Rosenthal: Sale extension 5 years, $145 million

BaseballJones

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We can talk about tough breaks and cheap hits all we want, but Sale's last three games have been against the iron of the American League - two against Houston and one against NY. In those three games, he's put up this line: 17.1 ip, 14 h, 11 r, 9 er, 8 bb, 25 k, 4.67 era, 1.27 whip, 13.0 k/9

So the strikeouts have been fine, but the whip and era....not so much. I get that Hou and NY have good offenses but you need your ace to do better than this. In fact, in his four games against Hou and NY this season.....

22.1 ip, 21 h, 15 r, 13 er, 9 bb, 31 k, 5.24 era, 1.34 whip, 12.5 k/9, with an 0-3 record

Not at all what you need from your ace.
 

LesterFan

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I am not worried about Chris Sale. His bad April was due to limited spring action + the toe injury he was pitching through. In May, he made 6 starts, including 3 vs Houston and NY, pitched 38.1 innings with a 2.82 ERA and 2.16 FIP. That's with a 15.50 (!) K/9 and 2.11 BB/9. For the season he has a 4.35 ERA but a 3.51 FIP. He is due for some better luck.

Last night for example, he only gave up 2, maybe 3 well hit balls - the LeMahieu double and the LeMahieu homer. The other 5 hits were a Sanchez 62 MPH bloop, Gardner 72 MPH bloop, Urshela chopper that skipped through up the middle, Hicks 76 MPH liner perfectly in the hole, and Urshela 88 mph liner off the chalk down the 3rd base line. He only walked 1 and struck out 10 of the 25 batters faced while getting 21 swings and misses. I thought he was much better than the 7 hits and 4 ER indicates.
 

jerry casale

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We can talk about tough breaks and cheap hits all we want, but Sale's last three games have been against the iron of the American League - two against Houston and one against NY. In those three games, he's put up this line: 17.1 ip, 14 h, 11 r, 9 er, 8 bb, 25 k, 4.67 era, 1.27 whip, 13.0 k/9

So the strikeouts have been fine, but the whip and era....not so much. I get that Hou and NY have good offenses but you need your ace to do better than this. In fact, in his four games against Hou and NY this season.....

22.1 ip, 21 h, 15 r, 13 er, 9 bb, 31 k, 5.24 era, 1.34 whip, 12.5 k/9, with an 0-3 record

Not at all what you need from your ace.
I've played sports for 60 years and there is no question there are athletes that just seem to have a knack of winning and others seem to have a knack for not winning. In basketball, the loose ball always seemed to end up in the same hands. In tennis, some always get the let cords, others never get them. Why do some pitchers seem to get all the run support and bigger strike zones?
Since Sale has been here, he has been extremely unlucky. No run support or a BP that implodes on the day he pitches.
I hope this does not continue for the next four years.
We have $60M tied up in 3 pitchers for the next 3 years. One on the DL and a history of injuries, one that's 1-7 and the third is inconsistent.
Sale and Price should go to the course of how to turn an aging lefty into a crafty lefty ( Moyer, Sabathia, Petite, Tommy John, Wells etc.).
AND, no hope of the farm system helping. The Sox farm system has produce only 5 starting pitchers of any note that have helped the Sox in the last 60 years!!
 

jon abbey

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The Sox farm system has produce only 5 starting pitchers of any note that have helped the Sox in the last 60 years!!
That seems hard to believe, I am not a Sox fan and I came up with 6 in a couple of minutes: Clemens, Hurst, Lester, Buchholz, Bill Lee, Oil Can Boyd.
 

tims4wins

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We can talk about tough breaks and cheap hits all we want, but Sale's last three games have been against the iron of the American League - two against Houston and one against NY. In those three games, he's put up this line: 17.1 ip, 14 h, 11 r, 9 er, 8 bb, 25 k, 4.67 era, 1.27 whip, 13.0 k/9

So the strikeouts have been fine, but the whip and era....not so much. I get that Hou and NY have good offenses but you need your ace to do better than this.

