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   1. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 22, 2011 at 03:03 PM (#4021707)
Even if you think Reddick's 2011 was for real I think it makes sense to move him or Kalish. I think the best use of the non-starter in right is as a trade chip. There is an element of risk to it if they get it wrong but I think Kalish/Bailey or Reddick/Bailey is better than Kalish/Reddick/generic reliever. I think regardless of whether they make a deal they need to add a right fielder of some ability as a just in case. No matter how high you are on either Reddick/Kalish I think a contingency plan has to be in place.

I'm not saying they should just give Reddick away for the best deal they can get, they should deal him for someone they want but I'm a huge Bailey fan. The other thing about Reddick is that he will use his last option this year in all likelihood so the options involving him get a bit less after this season.

If I was Cherington I'd be dangling Middlebrooks anywhere I could, I don't think his value goes anywhere but down from where it is now.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 22, 2011 at 03:24 PM (#4021720)
Hire Bob McClure!
   3. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: December 22, 2011 at 03:39 PM (#4021738)
unless you think Reddick’s 2012 was a big fluke.

Woah! I know I slept in late this morning, but woah!
   4. Darren Posted: December 22, 2011 at 04:33 PM (#4021800)
Two points on Edwin Jackson:

--Your pitching post appeared to have math error in his portion:
"+3 RAA + 26 Rep = +39 RAR, 1/14, 3/36, 5/50 – Jackson"

Still likely to be a good value, but not that good. For some reason, I had written him off around 2008 and hadn't really paid attention to his numbers since. He looks like a really good option for someone.

--I bet he'd get a lot of attention if he were living in a cave on Mars.

On Yu, I think 6/110 (including posting fee, right?) looks like a good deal, given SG's translations. If they could afford that for someone, he'd be a good use of it, particularly given the salary cap implications.
   5. Darren Posted: December 22, 2011 at 04:44 PM (#4021809)
It's sorta sad that the Sox shed about a billion off the payroll and still are pushing right up against the cap. It goes to show how much dead weight was on the roster. Of course, it would have a completely different feel to it if we had just had an exciting playoff run in 2011, fueled by the awesome performances of Carl Crawford and John Lackey (and solidly good Dice K and budding star Iglesias), who we could look forward to years of excellence from. If that were the case (and I'm sure this was the plan), an inability to land a big FA this year wouldn't seem like a big deal.
   6. tfbg9 Posted: December 22, 2011 at 04:46 PM (#4021818)
Edit: remove joke post-Darren thought of joke first.

/shakes fist towards CT...
   7. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 22, 2011 at 04:50 PM (#4021826)
--Your pitching post appeared to have math error in his portion:
"+3 RAA + 26 Rep = +39 RAR, 1/14, 3/36, 5/50 – Jackson"
The "39" is a typo. +29 RAR - what it should have read - projects to a contract a little under $15M for one year.
   8. Darren Posted: December 22, 2011 at 04:50 PM (#4021828)
I do think that with Reddick/Middlebrooks/??? the Sox have the makings of a package that a) doesn't hurt them much to lose and b) would be attractive enough to land a good, cost-controlled player. We'll see if anyone matches up well.
   9. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 22, 2011 at 04:51 PM (#4021831)
Obviously the (purely hypothetical) Martian Jackson has mind powers to protect him from the prying eyes of the press.
   10. Darren Posted: December 22, 2011 at 04:54 PM (#4021837)
Thanks for the clarification. That makes sense. I can't imagine him getting that. Why don't people like him? Is he a jerk? Did people give up on him too early, as I did?

[Edit: This is a response to #7, not #9. But damn, it's way funnier as the latter.]
   11. tfbg9 Posted: December 22, 2011 at 04:58 PM (#4021841)
9) Nah. Wouldn't matter, a story of that magnitude is gonna get out...one way or another.
   12. ray james Posted: December 22, 2011 at 05:00 PM (#4021843)
I want to see what Kalish looks like in ST before I contemplate a trade. Despite what Reddick did in '11, I think I still like Kalish better if he comes back healthy.
   13. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: December 22, 2011 at 05:01 PM (#4021846)
I can't imagine him getting that. Why don't people like him? Is he a jerk? Did people give up on him too early, as I did?


He has Boras as his agent, so I'm thinking he's going to be paid well. I also suspect that Boras was waiting for Darvish and Wilson to come off the market before he started talking up Jackson.
   14. Nasty Nate Posted: December 22, 2011 at 05:10 PM (#4021856)
It's sorta sad that the Sox shed about a billion off the payroll and still are pushing right up against the cap.


