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.


11-9-2010: Sox reach out to Werth, Martinez a must sign, Adrian when?

According to Gordon Edes, the Red Sox have touched base with agent Scott Boras to express their interest in free agent outfielder Jayson Werth. The massive 6-5, 220 Werth will be 32 next season, and is reportedly seeking a contract approaching that of Matt Holliday’s 7-year, $120M deal (with an option year) last offseason. He is athletic and runs well, so he figures to age a bit better than the average 31-year old. Still, giving a player his age more than 4 years, $72M seems like a mistake. That gap makes me think that Werth will be a hard sign for the Red Sox, who have more pressing needs in the infield anyway. Regardless, they have to keep the door open and see what way the market goes; that’s their modus operandi.

My projections have Werth hitting .258/.346/.467 with a .369 wOBA in Fenway (think roughly Jason Bay with better defense and no knee issues). As a right-handed bat with some power, he looks like a direct replacement for Adrian Beltre in the lineup, but he would walk more, in the Red Sox style of play. Like most top Boras guys, don’t expect Werth to sign anytime soon.

Due to the weakness of the catching market, the staff at BP believe that Victor Martinez is a must-sign for the Red Sox. That would be true, but the Sox have been exploring the trade market for catchers for several years now, so it’s not like they are without any alternatives. However, Martinez is the best offensive one, by far.

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Links 12-18-2009: Player awards, Lowell and Kotchman, Holliday turned down Sox

Jon Lester was voted the Red Sox pitcher of the year by the Boston chapter of the baseball writers association. No argument here. Also, congratulations are in order for Jacoby Ellsbury, who MLB.com This Year in Baseball fans voted the best defensive player in baseball last season. Great compilation of his web gems, but it’s the routine plays that matter more in the long run. As much as I like Ells, I would never claim that he’s the best gloveman in the Majors. Fans love the highlights, though.

The Mike Lowell trade should be worked out or fail by the end of this weekend, writes the ProJo. That thumb is a big factor for a team like the Rangers. If the Sox are truly seeking to sign Adrian Beltre, it won’t happen before this situation is laid to rest one way or another.

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Links 12-17-2009: More Adrian talk, more on Lackey and Cameron, and more

Adrian Gonzalez thinks he will be traded to the Red Sox in the next ten days, claims Jorge Arangure of ESPN.com. Ken Rosenthal says that the Sox are “working hard” to land the first baseman, but the talks don’t seem to be going anywhere as of now. He suggests that Jed Hoyer wants a package including Clay Buchholz and one of Casey Kelly or Ryan Westmoreland back in any deal, and that latter demand has been a sticking point for Theo Epstein. John Tomase says that the rumors are way overblown at this point, and I think I agree that this deal may not happen until July.

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Hot Stove 2010: So where do we stand?

Yesterday was like a whirlwind, as the Red Sox pounced on two veteran free agents in one afternoon. Seemingly out of nowhere, they signed both SP John Lackey and OF Mike Cameron. Lackey is a workhorse who has learned how to pitch well, despite losing ground in some areas, such as batter contact rate. He pounds the corners with a heavy fastball and features a knee-buckling curveball. With his knowledge of pitching plus his large frame, he figures to age pretty well; that must be why the Sox were willing to go five years with him.

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Hot Stove 2010: Lackey on board, Cameron next?

With the surprise signing of John Lackey today, the Sox may have decided to freeze out Matt Holliday and agent Scott Boras altogether. A signing of that magnitude would suggest no room to add someone with Holliday’s salary requirements. Ken Rosenthal now says that the Sox are in serious talks with CF Mike Cameron about a two-year deal. The power-hitting Cameron has maintained that he wants a full-time job in centerfield, and UZR suggests that he would be a huge upgrade (+10.0 runs in 2009) over Jacoby Ellsbury (-18.6 runs in 2009) there, even at age 37. Ellsbury would certainly be a dazzling defender in left field, and his limitations with judging balls would be minimized there.

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Links 12-10-2009: Rule 5, Sox trade for Bonser, LF progress, Boras BS

The Red Sox lost two prospects through today’s Rule 5 draft. 3B Jorge Jimenez went to the Marlins via the Astros with the 8th pick, and LHP Andrew Zerpa went to the Dodgers via the Rays at number 15. Neither player is projected to be of much use, but you never know what they might turn out to be. Regardless, I think we needed the room on the 40-man roster because:

The Red Sox traded a PTBNL to the Twins for RHP Boof Bonser today. It is likely to be a single-A or double-AA player that goes to Minnesota. The 27-year old showed some promise early, but has been unable to make the Twins’ rotation and struggled in recent years. He throws in the low 90s and also has a pretty good slurvy slider and a curveball. Bonser gives up gopher balls with regularity, which has led to unimpressive ERAs. Still, he’s managed a decent 7.28 K/9 and a respectable 2.87 BB/9, mostly as a starter (4.60 FIP). As a reliever and swingman just entering arbitration, he’s of value to the Sox. Rebuilding that bullpen gets easier by adding a free, somewhat legitimate Major League arm.

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