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Red Sox Offered Holliday 5 Year Deal?


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#1 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 22 December 2009 - 08:47 PM

5 Years, $82.5M

Ricardo mentioned this in one of the Yankees threads, and it was news to me. Typical Gammons in that he just casually mentions a pretty major news item as if it was common knowledge. Kind of interesting, would love to know more specifics about this. Obviously Holliday didn't accept, but did he counter? What is the status of this offer, assuming it was pulled once the Sox landed Lackey? What was the issue with having offers out to Bay, Lackey, and Holliday at once- first one who accepts goes through, and the others are pulled?

If true, this kind of goes against the information that was being put out there, and I'm curious as to why Gammons hasn't gone more in-depth into what happened here. Maybe he has and I just missed it? He seems to be the only one reporting this story, so was just wondering what else is out there.

Also, interesting that they valued Lackey and Holliday at the exact same dollars and years?

Edited by Rudy Pemberton, 22 December 2009 - 08:48 PM.


#2 bosockboy


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Posted 22 December 2009 - 09:03 PM

It was a tweet....the essence of lack of detail. I'm guessing Holliday was their intended target at that price and maybe Lackey fell into their laps at the Winter Meetings and it made sense. I imagine they gave Boras a hard clock on that offer and moved on.



Edited by bosockboy, 22 December 2009 - 09:28 PM.


#3 Otis Foster


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Posted 22 December 2009 - 09:46 PM

QUOTE (bosockboy @ Dec 22 2009, 09:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It was a tweet....the essence of lack of detail. I'm guessing Holliday was their intended target at that price and maybe Lackey fell into their laps at the Winter Meetings and it made sense. I imagine they gave Boras a hard clock on that offer and moved on.


....which as many of you have noted is the only thing you can do with a Boras client because otherwise he'll let you twist in the wind till he gets what he wants.


#4 Plympton91


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Posted 22 December 2009 - 10:01 PM

Wow, that seems like an incredible low ball. They gave Drew 5 years at $70 million. Do they really value Holliday at only $2.5 million more than Drew, and even more of health risk (Holliday's younger but still only 5 years)?

Granted, the economy has melted down since Drew signed his deal, and it seems like deflation has really come to the free agent market -- except for John Lackey.

Holliday is a durable, righthanded, middle-of-the-order stud in the middle of his prime years; I would have gone a lot higher for Holliday before investing a cent in Cameron or Lackey.

Really disappointing that they think these so-called advanced defensive metrics--that show established players gyrating wildly from season to season, and routinely provide rankings that fail the laugh test--should be given the same status as offensive statistics.

Unless Buchholz and Matzusaka finally fully live up to their hype, I just don't see how they're going to compete with the Yankees this season. It'll also be interesting to see if TV ratings hold up for the pitching and defense Red Sox--to me, that means a lot of boring baseball, win or lose.

#5 bombdiggz

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 10:45 PM

QUOTE (Rudy Pemberton @ Dec 22 2009, 08:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Also, interesting that they valued Lackey and Holliday at the exact same dollars and years?


I wouldn't be surprised if they sent out both the offers around the same time, telling each one (more so Boras) that they had another contract out and the first one to to accept gets it. It's kind of the opposite of the mystery team effect and a true take it or leave it deal. My guess is that they already had the number worked out with Lackey, given the Burnett deal, and knew Boras wouldn't accept it. But, in the future when Theo says here is the number Scott, take it or leave it he has more credibility. Gammo indicates that they preferred Lackey and I think that is the case, just some mind games for Scott. In the Evil of Boras thread I expanded on how it seems teams are adjusting to Boras' strategy. I think this is another example.

BTW, I did post these the day the tweets came out, Olney tweeted the same info as well. Probably shouldn't have buried it in the LF thread.
Olney:
http://twitter.com/B...atus/6804395794

Edit: Could this also account for why Lackey didn't shop his offer around. I remember reading some website that day when Lackey was taking his physical that cited a Angels exec who didn't buy it, stating that they would take it back to us before signing elsewhere. Or, Maybe he really did just want to play in Boston.

Edited by bombdiggz, 22 December 2009 - 11:24 PM.


#6 Joshv02

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 10:50 PM

QUOTE (Plympton91 @ Dec 22 2009, 10:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Really disappointing that they think these so-called advanced defensive metrics--that show established players gyrating wildly from season to season, and routinely provide rankings that fail the laugh test--should be given the same status as offensive statistics.

What are you talking about? Who is the "they" here? Theo Epstein or Eric Van or who?

I don't think there is any indication that the Red Sox front office at all advances whatever strawman, simplistic argument that you hope they don't advocate.

Edited by Joshv02, 22 December 2009 - 11:01 PM.


#7 staz


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Posted 22 December 2009 - 10:53 PM

QUOTE (Plympton91 @ Dec 22 2009, 10:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It'll also be interesting to see if TV ratings hold up for the pitching and defense Red Sox--to me, that means a lot of boring baseball, win or lose.

See, to me, that's exciting baseball. I guess that makes me boring.

#8 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 22 December 2009 - 10:56 PM

QUOTE (staz @ Dec 22 2009, 10:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
See, to me, that's exciting baseball. I guess that makes me boring.


Nah, I'm right there with you. I'd prefer to see a dominant pitching performance than a slugfest any day. I think winning is exciting, but they do say that chicks dig the longball.

Didn't figure plympton for the internal sex organs type... smile.gif

#9 Sprowl


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Posted 22 December 2009 - 11:00 PM

QUOTE (staz @ Dec 22 2009, 07:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
See, to me, that's exciting baseball. I guess that makes me boring.

Winning baseball is exciting. If pitching and defense make for winning, bore me too.

