January 31, 2007
We had some technical troubles today. We seem to be back in action, sorry for the trouble.
Let the banter continue…
January 29, 2007
Helton to Red Sox…Not Happening
According to the Rockies owner, Charlie Monfort, there will be no deal trading Todd Helton to the Boston Red Sox. Monfort was insisting the Red Sox include Craig Hansen and Manny Delcarmen along with Julian Tavarez and Mike Lowell.
It is interesting that Monfort is making all of the statements, yet he hired Dan O’Dowd to be the team GM. O’Dowd must feel like he has lost some player personel authority.
No matter, as the Boston Herald’s Tony Massarotti said on WEEI today, why add Helton and trade Hansen and Delcarmen (and Tavarez) when the offense is in good shape and the bullpen is filled with questions?
So Helton is going to stay in Colorado.
I will admit the idea of him at 1b was fun, but this deal was only going to get done if it made complete sense to Boston. I guess the terms they were presented didn’t make sense.
Schilling announced this morning on WEEI that he wasn’t retiring after all in 2007. He and his family have decided he will keep pitching in 2008 and perhaps beyond.
Because he is only signed with Boston through 2007, there is no guaranteed he will pitch beyond 2007 in Boston.
January 27, 2007
Buster Olney is reporting (registration required) that the Red Sox and Colorado Rockies are discussing a trade that would move Todd Helton to Boston. Helton makes a ridiculous amount of cash and will continue to do so until the Sun eats the Earth, but that doesn’t mean him playing 1b for Boston would be a bad thing.
Helton has slipped the past few years. Some say it is because of injury, others think it is just a natural erosion of skills. At 33, the Red Sox must think he has a bunch left in the tank.
Given Helton’s salary through 2011 (yes 5 more seasons), it is assumed Colorado would assume a big portion of the contract (a double-"assumed" faux pas). In addition, Olney reports that Matt Clement’s contract would be sent to the Rockies. Clement is going to make $9.5m in 2007 and he probably won’t throw a pitch.
Here is what Helton is due:
2007 – $16.6m
2008 – $16.6m
2009 – $16.6m
2010 – $16.6m
2011 – $19.1m
The Red Sox would need that figure to come down quite a bit.
The risks are many. Helton’s production has gone down 3 years in a row with 2006 being weak for Helton’s standards.
2004 – .357/.469/.620
2005 – .320/.445/.534
2006 – .302/.404/.476
He is signed through 2011 (with a 2012 team option at $23m). That will put him at 39 by the time he is done with the guaranteed part of the deal.
Helton has put up boffo numbers at Coors field, a notorious hitter friendly park. History has proven that players have a tough time making the transition from Coors to other parks. Home/road splits generally play that out. Helton is no different:
career at home: .371/.465/.676
career on road: .294/.393/.507
The road numbers aren’t bad, but they are a significant drop-off when compared to his home numbers.
So, Red Sox management, please do not expect the Helton we’ve seen to show up in Boston. Expect his road numbers…at best. In summing up the risks, Helton is getting older, has seen his production slip, has a massive contract both in terms of dollars and years and his home/road performance are night and day.
The pluses to this deal are that Helton is a very good defensive player. He draws a ton of walks and if indeed injury was the reason he struggled in 2006, there is reason to believe he might return to form. Even his road performance, after all, is good.
If Boston can unload Matt Clement and Colorado picks up half of Helton’s deal, then suddenly we are talking. Helton at $8m or $9m a years is much better than at $16.6m a season.
If you are into meaningless small sample sizes, Helton has killed at Fenway Park. In 3 games, he has gone 6-12, yes a .500 average, and posted an OBP of .538 and an SLG of .750. Wow. Project that out to 600 at bats and he will get 300 hits!!! A record, take that Ichiro.
If it were only that easy.
Back to reality. This deal would add another hitter that makes pitchers throw a boat load of pitches. With Youkilis, Ortiz, Manny and Drew already on board, Helton’s addition would make things nice. Also, being a lefty, the Red Sox would have 3 very good lefty bats in an AL East that doesn’t have an overwhelming amount of lefty starters. Andy Pettitte and Scott Kazmir are the 2 best.
So, here is my take. If Boston can get Helton for 50 cents on the dollar and trade Matt Clement and Mike Lowell to Colorado (with Youk moving to 3b), then I’d do this in a heartbeat. If Colorado isn’t willing to assume a hefty portion of the deal, then it is a good idea to walk away.
It occurred too me that at this stage in his career, Helton is posting J.D. Drew like numbers and yet I am unwilling to take him on for more than $10m a year or so. That is pretty consistent with my take on Drew, at 31 years old. If Boston could have gotten him at $10-$12m max, then great, but at $15m I am uncomfortable.
January 26, 2007
J.D Drew Signed…Again
There are reports that J.D. Drew is indeed a Red Sox. With language added that allows the Red Sox to void the 2010 and 2011 years should Drew suffer a shoulder injury related to whatever nonsense was discovered in the physical, the deal has finally been settled.
Of course neither Drew, Scott Boras nor the Red Sox have officially confirmed a thing.
We’ve seen this before, but here is the Red Sox 2007 line-up with respective attributes that Terry Francona is looking at to make his line-up decisions and some attributes Francona might have missed:
ss – Julio Lugo: Speed, .340 caree OBP %. Keep in mind, Red Sox had a .351 in 2006 as a team.
