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   1. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 23, 2010 at 05:35 PM (#3696016)
I should add an appreciation of Victor Martinez. He made the 2009 team so much more enjoyable to root for down the stretch, and he was always fun to watch at the plate. Without him, we might never have seen just how deeply Adrian Beltre doesn't like having people touch his head, and for that alone, we will always remember Victor Martinez.
   2. Textbook Editor Posted: November 23, 2010 at 05:44 PM (#3696026)
Gotta be Napoli, I think. A Napoli/Salty tandem would be fine.

But I don't think Kalish gets it done. I think you'd have to go bigger than that; probably Ellsbury or Cameron+ with most of the $ eaten on his contract.

As I said in the other thread, I'm kind of OK with a Salty/Varitek tandem if it comes to it, but that presupposes Beltre is re-signed and we sign one of Crawford/Werth to get an OF upgrade.

The C spot won't matter as much as Lackey/Beckett sucking/not sucking in 2011. How those two perform will be way more important than the C spot.
   3. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 23, 2010 at 05:49 PM (#3696032)
I think you'd have to go bigger than that; probably Ellsbury or Cameron+ with most of the $ eaten on his contract.
For what it's worth, I was honestly thinking that Kalish was more valuable than Cameron or Ellsbury. Could be wrong - I'm pessimistic about guys who lose a full season to injury.

Why do people think Napoli would "team" with Saltalamacchia, if he were acquired? The Sox already have a DH and a 1B, and Napoli is seven times the player Salty is.
   4. Cowboy Popup Posted: November 23, 2010 at 05:53 PM (#3696035)
I was honestly thinking that Kalish was more valuable than Cameron or Ellsbury.

I think you're right. Ellsbury's shine is off a bit since he lost a year and was moved from CF by his organization. I would guess Ellsbury's value is as low as it has been since he hit the Majors.

I can't imagine the Angels seeing Cameron as a valuable trade commodity. He's 38 next, he was hurt and bad for most of 2010 and he strikes out a lot, which will matter to the Angels.
   5. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 23, 2010 at 06:11 PM (#3696052)
Minor thing: the Tigers have the very highest unprotected pick in the 2011 draft (19th, due to consolation picks above for failed signings.) They were tied with the A's, but lose the tiebreaker, so the A's first-rounder is protected while the Tigers' isn't. Now we're all going to be hoping for the Tigers to avoid any other major free agent acquisition.
   6. OCD SS Posted: November 23, 2010 at 06:33 PM (#3696069)
Werth, Soriano, Rivera, Jeter, and Lee are the only players ranked higher. There have been some rumblings about them also looking at an OFer, but I've heard Crawford a bit more... I kind of doubt they'll add another big contract reliever.
   7. Dan Posted: November 23, 2010 at 06:52 PM (#3696085)
I find it hard to believe that Napoli won't be very available. Scioscia obviously doesn't trust him to catch, and the Angels now have Conger, Mathis, and Wilson for him to start over Napoli. So they'd be looking at paying ~5M for a backup catcher/backup 1B/backup DH (assuming they play some combination of Abreu and Rivera at DH). I think they're absolutely going to move him, so the Red Sox just have to beat whatever other offers they get.

For what it's worth, I don't think he's any worse behind the plate than Martinez, and he has a better arm.
   8. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: November 23, 2010 at 07:28 PM (#3696121)
IF the Sox can sign two of Werth/Crawford and Beltre (or acquire a corner infielder some other way) I would be fine with the Sox going into the season with Salty and a guy like Olivo or Torrealba splitting time. See what you got with Salty, give Exposito and Lavarnway another year to try and develop and see where you are;

Ellsbury - CF
Pedroia - 2B
Werth - LF
Youk - 1B
Ortiz - DH
Beltre - 3B
Drew - RF
Lowrie - SS (I'm more convinced that Scutaro is getting dealt)
Saltalamacchia - C

That feels like a lineup that will do just fine. I think the points made in the other threads that the Sox are extremely unlikely to let $40 million come off the books and not spend it are accurate. If they can land Napoli I'll do cartwheels but pending other moves I don't think it's an absolute must.
   9. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: November 23, 2010 at 07:38 PM (#3696134)
Just a thought but my one disappointment here is that I think this makes it less likely for the Sox to gamble a little this off-season. If they had brought back Victor I think you could have argued that letting Beltre go and just doing a "sink or swim kid" with Lars Anderson might have been feasible. Back to the big board;

Ellsbury
Pedroia
Martinez
Youkilis
Werth/Crawford (I'm convinced the Sox get one of these two)
Ortiz
Drew
Anderson (probably not three lefties in a row though)
Lowrie

And you takes your shot. Anderson gets his chance to show he can do it, if he does, you've found a 1st baseman for the next decade, if not, back to the drawing board but the upside is potentially huge. With Martinez off the table I think the Sox now are in a position where they are likely to have to need to land a corner infielder of some note because catcher is not likely to be an offensive strength.
   10. Josh Posted: November 23, 2010 at 09:32 PM (#3696225)
I have less expectation that Salty will suck than most, it seems. I don't think he'll be great, but I think a 750 OPS is reasonable - something like a 340/410 type. Which is pretty solid for a starting C.

I think Derrek Lee will be a good signing. Bats righty, plays good D, a reasonable expectation is a 370/480 line. Likely on a 1 or 2 year deal for not a ton of money, and no draft picks lost. Assuming Beltre goes to the West Coast (which I do assume), then that leaves you cheap at C and 1B/3B (in comparison to last year) and means that they just have no excuse to not sign one of the OFers.
   11. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 23, 2010 at 09:43 PM (#3696239)
I have less expectation that Salty will suck than most, it seems. I don't think he'll be great, but I think a 750 OPS is reasonable - something like a 340/410 type. Which is pretty solid for a starting C.
That would be pretty solid, but I expect Saltalamacchia's projection to be maybe 50 points worse than that.

2010: 300 MiLB PA, 780 OPS
2009: 300 MLB PA, 660 OPS
2008: 230 MLB PA, 720 OPS
2007: 320 MLB PA, 730 OPS
2006: 380 MiLB PA, 730 OPS

He had a big season in the Carolina League in 2005, but other than that, his record is uninspiring. Looks more like a 700 OPs projection, as I said. Saltalamacchia just doesn't make enough contact to be a good MLB hitter at this point.

EDIT: the fact that he hasn't even been a regular starter over a full season since 2005 is just weird, and another point against making him a regular starter in 2011.

Games played, starting in 2005: 129, 92, 115, 76, 86, 102
   12. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: November 23, 2010 at 09:49 PM (#3696252)
I think Derrek Lee will be a good signing. Bats righty, plays good D, a reasonable expectation is a 370/480 line.
That seems optimistic for Lee, even giving him Fenway credit. That would be a higher OPS than he has managed three of the last five years (including two of the last three) and he's going to be 35.

