Closed case?

I’m not so sure the Red Sox have their closer just because Joel Pineiro is signed. It’s hard for any of us to know that Pineiro has what it takes to thrive as a closer in Boston after carrying an ERA of nearly 7 last year.

This is something that will play out all through Spring Training, and perhaps even beyond. Maybe Hansen will step up and win the job by the second half.

Also, for all of you going to Spring Training, the first workout for pitchers and catchers will be on Feb. 18. It was originally reported as Feb. 17, but the Red Sox actually have physicals that day and won’t work out. The first full-squad workout is Feb. 22.

A month has now passed since Scott Boras told the world that J.D. Drew was a member of the Red Sox. Still, no contract has been signed. But look for it to happen early next week.

87 Comments

Piniero scares me !!

Mike Timlin will get 22 saves

Greg

http://www.baseballfix.mlblogs.com

Hello everyone. Just thought I would stop by and wish everyone a happy new year and see how everything’s going. I’ve been informed by my sweetheart, Vince, that I have absent from the blog for a while. So, here’s my two cents worth…
I’m pissed that Loretta’s gone, I’m not too sure in this closer, and I HATE that Doug Mientkiewicz has gone to the Yankees.

Oh yeah, tomorrow’s my last day of work at the law firm. Not sure where I’m gonna be on Monday, but it definitely won’t be there! :)

No need to be concerned about the Yankees. Their starting pitching is mediocre, as is their bullpen, with the exception of Rivera. Offense alone will not win a pennant. We still need a closer – there is no guarantee that Pineiro is the answer – but the Sox have depth in the rotation and bullpen. I’ll take what we have and they can have what they have. As it stands right now, the Sox have a deeper and more talented team. Doug M. on the Yankees? Good glove, no bat, no big deal. We’ll see what happens on the field.

Jeff

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

I think that Pineiro is a low-risk signing, but it is likely that Craig Hansen, Brendan Donnelly or Edgar Martinez will emerge as the closer in spring training. Papelbon thrived as a rookie last season. No reason why Hansen can’t step up, or Martinez. Donnelly has had the tools to close, but he has been stuck behind K-Rod and Scot Shields. He could step up as well. I don’t think there is reason to be worried about the closer’s role. There are plenty of good candidates. They can battle it out in spring training.

Jeff

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

I find it funny you consider a bullpen that was one of the worst by the end of last season, now complete with no proven closer, having MORE depth than a bullpen among the best in the league last year.

By this mindset, Timlin is GUARANTEED at a year older to recover because he didn’t pitch an extra month in meaningful games as opposed to exhibition ones, the japanese import, (both the starting and relieving) will be solid gold, julian tavarez will translate from a spot starting ace with his team double digits out of a playoff spot into the solid nl central reliever the sox mistakenly signed him to be, hansen or delcarmen will break out RIGHT NOW, particularly hansen who has already been demoted what is it, three times now? and finally joel Piniero, a man with an era getting closer to double digits than papelbon, the former closer, will indeed, be effective in the american league east, in the fenway atmosphere in games that matter most such as against the yankees? A guy that by all accounts comes from the same school of thought as JD Drew and other mentally teflon made headcases?

Compared to rivera, admittedly a solid closer, proctor, who will surely hit rock bottom because his mid 3 era suggests it, farnsworth, whom like the superstition in both tavarez and wakefield’s career is due for a solid and dominating year, but since he is the other bullpen he will surely lose all control of his fastball while wake and tavarez dominate again, bruney who was a flash in the pan with an era below half a run for 20 innings, vizcaino who’s era will go up at least 1.50 since he is coming from the nl west, karstens and rasner who were rookies so clearly they have no chance of actually being successful, and insert any yankee prospect here: They will not pan out because after all, three years in a row with random prospects turning into heros? that is just not possible, and all 7 pitching prospects, (5 of which are relievers) were just a huge, huge waste of time.

Well I suppose if ALL of those things happen like they realistically should, then yes, indeed the sox have a much deeper bullpen:) It can compliment their much deeper offense with the solid additions of jd drew who remains unsigned, julio lugo, the .277 wonder, dustin pedroia, the offensive downgrade from loretta toting a career mendoza line average, and so on, though of course, kevin youkilis will surely hit 20 hrs and bat .320 because boston rookies now turned sophomores, well they just don’t fall apart like the yankee ones will. But hey, at least mid 30 year old jason varitek is due for a comeback player of the year award, right?

Starting rotation looks bright though, I do give you that.

Oh and I forgot donnelly, a first solid reliever, along with jc romero, the guy that let A rod be clutch for once in his life….They will surely tilt the balance.

and a .280 average and 300 with risp? I’ll take it for our number 9 HITTER. Deeper team…hmm, Pena, crisp manny, unsigned drew (a career platoon player thus far, a man coming off a debacle of a season, the greatest hitter of our generation and the laziest fielder along with an unproven) vs. Matsui (proven clutch hitter and run producer coming off first injury), damon (Do I need to explain what he does to opponents or compare his arm to crisp’s cause it’s a wash I swear), bobby abreu (insert 5 game series at fenway tapes here), melky cabrera (4th outfielder, above average defender, .280 hitter, streak of clutch at bats as a rookie)….I don’t see the talent in the outfield….Infield, lowell vs a rod, my lord I’ll take lowell’s glove over anybodies, but even A rod in a coma hit 35 hrs and drove in 110, I think he has just a bit more talent, lugo vs jeter…yeah, right, cano vs pedroia, perhaps pedroia hits .342 and then enters the convo of prospects, vs proven talent, doug m, vs youk, heck u can have youk in this one, giambi vs ortiz, you can have ortiz too, varitek vs posada, wash to me, they’re both aging though….Well now i’m not really seeing all that much more talent on the field or the bench either, so if it isn’t on the field, it’s not yet on the bench, not in the bullpen, then I guess it’s the rotation? Hey, you guys have the better starting staff, I’ll give it to you, right now, if the yankees don’t get clemens, they have 3 starters, an unproven, a guy coming off of 17 back to back injuries, and about 9 rookies aching to stick. Assuming your 40 year old ace, your recovering 26 year old temper tantrum throwing NL ace, your welcome to the big leagues other ace, your 7 innings instead of 1 other ace, and finally, tim wakefield coming off of injury and a sub par season and a year or two of getting it handed to him by the yankees, can be as solid as everybody says, you certainly have us beat in the starting department, as least until reinforcements arrive.