I was going to ask whose contract besides Papelbon did they lose, but I realized that I had forgotten about Drew. It's sad that he ended his Sox years with such a pitiful and forgetful season, but also funny that in his one awful season he actually didn't receive much mainstream criticism for a change.
   15. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 22, 2011 at 05:17 PM (#4021862)
Cameron, too. Between Papelbon, Drew, and Cameron they cut $32M in payroll. The problem is two things. First, they signed Gonzalez and Buccholz to midseason extensions that didn't count toward the 2010 luxury tax payroll, and so add over $20M to the luxury tax calculation for next year. Second, almost every young player on the team is up for arbitration (Ellsbury, Bard, Saltalamacchia, Aceves, Morales, Albers, and Aviles), which adds another $15M or so.
   16. John DiFool2 Posted: December 22, 2011 at 06:42 PM (#4021968)
I too would shop Middlebrooks around aggressively-I think the Sox are fooling themselves if they think he'll ever help them.
   17. tfbg9 Posted: December 23, 2011 at 03:27 AM (#4022440)
Well, I'm glad Ben didn't bite on that Gio Gonzalez deal. Man! He'd really have had to give up a King's Ransom, it appears.
Sometimes the best deals are the ones yadda yadda etc.
   18. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 23, 2011 at 02:02 PM (#4022551)
As AG#1F noted, the next thing the Sox did was to hire Bob McClure to be their pitching coach. McClure spent six years in Kansas City, leading two average staffs (2007 and 2008), two below average staffs (2011 and 2009), and two disasters (2010 and 2006). You can't really blame a guy for not getting ace-level work out of Dayton Moore's fun-time baseball-approximating talent exhibition, but those two disaster years kind of stand out. A good coach should be able to prevent that.

Hopefully it's a good call, and there's some happy talk around the interwebs about how McClure helped shape Greinke into an ace and everyone in baseball loves him. I certainly don't know enough to judge, but McClure's resume is not impressive.
   19. Jim Wisinski Posted: December 26, 2011 at 04:07 AM (#4023393)
unless you think Reddick’s 2012 was a big fluke.


Woah! I know I slept in late this morning, but woah!


I really like his chances of putting up those numbers again in the future.

Thanks for the clarification. That makes sense. I can't imagine him getting that. Why don't people like him? Is he a jerk? Did people give up on him too early, as I did?


I've never heard anything but extremely positive things about Jackson as a person from his time with the Rays.
   20. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 28, 2011 at 10:48 PM (#4024597)
Olney reporting Reddick going to Oakland for Andrew Bailey. I love Bailey and I think Reddick is a bit overrated so I like this deal. I am assuming we are giving something else so I'll be curious to see what that is.
   21. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 28, 2011 at 11:01 PM (#4024607)
Miles Head and Raul Alcantara join Reddick heading out, Ryan Sweeney comes back.
   22. Davo Dozier (Mastroianni) Posted: December 28, 2011 at 11:03 PM (#4024611)
I think they're gonna trade Reddick for Bailey next.
   23. Nasty Nate Posted: December 28, 2011 at 11:05 PM (#4024613)
Bailey Savings and Loan...

This makes it more likely that the Aceves/Bard to rotation thing actually happens.

rotation - Lester, Buccholz, even-year-Beckett, Aceves, Bard

bullpen - Bailey, Melancon, Jenks, Albers et al...

Could this also mean that the Sox would be in on Yoenis Cespedes?

Okie signs with NYY
   24. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 28, 2011 at 11:07 PM (#4024623)
Okie signs with NYY
Ah, filling the Mike Myers role of once-great Boston LOOGY
   25. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 28, 2011 at 11:20 PM (#4024640)
This makes it more likely that the Aceves/Bard to rotation thing actually happens.


I agree with you but I hope it does not close the door on Bard as a reliever. With Melancon-Bard-Bailey (whatever order you want) you've got some weapons out there so you can probably piece games together a bit. That gives the Sox some wiggle room on the fifth starter to take a shot with Doubront/Tazawa or a lower end free agent (whatever this year's Freddy Garcia might be).
   26. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 28, 2011 at 11:45 PM (#4024666)
That gives the Sox some wiggle room on the fifth starter to take a shot with Doubront/Tazawa or a lower end free agent (whatever this year's Freddy Garcia might be).
I think the only problem with that is signing this year's Freddy Garcia is really hard as the Yankees--come on down, Tim Redding--or Red Sox--Penny, Smoltz, Wade Miller, etc.--can tell you. And if you've moved Bard to the pen, and the fifth starter options blow up, then that's the worst scenario. Now, obviously, it's also the worst case scenario, but I don't think I'd want to try to fool around with my rotation just for the sake of having three great relievers.