Not at all what you need from your ace.
Personally I would argue that if he is putting up a 4.67 ERA with a 1.27 WHIP against the very best teams, that is pretty good. That is a shade over 3 runs in 6 innings of work, on < 8 baserunners. Would you like it to be a bit better? Sure. But those are great teams with great offenses. That ERA and WHIP is probably well below what those offenses average.
 

jerry casale

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That seems hard to believe, I am not a Sox fan and I came up with 6 in a couple of minutes: Clemens, Hurst, Lester, Buchholz, Bill Lee, Oil Can Boyd.
OK, 6, now I feel a lot better about our ability to produce starting pitchers
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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OK, 6, now I feel a lot better about our ability to produce starting pitchers
What do you mean any note? Aaron Sele has 20 WAR. Matsusaka was aigned by BOS and pitched in big leagues. Derek Lowe wasn't drafted by BOS but pithed in their minor league system. Stanley? Ojeda? Not to mention guys like Sanchez that were used in trades.

Plus, how does the Sox compare to other teams?

What is your point? Does it matter if the Sox draft and develop starting pitching versus signing them as FAs versus acquiring them in trades?
 

Minneapolis Millers

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What do you mean any note? Aaron Sele has 20 WAR. Matsusaka was aigned by BOS and pitched in big leagues. Derek Lowe wasn't drafted by BOS but pithed in their minor league system. Stanley? Ojeda? Not to mention guys like Sanchez that were used in trades.

Plus, how does the Sox compare to other teams?

What is your point? Does it matter if the Sox draft and develop starting pitching versus signing them as FAs versus acquiring them in trades?
Exactly. I'd add in Tudor. Pavano (and Armas, Jr) for Pedro. Kopech for Sale. Etc.

Clemens. Pedro. Sale. Quit fucking whining.
 

nvalvo

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I'm not sure Lonborg was good enough to be "of note," especially not if people are raising eyebrows at Aaron Sele. He had 6.6 bWAR with Boston, 14.2 overall. We might propose Buchholz' 18 bWAR (15.5 with Boston) as a floor for what counts as "of note."

That yields a few more candidates:

Bob Stanley (24 bWAR)
Anibal Sanchez (24 bWAR)
Jonathan Papelbon (24 bWAR)
Bill Lee (22 bWAR)

Bigger picture, though: I think a lot of this is that Boston's farm system has produced an absolutely astronomical amount of value for the Sox and their trading partners. The Hardball Times found it to be the most productive in WAR terms, both over a long span of time (which includes, of course, HOFers like Clemens, Rice, and Boggs), but also (and I can't lay my hands on the link for this; somewhere on Fangraphs) among active players, which gives us credit not only for our home-grown core, but also for the careers of guys like Reddick (25 bWAR), Lowrie (18 bWAR), Rizzo (31 bWAR), Hanley (38 bWAR), and Ellsbury (31 bWAR).

That not a ton of that value has been pitching leads to the impression that we're bad at drafting and developing pitching, but I think a big part of it is the skew to our perspective produced by our productivity on the position player side.
 

Harry Hooper

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I have to re-post an old response to Jerry's lament:

As of 7/1/2016, pitchers produced by the Red Sox landing in the top 700 in career WAR included:

Clemens
Wood
Lester
Hurst
Tudor
Ojeda
Papelbon
Stanley
Lyle
Monbouquette
Lee
Wilson
Sele
Boyd
Pavano
 

jerry casale

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I have to re-post an old response to Jerry's lament:

As of 7/1/2016, pitchers produced by the Red Sox landing in the top 700 in career WAR included:

Clemens
Wood
Lester
Hurst
Tudor
Ojeda
Papelbon
Stanley
Lyle
Monbouquette
Lee
Wilson
Sele
Boyd
Pavano
Please read the post before writing. I said starting pitching. I said pitched well for the Red Sox.

Wood who?
Tudor pitched well for another team/\.
Ojeda, really??
Pap is not a starter.
Stanley was a lousy starter but a good reliever.
Lyle was a reliever and played for the Yankees but we did get Danny Cater for him so I suppose that makes it OK.
Monbouquette was more than 60 yrs. ago.
Wilson was good with Detroit.
Sele, really??
Pavano, come on, you can't be serious??
Every time I post on SOSH someone jumps on my post without reading it.
The list is now down to 6 as Abbey and I had it.
 

jerry casale

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I'm not sure Lonborg was good enough to be "of note," especially not if people are raising eyebrows at Aaron Sele. He had 6.6 bWAR with Boston, 14.2 overall. We might propose Buchholz' 18 bWAR (15.5 with Boston) as a floor for what counts as "of note."

