Done deal

Finally, it’s over. The Red Sox got their man. All that remains is the official coronation of Matsuzaka, which will likely take place at Fenway on Thursday afternoon.

I have to say, the Red Sox did some job making this deal happen. Frustrated that Scott Boras was going into the four corner offense, Theo and Lucchino — who says these two guys aren’t united? — jetted to California and put their collective lawyering skills to use, getting this thing done at a very reasonable annual average value of about $9 million per season, which doesn’t include the enormous posting fee.

It’s going to be a fun ride. How will Matsuzaka’s dominance in Japan transfer to the United States? Will this be the best Red Sox pitching rotation of all-time?

Can the Red Sox live up to what will be huge advance billing in ’07?

Baseball is back at a fever pitch — if you will — in Boston.

That’s all I have to say tonight. It’s been a long, long day.

107 Comments

AMEN!!

i’m so excited that i actually don’t mind staying up til 3 or 4 trying to finish biology notes…

the starting staff looks to be solid next year. as long as papi doesn’t break an arm, i think we’ll be just fine =)

I should probably be working on typing up a final lab for my psych. of sensation class, but…

I couldn’t help but be pleased with this deal. I think Boras got the point; either get Matsuzaka signed or he wouldn’t ever get to be the agent of any other star coming out of Japan (or Asia for that matter) because he’d be seen as a failure. Not only that, but just imagine how negative Matsuzaka would have looked had he come back to Japan. I forget who said it but it’s true that honor is a BIG BIG idea/concept in Japan, even today.

As for the $$, the deal is far better than I expected. I guess Boras really wasn’t in any position to haggle much. I honestly thought Theo and Co. would get squeezed for every penny possible.

As for our rotation (Schlling, Wakefield, Beckett, Papelbon, and Matsuzaka), in the words of Mr. Burns, “Excellent Smithers…”

One question, is Clement not even pitching this year? If so, what’s going to happen to him? Unless he comes back as great middle relief or even a decent starter somehow, this deal seemed like a bust. Kind of stinks too cause he sure is a stand-up kind of guy.

Somebody actually beat Boras. I loved the fact that Theo and them said, look, either you are on the plane when we go back or its sayanora baby san. Now, get some more bullpen help Theo.

Matsuaka will have a very easy transition because…**** Schillling or Curt Shitting, whatever his name is, is learning JAPENESE! Have no fear, Shilling is going to teach Matsuaka not only to put soy sauce on his sock and say he is bleeding, but also how to be a concided self-center pitcher! At first I was very worried, because poor Matsuaka would be all by himself in bog scarey Boston, but now Schilling will be able to talk JAPENESE and help him out. Good bless you Curt…you truely are a ******-bag.

ps. no fans are like boston fans, (not a compliment), and Matsuaka I can’t wait til our Yankees line up murders you and you get to see the trash you will be pitching in front of for 6 years. Theres a new evil empire and it starts with Red and ends with *****!

Wow…nice post there jmayer… way too many “****” to make a coherent point.

I’m not a huge Schilling fan, but regardless, Matsuzaka knew what he was getting into coming to the US. The same went for your Yanks Matsui.

Sure Matsuzaka will have a game or few that he’ll get beat up on. But if what the scouts say is right, that won’t be commonplace.

So stop being jealous because your rotation is old, getting old, or falling apart due to back spasms and buttock injuries (minus Wang really).

I’m wishing Matsuzaka an easy transition into American life as well as the culture of the Chodawheads!!
As far as your Yankee’s at least you got the spelling of that correct.

Somebody explain to me how Boras allowed Matsuzaka to sign a contract that not only earns him less than Ted Lilly and is locked in for two years longer than Lilly? The Red Sox got a steal in terms of player compensation. On the other hand, the player is actually costing them over $17 million a year, most of it right up front in the first year. From that perspective, they better hope that he’s the next coming of The Rocket.

Even taking into account the postin price, it still isnt too bad of a deal. Dice-K will cost the Red Sox about the same annually as Pettite is costing the Yankees, and even with all of the transitions and what not, I’ll take Matsuzaka any day. I’d say Theo and Co. have done a great job thus far. All we need now is a couple more arms for the bullpen and maybe a decent backup catcher and I for one will be very excited about the Red Sox 2007.

I have an idea, try letting him pitch a season or two, or nine before comparing him to anybody. Josh Hamilton had all the talent and positive scouting reports in the world, who would you compare him to right now?

Pacol, your post would have been coherent in itself if you had stopped at discrediting the previous poster.

You have clement and wade miller the last three years and you talk about pavano?

Starting pitching falling apart?

Papelbon and Matsuzaka have never started in the majors. Neither have Hughes or Sanchez. All four are extremely highly touted and papelbon has had success in one inning games.

Schilling and Mussina posted identical numbers last year and are virtually the same age, they also both had minor injuries last season. One pitched in the playoffs, the other did not.

Wakefield was injured most of last year, pettittte pitched 200+ innings the last two years. Many bring up his 4+ era in the nl and ignore the -2.40 the year before or the 2.80 after the asb last year, or the 21 wins he had as recent as three years ago for the yankees.

Beckett and Johnson had near identical numbers with johnson adding one more win.

Do you really want to stroke with that color brush? Yes, by all ASSUMPTIONS and PREDICTIONS you guys have the younger and more talented staff, then again, as of the asb last year you were supposed to win the division, the yankees were supposed to miss the playoffs. There was about a 15 game swing after that. Try letting your pitching staff do the talking before you bash the yankees and then eat crow after a 5 game sweep at home and 2 months of useless baseball.

