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How to rebuild this rotation?


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#1 donchoi

  • 340 posts

Posted 07 October 2011 - 02:28 PM

I'm looking ahead to 2012, and I really don't like what I see beyond Lester, Beckett and Buchholz. We've got a huge albatross in Lackey, someone under contract who probably won't pitch in Dice-K, and Tim Wakefield's remains going forward.

To be fair, I don't think Lackey can be this bad next year, just due to regression to the mean. But I wouldn't count on him to be better than a number 5, which leaves us in a bit of bind. Trading Lackey runs the risk of him bouncing back and making us look dumb, and is going to be almost impossible without paying a ridiculous amount of his salary, so I think it's still better to keep him as our number 5.

Do we give a chance to guys like Doubront, Tazawa and Alex Wilson who are on the cusp next year, or should we acquire someone else?

What would you guys like to see done?

#2 Muggzy

  • 17 posts

Posted 07 October 2011 - 03:07 PM

I'm looking ahead to 2012, and I really don't like what I see beyond Lester, Beckett and Buchholz. We've got a huge albatross in Lackey, someone under contract who probably won't pitch in Dice-K, and Tim Wakefield's remains going forward.

To be fair, I don't think Lackey can be this bad next year, just due to regression to the mean. But I wouldn't count on him to be better than a number 5, which leaves us in a bit of bind. Trading Lackey runs the risk of him bouncing back and making us look dumb, and is going to be almost impossible without paying a ridiculous amount of his salary, so I think it's still better to keep him as our number 5.

Do we give a chance to guys like Doubront, Tazawa and Alex Wilson who are on the cusp next year, or should we acquire someone else?

What would you guys like to see done?



Don't need a rebuild. Beckett, Lester, Buchholz will be fine. Dice-K makes a nice #4. Lackey CAN pitch better. Bring in a couple of John Smoltz types for depth and call it good. Just gotta figure out how to keep them all healthy.

PS: I thought all this 100 pitch count, watching their innings crap was supposed to keep the pitchers healthy?

#3 MannysGoldGlove

  • 61 posts

Posted 07 October 2011 - 07:50 PM

Dice-K makes a nice #4.


I wouldnt count on him as a solid #4 for next season coming off Tommy John surgery.

#4 Jack Rabbit Slim

  • 1,044 posts

Posted 07 October 2011 - 08:58 PM

I think it is pretty reasonable to assume some combination of Beckett, Lester and Buchholz will be the 1, 2, 3 pitchers. While Beckett may not be as good next year, I think Lester can improve a little and getting a fully healthy Buch back will be huge. Barring Beckett getting traded because he was the cancer in the clubhouse, these guys will be starting the first 3 games of the season.

I was hoping Lackey's badness was due to an elbow injury, however, since I haven't heard any plans announced, I guess he will be the #5 next year. I believe he will be better and he surely can't be worse, so between Lack, Wakefield/other 6th starter, and half a season from Dice-K, the 5th spot should be filled.

That leaves one spot for a mid-level starter (or higher depending on how you project Beckett performing next year). I could see either a trade or FA, but with recent FA signings as well as a relative shortage of prospects in the system, you could make a good case against either one. I think some FA names to look at are Buehrle, Kuroda, or Maholm and possibly take a flier on Webb. C.J. will be too expensive for what we need and is a risk since he doesn't have much of a history to look back on.

#5 sonofVincentBrown

  • 83 posts

Posted 07 October 2011 - 09:49 PM

We had better at least offer Bedard arbitration and I'd like to see them sign him.

#6 MaxAMillion

  • 68 posts

Posted 07 October 2011 - 09:56 PM

We had better at least offer Bedard arbitration and I'd like to see them sign him.


Why on earth do you want to sign a guy who can never stay healthy? I doubt seriously the Sox look to sign Bedard.

#7 Cellar-Door


  • SoSH Member


  • 5,827 posts

Posted 07 October 2011 - 10:23 PM

I think it is pretty reasonable to assume some combination of Beckett, Lester and Buchholz will be the 1, 2, 3 pitchers. While Beckett may not be as good next year, I think Lester can improve a little and getting a fully healthy Buch back will be huge. Barring Beckett getting traded because he was the cancer in the clubhouse, these guys will be starting the first 3 games of the season.

I was hoping Lackey's badness was due to an elbow injury, however, since I haven't heard any plans announced, I guess he will be the #5 next year. I believe he will be better and he surely can't be worse, so between Lack, Wakefield/other 6th starter, and half a season from Dice-K, the 5th spot should be filled.

That leaves one spot for a mid-level starter (or higher depending on how you project Beckett performing next year). I could see either a trade or FA, but with recent FA signings as well as a relative shortage of prospects in the system, you could make a good case against either one. I think some FA names to look at are Buehrle, Kuroda, or Maholm and possibly take a flier on Webb. C.J. will be too expensive for what we need and is a risk since he doesn't have much of a history to look back on.


I will be exceptionally pissed if Wakefield is back. Beyond being terrible, he is useless out of the bullpen. I can't imagine you would get much worse from Felix Doubront or Junichi Tazawa considering both can actually be used in relief. I'd also rather take a chance on a guy coming back from injury or a young guy. Wakefield is just not a good enough pitcher to be in the starting 5, and his lack of flexibility makes him a poor fit as a 6th or 7th guy.

