Re: Lester: club option or qualifying offer?
posted at 8/12/2013 1:11 PM EDT
In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:
I'm not a billionaire owner or a MLB GM to be making these decisions.
What I can tell you as a baseball fan for about 45 years is that pitching in baseball in 2013 really stinks compared to what it was like in 1968-72. I had the pleasure of growing up watching some of the greatest MLB pitchers ever. So many , I can't possibly name them all and still have time to eat my lunch. Gibson, Palmer,Marichal, Jenkins, McNally, Drysdale, Blue, Hunter, Seaver, Koosman, Kaat... to name a few. The Red Sox didn't see the playoffs from 1968-1975 because they didn't have any of these pitchers.
Think about Red Sox teams that made the playoffs before the 2-Wild Card system makes it almost impossible for a team wih a $150 million payroll to miss ( although the banged-up Yankees will manage to this year). Those playoff bound Red Sox teams had starting pitching ( and not all of these guys had great years every year) Lonborg and Santiago in 67, Tiant, Wise and Lee in 75, Hurst and Clemens in 86, Martinez, Schilling and Lowe in 2004, Schilling,Beckett in 2007.
Now, think about the 2013 Red Sox and consider 2014. Jon Lester in a career 95-55 W/L. He has thrown a no-hitter, he has had only one losing season. He is only 31.He is a left-hand starter.Where do you find someone with that track record and profile for under $14 million in today's MLB?
A rotation of Buchholz who many of you believe will never be able to pitch a full season without injury) ,Lackey ( who many of you wanted released before this season) , Dempster, Peavy, Doubront will not cut it. None of those pitchers is an ace or a potential ace. Two of them have had arm injuries.
I say to the front office: Do whatever it takes to keep him , you won't find anything better out there for less money. By today's standards ( which are lower than they were in 1972) he is a keeper.
"Here we are trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.- Kurt Vonnegut
Great post, Zilla.
With regard to not paying a #5 starter (if that is what Lester is) $13 million, we basically already are - see Dempster, Ryan. His contract should be proof that you're not going to find any better than Jon Lester for $13 million; if Lester can continue his recent upward trend, or even just maintain where he is, it's tough to see the option not being picked up.