General Red Sox

The Man Did Not Get Paid

This guy did, instead.  Globe reports Mike Cameron deal done, two years for the price of just one from erstwhile LFer Jason Bay (the man who did not get paid). 

Quite a day for the Sox, it would seem.

61 replies on “The Man Did Not Get Paid”

Good move by the Sox in not signing Bay.
I wanted the Yanks to get Cameron but certainly not at that price. I wonder what team the Sox will pay Cameron to play for next year? I kid, I kid…
Anyway, it seems like the Sox are perfectly capable of overpaying a player when they want them, even if the Yankees want them too. I think we can safely file that little argument in the ‘bunk’ drawer.

Lets play the game some SFs played last year…
Mike Cameron has a post-season batting avg of .174 with only 1 HR in 112 PAs!!!!
OMG…the Sox have spent almost $100 mil in contracts in 1 day!!!

When the Yankees looked like they had traded Melky for Cameron last year:

Great move by the Yanks. It’s not the huge signings that make a difference for a team, but these smaller ones to round out weaknesses that can make the big difference in a season.
Posted by: Atheose | Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 09:57 AM

According to SF, it’s a false equivalence because we’re not talking about exactly Mark Teixeira, but something similar to it, although fundamentally different (because they’re different players).
I see. Technically yes, the Yankees outbid the Red Sox for Mark Teixeira, and will have always outbid the Red Sox for Mark Teixeira. No one is arguing that. But the Yankees were reported to have interest, and want, both John Lackey and Mike Cameron. The Red Sox signed both of them, thus OUTBIDDING the Yankees for a player both teams wanted. This is the logical definition of our reality.
Stop being intellectually dishonest.(You’re really good at it!) Either the Red Sox can’t outbid the Yankees when both teams want the same player, or they can. Reality, clearly, dictates that they can. So I guess the question is, SF, do you agree with reality?

Where did you see anything about the Yankees being interested in Lackey? The only thing I thought existed was media speculation.
I wanted the Yanks to get Cameron but certainly not at that price. I wonder what team the Sox will pay Cameron to play for next year? I kid, I kid…
You really think 15.5m for two years is a bad price? Geez, your trolling used to be someone substantive.

Ath- there were multiple reports that Cashman met with Lackey’s agent at the winter meetings. The level of interest in of course not clear but there was certainly some interest there from the yanks.

I have to say I am relatively shocked that the Sox signed Cameron. Especially if the price tag is as reported. Cameron’s defense is solid, but is that enough to balance out a guy who hits 20-25 HR’s, career .250 BA, career .340 OBP and who’s SB’s have declined every season since 2006? I like Cameron, he’s solid, but at 37 (in 3 weeks) where’s the upside? Theo and the Sox have always seemingly been about upside, value, youth and athleticism. Not getting tied into bad contracts, etc…All that said it’s December, so who knows.

Meh, it’s a two-year deal. Another “bridge” contract to the Sox’ farm system, when either Kalish or Reddick should be able to take over in 2011/2012. All metrics point to Cameron being one of the top defensive outfielders in the game, and he’s still a 105-110 OPS+ hitter, which is decent enough for corner outfield. The Sox clearly saw their No. 1 problem last year as defense; they have now upgraded drastically on defense at two positions, and I still expect them to sign Adrian Beltre to turn their three biggest defensive liabilities into major positives. On top of that, their third starter is now John Lackey, who not incidentally happened to be the ace of the team that just swept them out of the playoffs.
By the way, the Sox signed Lackey and Cameron today for roughly the same annual value for which the Yanks signed Teixeira last offseason, but when both those contracts are off the Red Sox’ books, the Yankees will still have two years left on theirs. That is why SF is correct in noting the false equivalency between a five-year, $85 million deal and a deal that lasts three years longer and costs $100 million more.

By the way, I’m not particularly gung-ho on this deal, but I can understand it. I don’t hate it. I will definitely miss the home runs and propensity Bay had for big hits. I’m guessing the Sox figure they have made a lateral move in left field for half the annual cost it would have taken to retain Bay — and for no less than half the long-term commitment — because while Cameron won’t provide Bay’s offensive value, he will make up for it with the glove.
Funny thing is the best defensive alignment in the outfield for the Sox is probably Ellsbury in left and Cameron in center, but that’s a good way to stunt the kid’s growth as he figures out how to better read fly balls hit directly in front of him.

