In the spirit of the holidays …

It’s that time of year. Time for some nice, light, easy reading.

So here it is. If there was a Red Sox Santa Claus, here would be some of the items on his shopping list:

For Terry Francona: A somewhat accomplished closer. Otherwise, he’ll have to double his Tums supply.

For Curt Schilling: A healthy and successful finish to a terrific career, capped off by a few more October moments from one of the great clutch pitchers of this generation.

For Jon Lester: A permanent good-bye to cancer.

For Jason Varitek: A healthy body that can return him to the fine player he was before last season.

For David Ortiz: An MVP. If you could pick one hitter in baseball who has been THE MVP of the last four years, it’s been Ortiz. One of these years, he should get the actual trophy to show for being the game’s best clutch hitter.

For Manny Ramirez: The knowledge that he will never play in a city where fans love him more, and the ability to actually enjoy it, instead of needlessly being unhappy.

For Josh Beckett: Refined command of his offspeed stuff, which would make him one of the league’s dominant pitchers.

For Coco Crisp: The stroke that all of us saw last year at Spring Training, when he looked primed for a breakout year.

For Jonathan Papelbon: The same success as a starter that he had as a closer.

For Daisuke Matsuzaka: Immediate trust in Varitek’s fingers. That will ease his transition to MLB as much as anything.

For Mike Lowell: A few more feet on some of those doubles from last year. Then you’re talking about more home runs and more RBIs.

For Julio Lugo: A stay-in-Boston card. Shortstop has been far too fluid for the Red Sox in recent years.

For Dustin Pedroia: David Eckstein-karma. Then, the Red Sox would truly have a player on their hands.

For J.D. Drew: A chance from the fans. Don’t write a guy off before he even sets foot into Fenway.

Any other suggestions welcome!



For Wily Mo Pena: Better outfield defense and patience at the plate

The Yankees trading melky cabrera.

And I swear to god if it happens, Ian, I’m coming for you!

jk, of course.

skibum –
I’m wishing for the same thing!!

However, I’m also wishing that Loretta comes to Spring Training and shows everyone how much Pedroia has to learn. I’m hoping Loretta shows everyone just how much Pedroia has to learn at 2nd, let alone at the plate.

Loretta should start, not Pedroia…he’s nowhere near ready.

Ian, is Manny truely unhappy? Is this more of a family issue? I truely dont understand, I mean where ever he might go will be adoring fans…please explain this to me. He wont be able to hide in any city, and why should he? He is one of the greatest right handed hitters in this generation. Finish your career here Manny, set some records from an old established team and bring us another ring or two or three.

For the Red Sox fans around the world: Peace, Happiness, the 2007 world series trophy and ticket prices that are low enough that people no longer need to take out a 3rd mortgage just to see our beloved sox play

A “Get Into Cooperstown” Card for Jim Ed Rice.

A good new deal for Trot, wherever he winds up (hopefully somewhere other than the AL East).

And, of course, everything you listed for the players/manager, those are for Theo as well. Then all the naysayers will stop considering the moves in ’04 to be a fluke.

Yes, #14 Jim Rice to Cooperstown.

Another World Series victory.

A great season for new first base coach Luis Alicea.

Four 20-game winners, like the 1971 Orioles. Hey, it could happen.

And a championship for the Lowell Spinners!

To Tim Wakefield: A huge season. 16-18 wins. An ERA under 3.50. 150 strikeouts. Nobody deserves that more.

oh looks like you guys got what you wanted. judy drew and his arthritic shoulder for 14 mil per. he wasnt even worth the 11 he was getting from the dodgers. ill buy you a drink next time i see you for that one theo. you guys better hope they shorten that contract or something. jd drew and passionate baseball fans dont mix. sorry you guys have to deal with that lying bum and his phoney baloney agent boras.

For the entire Brownie Points blog: One whole day without a single snide comment from a Yankee fan. 😉

Well done Ian.

Well done to those of you who mentioned Jim Rice in the Hall of Fame.

Here are a few more wishes:

For strength of wishing, here’s to Jon Lester’s getting well.

For Curt Schilling’s wishes for a cure for ALS to come true.

For a Red Sox team that will bring fire and passion for the game to Fenway every day, and have as much fun playing as we have watching.

For Pedro’s complete recovery.

…….and not baseball related:

For the safety of my brothers and sisters in arms serving our country all over the world.

Here, here Ian………..Happy holidays to all, and another Red Sox World Series……
For those hoping for Loretta to return, I would like to see that too but, I hear the Yankees are entertaining the thought of getting him and moving him to first base. Just another example of the Evil Empire grabbing our castoffs. Funny how all those guys automatically go from bums or mediocre players to great ball players in the eyes of yankee fans once they put on the pinstripes…… Hoping a safe and properous New Year for ALL baseball fans.

