The Fate of Carl Pavano

Assuming the Yanks sign Igawa the Yanks starting options going into 2007 are:

  1. Wang
  2. Mussina
  3. Johnson
  4. Pettitte
  5. Pavano
  6. Igawa
  7. Karstens
  8. Rasner

You can add Hughes and Sanchez as potential mid-season call-ups.  My question is: Does this mean Pavano is on the way out? There’s a lot of depth there, but as Sox fans know, you can never be too safe. Still, Pavano is making a good deal of money that the Yanks would probably like to get off the books. He’s considered talented, has won 20 games once, and given the free agent market for pitching, his contract, well his contract isn’t too awful. Remember: Gil Meche is getting paid $55 million for the next five years. Pavano has two years left on his deal at a similar rate. Might a team looking for starting pitching agree to take on Glass Carl? It seems like the Yanks could be dumping his contract soon.

82 comments… add one
  • Bigger question is Igawa. Do they low ball him now?

    Seth December 8, 2006, 5:06 pm
  • why do Karstens and Rasner even belong on that list? Because their feet were wet last year? Is there faith in these two for some reason I’m unaware of?

    Brad December 8, 2006, 5:11 pm
  • How about the Sox work a third party to get the Yanks to send them Pavano, have the Yankees pay the salary, then then acquire Pavano from that third party and convert him to closer. ;-)

    SF December 8, 2006, 5:12 pm
  • they pitched more than Carl.

    Nick-YF December 8, 2006, 5:12 pm
  • My recollection is that the Sox used to pound Pettitte pretty hard a couple of years ago. Got stats, anyone?

    Hudson December 8, 2006, 5:19 pm
  • Hudson, his career line versus Boston (off of yahoo) is 13-5 with a 3.01 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. Not sure what the post-season numbers are.
    I’m surprised he was that good.

    Nick-YF December 8, 2006, 5:22 pm
  • yeah, he had his games up and down. You can track through them on Fox Sports. He has gotten taken apart by AL lineups the past three years. That has to be somewhat iffy for YF’s, but other than that he’s been pretty consistent against Boston. You know, four years ago, and before the arm surgery(s).

    Brad December 8, 2006, 5:23 pm
  • His regular season career numbers at Fenway: 2.98 ERA, 1.40 WHIP

    Nick-YF December 8, 2006, 5:23 pm
  • Pettitte vs. Boston: 140 IP, 13 -5, 3.01 ERA, 114K/39BB

    Amsterdam YF December 8, 2006, 5:24 pm
  • Brad, you’re aware that the best season of Pettitte’s career was 2005? Right? That was the season before last.

    Nick-YF December 8, 2006, 5:24 pm
  • sorry, everyone beat me. and I should say, I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect him to duplicate those numbers.

    Amsterdam YF December 8, 2006, 5:25 pm
  • much like Andy Pettite is nowhere near the guy he was in 2001, so too is the difference between that Red Sox team and this one. I think it makes little sense to compare the old numbers. The Red Sox are a better hitting team, and he’s not a better pitcher.

    Brad December 8, 2006, 5:25 pm
  • okay, I’m not posting anymore today. I keep getting this stupid verification page every single time I try to say something, and I’m tired of doing it.
    Later guys.

    Brad December 8, 2006, 5:26 pm
  • nick – I said AL lineups. I’m aware what he did in the NL two years ago. I saw the numbers, looked at the teams he beat, and drew a conclusion based on that.
    He had a fantastic year that year, but it was asked how he played against Boston, and I replied that the AL has pretty much owned him since going to the NL, which is not that uncommon, since almost all NL pitchers get beat around by the AL. He still had his ups and downs with good teams. That’s all I meant to say.

    Brad December 8, 2006, 5:29 pm
  • I guess I’m crazy but I’m having a hard time agreeing with the agree-upon wisdom that Andy is nowhere near the pitcher he was in 2001. 2007 will be 2 years removed from his best season ever. 2005 was better than anything he did with the Yanks. I understand that pitchers and players usually peak at 27 or 28, but Pettitte’s career path has been a bit different. It’s hard to say what is more reflective of the true Andy: 2004 and 2006 or 2005. But his 2005 opens up the possibility that he’s not far from his peak.

    Nick-YF December 8, 2006, 5:32 pm
  • Brad, I think you’re relying too heavily on small sample sizes when comparing what Andy did in the NL against the AL.

    Nick-YF December 8, 2006, 5:34 pm
  • about Pavano, I think it’s best to wait a bit on him, have him prove that he’s healthy and deal him then. There’s no rush to let him go unless his contract is standing in the way of addressing a need (relief and 1st base)

    Nick-YF December 8, 2006, 5:39 pm
  • Why will Pettitte be immunized from the NL-AL switch, as some here seem to be speculating? Josh Beckett suffered in some ways, and it’s assumed that most pitchers who make the move experience an inflation in their numbers. Because AP has pitched in the AL previously does this grant him immunity from the effect? Or, more realistically, do we see that his NL excellence, a career-best year according to some, came because he escaped the DH and the AL East.
    I think this is a good move for the Yankees, but those who are assuming he will simply duplicate his NL performance are not being fair to the circumstances. Pettitte will have to IMPROVE to match his ’05 numbers, not simply perform equally, such is the challenge of the AL. He pitched in a pitcher’s division, in a pitcher’s league. Surely that has to be factored in.

