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   101. JB H Posted: October 31, 2007 at 06:37 AM (#2601127)
My guess is that Lowell maximizes wins for 2008, is probably on par for 2009 with anything else we can find, and is a poor bet for 2010-2011. I'm willing to eat those last two years in exchange for 2008

A win in 2008 is worth pretty much the same as a win in 2011 for the Red Sox. I think it's very unlikely that the Sox won't project to be contenders in 2011.

A team like the Padres or whatever should contend next year and maybe contends only half the time in 2011, so a win today is worth a lot more than a win tomorrow. But the Red Sox are in a much different situation.
   102. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: October 31, 2007 at 10:48 AM (#2601141)
Gordon Edes says the Sox are talking to Hiroki Kuroda: http://www.japanesebaseball.com/players/player.jsp?PlayerID=986

Kuroda has a had a good long career. I'm not sure he'll be better than our current version of Curt though.
   103. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: October 31, 2007 at 11:05 AM (#2601142)
Kerry Wood
Scott Linebrink
David Riske

If Wood's physical checks out, he could be an amazing 8th inning guy. And he could pitch the 9th on days Papelbon isn't available.


There was JuSt a thread about Kerry Wood. i said the same thing. Somebdoy said this could blow up in our face like Gagne. I think it would end up more of a Piniero-type minor F!@#up. I think it's worth a shot.

Also, no thanks to Scott Linebrink. Seems overrated. PETCO helped him a lot (and he still wasn't very good). Pass.

David Riske? I can honestly say he's better than Javier F!@#ing Lopez.

I will say i'm looking forward to the return of Brendan Donnelly. He was good in the brief 20 IP we had him for. If he's healthy, he could contribute.

HITOKI IWASE for 7TH INNING LEFTY 2008. YOU KNOW YOU WANT IT.
   104. bibigon Posted: October 31, 2007 at 12:23 PM (#2601160)
A win in 2008 is worth pretty much the same as a win in 2011 for the Red Sox. I think it's very unlikely that the Sox won't project to be contenders in 2011.


Signing Lowell and expecting bad years out of him in 2010-2011 doesn't mean punting on those years - it just means we go in a different direction at 3B in those years. Lowell's salary isn't so big as to preclude that.

The "goal" of a 4 year $52M deal for instance isn't to get $13M in value out of the player every year - it's to get $52M in value out of them total. I think we get massive value out of Lowell for 2008, sufficient as to balance out the relatively small value he's liable to provide towards the end.
   105. bibigon Posted: October 31, 2007 at 12:31 PM (#2601164)
The implication here seems to be that you're better at projecting performance than ZIPS, which isn't true.


I'm sorry - is it that I personally am not better at projecting performance (in certain cases) than ZiPS, or that nobody is? I'm pretty skeptical of either of those propositions, but I'd like to know which one I'm dealing with here...
   106. villageidiom Posted: October 31, 2007 at 12:43 PM (#2601180)
Signing Lowell and expecting bad years out of him in 2010-2011 doesn't mean punting on those years - it just means we go in a different direction at 3B in those years. Lowell's salary isn't so big as to preclude that.

If you're talking about him riding the bench, yeah, they could get away with that... but still that's $ they could better spend on something/someone else. If you're talking about unloading him... Again, at the end of the 2010 season Lowell is a 10-and-5 player. If he's bad in 2010, you need to get rid of him before the end of the season. And if he's bad in 2010, you won't find many takers and would still likely have to eat a significant portion of his salary. Either way, it's not a good idea to throw caution to the wind on his contract.

Besides, we might be trying to get out the Lugo and Drew contracts at the same time. ;-)
   107. plim Posted: October 31, 2007 at 01:01 PM (#2601194)
is there any talk about adam dunn? what about signing him at 1st and moving youk to 3rd?

i think youk gives us tremendous flexibility in dealing with lowell. instead of just looking for a 3b, you can look for either a 1b or 3b to replace lowell...
   108. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 31, 2007 at 01:11 PM (#2601200)
is there any talk about adam dunn? what about signing him at 1st and moving youk to 3rd?
You'd have to trade for Dunn, he's not a free agent. Reds' fans here swear up-and-down that Dunn isn't going anywhere, but I really have no idea if he's on the market. (And if he is, what it would take to get him.)
   109. Valentine Posted: October 31, 2007 at 03:59 PM (#2601429)
Lowell's BABIP in 2007 looks like a bit of a fluke -- I'm guessing he's more of a "true" .280-.290 hitter these days (ever since cutting back on his strikeouts in 2004). So his 2006 production (+6.3 WARP) isn't a bad baseline to use. Knock that back by 15% each year and by 2010 he might look like Casey Blake. After that, we would actively be trying to get rid of him.

I'd offer $39M/3yr with a $13M team option and $3M buyout. That's roughly fair value, accounting for inflation, and doesn't commit the Red Sox to years they are unlikely to want Lowell in the lineup.

As far as alternatives, Chris Carter seems to be a decent bat. You take a defensive hit by putting Youkilis at 3B and Carter at 1B, but at least he is free... Corey Koskie is also worth a look-see. Before his concussion, he was an excellent defender and platoon bat. Finally, Jed Lowrie could move over if the organization decides he lacks the range for shortstop.
   110. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: October 31, 2007 at 04:04 PM (#2601433)
There isn't much Brandon Moss love going down. It makes me sad.
   111. Jon T. Posted: October 31, 2007 at 04:32 PM (#2601484)
Wok-

I like Moss as a 4th outfielder, and between Drew and Manny he is likely to get a bunch of AB's.
I would also bring Kielty back as a lefty masher for Drew.

Moss and Lowrie give us great depth, but I don't think they are ready to start on a championship calibre team.

As for Lowell, I would probably go up to $45/3 years.

I would not re-sign Schilling, go with Beckett, Dice-K, Wake, Buchholz and Lester in the rotation.
   112. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:01 PM (#2601506)
I would not re-sign Schilling, go with Beckett, Dice-K, Wake, Buchholz and Lester in the rotation.


I think I would try to re-sign Schilling to keep the Lester and Buchholz's innings down. Both pitched around 150 or so innings last season, and according to what I remember of contemporary young pitcher break-in theory, you don't want to increase their innings by more than 20% a year. I think you'd want to start the season with Buchholz as a spot starter-longman, not because he's not good enough to be in the rotation, but because you need to limit his innings so he doesn't get dead arm at the end of the season again.
   113. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:27 PM (#2601546)
I would also bring Kielty back as a lefty masher for Drew.

Bobby Kielty has like a career 126 *OPS+ against lefties or something. His defense in the corner positions looks pretty decent, and he can fill in at CF in emergencies. I'd definitely bring him back.

I like Moss as a 4th outfielder, and between Drew and Manny he is likely to get a bunch of AB's.

Brandon Moss hopefully could get a few AB's backing up Drew, Manny, and also the 1B position. He should also be doing a lot of the late-inning defensive sub/pinch running for Manny.

