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Red Sox sign Mike Cameron to two-year deal


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#151 BucketOBalls


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Posted 15 December 2009 - 11:25 AM

Only thing I really dislike about this is Cameron's age. If he continues like he has been...great. But there is a decent chance a player his age falls off a cliff sometime in the next two years. Same for his defense really.

#152 simonus

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 11:48 AM

QUOTE (BucketOBalls @ Dec 15 2009, 10:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Only thing I really dislike about this is Cameron's age. If he continues like he has been...great. But there is a decent chance a player his age falls off a cliff sometime in the next two years. Same for his defense really.


A very good chance, but I view this deal as quite possibly a partially deferred $10-$11M one year contract, insofar as the Sox pay him ~$7M this year and then cover $3-4M of his contract next year when they move him for a prospect. His 2010 performance is not a crazy gamble and I'm worried far less with how he can produce in 2 years.

#153 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 15 December 2009 - 12:18 PM

QUOTE (BucketOBalls @ Dec 15 2009, 11:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Only thing I really dislike about this is Cameron's age. If he continues like he has been...great. But there is a decent chance a player his age falls off a cliff sometime in the next two years. Same for his defense really.

Does defense really tend to do the free-fall thing that offense often does (absent a significant injury)? Intuitively this seems odd.

That said, sure, Cameron is at the age where sudden decline is always a possibility. But there's been no recent sign of it; you could fit his age 36 year somewhere among his age 29-32 years and it wouldn't jump out as different, other than that he's lost a bit of speed.* So I think this deal is a pretty good gamble; you could look at it as a one-year extension at his current salary (which he more than earned last year), plus a second year at $5M. Not a lot of risk there.

*EDIT: For verification of this, check out his wOBA graph at Fangraphs. Cameron has had about as steady and consistent a career as you could ask for. He's declined at a rate of about 1 to 1.5 wOBA points a year, with only minor swings along the way.

Edited by Savin Hillbilly, 15 December 2009 - 12:28 PM.


#154 DieHardSoxFan1


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Posted 15 December 2009 - 01:04 PM

QUOTE (Eric Van @ Dec 15 2009, 08:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yeah, generic player. I want to look at his hit charts next.

My main point is that people look at the hit charts and forget that there may be more opportunities because the parks also affect K and BB. It's also a nice short-cut for modifying projections; you can add .013 / .008 / .015 to convert a line projected for Miller to Fenway. BJ projection becomes .250 / .336 / .443, for instance.


What's the typical bump for Safeco to Fenway? Has to be around 13 points in OBP and perhaps 20 SLG.

#155 Eric Van


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Posted 15 December 2009 - 02:21 PM

QUOTE (DieHardSoxFan1 @ Dec 15 2009, 01:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What's the typical bump for Safeco to Fenway? Has to be around 13 points in OBP and perhaps 20 SLG.

I'm going to run Beltre's numbers through the same spreadsheet, same for Adrian Gonzalez. I'll put them in the Adrian thread.

The bump depends on the player and his own rates.

#156 The Boomer

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 04:25 PM

QUOTE (simonus @ Dec 15 2009, 11:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
A very good chance, but I view this deal as quite possibly a partially deferred $10-$11M one year contract, insofar as the Sox pay him ~$7M this year and then cover $3-4M of his contract next year when they move him for a prospect. His 2010 performance is not a crazy gamble and I'm worried far less with how he can produce in 2 years.


This is somewhat like Wakefield's deal. If management predicts that, for 2010 at least, Cameron is a rough approximation of Bay, then the money they offered for Bay's salary this year alone ($15 million) was allocated to Cameron but payable over 2 years. As with Scutaro, this extra investment was worth it because even if Scutaro is only a good utility infielder at the end of his contract and Cameron is a good reserve or platoon (not everyday) outfielder next season, this move is still cost effective. If Scutaro and Cameron need to be moved like Lowell for their final year signed, this is much less of a financial hit than they absorbed for Lugo and Lowell. How much they pay in such a subsidized dump trade will depend on what kind of a prospect they can obtain in return. Even if the Sox eat all of Cameron's $15 million for only one season of productive play, they are getting approximately the same value for their money as expected from Bay (more offense but less defense) without incurring another long term albatross contract too far into the future.


#157 radsoxfan


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Posted 15 December 2009 - 05:11 PM

QUOTE (plusbrians @ Dec 15 2009, 10:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
1. Cameron mashes lefties - Granderson sucks. The difference is huge. The difference on righties? It's there, but not so much


Career:
Cameron vs. LH OPS: .859 Granderson vs LH: .614
Cameron vs. RH OPS: .765 Granderson vs RH: .894

Of all this platoon talk, Granderson is more suited for it than Cameron (age aside).



I disagree, and actually think the similarity (besides age) is pretty startling. Of course Cameron mashes lefties and Granderson sucks. Cameron is a righty and Granderson is a lefty, so that makes perfect sense. It doesn't make them different, just mirror images. I agree that Granderson has a much larger difference between how he hits opposite handed pitchers than Cameron. But . . . you have to remember there are far more righty pitchers than lefty pitchers. So its much better to have someone who hits righties well than someone who hits lefties well.

