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OK we're back on our main server.  It was taking a super long time to move *everything* back just to save a day's worth of messages.  I've been at this all day now and need to get back to my real job so.,... sorry.  Working on a better plan in case this happens again.  nip

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The Rebuilding Project


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#751 lexrageorge

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:07 AM

So basically, and other then looking for support out of the writers others see as likely making the default value guess that's needed in the process of printing their stories, none of us really know what the Sox are or are not willing to spend atm.

It's not that my math is bad either btw, it's just that in context to adding the $25m salary player atm, that would currently put us at roughly $160m in total real money player salaries committed towards the 2013 season. That's a lot of money, and after seeing the "we can't afford to offer more then X amount" buckling that went on around some of the 1 year deal opportunities that were out there last winter, i'm not entirely comfortable projecting last year's $170m+ player payroll as something that's truly in this ownership's ideal comfort zone. Much less a level of spending they are now willingly going to replicate a few months after scoring the lucky bail out the Punto trade graciously provided them.

Personally, i'm left speculating that the need to view things in LT dollars is going to become a thing of the past, the new "ceiling" in play will be notably under the current $178m threshold, and that everything we do going forward from here will be about the real dollars going in/out on an annual basis. Time will tell i guess.


The Red Sox have ~$110-120M committed to 2013, so that gives them a lot more than $25M before they hit the luxury tax. Also, the luxury tax implications became particularly onerous with the new CBA, so the fact that the team was limiting expenditures last season shouldn't have been so surprising. We don't know what the new ceiling really is, but the team almost certainly has more wiggle room than the $25M you suggest.

Whether and how the team uses those $$$ is a big question. Betting all that money on a guy with bad knees and known addiction issues, or a decent (but not great) pitcher who didn't really want to be here anyway, doesn't seem all that prudent.

#752 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:25 AM

A couple of us some time back thought perhaps Salty for Jones could be a possibility but with the signing of Russell Martin that's not likely to happen


I was just thinking about Jones yesterday and that lost Salty deal. I wonder if we could pull off a three-way with the Pirates and one of the teams that's still looking for catching. The great thing about Jones would be that because he has experience at 1B as well as both corner OF spots, he could spell Napoli and Victorino as well as Gomes.

Of course if Kalish is actually going to learn 1B, and the Sox think he's healthy and ready for a breakout, they might well decide to roll the dice that way and use Salty for one of our other two remaining needs (a shortstop with an offensive pulse, and starting pitching).

#753 YTF

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:21 AM

I was just thinking about Jones yesterday and that lost Salty deal. I wonder if we could pull off a three-way with the Pirates and one of the teams that's still looking for catching. The great thing about Jones would be that because he has experience at 1B as well as both corner OF spots, he could spell Napoli and Victorino as well as Gomes.

Of course if Kalish is actually going to learn 1B, and the Sox think he's healthy and ready for a breakout, they might well decide to roll the dice that way and use Salty for one of our other two remaining needs (a shortstop with an offensive pulse, and starting pitching).


Yeah would have made sense for both teams I think. I like Jone's flexibilty and fit for the Sox. Perhaps there's still a shot to get Gavin Floyd for Salty straight up and perhaps work something else for Jones.

#754 MikeM

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:28 AM

The Red Sox have ~$110-120M committed to 2013, so that gives them a lot more than $25M before they hit the luxury tax. Also, the luxury tax implications became particularly onerous with the new CBA, so the fact that the team was limiting expenditures last season shouldn't have been so surprising. We don't know what the new ceiling really is, but the team almost certainly has more wiggle room than the $25M you suggest.


The Sox currently stand at roughly $98m in guaranteed money before heading into arby. I don't know where you are pulling that $110-120m from, but almost every estimate i've seen has us spending at least an additional $35m once everything is squared away with the 40 man.

I might buy more into a theory that the Sox were simply playing a conservative hand last winter, but at the time it was more or less already a forgone conclusion that we'd indeed be going over the cap, and there was obviously some very legitimate interest still going on there. Seeing us out there essentially making uncompetitive $5m offers on 1 year opportunities, that in years past you'd otherwise of speculated us being a lot more aggressive on, hinted at a bigger problem in play then just some surface desire to be ultra conservative imo.

I don't doubt that the Sox could/would spend another $25m either. It's how much wiggle room that's left after that which potentially concerns me.

Whether and how the team uses those $$$ is a big question. Betting all that money on a guy with bad knees and known addiction issues, or a decent (but not great) pitcher who didn't really want to be here anyway, doesn't seem all that prudent.


They were reportedly looking to make the swap for Lee, so one can conclude there that the attempt is at least being made on the pitching end. Hamilton i really can't see by itself at this point, nor would i support it as much as i might have in the event we didn't already sign Victorino, as in the short term that would really just boil down to a matter of robbing Peter to pay Paul in the post-trade of Ellsbury aftermath. Well, unless people really want to believe Victorino and his 3 year split of ..244/.311/.390 against RHP would thrive as our new lead off hitter. As similar to my speculation on Salty hitting 5th, i'd have to assume he'd be the logical default option there.

On that note, we really need to find some creative ways to get this projected lineup looking a little better. As if push comes to shove, it's almost making me wonder just how against the possibility of trading away our better prospects this FO is really going to be atm, and whether or not Ben has been secretly spending half his winter desperately attempting to find that 3 way partner on a deal for Upton.