I'm a Moss fanboy: he should have a MLB job next season, and he should be busy. A bench with Moss and Kielty is very good, and it should be frequently used.
   114. Jon T. Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:27 PM (#2601548)
A 20% increase would put both around 180 innings, which would be great from your 4th and 5th starters.

My understanding is that a big reason Buchholz broke down is because he wasn't very stringent about his conditioning program, and this off-season he has promised to re-dedicate himself to it.
   115. Jon T. Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:30 PM (#2601552)
Wok-

it sounds like we agree about Moss and Kielty
   116. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:31 PM (#2601555)
Why are some people mentioning Chris Carter? Sure, he hit well in Tucson, but who doesn't?
   117. Valentine Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:38 PM (#2601564)
Chris Carter has hit well everywhere (except for his last 47 AB in Pawtucket). Career minor-league stats of .310/.390/.519, and he hasn't ever been particularly old for his league. His PECOTA for 2006 came to a .270 EQA, and I doubt that will change much this year. If he could field his position (ANY position) he'd be a solid role player.
   118. Valentine Posted: October 31, 2007 at 06:18 PM (#2601643)
Thought this profile of Lowell might be topical:
Player Profile for Mike Lowell
   119. Porpoise Delectable Posted: November 01, 2007 at 12:01 AM (#2601977)
Temple brings up Lowrie, who, well, I dunno. His straight stat projection is surely terrible, since his 2006 translates to, basically, me. So if the Sox like him a lot, a lot, then maybe he gets a shot. But he's been pretty terrible in the AFL, and he's never played 3B before. I don't see much reason to think he's ready, or that he's ready at a new position.


I'm gonna have to call Shenanigans on this one. With the exception of '06 (when he was battling through an injury for much of the season), Lowrie has hit every place he's played. Secondly, it's a mistake to take any hitting stats from the AFL seriously (hello Eric Duncan!). I'll grant you we have no way of knowing what kind of 3B he'll be, but I suspect that's really why he's in the AFL right now. Heck, he'd have made more sense on the Sox postseason roster than Royce Clayton.

Yours in sport.
   120. Darren Posted: November 01, 2007 at 01:00 AM (#2602013)
I think you guys are catching statboy-itis. All these plans to get freely available talent [tm] instead of the better player who costs more. Yes, Chris Carter would be very cheap, but he was traded for Wily Mo because he's not a very good hitter and he has no position. Putting him at first is going to cost, what, 10-15 runs on defense? And how much is putting Youk at 3rd going to cost? Another 5-15? Then there's the fact that he's not as good of a hitter as Lowell is.

I'm all for a situation where the Red Sox can land a Miguel Cabrera or an Adam Dunn or another elite talent to replace Lowell. If the Sox do this without somehow giving up a ton, then it's a fine choice to make. But it seems pretty likely those guys are going to cost a ton.

And I think a lot of you are ignoring the effect signing Lowell has on our main divisional rival. His value is sort of (not really) doubled because he's not only contributing to the Sox but the Sox are taking away one of the few viable options for the Yanks at 3B.
   121. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 01, 2007 at 01:25 AM (#2602030)
I'll grant you we have no way of knowing what kind of 3B he'll be, but I suspect that's really why he's in the AFL right now.
Lowrie has not played a single inning at 3B in the AFL, splitting his time about equally between 2B and SS.
   122. esturminator_CT Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:00 AM (#2602051)
I love what Mike Lowell brought to the team this year, both on the field and off. And, as a fanboy, I'd be happy to see the Red Sox try to go back to back with much the same group they had this season. There is also the plus of keeping him away from the Yankees and making them have to spend huge money on A-Rod or go with some lesser option.

But I'm not positive that bringing Lowell back for 4 years at >$13M/year is the best option financially. I'd like the Red Sox to offer arbitration and, if Mike and his agent bite on that, try to sign him for 2 years or two plus options before going to the arbitrator. If they opt to test out the FA market (which they'd be wise to do this year with the low number of top prospects, Lowell's great 2007 as a metric, and the Yankees on the market) then we get compensatory picks.

Meanwhile I love the idea of Dan Johnson which Dan first raised here. I'd been thinking of the same guy. Oakland has Swisher and Barton as other 1B options - and Barton looks like a pretty good prospect, plus Cust at DH. Johnson has good BB/K ratios and can hit. His plate discipline is very good. His late 2006 and early 2007 numbers suffered a little from eye problems and then torn cartiledge in his hip. If he could be had for a reasonable price from the A's and Youkilis moved to 3B I think the overall loss can be minimized. The key would then be adding a solid RH bat to come off the bench and some bullpen help. I don't share the dislike of Scott Linebrink mentioned above. I think Linebrink is a solid reliable bullpen guy if his price tag is not too high. I'm also hoping Donnelly can come back healthy.

I always value pitching before hitting. If Schilling can be had for a one year contract at a lower annual price than Lowell will command, I use the money to bring him back to finish his career with the Red Sox. Both guys are valuable in the clubhouse as well as on the field. Schilling takes the press focus away from other guys and Lowell is apparently a great unifying influence. As a fan I really appreciate the contributions of both men.
   123. Darren Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:19 AM (#2602076)
I'd like the Red Sox to offer arbitration and, if Mike and his agent bite on that, try to sign him for 2 years or two plus options before going to the arbitrator.


Your whole post goes out the window here. There's no "if"--they're not biting on arbitration. He is going to get 3+ years from the Yankees and maybe other suitors as well.

What do people think we are giving up for Dan Johnson, who by the way has a career line of .249 .344 .420.

And Schilling/Lowell doesn't have to be either/or. They could certainly easily afford both.
   124. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: November 01, 2007 at 05:21 AM (#2602182)
Jeff Kent slugs .500, and there's the comedy factor!

Seriously, please Mike, sign a 3 year deal. Do you really want to go to NY? They'll just compare you A-Rod!
   125. Phil Coorey. Posted: November 01, 2007 at 09:55 AM (#2602241)
Thought this profile of Lowell might be topical:
Player Profile for Mike Lowell


Hey? Where have I read that before??

Good to see you posting here, Valentine.
   126. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: November 01, 2007 at 09:55 AM (#2602242)
What do people think we are giving up for Dan Johnson, who by the way has a career line of .249 .344 .420.

I'd have to look at the system more closely before talking about "what we're giving up" for Johnson, whose line is also complicated by a season lost to vision problems. He's been oustanding in the minors, costs nothing fiscally, and is less likely to be starting every day in 2009 if he is sub-par on both offense and defense -- as is likely for a slow player due for a regression in BABiP, like Lowell.

To me, the real argument for persuing avenues other than Lowell is not having to employ him from 2009 onward. He doesn't strike me as a particularly good bet to be very good, let alone as good as what he'll be paid, very long into the future.
   127. esturminator_CT Posted: November 01, 2007 at 12:43 PM (#2602282)
Your whole post goes out the window here. There's no "if"--they're not biting on arbitration. He is going to get 3+ years from the Yankees and maybe other suitors as well.


