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The Maybe Premature Starting Pitching Thread


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#1 trekfan55


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Posted 25 October 2011 - 12:10 PM

I posted this in the Lackey thread, but I think it's a good idea to start a new thread.

This is assuming that Lackey may need TJ surgery, but coming into 2012 the Sox will have only 3 starting pitchers:

Beckett (even year Beckett at that)
Lester
Buchholz (coming back from a back injury)

After that the Sox need to find two starting pitchers plus the backups to either stash in AAA or be long men.

The internal options are slim: Stretching Aceves to start may be a good idea, also making Bard a starter (that would be harder) but that would leave a huge bullpen hole to fill (and makes resigning Paps more urgent). Weiland proved he was not ready, I really hope they do not bring back Wake, and no thanks also on Miller.

External options: Pursue Sabathia? (Should he opt out, of course). CJ Wilson? (his post season performance may have cost him a lot of money). Who else?

Note: If Lackey does not need TJ, it at least looks like he's hurt enough to consult a doctor and I am not counting on a full healthy season from him anyways.

#2 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 25 October 2011 - 12:27 PM

I think the Lackey situation, assuming it means TJ surgery, makes the likelihood of converting Daniel Bard much higher. I also think they try to bring back Bedard, hoping to get a full season out of him and Bard combined. That still leaves an empty spot in the rotation and a need for replacement level filler. I'm not worried about the filler so much, as guys like Millwood end up available for minor league contracts by the end of spring training most years.

Their sixth pitcher will probably end up being Aceves, which means they may utilize him as more of a long man than a 7th or 8th inning guy, but that puts pressure on them to get Papelbon back. If they can, Jenks and Wheeler setting him up isn't too bad. Maybe they take a shot on a guy like Nathan or whatever to fill out the bullpen. But a lot has to happen in the pen before they can afford to convert Bard in the first place, so I think it's relevant to mention it in a thread about the starting rotation.

Beyond that, they probably can't afford a free agent like Wilson or Buehrle if they want to bring Papelbon back, so looking at the rest of the free agent field it's going to depend on what other moves they make. If they don't bring back Bedard, Duchscherer might be worth combing with Bard to try and get a full season, Edwin Jackson might be affordable (more so than Wilson or Buehrle at least), Kuroda on a short contract would be interesting, and they may feel the need to bring Wakefield back (/shudder).

It's not a pretty list, and I'm really wondering how they're going to field a pitching staff that even comes close to what we were hoping for in 2011 when you consider the potential bullpen issues that are also looming. Beckett, Lester and Buchholz is a helluva 1-2-3, but with Lackey going down, and not much money to spend it's looking like it might be a rough winter. Hopefully they have insurance on Lackey's contract which would loosen the purse strings a bit and increase the chances they can get involved for Wilson or Buehrle.

#3 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 25 October 2011 - 12:32 PM

Replacing Lackey shouldn't be that difficult though, he was horrible. If you start with Lackey's production as the baseline, it's not that big of a concern. Agree that the conversion of Bard to the rotation is now much more appealing. Signing a guy like Javy Vazquez would be ideal, he'll give you innings and the perception that he can't handle the AL East could drive his salary lower than it should be. Someone like Jon Garland as a #5 wouldn't be horrible.

Signing Papelbon is certainly preferred; but with Madson, K-Rod, Lidge, Francisco, etc available it seems like a buyer's market. I wouldn't get too worried about the rest of the pen; really think that breaking in guys like Weiland and Doubront in is the way to go.

#4 drbretto


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Posted 25 October 2011 - 12:40 PM

This is why I originally voted for keeping Miller in the option thread. Maybe you don't exercise the option and try to sign him cheaper, but right now, we need depth. If he has a 5% chance of being decent with some new coaching, he's worth a shot. Even if the Sox pick up 2-3 more starters over the off-season, he's much needed depth.

#5 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 25 October 2011 - 12:40 PM

I don't think the book on Javy not being able to handle the AL East is just perception. 5.32 ERA, 5.56 FIP and a 4.69 XFIP his last time in a Yankee uniform, 4.91, 4.78, 4.51 the time before that. He just hasn't pitched well here. He might still be worth the gamble, and would be an improvement over Lackey most likely, but I hope they'd aim a little higher before inking him. He handled the AL Central much better. I missed Jon Garland in that list. He'd be a nice short term option.

I also agree that breaking in Weiland and Doubront as bullpen arms is likely to happen and is a good way to fill in the 6th inning, long relief spots. Maybe one of them surprises you and becomes an option for the 7th or 8th innings. I'm not too keen on replacing Papelbon with any of those guys as they all seem like a clear step back. But maybe they pick up a few of them and take a Rangers approach to building a bullpen, which would mitigate the loss of Papelbon somewhat. I think Jenks has a pretty good chance to be better next year, and maybe a new manager will use Wheeler a bit more often as well. So overall, yeah, I can see a scenario where the bullpen ends up in pretty good shape, but there are a lot of moving parts that need to be taken care of between here and there.

