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   1. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 09, 2010 at 02:29 PM (#3706592)
This signing puts the Red Sox 2011 payroll (including arb raises for Ellsbury and Papelbon) at $156M, and the 2011 salary cap payroll at $166M. They still have about $12M to spend before the luxury tax kicks in. The Red Sox will once again be spending right up to the luxury tax. I'd guess they'll come out very slightly under, after adding two relievers and a bench bat.
   2. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 09, 2010 at 02:43 PM (#3706600)
Damn, how do you turn out such good stuff in such a short time? Two thoughts;

1. At some point I think you have to overpay by a bit. If the Sox have overpaid by $2 million a year for these guys I think that's a cost of doing business to land a superstar. These types of players simply aren't available at a fair market price as free agents.

2. I would argue that including Jeter as evidence of salary growth is erroneous, his situation is rare, if not unique in baseball.

I think you are right about salary growth, I just wouldn't include Jeter as an example.
   3. Josh Posted: December 09, 2010 at 02:46 PM (#3706601)
I project One Billion Wins.

I was definitely wrong in expecting the payroll to go down. I think the bench is likely set and its just that they need two relievers at this point. Three would be nice, but how ####ing (<-tribute #) greedy can I get?

Next year has just about all the non-starting pitching replaceable players with high salaries leaving the team: Papelbon, Drew, Cameron, Ortiz, Varitek, Scutero. And Kalish, Lowrie and Bard filling in three of the four spots, leaving some more money (probably about $25mm after all the raises) to replenish the pen and find a DH.

This should be a good and stable team for the next few years. I'm a bit giddy.
   4. J. Sosa Posted: December 09, 2010 at 02:52 PM (#3706608)
I'm also giddy. Crawford has always been one of my favorite players. On a side note, my Dad is convinced Theo has a deal set up (Ellsbury) for a right handed hitting centerfielder. Ideas? Theo has always been big on a balanced lineup, I suppose it would make sense, although a part of me wants to see a Red Sox team capable of stealing 170 bases.
   5. Pingu Posted: December 09, 2010 at 02:54 PM (#3706609)
Good, stable, and giddy. The new market inefficiency.

Lackey, Beckett, Lester, Buchholz, Youkilis, Pedroia, Gozalez, Crawford all under contract together thru at least the 2013 season. Thats around $115M for those 8 players, but still a pretty solid group to have committed to. 4/5ths the rotation, 3/4 the infield and 2/3 the OF if you include Ellsbury. Given the nature of the contracts in either being too cheap to move (Lester, Buchholz, Youkilis, Pedroia) or too expensive to move (Lackey, Beckett, Gonzalez, Crawford), theres a pretty good chance we get to grow old with this current roster. Plus Bard, Kalish, crossingmyfingers Lowrie. A huge payroll but money coming off the books for complimentary players.

Can we skip the commercials? I wanna watch how the next three years plays out.
   6. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 09, 2010 at 02:54 PM (#3706610)
I PROJECT ONE GOOGLE WINS!!!

Also, not a fan, 20 mil for a guy that doesn't play CF, doens't hit lefties, and doesn't walk. i mean c'mon.
   7. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 09, 2010 at 02:57 PM (#3706614)
This should be a good and stable team for the next few years. I'm a bit giddy.
This is a cool thing. Who are the best players on the Boston Red Sox? Youkilis, Pedroia, Gonzalez, Crawford, Lester, Buchholz.

Youkilis - under contract through 2012, option for 2013
Pedroia - under contract through 2014, option for 2015
Gonzalez - will be under contract through 2018
Crawford - under contract through 2017
Lester - under contract through 2013, option for 2014
Buchholz - not free agent eligible until 2015

EDIT: coke to DM
   8. Chip Posted: December 09, 2010 at 03:01 PM (#3706619)
So much for balancing the lineup with the addition of an Ordonez-type OF bat.
   9. villageidiom Posted: December 09, 2010 at 03:02 PM (#3706620)
They now have 4 OF, 5 IF, 2 C, 1 DH. Unless they get Bill Hall back, perhaps the bench bat is one of the young pups from last year. I'm tempted to say "not Kalish", because I'd much rather he play every day.

Then again, why settle for one? Among Kalish, Anderson, Nava and/or... Reddick? maybe they'll have a rotation going. That way they are not cutting development time of any one of them by much, and they can plan to rest the regulars based on who they bring up at any point in time. The more I think about it the more I like it.

