12-16-2010: Sox sign Jenks and DiNardo, talking with Wheeler

Now this is the way an offseason is supposed to go. The Red Sox are striking early and often, inking two more stalwarts for the bullpen today. The Sox got former closer Bobby Jenks on a two-year deal worth $12M, and 31-year old lefty Lenny DiNardo on a minor league/split deal. Jesse Crain just signed a 3-year contract with the wrong color Sox (they love their hard throwing relievers over there in Chicago).

What’s Jenks got left?

Jenks is a classic case of a thrilling young arm that burst on the scene, was overused, and has experienced a decline as closer the past few years. Here are his last few seasons and what we project for him in Fenway for 2011, if he can stay healthy: Read more of this post

Advertisements

Links 1-14-2010: Signed Shouse, more defensive hype, the rookie program

The Red Sox signed 41-year old Brian Shouse to a minor league deal last week. Shouse is a decent LOOGY candidate can could fill a Javier Lopez-type role this season.

For those of you who want to know what kind of difference improved defense could make this year, defensive stats guru John Dewan suggests that Boston may have added something like 8 wins based on defense alone. I’m a fan of good defense, but I’ll believe it when I see it. More likely, an improvement of 2-4 wins is in order. Dave Cameron writes about the shift of the Red Sox this offseason from OBP to UZR.

Read more of this post

Links 12-08-2009: Minor signings, Francona speaks, ZiPS likes Scutaro, Kelly is a pitcher

The Red Sox signed two lefties to minor league contracts this weekend. 25-year old-to-be Fabio Castro has bounced around a bit, and you already know Kason Gabbard. The 5-7 Castro throws a 90-mph fastball, a good curve and a changeup; he has exhibited passable peripherals (for a lefty) and keeps the ball in the park. He figures to provide LOOGY depth at Pawtucket a la Javier Lopez, while Gabbard will be stashed away as an emergency starter.

Terry Francona gave an interview this weekend, touching on various topics. He reports that David Ortiz has lost 10-12 pounds and is serious about bouncing back in 2010; Jason Varitek is fine with his switch to a reserve role; and Daisuke Matsuzaka is taking his offseason conditioning seriously, committing to three weeks at API in Arizona. He is psyched about his new shortstop and gushes praise for Marco Scutaro.

Read more of this post

Hot Stove 2010: Sox interested in Mike Gonzalez, Soriano?

With the departures of Takashi Saito, Javier Lopez and Billy Wagner, the Sox have some bullpen holes to fill for this season. Even with the presence of several quality arms in this relief corps, we saw the value of having depth last year. Apparently the Sox have requested the medical records of Atlanta free agents Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano. This may not mean too much, but it could mean the Sox are on the verge of making a decision about them and want to make it an informed one.

Read more of this post

2009-11-17 Links: Minor league free agents, Adrian Gonzalez, Hermida

The Red Sox lost a number of players to minor league free agency this week. These players are no longer a part of the organization, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of them come back:

P Devern Hansack, P Charlie Zink, P Jose Vadequano, SS Angel Chavez, SS Iggy Suarez, P Dave McKae, 2B Travis Denker, P Jarod Plummer, P Derrick Loop, OF Brad Correll

The Red Sox also lost a number of players when they were taken off the 40-man roster and they opted for free agency:

RP Takashi Saito, RP Javier Lopez, 2B Nick Green, C George Kottaras, 1B/OF Jeff Bailey, 2B Gil Velasquez, RP Marcus McBeth, RP Billy Traber, RP Enrique Gonzalez

No one expected Saito to return, but the loss of lefties Lopez and Traber means that we have to sign at least one lefty reliever this offseason. There are a number of quality major league free agents available, and names like Casey Fossum and Chris Capuano are available as minor league free agents.

Read more of this post

Hot Stove 2010: Sign Matt Holliday

You’re going about this all wrong. Would it be nice to get an elite slugger or a young ace this offseason? Of course! But at what price? Despite how it looked at times, the lineup is strong, and finished 3rd in runs scored, despite playing Nick Green and Jason Varitek as much as we did. And the rotation already has four strong pitchers if Daisuke Matsuzaka can come back. Trading Clay Buchholz now is the wrong move; he will give you 80-90% of what Hernandez will over the next four years at a bargain price. The Red Sox have talent and should continue to build from within. We certainly need to address that left field vacancy, as well as the lack of pop in the lineup; signing Matt Holliday should be enough on both counts, and we can fill in as needed around these guys. Here’s how to approach the off-season with measured restraint:

Read more of this post

Jays and Rays: For real?

If you’ve been following along in the standings recently, you might be alarmed to see that the Toronto Blue Jays just keep winning. Not only that, but the Tampa Bay Rays are playing really good baseball after a less-than-stellar beginning to 2009. Heck, even the Yankees are doing well again. Comparatively, it seems like the Red Sox keep scuffling, playing .500 ball in May. If this keeps up, we may be in trouble. Let’s take a look at some of the numbers and see who we should fear and how much. Read more of this post