Beltran not wanting to DH in his finale showcase leading up to free agency, and not willing to DH now if that's where the money trail is leading him, is two entirely different matters imo. Maybe i'm wrong there, but being a former Boras client and all, i initially doubt it.
I also was focusing on Cuddyer because you were attempting to present him as some cheap alternative he's not going to be. As far as Cody Ross is concerned, it's not that i'm ignoring him, it's just that (and like Cuddyer) i don't view him as currently viable alternative to Beltran given the surrounding circumstances. In a hypothetical scenario where we had resigned Papelbon, or where i was expecting a significant starting pitching upgrade to walk through that door this winter, my priorities there might play out to be different. But that's not what i'm projecting to be the case atm. Here, let me simplify this down to make it as clear as possible.
I don't believe the Red Sox will be in on any of the major free agent starter/relievers this winter, nor do i want them to be at this point ( well maybe Madison, in the event he ends up being up for grabs at a comfortable amount less then Papelbon). I do however believe that given what i just stated, and on top of factoring that in, we simply can't afford the additional risk of taking that step backwards offensively the decision *not* to sign one of Beltran/Ortiz is currently representing. In fact, nor do i expect us to. Having the Trio/Ben follow that epic Sept collapse up by letting 2 major stars here go, and then not handing out a single significant contract in free agency? I just can't see that happening, with default logic pointing to the resigning of Ortiz, if for no other reason then the appearance factor demands it (and yeah, at this point i don't buy that kind of flawed thought process isn't going to influence the decision on some level there). From there, it's rather simple. If it's an Ortiz or Beltran pick em, my money is one 2-3 years of Beltran > 2-3 years of Ortiz going forward.
Whether it's Ortiz or Beltran, either way i see that money being spent at DH, making the potential relationship to an Ellsbury signing all but irrelevant. But for the record, you are going on there and preaching to the choir. I spent all last winter begging and pleading that we dismiss any thought of signing Carl Crawford, in large part no less because i believed we already had our own version of Crawford in-house. Trust me, that we went on to sign him and potentially spent Ellsbury's extension money to bring in a guy we arguably had as much need for then as we do a $10m/per Cuddyer now irks me to no freaking end.
Heh, when our guys show any sign of being even remotely capable of pulling off what they are doing in Tampa, i'll start feeling a lot better about our chances in building a quality/Papelbon-less bullpen. Maybe it happen this winter, but i'm certainly not running to Vegas to place that bet.
1) Cuddyer IS a cheaper alternative, he will not cost 15 million a year, hell with the Phillies trading for Wiggington, the market is evaporating for him, so I'm confident that he won't get 10 million. Cuddyer will get a 2-3 year deal probably at 8 million per. At that price, yeah I would take him over Beltran provided the team doesn't just pocket the money and uses it to strengthen the pitching staff. Willingham, is also a cheaper alternative as is Ross as is anyone else on the market that plays RF or DH. Will he have better numbers than Beltran? Probably not. The reason I am advocating other people over Beltran is both financial and medical.
2)The Sox have a guy in their system, Lavarnway who isn't really a defensive whiz and has a future as a major league DH. I do not believe that DH should be a position that a team throws a ton of money at, unless it makes sense. Bringing Ortiz back over Carlos Beltran makes a lot of sense. You can't deny that Beltran brings a major medical risk with him. Ortiz's only red flag is that hes fat. However, if the Sox feel that Lavarnway is the future at DH then take the picks for Ortiz and let Beltran be someone else's risk
3)Crawford's long term contract was somewhat understandable, very good track record, in his prime, really didn't have any abnormal seasons which would indicate that hes a contract year player. Just because the Sox went down this road before doesn't make it right that they should not only go down this road again, but with an older, slower, riskier player.
4)My point is that Beltran is the best RF on the market for the 2012 Red Sox, but perhaps not in 2013 or 2014. However, given all of the holes this team has to fill it isn't the smart play for the Sox. Just because the Red Sox have not had success in building a bullpen doesn't mean they should just disregard signing pitchers in free agency. Here let me make this as clear as possible with the laundry list of needs this team has
-Starting Pitching (2 pitchers then probably another few off of waivers or Minor League FA)
-Middle Relief (They need at least 3 to stick)
-Closer (Bard probably isn't the answer right now)
-Right handed bat off the bench
-4th outfielder (although this will probably be covered with Darnell McDonald/Josh Reddick/Kalish)
Since the Sox have about 40-50 million to spend, lets say they use 15 on Beltran. This leaves 25-35 million to spend on all of those needs. Unless of course you would be overjoyed to see Kyle Weiland coming out of the pen in the 7th inning next year, or Wakefield as the Sox 5th starter. If the Sox were the Yankees then they would have paid Papelbon and he would still be here. If they were going to pass up paying an elite closer 12-13 million and go 4 years for him, what makes you think they're going long term with anyone at this point?
The problem with bullpens is that relief pitchers are spotty at best, they can be elite for 5 years in a row then just completely fall off a cliff. I think this is going to be done like the 2003 season in which the Sox signed Timlin and friends and figured out the closer situation mid season. But you have to sign some guys that have a semi good track record. Now that no compensation would be needed, a guy like Octavio Dotel comes to mind as someone who could be a solid pickup for relatively cheap money. The risk with this team is almost never just the price, its the years involved as well.
I would love to just throw all of this out and sign Beltran and just ignore all of the risks associated with forking over 15 million a year for a player in his mid 30s with medical issues, however that wouldn't be sensible.
Edited by Tyrone Biggums, 20 November 2011 - 08:06 PM.