last year was well beyond expectation. I think they likely add one more OFer and two better than average (i.e., better than 110 or so ERA+ pen arms) relievers with some depth in AAA. You've convinced me to lower my expectation for Salty to .720 or so.

Third, while you are right that Gonzalez isn't expected to do significantly (if at all) better than Beltre'2 2010 (including defense, positional adjustment, etc.), the combination of a 400/500 3B in Youks and a 400/550 (+?) 1B in Gonzalez should be. Of course, Beltre isn't expected to do better than Beltre's 2010.

I'd see a drop off at C production, an increase at 2B, a slight increase or wash at 1B/3B, and its hard to imagine a projection that won't give an increase at CF/LF - and signing an Ordonez or trading for Willingham will make that more likely (but that isn't a huge difference in expected wins - 1 to 2 wins - but it is a big difference in variance). There isn't much room for increases to Lackey, but probably so for Beckett, a decrease from Buchholz, and the expectation that Lester is (again) one of the top 5-10 pitchers in baseball. There is a huge question mark still in the pen, but there are five months to correct that.

Assuming they actually have a bullpen and sign one OFer, I see this as a low to mid 90s win team, and probably second in the league if the Yankees sign Lee. Once again, the projections will have the Sox at 92-95 wins.
   4. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 07, 2010 at 04:22 PM (#3704773)
Martin's numbers are weird, I don't really know what to make of them. These are his batting lines broken up into BB rate, K rate, and on-contact BA and SLG:

2006: 12.4% K, 9.6% BB, 324/501
2007: 14.4% K, 10.8% BB, 346/554
2008: 12.9% K, 13.8% BB, 328/464
2009: 13.9% K, 11.8% BB, 296/390
2010: 16.1% K, 12.4% BB, 300/402

The vast majority of Martin's decline from his 07-08 peak is in his on-contact numbers. He's just not hitting the ball hard anymore. Was there an injury?
   5. Pingu Posted: December 07, 2010 at 04:26 PM (#3704776)
I generally agree with everything in the intro. At the base of it, I'm pretty disappointed that the Red Sox appear to be looking to cut salary, but in retrospect we shouldnt have been too suprised at this.

Counting on Lowrie, Ellsbury, Cameron, Saltalamacchia, Lackey, Beckett? Scary. You need them to be much better, with expected declines from Buchholz and possibly from Bard or Lester as well as a looming cliff for Ortiz. Hopefully Drew can bounce back a bit and help even the load. I dont see this as a 95 win team either. They certainly could be, I wouldnt bet on it though. Will be interesting to see what the Rays offseason looks like and how they restock the bullpen.

Catcher's kind of the problem here. Unless you've got wildly unrealistic expectations of what Jason Varitek can do as a regular, only one of the team's catchers has a reasonable shot at being an above-average catcher.


I'm assuming this one would be Salty. I'm not optimistic. I think its more likely we see below average production coupled with below average defense out of the catcher spot, unless they make a trade to improve here.
   6. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 07, 2010 at 04:29 PM (#3704782)
Assuming they actually have a bullpen and sign one OFer, I see this as a low to mid 90s win team, and probably second in the league if the Yankees sign Lee.
I think that's about right. I would guess 91-93 wins, not 92-95, but neither of us have run the numbers to be sure. My sentences about that you quoted were imprecise, so to clarify:

The Red Sox in the Epstein/Henry years have been extremely clear that their goal is to win 95 games every year. Building a team that only maybe projects to 95 wins on the high end of their range is, by those lights, not a successful offseason.

I think the Henry/Epstein thinking is that 95 wins means, most years, a playoff spot. 92 wins means, sometimes, a playoff spot. The Red Sox, if they don't make another significant move, look to me more like a 50% playoff club than a 90% playoff club. Their goal has, historically, been the latter.
   7. Pingu Posted: December 07, 2010 at 04:49 PM (#3704800)
I disagree that the Rays will be projected to be worse. Its a big assumption that they can replace last years bullpen, but I'd expect them to be projected about the same as last year. The biggest area of decline will be in the pen, and whatever dropoff from Crawford to Jennings. They didnt get anything resembling a career year out of anyone on offense, and other than Price, no one in the rotation really outpaced expectations. They've got a whole lot of bad ABs from Pena, Breignac, Rodriguez, Bartlett, Zobrist, Upton, that figure to be better in 2011.

