Hey everyone, The Super Bowl is over, the truck is getting packed and rolls out of Yawkey Way on Friday, and report date is nine days away. Time, in other words, to talk baseball. Thanks for joining the chat.
Do you think the sox ar done dealing with FA's? How does Wakefield fit in this year?
Charles, I think virtually all the heavy lifting is done. They've got 20 nonroster players coming to spring training in addition to the 40-man big-league roster, and with the possible addition of say, another arm to audition for a spot in the pen, I really can't see it. But that, of course, does not address the fact that the Sox will try to move Mike Lowell this spring, which means the arrival of at least a prospect or two.
Are you surprised Theo has not approached Ellsbury about a long term deal, they way he has with Youk, Lester and Pedey? Is it because Boras is opposed to such a thing or is it because Ellsbury always seems to be an important trading chip and Theo does not want to impede his trade value?
G-Slice, I can't say with absolute certainty that the Red Sox haven't broached that subject with Jacoby, or that they won't this spring. It might actually increase Jacoby's trade value to sign him to a multi-year, because it would give the team acquiring him some cost certainty. But you struck upon the primary reason a multi-year deal is unlikely--Scott Boras' clients typically don't sign deals that buy them out of some of their FA years.
Where do you think Jermaine Dye will end up?
Jason, The Indians reportedly have some interest, and maybe the Mets look to add him as an extra bat. The Cubs took a look, but went with Xavier Nady instead. Dye stopped hitting in the second half last season; after hitting 20 HRs in the first half, he hit just .179 in the second, going into a funk right about the time White Sox GM Kenny Williams added Alex Rios. He's 36, and like Bill James said last month, we're going to start seeing older players follow more traditional career arcs (i.e., decline) than we saw during the steroid era.
Would the Sox ever think about bringing Pedro in for one of those half-season/run to the playoffs thing, like the Phils did and what the Yanks used to do with Clemens?
Kenton, It's a great fantasy, one that I personally would love to see if the need arose. But if the Sox didn't do it last summer, when the Smoltz and Penny experiments were imploding, I certainly don't think they will this season. That ship has sailed, although I trust that when Pedro enters the Hall of Fame, he'll be wearing a Red Sox cap on his plaque.
Is this an all-time low for Boras? Damon likes the Red Wings and Octopus??
Jason, whatever works. For those who might have missed the story, the Tigers have shown some interest in Johnny D., and Scott apparently said something about Damon eating octopus. In Detroit, of course, it's a hallowed tradition for Red Wings fans to throw octopi on the ice--never intended for dinner, though.
I was really disappointed by the Beltre signing. He had one big year (in a contract year no less) and it seems that if they wanted defense at 3rd, they could have moved Youk there and played Kotchman at first at lost nothing. Did you like this move?
Pauly, Give this one a chance. Beltre is a tremendous defender, he's playing in a park more suited to a right-handed power hitter than Safeco was, and the Sox aren't really commited beyond this year. I think he potentially can provide much more offense than Kotchman would have. If Mike Lowell can't play third, which the Sox have decided is the case, then I think Beltre was a bargain signing.
Mr. Edes, there has been a lot of speculation about the back end of the rotation for the Sox. If Diasuke Matsuzaka does not pitch well early this year (with his apparent hiding of injury from the Sox) is there a possibility Boston might try to trade him (they would obviously have to eat a large chunk of his contract)?
Ian, Daisuke has a no-trade clause in his contract, which requires his consent to any deal the Sox might propose to make. The Sox as a rule do not give out no-trades, and made an exception only because of the extraordinary circumstances involved in acquiring Matsuzaka. Unless daisuke really wanted out, it could hurt Boston's relationship in the Japanese market, which is a very good one, if they tried to push a deal on Daisuke.
Gordon-Love your work here and the Globe. Everyone seems to be predicting a bounce back year for Papi. I tend to think he is on the downside and his numbers will be appx .265/28/94. Is this acceptable?
Chick, the numbers you project won't be sufficient, IMO, to inspire the Sox to pick up his option in 2011. Incidentally, here are the numbers Bill James projects for Big papi in 2010: .264/29/99, with an OBP of .369 and a SGP of .519. Great minds think alike, I guess.
Gordon, who do you see as the surprise coming out of spring training to make the team?
Ron-Ron, To be honest, I don't see any surprises. Look at the Red Sox roster. They're set at every position, with no real competition outside of the back end of the bullpen. You can draw up the Sox lineup right now.
Where does Cameron hit in this lineup? Does he have any speed left?
Ira, I see him as a bottom of the order guy. I envision the lineup to look something like this: Ellsbury, lf Pedroia, 2b V. Martinez, c Youkilis, 1b Ortiz, DH Beltre 3b Drew rf Cameron cf Scutaro ss Cameron stole just seven bags last season, so his days as a base-srealing threat are pretty much over.