Career totals:
Cameron: .250/.340/.448
Granderson: .272/.344/.484

I agree Granderon is more suited to platooning than Cameron. But other than Granderon's bigger platoon split (which is more than cancelled out by the fact that righty pitchers are more common), they are very similar players.


QUOTE (plusbrians @ Dec 15 2009, 10:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
2. aside from his high K totals good OBP, nothing alike. Cameron is much better defensively and has consistent pop. Bellhorn went over 20 HR once, Cameron's done it 8 times, and just missed 2 others.

I won't get into the defense too much since I still don't know how much stock to put in the metrics. But for the record . . .
Career UZR/150 as an OF (vast majority in CF for both)
Granderon: 5.2
Cameron: 5.4

As far as hitting. . . First of all, having hig K totals and good (relatively) OBP makes them pretty alike to start with.

I'm not sure where this "consistent pop" idea comes from. Granderson has had 19 or more HR in the majors in his only 4 full seasons. He's 4/4. Why penalize him for being younger and having less total seasons to work with that Cameron. Cameron has had 19 HR or more in 9 out of 11 full seasons in the majors. Perhaps an even easier way to look is at their slugging percentage. Granderson is at .484 and Cameron is at .448.

Like I said, I think (age aside), they are very similar players. Cameron has a slighly lower BA but makes up for it with a few more walks. Granderson has shown a little more power but overall it's pretty close. They both have strong platoon splits in favor of the opposite handed pitcher, but when you combine their numbers, they aren't far off. Both players have played in some big ballparks as well, so their OPS+ is close. Cameron's OPS+ is 107 and Granderson OPS+ is 113.

They both found the proper homes, as Cameron is a pull righty perfect for Fenway and Granderson is a pull lefty perfect for Yankee stadium. This big elephant in the room is their age. Granderson is a better bet going forward consdiering he is 28 and Cameron is 36. But perhaps Granderon's down year last season tempers that a bit.

EDIT: just re-read your post and realized you were comparing Cameron to Bellhorn, not to Granderson for the second part. Whoops . . .
I'll keep the Cameron/Granderson comparison in there though because I think it's interesting.

Edited by radsoxfan, 15 December 2009 - 05:18 PM.


#158 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 15 December 2009 - 05:31 PM

QUOTE (Eric Van @ Dec 15 2009, 08:10 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You really think they put this enormous emphasis on run prevention -- paying more for Lackey and Cameron combined than they would have for Holliday -- and that the other part of the plan is to shift their GG 1B to 3B for the next 3 years or so just as he turns 31 and has begun to show a decline in range there?


While rereading this thread, this paragraph stood out to me and I had a thought. Now, I don't advocate trading for Gonzalez for what I think he will cost (Buchholz, Kalish/Westmoreland +), but why would a move like that mean Youkilis is meant to play third for three years? It's entirely possible that the plan would be Youkilis there for 2010, then either Youkilis or Gonzalez at DH for 2011 and beyond. This would give them a DH who could spell first base as needed and allow a little bit of flexibility that the DH position has lacked for the last 6 or so years.

Doing this would give them a great shot in 2010 while setting them up pretty well for the future. My only hang up would be having to include Buchholz in the trade which just wouldn't be worth it.

#159 Eric Van


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Posted 15 December 2009 - 07:03 PM

QUOTE (Snodgrass'Muff @ Dec 15 2009, 05:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
While rereading this thread, this paragraph stood out to me and I had a thought. Now, I don't advocate trading for Gonzalez for what I think he will cost (Buchholz, Kalish/Westmoreland +), but why would a move like that mean Youkilis is meant to play third for three years? It's entirely possible that the plan would be Youkilis there for 2010, then either Youkilis or Gonzalez at DH for 2011 and beyond. This would give them a DH who could spell first base as needed and allow a little bit of flexibility that the DH position has lacked for the last 6 or so years.

Who's your 3B in 2011? Or even 2012?

Here are the list of good MLB 3B, with the year they will be available if not extended:

Evan Longoria -- 2017
Chone Figgins -- 2014
Alex Rodriguez -- 2018
Ryan Zimmerman -- 2014
Pablo Sandoval -- 2015
David Wright -- 2014
Chipper Jones -- 2013 or 2014 (probably a 1B by then)
Adrian Beltre -- now
Scott Rolen -- 2011, but he'll be 36
[Troy Glaus -- now, and might re-establish his viability in a 1-year deal but will be 34 next year]
Casey Blake -- 2012 or 2013 (will be 38 or 39)
Aramis Ramirez -- 2012 or 2013
Casey McGeehee -- 2015 and still unproven
Ian Stewart -- 2015
Mark Reynolds -- 2014

Ramirez is already a -6 defender so if the Cubs have turned down his option for 2012, you don't want him. So there is no one on this list who is any kind of reasonable hope to be your starting 3B any time within the next few years. It might be different if Wil Middlebrooks were coming off a studly year in high-A and you had some hope that you could bridge to him with 2 years of Youkilis, or 1 of Youk and 1 of Rolen or Glaus. But that's not the case.

So, if it's not Beltre or Youkilis for the next few years, it will be someone who is not yet good but becomes good, and furthermore, is made available because another prospect makes him expendable. There's a decent chance Chase Headley will fit that description and a slim chance that Andy LaRoche does. I haven't been able to find anyone else.

