Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Sox Therapy > Discussion
Sox Therapy
— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: December 13, 2012 at 09:54 PM (#4324395)
I don't think that's right at all. The lesson they learned was not to go hog wild and overpay for middling talent. They picked guys who will get them by in the short run but still have room to maneuver and pick up top-tier talent through trade.

These guys all happened to get short deals because they provide stability in the short term until the long term solutions in AA and A ball are ready to contribute for the long term.

The point here is that all of the moves provide some payroll flexibility next year and the year after, and massive flexibility in 3 years.
   2. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:17 PM (#4324402)
I'm not sure we can reach that conclusion Darren. I think it is certainly possible that what you suggest is true but the reality is that I think there are ample reasons not to have gone over three years on any of the guys out there. I think Hamilton would have been worth the five year deal but I can understand some hesitancy. Sanchez' deal seems reasonable but let's not overstate who Anibal Sanchez is;

John Lackey - 2007-2009 - 128 ERA+
Matt Clement - 2002-2004 - 112 ERA+
Anibal Sanchez - 2010-2012 - 109 ERA+

Now that's not the full story on the guy, he's one year younger than Clement was and two years younger than Lackey when the Sox signed each but let's reel in the enthusiasm for him a bit. I like Anibal a lot but I wouldn't have gone five years on him. If you're signing a pitcher to a five year deal you should be signing an Ace and Sanchez is not that guy.

Having said all that I fear Darren is right. The lack of chatter about the Sox and any of Hamilton, Sanchez, Greinke (who I would not have signed), Upton, Jackson is disheartening. I don't see a team that looks appreciably deeper than the one that started 2012 right now and yet they've been spending money. What bothers me about Victorino and Dempster (I like the Napoli signing) is that I don't think there was any rush to make either move. I'd have preferred the Sox continued to pursue Sanchez or Jackson or even Shaun Marcum before settling on Dempster. With Victorino I do not think he is such a good player that you rush to lock him up. Michael Bourn is still out there and so is Nick Swisher. Keep playing the field.
   3. Darren Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4324410)
Clement was a good signing who got hit in the head and blew his arm out (related?). Lackey was a guy who they signed, knowing full well he had an arm injury, and proceeded to give him great incentives to pitch through recurrences of the injury.

I also think you're right that we can't quite conclude this is the plan, more that their actions point that way.

I don't think that's right at all. The lesson they learned was not to go hog wild and overpay for middling talent.


I don't think they think Hamilton's middling talent. If they did, they wouldn't have tried to get him on a 3-year deal.
   4. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4324417)
Middling might not be the right word, but there weren't a lot guys out there this offseason with the combination of youth and talent worth going past three years for. Greinke maybe, but trying to outbid LA would have left you with a tab close to $200M. If 2000 A-Rod or 2016 Giancarlo Stanton were out there, I'm sure the Sox would have offered more than three years.
   5. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:57 PM (#4324418)

I don't think they think Hamilton's middling talent. If they did, they wouldn't have tried to get him on a 3-year deal.


This doesn't make sense. By this logic, Victorino and Napoli aren't middling talents.

I was talking about massive overpays for Crawford, Matsuzaka, Lackey, and staying away from Ross, Youkilis, etc.
   6. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:58 PM (#4324422)
Middling might not be the right word


PCR is right. Middling isn't the right word. But "not superstar" talent is what I meant.
   7. Toby Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:01 PM (#4324424)
The problem I am having with the offseason so far is different than what others are having. I want more churning of the current roster, not simply shoring up the holes. If we are going to be mediocre I want fresher, younger mediocrity with upside that can restore what Bud has called "hope and faith". The atmosphere around this team is not going to be cured by swapping the manager and adding Victorino and Napoli. I am interested in seeing good subtractions as well as good additions. The core needs to be shaken up more.
   8. Darren Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:07 PM (#4324428)
Cripe, how much churn do you want? :) On opening day, we'll have new faces starting at 1B, SS, 3B, LF, RF, and SP2.
   9. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:11 PM (#4324431)
want more churning of the current roster, not simply shoring up the holes.


The problem is that there's not a lot left that's tradeable that will net players like Myers, etc. Especially with the shitstorm of last year. If you want real churning, you hope Pedroia and Lester come out of the gate with MVP-type seasons. Then I'm all for letting the churning begin.
   10. dave h Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:13 PM (#4324433)
If the Sox aren't going to go past three years, then they're never going to get any great players through FA. The problem with their recent FA signings isn't that they didn't follow a hard and fast rule. It's that they signed players who turned out to be crappy. They have/had a ton of money and they should take advantage of that in free agency. If they convince someone to take a short-term deal with big AAV then fine, but then you probably could have another year or two for a steep discount and that's a good thing.
   11. Textbook Editor Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:19 PM (#4324439)
The point here is that all of the moves provide some payroll flexibility next year and the year after, and massive flexibility in 3 years.