I'm focused on this option because IMO their money is better spent on the bullpen.
   10. Pingu Posted: December 09, 2010 at 03:06 PM (#3706625)
I cant have any caffeine right now. I really cant sit still as it is.

In general I agree w/ Chris in that $20M is likely too much for Crawford. I'm not buying that LF defense can make up that much ground.

But how can you not be a fan of the move? Me and you shall have us some words... He makes the team better. The only reason to care about the price of making the team better is if the organization is hamstrung down the road because of it. Barring major injury or collapse, the Red Sox appear to still have a lot of wiggle room left. Great contracts to Youkilis, Pedroia, and Lester, and with Buchholz in arbitration provides a whole lot of wiggle room. Ya it could turn out to be a really bad contract instead of a slight overpay, but thats a risk I'm willing to take with someone elses money.
   11. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 09, 2010 at 03:06 PM (#3706626)
I expect the Red Sox will be playing Mike Cameron against most lefties, and they should acquire a RH bench bat who can DH against some lefties as well. These don't need to be hard platoons, but they should be more than enough to balance the lineup.

If he'd take a big pay cut, you know, Billy Hall would be kind of great for the 25th man role. I'm still expecting him to find an everyday job somewhere, though.
   12. Pingu Posted: December 09, 2010 at 03:08 PM (#3706627)
Put another way. JD Drew is making $15M.

Are you really upset about giving $20M to Crawford?
   13. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 09, 2010 at 03:08 PM (#3706628)
Then again, why settle for one? Among Kalish, Anderson, Nava and/or... Reddick? maybe they'll have a rotation going. That way they are not cutting development time of any one of them by much, and they can plan to rest the regulars based on who they bring up at any point in time. The more I think about it the more I like it.
I agree the money is better spent in the bullpen, but I think that final guy on the bench ought to be a righty. All of the young guys, sadly, are lefties.
   14. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 09, 2010 at 03:09 PM (#3706629)
In general I agree w/ Chris in that $20M is likely too much for Crawford. I'm not buying that LF defense can make up that much ground.
Why not? All he has to be is an above average CF who prefers to play LF. The numbers work out cleanly from there.

It may not be the most likely thing, and I expect Ray is going to be arguing precisely that when he stops by, but it's in no way inconceivable that Crawford's that good a fielder.
   15. Textbook Editor Posted: December 09, 2010 at 03:12 PM (#3706631)
#1--MCoA, does the $156 million include the base $ that gets included for benefits, etc.? (I forget what that amount is--$10 million?)

I confess I'm sort of with Wok here--a speed guy who doesn't have a good walk rate reminds me of... Doug Glanville? I'm only partially kidding... Once Crawford's speed goes, I worry there won't be all that much left that's useful. And 7 years is a long time... But over the next 3 years, things should be interesting...
   16. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 09, 2010 at 03:16 PM (#3706634)
$156 is what the Sox will be paying to their active roster next season, including arbitration estimates for Ellsbury and Papelbon. $166M is their salary cap payroll, based on AAV calculation for long-term contracts and including ~$10M for 40-man roster salaries and the like.

On aging, see Bill James' study in the '87 Abstract. Guys with Crawford's skill set age much better than the average player. There's a belief out there that athletic and speedy players don't age well, but there is no systematic evidence for the belief that I've ever seen.
   17. Josh Posted: December 09, 2010 at 03:17 PM (#3706636)
Damn, how do you turn out such good stuff in such a short time?
I echo this, too. You sleep too little, think to much, and write too well. We get much more content then we provide or pay for.

I think you are right, too, that this contract depends entirely on how you view Crawford's defense. If we think he is close to what UZR thinks (and I don't really know, either, but I also would be slightly against it) its a solid deal. If you don't, then it isn't. But, a deal for a player in his late 20s is better then one for a player in his 30s.
   18. Chip Posted: December 09, 2010 at 03:21 PM (#3706641)
Once Crawford's speed goes, I worry there won't be all that much left that's useful.


But the evidence is that the speed doesn't go for guys with his profile, at least not within the range of this contract.

