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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

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   1. dave h Posted: December 08, 2006 at 03:35 AM (#2255011)
I don't see the reason to be upset. We don't actually have an idea what their budget is. Given the available facts (and I'm not up to speed on exactly what the payroll is at the moment) it seems more likely that their budget is higher than you've projected than that they're going to carry a 22 man roster. It's fair to say this probably precludes getting a top notch closer, but where would that come from anyway? Given what was on the market, they seem to have done a damn fine job - if Matsuzaka signs you could make a case they got the best pitcher, outfielder, and infielder available (though I haven't looked too closely).
   2. Kevin Sweet Child Romine (aco) Posted: December 08, 2006 at 03:44 AM (#2255022)
Why are you assuming that the luxury tax threshold is their spending limit?
   3. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 08, 2006 at 03:48 AM (#2255025)
Veronica is the 4th OF. He's the SECOND OF.
   4. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 08, 2006 at 03:50 AM (#2255026)
I meant "isn't the 4th OF"
   5. Darren Posted: December 08, 2006 at 03:51 AM (#2255028)
Wok, you are horrible at nicknames. I mean, you're a great guy and all, but that's just not your strong suit.

Why are you assuming that the luxury tax threshold is their spending limit?

Because it usually is. Maybe that will change this year, who knows?
   6. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 08, 2006 at 03:55 AM (#2255032)
Wok, you are horrible at nicknames. I mean, you're a great guy and all, but that's just not your strong suit.

Marky Mark the Funky Bunch would have stuck if you the idiots didn't run him out of town.
   7. Xander Posted: December 08, 2006 at 03:56 AM (#2255033)
I don't see the Veronica or Brocktoon nicknames sticking. But that's just me.
   8. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 08, 2006 at 03:59 AM (#2255035)
You know, this just proves that Boston is a racist town, because apparently minorities can't make nicknames that stick.
[/Carl Everett]
   9. Darren Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:00 AM (#2255038)
Maybe you'd rather call him FloridaStateUSox?
   10. Darren Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:02 AM (#2255040)
Maybe they've finally decided to go with their best judgement and solve those problems with young players within their own organization instead of giving them away for 50 cents on the dollar?

Who? Who is the guy who you feel confident handing the closer job to? And with that guy in place, who becomes the setup man?
   11. JB H Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:03 AM (#2255042)
I don't really get your whining Darren. No backup catcher? What's the difference between a good backup catcher and a bad one, like 4 runs?

No closer? They were in the hunt for Dotel and look like the frontrunners for Gagne. There's nobody else out there.

The setup crew is fine. Timlin/Delcarmen/Hansen/Tavarez/Okajima is probably about average. Yeah it'd be nice to have two lights out closers in the pen but whatever.
   12. Kevin Sweet Child Romine (aco) Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:03 AM (#2255043)
Maybe they've finally decided to go with their best judgement and solve those problems with young players within their own organization instead of giving them away for 50 cents on the dollar?


I think this is likely. I suspect that they'll try the closer-by-committee scheme again; they just won't advertise it as such. Among MDC, Hansen, Gabbard, Clement, even Timlin, there must be someone who can do a passable job. I just don't see the Red Sox paying someone like Gagne anything like what they paid Foulke to be a closer.
   13. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:05 AM (#2255045)
The setup crew is fine. Timlin/Delcarmen/Hansen/Tavarez/Okajima is probably about average.

Timlin has lost it. I like Delcarmen, he did well, but was overused at the end. Hansen still has control issues. Tavarez was great starting (i have no idea how). Okajima should be a good 7th inning lefty.

Speaking of lefty, what happened to the slightly less useless Javy Lopez?
   14. chris p Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:07 AM (#2255048)
Marky Mark the Funky Bunch would have stuck if you the idiots didn't run him out of town.

wrong.
   15. Xander Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:07 AM (#2255052)
Maybe I don't believe in forcing nicknames on someone.
   16. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:09 AM (#2255054)
Maybe I don't believe in forcing nicknames on someone.

Maybe you're just a heretic who doesn't believe in Jesus
   17. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:10 AM (#2255056)
Nothing the Sox have done so far will prevent them from acquiring another backup catcher, if need be.

I like this setup corps alright. Timlin/Delcarmen/Okajima seem fine as the 2-4 arms. I don't know what offseason moves could have done much for the setup men.

That leaves closer. The Sox need a closer. I don't really know what they're going to do about getting a closer. I agree with Darren that this is a significant question, and that there's good reason to think that the Red Sox have pretty much topped out their payroll, pending the Matsuzaka signing. I don't really know what the answer is.

