Consistent-ly Overrated?

Apropos of the four Josh Beckett debates we’ve had here in the past three months — all of which have been remarkable for their civil, smart and well-thought-out nature — The Hardball Times a while back delved into whether a pitcher who is dominant for x number of starts and is abysmal for y number of starts is any less valuable than a pitcher who is consistently good for x + y number of starts (assuming of course that y is a pretty good share lower than x). It specifically focuses on NL Cy Young candidates — Oswalt, Webb and Carpenter.

The conclusion: That Carpenter, though having more stinkers than the other two, also had morre dominant starts, and when factoring in bullpen-average ERAs, he gave his team a better chance to win more games. In my book, any pitcher that can give you 19 quality starts per season at age 26 while adjusting to a new league and dealing with self-described "stupid stubborness" is a pitcher who is very valuable.

And for those who are curious, Josh Beckett’s night-and-day lines this season:
Quality starts: 19 games, 129.2 IP, 15-2, 2.22 ERA (including 13 IP, 5 ER against NY in 2 wins)
Non-quality: 14 games, 75 IP, 1-9, 9.84 ERA (including 7 IP, 16 ER against NY in 2 losses)

53 comments… add one
  • I think it depends on the team. For a high-offense team, I think a more consistent pitcher is more valuable, because then you’ll have a good shot to win every game.
    With a team like Minnesota, I think a pitcher who has a couple stinkers but then shuts down teams the rest of the way is more valuable.
    So was Josh Beckett more or less valuable to the Red Sox than people think? That depends. Did those stinkers come when the Sox offense had so many injuries? Did he pitch well in blowouts? I think you gotta look at that before coming to any quick conclusions.

    Andrew December 9, 2006, 11:21 pm
  • I’d like to see that broken down by quality of opposing offense.

    Condo December 9, 2006, 11:32 pm
  • I will tell you this from actually seeing the games: If you subtract the fact that Toronto faced beckett 3 times in one month, and Cleveland absolutely killed him both times, his stats are REMARKABLY better. Vernon Wells and Co. tee’d off on Beckett in the third and fourth starts against him.
    My conclusion:
    Nick doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and his opinion is based on nothing more than emotion. Beckett is clearly a dominating pitcher, and Boston is very, very lucky to have him. Hanley be damned.
    Haha.
    Kidding aside, I have wayyyy too much man-love to argue any way other than very positively for him. From the moment he took the field for Florida against NY, and I donnned the cheapest Marlin T-Shirt I could find, I wanted him on the Red Sox. Those kind of nights are exactly what he gives a team – the chance to totally dominate any team.
    On another note, Beckett pitches in the AL East not the NL West. Not many of his starts, even those against Baltimore or Tampa, offer him the opportunity to face a “bad lineup” or “bad offense”. Maybe relatively against NY or Boston, those offenses are not as good, but against normal teams, they’re pretty darn good.

    Brad December 9, 2006, 11:43 pm
  • http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6403/gamelog;_ylt=Al9d.okfvWyHAR6FsGrw7J.FCLcF
    Season game log for Beckett.
    Looking at that, it seems Beckett’s biggest fears last year were the Yankees and Cleveland. His two best games came against, yup, Kansas City and Seattle, hardly ‘hard-hitting’ teams.
    He lost a tough, 6-7 one against Cleveland, notably his best game was a 1-0 win vs Kansas City. Impressive, but not that impressive. Tough no-decision loss vs KC too, as weirdly they were the Sox’s biggest bogeymen last season. Won a 2-1 squeaker vs the Angels, and a no-decision win against them too. He had a good number of close wins, also had a good number of blowout wins and blowout losses. I must say he consistently pitched 6 innings, sometimes hitting 7 and (thrice) 8 (although each of those 8ers were vs KC). Pretty good, certainly better than one Jaret Wright, but hardly a “#2” guy seasonal performance. Especially with the Sox’s putrid bullpen outside of Paps.
    Anyway you should look for yourselves. I like what Yahoo does, pretty succinct.

    Andrew December 9, 2006, 11:46 pm
  • Kansas City killed a lot of aces last year. Same with Tampa Bay. We’ve been over this before a million times. AL teams, who lay down for mediocre pitching, for whatever reason step it up against the best pitchers in the game.

    Brad December 9, 2006, 11:55 pm
  • okay, good night guys.

