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   1. Darren Posted: March 15, 2013 at 03:26 PM (#4389019)
Other ZIPS to consider:

Brock Holt: 1.5 WAR (or if you prefer, Jerry Sands: 0.7 WAR)
Allen Webster: 0.9 WAR
Rubby De La Rosa: 0.6 WAR
   2. Fridas Boss Posted: March 15, 2013 at 03:39 PM (#4389025)
You also need to factor in the opportunity cost difference between those 2 groups since the latter takes up 3 more roster spots.
   3. Dale Sams Posted: March 15, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4389029)
I predict Dempster does better than that. Everything else looks fine and I'm okay with the narrative that the trade was a good idea.

   4. Darren Posted: March 15, 2013 at 03:49 PM (#4389030)
In the case of the Red Sox, they were in a position where they had to fill those slots and didn't have the budget to do so. Being able to spread out that money to several positions was, assuming they did it well, an advantage rather than a cost.
   5. Darren Posted: March 15, 2013 at 03:58 PM (#4389036)
Or to look at it another way: The Sox directly replaced Gonzo/Crawford/Beckett with Napoli/Victorino/Dempster, which cost them about 1/2 a win. But it saved them $20M in 2013 salary, which they used to plug holes as SS, catcher, and LF, and RP.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 15, 2013 at 04:01 PM (#4389038)
In the case of the Red Sox, they were in a position where they had to fill those slots and didn't have the budget to do so. Being able to spread out that money to several positions was, assuming they did it well, an advantage rather than a cost.

Yes and no. Getting 8.3 WAR from 4 spots on the 25-man could be better than getting 10.9 WAR from 7 spots, or it could be worse. It depends on how your front office would fill those 3 extra spots.

You reduce the probability that you get replacement-level or sub-replacement level production from those three spots, but you also reduced the upside of being able to get more production from those spots. At 0.7 WAR per spot, it's probably close to break-even between the two groups of players.
   7. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: March 15, 2013 at 04:04 PM (#4389043)
You also need to factor in the opportunity cost difference between those 2 groups since the latter takes up 3 more roster spots.

Or simply remove Ross and Uehara from the equation since they're not directly replacing anyone in the Punto Trade, if you want to get closer to apples/apples math. You can also add Cody Ross' $3m 2012 salary to the 'departures' side - he produced 1.6 WAR in 2012 and Steamer projects him for 1.4 in 2013 (I happen to have those projections handy) - to balance out the inclusion of Gomes (in effect calling Victo/Gomes the trade-related replacement for Crawford/Ross).

Under that rubric, you've got (Steamer):
Departures
Gonzalez 4.3 WAR ($22M - $3.9M paid by Boston)
Beckett 2.4 WAR ($17M)
Crawford 1.3 WAR ($20.3M)
Punto 0.3 WAR ($1.5M)
[Ross 1.4 WAR ($3M)]
Total: 9.7 WAR for $59.9M

Arrivals
Victorino 2.8 WAR ($13M)
Napoli 2.0 WAR (assuming he’ll get about $10M given his projected playing time)
Drew 1.5 WAR ($9.5M)
Dempster 2.3 WAR ($13.25M)
Gomes 1.1 WAR ($5M)
Total: 9.7 WAR for $51.75M

Which, if I've done the math right (which I guess I probably haven't since I just threw Cody Ross' 2012 salary in there), is pretty handy in that the projected value is exactly the same, in the same number of roster spots, for over $8M less.

Or to be as direct as possible and ONLY consider the trade, just balance Gonzalez/Beckett/Crawford/Punto against their four direct replacements Napoli/Dempster/Victo/Drew (though this requires ignoring the fact that Aviles was actually the starting SS) and you're looking at an outgoing 8.3 WAR projected for $56.9M against 8.8 WAR for $46.75 - slightly MORE value for over $10M less.

Pretty much any way you look at it via this method it looks like they managed to replace the projected value of the traded players for less money. Which, as Darren points out, was the major premise of those who favored the trade at the time.
   8. Dale Sams Posted: March 15, 2013 at 04:07 PM (#4389045)
, which they used to plug holes as SS, catcher, and LF, and RP.


Or you could say they did that with Youk, Dice-K, Ross and Jenks.
   9. Darren Posted: March 15, 2013 at 04:18 PM (#4389049)

Yes and no. Getting 8.3 WAR from 4 spots on the 25-man could be better than getting 10.9 WAR from 7 spots, or it could be worse. It depends on how your front office would fill those 3 extra spots.