Oh and please don’t ask why A: I have enough energy to post now, 4 consecutive times on a sox blog I haven’t been on in like six days before today, at 5AM…It just won’t make sense no matter how I attempt to explain it.

I might be in the minority by saying I think the Randy Johnson was dumb for the Yanks. Their rotation is very thin and old. I read somewhere on ESPN that the Japanese guy they got isn’t anything special. The prospects they got from the Johnson deal aren’t top of the line. So maybe they’ll lure old man Clemens off the coach in June? Whoopie… this isn’t the NL Central he would be returning to.

even if u wanted to give clemens a natural one run raise, his era is still in the three’s…I think he would be fine anywhere….you say the yankee rotation is old, yet you don’t see a point in trading a 43 year old for three young prospects, one of which could be a solid potential starter? Igawa’s job is to be as good as wright, I think the compromise between reports (some stating he can be a solid four or five, some saying he will be nothing but a reliever) is that he will accomplish his job….based on his past, I would expect wright’s numbers with more innings pitched, thus he is not a bullpen killer. Pettitte’s job is to be as good as johnson, I think he can handle a 5 era. That leaves the five starter, which as I said, anything can be better than what we had last year, between rasner, karstens, pavano, and the prospects of sanchez ohlendorf and hughes, one of them is bound to be solid, which sure beats shawn chacon.

If you can’t see how that rotation is both younger and improved from last year and that the johnson deal is improving the team both age and depthwise then i can’t help you.

I’m not the only that noticed the void… “Johnson’s departure leaves big void”…

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=klapisch_bob&id=2721076

I’d like everyone in this thread who cares to make a prediction for Sunday.

Here is mine:

Patriots 24

Jets 14

Lol im not saying people don’t agree with you rayman, but if the argument is the yankees need to get younger, you can’t be against trading a 43 year old with back problems for three young pitchers….There will always be people against any trade.

Ian:

Patriots: 24

Jets: 17

I had that from last week, I swear I wasn’t mooching off of your score.

While were at it, I think the chiefs can pull off the upset with their running game, the seahawks will beat the cowboys, and as homie as this sounds, though I think the eagles will win, I would not be the least bit surprised to see the giants win this game and then get blown out next week…That is just the way they go, and in a rivalry game, anything can happen.

To all who have read yankeevmm’s posts…this guy is a jerk and is still trying to vent his frustration from the Yankee$ collapse against the Bosox in 2004. His bad attitude has also been fueled by his jealousy and shock that another team actually outbid his Yank$ for Matsuzaka…rest assured yankeevmm, all of us around baseball still anoint the money hungry Yank$ as the spending kings of sports! Oh and how about Justin Morneau!!
I so much enjoyed reading about all the whining and out rage on the yankee blog.

I was sad to see the Feinsand yankee blog shut down…I heard Feinsand was going to work for some NY newspaper…in Minnesota we know that NY newspapers are only good for 2 things…soaking up droppings on the bottom of a bird cage & wrapping fish…pretty much the same things that your opinions are good for.

I enjoy your bias evaluation of your Yankee line-up. You fail to mention the tension from all the egos. I see no sense in debating last years numbers…the only number that matters is that you were 1-3 in the playoffs. True, my Twins didn’t fair much better but our payroll was approximately 1/3 yours…and we have less of an ego problem.

One more thing…

Shame on you for bad mouthing Dustin Pedroia. He is a hustler and you will be surprised by his play.

Pats 20, Jets 17.

I see a very, very close game up ahead…

PATS:27 Jets:23
anybody could honestly win this game.But the patriots will…..

pennington will have 3 picks and the pats will win 30-10

Oh, I see it has a new sn, welcome aboard, bitter, useless, one tracked mind child.

Nobody cares about the twins, the yankees manhandle them everytime they meet in the playoffs, they will never reach the world series, their owner is the most crooked man in sports, the only reason their payroll is so low is because he pockets all the luxery tax and u honestly think torii hunter has no ego? Get a life and stay away from mine. Never, have I ever alluded to being jealous over matsuzaka, and anybody who says “don’t pay attention to last years numbers” and claims the egos in an offseason where johnson sheffield and wright went out the door, will kill this team, has zero, credibility.

I loved all of your numbers you supported for the twins, you must be a real, true fan, and you are oh so noble to come on every blog you can find that I’m on and bash the yankees and then leave, never showing any support for the twins or anybody else unless it is against the yankees. I’d tell you to stick to the twins blog, but that’s right, nobody cares enough to even create one for them. NY papers are nationally recognized as among the best, (minus the post) and the midwest is where that ***** had jeter 6th in all star voting, so do everybody a favor and stop voicing your groundless opinions

back to the topic presented …

I like the potential for finding among Piniero, Donnelly, Hansen, Martinez, DelCarmen and a couple of others ONE guy who can step up and be a consistent closer.

I like even better the possibility that they DON’T find that one guy, and the bullpen breaks tradition and lets an effective 8th inning be rewarded by starting the 9th — the way the game used to be! That way, maybe nobody ends up with a nearly torn-off shoulder in late August!

The logic that i dont get is that the yanks are willing to part with johnson (34 wins in two seasons) and sign pettitte for same price. I know he wasnt the johnson of old, but if the yanks are going to pay pettitte 16 mill per year, about 1.5 mill per win. then why not keep johnson at the same rate???? I guess he just wanted out real bad. And boooo to the dum backs, 4 players for the old one…I pray none of the prospects are any good.

