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. villageidiom Posted: January 11, 2012 at 09:53 PM (#4034732)
So, is the plan in RF to play Sweeney and McDonald until Kalish is back from surgery? Because that seems neither clever nor fun. I'm fine with it, mind you...
   2. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 12, 2012 at 08:06 AM (#4034923)
Well, there was a cleverness to the trade. My concern about trading for Bailey was that the Sox would then need to acquire a right fielder to replace Reddick. Getting a new right fielder in the same trade where you get your closer is a nice little play.

I'm still dubious that McDonald will be the platoon partner for Sweeney. I'd like to see a 4th OF who could be an everyday player if Sweeney flops or if one of the other two OFs gets hurt. I really thought Andruw Jones would have been a perfect fit.
   3. Darren Posted: January 12, 2012 at 08:15 AM (#4034930)
It may be that spending a bunch of money is a good idea in general, but this group is just not good at it. Someone noticed that and decided that they should at least take a break from the mega-contracts and see if they can get back to what they were doing early on.
   4. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: January 12, 2012 at 08:23 AM (#4034934)
they filled the bullpen by trading MLB-ready semi-prospects for young, cheap relievers.
I've been a little out of the loop -- what's the current best guess at the makeup of the 'pen?
   5. Darren Posted: January 12, 2012 at 08:25 AM (#4034937)
Sweeney has a feel of Jeremy Hermida about him: he looks like an ultra-clever move on paper but somehow will not actually be able to play baseball.

The other question is how he'll handle the big market. I'll be curious to read about Sweeney among the Nightengales of the world.
   6. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 12, 2012 at 08:31 AM (#4034940)
BGG - I expect the front three will be Bailey, Melancon, and Morales. The back of the pen looks like some mix of Atchison, Albers, Doubront, Miller, and various minor league contract guys. Conceivably Tazawa, depending on the club's plan for him. If one of Bard or Aceves washes out of the rotation, he'll join the high leverage corps. The Sox could use another reliever, still.
   7. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: January 12, 2012 at 08:44 AM (#4034944)
A couple years ago I’d probably have been annoyed about a turn of events like this. But the 2009 and 2010 offseasons have left me wondering, a little bit, to what degree it’s a good thing to have a ton of money that you have to spend. Having John Lackey on the roster wasn’t just a waste of money – he actively made the club worse. The out-years in the Crawford contract are a big problem even if you think he’s going to suck less next year. At some point, the club can’t keep adding more payroll in the out years, and at some point you have to wonder if giving a GM too much money to spend limits his effectiveness.


I am sorry, but this is insane. Big contracts, like everything in baseball, are hit and miss. And certainly the Sox have had their fair share of misses recently. But if you don't, or can't spin that wheel, you don't get the AGons, the Mannys, the Becketts back in return for those misses. And without the ability to get guys like that, the Sox would be a much worse team.
   8. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: January 12, 2012 at 08:46 AM (#4034948)
Wow, yeah that is quite the makeover.
   9. Darren Posted: January 12, 2012 at 09:01 AM (#4034959)
The main goal in the bullpen (and rotation) is to make sure that Bowden is never given a chance.
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 12, 2012 at 09:02 AM (#4034960)
If one of Bard or Aceves washes out of the rotation, he'll join the high leverage corps.

Isn't it a very high likelihood that at least one doesn't cut it as a SP? And a decent liklihood that neither does?

This is an insanely high risk move, to me. Try it with one guy to fill the 5th spot? Sure decent gamble. But two spots? Crazy.

And I don't even see the 6th-8th SP depth on this team if Bard and Aceves fail.

I'm pretty shocked they haven't offered Kuroda 1/12-14. I hope it means the Yankees can get him cheap.
   11. Darren Posted: January 12, 2012 at 09:10 AM (#4034966)
The Sox rotation from 1-3 looks above average to me. All you need is average production from spots #4 and #5 and you're in good shape. And average at those spots is pretty darn bad.

I will say that I would prefer that they keep Aceves in the pen, where he has pitched much better and appears to have a great ability to pitch multiple innings with little rest in between.
   12. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: January 12, 2012 at 09:15 AM (#4034972)
The main goal in the bullpen (and rotation) is to make sure that Bowden is never given a chance.


I actually added a response to MCoA noting that Bowden would probably be part of the mix unless he falls apart in Ft. Myers but something wonky happened. I'll be shocked if he's not there Opening Day.

And I don't even see the 6th-8th SP depth on this team if Bard and Aceves fail.