That yields a few more candidates:

Bob Stanley (24 bWAR)
Anibal Sanchez (24 bWAR)
Jonathan Papelbon (24 bWAR)
Bill Lee (22 bWAR)

Bigger picture, though: I think a lot of this is that Boston's farm system has produced an absolutely astronomical amount of value for the Sox and their trading partners. The Hardball Times found it to be the most productive in WAR terms, both over a long span of time (which includes, of course, HOFers like Clemens, Rice, and Boggs), but also (and I can't lay my hands on the link for this; somewhere on Fangraphs) among active players, which gives us credit not only for our home-grown core, but also for the careers of guys like Reddick (25 bWAR), Lowrie (18 bWAR), Rizzo (31 bWAR), Hanley (38 bWAR), and Ellsbury (31 bWAR).

That not a ton of that value has been pitching leads to the impression that we're bad at drafting and developing pitching, but I think a big part of it is the skew to our perspective produced by our productivity on the position player side.
Let's just call it like it is, we can't develop starting pitching. I'm not gripping, not whining, it is what it is. It's just a curse or whatever.
Position players galore, starting pitching, mea.
Can you imagine what Tampa would do with the Sox resources?? But maybe that excess would make you careless. Maybe if the Sox had a tighter budget they would have to be more careful, who knows?
 

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Please read the post before writing. I said starting pitching. I said pitched well for the Red Sox.

Wood who?
Tudor pitched well for another team/\.
Ojeda, really??
Pap is not a starter.
Stanley was a lousy starter but a good reliever.
Lyle was a reliever and played for the Yankees but we did get Danny Cater for him so I suppose that makes it OK.
Monbouquette was more than 60 yrs. ago.
Wilson was good with Detroit.
Sele, really??
Pavano, come on, you can't be serious??
Every time I post on SOSH someone jumps on my post without reading it.
The list is now down to 6 as Abbey and I had it.
Actually, you said that have helped the Sox. As painful as it is, you should actually read what you post.
You can help the Sox by being a good trade chip.
 

E5 Yaz

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wade boggs chicken dinner

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Please read the post before writing. I said starting pitching. I said pitched well for the Red Sox.

Wood who?
Tudor pitched well for another team/\.
Ojeda, really??
Pap is not a starter.
Stanley was a lousy starter but a good reliever.
Lyle was a reliever and played for the Yankees but we did get Danny Cater for him so I suppose that makes it OK.
Monbouquette was more than 60 yrs. ago.
Wilson was good with Detroit.
Sele, really??
Pavano, come on, you can't be serious??
Every time I post on SOSH someone jumps on my post without reading it.
The list is now down to 6 as Abbey and I had it.
Ojeda earned 24 WAR over his career and had three seasons for Red Sox at 3.4, 3.0, and 2.8 WAR.

Sele earned over 20 WAR over his career and his first two seasons with the Sox were 3.1 and 3.5 WAR.

Matsuzaka's first two seasons with BOS were at 4.1 and 5.4 WAR.

Pavano was included because he was the centerpiece of a guy who did pretty well I'm told.

If you are going to exclude all of these guys - basically, if you are going to ask how many pitchers the Red Sox drafted and became perennial All-Stars, I'd ask you to see how many other teams have taht fits this category.

edit: it doesn't even matter. The Red Sox have won 4 series in 15 years. Doesn't this mean they are doing something right on the player development side?
 

jerry casale

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Ojeda earned 24 WAR over his career and had three seasons for Red Sox at 3.4, 3.0, and 2.8 WAR.

Sele earned over 20 WAR over his career and his first two seasons with the Sox were 3.1 and 3.5 WAR.

Matsuzaka's first two seasons with BOS were at 4.1 and 5.4 WAR.

Pavano was included because he was the centerpiece of a guy who did pretty well I'm told.

If you are going to exclude all of these guys - basically, if you are going to ask how many pitchers the Red Sox drafted and became perennial All-Stars, I'd ask you to see how many other teams have taht fits this category.

edit: it doesn't even matter. The Red Sox have won 4 series in 15 years. Doesn't this mean they are doing something right on the player development side?
I guess I forgot about our farm system in Japan that produced Matsuzaka.
RE: edit, a couple of posts back I said our system produces position players galore. Yes, our development system is doing something right.
BTW, before everyone played semantics and nitpicked to derail the thread, my original thought was: Is Sale one of those unlucky guys with great stuff but just has trouble getting Ws? Also, does it worry anyone we have $60M tied up In 3 starting pitchers for 3 years and not much help in the system?
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Sale seemed to do fine last year with Ws (12-4), Year before he was 17-8.