Given this market, do you really want to count on the Padres trading Headley within a couple of years? Why wouldn't you just sign the near-elite FA now?

Note: Billy Beane trading Brett Wallace for Michael Taylor makes me wonder if he's after Beltre.


#160 amarshal2

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 07:21 PM

QUOTE (Eric Van @ Dec 15 2009, 07:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Note: Billy Beane trading Brett Wallace for Michael Taylor makes me wonder if he's after Beltre.

More likely he thinks Wallace is a 1B, a position with no opening for the A's.

#161 radsoxfan


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Posted 15 December 2009 - 07:34 PM

QUOTE (amarshal2 @ Dec 15 2009, 07:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
More likely he thinks Wallace is a 1B, a position with no opening for the A's.



I know there were many other moving parts, but Billy Beane (at least in part) turned Carlos Gonzalez >>> Matt Holliday>>>Brett Wallace>>>Michael Taylor. I know Gonzalez was originally from the Dan Haren trade (with Brett Anderson), but at least starting with Gonzalez, he went from one young outfielder to another young outfielder.

For whatever reason, Beane soured on Gonzalez after a crappy half season in Oakland as 22 year old. But Taylor has some big shoes to fill if he is going to make Beane look smart as Gonzalez put up an .878 OPS at age 23 (albeit in Coors field).

#162 pokey_reese

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 07:51 PM

QUOTE (Eric Van @ Dec 15 2009, 07:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Who's your 3B in 2011? Or even 2012?

Here are the list of good MLB 3B, with the year they will be available if not extended:

Evan Longoria -- 2017
Chone Figgins -- 2014
Alex Rodriguez -- 2018
Ryan Zimmerman -- 2014
Pablo Sandoval -- 2015
David Wright -- 2014
Chipper Jones -- 2013 or 2014 (probably a 1B by then)
Adrian Beltre -- now
Scott Rolen -- 2011, but he'll be 36
[Troy Glaus -- now, and might re-establish his viability in a 1-year deal but will be 34 next year]
Casey Blake -- 2012 or 2013 (will be 38 or 39)
Aramis Ramirez -- 2012 or 2013
Casey McGeehee -- 2015 and still unproven
Ian Stewart -- 2015
Mark Reynolds -- 2014

Ramirez is already a -6 defender so if the Cubs have turned down his option for 2012, you don't want him. So there is no one on this list who is any kind of reasonable hope to be your starting 3B any time within the next few years. It might be different if Wil Middlebrooks were coming off a studly year in high-A and you had some hope that you could bridge to him with 2 years of Youkilis, or 1 of Youk and 1 of Rolen or Glaus. But that's not the case.

So, if it's not Beltre or Youkilis for the next few years, it will be someone who is not yet good but becomes good, and furthermore, is made available because another prospect makes him expendable. There's a decent chance Chase Headley will fit that description and a slim chance that Andy LaRoche does. I haven't been able to find anyone else.

Given this market, do you really want to count on the Padres trading Headley within a couple of years? Why wouldn't you just sign the near-elite FA now?

Note: Billy Beane trading Brett Wallace for Michael Taylor makes me wonder if he's after Beltre.


I have been thinking along these lines as well, and it is one of the reasons that I want more and more for the Sox to get Beltre, if the cost isn't too high and he doesn't insist on 4+ years. In addition to the slim number of good 3B around the league (and that number gets smaller if you value defense, i.e. Reynolds), there are very few coming up in the minor leagues as well. Looking at the BP Top 11 Prospects lists for each team from last year and this year (they haven't done all the teams yet this year) reveals an striking dearth of quality 3B in the pipeline, as most teams didn't have any among their top 11 prospects, and many that do have players that project to be 1B by the time they hit the major leagues, like Davis recently in Texas, and most likely Bell in Baltimore not long from now, Viciedo in Chicago, etc.. Although, your list should include Gordon Beckham, one of the better young 3B in the league right now, even if he did come up at SS, but he is another player that wouldn't be available for years.

It seems like 3B is a rather awkward position to develop talent at right now, because the better defenders/athletes get moved to SS, and the slower guys with bigger bats get moved to 1B. Combined with the fact that many of the top-notch 3B of the last decade are past their primes now, we are seeing a real turnover at the position all at once, and there just aren't enough good, young 3B to go around right now. Thinking of the Mike Lowell example, is it possible that the Sox would consider trying to convert one of their young catchers who can hit like Federowicz or Lavarnway into a 3B? Does anyone know anything about their builds/athletecism? Lavarnway is 6'4", which might move him out from behind the dish sooner or later anyhow...

#163 Eric Van


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Posted 15 December 2009 - 08:14 PM

QUOTE (pokey_reese @ Dec 15 2009, 07:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Although, your list should include Gordon Beckham, one of the better young 3B in the league right now, even if he did come up at SS, but he is another player that wouldn't be available for years.

Just moved to 2B, hence the Getz for Teahen trade.

QUOTE
Thinking of the Mike Lowell example, is it possible that the Sox would consider trying to convert one of their young catchers who can hit like Federowicz or Lavarnway into a 3B? Does anyone know anything about their builds/athletecism? Lavarnway is 6'4", which might move him out from behind the dish sooner or later anyhow...

