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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

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Pretty cool. Thanks Nyara! Ellsbury is an exciting prospect and it's easy to forget these guys have great back stories. But I worry about the injuries and lack of power this year. Honestly before they go and trade Coco, I'd like to see Jacoby go out and post at least a .850/.900 OPS in AAA with passable splits against LHP even in a half season. He's just not there yet.

Overlooked this year has been Jed Lowrie (also from OR - Salem - Nyara, you play against him?) who had a better numbers this year at AAA (.862 OPS in 162 AB) while playing SS. They probably won't do it but I'd rather they slide Lowrie to 3B than sign another guy to an overpriced deal. The difference is having Crisp to cover CF, at least for another half season, while Jacoby develops his pop against AAA pitching. Then, next June, if he shows that development, trade Coco for mid-season help.

Now that's an exciting future! This time next year it could be Pedroia at 2B, Lowrie at 3b, and Jacoby in CF.

Could have been even better if they held onto to WMP as Manny's replacement in LF. He hit another 2 HR's last night and now has 7 in 72 AB with the Nationals while playing a flawless OF. Hopefully Carter shows enough to make Lugo (by way of Lowrie) expendable.

Thanks, Nyara - this is fantastic.

And I agree with Pete re: Coco 100%, though I am more flexible with Jacoby, meaning that if we can get value for Manny and slot Jacoby into left I'd consider it.

I've seen several comments over multiple posts re: the RS getting something for Manny. Haven't the last several years proven he is pretty much un-tradeable? Has something changed? How many years does he have left on his contract?

Great story and photos Nyara.

IH:

He's in the last year of his contract, which is worth $18M with $4M deferred. I can't imagine there aren't teams that would take one year of Manny if the Sox picked up some of the tab. He's a 10-5 guy, which complicates things, and he's had an off-year, hurting his value. So I am not deluded into thinking this is an easy task. But it's worth thinking about in lieu of dumping a cost-controlled young guy like Crisp. Not sure it's either/or, though, as the Sox could leave Ells in AAA to start '08 and go from there. There are lots of permutations for the FO.

That's $18M total, not $18M plus $4M deferred.

The problem with trading Manny and slotting Ellsbury into left is that the Sox would be left with very little power in the outfield. I may be wrong, but don't Ellsbury's numbers match up to a good centerfielder, but not a very strong corner?

And I agree with everyone. Great stuff, Nyara!

Very cool Nyara. Thanks for this.

I agree, Nick. He just hasn't shown the power yet (with over 1000 minor league AB's his SLG sits at .426) for a corner or even full-time at CF.

I'd rather see Ells develop in AAA to begin 08, then bring him up if he shows power improvement and trade or 4th OF Coco.

Manny leaving, I'm afraid, will leave a gaping hole in the lineup.

By the way, not sure if it's a big coincidence but:

Happy Birthday Jacoby!

Now, if we only had a regular that went to high school with Clay "Fastest Man in Baseball" Buchholz, that would also be very interesting...

On Bucholz, the NYT reports today that Joba sent him a congratulatory text message following his no-hitter (they played together in the Futres Game 2 months ago). First strike against Joba in my book (joking...sort of...)

Proof that Joba isn't yet a "true Yankee." Doesn't he know that you're supposed to root against Sox no-hitters and cheer wildly when they fail?

he knows that you're supposed to root wildly if the pitcher throwing the no-hitter is the ever popular blow-hard Curt Schilling...no matter who he's pitching for.

"I can't imagine there aren't teams that would take one year of Manny if the Sox picked up some of the tab."

I would think Manny would demand that his '09 and '10 options be exercised before accepting a trade. No way he'd make $20 million on the open market. I'd be really surprised if we were willing/able to move him.

Oh, and thanks for the post Nyara, good stuff.

I like Crisp, too. I like his attitude, I love his defense.

What I don't love is that for essentially two whole seasons, he's been a black hole on offense. Last year, we all (rightly) gave him a pass, as he recovered from an injury that directly affects a batter's swing.

This year, however, as I mentioned in last night's game thread, he's been arguably even worse.

Last year, Crisp finished with a .264/.317/.385 line, essentially identical to this year's .269/.333/.386 line to date. He's walked a little more this year.

Crisp is clearly a streaky hitter, but his bad streaks have been much longer than his good ones. After reaching .281 last year in early August, Crisp finished the season .230/.291/.367. Only a 13-game, .382/.393/.491 stretch in July saved his season from being truly, truly awful.

