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   1. steagles Posted: November 21, 2009 at 05:34 AM (#3393282)
yeah, you're not the evil empire or anything.


10 million for rich harden. why not.
   2. Tripon Posted: November 21, 2009 at 05:39 AM (#3393284)
Hey, the Phillies are paying $8.5 million for Jamie Moyer. How is that not evil?
   3. LB813 Posted: November 21, 2009 at 04:12 PM (#3393413)
I still say go after Duchscherer, I think he could be cheap. 3 million with some incentives. Harden as a fall back isnt a bad choice, but more for like 5-6 million also with IP incentives.
   4. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: November 21, 2009 at 04:37 PM (#3393419)
How much would Rich Harden get in arbitration if he were interested in a 1-year-deal? Surely it's more than the figures being tossed out here.
   5. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: November 21, 2009 at 04:51 PM (#3393421)
He made $7M in 2009, right? I'd think $10M would be a minimum in arbitration.

Is he really arb-eligible? Cot's has him as a straight FA.
   6. tjm1 Posted: November 21, 2009 at 06:52 PM (#3393493)
Is he really arb-eligible? Cot's has him as a straight FA.


Teams and players can always agree to go to arbitration instead of having the player go to free agency. Unless, that is, Harden was outright released already.
   7. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: November 21, 2009 at 07:03 PM (#3393502)
Harden is a free agent. Type B.
   8. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: November 21, 2009 at 07:21 PM (#3393518)
Thx, #6. Should have known that.
   9. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: November 21, 2009 at 09:00 PM (#3393559)
A lot of this was discussed the other day over in the thread on the ESPN Gammons/Edes article. Walt Davis made what I thought was the best group of comments. Start reading at #26 and read his next few posts. He made the excellent point that signing high-risk, high-reward players like Smoltz/Penny, while it might (or might not) fill a hole for this year is basically flushing money down the toilet as it doesn't solve your problem for next year or the year after. We are fortunate to have 5 guys that we think are pretty good in the rotation, but except for Lester each one of them has pretty big question marks in terms of health. Lackey might be an excellent fit for just that reason: he can provide middle/top-of-the-rotation quality plus provide stability for the next few years. All of the other guys listed above are question marks just like the starters we have now. For a while I didn't think I wanted the Red Sox to sign Lackey, but now I'm thinking I might want them to.
   10. RobertMachemer Posted: November 21, 2009 at 09:20 PM (#3393566)
What was wrong with the Bartolo Colon deal? Why would his (idiosyncratic) refusal to contribute in the playoffs as a relief pitcher make them regret signing him, given that he pitched pretty well for them during the season?
   11. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: November 21, 2009 at 09:21 PM (#3393569)
Piehole (and anyone else who wants to jump in, DiceK is one of my favorite pitchers out there (and I am not at all a Red Sox fan), but it seems that he's fallen a bit from the "he's going to be filthysicknastee!1!" perception of him, even after his 200K first year, and his 2.90-ERA encore. How close is DiceK to becoming a major disappointment, or perhaps worse, just a "meh" player in the eyes of the fans?

EDIT: FWIW, I was in the filthysicknastee crowd, myself.
   12. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: November 21, 2009 at 09:46 PM (#3393580)
I'm a Red Sox fan. Another lost season and he'll be a major disappointment, but at this point, three years into his MLB career, I think we still don't have much idea what kind of player he really is. He's enigmatic, and a total bummer to watch even when he's going well, but just what kind of pitcher is he? Is he a high-K, high-walk, livin' on the edge David Cone-type? Is he a maniacal nibbler who will never again throw 200 innings? Is he someone who needs to be put on an unusual schedule to be effective? Is he a player who will never be totally effective, due to the bigger ball / brighter lights / culture shock / whatever? Will he figure it all out tomorrow and become an ace?

It's conceivable that Dice could be "worth" the value of his contract + posting fee, when measured by, for instance, Fangraphs' $ statistic (not a statistic I particularly care for, but in this instance it might be instructive) and still be perceived as a disappointment, because of the fanfare involved in his arrival. The price tag, the performance in the WBC, the track record in Japan -- all combined to program a lot of people, including, I admit, myself, to think we were getting another ace for the front of the staff, a guy who would anchor the rotation for years -- perhaps not another Pedro Martinez, but a good compliment to Josh Beckett, maybe. Instead, what we got was a schizophrenic nibble-freak with control and stamina issues. He can be dazzling when he's on, because his stuff seems to border on the magical; the problem is that a lot of the time he's a dinger-happy walk machine. His rookie year, this all added up to a reasonably good pitcher in aggregte. His second season, his ERA was shiny but he pitched like crap, which was evidenced in his low IP totals and IP/GS ratio. And then last year, it all fell apart. In all, it's been an eccentric US career for him.