Depending on how your team looks, yeah. But in this specific case, the Sox had those 7 spots* to fill and wouldn't have had the budget otherwise.

*Those aren't really 7 full-time spots, but 7 roles.
   10. Darren Posted: March 15, 2013 at 04:22 PM (#4389050)


Or you could say they did that with Youk, Dice-K, Ross and Jenks.


You mean they plugged those holes with money left from those guys? That's a fair point, too. But I think that in terms of evaluating that trade, you have to account for the leftover money somehow. One way to do that is to look at places where they actually spent money and say "they used their leftover money on this stuff." You could also argue that they would have made all of these moves anyway, and that they simply pocketed the leftover money. I think the former makes more sense, but it's not the only way to look at it.
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: March 15, 2013 at 04:24 PM (#4389053)
This thread needs more Rubby
   12. Sonic Youk Posted: March 15, 2013 at 04:29 PM (#4389056)
Projections are projections, but this really illustrates that it WAS reasonably possible to liquidate those salaries, and immediatly find equal value in a weak free agent class.

Of course, that doesn't even get into the real benefits; avoiding the back end of the Gonzalez deal, ditching a possibly useless 20 million dollar corner outfielder, getting real prospects back...
   13. Dale Sams Posted: March 15, 2013 at 04:32 PM (#4389057)
I think even if Crawford approachs normal and Beckett does well, the trade still makes sense because the 'replacements' are so short-term.

My imaginary/future beef with the FO is if Ells does well this year and the FO doesn't offer 5/100 near the trade deadline. And that's not even a non-defensible imaginary move. So if the worst the FO can do this year is not give Ells a proper offer, then they've done fairly well. Just keep LL's mouth shut, stop trading for flawed closers, and we're good.
   14. Darren Posted: March 15, 2013 at 04:36 PM (#4389061)

My imaginary/future beef with the FO is if Ells does well this year and the FO doesn't offer 5/100 near the trade deadline


If Ells is playing at all well, he's not taking 5/100. He and Boras are going on the market. Besides, that will free up money for closers.
   15. Dale Sams Posted: March 15, 2013 at 04:45 PM (#4389062)
he's not taking 5/100. He and Boras are going on the market. Besides, that will free up money for closers


I'm 97% sure you're right, but man...100 millllllllion dollars. Get in a car wreck between August and Nov...pull your hammy off the bone, break your ankle on a slide...and you've thrown away 50-100 million dollars and for what? 15 million more?
   16. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 15, 2013 at 05:04 PM (#4389068)
There is a lot of assumption being made regarding the extra players that money bought. I'm not entirely sold that Ross is that much of a bump over Lavarnway for example and I think a smart organization could have filled the Gomes spot just as well and cheaper.

I'm also taking the under on Victorino and Drew pretty confidently. I hope Im wrong but Drew starting the year with a concussion doesn't fill me with optimism and I'm definitely in the pessimistic camp when it comes to Victorino.

I think the trade doesn't really help the 2013 club but Webster looks damned good to me and if he and DLR pan out this is a winner trade. But to me that's where the win will come, not in 2013.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 15, 2013 at 05:29 PM (#4389078)
Depending on how your team looks, yeah. But in this specific case, the Sox had those 7 spots* to fill and wouldn't have had the budget otherwise.

*Those aren't really 7 full-time spots, but 7 roles.


Their 2013 payroll is standing at $154M, and they were at $175M last year. They had the budget to fill those holes if they chose to.

I'm not saying the trade was bad, I think it was good for Boston, and a necessary house cleaning. But lets not pretend the Red Sox were going to be financially maxed out without it.
   18. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: March 15, 2013 at 05:51 PM (#4389092)
I have a cat named Rubby, only we pronounce it "rubby".
   19. The District Attorney Posted: March 15, 2013 at 06:27 PM (#4389116)
Is it lanky?
   20. Darren Posted: March 15, 2013 at 08:09 PM (#4389172)
@17, As I said in the intro, you could say they can afford more. From what I can tell, they actually could spend more than they did, but wanted to leave some flexibility for in-season moves. Whether that's a good idea or not, it doesn't really change that making that trade last year gave them more flexibility in filling holes.

