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   1. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: December 11, 2008 at 01:08 AM (#3025580)
originally, i thought the best counter move the red sox could make to the MFY getting sabathia was teixeira. but even more problematic than where to play him is what impact will he have on the team? it's already one of the best in the league. how many more wins would tex give the team on offense + defense over the person we subtract (lowell?)? if it's 2, then we should sign him. but my guess is that it would be less than that.
   2. Xander Posted: December 11, 2008 at 01:12 AM (#3025582)
Technically, these are the Winter Meetings. The GM Meetings occur in early November.
   3. JB H Posted: December 11, 2008 at 03:04 AM (#3025648)
Teixeira at anything in the 8/160 range is a big steal, any mild loss they may take in trading Lowell/Youk won't matter.
   4. karlmagnus Posted: December 11, 2008 at 05:44 PM (#3026207)
Teixeira at 8/160 is cuckoo; that's the same deal Manny got in a much better market for 21 points less OPS+. He's greatly overrated; a 134 OPS+ is not a HOF player unless he maintains it for a Yaz-like career length. Should be about 5/85 or 6/100, just a little more than Drew (which was in a far better market.)
   5. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: December 11, 2008 at 08:28 PM (#3026531)
Did anyone notice that the Red Sox traded for Wes Littleton for two players to be named? Beau Vaughan was announced as one.

Sox picked up Miguel Gonzalez in the Rule V.
   6. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 11, 2008 at 08:31 PM (#3026535)
That's a great picture of Beau Vaughan in that link.
   7. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:03 PM (#3026586)
Apparently Beau is not familiar with the concept of photography
   8. gay guy in cut-offs smoking the objective pipe Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:43 PM (#3026666)
Smoltz in Boston would be wrong. Just wrong.

Fun, but wrong.
   9. Maury Brown Posted: December 12, 2008 at 12:50 AM (#3026959)
Technically, these are the Winter Meetings.
And it was technically insane in Vegas. The Trade Show and Job Fair were almost 3 miles from the Bellagio. The Bellagio is massive. Bobby Cox said it best: You needed transportation to get from the front of the place back to the convention center halls.
   10. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: December 12, 2008 at 01:10 AM (#3026975)
Any guesses on the roster next year? The bullpen is crowded with Littleton, Gonzalez, and the KC pickup. Also, I heard on the radio that there was a report that the Red Sox had made offers to 3 free agents. Varitek, Tex, and another were the speculation. Are the Red Sox going after another starter.
   11. Dan Posted: December 12, 2008 at 01:12 AM (#3026977)
I would guess Smoltz might be the third. Or Baldelli.
   12. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 12, 2008 at 05:35 PM (#3027465)
I wanted Sabathia. That would have made perfect sense - our one open roster spot for which there are good free agents available, and we sign the best one. Simple, clean, upgrade. Turning an open 5th starter spot into CC Sabathia is easy to get excited about, turning Mike Lowell into Mark Teixeira is nice, but not of the same quality at all, even though Teixeira's a heck of a player.

JBH is right that Teixeira's really good, but the Red Sox would gain the least of just about any team in baseball by signing him, since we have good players at his position already. And if the Sox now don't sign Teixeira, we're looking at maybe spending piles of money on AJ Burnett in the hopes that one year his ERA will match his xFIP, or John Henry's just pocketing said piles of money? This is very hard to get excited about.

The bezt way to make sense of the Sox' moves is also depressing. They wouldn't have put all their energy into Teixeira if they weren't really worried about Lowell's and Papi's ability to recover from offseason surgery. (It's possible they just didn't like Sabathia, but that seems unlikely.) So, Teixeira is a big, clear upgrade if our best hitter or one of our good players actually isn't very good any more. That kinda sucks.
   13. Darren Posted: December 12, 2008 at 05:43 PM (#3027477)
I think Smoltz and Pettitte are the bargains in the pitching market. Getting either of those guys on 1-year deals is going to be much better than shelling out 5 years.

I go back and forth on Teixeira. If they're going to pay him 8/160 (or more), they have to either think Papi or Lowell are in a world of hurt or they have to feel that they can deal Lowell for value. Because both Papi and Lowell are valuable players on good contracts.