#8 jasail

  • 691 posts

Posted 07 October 2011 - 10:31 PM

1) Try to obtain Garza as a part of a Theo to Chicago move. If that doesn't work then;
2) Try to make a trade for Nolasco/Sanchez/Johnson from Florida. If that doesn't work;
3) Pursue Wilson/Buehrle but do not, and I repeat do not overpay. If that doesn't work;
4) Retain Bedard and sign some low risk guys like Piniero, Malholm, Webb, Harden. And then be prepared to make a trade at the deadline.

#9 BoredViewer

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 01:30 AM

Why on earth do you want to sign a guy who can never stay healthy? I doubt seriously the Sox look to sign Bedard.


I'm with you on this.

Sure, he's resonably effective when he pitches, but he hasn't had 100 IP since 2007!


I'll tell you what you do... nothing, for a while. There is a LOT of flotsam and jetsam on the FA market - most of which is probably just as likely (or, at least just as likely to be correctly identified by our scouting or Theo) to be acceptable. I'll take my chances on a guy or two that are hungry on a low-money 1-year deal, after other "big" teams have spent their money and are starting to get anxious. If they don't want to play for what we offer them... fine - that tells me a little bit about their desire and what we might get from them, anyway.

Let the rest of the organization know - outside of our top 3 - that there are a couple of open spots in the rotation to be won in ST... see if that motivates Lackey, or anyone else in the organization that might be about to take a step forward.

Edited by BoredViewer, 08 October 2011 - 01:31 AM.


#10 sonofVincentBrown

  • 83 posts

Posted 08 October 2011 - 07:39 PM

Why on earth do you want to sign a guy who can never stay healthy? I doubt seriously the Sox look to sign Bedard.


we get a draft choice if we offer him arbitration and someone else signs him

#11 PrestonBroadus Lives

  • 206 posts

Posted 08 October 2011 - 09:14 PM

I'm with you on this.

Sure, he's resonably effective when he pitches, but he hasn't had 100 IP since 2007!

I'll tell you what you do... nothing, for a while. There is a LOT of flotsam and jetsam on the FA market - most of which is probably just as likely (or, at least just as likely to be correctly identified by our scouting or Theo) to be acceptable. I'll take my chances on a guy or two that are hungry on a low-money 1-year deal, after other "big" teams have spent their money and are starting to get anxious. If they don't want to play for what we offer them... fine - that tells me a little bit about their desire and what we might get from them, anyway.



While I totally understand the point and your concern about his ability to stay healthy, Bedard just finished this past season with more than 100 IP. What I don't understand is what you think you can get for "a low-money 1-year deal" that would be better than Bedard. He's shown a willingness the past two years to sign one year performance bonus laden deals and pitches well when he's healthy. Any kind of player you're looking at for that kind of deal is going to have some kind of warts, so why not one who has already had some success here.


we get a draft choice if we offer him arbitration and someone else signs him


Possible, but given his numbers the past 3 years, I wouldn't be surprised to see him listed as below "B" level free agent (no compensation). I'd like to see him back, but arbitration probably won't be the way it gets done.

My gut tells me that Beckett, Lester, Buchholz and Lackey will all be back next year, which would just leave the 5th spot. In addition to trying to retain Bedard, I wouldn't mind seeing them kick the tires on a guy like Capuano. He seems like he's finally healthy again and, even though he has limited upside (once again, warts), he'll come pretty cheap and has shown to be a reliable option at the back end of the rotation.

As others have pointed out, there don't appear to be many high level options on the free agent market. Outside of any trade speculation (which I'll leave for another thread), shoring up the back end may be the best you can hope for in the current market. Unless, of course, CC decides to exercise his opt out, in which case I wouldn't mind seeing the Sox push all their chips into the middle.

#12 paulb0t

  • 827 posts

Posted 09 October 2011 - 12:00 PM

I'm with you on this.

Sure, he's resonably effective when he pitches, but he hasn't had 100 IP since 2007!


That's actually incorrect. Bedard pitched 129 innings of 3.62 (110+) ball in 2011. This is after missing all of 2010 with injury.

Which is not to say that I think the Sox should offer him a long term/high dollar contract, but I think they absolutely should have something in the 2/15m range (plus incentives) on the table. With Matsuzaka likely to miss more than half of 2012, Lackey's demise and (hopefully) Wakefield's departure, the pitching after the top 3 looks questionable, at best. You can't bank on trading for Garza, et al, and even if you do, you still need to get 5 guys out there.

#13 Trotsky

  • 820 posts

Posted 09 October 2011 - 01:23 PM

Bard to the rotation.
Get rid of Lackey. (I like the Alex Rios deal idea that's been tossed around)
Offer Bedard arb or one year deal.
Keep Wake as long relief.
Sign Papelbon.
Cross your fingers about Jenks.

Beckett
Lester
Clay
Bard
Bedard

Paps
Aceves
Jenks

#14 touchstone033

  • 199 posts

Posted 09 October 2011 - 03:25 PM

I don't think we can count on Beckett, Buchholz, and Lester staying healthy all year in 2012.

-- Beckett's due for some regression next year -- plus he's an oft-injured chunk-ster heading into his mid-30s. My crystal ball tells me 150IP of 4.00-ish ERA.
-- Lester didn't look good down the stretch. I'd guess fatigue and soreness played a role.
-- You've got to wonder if something in Buchholz' mechanics led to the back stress fracture...is this going to be a chronic problem?

That is, the Sox' rotation isn't just the back end and the ugly specter of starting Wakefield and Lackey. It's that one or more of the big three misses significant time, and we're back to giving folks like Miller and Weiland significant innings.

