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   1. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: November 01, 2012 at 10:03 AM (#4289888)
Good stuff. Like you I've got my skepticism and it's a good reminder that not everything is definitely going to ####.

Looking at your list of players the thing that strikes me, and this is true going back to 2010 when the injury bug really seemed to start, I think communication has been a major issue. It seems that the Sox have created a culture of "play through it you pansy" and while I think every player needs to be able to push himself to some degree that becomes detrimental after a fashion with Pedroia and Beckett the two guys that really jump out at me as having performance declines because of it.

If Farrell and his staff can rectify that I think the Sox will get some benefit. There is a time to fight and a time to live to fight and the Sox haven't struck that balance very well.
   2. Swedish Chef Posted: November 01, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4290046)
If the Sox don’t fix the problems in the medical staff and the clubhouse, it doesn’t really matter who they sign. They’ll get bad results.
There are always complaints about the Red Sox outsourcing the medical services to a bunch of muppets.

Yeah, yeah, it's easy to blame us in the medical staff. But we put forward a radical and comprehensive plan of reform that was shot down by the management, so we're working with one hand tied. They won't even allow us to do a simple preemptive trepanning procedure on the players, and they put strict limit on the amount of leeches applied. Just how do they expect all the bad humours are going to go away?

These are damn fine medical muppets, just let us do our job!

Swedish Chef
Red Sox Medical Director
   3. plink Posted: November 01, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4290118)
I would be *ecstatic* if the Sox could get Haren. It'd be the first instance ever of the Sox acquiring one of my favorite non-Sox players.
   4. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: November 01, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4290120)
I don't know why I'm bothering to post this, but the medical staff and injuries really have nothing to do with the Red Sox' poor performance:

The Yanks & Nats top the list of the 3-year average of most days on the disabled list, so it's not like being healthy guarantees you a postseason spot. Look at the bottom of the 2012 list. Fewest days on DL in 2012? Mariners. I'd like to see a study that tries to find the relationship between disabled-list time and winning. I'm guessing there isn't one just from looking at these graphs. The Red Sox also do a lot of putting people on the DL when they're merely ineffective. And I don't see how you can seriously blame the medical staff for that. They seem to be using the DL as something like the practice squad in the NFL.

The Red Sox should not shy away from premium talent because it is "injury prone." ALL baseball players are injury prone. Players who play more than 150 games are rare. There were only 63 of them last year. That's an average of a little over 2 per team. Hell, regulars who play more than 130 games are comparatively rare. Only 154 of them. That's an average of 5 per team. There were only 63 pitchers who made more than 30 starts. These stats are for all of MLB.

This is the wrong thing to be worried about. The difference between injured and ineffective is nil for an MLB team (because an injured player will also most likely be ineffective). The Red Sox need to get better at identifying effective players, keeping them effective, and finding replacements for them when they're not. That is, they need to keep doing what they've been doing: signing top talent, continuing to build redundancy into the system through the draft, and trading away that talent for established ML talent when the opportunity arises.
   5. SandyRiver Posted: November 01, 2012 at 03:05 PM (#4290228)
The Red Sox should not shy away from premium talent because it is "injury prone." ALL baseball players are injury prone. Players who play more than 150 games are rare. There were only 63 of them last year. That's an average of a little over 2 per team. Hell, regulars who play more than 130 games are comparatively rare. Only 154 of them. That's an average of 5 per team. There were only 63 pitchers who made more than 30 starts. These stats are for all of MLB.

The Sox sort of had one in the 150 club, AGon, as his season total of 159 is probably what he'd have had sans trade. They had 3 in the over 130 group, 4 if one says "130 or more", as Ross had 130. Aviles had 136, maybe would have reached 150 without the Iglesias experiment, and Pedroia 141. Salty played 121 and no one else topped 90.
   6. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 02, 2012 at 08:24 AM (#4290703)
Cafardo reports (I know, I know) that the Sox are involved in discussions with the Angels for Dan Haren.

(He also mentions a completely insane trade rumor where the Sox send Lackey and get Haren and Wells. Yeah, ok.)