    SF December 8, 2006, 5:40 pm
  • Of course, his numbers should be translated. Considering that Houston is a hitter’s park, it’s not as extreme of a switch as going from Florida, but still it obviously changes things. In 2005, his ERA was 2.98. I’d bump up most ERA’s a half-run in the AL. That’s a 3.50 ERA. In 2005, he was #1 starter on any AL team. The other 2 years, including last year, were not so good, and they translate into mid 4 to high 4 ERA’s. Let’s call those Beckett numbers. I’m not what the true Andy is. If he’s more 2005 or more the other years.

    Nick-YF December 8, 2006, 5:45 pm
  • 1. Mussina
    2. Wang
    3. Pettitte
    4, Big Unit
    5. Pavano
    Long Relief – Igawa
    -No need to call up Hughes or Sanchez until 08 unless there are injuries. Karstens and Rasner are not going to be in the rotation with or w/o AP.
    -When CashMoney originally spoke of Igawa it was as a Long Relief or spot start type guy. If signed he could beat out Pavano, but I doubt it, Pavano isn’t cut out to pitch ever day or every other day like Villone.
    -What has 2 thumbs and loves stats? This guy! But when it comes to AP I don’t care. I am psyched to have him back!

    Triskaidekaphobia December 8, 2006, 5:47 pm
  • you’re paying Igawa a lot of money to be a long-reliever.

    Nick-YF December 8, 2006, 5:48 pm
  • Welcome back Andy. Call me the one YF not thrilled with this move. I would agree that he’s basically a Pavano replacement, but older and more expensive. More durable? We’ll see. Seems like either one could collapse at any time next season. At least we have the youngsters.

    YF December 8, 2006, 5:51 pm
  • Igawa is not signed yet so maybe he gets nothing.
    I smell a pitchers and prospects trade to Texas for a certain firstbasemen.

    Seth December 8, 2006, 5:53 pm
  • I’ll give Pavano a chance, and then give it to Igawa.
    Ya, I don’t know about Igawa, for that kind of money. But I guess it’s a good problem to have, considering our payroll is actually going down this year, I think.

    Lar December 8, 2006, 5:54 pm
  • Seth…Yankees or Sox?

    Triskaidekaphobia December 8, 2006, 5:55 pm
  • It would be sweet though if Igawa and some non-Hughes, non-“just came from Tigers” prospects for Teix. Though it’s not like they need much more hitting (though maybe I’ll be proven wrong) and Teix walks in 08 – the same year Giambi’s contract ends.

    Lar December 8, 2006, 5:57 pm
  • Tex to Yankees….I would build the CashMoney statue with my bear hands. I heard rumors of Kotchman, but I would much rather Tex! Than You Brian!

    Triskaidekaphobia December 8, 2006, 6:00 pm
  • wow, didn’t think the yanks were trying to add age to their staff. is scott erickson still available? hopefully the disrespect for andy will come from the AL east hitters opposed to the yankees FO this time.

    sf rod December 8, 2006, 6:02 pm
  • I’d also point out what Brad said earlier…40 IP is a small sample, but it’s not really that small.
    2005-2006
    5.40 ERA, 40 IP, 1.63 WHIP, 32/14 K/BB, 4 HR.
    I’m certainly not saying that he’s going to be that bad…but it isn’t a stretch to predict a less-than-stellar season. That said, if New York can get less-than-stellar-but-healthy-and-not-truly-awful seasons out of 5 guys, with that offense they’ll be fine.
    Oh…and I don’t think Teixeira’s coming without a package involving Hughes or Sanchez at a minimum…and NY doesn’t exactly have many other bargaining chips in the form of young, close to ML-ready arms. Which I believe is what Texas would be asking for.

    desturbd1 December 8, 2006, 6:02 pm
  • Oh yeah, and that 40 IP came in the form of 6 starts, or 1-month’s worth of pitching. Can’t evaluate a pitcher based on one month, of course, but it’s something.

    desturbd1 December 8, 2006, 6:04 pm
  • and the 140 innings against Boston. Small or big sample size? When pitchers go to the NL do they magically lose the ability to pitch?

    Nick-YF December 8, 2006, 6:06 pm
  • I don’t think comparing Beckett to Andy is really valid. AP has pitched in the AL and in the pressure cooker(on a regular basis) and been for the most part effective. Plus I doubt he’ll be leading the AL in HR’s given up at any point in 2007.

    nate December 8, 2006, 6:07 pm
  • Tyler Clippard, Joba Chamberlain (expendablw with JB Cox), Ian Kennedy, Kevin Whelan….All within 1 year or less of being ML ready. Plus who wouldn’t do Sanchez and Duncan for Tex, I would in a second.

