Red Sox November 2004

November 28, 2004

 

Have We Started Yet?

 

Nothing exciting has happened yet this off season, the Greg Myers signing notwithstanding.

 

For the Red Sox, they’ve officially lost Gabe Kapler. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to miss Kapler. To me, he was the kind of ballplayer that played the game the way I like to see it played. He ran hard on the bases and in the field and always seemed to be giving it his all. I realize he wasn’t loaded with talent and swung like a cricket player, but he was a good player and one the Red Sox will miss.

 

Once he collects his $3m from the Yomiuri Giants, perhaps he’ll re-sign with the Red Sox in 2006.

 

The Boston Globe reported on 11/27 that the Red Sox and Doug Mirabelli had tentatively reached a deal. No word on length, but the Globe said it would about double his salary ($825k in 2003). Not sure if that means it’s a 1 year deal or what.

 

Pedro Martinez is still shopping his services to both New York teams. Most think his talking with the Yankees and Mets is a ploy to get the Red Sox to raise their offer. Peter Gammons has some interesting words on the matter in his most recent piece.

 

The Red Sox have reportedly offered 2 years at $25.5m with a 3rd year option that vests based on certain achievements. It has also been reported that when Pedro met with George Steinbrenner, the Red Sox guaranteed the 3rd year. If that is the case, then why hasn’t be signed yet?

 

Perhaps he thinks he can get 4 years guaranteed or perhaps he is full of crud and his best offer is the 2 years with a non-guaranteed option with the Red Sox. Crud I tells ya!

 

Jason Varitek is also in negotiations with the Red Sox. He is reportedly (by the way, everything I tell you around here is “reportedly” because I don’t have any sources. I’m not in the know. I’m just a shlub with zero contacts) seeking 5 years at $50-55m total and a no-trade clause.

 

The Red Sox initially offered, reportedly, 3 years a $27 and then guaranteed a 4th year making it 4 years at $36m. But, if the two sides cannot figure out the no-trade thing, then all bets are off. Because Manny Ramirez has a clause in his contract that states if any of his teammates is given a no-trade clause, then his contract becomes untradable too. I don’t think the Red Sox have a decent shot of trading Manny’s contract either way, but Red Sox management has publicly stated they are not willing to give a no-trade clause.

 

Then again, if the Red Sox sign players to reasonable, smart contracts in the first place, then a no-trade clause might not be such a big deal. Let’s hope they get themselves into that position with all the players on the 40 man roster….once Manny is done in 2008.

 

Also left undecided is the hole at shortstop (Orlando Cabrera), another starter (Derek Lowe), a 5th outfielder/pinch hitter type (Gabe Kapler) and various bullpen spots…oh yeah, and the bullpen coach.

 

Ok, now onto some stats. This past pre-season, I displayed some stat projections. Here are how they panned out for most of the Red Sox players.

 

I originally showed two sources, Stats, Inc. and Baseball Notebook. Baseball Notebook has since “closed its projections section for the off season.” So forget them. Let’s look at home Stats, Inc. faired with its Red Sox projections.

 

Player 2004 Pos AB R H 2b 3b HR RBI BB SB Avg OBP SLG OPS TB
Damon Actual cf 621 123 189 35 6 20 94 76 19 .304 .380 .477 .857 296
Damon Stats Inc. Projections cf 624 113 175 32 7 12 66 66 30 .280 .348 .412 .760 257
-3 10 14 3 -1 8 28 10 -11 0.024 0.032 0.065 0.097 39
2004 Pos AB R H 2b 3b HR RBI BB SB Avg OBP SLG OPS TB
Bellhorn Actual 2b 523 93 138 37 3 17 82 88 6 .264 .373 .444 .817 232
Bellhorn Stats Inc. Projections 2b 253 37 55 10 1 8 28 42 5 .217 .331 .360 .691 91
270 56 83 27 2 9 54 46 1 0.047 0.042 0.084 0.126 141
2004 Pos AB R H 2b 3b HR RBI BB SB Avg OBP SLG OPS TB
Ramirez Actual lf 568 108 175 44 0 43 130 82 2 .308 .397 .613 1.010 348
Ramirez Stats Inc. Projections lf 507 91 158 33 1 34 112 86 1 .312 .415 .582 .997 295
61 17 17 11 -1 9 18 -4 1 -0.004 -0.018 0.031 0.013 53
2004 Pos AB R H 2b 3b HR RBI BB SB Avg OBP SLG OPS TB
Ortiz Actual dh 582 94 175 47 3 41 139 75 0 .301 .380 .603 .983 351
Ortiz Stats Inc. Projections dh 451 70 125 35 1 26 83 56 1 .277 .357 .532 .889 240
131 24 50 12 2 15 56 19 -1 0.024 0.023 0.071 0.094 111
2004 Pos AB R H 2b 3b HR RBI BB SB Avg OBP SLG OPS TB
Millar Actual 1b 508 74 151 36 0 18 74 57 1 .297 .383 .474 .857 241
Millar Stats Inc. Projections 1b 479 64 135 31 2 20 77 47 1 .282 .346 .480 .826 230
29 10 16 5 -2 -2 -3 10 0 0.015 0.037 -0.006 0.031 11
2004 Pos AB R H 2b 3b HR RBI BB SB Avg OBP SLG OPS TB
Varitek Actual c 463 67 137 30 1 18 73 62 10 .296 .390 .482 .872 223
Varitek Stats Inc. Projections c 433 54 113 29 1 16 68 46 2 .261 .336 .443 .779 192
30 13 24 1 0 2 5 16 8 0.035 0.054 0.038 0.092 31
2004 Pos AB R H 2b 3b HR RBI BB SB Avg OBP SLG OPS TB
Nixon Actual rf 149 24 47 9 1 6 23 15 0 .315 .377 .510 .887 76
Nixon Stats Inc. Projections rf 504 86 139 30 4 25 86 71 5 .276 .367 .500 .867 252
-355 -62 -92 -21 -3 -19 -63 -56 -5 0.040 0.010 0.010 0.020 -176
2004 Pos AB R H 2b 3b HR RBI BB SB Avg OBP SLG OPS TB
Mueller Actual 3b 399 75 113 27 1 12 57 51 2 .283 .365 .446 .811 178
Mueller Stats Inc. Projections 3b 478 79 141 29 2 13 59 63 2 .295 .381 .446 .827 213
-79 -4 -28 -2 -1 -1 -2 -12 0 -0.012 -0.016 0.001 -0.015 -35