Signing Bedard to a one- or two-year incentive-laden contract makes sense, because he's quality when healthy, but not really a solution to the depth problem. Edwin Jackson would be an ideal FA signing -- if it's reasonable and not too long. Jackson can throw 200 innings a year -- but he's 3rd- or 4th-starter quality...

#15 donchoi

  • 340 posts

Posted 10 October 2011 - 03:41 PM

Lester: Should be our ace.
Beckett: Should have a solid-to-strong year.
Buchholz: If he can give us 170-180 innings, we should be in good shape. That's IF.
???
Bedard: If he'll sign an incentive-driven deal, let's keep him for the 15-20 starts he'll probably give us.Dice-K: Yeah, not happening. The guy won't be back until after the ASB at the earliest, and we may not see him start at Fenway ever again.
Wakefield: Some starts here and there, and he retires before 2012 is over.
Miller/Doubront/Tazawa: These guys are fine as depth options, but nothing has suggested they can provide more than a few good starts here and there.

Bard: You seriously think the Sox should sacrifice their best reliever for a so-so starter?

Those question marks need filling, and it ain't gonna happen from the group we have now. We need innings for when the rest of the rotation takes their usual 2-3 weeks on the DL.

#16 nighthob

  • 2,910 posts

Posted 10 October 2011 - 04:24 PM

Is a John Lackey hunting accident too much to hope for?

#17 ehaz

  • 853 posts

Posted 10 October 2011 - 04:48 PM

Some of some of the best left-handed pitchers in baseball:
Player A: 2.94 ERA, 8.3 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 223.1 IP 152 ERA+
Player B: 3.00 ERA, 8.7 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 237.1 IP 147 ERA+
Player C: 2.79 ERA, 8.1 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, 212.2 IP 138 ERA+
Player D: 2.49 ERA, 9.1 K/9, 1.6 BB/9, 232.2 IP 161 ERA+
Player E: 3.47 ERA, 8.5 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 191.2 IP 122 ERA+

A: CJ WIlson
B: CC Sabathia
C: Cole Hamels
D: Cliff Lee
E: Jon Lester

Clearly, Cliff Lee is head and shoulders above everyone else, but CJ Wilson is right in the thick of it when compared to everyone else. Yes, he is coming off his age 30 season which raises questions about his durability going forward and ability to stay healthy throughout a long term contract but keep in mind - this is only his second season as a starter. Being a reliever for the majority of his career plays in his favor, he doesn't have that many miles on his arm.

#18 Spitball53

  • 19 posts

Posted 10 October 2011 - 09:17 PM

C.J. Wilson would be the perfect addition, but he will be attractive to a lot of big player teams with deep pockets. The Rangers have the hometown advantage, revenue money from post season play, and aggressive ownership. The Yankees need starting pitching, and Wilson has owned the Red Sox for the last two seasons. The Nationals are likely to be aggressive and overpay (see Werth). The Sox will be face stiff competition for Wilson. Besides, if he commands 6 to 7 years at $100 million, do the Red Sox want to go down that road...again?

I think the Sox need to think outside the box. They need a high impact, short term fix. They need to deal from strength to swing the balance towards their biggest weakness. Since hey don't have the major league ready prospects needed to make an impact trade for pitching, they will have to take from their offense. But, who?

Gonzalez and Crawford make too much money for too many years to trade. Youkilis is coming off two injury filled years (averaged 111 games) and a season with an OPS of .833. His value is way down. Saltamalachia has some value but not enough to bring a significant starting pitcher. That pretty much leaves Pedroia and Ellsbury with significant value...and I wouldn't trade Pedroia.

So, what about Ellsbury? He is comming off a career year and fans don't like to see players traded when his value is at its highest. They tend to want to get value for the players that they no longer value, but that doesn't really work.

Ellsbury just had a historic season. Few players have had better. His value is very high. But, what will he do in the future? Minor league stats are good indicators, and he has never hit homeruns in double figures. Health might be a concern since he was injured virtually all last season. The Scott Boras factor tells us he will test the free agency market after two more years.

Tim Lincecum may be a viable trade for Ellsbury. The Giants badly need impact offense. They also need a center fielder. Lincecum, like Ellsbury, will likely be a free agent in two years.

But, Lincecum is the face of that franchise. He also has questions about his future with that explosive torque-driven delivery and slight build. He has also had personal issues with a marijuana bust and recent landlord problems.

I think this trade makes sense to rebuild the rotation. Either player is probably good for two years in Boston. I'd take the top of the rotation pitcher for two years with Kalish and Reddick joining Crawford in the outfield.

Edited by Spitball53, 10 October 2011 - 09:22 PM.


#19 BoredViewer

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 10:34 PM

Maybe the answer isn't so complicated.

Just have Aceves become a starter... hope Lackey can regain 2010-form and sign someone like Jeff Francis to compete for a spot/be insurance.

#20 ehaz

  • 853 posts

Posted 10 October 2011 - 11:52 PM

I really think they should go big for CJ WIlson. They don't really need to retain Papelbon at 12 million+ per year with a very deep relief market, and they could get a cheap replacement to platoon with Lavarnway to cover DH instead of resigning Ortiz at 12 million+. I believe pitching depth in this organization is a huge issue and this year proved it. Kyle Weiland is not going to save the Red Sox rotation. Wakefield is a corpse, Lackey can't be 2011 horrible but he's still very bad, Beckett is very inconsistent and Buchholz can't really be counted on for a full season of pitching. And where's the depth in the minors? Doubront isn't just about to slide into the rotation. Ranaudo is a longways away and struggled somewhat in A+ ball. Pimentel went backwards as did Britton.