If we are going to be mediocre I want fresher, younger mediocrity with upside that can restore what Bud has called "hope and faith".


The point of the 3-year deal issue is precisely to allow for maximum flexibility should the younger guys coming up in 2013/2014/2015 break out, you aren't on the hook for a long-term deal with Dempster, Napoli, or Victorino.

The other issue I wonder about here is how likely it will be that Victorino is even here in 2015 (or Dempster in 2014). If Victorino plays decent enough and the market for CF blows up over the next year, suddenly in the 2013 off-season you have a decent, cost-controlled market-average CF you can shop. If Dempster pitches well this year but the kids coming up do great and you're ready to hand a rotation spot to one of them, then Dempster is very appealing on a 1/~$13 deal for 2014 (+ the team acquiring him might even get a draft pick out of it when all is said and done).

I don't really have a problem with the general approach they've taken. There was not a single FA outside of Napoli I would have really pursued. I think Victorino's pretty much toast and expect that to be a waste of money... but if by a miracle he does well in 2013 I absolutely would shop him next off-season and get out while the getting's good. Dempster may wind up just eating innings, but that's fine by me given its only a 2-year deal. We'll still have plenty of money come the 2013/2014 off-seasons. I wasn't expecting anything out of 2013 at all, though, so perhaps that's why I just sort of shrug when I read about these deals, with my first thought being "well, at least we won't be hamstrung in 2014 over any of these deals."
   12. Jittery McFrog Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:44 PM (#4324462)
The point of the 3-year deal issue is precisely to allow for maximum flexibility should the younger guys coming up in 2013/2014/2015 break out, you aren't on the hook for a long-term deal with Dempster, Napoli, or Victorino.


But this is pretty suboptimal. A GM should be able to convert 2013 $'s into 2014/2015+ talent. With tens of millions of 2013 dollars you should be able to do better than simply not hurting your chances in 2015.

I could get behind an investment in the future. I could even get behind a wild stab at 2013 contention (signing Hamilton, Greinke, trading for Justin Upton, etc.). What I don't like is the conservative strategy they're taking now.
   13. Dale Sams Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:57 PM (#4324466)
Also, when the Sox have max flexibility, and say..Price hits the market..then the Yanks will also have max flexibility and just as much of a need..AND. finally other teams in the league have apparently decided NOT to be crippled by bad contracts and disappointing seasons.

IE: Angels. Whereas the Red Sox fold up like a bad circus.

edit: The point being that it looks like baseball is running under different rules than in the past, and the Sox better figure things out quickly. It might have been better to get Grienke and Hamilton now, rather than try and beat the Yanks 6/150 mill offer to the Prices of the world in a couple of years now.
   14. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 14, 2012 at 12:05 AM (#4324468)
The Lackey and Crawford deals were not problems in year 4-7. They were problems in year 1, because the Red Sox did a bad job assessing the health and/or skills of the players involved.


I'm not ready to concede the first point, though I agree with the second. I think a very, very significant part of why those deals were problems are the tails of them - the payroll obligation for years and years. I remain convinced that A-Gon had positive trade value, and was put into that deal because the Dodgers incurred the negative payroll obligations.

Put another way, I think that if they had overpaid Crawford and/or Lackey similar to their AAV over a shorter term, the contract would be... not good, but more defensible. And they'd have Gonzalez still manning first for the 2013 season.
   15. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 14, 2012 at 12:44 AM (#4324485)
If we are going to be mediocre I want fresher, younger mediocrity with upside that can restore what Bud has called "hope and faith". The atmosphere around this team is not going to be cured by swapping the manager and adding Victorino and Napoli.

What do you mean by "atmosphere" and "around"? Just in terms of clubhouse presence Victorino is one of the most notoriously popular characters in the sport. Maybe the fans don't care but that will be determined by wins, not the age of the mediocrity. (if you want that, Lars Anderson seems to be available...)
   16. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: December 14, 2012 at 01:20 AM (#4324500)
But this is pretty suboptimal. A GM should be able to convert 2013 $'s into 2014/2015+ talent. With tens of millions of 2013 dollars you should be able to do better than simply not hurting your chances in 2015.