#6 gammoseditor


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Posted 25 October 2011 - 12:41 PM

I think it's going to be a pretty interesting free agent market in general. There are a lot of guys who are going to be expecting huge paydays and except in the pitching market the Yankees and Red Sox will probably be on the sidelines. There could be a starting pitcher or two wondering where their big offers are. Fangraphs has a pretty good write up on the FA pitching market. Roy Oswalt is one name that jumps out at me that no one is talking about.

http://www.fangraphs...arting-pitcher/

#7 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 25 October 2011 - 12:45 PM

Roy Oswalt is one name that jumps out at me that no one is talking about.

http://www.fangraphs...arting-pitcher/


Until the Phillies decline his option, I'm not sure there's much to talk about. He'd be a great short term option if he hits the free agent market, though.

#8 NickEsasky


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Posted 25 October 2011 - 12:48 PM

Until the Phillies decline his option, I'm not sure there's much to talk about. He'd be a great short term option if he hits the free agent market, though.

They declined it.

http://mlb.mlb.com/n...ws_mlb&c_id=mlb

Edited by NickEsasky, 25 October 2011 - 12:48 PM.


#9 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 25 October 2011 - 12:55 PM

They declined it.

http://mlb.mlb.com/n...ws_mlb&c_id=mlb


Oh, my bad. In that case, I'd love to see the Sox go after him.

#10 Kid T

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 01:29 PM

Can someone enlighten me on the rationale behind the "Bard to the SP" movement? He hasn't started a game since 2007 when he was in high A. He typically doesn't pitch multiple innings (and doesn't appear to have ever pitched 100 innings in any season.

I know we have holes in the rotation and that Bard is a good relief pitcher. It doesn't mean that we can just stick him there and expect him to thrive.

Edited by Kid T, 25 October 2011 - 01:31 PM.


#11 JimBoSox9


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Posted 25 October 2011 - 02:37 PM

Can someone enlighten me on the rationale behind the "Bard to the SP" movement? He hasn't started a game since 2007 when he was in high A. He typically doesn't pitch multiple innings (and doesn't appear to have ever pitched 100 innings in any season.

I know we have holes in the rotation and that Bard is a good relief pitcher. It doesn't mean that we can just stick him there and expect him to thrive.



Sure. The rationale is that A) a pitcher who throws 200 innings is infinitely more valuable than a pitcher who throws 80 innings, if the performance is anywhere near the same level, B) Bard is an entirely different pitcher now than the one who failed as a starter in 2007, and C) the 3-7 spots in the rotation look bleak for 2012 at the moment.

The two innings points you make aren't particularly relevant to the question. Stamina for a SP and RP are two entirely different beasts.

It's fair to not be convinced by the rationale - anyone who claims to tell you that they can guarantee that Bard can transition into a 175 IP, sub-4 ERA guy in one offseason is a liar - but there are certainly good reasons to want to give it a shot.

#12 Kid T

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 05:07 PM

Sure. The rationale is that A) a pitcher who throws 200 innings is infinitely more valuable than a pitcher who throws 80 innings, if the performance is anywhere near the same level, B) Bard is an entirely different pitcher now than the one who failed as a starter in 2007, and C) the 3-7 spots in the rotation look bleak for 2012 at the moment.

The two innings points you make aren't particularly relevant to the question. Stamina for a SP and RP are two entirely different beasts.

It's fair to not be convinced by the rationale - anyone who claims to tell you that they can guarantee that Bard can transition into a 175 IP, sub-4 ERA guy in one offseason is a liar - but there are certainly good reasons to want to give it a shot.

I certainly understand the need. I just question why people think he is a good candidate. It's not like he's accustomed to pitching multiple innings, or worked extensively as a starter in the minors (like Neftali Feliz) that a transition to the rotation would be a reasonable gamble.

#13 RedOctober3829


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Posted 25 October 2011 - 05:10 PM

My first notion is to go after Roy Oswalt on a short-term deal. I don't think CJ Wilson is a good option because it's another long-term contract for big money that they don't need to do. He also has huge innings totals in the last 2 years after converting to a starter. I don't see him holding up over a 5 or 6 year contract. Oswalt makes more sense financially.

I'd also like to stick Doubront in the rotation because he'd be cheaper than Miller with a better chance of higher production.

#14 BosRedSox5


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Posted 25 October 2011 - 05:13 PM

Oswalt seems to fit he budget, he seems like a fairly low risk guy, and the Sox have considered him before. I'd get him and use the last slot on Aceves. Grab an injury flier or two (Bedard, Hardin) and we could be in good shape. I am especially excited for the hot stove season this year.

Edited by BosRedSox5, 25 October 2011 - 05:14 PM.


#15 trekfan55


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Posted 25 October 2011 - 05:26 PM

Well, it's official that the Sox need two additional starters for 2012.

Oswalt sounds like a good idea but I've read somewhere that he'd like to retire (will try to find a link).
Does not look like the Sox will pursue a big name this year, so my guess is no CC Sabathia, no CJ Wilson. Other than that what's out there? Bhuerle (will not be cheap)?

And again, how many pitchers will accept an invite to spring Training without a spot more or less guaranteed? (would Harden, for example accept such a deal)?

#16 jon abbey


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Posted 25 October 2011 - 05:30 PM

Bartolo Colon should be available. :lol:

#17 dynomite

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 05:36 PM

It's not a pretty list,


No, it's not.

