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   1. Nick Warino Posted: October 12, 2009 at 10:48 PM (#3350222)
Man, Mecha-Pedro would look good in that starting rotation.

1. Mecha-Pedro
2. Lester
3. Beckett
4. Buchholz
5. Matsuzaka

Get it done, Theo.
   2. Darren Posted: October 12, 2009 at 10:52 PM (#3350227)
MCOA's estimate for Holliday is considerably higher than what I've seen suggested elsewhere. But the gaudy numbers brought someone else to mind. Here is a very clever comparison of the WAR produced by Holiday and that player in the years before they hit free agency.

Holliday
Age 27: 7.9 WAR
Age 28: 6.2 WAR
Age 29: 5.6 WAR

Player X
Age 26: 3.1 WAR
Age 27: 3.8 WAR
Age 28: 6.7 WAR

Player X is, of course, Mark Teixeira as he went into free agency before 2009. The Red Sox appeared willing to pay 8/180ish for him. 7/130 for Holliday seems like a relative bargain. Don't know that they will see it that way. And then, one should also consider that the Yankees need a LF too. Sigh.
   3. Dan Posted: October 12, 2009 at 10:59 PM (#3350242)
Hopefully the Yankees having success this year will make them inclined to bring back Damon rather than pursuing Holliday. I could certainly see them signing Bay as well, though.

If the Sox get Holliday, I'll consider it a successful offseason. If they lose out on him over a few million bucks like they did with Teixeira, it'll probably be as much a failure as last offseason was. Realistically I suspect they'll sign either him or Bay, and probably one of Bedard, Harden, or Webb.
   4. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 12, 2009 at 11:13 PM (#3350258)
If the Sox get Holliday, I'll consider it a successful offseason.
Well, assuming they have very good backup plans at SS and 3B, and better depth in the rotation.

One thing I realized as I was doing this is that the Red Sox don't have much coming out of farm system for next season. They've been ridiculously great in the draft for several years, and you can't reasonably expect a stream of talent to equal Lester-Papelbon-Pedroia-Ellsbury-Buchholz, but there's hardly anyone really ready. Both Bowden and Tazawa are more likely relief pitchers than starters down the line, and I don't want either of them to be more than the 7th starter going into the season, so the Sox need two more SP. They haven't developed any bats, so the corner IF and the 4th OF need to come from outside the system - given Lowell's geriatricity the corner IF in particular needs to be someone pretty good. Lowrie might be a good ballplayer when he's healthy, but they need to have a fallback option significantly better than Nick Green given Lowrie's fragility.

Epstein, I think, has a lot of small jobs, any of which could end up having major effects next season. I don't think it will be a successful offseason if they don't find an All-Star either in the rotation or LF, but they could pull that off and still screw up 2010 if various backup plans aren't taken care of properly.

I'm being serious about (actual) Pedro. He fits the team great - they could work out a schedule for him to have him get a good bit of time off for his shoulder if he needs it.
   5. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 12, 2009 at 11:27 PM (#3350266)
Are there any starters coming over from Japan for next season? The starting pitcher market beyond Lackey is decidedly underwhelming, and other clubs I expect will be much more motivated than the Red Sox to go after Lackey.

One somewhat interesting option would be testing out the unbeatable and groundbreaking shoulder strength program on an ultra-high-upside guy like Bedard or Harden, but I have absolutely no idea what the market for them is, or whether their arms are rehabilitable at this point.
   6. ericr Posted: October 12, 2009 at 11:36 PM (#3350272)
If the Sox get Holliday, I'll consider it a successful offseason. If they lose out on him over a few million bucks like they did with Teixeira, it'll probably be as much a failure as last offseason was.


Do you really think the Sox lost Teixeira "over a few million bucks" and could have had him if they just wanted to pony up a bit more? It's not a blind auction. The Yankees have shown they will always be able to bid "a few million bucks" more than every other team in the league for the player they want.
   7. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: October 12, 2009 at 11:47 PM (#3350284)
Or, the Red Sox made the evaluation that Teixeira wasn't worth the "few million bucks" more and backed off, knowing that 30+ first basemen aren't always the best bets in the world and that other options would be in the offing over the next few years.
   8. Darren Posted: October 12, 2009 at 11:48 PM (#3350285)
If the Sox get Holliday, I'll consider it a successful offseason. If they lose out on him over a few million bucks like they did with Teixeira, it'll probably be as much a failure as last offseason was.


You make it sound like all the Red Sox had to do was top the Yankees' offer by $1 mil. and they'd have Teixeira. There is no reason to believe this. At the time, Gammons estimated it would take $220 mil for the Red Sox to get him to sign. Teixeira said he preferred NY. And what makes you think that the Yankees wouldn't have outbid Boston? Trying to outbid the Yankees is a fool's errand. You go only as high as you think makes sense and then you go no higher.

One somewhat interesting option would be testing out the unbeatable and groundbreaking shoulder strength program on an ultra-high-upside guy like Bedard or Harden, but I have absolutely no idea what the market for them is, or whether their arms are rehabilitable at this point.


I know, right? If anything has worked out for the Sox it's reclamation pitching prospects. But Harden looks a lot to me like Beckett when the Red Sox got him. 28, having stayed healthy for a couple of years, and more effective than Beckett was. Was his HR trouble this year a fluke, as it appears, or an actual drop-off? Is he available for 1/15? 2/25? 3/30? He'd be my target for the rotation.
   9. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: October 13, 2009 at 12:37 AM (#3350329)
bay would make a perfect dh. bay + holliday would be a killer 1-2 punch. wishful thinking, but i can dream...
   10. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: October 13, 2009 at 12:45 AM (#3350340)
I think you might have a hard time convincing Jason Bay that he shouldn't be playing the field anymore.
   11. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 13, 2009 at 01:11 AM (#3350390)
It's too early for me to think too much about this yet, but I'd love Pedro back.
   12. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 13, 2009 at 01:15 AM (#3350394)
By my accounting, I doubt there's money for Holliday and Bay. If Harden or Bedard is going to cost eight figures, I don't think there's money for Holliday and one of the upside arms.

Now, I don't doubt that John Henry has the money, and I'm highly skeptical that a $12M contract would be the difference between John Henry making or losing money on the Red Sox this year, but given the payrolls they've carried over the last several years, I don't see another $30M+ getting added to the books.
   13. Darren Posted: October 13, 2009 at 01:23 AM (#3350402)
From Cots, the Sox payroll in recent years:

# 2009: $121,745,999
# 2008: $133,390,035
# 2007: $143,026,214
# 2006: $120,099,824
# 2005: $123,505,125
# 2004: $127,298,500
# 2003: $ 99,946,500

I had thought the team's payroll was trending upward around 07, correspnding to the luxury tax. But looking at it overall, it looks like this is a team that likes to keep the payroll around $120-something, but ratcheted it up after a disappointing year. Could 09 be viewed the same way? I'd say there's a small chance of that.

Also, their 09 payroll (and 2010 as well) was inflated by signing multiyear deals with Pedroia, Youk, and Lester, when going year to year would have been considerably cheaper in the present.
   14. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: October 13, 2009 at 01:25 AM (#3350412)
7/130 is as far as I'd go for Holliday, but would offer higher avg to keep the years down (5/100?). He provides exactly what the Sox like, .850-.900 OPS weighted towards OBP. I don't like Bay for over four years, though there aren't really any other plan B's on the FA market. Bay's been an excellent hitter who has a few months where he's merely very good each year--until this year, when he alternated between excellent and mediocre. Not necessarily decline, but not encouraging for a guy whose value is all at the plate and who may be taking up the DH spot for a few years. Given the lack of alternatives I'd go nuts for Holliday.

