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How to rebuild this rotation?


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#101 MikeM

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 04:17 AM

Based on?



If anywhere and generally speaking, teams nowadays tend to pony up to keep what quality starting pitching they have. When they don't/can't, it's essentially for 2 different reasons, and neither of which that likely ends up playing into our hands as some best case scenario worth "waiting" for.

That's why i could never really slam Theo for Lackey, btw and for the record. The waiting game there is basically all but taking the absolute stance that you are going to live in die by the starting pitching your farm yields you, imo. As one just isn't going to find any potentially good starting pitching options in free agency nowadays that don't come with serious baggage in one form or the other (whether it be injury risk, the godly sum you had to pay out/commit to get what everybody else out there wants, ect..).

#102 Tyrone Biggums


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Posted 30 October 2011 - 08:39 AM

John Lackey requiring Tommy John surgery may be a blessing, not a blessing to ownership's pocket book, but in terms of the opportunity it gives the new GM to improve starting pitching. Moves to acquire pitching and open spots for Felix Doubront, Daniel Bard, Anthony Ranaudo, is endless. My guess is that probably Tim Wakefield will not be on the pitching staff, whether in the rotation or in the pen. But with both DiceK and Lackey unavailable, the team is going to have make moves it might not otherwise have explored. I think FA ideas such as trying to sign CC Sabathia are pipe dreams. I do, however, think that the Red Sox do have players with trade value available to acquire pitching. e.g. The Red Sox are not likely to retain both Reddick and Kalish, so once an evaluation in early ST is made regarding Kalish's recovery, that is an option, particularly if a player like Michael Cuddyer is acquired to play RF. Jed Lowrie has some trade value, and the new Manager is going to have to evaluate in ST how early Jose Iglesias can hit enough to be a ML shortstop, most already believing Jose is a ML shortstop. Either way, Marco Scutaro seems to be in a pretty good position for that transition. Ben Cherington is going to have an early opportunity to put a further imprint on this team, building around, Ellsbury, Crawford, Gonzalez, Pedroia, Youkilis, Beckett, Lester and Buchholz, a pretty stong nucleus, regardless of the collapse in September 2011.


I would wager a lot of money that at least one of that nucleus gets dealt in the off season. I would absolutely try to deal Youk to San Francisco for one of their arms. Iglesias has no business being on the 2012 roster since there are posters on this board who are more capable major league hitters right now. I would be a fan of grabbing Cuddyer since he can play everywhere. However say for instance we deal Youk and 2 mid level prospects for say Matt Cain. This gives us a rotation of

Lester
Beckett
Cain
Buchholz

Then you are essentially able to either move Aceves to the rotation or go out and grab a low risk #5 in FA. If the Sox keep Youk, then a guy like Oswalt becomes a good option for the club. Aside from the back issues that popped up this year, hes been very durable and has solid post season experience with Houston and Philly.

Edited by Tyrone Biggums, 30 October 2011 - 08:40 AM.


#103 untilthebombs

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 12:34 PM

If anywhere and generally speaking, teams nowadays tend to pony up to keep what quality starting pitching they have. When they don't/can't, it's essentially for 2 different reasons, and neither of which that likely ends up playing into our hands as some best case scenario worth "waiting" for.

That's why i could never really slam Theo for Lackey, btw and for the record. The waiting game there is basically all but taking the absolute stance that you are going to live in die by the starting pitching your farm yields you, imo. As one just isn't going to find any potentially good starting pitching options in free agency nowadays that don't come with serious baggage in one form or the other (whether it be injury risk, the godly sum you had to pay out/commit to get what everybody else out there wants, ect..).


I agree with some aspects of what you're saying, but but what are these two reasons?

Regarding retaining quality pitching, I disagree. Most teams cannot afford to retain quality pitching once arbitration years are up, with the first exception being those players who are signed to long-term deals well in advance, David Price for example. The Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies are currently the three exceptions, though with little history, it's tough to know if the Phillies will remain in this tier. CJ Wilson is a much better example of the current market. Texas hardly made a good faith effort to resign him and has long since accepted that he will hit the market, despite being their best pitcher for two successive World Series runs (excluding Lee since he was acquired for the stretch). Instead they'll look to promote from within. For the handful of truly elite pitchers, the second exception, teams will make more an effort to shift money in order to be able to retain them, that's why Texas will at least make a pitch to CC, despite letting Wilson walk. Even this exception is hardly business as usual. If it was CC and Lee would still be in Cleveland.

Looking at the top 10 pitchers this year according to fWar:

Halladay - Traded and signed long-term deal prior to FA
Sabathia -Hit free agency.
Verlander - Signed long term deal 1 year after drafted.
Kershaw - Still in ARB years.
Lee - Hit free agency.
Haren - Signed long-term deal three years into major leagues.
Wilson - Will hit free agency
Weaver - Signed long-term deal w/ 2 ARB years left.
Fister -Still in ARB years.

4/10 - Hit or will hit FA
3/10 - Signed long-term contract well in advance
2/10 - Still in ARB years
1/10 - Traded and signed long-term just prior to FA

The results are similar beyond this group; guys still in ARB years, guys who were signed long-term in advance, hit free agency, or were moved and signed long-term. Few can be pointed to resigned just prior to free agency or hit the market to be resigned.

Edited by untilthebombs, 31 October 2011 - 09:45 AM.


#104 untilthebombs

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 12:42 PM

I would wager a lot of money that at least one of that nucleus gets dealt in the off season. I would absolutely try to deal Youk to San Francisco for one of their arms. Iglesias has no business being on the 2012 roster since there are posters on this board who are more capable major league hitters right now. I would be a fan of grabbing Cuddyer since he can play everywhere. However say for instance we deal Youk and 2 mid level prospects for say Matt Cain. This gives us a rotation of

Lester
Beckett
Cain
Buchholz

Then you are essentially able to either move Aceves to the rotation or go out and grab a low risk #5 in FA. If the Sox keep Youk, then a guy like Oswalt becomes a good option for the club. Aside from the back issues that popped up this year, hes been very durable and has solid post season experience with Houston and Philly.