I figure I'll post the entire list so that people don't have to click through (it's not all that long):

Starting pitchers
Erik Bedard (33)
Mark Buehrle (33)
Chris Capuano (33)
Bruce Chen (35)
Bartolo Colon (39)
Aaron Cook (33) - $11MM mutual option with a $500K buyout
Kyle Davies (28)
Doug Davis (36)
Ryan Dempster (35) - $14MM player option, no buyout
Zach Duke (29) - $5.5MM club option with a $750K buyout
Jeff Francis (30)
Armando Galarraga (30)
Freddy Garcia (36)
Jon Garland (32)
Aaron Harang (34) - $5MM mutual option with a $500K buyout
Rich Harden (30)
Livan Hernandez (37)
Hisashi Iwakuma (31)
Edwin Jackson (28)
Kenshin Kawakami (37)
Scott Kazmir (28) - $13.5MM club option with a $2.5MM buyout
Hiroki Kuroda (37)
Rodrigo Lopez (36)
Paul Maholm (30) - $9.75MM club option with a $750K buyout
Jason Marquis (33)
Kevin Millwood (37)
Sergio Mitre (31)
Roy Oswalt (34)
Brad Penny (34)
Oliver Perez (30)
Joel Pineiro (33)
C.C. Sabathia (31) - may opt out of remaining four years, $92MM
Mitch Talbot (28)
Javier Vazquez (35)
Tsuyoshi Wada (31)
Adam Wainwright (30) - $10MM vesting option for '12, $12MM for '13
Tim Wakefield (45)
Chien-Ming Wang (32)
Brandon Webb (33)
Dontrelle Willis (30)
C.J. Wilson (31)
Chris Young (33)




As others have said, this is complicated by perhaps the best starting pitching market in history approaching NEXT offseason: Cain, Hamels, Haren, Danks, Greinke, Liriano, Marcum, Shields, Wolf, Floyd, etc.

Edit: Typo

Edited by dynomite, 25 October 2011 - 05:37 PM.


#18 opes


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Posted 25 October 2011 - 05:44 PM

I think we can cross CC off that list. Assuming he opts out of getting paid $23mil, theres obviously no way the Sox pay more than that.

#19 Kid T

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 05:45 PM

Oswalt sounds like a good idea but I've read somewhere that he'd like to retire (will try to find a link).

I think he made that comment when he was still with the Astros. His agent has said he is not contemplating retirement

I just wonder if all things being equal, he would prefer to re-sign with Philly over Boston (depending on how he enjoyed his stay in Philly). Otherwise, we might be competing for his services with the Yankees.

#20 BosRedSox5


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Posted 25 October 2011 - 06:48 PM

Everyone on the list either sucks or is prone to injury. As a Duquette diciple it may be time for Cherington to employ one of Duquette's patented tactics: throw a bunch of spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks. Is John Burkett still available? :-D

Edited by BosRedSox5, 25 October 2011 - 06:50 PM.


#21 PrometheusWakefield


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Posted 25 October 2011 - 06:50 PM

I think our SP strategy for this offseason should be driven by two things:

1. We need to build a pitching staff that goes at least 8 names deep. Injuries are up over 40% since 2005 (we all know why) and of course starting pitchers are the most likely to get injured. Both of our last two seasons were derailed largely because of inadequate pitching depth when starters got injured. With the amount of money and talent we're putting on the field every year, we don't have the luxury of rolling the dice with injuries to starters and writing off the season if we get hit too hard. Really, I think we should be at least looking at who our top ten guys are.
2. The hardest part of filling "slots" 6-8 in the starting rotation is that decent pitchers don't want to sign unless they have a guaranteed role. Pitching depth slots need to be filled by guys who are a) up from the minors, b) cast aways from other teams, c) under organizational control for other reasons, or d) guys who can go back and forth between the bullpen and rotation.

With a team that has as many resources as the Red Sox, the five guaranteed rotation slots are more valuable assets than the dollars we have in the bank. This team is fine if we sign a $8 million player for $13 million as long as that player actually performs at $8 million value. I don't think it makes a lot of sense to go for an Oswalt or a Bedard. Those are guys where due to injury concerns, they could end up a bargain if they remain healthy. But the risk is that you have to give them a slot to sign with you, and then if they go down with injury you're that much further down on your depth chart. I also think it makes little sense to commit a slot to a guy within our organizational control, like Aceves or Doubront or Wakefield. Part of the value of these guys is that they could be adequate MLB starters but do not require a commitment to a starting role.

I do think Wakefield has a role on this team. One of the lessons learned from last year is that you can't necessarily count on your ability to fill in a replacement level starter. Storing Wakefield away for his versatility makes sense for reasons unrelated to his all time wins record.

RIght now our staff might look something like this:
1. Lester
2. Beckett
3. Buchholz
4. ???
5. ???
---
6. Wakefield?
7. Miller?
8. Weiland?
9. Doubront?
10. Matsuzaka (July+?)

Based on that criteria, I like Edwin Jackson the most. He's still relatively young, he's durable and he's underrated by much of the league. He irritates some with his infamously poor game-to-game consistency but he has relatively solid year-to-year consistency, which is more important. I don't know what it would take to get him but as this article points out, by objective criteria he compares pretty well agains CJ Wilson, but he'll get much less. Jackson also has the raw talent to take his game to another level. I would give him 4 years, $50 million at least and might even go higher or longer than that.

