Now That’s What You Call a General Manager

So many people are performing below our expectations and below our projections that this isn’t easy to fix. If this is the best that this pitching staff can pitch, then I really miscalculated and it’s time for changes.

This line, from a story in today’s Boston Herald, is just another example of why young Theo Epstein has gained the trust of a legion of Sox fans (the World Series title nothwithstanding).  His bluntly articulated grasp of the current Sox’ woes tracks that of the fans’, and for this we are grateful (peruse the rest of the article for what kind of moves might happen).  It’s rare to see a GM state the obvious: he messed up.  It’s about time some other team architects, or at least team owners who proxy for their titular GMs, stood up and made the same proclamation.  But, does anyone really expect those in the front office 180 miles to the south to ante up any kind of personal responsibility for the woes of their team?  It’s clear that they’ll just leave it to the classy Joe Torre to twist in the wind and take the fall for the results of (what now look like) horribly drafted plans, not his own.   

34 comments… add one
  • I too am anxious about the direction of this pitching staff, although we could easily be the holders of Johnson’s contract instead of the Yanks. Although to be fair, Johnson has had two good starts of late. Any chance at all of us having a shot at pulling The Rocket back? I would rather have some long-term pitching prospects instead though. Who’s that kid pitching in AAA^^^^^Kansas City?

    sithkhan June 13, 2005, 12:13 am
  • sithkhan – cut off your tounge!! We want absolutely nothing to do with Roger Clemens. Not only is he too old to promise the Sox anything past his next start, but if they have to give up more than a bag of baseballs to get him – it’s not worth it. I loved the Rocket Days as much as the next guy, but to ask for another almost done hurler is to ask for another problem. Besides, by getting Clemens back in Boston is much too similar to the ways of New York- trade away what will help you for years for something that will help you now (and only now). I wasn’t too keen on the idea of getting Boomer, but since the Sox have him for almost nothing, and the overall aspect of his big-game dominance is outstanding, it’s a little easier to swallow. If the Sox got Roger, which they won’t, what’s next? Perhaps they sign him and give him a two year extension just so he will come? Then maybe they can go get Bernie in the offseason to DH every couple of days, and then, who knows, they could push the payroll up over two hundred million smackaroos. All joking aside, I really hope this is not even an option in Theo’s head. I would think that he’s smarter than his soon-to-be unemployed fellow GM a few miles south, and can see that that is a terrible option. If it goes that far, why play the game- why not just cut a check to MLB for the trophy and cancel the rest of the games. Oh, nevermind. I forgot that there is a team that already tried the “all-star at every position, and a few on the bench” approach to a season, and how’s that working out for them? I would much rather the Sox get into the Zito/Wagner race if they get into anything, and even that’s a little suspect to me. To me, giving a 40 year old pitcher the money Roger demands is just stupid and selfish. Why let houston off the hook for being bad? That’s New Yorks job, not Boston’s – let NY give him all that money and extra time to get worse. The Sox are certainly no strager to chasing Roger Clemens off the mound, so have at him New York – just dig that hole a little deeper.

    Brad-SF June 13, 2005, 2:27 am
  • Scratch that-that and enter that-this. My mind was quicker than my fingers.

    Brad-SF June 13, 2005, 2:29 am
  • The Rocket is the last things the Sox need. We have some good starting pitchers who are struggling right now, but I think they can pull it together. (Wakey was exceptional last night, after all.) And Schilling will be back…someday. Bullpen relief, however, might not be a bad idea.
    Kudos to Theo for accepting responsibility for whatever failings he has. It’s risky to expose yourself like that in a nation of such rabid and demanding fans, and such honesty deserves respect. He’s a good egg, even if things don’t turn out the way he planned.