Target Harden, settle for Bedard or Sheets, if they think Wake/Tazawa can fill in.

I think the FO gives Lowrie a year, with AGonz or similar backing up. Of the FA class, well, OCab? Of trade targets I like Escobar, Drew and Hardy, but I don't think it'll happen unless Lowrie breaks something again.

Not clear on the Varitek player option and whether that blocks the position; wouldn't mind targeting Iannetta if the Rockies decide to stick with Torrealba.

On 1B/3B, I can't see anyone besides Branyan or maybe Beltre (if cheap) that would improve on Kotchman subbing and Youk shifting over. Never been a backup-QB supporter, but I'm ready to head the Kotchman wagon. He's cost controlled for two years, 2007 happened, he's got a great glove, and I'm still pissed about Carlos Pena. Trade one of Lowell or Ortiz with the other DHing, move Youk to 3B and see what Kotchman does with a few months playing time. Assuming you've got Holliday or Bay in LF, the offense should hold up even if he just matches the .741 he put up as a starter in 09, and find a bat mid-season.

Given the lack of FA talent, I'm hoping the team uses its cash resources to pull of some crazy out-of-nowhere cash-eating blockbuster. Just for the hell of it,

Arizona gives up Haren, Snyder, Byrnes and Young

for

Ellsbury, Buchholz, Delcarmen, Bowden and Lars Anderson (+, I'm assuming)

Haren/Lester/Beckett, Young takes over CF, Byrnes the 2009 4th OF and Snyder backup C. Saves Arizona $47.5 million from the contracts they don't need, plus $49 million from Haren.

Or something similar bringing in Miggy, Ordonez and two of Bonderman/Robertson/Willis.
   15. Darren Posted: October 13, 2009 at 01:31 AM (#3350447)
The Red Sox do have a ton coming off the books before 2011--only $49 mil committed. They could spend big in 2010, say committing to an additional $35 mil/year, pushing their 2010 payroll to $140-something, but their 2010 payroll would still be less than $100 mil.
   16. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: October 13, 2009 at 01:40 AM (#3350474)
C - If Varitek hangs them up (please!), then I still love Greg Zaun as a backup catcher. He can hit a little, good for 60 to 80 starts, probably sign for a year and $1.5 million...just a personal favorite, and unlike Kottaras, he can actually hit.

Corner guy - There really isn't much in the FA market at 1st or 3rd, huh? Branyon can hit, but he can't field, and we have Ortiz in 2010 clogging the DH slot. VMart and Youk can play 1st, so I don't think looking at a first basemanmakes a lot of sense. At third, you've got Figgins, and he would give a team defensive flexibility, but he'll want lots of money, yes? One of chief concerns for 2010 is that, if the Red Sox go into the season needing Lowell to play 120 or more games healthy, they're asking for disaster. If he goes down, then you'd have to go Youk at 3B every day, VMart at 1st everyday, and then you're hurting at catcher, and not getting great defense at first base.

SS - Again, not much in the FA market. The problem here is that the Red Sox are still unsure what they have in Lowrie. Personally, I'm not convinced that he'll ever be healthy enough that you don't have to worry about him, and it's too important a position to just keep floating through each season. There's no way Gonzalez is hitting .280 in a full season for Boston, and he can only play SS, so if Lowrie is healthy, but you have other problems, you can't really move Gonzalez around. Would Jack Wilson play in Boston for, say, 2 years/8 million? Would the Red Sox even want that?

LF - We are all talking about Holliday, but what about Bay? What's the difference in quality of play between the two? How about the difference in contract amunt per season? Number of years? The Sox wouldn't have to cough up draft picks to sign him (of course, they wouldn't get somebody else's pick from Bay signing elsewhere, either, so perhaps that's just a wash). Is Bay a 4/52 guy? Too low? One idea - Carl Crawford has one year left at $10m with the Rays. He's only 28 years old...any chance the Rays decide they won't be able to keep him, and look to move him this off-season. The Red Sox would need a chance to negotiate an extension prior to a trade, or else offer less in return (not unlike the proposed Halladay deals in MLB this year). The Rays would want a young SP, and a young OF or 1B, as part of the deal. Would the Red Sox have that?

Starting pitchers - Looking at the crap in the FA market, I'd go reclamation (Harden and Hudson come to mind), and work to get a young, getting-expensive starter. Josh Johnson in Florida isn't a FA for another three years, but he is about to make some serious coin. The team wants to buy out his two arbitration years and a couple years of FA, but he figures to get at least in 2010, $10m in 2011, and then enter the FA market as a 28 year-old after the '11 season. We did it for Beckett, we could do it for Johnson, too....

Relievers - Maybe it's just me, but I still think Bowden can be a very good major-league pitcher, and can be the 2010 Masterson. That would help fill out the back end of the bullpen. Saito is not worth $6m to this team, but he was quite good. Could we negotiate another incentive-laden contract that could give him a nice salary if we end up using him a lot in 2010?
   17. OCD SS Posted: October 13, 2009 at 02:09 AM (#3350549)
My offseason plan works around a general plan:

#1: Sign Holliday, let Bay walk and collect the extra pick.

#2: Trade Lowell away to free up a corner IF position for an impact bat (Miggy Cabrera, Adrian Gonzalez).

Anything else is gravy. Go after a SP in trade, but I doubt the top guys will available for a price that will be palatable (i.e. will the prospects that need to be added to Buchholz warrant the performance you expect from him).
   18. Darren Posted: October 13, 2009 at 02:11 AM (#3350551)
This talk of adding a corner IF seems too optimistic. They have add a SS, LF, and SP (at least one, I'd say). That's likely to eat up what little cash they have available. The C/1B/DH/3B holes can be handled thusly:

Catcher: VMart 120; Backup (Tek?) 42
1B: Youkilis 39; VMart 30; Kotchman 93
3B: Youkilis 111; Lowell 51
DH: Ortiz 120; Lowell 42

Kotchman's here to say--the Sox didn't trade a superior player for a younger one only to let the younger one walk.

The above arrangement gives 150 games to the two best players. Ortiz gets 120 (a platoon role) while Kotchman and Lowell each get a little more than 1/2-time jobs. There's a lot of flexibility here as well, in case, say Ortiz or Lowell returns to form, someone gets injured, or Kotchman breaks out.

Spending $5 to $10 mil on another player to add to this doesn't make sense to me. Spend it on a SP, SS, and LF.
   19. Darren Posted: October 13, 2009 at 02:14 AM (#3350556)
#1: Sign Holliday, let Bay walk and collect the extra pick.

#2: Trade Lowell away to free up a corner IF position for an impact bat (Miggy Cabrera, Adrian Gonzalez).


I don't think the money's there.
   20. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: October 13, 2009 at 02:28 AM (#3350566)
It is true that nobody is talking about Kotchman. I think he is nothing special, and if he is getting meaningful ABs at first base for this team in 2010, things are not going well. But I'm open-minded on this. Those that have seen him play in Atlanta and LAA more than me - is he any good? I mean, is he basically Dave Stapleton with a much better BB/K ratio?
   21. OCD SS Posted: October 13, 2009 at 02:36 AM (#3350570)
I don't think the money's there.