Keep the trade suggestions coming, because they're fun to think about, but I don't think a deal for Cain would work out with Youk being the player in return for the following reasons:

1) Pablo Sandoval is under team control for the next couple years.
2) Huff is under contract for $11 million next year and they show hesitancy to bench him despite having an ML ready prospect, Belt, available.
3) Belt. He's their long term option, as well as insurance at first next year.

I do think they'll try to move Cain this year unless they're division frontrunners, but will probably be able to get a better package from teams that better suit their needs, or have a strong stable of MLB ready prospects. I think I'd be ok as well. He's a really interesting player. Though his ERA is steadily under, his career xFIP of 4.26 is curious, if not troubling.

#105 jdm2008

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 01:19 PM

I would do Ellsbury and Youks for Hamels and Victorino.

#106 bostoncanwin

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 12:50 AM

I would do Ellsbury and Youks for Hamels and Victorino.



That's interesting, since I've always felt that Victorino had Red Sox written all over him. I've never heard anyone ever mention that.

Edited by bostoncanwin, 31 October 2011 - 12:51 AM.


#107 untilthebombs

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 10:13 AM

No way Philly moves either player for anything but a group of significant prospects, or at least one centered around a talented young player with plenty of years left under team control.

To move Hamels, probably the 2nd/3rd best lefty I in the majors and top 10 overall pitcher, the Phillies would likely look for a package similiar to what they sent to Toronto for Halladay:

Drabek - The top pitching prospect in the Phillies organization at the time as well as the most advanced, having just logged 27 starts at Double A.
Taylor - The most advanced of the of the organization's two top OF prospects at the time, the other being Dominic Brown. Taylor had just logged 30 strong games at Triple A after tearing it up at Double A where he started the season.
D'Arnaud - The organization's top catching prospect. Furtherest from the majors at that point, just completing a strong season at Single A.

In 2010 , Baseball America ranked Drabek as the Blue Jay's top prospect, D'Arnaud 4th. Taylor was of course moved immetially by Toronto for Brett Wallace.

#108 ivanvamp


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Posted 31 October 2011 - 10:43 AM

Maybe it's been mentioned here on SoSH already, but a caller to WEEI last week suggested trading Jacoby Ellsbury and another piece (can't remember what the other piece was) for Felix Hernandez. I realize Seattle is loathe to deal King Felix, but he's on the hook for the next two years at $18.5m and $19.5m apiece. Ellsbury, meanwhile, is under control the next two seasons and won't be a FA until 2014. He's also a top-3 AL MVP candidate.

I know it's tough to consider trading Ellsbury, but if the Sox don't think they are likely to retain him after 2013, maybe they deal him now, maximizing his value, and getting one of the best pitchers in the sport (at just 25 years of age, no less). Felix, Beckett, Lester, Buchholz.....that's an unbelievable rotation.

Then sign someone like DeJesus, Crisp, Willingham, Beltran, etc., to play OF, and then either use DeJesus or Crisp in CF, or, if you pick up Beltran or Willingham, see if Kalish or Reddick can play CF.

#109 MikeM

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 03:28 PM

I agree with some aspects of what you're saying, but but what are these two reasons?


1. The player falls off in a manner that sheds doubt on what one can expect out of them going forward (injury, performance drop).

2. They end up being too overly-expensive to retain, which will always project out to be fairly bloated buy option if/once they hit the open market.


Again, point being there that the core concept of that quality/wartless/just-entering-their-prime starting pitcher hitting the open market is one based on little more then ideal fantasy. By and large it just does not happen. With any rare exception guaranteed to come with the "queasy-on-the-back-end" contract stipulation to boot, assuming one even finds itself in the position of being the highest bidder to begin with.

Unless i'm completely forgetting about somebody here, before Lackey i believe the last significant FA contract/commitment we handed out to an MLB starting pitcher was what, Matt Clement? If the Yankees/Sox/Phillies were generally the only teams out there with the money to pony up for quality starters, that probably wouldn't have played out to be the case over such a lengthy time period, imo. Nor would the current market for such have reached the absolutely over-the-top state it resides at today (which isn't to say the rest of free agency isn't playing out to be over-the-top as a whole too, just that attempting to find potential gem value in the starting pitching department is about as uphill of a battle as it gets there).

#110 Tyrone Biggums


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Posted 01 November 2011 - 06:36 PM

Keep the trade suggestions coming, because they're fun to think about, but I don't think a deal for Cain would work out with Youk being the player in return for the following reasons:

1) Pablo Sandoval is under team control for the next couple years.
2) Huff is under contract for $11 million next year and they show hesitancy to bench him despite having an ML ready prospect, Belt, available.
3) Belt. He's their long term option, as well as insurance at first next year.

I do think they'll try to move Cain this year unless they're division frontrunners, but will probably be able to get a better package from teams that better suit their needs, or have a strong stable of MLB ready prospects. I think I'd be ok as well. He's a really interesting player. Though his ERA is steadily under, his career xFIP of 4.26 is curious, if not troubling.


Youkilis would move to 1st in this scenario, Huff is able to play RF too which is the good thing about having him. Huff is like a Cuddyer light...Belt clearly isn't ready for the big time, as he struggled a lot this year. He'll need another year in AAA. I'm not saying its probable but its a deal that makes sense for both teams.

I do think that Oswalt on something like 2 years 24 mil now that I had a few days to think about it would make a ton of sense. I don't really care if they overpay a free agent just as long as its not a long term commitment.