Someone (Callis, KLaw, KG? can't remember) just opined that Lavarnway will not stay at C. 3B would be interesting.

Looking at prospects ... Matt Gamel and Brett Wallace seem destined for 1B. Josh Bell looks like he'll stay at 3B. The Cards' David Freese looks solid but he's already 27.

Look in the 1B/3B thread for a table of prospects.


#164 someoneanywhere

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 08:25 PM

QUOTE (Eric Van @ Dec 15 2009, 08:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just moved to 2B, hence the Getz for Teahen trade.


Someone (Callis, KLaw, KG? can't remember) just opined that Lavarnway will not stay at C. 3B would be interesting.

Looking at prospects ... Matt Gamel and Brett Wallace seem destined for 1B. Josh Bell looks like he'll stay at 3B. The Cards' David Freese looks solid but he's already 27.

Look in the 1B/3B thread for a table of prospects.


I saw Lavarnway quite a bit in Greenville. His lack of athleticism will strike anyone who watches him -- indeed everything about him except his Yale brain, from his build to his gait (he walks on the balls of his feet) to his stroke, reminded me of Canseco. Wooden, I guess, is the best way to put it. Maybe 1B, but 3B I think is the kind of interesting we might not want to see (or conversely, would pay to see).

#165 pokey_reese

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 08:58 PM

QUOTE (someoneanywhere @ Dec 15 2009, 08:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I saw Lavarnway quite a bit in Greenville. His lack of athleticism will strike anyone who watches him -- indeed everything about him except his Yale brain, from his build to his gait (he walks on the balls of his feet) to his stroke, reminded me of Canseco. Wooden, I guess, is the best way to put it. Maybe 1B, but 3B I think is the kind of interesting we might not want to see (or conversely, would pay to see).


Well, between my minor stroke over the Beckham move to 2B, and complete fail on the possibility of Lavarnway playing 3B (thanks for the scouting report, someone), I think that I can just go ahead and call it a day.

Still, my point remains that 3B is going to be a tough spot to fill in the near future for the Sox, and it seems like a 3 year deal for Beltre would buy them the time they need to find one, either by developing a draft pick or trading for someone else's.



#166 Scoops Bolling

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 09:02 PM

QUOTE (Eric Van @ Dec 15 2009, 07:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So, if it's not Beltre or Youkilis for the next few years, it will be someone who is not yet good but becomes good, and furthermore, is made available because another prospect makes him expendable. There's a decent chance Chase Headley will fit that description and a slim chance that Andy LaRoche does. I haven't been able to find anyone else.

Just to toss out another name: Todd Frazier. The Reds have both Juan Francisco and Todd Frazier at the AAA level. Supposedly, according to Reds fans/prospect followers, the Reds see Francisco as the long term answer at 3B. They've had Frazier try a number of other positions, including 2B and corner outfield, but a lot of scouts still see him as a 3B. Moreover, at the MLB level the Reds have no outfield openings (Bruce and Votto-->Votto being pushed out by Yonder Alonso), and 2B is currently occupied by Phillips (through 2011 with a 2012 option). While its possible the Reds could move Phillips back to short and play Frazier at second, Phillips may not be able to handle short defensively anymore. Thus, one possible fall-back option for the Sox would be to try and pursue a Lowrie-Frazier swap. Its definitely not an ideal solution, and I'm not even sure how much better Frazier is than Lowrie (similar numbers at the same age/levels), but its just another name to consider.

Unrelated note: Pokey, Bell's defense has been reported to have made major strides in the last year. Most scouts now seem to believe that he'll be an average to above-average defensive 3B.

#167 Eric Van


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 01:17 AM

QUOTE (Scoops Bolling @ Dec 15 2009, 09:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just to toss out another name: Todd Frazier. The Reds have both Juan Francisco and Todd Frazier at the AAA level. Supposedly, according to Reds fans/prospect followers, the Reds see Francisco as the long term answer at 3B. They've had Frazier try a number of other positions, including 2B and corner outfield, but a lot of scouts still see him as a 3B. Moreover, at the MLB level the Reds have no outfield openings (Bruce and Votto-->Votto being pushed out by Yonder Alonso), and 2B is currently occupied by Phillips (through 2011 with a 2012 option). While its possible the Reds could move Phillips back to short and play Frazier at second, Phillips may not be able to handle short defensively anymore. Thus, one possible fall-back option for the Sox would be to try and pursue a Lowrie-Frazier swap. Its definitely not an ideal solution, and I'm not even sure how much better Frazier is than Lowrie (similar numbers at the same age/levels), but its just another name to consider.

BA sees it very differently in their top 10 reports, and the numbers back it up: Francisco is probably not a good enough defender to stay at 3B. "He showed improvement in his range at third base, but it's still below-average, as are his hands and speed. ... [his] best position may be first base." He was -10 / 150 averaging BP and Total Zone numbers. Frazier's bat projects better (according to Davenport Peak translations) and he's considered a better defender. "He may be a better fit at third base, where he projects as a solid hitter and defender. With Scott Rolen's contract expiring after 2010 and Brandon Phillips locked up through 2011, Frazier's initial big league opportunity would seem to more likely come at third base or left field."