One last point: I don't think the Red Sox will go cheap at this position. The team is still making more money than they know what to do with and I'd say recent history strongly suggests that (perhaps to a fault) they're willing to go all-in on experienced pitching. The bigger threat to this team financially right now is that a third consecutive year outside the playoffs starts to damage their brand with their fan base than worrying about a few million too many put into the starting rotation, especially the way the season ended last year.

Edit: also, if anyone was thinking about it, you can cross Wainwright off the list. Cards are going to exercise his option.

Edited by PrometheusWakefield, 25 October 2011 - 07:14 PM.


#22 Rasputin


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Posted 25 October 2011 - 06:59 PM

Everyone on the list either sucks or is prone to injury. As a Duquette diciple it may be time for Cherington to employ one of Duquette's patented tactics: throw a bunch of spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks. Is John Burkett still available? :-D


The thing is, we have a lot of shit in house we can throw. Aceves, Wakefield, Doubront, Weiland, and an option on Miller. That's a lot of shit to throw against a wall. What we need is the one guy to take the 4 spot so the shit only has to cover one rotation spot. Maybe that can be Bard. I am a bit unconvinced but it's at least possible but it opens up the bullpen to rely on Jenks and some of this shit we're throwing.

#23 rembrat


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Posted 25 October 2011 - 07:06 PM

Roy Oswalt has always struck me as the kind of guy that would never pitch in the AL.

I would even be hesitant to give out a 2 year deal to anyone. 1 year deals with an eye towards the 2013 FA SP market. It's going to be a good one.

#24 tonyarmasjr

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 08:14 PM

I'd like to see the 5th spot be a low-cost alternative. For me, that means leaving it open to an internal competition between Doubront and Weiland (and maybe Tazawa, or even Wilson later in the year). Ben seemed confident that Daisuke will be back in 2012. 1) You already have money tied up in him and 2) he'll be an option later in the season if none of those young guys can cut it. In this scenario, rather than spending $5-$9 million on two guys, you could spend more on one (Darvish/Jackson/Wilson?). Another possibility is to sign two guys on short/low money, absent the assumption that you'll get a full, healthy season out of both (i.e. Bedard, Harden, Webb), and with an eye toward next year's class. I like the upside of those names more than planning for a middling season from a guy like Paul Maholm, who's probably going to cost more. I don't want to see the Sox hand out relatively big/long contracts to sign mediocre talent this offseason and then be left out in the cold when it comes to next year's FA crop.

Does anybody have any decent links to info on Darvish? I know very little about him. Scouting reports, posting speculation, interviews, and the like would all be appreciated.

#25 maufman


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Posted 25 October 2011 - 08:27 PM

Rany Jazayerli broke down the FA SP market in a recent post on his Royals' blog. (The Royals are widely reported to be looking for an SP, either via free agency or via trade.)

The full article is worth reading. Here's a summary of the guys on Rany's list who might interest the Sox. Links are to Fangraphs, except for Darvish (where I linked to the thread in the MLB forum here).

C.J. Wilson -- Rany thinks he'll get at least 5/80. With the MFY likely to make a strong bid, and the Rangers likely to make a strong bid to keep him, I don't see him as a realistic option. I'm also not convinced he's a better bet than Edwin Jackson.

Yu Darvish -- Rany thinks Dice-K's struggles knock down the price, such that a $40mm posting fee and a $40mm contract (presumably over 5-6 years) gets it done.

Edwin Jackson -- He's only 28 years old, has been very durable (30+ starts each of the last 5 seasons), and he has steadily improved his control while maintaining a healthy K rate. Rany thinks Jackson will command at least 4/52, so he might be out of the Sox' price range.

Javier Vazquez -- This would be a big gamble on sabermetrics -- do you believe the numbers when they say Vazquez's two bad stints with the MFY were just bad luck, and not some kind of problem handling the AL East? He's 35, but Rany thinks he'll command 3 years at $9-10mm per year.

Chris Capuano -- Despite two TJ surgeries in the past five years, Rany thinks Capuano is more of a performance risk than an injury risk. Not sure I agree -- Capuano had a 3.67 xFIP and 8.1 K/9 this season, and that injury history is going to keep anyone from offering Capuano more than two years. I think there's a good chance he'll provide league-average production for much less than the going rate for that production.

Eric Bedard -- He's only thrown 293 IP total over the past four seasons, but he's been effective (122 ERA+) on the rare occasions he's been healthy. The Sox presumably have better information than the market on Bedard's health -- which may persuade them to take a risk, or steer clear.

Rich Harden -- Rany thinks he could be had for a guaranteed major-league deal. Given his injury history, he's nothing more than a flier.

Edit: Rany doesn't mention Bruce Chen, presumably because his KC audience is familiar with Chen. Chen has substantially outperformed his peripherals the past two seasons, mostly due to a relatively high strand rate and a relatively low HR/FB rate. Those rates were remarkably consistent from 2010 to 2011, though, so it's conceivable he's found an edge that doesn't show up in the more basic metrics.

Edited by maufman, 25 October 2011 - 08:37 PM.


#26 BosRedSox5


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Posted 25 October 2011 - 08:40 PM

With the rotation in flux, I really love the idea of Aceves in the pen. We're going to have to take fliers on some guys and having a spot starter of Aceves' caliber is a nice safety net. If we're tossing up a prayer on the back of the rotation, it stands to reason we might need a strong bullpen. I'd keep Bard and Aceves there, what's more, I'd even look for a guy like Justin Duchscherer as a possible swingman. Wouldn't that help us hedge our bets a little?

