Put a Nix On That Idea

The Boston Globe, full of tasty treats today, lends more credence to a Manny-for-Peavy trade, says Boras reportedly wants 6 years at $72 million for Matsuzaka, and that the Sox will offer Nixon arbitration:

If the Sox offer arbitration today — and one club source cautioned it wasn’t definite — and Nixon accepts by the Dec. 7 deadline, that would make him the equivalent of a signed player for 2007, and probably place him squarely in the team’s plans.

Isn’t a more logical explanation that the Sox will offer him arbitration so they can assure themselves a draft pick (he’s a Type B free agent) if or when he signs with someone else? Much like people suspect the Dodgers will do with Drew even though they have no shot at signing him? It’s the same reason why the Sox got stuck with Graffanino last season — they offered him arbitration to get the draft picks back, but Graff wasn’t good enough for any of the teams looking at him to want to give up the draft picks, so he accepted the arbitration.

Am I missing something, or does it sound like Edes is reading too much into what is essentially a basic strategy in the free agent market?

35 comments… add one
  • Peavy on the Sox is one of the few things I find more terrifying than Manny on the Sox. Let’s hope Cash can throw some cold water on whatever fire might be building with that one….

    YF December 1, 2006, 12:04 pm
  • Is it possible that the Sox would “throw in” Trot with that deal to SD? Assuming that Trot accepted arbitration, and Boston was willing to foot part of the deal, it would be very hard for SD to say no, and Trot would be the odd man out. They could also include Hinske as well.
    It seems that if the Sox and SD really wanted each other’s parts, they would figure a way to make it happen. I can’t see why they would offer Trot the option if he’s going to be the fifth outfielder. That is, of course, IF they sign Drew, which I happen to think they are being forced to do because of Matsuzuka.
    I’m sure Trot is aware that he needs a full season, or at least a fullER season, to gain real value on this market. With the influx of FA outfielder next year, Trot Nixon (with a full year behind him) would be a very nice option for a team who can’t afford the other guys, like say, Atlanta or the Twinks.
    Just my thoughts.

    Brad December 1, 2006, 12:15 pm
  • Brad I left a post for you on that still smoldering battlefield which was the “Democracy Now” thread, don’t worry it’s a nice one.
    As for Peavy in Beantown? I think I’d rather have Jake Peavy for a very obvious reason. He only plays every 4 or 5 games. With ManRam, that terror is in the lineup night afer night. Did anyone see Manny’s numbers breakdown against the Yanks over at WasWatching.com? The dude slugs around .650 whenever anyone is on 1B, over .700 whenever anyone is on 2B!! No thanks, I’ll take Peavy 4 or 5 times a year as opposed to Manny 19 times.

    bloodyank78 December 1, 2006, 12:33 pm
  • I agree in some sense, BY. But, with the starting pitching at a premium all the time, how much of a bargain is Peavy? Also, the Sox will still have Peavy one year after Manny is gone. I’d like to have Manny’s bat as well, but I think the reality of the situation is that Peavy is probably just as important to the Sox at this point. If the Sox feel they need to trade ManRam, good starting pitching becomes even more valueable to them if he’s gone. If Peavy was on the market now, he’d be the most heavily favored for the huge contract, so if the Sox could get him (and I don’t think it’ll happen), it’s a steal for them. I think the Sox will live with Pena and Drew if it means Peavy pitches in Fenway.

    Brad December 1, 2006, 12:40 pm
  • Also, if you look at SD’s offensive numbers in that article, they’re terrible. They need a big bat, and they need it bad. I’m sure they know Manny hitting 40HR a year in the NL (maybe more..) is going to put more arses in the seats than Peavy. They’re going to have to try to keep up with LA’s bats one way or another –
    Maybe they have something up their sleeve to replace Peavy to some extent – Schmidt? Padilla?
    Who knows – I belive any of it when I see it in print.