So, to me, the question really just boils down to, who's the closer? What the plan for getting a closer? Did the Sox spend money on Drew that now can't be spent on Gagne or someone, and does that hurt the team?
   18. Darren Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:10 AM (#2255057)
I don't really get your whining Darren.

I'm not whining. I'm nnoootttt!

No, really, I'm just saying I don't follow what they're doing. If it turns out that they've decided to go considerably over the lux tax limit, then it's not a problem. If they have a good trade in the works for a good reliever, then it's also no problem. I just don't see what the good solution is right now.
   19. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:14 AM (#2255062)
Marky Mark the Funky Bunch would have stuck if you the idiots didn't run him out of town.
That's wrong on so many levels. I did like Rumblefish, though.
   20. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:18 AM (#2255067)
My Mark Loretta nickname didn't stick too.


"Slowest Skinny White Guy EVER" didnt' stick.
   21. Darren Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:20 AM (#2255072)
I like this setup corps alright. Timlin/Delcarmen/Okajima seem fine as the 2-4 arms. I don't know what offseason moves could have done much for the setup men.

Who's the "2" in that group? And why is a guy who was homerific in Japan a good bet here? I hope you're right on both counts, but I have my doubts. And, of course, Francona will work the #### out of all of them and use Okajima as a loogy regardless of how he pitches.

I think I've already said what they could have done: they could have gotten Speier. Or they could have traded for Horacio Ramirez and then traded him for Soriano! Or some other smart deal.

I suppose Delcarmen could blossom or Timlin might return to form, but from where I stand, I'd feel much better with 2 more GOOD relievers.
   22. Darren Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:23 AM (#2255074)
Hey, apparently Beane wants Milledge/Heilman/Carp for Haren. Do the Red Sox have a similar package?
Would you do that and then move Beckett to closer? He's got two pitches working at least.
   23. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:24 AM (#2255075)
BTF nicknames:

The Run Fairy$trade;

...
...
...

everything since
   24. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:24 AM (#2255078)
I suppose Delcarmen could blossom or Timlin might return to form, but from where I stand, I'd feel much better with 2 more GOOD relievers.

I'll be OK with one more. One more good reliever, and then if Lester can return, moving Papsmear (man that nickname REALLY didn't stick) back into the bullpen, our pen will be awesome.
   25. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:28 AM (#2255084)
Rotoworld is saying the Dodgers might file a complaint against the Sox for tampering with Drew. I doubt they will because it's so hard to prove even if true. I don't think it is because Boras is smart enough to know the market's crazy right now.
   26. Darren Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:32 AM (#2255090)
Also while Haren's strikeout numbers are good he doesn't get guys out in the strike zone. This puts him on the Tim Hudson path to mediocrity.

I saw Temple posted that over on SOSH. Everyone and their brother was saying how much money would be spent this offseason. It was obvious to Boras and I'm sure he remembered how much the Sox wanted Drew the last time he was a FA. The simple fact of the matter is that he didn't have to tamper, so why would he?
   27. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:33 AM (#2255094)
I saw Temple posted that over on SOSH. Everyone and their brother was saying how much money would be spent this offseason. It was obvious to Boras and I'm sure he remembered how much the Sox wanted Drew the last time he was a FA. The simple fact of the matter is that he didn't have to tamper, so why would he?


Cuz the Red Sox are badass like dat y'all. We're BALLING!!!!!
   28. PJ Martinez Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:35 AM (#2255096)
So I take it everyone has given up fighting the "closer" bullpen strategy? Or by closer do we now mean "relief ace"?

I agree the Sox need better arms in the pen. I have hope for Hansen and Delcarmen, but we don't have a single sure thing in the pen.

Missing out on Speier is one disappointment from the offseason. But if I had to choose between Speier and Drew, I'd take Drew. Probably Lugo, too.

I agree the roster isn't set, but I think the FO used their considerable financial resources to add as much talent as possible in the FA market, and I'm glad about that. Now they can attack the problem of the bullpen, for which there was no obvious FA solution, with the possible exception of Speier.
   29. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:35 AM (#2255098)
Not to derail this thread, but

BTF nicknames:

The Run Fairy$trade;

...
...
...

everything since


I agree; witht the exception of the Cub fans calling their bench F Troop back in '03 and '04. That was funny, too.
   30. Darren Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:36 AM (#2255099)

Or do you prefer paying big bucks for "proven veterans"?



I prefer paying big bucks for "proven veterans."
   31. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:36 AM (#2255100)
So I take it everyone has given up fighting the "closer" bullpen strategy? Or by closer do we now mean "relief ace"?