@7, I'd leave Ross out of this discussion because a) he wasn't part of the trade/replacement that I'm trying to analyze and b) the Red Sox did not have an option to bring him back at $3M.


   21. Darren Posted: March 15, 2013 at 08:23 PM (#4389179)
Also @17, I think you're looking at actual payroll rather than AAV, and you're not including some very likely to be reached incentives (Napoli's especially). If you account for those, you're a lot closer to where they were last year, though still likely below.
   22. jyjjy Posted: March 16, 2013 at 06:06 AM (#4389371)
As a non-Sox fan... rather unseemly to even question such a gift as that trade. Is this a real debate?
   23. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 16, 2013 at 09:36 AM (#4389387)
There is absolutely debate. I think characterizing this trade as a gift to the Red Sox is wrong. It may turn out good but so far all the sox have gotten in exchange for three very good players is financial relief. Webster looks great and there is reason to be excited a out DLR but I'm not thrilled with how the Sox spent the money.
   24. jyjjy Posted: March 16, 2013 at 09:49 AM (#4389390)
Alright, I can see a debate over whether it will help the team on field immediately, as in this year, and I guess that is the focus here, but that's about it. Characterizing it as anything other than a gift in general though is myopically shortsighted.
   25. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 16, 2013 at 10:16 AM (#4389402)
Still don't buy it. If Webster/DLR don't pan out then it's hard for me to see it as a good deal. Getting the salary relief wasn't necessary particularly since the sox needed to use that relief to fill a bunch of new holes created by the trade.
   26. Nasty Nate Posted: March 16, 2013 at 11:15 AM (#4389408)
Sadly they needed to fill the LF hole even when they had Crawford.
   27. Dale Sams Posted: March 16, 2013 at 11:23 AM (#4389412)
Still miffed they didn't go after Melky.
   28. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: March 16, 2013 at 12:44 PM (#4389443)
Is this a real debate?


Some people were overly attached to Adrian Gonzalez.
   29. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 16, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4389461)
Some people were overly attached to Adrian Gonzalez.

I was overly attached to Adrian Gonzalez. I still think the trade is a no-brainer.
   30. Darren Posted: March 16, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4389466)
Well, Gonzalez has been a heck of player during his career. If he had the same production last year in a different shape (more walks, more HR, less BA, less D), I'd be a lot less willing to let him go. Or if he didn't have a documented shoulder injury that hasn't seemed to heal.

Still don't buy it. If Webster/DLR don't pan out then it's hard for me to see it as a good deal. Getting the salary relief wasn't necessary particularly since the sox needed to use that relief to fill a bunch of new holes created by the trade.


Even if they had used the savings ONLY to fill those newly created holes, the trade would have been a good thing because you held serve while making 2014 and beyond better. But I'd argue they've done more than that. They filled those holes plus other obvious ones. Even if you want to take the under on some of the projections for the players the Sox acquired, their 3-win advantage is a big buffer.

Hey. here's another bunch of guys to compare:

Jose Reyes 4.1 WAR ($19.2M)
Josh Johnson 2.8 WAR ($13.75M)
Mark Buehrle 1.6 WAR ($16M) (steamer and ZIPS both hate him, and I seem to recall he has a habit of beating projections)

Total: 8.5 WAR for $48.95M.

Hm.
   31. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: March 16, 2013 at 02:14 PM (#4389486)
I think the trade doesn't really help the 2013 club but Webster looks damned good to me and if he and DLR pan out this is a winner trade. But to me that's where the win will come, not in 2013.


Yeah, I'm still not sure I totally buy the analysis that the 2013 Red Sox are better team with the trade than without, but I think the flexibility for 2015-2017 seasons almost certainly makes it worth it. The whole idea with FA contracts is that you're generally overpaying for the decline phase in order to get some more reliable performance on the front end, but Crawford's front end performance was atrocious, and didn't seem likely to improve much. They basically traded likely overpayment years for prospects. That's main argument for the trade for me, and Crawford's production doesn't seem difficult to replace. Any improvement in 2013 over what Gonzalez/Crawford/Beckett would have produced is just gravy.
   32. Dale Sams Posted: March 16, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4389512)
I'm going to put this completly random and OT observation here cause we're all friends and there's not really a proper venue for it.