Besides, great pitching looks even better on pitchfx. rolleyes.gif

#10 Eric Van


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Posted 22 December 2009 - 11:17 PM

QUOTE (Plympton91 @ Dec 22 2009, 10:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Holliday is a durable, righthanded, middle-of-the-order stud in the middle of his prime years; I would have gone a lot higher for Holliday before investing a cent in Cameron or Lackey.

Really disappointing that they think these so-called advanced defensive metrics--that show established players gyrating wildly from season to season, and routinely provide rankings that fail the laugh test--should be given the same status as offensive statistics.

The question is, even with the error bars as big as they need to be*, can you come out with Holliday and a rehabbing pitcher being more bang for the buck than Lackey and Cameron? If it's the same amount of money, which is better on the field?

I don't think you can come out with Holliday as the better option. And a lot of that comes from the fact that the group of all CFers, whom we can measure defensively pretty well, is 12-14 runs better than the group of all LFers (in terms of the value gained when actually shifting positions, which Jacoby has already done with exactly the gain you'd expect to see -- +15, in fact). No matter where you peg Cameron and Holliday among their respective peer groups, e.g. +6 for both or maybe quite a bit different, Cameron still gives you more bang for buck, way more, and thus the Lackey + Cameron pair is the better choice. And there is something to be said as well for a) opting for run prevention over offense and b) taking the best pitcher off the market. The odds of Lackey beating us again in next year's playoffs have been significantly reduced.

*They had Voros McCracken before they had me and his big thing was error bars on all projections and the importance of thinking about them. I'm quite sure they have a sense of the odds of any move being better than its alternative.


#11 bombdiggz

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 11:20 PM

QUOTE (Plympton91 @ Dec 22 2009, 10:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Drew signed his deal, and it seems like deflation has really come to the free agent market -- except for John Lackey.


Or C.C. Sabathia, or Mark Teixeira, or whatever Matt Holliday ends up getting. Bottom line is that the premium guys are still getting premium dollars. The Red Sox are not handing out inordinate and absurd contracts. Lackey was signed for the same money as Burnett and Lackey is a year younger upon signing, had more success, and been healthier. It was the going rate, maybe a little less.

Edited by bombdiggz, 22 December 2009 - 11:26 PM.


#12 bosockboy


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Posted 22 December 2009 - 11:24 PM

QUOTE (bombdiggz @ Dec 22 2009, 11:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Or C.C. Sabathia, or Mark Teixeira, or whatever Matt Holiday ends up getting. Bottom line is that the premium guys are still getting premium dollars. The Red Sox are not handing out inordinate and absurd contracts. Lackey was signed for the same money as Burnett and Lackey is a year younger upon signing, had more success, and been healthier. It was the going rate, maybe a little less.


I had Lackey pegged at 100 million going into October....I'm thrilled to have him at 5/82.5.

#13 Phragle


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Posted 22 December 2009 - 11:34 PM

QUOTE (staz @ Dec 22 2009, 10:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
See, to me, that's exciting baseball. I guess that makes me boring.

Right, it makes everything more dramatic. Its baseball, not basketball.

Our pitching staff is going to squeeze the life out of the opponents offense.

Edit: I'll still hate Lackey until he actually gets on the mound. Sorry it's an embedded hate.

Edited by phragle, 22 December 2009 - 11:36 PM.


#14 paulftodd


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 03:06 AM

QUOTE (Eric Van @ Dec 23 2009, 12:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The question is, even with the error bars as big as they need to be*, can you come out with Holliday and a rehabbing pitcher being more bang for the buck than Lackey and Cameron? If it's the same amount of money, which is better on the field? I don't think you can come out with Holliday as the better option.

And a lot of that comes from the fact that the group of all CFers, whom we can measure defensively pretty well, is 12-14 runs better than the group of all LFers (in terms of the value gained when actually shifting positions, which Jacoby has already done with exactly the gain you'd expect to see -- +15, in fact). No matter where you peg Cameron and Holliday among their respective peer groups, e.g. +6 for both or maybe quite a bit different, Cameron still gives you more bang for buck, way more, and thus the Lackey + Cameron pair is the better choice. And there is something to be said as well for a) opting for run prevention over offense and b) taking the best pitcher off the market. The odds of Lackey beating us again in next year's playoffs have been significantly reduced.


Well, the 37 yo Cameron will need replacing in 2 years and is hardly an elite OF'er offensively, Lackey as an aging pitcher in year 4 and 5, who knows. Holliday is certainly going to be productive over the next 5 years, and as for being on the field, Lackey only pitches every 5 games, Holliday would start 150 (and not the 125 Drew puts up on a good year-key word, start).

That said, I am pleased an offer of this nature was made. I suspect Holliday simply wants to stay put in the NL, kind of a similar deal where Teixeira simply wanted to play for NY.

All in all, I am happy with the Cameron, Lackey and Scutaro acquisitions. Barring collapse (eg. Cameron, Papi) or injury (eg. Drew, V-Mart), the offense should be fine, and defense and pitching are improved next year.

And if the games are boring due to a lack of offense, I just won't watch as many games for as long as I normally do and will rely on boxscores, recaps, highlights and fast speed DVR's to avoid commercials, with an occasional drop in on the game threads to hear folks whine about the crappy offense and why we did not resign Bay or sign Holiday.

As for being beat next year, I think it would be King Felix and Cliff Lee we need to worry about, but fortunately they are still Bayless in Seattle. Of course, if the Angels are still good, getting the WC may be more difficult, and we may be competing with them for that spot.

#15 JimBoSox9


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 03:42 AM

QUOTE (Plympton91 @ Dec 22 2009, 10:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wow, that seems like an incredible low ball. They gave Drew 5 years at $70 million. Do they really value Holliday at only $2.5 million more than Drew, and even more of health risk (Holliday's younger but still only 5 years)?