(Well, optimistic on the slash line anyway, probably not optimistic for him to bat righty.)
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 23, 2010 at 10:01 PM (#3696269)
Lars Anderson has given zero indication he's ready for the bigs. He hasn't hit in AAA. Starting him in the majors would be a HUGE blunder.
   14. Nasty Nate Posted: November 23, 2010 at 10:23 PM (#3696294)
When was the last time the Sox and Angels made a deal together?
   15. Pingu Posted: November 23, 2010 at 10:25 PM (#3696295)
Yeah, and Lars has struggled even at AA. Until he shows a sign that he can hit, he's injury insurance and/or trade bait.
   16. Josh Posted: November 23, 2010 at 10:36 PM (#3696302)
That seems optimistic for Lee, even giving him Fenway credit
That is essentially his Bill James projection. They seem to be a little more optimistic than most; on the other hand, it doesn't include Fenway and I bet his Marcel (or ZiPS or Chone or your-pick) isn't that far from this. Maybe closer to 360/460, but its ball-park-y. He was solid after his injury and ended up having a poor, but non-disastrous, year.
That would be pretty solid, but I expect Saltalamacchia's projection to be maybe 50 points worse than that.
Again, I'm a bit too lazy now to do my own Marcels, but his Bill James (up already on Fangraphs) is basically .325/.425. His Marcel will be heavily influenced by the mean, but you are right that it will probably be closer .720 than .750, which I expect him to out perform slightly. I don't see a downside risk of a C with a sub 700 OPS, but I see an upside chance of a catcher with a +800 OPS, and the likelihood of it being in the middle. I'd love to trade for Napoli (though I do think his defense will be horrible), but I have no idea what it would cost.
   17. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 23, 2010 at 10:50 PM (#3696310)
I may be wrong to do this, but I've been ignoring the Bill James projections for young players for a while now. I believe they're based on massively outdated MLE calculations, which lead to overrating young players across the board.

My monkey projection (5/4/3/2) using quickie MLE (AAA OPS * .86) puts Saltalamacchia at 688 OPS.

That's a neutral park number, so putting him in Fenway probably gets him around 710.
   18. Darren Posted: November 24, 2010 at 01:17 AM (#3696384)
I can't believe the consensus that VMart won't be worth 4/50. Except for the year he was injured, he's been racking up about 4.5 Wins (BRef) with his bat every year for a while now. So assumming he's a -5 1B and a -5 C, here's what you'd get for his WAR over 4 years:

11: 100 g C, 50 g 1B--def -.5, pos +.4, Off +4.5 = 4.4 WAR
12: 100 g C, 50 g 1B--def -.6, pos +.4, Off +4.25 = 4.05 WAR
13: 50 g C, 100 g 1B--def -.7, pos -.4, Off +4 = 2.9 WAR
14: 50 g C, 100 g 1B--def -.8, pos -.4, Off +3.75 = 2.5 WAR

Total: ~14 WAR for $50 mil. That's a fine deal for the Red Sox, especially considering the lack of other options out their at catcher. All of that changes if they're able land Napoli for a reasonable price.
   19. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 24, 2010 at 01:39 AM (#3696399)
Well, 125 games per season seems like a more reasonable guess than 150, with a catcher in his 30s. Take 5/6 of those numbers, you get 11.5 WAR. If you arrange the games missed so that he misses more games later in his career, that's maybe 12 instead. It's not a huge difference - in any case, this is a contract that's reasonable given how weak the free agent C market appears.

I basically agree with Darren that 4/50 seems like the sort of offer the Sox should have been able to beat. That they didn't makes me hopeful they have a better plan in motion.
   20. karlmagnus Posted: November 24, 2010 at 01:53 AM (#3696402)
Makes me think they blew it again, MCofA. But by all means, let's watch with interest.
   21. Darren Posted: November 24, 2010 at 02:37 AM (#3696410)
I don't see what's to stop VMart from playing more than 125, as long as they keep his catching games down. Maybe I should be expecting a big injury somewhere though. I also think I might be a little pessimistic there in that this guy is like a hitting machine, with great peripherals that portend good aging, and the notion that he may hit better when playing 1B.

Maybe the Red Sox finally read my very clever post from a couple years ago about how to get Russell Martin. ;)
   22. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 24, 2010 at 03:22 AM (#3696434)
Even among non-catchers, the number of players who average 150 games a year from ages 32-35 is very, very small. We agree on the basic point, so this is mostly just quibbling.

EDIT: play-index says there have been 48 players in baseball history with 600 games played between the ages of 32-35. There have been 191 in 550 games played. There have been exactly five catchers with 550 games player between the ages of 32-35. (I set the limit at 30% of games played at catcher.)

The most games anyone has ever played in their age 32-35 seasons, while catching at least 1/3 of the time, is 566, by Jorge Posada.
   23. Hugh Jorgan Posted: November 24, 2010 at 06:51 AM (#3696520)
IF the Sox can sign two of Werth/Crawford and Beltre (or acquire a corner infielder some other way) I would be fine with the Sox going into the season with Salty

WHEN the Sox sign Crawford and Beltre, they'll dump(er trade) Ellsbury to the Angels for Napoli. I also reckon they'll try to get rid of Paps and his $12mil and spread the money around to the available relievers on the market. CF is still an issue though unless the FO sees Cameron as the answer there(I have no idea where he is at or if can even still be effective)
   24. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: November 24, 2010 at 08:07 AM (#3696540)
re [23] - Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

If you had posted this yesterday and included 'will make little to no realistic effort to resign Martinez' you might as well have BEEN me.
   25. Mattbert Posted: November 24, 2010 at 01:26 PM (#3696585)
FROM THE GUY WHO BROUGHT YOU LAST WINTER'S SMASH HIT "DON'T SIGN LACKEY":

I'm not sold on Werth; regrettable contract waiting to happen. I'd go hard after Crawford and Beltre, harder after the former. Adam Dunn should be on the radar too. If the Sox sign Crawford and one of Beltre/Dunn, I think a C timeshare between Salty and Tek is adequate.

I think Felipe Lopez, if he accepts arb, can do a job as a backup/utility infielder. Scutaro and Lowrie could therefore be used in a trade, although I would be sad to see Lowrie go. He hit the crap out of the ball in the second half when he was finally healthy.

In the abstract, I like the idea of trading Papelbon and spending his money in the reliever market. There are a bunch of good-not-great arms out there. However, I'd be a little nervous about the FO's ability to identify and sign the right ones. With their track record, it seems inevitable they'd bring in the one-year wonders or the outright busts. Papelbon may not be great any more, but at least he's a rather solid bet to be good, as in "among the ten best closers in MLB" good.
   26. Pingu Posted: November 24, 2010 at 02:25 PM (#3696601)
After a night to sleep on this, I'm still mad as hell.