I think the fact pettitte is a decade younger, has had success in the postseason in ny (that is a huge factor I would have to believe), is a fan favorite (johnson was not) and his contract was basically from dumping sheffield and wright’s would be the reason….This was not a trade contract one player for another type of deal, the yankees already had freed up around 20 million from mussina taking a discount, wright being traded and sheffield being traded, then there is the additional 14 with johnson being traded…so it is more like 34 million, minus pettitte’s 16 which leaves 18 or so for someone like clemens…..Who again, I would speculate factors into the yankees plans.

Yeah, 4 players I was not expecting, I expected maybe one high level prospect and a salary dump, but I’ll take it.

I don’t agree vince. In the sheffield case they actually replace Sheffs 13 mil with Abreu’s 15.5 mil. Last year they paid like 3.5 mil for Abreau. So, they didn’t save the 13 mil by trading Sheffield instead they didn’t spend extra 13 mil by not trading him. So, u can safely subtract 13 mil from ur savings of 18 mil. So the savings are more like 5 mil. If they do add clemens that would be atleast 12 mil. So, if they add Clemens they will be +7 mil over last year.

Forgot to mention they Signed 5 mil out of that 7 mil to sign Igawa. So it is +2 mil Saving. If they Sign Clemens Kansas City Royals will the happiest team on earth with all those luxury tax money.

why argue about the dollars, im sure george could open and buy without dumping…its a mute point. My question isnt about pettitte being better or worse or more friendly then johnson. its simply why not keep the unit who would probably get 15-17 wins, when they are willing to pay pettitte the same dollars for probably less wins…and im suggesting to keep them both obviously. the question of age means nothing, pettitte wont sign after his 2 yrs, and johnson has 2 yrs left in him. so now u have pettitte, wang, moose, ?, ?. Pettitte’s elbow is a huge question mark whether you admit it or not, moose is another year older and wang is somewhat of an unknown to this point. He hasnt proven squat yet. Then who’s left…The unit’s 15-17 wins could look good for 16 mill. Im just not getting why they wanted him gone, or was it that he wanted gone…he cant be anymore of a clubhouse cancer then a few others already are. If i were a yanks fan (god strike me down for even printing that) then i think id want the unit for nothing else then his 15-17 wins and some insurance if pettitte doesnt hold up, or if moose falters. You guys could be right where the sox were last year. Unless your banking on the rocket….pats 28-jets-20! Please god, make the cowboys find there lost defense before tomorrow night!

Loretta signs for 2.5 to be a utility infielder????? did we miss the boat on this one or what? im sure he would have been an upgrade over Cora, and probably would end up getting more at bats in boston. for 2.5????? thats crazy!

I wasn’t arguing abt the payroll or the dollars. I was just trying to point out that Yanks didn’t actually save as many dollars as Vince mentioned.There is a difference of abt 15 million between the figure Vince gave abt saving and the actual savings.

Kumar, abreu’s contract called forr 16 million both years, furthermore if you want to cut corners, then u failed include villone being off the books, fasano, wilson, bernie, etc. I was simply pointing out that pettitte’s money was a product of shef and wright, everything else was already taken into account by the yankees and drein was right, ther payroll does not matter if it comes down to nickels and dimes, luxery tax is charged to aquisitions, abreu is already on the team. The payroll may not matter anyway.

It is also very, very unfair and probably a little misdirecting to say randy johnson would give the yankees the same thing he gave them this year. Johnson had an era of 5, and the most run support in the league, most of his wins were unimpressive. Pettitte had surgery two years ago and then put up a 2.39 era for a season, then after a bad first half a 2.80 for another half of one, johnson is having surgery right now, to say one is injury proned and the other, at 43 and 9 years older, is a guarantee is not fair. Johnson was indeed bad for the clubhouse, he never fit in in ny, he never excelled in the playoffs and his brother, perhaps most importantly for him, just passed away so he wanted to be near home (in arizona) in the first place, which is the whole reason the wheels to a deal were set in motion.

Pettitte and moose will both be guaranteed to be out of the rotation by the end of 2008, johnson is gone now, if clemens came he would be gone by the end of this upcoming season. That leaves wang, and igawa. Wang won 19 games last year and was terrible in april, if you say he is fairly unproven after being solid in his rookie season and then tied for the league lead in his sophomore season than you most certainly have to consider lester, youkilis, papelbon, snyder hansen and declarmen as “fairly unknown” as well. If moose, who put up identical numbers to schilling last year is a year older, than so is schilling, who is in fact a year older than moose.

My best guess for why they want all these starting pitchers to short term contracts is 1 of two things. 1. the much better free agent list of starters in the next two years that will be available and 2. Humberto Sanchez, Philip Hughes, ohlendorf, kennedy, chamberlain, and all the other prospects thrat could and should break through this year, or next year into the rotation.

Our insurance is not jason johnson or a who’s who of 2nd rate farm hands because our gems aren’t ready, we already have karstens and rasner who performed well down the stretch in starting roles, and hughes and sanchez who could be ready as early as june, if worst came to worst proctor can start as well….the insurance is already there, we don’t need a 5 era, that can be replaced by rookies tryring to adjust to the big leagues or any mediocre pitcher. The 17 wins are very misleading.

And don;t get me wrong, i know karstens and rasner are not the gems but they are formidible replacements…johnson is only being signed to two years not because he has that left in him but arizona needs him to reach 300 wins to help save their entire franchise.