How so? The Sox have been trying to find good players worth throwing money at, and they have very little in the way of longterm payroll comitments. AdGon is only expensive if signed to an extension, otherwise his salary is very affordable for the next few years.

Miggy will be making $20M per year starting next year (which I think is a pretty good reason why he might be available), so it's really only a question of at what level you think the payroll can be sustained at (an Miggy would come with a lower AAV than actual cost, which I always see as a good thing as it seems like the FO considers the LT threshold as more important than the $ they're spending).
   22. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: October 13, 2009 at 07:58 AM (#3350682)
I think we need to set the bar a little higher for the Sox' 09 payroll. If they could spend $143M in '07, I don't see why they couldn't be at $150-160M next year. They fell all the way back to 6th this year; if the Mets can willingly spend $139M and the Cubs $137M, the Sox can spend even more. With the highest ticket prices in the game, consistent sell-outs, and ownership of an RSN, the Sox should have the second highest payroll in baseball every year. Forbes thinks their after-sharing revenues in '08 were $269M, and I'm sure they shuttle as much cash as possible into the friendly, non-revenue-sharing confines of NESN as accounting tricks will allow. I think the reason the recent payrolls have been so low, relatively speaking, is because there wasn't anyone worth spending the money on.

With that in mind, my thoughts on the roster:

Bay -- If he would've taken 4/60, he'd already be re-signed. He knows some team will go at least 5/90 for him, and the Sox (rightly) don't think he's worth it.

Holliday -- Make it happen. I was thinking more like 6/108, but wouldn't complain about MCoA's guess of 7/130. If we could afford $160M on Manny a decade ago, we can afford $130M now for a guy who helps you with a bat AND a glove.

Beltran -- Kick the tires. No one outside the Mets really knows how badly they got fleeced by Madoff, and Carlos is going to make $37M over the next two years. Dealing Wagner for the last guy on your 40 man AND giving up the possibility of two picks, all to save ~3M seems to point to big cuts next year. He'd look fantastic in left and the Sox have shown a willingness to take on injury risks when the upside is high.

Reyes -- Why not? It's much less likely than a Beltran deal, what with him being younger, cheaper and The Face Of The Franchise. The fanboy in me wants Reddick/Lowrie/Tazawa to get it done, but the realist doesn't think it'll happen without Kelly and/or Westmoreland.

Oliver Perez -- Perhaps the key to making either Reyes or Beltran happen. He probably wouldn't be worth more than a mil or two on the open market, making the $24M left on his contract mostly dead weight. The Sox could afford to nurse him along in a job sharing arrangement with Wake, send him to the pen, or release him outright and still have it be worth it if they got one of the good Mets above.

Felix -- Love to have him, don't see him moving. He's two years from free agency and Seattle's been able to afford $106, 117, and 98M payroll's the last three years. No reason they can't give him Sabathia money and go $23M per for his age 24-30 seasons.

A-Gonz -- Don't really see the point. Sure, his WAR was 6.4 last year, but the three years before that it was 3.9, 3.3, and 3.4. Lowell was 1.2 last year, but 3.4, 5.3, and 3.2 the three years before that. I wish we had month-by-month UZR splits but my recollection was that Lowell's numbers got better the further he got from hip surgery. A 3 win season wouldn't surprise me at all. Lowell's being paid about his market value though, so you wouldn't get anything back in a trade. I'd much rather keep Kelly/Westmoreland/Reddick or whatever and wait for Pujols/Fielder/A-Gonz to hit the market after '11.

Halladay/Crawford -- Love to have 'em, not willing to pay the intra-division tax. Even if it's dumb, teams aren't willing to trade stars within the division, especially in the AL East. Ah, the days when you could trade Mike Stanley to the Yankees for Tony Armas Jr and package him for Pedro Martinez a few months later.

Branyan -- Ideal for the Sox, not sure the Sox are ideal for him. He got his first regular gig at 33 and did a damn fine job with it. With his spotty track record, he's probably year-to-year for the rest of his career, but I could see Seattle or somebody giving him $7M, which the Sox won't match. His best bet at future paydays is an everyday job.

Nick Johnson -- He just seems like seems like a Theo Sock, doesn't he? Even if he isn't guaranteed a regular job, I could see the Sox valuing him more highly than other teams. 2/12? 3/20? I'd take it and do a Bill Mueller and figure out the details later.

Hardy -- Slightly higher ceiling than Lowrie, slightly more likely to stay healthy. If Milwaukee wants to give him away, sure. Otherwise, don't see the point.

Hanley -- Don't even bother. Florida has him for the next five years at $12.9M per. As long as he's worth trading for, the Marlins won't trade him.

Alex Gonzalez -- If the Sox can't find someone better, they'll pick up his $6M option to split time with Lowrie. Epstein alluded as much in his press conference yesterday.

Harden/Bedard/Webb -- Unless they trade for Halladay or Felix, the Sox are likely to sign one of these guys to a one year, make good contract. Although, hell, Harden and Bedard are so tempting I could see them going two years. Webb won't get more than a year and an option now. Far cry from the 3 years/60M+ he turned down he turned down a year ago.

Corey Hart -- A nice righty back up option. Might be on the market if Milwaukee keeps Prince and Hardy. It wasn't so long ago that people thought he'd be a star. I'd always rather the Sox take a shot on upside.

Pedro -- Everyone always says it, but why not actually revive the Sunday starter role? The man is clearly better on extra rest. Obviously it wouldn't be every Sunday, but it wouldn't be that tough to pair him with a swingman and keep everyone else in a regular rotation.

Abreu/Matsui/Damon/Vlad -- Decent short term options in left if Holliday/Bay don't work out, while waiting to see if Reddick/Kalish can be regulars on a good team.

Wagner -- Offer Arb and collect the picks or have a damn good lefty reliever for a year and then collect picks.
   23. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: October 13, 2009 at 08:10 AM (#3350686)
Those that have seen him play in Atlanta and LAA more than me - is he any good?

Braves fan-

He's ok, not really good. Good defender. But he's a firstbaseman who doesn't walk or hit for power so...

Ok in small doses, but if he's playing a lot, your team probably isn't very good.
   24. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 13, 2009 at 01:21 PM (#3350755)
Stream of consciousness before I get fired;

JJ Hardy - Classic "change of scenery" guy. Everything I've seen says he's solid defensively and he would certainly provide more offense than Alex Gonzalez

Erik Bedard - The Sox are pretty good with these types of guys and I like him as a 20 start guy

Pedro Martinez - Pass. Keep him in the NL.

Jason Bay - Let him walk. It's simplistic but based on the expected years/dollars I don't see him being worth it.

Chone Figgins - My understanding is he is a Type B so you don't lose anything, he's the kind of player who typically ages well and his versatility is a nice feature. He could be a left-fielder or a 3rd baseman and make the Sox offense different but still quite good.

Adrian Gonzalez - In a heartbeat and at almost any price.

Josh Beckett - Extend him. Yeah he's almost 30 and not an "Ace" but he's certainly in that space between AJ Burnett and CC Sabathia which is pretty good and he's demonstrated he is durable, three of the last four years over 200 innings.

Daisuke Matsuzaka - 2.90 in 2008, 5.76 in 2009, add 'em, divide by 2 you get 4.33. You guys run your fancy computer models, I'll take that number and go with it for a projection.
   25. Textbook Editor Posted: October 13, 2009 at 01:39 PM (#3350776)
Cross-posted... Holliday's AL numbers this year scare me a bit, enough to make me prefer Bay to Holliday slightly. Of course, it's possible he was nursing some sort of injury earlier in the year; I don't know...

