The Redsox and other addictions

January 21, 2009

Bay and Lopez

Filed under: Uncategorized — drbob00 @ 2:41 am

One of the big questions for me this offseason has been the approach the Redsox took with Jason Bay. With concerns that Lowell might not recover and/or get older, right handed protection for Papi in the Middle of the order pretty much falls to Bay as the lineup is presently constructed.

Extra bases at the globe mentions that the Sox expect to be talking to talk to him before the season starts, but are watching the corner outfield market in free fall first. Personally I’d sign him at last year’s prices, and anything else has to be cream.

On the other hand how much of a bargain is Javier Lopez? With the news that Papelbon avoided arbitration with $6.5M came the news that perhaps the 2nd most effective reliever last year also signed for around $1M. Since he was plucked out of the WhiteSox AAA system in 2005 he’s had eras at or under 3 for 3 years 🙂

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January 19, 2009

Is it better to be rich or smart? – redux

Filed under: Uncategorized — drbob00 @ 11:09 am

So there was a reaction, and a smart one at that 🙂 Wrapping up #1 and #3 in the MVP voting for their primes and good money makes so much sense… and doing it for less than half a billion samoleons makes the Yankee’s development program look a tad sad in the pants.
And of course we can still re-sign Bay 😉
This is why Theo runs the team from a basement at Fenway and I.. well… type into the void 😉

Stopping the damn ball – redux

Filed under: Uncategorized — drbob00 @ 10:46 am

So…

2 weeks on and apparently no closer to a solution, excepting of course that Jason Varitek would rather meet John Henry in person than accept whatever offer is left on the table after he declined m$11 or so for a 1 year deal in arbitration. What a mess…

Honestly? There’s an argument that says it’s far easier to upgrade your bad offense to replacement level than it is to go from replacement level to good, or even star. The nifty thing about it, apart from cost, is that your flameouts aren’t on multi-year deals. Note the reference to the Sox hopefully (touch wood) emerging from the ineffective short stop salary dump merry go round… But I digress.

Boston should be able to hit replacement level at catcher without going multi-year deal and without hampering themselves with a declining long term contract (read Varitek resign here). Replacement level with near 0 VORP and durability from BP’s stats is… Jason Kendall with an OPS of .650 which is terrible. And coming in at #4 among Redsox catchers, and #77 overall in the major leagues with any playtime last year was Varitek at -2.0 VORP and about 660 ops. At 37in 2009, why should we expect a turnaround?

Montero, the kid from Arizona that can apparently be had for not too many dollars hit a vorp of 6.6 with half Jason’s ABs and a .760 ops. Still not stellar but less expensive, less embarassing, and all at the age of 24. Yes this is the Montero of the .396obp .515slg in AAA in 2006. In 400abs over 2007/2008 his discipline has improved with his defense, tho not the monster slugging.

I’m also extremely jealous of Soppach being with the Indians at the moment.. He’d be perfect.. Ahh well.

I’d like to write Theo and ask him to just pull the trigger on Montero but he openly admits he ignores fans in the offseason. More power to him 🙂

January 7, 2009

Stopping the damn ball

Filed under: Uncategorized — drbob00 @ 2:40 am

Ok so, the Sox appear to have achieved the miracle of releasing catchers (Cash, Ross, Varitek) while reacquiring a Catcher they’d released who was lousy with injuries last year. All while having some of the lowest production at Catcher in the majors last year.

So what to do?

To the casual observer the Sox seem to value 4 aspects to a positional player:
1) Age. Yes we seem to retain our heroes while they’re productive but we usually acquire guys at or under 30 years of age. Bard is therefore the old guy if Varitek doesn’t do another tour and guys like Zaun most likely won’t arrive.
2) Defense. The Sox seem to use their own analysis on defence to good effect.
3) On Base. This is the basis of Theo’s relentless lineup approach.
4) Slugging. Earl Weavers’ Pitching and the 3 run home run strategy.

Of those, noting that there are few 5 tool studs out there, the cheapest aspects might be Defense and On Base. We can’t predict how the Sox value defense, so the place to look might be free agent catchers under 32 years of age with .340+ OBP.

http://www.sportscity.com/mlb/2009-mlb-free-agents-by-position#C lists the catchers, and if we correlate with 2008 stats from http://sports.yahoo.com

ag  obp player          2008 contract
32 .326 Javier Valentin Cincinnati Reds
32 .304 Toby Hall       Chicago White Sox
31 .274 Michael Barrett San Diego Padres
32 .200 Johnny Estrada  Washington Nationals

None of those options appear to be setting Theo’s world on fire and I’d have to agree.

6 man rotations, and what cost Derek Lowe?

Filed under: Uncategorized — drbob00 @ 1:07 am

So news is Derek Lowe, like a number of other free agents, isn’t getting the offers he was expecting. Sure he’s durable, and the Dodgers along with a number of analysts successfully bet he’d produce the last few years. But he isn’t the youngest FA out there, and the largest offer that’s apparently been inferred was 3 years at 10 per and not the 4 at 15 he might have wanted 4 years ago.

The implication to me was he didn’t fit into our plans originally. But as his expectations fall his comments about wanting to hear from the Sox seem to firm up.

There’s been discussion on the Redsox email list about 4/5/6 man rotations. Count me in as someone who’d sign Derek at 3 years m$10 per year with an aim to running a 6 man rotation. It’s the rotation used in the Japanese leagues and can only help ease our kids into the majors while keeping their innings down by what, 20%?

Anyhow it’s just a thought, and they could probably get Bird for the same purpose at less cost. But Lowe’s sinker at the Sox infield is an enticing idea.

January 6, 2009

Is it better to be rich or smart?

Filed under: Uncategorized — drbob00 @ 3:18 am

I don’t get the angle of woe-is-me Sox fans saying we should have spent the extra for Texiera, almost as I don’t get the braying of Yankees fans saying we’re angry about them forking out the money.

Fact is we set a price and someone with more money paid more. Is he worth it? Well we thought he was certainly worth 95% of that value, so yes but not quite.

On top of that, the rest of the league must be looking at us and the Yanks wondering where the fiscal responsibility is.

On the Sox side we’ve lost a bunch of contracts and I don’t believe we’re paying much luxury tax at all any more, so our statement seems to be that we’ll fork it out for premier free agents and try not to over do it.

On the Yanks side it’s salary cap be damned. It’s even that they feel they’re fundung the rest of the league for the right to spend whatever they want.

Which brings us back to smart. Do you have to be smart to win? Well yes if you’re not the highest spender, and perhaps even if you are.

So while I’m wishing Texiera a long and successful career the implications of his not performing would be huge to anyone else.

In the end I’m hoping they extend Jason Bay and I really don’t think MVP ballots #1 and #4 on the right side of the infield with Mr Lowell at 3B and Papi at DH is that bad 🙂

In the end I believe we got here because we’re rich and smart 🙂

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