I mean this Rays team is very good, and very deep. They outperformed in the first half, but IIRC that evened off in the 2nd. I'd expect their underlying performance to be better in 2011 across the board unless Jennings and the 1B (Johnson?) completely flop and they fail to build an adequate bullpen.
   8. Fridas Boss Posted: December 07, 2010 at 04:51 PM (#3704801)
Third, while you are right that Gonzalez isn't expected to do significantly (if at all) better than Beltre'2 2010 (including defense, positional adjustment, etc.), the combination of a 400/500 3B in Youks and a 400/550 (+?) 1B in Gonzalez should be.

This isn't correct. First, Youkilis was on the team last year so he is redundant to include in any offensive comparison of last year to this year. Second, you have to compare the differences bewteen Beltre's 3b D and Youkilis's 3b D, and then Gonzalez's to Youkilis at 1st. I'm not sure that's not a wash at best.
   9. Pingu Posted: December 07, 2010 at 04:52 PM (#3704802)
I think that's about right. I would guess 91-93 wins, not 92-95, but neither of us have run the numbers to be sure.


When you run the numbers, make sure you include a .310/.430/.670 season from Adrian.

Thanks.
   10. Nasty Nate Posted: December 07, 2010 at 04:55 PM (#3704804)
Why go into offseason-evaluation mode when it is so early on? There is pretty much a 0% chance that the Sox do not do another transaction that affects the major league roster.

Building a team that only maybe projects to 95 wins on the high end of their range is, by those lights, not a successful offseason.


I doubt the Sox stated goal (95 wins) should imply that one-year external win projections are the measuring stick used to evaluate offseason transactions.
   11. tfbg9 Posted: December 07, 2010 at 04:55 PM (#3704805)
The vast majority of Martin's decline from his 07-08 peak is in his on-contact numbers. He's just not hitting the ball hard anymore. Was there an injury?


Martin had a bad hip injury, IIRC.
   12. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: December 07, 2010 at 06:42 PM (#3704915)
This isn't correct. First, Youkilis was on the team last year so he is redundant to include in any offensive comparison of last year to this year.


I assume he's talking about a whole year of Youkilis, as opposed to only 102 games.
   13. Joel W Posted: December 07, 2010 at 07:10 PM (#3704938)
Russell Martin: Huge power at 24 and 25. Loses power suddenly the same winter he loses 25 pounds. Then gets a hip injury. You do the math.
   14. Josh Posted: December 07, 2010 at 07:24 PM (#3704952)
I think the Henry/Epstein thinking is that 95 wins means, most years, a playoff spot. 92 wins means, sometimes, a playoff spot. The Red Sox, if they don't make another significant move, look to me more like a 50% playoff club than a 90% playoff club. Their goal has, historically, been the latter.
That's pretty reasonable, though I bet when the off season is done we'll have different opinions. I see 2011 as having a bit more parity in the AL. The Rays will be worse. The Angels will be better. The Blue Jays will be better. The Rangers may be worse. In general, I see only one team that is a strong bet to be better than the Sox, and that is only if they sign Lee. But, I can imagine an (admittedly unlikely) scenario where the Yankees don't sign Lee, Pettite retires, and things aren't pretty in the Bronx.

I usually don't like worrying about next year until February when the rumored deals come to a slowdown and we have nothing else to talk about!
   15. Josh Posted: December 07, 2010 at 07:27 PM (#3704956)
I assume he's talking about a whole year of Youkilis, as opposed to only 102 games.
Yes. Assume 145 games of Youkilis at 3d, 160 games of Gonzalez at 1st, and I think that is likely as good as what happened in 2010 at 1st & 3d, including defense.
   16. Cat Named Manny Posted: December 07, 2010 at 11:26 PM (#3705236)
Among the bad luck things that happened to the Sox on the injury front last season was not just the number of injuries but the timing. The Sox lost Pedroia and Varitek right around the same time, then within days lost Buchholz and Martinez for a month. That was, of course, a brutal month. And then when Buchholz and Martinez were set to return, Youkilis went down for the season. And despite this, the Sox finished 2010 stronger than the Yankees did.

Given that the Red Sox were pretty easily a 95-win team last season without the incredible number of injuries (just the ones listed above were worth six wins, given where those players wound up in WAR and who replaced them, so I'm not even counting Beckett, Ellsbury, Cameron, Matsuzaka, etc.), I have a hard time seeing how it's difficult to project 95 wins from the current roster (which necessarily assumes the bullpen is just as crappy as last season).