    Triskaidekaphobia December 8, 2006, 6:10 pm
  • http://www.fangraphs.com/graphs.aspx?playerid=840&position=P&page=7&type=full
    Also, it appears that he has some really bad luck last year. He has some good luck near the end (and shows up accordingly in his ERA) but not enough for the year.

    Lar December 8, 2006, 6:16 pm
  • Oh ya, while I’m at it, about Beck:
    http://www.fangraphs.com/comparison.aspx?playerid=840&playerid2=510&playerid3=&position=P&page=7&type=full
    Apparently he actually had good luck last year. So he’ll really have to settle down in 07..

    Lar December 8, 2006, 6:19 pm
  • Beckett’s ONLY problem is NOT throwing his other pitches enough. Once he learns how to throw them all with confidence, look out world and that’s from a Yankees fan!

    Triskaidekaphobia December 8, 2006, 6:21 pm
  • I thought it was because of his blister problem.

    Lar December 8, 2006, 6:26 pm
  • “and the 140 innings against Boston. Small or big sample size? When pitchers go to the NL do they magically lose the ability to pitch?”
    I’m not saying he’s going to suck…though I do think his numbers against Boston or any other AL team specifically are a little irrelevant given the personell changes. All I’m saying is, he won’t be the guy he was; he’ll probably be solid but there’s room for concern/hope if you’re a Boston fan. For the record, I do think it’s a good signing, and pretty much expect a solid 4.30ish ERA.
    And Trisk, I was operating under the assumption that you guys didn’t want to get rid of Sanchez, period, because of what Lar said. I didn’t know about Clippard…but Chamberlain and Kennedy haven’t played pro-ball yet, and Whelan’s still at high-A. I mean I don’t know anything about them…but everyone thought Hansen was within a year away, too…I’m just not sure they’d be appealing enough for a Teixeira trade. Unless, you know, Hughes or Sanchez was part of it, and one of them was an addition.

    desturbd1 December 8, 2006, 6:28 pm
  • I think Beckett’s problem is that he is not as good as people think he is.

    Nick-YF December 8, 2006, 6:29 pm
  • ok, d1, I see your point and I don’t think we’re disagreeing on much. I guess my point is that I think Pettitte has the potential to be a #2 (as he was with the Yanks) because I don’t think his game has declined that much, or at least, I think there’s evidence (2005) that his game hasn’t declined that much.

    Nick-YF December 8, 2006, 6:32 pm
  • Nick, what people? Yankees fans? Who doesn’t think Josh Beckett is capable of throwing a perfect game every time he takes the hill? He’s uber-talented, really young and even more stubborn. Trik is right, when he decides that he wants to pitch instad of throw, he’s going to make a giant leap into the next atmosphere.

    Brad December 8, 2006, 6:36 pm
  • yeah, nevermind. I didn’t realize that you were offering your own opinion there.
    my bad.

    Brad December 8, 2006, 6:38 pm
  • Yeah, I’m not ready to give up on him yet, either. He really, REALLY needs to learn that when guys keep fouling off his fastball…throw something else. There’s a reason he threw more pitches above 95 last year then anyone else…he constantly seemed pissed off that he wasn’t blowing it by everybody.

    desturbd1 December 8, 2006, 6:38 pm
  • The problem with the 40 IP vs AL is that it was always in the 1st half, which makes it biased because Pettitte always is better in the 2nd half.

    Seth December 8, 2006, 6:38 pm
  • Hughes is def the better of the 2, between him and Sanchez. So if they wanted Sanchez and Duncan or Sanchez and one of the guys above, I would pull that trigger. Chamberlain and Kennedy didn’t play ML ball in ’06, 100% right, but I still think both can be ready by 2008.
    As for Beckett, I would take him on my team in a second. He just needs to be taught how to pitch, rather than just throwing as he does now. When that day comes he is going to be filthy and unstoppable. Yuck, I feel kind of dirty complementing a sox player.

    Triskaidekaphobia December 8, 2006, 6:39 pm
  • Yeah, Seth, I realized that too. But given how bad he was against the AL…I wonder how much those starts skewed his first half numbers?

    desturbd1 December 8, 2006, 6:40 pm
  • Are you guys talking about Beckett or Rick Vaughn?

    Seth December 8, 2006, 6:41 pm
  • The old chicken and egg argument, d1.
    Trik, baseball history is filled with pitchers with great stuff who didn’t amount to much. I’m not so sure I would want Beckett on my team at the cost he required to get him. Now Hanley! Hanley would be a great heir to Jeter.

    Nick-YF December 8, 2006, 6:43 pm
  • d1, Pettitte’s history of better second half’s happened when he was in the AL (look at 03 and 02) too. That is including him playing NL teams in those first half’s.

    Seth December 8, 2006, 6:44 pm
  • Oh ya, while I’m still on a spreadsheet doing funky saber stuff, keeping in mind that about 20 points from the mean in BABIP is correlated to about 0.4 raise in ERA. Which puts his seasons in line.
    I would be happy with a 4.0 ERA, and hopefully bunch of wins!

