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Scutaro to the Rockies


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#201 E5 Yaz


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 01:10 PM

Mike Aviles is currently what Marco Scutaro was four years ago. The Red Sox have been saying since they acquired him that they feel he's very underrated and Valentine just reiterated that they view Aviles as the first in line to be the shortstop. I'm not sure why people don't read and listen to what the organization says. It's not like they routinely lie about what they're planning to do.


All teams lie about what they are planning to do

#202 kieckeredinthehead

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 01:27 PM

Five pages and no mention of the possible Scutaro-Valentine implications of the trade? Remember this story, about how Valentine used a then-rookie Scutaro to make a point to Phillips, then hung him out to dry for reporters?

#203 Rough Carrigan


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 02:00 PM

Cherington said Punto and Aviles. The problem is that Aviles is also backing up a brittle Kevin Youkilis and being counted on to play the outfield where depth is also an issue. Unless there's a trade for another shortstop, you are going to see a lot of Nick Punto starting at short. This offseason has been a complete disaster.

I'd like to believe that Valentine will not get sucked into the ridiculous cycle that Tito did the last couple years.
Youkilis screws up ankle.
Youkilis keeps playing a couple games and ankle gets worse.
Youkilis sits out a game.
Youkilis comes back and still noticeably limps
Youkilis screws up ankle worse . . . wash, rinse, repeat

#204 Rough Carrigan


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 02:02 PM

Five pages and no mention of the possible Scutaro-Valentine implications of the trade? Remember this story, about how Valentine used a then-rookie Scutaro to make a point to Phillips, then hung him out to dry for reporters?

It seems like a stretch to imply that Valentine knowing that Scutaro was not really an outfielder back in 2001 means he doesn't want him as shortstop in 2011.

#205 kieckeredinthehead

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 02:09 PM

It seems like a stretch to imply that Valentine knowing that Scutaro was not really an outfielder back in 2001 means he doesn't want him as shortstop in 2011.


I was more suggesting that Scutaro requested the trade.

#206 Hyde Park Factor


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 02:25 PM

I was more suggesting that Scutaro requested the trade.


I can certainly see where he would ask, but if that is the case I can't say I'm happy with the FO for granting his request and leaving the team in a lerch.

#207 E5 Yaz


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 02:27 PM

Morosi (Fox): #RedSox are looking at both pitchers and position players now, source says.


Edited by E5 Yaz, 22 January 2012 - 02:27 PM.


#208 knucklecup


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 02:29 PM

#RedSox would prefer to sign a free agent but have kept tabs on the Wandy Rodriguez trade market, too. #Astros

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#209 Carl Everetts Therapist


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 02:34 PM

At first glance this trade looks awful... Scutaro has been a real savior the last couple years, putting up better that average numbers while playing a dependable SS. He has done everything asked of him from batting leadoff to playing hurt. He has been underrated and valuable.

This trade will all depend on a corresponding move for a pitcher obviously.

As for who will play SS, I like the idea of getting younger. Everyone complains about this team and the injury bug, how the medical staff has it's collective head up their asses and so on, but often ignores the fact that a lot of 30++ players are on this team. I think that Aviles can man the position reliably at least until a mid-season trade or iglesias is seasoned.

The rotation needs a starter in the worst way as situated now. There needs to be some flexibility if Bard/Aceves flame out as starters in ST. it really strengthens the bullpen to be able to have one of them shift back. Oswalt would br a great sign at 1/yr8mil or less. He is a former cy Young caliber pitcher who could be the Pitching version of Beltre...... Signing in Boston for one year and earning himself a multi-year big money contract elsewhere. Oswalt is still only 33 years old, and has the history of being a number one starter on a playoff team. I think he's a no-brainer...

In my opinion Oswalt + Aviles is a better bet for this team than Scutaro + ?

Imagine Padilla being healthy and affective allowing this team to have a suitable affective rotation that allows Bard and Aceves both to stay in the pen... That bullpen would be one of the best in baseball at least on paper.

#210 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 02:38 PM

Is Bard to the pen a viable option? I can't imagine him being happy as a set up man, and moving him to the pen makes Bailey a waste of time and money.

I dunno, this all seems kind of puzzling. If they re-allocate Scutaro's cash to Cody "Darnell" Ross, I'll be pissed.

