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The Premature Bullpen Thread


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Poll: Will Jonathan Papelbon be the Red Sox closer in 2012? (132 member(s) have cast votes)

Who will be the closer in 2012?

  1. Jonathan Papelbon (67 votes [51.94%])

    Percentage of vote: 51.94%

  2. Daniel Bard (18 votes [13.95%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.95%

  3. Other (44 votes [34.11%])

    Percentage of vote: 34.11%

What will Alfredo Aceves' role be in 2012?

  1. Bullpen plus Spot Starts (98 votes [75.97%])

    Percentage of vote: 75.97%

  2. Starter (31 votes [24.03%])

    Percentage of vote: 24.03%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#51 The Gray Eagle


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Posted 06 December 2011 - 11:48 AM

There are plenty of internal options for the bullpen, so I don't think we'll add more than one more RP, hopefully someone good. But even if both Bard and Aceves were in the rotation, which I doubt will happen, then you've still got these guys on the depth chart:

Jenks (injured, fat and can't rely on him, but if he's healthy he's in the pen.)
Albers (fat but was effective for the first two thirds of the season and bounced back a bit at the end)
Doubront (out of options, will probably be in the pen)
Tazawa (has options so he will probably start in AAA. But even coming off arm surgery last year, he had a 63-17 K/BB llast year in 59 IP at all levels.)
Morales (was a decent lefty last year, should be back in the bullpen this year)
Hill (coming off arm surgery, so who knows, but he looked great with his submarine delivery before the injury)
Atchison (out of options, not a bad 6th inning type of guy)
Bowden (out of options, doesn't look good in the majors but was effective in AAA last year)
Weiland (will start the year in the AAA rotation, but should be a viable candidate for the Boston bullpen if the need is there)
Alex Wilson (same as Weiland, he's a guy who seems more likely to be a decent big league reliever rather than a starter)
Wheeler- (could still accept arbitration, unless he has an agreement to not do so?)

There's not all that much room in the pen right now if one of Bard or Aceves is out there-- I see us adding one guy who will be on the roster for sure barring injury, and then maybe a guy like Zumaya who will have to fight for a spot, and then a couple of the usual longshots that every team brings in for depth.

If they don't want to lose any internal options, then Jenks, Albers, Doubront, Morales, Hill and Bowden are already in the bullpen. Obviously a couple of those guys will have to fight for their jobs and could easily be gone before spring, but that's how it stands for now.

#52 Red(s)HawksFan


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Posted 06 December 2011 - 11:48 AM

Buchholz is still a question mark in my mind as he's coming off a significant injury. Lester wasn't the same pitcher last year that he has been as well. Beckett has been up-and-down with inconsistency and injuries the last few years. I'd say the starting rotation, while it has a high upside at the top, is still a major question mark.

Are you letting the way the season finished cloud your view a bit? By all measures, Lester was the same pitcher he was in the previous three years, he just had a rough three game run in September. I see no reason to view him as a question mark whatsoever.

#53 RedOctober3829


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Posted 06 December 2011 - 12:00 PM

Are you letting the way the season finished cloud your view a bit? By all measures, Lester was the same pitcher he was in the previous three years, he just had a rough three game run in September. I see no reason to view him as a question mark whatsoever.


He wasn't terrible by any stretch of the imagination last season, but he wasn't ace-level. There were too many times last year that he did not get deep into games. 19 of his 31 starts were 6 innings or less. To be that top-level pitcher again, he needs to last longer in his starts consistently.

#54 geoduck no quahog


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Posted 06 December 2011 - 02:04 PM

The cliche that nothing is as demoralizing as a blown lead stands. The Red Sox are too good a team to start the season with anything less than a premier closer.

How can you go from Bard/Papelbon to Jenks/???? in one season?

I would hope that a solution is found that doesn't involve wishful thinking and allows Bard to start. If not - Bard has to close.

Am I putting too much stock in 8th/9th inning stoppers?

#55 Red(s)HawksFan


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Posted 06 December 2011 - 02:45 PM

The cliche that nothing is as demoralizing as a blown lead stands. The Red Sox are too good a team to start the season with anything less than a premier closer.

How can you go from Bard/Papelbon to Jenks/???? in one season?

I would hope that a solution is found that doesn't involve wishful thinking and allows Bard to start. If not - Bard has to close.

Am I putting too much stock in 8th/9th inning stoppers?

You might be.

Just look at the Rays the last couple years. They lost seven of the top eight relievers (by appearances) from their 2010 bullpen (Soriano, Benoit, Balfour, Wheeler, Choate, Cormier, and Qualls). That 2010 bullpen was #2 in the AL in runs allowed and #4 in blown saves. The revamped 2011 pen was headlined by Kyle freaking Farnsworth and wound up #1 in the league in runs allowed and #2 in blown saves.