I think Frazier is one of the five or six best 3B prospects in the game but I think Cinci needs him there.


#168 gammoseditor


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 01:33 AM

QUOTE (Eric Van @ Dec 15 2009, 07:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So, if it's not Beltre or Youkilis for the next few years, it will be someone who is not yet good but becomes good, and furthermore, is made available because another prospect makes him expendable. There's a decent chance Chase Headley will fit that description and a slim chance that Andy LaRoche does. I haven't been able to find anyone else.


I still say Alberto Callaspo is an interesting option, even if no one will listen to me. He's played 35 games at third in his career (sss warning) and has a UZR/150 of 18.4. He made big strides offensively last year. He hit .300/.356/.457. His OBP wasn't a fluke. It was .361 in 2008. His power is what came around, and that's not uncommon for a 26 year old.

#169 kazuneko

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 01:45 AM

QUOTE (Eric Van @ Dec 15 2009, 02:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Who's your 3B in 2011? Or even 2012?

So, if it's not Beltre or Youkilis for the next few years, it will be someone who is not yet good but becomes good,


Couldn't this be Lowrie? I know you're high on him so I'm surprised he is not being thrown into this mix. Granted the media appears to ignore this possibility as well but considering he appears to possess a potentially plus glove at 3b you'd think more people would be considering the possibility that he is the guy (not Kotchman) that the Sox would like to see win the job - if they are actually planning to go into spring training w/ the current roster.
Since Iglesias appears to be the heir apparent at SS, unless we see Lowrie traded (a distinct possibility, though it would appear to be "sell-low" timing) or the Sox see him as nothing more than a future utility guy (and this doesn't seem to be the case)you'd think he would be given serious consideration at third. Outside of signing Beltre, this also appears to be the move that most fits w/ the run prevention strategy that we've seen the last couple of days (though Lowrie's defensive numbers at 3B are limited by the size of the sample)as it allows Youks to stay at 1b w/ 3b defensively strong as well. At least for for this season it would also be only a moderate risk (though I do understand your concern is longterm) as Rolen is almost certain to be available at the deadline (he really should be available now but I guess the Red's need to make an attempt to 'look competitive").

Edited by kazuneko, 16 December 2009 - 01:49 AM.


#170 Eric Van


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 01:57 AM

QUOTE (gammoseditor @ Dec 16 2009, 01:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I still say Alberto Callaspo is an interesting option, even if no one will listen to me. He's played 35 games at third in his career (sss warning) and has a UZR/150 of 18.4. He made big strides offensively last year. He hit .300/.356/.457. His OBP wasn't a fluke. It was .361 in 2008. His power is what came around, and that's not uncommon for a 26 year old.

Callaspo is one of two 2B who have played much, much better defense at 3B; the other is Martin Prado of the Braves. Prado actually looks like one of the better 3B in baseball, and if a defense-oriented GM were running the braves they would have moved him there and Chipper to 1B.

You only lose about 1 run of offensive value when you move from 2B to 3B (2.0 of hitting, but you gain about 1 of baserunning); it's a switch more teams should contemplate. (Or, rather, the opposite switch, with a guy who plays real good 3B but might be overtaxed at 2B, is perhaps looked on too favorably.)

To answer kaz's Lowrie question, you lose about 7.7 runs of offensive value moving from 2B to SS (8.8 hitting, gaining back some baserunning). As long as Lowrie is a good defensive SS, he is probably going to be much more valuable as someone else's SS than as your 3B. So I really see him as trade bait.

#171 gammoseditor


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 02:10 AM

QUOTE (Eric Van @ Dec 16 2009, 01:57 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Callaspo is one of two 2B who have played much, much better defense at 3B; the other is Martin Prado of the Braves. Prado actually looks like one of the better 3B in baseball, and if a defense-oriented GM were running the braves they would have moved him there and Chipper to 1B.

You only lose about 1 run of offensive value when you move from 2B to 3B (2.0 of hitting, but you gain about 1 of baserunning); it's a switch more teams should contemplate. (Or, rather, the opposite switch, with a guy who plays real good 3B but might be overtaxed at 2B, is perhaps looked on too favorably.)

To answer kaz's Lowrie question, you lose about 7.7 runs of offensive value moving from 2B to SS (8.8 hitting, gaining back some baserunning). As long as Lowrie is a good defensive SS, he is probably going to be much more valuable as someone else's SS than as your 3B. So I really see him as trade bait.


Going by UZR, Prado is much better at 3B because he's an awful 2b and an average 3b with a career UZR/150 of -15.2 vs .7. Callaspo is slightly below average at 2B and gold glove quality at 3B with a career UZR/150 OF -2.9 VS 18.4. I'm guessing fielding bible has Prado better based on your comments. The bats look pretty equal to me.

#172 Guest_Corsi Combover_*

Posted 16 December 2009 - 09:07 AM

QUOTE
Here’s a couple of fresh nuggets on the Cameron pick-up, courtesy of a major-league source:

* There is a limited no-trade clause included in the two-year, $15.5 million deal. The Red Sox have softened their anti-no-trade clause stance the past few years, with J.D. Drew and Mike Lowell receiving limited no-trade clauses, Daisuke Matsuzaka getting a full no-trade.)