Yeah Darren, you're certainly right. I guess it's apparently I'm a fan and not an agent. But I'm really torn. I'd love to have both Schilling and Lowell back for 2008 and Lowell again for 2009, but I'd be hesitent to go beyond that. Certainly they know there is a market out there and that the Yankees won't mind spending $15M/year for 4 years to sign Mike as A-Rod's replacement and at the same time take him away from the Red Sox.

I just think the Red Sox need to be fiscally responsible and their decisions on Pedro and Damon (tough as they were for fans to accept at the time) proved to be wise in the long run. Are either Lowell or Schilling as valuable to the team as Tek in order to warrant the risk for the extra years?
   128. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 01, 2007 at 01:08 PM (#2602300)
I just think the Red Sox need to be fiscally responsible and their decisions on Pedro and Damon (tough as they were for fans to accept at the time) proved to be wise in the long run.
The decisions on Pedro proved to be pretty much a wash. David Wells and Matt Clement landed them a couple pretty good seasons in 2005, while Pedro had a very good season. Then they turned to suck, and Pedro got hurt.

My point here is not to rehash the Pedro saga - on which I was obviously wrong in my projections - but to point out that "responsibility" is only as good as the new guy you spend the money on. In the case of Lowell, I have seen no (non-pony) plans for spending the money. Dan Johnson's MLE seems to be the only serious replacement option put forward, and that still leaves no suggestion of where Lowell's money would go. I guess it could further line John Henry's pockets, if that's what you go into. Myself, I like to see the team get better rather than the owners get richer.
   129. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: November 01, 2007 at 01:43 PM (#2602339)
The decisions on Pedro proved to be pretty much a wash. David Wells and Matt Clement landed them a couple pretty good seasons in 2005, while Pedro had a very good season. Then they turned to suck, and Pedro got hurt.


I absolutely cannot believe I bought the Bull!@#$ back in 2005 when I thought the combination of Wells and Clement coudl have replaced Pedro and Lowe. I was 19, but still, F!@#.

How was I supposed to know we managed to replace Derek Lowe with the krappier makeup version of derek Lowe?
   130. covelli chris p Posted: November 01, 2007 at 01:48 PM (#2602346)
The decisions on Pedro proved to be pretty much a wash. David Wells and Matt Clement landed them a couple pretty good seasons in 2005, while Pedro had a very good season. Then they turned to suck, and Pedro got hurt.

you are forgetting clay buchholz.
   131. villageidiom Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:17 PM (#2602409)
Well, to your point MCA, where else will they spend the money, given that nothing much is available on the FA market? Two problems with that line of reasoning...

(1) They're not limited to the FA market. They could replace Lowell via trade, if the terms are good. And there's a better chance that terms will be good on a trade than on the FA market.

(2) They're not limited to the 2007-08 FA market. If we're talking about Lowell, we're not talking about a one-year deal; likely we're talking about 3 years minimum, and even 3 years might not be very likely. Locking up Lowell (and the associated $) for many years eliminates from consideration the other 3B FA's in 2007, but also 2008, 2009, 2010... I'm not sure this year's crop of FAs is representative of their future options. Yes, they could trade their way out of a long-term Lowell deal, but then the cost for a replacement grows to the acquisition cost PLUS the portion of Lowell's salary they'd have to eat.

Another problem is that money likely won't be the sticking point; rather, it'll be the number of years. If he wants 5 years, he might find a team willing to give it to him; but it likely won't be Boston. If they don't sign Lowell, I don't think it will be because John Henry wants a house made of solid gold.
   132. Valentine Posted: November 01, 2007 at 02:25 PM (#2602426)
Then they turned to suck, and Pedro got hurt.

More to the point, Wells was a two-year deal ($8M, +6.5 WARP). Clement was a three-year deal ($25.5M, +5.4 WARP). Pedro was a four-year deal ($53M, +11.0 WARP). Unless you think the Mets will get $20M of production out of Pedro next year, the Red Sox came out ahead on this one. None of the three were GOOD deals, but the Pedro signing would have made it harder to contend in 2007.

And yes, we got Buchholz and Egan with the compensation picks for Pedro. Gave up our second and third round picks to sign Wells and Clement, then got Kottaras when Wells left town. At least one of the three panned out nicely. :-)

I think the moral of this story is that it is hard to get burnt too badly on a short deal, but beware of tacking on those extra years. Lowell at two years is a "must sign". Lowell at three years is reasonable. Lowell at four years guaranteed will likely hurt the team more than he helps. If you patch the position for a year or two (say Carter/Youkilis -- as Darren says, a BAD defensive set), then you have both a position and payroll to welcome a GOOD third baseman with open arms. If you sign Lowell for a couple years too many, then you may end up with a mediocre player you can't replace (and limited room on the payroll to replace him anyways).

I'm still hopeful that Lowell will accept a three-year guarantee if the money is right.
   133. covelli chris p Posted: November 01, 2007 at 04:12 PM (#2602618)
At least one of the three panned out nicely. :-)

i wouldn't give up on egan so soon.
   134. Toby Posted: November 01, 2007 at 04:13 PM (#2602619)
Mike Lowell, God love him, will leave and no one will be ceremonially burning his Mike Lowell uniform shirt.
   135. esturminator_CT Posted: November 01, 2007 at 04:36 PM (#2602661)
Since Dmitri Young has settled in so nicely with the Nationals, is there any thought that Nick Johnson might be a somewhat available replacement for Lowell (with Youk moving back to 3B)? If so any interest out there amongst therapudians?
   136. The Essex Snead Posted: November 01, 2007 at 08:56 PM (#2602731)
Since Dmitri Young has settled in so nicely with the Nationals, is there any thought that Nick Johnson might be a somewhat available replacement for Lowell (with Youk moving back to 3B)? If so any interest out there amongst therapudians?

If he comes with his own medical supplies, sure!
   137. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 01, 2007 at 09:05 PM (#2602746)
More to the point, Wells was a two-year deal ($8M, +6.5 WARP). Clement was a three-year deal ($25.5M, +5.4 WARP). Pedro was a four-year deal ($53M, +11.0 WARP). Unless you think the Mets will get $20M of production out of Pedro next year, the Red Sox came out ahead on this one. None of the three were GOOD deals, but the Pedro signing would have made it harder to contend in 2007.
Wells got quite a bit more than $8M - he hit all his incentives in 2005, so it was $13M for those 6.5 WARP. $15M in production is ~5 WARP in 2008, so I think it's very likely that Pedro wins out over the course of the contract.

This, again, isn't to argue that the Red Sox should have signed Pedro. I really am not trying to have that argument. But I don't think you're understanding the moral of your story either:
I think the moral of this story is that it is hard to get burnt too badly on a short deal, but beware of tacking on those extra years.
Clement and Wells were just as useless in the second and third years of their deals as Pedro. This doesn't follow from your argument at all.

