December 2006

December 21, 2006

 

Run Production

 

The Red Sox have essentially made 3 changes to their line-up.

 

Dustin Pedroia replaces Mark Loretta
Julio Lugo replaces Alex Gonzalez
J.D. Drew replaces Trot Nixon

 

What might this mean for run production in 2007?

 

The Red Sox scored 820 runs in 2006. They allowed 825. Wow. I’m not sure I realized they allowed more than they scored. Their pythagorean win/loss total should have been sub .500. In other words, they were lucky to have gone 86-76 in 2006. Red Sox fans, we should have seen a 80-82 team.

 

Using the Bill James Handbook 2007 as a projected stat guide, here is what we can expect from the Red Sox replacement starters:

 

Pedroia – 79 runs vs. Loretta – 75 runs = + 4 runs
Lugo – 85 runs vs. Gonzalez – 57 runs = + 28 runs
Drew – 92 runs vs. Nixon – 71 runs = + 21 runs
total = + 53 runs.

 

Of course, James would be the first to tell you how difficult it is to project offensive performance. Playing time is one of the biggest factors and PT is offen the biggest factor in determining results.

 

James projects the following batters (based on what we know today about the Red Sox MLB roster) to score:

 

89 – Lugo
101 – Youkilis
110 – Ortiz
94 – Ramirez
92 – Drew
66 – Lowell
60 – Varitek
74 – Crisp
75 – Pedroia
15 – Mirabelli
43 – Hinske
32 – Cora
851 – Total

 

So perhaps the Red Sox will score approximately 31 more runs in 2007. That isn’t good enough if the pitchers again allow 825 runs. So as I’ve mentioned, the offense, while it could have been better, was not the real problem in 2006. The pitching was. Let’s hope the additions of Daisuke Matsuzaka, Brendan Donnelly and J.C. Romero can help the Red Sox to lower their runs allowed in 2007, by about 100 runs or so.

 

Posted by Andy at 09:49 PM | Comments (2)

December 19, 2006

 

Pitches per PA

 

Buster Olney had an interesting post today. He reports the Yankees might be interested in Mark Loretta to play firstbase.

 

The most interesting comment was this:

 

Loretta apparently was discussed as a first base option in staff meetings Monday, and what was recalled was how Kevin Youkilis and Loretta, the first hitters in the Boston lineup, often forced the Yankees’ pitchers to throw a lot of pitches.

 

So Loretta and Youkilis, per Yankees staff, made the Red Sox throw a lot of pitches. I have to say I figured that to be true given I recall both giving pitchers a hard time.

 

But upon review, I realized that wasn’t the case at all as a whole last year. Here are the pitchers per plate appearance (P/PA) for the Red Sox starters:

 

4.42 – Youokilis
3.67 – Loretta
4.07 – Ortiz
4.16 – Ramirez
3.81 – Lowell
4.02 – Varitek
3.72 – Nixon
3.85 – Crisp
3.68 – Gonzalez

 

So while their observation about Youkilis (he was tops in MLB in 2006) is correct, it might be wrong about Loretta. In fact, of the guys that started most in 2006 for Boston, Loretta saw the fewest pitches per plate appearance. I don’t know what Loretta did specifically against the Yankees last year, but overall, when compared to his teammates, he saw the fewest pitches per plate appearance.

 

So if the Yankees want to sign him to play first, is Loretta likely to contribute to a high P/PA? Here is the Yankees projected line-up in 2007 without Loretta and in no particular order. Not being as educated on the Yankees line-up in 2007, I realize this might not be exact.

 

4.09 – Damon
3.81 – ARod
3.76 – Jeter
4.37 – Giambi
4.44 – Abreu
3.71 – Posada
4.06 – Matsui
3.65 – Cabrera
3.22 – Cano

 

Loretta would rank better than just 2 of the projected Yankees in 2007. So I’m not sure the Yankees staff is right on this one. But, to Loretta’s credit, he does do many things well. He seems to move runners along, he doesn’t strikeout much (key for the hit and run) and despite his age, he is still a fairly effective hitter. His .345 OBP in 2006 was a bit disappointing, but that number is not awful.

