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. PJ Martinez Posted: March 27, 2007 at 08:00 PM (#2319079)
The Belli trade looked stupid at the time, but nearly as stupid as it does now. Did anyone think Josh Bard was going to do what he did last year? Or Cla Meredith for that matter? It was a dumb trade, but also bad luck. And neither of those players will be as good this season as they were last season (they will get more playing time, but won't approach those rate stats).

That said, the FO hasn't done anything really impressive in-season in a while. I liked the Hinske and Kottaras moves last year, though.
   2. Toby Posted: March 27, 2007 at 08:03 PM (#2319083)
Fair points, PJ. As far as Wells-Kottaras, yeah, I agree that has promise, I left off the "fire sale" moves at the end of last season because the focus here was on how well the FO does at contending, not selling off.
   3. PJ Martinez Posted: March 27, 2007 at 08:18 PM (#2319092)
That makes sense, methodologically.

And your conclusion does not seem wholly off the mark. Though I would downgrade it myself from "can't be trusted" to "proceed with caution."

What do people think is the likely need of this team? That's almost impossible to predict, obviously, but what are people expecting?

I could see them shopping for a corner infielder. Any upgrades likely to become available this year? Adam Dunn at first?
   4. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: March 27, 2007 at 09:52 PM (#2319162)
give it a rest. this front office has shown that it will try to effect a balance between number crunching and human relations. the mirabelli trade was done because wakefield's knuckle ball wasn't being caught by whoever was filling in behind mirabelli. i'm sure that the on-the-field staff (i.e., wakefield, tito, and the pitching coaches) thought they needed mirabelli back. the mirabelli trade wouldn't have been necessary if mirabelli's replacement could have caught the goddamned ball.

i think it's useless to measure trades in this grossly oversimplified way, because you're eliminating the context of the trade instead of trying to quantify it. it's not just who is given up for who else, because in reality a trade is a much more complicated process, involving not only the player leaving and the one coming in, but ultimately who they're replacing, how they're being replaced or replacing (i.e., usage patterns), league or divisional differences, and pure dumb luck, to name just a few.

if you want to do the "front office thing," i think you also need to evaluate how they're doing on graduating players from level to level and to the major leagues, both in and before seasons.

and lastly, shouldn't we be comparing these in season trades to other gm's in the league? these are minor pieces to the puzzle, and i think that is reflected in the fact that your numbers indicate a net loss or gain of at most 2 wins.
   5. Darren Posted: March 28, 2007 at 12:03 AM (#2319191)
give it a rest. this front office has shown that it will try to effect a balance between number crunching and human relations. the mirabelli trade was done because wakefield's knuckle ball wasn't being caught by whoever was filling in behind mirabelli. i'm sure that the on-the-field staff (i.e., wakefield, tito, and the pitching coaches) thought they needed mirabelli back. the mirabelli trade wouldn't have been necessary if mirabelli's replacement could have caught the goddamned ball.


I'm sure they did think they needed Mirabelli back. But that move cost them two better, younger players. Do they get a pass on every trade that they thought was a good idea at the time?

I'd agree that they were desperate to get a catcher who could catch the knuckler. But they certainly seemed to think that that kind of catcher was pretty easy to find when they dealt Mirabelli away (for a complete bust, BTW). Did it only take a few bad games by Bard to convince them that Mirabelli was the only solution, who must be acquired at any cost? Did they really go into the season with no backup plan in case Bard couldn't handle the knuckler?

I don't say any of this to make it sound like I knew better at the time. I say it in the interest of being fair. They did a very bad job on that trade and it should be a big black mark on their record.
   6. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: March 28, 2007 at 04:15 AM (#2319346)
I don't say any of this to make it sound like I knew better at the time. I say it in the interest of being fair. They did a very bad job on that trade and it should be a big black mark on their record.


i don't think we get to do what toby did here, which is subtract the win shares from the red sox that meredith and bard earned for the padres. i think they do get a bit of a pass on that trade because, as a few people pointed out at the time, his price went up when they recognized the need.

part of what i'm objecting to is a kind of hypocrisy that btf people practice, in that in the abstract they would espouse the logic behind the situation that caused the problem in the first place (replacing mirabelli with the cheaper and probably just as capable bard), but when it becomes clear that the cheap solution isn't working, they immediately assert that all we need is patience. sometimes that's true, and sometimes it's not. i'm sure pretty much everyone thought that there's no special catcher skill for knuckleballs, and that any problems in spring training will be ironed out during the season. but problems have a way of becoming magnified once the season is underway. and so, once it became a problem and they needed a solution, they went and got it.