He reports that the Sox are not particularly close to re-signing either Ortiz or Ross. Ortiz is looking for about 2/30, and Ross for about 3/21. I'd be perfectly happy with 2/30 for Ortiz. I'm more on the fence with Ross, as I would have preferred 2/13 with an option, but 3/20 is close enough to 1 WAR per season that it's hard to let pass. He can most likely do a job at that price.
   7. Darren Posted: November 02, 2012 at 08:41 AM (#4290710)
Eric M. Van has written a bit about Ross and made a pretty compelling case that there's not much of a market for him because he's really a platoon player everywhere but Fenway. It was fairly convincing but I'd still bet someone would give him a shot at starting or almost starting money. For the Red Sox, I'd want Ross as a stop-gap and someone who by year's end will be a platoon player. For that role, 3/21 seems high.

Ortiz at 2/30 is just high enough to scare me and that's probably why it's what's asking and not what the Sox are offering. It's probably not a bad deal though, depending on how well he's recovered.

Lastly, yay Haren. I'd hope they get him. Maybe try to get Kendry Morales in the mix if they want to go with Trumbo and Pujols.
   8. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 02, 2012 at 08:57 AM (#4290718)
Yeah, I think you're right on Ross. There's not a lot of reason for the Sox to accede to his demands before the market opens, since he's hardly irreplaceable, and it's a pretty good bet his price comes down.
   9. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: November 02, 2012 at 09:01 AM (#4290719)
Ortiz at 2/30 is where I get into "it's not my money" thinking. From a baseball standpoint I'd probably rather a one year deal or 2/24. At the end of the day the extra ~$6 million they spend isn't going to prohibit them from doing something else so I'd rather have Ortiz than not.
   10. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 02, 2012 at 09:08 AM (#4290722)
Dumber-than-Marcel for Ortiz:

+28 Bat - 5 Run - 0 Def + 17 Rep - 12 Pos = +28 RAR

That makes 2/30 a couple million over projected value, depending on $$/win calculations (I'm working with $5.5M per win as a pure guess), but I'd still totally do it.
   11. Darren Posted: November 02, 2012 at 09:14 AM (#4290724)
$5.5M sounds reasonable, but why are we still working in "pure guess" territory for $/win? It seems like Fangraphs ran the numbers a couple years ago and since then we've all been guessing. What was the last published number? Is it still $4.5M?

   12. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 02, 2012 at 09:32 AM (#4290732)
I'm working in "pure guess" territory because I expect the price to spike this offseason. The new tv deals, plus the MLB Advanced Media money, should change things significantly.
   13. Darren Posted: November 02, 2012 at 09:50 AM (#4290747)
Rereading my post after your response, I see that it looks like I'm asking you why you're guessing. What I'm asking, though, is why that number seems not have been calculated in a long time. It seems like we've been working off $4.5M forever.
   14. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: November 02, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4291101)
Marc Shapiro thinks it's now $9M a win, which implies a pretty aggressive aging curve.
Q: It wouldn't change the amount of money spent?

A: It would change the amount of spent to 15 million dollars a year. What does that buy you in free agency? Very little. One and a half wins.

Q: How is that figure determined?

A: Our analysts can put a value on what it costs in free agency to sign a player and what that means in Wins Above Replacement and what those players end up costing in free agency and that changes every year. They measure all the players signed in free agency and what their history has been and what they offer going forward and they place a value. The challenge in free agency is you're often paying for that in the first year of a contract, and in the out years of a contract the players WAR usually goes down because he's usually past his prime. So it becomes a less efficient contract over time. That's why free agency is never the best way to build. It's a good way to supplement but not build.

Q: So $8 million for one win?

