“It’s unlikely that he’d be re-signed given that he’s been at or below replacement level for the past five seasons (although a move away from Los Angeles should help his offensive numbers to a degree).”
Replacement level is 0 WAR, average is 2 WAR. From 2007-2011, Loney averaged about 1.5 WAR/year. WAR is also league and park-adjusted.
I bet the Red Sox wished they had Anthony Rizzo right about now
Comment by SF 55 for life — August 24, 2012 @ 11:55 pm
As a Sox fan, I feel this is a terrible deal. You’re selling as low as possible on 3 assets. It makes even less sense because ownership directed the two largest signings (Crawford and Gonzo). The Red Sox essentially print money by owning their cable network- they shouldn’t be in the business of salary dumps. Move a guy or two to get under the tax, fine- but this is an entirely different story. Gonzo is a 5-6 WAR player having a down year (but a good second half). In 4 of the last 6 years, Beckett has been a 4-5 WAR pitcher. Crawford is hurt and his value couldn’t be lower- he had a down year last year but put up over 13 WAR combined in his last 2 years in Tampa Bay.
In this deal, the Sox are bringing in 2 pitchers who have command problems to the AL East which is one of the toughest divisions for patient lineups with the Yankees, Rays, and Blue Jays. It’s very possible that De La Rosa and Webster are relievers when this ends up and you want a lot more to show for this when you’re moving effective players. It’s almost a certainty that none of these guys wind up being a comparable player to Adrian Gonzales.
It’s a salary dump, not a baseball move. It’s a way of Red Sox management to say, “Hey fans, look, we heard you and we shipped the bums out! You can’t blame us now” The smart move would have been to suck it up, deal with the boos, play out the season, let the phony sellout streak end, and then shop these guys on the open market. Eat salary and take back better prospects.
Saying “We’re going to get back to pre-2003 scouting!” is a red herring when the entire draft budget is roughly what John Lackey makes in a year. Not to mention that the farm system heavily contributed to a World Series in 2007 and a lot of production and trade fodder in recent years (including this year’s nigh endless supply of outfielders). You’re kidding yourself if you think this management team is going to preach patience and during a 3-4 year rebuilding period. This is about as big a white flag trade as you’ll see a team make.
A position player takes less time than a pitcher to come back from Tommy John: He’s estimated to be back in 7-9 months. He went under the knife on the 23rd of August, so that means he should return sometime in March to May of 2013: It would take an amazing setback for him to miss the entire 2013 season(He’d have to be out over a year, since if he returned a year to the day he went in for the surgery, he’d still have the end of August and September to go).
Comment by Ruki Motomiya — August 25, 2012 @ 12:12 am
Actually, Crawford is supposed to be out 9 months, and has an outside shot of making it back in time for spring training.
I agree completely. As a Sox fan, I’m supposed to be happy they got rid of their best hitter and 2nd best pitcher for some prospects, one of whom had TJ surgery? It’s a good day when your team gives up with a salary dump for some prospects? Sometimes I get really confused by Fangraphs. The point is to win, not save future money. Which team got better today? The Dodgers. Which team will likely make the playoffs this year and next year? The Dodgers. Which team saved money? The Red Sox. Hip Hip Hooray!
Why would you be ecstatic? The point of saving money is to reallocate it, you don’t get bonus points for not spending. Since the Longoria contract a few years ago, the trend has been to lock up the best young talent early before they get to market. I’d be excited if I thought (for example) this meant that the Sox could sign Joey Votto. I’m less excited because it means the ownership will most likely be throwing a 5 year/90 million contract at Michael Bourn. Next year’s FA crop isn’t appealing, so it means either dramatically overspending for players that aren’t elite (which would be repeating past mistakes), or waiting many years through a rebuilding effort.
Not to mention – this year’s team was beset by injuries and substandard pitching performances and bad luck which has caused them to under perform their run differential by 10 wins. Last year they had an expected win loss record of 95-67, which they underperformed by 5 wins. Before this trade, they were a lot closer to a World Series in 2013 than they are after this trade. So what am I excited about again? The 4th best prospect in a middle of the pack farm system?
Reddick for Bailey/Sweeney had a bad result but wasn’t necessarily a bad move. Rather than overpay for Papelbon, they traded from a position of depth (Reddick was a 4th OF) to fill a need and set up a nice, low cost platoon of Ross/Sweeney. That’s what you’d want to happen. Unfortunately, Bailey gets hurt in a fluky spring training accident and Reddick has a (perhaps fluky) power surge. But at the time it looked to be a good move. It’s not like Lowrie for Melancon where Melancon’s performance made the deal a bad one.
The moves turned out bad but they’re for the most part defensible and/or his hand was forced.
Jed Lowrie had a pretty long track record of lacking durability in Boston. He’s been a little more healthy in Houston, but he’s been on the DL this year. Cherington had to trade off some spare parts, as Lowrie was, in order to fix other areas of the team, such as the bullpen with Melancon. Melancon hasn’t been very good, or used a whole bunch. I chalk it up to the fungible nature of relievers. Don’t forget Melancon is under team control for a while.
Reddick fit in the Lowrie category. Spare parts. Had an extended run as the RF in 2011. Started strong, faded once the league caught up to him. His year in Oakland is extremely impressive, and perhaps he could have done it all in Boston this year, but you have to trade somebody to get somebody. They needed a closer. Reddick wasn’t an exorbitant cost for Bailey and Sweeney(who was perceived to have pretty damn similar value to Reddick, especially in a platoon w/ Ross)
Youkilis had to be moved. Clubhouse situation got increasingly ugly. Middlebrooks was the best option at third base. With Middlebrooks at third and Gonzalez at first, plus Youkilis making matters worse in the clubhouse, he was the logical choice to move. Interestingly enough, maybe he’s back in Boston on a short term deal next year.