D_rein that was my point on the previous thread regarding Loretta. I understood the concept to be that the Red Sox believe that Pedroia is ready to be an every day MLB player and that because of this the Sox could use the second base position to save some pay roll. First, I feel as though the Sox are putting a lot of faith in Pedroia living up to the high expectations. I hope that this will be the case. However, what if this turns out to not work and Pedroia doesn’t pan out? Then what is the alternative? Alex Cora is a respectable utility/bench infielder. I would not be happy with him playing second base every day for the Sox. Therefore, as I stated on the other thread, I don’t understand why the Sox chose to spend $4 million on Pineiro when, as we now know, they may have kept Loretta’s steady glove and professional bat at second base for another season for $2.5 million. I hope this, in time, becomes a moot point based on the fact that Pedroia lives up to his scouted potential and proves his worth at second base and at the plate. I just feel that the Red Sox have built a team that could and should expect to be a contender this year and I hope that Pedroia will be able to produce and succeed next season because I know that Loretta would have been an experienced known commodity at second, as opposed to placing much of the hopes for next year’s success on an unknown one.

If it is any consolation, I think the whole reason loretta didn’t resign with the sox as utility, or then again, sign with the yankees is because the entire time he intended on starting somewhere, and the astros gave him that chance….Perhaps to him the position was more important than the money.

Loretta is not guaranteed to start at second base for the Astros. He will compete with Craig Biggio who is the starter at this time. They also have Chris Burke in line to assume the second base position, although he plays center now. It has been reported that Loretta will be used as a platoon at a number of positions including spelling Ensberg at third.

The Astros may be planning on trading someone to open a spot for Loretta, however. I guess that may include Ensberg.

Vince Abreau’s contract called for 16 mill both years I agree. But the yanks payed only 3.5 mil last year. But this year they will pay all 16 mil. So, by trading Sheff and getting Abreau’s full contract his year they don’t save the 13 mil that u say Yanks saved by trading Sheff. That’s my only point.

Maybe Yanks payed more than 3.5 mil for Abreau last year. I don’t have the exact number but to the best of my knowledge they payed last than HALF of the 16 mil last year.

Going back to the actual topic of discussion. I think patriots will. Score 28-10

Astros would be foolish not to give it to loretta over biggio, biggio specializes in being hit by pitches and that’s about ********** see that’s what i’m talking about, the blog exploded today, props to everybody! Kumar how was your new years?

My New Year is good so far. How is your’s. The first weekend in the new year, maybe that’s why the blog exploded today…and also there is lot’s of activity from RedSox and Yanks over the last week or so(JP, Randy..and waiting for JD anouncement).

I think it was a good move getting Pineiro,especially at that price. Experienced,good stuff,hard thrower,and only 28. Seems likely to reinvent himself and resurrect his career as the Sox closer.

Yeah I agree, the lack of holidays/additions and subtractions probably definitely helped….My new year was good, nice and relaxing

I like the signing of Pineiro as well since it is low cost and low risk. The Sox have a plethors of young relievers (Hansen, Delcarmen, Martinez, Cox and now Okajima) who can anchor the bullpen for awhile. It is smart to bring in Pineiro and Runelvys Hernandez – guys who are young and may not have lived up to their promise as starters, but have good stuff and can be effective in the bullpen and as spot starters.

Peter Gammons wrote that he thinks Hansen will be the closer by the all-star break. Perhaps Hansen, Cox, Delcarmen or Martinez will step up as the leading closer candidate in spring training, but if not it’s nice to know that a guy like Pineiro is there.

Jeff

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

I meant, a plethora of young relievers…

Bean, when you have prospects that have done all they can in the minors, you have to either trade them or take a risk and give them a chance, as the Sox are doing with Pedroia. I would rather they give Pedroia a chance than resign Loretta, who was one of my favorite players last season but is not the future in Boston.

Jeff

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

By the way, a prediction for Sunday’s game from a lifelong Steelers fan:

Patriots 27

Jets 21

One more thing, dreinbold, I do mostly agree with your synopsis of the Yankees rotation. I do think that Wang, though he is still unproven, will be a solid long-term starter. And Mussina, though he was hittable last season and not what he was five years ago, is a solid starter as well. Other than those two, the Yankees starters are mediocre at best. I think Pettitte will break down this season. Igawa is likely a reliever and not a starter. The Yankees will be forced to rely on a lot of young guys, unless Cashman makes a deal before spring training, which I think he will once he sees his rotation in action in March.

I do know that Schilling is a year older, but he is still one of the better starters in the AL. And he is durable. I think you will see strong seasons from Schilling, Beckett, Papelbon and Dice-K. Wakefield is a question mark, but we have Lester ready to step in. I think Lester will become one of the top left-handers in the AL. And this season we have depth if someone goes down with an injury. Kudos to Epstein for that.

So pettitte coming off back to back 200 inning seasons will break down, but lester coming off of cancer will become one of the best pitchers in the AL?

Loretta has stated that he knows Biggio is the 2nd baseman in Houston. I read that he wanted back in Houston and that is why he took the backup roll.
I also believe that the Yankees are paying 1.5-2 Mil of Johnson’s pay this year to the Dbacks…

Pats 27 Jets 10

Brad.

I may get some flack for this, but….Jets 27 Pats 24. It’s nearly impossible going against Brady at home in the playoffs, but I have to support a quarterback who whent to college in West Virginia, epsecially since he went to Marshall, my dad’s alum. Comeback player of the year.

I believe they decided on 2 million.

That pats jets game will be closer than people think, I just can’t go against brady in NE until they lose. Though, regardless of what happens, I pick against the pats next week, I sense a slow closing to their dynasty

Vince, I didn’t mean that Lester would be one of the top starters in 2007. I do think he will develop into one of the top left-handed starters in the AL with a couple seasons under his belt. I also think he could contribute this season, especially in the second half.

haha oh ok, that prediction makes more sense.

In the future somebody remind me never to look at another sox favored baseball blog again….The mlbtraderumors.com blog may be full of the single most idiotic yankee haters on the planet….Even the yankee fans are bad.

Somebody said and i quote “clemens wants to go to a winner, the yankees are concentrating on shedding payroll”…..uh, what?

As sad as it is, I appreciate the fact at least some people on this blog have so much as a basic sense of baseball knowledge….Then of course some of you have very very deep knowledge, most of you represent the positives of the redsox fanbase and for that I am thankful.

