Re: Why has nothing been done about the SP?
posted at 12/11/2012 11:15 PM EST
In response to parhunter55's comment:
I am similar to moon in this regard...I am tired of the "ifs." For several years now I have been saying "if so-and-so can (return to his previous such-and such)." 1) it has not happened at all the way I had hoped. 2) there is no reason to believe that there is anything magical about 2013 to suggest that suddenly it all will work out the way we hope. 3) averages are just that, averages; as a player progresses, his average adjusts to whatever skill level he is working at. At some point a player reaches a point where he never gets back to his career average, and only brings that average down. A rare few do this very late in their career (usually with some chemical enhancement, unfortunately). But many do it somewhere around 32 - 34. That's the problem with an older team. It is foolish to assume or even hope for a return to career norms for guys on the far side of 30. 4) The Sox have been extremely bad at doing what the Rays do so well...judging when a guy has reached his peak and trading him while his price is at its peak, only to watch him regress while taking up space on some other team's 25-man roster.
Sox make a bad investment, and refuse to ever invest in top talent for fear of repeating their mistakes. Yet, they have not, in recent memory, actually paid the high price for the top talent. All they have done over the last decade is sign second tier talent for exhorbitant prices. Why fear paying top dollar for top talent when you haven't tried it? Especially when the last time you did try it (Manny signing) it paid off as well as any FA signing ever has!
Not saying Grienke is worth a CC contract. But CC was. Sanchez is at least worth what Lackey got (injury clause included). Sanchez is the top pitching talent available and he is under 30. The Sox need top pitching talent for their rotation. The Sox, unlike last year, have the money (unlike any team save for the Dodgers) to sign top talent. Where is the confusion?
Everyone wants to be the Rays, but no one wants the 10 years of last place it took to get there. Part of the reason the Rays are more agile when it comes to moving out their pieces is that they have to be, and another part is, as they are all homegrown products, none have difficult deals to move. Name one big name FA signed by Tampa since Chuck LaMar was the GM. You cannot.
Re Lack and Sanchez.
From ages 26 through 28, John Lackey was 46-25 with a 3.33ERA (133ERA+), 1.27WHIP, 2.91K/BB.
Since then, Lackey is 49-36, 4.56ERA (96ERA+), 1.35WHIP, 2.48K/BB.
In Lackey’s 3 years prior to free agency he was 42-22, 3.48ERA (128ERA+), 1.24WHIP, 3.22K/BB
From ages 26 through 28 (the last 3 years), Anibal Sanchez was 30-34, 3.70ERA (109ERA+), 1.30WHIP, 2.89K/BB
So first of all, Sanchez is not as good as Lackey was at the same age or for that matter prior to free agency. Especially when on considers Lackey’s entire career has been spent facing DHs, which is why the difference in ERA+ is far, far more important than the miniscule difference of 0.22 in ERA. Sanchez’ main advantage is that he is younger and not about to have TJ, as far as anyone knows. But if Sanchez posts a 96ERA+ over the next 4 years, will he really have been worth Lackey money?
To be fair, a big part of Lackey’s decline was probably related to his injuries, and most of his decline was in Boston and not in Anaheim. However, Sanchez is certainly not immune to injury.
I do think the Sox can afford to roll the dice on Sanchez, but I can see why they would be hesitant. Signing someone for long years at millions upon millions per year just because they are “best available” is the strategy the Sox used to become a last place team, and not the smartest idea going forward.
If you want the organization to operate more like Tampa, then you are going to have to learn to live with minimal involvement in free agency. Free agency typically involved paying exorbitant rates for older players and can cost higher profile draft picks. Drafting is a numbers game. Pick early and pick often. It is not 100% scouting and development, like someone reading these boards would think if they grew up on another planet. Sure Tampa did a great job with players like Price and Longoria, but not so much with players like Dewon Brazelton and Wade Townsend …