Re: Crawford injured again
posted at 7/29/2011 7:54 AM EDT
In Response to Re: Crawford injured again
not a lot of confidence in Ellsbury--that was Theo's mindthought, especially the ridiculous experiment of moving him to LF--what a disaster that was. Not being able to get a Sabbathia--hence going hard for Lackey because he was the only one available. Same with Crawford. Again, if your choices are limited, bide your time. He did with the AGON deal. Wait it out. Maybe you can use money on guys who help rather than guys who don't. The best Sox have always been the ones that show early production early on in their Sox careers--Manny, Ortiz, Pedroia, Youkilis, Nomar, Buchholz, Lester, Papelbon, AGON..The not so best Sox are the ones that are slow early and then continue to be slow--Drew, Crawford, Lackey, Renteria, Lugo, Cameron, Tony Clark...a lot of non-Sox guys. The guys who came up through the organization or are premium free agent signees are the quality guys not the *gasp" free agent signings of some of the guys I just mentioned. Guys who simply were not stars to begin with and didn't justify the salaries they received from the Sox vault. It's time that Theo learned this--no more signing marginal talents for high-price moneyh.
Posted by dannycater
This might be the most hindsight-laden post I have ever read. Wait it out? Seriously? Every time Epstein does NOT make a move he gets ripped for inactivity. How about we assume that all those times he did not make a move, he passed on a colossal bust? Like when Epstein did not sign Gary Mathews Jr or Alfonso Soriano, or when he did not trade Colby Rasmus for Edwin Jackson and some spare parts?
Most of the players who have shown “early on” were not old enough to ever be free agents. And there is a lot of list padding there. How many people remember when the majority of the posts on this board felt we sent the wrong lefty (Gabbard) to Texas and should have sent Lester instead? How many will still admit they said that? Or as recently as 2 years ago, how many kept calling out Buchholz as a bust with a “deer in the headlights” look? I don’t hear that anymore either.
Referring to Lackey and Crawford as “marginal talents” seems to be based on frustration and little else. Crawford has been an elite OF for almost his entire career, and while Lackey is not a perennial Cy Young talent, he has definitely been a well above average pitcher. The problem is, Sox fans seem to be expecting elite talent for above average price. Players like Drew and Lackey were paid in line with other similar players around the league, and right in line with what the market said they should be. And while it is a lot of money, the elite players don’t settle for $14mill range anymore. Unless, for some reason, you think of players like AJ Burnett and Bobby Abreu as “elite”.
I really don’t get how you determined started out fast or slow, other than making a list of players you felt underperformed. Maybe you did not notice, but the first list contains TWO free agents (Ramirez and Ortiz). The second list is exclusively free agents. This is actually more of a statement league-wide about the success rate of this method of player acquisition. And for the record, Drew had a miserable first year, but then had 2 straight .900 OPS seasons. How is a .900 OPS considered “slow”?
All free agents are overpaid. They are also old enough to have 6 years of MLB wear and tear, and usually over 30 and on the downside of their careers. If you look at the approximate ages each player debuted with the Sox – Ramirez (28), Ortiz (28), Pedroia (23), Nomar (24), Buchholz (23), Lester (22), Papelbon (24) and Gonzalez (29) and then compare them to the ages on the second list – Drew (32), Crawford (29), Lackey (31), Renteria (30), Lugo (31), Cameron (37), Clark (30) – then you will see the real reason for this trend. This happens with every team that signs free agents. I will admit I did not look up any ages, so I am probably equally inaccurate with both lists. But if I am reasonably close, the first group has an average age of about 24.5, and the second group has an average age of about 31.5. The difference of 7 years is right in line with the 6 years of service time before free agency, and the primary reason for the difference in performance.
The real solution is to avoid the bigger name free agents who command mega salaries for long periods of time. Free agency is best used to find short term solutions and stopgap players.
I liked the LF experiment, which was only a disaster because Beltre crushed Ellsbury’s ribs, hardly a foreseeable injury. But I have noticed that a lot of the speedy CF leadoff type players become significantly better hitters when they play the less demanding LF position (Crisp, Podsednik, Pierre, for example). I do not know if this was ever considered by the FO, however. What I do know is that after Bay and Holliday, there was not much else left of OF talent that offseason. Cameron was the third best OF available, and he was offered a short term, low money (by free agent standards) contract. If you think about it, this was how MLB General Managers – to use your words - “wait it out” until they can get the player they want. Take Cameron on for a short time and go for the real target – Crawford, as the long term plan. So maybe your hindsight-laden idea has created the very situation you are complaining about and think you are solving.
It might also be worth noting that the Cameron signing came on the heels of the article Ken Rosenthal wrote about the lack of African American players on the Red Sox, and how it would affect the decisions of similar free agents to sign there. While many fans felt Rosenthal was stating the Sox were racist, what he was actually saying was that some players might prefer to have some teammates they have some commonality with, especially if everything else (money, years) is relatively equal. I don’t know if this article influenced the sox at all, or even if it made them think. But the Sox signed Cameron and Darnell McDonald that off-season and also dealt for Bill Hall. Was all this done with Crawford and Rosenthal in mind? The Sox will NEVER admit this, but that doesn’t change whether or not they did. And if they did, and Crawford does turn it around and become elite again, was Cameron really such a bad move?