* Cameron signed to be a starter, not a platoon player, a theory everyone has been kicking around the past few days. He will play whatever position he is asked to play, with manager Terry Francona making the call. And that call has yet to be made, so the option of Jacoby Ellsbury moving to left remains on the table, which would allow Cameron to play his accustomed center field. Cameron has played three games in left field in his major-league career. And, putting aside the no-platoon job he signed up for, Cameron might see some starts in right field against a tough left-handed starter one day when left-handed hitting right fielder Drew could use a day off.
http://www.bostonher...not-platooning/

#173 Guest_Corsi Combover_*

Posted 16 December 2009 - 09:08 AM

QUOTE
Mike Cameron’s two-year contract, $15.5 million contract is pretty straightforward — a $1 million signing bonus and salaries of $7.25 million in 2010 and 2011.
http://www.bostonher...ntract-details/

#174 redsahx

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 09:52 AM

Rob Neyer made an interesting point re: Cameron on his blog yesterday.

QUOTE
Over the last two seasons, Cameron produced 8.4 wins above replacement.

Over those same two seasons, Bay produced 6.4 wins above replacement.

The Red Sox are going to pay Cameron roughly half of what someone's going to pay Jason Bay.

We try to make these things so complicated. But they're not, really. The Red Sox have figured out how to simplify everything. And I just can't wait to read all the columns in the Boston newspapers questioning Theo Epstein's intelligence and ownership's commitment to winning ...


The average WEEI/985 caller wouldn't buy such a stat, and I'm sure every time Cameron slumps or strikes out in a big spot, there will be a large number of people mourning the loss of Jason Bay. However, the more I look at Cameron, the more I realize I had been underrating him the last few years. Bay carried us for a few stretches last season, but he also pulled a dissapearing act for two months. I'm fine with this deal.

Edited by redsahx, 16 December 2009 - 09:54 AM.


#175 absintheofmalaise


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 09:54 AM

QUOTE (gammoseditor @ Dec 16 2009, 02:10 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Going by UZR, Prado is much better at 3B because he's an awful 2b and an average 3b with a career UZR/150 of -15.2 vs .7. Callaspo is slightly below average at 2B and gold glove quality at 3B with a career UZR/150 OF -2.9 VS 18.4. I'm guessing fielding bible has Prado better based on your comments. The bats look pretty equal to me.

Prado has played a total of 507 innings in 82 games at 3B. He's played a total of 781 innings over 101 games as a 2B. Both of those totals are over a 4 year period.
Callaspo has played a total of 231 innings over 35 games at 3B. He's played a total of 1673 innings over 205 games at 2B. Both of those totals are also over a 4 year period. At least he does have over one season at 2B, with last year being almost a full season.
You can't really get an idea about what type of defensive player they are, or will become, when they haven't played enough games at the positions based on the numbers you are quoting for defense. You can get a better idea of Callapso at 2B, but nothing definitive. You wouldn't project a player's offensive numbers if they don't have enough PAs, why do the same with defense.


#176 Eric Van


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 10:10 AM

I've got some data for conversions between OF positions. Lots of data that can be sliced different ways, because there are so many combinations and there are selection biases involved in any subset.

Data is for 2007-2009 and in all cases, the numbers are weighted by the lesser of the innings played at the positions being compared. So a CF who played 1 inning in LF is barely considered, a guy who split time equally will have the most weight.

Here are the average UZR in LF and CF for various sets of guys who played both. A CF or LF is any player who played more innings at that position than any other (and did not have more PA at DH than at either one). A "regular" is a guy who played more than half his team's innings, at all positions combined (including PA at DH).

Playing Both CF and LF In the Same Year
Who LF CF Diff
All 9.7 -0.4 10.2
All OF 10.2 -0.6 10.8
All CF 13.8 1.5 12.3
All LF 11.4 -1.6 13.0
Regular OF 11.3 -2.1 13.4
Regular CF 16.4 -2.6 18.9
Regular LF 12.9 1.5 11.4


Playing Both CF and RF in the Same Season
Who RF CF Diff
All 5.2 -3.9 9.1
All OF 5.3 -5.8 11.2
All CF 5.8 -4.3 10.0
All RF 8.2 -5.8 14.0
Regular OF 4.9 -4.8 9.8
Regular CF 5.5 -4.4 9.9
Regular RF 7.9 -4.8 12.7


You can see right off that the guys who are asked to play both CF and LF are better fielders than the guys who are asked to play both CF and RF. That's an example of the selection bias. And it's a bitch. From the above, you'd conclude that LF is a little easier than RF because CF who switch to LF gain 12.3 but those who switch to RF gain 10.0. However, those are two different sets of players! When you look at all players who played all three positions, you get LF being 6.9 easier than RF, or 6.6 looking at all OF. Regular CF who played all 3 positions were +17.1 in LF, -3.5 in CF, and +0.3 in RF.

Another thing that is apparent from this data is that it is really, really hard for regular corner OFs to go to the other corner -- they seem to lose something like 11 runs. Furthermore, for some unknown reason, it is much harder (by about 7.5 runs) to switch from RF to LF than vice versa. Edit: looking at the wrong data ... actually, it's about 3.0 runs harder to switch from LF to RF than RF to LF, which is what you'd expect.

