Re: A Realistic Look At 2013: Part I
posted at 1/18/2013 2:23 PM EST
You keep saying the Sox would have been better off signing Hamilton or Sanchez, which is your opinion, and you're entitled to it, but you make it sound like they absolutely "could have" signed one of these guys. Let's look at both:
I realize either of them or both might not have wanted to play here, and I'm not sure what Ben offered these two, but I never heard anywhere that he outbid the teams that got these 2. Also, remember, I was not for signing either of these two, but have said that even this plan was better than Ben's halway plan.
Josh Hamilton - 5 yrs./125 million with the Angels
Do you seriously think the Sox would have considered giving 100 plus million to a guy who has some serious off the field demons, a guy who admittedly has "lapses in concentration" on the field, a guy who's former team didn't have much interest in retaining him, despite his tremendous talent, and a guy who is going to be 32 years old in a few months?!?!. This doesn't sound like a player who would thrive in Boston, it sounds like a player who would struggle to "survive" in Boston. A team that is desperately trying to rebuild it's image should probably avoid these types of signings. The Angels G.M. didn't want to give him this deal either, but Artie Moreno stepped in because he lost Greinke and he wanted a splash. Yeah, that usually works out well. By the way, there is absolutely no guarantee that they would be a better team with him than they will be with the players they signed, either. There's also the very real possibility that he didn't want to play in Boston. He certainly doesn't fit the profile. I don't think Hamilton was a "realistic" possibility at all....
Obviously, you are right: I can not see Ben giving this guy a deal better than what he got. I'm not arguing that. I understand why he didn't, and the reasons are included in your summary of the risks. Howver, that does not stop me from believing that we'd be better of now and for the next 5 years with Hamilton and Sanchez at $41M a year than some combinations of FAs we signed at that cost. I know the longer terms make it a much higher risk, but Ben is risking the guys he signed will do fine, and the next guys he signs to shorter term deals will as well, and so on...
Anibal Sanchez - 5 yrs/80 million - Detroit Tigers (His current team)
- How much were you willing to spend on Sanchez? He re-signed with his current team, a team that is loaded, a team that made it to the World Series and looks to be better, at least on paper. He also turned down more money from at least one other team to stay in Detroit. There was no way the Sox were going to give Sanchez 100 plus million, and I'm pretty sure they have learned that it's never a good idea to overpay for a guy who would rather be somewhere else. Also, are you sure that the Tigers wouldn't have gone higher? The Ilitch family is loaded, so again, how much would you have been willing to spend on Sanchez? You keep saying that the Sox "picked the worst free-agent year to make a lot of signings," yet you pan them for not signing one of the highest paid players in a "bad free agent crop." How does this make sense?
No, I keep saying I wouldn't have signed any of these big names or most of the guys we signed, but rather, I'd have signed guys like B mcCarthy, A Pagan, and maybe Marcum, and then traded to get young talent under team contro9l for 3+ years (like at least one of Myers, B Anderson, Upton, Stanton...). I have never said I wanted to sign many FAs in the weakest FA class I can remember.
I have repeated my position, but continue to be misunderstood. Again, I'll say it: I never wanted any of the big FAs in this weak class, but after watching Ben spend over $50M a year on mediocre players, I think I'd rather have signed Hamilton and/or Sanchez (if just 1, I'd have gone after Sanchez). Both plans are bad, but getting at least one guy who will help us going beyond 2013 and 2014 would have been ebtter than nobody.
Also, I am not arguing that I am sure we could have gotten Sanchez, but I get the feeling we never tried that hard. Player sometimes sign with the teams that jump out of the gates and show excitement and enthusiasm for wanting them. I don't know, maybe $83M/5 or $95M/6 might have gotten him here. I'd have felt a lot better had we at least tried, as opposed to what we ended up settling on.
You can either continue to debate that the Sox "should have signed" two guys that didn't seem to be "realistic" options at all, or you can move on. I won't try to explain this to you again, either way...
You don't need to explain it again. I've heard it dozens of times and understand your points. They are valid, but this is a discussion board that to me, is mostly about discussing just such alternative scenarios.
I never totaslly believe what I see written, and you sometimes can't even believe what you hear a player or agent say, like "I only want to play on the west coast". Perhaps you are right: there is no way Hamilton or Sanchez would have ever signed with Boston. I guess I could qualify every statement I make with something like this, "I realize it might not be realistic to think these guys would sign with a bad team like the Sox who play in a rough media/fan fishbowl, but I like to think that we'd have been better if they had agreed to play here and that Ben wanted them enough to play here. Would that have made my point any clearer?
As for "moving on", I'm not all hung up on what happened. I have my beliefs and baseball philosophies that I realize are sometimes vastly different from Ben's or Theo's or whoever is the power broker of the Sox. I do not mean to put Ben down or judge him when I state that I'd do something differently, but I can see how it can be taken that way. I never pretend to be smarter than our GM, and I have said Ben deserves a chance to see if this plan works. I'm going to watch every picth of every game again this year. That, to me, is "moving on".