#211 OttoC


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 02:58 PM

I have a friend who does a lot of scouting--college level and minor leagues. He does it for himself but he has been through scout school.and attends games with a stop watch, radar gun, and evaluation form. He saw Igesias several times in the AFL and gave him a 70 as a fielder. He said he makes the great plays but blows some of the gimmies. He also rated him lower on throwing (60), speed (50), and power (40).

#212 Yaz4Ever


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 04:08 PM

Is Bard to the pen a viable option? I can't imagine him being happy as a set up man, and moving him to the pen makes Bailey a waste of time and money.

I dunno, this all seems kind of puzzling. If they re-allocate Scutaro's cash to Cody "Darnell" Ross, I'll be pissed.


I've been wondering for awhile if Bard could wind up as a part of a deal to another team (Cubs as part of Garza and Byrd?).

#213 teddywingman


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 04:23 PM

Is Bard to the pen a viable option? I can't imagine him being happy as a set up man, and moving him to the pen makes Bailey a waste of time and money.

I dunno, this all seems kind of puzzling. If they re-allocate Scutaro's cash to Cody "Darnell" Ross, I'll be pissed.


Of course Bard in the pen is a viable option. His most valuable role on this team is as the set up/high leverage reliever. (That is unless he becomes an above league average starter.)

Edited by teddywingman, 22 January 2012 - 04:40 PM.


#214 bombdiggz

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 04:40 PM

Of course Bard in the pen is a viable option. His most valuable role on this team is as a set up/high leverage reliever. (That is unless he becomes an above league average starter.)


I feel the same way. The Sox will give Bard a legitimate shot at starting, as was his request. Considering that he asked to start, I don't think he is going to feel jaded that the team went out and acquired a closer. In addition he just got his first arbitration award of four as a super two at 1.6125 M. The team didn't really try to play hardball based on the fact he didn't rack up many saves, he has great ratios in high leverage situations and he got paid accordingly.

#215 Red(s)HawksFan


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 04:40 PM

Of course Bard in the pen is a viable option. His most valuable role on this team is as a set up/high leverage reliever. (That is unless he becomes an above league average starter.)

Disagree that he needs to be an above average starter to be of more value to the team. I know WAR isn't the end all, but Bard put up a career high fWAR of 1.8 last season as a reliever. John Lackey's fWAR was 1.5. Improving on John Lackey, the worst full-time starting pitcher in history, would not require an above average performance.

#216 Sprowl


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 04:41 PM

If you would like to pretend that what the Sox got from the 4th starter, 5th starter, LF, and RF last season doesnt set an extremely low bar to clear to improve on their performance in 2012, well that is up to you.

Again it's all about how they allocate the Scutaro $. If they traded Scutaro for a bag of balls just to cut 6 M, well that is one hell of a disappointment.

However, If they allocate it elsewhere and land Floyd or Oswalt. I really like the chances they improve on what Lackey gave them in 2011 and get more production out of that spot in 2012.

I agree that Bard represents a significant area for improvement, he has potential to be a very valuable starter, slotted in as a 5 or not. However, acquiring a legit 4 gives them some bard as a starter insurance and if it doesn't work out the pen is definitely improved. Either way I like either Bard or a combination of Padilla/cook/doubront outperforming the contributions of matsuzaka and Wakefield from 2011.

As far as LF and RF. if you think at age 30 Carl Crawford underperforms what has been by far his worst season in his career, I got a 50 to the Jimmy Fund on the opposite. Similarly, I got another 50 on the Sweeney/McDonald platoon outperforming the sub 700 OPS the Sox got from RF last year. Sure, as full time players they would suck, but deployed correctly, it can work.

Getting rid of Scutaro is a definite downgrade, no doubt, but if it strengthens the rotation (as well as potentially the bullpen), I'm on board.


The classic error of the optimist is to assume that underperformers will revert toward their means, while outstanding performers will maintain their performance. Regardless of their beer and chicken bellies, Josh Beckett and Jon Lester had fine seasons. Jacoby Ellsbury had a career year. I don't see you wagering $50 on regression at those positions. A realist would expect modest improvement from last year's black hole positions, with corresponding declines from outstanding performers.

An additional problem with relying on bench player platoons to replace solid regulars is that, while the team may get surprise outperformance from Sweeney or McDonald, and from Aviles or Punto, it is unlikely to get such improvement from both reserves -- and it will take plenty of at-bats from the other to descover just why they are reserves and not starters. Finding out just how bad Mike Cameron had become took a lot of time, whiffs and disappointment in the field.