(Of course, I suppose the counter-argument is that Bard is also kind of fooling around with the rotation, to which I can only say fair enough.)
   27. Joel W Posted: December 29, 2011 at 12:00 AM (#4024676)
So when do we sign Cody Ross to play right?
   28. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 29, 2011 at 01:04 AM (#4024727)
Could this also mean that the Sox would be in on Yoenis Cespedes?
The acquisition of Sweeney suggests to me the Sox are still planning to have a RF platoon, and aren't willing to commit to Kalish yet as the LH side of that platoon. But Sweeney's the sort of guy the Sox could drop or shift to 4th OF if they get a better option.
   29. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 29, 2011 at 01:06 AM (#4024729)
Also, I'm pretty sure the Sox are still under the cap - they should be able to acquire one more SP. I don't want to see the Sox go into spring committed to both of Bard and Aceves, with Doubront as backup.
   30. Mike Webber Posted: December 29, 2011 at 05:34 PM (#4025098)
@18
McClure spent six years in Kansas City, leading two average staffs (2007 and 2008), two below average staffs (2011 and 2009), and two disasters (2010 and 2006)


Few days late on this, but wanted to comment
That 2010 team had an awful defense, the defensive leaders by innings played were, Yuni Betancourt, Billy Butler, Jason Kendall, Mitch Maier, Scott Podsednik and Alberto Callaspo. Maier is the only one of those guys that isn't an awful defender. In fact according to BIS Defensive Runs Saved, the 13 defenders with most defensive innings for that Royals team were all negative.
Not to say the pitching wasn't lousy too, but any pitcher without Randy Johnson's K rate is getting hosed with that defense behind him.

The 2006 defense wasn't that bad, but the left side of the infield was Berroa and Teahen, not the most mobile group. I'm pretty sure that was the year Esteban German had a fly ball bounce off his chest in center. The starting staff was Mark Redman, Scott Elarton, Runelvys Hernandez, Luke Hudson and Odalis Perez. Plus 58 starts from guys that weren't as good as that bunch.

Bob McClure not fixing those situations is certainly understandable. I think he will be very good with this level of athlete.
   31. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 29, 2011 at 05:43 PM (#4025107)
Thanks Mike. That does make me feel a little better.
   32. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 02, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4052117)
Edwin Jackson to the Nationals. 3 guesses who broke the story about this Boras client and the first two don't count.

I think the response to the title of this thread is "nothing." It is starting to become clear that the Sox are going with Beckett-Lester-Buchholz-Bard-Whoever and come what may. I don't understand how a team can suffer the catastrophic collapse of last year entirely because the pitching pukes on itself for 4 weeks and then do nothing to augment the staff. There is just too much faith being put in a return to health for Buchholz and the ability of Bard to adjust to being a starter for my taste.

I'm still moderately hopeful for this season. The offesne is terrific and Beckett/Lester/Buchholz (if healthy) is a terrific start to a rotation. There is no fallback though, if that group doesn't deliver this team is going to be a HUGE disappointment.

End of rant. I'll be more optimistic tomorrow.
   33. Nasty Nate Posted: February 02, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4052132)
I don't understand how a team can suffer the catastrophic collapse of last year entirely because the pitching pukes on itself for 4 weeks and then do nothing to augment the staff.


They didn't exactly "do nothing," they acquired Melancon and Bailey, pushing Bard and Aceves into the rotation. And of course the big addition by subtraction: carving up that ####### Lackey.
   34. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: February 02, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4052136)
Oof. Well, despite losing out on Jackson, I still have a weird sense of optimism that at least one of Bard/Aceves and the crap brigade will be a decent pitcher, while the rotating 5th starter will probably suck all year. A team with a good offense should be able to carry a crappy 5th starter.

The Patriots are still going to lose badly on Sunday, though.
   35. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 02, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4052139)
Ben Cherington agrees - not with the pessimism, but that not much else is coming.
“We wouldn’t rule out adding a starter, but I think it’s unlikely at this point,” Cherington said at Worcester Tech High School before the filming of a NESN Hot Stove special that will air Thursday night. “We’re going to keep looking for ways to improve the team, including the pitching staff, but I wouldn’t expect any major changes between now and the report date.”
It should be noted, of course, that this is basically what Theo Epstein said about the lineup last December, a day or two before signing Crawford.