But basically the difference between Holliday & Bay may not be worth the difference in the contract you'd have to shell out to get Holliday instead of Bay.
   26. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: October 13, 2009 at 02:06 PM (#3350803)
There's no way in hell I'd go 7 years on Holliday, and I doubt very seriously the Sox would, either. He's a good player, but he'll be 30 years old next year, he's unproven in the AL, and he's nothing like the kind of star that Manny Ramirez was. Pass.
   27. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: October 13, 2009 at 02:22 PM (#3350820)
I guess I'll post my cross-poted reply, too, since this is the more appropriate thread...

Holliday's AL numbers this year scare me a bit, enough to make me prefer Bay to Holliday slightly. Of course, it's possible he was nursing some sort of injury earlier in the year; I don't know...


Well, it's not a perfect measure, but if you extrapolate Fangraph's WAR salary info for just Holliday's time in Oakland, it comes out to about $22.6M for a whole season. Bay comes out to like $15.3M. The fielding stuff just kills Bay. That doesn't mean the Red Sox (or any other team) should pay Holliday any more than they have to, of course, but we do (sort of) know what Holliday can do. Bay's fielding numbers may be misleading since he's in a smaller LF, but he just looked terrible out there. Bay may indeed make a little less, but in terms of production per dollar, I'm not sure we'll see a big difference between Holliday and Bay. The Red Sox have plenty of dollars and need the production, and they're a better team (at least in the short term) if they go with Holliday.
   28. scotto Posted: October 13, 2009 at 02:42 PM (#3350835)
Bill Burt at the Eagle Tribune plays this game today too. Biggest eyebrow-raisers - among the outgoing, not the incoming - on the list:

* Trade Bucholz: "I believe the Red Sox believe Clay Buchholz has great stuff but he is too fragile, mentally and physically, for this atmosphere."

* Trade Kevin Youkilis: "No, I'm not crazy. I admit, this would not be an easy thing to do. The fact that he has no fear of playing in Boston should not be negated. But he is an all-star and his value may never be higher."

His incoming suggestions, of course, are about what you'd expect.
   29. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 13, 2009 at 02:59 PM (#3350850)
Trading Youkilis would be an interesting move and certainly a case of selling high. But I can't envision a scenario where the Sox would be able to trade Youkilis for anything better than a wash over the next 3-4 years.
   30. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 13, 2009 at 03:01 PM (#3350852)
Regarding Holliday, my thinking was pretty similar to Darren's in #2. Here are the fangraphs numbers on Holliday and Teixeira, coming into their contracts, broken down between (wOBA-based) runs above replacement at position, and BIS UZR.

Holliday
06: 51.7 - 5.6
07: 66.3 + 14.2
08: 53.4 + 9.1
09: 51.2 + 5.3

Teixeira
05: 55.6 - 1.7
06: 34.2 - 2.1
07: 43.5 - 4.4
08: 57.1 + 10.6
(09: 55.1 - 2.7)

I placed the endpoint at four years to make Teixeira look as good as possible by including his big 2005 season. Even if you ignore UZR entirely, Matt Holliday has been better than Teixeira by a clear margin coming into their contract years. You've have to apply a quite significant league quality adjustment just to get Teixeira up to his level.

Now, the first worries his Holliday are about whether his value over the last four years is the correct baseline for his projection. He had those huge home/road splits while in Colorado, and he sucked in a half-season in the AL. I think that his 2009 hitting, which is perfectly well in line with his career numbers, suggests that we shouldn't worry too much about the Coors factor. But I can't say whether Holliday has some qualitative flaw in his game which will hurt him coming to the AL. That's something the Sox will need to look into, though I'm relatively skeptical.

The second issue is that maybe Teixeira isn't a great comparison, because he was such a scout's darling. He had that big year in 2008, and it was unanimous among baseball people that the "real" Teixeira, the one everyone had been waiting for since he was a high schooler, had arrived. And Teixeira's production in 2009 accords with that analysis. Holliday wasn't exactly a no-name, but he was not, IIRC, ever touted like Teixeira.

So, I recognize those two concerns. But I can't help but be swayed by the numbers, especially since in my experience watching Holliday, he looks like an excellent ballplayer. If the Red Sox were willing to go 8/165 for Teixeira, as reported, then 7/130 for Holliday should be a solid offer. If he's available for less than that, great! If more, then it gets complicated.
   31. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 13, 2009 at 03:03 PM (#3350854)
But I can't envision a scenario where the Sox would be able to trade Youkilis for anything better than a wash over the next 3-4 years.
I assume the question is whether 2008 and 2009 are "real." I still have trouble accepting that they are - Youkilis has such a hideously ugly swing, even after two excellent seasons it's hard for me to think his 30-HR power is for real. If Youkilis isn't actually this good, if he's more of a 15-20 HR guy going forward, he might be an interesting sell-high candidate, though obviously it would depend on the return and we have no idea what his market is.
   32. dangnewt Posted: October 13, 2009 at 03:15 PM (#3350866)
Regarding Tek, I like to see him as the world's best paid bullpen coach or Class A manager. I think the Sox can afford the $3,000,000 going away present and for the 2 World Championships - I'd have to say he earned it. But I want the Sox to figure out a way to keep him in the organization.

If you figure that the Yankees essentially sign whoever they want of the Holliday/Bay duo, how deep are the pockets of the other teams for the one the Yanks don't annoint?

Darren - I like your C-1B-2B-DH rotation assuming the catcher is not Tek. I could even see Lowrie thrown in the 3B mix; if they need to guarantee a bunch of starts for AGon to come back at reduced $$ at SS.
   33. dangnewt Posted: October 13, 2009 at 03:21 PM (#3350871)
I don't see the upside in a trade Youk now scenario. Part of the reason that the Sox were able to sign Youk, Pedroia and Lester to reasonable long-term contracts is an understanding that they will be around. I understand that all bets are off if someone blows you away, but trading a key core guy is not done lightly.
   34. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: October 13, 2009 at 03:38 PM (#3350885)
and he sucked in a half-season in the AL.

After a terrible start (.240/.288/.360 in April), he hit .299/.400/.480 with 29 XBH over his last 75 games with Oakland. I don't necessarily see Holliday hitting 30 HR's again outside of Colorado, but the guy can hit in either league.
   35. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: October 13, 2009 at 03:38 PM (#3350886)
I don't see the upside in a trade Youk now scenario.


There's not much upside. In Youkilis, they have a probably top 5 or so 1B being paid less than he's worth for a couple more years. Unless you can get an amazing return of another top 5 guy AND a top 10 guy, which would be basically unfair/stupid for the other team, it's really hard to get much better than that. The only thing I can imagine that would come close to making sense would be something like Youkilis/Lowrie/+ for Reyes/Beltran. And that has very little chance of happening.
   36. chris p Posted: October 13, 2009 at 03:44 PM (#3350888)
I assume the question is whether 2008 and 2009 are "real." I still have trouble accepting that they are - Youkilis has such a hideously ugly swing, even after two excellent seasons it's hard for me to think his 30-HR power is for real.

i think it's pretty clear that 2008 and 2009 are real (although, given that he has never hit 30 hrs in a season, his 30-hr power is not real). that said, he's on the wrong side of 30, isn't the most athletic guy, and doesn't really know how to take it easy ... he's a good candidate for a steep decline. and all of that said, i don't see how a trade-youk-now strategy could possibly be a good one.
   37. scotto Posted: October 13, 2009 at 04:01 PM (#3350897)
Put both Youkilis with Bucholz in a trade package?