    Brad December 9, 2006, 11:56 pm
  • So I guess Beckett isn’t actually one of the best pitchers in the game? He’s actually mediocre? Is that why he did so well against KC?
    And Tampa Bay does not have a putrid offense like Kansas City does. In fact I’d rate TB offense higher than such teams as Seattle and Baltimore. Their problem is pitching. If TB can actually get some quality pitchers other than Scott Kazmir, watch out. They are a young and quickly improving team, and they’ll only get better once Delmon Young joins the scene.

    Andrew December 9, 2006, 11:59 pm
  • Come on. Beckett was remarkably consistent… at giving up dingers!
    Anyways, quality of opponents count… here’s a little thing I just cooked up…
    If you make a matrix separating teams he faced based on Win Percentage, I think there’s an interesting trend.
    I arbitrarily decided to make the tiers playoff team- NY, MIN, DET, OAK- avg WP .588, near playoff teams- CWS, TOR, LAA- avg WP .547, almost mediocre teams TEX, CLE, SEA- avg WP .485, bad teams- BAL, KC, TB- avg WP .377, and NL Teams (which probably belong somewhere bwteen almost mediocre and bad) Mets, ATL, PHI- Avg WP .537.
    Against Playoff teams, he started 9 games, 51.1 IP, 7 dingers, ERA to the tune of 6.69, WHIP of 1.62.
    Against Near Playoff teams, he started 8 games, 47 IP, 11 dingers (thank you Blue Jays), ERA of 5.55 and a WHIP of 1.40.
    Against Almost Mediocre teams, he started 5 games, 29 IP, 7 dingers, ERA of 6.36 WHIP of 1.59.
    Against Bad teams, he started 7 games, 48.2 IP, 6 dingers, 3.36 ERA and 0.96 WHIP.
    Against the JV league, he started 4 games, 28.2 IP, 5 dingers, 2.87 ERA and 0.89 WHIP.
    It’s great to say that in games he won, he dominated, but look who he’s dominating. Playing the bad teams is part of the game, so I don’t begrudge his succes against them (except Tampa where such success is strangely absent). But those are games where you should trot out any starter and have a significantly better than average chance of winning. Same with the NL teams, except maybe the Mets. But anyone who says they feel good that he’s pitching against the Yanks or Jays is probably a Yanks or Jays fan.
    PS- My favorite Beckett stat-
    2006
    Home GS 14 WL 10-2 ERA 2.47 WHIP 1.04
    Away GS 15 WL 5-6 ERA 4.31 WHIP 1.32
    Maybe, just maybe, the Red Sox got exactly the man who pitched in 2006. If only they had traded for Dolphins Stadium too.

    tpxDMD December 10, 2006, 2:07 am
  • If Boston fans ever needed another reason to want Boras’ head on a pike, here’s one.
    “Disinterested in even making a deal.” I hate him with every fiber of my being…

    desturbd1 December 10, 2006, 2:15 am
  • That’s amazing.
    If Matsuzaka deal isn’t worked out, it can only be seen as the absolute failure of the Japanese posting system, something that seriously needs to be done away with completely if this turns into a fiasco.
    Don’t blame the Sox. Don’t blame Boras. They’re each (rightly) working for the best situation they can get, and they’re not getting it because there is no competition to drive either party. Blame the system. It is completely broken.

    Andrew December 10, 2006, 3:00 am
  • No…I’m gonna go ahead and blame Boras. Because I know the posting system is broken, and I know he knows the posting system is broken, and it sounds to me like he may have simply decided that Matsuzaka is his ticket to tearing the system apart. No deal for Matsuzaka? That’s fine for Boras, he’ll just spend the next year getting the system changed or destroyed, and then return his client after the 07 season, a year earlier then he can come back right now. Sure, coming into the negotiations with no intention to let his client sign anything resembling a reasonable contract completely screws whoever won the bidding, and by all accounts his client; but I doubt Boras really gives a damn about any of that. Of course…this is all assuming that the story was %100 accurate; I still think the deal will get done. Not signing him leaves Boston with 4 starters, and the Meche/Marquis deals probably just made Boras look a little more reasonable then he was a few days ago. I’m just not as sure as I was…

    desturbd1 December 10, 2006, 3:12 am
  • Oh wah. Blame Boras for what, not letting one of his biggest agents get fair market value? You’re right, Gil Meche’s contract make the Red Sox look like El Cheapo of the year. Boras isn’t budging because the Sox haven’t budged first. Matsuzaka can and will get bigger money in Japan. You can make Boras to be the bogeyman if it helps you sleep at night, just realize that the Sox, lowballing at $8 million per year, are as much of a roadblock as Boras’s initial offer of $15 million.
    Boras intended his client to sign a fair market deal. Boston is not offering anything close to that.