This is a huge concern. I think the Sox are counting on Felix Doubront and/or Junichi Tazawa to be those guys plus they've added Aaron Cook. Nothing certain there of course. I also think there is still one more move coming, maybe Kuroda, maybe Saunders, maybe Oswalt but someone to fill in some of this. I think when they break camp Aceves is going to be a reliever/starter in waiting.
   13. jmurph Posted: January 12, 2012 at 09:19 AM (#4034977)
I'm with Snapper. There seems to be far too much risk on this team considering their payroll. The outfield could be very bad (a return to earth for Jacoby coupled with Crawford continuing to struggle), there is no depth in the infield, and somewhere between 2-3 spots in the rotation should concern us. And yes, I realize I'm sounding like an entitled big market whiner, but such is the life of a 21st century Red Sox fan.

I always used to think this when the Yankees would run out someone like Tony Clark (or when Boston did the same). Sure, a high payroll team with above average talent at other positions can afford to carry a guy like that, but why the hell should they?
   14. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 12, 2012 at 09:30 AM (#4034982)
The outfield could be very bad (a return to earth for Jacoby coupled with Crawford continuing to struggle), there is no depth in the infield,
The lineup projects to be awesome. It could be bad, but anything could be bad. In theory Maggie Smith's performance in the next Downton Abbey could lack the effortless camp awesomeness of her work to this point, but there's no particular reason to worry that it will unless you just like worrying.

I totally agree that the Sox starting pitching plan is risky. I should note, though, that the club's #6 starter is Felix Doubront, whom ZiPS projects to a cromulent 92 ERA+. They have backup if one fails. The Sox are banking heavily on Bard making the conversion - I don't know if they're right, but I think it's pretty clear at this point that they're confident.
   15. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 12, 2012 at 09:37 AM (#4034991)
I didn't realize Bowden had a pretty good year in Pawtucket. He should get a shot, too, sure.
   16. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 12, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4034997)
Oh, and I do expect the Sox to add another starting pitcher, but I'm expecting it'll be for maybe $3-5M. The payroll limit looks relatively set. Could be wrong- Kuroda fits this team's needs perfectly.
But if you don't, or can't spin that wheel, you don't get the AGons, the Mannys, the Becketts back in return for those misses. And without the ability to get guys like that, the Sox would be a much worse team.
I was perhaps overstating things for effect, but when there isn't an AGon or a Manny on the market, and you still spend, you end up with Lackey and Crawford. The question I was asking was not whether it's good to never spend, but whether it's counterproductive to always spend. And I meant to cast doubt on that in the next paragraph. I'm trying to articulate self-contradiction here, I don't really know what I think one way or the other.
   17. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: January 12, 2012 at 10:12 AM (#4035015)
I was perhaps overstating things for effect, but when there isn't an AGon or a Manny on the market, and you still spend, you end up with Lackey and Crawford.

... or JD Drew, or Beltre, or Lowell.

Edit: I mean I hated the Lackey signing at the time, and the Mike Cameron signing. And if they had followed my plan of going hard after Holliday that year, they don't need to sign Crawford (who's signing I was okay with, but not ecstatic about). But that to me, indicates not that they should stop spending, but that they need to improve their player evaluation.
   18. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: January 12, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4035016)
I was perhaps overstating things for effect, but when there isn't an AGon or a Manny on the market, and you still spend, you end up with Lackey and Crawford.


Maybe I'm nitpicking. The Crawford signing looks scary now, but at the time wasn't he the kind of star player who warrants a big, long-term deal? He had put up elite numbers in the previous 3 seasons per WAR, was young for a free agent (28, I think) and had the kind of skills that age well. If anything, AGon was a pricier and seemingly riskier pick-up at the time.
   19. Darren Posted: January 12, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4035017)
FWIW, they've never signed Beckett as a FA, they've always gotten what looks like a discount because they had him locked up for another year when signing him.

6-8 starters are, by definition, not good. Doubront projects to be an above average #6-7. So does Balcolm Miller and I suspect so does Silva (maybe?). A full recovery from Tazawa would make him a great #6 or 7. Dice-K is expected back midseason as well, right?

And if we're converting relievers to starters, let's do Bowden. Tell him to lose the slider and go back to what worked early on.
   20. Darren Posted: January 12, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4035019)
Maybe I'm nitpicking. The Crawford signing looks scary now, but at the time wasn't he the kind of star player who warrants a big, long-term deal?


IIRC, he was negotiating with the Angels, who thought they were close to getting him for 6/108 or so. Then the Sox lost out on Werth and decided to back up a Brinks truck at Crawford's door. I remember the 7/140 deal being more like something that, if you looked at it just the right way, was justifiable. I don't recall a general perception that he was a top superstar who would require a 7/140-like deal (there was much written to the contrary, in fact. On this very blog, MCOA had some calculations that showed his value as considerably lower than that).
   21. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: January 12, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4035020)
FWIW, they've never signed Beckett as a FA, they've always gotten what looks like a discount because they had him locked up for another year when signing him.