#21 Spitball53

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 06:40 AM

I really think they should go big for CJ WIlson. They don't really need to retain Papelbon at 12 million+ per year with a very deep relief market, and they could get a cheap replacement to platoon with Lavarnway to cover DH instead of resigning Ortiz at 12 million+. I believe pitching depth in this organization is a huge issue and this year proved it. Kyle Weiland is not going to save the Red Sox rotation. Wakefield is a corpse, Lackey can't be 2011 horrible but he's still very bad, Beckett is very inconsistent and Buchholz can't really be counted on for a full season of pitching. And where's the depth in the minors? Doubront isn't just about to slide into the rotation. Ranaudo is a longways away and struggled somewhat in A+ ball. Pimentel went backwards as did Britton.


I don't think anyone would argue against Wilson...but the Sox will have to sign him first. And that won't be as easy as not signing Papelbon and Ortiz. He will be the number one pitcher on the market. The Yankees will be able to meet whatever price the Sox ante up. The Rangers have to be considered the favorites because they are willing to spend big dollars, and Wilson has been in the orginization for ten years. The Angels could also be players and Wilson is a California native.

I see no way the Red Sox can possibly count on C.J. Wilson to fix their pitching woes. If they could sign him, sure, but I would think they'd be longshots to get the guy at this point.

#22 touchstone033

  • 199 posts

Posted 11 October 2011 - 09:32 AM

Maybe the answer isn't so complicated.

Just have Aceves become a starter... hope Lackey can regain 2010-form and sign someone like Jeff Francis to compete for a spot/be insurance.


You know, this is probably the most practical. I don't think signing CJ Wilson to a long-term contract makes sense. Isn't that how we got into this mess in the first place? I don't think Wilson profiles the same as Lackey, but with all the money wrapped up in long-term deals right now, adding to it only puts the Sox in a worse position in 13, 14, 15.

Moving Ellsbury actually isn't a terrible idea. He'll be relatively inexpensive for the next two years, although he's arbitration-eligible both years, and stands to gain quite a bit of money. Which is probably why the Sox should keep him; he'll produce, while allowing payroll flexibility. I'm sure he walks after 2013, though. And who are Boston's trading partners? The teams with an abundance of SP -- Atlanta or Tampa, say -- look set at CF. Washington wants a CFer, but they probably wouldn't give up any MLB-ready talent. San Francisco will not part with Lincecum, Cain, or Baumgarner. Jonathan Sanchez probably could be had, but I'm not sure the Sox want to walk down that dark, dark path.

Tampa will probably trade a starter this offseason, with Moore knocking at the door and Alex Cobb creating a traffic jam at the back of the rotation. Shields is involved in a lot of rumors, but more realistically someone like Niemann or Davis could be had. Either would be a nice compliment to the Sox rotation -- and they've proved themselves in the AL East, too. But will Tampa trade within the division?


But realistically, we're probably looking at signing or trading for a couple of back-of-the-rotation guys like Francis or Brett Myers, maybe use Aceves in the rotation -- although he's so valuable in his current role. And the under-use of the swingman in the league makes players like him an under-valued asset...

#23 donchoi

  • 340 posts

Posted 11 October 2011 - 09:59 AM

With all the money that's sunk into this rotation already, I don't think another $90-100M contract is the right move. Either we have to find a short-term free agent who will be decent, or we have to engineer a trade.

#24 BoredViewer

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 11:06 AM

... maybe use Aceves in the rotation -- although he's so valuable in his current role. And the under-use of the swingman in the league makes players like him an under-valued asset...


It is valuable - but I also think it is one that tends to not be very healthy if a pitcher stays in it for very long. I don't remember the exact details (though I know they weren't encouraging), but a few years back when there was all the talk about the Yankees "Proctoring" Proctor, I remember doing some searching on relievers that had pitched something like 100+ IP for 3 years or more...

We have evidence that Aceves is an effective pitcher.. career 2.93 ERA 1.08 WHIP. I'd like to see what he could do in the rotation.

Come to think of it... is he a free agent, though?

#25 ehaz

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 11:29 AM

With all the money that's sunk into this rotation already, I don't think another $90-100M contract is the right move. Either we have to find a short-term free agent who will be decent, or we have to engineer a trade.

The Sox have a lot of money coming off the books in Drew, Paps and Ortiz. They need starting pitching and Wilson is the best out there. A short-term free agent won't fix this rotation, not even a couple. They have no depth at the minor league level with all their best prospects in A ball. Dice-K is probably out for most if not all of the season, Beckett is inconsistent, Buchholz has proven that he can't be counted on for a full season. Short term fixes would just be ignoring the long term problem that is their pitching depth both at the major league and minor league level. They have to go after a WIlson type or engineer a pretty big trade.

#26 donchoi

  • 340 posts

Posted 11 October 2011 - 01:36 PM

I have to disagree on going after Wilson. Good pitcher, but the Sox have Beckett and Lackey as over-30 starters signed for several years at least. We don't need another one, esp one that costs $90M+. Lester and Buchholz have escalating salaries, and you need the money coming off the books to pay them plus guys like Ellsbury plus whoever we get to replace Drew in RF as well as the back end of the bullpen.