*edited to fix posted split, which was incorrect*

Edited by MikeM, 11 December 2012 - 03:19 AM.


#755 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 08:29 AM

On that note, we really need to find some creative ways to get this projected lineup looking a little better.


Here are Bill James' slash-line projections for our most likely lineup if we make no further moves, interlarded with his projections for what looks to me like the most plausible Blue Jays lineup. I've paired the players in each lineup slot; they're in the same order in each pair. You tell me which team is which. (I'm leaving the #9 slot out of it because Iglesias' projected line would stick out like a sore thumb and give the game away.)

Leadoff
.295/.352/.434
.294/.346/.436

#2
.289/.342/.465
.296/.367/.459

#3
.259/.377/.529
.283/.386/.533

#4
.271/.359/.504
.248/.350/.498

#5
.272/.329/.460
.277/.316/.490

#6
.295/.348/.432
.269/.338/.418

#7
.237/.312/.427
.236/.337/.441

#8
.232/.278/.451
.261/.334/.435

Now granted, Bill James isn't the be-all-end-all, but he knows more than I do. And what he appears to know is that the Red Sox lineup, as currently constituted, is highly competitive with the Jays lineup as currently constituted. And yet I think most people would say the Jays right now look to have the best offensive lineup in the division.

We don't suck as much as you think we do.

EDIT: After a little research, changed one batting order around slightly for greater realism.

Edited by Savin Hillbilly, 11 December 2012 - 09:37 AM.


#756 redsoxstiff


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 09:35 AM

Thanksfor the effort... without cheating I take the top ...

WE still have very pricey tix...

WE need a big bopper at #3 and a rip ass SP...Otherwise evety home game will result in a major screwing of the great unwashed Red SOX nation...

Here are Bill James' slash-line projections for our most likely lineup if we make no further moves, interlarded with his projections for what looks to me like the most plausible Blue Jays lineup. I've paired the players in each lineup slot; they're in the same order in each pair. You tell me which team is which. (I'm leaving the #9 slot out of it because Iglesias' projected line would stick out like a sore thumb and give the game away.)

Leadoff
.295/.352/.434
.294/.346/.436

#2
.295/.348/.432
.296/.367/.459

#3
.259/.377/.529
.283/.386/.533

#4
.289/.342/.465
.248/.350/.498

#5
.271/.359/.504
.277/.316/.490

#6
.272/.329/.460
.269/.338/.418

#7
.237/.312/.427
.236/.337/.441

#8
.232/.278/.451
.261/.334/.435

Now granted, Bill James isn't the be-all-end-all, but he knows more than I do. And what he appears to know is that the Red Sox lineup, as currently constituted, is highly competitive with the Jays lineup as currently constituted. And yet I think most people would say the Jays right now look to have the best offensive lineup in the division.

We don't suck as much as you think we do.


Edited by redsoxstiff, 11 December 2012 - 09:36 AM.


#757 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 09:50 AM

Thanksfor the effort... without cheating I take the top ...


I realized that one of the two orders needed shifting to line up with likely reality, so what's in my post now is slightly different from what you quoted. Looking at my revised orders, it looks like pretty nearly a wash to me. Slots 1, 3, and 4 are virtual ties; 2 and 5 are split decisions with OBP going one way and SLG the other (though in both cases, the larger difference favors the bottom team); 6 clearly favors the top team; 7 and 8 clearly favor the bottom team. If anything I'd pick the bottom team, but it's a photo finish.

#758 MikeM

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:39 PM

First off, and while i understand the need in your presentation to not list that #9 spot, let's also not pretend having a black hole there is some irrelevant factor in any overall evaluation.

Secondly, and without being 100% sure on who you have slotted where, those projected #'s 5-8 seem to all fall on the fairly optimistic end of the spectrum imo. Assuming i'm actually guessing right in each instance, of course.

Thirdly, and just like every single winter for going on over a decade now, from an overall standpoint the Jays are being overrated imo. You are comparing us to a team that was middle of the AL in runs scored last season, only managed to win 73 games, and who's one notable improvement on the offensive side was adding Jose Reyes. Unlike us however, they have gone out and made significant improvements to their starting pitching. So yeah....that isn't making me feel any better here as a whole btw.

Lastly i've never claimed that our lineup flat out "sucks", just that it ideally could use some serious help atm, especially if the ultimate goal here is to give ourselves a better shot at contention. I mean for all the "matter of time" talk about pushing Ellsbury/Salty out the door, i just can't see the final product being produced in that as something Ben is seriously going to go to war with here. The ideal goal there needs to be improvement, and not taking potential (or in Ellsbury's case, likely) steps backwards.

#759 MikeM

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:02 PM

WE need a big bopper at #3 and a rip ass SP...Otherwise evety home game will result in a major screwing of the great unwashed Red SOX nation...


We could certainly use it, but we don't even need the big Josh Hamilton bopper imo. Just a more proven/predictable bat slotted in somewhere/somehow that can hit 5th and push Salty down in the primarily used order.

Granted, this potentially became a lot trickier of a task to accomplish once we committed on Victorino, and in the process made keeping Salty's established offense at catcher a lot more sensible in the event significant improvements were not going to be made beyond the Napoli signing.

#760 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:11 PM

First off, and while i understand the need in your presentation to not list that #9 spot, let's also not pretend having a black hole there is some irrelevant factor in any overall evaluation.