But better according to UZR, DRS, and (I think) reputation. Perhaps the reason for the platoon talk is the assumption that Punto is the better defender and therefore should be in there except against LHP, whom Aviles (sometimes) mashes.

I think we can say, at least, that neither is likely to become a "WTF do we do about this" problem on defense, the way Lowrie appeared to be last year.

You're right that Aviles, at least, should not be a huge offensive downgrade from Scutaro--depending on which Aviles we get. He's been a bit of a Jekyll/Hyde hitter, especially against lefties. But his wOBA for the past two years is .323, while Scutaro's is .328.

Some exaggeration of the hit we're taking at SS is going on at this thread. Scutaro wasn't that good, and these guys aren't that bad. I don't like either of them much as a starter, but either will do for the worst starter on the field at any given time.


Aviles looked slow and upright in the field at shortstop in late 2011. He made the basic plays at shortstop, but no outstanding plays, and his glove work and positioning at 3B were clumsy and deficient. I would put no reliance at all on his 2011 DRS or UZR numbers at shortstop for the same reason that Lowrie's 2008 UZR numbers were correctly dismissed -- they are small samples contradicted by observation. The book on Aviles before the Red Sox acquired him was that he had outperformed his true talent level in 2008, before he went on the shelf with Tommy John surgery. I think that we should be prepared for his defense to be Lowrie-level bad in range and glove work. Since he's the right-handed half of the platoon, Punto will get most of the starts and the at-bats, so the Aviles-Punto platoon may on average be solid defensively until injuries start to crop up. Punto used to be insurance against injuries, but now he's the regular and Iglesias is the insurance.

#217 JakeRae


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 04:52 PM

A lot of us, myself included, assumed that the Punto signing showed a lack of faith in Aviles' defense at short stop. At least for me, that assumption was largely based around the idea that Scutaro was going to enter the season as the starter. In the wake of this trade, I think there is another option. The Punto signing was step 1 in a plan that always involved trading away Scutaro and making Aviles the starter.

A lot of people have posted that we should've gotten more for Scutaro. I agree with that sentiment and think Scutaro is worth more than Mortensen. However, if the Red Sox have been shopping Scutaro all offseason and need the team they are trading him to to assume all of his salary, it might be that while he "should" be worth more, he just isn't. I think Aviles is a good bet to approximate Scutaro's production at a significantly lower cost and I'm ok with just dumping Scutaro if that's what the organization needs to do.

Lastly, the numerous posts in this thread pointing toward the quality of the bottom third of the order as a problem are laughable. Firstly, because they show a complete lack of awareness of what most bottom thirds of lineups look like. Secondly, because replacing Scutaro with Aviles does not change the offensive quality of the team in any significant way and might even improve the lineup. I can understand being concerned with the corner outfield quality. Trading Scutaro has nothing to do with the corner outfield situation. If anything, this trade moves Aviles out of an outfield role and creates the potential to add corner outfield depth and talent.

#218 teddywingman


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 04:57 PM

Disagree that he needs to be an above average starter to be of more value to the team. I know WAR isn't the end all, but Bard put up a career high fWAR of 1.8 last season as a reliever. John Lackey's fWAR was 1.5. Improving on John Lackey, the worst full-time starting pitcher in history, would not require an above average performance.


And the use of those two figures, right here, proves how unreliable WAR really is.

Edited by teddywingman, 22 January 2012 - 05:06 PM.


#219 JakeRae


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 04:57 PM

Disagree that he needs to be an above average starter to be of more value to the team. I know WAR isn't the end all, but Bard put up a career high fWAR of 1.8 last season as a reliever. John Lackey's fWAR was 1.5. Improving on John Lackey, the worst full-time starting pitcher in history, would not require an above average performance.

Lackey was not worth 1.5 wins above a replacement player last year unless you believe that his poor performance on balls in play was merely bad defense. fWAR is a horribly flawed statistic for pitchers in that it normalizes ball in play performance and that is flat out wrong (IMHO). Whether you believe that Lackey's underperformance on balls in play was luck or suck, both of those are real parts of his performance. Lackey was worth -1.1 rWAR and that does a much better job of capturing his horrific performance than the imaginary world where his FIP and his performance are the same thing.

Edit: I am not saying DIPS metrics are worthless, just that using them to calculate a stat that purports to measure the pitcher's past contribution to winning is wrong.

Edited by JakeRae, 22 January 2012 - 06:36 PM.