#27 ehaz

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 02:18 PM

If not Wilson they need someone, whether through free agency or a trade. They can't just ignore the issue of pitching depth because they already have expensive starters, either they upgrade the pitching or the club goes nowhere in 2012.

#28 MikeM

  • 841 posts

Posted 11 October 2011 - 03:13 PM

The Sox have a lot of money coming off the books in Drew, Paps and Ortiz. They need starting pitching and Wilson is the best out there. A short-term free agent won't fix this rotation, not even a couple. They have no depth at the minor league level with all their best prospects in A ball. Dice-K is probably out for most if not all of the season, Beckett is inconsistent, Buchholz has proven that he can't be counted on for a full season. Short term fixes would just be ignoring the long term problem that is their pitching depth both at the major league and minor league level. They have to go after a WIlson type or engineer a pretty big trade.



So basically, you are stating that a "short term fix" isn't the answer here, while then simultaneously advocating the signing of the guy topping that appeal list of options atm. I mean c'mon, nobody is going to be signing Cj Wilson this winter with a priority interest on how such solidifies their 2014-15 rotation.


CJ Wilson comes with a 2 year track record as a starter, which while looking good/great in the small sample size scheme of things, isn't exactly the 99-00 Pedro Martinez'like substance of stuff that would potentially warrant such an all-or-nothing outlook on the situation here. He'll also already be 31 years old entering year 1 of whatever absurd $100m+ contract he inks this winter, which potentially plays right into what's arguably the biggest "long term problem" here of them all. That being the continuous addition of dead weight salary we currently seem all but destined to carry in large chunks on a yearly basis. Ignoring that isn't ultimately going to "fix" anything either, imo.

Maybe that latter has finally caught up to us this winter or maybe it hasn't. Personally, i'm currently curious to just how much JH is willing to spend in 2012, given i don't see that money coming off the books you refer to going all that far (as is) in the grander scheme of things atm. Once i get a better general idea where we stand there, i'll be able to form a more solid opinion on what i feel we should/shouldn't be doing in any attempts to address our rotation.

#29 Spitball53

  • 19 posts

Posted 11 October 2011 - 03:21 PM

If not Wilson they need someone, whether through free agency or a trade. They can't just ignore the issue of pitching depth because they already have expensive starters, either they upgrade the pitching or the club goes nowhere in 2012.



We all agree the Red Sox need to upgrade the rotation, but they are in a bad place right now. They have an aging, injury prone, and ineffective starting rotation. Both bad contracts (Lackey and Matsuzaka) and the trading of top major league ready prospects have hurt their ability to correct the problem. From the major league roster, big contracts (Crawford, Gozalez) and injury (Youkilis) have depleted trading chips. Also, there is one decent free agent starting pitcher available, and he is 30 years old, going to get at least five years at $90 to $100 million contract, and not likely to sign with Boston. The Red Sox have a problem.

The Sox are going to have to try something new to upgrade the rotation. I have suggested dangling Ellsbury coming off a career year, but I would rther find another way. i just don't see any other way to add an ace type starter. Touchstone suggeted adding to the bottom which is probably the only option. But it will be tricky. Bottom guys that are available are availabel because they have gotten too expensive or they are terribly inconsistent.

Ryan Dempster might be the best pitcher who might be available. I believe he has a player option for $16 million this year. He is a tough hardnosed pitcher and the Cubs need to clear some salary.

Edinson Volquez was once an all-star who has suffered with serious control problems since TJ surgery, but has incredible stuff. He is cheap and apparently headed out of Cincinnati.

Bruce Chen has matured into a Denny Moyer. He isn't my first choice but probably better than what filled out the bottom of the rotation last year.

R.A. Dickey is a knucleballer on the Mets. He is were Wakefield was six or seven years ago.

And I'm sure there are some others out there.

#30 touchstone033

  • 199 posts

Posted 11 October 2011 - 03:54 PM

It is valuable - but I also think it is one that tends to not be very healthy if a pitcher stays in it for very long. I don't remember the exact details (though I know they weren't encouraging), but a few years back when there was all the talk about the Yankees "Proctoring" Proctor, I remember doing some searching on relievers that had pitched something like 100+ IP for 3 years or more...

We have evidence that Aceves is an effective pitcher.. career 2.93 ERA 1.08 WHIP. I'd like to see what he could do in the rotation.

Come to think of it... is he a free agent, though?



That's a good question about Aceves' contract. I think he is a free agent. He's due for a raise over his $650K, too, but I think the Sox should resign him if they can.

As for the usage: I believe it's not the innings that ruined Proctor, but the appearances. That year -- 2006 -- he pitched 102 innings, he led the league with 83 appearances. That means little rest between outings, and a bunch more pitches thrown for warmups, etc. I don't have data -- too lazy to look for it -- but I believe pitching fewer appearances but for more innings each time is okay. If that's true, then an Aceves-like role is an undervalued use of a pitcher, and lot of fringe starters like Aceves could be used very effectively that way....

#31 Spitball53

  • 19 posts

Posted 11 October 2011 - 04:53 PM

Aceves might be an option in the rotation however he was basically a pretty mediocre starter in the minors. He might be the best inhouse option, but he might not give the same level of performance in a different role.

Also, with whom do the Red Sox fill his role?

#32 BoredViewer

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 05:07 PM

If not Wilson they need someone, whether through free agency or a trade. They can't just ignore the issue of pitching depth because they already have expensive starters, either they upgrade the pitching or the club goes nowhere in 2012.