If you want to judge him an unlucky guy who can't get wins due to 1/3 of his third season here you can do so, but expect to get blowback.
 

jerry casale

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Sale seemed to do fine last year with Ws (12-4), Year before he was 17-8.

If you want to judge him an unlucky guy who can't get wins due to 1/3 of his third season here you can do so, but expect to get blowback.
It was a question for discussion. I was throwing it out there for discussion because I am worried about the fact he is part of the $80M threesome.
I didn't look for "blowback" like people saying Sparky Lyle and Matsuzaka were players the Sox developed and went on to help the Sox.
 

jerry casale

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Too bad all the replies are true. You picked a position to defend that is very hard to defend, perhaps indefensible.
In what universe is Matsuzaka a player that came from our farm system. How did Sparky Lyle ever help the Sox? Papelbon considered a starter?
The replies are NOT all true.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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OK. Not all. But we did develop a whole lot more than 5 or 6. And although they didn't get anything for Lyle, they certainly got value for Kopech and other starters from the system, just not W's here in Boston. And Sale isn't "unlucky" getting W's
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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In what universe is Matsuzaka a player that came from our farm system. How did Sparky Lyle ever help the Sox? Papelbon considered a starter?
The replies are NOT all true.
The point of Matsusaka and Papelbon and Lyle and Derek Lowe and Sele and Pavano is that your criteria is stupid. If you limit your universe to (1) starting pitchers that (2) were drafted by the Red Sox and (3) apparently were multiple All-Stars, who cares? The Red Sox have acquired talent that have helped them win a world series or three through trades, international acquisition, or free agent signing. Os that somehow "worse" than through the US amateur draft? Would have rather BOS try to develop Espinoza or get Kimbrel? Would have rather BOS not get Pedro?

Plus, the fact that the Red Sox can spend of FA starting pitchers is because they can develop cheap position players like X and Betts and AB (etc.).

And to answer your real question, no I am not worried about Sale, Price, and Porcello, not after last year. Yeah, that's a lot of $ locked up but as they say, if that was the price of winning a WS, I'm okay with it.

Now if you want to go back and discuss whether Sale's extension was a good idea, there's a thread for that.
 

jerry casale

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The point of Matsusaka and Papelbon and Lyle and Derek Lowe and Sele and Pavano is that your criteria is stupid. If you limit your universe to (1) starting pitchers that (2) were drafted by the Red Sox and (3) apparently were multiple All-Stars, who cares? The Red Sox have acquired talent that have helped them win a world series or three through trades, international acquisition, or free agent signing. Os that somehow "worse" than through the US amateur draft? Would have rather BOS try to develop Espinoza or get Kimbrel? Would have rather BOS not get Pedro?

Plus, the fact that the Red Sox can spend of FA starting pitchers is because they can develop cheap position players like X and Betts and AB (etc.).

And to answer your real question, no I am not worried about Sale, Price, and Porcello, not after last year. Yeah, that's a lot of $ locked up but as they say, if that was the price of winning a WS, I'm okay with it.

Now if you want to go back and discuss whether Sale's extension was a good idea, there's a thread for that.
I believe this is the thread which was my original post on whether Sale is "unlucky" and was the extension good or bad?
I didn't stray, everyone else did so they could jump in with stupid answers like Papelbon, Lyle and Matsuzaka.
My criteria is not stupid. The Sox have a poor record of developing starting pitchers and keeping them around to help is a fact and I only brought that up because we have to commit $80M in 3 starters for the next 3 years because there is nothing on the horizon.
By the way, how is Derek Lowe an answer? He was drafted by and in the Seattle organization.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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I believe this is the thread which was my original post on whether Sale is "unlucky" and was the extension good or bad?
I didn't stray, everyone else did so they could jump in with stupid answers like Papelbon, Lyle and Matsuzaka.
My criteria is not stupid. The Sox have a poor record of developing starting pitchers and keeping them around to help is a fact and I only brought that up because we have to commit $80M in 3 starters for the next 3 years because there is nothing on the horizon.
By the way, how is Derek Lowe an answer? He was drafted by and in the Seattle organization.
You could make your point better if you actually compared the Sox success with SP compared to the rest of the league. Seems easy enough to set a WAR limit for players and go through the list for the last 60 years or whatever.

