Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part I
posted at 11/14/2013 8:58 AM EST
Moon, Think the part your missing in Dempster's skill set is his ability to make all his starts and give a staff IP. Something a guy like Morales has not been able to do in his career. A guy like Dempster makes the rest of the staff better by giving this team much needed IP, when we already have guys like Peavy and Buchholz on the staff. Good chance we will need a Morales or one of the young guys to take their turn at some point. Never too much depth in the rotation.
No, I get the going deep into game part of Dempster, and like I said, normally I am all for strengthening the rotation (from the top not the bottom), but this year is a freakish situation.
The fact is, we have 5 starters who had a QS% of 59 or more. The league average is 51%. Dempster was at 48%. His 5.8 IP/GS is below the league average as well (5.9%), but I realize he may have had the highest IP/GS of any 5/6 starter in MLB in 2013. There is certainly value there.
Chances are there will be an injury to one of our top 5 starters. I get that, but my position is that Morales, Wrkman, Britton, Wright, Webster, Ranaudo and maybe later on Owens or Barnes can give us close to what Dempster gave us. We couldf also sign 1-2 middle relievers to take some heat off Uehara, Breslow and Tazawa, if the 6th starter does not go 5.8 IP/GS as Dempster did.
Also, it's not a given that Dempster will do as well as 2013. He is getting on in age. Paying a 6th starter $13.5M is insane. His value to another team is higher than to us, and that is the impetus of making a trade. His high Fenway ERA and 4.03 away ERA is attractive to many teams in a time when SP'ers are scarce.
Agree we have some spots to fill if most or all the FA's leave. But I would have no problem w/ filling as much as we can from within. Think most would agree Naps seems most likely of bunch to return w/ Salty probably right behind and Ells least likely. I would be willing to go w/ Middy 3B/Boegarts SS/Pedey 2B/ Naps 1b and Ruiz or Salty as the C, and JBJ in CF. But think this is a bad yr to try and fill holes thru FA, looking to be one of the more expensive FA mkt's in recent yrs. If we need to make a move to fill a spot would wait til in season we have a better look at guys like JBJ/Workman/Webster/DeLaRosa/etc. One thing for sure in this organization other than 1B / C we have plenty of depth and making a trade should not be a problem, other teams will covet our pitching depth. Bad part is a guy like Workman might actually start yr in AAA.
Let's assume we sign Napoli ($15M x 2 or 3 years), Ruiz ($18M/2) and Mujica $21M/3, and all the luxury limit space is used up. Our pen will look stronger than 2013, so that will help alleviate the loss of IP/GS from our 6th starter, but we have to hope several young players come through. We will have precious little depth at CF (Victorino behind JBJ) and left-side IF (Holt behind Bogey & Middy).
We will put a lot of pressure on 3 kids:
JBJ in CF (I like JBJ and have faith he will do well, but what if...)
Bogey at SS (3B is his best spot and he is only 21.)
Middy at 3B (coming off a season where he was demoted twice and had serious fielding issues)
Yes, what if a SP gets hurt, but God forbid, what if Ruis or Ross gets hurt? What if Victorino or JBj gets hurt? Middy or Bogey?
We may be able to get something useful for Dempster, Carp, Miller and Lava to help give us better positioned depth, but if we free up about $10M from Dempster's deal, we could probably add Rajai Davis and B Ryan or C Barnes.
To me, that upgrade is way better than the downgrade from Dempster to Morales & co. And, if we trade Dempster, Carp, and Lava for another relief pitcher or 6th starter type, the downgrade could be turned into an upgrade. Middy and Nava become napoli's back-up over Carp, and Butler and Vazquez take over the 3rd catcher role from Lava.