I agree - but I think there may be a misunderstanding as to what it actually takes to upgrade the starting pitching.

Last season the Sox had 75 starts made by pitchers with (ended the season with) over a 5.12 ERA... 45 by pitchers with over a 5.54 ERA... and 33 by pitchers with over a 6.41 ERA. That is an astonishing level of awfulness.

If the Sox did nothing but replace half of those starts with "4.75-quality" starting pitching, they probably win 5 more games. With what I think is a reasonable potential for Lackey to improve... Buchholz to be more healthy... and someone like Aceves to be better than a 5.00 ERA starter... I don't think you need to go 'big' in the FA or trade markets to get a massive improvement.

Go for a cheaper 'depth' guy (several have been mentioned) - keep your powder dry - and see how things look at the ASB.

** They will surely need to find a couple of bullpen arms - but I feel like that's an easier and cheaper proposition.

Edited by BoredViewer, 11 October 2011 - 05:12 PM.


#33 Jack Rabbit Slim

  • 1,044 posts

Posted 11 October 2011 - 05:35 PM

Buchholz has proven that he can't be counted on for a full season.


How do you come to this conclusion? His only games missed in 2010 were due to a base-running injury and everything I've heard about this year's injury is that they don't expect it to be a chronic issue. Aside from Lester, I would say Clay has the best chance to make all of his starts out of all the starters

#34 plucy

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 05:49 PM

Aceves might be an option in the rotation however he was basically a pretty mediocre starter in the minors. He might be the best inhouse option, but he might not give the same level of performance in a different role.

Also, with whom do the Red Sox fill his role?


Aceves is under team control for the next three years. NYY released him but he has only a little more than three years of MLB service time.

For those concerned about moving Bard (arb) or Aceves (or both) to the rotation, here are the other bullpen candidates under control for '12:

Jenks (1 yr @$6mm)
Arb: Miller,Morales, Albers, Atchison, Hill (on DL)
Pre-arb: Doubront, Bowden, Tazawa.

Add Weiland and Wilson (also prearb) if they decide to convert them to relievers.

Not overwhelming, but quite a few inexpensive candidates to sort through. Doubront, Weiland and Tazawa could be swingmen, add Atchison and Bowden to those three for long relief. Toss in a few cheap FA signings for competition. Weiland, Tazawa and Wilson have options left so they start in AAA unless they are clearly better than Albers, Atchison, Bowden, or any new guys.

I agree with Bored Viewer. Don't go overboard on more starters, not with $55MM committed to the rotation. Add a low risk high reward signing. Maybe Dice-K could add a few starts in the second half.

Edited by plucy, 11 October 2011 - 05:51 PM.


#35 ehaz

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 06:12 PM

Aside from Lester, I would say Clay has the best chance to make all of his starts out of all the starters

Why? He's never proven that he can throw that much in his career, not even at the minors. It's not insane to say that they can't rely on him to pitch 200+ innings when he's never done so before.

#36 donchoi

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 02:14 PM

Maybe the only bright side of how bad the rotation was this year is that they can't be as bad next season. Just due to regression alone, Lester and Lackey almost HAVE to be better, though Beckett most likely won't repeat his sub-3.00 ERA either. We won 90 with this rotation, as bad as it was; that's why we shouldn't overreact and blow up the whole thing. I do think we have to start sneaking in some youth, however, rather than signing more over-30 starters.

Last season the Sox had 75 starts made by pitchers with (ended the season with) over a 5.12 ERA... 45 by pitchers with over a 5.54 ERA... and 33 by pitchers with over a 6.41 ERA. That is an astonishing level of awfulness.

If the Sox did nothing but replace half of those starts with "4.75-quality" starting pitching, they probably win 5 more games. With what I think is a reasonable potential for Lackey to improve... Buchholz to be more healthy... and someone like Aceves to be better than a 5.00 ERA starter... I don't think you need to go 'big' in the FA or trade markets to get a massive improvement.

Go for a cheaper 'depth' guy (several have been mentioned) - keep your powder dry - and see how things look at the ASB.



#37 KillerBs

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 02:47 PM

I say stick with Lester, Beckett and Buchholz, unless there is any real evidence that any of them actually dogged it on the field, in which case, I am sympathetic to the idea that that player just has to go, if possible.

Lackey off the team or to the bull pen (spot start/long man). Wakefield retires.

Assuming that to be the case, we need 2 starters. I say get one of Chen, Vazquez or Capuano and move either Aceves or Bard to the rotation.

Lester, Beckett, Buchholz, (FA), Aceves.

Edited by KillerBs, 14 October 2011 - 08:30 AM.


#38 donchoi

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 01:05 AM

Between Bard and Aceves, I'd definitely move Aceves to the rotation first. He's got pretty decent stuff, but something hasn't really come together for him. I think Varitek mentioned it this year, and maybe Salty too.

I don't like Chen or Capuano very much in Fenway, as soft-tossing lefties. Vazquez has sort of re-established himself after moving back to the NL, but the AL East always seems to bring out his bad side..

I think there are still options out there, like Mark Buehrle and Jon Garland.

Assuming that not to be the case, we need 2 starters. I say get one of Chen, Vazquez or Capuano and move either Aceves or Bard to the rotation.

Lester, Beckett, Buchholz, (FA), Aceves.



#39 KillerBs

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 08:50 AM

What the team desperately needs -- like just about everyone else -- is 350-400 IPs of starting pitching at 4.50 ERA or so. It is the one obvious glaring need for this team.