Look, it's completely impossible to build an efficient $130-150M roster. Efficiency is impossible given the massive restrictions on the movement of free agents. The way to build a team on $130-150M is to start from an efficient core of superstars on big contracts (Papi, Beckett kinda guys) and young players on cost-controlled contracts (there's a lot now), and then fill in the gaps by using your really big wallet. This last step is a necessary inefficiency, and it's the way you manage variance and add an extra win or two to the core.
Locking up Lowell (and the associated $) for many years eliminates from consideration the other 3B FA's in 2007, but also 2008, 2009, 2010... I'm not sure this year's crop of FAs is representative of their future options.
3B Free Agents after 2008: Joe Crede CWS, Morgan Ensberg SD, Troy Glaus TOR, Corey Koskie MIL, Greg Norton TB. Count me profoundly underwhelmed. I'm still not seeing an actual plan for spending the money.

EDIT: eh, I felt I was being mean
   138. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 01, 2007 at 09:16 PM (#2602769)
s there any thought that Nick Johnson might be a somewhat available replacement for Lowell (with Youk moving back to 3B)?

At the time I hoped the Yanks would keep Nick Johnson, but he does seem to be injury prone and a slow healer. Not a good combination. 80-year old Joe Paterno healed quicker than Nick.
   139. Darren Posted: November 01, 2007 at 10:42 PM (#2602846)
The decisions on Pedro proved to be pretty much a wash. David Wells and Matt Clement landed them a couple pretty good seasons in 2005, while Pedro had a very good season. Then they turned to suck, and Pedro got hurt.

My point here is not to rehash the Pedro saga - on which I was obviously wrong in my projections


Oh you were wrong alright! Big-time wrong! Wrong City, USA! :)

You can't go making this argument and then say "I don't want to have this argument" (twice). You're having it! First, the Pedro decision, in and of itself, was a pretty good one. They let go of a guy who had serious health concerns and that guy ended up getting hurt for a full season. Whatever way you look at it (before, after, etc), it looks good.

The problem is that the people that they chose to replace Pedro didn't turn out very well. This, and not the Pedro choice, is where you have to ding them for the mistake. They could have let Pedro go and signed some of the good pitchers on the market (Byrd, Millwood, etc) but they didn't do that.

How does all this relate to Lowell? I think it's an unfair comparison because there's no free agents like Millwood and Byrd out there.
   140. JB H Posted: November 01, 2007 at 10:47 PM (#2602848)
The reason people aren't giving examples of where to spend the Lowell savings is because we have no idea what talent costs and what's available.

I don't think Mikael and bibigon are saying that efficiency doesn't matter, they're saying that signing Lowell is efficient enough.

If Lowell was a two run upgrade over Chris Carter (for the record I think Carter is pretty much worthless at this point but maybe he's Brian Daubach in a couple years) nobody would be saying "screw efficiency, let's field the best team and sign Mikey!@!@"

So there is some threshold where signing Lowell is just too inefficient.
   141. JB H Posted: November 01, 2007 at 10:50 PM (#2602850)
If you guys need an alternative to signing Lowell, how about: trade Bowden or Masterson for Johnson, get the Lowell draft picks, sign Hiroki Kuroda for 3/$40 and buy a couple extra signability picks next summer.

If Theo can say sure and have all those dominoes fall immediately in place, you guys would definitely rather have that, right?
   142. Dan Posted: November 01, 2007 at 11:02 PM (#2602859)
I'd rather trade Crisp for Johnson. Doesn't Oakland need a good defensive CF?
   143. Darren Posted: November 01, 2007 at 11:24 PM (#2602870)
If you guys need an alternative to signing Lowell, how about: trade Bowden or Masterson for Johnson, get the Lowell draft picks, sign Hiroki Kuroda for 3/$40 and buy a couple extra signability picks next summer.


Bowden and Masterson are guaranteed #1 starters though! Seriously, Johnson may be a diamond in the rough but he's not worth a B+/A- prospect.
   144. Dan Posted: November 01, 2007 at 11:27 PM (#2602871)
I think the Red Sox should look into trading say Crisp for Dan Johnson for the Hinske role even if they do sign Lowell or ARod for third.
   145. bibigon Posted: November 02, 2007 at 12:39 AM (#2602932)
Bowden and Masterson are guaranteed #1 starters though! Seriously, Johnson may be a diamond in the rough but he's not worth a B+/A- prospect.


I like Bowden and Masterson (especially Masterson), but I don't think either is a B+ prospect even. But that might just be a matter of using different scales, rather than a substantive difference in prospect evaluation. (I have Buchholz as an A-, and Ellsbury as a B+ for instance.)
   146. Darren Posted: November 02, 2007 at 12:56 AM (#2602953)
Not sure what scale you're using but Sickels had Bowden as a B+ before 2007. I can't imagine it dropped. Not sure about where Masterson would be. Maybe B+ is too high given his health/poor end of the season.
   147. villageidiom Posted: November 02, 2007 at 03:06 AM (#2603071)
The way to build a team on $130-150M is to start from an efficient core of superstars on big contracts (Papi, Beckett kinda guys) and young players on cost-controlled contracts (there's a lot now), and then fill in the gaps by using your really big wallet. This last step is a necessary inefficiency, and it's the way you manage variance and add an extra win or two to the core.
I don't question that. I'm questioning whether they need to sign this one guy at whatever he demands, or find another alternative for something more sensible. And my sticking point isn't money, it's time.

I recognize that, in a sense, it still is about money; I'm essentially saying they shouldn't pay him four years' salary if they get 1-2 years of suck at the end. But it's about the roster as well. If he stinks or is hurt in year 3, they can't get rid of him for year 4. They'd have to find a replacement (which they'd have to do anyway if they sign him for fewer years), plus take up a roster spot with what's left of Lowell.

In any given year they're going to have dead weight on the roster (see Lugo, Julio and Gagne, Eric. But a good deal of that is unexpected dead weight, like Lugo being so much worse than his career numbers. It would be wise for the team to plan to have some unknown portion of the roster merely taking up space.

But the roster can afford only so much dead weight. If they're going to have unexpected dead weight in any given year, they should plan for it by trying to avoid situations when they should expect to have dead weight. I think it's reasonable to expect Lowell will be dead weight in 2010. Of his ten age-33 comps at B-R, five have careers that didn't (or won't) make it to age 37. That puts the median projection for Lowell in 2010 to be somewhere below replacement level.

If Lowell can't be had for just 3 guaranteed years, I think they should shift Youkilis to 3rd and find someone else to take 1B for the short term. (1Bmen with one year left on their contracts include Delgado, Thome, Sexson, (cough)Nomar, and Aurilia.)
   148. bibigon Posted: November 02, 2007 at 03:19 AM (#2603081)
Not sure what scale you're using but Sickels had Bowden as a B+ before 2007. I can't imagine it dropped. Not sure about where Masterson would be. Maybe B+ is too high given his health/poor end of the season.


You don't think Bowden's grade dropped? Bowden ran into some actual difficulty for the first time in his minor league career - the drop in K rate is troublesome to me. K rate isn't everything, but especially at the minors, it's pretty damn important. He went from a prospect with no blemishes, to some blemishes. I bet Sickels docks him accordingly. Still a good prospect of course.
   149. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: November 02, 2007 at 03:45 AM (#2603091)
Hiroki Kuroda does not do it for me. I don't think he'll be better than avg. at the MLB level. That's just me though.