Very nice, Ian.

Merry Christmas to all in the Nation! And Happy Holidays to those who celebrate other holidays!

manny hasn’t actually expressed that much desire to be traded this season. maybe he kept it private, but i really think he’s starting to like this city. Boston’s demanding, but seriously, would anyone here boo manny??

Theo has done a tremendous job this offseason… it’s the first team since 2004 that i’ve been so optimistic about. And we all know what happened in 2004…

for Ian, never having to delete nasty and/or rude messages ever again.
For me, another year with Trot, wearing a RedSox uniform in Fenway!!!!

lol ellen, u mean for all of us never having to read any obscene comments =)

and i wouldn’t be totally opposed to seeing Trot again. If he’s healthy, he might have a nice season… the question is how little he’s willing to sign for. Incentives are no problem, but I doubt Theo would guarentee him too much $.

Happy Holidays everyone. Great article Ian, really, I finally can breathe without being chocked by the Hot Stove season rumors. The article lets you show an optomistic side, instead of the “when is this deal going to get done” mode.

Ditto on Loretta, Pedoria is young and inexperienced, and needs to prove himself more in Spring Training. I’m not disagreeing that he doesn’t emit an aura of greatness, he just isn’t ready to compete on the level of Loretta.

I’ve heard that one of Epstien’s major goals is to improve the minor league system. My deal with this is how can you expect resullts when the AAA pawtucket finished second worst in their divison, that just is’nt progress to me.

Remember David Pauley? The forgotten prospect pitcher who battled Murders row halfway through the 06 season, held them off at 2 runs on 8 hits over 6.2 innings! The Sox lost that game, not because Pauley left a bases-loaded situtation, the bullpen failed plain and simple. The sox could have used him in the ritation or the ‘pen, instead of sending him back to the minors, it wasn’t his fault, I have respect for him. The next guy to start was Jon Lester=)

Ok, here goes:
For J. D. Drew: a tenth, just a tenth of Jason Varitek’s fire, and work ethic.

For Wily Mo: A glove, so that bat can stay in the line-up.

For Manny: 155 games played in 2007.

For Julio Lugo: ear plugs.

For David Ortiz: An 8th straight year of more homers than the year before.

For Julian Taveras: A hypnotist so he thinks he’s starting the game, even if he comes in in the 6th inning.

For Josh Beckett: Some inside fastballs to make the batter a little less comfortable up there.

Happy Holidays everyone.

For Kevin Youkilis: A season without Greek God of Walks references.

For Jonathon Papelbon: Some at the end of the pen that allows him to make the transition to the rotation.

For Fenway Park: Baseball in October

For me: I’ll settle for a pair of the custom rbk’s that Papelbon is pitching (I decked some out – see the Red Sox Times)…


rsjones, i highly doubt we’ll ever see pauley again. his stuff depends way too much on his ability to get groundballs, and he wasn’t really able to accomplish much in the majors. i’m not saying that groundballers are bad, but pauley just can’t do it consistently enough…

rrossi, josh beckett doesn’t need a better fastball, he needs better secondary pitches. His curveball is his second best pitch, but he doesn’t throw it frequently enough (possibly out of fear for blisters). He needs to make better choices on the mound, and if he can throw his 98mph bastball (or 95, the velocity doesn’t matter so much; location is more important), knee-buckling curveball and a deceptive changeup, he can be absolutely dominant…

and i doubt julio lugo will be badmouthed next year. but if he’s batting .250 by may, he might have to buy some extra think earplugs lol

Youkilis needs to develop some power. His OBP is already extremely high, but I see 20-25HR potential in him. In 2005, he had .322/.459/.592 at Pawtucket. Even if his slugging goes down by an entire .100, it’d still be around .500, which is actually good for a first baseman. He already has gap power, so doubles can contribute towards his slugging %. Still, he might wanna swing a bit more often, sometimes on the first pitch. If a pitcher KNOWS that you passively take first pitches, they’ll try to sneak a dead fastball past you. I think Youk needs to be a little more aggresive, but without losing his plate discipline. Sounds a bit hypocritical, but it’s what great hitters like Manny and Papi do.

Also, if Lester is indeed supposed to be better than Papelbon, I really really hope he has a good spring… his stuff was blazingly good when it was on!

RSJones, Theo has already accomplished his goal of strengthening the Sox farm system. The Sox have very knowledgeable player development people, and they have done well in the last two drafts, especially the 2006 draft. True, Pawtucket did not have an impressive record. What you are forgetting is that many of the Sox top prospects are at the lower levels of the minors, and the prospects who would have helped Pawtucket last season (such as Craig Hansen and Manny Delcarmen) were in Boston. You are also forgetting that Portland (Double-A) won the Eastern League title. You will see a very successful team in Pawtucket and Portland in 2007 since the top prospects in the lower minors will be promoted. Pawtucket’s opening day outfield could feature Jacoby Ellsbury, Brandon Moss and David Murphy – all three top solid prospects. George Kottaras, the Sox catcher of the future, will be behind the plate. Chad Spann, the potential third baseman of the future, will play third. I encourage you to visit, study the players and discover the depth of the minor league system. As long as Theo and the current player development people are at the helm, I’m sure the minor league system will only get stronger each year.