#111 Tyrone Biggums


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Posted 01 November 2011 - 06:41 PM

Maybe it's been mentioned here on SoSH already, but a caller to WEEI last week suggested trading Jacoby Ellsbury and another piece (can't remember what the other piece was) for Felix Hernandez. I realize Seattle is loathe to deal King Felix, but he's on the hook for the next two years at $18.5m and $19.5m apiece. Ellsbury, meanwhile, is under control the next two seasons and won't be a FA until 2014. He's also a top-3 AL MVP candidate.

I know it's tough to consider trading Ellsbury, but if the Sox don't think they are likely to retain him after 2013, maybe they deal him now, maximizing his value, and getting one of the best pitchers in the sport (at just 25 years of age, no less). Felix, Beckett, Lester, Buchholz.....that's an unbelievable rotation.

Then sign someone like DeJesus, Crisp, Willingham, Beltran, etc., to play OF, and then either use DeJesus or Crisp in CF, or, if you pick up Beltran or Willingham, see if Kalish or Reddick can play CF.


I would actually love to see the Sox pull this off, however I doubt that the M's would pull the trigger on a deal like this. Although, I wouldn't be shocked to see them sign Ellsbury once he hits the open market due to his college roots in the area. I also think that Seattle wouldn't move Felix after a disappointing season since the return would be lower than the year before.

#112 untilthebombs

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 10:00 PM

Youkilis would move to 1st in this scenario, Huff is able to play RF too which is the good thing about having him. Huff is like a Cuddyer light...Belt clearly isn't ready for the big time, as he struggled a lot this year. He'll need another year in AAA. I'm not saying its probable but its a deal that makes sense for both teams.

I do think that Oswalt on something like 2 years 24 mil now that I had a few days to think about it would make a ton of sense. I don't really care if they overpay a free agent just as long as its not a long term commitment.


In Belt you're talking about the top organizational prospect and a top 20 prospects in all of baseball. He demolished at Triple A and though he struck out a ton in limited major league ABs last year, he also showed power and pretty strong patience for a rookie, walking in nearly 10% of his ABs. He was tossed in and out of lineups from day to day and send was sent down to the minors at least twice last year, basically mismanaged. To not give him every day at bats is to stunt his growth. With the money committed to Huff and with Belt ready for an everyday position, there's no position for Youkilis.

Could the Giants make a bad decision, acquiring Youkilis and sending Belt back down to Triple A to face pitchers that can't challenge him? Sure. But the deal does not make sense if they Giants are capable of thinking rationally.

#113 untilthebombs

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 10:30 PM

1. The player falls off in a manner that sheds doubt on what one can expect out of them going forward (injury, performance drop).

2. They end up being too overly-expensive to retain, which will always project out to be fairly bloated buy option if/once they hit the open market.


Alright I agree with both of those. #2 is the reality for most teams as I said in my last post.

But that #2 doesn't play "into our hands as some best case scenario worth 'waiting' for" is just wrong. As I proved in my last post, 3 (not 4 as a I previously listed, left Felix off, should be signed LT contract in advance guy) of the top 10 pitchers in 2011 according to fWar were available on the market at one point as top free agents. And in one additional case (Halladay), the player was essentially made available in a sign and trade to the organization that could put together the best package and that they player would accept a trade to. It's a small sample, but if you continue to play the scenarios out down the list, you're going to get similar, though maybe not quite as strong results, simply because top players are more likely to test free agency to max out their value, lesser players are more likely to accept an extension. It's also not every year that you see a case like that head towards free agency. It's unusually strong.

Again, point being there that the core concept of that quality/wartless/just-entering-their-prime starting pitcher hitting the open market is one based on little more then ideal fantasy. By and large it just does not happen. With any rare exception guaranteed to come with the "queasy-on-the-back-end" contract stipulation to boot, assuming one even finds itself in the position of being the highest bidder to begin with.


Unless i'm completely forgetting about somebody here, before Lackey i believe the last significant FA contract/commitment we handed out to an MLB starting pitcher was what, Matt Clement? If the Yankees/Sox/Phillies were generally the only teams out there with the money to pony up for quality starters, that probably wouldn't have played out to be the case over such a lengthy time period, imo. Nor would the current market for such have reached the absolutely over-the-top state it resides at today (which isn't to say the rest of free agency isn't playing out to be over-the-top as a whole too, just that attempting to find potential gem value in the starting pitching department is about as uphill of a battle as it gets there).


I'd throw Schilling name in there as well. We're talking 10 years with the current ownership group, the last 8 of which the Sox have shown a propensity to go out and acquire big names. Schilling, Clement, Lackey. 3 over 8 years is nothing to scoff at. Lackey is an example of what happens when you go out and pay big for a CJ Wilson. At least in a year with strong pitching, the price for each respective pitcher would be suppressed some. And Clement was just an unfortunately case. Who knows how that would have played out.

If the Red Sox show some more patience in 2010, maybe they could have went after a guy iike Lee in 2011. I know that he still probably would have signed with Philly, but that's a really odd case where a guy has his heart say on playing for a specific team. In most years, a guy of Lee's stature would go to the highest bidder.

It's better to not spend big on a mediocre class and have the money when next year's class hits free agency or have the room to potentially acquire someone if a guy like Cain, etc. became available for a sign and trade.

#114 MikeM

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 11:28 PM

It's better to not spend big on a mediocre class and have the money when next year's class hits free agency or have the room to potentially acquire someone if a guy like Cain, etc. became available for a sign and trade.


I completely agree there, and wasn't trying to imply that i condone taking some "sign whoever is currently available" approach every winter. Just pointing out they all should be expected to come with their share of warts in one form or the other, and that expectation comparisons to some mythical win/win all-around scenario need to be tempered.

You also don't need to preach to me about CJ Wilson btw, as i want no part of him to begin with. Heck, if Darvish comes over here and demands significantly more then what Dice-K got, i wouldn't/won't want him either :)

(nfc what's up with my browser atm)

Edited by MikeM, 01 November 2011 - 11:30 PM.


