1) Maybe $85M/5 would have gotten him. - Good one.
2) Maybe the self-imposed $100M limit is avoidable. - For the right player, not Sanchez.
Agreed. I would not give him $100M/6, but I still think even that is better than $104.5M for Naps, Vict & Demp, and we'd still have someone after 2015 who is still in his prime.
OK, fair enough, but this is your "opinion" and I think you'd be hard pressed to find many who would agree with you. Keep in mind that you'd still have the cost of another 1st baseman and a rightfielder.
Well, I compared total cost of the deals combined- not per year cost, so there would be money left over to spend in thos areas, but I'd still rather have A Sanchez for 5 years (remember, he was not part of my top plan for this winter, but only a "signing him was better than what we got" position) and Mauro G at 1B and Kalish in RF than Dempster, Naps and Shane for 2-3 years each.
3) Sanchez was not the only top 45 SP available in MLB. - Correct, but Brett Anderson was clearly not one of them.
Every player is available at a certain cost. - So you think it is a good idea to overpay for a player that a team has no intention of trading?! That makes no sense at all.
You are assuming Oakland has no intention of trading B Anderson, or that it would take a massive overpay to pry him from the A's. Maybe-maybe not, but I think this kid is worth an overpay-yes.
Who should they have signed? Please do not say Brandon McCarthy again as there was zero interest on a mutual level, and you don't seem to get this at all.
It's not clear that BM was not intereasted in Boston at all, and just because the Sox did not publically show interest does not make it a right call. I don't recall any public talk of Gio Gonzalez last winter either. I do agree that BM is not a top 45 SP, but could easily be a 45-60 one, and maybe better by 2014 and 2015. - Actually it was crystal clear from the conversations I had. He's a west coast guy through and through. He specifically told his agent that he wanted to remain on the west coast. Unless some team offered him a deal that the union would pressure him into signing (no one would, too many red flags), he wasn't signing with an east coast team.
I maintain that my offer of $15M/3 would have landed him in Boston, but I could be wrong. We also don't know what other SPs might have been available via trade.
From the Sox standpoint, McCarthy made no sense at all. They have one guy coming off TJ surgery (Lackey), another guy coming off a significant innings increase (Doubront) and another guy (Buchholz) with questionable durability. The last thing they needed was a guy who has well documented shoulder issues, a guy who has never come close to 200 innings and a guy who hasn't pitched since he got hit the face with a line drive. They needed someone who has a history of durability, and that's definitely not McCarthy. This I heard from more than one reliable source, and it certainly makes a ton of sense.
Respectfully, I want to say that you seemingly keep acting like I don't understand why they signed a consistent 200 IP guy in Dempster and not BM. I know why: I just disagree. IMO, our biggest need was to get a SP who rates to be helpful in 2014 and 2015, and anything they give us in 2013 is a bonus. We can agree to disagree on my priority being ranked appropriately, but to me, even signing a risky BM addresses what I think was our biggest need more than spending $26.5M on an aging SP that will be gone by 2015. Even if BM pitches 0 innings in 2015, we're even with Dempster.
I don't care if we had 8 SPs under team control to 2014, if SP'ing is our biggest weakness, not addressing it solves nothing. - The Sox may feel that having a healthy Lackey returning, signing a healthy Dempster who should be able to give them significant innings and having their two top starters being reunited with a pitching coach they both had success with, should certainly upgrade their rotation. Just because they didn't sign or trade for the guys that you wanted them to, it doesn't mean they didn't upgrade the rotation.
I may be wrong, but I'll take an odd year of Beckett over Dempster and a returning Lackey combined. The loss of Dice-K and Cook may even that up, so I'd say our rotation is about the same as last year at this time. I am pretty sure Ben thinks it is improved.
Beckett was horrible last year. It won't take much for Dempster to improve on that. Beckett wasn't coming back here, period. If the Dodgers didn't give them that gift of a trade, he was gone this winter anyway, so the "odd year" of Beckett wasn't an option. A lot of people think Lackey is going to have a good year this year, and it's the first time he'll pitch healthy since he was with the Angels, so he just might. It's not a stretch at all to think that this rotation could be significantly better than last year.
I know Beckett was horrible last year, but going by his history, he's due for a great year in 2013. Dempster in the AL and a returning Lackey are just as much coin flips as Beckett. That's why I called our staff about even to last year's staff on paper at this time last year.
Of course this rotation should do better than what our rotation ended up doing in 2012, but my point is that, on paper, our starting rotation is no better off on January 7th of 2013 than it was on January 7th of 2012. I know a lot went wrong last year, and maybe the chances are better this year that we will not have so much go wrong again, but I look at it this way:
1) I feel worse about Lester now than january of last year.
2) I feel about the same about Buchholtz now than last winter.
3) I felt better about Beckett last winter-thinking he had "something to prove" after '11 than I do about Dempster now.
4) I don't know what to feel about Lackey, which was about how I felt about Bard/Dice-K last winter.
5) I feel better about Doubront this year than last, but I do not view 2012 as a good year with his WHIP at 1.410. He has nice stuff, and I am hoping he improves, but have no evidence to assume he will.
Overall: I feel about even to last winter's feelings at this time. And, last year I was ranting on and on about needing a quality SP all winter and into the 2012 season. That hasn't changed. I know I might be in the minority, but even if everything works out with our rotation, had we added another solid starter, it couldn't hurt. We could easily trade one for a massive overpay at the deadline.