Didnt reports say the Red Sox offered Martinez 3/36? Is 4/50 a big jump from that?
They could have, and should have matched that. Hell, they should have started the inseason negotiations at that and not come to this point.

Darren is on to something, he might even had been worth it. I'd bet against it though, and I see it as unlikely he's worth 12.5 in 2014, but who the hell cares, you're already (over)paying your mid-30s DH 12.5 in 2011. In no way has this hamstrung the organization. And Victor is likely to be one of the top 5 catchers in the game for a couple of years.

I was ok w/ letting Damon walk (even tho it turned out to be incorrect), I was ok with letting Pedro walk (even tho he completed me), I was ok with letting Bay walk, etc. etc. I'm perfectly ok letting Beltre walk. I just cant rationalize in my inferior brain right now what LEGITIMATE REASON could be given for not offering Victor 4/50.

Didnt this same organization sign Varitek for 4/40 for his age 33-36 seasons? Victor is younger and significantly better (blah blah defense & Mr. Intangibles Jr.). They looked at the FA market in 2004 and saw no acceptable options to replace Varitek and they overpaid to bring him back. Why not now? Did signing Varitek prevent you from winning another damn world series?

Honestly, if the Red Sox turn around and spend way too much money for Werth and Beltre, I'm gonna start sounding a lot more like karlmangus around here.

I really think this is a big miss.
   27. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: November 24, 2010 at 02:48 PM (#3696612)
Didnt reports say the Red Sox offered Martinez 3/36? Is 4/50 a big jump from that?


It's $14 million for a year that even his most ardent supporters agree is likely to be a year he is not worth it. Having signed Varitek in 2004 isn't a reason to sign Martinez now, that's like saying they signed Julio Lugo to a 4 year deal and won a World Series, why aren't they offering the same to Juan Uribe?

I loved watching Victor hit but this is a 32 year old guy who played 54 games behind the plate in 2008 and 82 in 2009. There is a very high likelihood that this is going to be a player who either misses considerable time OR has to move to a position where his bat is decidedly average.

Which is not to say Martinez will be terrible or even bad the next couple of years. The reality is that the Sox are likely able to spend big on 2 of 3 guys; a corner infielder, an outfielder and a catcher. I think the Sox have looked at the options and reached the conclusion that the safer bets are the 1B/3B and OF.
   28. Pingu Posted: November 24, 2010 at 03:25 PM (#3696623)
Which is not to say Martinez will be terrible or even bad the next couple of years. The reality is that the Sox are likely able to spend big on 2 of 3 guys; a corner infielder, an outfielder and a catcher. I think the Sox have looked at the options and reached the conclusion that the safer bets are the 1B/3B and OF.


Positional scarcity, and all that. Certainly there are safer options at 1B/3B and OF, but there are also better alternatives (some of which are already on the roster being paid). I mean the only alternative at C we've even floated is Napoli, and we have no idea if thats even an option or what it would take to get a deal done. And the FO and manager have come out saying Saltalamacchia would look nice as a starting catcher, both before and after Victor signed.

And if the 2 of 3 they choose are Werth and Beltre, both of which will most certainly be overpaid, I dont see how thats the correct 2 out of 3 to overpay.
   29. villageidiom Posted: November 24, 2010 at 03:53 PM (#3696645)
When was the last time the Sox and Angels made a deal together?


Waiver claim:
4/29/2010 Angels selected Kevin Frandsen off waivers.
8/16/2000 Angels selected David Eckstein off waivers.
5/17/1996 Angels selected Brad Pennington off waivers.

Trade:
12/15/2006 Angels traded Brendan Donnelly to Sox for Phil Seibel.
1/23/1981 Sox traded Fred Lynn and Steve Renko to Angels for Frank Tanana, Joe Rudi, and Jim Dorsey.
12/10/1980 Sox traded Rick Burleson and Butch Hobson to Angels for Carney Lansford, Mark Clear, and Rick Miller.
12/8/1977 Angels traded Jerry Remy to Sox for Don Aase and $.

So, setting aside waiver-wire poaching, the Red Sox and Angels have made one trade in nearly 30 years.
   30. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: November 24, 2010 at 04:21 PM (#3696667)
It wasn't Frank Tanana, Joe Rudi, and Jim Dorsey.

It was Joe Rudi, Jim Dorsey, and Frank Tanana.
   31. Darren Posted: November 24, 2010 at 04:22 PM (#3696670)
@27--He did catch 108 in 2010 despite a fluky thumb injury.

DM brings good points in #26--It's okay for the team to hang tough on negotiations, but they need to be right.

--Does anyone think that Lackey at 5 years/$17M-per was a better bet to last out his contract? He was coming off two injury-shortened years and is not exactly the picture of fitness. He's also a pitcher. (Similar question for Beckett)

--They could have held firm on Ortiz and got someone similarly valuable for less. But they chose the certainty of a 1-year deal in that case. It seems likely that they're going to bring back Papelbon too.

They better have a very nice plan in place, I think.
   32. Dale Sams Posted: November 24, 2010 at 04:26 PM (#3696675)
Ortiz was the best DH in the league in 2010. "Holding firm and getting someone similarly valuable for less" seems like a vague plan.
   33. Nasty Nate Posted: November 24, 2010 at 04:26 PM (#3696676)
Does anyone think that Lackey at 5 years/$17M-per was a better bet to last out his contract? He was coming off two injury-shortened years and is not exactly the picture of fitness. He's also a pitcher.


I'm not sure what you mean by last out his contract, but I think Lackey's deal will look OK compared to the one Martinez just got once all is said and done.
   34. Darren Posted: November 24, 2010 at 04:36 PM (#3696684)
Ortiz was the best DH in the league in 2010. "Holding firm and getting someone similarly valuable for less" seems like a vague plan.


I thought I'd spelled out the alternatives in other threads. There are a half-dozen guys who are quite a bit cheaper and project to be similarly valuable. It's a far less vague plan than "let Martinez go...profit!"



I'm not sure what you mean by last out his contract, but I think Lackey's deal will look OK compared to the one Martinez just got once all is said and done.


It might. I doubt it will look better though.
   35. Dale Sams Posted: November 24, 2010 at 04:38 PM (#3696685)
I'm not sure what you mean by last out his contract, but I think Lackey's deal will look OK compared to the one Martinez just got once all is said and done.


I disagree. I think VMart will be one of the top 3 DH's in the league his last 1-2 years.
   36. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: November 24, 2010 at 04:56 PM (#3696699)
DM brings good points in #26--It's okay for the team to hang tough on negotiations, but they need to be right.