On Sabathia, I think the Sox are of the MGL mentality--long term contracts for pitchers are a trap. No matter how good a guy is, 7 years for a pitcher is very likely to be a bad deal. Now, I think the Yankees were brilliant in giving the opt-out--I would have suggested it even before CC did, if I were signing him, because the problem with the long-term deals is the later years. Tell me I get those first 3 years, which I'm pretty sure will be good, and I'm happy. I'm thrilled if he opts out.
   14. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 12, 2008 at 05:51 PM (#3027489)
On Sabathia, I think the Sox are of the MGL mentality--long term contracts for pitchers are a trap.
They gave Matsuzaka 6/100. Sabathia's pretty obviously better than him. I'd rather not give AJ Burnett five years, but I think giving a lot of years to a perennial Cy Young candidate with the best durability record in baseball makes perfect sense.

And on the opt-out - I assume you're not arguing that the opt-out is a positive for the Yankees, but that it's being over-valued by Sabathia and his agent, who thus didn't demand as much real compensation as they should have? Because the opt-out certainly can't be a positive for the Yankees.
   15. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: December 12, 2008 at 05:56 PM (#3027495)
They gave Matsuzaka 6/100. Sabathia's pretty obviously better than him.


Wasn't giving Matsuzaka 6 years kind of a given? I thought that since he wasn't a free agent, that was pretty much the minimum length of contract he was going to get. I wonder if that's something of a special case.
   16. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 12, 2008 at 05:59 PM (#3027507)
It was equally a given that Sabathia would get 6 years or more.

EDIT: to clarify, if the Red Sox don't give out long-term contracts, then they wouldn't bit for Matsuzaka when he could only be had on a long-term contract. There's no difference here.
   17. Nasty Nate Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:06 PM (#3027516)
Sox have changed their road uni's. They look similar to the ones from the 80's.

Now, I think the Yankees were brilliant in giving the opt-out--I would have suggested it even before CC did, if I were signing him, because the problem with the long-term deals is the later years. Tell me I get those first 3 years, which I'm pretty sure will be good, and I'm happy. I'm thrilled if he opts out.


This seems strange to me. Looking back at other recent long-term contracts to ace pitchers, most teams would not be "thrilled" if the pitcher could opt-out after 3 years. Kevin Brown w/ Dodgers: borderline case, as he was hurt in 01 and might not have chosen to opt out, and if he did LA might have been happy. Pedro for Sox: we've got to assume that he would have opted out after 2000 and been offered a gazillion dollars per year as a free agent, the Sox assuredly would not be thrilled with him having that option. AJ Burnett: Blue Jays shouldnt be happy he opted out, if he didnt have that option but the Jays didnt want him, he definitely would have positive trade value this offseason. Mike Mussina: the first 3 years of his long NY contract ended after 2003, maybe he wouldnt have chosen to opt out, doubtful the yankees would have wanted him to at the time. Barry Zito: obviously wouldn't opt out if he had the option.
what other long SP contracts am i forgetting.
   18. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:10 PM (#3027521)
what other long SP contracts am i forgetting.

Hampton, wouldn't have opted out.
   19. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:11 PM (#3027524)
Pedro Martinez. Man, that woulda sucked.
   20. Fridas Boss Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:13 PM (#3027527)
I agree with the opt-out critics from a team perspective. Basically, CC has all the leverage. If the deal is lower than his expected FA windfall in 3 years, he opts out. If the deal is better than his projected output, he stays. So, the Yankees get 3 years of CC and then likely only 3 more years if he wouldn't be worth it. Looks like a win-win for CC and win/lose-lose for the yanks.
   21. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:15 PM (#3027532)
There's no difference here.


I don't know. I think there's a difference between a 6/$8M AAV contract and a 7/$23M AAV contract in terms of flexibility with the last year or two. I don't know if that's a lot of difference, especially since Matsuzaka may have a no-trade, but it may be enough of a difference to the FO to be an important factor. I wonder if they sometimes make a fetish of flexibility, though.
   22. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:17 PM (#3027534)
Looks like a win-win for CC and win/lose-lose for the yanks.