Boston’s draft has been considered adequate at the very least, and good by many experts who follow the draft closely.
Lastly, of course Cherington said that. He’s the general manager. The GM has a responsibility to back his players. Do you expect a GM to come out and say “Yeah, I don’t really care for this guy that is on my team’s books for the next 6.5 years” — of course not. We’ll never know if he truly backed the deal or not, but looking at the attempts made by the FO to trade him (to MIA before deadline, to LAD now) in addition to Theo jumping ship, I would lean towards the Crawford signing being exactly how it was reported: pushed by ownership, luke-warmly accepted by FO.
This move is fantastic. Cherington hasn’t been perfect, obviously. The results are bad. But let’s not go all Rany Jazayerli on the guy. The process for success has been there, but the results haven’t. Ultimately that’s on him, but he deserves a little more rope than you’re giving him given the ugly situation he inherited.
Comment by Josh Amaral — August 25, 2012 @ 12:44 am
Those three trades are varying degrees of bad (and the first two really only look bad in retrospect, they didn’t look too bad at the time), but you can’t fault Cherington for the draft haul, this years draft was the worst in recent memory and they actually managed to come away with some pretty legitimate prospects.
He also signed Ross (one of the better free agent signings of the offseason), picked up Ciriaco and Podsednik, and has signed some pretty exciting guys in the international market.
Everyone forgets about Ellsbury. Freeing up this money allows us to resign him, whereas we probably wouldn’t have been able to with Crawford making all the money he is. I like the move because we are getting some to prospects, but we also can now afford Ellsbury
Not only can the Sox afford Ellsbury, but over the next 6-7 years, Ellsbury projects to be a better player than Crawford. I don’t know how his 2013 will shake out, but I’m guessing it’ll be somewhere in between his mediocre 2012 and his likely career-year 2011. If they reach an extension(and with this room to work, why wouldn’t they?) it’d probably be in the 7 year/115M range – something like 30M cheaper than Crawford over those 7 years. It allows them to sign the better player for less money.
Jackie Bradley Jr. is on the fast track to Boston as well. If they were to pass on Ellsbury and JBJ’s development continues, they’d probably get much similar value. If they do extend, you’ve got a valuable trade piece or the flexibility to work him in at a corner(or CF, Ells at a corner, etc)
Comment by Josh Amaral — August 25, 2012 @ 12:55 am
Not to change the subject, but cjd11 – who are you? It was weird to read the comments and see your name, plus you are a fellow sox fan, plus your comments are similar to my own thoughts…for a second i thought i must have written them.
Ellsbury isn’t going to give the Sox a discount though. He’s a Boras client and he’s had his commitment questioned when he was hurt in 2010. Ellsbury has 1 year of arbitration left and is then going to be a FA in 2014. That’s plenty of time to figure out flexibility (Dice-K comes off the books and they could have dumped just Beckett and you just freed up $25M). Presumably the management also knew that Boras clients drive the market- if Ellsbury is healthy in 2013, the Crawford contract is probably the starting place for those negotiations.
Their philosophy since Theo Epstein came in and developed the whole front office has been minor league development, and the draft. In the hyper-competitive AL East, you have to make some trades to survive. The minor leaguers either develop into major league starters for you, or they develop into trade chips you can use to get better. Free agency was always the icing on the cake. You go and fill a few holes that you need. It’s a nice place to get players without giving up any of your prospects.
Unfortunately, as the pressure to win increased, the Red Sox made some bad investments in Crawford, Lackey, the Beckett extension, etc. — Now big contract swings and misses weren’t a new thing(See Lugo, Julio, Renteria, Edgar, et. al.) but they had never had so many of them at once. The cluster of players sucking up the majority of the payroll and producing a minority of the value truly drained the team.
This deal allows them to get up from underneath the bad contracts and start over. Crawford, Beckett, and Punto(his picture is now in the dictionary under the word “afterthought”) are easily replaced. Beckett is a 2-win pitcher this year, climbing into his mid 30s, past his peak. Crawford has been no better than basically replacement level while here.
Gonzalez, when he’s hitting like you expect Gonzalez to hit, is not easy to replace. But if you look at it objectively, the production they received at 1B this season has been more than adequate, and it wasn’t typical Gonzalez levels. You can replace what you got at 1B this season fairly easily and much cheaper. He’s still the toughest pill to swallow in this deal but the slight value Gonzalez would provide over whoever replaces him at 1B for the next six seasons is well worth ridding yourself of not only his contract, but the contracts of Crawford and Beckett.
Using the approach they started with back in 2003, they can build the team up the right way. Overhaul the pitching staff. Stockpile minor league depth. They’ll have a ton of money to spend on free agents that fit, not impulse signings like Crawford.
Honestly, I think this keeps the team in the running for contention in 2013, but makes them far more likely to contend for a title in 2014, 2015, and 2016, than they would have been without the deal.
Oh, and not to mention, the Dodgers are casually throwing in a number of very interesting prospects…. It’s a damn good deal.