I suspect this post from Fangraphs in November is exactly what the Sox are thinking:
If you think Cameron’s on the verge of collapse (he’s shown no signs of it) and you don’t trust defensive metrics (in this case, the conclusions are pretty obviously true), then you think that they’re similarly valuable. In reality, the odds are pretty good that Cameron is going to outperform Bay next season, just as he’s done in most every season recently, and he’s going to do it for far less money.
If you want a right-handed hitting outfielder this winter, and you don’t want to pony up for Matt Holliday, Jason Bay is not the alternative. Call Mike Cameron instead.

Lateral Move? If the Yankees signed Cameron to replace Damon, that would be closer to a lateral move than from Bay to Cameron, in my opinion. The Sox are losing roughly 12 HR’s, 49 RBI’s, 20 walks, 50 pts in OBP, nearly 90 pts in slugging %. They are only comparable in BA, which Bay leads by 20 or so pts and K’s. Bay even stole more bases than Cameron last season. Sure, they are adding a plus defender but is a plus defender that valuable? The Phillies and the Yankees both started sub-par LF’s in the World Series last year and they did fairly well. (Silly comparison, I know, but it’s true none the less.) I think Cameron is a solid player, but he’s 37, he’s on the decline and he’s replacing a guy who did pretty well replacing “The” guy. I just find it difficult to call this a lateral move.

The only season that Bay and Cameron are comparable is 2007. A down season for Bay. They are almost identical in all categories that year, but every other season Bay is significantly better offensively. Other than 2007 I don’t see how Fangraphs can justify that statement. Odds are Cameron outperforms Bay next season? Outperforms him meaning what exactly? I’ll take that bet!

Outperforms him meaning what exactly?
Well, they’re obviously talking about defense, John. It’s a facet of the game that remains incredibly undervalued. Bay is significantly better offensively. Cameron is significantly better defensively. Maybe it’s not completely a lateral move, but the Sox obviously feel Cameron/Hermida won’t be enough of a step down to avoid being offset by the offensive improvements at short and catcher (and probably third).

Paul, I put up the posts about how the smart guys (i.e. fangraphs and BP) were hinting that the Sox should avoid Cameron and use their money in other ways! When you look back at the post, it looks like I foreshadowed this whole thing. Damn Sox front office is clever.

“You really think 15.5m for two years is a bad price?”
Yes, it’s one year too many.
“By the way, the Sox signed Lackey and Cameron today for roughly the same annual value for which the Yanks signed Teixeira last offseason”
“but when both those contracts are off the Red Sox’ books, the Yankees will still have two years left on theirs.”
Huh? The Yankees will also presumably still have a 4-6 win player. To suggest otherwise is a false equivalency.
You’re also forgetting the $18 million the Sox are paying Lugo and Lowell to play for other teams in 2010. Where does that go on the books?
As for Cameron himself, his defense is mostly wasted on the Sox. They’re the one team that can get away with a poor defender in left without it really killing them. I mean, how much extra room will he cover in Fenway?
As for Lackey – career at Fenway:
9 GS, 2-5, 5.75 ERA
And that doesn’t count the post-season where he’s 0-1.
Overall, Cameron is obviously the better sign. But all and all a weird off-season for the Sox. Instead of Hardy and Figgins they get Scutaro and ??? but for significantly more money and significantly less upside. Instead of reupping the guy with the stuff to age well (Beckett), they sign a guy who seems less likely to. And instead of moves to upgrade what they have, they make moves to merely tread water but at the same money otherwise.
At catcher, no one has answered why the Indians moved Martinez…