You can say that about any negotiation though. At the end of the day they have to be right. I think it's a fair bet that Werth + Beltre + Saltalamacchia will be better than Martinez + Werth + Overbay (?).

I liked the Lackey and Beckett deals particularly given the lack of available pitching on the market. I feel a lot better with Beckett and Lackey than I would with Wakefield and ??? and hoping to land de la Rosa or Pavano or trying to count on Doubront as a 30 start guy (and I love Doubront).

I've been thinking about this this morning a lot. I think when you look at the top of the FA market for this off-season there is a very good chance that everyone who signs a top FA is going to be disappointed in the long run. There are reasons to be concerned about all of the top guys; Lee, Werth, Crawford, Beltre, Martinez, I think considering the length and dollars necessary for these guys there is a decent chance all are going to look like bad contracts in the end. This is an issue generally with free agents but there is no one on that list (am I missing any of the big FAs?) that I say "this guy is as close to a lock as you can get" the way I've felt about guys like Beltran (heh), Teixeira, Gonzalez next year.
   37. OCD SS Posted: November 24, 2010 at 05:04 PM (#3696707)
With the Braves not offering Lee arb, I think he's become A very solid plan B to Beltre leaving. I'd really call him plan 1A since I'm also convinced that Beltre is determined to play on the West coast. This gives them the flexibility to go after AGon or another corner IF with a bit more info.

If they can sign Crawford and get good value for Ellsbury, I'd be happy with Cameron and Kalish rounding out the OF.
   38. Pingu Posted: November 24, 2010 at 05:14 PM (#3696717)
You can say that about any negotiation though. At the end of the day they have to be right. I think it's a fair bet that Werth + Beltre + Saltalamacchia will be better than Martinez + Werth + Overbay (?).


Personally, if we're making choices that we dont know if the Red Sox had to make in the first place......I'd choose Martinez + Dunn + BULLPEN. But thats just me. I can see the case for Martinez + Beltre + Cameron or Martinez + Crawford + Lowrie.

I'm not buying that Werth makes this team as much better as he should, given the contract he will command. And without giving it too much thought, I think Werth might be more of a disaster at the end of the 5 year deal he'll get than Martinez will be at the end of his 4-year.

I agree with you that the FA class lacks certainty, although I think Lee is as close to a lock as you will get for a FA SP. Crawford aint perfect, but he's a pretty good bet.

I'm not sure what you mean by last out his contract, but I think Lackey's deal will look OK compared to the one Martinez just got once all is said and done.

I disagree. I think VMart will be one of the top 3 DH's in the league his last 1-2 years.


My god. VMart is a hitter, he'll be fine. The Lackey deal looks disastorous in YEAR 1. I like his chances for a rebound as much as anyone, but damn, it could be an epic disaster by the end of year 5.
   39. Pingu Posted: November 24, 2010 at 05:20 PM (#3696719)
Derek Lee should be in the back up plans, and I might be able to support that if it werent for the fact that he brings back haunting memories of the Tony Clark acquisition. Prob not even remotely fair comparison, but it just reminds me of that for some reason.
   40. Nasty Nate Posted: November 24, 2010 at 05:33 PM (#3696734)
I think the hyperbole about Lackey is getting bizarre. The multi-year pitcher deals which seem disastrous after one year are the ones where the pitcher has major arm injuries, or Dontrelle Willisesque breakdowns, or Carlos Silvaesque six-and-a-half ERA's - disasters, however, do NOT include 215 innings being pitched.
   41. Pingu Posted: November 24, 2010 at 05:36 PM (#3696739)
Fair enough. The hyperbole was definitely misplaced. But the deal doesnt look good (is that fair?) after 1 out of 5 years. It could get much worse.
   42. villageidiom Posted: December 02, 2010 at 11:25 PM (#3701184)
As of now, Salty is the starter, Varitek is the backup. Tek signed for $2m plus $300k in incentives.

Per PeteAbe: Salty is career 765 OPS vs. RHP, Tek is career 830 OPS vs. LHP. The Tek number is a bit optimistic, as 2010 is the only year in the last 5 in which he has exceeded his career mark (per B-R):

2010 859
2009 785
2008 763
2007 729
2006 689

One could argue that Salty is young enough that he can outperform his career numbers, to help offset this. Regardless of that, the AL averaged a 686 OPS last year from the catching position.

Of course, defense is the bigger issue here.

EDITed to add: Nothing about this precludes them from signing or trading for another starting C. Salty can go back to AAA as needed, or the captain can be cut.
   43. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 02, 2010 at 11:47 PM (#3701204)
If the Red Sox are really going with a cheap platoon at catcher, they're looking at a downgrade of about two wins from last season. They'll need to make some significant changes elsewhere to make up for that.

Red Sox catchers in 2010 hit for an OPS just under 800. I have Saltalamacchia projected to a little over 700 OPS, and a very similar number for Varitek. Doing a quickie extrapolated runs on the projections, Sox catchers last year produced about 95 runs. Salty + Varitek project to produce around 75 runs.

If the Sox are done with their catcher position, they're risking a huge, huge downgrade.

EDIT: Should account for the platoon. If both players get a 1.08 platoon advatange, that's makes up about ten runs of the difference. Of course, Salty and Varitek won't catch every single game, and they won't always have the platoon advantage, so there's another several runs given back on the projection.

Even given a very favorable accounting - no PA by backups, both players with full platoon advantage - this is still a one-win downgrade on offense. I'd guess given a less favorable accounting, it'd be closer to two wins.
   44. Cat Named Manny Posted: December 02, 2010 at 11:58 PM (#3701215)
If the Red Sox are really going with a cheap platoon at catcher, they're looking at a downgrade of about two wins from last season. They'll need to make some significant changes elsewhere to make up for that.


Here's one significant change they're pretty much guaranteed to make: Bringing Dustin Pedroia in to play the second half this year.

Snark aside, I'm not terribly concerned about this. If Victor Martinez's defense was as bad as everyone seems to think it was, then they probably can't lose all that much there. They'll lose the two wins on offense (or more) if the platoon doesn't wrk all that well, or if Saltalamacchia is just terrible, but the Sox had the second-best offense in the league last year, despite losing Pedroia and Youkilis for a combined five months and having Darnell McDonald and Daniel Nava starting in the outfield most of the season. The chances are extremely good that they'll make up enough ground just in having Pedroia and Youkilis back to make up for losing Martinez and any regression from Beltre, never mind the likelihood of a fully healthy Ellsbury and the possibility of Jed Lowrie supplanting Marco Scutaro and significantly upgrading the offense at shortstop.