 

For those interested, the Red Sox will have at least 3 new hitters in 2007, Pedroia, Lugo and Drew (I realize given recent health reports, Drew might not be a given). Here’s how they did in 2006:

 

4.02 – Pedroia vs. Loretta’s 3.67
3.96 – Lugo vs. Gonzalez’s 3.68
3.97 – Drew vs Nixon’s 3.72

 

All 3 are improvements.

 

What does P/PA matter? Well for those who poo poo P/PA, a high P/PA makes opposing starting pitchers throw more pitches than they would otherwise. More pitches means a quicker exit and a quicker dip into the bullpen. In a 3 or 4 games series, this can be a benefit to the opposition.

 

I understand there are players out there that have a low P/PA yet excel. Vladmir Guerrero was a 3.16 last year and is a career 3.17, yet he is an awesome hitter. Nomar Garciaparra is a career 3.18. Vernon Wells is a career 3.38.

 

Here are the top 10 for 2006

 

4.42 – Youkilis
4.37 – Giambi
4.36 – F. Thomas
4.31 – Thome
4.20 – Glaus
4.20 – Hafner
4.16 – Ramirez
4.12 – Inge
4.12 – Peralta
4.10 – Dye

 

That is a pretty good list of players. Here is the bottom 10 for 2006 of players that qualified for batting awards:

 

3.12 – Payton
3.16 – V. Guerrero
3.22 – Cano
3.27 – Betancourt
3.36 – Pierzynski
3.36 – Johjima
3.37 – Berroa
3.38 – G. Anderson
3.39 – I. Rodriguez
3.39 – V. Wells

 

I’d take the top 10.

 

Posted by Andy at 11:09 PM | Comments (2)

December 15, 2006

 

Bullpen Construction

 

The Red Sox announced two acquisitions today. They traded Phil Seibel to the Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles for Brendan Donnelly and they signed J.C Romero to a free agent contract.

 

I like both of these moves. I’ve always routed for Donnelly. First off he has great mound presense. At least from this fans perspective. Those horn-rimmed glasses and that "I eat dirt" expression really freak me out. Additionally, I’ve always rooted for Donnelly because he didn’t crack a big-league roster until he was 30. I’ve always wondered what hell he went through to make it to the majors and how he must appreciate his income that much more than a Craig Hansen, a draft pick that immediately signed a 4 year, $4m contract at age 21.

 

Donnelly in his 5 full MLB seasons has earned a total of $2m. Not bad, but considering he didn’t make that until 30 and above, I think he qualifies as the feel good story for relievers.

 

Having said all of that, Donnelly has put together a very nice career so far pitching a total of 295 innings and posting a 2.87 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. Great numbers. But, his numbers have slipped each of the last 3 seasons. While 3.94/1.35 would have been outstanding on the Red Sox last season, those 2006 numbers for Donnelly represented some slippage.

 

But to me, Donnelly is about as reliable an option as any other the Red Sox will have in 2007. He was paid $950k in 2006 and is arbitration eligible. I expect he’ll make about $1.4m in 2007.

 

Romero is a lefty that had a terrible 2006. He too was on the Angels last season. Some think his WBC participation impacted him in 2006. Let’s hope so as his 6.70/1.76 performance was tough to watch. Romero has always walked too many people (237 in 456 innings) but has managed some decent seasons nevertheless.

 

The key with Romero is his effectiveness against lefties. Last year, a horrible overall season, he held lefties to a .202 batting average against (BAA) and allowed a 1.22 WHIP. Against righties, Romero grabbed his ankles to the tune of a .382 BAA and a 2.35 WHIP. I have to imagine Terry Francona will use Romero against lefties and more lefties. To be fair, Romero was just as good against lefties in 2005, and slightly better against righties. But the bet here is that he works to lefties only. The Red Sox signed Romero to a 1-yr, $1.6m deal plus incentives. This is fairly short money if he can continue his mastery of lefty bats.