Maybe they're the exception, but I think they're a perfect example of a quality bullpen being a matter of catching a lot of lightning in a bottle as much as it is having name guys with "proven" track records.

#56 Andrew


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Posted 06 December 2011 - 04:17 PM

The Red Sox are set to meet with the Athletics today and surely Andrew Bailey will come up. If the Red Sox carry through with the idea of making Daniel Bard a starter, Bailey would be a good fit as the closer.


http://www.boston.co...y_a_likely.html

I think this would be a pretty good solution. I like Bailey enough to rely on him as the closer (and not just because of his first name). If they were able to swing him for Lowrie and Reddick+ I'd be okay with Scutaro and Aviles at short. This could also give the chance to start, which I'm warming on more and more as a worthwhile venture.

I guess the biggest concern is Bailey's forearm injury history.

#57 Eric Van


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Posted 09 December 2011 - 11:06 PM

Cherington quoted in the Globe:

"I think on the pitching front, we felt like all along it was really going to be an all-winter project and some of the moves would be very under-the-radar. There may be some that are more on the radar. But we have a much better idea of what's out there and what would it take than we did on Monday.''

Signing Ryan Madson (and I don't see that not happening) will bring us very close to the luxury tax limit, close enough that acquiring a second quality reliever (e.g., signing Mike Gonzalez, trading for Sean Marshall) will probably put us over.

So, is this an adequate bullpen?

Madson
Jenks
Albers
Atchison (who, BTW, is massively underrated and could easily move up past Albers to take the 7th inning)
Morales (also a candidate for the 7th and 8th rather than just being a LOOGY)
Doubront (long man and 2nd lefty)
ST competition among Miller, Bowden, Jesse Carlson, one more "very under-the-radar" MLB signing a la Albers / Aardsma, and probably one or two more ml signings.

It sounds uninspiring, and it is, until you start looking to mid-season.

At some point Dice-K should return to the rotation, bumping whoever has been less effective, Bard or Aceves, back to the pen (and 10-1 it's Aceves). By mid-season Kyle Weiland and Alex Wilson should be very tough RH setup men (in fact, I'm not certain that Weiland isn't already one, right now), and there's an outside but decent chance (call it 2-1 against) that Josh Fields is MLB quality, too. And with the new CBA there's no longer any draft pick compensation for setup relievers, so they should be a bit easier to trade for.

That uninspiring pen looks a heck of a lot better if you add Aceves, Weiland, and Wilson into the mix, and given the WAR of even a good setup reliever, it really becomes hard to justify going over the tax limit to add another proven arm to the mix.

#58 Rough Carrigan


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Posted 09 December 2011 - 11:19 PM

You left out Tazawa who should be full speed next season.

#59 Hee-Seop's Fable

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 11:56 PM

You left out Tazawa who should be full speed next season.

I was thinking the same thing reading through EV's post. I'd love to see him (and Doubront too, if he's back on his horse as he should be after last year's faceplant) used similarly to the way Aceves was in '11 - multiple non-mop-up innings; not just as a low leverage guy. To carry SoxFan121's complaint about expensive 1 inning pitchers farther, a big chunk of the premium on relief innings relative to the equivalent number of starting innings is the energy used to warm up three or four times a week. Marginal talents need the advantage of going 100% for an inning at a time, but Tazawa and Doubront both remain back of the rotation starting candidates, and like Aceves should be able to sustain success a full turn through the batting order, eating two or more innings at a time. Handling them this way would keep both of them more available for emergency starts without wasting them in AAA, and allow them to consume more competent innings from the bullpen.

It would mean they'd be unavailable for a couple of days after each longer appearance, but with two of them, and with Albers/Atchison/Morales/Jenks to remain available more regularly by pitching single innings at a time, it would be an effective way to divide the workload and continue the two younger guys development.

I hope EV is right about Madson. Whither Bailey? A's stuck on Middlebrooks?

edit: f'in spelling

Edited by Hee-Seop's Fable, 10 December 2011 - 12:07 AM.


#60 bosockboy


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Posted 10 December 2011 - 05:39 AM

If Jenks can effectively contribute as an 8th inning guy, I have no problem starting with that pen. Jenks is a big wildcard.

#61 Eric Van


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Posted 10 December 2011 - 01:02 PM

You left out Tazawa who should be full speed next season.