Granted, the economy has melted down since Drew signed his deal, and it seems like deflation has really come to the free agent market -- except for John Lackey.

Holliday is a durable, righthanded, middle-of-the-order stud in the middle of his prime years; I would have gone a lot higher for Holliday before investing a cent in Cameron or Lackey.

Really disappointing that they think these so-called advanced defensive metrics--that show established players gyrating wildly from season to season, and routinely provide rankings that fail the laugh test--should be given the same status as offensive statistics.

Unless Buchholz and Matzusaka finally fully live up to their hype, I just don't see how they're going to compete with the Yankees this season. It'll also be interesting to see if TV ratings hold up for the pitching and defense Red Sox--to me, that means a lot of boring baseball, win or lose.


Speaking of things that fail the laugh test...

JD Drew, on this board, is undoubtedly the straw that stirs the drink. It always, ALWAYS seems to come back to either Drew's contract or how to value his performance.

I'm curious as to how you, as the General Manager, would value defense. Would you simply ignore it in all your decisions, would you rely completely on what your scouts say, or would you devote resources to coming up with a metric that involves less wild gyrations?

#16 Eric Van


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 04:01 AM

Here's my guess at how this played out, based on knowing how they work and what Theo said at the press conferences.

They figured out how much Bay, Cameron, and Holliday were likely to be worth and likely to get. They found that Holliday was easily the best, that Bay was probably a bit better than Cameron (but with actually quite a bit of overlap in the error bars). Cameron would lead by a mile in bang-for-buck and Bay would be the worst.

They made an offer to Bay that was way less than reported. One that valued the knowledge that we know he can play here (probably to the tune of a couple of mill) but still asked a steep hometown discount of him. He turned it down and his agent adroitly put out the word that the offer was for 4 x 15. No way that can be true given how he compares to Holliday and especially to Cameron.

So now Holliday is plan A because he's an elite talent, Cameron is B because he has the most bang-for-buck, and Bay is C in case the market for him collapses and they can't sign the first two. They act like Bay is Plan A for various reasons that you can figure out as well as I can, but mostly to appear to Boras to be as uninterested in Holliday as possible.

At some point in the many brainstorming sessions the outside-the-box idea of signing Lackey and Cameron instead of Holliday and a rehabbing pitcher is tossed out. Everyone agrees that it might actually be smarter but it is not studied in-depth because no one thinks there's a prayer that Lackey would come here.

They make their initial offer to Holliday, expecting to either win a protracted negotiation for an ultimately fair price, or get outbid again at the last moment by the Yankees. But about that same time they learn that Lackey really wants to come here. Now they crunch all the numbers in detail and they come to the conclusion that Lackey + Cameron is easily better than Holliday + rehabber. Not only does it project to be worth more runs for the same bucks, those are defensive runs. And they keep Lackey away from the Yankees and everyone else. And they won't be left in the position of having the Holliday money left to spend and no one to spend it on.

So, instead of getting back to Boras with a better offer, they just sign Lackey and Cameron, easy as pie.

(The part where they have thought of signing Lackey but haven't yet studied it in detail may seem like pure speculation but it was right there in Theo's narrative. There is not an infinite amount of manpower and brainpower. There is a lot of work to do checking out any player before you sign him, from the separate POV's of stats, performance scouting, medical assessment, and personality evaluation. So they did all this homework on Holliday and Cameron first but not Lackey and had to scramble to catch up. When they did, they liked what they saw, big-time.)

Edited by Eric Van, 23 December 2009 - 04:11 AM.


#17 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 09:15 AM

QUOTE
The question is, even with the error bars as big as they need to be*, can you come out with Holliday and a rehabbing pitcher being more bang for the buck than Lackey and Cameron? If it's the same amount of money, which is better on the field?

I don't think you can come out with Holliday as the better option.


Eric, this is a pretty dramatic change of your opinion vs. what you were writing prior to the Sox signing Lackey & Cameron, isn't it?

#18 yecul


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 09:15 AM

It is funny how Gammo drops this kind of thing off-hand. Given the timing and size of the offer in relation to what they are asking for it's hard to see that being more than a fingers-crossed offer. While it might wind up being close to what he gets it certainly wasn't something he would take right off the bat.

As for DieHard3/Plympton, you have to remember that his schtick is to take the stance opposite whatever the Sox does. He only posts on this board to rile people up. That is not conjecture, that is explicitly what he has said in the past. So, in other words, don't let it bother you. If they had signed Holliday then he'd have posted how it was a big waste and how he's a lumbering oaf on defense.

One point he did raise to deride the Sox was to say they won't keep up with the Yankees. I agree, that's certainly in question and looks doubtful as things currently stand. But... so what? That's what the wild card is for. Boston is looking like a legit playoff contender as usual.

QUOTE (Rudy Pemberton @ Dec 23 2009, 09:15 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Eric, this is a pretty dramatic change of your opinion vs. what you were writing prior to the Sox signing Lackey & Cameron, isn't it?


Not to mention it doesn't have to be a rehabbing pitcher. A couple pitchers have been traded and there are other options out there. Presenting it as an A or B is disingenuous.

Edited by yecul, 23 December 2009 - 09:17 AM.


#19 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 09:18 AM

It's also interesting to compare the Holliday offer to what they were rumored to have offered Teixeira last year. There's no way the Sox could have expected that offer to be accepted.

#20 PedroKsBambino


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 09:41 AM

QUOTE
They make their initial offer to Holliday, expecting to either win a protracted negotiation for an ultimately fair price, or get outbid again at the last moment by the Yankees. But about that same time they learn that Lackey really wants to come here. Now they crunch all the numbers in detail and they come to the conclusion that Lackey + Cameron is easily better than Holliday + rehabber. Not only does it project to be worth more runs for the same bucks, those are defensive runs. And they keep Lackey away from the Yankees and everyone else. And they won't be left in the position of having the Holliday money left to spend and no one to spend it on.