Comment by Josh Amaral — August 25, 2012 @ 1:10 am
Oh the perspective of a fan. As a Phillies fan, I felt the same way following the trade deadline….we gave away our 2 best OF for a 4/5th OF, a below average RP, and a bunch of 3rd tier prospects…but you have to look at it from a different angle…the red sox are saving themselves close to 260 million with this trade…they’ve got too many holes to fill through FA to be paying 2 guys 50 million total…you can think they print their own money or whatever, but that’s just silly. They aren’t the only ones with a TV network and they certainly aren’t the only high spending franchise to dump salaries
IMO, the sox are in rebuilding mode anyway…most, if not all of their best prospects aren’t ready for the show yet, and their staff is old and far too hittable…think about it…even if only 1 of Webster and Ruby pan out, you’ll likely have a #2 SP and a really great RP…this article also downplays Sands…he could potentially be the 1B of the future.
However, most importantly, the salary dump will allow them to pursue josh Hamilton, Greinke, Brandon McCarthy, etc
I’ve been following Ruby for bout 2 years ow by the way and he’s got electric stuff…he’s like a smaller Pineda…and come on dude, everyone gets TJ these days…you kinda contradict yourself by saying Crawford has value regardless of the TJ, while Ruby has less because of it…he’s still a kid…like 22. I can’t believe six fans aren’t lovng this.
Is this really selling low though? It’s a possibility, but there’s also a decent chance they sold at the perfect time. As the Red Sox have proved for three years, there is always a new low to sink to.
Gonzalez hasn’t been an elite player since the middle of last year. His patience at the plate has disappeared and so has his power. He’s already had a shoulder surgery, and is close to leaving his prime years. AND he’s the only player in this deal who doesn’t have significant positive value. If Gonzalez continues to struggle (be mediocre) next season, it’s entirely possible his contract would be viewed as undesirable. Selling him now clears up an absurd amount of money and gives you legit pitching prospects, that’s a coup.
Or they could wait, like they did with Youk last offseason, and they can find out how low a former great player’s value can get.
What on Earth makes you think that Boston would sign Bourn at all, much less for those dollars? Boston has a CF, Bourn is an “NL type” player, and Boston would have just gotten out of a similar player/contract with Crawford.
In the words of Captain Jack Sparrow: “not probable.”
It says there that 0-1 WAR is a scrub, and that 1-2 WAR is a role player. That means his 1.5 WAR makes him a decent bench option. Also, he has totaled 5.5 WAR in those 5 seasons (a bit under 5, since we have more than a month left in this season). Since he’s been at exactly 0.0 WAR, his current rate would imply he’d finish a full 2012 at 0.0 WAR as well, meaning 5.5 WAR over 5 full seasons as well. That’s an average of 1.1 WAR, not 1.5. So he’s BARELY over the “Scrub” line.
Since 2008, Loney’s 5.5 WAR is 25th among qualified first basemen, just above Troy Glaus, Ike Davis, Michael Morse, and Kendrys Morales, all of whom played half as much as he did. It also ranks BEHIND Russell Branyan, another player to play half of the games Loney has. Heck, Allen Craig has 5.4 WAR in 201 games at first, only 0.1 WAR behind the 752 games Loney’s played in.
James Loney sucks and should be on a bench, and not even a really good one.
cjd11: The question is, how does Ellsbury produce in 2013?
We’ve seen a few different versions of Ellsbury here. The 2011 version that hit nearly 30HR will get a Crawford/Kemp-like contract. The 2012 version would most likely not.
If Ellsbury is more like Michael Bourn, he’s not going to fetch as much. I speculated that he’d get a 7 year/115M deal, which seems like a pretty fair offer to me. Especially if that’s thrown at him before next season. It’s hard to pass on that kind of guaranteed money.
I’d also add that while I don’t think it’ll sway Ellsbury and Boras a whole lot either way, from all reasonable accounts, he hasn’t soured on Boston as a result of the scrutiny he faced when he was injured in 09. In a year where the media has reported virtually everyone is unhappy on the Sox, they’ve said unanimously that Ellsbury loves playing here.
I know he’s a Boras client. That might be lip-service. He’s unlikely to sign an extension, but that 7/115 parameter can’t be far off, though you never know what the Nats might do in their pursuit of a CF. My whole original point was that Ellsbury is better than Crawford, and he’ll likely sign a deal for less than Crawfords, or even at the same exact amount, which still makes it a better value play.
Comment by Josh Amaral — August 25, 2012 @ 1:17 am
Someone tweeted to go check out his MLB videos. I did immediately. That two-seamer he has is mouth watering.
I don’t recall seeing him throw it in to a righty in the videos I watched, so I can’t speak to what the scout in this article saw, but he seems to have good command of throwing it for a backdoor strikeout pitch.
The change looked filthy too, though I’d love to get a look at it from behind the plate.
Comment by Josh Amaral — August 25, 2012 @ 1:19 am
Or, they could look to flip Ellsbury for more young pitching. The Red Sox need pitching in the worst way, their system is loaded with future position player regulars and still have Pedroia and Middlebrooks as lineup building blocks.
They need to acquire pitching talent, and buying that talent wasn’t possible with the old roster (or wise). They gained two quality prospects today, and they could definitely get a good haul for Ellsbury. They weren’t a contender with the pitching staff they had, and eating all that money would’ve made it impossible to sign good FA talent. This year they had holes, but were too broke to keep Scutaro, nevermind trying to sign a Jackson, Kuroda, etc. They had reached the ceiling of their budget, and were stuck over the lux tax. with a fatally flawed team. Seriously, Red Sox fans, admit your team has had one of the five worst SP staffs in baseball since last September.