Interesting that his two most similar batters on BB Ref's comp list through age 28 are Hall of Famers: Clemente and Deadball Era's Sam Crawford. Damon, Raines, and Cesar Cedeno are also on that list.
   19. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 09, 2010 at 03:24 PM (#3706646)
Likewise, Crawford's top ZiPS comps are Lou Brock, Kenny Lofton, and Andy Van Slyke. Van Slyke fell off a cliff in his early 30s, but both Brock and Lofton were good players pretty much forever.
   20. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 09, 2010 at 03:26 PM (#3706648)
Sam Crawford


One of my first thoughts when I heard this was that Carl would hit gobs of triples at Fenway. I was surprised to see he has only 9 triples in 144 games at Fenway because I was getting fired up at the idea of a 20 triple season.
   21. Pingu Posted: December 09, 2010 at 03:30 PM (#3706654)
I think maybe I'm just preconditioned to see $20M and think middle of the order hitter. Maybe he really is worth 20 runs on defense. I'm not so sure. I think of Crawford as a $15M player that you need to overpay to bring in. As I said, I'm still really ok with forking over the extra five spot. And if the numbers tell me the POSSIBLITY exists that he could be worth 20 runs on defense, I'll be even happier to do so.

On aging, see Bill James' study in the '87 Abstract. Guys with Crawford's skill set age much better than the average player. There's a belief out there that athletic and speedy players don't age well, but there is no systematic evidence for the belief that I've ever seen.


And if the Red Sox signed Adam Dunn people would be saying the exact same thing in reverse.
I looked at this informally a while back and I found that players whose ONLY skill was speed didnt age all that well. Crawford does more than just run fast.
   22. Nasty Nate Posted: December 09, 2010 at 03:34 PM (#3706660)
Can Karlmagnus come here and explain again how the woes of John Henry's hedge fund were going to force ths Sox to slash payroll?

Crawford to RF after JD Drew leaves?
   23. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 09, 2010 at 03:37 PM (#3706664)
Crawford to RF after JD Drew leaves?


I can't see it happening, his arm is pretty bad. His speed in Fenway would make up for some of that by cutting balls off in the gap but I think you'd give away too much. I think the perfect world scenario is Kalish becoming Trot Nixon. With Crawford and Ellsbury that would be enough.
   24. karlmagnus Posted: December 09, 2010 at 03:43 PM (#3706672)
I like Theo's winter this year, though I'd have tried to find a way to keep V-Mart. If you have a money advantage, you need to spend it on truly elite players, not overpaying for mediocrity. Duquette got this; I was afraid last winter that Theo didn't, but he seems to have figured it out now. Gonzalez appears to fit that bill (not quite Manny/Pedro, andslight risk in that he wasn't quite that good when he first came up) and Crawford, if not truly elite, is certainly truly unique. Damon was a lot of money at the time and proved to be good value, and Crawford looks to be significantly better. If Theo gets even reasonably lucky on bullpen arms, this should be a hell of a team until 2013 -- after that, we'll need some new ideas (hopefully, some top talent from the farm system.)
   25. TomH Posted: December 09, 2010 at 03:49 PM (#3706676)
prediciton: If the Sox pitchers walk the most batters in the league again in 2011, they will again fail to make the playoffs.

They have a fine team if they can throw the ball over the plate.
   26. Pingu Posted: December 09, 2010 at 03:51 PM (#3706679)
I think the perfect world scenario is Kalish becoming Trot Nixon. With Crawford and Ellsbury that would be enough.


Hell yeah that'd be enough. Nixon was a pretty underrated player for a time here
   27. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 09, 2010 at 04:09 PM (#3706693)
Likewise, Crawford's top ZiPS comps are Lou Brock, Kenny Lofton, and Andy Van Slyke. Van Slyke fell off a cliff in his early 30s, but both Brock and Lofton were good players pretty much forever.


Van Slyke was hurt
Brock really only had one good year after turning 33, he was massive;y overrated by the MSM, but basically 33 and after he was a league average hitter (for an LF), combined with poor dee...
Lofton was pretty good forever- which is why he has such WAR lead on Brock- their primes/peaks were pretty similar in value- in their 30s when Brock was piking up 1.5 WAR a year- Lofton was picking up 2.5 or so- Lofton's edge was basically dee.

