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   1. tfbg9 Posted: July 22, 2012 at 08:25 PM (#4189336)
Lester's continuing failure to take another step forward and become a Cy Young contender is a little frustrating, but if he never becomes more than the current Jon Lester, he's an excellent asset to a contending ballclub. I don't see a lot of reason, for now, to be worried that Lester's taken a step backwards.


Nice call. You've given Jose a run for his money in the jinx department.
   2. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: July 22, 2012 at 08:51 PM (#4189353)
If they trade Lester I'll be pretty pissed. He may not be Warren Spahn, but I don't think this season is really representative of what he can do and I still think it's possible he has a couple of Cy Young-type seasons in that arm.

My emotional reaction to an Ellsbury trade is, "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!", but I think you're right that he's one of the guys who could actually get a solid return for and there's no particular reason to think he won't test free agency. (Or that he might come back via that vector if the Sox ship him off for younger guys.) It's just where he's from, his ancestry, and his home-grownedness that get me all tangled in a knot.

I'd hold onto Salty. No, he's no kind of star with his poor contact skills and middling D, but he's got real power and catchers are hard to come by. I'm also not sure how much he'd bring back, really.
   3. OCD SS Posted: July 22, 2012 at 10:12 PM (#4189400)
The biggest problem with buying for 2013 is that after 3 straight disappointing years I doubt this ownership group is willing to touch anything with even a whiff of a sell off. I think ownership would rather push more chips in and hope to really lucky as the cards are turned. It's kind of too bad since this is the first year of the new compensation rules and the tightness of a race with no actual sellers (or "2012 sellers") might make them one of the few teams providing a limited supply to a high demand. Since most of the players the Sox would "sell" come with enough commitment that they will eventually provide added compensation this might be a big year to restock if they could deal with the PR hit.

The issue with Lester is "is he fixable." If the Sox don't think that he is then they still may be able to get a good return from a team that is more optimistic (or less well informed). If they can't get a really good return then there's no way they'll be moved because it would be viewed as punting the season.

I've been looking at Ellsbury as being replaced when Jackie Bradley Jr is ready anyway, and given Kevin Towers bizarre demands I wonder if he might not be a piece that could land Justin Upton. The D-Backs would get the piece that "helps them today" while the Sox would be able to cement an OF of Crawford, Kalish/ whoever as a bridge to Bradley, and Upton. Upton would actually help stabilize the Sox's spending against the cap since his CBT number is only $8.54M through 2015. They'd have him under control for longer and cheaper* than Ellsbury so it's definitely a long term move that could be sold in the short term.

I could see Beckett clear waivers and then be dealt in August to a team that suddenly lost a key starter. The question here is if someone claimed him would the Sox let him go for no return?

* I assume that the Sox really only care about the AAV hit towards the cap and not the actual salary.
   4. Textbook Editor Posted: July 24, 2012 at 12:08 AM (#4190525)
The question here is if someone claimed him would the Sox let him go for no return?


I'd let him go. The money saved between Youk, Beckett, and Dice-K all leaving is something like $35 million, right? If you let Papi walk as well (after giving him a qualifying offer so you get the pick if/when he turns you down), you'd have something like $50 million to play with, and you have in-house or under-contract options already to fill most of the production you've let walk/sign elsewhere (with the exception of Papi's DH production, of course).

EDIT: changed $50 to $50 million... because it read absurdly otherwise...



   5. Dan Posted: July 24, 2012 at 12:10 AM (#4190527)
With Colby Lewis out for the season, I'd be trying hard to sell Beckett to the Rangers. Texas boy playing for the hometown team, Maddux can probably fix him up in a couple of weeks, etc. I think there's a fit there. Not so concerned about the return as much as freeing up some cash to re-sign guys like Ortiz and Ellsbury.
   6. Textbook Editor Posted: July 24, 2012 at 01:43 AM (#4190561)
This was a lotta fun to read. As they're the local 9 I get to hear a lot of complaints about Papelbon, and it always makes me chuckle; Phillies fans are where we were with Papelbon a couple of years ago, and he's only been there a few months!

The capper was hearing 4-5 guys on local radio complain about him not holding on Bobby Abreu last week, leading to him walking into 2nd for a stolen base and then scoring the tying run... It's like they're getting our re-runs!

I remain quite happy we let Papelbon walk.
   7. Textbook Editor Posted: July 24, 2012 at 01:50 AM (#4190564)
#5 is a good idea, BTW. A very good idea.
   8. Swedish Chef Posted: July 24, 2012 at 02:44 AM (#4190581)
Beckett and Lester probably look a bit out of place here. Prior to Sunday I would have said to explore dealing Lester because I thought a team would trade for him as if he were an Ace. I imagine that theory went flying over the Monster off the bat of Arencibia.

Lester is now 565th out of 579 MLB pitchers in WAR on BBref. He is still better than Lincecum though.
   9. OCD SS Posted: July 24, 2012 at 08:46 AM (#4190635)
I really think they should shop Ellsbury as teams look for bats/ CFers and the shine of his 2011 is still there. He's not helping the team this year and once the 2013 season starts his trade value drops considerably. If you can get a haul for him that includes pitching do it with an eye on Kalish covering CF until Bradley is ready.

Of course that would be a pretty clear white flag, and I think there's basically a zero chance this ownership will accept that.
   10. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 24, 2012 at 09:15 AM (#4190651)
I think the Sox should do nothing, since they aren't winning the division and the play-in game is too big a crapshoot to bet on. I don't think they should trade away talent when they still have a reasonable shot at the playoffs this year.

But what I really don't understand are the plans to trade away good players with no plans for how to make the team better in 2013. Trading Ellsbury? How do you propose to better spend that $10M? Is this a "white flag" for 2012 that puts the team in better shape to compete in 2013, or is it a full-on rebuild despite having $150M under contract?

I can see the case for trading Beckett, but it really has nothing to do with keeping Ortiz and Ellsbury. They will see only a very small combined raise next year, and the Sox have reasonable payroll flexibility with Middlebrooks replacing Youks and saving $13M. Beckett is only under contract through 2014, so his contract won't interfere with any long-term deals for Ellsbury. The question is, what do you do with the money saved on Beckett? Do you go all-in for Zack Greinke? Do you seek out a trade for a real shortstop? There has to be a plan to spend the money in order for there to be a baseball plan. Otherwise it's just increasing efficiency and John Henry's profits, neither of which I care about.
   11. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 24, 2012 at 09:43 AM (#4190671)
My argument on trading Ellsbury is he is the one player on the roster that would generate a substantial return. If the Sox felt the way to upgrade the pitching was someone outside the organization Ellsbury would be the guy that I think you could and would move for that purpose. To give the big name example, if the Sox were going to go after Felix you'd probably need to start any deal with Ellsbury and build from there (not saying they'll get Felix, just using him as an example).