A: It's $9 (million) now. It was $8 (million) two yeas ago. I think at the end of this year they figured out it was nine. And when those wins come in the win curve are important. What does that win mean if it's the difference between 80 and 81? Very little. But if that win's the difference between 89 and 90, that could be a meaningful win.
   15. Dale Sams Posted: November 02, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4291176)
"It's not money". Exactly. I'd like to have at least *one* Red Sox on the team, that every time he comes to the plate, I think "He could jack this one."*

*At home, at least, Ross and Pedey have the same effect. At home.
   16. Nasty Nate Posted: November 02, 2012 at 05:44 PM (#4291180)
"It's not money". Exactly. I'd like to have at least *one* Red Sox on the team, that every time he comes to the plate, I think "He could jack this one."

They can sign Ortiz AND Hamilton, and that would be *two* right there - and then Napoli, free from the shackles of catching, hits HR's at his 2011 rate, and Middlebrooks evolves overnight and has a Edwin Encarnación '12 season, and BAM that's 4 guys who fit the description plus Pedey at home and hello 900 runs!
   17. Dale Sams Posted: November 02, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4291184)
That just leaves pitching.
   18. Darren Posted: November 02, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4291195)
$9 mil/win? Sure, but if you took the Red Sox contracts out of it it drops back to around $5 mil.
   19. villageidiom Posted: November 02, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4291197)
So we can’t just say about any free agent or trade target, oh, he’s an injury risk, he shouldn’t be signed. It’s fair to perhaps take injury into account a bit more than normal, but no player has a perfect track record of health, and anyone heading into the free agent or trade market has a red flag somewhere.
As long as they don't try to get cute like they did with Lackey*, I'm OK with them taking some injury risks with appropriate hedges. Like (I think) I said in another thread, this is a good year for a Beltre/Ross "make good" one-year deal for someone coming off a down year or injury.

* Hey, we think he might be hiding an injury, so we'll include in his contract an incentive for him to continue hiding it so he'll play hurt and suck for a year.
   20. Darren Posted: November 02, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4291203)
I think you nailed it there, vi. The incentives in the Drew/Lackey contracts were completely backwards.
   21. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: November 02, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4291229)
If they can't come to terms w/Papi, Napoli would be a great DH in Boston.
   22. karlmagnus Posted: November 02, 2012 at 08:35 PM (#4291282)
They seem to have agreed to waste $26 million on Ortiz. Yuck!
   23. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 02, 2012 at 09:54 PM (#4291334)
   24. Mattbert Posted: November 02, 2012 at 09:57 PM (#4291340)
On the other side of the coin, it looks like Dan Haren's back is completely crocked because the Angels are on the verge of trading him for Carlos Marmol. If these reports are correct, anyway.
   25. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: November 02, 2012 at 09:57 PM (#4291341)
   26. Darren Posted: November 02, 2012 at 10:47 PM (#4291390)
Harem deal is dead, per Dayne.
   27. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 02, 2012 at 11:04 PM (#4291408)
And apparently it's dead because the Cubs backed out. That doesn't suggest good things about Haren's back. Danny Knobler at CBS says Haren to Sox is not happening. I'm just getting my news by refreshing the MLBTR page.
   28. Darren Posted: November 03, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4291600)
Angel Pagan apparently didn't get a qualifying offer. Victorino couldn't. Those are two good options. Let's do it.
   29. Dan Posted: November 03, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4291603)
I don't really see Pagan or Victorino as good options for the Red Sox. Either would be good fits at home in RF, I guess, but I'd rather get a corner OFer with a bigger bat personally. The Sox have CF covered this year with Ellsbury and probably with JBJ after that, so why go pay for a premium defensive CF? I know there are risks, but I think going after Hamilton is really the thing the Red Sox need to do. He'd really be the perfect player to play RF for the Red Sox: fast enough to be a CFer, cannon arm, but not really elite defensively in CF. Plus you save his legs a bit and save him from crashing into as many walls since there really aren't too many chances to make wall-colliding catches in RF at Fenway.
   30. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 03, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4291680)
Victorino and Pagan are interesting - they are extremely similar ballplayers in terms of value. Pretty good hitters, average defenders at an up the middle position, elite baserunners. They both project to be worth a QO contract, and they could be mild bargains.

At the same time, they're both over 30, and they're good-not-great players. The problem with spending a significant contract on a good-not-great player at that age is that they don't have to decline too much to be simply not good. Since the Sox need to be maximizing 2014-2016 value in their contracts, I'm moderately concerned about the fit with this club.


