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Showing posts from 2014

Porcello, Miley, Masterson, and Kelly LLC

The Red Sox just completed a crazy couple of days at the winter meetings with a series of trades and a signing that resulted in a stocked up, if unspectacular, rotation and a bit more clarity regarding the outfield.

If the Red Sox were to start an account with Match.com, they clearly wouldn't have to think much about what is their type: he should be a former early round draft pick, a history of throwing 200 innings, ground ball pitcher, between the ages of 25-30, and not interested in a long term, expensive relationship at this time.

The Red Sox just picked up three of those gentlemen in 24 hours.  And that adds to the two they already had (less the innings factor). 

The Sox picked up lefty Wade Miley, and righties Justin Masterson and Rick Porcello for an "all star" outfielder, $9 million, and two old-youngers trying to find a major league roster spot.  Meanwhile, they already have the oft-injured but uber-talented Joe Kelly and the oft-slumping but uber-talented Clay B…

The Victor(ino) Goes to the Spoils

Shane Victorino should going into spring training 2015 as the favorite to start the year as the Red Sox' starting right fielder.  This is not sentimentality creeping through or a blind hope that all we need to do to overcome 2014 is to go back to 2013.



Rather, it is because every possible outcome of Shane Victorino competing for, and being favored for, the starting right field job is a positive outcome for the Sox.

If healthy, Victorino is a Gold Glove right fielder who can steal bases, hit for power, and brings a toughness to the field every day.  At his worst he's in an ice bath.

At 34 years old, having thrown his body around major league baseball fields for a decade now, there is a decent chance that he will not play much more baseball during his career.  Given how beat up he was last year, it feels like a very good chance that he's just about done.

But if he is not, he is the best right fielder we have right now.

If he goes out there, and plays well, he not only might …

Playing Pepper - Lester's Next Sox Contract, Mookie-Rusney-Yo, Ranaudo Isn't Washed Up

We all have to be glad to hear that the Red Sox plan to spend a lot of the money they saved in the Dodger deal this coming off season.  That said, I would be very surprised if they broke from their norm of emphasizing shorter deals for bigger money.  I would expect them to sign one front of the rotation starter (see below) and one more bat.  I think Pablo Sandoval would be the perfect fit for the Sox.  He's an elite defensive 3B, mashes righties (much needed in our increasingly right handed lineup), and he's only 28.The Sox will sign Jon Lester.  I didn't think I'd every say that, but I think they will.  They want him back, he wants to be back, and he's seen the investments they've already made in improving their offense.  Homer Bailey is making $18-23 million over the lifetime of his contract (6 years with an option).  Justin Verlander is making $20-28 million during his 10-year contract.  When they signed, Bailey was not nearly as good as Lester and Verlander…

Coming to Grips with the Facts

In our current universe of Red Sox Nation, we find ourselves too often caught up in a wild vortex of false equivalencies, what-ifs, and horrible things that could happen.  Let's try to dispense with a few of these so we can move on:
The Red Sox weren't going to make a run this season if they didn't make the recent trades.Jon Lester was not going to resign with the Sox at the end of the season if they kept him.Jon Lester is not going to sign with the Sox as a free agent this offseason because he can get more money and more years at a number of other places.John Lackey is a very good pitcher but not exactly a shining light of valor.  This guys seemingly was going to refuse to play next year rather than play under a contract and, specifically, a provision of that contract, that he signed.  He was part of the Chicken & Beer thing.  Of course, I wanted them to sign him for two more years (next year and one beyond that at, say, the market value of one year for his caliber of …

Trade Deadline Madness

The Red Sox have traded away 80 percent of this year's Opening Day rotation - and that's a good thing!

The Sox traded Jake Peavy to the Giants for two pitching prospects; traded Jon Lester (and Johnny Gomes) to the A's for Yoenis Cespedes; traded Felix Doubront to the Cubs for three hot dogs; Andrew Miller to the Orioles for a top pitching prospect; and traded John Lackey to the Cardinals for Allen Craig and Joe Kelly.  Meanwhile, AJ Pierzynski has long since left the building (and signed with the Cards); Stephen Drew was sent to the first team that raised their hand (the Yankees and their willingness to pay his salary); and one has to think that Mike Carp is headed out of town as well.