Crawford is still young- he could be putting up 4 WAR years for the bulk of this contract- but that contact is pretty steep price for that type of production- if he falls to 2-3 WAR per year he's still a viable regular- but would be massively overpaid
   28. Dale Sams Posted: December 09, 2010 at 04:14 PM (#3706697)
Hell yeah that'd be enough. Nixon was a pretty underrated player for a time here


If kalish ever puts up a 149 OPS+ season, I'd crap a brick.
   29. Toby Posted: December 09, 2010 at 05:01 PM (#3706766)
I like the Crawford signing on several levels. What I find interesting and refreshing at this point is no one in the media has brought race into it (yet). Race shouldn't matter, but to a lot of people it does. The Red Sox get criticized in the present for race issues in their past. So purely from a public relations -- and community relations -- standpoint, I think it's good for baseball, good for Boston, and good for the Red Sox to sign an elite black player like Carl Crawford. I have to believe the front office took this into account at some level.
   30. Pingu Posted: December 09, 2010 at 05:19 PM (#3706780)
The Red Sox have been one of the whitest of whitey white teams under Theo until very recently. I guess something could have happened that made the FO decide to pursue non-white players. I'm much more inclined to believe they are simply pursuing whats best for the ballclub between the lines.
   31. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: December 09, 2010 at 06:02 PM (#3706830)
Cross-posted from the newsblog thread about the signing, my list of favorite underreported ancillary effects of this deal:

J.D. Drew and David Ortiz will absolutely not be returning to Boston for 2012 season
Either Ellsbury bats 9th or Pedroia moves down in lineup
Pettitte sure to return to Yanks
Varitek playing time projections increase substantially (I now see him getting 60-80 starts behind the plate at LEAST)
Kalish and Reddick assured of getting another year of seasoning in Pawtucket
Darnell McDonald has a better shot at sticking on the roster


I'll also cross-post MCoA's more fleshed-out explanation of what he alludes to in [16] here, I think this is a great concise but thorough theory to hang your hat on:
"Players all add power and walks as they age. Guys who start with good BA and speed numbers are (a) more athletic and remain good players longer for that reason and (b) have more room to improve while they add walks and power. Power numbers peak late, and walks peak later. Crawford's been adding walks and power over his career at a rate reasonably consistent with normal aging curves."


Having had a night to sleep on it, I now really like this acquisition. It seems at first glance to put the Sox in a bind both financially and handedness-wise, but both of those problems seem to magically disappear for 2012.


On the last guy - I'm on record loving Bill Hall for this roster spot. I also figured he'd be in line for a starting gig somewhere but haven't heard his name at ALL this offseason. I still think the Sox' 25th man needs to be able to play IF and OF positions and there are not a lot of those guys left in FA right now. Obviously he has to be RHB. This is why I don't think Kalish or Reddick have much of a shot (barring disaster) at much PT in Boston this season.


And lastly, yes, Trot Nixon was awesome. My favorite ballplayer during my formative transition years from "little kid Sox fan" to "mature, knowledgeable adult Sox fan" (almost there).
   32. John DiFool2 Posted: December 09, 2010 at 06:41 PM (#3706877)
If we think he is close to what UZR thinks


I have a question: is picking up +1 run as a defender as "easy" at a corner position than it is at an up-the middle position? Yeah, sounds like a silly question (a play is a play, a run is a run). What I mean is, we know that, on average, CFers have more balls hit into their "zone" (however you define it) than do corner OFers, thus giving them more chances to flash the leather. FG has Crawford as a pretty consistent +15 to +19 runs in left year to year-plays made above average would presumably be in the +30 to +40 range. Is it truly possible for an elite defender to get enough chances in the corners such that he's catching an extra ball (over an average defender mind you, not a Manny) every 4-5 games? Can there be enough "extra" balls hit out there for him to catch, over and above the roughly 2 per game than an average corner OF gets to, vs. many more extra balls that fall into the bigger CF area? Crawford is at 2.36 plays/9 over his LF career (Manny was at 1.75 for comparison). Note I am not muddying the waters further by considering any sort of Monster Effect.

Ultimate question is whether +17 runs/year passes the smell test for a corner position. Barry Bonds had some similarly huge years in left with the Pirates (+37/+28/+24 for his top 3 seasons, which in his case would mean in that +37 year he's making an extra play about once every 3 games).
   33. Textbook Editor Posted: December 09, 2010 at 06:43 PM (#3706884)
"Players all add power and walks as they age. Guys who start with good BA and speed numbers are (a) more athletic and remain good players longer for that reason and (b) have more room to improve while they add walks and power. Power numbers peak late, and walks peak later. Crawford's been adding walks and power over his career at a rate reasonably consistent with normal aging curves."