Acquiring Gonzalez mitigates against the significant step back we'd expect from Beltre in 2011, while having Youkilis and Pedroia healthy for a full season generally offsets losing Martinez's production without factoring in any production gained from the Salty-Tek platoon. Any decent production out of Ellsbury is an improvement over last season's McDonald/Nava outfield chaos, while I agree Cameron is a big question mark. Lowrie is likely to be an improvement over Scutaro, but if he's not, we are likely still to have Scutaro. Ortiz is probably going to take a step back but still be productive.

I think pitching is where I'm a little more concerned. Lackey pitched to his career averages in the second half, but until he does it for a full season, I'm going to be leery. It's hard for Beckett to get any worse than he was in 2010, so you have to project improvement from him, which offsets any regression from Buchholz. Lester is Lester. Matsuzaka is another question mark, at this point. I think the safe bet is to assume Papelbon is marginally better than he was in 2010, but not by all that much. The bullpen remains the big question mark, and that is not done yet, of course.

There are question marks, as there are on every 95-win team. But I think we are underestimating the significant extent to which injuries affected the final results of the 2010 season. If all we're looking at is 89 wins/3rd place without seeing the true talent level of the luck-neutral team behind that finish, then we're biasing our projections from the beginning.

Also, I'd bet the Sox intended to sign Werth with some of the excess money MCoA notes in the OP. But the Nats took care of that, so the Sox have to go to Plan B, which is unlikely to cost as much but also provides more flexibility for midseason acquisitions, if necessary.
   17. Darren Posted: December 08, 2010 at 01:31 AM (#3705316)
It doesn't surprise me that they're cutting payroll, because I had suspected 2010 was a one-time bump. But it does surprise me that they've done so while making the following moves:

Ortiz reupped at $12.5M
Arb to Pap at $10M
Scutaro still on team (for now) for $6 mil.

A team that's cutting back while trying to compete needs to be ruthlessly efficient. It cannot punt $28M on these types of players. That's money that could have gone to a starting catcher, 2-3 relievers similar to Pap, and who knows what else. I guess they could do things between now and the beginning of the season to change my mind on how wise their plans are.
   18. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: December 08, 2010 at 02:14 AM (#3705335)
It cannot punt $28M on these types of players.


Of course they can. Ortiz at 12.5 may turn out to be a bargain, and Scutaro at $6M is the going rate for an average SS. Does anyone really trust Jed Lowrie to stay healthy for an entire season? No one likes Papelbon, but who says they're cutting payroll? It seems like it's been an unusually active winter so far, but like you say, there's a lot of offseason left.
   19. Darren Posted: December 08, 2010 at 03:50 AM (#3705369)
Ortiz may turn out to be bargain, so MAY Lackey. But it's very unlikely. You could have driven a harder bargain on him and then cut bait if it didn't work out.

Scutaro is getting a fair wage for a starter, but you could instead have a cheap backup and lose very little.
   20. Josh Posted: December 08, 2010 at 03:50 AM (#3705370)
Scutero is appropriately priced. Paps is going to be overpriced by what, $3-5mm? Ortiz by, well, what? Berkman costs $8mm. I'll assume that Vlad will cost at about that much, but maybe for two years. While I thought Ortiz was too expensive when his option was accepted, I'm not so sure anymore. At the least, I'll wait to see how the market plays out.

Even if Ortiz is over priced, that $28 million is over priced by only something like $8 or $9mm.
   21. OCD SS Posted: December 08, 2010 at 04:46 AM (#3705387)
It doesn't surprise me that they're cutting payroll, because I had suspected 2010 was a one-time bump.