    Sox Fan in VT June 13, 2005, 2:14 pm
  • Agreed. Boston’s most important off season contract to ensure: Theo Epstein. Stick with what’s there, possibly get into the bullpen race with other teams that are contending, and worry about the starters that are in town already. Roger Clemens is the answer to nothing right now, and I am in no way whatsoever in favor of giving away any of the Sox good young players. For someone of the caliber of The Rocket, Boston would have to give away the likes of Alvarez, Hanley Ramirez, or even worse Youk (who has quietly become Beantown’s favorite son) – and none of that is worth it.

    Brad-SF June 13, 2005, 2:49 pm
  • hot rumor: steinbrenner wants theo and will stop at nothing to get him.

    Nick June 13, 2005, 3:40 pm
  • Nick, at the risk of seeming rude, can it. Thats absolutely beyond ridiculous. Nothing more should ever be said on the subject.

    mattymatty June 13, 2005, 4:08 pm
  • A Beantown boy from Lowell Mass and lifelong Red Sox fan? The only way ‘ol moneybags gets his hands on the Golden Child is, err, nevermind, he already sold his soul. I agree with Mattymatty, never should the words Theo and Steinbrenner be mentioned in the same sentence again. I don’t disagree that the Boss will make a move for the kid, since for the past two years he has made Cashman and the Yankee front office (not to mention the players) look like a studdering morons; not to mention, making a mockery of the Yankee way of doing business (sell young talent-buy old talent for immediate help, buy anyone with ability to avoid having another team get them, bid against yourselves in free agency to outrun smaller market teams just to publicly talk trash about that teams loyalty to their fans, and basically run yourselves into the ground ), but given the Epstein public abomination of New York, long-time fan of the sox, and not to mention idol like status from New Haven to Canada (and all areas in between) – It’s not going to happen. Good try though Nick.

    Brad-SF June 13, 2005, 6:03 pm
  • New Haven is Yankee country.
    Also, I think you either meant “stuttering” or “doddering” morons when you spoke of the Yanks players.
    Considering the Yanks won 4 world championships in the last 10 years, the team’s way of doing business does have its merits. The team is having a tough time now but let’s not get ahead of ourselves about it being run into the ground. $50 million comes off the books next year. The Yanks “weak” farm system has been able to plug in young talent in the rotation and at 2b this year. Who knows what players await for next year. And perhaps the Yanks will revisit way and actually sign worthwhile free agents in the offseason.

    Nick June 13, 2005, 6:34 pm
  • Trust me, New Haven is not Yankee country. Since I have lived here for quite a few years, I know the split. And, are you considering Cano good talent? I’d consider him okay, but like you said, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Also, your four championships were not the result of your current way of business as usual. The Yanks had solid, home grown (well with the exception of Paulie) core of good player that carried the team. They were not dependent on the likes of Sheffield, Giambi, and A-Rod. Purchased love. I think the Yanks of 1998 were very respectable for a few years, but to compare them to todays Yankees is a slap in the face of everything you loved at the time. And yes, I don’t doubt the Yankees will revisit the ‘ol free agent market this off season – they always do. And, what does it matter about your 50 million coming off the books next year? You still have Johnson, Brown, Giambi, Wright, and Posada (who I give a pass for past performances) sucking the life out of your team. If you really think that the Yankees went about baseball operations the past five years in the right way, then you are blinded by the mighty dollar in the same fashion that the Yankee front office. If you think for one second that a .240 hitter and questionable pitcher will erase the fact that you have absolutely nothing to look foreward to than just that, then you are being silly.