 

Overall I like these moves. If gives the Red Sox more options for the bullpen. Middle relievers are tough to predict from year to year, so perhaps the quantity theory will work out.

 

Despite these 2 signings, Theo Epstein insists the Red Sox will keep looking for a closer. It might be a future acquisition, or it might be one of the guys already signed.

 

Posted by Andy at 09:46 PM | Comments (1)

December 14, 2006

 

Welcome Aboard

 

It seems official. The Red Sox have agreed to terms with Daisuke Matsuzaka on a 6 year, $52m (plus incentives, a $2m signing bonus already included in the $52m, and personal comforts such as transportation, massage, housing, etc).

 

Matsuzaka landed at Hanscom Field last night and was taken directly to Mass General for a physical. Welcome to Boston Matsuzaka-san. He landed in the cold rain and went directly to a hospital. What a welcome.

 

He is expected to be announced at a 5pm ET press conference today. I imagine it will be well attended by Boston and Japanese media alike.

 

Upon the signings of J.D. Drew and Julio Lugo, I had said it was time for Boston to address the pitching. With Matsuzaka signed, the rotation has some depth to it. The next step is finding a closer and perhaps another bullpen arm.

 

To be blunt on Matsuzaka and his worth, we just have no idea how he will do. He is young, at 26, certainly talented, but untested in the majors. There are questions about his future arm health and about his ability to handle the U.S. let alone Boston. Boston isn’t always an easy place to play, perhaps you’ve heard.

 

The upside is that in the World Baseball Classic, he was the MVP and his competition included many major league players, so with a very small sample size, he performed well. In addition, many people in the know are high on his upside.

 

I am happy this deal happened as there is some intrigue as to just what this kid can do. His old team, the Seibu Lions, played in the Pacific League. A league considered more like the National League here. That being said, it is more a pitchers league, so Matsuzaka coming here might be like a National Leaguer coming to the American League, so expect some adjustment time (Josh Beckett is a good/bad example).

 

Hot Stove accomplishments:

 

Julio Lugo signed to play SS
J.D. Drew signed to play RF
Daisuke Matsuzaka signed to start
Hideki Okajima signed to relieve
Doug Mirabelli signed to be back-up catcher
Mike Timlin re-signed to relieve

 

I have the Red Sox payroll at $138m after the Matsuzaka signing and including all of the above moves. With a $148m luxury cap tax, the Red Sox have room to fit the cost of a closer or other pitching help. Of course Roger Clemens name has been tossed about. You never know.

 

Posted by Andy at 09:59 AM | Comments (7)

December 13, 2006

 

Rumored Deal

 

Sports Illustrated’s John Heyman is reporting the Red Sox and Daisuke Matsuzaka have agreed to a deal for 6 years and $52m with clauses that could make it worth $60m total.

 

That is a far cry from the 6 year, $66 we heard Matsuzaka and Boras were asking for. It still is a ton of dough for a guy who has never pitched in the majors though. Including the posting fee, it works out to $17.2m per season. Wasn’t Pedro’s final year with the Red Sox at $17m?

 

Of course Heyman is just reporting what he has heard and until we hear it from the horses mouth, I say don’t believe it. John Henry’s plane is over Massachusetts at this moment and if you’d like to track it, start at FlightAware.com. Give Boston Dirt Dogs credit for that site. I’m sure the FAA is a bit worried about all of the excitement surrounding this particular flight.

 

So things look and sound good, but take warning from John Henry himself who, on WEEI this afternoon, said that when the various negotiators for both sides boarded the plane, no deal had been reached. The good news is that the deadline is only 30 hours away or so and this soap opera will be over.

 

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that Doug Mirabelli signed a 1 year deal rumored to be for $700k (he made twice that last year). Looks like Tim Wakefield’s personal catcher will be back in 2007.

