12-6-2010: Gonzalez announced, who’s next?

Adrian Gonzalez was introduced at a press conference this morning, and he gushed all the usual things from a free agent who’s just signed a fat deal: it’s his (second) dream to play here, etc. He seems like a smart player, and knows that he needs to hit the ball in the air to be successful in Fenway. It seems that the Sox have an extension agreement in place with Gonzalez already, and it will likely be announced just after Opening Day. His agent says they’re finding a nice compromise, so I’d expect something along the lines of 6 years with a vesting option worth $130-150M.

Theo Epstein mentioned in his comments that he would like to add a right handed outfielder. But with Jayson Werth signing a massive deal with the Washington Nationals yesterday, the question is who? Carl Crawford, the top free agent outfielder, is left-handed and his signing would arguably tilt the lineup too far to the left, making us vulnerable to strong lefties, like CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee, who could be teammates again next year. Also, we have to be thinking about the future, as players like Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz start earning real money. I’m not sure we can absorb another 6-7 year maxed out deal without letting everyone start walking in a couple of years. So maybe we want to shoot for a short-term option or a second-tier target (after all, we do have Josh Reddick and Ryan Kalish, who look just about Major League ready).

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Links 11-17-2010: Bullpen options, Sox cap offers to Beltre and Martinez, Justin Upton

The best-laid bullpen plans…

After a disastrous 2010 campaign, everyone acknowledges the need for a bullpen overhaul. However, relievers are famously volatile, and most teams regret free agent deals. That’s exactly why the Sox went out and got LHP Andrew Miller and then claimed RHP Taylor Buchholz on waivers. It turns out that he IS related to Clay Buchholz, BTW, though he’s only a distant cousin.

Theo Epstein has stated that he is not against doing a multi-year free agent deal for the right reliever. The ideal guy seems like LHP Scott Downs, who has had success in the AL East and can pitch to both lefties and righties. But he is a Type A free agent, which means we would owe our first-rounder to Toronto should we ink him. Brian MacPherson lists some non-Type A guys that are of interest, and I like Joaquin Benoit and Koji Uehara, but I don’t see Downs as a problem if we sign another Type A such as Jayson Werth, Carl Crawford, Adrian Beltre or Victor Martinez, since our first-rounder would go to someone else rather than Toronto.

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Hot Stove 2010: How much to pay Bay?

Jason Bay has been waiting a long time for his big payday, and after an excellent 2009 season, he’s all set to cash in. I don’t blame the guy – how many chances does a guy have in his life to sign a contract worth $50-60M or more? Sports Illustrated has reported that Jason Bay has turned down a Red Sox offer of 4 years and “close to” $60M, and gone to free agency. Keep in mind that this report is from Jon Heyman, who Scott Boras routinely uses to achieve his ends; in this case, it seems he wants to drive up the market expectation for left fielders and his client Matt Holliday in particular. In Hot Stove double-talk, “close to” could mean anything, so I wouldn’t read too much into this. I, for one, certainly hope that the Red Sox will NOT go past this offer to Bay. Here’s why.

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2010 Hot Stove: The case against Bay

Look, I love Jason Bay as a human being. And I appreciate all that he’s done for the Red Sox since arriving in Boston a season and a half ago. But he’s just not the guy for the Red Sox to sign this offseason – he’s coming off a career year and a half, and he plays defense roughly like a bump on a log. To think that he may sign a deal on par with or even bigger than Matt Holliday this offseason just boggles my mind.

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Notes: Sept 17, 2009

Just a few items to catch you up on.

You know about Kevin Youkilis and Victor Martinez, but Jonathan Papelbon also tweaked his back the other day, after losing his footing on a warmup pitch.

Tim Wakefield is not really improving, but he wants to give it another shot. He’s slated to start Monday in Kansas City against the Royals. Personally I don’t want to see him get hurt, but with the wild card race shaking out, if he can give us some innings, it can’t hurt, right? More rest for our playoff rotation.

Congratulations to David Ortiz, who recently set the record for most career HR by a DH with 312.

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2009 Offseason: Sox inquired on Hanley Ramirez

It has been reported that after losing out on Mark Teixeira, the Red Sox brass contacted the Florida Marlins to see what they might accept for Hanley Ramirez. Yeah, that Hanley; the same one we sent to Florida from Boston as part of an exchange for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell. I’m sure the Marlins asked for the moon and then some (the rumor is that they included Jacoby Ellsbury and Clay Buchholz at the least), and the talks were quickly scuttled.

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