But I dont get the impression you're interested in doing legwork on this. In which case you shouldn't be forming such a strong stance and getting indignant when people want some proof.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Ahhh. I forgot it wasn't you with the "only 5 starters" and "unlucky with W's" comments here.

Oh wait. It was you.

And I am done with this part of the discussion. Losing too many brain cells pointing out to you what you said.
 

jerry casale

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You could make your point better if you actually compared the Sox success with SP compared to the rest of the league. Seems easy enough to set a WAR limit for players and go through the list for the last 60 years or whatever.

But I dont get the impression you're interested in doing legwork on this. In which case you shouldn't be forming such a strong stance and getting indignant when people want some proof.
Nobody asked for proof. Nobody. All I got is names of players that had nothing to do with what I said. I get a little put off
when people come up with stuff totally off base.
Remember, I was floating the idea of whether Sale was an unlucky pitcher, it only went off the tracks when posters started throwing out
names of players totally irrelevant.
 

jerry casale

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Ahhh. I forgot it wasn't you with the "only 5 starters" and "unlucky with W's" comments here.

Oh wait. It was you.

And I am done with this part of the discussion. Losing too many brain cells pointing out to you what you said.
The "unlucky pitcher" was a question for discussion. What could possibly be wrong with that?
Read my original post. It was harmless until everyone wanted to play with semantics and nitpick.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I believe this is the thread which was my original post on whether Sale is "unlucky" and was the extension good or bad?
I didn't stray, everyone else did so they could jump in with stupid answers like Papelbon, Lyle and Matsuzaka.
My criteria is not stupid. The Sox have a poor record of developing starting pitchers and keeping them around to help is a fact and I only brought that up because we have to commit $80M in 3 starters for the next 3 years because there is nothing on the horizon.
By the way, how is Derek Lowe an answer? He was drafted by and in the Seattle organization.
OK. Tell me one reason why anyone should care whether Derek Lowe was drafted by the Red Sox. He was a very good pitcher that was an important part of a World Series winner.

And you never answered my question. Would you have been happier if the Sox kept Pavano and not traded for Pedro?

Or just answer this one other question: in 25 words or less, why does it matter if the Red Sox actually draft the player? Tell me why anyone should care about your arbitrary, irrelevant criteria that the Sox draft the player?
 

jerry casale

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OK. Tell me one reason why anyone should care whether Derek Lowe was drafted by the Red Sox. He was a very good pitcher that was an important part of a World Series winner.

And you never answered my question. Would you have been happier if the Sox kept Pavano and not traded for Pedro?

Or just answer this one other question: in 25 words or less, why does it matter if the Red Sox actually draft the player? Tell me why anyone should care about your arbitrary, irrelevant criteria that the Sox draft the player?
Read my original post! You are so far off track. Geez I can't talk to people who are so far away from the subject.
Also, I said $80M going forward, that means Sale, Price and Evoldi. Porcello is as far wrong as saying Derek Lowe to my original. post.
All you want to do stir things up with out reading what has been posted earlier.
 

jon abbey

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All you want to do stir things up with out reading what has been posted earlier.
You made a shitty incorrect post and you won't shut up. I hate interceding on the main board but since no one else is, you are thread banned so people can go back to talking about the actual topic.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Thank you, Jon.

I think, like usually, the answer to whether this turns out to be a good contract is "it depends" and "we'll see". Just like when Pedroia signed his undermarket contact everyone thought it was a great deal, and now . . . . we'll know much more about the value of this contract in 4-5 more months, and then a year from then, and so on and so on.
 

chawson

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I don't wanna wade into the conversation as it currently stands, but it seems like there may be a kernel of truth to the idea that the Red Sox have an organizational practice of acquiring rather than developing pitchers.