2004 W L S H BB SO ER HR Inn ERA Whip
Schilling Actual 21 6 0 206 35 203 82 23 226.7 3.26 1.06
Schilling Stats Inc. Projections 18 7 0 189 39 267 69 22 221.0 2.81 1.03
3 -1 0 17 -4 -64 13 1 5.7 0.45 0.03

2004 W L S H BB SO ER HR Inn ERA Whip
Martinez Actual 16 9 0 193 61 227 94 26 217.0 3.90 1.17
Martinez Stats Inc. Projections 19 4 0 133 48 220 42 11 191.0 1.98 0.95
-3 5 0 60 13 7 52 15 26.0 1.92 0.22

2004 W L S H BB SO ER HR Inn ERA Whip
Lowe Actual 14 12 0 224 71 105 110 15 182.7 5.42 1.61
Lowe Stats Inc. Projections 16 9 0 198 74 117 84 14 209.0 3.62 1.30
-2 3 0 26 -3 -12 26 1 -26.3 1.80 0.31

2004 W L S H BB SO ER HR Inn ERA Whip
Wakefield Actual 12 10 0 197 63 116 102 29 188.3 4.87 1.38
Wakefield Stats Inc. Projections 14 8 0 163 66 157 73 20 189.0 3.48 1.21
-2 2 0 34 -3 -41 29 9 -0.7 1.39 0.17

2004 W L S H BB SO ER HR Inn ERA Whip
Arroyo Actual 10 9 0 171 47 142 80 17 178.7 4.03 1.22
Arroyo Stats Inc. Projections 1 1 0 21 5 13 9 2 18.7 4.34 1.39
9 8 0 150 42 129 71 15 160.0 -0.31 -0.17

2004 W L S H BB SO ER HR Inn ERA Whip
Foulke Actual 5 3 32 63 15 79 20 8 83.0 2.17 0.94
Foulke Stats Inc. Projections 4 2 35 64 19 73 22 7 84.0 2.36 0.99
1 1 -3 -1 -4 6 -2 1 -1.0 -0.19 -0.05

2004 W L S H BB SO ER HR Inn ERA Whip
Timlin Actual 5 4 1 75 19 56 35 8 76.3 4.13 1.23
Timlin Stats Inc. Projections 7 3 0 74 11 56 29 11 88.0 2.97 0.97
-2 1 1 1 8 0 6 -3 -11.7 1.16 0.27

2004 W L S H BB SO ER HR Inn ERA Whip
Embree Actual 2 2 0 49 11 37 24 7 52.3 4.13 1.15
Embree Stats Inc. Projections 5 3 0 55 18 62 24 7 57.0 3.79 1.28
-3 -1 0 -6 -7 -25 0 0 -4.7 0.34 -0.13

2004 W L S H BB SO ER HR Inn ERA Whip
Williamson Actual 0 1 1 11 18 28 4 0 28.7 1.26 1.01
Williamson Stats Inc. Projections 6 3 4 51 35 76 23 5 66.0 3.14 1.30
-6 -2 -3 -40 -17 -48 -19 -5 -37.3 -1.88 -0.29

2004 W L S H BB SO ER HR Inn ERA Whip
Mendoza Actual 2 1 0 25 7 13 12 3 30.7 3.52 1.04
Mendoza Stats Inc. Projections 4 3 0 82 17 48 34 8 75.0 4.08 1.32
-2 -2 0 -57 -10 -35 -22 -5 -44.3 -0.56 -0.28

2004 W L S H BB SO ER HR Inn ERA Whip
Kim Actual 2 1 0 17 7 6 12 1 17.3 6.23 1.39
Kim Stats Inc. Projections 12 6 0 123 45 125 50 14 144.0 3.13 1.17
-10 -5 0 -106 -38 -119 -38 -13 -126.7 3.11 0.22

 

It goes without saying that there were some real surprises. Mark Bellhorn being probably the biggest. Anyway, projecting stats has always been interesting, yet difficult. Playing time is often a big deciding factor in what a player is able to accomplish. Then again, poor production leads to reduced PT. Wow, I just discovered a better way of describing the whole chicken and the egg thing.

