David Ortiz: Is he a leader or the me-first diva that he seemed to be over the last month of the season? He’s the face of the team, and he had a good season at DH. But he’s just a DH and he’ll likely want multiple years at pretty big money. This year was good, the year before that he was on the verge of being released. Tough call – does the next GM take a deep breath and give him multiple years?
What he "wants" is not necessarily what he gets. How many teams will offer him big money and multiple years? Maybe 1-3, maybe none.
You may be right, and his conciliatory response yesterday sort of makes your point.
Marco Scutaro: Was one of the few Sox players who actually thrived in the pressure of September. Decent offensive production, mediocre range and defensive player. Is 35, but Iglesias is not yet ready to assume the full time SS position. Team option?
$6M team option is a lot, but we pay $1.5 if he walks, so the "real cost" is about 4.5M. BTW, his range is below mediocre.
I saw his UZR, I was being kind with the word mediocre. You're right.
Jed Lowrie: A perennial tease, good offensive potential but constantly hurt. Can play multiple positions, can be productive offensively but where does he play every day? SS or 3B? Is he better than the current options? Reportedly a standoffish or aloof player (not my opinion) that doesn’t meld very well with the current roster.
He "melds" greatly in one area: he kills LHPs! Always has. That happens to be one of this current team's biggest weaknesses.
Agreed, just not sure he's a FT player and if he had any trade value.
Jacoby Ellsbury: Proved that last year was a fluke and that he is a dynamic offensive player. Played in 158 games, and was consistently among the league’s best offensive threats. Good but not great defensive CF’er with average arm. Next year is his last arb year and his trade value will never be higher. Can the Sox justify paying two OF’ers $20+ mil per year. Agent is Scott Boras, alas no hometown discounts and he will undoubtedly hit free agency.
He was hurt last year, so I wouldn't use the word "fluke". Had he been healthy, he may have had a year between 2009 and 2011's numbers in a natural progression to who he is now. 2011 could also be "the fluke", but I doubt it.
Fluke wasn't the best choice of words. There's nothing fluky about getting your ribs smashed. What I meant to say is that he proved he isn't as soft as some liked to think he was. I agree that if he had a full year in 2010 he would've produced very good numbers. I still say the GM to be named later has to at least explore what his market value is.
Jonathan Papelbon: Picked a good time to have a good year going into FA. Disappointing in September, but was a stand up man in the bad times. Proven performer in a tough division and tough media market. Other decent closers on the market this year, and he could price himself out of Boston quickly. Based on what the Sox paid Jenks and the fact that if they whiff in FA their in-house closing options are limited, Sox should make a push to sign him. Does he want to be here? Will he be happy with what he’s offered here? On record as saying he wants to set the contract bar for closers. He just may.
I'd go tops $50M/4, and that is too high.
I would go there too if I'm the Sox. I'm willing to bet they get their money's worth even if there is some risk. I used to think the Sox could survive without Papelbon, and maybe they can, but his comments during the Sept. swoon made me think that he "gets it" more than I ever thought he did.
Kevin Youkilis: Trending downward a bit, mostly due to injuries. Can he play 3B for 130+ games over the next few years? Can easily DH and play 3B and 1B in a pinch, an invaluable asset. Can’t see him going anywhere.
His OPS went up every year in MLB until 2011. I'm not sure I'd label it a downward trend yet, but as his injuries mount, it could be. I'd expect a year between his 2009-2010 seasons and his 2011 season. Up from 2011, but down from 2010 & 2009.
Downward trend because of injuries only. He was great at 1st, less wear and tear, and he's been beset by some tough injuries and I can't see that changing given his all out play and his age. As as Tito once said, "I've seen him in the shower, he's not the Greek God of anything...". His body is not a high performance engine, more of a rebuilt ford motor.
Josh Beckett: Talented pitcher with baggage. Ace when he wants to be, can be very average or worse. Are the Sox going to get the Beckett of 2010 or 2011 going forward? Has trade value. Has he worn out his welcome? Would a trade be addition by subtraction, or is he a staff workhorse going forward.
I think he comes to camp in shape with an axe to grind and something to prove.
Agreed, but I'd still see what they could get for him.
John Lackey: Among the worst starting pitchers in baseball, statistically. Dubious that he can handle pitching in Boston and the AL East. Not much trade value, severely damaged reputation, probably beyond reclamation. Is it fish or cut bait time?
Boston is poison for him now. I think he was hurt and has potential to return and do Ok to pretty good, but I say "cut bait".
He was hurt, he was going through a divorce and he is one of thos guys that for some reason is easy to dislike (salary, demeanor). While I think he could be the 4th-5th starter and a decent one, I think he's managed to lose the majority of Sox fans and if he struggles it could become very, very bad for him here.
Jason Varitek: Part of an offensively average catching duo. Is he still the leader he was? Is he a crutch for guys like Beckett? Are the Sox better of going with Salty and seeing what they have in Lavarnway?
The team won with VTek (42-22). VTek has the 16th best (out of 30) catcher OPS in MLB.. as a BACK-UP!
I'd like to see him back. I think I'm one of the few that actually thought that Salty and Tek were a decent combo. Can they upgrade? Maybe.
Tim Wakefield: 150 innings but a 5+ ERA. Time for a new #5 in the rotation? Andrew Miller as an alternative doesn’t give much confidence.
Miller's option is $3M: no thanks. Wake is certainly replaceable, but maybe not at the same money. If you take the attitude that Henry can open the wallet: bye bye Timmy. If you try to look realistically at our budget and higher priorities, you'll see we will probably need at least 2 guys like Wake, Wang or Webb.
As everyone always says, you can't have too many starting pitchers. And Wake will subjugate his ego and do what the team needs (bullpen) if needed. I wouldn't be disappointed if he's back...