Sands and DeJesus are really nothing special if you’ve seen them play. They will not be factors. So it’s really Gonzo for Rubby. That’s not a great haul for a top 5 to 7 1b in baseball. Could have waited another year and hoped Gonzo caught fire with power and easily gotten a better haul. Sox are going backwards with this trade.
It’s definitely selling low on Crawford and Beckett. Not to mention with waivers, you can’t go back to another team and say, “Look, can you sweeten the pot here?” You only have one team to deal with and you either have a trade or you don’t. This wasn’t a must-make deal. None of the prospects in this deal are guys you’d hate to pass up. The Sox got 2 live arms with command problems in this deal and some position players who are probably org guys. Zach Lee would have been a coup- these two are lottery tickets. You seriously think the Dodgers wouldn’t have given up Rubby De La Rosa in an offseason deal for Josh Beckett with Cole Hamels off the market?
If you were looking for best value for a true rebuild, the move would have been to shop the pieces individually, eat some money on the deals, trade Beckett in the offseason, wait for Crawford to come back and try trading him at the deadline in 2013. Gonzales was the most productive player of the 3, what’s the urgency to move his deal? It’s clear that the main goal of management was to save money and not improve the roster of the ballclub. If the Dodgers are actually eating 90-95% of the contract value, you have to look at it as a business move and not a baseball decision.
FA is dust thin this year, the best players are Hamilton and Greinke and both of them have a high level of risk. And then there’s the fact that management and the network/newspapers they own and operate have spent the last year dragging their most successful manager and players through the mud and dumped them in trades. How exactly will Boston attract FAs if they’re not overpaying and dumping their marquee players?
I disagree that they were at a low. Last year the Sox performed at the level of a 95 win team. This year, their record should be 66-60, despite losing a ton of games to injuries and building a bullpen on the fly. That’s not “a new low to sink to”. If the Boston sportswriters weren’t interested in a bizarre voodoo narrative to sell their Encyclopedia Brittanica sized array of books, people would not be looking at the last 2 years as a series of lows. They were competitive at a level that many franchises (Astros, Pirates, Mariners) would have been happy with.
Generally I agree about Bourn, but I was throwing him out as example. I guess it’s possible if management thought they couldn’t keep Ellsbury b/c of what his contract demands would be, someone like Bourn could be seen as a fallback. My larger point is that saving money is great, but you save it to reallocate it elsewhere, and the FA market has been drying up. With restrictions being placed on signing amateurs and the draft, how does saving $260 million improve the ballclub if you don’t have a plan to re-invest it more sensibly? Who are the targets for that reinvestment?
So, to get this straight… the prize pitcher of the trade is coming off TJ surgery, walks 4 guys per 9, struck out 9 per 9 in the minors but never saw AAA (not exactly lights out), and has never pitched more than 110 innings in a season yet, and is 23 going on 24? Good luck with that, lol.
I don’t think they could get much for Ellsbury the way the market currently is. He’s not cheap (arb eligible for 2013) and he’s only got 1 year of control. It could be the best move if you’re looking at really doing a rebuild, and it also gives you a shot to resign him for 2014, but you’re probably not getting a top line prospect for him.
The problem is thinking that the Sox got 2 quality starting pitching prospects today- they didn’t. And they shouldn’t have gotten them, given that they absorbed almost none of the contracts they sent over. De La Rosa has never thrown more than 60 IP in the minors and his walked 102 guys in 232 IP. Allen Webster has walked 202 in 485 IP. Sure, you let them start in the hopes that they figure it out, but that kind of control is a substantial problem in the AL East. The probably won’t just flip a switch on their command, so while they may help immediately in relief, they’re not going to help in the rotation in 2013. Given how fungible relievers are (see the 2012 White Sox), I don’t think people should be doing cartwheels that Gonzales just got flipped for 2 pitchers who’s most likely outcome are as relievers.
You can’t look at only the players directly involved. Nobody else would have claimed Crawford or Beckett at their current contracts. Somebody would have taken A-Gon, but given that 20 teams passed on simply claiming the contract in return for no prospects at all (though Boston probably would have just pulled him back), it can’t be a huge bargain. So Boston gets rid of contracts that pay far more than market value per expected win, then go spend the saved money on other people who should produce more wins for the same price. And they got some prospects who might turn into something on top of it. Obviously it’s no good for them until they spend the money they’re now not paying those four, but once they do, their situation should look much better. They cleared up almost 60 million for each of the next 2 years and 40 million for a few years past that. That should sign some serious talent.
Beckett and Crawford are not worth their contracts at this point, let alone any kind of extra talent on top of assuming their salaries. And while Gonzalez is probably better than he’s played this year, he’s not worth a great deal more in trade than his salary either.
Yet not only do they take on these albatross contracts, they part with the bulk of the talent in their farm system to take on these albatross contracts. Unfathomably dumb.
I don’t see how this sells low on Crawford. The guy is recovering from major surgery and will be playing out the 2nd half of his contract with the new team (aka the half where players seldom produce as much as they are paid). If you could sign most players for 8 years, then drop them to a new team after 4, you’d almost always come out ahead. Beckett is a sell low, but is a small cost in comparison. A-Gon may be a sell-low, as I think his remaining contract is fair, but to bundle them all and receive useful prospects looks like a win to me.
I’d estimate Beckett’s next 2 years as producing somewhere around 6 WAR (~$24m in value), for about $-12m in trade value.