    Brad-SF June 13, 2005, 6:56 pm
  • The Yankees have clearly made some very bad moves. But most of them didn’t seem that way when they were made. Hindsight is 20/20. The biggest mistake that was obvious at the time was the loss of Petite. And I firmly believe that was the Boss, not Cash. As for A-Rod I think he is finally earning his keep and his promise. Giambi – it sounded good at the time. He was not that old and had a lot of supposed years left in him. But the overlooking of the steroid issue was a huge mistake – but who really knew at the time it would hurt him so much. This had been going on for years. My suggestion would be to force Giambi to make a deal. Bench him. Never play him. If he has the guts to spend the next years sitting on the bench day after day after day….. my guess is he will make a deal to be bought out. Then everyone can move on.

    bronxborn June 14, 2005, 1:05 am
  • I agree bronxborn. I was in no way slapping the Yankees around on their decisions the past four years, only how they went about it. Throwing so much money aound that it made it impossible for other teams to resposibly get into the mix. A-Rod’s money gets a pass due to the fact that he already had that contract, but the insane amount of money given to Giambino (as Kitty calls him) is the Steinbrenner stamp of stupidity. Paying 15mil for Brown and Bernie when neither is any longer worth half that amount is another example. Bernie, like Posada, gets a little bit of a pass due to everything that he gave the Yanks over the years, and in a way is a little bit admirable for the Boss to do – but nowhere near smart moves. Wright and Pavano were both signings made to ensure that neither went to Boston or Baltimore, and thankfully for Bosox fans, both have not worked as well as he hoped. Giving Jared Wright the kind of money they did was rediculous, especially a pitcher from the Braves, which the whole world knows is never a smart move. You are correct about Giambi however, and since the money is not a big deal for the Boss, he should cut his losses and save face with the fans of his team. I also agree that it was a terrible loss when Petite walked, but it was also not smart to get rid of a promising Vazquez, Milton, Lilly, Leiber, Willy Mo, Halsey, Nick Johnson, Cairo, Soriano, and need I go on with this list? All moves of desperation and impatience. Christ, Javier was in the friggin All-Star game last year! No other team in all of baseball does things this way, and up until five years ago, neither did the Yankees. This is the only point I was trying to make. The Yanks have dug a hole with these huge contracts, and now without eating them for dinner, there is nothing they can do about them. It’s a sad day when you have that payroll, and if the playoffs started tomorrow, confidence in success would end after Johnsons start – and even that is meager at best. This Yankee team will not survive doing this for much longer, and soon players will begin to see the short rope they are given there, and stop coming. Is there anyone out there who believes that Pavano is happy with his choice to come to NY? I would argue that the players listed above are happier to be out than he is to be in. Vazquez = all smiles and good games – great move Cashman, now you only have to deal with a angry old man for another two years after this one at 20mil/per. Bad, bad, bad baseball GM!

    Brad-SF June 14, 2005, 5:37 am
  • There’s so much flawed logic in there, Brad-SF, it’s hard to even know where to begin. How is it possible to critize the Yankees for unloading Vazquez and Nick Johnson? You don’t get one without dealing the other. The reality is that over the years there have been several seemingly good deals that have exploded in the Yankees hands (Vazquez was just not working out in NY and the AL, same for Jeff Weaver), and those problems have been exacerbated by the mistakes (Womack, Wright, Pavano). And let’s get this straight: letting Pettitte go was the RIGHT MOVE. He didn’t even play last year.

    YF June 14, 2005, 9:35 am
  • ” They were not dependent on the likes of Sheffield, Giambi, and A-Rod. Purchased love.”
    Brad, were there any players (who made significant contributions) on the Sox WS team of last year who came up through the team’s farm system? Seems to me most of these players were brought in through trades (in which the Sox leveraged their priveleged place in the market place to acquire greater salaried talent from small market teams), and signings. Was this purchased love?

    Nick June 14, 2005, 9:47 am
  • where’s YF? im worried, somebody please check on him, as these are dark days!!!