bard was not a better player when they traded him, and i'm not sure he is now. meredith was up and down in the minors, and his brief stint in boston wasn't impressive. actually, it was horrible.

finally, what has quickly become my least favorite thing about sox therapy is that both you and toby (to single you out), because you have keys, get to set the tone for red sox fans and their discussion of the front office. and it's pretty much overwhelmingly negative, doubting, concerned, unsure, uncertain, mistrustful, etc. it really feels unbalanced, and more like reading CHB than it ought to. i'm not looking for rose colored glasses here, but i would hate to think that john henry or tom werner or even lucchino reading this site and thinking that you two represent anything like the consensus of sox fans perceptions of the front office.

i am VERY happy with this front office. they make mistakes, as do we all. and i'm damn thankful that the mistakes they make are tiny ones like toby is pointing out here. i'd ask you to tell me which front office you'd rather have in charge of your team, but i suspect that there isn't one. and besides that'd be baiting you, which i'm not here to do. all i want is a little balance. you both have maybe succumbed to yankees fans charging you with "dreamy theo" syndrome. well, i don't think theo's dreamy, but on balance i think he and his staff make more good decisions than bad ones.
   7. Mister High Standards Posted: March 28, 2007 at 04:26 AM (#2319351)
but also bad luck.


poor talent evaluation is bad luck now? a new sabrmetric low.
   8. Darren Posted: March 28, 2007 at 04:46 AM (#2319358)
Sorry you don't enjoy the tone here, Piehole. I can only say that I try to be honest when discussing the Sox FO and their moves. I'm pretty shocked that anyone would call me biased AGAINST the FO.
   9. villageidiom Posted: March 28, 2007 at 01:39 PM (#2319444)
What all of the above transactions boil down to is this:

1. The Red Sox generally appear to do a good job midseason on transactions to fill their needs.

2. When they lose patience with a player, they make awful midseason moves.

The Payton and Bard/Meredith trades were clearly the latter, and those are the lion's share of the negative Win Shares impact (-40 for those two moves, and +20 for the rest).

I don't want the fact that I've segregated those moves from the rest to appear as though I'm being dismissive of them. Not true; rather, I'm trying to be instructive. If the Boston FO gets impatient and decides that they MUST make a move NOW NOW NOW, their history suggests that they'd get burned, and badly so. If they take their time and use a wait-and-see approach, they seem to do just fine.

There are two problems with this. First, the longer problems go unaddressed, the more damage is done. In that sense it's difficult to be patient midseason. Second, the full impact of patience doesn't show up in the transaction logs, because patience also represents moves not made. Kevin Millar was given every opportunity to break out of a "slump", as was Mark Bellhorn, Rudy Seanez, Alan Embree, and so on, before the team finally gave up on them. In that sense the +20 isn't representative of the impact of their patience.

Is patience the right answer? Does it work well? Generally I think it does, but I don't know. I'm pretty sure, though, that we should all hope the Boston FO curbs their impatience, because they perform horribly with it.
   10. Toby Posted: March 28, 2007 at 03:24 PM (#2319508)
Pie,

thanks for your post. It's interesting to me to hear you describe me as "pretty much overwhelmingly negative, doubting, concerned, unsure, uncertain, mistrustful, etc." I think I'm more optimistic than most Sox fans here.

When the Henry group bought the team I was one of the few here who was not screaming bloody murder, fearing that they were Selig cronies and were going to turn the team into a "small market" team. I strongly supported the Henry group and I continue to do so.

After the 2003 ALCS when people here were despondent I posted that I was greatly optimistic about the team, that this was just the first year of a multi-year plan and the future was very bright.

In July 2004 when the team was in the doldrums I was one of the few here who kept the "cowboy up" mentality and set a positive tone. I did the same in the 2004 ALCS when we were down 2-0.

In July 2006 when the team was again in the doldrums and underperforming I tried to keep an even keel. My mantra was "the wins are coming in on time and on budget" or something like that. Of course, pretty soon after, the mantra was proved false.

Among the certified Red Sox optimists, I count myself second only to OlePerfesser, who doesn't seem to hang around here much anymore. Did you miss "The Irrationally Exuberant Therapudlian" thread?