    Andrew December 10, 2006, 3:25 am
  • Andrew:
    “Fair Market Value” assumes to some extent, a “market”. The Sox bought exclusive negotiating rights. DM is NOT a Free Agent, there is not immediate competition for his services. Therefore, this not a “market”, like with typical free agents. If Boras has no intention of signing any deal other than one that gives Matsuzaka the money that he would get in a competitive atmosphere, then he is not bargaining in “good faith”, because “good faith” takes into account the terms and context of the situation.

    SF December 10, 2006, 7:22 am
  • And all that aside, this smacks of hardball. Boras is just saying he is willing to walk away, a key component of negotation. You have to be willing to walk away. If you aren’t, you will always lose.

    SF December 10, 2006, 7:27 am
  • Ok gents bear with me. I have just spent the past 12 hours studying CA Community Property for a final on Monday and the mind is bit fried, but back to the intended subject.
    WWWWhat in God’s name is Boras doing? Is he trying to kill the hostage?! All the info coming from D-Mat has him chomping at the bit to get to the Majors, right? There has to be a point at which the client overides the agent and orders the deal done if that is what he really wants to do…play for a MLB team (and damn good one at that). Unless Boras has poisoned poor D-Mat’s mind to the point that he has him convinced the Sox offers are downright disrespectful and he’ll be better off dealing with another organization, I have to think that D-Mat chooses to sign. I don’t know. If Boras is asking for 4yrs/$56million or below, the Sox better take that. Henry will be viewed as a straight punk if he big timed the posting to the tune of $51.1mill and then balked at a 4 year contract for the hottest Japanese FA since Godzilla.

    bloodyank78 December 10, 2006, 7:27 am
  • Good morning SF, I truly feel like a law school finals crackhead now that after I posted my comment, I see you’re up and about at 7:30am on the East Coast.

    bloodyank78 December 10, 2006, 7:34 am
  • re. beckett: i’ll say it again…he’s not overrated…he is, and has been, a very good pitcher…if we need a label, use “underachiever”…he came into spring training with the hype that he and curt would compete for the cy young award…not only did he fall out of that discussion early, some of his individual performances were a cause for great concern…he’ll probably improve on what for the most part was not really a bad first year in a new league…we need to cut the guy some slack…
    re. boras and the sox on dm: “let the finger-pointing begin”…while i still think we’ll see a signing, i did predict a fair amount of finger-pointing during the “posturing phase”…i think both sides are at fault…while the sox made an offer that is probably consistent with an unproven, high level prospect projected to be a #4 or 5 started, that is not consistent with the money they bid to get his rights…$51m for the rights to a #4 or 5 starter doesn’t line up…there were enough hints that this would cost more, so i’m surprised the sox ignored the obvious…as for boras, yep he’s a rat, and i agree he has decided to hold the process hostage…he probably thinks he is doing the best for his client, even though it will kill dm in the short run…
    i’ve said this before too: if there is no signing, mlb should vigorously investigate the parties involved and the process…in fact, if this somehow gets resolved in the next few days, and there is a signing, there should still be an investigation…something ain’t right with this whole thing…

    dc December 10, 2006, 9:54 am
  • tpxDMD:
    Those are pretty good stats, but I also inserted a few other “great” pitchers into Beckett’s place in the equation:
    Care to share those results with the rest of us, to see which pitchers did actually dominate playoff caliber teams? If you haven’t done it, try it.
    Yeah, you get the point, I’m sure.

    Brad December 10, 2006, 9:59 am
  • I agree, DC.