Crawford? 5 years, $102m left. Let’s be wildly optimistic and assume he puts up 6 WAR in 2013, minus 0.5 each following year. At 25 WAR, he’d barely earn his contract. However, even discounting his injury, that is wildly optimistic. By comparison, Tim Raines put up about 16.5 WAR over those ages. A more reasonable Rainesian level of play puts Crawford at $66m in value for a whopping $-36m in negative value. Even assuming some inflation, ouch.
A-Gon could easily be a solid, cost-neutral deal, possibly even one with some small net positive value if inflation was high enough at 1B. But to offload $50m in negative contracts, I’d definitely give him up. And to get some prospects? Even better.
my guess is that the first person the Sox Nab in FA is Napoli – he can play 1B, C (is Lavarnway still struggles) and DH. Plus he coming off a disappointing season so won’t demand a huge deal, and will play on a 2or 3 year deal
Ned Colletti has a proven track record of hugely over-spending for mediocre ( or much worse ) older,established major leaguers . The Dodgers might now have enough money be able to make moves like the Yankees did a few years back and get away with it ,but it isn’t smart allocation of resources . Colletti will help the new Dodger owners spend their money just about as well as the B-girls help rich tourists spend their money in a Bangkok bar .
as a NON red sox fan i find all this hand wringing and crying absoloutely gratifying to say the least.you people actually think you are going to be competitive next year? huh? lmao! papi is gonna ditch that team (good for him) i even seen the word PLAYOFFS in 2013! are you flippin serious? the suk sox WILL finish behind the orioles next year also and most likely the year after.so keep telling yourselves what you have to to feel better about all this but just know,the fans of other teams are taking GREAT satisfaction in your misery! lmao.
Lots to say… Cliff says “oh the perspective of a fan. As a Phils fan…” So the person insulting the Sox fan for being a fan…. And BN says the Sox aren’t sellng Craw low then explaines why Crawford is, and will continue to be low.
The Sox are fine. They had a glut of of’ers. Now we see them re-sign Ross and maybe Hamilton. They’re set at 3rd, C and 2B. They might go after Napoli. BUT, Big Papi at 1B? It could happen. They’ll re-sign him either way now. Losing Beckett is nothing. They re-tooled their pitching at least a little and saved big $$$ AND in the clubhouse. I bet Bobby V is the happiest person in the room right now. No Yuke, no AGone, no Beckett. Cherrington just saved his (Valentines) job for 2013.
This is a win/win for both teams. The Dodgers get much better for a 2012 run. The Sox can re-tool almost immediately.
Comment by Chicago Mark — August 25, 2012 @ 8:07 am
I just don’t understand dumping Crawford at the nadir of his value, nor getting rid of Gozalez, whose production will be hard to replace.
Seems as though the best move here would have been to let Beckett go to the Dodgers via waivers and keep everyone else…
Comment by Stats newbie — August 25, 2012 @ 8:27 am
No, they wish they had him a month ago before he remembered that he sucks at this level.
Which is why this was incredibly stupid for the Dodgers to do. If they had actually made a deal that exploited the fact that Crawford et al. were at their minimum value, that would be one thing. But this deal does not reflect that reality. They gave up a ton in money and prospects for struggling players with albatross contracts.
It’s selling low on Crawford because he’s currently injured and barely played this year. His trade value will only be lower immediately after he retires. When was the last time a player who was on the DL got dealt and provided a good return? A better move would be to let Crawford come back and re-establish some value, then try to move him. He’s going to play in 2013, the worst case happens you can’t deal him at the deadline and you try making a waiver deal in the next 2 years. Hell, Alex Rios and Vernon Wells had their contracts claimed, it’s completely possible that this wasn’t their only shot to move the contract, so what’s the rush?
Your point about performance toward the end of the contract is valid, but lacks context. These 8+ year deals are all heavily loaded so the player is paid more as production declines, that’s just the price of doing business. What was the only one of these contracts that has turned out well? Maybe Jeter’s first contract? Maybe Manny or A-Rod’s (despite them being moved at the end)? If you’re going to sign a contract with a player you didn’t develop, you’re going to have to overpay in dollars or years. The trick is to pay elite players at high impact position and not spend it on relievers, etc. The problem is that there aren’t exactly a lot of elite players steaming toward the market and the MLB doesn’t allow you to do things like suddenly double the amount of money you put into the amateur draft. So I don’t understand the need to move all 3 of these guys this very moment without a plan for what to do with the money. This isn’t the NBA where when you clear cap room, suddenly you’re one of 3 teams that can take on a max player.
This deal will possibly look better in 2015-2018, but now you’re talking about a 2-3 rebuilding process of a team that had 95 expected wins last year. And the message from ownership is *now* we should trust them to spend wisely? They’re basically like someone who cut up their credit card after buying too much stuff they didn’t need and just opened up a new $10,000 line with the promise that *now* they’re only going to buy stuff they really need.
Right, and it would be foolish to invest it all in this offseason because the FA crop is thin. But as a fan who enjoys watching competitive baseball and wants to see his team compete for the world series, this deal does not make me ‘ecstatic’. The 2 pitchers coming back project to be relievers, not guys you could slide immediately (or possibly ever) into the rotation. They can’t put the 260 million (or even 26 million) into player development because MLB restricts what you can spend on the draft.
I can see why this deal would make Redsox ownership happy- their fans, not so much, particularly when the last GM was forced to sign Crawford, Lackey, etc by ownership. Now we’re supposed to trust them to make smart moves?
