11-23-2010: Martinez signs with Detroit

There are widespread reports today that the Detroit Tigers are ready to sign Victor Martinez to a 4-year, $50M contract. The annual value of the deal is $12.5M, and ranks as one of the largest free agent contracts for a catcher in baseball history. Reportedly, he had competitive offers on the table from the Orioles and the White Sox, while the Red Sox maxed out their offer at 4 years and $42M. Peter Gammons was right again.

Let’s get something straight – the Red Sox weren’t outbid; they passed. Epstein could have easily matched the Tigers’ offer, but he just didn’t want Martinez as our catcher for the next four years. The Tigers are willing to live with Martinez’ defense. A very tough stance for Theo to take in this town, but kudos to him. Let’s see what happens over the next 4 seasons, and don’t forget the two compensation picks we’ll get as a result of this signing.

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Links 10-01-2010: A quiet October in Boston

Well, we’ve been saying it for some time now, but it is now mathematically official – the Red Sox are out of it. Here’s Theo Epstein’s statement on their elimination. Nothing to do but root for the Rays against the Yankees now. And, of course, begin obsessing about the offseason. Sox Therapy is looking ahead too. Don’t cry over spilled milk, like this post does.

Notes on 2010

Go out and show some love for Mike Lowell on October 2, which has been dubbed, “Thanks, Mike” Night. He’s been a class character and I have the utmost respect for the man. And for God’s sake, someone get him his final home run ball.

Looking for a way to explain how the Red Sox could possibly have ranked second in offense after losing Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Cameron, Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia for much of the year? Look no further than Adrian Beltre. His season had some of the hallmarks of an MVP year, with much of his success being found on hard-hit fly balls.

BP’s redux on the Red Sox this year was that it wasn’t just the injuries, but the poor starting pitching outside of Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz that doomed the Red Sox. All of the focus has been on the bullpen, but I think they looked extra bad because they were forced to pitch tired by the rotation. Things should right themselves next year as Josh Beckett and John Lackey regress back towards who they were (fingers crossed).

There were some rumblings that the Red Sox seemed to fare poorly against poor teams, while they played well against tough opponents. This study at Dugout Central shows them as middle-of-the-pack in this regard.

David Ortiz downplays his 100 RBI season. Good for him. 100 is just a number, as is 20 wins. Lester still matches up against anyone else just fine.

Terry Francona insists that Jonathan Papelbon is all growed up, but Paps’ complaints about the umpiring tell us otherwise. It’s the game, Paps. Just do your job.

For those of you wondering why the Red Sox claimed Felipe Lopez for a stretch run with little hope and little need for him, Francona notes that he was insurance for Marco Scutaro, who was apparently playing with a lot of physical problems for some time. That, and his departure could net the Red Sox a compensation draft pick. He passed up a chance at the playoffs with the Padres to be here, though, so we’ll see what happens.

Looking ahead

The crowd believes Beltre will command 3-4 years at $13M per season as a free agent. If it’s three years, I might do it, but if it’s four, I’d hesitate a bit at that price.

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5-22-2010: The good and bad news about Inter-League play

First, the good news. The AL as a whole has rocked in Inter-League play. Over the past 5 years, we have a .566 winning percentage against the senior circuit. Even better, the Red Sox have capitalized on their opportunities the most of any team, boasting a .689 winning percentage from 2005-2009. If there’s a time for us to make up some ground in the standings, it is now.

Now the bad news. Seems the schedulers conspired against us this year: the Red Sox have the 5th toughest schedule out there, by degree of difficulty, according to Marc Normandin. We play the Phillies (twice), while Tampa Bay (15th toughest) and New York (23rd toughest) take on the cream puffs of the NL. Just figures in a year like we’re having.