The issue was spending though, and not specifically FA signings.
   22. Darren Posted: January 12, 2012 at 10:29 AM (#4035028)
But it's not an argument over whether the Sox should lock up Ellsbury like they did with Pedroia and Youkilis. It was about whether they should go out and pay top dollar, outbidding other teams, to get top talent. Given the circumstances, I don't think Beckett fits into that discussion.
   23. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: January 12, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4035069)
But it's not an argument over whether the Sox should lock up Ellsbury like they did with Pedroia and Youkilis.

Sure it is. The issue is whether GM's should be given money to spend. I love Ellsbury, and he had a terrific season last year. But his record is rather mixed and he's a Boras client. If they sign jim to 100m extension, ther could easily be a lot of money flushed down the toilet there. The Sox can survive that though.If the Twins try it (see Mauer, Joe), and it backfires, they are basically toast.

It was about whether they should go out and pay top dollar, outbidding other teams, to get top talent. Given the circumstances, I don't think Beckett fits into that discussion.

They got Backett because the Marlins were looking to dump payroll. They extended him at basically market rate. Yes a year early... which was widely criticised when he struggled that year. How the hell does he NOT fit into the discussion.
   24. Darren Posted: January 12, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4035270)
Not to pick nits, but they got Beckett at below what he would have gotten on the open market both times.

Sure it is. The issue is whether GM's should be given money to spend.


I guess you could look at it strictly that way. I think they may make some more subtle distinctions than that, and those interest me, so I guess we're just looking at different things.
   25. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: January 12, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4035340)
Is this a debate about whether spending is better than not spending? I mean, obviously you're going to have more flexibility and more options if you can spend. I'd say the Red Sox did pretty meh under Theo in terms of signing biggish FAs (Clement,Wells,Lugo,Renteria,Tavarez,Dice-K, Crawford) and did pretty well in terms of home-grown talent - at least at the high end (Pedroia,Lester,Bard,Ellsbury). Does that mean they shouldn't spend money? Well, they didn't always give it to the right people, but that doesn't mean that spending money is bad.

Almost every team is a different situation, though. When they signed Lackey, he was the best starter on the market. It seemed like an overpay but ok at the time, and it's turned out terrible now. So far this year this year though, it looks like Bard, Aceves, Cook, Silva, and maybe someone else will compete for the 4 and 5 spots. If they get Kuroda or Oswalt (or even Jackson), then I'd say this is a very good rotation, with nice depth. Unfortunately, if Cook wins a rotation spot, the starter depth provided by Bard and Aceves goes away as both return (presumably) to the bullpen. Aceves seems useful as a longman/spot starter, so maybe he can continue in that in-between role. A lot depends on the health of the rotation, but that's pretty much the case with every team. How many teams project to have average 6-8 starters? Most of the time even the best teams are lucky to have average #4 starters.

Of course, if you're the Yankees, then even your guys who project to be terrible will end up pitching like #2s.
   26. dave h Posted: January 12, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4035522)
When we talk about how much a win should cost, is that just by taking total salary over the league minimum, and dividing by WAR? Or are players who have not yet reached free agency excluded from the calculation? This is relevant for judging how successful a free agent signing is - they should be compared with other free agents, not with the value provided by pre-arb players.
   27. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: January 12, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4035542)
26 - Pretty sure it is all players.

I think where the higher payroll creates problems is with expectations. Obviously it is not impossible for the Sox/Yankees to integrate young players but they are somewhat limited in terms of how patient they can be. Just think back to the way much of the fanbase/media in Boston lost their mind over "bridge year." The idea that the $170 million Red Sox would potentially not be a 95 win team caused people to freak out.

Doesn't mean they can't do it of course but even among us look how concerned we are about the Sox staff. I imagine there are quite a few teams that would dearly love "Beckett/Lester/Buchholz/???/???" as their rotation.
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 12, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4035547)
When we talk about how much a win should cost, is that just by taking total salary over the league minimum, and dividing by WAR? Or are players who have not yet reached free agency excluded from the calculation? This is relevant for judging how successful a free agent signing is - they should be compared with other free agents, not with the value provided by pre-arb players.

When people talk about $5M/win, or whatever, that's purely based on FA contracts. The overal number is something closer to $2M/win.
   29. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 12, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4035587)
I said the Sox needed another reliever, and now there's a report from Heyman (via MLBTR) that the Sox are closing in on a deal with Vincente Padilla.

Question - my recollection, from when Padilla was in Philly, was that he was known as (1) a huge jerkwad and (2) an alcoholic. Was this actually the case then, and is it still now?