The first person who brings up injuries as the ONLY reason you lost the division wins a cookie for proving my exact point of letting the pitching staff do the talking.

Both teams have about 10 starters who could theoretically be there at the end of this season so we may not even know what other team actually has to offer right now. We have assumptions, and we all know the rule about that.

I love it, the yankee posters are getting nervous. No Vick, we have way more potential then you guys, you already have your aging weathered staff in place same as last year with the exception of pettitte. like i said ealier, pettitte doesnt scare me. Houston didnt sign him because of the player option..didn’t want to commit according to them because of his on again off again health. wang had one good year, kind of like lowe…sinkerball pitcher. doesnt mean he’s great yet either. the rest will be fodder for the sox bats. Beckett has all the tools, just needs to use them and he alone will be better then any yankee pitcher…so could pap and the rest of the sox staff. I pray for the rocket. just to make you eat your words.

I agree. Lets actually get into the season before we get into predictions here. In the beginning of last year, the Red SOx weren’t favored to win the division. They were only projected to have 90-92 wins. The Yankees were supposed to have a contender on paper. Then Matsui and Sheffield got injured, and an inconsistant pitching staff put them behind for the first half of the season. Thats when the Red Sox became favored to win. Then, as we all know, lackluster play, no action from the FO, and injurie led to a collapse in August that nobody predicted. Let the games begin…and then we can start the talk.

Both sides might end up regretting being tied to each other for 6 years. When has a contract of 5 or more years ever proven to be a good idea.

Clemens from 1986-1992. 7 Years, 136 wins. Pedro from 1998-2004. 7 years, 117 wins. Seems like pretty good contracts to me. Perhaps Matsuzaka can do the same.

Oh look at the crybabies coming out of the woodwork. Go crawl back into your holes or go tell it to someone who cares.

Being an avid Red Sox fan for six decades now, I have learned to take a wait and see attitude. On the surface this looks like it could be a pretty good signing but…..Let’s see if Dice K can adjust to the hitters in the bigs, as we know the hitters will adjust to him. Let’s wait a few years before we put him in the Hall of Fame.

Perhaps it takes youth not to get ahead of yourself trsg.

I am not Vick, for one.

Second, because I refute the overly optimistic views of sox fans and I play devil’s advocate it makes me nervous? Tell me, after the sweep and a 6.5 game lead when I was doing the same thing, was I nervous then? That would be like you trying to talk positively about your team on a yankee blog and us just repeating what a miserable failure we consider your franchise, it is that annoying. Pettitte, Igawa, the potential health of pavano (60% new staff right out of the gate) the emergence of karstens and rasner last year, another year of development from hughes and sanchez, and you say besides pettitte it is the same staff. Do you see how unbelievably inaccurate and naieve you sound?

Show me where it says because of his on again off again health? Prove that. Last I read they had 12 million in a budget for him and they didn’t want to give him a 2nd year, until I see a source saying they didn’t trust his health I’m not buying it. That cracks me up too, the guy was injured for about 120 innings for ONE season, has been healthy as a workhorse for the most recent two and he is this injury proned aging pitcher. Schilling and beckett were both injured more recently, why are they aces and pettitte is washed up? One logical reason why, I have supplied plenty on the contrary but nothing retorted, just opinion and inaccuracies. Lowe is a two time 20 game winner, bugs me how you can consider one a good year, the other not. Beckett is yet to have a solid seasonfor a starter in the AL, matsuzaka, lester, papelbon, same thing. I guess wang is more accomplished then huh? I guess those three are bigger ?’s then by your logic. Beckett, schilling, wakefield, they were all there last year, why did you finish 11 behind us if all three are better? Let beckett prove he’s not a flop before you praise him as better than any yankee pitcher. You guys said the same thing about clement. Please, heresay is heresay. lol Praying, that is exactly the verb you will have to do this season.

ctzmom, welcome to what it feels like to be a Yankee fan, all season long we had kamikaze twins fans coming on our blog whining because their owner refuses to spend money on their team.

Hey there Vince, hows it going?? I’m on my way to bed now, trying to get used to the midnight shift!! Wish me luck!

Just something of an afterthought regarding the recent signings of our beloved team……..Now that I live in Florida, I have had a chance to watch Julio Lugo, close up and personal. You fans up north are going to love this guy. He is the type of player Red Sox fans love. I am more optomistic at this point at his signing than Dice K’s.

sbrad where in florida? I love there too but judging by your comments, i moved there about 50 years earlier than you.

ellen, I finished my finals last night, the last one beat me badly, but other than that I couldn’t be happier today. Tomorrow it is back to 80 degree weather! I hope your new job is working out, i’m at work right now,I love the job.

Theo & Boras went eye to eye. Boras blinked.

You got to hand it to Jamie, he stuck by his instincts and turned out to be correct in terms of the negotiation. It’s a good deal numerically, you guys just have to hope the guy is all he is cracked up to be and can utilize his stuff effectively. six years is long for anybody, at any point during their career. And whoever sighted clemens…..come on, I think one thing we can all agree on is there is only one Roger Clemens.