Now, if the Sox lose Beltre and don't replace his offense, I'll start to get worried, but I think the Sox can absorb losing Martinez and give Saltalamacchia his sink-or-swim moment in 2011.
   45. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: December 03, 2010 at 12:08 AM (#3701224)
I guess at some point, you take your chances with younger players. The Red Sox have shown themselves to be generally pretty risk averse when it comes to handing out starting jobs to non-proven vets, but so far (and of course it is still very early) it appears they're willing to roll the dice a bit more with Salty for whatever reason. Hopefully the Red Sox scouts/coaches see something that will translate to an above average major league catcher that the stats aren't picking up. Cause as far as the stats go, C doesn't look that impressive for 2011.
   46. Pingu Posted: December 03, 2010 at 12:17 AM (#3701234)
Offseasons are never successful when the optimistic view relies on that many "IF"s.

I know, its early. But if they're done at C, I'm extremely disappointed. If I'm gonna be stuck with a catching platoon that cant hit, why not at least find a couple of guys that can pick and throw it.

The problem with losing Victor and replacing him with _fill in the blank_, is now they're stuck clawing at whatever they can just to stay as talented as last years team. A team that, even healthy, was 3rd best in the AL East. They needed to get better this offseason.

Meanwhile, my personal favorite back-up option to the inevitable departure of Beltre just signed with the wrong Sox.

Barring a trade, signing Beltre is now paramount, with Dunn off the market so quickly, the alternatives start getting pretty thin pretty quick (Lee, Berkman, Pena, Cantu, LaRoche?)
   47. Dan Posted: December 03, 2010 at 12:57 AM (#3701260)
Meanwhile, my personal favorite back-up option to the inevitable departure of Beltre just signed with the wrong Sox.

Barring a trade, signing Beltre is now paramount, with Dunn off the market so quickly, the alternatives start getting pretty thin pretty quick (Lee, Berkman, Pena, Cantu, LaRoche?)


I agree 100% with this. Dunn was who they had to get if Beltre didn't come back. Gotta do whatever it takes to bring back Beltre now.
   48. Mattbert Posted: December 03, 2010 at 01:15 AM (#3701275)
A team that, even healthy, was 3rd best in the AL East. They needed to get better this offseason.

Yes and no. A (mostly) injury-free 2010 Boston team wins the division, IMO. I would say they just needed to tread water in terms of true talent in order to make the playoffs in 2011. Tampa is likely to be worse next season.

In my heart I was secretly hoping for Dunn, but I like Beltre too and the head says he's a better fit for the club than Dunn. Feels like he's destined for the west coast unless the Sox overpay, though.
   49. Darren Posted: December 03, 2010 at 02:52 AM (#3701327)
They've got to have a big trade or two in the works.
   50. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 03, 2010 at 03:06 AM (#3701331)
They've got to have a big trade or two in the works.


That's not really Theo's style, is it? I can't remember the last time Boston made a big *offseason* trade.

-- MWE
   51. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 03, 2010 at 03:32 AM (#3701353)
There was Beckett/Lowell for Ramirez/Sanchez.

Theo's style, in my experience, is to attempt to make big trades all the time. He usually doesn't succeed, but I don't think trades aren't his style - it's just that he shoots for big trades that usually fall through. Given that the offseason isn't shaping up to be one in which the Sox can make all necessary improvements through the FA market, and given that they seem to be accepting a multiple win downgrade at C instead of paying Victor Martinez $13M a season for four years, I have to hope Theo has some significant trades in the works.
   52. villageidiom Posted: December 03, 2010 at 03:36 AM (#3701358)
That's not really Theo's style, is it? I can't remember the last time Boston made a big *offseason* trade.
2003-04: Schilling. 2005-06: Renteria / Crisp; Beckett/Lowell/Hanley, although the latter took place while Epstein was out. Yeah, it's been a while.
I know, its early. But if they're done at C, I'm extremely disappointed. If I'm gonna be stuck with a catching platoon that cant hit, why not at least find a couple of guys that can pick and throw it.
They signed Mirabelli, probably the 2nd best C option on the market, in 2004-05 well before signing Varitek. They signed Wakefield to a 2-year deal last offseason, but it didn't stop them from signing Lackey and bumping Wake out of the rotation. I know these aren't great examples, but it has happened that Epstein, when faced with uncertainty in free agency, has handled the Plan B first.
   53. Pingu Posted: December 03, 2010 at 03:37 AM (#3701360)
I was gonna mention the Beckett trade, as well, but dont forget the Schilling deal. So long ago. Like another lifetime ago. Where have the years gone? Where has my hope gone?
   54. OCD SS Posted: December 03, 2010 at 04:26 AM (#3701384)
Yeah, it's been a while.


So you're saying he's due...

I figure the Sox sign one of Crawford or Werth, and go from there. Unless they're trading for Upton I don't see the point of hoping for a trade, as the players who seem to be available otherwise aren't really that impressive. I suppose I could get behind a deal that moved DiceK for someone interesting, but I just don't see it...

I figure we at least owe it to the FO to see how the winter meetings go before we get our panties all wet.
   55. Dale Sams Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:13 AM (#3701414)
(Lee, Berkman, Pena, Cantu, LaRoche?)


Or let the guy who (in his short stint) outhit Hanley Ramirez and was a notch under Tulo play 3B....just a suggestion.

This isn't directed at anyone, but Ellsbury hits 131 OPS+ for a month in 2007 and everyone creams their pants, Jed hits 137 OPS+ for two months...and he's Claude Rains.
   56. OCD SS Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:29 AM (#3701426)
I think he's penciled in as the starting SS.
   57. Dale Sams Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:38 AM (#3701433)
IMHO Lowrie-Scutaro-Pedroia-Youk is stronger than Youk-Lowrie-Pedroia-(ulp)Pena. He just gave the Rays 1.0 WAR in a premium offensive position. We want that? Or those other guys?

Of course Beltre-Lowrie-Pedroia-Youk would be even better.
   58. Dan Posted: December 03, 2010 at 06:11 AM (#3701449)
The Dodgers non-tendered Martin. Sign him now please.
   59. Dan Posted: December 03, 2010 at 06:40 AM (#3701471)
In other news, the Red Sox non-tendered both Taylor Buchholz and Andrew Miller. Presumably that means they have alternative deals in place with those guys since they just acquired them, but who knows.

The Rockies non-tendered MDC. I wonder if he'll turn up in Toronto with John Farrell (or maybe even in Pawtucket).
   60. OCD SS Posted: December 03, 2010 at 01:00 PM (#3701549)
IMHO Lowrie-Scutaro-Pedroia-Youk is stronger than Youk-Lowrie-Pedroia-(ulp)Pena.