#115 ivanvamp


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Posted 03 November 2011 - 10:19 AM

Scrubs was probably a bit much, but they are just another guys, Bowden is literally useless to Atlanta, Youkilis is a good player, but the same reason we are considering moving him to DH is the reason no National league team will spend big on him, he can't play 3B effectively anymore and he's constantly injured. As I pointed out, you are asking for two young, cheap franchise cornerstones. Beachy is miles better than the pitchers offered, Heyward is far more valuable than Kalish or Reddick, and Youk is no more valuable to them than Aramis Ramirez who can be had for just money (and not that much more money). So yes your trade was absolutely ridiculous.


From: http://sportsillustr...p&sct=hp_t11_a2

"The Plan: The Braves kicked off the offseason by trading Derek Lowe to the Indians for the right to not pay him his entire salary next year. Lowe, who looked like he might be done during his 9-17, 5.05 ERA season last year, was maybe the Braves' ninth-best starting pitcher heading into the Hot Stove League, and he will not be missed. The Braves save $5 million in the deal, an amount unlikely to have an impact on their 2012 plans, if past moves of a similar nature are any indication. What has killed the Braves in recent seasons is an offense not good enough to support a great pitching staff, and in particular, a failure to assemble major league outfields. The Braves have to commit, this winter, to adding a leftfielder who can bat in the top half of the order, to go with midseason pickup Michael Bourn and holdovers Brian McCann, Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward as the core of a championship-caliber lineup.
They can do that by trade or by free agency, but it means the team's owners, Liberty Media, has to be willing to spend money. The best corner outfielders available on the market are Jason Kubel, Carlos Beltran and Michael Cuddyer. Beltran, who the Braves were in on at the trade deadline, would be an excellent fit, but likely to require a three-year commitment at upwards of $10 million per season. If they would prefer, the Braves could put some of that pitching depth -- the names above, plus Mike Minor or Brandon Beachy -- on the trade wire. That could make players like B.J. Upton, Nick Swisher, Logan Morrison or Andre Ethier available -- three of whom are free agents after 2012. The goal, however pursued, is clear: Bolster the top of the lineup so that a third straight season of strong pitching isn't wasted."

Maybe this is just musing by Sheehan, but I'm obviously not the only one that thinks the Braves dealing someone like Beachy in order to improve offensively isn't a crazy idea. Again, it probably won't happen, but if I'm the Sox, I explore the possibility.

#116 TOleary25

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 08:27 AM

Jair Jurrjens is a name that has been thrown around as a person the Braves could move for offense. Could there be a fit here? Would Lowrie plus a prospect get it done? He's dealt with injury problems the last two seasons so he probably isnt ideal but he is still young and would fit in nicely at the back end of the rotation.

#117 untilthebombs

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 10:02 AM

From: http://sportsillustr...p&sct=hp_t11_a2

"The Plan: The Braves kicked off the offseason by trading Derek Lowe to the Indians for the right to not pay him his entire salary next year. Lowe, who looked like he might be done during his 9-17, 5.05 ERA season last year, was maybe the Braves' ninth-best starting pitcher heading into the Hot Stove League, and he will not be missed. The Braves save $5 million in the deal, an amount unlikely to have an impact on their 2012 plans, if past moves of a similar nature are any indication. What has killed the Braves in recent seasons is an offense not good enough to support a great pitching staff, and in particular, a failure to assemble major league outfields. The Braves have to commit, this winter, to adding a leftfielder who can bat in the top half of the order, to go with midseason pickup Michael Bourn and holdovers Brian McCann, Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward as the core of a championship-caliber lineup.
They can do that by trade or by free agency, but it means the team's owners, Liberty Media, has to be willing to spend money. The best corner outfielders available on the market are Jason Kubel, Carlos Beltran and Michael Cuddyer. Beltran, who the Braves were in on at the trade deadline, would be an excellent fit, but likely to require a three-year commitment at upwards of $10 million per season. If they would prefer, the Braves could put some of that pitching depth -- the names above, plus Mike Minor or Brandon Beachy -- on the trade wire. That could make players like B.J. Upton, Nick Swisher, Logan Morrison or Andre Ethier available -- three of whom are free agents after 2012. The goal, however pursued, is clear: Bolster the top of the lineup so that a third straight season of strong pitching isn't wasted."

Maybe this is just musing by Sheehan, but I'm obviously not the only one that thinks the Braves dealing someone like Beachy in order to improve offensively isn't a crazy idea. Again, it probably won't happen, but if I'm the Sox, I explore the possibility.



It is just musing. Beachy was the best pitcher on the staff last year. Jurrjens is definitely on the market. Medlen is probably as well. Anybody can be had for the right price, but Minor and Beachy are currently the two most valuable pitchers on their staff. The Red Sox have some pieces that could be moved, but the most valuable, Youkilis, does not fit the Braves puzzle.

#118 untilthebombs

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 10:16 AM

Jair Jurrjens is a name that has been thrown around as a person the Braves could move for offense. Could there be a fit here? Would Lowrie plus a prospect get it done? He's dealt with injury problems the last two seasons so he probably isnt ideal but he is still young and would fit in nicely at the back end of the rotation.


I was mulling over the same trade this morning. I think it would take Reddick as well plus a prospect. Both guys could possibly step right in as starters for the Braves at SS and LF/RF. At least on batted ball numbers, it looks a move to Fenway wouldn't blow Jurrjens up.


I wouldn't pull the trigger though. Best case scenario, it's a nominal gain. Unless Kalish comes out at takes the RF job, both Lowrie and Reddick are everyday or near everyday players for the Red Sox, with Lowrie filling in behind Youk and Scutaro, both of whom missed significant time last year. Jurrjens would be a back of the rotation starter at best. He's certainly due for some regression based on his ERA/FIP. A K/9 of 5.33 and and a K/BB of 2.05 in the NL East could get ugly quite quickly when he doesn't get to face a pitcher two or three times each start and is going up against the Yanks/Jays/O's on a frequent basis.