It’s funny watching sportscenter and hearing them try to already compare him to Maddux!!! I was falling over in my seat laughing at that one. I think it was a good signing but I wonder if he will finish his contract in a Red Sox uniform. As for the Yankees now being scared with Dice-K…We love fresh meat, ask back back back Beckett, go Yanks!

yankeevmm, I live on Clearwater Beach. Moved here five years ago. You have to agree with me regarding Lugo if you’ve been to the Trop.

Never been there but I have seen lugo play, he’s solid, my fear (more like my happiness) regarding lugo on the sox is they will not use his best abilities. He is good defensively, not great, which is a step down from cabrera and gonzalez, but he has more speed than all of them….the sox just aren’t typically a “get into the head of the pitcher by running all over him type of team” and lugo serves that purpose. I live in Boynton Beach, so marlins games are more desirable than making a 3 hour trek to the trop, though I’ve heard it’s a beautiful stadium.

Your thoughts were mine originally regarding the Red Sox being a running team, (Old American League philosopy), let the long ball bring in the runs however, with both Coco and Lugo that may change. I think they learned a lesson about the value of speed a few years back against you guys. Not rubbing it in your face, just making an observation. I agree with the drop in defense he brings but it isn’t that glaring a difference. We shall see…. It will be fun as usual bantering with you fans in Steinbrenerville. I personally think Roger will not sign with either of our teams.

By the way yankeevmm, The Trop. is a beautiful place to watch a game, and the parking is free, or was……..

wow, good to see there is still a good deal in baseball. Actually, the game at fenway I went to, I was impressed with their lenient security, I was able to bring a large bag (I was visiting a friend) and everything.

I think roger retires in all honesty.

2004 is what boggles my mind the most. They had roberts, they neevr used him until the obvious two times. That is what i’m talking about, it is not necessarily that the sox never have the speed, it is that they tend not to use it.

yankeevmm – I have not read all the posts, so you may have corrected yourself, but just in case not let me correct you on one thing. You said Papelbon had never started a game. I don’t have the stats but I think he started four or five games and had a solid enough ERA

brendan, good point, on 2nd thought he started some as a callup at the end of 2005? You’re right. The point is those were like you said, four or five starts, if people are making the point to excuse an entire season of subpar pitching from beckett and trying to make a convincing case he is still an ace….how can one proclaim papelbon an ace pitcher for four or five solid starts in september two years ago You can’t. You certainly can’t discredit wang for winning 19 games and having a sub 4 era as a starter either. His 8-5 sub 5 era the year before wasn’t too shabby either.

The Yanks rotation reminds me of a syringe on the Jersey Shore… All Washed Up. Speaking of syringes, anyone know how much Giambi is going to play first base this year?

You’re right, they never seem to use the speed that they’ve had enough….But if my memory serves me correctly, the speed that the Sox enjoyed over the years, other than Remy, had bench roles. They always seemed to have someone better at the same position so when the speed came off the bench it was situational at the risk of sacrificing defens at that particular position. I think this is a different senario so we may see a different usage of that speed now.

Therefore there is no way you can claim “the entire sox staff” is better than wang or whatever the ridiculous comment was until the sox staff actually goes out and proves it, such as I don’t know, winning a division or finishing ahead of the yankees for the first time since………? 1995? Or early 1990′s? That’s my point. Speculation only goes as far as the final standings in september, and again in october.

Rickey henderson, coco crisp, johnny damon, etc.

rayman knocking on the staff and now NJ? You don’t like the jersey shore than don’t go to it. It takes somebody actually from NJ to understand the places only NJ people know about to go to the beach there anyway. It is all the new yorkers, pennsylvanians and god knows what else that pollute our shores in the first place, then they are first to complain about how dirty it gets.

oh and the large amounts of white trash from NJ and other states too…can’t forget them….they still don’t go to the more private and less discovered areas.

Damon I will give you, I stand corrected……Henderson, Maybe…still at that time a bench player……Coco was injured a good part of last season, but I believe they were using his speed before the injury.

No one in the Northeast should comment on another beach there. Other than a few spots they are all the same now………Let’s stay on Baseball……

the water temp changes…needless to say I enjoy florida beaches in the winter the most.

Well, we’ve been talking on the yankees blog, and I guess I should give it some sox flavor, what are ur favorite sox games that you have been to? Doesn’t have to be against the yanks but I’m assuming it will be.

You know what’s sad? I live in Mass, and basically it would be cheaper for me to watch the Red Sox games in Tampa, FLA. Why? I could get a cheap ticket to Florida aka Southwest, rent a car, stay at a cheap motel, go to a tampa bay game, and fly back to NE for about the same amount of money as an afternoon @ Fenway. Geeze. Money, money, money.

Most of my memorable games that I’ve seen at Fenway actually were when I was a child and against the Yankees, being in awe with the likes of Mantle, Berra. Skowron,Ford, McDougle,Howard, Maris,Shantz, et al. Against, Williams, Malzone, Jensen,Piersal, was always a joy…….Watching Clemens pitch his first 21 strikeout game is probably my most memorable however. I didn’t stay for the complete 21 inning game but was there for most of it.

Read somewhere that Matsuzaka’s nickname in Japan is Kaibatsu (Monster).

Kaibatsu Vs Godzilla..how does that sound.

Thatredsoxguy. I think you are correct in your assesment of it being cheaper to fly down and watch the sox at Tropicana Field. As I had said before, parking is free, and you can still buy a ticket for $8 and look around for a good empty seat. I must admit they are more at a premium when the sox or Yankess are in town but never-the-less, still available.