well, there you go…just when i thought i had it figured out, i don’t…i was surprised to see the sox sign lackey, but not really…the surprise is the number of years and money…wow…i guess he’s not part of the bridge…he’s beckett’s replacement…they were never going to make the trade for halliday for obvious reasons, so lackey’s a pretty good alternative when you already have beckett [for ’10 anyway] and lester, followed by the question marks of buchholtz, wakefield, and dice-k…i heard the same, perhaps media-fueled, rumors about lackey to the yanks, but i am not surprised they didn’t try to outbid the sox, especially after locking up pettitte…
cameron is the really weird one…that came out of left field [pun intended], actually center field, but i guess if you can play one outfield position, you can play them all…i’m sure theo’s thought process is that any drop off in offense from swapping out bay for cameron will be picked up by martinez, scutaro, his next 3b, a better year from papi?…we all know that he believes, correctly, that championships are won with pitching and [nomar] defense, and both of these moves accomplish that…what is inconsistent about it is cameron’s age, and big drop off in ops, which i thought was really important, along with the fact that bay scores “tons of runs” [25 more in ’09 than cameron], which i thought was really, really important…but, it is consistent with the bridge concept, and a much less expensive alternative…these are decent moves, all things considered, if a bit unexpected, by me anyway…by the way, congrats for apparently out-maneuvering the yanks on lacky…gotta hand it to theo, he’s slick…just when he had me almost convinced that he couldn’t run with the big dogs financially, pow, out comes the checkbook… ;) maybe that dice-k mystical, magical revenue stream from japan, or fantasyland, or wherever, is starting to kick in… ;)

Ath- there were multiple reports that Cashman met with Lackey’s agent at the winter meetings. The level of interest in of course not clear but there was certainly some interest there from the yanks.
Ahh, my bad sam.
As for Lackey – career at Fenway:
9 GS, 2-5, 5.75 ERA

Lackey’s ERA at Fenway each year (in parenthesis is the Red Sox team OPS and ranking):
2009: 2.25 ERA, 7.2 IP (.802, 2nd)
2008: 2.00 ERA, 9.0 IP (.805, 2nd)
2007: 8.38 ERA, 9.2 IP (.806, 3rd)
2006: 4.50 ERA, 6.0 IP (.786, 7th)
2005: 3.00 ERA, 6.0 IP (.811, 1st)
2004: 10.80 ERA, 3.1 IP (.832, 1st)
2003: 9.90 ERA, 10.0 IP (.851, 1st)
Hey would you look at that, when pitching at Fenway Lackey has had to face one of the best offenses in the league year after year. I wonder if that has anything to do with his 5.75 ERA there.

I don’t want this to devolve into a flame war (which it hasn’t), so I apologize for my rather offhanded and undescribed “false equivalency” remark. I should have done better.
Paul clarifies on my behalf, unsolicited. The idea that the Sox signed a level 2 pitcher and an older outfielder at a combined cost of $100M for seven years of service just shouldn’t be compared to an offseason in which three players garnered over $420M for 20 years of collective service. Both the dollar amounts and the time commitments are very different. I am all for reasonable comparisons and discussions of each team’s moves, but to reduce this to “$100M days” is not productive. Still, I should have offered more explanation and less snark.

thing is you’re right sf, sorta, well, half right…the lackey signing is equivalent to what the yanks did last offseason with say, burnett…a prominent piece of the long term strategy…cameron has no comparison, unless the yanks get their way with damon…cameron’s 37, signed for 2 years, at $8m per, pretty much what the rumors are regarding damon, who is 36…clearly cameron’s part of the bridge plan…

SF- for the record, my comments at the start of this thread were in jest (thus the smiley face and the OMG). I was more pointing out the absurdity of the knee-jerk reaction to every signing by the yanks last off season by SOME SFs. The “critique” basically consisted of two things: look at the money spent and that guy sucks in the post-season.