EDIT: also, snapper's right that the $$/win figures are built from free agent contracts only. You can see Dave Cameron's "explaining win values" series at Fangraphs for a fuller description.
   30. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 12, 2012 at 05:32 PM (#4035591)
Question - my recollection, from when Padilla was in Philly, was that he was known as (1) a huge jerkwad and (2) an alcoholic. Was this actually the case then, and is it still now?

Definitely has a real history with alcoholism and head-hunting. Don't know his current "status".
   31. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: January 13, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4036436)
Padilla's definitely got some problems. If he pitches for the Sox, then I'm sure we'll see a few more brawls, on the field and maybe in the dugout.
There is a weird amount of information on Padilla here. Seems like kind of a quiet, intense dude. I could see he and Aceves becoming best friends or trying to kill each other or both.
   32. Darren Posted: January 16, 2012 at 09:59 PM (#4038390)
Padilla's in the fold. Apparently the Sox have been shopping at the Jerk Store. ;)
   33. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: January 17, 2012 at 12:03 AM (#4038421)
What a weird offseason. So here's what the pitching looks like now:

Rotation: Lester, Beckett, Buchholz
Bullpen: Bailey, Melancon, Morales, Albers(probably)

Starter grab-bag: Aceves, Bard, Cook, Padilla, Silva, Tazawa, Doubront, Miller, Germano, Wilson
Reliever grab-bag: Atchison, Bowden(maybe a starter/?), Jenks

That is a lot of uncertainty going into the Spring. Maybe one or two of these guys will be capable of a decent starting performance, but mostly it looks like a big collection of 5-7 starters. I don't know what kind of opt-out clauses any of these guys might have, but it is a fair amount of depth. Which is good, because there aren't many interesting pitchers in the Pawtucket rotation.
   34. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: January 20, 2012 at 05:58 PM (#4041584)
MLBTR is saying the Rockies are nearing a deal for Marci Scutaro. First thought is Punto and Aviles at short...yuck, but of the $6 million savings allows us to sign Oswalt...well still yuck at shortstop but interesting.
   35. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 20, 2012 at 06:13 PM (#4041591)
And now they're saying it's falling through. I can't imagine that Cherington would give the starting SS job to Punto, so I'm guessing that the Sox were trying a deal with a couple different moving pieces, which would have added a shortstop through some other moves, and that's the part that fell through.
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 20, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4041596)
What is Boston doing?

Is there a plan here?
   37. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 20, 2012 at 06:27 PM (#4041601)
The post is about the plan. They're retaining as much of the 100-win-by-run-components 2011 club, bolstering the rotation by converting their best relievers, and replacing their best relievers by trading away mlb-ready young talent for whom they have ready replacements.

I think they could use a bit more depth in the rotation, but the plan is pretty simple. It all depends on Daniel Bard making the conversion to the rotation, but the Sox are pretty clearly committed to that. If it works, it's a significant and free upgrade. If it doesn't work, that's bad.
   38. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 20, 2012 at 06:32 PM (#4041606)
I think they could use a bit more depth in the rotation, but the plan is pretty simple. It all depends on Daniel Bard making the conversion to the rotation, but the Sox are pretty clearly committed to that. If it works, it's a significant and free upgrade. If it doesn't work, that's bad.

My question is, why would a team with a $150M+ payroll embark on such an insanely risky plan?

You're relying on not one, but two SP who have zero professional success as SP, in an offseason where veteran SPs have been cheap. Given Buchholz's health, that seems insane to me.

Plus, they've acquired no OF depth.

Why is a wealthy team following such a high beta plan?
   39. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: January 20, 2012 at 06:51 PM (#4041619)
My question is, why would a team with a $150M+ payroll embark on such an insanely risky plan?

You're relying on not one, but two SP who have zero professional success as SP, in an offseason where veteran SPs have been cheap. Given Buchholz's health, that seems insane to me.


Not saying they're going to go after them, but Oswalt and Jackson are still available.
   40. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 20, 2012 at 07:00 PM (#4041625)
Not saying they're going to go after them, but Oswalt and Jackson are still available.

And if they did, that would change my opinion of their offseason substantially.
   41. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 20, 2012 at 07:01 PM (#4041626)
My question is, why would a team with a $150M+ payroll embark on such an insanely risky plan?
Because they believe in the ability of these specific pitchers to succeed. I don't know if they're right, but the level of risk and reward involved in converting a pitcher is heavily dependent on that pitcher's stuff, mindset, and physical capabilities - things that the Sox know far more about than we do. I'm not saying I trust them blindly to be right, but I think it's not terribly hard to imagine why they'd like the plan.