It's not irrelevant, no, but it's probably kind of a special case, in that Iglesias' contribution is so lopsided to the defensive side that including him in a batting order comparison per se is going to be a bit misleading. You could argue that the same could be said of Gomes in the opposite direction, I suppose.

Secondly, and without being 100% sure on who you have slotted where, those projected #'s 5-8 seem to all fall on the fairly optimistic end of the spectrum imo. Assuming i'm actually guessing right in each instance, of course.


Spoiler: The top player in each pair is the Jays, the bottom player the Red Sox. The lineups I'm assuming are:

Jays
Reyes
Lawrie
Bautista
Encarnacion
Lind
Cabrera
Rasmus
Arencibia

Sox
Ellsbury
Pedroia
Ortiz
Napoli
Middlebrooks
Victorino
Gomes
Lavarnway

With that in mind, which of James' projections look overoptimistic to you, and why?

Thirdly, and just like every single winter for going on over a decade now, from an overall standpoint the Jays are being overrated imo. You are comparing us to a team that was middle of the AL in runs scored last season, only managed to win 73 games, and who's one notable improvement on the offensive side was adding Jose Reyes.


And Cabrera, don't forget. Those two additions, together, are non-trivial. Regardless, it's probably the best (or second best, if we're actually better) lineup in the division ATM. This is of course contingent on what the Yankees do to address their current gaping lineup holes. I know they say they're in retrench mode, but I'd be very surprised if, in the end, they don't have the best offensive lineup in the division as usual.

Unlike us however, they have gone out and made significant improvements to their starting pitching.


Right. Which suggests that that should probably be our focus as well, not adding a "big bopper."

The ideal goal there needs to be improvement, and not taking potential (or in Ellsbury's case, likely) steps backwards.


Obviously the goal is improvement. But the variables you're leaving out are cost and timescale. The goal is not necessarily to improve in 2013 by any means necessary.

#761 BosRedSox5


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:15 PM

I gotta figure, based on the #2 slot (Pedroia?) that we're on the bottom.

Anyway, Mike's got a point... why compare us to the Blue Jays of all teams? Also, while omitting the #9 spot was done to avoid ruining the game, it does illustrate that even if we're equal with the Jays 1-8 (not that impressive really) the difference in the #9 hole really shows our weakness.

EDIT- Well damn, while I was typing you gave the answers away

Edited by BosRedSox5, 11 December 2012 - 02:17 PM.


#762 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:17 PM

We could certainly use it, but we don't even need the big Josh Hamilton bopper imo. Just a more proven/predictable bat slotted in somewhere/somehow that can hit 5th and push Salty down in the primarily used order.


SIgh....here we go again.

There is no way in heaven, hell or earth that Jarrod Saltalamacchia is batting 5th for the Boston Red Sox next year. Even assuming he's still here, he is a worse hitter (power or no power) than anyone else in the projected starting lineup except Iglesias. The most that might happen is they move him up to 7th against RHP, especially if Gomes is in the lineup. But Farrell is not going to slot that .300-at-best OBP in front of Middlebrooks or VIctorino. It would be managerial malpractice.

#763 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:21 PM

Here are Bill James' slash-line projections for our most likely lineup if we make no further moves, interlarded with his projections for what looks to me like the most plausible Blue Jays lineup. I've paired the players in each lineup slot; they're in the same order in each pair. You tell me which team is which. (I'm leaving the #9 slot out of it because Iglesias' projected line would stick out like a sore thumb and give the game away.)

snip


Looking at it another way, here are last year's slash lines from Boston's 2013 projected lineup.

Ellsbury
271/313/370
Pedroia
290/347/449
Ortiz
318/415/611
Napoli
227/343/469
Middlebrooks
288/325/509
Gomes
262/377/491
Victorino
255/321/383
Ross
256/321/449
Iglesias
:(

While I don't think anyone here expects Ellsbury to return to 2011 form, I doubt many here would argue that his slash line last year won't be improved upon this year. Pedroia is still an excellent bat, as is Papi, with Napoli putting up a solid season despite dealing with a nagging injury all year last year, according to reports. Expecting him to bounce back a little is quite reasonable. Middlebrooks showed real power and a much more consistent bat than many of us were expecting last year and there aren't many reasons to expect someone his age to regress going forward. That line from Gomes is not his split against lefties, it's his total slash line. Against lefties he was 299/416/591. If used as a typical starter, he's decent. If used well as part of a platoon, he's dangerous. How Kalish performs as the left handed side of that platoon will be interesting to watch develop, but even if they went with Gomes full time, they're getting solid bottom of the order production offensively. And since we're talking about the lineup, his horrid defense is a point for another time. After that we have Ross, who is a very respectable overall hitter for a catcher, and Lavarnway who we are all waiting to see in more regular action so we can find out if his minor league promise is going to start paying off. Even if Ross gets the lion's share of time behind the dish, the team is still doing just fine there.

We can all agree that Iglesias' bat isn't worth squat, but outside of him the team could have a solid OBP next year. If we replace Ellsbury's shortened and injury plagued 2012 with his career rate, assume a healthy Pedroia is closer to his career rate, that Napoli bounces back from his nagging injury and is closer to his career rate and that Victorino does the same, we're looking at OBPs of:

.349 .369 .415 .356 .325 .377 .341 .321 and Iglesias

with slugging percentages of...