That said, when I have doubts about some aspect of the team that seem worth airing, I air them, usually in the hope that someone else will set me straight. I think I'm pretty fair and balanced, but I allow for the possibility that I'm not. Thank you for reminding me about that possibility.
   11. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: March 28, 2007 at 03:37 PM (#2319516)
I realize this is a thread about in-season moves, but I'm having a hard time evaluating the specific moves since the contexts are so complex and you're looking at relatively minor players over a short period of time. We're talking about backups and journeyman relievers here. Graffanino is the only one who was a starter really, and he played pretty well. Payton only became a starter because he was traded. It could be a testament to the strength of the teams constructed in the off-season that the in-season moves are relatively small.

In terms of just looking at W-L records given payroll, I think the FO is fine. They should put together good to very good/great teams every year with the kind of payroll flexibility that they have. Last year's season, though, was a disappointment. Their pygthag was 81-81. That's pretty lousy for a team with a $120M payroll or whatever it was. On the other hand, they made the playoffs for three straight years before that.
   12. Toby Posted: March 28, 2007 at 04:24 PM (#2319567)
By the way, is this really just a matter of one or two wins, as Pie suggests? I thought three Win Shares equals one win. So the in-season transactions in 2005 gained 2 wins in 2005 (and cost 3 wins in 2006), and the in-season transactions in 2006 cost almost 6 wins in 2006.

What happened in 2005 is fine -- for the team to contend, we have to expect it will sacrifice some extra future value in exchange for present value. If we are indeed a "$100M player development machine" as the FO once claimed we would be (have to adjust the $100M up a bit, I think) we should be able to do that.

But what happened in 2006 is not fine -- we should have been adding value in 2006 in exchange for sacrificing some extra future value. Instead, we basically took the value we had and threw it out the window. I mean, Wakefield alone was worth only 7 win shares in 2006 (though granted, we could not have known he would be injured)!

We would have been better off just benching Wakefield and keeping Bard and Cla and the cash.
   13. villageidiom Posted: March 28, 2007 at 05:33 PM (#2319629)
Payton only became a starter because he was traded.


But even if he was a borderline starter, it stands to reason that they should have been able to get more for him than a reliever who had been on the DL for 128 days at the time of the trade, regardless of how Payton was being used by Boston.
   14. Darren Posted: March 28, 2007 at 07:46 PM (#2319765)
I looked back at some of the more recent threads and it seems that I've been really hung up on the bullpen thing, starting numerous threads on it. I've been pretty negative about that so I guess I can see why I'm coming off as negative about the FO in general. I also think that I'm probably still a bit shell-shocked from everything going to absolute crap last year. So I think the criticism, though stronger than I would put it, is probably accurate. I don't think that I agree that Toby has been generally negative though.
   15. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: March 28, 2007 at 08:36 PM (#2319817)
it stands to reason that they should have been able to get more for him than a reliever who had been on the DL for 128 days at the time of the trade, regardless of how Payton was being used by Boston.


Ok, I'll give you that, although given Payton's tantrum, the situation was certainly very complex in ways that we'll probably never understand, with plenty of blame to go around. Even if we rest all the blame squarely on the FO, I don't think the Payton move was a disaster for the Red Sox, given that they still managed to win 95 games and make the playoffs (not to mention they were in dire need of bullpen help and Bradford helped with a 114 ERA+). I don't think you can argue with the W-L results of 2003-2005. My point is that these moves have had little effect on the team as a whole. Maybe they could have won 97-99 if they had gotten a marginally better reliever for Payton? Given that they won 95 and made the playoffs, I'm not sure it's worth arguing about.

I think 2006 moves, however, were much worse and did have a non-trivial impact on the team, although given how badly that season turned out, I'm not sure what could have saved it. Even if they don't trade Bard/Meredith, I still don't think they win 90.
   16. tfbg9 Posted: March 28, 2007 at 10:58 PM (#2319901)
"Given that they won 95 and made the playoffs, I'm not sure it's worth arguing about."

They might've been able to help snag those 4 bits for the ol' Biffarino!
   17. Darren Posted: March 28, 2007 at 11:19 PM (#2319916)
I think 2006 moves, however, were much worse and did have a non-trivial impact on the team, although given how badly that season turned out, I'm not sure what could have saved it. Even if they don't trade Bard/Meredith, I still don't think they win 90.


I'm not sure if this is your intention, but I would hate to excuse terrible moves in this way. The team was trying to compete and that trade hurt them badly. The fact that they did a poor job constructing other parts of the team (and were somewhat unlucky), shouldn't mitigate this.

This trade also hurt them for the future.
   18. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: March 29, 2007 at 03:22 AM (#2320022)
No one really complained when they traded Bard, did they?

I can't remember
   19. villageidiom Posted: March 29, 2007 at 04:11 AM (#2320054)
Robert Machemer did, in post 17.