I'm thinking Youk-Lowrie-Pedroia-Derek Lee (if Beltre isn't signed).
   61. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 03, 2010 at 02:59 PM (#3701599)
This isn't directed at anyone, but Ellsbury hits 131 OPS+ for a month in 2007 and everyone creams their pants, Jed hits 137 OPS+ for two months...and he's Claude Rains.
Ellsbury didn't sit out nearly two full seasons before his excellent September. I think everyone likes Lowrie, but we're expecting him to step on a rake and gouge his left eyeball sometime in February.
   62. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 03, 2010 at 03:05 PM (#3701604)
Ellsbury didn't sit out nearly two full seasons before his excellent September. I think everyone likes Lowrie, but we're expecting him to step on a rake and gouge his left eyeball sometime in February.


Beyond that it wsan't just a month for Ellsbury. He was a highly regarded prospect who had rocketed through the minor leagues. That one month of performance was also the totality of his MLB performance. In Lowrie's case he was never as highly regarded as a prospect as Ellsbury and we can get all excited about his two months of 2010 but there is also the pesky 113 games of .685 OPS in 2008 and 2009 to consider.

The hype on Ellsbury was obviously overkill but I think the skepticism of Lowrie is warranted and I say this as someone who wants to see him in the starting lineup in 2011.
   63. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 03, 2010 at 03:11 PM (#3701608)
Going into 2008, I wanted Ellsbury in the lineup because I thought he could put up an average batting line with great baserunning and good defense. I didn't think he was going to put up a 330/390/440 line, and anyone who claimed that would have run into quite a lot of (warranted) skepticism round these here parts.

I think there's a good chance Lowrie, if healthy, can put up above average offensive numbers for a shortstop. He doesn't, though, project to put up anything even resembling the sort of numbers at 3B that Beltre projects to. And Beltre is always healthy, while Lowrie almost never is. I want Lowrie to be healthy, earn a shot at the SS job, and win it. I want the Red Sox to sign Adrian Beltre to play 3B.
   64. Darren Posted: December 03, 2010 at 03:17 PM (#3701612)
Jed also had some horrible times in those 2 years before his good streak. I'm sure both health and his occasional horribleness are weighing on people's minds. I like him and I'd deal Scutaro to give him the starting job (while picking up some sort of cheap insurance policy).

@Mike E, I agree that he's usually not much of a big trade guy. But between his and Henry's recent comments, I get the sense that they feel they need to get younger and trades are the way to do that.
   65. Cat Named Manny Posted: December 03, 2010 at 03:52 PM (#3701635)
To cite Lowrie's 2008-09 as an example of both his inability to stay healthy AND as an example of underperformance is double counting. He played essentially the entire time with a broken wrist, which obviously affected his hitting (and he still hit pretty well for a shortstop anyway). And it was just the one injury, right? He broke the wrist, played through the ALCS with it in 2008, then opted for rest over surgery, came back in '09, sucked horribly and had to shut it down and opt for the surgery instead. Unless I'm forgetting something, one broken wrist and a case of mono does not equal "Tim Naehring" to me.

If I'm gonna be stuck with a catching platoon that cant hit, why not at least find a couple of guys that can pick and throw it.


I know we have a tendency to get spoiled, and I have no doubts we'll miss Victor in 2011, but before him we had a catcher who couldn't hit all by himself. As others noted in the other thread, this platoon is extremely likely to be no worse than average for the position, which is still a far sight better than in 2008, when the Sox came within one game of the World Series despite their catchers posting OPS+es of 73, 67, 50 and -35, respectively. So I'm not sure it's accurate to say they "can't hit." Compared to Victor Martinez, sure, they'll be a couple steps down. But Victor Martinez isn't being paid to catch in 2011 either, such is his apparent reputation on defense.
   66. villageidiom Posted: December 03, 2010 at 03:56 PM (#3701638)
Going into 2008, I wanted Ellsbury in the lineup because I thought he could put up an average batting line with great baserunning and good defense. I didn't think he was going to put up a 330/390/440 line, and anyone who claimed that would have run into quite a lot of (warranted) skepticism round these here parts.
AFAICT anyone who has done so has received skepticism AND a permanent ban. Let that be a lesson to all of us.
   67. Nasty Nate Posted: December 03, 2010 at 04:02 PM (#3701643)
Unless I'm forgetting something, one broken wrist and a case of mono does not equal "Tim Naehring" to me.


wait until he contracts Valley Fever in 2011...
   68. Darren Posted: December 03, 2010 at 04:15 PM (#3701659)
I wasn't double counting. Lowrie was hurt and he did suck. I think most of his sucking was due to his wrist injury, but I don't know for sure. He was also up and down in the minors, so either his injury history is more extensive than 2 injuries (and I seem to recall it is) or there's more concern about his inconsistency.
   69. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 03, 2010 at 04:37 PM (#3701681)
Lowrie also had a very poor season in A-ball in 2006, which was later attributed to injury.

With the recent issues he's had, perhaps Lowrie's problems are less about being prone to injury and more about recovering very slowly, or needing to be at a very high level of health to perform well.

Or it could just be bad luck, or an issue (bad conditioning?) that won't affect him going forward. I sure hope so. But he's lost two of the last three seasons, and three of his six professional seasons have been hampered by injury / illness. It's hard to be particularly confident that Lowrie will be available and effective for a full season in 2011.
   70. chris p Posted: December 03, 2010 at 04:48 PM (#3701698)
I think there's a good chance Lowrie, if healthy, can put up above average offensive numbers for a shortstop. He doesn't, though, project to put up anything even resembling the sort of numbers at 3B that Beltre projects to. And Beltre is always healthy, while Lowrie almost never is. I want Lowrie to be healthy, earn a shot at the SS job, and win it. I want the Red Sox to sign Adrian Beltre to play 3B.

i disagree with parts of this. i think a healthy jed lowrie gets fairly close to beltre offensively. quickly glancing at the numbers, figure an 850 ops for beltre and 800 for lowrie? i don't think that's crazy if you make one big huge giant assumption: a healthy jed lowrie. beltre beats the crap out of lowrie b/c he's a much, much better bet to be healthy. defensively, beltre more than makes up for lowrie's positional advantage (avg at best shortstop for lowrie vs. top 3 in the game at 3rd for beltre).
   71. Cat Named Manny Posted: December 03, 2010 at 04:49 PM (#3701699)
I think most of his sucking was due to his wrist injury, but I don't know for sure.


Maybe not for sure, but let's not forget he posted a 90 OPS+ in 2008, which is still better than (EDIT: More like "same as" in all reality) Scutaro from the shortstop position, despite the broken wrist. Lowrie initially injured the wrist in May of that year, and he later said it was bothering him off and on all season until becoming acute enough in September that the Sox initially said he had broken it then.