#220 teddywingman


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 05:00 PM

Hey-- you know what? Lackey had a better Winning % too-- .500 to .182!

#221 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 05:13 PM

And the use of those two figures, right here, proves how unreliable WAR really is.


Part of it is that like other "comprehensive" metrics, there are some ways in which it shouldn't be used. Comparing a reliever to a starter in any of the comprehensive stats is going to give you really odd looking results. It doesn't work with ERA+ either. The functions of each type of pitcher are just too different for the numbers to be meaningful in a head to head look. Like always, context matters.

Edited by Snodgrass'Muff, 22 January 2012 - 05:13 PM.


#222 bosockboy


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 07:21 PM

Wonder if Cherington could pry Asdrubal Cabrera out of Cleveland.....would take a stout package. Iglesias/Ranaudo plus.

#223 OttoC


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 07:49 PM

Wonder if Cherington could pry Asdrubal Cabrera out of Cleveland.....would take a stout package. Iglesias/Ranaudo plus.


And who would Cleveland use as a shortstop?

#224 4-6-3

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 08:17 PM

And who would Cleveland use as a shortstop?

I think they just signed Julio Lugo...... :) There aren't many teams that have two everyday shortstops - the Nats may have a replacement but both of theirs lack on defense. (As probably mentioned up thread) Since Theo seems to be rebuilding, any chance for a Garza/Castro deal with Theo receiving some of his draft talent back and compensation being wrapped into it (but who do they use at SS - Iglesias isn't ready).

Edited by 4-6-3, 22 January 2012 - 08:19 PM.


#225 Plympton91


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 08:23 PM

The classic error of the optimist is to assume that underperformers will revert toward their means, while outstanding performers will maintain their performance. Regardless of their beer and chicken bellies, Josh Beckett and Jon Lester had fine seasons. Jacoby Ellsbury had a career year. I don't see you wagering $50 on regression at those positions. A realist would expect modest improvement from last year's black hole positions, with corresponding declines from outstanding performers.


You might expect declines, but I see no reason why the expected decline from Ellsbury would be greater than the expected improvement in a McDonald/Sweeney platoon over the combination of Drew/McDonald/Reddick in 2011.

An additional problem with relying on bench player platoons to replace solid regulars is that, while the team may get surprise outperformance from Sweeney or McDonald, and from Aviles or Punto, it is unlikely to get such improvement from both reserves -- and it will take plenty of at-bats from the other to descover just why they are reserves and not starters. Finding out just how bad Mike Cameron had become took a lot of time, whiffs and disappointment in the field.


Not really the right comparison. As the Red Sox allowed Cameron to play injured in 2010 based on both the lack of a viable alternative and his history of being a well above average player signed for nearly 8 figures a season; in 2011, they cut bait very quickly.

Aviles looked slow and upright in the field at shortstop in late 2011. He made the basic plays at shortstop, but no outstanding plays,


And the number of outstanding plays made by Scutaro over the past two seasons was....

Since he's the right-handed half of the platoon, Punto will get most of the starts and the at-bats, so the Aviles-Punto platoon may on average be solid defensively until injuries start to crop up. Punto used to be insurance against injuries, but now he's the regular and Iglesias is the insurance.


Or, you know, they could make another trade or sign a stop gap free agent. It is only January 22.

#226 ThatsMyPeskyPole

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 08:24 PM

Castro's assault charges make him untouchable.

#227 radsoxfan


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 08:35 PM

A lot of people have posted that we should've gotten more for Scutaro. I agree with that sentiment and think Scutaro is worth more than Mortensen. However, if the Red Sox have been shopping Scutaro all offseason and need the team they are trading him to to assume all of his salary, it might be that while he "should" be worth more, he just isn't. I think Aviles is a good bet to approximate Scutaro's production at a significantly lower cost and I'm ok with just dumping Scutaro if that's what the organization needs to do.


I agree that Scutaro (on his very reasonable contract) is worth more than Mortensen. It is certainly possible no other major league teams felt that way, and this was the best Ben and co. could do. But when someone brand new starts a new job, its harder to give them the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they did, and the market was just nonexistent. But having no track record inevitably makes it easier to question him. If Theo was still around, it would be easier to assume we got the best possible deal (even if thats an unfair assumption).

And thanks for your fWAR comment, as people use that information entirely the wrong way for pitchers. It does a horrible job of describing retrospective value, and shouldn't be used in such way.

Edited by radsoxfan, 22 January 2012 - 08:37 PM.