Why Vince, You old sweet talker you!!!

A couple of days ago, I was screaming out for someone to chat with; not a chance…. I don’t look in for a couple of days and the posts are coming in hot and heavy!!! Must mean that our season is getting closer. I feel like a bear who is starting to come out of a long winters sleep. One of my friends just came back from Boston and she brought me a new plate for the front of my Ranger and a beer coozie that is a Redsox Jersey!! It has the number “0″ on the back so I think I’ll add a 7 to it. That’s one way I’ll still have Trot with me every game!!!! I’m so glad we’re getting close to pitchers and catchers… After that we all know what happens…. SPRING TRAINING, AND THEN…. OH MY GOD!!!!! GAME ON!!!!!

Jeff: What Spring Training games are you planning to attend in Florida?? David and I are planning to drive over for a couple. Maybe we all can get together for some Sox talk and catch a game!!

I’ll be in florida for a week during spring training (spring break) but i don’t know if i’ll be able to catch the cards, mets, dodgers or whoever else is within a half hour of me…I may be hung up in orlando or miami instead.

Ellen, that would be interesting to get a group of Florida baseball bloggers and meet at a game. Since the Sox do not play in Tampa Bay until July, I believe, spring training would be a sooner time frame. Not sure when I am going. I’ll let you guys know. It will likely be a weekend.

I can’t say much about all this, Im no expert, but I certainly hope everyone will step up, especially beckett, I love the guy, but he needs to step up big time and prove he can make it here. I pray for Pettitte to break down, although he will most likely, in my opinion give the yanks something to brag about, and all those prospects the D-backs gave up arent any good, why did they do that by the way?
And im watchinh the Pats now, this game makes me uneasy.

hoping for a Pats win!

Oh! and whats going on with some of those younger guys, like Devern Hansack and Carlos Pena,yeah I didn’t see them much, but I kinda liked what i saw. Maybe Devern can be useful later on?

“When the Yankees agreed to trade Randy Johnson to the Arizona Diamondbacks, after all, they shaved chopped roughly $15 million from a payroll that was in the range of $195 million. And while there has been ample speculation in New York that the Yankees might now turn their attention to Roger Clemens, the bottom line is that New York’s 2007 payroll currently projects to the $180 million range, a mere $20 million more than your free-spending Boston Red Sox.”

The funniest thing about this article, is it was written in the boston herald…So should I cry foul if the sox do anything this year because they outspent the little guys?

Not unless you want to be labeled a hypocrite

So then in that case Epstein, Luccino and company are already there then, right?

If that makes you feel better for being one, sure!

I asked if I should, I didn’t say I would, I can care less how much money the sox spend on 2nd place, just as long as everyone sees their front office for what it is, the aforementioned adjective.

Should I say that the Yankees are a team filled with overpaid and “me first” prime donna superstars who are more interested in their pay checks rather than playing as part of a team? Or should I say that their attempts to win championships have made them a hated franchise?

I’m asking if I should, I didn’t say I would.

You could say whatever you want, it’s your tainted opinion. Though, it would be in poor taste for a 1 homegrown on the title team fan to make that statement., esp the same offseason their team spend their payroll in underachieving superstars (minus d mat of course, he’s just a superstar).

The word tainted has pretty negative conotations – are your opinions tainted too?

Way to go Pats. They, by far were the most impressive team that played this weekend. The second most impressive team was the Jets. The rest of the games were decided by which team was the least inept.

About the Red Sox / Yankees discussion and payroll. I find the whole discussion to be a little ridiculous. The Yankees won a lot of championships without spending twice the money everyone else did. It wasn’t until they began to try to buy championships that they began to fail. In 2004, the Sox had two legitimate superstars with Manny and Pedro, three if you count Schilling. Maybe at the beginning of the year you could have put Garciaparra in that category, but Ortiz hadn’t achieved that status yet. It’s been downhill ever since because for whatever reason, what they won with in 2004 wasn’t good enough. The Red Sox didn’t have the best players in 2004, they just had the best team. The same was true of the great Yankee teams. For the past three years, the Yankees by far have had the best players, and failed to beat inferior teams when it mattered most.

101 million dollars for a pitcher, 70 million for J.D. Drew, 36 million for Lugo. Are you kidding me? That’s 200 million for an unknowm commodity and two average players at best. Sounds like something the Yankees would do.

With all that being said, go Sox…… and for all us Florida bloggers, I think we should definitely plan a get together in Tampa when the Sox go down there to play.

Does anyone know when single game tickets go on sale for the rest of the season?

rayman:

I think it’s usually in mid-February. I’m watching the Yankees website to see when their tickets go on sale. My brother wants to go to a Sox/Yankees game before they tear down Yankee stadium.

GSM, I agree that the Sox of 2004 were a true team with few superstars. I think the 2007 team is shaping up like that as well. It will feature one of the best rotations in baseball, a deep bullpen and a solid lineup from 1-9. Only Pedroia is a question mark in the batting order, and I think he will show that he belongs at the major league level. As I have mentioned here before, I like what Epstein has done bringing in veterans arms to the bullpen and letting someone from within emerge as the closer rather than trading top prospects for a closer from outside the organization. In the coming years, since the Sox have a loaded farm system you will see more and more homegrown players at the big league level. The key is not dealing them away while they are still in the minors.

Jeff

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

By the way, I wouldn’t say it has been downhill since 2004. The Sox made the playoffs in 2005 and were on pace to do the same last season until they were maligned with too many injuries to overcome. No team could have recovered from what the Sox endured last season. The depth that Theo has assembled for 2007 will ensure that injuries will not derail them.

Jeff

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

So then isn’t that saying a team with the depth of the 2007 redsox supposedly WOULD overcome those injuries, if the depth will prevent these injuries from derailing them? Therefore, teams could overcome those injuries….