Sounds like NESN and the Redsox prospect sites have been in full gear this morning. Look at RDLR’s minor league performance numbers. He’s never thrown even a half season’s worth of innings and his K:BB is about 2:1.
It’s okay, they have Middlebrooks! Ignore the fact that he can’t take a walk and focus on that sweet sweet low-cost league average performance.
Comment by chuff chuff chuff — August 25, 2012 @ 9:56 am
Wasn’t De La Rosa claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays and the Dodgers pulled him back? If so, not sure how he could be included in this deal.
Love this deal Crawford voted one of worst contracts in baseball. Gonzo lost all power in a hitters park now going to a pitchers park. Beckett out of shape fastball down 5mph. Only thing that would have made this deal better is if we got zach Lee.
Comment by BobbyK2116 — August 25, 2012 @ 10:56 am
Forgot to say I hope redsox trade every player on this team that didn’t attend Pesky’s funeral…..
Comment by BobbyK2116 — August 25, 2012 @ 11:00 am
Uh, wait a minute. De La Rosa projects as far more than a reliever, and Webster has plenty of starting potential. That point just makes no sense.
Also, “all” we lost production wise was Gonzalez, really. Crawford and Beckett will be pretty easy to replace. This team is still very good. You use the money to resign Ortiz, consider extending Ellsbury. Make a few smaller moves in the offseason. Maybe trade for Chase Headley, see if he’ll play left field? Sign Peavy, who won’t be nearly the kind of investment somone like Greinke would be? And let some kids play. This team could be pretty exciting and competitive even next year, but come 2014 and beyond could be REALLY good. This sounds like a fun team to watch next year:
C Ryan Lavarnway
1B Jerry Sands, or Lance Berkman, or trade for Victor Martinez: a number of options
SS one of Aviles/Ciriaco/Dejesus/Iglesias, or you could even look for a trade
LF Chase Headley (or if we’re only going with players we have now, probably Nava which is admittedly less interesting)
Peavy (or if he’s too pricey get a few options for 4-5 starters and bump everyone else up a slot)
Rubby De La Rosa
With Lackey still around. I didn’t involve Doubront because he’d probably be involved in one of the trades I’m envisioning, but obviously he’s a worthy starter too. Add what is a really solid bullpen, that can become even better with additions from the minors, and it’s actually a really good team. Not World Series favorites, no, but this team could definitely earn a playoff spot.
Yeah, forget the Red Sox for a minute, and lets all try to figure out what the F* the Dodgers are thinking?
They, in essence, just signed the following FA contracts;
Josh Beckett – 2 years, 31.5 Million (2013-2014)
Carl Crawford – 5 years, 102.5 Million (2013-2017)
then traded DeLaRosa, Webster, DeJesus and Sands for
Adrian Gonzalez – 6 years, 127 Million (2013-2018)
Granted they received about 13 million, but that will be spent between the remainder of the 2012 costs plus the 1.5 owed to Nick Punto next year.
…now, add that newly acquired costs to
Matt Kemp – 7/150 remaining for 2013-2019
Andre Ethier – new 5/85 contract they just inked for 2013-2017
Hanley Ramirez – 2/31.5 remaining
Chad Billingsley – 2/23
Clayton Kershaw – 1/11 remaining before needing an extinction himself
Yasiel Puig – 6/40 till 2018
Ted Lilly – 1/12 remaining
Chris Capuano – 6MM for 2013
Juan Uribe – 7 MM for 2013
Mark Ellis – 5.25MM for 2013
Jerry Hairston – 3.75MM for 2013
Aaron Harang – 7 MM for 2013 (if youre keeping tabs, he marks the 6th starting pitcher making between 6-15 million next season)
I dont know how they are going to manage it, they have one hot mess of massive contract and extreme future commitments – a ton of which is going to under-performing or undesirable pieces.
For the next 5 seasons, they have 4 OFers and a 1B locked in – 5 guys who have a combined 504.5MM committed to them for 29 seasons worth of play – an average of 17.4MM per year. They dont have a single SP signed beyond 2014 though, with the 6 starters they have making 90.5MM for 2013 and just 2 spots in 2014 (Bills and Beckett)
Just a complete mess…
Comment by blahblahblah — August 25, 2012 @ 11:06 am
Wow, people really think this is good for the Red Sox
Do you people not believe one of Beckett or Crawford will turn it around next year?
Great argument. Everything I said there is true. If you want to be excited about a salary dump with players whose value were all at or near their nadir, go ahead. Maybe the Sox should have held onto Reddick and Rizzo, that was younger/better talent right in front of them. Instead you have a utility guy in DeJesus, an OF in Sands who has puffed up numbers from the PCL that won’t amount to much and a wild young arm coming off of TJ surgery. But, yeah, stick to name-calling, it’s a great decision.
I hear there’s this Hamilton guy available that used to be pretty good. While they’re visiting Arlington, they might be able to pick up a C/1B that’s having a down season at a bargain price for the production he’d have at Fenway.
While neither player has exactly wowed this season, the Hamilton/Napoli duo definitely have the talent Boston would be looking to acquire on the FA market. And, since they are having somewhat down seasons, one could be convinced that they won’t be signing contracts that reflect the pinnacle of their value, as was the case in the Crawford signing and Gonzalez extension.
The ages are quite similar to that of Crawford/Gonzalez, and the health considerations are not entirely different, either.
So…trade away $260M, sign similar production for a lesser price and cut loose an expensive pitcher in middle of a downward spiral, gain four prospects and lose a couple of draft picks (there will be some forfeiture for the Hamilton/Napoli signings, to be sure). Then use some of that cash to maybe sign a decent pitcher or two and extend Ellsbury.