I agree with your larger point (and that is kind of what I was trying to get at) that there really isn't a big move to be made. I think there are upgrades to be had at a few spots; short, catcher, 3rd, but not easily and probably not at the worth of what they would have to give up in players to make it happen. My fear is that ownership is going to give Cherington a shove in the direction of "make something happen" and we're going to trade a player who could help in the future for a Ryan Dempster type and I'm going to projectile vomit for a week.
   12. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: July 24, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4190692)
My fear is that ownership is going to give Cherington a shove in the direction of "make something happen" and we're going to trade a player who could help in the future for a Ryan Dempster type and I'm going to projectile vomit for a week.
Outside of Ryan Dempster--still not traded last I checked, though 10 or so minutes have passed, so who knows?--how many of the Dempster types are really out there? There's Liriano, I guess. Arguably Garza, although he's under team control (not cheap, but nonetheless) for another year. But it seems like pitching wise most of the names being tossed around are legitimate #1/2 types (notably Hamels and Greinke) as opposed to the solid guy having a lucky year sort.
   13. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 24, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4190700)
The problem with Hamels and Greinke is that they are legitimate #1/2 types who are rentals. I just don't see those types of deals as being wise given the situation in 2012 (unless the Sox get a window to negotiate and strike a deal).
   14. Jim Furtado Posted: July 24, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4190728)
At this point the Sox should stand pat unless they can pick up a decent starter for spare parts. Lester looks like a guy who could put things back together quickly. Beckett is in the same place. They have a nice offense, decent defense, and a great bullpen. They also have Bailey coming back.

I don't see the point of making moves just to make moves. Wildly trading away talent in a panic maneuver makes no sense to me. This team has a lot of talent. There are 65 games left. This team was clearly put together with thought. Sometimes you just need to trust your own judgement and let things play out. I hope the front office does that.
   15. jmurph Posted: July 24, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4190746)
I don't disagree with MCoA or Furtado, but I think it's worth pointing out that this team is on pace to miss the playoffs for the 3rd straight season; it's not like we're talking about blowing up a dynasty. So no one is suggesting, I don't think, "making moves just to make moves."

I took Jose's original post to mean: keep the core in place for 2013, but explore deals, even big deals, that might make them better next year.
   16. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 24, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4190755)
I took Jose's original post to mean: keep the core in place for 2013, but explore deals, even big deals, that might make them better next year.


Yup, that's what I was aiming for though I don't think it came through. I certainly don't think a "blow up" of any sort is the way to go here.
   17. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 24, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4190769)
That's mostly how I read the post. I was responding more to Dan's #5, TE's #7 and OCD's #7, all of which endorse trades of useful 2013 talent without specifying how the moves produce a positive return for 2013.

Actually, sorry, that's partly unfair. Dan in #5 said that he wanted Beckett traded to free up money for Ortiz and Ellsbury. I think that doesn't add up, since the Sox don't project to give major raises to either player for 2013, certainly not on the scale of Beckett's contract.
   18. OCD SS Posted: July 24, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4190799)
My reasoning for dealing Ellsbury is that I think his 2011 was something of an aberation; If he's an .800 OPS/ great defensive CFer going forward who can be leveraged by the limited market of the trade deadline and his last year into getting an MVP candidate return, I think that return would contribute to 2013. I don't want to start speculating on possible packages because I think that's pointless, but I would expect the return would make up for the drop to Kalish in CF (who I also think will turn it around on both sides of the ball) until Bradley is ready. I think that to compete in 2013 and beyond they are going to need to find more/ better pitching, and Ellsbury is one of the only chips that might bring that back.

Of course all of this depends on assumptions that may be hidden by the information asymmetry in MLB and may not work for the Sox. If the package isn't there for him, then you don't move him, but I feel this is looking like another year of October golf for the Sox.
   19. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 24, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4190813)
My reasoning for dealing Ellsbury is that I think his 2011 was something of an aberation; If he's an .800 OPS/ great defensive CFer going forward who can be leveraged by the limited market of the trade deadline and his last year into getting an MVP candidate return, I think that return would contribute to 2013.
I support good trades. I don't think it's at all likely that 1.5 seasons of Ellsbury would return talent better than Ellsbury for 2013. If you're imagining trading Ellsbury only in a situation where you get a pre-arb All-Star, then ok, I'm with you, but I think you're mostly saying you'd trade Ellsbury for a pony.
   20. karlmagnus Posted: July 24, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4190817)
Let's not trade Ellsbury, but isn't now the ideal time to trade Ortiz. His value is very high for a club that needs hitting to contend (Oakland??). And trading him now removes the chance that we will be left next year paying $17mm for the Ortiz of early 2010 (let alone $30mm for 2 years, as he doubtless wants). Plus he's not happy; time to ship him out.
   21. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: July 24, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4190850)
Does Ortiz have a NTC or some kind of 10 and 5 rights?
   22. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 24, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4190864)
Lester looks like a guy who could put things back together quickly.


Why do you say this? What are you seeing?
   23. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 24, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4190868)
Lester's FIP is still not bad - it did go up about 0.5 after allowing four homers in a game - and he has little history of underperforming FIP (either by giving up extra hits on balls in play or by pitching worse in clutch situations). He's still throwing a 91-95 mph fastball from the left side, he still has a wipeout cutter (though one of his problems this year has been showing up at games without the cutter occasionally), and his curve and change are solid complementary pitches.

He looks mostly like the same pitcher by stuff, and statistically his component numbers aren't far from his career norms. There certainly could be something wrong, but I'd want much more evidence than bad RA numbers to be convinced.
   24. OCD SS Posted: July 24, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4190882)
I don't think it's at all likely that 1.5 seasons of Ellsbury would return talent better than Ellsbury for 2013.


Well, that assumes that 1) Ellsbury manages to stay healthy and rebound to something more like 2011 than any other year he's been a starter, and 2) if you're only looking at 2013.