It's because with Papelbon in the rotation, we don't have a "relief ace", so we have to go back to a decent pitcher that can only pitch 3 outs in the 9th.
   32. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:39 AM (#2255105)
Was Papelbon a "sure thing" going into last season?

Papelbon had a much better track record than Hansen. As a starter though.
   33. Darren Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:39 AM (#2255107)
Was Papelbon a "sure thing" going into last season?

Yes.
   34. Nasty Nate Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:39 AM (#2255108)
If we dump Matt Clement's body off the Brookline avenue bridge by fenway and onto the outgoing lane of the mass pike, it might appease the mighty Gods of Effective Relief Pitching (GERPs) and our bullpen woes will be gone.

never mind, i guess human sacrifice is cruel.


{{any bbtf discussion that mentions Mark Smellhorn draws me in}}
   35. PJ Martinez Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:40 AM (#2255109)
"Was Papelbon a 'sure thing' going into last season?"

No, but he was more impressive as a reliever in 2005 than either Hansen or Delcarmen was last year, IMO.
   36. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:40 AM (#2255111)
If we dump Matt Clement's body off the Brookline avenue bridge by fenway and onto the outgoing lane of the mass pike, it might appease the mighty Gods of Effective Relief Pitching (GERPs) and our bullpen woes will be gone.


Man, he could land on a car, and seirously damage the car!
   37. Darren Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:41 AM (#2255112)
Did Florida's accomplishments this past season just fly completely under your radar or something?

Yes.

Or Detroit's, for that matter?

Yes.
   38. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:41 AM (#2255113)
If we dump Matt Clement's body off the Brookline avenue bridge by fenway and onto the outgoing lane of the mass pike, it might appease the mighty Gods of Effective Relief Pitching (GERPs) and our bullpen woes will be gone.


Man, he could land on a car, and seirously damage the car!
   39. Nasty Nate Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:42 AM (#2255116)
the GERPs gave us games 4 5 and 6 of the 04 alcs so i still worship at their altar
   40. Darren Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:43 AM (#2255117)
Show me one post of yours from last season that predicted the type of season that Papelbon put up.

No.
   41. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:43 AM (#2255118)
I don't really understand your arguments, kevin. Did you support the Red Sox spending big bucks on proven veterans Drew and Lugo? Or is your argument bullpen-specific, and if so, what is the difference?

Also, in the bullpen, which young pitchers would be shunted aside if the Red Sox signed a veteran? At the moment, the only relatively sure things on the roster are Timlin, Delcarmen, Okajima, Tavarez, and Timlin. That leaves at least one open spot, probably two - no young guys are being displaced. I don't see it as an either/or, it can be both/and, if the money is available.
   42. Darren Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:44 AM (#2255119)
Don't forget Timlin. and Poland!
   43. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:45 AM (#2255120)
(The second Timlin up there should be Hansen. You know, whichever.)
   44. Xander Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:48 AM (#2255123)
If we dump Matt Clement's body off the Brookline avenue bridge by fenway and onto the outgoing lane of the mass pike, it might appease the mighty Gods of Effective Relief Pitching (GERPs) and our bullpen woes will be gone.

Funny. I was actually advocating for the Sox to sign him to a 1 year/1.5 million dollar contract for 2008 earlier tonight.
   45. philly Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:49 AM (#2255124)
I like this setup corps alright. Timlin/Delcarmen/Okajima seem fine as the 2-4 arms.

Really? Timlin may very well be cooked. Delcarmen looks ok with some rough control from time to time. Okajima is pretty close to a blank slate.

Fine because the rotation and lineup will be very good, I'll buy. Fine in and of themselves, not so much.
   46. Darren Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:50 AM (#2255125)
In case anyone can't tell, I'm just yanking kevin's chain.
   47. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:52 AM (#2255127)
Darren, I'll have what you're smoking.

Did Florida's accomplishments this past season just fly completely under your radar or something?

Or Detroit's, for that matter?


The Fish didn't accomplish anything. Los Tigres OTOH...

...had Magglio and Pudge; among others.
   48. Darren Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:52 AM (#2255128)
Funny. I was actually advocating for the Sox to sign him to a 1 year/1.5 million dollar contract for 2008 earlier tonight.

Why? Just because he was a good pitcher for 4 out of the past 5 years? You should really let your emotions rule your judgement a bit more.
   49. Nasty Nate Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:53 AM (#2255129)
i think kevin was the only one who didnt notice
   50. Nasty Nate Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:55 AM (#2255131)
Funny. I was actually advocating for the Sox to sign him to a 1 year/1.5 million dollar contract for 2008 earlier tonight.