Ian you mention urbina in your mailbag along with some other examples of inexperienced pitchers closing out playoff games. I always thought urbina should have closed because he was actually good and looper ****** haha. Either way, they were both closers or at least setup men in their careers so it’s not like urbina was an unknown thrat emerged to save the marlins. Jenks was also groomed to be a closer in the minors the whole time and has electric stuff (2 nasty pitches) making him perfect for a closer’s role, and wainwright was a high prospect in the minors wasn’t he?

All i’m trying to say is piniero is not on the same plane as these guys, yes it is possible he can be effective, but it is not the same example as a dominating prospect or a lifetime reliever that moves into the closer role. This is a fading starter trying to harness what talent he has left to become effective for an inning or two, and none of those champion teams were a closer by committee by any means or had a washed up starter lead them to the glory land late in games.

looking at the stats in 2003 looper had 28 saves and a 3.68 era. Urbina had 6 saves and a 1.41 era with 2 blown saves in the regular season, so it is true he did not do much and came on during the playoffs, but you left out that he had 164 career saves before the 2003 season and 26 that same year with texas. I don’t think piniero will be closing come late september or october.

GATORS!!!!

I cant believe how many different ways the cowboys can come up with to lose games…unbelievable…sickening. Here’s a blog giving all my prayers to Rice, good luck to him tomorrow, may he finally land where he’s always belonged! HOF

sigh, i can’t believe i just wasted 2 whole hours procrastinating from my Hamlet essay… I’m really getting sick of sleeping at 4 lol

anyway, i’m pretty sure the sox are done this offseason (except for a final agreement with Drew, which should really come any day now).

I keep on wondering how the outfield situation is going to turn out… we have Manny in left and Drew in right… that’s undisputed. However, for CF, we have a whole range of options. We can have Coco, who has 20HR-30SB potential if healthy, and Wily Mo Pena, who has legit 40HR power. In addition, we still have Murphy, our 1st rounder from 03, and Ellsbury, who could graduate from the minors by mid-summer. I’m fascinated by this problem… what’s Francona going to do?

(of course, it’s an EXCELLENT problem to have!)

hey Ian, what happened to Jed Lowrie? He was like a top draft pick and seems to have disappeared from the radar… anyone know?

Hang in there Jamie, hamlet all but disappears after your first semester of college…actually, I didn’t even have shakespeare at all and I’m done with English. Eventually, you will start reading things that make sense again.

Jed Lowrie was injured much of last season, which derailed his progression through the Sox system. You can learn more about him at http://www.soxprospects.com. Hopefully he rebounds this season. Of course, like Pedroia, scouts project him as a second baseman and not a shortstop.

Good luck to Jim Rice today. Hope he gets in.

Jeff

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

anyone do the poll this week yet? cant believe how close it is. the question is who will lead the sox in wins this year…all close but wakefield. must mean we have a pretty good starting rotation. I guessed Beckett, between age and experience he seems the most likely candidate to have a big season. Rice better get in next year!

I already lamented on my blog the fact that Rice was shunned once again. Shame on voters like Mark Newman who penciled in Mark McGwire yet left off Rice’s name. Obviously, he cares little about the integrity of the game.

As far as wins, I think Beckett will win 20 and Dice-K and Schilling 17-18, Papelbon 15-17 and Wakefield 12. I think that Lester will pitch in as well, and he could get 10-12 wins. The pitching will be among the best in the bigs.

Jeff

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

I also noticed where some voters included Albert Belle, Dante Bichette and Jose Canseco on their ballots. These voters – and those who included McGwire – should have their privilege rescinded since they obviously do not take the honor seriously.

Jeff

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

BaseballProspectus just came out with the Redsox TOP 10 PROSPECTS article today.

According to it, all of our top 3 prospects came from the first round of the 2005 draft! Buchholz came in first, followed by Ellsbury and Bowden.

Wow… looks like SOMEONE had a GREAT draft in 2005!!

Can anyone get the rest of the article? Since I don’t have membership, i was limited to just seeing analysis for the top 3 prospects… i’d love to read what they wrote about Pedroia, Bard, Cox, etc…

Hmm I have no idea if I’m infringing on copyright laws (and i’m not sure if Ian will delete this post)

here’s the full article from baseballprospectus. You’re welcome =)

BaseballProspectus.com is reviewing every team’s top 10 this offseason. Here are their top 10 for the Sox.

Excellent Prospects

1. Clay Buchholz, rhp

Very Good Prospects

2. Jacoby Ellsbury, cf

3. Michael Bowden, rhp

Good Prospects

4. Jason Place, cf

5. Daniel Bard, rhp

6. Bryce Cox, rhp

Average Prospects

7. Dustin Pedroia, 2b

8. Craig Hansen, rhp

9. Kris Johnson, lhp

10. Justin Masterson, rhp

1. Clay Buchholz, rhp

DOB: 8/14/84

Height/Weight: 6-3/190

Bats/Throws: R/R

Drafted: 1st round, 2005, Angelina (Texas) JUCO

What he did in 2006: 2.62 ERA at Low A (103-78-29-117); 1.13 ERA at High A (16-11-4-23)

The Good: Every part of game took a step forward in 2006. Fastball bumped up from low-to-mid 90s, curveball moved into plus status, changeup remained outstanding as ever and control got better. Added all up, this is a tremendous leap.

The Bad: The biggest concern is just of a regression. By the end of 2006, he had no major issues – throwing three-plus pitches for strikes with clean mechanics. He’s yet to really be tested, and some would like to see him put a few pounds on to help his stamina.

The Irrelevant: While Buchholz set new single-season records for ERA (1.05) and strikeouts (129) during his one year at Angelina, he has a long way to go to become the most famous alumni. That honor goes to Mark Calaway, better known as professional wrestling’s “The Undertaker.”

In a Perfect World, He Becomes: An early-rotation starter.

Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: Average – During trade talks in the offseason, most teams were asking about Buchholz over anyone else, and he seems to be unavailable on any level. The Red Sox might skip him to Double-A to avoid the California League.

