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.

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 
   1. Dale Sams Posted: September 22, 2010 at 06:36 PM (#3646143)
Agh, this team hurts my head. My main beef in 2009 was all the holes ( IE: A 42 year old pitcher with a dead leg dragging behind him like an anchor, Papi and Lowell hitting back-to-back)

It just seems like the holes get bigger and bigger. Drew can't hit lefties, Papi can't hit lefties. A 12mill DH that can't hit lefties? Yet I give a 70% chance we see him flailing away next year. I need time to digest all this.

In the meantime, What does one do with Lowrie? What if what he's doing now is his true talent level? Would they bench Scoots in favor of Lowrie? I have a hard time seeing that.
   2. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 22, 2010 at 07:03 PM (#3646165)
Some unorganized thoughts;

1. Not to nitpick what looks like an awful lot of work, but don't the Sox have $54, not $45 to spend? (178-124=54) or am I doing something wrong? (likely the latter)

2. I agree on Ortiz.

3. I think Martinez is back. I think he likes it here, I think the Sox like him and it's not like there are a lot of options.

4. I expect Papelbon to be back. I think Matt hits it here when he notes that any savings would be eaten up by the bullpen anyway and there is a pretty good chance he is excellent again next year. The Sox can afford a gamble on him.

5. Something big is coming. The Sox have had three significant disappointments in the Theo Epstein era; the loss of the 2003 ALCS, the 2006 season, and now this year. After '03 they brought in Schilling and Foulke, after '06 they spent like drunken sailors on Matsuzaka, Drew and Lugo. Maybe Crawford, maybe Beltran, but they will do something and I wouldn't be surprised if I was surprised (like Lackey last winter) by the move.

6. As much as I would love to see Beltre return I think it's a bit of a longshot. He's looking to get paid and the Sox have had luck lately at 3rd base; none of Mueller, Lowell or Beltre for that matter was viewed as a slamdunk to deliver and all did. Maybe Lowrie gets the gig though I think he comes back as a utility player unless the Sox are very confident of his ability to stay healthy. I think the Sox would bench Scutaro for Lowrie if it proved to be the right move.

7. Ellsbury will be back in centerfield next year. We can argue whether or not it was a good idea at the time or not (I thought it was) but I think Cameron is going to be elsewhere next April.
   3. Dan Posted: September 22, 2010 at 07:05 PM (#3646170)
First off, I imagine that Scutaro and Lowrie will share playing time like Crisp and Ellsbury did at the end of 2007 and in 2008. So that takes care of SS and backup MI.

I'd like to see the Red Sox either re-sign Beltre or sign Adam Dunn (shifting Youk to third). EIther of these guys adds a lot of depth to the middle of the lineup, and obviously Dunn would be expected to be a better hitter while Beltre contributes with both the bat and the glove. I really like the Adam Dunn idea because he can get a 4 or 5 year deal, and play first base until Ortiz is gone after 2 more years, then he shifts to DH and Youkilis shifts back to first. That gives the Sox 2 more years to find a solution for third base, and gives them a great setup in the meantime. Plus you can rest Ortiz vs some LHP and get Lowrie and Scutaro (or backup corner infielder X) into the lineup a bit, moving Youk or Dunn to DH for a little rest.

I wouldn't mind a 3 year deal for Victor, but anything longer than that is probably a bad idea. I'd love to see the Sox go out and get Iannetta, but I don't know if that's ever going to happen at this point. It's been tossed around so much that it's really just gotten to a situation like Brian Roberts to the Cubs was, where everyone kept expecting a trade to happen but it never did.

If the Red Sox really do want to go after a FA outfielder, I'd definitely prefer Werth over Crawford. I just think he's a better fit for this team, especially with RF opening up after Drew's contract is over.

Matt Guerrier is a reliever that I think could probably be had on a reasonable contract and who has a good record, and who is eligible for free agency after this year I believe. Otherwise I don't really have any specific suggestions for the bullpen.
   4. Dan Posted: September 22, 2010 at 07:09 PM (#3646172)
To reply to Jose's post (#3), the only really BIG move that I can think of that would seem "surprising" would be signing Cliff Lee. That would probably also mean dumping either Lackey or Matsuzaka (while obviously eating a lot of money on either). But of course it could be a complete surprise and something I've never even considered. My wild-ass guess at the big move is trading Lackey + cash for Carlos Beltran and then signing Cliff Lee. BUt I'm also a huge fan of Cliff Lee so that's probably tainting my sights here. I will be really sad if (when) he signs with the Yankees.
   5. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: September 22, 2010 at 07:38 PM (#3646194)
But of course it could be a complete surprise and something I've never even considered. My wild-ass guess at the big move is trading Lackey + cash for Carlos Beltran and then signing Cliff Lee. BUt I'm also a huge fan of Cliff Lee so that's probably tainting my sights here. I will be really sad if (when) he signs with the Yankees.

Lackey might be a better bet in 2011 than Beltran but there's no way the Mets are going to want those last 3 years of Lackey's contract.

Bay for Lackey is more realistic, IMO.
   6. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: September 22, 2010 at 07:38 PM (#3646195)
None of Cameron, Ellsbury, or Kalish should be expected to be a significant contributor next year. 


We're already ruling Ellsbury out for next year?

I'll be disappointed if Theo doesn't make at least a couple big trades. The lineup desperately needs to get younger, and the team as a whole needs to get cheaper. It would disgust me to see this team continue to amass bad contracts. (If Beckett and Lackey don't improve, this team is going to have major problems regardless of who else we get) So this means letting Beltre walk and maybe putting Lowrie at third. There's no real better option. The FA options for third suck. So there's going to have to be trades.

IMO the outgoing players should be Ellsbury (provided Cameron is healthy, and yes I realize this runs counter to "getting younger"), Beltre (shouldn't overpay), Martinez (ditto), and Papelbon (ditto). If we have to stick Lowrie at third, we also have to keep Bill Hall, who as far as I'm concerned is the most useful utility player I remember the Sox having. Ortiz stays.
   7. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: September 22, 2010 at 07:45 PM (#3646199)
apparently some guy named perotto seems to think that the sawx will sign jason werth in the area of 5/95 this offseason.
   8. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: September 22, 2010 at 07:49 PM (#3646203)
apparently some guy named perotto seems to think that the sawx will sign jason werth in the area of 5/95 this offseason


Please no. Do we need to act like the Yankees? Do we forget that this guy couldn't stay healthy until he got to Philly? The solution to bad contracts is more bad contracts?
   9. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: September 22, 2010 at 08:06 PM (#3646214)


Please no. Do we need to act like the Yankees? Do we forget that this guy couldn't stay healthy until he got to Philly? The solution to bad contracts is more bad contracts?
it's a lot to pay, but if werth plays CF for 2 years, stays relatively healthy, and continues hitting, that's a hell of a player.
   10. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 22, 2010 at 08:09 PM (#3646219)
apparently some guy named perotto seems to think that the sawx will sign jason werth in the area of 5/95 this offseason.

No one is going to pay Jayson Werth 19 million per year. This is silly.
   11. Textbook Editor Posted: September 22, 2010 at 08:47 PM (#3646248)
Being in Philly, I get to see Werth quite a bit. Boras is now touting him as a guy who can play CF, obviously so he gets a bigger payout.