I think its common knowledge that there are more Red Sox fans in Tampa than there are Tampa Bay fans. Not suprising, being that Florida was created by God to house retired or displaced New Englanders.

Lot’s of Yankee fans here also. I have to give the Rays credit however, they are developing a rather nice fan base for themselves. Unfortunately this is still football country though. Hockey is doing well also, but not the market that we up North are accustomed to. The Phillies have a nice new spring training complex in Clearwater now also. Good baseball in the area.

The Rays are definately an improving franchise. They have a really good outfield and some heavy hitters. Lugo was one of the players I liked the most on the Rays, and he’ll do well as a Red Sox. Crawford is one of those other guys i’d like to have in a Red Sox outfit also. There were some pitchers like Kashmir and Fossum that really stepped up against the Red Sox. Its hard being an MLB team when you have to play the Red Sox and Yankees 30 games a year. In 10-15 years I can see them making the AL East alot more competative.

Who is this jmayer888? This guy is obviously a Yankees fan who cannot stand the fact the Sox gave the Yankers or is it Wankers, a taste of what it is like to be on the other end of the **** stick when it comes to being out spent. With regard to Shilling’s sock, it was not soy sauce, it was red die number 6, get it right buddy!
The Sox have put a solid starting rotation together on paper but remember how it all fell apart this past year! You can never have enough pitching and I do hope that Theo spending all of this time on a starting pitcher did not miss out on the chance to land a solid closer through a trade or other means.

thatredsoxguy…….The Rays historically have most times given the Red Sox and Yankees fits in comparison to what they do against other teams. I think it is those two powerhouses that would rather not play the Rays as much. Crawford would look superb in a Red Sox uniform, but I doubt that we will see it. Kasmir is a treat to watch at the field. Fossum is one that got away….

The Rays are alot like Toronto. They live for big games, but get killed by mediocre teams like KC. (not that we can claim we’re any better than that, after last year) You take the Baltimore and the NL (aka AAAA) out of the equation and the Sox were probably under .500 last year.

Let’s give credit where credit is due…….I agree with your assesment regarding how the sox handled the Orioles and the NL last year, but I believe the WS Champs came out of that (aka AAAA) league you decided to label them as.

Maybe I’m just biased because the AL has been a stonger leauge for several seasons, but watching the World series was not a match of seeing who won first. Neither teams were dominant. It was match of who lost first. Both teams struggled. Detroit had been playing really crappy ball for 2 weeks before and limped into the playoffs. They beat the Yankees and Oakland, but seemed to relapse after that. Maybe it was the young pitching, maybe it was the week break before the WS. The Cards struggled the whole way through but managed to hold on a hair. The point is, it was not a postseason of dominace on either side. Heck, i thought it was going to be a NY-NYM WS. How wrong I was. I am happy the Cards won the world series, though. They’ve beem a very good team for several years and deserve it. Perhaps the Tigers or Oakland win it next year (Well, if the Red Sox don’t win, of course!)

The playoffs were full of a bunch of pitching flukes, a very odd postseason, but the cards fan base, like many others of recent memory, deserved to win it, another historic franchise hard on their luck in recent memory.

I remember on fathers day when i went to a marlins blue jays game (holliday vs josh johnson) the majority of the game was spent by the 7,000 fans looking at the yankees senators score….that was of course the zimmerman walk off game and the entire crowd groaned….florida really is probably 75% ny/boston fans transplanted from the north east.

Where I am, it is mostly Yankee fans, or at least that is what I have found, ellen is only about 20 mintues away, she may have a different experience.

sbrad, I live in Orlando, and I attend all of the Red Sox games at the Trop. I enjoy baseball no matter where it is played; however, watching a game indoors versus outdoors is quite a different experience. For starters, there is not a crack when the ball hits the bat, but a pop. And there is something about going to an outdoor baseball game with the sights, sounds and smells. You don’t quite get that atmosphere inside.

That said, I enjoy the games I see at the Trop. I love the fact that there are 35,000 fans at the game, and two-thirds are SOx fans. And I enjoy going to Ferg’s Sports Bar (right near the Trop parking lot), and enjoying some beers amid all the Sox fans. They even play Sweet Caroline and the Muddy Water song.

Since the Sox aren’t coming into Tampa Bay until July, I believe, I am going on the road to see them. I’ll be at a game or two at the Texas series the first weekend of the season.

The D-Rays do play competitively against the Sox and Yankees. They have a core of solid young players. They just need pitching beyond Scott Kazmir. I would love to see Carl Crawford or Rocco Baldelli in a Sox uniform. I have long been a fan of Lugo, and I think he will be an invaluable part of the Sox lineup. He is not A-Goz in the field, but he is decent.

Jeff

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

I also agree about Casey Fossum. I would like to see the Sox reacquire him, since he is a decent back of the rotation guy and long reliever.

There is a tremendous difference between indoor and outdoor venues. However, I do like the idea of watching a ballgame without sweating off 15 lbs. not that I couldn’t use it. Baldelli I do like, he just seems to be injury prone, and with Drew in Right now, we don’t need two thirds of our outfield on IR.

the pettitte thing is written in the astro under why they let pettitte go. I was talking about your starters being mold, and regardless of what you say, i’ll say otherwise. thats why i blog here. sorry for calling you vick, vince. i realized my mistake but was getting late for work. I would take beckett and his potential over any yankee pitcher at this moment including wang. I dont discredit what he did last year, but he’s by no means an ace just yet. nor do i think he will ever be. your right, the sox pitching has to prove itself this year, but they do have the potential to dominate. the talent is there, no disputing that! Now it’s closer time! Since Gagne is gone, I guess a trade might be in order.