I like Justin Masterson (kind of irrationally, a la Brandon Moss). I think he can be that power-sinker multi-inning bullpen workhorse for years to come. Young Mike Timlin!

Btw, if we offer Lowell a 3 year deal, what teams would give him a 4 year deal? Don't they know like we do that he'll look bad in 4 years?
   150. Dan Posted: November 02, 2007 at 07:27 AM (#2603157)
I wouldn't be surprised to see the Angels and Yankees and possibly Dodgers offer Lowell 4 or 5 years, among others. Those are just off the top of my head. The Giants lost Feliz, Lowell is in prime Sabean age, so maybe add them to the list. Basically any and every team we've heard discussed in the ARod sweepstakes (other than someone like the Mets or Cubs who were looking at ARod outside of a third baseman) could realistically offer Lowell 4 or even 5 years. This will likely be Lowell's last big payday, and I would be absolutely shocked if 3 years got him signed. And I don't really want to see the immobile 2011 version of Mike Lowell standing at third base, OPSing .700, and pulling down 14-15 million dollars from the Red Sox.
   151. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: November 02, 2007 at 08:05 AM (#2603162)
And I don't really want to see the immobile 2011 version of Mike Lowell standing at third base, OPSing .700, and pulling down 14-15 million dollars

Here's the thing: why would any OTHER team want this? it doesn't make any sense
   152. Valentine Posted: November 02, 2007 at 01:50 PM (#2603288)

Btw, if we offer Lowell a 3 year deal, what teams would give him a 4 year deal? Don't they know like we do that he'll look bad in 4 years?


You tell me... Why did the Mets offer Pedro four guaranteed when anything beyond two was a stretch? Why did the Yankees go so far with Damon? How on earth did Soriano merit **eight** years? Don't the Cubs know that he'll be mediocre after five? And Zito? He'd be a risk on a three year deal, let alone **seven**. It doesn't make sense.

All it takes is for a single team to be blinded by the moment. Lowell had a great season, and I don't imagine that the other 29 teams will all suddenly come to their senses when they've been handing out so many foolish contracts for so long.

Besides, refer back to the beginning of this thread. Darren believes that "Lowell’s really blossomed as a hitter with the Red Sox." If a thinking fan can reach that conclusion, blithely ignoring the .337 BABIP (when his BB rate, K rate, and power stats are all steady), then I'm sure there's a few GMs out there who will feel likewise. For that matter, Darren might be calling it correctly. Lowell's worth a lot more if the 40 point jump in his batting average is for real.
   153. nicksmith Posted: November 02, 2007 at 07:18 PM (#2603793)
I see the Sox as having basically three options to fill the 3b/1b hole, barring something really unlikely (trading the farm again to Florida for Cabrera, signing AROD, or trading for Dunn, who has a no trade til 6/15/08 as a result of having his option picked up).

1. Bite the bullet, accept some inefficiency, and sign Lowell.

2. Aquire a pre-arb, ready-now, good-upside corner infielder. Naturally, there aren't a lot of these guys floating around and the cost would be high, so it makes sense to target someone who is blocked or whose organization is unreasonably down on him. Laroche is definitely someone to target -- LA's got Nomar tied up for another year at $8.5M, Loney's established himself at first, Colletti's got a veteran fetish, and there've been connected to AROD and Lowell. I just don't see him opening next year in the their organization. Another guy who I haven't seen mentioned is Brandon Wood. I think this is more than just wishful thinking; Izturis and Figgins are both ahead of him on the depth chart and the Angels have never been fond of TTO guys -- they never could figure out how to use Dallas McPhearson, even before the injuries. They're also rumored to be in on AROD and Lowell.

3. Repeat the 2003 spaghetti-on-the-wall experiment. They've already got a couple guys on hand in Moss and Carter who ensure first base will at least be above replacement level. What they'd need to do next is aquire as much risk as possible. A guy with, say, a 75% chance of being league average, but with a 1% chance of playing like a star (let's call him Dan Johnson) isn't nearly as valuable to the Sox a guy with a 50% chance of providing no value, but a 25% chance of being a championship level player (let's call him Nick Johsnon). They key with aquiring risk like this is that you have multiple options. When Jeremy Giambi and Shea Hillenbrand aren't the answer, you've still got Bill Mueller and David Ortiz. I really don't get the love for Dan Johnson. He's a 249/344/420 hitter in more than 1200 MLB PAs and his 907 minor league OPS isn't that impressive for a guy who's always been old for his level. Nick Johnson, when healthy, is one of the best first basemen in the game and a team with the resourses to fix mistakes like the Red Sox should take the long shot at the big prize every time. Unfortunately, NJ's the only guy I can think of who fits into this category this year. Carlos Pena and Casey Kotchman were in it last year. A failed prospect like Joel Guzman or Choi might be worth a flyer, but only as a 2nd or 3rd option.

I predict the Sox will keep negotiations ongoing with Lowell, try like hell to make number 2 happen, and go with number three if the price gets too high on Lowell.
   154. JB H Posted: November 02, 2007 at 09:26 PM (#2603982)
Wakfield and Tavarez got their options picked up

re: Bowden/Masterson - its not like that trade is actually been offered. If that is wildly overpaying then it probably wouldn't take one of them to get the deal done. Although at the end of the day, the two Lowell compensation picks are worth more than either one of them
   155. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 02, 2007 at 09:41 PM (#2604006)
Laroche is definitely someone to target -- LA's got Nomar tied up for another year at $8.5M, Loney's established himself at first, Colletti's got a veteran fetish, and there've been connected to AROD and Lowell.[emphasis added]

No interest in bringing back the former icon?
   156. villageidiom Posted: November 02, 2007 at 10:12 PM (#2604035)
try like hell to make number 2 happen
   157. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: November 03, 2007 at 02:24 AM (#2604164)
Wakfield and Tavarez got their options picked up


YAY to the former. meh to the latter.
   158. Dan Posted: November 03, 2007 at 02:57 AM (#2604188)
According to the article linked in this Newsblog post, Lowell is looking for 4/56. So yeah, I'd say let him walk and take the 2 draft picks.
   159. Squash Posted: November 03, 2007 at 03:55 AM (#2604222)
I think whoever signs Lowell is going to be in for a nasty surprise. He's old, his offensive value was bumped big-time by a giant BA spike last year, he's at the age where his defense is about to go through the floor, and a few years ago he was carrion. He's been "indispensible" in Boston for what, two months, if that? Maybe one month. Maybe two weeks. The hangover would be brief. If he hadn't won the Series MVP would anyone be throwing around anything more than 8-10 million per? Sox fans should be happy - they got a career year out of a player they picked up as a throw-in and it helped drive them to a championship. Re-signing him now for anywhere near some of the numbers I'm seeing in this thread would be insane, and I mean that literally. But I hope you do!

Edit: To clarify, that he's likely to be worth 8-10M per. Not what he's actually going to receive, which I'm sure is going to be way more than he "should".
   160. Phil Coorey. Posted: November 03, 2007 at 03:56 AM (#2604223)
According to the article linked in this Newsblog post, Lowell is looking for 4/56. So yeah, I'd say let him walk and take the 2 draft picks.