Now, it may be that CF is a better position for Werth for the Red Sox in 2011, but from 2012 onward he'd be a RF. He's a pretty good SB% guy, who can swipe you 20 bases or so a year, a decent baserunner, has a good arm (he'd be a massive upgrade over Ellsbury in CF in that respect), and has good RHB power, which we'd need if Beltre didn't re-sign.

Is that worth $19 million a year? To a team like the Red Sox, perhaps. Crawford's probably the more complete player, but Werth has a massive edge in OBP (.365 to .337) and SLG (.479 to .443, with Werth the last 2 years over .500), probably has a better arm, and could play RF while there's probably no way Crawford could (or he would be doing so right now).

There is the danger that Werth's numbers would drop a bit coming to the AL from the NL, so I don't take it as a given that Werth would post better numbers than Crawford next year.

It's likely both of these guys are going to get in the neighborhood of $15-$20 million per year for 4-5 years; I'd prefer Werth to Crawford if the amounts are about the same.

On another front, I agree with those above who said we need another starter. We do, and one of Dice-K/Lackey needs to be jettisoned. Theo isn't above accepting a multi-year deal is a bust after only one year (see Renteria, Edgar), but to move Lackey we would have to take on another problem contract + eat some cash.

Lackey's contract actually comes *down* to $15.25 million starting in 2011, and while he gets a $500K kicker if traded, he doesn't have a no-trade clause. So he's basically 4 years/$61 million at this point. That's bad, but it's not as unmoveable as I thought before looking closer at it. If we picked up $5 million a year ($20 million total), I think there's be a lot of teams (perhaps especially in the NL) who might take a flier on him--he is durable, is due for a BABIP improvement next year, and moving to the lesser league might help.

Beltran for 1 year for 2011 at $18.5 million is an interesting option (I'm assuming here the Mets would retain the burden of the $22 million in deferred payments even if Beltran got dealt). If you eat $5 million of Lackey's salary, the net cost would be $13.5 million for 2011 ($18.5 million for Beltran - $10 million saved on Lackey + $5 million to the Mets toward Lackey's salary).

If you signed Werth, you'd have this as your OF for 2011:

Beltran (LF or CF)
Werth (LF or CF)
Drew (RF)

With Cameron/Ellsbury as the 4th/5th OF. Given Beltran's woes, Drew's usual 30 games out, etc. Ellsbury would still get a lot of starts if healthy, and Cameron's a decent *option on a 1-year deal*

*EDIT: Cameron's obviously a RHB, not LHB. Duh to me

The following year Beltran and Drew would come off the books ($27.5 million saved), and you'd only be on the hook for $15 million to the Mets for Lackey for 3 more years which--while bad--is not as bad as the $45 million he'd be due if we kept him.

Signing Werth eats up most of the Beltre/Papelbon coin you'd save should we get rid of them (I'm assuming we sign VMart and pick up Papi's option), but if you didn't want to go that route, and instead wanted an Ellsbury/Cameron-Beltran-Drew OF for 2011, I could, I think, live with that if we went out and got a top-flight starter to replace Lackey.

I agree with the assessment that there's a lot of holes here. But I disagree that we should stand pat in the starting rotation. We need a big FA signing/trade here, and to get rid of Lackey/Dice-K.
   12. Dale Sams Posted: September 22, 2010 at 09:02 PM (#3646256)
Do we need to act like the Yankees?


"It is...too late for that my son."
   13. plink Posted: September 22, 2010 at 09:02 PM (#3646257)
It just seems like the holes get bigger and bigger. Drew can't hit lefties, Papi can't hit lefties. A 12mill DH that can't hit lefties? Yet I give a 70% chance we see him flailing away next year.


Not sure I understand why everyone is down on Ortiz. Who, exactly, are they going to get as a free agent who will put up a better line for less than $12M? He's 9th in the AL in OPS.

What they need is a RHB pinch-hitter for Ortiz, and the gumption to occasionally pinch-hit for him. On a related note, where can I get a list of the top OPSs against LHP this year? B-R seems to be letting me down.
   14. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 22, 2010 at 09:04 PM (#3646259)
I think there's be a lot of teams (perhaps especially in the NL) who might take a flier on him--he is durable, is due for a BABIP improvement next year, and moving to the lesser league might help.

Stealing from Bill Simmons here, but can't you see Lackey ending up with the Cardinals and going 19-8, 3.21 or something? Because I can.
   15. Dale Sams Posted: September 22, 2010 at 09:10 PM (#3646262)
On a related note, where can I get a list of the top OPSs against LHP this year? B-R seems to be letting me down


Fewest ABs are Youks 89.

1 Kevin Youkilis BOS 1.311
2 Victor Martinez BOS 1.180
3 Paul Konerko CHW 1.089
4 Geovany Soto CHC 1.072
5 Mike Napoli LAA 1.059
6 Danny Valencia MIN 1.058
7 David Wright NYM 1.057
8 Albert Pujols STL 1.021
9 Troy Tulowitzki COL 1.013
10 Buster Posey SF .998

Konerko is a FA this year? I haven't heard word one about that. I gotta get out of my cave.
   16. plink Posted: September 22, 2010 at 09:23 PM (#3646272)
#15 -- Where'd you get the list?
   17. Textbook Editor Posted: September 22, 2010 at 09:29 PM (#3646275)
I'm, of course, on record as saying I would love Mike Napoli to be C for the Red Sox, in some capacity. It seems unlikely, of course.
   18. Dale Sams Posted: September 22, 2010 at 09:45 PM (#3646287)
Plink...from ESPN. Their stat engine is kinda wonky, it may not be accurate.

stealing from Bill Simmons


Speaking of which, when did he start appearing on PTI?
   19. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 23, 2010 at 12:46 AM (#3646410)
1. Not to nitpick what looks like an awful lot of work, but don't the Sox have $54, not $45 to spend? (178-124=54) or am I doing something wrong? (likely the latter)
Nope, not doing anything wrong. I was figuring the Red Sox wouldn't run all the way up to the salary cap, to give them some room to maneuver in-season. It's an estimate.
None of Cameron, Ellsbury, or Kalish should be expected to be a significant contributor next year.

We're already ruling Ellsbury out for next year?
It was a poorly written sentence. I'm not writing off any of Cameron, Ellsbury, or Kalish. I think that, individually, none of them can be counted on. I do count on some combination of the three of them producing one solid outfielder over the course of 2011. It seems like some people think Ellsbury can be counted on for next year - I'm not sold on him in particular (he was injured for an entire season fergodsake), but I think the Red Sox should only be looking to sign one more outfielder, not two.
Not sure I understand why everyone is down on Ortiz. Who, exactly, are they going to get as a free agent who will put up a better line for less than $12M? He's 9th in the AL in OPS.
Yup. Ortiz has spent two years arranging his production weirdly, but he's 14th in the league in OPS+ this year, and he can be had on short money. David Ortiz is not the problem with this club.