Nice narrative. I would guess, though, that they had already assessed the Lackey option when they made the rumored offer to Holliday. I'd think they said to Holliday/Boras "here's our offer, 5/$82.5, it explodes at midnight tonight" and then worked to prepare to finalize Lackey/Cameron and made those deals (effectively) as soon as the deadline passed.

#21 TomRicardo


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 09:56 AM

QUOTE (Rudy Pemberton @ Dec 23 2009, 09:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's also interesting to compare the Holliday offer to what they were rumored to have offered Teixeira last year. There's no way the Sox could have expected that offer to be accepted.


Why not? Right now he doesn't have a much better offer on the table. The Yankees still haven't swooped in to save Boras's ass. It is getting a little late for the "inevitable" Yankee "throw money out like a drunk frat boy at a strip club" signing.

Teixeira had the two biggest teams bidding as well as a bunch of other teams to keep them honest. Right now Holliday's market is the Cardinals and maybe the Mets though the Mets seem very uninterested. How much longer can Boras drag his feet with Damon and the Yankees to try to keep the false facade of the Yankees going after Holliday?

Edited by TomRicardo, 23 December 2009 - 09:56 AM.


#22 TomRicardo


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 09:57 AM

By the way if I am the Red Sox, I do not engage Bay or Holliday again until Damon does sign with the Yankees.

#23 bosockboy


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 10:00 AM

QUOTE (TomRicardo @ Dec 23 2009, 09:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Why not? Right now he doesn't have a much better offer on the table. The Yankees still haven't swooped in to save Boras's ass. It is getting a little late for the "inevitable" Yankee "throw money out like a drunk frat boy at a strip club" signing.

Teixeira had the two biggest teams bidding as well as a bunch of other teams to keep them honest. Right now Holliday's market is the Cardinals and maybe the Mets though the Mets seem very uninterested. How much longer can Boras drag his feet with Damon and the Yankees to try to keep the false facade of the Yankees going after Holliday?


Yeah Teixeira had the perfect storm....the Yanks and Red Sox had a dire need for him and both valued him very highly. I think Holliday's run in Oakland scared off most of the AL.

#24 glennhoffmania


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 10:01 AM

QUOTE (TomRicardo @ Dec 23 2009, 09:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Why not? Right now he doesn't have a much better offer on the table. The Yankees still haven't swooped in to save Boras's ass. It is getting a little late for the "inevitable" Yankee "throw money out like a drunk frat boy at a strip club" signing.


Why is it getting late? It's not even January and NY clearly has a need in LF now. Would anyone really be shocked if they sign Holliday to a ridiculous deal sometime in the next few weeks?

#25 PedroKsBambino


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 10:29 AM

QUOTE (glennhoffmania @ Dec 23 2009, 10:01 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Why is it getting late? It's not even January and NY clearly has a need in LF now. Would anyone really be shocked if they sign Holliday to a ridiculous deal sometime in the next few weeks?


It's not late is the answer. Yankees could well have been in contact with Holliday to the exact same degree they were on Teixeira, frankly...it's silly to suggest we know more than we do in these situations.

#26 HomeBrew1901


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 10:51 AM

QUOTE (yecul @ Dec 23 2009, 09:15 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It is funny how Gammo drops this kind of thing off-hand. Given the timing and size of the offer in relation to what they are asking for it's hard to see that being more than a fingers-crossed offer. While it might wind up being close to what he gets it certainly wasn't something he would take right off the bat.

Pure speculation on my part, but I wouldn't be surprised if this information came straight from Boras to send a message to St. Louis that they aren't the only team on the block. From all reports St. Louis believes that they have the best offer on the table at 5/80 and refuse to play games with Boras by bidding against themselves.

Since Gammons couldn't corroborate it, and possibly didn't believe it himself, he just tweeted it so at least the information was out there.

Again just a guess, but I don't see any reason why the Sox would confirm this or even float it.

#27 TomRicardo


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 11:01 AM

QUOTE (glennhoffmania @ Dec 23 2009, 10:01 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Why is it getting late? It's not even January and NY clearly has a need in LF now. Would anyone really be shocked if they sign Holliday to a ridiculous deal sometime in the next few weeks?


The Yankees generally like making huge signings in December when they send out their season ticket renewals. Sometimes they officially announce the deal after New Years but they usually have a handshake before Christmas. I suppose they like to have a general idea of what there budget is starting in January.

I can't remember the last contract the Yankees gave after January. Only thing I can remember is the ARod trade but that fell into their laps.

#28 twothousandone

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 11:08 AM

QUOTE (bombdiggz @ Dec 23 2009, 03:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
But, in the future when Theo says here is the number Scott, take it or leave it he has more credibility.


I find it hard to believe they spend much time determining the right way to negotiate with Boras. They've seen him many times, and it seems they offer wat they are willing to pay, maybe a little less to offer room to go higher, but are rarely taken by him. I can't imagine Tex to the MFYs was a real surprise. A disappointment, sure, but NY needed a 1B. If they now realize they wasted too much time with Boras, that's really a minor adjustment.


QUOTE
They make their initial offer to Holliday, expecting to either win a protracted negotiation for an ultimately fair price, or get outbid again at the last moment by the Yankees.

If that was the offer, and they made it, I agree, it was based on thinking it was possible he'd be on the Red Sox. It probably also helped validate whatever their offer to Bay was (Holliday is better). When lackey showed real interest, the situation changed.