There was all kinds of complaining, but most of it was irrelevant to the trade.
   20. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: March 29, 2007 at 04:14 AM (#2320055)
I'm not sure if this is your intention, but I would hate to excuse terrible moves in this way. The team was trying to compete and that trade hurt them badly. The fact that they did a poor job constructing other parts of the team (and were somewhat unlucky), shouldn't mitigate this.


Like I said in the bit you quoted, the 2006 in-season moves (at least losing Bard/Meredith and Riske; I think getting Hinske was actually pretty cool and good) were not good and hurt the team. I agree that the fact that the team was already pretty bad doesn't mean that the moves were ok, I'm just saying that that team had bigger problems than backup catcher and a back-end relief pitcher. I also agree that it didn't help for the future, but I was trying to stay within the "in-season move" framework of the discussion. Basically I'm saying the moves haven't been great, but they haven't had enough impact to hurt the team too badly in the grand scheme of things. If Bard and Meredith turn out to be for real however, then I'd certainly have to revise my opinion.
   21. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: March 29, 2007 at 04:17 AM (#2320058)
THANKS VI
   22. tjm1 Posted: March 29, 2007 at 04:59 AM (#2320080)
The real issue here is the way the calculation is being done. Just adding up win shares on each side gives a lot of credit to a replacement level player who plays a lot - that is, if you make a trade that fills the need of another team, it will look like a bad trade, even if you give up someone who's basically worthless. And if you evaluate Payton vs Bradford by win shares above replacement level, you end up with a rather different story. What Payton did last year is largely irrelevant to this discussion, as well. At Payton's salary, he needs to outperform replacement level by a lot to be worth having on your roster. He got 15 win shares as an everyday player. For the Red Sox he probably would have gotten about 7 as a part timer, and the guys who got the playing time instead last year probably put up 6 or 7 themselves in that amount of playing time. And what he did in Oakland after the Sox traded him is irrelevant for 2005, as well. The value the Sox lost by trading Payton is basically the difference between Payton and Gabe Kapler - maybe 1-2 win shares. Compared that to Bradford's value, remembering that the 2005 Red Sox gave a combined 150 or so innings to relievers with ERAs over 6.00. Similarly, if Baltimore puts Adam Stern into 100 games this year and he hits .230/.305/.340, plays a competent centerfield, and amasses 8 win shares or something, I wouldn't call that a loss of 8 win shares by the Red Sox.
   23. villageidiom Posted: March 30, 2007 at 02:20 AM (#2320639)
At Payton's salary, he needs to outperform replacement level by a lot to be worth having on your roster. He got 15 win shares as an everyday player.


The Red Sox included cash in the deal. I don't know how much, but it does tilt things further in favor of the A's. The Red Sox paid him for time he didn't play for them.

For the Red Sox he probably would have gotten about 7 as a part timer, and the guys who got the playing time instead last year probably put up 6 or 7 themselves in that amount of playing time.


I agree that we should look at the chaining effect of replacement players. By "losing" Payton's value they got more value out of Kapler than they would have. If Mark Loretta somehow amasses 30 win shares this year, does not signing him cost the Red Sox 30 win shares? Of course not, because it frees up Pedroia to put up 480 win shares. In 2007 alone.
   24. PJ Martinez Posted: March 30, 2007 at 11:00 PM (#2321122)
"poor talent evaluation is bad luck now? a new sabrmetric low."

Well, I'm hardly a sabermetrician, so it seems unfair to assign an offhand comment from me as somehow a "sabermetric low."

But my simple point-- and it is, as Kevin Bacon says, undisputed-- is that no one (NO ONE) thought Josh Bard would do what he did last year. Even in the post helpfully noted by vi, Robert Machemer says Josh Bard is younger and healthier than Mirabelli and had outhit Mirabelli "so far." That is hardly a prediction of great things for Bard.

Yes, talent evaluation matters-- enormously. And the Sox don't look good on that score based on that trade (especially giving away Meredith like that). But any reasonable odds would have been against either Bard or Meredith performing as they did last year. Which means the Padres were lucky and the Sox, in some less obvious way, unlucky.
   25. ptodd Posted: March 31, 2007 at 01:29 AM (#2321192)
I think some key moves for 2006 were overlooked, it was actually even worse.

