7-23-2011: Sometimes the best deals ARE the ones not made…

ESPN’s Justin Havens makes the case that Mark Teixeira’s contract may not be panning out quite the way Brian Cashman planned when he signed the slugger long-term. His power remains the same (which, given his HR-friendly home park, is no surprise), but his batting average and defense have declined dramatically in his time as a Yankee. Looks like another fat cat getting comfortable after signing a huge contact.

Two points from this:

  1. It was probably a blessing in disguise that the Yankees swooped in and signed Big Tex away from us at the last minute.
  2. Adrian Gonzalez is not the kind of guy to let that happen to him.

12-10-2010: Revised projection for Adrian Gonzalez

Alright, I’ll admit that the first projection I put up was a little too conservative. It’s because I was using a flat adjustment for the NL to AL transition. Works well for average players, doesn’t work so well for superstar players. I’ve adjusted my methodology to a component-correlated one, and used it as a basis to regress towards 50%. Using this new method, here’s what I get for Gonzalez in Fenway:

29 606 175 39 1 30 98 105 81 121 2 0.289 0.378 0.505 0.883 0.392 46.2
30 615 176 38 1 30 98 106 80 122 2 0.287 0.375 0.501 0.876 0.389 44.6
31 617 175 37 1 30 97 106 78 121 2 0.284 0.370 0.495 0.864 0.384 41.2
32 612 172 35 1 29 95 103 74 118 2 0.281 0.363 0.485 0.848 0.377 36.0
33 600 166 33 1 28 91 99 68 114 2 0.276 0.355 0.473 0.828 0.369 29.5
34 580 157 30 1 25 85 93 61 109 2 0.271 0.346 0.459 0.805 0.359 21.9
35 552 147 27 1 23 78 85 53 103 1 0.266 0.335 0.443 0.778 0.347 13.7
36 517 134 24 1 20 71 76 45 95 1 0.259 0.323 0.425 0.748 0.335 5.5

I feel much better about this projection. One interesting thing I found was that even top sluggers who go from the NL to the AL lose a lot in terms of home run rate, and vice versa, for whatever reason. There’s a big difference once you change leagues, whether you’re Manny Ramirez or Matt Holliday or Mark Teixeira. That’s reflected here in Gonzalez losing 5 HR compared to his NL projection. I hope Adrian bucks that trend and hits 40, but it looks like the over/under number for 2011 is about 30.

Links 10-15-2010: This year, next year, and prospect news

About This Season

Pitching and defenseĀ didn’t work because we didn’t pitch well and we didn’t play defense. At least not well enough. But we did still finish 6th overall according to this sabermetric ranking of teams. The Giants? Eleventh.

What exactly did the injuries cost us this season? Could we still be playing, had things gone differently? It’s a question many people are asking, including Brian MacPherson. On the other hand, putting our injuries into the context of MLB shows that while we did lose a lot of position players this year, our pitching staff actually fared quite well.

He didn’t miss much time because of it, but Marco Scutaro was playing hurt a lot this year. I was quite pleased with his performance for the most part, but the OBP was slightly disappointing.

Exactly how good was Jon Lester this year? If you look at the total of no-hit innings pitched this year by each pitcher, Lester finished second, behind Felix Hernandez. That’s pretty good company. On the other hand, we should expect a bit of regression next year from the lowest ERA on our staff.

Read more of this post

2010 AL East Preview: Sox, Yankees reloaded

As Spring Training finally dawns, we are looking at two teams at the top of the division with significant turnover from this offseason. The Yankees have shed several older, oft-injured players and added a powerful left-handed bat in OF Curtis Granderson. For their part, Boston has decided to focus on run prevention with the signing of John Lackey and even sacrificed OBP in order to improve their team defense in this “bridge year”. The Tampa Rays have another year of development and polish on their young and talented core. Meanwhile, Toronto has gone into rebuilding mode with the trade of Roy Halladay to the Phillies, and the Orioles’ youth movement is on the cusp of paying dividends. What can we expect to see in 2010? Read more of this post

Links: Early speculation on the Red Sox offseason plan

It’s never too early to start speculating about next year. It may seem like Spring Training is an eternity away, but the Sox have to start game-planning now. Should they tangle with Scott Boras again and risk Matt Holliday going to the Yankees or some other team at the last minute? Thinking they had and then not landing Mark Teixeira really left them in the lurch last year.

Read more of this post

2009 ALDS Preview: The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Now that we’ve clinched our playoff berth as the AL wild card, it’s time to scout our competition. First up, the LAAoA. If that ain’t a mouthful. The Red Sox have owned them in the postseason, but they are not as weak as they were last year. Here’s a quick look at how we stack up side by side.

Read more of this post

Saito for Blalock deal nixed; Smoltz to debut Jun 25

The Red Sox revealed that they were considering a trade of Takashi Saito for Hank Blalock with the Texas Rangers, but Josh Hamilton’s trip to the DL deep-sixed the talks last week. Blalock is a left-handed power threat whose bat has come around recently, and he is a DH-type who can play first or third base in a pinch. He’s making $6.2M in his walk year. Sounds like a decent acquisition to me. This confirms a couple of things about the way the front office views our team: they are indeed worried about David Ortiz, and they view the bullpen depth as a strength from which we should deal to get what we need.

Read more of this post

Welcome back, Kason

A year and a half ago, when the Red Sox traded away Kason Gabbard in the Eric Gagne trade, there was quite the uproar amongst the Red Sox faithful. Gabbard, who had made some successful spot starts in 2007 was seen as a potential rotation booster. Things didn’t go too well in Texas, and with their young superstars ready to rise up this year and next to the Majors, the Rangers saw him as expendable – and Epstein pounced on the opportunity, reacquiring Gabbard yesterday for cash considerations. Gabbard is a bit of a soft-tosser and injury-prone, but he has shown a penchant for winning, and has a great attitude. He has been assigned to Pawtucket and will provide more pitching depth (of the left-handed variety). I wonder if more cash-strapped teams will do deals like this as the year progresses and ticket sales continue to suffer? Read more of this post

The State of the Sox 2009

It’s time again for our yearly look at the Red Sox organization, to assess the overall health of the franchise and gauge its future prospects. Right now, things look pretty rosy.

Read more of this post

2009 Offseason: Youkilis signs long-term

MLB.com was the first to report that the Red Sox have reached an agreement on a four-year contract extension with first baseman Kevin Youkilis. The deal follows on the heels of a contract extension for Dustin Pedroia. Ideally, you don’t sign him after a breakout year, but after spending so much time and effort in trying to land Mark Teixeira, I think it was important for the Sox brass to make sure Youk is satisfied.

Read more of this post