Just playing devil's advocate here... Not all guys with a good BA and speed later develop walks and power (Doug Glanville again comes to mind). Now I know Crawford is LIGHT YEARS better than Doug Glanville, so I am not comparing the two and saying he'll drop off a cliff like Glanville, etc. All I'm saying is it's not a foregone conclusion that Crawford goes gently into that good night. The betting money--as MCoA and others point out--is clearly on a gentle decline... It's just not a given.

For the next 3-4 years, this is a fantastic deal/acquisition. After that, it's not my money and, to be honest, the whole landscape of the AL East may well change by then as the old guard of the Yankees retires, Toronto/Baltimore improve, etc. In the short-term, I like the fact we have Crawford in left instead of Cameron.
   34. Bug Selig Posted: December 09, 2010 at 09:33 PM (#3707084)
The Red Sox have been one of the whitest of whitey white teams under Theo until very recently. I guess something could have happened that made the FO decide to pursue non-white players. I'm much more inclined to believe they are simply pursuing whats best for the ballclub between the lines.


That's very generous of you.
   35. Mattbert Posted: December 09, 2010 at 10:29 PM (#3707178)
Jeez, I am a little bit embarrassed by this. We are spoiled.
   36. Darren Posted: December 10, 2010 at 01:12 AM (#3707399)
Okay, now it makes sense. They're spending. Carry on then.


What do the other defensive metrics (new FRAR and WOWY and whatnot)?
   37. Dan Posted: December 10, 2010 at 04:40 AM (#3707562)
Like Darren, I'd like to see the nFRAA and WOWY numbers for Crawford. Anyone have those available?

DRS seems to agree with UZR in valuing Crawford around +12 to +15 runs per year in LF. But if "range bias" really exists, a speedy guy like Crawford is probably being undervalued by the zone data. So those numbers might even be conservative. Again, I'd like to see what WOWY and nFRAA have to say.
   38. Darren Posted: December 10, 2010 at 04:53 AM (#3707577)
What is range bias? Will anyone ever help me learn about the new defense stats?
   39. Darren Posted: December 10, 2010 at 05:02 AM (#3707586)
Also, I'm sure that the Red Sox are doing this because they read this finally. You're welcome.

Heyman's reporting that there's interest in Cameron. The Sox could free up lots o' reliever money by dealing him and Scutaro.
   40. Darren Posted: December 10, 2010 at 05:03 AM (#3707587)
This also raises the question of whether they should have just bitten the bullet and gotten Holliday last year.
   41. Darren Posted: December 10, 2010 at 05:07 AM (#3707595)
Pete Abraham says we're in on Martin.
   42. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 10, 2010 at 05:25 AM (#3707610)
Pete Abraham says we're in on Martin.
Cool. It's been a while since Theo got to pick up an undervalued sabermetric darling off the non-tender pile. He's reliving his youth.
   43. Dale Sams Posted: December 10, 2010 at 05:28 AM (#3707614)
The Red Sox have been one of the whitest of whitey white teams under Theo until very recently


Well duh, why do you think they traded away the only Jamaican on the roster? ....just in case...
   44. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 10, 2010 at 05:41 AM (#3707627)
Crawford has walked more the past couple years than he used to, I don't see walks as being a problem here. Big fan of this signing.
   45. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 10, 2010 at 06:03 AM (#3707645)
What is range bias? Will anyone ever help me learn about the new defense stats?
Colin Wyers has put up a bunch of articles on BPro about problems in the pbp data and thoughts about working from plays made data.

I learned a lot about this stuff in this Jeter thread from October, in which I got into a somewhat unnecessarily heated argument with GuyM and Colin about the implications of certain kinds of problems in the pbp data. In that thread, GuyM links to Tango's original WOWY article, which was published in the Hardball Times Annual.
   46. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 10, 2010 at 06:15 AM (#3707664)
Edes has a nice little article on ESPN about Theo's big week. This nugget was interesting:
The Red Sox left little to chance. Scouts were assigned to follow Crawford, Gonzalez and Jayson Werth, the other outfielder on the Sox radar, not for a series or two, but a half season. Detailed "white papers" were prepared, arguing the pros and cons of acquiring the players. Bill James, the statistical analyst, did a study analyzing how young, athletic players like Crawford age over the course of a long-term contract and comparing various body types. James concluded that such players generally kept their value until age 35 or 36.
   47. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: December 10, 2010 at 08:36 AM (#3707798)
1. "White Papers". Coincidence?