 

Posted by Andy at 06:09 PM | Comments (7)

Daisuke Airborne

 

Both the Herald and Globe are reporting that Daisuke Matsuzakam, his agent Scott Boras, Theo Epstein, Larry Lucchino and Assistant GM Craig Shipley are Boston-bound on John Henry’s private jet. Actually word has it that since the cost of Matsuzaka is going to be so high, Henry sold the jet and bought 5 ultralights that will fly the interested party members in a V formation back to Boston in a trip that is expected to take several weeks.

 

Seriously, the Globe is saying a deal is close and likely.

 

Since Thursday 11:59pm is the deadline, we might not get official word until then, but things look brighter than they did 24 hours ago.

 

Posted by Andy at 01:38 PM | Comments (0)

Getting Closer?

 

The Boston Herald is reporting that Scott Boras and Daisuke Matsuzaka have asked for 6 years at $11m per. That is 6/$66m. I don’t know about you, but suddenly that figure looks pretty good.

 

When you consider what we’ve read out there already with Peter Gammons saying Boras and Matsuzaka were asking for 6 years, $18m-$20m per, Boras himself said Matsuzaka was a $100m player. When you look at those and compare them to $11m a season, suddenly I have hope that a deal will get done.

 

Of course Boston has offered 6 years, $8m per. So the total cash difference over the length of the contract (what Boras wants and what Boston is offering) is $18m. Certainly the Red Sox would be willing to split the difference and offer 6 years at $9.5m each, but the question remains if Boras and Matsuzaka would agree to that.

 

Let’s say a deal gets done for 6 years and $10m per (to make the math easy). That would mean Boston is paying $60m to Matsuzaka and $51.1m to the Seibu Lions for a total outlay of $111.1m. If you amortize the total payout over 6 years, you are looking at $18.5m or so.

 

The big question is whether or not Boston can make back the $51.1m through various marketing efforts. Anything that would make them money would probably be limited to in-park advertisements and any special programming that NESN and Tom Werner can come up with. One WEEI caller suggested a reality show that could be sold to a Japanese network that would follow Matsuzaka’s every move. Just what he needs, more pressure.

 

Any additional merchandise sales outside of Fenway Park would be shared equally with the other MLB teams, so this is not where the Red Sox make up for their fee.

 

Anyway, this is pure speculation on my part while I await word on whether Daisuke is going to fly east or west today.

 

Posted by Andy at 10:13 AM | Comments (5)

December 12, 2006

 

The Deadline Looms

 

These Daisuke Matsuzaka negotations are tough to follow, mostly because there isn’t much concrete information.

 

Here are the sources I’ve been using:

 

Boston.com’s Extra Bases – A blog updated by the Globe baseball writers.

 

Boston Herald’s Clubhouse Insider Blog – A similar blog format updated by the Herald baseball writers.

 

These are your two best sources.

 

Both sites are suggesting little to no progress has been made today and that if nothing budges by tomorrow, Theo Epstein and Larry Lucchino (both in L.A. negotiating directly with Scott Boras) are going to fly back to Boston on Wednesday.

 

If Matsuzaka does not sign, I will be very disappointed. Sure there is no guarantee what this kid will do, but it would have been fun to witness his efforts in a Red Sox uniform. Alas I think most Red Sox fans should be prepared for life without Matsuzaka because even if he does sign, it might be an outrageous contract that could make the team look super-foolish (even more than they do already for offering up the posting fee).

 

Be ready for:

 

Schilling
Beckett
Papelbon
Wakefield
Lester/Tavarez

 

That 5th spot is iffy given Lester’s health and Tavarez’s lack of talent. Too bad.

 

In other news, Marcus Giles, 2b for the Atlanta Braves, was non-tendered today making him a free agent. There was a time Giles was considered an all-star, but he fell a bit in 2006. Giles is an excellent fielder and prior to 2006 was considered a good bat.

