Royal Rooters: Offseason Thread - 2010 - Royal Rooters

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Offseason Thread - 2010
Here's where we ramp up to next season

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 08:31 AM

Varitek - likely gone
Papi - Might be gone
Beltre - leaning gone (I'd guess, wanting to be closer to west coast)
Victor - ?

Who will they add? Jayson Werth? Who will stick next year? Kalish, Reddick, McDonald? Nava? Who is trade bait (Jacoby? Lars?) Will Dubront be the lefty to replace Okajima who is no longer okie dokie (or good)? What about Papelbon - will they trade him, demote him? (I don't think so)
What positions need filling? (Missionary?) - sorry couldn't be all serious.
Where are the logjams? (The men's room at the metamucil factory?)
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Posted 29 September 2010 - 08:52 AM

I think this Dustin Pedroia experiment is over. Time to move on.
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Posted 29 September 2010 - 09:38 AM

For referance: Cot's list of 2010 Free Agents

Regardless of what position players are added/removed from the roster, my biggest concerns going into 2011 are Mr. Beckett & Mr. Lackey.


FWIW, my 'pie in the sky' wish list has David Wright in a Sox uni if the Mets are serious about dumping salary (disclaimer: I have NO IDEA what the asking price would be). I also expect Theo to be pushing hard to add Scott Downs to the pen & say goodbye to Okijimma.
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Posted 29 September 2010 - 10:49 AM

View PostVoteRiceIn, on 29 September 2010 - 09:38 AM, said:

my biggest concerns going into 2011 are Mr. Beckett & Mr. Lackey.


I disagree. We need to forget the amount of money being paid to each one and realize that those 2, along with Matsuzaka, make up the #'s 3, 4 and 5 of the Sox rotation. Even a somewhat disappointing season by any of them is better than almost all teams #3. If one of them wins 20, the Sox may win 100.

For 2011 I am concerned about health, the bullpen and not much else.
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Posted 29 September 2010 - 10:56 AM

View PostBigSlick, on 29 September 2010 - 10:49 AM, said:

For 2011 I am concerned about health, the bullpen and not much else.


Really? You're not concerned about who will be the starting catcher, 3b-man or DH?
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Posted 29 September 2010 - 11:10 AM

View PostMike LansWho, on 29 September 2010 - 10:56 AM, said:

Really? You're not concerned about who will be the starting catcher, 3b-man or DH?

I think the Sox slightly overpay for Beltre on a four year deal and Papi gets resigned to a two year deal with a player and/or club option for a third. I am worried about V-Mart. He did put up a 127, 134, and 123 OPS+ the last three years, but he will be 32 next year. I don't think Salty will ever develop into anything more than a back-up. So, with the dearth of available catchers I think the Sox are going to pay a premium to keep V-Mart as I don't see any real alternatives to the catching situation.
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Posted 29 September 2010 - 11:19 AM

View PostMike LansWho, on 29 September 2010 - 10:56 AM, said:

Really? You're not concerned about who will be the starting catcher, 3b-man or DH?


I think Martinez, Beltre and Ortiz are all coming back. If I am wrong about that I am at least confident that the Sox won't decline the option on Ortiz without a viable replacement plan.

If Beltre and/or Martinez decide to leave I'll worry about it when it happens.
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Posted 29 September 2010 - 11:52 AM

So, you guys aren't concerned about all 3 positions because you assume that all 3 incumbents will be back next season? Sounds a little 'have your cake and eat it, too'-ish, but I suppose it's plausible.

I have a bad feeling that somebody in the front office will look at the ~90 wins this season and think that they don't need to spend much this offseason. Somebody will sell this team off as a great success given the circumstances (which is true) and come to the conclusion that they won't need guys like V-Mart, Ortiz or Beltre when you have a full healthy season of Ellsbury, Youkilis and Pedroia. Granted, I don't think this will actually happen, but I'm sure it will be brought up at some meeting by a young FO-type trying to think outside of the box.