But taking Cherington as his word, I mean, I'm torn. It's certainly not unreasonable to imagine this all working out. The club should project into the low 90s in wins, and if they're right about the Bard and Aceves conversions, a 95-win projection could at least be argued. My problem is that it's very hard to integrate the Scutaro trade into any kind of coherent narrative of a carefully-planned offseason, unless there's another good-sized shoe to drop. And not being able to limn out a larger plan makes it harder for me to trust that all the little plans that make up an offseason have been well and rightly chosen.
   36. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 02, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4052140)
I don't see how Melancon+Bailey can be viewed as anything better than even steven with Papelbon+Bard and I think calling it a wash is a pretty huge reach.

You're right though. One of the benefits of this rotation is that they aren't going to be committed to craptasticness. Aaron Cook won't get 28 starts if he's putting up numbers like Lackey did. Hell, if they can get a 5.00 ERA out of those 4/5 spots that's a huge upgrade over last year.

30 days 'til the BC game at JetBlue Park.
   37. Nasty Nate Posted: February 02, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4052160)
I don't see how Melancon+Bailey can be viewed as anything better than even steven with Papelbon+Bard and I think calling it a wash is a pretty huge reach.


They lost Papelbon from the pitching staff, but not Bard.
   38. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 02, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4052169)
They lost Papelbon from the pitching staff, but not Bard.


No but they lost him from the bullpen. The fact is that they had to replace their two best relievers which is what Bailey/Melancon do. The issue is whether or not Bard can be an upgrade over their #4 rotation slot.
   39. Nasty Nate Posted: February 02, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4052184)
I guess we're splitting hairs here, but I was just disputing that they stood pat or didn't augment the pitching this offseason. They did add to their staff, although in an unexpected way and maybe insufficiently.

   40. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 02, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4052218)
They did add to their staff, although in an unexpected way and maybe insufficiently.


Yeah you're right. I just think they needed a 200 inning guy and adding Bard The Starter does not address that need with the level of certainty I was hoping for.
   41. Nasty Nate Posted: February 02, 2012 at 05:28 PM (#4052235)
I think we all anticipated them acquiring an established SP externally and then either making Bard the closer or signing a Madson type. The route they have taken instead is certainly a gamble, but goddamnit fortune favors the bold.

Bard's conversion will mirror that of D-Lowe's in 2002, and Aceves is 24-3 in the first 240 innings of his career, which is like a Jack Morris level 7 of knowing-how-to-winningness. I'm forcing the optimism here, obviously, but it seems like the recent very good reliever to starter conversions have worked well in the few cases it has been tried recently. I wonder if it would make sense for the Brewers to try it with K-Rod...
   42. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 02, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4052241)
What's the take on Aceves? I'm operating on the assumption that he will be in the bullpen to start the year. I think I'd feel better with him in the rotation but part of my frustration is that I don't think that will happen. Despite his lesser numbers as a starter I think that's a better role for him.
   43. Nasty Nate Posted: February 02, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4052250)
Who's the fifth guy in the rotation if Aceves is a reliever?
   44. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 02, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4052269)
Who's the fifth guy in the rotation if Aceves is a reliever?


Aaron Cook/Junichi Tazawa/Felix Doubront/Chuck Rainey

Hence my concerns if Aceves is in the bullpen. The problem is if he is in the rotation the bullpen looks thin to me;

Bailey
Melancon
Albers
Morales
Bowden
Doubront (both Bowden and Doubront are out of options according to MLBTR)
someone else

That looks thin to me. Add Jenks and it's still a bit thin except at the dinner table but I don't think counting on Jenks is a particularly wise move at this stage.
   45. Swedish Chef Posted: February 02, 2012 at 06:21 PM (#4052277)
Aaron Cook/Junichi Tazawa/Felix Doubront/Chuck Rainey

Padilla is still a free man...
   46. Famous Original Joe C Posted: February 02, 2012 at 06:42 PM (#4052293)
Is Zane Smith still a free agent? What's Tom Bolton up to?
   47. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 02, 2012 at 06:44 PM (#4052297)
Why not stick it to the Yankes by signing Orlando Hernandez?
   48. Nasty Nate Posted: February 02, 2012 at 06:45 PM (#4052299)
Is Zane Smith still a free agent? What's Tom Bolton up to?