BLASPHEMY !!

Why? Just because he was a good pitcher for 4 out of the past 5 years? You should really let your emotions rule your judgement a bit more.


HERETIC !!
   51. Darren Posted: December 08, 2006 at 05:04 AM (#2255140)
I don't think Hansen's a given on the roster. He just wasn't very good last year. I have a lot more faith in Delcarmen.
   52. Darren Posted: December 08, 2006 at 05:06 AM (#2255143)
kevin,

Two spots in the pen will probably be set aside for youngsters. If they blossom, they'll be the key guys. There's going to be plenty of opportunity, just like there was plenty of opportunity for Pap to blossom last year and everyone else to fall on their faces.
   53. Xander Posted: December 08, 2006 at 05:09 AM (#2255150)
I think Hansack can be a good long man. Actually I think he can be a decent back of the rotation starter. But I don't see him getting that opportunity with us.
   54. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 08, 2006 at 05:10 AM (#2255151)
The Run Fairy$trade;

*sigh*

"BBTF's HTML Therapy Discussion:: I don't get it"
   55. Darren Posted: December 08, 2006 at 05:11 AM (#2255153)
I think Hansack can be a good long man. Actually I think he can be a decent back of the rotation starter. But I don't see him getting that opportunity with us.

Damn, we should have traded him to Seattle for Soriano!
   56. chris p Posted: December 08, 2006 at 05:18 AM (#2255162)
Darren, I'll have what you're smoking.

that's especially funny b/c i know what you look like.
   57. chris p Posted: December 08, 2006 at 05:21 AM (#2255166)
Hansen has closer stuff. Delcarmen has #2 stuff,

both guys need their breaking balls to be effective. i haven't seen enough of hansen's slider. does it even exist? delcarmen is a very good reliever WHEN he can spot the curveball.
   58. Darren Posted: December 08, 2006 at 05:24 AM (#2255171)
chris p, I've always liked your nickname-making ability, especially for yourself.
   59. chris p Posted: December 08, 2006 at 05:34 AM (#2255192)
right. i promised you a new handle, didn't i. hmmm.
   60. tfbg9 Posted: December 08, 2006 at 05:50 AM (#2255213)
"Not to derail this thread, but


BTF nicknames:

The Run Fairy$trade;

...
...
...

everything since"

I liked "Dorf" for Loretta.
Cappy Jarhead? The Pantload? Freddy Kruger?

On the MFY side of things...The Chinless Wonder? Chokey McFivetools (tfbg9's personal fav)?

And I hope the Papalbon to the rotation thing works out, but I'm afraid this is a case of trying to get a little too cute-the guy was just clearly incredible out of the pen, so he gets hurt-I mean guys do get hurt-an they say they know exactly why he got hurt, and they scrap that role for him? Color me really skeptical on the Papelbon move.
   61. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: December 08, 2006 at 06:14 AM (#2255236)
Los Tigres OTOH...

...had Magglio and Pudge; among others.


Well, yeah: no one wins a pennant running out nine rookies. Young players who made valuable contributions to the 2006 Tigers include, however: Verlander, Bonderman, Zumaya, Granderson, Shelton, Miner, Rodney, Ledezma, Infante

Just a little bit older, and still very cheap: Inge, Monroe, Thames, Robertson.

Filling that many roster spots with quality cheap guys does give you a lot of room in building a team, which I believe was kevin's point. Now why the hell is Sean Casey playing 1B again?
   62. Darren Posted: December 08, 2006 at 12:29 PM (#2255335)
And yet with all those young talents, their closer was 500-year-old Todd Jones.
   63. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: December 08, 2006 at 01:42 PM (#2255342)
Filling that many roster spots with quality cheap guys does give you a lot of room in building a team, which I believe was kevin's point.


True, true. That was the Ten Penny Ale speaking on my behalf last nite.
   64. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 08, 2006 at 02:41 PM (#2255358)
They were able to challenge for a playoff spot with a payroll less than what A-Rod makes.


Not to denigrate what the Marlins did, but a large part of this was the result of playing in a division (and, one might argue, a league) that had exactly one quality team.

-- MWE
   65. JC in DC Posted: December 08, 2006 at 03:06 PM (#2255371)
The Yankees are trapped in a vicious cycle? Is that the cycle that has you winning around 95 games a year and your division routinely? I'd take a vicious cycle like that!
   66. Josh Posted: December 08, 2006 at 03:21 PM (#2255386)
I think the strategy this offseason is pretty easy to identify, and not particularly interesting.