I don't think the Yanks lose nearly as much if you think they do if Sabathia opts out. They get rid of all the risk of the back end of the contract. Now it's true that if Sabathia opts out, they'll either lose him or have to pay more for him, but it also significantly decreases the chance that he gets hurt on their dollar. And honestly, I don't see how the Yanks really "lose" all that much if they get three years of ace quality pitching without having to foot the bill for any of Sabathia's decline. The only way the Yanks really lose is if he craters or is injured for a long portion of the contract, but they would lose in that situation anyway and in that case at least they the opt out clause lowered the amount of money they would have to commit.
   23. Nasty Nate Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:23 PM (#3027541)
Pedro Martinez. Man, that woulda sucked.


in that alternate hellhole universe, the Yankees sign Martinez, leaving the Sox to sign Mussina. Despite injuries limiting Pedro to only 120 awesome innings in 2001, NY still wins the division but w/o Pedro in the playoffs they dont beat Seattle.

Now it's true that if Sabathia opts out, they'll either lose him or have to pay more for him, but it also significantly decreases the chance that he gets hurt on their dollar.


it only decreases that chance if they lose him, if they pay more to keep him they face the chance that he gets hurt on their (now bigger) dollar. If he's worth enough to opt-out after 3 years, they probably WANT the risk of the back end of the contract, because it also comes with the benefits of the back-end of the contract.
   24. Darren Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:24 PM (#3027544)
I'm saying something closer to what MCOA was saying in 14. I think the opt-out is a very small giveup to the Yankees because it can be so positive. When a team signs a top pitcher, it generally feels very good about the first few years of the deal, but the risk is almost all at the back end. If I get through 2-3 years with my pitcher doing well, I've gotten my money's worth and I'm very happy. If he takes off after that, the part of the contract that I was worried about is now gone. Yes, it'd be better to have him under control at that point, but I think I'm perfectly happy to have executed a successful 3/69 deal.

And let's also remember that a player may opt out for money, but that doesn't mean that the remaining 4 years of the deal are a good use of the funds. So while one other team may be willing to pay CC 5/125 three years from now, it doesn't mean the Yankees would want to pay him 4/92 at that same point.
   25. Darren Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:26 PM (#3027548)
Speaking of Mussina, there's a guy who it would have been nice to have opt out mid-deal.
   26. Nasty Nate Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:27 PM (#3027551)
So while one other team may be willing to pay CC 5/125 three years from now, it doesn't mean the Yankees would want to pay him 4/92 at that same point.


True, but unlikely.

Speaking of Mussina, there's a guy who it would have been nice to have opt out mid-deal


nice for the yankees? Right, but they might not have felt it at the time (and offered him more money) or (more likely) he wouldnt have opted out given that the big bucks in that contract were in the last 3 years.
   27. Darren Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:29 PM (#3027553)
MC,

To address the Matsuzaka point, you're right that it doesn't work with my theory. Perhaps they were more desperate to make a splash and to improve their pitching at that point? Or perhaps the opportunity to have a big chunk not count against the cap and not having to surrender picks pushed them in that direction? That's all I've got.
   28. Fridas Boss Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:32 PM (#3027555)
I feel like you guys are missing the point that only CC has the opt-out right, and therefore, all the leverage. It also insures that the yankees have a higher liklihood of paying for the backend 3 years when CC isn't worth it, as he will be unlikely to opt out if he has performed poorly to that point or projects to perform poorly thereafter.

If the Yankees also had an opt-out option, then I think Darren's assessment would work.
   29. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:36 PM (#3027562)
if they pay more to keep him they face the chance that he gets hurt on their (now bigger) dollar.

Yup, I didn't phrase that well at all.

If he's worth enough to opt-out after 3 years, they probably WANT the risk of the back end of the contract, because it also comes with the benefits of the back-end of the contract.