    Brad December 10, 2006, 10:01 am
  • Nobody is “at fault”. This is a negotiaton. Nobody is “at fault” until the deadline passes without a signing.
    As for Boras, the only thing he has to use to pressure the Sox is time. All his threats revolve around the passing of the deadline: he has no other bidders for DM. Hence, Boras only gains strength in position by allowing the negotiations to drag to the last minute. If this were an open bid for DM’s services, he would have the leverage of other teams. As it it, all he has is the clock. It’s valuable. Which is why there’s been no signing yet. Be assured that if the Sox came to the table with what Boras felt was “fair” four days before the clock ran out, he’d say “no” and keep his leverage. There’d still be time, assuming he read the situation with some skill. Which Boras has a ton of.
    None of this stuff is suprising. But I don’t mean to say that a signing is a foregone conclusion: it’s not. I just think it’s more likely than not. Either result wouldn’t shock me.

    SF December 10, 2006, 10:08 am
  • Either result wouldn’t shock me.
    Yeah, I think that’s the normal view here. I will say this, if Boras take Matsuzuka back to Japan, the odds of Boston working with Boras later may be slim to none.
    If there was ever a way to for NY and Boston to agree to NOT work with Boras, I’d be all for it. If he couldn’t pin the two teams against each other, or at least not have the option of pinning all the other teams against the two biggies, he loses out every time.
    Of course, that’ll never happen.

    Brad December 10, 2006, 10:16 am
  • But, Brad, didn’t you recently post Andy Pettitte’s stats against AL play-off contending teams to discredit his chances at being a top-of-the-rotation guy? So sometimes those numbers are damning and sometimes they are normal?

    Nick-YF December 10, 2006, 10:18 am
  • Both teams make a mutual press release:
    “We have chosen to not participate in negotiations with Mr.Boras in this year, or any year in the future. His crooked ways of lies and deception are bad for baseball”
    Then, watch Boras spin his players to the other teams for much less money. Any team knowing NY and Boston are not getting involved would have the luxury of keeping their pricetag on this planet.

    Brad December 10, 2006, 10:19 am
  • “I will say this, if Boras take Matsuzuka back to Japan, the odds of Boston working with Boras later may be slim to none.”
    The Sox would get over it. Unless, they didn’t ever want to deal with the best choices on the free agent market again.

    Nick-YF December 10, 2006, 10:20 am
  • But, Brad, didn’t you recently post Andy Pettitte’s stats against AL play-off contending teams to discredit his chances at being a top-of-the-rotation guy?
    Well, if you can show me in what NL games Beckett was hammered, I’d buy into that argument a little more. In fact, the NL game I went to this year, Nick, Beckett not only dominated for the full game, but hit a home run to help his cause.
    My point above was that no matter which pitcher you punch into the equation against playoff caliber teams, the result is basically the same. Result – good lineups get to the pitcher more often and don’t give away free runs. It’s not solely a characteristic of Beckett.

    Brad December 10, 2006, 10:22 am
  • Why exactly would it be a problem if Boras convinced Matsuzaka not to sign for less than he’s worth?
    The Red Sox paid Seibu for the right to negotiate exclusively with DM, not the right to have him sign a shitty contract. DM has to weigh how badly he wants to play in the US this year vs. getting properly compensated from his US employer.
    Certainly part of the RS bid was to keep him off the Yankees, whether a deal could get done or not. That’s why they’re offering far less than what DM is worth — because that is how they designed the bid!
    Shockingly, in a negotiation involving tens of millions, both sides are playing hardball.

    Coney December 10, 2006, 10:33 am
  • Andy Pettitte has actually had success in the AL over a long period of time. Josh Beckett hasn’t, and yet we’re arguing over 40 inning cherry-picked game logs. It just occurred to me that if Josh hadn’t had the benefit of pitching those 4 games against the NL in 2006, his ERA would be closer to 6 and the quality games pitched down to 15. Do you want to factor those games in to get a “real” idea of what Beckett did last year. After all, pitching against the NL doesn’t count. Right?

    Nick-YF December 10, 2006, 10:43 am
  • Nick, you seem very stubborn w/r/t Beckett. The worst thing about sabermetrics is that one can pull a weirdo stat out when it serves their purpose, then claim that someone else is doing the same when it hurts one’s own argument. The Hardball Times article is interesting (and limited). It does seem to show that inconsistent pitchers are underrated, or at the very least mis-rated, and you are doing that here. Certainly the HT article is limited,, but it does tell us something useful, though you seem unwilling to engage that fact.
    It really appears to me that your opinion of Beckett is exaggerated for some reason that I cannot pinpoint, beyond the fact that you simply think he is over-rated, full understanding of the statistics be damned. He is, as we’ve said here many times, not an ace, and not a #1 starter. But your posts, their tone, make him out to be more like Wes Gardner (a Sox fireballing underachiever from the past) than what he really is: a totally solid, young starting pitcher learning to pitch in a new league, with varying success, a good deal of value, and tremendous potential.

