Links: Varitek exercises option, Bay, and Hot Stove chatter

As expected, catcher Jason Varitek has chosen to exercise his $3M player option to stay with the Red Sox in 2010. My guess is that the front office will keep him on as the backup catcher until he starts hitting (er, whatever that was) like he did in the second half of 2009. The Sox have already announced that they plan to make Victor Martinez the “full-time” catcher next year, which basically means he’ll be catching a lot more than 50% of games, as he has done for the last few years. Let’s hope his body and hitting hold up under the extra workload.

All the comparisons have been between Jason Bay and Matt Holliday, but Dave Cameron touts Mike Cameron (no relation) as a better free agent signing. Preview: it is about the defense, but even if you discount the UZR numbers 50%, it still works out in Cameron’s favor. Bay is likely to sign for as much as 5/85, while Cameron may get 1/10. R.J. Anderson confirms what I said about the rumor that the Sox had an offer of 4/60 on the table for Bay, that it’s probably just a Scott Boras lie.

Speaking of Holliday, a source says that the Mets are not out to sign a top-tier free agent this offseason, though they will poke around and pretend to be interested for their fans’ sake. That could mean one less competitor for his services.

Peter Abraham speculates that the cost-cutting the Red Sox seem to be doing in turning down player options and renegotiating Tim Wakefield’s deal could be trying to make room for a free agent signing. He could be right, or it could be the economy.

There’s not a whole lot to report from the GM meetings in Chicago.

David Pinto talks about the contract Josh Beckett might be seeking in any extension talks this offseason.

Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik sounds pretty firm about not trading ace Felix Hernandez this year. Of course, that could just be him playing hardball, so to speak. As a 10/5 guy with full no-trade protection, Roy Halladay says that he would approve a trade to the Red Sox.

I’ve written about the possibility of trading for Milton Bradley, and the Boston Herald confirms that the Cubs are pretty desperate to unload the problematic outfielder. Seems like most suitors are interested, but only at a bargain basement price.

This article got me all excited about the possibility of getting shortstop J.J. Hardy, but then the Twins went and got him. With the Brewers asking for Clay Buchholz or Daniel Bard in return, I can’t say I blame Theo Epstein for balking.

Just when Brian Cashman seemed to be growing some class, he goes out and does this. No respect at all. We’ll just have to crush them next year.


2 Responses to Links: Varitek exercises option, Bay, and Hot Stove chatter

  1. Pat says:

    Some of the arguments I’ve seen being thrown for Bay this offseason are, he has the wall behind him. His poor defense is mitigated by it. I am sure there is truth to this, but I’m not sure how much it helps.

    Going off of that, Mike Cameron’s value lies in his glove, and range. I wonder if we got him, and put him in left if that would cut out a lot of his value. Or even, if we put him in center, and moved Ellsbury to left, would that cut out a lot of Jacoby’s value (for half the games).

    UZR seems to hate Jacoby, and I can’t believe that he is as bad as they say he is.

    Still, we saw what excellent outfield defense did for Jarrod Washburn this year. I want to replicate that with our team.

  2. redsoxtalk says:

    Cameron won’t sign unless he’s going to play CF, so we might see Ellsbury move to LF in that scenario. Then you’re looking at an outfield of basically three CFs, and they are going to shag a lot of flies between them.

    UZR has not been kind to Ellsbury, and probably some of it is justified; I don’t see him as a terrible CF, but he’s not above average either. You could argue that sticking him in left would shortchange his speed, but I’d argue that teams would be hard pressed to get a hit on any fly ball there. Perhaps having the Monster behind him would make his arm look a lot better too. And if the end result is much better OF defense, I can’t complain. He might even learn a thing or two from Cameron, who’s been getting it in CF for a long time.

    I like the idea in a general sense, b/c Cameron is a righty bat with pop (softening the loss of Bay) for the lineup, but he strikes out a lot and his batting average will be poor. I project him at .246/.336/.443 in 2010 with 22 HR and 70 RBI. He’ll likely be slightly less than +1 win above average offensively and roughly +1 win defensively, making him about a +3.5 WAR player.

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