True. If they decide they want to sign him into his late 30s, then they assume more risk in order to get that, that's what makes this good for Sabathia, but they still got three good years out of an ace for a market rate so I don't think it's that terrible for the Yanks. It'll be as if they signed a 3 year contract for a cheaper rate than any three year contract the could have signed for him and now have to extend him. Obviously the Yanks lose here if Sabathia is healthy for the next seven years and is healthy the entire time. I think there's a much better chance to get three very good years out of him. And then at that time they can just walk away or reevaluate. It's not ideal, but it's not a horrible position to be in and faced with that or paying even more through the teeth to get a full seven year contract, I think this was the right idea. And if it turns out Sabathia likes New York, they might not (I wouldn't hold my breath, but it's a possibility, it happened with Moose) have to way outbid everyone for him the next time around.
   30. Darren Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:39 PM (#3027568)
The Yankees had two choices here: give him the opt out or don't. There was no chance they were going to get an option as well. Here's how it plays out under each scenario:

Opt Out:
--CC stinks it up, Yankees still on the hook for last 4/92.
--CC is good, he opts out and becomes a FA. The Yankees have gotten a tidy 3-year-deal, one they would have loved to sign. They miss out on the last 4 years of the contract, which may or may not be a good deal anyways.

No Opt Out:
--CC stinks it up, Yankees still on the hook for last 4/92.
--CC is good, he stay for the next 4/92, which is probably a good investment.

[Edit: fixed #s]
   31. Nasty Nate Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:39 PM (#3027569)
but they still got three good years out of an ace for a market rate so I don't think it's that terrible for the Yanks. It'll be as if they signed a 3 year contract for a cheaper rate than any three year contract the could have signed for him and now have to extend him


I agree.

And of course it could be a blessing in disguise if he pitches well for 3 years, opts out and signs with someone else and then gets hurt right away or loses his effectiveness or falls into the springfield mystery spot, etc.
   32. Darren Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:43 PM (#3027574)
Also, the first 3 years of the Pedro deal gave the Sox easily the best years of that deal. They missed out on his injury-shortened 01, his good-not-great 04, and his two excellent (but shortish) years in between.
   33. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:45 PM (#3027577)
No Opt Out:
--CC stinks it up, Yankees still on the hook for last 4/72.
--CC is good, he stay for the next 4/72, which is probably a good investment.


That, and the contract would have been for significantly more money, that 4/92 (it is 92 right, not 72?) might have been 4/112.

And of course it could be a blessing in disguise if he pitches well for 3 years, opts out and signs with someone else and then gets hurt right away or loses his effectiveness or falls into the springfield mystery spot, etc.

Unlikely of course, but yeah, it could happen. I think the Yanks should spend the next three years setting up the team so that they won't have to re-sign Sabathia. It will certainly give us an awful lot of excitement 2 years from now.
   34. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:49 PM (#3027582)
Also, the first 3 years of the Pedro deal gave the Sox easily the best years of that deal. They missed out on his injury-shortened 01, his good-not-great 04, and his two excellent (but shortish) years in between.
Right, but they would not have received better value for the money. (And in all likelihood Duquette would have signed him to a much larger contract that offseason.)

Because signing Sabathia is such a good idea, the opt-out is a small price to pay to get him. It's a price, but because Sabathia's really really good, it's worth it.
   35. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:50 PM (#3027585)
EDIT: oops, misread original post.
   36. Darren Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:56 PM (#3027592)
Yes, they got good value out of the last 4 years of Pedro's deal, but having him opt out after 3 would not have been a horrible result. What was 700+ IP of sub-3 ERA going for after the 2000 season? Is $50 mil right?
   37. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 12, 2008 at 07:00 PM (#3027596)
Much, much more than that.
   38. Fridas Boss Posted: December 12, 2008 at 07:07 PM (#3027600)
Darren, now if you place odds on the various trees of your model, you will see that the Yankees get a disproportionate share of bad backend 3 years, because CC gets the option to leave when it is in his best interest.
   39. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 12, 2008 at 07:09 PM (#3027604)
And of course it could be a blessing in disguise if he pitches well for 3 years, opts out and signs with someone else and then gets hurt right away or loses his effectiveness or falls into the springfield mystery spot, etc.