I just rewatched My Best Friend's Wedding (Shut-up, I LOVE that movie)and I noticed Chelcie Ross (Eddie-Major League) was in it...not only does he have no lines, he's not even credited. One or the other happens all the time, but both?* That's kind of weird. I wonder if he did something to annoy the director.

*Even Paul Giamatti and Harry Shearer get lines.
   33. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 16, 2013 at 04:39 PM (#4389557)
Somehow I completely missed that the Red Sox acquired Ryan Dempster.
   34. Dale Sams Posted: March 16, 2013 at 05:00 PM (#4389565)
Somehow I completely missed that the Red Sox acquired Ryan Dempster


Seriously? IMHO, if the Sox are to make the playoffs...no small chance depends on him.
   35. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: March 16, 2013 at 05:12 PM (#4389567)
Alright, I can see a debate over whether it will help the team on field immediately, as in this year, and I guess that is the focus here, but that's about it. Characterizing it as anything other than a gift in general though is myopically shortsighted.

Because that's not the point. The trade was a 'gift' in that it bailed them out of some huge financial obligations and added some prospects to the organization, creating a situation where they were flush with resources. The trade on its face could never be a win in and of itself, because they gave away quality major leaguers and did not receive any in return. So the question at the time became, would they use their added flexibility and resources wisely, and the question now is, did they? Which is, I think, what Darren was trying to get at in this post.
   36. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 16, 2013 at 05:22 PM (#4389569)
Teams that win 74 pythagorean games don't typically make the playoffs the next year, and I'd be surprised if this were such a team. It's not a young team. And as Darren's numbers above show, the new players improve over the replacements by 2-3 wins. Okay, Ellsbury/Lester/Bucholz should improve, but a lot would have to go right for this team to make the playoffs.
   37. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 16, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4389570)
What strikes me about the list is that every single one of the players the Red Sox brought in is 30-plus. They're all older than Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, with the sole exception of Stephen Drew.
   38. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 16, 2013 at 05:35 PM (#4389574)
Because that's not the point. The trade was a 'gift' in that it bailed them out of some huge financial obligations and added some prospects to the organization, creating a situation where they were flush with resources. The trade on its face could never be a win in and of itself, because they gave away quality major leaguers and did not receive any in return.

This is stupid. By that logic, if the Red Sox traded a bag of baseballs for Vernon Wells and Alfonso Soriano, that trade would be a win, because they got major league talent for "nothing".
   39. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 16, 2013 at 05:35 PM (#4389575)
This is selective endpoints, but if it's worth anything, since September 1, 2011, which is around the time in which the collapse began (caused by fried chicken, I know), the Sox are 76-113 (.402) and have been outscored by 100 runs, 880-978.

Optimism really needs to be tempered.
   40. Nasty Nate Posted: March 16, 2013 at 07:40 PM (#4389613)

This is stupid. By that logic, if the Red Sox traded a bag of baseballs for Vernon Wells and Alfonso Soriano, that trade would be a win, because they got major league talent for "nothing".


I was going to post the same thing. I will also add that they did receive Webster, De La Rosa, and Sands - whom are more than just minor league warm bodies.
   41. Nasty Nate Posted: March 16, 2013 at 07:43 PM (#4389615)
Optimism really needs to be tempered.


Well, I don't think anyone here at Sox Therapy is expecting a playoff team....
   42. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 16, 2013 at 08:07 PM (#4389621)
What strikes me about the list is that every single one of the players the Red Sox brought in is 30-plus. They're all older than Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, with the sole exception of Stephen Drew.

Yes. With the dump trade/FA reinvestment the Red Sox have freed long term financial resources and made themselves respectable in the short-term, but they have decidedly not set themselves up for long-term success. They still need to develop/acquire the core of the next great Red Sox team.
   43. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 16, 2013 at 08:11 PM (#4389624)
Yes. With the dump trade/FA reinvestment the Red Sox have freed long term financial resources and made themselves respectable in the short-term, but they have decidedly not set themselves up for long-term success. They still need to develop/acquire the core of the next great Red Sox team.


Yeah, that's why the dump trade had me excited: I figured they were going to use the money freed up to rebuild, and I was fine with that. Using $60 million of it to sign the Napoli/Victorino/Dempster/Ross/etc class in a push for .500 was not what I had in mind.

Frankly, I'd rather have taken my chances with the players they traded away. Though granted they're out from under their contracts.

And I continue to maintain that Napoli loses his value edge if played at 1B.