Quite the contrary, I've read a few reports about the Red Sox being interested in Carl Crawford and Aramis Ramirez. I have to wonder if the interest in Crawford is only to drive up the price. Of course, there has been plenty of speculation that Ellsbury will be dealt this winter. That would certainly open up a spot for Crawford. Aramis Ramirez?? I'd rather bring back Beltre.
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Posted 29 September 2010 - 12:03 PM

View PostMike LansWho, on 29 September 2010 - 11:52 AM, said:

I have a bad feeling that somebody in the front office will look at the ~90 wins this season and think that they don't need to spend much this offseason. Somebody will sell this team off as a great success given the circumstances (which is true) and come to the conclusion that they won't need guys like V-Mart, Ortiz or Beltre when you have a full healthy season of Ellsbury, Youkilis and Pedroia. Granted, I don't think this will actually happen, but I'm sure it will be brought up at some meeting by a young FO-type trying to think outside of the box.


I have the exact opposite bad feeling...that somebody in the front office will look at the fact that they didn't make the playoffs and suggest changes that are completely unnecessary. Like you, I don't think it will actually happen though.
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Posted 29 September 2010 - 12:09 PM

This is minor in the overall scheme of things, but I wonder about Okajima. A month ago, he was obviously destined for a non-tender, but since coming off the DL he's lowered his season ERA by a full run. He hadn't even given up a run since coming back until the Yankees series. Overall 1.59 ERA and .220/.289/.293/.582 against since coming back – compared to 5.85 and .350/.410/.529/.939 before the DL stint.

Is there anything to his late season success?
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Posted 29 September 2010 - 12:11 PM

View PostMike LansWho, on 29 September 2010 - 11:52 AM, said:

So, you guys aren't concerned about all 3 positions because you assume that all 3 incumbents will be back next season? Sounds a little 'have your cake and eat it, too'-ish, but I suppose it's plausible.

I have a bad feeling that somebody in the front office will look at the ~90 wins this season and think that they don't need to spend much this offseason. Somebody will sell this team off as a great success given the circumstances (which is true) and come to the conclusion that they won't need guys like V-Mart, Ortiz or Beltre when you have a full healthy season of Ellsbury, Youkilis and Pedroia. Granted, I don't think this will actually happen, but I'm sure it will be brought up at some meeting by a young FO-type trying to think outside of the box.

Quite the contrary, I've read a few reports about the Red Sox being interested in Carl Crawford and Aramis Ramirez. I have to wonder if the interest in Crawford is only to drive up the price. Of course, there has been plenty of speculation that Ellsbury will be dealt this winter. That would certainly open up a spot for Crawford. Aramis Ramirez?? I'd rather bring back Beltre.

I guess it is a little bit of wishful thinking, but I do think it could happen. I haven't looked at the home/away splits (and I probably should) but Beltre's overall numbers have certainly improved while playing at Fenway. He's put up the second best OPS+ of his career. I certainly can't speak for the man, but I know I would like to hit half my games in a park that works to my advantage. Granted, this is also a contract year so that may play into his numbers as well. Regardless, I think he will be heavily pursued and that will drive up the costs and the Sox will overpay. I have not read anything about the Sox going after Aramis Ramirez. I too would rather have Beltre.

V-Mart is going to command a lot of money, but I really don't think the Sox have much of a choice, but to go with him. This is the list of possible free agent catchers from Cotts:

Josh Bard SEA
John Buck TOR
Ramon Hernandez CIN *
Gerald Laird DET
Victor Martinez BOS
Miguel Olivo COL *
A.J. Pierzynski CWS
David Ross ATL
Yorvit Torrealba SD *
Jason Varitek BOS
Gregg Zaun MIL *

* - player whose current contract includes 2011 option

I don't think there is a player on there that I would want over V-Mart and the Sox don't really have any solid choices in the minors. I don't see how the FO doesn't go after Martinez.