#29 Philip Jeff Frye


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 11:10 AM

QUOTE (TomRicardo @ Dec 23 2009, 11:01 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The Yankees generally like making huge signings in December when they send out their season ticket renewals. Sometimes they officially announce the deal after New Years but they usually have a handshake before Christmas. I suppose they like to have a general idea of what there budget is starting in January.

I can't remember the last contract the Yankees gave after January. Only thing I can remember is the ARod trade but that fell into their laps.

They've already done Granderson and Vazquez to show the ticket holders that they're not standing still, and both of these moves have been very well received by their fan base. Why should they bid against themselves for Holliday if they don't have to? They had serious competition from the Red Sox and the Orioles for Teixeira last year and needed to wrap it up before somebody else did, but that market hasn't happened so far for Holliday.

#30 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 11:17 AM

QUOTE
I can't remember the last contract the Yankees gave after January. Only thing I can remember is the ARod trade but that fell into their laps.


Not sure what you mean by after January, since marquee free agents never sign in February- but Johnny Damon was signed on 1/3/06.

Randy Johnson was a big acquisition, and they got him on 1/11/05.

It's hard to compare this to what has happened historically, though. Players like Holliday & Bay aren't generally available in January (and they may not be this year, either).

Edited by Rudy Pemberton, 23 December 2009 - 11:18 AM.


#31 bosockboy


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 11:21 AM

QUOTE (Rudy Pemberton @ Dec 23 2009, 12:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Not sure what you mean by after January, since marquee free agents never sign in February- but Johnny Damon was signed on 1/3/06.

Randy Johnson was a big acquisition, and they got him on 1/11/05.

It's hard to compare this to what has happened historically, though. Players like Holliday & Bay aren't generally available in January (and they may not be this year, either).


Damon's was on 12/21/05 actually....

http://sports.espn.g...tory?id=2266983

#32 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 11:26 AM

Retrosheet, bunch of liars! Guess the deal wasn't officially announced until January.

#33 TomRicardo


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 11:30 AM

QUOTE (Rudy Pemberton @ Dec 23 2009, 11:17 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Not sure what you mean by after January, since marquee free agents never sign in February- but Johnny Damon was signed on 1/3/06.

Randy Johnson was a big acquisition, and they got him on 1/11/05.

It's hard to compare this to what has happened historically, though. Players like Holliday & Bay aren't generally available in January (and they may not be this year, either).


They had a handshake on the deal in December then waited for the paperwork to go through after New Year's. Then Johnson's physical and assaulting of the press was schedule for the next week.

Looking at the largest contracts not given to Yankees. Beltran agreed to a deal in mid January, Santana trade was in February, Manny was in March. Soriano and the Cabrera trade were before the New Year though.

Edit - The real problem is most elite talent is either extended or bought by the Yankees. Soriano is the only example of a top shelf player being announced before January not signed by the Yankees. Drew was after the New Year.

Vladimir Guerrero was mid January too. Soriano and Ramirez in 2000 seem to be the only exceptions to the rule.

Edited by TomRicardo, 23 December 2009 - 11:38 AM.


#34 TomRicardo


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 11:31 AM

QUOTE (Rudy Pemberton @ Dec 23 2009, 11:26 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Retrosheet, bunch of liars! Guess the deal wasn't officially announced until January.


Yea as I said many are agreed to in December and they wait until after the New Year to announce them. The Yankees have a ton of announcements the first week in January.

#35 maufman


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 12:07 PM

QUOTE (TomRicardo @ Dec 23 2009, 11:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yea as I said many are agreed to in December and they wait until after the New Year to announce them. The Yankees have a ton of announcements the first week in January.


Is there possibly a tax or accounting reason for this?

For MLB purposes (luxury tax, 60/40 rule, etc.), contracts are measured on a season-to-season basis. For tax and financial accounting purposes, however, most teams* have a fiscal year ending December 31st. So while it doesn't matter to MLB whether contracts are signed before or after 12/31, it might matter a lot for other purposes. For example, does signing a contract prior to December 31 that provides for a signing bonus result in a charge to earnings (and a tax deduction) in the year of signing?

I know just enough about this stuff to be dangerous. My hunch is most teams prefer to finalize deals before 12/31 to get whatever tax break they can on the signing bonus, whereas the MFY, for their own unique reasons, prefer to avoid the charge to prior-year earnings.

In the past, however, this has not stopped the MFY from making announcements in December. I'm asking a narrow question, not suggesting there's a secret agreement in principle for Holliday that will be announced on January 2nd.



*-I assume virtually all teams are structured as pass-through entities for tax purposes, and most are majority-owned by individuals. Corporate-owned teams would generally have the same fiscal year as the corporate parent, which might or not be the same as the calendar year.

#36 EdRalphRomero


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 12:56 PM

At the risk of opening up what may be regarded as a foregone conclusion, it seems to me that Matt Holliday is over-valued.

His career road line is .284/.353/.454 (and of course his road numbers provide the most meaningful long-term view into his production as it removes the Denver factor). I compare this to Mike Cameron's overall line last year of .250/.342/.452 and see remarkable similarity -- with the noticeable difference coming in average. And when I compare it to Drew's .279/.392/.522 line from last year I see Drew as a far superior player. Now I understand I am not accounting for defense and that using road splits as the baseline is a bit unfair to compare to a total year (since most players will hit better at home). And I am certainly not arguing that Holliday wouldn't be a big upgrade over Cameron. But, still, what am I missing that makes this guy worth this much money?

As an additional point of comparison, Bay's road numbers last year were .278/.366/.532.



#37 NHbeau


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 01:31 PM

QUOTE (EdRalphRomero @ Dec 23 2009, 12:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
At the risk of opening up what may be regarded as a foregone conclusion, it seems to me that Matt Holliday is over-valued.