The Sox are behaving like a club that has reason to believe these particular conversions will work. I can't evaluate that belief because I lack the relevant data and expertise. I'm not saying I like the plan - I don't know - but I think that's what the plan is, and I think it's based on information we don't have.

I do think they should get another mlb-quality SP, though I doubt they'll spend more than a couple million.

EDIT: also, the Sox have been obviously short a 4th OF from the beginning of the offseason. They're going to add another bat to the bench.
   42. Dan Posted: January 20, 2012 at 07:31 PM (#4041639)
Why is it strange that the Red Sox would go into spring training with uncertainty at the back end of the rotation? Just this past season the Yankees went into ST with a set rotation of Sabathia, Hughes, and Burnett with a grab bag for the 4/5 spots with a $200M plus payroll. Obviously Garcia and Colon worked out better than anyone could have imagined, but Hughes and Burnett both imploded. Nova was even a question mark last spring too.

Pitching is hard to come by, especially quality depth. And it really doesn't help the Sox that they have $25M of pitching recovering from TJS. How many teams would go into ST with quality 4 &5 starters set after losing 2 of their top 5 pitchers to Tommy John?
   43. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: January 21, 2012 at 05:59 PM (#4042016)
Aaaaaaaand it's back on. Now the Sox are supposedly getting something called "Clayton Mortensen" which has a minor league ERA near 5.00.

If this frees up money for a competent pitcher I'm on board. If this is just for the sake of getting Mortensen I'm going to be borrow some of Phil Coorey's curse words for the evening.

I am open to someone telling me that Mortensen is worth getting our hands on.
   44. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: January 21, 2012 at 07:58 PM (#4042075)
He lost rookie eligibility in 2011, so he's not on any of this year's prospect lists, but BA ranked him 14th among A's prospects last year. They say he's not dominant, but has a decent 4 pitch mix and gets lots of ground balls. Gets sink and run on an 89-90 FB that he can locate to both sides of the plate, changeup is the best off speed pitch, with the arm action described as "great." Slider called "solid" at 83-84. Curve sounds like just a show-me pitch. He's 6'4" and has some deception in his delivery, but can rush and cause his stuff to flatten out. They see him having back end of the rotation potential.

14th on last year's A's list ain't great and the stats suck, but if he actually can be a 4/5 starter it's better than paying Scutaro's $1.5M buyout and getting nothing. But the odds aren't that great and the upside's not that high.
   45. Xander Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:07 PM (#4042078)

I am open to someone telling me that Mortensen is worth getting our hands on.
The only thing that matters about him is that he has options.
   46. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:10 PM (#4042079)
I really don't like this. If the Sox needed an extra several million to fill out the roster, Henry and Werner should have given it.

The case for the trade, as I see it, is that by WAR, Little Nicky Punto is a perfectly cromulent platoon shortstop, a basically average player. So the Sox could trade Scutaro and dump salary without losing much on offense and defense. I'm really skeptical of that.

Of course, it also matters what they do with this money - whether they get Oswalt or Jackson or Floyd, and how good he turns out to be.
   47. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: January 21, 2012 at 09:43 PM (#4042123)
Like I said in the other thread, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop before I get worked up about this. Obviously Scutaro for Mortensen is a terrible deal but if it's Scutaro for Oswalt then I'll take it.

My feeling as a fan and season ticket holder is that the Sox should be at or close to the luxury tax number. I don't feel like they have an obligation to exceed that number. I would like them too but I won't ##### about them staying a shade under it. We all have our thresholds, that's mine.

As for Mortensen he reminds me of Kyle Snyder. Former first round pick who just based on that alone probably has some talent so worth a look but not likely to be anything more than a mop up man who maybe helps you win a 13 inning game somewhere along the line.
   48. Pleasant Nate (Upgraded from 'Nate') Posted: January 21, 2012 at 09:53 PM (#4042126)
Like I said in the other thread, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop before I get worked up about this. Obviously Scutaro for Mortensen is a terrible deal but if it's Scutaro for Oswalt then I'll take it.


Why though? I'm fine with that if it was the trade, but it isn't. They could/should have gotten more for Scutaro.
   49. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: January 21, 2012 at 10:12 PM (#4042133)
They could/should have gotten more for Scutaro.


I don't know if that is true. Assuming that money is an issue here obviously the Sox are not interested in anyone with meaningful service time and I would be skeptical that Scutaro is a particularly prized trade piece. He probably SHOULD have a bit more trade value but I think Darren was right in the other thread when he noted that Scutaro looked to be slowing some in the field last year which may scare some teams off.