    sweetjetes June 14, 2005, 10:12 am
  • you’re right, what was I thinking. I forgot how many teams the Sox had to bully around in the past few years to get the likes of Kevin Millar, Jason Varitek, Billy Meuller, and Johnny Damon. Those were all pretty huge pickups at the time. I mean, Varitek was such a huge talent at the time that Derek Lowe had to be included in the deal for it to work. Oh Jesus, you must be talking about Damian Jackson! How could I forget the salary war the sox went through with him? Schilling was a fair deal, considering he makes less than Kevin Brown, and most teams thought he was done and were not willing to part with players to get him. Perhaps you are talking about the hell we had to go through to get Bronson Arroyo after, you remember, he was released and all. Trot Nixon, err, nope always had him. Well maybe you mean Orlando? Nope, if I remember correctly, that trade was a trade down in value considering Nomars track record. I’m not sure what you mean. Keith Foulke? Maybe, but any team could have bid, and not many did – including the Yanks. Well, I worked my way all around the field and couldn’t come up with one. Oh! You mean Terry Francona? Yeah, I do kinda regret snatching up such a proven manager from other teams and then paying him ungodly amounts of money. What the hell are you talking about Nick? The players that made such significant contributions last year were just that – players. Manny, Wake, Damon, Tek, Belli, Trot, Timlin, Embree…all players the sox have kept around for a few years, and it paid off. So, no it wasn’t purchased love. But, had ARod worked out his contract problems, we would not be having this conversation right now would we? Please take a minute and fill me in on where the Red Sox bullied teams around with all their “big market privelege” to put together last years team?
    Lets get one think straight, I was in no way knocking the Yanks of five years ago, all I was saying was that the tactics of overpaying for mediocre talent has finally blown up in NY face. I know there was nobody who could forsee what would happen with Giambi and Brown, but the simple fact remains that it would not be such a big deal if they were not so grossly overpriced to ensure getting them, or better yet, ensure Boston did not attempt to get them. Jose Contreras negotiations – see my point? So yes, I guess since the sox did fork over checks to the players last year, it would be purchased love, but no, it’s not the same as what NY is going through, and you know it.
    Also, my flawed logic was a mistake. I forgot that while naming all the bad moves the Yankees have made in the past five years, I had to actually do it in the order in which each was acquired and let go. Petite a bad move? Well, I’d love to have him in Boston every five days, but then again, I guess if I had the likes of Jared Wright on my staff it wouldn’t be important. And, just for the record, Roger Clemens had a rougher than normal first year in NY too – could he not handle it? Or, was it the lure of a bigger, better, and may I say much older name that influenced the trade? I would take Vazquez on my team right now. All that being said, I’ll give you Jeff Weaver; any way to unload him was a good one. I’m not trying to push buttons here, and I know that is how YF’s take it because the truth really does hit hard, so, I’m sorry for saying what you already knew anyhow.

    Brad-SF June 14, 2005, 10:35 am
  • How can you just slip Damon in as if he wasn’t a big free-agent signing? He was. Or does the Red Sox status as the 3rd highest payroll team come as a surprise to you? Yeah, what was I thinking, Brad, the Sox are run by benevolent wealthy guys who only sign players after taking into account the feelings of fans and management in small markets. Right.
    Is varitek overpaid? In 3 years, he’ll be an aging catcher making $10 million, perhaps blocking the path of some Sox prospect’s path to the majors. During the Yanks’ dynastic run, they too were forced into tough decisions about whether to keep aging fan favorites such as Bernie Williams. They did and in the process they overpaid. Was this a function of the Boss’s Darth Vader-like H.S. bully nature? Who was Theo bidding against when he overpaid Varitek? What about Schilling’s contract? He’s 40 and his ankle is detached from his body. And he’s currently making $14 million. The Sox took a risk which paid off but certainly Schilling’s contract hurt the team’s capacity to resign Pedro (a 33 year-old 2005 Cy Young to be). And what if the unthinkable hadn’t happened (curse my atheism! Those Damn Sox!) and right now it was year 87. The schilling contract might be looked as an albatross. The point is a team like the Sox, a big market team (which like it or not, Brad, actually takes away chances from those simple small market fans and teams) is capable of taking on risky large contracts. That’s all I was saying. I agree with you that the Yanks are worse run than thhe Sox, but to categorize the team’s respective management strategies in moral terms (by using the language of high school existence) is just silly.