Undoubtedly we'll be hearing rumors regarding heinously complicated three and four-way trades coming from the front office. Creative complexity seems to be a trademark.
   38. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: October 13, 2009 at 04:12 PM (#3350905)
Undoubtedly we'll be hearing rumors regarding heinously complicated three and four-way trades coming from the front office. Creative complexity seems to be a trademark.


I'd trade Nick Green for Anthony Quinn's tshirt.
   39. dangnewt Posted: October 13, 2009 at 04:20 PM (#3350911)
Scotto - I agree that there will be heinously complicated rumors, but I suspect more are likely to come from the, um, imagination of sportswriters, sports radio hosts and callers and bloggers, than the front office.

Theo has already been quoted as saying that it is safe to pencil in Buchholz into the starting rotation and Buchholz has made huge strides in the physical and mental maturity department this year. Buchholz is saying the right things about doing everything he needs to do to be ready for next season and if he does the Sox have a very solid low cost starter. The teams who passed on packages that included Buchholz this summer are going to regret it.
   40. villageidiom Posted: October 13, 2009 at 04:50 PM (#3350943)
I'd trade Nick Green for Anthony Quinn's tshirt.
You'd trade Nick Green for Nick Green's tshirt.
   41. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: October 13, 2009 at 05:59 PM (#3351012)
Cross-posted... Holliday's AL numbers this year scare me a bit, enough to make me prefer Bay to Holliday slightly. Of course, it's possible he was nursing some sort of injury earlier in the year; I don't know...

But basically the difference between Holliday & Bay may not be worth the difference in the contract you'd have to shell out to get Holliday instead of Bay.

The lack of power in Oakland is troubling, though it returned in July. Again, apart from April he was still an excellent hitter. And Fenway's a much friendlier home park than the Coliseum; not seeing a ton of HR's, but he'd hit a lot of doubles. Holliday's also less streaky than Bay, and Bay's bad months were pretty bad this year.

But even with comparable offensive production, I'm with [27] on the importance of the defense, especially if they're both commanding 5+ years. Bay will be a bad LF on the road for ~three years, then move to DH. That doesn't stop the Sox from say pursuing Dunn to replace Ortiz next year, or having somewhere for Youk if he gets fat, but it complicates it.
   42. Jon T. Posted: October 13, 2009 at 07:35 PM (#3351142)
If they sign Holliday and trade for JJ Hardy, then they would vastly improve their defense and also upgrade the offense. Those seem like the two obvious moves.

I would also explore trading for Halladay
   43. JB H Posted: October 13, 2009 at 07:48 PM (#3351162)
I think Holliday is the biggest pipe dream of all this offseason. The Yankees need an outfielder too. I doubt there's much difference in how many wins the Red Sox and Yankees think Holliday is worth, but the Yankees have proven they're willing (able) to spend a lot more for each free agent win than the Red Sox are.
   44. JB H Posted: October 13, 2009 at 08:02 PM (#3351197)
Bay -- If he would've taken 4/60, he'd already be re-signed. He knows some team will go at least 5/90 for him, and the Sox (rightly) don't think he's worth it.


I don't think he'll get 4/60. His not worth that much because of his defense and I'm not convinced that there's any teams left that ignore defense.
   45. Jon T. Posted: October 13, 2009 at 08:02 PM (#3351199)
I guess the assumption is that since the Yankees spent so much last off-season, they will be less able to do so this year.
   46. AROM Posted: October 13, 2009 at 08:08 PM (#3351211)
Not a good assumption. Yankees have a bunch of guys coming off the books, like Damon, Matsui, Nady. I forget who else. They could add Holliday and not increase payroll.
   47. dangnewt Posted: October 13, 2009 at 08:23 PM (#3351239)
I don't think he'll get 4/60. His not worth that much because of his defense and I'm not convinced that there's any teams left that ignore defense.


That would be a good thing if other teams are discounting him due to defense. At least in Fenway, I don't get the sense that his defense is that bad. He plays the wall fine and his throws tend to be on target, he backs up Ellsbury on balls that Jacoby tries to get to near the wall. His defense is a far smaller liability with the Sox especially with Ellsbury able to cover a lot of ground.
   48. Nasty Nate Posted: October 13, 2009 at 08:33 PM (#3351253)
I'm beginning to think that the Monster has a way of hypnotizing Sox left fielders after a few months and putting them in a haze where they only can think about hitting and can only slowly break through that haze when a ball is hit their way.

I thought Bay was an OK fielder at first, but as this year wore on he looked terrible.
   49. PJ Martinez Posted: October 13, 2009 at 09:31 PM (#3351297)
I thought Bay was an OK fielder at first, but as this year wore on he looked terrible.

Completely agree. I didn't watch a ton of games this year, but in the Division Series, at least, Bay looked dreadful.

Also, per the discussion upthread, I, too, believe that 2008 and 2009 were "real."
   50. Tuque Posted: October 13, 2009 at 09:41 PM (#3351306)
The Red Sox appeared willing to pay 8/180ish for him. 7/130 for Holliday seems like a relative bargain.

You have to keep in mind that Holliday is about a foot shorter and several pounds lighter than everyone in the phenomenally strong AL East, and therefore would only be able to hit about .200/.300/.400.

I think the best bet is ninja zombie Pedro. Especially if the Sox can give him claws and teach him to hit.
   51. Swedish Chef Posted: October 13, 2009 at 09:56 PM (#3351318)
If they're willing to take a shot at reclaiming Smoltz and Penny, Pedro should be a no-brainer.
   52. dangnewt Posted: October 13, 2009 at 10:07 PM (#3351332)
I thought Bay was an OK fielder at first, but as this year wore on he looked terrible.


I'll admit to not being up-to-speed on the sabermetric defensive stats; but Bay had 15 assists and 0 errors out there so he looks good by the old stats. Maybe I spent too much time watching Manny, that Bay is the second coming of Yaz to my eyes.
   53. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: October 14, 2009 at 12:19 PM (#3351541)
Bay is sure handed but has horrible range.

This team needs starting pitching. I'll take Wake back, one of Harden/Bedard/Webb, and John Lackey.

Chone Figgins would be an interesting player to sign; I think he'll want too much money for what he's worth, but he'll be better than Jacoby at the leadoff spot, and Jacoby can hit 9th. Figgins can also spell Jed at Short and Dusty at 2nd and play all OF positions.
   54. dave h Posted: October 14, 2009 at 01:33 PM (#3351600)
The Sox need pitching only if you don't believe in Buccholz and Matsuzaka. Otherwise, they have 4 good starters, can bring Wakefield back if he's going to be healthy enough to pitch, and really need just one mid-tier starter. Pitching Bowden or Tazawa in spot starts when they have injury problems won't be a disaster. Meanwhile they have holes in LF and SS, and one of C/1B/3B/DH. I'd go after Holliday or resign Bay (and I think the front office will do that). Picking up the option on Gonzalez is probably as good as any available FA options. I would look at a Nick Johnson type, but maybe the FO does think more highly of Kotchman. Ortiz and Lowell can split the DH duties, with Lowell getting extra starts at 3B.