Actually, to respond to Dale directly, neither is JD Drew, who once again has produced a very good season of baseball for the Sox. The problem are all the players who haven't been really good, not the ones who have.
   20. Dan Posted: September 23, 2010 at 01:39 AM (#3646463)
Ortiz and Drew are both good players overall, but the problem is that neither of them appear capable of hitting LHP anymore. It's not really a big problem for Drew since he needs days off anyway, so LHP starters are a good time to do that, and Darnell McDonald makes for a solid platoon partner. But Ortiz hits 3rd or 4th, can't hit LHP, and Francona refuses to platoon him. At least lately Beltre has been hitting 4th vs. LH starters and bumping Ortiz down to 5th, but really he should be batting even lower than that or coming off of the bench when good LHP are starting. That's the only problem with Ortiz. It doesn't mean Ortiz isn't worth the money, but it does mean they need to get Francona to start platooning him and possibly picnh hitting for him in certain situations. Because it's a real problem when a guy right in the middle of your lineup can be completely neutralized by any half-way decent LHP with a breaking ball. That kills rallies.
   21. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 23, 2010 at 12:40 PM (#3646696)
I'm leaning toward the belief that the Sox shouldn't re-sign Papelbon. There are just a crapload of good free agent relievers this offseason - the market will be flooded.

Joaquin Benoit, Octavio Dotel, Scott Downs, Frank Francisco, Brian Fuentes, Matt Guerrier, JJ Putz, Jon Rauch, Mariano Rivera, Rafael Soriano, Koji Uehara, Kerry Wood

It really shouldn't be that hard to acquire two good set-up men for Bard at a total cost under what Papelbon would get, alone, in arbitration.
   22. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 23, 2010 at 12:57 PM (#3646703)
JD Drew, who once again has produced a very good season of baseball for the Sox


I think this is the first place I really disagree with you. .254/.344/.442 is not anything special from a corner outfielder. Using 100 game minimum BBRef spits back that he is 15th among 18 qualifiers in OPS+ in right field. He is a very good defensive player so that adds to his value. I'm not saying write him off or anything, but he has not been especially good.
   23. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 23, 2010 at 01:04 PM (#3646712)
I shoulda looked it up, Drew was more like "solid" rather than "very good". I still don't think a guy whose solidly above average season was also his worst in several years is a problem for the 2011 Sox, but I overstated things.
   24. Darren Posted: September 23, 2010 at 06:52 PM (#3647060)
What this thread tells me more than anything is that MCOA is not as busy as he was previously. So that's good news if nothing else.

I think the reason you don't pick up Ortiz's option is that Dunn looks like he'll get 3/36 or so and is much younger. I think 2/17 or so would be a good deal.

My inclination, overall, is just to keep what we've got and hope fate doesn't crap on the team next year. Bring back VMart to catch. Sign Beltre for 3-4 years if you can. If not, go with a 1B. And bring back Papi on the cheap-ish 2-year deal. I too would part with Paps at this point and go get 2 good relievers.
   25. plim Posted: September 24, 2010 at 02:12 PM (#3647547)
while most of this sounds great...

how are we getting rid of cameron next year? are we just going to cut him? he has no trade value. is a roster spot really worth 7.25m?
   26. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 24, 2010 at 02:17 PM (#3647550)
Not sure if this is what you're responding to, but - my calculations above include Cameron's contract.
   27. plim Posted: September 24, 2010 at 02:45 PM (#3647577)
sorry, i was responding to Jose's post:

7. Ellsbury will be back in centerfield next year. We can argue whether or not it was a good idea at the time or not (I thought it was) but I think Cameron is going to be elsewhere next April.
   28. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 24, 2010 at 03:07 PM (#3647594)
how are we getting rid of cameron next year? are we just going to cut him? he has no trade value. is a roster spot really worth 7.25m?


I wouldn't be surprised if we just released him. Theo has shown a willingness to pay a guy to go away (Renteria, Lugo) and I think with Ellsbury coming back and strides made by Kalish this year the Sox would let him go. Leave the spot open and bring McDonald back as your RHB 4th OF.

I could be very wrong, just a gut feeling.
   29. plim Posted: September 24, 2010 at 09:20 PM (#3647912)
jose: you're probably right. i just hate those kinds of deals: where you pay out someone's contract to bring someone else in. if it's a mil or two to sweeten a trade deal, ok. but the lugo and renteria deals really irked me.
   30. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: September 24, 2010 at 10:14 PM (#3647943)
If Ellsbury still has health issues by the time ST rolls around, he needs to be gone. He was running pretty good when he fell over that 1Bman and reinjured himself. A young man heals quicker than that. I can't believe he'll be damaged come February. I don't think he's that good to begin with, so seeing him go would be no tragedy, either.
   31. OCD SS Posted: September 25, 2010 at 01:02 AM (#3648026)
I don't think the OF is going to change that much. Cameron was sidelined with a kidney stone and hernia; I'm not sure how you can look at his season as the same kind of disappointment as Renteria's.

Unless the Sox are moving Ellsbury in a change of scenery trade, or in a deal that brings back a solid young 3Bman, I don't see him being moved either. If he's not healthy, they're sure not going to dump him for nothing.
   32. Dale Sams Posted: September 25, 2010 at 01:38 AM (#3648050)
Elsewhere I mentioned the 2010 Sox are doing their best to reinstill the pre-2004 feeling of 'it will always end in tears'

10-7 right now.
   33. Answer Guy Posted: September 25, 2010 at 03:41 PM (#3648284)
Elsewhere I mentioned the 2010 Sox are doing their best to reinstill the pre-2004 feeling of 'it will always end in tears'


They held on last night anyway.

This team has been making me say "stop teasing us, already, guys" every few days. If you wanted to me to keep hope alive and continue to pay attention, you wouldn't have dropped two in a row at home to both the Blue Jays and Orioles in the last week.

I don't think the right question about Cameron is whether a roster spot is worth his contract. That money has been spent. If the team is better off with someone else occupying that spot, particularly a newer player making at or near the minimum, the money doesn't really matter.
   34. Answer Guy Posted: September 25, 2010 at 03:57 PM (#3648294)
It looks like Ortiz doesn't want to take a pay cut to stay in Boston.

Although that's not necessarily the question for Ortiz needs to answer for himself.

The question is whether he's willing to make less to play elsewhere.

I don't think the going rate on the open market for 35-year old DHs who can't hit lefties is $12.5M. I'm sure the Sox would be perfectly be willing and able to meet or exceed the high offer for him whatever it is, even if it's a two year deal. (And if I'm wrong and someone else hands him that money or more, then more power to him.)

Although Ortiz may not be happy with that arrangement. Part of him is going to be upset that his option wasn't picked up (assuming it's not) and he might decide to express his displeasure by taking the equal or lesser offer from elsewhere, especially if it is two years.

But he may regret leaving in May, if he gets off to one his now-famous sub-Mendoza Line starts and the fans wherever he ends up are booing him because he hasn't built up anything like the goodwill he has at Fenway in his new digs.
   35. Darren Posted: September 25, 2010 at 06:38 PM (#3648385)
Cameron was something like a 4-WAR player before his injury last year. It would be nutty to drop him for nothing. You might want a strong backup just in case, but you don't cut him. McDonald fits the bill nicely (I was wrong about him) with Nava/Kalish/Reddick in AAA trying to prove they're next in line.