Beckett in his prime,2 great years pf Lowell and a couple of picks makes me happy for the trade that I hated a year ago. Gotta love baseball
   161. bibigon Posted: November 03, 2007 at 04:06 AM (#2604228)
Who predicted that Lowell would almost certainly be making more in 2008 than Josh Beckett would?

If he hadn't won the Series MVP would anyone be throwing around anything more than 8-10 million per?


I don't think the World Series MVP has much, if anything at all to do with what he's going to get.
   162. PJ Martinez Posted: November 03, 2007 at 04:25 AM (#2604243)
Okay this has nothing to do with Mike Lowell, but Manny Ramirez is on the Tonight Show. This is the most unlikely event of the young offseason for me.
   163. Squash Posted: November 03, 2007 at 04:26 AM (#2604245)
I don't think the World Series MVP has much, if anything at all to do with what he's going to get.

I would disagree, particularly when it comes to the offers being thrown around in this thread. Not that those are real actual contract offers coming from the Red Sox front office desperate to keep the 2007 WS champions together, but ...
   164. nicksmith Posted: November 03, 2007 at 04:30 AM (#2604250)
These two moves mean that Schilling won't be back and the rotation next year will be Beckett/Matsuzaka/Wakefield/Lester/Buchholz. The Sox aren't re-upping Wake to be an extra starter -- he ####### and moaned the couple of years they tried to used him as a swing man. He'll be in the rotation. And Tavarez isn't being signed for his bullpen prowess. They want him as a backup starter and one year at $3.85M isn't a bad insurance policy, especially with 40% of your rotation on restricted innings.

Unless the Sox use one of Lester or Buchholz in a blockbuster, Schilling's pitched his last game in a Boston uniform.
   165. Darren Posted: November 03, 2007 at 12:19 PM (#2604330)
Just because I think he's blossomed doesn't mean I think he'll hit .320 every year. He might hover around 290-300 though.
   166. Darren Posted: November 03, 2007 at 12:34 PM (#2604333)
You don't think Bowden's grade dropped? Bowden ran into some actual difficulty for the first time in his minor league career - the drop in K rate is troublesome to me. K rate isn't everything, but especially at the minors, it's pretty damn important. He went from a prospect with no blemishes, to some blemishes. I bet Sickels docks him accordingly. Still a good prospect of course.


Bowden pitched really well at high-A and was ~the youngest guy in AA. I agree that K rate is important but I think that had a lot to do with level. I doubt he'll drop.
   167. Dave Cyprian Posted: November 03, 2007 at 02:59 PM (#2604374)
Nicksmith, i agree they picked up tavarez as a back up, but they picked up Wakefield because he is an unbelievable steal at $4 million, with an excellent shot to give you 150+ league-average innings. It doesn't matter what wakefield thought about being a swingman three years agon (he can always retire), the Sox would have been foolish not to pick it up. Schilling is still in the fold.
   168. Darren Posted: November 03, 2007 at 03:04 PM (#2604377)
I too think Schilling comes back. If he's available on a 1 year, $13 mil deal, they're crazy not to get him.
   169. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 03, 2007 at 03:16 PM (#2604385)
Aquire a pre-arb, ready-now, good-upside corner infielder.
For what? This presumption that the Dodgers don't realize how valuable Andy LaRoche is seems badly misplaced. He might not start for them next year, but that doesn't mean they're jumping all over themselves to give him away for a C prospect. Obviously, if such a player is available cheap, that's great, but it'd also be great... to have a pony!
Repeat the 2003 spaghetti-on-the-wall experiment. They've already got a couple guys on hand in Moss and Carter who ensure first base will at least be above replacement level.
"At least above replacement level" is a little short of what I'm looking for. In 2003, all of Shea Hillenbrand, David Ortiz, Jeremy Giambi, Kevin Millar, and Bill Mueller had established themselves as average players at their positions - Millar well above average. I would love to repeat 2003, I have absolutely no problem with it. It's just that you're proposing repeating 2003 with Julio Zuleta and Andy Abad. That's a massive, massive downgrade. Dan Johnson is ok, but he's the only one. That means going in with Johnson and Youkilis, a significant defensive downgrade and a significant increase in risk, without any backup other than hope. Hope is not a backup first baseman.

Dan Johnson's projection, I should note, is driven greatly by big years as a AAA repeater at Sacramento in 2005 and 2006. MLEs, are, as Tango has said, not actually statistically viable. I like them, and I particularly like them for players on normal development paths - 23-year-olds taking their first shot at AAA - for whom issues of selective sampling are low. 25- and 26-year-old AAA repeaters, those numbers I have trouble taking as equivalent. Beyond that, you've got a 764 OPS heavily weighted by a pretty good year three years ago. If Johnson is one of the pieces of spaghetti you fling at the wall, preferably more at the Hillenbrand end of the spaghetti spectrum, that's cool. If he's the only major league hitter in the bunch, that's really problematic for me.

So, again, if Lowell wants 4/56, I bet 4/50 would do it, and that'd be great.
   170. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 03, 2007 at 03:17 PM (#2604388)
I agree with Dave and Darren on Schilling. I'm honestly confused as to the delay. (The SoSHy fanboy in me says they're waiting on Lincecum! Woo!)
   171. Darren Posted: November 03, 2007 at 03:18 PM (#2604390)
We've got bigger problems, MC. Granadillo is a minor league FA!
   172. bibigon Posted: November 03, 2007 at 03:28 PM (#2604394)
I would disagree, particularly when it comes to the offers being thrown around in this thread. Not that those are real actual contract offers coming from the Red Sox front office desperate to keep the 2007 WS champions together, but ...


These numbers are a response to:

1. A perceived belief, rightly or wrongly, that the dropoff from Lowell to the 2nd best option is just massive.

2. The amount of money floating around baseball these days.

3. That the Yankees will be involved.

They are not, at least on my part, based on any sort of belief that Lowell has "figured it out."
   173. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: November 03, 2007 at 03:48 PM (#2604404)
I bet 4/50

I'd rather hand him 45/3. I don't want to get tied down for that 4th year, and I'm sure his agnet will think he can get 5 mil in that 4th year from soembody else.
   174. Darren Posted: November 03, 2007 at 03:53 PM (#2604411)
Wok,

After you sign him to 3/45, a 4/50 contract would mean getting a 4th year for 5 mil. When you factor in interest, it'd be even cheaper. (Which is sort of what you say there.) Why not give him the extra year, then if you get to year 4, you owe him 1/12. You can eat up to 7 mil and still be as well off as your were after 3/45.

Also, according to http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/7401470 , the Yanks are rumored to be planning to offer 5/70 to Lowell. That's too rich, right?
   175. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 03, 2007 at 03:59 PM (#2604414)
Also, according to http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/7401470 , the Yanks are rumored to be planning to offer 5/70 to Lowell. That's too rich, right?
5/70 for Lowell, but they won't pay ARod? The Yankees confuse me.