Edgar Renteria for Andy Marte and going with Alex Gonzalez (-10 WS)
Josh Becket and Mike Lowell for Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez (-6 WS)
Coco Crisp and Josh Bard for Kelly Shoppach and Andy Marte (+18 if including Bard, +7 w/o Bard)
Mark Loretta for Doug Mirabelli (+14 WS)
Bronson Arroyo for WMP (-13 WS)

Not signing Bradford (+7), Myers (+2) and deciding on Tavarez (+6) and Seanez (+2), (most of Tavrez WS came when moved to starter)

Not signing Damon (-22)

Cla Meredith and Josh Bard for Mirabelli (-18 ws)

So we have on the other hand Bronson Arroyo (21), Edgar Renteria (19), Kelly Shoppach(3) (wouldnt he have been nice to have when Tek went down and as his backup this year, then we could have traded Wells for something more than a catching prosepct), Cla Meredith (9), Hanley Ramirez (25)(rentawreck might have done well moving to 2B), Anibal Sanchez (11), Chad Bradford (7), Mike Myers(2), Johnny Damon (22)

And on the other hand we got WMP (8), A-Gon (9) (gone), Coco(10). Loretta (16) (gone), Beckett(12), Lowell (18) (gone in 2008), Seanez (2)(gone), Tavarez (6) (might be a surprise as a SPer),

(Bard, Mirabelli and Marte cancel out since they were traded for and then traded or vice versa)

So the deals and non signings cost the Red Sox 38 winshares, or 13 wins. Of course, some of the no signings may not have been possible, and there probably has to be some league adjustment since most of the players the Red Sox lost went to the NL and probably did better than they would in the AL East, but even so, I think even Theo must admit 2006 was not a great year for the Red Sox FO.

As for how the various moves will look 2-3 years from now, WMP might become a 40 HR guy, Beckett becomes the stud we traded for, Coco proves his poor season was due to his injury and Damon ages quickly, maybe Hanley Ramirez and Cla Meredith never repeat their rookie success, Marte never develops, Anibal Sanchez arm troubles linger, Bard and Shoppach never become more than backup catchers, Tavarez becomes a great sinkerball SPer and is signed to an extension before he realizes it and becomes a FA , Arroyo's arm falls off due to overwork, etc., but then again, maybe not.

The only move I really questioned at the time it was made was the Arroyo and WMP trade since you can not count on pitchers being healthy (2004 was a fluke in this regard). The other moves seemed to make sense at the time they were made. It may be that the people who are responsible for determining a prospects readiness for MLB play are not doing their job properly, or they are too conservative and the Marlins and Padres got lucky by being in a position to let these players play, not having to worry about losing a game or 2 while the player makes some rookie mistakes as he develops at the MLB level. It might even be that the NL is not a much more difficult league than Triple A ball, and with better lighting and umpires, travel, etc, they outperform their projections when playing in a low expectation environment as opposed to playing at Fenway in front of a fanatical fan base ready to blame someone for every loss. Hard to say.
   26. Darren Posted: March 31, 2007 at 01:28 PM (#2321274)
To me, the biggest problem that this team had was that it was pretty indecisive around the time of the Damon departure. Much like Garciaparra, I think they were too worried about upsetting fans by kicking an icon out the door.

With Nomar, they should have dealt him prior to 04 once it was clear he wasn't going to sign for what they offered. They could have gotten some nice return for him then and then gone hard after Tejada. With Damon, things weren't quite as clear. But during that same month that Damon was signed by the Yanks, Chris Young was traded with El Duque and Vizcaino for Javy Vazquez. Could the Red Sox have gotten Young straight up for Arroyo? Also during that month, Eric Byrnes was signed and in the months that followed, Davanon was signed as well.

Puttering around with Damon meant having to be held over a barrel in a deal for Crisp. If they had acted more quickly in deciding the Damon matter, they might have gotten in on Young. In fact, I might have done the Young deal regardless.

I suspect that the lack of a GM also contributed to the less than stellar performance in Dec. 05.
   27. tfbg9 Posted: March 31, 2007 at 01:43 PM (#2321280)
"With Nomar, they should have dealt him prior to 04 once it was clear he wasn't going to sign for what they offered."

Nonsense. If they did that, they wouldn't have fallen behind the NYY's 0-3, etc., then proceeded to produce the greatest victory in Sports History. What the hell is the matter with you? Did you buy a beer bong or something?
   28. Darren Posted: March 31, 2007 at 04:16 PM (#2321314)
Yeah, but if they did get Tejada, he could have stopped running mid-play to whine about something, been tagged out, and cost us the series. Wouldn't that have been just as fun, in a different way?

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Andere Richtingen
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Demarini, Easton and TPX Baseball Bats

 

 

 

 

Page rendered in 0.3363 seconds
41 querie(s) executed