.442 .461 .611 .507 .509 .491 .430 .449 and Iglesias

That's not a world beater offense, but it's not an awful offense, either. It has strengths and weaknesses and you can certainly argue that some players are less likely than others to bounce back, or that Ortiz is likely to decline or that the hole at the bottom of the order is a bigger problem than I'm giving it credit for, but I think this is an average to slightly better than average offense in the AL without further tweaks.

They have a couple of guys who get on base really well, a few with some pop (and one who does both extremely well) and the one black hole on offense also happens to be about as effective as a black hole on the left side of the infield defensively, which helps offset some of that offensive weakness. What it really comes down to is health (I know... I know. Health has been a weak point for the team the last few years). If this club can be relatively healthy, they can provide enough offense for the team to win enough games to sneak into the playoffs. We'll just need the pitching to hold up for the contributions from the lineup to matter. And that's a whole other discussion thread.

Edited by Snodgrass'Muff, 11 December 2012 - 02:27 PM.


#764 BosRedSox5


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:23 PM

If Bill James has an increased role in player evaluation... why did we sign Napoli, Victorino and Gomes who he all projects to be mediocre?

#765 MikeM

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:59 PM

Spoiler: The top player in each pair is the Jays, the bottom player the Red Sox. The lineups I'm assuming are:

Jays
Reyes
Lawrie
Bautista
Encarnacion
Lind
Cabrera
Rasmus
Arencibia

Sox
Ellsbury
Pedroia
Ortiz
Napoli
Middlebrooks
Victorino
Gomes
Lavarnway

With that in mind, which of James' projections look overoptimistic to you, and why?




Thanks for the clarification on what was what. Upon second look, i actually don't have too much of a problem with those #'s, other then again pointing out the potential concern i have in expecting too much too soon out of Middlebrooks, and that Lavarnway has yet to establish anything at the MLB level. That you indeed slotted Gomes for full time duty is interesting to me though, as i am becoming more convinced that the platoon talk there is more a product of ideal SoSH speculation then the actual plan being put in place.

As the #1 short term/corner OF option i was hoping to see us seriously explore this winter, i also can't believe i forgot Cabrera. Stand corrected.

So taking into account Victorino's split, our 4-9 is going to be entirely RH'd? Generally speaking, i'm definitely not a fan of that concept approach.

#766 SoxScout


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:10 PM

If Bill James has an increased role in player evaluation... why did we sign Napoli, Victorino and Gomes who he all projects to be mediocre?


Bill James has nothing to do with those projections, Baseball Info Solutions has the naming rights. I wish I remember where I saw this, I believe BTF? I believe James was part of the original coding procedures, but it has since been altered and tweaked.

More importantly, the numbers are so general that you obviously need to look through them with Red Sox glasses on as to why said players are better fits than a general assessment.

Edited by SoxScout, 11 December 2012 - 03:22 PM.


#767 MikeM

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:13 PM

SIgh....here we go again.

There is no way in heaven, hell or earth that Jarrod Saltalamacchia is batting 5th for the Boston Red Sox next year. Even assuming he's still here, he is a worse hitter (power or no power) than anyone else in the projected starting lineup except Iglesias. The most that might happen is they move him up to 7th against RHP, especially if Gomes is in the lineup. But Farrell is not going to slot that .300-at-best OBP in front of Middlebrooks or VIctorino. It would be managerial malpractice.


I could say the same thing about your presented concept of throwing out a lineup that's almost entirely RH'd btw. I'm sure the better RH starting pitchers around the league would love that though ;) .

If Salty is used in a hard platoon, and ultimately plays out to be a better hitter against RHP then both Middlebrooks and Victorino, why would that be malpractice if/when we are facing a RH starter? It's not like those other 2 are likely to be OBP machines either.

You are putting way too much stock in Middlebrooks' SSS # as a whole there, while overvaluing Victorino's full time contribution as a hitter imo.

Edited by MikeM, 11 December 2012 - 03:20 PM.


#768 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:21 PM

All of this talk about the offense is well and good...but the Sox rotation had a 48-72 record last year, with a 5.19 ERA; better than only Cleveland and Minnesota. Granted, the 5 starters who combined for 62 starts at a 6.08 ERA are gone, but what do the projections look like for those who remain? I mean, the best ERA for a Sox starter who made more than 10 starts was 4.56. I'm assuming (hoping) that the presence of Farrell and better defense will help turn things around but the starting pitching was a major disaster last year and there haven't been any additions yet (although there have been additions by substraction).

That the Sox lineup looks as good as the Jays isn't all that impressive to me, considering that the Sox scored more runs than the Jays last year, and still finished with 69 wins.

#769 SoxScout


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:25 PM

As for the lineup, John Farrell said at the winter meetings Victorino would hit 2nd vs LHP and 5th (??) vs. RHP.

video: http://espn.go.com/v...clip?id=8712120

#770 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:37 PM

If Salty is used in a hard platoon, and ultimately plays out to be a better hitter against RHP then both Middlebrooks and Victorino, why would that be malpractice if/when we are facing a RH starter? It's not like those other 2 are likely to be OBP machines either btw.


VIctorino's OBP splits vs. RHP these past three years are .296, .333, .305.

WMB's OBP split vs. RHP last year was .312.

Salty's OBP splits vs. RHP over his last three years with 100+ total PA (2012/2011/2009)? .299, .304, .294.