    Brad December 1, 2006, 12:44 pm
  • It’s kind of an interesting myth, that the hitters are more valuable than the pitchers because of frequency.
    If Manny gets an average of say 4.2 plate appearances per game against the Yankees over 19 games (mostly 4 ABs, some 5s or more and a few 3s or less), he’d face Yankee pitchers about 80 times.
    A starter who averages 7 IP per start and faces the Yankees, say, four times, would face a minimum of 84 Yankee batters. Throw in walks, hits, etc., and that number is likely 100 or better.
    So while Manny gives the Red Sox 80 or so chances to score runs against New York, an ace pitcher gives the Red Sox at least 84 chances to prevent runs against New York. The pitcher’s chances are more concentrated into fewer games, and the hitter’s are spread out over all the games. Which is better? You decide.
    But remember, an ace pitcher has the fate of his four games in his hand. A star hitter can only win games if the situation is just right when his turn to bat arrives.

    Paul SF December 1, 2006, 12:44 pm
  • And I just want to be the first to write this. It may never happen, but dang would it be awesome:
    1. Curt Schilling
    2. Jake Peavy
    3. Daisuke Matsuzaka
    4. Josh Beckett
    5. Jonathan Papelbon

    Paul SF December 1, 2006, 12:46 pm
  • With Wakefield out? Maybe it’s Wakey that the Sox include? He’d do well in that big park and the NL to boot. Wake is cheap, and I’m sure it would be a good trade off to get Wake and Manny for Peavy. 2 proven players for one.
    Or, they’re throwing Pap back to the bullpen. Or, they’re not signing Matsuzuka.
    Again, who knows!

    Brad December 1, 2006, 12:52 pm
  • I agree with BY and Brad, to some extent. The problem is after Peavy you get.. DM. Or even before Peavy, you get Schill. and Wake always seems to have a good game against the Yanks..
    Ya, that’s scary. Errr, really hope DM turns out like Irabu in that case!

    Lar December 1, 2006, 12:55 pm
  • That’s a really interesting thought, Paul (the value of pitchers vs hitters, not the rotation). I’d like to see a thorough analysis of that line of argument.
    However, you do base that on a lot of assumptions and you assume the best (7IP each start, for instance). Put it this way: who “beat” the Yanks more in the past – Manny or Pedro? Manny or Schill? I honestly don’t know the answer, I’m just throwing it out there.
    As for this trade: I still think trading Manny is a bad idea, but Peavy is one of the few trades that would upset me, as a YF. Things is, in this kind of market, can the Padres justify trading a homegrown sick pitcher in his mid 20s for a slugger who’s 10 years older?

    Sam December 1, 2006, 12:57 pm
  • As for the pitcher vs hitters, I think it’s easy to place a premium on hitters because they play everyday, meaning the volatility on the result is lower. Meaning a bad game for the hitters is less bad than a bad game for a pitcher…
    And though people use the “common sense” of pitching every 5th game as the logic, it seems to make sense.
    Of course, now that pitchers are getting paid through the roof, it might be moot..

    Lar December 1, 2006, 1:04 pm
  • I think their decision will be based, to some extent, on what percentage want to see a guy jack bombs out of the park against LA, or a guy to win games from the mound. SD is one of those teams with exactly zero reason to think they are a good hitting team. Say they all of sudden get Manny and another player like Trot or Hinske. Suddenly that all changes. I’m sure the Lucchino has some pretty good negotiating partners in SD.
    The other trade that the Sox pulled off with SD turned out to be pretty damn good with them, in fact, he was their best hitter all year. In that division, if you put Manny behind that catcher, it’s a pretty decent combo. It’s not lights out, but it’s pretty good for that division.

    Brad December 1, 2006, 1:07 pm
  • Either way, pick your poison. J. Peavy will be 26 this coming season, he’s a legit, top tier pitcher who strikes out a ton of hitters, I think over 200 last season. Yeah it would really suck to see him in a Sox uni. I guess I’m playing devil’s advocate here, but if Theo pulled off Peavy and Gonzales for Manny I’d say he’s pretty much getting full value for that trade.

    bloodyank78 December 1, 2006, 1:13 pm
  • Who would Yankees fans trade straight up for Peavy, just as a hypothetical? Anyone? Cano? Matsui? Both guys?
    If the Sox can get Peavy for Manny plus something un-outrageous, it’s a no-brainer. Deal with the implications on the offense later on. Check that: it’s an absolute no-brainer, considering Manny’s discontent. If Yankees fans feel relief that Peavy will be facing them instead of Ramirez, that’s ok by me. We get 30 starts out of Peavy, not just the 4 against the Yankees. If, somehow, the Sox steal Peavy in a deal like this, they will not have to worry about the Yankees. The Yankees will be doing what the Sox did last year: worrying about the Blue Jays.