I think he's 7th on the depth chart for starters, right after Doubront, and will spend a lot of his time in the PawSox rotation (some in the pen to keep his innings total down). If, say, Jenks gets hurt, and they need a 1-inning guy, I think Weiland and eventually Wilson are ahead of him on the relief depth chart. But HSF is right about his potential usefulness in an Aceves role if that becomes a need. If Doubront has to go into the rotation because of an injury, then Tazawa could well be the guy they call up. I think of that long man role as being on the starting depth chart rather than the relief one.

bosockboy -- yes about Jenks as the guy who makes or breaks this scenario. Very few guys in baseball have been as tough on elite hitters. I think they signed him last year with this scenario in mind (although they probably envisioned him talking over for Papelbon, not Bard).

#62 Kramerica Industries

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 05:56 PM

[Darren]Oliver is getting feelers from other clubs, including #RedSox, and is keeping an open mind on his 2012 destination.


http://twitter.com/#!/jcrasnick/status/145550796795289600

Edited by Kramerica Industries, 10 December 2011 - 05:57 PM.


#63 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 10 December 2011 - 08:14 PM

Darren Oliver? I always figured that when the Sox released him in '02, there was a good chance they'd be interested in bringing him back a decade later. He has certainly reinvented himself and turned into a pretty effective reliever since the Sox last had him, but jeez, he's pretty old and I'm not sure he's the guy I'd want on the mound facing tough LH hitters in the AL East.

#64 Plympton91


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Posted 10 December 2011 - 08:40 PM

At some point Dice-K should return to the rotation, bumping whoever has been less effective, Bard or Aceves, back to the pen (and 10-1 it's Aceves). By mid-season Kyle Weiland and Alex Wilson should be very tough RH setup men (in fact, I'm not certain that Weiland isn't already one, right now), and there's an outside but decent chance (call it 2-1 against) that Josh Fields is MLB quality, too. And with the new CBA there's no longer any draft pick compensation for setup relievers, so they should be a bit easier to trade for.


I was thinking about the return of DiceK in that way too. But, I think if it works out that perfectly, it will be used for limiting Bard's innings and giving them a dominant 2-inning reliever down the stretch. They may do the same with Aceves, giving Wilson or Weiland starts in September.

#65 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 11 December 2011 - 11:10 AM

Per the Globe this morning, Valentine has told Bard that starting him is plan A, and if he's not starting, he's closing. Which would seem to suggest that the Sox are not planning to go after an established closer like Madson or Bailey, though of course it doesn't tie their hands.

#66 Green Monster

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 12:33 PM

Per the Globe this morning, Valentine has told Bard that starting him is plan A, and if he's not starting, he's closing. Which would seem to suggest that the Sox are not planning to go after an established closer like Madson or Bailey, though of course it doesn't tie their hands.



I think Bard to the rotation is just talk, or rather I HOPE its just talk to aid in their negotiations to secure more starting pitching. Moving Bard to the rotation is a TJ surgery waiting to happen. He has pitched 49, 74, and 73 innings each of the last three seasons. Thats an average of 62 innings a year. If you move him to the rotation he will be required to pitch at least 180 innings (300% Increase), unless the plan is to take him out after 4/5 innings which just taxes the further depleted bullpen.....If I realize this, I am sure the Sox do too, as they are much smarter than I am.

#67 SoxScout


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Posted 11 December 2011 - 12:59 PM

Per the Globe this morning, Valentine has told Bard that starting him is plan A, and if he's not starting, he's closing. Which would seem to suggest that the Sox are not planning to go after an established closer like Madson or Bailey, though of course it doesn't tie their hands.


Ah, if starting him is "Plan A", isn't getting Bailey or Madson "Plan A"?

#68 rembrat


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Posted 11 December 2011 - 01:04 PM

... but Bard logged in 150 innings in 07 and 155.1 innings in 08 as a starter. His arm can handle it.

Why would you not want to find the next CJ Wilson? The Rangers lost him and didnt even blink an eye because Neftali is headed for the rotation.

#69 OttoC


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Posted 11 December 2011 - 01:12 PM

I think Bard to the rotation is just talk, or rather I HOPE its just talk to aid in their negotiations to secure more starting pitching. Moving Bard to the rotation is a TJ surgery waiting to happen. He has pitched 49, 74, and 73 innings each of the last three seasons. Thats an average of 62 innings a year. If you move him to the rotation he will be required to pitch at least 180 innings (300% Increase), unless the plan is to take him out after 4/5 innings which just taxes the further depleted bullpen.....If I realize this, I am sure the Sox do too, as they are much smarter than I am.

Bard appeared in 70 games last year: 22 of them with no days of rest, 14 with one day of rest, 14 with two days of rest, 11 with three days of rest, 4 with four days of rest, 4 with five days of rest. If he becomes a start he will make about 33 appearances, with four (typically) or five days of rest. Also, in 28 of his relief appearances, he came in with runners on base, which is an initial higher leverage situation than he will face as a starter.

