A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Boomerangsdotcom. Show Boomerangsdotcom's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    The Yanks are observing the Rangers and Angels becoming possibly the two best teams in the AL. What is the Cherington/Luchinno collective observing?

    I still haven't seen much from Cherington. Maybe all this is from a desire on the team's part to save money but it could also be in part a reluctance on Cherington's part to pull the trigger. A lack of confidence in his security or authority.

    My God, look at this off season. I think Cherington has Valentine breathing down his neck and Luchinno messing up his mind. We are getting played across the baseball world. Or the Sox just don't want to spend any money at all as Luchinno earlier hinted.

    They bit off a lot at Liverpool. Playing in that pond is expensive and if they don't play the fanbase losses are substantial.
     
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    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    Or the Yanks could just now sign Fielder and put all of baseball in the back seat.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from jidgef. Show jidgef's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    There's doom, then there's gloom, and then there's Boom! Lighten up buddy! A few teams have improved themselves, no doubt, but mostly from simply throwing money around. Cherington is working within limitations to be sure, but he has improved the club without spending a lot nor without giving up key pieces to our future. And if you think Lowrie or Reddick were keys to our future you are seriously over-valuing them. Last year's collapse notwithstanding, the Sox entered this offseason already ahead of most teams in terms of talent. Texas appears to me to be the best of the bunch with two straight WS appearances and an improved team, but the Yankees are a year older and Tampa still is in search of consistent offense. We'll be right in the thick of things when the dust settles, I'm sure.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    I agree jid. If we had picked up Bailey, Melancon, Sweeney, extended a soon-to-be FA AGon this winter, and signed Buch as a free agent this winter, would people still rip Ben?

    Theo "pre-spent" much of this winter's money on AGon and Buch in April.

    Ben's hands are essentially tied. The CC contract crippled us, and the Lackey deal and injury hasn't helped either. Then there's Dice-K and the continued injuries of others: Youk ('10 & '11), Pedey ('10), Ells ('10), Beckett ('10), Jenks ('10 & '11), Wheeler ('11), VMart, VTek, Scutty, Drew, Cameron, Wake, etc...

    A few key injuries to the Yanks, Rangers and Angels and they'd look like us. Big healthy years from Buch & Youk and we'll be right there with these other teams as well.

    We had the best offense last year and should get stronger with some help on the health front:
    1) We could easily see a 90-120 point rise in LF OPS (Crawford just returns to career norm).  .723 to .840
    2) We could easily see a 60-100 point rise in RF OPS. (.652 to .740 with a platoon of Sweeney and Aviles/DMac.)
    3) We could see a gain in OPS from our catchers (.737 to .775 with a L-R platoon of Salty and Shopp instead of the "personal caddy" nonsense)
    4) We could easily see a 50-90 point rise in 3B OPS. (.812 to .890 with a healthy Youk.)
    5) I think we will see increased power from AGon.
    6) We may get offensive help from Lavarnway before the year is over.

    (I realize we may also see declines in some areas, especially if we have an injury or two. No surprise if Ells or Papi decline a bit.)

    Defense: I don't see any improvement, unless Youk and Scutaro stay 100% healthy and have a little more range than they had in 2011. We could change that drastically by bringing up Iggy or possibly moving Youk to DH a few games, but I'm not expecting that. I'm also not one to believe that CC is going to magically "learn LF" and do much better than his 2011. 

    Pitching is the big question. On the surface, it seems like losing Lackey, Weiland and Wake is an "addition by subtraction" situation, but the loss of Paps is huge. I'm not convinced that Bailey can and will stay healthy and Melancon can pitch well under the heat lamp of Boston. I'm not convinced moving Bard and/or Aceves to the rotation is the right move either, but as our staff looks now, at least one seems like the only way to go.

    I do not think Ben is done, and maybe this recent Yanky flurry of activity will cause a little change in our philosopy. A reactionary management style usually does not work. I still think it is possible to stay under the tax limit and improve our team enough to be on a even playing field with other top teams. I've mentioned several times some specific ideas of my own that I feel would help, and I do think something similar to my ideas may be tried soon or at the deadline. It's going to take some tough decisions, but here is my plan again:

    1) Send Jenks to the Cubs and call the Theo comp issue solved. Shedding $6M from payoll is better than any prospect we'd get anyway, and would go a long way in giving us the flexibility to sign or trade for pitching help.