    SF December 1, 2006, 1:28 pm
  • So you’re saying aquiring Peavy would lock up the AL East for the Sox in ’07 SF? A bit rash don’t you think?

    bloodyank78 December 1, 2006, 1:32 pm
  • Yeah, I don’t know about that, SF. The Yankees are one hundred percent guaranteed to make a counter-huge trade if the Sox did this. I’d say they would automatically make available to the Marlins: Cano, Melky, Hughes, or whomever they wanted for the D-Train.
    Steinbrenner will NOT sit idle while the Sox suck up a bunch of good pitchers. They have to make a counter splash every time (see Igawa). Not to say that there is anything wrong with that, but I can’t see them not going and getting their own guy, or really going through the roof for Pettitte and Clemens for one year.

    Brad December 1, 2006, 1:34 pm
  • Going further, would Yankees fans trade a guy like A-Rod for Peavy, straight up? Not that this would ever happen (and if it did, I’d be sickened at the Yankees cojones and cleverness), but does A-Rod (a great player, one of the greatest ever, obviously) bring something unique to the Yankees that Peavy+replacement third baseman can’t bring? What does VORP/sabermetrics have to say about this? What is everyone’s gut? Which is better: a young (probably) #1 starter plus a league-average third baseman, or an all-world third baseman and a filler pither?
    I know this is all silly hypothesizing, but can YFs weigh in on this, seriously?

    SF December 1, 2006, 1:35 pm
  • So you’re saying aquiring Peavy would lock up the AL East for the Sox in ’07 SF? A bit rash don’t you think?
    Well, I am not that cocky (or stupid), so no. But I think it (along with a Matsuzaka signing) makes the Sox an insanely formidable team, one that should worry most of the AL. And that doesn’t even account for any future moves. Assuming some degree of health, that’s a crazy rotation. The Tigers went further on less, as far as I am concerned, this year. But I am no seer, I am under no delusions.

    SF December 1, 2006, 1:37 pm
  • A bit rash, maybe. But, a much better possibility than if it doesn’t happen. Especially if the Yanks are only planning on getting a third level started like Meche or Lilly. If the Yankees are depending on RJ to come back to full form, or Pavano to come back to any form, they’re going to need a back up plan, BY. They have got to make a trade or sign someone good if the Sox did this.
    Aside from the fact that the Sox rotation would be pretty darn good on paper if this happened, but those guys do make 30 starts a year not against the Yankees. Even if they’re average there, they’re worth to the Red Sox elsewhere would be pretty good. The Yankees will need their own guy to be good against the other teams outside of thier own guys now, and I don’t think Meche or Lilly is the answer to Peavy or Mats.
    I dunno, I’m not arguing hypothetical pitching rotations for now.

    Brad December 1, 2006, 1:39 pm
  • The most likely trade I see — if Peavy is indeed up for sale, and we just don’t know if he is — is Manny, Lowell and (David Murphy or a similar-caliber pitching prospect) for Peavy and Gonzalez. Youk goes to third, Gonzalez is at first.
    If Peavy is not for sale, then the pitcher would be Linebrink, and the Sox give up no prospects. That’s not as good a trade for the Sox but still adds a good bat and an excellent pitcher, so perhaps it makes it a fairer one overall.

    Paul SF December 1, 2006, 2:03 pm
  • I think I’ll take it: if it has to go down, that’s as good as it gets for me. I really do think a full season of Gonzales at first not only gets a golden glove at that position, but a pretty good bat when heated up. Nothing special, but defense is off the chart.
    We’d still need one more bullpen guy and a backup 2..