(1) Identify the best OFer, best SS, and best starting pitcher.

(2) Pay $$ for the best OFer, best SS, and best starting pitcher.

(3) Conquer the world.

I think 2.5, in their ideal world, appears to be "identify the best relief ace/pay $$ for best relief ace." I'd guess that Okaji will be the 3rd or so best non-closer reliever who switched teams this offseason, so I suppose that can be added in their. (Though, he was a el cheapo buy.)

The interesting thing is that I recall reading or listening to an interview of Theo a few weeks ago, before the FA season. Theo was asked what he planned to do. He came pretty close to saying that he wanted to identify the cheaper, harder to find talent, a la 2003. Clearly, that was BS. The minor-league FAs have been pretty scant, and the roster is full enough that there isn't much room for experimentation. Now, in terms of identifying more WINS, this is probably the better way to do things. It certainly is expensive, though.

That all said, Schil's $13mm comes off the books next year, Timlin probably won't be back again, Taverez goes away, Hinske is gone, and Lowell is unlikely to be resigned (please). That is about $31mm to take a bath in. Plus, by 2008, Hansen, Cox, and Ellsbury will likely be moderately useful players, at the least. But, there is really no need to require them to be more - well, I suppose that is certainly true for Ellsbury, though I guess Cox/Hansen will need to step into the Timlin/Taverez spots. But, if Ellsbury can be a useful player in 2008, then Cris/Pena move to LF, and share time with the deer-chaser in CF. And we have another Manny saga.

The team is set to have contracts come off the books continuously, and if we assume a 5-10% increase in salaries (the Tax level increase by about that much), then there could be another $40mm or so the spend in 2008 - even if Manny, Crisp/Pena, etc, aren't moved. And an similar number for 2009. (Though, probably a bit less, depending on what happens next year.)

All said, it looks like a plan to me. Just an expensive one. Billy Beane, eat your heart out.
   67. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 08, 2006 at 03:24 PM (#2255390)
The Yankees are trapped in a vicious cycle? Is that the cycle that has you winning around 95 games a year and your division routinely? I'd take a vicious cycle like that!

You know, I don't agree with JC much, but he's dead on about this one. Remember when Prospectus was saying that the Yankees would soon be in a down cycle a la the mid 80s? I could see the Yankees having a down year (85 wins) in the next few, where they get hit by injuries and guys have off years, but it would be a blip, and I certainly wouldn't bet on it happening.
   68. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 08, 2006 at 03:25 PM (#2255394)
{{any bbtf discussion that mentions Mark Smellhorn draws me in}}

Mark Bellhorn. There's a guy who could really help out the team who we should acquire!
   69. chris p Posted: December 08, 2006 at 04:55 PM (#2255470)
what's a bellhorn?
   70. PJ Martinez Posted: December 08, 2006 at 05:10 PM (#2255484)
One factor in the Yankees avoiding that downturn, though, at least last year, was their stubborn refusal the year before to trade either Cano or Wang. At the time, I thought it was a little silly, since neither player looked that great to me. Well, they proved me wrong last year.

Obviously, the larger factor is all the superstars they're paying 13-17 million dollars to. But even the Yankees have had to identify key young talent to stay on top.

This obviously isn't an either/or. You do both. When it comes to this year's bullpen, it's not immediately clear that the veteran FA solutions are any better than what the Sox already have. But, as I think MCoA pointed out above, there's still room for one or two more arms in the pen without blocking anybody. So if there's no appealing trade, and if they can afford it (and neither of those things is a given, of course), signing one or two more arms probably makes sense.
   71. John DiFool2 Posted: December 08, 2006 at 05:18 PM (#2255502)
Plus, by 2008, Hansen, Cox, and Ellsbury will likely be moderately useful players, at the least. But, there is really no need to require them to be more - well, I suppose that is certainly true for Ellsbury, though I guess Cox/Hansen will need to step into the Timlin/Taverez spots. But, if Ellsbury can be a useful player in 2008, then Cris/Pena move to LF, and share time with the deer-chaser in CF. And we have another Manny saga.

The signings of Lugo, Drew, and/or Matsuzaka will keep the club in a holding pattern, being neither significantly
better or significantly worse than the guys they're replacing (tho that is likely untrue in the latter case-M. likely
will be quite a bit better than Clement was). If this team is to clearly become the best team in the league it
will have to see significant development by their young players (in which I include Beckett and Crisp BTW).
   72. PJ Martinez Posted: December 08, 2006 at 05:22 PM (#2255507)
Drew is not significantly better than Nixon? Lugo is not significantly better than Gonzalez? And DM is not likely to be significantly better than every non-Schilling pitcher they had last year?