The person I am least sold on is Papi. If he demands his option to be picked up or some crazy long term deal or even short term deal with high dollar figures, I think he'll be gone. This is where I think you make a very valid point about the Front Office evaluating this season and believing they can do much better with a healthy line up.
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Posted 29 September 2010 - 12:56 PM

For all the media speculation about the kind of megadeal Adrian Beltre is going to get, here are a few things to consider:

1. This is a list of all free agent deals (excluding international FAs) for 4 or more seasons signed in the past 3 years in MLB – a grand total of 17, nearly half of which were signed 3 years ago. Less than half of them were for more than 4 years (and half of those were signed by the Yankees). This is just free agents, not young players who were bought out of arbitration years or signed to contract extensions – but I don't think those are comparable situations anyway.

2009
Matt Holliday (Cardinals) - 7 years
John Lackey (Red Sox) - 5 years
Jason Bay (Mets) - 4 years
Chone Figgins (Seattle) - 4 years

2008
Mark Teixeira (Yankees) - 8 years
CC Sabathia (Yankees) - 7 years
AJ Burnett (Yankees) - 5 years
Ryan Dempster (Cubs) - 4 years
Derek Lowe (Braves) - 4 years

2007
Alex Rodriguez (Yankees) - 10 years
Aaron Rowand (Giants) - 5 years
Toriiiiii Hunter (Angels) - 5 years
Jorge Posada (Yankees) - 4 years
Luis Castillo (Mets) - 4 years
Francisco Cordero (Reds) - 4 years
Scott Linebrink (White Sox) - 4 years
Carlos Silva (Mariners) - 4 years

Here's a list of all the players in MLB who are set to make $15 million or more next season:

http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g85/rimshak/strikezone/salaries-1.png

To me looking at those lists, there are plenty of obvious mistakes – and Beltre compares favorably to those. At the same time, he's very clearly a tier below the top players on those lists. Plus the Yankees are out of the mix.

Of course, Beltre is clearly the best of the 3B free agent class for the next two seasons. That alone could drive up his price. But I think a lot of the easily-parroted media speculation about "at least" how much it's going to take to sign Beltre is based more on what people find while digging around in their own asses than on any sort of minimal effort to look at what actually happens in baseball.

This post has been edited by rominer: 29 September 2010 - 12:57 PM

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 01:03 PM

View PostBigSlick, on 29 September 2010 - 10:49 AM, said:

I disagree. We need to forget the amount of money being paid to each one and realize that those 2, along with Matsuzaka, make up the #'s 3, 4 and 5 of the Sox rotation. Even a somewhat disappointing season by any of them is better than almost all teams #3. If one of them wins 20, the Sox may win 100.
For 2011 I am concerned about health, the bullpen and not much else.


I'm not going to recite the 2010 #s of Lackey & Beckett to you because you can easily look them up yourself. However, I will say that your lack of concern for their output simply because they’re our # 3 & 4 guys is oversimplifying the equation of the starting rotation. Going into 2010 the starting pitching was expected to be a strength on the team that would help them overcome some of the team’s weaknesses and flaws. However, starting pitching proved to be as much of a liability as the pen & more of a liability than the offense which so many fans were concerned about coming into it.

I just haven’t seen much from Beckett in the past season and a half or anything from Lackey in a RS uniform to give me any confidence or sense of hope for a better showing in 2011.
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Posted 29 September 2010 - 01:06 PM

The Aramis Ramirez thing sounds tricky anyway. He'll likely exercise his 2011 $14.6M player option, then the Sox would have to trade for him and add another $1M for an assignment bonus. Add no-trade protection to the equation...yikes. Sounds easier to just work with Boras to get a Beltre deal done.