+ 6 Bat + 5 Run + 19 Rep + 1 Pos - 0 Def = +31 RAR (Pagan)
+ 5 Bat + 6 Run + 20 Rep + 1 Pos + 3 Def = +35 RAR (Victorino)

I was under the impression that both guys have reasonably good arms and wouldn't be too stretched in RF. Victorino's stats suggest his arm is solid, Pagan's stats are much more mixed. (The samples are small enough that this could be nothing - it was Pagan that I had been under the impression was more suited to RF.)

Anyway, if you can get a projected 3-win player for $10M per, you do it. If they're looking for $15M or for a fourth year, I'm less confident. The Dumber-than-Marcel's contract projection system disagrees, it thinks 3/45 is a good deal for either guy, and 4/60 is perfectly defensible.


I don't see Hamilton as a good solution in RF. I think that if you sign Hamilton long-term, you have to immediately limit his defensive responsibilities. Running full out in Fenway's expansive right field is, I think, a larger danger to Hamilton's health that the left field wall. I'd station him in front of the monster, tell him to focus on hitting, don't hurt yourself, and terrify runners trying to take the extra base. (I can be talked into Hamilton, especially at the right price, but I'm expecting he'll be getting something in the range of 7/150, and that's not a price I like.)
   31. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 03, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4291688)
The Dumber-than-Marcel spreadsheet also thinks 7/150 is perfectly fair for Hamilton.

I think the DtM method overrates Hamilton because he happens to project best off a three-year sample, and his lost 2009 is a really big red flag that the system can't consider at all. But he really is an elite hitter who will project to earn his $20M per season for several years.
   32. Darren Posted: November 03, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4291713)
Well, this sucks. I just put up a post on Victorino/Pagan/Hamilton. Maybe you could move your "Dumber-than-Marcels-Smarter-than-Darren" data over there?
   33. Dock Ellis Posted: November 03, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4291735)
In ex-Red Sox news Mike Aviles was just traded from Toronto to Cleveland for Esmil Rogers. Yan Gomes is also going to Cleveland.
   34. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: November 03, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4291755)
They can still go after Napoli. Why wouldn't they want him playing 81 games at Fenway? He'd hit 30 HR's there.
   35. Darren Posted: November 03, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4291897)
They can still go after________. Why wouldn't they want him playing 81 games at Fenway? He'd hit 30 HR's there.

Fill in the blank as if it were prior to 2011. Now do it for mid-1990. It's sad.
   36. Mike Webber Posted: November 06, 2012 at 09:23 PM (#4295502)
So is this smoke indicating fire, or smoke indicating there is a bong somewhere in the Cleveland media?

GM Meeting News

2. How long until the first trade between the Indians and Red Sox?

It will be a mild surprise if the two franchises don’t strike at least one trade this winter.
The environment is ideally suited to a deal: The front offices know each other well, and they have been frequent trading partners. The Indians are coming off a 94-loss season and could begin another rebuild by trading the likes of outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, closer Chris Perez and starting pitcher Justin Masterson. Each could fill an area of need for the Red Sox, who have financial flexibility thanks to their August blockbuster with the Dodgers.

On top of that, new Cleveland manager Terry Francona has intimate knowledge of Boston’s prospects through his tenure with the Red Sox. John Farrell, the new skipper in Boston, had a good relationship with Masterson when the right-hander was a Red Sox prospect during Farrell’s time as the Boston pitching coach.

Stay tuned.
Should the Indians Considering Trading Asdrubal?

Antonetti was clear Saturday to stress that Aviles brings strength to the Tribe’s bench as a player who can step in and play for Asdrubal Cabrera, Jason Kipnis or Lonnie Chisenhall, and who can provide quality as a right-handed hitter with past success against left-handed pitching. Aviles hit .286 in 158 plate appearances in 2012.

But what if Aviles isn’t just a utility player, and what if Rogers isn’t the only player Antonetti is considering trading while his value is at its height?

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