Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II
posted at 5/30/2011 7:29 PM EDT
I think I've said like 5 times now that I was proposing to let Papi go into free agency for hopefully a 2nd round pick and keep Martinez primarily as a catcher to replace one of our current .600 OPS tanden. Yes, I know your position, and it had merit. It's nice to have a DH that can play 2 positions.
I happen to disagree with your position, but it's a close call. We've gone over this many times already, but in short:
1) VMart on the Sox would not be a middle order hitter (3-4-5), unless you call #6 "middle order" in the strict mathematical sense.
2) VMart may not be able to catch more than 60-80 games decently, as Detroit figured out, and likely many other teams as well. (harness made a good case for the absense of serious bidders for a top hitting "catcher", the probability is, most teams did not view him as a FT catcher.)
3) VMart's career OPS is about .840, but at his age, one would expect a drop off slowly and then maybe a steep one near the end of a 4 year deal. A fair projection might look like this: .825 ('11), .815 ('12), .800 ('13) and maybe .780 the last year. These are pretty good DH numbers, but not great. They certainly are not good 1B numbers, no matter how hard softy tried to claim they are.
4) The whole CERA issue. Chances are, VMart would have been OK with Buch and Lester (and Wake) , but beyond that... (see the CERA thread). That's about 70 starts. I sincerely feel he would have greatly compromised the other starters effectiveness had he caught them a lot.
5) Letting papi walk would have caused an uproar. I might have signed with the Yanks.
Detroit is hitting him #5 if I remember correctly which would seem to make him a middle of the order bat to me! He'd likely bat 6th with the Sox.
Martinez would be catching a lot more if they didn't feel so good about Avila, and rightfully so. Detroit had it right. Martinez is still a valuable commodity. Well worth it for the 4 year deal he signed. He's already been hurt. Let's wait until year 4 to judge.
2 weeks ago he was hitting .330. His average, like most players, is going to go up and down some. He is a lifetime .300 hitter with a 162 game average of 21 HR and 38 doubles per year. As a catching platoon guy those are big numbers.He's leaving his prime now, boom. 4 years post prime are a lot of years.
It turned out that keeping Papi was a good call ( my bad ) but Martinez would have still been our primary catcher anyway in my scenario for 1 -2 years. As good as Tek and Salty have done lately, they still have near Mendoza line numbers. You are only looking at hitting. If Vmart was here and our ERA was 0.75 higher, many would not have thought it was his fault.
It is encouraging though that they appear to be improving. We would have been a better team if we kept Victor IMO, this year and even going forward. He was worth the money. He is still only 32 years old. His switch hitting bat would have helped this team a lot from the catching position. Last year, our catching position had a .793 OPS. I could see our current tandem matching that the final 2/3rds of the season.
An apples to apples comparison of Ortiz and Martinez as DH only is not appropriate for the Redsox. Martinez could clearly have helped with our catching load, particularly in the next 2 years. He is 32 as compared to Ortiz at 36. He had no CERA problems with Lester or Buchholz. CERA is a relative stat. Nobody else caught Buch, but I agree, it is highly doubtful anyone could have gotten more out of him. Lester, on the other hand, did much better with VTek (1.88 to 3.68).
Beckett and Lackey maybe just didn't have great years last year and there is no indication that Martinez would have hurt Matsuzaka's performance any this year either. Lackey has completely tanked this year. Is that Martinez's fault also? We have Tek as a back up catcher for us at 39 but we didn't see Victor as a back up guy at 36? We got on a "Martinez stinks" train and few of us but me got off.Simply put, the guy is not good with the staff. That is not being a good catcher, back-up or otherwise. He also had trouble with baserunners as well, but that is more our pitcher's fault than VTek or VMart's.
Beltre has also continued to be a stud this year. Let me just state it flat out...given the past couple of years projections I would match my calls with anyone's here. How's that for trash talking! I certainly think Beltre/AGon/Vmart may outhit AGon/Papi/Salty-VTek this year, but beyond...?
Also, it's not just about HRs and OPS.