#771 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:39 PM

All of this talk about the offense is well and good...but the Sox rotation had a 48-72 record last year, with a 5.19 ERA; better than only Cleveland and Minnesota. Granted, the 5 starters who combined for 62 starts at a 6.08 ERA are gone, but what do the projections look like for those who remain?


Take these for whatever they're worth. They're just ERA and FIP projections from fangraphs.com.

Lester: 3.71/3.62
Buchholz: 3.64/4.01
Lackey: 4.05/3.82
Doubront: 3.70/3.94

As a whole, these seem bullish... especially Lackey and Doubront. That said, I don't think any of them, in isolation, is so far from being likely that they're ridiculous.

I'd probably guess the ERAs would be something more like

Lester: 3.90
Buchholz: 3.85
Lackey: 4.50
Doubront: 4.40

If we can get something close to that, the Sox should win enough games to have an outside shot at the playoffs, assuming they can pick up a decent 5th starter (Floyd?) or maybe a solid shot at the playoffs if they pick up someone like Sanchez. Floyd is projected at 4.06/4.12 and Sanchez at 3.72/3.38.

#772 MikeM

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:42 PM

As for the lineup, John Farrell said at the winter meetings Victorino would hit 2nd vs LHP and 5th (??) vs. RHP.

video: http://espn.go.com/v...clip?id=8712120


If anything being presented here is grounds for a malpractice claim, it's that.

Victorino hitting 5th will be an utter disaster (not that having to rely on Salty hitting 5th isn't also arguably one waiting to happen in it's own right, mind you), and make that signing look even more Lugo'ish then it already does now.

You have to believe the attempt to do better is at least being made.

#773 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:47 PM

Lester: 3.71/3.62
Buchholz: 3.64/4.01
Lackey: 4.05/3.82
Doubront: 3.70/3.94


That's basically every pitcher shaving at least 1.0 of their most recent season's ERA. Those ERA"s would have placed Lester, Buchholz, and Doubront in the top 15 in the AL.Sign me up!

#774 BCsMightyJoeYoung

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:56 PM

If anything being presented here is grounds for a malpractice claim, it's that.

Victorino hitting 5th will be an utter disaster (not that having to rely on Salty hitting 5th isn't also arguably one waiting to happen in it's own right, mind you), and make that signing look even more Lugo'ish then it already does now.

You have to believe the attempt to do better is at least being made.


Farrell is probably thinking about the benefits of having a LRLRL at the top of the order. Personally I would rather have the better hitter regardless of R/L

#775 OttoC


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 05:03 PM

That's basically every pitcher shaving at least 1.0 of their most recent season's ERA. Those ERA"s would have placed Lester, Buchholz, and Doubront in the top 15 in the AL.Sign me up!


Lester 2008-11: 3.21, 3.41, 3.25, 3.47
Buchholz 2010-11: 2.33, 3.48
Lackey 2005-09: 3.44, 3.56, 3.01, 3.75, 3.83

It's not like three of them haven't done it before. Of course, there is a question of how well Lackey responds to his surgery. I do expect Doubront to improve by at least 0.75 runs.

#776 redsoxstiff


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:18 PM

Take these for whatever they're worth. They're just ERA and FIP projections from fangraphs.com.

Lester: 3.71/3.62
Buchholz: 3.64/4.01
Lackey: 4.05/3.82
Doubront: 3.70/3.94

As a whole, these seem bullish... especially Lackey and Doubront. That said, I don't think any of them, in isolation, is so far from being likely that they're ridiculous.

I'd probably guess the ERAs would be something more like

Lester: 3.90
Buchholz: 3.85
Lackey: 4.50
Doubront: 4.40

If we can get something close to that, the Sox should win enough games to have an outside shot at the playoffs, assuming they can pick up a decent 5th starter (Floyd?) or maybe a solid shot at the playoffs if they pick up someone like Sanchez. Floyd is projected at 4.06/4.12 and Sanchez at 3.72/3.38.



A premiss which seems to be deeply and happily ensconced within SoSH is that Pedey and Papi are enough starpowered to keep The crowds streaming through the turnstyles...

If we end up the off season with' moves that give us an outside shot at the playoffs ...the Sox run the risk of becoming tix-wise like the team not all that but pretty okay...

Along with all the yadda yadda to move tix... imvho there has to be several super dupers to draw asses to seats...Granted the fans won't run screaming from the line-up so far...but we're mostly a spoiled bunch a la the yankmes fans...Many of the peeps I talk to are really tepid and not ready for non special teams...The more savvy people find little excitement now ... and it seems that there will be more silly mantras about contract lengths...You can"t winout going balls to the wall at some juncture...

The primary objective of the Sox is to put and keep paying customers in the stands and buying paraphrenalia..they have gauged how low they can go...maybe they're wrong...

#777 ToeKneeArmAss


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:30 PM

A premiss which seems to be deeply and happily ensconced within SoSH is that Pedey and Papi are enough starpowered to keep The crowds streaming through the turnstyles...


Well the other star attraction is the park itself. Somehow I doubt a steep dropoff in attendance-related revenues is imminent. If they stayed noncompetitive for 3-4 seasons in a row, things might change. But the plan seems to be to have Bogaerts, Bradley, Barnes et al step into that void in 2014-15.