In my own opinion, this signing makes no sense to me. Cameron is a good defender, and is not a horrible bat, but I think this signifies the end of Ellsbury’s time in Boston. I think they know they can’t go into the season without another hitter, and a good one, and signing Cameron allows them to “bridge” centerfield for a year or two. I just think it makes no sense, at this point.
Color me skeptical that Theo doesn’t have something else in the oven here regarding the outfield in Boston.

i don’t think it necessarily means the end for ellsbury brad, unless you buy the theory that with the lackey and cameron signings, buchholtz becomes more expendable, and combined with ellsbury and maybe something else, could lure adrian gonzalez away from san diego…at worst, the sox still have no left fielder, but 2 good center fielders…one of them has to slide over…

Cameron can spell Drew in right field if he gets hurt, with Hermida going into left. Cameron and Ellsbury could swap LF/CF if Ellsbury fails to grow as a player. Defensive metrics show that Cameron might save a number of runs, lessening the gap between him and Bay as players, since Bay was an awful fielder by most measurements. It’s a two year deal, and not prohibitive cost-wise should the Sox decide to eat the contract next year (the Sox have shown that they will eat contracts if necessary).
The signing actually makes a lot of sense in a lot of ways, but it is a really un-marquee signing and is the type of signing that gives a lot of people the blahs. Cameron is not a special player at all, but he might be the right fit at the moment, especially if they aren’t that fond of Holliday for whatever reason.

I agree with those sentiments, SF, and maybe I should not have used the “make sense” argument; the move makes perfect sense, but I also agree with DC inasmuch that Ellsbury is probably much easier for Theo to part with than Clay Buchholz is. I’m probably just thinking about it too much, or reading too much into the idea that the Red Sox are still going to have to get a big bat, which they undoubtedly do not have to do.

However I do not agree that Theo would EVER part with both of them for anyone. Each of them would be the centerpiece of any deal, but no way would he ever combine them – if he was, the Mets wouldn’t have the ace they do.

I don’t understand why people think Ellsbury is getting traded because of this move. I think people seriously underestimate the value of his 70 stolen bases last year, regardless of his 96 OPS+.

And, I prefaced my comment by saying that it’s just my opinion here. I haven’t heard or read anything to the kind. I just think that if Theo wants to trade a bunch of prospects for a big hitter, which I have said I don’t really think he needs to do, Ellsbury or Clay have to headline that deal, and I’d rather lose Ellsbury than Buchh.
Id much rather have Hermida, Cameron, Drew, Gonzales or Cabrerra than I would the current setup. It was just a thought, bud.

Ellsbury isn’t arbitration-eligible for another two years. I fail to see the logic in trading one of the core players of our team who adds a dimension (speed) that we otherwise completely lack.
I can’t possibly imagine Ellsbury being traded before 2012, even for a player like Adrian Gonzalez.

Yeah my response wasn’t just to you Brad, but to people I’ve seen on other forums saying that Cameron is “clearly a replacement for Ellsbury.” It just makes zero sense to me, even for a player like Adrian Gonzalez.

i didn’t mean to suggest that the sox trade ellsbury and buchholtz for gonzalez as my own theory…rather, i was just reacting to this:
…in combination with brad’s lament that the cameron signing could spell the end for ellsbury, i guess simply because they play the same position…i agree with everyone who says this trade won’t take place…knowing how theo values prospects, in this case guys already contributing in the major leagues, it ain’t happening…you could dangle hanley ramirez in front of him, and it still ain’t happening…. ;)

Lackey’s numbers at Fenway are pretty horrid, no matter how you slice them. He also hasn’t been especially effective against the Yankees. Is it a bad signing? No. Is it a great signing? Hardly. He’s a #2 or #3. It makes sense the dollars and years are comparable to Burnett.
Isn’t it pretty certain they won’t be re-signing Beckett now? I mean, they won’t pony up even more money to Beckett will they? And he’s certainly worth more than Lackey/Burnett, no? But wouldn’t the money have been better spent on Beckett himself or even Lee or Webb?
I like the flexibility Cameron provides to fill-in or to trade. But it would be a mistake to assume the offense is set. The Sox got swept because they stopped hitting. Between the loss of Lowell and Bay and the decline of Ortiz, that’s not a very deep lineup. Martinez helps, but the Sox would be much better off acquiring a decent catcher, esp. since Youkilis is a good 3B. For all the pitching, walks plus stolen bases are going to hurt.
I still don’t understand the Sox off-season strategy. It appears reactionary rather than planned. Hardy and Figgins would have improved the team all-around and for no added dollars than have already been spent. Indeed, they could have signed Holliday with the Lackey money and their pitching would have been very good especially with a Harden or Sheets. It certainly seems now like a bridge year and a bridge past Beckett.