    Lar December 8, 2006, 6:45 pm
  • I am on your side Nick…I don’t know how much I would trade for him, but like I said I would take him on OUR team in a second.
    PS-Not only did he cost Hanley, but Anibal and indirectly my favorite Minor Leaguer and future All-Star Andy Marte.

    Triskaidekaphobia December 8, 2006, 6:47 pm
  • have a good night all. it’s been fun writing grad school papers and chatting baseball the afternoon away. Time to celebrate my birthday.

    Nick-YF December 8, 2006, 6:49 pm
  • I was referring to a couple of years ago, not Petitte’s career numbers. Guess I gots to go find ’em my own damn self.

    Hudson December 8, 2006, 6:52 pm
  • If Josh Beckett had been offered to the Yankees last offseason for the Yankees’ third or fourth best pitching prospect and their best positional prospect, they would have made the trade. And they would have been right to.
    All this hindsight (Nick’s “I’m not so sure I would want Beckett on my team at the cost he required to get him” for example) is BS.
    Lastly, if you take a close look at Beckett’s season, he had far more stellar efforts than poor ones. While uneven, a pitcher with only middling talent cannot shut down teams like Beckett did last year. In many of his wins he was unhittable. It remains to be seen if he can pitch to his capabilities 75-80% of the time, as opposed to like 60% of the time.

    SF December 8, 2006, 7:08 pm
  • I should just post the link, but as I’ve said at least twice, Beckett threw the same percentage of quality starts as the best pitchers in the AL last season. It was the starts where he wasn’t brilliant where he REALLY wasn’t brilliant. After the Yankee series, when he was mauled for the second time in a row by them, he talked about his “stupid stubborness.” After that, he mixed in more curveballs and in his next six starts, the worst line he had was 5 IP, 3 ER (The rest were more on the line of 6 1P, 1 ER; 8 IP, 4 ER; 8 IP, 0 ER). In so doing, he lowered his ERA from 5.35 to 4.82 — until the lst game of the season, which sent his ERA back above 5. So once Beckett started pitching, instead of throwing, his numbers over a long stretch were excellent. One of those final starts, incidentally, was a win over the Yanks.
    Considering the dominance he showed, and his QS%, there’s no reson to attribute his struggles to anything fundamental — except a combination of immaturity and NL-AL adjustment.
    Pettite isn’t immature, and he knows what it’s like in the AL. The difference is that while he was in the NL, the gap between the leagues has widened. You don’t think so? Look at Clemens, who never had an ERA below 3.50 with New York, but whose ERAs have been below 3.00 all three years in the NL (and near or below 2.00 in the last two). And that’s Roger Clemens, one of the best pitchers in our lifetimes. Andy Pettite is not Clemens, not even close, so to write off the NL-AL effect because Pettite is “a winner” (not sure if that’s from breeding or he learned it in the minors or what, and why more coaches aren’t teaching that apparently inherent trait) is to ignore that he last had an ERA under 4.00 in the AL four years ago, and to ignore that he has injury concerns. His ERA won’t increase by 1.00+, as did Beckett’s, and he won’t give up 21 HR, like Beckett did, because he’s a good pitcher and a smart one. But he most certainly will not have an ERA below 4.30.
    Anyway, to reiterate: It’s a good pickup. I just think there’s a better chance of Pettite disappointing your seemingly sky-high expectations, Nick, than meeting them.

    Paul SF December 8, 2006, 8:38 pm
  • Not to beat a dead horse or anything, but here’s some fun with numbers:
    Pitcher A: 212.2 IP 9.27 H/9 6.28 K/9 3.60 BB/9 1.02 HR/9 1.43 WHIP ERA+ 109
    Pitcher B: 215.2 IP 9.56 H/9 6.55 K/9 3.13 BB/9 1.21 HR/9 1.41 WHIP ERA+ 116
    Pitcher C: 243.2 IP 7.68 H/9 7.68 K/9 3.69 BB/9 0.85 HR/9 1.26 WHIP ERA+ 112
    Pitcher D: 235.1 IP 8.95 H/9 7.11 K/9 2.18 BB/9 0.88 HR/9 1.23 WHIP ERA+ 100
    Pitcher E: 204.2IP 8.42 H/9 6.96 K/9 3.26 BB/9 1.58 HR/9 1.29 WHIP ERA+ 92
    All of those pitchers are 26 years of age and right-handed. Any guesses as to whom they may be?
    Answers:
    A: Jason Schmidt (1999)
    B: Chris Carpenter (2001)
    C: John Smoltz (1993)
    D: Curt Schilling (1993)
    E: Josh Beckett (2006)
    You may chide me for cherry picking all you like, but the truth is that it’s not at all unusual for young power pitchers with good raw stuff to post mediocre seasons.
    As for Pettitte, he’s a crafty, proven pitcher, but he’s also 34 with a history of elbow problems and coming off a season where he got smacked around in the worst division in baseball. He’s a fine addition to the Yankees for 2007, but those who are expecting him to be some sort of “savior” are in for a big letdown. At this point, he’s your #3 behind Wang and Mussina, and maybe even your #4 depending on what Randy Johnson does.

    mouse December 8, 2006, 9:25 pm
  • I agree with Paul and mouse. This is a good, solid pickup for a middle of the rotation guy. Plus, at 1 or 2 years, it’s perfect length, freeing up roster spots for (hopefully) a youngster breaking through, or, even better for Johann Santana after we sign him in 2008 to a 7 year/$135m contract. :)
    And yes, I seriously would give Johann that sort of money.