Totally agree with OCD on Ellsbury. If dealing him fills a need, you do it and maybe pursue one of the available LFs. If not, you plug him in and enjoy having a good leadoff hitter. If the Mets are really looking to cut payroll next year, then trying to package Ellsbury+ for Wright at 2/30 could make some sense. Then again, that might be a little rich for the Red Sox. (I can't believe Wright is looking pricey.)
   36. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 26, 2010 at 01:38 PM (#3648666)
Cameron was something like a 4-WAR player before his injury last year. It would be nutty to drop him for nothing. You might want a strong backup just in case, but you don't cut him


This is true but assuming a 38 year old player coming off a major injury will return to previous levels of performance is not especially wise.
   37. Darren Posted: September 26, 2010 at 05:06 PM (#3648735)
But what if he comes back at 1/2 that?
   38. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 26, 2010 at 06:30 PM (#3648786)
But what if he comes back at 1/2 that?
It's a gamble, because he could back at half that player for 160 games or the same player for 80. I think you could argue it would be worth it for the Red Sox to have more of a sure-thing. Now, that's easier said than done, of course, but it is something worth considering.
   39. Darren Posted: September 27, 2010 at 12:04 AM (#3648901)
Either way, he's worth 2 wins, an average player. In fact, the 80 game thing would be better, with the Red Sox glut of just over replacement level OFs. Unless they get a bright idea like "let's get another $4 mil Hermida."
   40. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: September 27, 2010 at 12:39 AM (#3648919)
If the Mets are really looking to cut payroll next year, then trying to package Ellsbury+ for Wright at 2/30 could make some sense. Then again, that might be a little rich for the Red Sox. (I can't believe Wright is looking pricey.)

Do you want the Mets to throw in a unicorn as well?
   41. Darren Posted: September 27, 2010 at 01:23 AM (#3648931)
Well, it would fit their usual blueprint.

Seriously, though, is there no package of players that would be worth Wright to a team trying to cut payroll?
   42. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: September 27, 2010 at 01:46 AM (#3648939)
Seriously, though, is there no package of players that would be worth Wright to a team trying to cut payroll?

Of course there is although I am not familiar enough with the Red Sox farm system to know if they have that package. I am just saying that such a package certainly would not be centered around Ellsbury. Honestly, whom would you rather have, Ellsbury or Angel Pagan, especially considering Ellsbury's health issues? Would you trade Pedroia for a package centered around Angel Pagan?

With the way Beltran has played in September, .991 OPS, and his respectable overall numbers, I think he's far more likely to be moved this offseason if the Mets are desperate to move payroll. In fact, he might be a good fit for the Sox.
   43. The District Attorney Posted: September 27, 2010 at 02:22 AM (#3648966)
We're not trying that hard to cut payroll.
   44. Darren Posted: September 27, 2010 at 04:15 AM (#3649252)
I didn't say or mean centered around Ellsbury. I specifically left it as vague as possible because I knew whatever I guessed would have someone scoffing. If you want to argue it won't happen, go ahead, because that's a very likely result of any theoretical trade.
   45. Textbook Editor Posted: September 27, 2010 at 04:15 AM (#3649253)
#43--What counts as not trying that hard? Getting Ed Wade to trade for Luis Castillo?

:)
   46. Textbook Editor Posted: September 27, 2010 at 04:24 AM (#3649262)
So, what, realistically, can Thing 1 bring in a trade, perhaps packaged with some kids? Would:

Thing 1 + Ellsbury + Kelly + Anderson get us Wright?

We'd only take on about $4 million more in salary, I think, with such a deal. We could let Beltre go and collect the picks, and then try to re-sign VMart & pick up the option on Ortiz. Cameron in CF, Drew in RF, Kalish in LF, McDonald/Reddick/Nava as the backups. Lowrie the utility guy.

That doesn't address pitching, of course, but it is a map to how to handle the hitting side of thing and lets us add Wright for only $4 million more than we spent this year. Plus we get rid of the AL's Brad Lidge. Everyone wins!
   47. Dale Sams Posted: September 27, 2010 at 04:52 AM (#3649280)
Of what use do the Mets have for Ellsbury and Lars? Why should they pay 12mill for a 4.00 ERA closer when they can find a better option in their sleep?

And why is everyone in such a hurry to start 2011 with a 93 OPS+ guy in LF of all places? The search for Boston's Great White Hope continues.
   48. Textbook Editor Posted: September 27, 2010 at 05:04 AM (#3649289)
#47--I'd be fine with starting McDonald in LF to be honest; it's a mystery to me why the Eric Pattersons and Bill Halls of the world got LF starts/playing time over McDonald this year.

I don't give a flying #### about a Great White Hope.
   49. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: September 27, 2010 at 05:13 AM (#3649292)
it's a mystery to me why the Eric Pattersons and Bill Halls of the world got LF starts/playing time over McDonald this year.


It's a mystery to me why everyone bags on Bill Hall.
   50. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: September 27, 2010 at 05:23 AM (#3649296)
I specifically left it as vague as possible because I knew whatever I guessed would have someone scoffing.


At this point, if you had proposed Ellsbury for Oliver Perez, people would say things like "What makes you think Perez is available? He's only the worst pitcher in baseball. Entitled Red Sox homer."
   51. Dale Sams Posted: September 27, 2010 at 05:24 AM (#3649297)
it's a mystery to me why the Eric Pattersons


I asked that question a lot.
   52. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: September 27, 2010 at 05:25 AM (#3649298)
That doesn't address pitching, of course, but it is a map to how to handle the hitting side of thing and lets us add Wright for only $4 million more than we spent this year. Plus we get rid of the AL's Brad Lidge. Everyone wins!

I can think of a loser in that trade.

I didn't say or mean centered around Ellsbury.

I didn't know that although I do think "Ellsbury+" implies that he is the centerpiece.
   53. Textbook Editor Posted: September 27, 2010 at 05:45 AM (#3649303)
Our "closer" can be the centerpiece of any trade we make, as far as I'm concerned. I actually think a move to the NL might do wonders for him. In the AL, he's toast.
   54. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: September 27, 2010 at 06:11 AM (#3649306)
I think you guys are making way too much of a bad couple weeks from Papelbon. On September 2nd, he had a 2.81 ERA, 85% save conversion, 58/22 k/bb ration, and a 1.09 WHIP. That's very good. He has been awful since then but you are talking about 7.1 IP. And in those 7.1 IP, Papelbon has a 15/4 k/bb ratio with one home run allowed. He has a .650 BABIP during that time.

Papelbon was a GREAT closer and he's not that anymore. But he's hardly done. He's still one of the better closers in baseball.

If the Mets have to pay K-Rod, they can't afford Papelbon. If they don't have to pay K-Rod, they'll probably just try to pay someone like Soriano.

Actually, Rivera is a free agent. I haven't heard a word about that which is surprising considering that Jeter's free agency has been talked about a lot.
   55. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: September 27, 2010 at 06:16 AM (#3649308)
I believe Rivera let it be known he was willing to go on one-year deals from now on, so there is considerably less angst about his upcoming contract. Then again, I could have dreamt this rumor.
   56. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 27, 2010 at 07:11 AM (#3649316)
On September 2nd, he had a 2.81 ERA, 85% save conversion, 58/22 k/bb ration, and a 1.09 WHIP. That's very good.

85% save conversion seems pretty bad to me...
   57. Textbook Editor Posted: September 27, 2010 at 07:46 AM (#3649321)
Would you accept Brad Lidge as your closer for 2011? Because that's what Thing 1 is now: a one-trick pony with Lidge as a comp.

What you don't mention is that the K/BB ration has been trending downward since 2006 (as has the K rate in general). He has a high BABIP because all batters need to do is lock in on his ramrod-straight FB and go to town (just like they do with Beckett, I might add).