This year, sans injury, it's the same thing. First 64 games this season: .221/.277/.295. Next 31 games: .402/.454/.641. Last 44 games: .237/.320/.321. Take away his one good month, and Crisp's season over 373 at bats looks like this:

.228/.296/.298

Along with the utter lack of consistency is the fact that his bad streaks have blown away his good ones -- twice as extreme for twice as long.

All that to say: Based on Ellsbury's limited play to date -- adding that his arm and speed are as good as, if not better than, Crisp's -- I would feel pretty comfortable saying that Ellsbury is highly likely to provide more value than Crisp from the center field position.

Yeah, Jacoby for Manny, straight up! Look, I am as high of Jacoby as the next guy, but please..

get a load of the potentcy:

Jacoby
Ped
Youk
Papi
JD
(new corner IFer)
Varitek
Lugo
CoCo

That would be a lineup of 6 (six!) players who at one point this season were the defacto leadoff man. Umm, maybe not Youk but he was last year. And if Papi went down? Ouch!

Sorry guys but that will not work.

So the question is, who do you keep/play? Coco or Ellsbury? (it has to be Coco). Manny or Ellsbury? (please...). JD or Ellsbury? (JD is here to stay. No choice at this point). So what to do with Ellsbury?

4th OFer. Has to be. I don't think at this point Theo/Tito would much consider moving him up. I'm sure they are far more concerned about what to do if/when Lowell is gone, hence their move of Moss to 1st.

Free agents:
Casey (Leftie. No way)
Koskie (same)
Hatteberg (I like him as the 'right' part of a platoon)
Batista (uggh)
Feliz (same)
Arod
Lowell

Looks like Arod or Lowell to me. In any case, it's a decent discussion thread.

I guess te question is how much value you could get back for Crisp. Clearly, a couple of years ago he was a well-regarded young player who yielded one of the top prospects in baseball, but has his hitting lowered that value? Do teams think that highly of his potential stll?

There's no way Ellsbury is a fourth OF. He'll either be in the minors or starting next April. It's just a matter of which outfielder would be displaced. Drew is untradeable. Manny is tradeable, but I agree that losing his bat -- even if it's not the bat it was in 2005 -- would be terrible for the lineup unless he's replaced by A-Rod. That leaves Coco. Again, I like him, but it's hard for me to see why he should stay.

Unless the Sox truly plan to trade Manny, let Lowell sign elsewhere and throw a bank at A-Rod, which would be fine with me.

That's definitely the question, Nick. For some reason, his terrible hitting isn't getting the press it did last season, but I imagine a GM wouldn't overlook it. I really don't know what he could be had for, unless there's a GM who loves the speed and defense and is willing to gable on his bat returning. Unless the Sox package Manny AND Coco, haha.

Paul, Coco is a 29 YO kid who (IMO) happens to be one of the more valuable players on the team. I think it would be a mistake to lose him for a rookie with so few AB's.

Seeing that this is the RS we are talking about, I think Jacoby first needs to show how he can handle a slump.

Will he handle it any worse than Coco, who has essentially slumped for two straight years?

My point is that it's hard to imagine him being any worse than Crisp is right now.

"There's no way Ellsbury is a fourth OF"

That is an opinion but have you considered that Manny will be 37 and JD's history of injuries?

Jacoby would get play as the 4th

This is what the Sox said about Wily Mo Pena, who got no playing time and suffered for it developmentally.

Coco is 27, first of all, he turns 28 in November.

Secondly, NOBODY is untradeable, I don't care what their contract is. Not Drew, not Lugo, not Manny. Some are harder to trade than others (10-5 rights are a monkey wrench). It all boils down to what a team wants in return for that player, or how much subsidy they are willing to provide.

28... hmmmm, even better!

Not to whine about some of the posters here but let's get this right; if Boston trades away Coco and Jacoby does not live up to standards he has set for himself after a handful of games, RS Nation will be all over Theo for being such an idiot.

Coco has proven himself a valuable commodity with his D and O potential. I think it is far to soon to give up on him, especially considering that he could very well still be affected by his wrist injury last year.

Let's not forget that this guy was the 'next Damon' before that injury.

"NOBODY is untradeable"

True that, but trading Drew or Lugo would be like giving them away - better to keep them and hope for better results next year? I say yes.

Why rush Ellsbury? Give him the ABs he needs in the minors; keep Coco for another year; very possible his hitting improves. Move him after'08 when you stand a good chance of getting more for him.

And guys - do you really think there's more than a VERY slim chance you get Arod? As long as George is still breathing, he's not going to let his biggest rival outbid him for his best player. Get real.