1b – Kevin Youkilis: Great OBP, average speed, strikes out a bunch, 120 K’s in 2006.
dh – David Ortiz: Great power, great OBP. Good fit in 3-hole.
lf – Manny Ramirez: Great OBP, great power. Good fit in 4-hole.
rf – J.D. Drew: Great OBP and good SLG. Best option at 5-hole.
3b – Mike Lowell: Hmmm, average OBP, ok SLG. At 6 spot, not a bad choice.
cf – Coco Crisp: Speed, average OBP. If the 2005 Crisp show up, great, otherwise, the 9-hole is ideal.
c – Jason Varitek: Solid hitter for a catcher, but skills in decline. Let’s hope for the 2005 Varitek.
2b – Dustin Pedroia: Continuation of rookie campaign. His OBP potential might put him at leadoff should Lugo struggle.
I like this line-up. It should score more runs than the 2006 edition. I originally had this line-up as my ideal and I stick with that, but as I wrote before, Lugo has to get on base. If he doesn’t, then Crisp would be nice…if he can get on base. If neither can, then let Pedroia take a stab at lead-off.
Speed is nice, but with Ortiz and Ramirez, the key is to get on base and stay safe on base so they can hit home runs and doubles.
As we get closer to spring training, my goal is to write more often. But being as important and sophisticated as I am, time is scare. Did I mention I am also modest?
January 15, 2007
T-Minus 34 Days…
…until pitchers and catchers report to Fort Myers FL. Wow, time flies.
There hasn’t been much to report of late. Kyle Snyder settle his arbitration status and signed a one year, $535k deal. J.D. Drew is no nearer to being officially signed.
There are a handful of players playing winter ball. Reports have it that Wily Mo Pena is really struggling in winter ball. Too small a sample size to get worried about.
That’s really all that I can think of.
In the meantime, please excluse our front page. We are trying to upgrade but in the process have run into a technical glitch. The page still works, but it is missing our images, etc.
January 04, 2007
Many sources are saying the Yankees have reached an agreement in principle to deal Randy Johnson to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
I understand Johnson was not all the Yankees hoped, but what did they expect from a 43 year old pitcher? Granted he was only 40 or 41 when they got him, but the over 40 crowd hasn’t ever been the dominant age group in major league baseball, right?
In his 2 seasons as a Yankee, Johnson went 34-19 and pitched 430+ innings. It seems as though most Yankee fans want to see Johnson go. Peter, the Yankee fan on this site, is for it if the Yankees get a good package in return and reserving judgement until the deal is officially announced. While I can see there might have been some disappointment in his overall Yankee experience, he was hardly a slouch. Above all else, he was a durable pitcher that gave his team a chance to win more often than not.
His departure, assuming no solid starter is acquired by the Yankees in the deal, leaves a starting spot open for New York. They will certainly fill it, but I’m certain the replacement will do what Johnson would have done.
It looks as though the Yankees rotation looks like this:
The 5th spot, is not going to be manned by a reliable player, assuming you aren’t convinced Carl Pavano is a lock for 30 starts and assuming you understand that rookies, like Hughes, who has never pitched above AA, are a toss up.
As a Red Sox fan, I am thrilled to see Randy Johnson go. 17 wins gone is a great thing. I fully understand the Randy Johnson we see today is not the one from 10 or even 5 years ago, but he gave New York 200 innings and still had the intimidation factor.
I suppose Johnson’s initial encounter with that reporter and photographer on the streets of New York in 2003 or 2004 (I can’t recall the specifics) was a sign of things to come. Johnson was clearly not an ideal fit in New York just like probably a majority of players are not a good fit in New York or Boston for that matter.
Anyway, I’m glad to see him shipped to Arizona, it can only help the Red Sox.
January 03, 2007
The Red Sox have reached a preliminary agreement with Joel Pineiro to a 1 year, $4m deal plus incentives.
Some background on Pineiro: Had an impressive 2001-2003. Has stuggled since 2004. Of his 185 games, 148 have been starts.
This signing appears to be designed to give Pineiro a chance to be the fulltime closer. What business does a guy with a 4.67, 5.62 and a 6.36 from 2004 to 2006 respectively have in being the 2007 Red Sox closer? Well, his starter/reliever splits suggest there might be something there. By the way, it isn’t lost on me that only in Major League Baseball can a guy post a 6.36 ERA and sign a $4m deal plus incentives. Wow.
Anyway, Pineiro has posted the following ERA splits from a starter/reliever standpoint:
4.58 – starter (148 games covering 926 IP, 292 BB, 596 K)
3.21 – reliever (37 games covering 70 IP, 35 BB, 62 K)
Is there something there? I have no clue. Pitchers tend to throw harder when only pitching an inning, but I’m not sure that is relavent with Pineiro. Basically I have to assume the Red Sox think Pineiro will fair better as a reliever than as a starter.
$4m is an awfully large amount to gamble on a player that really hasn’t had a good year since 2003. Then again, $103 is a bunch to pay for a player and his exclusive rights that has never pitched in the Eastern, Central, Mountain or Pacific time zones. I’m telling you, if you have a child, please teach him/her to throw lefty. Or if a righty is all you can muster, make sure he/she sticks with it and who knows, a multi-million deal might be possible. Joel Pineiro at $4m?
BTW, we are working on a new front page for www.yankeesredsox.com, but are having some techincal difficulties. That’s what you get for not being technically savvy. We’ll be there soon with a much better entry point thanks to Peter.