Thing 1 is NOT one of the better closers in baseball BUT EVEN IF HE WAS, the only relevant question is: is Thing 1's "production" worth $12 million dollars in 2011. That is all that matters: should this man be paid $12 million dollars to have his K/BB rate decline more, with 5-6 blown saves instead of 8 and a 3.25 ERA instead of 4.00? All in only 60 IP?

I say a thousand times no. Theo has to understand there are cheaper ways to get Thing 1's 2010 "production," starting with a guy by the name of "Bard."
   58. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 27, 2010 at 11:33 AM (#3649339)
I believe Rivera let it be known he was willing to go on one-year deals from now on, so there is considerably less angst about his upcoming contract.
Unless--and possibly even if--Rivera demands his next contract to be for eleventy billion dollars and the right to defecate twice a week on the Steinbrenner monument, he isn't going anywhere. He's pitching great, and the Yankees can shell out the cash.
   59. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 27, 2010 at 12:34 PM (#3649349)
I say a thousand times no. Theo has to understand there are cheaper ways to get Thing 1's 2010 "production," starting with a guy by the name of "Bard."
I think so too, basically. The Sox can replace Papelbon's likely 2011 production at a cheaper price through the free agent market.

However, if you're one of those crazy people who started hating Papelbon because in 2009 he gave up walks sometimes - hell, if you think a closer with three times more Ks than walks is so awful you can't even say his name - you're really going to hate the guys who get brought in to replace him. Replacing Papelbon through the free agent market means bringing in guys who are very clearly not as good as Papelbon v.2009 to set up for Bard. I expect Papelbon v.2011 to be better than Matt Guerrier and Frank Francisco, for instance.

I think it's the right thing to do, because those guys will be cheaper than Papelbon and allow the club to spend elsewhere. I think that this Papelbon hatred stuff, though, is a function mostly of wildly unrealistic expectations for pitchers, expectations that were cultivated by Papelbon's amazing peak run over the last four year.
Thing 1 is NOT one of the better closers in baseball BUT EVEN IF HE WAS, the only relevant question is: is Thing 1's "production" worth $12 million dollars in 2011. That is all that matters: should this man be paid $12 million dollars to have his K/BB rate decline more, with 5-6 blown saves instead of 8 and a 3.25 ERA instead of 4.00? All in only 60 IP?
Just to clarify - that's not exactly the question. The question is, if the Sox save $12M on Papelbon, where specifically can they spend it better elsewhere? The money has to actually get spent, on better players, for dumping Papelbon to make sense.
   60. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: September 27, 2010 at 12:41 PM (#3649352)
They've got to non-tender him over the winter. He's a terrible pitcher getting increasingly worse and his salary is unpalatable for that kind of performance.
   61. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 27, 2010 at 12:51 PM (#3649356)
If you think Papelbon is a terrible pitcher, you're unprepared for any of the pitchers who will replace him.
   62. Textbook Editor Posted: September 27, 2010 at 12:58 PM (#3649359)
Just to clarify - that's not exactly the question. The question is, if the Sox save $12M on Papelbon, where specifically can they spend it better elsewhere? The money has to actually get spent, on better players, for dumping Papelbon to make sense.


Well, for starters we have holes at C and 3B. Beltre's expected 2011 salary won't be that much more than 2010's--maybe $13-14 million instead of $10 million--but the issue there is length of contract, not really the AAV.

VMart could also get a bit of a bump from his current salary if we keep him, so part of Thing 1's $12 million can go to keeping those two guys, with the knowledge that in Bard you'll be underpaying for a closer for several years relative to the open market.

The rest could be spent on bullpen help but to be honest I'd prefer to sort through internal options and discards than spend money on the Kyle Farnsworths of the world.

I'd prefer they spent the rest towards eating Lackey's contract and seeing if they can get another starter in. Unlikely, sure. So I suppose spend the $12 million to help retain VMart & Beltre.
   63. Textbook Editor Posted: September 27, 2010 at 01:02 PM (#3649360)
#61 - Bard would replace him. I can live with that.

Lots of teams have not-great set-up men. I can live with that too.

I've had my come-to-Jesus moment. The closer has got to go. Thing 1 is set to be one of the top 5 paid closers in baseball. He isn't worth that, not in a year where we have lots of other holes, a pretty clear finite limit to payroll, and a clear internal option to replace him.
   64. karlmagnus Posted: September 27, 2010 at 02:33 PM (#3649407)
I'll join the ditch-Papelbon club too. Of course we might have done better this year if Theo hadn't signed Lackey and Cameron, when in Ellsbury and Wake he had alternatives available that were just as good. Did the same thing with Beltre, too, but that one worked out. Yes it's only money, but that was a LOT misspent.

I forecast 82-84 wins this year -- I was obviously a bit low. Equally the 88 I revised to at the ASB still looks a good bet.

I want to keep Ellsbury in CF in 2011, where Beltre can't run into him. Re-sign Beltre and Martinez if possible. Ditch Ortiz and replace him with Manny YES!

Assuming they won't do Manny, I suppose Dunn is the best available. Ideally, we could trade a bunch of middle level talent for an expensive superstar, a Pedro v 1998/Manny v2001 but where?
   65. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 27, 2010 at 04:45 PM (#3649530)
TE - we get it. You hate Papelbon and would prefer it if he was not on team tomorrow. Is there any way you can move on from that and discuss a different facet of the Red Sox roster?
   66. Textbook Editor Posted: September 27, 2010 at 05:36 PM (#3649589)
#65 - Sure!

Dunn makes a ton of sense as a DH, but I'm guessing he has more value as a 1B/DH, and we already have one of each. I also suspect Dunn's not going to be that much cheaper than Papi's option (and may well be more expensive).

Plus if you get any 1B, you have to move Youk to 3B and accept that a GG 3B is not going to be the result. He won't be Butch Hobson-bad, of course, he'll likely just be average.

The thought of jerking Youk back-and-forth from 1B to 3B is apparently not something Youk is in favor of (he's said as much at the start of this year), so that sort of takes off the table this idea: Dump Ortiz and go with:

Platoon when GB pitcher on mound:

Youk 1B
Lowrie 3B
Dunn DH

Platoon when FB pitcher on mound

Youk 3B
Lowrie sits
Dunn 1B

It also assumes we re-sign VMart and he catches 110-120 games and maybe you DH him the other games against tough lefties when you sit Dunn.

But that whole plan is dependent upon Youk being willing to go 1B/3B about 75 games each (I estimate), and, like I said, he seems unwilling.

If you re-sign Beltre, you likely don't sign a 1B as well, unless Dunn is a strict DH sub in for Ortiz, something I doubt they'd do, since it would tie up the same $ for more years than a 1-year deal for Ortiz would.

I would be interesting to see where the projections come out for the hitting next year. One month of Kevin Cash at catcher probably really killed the overall C production for 2010; I'd have to imagine they'd get an uptick there. Same thing for the 40-45 games Youk was lost at 1B or Pedroia's games lost a 2B.

Really, I think they can probably expect the following, just if they stand pat and everyone comes back healthy:

LF: Probably an upgrade by a little bit if this is a healthy Cameron for 120 games; to be fair I'd say 2011 production likely the same as 2010

CF: Here I think you can argue Ellsbury--if healthy--can outperform CF production in 2011. Not by a lot, perhaps, but by enough that it is worthwhile to keep him.