I don't know how much sway Bill James has in the FO but earlier this season he was quoted by Seth Mnookin as saying that Coco was the most valuable player on the Sox during their tremendous early season run solely for his amazing defense. If you add this to the fact that the Sox thought so highly of Crisp as a young player (he was on their radar a whole season before they traded for him), it seems clear that the FO values him highly. My feeling is that they'd might be more inclined to trade Ellsbury or Manny before trading Crisp because both their perceived values or higher than Crisp's. Having Ellsbury and Crisp is a luxury, but they are somewhat redundant. Meanwhile, the Sox have needs at catcher, short, and in the power department.

"his wrist injury last year"

Wasn't it a finger injury?

BTW what is the statute of limitations on the "injury" excuse? It happened a tear and a half ago... :)

..year and a half ago.., sorry

It comes down to this:

Knowing a 4th OF'er is needed since, apparently, the RS want to see Moss at 1st, how sure is RS management that Jacoby can equal Coco's .275 AVG and .350 OBP (given his same improvement over last year, next year)?

Is Jacoby a .290/.375 hitter?

Wow, I work for an hour and you guys go crazy.

No one's explained yet how a kid with a .740 OPS in a half season of AAA should replace a guy with a .720 OPS in the majors. Worse, is the splits Jacoby has shown against LHP (.620 OPS in AAA this year - >100 AB). If he doesn't improve those he'll never get regular playing time.

And let's draw a distinction between Jacoby as a 4th OF for 2008 and Jacoby as a 4th OF forever. Still, I just want to see him perform in AAA before he's given anything. Trading Coco this off-season makes no sense. His value is as low as it's ever going to be. Best case: He rebounds a bit next year (.750 OPS) and Jacoby has a monster first half for the PawSox. Then trade or 4th OF Crisp and promote Jacoby.

I look at Jacoby as the Sox's Melky (as much as I hate to agree with RAW). Going in there may not be room for him. But by June he may have forced his way into a full-time gig. But he's not there yet.

"True that, but trading Drew or Lugo would be like giving them away - better to keep them and hope for better results next year? I say yes.

Why rush Ellsbury? Give him the ABs he needs in the minors; keep Coco for another year; very possible his hitting improves. Move him after'08 when you stand a good chance of getting more for him"

I could not agree more.

As far as Arod; it depends on what he wants, how much Theo is willing to spend, and how earnest Cashboy was when he said 'no extensionee, no playee'

I have no interest in the Sox trading Drew OR Coco, for the record. I like what I have seen from Ellsbury, but I am not convinced that we aren't just seeing a nice start followed by the eventual pitching adjustment. I am with Pete - AAA may be a good thing for him. My thoughts on moving Manny are not "move Manny at all costs" or even "move Manny even if the costs are great so Ells can play", but rather "why not explore what it might take to move Manny, particularly now that his contract isn't as daunting". Nothing too radical.

All this is medium-term in the future. Right now the key is to get Manny back healthy for the stretch run; it's clear that even a depleted Manny is best for the team right now. When November comes it might be another story.

LOL @ Sox fans thinking they have anywhere close of a chance of getting A-Rod. You're already putting him in your dream '08 lineups. I can't believe you actually are seriously entertaining the thought. Wow. Just wow.

Which explains why his wifey wore a shirt that told all you Yank fans to go fuck yourselves.

Sure. No chance.

That shirt made a statement. And if Arod disapproved I doubt she would have worn it.

Also; you have any idea who Boras's new butt buddies are?

"why his wifey wore a shirt that told all you Yank fans to go fuck yourselves."

So, you're saying that, if he leaves the yanks because he doesn't like the treatment he's received, that's it's likely he goes to Boston, where he's been treated even worse?

Makes no sense.

all this speculation about where A-Rod is going to end up is fruitless. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if he ended up a Sock or a Yanks. The one thing I know is he'll end up on one of the big market teams. Both NY and Boston fit that description.

" I wouldn't be surprised if he ended up a Sock or a Yanks"

I would be quite surprised if he ended up with the sox - if money is the issue, the yanks won't be outbid by their biggest rival; if personal comfort is the reason, he will surely not go to Boston. (Masks with long blonde hair, anyone?)

Nick is right.

if money is the issue, the yanks won't be outbid by their biggest rival

This is a myth.

I really, really think he's going to be playing in an Angels uniform next year, which certainly makes them the most complete team seen in a long, long time. Tons of speed, tons of guys who hit for average, tons of power in the middle, and a supreme playoff rotation followed by an incredible closer.

It's likely to be worse in Boston. I cannot help to believe though that there is something going in the background with him. It just doesn't 'smell' as if Arod wants to stay put.

Boras undoubtably has a lot to do with that.

Initially I think the Sox will be in it, but later in negotiations, they are only going to drive the price through the roof for whomever.. As they should.