I agree that Beckett and Crisp and probably Hansen need to improve to really take this team back to the top, though.
   73. PJ Martinez Posted: December 08, 2006 at 06:54 PM (#2255615)
I missed this piece of good if not shocking news (from Rotoworld via SoSH):

"Red Sox manager Terry Francona has indicated that he’ll probably go with Julio Lugo and Kevin Youkilis at the top of the order next season."

As mentioned in another thread, this is what I expected-- not exactly what I wanted (Drew up top, Lugo near the end), but also not what I feared (Crisp up top).

Another interesting lineup tidbit, from Eric Van (I guess "BJ" is Bill James?):

"2006 Baserunning numbers from BJ (not adjusted for PT):

Lugo +9
Youkils +11
Ortiz 0
Ramirez -11
Drew +8
Lowell -14
Varitek 0
Crisp +11
Pedroia N/A

Pena +3"

I don't know anything about how these numbers are calculated, but apart from Youkilis, they pretty much reflect my own impressions (I didn't think Youkilis was bad, but I'm surprised his number is higher than Drew's and equal to Coco's). Does Varitek make up for his slowness with baserunning intelligence, or is he simply not as slow as Mike "Molasses" Lowell?

I don't imagine Pedroia's numbers will be good, but, then, neither were Loretta's, I'm guessing.
   74. villageidiom Posted: December 08, 2006 at 08:25 PM (#2255705)
My Mark Loretta nickname didn't stick too.

"Slowest Skinny White Guy EVER" didnt' stick.


John Olerud is slower, skinnier, and whiter.

Timlin may very well be cooked.

I'm sure he would have been fine if not for his participation in the WBC. He ran out of gas early.

At the moment, the only relatively sure things on the roster are Timlin, Delcarmen, Okajima, Tavarez, and Hansen.

They Rule 5'ed Nick Debarr from Tampa, too. Don't know if he'll stick, but for now I think they just need to get a closer and move on.

There’s no closer. There’s no reliable setup man. There’s no backup catcher (unless you think Kotteras is ready).

It's DECEMBER. Unless they're going for elite free agents, they have plenty of time to fill remaining spots.
   75. Josh Posted: December 08, 2006 at 08:42 PM (#2255720)
Just to add to this momentarily - it would probably be a bad idea to sign a significant backup prior to the non-tender date. For example, Hall will probably be nontendered, and I'm not sure that he is worse than any other catcher out there. With no real starting jobs left, seems like he'll have to settle to be a backup.
   76. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: December 08, 2006 at 08:45 PM (#2255723)
Among MDC, Hansen, Gabbard, Clement, even Timlin, there must be someone who can do a passable job.


Why does clement's name come up in every potential roster thread? His shoulder was shredded. The doctors went in to fix one thing and found another injury in addition.
   77. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 08, 2006 at 08:51 PM (#2255728)
I'm sure he would have been fine if not for his participation in the WBC. He ran out of gas early.
I've never understood this line of thought. Timlin ran out of gas in July. How much could his WBC work really have done? Instead of fading slightly in the last month of the season as might otherwise be expected, it caused him to totally #### the bed for three straight months? That just seems hugely implausible to me.
   78. RobertMachemer Posted: December 08, 2006 at 09:08 PM (#2255738)
Using a different website as source, here's the current payroll situation:

pos player    '06-Sal
C:  Varitek    9.0
1B: Youkilis  minimum+
2B: Pedroia   minimum
SS: Lugo       9.0?
3B: Lowell     9.0
LF: Ramirez   18.0
CF: Crisp      3.5
RF: Drew      14.0?
DH: Ortiz     12.5

C:  Kotteras? minimum
UT: Cora       2.0
UT: Hinske     2.8
OF: Pena       2-3?
UT?: 

SP: 
SP: Schilling 13.0
SP: Papelbon  minimum+
SP: Beckett    6.0
SP: Wakefield  4.0

RP: 
RP: Timlin     2.8
RP: Tavarez    3.1
RP: Okajima    1.25
RP: Delcarmen  minimum+
RP:
RP?:

DL: Clement    9.5
DL: Lester     minimum 


The current payroll, unless I've missed something, is around $124 million, give or take a million or two. (Matsuzaka still isn't signed. The bullpen needs rounding out).