    Sam December 8, 2006, 9:33 pm
  • “a pitcher with only middling talent cannot shut down teams like Beckett did last year.”
    Shut down? Huh? SF, what do you mean by “shutdown”? Beckett had no shutouts. No double digit strikeout games. He had an ERA over 5. He was 2nd in the league in home runs allowed, giving up 36. He had an ERA of 9.45 in his four starts against the Yankees.
    Now, he looked good in some games, especially early on. He showed flashes of dominance at times. But with Beckett, you didn’t know if he was going to look good, or get lit up with tape measure HRs. Pedro Martinez used to “shutdown” teams. I saw no games like that out of Beckett last year, and I watch the Sox all the time. I don’t recall any Johan Santana type games out of Beckett. His strikeout total was down last year, although he pitched more innings.
    Tell me. If Beckett wasn’t the biggest disappointment on the Sox last year, than who was?
    And all this talk that Beckett will dominate when he throws more breaking pitches and learns to pitch? Well, the biggest problem for Beckett in all those trips to the DL over his career was blisters on his fingers from, are you ready for this? Snapping off his curveball. No wonder he shys away from it, plus his command of it is not the greatest either.
    Trisky keeps saying Beckett will be the second coming of Bob Gibson when he learns how to pitch. Do ya think Dave Wallace and Al Nipper and Curt Schilling and Tito and Tek and Mirabelli haven’t talked to Beckett about his approach and his pitch selection?
    It’s a matter of execution and command. If Beckett is hitting his spots with his fastball and can get a curve over once in a while, toss in a few sliders, he can be very good. If he can’t get any breaking pitches over, or if his fingers are tender and he doesn’t feel comfortable throwing breaking stuff, and keeps coming in with his fastball, he, on most nights, is gonna get hit, especially if hitters lay off pitches up in the zone.
    Beckett did throw 200 innings for the first time which is good. Reason? No blisters.
    Sox fans love to point out how bad Randy Johnson sucked last year. But the thing is, Beckett sucked just as bad if not worse. I for one, couldn’t believe how many balls were flying out of the yard off RJ last year. But Beckett gave up 8 MORE HRs than Johnson did.
    Beckett may improve in his second season in the AL, we’ll see. But trying to spin Beckett’s first season as anything other than disappointing is baloney. This was not the Josh Beckett Sox fans and management were hoping for, especially considering the two players they gave up, Hanley and Anibal, look like they will be bargain priced stars for years to come.

    whatever December 8, 2006, 10:39 pm
  • Happy birthday, Nick. I hope it’s been an enjoyable one.

    attackgerbil December 8, 2006, 11:02 pm
  • “Beckett had no shutouts. No double digit strikeout games. He had an ERA over 5.”
    When the league leader in the AL has exactly two shutouts, I’m not sure why that suddenly becomes a measure of dominance. Mark Redman and Davern Hansack each had shutouts, WE. Does this mean they had better seasons than Beckett?
    He also had no double-digit strikeout games, but neither did Wang. So, again, if that’s our measure of dominance, we’re going to have some problems.
    Beckett did have two games in which he went eight innings and allowed no runs while triking out at least seven, and a third in which he went eight innings and allowed three baserunners. Do those not qualify as “sutting down?” Johnson never had a single game in which he went as many innings and allowed as few runs or baserunners; Beckett had three.
    “Pedro Martinez used to “shutdown” teams. I saw no games like that out of Beckett last year, and I watch the Sox all the time.”
    That’s quite an unfair standard, WE. Nobody in baseball has shut down teams like Pedro did before Pedro did or after Pedro did. I’m doing some research in my spare time on the best Red Sox pitching performances using Bill James’ game score. Roger Clemens’ two 20-K outings scored a 97 each. Pedro Martinez recorded a 98 score THREE TIMES in 2000 alone. Other pitchers have had better games (Kerry Wood, Johnson, Schilling). No one has ever done it like Pedro could, seemingly every time he walksed on the mound, and I don’t think — at least I certainly hope — anyone is expecting Beckett to become the best righthander of our generation.
    Was his season similar to Johnson’s? Eerily so. Both mixed atrocious games with phenominal starts, were aggravatingly inconsistent in their ability to string together long stretehes of good performance. But Johnson is 16 years older than Beckett and has active injury issues. Which one is more likely to get better in the coming season? While Beckett’s blisters are a concern, no report has ever come out creditably pointing to his blisters as a reason why he avoided the curve ball last season. He had no blister issues after going six consecutive starts throwing more curveballs than previously.
    Anyway, I’m a pretty ardent defender of Beckett, as is probably pretty obvious. He definitely had a disappointing season — anytime a pitcher lays two eggs against the Yankees, it’s a disappointment. I just don’t understand the propensity, especially among yfs, to crap all over a 26-year-old who threw 19 quality starts last season, 1 fewer than Zito and Willis and had a QS percentage just behind Verlander and Carpenter.