#27 LoweSox


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Posted 25 October 2011 - 08:43 PM

Eric Bedard -- He's only thrown 293 IP total over the past four seasons, but he's been effective (122 ERA+) on the rare occasions he's been healthy. The Sox presumably have better information than the market on Bedard's health -- which may persuade them to take a risk, or steer clear.

Rich Harden -- Rany thinks he could be had for a guaranteed major-league deal. Given his injury history, he's nothing more than a flier.

This is why I was quite enthusiastic when Boston went and got Bedard over Harden: the latter's medical records were a horror show and the fact they went after the former meant there was room for optimism. I was always a closet fan of Bedard in Seattle (when they almost had a Hernandez/Lee/Bedard 1-2-3 when it mattered), and will be excited if Boston does pick him up for even another year.

#28 CSteinhardt


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Posted 26 October 2011 - 02:02 AM

I'm a big fan of Darvish.

Beyond that, my feeling on pitching has always been that you pay for extraordinary, but you don't pay for league average, for a simple reason: the research behind DIPS demonstrated that for a typical pitcher, strikeouts, walks, and home run rates correlate well year to year, but ERA doesn't. Or, to put it another way, BABIP isn't a skill except for a small number of very elite pitchers. Unfortunately, BABIP is pretty dominant when it comes to ERA. And of course it's ERA that you want to buy, not skill.

So what does this mean? It means that beyond the small number of elite pitchers, you're likely to vastly overspend on league average pitchers (in skill) given the variance in their expected results. At the same time, if you give internal options without a long track record a small number of starts, some of them by the same mechanism will produce a low ERA, dramatically increasing their trade value (see Gabbard, Kason). So paying for extraordinary but not average pitching and then promoting from within both lets you spend that money on hitting, where skill correlates more strongly with results, and lets you increase the value of your higher-level minor leaguers.

One other problem, as we clearly saw, is that it's difficult to get slightly below league average (but above replacement value) pitching to stick around in your minor leagues waiting for an opportunity. Any guys we can get who fit that description and are willing to wait their turns behind prospects are guys we should be acquiring and keeping, because we might need them.

Thus, I'd look at Darvish, I'd look at Oswalt, I'd look at Bedard, and beyond that, I'd rather see Tazawa and Weiland than sign even a CJ Wilson. Or, to put it another way, a rough plan:

Entering the season:
Beckett
Buchholz
Lester
Oswalt/Darvish if possible
Bedard if possible
Tazawa
Weiland
etc.

with Wakefield, Aceves, and Bard in the pen.

This is also a flexible plan; we're improving the trade value of any of our younger pitchers who have a few good starts if we decide to go in that direction at the deadline, and this gives us Wakefield, Aceves, and Matsuzaka as injury replacements down the stretch in addition to any deadline acquisitions.

Ah, right, deadline acquisitions. That's the other part of this plan. A few people have already posted mentioning the deep and high-quality pool of pitchers who will be free agents next offseason. The logical conclusion is then that many of those pitchers will become available this offseason and/or at the trade deadline. The other goal of this plan is to try and build up the value of some of our younger pitchers by trying enough of them that a few of them look good enough to be part of a trade package.

So, I guess the conclusion is that there are many factors all pointing to the same conclusion: any elite starting pitcher that we can acquire solely for money we should acquire (my list is Darvish, Oswalt, and Bedard, who's elite when healthy and otherwise needs a replacement). However, any non-elite starting pitcher we can acquire is only a good fit if they are amenable to being stashed in the minors for much of the season, and that means pretty much Wakefield and perhaps anybody coming back from an injury that means they won't be ready until midseason anyway. But beyond that, it doesn't make sense to pay for much else, and thus Plan B/C should be going into the season with what we have and spending the first couple of months finding out more about our high minors starting options.

#29 jose melendez


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Posted 26 October 2011 - 08:53 AM

I'm wondering whether it wouldn't be worth taking a flyer on Chien Ming Wang. Anyone know how hard he was throwing by the end of last year? I didn't see him pitch.

His K/9 isn't pretty, but his WHIP is around what it was when he was a good pitcher.

Seems like a low risk modest reward possibility.

#30 rembrat


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Posted 26 October 2011 - 09:41 AM

I doubt Wang even hits the market. The Natinals love him and he wants to stay there too. Theyre currently working on an extension.

#31 FL4WL3SS


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Posted 26 October 2011 - 09:41 AM

No, it's not.

I figure I'll post the entire list so that people don't have to click through (it's not all that long):




As others have said, this is complicated by perhaps the best starting pitching market in history approaching NEXT offseason: Cain, Hamels, Haren, Danks, Greinke, Liriano, Marcum, Shields, Wolf, Floyd, etc.

Edit: Typo

Are trades out of the question here? I think the Sox could make a move for at least one of those guys if they wanted to at some point between now and the trade deadline. Obviously it's not a guaranteed acquisition, but they should at least be exploring the option.

Also, what other SP's would be good pickups in a trade before the season?

