Links 2-2-2010: Sox bring in Nelson and Molina, the new strategy, looking ahead

The Red Sox signed reliever Joe Nelson to a minor league deal yesterday. Though he’s right-handed, Nelson is a fastball/changeup pitcher who has been more effective against lefties over his career (split over his total OPS is 85R/114L). He does walk too many RHB, but this is a nice, sneaky way to improve the bullpen against lefties without actually adding a lefty. This is a very solid signing, and my suspicion is that he will make the team in a low-leverage/LOOGY role; that’s how Tampa Bay used him last year. We have him projected for a 4.17 ERA over about 45 IP.

The Red Sox also signed catcher Gustavo Molina to a minor league deal last week. No, he’s not related to the Molina brothers, who are all Major League catchers. But he’ll provide some depth for us at Pawtucket.

Boston clearly has a new strategy for 2010 and beyond. Rather than OBP, it is now defense which seems to be undervalued around baseball. Good pitching and defense should be fun to watch.

You might have seen stories in which both Tim Wakefield and Clay Buchholz vow to land a rotation spot. I don’t think they should demote Buchholz any more, but overall, I think the competition’s great, and it will push them to be the best they can be. Theo Epstein also tells us not to worry about having too many starters. Another looming question: what to do about Josh Beckett, whose deal is up after the season? I don’t think there’s any question that we would love to keep him around, but how much should we pay for a pitcher of Beckett’s talent and age?

If you haven’t heard, the Twins are trying their darndest to sign Joe Mauer to a contract extension. With the opening of Target Field this season, and the expected extra revenue, I believe they will get it done. So let’s think about who we should get long-term, if not Mauer. Prince Fielder recently made some comments on his contract status, and he says he’s happy in Milwaukee (he’d be a beast here). Adrian Gonzalez won’t be available until July. Who would you like to see us sell the farm for?

Peter Gammons’ rhetoric regarding the Red Sox and Jason Bay is escalating. Before, they were “concerned” about his knees long-term. Now he says they were “scared to death”. Not good for the Mets, who have enough injury woes already.

One Response to Links 2-2-2010: Sox bring in Nelson and Molina, the new strategy, looking ahead

  1. redsoxtalk says:

    Adrian Gonzalez’s agent is stirring the waters, saying recently that the Padres can’t afford his client:

    I wouldn’t read too much into this. He’s probably trying to pressure the Pads about an extension with his client.

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