RF: Drew had an off-year. But 2011 is a contract year. Have to think he's outperform 2010 next year.

1B: Youk (healthy) for 150 games would certainly be seen to outperform the overall 1B production in 2010

2B: Pedroia (healthy) for 150 games would certainly be seen to outperform the overall 2B production in 2010

SS: I suspect 2011 will be much the same as 2010, especially if we stick with Scutaro. If he goes down and Lowrie can stay healthy for a full year, we have a slight chance, I think, that he outperforms very slightly the SS output in 2010. And if Scutaro is *actually* healthy, we might increase production anyway by a little bit.

3B: A clear spot where we can't hope to duplicate the performance (unless we trade for David Wright or something crazy like that), even if we brought back Beltre. If we move Youk to 3B full-time, we'll break even at 3B, but then--depending on who we brought in for 1B--there's be a drop off-there from what Youk would be expected to deliver in 2011.

C: Again, assuming we re-sign VMart, I would think over a full season of health he'd out-perform the total C performance in 2010.

DH: I think a slippage is likely here if we bring back Ortiz, so I think we'll get less production from the DH spot in 2011.

So really the only spots where we're guaranteed to have a drop-off in production is: SS, 3B, DH--and that's if we decide to bring everyone back. But (a) I don't think we will, and (b) we will--I think--more than make up for any drop off through simply reverting back to health regulars in the other 5 position slots.

So I suppose aside from sorting out who will actually play what position, etc. I don't think the lineup in 2011 is a major problem. The bullpen is. The back end of the rotation is. To me, that's where I really go nuts trying to sort things out... Trading unicorns for David Wright (while it would be nice) would not--IMO--be as impactful as improving the rotation (which means eating salary with someone, there's no two ways about that) and improving the bullpen.

Is that enough non-closer roster discussion for everyone?
   67. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 27, 2010 at 06:34 PM (#3649637)
TE-

The problem is, you're working from a baseline of ~88 wins. The Sox need to improve by 5-7 games this offseason to be in line for the playoffs. That's the problem of the offseason - they need to improve a lot, and there aren't a lot of avenues to improve along.
   68. Textbook Editor Posted: September 27, 2010 at 07:02 PM (#3649648)
MCoA--Improving the bullpen/rotation gets you a fair number of those 5-7 wins, I think. And while I can't quantify it, I'm guessing the injuries cost us at least a few wins over the course of the season, right? There's no way all the injuries cost us only 1 or 2 wins. Cash's month at C alone probably cost us 1 win.
   69. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 27, 2010 at 07:12 PM (#3649659)
The problem is, you're working from a baseline of ~88 wins. The Sox need to improve by 5-7 games this offseason to be in line for the playoffs. That's the problem of the offseason - they need to improve a lot, and there aren't a lot of avenues to improve along.


How many wins do a healthy Pedroia and Youkilis provide over their replacements? And what about the outfield - a healthy(er) Cameron and Ellsbury, with McDonald/Nava/Kalish a bit more seasoned and not playing so much (and hopefully never Patterson) would be at least a win or two improvement. So just with reasonable expectations of health the Sox look more like a ~91 win team. (I am not touching the health of starting pitching - there are always injuries there).

EDIT:
Partial coke at least to TE (and thank you for #66 - much better)
   70. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 27, 2010 at 07:13 PM (#3649661)
The problem is, you're working from a baseline of ~88 wins. The Sox need to improve by 5-7 games this offseason to be in line for the playoffs. That's the problem of the offseason - they need to improve a lot, and there aren't a lot of avenues to improve along.


I don't agree with this. I think you have to add 4-6 wins to the final result of this season to account for the injuries. I think this was a 94-96 win team this year. Now, there are back and forths that we can expect within that beyond the injuries (e.g. Beckett, 3rd base) but I think this was a contending team but for the injuries.

That doesn't change the fact that there is work to be done. I think TE is pretty spot on in #66 except I would argue that any move that would send Youkilis to 3rd base would probably bring in a first base we are expecting to match (or at least come close) to Beltre's production.

This off-season reminds me of where the Yankees were after 2008. There is a lot of low hanging fruit that is almost a lock to improve this team from the 88-90 wins they actually get to the mid-90s they need. Another 40 games from Youk, 75 from Pedroia, 125 from Ellsbury, a bullpen that almost has to be better, Beckett should be improved.

I'm not ducking my head in the sand and screaming "all is well", there are problems to be sure. But I think we need to keep in mind that the ~88 wins is not entirely reflective of the talent level of this team.
   71. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: September 27, 2010 at 07:25 PM (#3649673)
They've got to non-tender him over the winter. He's a terrible pitcher getting increasingly worse and his salary is unpalatable for that kind of performance.


This is a vast overstatement. 1.25 WHIP in that park is *not* a terrible pitcher.

But he sure isn't worth anything close to $12M. IMO the Red Sox could nearly approximate Papelbon's production with a couple of the free-agent relievers out there, especially since they'd be looking for a setup man, not a closer.

It was a really bad year, comparatively speaking, for us, wasn't it? High expectations killed by injuries, injuries, and more injuries. Beckett terrible when he came back. Lackey lousy most of the year for reasons unknown. The Ellsbury saga. Papelbon continuing his descent toward pumpkinization. Okajima's complete disastery. Westmoreland's brain surgery. Anderson's failure to recoup his prospectdom. Ditto Reddick. I could go on and on.
   72. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 27, 2010 at 07:36 PM (#3649679)
I think you have to add 4-6 wins to the final result of this season to account for the injuries.
Oh, of course. But in TE's post, he was saying that we would improve at certain positions due to health. So he was starting from a baseline that included the injuries, and thus was starting from 88-89 wins.

I haven't run any numbers on this, but the issue is that there are a couple of huge seasons the Sox got in 2010 that aren't going to be repeated in 2010. Even if they re-sign Beltre, they're not getting another MVP season at third base. And Buchholz isn't going to put up another near Cy Young season. My fear is that losing those two huge seasons will cost the Sox almost as much as getting everyone healthy will improve the team.

I'm open to being convinced by numbers and arguments, but i think the Sox are in a tight spot this offseason. Just bringing everyone back looks to me like a recipe for another 3rd place finish, but there isn't a lot they can do to improve the team just by hitting the free agent market. I'm counting on some exciting trades.
   73. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 27, 2010 at 07:39 PM (#3649681)
Primakov - I think there was a lot to be excited about. The emergence of Kalish and Doubront as prospects, Lowrie showing that he could be a productive player, Bard's emergence as one of the top relievers in the game, Buchholz stepping forward and becoming the pitcher we had heard so much about, Jon Lester's ongoing brilliance. Plus a bunch of stuff that was just a lot of fun to see though may not be relevant to the 2011 edition; Beltre, McDonald, Bill Hall.