#32 glennhoffmania


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Posted 26 October 2011 - 09:58 AM

Javier Vazquez -- This would be a big gamble on sabermetrics -- do you believe the numbers when they say Vazquez's two bad stints with the MFY were just bad luck, and not some kind of problem handling the AL East? He's 35, but Rany thinks he'll command 3 years at $9-10mm per year.

Vazquez has talked about retiring.

He will make his decision on whether to retire or not in December, and your guess is as good as mine as whether he will or won't.


Link

And I wouldn't be thrilled to have him anyway, even if it was just bad luck.

#33 Toe Nash

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 10:16 AM

Are trades out of the question here? I think the Sox could make a move for at least one of those guys if they wanted to at some point between now and the trade deadline. Obviously it's not a guaranteed acquisition, but they should at least be exploring the option.

Also, what other SP's would be good pickups in a trade before the season?

Jeremy Guthrie may be a good target. He'll be a FA after 2012 and I'd doubt the Orioles will re-sign him. He's 32, so not too old, and his FIP has been right around 4.5 for four of his 5 years in the AL East. Hasn't missed a start in 3 years. Depends on how the Orioles value a year of slightly below average pitching when they're not planning to compete, but I think the cost could be low (the Orioles unsettled GM situation, and willingness to trade intradivision plays into this). And he's a great bet to not kill you from the #5 spot. Plus you can let him go after this year and look to get someone from the aforementioned FA class, or maybe a prospect shows major promise by then.

#34 Harry Hooper


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Posted 26 October 2011 - 10:20 AM

Are trades out of the question here? I think the Sox could make a move for at least one of those guys if they wanted to at some point between now and the trade deadline. Obviously it's not a guaranteed acquisition, but they should at least be exploring the option.

Also, what other SP's would be good pickups in a trade before the season?


This is definitely a line to pursue, though the best trade chip for such a move in many cases is going to be Youkilis.


I'd talk to Parking Lot Frank in Chavez Ravine to find out if he wants to lighten payroll by moving Ted Lilly.

#35 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 26 October 2011 - 10:28 AM

This is definitely a line to pursue, though the best trade chip for such a move in many cases is going to be Youkilis.


Disagree; the kind of team that is trading the kind of starting pitching the Sox would want isn't going to want an expensive player on a short term deal like Youkilis.

At this point, do the Sox have the resources to trade for a top of the line starter, and if so, who is likely to be available?

There's enough available on the FA market that I think that's the way to go. Kuroda, Capuano, Buehrle, Harden, Garland, Oswalt, and Vazquez all seem potential- I'd expect the Sox to probably focus on the first two given recent interest and likely cost.

#36 maufman


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Posted 26 October 2011 - 10:35 AM

There's enough available on the FA market that I think that's the way to go. Kuroda, Capuano, Buehrle, Harden, Garland, Oswalt, and Vazquez all seem potential- I'd expect the Sox to probably focus on the first two given recent interest and likely cost.


I didn't list Kuroda because all signs point to him re-signing with the Dodgers. Have you seen something to the contrary?

I like Capuano, but he's in a different category -- 180 IP with a 100 ERA+ would be close to a best-case scenario, and there's a decent chance he'll be awful.

#37 Trlicek's Whip

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 10:36 AM

Rany Jazayerli broke down the FA SP market in a recent post on his Royals' blog.

Harden makes Mr. Glass look like Ironman. I'd pass unless it was a cutout bin invite to Spring Training.

Bedard's injury history is less concerning in an apples-to-oranges way - he demonstrated that he was back in form with SEA in 2011 after starting out rusty, and at the trade deadline his injury was a known quantity and wasn't related to his arm - he was DL'd with a sprained right knee right up until the Sox acquired him.

Maybe the Sox get an edge on negotiating with Bedard, playing up his familiarity with the Sox and their ability to compete, and downplaying the chicken and beer. Bedard's elite, has shown to be elite in the AL East, and when healthy can put up innings.

I'm wondering whether it wouldn't be worth taking a flyer on Chien Ming Wang. Anyone know how hard he was throwing by the end of last year? I didn't see him pitch. His K/9 isn't pretty, but his WHIP is around what it was when he was a good pitcher. Seems like a low risk modest reward possibility.

Wang's K/9 was never high - what he lacked in dominance he made up for with a high GB% tilt. If you chalk up 2011 to climbing back up Rehab Mountain, and he can induce GB's at closer to his career 60% than 50%, I'd rather see an extreme groundball pitcher in Fenway eating up innings over Wake's fickle knuckleballs.

But as Rembrat said, Wang looks to be staying in Natstown - and he may feel some comfort and loyalty to them for being patient in bringing him back from injury.

Edit: syntax

Edited by Trlicek's Whip, 26 October 2011 - 10:42 AM.


#38 jose melendez


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Posted 26 October 2011 - 10:57 AM

Harden makes Mr. Glass look like Ironman. I'd pass unless it was a cutout bin invite to Spring Training.

Bedard's injury history is less concerning in an apples-to-oranges way - he demonstrated that he was back in form with SEA in 2011 after starting out rusty, and at the trade deadline his injury was a known quantity and wasn't related to his arm - he was DL'd with a sprained right knee right up until the Sox acquired him.

Maybe the Sox get an edge on negotiating with Bedard, playing up his familiarity with the Sox and their ability to compete, and downplaying the chicken and beer. Bedard's elite, has shown to be elite in the AL East, and when healthy can put up innings.