Ellen, I truly hope that Coco and Wily Mo remain with the Sox, especially since Drew’s health is a concern. However, if one of the other is traded for a closer, I wouldn’t mind seeing Nixon return.

I know I’m in the minority, but even though I like Mark Loretta and respect him as a player, I think it’s time to give Pedroia a chance – the chance the Sox didn’t give to Eckstein and Freddy Sanchez. I want to see more stability with the Sox, and how we will accomplish that is by signing and acquiring young veterans and keeping them for the long term, and by developing our own minor leaguers. I think that Lugo and Pedroia can be a solid middle infield tandem for the next few years at least. Give them a chance.


I would like to see Mark Loretta back as insurance and back-up for Pedroia. He is such a professional and could only enhance our line-up. Please don’t let him go the the Yankees – Yuck

well jeff if you’re in the minority, i’m in it also. Pedroia has long been ranked as an elite prospect in the sox organization and he has nothing left to prove in the minors. he looked fine during his september callup and figures to transition well into MLB. Loretta is a .280, aging, power-deprived 2B. He’s good insurance, but Pedroia’s potential is too great to ignore.

Mark Loretta is a whole lot more than insurance or a nice back up to have around. He might be among the most underrated players in all of baseball. He’s so old that he led the Red Sox in games played last year. He had the second best batting average among all second basemen in the major leagues and in 138 games at second base, he made only four errors. Yep, he was the third best fielding second basemen in the major leagues. This guy is a ball player who showes up ready to play every day. He doesn’t have a lot of power, but he was third on the Sox behind Mike Lowell and Youk in doubles. He led the team in at bats and hits. He’s a lifetime .300 hitter and he’s healthy and in good shape. He’s much more than just a serviceable player. He’s an All Star second basement who will do credit to whatever team he plays with. If we’re lucky, it will be the Red Sox.

lol you’re not getting loretta to back anybody up because the guy can start on most major league teams. He is most definitely not going to backup some high prospect until his game escapes him, which didn’t happen last year and will not happen this year, we’re not talking about mark bellhorn here.

Secondly, pedroia was fine in his September call up? You can call me a Yankee fan, Redsox hater, whatever you want but on any team, in any league, a .192 average .303 Slugging and .258 OBP is not exactly “fine”, that is terrible. He even threw in (no Pun intended) 4 errors for good measure. 2 Hrs, 7 RBI in 89 at bats, about the only redeeming thing about this guy was he only struck out 7 times. He couldn’t even steal a base in his only attempt.

I’m not saying the guy is going to be a flop, heck with my luck he may bat .343 in his rookie year and show up a better second baseman, but if this were an audition on no accounts would I have given him the part.

gsm: I too would like to see Loretta back with us in 07!! I had read the stats that you gave us regarding him and remember thinking that if I hadn’t read them I probrably wouldn’t have ever thought that he could have those kinds of #’s. nothing wrong with keeping him around another year.

Vince, I finally agree with you. Anyone who thinks Pedroia was “fine” or even “okay” in September needs to have their head examined! I say let him start in Pawtucket, and we’ll go from there. I’d rather have Loretta starting and Cora as backup, than any arrangement with Pedroia.

The way I saw it, Pedroia hit every ball on the nose his first week up, and had nothing to show for it. Then he started pressing. Give the guy a chance. What good is having such a great farm system if no one is ever promoted from within?

As for my Christmas wish for Beckett. No argument that he has a great fastball. My point is he doesn’t throw it up and in enough. The batter gets too comfortable and starts cheating with the outside corner. A Clemens-like mean streak wouldn’t hurt him.

Yeah, I want all our pitchers to pitch inside, especially when they are facing the yanks. I say give Pedroia a chance..we give away players like him every year, they seem to do well so why wouldnt or couldnt the same be said for Pedroia. Who knows, we are still a closer and a couple months away from spring training.