I think the return on Ellsbury would be for prospects that could then either be flipped for other needs or who are MLB ready. I think the surplus on what you'd get for those players (who we can call "Pony")in years 2014 on would make such a deal worthwhile. Part of this for me is looking slightly more long term because I don't really agree with Jim that Beckett and (to a lesser degree) Lester look like they can right the ship with the flip of a switch. Therefore the Sox should be looking to free up some salary if possible with the need to get under the CBT threshold looming in the future and use an asset who is likely gone (and more easily replaced than others) to fill areas of need where they don't have any solutions on the farm.

   25. booond Posted: July 24, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4190886)
isn't now the ideal time to trade Ortiz


I would say yes but do we get more than a bucket of balls for an expensive, old, DH. It may be that Ortiz is worth more on the roster than off, even if that means holding onto the hot potato when the clock runs out.
   26. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 24, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4190902)
Does Ortiz have a NTC or some kind of 10 and 5 rights?


10/5 rights. Plus, karl has been calling for him to be traded for about nine years now.
   27. bobm Posted: July 24, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4190936)
For fun, an approximate list of 10/5 players:

From B R P I batting season finder:

Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 2007 to 2012, (requiring franch_count=1, year_min<=2003 and year_max>=2012), sorted by name

Rk                       From   To From   To  Tm
1       Bronson Arroyo 1 2000 2012 2007 2012 CIN
2         Josh Beckett 1 2001 2012 2007 2012 BOS
3           Aaron Cook 1 2002 2012 2007 2011 COL
4        Ryan Dempster 1 1998 2012 2007 2012 CHC
5        Travis Hafner 1 2002 2012 2007 2012 CLE
6          Todd Helton 1 1997 2012 2007 2012 COL
7           Koyie Hill 1 2003 2012 2007 2012 CHC
8           Tim Hudson 1 1999 2012 2007 2012 ATL
9          Derek Jeter 1 1995 2012 2007 2012 NYY
10       Chipper Jones 1 1993 2012 2007 2012 ATL
11        Paul Konerko 1 1997 2012 2007 2012 CHW
12      Justin Morneau 1 2003 2012 2007 2012 MIN
13         David Ortiz 1 1997 2012 2007 2012 BOS
14       Andy Pettitte 1 1995 2012 2007 2012 NYY
15    Brandon Phillips 1 2002 2012 2007 2012 CIN
16     A.J. Pierzynski 1 1998 2012 2007 2012 CHW
17      Mariano Rivera 1 1995 2012 2007 2012 NYY
18       Brian Roberts 1 2001 2012 2007 2012 BAL
19      Alex Rodriguez 1 1994 2012 2007 2012 NYY
20       Jimmy Rollins 1 2000 2012 2007 2012 PHI
21      Ramon Santiago 1 2002 2012 2007 2012 DET
22     Alfonso Soriano 1 1999 2012 2007 2012 CHC
23         Chase Utley 1 2003 2012 2007 2012 PHI
24     Shane Victorino 1 2003 2012 2007 2012 PHI
25      Ryan Vogelsong 1 2000 2012 2011 2012 SFG
Rk                       From   To From   To  Tm
26        Rickie Weeks 1 2003 2012 2007 2012 MIL
27       Michael Young 1 2000 2012 2007 2012 TEX
28          Barry Zito 1 2000 2012 2007 2012 SFG


(Does Pettitte count with his hiatus?)
   28. jmurph Posted: July 24, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4190943)
Haven't really thought about it much before now, but how the hell has the union held onto 10/5 for so long? That's a pretty significant ongoing win for the players.
   29. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 24, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4190949)
Koyie Hill has 10/5 rights? Koyie Hill?!?
   30. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 24, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4190957)
Does Pettitte have 10/5 rights? Technically this is his 5th active year with the Yankees, how does the year off get counted?

Rickie Weeks surprises me, man that makes me feel old.
   31. Dan Posted: July 24, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4190958)
Wasn't Koyie Hill in the Cardinals organization at the onset of this season? I know the Cubs brought him back after they had catcher injuries and needed depth, but I would think the time with the Cards would disrupt the 10/5 rights even though he didn't make the majors with them.
   32. booond Posted: July 24, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4190960)
Rickie Weeks surprises me, man that makes me feel old.


I had the same thought.
   33. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 24, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4190965)
Rickie didn't play at all in 2004; I think he has to accumulate service time that year for him to get those rights. Unless he was on the DL or something.
   34. SoSH U at work Posted: July 24, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4191010)

Wasn't Koyie Hill in the Cardinals organization at the onset of this season? I know the Cubs brought him back after they had catcher injuries and needed depth, but I would think the time with the Cards would disrupt the 10/5 rights even though he didn't make the majors with them.


He was in the Cincy and Washington organizations at the minor league level. I assume that would end 10-5 rights.

Why is Aaron Cook on that list?

   35. SoSH U at work Posted: July 24, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4191013)
For that matter, why is Ryan Vogelong?
   36. Dan Posted: July 24, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4191188)
Crawford is hitting 7th in tonight's lineup. In a vacuum,, moving him down against left-handed starters isn't really a huge issue to me, but when it's to accommodate batting Pedro Ciriaco second it's pretty absurd. Its almost as absurd as the fact that Ciriaco is DHing in the first place.
   37. villageidiom Posted: July 24, 2012 at 06:10 PM (#4191218)
Regardless, yes, Ortiz has 10/5 rights.
   38. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 24, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4191227)
Weeks wouldn't qualify for 10/5 until after this season ends, I think.
   39. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: July 24, 2012 at 06:27 PM (#4191229)
This is a nutbuster of a stretch they have coming up: 2 more @ Texas, 3 @ the Yanks, 3 home against the Tigers, then 4 at home against the Twins before 3 more home against the Rangers.
   40. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: July 24, 2012 at 06:41 PM (#4191234)
Trading Ortiz isn't a horrible idea, given that Cody Ross would be a decent DH.

I don't think Ellsbury would fetch as much as you think, given his impending FA.

I would not trade Saltalamonkeyface until I was certain Lavarnway would be an adequate replacement.
   41. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: July 24, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4191269)
Saltalamonkeyface
I love this, by the way.
   42. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: July 24, 2012 at 07:21 PM (#4191274)
Me too!
   43. OCD SS Posted: July 24, 2012 at 07:26 PM (#4191280)
I don't think Ellsbury would fetch as much as you think, given his impending FA.


He has 1.5 years of team control left, exactly how many do you think is needed for him to be worth a legitimate haul/ what you think I think he's worth?
   44. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 24, 2012 at 07:38 PM (#4191293)
I don't think Ellsbury would fetch as much as you think, given his impending FA.