    Nick June 14, 2005, 12:22 pm
  • Okay. I’ll give you some points of your argument, but not the Varitek one. Right now, Tek has earned every dollar he’s made, and then some. He is currently in posession of the top spot in nearly every offensive category for catchers – from both sides of the plate. I look at the Varitek position almost the same way as I do the Piazza one – even when the production starts to slip up a ‘bit, your’re still left with normal catcher production. Also, not signing him would have left most of baseball New England in a state of anarchy:) I don’t feel ill about Pedro, of course I miss him, but I hated the fourth year – especially for a guy who has spent the amount of time he has in the past four years on the DL, or complaining. Also, I agree with the Cy young talk for Petie, but it’s like the Cy talk for Johnson last year – it’s impressive, but not even close to when he was such out of the AL, and probably not worth reading into too much.
    That being said, I never thought it wasn’t admirable for the Yankees to have kept Bernie and Posada for what they had done in the past, in fact I think i said it a couple posts ago.

    Brad-SF June 14, 2005, 4:17 pm
  • “It’s a sad day when you have that payroll, and if the playoffs started tomorrow, confidence in success would end after Johnsons start – and even that is meager at best.”
    Correction. If the playoffs started today, the Yankees wouldn’t be participating.
    Neither would the Red Sox, of course.

    Sam June 15, 2005, 12:47 pm
  • Excellent point Sam.

    Brad-SF June 15, 2005, 11:28 pm
  • I’m confused. After reading Brad-SF posts the Sox must have the lowest payroll in MLB not the second highest. For any Sox fan to complain about the way the Yankees spend money after giving Manny $20 million/year is the height of hypocrisy. You think Twins fans wouldn’t love to have the Sox payroll? If you root for the A’s, KC, etc., you can bitch and moan about the big teams spending money. If you’re a Sox, Mets, Dodgers, etc., fan just shut the f*#! up already. You sound like a billionaire complaining about how much he pays in taxes.

    Battingly June 16, 2005, 10:02 am
  • Whoa Battingly, calm down. I wasn’t complaining about how much money, rather where and how the money was spent. The Sox spent 20mil on Manny, but look what they have gotten in return you idiot. If another Manny were to come down the line, I would never suggest that a team not give up that money for him. That being said, are you happy with the performance of Kevin Brown or Jason Giambi? How about Contreras? The Yankees have priced players out of the market, and now they regret it. Signing Giambi, knowing what he was doing at the time, was a terrible move, and the just another example of how irresponsible the club has been recently. Never one time did I say the Sox are bad for spending money, but can you tell me one big contract the Red Sox wish they could get rid of right now? I can name you more Yankees than you care to admit is true. And, you are correct, the Sox have spent a lot of money, but what happened when Pedro wanted that money? The Sox made a decision with the future of the team in mind, not worrying if he went to the Yanks or anywhere else. They gave that money to younger players with a bigger upside, David Wells excluded. Where again did the Yanks put their money and younger players to boot? That’s right – 41 year old Randy Johnson and a not far behind Bernie Williams. Five years from now, players like Clement and Arroyo could still be pitching for the Sox – how about the Yankees? Jesus man, don’t kill the guy who speaks the truth. The difference between us is this – You try to defend such terrible moves by saying things like “how could we have known about Kevin Browns back when we gave him that much money” and ” Sheffield said he did not know” – I say things like “Pedro was not worth the fourth year, would be too much of a liability between now and then, and most likely it would hurt the team too much in the last two years”. If, by any stretch of the imagination you will try and argue the fact that the Yankees have not practiced terrible baseball business over the past five years, then you know nothing of baseball, and too much of Yankee baseball.
    PS. A billionaire pays the taxes equal to that of five thousand middle-class men – why not complain?