Playing LF and RF in the Same Season
Who LF RF Diff
All 2.6 -2.0 4.6
All OF 5.2 -0.8 6.0
All LF 4.5 -1.2 5.7
All RF 0.0 -0.5 0.5
Regular OF 4.0 -2.7 6.6
Regular LF 1.5 -17.2 18.7
Regular RF -2.1 1.6 -3.7


I did this study with just three years of data because I'm aware that things have gotten funky in LF offensively in that time span (i.e., the average LF is now a weaker hitter than the average RF), which is the subject of a future thread. I didn't want to compare eggs and oranges if the makeup of who was playing LF had actually changed in the last three years (more emphasis on defense, e.g.). But these results are interesting enough to warrant redoing the study with all years of UZR data.

In the meantime ... a regular CF loses 11.7 runs of hitting value when he moves to LF (based on the average offense of regular CF and LF the last three years. The gap between all CF and LF, including reserves, is just 6.4 runs and is very deceptive; it's the result of using backup CF as backup LF). He gains some baserunning, though. And from the table above you can see that he gains at least 10.8 of defense and more likely 12 or 13.

It appears as if, in general, you can come out a bit ahead by playing a CF at both positions rather than a CF and a traditional LF. At worst it's a wash. And that's a pretty dramatic development in the game and the history of the defensive spectrum.

Edited by Eric Van, 16 December 2009 - 06:49 PM.


#177 gammoseditor


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:00 AM

QUOTE (absintheofmalaise @ Dec 16 2009, 09:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Prado has played a total of 507 innings in 82 games at 3B. He's played a total of 781 innings over 101 games as a 2B. Both of those totals are over a 4 year period.
Callaspo has played a total of 231 innings over 35 games at 3B. He's played a total of 1673 innings over 205 games at 2B. Both of those totals are also over a 4 year period. At least he does have over one season at 2B, with last year being almost a full season.
You can't really get an idea about what type of defensive player they are, or will become, when they haven't played enough games at the positions based on the numbers you are quoting for defense. You can get a better idea of Callapso at 2B, but nothing definitive. You wouldn't project a player's offensive numbers if they don't have enough PAs, why do the same with defense.


I should have mentioned that I understand there isn't enough data to draw significant conclusions off of, and I don't know how to run the statistical relevance, but I'm fairly certain that if a player has a UZR/150 of 18.4 over 35 games, you should at least be comfortable accepting that he's an above average defender, and would project to be at least a +7 over a full season, and you'd hope for something in the +12 area.

#178 absintheofmalaise


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:16 AM

QUOTE (gammoseditor @ Dec 16 2009, 11:00 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I should have mentioned that I understand there isn't enough data to draw significant conclusions off of, and I don't know how to run the statistical relevance, but I'm fairly certain that if a player has a UZR/150 of 18.4 over 35 games, you should at least be comfortable accepting that he's an above average defender, and would project to be at least a +7 over a full season, and you'd hope for something in the +12 area.

I'm not comfortable with that at all. Let's say a player at 3B has 150 chances in those games. Any average MLB 3B will make about 90% of those plays leaving you with 15 that an above average 3B will, or won't, make. I really don't see how you can make a determination about the true fielding ability based on those 15 or so plays. Here is a quote from MGL, the guy who created UZR:

QUOTE
As I have always said, if you EVER see me quote a one year number in the context of discussing someone’s current true talent or future value/performance, just shoot me on the spot. I’d rather quote nothing to tell you the truth (just in principle). And, at the very least, if you absolutely must quote a one-year number for anything, it is meaningless unless it is regressed given that one year sample. That is the thing that doubly pisses me off when they do that (quote one year numbers).


#179 gammoseditor


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:26 AM

QUOTE (absintheofmalaise @ Dec 16 2009, 11:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm not comfortable with that at all. Let's say a player at 3B has 150 chances in those games. Any average MLB 3B will make about 90% of those plays leaving you with 15 that an above average 3B will, or won't, make. I really don't see how you can make a determination about the true fielding ability based on those 15 or so plays. Here is a quote from MGL, the guy who created UZR:


Fair enough. I agree that no conclusions can be drawn with absolute certainty. I do feel the Red Sox have the resources to form an opinion on Callaspo's defense at 3B, after looking at the numbers, reviewing film, and having an opinion on his general tool set. I believe his UZR ratings are evidence he could be very good, not proof.

#180 bosockboy


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:28 AM

QUOTE (Corsi Combover @ Dec 16 2009, 09:07 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Combine this with Olney's nugget about us scouring for RHH outfielders (presumably to platoon with Hermida), this adds quite a bit of smoke to the Ellsbury to SD line of thinking.

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:34 AM

Watch the press conference here: http://www.boston.com/

#182 Eric Van


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:34 AM

QUOTE (absintheofmalaise @ Dec 16 2009, 11:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm not comfortable with that at all. Let's say a player at 3B has 150 chances in those games. Any average MLB 3B will make about 90% of those plays leaving you with 15 that an above average 3B will, or won't, make. I really don't see how you can make a determination about the true fielding ability based on those 15 or so plays. Here is a quote from MGL, the guy who created UZR:

As it so happens, the reliability of UZR to predict itself from one year to the next doesn't suffer at all until you get down to 80 games or so, which is remarkably low, and it is still usable with regression down to about 40 games, which is to say that 40 to 80 game samples still have usable correlation. But then you start to see a really steep drop-off. I'm not sure there's much of a correlation in samples smaller than 40 games.