2. MCoA, they're just re-quoting you from earlier this week.

3. The Herald is reporting that the Sox are pushing hard for Martin "strictly as a catcher" (my dad thought he could be 3rd catcher and 1b/3b backup). This would most likely mean Saltalamacchia is headed for Pawtucket.

4. How the hell are they going to trade Cameron and Scutaro? You want to give 400 PAs to McDonald again?
   48. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: December 10, 2010 at 08:56 AM (#3707800)
4. How the hell are they going to trade Cameron and Scutaro? You want to give 400 PAs to McDonald again?


Presumably they'd have both Ellsbury and Kalish to man CF.
   49. Josh Posted: December 10, 2010 at 12:51 PM (#3707820)
Re Range Bias: Much of the technical and substantive discussions have been at the Book's Blog. They stickied the most recent conversation so its at the top. I don't think bias in the numbers is a reason to adjust them one way or the other, so far, fwiw. I wouldn't give Crawford credit because there may be pbp scoring bias that we can't quite quantify yet.
   50. Darren Posted: December 10, 2010 at 02:28 PM (#3707837)
Thanks for the info guys.

The Herald is reporting that the Sox are pushing hard for Martin "strictly as a catcher" (my dad thought he could be 3rd catcher and 1b/3b backup).


Wow, does the Herald generally write articles to address your father's questions? Lucky duck!


How the hell are they going to trade Cameron and Scutaro? You want to give 400 PAs to McDonald again?


McDonald's a perfectly serviceable backup and they have Kalish too. Have $14 mil in backups is a waste.
   51. Textbook Editor Posted: December 10, 2010 at 02:39 PM (#3707847)
Cameron makes a lot of sense for the Phillies as a caddy/platoon for Brown or defensive replacement for Ibanez. But I'm not sure there's much there to get in return (who'd be available) aside from salary relief.
   52. Dale Sams Posted: December 10, 2010 at 02:39 PM (#3707848)
I think wasting 14 mill shouldn't be something the Sox worry about these days. And retarding Kalish's progression on an MLB bench, should.
   53. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 10, 2010 at 02:51 PM (#3707852)
Kalish certainly wouldn't be the 4th OF if Cameron gets traded. The 4th OF has to be right-handed, so he can give Drew and Ellsbury time off against LHP. (And because, as Dale says, Kalish needs development time in AAA.) The question is - will Crawford play center? If he'll cover center when Ellsbury sits, then the Sox could just get a RH corner bat if they traded Cameron. Maybe Austin Kearns, or just bring back Bill Hall. It's hard for me to imagine that someone would want to take on Cameron's entire contract, though, after his terrible 2010. If they're not getting salary relief, trading Cameron doesn't make any sense.

Given the uncertainty of Lowrie's health and production, I'd much rather have major league depth at SS than go cheap there. (I don't think spending $6M to be confident that you'll have a non-sucky shortstop is a waste.) Likewise with C - I really like the Russ Martin rumors because the Sox ought to have two candidates for catcher, Salty and a second catcher who isn't 47 years old.
   54. karlmagnus Posted: December 10, 2010 at 03:05 PM (#3707863)
Can they send Varitek down to AAA? If Martin rebounds, the optimal team is almost certainly Salty/Martin. Salty does NOT need more time in AAA; he's either good enough or he's not.
   55. Josh Posted: December 10, 2010 at 06:06 PM (#3708044)
The only team I can think of where Cameron would provide more value than the Red Sox (i.e., not be a 4th OFer, must be a team with real playoff aspirations) is Atlanta, and I don't think they want to take his salary. They seem to be focussed on trying to pick up one of Milwaukee's CFers.
   56. Darren Posted: December 10, 2010 at 06:18 PM (#3708058)
I think wasting 14 mill shouldn't be something the Sox worry about these days.


If they had no limit to their budget, I'd agree. But they are going to spend X amount on payroll this year, and if $14 mil is going to these guys, it's not going to someone else who could help (C, relief, etc).

If they can't deal Cameron's salary, maybe they could deal him for a cheap, good reliever who's got an arb years left. That would be worth the $8 mil or so they're paying Cameron.
   57. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: December 10, 2010 at 06:58 PM (#3708104)
Wow, does the Herald generally write articles to address your father's questions?