My feeling is that 70+ innings of relief work in a season is more apt to lead to arm problems.

#70 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 11 December 2011 - 01:55 PM

Ah, if starting him is "Plan A", isn't getting Bailey or Madson "Plan A"?

Then why tell Bard that he's the closer if Plan A doesn't pan out? They're hardly going to acquire a Bailey or Madson and then tell them, if Bard's conversion to SP doesn't work, "sorry, you're the setup guy now." Like I said, what Valentine said doesn't tie their hands, but if you tell Bard he's either starting or closing next year, and he ends up back in his old role, that seems like a little bad blood created for no good reason. Could just be evidence of Valentine's talk-first-think-later propensities, but it could also mean that they've already decided the acquisition costs of the established closers out there are too high, and that if Bard's transition works, the closer will either be Jenks or some acquisition (like Parnell) who would cost less than the established closers and be easier to shift down the pecking order if they decide to move Bard back to the pen.

#71 SoxScout


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Posted 11 December 2011 - 02:01 PM

They're hardly going to acquire a Bailey or Madson and then tell them, if Bard's conversion to SP doesn't work, "sorry, you're the setup guy now."


1. Why?

2. Bobby Valentine can't help himself from saying stupid shit, he's already expanded twice on a conversation Beckett asked to be private and publicly questioned if Bailey is healthy. It's embarrassing and I don't know how you can take anything he says without a huge grain of salt.

3. He didn't even say he was going to be closer if he isn't starting, he said, "be ready and willing to be our closer."

Edited by SoxScout, 11 December 2011 - 02:03 PM.


#72 Kid T

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 10:03 PM

... but Bard logged in 150 innings in 07 and 155.1 innings in 08 as a starter. His arm can handle it.

Well, as I've argued before in this thread - he sucked as a starter in 07. Unless those 08 starts were in a winter league, B-R shows him with zero GS in 08.

Why would you not want to find the next CJ Wilson? The Rangers lost him and didnt even blink an eye because Neftali is headed for the rotation.

I hope he does become the next CJ Wilson. The difference between Bard and Wilson (and Feliz, and Morrow) is that they were groomed to be starters in the minors. Bard had one unsuccessful year as a starter and was essentially groomed for the bullpen thereafter.

#73 Cumberland Blues

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 09:27 AM

... but Bard logged in 150 innings in 07 and 155.1 innings in 08 as a starter. His arm can handle it.

Why would you not want to find the next CJ Wilson? The Rangers lost him and didnt even blink an eye because Neftali is headed for the rotation.


I don't disagree with your larger point about this being a worthwhile thing to try - but Bard never came close to those inning totals. He only had 168 career minor league innings.

#74 rembrat


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Posted 12 December 2011 - 09:49 AM

I don't disagree with your larger point about this being a worthwhile thing to try - but Bard never came close to those inning totals. He only had 168 career minor league innings.

You are right! I am so sorry.

I accidently summed up his two stints plus the total of that year both times.

#75 HangingW/ScottCooper

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 10:06 AM

I listened to the Valentine interview - it was during the Christmas at Fenway thing. Here's the explanation as best I can recall:

They will prep Bard as a starter in spring training, and then after so many innings (I think he said something like 20+) they will make a decision one way or another. Valentine said they will make the decesion whether he will be the starter or closer, but they way that he said it, and the way that I heard it was, "starter or reliever". It's not what he said, but the explanation was a quick one. Nobody followed up to ask, "Do you mean reliever or closer?"

Unless there was a follow up interview, I really wouldn't read too much into that. If I had to guess what happens, I would think they sign Madson to a 1 year deal, and Bard is made a starter.

#76 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 12 December 2011 - 10:11 AM

FWIW, Boras is on record as saying Madson will not accept a 1-year deal. Stretching Bard out to start certainly makes sense, but it's hard to figure out who would close. Jenks? Atchison?

If they sign a Cordero or Farnsworth, than you'd assume they are closing. If they don't sign someone with a history of closing, than I guess it's all up in the air.

At this point, not much is clear since the Sox haven't really signed any pitchers despite openings all over the roster. Theoretically, suggesting Bard could start or close gives them leverage with starters and closers, although not really sure it works that way.

#77 kieckeredinthehead

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 03:13 PM

Shouldn't we at least discuss Aceves as the closer? I know we're not supposed to take mental acuity into account, but just considering how Bard and Aceves performed under pressure last year, you've got to consider him. Both in 2011 and for his career, Aceves gets much, much better as the leverage increases (Low/Medium/High leverage, career OPS: 709/604/463, 2011: 698/543/516). Compare with bard (Low/Medium/High leverage career OPS: 370/635/621). Just thinking back on how they performed in September, Bard completely fell apart and Aceves repeatedly saved the season, until he couldn't save it any more. He could come in to tight situations in the 8th and stay on for the 9th. He'd get close to the recognition of a starter (that he wants/deserves), and it would free Bard up to start. If he's not the Jamesian relief ace, putting Aceves in as the closer might be the best option.