Just read an article on the Astros site talking about Pettitte and his elbow problems and his injections he was taking just to make it thru last season. Stating thats why the Yankees let him go in the first place, and why he wasn’t resigned in Houston. I particularly like the ending of his statement comparing his longjevity to the Ryan express, claiming his should be longer because of playing 5 seasons in New York. “thats dog years”

I’m not worried at all about the Pettitte signing. We have all learned the hard way what 4.20 ERAs in the National League translate to… especially in the joke division he was in. Remove his 4 starts and 2.33 ERA against the Cubs and the numbers get even uglier. 3 of the 4 worst hitting teams in all of baseball were in his division – Cubs, Brewers, and Pirates. Welcome back to reality Andy.

megan, i don’t think i need to have my head examined lol. pedroia hit the ball pretty well, and he had a good streak at one time. i say he looked fine because he wasn’t overwhelmed by MLB. 89 plate appearences don’t say much. You have to actually see the player to figure out how he did, and in my opinion, pedroia looked fine. He just needs more experience, that’s all.

Beckett’s fastball is NOT the problem. Plenty of pitchers can excell without pitching inside all that much. Clemens stopped doing it (since in the national league, pitchers have to bat too…) and still posted godlike ERAs.


When a guy throws a live, accurate 97mph fastball and gets hammered, it’s probably because he’s predictable. A fastball inside won’t really do that much… he needs to throw his offspeed stuff more often, that’s all. If he can really diversify and keep hitters off balance, he can win alot more than 15 games and post a heck of a lower ERA than 5.00.

lol D rein don’t u think u’ve thrown inside to yankee hitters enough? You hit like two players a game and I think last the stat shows since 96, redsox pitchers have hit yankee batters something absurd like twice as often as vise versa…..I think we need to come inside on your hitters lol.

I’ve been down the pettitte avenue before, not getting into it on another blog.

hey guys what’s the news on Josh Papelbon? The guy pitched extremely well and no one’s even talking about him… I see great potential in him and he hasn’t disproved me yet.

I dunno why i’m bringing this up. I just remembered that we had him and got puzzled why people never mention him…

The only reason people mention Josh Papelbon is because of his older brother; however Josh is a submariner style pitcher (think Chad Bradford) so its unreasonable to think he will succeed in a totally different style just because of his relationship.

He did have a fairly good line at class A Lowell Spinners considering he was picked in the 48th round (0-2 record (with 13 Saves); 1.86 ERA; 29 IP (in 25 games) with 22 hits, 6 walks and 36 K), but he isn’t clearly the best on the 2006 Spinners (compare with Justin Masterson 3-1 record with 0.85 ERA in 31.2 IP (in 14 games) with 20 hits and 2 walks or Kris Johnson – 1-0 record, 0.88 ERA with 30.2 IP (in 14 games) with 25 hits and 7 walks and 27 Ks), so while he could be promoted up to AA or AAA he is very far from ML ready and then still is only an arm from the bullpen (not a closer). There are much better prospects ahead of him.

Don’t look for Loretta at spring training, he’s more likely to be a yankee than a red sox next year (though he’ll probably end up a padre). [The Hot Stove report lists the yankees in talks with him over a possilbe 1B job, though its not likely to happen.]

The front office didn’t offer arbitration meaning the Sox won’t risk him accepting it (where an arbitrator would decide a fair price) for the benefit of being able to get a draft pick if he denied it and signed elsewhere. The cost for him as our second baseman is way too high (remember he technically was an all-star last year and did have a very hot may/june period) when there is a top-notch prospect (Pedroia) and top-notch backup (Cora) for the position. For the AAA PawSox DP batted .305/.384/.426 (OPS: .810) in 423 ABs in 111 games. Sure DP didn’t hit well in his septermber call up (.191/.258/.303 with 2 HRs) in 89 ABs for a team that was no longer in a penant race, but neither did Loretta at that same time frame (Loretta in Sept/Oct batted .204/.279/.245 with 98 ABs) and in the entire season only had 5 HRs.

The Sox can’t spend big at every position (we arent the MFY). By landing Dice-K, Lugo, Drew, and keeping Manny , and still needing to get a top notch quality reliever for closer, we need to look for lower cost hole somewhere. Pedroia is a perfect opportunity to give some homegrown talent a decent chance to shine at league minimum cost. Pedroia will only be 23 next year, but has risen through the minors performing well at every level and consistently improving (with the exception of his slump in his short ML callup). Expect him to do a respectable job next year.

I was being sarcastic about hitting more yankees, Mr. stats.

I got the feeling from people within the organization that the decision on loretta had virtually been made as soon as the season ended. for whatever reason, they’ve decided to go with pedroia and that loretta isn’t in their plans. however, with loretta’s market dropping beyond recognition, you wonder if they could alter their thinking and bring him back for say, $2.5 million. i’d do it in a heartbeat.

I can understand why the Sox aren’t all that interested in Loretta, but my question would be why hasn’t another team already picked him up? Are All-Star infielders at that price that common?