If he doesn't then you don't deal him. On the lengthy list of basic mistakes I think MLB GMs make regularly is getting to a point where they say "we will trade Player X" then getting a limited return for him. The willingness to say "no" and walk away is a critical part of the negotiating process.
   45. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 24, 2012 at 07:49 PM (#4191312)
What is this "legitimate haul" of which you speak?

Say the Mets wanted Ellsbury. Would you take a Wheeler+ package? Would Niese+ work? I don't really like either of those ideas. If you're talking about getting Niese and Wheeler and Harvey, then you're really talking about a deal that won't happen. And those aren't particularly inspiring returns for 2013 in any case.

Say the Nationals or Reds wanted Ellsbury. What could they offer that would comprise a "legitimate" package? How about the A's? Would Parker+ do it?

I'm not saying any of these teams want to trade for Ellsbury right now, or to give up any of those particular players. I'm just saying, looking at clubs that could use a CF, what could they hypothetically offer? I'm just not seeing what this "legitimate" package for Ellsbury is that will make the team better in 2013 as well as into the future.
   46. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: July 24, 2012 at 07:59 PM (#4191324)
44...I agree. I hate the Youkilis trade more and more, every day.
   47. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 24, 2012 at 08:01 PM (#4191326)
How about the A's?


Crisp losing his job to Ellsbury twice would be interesting. Has that sort of thing ever happened?
   48. OCD SS Posted: July 24, 2012 at 10:45 PM (#4191510)
What is this "legitimate haul" of which you speak?


For what you quoted I am not speaking of any haul, I'm trying to figure out how much extra control Joe thinks a team would need for dealing Ellsbury to be worth it, because it seems to me that 1.5 yrs is actually pretty good for a deal made at the deadline.

I don't understand how Ellsbury can simultaneously be so important to the Red Sox 2013 season and yet so worthless that he won't fetch enough a valuable return from a contender (speaking both hypothetically and with a good deal of hyperbole). Other than the suggestion I made back in #3 I don't much know who would give up what for him, but just looking at the CFers of contenders I'm actually surprised at how well CFers as a whole are hitting (WAS could definitely use him, though). But that level of production lowers the bar for what you would need from Kalish/ Bradley.

I thought I was clear that I don't think the Sox will deal him, but that's because ownership just won't risk anything that looks like they're selling. But if they can find a team that thinks that 2011 is the real Ellsbury, then I think they should look long and hard at that deal because I think 2011 was an aberration that the Sox should not pay for via FA, and thus he'll find someone who will.
   49. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: July 25, 2012 at 05:32 AM (#4191595)
I don't know if it's standard practice for teams to trade a shitton of talent for someone in Ellsbury's position, just that I wouldn't do it. I'd need him signed long-term before I'd give up very much for him. Otherwise, I'd wait until he was a FA and try to sign him for nothing (or the draft picks I'd lose).
   50. booond Posted: July 25, 2012 at 06:53 AM (#4191607)
If the Sox feel Ellsbury's an .850 OPS guy with average to above average defense in CF then they shouldn't move him as its very possible they won't get value back.
   51. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 25, 2012 at 08:38 AM (#4191646)
I don't understand how Ellsbury can simultaneously be so important to the Red Sox 2013 season and yet so worthless that he won't fetch enough a valuable return from a contender (speaking both hypothetically and with a good deal of hyperbole).
I think they could get a "valuable" return. Zach Wheeler is valuable. Jarrod Parker is valuable. I don't think they could get a return that would either (a) put the team in better position to compete in 2013 or (b) return a player likely to be as good as Ellsbury in the future. 1.5 seasons of Ellsbury at below market price is valuable, but it's not Justin Upton valuable (the DBacks surely want pre-arb talent with years of team ocntrol remaining).

This is why I'm trying to get you to put a value to "valuable". What actual players would constitute a return for Ellsbury that you would support? You don't have to argue that the other team would want to make the trade, or that you think such a trade would happen. Just, entirely hypothetically, what would you consider a worthwhile, legitimate, valuable return for Jacoby Ellsbury? If your answer is Justin Upton, then I think we agree that Ellsbury won't and shouldn't be traded, barring a crazy knock-your-socks-off deal.
   52. OCD SS Posted: July 25, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4191979)
MCoA where I think we have a disconnect is in the premise of the thread. I don't think
Ellsbury won't and shouldn't be traded, barring a crazy knock-your-socks-off deal
is the same as
a return that would either (a) put the team in better position to compete in 2013 or (b) return a player likely to be as good as Ellsbury in the future.


I'm not suggesting the Sox dump him and I'm closer to the former than latter statement (what I wrote in #9 was to shop him to see if there is anyone who looks at him as if 2011 was a new talent level - I thought that did suggest looking for someone who is a motivated buyer). But I think there would be value in getting someone like 6 years of Rendon and/ or Peacock from the Nats (just to pull the two top non-Stasburg/ Harper Nats prospects of off BA's list) along with the payroll flexibility of getting decent, if less than "Ellsbury-like" production from CF at a fraction of the cost. Part of the problem is project Ellsbury's value, and I wouldn't project him for more than his career average with some missed time, which is not a outlandish value bar to overcome.

I have not been keeping up with the state of the farm league wide and a lot of prospect news, so I can't throw out prospects off of other teams, but that just seems like an exercise where everyone can say "no, that's crazy."

1.5 seasons of Ellsbury at below market price is valuable, but it's not Justin Upton valuable (the DBacks surely want pre-arb talent with years of team ocntrol remaining).


The other Upton related threads have had quotes by Towers saying that he wants players who will help the D-Backs win this season. If Towers is going to deal Upton for exclusively Pre-arb guys I think he's almost certainly going to get lesser prospects. In that regard a 3 team deal sending Ellsbury to someone with the prospects might work. The whole problem with throwing trades against the wall is that the value difference between clubs can be pretty wide, especially as a shot at the playoffs distorts the market. Using the Upton example there's obviously a clear difference between what Towers thinks he's worth and what most Primates think he's worth (otherwise there's no way anyone would consider trading him).