    SF December 10, 2006, 11:02 am
  • In 2006, he had value. Not a good deal of value (as you write), but value. More value than his 5 ERA seemed to imply. Still, let’s go back to my original statement, in which I dared to suggest that if I were Larry and Jed Hoyer and I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t have made that deal because I think Hanley and Anibal are more valuable than Beckett and his $10 million dollar contract. To me, knowing what we now know, I don’t know why that’s controversial. It’s not to say it was an unreasonable trade at the time, just like the Big Unit trade wasn’t unreasonable at the time. Doesn’t mean I don’t wish we had that trade back. And, in my opinion, I think to say that you’d still make the Beckett trade, given what you know about him and Hanley and Anibal, is to overrate him because I don’t think he is going to make much progress in the AL. I don’t think it’s a matter of adjustment to a new league and because of his self-identified stubborn stupidity (speaking of that, if it was a matter of that and he was able to identify that as a big problem, how come he hasn’t been able to fix it).

    Nick-YF December 10, 2006, 11:22 am
  • This argument is clearly going nowhere. Nick hates Beckett. We get it.

    Brad December 10, 2006, 11:39 am
  • Edit:
    I’ll reword:
    Nick does not heart Beckett the way we do.

    Brad December 10, 2006, 11:42 am
  • the irony is that Beckett is my closest friend. I’m just a little harder on Josh because I care so deeply about him.

    Nick-YF December 10, 2006, 11:49 am
  • “Knowing what we know now”, I’ll still make the trade. Talk to me in one more year, though. This year will tell a hell of a lot more than last, considering all players’ involved circumstances. I think you’ll have a much stronger case (and perhaps another SF, this one, on your side) if nothing at all changes. Meaning Beckett doesn’t improve at all and Hanley and Sanchez equal or exceed their rookie campaigns.

    SF December 10, 2006, 12:08 pm
  • I agree, SF. Man, I’ve dished out so much crow, it will take a weeks worth of meals to eat it all.

    Brad December 10, 2006, 12:10 pm
  • The Sox bought exclusive negotiating rights. DM is NOT a Free Agent, there is not immediate competition for his services.
    This comment sounds a lot like the franchise tag in football. After that tag is applied they have to make him one of the highest paid at his position. Boras is not asking for the sox to make DM the highest paid but asking for what his peers are getting (maybe even less). Why should Boras accept less value just because the sox had to post $51 million. If a team won the bidding with $15 million would you being saying the same thing. We have exclusive rights should we should offer him half of what Gil Meche gets. I think not.

    Seth December 10, 2006, 12:11 pm
  • Who is saying what Boras should or shouldn’t accept? I certainly am not. I am only pointing out the fact that this situation is not akin to negotiating wih a free agent. Boras’ leverage is the TIME factor, at this point, not counter-offering clubs or a heated market for services amongst several wealthy teams. It serves him to wait longer and longer. I have no idea what is “fair”, but it seems to me that logic tells us that DM is equal to a prized prospect, probably slightly more than major-league ready, and then you add premiums for the fact that he’s a Boras client, that he’s universally highly regarded, and also brings R&D value and Far East market value. I have no clue what that all amounts to. Probably somewhere between 8 or 9 and 14 or 15 mill a year, for either 3, 4, 5, or 6 years, based on what all sides are leaking.
    I have no “bad guy” chosen at this point. Talk to me on Friday if things don’t work out.

    SF December 10, 2006, 12:27 pm
  • …i agree with you sf…it’s too early to pick the villian, if there is one…however, i stand by my earlier comment that both sides are “at fault” for taking this long without any perceptible progress…both of them saying that they were too busy with other transactions over the past few weeks to focus on this sounds a bit feeble, especially when you consider that this is one of the most significant events of the offseason…i don’t know if the talks have really broken down or not, i only trust gammons with that kind of news, but i think the real leverage boras has is that he’s not afraid to let this go down the toilet to prove a point…and the sox have held fast to the philosophy, despite opinions about this year’s transactions, that they set a value limit on players that they are not willing to exceed…

    dc December 10, 2006, 12:49 pm
  • Speculation game: If the DMats negotiation goes down the drain, do the Sox make an absurd push for Clemens?