    Paul SF December 9, 2006, 12:17 am
  • I’m going to chime in here on Beckett, who we are all aware of my insane man-love for the guy:
    When I think of pitchers, I think of how much I’d like to have that person pitching for the Sox. Numbers aside sometimes, I just think of how nice it would be to have the guy on the Red Sox. CC Sabathia has always been one of those guys for me. Not the greatest of numbers, but just a guy that almost any team would like to have. Tim Hudson is another one (the Oakland version), and yet another is Brad Penny. They’re reliable for the most part, they strong, they’re fiery, and we can all tell they love the game. This is one of the reasons I like Beckett so much. The potential is so great with him, it’s nearly as exciting as watching Pedro when the guy is on.
    All that being said – when we’re all sitting around trying to compare him to other people, and trying to cherry-pick stats (on both sides here) isn’t the ultimate question: wouldn’t you love to have him on your team?
    The answer is “yes” for every single fan of every single team in baseball. Unless you have some kind of personal grudge against the guy (like if he shut you team down with an amazing ease in a world series game), there’s no way you don’t want the guy. He comes hard every time, and tries his best. He’s a guy you wish you could try to settle down because his anger hurts him, and that’s something special in a pitcher if he can keep it in check. When Beckett learns to channel that aggression into pitching, it’s going to be gross.
    Nearly every GM in baseball would absolutely love the idea of handing Beckett the ball on opening day. If you say they wouldn’t, you’re fooling yourself.
    His talent is not only unachieved, but grossly underappreciated by Yankee fans. If he’s on, he’s untouchable. Period.

    Brad December 9, 2006, 12:35 am
  • I think the stupid argument of “would you want to have Beckett on your team” is moot by the fact that I would rather have many OTHER people than Beckett on my team. Johan Santana, for one (obviously). Roy Halladay, Chris Carpenter, Roy Oswalt, Scott Kazmir, Justin Verlander, Francisco Liriano, Dontrelle Willis, maybe even Wang even though he consistently performed over the entire season I don’t trust him completely to dominate so much for the rest of his career. And the list goes on. But yeah, I think a lot of teams would love to have Beckett on their team, just like they’d love to have 50 other players on their team. You can stop using that silly argument now.
    If Josh Beckett is on, he’s not untouchable. He’s great when everything is working for him, but he’s not as good as you make him out to be. He’s not Pedro. Or Roy Halladay. Or Oswalt. He’s a great young fireballer, but he’s still got a metric ton to prove (like pitching other pitches than his fastball without getting blisters) before you can make such arguments. Sorry.

    Andrew December 9, 2006, 3:50 am
  • My beef is, in particular, is with Nick’s comment that “[he’s] not so sure [he] would want Beckett on my team at the cost he required to get him”. I don’t believe that last year, prior to the season, any SF or YF would have been averse to trading a #4 pitching prospect (which is what Sanchez was, behind Lester, Paps, and Hansen) and a top positional prospect for Beckett. I simply don’t believe that. If Cashman had turned down a like offer at the time, he would have been a fool. If he turned down a similar offer for a similar pitcher NOW, he’d be a fool. In theory, a GM for wealthy teams like the Sox or Yanks should make that deal every time, especially if one’s minor league system is deep (which the Sox’ was/is, and which the Yankees’ is getting closer to being).
    Also consider Beckett’s age and salary: he’s locked in at far less than Jason Schmidt, Andy Pettitte, or Gil Meche money, for three more years, four if the club wants it.
    Lastly, there were games last year that Beckett was lights out, as Paul has described. Don’t let the horrific outings impact the memory unfairly.

    SF December 9, 2006, 6:03 am
  • I don’t quite understand your beef with my statement. I agree that it seemed like a reasonable and good trade to make at the time. Heck, I thought it was a great deal for the Sox at the time. However, based on 2006, the Sox gave up too much, and that is considering their needs and what was and is in their farm system. The Sox farm system was not deep with positional prospects even at the time. Still, many people (not all by the way-Dayn Perry and Cliff Corcoran were critical of the trade when it happened) thought it was a good deal because of Beckett’s perceived talent. “Perceived” is the key word here today because Beckett has yet to put together a season of plus 200 innings in which he lived up to the #1 or #2 label given him. You look at his career numbers and you read comments by certain posters here (eg. Trik’s comment earlier in this thread that predicts that when Beck figures it out he’ll be “unstoppable”) and the only conclusion you can come to is that he is one of the most over-rated pitchers in baseball.
    Here’s a question: If the Marlins had offered Beckett for Wang and Cano and Cashman had rejected the offer, would he have been a fool?