So it doesn't take too much guesswork to figure out why Lowrie went from an .812 OPS after more than 200 plate appearances on Sept. 2 to a .739 OPS at season's end, courtesy a .197/.284/.276 line.
   72. Darren Posted: December 03, 2010 at 04:56 PM (#3701710)
Maybe not for sure, but let's not forget he posted a 90 OPS+ in 2008,


And in AAA, prior to his injury, he was pretty mediocre.
   73. chris p Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:04 PM (#3701718)
you know, it's not just the numbers that make me think lowrie can hit a bit. watching him hit, it didn't seem like a fluke at all. he's looks solid up there. good patience and pitch recognition, good contact ability, power to all fields, and from both sides of the plate.
   74. tfbg9 Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:06 PM (#3701723)
Jed's career OPS is at .761, with all the injuries and learning-curve stuff.
The super-sunny BJ projection has him at .361/.467 for 2011. But he really oughta hit a fair bit, and
his multi-positional abilities make him my pick as the next Sock Super Sub...800ish aint crazy at all.
I'd rather see him in that particular bench role.

And they absolutely need to re-sign Beltre. He's so lovable.
   75. Cat Named Manny Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:08 PM (#3701725)
And in AAA, prior to his injury, he was pretty mediocre.


I don't understand. He was injured in May of that year, yet posted a .793 OPS in AAA before being called up and posting the aforementioned .812 OPS prior to September. The only real time he spent in Pawtucket before the injury, he posted an .862 OPS in 177 plate appearances at the end of 2007, which is anything but mediocre for a 23-year-old shortstop. His overall line in Pawtucket, over parts of 2007-10 was .268/.350/.458/.808 which still strikes me as better than mediocre for a shortstop, even at AAA.

That all said, we obviously both like him and agree that Lowrie should go into 2011 as the starter, and we both agree that there should be some caution about expecting the world out of him - certainly we shouldn't expect a repeat of his 2010 numbers. At this point, we're just arguing over shades of optimism.
   76. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:12 PM (#3701728)
I think what we're arguing about - at least what I take to be the point of this - is what sorts of plans the Red Sox should make for the left side of their infield. The plan I really don't like is the one where the Sox infield is Youkilis-Pedroia-Scutaro-Lowrie. That's what Dale threw out in 55 and 57, that kicked off the whole argument.
   77. chris p Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:26 PM (#3701745)
The plan I really don't like is the one where the Sox infield is Youkilis-Pedroia-Scutaro-Lowrie.

oof. that plan sucks. let's not do that one. i like the one where the sox infield is youk/petunia/lowrie/beltre with scutaro still around in case lowrie breaks himself again.
   78. Darren Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:30 PM (#3701749)
You don't keep a $6 mil player as a backup, especially when you need that money to fill 3B, the pen, and other places. But then again, the Red Sox do love to spend gobs of money on redundancy that may or may not actually be good.
   79. Nasty Nate Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:32 PM (#3701751)
youk/petunia/lowrie/beltre


die
   80. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:41 PM (#3701764)
The super-sunny BJ projection has him at .361/.467 for 2011.

Please ignore the "Bill James" projections, they're like an uber-fanboy let loose to run amok.

He's got Jesus Montero at 285/348/519 w/o an MLB at bat to his credit, and Eduardo Nunez ready to put up a 106 RC+ at SS.
   81. chris p Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:54 PM (#3701776)
You don't keep a $6 mil player as a backup, especially when you need that money to fill 3B, the pen, and other places. But then again, the Red Sox do love to spend gobs of money on redundancy that may or may not actually be good.

sunk cost. if they can trade him for a useful player without having to pitch in for his salary (if they have to throw in $3 mil to get something decent back, he's only a $3 mil player) and still cover the backup middle infielder problem, i'd consider it.
   82. Darren Posted: December 03, 2010 at 06:02 PM (#3701785)
As a backup, he's not worth $6 mil to them. So they don't need to get much back for him for the deal to be worth it. So, they could deal him for a peanuts, sign another backup for $1-2 mil and use $4-5 mil on a reliever. It'd be like trading him for a reliever (and peanuts!).
   83. tfbg9 Posted: December 03, 2010 at 06:02 PM (#3701786)
Please ignore the "Bill James" projections, they're like an uber-fanboy let loose to run amok.


Hey, I said "super-sunny", didn't I? By that, I was noting the BJ projections are far too optimistic. I suppose I was unclear.
I still think Lowrie figures to hit at an ~.800ish rate at 27 and healthy.
   84. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 03, 2010 at 06:07 PM (#3701792)
Hey, I said "super-sunny", didn't I? By that, I was noting the BJ projections are far too optimistic. I suppose I was unclear.

You did, but even that's not enough given their quality. The James projections are so bad they don't even admit adjustment. They are anti-data, they provide no signal, only noise. We're better off eyeballing mLB stats ourselves.
   85. tfbg9 Posted: December 03, 2010 at 06:25 PM (#3701810)
I dunno, it seems to me that whenever I compare the BJ hitter projections to the ZIPS etc., he'll have a guy .280/.350/.450, and they'll be at .270/.335/.435, that sort of thing. I get the sense they're reliably optisimstic, and one can shave off a bit and guesstimate about what the ZIPS will be without looking at them.

YMMV.
   86. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: December 03, 2010 at 06:38 PM (#3701825)
You don't keep a $6 mil player as a backup, especially when you need that money to fill 3B, the pen, and other places. But then again, the Red Sox do love to spend gobs of money on redundancy that may or may not actually be good.

If we just called Scutaro the "starter" and Lowrie the "backup", would that make it make sense for you? As of right now, (one assumption is that) those two guys are going to fill those two roles on the team. What difference does salary make to the question of which is which?
   87. villageidiom Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:26 PM (#3701863)
If we just called Scutaro the "starter" and Lowrie the "backup", would that make it make sense for you? As of right now, (one assumption is that) those two guys are going to fill those two roles on the team. What difference does salary make to the question of which is which?
I think he's just saying it's inefficient - given Lowrie is the starter - to spend that much on the backup. You're right, if they were effectively spending $6.5 million for both positions it'd be OK, but given their primary (?) option is making so little, there are efficiency gains to be made by liquidating Scutaro.

I'd argue the contrary, for two reasons. First, I don't know who would trade for Scutaro and take on effectively his whole salary, with an eye toward making him the starter. I mean, obviously if they're taking on the salary they won't do it for him as a backup; but I expect it to be unlikely for a team to look to Marco Scutaro, Starter for their IF hole unless he can be had for a very good deal. Second, given Lowrie's health difficulties - and I suppose Pedroia's - they need a backup who can reasonably take the starter role for the whole season if necessary. Those shouldn't come cheaply. None will relish the idea of their playing time being contingent on someone else's gross misfortune. Scutaro is already under contract and doesn't have a say, and Epstein hasn't had a problem with parking someone on the bench with an inefficient contract - Crisp and Lowell are the obvious cases - instead of freeing up the cash.
   88. Pingu Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:33 PM (#3701866)
Allow me to place a huge stinking under on Jed Lowrie both putting up an .800 OPS and playing a full season. In fact, someone first take the under on the probability of that happening, and I will take the under on whatever you project.