Evidently!

McDonald's a perfectly serviceable backup and they have Kalish too. Have $14 mil in backups is a waste.

Around and around... 4th OF on this team is more than a backup. The entire starting OF is LHB, Ellsbury is recovering from a series of very serious injuries, and JD Drew is JD Drew. If Cameron (himself a health risk) stays healthy all year he could get 500 PAs. Kalish is in no way suited for this role. Kalish is going to start at AAA.

Then again MCoA says it all better than I would have in [53]. I'd hoped you might listen to him if not to me.
   58. Josh Posted: December 10, 2010 at 07:11 PM (#3708116)
maybe they could deal him for a cheap, good reliever who's got an arb years left.
To whom?
   59. Nasty Nate Posted: December 10, 2010 at 07:34 PM (#3708130)
I don't think dealing Cameron, even eating all his salary in the trade, brings back a good enough reliever or catcher to make it worth it. A free year of Cameron can't have much value out there ... right now. But it could at some point between now and July 31 next year.

No good reason to trade Scutaro now, as far as I can tell, unless some other team gets desperate.
   60. Dan Posted: December 11, 2010 at 06:20 AM (#3708495)
So what do people think the lineup will be? Not what do you think the lineup SHOULD be, but what lineup do you think we'll actually see on opening day?

I'm going to guess:

CF Ellsbury
LF Crawford
3B Youkilis
1B Gonzalez
DH Ortiz
2B Pedroia
RF Drew
C Salty or Tek or Martin
SS Lowrie or Scutaro

I know a lot of people want to see Crawford hitting leadoff, but he's never really been comfortable there, nor has Pedroia. Crawford has hit 2nd for most of his career, Tito loves Ellsbury at leadoff, and Pedroia is a guy who they'd probably be comfortable moving down toward the middle of the lineup and is the best option to break up the lefty sluggers as a right-handed hitter with some pop.

Edit: And since TVErik seems to think we've all been making up the fact that Crawford won't bat leadoff or play CF, here's a quote from Crawford: (Source)

Oh, he had his peculiarities. He would not play centerfield. He would not bat leadoff.

Once, he says, when Tom Foley was the Rays' farm director, Crawford says Foley told him that he was a leftfielder, that Rocco Baldelli was a better centerfielder. And that was that. Crawford was a leftfielder.

"Foley says he never told me that," Crawford says. "But you don't forget when a man tells you that to your face. He crushed me. After that, I said, 'I'm never playing centerfield again.' "

As for batting leadoff?

"I just thought I (stank) at it, to be honest with you," Crawford says. "Lou (Piniella) put me second. Maybe I could have gotten better at it, but I just wasn't comfortable. It didn't have anything to do with stats. I just don't think I'm a good leadoff hitter."
   61. Dale Sams Posted: December 11, 2010 at 11:22 PM (#3708790)
So what do people think the lineup will be? Not what do you think the lineup SHOULD be, but what lineup do you think we'll actually see on opening day?


Assuming Lowrie has a good spring:

SS Lowrie
2B Pedroia
LF Crawford
1B AGon
3B Youk
DH Ortiz
RF Drew
C Catcher
CF Ellsbury
   62. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 11, 2010 at 11:44 PM (#3708798)
Dale - There is zero chance that Lowrie bats leadoff regularly to start the year.*

I think it's going to be;

Ellsbury
Pedroia
Crawford
Youkilis
Gonzalez
Oritz
Scutaro
Drew
Saltalamacchia

* - I guess if you are making a single game judgment that since the Sox are likely to be facing a lefty in Texas they may do something different perhaps but even then I would be very surprised.
   63. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 12, 2010 at 12:29 AM (#3708811)
My guess would be:

Pedroia
Crawford
Youk
Gonzalez
Ortiz
Drew
Scooter
Ellsbury
Salty / Martin

Tito's going to have to give up on his LRL fetish. And I'd be shocked by any consistent arrangement that doesn't have Youk-Gonzalez or Gonzalez-Youk going 3-4.
   64. Dale Sams Posted: December 12, 2010 at 01:14 AM (#3708823)
Lowries OBP during his two months in 2010 was.....380? Higher than anyone else but Youk. You're probably right, but if he tears ST up, they could make worse decisions than letting Jed Lowrie lead off.
   65. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 12, 2010 at 01:53 AM (#3708834)
I agree he could be a good choice, I think it's something that would evolve. Remember, Youk batted down in the order in '06 to start and my recollection is even Ellsbury was at the bottom of the order in '08 to start.
   66. OCD SS Posted: December 12, 2010 at 02:16 AM (#3708842)
During the press conference today he said he'd hit anywhere Tito wrote his name. I think if the Sox just told him to take his normal swings and not worry about changing anything in his approach he'll probably do fine, and that will be all the comfort he needs.
   67. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: December 12, 2010 at 04:05 AM (#3708878)
Gonzalez
Ortiz
Drew


There is quite literally zero chance that Tito bats three lefties in succession. And with good reason.

That said, this is a tough lineup to construct. Guess I like something like:

Crawford
Pedroia
Gonzalez
Youk
Ortiz
Scutaro
Drew
Saltytek
Ellsbury
   68. Ron J Posted: December 12, 2010 at 05:43 AM (#3708900)
#47 1. "White Papers". Coincidence?

Probably not. In his second study on aging James starts the section

Growth Rates of Comparable Black Players and White Players

"Let me say, before I start this, that nobody likes to write about race."

And then spends around 4 pages on the subject.

He did several studies on the subject because the results of his first one were so stunning.

He did his usual method. Identified similar players as rookies and compared the results.

The black players played 48% more games in their careers, had 66% more hits, 71% more doubles, 93% more triples, 69% more home runs, 400% (not a typo) more stolen bases. The black player out-played his white counterpart in 82% of the comparisons.

(Then spends a great deal of time explaining how he looked for systemic biases and tried to eliminate them. Things like studying only slow players and issues like timeline. Didn't affect the results much)

As I said, the article is pretty much about how rookies develop, but he did touch on how the careers unfolded and in a couple of cases that he talks about the differences between the matched pairs starts to get really large in the late 20s.

Study is 13 years old. Maybe things have changed since then. I know nobody has looked at the matter is a systematic way.
   69. Ron J Posted: December 12, 2010 at 05:57 AM (#3708901)
Can they send Varitek down to AAA?


Not without offering to release him. Or in practical terms, no.
   70. Something Other Posted: December 13, 2010 at 09:47 AM (#3709327)
"Foley says he never told me that," Crawford says. "But you don't forget when a man tells you that to your face. He crushed me. After that, I said, 'I'm never playing centerfield again.' "
Wild guess here: Is "grow up" the correct response?
   71. Pingu Posted: December 15, 2010 at 05:26 AM (#3711052)
Been away for awhile....buuuuuut,

there are some of you advocating shedding Cameron and Scutaro's salaries. These are the same people advocating going cheap on the bullpen. Where shall we spend the money? We plan to shed two very useful backups (I still think Scutaro is the starter, btw) for pennies on the dollar? To help exactly what,to help exactly where?? To spend the money on a spaghetti approach to the bullpen? To pocket it and sign the big free agent left out there?

Also, I hate to break it to you guys, but two lefties will hit back to back in most of the Red Sox games this year. MAY GOD ABOVE HAVE MERCY ON OUR SOULS. Seriously, it doestn even resemble the cousin of a problem......as long as those lefties are not Crawford, Drew, or Ortiz. You might as well not think of Gonzalez as a lefty. As long as Tito splits up Crawford, Drew, and Ortiz, the rest of the lineup could be filled out by a 6 year old with finger paint. Not worth losing sleep over.

Oh, and thank you Cliff Lee. I'm adding you to my christmas card list.
   72. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: December 15, 2010 at 05:52 AM (#3711064)
I'm having a hard time constructing a lineup that makes traditional lineup sense without Ortiz and Drew back to back.

Ellsbury
Crawford
Youkilis
Gonzalez
Pedroia
Ortiz
Drew
Scutaro/Lowrie
Salty/Tek

That's two lefty-lefty pairs, but most bullpens are only going to have one effective LOOGY. I'm not sure this makes sense, but batting Scutaro/Lowrie ahead of anyone but Ellsbury or Salty/Tek doesn't make much sense either, unless Lowrie has really arrived, which I'm skeptical of.

WIth Ellsbury still coming back from rib injury and Drew being Drew, they'll probably both need rest during the year, and I imagine at least one of them will be platooned against most lefties.

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