    2) Trade Scutaro to Atlanta or detroit or any other contending team in need of a decent SS. Get a prospect in return. We save up to $6M.

    3) Trade some prospects (maybe Middlebrooks,  Anderson, Exposito, and Bowden) for Gavin Floyd.

    4) Sign Cody Ross (~$7M/2 years).

    5) Sign 1-2 more low cost-high upside pitchers as insurance against injury.

    This could be our 25 man roster on opening day...
    Beck-Lest-Buch-Floyd-Bard-Aceves
    Bail-Melan-Morales-Doub-Albers-Atch
    Salty-Shopp
    AGon-Papi
    Pedey
    Iggy-Aviles-Punto
    Youk
    Craw
    Ells
    Ross-Sween

    In season help:
    P- Tazawa-Silva-Cook-Miller-RHill-Wilson
    C/DH- Lavarnway
    IF- Emaus-Tejada
    OF-DMac-Kalish-Hassan-Linares-Nava-Lin-Brentz



     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from law2009a. Show law2009a's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    m
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Boomerangsdotcom. Show Boomerangsdotcom's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    I didn't say we were a second division team. I challenge you guys to show where we improved much this winter at all though.

    The Yanks got Kuroda on a 1 year deal for around $10 mil. That alone probably slots them over us next year. And the Montero/Pineda deal was excellent for them. Look at their starting pitching depth compared to ours. It's not even close. The Rangers picked up Darvish potentially, probably the top pitching option in baseball this winter. And the Angels have a ton of excellent talent coming up the farm, they are also getting their former 1st baseman back from injury plus they picked up Pujols and the top FA pitcher this winter. They are substantialy improved.

    We are trying to stay under the luxury threshhold and that is fine but we are primed to win this year. It is not the year to be timid. Will Youk and Ortiz get better? Our starters get better? Are we going to waste another monster year from Ellsbury? We need to win now.

    We don't know why Cherington is doing the moves he has done. He may well be missing some opportunities from excess caution and just lack of connections and inability to grasp it all yet at the level necessary. It may not just be ownership.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Boomerangsdotcom. Show Boomerangsdotcom's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    We may be winnowing out the FA starters to obtain the most cost effective option, which sometimes happens. We might still get a bargain option. A guy like Oswalt may now fall to us at a decent price but to me that is around $5-6 mil for a 1 year deal. He's not the same guy any more. That is our best option. A short term deal, proven starter at a reasonable price. I don't know how we stay under the luxury threshhold anyway this winter.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from jesseyeric. Show jesseyeric's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    In Response to Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I:
    [QUOTE]We may be winnowing out the FA starters to obtain the most cost effective option, which sometimes happens. We might still get a bargain option. A guy like Oswalt may now fall to us at a decent price but to me that is around $5-6 mil for a 1 year deal. He's not the same guy any more. That is our best option. A short term deal, proven starter at a reasonable price. I don't know how we stay under the luxury threshhold anyway this winter.
    Posted by Boomerangsdotcom[/QUOTE]

    Boomer - I see Oswalt holding out for at least the same money as Kuroda.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    I didn't say we were a second division team. I challenge you guys to show where we improved much this winter at all though.

    Nobody is saying we picked up better players this winter than some other teams have, but that doesn't mean we haven't or won't improve next year, even if we make no more moves this winter.

    Possible Offense Improvements from 2011 to 2012:

    1) We could easily see a 90-120 point rise in LF OPS (Crawford just returns to career norm).  .723 to .840
    2) We could easily see a 60-100 point rise in RF OPS. (.652 to .740 with a platoon of Sweeney and Aviles/DMac.)
    3) We could see a gain in OPS from our catchers (.737 to .775 with a L-R platoon of Salty and Shopp instead of the "personal caddy" nonsense)
    4) We could easily see a 50-90 point rise in 3B OPS. (.812 to .890 with a healthy Youk.)
    5) I think we will see increased power from AGon.
    6) We may get offensive help from Lavarnway before the year is over.