If you were a GM of another team how much risk/reward would you give up for a guy like Scutaro? Think about it in Red Sox terms, would you give up Lars Anderson for him? Would you give up Drake Britton?
   50. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: January 21, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4042141)
Just playing around with BBRef and I find the following middle infielders who switched teams mid-season and the player they were traded for;

Aaron Hill (with John McDonald) - Kelly Johnson
Tony Graffanino - Chip Ambres
Freddy Sanchez - Tim Alderson
Ray Durham - Steve Hammond and Darren Ford
Yunel Escobar - Alex Gonzalez
Luis Castillo - Drew Butera and Dustin Martin
Tony Graffanino (again) - Jorge de la Rosa

Not really sure if this says anything, mid-season deals are a different animal. Sanchez and Graffanino are the players that most closely resemble Scutaro in my mind and they are probably the best and worst returns on the list (well, Durham).

I'll say I agree that the Sox probably could have done better than Mortensen but I don't think they could have done so much better as to make it worth worrying about.

Look, if they don't use this money well then it's a terrible deal, no question about it. If they can get a Floyd or an Oswalt then I think it's a very good move.
   51. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 21, 2012 at 10:26 PM (#4042142)
Like I said in the other thread, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop before I get worked up about this. Obviously Scutaro for Mortensen is a terrible deal but if it's Scutaro for Oswalt then I'll take it.
It's not Scutaro for Oswalt, though. If the problem for the Sox is a hard payroll limit, then it's every single payroll decision adding up. $14M for David Ortiz looks like the big expenditure that didn't need to happen. Now, it could be argued that not offering arb to Ortiz would have been a mistake. In that case, though, the Sox should have made contingency payroll plans, so that if Ortiz accepted they would have money to work with.

Having a hard payroll limit and no flexibility to deal with David Ortiz - that's the sort of situation a smart team should force on themselves.
   52. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: January 21, 2012 at 10:31 PM (#4042145)
51 - Agreed. Having gotten to this point though then they have to deal with it. I mean, we can sit here and ##### about Lackey and Matsuzaka but those are done and THOSE are the deals that are killing this team right now. I think this deal (again, assuming another deal follows) makes sense given the reality that exists on January 21, 2012.
   53. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 21, 2012 at 10:35 PM (#4042148)
Agreed. Having gotten to this point though then they have to deal with it.
My point is that they should never get to this point. This is a stupid point - the only way to be here is to not have planned it out beforehand.

Also, this is the dumber-than-Marcel projection for Scutaro:

+3 Bat +1 Run +19 rep +6 Pos -1 Def = +28 RAR, 1/14

His $6M option is an underpayment of nearly $8M. Giving him away for nothing is a crap trade.
   54. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: January 21, 2012 at 10:42 PM (#4042154)
Giving him away for nothing is a crap trade.


Of course it is, no one is arguing that it isn't. If it's a necessary move to land Oswalt or Gavin Floyd then it makes sense.
   55. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: January 21, 2012 at 10:53 PM (#4042164)
I know you generally have a pretty good idea of this stuff, where do you currently have the Sox in terms of wins for 2012. My recollection is you had them recently in the low 90s (91-92). Is that about right before this move?
   56. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 21, 2012 at 10:59 PM (#4042168)
If it's a necessary move to land Oswalt or Gavin Floyd then it makes sense.
It shouldn't be necessary. If the Sox had planned out an offseason that required Oswalt or Floyd, they should have freed the money from the beginning. Doing it now, when there's no good trades available for Scutaro, means they didn't have a good plan from the beginning.

I have the Sox vaguely in the low 90s, 90-94 wins. Shifting to Aviles/Punto at short and a better 4th starter makes the numbers a bit harder to figure.
   57. Pleasant Nate (Upgraded from 'Nate') Posted: January 21, 2012 at 11:13 PM (#4042173)
+3 Bat +1 Run +19 rep +6 Pos -1 Def = +28 RAR, 1/14

His $6M option is an underpayment of nearly $8M. Giving him away for nothing is a crap trade.


This. A million times this. This is a bad trade, assuming that they do end up with Oswalt or Floyd. Yes, you trade Anderson or Britton for Scutaro a million times over.

Matt Reynolds or Charlie Blackmon would have been reasonable returns for both teams. If the Sox wanted a flier instead, Edwar Cabrera, Christian Friedrich, or Rosell Herrera would have been more appropriate than Mortensen.



   58. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: January 22, 2012 at 02:19 AM (#4042243)
+3 Bat +1 Run +19 rep +6 Pos -1 Def = +28 RAR, 1/14

How many 3 win seasons by 36 year old shortstops are there in major league history? Is Marco Scutaro really the guy to join that club? I think there's a lot of downside here people aren't considering.
   59. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 22, 2012 at 07:43 AM (#4042270)
Well, I'd take the downside of a 36-year-old with Scutaro's track record over the downside of a 34-year-old with Little Nicky Punto's track record any day.