The catcher situation is quite the conundrum. Ideally you want to sure up the position for years to come. Martinez is clearly not going to be catching for many more seasons. However, he would make a fine DH once Ortiz leaves, whether that be now, after 2011 or 2012. The problem with this is that you're back to square one trying to find a catcher again. The crop of free agent catchers after the 2011 season looks to be even worse than this offseason. This leaves you with a few options; have Martinez catch past his defensive expiration date, rely on Saltalamacchia to take over, or find another young catcher via the trade market. Drafting and developing won't fit the time frame. I suppose a prospect like Ryan Lavarnway could be an option, but he projects to be as good defensively as Martinez is.

I think the Sox and Ortiz work something out for 2-3 years. Probably two years guaranteed and a third year vesting option based on performance.

Beltre is easy as long as the Sox are willing to pay and give up the years. Actually, the years will probably be the tough part.

Martinez is the tricky one. Knee-jerk reaction says 'yeah, overpay to bring him back', but looking at his role with the team past 2011 kind of clouds things. He'll want top tier catcher money, but he won't be a catcher for long. I guess best case is to give him 4 years. 2 of those years is as the starting catcher. After that, he can DH and fill in behind the plate and at first.
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Posted 29 September 2010 - 01:11 PM

View Postrominer, on 29 September 2010 - 12:56 PM, said:

Of course, Beltre is clearly the best of the 3B free agent class for the next two seasons. That alone could drive up his price. But I think a lot of the easily-parroted media speculation about "at least" how much it's going to take to sign Beltre is based more on what people find while digging around in their own asses than on any sort of minimal effort to look at what actually happens in baseball.


It's kind of ironic that you would say this when you provide a list that shows Miguel Cabrera making $20M in 2011.
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Posted 29 September 2010 - 01:27 PM

View PostVoteRiceIn, on 29 September 2010 - 01:03 PM, said:


I just haven’t seen much from Beckett in the past season and a half or anything from Lackey in a RS uniform to give me any confidence or sense of hope for a better showing in 2011.


John Lackey's no decisions this year:

4/7 vs. NYY - 6 IP, 0 ER
4/30 @ Baltimore- 7 IP, 2ER
6/6 @ Baltimore - 7 IP, 2 ER
6/23 @ Colorado - 6 2/3 IP, 5 ER
7/17 vs. Texas - 7 IP, 2 ER
7/22 @ Seattle - 8 IP, 0 ER
8/12 @ Toronto - 8 IP, 3 ER
9/28 @ Chicago - 6 IP, 2 ER

That's 55 2/3 innings in 8 starts (just a few decimal points under 7 innings per start), with a 2.59 ERA.

When Lackey has been bad, he has been absolutely awful – 7.53 ERA in losses, plus a pair of 5+ ER wins. But I think (as much as we all insist that wins aren't the most important stat for a pitcher) the perception of Lackey would be a lot different if, as very easily could be the case, he was 17-11 right now instead of 13-11.

I hope for better next year of course, but really, if you ignore the huge contract, getting the same thing out of Lackey next year would not be the end of the world.
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Posted 29 September 2010 - 01:38 PM

View PostMike LansWho, on 29 September 2010 - 01:11 PM, said:

It's kind of ironic that you would say this when you provide a list that shows Miguel Cabrera making $20M in 2011.


I don't follow.

Miguel Cabrera has 6 seasons with more HR than Beltre has this year. He has 7 seasons with more RBI (6 of which will likely hold up). He has 5 seasons with a higher OPS than Beltre 2010. He's 4 years younger than Beltre.

Beltre, meanwhile, has 9 seasons with fewer HR than Cabrera had in the worst of his 7 full seasons in the big leagues. 11 seasons (probably soon to be just 10) with fewer RBI than Cabrera's career low, 10 seasons with a lower OPS than Cabrera's career low, 10 seasons below Cabrera's lowest SLG, 8 seasons below Cabrera's career low OBP...