#228 Sprowl


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 10:10 PM

You might expect declines, but I see no reason why the expected decline from Ellsbury would be greater than the expected improvement in a McDonald/Sweeney platoon over the combination of Drew/McDonald/Reddick in 2011.


Absent an expensive (and on current evidence of front office priorities, rather unlikely) replacement outfielder, McDonald will be starting in LF until Crawford recovers. He will be hitting against righties as well as lefties, and he will be 33 years old. Repeating last year's .704 OPS is no lock, much less improving on it. It's what happens when a career minor leaguer and platoon player is overexposed. The 2012 Red Sox will be over-exposing a lot of bench players as starters.

Most lefties, aside from strictly pull hitters like Crawford, improve their performance on coming to Fenway because of good hitting visibility, small foul grounds, and facing a preponderance of right-handed pitchers, so I would expect Sweeney to show a small improvement over his three-year Oakland OPS of .740 -- but don't expect any power out of him. He may be the feeblest 6'4 225 outfielder in existence. On the bright side, his defensive reputation is strong, although he is unlikely to be as good as Drew: Fenway's RF takes some practice to play well.

Not really the right comparison. As the Red Sox allowed Cameron to play injured in 2010 based on both the lack of a viable alternative and his history of being a well above average player signed for nearly 8 figures a season; in 2011, they cut bait very quickly.


If you think Cameron is a poor comparison, propose another. Otherwise you are sniping without substance.

Lack of a viable alternative? The 2012 Red Sox are shaping up to have no viable alternatives to starting bench players -- or players who should be on the bench -- at more positions than at any year in the last decade.

And the number of outstanding plays made by Scutaro over the past two seasons was....


Scutaro's calling card in Toronto was snaring the high bouncer to his backhand and making the over-the-shoulder throw to first base on the run. He made several of those in June-August 2011, as well as performing better on the double play than in 2010, although his fielding deteriorated in September even as he got hot at the plate. He is both more athletic and more sure-handed than Aviles, not to mention a better hitter against RHP.

Or, you know, they could make another trade or sign a stop gap free agent. It is only January 22.


Could be, could be. Or not. What we've seen about Cherington is that he clears payroll before he replaces talent, and most of the talent is a downgrade. Do you see any attractive trade options on the market at shortstop?

#229 curly2

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 10:30 PM

I would expect Sweeney to show a small improvement over his three-year Oakland OPS of .740 -- but don't expect any power out of him. He may be the feeblest 6'4 225 outfielder in existence.


This guy begs to disagree:

http://www.baseball-...zupcibo01.shtml

#230 Average Reds


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 10:49 PM

I've been wondering for awhile if Bard could wind up as a part of a deal to another team (Cubs as part of Garza and Byrd?).


Bard is a very talented pitcher making very little salary who can fill a lot of holes for the Sox. He is not going anywhere.

#231 Plympton91


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 10:50 PM

Absent an expensive (and on current evidence of front office priorities, rather unlikely) replacement outfielder, McDonald will be starting in LF until Crawford recovers. He will be hitting against righties as well as lefties, and he will be 33 years old. Repeating last year's .704 OPS is no lock, much less improving on it. It's what happens when a career minor leaguer and platoon player is overexposed. The 2012 Red Sox will be over-exposing a lot of bench players as starters.



So, they will need one of the players from the $100 million player development program to step up -- Alex Hassan or JC Linares -- or they could use Daniel Nava against righties or they could find the next Troy O'Leary. All they'd need is a 700 OPS for a couple weeks to maintain 2011 Crawford production.

In addition, you seem to be assuming Crawford will be out for an extended part of the regular season. The article I saw said he may be ready opening day. I don't think needing a rplacement for a couple weeks of April is a catastrophe.


If you think Cameron is a poor comparison, propose another. Otherwise you are sniping without substance.


I don't think Aviles and Punto are examples of the kind of situations you're trying to find an example of.

They know what they're going to get from them. That is either acceptable or it is not. This is not like the damage that can be done while trying to see if they can fix Brad Penny, or whether a rookie is ready to step up from AAA, or whether a veteran has recovered from injury.

Lack of a viable alternative? The 2012 Red Sox are shaping up to have no viable alternatives to starting bench players -- or players who should be on the bench -- at more positions than at any year in the last decade.