I've adjusted my expectations, personally. He's just another pitcher, and though I'll be disappointed if he has any more seasons like this one, I'll be perfectly happy if we could get back to the level of his rookie season. I can't really take the pulse of the fanbase, because I don't live in Boston; I expect, however, that he'd already be called a major disappointment by the vox populi. That said, the team can make the playoffs without him, so I doubt he's in serious danger of being booed off the mound regularly or anything.
   13. OCD SS Posted: November 21, 2009 at 09:51 PM (#3393583)
He made the excellent point that signing high-risk, high-reward players like Smoltz/Penny, while it might (or might not) fill a hole for this year is basically flushing money down the toilet as it doesn't solve your problem for next year or the year after.


I don't see this as a good argument at all, it confuses the whole point of short term and long term decisions. Smoltz and Penny were short term decisions, and were not expected to contribute anything beyond 2009 (except perhaps a couple of draft picks if they pitched well); you can't say that not paying them in 2010 is flushing $ down the toilet.

Not every signing can be about solving a position both in the short term and long term. How many pitchers do you actually see who are worth the investment it takes to lock them up as a long term solution? Last year that was pretty much CC (I'm not real confident in AJB's contract), otherwise you're essentially locking up Jeff Suppan-types to a long term deal, and I'm not really sure that "solves" much.

OTOH if most of the rotation is set (as it is with the Sox), why doesn't it make sense to go after lottery ticket types who only cost money? If they don't work at least you haven't created a long term problem that you eventually need to pay to ship out of town...
   14. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: November 21, 2009 at 09:57 PM (#3393587)
OTOH if most of the rotation is set (as it is with the Sox), why doesn't it make sense to go after lottery ticket types who only cost money? If they don't work at least you haven't created a long term problem that you eventually need to pay to ship out of town...

The Sox have been able to get away giving some starts to bad pitchers because they are a s strong team that hasn't really been a race for the playoffs. It would make less sense if they were actually in a race.
   15. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: November 21, 2009 at 10:00 PM (#3393588)
I don't see this as a good argument at all, it confuses the whole point of short term and long term decisions. Smoltz and Penny were short term decisions, and were not expected to contribute anything beyond 2009 (except perhaps a couple of draft picks if they pitched well); you can't say that not paying them in 2010 is flushing $ down the toilet.

Not every signing can be about solving a position both in the short term and long term. How many pitchers do you actually see who are worth the investment it takes to lock them up as a long term solution? Last year that was pretty much CC (I'm not real confident in AJB's contract), otherwise you're essentially locking up Jeff Suppan-types to a long term deal, and I'm not really sure that "solves" much.

OTOH if most of the rotation is set (as it is with the Sox), why doesn't it make sense to go after lottery ticket types who only cost money? If they don't work at least you haven't created a long term problem that you eventually need to pay to ship out of town...

Thanks. I appreciate Walt's initial point (that these signings aren't as "low-risk" as they're often described), but it's really weird to hear folks discussing how the Sox "Did nothing to fill those holes going forward!!!" at the same time that Mets and Braves fans are looking for ways to move Perez/Lowe.

To quote the immortal Grouch: good things have side effects, bad things benefits.
   16. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: November 21, 2009 at 10:22 PM (#3393594)
The reality is that every team is going to have some starts made by people they'd rather not have making those starts. I'd rather the Sox take the approach they have with those starts and go for possible upside types like Penny, Smoltz, Colon and Miller rather than just hope to get lucky with Sidney Ponson and his ilk. Obviously the ideal scenario is Beckett, Lester, Buchholz, Matsuzaka and Lackey combining to make 160 starts but even if they sign Lackey that isn't a likely scenario so I'd rather have my 6th/7th starter be a guy who could conceivably dominate for a short run (Bedard, Harden, etc...) than crossing my fingers and hoping Junichi Tazawa figures fulfills his "decent innings eater" forecast.
   17. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: November 21, 2009 at 10:28 PM (#3393597)
@15, et al.:

After Walt's series of comments, Mattbert blew him up for leaning on hindsight when judging/labeling the Smoltz and Penny deals as high-risk. I thought Mattbert had a pretty good point, there, especially when coupled with the fact that it was only for one year, anyway.