In order for this trade to be a good one, you have to believe not only (1) that Scutaro is significantly worse than his projection and (2) that every other team in baseball also thinks that Scutaro is significantly worse than his projection, but also (3) that Little Nicky Punto projects as a cromulent everyday shortstop, at least as the strong side of a platoon.

I guess you could also believe that the Sox have a secret plan to get a good shortstop for free.
   60. Pleasant Nate (Upgraded from 'Nate') Posted: January 22, 2012 at 08:22 AM (#4042282)
I also don't think people realize how bad shortstop is. Tyler Pastornicky, Brandon Crawford, Ian Desmond, etc. are starting on non-rebuilding teams. Expand it to 2B, as the Rox did, and there's even more teams that are good fits. Some of these teams won't have dollars at this point, but I find it hard to believe nobody else could afford Scutaro. And even if so, then it's awful planning as Matt has pointed out. Bad player evaluations are one thing, but this type of mismanagement isn't something we've seen from the FO in awhile.
   61. Toby Posted: January 22, 2012 at 08:26 AM (#4042287)
Mikael, how do you get from the Red Sox offseason being a cleverly executed plan on January 11 to no plan at all ten days later after one transaction?

That's a hell of a swing over one year of Marco Scutaro.
   62. villageidiom Posted: January 22, 2012 at 08:27 AM (#4042288)
It shouldn't be necessary. If the Sox had planned out an offseason that required Oswalt or Floyd, they should have freed the money from the beginning. Doing it now, when there's no good trades available for Scutaro, means they didn't have a good plan from the beginning.
1. You're implying that the trade market would have been better at some other point. What is your evidence?

2. Doesn't it seem unwise to act on an offseason plan that "required" a particular free agent to sign with them, until that free agent is closer to signing with them? (E.g. I suppose they could have traded Youkilis early last offseason to make room for Cliff Lee.)

I think you presume too much.

Now, of course, this doesn't make the trade a good one. One of the difficulties is that Scutaro, despite playing SS for Boston, is not marketable as a SS. His (B-R) dWAR over the last 4 years has been +2, +1, 0, -1, the last point being aided somewhat by reduced playing time. He's 36 this year, coming off a year with injury. While we think of him as a SS, and he would've played SS for Boston, he's not returning SS value in trade any more. That said, he didn't get 2B value in return, either, and that's the problem.

I don't think this offseason required the acquisition of Oswalt, nor the trading of Scutaro. I do think, however, that the reaction to this trade is much like the reaction to Damon signing with Yankees, before the Crisp trade. And that's Jose's point: it's hard to judge the offseason in the middle of it. You'd already judged it, built a narrative around it, and perceived the majority of it to be over.
   63. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 22, 2012 at 08:36 AM (#4042294)
Mikael, how do you get from the Red Sox offseason being a cleverly executed plan on January 11 to no plan at all ten days later after one transaction?
I think I outlined that argument in the other post. I presumed they had a payroll limit and had planned around that payroll limit - I didn't have much evidence that they had a plan, but given the competence of the Sox FO in recent years I presumed a plan. Now it seems much more likely that they hadn't - this trade is strong evidence they didn't have a plan.
You're implying that the trade market would have been better at some other point. What is your evidence?
Well, all I have to believe is that a trade which gives up a projected $5-10M in expected value for nothing isn't the best trade the Sox could have made to cut salary. I can't know the trade market, but it's usually not this inefficient. If the Scutaro trade market was inefficient, they could have tried to make various other deals earlier in the offseason to free up money.

And if the Sox knew the trade market was this inefficient, that giving away Scutaro for nothing was the best way to cut salary, and they knew that they'd need to have money for an Oswalt/Jackson/Floyd, then they shouldn't have offered arbitration to Ortiz.

The way around this critique, as I outlined in #59, is to argue that Little Nicky Punto is actually a good shortstop and the Sox have cost themselves very little in giving away Scutaro.

EDIT: Or, as I say in #64, that the Sox have a secret plan to acquire a good shortstop. That would also be good evidence, against my contention, that the Sox have had a plan all along.
   64. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 22, 2012 at 08:43 AM (#4042296)
I don't think this offseason required the acquisition of Oswalt, nor the trading of Scutaro. I do think, however, that the reaction to this trade is much like the reaction to Damon signing with Yankees, before the Crisp trade.
So, you're arguing that the Sox have a plan to acquire another shortstop? I will admit that if the Sox have a plan to acquire a good shortstop, then I will have most likely been wrong.