Not expecting to see average defense out of him either, so in summary, I dont think the optimism in this thread is warranted.

Is he an acceptable option at SS? Yeah, sure, why not. Not enough for me to feel confident ditching Scutaro or even make it a given that Scutaro aint the starter in 2010.
   89. Nasty Nate Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:37 PM (#3701870)
Scutaro currently is the starting SS for 2011.

If Lowrie proves he is healthy and better, that will be a good thing ... regardless of Scutaro's salary.
   90. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:46 PM (#3701881)
I dunno, it seems to me that whenever I compare the BJ hitter projections to the ZIPS etc., he'll have a guy .280/.350/.450, and they'll be at .270/.335/.435, that sort of thing. I get the sense they're reliably optisimstic, and one can shave off a bit and guesstimate about what the ZIPS will be without looking at them.

YMMV.


I think it's been shown they have a huge problem with MLEs; i.e. they systematically over-rate guys with little MLB history.

It is definitely not just an issue of a higher run-context, and IIRC, the James run-context for hitters doesn't match its run-context for pitchers.

It's a big blow that we're losing CHONE projections this year. We're down to ZiPs and CAIRO as the only reasonable public sources.
   91. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:58 PM (#3701893)
Scutaro currently is the starting SS for 2011.


I don't think that's true, at least not with any meaningful level of certainty. I think it's 60-40 at best right now. The Sox have shown in the Theo era a willingness to put higher priced guys on the bench for young players (Ellsbury/Crisp, Lowrie/Lugo, Papelbon/Foulke) and I think if Lowrie comes into camp and shows he can do it the Sox would turn the job over to him.
   92. Cat Named Manny Posted: December 03, 2010 at 09:12 PM (#3701955)
Allow me to place a huge stinking under on Jed Lowrie both putting up an .800 OPS and playing a full season. In fact, someone first take the under on the probability of that happening, and I will take the under on whatever you project.

Not expecting to see average defense out of him either, so in summary, I dont think the optimism in this thread is warranted.


Is this just based on general pessimism, or actual data? Because Lowrie has shown himself thus far to be a steady if average defender, as well as a reliable bat when his wrist isn't causing him intense pain. If you don't expect Lowrie to stay healthy, just say that.

And who's talking about ditching Scutaro without at least having a decent utility IF replacement?

I can understand skepticism about Lowrie's health and, to a lesser extent, what we can expect from his performance, but I don't get the overtly subjective pessimism.
   93. Josh Posted: December 03, 2010 at 09:33 PM (#3701970)
They are anti-data, they provide no signal, only noise.

I think it's been shown they have a huge problem with MLEs; i.e. they systematically over-rate guys with little MLB history.
The only evidence I've seen for over optimistic bias in BJ projections is a small study in a thread on the Book blog at the beginning of last year (I can re-find the link if you'd like). Where else are the studies/data that show this?

The study in the Book blog convinces me that the projections are not good - they likely won't sum up to zero as a league wide run differential. But, not so bad that they are "only noise." I'd guess that they are better than prior year, worse than Marcel.

For players with only ML histories, I don't see much need to go past Marcel. For players with mainly minor league histories, a modified Marcel (using MLEs, as Tango's Marcel will just call the player league average) is fine, but ZiPS feels better (even though I have no idea if that is true).
   94. Dan Posted: December 04, 2010 at 08:17 AM (#3702277)
If this Adrian Gonzalez trade is for real, I think it definitely means the Sox should be signing Werth rather than Crawford. Werth balances out the lineup and replaces Beltre's (and VMart's) righty power. And since Gonzalez is making so little money in 2011 compared to a potential Beltre signing, it means more money available for upgrading the bullpen while staying under the salary cap. Then after 2011 you have Drew and Ortiz coming off the books, freeing up the money for a new deal for Gonzalez.

Anyway, if the Sox do acquire both Gonzalez and Werth, you'd be looking at a very formidable lineup in 2011:

CF Ellsbury
2B Pedroia
1B Gonzalez
3B Youk
DH Ortiz
LF Werth
RF Drew
C Salty/Tek
SS Lowrie/Scutaro

Bench:

C Tek/Salty
CIF PTBNL
IF Scutaro/Lowrie
OF Cameron (or McDonald if Cameron is dealt somewhere)

Grab a couple of mid-level bullpen arms, and I like this team's shot at the AL East crown.
   95. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 04, 2010 at 01:42 PM (#3702301)
Buster Olney on the Twitter:
Sources: The San Diego Padres and Boston Red Sox are on the verge of finishing an Adrian Gonzalez deal. Players all agreed to.
about 2 hours ago via web
...
The Red Sox are far enough along in the conversation that they are trying to work out a new contract with Adrian Gonzalez.
about 2 hours ago via web
...
Rival executives say SS Jose Iglesias would be a natural fit for any Red Sox/Gonzalez trade, to SD; we'll see if he's in the deal.
about 1 hour ago via web
Obviously the Theo experience has taken us up to the brink of trades in the past, without paying it off. But this looks like a pretty great answer to "Now What?" I'm happy that the Red Sox do not see a stand-pat offseason as sufficient.
   96. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 04, 2010 at 01:49 PM (#3702302)
Hoo-yah!

From Olney again:
Sources: Padres and Red Sox have agreed to a Gonzalez trade, pending physical -- and perhaps negotiations with the first baseman. We'll see.
5 minutes ago via web

Sources: Major League Baseball has approved a negotiating window for the Red Sox to negotiate with Adrian gonzalez.
3 minutes ago via web
Just about there...
   97. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 04, 2010 at 02:00 PM (#3702306)
This is one hell of a way to wake up. If they can bring this home I will be a happy man.
   98. Mattbert Posted: December 04, 2010 at 02:58 PM (#3702319)
I have a mostly irrational love for Beltre, but there's almost no way trading for Gonzalez could be considered a bad move. I say almost no way because karlmagnus likes it, which makes me somewhat suspicious.
   99. Dale Sams Posted: December 04, 2010 at 03:16 PM (#3702325)
but there's almost no way trading for Gonzalez could be considered a bad move.


Unless, you know, they just gave 120mill to a guy (and 5 prospects to SD) who never quite recovers from shoulder surgery.
   100. Mattbert Posted: December 04, 2010 at 03:23 PM (#3702329)
Yes, there's that. But he played with that bum shoulder almost all of last season and still hit the crap outta the ball.
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