    Brad-SF June 16, 2005, 11:10 am
  • “Never one time did I say the Sox are bad for spending money, but can you tell me one big contract the Red Sox wish they could get rid of right now?”
    Manny’s contract. Brad, do you pay attention to your favorite team? This management team has put Manny on waivers, tried to deal him to Texas, talked to the Mets about a trade in the off-season. He’s 33, making 20 million and his skills are in decline (as Peter Gammons about his numbers since last year’s all star game). His is a burdensome contract. But it’s also a contract not of Theo’s making. Overall I agree with you about Sox versus Yanks management although I think the biggest disparity between the two is in their views of player development and detail work. The Yanks are not losing because of the deals they have with A-Rod, Big Unit, and Sheff (the last of this group led the league in offensive win shares last year and is a truly amazing hitter to watch). Rather, the Yanks have done a poor job of developing their farm system recently, and have failed to pick up decent bench and utility players (such as Bellhorn, Mueller) to fill their non-superstar spots. Brad, I think you focused to much on the big contracts which at the time (given the Yanks money) were not unreasonable deals to make. Giambi’s seasons with Oakland were absurd. He got what he deserved on the market. Brown’s 2003 season was great. It was a risky deal but again not an unreasonable risk. That said, I think Theo has done a very good job finding value on the market. I personally think he overpaid for Renteria and V-Tek, who will be in his mid to late 30’s by the time it ends.

    Nick June 16, 2005, 12:11 pm
  • I agree with all but Varitek and Manny – They only put Manny on waivers for the chance to get a younger, just as talented short-stop, rid of a whining Nomar, and a younger outfielder who was on the cusp of good things. I would not have considered this as a bad move for the Sox’s future considering the upside of A-Rod and the downfall of Nomar. In fact, I would argue that this was another example of differently the sox do business – always with the future of the team in mind. Varitek – what you get now and for probably the next three years is worth the fourth – especially for the catcher positon. If the Sox had not signed him for that, any other team in the hunt would have to give him the exact same thing and maybe more- including NY. He’s easily the best all around catcher in the game, and the leader of the team. Edgar, I could not agree more. I wanted Orlando back in the hole, and I have to admit I was a little upset with the deal. He is growing on me a little- mostly because of his .500 batting average against the Yankees and all. Theo is looking a step ahead always, and that’s one of the things that make him successful. He’s not willing to trade tomorrow and the next day for today.
    That being said, when was the last time Gammons was right about anything? I adore his often biased love for his team, but he likes to stir the sh*% pot whenever he has nothing to talk about. Manny in decline? I agree he is not up to par this year, yet. If anyone thinks ManRam is going to end the year at .260, we should exchange addresses and put money on it. Any takers? The man has bat .400 in the past three weeks, and three homeruns in the last four games. I’ll take that bet all day long.
    Let’s agree to disagree, I’m getting tired of this argument already – as we all know, it will go on forever one way or the other!

    Brad-SF June 16, 2005, 2:57 pm
  • Brad-SF, who are you calling an idiot you pompous windbag? How old are you write as if you are 13. Did I get that right? Yes, your genius GM has won you one WS. The overpaid Yankees GM has won how many? Go stand in the corner for 15 minutes.

    Battingly June 16, 2005, 4:33 pm
  • Nick, I’m actually a part-time chemistry instructor at Yale University working on my pHd, and full-time Organic Chemist at Bayer here in New Haven. How about you? Please refrain from ever assuming that you could ever talk to me about my level of intelligence. I write these posts during a workday, and most of the times, worknight, that includes a variety of scientific and mathematical problems that most people cant beging to imagine. I spend long hours every day researching ways to help people with a terminal disease live a little longer. I’m truly sorry there may be the accidental slip of correct grammar every now and then, and I’ll try to be more careful from now on. If I was aware there was going to be an grammar teaching reading and correcting my posts, I would have taken more care in the first place. Please accept my apologies Mr. Hemmingway, and if you could, please feel free to suggest any ways in which I may improve on my academic performance here on the site.
    Now, If you can’t accept the facts, I’m sorry. Do you think that Cashman gets a pass on his performance in the past five years? The championships he was part of was with a team he did not put together! However, over the past five years, he has been able to neglect the farm system, overpay for talent that was not worth the price, have deals blow up in his face, and managed the team with the single worst performance in the history of the playoffs. Oh, I almost forgot, in order for him to actually live up to expectations this year, he going to have to add to the already rediculous Yankee salary figure. Is that what you consider to be a good employee? Your corner is waiting.