    Possible Pitching Improvements from 2011 to 2012:

    1) Replacing the 14 starts by Buch with 30+ starts. This could be huge if we say the 17 starts Buch will be replacing are these:
       Miller (12 GS @ 4.9 IP per start) ERA 5.55 / WHIP 1.800
       Weiland (5GS@ 4.3 IP per start) ERA 8.72 / WHIP 1.846

    2) Replacing Lackey's 28 starts (5.7 IP per start) 6.41 ERA / WHIP 1.619 and 
        Aceves' 4 starts (5.2 IP per start) ERA 5.14 / 1.571 WHIP with...
        32 starts by Bard and Aceves combined.

    3) Replaing Wake's 23 starts (6.0 IP per start) 5.31 ERA / 1.398 WHIP and
        Bedard's 8 starts (4.8 IP per start) ERA 4.03 / WHIP 1.553 with...
        31 starts by (possibly some more by Bard/Aceves), Dice-K after June, 
        Doubront, Silva, Cook, Wilson, or others.

    The difficult thing is going to be replacing the 2011 pen of Papelbon, Bard, and Aceves...
    Aceves 93 IP  2.03 / 1.000
    Bard     73 IP  3.33 / 0.959 
    Paps     64.1   2.94 / 0.933
    but, we are also replacing these 105+ IP as well...
    Wheeler 49 IP  4.38  1.115
    Wake      17 IP  3.63  1.038
    Jenks      15.2    6.32  2.234
    Oki          8.1     4.32  1.440
    Williams 8.1     6.48  1.800
    Miller     6.2      5.40  1.950
    Hottovy  4.0      6.75  1.750

    The replacements:

    Bailey       41.2   3.24/1.104
    Melancon  74.1  2.78/1.224

    (Maybe some releif IP from Bard and or Aceves, especially after Dice-K returns.)

    Maybe an improvement from Albers: 64.2IP   4.73/ 1.438

    More IP from...

    Morales  32.1  3.62/.1.268 (2012: Maybe 50+ IP)
    Doubie    15.2  6.10/1.935 (maybe 50+)
    Atchison 30.1  3.26/1.220
    Tazawa    3.0  6.00/1.333  
    Bowden, RHill, or someone else.
      
       


     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    We may be winnowing out the FA starters to obtain the most cost effective option, which sometimes happens. We might still get a bargain option. A guy like Oswalt may now fall to us at a decent price but to me that is around $5-6 mil for a 1 year deal. He's not the same guy any more. That is our best option. A short term deal, proven starter at a reasonable price. I don't know how we stay under the luxury threshhold anyway this winter.

    Boom, we showed we could pick up Bailey and Melancon with little effect on the tax limit. There's still a chance we can trade for a starter, releiver, and/or RF'er. We can also lessen our payroll by dealing Scutty ($6M), Jenks ($6M) or even some lower players or a guy like Iggy ($2.1M). I could even see Youk ($12M) dealt if Ben is confident enough with Aviles, Punto, Emaus, and Middlebrooks at 3B (even Iggy at SS & Scutty st 3B). Oswalt is not "the only option".  I sure hope not!
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from titletownfan. Show titletownfan's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    Without any further moves, I see this team as a 3rd place team at best.  We will still have a good offense, even if we don't sign another RF (though I sure hope they do).  But the starting rotation is in no better shape than it was at the end of last year.  Pitching killed us last year, and it is poised to do so again.  The Red Sox need to clear some space or stop being cheap.  This has the makings of another frustrating year.  At least we'll have more flexibility, and stronger Free Agents next year.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from expitch. Show expitch's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    In Response to Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I:
    [QUOTE]I didn't say we were a second division team. I challenge you guys to show where we improved much this winter at all though. The Yanks got Kuroda on a 1 year deal for around $10 mil. That alone probably slots them over us next year. And the Montero/Pineda deal was excellent for them. Look at their starting pitching depth compared to ours. It's not even close. The Rangers picked up Darvish potentially, probably the top pitching option in baseball this winter. And the Angels have a ton of excellent talent coming up the farm, they are also getting their former 1st baseman back from injury plus they picked up Pujols and the top FA pitcher this winter. They are substantialy improved. We are trying to stay under the luxury threshhold and that is fine but we are primed to win this year. It is not the year to be timid. Will Youk and Ortiz get better? Our starters get better? Are we going to waste another monster year from Ellsbury? We need to win now. We don't know why Cherington is doing the moves he has done. He may well be missing some opportunities from excess caution and just lack of connections and inability to grasp it all yet at the level necessary. It may not just be ownership.
    Posted by Boomerangsdotcom[/QUOTE]
    You don't seem to be writing the Sox off entirely, but I share your skepticism. Improvements MIGHT come from players already on the roster or from someone yet to be obtained.  OTOH, maybe Ellsbury and Ortiz drop off a bit. IMO, Papelbon will be missed UNTIL he is effectively replaced.  
    While I do not feel pessimistic, I see no reason at this point for more than a little guarded optimism along some of the lines that Moon sketches. 
    Moreover, a lot of sorting out from last year remains to be done.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    In Response to Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I : You don't seem to be writing the Sox off entirely, but I share your skepticism. Improvements MIGHT come from players already on the roster or from someone yet to be obtained.  OTOH, maybe Ellsbury and Ortiz drop off a bit. IMO, Papelbon will be missed UNTIL he is effectively replaced.   While I do not feel pessimistic, I see no reason at this point for more than a little guarded optimism along some of the lines that Moon sketches.  Moreover, a lot of sorting out from last year remains to be done.
    Posted by expitch[/QUOTE]