His career road line is .284/.353/.454 (and of course his road numbers provide the most meaningful long-term view into his production as it removes the Denver factor). I compare this to Mike Cameron's overall line last year of .250/.342/.452 and see remarkable similarity -- with the noticeable difference coming in average. And when I compare it to Drew's .279/.392/.522 line from last year I see Drew as a far superior player. Now I understand I am not accounting for defense and that using road splits as the baseline is a bit unfair to compare to a total year (since most players will hit better at home). And I am certainly not arguing that Holliday wouldn't be a big upgrade over Cameron. But, still, what am I missing that makes this guy worth this much money?

As an additional point of comparison, Bay's road numbers last year were .278/.366/.532.



I don't see you missing anything. To me Holliday is a huge albatross contract in the making. His AL stint was a joke, but also SSS. I would give him Drew money and that's it, let whoever else pay the king's ransom he will command simply by being the best FA hitter available this year. This isn't an elite talent we're seeing. He's a good player who built his rep on a ridicules home field, and away from Coors he has been solid at best in any sample size worth using for predictive value. Add in the fact he'd play half his games in a LF where I could post a positive UZR, and I see a colossal waste of money and a roster spot on a guy who can be replaced by Ellsbury for nowhere near the cost. I pass on Holliday for anything more than 3/45. And I honestly would have second thoughts about that high a price. I really can't understand the enthusiasm this guy brings at all, this isn't the Rockies player I covet (Mr. Tulowitzki please stand up), Holliday wouldn't even be the best OF on the sox, let alone someone worth breaking the bank for.

#38 Eric Van


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 02:47 PM

QUOTE (Rudy Pemberton @ Dec 23 2009, 09:15 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Eric, this is a pretty dramatic change of your opinion vs. what you were writing prior to the Sox signing Lackey & Cameron, isn't it?

I didn't think of Lackey + Cameron. Never crossed my mind. As blindsided as anybody.

BA just projected Lackey to be the 5th starter in 2012! Adding the best pitcher on the market to a staff that already had a #1, a borderline #1 / #2 who has stretches of total dominance, a kid who's a borderline #2 / #3 with super - #1 upside, and a young vet #3 who's working his butt off to regain the #1 or #2 status he's supposed to have -- that is really outside-the-box thinking. I endorsed it immediately.


#39 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 03:05 PM

That just seems odd to me, as I believe you wrote in several threads that the advantage accrued by having a terrific rotation 1-5 is largely negated in the post-season. I believe you were fairly anti-Cameron as well, although I can't find the exact threads. There was a large contingent of SOSHers who were really hoping for Cameron; I think it was Lackey that was really just a complete surprise, primarily because the Sox didn't seem likely to give the kind of contract that Lackey would require. I'm not sure I'd agree with anyone who thinks it was incredibly creative or a stroke of genius (and not suggesting you think it was!).

Edited by Rudy Pemberton, 23 December 2009 - 03:14 PM.


#40 Eric Van


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 03:06 PM

QUOTE (EdRalphRomero @ Dec 23 2009, 12:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
At the risk of opening up what may be regarded as a foregone conclusion, it seems to me that Matt Holliday is over-valued.

His career road line is .284/.353/.454 (and of course his road numbers provide the most meaningful long-term view into his production as it removes the Denver factor). I compare this to Mike Cameron's overall line last year of .250/.342/.452 and see remarkable similarity -- with the noticeable difference coming in average. And when I compare it to Drew's .279/.392/.522 line from last year I see Drew as a far superior player. Now I understand I am not accounting for defense and that using road splits as the baseline is a bit unfair to compare to a total year (since most players will hit better at home). And I am certainly not arguing that Holliday wouldn't be a big upgrade over Cameron. But, still, what am I missing that makes this guy worth this much money?

As an additional point of comparison, Bay's road numbers last year were .278/.366/.532.

His home / road split has gotten continually smaller.

And of course it doesn't make sense to think of it as home / road as if Coors were the only good hitting park in the world. When you look in more detail, he's just a guy who really struggles in any pitcher's park. His bad splits were mostly driven by amazingly bad ones against the Padres and Dodgers. He has a pattern of being at his best in high run environments that are surprisingly tough for RHB HR -- both of which encourage pitchers to come right after him rather than risk walking him. And at his worst in low run environments where HRs are surprisingly easy nevertheless -- which encourages pitchers to pitch around him. (The run environment is much more important, which is why he has the Coors / Petco split, but the HR factor explains his Dodger stadium split and a bunch of others with a SSS.)

The pitch/fx data backs up this interpretation -- he will chase balls out of the zone, especially up and down, but his sweet spot within the zone is really big, much bigger than Bay's (who is much more disciplined). And there's other evidence in support, too.

He would have been great in the middle of the Sox lineup and he'd be scary in the middle of the Yankees. Oakland was a terrible fit for him -- and yet, after a slow start there, he was fine. So there's reason to believe he is improving on his earlier tendencies to not accept a walk if they were trying to give him one.


#41 The Boomer

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 03:09 PM

QUOTE (Eric Van @ Dec 23 2009, 02:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I didn't think of Lackey + Cameron. Never crossed my mind. As blindsided as anybody.

BA just projected Lackey to be the 5th starter in 2012! Adding the best pitcher on the market to a staff that already had a #1, a borderline #1 / #2 who has stretches of total dominance, a kid who's a borderline #2 / #3 with super - #1 upside, and a young vet #3 who's working his butt off to regain the #1 or #2 status he's supposed to have -- that is really outside-the-box thinking. I endorsed it immediately.