#78 JimBoSox9


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Posted 12 December 2011 - 04:31 PM

Shouldn't we at least discuss Aceves as the closer? I know we're not supposed to take mental acuity into account, but just considering how Bard and Aceves performed under pressure last year, you've got to consider him. Both in 2011 and for his career, Aceves gets much, much better as the leverage increases (Low/Medium/High leverage, career OPS: 709/604/463, 2011: 698/543/516). Compare with bard (Low/Medium/High leverage career OPS: 370/635/621). Just thinking back on how they performed in September, Bard completely fell apart and Aceves repeatedly saved the season, until he couldn't save it any more. He could come in to tight situations in the 8th and stay on for the 9th. He'd get close to the recognition of a starter (that he wants/deserves), and it would free Bard up to start. If he's not the Jamesian relief ace, putting Aceves in as the closer might be the best option.


It's an out-of-the-box thought and not a stupid one, but I think it's not ideal for maximizing his value to the team.

[stuffyoualreadyknow]
When looking at starting pitching depth, as has been previously discussed, you really want to have 8 starters that you can reasonably expect to be not terrible. The 6-8 guys on the depth chart need to be stashed in either the bullpen or the minors (or even the DL, I suppose). This is harder than it sounds, because even a semi-established 4/5 starter is probably unwilling to be stashed in either of those places - SP quality is so scarce they'll have better offers elsewhere. This means you have to fill those 3 SP slots with prospects, relievers who are able to spot start without stretching out, or Millwoodian flyers on guys coming back from the grave or surgery.
[/stuffyoualreadyknow]

As a set-up guy, Aceves can be the #6 starter as needed. If he's the closer, that's not really an option. If you're not going to make him the #5 starter (and I think they should at least give him a shot), then don't neutralize his ability to fill in as a starter from the bullpen, because guys like that don't grow on trees.

Put another way - the question "How do I make sure no one as terrible as Andrew Miller starts games for the Red Sox in 2012" can be partially answered by stashing Aceves in the middle of the bullpen where you can use him as needed.

#79 Corsi


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Posted 12 December 2011 - 04:43 PM

#redsox still eyeing madson. no surprise since bard is in rotation for now and papelbon in philly

https://twitter.com/#!/JonHeymanCBS/status/146340288804298752
link to tweet

#80 kieckeredinthehead

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 04:49 PM

Put another way - the question "How do I make sure no one as terrible as Andrew Miller starts games for the Red Sox in 2012" can be partially answered by stashing Aceves in the middle of the bullpen where you can use him as needed.


Fair enough. Put another way, though, in general I'd rather be in the market for a 6th guy / long-man out of the pen than a Proven Closer.

#81 Kid T

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 10:54 PM

Shouldn't we at least discuss Aceves as the closer?


Wouldn't it make more sense to keep Bard in the bullpen and convert Aceves to the rotation then? Aceves has experience starting and wants to be part of the rotation.

#82 HangingW/ScottCooper

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 11:28 PM

FWIW, Boras is on record as saying Madson will not accept a 1-year deal. Stretching Bard out to start certainly makes sense, but it's hard to figure out who would close. Jenks? Atchison?

If they sign a Cordero or Farnsworth, than you'd assume they are closing. If they don't sign someone with a history of closing, than I guess it's all up in the air.

At this point, not much is clear since the Sox haven't really signed any pitchers despite openings all over the roster. Theoretically, suggesting Bard could start or close gives them leverage with starters and closers, although not really sure it works that way.


I just don't see any team giving Madson the 4 year deal he wants, as such Boras' normal approach is to get him on a one year deal so he can try again next year.

Edited by HangingW/ScottCooper, 12 December 2011 - 11:28 PM.


#83 Papelbon's Poutine


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Posted 13 December 2011 - 01:47 AM

I just don't see any team giving Madson the 4 year deal he wants, as such Boras' normal approach is to get him on a one year deal so he can try again next year.

Right now, no team seems to have a bigger need for Madson than the Sox - but we see this every year. Some team that misses out on it's chance to improve otherwise will have money to burn and a fanbase to appease. Madson will get a 4 year deal somewhere, probably not at the $ he wants, but he can do better than a one year deal.

#84 Rough Carrigan


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Posted 13 December 2011 - 09:46 AM

Unfortunately, that's quite possible. My hope is that Madson, after playing for a team that was making the playoffs every year, won't want to play for a Baltimore or Cincy. And all this is now is the typical Boras stall.