Is this even a logical assumption? The only reason they would really have to hold off on an AGon extension is for the Luxury tax implications. Any "implications" imply that they would also be adding another big ticket item (Crawford or Werth, before the Nats exploded that idea).
   22. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 08, 2010 at 06:21 AM (#3705441)
I'm pretty upset they let V-Mart walk. Where else were they going to find a .850 - .900 OPS bat AT CATCHER? I don't care if he only catches 90 games a year, that's 90 games where we have a middle of the order bat AT CATCHER, and Ortiz should be platooned anyway.
   23. Josh Posted: December 08, 2010 at 05:40 PM (#3705696)
Konerko signs for 3/37.5mm. Ortiz projects to have a slightly better bat, while Konerko is generally considered a poor defensive 1B. I think I'd rather have Ortiz's deal than Konerko's. I'm starting to think that Ortiz was appropriately priced.
   24. villageidiom Posted: December 08, 2010 at 07:33 PM (#3705818)
A team that's cutting back while trying to compete needs to be ruthlessly efficient. It cannot punt $28M on these types of players. That's money that could have gone to a starting catcher, 2-3 relievers similar to Pap, and who knows what else.
1. If you're paying market prices for good players it's always more efficient to keep your own. No draft picks are lost; no prospects are traded away. It's just money.

2. Short-term deals at market rates are often far more efficient than long-term deals at market rates. None of the players on your list are signed beyond 2011.
   25. Cat Named Manny Posted: December 08, 2010 at 07:53 PM (#3705847)
I'm starting to think that Ortiz was appropriately priced.


Especially with Carlos Pena, who was one-third as valuable as Ortiz in 2010, according to both B-R and Fangraphs, getting $10 million for 2011.
   26. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 08, 2010 at 07:56 PM (#3705849)
Where else were they going to find a .850 - .900 OPS bat AT CATCHER?


I think you are overselling V-Mart there. His last four years have been; .879, .701, .861, .844. Even taking 2008 out of the equation the trend of .879-.861-.844 is fairly clear and considering his age not likely to reverse. I think .800-.850 is a more accurate range for this year with the real possibility of much lower numbers going forward and virtually no defensive value at all.

I think Victor is a good representitive of this free agency season, a whole bunch of guys who aren't going to be worth their contracts the last couple of years.
   27. Pingu Posted: December 08, 2010 at 08:18 PM (#3705869)
I'm pretty upset they let V-Mart walk. Where else were they going to find a .850 - .900 OPS bat AT CATCHER? I don't care if he only catches 90 games a year, that's 90 games where we have a middle of the order bat AT CATCHER, and Ortiz should be platooned anyway.


Yes, yes, yes.

I cant begin to fathom what I would have felt like if they had signed Martinez. We'd be a couple of live arms in the pen away from feeling real good about this team. That lineup would have been 2003 deep.

Sigining Victor would have added $10.5M to the payroll (assuming Varitek does not sign). And by my count that would have made $150M in 2011 obligations with 2 bullpen arms still to sign (assumes 440K 25th man, Kalish as 4th OF, & arb raises). We know nothing of the financial constraints, but that still likely end up a decrease from last season.

I think this was a terrible decision. I would have been so so so very ok with having a 110-120 OPS+ DH signed for 12.5M in 2013 and 2014. That was the downside. Has anyone heard/read/seen any comments from Theo on the decision making here? Other than him praising Saltalamacchia I havent heard him address the decision to not offer anything.

If they go out and get this mysterious RH bat, and it ends up costing them something closer to $10M than $5M, I'm going to be even more upset at the decision making.
   28. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: December 08, 2010 at 08:40 PM (#3705912)
I guess it's possible that Victor didn't really want to stay.
   29. dave h Posted: December 09, 2010 at 05:10 AM (#3706399)
Did anyone answer #21? How far from the luxury tax are they? If they could sign him but are holding out, they must plan on coming close to the tax, since in future years the tax hit will be worse.
   30. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: December 09, 2010 at 05:13 AM (#3706401)
I've heard the 2011 luxury tax is supposed to come in at about $160m; of course this is subject to some minor adjustment based on further offseason action around MLB. My personally-calculated estimate has Boston coming in around $138m in Opening Day salary based only on the guys under contract right now, without any additional major (ie. above-minimum salary) acquisitions, and assuming they don't announce Gonzalez' extension until after the season starts.

Scutaro is getting a fair wage for a starter, but you could instead have a cheap backup and lose very little.