Technically, Ellsbury is eligible for arbitration after 2010. I can’t see San Diego wanting a guy who’s going to be making several million dollars and isn’t actually that valuable of a player.

Lackey’s numbers at Fenway are pretty horrid, no matter how you slice them.
Again, the fact that those numbers are against one of the best offenses in the league over the last 7 years probably has a shit-ton more to do with that than Fenway Park itself.
He also hasn’t been especially effective against the Yankees.
4.66 ERA in 102 innings against the Yankees. How many right-handed pitchers can you name that have done better recently? Roy Halladay has an ERA of 2.84. Verlander: 4.36. Felix Hernandez: 4.59.

normally i’d accuse you guys of rationalizing ath, but the point that all of lackey’s fenway starts came against the sox is a good one…doesn’t mean he’ll fare any better in fenway, but yeah, a KC or 2 in the mix increases the odds for improvement…
yeah, i’d rather be facing lackey than halliday…it’ll be good to see beckett move on too…

Yeah, I just think it’s pointless to say “He sucks at Fenway!” when he does almost as poorly against the Red Sox at home. The team you’re playing against has a much greater impact on your performance than the ballpark itself.

Except Lackey has pitched much better against the Sox away from Fenway – 2-2, ERA drops about a run, OPS drops about 50 points.
So I guess you guys agree that Beckett is done after 2010?
One more point on false equivalencies: How many teams can afford to swallow $18 million in jettisoned salaries? That alone is almost one of the “extra” Teixeira years.

isn’t actually that valuable of a player.
You mean, other than the 5.2 wins he’s provided over the past two seasons — more than fellow AL outfielders Nick Swisher, Bobby Abreu and Vlad Guerrero, never mind Melky Cabrera?
By the way, ranking all 289 MLB outfielders by WAR for 2008-09: J.D. Drew is seventh, Mike Cameron is 11th, Jacoby Ellsbury is 40th. Granderson is 20th, Damon 21st and Swisher 44th.

That alone is almost one of the “extra” Teixeira years.
Well, as long as it’s worth almost one-eighth of Teixeira’s salary… In fact, it’s worth 10 percent, and it comes off the books in 2010, not 2017. But you have gotten the hang of how to create false equivalencies. I’m proud of you.

come on guys, the “false equivalencies” argument is starting to sound more like a lazy and convenient fallback copout than a legitimate comeback…you guys are going to continue to hear this from us as long as your organization complains about the way the yankees outbid them, unfairly apparently, yet hypocritically sets record posting fees, leads in the bidding for chapman, and hands out admittedly above-market contracts like the one for lackey…you can’t have it both ways…jeff and i are wearing it out though, so i’ll give it a rest [for a little bit]… :) i think i’m setting a record for smiley’s today…

“By the way, ranking all 289 MLB outfielders by WAR for 2008-09: J.D. Drew is seventh, Mike Cameron is 11th, Jacoby Ellsbury is 40th. Granderson is 20th, Damon 21st and Swisher 44th.”
This is a great comparison. However, that WAR for Cameron is in CF. In LF he’s barely an adequate bat and would rank closer to, if not below, Damon. Swisher obviously has lingering questions about his comeback. But does anyone seriously doubt that Granderson will mash next year away from Comerica?

But does anyone seriously doubt that Granderson will mash next year away from Comerica?
Some poster named Jeff did… until Granderson was traded to the Yankees.