I love the idea that if you just have a lot of money and spend it according to the most optimal (optimistic?) models you'll just crank out a winner next year and beyond. If that's all it took, why wouldn't every team just do it?

Your argument assumes an abundance of 2014/2015 talent available right now. As I've tried to point out in the Dempster thread, you can't make the math work to make this team get to 95 wins next year. And adding all of the best talent available right now at the prices and lengths of contract available does not guarantee any flexibility next year or the year after.

It's not like Pujols is available right now. If he was and the Sox didn't make a serious effort to sign him to play 1B, I'd think they had no interest in winning. As it is, we're talking Hamilton & Sanchez and I think Victorino + Napoli + Dempster is equivalent in value for about the same amount of money per year.



   17. Darren Posted: December 14, 2012 at 08:00 AM (#4324546)
I'm not ready to concede the first point, though I agree with the second. I think a very, very significant part of why those deals were problems are the tails of them - the payroll obligation for years and years.


I wasn't saying that those will be good deals in years 4-7. I was saying that they were already bad in year 1 and would ALSO be bad in years 4-7. So the solution to that particular problem is not that you just avoid all long-term deals--it's that you avoid signing players who don't play well.

On a side note, although it's absolutely true that AGonz had positive trade value, I think I might have dealt him straight-up for the package they got.
   18. Dale Sams Posted: December 14, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4324727)
It's not like Pujols is available right now. If he was and the Sox didn't make a serious effort to sign him to play 1B, I'd think they had no interest in winning.


I don't believe for a sec that the Sox would entertain the thought of giving Pujols the contract he got. Just IMO.
   19. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 14, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4324750)

I don't believe for a sec that the Sox would entertain the thought of giving Pujols the contract he got. Just IMO.


Is that a positive or a negative?
   20. jmurph Posted: December 14, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4324762)
Is that a positive or a negative?


To me, a positive. I have no interest in finding out if the next giant contract given to a 30 (or 30+) slugging first baseman turns out to be the first good one. No thanks.
   21. Dale Sams Posted: December 14, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4324765)
Is that a positive or a negative?


Doesn't that depend on how honest Henry is about 'financially crippled'?

Here's how a team can be run:

Dead truthful. "I have 100 mill to spend on the team, that's my budget. There literally is no other money from anywhere else in my pocket"
Truthful within reason. "My budget is 100 million. I will not let this team run in the red and prop it up with green from other projects."
The principled approach. "My team brings in 400 million a year, but I will not spend 1.50 per dollar on a player (luxury cap tax). I can afford it, but will not do it."

The Dodgers/Angels approach. "400 million?? Bahaha. Oh, it's more. And who cares? I want to win. I and my family will be just fine."

If that's the new rule, (and the way salaries are inflating, how can it not be) the Sox..and the Yanks better get on board.
   22. Darren Posted: December 14, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4324773)
Alex Speier has a rundown of what he thinks the Sox are doing, which, as usual, is pretty good. It includes this:

The Red Sox received an unwanted object lesson over the last couple of years in what happens when huge long-term contracts go bad. The Tommy John surgeries for John Lackey and Carl Crawford tied the team’s hands in dramatic fashion, and when Josh Beckett’s shoulder and Adrian Gonzalez’s inexplicably unraveling offensive approach impacted their ability to produce, the Sox faced the prospect of several years of disappointment.


He seems to sign on to the idea that long-term contracts were the issue but the Red Sox still would have sucked in 2012 (and collapsed in 2011) if Crawford and Lackey were on 3-year deals. And if they were, they would not have been able to afford Gonzalez.

But what I want to point out here is that, while everyone else's problems are attributed to injuries, Gonzalez's are "inexplicable." I hope to expand on this in a separate post, but Gonzalez has not been the same hitter since he hurt his shoulder in May 2010. He had an injury that the Red Sox seemed to ignore when giving him a huge deal.
   23. Dale Sams Posted: December 14, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4324793)
though the club will be mindful that even when it finds such a player -- as the team thought was the case with Gonzalez -- it might be wrong.


Player puts up second best year of his career (2011)...team is wrong about player. (shakes head)


Let me ask this: If Carl Crawford puts up a 5.5 WAR season next year..and a reporter aks him why he didn't do that in Boston. And Carl answers, "I don't know man. It's just that place. The media, the fans. The expectations. I don't know."...will the instinctive reply be, "Oh ######## Carl."?
   24. Mattbert Posted: December 14, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4324795)
He seems to sign on to the idea that long-term contracts were the issue but the Red Sox still would have sucked in 2012 (and collapsed in 2011) if Crawford and Lackey were on 3-year deals. And if they were, they would not have been able to afford Gonzalez.