That creates a really tough situation. 5/70 is pushing my efficiency limits, but I still don't see non-pony options out there. I'd probably be inclined to match the offer, but I could understand if the Red Sox chose not to, and I would put some faith in Theo's ability to uncover cheap talent notably better than that uncovered in this thread. (On the other hand, we all pretty much identified Giambi, Papi, Millar, and Mueller in 2003. Those were just good ballplayers available for cheap. So, well, not that much faith in Theo.)
   176. bibigon Posted: November 03, 2007 at 04:13 PM (#2604426)
5/70 is a bit past my belch point personally.
   177. Darren Posted: November 03, 2007 at 04:17 PM (#2604428)
That creates a really tough situation. 5/70 is pushing my efficiency limits, but I still don't see non-pony options out there.


First, ARod's out there and you were just pointing out how smart it would be to sign him. That makes him a non-pony option, right? (I'm not even sure I agree with you on the Yankee WRT Lowell/ARod. Is Lowell at 5/70 a bigger overpay than ARod at 10/300? I know it's not an efficiency contest, but they can use those extra bucks elsewhere.)

Second, this is a case where we wouldn' t be able to see the non-ponies. They could really only be picked up by trade. So there could well be a good, fair deal for LaRoche or Atkins or someone out there to be had.

5/70 sounds like too much to me.
   178. tfbg9 Posted: November 03, 2007 at 04:25 PM (#2604443)
5/70 for Lowell, but they won't pay ARod? The Yankees confuse me.


Almost makes you think there're bluffing, or prince Hal and Stammering Hank are tag-teaming Cashman to spend whatever it takes to aquire "winners" and "men of good character on and off the ballfield" whatever. Interesting stuff.

I kind of wanted to bask in the glory of another WS for a week, but I guess this is all too intruiging.

I'd give Lowell 4/56 in the blink of an eye. Schill for 1 year at 13-14 is just fine too. They've earned it, and are worth it.
   179. Darren Posted: November 03, 2007 at 04:35 PM (#2604455)
By all means, keep basking! Worst case scenario out of all this is that Yankees downgrade 3B a bunch from last year and the Red Sox do the same.
   180. tfbg9 Posted: November 03, 2007 at 04:43 PM (#2604463)
OK.

/baskbaskbaskbask...
   181. Dan Posted: November 03, 2007 at 05:46 PM (#2604526)
Is Lowell at 5/70 a bigger overpay than ARod at 10/300?

It may or may not be, but the way I look at it, even if you're overpaying ARod, odds are he's going to be a positive producer in your lineup even at the end of the deal. Perhaps (or even probably, depending on inflation of contracts over that time) he'll be massively overpaid, but at least he's a good bet to be providing positive production, whereas a Mike Lowell at 14 million dollars is likely to be below average, and hurting your lineup significantly as a starter by the end of a longer contract. I'd rather sign a player that's going to help the team win for his entire contract than one who is going to be a net negative while still making millions, even if it's "more of an overpay." I'm not sure how much sense this post will make, because I'm running on about 4 hours of sleep and I've been up since 5 AM, but hopefully the point is at least somewhat cogent.
   182. Valentine Posted: November 03, 2007 at 11:21 PM (#2604675)
I agree with Dan. Seems probable that Lowell will be a strong contributor for two more years. His projection for the third year will likely look like Casey Blake (i.e. a competent player for a non-contender). It goes downhill from there. I'd offer him 3/70 before I would offer him 5/70. The same goes for the difference between 3/45 (rich, but acceptable) and 4/50 (also too long). These are guaranteed contracts, so you can't save money by releasing him in spring training.

Neither do I see any guarantee that ARod will be mashing the ball when he is 41. I'd perhaps be comfortable giving him eight years, but ten seems too long. The money is about right, however. Run a +11.0 WARP through Nate Silver's market estimates and you get an annual salary in excess of $44M. Wouldn't mind offering him $200M/6yrs if I thought there were no decent alternatives.
   183. Valentine Posted: November 04, 2007 at 02:58 PM (#2604887)
What assumptions are necessary to justify a $300M/10yr contract to ARod?

For starters, you need to expect him to be a lineup-worthy player for that long. Even if you were willing to pay $300M for the first eight years of the deal and write off the last two, you would be better off writing it as an eight year guarantee (at nearly $300M) with a couple team options at the end. It is VERY hard to look at a 31 year old player and project another ten years of success. Still, if you use his 2007 production (+11 WARP) as a baseline and discount said production by 12% annually, you end up with a projected +3.1 WARP in 2017. Something like Biggio's 2004: .281/.337/.469?

Value these ten years according to Nate Silver's 2007-MORP calculation: $1.2M*WARP^1.5+$.38M, and you arrive at a "total value" of $180M over the next ten years. Sound about right? Ah, but that's assuming the pay scale stands still. If it increases by 11% annually, in step with the increase in MLB gross revenues over the last 15 years, then that increases to $286M! Finally, structure the payments on a level-salary basis (rather than front-loaded as we expect the production will be), and you come up with just over $30M/year for the next decade.

To justify a $70M/5yr deal for Lowell, you need only assume a 6.5 baseline WARP (BP rates his 2007 as a +7.0 WARP) with his performance declining at 15% annually, salaries increasing at 11% annually, and with a level-salary structure. By 2012, however, he projects to only a +2.9 WARP -- without even the benefit of being able to watch him rewrite the record book. Thus I would prefer to see a $60M/4yr offer. Send e-mail if you are interested in seeing the scratchwork...
   184. Darren Posted: November 04, 2007 at 03:48 PM (#2604909)
Even if you were willing to pay $300M for the first eight years of the deal and write off the last two, you would be better off writing it as an eight year guarantee (at nearly $300M) with a couple team options at the end.


Very nice writeup but I'm curious about the above. Why do you think this is preferable? I think it's only better if you can realize substantial savings by not guaranteeing the final two years. And if you realize substantial savings, ARod's a lot less likely to accept.

Say, for example, you offer 8/280 with some option years. ARod might take that over 10/300 because he still gets almost all his money but in less time. But what are you saving as a team? You've saved $20 mil but there's the interest on the extra 40 mil that you're paying out in the first 8 years. Just as a WAG, you save something like 10 mil but lose 2 years of ARod. Granted, they're not likely to be great years, but is n't it a pretty good bet that he'll be worth 2/10 at ages 39/40, especially if he's breaking records?
   185. Valentine Posted: November 04, 2007 at 04:30 PM (#2604938)
Say, for example, you offer 8/280 with some option years.

Okay, I admit to a cop-out. I had thought of suggesting specific terms, but (as you point out) couldn't quite figure out any that worked. Maybe something like $250M/8yrs with a pair of $30M options and a $10M buyout? Thus ARod would be guaranteed of $260M/8yrs and have a chance at $310M/10yrs if he remains productive. Contracts are reported on both an annualized and total value basis -- not sure which is seen to offer the player greater "re$pect"...