Wang's K/9 was never high - what he lacked in dominance he made up for with a high GB% tilt. If you chalk up 2011 to climbing back up Rehab Mountain, and he can induce GB's at closer to his career 60% than 50%, I'd rather see an extreme groundball pitcher in Fenway eating up innings over Wake's fickle knuckleballs.

But as Rembrat said, Wang looks to be staying in Natstown - and he may feel some comfort and loyalty to them for being patient in bringing him back from injury.

Edit: syntax


Yes, it was never good, but it's gotten worse.

#39 jacklamabe65


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Posted 26 October 2011 - 11:08 AM

I actually liked Bedard this past year. Edwin Jackson would be my fifth starter. To me, Daniel Bard is a closer or set-up guy, period.

Edited by jacklamabe65, 26 October 2011 - 11:08 AM.


#40 snowmanny

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 11:24 AM

Trade for Wandy Rodriguez? 2/25 with a player option for 2014 if he's traded.
The Astros came pretty close to dumping him for not much but salary relief during the season so Boston could likely acquire him without giving up too too much prospect-wise. If they are going to commit more significant $ this off-season to starting pitching past 2012 he should probably be on the list.

#41 FL4WL3SS


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Posted 26 October 2011 - 11:51 AM

This is definitely a line to pursue, though the best trade chip for such a move in many cases is going to be Youkilis.


I'd talk to Parking Lot Frank in Chavez Ravine to find out if he wants to lighten payroll by moving Ted Lilly.

Or Kershaw.

#42 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 26 October 2011 - 11:56 AM

I certainly understand the need. I just question why people think he is a good candidate. It's not like he's accustomed to pitching multiple innings, or worked extensively as a starter in the minors (like Neftali Feliz) that a transition to the rotation would be a reasonable gamble.

On the contrary, almost half Bard's minor league innings were as a starter. What is true is that he sucked abominably in those innings, and started pitching really well as soon as they converted him--which is certainly reasonable grounds for skepticism, though not necessarily a deal-breaker, because his secondary stuff has improved since he's been in the majors.

Edited by Savin Hillbilly, 26 October 2011 - 11:56 AM.


#43 dbn

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 12:35 PM

What do people think about Paul Maholm? I know little about him, so I'm looking at his info now. He is a 29 year old lefty (will turn 30 during the 2012 season). His GS and ERA by year:


year GS ERA
2005 6  2.18
2006 30 4.76
2007 29 5.02
2008 31 3.71
2009 31 4.44
2010 32 5.10
2011 26 3.66

It seems he finished 2011 on the DL with a shoulder strain. The Pirates have a $9.75M club option with a $0.75M buyout (he made $5.75M in 2011). It seems that the Pirates won't be picking up the option. They seem to like him at ~ $6M, but If they thought he would get much more than $10M in free agency, one would think they'd pick up the option and then trade him, right? By that logic, the Pirates must think he'll get something like $8-10M per. Is that sensible? How much would you pay to have Maholm at the back of the Red Sox rotation?

One reason the Red Sox might not be interested is related to what has been mentioned up-thread, that the SPs in the free agent market next year may be much better. One would think that Maholm would be looking for years over annual salary, so unless they really like him, they probably don't want to tie up a rotation slot with a potentially mediocre pitcher for a number of years.

[edit to add that, the more I think of it, I'd pass unless he can be had for both short time and moderate money, which is unlikely. He'll probably put up (pulling numbers out of my arse warning) something like a 4.5 ERA in the AL east, which, while somewhat valuable, probably isn't worth 3-4 years at $8M+]

Edited by dbn, 26 October 2011 - 12:40 PM.


#44 rembrat


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Posted 26 October 2011 - 12:43 PM

Paul Maholm's H/9 and K/9 are frightening. Now picture them in Fenway Park and you have yourself the slightly worse left-handed version of Lackey. I really have no idea how he puts up ok-ish fWAR with his 88MPH slop and I don't really want to find out.

Edited by rembrat, 26 October 2011 - 12:43 PM.


#45 Trlicek's Whip

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 12:48 PM

Yes, it was never good, but it's gotten worse.

To be clear, we are in complete agreement on Wang as a low-risk, decent-reward signing for the Sox if they are optimistic that his stuff continues to improve post-injury.

I'm saying that it's misleading for someone (not you, but Joe Hot Stove or Guy In The Car Calling WEEI) to rule him out because he's not striking out tons of guys. Wang's K-rate erosion isn't as much a red flag for his type of stuff as it would be for other pitchers.

His velocity is down from his pre-injury days, but was at 90 MPH in 2011, which is still effective.

Edited by Trlicek's Whip, 26 October 2011 - 01:39 PM.


#46 HangingW/ScottCooper

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 02:38 PM

I didn't list Kuroda because all signs point to him re-signing with the Dodgers. Have you seen something to the contrary?

I like Capuano, but he's in a different category -- 180 IP with a 100 ERA+ would be close to a best-case scenario, and there's a decent chance he'll be awful.


I had actually heard at the beginning of the year that Kuroda had thoughts of returning to Japan to either play or retire after the season. Either way, I wouldn't consider him a viable option.