Let's get this straight first: the Red Sox were not any more likely to keep Lester and Miller yesterday than they are today.

Lester, who's 30, is going to want and receive a contract of 6-7 years.  The Sox would give him 4 and maybe 5.  If Lester wants to stay, he can take shorter te…

Competing and Developing Under a White Flag

It is not too much to say that yesterday, July 9, was the day the Red Sox officially stopped believing that they have much of a chance of winning anything in 2014.  By essentially releasing AJ Pierzynski, the Sox made clear that they are now focused on next year.  That said, they also increased any miniscule chance they have of making a miraculous comeback this year.  In keeping with this model, the Sox should primarily focus on developing talent for next year while simultaneously remaining competitive game-to-game this year.

Getting rid of Pierzynski and the all-but-certain trade of Jake Peavy are the primary steps in this approach.  Christian Vazquez is a better player right now than AJ Pierzynski.  Vazquez immediately becomes one of the best defensive catcher in the majors, would presumably bring a youthful passion to the ballpark, and is reported to be a good teammate, eager student, and developing hitter.  If Vazquez bats .200 with a couple homers and Gold Glove caliber defense t…

Playing Pepper

Let's just run through some of the hot topics in Red Sox Nation these days shall we?
In no way does the signing of Stephen Drew hurt the Red Sox.  He is a very good major league player and it's not really my money so I don't care what he is paid.  Even if his oblique injury lingered for months, the Sox are not worse off for signing him.  Not only is he an excellent shortstop with decent hitting ability, but he's popular with the other players.  Xander Bogaerts is too good of a player to be bothered by moving to shortstop.  The reality is that if Bogaerts fills out as one might expect as he gets older and hits with more and more power, he won't be at shortstop long term anyway.Speaking of Drew, let's stop all this irrational hating of JD and Stephen Drew.  Disliking players for not being emotive is really just weird.  From what I've heard, teammates like both these plays.  Ok, Philadelphia can hate JD, but not Boston.  The fact that they don't look like t…

Playing Pepper: Random Thoughts As Spring Sprungs

Here are some random thoughts about the coming year for the Red Sox organization.  I will put up a season prediction in the coming weeks as well.

Alex Wilson seems to be the forgotten pitching prospect.  With so much attention going to Workman, Owens, Ranaudo, Barnes, De La Rosa, Britton, and Webster, I wouldn't be surprised if it's Wilson who actually pitches in the most games for the Red Sox this year.  He's not the high-level talent of the other guys, but Farrell seemed to love his agressive approach last year and the fact that he's not as much of a prospect will mean the Sox won't hesitate using him out of the pen as much as needed.  Last year he pitched in 14 games for the Sox (all in relief) and had an ERA of 4.88.Feels like Grady Sizemore is the ideal candidate for an extended spring training then maybe a few weeks at Pawtucket - assuming he stays healthy enough to play this year.  I'm not holding my breath that we ever seem him play for the Sox, but if w…

Tinkering and Planning Are All That's Left

The Red Sox are in pretty amazing shape to pursue a repeat this year.  They brought back Napoli to play first, replaced Salty with AJ Pierzynski, and prepared themselves to hand over two starting jobs to their top two position prospects (Bogaerts at short and Bradley in center).  Meanwhile, Peddy, Victorino, Gomes/Nava, Papi and probably Middlebrooks return to fill out the lineup.

As for pitching, the Sox have the perfect set up: six quality, healthy, veteran starters and a bunch of rookies. In the pen, they have a bullpen they have the same thing: six quality veterans and the same bunch of rookies.  Unless they are simultaneously blown away during spring training with both a great trade offer for a veteran starter and the absolute belief that a rookie starter is ready (presumably Brandon Workman, Allen Webster or Rubby De La Rosa), the Sox have their pitching staff set.

The starters will be Lester, Buchholz, Lackey, Doubront, and Peavy.  The pen will be Uehara, Tazawa, Breslow, Andrew…