It’s Christmas Eve and We’ve Got $50M to Spend

Larry Lucchino has made a point of advertising the fact that the Red Sox are now heavily pursuing Kevin Millwood,  the reigning AL ERA king formerly of the Cleveland Indians.  This is a move I find highly dubious, without a cascade of other moves in the pipeline. It’s not that Millwood wouldn’t be a decent addition to the Red Sox; he’s been a pretty consistent performer for the duration of his career, and it sure looks like the last remaining way to success in the AL is to stack a rotation and bullpen, considering that modest offense that resides on paper in the Bronx, with lite versions in both Boston and Toronto.  But Millwood is represented by Scott Boras. Scott Boras just got Jarrod Washburn a $35M+ contract for four years.  So what does Millwood, a better pitcher by almost every measure, get? $40M? $45M?  Dare I say $50M?  I would assume a signing like this would enable Matt Clement to put his house on the market or Bronson Arroyo to get another sticker on his guitar case (while at the same time reducing both their trade values).  If the Sox bite, then it means one of two things. First, it could be that the disinterest they apparently showed Damon was to focus on pitching.  Or, it could simply mean that they are reacting (or, overreacting?), that they’ve chosen Millwood nwo that Damon has moved on. So, a 31 year old starter over a 32 year old centerfielder. A (pretty much) career National Leaguer over a career ALer.  An unknown over a known. And a run-of-the-mill North Carolinian over a highly marketable Kansan.  Without a corresponding trade of either Arroyo or Clement for decent value (meaning a CF, a SS, or a very very good prospect), and at Scott Boras prices, I’d pass.

12 comments… add one
  • I guess the thinking is that with the seemingly inevitable departure of Wells (sounds like his destination is LA for a package inclusing Itzuris and Choi), and their willingness to use either Arroyo or Clement as trade chips for a CF, the staff is about to get a lot thinner. Millwood can be brought into fill that need. The Sox will have to overpay (and I’m happy about that) but given the options available on the free agent market and via trade, I’m not sure what other route they should take. Unless, you believe they can lose two pitchers and the staff will be ok. I wouldn’t envy a starting unit with injury risks such as Schilling and Beckett, and unproven talents like Papelbon. It’s probably preferable to have pitching depth given these pitchers.

    Nick December 24, 2005, 6:34 pm
  • Yeah, Nick. They can’t afford to lose two pitchers and not replace them. But Arroyo , Clement, or Wells would be “lost” by choice/design (though I know Wells has demanded a trade). I have less of a problem with a Millwood pickup if it is done in tandem with a trade of an asset (i.e. Wells, Arroyo, or Clement) that fills a gap well (SS, CF – I don’t consider Youk at 1B to be the void that others here might), and not at some sort of ridiculous Boras price. I trust the first part (a decent trade) can happen, I am not holding my breath about the last part (the $$$).

    SF December 24, 2005, 7:16 pm
  • that modest offense that resides on paper in the Bronx,
    Three words: “grasping at straws.”

    john yf December 24, 2005, 7:24 pm
  • I have to think that SF was going for heavy-handed sarcasm on that one.

    Nick December 24, 2005, 7:27 pm
  • Yes, Nick, I was.

    SF December 24, 2005, 7:43 pm
  • i’m getting tired of saying this…but, IT’S DECEMBER. why is everyone acting like we’re going into opening day TOMORROW with literally no one to stand in center field, short and first?

    beth December 24, 2005, 9:02 pm
  • > why is everyone acting like we’re going into opening day TOMORROW with literally no one to stand in center field, short and first?
    I didn’t read that anyone was acting that way. I more read the Sox have caution flags raised regarding the pitching staff as it may be (arguably) getting thinner, and the options available to move players of value to fill needed positions have to be considered since there just aren’t many free agents available to fill the holes.

    ag December 24, 2005, 10:12 pm
  • Forgetting the cost issues, bagging Izturis and Choi for Wells, and then landing Millwood would probably be effective on the field. And if they’re going to deal live arms like Arroyo or Clement, they should be able to land a fully adequate CF.
    And on that note, a Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah to one and all in YFs and SFs alike. We have much to be thankful for this year, not the least beaing that Donner and Blitzen aren’t in TWU 100, and that Santa isn’t repped by Boras.

    YF December 24, 2005, 10:42 pm
  • The key to Crisp, Lugo, Reed is to trade pitching for the pieces you need to get these players. If you sign Millwood,,,you don’t have to trade Lester and your other top 5 prospects.

    charlie December 26, 2005, 9:52 am
  • I have to think that SF was going for heavy-handed sarcasm on that one.
    If you say unsuccessfully going for, I’ll agree with you.

    john yf December 26, 2005, 10:23 am
  • So much for Millwood. Word has it that Tom Hicks has proven yet again that he’s Boras’ beeotch—Rangers offer Millwood 5 years for $60M. !!! Does Boras have pictures of Hicks screwing a Shetland pony or something??

    Spidey December 26, 2005, 6:51 pm
  • Interesting article here. I’ve never read Massarotti before, is he considered good, or a Sox Hatah?

    john yf December 26, 2005, 7:12 pm

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