I agree with what Mattbert said (echoed by what OCD SS says above), which seems to be that one-year deals of almost any practical amount aren't really risky for the Red Sox. Walt -- who is a quality commenter, IMO -- appears to dislike the aesthetics of $12M "flushed down the toilet," whether or not the flusher can easily afford it.

Now, I'd see his point if the Red Sox were to go out and drop 4/$60 on somebody like Rich Harden. That would be my idea of a high-risk deal.

Edit: me talk pretty one day
   18. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: November 21, 2009 at 11:01 PM (#3393613)
Harden as a fall back isnt a bad choice, but more for like 5-6 million also with IP incentives.

If this is what Harden signs for, he has the worst agent ever. Harden has led all starting pitchers in K/9 each of the past 2 years. He's not durable, but he's started the same number of games as Lackey (51) over that time. In 2008, Harden had a better ERA+ than Greinke had this year, and even in his disappointing 2009 season, Harden was excellent after the All-Star break, with a 2.55 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 11.8 K/9 in 12 starts. According to fangraphs, Harden contributed about $20 million worth of value in his year and a half with the Cubs. Also keep in mind that he's even younger than Sabathia was as a free agent last offseason, or 3+ years younger than any other current free agent option, and he's never had a sub-100 ERA+ season. The Yankees would be crazy to not take a chance on Harden if that's the market for him. Just give him an extra day of rest wherever the schedule allows it and don't ask him to throw more than 100 pitches per start.
   19. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: November 21, 2009 at 11:15 PM (#3393619)
I think that getting Harden for "1/10 or 2/20," as Darren suggests, would be a good bet for almost any team, but especially those in the top payroll tier. I wouldn't be unhappy to see the O's bring him in for 2/20, even. Sure, he's only going to give you 25GS/150IP, but those will be quality innings.

I wonder if Harden's agent sees this offseason as the window to go gunning for the big multiyear payday.
   20. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: November 22, 2009 at 12:55 AM (#3393643)
Why wouldn't the Yankees pay something like 3yrs/$45M for Harden? Just the possibility of postseason MVP awards has to be worth that to them.
   21. Darren Posted: November 22, 2009 at 12:58 AM (#3393645)
Sure, he's only going to give you 25GS/150IP, but those will be quality innings.


Sure, unless he gives you 25 IP or 46 IP. He also gave up 23 HR last year in the NL--that's a scary number--and ended the season missing a start. With that said, I could see him getting more than I guessed above.

I think Mattbert had a reasonable response to Walt's ideas. I don't fully agree with Walt in that it's easy say that you should get a longterm solution but much harder to get one and very easy to sign a guy longterm who's not worth it. I think the better point is that these type of deals have generally done very little to improve the Red Sox. The 2 last year provided very little value for a lot of dough, while Colon and Miller were cheap but also added little. If they are looking to sure up their rotation, they'd do a lot better by getting someone a little bit more reliable (like Harden, with stress on the word "little").
   22. Mattbert Posted: November 22, 2009 at 01:40 AM (#3393664)
Damn, if that's me blowing someone up, I must actually blow them when I'm being affable.

Kidding aside, I also consider Walt one of the best regulars here. I just think he was slightly wide of the mark with his characterization of risk specifically in terms of what that means to the Red Sox. Hopefully that came off as a polite--and fairly minor--disagreement. As has been said in this thread, the Sox have the luxury of being able to consider virtually any deal of two years or less "low-risk" provided the AAV isn't eye-watering. And by the same token, it takes more to make Boston's eyes water than most other teams.

I'm sure Theo would have preferred to sign Sabathia to a long-term deal rather than gamble on a single year of Brad Smoltz. Given the choice, of course you'd take Sabathia, but in a market where the Yankees have the same needs as you do, Theo doesn't get to make that choice. The choice he has to make is between the short-term gambles like Brad Smoltz and the medium- to long-term commitments like Derek Perez.