People who want to stay put don't hire Boras.

Hardly ever do Boras' clients, who are stars anyhow, end up staying put. It's happened before, but it's not a common thing to have happen.

Andrews, he's not going to think of any of that. This is about money, period. There is a chance the Red Sox will want Arod more and be willing to put up more dollars. It's a remote possibility, but a possibility just the same.

"This is a myth"

Care to explain?

LA does make a lot of sense, as Arod seems an 'LA kind of guy'. I just wonder about his cost and their ability (or want) to pay though.

When it comes to it, NY or Boston make the most sense because we are talking about A$Rod.

"Andrews, he's not going to think of any of that. This is about money, period."

Probably true. In which case, the yanks won't be outbid - it's no small coincidence that the yanks attendance has set records since Arod's been here. Even at 30M a year, it still makes financial sense for them to re-sign him.

That LAA team has plenty of money. Other than Vlad, they're really not paying much to anyone (relative to the the other two teams we're discussing), and even then, Vlad is not costing an arm and leg for them. That stadium is packed now, and with A-Rod there, it woulud only get better.
I have to think that they'll be in it big-time. Anyone with eyeballs, and that includes the owner there, can see that A-Rod (or Manny for that matter) is all that is needed there. Someone has to be able to provide protection for Vlad consistently.
Imagine that team with either of those guys?

On the outside chance that comfort level is a factor, I agree, Brad. He very well could end up with the Halos.

Cashman has already said they wouild be if Arod refuses an extension and seeks FA (something that Boras would shoot him for doing).

Is he not a man of his word?

If they give Arod $32m what will they do with Vlad after 2008 when he is a FA?

Vlad or Arod? I'd take Vlad because he isn't such a pain in the ass.

"Imagine that team with either of those guys?"

I would rather not. They are a thorn in our side as is.

SF, I'm still waiting for the explanation of that "myth"...

"Is he not a man of his word?"

This is a business negotiation, not "To Tell The Truth" :)


Is he not a man of his word?

No. No baseball GM is, but in this case, I happen to think that Cashman is telling the truth on his own principles. I think he's saying to A-Rod "If you want to be here, you're going to work with us, but if not, we're not going to make you even richer by competing with four other major markets".
Just my thougts, and really, I can see A-Rod working with them to keep Texas' money, but regardless of that, they're going to pay through the nose for a long, long time to keep him. No matter the team he ends up on, the money will be off the chart, but in NY, I think it will be worse. Boras knows how much money they have, and he's going to make sure that if NY is the place, they'll pay accordingly.
Factor in the new stadium for NY, and A-Rod staying in NY makes a ton of sense, but I don't know that NY is going to be quick to cave to Boras, at which time Boras will opt out.

BR, I think they think that young Howie Kendrick is the next big thing, and really, few people disagree with this scenario. He's an awesome player, and for that year with all four of them (O_Cab as well), that team is going to be sick.
They let Vlad walk, or maybe extend him.
I don't know, but that is where I think he goes if he leaves NY.

if money is the issue, the yanks won't be outbid by their biggest rival

Is that the same thing Yankee fans thought when the bids came in for Daisuke Matsuzaka?

Different scenarios, of course, but the Yanks knew the Sox were in the bidding and certainly could have blown the field away with a bid. For whatever reason, they did not.

I don't think A-Rod will end up with Boston, but it is no less plausible a scenario than his ending up with LAnaheim or any other deep-pocketed big-market team. The one thing working against the Sox is the desire of the Yankees to keep hima s far away from Boston as possible. But even the Yankees have a price limit, no doubt.

where he's been treated even worse?

Also, I would argue that commensurate with A-Rod's status in each city (won an MVP for the Yankees in 2005, slapped Bronson Arroyo's hand in Boston), A-Rod's actually been treated far worse in New York. Until this season, he got booed harshly in both places.

Melky was a 4th OFer until things happen. I think it'll be worked out, though if Manny's out, then ya, there's a power outage unless Drew hits what he's paid..

Paul: Let's not confuse open bidding and close bidding.