I still don't understand this point of view. Jed Lowrie is that cheap backup, and they have him. What is it about Scutaro's $5m that bothers you so much? And where else would you have them spend it?
   31. Tripon Posted: December 09, 2010 at 05:46 AM (#3706424)
Break up the Red Sox because Carl Crawford signed for 7 years, 142 million.
   32. The Essex Snead Posted: December 09, 2010 at 05:58 AM (#3706428)
Yahoo! is reporting 6 years for the same cash; I have to believe it's 7, tho. Unless Carl Crawford is actually worth $23 million a year.
   33. Hugh Jorgan Posted: December 09, 2010 at 06:03 AM (#3706432)
31, 32? Uh...to whom? us?
   34. Dan Posted: December 09, 2010 at 06:05 AM (#3706434)
Man, that's crazy. Definitely need to get another RH bat for the bench to platoon with Papi now though.
   35. Hugh Jorgan Posted: December 09, 2010 at 06:08 AM (#3706438)
Yep, I see it now..TSN, 10 minutes ago. Holy sh*t, I really thought the Angels were getting him...
   36. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 09, 2010 at 06:13 AM (#3706442)
Man, that's crazy. Definitely need to get another RH bat for the bench to platoon with Papi now though.

I can see why you would want that done but it's not like the Sox can't compete with said lineup.

Must suck to be Rays fan right now.
   37. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 09, 2010 at 06:41 AM (#3706463)
Holy crap. I suppose that ends the flirtation with Magglio Ordonez.
   38. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 09, 2010 at 06:42 AM (#3706464)
Wow. Have to say if we're giving out 7 year deals it's nice to give them to guys who haven hit 30'yet.
   39. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: December 09, 2010 at 06:44 AM (#3706465)
That is just... holy ####. That's too much money and too many years.

EDIT: Okay, I panicked for a minute there. This is awesome.
   40. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 09, 2010 at 06:53 AM (#3706467)
God, I hate the Sox so much. At this point, the Red Sox and the Yankees are the same team to me. Just villains, the both of them.
   41. Dale Sams Posted: December 09, 2010 at 06:58 AM (#3706471)
Don't blame the Sox....Im gonna spread the following meme every single time I see this point: YOUR PRECIOUS UPCOMING WC PLAY-IN IS FORCING THE SOX TO DO THIS. Playing by some kind of never-was-actually-there moral salary rule is not even remotely an option anymore. Play by the Yankees rules, all the way or go home after losing to an 88 win team in a 3 game playoff.
   42. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: December 09, 2010 at 07:00 AM (#3706472)
God, I hate the Sox so much. At this point, the Red Sox and the Yankees are the same team to me. Just villains, the both of them.

And the Angels spent all that time offering him millions and millions of dollars per year to stay a Ray and keep playing for the good folks of Tampa. What a shame.
   43. rconn23 Posted: December 09, 2010 at 07:06 AM (#3706477)
"Wow. Have to say if we're giving out 7 year deals it's nice to give them to guys who haven hit 30'yet."

To a guy who never hit 20 home runs in a season? Whose highest career OBP is .364.?
   44. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 09, 2010 at 07:07 AM (#3706478)
It's just frustration talking. It's hard to believe that I root for a team with a $120+ million payroll, and we're like homeless people next to Boston and NYY. It just sucks.
   45. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: December 09, 2010 at 07:13 AM (#3706479)
44: And now imagine you're an A's fan like me.
   46. Dale Sams Posted: December 09, 2010 at 07:15 AM (#3706480)
Poin, you'll be glad to have Beltre. If there's a spot for him.
   47. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 09, 2010 at 07:25 AM (#3706486)
To a guy who never hit 20 home runs in a season? Whose highest career OBP is .364.?



Also, he's not nine feet tall. And he hasn't cured cancer yet.

Let's worry about what he can do, not what he can't.
   48. Pingu Posted: December 09, 2010 at 07:28 AM (#3706489)
Huh?

Ok, I suppose I should take back all I said in #27. All ye doubters bow down. There IS a master plan to which we are not privy.

An extra $20M on the books puts the Red Sox at roughly $160M in 2011 with 2 RP slots to fill. If the luxury tax really is $160M (I thought it was $~170M), they'll need to try and clear some of Cameron's money or something else to get under it. I cant see any team assuming very much of Cameron's contract in a trade.
In 2012 Crawford takes Drew + Cameron money. Not willing to speculate any further in the future and there will be 5 more of those.

Judging by the lack of quality OF FA next offseason and the two impending OF holes the Red Sox would need to fill (hopefully the other will be filled by Kalish), I can agree with the logic of going after Crawford. And I much much much prefer Crawford to Werth at similar years and money. Its hard not to be excited right now. But holy #### thats a lot of money to dish out in three days.