The drop from Reddick to Kalish and Lowrie to Aviles isn't huge, but neither is the gain from many of the free agents available on short, cheap deals and Jurrjens.

#119 nighthob

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 10:18 AM

I think Beachey's "touchable" because they believe the guys behind him are even better, and he has more trade value as a major league player. I think Minor's on the untouchable list though.

#120 ivanvamp


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Posted 04 November 2011 - 01:06 PM

I think Beachey's "touchable" because they believe the guys behind him are even better, and he has more trade value as a major league player. I think Minor's on the untouchable list though.


Freaking Braves have SO many great young arms it's incredible.

#121 TimScribble

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 01:59 PM

What would it cost the Sox to get Gio Gonzalez?

The A's aren't shopping him, but they will listen.

A's willing to listen

#122 untilthebombs

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 04:04 PM

Ugh. Stay away from Gonzalez as well. 4 walks per 9.

#123 Tyrone Biggums


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Posted 04 November 2011 - 05:03 PM

Ugh. Stay away from Gonzalez as well. 4 walks per 9.


Agreed Jurrjens seems like a much better bet.

#124 keyalyn

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 04:55 AM

Neither is really all that compelling an option, but I would much rather Gonzalez over Jurrjens. Gonzalez walks a lot of guys, but he also strikes them out a lot, giving him a nearly identical K/BB as Jurrjens. His K/BB last season was better than any figure Jurrjens has ever posted in a season. Meanwhile, Jurrjens average fastball velocity has dropped every year he has been in the league, and his usually below average K/9 plummeted to a figure lower than Tim Wakefield's in 2011. From a peripheral standpoint, he is an average pitcher, and an average pitcher who has missed big chunks of time the past two seasons with injury. Gonzalez has his own issues for sure (walks, H/R splits), but he has been better health wise and doesn't have the worrying trend in his stats and performance as Jurrjens.

#125 ehaz

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 02:10 PM

If they do entertain trading Youkilis, the Rockies are reportedly interested in him. It seems like a solid matchup, they have a lot of good young pitching in prospects and major leaguers like Rex Brothers, Alex White, Drew Pomeranz, Christian Friedrich and Tyler Matzek whom the Sox could conceivably target.

#126 untilthebombs

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 11:59 PM

If they do entertain trading Youkilis, the Rockies are reportedly interested in him. It seems like a solid matchup, they have a lot of good young pitching in prospects and major leaguers like Rex Brothers, Alex White, Drew Pomeranz, Christian Friedrich and Tyler Matzek whom the Sox could conceivably target.


Where'd you hear/read this? I haven't come across anything.

#127 ehaz

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 09:26 AM

Where'd you hear/read this? I haven't come across anything.

Here. On that link it's more speculation, but the same Denver Post reporter posted on twitter (can't find the link) that the Rockies would have interest should he be available.

#128 untilthebombs

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 09:52 AM

Here. On that link it's more speculation, but the same Denver Post reporter posted on twitter (can't find the link) that the Rockies would have interest should he be available.


Thanks.

#129 ivanvamp


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Posted 07 November 2011 - 02:56 PM

Agreed Jurrjens seems like a much better bet.


I like Jurrjens, but there are some concerns. He has a poor K/9 ratio (5.3 in 2011), and has had some real injury issues (just 116.1 ip in 2010 and 152.0 in 2011). Of course I would prefer him over a lot of options the Sox might have, but he'd command a lot in a trade and I am just not sure he'd be the most effective guy in the AL East.

#130 wine111

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 02:13 PM

I like Jurrjens, but there are some concerns. He has a poor K/9 ratio (5.3 in 2011), and has had some real injury issues (just 116.1 ip in 2010 and 152.0 in 2011). Of course I would prefer him over a lot of options the Sox might have, but he'd command a lot in a trade and I am just not sure he'd be the most effective guy in the AL East.


Jurrjens is too fragile to be relied upon. Daniel Bard was a consistent failure as a starter in the minors and some people here think that he will somehow change in the majors. Just reaching for straws. If Bard could successfully repeat his delivery over several innings, he would have stayed a starter. Bard is a bullpen lifer. Left handers are easier to convert to starters because they tend to get better natural movement on their pitches (like C J Wilson). Get pitchers who have pitched in the majors as starters without breaking down. Oswalt is too old and has nowhere to go but down. He is not a big man physically and has had back problems, so he is a huge risk at too much money.

No Jurrjens, Bard or Oswalt in this rotation please. No Buehrle (Won't pitch here anyway because he knows his stuff is not for Fenway), Capuano, Bedard, Miller, Chen, Harden, Harang, Maholm (way too inconsistent and hittable), Wakefield, Millwood, Vazquez, Piniero or even Chris Young, who I suggested earlier.

Wish list in order is King Felix (Ellsbury would have to go in the multi-player trade and I think we need a real ace), Yu Darvish, Edwin Jackson, Wandy Rodriguez, (trade), C J Wilson (If the others listed before him here fail to be acquired and for no more than 5 years at $75 million). I think we need two pitchers from this list. Real pitchers please and not retreads or injury risks or never pitched as starting pitchers in some form of major league ball. Rebuild the staff for real. Patch up the offense after the starting pitching is acquired if Ellsbury or Youk is dealt.

Unfortunately, the way Ben Cherington is talking, it looks like he wants to fix what the team has under the hood. Sounds like a third place finish in 2012. Complementary players to add to this team is just not enough. The Yankees are too powerful (they won the division with ARod having a lost season) and will likely add C.J. Wilson and possibly another starter (Buehrle?, who fits Yankee Stadium much better than he fits Fenway Park) as well. Matt Moore is almost like adding a young Justin Verlander to the Rays rotation, so they are not to be taken lightly.