    I too feel a lot of skepticism. I do not like moving Bard and Aceves to the rotation, but unlike what the previos poster said, I do think our rotation is much better off now than at the end of 2011.
    Beckett was pitching hurt in September.
    Lester was in a funk.
    Buch was on the DL.
    Wake and Bedard we our 4/5 guys.

    2012 promises to have the big 3 healthy.
    Bard & Aceves replacing Wake and Bedard.
    That looks better to me.

    The pen is what scares me.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from Critter23. Show Critter23's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    I still only think one of Bard/Aceves will remain a starter.  It doesn't compute that two relievers would convert in the same year.  Another starter will come from the youngsters or free agent pick up, leaving one of above to return to the pen.  If either of those guys returned to the pen, that should be a morale booster.  I actually think our pen will be stronger this year than last.  Think about those in the pen who made No Contribution last year!  And I think BV will make a big difference in late inning strategy leading to wins.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from expitch. Show expitch's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    In Response to Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I : I too feel a lot of skepticism. I do not like moving Bard and Aceves to the rotation, but unlike what the previos poster said, I do think our rotation is much better off now than at the end of 2011. Beckett was pitching hurt in September. Lester was in a funk. Buch was on the DL. Wake and Bedard we our 4/5 guys. 2012 promises to have the big 3 healthy. Bard & Aceves replacing Wake and Bedard. That looks better to me. The pen is what scares me.
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]
    More than defense on the left side, including the outfield? Ho.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from law2009a. Show law2009a's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    m
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    Yes, left side defense scares me too, but I was referring to the differences between 2011 and 2012. The pen differential is scary. The left side defense should be about the same unless we make some changes (Iggy?). It is still scary, but not any more scary.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from law2009a. Show law2009a's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    m
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from law2009a. Show law2009a's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

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  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from Boomerangsdotcom. Show Boomerangsdotcom's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    It's the starter depth more than anything. 

    Beckett
    Buchholz
    Lester
    Bard
    Aceves
    Doubront
    and then the 3 musketeers. God help us.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    I like Doubront and think Silva, Cook, Miller and Alex Wilson can improve on
    Miller, Bedard, and Weiland from last year.

    I agree though, we could use one more very good starter. Then, Doubie becomes the #7, and the others fight for #8, until Dice-K returns. 

    Boom, if we got Gavin Floyd, would that perk you up?

    It would mean one of Bard or Aceves starts in the pen, and maybe the other returns if Dice-K comes back or another starter earns a shot.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from Boomerangsdotcom. Show Boomerangsdotcom's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    In Response to Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I:
    [QUOTE]I like Doubront and think Silva, Cook, Miller and Alex Wilson can improve on Miller, Bedard, and Weiland from last year. I agree though, we could use one more very good starter. Then, Doubie becomes the #7, and the others fight for #8, until Dice-K returns.  Boom, if we got Gavin Floyd, would that perk you up? It would mean one of Bard or Aceves starts in the pen, and maybe the other returns if Dice-K comes back or another starter earns a shot.
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]

    Floyd would help a lot. Alex Wilson is not a 3 mustketeer but we can't count on more than we got last year from Wieland from him. He's almost defintely a future pen guy. I think Bedard was a quality option. We are not going to improve on what we got from him from those guys we have now. These guys make the aging Penny and Smoltz options look like superstars at this point. I do like Doubront as depth but we need more.