2. Jacoby Ellsbury, cf

DOB: 9/11/83

Height/Weight: 6-1/185

Bats/Throws: L/L

Drafted: 1st round, 2005, Oregon State

What he did in 2006: .299/.379/.418 at Low A (281 PA); .308/.387/.434 at AA (225 PA)

The Good: Prototypical leadoff hitter/centerfielder. Excellent bat speed and good pitch recognition allows him to lace line drives all over the field. He’s a 70 runner (on the 20-80 scouting scale), and knows how to use it – excellent base stealer and outstanding range in the outfield.

The Bad: Power ceiling is limited. Hit for a good average and draws a good numbers of walks, but neither skill is overwhelming enough to project as a real impact player, as opposed to simply good. Below-average arm.

The Irrelevant: While this has probably changed since he received his $1.4 million signing bonus, Ellsbury listed his favorite restaurant on his college media guide bio as The Olive Garden. Live it up a little, Jacoby.

In a Perfect World, He Becomes: An every day leadoff man/centerfielder. Wait, I already said that.

Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: Low – Ellsbury is moving quickly, as there is a need for a player like him in Boston. Depending on roster shenanigans, he’ll start the year at Double- or Triple-A and should be up before the season is out.

3. Michael Bowden, rhp

DOB: 9/9/86

Height/Weight: 6-3/215

Bats/Throws: R/R

Drafted: 1st round, 2005, Illinois HS

What he did in 2006: 3.51 ERA at Low A (107.2-91-31-118); 9.00 ERA at High A (5-9-1-3)

The Good: Nice combination of size and skill. 89-92 mph fastball is brought up a grade for Bowden’s ability to command the pitch, and his curveball gives him a second plus offering. Big-bodied and maintains his stuff well into the later innings.

The Bad: Like many young arms, Bowden never needed a changeup in high school and is still trying to get a feel for the pitch. Scouts don’t like his multi-stage delivery and would like to see smoother mechanics. Has tendency to gear up in pressure situations and overthrow.

The Irrelevant: Work on the warm-up: Opposing hitters batted .303 against Bowden in the first inning, but .211 thereafter.

In a Perfect World, He Becomes: A middle-rotation innings eater.

Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: High – Bowden is two years younger than Buchholz and not as polished a product, so the Red Sox will take it a little slower with him. He’ll begin the year at High Class A.

4. Jason Place, cf

DOB: 5/8/88

Height/Weight: 6-3/205

Bats/Throws: R/R

Drafted: 1st round, 2006, South Carolina HS

What he did in 2006: .292/.386/.442 at Rookie level (132 PA)

The Good: True high-risk/high-reward player his all five tools and a head start over most with his profile thanks to good understanding of the strike zone. Plus power and speed, solid defensive skills in center and an above-average arm.

The Bad: Swing is long with an uppercut, and he’ll likely always strike out a lot. He was able to lay off breaking balls in the Gulf Coast League, but questions remain as to how he’ll deal with more advanced versions that are more consistently thrown for strikes.

The Irrelevant: In the four games he played as a designated hitter, Place went 5-for-10 with six walks (.688 OBP).

In a Perfect World, He Becomes: An exciting outfielder with the ability to beat teams in many ways.

Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: Very high – Place was seen as somebody who would struggle initially as a pro, but after impressing in his debut, expectations are skyrocketing and his full-season debut will be one to watch.

5. Daniel Bard, rhp

DOB: 6/25/85

Height/Weight: 6-4/200

Bats/Throws: R/R

Drafted: 1st round, 2006, University of North Carolina

What he did in 2006: Signed too late to debut.

The Good: One of the best pure arms in the draft has plus-plus heater that sits in the mid-90s, touches 98 and features a nice cutting action. When his slider is on, it’s a mid-to-upper 80s biter, and a true out pitch. Mechanics are fluid, free and easy.

The Bad: Bard had bouts of inconsistency in college when it comes to velocity and command. He seemed to make strides late in the season in avoiding a habit to drop his arm slot, causing his slider to flatten out. With his limited arsenal, some project him as a reliever, albeit one with closer possibilities.

The Irrelevant: Bard claims to have modeled his game after Rob Dibble. I guess that’s a good thing.

In a Perfect World, He Becomes: A big league power pitcher, be it as a starter or reliever.

Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: Higher than it should be – despite being a college product, Bard is still a guy with a million dollar arm who needs a lot of development. The Red Sox will move cautiously with him.

6. Bryce Cox, rhp

DOB: 8/10/84

Height/Weight: 6-4/205

Bats/Throws: R/R

Drafted: 3rd round, 2006, Rice University

What he did in 2006: 1.59 ERA at short season (5.2-6-2-3); 0.74 ERA at High A (24.1-14-9-25)

The Good: Late-season surge had Cox entering the draft as one of the top college relievers, and he didn’t disappoint in his pro debut. Classic sinker/slider type who misses plenty of bats with a slider that many in the organization think is better than Craig Hansen’s, while 91-95 mph fastball consistently gets pounded into the ground, as evidenced by 5.3 groundball-to-flyball ratio.

The Bad: In many ways, Cox came out of nowhere. 2005 and most of 2006 were filled with control problems in college, so there will be a concern that they could return until he can establish a longer track record of success.

The Irrelevant: Cox had a 3.97 GPA and was a member of the National Honor Society in high school while his brother Perry was a first-team Academic All-American as an offensive lineman at Western Illinois.

In a Perfect World, He Becomes: A big league set-up man or closer.

Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: Low – The Red Sox feel that getting Cox in the third round is akin to highway robbery, and might start him in Double-A, believing he can get to the majors before the year is out.

7. Dustin Pedroia, 2b

DOB: 8/17/83

Height/Weight: 5-9/180

Bats/Throws: R/R

Drafted: 2nd round, 2004, Arizona State

What he did in 2006: .305/.384/.426 at AAA (493 PA); .191/.258/.303 at MLB (98 PA)

The Good: Undersized max-effort player has outstanding contact skills, an advanced approach and surprising gap power for his size. Fundamentals in the field and on the base paths are nearly flawless.