And of course it could be a disaster of unprecedented magnitude if he gets hurt or ineffective before the end of the first 3 years, and then utilizes all his option years while providing four years of Pavano-style contributions.

Is there really no minimum performance requirement that he has to fulfill before exercising an option year?
   40. Darren Posted: December 12, 2008 at 07:18 PM (#3027610)
And of course it could be a disaster of unprecedented magnitude if he gets hurt or ineffective before the end of the first 3 years, and then utilizes all his option years while providing four years of Pavano-style contributions.


They'd be on the hook for this anyways.

Darren, now if you place odds on the various trees of your model, you will see that the Yankees get a disproportionate share of bad backend 3 years, because CC gets the option to leave when it is in his best interest.


Under the no opt out option, they get 100% of the bad backend 4 years. Under opt-out option, they miss out on some of them. They also miss out on many of the good backend 4 years.
   41. Nasty Nate Posted: December 12, 2008 at 07:20 PM (#3027617)
Is there really no minimum performance requirement that he has to fulfill before exercising an option year?


theyre not option years. Its just one option for a 4-year contract
   42. JB H Posted: December 12, 2008 at 07:23 PM (#3027622)
The bezt way to make sense of the Sox' moves is also depressing. They wouldn't have put all their energy into Teixeira if they weren't really worried about Lowell's and Papi's ability to recover from offseason surgery. (It's possible they just didn't like Sabathia, but that seems unlikely.) So, Teixeira is a big, clear upgrade if our best hitter or one of our good players actually isn't very good any more. That kinda sucks.


I don't think it means this at all. If they think Teixeira is worth 8/200 and they can get him for 8/160, they're going to sign him no matter what. You also need to remember that the Sox will get a lot of value back for whichever guy they trade
   43. Darren Posted: December 12, 2008 at 07:27 PM (#3027625)
They're not trading Ortiz, so what kind of value are they getting back for Lowell? He had surgery and is owed 2/25. Someone may be willing to take that on, but what value are they going to give up to get it?
   44. JB H Posted: December 12, 2008 at 07:32 PM (#3027631)
I think with the opt out, the CC deal is about equivalent to a 3 year/85 million deal.

Just making numbers up, but say 30% of the time he opts out and gets paid on average $50 million over market value. .3*50 = opt out costs $15 million on top of the three year deal.
   45. JB H Posted: December 12, 2008 at 07:42 PM (#3027645)
Lowell at 2/25 is a good deal. He hasn't been worth less than $15 million for any year with the Red Sox

I also don't see any reason they can't trade Youkilis, especially if Lowell's defense isn't getting properly valued by other teams
   46. Nasty Nate Posted: December 12, 2008 at 07:59 PM (#3027668)
Lowell at 2/25 is a good deal. He hasn't been worth less than $15 million for any year with the Red Sox

I also don't see any reason they can't trade Youkilis, especially if Lowell's defense isn't getting properly valued by other teams


lowell's health torpedoes both of those conclusions to some degree
   47. JB H Posted: December 12, 2008 at 08:40 PM (#3027718)
A league average player is worth $10 million in FA dollars. Just calculating it now, Lowell's three Red Sox seasons were worth 17, 29 and 17 million in today's FA dollars. There's no way his injury is severe enough that 2/25 isn't a steal.
   48. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 12, 2008 at 08:47 PM (#3027734)
There's no way his injury is severe enough that 2/25 isn't a steal.
I don't understand. Before hip surgery, Lowell couldn't hit for power or play 3B defense. Why should a team assume, sight unseen, that the hip surgery fixed these problems? It's very easy to be injured severely enough to be a bad baseball player. I certainly hope that isn't the case with Lowell, but I can't imagine many baseball teams would take it on faith.
   49. JB H Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:01 PM (#3027761)
I guess I don't get why you're assuming that the surgery won't work? If a player finishes the year with a broken thumb teams take it on faith that he'll be able to grip a bat next April.