I don't follow. Why could they not have afforded Gonzo? Are you assuming that Crawford and Lackey would have been on much higher AAV deals because of the hypothetically shorter length and therefore the Sox would be butting up against the luxury tax cap?

In this parallel universe where the Sox only offered Crawford three years, I have to believe he simply signs with the Angels instead. Lackey probably goes elsewhere too, if the best offer the Sox make is something like 3/$55M. Don't most guys just take the higher total contract value instead of worrying about AAV when they're in that position?
   25. Mattbert Posted: December 14, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4324807)
Player puts up second best year of his career (2011)...team is wrong about player. (shakes head)

Well, to be fair, the contract didn't kick in until after that. Since that's a little bit pedantic and beside the point, I will just say that a guy being good in Year 1 (or Year -1, narf!) of a seven-year megacontract does not make the front office's evaluation of that player right or wrong. I think we need at least another year or two to judge whether the Sox' commitment to Gonzo was wise or not.

Let me ask this: If Carl Crawford puts up a 5.5 WAR season next year..and a reporter aks him why he didn't do that in Boston. And Carl answers, "I don't know man. It's just that place. The media, the fans. The expectations. I don't know."...will the instinctive reply be, "Oh ######## Carl."?

I don't know what this means or is supposed to imply.
   26. Dale Sams Posted: December 14, 2012 at 02:03 PM (#4324825)
Let me posit this, since it just occured to me:

Isn't it better if a team goes out and gets a bunch 2 year contract mercs*, then a star on a 7 year contract? Unless they are absolutely sure that this guy they are getting is mentally strong enough to handle it? Preferably even a Sabathia, who wasn't with his original team.

In other words, if there's a lesson to be learned here it's "Let's stay away from guys that fit Crawfords profile in all ways"

*Yes, this does fit with what the team is doing right now. It occured to me because, I'm trying to get a grip in my head if a player like Napoli or Dempster is going to feel like it's all on them, or are they 'just show up and excel guys'.
   27. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 14, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4324849)
But what I want to point out here is that, while everyone else's problems are attributed to injuries, Gonzalez's are "inexplicable." I hope to expand on this in a separate post, but Gonzalez has not been the same hitter since he hurt his shoulder in May 2010. He had an injury that the Red Sox seemed to ignore when giving him a huge deal.


Serious question - when in May, 2010 did Gonzalez hurt his shoulder? He started the month with a .971 OPS and was .893 the rest of the year. If you use May 31 as your cutoff the numbers are .840 and .938. May itself was a lousy month (.738) so maybe there was an injury there that was short term? There really isn't anything in the 2010 numbers that demonstrate that the shoulder injury was meaningful. His ISO in 2010 was his lowest since 2006 but other than his outrageous 2009 it wasn't really out of the norm;

2007 - .220
2008 - .231
2009 - .273
2010 - .213
2011 - .210


Now maybe the shoulder was a problem. Frankly I would assume it was because when stars go pffffft I think injury is usually the cause. Still, up until the 2012 season there was no evidence that the shoulder was causing a problem.
   28. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 14, 2012 at 02:25 PM (#4324856)
Isn't it better if a team goes out and gets a bunch 2 year contract mercs*, then a star on a 7 year contract? Unless they are absolutely sure that this guy they are getting is mentally strong enough to handle it? Preferably even a Sabathia, who wasn't with his original team.


Well yeah but easier said than done. Supposedly the Sox did almost creepy amounts of research into Crawford and whiffed there.
   29. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 14, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4324918)

2007 - .220
2008 - .231
2009 - .273
2010 - .213
2011 - .210


If you adjust for league and park, those numbers (ISO divided by avg lg/park ISO) go:
1.41
1.54
1.83
1.47
1.36

Not dramatically different, but a more obvious difference than if you just look at ISO.
Of course, in that context, you could also argue 2009 was just a career year in terms of power.


   30. Darren Posted: December 14, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4324999)
I don't follow. Why could they not have afforded Gonzo? Are you assuming that Crawford and Lackey would have been on much higher AAV deals because of the hypothetically shorter length and therefore the Sox would be butting up against the luxury tax cap?

In this parallel universe where the Sox only offered Crawford three years, I have to believe he simply signs with the Angels instead. Lackey probably goes elsewhere too, if the best offer the Sox make is something like 3/$55M. Don't most guys just take the higher total contract value instead of worrying about AAV when they're in that position?