A good rule of thumb for any one-year sample (over 80 game) is to take 60%. You can go down to 50% for bad (so -12 translates to -6) and up to 70% for good (so +14 translates to +10). These regressions are based on the actual data from the first four years of UZR and need to be redone with the whole data set -- but I redid the threshold work and that didn't change.

I'm pretty sure Prado is a good 3B; Callaspo might be, but it's a gamble.

#183 Guest_Corsi Combover_*

Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:35 AM

Cameron will wear #23.

#184 Rough Carrigan


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:36 AM

QUOTE (Corsi Combover @ Dec 16 2009, 11:35 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Cameron will wear #23.

They still give out Tiant's number, huh?

#185 luckysox


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:38 AM

Cameron looks pretty damn happy...and dude is in crazy shape.
Says he'll play where Theo and Tito want him to. Chose Boston b/c he's ok with a large market, ok with being scrutinized. Wants the opportunity to win a WS. Likes Lackey coming in. Hasn't been this excited sinece he first broke into the bigs.

Understands the passion of fans; he's a big fan of the game too and this was best way to enjoy summer seasons in Boston as part of something special.

He is staying away from answering the where will you play questions. He' still very confident with his defensive skills.

Edited by luckysox, 16 December 2009 - 11:41 AM.


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:38 AM

"I haven't been as excited about coming somewhere since I first came into the big leagues."

#187 jsinger121


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:38 AM

QUOTE (Rough Carrigan @ Dec 16 2009, 11:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
They still give out Tiant's number, huh?


Lugo wore #23 as well.

#188 LahoudOrBillyC


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:40 AM

I love this guy. Welcome aboard Mike.


#189 luckysox


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:41 AM

QUOTE (LahoudOrBillyC @ Dec 16 2009, 11:40 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I love this guy. Welcome aboard Mike.

Yup. He's the goods.

#190 Wade Boggs Hair

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:43 AM

Francona says they'll have a group session with Theo, Hale, Cameron & Ellsbury to decide what kind of positional alignment makes sense.

#191 Wade Boggs Hair

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:43 AM

"Playing here every day will add some youth to my spirits."

#192 Foulkey Reese


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:45 AM

QUOTE (LahoudOrBillyC @ Dec 16 2009, 11:40 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I love this guy. Welcome aboard Mike.

Agreed x 2. Looking forward to seeing him play.

#193 luckysox


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:45 AM

Theo harping on run prevention...and saying that's as important as offense.

Tito says he and Mike and Jacoby and Theo will sit in the next week to talk about what's in everyone's best interests for defensive alignment.

Cam says he knows every game here is like a playoff atmosphere and thinks that will add some youth to his spirit.

Theo says key point about the defensive alignment is that Cameron said he'll play anywhere and Theo likes the intriguing possibilities this brings to the table.

edit: I'll stop the running commentary now since most of those here are watching/listening.

Edited by luckysox, 16 December 2009 - 11:46 AM.


#194 LahoudOrBillyC


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:46 AM

Theo stressing that Cameron's willingness to play LF was a key factor in their interest in him.


#195 luckysox


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:46 AM

This guy looks about 28 years old.

#196 absintheofmalaise


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:48 AM

QUOTE (Eric Van @ Dec 16 2009, 11:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As it so happens, the reliability of UZR to predict itself from one year to the next doesn't suffer at all until you get down to 80 games or so, which is remarkably low, and it is still usable with regression down to about 40 games, which is to say that 40 to 80 game samples still have usable correlation. But then you start to see a really steep drop-off. I'm not sure there's much of a correlation in samples smaller than 40 games.

A good rule of thumb for any one-year sample (over 80 game) is to take 60%. You can go down to 50% for bad (so -12 translates to -6) and up to 70% for good (so +14 translates to +10). These regressions are based on the actual data from the first four years of UZR and need to be redone with the whole data set -- but I redid the threshold work and that didn't change.

I'm pretty sure Prado is a good 3B; Callaspo might be, but it's a gamble.

From watching Prado play 3B, I'd say he'd be pretty good there as well. I haven't seen Callaspo play at all.

#197 luckysox


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:49 AM

Theo - still monitoring trade and FA markets for a big hitter, but they're not in a rush. Easier to add a bat during the season if they need to. But he's not saying "we're done".





Something's coming.

#198 Wade Boggs Hair

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:49 AM

Cameron has known Francona since Cameron was 17...apparently Tito was his rookie ball hitting coach and his A ball manager.

#199 Alternate34

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:51 AM

I really like his attitude. I know in the grand scheme of things that might be a tiny speck, but it's encouraging and enjoyable.

Did that sound too creepy? If not I can up the ante.

#200 luckysox


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Posted 16 December 2009 - 11:51 AM

Tito saw his parents drop him off in sarasota for his first season in A ball...wow. This is a very cool story.