A "too long" deal gives you extra salary room up front (since you amortize the payments over a longer period of time), but it ends up being a significant millstone at the back end of the deal when you have a minimally productive player taking up a spot in the starting lineup (and an inordinate share of the budget). That might not be a problem if you are Tampa Bay, but it doesn't play well on a contender. My impression is that most teams are reluctant to pay their problems to go away, though the Yankees don't seem to have a problem with this.

Also, the longer deal pushes the contract farther out along the risk/reward continuum. Even if the pricing is appropriate for the expected value of the contract, the cumulative risk of a career-ending injury or decline is much greater on a ten-year deal than on an eight-year deal. If the probability of "permanent attrition" beginning in any given year is uniformly distributed, then the "cumulative wasted value" increases quadratically with the length of the contract. Thus a 10-year deal represents 50% greater risk than an 8-year deal. (Furthermore, you can make a decent argument that the probability of "permanent attrition" increases with age, making the longer deal even a greater risk than the above comparison describes.)

And yes, there is some value in having a player on the verge of breaking records. I would guess this is particularly significant to non-contending teams with a popular player -- give the fans SOME reason to come to the ballpark. I'm not sure how to work this into the analysis, however, and the answer may be very different for different clubs. The Red Sox, for example, would likely care less about ARod's records than about his on-field contribution since most of their fan base hates his guts.
   186. Darren Posted: November 04, 2007 at 05:44 PM (#2604977)
FWIW,

Johnson's ZIPS are posted: .267 .369 .462. That's pretty nice for a guy who's had vision problems recently. Maybe the Coco/Johnson trade idea would be a good one. Of course, if the Dodgers are looking for a CF, we could always get LaRoche for Crisp. :)
   187. Rafael Bellylard: The Grinch of Orlando. Posted: November 04, 2007 at 06:02 PM (#2604985)
I love the though of having Mike Lowell at 3rd for the Red Sox, but at 5/70...well, I'd love to have a Benz rather than a Kia too. But I still bought the Kia.
   188. JB H Posted: November 05, 2007 at 09:45 PM (#2605862)
The Star Tribune says the Twins want Coco

Does Coco + Masterson for Scott Baker make sense?
   189. Dave Cyprian Posted: November 06, 2007 at 06:46 AM (#2606288)
Lowell at 5/70? You've got to be kidding. I hope they work out a rich, three-year deal. $45-48 mil.

P.S. If the Yankees actually put that five year deal before him, the only reason could be that would be one heck of an F-U to A-Rod.
   190. JB H Posted: November 07, 2007 at 02:11 AM (#2607384)
Can we get a general offseason BS thread?

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071106&content_id=2294391&vkey=news_mlb&fext;=.jsp&c_id=mlb

Sox considering a 6 man rotation.

I think in general this is a pretty bad idea.

If the Yankees take a big enough step back this offseason that the Sox are huge favorites to make the playoffs on April 1st then I might be in favor of it. If Lester takes a big step forward and there's not much difference between the #2 and #6 starters (right now there's a HUGE gap), and they're all healthy, then I might be in favor of it. Otherwise I think it's really bad
   191. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 07, 2007 at 02:19 AM (#2607386)
Sox considering a 6 man rotation.

I think in general this is a pretty bad idea.
I agree with you that it's a pretty bad idea, but I'm not so sure they're really considering it. You begin with six starters, you usually end up with five active ones, often four. I tend to take this more as the Red Sox being nice to Tim Wakefield than a plan that we can expect to see in action.
   192. covelli chris p Posted: November 07, 2007 at 02:41 AM (#2607400)
Does Coco + Masterson for Scott Baker make sense?

is baker any good? i think masterson could be a pretty good major leaguer.
   193. JB H Posted: November 07, 2007 at 08:11 PM (#2608383)
Will Caroll mentioned Adrian Beltre is being shopped. It looks like he has 2/28 left on his deal.

Wouldn't surprise me if the Mariners just want to free up the money and the Sox would get more from the Lowell picks than Beltre costs.

I don't think there's any debate that Beltre at 2/28 is waaaaay better than whatever Lowell gets.
   194. Darren Posted: November 07, 2007 at 08:32 PM (#2608428)
Why would they trade Beltre? They have enough money and he's earning his. They don't have some hotshot 3B behind him either.
   195. Mattbert Posted: November 07, 2007 at 09:01 PM (#2608471)
Does Coco + Masterson for Scott Baker make sense?

I think I'd open with Crisp for Baker straight up. He's had decent enough results in limited time, but his stuff is not that impressive. Sort of like a right-handed Kason Gabbard to my eyes. I don't think the Twins are going to be too keen on shopping more starting pitchers, though. Silva is probably gone and possibly Santana as well. That leaves them with Bonser, Garza, Baker, Slowey, and (maybe) Liriano. They are likely to be reluctant to part with Guerrier or Neshak too, I would imagine.

Bottom line is Baker and Crisp are both worth a lot more to the Twins than the Red Sox, which is problematic from a trade standpoint. I expect they'll have a difficult time finding a match with MLB-level talent on both sides of the deal. If the Sox take back prospects in return, that could work, but I don't know who that would be. Minnesota has some pitchers with decent minor league periphs (e.g. Nick Blackburn, Brian Duensing, Anthony Swarzak). Anyone know much about those guys and if they'd be acceptable as the centerpiece of a Crisp deal?
   196. villageidiom Posted: November 07, 2007 at 09:44 PM (#2608549)
This from the Globe website says...
Sources familiar with the Lowell negotiations indicated to the Globe's Nick Cafardo that Lowell -- who officially filed for free agency Tuesday -- would need a third year guaranteed, and if he gets it, he's likely to take a hometown discount.
   197. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 07, 2007 at 10:35 PM (#2608606)
Sources familiar with the Lowell negotiations indicated to the Globe's Nick Cafardo that Lowell -- who officially filed for free agency Tuesday -- would need a third year guaranteed, and if he gets it, he's likely to take a hometown discount.
"Would need a third year guaranteed"??

Wow. If that's really the case, this should be done by Sunday or so.

EDIT: should note that this might also be the Initial Leak of the Amazing Contract. Schilling went from 8-10 to 10-14 over the course of an hour and a half. I'll guess that next comes the vesting fourth year option, then the no-trade, then the press conference announcing a 5 year, 75 million contract.
   198. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 08, 2007 at 12:16 PM (#2609026)
Following up on vi, Newsday reports that a three-year contract with Lowell is "inevitable", and the Yankees are looking to the trade market for a 3B in response:
ORLANDO, Fla. - Mike Lowell's return to the Red Sox appears inevitable, and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is resigned to the fact that Alex Rodriguez's replacement will have to come via the trade market.

Lowell, the 2007 World Series Most Valuable Player, could re-sign with the Red Sox before Tuesday, when free agents can begin negotiating with other clubs.
...
The two sides had differed in number of years on the contract, but it's believed they've found common ground there. Lowell likely will sign a deal that guarantees him three years.
Very good news, long as it holds.
   199. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:11 PM (#2609373)
I like that the Red Sox seem to be getting these Lowell and Schilling deals done quickly so they can really focus the rest of the off-season on making pony deals.
   200. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: November 08, 2007 at 05:15 PM (#2609380)
What are pony deals?
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