Seems like a solid reallocation of capital to me.
Comment by cthabeerman — August 25, 2012 @ 12:20 pm
Dodgers have to get in line. Mets, Red Sox, and Phillies are A, B, and C.
The dodgers just sunk their franchise for years to come. No idea how the red sox pulled this one off. They should have had to give up prospect just to get the dodgers to take these contracts on.
They’ll likely do better in the future just by virtue of removing these clubhouse cancers and freeing up playing time for younger guys with futures. They can sign ellsbury and maybe a few mid level FA’s this winter.
Comment by willjohnson — August 25, 2012 @ 12:36 pm
“Do you people not believe one of Beckett or Crawford will turn it around next year?”
Do you really believe the Red Sox wouldn’t have done this deal in a second even if they knew both of those guys would turn it around?
“This deal will possibly look better in 2015-2018, but now you’re talking about a 2-3 rebuilding process of a team that had 95 expected wins last year. And the message from ownership is *now* we should trust them to spend wisely? They’re basically like someone who cut up their credit card after buying too much stuff they didn’t need and just opened up a new $10,000 line with the promise that *now* they’re only going to buy stuff they really need.”
No, actually, that’s a terrible analogy, but thanks for trying.
Under your logic, the person would be better off going broke and dying from starvation.
I think what cjd11 is missing in all this is the situation/environment in Boston is so bad they decided that it would be best to wipe the slate clean, ship out the players associated with alot of the negativity, and start over. Sacrificing Adrian Gonzalez is small cost.
Beckett, right or wrong, has become a target for Boston fans. He also has lost 2mph off his fastball. He also has been rumored to be a bad clubhouse influence. Who cares if he had a decent WAR 4 of the last 6 years? Paying $31 million for the next two years for a malcontent with a missing fastball, shipping him out is a bonus.
Crawford. for whatever reason, it doesn’t appear he took well to Boston or that Boston took well to him. Besides Big papi, what black man have the Boston fans embraced? Not Jim Rice.
When Crawford was on the market there were some rumblings that his stats were inflated because his game was perfectly suited for the turf at the Trop…..paying 100 million over 5 seasons to an aging speedster not liking his environment for a player poorly suited for the ballpark – (his defensive skills wasted playing left field in Fenway) – the Sox are lucky to be moving the contract. Will Crawford be a decent major leaguer the next 4-5 years? Yes. Should decent major leaguers make $20mill per season? No.
Gonzalez is a very good hitter. But to sacrifice him to rid yourself of two expensive headaches and get back anything is magnificent. And a prospect hound says “single most dominant pitch I’ve seen live”……but you see the glass as completely empty. I don’t get that.
Josh Hamilton has risk, sure. But I’d rather risk 20 mill for five years on Hammy
than have it locked up in crawford. “Josh, just don’t go near that big green wall, and please stay out of the bars, Thanks.”
Comment by first timer — August 25, 2012 @ 12:50 pm
The reply was about the author’s understanding of WAR, not Loney.
Also, the Beckett part of this deal isn’t even that bad: Beckett is only signed through 2014 and there’s pretty much nothing if they’re trying to compete from now until 2014-2015 or so. Which would make sense, as that is about the time all their older vets fall off the cliff, with Kemp perfectly slotting in as turning 30 that year.
It seems to me like they’re simply spending to get the best years out of their best players, like a runner up MVP in Kemp and a good player in Ethier. Replacing Lonely with above average 1B production would be key to any gameplan in this situation.
Comment by Ruki Motomiya — August 25, 2012 @ 1:03 pm
Three year plan to try and win the World Series?
It’s sort of obvious to me. Lock up Kershaw, given the expenditure they’re putting out they should be good for 1-2 more large contracts. Didn’t they also try to get Cliff Lee on waivers…?
I can’t imagine Capuano costs that much to resign either, at age 35 at that point.
It’s a three year plan. Lineup falls off the cliff in about three years, so does the pitching, Kemp turns 30. They’re going all out until then.
Comment by Ruki Motomiya — August 25, 2012 @ 1:11 pm
The thread (and entire internet) is filled with explanations of why your position is ignorant. He’s just being efficient.
Love it! Thanks Beckett for 2007, particurally games 1 and 5 of the ALCS. Thank you to Gonzalez for your professional approach the last 2 years. AND BEST OF LUCK CARL CRAWFORD. May you return to full health and regain the form that made you what you were in Tampa Bay.
So, according to here, the red sox gained $41.8 mil of value out of Gonzalez, for around $24 mil of salary. Shocking +$17.8 mil of surplus. Of course, prospect value comes into play, but it looks like we rid ourselves of some bad news bears and sold at the max of that contract’s value.
Letting LA absorb most of the Beckett and Crawford deals is just hilarious.
Hello from Earth.
All but a very few of the comments here were completely irrelevant to this post, which was simply about the value of the players the Red Sox received.
I really appreciated Marc’s enlightening us about this important part of the trade that was largely ignored elsewhere.
Comment by ben cherington — August 25, 2012 @ 2:10 pm
no, you’re welcome redsox fans
Comment by ned colleti — August 25, 2012 @ 2:11 pm
true dat. yankees fo eva. no but seriously. true dat
Comment by from the branx — August 25, 2012 @ 2:16 pm
“De La Rosa projects as far more than a reliever, and Webster has plenty of starting potential. That point just makes no sense”
It makes plenty of sense- the probability of these guys turning into effective, above average starters is not high. They have potential, but both guys have command/control problems. A minor league 4BB per 9 is bad. It won’t play in the AL East. Do they have potential, sure, but they’re not great prospects. They shouldn’t be with the Dodgers agreeing to take on all the money. Either you take on a ton of money, or you give up great prospects- you don’t do both at the same time and the Dodgers didn’t here.