    Nick-YF December 10, 2006, 12:53 pm
  • They may make an absurd push for him either way.
    Off to watch the Pats. Go Pats!

    SF December 10, 2006, 12:56 pm
  • Sorry SF –
    How about those Dolphins? Whooohooo. Jet’s push to win the AFC East, and the Broncos have the head to head over NE! Ha, of course that’s a joke. No way NY wins, nor could I ever, ever pull for them. Ever.

    Brad December 10, 2006, 4:22 pm
  • Jay Cutler is the Josh Beckett of football.
    ok, I’m just joking, Brad. Not that you’d take that as an insult;)
    studying on…

    Nick-YF December 10, 2006, 4:32 pm
  • Boy the Pats were terrible. Oh well – the Fish have one fast defense – looked better than the Bears’, to me. And Brady’s receiving corps is as scary as a kitten right now.

    SF December 10, 2006, 4:46 pm
  • okay, Nick. Now you’re hitting below the belt!

    Brad December 10, 2006, 5:05 pm
  • Holy Christ, San Diego’s offense is disgusting. If Marty can’t win it all with this team, he should absolutely retire forever.

    Brad December 10, 2006, 5:06 pm
  • Back to Matsuzaka, I agree with SF and d-1.
    To compare the current market for Matsuzaka to the free agent market is ludicrous. They are two separate markets, in which the currency — a ballplayer — has two separate values because the demand is vastly different. In free agency, supply is short and demand is vast, leading to an overvaluing of the supply. In this market, supply and demand are equal, which means there is no economic reason a deal should not get done. If one isn’t done, someone did not do their due diligence to make a deal work — and I’d be willing to guess that person would be Scott Boras.
    Of course, of a deal doesn’t work, someone is going to be leaking numbers. If it turns out the Sox never broke $10M/year in their offer, I would blame Theo. If it turns out Boras never dropped below $15M or never counteroffered at all (as is being intimated currently), I would be mad at him — and I would question whether MLB has any legal recourse against him because of his failure to negotiate in good faith. Certainly a failure to negotiate past initial offers would qualify.
    I too believe a deal will get done. But hold on because we’re going to hear at least two more days of this before it happens — ahem, if it happens.

    Paul SF December 10, 2006, 9:00 pm
  • If this deal doesn’t happen, there will be a lot of name-calling and pointing of fingers, and yet the Sox will continue to operate without punishment and Boras will continue to make a lot of money for players (also without punishment). And if major league baseball feels so damaged by this non-signing, then its leadership will have to work with Japanese baseball’s leadership to develop a better system for Japanese free agency. The blind bidding process is pretty much only good for the Japanese franchise the player is leaving.

    Nick-YF December 10, 2006, 9:23 pm
  • What’s odd is that there are cynical (if not realistic) reasons for both parties not to want this deal to work out. I find the conspiracy theory that the Sox were merely blocking the Yanks pretty implausible and unrealistic, but still, it’s a possibility. I also find it unlikely that Boras is trying to up-end the Japanese bidding system, which is not especially friendly to the player. But again it’s a possibility. I guess this is to say that it’ll be very ugly if it doesn’t work out, with both the Sox and Boras the targets of a lot of anger.

    Nick-YF December 10, 2006, 9:41 pm
  • And my solopsistic run of posts runs to 3 in a row. I am officially avoiding my studies…
    I wanted to clarify what you meant, Paul, when you said the free agent market was separate from this one. Clearly, the supply-demand relationship has changed, but it’s not as if this market exists in a vacuum. The free agent market in the US is setting the parameters for it, or at the very least is influencing it. So Gil Meche’s oddly inflated contract does not help the Sox out right now. They can’t just ignore that number when talking with Boras. Or can they? I ask this sincerely because I’m not sure I understand market dynamics.

    Nick-YF December 10, 2006, 9:50 pm
  • I agree, Nick, that the Meche signing means the Sox have to offer at least $10M a year because even though the realiy of the market does not change, the perception of fairness does, and clearly this market does not exist in a vacuum. What happens in other markets has effects on this one. The perception is that Matsuzaka is at least worth Meche money because he has a pretty good chance of vastly outperforming Meche over the next four years, even considering the different dynamics.