If Aceves let's say takes care of 1/2 the equation, where do the other 175 or so innings of league average pitching come from? Chen and Capuano strike me as 50/50 at least to be able to provide that for a year or two. Garland off the arm injury seems like a longer shot to me. I presume they would not require long term commitments, unlike Buehrle, another soft-tossing lefty. Buying year or 2 at a time for mid to back of the rotation spots is certainly preferable given the volatility of pitching performance(see Lackey for eg). Also if Chen and/or Capuano bust as starters, there is a decent chance they could have some value as a LOOGY.

Vazquez is a different story. Despite his career record, I cant really accept that he simply cant pitch in the AL East. He was absolutely dominant the last 2 months of the season. There is some significant high upside there and his record of being able to go out there every 5th day is remarkably good. He is 35; maybe he has a burning desire to go prove he can pitch in Yankee Stadium. 2/24 or 3/30 gets it done.

#40 touchstone033

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 09:02 AM

What about Edwin Jackson? Sure, he's madly inconsistent, but has consistently put up 30+ starts each year over the last five, will end up with an ERA, at worst, in the low 4s, and has that electric stuff you can always dream on. Maybe one of these days he puts it all together, but even if he doesn't, you have a league-average workhorse who's only 27.

How much would you pay?

#41 donchoi

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 09:53 AM

Jackson has been very consistent in terms of innings and to a lesser degree production. As a pitcher in his prime, I think he could command a 4 year deal at maybe $10-12M per? My concern with signing him is not the AAV so much as it is the length of contract he would want.

One concern I have about him is he's one of those guys who's reliant on a hard slider (about 25% of the time) to go with his fastball, and those guys tend to break down at some point and must reinvent themselves (Harden, Liriano, etc). Most of those elbows blow out at some point, and it hasn't happened to Jackson... yet.

What about Edwin Jackson? Sure, he's madly inconsistent, but has consistently put up 30+ starts each year over the last five, will end up with an ERA, at worst, in the low 4s, and has that electric stuff you can always dream on. Maybe one of these days he puts it all together, but even if he doesn't, you have a league-average workhorse who's only 27.

How much would you pay?



#42 RochesterSamHorn

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 10:36 PM

If there's one pitcher the Sox can get value from (besides Lester, whom I would not look to trade) it's Beckett. He's a top of the rotation pitcher, coming off a fairly successful year. His value will never be higher than right now. As a 10/5 player, he has to approve where he goes, and we all know he would love to pitch somewhere home in Texas. I can't see the Rangers being interested as they are fairly deep in pitching. Houston, o.t.o.h. has payroll flexibility, is lacking a true ace on their staff, and a viable draw for attendance. Their best pitcher Brett Myers, would not quite equal a fair trade for us, so it would have to be expanded. How about Beckett, Doubront and Bowden (both of whom are out of options with us) for Myers and J.A. Happ? We get a righty/lefty to add to our rotation, whose upside is huge with a much better team to pitch for.

#43 untilthebombs

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 10:42 PM

What's the deal with the suggestions of moving Bard to the rotation? I've never heard it even suggested prior to going SOSH. Nothing we've see to this point suggests that he would make a good starting pitcher.

1) He hasn't started since since single A where he struggled - 6.42 ERA, 5.66 FIP

2) In his major league appearances, he's his performance declines SIGNIFICANTLY as his PC rises (if my calc is correct):

PC >25

ERA: 5.65
FIP: 4.72
BB%: 17.4%
K%: 23.7%

Versus his overall major statistics:


ERA: 2.88
FIP: 3.22
BB%: 9.6%
K%: 26.8%

#44 nighthob

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 01:05 AM

Have Lackey take up skiing. That's job one.

#45 wine111

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 04:10 PM

What about Edwin Jackson? Sure, he's madly inconsistent, but has consistently put up 30+ starts each year over the last five, will end up with an ERA, at worst, in the low 4s, and has that electric stuff you can always dream on. Maybe one of these days he puts it all together, but even if he doesn't, you have a league-average workhorse who's only 27.

How much would you pay?


I think Jackson is the best buy at #4 in the Sox rotation at 3 years $27-30 million. We may have to add a fourth year to get him (he's in his prime, he would be worth it). He pitched for Tampa Bay and can compete against A.L. East hitters. He is a much better choice than Vazquez. The fifth spot (if we don't want C.J. Wilson or Yu Darvish as #2 or 3), could be Wandy Rodriguez (trade), or Chris Young as a free agent (fragile but with good stuff for a #5 pitcher). Bedard has a real problem with his health and his knees may never be the same. Lackey should not be on the team at all (yes he had personal issues last year but he just doesn't have a plus arm to compete in the A.L. East).

I like Tazawa and Alex Wilson in the bullpen for now to let them develop with less pressure. I think they have good enough arms to help stabilize the long innings in this bullpen. I would still like to see Jonathan Broxton, Jon Rauch and/or Mike Gonzalez signed with Papelbon let go and Bard as the setup man. Jenks may block either Tazawa or Wilson from getting into the bullpen for now, but I think one of them can make the team in that capacity. I think a bullpen of Aceves, Tazawa (or Bowden), Broxton, Gonzalez, Wheeler, Morales, Bard and Jenks (with Wilson and Tazawa or Bowden in Pawtucket ready to replace anyone who falters) would be effective enough to see the Sox through. Jenks needs to lose about 20-30 pounds. Broxton, Gonzalez and Jenks would give them three arms with closing experience. I'm not high on Michael Bowden after seeing him pitch. But I concede he could make the club ahead of Tazawa in the bullpen. Yes, this would cost some $ along with shoring up the #4 and 5 spots in the starting rotation, but this is the winter we need to beef up our pitching staff. It is also possible that Tazawa could cover for Young if he gets injured and may surprise if he gets the opportunity. If Rodriguez is acquired, I think our #5 spot should be fine. The contracts of Drew, Papelbon, Varitek and Ortiz (who should be let go) are coming off the books so we have some room to make moves.