I agree, d reinbold. As it is right now, the Yankees rotation is not remotely as talented as the Sox rotation. Wang does look like he will be a top-tier starter for the long term, and Mussina is still an effective starter, but Pettitte and Johnson are not what they once were, and there is a strong likelihood they will find their way onto the DL. Pavano? lol. Igawa? We’ll see. I fully expect Cashman to make a few moves to bolster their rotation. They can’t win with offense alone.

By the way, I just posted a mid-off season review of the Sox roster on my blog. Your opinions are welcome!

Jeff

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

lol Pettitte has been nasty for 1.5 of the last 2 years, and 2004 injury season aside, nasty every year before that, I am still not seeing any proof he is A: injury proned or B: not a solid pitcher, especially for a 3 starter instead of an ace like we asked of him to in the past.

D rein, you agreed with me against your will, I said if everything in the sox rotation goes well they will have a solid staff.

Has anybody actually looked at Matsuzaka’s stats in Japan? Just Google “Matsuzaka Japan statistics.” He went 14-13 last year. While he’ll be a strong contributor, and is obviously an upgrade over virtually every 2006 Sox starter, he’s not going to pitch a shut out every game, striking out 15 each time out. He’ll probably take his lumps next season, much like Beckett did. If he wins 13-15 games, I would be satisfied.

Check that. He was 14-13 in 2005. 17-5 in 2006. That’s pretty good! But he has had some .500 years, and it looks like he had some control problems early in his career. I’m willing to keep an open mind. I’d rather have him than Meche or Lilly (not to mention Kyle Snyder!)

A pitcher’s record is not a true indication of his abilities. His ERA is. As well as hits to innings pitched, and strikeout to walk ratio.

Jeff

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

You beat me to it Jeff… rrossi, how many one run games did Roger lose where he got no run support? Think about it……….Not saying Dice-K will keep a sub 3 ERA. in fact I would guess, closer to 4 might be more realistic.

Where I am in south Florida,there’s a fair amount of REAL Marlins fans, but as far as the rest I see more Yankee fans (UGHHH)Sorry Vince, they aren’t all like you!lol, I find it hard to find a real Sox fan in this proximity> That is why I enjoy the blog so much. There is one guy who is a transplanted NewEnglander who used to go to games when Dom DiMaggio played and you could see a REAL double header (and pay ONE admission). He tells the most wonderful stories about the Sox-Yankee rivalry.

Back to the subject of the Red Sox’ newest starting pitcher, someone told me today that when asked how excited he was, he said he was very excited, but not as excited as he was on his wedding day or the day his child was born.

I like this guy.

And now that they’ve assigned him a uniform number I can start wearing my #18 Sox jersey again. ;-)

who will close and what will we have to give up to get him? Or will we close in house and see how it goes and make a move at the break?

Sox acquire Brendan Donnelly from the Angels for minor league left-handed reliever Phil Seibel. This is a good trade. Donnelly is one of the top set-up men in the game. Now Theo will turn his attention to finding a closer. Mike Gonzalez, please!

Jeff

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

Mike Gonzalez will cost them Coco Crisp, and I’m not ready to give up on him yet. I’m not convinced we’ve seen the last of Papelbon as closer. I think Pap will end up closing, with restrictions (no 2 inning saves, in fact, no more than 3 outs, period, no more than back to back outings, etc.) Any thoughts?

I don’t like to trade Coco.Instead trade Wily Mo.

Id hate to lose either of them, remember manny wont be here past 2 seasons, wmp should be craking 40 by then. crisp will make us forget that old guy in pinstripes this year…should have signed gagne! I can see pap closing if nothing else works, but that might leave us short in the rotation…unless…can you say rocket man!

Maybe WMP will be cracking 40. Maybe. The guy is still a work in progress. My question is what kind of power hitter will he be. Will he be a patient, power-to-all fields hitter like Manny or Ortiz? Or will he be more like Dave Kingman, who could only hit homers, and maybe give you a 250 average with butt -loads of strikeouts. If WMP wants to improve, and stay on the Red Sox, he needs to become patient and draw lots of walks. Because we’re certainly not keeping him for his gold-glove quality defense.

Going back to rrossi’s comment, the Red Sox are pretty firm in their statement that Pap will be in the rotation next season. The constant workload of a closer just took too much out of his arm and the Sox don’t wish to jeopardize his health.

As for the Donnelly trade, I do like it but I hate seeing Phil Seibel leave. Sub-2 ERA in the minors, after a Tommy John surgery? He has a lot of potential to me, but Donnelly is a proven and reliable reliever, and is sure to aid the Sox.

Also, the Red Sox signed J.C. Romero. Coming off a bad year, and this could be wishful thinking, I believe he will have a good year, but nothing outstanding. He will regain his form and have a mid 3 ERA. And this may be, again, wishful thinking.

Mirabelli is back. I’m glad he’s back. Offensive liability or not, he knows Wakefield and knows his knuckleball. He’ll work to improve his hitting, but don’t expect too much out of him. He was brought back for one thing only: to catch Wake.

I’m not sure that Pap is ready to be a starter yet either. I think I’d like to see him in the bullpen for another year and just have Clemons fill the gap in the starting rotation for this year. Do-able?