Loretta is gone, Pedroia is our 2nd baseman of the future, the kid just needs some seasoning..Let’s not make the same mistake we’ve made before regarding up and coming prospects either being traded or getting too old in the minors.
The sox better start thinking of bringing back Dirt Dog Nixon……….it’s December and Drew is injured already……

Yes Lorreta would be a welcome addition, steadying influence on the infield and us fans. The real question is and remains “who’s going to close”. I think that after we have dealt with that via trade then the rest will fall into place. I also think that if the Rocket decides to pitch one more season, he should start from the beginning instead of mid way. Might as well see if he can pass some of those above him in wins. With a good season and some badly needed run support he could overtake 2-3 spots.

I agree. Give Pedroia a chance, just as we should give Jacoby Ellsbury a chance next season. It’s time to start filling holes with our own prospects, when those prospects are highly touted (like Pedroia and Ellsbury). I’m tired of seeing our prospects becoming stars elsewhere. Keep Craig Hansen and guys in the lower level minors like Michael Bowden and Clay Buchholz as well.


The whole point of having a farm system isn’t to just hand ur prospects over to other organizations… a farm system is, in my opinion, the single most vital component of any baseball team.

A team with good farm (like the yankees in the 90s) win championships.

A team with bad farm (too many to name) end up being losers.

The redsox have a top-10 (or maybe even top5 now) farm system, but it means absolutely NOTHING UNLESS WE KEEP OUR PROSPECTS.

Look at what happens when you trade away good talent like Ramirez and Sanchez (the 2B and pitcher)… they end up becoming all star caliber stars.

Ellsbury can end up being the next Damon, Pedroia the next Eckstein (or even better, in my opinion). Hansen can be the next Lidge. Nothing is for certain, of course, but we shouldn’t risk losing out on so much talent!


one more wish – may the jimmy fund go out of business because no child is ever sick again

Merry Christmas Ian, Thank you for all your hard work on the blog. It’s been a Christmas present to me since I got the nerve to join in. I hope that you, your wife and sons have a most memorable Holiday Season!! Many Good wishes to you and yours.

Merry Christmas, Ellen.

Merry Christmas to everyone…Keep up the good work, Ellen and Ian.

hey the yanks are shopping johnson… i doubt arizona (or ANY team) would be willing to take on his arbatross of a salary, never mind actually giving up players for him!!

johnson at this stage of his career is, at best, a 4th starter… even in this bloated market he’s not worth what he’s getting paid!

Jamie keep in mind, johnson in a pitchers park in arizona in the nl west, is a lot more valuable than the al east on the yankees….He is not as useless as you might initially think as far as trade bait is concerned. He also has a much, much better shot at the 20 wins he needs for 300 in the NL and he never sold his Phoenix home and rumors have it he is unhappy in NY, a virtual guarantee to waive his no trade clause.

That said, I would love to get rid of him and as long as the d bags took most (75% or more) of his salary and gave us at least ONE high prospect, I think it’s a great deal, and not unrealistic either. My desire would be with their 4th highest prospect, the catcher Montero…Also keep in mind they have one of, if not the deepest farm systems in baseball, nobody likes to let a high prospect go but if any team would do it, they would be one of them.

vince, johnson isn’t clemens, so i doubt he’ll be valuable enough for a team to pay around 15m of his salary, not to mention giving up their 4th best prospect… it’s like the Sox giving up Daniel Bard or something… highly unrealistic in my opinion for a pitcher in the twilight of his career (couldn’t resist, since i mentioned clemens haha)

They got 34 wins from the unit in 2 yrs, probably what they expectd. Didn’t light things up in the post season as they hoped for. Besides that one world series with the d-backs he hasnt done much as far as post season heroics go. would be good for the yanks to dump him and get what they can. I agree that shouldn’t be too much, as a matter of fact just dumping his salary should be good enough.

The diamondbacks are not going to give up any top prospects for Johnson especially Catcher Miguel Montero(one that some have mentioned)in trade talks. They got rid of Johnny Estrada to make rook for Miguel Montero so they are not going to give him up

Well I went to check out the D backs blog to see the insight of their own beat writer, and I noticed you already beat me to it, and you even included yourself in the d backs moves by using the word “we”, so kudos.

Anyway, if you noticed the move was made more for the two pitchers they aquired and a falling out the organization had with estrada in the first place. And being a Diamondbacks fan, you should notice they have three guys on the active roster, I don’t think they traded the proclaimed “best offensive hitting catcher the organization ever had” for the pure joy of giving a new young catcher of the future a shot.