   44. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 16, 2013 at 08:19 PM (#4389628)
Crawford is probably the one most people are most intrigued about going forward, but I see him as an easy prediction: if he's healthy, he'll play well. (Granted the hard part is predicting whether he'll be healthy, so I don't really mean predicting him is easy but that the path to a good performance from him is clear.)

Adrian Gonzalez is actually the one I'm more intrigued by, because I think he's been in serious decline since his first season in Boston but the decline that year was masked by a crazy high BABIP fluke. He's lost a chunk of HR and BB since his peak.
   45. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 16, 2013 at 08:28 PM (#4389631)
Yeah, that's why the dump trade had me excited: I figured they were going to use the money freed up to rebuild, and I was fine with that. Using $60 million of it to sign the Napoli/Victorino/Dempster/Ross/etc class in a push for .500 was not what I had in mind.

There really weren't any franchise type guys available without huge red flags this offseason though. The fact that they have maintained enough financial flexibility going forward to pick one up if they become available, while more than replacing what they lost, is fantastic.

Crawford is probably the one most people are most intrigued about going forward, but I see him as an easy prediction: if he's healthy, he'll play well. (Granted the hard part is predicting whether he'll be healthy, so I don't really mean predicting him is easy but that the path to a good performance from him is clear.)

Adrian Gonzalez is actually the one I'm more intrigued by, because I think he's been in serious decline since his first season in Boston but the decline that year was masked by a crazy high BABIP fluke. He's lost a chunk of HR and BB since his peak.

I think this is the polar opposite of conventional wisdom. Most people think Crawford is done. He's already injured again. Whereas Gonzalez still looks shiny because of the high BABIP. The most common view I have heard, was that Adrian was the price of getting the Dodgers to take Crawford.
   46. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 16, 2013 at 08:31 PM (#4389634)
Most people think Crawford is done.

Why would you think he was done? He was fine last year when he got on the field (107 OPS+). The issue is health, I'm pretty sure the talent is still there.
   47. Nasty Nate Posted: March 16, 2013 at 08:31 PM (#4389635)
They still need to develop/acquire the core of the next great Red Sox team.


Isn't this basically always the case with losing teams? E.G. last year the O's, A's, and Reds had huge jumps in win totals, but it didn't happen after an offseason of acquisitions which could have predictably made them great.
   48. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 16, 2013 at 08:36 PM (#4389637)
Isn't this basically always the case with losing teams?

Most of the time, sure. A team like KC you can say, they have the core if the guys all develop, but getting all those guys to realize the potential is hard. But, most losing teams don't have a great core.

The difference is this is a losing team with a $150M payroll, not a $70M payroll. For $150M, you'd like to have at least a few elite talents locked up long term.
   49. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 16, 2013 at 08:38 PM (#4389640)
I think this is the polar opposite of conventional wisdom. Most people think Crawford is done. He's already injured again.


He's back on the field now. It may be that he may never be healthy again, but I don't see any reason to think that his skills are gone. (Yes, I know health and talent are related.)
   50. Dan Posted: March 16, 2013 at 09:51 PM (#4389657)
He's not back on the field now. He's going to miss Opening Day. They're hoping he'll be back some time in April, but we'll see. Citing a107 OPS+ over all of 125 PA as data that he's back to normal is also pretty silly, especially given that it came on the strength of a .200 ISO, which is something absolutely no one expects Crawford to do over a significant sample.

As for Gonzalez, I pretty much agree with Ray. He's probably finished as a star level 1B who can carry an offense like the Red Sox were expecting when they traded for him and signed him to the extension. Rizzo already projects as a similar player just two years later for league minimum salary. That trade is clearly a disaster, rather than the laughable steal by the Red Sox that all of the non Red Sox fans on BTF declared it to be at the time. The fact that the Red Sox were now able to dump Gonzalez and his contract along with other big deals while also getting talent back somewhat makes up for that.
   51. Nasty Nate Posted: March 16, 2013 at 09:56 PM (#4389660)
Rizzo already projects as a similar player just two years later for league minimum salary. That trade is clearly a disaster, rather than the laughable steal by the Red Sox that all of the non Red Sox fans on BTF declared it to be at the time.


