Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Possible Red Sox offseason moves, GO!

What would you guys think of J. D. Drew on the Red Sox? Part of me thinks the intense atmosphere might help him to get motivated (either that or destroy him). He's aloof, but not in a 100% aloof way like Manny, more like in a Nomar way where things affect him. I wouldn't even consider it, aside from the fact that when playing he'd immediately make our lineup top of the notch again and play a superb right field. Seeing him on the Braves, I'm fully convinced he has every one of Beltran's skills and is a better overall player, when he plays.

And what about Matsuzaka? I'm all for adding quality to the rotation but man, is it going to cost us. I'd probably prefer Zito or Schmidt. With Zito, at least we know he hardly ever misses a start.

And finally, thumbs up or thumbs down on Lugo over A-Gone for next year’s shortstop?

Here are the last 3 years of Nixonmania and Drew .

Drew's actually had more ABs, which obviously isn't a perfect measure of health, but it seems like they both miss chunks of time. Drew is two years younger and .145 OPS points better. I don't see any other offensive upgrade option available. He has a bad reputation, but if he plays well when he plays it should be ok. Can the Red Sox afford $15 million a year though? Especially if these absurd reports about the Matsuzaka bidding are true? I guess we're anticipating ditching Manny and Schilling in a year or two.

I love Nixon, but his power dropoff is pretty frightening.

Lugo. If you want to win in the AL, you need offense at every position. Punch it.

I'd take Zito over Matsuzaka any day, you could possibly sign Zito and Schmidt for the amount it'll cost Matsuzaka.

I just assumed Nixon was gone whether we like it or not. It seems like Drew is the only reasonable replacement to play the outfield. I don't know what to think about what we can afford. I wonder why we wouldn't go bid crazy on Zito and Schmidt instead?

I feel like in a few years, we're all going to be looking back on the contracts from this year and last year like we look at the Manny, A-Rod, Jeter, etc. deals now. Aramis Ramirez gets 5 yrs/73M? Damn, son! That said, if we're serious about winning in the AL East, dem's the breaks, I'm afraid.

I would not be unhappy with Drew in right, but sorta nervous about the situation. But I agree, not a lot of better options available unless the sox come up with some off-the-wall trade. I like it especially because most people are saying the next "big bat" is one Carlos Lee, but their 3 year average OPS isn't pretty: Lee .865, Drew .947. Assuming Lee gets something approaching Ramirez money, and we can get Drew for less, I like it even more. They have similar AB/HR rates (18 for Lee, 19 for Drew), but the thing that worries me, as you guys are alluding to, is this: in the last 3 years, Drew has 1264 AB, Lee 1833. So we gotta figure out how to keep him on the damn field. But yeah, I guess I like it.

Matsuzaka - yeah, freaking expensive, but we know where Zito & Schmidt's numbers are gonna go after the next year or two (particularly Schmidt, moving from the NL to AL, and from Pac-Bell to Fenway). I guess Matsuzaka is more of an unknown, but I don't think his numbers will drop off like those other guys, so he could be a better long-term investment (particularly if you just consider his CONTRACT money, which would probably actually be less than Zito money - I forget where I read that, but at least one "expert" (...) was saying that...). I think the interesting thing with him is that the posting fee wouldn't count against the salary cap, so it's pretty much just a one-time investment, and it doesn't mess up our ability to spend money on other players, other than the fact that John Henry has to shell out more dough (it doesn't affect our long-term plans regarding the cap). I just have no idea what to make of the scouting on him - he works up in the strike zone so much and looks like he hangs a lot of breaking stuff. If people who know more than me think he'll be good, then I guess I like it, but...

Lugo... meh. Personally I'd love to bring A-Gon back for another year or two (but I guess he won't do a 1 year deal, so that's out anyway), because I'll take .250 out of the 9 hitter. And honestly, Lugo probably would be a bottom of the order guy anyway (OBP .348, OPS .753 over last 3 years). But this is just me being selfish because I love watching the guy play. If we've got the dough, let's tie it on.

Having Wily Mo as a backup RF makes Drew's penchant for not playing more palatable for me. Also this year MLB is awash in cash, so it's basically impossible to figure out what a reasonable contract is these days. If A-Rod was a FA now instead of a few years ago I wouldn't have been surprised to see him get $30 million per.

Sox as Evil Empire

Blah blah blah, if the Red Sox were in a different division, they wouldn't have nearly the same payroll. It's like if one country nuked another and the first one nuked back, would everyone blame the second country for not being restrained??

Maybe he should write about Toronto spending too much money as well. Clearly the blue jays should wait until they have 10 top prospects all mature at the same time, then will they deserve to be contenders?

That writer is generally incompetent I've found. He just pops up all the time in my fantasy sports main page.

But, while the Red Sox would probably spend less if they were in another division, they'd still have the wherewithal to bully many of the other teams if it came to a bidding war.

I think the bigger issue is that there are now quite a few "$100 mill" franchises, Texas, Anaheim, Chicago (2), NY (2), Seattle, Boston, Philly, Dodgers, etc. But after that there is a huge dropoff in what other teams can spend. I think the talk about MLB parity is a partly illusory, but I don't think I'll be able to write an article on that until Thanksgiving or winter break.

I disagree. The Red Sox never bullied a team before the Yankees became an empire. Manny was pretty much the first big FA signing in Boston. It was mostly because no one wanted to come play in Boston, but it still led to them not being able to sign anyone. And then Manny was only signed in retaliation for Mussina. They bullied for Foulke because they needed someone like Rivera to beat the Yankees and I doubt they would make a move like that again in the near future. I just don't see why they would keep profits to a minimum if they didn't have to have a high payroll to be competitive. They already have the fan base, wouldn't it make sense to keep the payroll down? The Yankees are way below their revenue, but they're forcing other teams to use every penny to keep up.

I'd like to see that article about how parity is an illusion.

Well, it's all relative. Team payrolls didn't spiral out of control (and the subsequent large gap in the rich and poor) until relatively recently, as the free agency system matured and MLB began taking in drastically more revenue. I agree with you that payrolls wouldn't be as high if the Yankees weren't constantly cracking a whip over the AL. But even if the Yankees weren't making a mockery of the MLB's salary structure, I'm pretty sure the Red Sox would still be right at the crest of the luxury tax threshold, even if that threshold was lower. And considering 2/3 of the teams in the league can't come _close_ to that level of salary, they're bullying powers surpass all but probably the NY squads. The Red Sox like to cry pauper, but they're one of the biggest power players in the league.

Specific examples that I'd argue is evidence of them able to make deals simply because the other team can't keep up on the same financial level, not just due to the Yankees:
Matzuaska - They obliterated all the other bids, which suggests to me the Sox have a lot more money to play with than they let on.
Foulke (you mentioned that one already)
A-Rod (not so much due to Texas, but the way the Sox tried to buy off the player's union)

I actually wouldn't use the Manny deal as an example because the Indians also offered him a ton of cash. My memory's not as a good as yours, so there might be other examples. I think that's enough to show that a case at least can be made, even if it isn't 100% persuasive.

Agreed. I need an editor to put this email chain in blog form.

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