Either way, the yankees are in negotiations with the giants, padres and d backs over johnson, so it is not like the d backs have all of the leverage in negotiation. If they don’t seek the catcher, which no report has actually said and I’m going based on what I would prefer, they could go for an OF to make melky expendable and then get a solid pitcher, use it as a salary dump to go hard for zito or to a more realistic FA in Clemens, or use the deal for more money cleared and for more pitching prospects, it will be interesting if the deal goes down with anybody and what they can get for Johnson. All i’m saying is though I view him as useless and washed up, in the NL West, which is the only place other than NY he would end up, he is not nearly as useless to the staff.

if there was one player I would trade for Randy Johnson it would be Conor Jackson I don’t like him.

i just read on that the yanks aren’t “rushing” to deal johnson and that they’re waiting for the “right offer”…

exactly what are they expecting for a 5ERA 43yr old pitcher in steep decline? a salary dump would all that i’d look for if i were cashman…

You act like the guy went 3-15 last year. His era was five with 17 wins. In the nl he can easily win 15 games with an era in the low to mid 4’s (the reverse of what to expect when an NL pitcher comes to the AL), if you want to factor in surgery which could or could not help him, I would expect something like minimum 15 wins and a 4.50 era for one season…that is worthy of at least a mid level prospect.

Especially given this particular offseason when guys like meche, who have never had a good season have commanded what they have been given…you’re underestimating how desperate baseball is for pitchers this year, regardless of how far into decline they are.

I really doubt that the Yanks will trade Johnson, especially with Zito now off the market. They saw how fast 7 starters shrunk down to 3 with the Redsox last year.

Im guessing that if the big unit was with another club not so rich in money and bats that his win total wouldnt have touched 17. Ill have to ask mr stats what his run support was. If the yanks figure to get another 15-17 wins from him then they might as well keep him. They paid more for pettitte and ill bet he doesnt hit that total.

7.51 runs per game, absurd for any team and the most in baseball.

Pettitte will reach 15 assuming he stays healthy, I guarantee it.

Johnson could be a two starter in the NL west and the d bags are dumb enough (reportedly) to believe his 34 wins were impressive and not a product of high run support….the yankees just have to sell them on the surgery making him healthier not weaker….the very same thing the mariners were mistakeneed with when they figured he was injury proned and damaged good and gave him to houston….4 cy youngs and a ring later, te d bags ended up lucking out once on johnson after surgery, no reason to believe they wouldn’t do it again if the yankees kicked money their way. I can see the yankees getting two high prospects (this was written in a few articles) and a reliever in addition to dumping 10 of the 16 million, though right now the yankees say they don’t want to pay anything and the d backs disagree on one of the players in the deal.

Do you guys have any closer on the radar yet? ESPN ranked it the 2nd biggest need left in the offseason in all of baseball.

also the diamondbacks GM Josh Brynes says he only has $10 million more to spend but,they
need a couple starters.

Vince, Johnson had alot of wins because of his ridiculous run support. Arizona has a pretty awful offense, and when Roger Clemens who has HALF OF JOHNSON’S ERA has a .500 record, you can only assume that Johnson will have something of a 10-15 record, even IF his ERA goes down to 4.5 (which in itself is quite debatable).

He isn’t worth any prospect because of his enormous salary. Of course, if the Yanks paid for his entire paycheck they’ll probably get a nice prospect, but if they ask the other team to take johnson’s salary, i doubt anyone will take him anyway.

We don’t really need an ace closer… we already have a couple of potential closers in the minors (Hansen and it seems stupid to trade for a mediocre closer like Mike Gonzalez (1.30WHIP or something last year).

Let’s just use Timlin or Donnoley for next year… I’m pretty sure that the situation will work itself out. Things usually just happen that way.

and Josh Byrnes was Theo’s right-hand man. He knows that you don’t have to overpay for a bloated pitcher to win games… he’s all about the farm and thus i highly, highly doubt that Arizona will end up with Johnson.

With the Padres, Johnson might have a chance at a comeback season (since their ballpark is like twice the size of a normal stadium haha)

arizona agreed to the 34 year old vizcaino and two additional pitchers (one a reliever already on the team and one a high prospect) and 10 of the 16 million dollar payroll, the yankees refused, so to say it is wishful thinking for the yankees to get A prospect in the deal, is a little undervaluing johnson….as odd as that sounds. And I said johnson’s winning was bloated from run support, which lead the AL.

I personally think a few things about johnson in the NL next season (if it happens).

1. he will not be ready opening day.

2. he will be healthier than before the surgery.

3. his era will go below 5 and to the 4.50 level I originally said.

whatever that translates to in wins is dependent on the teams, like it always is. But if you’re gonna say the d bags have a bad offense, then consider every pitcher on that team’s wins get cut, so johnson is still just as valuable on the same scale as a 4.50 era in the NL. Arizona’s offense is better than houstons….anybodies is and clemens notoriously had low run support, even lower than his fellow teammates. Much like wakefield compared to the other sox pitchers, you can’t argue johnson’s wins go down because his run support is higher than his teammates, and then turn around and compare him to clemens who is the complete other side of the equation.