    Paul SF December 10, 2006, 10:42 pm
  • Brad- for whatever its worth a day and half later…
    Halladay (best pitcher in the AL East)-
    Playoffs- NYY, MIN, OAK- WP .589- 2-0 30 IP, 2.44 ERA, 1.15 WHIP
    Near Playoffs- CWS, LAA, BOS- WP .543- 2-2 47 IP, 4.77 ERA, 1.38 WHIP
    Almost Mediocre- TEX, CLE, SEA- WP .485- 2-0 27 IP, 2.31 ERA, 1.32 WHIP
    Bad- BAL, KC, TB- WP .397- 8-2 94 IP, 2.49 ERA, 0.861 WHIP
    NL- NYM, FLA, WAS- WP. 506- 2-1 19 IP, 5.63 ERA, 1.35 WHIP
    Mussina (best pitcher on NYY)
    Playoffs- MIN, DET, OAK- WP .584- 1-2 29 IP, 2.77 ERA, 0.959 WHIP
    Near Playoffs- CWS, LAA, TOR, BOS- WP .543- 7-1 66 IP, 3.53 ERA, 1.24 WHIP
    Almost Mediocre- TEX, CLE- WP .488- 3-1 31 IP, 4.62 ERA, 1.06 WHIP
    Bad- BAL, KC, TB- WP .397- 3-3 46 IP, 3.52 ERA, 1.17 WHIP
    NL- NYM, FLA, PHI- WP. 535- 1-0 23 IP, 3.13 ERA, .957 WHIP
    and CC Sabathia (same age as Beckett)
    Playoffs- MIN, OAK, DET- WP .584- 1-7 54 IP, 3.31 ERA, 1.42 WHIP
    Near Playoffs- CWS, LAA, TOR, BOS- WP .543- 6-2 65 IP, 3.18 ERA, 1.12 WHIP
    Almost Mediocre- CLE, SEA- WP .457- 2-0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.59 WHIP
    Bad- KC, TB- WP .380- 1-0 24 IP, 2.63 ERA, 1.17 WHIP
    NL- CHC, CIN, STL, MIL, PIT- WP .459- 2-2 31 IP, 5.50 ERA, 1.22 WHIP
    Small sample, but I’d say Beckett has a problem that is not exactly common with the better pitchers in the AL.

    tpxDMD December 11, 2006, 1:56 am
  • I have to say, though I thoroughly enjoyed the beatings Beckett took, I did feel he was more valueable than just his ERA would indicate. Inconsistency is generally thought of as a bad thing. But if you have a choice between a guy who puts up a 5.00 ERA by being consistently mediocre, and a guy who is alternatively dominant and crap, you gotta go with the guy who can, on any given night, shut down the opposition. And, if he doesn’t have it that night, you utilize a quick hook (I’m looking at YOU, Mr. Francona).
    Obviously I hope he sucks even more in 2007. But it seems likely that he will improve a bit – and in so doing, he would be a quality 2nd/3rd starter in the AL East.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) December 11, 2006, 9:45 am
  • i’ve probably already said something like this somewhere else, but if the debate theo and boras should be having is whether or not dm deserves lilly/meche kind of money v. pettite kind of money, i don’t see theo winning that debate…with their bid they already went on record that this guy would be the prize acquisition of the off-season…why skimp on the salary side of the deal?
    i agree with those of you who noted that the “market” is different for dm than it is for the other free agents…there is no market for dm at this point in time, because there is only one customer…however, you seem to be suggesting that dm’s value is diminished by the fact that there is only one customer…if so, that’s a bummer, because the sox are dooming themselves with regard to this deal, validating the criticism that they don’t always deal in good faith, and underestimating boras’ resolve…the open market for dm [assuming no signing] is a year or 2 away…for a few million bucks, the sox are going to let this guy get away instead of taking the opportunity to lock him up now, when they already have $51m committed….i don’t get it…boras and others hinted at this guy’s value before the bidding began…why did the sox bother to bid?

    dc December 11, 2006, 10:42 am
  • Jeez, look at Mussina’s year. You know, I remember thinking that he had a really good shot of ranking in the Cy Young award if Santana got injured and he continued his success. If A-Rod had made a few less errors, Mussina got better run support, and didn’t sit out for a month, he probably would have led the league in wins, maybe, just maybe, getting him a few Cy Young nods.
    Shame it didn’t happen. That could have been his last good year.

    Andrew December 11, 2006, 5:25 pm

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