What players fit the bill, Andrews? I assume you will mention Damon and Bernie Williams, but Williams simply played the Sox in order to get the most out of the Yankees and was developed in the system and was a lifelong Yankee (in fact didn't he take less to stay with the Yankees?!), and with Damon the Sox never were given a chance by Boras and Damon to match, though they probably wouldn't have matched the Yankees' offer anyhow, such was the magnitude of difference. How many true free agents with no history with either team have the two teams bid on in the last decade where the Yankees have simply said "whatever the Sox offer we offer 10% more?". How many where players had a history? There simply haven't been many cases either way - Mike Mussina was one but I don't think the Sox ever entered that sweepstakes with intent. Manny was another, but the Yankees didn't do anything there. Pedro was a free agent, and the Yankees passed, while Pedro showed no interest in bypassing the city of New York. The Matsuzaka posting was an example of the Yankees underestimating or simply not having interest in spending on a player that they knew their rival was bidding on, though the blind bid process is admittedly different and difficult. Contreras is the one guy I can think of that really fulfills this storyline, and that story was blown out of proportion, famously -- the Yanks had been scouting Contreras for several years prior to his defection and knew his interest in NY. It was also nearly five years ago.

Scott Boras will do what he can to prize as much value for A-Rod as is possible, and the idea that the Yankees won't be outbid for anyone the Sox want plays right into his hands. You are enabling the devil!! ;-)

How much under-the-table money is Hicks offering Boras to break that extension?

:) just wondering.

The Matsuzaka bid relative to the rest of the market is like giving A-Rod $50 million/year. If the Sox want to do that, I'm sure he'd sign there (and watch as they're the 2003 Rangers).

No thanks on A-Rod. But I predict, for what it's worth, that he signs an extension with the Yankees for some ridiculous amount (180 million for 5 years).

P.s. Everyone seems to neglect A-Rod in this theorizing. Regardless of Boras, he'll make the decision. If he wants to stay in NY, he will. If not, he won't.

What's interesting to me about Cashman's stance is that he's playing the ten day deadline against Boras. He could offer a serious 160 million on day one and then wait Boras out until day 10 (just like the Sox with Matsuzaka last year). If A-Rod still opts out, Cashman knows he was never going to sign with the the Yanks, regardless of the money.

So, SF, the only example of the yanks being outbid on a player you cite is Matsuzaka, which, by nature of the blind bid, is a completely different situation. Hmm...

Anything can happen here, but there is no "myth". Steinbrenner's ego gets involved, and to win what he wants, he'll pay whatever it takes - it has been that way since he bought the team.

"You are enabling the devil!! ;-)"

True.

"Also, I would argue that commensurate with A-Rod's status in each city (won an MVP for the Yankees in 2005, slapped Bronson Arroyo's hand in Boston), A-Rod's actually been treated far worse in New York."

Your opinion, I don't agree.

My point is he won't go from one harsh fan base to another if he opts out for personal reasons. He surely won't have an easier time in Boston; no doubt he's well aware of this.


Me, typekey sucks.

I'm out on Arod - don't want to hijack the post any further.

Pete, the Matsuzaka contract, given his noted talent and performances, is not otherworldly, IMO. $17m a year for guy which has been written - "He has six pitches that grade out as plus or plus-plus at their best, and he'll be the best Japanese import ever. And no, we're not forgetting about Ichiro", is not so bad in todays market.

Less than Zito's and both of which may well prove cheap in 3 years the way salaries are escalating. I'm not ecstatic this year but next is another story.

But I guess the real question is would the Yanks had offered $17m a year for someone of Dice's pedigree? Damn straight they would have.

IMO, they blew the acquisition primarily because they don't have the same relationship with Boras that SM do. If the Yanks knew they could have signed Dice for $52m I believe they would have been more aggressive with their filing bid.

Hey Yank fans

I thought George was one step away from the loony bin? Isn't it being reported that he's gone half nuts?

Whatever the case, it is quite evident that George is not calling the shots in NY this year.

Out

Andrews, I was responding to this statement of yours:

"the yanks won't be outbid by their biggest rival"

Surely there's a difference between players who sign with the Yankees or Sox independently and players who negotiate with both the Sox and the Yankees and then make a decision. Personally I think the idea that one team spends money only to keep someone away from their rival a tad overblown, if not completely irrelevant. Certainly it's relevant, but to the extent it defines a team's final decision and/or offer it is overplayed as a factor, in my opinion.

For (probably a bad) example, the Yankees could have signed Manny, and the events of the last several years would have been inexorably changed; the Sox may still be standing in a quagmire of futility, the Yankees gunning for their eighth title in 10 years. But they didn't, because they didn't determine that signing Manny was worth it for them even need-wise or money-wise, even at the expense of the (future) potential successes of the Red Sox.

Nah, RAW, Boras had no leverage because Dice said he was leaving Japan and there were no other suitors. That's what enabled the cheap contract not some flaky relationship with Sox management. Still, the price is a bit galling to me because they out-bid their nearest competitor by almost 25 million (51.11 vs. 28 by the Mets). To me, Dice-K's year is easier to swallow at 12 million/year. But the guy drives me batty because of the extreme variance in results.