The stealth signing of Lackey was also partially an answer to the Yankees getting Teixiera last year. Somebody mentioned Teixeira's "perfect storm" as a major explanation for the bidding war that landed him the huge contract (though his wife wanted NYC all along). With the offense they had before signing Teixeira, the Yankees weren't desperate for this although they had a hole at firstbase when they jettisoned the Giambino. Likewise, the Sox were not desperate for pitching this winter but, to their credit, paid market price for Lackey without getting overbid by stimulating the Yankees to do something about their pitching needs. Ironically, we can probably thank Mrs. Lackey somewhat for wanting to see her hubby play in front of family and friends in New England rather than going to the possibly higher bidder (with a more acute pitching need) in the Bronx. The Vazquez trade addressed this concern but opened the leftfield spot in their lineup. They will plug that with whoever from among Damon, Bay or Holiday they want to pay for. Cameron compares favorably with both Bay and Holiday (I'm not suggesting that short term he is equivalent to either of them). However, for what he can be projected to produce both offensively and defensively, he was a huge bargain compared to Bay and Holiday. The desire of both marquee free agent every day players this offseason to play for a contender is secondary to their publicly displayed priority desire to get top dollar. If the Yankees don't bring Damon back, they at least can't expect to get much if any discount for Bay or Holiday.

I agree that Theo's creative thinking is one of the factors that, while it won't result in a championship every season, at least keeps the Sox in contention most years with a reasonable shot to repeat as champions in some years.

Edited by The Boomer, 23 December 2009 - 03:13 PM.


#42 Quintanariffic

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 03:57 PM

QUOTE (EdRalphRomero @ Dec 23 2009, 12:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
At the risk of opening up what may be regarded as a foregone conclusion, it seems to me that Matt Holliday is over-valued.

His career road line is .284/.353/.454 (and of course his road numbers provide the most meaningful long-term view into his production as it removes the Denver factor). I compare this to Mike Cameron's overall line last year of .250/.342/.452 and see remarkable similarity -- with the noticeable difference coming in average. And when I compare it to Drew's .279/.392/.522 line from last year I see Drew as a far superior player. Now I understand I am not accounting for defense and that using road splits as the baseline is a bit unfair to compare to a total year (since most players will hit better at home). And I am certainly not arguing that Holliday wouldn't be a big upgrade over Cameron. But, still, what am I missing that makes this guy worth this much money?

As an additional point of comparison, Bay's road numbers last year were .278/.366/.532.

Why would you compare Holliday's career line, including his early years when he wasn't nearly as good, to Cameron's performance last year? Why is Holliday's performance on the road in 2004 or 2005 as relevant as his performance in 2007, 2008 and 2009? Aren't the most recent years likely to represent a better comp for how he is likely to perform for the next 4-5 years than when he was a rookie? This is a fundamentally flawed analysis.

#43 EdRalphRomero


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 04:30 PM

QUOTE (Quintanariffic @ Dec 23 2009, 03:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Why would you compare Holliday's career line, including his early years when he wasn't nearly as good, to Cameron's performance last year? Why is Holliday's performance on the road in 2004 or 2005 as relevant as his performance in 2007, 2008 and 2009? Aren't the most recent years likely to represent a better comp for how he is likely to perform for the next 4-5 years than when he was a rookie? This is a fundamentally flawed analysis.



I wasn't really setting out to do a real comparison between Holliday and Cameron. My point/question was that removing the Coors inflated numbers from Holliday's track record leaves him looking like a very good player, but not an elite player. Last year may be more predictive, but you could also say that his time in the AL is the best possible predictor and there he put up a .286/.378/.454 line -- very nice, but not elite. Jason Bay playing his entire season in the AL put up a .267/.384/.537 line. That looks much more like an elite player. And for what it is worth 2007 appears to be the outlier year where he really pounded it (1.012 ops). 2005 (.866 ops) and 2006 (.973 ops) look pretty similar to 2008 (.947 ops) and 2009 (.909 ops).

All that being said, I legitimately know that I am not seeing the full value of this player and want to see what I am missing. I'm not trying to cherry pick statistics but am just walking through my own (albeit limited and not at all expert) perspective on him as an offensive player.

Edited by EdRalphRomero, 23 December 2009 - 04:32 PM.


#44 ThePieholeOfDavidWells

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 05:09 PM

QUOTE (EdRalphRomero @ Dec 23 2009, 05:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
very nice, but not elite


What's your definition of elite? Would top 25 in all of MLB qualify as elite? If so, then Holliday's 2009 is elite, as measured by WAR (13th overall), wRC (15th), wOBA (23rd), OPS+ (19th), etc.

Cameron's not in the same league. Cameron's rankings: his wRC is 78th; wOBA is 87th; OPS+, 74th; WAR, 40th. This is the "very nice but not elite" guy.

I think what you're seeing is an illusion created by the equal weighting OPS gives to OBP and SLG, and the fact that it's unadjusted for park and league. Adjusted OPS home/away splits for 2009: Holliday 154/127; Cameron 107/115. That makes the difference a little more obvious. At least use OPS+, but wOBA is better (and wRC+ is probably best right now).

Edited: grammar.

Edited by ThePieholeOfDavidWells, 23 December 2009 - 05:10 PM.


#45 BigJimEd

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 05:16 PM

I think Holliday is similar to Drew when they signed him except Holliday is more durable.

#46 Philip Jeff Frye


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 05:36 PM

QUOTE (EdRalphRomero @ Dec 23 2009, 04:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I wasn't really setting out to do a real comparison between Holliday and Cameron. My point/question was that removing the Coors inflated numbers from Holliday's track record leaves him looking like a very good player, but not an elite player. Last year may be more predictive, but you could also say that his time in the AL is the best possible predictor and there he put up a .286/.378/.454 line -- very nice, but not elite. Jason Bay playing his entire season in the AL put up a .267/.384/.537 line. That looks much more like an elite player. And for what it is worth 2007 appears to be the outlier year where he really pounded it (1.012 ops). 2005 (.866 ops) and 2006 (.973 ops) look pretty similar to 2008 (.947 ops) and 2009 (.909 ops).