Congratulations, Rob, for getting your #18 jersey out of mothballs! Just have to pick off those 5 letters…

NESN is currently re-boradcasting the WBC final game Japan Vs Cuba. Matsuzaka pitched in this game.

No letters to remove, ctzmom. My wife got me the official home jersey, which doesn’t have the player’s name on it. When she asked me whose number I wanted I said either Nixon, Damon or Varitek. If I get another it will be #7, even if Trot is officially gone by then.

Well, I thought I had seen some dumb moves in my day, but this just takes the cake. Letting Jerry Trupiano go and keeping Joe Castiglione? Come on, people, Castiglione sounds like he’s got a clothes pin on his nose. I’m thoroughly disappointed in this obvious misjudgment of talent on the part of the Red Sox management team.

Robn: Great number for a jersey!! I’ve got mine (you remember hubby got mine for my birthday last June). I’ll proudly wear that number forever!! I’m so sad that nothing is happening with Trot! I thought that maybe they’d offer him a one year deal and then maybe something coachimg in the minors. But I guess they were looking more at Gabe for that…. so sad for dirt dawg fans…

PS… I am getting another jersey, my husband saw the last post from robn regarding “the official”home jersey and told me he was ordering #7 for me. Regardless of whether the fans are aware of it now or not, they,we are seriously going to miss Trot!! Remember, there is absolutely NO prejudice in the preceding comment whatsoever!!!!

I just can’t imagine Trot in a uniform that doesn’t say Red Sox.
(Gotta love those home jersies!)

My guess would be that Trot is not looking for a coaching spot just yet. To me, his personality is that of a player first, and if he can find a team that will put him on the field, that’s where he’ll go. Also, I think he might have the same problems as a coach or manager that Roberto Clemente had when he managed winter ball teams in Puerto Rico: namely that he expected (not unreasonably in my book) his players to put in the same effort he did, and it was very frustrating when they didn’t.

I think Kapler will make a great coach or manager, and I admire his ability and willingness to accept that he’s never going to be a starting oufielder and that he can make a big difference in young players’ lives and careers.

Not sure how I feel about the Sox re-signing Mirabelli. I had gotten used to the idea of him being gone and was looking forward to seeing how Kottaras did with Wakefield. He’s caught the knuckleball before, and Steve Sparks was apparently impressed with how quickly Kottaras adjusted to catching it. I guess the backup catcher’s spot is still open for either guy to win in spring training.

Oh, and congrats on the new jersey, ellen!

Ladies, The Drew deal still hasn’t been announced, (maybe health issues), so you may still see Trot in a Red Sox uniform next year. I’ve always liked him also.

Brad

I don’t think it was the workload that did Papelbon in, but rather the misuse. Francona was bringing him in in the 8th more and more. He was coming in after throwing 30 plus pitches the night before. The straw that broke the camel’s (and Papelbon’s) back was game 4 of the dreaded 5 game series. Rather than bring Papelbon in to start the 8th, he brings him in with the bases loaded and nobody out in the 8th. Papelbon pitched his heart out in that game, and was a bloop single (and lack of Kapler dive) away from getting out of it. Like I said before, if Francona uses him right, he can still close.

I think that – if the Sox deal Crisp or Pena for a young closer (Chad Cordero?) – there is a strong chance that Trot will return as a fourth outfielder.

Regarding Papelbon, I prefer him in a starting role. He was a dominating starter in college, in the minors and in a few starts with the Sox in 2005. He will adapt to the rotation just fine. It is easier to groom a closer than fill a role in the rotation. We all know that a deep rotation translates into success more so than a powerful batting lineup. Craig Hansen and Bryce Cox will likely be a closer/set-up man tandem for the Sox in either 2008 or 2009.

Hansen will become the eventual closer. I really don’t give a thought to WHAT baseballamerica says about Cox. I see him becoming the setup man for Hansen. The only question that I have is whether Hansen will take over the closer role in 07 or 08.

Also, assuming that Schill and Wake both retire following the 07 season, who are we going to bring in to replace them? We’d still have Beckett, Paps, Matsuzaka, and Lester. What then? Can we get someone like Zambrano or trade for Willis? I don’t see Buchholz, Bowden and Bard (the B triplet) as guarenteed stars coming to the Sox until 09…

I like our bullpen the way it is now. We don’t need to trade a future MVP/HOF player like WMP (40HR/120RBI potential) for Cordero. After all, having a great pitcher in the 9th inning means nothing at all when you blow ur lead in the 7th.

actually, Buchholz is the only guy that I’m confident labelling an “elite” prospect. Bard needs better secondary pitches and more movement on his rather dead fastball, and Bowden needs to sharpen his control.

Also, let’s not trade Crisp. He’s 20/20 potential. (Unless we sign Andruw Jones after next season, which actually is pretty realistic, considering how Schill’s salary will be gone… along with Lowell.)

I definitely agree with keeping Coco Crisp. He was hampered by his finger injury last year which totally messed up his hitting. He will have a good rebound year in ’07. However, I can relish the thought of seeing Andruw Jones patrolling center in Fenway Park in ’08.

As for Wily Mo, I do want to keep him, but people better not see him as a future MVP/HOF yet. He still has a lot of potential, but has yet to really blossom into a great hitter. I do believe, however, he will find that role sometime.