   53. Dale Sams Posted: July 25, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4192142)
So if Reddick=Bailey and Sweeney
Lowrie=Melancon
Youk=nothing


...you would *think* the Sox have a lot of pieces they can move to desperate teams. No one could use one of Shoppach or Salty? No one can use any number of our relievers that have done well? No one wants to take a chance on Ciriaco or Nava (Guess i can see that). Sox have no interest in trying to sell high on Doubront or Morales? (Also understandable I suppose)
   54. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 25, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4192154)
...you would *think* the Sox have a lot of pieces they can move to desperate teams. No one could use one of Shoppach or Salty? No one can use any number of our relievers that have done well? No one wants to take a chance on Ciriaco or Nava (Guess i can see that). Sox have no interest in trying to sell high on Doubront or Morales? (Also understandable I suppose)


I'd hate to ship out Doobs or Morales, I think both are worth a good long look. I think Shoppach will be somewhere else this time next week. I'd ask around on Salty if I believed in Lavarnway. I can't imagine the overachieving relievers, Ciriaco or Nava has much value.
   55. booond Posted: July 25, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4192192)
Shoppach should go but trading Salty makes little sense as he has real value and isn't expensive. Plus, we don't have another ready catcher unless the opinion on Lavarnway's defense has changed. If they keep Salty this team looks almost ready for 2013 - Need a shortstop, relievers and Beckett/Lester return to normal.
   56. OCD SS Posted: July 25, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4192243)
According to McAdam Ben is actually acting just like Theo, talking to everyone about multiple scenarios, while waiting to see how the team does this week. A few quick hits:

* None of the top 5 prospects seem to be being discussed as pieces.

* Lester just seems to not be on the market.

* Some teams have asked after Beckett.

* Ellsbury appears to not be on the market now, but might be this offseason.

Looks like the recipe for another incredibly busy deadline with a million rumors and me getting little work done.
   57. Dale Sams Posted: July 25, 2012 at 06:26 PM (#4192256)
Need a shortstop, relievers and Beckett/Lester return to normal.


I have some ideas about swing-happiness, walks, a bad clubhouse, good pitchers shutting down a team like this...but it would take awhile to piece it together.


On a very slightly related note...I wonder if Nava's substitution last night was for defensive purposes or for "defensive purposes". Translated: Bobby thought Nava had a better chance of getting on base.
   58. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 26, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4192643)
I have some ideas about swing-happiness, walks, a bad clubhouse, good pitchers shutting down a team like this...but it would take awhile to piece it together.


The offense isn't the problem but this mess with the pitching staff needs to be dealt with. I don't want to turn this into a referendum on Bobby Valentine but the Sox need to hire a manager and give him total control over the coaching staff and straighten out the communication issues. If Valentine is that guy and he just needs to be given free reign rather than inheriting a staff then so be it. It just seems to me that the Sox are doing something fundamentally wrong from the top down and have been for a few years now.

This is the third consecutive season that the Sox have had critical pitchers completely #### the bed (Beckett in 2010, Lackey last year, Lester this year). What strikes me isn't that the Sox are having guys underperform it's that the guys that are underperforming are so important AND that they are given meaningful innings to #### up the team. We're going to send Lester out there on Saturday and he's going to get ####### demolished and everyone in baseball knows it.

I don't know how this gets fixed. The talent to win 90-95 games is here but at some point these injuries/off years that have vaporized this team for three years can't be viewed product of bad luck and have to be viewed as a product of something more systematic.
   59. Dan Posted: July 26, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4192689)
Kottaras was just DFAed. The Sox should pick him up and then trade both Salty and Shoppach. Then you'd have Lavarnway as starting catcher with a lefty backup with some patience and power to play against some tough righties.

I just see Lavarnway as a better bet to be the Sox catcher over the next 5 years than Salty, and the Sox can save some money under the luxury tax as well. But something like that obviously requires finding a partner who's willing to give a reasonable return for Salty. There's no sense unloading him just to trade him.
   60. jmurph Posted: July 26, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4192697)
There's no sense unloading him just to trade him.


Perhaps you haven't been following the Cherington era.
   61. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 26, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4192706)
The - ptooe - Yankees - ptooe - could really use Salty. The A's, Nats, and Pirates also might be interested. It's hard to precisely advocate for a Salty trade, given that he's under team control for another year, and Lavarnway is still a defensive question mark. Lavarnway's had an ok season in Pawtucket, however - I have his MLE at 270/345/385, which is solidly above average for a catcher. If he can catch, I think he should be doing it in the majors.

I think it would make sense to move Aaron Cook, too. Franklin Morales needs to be in the rotation. The upside with Cook is that you don't have to wait for a reasonable return - someone will hand us a lottery ticket for him.

Alex Speier has a good article on the Red Sox long-term position. I think this gets things exactly right:
At this point, given the fact that this postseason appears increasingly to be a longshot scenario, it’s difficult to justify parting with prospects who can help for the long haul in order to make a run at this season. The Sox more likely need to resign themselves to the idea that their hopes for this year rest on players like Adrian Gonzalez and Jon Lester and Josh Beckett and Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury finding ways to perform at elite levels. If that doesn’t happen, then no single player acquired from elsewhere is capable of jumpstarting the team.

And while the team can’t simply give up on this season, it can embrace the idea that players on the roster who now qualify as rentals -- those with expiring contracts who become free agents at the end of the year -- are moveable pieces.
Speier doesn't add the argument that dumping those high-paid players the club needs in order to compete doesn't really make any sense, but I think he implicitly agrees.
   62. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 26, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4192732)
I have not been keeping up with the state of the farm league wide and a lot of prospect news, so I can't throw out prospects off of other teams, but that just seems like an exercise where everyone can say "no, that's crazy."
I think the Sox could get some pretty good prospects for Ellsbury. I thought that we were discussing trades that do more than help the club in 2015 and beyond. If you want to trade Ellsbury for players who will do very little in 2013, and in so doing save $10M to spend on almost certainly worse players in 2013, then I think there would be a lot of trade options. I don't support the Red Sox making themselves worse for 2013, so I am opposed to pretty much all Ellsbury-just-for-prospects trades.
   63. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 26, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4192735)
Alex Speier has a good article...gets things exactly right:


Seriously, this is just my default position at this point. I compare him to PeteAbe and the rest of the media that cover this team and it's really no contest.
   64. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 26, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4192745)
I think we all agree that the current players are more likely than most possible acquisitions would be, at least for the balance of the year.

Why not think seriously about the leadership? I'm not saying "Fire Bobby V tomorrow" at this time, but wouldn't it possibly accomplish something to fire the pitching coach or something? They've sunk a lot of money and resources into some poor results on the field thus far in 2012.
   65. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 26, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4192748)
Why not think seriously about the leadership? I'm not saying "Fire Bobby V tomorrow" at this time, but wouldn't it possibly accomplish something to fire the pitching coach or something? They've sunk a lot of money and resources into some poor results on the field thus far in 2012.
It seems pretty clear that communication and hierarchy are all kinds of ###### up in the Red Sox organization. Barring a miracle turnaround where everyone starts working well with everyone else, this club needs a major overhaul behind the scenes.