All that being said, I legitimately know that I am not seeing the full value of this player and want to see what I am missing. I'm not trying to cherry pick statistics but am just walking through my own (albeit limited and not at all expert) perspective on him as an offensive player.

400 plate appearances in the AL are "the best possible predictor" versus the 2800 he's had in the NL?

Holliday basically had a crappy April (648 OPS) and an excellent year after that. The remainder of his time Oakland after April was pretty good, especially on a terrible team in a pitcher's park - .299/.400/.480 from May 1 onwards.

Good players have crappy months from time to time. An example who immediately comes to mind is the elite Jason Bay, who put up a 689 in July. He proceeded this with a 701 OPS in June. That was a fair worse two month stretch than anything Holliday did last year. But that doesn't count, I suppose.

Edited by Kevin Mortons Ghost, 23 December 2009 - 05:38 PM.


#47 DieHard3


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 06:21 PM

QUOTE (yecul @ Dec 23 2009, 09:15 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As for DieHard3/[del]Plympton[/del], you have to remember that his schtick is to take the stance opposite whatever the Sox does. He [del]only[/del] occasionally posts contrary opinions on this board to [del]rile people up[/del] stimulate wider discussion when it is too one-sided because he (and presumably others) can learn more about all sides of some issues by tapping the collective knowledge of some of the great posters here. That is not conjecture, that is explicitly what he has said in the past.


Made that more accurate for you.



#48 TomRicardo


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 06:41 PM

QUOTE (DieHard3 @ Dec 23 2009, 06:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Made that more accurate for you.


Does Obama know you went back to your old screen name Billy?

I think in the end St. Louis will do what they need to to keep Holliday. Pujols has all but told him he is gone if they don't put a team around him that can win. Pujols has no desire to be the only bat in that lineup.

#49 JimBoSox9


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 11:52 PM

I want to agree with Tom about what STL will do, but I just don't see how the math lines up. Pujols will need a 20 mil per year extension in 1-2 years. How can the Cards commit 35+ million to their 3-4 hitters with a payroll that isn't going to go over 100 mil? Attendance has gone down slightly the last two years, and they're paying something like 15 mil a year in new stadium debt. If Pujols is really holding Mozeliak over the fire to get a serious bat, it puts the team in a bind, because to give him what he wants via free agency is going to cripple their payroll.

If the Cards end up with Holliday, it will be because the market has dried up for him, not because they adopt a whatever-it-takes attitude to get him.

#50 Plympton91


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Posted 23 December 2009 - 11:54 PM

QUOTE (JimBoSox9 @ Dec 23 2009, 03:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Speaking of things that fail the laugh test...

JD Drew, on this board, is undoubtedly the straw that stirs the drink. It always, ALWAYS seems to come back to either Drew's contract or how to value his performance.


I am not a Drew basher. I don't have any problem with the contract they gave him. I just think Holliday is significantly better, in part because he plays 15 to 20 percent more games per season. Also, as a righthander, he'd play to Fenway whereas Drew is hurt by the old gal's weird dimensions.

QUOTE (JimBoSox9 @ Dec 23 2009, 03:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm curious as to how you, as the General Manager, would value defense. Would you simply ignore it in all your decisions, would you rely completely on what your scouts say, or would you devote resources to coming up with a metric that involves less wild gyrations?


Well, more inquiry is always welcome. I am skeptical that individual defense can be quantified, because so much of defense is dependent on factors outside of a player's control. I think the current status of stats like UZR is that they are closer to a +/- rating in hockey or basketball than to park and league adjusted OPS.

On top of that, I come down on the lower end of the range in which SABRmetricians value fielding. I think on one end of the spectrum you could go as far as saying offense, pitching, and fielding are equally important, ascribing 1/3 weight to each. The other end of the spectrum ascribes 50 percent to offense, and 50 percent to run prevention, which is composed of pitching and fielding. I fall into that end of the spectrum, and believe that fielding is actually a rather small part compared to pitching. I make that assessment on the basis of the rather small number of plays in an average baseball game that are not routine.

Further, the aggregate value assigned to fielding would not be distributed equally - The Red Sox should value defense in a leftfielder less highly than the Yankees, because of the relative dimensions of Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium. And, vice-versa for rightfield. So, with a rather small weight placed on the importance of fielding in aggregate player value, with that value varying by park and by position, and with the measurement of fielding skill highly imprecise, I'd be paying a lot more for offense and pitching than I would for fielding.


QUOTE (Eric Van @ Dec 23 2009, 04:01 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So now Holliday is plan A because he's an elite talent, Cameron is B because he has the most bang-for-buck, and Bay is C in case the market for him collapses and they can't sign the first two.


I don't disagree that Cameron has the most bang-for-the-buck; Cameron is cheap. However, they do not give out the division titles and the world series trophy for excellence in payroll management; they give it out to the team with the players who play the best baseball.

You cannot always go for the value option when you're competing in the AL East. As a potential 25 man roster, they've got great value in Youkilis, Pedroia, Victor Martinez, Ellsbury, Lester, Beckett, Buchholz, Okajima, Lowrie and Bard. They've got equal value in Scutaro, Lackey, Papelbon, Drew, Hermida, Delcarmen, Varitek, Kotchman, Wakefield, and Matsuzaka. They shouldn't have to overpay for the other 2 spots--back end of the bullpen and another bench player. They're getting hosed by Lugo payments, with the potential to be hosed by Lowell and Ortiz.

I think that salary structure leaves room to pay $18 million for Holliday rather than $7 million for Cameron, especially since Lugo, Lowell, and Ortiz can be off the books after 2010.