#85 Eric Van


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Posted 13 December 2011 - 11:50 AM

Right now, no team seems to have a bigger need for Madson than the Sox - but we see this every year. Some team that misses out on it's chance to improve otherwise will have money to burn and a fanbase to appease. Madson will get a 4 year deal somewhere, probably not at the $ he wants, but he can do better than a one year deal.

And which team would that be? We've looked at all the possibilities and there seems to be only one candidate: the Orioles. Dan Duquette's not going to offer him 4 years. 4-year contracts for relievers are widely regarded as dumb and even the Papelbon contract was questioned, and Papelbon's in another league from Madson.. A 4-year contract for a reliever in a glutted buyer's market? Not going to happen.

I said previously that people may be shocked at how little Madson gets, and I meant that literally (including the "may"). We have no idea how much Duquette likes him. He probably values him decently and you can certainly see him driving the price up to something like 3/$25 or 3/$26. However, there's the possibility that he just doesn't like him at all, for some scouting reason. It's not likely, but it's a possibility. In which case, Madson probably has no leverage at all, and you could see him coming here for 1/$7.5, or 2/$15 with one or two vesting options closer to $9/yr based on GF.

Note: the two ex-closers who were signed for setup roles -- Rauch (they'll give him a chance to wrest the job from Francisco, but the latter is the guy they gave closer money to) and Broxton -- each signed for $2.2M less than you'd expect given their stats, compared to the closers who were signed to close. That makes it somewhat unlikely that Madson would get a competitive offer from a team that is already paying good money for a closer. So any surprise team would have to be one with money to spend and a cost-controlled, mediocre closer. Someone might want to see if anyone fits that description.

#86 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 13 December 2011 - 12:04 PM

There's been rumors that the Angels, for some reason, are looking for a closer. Couldn't the Reds be interested? Rays? A's? Someone like the Cubs or Dodgers seem unlikely, but not impossible. I get the idea that some of these teams don't have money, but we are hearing the same about the Sox. If the price on Madson comes down low enough, interest will develop.

I can't imagine Madson accepting 1 year, I'd expect he'll at least find a way to do a 1 year with a player option (similar to Soriano, but shorter duration) to protect himself in the event of an injury.

#87 Eric Van


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Posted 13 December 2011 - 12:24 PM

There's been rumors that the Angels, for some reason, are looking for a closer. Couldn't the Reds be interested? Rays? A's? Someone like the Cubs or Dodgers seem unlikely, but not impossible.

Reds have stated that their plan is to wait and grab whoever is left over, for a discount. Rays picked up Kyle Farnsworth's option, A's have no money and are dealing for the future already (Cahill for prospects). Dodgers have two kids they think can close and didn't even have $3-4M for the setup reliever they needed to add.

Angels fit the description of a club with a cost-controlled closer (Jordan Walton) who's not as good as Madson. But they've just signed Pujols and Wilson, and there's no way that Madson would represent an $8M upgrade to their pen. They obviously had bucketloads of money to burn, and shopping for a better closer sounds like a Plan B if they couldn't get those guys to accept their largesse.

Cubs? Epstein and Hoyer are not high on the list of guys who will bid up the price of a closer past the logical point.

I get the idea that some of these teams don't have money, but we are hearing the same about the Sox.

No, we're not hearing the same thing. Reds, Rays, A's, Dodgers have no money for a closer, or anyone else substantial. We have no money for both a closer and a quality starter, but we can afford one or the other (and hence Bard has been told that he'll do the opposite).

#88 ean611

  • 496 posts

Posted 14 December 2011 - 11:36 AM

http://twitter.com/#!/jcrasnick/status/146990616277024768

"The #RedSox have traded pitcher Kyle Weiland to the #Astros, says a source. I'm hearing they got a bullpen piece in return"
From above

thanks lurker Soxhop411

Given it's Weiland, I'm not expecting much.

Edited by ean611, 14 December 2011 - 11:37 AM.


#89 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 14 December 2011 - 11:41 AM

Jeez, wonder what they got back, b/c that seems like giving up pretty quickly on what was supposed to be a solid young arm. Ironically, Bobby Sprowl got traded to HOU too.

#90 ean611

  • 496 posts

Posted 14 December 2011 - 11:43 AM

Jeez, wonder what they got back, b/c that seems like giving up pretty quickly on what was supposed to be a solid young arm. Ironically, Bobby Sprowl got traded to HOU too.



Source: Lowrie, Weiland from #RedSox to #Astros for Melancon. #MLB

http://twitter.com/#!/Ken_Rosenthal/status/146993269220442113
Thanks again Soxhop411

Edited by ean611, 14 December 2011 - 11:44 AM.