    Nick-YF December 9, 2006, 10:12 am
  • Two major-leaguers, including one who was already a proven offensive force? That’s a totally different deal. Is this a trick question?
    I think that would have been a much harder deal to make, and no, I wouldn’t have called Cashman a fool for that. If Cano hadn’t sniffed much of Triple-A yet, nor played lights-out at AA then it’s a different story.

    SF December 9, 2006, 10:15 am
  • Was Cano a proven offensive force? He had a nice year but there were still questions about his lack of discipline at the plate.

    Nick-YF December 9, 2006, 10:17 am
  • He was far more proven than Hanley Ramirez, who had just hit .270 at AA, had been caught stealing about 35% of the time, and had little power and an average glove, though apparently tremendous upside.
    No more trick questions.

    SF December 9, 2006, 10:27 am
  • I still don’t understand why my original statement was so controversial. It cost a lot to get Beckett. He might eventually be worth it, but it still cost a lot.

    Nick-YF December 9, 2006, 10:32 am
  • the only conclusion you can come to is that he is one of the most over-rated pitchers in baseball
    You make it sound as if everyone thinks Beckett is an ace, that we’re all naive in our assessment of him. I think your comment is more antagonistic than thoughtful, and it also shows that you haven’t spent a ton of time watching Beckett pitch.
    For the most part, he had a disappointing season, though if you spend any time at all looking through his performances, or spent any time watching starts other than those against the Yankees, you’d realize that Beckett pitched like an ace at times, that he has a ton of talent, and at the age of 26 he’s harnessed some, but not all, of it. Beckett is not an ace. He’s not thought of as an ace, at least not by me. But I can see it happening, if he continues to learn. There are few experienced Major Leaguers that one can say that about, and even fewer prospects.

    SF December 9, 2006, 10:33 am
  • I did qualify the statement by saying, “You read comments by certain posters”, so in no way am I tryong to say everyone thinks of Beckett as #1. But I disagree obviously with a lot of people’s (at this site) view of Beckett. I don’t know why my opinion, which I sincerely believe in, is being labeled as antagonistic as opposed to thoughtful. Maybe my thoughts aren’t well-developed but I’m not trying to be antagonistic. I disagree with people. I don’t agree with people who say they’d love to have him on their team, that they’d sign him/trade for him in a second. Not after his first year in the AL.

    Nick-YF December 9, 2006, 10:41 am
  • Throwing out a comment like “the most over-rated pitcher in baseball” doesn’t qualify as un-antagonistic. Surely you know the power of words.
    As an aside, any comparisons of any current pitcher to Pedro Martinez at his heights are hereby disallowed. They are unfair to both the cureet-day pitcher and to Pedro.

    SF December 9, 2006, 10:58 am
  • It’s only antagonism when the player being called “over-rated” is Derek Jeter.:)
    But seriously, are we allowed to call a player over-rated without being called antagonistic? Are those really fighting words? Because, in my opinion, the discussion surrounding Beckett right now has everything to do with perception and not actual performance. People think that he is worth the prospects given up for him because of perceived ability. Fine. That’s their opinion. I think it doesn’t match the reality. I think Beckett’s 2006 showed that he’s far away from being a top-of-the-rotation guy. My opinion. And it’s my opinion that the quality of his pitching was adversely affected by his effort to stay healthy for a whole season. His ERA ballooned, his consistency was not there, and this occurred in his first 200 plus inning season. He’s pitched 5 seasons now and he has yet to live up to the hype (and he was hyped coming out of school and at every level he’s been at) for a full season. He’s still young, but his development over the last few years hasn’t exactly been progressive (note the dipping k-rates, the increasing hr rates).

    Nick-YF December 9, 2006, 11:12 am
  • Whether Beckett had to take starts “off” due to the possibility of blistering, and whether this led to inconsistency is a good and much-covered question. This year will get us closer to an answer. Last year that question was too wrapped up in the NL-AL switch, the new higher-pressure atmosphere of taking the mound for a team like the Sox every fifth day for us to know clearly. It’s certainly a reasonable hypothesis.
    Having watched probably 23 or 24 of Beckett’s starts last year, the inconsistency was quite glaring. But the weird thing was that even in games that he stunk he didn’t look to be scaling back his repertoire. It was more about control, not about “stuff”, or whether he seemed to be not airing it out or taking stuff off his pitches to protect himself. But then again, I am an amateur observer. I buy into the “stubbornness” thing, somewhat, if not entirely.
    There was an article on BP that assessed consistency versus intermittent, lights-out performances. The article, if I remember correctly, came to the conclusion that a guy who had super-strong games mixed with disasters was more valuable than the pitcher who was supremely consistent, even at slightly above average numbers. Something to be said against worrying about Beckett’s bombouts, as long as next year he reduces the number of those. I will search for the article.
    Anyhow, I don’t think, in my mind, I over-rate him. To me he’s a number three/number two starter with number one stuff. I have absolutely no idea if he’ll ever get there.

    SF December 9, 2006, 11:26 am
  • SF, it was from the hardball times. Ironically, I forwarded it along to you and Paul a while back to give you fodder for this discussion.