#778 redsoxstiff


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:37 PM

Well the other star attraction is the park itself. Somehow I doubt a steep dropoff in attendance-related revenues is imminent. If they stayed noncompetitive for 3-4 seasons in a row, things might change. But the plan seems to be to have Bogaerts, Bradley, Barnes et al step into that void in 2014-15.


The park was included in the yadda yadda...I don't forsee a steep drop in tix purchases but a turn down however small should be a big concern...

Edited by redsoxstiff, 11 December 2012 - 06:37 PM.


#779 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:46 PM

Well the other star attraction is the park itself. Somehow I doubt a steep dropoff in attendance-related revenues is imminent. If they stayed noncompetitive for 3-4 seasons in a row, things might change. But the plan seems to be to have Bogaerts, Bradley, Barnes et al step into that void in 2014-15.


Plus, they have more than Pedroia and Ortiz to market as stars. Lester had a rough 2012, but most fans would still consider him a star. Buchholz just needs to get off to a good start and they can market him as a star. If Ellsbury looks even remotely close to 2011, he'll be marketed as a star. Hell, he might be marketed that way even if he sucks. And don't forget Middlebrooks. He took the major league roster by storm last year and generated buzz like we haven't seen since Pedroia was handed 2nd base in 2007.

Sure, they're a long way from the home grown core of stars from two years ago which had Papelbon, Youk, Pedroia, Ellsbury, Bard and Buchholz surrounded by well known and liked players like Lowell, Okajima, Matsuzaka, Gonzalez, or Wakefield or under appreciated but easily recognizable names like Drew, but that doesn't mean they can't market what they have well.

Building campaigns around Pedroia, Ortiz, Middlebrooks, Lester and Buchholz should be more than enough to keep the average fan engaged for 2013. The sellout streak might end, but that's been long overdue anyway.

#780 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 08:45 PM

The acquisition of Gregorius could allow the Indians to deal fellow shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. Cabrera, 27, is set to earn $6.5MM in 2013 and $10MM in 2014 before hitting free agency.


http://www.mlbtrader...952DwoUd2hDZ.99

Cabrera is the polar opposite of Iglesias: a good-hit, weak-field shortstop.

On the hit side, he's a switch-hitter who's better against LHP, but not to Victorino extremes. Career slash splits: .271/.338/.408 vs. RHP, .298/.352/.437 vs. LHP. He hits home runs (25 in 2011 and 16 in 2012), and while he's not a plate-discipline god, he has a league-average-ish walk rate. His 110 wRC+ over the past four years is 5th in the majors, behind only Tulowitzki, Hanley, Reyes and Jeter.

Defensively, he's either a fringe-average SS or a pretty bad one, depending on whether you ask DRS or UZR, respectively. Looking at the UZR breakdowns, it looks like poor range is a constant, but his error rate fluctuates between OK and mediocre.

The total package has been worth about 3 WAR in healthy years, according to FG; BBref likes him even more and has twice had him at 4 or better.

He's under contract through 2014 for a total of $16.5 million, which seems like a good fit with the various career arcs of the Sox' SS prospects. He just turned 27.

Seems like the only question is how much we'd have to give up. Yeah, the defense is a drag, but it doesn't look like he's an absolute butcher, just below average. The offense is just plain good; substituting him for Iglesias in the current lineup would transform it pretty dramatically.

#781 OCD SS


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:07 PM

Gregorius went to the DBacks. Among the moving pieces are old friends Lars Andersen and Matt Albers.

It doesn't look like Cabrera is available.

#782 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 11:01 PM

Aaah, crap. That's what I get for quoting MLBTR articles that have only been up for a couple of minutes.

#783 PrometheusWakefield


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Posted 13 December 2012 - 12:28 PM

That's not a world beater offense, but it's not an awful offense, either. It has strengths and weaknesses and you can certainly argue that some players are less likely than others to bounce back, or that Ortiz is likely to decline or that the hole at the bottom of the order is a bigger problem than I'm giving it credit for, but I think this is an average to slightly better than average offense in the AL without further tweaks.

Slightly better than average, yay!

And when you combine it with our about average starting rotation, you get, a team that is on paper about average. W00t!

Remember when the Red Sox used to compete for championships?

#784 HangingW/ScottCooper

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 12:38 PM

Factoring in an estimate $12 million in medical expenses, $3.9 million to the Dodgers, new signings, the arbitration players and the pre-arb players, I have the Sox payroll in the $143 million AAV range.

Edit: If someone can show me how to cut and paste a spreadsheet in here and maintain proper formatting I'll be happy to do it.

Edited by HangingW/ScottCooper, 13 December 2012 - 12:45 PM.


#785 Rasputin


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Posted 13 December 2012 - 12:38 PM

Slightly better than average, yay!

And when you combine it with our about average starting rotation, you get, a team that is on paper about average. W00t!

Remember when the Red Sox used to compete for championships?


Do you remember when the Red Sox didn't used to compete for anything?

I mean, Christ, people, this isn't hard to understand.

The Sox had the guys in house to take the team from mediocre to really good. Lester, Buchholz, Ellsbury, Ortiz, Pedroia. Maybe they don't perform as well as they have in the past. Maybe they do. If they do then you want actual real major league players at the other positions. They didn't have that. They've spent this off season signing guys to fill those holes.