 

It will be interesting to see if Boston makes a run for him. Obviously Dustin Pedroia is the player we all expect to see at 2b in 2007, but maybe Giles is an idea. Of course Giles will probably want a 3-4 year deal at good money, so perhaps he just isn’t a financial option. Then again, if the Red Sox aren’t on the hook for $51.1m and a contract for Matsuzaka, then perhaps they sign him.

 

Giles is probably a better option in the short term than Pedroia, but maybe not for the long run.

 

A final note, Gabe Kapler retired today and instead will manage the Red Sox single-A affiliate in Greenville S.C. While Kapler didn’t offer much with his bat the past few years, no one will argue he is a great clubhouse presence and one of the smartest, most thoughtful players the Red Sox have ever had. That being said, I would not be at all surprise to see him excel in his new job. At 31 years old, Kapler is probably a few years from getting a sniff at a major league job, but it wouldn’t surprise me when it happens.

 

Posted by Andy at 11:45 PM | Comments (7)

December 10, 2006

 

Dice-K and a Closer

 

With the offense pretty much set, the Red Sox are now focusing on pitching and the bench. As most of you have heard by now, the negotiations with Scott Boras and Daisuke Matsuzaka are not going well. The Boston Globe first reported this late last week, much to the amusement to those who think the Globe sports section is edited by Larry Lucchino and Dr. Charles Steinberg, only to have Sunday’s Boston Herald report that things are all but dead with the negotiations.

 

Peter Gammons suggests a deal really needs to be done by this Tuesday in order that there be enough time to have Matsuzaka pass a physical the next day and then get things formally presented to the commissioner by Thursday.

 

Obviously the Red Sox are a better team with Matsuzaka than without him. Of course we don’t know until he actually pitches here, but most agree he is a special talent. Losing him to the negotiation process will create a void that was never really filled in the first place. With the age of Schilling and Wakefield, it sure would be nice to fill in a 26 year old into the rotation.

 

As for the global ramifications of a failed negotiation, some suggest the Red Sox brand would be forever ruined in Japan and the far east. Well maybe, but that sounds a bit extreme, especially if it is Scott Boras that feels his client isn’t being respected even though a $9m offer would represent a 300% raise from Matsuzaka’s 2005 salary.

 

From stritcly a baseball standpoint, not signing Matsuzaka would be rough.

 

As for a closer, Jonathan Papelbon is not an option, so knock it off. Here are the possible options:

 

option/likelihood
Eric Gagne – 20%
Devern Hansack – 35%
Craig Hansen – 5%
Chad Cordero – 5%
Trade – 35%

 

As of late this past week, things were looking quite negative with Gagne. A team or teams had reportedly offered him $6m guaranteed with incentives, this for a guy with 15 innings under his belt the past 2 seasons. The Red Sox might be forced to up their offer if they become desperate. With Boras as his agent, expect Gagne to take the most guaranteed money possible.

 

Hansack, who you ask? He is the AA call-up that pitched a 5-inning no-hitter the last game of the 2006 season (it was rain-shortened). He’ll be 29 to start the season, so he’s no prospect, but he has done well at every level of baseball to date. Hansack played in the Nicaraguan league in 2004 and 2005 as a result of injury and general disinterest but was brought back to the States by the Red Sox for the 2006 season.

 

Hansack is polished and composed, but with only 10 innings above AA, he is a huge gamble. He has exactly 1 professional save to his credit in the States.

 

Craig Hansen needs to figure a few things out before being the Red Sox closer. Some time in AAA this year might be a good thing as he has proven mostly ineffective at the major league level. He has the stuff, I’m just not sure he has the brain power or discipline to go with it.

 

Chad Cordero had been rumored as a possibility with the Red Sox offering one of two packages. Package one was Wily Mo Pena and package two was Craig Hansen and Clay Buchholz. The deal isn’t going to happen because A.) The Washington Nationals would need more than just Wily Mo and B.) the Red Sox would never part with Hansen and Buchholz in the same deal.