I don't see any reason for the Sox to execute that overhaul now, rather than during the offseason when they'll have time to draw up a new org chart and when they'll know who's available for what they need.
   66. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 26, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4192762)
I don't see any reason for the Sox to execute that overhaul now, rather than during the offseason when they'll have time to draw up a new org chart and when they'll know who's available for what they need.


I definitely agree that they shouldn't enter into hasty decisions. But this team has - what - a $150 million payroll? They still have a roster's worth of All-Stars. Ortiz will likely never be better; they have a "healthy" Smellsbury, Pedroia, and Gonzalez. While they're clearly headed in the wrong direction, I don't think that it's too late for 2012. What super-teams are there for Boston to overtake?
   67. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 26, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4192773)
That's fair. They've even got an assistant pitching coach to take over for McClure if they do that. Obviously it all depends on what exactly is wrong in the clubhouse and among the coaching staff, so who knows.
   68. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 26, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4192782)
There are a couple of problems with that Erik;

1. While there are no "super-teams" there are a bunch of teams. Right now there are five teams between them and the second Wild Card. I'm fine if you want to say Baltimore or Oakland just isn't this good but when you spot teams like Chicago or Tampa 4-5 games in the standings there is a lot to overcome there.

2. There is no evidence that this team is capable of going 38-25 (a 98 win clip) over the next 63 games. And note that 38-25 gets them to 87 wins which may not be enough. The talent may be here but they simply haven't played like it for five months dating back to last September. At some point you have to acknowledge that something is causing these guys to underperform whether it's injury, attitude, they ain't as good as we thought, whatever it is the Sox aren't going anywhere in 2012 unless they return to their ability starting in about 29 hours. Flipping a switch that dramatically seems unlikely.
   69. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 26, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4192789)
Well, all he's advocating is firing a coach. There isn't much downside to that. It's not like he said the Sox should trade Bogaerts or something. Also-
2. There is no evidence that this team is capable of going 38-25 (a 98 win clip) over the next 63 games.
They're a baseball team with a .500 record. It's baseball - anyone that isn't terrible can run off two hot months. A club with as much talent as the Red Sox absolutely could. I wouldn't bet any good prospects on it, but that wasn't the question.
   70. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 26, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4192792)
Unlikely, yes. But not impossible.

My big point is that we're focussed on players who have no future with the Sox and what they could get on the market. My opinion is that a coach or member of management who also has no future with the Sox could possibly pay bigger dividends than an individual player move.

It's easy for us, who are not physically or financially invested in this team, to say "2012 sucks; maybe 2013 will be better". But the Sox FO still needs to pay the paychecks and a lot of people have bought tickets for the upcoming games this year. Doesn't the club "owe" them the best possible chance of 2012 glory?
   71. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 26, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4192798)
2. There is no evidence that this team is capable of going 38-25 (a 98 win clip) over the next 63 games.


Also, didn't essentially this same team do this thing last year in mid-summer?
   72. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 26, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4192811)
Well, all he's advocating is firing a coach. There isn't much downside to that.


I misunderstood what he was saying. Yeah, that makes sense.

I think we're probably talking past each other a bit here. I 100% agree that the Sox shouldn't be "dumping" anyone (that was what I was trying to get at with the original post) but standing pat with their on field talent.
   73. jmurph Posted: July 26, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4192839)
I think the Sox could get some pretty good prospects for Ellsbury. I thought that we were discussing trades that do more than help the club in 2015 and beyond. If you want to trade Ellsbury for players who will do very little in 2013, and in so doing save $10M to spend on almost certainly worse players in 2013, then I think there would be a lot of trade options. I don't support the Red Sox making themselves worse for 2013, so I am opposed to pretty much all Ellsbury-just-for-prospects trades.


I also think Ellsbury should not be moved, but I think this presupposes that an Ellsbury for prospects trade means the Sox are then going to sit on those prospects until they're ready in 2015. If those prospects help you get Josh Johnson, or Justin Upton, or Garza, or whoever else is on the trading block to be had for very good prospects, then it's probably worth looking into. Once again, this isn't a dynasty we're talking about breaking up.
   74. OCD SS Posted: July 26, 2012 at 08:39 PM (#4193138)
I think the Sox could get some pretty good prospects for Ellsbury. I thought that we were discussing trades that do more than help the club in 2015 and beyond. If you want to trade Ellsbury for players who will do very little in 2013, and in so doing save $10M to spend on almost certainly worse players in 2013, then I think there would be a lot of trade options. I don't support the Red Sox making themselves worse for 2013, so I am opposed to pretty much all Ellsbury-just-for-prospects trades.


OK, just to clarify where I'm coming from, I am not opposed to an Ellsbury trade that is only for prospects, if they are good prospects. This is because I think Ellsbury is much more likely to be a sub-.800 OPS CFer who will miss some time with injury than anything resembling his 2011, and that he will not be on the team in 2014 anyway. Therefore I do not think the downgrade to Kalish (+ a caddy) while waiting for JBJ is really that much of a downgrade, and the flexibility + value of the return prospects (either in 2013 performance or in trade) may balance the trade out in 2013 and will pay dividends over the subsequent years.

I'm also pretty sure that Cherington's moves have been more or less the result of ownership dictating no increase in spending, so I'd like to see what he can do in an offseason where he has some salary flexibility to work with.

In the end I'm still just a bit frustrated that the Sox didn't sign Matt Holliday when the had the chance since he seemed like a good solution at the time, and signing him would've meant that they avoided the Cameron, Lackey, and Crawford contracts. Heck, if Ellsbury is in CF in 2010 Beltre probably doesn't break his ribs and maybe he has his breakout a year earlier...
   75. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: July 26, 2012 at 09:07 PM (#4193171)
Is there any sense of what Ellsbury's value is on the market? He seems like someone where (smart) people could have wildly different evaluations. Are you trading for the 7-8 win player from last year? The 3-4 win player from '09? Or the guy who couldn't stay healthy in 2010 or for much of this year, and hasn't exactly looked great on the field? Somewhere in between? There's really nothing they could get back for him that would make me say "Well, that's crazy."
   76. Dan Posted: July 26, 2012 at 09:18 PM (#4193186)
I think the 7-8 win upside means you really can't trade him, because no other team is going to pay you for that upside. Then again, Cherington so far doesn't seem to mind selling upside at low value, so who the #### knows what will happen?
   77. Dale Sams Posted: July 26, 2012 at 10:00 PM (#4193237)
At Pro sports Daily some of that circle wanted to trade him for Andrus and...Olt? Dunno who Olt is but I told them they were crazy for trading last years MVP in everything but name only for a guy who is struggling to stay above 100 OPS+ for the first time in his career.
   78. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 26, 2012 at 10:03 PM (#4193240)
Why you trade Ellsbury: 2011 is a career year, and he'll never have a year like that again. Also, he gets hurt too much. The Red Sox have about 225 games left between now and the end of 2013, when Ellsbury can (and will) walk. How many of those games is he really going to play? 175 of them? We can play Kalish in center for the next 1.5 years, let Bradley move up the minor league ladder. If Kalish pans out, you move him to RF in 2014. If he doesn't pan out, well, you found out, you got prospects for Ellsbury, and you saved a lot of money over the next 1.5 years.