All of this is perfectly understandable given that The new CBA imposed a de facto salary cap, absent an owner willing to almost literally light money on fire and watch it burn. Therefore, people need to reset their expectations for the Red Sox being able to buy a 80 percent probability of the playoffs. If you want to continue talking about whether this is the worst offseason ever, you need to start including the new CBA as a primary reason for the decisions being made.

The question is whether, and if so why, Red Sox ownership was blindsided by the introduction of these draconian penalties for being over the luxury tax. If they had any inclination last winter that this regime was going to be put in place, the Crawford contract really looks bad. If they had no inkling that the small market teams were going to dominate the negotiations and convince the players' union to grab its ankles in this way, that also doesn't reflect well. Perhaps the soccer and NASCAR teams were a distraction.


#232 czar


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 11:22 PM

Could be, could be. Or not. What we've seen about Cherington is that he clears payroll before he replaces talent, and most of the talent is a downgrade. Do you see any attractive trade options on the market at shortstop?


This is pretty unfair. I think we can all agree it's fairly obvious that someone in Sox ownership is pulling on the pursestrings, and Ben has been left with a bloated roster by The Gorilla's Chitown exodus.

It not as if Cherington has said "whoa, whoa, whoa-- guys, let's not spend that extra $20 mil you authorized me for."

I refuse to rip on him for making a downgrade trade because it's not really a downgrade trade until we find out what they plan on using the $6 million for. Like I've said upthread-- I think people are missing the potential delta in value between Scutaro and Aviles/Punto and Aceves/Doubront and Oswalt/Floyd.

#233 Yaz4Ever


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 11:41 PM

Bard is a very talented pitcher making very little salary who can fill a lot of holes for the Sox. He is not going anywhere.


Which is exactly why Theo would be interested in him. He'd be a big part of the deal. Not saying it's going to happen, but it's certainly something that has crossed my mind.

#234 Sprowl


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Posted 22 January 2012 - 11:52 PM

This is pretty unfair. I think we can all agree it's fairly obvious that someone in Sox ownership is pulling on the pursestrings, and Ben has been left with a bloated roster by The Gorilla's Chitown exodus.

It not as if Cherington has said "whoa, whoa, whoa-- guys, let's not spend that extra $20 mil you authorized me for."

I refuse to rip on him for making a downgrade trade because it's not really a downgrade trade until we find out what they plan on using the $6 million for. Like I've said upthread-- I think people are missing the potential delta in value between Scutaro and Aviles/Punto and Aceves/Doubront and Oswalt/Floyd.


Although I am certainly ripping on the team's management as a whole, the sequence in which Cherington clears payroll (eg, trading Scutaro for a AAAA pitcher) before he adds talent (eg, signing Oswalt, I hope) is an empirical observation. It is not a criticism of Cherington specifically, but of the mandate he appears to be carrying out. Plympton's placement of blame seems appropriate:

All of this is perfectly understandable given that The new CBA imposed a de facto salary cap, absent an owner willing to almost literally light money on fire and watch it burn. Therefore, people need to reset their expectations for the Red Sox being able to buy a 80 percent probability of the playoffs. If you want to continue talking about whether this is the worst offseason ever, you need to start including the new CBA as a primary reason for the decisions being made.

The question is whether, and if so why, Red Sox ownership was blindsided by the introduction of these draconian penalties for being over the luxury tax. If they had any inclination last winter that this regime was going to be put in place, the Crawford contract really looks bad. If they had no inkling that the small market teams were going to dominate the negotiations and convince the players' union to grab its ankles in this way, that also doesn't reflect well. Perhaps the soccer and NASCAR teams were a distraction.


The Crawford contract does look bad, it did at the time as well as in hindsight, the new CBA makes it even worse, and the case for WOE is ongoing in another thread.

#235 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 23 January 2012 - 08:49 AM

Bard is a very talented pitcher making very little salary who can fill a lot of holes for the Sox. He is not going anywhere.


I think you missed an important modifier there: he can potentially fill a lot of holes for the Sox. So far he's only been tried in one. The fact that people are salivating about his potential to fill other roles could equally be a reason to keep him or deal him, depending on our own needs and our assessment of the gamble involved. If the Sox acquire another experienced starter, they might well decide that Bard is worth more as trade bait than as a 5th starter, especially with Dice-K coming back at some point and probably sending him to the bullpen.

Edited by Savin Hillbilly, 23 January 2012 - 09:44 AM.