    Brad December 1, 2006, 2:07 pm
  • Uh, I was confused. I was thinking of Carlos Pena at first. Is he still on the roster? I can’t find it anywhere, but he is a very viable option if Lowell is moved and Youk goes back to 3B.
    His defense is sick.

    Brad December 1, 2006, 2:37 pm
  • I don’t think the Pads want Lowell. Remember, they traded Josh Barfield, who had been pretty damn good in his first season, for Indians 3B prospect Kevin Kouzmanoff. Maybe they’d still prefer to let him backup for a season…but he fricken raked AAA last year, and the only reason he was expendable was because of Andy Marte.

    desturbd1 December 1, 2006, 2:44 pm
  • Whoops…fd up the hyperlink…heh

    desturbd1 December 1, 2006, 2:45 pm
  • Congrats to the Sox if they can pull that off. I understand the Padres are starved for offense, but 200 strikeout pitchers don’t grow on trees. Peavy for Ramirez (and whoever else short of Pedroia and Hansen) would be an absolute steal.

    Triskaidekaphobia YF December 1, 2006, 2:56 pm
  • OK, time to stop dreaming. Peavy for Ramirez ain’t happening. Unless, that is, the Padres are run by the same guy who used to draft Jay Buhner for like 42 bucks way back when I used to be a rotisserie dork.

    SF December 1, 2006, 3:00 pm
  • What about Chris Young, Adrian Gonzalez, and Linebrink for Ramirez? I know…not as proven a commodity, but Young put up fantastic peripherals and a great ERA last year, and his away splits were (for reasons I can’t begin to understand) far better then his home stats.

    desturbd1 December 1, 2006, 3:09 pm
  • Paul, to answer your original question. My impression is that most people think Trot would be fine with accepting arbitration to stay in Boston another year. For some reason, the market is cool on him.

    Nick-YF December 1, 2006, 3:09 pm
  • For some reason, the market is cool on him.
    yeah, he starts about twenty good games a year, and has been that way since he was in Pawtucket.

    Brad December 1, 2006, 3:14 pm
  • I like Trot, a lot. But, his best choice is to play for one year somewhere and hope for the best. He has been so injured for so long (and I’m not talking about at HBP here), it’s too hard to justify a big contract for him.
    I think he’s a great RFer who would run through a wall, but that’s part of his problem. I think Trot would be much better served in LF and minimal running if he is staying.

    Brad December 1, 2006, 3:16 pm
  • I do not like any of the suggestions in the Globe about using Nixon as a platoon. I think it’s clear that such a plan 1. only ends up with Pena getting full-time play once Nixon goes down anyway and 2. causes both players’ numbers to suffer from lack of consistent at-bats.
    Defensive problems aside, Pena’s bat and arm make him the perfect LF replacement if Ramirez is traded, and I think a lineup with Drew and a full-time Pena in the middle with Adrian Gonzalez and a strong pitcher from the Padres would ease my sadness about losing Manny.

    Paul SF December 1, 2006, 3:41 pm
  • would ease my sadness about losing Manny.
    I agree.

    Brad December 1, 2006, 3:53 pm
  • As a YF, I’m really split about ARod for Peavy if it needs to be. Of course, I actually like ARod despite his recent playoff slumps, but Peavy is what the teams need..
    But ARod is one of the best players there, “bad” year or not.. so I’m just going to say I would be insanely torn about it.
    Maybe if we can somehow pick up Teixeira it would make the decision a bit easier..

    Lar December 1, 2006, 5:15 pm
  • Well, while it’s still possible, it’s not really worth talking about now since the rumor’s been quashed:
    I think that means the Giants remain the top contenders for Manny. Can’t wait to see what they offer. Actually I can’t really imagine what they’d offer.

    Andrew December 1, 2006, 5:57 pm
  • “…But I think it (along with a Matsuzaka signing) makes the Sox an insanely formidable team…”….good maybe sf, but “insanely formidable”….last i knew, dm wasn’t signed, and still hasn’t thrown a pitch in the ml…and peavy, if you get him is a nl pitcher right?….how has that worked out lately?…the giants will offer bonds and a case of hgh…

    dc December 2, 2006, 8:28 pm

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