    Nick-YF December 9, 2006, 11:31 am
  • …i saw a handful of beckett starts this year, and it was a story of extremes…when he was “on”, he was brilliant, but when he was “off”, it was ugly…but, the only control problems he seemed to have was in controlling the ball from going over the fence…instead of using the word “overrated” to describe him, it might be more accurate to say he’s an “underachiever”…he has great potential, but hasn’t quite tapped it yet…

    dc December 9, 2006, 1:10 pm
  • Hehe, funny how that came back up. Perhaps it’s cherry-picking, but to me, the definitive stat of Beckett’s season is his quality start percentage. It wasn’t amazing, but it was in line with pitchers like Wang, Carpenter, Verlander, etc. We’ve discussed the splits here before. When Beckett threw good stuff — which was roughly two-thirds of the time — he was dominant, an ace pitcher reminiscent of Pedro in that there was a feeling that at any time, he could easily set down whomever he chose.
    That’s why it’s too soon to say, as you did, Nick, that “I’m not so sure I would want Beckett on my team at the cost he required to get him.” If Beckett performs just 75 percent as badly as he did in his awful starts this season, you’re looking at a possible 20 wins and no one will give a flip what Sanchez or Ramirez do.
    For reference, here are the various posts in which we discussed Beckett’s numbers in-depth:
    http://yanksfansoxfan.typepad.com/ysfs/2006/09/bosox_trade_rec.html
    http://yanksfansoxfan.typepad.com/ysfs/2006/09/five_reasons.html
    http://yanksfansoxfan.typepad.com/ysfs/2006/09/disappointment_.html
    I notice we’ve all said the same things now for three months — Nick, in wondering about the blisters issue, which I agree with, and us, citing the dominance of his dominant performances and why that’s reason for optimism. So apparently we all at least have our arguments down pat, and no one can accuse us of changing our minds about him…

    Paul SF December 9, 2006, 1:16 pm
  • …i’m not sure if i ever said this paul, but let me go on record that i’d take beckett in a heartbeat…even with his up and down 2006, he’s better than a lot of the other, higher priced, guys out there…

    dc December 9, 2006, 1:21 pm
  • I’d take his $10 million contract in a heartbeat as well. It’s a good deal in this market…BUT
    I’m not so sure I would take him in a heartbeat if it meant the $10 million contract, and giving up Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez. Beckett has to be judged in the context of how good he is perceived to be. He is not simply as cheap as his three year deal. He cost prospects, and high-level ones at that, and this is because he is supposed to be the cat’s meow. That’s right. I said the “cat’s meow”!

    Nick-YF December 9, 2006, 1:31 pm
  • edit: every fan of every team in all of baseball would love to have Beckett on their staff.
    With the exception of Nick-YF, who’s hatred runs deep and true. Statistics and common sense be damned in this situation. Beckett is grossly overrated, and every manager and fan must be wrong.
    However, a couple good stats in the NL central makes Pettitte, ahem, the cat’s meow.
    Yeah, I made that last part up, and it’s totally not true.

    Brad December 9, 2006, 4:52 pm
  • What’s a #2 or #3 starter in the AL East? My take is it someone who puts up plus 200 innings at a low 4.20-4.30 ERA. There are ZIPS projections that have Pettitte at that number next year. I said that I thought Pettitte could fill out the top of the Yanks rotation and I meant he makes a viable #2 to #3 guy. I don’t know why this is seen as super ridonkulously optimistic.
    And there are others like me who don’t share the Beckett enthusiasm. As Andrew pointed out earlier, there are many many pitchers I’d rather have on my team before Beckett. Beckett has nice stuff and so does Matt Clement and so have a lot of pitchers we have long forgotten. I think the way he is talked about by certain people (SF is not included in this grouping) makes him seem better than he is. When I said I wasn’t quite sure I would want to have BEckett on the team I provided a context (SF called it BS but I wasn’t trying to BS) for my answer. I used the example of what actually happened as opposed to some platonic situation which will never happen. This is because in order to have Beckett on your team you have contend with the general perception surrounding him, which, in my view, has distorted the market for him. He is viewed by many as a #1 in waiting. So in order to get him you have to give up a lot in talent. Now, if you had to do over again, would you trade Hanley and Sanchez for Beckett. If it’s me, with the benefit of 20-20, I say no.
    And, Brad, you would be wise not to rely on the wisdom of managers and fans. Aren’t the managers the ones who decide the gold glove awards and the fans who vote in the all-star game.

    Nick-YF December 9, 2006, 5:10 pm
  • Okay, Nick. You win. I’d go the other way but whatever. You don’t like him, and you’ve cherry picked enough to make that clear to us. This is as silly as the Jeter argument. There is no winnner here. We have a guy with enormous, yet really inconsistent talent, and you call him the equivalent to Matt Clement. Good one, really. It made me laugh out loud a bit.

    Brad December 9, 2006, 5:34 pm
  • I won!

    Nick-YF December 9, 2006, 6:31 pm

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