J.D. Drew update. The Sox still haven’t officialy signed Drew, and in all likelihood his physical is holding it up. We can only speculate on what is wrong with him this time. I hope we can trust Theo on this move; hopefully he sees some way of how he will survive in Boston.

And finally the closer. I have absolutely no clue who will fill that void. Cordero would be a good choice, but I’m not sure if the Sox would give up Wily Mo or even Washington giving up Cordero. We’ll just see how this plays out…

the sox have made some big moves so far this offseason i like who we got for the bullpen

I think he has to pass the physical to go anywhere. corect?

Tomorrow I leave for India, no Red Sox blogs there. Have a merry Christmas and Happy New Year! May the new year bring you joy, peace, and happiness.

hmm, here’s a conspiracy theory: Theo Epstein does NOT want to sign Drew anymore. Maybe he said he would to appease Boras, who had control over Matsuzaka negotiations… his decision may have also been influenced by the tampering charges brought upon the Sox. In any case, I don’t worry too much about. If we do sign him, it’s not our $, and Drew is a pretty good player. If we don’t sign him, we have WMP, who’ll be able to blossom with consistant playing time.

So you see, it’s win-win in my perspective.

Flurricane, I realize that WMP has yet to break out, but between 04-05, he hit more than 40HR in 700 plate appearence, which is one normal season. Consider that players don’t play nearly as well with a part-time job as they do with a starting spot, and you can forgive me if I see 50HR potential in him. Last year, his BA was .300 and he was willing to take some walks. With some training and development, there is absolutely 0 reason why he can’t become great.

I have alot of faith in the Sox and all its players. I believe that Hansen can become the next great closer, that Buchholz is a Cy Young winner in waiting (as is Papelbon), and I believe that WMP is the next Papi. I believe that Theo is a genius, that Lucchino is the best businessman in baseball, and that Henry is practically divine.

What can I say, I’m feeling optimistic tonight! =)

wow.

WMP HOF? You’ll never see those abbreviations together by any baseball writer, ever. There’s a reason he is yet to start full time, and has been traded twice already, and it doesn’t involve any sort of “fame”.

Don’t know much about bucholz but if he is a future cy young than hughes is a future 5 time cy young. There is also a reason why there are so many more prospects than cy young winners. Wow. Good to see Drew is off to a good start though, if that’s not an omen….

WMP Pena is more of a Dave Kingman than a David Ortiz. WMP unfortunately will never amount to anything more than a DH if he played full time, because his defense is not steady. I mean, if we didn’t already have one of the best DH’s in recent memory (Ortiz) I’d be happy to take him on, but I think its in his best interest to trade him so he can play full time. He seemed to be more comfortable in center field, but with Coco playing healthy, i don’t see him getting more than 300 at bats. Trade him for a closer. If you want to keep him, trade Coco and use Ellsbury or David Murphy as a defensive replacement in the late innings.

I gotta break it to ya Jamie..Wily Mo Pena is no Hall of Famer. I have yet to see the point in dealing for him sense the front office refuses to make room for him to play, and oh yeah, we traded a middle of the rotation guy for him. If he was hall of fame material, we would have already seen it..In my opinion, he is nothing more than a barganing chip for the sox. We already have a couple of good outfield prospects, trade the guy already..

As for Craig Hansen, I think that he a good player and will turn into a great reliever, but I don’t see it happening in Boston. He just doesn’t seem to have the mentality to play here. Ok, his slider is awesome..well its hard to say that since everytime he is called up, he somehow loses it. This has happened 3 times now. How long is it going to take Theo to understand that Craig Hansen does not have the mental mindset to be a reliever at Fenway. I hope he can prove me wrong this year,but he is going to have to before I title him as “great closer.” Its like, Renteria..amazing player but couldn’t handle Boston (I still have no clue why on earth we never kept Cabrera). Theo has made some good moves, but he is no genius yet. This year will prove whether he is what he is advertised as. Theo should just use Hansen and WMP as trading chips to get a good closer in return. I’m sure Pittsburg would go for them..

sshhhhh!!! Baseball fans sleeping!! Slow day on the blog. I’ll check in later!

sigh, if you’ve read all my arguments for pena and still disagree, i can’t really do anything else to persuade you.

Hansen has a good mentality. he’s used to pressure in collge and he doesn’t seem to be unnerved that much. he’s inconsistant, and he needs to work on having his slider with him all the time, but aside from that, i see a future star in him…

Renteria only had one season here. maybe he could’ve had a good bounceback in boston if he stayed. we’ll never know.

I just watched ESPN classic, they had the top 20 chokes of all time. I think I saw it before, but it was still great to relive it. Number 1? 2004 yankees. I am not looking to start a firestorm here because I beieve the regulars on this blog have beat this dead horse already (yankee fans tell us to move on, Red Sox Fans keep living in the past) But after this last year, and that August series, it was just nice to look at again. Whenever you’re feeling down, just put in one of those 2004 DVDs (we all own one)and all is well. My yankee friends? Try renting Rocky. Or I suppose any one of your 26 DVDs.

haha yeah I was gonna say connor, rocky? Try 96,98,99, or 2000, though the 96 one is the most fulfilling. Nothing beat the electricity in the stadium that night and with all the adversity they overcame that year….plus the comeback we put ont he braves as I have consistantly mentioned was not too shabby, esp when you consider they were defending champs.

The Sox have a lot of questions.