 

Trade – this one is the co-favorite with Hansack as with Theo Epstein, he’ll be tireless in exploring anything he thinks will help. The scenarios are limitless, so I won’t dig in other than to say the Astros and Angels have good bullpens with players that could prove useful. One of those 2 teams might make sense. But remember, just because Epstein will be tireless, doesn’t mean he’ll strike it rich.

 

So this week will be interesting as we will learn the fate of the Boston Red Sox and Daisuke Matsuzaka courtship. Thursday is the deadline, but word should come sooner given logistic requirements.

 

Posted by Andy at 09:52 PM | Comments (0)

December 07, 2006

 

Red Sox Cash Flow Analysis

 

With all of the cash the Boston Red Sox have spent this off-season, it made me wonder just how the Red Sox look financially beyond the 2007 season. My concern was that there would be little resources available for 2008.

 

Here is some of what I found.

 

Contracts up at the end of 2007:

 

Schilling – $13m
Lowell – $8m
Wakefield – $4m
Timlin- $2.7m
Tavarez- $3.35m
Clement – $9.5m
Hinske – $2.8m
Total = $43.4m

 

That is a good amount of cash. Most importantly, it’ll mark the end of Matt Clement. This list includes a bunch of old guys, a bunch of hurt guys, a bunch of ineffective guys and perhaps a helpful player or two. If Wakefield does well in 2007, then that is money well spent and given his unique contract ($4m annual team option that runs forever).

 

As of this moment, the Red Sox have $139m committed to player salaries. This is just the 2007 value of each contract, not the AAV. You figure they will drop $8-12m on Matsuzaka, so this number is likely to bump up to $150m or so.

 

With the salary cap $148m ($148 million in 2007, $155 million in 2008, $162 million in 2009, $170 million in 2010 and $178 million in 2011.), it’ll be interesting to see what the Red Sox do about getting under it. They have stated very publicly that they’d like to stay under it.

 

Anyway, that is what I’m thinking about right now. In addition, I am trying to settle my feelings on the Drew/Lugo signings. Well here you go. I like the Drew signing, although not at that money. I know things have changed, but still is a bunch of cash. Drew makes the line-up better by extending it. I’d rather have Drew get more at bats than Mike Lowell or Jason Varitek.

 

As for Lugo, I just don’t get it. $9m a year for 4 years (5th year performance based option) is a bunch of cash for a shortstop who is probably above average for shortstops offensively, but not so defensively (he is below average). Lugo is above average offensively, but not anywhere close to the level of the elite offensive shortstops. Unfortunately he is closer to the bat skills of Alex Gonzalez than Miguel Tejada.

 

Here are some raw numbers about Lugo’s defense (as a shortstop):

 

Career fld % = .965 vs. league average of .970
Career range factor/g = 4.39 vs. league average of 4.05
Career range factor/9 innings = 4.69 vs. league average of 4.53

 

It looks like his range is better than average and his fld % is below average. So perhaps one might say he is an average fielding, but probably not below average.

 

Since I know little about fielding stats and just how meaningful they are, let me instead turn to an expect source. The Fielding Bible, by John Dewan, is a comprehensive look at defense in baseball. Here is their take on Lugo (published prior to the 2006 season, so this is based on data only through 2005):

 

Lugo shows good range and is a very athletic defender with a strong arm. However, he is very erratic and inconsistent. He does not have the best instincts in the field. One minute he can make a great play and then boot a routine grounder in his next chance. A lot of his problems seem to come from issues with his footwork and throwing mechanics.

 

The Fielding Bible (TFB) has a plus/minus system that attempts to calculate how many plays a specific fielder makes compared to what an average replacement player would make. As an example, Adam Everett of the Houston Astros is considered to be the best shortstop in baseball per TFB.

 

Over the past 3 seasons (2003-2005), here are some samplings on where players rank on the plus/minus scale:

 

1.) Adam Everett +76
2.) Jack Wilson +50
3.) Jimmy Rollins +40
13.) Julio Lugo +5
16.) Alex Gonzalez -1
17.) Nomar Garciaparra -1
30.) Derek Jeter -64
31.) Michael Young – 73

 

So based on observation and their plus/minus system, I think it is safe to say TFB considers Lugo as average. Average isn’t great, but it isn’t bad either and to make some of us relax a bit, it appears he isn’t all that much worse than Alex Gonzalez based on TFB’s analysis.