Edited by wine111, 10 November 2011 - 03:48 PM.


#131 Cellar-Door


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Posted 09 November 2011 - 03:10 PM

Jurrjens is too fragile to be relied upon. Daniel Bard was a consistent failure as a starter in the minors and some people here think that he will somehow change in the majors. Just reaching for straws. If Bard could successfully repeat his delivery over several innings, he would have stayed a starter. Bard is a bullpen lifer. Left handers are easier to convert to starters because they tend to get better natural movement on their pitches (like C J Wilson). Get pitchers who have pitched in the majors as starters without breaking down. Oswalt is too old and has nowhere to go but down. He is not a big man physically and has had back problems, so he is a huge risk at too much money.

I don't necessarily think Bard would make a good starter, but 75 IP in his first year of pro ball is hardly enough to say he was a "Consistent Failure".

#132 bozzs

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 01:58 PM

I don't necessarily think Bard would make a good starter, but 75 IP in his first year of pro ball is hardly enough to say he was a "Consistent Failure".

100 % agreed and it was also very early in his career as he is still trying to develop more pitches.

#133 doubrontsneighbor

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 07:18 AM

I think John Danks could be an interesting trade option. He's made $6 million last season, and could be a good 4/5. I wonder what kind of package could land Danks/Quentin? It would solve two major needs, for not alot of payroll, and we could focus on other areas of need.

#134 ivanvamp


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Posted 11 November 2011 - 07:54 AM

I think John Danks could be an interesting trade option. He's made $6 million last season, and could be a good 4/5. I wonder what kind of package could land Danks/Quentin? It would solve two major needs, for not alot of payroll, and we could focus on other areas of need.


Ranaudo, Kalish/Reddick, Lavarnway. Gives Chi a future C (Pierzynski is 34 and 2012 is the last year of his contract), an OF to replace Quentin, and a good pitching prospect that could eventually replace Danks.

Is that too much to give up if you're the Sox? Not for me, it isn't.

CF Ellsbury
2b Pedroia
1b Gonzalez
3b Youkilis
DH Ortiz
RF Quentin
LF Crawford
C Saltalamacchia
SS Scutaro

Rotation: Beckett, Lester, Buchholz, Danks

That's a mighty good setup right there. One concern about Danks...look at his era+ numbers the last 4 years: 138, 124, 115, 97. Heading in the wrong direction. But he's just 26 so plenty of optimism with him.

#135 chester

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 12:39 PM

Ranaudo, Kalish/Reddick, Lavarnway. Gives Chi a future C (Pierzynski is 34 and 2012 is the last year of his contract), an OF to replace Quentin, and a good pitching prospect that could eventually replace Danks.


Is that too much to give up if you're the Sox? Not for me, it isn't.

That's a mighty good setup right there. One concern about Danks...look at his era+ numbers the last 4 years: 138, 124, 115, 97. Heading in the wrong direction. But he's just 26 so plenty of optimism with him.



I like Danks and would trade for him for sure but I would not give up Ranaudo or Lavarnway. Lavarnway is probably our platoon catcher for us next year so we would have to find someone else and Ranaudo has so much potential I would hate to risk losing that. Be patient, both of those players are FAs next year as well as a ton of great pitching. I know people hate standing pat but unless we get Felix Hernandez I don't trade for any major pitcher this offseason.



#136 ivanvamp


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Posted 11 November 2011 - 08:38 PM

From rotoworld (http://rotoworld.com...nathan-papelbon):

"Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said Friday that they never made a formal contract offer to Jonathan Papelbon, who agreed to a four-year, $50 million deal with the Phillies.
It doesn't matter much, anyway, as Cherington said he wouldn't have offered four years at this point of the offseason given the other closer options available in free agency. We still expect they'll sign someone, but Cherington said he isn't against the idea of a closer competition during spring training. In that scenario, Daniel Bard and Bobby Jenks could be in the mix. It doesn't appear that Alfredo Aceves will be an option, though, as the Red Sox have told him to come to spring training prepared to start."

So maybe the Sox are looking to Aceves to be part of the solution for the rotation.

This team, which looked so promising in the middle of the summer, really has a lot of things to sort out at this point in time.

#137 rglenmt

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 08:18 AM

I would not trade Lavarnway, in fact, of the two, I would trade Saltalamacchia and honestly think Lavarnway will become the better catcher. Right now Saltalamacchia has more trade value and unless Salty becomes the Red Sox DH, may not catch anywhere as much as he did this season. Ranaudo has a very big upside, however, that is as much a scouting issue as he did not pitch above high A at Salem and I had thought because of his collegiate background and brief performance in the Cape Cod League, he would have gone higher. For the most part, the Red Sox should rebuild from within, as trades and FA signings so often do not pan out. Do the Red Sox have an offense which could win the AL East as currently constituted, Yes. Does the team have the pitching, even with Beckett, Lester, Buchholz, Aceves and Bard, of course not, but the team does have enough to build around and even as we saw from the MFYs, a team can build a pitching staff. Of course, the MFYs did have CC Sabathia and Mariano Rivera, but what betting man would have thought the team would get to the playoffs with Rolo Polo Colon and Garcia in the starting rotation? I am willing to see what Ben Cherington can assemble going into Spring Training.

#138 wine111

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 07:08 PM

From rotoworld (http://rotoworld.com...nathan-papelbon):

"Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said Friday that they never made a formal contract offer to Jonathan Papelbon, who agreed to a four-year, $50 million deal with the Phillies.
It doesn't matter much, anyway, as Cherington said he wouldn't have offered four years at this point of the offseason given the other closer options available in free agency. We still expect they'll sign someone, but Cherington said he isn't against the idea of a closer competition during spring training. In that scenario, Daniel Bard and Bobby Jenks could be in the mix. It doesn't appear that Alfredo Aceves will be an option, though, as the Red Sox have told him to come to spring training prepared to start."