Admittedly I'm a "half-full" kinda guy but I think a team that had every right to go in the toilet in early August played through yesterday the way they did, they went down swinging, is a team to feel good about.
   74. chris p Posted: September 27, 2010 at 07:40 PM (#3649682)
How many wins do a healthy Pedroia and Youkilis provide over their replacements?

i don't think you get much more from a healthy pedroia b/c lowrie has been just about the best hitter on the team recently, but the drop off from youk to lowell and victor to cash is huge. youk had 4.4 in 408 pa's and lowell's had -0.5 in 230 pa's and lars is at 0 in 30 pa's. i think you can figure at least 2 more wins if youk were healthy. cash was at -0.8 all by himself, so figure another win there.
   75. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 27, 2010 at 07:47 PM (#3649686)
I haven't run any numbers on this, but the issue is that there are a couple of huge seasons the Sox got in 2010 that aren't going to be repeated in 2010. Even if they re-sign Beltre, they're not getting another MVP season at third base. And Buchholz isn't going to put up another near Cy Young season. My fear is that losing those two huge seasons will cost the Sox almost as much as getting everyone healthy will improve the team.


I think Buchholz + Beckett in 2011 will equal Buchholz + Beckett in 2010. There is probably an impact of some sort of losing the great starts/bad starts and getting more middle of the road starts but I'm not worrying about that for now.

Beltre is an issue, and I think Ortiz is probably a bet to decline some and there is a non-zero chance he completely craters. I think Drew will improve enough to offset a reasonable Ortiz decline but that Beltre decline/replacement will cost the offense.
   76. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 27, 2010 at 07:49 PM (#3649687)
i don't think you get much more from a healthy pedroia b/c lowrie has been just about the best hitter on the team recently


Pedroia 2010 - .288/.367/.493
Red Sox 2B since he went down in June - .232/.297/.383 (this includes his two games in August)
   77. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: September 27, 2010 at 08:06 PM (#3649699)
Primakov - I think there was a lot to be excited about. The emergence of Kalish and Doubront as prospects, Lowrie showing that he could be a productive player, Bard's emergence as one of the top relievers in the game, Buchholz stepping forward and becoming the pitcher we had heard so much about, Jon Lester's ongoing brilliance. Plus a bunch of stuff that was just a lot of fun to see though may not be relevant to the 2011 edition; Beltre, McDonald, Bill Hall.

Admittedly I'm a "half-full" kinda guy but I think a team that had every right to go in the toilet in early August played through yesterday the way they did, they went down swinging, is a team to feel good about.


I'm generally a half-full guy, too, but this season sorely tested my resolve. I'm less bullish on Doubront as a prospect--I'm not sure why, though, so I may have to revisit that. Kalish looks very good, but I don't know if he'll be anything in 2011 since he may not even make the team. I'm also thinking that Buchholz is very good, but his K/BB ratio (115/66) really isn't that good, so I see regression unless he continues to improve (which he is definitely capable of doing).

But you're right about Beltre, McDonald, and Hall. I especially enjoyed Hall, because a lot of Red Sox fans, even on here, kept saying he sucked even when he was doing damn well as a reserve. I can't remember the last Red Sox utility guy who had such a good year.

Sadly, we're probably going to lose all three of those guys.
   78. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 27, 2010 at 08:14 PM (#3649706)
I was one of those griping about Hall but he turned in a heck of a year. Once we stopped trying to use him in centerfield he was everything we could have hoped for.
   79. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: September 27, 2010 at 08:20 PM (#3649711)
As a Yankees fan, I like the looks of that Kalish. I think he'll be a good player. Maybe you guys can tear down and build around him. A five-year rebuild, maybe.
   80. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 27, 2010 at 08:24 PM (#3649716)
Sadly, we're probably going to lose all three of those guys.
I think it's quite likely McDonald comes back as a reserve. He's not going to get a starting job somewhere, and the Sox can hardly expect to find a better extra outfielder. Hall, on the other hand, can surely get himself a starting job somewhere. He deserves it, and I'll root for him wherever he ends up.

I guess one option that hasn't been discussed is whether the Red Sox' plan could involve making Bill Hall their starting 3B next year. He's a pretty good hitter and a pretty good fielder, and his versatility would be a plus. This only makes sense within some larger plan where the Sox spend big elsewhere, but it's an interesting option.
   81. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 27, 2010 at 08:41 PM (#3649731)
I guess one option that hasn't been discussed is whether the Red Sox' plan could involve making Bill Hall their starting 3B next year. He's a pretty good hitter and a pretty good fielder, and his versatility would be a plus. This only makes sense within some larger plan where the Sox spend big elsewhere, but it's an interesting option.

This is the same Bill Hall who hit .229/.291/.391 from 2007-09, right? As useful as he's been this year, I don't think he should even enter the conversation for starting 3B in 2011 unless everything else falls through.
   82. Joel W Posted: September 27, 2010 at 08:45 PM (#3649738)
MCA, aren't you being too pessimistic about the true talent of this team. I don't mean injuries, but I went and looked at BP's adjusted standings and...given neutral luck they'd be tied w/ Tampa for the 2nd best record in baseball. Now I'm not one to say it's 100% luck to over/underperform your pythag and your expected runs performance, but...it certainly is relevant to look at. This is of course before considering the injuries to their two best players among countless others.
   83. Textbook Editor Posted: September 27, 2010 at 09:00 PM (#3649749)
#80 - Had not thought of that w/r/t Hall at 3B. I have to think the defense will be below-average, but perhaps the Red Sox think they can get 75% of Beltre + below-average defense for a good bit less than market rate. I don't know how to take the thought of Hall getting 600 PAs, though... I'm not sure that's the way we'd want to go. Wouldn't putting Lowrie at 3B be a better plan if you wanted a cheap option? Or is there concern Scutaro may well be done as an everyday SS given his arm injury? (Thus Lowrie would need to be SS more or less FT in 2011.)

One thing none of the first 80 comments has touched on though is this: what can we reasonably expect the Rays/Yankees (and Blue Jays/Orioles) to do in the off-season? Because while we fret over out regressions, etc. it's not as if everyone else in the division stays static and fixed to a September 2010 existence.

I don't have the time right now to try to go position-by-position through the Yankees/Rays like I did for the Red Sox in #66 (mainly because I'm not at all up on the minor-league options available to either club), but for starters here are major issues facing these teams:

Yankees

(1) Rotation after Sabbathia/Hughes. Can AJ Burnett be fixed? Bring back Pettite for 1 more year? (How much can you reasonably hope for from Pettite in 2011?) Make Joba a starter? Sure, it's assumed they'll sign Cliff Lee, but if for some reason they *don't*--what is the backup plan.

(2) Jeter: Will he remain the leadoff guy if production continues to decline? (I'm assuming he re-signs; the price they pay, though, may impact how much they feel they can spend elsewhere--they can't just up payroll to $250 million... We don't know what their threshold is--and it's larger than the Red Sox by a good bit--but the answer to "How much can the Yankees afford to spend?" is not "Infinity.")

(3) Can Posada catch 110 games a year? If not, who's the backup? (Cervelli won't be seen as the answer to this question for 2011, and they seem reluctant to call/use Montero as a full-time backup C/DH.)

(4) Who is the DH? Johnson? Posada? Montero?

(5) Decline Wood's $11 million option, right? Do you hope he takes less and try to re-sign him? Or will an October filled with effective 8th inning work get him a closer gig somewhere? If the latter, the search for a setup man begins anew... or they return to Joba as the 8th inning guy--can that work?

(6) Go after Crawford? Werth? Who gets jettisoned if you sign one of them? Gardner? Does he stay as the 4th OF? What if for some reason you get neither--stick with the current OF?

(7) The Yankees have bullpen issues; not as many as the Red Sox, but they have some; how does that play out?