Again, I think Beltre is very clearly a notch below the elite players on those lists.
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Posted 29 September 2010 - 01:43 PM

View PostVoteRiceIn, on 29 September 2010 - 01:03 PM, said:

I'm not going to recite the 2010 #s of Lackey & Beckett to you because you can easily look them up yourself. However, I will say that your lack of concern for their output simply because they’re our # 3 & 4 guys is oversimplifying the equation of the starting rotation. Going into 2010 the starting pitching was expected to be a strength on the team that would help them overcome some of the team’s weaknesses and flaws. However, starting pitching proved to be as much of a liability as the pen & more of a liability than the offense which so many fans were concerned about coming into it.

I just haven’t seen much from Beckett in the past season and a half or anything from Lackey in a RS uniform to give me any confidence or sense of hope for a better showing in 2011.


I agree that Beckett has been "hot garbage". I also think his extension wasn't the best of moves, but I'd be shocked if he has an ERA approaching 6 again next year. I am hoping that he just hasn't hasn't been right since his injury and an offseason will do him a world of good. That doesn't mean I expect 2007 Beckett, but he's almost guaranteed to improve.

Having a full year in Boston under his belt will hopefully help Lackey, but I only expect slight improvement from him.

Bottom line is, if Beckett, Lackey and Matsuzaka can all post ERA's in the 4.3 range, this team will have a chance to win every single night.
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Posted 29 September 2010 - 01:55 PM

View Postrominer, on 29 September 2010 - 01:38 PM, said:

Again, I think Beltre is very clearly a notch below the elite players on those lists.


Yeah, you're right. Cabrera really is that much better. I was just thinking of his diminishing defensive skills and his move from 3b to 1b. However, his offensive production does make him worth the money.

One thing that can't be discounted when theorizing about how much money or how many years Beltre will get is the whole idea of the 'try-out year'. Contract year performance boosts are fairly common (Beltre has his own case of that), but what Beltre did this season with the Red Sox will pretty much wipe out any underwhelming seasons he's had in Seattle. Position scarcity may be enough to get him a great deal, but taking one discounted year to prove that he can still get it done both offensively and defensively should be enough to get him that last 'monster deal'. Digging around my own rear-end, I'd pull out an easy (and rather stinky) 5 year/$75M contract.

Edit - BTW, that wouldn't even make him the highest player on the team.

This post has been edited by Mike LansWho: 29 September 2010 - 01:56 PM

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 02:20 PM

One more Beltre note:

There's all sorts of "Beltre to the Angels" speculation. I'm not saying that it won't happen, but:

This year, the Angels have the highest payroll (~$121 million according to Cot's, which unlike some of the other payroll breakdowns actually includes the money they're still paying Gary Matthews, etc) in club history.

They have the same amount of money ($11.5 million) committed to raises for players already under contract (Dan Haren, Scott Kazmir, Ervin Santana, Maicer Izturis, Juan Rivera) as they do money coming off the books with free agents (Hideki Matsui, Scot Shields).

They have 9 arbitration-eligible players. One of those is the Jered Weaver, who is not only a total douche, but also has become one of the top 10 or 15 starters in the AL over the past couple of seasons. Whether he goes to arbitration or not, he's getting a healthy raise.

So, before even setting foot in the free agent market, the Angels are likely to be in the vicinity of a new franchise-high $130 million in payroll for 2011 (they still owe Gary Matthews, Jr. another $11 million next year). Adding Beltre at the Official Media Speculation Price puts them up to $145 million+. If they also added Carl Crawford, they'd be up over $160 million. The only non-Yankee team ever to have a payroll that high is the 2010 Red Sox.

Maybe the Angels go there, knowing that someday they won't be paying Gary Matthews anymore. But it's a huge leap. And if they only want to leap into the $145-$150 million range instead of $160-$170, are they going after the under-30 outfielder of Mike Scioscia's wet dreams? Or the 31 year old 3B who, in the 4th biggest sample of any ballpark in his career, has a .762 OPS at Angel Stadium?

They're a player...but I think those in the media calling the Angels the front runner, until they cite any source suggesting that the Angels are willing to increase payroll by 25-35%, are probably mining the depths of their large intestines for their baseball stories.
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