So maybe the Sox are looking to Aceves to be part of the solution for the rotation.

This team, which looked so promising in the middle of the summer, really has a lot of things to sort out at this point in time.


Now this team is considering Aceves and Bard for the #4 and #5 spots in the rotation. This effectively removes the three most valuable bullpen arms from last year and puts two of them
in the starting rotation. So the bullpen would be decimated and the last two spots in the starting rotation do not show any real potential for throwing more than 150 innings each because
they never have.

As a result, whoever they do have in the bullpen are #1, not likely to be as good as the trio of Papelbon, Bard and Aceves (as several top bullpen arms have already been signed) and #2
are likely to have to throw a lot of innings because Aceves and Bard are not likely to be able to log a lot of innings in their first year of starting. Teams don't generally trade top bullpen arms
very cheaply lately, so I'll believe in those acquisitions when I see them. Andrew Bailey is very fragile and that makes him less than elite regardless of his performances (Which did slip a
bit in 2011). Even if they got Bailey and Koji Uehara, they would still be one arm short from their big three from last year.

Looks like Hiroki Kuroda, Edwin Jackson and John Danks and/or Gavin Floyd are our last real shots at getting a real starter and avoiding the pending Aceves and Bard to the starting
rotation fiasco/latest band aids for the number 4 and 5 rotation spots. Seems like we don't take the threat of Tampa Bay's starting pitching depth seriously enough despite the fact that they
have used their superior starting pitching depth to beat us in three of the last four years. Aceves as a number five with a proven starter from the four listed above would work better. I am
firmly convinced that this starting rotation needs a true ace (which we currently do not have, as this staff has fragile arms (Beckett and C. B.) and a pitcher who wastes too many pitches in
trying to prevent contact (Lester)). That ace may turn out to be Yu Darvish, who Bobby Valentine is very familiar with.

Darvish should now be the Sox #1 priority. He is more worth the risk than any starting pitcher on the free agent market. If they don't make a move for a starting pitcher now, I think it would be
because intend to win the bid for Darvish with an offer higher than they paid in the Daiske posting.

Edited by wine111, 08 December 2011 - 06:06 AM.


#139 ivanvamp


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Posted 07 December 2011 - 08:44 PM

Maybe the Marlins are souring on Hanley - that's the rumor, though he denies it. If the Marlins are going for it, and they want a disgruntled Hanley out of there, how about a deal whereby the Sox give Youkilis and one of their better pitching prospects to Florida for Hanley. Overall, Hanley is the better player, but the past two seasons Youks has outhit him, so if they're in win now mode, that might be something they'd consider.

Last 2 seasons:

Youkilis: .280/.391/.507/.898, 139 ops+
Hanley: .278/.361/.438/.799, 114 ops+

#140 keyalyn

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 09:08 PM

Not an exciting name, but if the price isn't too high Joe Saunders could be competent for the back of the rotation. His numbers will certainly take a hit in the AL East, but even slightly below average is a big step up from most of the guys who started for Boston last season. He has pitched no less than 186 innings in each of the last 4 years, and has put up a decent career 4.52xFIP. If he can give the Sox 190-200IP with a 90-95ERA+ he would be a valuable asset for the rotation, and even less than that would be a sizable upgrade over the pitchers who occupied the 4th and 5th slots last year.

#141 MikeM

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 10:46 PM

Not an exciting name, but if the price isn't too high Joe Saunders could be competent for the back of the rotation. His numbers will certainly take a hit in the AL East, but even slightly below average is a big step up from most of the guys who started for Boston last season. He has pitched no less than 186 innings in each of the last 4 years, and has put up a decent career 4.52xFIP. If he can give the Sox 190-200IP with a 90-95ERA+ he would be a valuable asset for the rotation, and even less than that would be a sizable upgrade over the pitchers who occupied the 4th and 5th slots last year.


While he didn't seem to generate much trade interest with that fairly large arby hit looming, as a freebie scenario i'm guessing he'll have plenty of potential suitors.

Aka: there will be better offers out there then what he'll see coming out of here, imo.

#142 wine111

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 05:37 AM

Not an exciting name, but if the price isn't too high Joe Saunders could be competent for the back of the rotation. His numbers will certainly take a hit in the AL East, but even slightly below average is a big step up from most of the guys who started for Boston last season. He has pitched no less than 186 innings in each of the last 4 years, and has put up a decent career 4.52xFIP. If he can give the Sox 190-200IP with a 90-95ERA+ he would be a valuable asset for the rotation, and even less than that would be a sizable upgrade over the pitchers who occupied the 4th and 5th slots last year.


Joe Saunders scares the life out of me. This guy strikes out way too few hitters and is not a sinkerball specialist. This means big trouble in the A.L. East. I wish the Sox would get serious about someone who at least
would have a chance to succeed against A.L. East hitters. To me, that's not Joe Saunders. His numbers were far worse than Lackey's when he was with the Angels (From 2006 to 2009 his ERA was 4.44 or higher in
3 of those 4 years) and look what happened to Lackey in Boston. I think Saunders would get lit up like a Christmas tree.

Edited by wine111, 14 December 2011 - 05:41 AM.


#143 keyalyn

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 07:41 AM

Joe Saunders scares the life out of me. This guy strikes out way too few hitters and is not a sinkerball specialist. This means big trouble in the A.L. East. I wish the Sox would get serious about someone who at least
would have a chance to succeed against A.L. East hitters. To me, that's not Joe Saunders. His numbers were far worse than Lackey's when he was with the Angels (From 2006 to 2009 his ERA was 4.44 or higher in
3 of those 4 years) and look what happened to Lackey in Boston. I think Saunders would get lit up like a Christmas tree.