Looking at the Sox timeline over the last half dozen years, we have seen a gradual moving away from the old formula (power hitting) into the new (a faster, lighter hitting team). Where do you see this progression taking the Sox in the next two or three years?
Matt, What we've seen is the end of the Manny era, when in Manny-Papi the Sox had a middle-of-the-order combo to rival the greatest in the game's annals. I wonder if we would be having this conversation if the Sox had re-signed Jason Bay, as they originally intended, or if Matt Holliday had been represented by someone other than S. Boras. Yes, there is a greater emphasis this year on defense, but I do think that had as much to do with the market as a radical shift in the Sox philosophy. This team should still rank in the top half-dozen in baseball in runs scored this season, and let's see what kind of moves the Sox make in the next couple of years before we declare an end to the run-producing machines that Theo Epstein has espoused in the past.
Is Nomar retiring because he can't find a job or because he doesn't want to play anymore? Sad to see his career fall off because of injuries/PEDs.
Jason, I believe there is no question Nomar would still be playing if his services were still in demand. The many physical breakdowns, for whatever reason, have left him at best a part-time player, and while there has been no official retirement announcement yet, it would not surprise me in the least if he walked away.
With Beckett in his last year...is there a chance that he gets traded and Casey Kelly would be ready come July to step into the rotation? If so...is it a good chance or a longshot?
Mike, The Red Sox are giving Casey Kelly, in his second full pro season, evey chance to win a job in the Double-A rotation, which means that at age 20 he's on the fast track to the big leagues. I think the Sox would love to see him arrive in the big leagues by 2011, at the earliest...this July would be a real longshot. I think the Sox make every effort to re-sign Beckett.
Any info on a josh beckett extension. Does the recent extensions for verlander and hernandez along with the lackey signing set the bar for a new contract or would beckett pull a roy halladay?
Cam, Both the Red Sox and Beckett are keeping talks under the radar. I think the Lackey signing set the floor for a Beckett extension (5 years, 82.5m). He showed the last time when he signed an extension he isn't about the last dollar, but he may well want to see what he can command on the open market, where he and Cliff Lee figure to be at the top of the list among free agent pitchers. I could see Beckett coming close to a Halladay-type deal ($20m per) if he has a big 2010 season.
What is the word about Jed Lowrie's wrist? Is he fully ready to go? Will he be the #1 sub for the infield or will he start at AAA?
Ben, I think there are still some real concerns that Lowrie's wrist issues remain an ongoing issue, concerns that will not be allayed until the Sox see him in camp. The Sox are not counting on him to be the backup infielder coming out of camp; that's what the Sox got Bill Hall for in the Kotchman deal with Seattle
How much of what Jed Hoyer is espousing regarding the affordability of Adrian Gonzalez for the Padres is to be considered truth and how is to be considered posturing to raise the total prospect price he will command? Is there truely any way he is affordable beyond next year for the, particularly given that their (the Padres') next hot prospect is a big hitting 1B?
John, Whatever Jed may be saying, the bottom line is that Jeff Moorad, the Padres' managing partner, has clearly raised the affordability issue, and I think come July Jed will look long and hard at offers for Gonzalez. There's no guarantee the Sox will offer the best package, especially if they take Caesy Kelly and Ryan Westmoreland off the table.
How many and what type of ?'s do i have to ask to get one in!? I've been asking all day and cant sniff a answer. What do you think of Justin Upton this season? Is he all hype or can he really go 40/20?
Garf, usually we require a minimum of 50 entries before we even consider someone's question--otherwise, it depends on how receptive we are to begging. In this case, begging wins out. Justin Upton is only 22, and already has gone 26 HR-20 SB. Seems like more than hype to me. Those numbers are only going to get better? Forty home runs might be a reach this season, but 30-35 looks like a pretty safe bet to me.
Thoughts on the final year of Bobby Cox's career? Any chance at a playoff apperance to end his Hall of Fame career?
Clay, I've always been a big Bobby Cox fan, and while he gets knocked for just winning one WS title, I think he's shown a tremendous knack for maximizing the talents of his team. Yes, he was blessed with some great pitching, but those teams continued to win with regular turnovers of his roster. Asking a lot for him to go out a winner this season....Phils look loaded.
Any chance the Red Sox swoop in at the last minute and get Damon back at a bargain price?
Funny, Sully, we were talking about that at dinner last night. Just can't see it. The Sox are committed to the alignment they have now.
I can't figure out how John Lackey got the contract he got. Did the Sox overspend for him? How is that an efficient use of their dollars?
Scott, It was definitely an unTheo-like move, commiting that kind of dough to a 30ish pitcher who has had arm trouble in the past. Theo maintains the Sox are satisfied the arm issues were minor in nature, and having Lackey is a hedge against Beckett leaving. With the Yankees having added Javier Vazquez, maybe Lackey was the price of trying to match the Yankees on the hill, but what are the odds of Lackey and/or Beckett not experiencing a significant breakdown in the next five years?
Thanks, all, for your interest. We'll do it again soon.