"Personally I think the idea that one team spends money only to keep someone away from their rival a tad overblown, if not completely irrelevant."

Then you haven't been paying attention to the Steinbrenner owned yanks.

Document, please, Andrews. Honestly, I want to know, in the last twenty years, who the Sox and Yanks have fought over and how zero-sum it has been.

It's not that this dynamic is non-existent, it's that this dynamic is mythologized: "Sox only spent on Dice to keep him away from the Yanks!". "Yanks break the bank to keep Damon from the Sox!". This is a popular story, but it's not 100%, maybe not even 50% accurate. It's a factor, and a much more minor one than conventional wisdom would have any of us believe.

I see bragadoccio BRAW is back. So BRAW, the loss to Tampa Bay last night - just an "old and tired" team? Or are the standards different when the shoe is on the other foot?

On A-Rod, if he doesn't want New York for reasons of fans being nasty to him I don't think Boston looks any better to him. If NY can't land him, the best chance is LAA for any number of reasons (loves that park and does some of his best work there over his career, great line-up with nice coverage for him, fans that are unlike the NY/Boston types in terms of how they get on slumping players, etc.). And at the end of the day, I don't think the money will make the difference becasue I think they are all likely to throw similar chunks of change at him and if anyone throws more it is likely to be the Yanks up front with their Texas subsidy in hand. He will either stay in NY because he wants to or go outside the NY-Boston fan-buzzsaw for comparable and even slightly less money.

" It's a factor, and a much more minor one than conventional wisdom would have any of us believe."

Document this statement.

Twenty years is more research than I'm willing to do today. For starters, Clemens this year; you mentioned Damon,and Contreras.



Remember, too, that the Sox actually were willing to go very close to what Damon actually signed for, but Boras lied about how much the Yanks were offering so the Sox, thinking the price was much higher, didn't even bother upping their final bid. That's really neither here nor there, but it shows how Boras acts when it's Sox vs. Yanks. There's no telling how this would turn out if it's between those two teams again.

Regardless of Boras, he'll make the decision.

A-Rod might be different, but as I understand it, clients hire Boras with the understanding that they basically let him pull the strings of the negotiations. The player has very little to no input on that side of things.

I also agree he won't go to Boston if he's leaving New York because he doesn't like the way the fans treated him. But I don't think that will play into his considerations. He's played well in NY despite the distractions. It'll be all about the money. I was just objecting to the idea that he's somehow been treated worse in Boston than in New York. If anything, A-Rod if he performed for Boston how he performed for the Yankees would be treated better. Look at it this way: J.D. Drew isn't being booed half as much despite his struggles as A-Rod was in 2006, when he had a much, MUCH better year.

Let me put it to you this way, SF. The yanks really want to keep Arod. If the sox sign him, and money is the deciding issue, I'll wear a red sox cap to a yanks game next season - you can accompany me, I have a season ticket plan - if the yanks outbid the sox, you have to wear the red sox cap. Deal?

"J.D. Drew isn't being booed half as much despite his struggles as A-Rod was in 2006, when he had a much, MUCH better year."

Drew didn't win the MVP in '05. The expectations, especially after his subpar postseason performances, were much higher.

For starters, Clemens this year; you mentioned Damon,and Contreras.

Clemens is an example of the Sox refusing to overpay for talent, not the Yankees overpaying for talent to keep them away from Boston.

Damon comes closest because the Sox were clearly in the bidding, and the Yankees in hindsight clearly overpaid for his services, but even then, the Sox refused to go above a certain point and had a backup plan (Crisp) in mind.

"If anything, A-Rod if he performed for Boston how he performed for the Yankees would be treated better. Look at it this way: J.D. Drew isn't being booed half as much despite his struggles as A-Rod was in 2006, when he had a much, MUCH better year."

Who knows! This is is tantamount to saying that Sox fans are better and more caring fans. Maybe. My feeling is that A-Rod's persona, which doesn't appeal to the rough and tumble NY fanbase (and perhaps this idea has been overblown by tabloids anxious to sell papers. For instance, I know of few fellow Yanks fans who don't like A-Rod as a player) would probably not appeal to the Sox fanbase, which initiated the latently homophobic Slappy Bluelips handle. Just a guess.

1. I'd say Damon is much more gullible than A-Rod (and A-Rod will be much more involved than is typical - he loves this shit. It's ego stroking and money). Meanwhile, I thought Damon got 12 million more than the Sox offered. That's pretty significant.

