And never brought to mind?
Thursday, December 31st, 2009
Tuesday, December 29th, 2009
Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009
Paul did most of the heavy lifting already. I'm here to cross out a name and add a new one. Here's where we stand in the NY-Boston arms race:
New York Yankees * Career total as a starter **Based on 2006-08 numbers In recent years, the Yankee pitchers have been more durable. It's unclear if that means they'll give more innings next season. In any case, I say this one is too close to call. How about you?
* Career total as a starter **Based on 2006-08 numbers
In recent years, the Yankee pitchers have been more durable. It's unclear if that means they'll give more innings next season. In any case, I say this one is too close to call. How about you?
Sunday, December 20th, 2009
Friday, December 18th, 2009
Thursday, December 17th, 2009
Look at all these rumors, running me everyday…Did you hear that one about Cashman? Some say he's much too loose (with money of course!)
Anyway, that's my shot at humor for the day. On a serious note, I wanted to touch base on a few Yankees rumors that are swirling or have swirled over the past few days and get your thoughts. While I certainly hate how cold it is here in New Jersey, this time of year becomes tolerable simply because of all the rumors and baseball chatter.
In addition, the Yankees are also being linked to Kelvim Escobar, Matt Capps and Joel Pineiro. Use this thread as your place to talk about all the Yankees rumors you've heard and even the ones you'd like to hear.
Now that John Lackey is officially in the fold, how does the Sox' rotation match up against the Yankees'?
A good quick-and-dirty projection formula tends to be three times the most recent year, plus two times the previous year, plus the year before that, divided by six. As I understand it, this is basically what the Marcel projection system does.
So if we wanted to take some educated guess at, say, the 2010 ERA+ and WAR for the Sox' and Yanks' rotations as presently constituted, the formula would be: (3*2009 + 2*2008 + 2007)/6. Let's take a look.
Wednesday, December 16th, 2009
Tuesday, December 15th, 2009
I like, but don't love, the Lackey signing. I love having him on the Red Sox, but it's an expensive deal, and it seems unlikely Lackey will be worth whatever he's paid in 2013 or 2014. On the other hand, it's not my money, and he gives the Sox the best 1-5 rotation in baseball for 2010. Likewise, they don't give awards for being the most efficient team in baseball, and signing a starting pitcher on the free agent market is nothing if not inefficient (triple negative!). The Sox are paying Lackey what the Yankees are paying AJ Burnett, and Burnett is older and more inconsistent. So it's a fair deal, I think, for both the Sox and Lackey.
All that said, there is a good deal of risk, and given how rarely the Sox give out big deals like this, I can understand a bit of eyebrow-raising. Gordon Edes does some of it in his column for ESPN Boston, then closes with this odd comparison:
ESPN researcher Mark Simon notes that since 1990, there have been 16 pitchers to sign deals for five years or more. Only two pitchers on that list — Greg Maddux and Mike Mussina – averaged 30 or more starts per season over the life of their contracts. Kevin Millwood and Gil Meche are likely to add to that number, and eventually so could CC Sabathia, Matsuzaka and Burnett, but none are a guarantee.
Almost half of those pitchers have been busts — Barry Zito, Mike Hampton, Chan Ho Park, Darren Dreifort, Denny Neagle, Kei Igawa, Wilson Alvarez and Alex Fernandez.
So of 15 previous pitchers to sign five-year deals, there is a potential for seven who could average 30 starts per season over the life of the deal (really six because it seems unlikely Matsuzaka will reach that average thanks to his atrocious Year 3. Two-year deals only for pitchers!). Eight have been certifiable busts (which is exactly half of the 16, not "almost half," but I digress).
But look at those lists of busts. Barry Zito, whose contract stunk the moment he put pen to paper? Chan Ho Park? Kei Igawa? Darren Dreifort, for goodness' sake?
Just for the record, Dreifort signed a five year, $55 million deal in 2001 after posting his first-ever season with at least 180 innings and an ERA+ over 101. He had a history of arm troubles and didn't even make it through Year 1 of his deal. Is this really the best comparison for John Lackey?
Is Zito, who has actually started 32 or 33 games in each of his three seasons for San Francisco?
Is Igawa, who has never shown that he actually can pitch in the Major Leagues?
Is Hampton, who actually averaged 30 starts over the first four years of his deal and whose biggest problem was pitching the first two years in Coors Field?
Is Park, who posted one season above 115 ERA+ when he signed his deal (versus Lackey's five consecutive years at 118 or better), and missed significant time to injuries at age 30?
Is Neagle, a Mitchell Report player who showed significant decline heading into his contract?
Is Alvarez, a poorly conditioned player with control problems whose contract was based mostly on the career year he had heading into it?
Fernandez may actually be the closest comp, in that he had a string of highly successful seasons before signing with Florida for five years/$35 million, pitched well in 1997 for Florida, then incurred a shoulder injury in the postseason, missed all of 1998, came back to pitch well in 1999, then retired after making just eight starts in Year 4 of the deal. This could happen to Lackey, but it's worth noting that by this point in Lackey's career, Fernandez was already retired. And Lackey has no 243 IP mark at age 23 like Fernandez did.
It doesn't take long to figure out that when your list includes Kei Igawa and Darren Dreifort, you need to start over. I don't know the future of John Lackey. I think it's likely that Year 5 of his deal could look pretty bad. But I also know he's a very good pitcher being paid a fair price. This is what free agency is about: Paying the market rate and assuming some risk. It just feels weird because the Sox seemingly never do it.
Monday, December 14th, 2009
Ed Price tweets that John Lackey is taking a physical with the Sox, though unconfirmed. Physicals typically happen after deals are done, so take that for what it is worth.
We're staying skeptical for the moment, but a Lackey signing would be very interesting on a number of levels, and something of a surprise to this blogger.
EDIT: Looks more solid, deal reportedly agreed upon.
Sunday, December 13th, 2009
For the moment, discussions between the Red Sox and Padres concerning first baseman Adrian Gonzalez are going nowhere, according to a major league source. And it’s for the obvious reason – compensation. Padres GM Jed Hoyer, certainly familiar with Boston’s inventory, is asking for Clay Buchholz and righthanded pitching prospect Casey Kelly or outfielder Ryan Westmoreland.
This from Nick Cafardo in today's Boston Globe. We find this really hard to believe, that Theo wouldn't move Clay (as much as we like Clay and think he could be a big contributor) and one of two guys who are at least two years, perhaps never, from being in the Majors, for Adrian Gonzalez. Hence we think that Nick Cafardo (or his source) just made this all up.