What I'd be trying to do right now is trade Lowell for someone who can platoon at first base with Hinske and/or a decent relief pitcher. The pen doesn't look bad, as of right now, but it definitely looks mediocre (the only pitcher in there who my WFG projection system thinks will be "good" is Delcarmen) and the Sox could use another "good" pitcher, regardless of whether or not the Sox sign a free agent to go in the pen.

The real problem is the current lack of depth among the pitchers. With Clement and Lester out (and it's nice that Lester's feeling better, but until he actually starts throwing, he's just another Andy Yount/Juan Pena), the 6th and 7th starters are people like Hansack and Snyder and DiNardo. Much as I have liked DiNardo, I don't think the Sox can count on an 80 ERA+ from any of the three of them, at least at this point.

What's the latest on Tomo Ohka? Isn't he a free agent? Given what some mediocre pitchers have been getting, Ohka ought to make a killing on this market (if he's relatively healthy and a free agent).
   79. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 08, 2006 at 09:08 PM (#2255740)
it caused him to totally #### the bed for three straight months
Eh, he was pretty ok in September, and he was throwing 91-94 with good sink. I think he's gonna be fine. They don't really make relievers more reliable than Timlin, anyway. As these things go, I'm pretty confident in each of Timlin, Delcarmen and Okajima.

It's not a great collection of set-up men, but it's not at all bad compared to what they've had in previous years. Just need one more arm, and I think it'll be a competent group.
   80. RobertMachemer Posted: December 08, 2006 at 09:15 PM (#2255747)
Aargh, that should read '07-Sal, of course. Let's do the time-warp again...
   81. Josh Posted: December 08, 2006 at 09:30 PM (#2255753)
I'm pretty sure I mentioned this before, but you shouldn't take the actual yearly salary of the players. Rather, take the AAV - totaly salary (including deferred comp and bonus), avg by year. This is more complicated by option years, but if we are ignoring that, I'm pretty sure for Lux Tax purposes Manny is a $20mm AAV, 'Tek is a $10mm AAV, etc.

However, upon thinking about this, we should call Hinkse's salary $150k because his AAV would be $2.95mm, but Tor pays $2.8mm. Thus, while his actual expense is $2.8mm, his AAV is (for payroll tax purposes) only $150k. See CBA Art. XXIII, and esp (C)(2)(b).
   82. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 08, 2006 at 09:33 PM (#2255754)
Rather, take the AAV - totaly salary (including deferred comp and bonus), avg by year. This is more complicated by option years, but if we are ignoring that, I'm pretty sure for Lux Tax purposes Manny is a $20mm AAV, 'Tek is a $10mm AAV, etc.
I know that Manny is technically ~$18M per season, a little less, becuase of all the deferred payments. Don't know about Tek.
   83. Josh Posted: December 08, 2006 at 09:41 PM (#2255761)
Deferred payments are included, aren't they? I k now I'm reading this quickly, but XXIII(E)(6)(b)(1) seems to say yes (though, we don't how precisely how to do this b/c we don't have the contract):

"Deferred Compensation shall be included in a Player’s Salary as if paid in the championship season to which it is attributed under a Uniform Player’s Contract. If a Contract does not attribute Deferred Compensation, the Contract shall be treated as if the Deferred Compensation was attributed equally to each of the Guaranteed Years in the Contract."
   84. John DiFool2 Posted: December 08, 2006 at 09:52 PM (#2255772)
Drew is not significantly better than Nixon? Lugo is not significantly better than Gonzalez? And DM is not likely to be significantly better than every non-Schilling pitcher they had last year?


Drew is almost exactly what the Sox had in Nixon: a left-handed RF with good D, medium range power, good average and is injury-prone. Drew has the advantage of
being 1 1/2 years younger. Nixon is #1 on Drew's most similar list, and Drew is #8 on Nixon's list. Drew has shown he is a somewhat better hitter than Nixon
yes but not significantly better-maybe an extra WARP or 2 assuming both are healthy. Nixon hasn't aged well but Drew could fall off that cliff too.

Lugo is also a better hitter but I dunno if Gonzalez's D helps make up for that or not; either it's close to a push or Lugo has a reasonable but not huge edge.

Even if they are both much better looking back, aging might reduce or eliminate that edge going forward. Point is neither of these guys is going to make a huge

Last point is a straw man: looks that way but no guarantees as the translations from Japan to MLB and back aren't as clear as a prior MLB track record.
   85. John DiFool2 Posted: December 08, 2006 at 09:54 PM (#2255774)
Err...(pentultimate line): Neither guy is going to make a huge difference from last year to this year; to get the extra five or so wins they need to leapfrog the Yankees
most of the improvement must come from the young guys.
   86. Nasty Nate Posted: December 08, 2006 at 10:05 PM (#2255780)
Lugo is also a better hitter but I dunno if Gonzalez's D helps make up for that or not; either it's close to a push or Lugo has a reasonable but not huge edge.