#236 reggiecleveland


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Posted 23 January 2012 - 10:11 AM

I think you missed an important modifier there: he can potentially fill a lot of holes for the Sox. So far he's only been tried in one. The fact that people are salivating about his potential to fill other roles could equally be a reason to keep him or deal him, depending on our own needs and our assessment of the gamble involved. If the Sox acquire another experienced starter, they might well decide that Bard is worth more as trade bait than as a 5th starter, especially with Dice-K coming back at some point and probably sending him to the bullpen.


Exactly. Just because this one goes to eleven, doesn't mean you won't trade it for an 11 or a twelve.

#237 curly2

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 10:42 AM

If the Sox acquire another experienced starter, they might well decide that Bard is worth more as trade bait than as a 5th starter, especially with Dice-K coming back at some point and probably sending him to the bullpen.


There's a chance Bard could fail as a starter or that he could be a solid No. 5, but there's also a chance he could be the No. 5 starter in name but pitch like a No. 2 starter. In that case he would be more valuable than anything you could get for him in a trade.

#238 Sprowl


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Posted 23 January 2012 - 10:01 PM

There's a chance Bard could fail as a starter or that he could be a solid No. 5, but there's also a chance he could be the No. 5 starter in name but pitch like a No. 2 starter. In that case he would be more valuable than anything you could get for him in a trade.


The chance -- a good one, I think -- that he could perform like a No. 2 or an ace is the Red Sox' best hope for significant improvement in 2012. I think that Bard's ceiling as a starter has been underestimated, and a Beckett-Lester-Buchholz-Bard rotation will be the strongest front four in the AL. Bard's velocity may decline as a starter, but his fastball command has not peaked yet. I find it hard to imagine him being worth more to another team than to the Red Sox.

#239 Rasputin


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Posted 24 January 2012 - 12:44 AM

The chance -- a good one, I think -- that he could perform like a No. 2 or an ace is the Red Sox' best hope for significant improvement in 2012. I think that Bard's ceiling as a starter has been underestimated, and a Beckett-Lester-Buchholz-Bard rotation will be the strongest front four in the AL. Bard's velocity may decline as a starter, but his fastball command has not peaked yet. I find it hard to imagine him being worth more to another team than to the Red Sox.


I don't understand why people continue to understate the degree of suck that we got from Lackey last year. Our best hope for significant improvement over 2012 is marginal competence from the back end of the rotation. If Bard pitches anything close to a #2 then I am going to have to go to the hospital for a month long boner. I think he has that potential as well. I actually think there is relatively little chance that he will be mediocre. I think he'll either make a fairly smooth transition and be substantially better than mediocre or be a complete bust.

#240 kieckeredinthehead

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 01:03 AM

I think the biggest worry about Bard is his inconsistent mechanics. That's what he and the team pointed to when he sucked for large stretches of last season. I suppose it's possible that the pattern of starting will let him maintain consistent mechanics, but I suspect it's just as likely to expose his inability to maintain a consistent release point. Either that will happen during a game where he'll lose (and ideally regain) his release point, or it will happen across a series of games (where it will take him multiple starts to fix it). Or maybe Curt Young just didn't work well with him.

#241 SoxScout


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Posted 24 January 2012 - 02:29 AM

The Red Sox continue to signal that they want to acquire an everyday shortstop, and the Reds, Giants and Rays are among the teams looking for veteran help at the position.


Ryan Theriot, Jeff Keppinger and Edgar Renteria are among the remaining free-agent alternatives after the retirements of Orlando Cabrera, Craig Counsell and Adam Everett.

Omar Vizquel agreed to a one-year deal with the Blue Jays on Monday. Theriot prefers to remain in the National League unless he can get a starting job in the AL, which appears unlikely.

Trade candidates at shortstop, meanwhile, appear to be few and far between.

The Astros inquired about the Nationals’ Ian Desmond before acquiring Jed Lowrie from the Red Sox, according to a major league source.
Not everyone with the Nats is convinced that Desmond is a long-term solution; the team could trade him, move Danny Espinosa to short and play Steve Lombardozzi at second.

That doesn’t seem to be the club’s preference, however; those who like Desmond believe he has turned the corner defensively and could be on the verge of an offensive breakthrough as well.

Some teams would play White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham at short if they could acquire him. The White Sox are forever unpredictable, but Beckham’s trade value currently is quite low.


Ken Rosenthal

#242 OttoC


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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:15 AM

I think the biggest worry about Bard is his inconsistent mechanics. That's what he and the team pointed to when he sucked for large stretches of last season....