I also am in favor of bringing back Pedro.
   55. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 14, 2009 at 01:45 PM (#3351623)
Bay had 15 assists


Manny also used to get a fair number of assists (11 in '03, 17 in '05) - he had just 3 this year. I think this is in large part a product of playing in Fenway, combined with Bay's below-average arm that encourages runners to take chances. In 2008, Bay had three assists in Pittsburgh, 5 in Boston in half as many OF innings.

-- MWE
   56. Mattbert Posted: October 14, 2009 at 01:47 PM (#3351625)
Isn’t the rap on Bedard that he’s a total head case and hates the spotlight, pressure, expectations, etc. and prefers the smaller markets? Maybe the rap is unfair and overblown, but if there’s any truth to it then he doesn’t seem like a very good fit.

Absent any inside medical info, Harden seems like the best bet of the reclamation troika mentioned above.
   57. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: October 14, 2009 at 01:55 PM (#3351637)
Absent any inside medical info, Harden seems like the best bet of the reclamation troika mentioned above.

AND YOU CAN PUT HIM IN THE PEN!!!!!

The Sox need pitching only if you don't believe in Buccholz and Matsuzaka. Otherwise, they have 4 good starters, can bring Wakefield back if he's going to be healthy enough to pitch, and really need just one mid-tier starter.

It is my belief that in Lester/Beckett/Clay/Daisuke/Wake we will get 120 starts.

Pitching Bowden or Tazawa in spot starts when they have injury problems won't be a disaster.
Tazawa needs more work, Bowden needs more experience at the MLB level.

Edit: I pick up Saito's option. He's passed RamRam and Delcarmen on my trust-meter, and he was healthy the entire year.
   58. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: October 14, 2009 at 02:12 PM (#3351665)
Tazawa and Bowden are maybe your 7th/8th starters, like they were in 2009. It's unclear how or if Wakefield will even be back, so the Red Sox are going to need at least one, if not two, more starters. One of the Harden/Bedard/Sheets trio would be ideal (if healthy enough) but it seems like Holliday should be the priority and I'd prefer they save their money for him, if it has to be a choice.
   59. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 14, 2009 at 02:13 PM (#3351666)
I pick up Saito's option. He's passed RamRam and Delcarmen on my trust-meter, and he was healthy the entire year.


I'm with you but it seems a forgone conclusion that they won't. I can't imagine why they wouldn't want him back. This isn't a Wagner situation where you had to agree to give up an option to sign him, they could have just made it a one year deal if he wanted to be able to go close somewhere after this year. He seemed to get more reliable as the season went on.
   60. The Essex Snead Posted: October 14, 2009 at 02:32 PM (#3351693)
What are the chances the Orioles would take on Lowell (& maybe $4-6M) for a few minor leaguers, and then maybe the Red Sox make a low-cost run at Adrian Beltre?
   61. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 14, 2009 at 04:04 PM (#3351784)
I could see the Red Sox trying to re-sign Saito - one more reliever looks necessary in that pen - but they definitely shouldn't pick up a $6M option. He ain't worth it.
   62. dave h Posted: October 14, 2009 at 04:11 PM (#3351802)
Last 5 years Beckett has started 29,33,30,27,32 games. Lester has started 33 and 32 games since coming back from cancer. Buccholz has started 26 and 32 games between the minors and majors. Maybe he'll be ineffective, but he doesn't have much of an injury history. Matsuzaka started 32 and 29 games before 12 this year which was mostly due to a bad case of the sucks. Last year those four gave you 108 starts (with half of Buccholz's in the minors). Don't see any reason why it would be any worse this year. I have no idea how many starts Wakefield would be good for. I think they do need another starter, but just one, and it doesn't have to be John Lackey or Roy Halladay. If you get 108 from the top 4, that leaves 54 for Wakefield, Tazawa, Bowden, and the FA, which seems entirely reasonable. Plus Pedro.

I think Saito is worth 6m to someone, so maybe they pick up the option and trade him. I don't think he's worth it to them though, since they have quite a few good arms already. What is Okajima's situation?

How would Webb look in Fenway with the Sox infield. Maybe Youkilis-Gonzalez-Pedroia-Kotchman on days he pitches? Will he be ready for the start of the season?

I still think #1 priority has to be LF. Shortstop would be high up there if I thought there were any solutions.
   63. Norcan Posted: October 14, 2009 at 04:11 PM (#3351805)
I wouldn't go over the top for Holliday, certainly not 137 million over 7 years. He's a tough guy to figure even after all the years he's played. His Colorado numbers aren't easy to interpret. And he while he wasn't horrible at Oakland nor was he great (and he wasn't great after a bad April like someone wrote above, his OPS were 872 and 814, very solid but not at the level of being worth 18 or more million a season). And as great as he played at St Louis, I think youcan say that if he was better than he showed at Oakland, then maybe he wasn't as good as he showed at St Louis. For all his hitting prowess, he still hit only 25 and 24 home runs the past two seasons. I think he's very good but he's too risky to make an obscene offer to.

If you're going to give someone 19 million a year, they have to be capable of carrying a lineup, being the no.1 power bat and I don't think Holliday is at that level. I would go 5/75, which I guess works out to a non-offer.
   64. dave h Posted: October 14, 2009 at 04:12 PM (#3351806)
Also, I think Lowell and Ortiz are untradeable. Have them split DH, with Lowell playing some 3B. That also gives you a decent PH for Gonzalez or whatever light bat you're carrying in the lineup.
   65. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 14, 2009 at 04:13 PM (#3351808)
How would Webb look in Fenway with the Sox infield. Maybe Youkilis-Gonzalez-Pedroia-Kotchman on days he pitches? Will he be ready for the start of the season?
Webb probably won't be ready for the end of the season. 2010 is going to be a lost year for him, the question is what amount of guarantee is worth the chance that post-shoulder surgery Webb, in 2011 and beyond, is a similar pitcher to pre-surgery. In either case, Webb is basically irrelevant to the Red Sox for next year.

I've been assuming the D-Backs will work something out with him.
   66. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 14, 2009 at 04:36 PM (#3351846)
What are the chances the Orioles would take on Lowell (& maybe $4-6M) for a few minor leaguers, and then maybe the Red Sox make a low-cost run at Adrian Beltre?

Aren't the Orioles expected to be a little smarter rebuilding under McPhail? Given Peter Angelos' concerns about injured players, I doubt the Orioles would have been interested even under the old regime. Of course, it might be different if the minor leaguers have some real value.
   67. Norcan Posted: October 14, 2009 at 05:10 PM (#3351908)
Webb probably won't be ready for the end of the season. 2010 is going to be a lost year for him, the question is what amount of guarantee is worth the chance that post-shoulder surgery Webb, in 2011 and beyond, is a similar pitcher to pre-surgery. In either case, Webb is basically irrelevant to the Red Sox for next year.


Where are you getting this? From what I've read, he didn't have a torn rotator cuff or labrum. He was lucky that doctors didn't find anything to repair and only cleared things out. He was scheduled to begin throwing in 3-4 months after having surgery on August 3. All this speculation about him may be moot anyway because the Diamondbacks are now apparently leaning towards picking up his option.
   68. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: October 14, 2009 at 05:27 PM (#3351951)
and he wasn't great after a bad April like someone wrote above, his OPS were 872 and 814

Not sure why you're ignoring the .986 he put up with Oakland in July.

Holliday may not be a consistently elite slugger outside of Coors, but he's an excellent hitter with some power. We can definitely argue about the dollar figure, but the Sox seem willing to open the wallet for a guy who gets on base at a .400 rate with .450-.600 SLG and great defense.