I'm not sure, but forget about snatching up Casey Fossum, Duquette beat us to it (really).
   49. villageidiom Posted: February 02, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4052300)
My problem is that it's very hard to integrate the Scutaro trade into any kind of coherent narrative of a carefully-planned offseason, unless there's another good-sized shoe to drop. And not being able to limn out a larger plan makes it harder for me to trust that all the little plans that make up an offseason have been well and rightly chosen.
At this point I'm thinking one of three things might be true:

(a) What we've seen is the plan, except for the other dropping shoe.

(b) What we've seen is a plan, part of which was to create some payroll flexibility for use at an opportune time; that they simply dealt with the payroll thing after they'd made their major moves; and the Scutaro deal was the first reasonable option they were presented with to do so. (I doubt this, but still wanted to list it.)

(c) What we've seen is a highly amorphous plan, one that evolves with the circumstances, and in the end does not resemble the initial plan.

If it's (c) then it's harder to evaluate the offseason than we typically would, especially if we're looking for a larger plan in which to fit the puzzle pieces.

As a hypothetical* let's say you have the 12/31/2011 Red Sox in the field, and there's a man on second. A ground ball is hit to short. Because Scutaro won't field it (due to his declining defense), it goes for a single to LF. The runner will make it to 3B, but because Crawford is fast he gets to the ball in shallow LF and the runner is held.

However, on 1/1/2012 you learn that Crawford will be out with a wrist injury. Their new medical staff, headed by Darren, reminds them that wrist injuries never heal fully nor quickly. So now, that runner on 2nd is more likely to score on a grounder to short. IOW, the loss of Crawford for a period makes Scutaro's defense a bigger issue. That can be solved for through a different LF, a different SS, or a different pitching staff; and given their roster construction (and the opportunity Colorado presented them) the SS solution was the best one to take.

So, is it (a), (b), or (c)? Beats me. Could be (d) no plan. Or (e) started with the wrong plan, ended with the wronger plan. Or something else. I guess where I am with this, as I alluded to earlier in another thread, is that the reason I don't understand Cherington's plan could be that it hadn't occurred to me that he could be operating in a different way than I'm accustomed to. Maybe when he goes grocery shopping he decides the menu based on what looks good and what's on sale, rather than going with a specific shopping list; and maybe we've grown accustomed to the latter.

* Let's all recognize that this is a rather extreme case that isn't meant as the foundation for this argument. Rather, the extreme example really serves only to illustrate the concept more clearly.
   50. Nasty Nate Posted: February 02, 2012 at 06:54 PM (#4052302)
I don't buy it - too cold to play at Fenway on New Year's eve and day.
   51. villageidiom Posted: February 02, 2012 at 11:15 PM (#4052445)
Yeah, THAT was the outlandish part.
   52. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: February 03, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4052716)
Yeah, THAT was the outlandish part.


I don't see why you prefaced your example as such a crazy, crazy thing. Didn't Cherington pretty much say that with Crawford's injury the outfield depth was insufficient? So you move Scutaro, the only real non-pitcher, non-prospect that can be moved and get then use that flexibility to get outfield depth. Why is that so crazy?
   53. villageidiom Posted: February 03, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4052747)
Why is that so crazy?
The way I phrased it sounds like the difference in defense between Scutaro+Crawford and Scutaro+Other was some kind of dramatic tipping point that would make the Scutaro deal not just preferable but necessary, and it's all predicated on a plethora of runners on second and grounders to short.

The way you describe it isn't crazy. My example takes the non-crazy part, focuses on one game state, and blows it to infinity.
   54. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: February 03, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4052784)

The way you describe it isn't crazy. My example takes the non-crazy part, focuses on one game state, and blows it to infinity.


Understood. I would imagine a GM would be paralyzed by indecision if they tried to base decisions off of such specific plays as you mentioned. So yes, crazy.
   55. Nasty Nate Posted: February 03, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4052852)
I'm not surprised that the Sox didn't employ my pitching plan: trade Beckett and steal C.C. from NY. I have grown to dislike Beckett already, but if he has another crappy even-year season I might actively avoid watching him pitch.
   56. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: February 16, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4062659)
...and now Russ Ohlendorf signs a minor league deal. Hard to believe he's only 29. Seems like he's been washed up forever.
   57. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: February 17, 2012 at 02:43 AM (#4063144)
Ohlendorf's not that far removed from a pretty good run of success -- 50 starts of 3.98 ERA ball over 2009-2010. He's got an above-average fastball/slider combo that could play up out of the pen, or they could stash him in Pawtucket for rotation depth. He's got an option left too, so a useful guy to have around.

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