Guilty as charged. I went from a state of ignorance to one of pure bliss. How did I get there?
1) Career Average
Total: .272/.344/.484 = .828
2) Career Home/Road splits
Home: .261/.334/.451 = .785
Road: .284/.353/.516 = .869
3) Career Home/Road by RHP/LHP
– RHP: .285/.365/.510 = .875
– LHP: .179/.231/.259 = .490
– RHP: .298/.369/.545 = .914
– LHP: .239/.306/.425 = .731
So the much ado about LHP? He’s better than what the Yankees have gotten for the last two years full-time in CF! At his worst (outside of Comerica) he’s better than Melky Cabrera. But at his best – and more than 70% of the time – he’s close to a .900 OPS hitter…in CF (where his glove is better than average).
The absolutely best part?
He’s owed $26 M over the next three years. He’s been worth $57 M over the last three seasons. Oh, and he turns 29 in March.
To say I’m giddy is an understatement. And that’s without reflecting on the fact that they got him without moving Hughes/Joba/Montero but instead for a redundant pitching prospect and for a kid who at his best will be…Curtis Granderson (Mike Cameron is a more realistic ceiling). It’s the Soriano:A-Rod trade but for $26 M instead of $250 M.
So now that my own have been utterly annihilated, does anyone else seriously doubt that Granderson will mash next year away from Comerica?

He’s been worth $57 M over the last three seasons.
Yay, Fangraphs!
Mike Cameron was worth $47M over the past three years, for the record. And Lackey $91M, including a mere $17.6 in his shortened 2009. And Marco Scutaro? $32.8M over the last TWO years!!!
So I guess the Sox should make all of us SFs giddy!*
*Even though, to generalize horribly about the tenor of posts about the Sox’ acquisitions this offseason, we’ve been less giddy and more just pleased.

Hey, great! You’re pleased because you’re getting good value from a 37 year old in LF and a 34 year old at SS but overpaying for Lackey’s most recent performance. Sweet!
I’m giddy for a 29 year old CF who’s getting away from a park that crushed his numbers into one that will completely blown them up.
To each their own.

count me in with the flip-floppers too jeff…when i first heard of the yanks interest in granderson, and ultimate trade, i was lukewarm…i was caught up in the austin jackson-hype…apparently i was forgetting that the yankees have a great opportunity to win again now, while jeter, posada, mo, pettitte, can still contribute at a high level…prospects are great, but when you have a chance to make a good thing better immediately, you do it…my initial reaction to granderson was, nice player, but if he can’t hit lefties, and seeing somewhere that a platoon was possible to get around that, i wasn’t thrilled…then i got educated…apparently his swing is tailor-made for yankee stadium, he’s a defensive and offensive upgrade despite his LHP woes, has great speed, and is a good clubhouse fit…and he’s young, and relatively inexpensive…you’re right, what’s not to like?…flip-flopping is an odd accusation coming from sox fans, but i don’t want to get into the whole flame-war we’ve had in the past about how former, and about to be former players are treated/assessed…yep, i’m a flip-flopper and proud of it…

Lackey’s AAV for the Sox deal is $16.5M. Five years, $82.5M.
82.5/5 = 16.5
17.6 > 16.5
Have seen nothing about front or back-loading anywhere on the interwebs, but if you have information on the internals how about breaking it here at YFSF?

Are they or are they not paying more than $17.6 in 2010?
And what happens to AAV if he misses even one season of five? Do you expect five fully healthy seasons?
You’re also forgetting what could happen to his value in Fenway… :)

uh, not to dis fangraphs or the value of value, but why would anyone outside a front office give a hoot about this “stat”…i mean if you’re in charge of managing the budgets, i guess it’s nice to know you’re getting your $10m, or whatever, worth out of a player, but as an average fan, why should i care?…i mean both the sox and yanks have plenty of money to blow, so a lemon or 2 won’t hurt too much…what is the value of lugo to the sox for ’09 and ’10?…sorry had to do that…but to be fair, what was the value to the yanks for the 4 years pavano was ripping us off?…i’m just saying that performance is what matters…i won’t rely on some hokey value system to make my assessment…i’ll leave it up to the front offices to decide if it’s “worth” it…i don’t know where jeter for example sits in the value assessment, and i could care less…

ok, so i couldn’t resist…i looked up jeter…fangraphs says he’s worth $33.4m…really?…his salary is $21.6, which some of you here have said is way more than he’s “worth”…you know, no range…intangibles, haha….i mean, you guys know that i love the guy, but he’s “worth” $33.4m?….seriously?…that’s why some of this stuff is hokey…”stats” for the hell of it…

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