 

Work it into your next cocktail party.

 

You (holding a giant martini): So anyway, I really hit it big on the market this week. I think cyclicals are hitting their usual late Autumn lows. Or perhaps it is late Autumn only because cyclicals are low. You know, it’s the ol’ player production/reduced playing time thing….

 

Person you are with (if he/she is still listening): You’re a nerd.

 

Let’s heat this hot stove up and get some player movement for goodness sake. If it were up to me, I’d take Pedro, Carl Pavano and Edgar Renteria, all at the right price (i.e. cheap).

 

Posted by Andy at 09:17 PM | Comments (0)

November 02, 2004

 

Is There No Time for Sleep?

 

Some resources to find out where your favorite players are heading.

 

ESPN Rumor Central – requires sign-up and fee. Well worth it in my mind.

 

CBS Sportsline Rumor Mill – Good, but not as detailed as ESPN’s.

 

Fox Sports Hot Rumors – No specific link. It looks like it changes, so find “Hot Rumors on the Fox MLB page.

 

Unofficial MLB Site – New site I found with 3 pages of player salaries. Good resource for upcoming FA’s as well. Interesting. All info taken from other sources, but a great site for consolidated info.

 

Dugout Dollars – Disappointing because it hasn’t been updated since 7/11/04, but still a decent source on current contracts.

 

USA Today Salary Database – Great site, for past salaries, but not current contracts.

 

YankeesRedSox – The # 1 source for info on the Yankees and Red Sox.

 


It still hasn’t sunk in. Even with all the replays and constant media attention, I still haven’t completely come to terms with the fact the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series. Crazy.

 

But they did and I must cope.

 

As I so prematurely mentioned 2 weeks ago, the Red Sox have a great deal of work to do for the 2005 season.

 

Looking at a few of the bigger FA names, I’ll offer my take.

 

Pedro Martinez – This is a tough one until you realize that Pedro is essentially a 6-7 inning pitcher. Good for him for pitching 217 innings this year and not missing a start, but he cannot be counted on to give the bullpen a day’s rest.

 

So what is he worth? Coming off of his worst season ERA-wise, I don’t believe he can ask for much more than $12-14m per year. If the Red Sox offered him 4 years and $60m, I bet he’d take it, but I can’t see Theo Epstein committing that much to him for that many years. Pedro’s shoulder is always going to be a source of concern and given his slip over the past 4 years, is there any reason to believe he is worth that kind of risk?

 

I don’t. As tough as it is to go into 2005 without him, I would probably let Pedro sign elsewhere. He just doesn’t represent a value or good investment in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, if he took 4 years at $40m, I’d jump on that, but it is unlikely to happen.

 

Jason Varitek – JV is also tough. With his agent, Scott Boras, Varitek’s signing price might be through the roof. Rumor has it he is asking for 5 years, $50m. That is a ton of money for a catcher, even one as good as JV.

 

Weighing against Varitek re-signing with the Red Sox is the amount of faith Epstein puts in Bill James. I’ve mentioned this before, but James has concluded that catchers fade after their early 30’s pretty quickly. Varitek is 32.

 

The one thing he has going for him is he got a late start. So maybe his prime extends into his mid-30’s. Tough call. Also, I can’t seem to find the exact words James used, so I don’t want to pin this theory on him if I can’t verify it.

 

The alternatives to Varitek are slim baring a trade, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens here. It also will be a good indicator of just how much Varitek wants to win. He could sign elsewhere and make a ton of dough, or stay in Boston, remain competitive and win. By the way, I can’t imagine him signing with the New York Yankees, as some articles have suggested, or floated as an idea. Can you?

 

Orlando Cabrera – I like this guy. He plays good D, hits for some power and is durable. Peter Gammons said he turned down a 4 year, $30m offer from Montreal, not because it was too little money, but because he wanted to play for a winner. Well he got his wish, now the question is, will he still accept 4/30? To me, I’d sign him for that money. The contract isn’t that large that you couldn’t move it down the road (assuming he stays a productive player) for when Hanley Ramirez is ready.

 

Derek Lowe – Goodbye. No offense, he did, after all, win all 3 series deciding games this postseason, but can anyone tell me which Derek Lowe will actually show up on a given start? Because of his inconsistency, I would stay away from him, especially if he and his agent turned down a 3 year, $27m offer this past spring training.

 

His money could be better used elsewhere.

 

Please email your thoughts on the Red Sox reloading process.

 

Posted by Andy at 09:17 PM | Comments (0)