Links 8-20-2010: Prospects post, playoffs slipping away, some bright spots, Papelbon
August 20, 2010 1 Comment
All told, the Red Sox spent a team record $10.66M on signing bonuses for this year’s draft class, guys who had not pitched a professional inning. It was a necessary infusion of talent into a farm system that has been drained of top prospects and had some of our best young guys get injured or tarnished this year. Considering we drafted well and signed all of our first 10 picks, evaluators have been picking the Sox draft as the best in our division this year.
Baseball America published their “best tools” series this week, and many Red Sox prospects got recognition, especially the superb defense currently at Double-A Portland.
Catching prospect Adalberto Ibarra did not pass his physical, so he renegotiated his contract with Boston to the tune of $700-800k. That’s a far cry from the $3M guaranteed deal that he originally agreed to. Sure, it saves money, but it must have been a significant issue for him to backtrack so much on the numbers.
Just when you think the Sox are ready to turn the corner, a day like yesterday happens. Dustin Pedroia is held out with foot pain, and Josh Beckett gets lit up by a so-so lineup in the Angels. Jarrod Saltalamacchia gets sent to the DL with a mystery leg infection. Add that up with no more Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron, and you’ve got a boring October looming.
There are definitely some nice finds that came out of this year, such as the emergence of Daniel Nava. Not only is he turning out to be a decent hitter, he’s finding new ways to contribute and inspire others with his play.
Dave Cameron includes the signing of Adrian Beltre as one of the free agent deals that really worked out. Should the Sox re-sign Beltre? He’s going to be quite the free agent catch this offseason, so I don’t think the Sox should go much beyond 3/$36M or so. It’s all up to how bad other teams want him. And they’ll want him pretty bad, I’m guessing.
Jonathan Papelbon is entering his final arbitration year, and stands to make about $12M next year. This year has been full of struggles and controversy for Paps. As unbelievable as it seems to be asking this question, is it worth it for the Sox to re-up him for 2011? The short answer is yes, because the Sox don’t need the extra $12M with so much money coming off of the books already, and because they want to get something back for him, whether via trade (hopefully when his value is higher) or compensation picks, which can only be gotten after 2011 if he declines arbitration. Besides, he is still a good reliever, and there’s no guarantee you can build a solid pen with free agents.
Kevin Youkilis has been recognized by Baseball America as having the best strike-zone judgment in the AL, and also as the third-best defensive first baseman. Also recognized was Daniel Bard for having the second-best fastball, Beckett with the third-best curve, and Pedroia and Beltre as the second-best defenders at their positions (Beltre was rated the best infield arm in the AL).
Speaking of defense, David Appelman at FanGraphs has put together different fielding metrics and found that Jason Bay wasn’t as poor in left last year as we thought. Also, Marco Scutaro grades out as an above-average shortstop, and better than Alex Gonzalez (in 2009, anyway).