So the best bets to me for the starting rotation are Edwin Jackson as #4 and Wandy Rdoriguez as #5 and we can look at those spots as being well filled in that case.

Edited by wine111, 21 October 2011 - 03:00 AM.


#46 Lost Number

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 07:16 PM

I don't think starting out with Beckett/Lester/Buchholz/Lackey 1-4 will necessarily be a disaster.

I figure Beckett will regress, Lester should improve slightly... a lot comes down to Clay's back and Lackey's elbow.

I'd be a little hesitant to enter a bidding war for CJ Wilson, other than to drive up his price tag for the MFY.

I'd be very surprised if Wake is back next year, Dice-K - maybe mid-season.

I'd try finding value through a trade... Tim Hudson would be perfect if he was on a team that sucks.

Fausto Carmona is under club options for 2012-2014... $7M, $9M and $12M... wouldn't want him at those prices, and not sure if the options have been picked up - but he'd be worth a shot if we can get him on the cheap. A guy like John Lannan or a Brandon Morrow I think would have a lot of upside... but I'm honestly not sure what they'd command on the trade market.

I wouldn't be entirely opposed to carrying an extra arm like a Wakefield around too, and occasionally going with a 6 man rotation, especially during the hotter months, to try and reduce arm fatigue later on.


#47 Tyrone Biggums


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Posted 20 October 2011 - 07:46 PM

Is a John Lackey hunting accident too much to hope for?


Due to the long line of fans who would want to be one who "mistakes" Lackey for a deer? Yeah

#48 Tyrone Biggums


  • nfl meets tri-annually at a secret country mansion in colorado,


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Posted 20 October 2011 - 07:49 PM

Jackson has been very consistent in terms of innings and to a lesser degree production. As a pitcher in his prime, I think he could command a 4 year deal at maybe $10-12M per? My concern with signing him is not the AAV so much as it is the length of contract he would want.

One concern I have about him is he's one of those guys who's reliant on a hard slider (about 25% of the time) to go with his fastball, and those guys tend to break down at some point and must reinvent themselves (Harden, Liriano, etc). Most of those elbows blow out at some point, and it hasn't happened to Jackson... yet.


Oh god no! Jackson isn't the answer at all...in all honesty I'm not even sure that a guy as up and down as him is worth 8 million. Especially when he would be pitching in the AL East, this is a signing that I'm sure Cashman would help finance if the Sox were short a few million.

#49 wine111

  • 252 posts

Posted 21 October 2011 - 03:41 AM

Oh god no! Jackson isn't the answer at all...in all honesty I'm not even sure that a guy as up and down as him is worth 8 million. Especially when he would be pitching in the AL East, this is a signing that I'm sure Cashman would help finance if the Sox were short a few million.


Jackson is being sought as the number 4 starter. We expect some inconsistency in his performances. He does have experience pitching in the A.L. East and he does have an ERA under 4 in two of the last three years. His stuff would be a definite upgrade over Lackey's and he has pitched an average of over 200 innings over the last three seasons. The Red Sox desperately need to take pressure off of their bullpen, which has been badly overtaxed by the struggles of the 4 and 5 spots in the rotation over the last couple of years. Edwin Jackson and Wandy Rodriguez can help provide the needed innings to keep the bullpen fresh and stop the ridiculous merry go round of mediocrity that has occupied the 4 and 5 spots the last few years (sorry, but Wakefield has gotten pretty horrifying to watch as well with his 5+ ERA the last two years and Daiske left games early way too often. He was a primary bullpen killer). Jackson's control is slowly rounding into shape and his home runs surrendered has come down for the last three years in a row, indicating he is learning to keep the ball down in the zone better. He may be ready to take a step forward in his development. We may have to bid 10-11 million a year for his services and we should at this point.

Wandy Rodriguez is another case where the Red Sox could get a significant upgrade for the end of their rotation. He has pitched nearly 200 innings in each of the last three years. He has had an ERA under 4.00 for the last four years in a row, gives up less hits than innings pitched and strikes out nearly a batter an inning. Although he pitches in the weaker N.L., he does pitch in a hitters ball park. We may need a package like Ryan Kalish, Junichi Tazawa and Stolmy Pimental to get Rodriguez, but I think it would be worth it. The Astros are more about rebuilding their team around younger players at this point. The Red Sox need to be serious about building a real starting rotation. That means spending some $ and trading some prospects.If Beckett breaks down again next year, either the #4 or 5 pitcher will need to take his place, especially in the post season. We need to make sure that pitcher is a viable option. I think that the pitcher having the better year between Jackson and Rodriguez in 2012 would be a far better option than any we've had from the 4 and 5 spots for several years.

Edited by wine111, 21 October 2011 - 04:05 AM.


#50 pdub

  • 374 posts

Posted 21 October 2011 - 12:50 PM

Stay very far away from Wandy Rodriguez. Especially if its for Kalish, Tazawa, and Pimentel.