Dice-K or whatever we’re calling him nowadays? He’s an unknown quantity whose reputation is built on competition in a league that’s about Triple A caliber. The World Baseball Classic you say? He pitched against a bunch of out of shape major/minor leaguers and non-professionals. The only time he started more than 30 games in Japan he was 15-15. I think durability is an issue here.

Papelbon’s arm fell off after 68 innings last year. He’s never pitched more than 120 in a season. The Sox are conspicuously quiet about his shoulder which I find very unsettling. He too is an unknown quantity and durability could be a real issue here.

Hansen needs to learn to pitch. Good stuff? Maybe. But you can’t get people out if you can’t throw strikes and get ahead of hitters. Ditto for Del Carmen. Beyond those two, the bullpen is full of hasbeens. There’s nobody there that excites me.

J.D. Drew? $70 million? He’s had one decent year with Atlanta. Injury plagued and not exactly a youngster. Another durability issue.

Dustin Pedroia didn’t exactly set the world on fire during his stint last season and now he’s going to anchor second base. There is potential, but championships aren’t won with potential. He has to step it up to .260 or so.

On the bright side, Manny and Papi. Enough said.

Coco Crisp should be recovered and be much more productive.

I love Mike Lowell and Youk. They show up to play every day. Lowell, like Bill Mueller before him, is a vacuum around third and will hit in the clutch and drive in some runs. Youk is still a baby and will only get better.

Lugo isn’t Jeter, but he’s a solid ball player.

Beckett has good enough stuff to win 20 games and will be the horse this year. He passed the durability issue with flying colors last year.

Schilling and Wakefield will get you another 30 wins or so. Wake is the most reliable number 5 starter in baseball.

It’s a litle early to call WMP a hall of famer, but he did hit over .300 and showed some power. He’s a big man and runs pretty well in the outfield and has a good arm. Don’t forget, he’s still a baby too.

There are a lot of questions, and a lot of unknowns, but it should be exciting.

gsm, you underestimate what Schilling can do in his last season. He’s fiercely proud, so he’d want to go out in style (which he will!)

Matsuzaka’s talent is comparable to that of established American players. Japan won the WBS. Matsuzaka was its ace. Nuff said… (and as for pressure, he pitched in front of half of Japan. I don’t think Fenway’s going to affect him that much…)

Papelbon’s arm fell apart because Francona was an idiot. Sending a rookie to pitch 3 innings on night and then asking him to pitch 2 more after 1 lousy day of rest isn’t exactly the way to protect Papelbon…

Hansen threw plenty of good pitches in the minors. That’s why his stats are so amazing in AAA and AA… not to mention college. He had a bad halfseason. I still see tremendous potential in him.

JD Drew hasn’t been signed yet. I would personally like to see WMP be given more playing time. Still, Drew is a 20-30HR guy with a .400+ OBP. That’s good enough for me!

I can’t wait for the 07 team to make its debut… I especially can’t wait to see guys like Matsuzaka, Lugo, Pedroia… I’m getting all worked up just thinking about it! Oh, and watching Papelbon start should be pretty cool too… GO SOX!

Has anyone heard any about rumors a possible trade for Atlantas Andruw Jones. Personally in my mind I consider this crazy idea, who knows what the Braves club would be asking for. . . . .

Since Giles is leaving Pedroia could fill that void, maybe Hansen(never can have to much pitching, a true lesson of baseball that the Sox learned the hard way this past reason)

Another subject that as been slowly eating away at me is the official signing of J.D. Drew. he flunked his physical, flunked it! Drew would and still could add a significant boost to the Red Sox offense.

If Drew would be willing to accept something like 10m guarenteed and 4 more in incentives, I’d be totally down with that. However, if a player flunks a physical and still get 14m in guarenteed $$, then I offcially live in a world gone mad…

I saw an interesting link on the front page of ESPN’s baseball site suggesting that Mark Loretta is an option for the Yankees first base job. I can’t see how they could possibly want an aging, undersized, .285 hitter with no power playing out of position at first base… but we’ll see.

On the Drew issue, I agree it’s a little nerve racking given his repaired shoulder. A contract adjustment and move to first base maybe? Coco resumes center field and Nixon comes home to right?

no if anything, wmp gets regular playing time. His upside is so much greater than Nixon, and he’s actually more dependable in my opinion…

i wouldn’t mind having drew on the team, but if he’s injured in don’t want my sox to be liable for a 14m/year salary!

I’m satisfied with allowing guys like Pena, Murphy and Ellsbury patrol the Fenway outfield. Manny isn’t going anywhere, and I like Coco’s potential. If Drew comes, it’ll block the path of alot of our good prospects… Murphy’s solid enough, and Ellsbury is our best. Pena has 40HR potential too (actually, if you remember what i’ve said 5 times already, he sorta DID hit more than 40 homeruns in what amounts to a whole season – 700 plate appearences).

If Drew’s got a bad shoulder, I’ll tear Theo apart in effigy, not even kidding. I’ll dream up the craziest tirade I’m capable of is waste 14m a year and then claim we’re unable to get Andruw Jones, Torii Hunter, etc…

is waste = if we waste

(wow bad typo right there lol)

Nixon continues to be on the sox’s radar because of his great OBP. WMP has power and potential, but its either homer or K with him which is not good when you are hitting behind manny and ortiz. Plus, jamie basically pointed out that WMP has yet to play a full season. Nixon might be injury proned but he has always fit into the sox’s philosophy of offense.

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