 

Anyway, I like the Drew deal, I’m still not so hot on the Lugo deal. Prove me wrong Julio, you’d better!

 

Posted by Andy at 10:58 AM | Comments (0)

December 05, 2006

 

The Logjam Breaks

 

Finally, news.

 

The Red Sox announced Tuesday night that they’ve reach agreements in principle with both J.D. Drew and Julio Lugo.

 

Drew’s deal is 5-yr, $70m. Year 5 is a team option, although the Associated Press release doesn’t specify.

 

Lugo is set to receive $36m over 4 years. Here is the AP link.

 

So the positional players are set for now, assuming Manny Ramirez isn’t traded.

 

If it were up to me, here’s how I’d put the line-up:

 

ss – Lugo
1b – Youkilis
dh – Ortiz
lf – Ramirez
rf – Drew
3b – Lowell
cf – Crisp
c – Varitek
2b – Pedroia

 

I’m torn because Lugo or Crisp have the dynamics of fun lead-off guys, but I’m not convinced they will get on base enough. So if Lugo and Crisp prove to be lousy OBP guys, then, Youk goes back to #1.

 

With Youk, Ortiz, Manny and Drew, you have 4 bonifide .400 OBP guys. Ok, Youk hasn’t quite done that yet, but in his first full season of ball, he posted a .381 OBP, a nice number.

 

Both of these deals apparently are all but done, pending physicals.

 

Ok, enough time wasted on the bats, let’s focus on pitching. It was the pitching after all that was the most trouble in 2006. Arms, arms and more arms are needed to compete in the AL East and to compete for a World Series each year.

 

Andy’s agenda for Theo and Co.

 

- Sign Matsuzaka
- Sign or trade for a closer*
- Add additional bullpen help
- Repeat

 

* The Boston Globe reported that the Red Sox have a good shot at signing Eric Gagne. Gagne of course hasn’t done much since 2004 and is coming back from serious elbow trouble. But, he apparently is ready to start throwing again and is represented by…can you believe it, Scott Boras.

 

Gagne presents many questions marks, but if he can be had for an incentive laden contract or even reason guaranteed dollars, great, but given it is Boras we are talking about, I’m not sure. The Globe’s Nick Cafardo noted that of all teams interested in Gagne right now, only the Red Sox need a closer. If Gagne still wants to close, it would be a great fit. He was born in Montreal too, so perhaps that would be an appeal.

 

I assume the Red Sox invited Boras to stay with them in the suite at the Winter Meetings this week.

 

Posted by Andy at 11:33 PM | Comments (4)

Amazing!

 

…that nothing of note has happened yet. And sorry for the teaser there.

 

JD Drew seems likely still.
Manny moving doesn’t seem quite as likely.

 

I like the idea of Ortiz, Manny, Drew.

 

Julio Lugo seems likely, but not certain.

 

Whatever, I’d like something to come into focus soon.

 

Status:

 

c – Varitek
1b – Youkilis
2b – Pedroia
3b – Lowell
ss – ??? (Lugo)
lf – Ramirez
cf – Crisp
rf – ??? (Drew)
dh – Ortiz

 

bench ui – Cora
bench ui/uo – Hinske
bench c – ???
bench of – Pena

 

sp – Schilling
sp – Beckett
sp – Papelbon
sp – Wakefield
sp – Lester (wouldn’t have said this until today’s news)
sp – ??? Matsuzaka

 

cl – ???
rp – Tavarez
rp – Hansen
rp – Delcarmen
rp – Timlin
rp – Okajima

 

If the Red Sox do sign Matsuzaka, I hope I don’t hear anyone suggest trading away starting pitching. Remember, you can never have enough starting pitching.

 

Posted by Andy at 05:05 PM | Comments (1)