    I'm not saying we are in the tank and can't contend but I don't disagree with our power ratings of #7 or so either. On paper, we are no longer option A.

    The Yanks beat us pretty badly last year and they just got significantly better IMO. Another year of development under the belt of their 2 top pitching prospects. Adding Kuroda and Pineda. They should be better.

    Do we think we are going to be better without Bedard, Papelbon, Reddick, Lowrie etc...while adding Melancon, Bailey, Sweeney and a bunch of near nobodies? A bunch of almost "replacement" level guys?

    I agree that Theo messed up big time with the Crawford deal. Unbelievably bad contract and even a bad fit IMO. He was going to profile as a super defender in our LF? Was Theo watching the same games I saw? Crawford always had trouble with the wall. He was not worth anywhere near $140 mil. 

    I can't believe we are now in such an intractable position where we can't respond to FA opportunities at all any more. We lost Drew's $14 mil plus Papelbon's $10 mil plus and had an opportunity to lose Ortiz's projected $14 mil and now look where we are...we can't add even a Kuroda on a $10 mil, 1 year deal?  

    We had an opportunity to add Lavarnway's bat to the mix and save a ton of money but we misread Ortiz's intentions. I'd rather have Kuroda at $10 mil, rather than Ortiz at near $14 mil. Ortiz is a major wild card. He may be worthless next year. It's only a matter of time before he tanks completely. I'm not willing to risk that. Not at a $14 mil cost. And he seems to me to be a guy who mainly fattens up his numbers now from mediocre pitching. He's not the same guy he was 4 years ago. He probably puts up good numbers but at a cost of twice what any other DH is paid and he is the most likely guy to fade next year.

    I don't like our short term direction. We messed up.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from Boomerangsdotcom. Show Boomerangsdotcom's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    Arbitration awards alone should put us over the luxury tax threshold. It's not good. Ellsbury is going to get a huge raise. Bard, and several others are going to get decent raises. We blew our wad last year and now are trying to deleverage. I don't see any way around it and now is the time we should be putting our foot on the gas pedal. We just don't want to spend the cash any more and that is certainly understandable considering recent history. Ownership may not be happy with what they paid for last year.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from law2009a. Show law2009a's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    m
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    Floyd would help a lot. Alex Wilson is not a 3 mustketeer but we can't count on more than we got last year from Wieland from him. He's almost defintely a future pen guy. I think Bedard was a quality option. We are not going to improve on what we got from him from those guys we have now. These guys make the aging Penny and Smoltz options look like superstars at this point. I do like Doubront as depth but we need more.

    Floyd would allow Bard and/or Aceves to stay in the pen, making the Bailey/Melancon pick-ups more valuable, because of less stress and expectations.

    I'm not saying we are in the tank and can't contend but I don't disagree with our power ratings of #7 or so either. On paper, we are no longer option A.

    The Yanks beat us pretty badly last year and they just got significantly better IMO. Another year of development under the belt of their 2 top pitching prospects. Adding Kuroda and Pineda. They should be better.

    Do we think we are going to be better without Bedard, Papelbon, Reddick, Lowrie etc...while adding Melancon, Bailey, Sweeney and a bunch of near nobodies? A bunch of almost "replacement" level guys?

    But, you keep omitting the return of Buch. You count "another year of their top pitching prospects" for the Yanks, but fail to mention the same possibilities for some of our guys like Doubront, Morales, Bowden, Tazawa, and others.