2. Why did Matsuzaka hire Boras when there was little negotiating to be had?

Nah, they can all dance around for leverage but it basically comes down to whether A-Rod wants to stay in NY. He'll get paid regardless, but there's little doubt in my mind that the spin, if he leaves, can't go any way other than he wanted to go elsewhere. I just can't see him and Boras standing there and saying team X offered much more than the Yankees. No one would believe them.

"Which explains why his wifey wore a shirt that told all you Yank fans to go fuck yourselves."

I can't believe we are going down this road AGAIN...The shirt was and is FCUK NY it's French Connection NY, it DID NOT SAY F*CK NY.

"If they give Arod $32m what will they do with Vlad after 2008 when he is a FA?

Vlad or Arod? I'd take Vlad because he isn't such a pain in the ass."

The Angels have an option for '09 on Vlad at $15 million dollars. He would have to hit a pretty step decline for them not to pick that bargain of an option. (JD makes $16 per)

I think it was said pretty well yesterday, but it's worth repeating. We are rivals here, so it's understood that sometimes we aren't going to like one another, but B-Raw, you don't come across well. The comment about Hicks, the comment about Steinbrenner and the looney bin. They all seem like you are trying to light a fire with each comment. This is a great place to talk baseball and MOST times we all get along, stop being such an instigator.


"Clemens is an example of the Sox refusing to overpay for talent, not the Yankees overpaying for talent to keep them away from Boston.

Damon comes closest because the Sox were clearly in the bidding, and the Yankees in hindsight clearly overpaid for his services, but even then, the Sox refused to go above a certain point and had a backup plan (Crisp) in mind."

Paul, this just lends credence to my point - that the yanks are willing to overpay for talent - and won't be outbid for players they feel they have to have - and the sox, with a few exceptions, aren't.

By contrast, look at the Clemens deal to see how the Sox management continues to use the "we don't have money" card when it's convenient for them. For Clemens, they thought they were set with pitching (for good reason) and so they offered less than he made last year with Houston. But they spun it as "We offered him a fair deal and he wanted to go elsewhere". The Boston media ate it up as a sincere effort especially since the Yankees made money no object. The whole scenario fit perfectly into their respective past archetypes. Who cares if it wasn't true?

Instead, they took the same difference in money and gave it to Gagne.

Heh. Detroit's getting pounded 10-0 by Texas in the first game of a doubleheader. Looks like Boston's and New York's postseason magic numbers are going down by at least one today (that would make it 9 for Boston and 15 for New York if the Tigers lose).

John. It did say Fuck, its not a french connection shirt, its from a store called Chrome Hearts (very trendy). The shirt had nothing at all to do with Arod, and thinking that his wife made a decision to wear that shirt to piss of people in NY is probably giving her way too much credit.

Overpaying on the Posting fee was the smartest decision any team who really wanted could have done. It was well worth it to go over the top because of the economics involved, both salary cap implications and ways to match the money from an accounting standpoint on the business side. Dice had little leverage one he decided he was leaving on the contract side as well. If they wanted too they could have just never signed a deal. They would have got the posting fee back. (this also is a blow to the argument that the yankees over bid, because even if they had no interest in dice k they could have bid and then never signed him for free). Boras will have to think hard about having Alex opt out. The reason is because it might not get him the most money or longest contract because of what the yankees can offer will most likely be greater because of the current terms. I doubt that Boras double dips on his fees (take his cut on the original deal, so he would have to forfeit some of that back) so financially it should not make any difference to him either.

Let me put it to you this way, SF. The yanks really want to keep Arod. If the sox sign him, and money is the deciding issue, I'll wear a red sox cap to a yanks game next season - you can accompany me, I have a season ticket plan - if the yanks outbid the sox, you have to wear the red sox cap. Deal?

No deal. Personally I think the Yankees have a fair chance of extending A-Rod without even letting him hit the market, simply because of the Texas subsidy. If A-Rod opts out and hits full free agency, I honestly don't have any idea where he'll end up, but California seems like a fair expectation. I don't necessarily see him in Boston but that isn't because the Sox can't offer as much as the Yankees for a player like him considering their roster circumstances next year, which they can: Lowell, Schilling coming off the books, lots of minimum-making players. I am actually working on a post on this, started it earlier this week, to be honest. Coming soon.

This is another case of zero-sum taking over, Andrews. I am not saying the rivalry isn't a factor. I am only saying that, in my opinion, the game of "keep away" is less significant than we all are led to believe. Both of our teams have already made plenty of acquisitions to show this the case, whether at deadlines or in the off-season: in a much-argued-at-this-site case, did the Sox give up all those prospects for Abreu last year or did they somewhat passively watch him go to the Yankees, their arch-rival, for a lesser deal, just for example? Was this the Yankees going the extra mile, or the Yankees playing keep-away, or the Sox not playing keep-away, or what? This storyline is overplayed, to me.