It's possible the Red Sox have a slight handicap attracting free agent pitchers relative to other major-market teams. A few factors play into that: the offense-oriented park and perpetually tough division are unfavorable to pitchers. I figure the Sox FO, more than small market teams, puts a premium on players with demonstrable intangible tools like makeup and resilience before they commit to them long-term. And finally, the few free agent targets we do want to sign can often also be targets of the Yankees, who are likely to outbid us (as they did for Mussina, Pavano, Kuroda, Sabathia, Burnett, Contreras, et al.).

I haven't done the requisite research to prove this and I may be wrong, and it may certainly differ by GM, but the Red Sox may believe that it's more effective to acquire MLB-caliber pitching by way of trading from a draft+develop pool of hitting prospects as a way of making up for a slight (relative) handicap in attracting free agent pitching.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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And finally, the few free agent targets we do want to sign can often also be targets of the Yankees, who are likely to outbid us (as they did for Mussina, Pavano, Kuroda, Sabathia, Burnett, Contreras, et al.).
There may be a kernel of truth to the idea that the Sox expect to have trouble signing top flight free agent pitching due to the Yankees financial advantage, but how often does it really manifest? Who was the last player (pitcher or otherwise) that both teams were in dogged pursuit of only to have the Yankees come over the top with more money? Teixeira?

Of the pitchers you list, how many were actively pursued by the Red Sox as free agents? Mussina for sure. Contreras was obviously a target but on a lesser scale (and the Sox arguably dodged a bullet). Pavano reportedly was offered more by multiple teams including the Red Sox before signing with the Yankees, so that doesn't fit the "getting outbid" thing. I don't recall the Sox being heavily involved in trying to sign Kuroda, Sabathia or Burnett at all. I mean, just because a free agent signs with New York, that doesn't mean that the Red Sox lost out on a player they really wanted.
 

chawson

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There may be a kernel of truth to the idea that the Sox expect to have trouble signing top flight free agent pitching due to the Yankees financial advantage, but how often does it really manifest? Who was the last player (pitcher or otherwise) that both teams were in dogged pursuit of only to have the Yankees come over the top with more money? Teixeira?

Of the pitchers you list, how many were actively pursued by the Red Sox as free agents? Mussina for sure. Contreras was obviously a target but on a lesser scale (and the Sox arguably dodged a bullet). Pavano reportedly was offered more by multiple teams including the Red Sox before signing with the Yankees, so that doesn't fit the "getting outbid" thing. I don't recall the Sox being heavily involved in trying to sign Kuroda, Sabathia or Burnett at all. I mean, just because a free agent signs with New York, that doesn't mean that the Red Sox lost out on a player they really wanted.
I can dig up the articles I found in a bit, but I found reports of the Sox interest for all those I listed. It’s hard to know the difference between reported interest and “genuine” interest, of course.

You’re right, too, that the outcome hasn’t always been good for New York. The Sox were famously interested in Contreras and it was reported that the Sox offered Pavano more than New York did, and both those deals obviously went poorly for them.
 
Last edited:

Red(s)HawksFan

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I can dig up the articles I found in a bit, but I found reports of the Sox interest for all those I listed. It’s hard to know the difference between reported interest and “genuine” interest, of course.

You’re right, too, that the outcome hasn’t always been good for New York. The Sox were famously interested in Contreras and it was reported that the Sox offered Pavano more than New York did, and both those deals obviously went poorly for them.
The bolded is the key. It's every good agent's strategy to get every high payroll team on his client's list of possible landing spots. So of course the Red Sox are going to be rumored to be interested in every player out there. And since every beat reporter is going to jump on every possible mention of the team to get clicks or likes or whatever, it's hard to separate the true interest from the agent-generated "interest".

Closest we can get is probably searching out reports of actual contract offers rather than mentions of interest. For example, we know that the Red Sox had multiple meetings with Mark Teixeira and had a serious offer on the table (didn't John Henry fly to ATL to meet at his house?). But I don't recall any significant talk about Sabathia in that same vein. This was the off-season that Theo signed Brad Penny and John Smoltz...two relatively low cost fliers for the back end of the rotation fronted by Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka (coming off a 18-3, 2.90 ERA), and a still viable Wakefield with Buchholz and Masterson as depth. Breaking the bank for a pitcher like Sabathia at that point didn't seem like something Theo would be doing.
 

chawson

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Aug 1, 2006
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The bolded is the key. It's every good agent's strategy to get every high payroll team on his client's list of possible landing spots. So of course the Red Sox are going to be rumored to be interested in every player out there. And since every beat reporter is going to jump on every possible mention of the team to get clicks or likes or whatever, it's hard to separate the true interest from the agent-generated "interest".