Cmon, it's too early for that kind of certainty. And evaluating that trade only starting now ignores the 2011 season - in which Gonazlez provided way more value than the pieces sent to SD.
   52. Nasty Nate Posted: March 16, 2013 at 09:58 PM (#4389661)
The difference is this is a losing team with a $150M payroll, not a $70M payroll. For $150M, you'd like to have at least a few elite talents locked up long term.


Thankfully for the Sox, they don't have to compete in a wins-per-expenditure to get to the playoffs.

And depending on the level you set 'elite,' very few teams have multiple elite talents locked up long term.
   53. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 16, 2013 at 10:18 PM (#4389668)
Cmon, it's too early for that kind of certainty. And evaluating that trade only starting now ignores the 2011 season - in which Gonazlez provided way more value than the pieces sent to SD.


In evaluating Gonzalez I pretty much assume that his true talent level in 2011 was at 2012's level. Do projection systems factor in lucky BABIP's?

FWIW, BP projects him to 28 HR and a .306 TAv. They have him going .286/.366/.485. Which means they see this progression for his TAvs:

2010: .326
2011 .318
2012: .286
----------
2013: .306

So they see him bouncing back up a bit, though not to 2010/2011 levels. It's a reasonable projection, but I also wouldn't be surprised if he stays at his 2012 level or slips further.

FWIW he hit the same with the Dodgers as he had in 2012 with the Red Sox.


   54. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 16, 2013 at 10:21 PM (#4389671)
He's not back on the field now. He's going to miss Opening Day. They're hoping he'll be back some time in April, but we'll see. Citing a107 OPS+ over all of 125 PA as data that he's back to normal is also pretty silly, especially given that it came on the strength of a .200 ISO, which is something absolutely no one expects Crawford to do over a significant sample.


I typically dismiss small samples too, but they can be indicative of whether a player is injured. A player who has nothing isn't likely to hit to a 107 OPS+ - close to his career averages - in 125 PA, certainly not on the strength of power as opposed to BABIP.

But you seem to be criticizing the use of small sample size on the one hand (107 OPS+), but using it as an argument in your favor on the other hand (.200 ISO).
   55. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 16, 2013 at 10:58 PM (#4389684)
The difference is this is a losing team with a $150M payroll, not a $70M payroll. For $150M, you'd like to have at least a few elite talents locked up long term.
Of course. The Red Sox do not project as a playoff team despite having a very high payroll.

Over the last three or four years, the Red Sox planned to lock up a set of elite talents at commensurately high prices, and they chose horribly and had some bad luck. So their payroll was full up for years to come with projected non-elite talents on elite contracts, and they made the trade. That's the problem from the beginning. For the Punto Trade, you're already dealing with a situation where you have an unacceptable payroll : elite talent ratio. If you're critiquing the 2009-2011 Red Sox offseasons, I'm with you. But in regard to the Punto trade itself, the Red Sox are in much better shape to acquire or extend elite talent than they were before they made that trade.
   56. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 16, 2013 at 11:07 PM (#4389688)
Teams that win 74 pythagorean games don't typically make the playoffs the next year, and I'd be surprised if this were such a team. It's not a young team. And as Darren's numbers above show, the new players improve over the replacements by 2-3 wins. Okay, Ellsbury/Lester/Bucholz should improve, but a lot would have to go right for this team to make the playoffs.
I agree with the general point - an 83-win season would be a reasonable expectation and hopefully a solid step toward a true contending club in 2014-2015. Looking for more than that from this offseason would have been unrealistic, and planning on the playoffs with this roster would be unreasonable.

There is a bit of a category error here, however. Darren was not comparing 2012 performance of traded players to 2013 projections for new players. The new players improve over the 2013 projections for the traded players by a little bit. They improve over the actual 2012 performance of traded players by quite a bit more.

Crawford, Gonzalez, Beckett, and Punto combined for 3.1 WAR in 2012, so the replacements project to a 6-win improvement. Obviously this isn't how one should do projections, since there's 20 other guys on the roster and aging and regression to the mean and all that. But the improvement that Darren is showing is in 2013 projections, so if you want to talk about improvements from 2012, Darren's comparisons aren't talking about that.
   57. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 16, 2013 at 11:12 PM (#4389691)
There is a bit of a category error here, however. Darren was not comparing 2012 performance of traded players to 2013 projections for new players. The new players improve over the 2013 projections for the traded players by a little bit.


Got it, thanks for the clarification/correction. I didn't read it closely enough.

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