    Yes, we lost Papelbon and Bedard from our staff, but that was only 102 IP. I share your concern about Bailey & Melancon replacing Paps, especially if they also have to replce Bard and/or Aceves as well, however, I see potential for great gains on our staff in a much larger area than 102 IP:
                   IP  ER  H+BB
    Lackey  160  114  241
    Wake    155   110  210
    Miller      65    40  118
    Wheel    49     24   55
    Weiland 25     21   41
    Oki           8       4  12
    Williams   8      6   15
    Hottovy     4      3    7
    TOTAL:  474   322  699   ERA: 6.11  WHIP: 1.475

    This is over 4 times the IP lost by Bedard and Papelbon, and I see the innings replaced by some huge question marks for sure, but also some solid guys. Plus, beatin 6.11/1.475 is not a lot to ask of even guys like Cook and Silva.
    Here's how these innings might be replaced:
    80-100 more by Buch
    70-90 more by Doubront
    50-70 more by Bard
    30-50 more by Aceves
    30-50 more by Tazawa
    20-40 more by Morales
    10-30 more by Atchison
    10-30 more by R Hill

    We could see 230-310 IP eaten up by 4 pretty good pitchers: 
        Buch, Bard, Aceves & Doub.
    Another 70-150 by Taz, Morales, Atch & Hill.
    That's somewhere between 300 and 460 of the 474 IP needed to replace. The rest will be taken by Bowden, Miller, Silva, Cook, Wilson, or others.

    I agree that Theo messed up big time with the Crawford deal. Unbelievably bad contract and even a bad fit IMO. He was going to profile as a super defender in our LF? Was Theo watching the same games I saw? Crawford always had trouble with the wall. He was not worth anywhere near $140 mil. 

    You know I was with you from day one on this one. As I said from day one: 
    The deal will (has) crippled us. 
    He's not even a good fielder on the road. 
    He's a glorified platoon player that even if he gives us 6 years of his career or 2010 numbers is still being overpaid by $50+M.

    I can't believe we are now in such an intractable position where we can't respond to FA opportunities at all any more. We lost Drew's $14 mil plus Papelbon's $10 mil plus and had an opportunity to lose Ortiz's projected $14 mil and now look where we are...we can't add even a Kuroda on a $10 mil, 1 year deal?  

    We added AGon and Buch's money in April.
    It didn't count on the 2011 taz limit budget, but in a sense, that's where Paps & Drew's money went.

    We had an opportunity to add Lavarnway's bat to the mix and save a ton of money but we misread Ortiz's intentions. I'd rather have Kuroda at $10 mil, rather than Ortiz at near $14 mil. Ortiz is a major wild card. He may be worthless next year. It's only a matter of time before he tanks completely. I'm not willing to risk that. Not at a $14 mil cost. And he seems to me to be a guy who mainly fattens up his numbers now from mediocre pitching. He's not the same guy he was 4 years ago. He probably puts up good numbers but at a cost of twice what any other DH is paid and he is the most likely guy to fade next year.

    I don't like our short term direction. We messed up.

    I agree, boom. Without CC and Papi's deals right now, we'd be set up nicely, but I really do not see spending that money on Kuroda as wise, but the one year deal would have made it bearable. I didn't like Cuddyer and most other FAs this year either, but we certainly could have done better than CC and Papi. One could easily throw in Scutaro and Lackey's deals as well into the mix and we're talking about $55M for 2012!
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    Arbitration awards alone should put us over the luxury tax threshold. It's not good. Ellsbury is going to get a huge raise. Bard, and several others are going to get decent raises. We blew our wad last year and now are trying to deleverage. I don't see any way around it and now is the time we should be putting our foot on the gas pedal. We just don't want to spend the cash any more and that is certainly understandable considering recent history. Ownership may not be happy with what they paid for last year.

    I think the arb awards (or actually the signings before arb) will not be as big as you may think. I think we will come out just under the tax limit threshhold. To stay under and make any kind of move, we'll have to trade some salary. Nobody is going to take Jenks, Dice-K, Lackey, or CC unless we eat much of the money. I guess we could go that route, but to me, the most likely salary players to trade are:
    Scutaro ($6M)   We'd go with Aviles/Iggy/Punto
    Youkilis ($10.3M)   We'd go with Scutaro/Aviles/Punto/Emaus/Middlebrooks
    Papi ($12-14M):    We'd probably have to pay $2-4M.
    Iggy ($2.1M): We wouldn't notice this at all in 2012.
    Salty (arb~$2-4M): We might improve at C with Lava/Shopp.
    Beckett ($17M): But nobody to take his place, unless we are bridging to 2013.
    Ellsbury (arb???) Who plays CF?
    Sweeney (arb ~$2M) Who plays RF?

     
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