Closest we can get is probably searching out reports of actual contract offers rather than mentions of interest. For example, we know that the Red Sox had multiple meetings with Mark Teixeira and had a serious offer on the table (didn't John Henry fly to ATL to meet at his house?). But I don't recall any significant talk about Sabathia in that same vein. This was the off-season that Theo signed Brad Penny and John Smoltz...two relatively low cost fliers for the back end of the rotation fronted by Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka (coming off a 18-3, 2.90 ERA), and a still viable Wakefield with Buchholz and Masterson as depth. Breaking the bank for a pitcher like Sabathia at that point didn't seem like something Theo would be doing.
Sure, but didn't Theo did break the bank signing an older and inferior John Lackey the following winter after the Penny/Smoltz experiment bombed and Matsuzaka's luck regressed (there's no way Theo was fooled by that 18-3, 2.90 ERA season)?

Sabathia at the time wanted to go to California — the Sox met with him in late 2008, but the Yankees gave him record money. When he opted out after 2011, there were rumors Cherington would make a splash in his first year as GM and sign him to fill Lackey's spot in the rotation post-surgery, but the Yanks re-upped him a week after the World Series. Cherington then whiffed on Yu Darvish (despite hiring Bobby V as a carrot) and Mark Buehrle and (smartly) passed on C.J. Wilson, choosing instead to make Felix Doubront a full-time starter, sign Aaron Cook and ruin Daniel Bard.

Anyway, my hypothesis is not that the Yankees (or anyone) always poach Red Sox pitching targets, but that there may be enough data over the last 20 years to surmise that Red Sox organizational practice has been to acquire significant pitching additions (i.e. not guys like Penny, Smoltz, Byrd, Wade Miller, et al.) via the trade market rather than free agency, and that may inform how they draft and develop prospects. We could tally how pitchers for major market teams were acquired, but we'll never know the complete picture of who received and declined contract offers.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
47,162
It's hard to give prospect SPs the starts they need in the bigs to develop and also compete for the playoffs every year or almost every year, NY hasn't been able to do it much either but finally a few exceptions in recent years (Severino, Montgomery, German).

Some guys succeed right away (Paddack) but even a guy as highly touted as Lucas Giolito needed 50 big league starts before breaking through. He was the worst SP in MLB last year, could BOS or NY afford to keep running him out there?
 
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lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
8,165
I'm not convinced that there's some organizational strategy that puts a lower priority on drafting and developing pitchers versus position players. First, data from the 1980's or 1990's is useless; the organization has had complete turnover since that time. Even data from last decade is of limited value.

Bottom line is that a very, very, very, very tiny percentage of drafted pitchers ever become All Star performers, regardless of draft round. Injuries and inability to adjust to the next level claim a large share. Some end up being capable middle reliever arms for a couple of seasons. Some end up topping out as journeyman 4/5 starters.

The Sox were aggressive in moving some of their star pitching prospects, which contributes to the dearth of prospects in the system today. That will be a concern at some point. But for now they have Sale and Price here long term, and hopefully their pitching depth is replenished by the time their contracts expire. Anderson Espinoza should be held up as warning signs of the difficult path even highly touted pitchers have to the bigs.

Dombrowski won a World Series; it wasn't because he was too stupid to grasp the value of young pitchers.
 

sean1562

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 17, 2011
2,678
what happened to Sam McDowell? I had never heard of the guy until that graphic. What a strange career, just completely dropped off after age 28, when at that point he looked like a sure HoF player.
 

Marciano490

Urological Expert
SoSH Member
Nov 4, 2007
38,796
what happened to Sam McDowell? I had never heard of the guy until that graphic. What a strange career, just completely dropped off after age 28, when at that point he looked like a sure HoF player.
He opened a bar in Boston.
 

Marciano490

Urological Expert
SoSH Member
Nov 4, 2007
38,796
Haha I was 3 when Cheers ended, so much more familiar with Frasier than that. Learn something new every day!
I was half joking.

The character was based on him, but it sounds like the combination of career-long poor control, back and arm issues as well as drinking caught up to him after a hold out and a trade.