And I'm not even going to put on here "re-sign Rivera," since if Mariano wants to play, he'll do so in a Yankees uniform; I'm convinced of this.

Rays

(1) Crawford appears to be basically gone; the owner's saying payroll has to go down next year regardless of how they do in the postseason. So who plays LF? Who plays RF? Zobrist?

(2) Their rotation is young and very good, sure, but the back half of it struggled later in the year, and while Price and Garza should be fine the rest aren't exactly the equal of those two... But with all those young arms being so cheap, the Rays will likely be reluctant to go out and sign any kind of big-name starter, so their rotation for 2011 is likely to be the same (or just slightly different, with internal options plugged in) for 2011. That could be good/bad, but it's not a given they'll just be really good.

(3) Pena's probably gone unless he gives a hometown discount. So now you have to replace your 1B.

(4) Soriano's likely gone, so now you need a closer. Probably will fill this with an in-house option, I'd guess.

(5) Jason Barlett: does his arbitration salary become too rich, even on a 1-year deal?

(6) Pick up Wheeler's $4 million option for 2011? Or buy him out for $1 million?

(7) BJ Upton's probably due for a nice raise as well: can they afford him if cutting back elsewhere?

(8) I can't tell if Balfour is arb-eligible or a FA after this year. But he's likely to get a raise as well... Keep him? Non-tender?

(9) Sonnanstine is, I think, eligible for arbitration, and figures to get some kind of raise.

The Rays have--to me--a far more complex situation going into 2011 because they have so many moving pieces/arbitration cases. Sure, they will save $20 million when Crawford/Pena walk, but they have to replace their production likely via internal options, because a decent chunk of that $20 million in savings is going to get eaten up in arbitration cases unless they non-tender some guys.
*******

My point in this is just that as much as we see the Red Sox as having myriad issues going forward into 2011, the Rays/Yankees also have issues, and it's no sure bet they'll solve them in ways that make them retain a 95-97-win team in 2011.
   84. Dale Sams Posted: September 27, 2010 at 09:32 PM (#3649782)
What you lose in replacing Crawford with Desmond Jennings you gain back by replacing the .199 batting, 103 OPS+ FIRST BASEMAN with a cow-bell.
   85. Dan Posted: September 27, 2010 at 10:32 PM (#3649841)
I think that Dan Johnson will probably be the Rays starting 1B next season. But if they let all of Crawford, Peña, Soriano, Balfour, and Wheeler walk (plus getting Burrell's salary off the books) they still have room to pursue at least one serious bat. Maybe Dunn to DH and split time at 1B with Johnson?

I still think the Yankees will sign Carl Crawford. I can't see them sticking with Brett Gardner in LF when he's on the market.
   86. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 28, 2010 at 11:59 AM (#3650118)
Dunn to DH


Dunn has stated that he does not want to got to the AL right now because he does not want to be a DH. Whether 'right now' weighs more than 'an extra $10 million' is yet to be seen.
   87. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 28, 2010 at 12:44 PM (#3650144)
The Rays will be adding Jeremy Hellickson to the rotation in 2011. If I were the Rays, I'd try out Wade Davis in the bullpen - he looks to me like the sort of guy who's better suited to being a power arm out of the bullpen, throwing his fastball and breaking ball at 100%, and never having his catcher call for a changeup again in his life.

One nice thing, with the Yankees, is that their OF has been so damn good this year that even adding one of Crawford/Werth won't be a huge upgrade. One of Gardner/Granderson would be the one to go, I assume, but both those guys have been well above average offensive performers. Even adding a star like Crawford or Werth won't add more than two or at most three wins. I would guess, eyeballing it, that Crawford or Werth won't project to be much more than one win better in 2011 than Gardner was in 2010.
   88. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 28, 2010 at 01:26 PM (#3650165)
I still think the Yankees will sign Carl Crawford. I can't see them sticking with Brett Gardner in LF when he's on the market.

Werth makes a lot more sense, since he's RH and Crawford's LH. Werth/Swisher/Gardner/Granderson make up the OF and ~60% of the DH. You use the rest of the DH to rest ARod/Posada etc.

Against LHP, you sit Granderson, Gardner plays CF and Swisher plays LF.
   89. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: September 28, 2010 at 04:59 PM (#3650389)
I'm in the camp that says you never give a long-term, high-money contract to a DH. They just aren't that valuable unless they put up 1.000 OPSes.
   90. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: September 29, 2010 at 05:14 AM (#3650927)
And thus, it is official.
   91. Hugh Jorgan Posted: September 29, 2010 at 05:42 AM (#3650933)
I'm in the camp that says you never give a long-term, high-money contract to a DH.

I've been in many camps in my lifetime but have never found this one before. Where do I pitch my tent?

This offseason will be interesting, that's for sure. Can Beckett get better in 2011? Is Lackey really this average? Is Dice-K that hair pulling inducement that we all think he is? The half-arsed lineup they threw out there for nearly half a year scored plenty of runs, it was the inconsistency of the 3-5 starters and the pen meltdowns that cost this team a chance this year.
   92. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: September 29, 2010 at 01:25 PM (#3651033)
Does anyone have tickets for the weekend series that they are no longer interested in using but interested in selling for a non obscene markup?
   93. Darren Posted: October 01, 2010 at 12:49 AM (#3652384)
I forecast 82-84 wins this year -- I was obviously a bit low. Equally the 88 I revised to at the ASB still looks a good bet.


Yeah, that would have been a good bet, if that was what you said.
   94. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 01, 2010 at 01:10 AM (#3652395)
Does anyone have tickets for the weekend series that they are no longer interested in using but interested in selling for a non obscene markup?

WJ, I may - MAY - be able to hook you up. Check this thread tomorrow around 10am.

If I can - again, if - they would be RF box for face value.
   95. Dan Posted: October 01, 2010 at 07:20 AM (#3652518)
I was really disappointed to see Lester finish the year with a complete clunker tonight. It really would've been cool to see him finish with a sub-3 ERA and 20 wins, even if those superficial stats don't mean much.

I hope the Sox can take 2 of 3 this weekend to deny the Yankees the division.

Go Rays!
   96. Answer Guy Posted: October 01, 2010 at 12:50 PM (#3652561)
I'm not rooting for the Rays so much as I am rooting against the Yankees.

I think I want the NL rep, whoever it is, to win the Series this year. (Well, I would be happy seeing the Twins win.)
   97. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 04, 2010 at 05:41 PM (#3683909)
Payroll Update:

(Globe: Sox exercise options on Ortiz, Atchison; decline options on Hall and Lopez)

With Atchison at about $440k and Ortiz at $12.5M, I now project the Sox salary cap payroll at about $127M. To remain under the salary cap, they have $51M left to spend on C, 1B/3B, OF, three relievers, and a corner bat for the bench.
   98. Pingu Posted: November 04, 2010 at 05:47 PM (#3683919)
Can they still offer Lopez arbitration?
   99. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: November 04, 2010 at 05:53 PM (#3683925)
98 - I'm pretty sure they can. I read somewhere at the time they got him that that was part of the plan was that they basically picked him up so they could get the draft pick.
   100. Pingu Posted: November 04, 2010 at 05:58 PM (#3683940)
I heard that too at the time, but was unaware that he had an option that needed declining.
Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Backlasher
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Demarini, Easton and TPX Baseball Bats

 

 

 

 

Page rendered in 1.2486 seconds
62 querie(s) executed