I was assuming, for the sake of argument, that the Sox were able to sign Crawford and Lackey to something like 3/80 and 3/65. The point was to examine whether it was the length of the deals that was the problem. I think that when you do that, it becomes clear that the real problem was that they signed the wrong guys, and that signing them for shorter deals would also mean that there'd be no room for AGonz at 3/90 (or whatever).

But if you're going to assume that we don't get Crawford and Lackey because of the short deals, the obvious assumption is that we also don't get AGonz for the same reason. So, we still don't have AGonz.
   31. Darren Posted: December 14, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4325003)
On AGonz, the injury was actually 2009 (sorry) but aggravated in 2010. I'll have more later.
   32. Darren Posted: December 14, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4325023)
Passan hates Victorino. , so that's probably good news. :) He also says this about Dempster:

"Dempster's fine. There's a reason that nobody would give him three years, though. He had Tommy John surgery back in 2003. Elbows tend not to last very long -- somewhere usually between seven and 10 years or so. We're getting to the 10th year of his elbow holding at this point. I know that the medicals on him turned out all right, but there was still quite a bit of concerns from other teams about his arm holding up. Especially with all the sliders he throws. You'll see, he throws about one-third of his pitches are sliders, and those can be very, very harmful on the arm. I think that was the big question mark about Dempster and the reason that nobody gave him a third year. You just hope for the Red Sox' sake he lasts two."


Has anyone ever heard anything about 7-10 years for TJ elbows?
   33. SG Posted: December 14, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4325032)
Has anyone ever heard anything about 7-10 years for TJ elbows?


I think there's a study in the Hardball Times 2013 Annual that gets into it. According to that, I think Kerry Wood had the longest post TJ-surgery career.
   34. Jittery McFrog Posted: December 14, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4325033)
I love the idea that if you just have a lot of money and spend it according to the most optimal (optimistic?) models you'll just crank out a winner next year and beyond. If that's all it took, why wouldn't every team just do it?

I'm glad you love the idea, but it's not what my post said...
   35. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 14, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4325035)
Has anyone ever heard anything about 7-10 years for TJ elbows?


Didn't Jeff Passan say something about that recently?

I recall seeing some evidence that TJ repairs eventually need a "tune up" so to speak but that's a general recollection. I don't remember any specifics.
   36. Darren Posted: December 14, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4325077)
Yes, Passan said it in the article I quoted, the one that prompted me to ask "Has anyone ever heard anything about 7-10 years for TJ elbows?" ;)
   37. Dale Sams Posted: December 14, 2012 at 06:29 PM (#4325149)
re: Victorino...Im way late to that party cause other things were taking up my time. My initial reaction is "Near JD Drew money for that?" K...fewer years, good work ethic I suppose. I've seen his arm in person and it's very good. It's nice to have a new steal threat around. I really can't speak for his D, and finally "That contract coming off that year??? Why?"

I suppose if you go by the logic of, "He's not blocking anyone and the money might as well go to somebody" well, okay. Though I guess he could block Bradley in that time frame. Course Sox could afford to move him. I'd hate to see the Sox trade Ellsbury in the middle of a 6 WAR season though and keep Victorino.

...thats all i got..
   38. Darren Posted: December 14, 2012 at 06:52 PM (#4325164)
If you assume that Victorino is being paid to product 1 Win/$5.5M and that he drops off at a normal 1/2 win per year, the Sox are paying for this production:

2013: 3.2 WAR
2014: 2.7 WAR
2015: 2.2 WAR

If you stretch that out to Drew's 5 years, you get:

2016: 1.7 WAR ($9.35M)
2017: 1.2 WAR ($6.6M)

So Victorino's deal was more similar to paying 5/$54M, but without having to commit to the last two years. And that's several years of inflation after Drew signed his deal. (In today's dollars, Drew's contract looks more like 5/$92M).
   39. Mattbert Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:19 AM (#4325342)
Dempster's fine. There's a reason that nobody would give him three years, though. He had Tommy John surgery back in 2003. Elbows tend not to last very long -- somewhere usually between seven and 10 years or so.

I think there's a study in the Hardball Times 2013 Annual that gets into it. According to that, I think Kerry Wood had the longest post TJ-surgery career.

I'd be keen to know how many of those endpoints were effectively determined by age and the perfectly normal loss of effectiveness that comes with getting older as opposed to specifically the TJ-repaired elbow itself wearing out.
   40. Darren Posted: December 15, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4325426)
Luckily, Dempster is also getting old.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Eugene Freedman
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Demarini, Easton and TPX Baseball Bats

 

 

 

 

Page rendered in 0.5629 seconds
41 querie(s) executed