The names that interest me are:
Gio Gonzalez - Trade (Entering Arbitration)
Matt Cain - Trade (Due $15 million in 2012)
Scott Baker - Trade (Due $6.5 million in 2012, $9.25 million Club Option for 2013)
Tim Hudson - Trade (Due $9 million in 2012, $9 million Club Option for 2013)
Brandon McCarthy - FA
Eric Bedard - FA
Daniel Bard - Internal

#47 Paradigm


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Posted 26 October 2011 - 02:40 PM

This is a huge problem for the organization, and the only way to solve it for 2012 is to sign Yu Darvish.

The Red Sox have absolutely no starting pitching in the minors. There's not a single pitcher in our system that you can look to and expect to be a part of the team's short-term future (next two-to-three years). There's talent that took a step backward (Ranaudo, Britton). There's back-end filler (Doubront, Tazawa). There's Matt Barnes, whose career hasn't begun yet. But there's nothing there, and this a huge problem in the AL East right now. The Yankees have a few guys like Betances, Banuelos, and to a lesser extent Noesi, who show a lot of potential, and any of them would be upgrades on what the Red Sox have stashed away. The Rays obviously have a surplus of young pitching. You can basically write Matt Moore's name in as 2012 AL ROY, but beyond that, they have depth with Alex Torres, Chris Archer, and Alex Cobb. Torres and Archer have control issues and Cobb is average, but those are guys that can step in and throw a game if you need them to. The Blue Jays have some projectable but obviously unproven talent in the low minors, but Henderson Alvarez can contribute and Kyle Drabek may find himself again.

In terms of organizational pitching depth, the Red Sox are paired with the Orioles at the bottom of this division.

Then, the free agent pitching market is historically inefficient because teams sign players either in their late 20's or aged into their 30's to expensive contracts hoping that they perform. I was a huge advocate of the Lackey signing two years ago because he was healthy and he ate a lot of quality innings. You need those guys, but even still they may not work out. Looking at this year's free agents, do you want to give any of them three-year contracts? Do you want to spend $80 million on CJ Wilson? I know it's not our money, but that can be better routed into the bullpen, into extending Ellsbury, or into absorbing salary if teams are looking to shed it. There are a few low-risk one-year fliers you can take (Capuano, Harden, and I would re-sign Bedard), but serious playoff contenders are rarely made up of that kind of patchwork pitching staff. You can't compete for the playoffs with Wakefield's 5+ ERA.

The Sox can explore trades, but teams never trade cost-controlle pitchers or elite pitching prospects unless they are getting bonafide studs in return, and even then, those prospects have questions. Examples include the Angels trading Tyler Skaggs for Dan Haren and the Brewers trading Jake Odorizzi for Zach Greinke. But the Braves refused to part with less impressive guys like Randall Delgado or Mike Minor in any deal for Hunter Pence or Michael Bourn this offseason, and the Sox don't have a pitcher anywhere near the immediate contribution level of those guys.

The short-term solution is to try and identify trading partners who can use our surplus parts, and then you're going to get the flotsam because there's not a single team in the majors who is saying "I have too much pitching! How can I get rid of this pitching!" Even then, who can the Sox trade? Would Baltimore be interested in a Jed Lowrie-for-Jeremy Guthrie swap? Could you ship Lowrie to the Pirates for James MacDonald, to the Padres for Tim Stauffer (an injury risk), or to the Cardinals for Lance Lynn? Could you ship him to Atlanta with a prospect for Tim Hudson?

The Sox could trade prospects, but none of the team's prospects are ready to contribute. The best you can do is Middlebrooks, who is probably a year away from contributing but who the team can't really trade because he's the heir apparent to Youkilis. Or Kalish, whose value is quite low. Rarely do teams trade prospect-for-prospect. The last "challenge trade" that I can think of was Delmon Young for Matt Garza.

The Sox have promising hitters in the low minors but no pitching, so rebuilding organizational pitching depth has to be Cherington's priority. And that only happens through the draft, which takes time, money, impeccable scouting, and then a shitload of good luck.

The Sox biggest resource is money, and money can't solve the problem unless you sign Yu Darvish.

Edited by Paradigm, 26 October 2011 - 02:41 PM.


#48 snowmanny

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 02:54 PM

I don't know Paradogm. I'm not saying this is what they should do, but if they trade for Rodriguez, retain Bedard, convert one of Bard/ Aceves to the rotation and determine Buchholz can start then they would look OK to me. Disagree the only option is Darvish.

#49 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 26 October 2011 - 02:57 PM

You can't compete for the playoffs with Wakefield's 5+ ERA.


Not to pick apart an entire post- but they did compete for the playoffs with Wakefield's 5+ ERA, which amazingly was far better than what they got out of Lackey, or Miller. The Sox can compete with what they have, if the front 3 stay healthy. I do agree with the need for another top quality starter, which is why I've completely come around on the idea of converting Bard. He's a lot less risky than Darvish, IMO. You still need to sign a depth guy; but they'll do that anyways. The top guys on the market are all pretty scary....CJ Wilson could be a disaster given his control issues if his low HR rate turns out to be fluky. Same goes for Edwin Jackson. Buehrle and that K rate, Oswalt and his injuries, etc. Free agent pitching is always risky, which is why now is the time to see if Bard can become a starter.

#50 EvilEmpire

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 03:02 PM

Depending on Darvish to be a solution to anything seems pretty risky.