Why you don't trade Ellsbury: I was skeptical of how much "buyers" really end up giving up in prospects, in most cases. Forget Bagwell or Smoltz. That #### just doesn't happen anymore. Then, add the fact that the team acquiring the player doesn't even get the value of the free agent draft picks, and...well, you're not getting anything much for Ellsbury.

This team is so frustrating. The guys that are underperforming (Beckett, Lester, Gonzalez, Crawford) are the guys you can't trade or replace. If we picked up, for example, Greinke, he'd end replacing somebody in the back end of the rotation...and those are the guys that are actually pitching pretty well! Screw it. The Patriots look awesome this year...
   79. Dale Sams Posted: July 26, 2012 at 10:10 PM (#4193249)
I don't think getting his ribs cracked by adamantium-boned Beltre, mishandled by the butchers at Fenway, and getting his shoulder dislocated should be held against him.

This team is so frustrating


It's literally not fun to watch, so I think I may play them on weei from now on or maybe pay less attention, but play it in the background. Ross and Buchholz are pretty much the only fun guys to watch right now. Nava when he lays off bad pitchs.

I watch Ellsbury and think, "If the cards were dealt right, this could be the Sox's Joe Dimaggio, (Ok maybe Dom)"...then I remember how everyone is ready to shove him out the door, and acts like this homegrown player is a soft merc. Makes me sad.
   80. Dan Posted: July 26, 2012 at 10:17 PM (#4193257)
I've been watching the games less intently, usually while reading, over the last week or so. It's made me a much calmer person.
   81. Dan Posted: July 26, 2012 at 10:21 PM (#4193259)
I watch Ellsbury and think, "If the cards were dealt right, this could be the Sox's Joe Dimaggio, (Ok maybe Dom)"...then I remember how everyone is ready to shove him out the door, and acts like this homegrown player is a soft merc. Makes me sad.


I'm 100% with you on this. It annoys me everytime I see people say that him leaving is a fait accompli.

This team is so frustrating. The guys that are underperforming (Beckett, Lester, Gonzalez, Crawford) are the guys you can't trade or replace.


This cannot be overstated. Basically every player that was over 3 WAR has turned into utter shite, other than David Ortiz. And of course he's currently on the DL. The 2011 Sox had a bunch of 3+ WAR players were WAY over 3 WAR: 3 hitters that were over 6 WAR and 2 pitchers over 4 WAR. And none of them have been better than average this season. How the #### does that happen?
   82. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 27, 2012 at 09:58 PM (#4194265)
How the #### does that happen?


I really think a lot of that is on Valentine. I think I the players are basically saying #### you to him. Obviously if that's the case it is terribly unprofessional of the players by I don't know how you fix that. You can't just let the inmates run the asylum. Long story short, we are ######.

In fairness I dont like Valentine and I'm seething at the complete ####### capitulation by these shitbags right now.
   83. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 27, 2012 at 11:41 PM (#4194302)
You think they're withholding performance out of spite?
   84. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 27, 2012 at 11:52 PM (#4194306)
No, obviously I was just pissed which is why that last line was in there.

But I think Valentine, well, the off-field staff, is a major problem. It's not fair to put it on Valentine but he's the manager so he gets the brunt of the blame. Something is obviously fundamentally wrong here causing guys to not perform the way they should. I think there is a serious communication problem that is causing simple fixes not to get done.

Just by way of example last week Valentine commented about Beckett's first inning problems. He mentioned that Beckett warms up much earlier than any other pitcher (15 minutes before the game rather than 5 minutes or something along those lines) but that he hadn't talked to Beckett about it. To me this is just asinine. A guy is doing something unusual and failing miserably at his assigned task. Shouldn't a manager, a coach, someone, be able to talk to him and to have him understand that something needs to be adjusted.

That is one example but I think it gives some insight on the communication issues. At the end of the day the players have to get the job done. But when all the key players are not performing I think there is something more at work than just bad luck and bad years. Something is rotten.

The problem is how to fix it and I don't know how you do that. My feeling is to fire the entire staff; Valentine and all the coaches, then hire a manager with carte blanche to hire his staff but that feels way to radical. A second consecutive year of massive change feels like a panic move.
   85. Dan Posted: July 30, 2012 at 01:38 AM (#4195590)
Supposedly the Red Sox have started shopping Beckett.
   86. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: July 30, 2012 at 08:15 AM (#4195623)
but that he hadn't talked to Beckett about it.


It seems like this is a common thread when talking about Valentine. WTF does the guy actually do?
   87. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 30, 2012 at 08:40 AM (#4195635)
With the Youks trade and the Beckett shopping, it does seem like the Red Sox identified the problems in the clubhouse and are actively looking to move them away.

Of course, it appears that the Sox added a new problem to the clubhouse in Bobby V. Does this guy actually work? What is the deal?
   88. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:11 AM (#4195650)
With the Youks trade and the Beckett shopping, it does seem like the Red Sox identified the problems in the clubhouse and are actively looking to move them away.