I don't think that saying Bard "sucked" for large portions of last season is correct. He had a bad start and a bad finish but the rest of the time he was strong.

Apr 1-7: 3 W/L/S of 0/2/0 in 3 games, BS=0, Holds=0, ERA=16.88, oppOPS=1.200 (a lot of this came in his very first appearance)

Apr 8-Aug 31: W/L/S of 2/3/1 in 56 games, BS=2, Holds=31, ERA=1.37, oppOPS=.461

Sep: W/L/S of 0/4/0 in 11 games, BS=3, Holds=3, ERA=16.64, oppOPS=.768

His stats for September 2010 also were worse than his previous months, although not quite as bad as in 2011: W/L/S of 0/0/0 in 14 games, BS=2, Holds=3, ERA=2.70, oppOPS=.713. I would suggest in both those seasons that 73 gms/74.2 IP, 70 gmes/73.0 IP might be a contributing factors.

#243 Average Reds


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Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:04 AM

I think you missed an important modifier there: he can potentially fill a lot of holes for the Sox. So far he's only been tried in one. The fact that people are salivating about his potential to fill other roles could equally be a reason to keep him or deal him, depending on our own needs and our assessment of the gamble involved. If the Sox acquire another experienced starter, they might well decide that Bard is worth more as trade bait than as a 5th starter, especially with Dice-K coming back at some point and probably sending him to the bullpen.


The bolded part makes no sense to me.

The "5th starter" (if he stays healthy) will get maybe 2 or 3 less starts than the staff ace. There really isn't a difference in the value of his performance over the course of a year. And if the number 5 guy in the rotation is significantly better than most back-of-the-rotation starters, you could make an argument that his relative value actually increases.

Second point is that Bard is a guy who has proven that he can dominate MLB hitters while not pulling a huge salary. Given the salary constraints we're all assuming the Sox are operating under, that is not a profile of a player they will deal for a more expensive veteran.

#244 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:59 AM

The bolded part makes no sense to me.

The "5th starter" (if he stays healthy) will get maybe 2 or 3 less starts than the staff ace.

Only if he remains the 5th starter all year. Which, unless something goes wrong with Dice-K's recovery or somebody else gets hurt, he won't (assuming we sign an Oswalt or equivalent).

#245 SumnerH


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Posted 24 January 2012 - 01:12 PM

Only if he remains the 5th starter all year. Which, unless something goes wrong with Dice-K's recovery or somebody else gets hurt, he won't (assuming we sign an Oswalt or equivalent).


The bolded is more likely than not, though, so I'm not sure how much this statement really disagrees with the one you were responding to. 2005-2011 types of health in the rotation are far more common than the freakish 2004.

Edited by SumnerH, 24 January 2012 - 01:12 PM.


#246 502 to Right


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Posted 03 February 2012 - 12:39 PM

Well, we know Scutaro's saved money did not go for Edwin Jackson and it appears Roy Oswalt isn't walking through that door either. What a disappointing offseason,

#247 HangingW/ScottCooper

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 12:46 PM

Well, we know Scutaro's saved money did not go for Edwin Jackson and it appears Roy Oswalt isn't walking through that door either. What a disappointing offseason,


What it does leave room for is a midseason acquisition if necessary. I think that if they had acquired Jackson or Oswalt, they may not have had
that option.

#248 E5 Yaz


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Posted 03 February 2012 - 12:52 PM

What it does leave room for is a midseason acquisition if necessary. I think that if they had acquired Jackson or Oswalt, they may not have had
that option.


Or, they might not have needed it

#249 The Boomer

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 02:24 PM

Or, they might not have needed it


Or they might not need Jackson or Oswalt if they can cash any of those lottery tickets. If they hit the lottery (a small cash back award is all that is needed), then the limited financial flexibility left over from the Scutaro trade might be avaialble when it's more imperative to improve some other team deficiency (particularly if there is an injury to a player more indispensible than your #5 starter). It is highly likely that somebody will get injured and, if it's serious or extended, they might need a replacement. It is also predictable that pitching is unpredictable. Even on a 1 year contract, Jackson or Oswalt (or both) could turn into 2011 versions of John Lackey. You predict based on proven performance but, nevertheless, pitchers are not nearly as consistent as position players. It's a better bet that you will need that money to later patch an unforeseen hole in the team's structure than it is to pay such a relatively large salary for a #5 starter expecting your money's worth given Oswalt's age and recent injury history.