And here I was, grumbling that the Red Sox appeared to be cutting salary. Instead they appear to be following the pattern of pushing in the chips the season after they miss the playoffs. It worked twice before, so why the #### not.
   49. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 09, 2010 at 07:28 AM (#3706491)
Also, there'll be a lot of dead money floating around the AL East in 2015 or so.
   50. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: December 09, 2010 at 07:31 AM (#3706494)
I'm gonna go out on a limb and predict the team lead for stolen bases will be higher than Kalish's 10 last year.

As for the deal, I don't think there was a better way for the Sox to spend their money this offseason (or next). If you're going to go seven years on anyone, a 29 year old who does everything well is a pretty good way to go.

It took a year off, but the long line of great Red Sox left fielders continues.
   51. Pingu Posted: December 09, 2010 at 07:46 AM (#3706497)
The team record of 215 SBs set way back in 1909 is prob still safe, but no longer unreacheable.

Tough to come up with a lineup for this team, it looks pretty damn scary against RHP. I'm not gonna nitpick at a time like this though.

2B Pedroia
LF Crawford
3B Youkilis
1B Gonzalez
DH Ortiz
LF Drew
SS Scutaro/Lowrie
C Salty/Varitek
CF Ellsbury
   52. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: December 09, 2010 at 07:47 AM (#3706499)
Holy ####. That is an insane amount of money. I guess the Red Sox must love them some Crawford fielding, because that is an unbelievable amount of money for a LF with a 107 career OPS+. This team is going to be amazing to watch for a few years, but damn.

I don't want to say that lefties are going to eat this lineup for breakfast, because these are some professional hitters, but that is a seriously LH lineup. 2015-2018 are going to be some interesting years.
   53. Pingu Posted: December 09, 2010 at 07:48 AM (#3706500)
As for the deal, I don't think there was a better way for the Sox to spend their money this offseason (or next).


I know what you mean, but theres a lot better ways to spend $20M.
   54. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: December 09, 2010 at 08:13 AM (#3706505)
Hookers and blow?
   55. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 09, 2010 at 08:32 AM (#3706509)
Not a huge fan of this Crawford deal, he's just never been that prolific of a hitter. The money and the length kind of turns me off too, but at least he's 29 and not 34, and he is really really toolsy, which means I expect him not to age horrendously.

Lineup:

Crawford
Youkilis
Gonzalez
Pedroia
Papi
Drew
Jed
Vagitek/Salty
Jacoby

If Jacoby hits like 2009 Jacoby, then I think we're in good shape, because the only real hole in the lineup is at catcher. The bench is pretty decent too with Scoots and Cameron (if healthy), maybe Cameron can platoon for Drew

I guess it's possible that Victor didn't really want to stay.


The only good thing about V-Mart walking was the 2 draft picks.
   56. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 09, 2010 at 08:46 AM (#3706512)
Forgot to mention: if we coudl have had Adrian Beltre for something like 5/80, I much rather have done that instead. PUt him at 3B, A-GOn at 1B, and stick Youkilis in LF or something, even though everybody knows I HATE Youkilis in left, it costs half as much as the Carl Crawford deal, and Beltre is probably a much better hitter than Crawford (especially at FEnway) going forward.
   57. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 09, 2010 at 09:54 AM (#3706522)
I know what you mean, but theres a lot better ways to spend $20M.
But if money's cheap — and for the Sox, it clearly is — then you can afford to overpay for good players.
   58. James Darnell's #1 Fan Posted: December 09, 2010 at 06:33 PM (#3706862)
I'm gonna give the line-up thing a go.

Crawford
Pedroia
Gonzalez
Youkilis
Papi
Drew
Jed
V-Tek/Salty
Ellsbury

Though for a RHP indeed.
   59. OCD SS Posted: December 09, 2010 at 06:43 PM (#3706885)
Forgot to mention: if we coudl have had Adrian Beltre for something like 5/80, I much rather have done that instead. PUt him at 3B, A-GOn at 1B, and stick Youkilis in LF or something, even though everybody knows I HATE Youkilis in left, it costs half as much as the Carl Crawford deal, and Beltre is probably a much better hitter than Crawford (especially at FEnway) going forward.


Exactly how many times do you need to hear that Youks does not want to be in LF, hates LF, and stinks in LF before you give up on the idea that you can play him there?

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