Either way, this is useless banter, there is a market for johnson, as sad as it is, the yankees could get SOMETHING for him in addition to a salary dump, they just have to decide that whatever it is is enough for them to give away johnson….I think regardless of what it is, it is worth it, cashman seems to disagree.

Yikes, while the yankees and D backs are zeroing in on a trade that would send two diamondback top level pitching prospects to the yankees for johnson, who the d backs believe would raise attendence as he chases his 300 wins and thus help save their franchise, it also appears the yankees are going in pursuit of mark loretta to be their utility infielder because loretta has failed to find a starting second baseman job….you guys better hope pedroia works out for you.

Jamie No I can not see Timlin Close next year.He tried it last year and was not good.

actually, Timlin was injured last season. By the time Papelbon got injured, Timlin was already ineffective. the WBC really messed him up, and as a result he was not able to perform to the best of his abilities…

A closer is a reliever that comes into the game in the 9th inning when you have a lead. that’s the actual definition. therefore, a closer IS STILL A RELIEVER – just the BEST reliever you have. Timlin will probably be the best reliever we have next year, so it’d make sense to use him.

For the 100th time, I’m gonna say that Hansen WILL be the closer next year. It makes sense and explains why Theo didn’t go all out for Gagne… Ok maybe he needs April in AAA to boost up his confidence, but after that he’ll close for the big league team.

For me, the closer issue no longer causes anxiety. Things work themselves out.

i mean, let’s face it… no matter how well you plan things out, nothing ever goes the way you predict it to go…

look at last year: Seanez posted a 2ERA and Taverez a 3ERA. By May, they’d become the “EZ brothers”… and everyone thought Foulke would be the closer, but Papelbon stepped into that role (which makes me think that Hansen can do the same next year).

(the 2ERA and 3ERA comments were their stats from 2005)

I think both teams learned an important NL to AL ERA rule last year.

Welllllllll, what does everybody think of Rice’s chances this season? It’s worth asking, the giant icon on the sox homepage (which I still feel awkward going to) made me bring it up.

Jamie,If they are going to go with bullpen we have now and pick a closer out of that group then yeah Timlin seems to be the best option.

It’s hard to believe that any baseball fan or observer who watched the game on a regular basis from 1975-86 would look at Jim Rice as anything other than a Hall of Famer. I’m sure if you polled every opposing pitcher form that era, well more than 75 percent would have him in the hall of fame.

No kidding Ian, I started being a sox fan in the early 70’s, it was awesome to have gotten the privilage to watch players like Yaz, Lynn, Dewey, Fisk, and Rice whom was my favorite. To see him lead the league or finish in top 10 in most catagories for like 10-12 years and not make it is absurd. Yeah he didn’t have the longevity, but niether did one Bobby Orr. Atleast hockey recognized his greatness as they should. Im not saying Rice was to baseball as Orr was to hockey, but he did dominate his sport like Orr did for about the same amount of time. I think the people whom pick this stuff are stupid in the fact they have these numbers people are supposed to reach in order to make it. In some cases that might be true, but to completely dominate for 10 years or more and not be recognized is dumb thinking.

As far as the unit goes, yeah his run support in zona will make it so that he has to pitch until he’s 50 to reach 300…lol, and im thinking no way to 15-17 wins for pettitte….unless he stays healthy and gets johnson’s run support.

2004 injury aside, pettitte has had exactly one half of a bad season in his career. The first half of 2006, and then he had a 2.80 era in the second half…2005 his total era was 2.39…2003 he won 21 games with an era of 4 i believe (which means you may be absolutely correct. He may get excellent run support AND stay healthy)

If I’m a Yankee fan, I love the Pettitte signing. The Yankees haven’t been to the World Series in the three years since Pettitte left. Enuf said. I love Andy Pettitte. He has huge heart. If the Yankees had him in ’04, I think he would have stymied Boston’s comeback from 0-3, or at least given it a better fight than Kevin Brown.

yea, if Zito gets 18mil per year, Pettitte is definitely worth the 16m… seriously, with the ridiculous run support that the Yanks will give him, he’s 20-win material. maybe even a sup-4 ERA in AL East, a very very solid feat.

OK since it’s like 2:30 at night and I can’t fall asleep, i’m going to predict the 2007 redsox team.

SS – Julio Lugo (.285/.350/.460, 15HR, 30SB).

