Under the Radar

There are bigger deals this week, or at least there are bigger deals in the works this week, or at least there are deals that are “bigger” in the works this week, but quietly, while heads were turned, the Sox made yet another nice pickup: Matt Clement, a consistent workhorse with a strikeout rate that’s a boon to the sabermetrician’s heart. An interesting comparison to Pavano, who comes in with a lower era and much higher win total from last year. But we all know wins are deceptive. Their WHIPs are pretty close.

13 comments… add one
  • A better comparison is Clement to Wright, signed for close to the same number per annum. It will be interesting to see how they pan out in the AL.

    SF December 18, 2004, 10:35 pm
  • Six of one, half dozen of the other. Clement signed somewhere between the 7m for Wright and the 10 m for Pavano. He wasn’t in the picture for the slot the Yanks offered to Wright; he was not in that lower price range (with Lieber and Milton, who seems to think he’s worth more). And that means they preferred Pavano on a talent/longevity basis, right or wrong, or they surely would have taken Clement for less money to fill the same position in the rotation.

    YF December 19, 2004, 12:53 am
  • That’s preposterous. Wright signed a 3/21M deal, Clement a 3/25M deal, Pavano a 4/40M deal. Clement “not in the lower price range”? That’s simply nonsense, as is the attempt to compare the per annum salary: the Yankees signed Pavano to a much larger and restrictive cumulative deal, with an extra year and an extra 15M. To say that Clement slotted in “somwhere between” the two is self-deception, for the most part.
    The Yankees chose Wright over Clement,Lieber, et. al, and that’s the comparison we ought to watch. More to the point, it would be best to watch the Wright/Pavano tandem against the Wells/Clement tandem (+ whoever fills the Wells/Clement spikes for three pitching seasons when their deals expire), and see how much performative difference there is between those 7 statistical seasons, to really see how allotted money translates into actual value.

    SF December 19, 2004, 4:15 am
  • ?! The Yanks went on cost for the lower slot, Wright, and spent what they needed for the higher (Pavano). Clement was to pricey for the low end, and they did not think strong enough for the high. This may be preposterous to you, but it’s also how the Yankees went about their business. Tilt at windmills all day long, doesn’t bother me, and run any comparisons you like. But here’s one suggestion: when you run into Boomer at the Cask and Flaggon at three am two weeks after the back surgery that ended his season, just don’t say anything about his mother. Not that you would.

    YF December 19, 2004, 11:28 am
  • If I run into Boomer at the C&F after season ending back surgery, at least I will know that the Sox risked very little on him and his iffy body. With Wright or Pavano, there’s no such risk management. I don’t think the Yankees ever really considered Clement, to be honest, though I have nothing to back that supposition up, just as your statement that “the Yanks went on cost for the lower slot” is equally unsupportable – you don’t know how the Yankees made their decision, or who they were choosing from. The Wright/Pavano and Wells/Clement signings are debatable from a pure baseball standpoint, but that is another discussion.

    SF December 19, 2004, 11:49 am
  • If we believe the papers, we DO know whom the Yankees went after. Wright, Lieber, and Milton. They had numbers they were willing to put up for each of these guys, and the one who said yes first was going to be the one with the uniform. Clement was presumably not on that list because they were asking too “low.”

    YF December 19, 2004, 11:58 am
  • Clement fills the pubic beard quota at Fenway. The Sox now have the flexibility to deal Millar. You guys are looking at the wrong stats. Clement’s pubic bear peripherals are much stronger than Pavano’s, although the Sox did plan to pay more for him than the Yanks did.

    nick December 19, 2004, 1:31 pm
  • “With Wright or Pavano, there’s no such risk management.”
    Agreed, except Theo and Co were also hot for Pavano, and according to a Gammons’ article, they offered a little more than the Yanks did. Pavano chose NY because it’s a better city. I guess the Sox were factoring in risk when they tendered their offer. The Yanks brass is filled with reckless morons.

    Walt Clyde December 19, 2004, 1:34 pm
  • Again, I tend to look at Wright and Clement in the same boat, not Clement and Pavano. It’s there that the risk management issue comes up, though it could be argued that Clement is as historically reliable as either of those two guys, and he’s getting paid far less than the greater of the two, barely more than the lesser. The Sox were probably not going to sign both Clement and Pavano, to be honest, as the Clement signing was a result of market shakedown. They were going to sign some mix of Pedro, Clement, Pavano, and Wells, 2 of the 4. With any of those guys, Pedro is the big question mark, risk-wise – biggest upside, biggest downside, but the Sox had to know the Mets were going to blow away their offer, or at least calculated that at 40M it was an acceptable risk. The Yankees determined subjectively that Wright and Pavano are worth a $61M risk while the Sox determined that Wells/Clement were worth a $29M-43M risk, total as yet to be determined based on Wells’ health and performance. I like the latter strategy a little better, from a long-term standpoint and maybe even as a short-term strategy as well.

    SF December 19, 2004, 3:08 pm
  • The biggest question mark, risk-wise, is Pavano based on his past performance indicators and what he received financially. The Yanks and Sox were both willing to take their chances. At the same time, the Sox did offer Pedro a guaranteed 3rd year, at a sizeable sum. This might have not been in good faith, but my bet is that it was, that the Sox were factoring in “risk”. Thus, the Sox were willing to offer upwards of $80 million to two pitchers who were very high-risk. If that had happened, SF, would you be trumpeting the team’s prudence?
    As it turned out, the Sox lost out on both free agents, and their contingency plan is Clement and Wells. It is a contingency plan, which I agree with you is safer than the Yanks’ plan. But I think it’s important to point out that if the Red Sox had their way originally, it would not have happened.
    Meanwhile, I’m bummed that the Yanks signed both these players.

    Anonymous December 19, 2004, 5:06 pm
  • that last post was mine. sorry for forgetting to put my name.

    Walt Clyde December 19, 2004, 5:07 pm
  • My speculation is that Pavano/Martinez as a tandem was never a possibility for the Sox. The guarantee of a third, even fourth year for Pedro was probably not even on the table until Pavano turned down the Sox. If anything, the Sox would have had a Martinez or Pavano with Wells tandem, should either of the former accepted the team’s terms. The two were never coming together, as the Sox wouldn’t have committed 80M+ to two pitchers, particularly one who was uninsurable.
    Had either Pavano or Martinez accepted the Sox, the other would have been set free from the team’s sights, and immediately.

    SF December 19, 2004, 8:41 pm
  • Fella, you’re bummed out about the Wright signing? Lordy, I couldn’t be happier …

    Sam December 21, 2004, 11:43 pm

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