I've never seen a report suggest that the surgery might not improve his condition from last year (which would probably lead to retirement).
   50. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:03 PM (#3027762)
1) Hip surgery for a ballplayer is rare.
2) Teams almost never trade for a guy coming off surgery of any kind.
   51. Darren Posted: December 13, 2008 at 03:02 AM (#3028162)
I've never seen a report suggest that the surgery might not improve his condition from last year (which would probably lead to retirement).


The stuff that I saw (IIRC) said they had never done this surgery on a MLB player before and were unsure of what to expect. I think their best comp was a college athlete of some kind. And an injury very rarely leads to retirement--it usually leads to a guy spending 2 years on the 60-day DL.
   52. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 13, 2008 at 03:33 AM (#3028184)
Lowell's three Red Sox seasons were worth 17, 29 and 17 million in today's FA dollars. There's no way his injury is severe enough that 2/25 isn't a steal.

This doesn't pass the smell test to me. How was a 103 OPS+ 3B who missed 30% of the season worth $17 million last year? What am I missing here?

I agree with MCoA's general point - at least from an outsider's perspective, Lowell is a significant risk coming off hip surgery at 35 years old. That sounds like a risky proposition, at least on the face of it. I'm not saying he won't bounce back and play reasonably well next year (I can see him putting up a line similar to last year without squinting), and if Lowell is going to be reasonably healthy entering next season, then his contract really isn't that bad (though I'd disagree it's a huge bargain of some sort).

Still wouldn't expect to get anything really exciting for him though - depending on how much salary they picked up, maybe a B prospect? Maybe paired up with non-Buchholz Sox prospect to get a catcher? (Lowell + prospect and/or $$ for Shoppach?)
   53. JB H Posted: December 13, 2008 at 04:00 AM (#3028199)

This doesn't pass the smell test to me. How was a 103 OPS+ 3B who missed 30% of the season worth $17 million last year? What am I missing here?

Sounds like you're missing that his UZR was +18.5/150. http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=527&position=3B
   54. JB H Posted: December 13, 2008 at 04:08 AM (#3028205)
Japanese paper says we've offered Kenshin Kawakami 3/21

http://www.japanesebaseball.com/players/player.jsp?PlayerID=1026

I like it. Looks like Hiroki Kuroda to me, maybe a little bit better.
   55. Darren Posted: December 13, 2008 at 06:31 PM (#3028378)
Sox Sign 5 Minor-League Deals

McAnulty is among them.

Also, the Globe is reporting that there's no offer to Kawakami.
   56. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 13, 2008 at 06:45 PM (#3028385)
I want a healthy John Smoltz on this team. Give him 16 mil if you have to. I don't care if he doesn't go until June, if a healthy John Smoltz is available for a one year deal, you grab him.

15 starts is all I ask. He'll help us in those 15 starts. The best part:

He'll start Game 3 of the ALDS, Game 3 and 7 of the ALCS
   57. Nasty Nate Posted: December 13, 2008 at 06:47 PM (#3028388)
He'll start Game 3 of the ALDS, Game 3 and 7 of the ALCS


but lose game 7 apparently if youre not slating him for any WS games...
   58. Dave Cyprian Posted: December 13, 2008 at 08:40 PM (#3028443)
No we might lose game 7 of the ALCS without Cash...

That guy is baller, a shot caller, and probably a better hitter than 'Tek at this point.
   59. Darren Posted: December 13, 2008 at 08:57 PM (#3028449)
You want a healthy John Smoltz who can make only 15 starts?
   60. dave h Posted: December 14, 2008 at 01:45 AM (#3028533)
As far as Sabathia vs Matsuzaka - there's a 2.5 year difference in ages when they signed their contracts. Matsuzaka's a special case because pitchers basically never reach free agency at the age he was available. Also, Sabathia might eat Matsuzaka and no one would notice.
   61. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 14, 2008 at 04:13 AM (#3028554)
You want a healthy John Smoltz who can make only 15 starts?

I want a health PLAYOFF John Smoltz. If he can only make 15 starts in the regular season, then it's 15 starts. I assume he'll start pitching in June, and then have a brief 3 week period down the stretch where he's moved to the pen to conserve his arm.

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