The Bad: While Pedroia has soft hands and outstanding instincts at shortstop, his range and arm both limit him there. His walk rate has dropped from great to good at the upper levels as pitchers are more willing to challenge him. He’s reached his power ceiling.

The Irrelevant: In his final year at Arizona State, Pedroia went 19-for-27 with runners in scoring position and two outs, to go along with 13 walks, for a batting line of .556/.707/.815.

In a Perfect World, He Becomes: A solid big league middle infielder, nothing more.

Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: Low – Despite Pedroia’s struggles in the big leagues, the Red Sox penciled him in to a starting middle infield job, one that became second base when the club signed Julio Lugo.

8. Craig Hansen, rhp

DOB: 11/15/83

Height/Weight: 6-6/210

Bats/Throws: R/R

Drafted: 1st round, 2005, St. John’s University

What he did in 2006: 0.82 ERA at AA (11-4-4-12); 2.75 ERA at AAA (36-31-19-26); 6.63 ERA at MLB (38-46-15-30)

The Good: Once one of the top relief prospects in the game, Hansen’s stock has dropped with disappointing performances at Triple-A and the big league level. Still has two plus pitches with a mid-90s fastball and darting slider.

The Bad: Hansen is simply not the pitcher he was in college. His fastball is off a little bit, but the bigger loss has been the slider, which has gone from a pitch some graded as a pure 80 to simply above-average. Command falters at times and Hansen tends to make up for it by taking a bit off the fastball and grooving it down the pipe.

The Irrelevant: Feeling the pressure? Hansen was actually a pretty decent big league reliever on the road, but at Fenway he had a 8.69 ERA in 21 appearances, giving up 30 hits, including five home runs in 19.2 innings.

In a Perfect World, He Becomes: A closer, but that’s quickly becoming more of a hope than anything else.

Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: Average. When the Red Sox drafted Hansen, they expected him to be their closer by now. At this point, he’d be best served with some consistent Triple-A work without getting jerked up and down.

9. Kris Johnson, lhp

DOB: 10/14/84

Height/Weight: 6-4/170

Bats/Throws: L/L

Drafted: 1st round, 2006, Wichita State

What he did in 2006: 0.88 ERA at Short season (30.2-25-7-27)

The Good: Tommy John survivor returned for junior year at Wichita State and pitched well enough to rank among the top college lefties in the draft. 89-92 mph sinking fastball sets up a plus curve. Control and command is solid.

The Bad: Lacks a plus-plus offering, leaving projection limited. Tall and skinny, with some questions about stamina.

The Irrelevant: Almost Mr. Irrelevant: Johnson was selected by the Angels in the 50th round of the 2003 draft out of high school, the 1475th of 1480 players selected.

In a Perfect World, He Becomes: A No. 3 or 4 starter.

Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: Average – Johnson has the ability to move quickly through the system, but for now he just needs to prove that his surgically reconstructed joint is good for 150+ innings.

10. Justin Masterson, rhp

DOB: 3/22/85

Height/Weight: 6-6/235

Bats/Throws: R/R

Drafted: 2nd round, 2006, San Diego State

What he did in 2006: 0.85 ERA at Short season (31.2-20-2-33)

The Good: With the angles caused by his massive frame combined with heavy downward boring action, Masterson’s fastball is nearly impossible to lift, as evidenced by a nearly 3-to-1 groundball ratio and just three extra base hits surrendered. Despite his size, Masterson has repeatable mechanics, a consistent release point and excellent control.

The Bad: While the sinker is an outstanding pitch, Masterson is a bit of a one-trick pony. His slider is more of a sweepy show-me pitch, while his changeup is telegraphed with his arm action and lacks fade. This leaves many scouts believing that the bullpen is his ultimate destination.

The Irrelevant: During his brief pro debut, batters leading off an inning against Masterson went 3-for-32 (.094) without a single walk and 16 ground ball outs.

In a Perfect World, He Becomes: A rotation workhorse.

Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: High – Masterson was a little-known commodity before his showing in the 2005 Cape Cod League, and in many facets, he remains extremely raw. The Red Sox don’t want him to move to relief until absolutely necessary, so he’ll likely begin the year in the Low Class A rotation.

Getting It Out Of The Way

I’ve already explained why I’m not ranking players coming over from Japan as prospects, but to keep my e-mail inbox less chaotic, Daisuke Matsuzaka would rank No. 1 on this list, and it wouldn’t even be close.

The Sleeper

Yes, another later-round pick (9th) who got big time money ($600K), outfielder Ryan Kalish is an outstanding athlete who needs to adjust to baseball full time but has a lot of upside as a power/speed combination.

The Big Picture: Rankings Combined With Non-Rookies 25 Years Old Or Younger (As Of Opening Day 2007)

1. Clay Buchholz, rhp

2. Jacoby Ellsbury, cf

3. Michael Bowden, rhp

4. Wily Mo Pena, of

5. Jason Place, cf

6. Daniel Bard, rhp

7. Bryce Cox, rhp

8. Dustin Pedroia, 2b

9. Manny Delcarmen, rhp

10. Craig Hansen, rhp

*Jon Lester, lhp

Lester is difficult to rank until we know the complete outlook from his recent battle with lymphoma. If he’s perfectly healthy, he’s No. 1. Pena’s development has been significantly damaged by his forced rise to the big leagues. He still has a truckload of potential, but for now, he’s still a guy who strikes out far too much and disappears against lefthanders. Delcarmen doesn’t have closer potential like Hansen, but he’s already solidified himself as a solid big league bullpen arm.

With graduations and trades, the Red Sox system is not nearly as strong as it once was, but the 2006 draft class could prove to be quite the bounty.

Jamie, I said on the other blog that you’ve had way too much caffeine. …. and sugar and any other stimulant (legal of course) out there. Get some sleep big guy!!!!

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