P.S. About the betting - nothing personal: I just do not bet, as a rule, unless I am in Vegas. Which makes me kind of dumb, frankly.

Instead, they took the same difference in money and gave it to Gagne.

This is totally bad math, Pete.

Gagne was making $6M+ this year, of which Texas had already paid nearly $4M. So with the guaranteed bonuses that Boston gave him, the Sox still don't even come close to the Clemens' pro-rated numbers, particularly when you factor in the luxury tax hit it would have engendered. By most reports there was at least $10M (pre-luxury tax difference) between the two offers for Clemens.

The Yanks and Sox' respective offers to Clemens were also a function of the teams' needs at the time (and even now honestly). Igawa and Pavano proved useless while the Sox staff was strong. The Yanks made an offer he couldn't refuse,a nd the Sox made a good offer he could.

Not that it matters, but if the shirt really said "FCUK YOU" and not the correct spelling, why would they blur it out in the photo and why would no news story mention it was just the designer clothing line?

http://tinyurl.com/yp5lou

Agreed on the overplayed, SF. So few deals we can know for certain. The ones where we know the basic parameters, we know one team stayed in while the other dropped out (Damon, Clemens, Gagne). Only a select few know why in each case, but it seems pretty obvious (Sox had other plans than Damon after letting Pedro and Lowe and Cabrera walk; Sox didn't "need" Clemens; Yanks didn't want to part with Melky and had Joba).

"did the Sox give up all those prospects for Abreu last year or did they somewhat passively watch him go to the Yankees, their arch-rival, for a lesser deal, just for example?"

Not apples to apples - the sox' greatest need in '06 was starting pitching; while they were interested in Abreu,( and probably in blocking his move to the yanks) it would have tied up money they needed to spend to shore up their rotation in the offseason.

"John. It did say Fuck, its not a french connection shirt, its from a store called Chrome Hearts (very trendy). The shirt had nothing at all to do with Arod, and thinking that his wife made a decision to wear that shirt to piss of people in NY is probably giving her way too much credit."

My bad Seth, but from all reports I heard it was FCUK NY. Either way the shirt wasn't a shot at the fans or the Yankees. That's the point.

strike "it would have tied up money they needed to spend to shore up their rotation in the offseason" from my last post. They ended up spending the same amount on Nancy.

It's not apples-to-apples, Andrews, I agree. But it tells us something about this myth: each move has circumstances that help dictate how far a team will go to play "keep away", if they play it at all. My guess is that the "keep away" factor is far smaller than conventional wisdom (or, as I call it, the "mythology") would have people believe, on almost any move. My guess is there are deals where this is a factor, even if minor, some where it isn't at all. With A-Rod, I imagine the first (or second, or even third) factor for the Yankees isn't "let's make sure he doesn't go to the Sox".

SF -

My apologies. I wasn't clear. I only meant that the difference between the deals the Sox and Yanks offered (prorated) is equal to what the Sox are giving Gagne (about 4 million).

Regardless, I was one of the few that thought they scammed the town in pretending a legit offer. They didn't even match what Houston gave Clemens in 06. And yet the press ate the "Evil Yankees conspire with Clemens" storyline.

It's just bull all around. At this point, the Sox and Yankees compete on every level and the financial differences between the two is negligible, esp relative to every other team. It's a myth that the Sox can get out-bid. Still, it one that's convenient for the Sox management to promote wherever possible. We all should have learned that lesson permanently with Theo's field speech last year following Abreu then the off-season signings.

One more note on the myth: Isn't it only convenient for Sox management to propagate it? It's not like the Yankees get any good PR from it. But the Sox do. So you end up with Sox fans who are really angry with Damon and Clemens for selling out, even though their organization could have prevented the outcome if they really wanted to. Me, I was shocked at the reception Damon received when he returned. It just showed how pervasive the myth is from the same people paying the highest ticket prices in the sport.

I was one of the few that thought they scammed the town in pretending a legit offer

I don't look at it that way. The Sox offered what they wanted to, Clemens took more elsewhere. Did the Sox make a fair offer in trying to sign Clemens? Sure: they offered to make him the highest paid pitcher on the team despite his age and durability questions. Did they make an offer that they thought would get the deal done? Not so sure about that one. But they also may have figured that an offer was better than no offer, or they may have overestimated the nostalgia factor, or, perish the thought, they may have been leveraged by Clemens' agents, who probably knew that Clemens wanted to play in NYC and may have had no interest in Boston in the first place. Regardless, I don't think many people have been "scammed" by a company line, at least not the Sox fans that I know.

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