#786 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 13 December 2012 - 04:15 PM

So, assuming for shits & giggles that the Napoli contract stands, here's where we seem to be with two months left before P&C:

C -- Lavarnway and Ross, with Napoli, if he stays, getting occasional duty. Salty probably dealt, but hard to say for what.
1B -- Napoli, occasionally spelled by one of the LFs and/or Ortiz.
2B -- Pedroia
SS -- Iglesias
3B -- Middlebrooks
UIF -- Ciriaco
LF -- Gomes
CF -- Ellsbury
RF -- VIctorino
4/5 OF -- Nava and Kalish, with Kalish possibly learning 1B to back up Napoli
DH -- Ortiz

Rotation -- Lester, Buchholz, Dempster, Lackey, Doubront; Morales #6, with de la Rosa in the wings
Bullpen -- Bailey, Uehara, Tazawa, Miller, Breslow, plus two of Melancon/Bard/Aceves/Mortensen, with Beato and Carpenter in the wings

Strengths:
  • Excellent defense up the middle (especially when Ross is playing) and in RF.
  • Strong offense vs. LHP.
  • Plate discipline has improved.
  • Good bullpen with outstanding depth.
Weaknesses:
  • Poor defense at LF and (less extremely) 1B.
  • Lineup is righty-heavy, vulnerable to tough RHP.
  • Rotation a bit thin at both the top (no true #1) and bottom (until RDLR is back up to speed, depth is minimal).
  • Several key players coming off down years or injuries.
  • Shortstop can't hit his way out of paper bag.
Possible agenda for further upgrades:
  • Find stronger platoon partner for Gomes.
  • Add more rotation depth (#7 starter type signing).
  • Replace Iglesias with better hitter.
Does that more or less cover it?

#787 redsoxstiff


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Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:25 PM

That is the way it seems to go...Would you care to present the Angels in the same format?

#788 Hokie Sox

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:36 PM

Factoring in an estimate $12 million in medical expenses, $3.9 million to the Dodgers, new signings, the arbitration players and the pre-arb players, I have the Sox payroll in the $143 million AAV range.

Edit: If someone can show me how to cut and paste a spreadsheet in here and maintain proper formatting I'll be happy to do it.


http://sonsofsamhorn.net/soshchart/

Pretty self-explanatory but ping me if you have issues and I'll try to help.

#789 Rasputin


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Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:52 PM

UIF -- Ciriaco


With an infield of Middlebrooks, Iglesias, and Pedroia, Ciriaco makes for a completely craptacular utility infielder. You're not really going to replace any of them on defense and you're often going to desperately want to pinch hit for Iglesias. It would be nice to be able to do that with one player and not two.

#790 HangingW/ScottCooper

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 07:43 PM

Thanks to DanoooMe for pointing me in the right direction:

Red Sox Contacts
Player Contract 2013 2013 AAV 2014 2015
John Lackey 5/$82.5M (10-14)+15 vesting option $15,950,000 $16,500,000 $15,950,000 $500,000
Ryan Dempster 2/$26.5 (13-14) $13,250,000 $13,250,000 $13,250,000
David Ortiz 2/$26M (13-14) $14,500,000 $13,000,000 $11,500,000
Mike Napoli 3/$39M (13-15) $13,000,000 $13,000,000 $13,000,000 $13,000,000
Shane Victorino 3/$39M (13-15) $13,000,000 $13,000,000 $13,000,000 $13,000,000
Clay Buchholz 4/$29.945M (12-15)+16-17 club option $5,750,000 $7,486,250 $7,950,000 $12,250,000
Dustin Pedroia 6/$40.5M (09-14)+15 club option $10,250,000 $6,750,000 $10,250,000
Jon Lester 5/$30M (09-13)+14 club option $11,625,000 $6,000,000
Johnny Gomes 2/$10M (13-14) $5,000,000 $5,000,000 $5,000,000
Koji Uehara 1/$4.5 (13) $4,250,000 $4,250,000
David Ross 2/$6.2M (13-14) $3,100,000 $3,100,000 $3,100,000
Jose Iglesias 4/$8.25M (10-13) $2,062,500 $2,062,500
Arbitration Estimates
Jacoby Ellsbury 1/$8.1M (13) $8,100,000 $8,100,000
Andrew Bailey 1/$3.9M (13) $3,900,000 $3,900,000
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 1/$3.9M (13) $3,900,000 $3,900,000
Alfredo Aceves 1/$2.6M (13) $2,600,000 $2,600,000
Craig Breslow 1/$2.4M (13) $2,400,000 $2,400,000
Ryan Sweeney 1/$1.8M (13) $1,800,000 $1,800,000
Daniel Bard 1/$1.6M (13) $1,600,000 $1,600,000
Andrew Miller 1/$1.4M (13) $1,400,000 $1,400,000
Franklin Morales 1/$1.4M (13) $1,400,000 $1,400,000
Rich Hill 1/$1.1M (13) $1,100,000 $1,100,000
Scott Atchison 1/$800K (13) $800,000 $800,000
Pre-Arb Estimates
Junichi Tazawa $800,000 $800,000
Will Middlebrooks $600,000 $600,000
Mark Melancon $600,000 $600,000
Felix Doubront $600,000 $600,000
Ryan Kalish $600,000 $600,000
Rubby De La Rosa $600,000 $600,000
Clayton Mortensen $600,000 $600,000
Ryan Lavarnway $500,000 $500,000
Pedro Beato $500,000 $500,000
Chris Carpenter $500,000 $500,000
Pedro Ciriaco $500,000 $500,000
Mauro Gomez $500,000 $500,000
Daniel Nava $550,000 $550,000
Jerry Sands $550,000 $550,000
Drake Britton
Stolmy Pimentel
Allen Webster
Alex Wilson
Steven Wright
Dan Butler
Christian Vazquez
Alex Hassan
Other
Medical $12,000,000
Payment to Dodgers $3,900,000 $3,900,000 $3,900,000 $3,900,000
Total $148,737,500 $156,298,750 $93,000,000 $38,750,000

Edited by HangingW/ScottCooper, 13 December 2012 - 07:47 PM.