Lately, the former's made more sense because the recent Sox teams have had such a strong core. If they'd lacked the dynamite front two of Beckett/Lester and/or the depth of Matsuzaka/Wakefield/Buchholz behind them, I suspect Theo would've made a play for a longer-term solution just to give the rotation some stability. But he already had as much projected stability as any rotation in baseball, so he could well afford to roll the dice at the back end. It's a good position to be in, no doubt about it. Aside from the Curse of Shortstop, Theo's kept the Sox in a strong and flexible position entering every off-season by not signing bad long-term deals with expensive Plan B type FAs. Once the elite guys are off the table, he looks for a short-term gamble not a long-term Plan B.

I expect he'll operate in a similar fashion this winter. If he offers Lackey anything, I can't see it being more than 3 guaranteed years, and I'll be surprised if the Sox make a serious run for him unless they package Buchholz in a trade for a bat. I agree that Harden should be part of the strategery for the off-season. Bedard would be a disaster in the pressure cooker of Boston; I wouldn't even kick the tires there. Sheets doesn't give me the warm and fuzzies health-wise, but I'd prefer him to Bedard by a mile. If the Sox can't get something done with Harden, I'd rather they look at Pedro.
   23. Darren Posted: November 22, 2009 at 02:10 AM (#3393673)
And if not Pedro, I hear that Vicente Padilla, Brad Penny, and other superior pitchers are available.
   24. Mattbert Posted: November 22, 2009 at 10:38 AM (#3393801)
Vicente Padilla is, by all accounts, a towering prick. I do not wish to root for him. I would be quite surprised if Brad Penny projects to be significantly better than Pedro in 2010. I know who I'd rather see on the team, though. And that's no knock against Penny, who had his moments and handled his situation with a lot of class.
   25. tjm1 Posted: November 22, 2009 at 12:04 PM (#3393807)
Would Harden sign a deal with a $5 million base, and say $400,000 per start? If he stays healthy, he gets $19 million, and he'd be worth something like that, because he may very well be the best starter in the majors right now when he's healthy.
   26. steagles Posted: November 22, 2009 at 11:26 PM (#3394097)

And if not Pedro, I hear that Vicente Padilla, Brad Penny, and other superior pitchers are available.
don't forget about brett myers.
   27. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: November 22, 2009 at 11:38 PM (#3394108)
don't forget about brett myers.
That's true. The Sox need someone to fill the "wife beater" role since Lugo was released.
   28. steagles Posted: November 22, 2009 at 11:39 PM (#3394109)
That's true. The Sox need someone to fill the "wife beater" role since Lugo was released.
allegedly.
   29. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: November 22, 2009 at 11:54 PM (#3394123)
allegedly.
No, no. Lugo was definitely released. He ended up playing for a new team and everything.

Oooh, you mean Myers. Sure, "allegedly."
   30. DCW3 Posted: November 23, 2009 at 12:03 AM (#3394128)
Did the Red Sox allege that they released Lugo? Because they actually traded him.
   31. Mattbert Posted: November 23, 2009 at 01:22 PM (#3394380)
Did the Red Sox allege that they released Lugo? Because they actually traded him.

They released the guy they traded him for. Close enough.
   32. Dan Posted: November 25, 2009 at 12:20 PM (#3396392)
According to the Globe, the Red Sox are pursuing Halladay pretty hard.
   33. Dan Posted: November 25, 2009 at 11:39 PM (#3397033)
Red Sox picked up Tug Hulett from the Royals. He seems like a pretty nice utility player who can play 2b/SS/3b and get on base a little.
   34. JB H Posted: November 26, 2009 at 12:24 AM (#3397051)
I don't know anything about Tug Hulett, but looking at his projections and his defensive stats it is really insane that the Royals just gave him away before he even hit 1 year of service time. I guess that's why they're the Royals?
   35. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 26, 2009 at 12:33 AM (#3397062)
359/406 his first year in AAA, 380/518 and 384/473 the next two. I kinda assume Hulett can't really play defense up the middle, if he's hitting like that and staying in the minors, but who knows. Nice little pickup regardless.
   36. JB H Posted: November 26, 2009 at 12:39 AM (#3397068)
Zips gives him a VG for 2B defense. Chone thinks he's pretty good: http://www.minorleaguesplits.com/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?pl=461834 (click defense on the upper right). Say what you will about those metrics but he's probably not much worse than average at the least.

It just seems completely inexplicable that we got him for free

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