    Brad-SF June 16, 2005, 5:37 pm
  • Edit: Battingly is who I talking to. Sorry Nick.

    Brad-SF June 16, 2005, 5:42 pm
  • Brad, you made me feel so bad just then. I’d never attack anyone’s grammar on a blog post (just poke fun at a malapropism). I write these on the fly as well. For what it’s worth, I find your posts fun to respond to which is sort of a compliment I think. Anyway,even though you specified the object of your wrath, I figured I’d let you know I feel no real anger toward you. I feel way more anger toward Tony Shitmack (and even that is not real anger. Just stupid fan booing incompetent player anger).

    Nick June 16, 2005, 6:34 pm
  • Trust me Nick, Red Sox fans and Yankee fans alike have nothing to brag about lately. I didn’t mean to stab at Battingly, and I take it back. It’s all in good natured fun here, and I feel a little shi**y for having said what I did. As a teacher and professional, I should know better than questioning anyone’s intelligence. Please accept my apologies Battingly. I enjoy reading and repying to almost everyone’s posts, and did not mean to come off as such a jerk. I’ll chalk it up to a very crappy day.

    Brad-SF June 16, 2005, 7:35 pm
  • God, this is an amazing thread. One thing, and one thing only – Giambi did NOT get what he deserved on the market. When the Yankees signed him they outbid…NOBODY. They absolutely overbid, against no competitors (the A’s weren’t anywhere near the Yankees with their offer, so it doesn’t really count as competition), and the same is true about Gary Sheffield – Steinbrenner locked him in without a market established, and he probably would have gotten less from the Yankees had they waited for a market to be established in the first place. They did what the Sox did with Jack Clark some time ago, and what many teams do, stupidly – they made an offer with no competition out there. So, no, they didn’t give him market – they gave him whatever he wanted.

    SF June 16, 2005, 10:02 pm
  • Good points,SF. While I agree with you about Giambi (and misspoke earlier regarding his market value), I disagree with you about Sheff. Vlad was able to get a longer deal for the same amount per year. This was after a number of teams backed away from him because of concerns about his back. If Sheffield had been left on the market, the Baltimore Orioles (jilted Vlad suitors) would quite possibly have boosted Sheff’s price up. As the contract stands now, I think the Yanks are getting Vlad-like production from him with less future risk. To lock someone in without a market can protect management from unexpected rises in demand. Big Papi’s unbelievable deal (and RSN should all thank Pedro for encouraging his friend to take the money and staying on) is a pretty good example of the way this style of negotiation can be effective.

    Nick June 16, 2005, 11:19 pm
  • Thanks Pedro!

    Brad-SF June 17, 2005, 12:50 am
  • Brad,
    Here’s what you said on June 13:

    Agreed. Boston’s most important off season contract to ensure: Theo Epstein. Stick with what’s there, possibly get into the bullpen race with other teams that are contending, and worry about the starters that are in town already. Roger Clemens is the answer to nothing right now, and I am in no way whatsoever in favor of giving away any of the Sox good young players. For someone of the caliber of The Rocket, Boston would have to give away the likes of Alvarez, Hanley Ramirez, or even worse Youk (who has quietly become Beantown’s favorite son) – and none of that is worth it.

    And now it’s worth it because?

    john yf November 22, 2005, 8:14 am
  • Because Josh Beckett is 25 years old and making $4M and still arb-eligible, not a 40+ free agent making $20M a year. Come on, John, you’re not serious, are you?

    SF November 22, 2005, 8:30 am

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