Links 2-22-2010: Beckett, Pedey, some non Spring Training stuff

Josh Beckett is not going to talk about his contract extension with the press. He’s saying all the right stuff, but I’m sure he expects to get paid to stay here this offseason. He’s definitely a better pitcher than he sometimes gets credit for, and he is the perfect fit for the team as a competitor and a leader. We’ll have an analysis article to try and peg the contract soon. Along with plenty of other players, Jon Lester is on record with wanting Beckett back.

Dustin Pedroia is loose and already entertaining teammates with his schtick. It’s beginning to look like Bill Hall may see time at shortstop, with Jed Lowrie going to Pawtucket early, where he can play every day. That certainly makes sense from a roster perspective, with Hall able to fill in at so many positions.

Anyone seen the pictures of Jason Varitek at camp yet? His body looks chiseled and his arms just look massive. He’s also accepting the backup role graciously and forming a good rapport with Victor Martinez.

In their AL East division preview, Baseball Prospectus pegs Boston for 94 wins, two ahead of the Yankees and just three ahead of the Rays. Elsewhere, Peter Gammons notes that the AL East will be a tight race, and that the performance of young players may make the difference.

Just how much have the Sox improved their run prevention, anyway? I’ve pegged them for at least a two-win improvement, if not more. Here’s one more analysis at The HardBall Times.

Tommy Bennett at Baseball Prospectus tries to estimate Jonathan Papelbon’s value going forward (BP membership required?). It seems like the Red Sox are paying the arbitration-discounted equivalent of a salary somewhere just north of $15M a season. I’m not sure the Sox will give him anything beyond 2-3 years at that figure; the guys at BP speculate that he may go back to starting if there’s no contract out there that he likes. But given all Pap’s talk about being the next Mariano Rivera, I don’t see that happening.

Patrick Sullivan gives us his breakdown of the Red Sox bullpen this season. He thinks that if the second-half peripherals mean anything, this bullpen could be a lot worse this year. Personally, I am not worried, and have them slated for a solid 3.94 ERA this year.

Dave Allen of FanGraphs took a look at Tim Wakefield, and found that he may have a slight reverse pitching split. I’m not really surprised, since the way he plays the knuckler and the fastball off each other, it’s like facing a pitcher with a really wacky changeup.

Amalie Benjamin wrote a defense of J.D. Drew a while back. Nice to see some mainstream journalists who at least appreciate the value of a player like Drew.

2 Responses to Links 2-22-2010: Beckett, Pedey, some non Spring Training stuff

  1. Pat says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one shocked by how big Varitek is looking. Really surprising.

    For all this talk of better run prevention, I can’t wait to watch some games!

  2. redsoxtalk says:

    For those of you haven’t seen what Tek looks like, check these out:

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