Also, I think Lowell and Ortiz are untradeable. Have them split DH, with Lowell playing some 3B. That also gives you a decent PH for Gonzalez or whatever light bat you're carrying in the lineup.

Not sure how well that plays in the clubhouse, unless they're both planning to retire. Not saying it would be unmanageable, but asking two ex-stars to take a reduced role in their walk-year sounds like trouble. But agreed, I don't see either one as tradeable unless it's a mutual dump.

$6 million for Saito ($3 million overpay?) seems like a luxury the Sox can afford, though I guess we should see what happens with Okajima.

Too bad about Webb; any news on Sheets? I've been assuming he'll be back next year, but I'm not sure what I'm basing that on.
   69. Norcan Posted: October 14, 2009 at 05:40 PM (#3351970)
Not sure why you're ignoring the .986 he put up with Oakland in July.


Well because that July OPS includes 9 games with the Cardinals when his OPS was 1546. He had 17 of his 40 hits that month in those 9 games. I didn't want to calculate his July OPS before the trade but even if I did include it, the point still holds: he still wasn't excellent every month after a bad April. And also, your range of slugging of 450-600 is way too large. The Red Sox are going to open the wallet very differently across that huge range of slugging.
   70. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: October 14, 2009 at 05:57 PM (#3351995)
Well because that July OPS includes 9 games with the Cardinals when his OPS was 1546.


It doesn't. That .986 OPS includes only his time in Oakland. His St Louis OPS during July was 1.515 over 8 games. I'm not sure what being excellent in every single month has to do with anything, and at any rate, month-to-month samples comparing Oakland v St Louis are silly anyway. Oakland is a hitter's hell, and Holliday had an OBP-heavy 125 OPS+ there. It's not superstar good, but he did move from one extreme park to another, which could screw you up. I'd say Holliday's fielding makes up a fair amount of the difference between his 125 OPS+ and Bay's 132 OPS+.

That said, offering any player a ton of money and years is risky, but I don't think the NL/AL difference is really as big as people make it out to be. Lugo/Smoltz notwithstanding.
   71. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: October 14, 2009 at 06:10 PM (#3352020)
Well because that July OPS includes 9 games with the Cardinals when his OPS was 1546.

No, it doesn't.
Edit: coke>ells

And also, your range of slugging of 450-600 is way too large.

I'd agree; the only reason I dropped the bottom end so low was to allow for your concerns about his time in Oakland. In all likelihood, he slugs between 500-550, well worth paying for.
   72. Textbook Editor Posted: October 14, 2009 at 06:31 PM (#3352045)
Can we make it a CF we need instead of a LF? The "Trade Papelbon" thread made me consider signing Cameron to a FA contract. Cross posted from the other thread:

The dropoff in offensive production from Bay to Cameron would be tremendous, I think, but if Fangraphs is to be believed, Cameron is a +15 run improvement over Bay defensively (not taking position into account), and no doubt Ellsbury would improve as well moving from CF to LF (since his UZR is awful in CF), so perhaps it's a +20 move overall defensively for Cameron to move to CF and Ellsbury to LF. (I know I don't quite buy Ellsbury's awful UZR, but I also can't really make a coherent argument as to why I think it's wrong.)

It's possible Cameron in CF improves the RF UZR situation as well, but I'm not sure even a 2 win upgrade on defense can mitigate the dropoff from Bay (or Holliday) to Cameron. Of course, Cameron may come cheaper and for less $, which might mean they could go hard after a bigger fish for 3B/1B or a LHB DH since you can't count on Ortiz's production returning to 2007 levels in 2010.

How interested is Cameron in FA? Will he re-sign with the Brewers, or will he actually test the waters? I confess until now I hadn't considered Boston as a landing spot for him, but it might make some sense, especially if you think the offensive #'s would improve hitting at Fenway 81 games a year... Since he'd be around $10-13 million a year for far more limited years (2? 3?), it might make a whole lot of sense to pursue him.
   73. Textbook Editor Posted: October 14, 2009 at 06:33 PM (#3352050)
Can we make it a CF we need instead of a LF? The "Trade Papelbon" thread made me consider signing Cameron to a FA contract. Cross posted from the other thread:

The dropoff in offensive production from Bay to Cameron would be tremendous, I think, but if Fangraphs is to be believed, Cameron is a +15 run improvement over Bay defensively (not taking position into account), and no doubt Ellsbury would improve as well moving from CF to LF (since his UZR is awful in CF), so perhaps it's a +20 move overall defensively for Cameron to move to CF and Ellsbury to LF. (I know I don't quite buy Ellsbury's awful UZR, but I also can't really make a coherent argument as to why I think it's wrong.)

It's possible Cameron in CF improves the RF UZR situation as well, but I'm not sure even a 2 win upgrade on defense can mitigate the dropoff from Bay (or Holliday) to Cameron. Of course, Cameron may come cheaper and for less years, which might mean they could go hard after a bigger fish for 3B/1B or a LHB DH since you can't count on Ortiz's production returning to 2007 levels in 2010.

How interested is Cameron in FA? Will he re-sign with the Brewers, or will he actually test the waters? I confess until now I hadn't considered Boston as a landing spot for him, but it might make some sense, especially if you think the offensive #'s would improve hitting at Fenway 81 games a year... Since he'd be around $10-13 million a year for far more limited years (2? 3?), it might make a whole lot of sense to pursue him.

[edited so "cheaper and less $" becomes "cheaper and less years" (duh)]
   74. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 14, 2009 at 06:37 PM (#3352057)
But how impactful is a defensive outfielder playing in Boston? From straightaway center to the left field line there is a lot of area for balls to be put "in play" yet not be truly playable for the outfielder. Obviously there are still 81 road games but beyond my skepticism about the defensive numbers (I believe they are accurate for who is and is not good, not accurate for measuring the impact) I wonder how much value Cameron might lose in a ballpark where his defensive value would be lessened.
   75. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: October 14, 2009 at 06:37 PM (#3352058)
Cameron (or an extra CFer in general) is worth pursuing if you lose out on Holliday and Bay.
   76. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: October 14, 2009 at 06:41 PM (#3352065)
Cameron (or an extra CFer in general) is worth pursuing if you lose out on Holliday and Bay.


Agreed. Cameron and Abreu might be a decent, lower cost options, but I don't really care about lower cost options. I just want a better team, and Holliday and Bay are the best players available.
   77. DKDC Posted: October 14, 2009 at 06:48 PM (#3352072)
What are the chances the Orioles would take on Lowell (& maybe $4-6M) for a few minor leaguers,


If Lowell can't play 3B, he doesn't solve any problems for the Orioles.

I doubt they be interested in anything more than a giveaway - an organizational player in exchange for Lowell and the Red Sox paying full freight.
   78. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: October 14, 2009 at 06:51 PM (#3352081)
I wonder how much value Cameron might lose in a ballpark where his defensive value would be lessened.

I think TE sees Cameron in CF, with Ellsbury shifting to LF. (Ellsbury's terrible UZR seems key; like TE I don't trust it but have no argument to rebut it).

Cameron and Abreu might be a decent, lower cost options, but I don't really care about lower cost options. I just want a better team, and Holliday and Bay are the best players available.