Based on the payroll limit and the news so far, I think it's more likely the Sox are going with Punto and spending the money left over on a starter.
   65. Chip Posted: January 22, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4042333)
I'm wondering if Cherington isn't fully in charge here. Is it possible that Lucchino is driving a lot of this decision-making, now that Theo and his demands for autonomy are out of the way?
   66. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 22, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4042334)
Well, I don't see why Lucchino would be that much more likely to not have a good plan for the team's payroll. If, on the other hand, there's a failure of communication and coordination in the front office, leading to different people executing different plans based on different information, that could easily be the explanation.
   67. villageidiom Posted: January 22, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4042445)
So, you're arguing that the Sox have a plan to acquire another shortstop?
I'm arguing:

(a) that the offseason cannot be judged fairly at this time. Six years ago tomorrow, it looked like Boston's "plan" for CF was a platoon of Willie Harris and Gabe Kapler, that that was their fallback plan if they didn't sign Damon. Yet the vast majority of innings played in CF in 2006 belonged to two players who, at this time in 2006, were not on the roster.

(b) that an inefficient trade now does not mean there was a time when a more efficient trade was more likely. With potential suitors for Scutaro having had more options at their disposal early in the offseason, it was arguably less likely to find a more efficient trade earlier.

(c) neither (a) nor (b) is a necessary condition to state that this was a crap trade.
   68. tjm1 Posted: January 24, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4044852)
(a) that the offseason cannot be judged fairly at this time. Six years ago tomorrow, it looked like Boston's "plan" for CF was a platoon of Willie Harris and Gabe Kapler, that that was their fallback plan if they didn't sign Damon. Yet the vast majority of innings played in CF in 2006 belonged to two players who, at this time in 2006, were not on the roster.


Right, but what other options are out there? There's not a shortstop left on the free agent market who's better than the guys they have now. Is there really a trade to be made for a cost-effective shortstop who's better than the guys they have? I don't think that the Aviles/Punto combination is really all that bad, but I don't see where they can get better. This is a difference relative to 2006 when it was known that Crisp was likely to be available in the right deal and that the Sox would probably try to trade for him if they didn't re-sign Damon.

I guess Emilio Bonifacio might be an option. It depends on whether you think he's any better defensively than Aviles is. He's a very similar player to Aviles as far as I can tell. He had a good year last year offensively, but the numbers seem to indicate that the guy isn't much of a fielder. I haven't seen enough of him to have an opinion. Anyone else who is noticeably better than the guys the Sox have is unlikely to be available (which might actually be telling us that these guys aren't that bad).
   69. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 25, 2012 at 07:27 PM (#4045809)
EDIT: wrong thread
   70. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: January 27, 2012 at 05:31 PM (#4047744)
John Maine joins the #### on the wall brigade. At this point bring Bruce Hurst to Ft. Myers and see what happens.
   71. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: January 27, 2012 at 05:57 PM (#4047781)
John "habitual liar about his own health" Maine? Sounds like a perfect fit for the Red Sox. Maybe they can squeeze some non-awful relief innings out of him before his arm explodes.

They're really creating a fascinating rotation of has-beens in Pawtucket, although at least they're a little more interesting than Brandon Duckworth, Matt Fox, and Tony Pena.
   72. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: February 03, 2012 at 10:20 AM (#4052736)
Interesting if not altogether optimistic piece at FanGraphs about Bryce Brentz from earlier this week.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt!
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

IT’S OVER
(3 - 11:45am, Sep 21)
Last: dave h

11 Days Later
(85 - 11:08am, Sep 21)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature

6,036 Days
(15 - 2:49pm, Sep 20)
Last: Nasty Nate

Finishing Up - The Sox Therapy Concernometer
(81 - 10:51am, Sep 17)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature

11 Days To...Something
(49 - 12:28am, Sep 13)
Last: Nasty Nate

Extra Special
(43 - 1:01pm, Aug 20)
Last: villageidiom

What Do We Got?
(46 - 10:03am, Aug 15)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature

Hope Springs Eternal (Sox Therapy Predictions)
(31 - 10:04am, Aug 06)
Last: villageidiom

Halfwayish Home
(81 - 7:00pm, Jul 31)
Last: Biff, highly-regarded young guy

Bigfoot, and Unicorns, and the Red Sox Bullpen
(31 - 8:32pm, Jul 14)
Last: dave h

It's Getting Drafty
(26 - 4:17pm, Jul 02)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature

A Pleasant Trip So Far
(60 - 10:27am, Jul 01)
Last: John DiFool2

Where Are We?
(33 - 3:01pm, Jun 29)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature

That Was Fun
(38 - 2:15pm, Jun 08)
Last: Darren

Lining Up The Minors
(29 - 9:53am, Jun 06)
Last: villageidiom

Syndicate

Page rendered in 0.5069 seconds
55 querie(s) executed