1B – Kevin Youkilis (.290/.380/.490, 20HR)

DH – David Ortiz (.290/.420/.630, 50HR)

LF – Manny Ramirez (.320/.410/.580, 40HR)

RF – J.D. Drew (.300/.410/.540, 25HR)

CF – Wily Mo Pena (.275/.330/.510, 30HR)

3B – Mike Lowell (.270/.330/.460, 18HR)

C – Jason Varitek (.270/.350/.440, 15HR)

2B – Dustin Pedroia (.300/.350/.480, 20HR)

Ok I admit that Pedroia and Pena were given favorable predictions, but they seriously both have amazing potential. Pedroia was a beast in the minors (aside from an injury-plaged stint in AAA 2005) and Pena had 43HR in 700PA between 2004-2005 (Which is a full season of plate appearences)

SP – Curt Schilling (16-8, 3.90ERA, 210IP, 170K, 1.10WHIP)

SP – Josh Beckett (17-7, 3.70ERA, 220IP, 190K, 1.15WHIP)

SP – Jonathan Papelbon (16-9, 4.10ERA, 200IP, 150K, 1.20WHIP)

SP – Daisuke Matsuzaka (15-9, 3.80ERA, 220IP, 190K, 1.20WHIP)

SP – Tim Wakefield (14-12, 4.80ERA, 210IP, 120K, 1.30WHIP)

RP – Mike Timlin (5-2, 3.30ERA, 65IP, 50K, 1.20WHIP)

RP – Brandan Donnoley (3-3, 3.50ERA, 70IP, 60K, 1.15WHIP)

RP – Craig Hansen (2-3, 2.80ERA, 80IP, 85K, 1.00WHIP, 38SV)

Yup, Hansen will break out. His stuff is just too amazing… I saw videos of him pitching in the minors, and his slider is devestating. His fastball is like 97, 98 and has great movement.

So overall, I think I was fair, especially conservative about the starting pitching. I may have overestimated some Sox prospects, but you can’t really blame me for the optimism… their potentials are limitless!

…I can’t fall asleep. does anyone have tips for me besides chugging alcohol?

probably too late now jamie, but i took drama at one point in my life, you supposed to extend every muscle in the body from your toes to your eye lids as far open and as far shut as they all can be everything is to reach the clouds, or shut tighter then redsox era totals this year. hold all for 10 secs, and relaese. by the time you do it all, your done.

like the projections, albeit the starters will hit 20 wins…aleast1-2 of them. with those no. we will win min. 100 games. and yes pettitte was an okay signing, anybodies better then k brown at this point. it was the rocket not andy whom made them make that run. i still see the sox knocking his lights out, and his era totals were nl biased. i see limited starts an above 5 era, and elbow strain in his future.

Jamie, I like most of your predictions, very realistic and fair. Although, as you admitted, Pedroia’s numbers are a little on the hopeful side, but he does have potential. But what about Coco? He is still part of the team, right? Barring any trade, he’ll be the starting center fielder. But the numbers you gave for Wily Mo, if he were to play the entire season, aren’t that exaggerated, and I really hope to see him hit that and surpass it someday.

Pitching. Someone has to hit 20 wins, but I’m just not sure who. Thank you for reflecting Pap’s predicted ERA with his age and transition from the bullpen. It could goe ven highter. I don’t know how many people have said he’ll be lights out as a starter. He’ll be good, but not lights out, not yet. Also, I hope Hansen can get focused and regain his stuff. He has, as you pointed out, a wicked slider and some serious heat, but his experience in the majors might have been too much for him to handle at that point in his career. I look for him to regain his form, but still struggle coming out of the gates in the early part of the season.

Are we still discussing the Pettitte signing? It was a superb signing by the Yankees and they should be applauded. He will…not dominate per say, but really challenge AL hitters once again. Run support is a moot point; he can bathe in it if he wants.

Coco has 20 HR potential with great speed, but Pena has 40HR potential… I see Coco being traded, but I have no idea for whom. I just think that Pena is ready for full playing time, and I think he’ll excel with it.

As for the 20 wins, it is very likely that one of our starters will hit it. However, I’d be very content with 2 16-game winners and a 17 game winner. Papelbon is the X factor, of course. He can just as easily post a 3ERA but might blow up and have a 5ERA.

I know that WMP has big bat potential, but does anyone recall how he handled the defensive duties in right last year while he was filling in?? Not very effective at all as I recall he mishandled plenty of balls hit where he really didn’t have to run the ball down a ton. I think he really needs some defensive work before he becomes an every day outfielder.

ellen, that’s why, if you look, i put WMP under “CF” and not “RF”. When Pena was patrolling center field, he was adequate with his glove. True, his agility and instincts aren’t great and he’s no Torii Hunter, but he’s certainly not abysmal in the field at the right position.

And seriously, I can’t fall asleep… i was so bored i actually changed my profile on facebook -.-

happy new year, everyone!

happy new year all, the year of the red sox has arrived. The start of the evil empire crumbling into oldblivion is apon us…cant wait for spring training!

A left handed starter! Its really surprising that this hole has not been addressed

well Scott, I don’t think that having a lefty in your rotation is all that important. There’s no doubt you need some lefty specialists in the bullpen, but when it comes to starting, it doesn’t matter so much which hand you pitch with.

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