Correct me if I am wrong, but I was under the impression pretty much every single player is 'available' for every single team, no? Don't GM's try and slip every one through waivers? Obviously the vast majority are for one reason or the other never traded but hey, if you don't ask... My point being, how do we really know if this isn't just a source from another team spouting off about the Sox mentioning Beckett as an option in a trade?
   89. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:16 AM (#4195654)
We don't know. There are multiple reports now of the Red Sox calling other teams and offering Beckett. These could be misleading or false, but with three reports now, it seems more likely than not that they're true.
   90. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:27 AM (#4195663)
I have to say that I am stunned we pulled out 2 out of 3. Still just four out of the second WC. Given all the crap that has gone on this year it's both exciting and frustrating to be in this situation. If this talented team can play like they should be capable for two months a playoff spot (or whatever you want to call it) is there for the taking. At the same time a spot at least in the WC game should be all but assured already but we've given away so much.
   91. Textbook Editor Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:33 AM (#4195668)
I'm excited by the Beckett rumors, but not if we wind up having to eat most of the salary to move him. I confess I don't know how much is too much to eat, but I don't want to be covering 2/3 of the cost, especially if it's an AL team he's shipped to.

I'm also dead certain as soon as he ships out of Boston he'll pitch lights out for the remainder of his contract, but so what? He isn't going to do that in Boston, and that's really all that should matter to the Red Sox.
   92. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:48 AM (#4195675)
Beckett getting tossed last night made me think: Are there any real penalties to a not-that-day's starter getting run? Makes me think that if I'm in that spot, I get thrown out of the game every single day in between starts.
   93. Dale Sams Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:48 AM (#4195676)
This team is going nowhere....not that it is anyway...with a ####### lead weight in the 2 spot.
   94. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 30, 2012 at 10:05 AM (#4195688)
Beckett getting tossed last night made me think: Are there any real penalties to a not-that-day's starter getting run? Makes me think that if I'm in that spot, I get thrown out of the game every single day in between starts.


Probably a small fine for a one time thing. I imagine if it happened regularly you'd start seeing suspensions levied.
   95. villageidiom Posted: July 30, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4195724)
Just by way of example last week Valentine commented about Beckett's first inning problems. He mentioned that Beckett warms up much earlier than any other pitcher (15 minutes before the game rather than 5 minutes or something along those lines) but that he hadn't talked to Beckett about it. To me this is just asinine. A guy is doing something unusual and failing miserably at his assigned task.
1. Valentine was asked a question that suggested Beckett's recent first inning failings could be solved if he warmed up earlier. Valentine's response was that Beckett already warms up earlier than everyone else, pretty much in rejection of the premise of the original question. The way you bring it up - just like I'm seeing it elsewhere - makes it sound like Valentine brought it up as a possible explanation for his troubles, not a rejection of someone else's theory in a direct line of questioning.

2. Even if it is a rejection of another theory, that doesn't preclude it from being a plausible theory by itself. However, Beckett has been warming up this way his whole career, with considerable success. If we're going down the path of "if it's different and it's not working, it's wrong", then I guess Pedroia has to stop swinging at high fastballs, too, given his lack of success in the first half. (Even though his lack of success is on bad swings at low pitches... the eye-level swing is different than others, and he sucked, therefore the eye-level swing must go, right?) And maybe Jon Lester should throw right-handed now.

2a. OK, that was a bit more snarky than intended. My point is that Valentine shouldn't be in the habit of talking with Beckett about everything he does that is different and pressuring him to change. It's entirely possible that it's not anything about Beckett's routine, but that other teams have a first inning plan - sit on the fastball? - that works early, and Beckett (or Salty) hasn't adapted. In that case changing his warmup routine would do nothing, and would possibly be counterproductive. There are probably hundreds of things about Beckett that are different from other starters, some of which are changeable, some are not, but most of them we don't know about. Let's not latch onto the one we know and act like it must be the most important, or even relevant.

3. If anything Valentine should be leaving this to McClure, so the fact that Valentine himself hasn't talked to Beckett about it, to me, doesn't seem like a big deal.

4. The main communication problem this year is that Valentine is one step behind. He doesn't anticipate the media's next move; when he answers honestly on one subject he doesn't recognize the way that statement will be taken. Yes, that means Valentine sucks at that part of his job, but it doesn't mean he sucks at his job. (Still, it's a rather significant part of his job.)
   96. villageidiom Posted: July 30, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4195736)
I have to say that I am stunned we pulled out 2 out of 3. Still just four out of the second WC. Given all the crap that has gone on this year it's both exciting and frustrating to be in this situation.
They went up against two of the best teams in baseball, on the road, and came away 3-3. That would be perfectly acceptable, if not downright pleasant... if they didn't precede that by getting swept at home by Toronto.
   97. Mayor Blomberg Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4195754)
Cashman's plan to freeze the Sox at the trading deadline is working perfectly.
   98. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4195761)
Even if it is a rejection of another theory, that doesn't preclude it from being a plausible theory by itself. However, Beckett has been warming up this way his whole career, with considerable success.


I had this same conversation with a friend over the weekend. The difference is that Beckett isn't 26 anymore. Athletes often talk about having to adjust as their bodies change with age and I think Beckett in fact is doing that with his pitching. He no longer throws 96-97 and I think is actually doing a decent job of making the Schilling-like change to something less than a full on power pitcher. However, the idea that Beckett might stiffen up a little bit more than he did in the past now that he's in his 30s doesn't seem unreasonable to me. I'm certainly not saying it's impossible I'm wrong on the subject but it makes sense to me.


If anything Valentine should be leaving this to McClure, so the fact that Valentine himself hasn't talked to Beckett about it, to me, doesn't seem like a big deal.


I don't disagree with that in the specific. I think what gets me is the more general idea that there doesn't seem to be any work being done to address the issue and that is reflective of the communication issues that appear to exist. You're right, if McClure is dealing with it, that's fine if not preferable given his role. If he is not then Valentine should be pushing for something to be done.

Thanks for the info about how the topic was raised. I don't remember where I read it now but I read it as Valentine bringing it up, not as Valentine responding. That does change it a bit.

   99. villageidiom Posted: July 30, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4195825)
@Jose - Agreed.
   100. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: July 30, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4195885)
If anything Valentine should be leaving this to McClure, so the fact that Valentine himself hasn't talked to Beckett about it, to me, doesn't seem like a big deal.




I don't disagree with that in the specific. I think what gets me is the more general idea that there doesn't seem to be any work being done to address the issue and that is reflective of the communication issues that appear to exist. You're right, if McClure is dealing with it, that's fine if not preferable given his role. If he is not then Valentine should be pushing for something to be done.


I do agree that the bulk of the pitching mechanics discussions with Beckett should be done by McClure, but I would think Valentine would be talking to pretty much all of his players, certainly rather important front-line starters. "Hey Josh, you aren't getting off to good starts, how long have you warmed up early? Oh, your entire career? I'm sure you'll get it worked out then." Is it really a common thing for managers not to talk to their stars like this?
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