Lackey and Saunders have nothing to do with each other. The fact that they both pitched in LAA is irrelevant.

Despite those awful peripherals and the fact he shared a locker room with Lackey, he has still managed to be a league average pitcher his entire career. I agree with MikeM that some team out there will throw him a 1/$8M contract and he wont sign here, but for $3-4M he would be a solid acquisition. A passable starter who can eat innings was sorely needed on this team last season, and Saunders could be that.

Not that is is really relevant, but he owns a career 4.74ERA against the AL East, which would translate to around a 90ERA+. Not something to get pumped about, but ~200IP of that is not bad for the back of the rotation.

#144 ivanvamp


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Posted 14 December 2011 - 08:10 AM

Two perspectives on Joe Saunders.

Glass is half full:
- He's an above average pitcher (career era+ of 103).
- He's a lefty, which is usually a helpful thing, especially so considering lefties are useful against the Yankees in NY).
- Pitches a lot of innings (average of 200ip a year the past four seasons).
- He's just 30 years old.
- He won't cost any prospects.
- He is WAY better than the Lackey/Miller/Weiland/Wakefield crap that the Sox threw out there time after time last year.

Glass is half empty:
- Career #'s against the Sox' biggest rivals:
- NY: 1-2, 6.28 era, 1.57 whip
- TB: 0-2, 7.59 era, 1.78 whip
- Low strikeout rate (career 5.0 k/9).
- Low groundball rate. Few ks and few gbs = lots of fly balls. That = lots of hrs most likely.
- High whip (only one year has he had a whip less than 1.30).

So there's some good reasons for the Sox to consider him, but also some reasons to stay far, far away. I do think he'll almost certainly be better than Lackey was last year (it's almost impossible not to be), but then again, I think almost any pitcher would be an improvement.

#145 keyalyn

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 09:01 AM

The poor numbers against NYY and TB really show very little. 7 career starts against those two (5 vs NYY, 2 vs TB). When you have such a small sample size, a few shitty outings skew the numbers.

vs NYY:
8/11/06- 6IP 2ER
8/10/08- 7IP 3ER
9/21/09- 8.1IP 1ER
vs TB:
5/10/08- 6IP 1ER

He was killed in two other starts (1 TB, 1 NYY) and had a poor outing against NYY (5IP 5ER). But at the end of the day, a 4/5th starter who puts up those lines against your two biggest division rivals 57% of the time is not a problem. Although SSS renders this meaningless of course.

#146 untilthebombs

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 01:34 PM

Two perspectives on Joe Saunders.

Glass is half full:
- He's an above average pitcher (career era+ of 103).
- He's a lefty, which is usually a helpful thing, especially so considering lefties are useful against the Yankees in NY).
- Pitches a lot of innings (average of 200ip a year the past four seasons).
- He's just 30 years old.
- He won't cost any prospects.
- He is WAY better than the Lackey/Miller/Weiland/Wakefield crap that the Sox threw out there time after time last year.

Glass is half empty:
- Career #'s against the Sox' biggest rivals:
- NY: 1-2, 6.28 era, 1.57 whip
- TB: 0-2, 7.59 era, 1.78 whip
- Low strikeout rate (career 5.0 k/9).
- Low groundball rate. Few ks and few gbs = lots of fly balls. That = lots of hrs most likely.
- High whip (only one year has he had a whip less than 1.30).

So there's some good reasons for the Sox to consider him, but also some reasons to stay far, far away. I do think he'll almost certainly be better than Lackey was last year (it's almost impossible not to be), but then again, I think almost any pitcher would be an improvement.


Below average pitcher over the last four years per -FIP.

#147 Towney007

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 01:39 PM

He's had an FIP and xFIP higher than his ERA in like -4 of the last 6 seasons... no way.

#148 TOleary25

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 02:27 PM

He's had an FIP and xFIP higher than his ERA in like -4 of the last 6 seasons... no way.


Some pitchers can go most of their career outperforming their Fip and xFip. Mark Buerhle comes to mind, but that may be attributed to his own defense. The numbers that jump out at me for Saunders last year was the .271 BABIP and the 77.7% LOB. The only year where he put up similar numbers to that was in 2008 (.266 BABIP, 75.7% LOB). The real Saunders is most likely the 2010 version rather than the 2011. He'd be a good depth move, but someone is likely to overypay for him.

#149 SpruceTrap

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 05:22 PM

He's had an FIP and xFIP higher than his ERA in like -4 of the last 6 seasons... no way.


A lot of that is probably because he's a groundball pitcher. Almost all groundball pitchers have a higher FIP than ERA because the formula for FIP is so dependent on strikeout rates.

EDIT: I should clarify, almost all groundball pitchers with low strikeout rates have lower ERA's than FIP's.

Edited by SpruceTrap, 14 December 2011 - 05:26 PM.


#150 Cellar-Door


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Posted 14 December 2011 - 05:43 PM

Some pitchers can go most of their career outperforming their Fip and xFip. Mark Buerhle comes to mind, but that may be attributed to his own defense. The numbers that jump out at me for Saunders last year was the .271 BABIP and the 77.7% LOB. The only year where he put up similar numbers to that was in 2008 (.266 BABIP, 75.7% LOB). The real Saunders is most likely the 2010 version rather than the 2011. He'd be a good depth move, but someone is likely to overypay for him.

I'm even more worried by this from Dave Cameron: http://www.fangraphs...uational-babip/
Saunders last year had a .280 BABIP with the bases empty, .258 with men on and .211 with RISP. That worries me a great deal, I can see how it is possible he could sustain a slightly lower BABIP with runners on than bases empty, as a groundball pitcher since the availability of a force at another base shortens throws and perhaps leads to a few more outs, however I can't see why the big gap with RISP would be sustainable. So along with a correction in BABIP overall he seems like he is likely to have an even bigger correction in BABIP with RISP which would lead to more runs.