Damn straight. But if the Sox do lose out, I'd rather they get creative and emphasize the defense for a year rather than overpaying for a mediocre slugger.
   79. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 14, 2009 at 07:01 PM (#3352102)
Ellsbury's terrible UZR seems key


Check out how Ellsbury is positioned next time you look at some Boston game videos.

-- MWE
   80. Dan Posted: October 14, 2009 at 07:07 PM (#3352109)
To my eye, Ellsbury has been playing way too deep this year, as evidenced by Guerrero's game-winning hit in game 3. That's a ball he should've caught. Is that what you're referring to, Mike?
   81. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: October 14, 2009 at 07:11 PM (#3352114)
Is Griffey coming back? Seattle could have holes at both 3B at DH; seems like a necessity at Lowell's theoretical new home.

Check out how Ellsbury is positioned next time you look at some Boston game videos.

Don't have any handy, are you just referring to depth or is he shading towards left to support Bay?
   82. caprules Posted: October 14, 2009 at 07:52 PM (#3352167)
Cameron isn't likely to be low cost. He's an above average hitter who plays solid defense at CF. No other available player can say that.
   83. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 14, 2009 at 07:58 PM (#3352171)
Ellsbury was too deep on the Guerrero ball but I don't think he was particularly deep on a regular basis. What I see on a consistent basis is a guy who either breaks the wrong way or breaks late on almost every batted ball. His speed and daring allow him to make up for his mistakes but he has some learning to do.
   84. The Essex Snead Posted: October 14, 2009 at 08:08 PM (#3352178)
Can't recall where I heard it (might've been here), but I've heard claims that Ellsbury sets up deep because he has trouble going back on balls, and (like [83] noted) uses his speed to make up for where he sets up. More than a few times, I can remember seeing him look more than a little awkward going back on hard-hit balls, especially when he's nearing the wall.
   85. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: October 14, 2009 at 08:22 PM (#3352201)
His speed and daring allow him to make up for his mistakes but he has some learning to do.

That sucks, since it's something he's probably been able to get around thru speed his whole life. And while I'm sure he'll improve to some degree with practice, I'm not sure how learnable a fast, accurate read/break on the ball is.
   86. Nasty Nate Posted: October 14, 2009 at 08:30 PM (#3352212)
Ellsbury was only positioned too deep on that play if we use hindsight. If that same exact situation comes up again they should position him in the same spot.
   87. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 14, 2009 at 09:19 PM (#3352275)
If that same exact situation comes up again they should position him in the same spot.


I think in that situation you've got to cheat against the single a little bit since that's the killer play. You don't want to play it like a less than 2 out/bottom of the ninth situation obviously but a step or two shallower than usual makes sense. Ellsbury was still in a "no doubles" defense on that play which was clearly wrong. At least he should have been in his usual spot.
   88. Nasty Nate Posted: October 14, 2009 at 09:35 PM (#3352291)
he would have had to being cheating a ton to have caught that ball, and if you want to cheat that much you turn a lot of outs into bases-clearing doubles.
   89. Darren Posted: October 14, 2009 at 11:15 PM (#3352379)
I like that Sox Therapy is a place where people feel comfortable debating whether the past two years actually happened. I am going to come down on the side of those who say that they did.

I like the suggestion of Marlon Byrd in LF. I could see him getting 1 year/$5 mil deal or maybe 2/12. He won't get much, I don't think, and he's solidly above average. That would leave money for the rotation and a SS.
   90. dangnewt Posted: October 15, 2009 at 12:19 AM (#3352415)
I'd rather see the money go into LF and another starter or two than in SS. I'd like to see what Lowrie can be when (if ?) healthy. Also the Sox have high hopes for the Cuban SS they signed recently, Inglesias. He is only 19 but word is that he is already the second coming of Ozzie Smith with the glove, but they don't have a handle on what his bat will be like. No need to do another 4 year deal for a good hitting shortstop and recent history with FA SS - Renteria and Lugo - didn't work out so well.
   91. Textbook Editor Posted: October 15, 2009 at 12:33 AM (#3352418)
Darren, I am familiar with the baseball stylings of Mr. Byrd from his Philadelphia days. I don't care what the stats are, I would pass, and pass hard on adding him. Any stat renaissance there is likely a TX effect and nothing else. Add to all of that the fact the fan base would likely revolt if the big OF signing was Marlon Byrd and I suspect it's a non-starter in the FO.

Of course, you may not have been serious in the suggestion; I'm assuming you were.

Cameron may not be cheap, but he has the advantage of likely being available on a short deal--2 or 3 years. Even at $15 million, there's utility in overpaying for a short deal.
   92. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: October 15, 2009 at 01:09 AM (#3352433)
Unless I'm looking at the wrong dude, his stats weren't particularly exciting this past year. Am I looking at the wrong dude?
   93. OCD SS Posted: October 15, 2009 at 01:13 AM (#3352436)
Darren what's the point of having $ for a SS if there are none on the market worth giving paying?
   94. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: October 15, 2009 at 01:13 AM (#3352437)
Unless I'm looking at the wrong dude, his stats weren't particularly exciting this past year. Am I looking at the wrong dude?

If you're looking at Marlon Byrd, you're definitely looking at the wrong dude. His numbers are OK, but all the power came in Arlington.
   95. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: October 15, 2009 at 01:18 AM (#3352439)
Yeah, Marlon Byrd. He's a 31-year-old LF with three years of Arlington power on his track record. Whatever. Thanks, but no thanks.
   96. Dr. Vaux Posted: October 15, 2009 at 01:22 AM (#3352440)
I never thought I'd say this, but I think improving the offense has to be the priority. Not being able to score is what cost them the first two games of the series, and a lot of games during the dismal late-summer stretch.

That's going to be tricky, though. They can't improve at DH unless Ortiz improves. They can't improve at third without getting rid of Lowell. It's unlikely that they can improve on Bay's numbers in left, though they could of course improve the defense there. Offensive improvement may have to come at short. So maybe improving the pitching and defense is the way to go after all . . .
   97. Textbook Editor Posted: October 15, 2009 at 02:42 AM (#3352486)
Phil, in case you missed the news, Pavement is coming to your corner of the world:

Pavement Concerts in Australia - Info

Sorry for the hijack; resume discussion of the plusses and minuses of Marlon Byrd...
   98. dangnewt Posted: October 15, 2009 at 03:58 AM (#3352545)
I'm not so sure that offense was the problem. They scored plenty of runs, but they were also prone to multi-game funks this year that I don't remember them having in recent years. The team never gelled this year, every game seemed to be a grind. Even when they were winning early, Papi wasn't hitting. There were too many injuries; too much juggling of lineups and positions. They can improve at DH if Ortiz finds his stroke earlier this year. But I am concerned - he is not aging particularly well. Lowell can hit better with better health. He is aging better than Papi as he can still get around on anyone's fastball. They will have a full year of Victor at C so that will be a big improvement in production out of that position. Ellsbury will probably add some pop next year and maybe he settles into the leadoff role. Maybe Drew moves closer to the #5 hole that he was acquired to fill. LF needs to be as good as Bay and that pretty much only leaves Bay and Holliday.
   99. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: October 15, 2009 at 04:03 AM (#3352549)
Phil, in case you missed the news, Pavement is coming to your corner of the world:

Pavement Concerts in Australia - Info


That's sort of in my neck of the woods. Jakarta to Australia is like only 9 hours away!
   100. Darren Posted: October 16, 2009 at 01:46 AM (#3353496)
Texas is a neutral park. Byrd is a pretty good hitter.
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