#91 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 14 December 2011 - 11:46 AM

Wow, that strikes me as a horrible trade. seems like buying high and selling low.

#92 czar


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Posted 14 December 2011 - 01:01 PM

More than 50 scouts saw Zumaya throw today in Houston. Report from one in attendance: 93-96 mph, decent cb, OK cmd. "He'll get a job." #MLB


Rosenthal

Would be an interesting lottery ticket @ the right price.

#93 Rasputin


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Posted 14 December 2011 - 02:06 PM

So if we had to start the season today...

Jenks and Melancon would compete for saves.
Atchison, Morales, Albers, and Doubront would form the bulk of the pen.

Both Bard and Aceves would be in the rotation.

#94 Corsi


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Posted 14 December 2011 - 03:22 PM



Four American League contenders the Rangers, Angels, Red Sox, and Blue Jays have shown interest in free-agent left-hander Darren Oliver, a major-league source told FOXSports.com.

Oliver, 41, is coming off a season in which he posted a career-low 2.29 ERA in 61 relief appearances for the Texas Rangers.

http://mlbbuzz.yardb..._oliver/8733841

#95 kieckeredinthehead

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 03:31 PM



http://mlbbuzz.yardb..._oliver/8733841


It's like the Red Sox looked at September and concluded their biggest problem was not having enough middle relief to cover the 3rd through 6th innings.

#96 Papelbon's Poutine


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Posted 14 December 2011 - 03:39 PM

And which team would that be? We've looked at all the possibilities and there seems to be only one candidate: the Orioles. Dan Duquette's not going to offer him 4 years. 4-year contracts for relievers are widely regarded as dumb and even the Papelbon contract was questioned, and Papelbon's in another league from Madson.. A 4-year contract for a reliever in a glutted buyer's market? Not going to happen.

I said previously that people may be shocked at how little Madson gets, and I meant that literally (including the "may"). We have no idea how much Duquette likes him. He probably values him decently and you can certainly see him driving the price up to something like 3/$25 or 3/$26. However, there's the possibility that he just doesn't like him at all, for some scouting reason. It's not likely, but it's a possibility. In which case, Madson probably has no leverage at all, and you could see him coming here for 1/$7.5, or 2/$15 with one or two vesting options closer to $9/yr based on GF.

Note: the two ex-closers who were signed for setup roles -- Rauch (they'll give him a chance to wrest the job from Francisco, but the latter is the guy they gave closer money to) and Broxton -- each signed for $2.2M less than you'd expect given their stats, compared to the closers who were signed to close. That makes it somewhat unlikely that Madson would get a competitive offer from a team that is already paying good money for a closer. So any surprise team would have to be one with money to spend and a cost-controlled, mediocre closer. Someone might want to see if anyone fits that description.


First, Rauch and Broxton have no business in this discussion. Rauch is a 33 year old career journeyman that is not and has never been a Closer - a half season for the Nats and filling in for a Tommy-Johnned Nathan does not make him "a closer", at least in my mind - it makes him a setup guy that filled in for a bit. He is a setup guy that isn't quite good enough to secure a multi-year deal and likely will be on one year deals the rest of his career, as he has been so far. Broxton is coming off elbow surgery and is not exactly known for his physical fitness. He needs a year to restablish value. These two cases - that aren't even comparable to each other, let alone Madson - are indicative of nothing other than the fact that two GMs made signings right where they should have. These guys got what they should have.



Second, you're right, I misspoke - I should have said that Madson will find a team to give him a multi-year deal (I agree that 4 year deals for RPs are bad business) and more specifically, that I don't see the Sox getting him on a one year deal (and certainly not at the price you cite). Could he take a below value one year deal to wait out the market and try again next year? Sure, I just don't think Boston is the best place for him to do that. He's be better off closing in a different environment (pressure, competition, etc.) such as Cincinatti or setting up for someone like Miami who is spending like a sailor on shore leave.

What teams could I see throwing money at him? Well, I'm sure you'll disagree, but I could see the Cardinals offering him three years - fitting your description of a cost controlled closer who is not as good as Madson to a T. They could sign him to a 3 year deal, keep Motte at setup to keep his cost down and then turn the job over to Motte at the end. I could see the Nats signing him so they can trade Storen for a CF or even move Storen back to setup. I could see a team like the As or Pirates offering him a higher one year deal with the plan to move him at the deadline for prospects. I could see the O's geting involved, though you don't. The Rockies moved Street to free up money to go after Cuddyer and Kuroda - if they don't get either, who will they spend their money on and is there team still strong enough in their eyes to rely on Betancourt to close?