#791 lexrageorge

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:04 PM

Sweeney, Hill, and Atchison were not offered arbitration, so they should be removed. The only possible returnees would be Hill and Atchison on minor league deals.

#792 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:37 PM

With an infield of Middlebrooks, Iglesias, and Pedroia, Ciriaco makes for a completely craptacular utility infielder. You're not really going to replace any of them on defense and you're often going to desperately want to pinch hit for Iglesias. It would be nice to be able to do that with one player and not two.


But if you have a player who's a significantly better hitter than Iggy or Ciriaco, and you trust him to play SS (especially late & close as the PH scenario implies), why isn't he starting?

#793 bosockboy


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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:40 PM

Does that more or less cover it?


Pretty much....I'd say if the price is right you maybe aim higher than a 7th starter type....possibly Marcum. Although the plan may be to see how they compete through the All Star Break and then rent an upgrade down the stretch....Floyd or Garza possibly.

A LHH LF/1B and the SS upgrade are definitely the two primary puzzle pieces left. They might have to go two years to get Drew but I'd do it.

#794 Yaz4Ever


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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:51 PM

Two long-shot deals I'd like to see the Sox pursue:

1. Ellsbury, Lester, Salty, Iglesias and ??? to TEX for Holland and Andrus
2. Bogaerts, Webster, and Barnes to MIA for Stanton or to AZ for Upton

#795 Rasputin


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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:52 PM

But if you have a player who's a significantly better hitter than Iggy or Ciriaco, and you trust him to play SS (especially late & close as the PH scenario implies), why isn't he starting?


Because you only barely trust him to play SS and you think you're better overall with Iglesias.

The Sox must think Iglesias is going to be an acceptable hitter. If they didn't, they'd not have traded Aviles and/or have found another body to play SS.

#796 Rasputin


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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:55 PM

Two long-shot deals I'd like to see the Sox pursue:

1. Ellsbury, Lester, Salty, Iglesias and ??? to TEX for Holland and Andrus
2. Bogaerts, Webster, and Barnes to MIA for Stanton or to AZ for Upton


Just no. The Sox didn't trade a quarter of a billion dollars worth of payroll just to fill it up again, and they certainly don't want to trade Lester, Webster, and Barnes without getting a premium pitcher back.

#797 DanoooME


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Posted 13 December 2012 - 09:18 PM

Rotation -- Lester, Buchholz, Dempster, Lackey, Doubront; Morales #6, with de la Rosa in the wings
Bullpen -- Bailey, Uehara, Tazawa, Miller, Breslow, plus two of Melancon/Bard/Aceves/Mortensen, with Beato and Carpenter in the wings

Does that more or less cover it?


Only quibble I have is that Morales is the #6 starter in the 'pen so that leaves only one spot for Melancon/Bard/Aceves/Mortensen. There could be a deal with one or two of those guys and Salty to fill one of the weaknesses.

Edited by DanoooME, 13 December 2012 - 09:18 PM.


#798 Red(s)HawksFan

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 09:33 PM

Just no. The Sox didn't trade a quarter of a billion dollars worth of payroll just to fill it up again, and they certainly don't want to trade Lester, Webster, and Barnes without getting a premium pitcher back.


Not to mention they've just gotten through signing a handful of short-term free agents to fill the open slots in their lineup specifically so they wouldn't have to deal any of their prospects to do so. Those proposed trades are deals you do before signing the Napolis, Victorinos and Dempsters of the world so you can spend their money on whatever open roster spots you're left with afterwards (like a premium pitcher or two).

#799 knucklecup


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Posted 13 December 2012 - 09:35 PM

MLB Trade Rumors:
"The Marlins could reverse their stance on trading Giancarlo Stanton, opines MLB.com's Joe Frisaro, if the Rangers are desperate to add another big bat and were willing to offer Jurickson Profar or Mike Olt in a deal. Frisaro also thinks Miami could be a trade match with the Angels as Peter Bourjos "has been on the Marlins' radar for a while."

http://www.mlbtrader...euXhvIBrUhvk.99



What do the Red Sox have to offer Miami?



#800 SoxLegacy

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 09:35 PM

Two long-shot deals I'd like to see the Sox pursue:

1. Ellsbury, Lester, Salty, Iglesias and ??? to TEX for Holland and Andrus
2. Bogaerts, Webster, and Barnes to MIA for Stanton or to AZ for Upton

Just no. The Sox didn't trade a quarter of a billion dollars worth of payroll just to fill it up again, and they certainly don't want to trade Lester, Webster, and Barnes without getting a premium pitcher back.


No thanks. Gutting the farm system is not the way to go, at least to my thinking.And Rasputin is right--that would be counter to the apparent plan.




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