We have do also factor in Lugo's superior durability. He is a much better bet than A~Gon to give 155 games a year.

also I would assume his baserunning is better
   87. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 08, 2006 at 10:07 PM (#2255783)
Drew is almost exactly what the Sox had in Nixon: a left-handed RF with good D, medium range power, good average and is injury-prone.
I guess that's true, but it doesn't really speak to what they're projected to do. Drew's numbers over the last couple year simply dwarf Nixon's.
   88. RobertMachemer Posted: December 08, 2006 at 10:10 PM (#2255787)
I'm pretty sure I mentioned this before, but you shouldn't take the actual yearly salary of the players. Rather, take the AAV - totaly salary (including deferred comp and bonus), avg by year. This is more complicated by option years, but if we are ignoring that, I'm pretty sure for Lux Tax purposes Manny is a $20mm AAV, 'Tek is a $10mm AAV, etc.
I saw where you mentioned it before. And you're welcome to make those calculations if you want -- I'm not nearly as industrious.
   89. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 08, 2006 at 10:12 PM (#2255791)
Year-by-year difference in RARP...

2006 Drew +23
2005 Drew +8
2004 Drew +66
2003 Nixon +25
   90. Josh Posted: December 08, 2006 at 10:18 PM (#2255796)
I'm not nearly as industrious.


Me neither :-( But, I'm good at nit picking! (Sorry, btw.)

2007 proj: Drew + Lugo = (at least) 3 Wins + Nixon + AGon.
   91. NBarnes Posted: December 10, 2006 at 09:09 AM (#2256959)
There's no such thing as a 'sure thing' in the bullpen. And those who are 'sure things' generally don't get traded (unless you're Bill Bavasi on a bender, and even Rafael Soriano is a grade-A injury risk). And people who are asking for bullpen help say we need... Eric Gagne? Uh, I thought you wanted a 'sure thing', not a guy that's missed the last two seasons?

If one is of the opinion that Epstein needs to do something about the bullpen, I think one needs to give a general idea of what and who would be involved in this 'something'. It would help if that 'something' was a plan appropriately designed to be sensitive to the very real facts of reliever volatility and the benefits of building cheap, young bullpens.
   92. RobertMachemer Posted: December 10, 2006 at 05:17 PM (#2257075)
There's no such thing as a 'sure thing' in the bullpen. And those who are 'sure things' generally don't get traded (unless you're Bill Bavasi on a bender, and even Rafael Soriano is a grade-A injury risk). And people who are asking for bullpen help say we need... Eric Gagne? Uh, I thought you wanted a 'sure thing', not a guy that's missed the last two seasons?

If one is of the opinion that Epstein needs to do something about the bullpen, I think one needs to give a general idea of what and who would be involved in this 'something'. It would help if that 'something' was a plan appropriately designed to be sensitive to the very real facts of reliever volatility and the benefits of building cheap, young bullpens.
This is fair. That said, at this point, the Sox have a bullpen of...

Timlin, Tavarez, Okajima, Delcarmen

...with pitchers like...

Breslow, Hansack, DiNardo, Lopez? (is he still here?), Hansen, and Snyder

fighting for the last 2-3 slots. (I may well be forgetting a few pitchers). If the Sox can't, say, trade Lowell for another Tavarez/Seanez type (a veteran who has pitched well recently and whose only indication that he's going to pitch poorly this year will inevitably be that he's wearing the Red Sox ballcap), then, the Sox should instead look to improve the offense/payroll efficiency: trade for a Hinske platoon partner and punt the bullpen, hoping that pitchers like DiNardo and Hansen and Delcarmen pitch like they did in the minors while figuring that if nothing else, they'll cost nothing else.
   93. RobertMachemer Posted: December 10, 2006 at 05:22 PM (#2257080)
In fact, that would be a fun game to play when we get closer to spring training: everyone picks four relievers in baseball with suitably mediocre recent pasts. Winner is the one with the best overall ERA+. (Alternately, everyone who does better than the Red Sox wins).
   94. PJ Martinez Posted: December 14, 2006 at 03:02 AM (#2260835)
Does this guy have any credibility?

http://blogs.chron.com/lopezblog/archives/2006/12/red_sox_to_be_c.html

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