My simple point is that every year there seems to be one or two guys that fall through the cracks and are hanging around longer than expected. And every year, there's some team that intended to sign a SP or a bat that misses out and changes the plan, solidifying a different part of the team instead. If Madson ends up on a one year deal with the Sox, I don't see it happenning before late January. Boras is going to wait it out and let the market come to him, IMHO.

#97 Eric Van


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Posted 14 December 2011 - 09:19 PM

First, Rauch and Broxton have no business in this discussion. Rauch is a 33 year old career journeyman that is not and has never been a Closer - a half season for the Nats and filling in for a Tommy-Johnned Nathan does not make him "a closer", at least in my mind - it makes him a setup guy that filled in for a bit. He is a setup guy that isn't quite good enough to secure a multi-year deal and likely will be on one year deals the rest of his career, as he has been so far. Broxton is coming off elbow surgery and is not exactly known for his physical fitness. He needs a year to restablish value. These two cases - that aren't even comparable to each other, let alone Madson - are indicative of nothing other than the fact that two GMs made signings right where they should have. These guys got what they should have.

You're not disagreeing with me -- they were viewed as not good enough to close, and they got a lot less money thereby. What may be helpful to the discussion is that a regression analysis tells you what they would have gotten, based on their stats, if those stats were viewed as sufficient argument to hand them a closer job. IOW, there is a non-linear relationship of relief stats to FA AAV; guys who are thought to be good enough to close get a premium. By tossing Rauch and Broxton into the regression we can estimate that premium, and it turns out to be c. $2.2M. That gives you an idea of how GMs might value closers and helps work out the cost-benefit thinking of various bullpen moves.

What teams could I see throwing money at him? Well, I'm sure you'll disagree, but I could see the Cardinals offering him three years - fitting your description of a cost controlled closer who is not as good as Madson to a T. They could sign him to a 3 year deal, keep Motte at setup to keep his cost down and then turn the job over to Motte at the end. I could see the Nats signing him so they can trade Storen for a CF or even move Storen back to setup. I could see a team like the As or Pirates offering him a higher one year deal with the plan to move him at the deadline for prospects. I could see the O's geting involved, though you don't. The Rockies moved Street to free up money to go after Cuddyer and Kuroda - if they don't get either, who will they spend their money on and is there team still strong enough in their eyes to rely on Betancourt to close?

I may not disagree at all -- I'll have to look, but off the top of my head, the Cardinals do look like a good candidate. And I do think the O's are likely to be players. More later.

My simple point is that every year there seems to be one or two guys that fall through the cracks and are hanging around longer than expected. And every year, there's some team that intended to sign a SP or a bat that misses out and changes the plan, solidifying a different part of the team instead. If Madson ends up on a one year deal with the Sox, I don't see it happening before late January. Boras is going to wait it out and let the market come to him, IMHO.

I think this is a terrific point, which is why I encourage everyone to try to identify other teams that might surprise us with their interest. I think the 1-year deal thing is unlikely.

#98 SoxScout


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Posted 15 December 2011 - 03:56 AM

The Red Sox had been discussing a deal for Oakland reliever Andrew Bailey, and had dialogue with agent Scott Boras regarding Phillies free agent Ryan Madson. But the trade talk with Oakland had reached a point where the Sox were uncomfortable with the As asking price, according to one league source.


http://www.boston.co...weiland/?page=2

#99 tonyarmasjr

  • 565 posts

Posted 15 December 2011 - 11:08 AM

So if we had to start the season today...

Jenks and Melancon would compete for saves.
Atchison, Morales, Albers, and Doubront would form the bulk of the pen.

Both Bard and Aceves would be in the rotation.

If they'd sign a closer, I kind of like it. Along with Bowden, Carlson, Tazawa, Wilson, and maybe even Josh Fields later in the year, that's a decent amount to throw against the wall. Assuming Daisuke comes back by August, that should upgrade both the rotation and the pen, too.
If they don't get another high-lev-type arm, I hate it.

#100 Rasputin


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Posted 15 December 2011 - 02:49 PM

If they'd sign a closer, I kind of like it. Along with Bowden, Carlson, Tazawa, Wilson, and maybe even Josh Fields later in the year, that's a decent amount to throw against the wall. Assuming Daisuke comes back by August, that should upgrade both the rotation and the pen, too.
If they don't get another high-lev-type arm, I hate it.


Why on Earth would we assume Dice K comes back by August? I am assuming he never throws another pitch for us.

I confess myself concerned about Aceves in the rotation. I just don't really buy it and he was excellent glue in the bullpen. The bottom line, though, is that if Bard in the rotation works by any reasonable definition of "works" then Aceves only has to be barely adequate.