Signing Napoli to play C would be a mistake, because he’s more of a DH. Maybe you sign him to be a younger/cheaper Ortiz, but signing him to block Lavarnway and the Blake Swihart isn’t moving the team forward.
@cjd11: You say it is selling low, but I just showed the math that says it is NOT selling low due to the values. Heck, let’s assume that Beckett puts up 9 WAR over two years and earns his whole contract. I don’t think this is unreasonable, even. Chances are, Crawford’s contract still has -$30m in value in the median case. That is HUGE. And that assumes he recovers and averages more than 3 WAR over the next 5 years.
I mean, did you call the Jay’s trade of Wells selling low? Hardly. If you can take a bad contract and get a mulligan, that’s a lot of value. Who do you think would sign Crawford for 5 yr/$100m this offseason? (or Beckett for 2yr/$36m, for that matter). Plus, the Red Sox get prospects. That’s just icing, really.
The math shows that they aren’t selling low. The net value of the 3 contracts they’re offloading is somewhere between $-20m and $-50m. While the value of the players they are trading is lower than when they were signed, that was to be expected: they’re both two years older into their 30’s. However, while their VALUE is lower, their contracts have remained the same.
Let’s look at the players and think about what they’d get if they played much better:
– Beckett: A couple decent prospects, assuming he puts up 2 WAR by midseason in 2013 or 2014. Or 4 WAR in 2013 total (so basically half as much as this deal offered).
– A-Gon: The four guys in this deal, straight up, plus a major league role player. He has all the value in this deal.
– Crawford: If he goes on a 5 WAR pace next year, he’d probably get 3 out of 4 of these prospects.
So these guys, if all playing great, could gather a mix of 10 prospects and role players. But… if they don’t play so great?
Which is highly likely for Crawford, especially, returning from a major injury. Well, with Crawford, you’re risking over $50m to get 4 prospects or one ML pitcher. That’s just silly-money. You can sign a guy for that much.
For Beckett? If you could cut him right now, you could resign him for a savings of $3m/year probably. Heck Buehrle, coming off a better 3 year average WAR, received 4yr/$58m. (~$14.5m/year). I think Beckett still has more dominance, so this sells low on him if he rebounds, but you’re risking about $18m to test the market on that.
A-Gon? Could trade him for all the prospects right now, probably. If he played like before? Could tag an average major leaguer onto it, maybe (see: Loney, with some cash chipped in). He’s not a major sell-low right now, as you wouldn’t get much more for him. If he played worse? Maybe he’d only gather 3 out of 4 from this deal.
If you don’t take this deal, you’re risking $70m for an ML average player at neutral salary and 4 prospects. That does not seem like selling low. That sounds a lot more like jumping off a sinking ship.
I get the environment thing- but who’s responsible for that? The Redsox own their own network, they own a newspaper, the organization dragged Francona’s name through the mud. That’s why Theo quit on them twice (the other time was in 2005 when he walked out in the gorilla suit). And the team shouldn’t be making moves to break curses or deal with ephemera- follow a process, execute, and stand by the results.
I agree Beckett had to go- but he was also the most tradeable piece- only 2 years on his deal and he could benefit from the switch to the NL. So shop him in the offseason on a bigger market.
I don’t see the glass as completely empty with the 2 prospects in the deal, but their most probable outcome is as relievers, not starters. RDLR isn’t replacing Beckett in the rotation next year. If people want to believe that the Dodgers took back $260M *and* gave up 2 starters who could be above average pitching in the AL East, then good for them, but I don’t share their optimism.
If the plan isn’t to pay market rate for a 4 WAR 1b and the plan isn’t to play prospects for cheap… what is the plan? Especially in a division filled with well run, well heeled teams (and the Orioles)?
Comment by Juan Pierre — August 25, 2012 @ 3:05 pm
Josh Beckett – 15.75MM
Chad Billingsley – 11MM
Clayton Kershaw – 11MM
Ted Lilly – 12MM
Chris Capuano – 6MM
Aaron Harang – 7 MM
Beckett – 15.75MM
Billingsley – 12MM
Capuano – 6MM mutual option
Aaron Harang – 7MM mutual option
Kershaw – (arbitration, which will be somewhere between 15-22MM if Timmy is any indication)
Billingsley – 14MM Option
They have 2 years where they might be able to keep most of it together, but 2015 they are going to need a complete staff where they may or may not even have Kershaw around.
Similarly, Ramirez will be gone past then and they will have only Gonzalez (21MM), Crawford (20.5MM), Kemp (21MM), Ethier (18MM) and Puig (4.5MM) plus the option on Billingsley (14MM) for 2015 – those 6 will make 99 million themselves, with Kershaw (if he is resigned) adding another 20MM or so on top of it.
Comment by blahblahblah — August 25, 2012 @ 3:16 pm
Why should I expect different results from Josh Hamilton (who is 31–older than crawford and agon) and Zach Greinke than from what I got out of the pre-2011 additions? I’m looking at a very expensive (that is, market rate) 8 WAR addition for 2013 that is immediately depreciating in value, no?
Comment by Juan Pierre — August 25, 2012 @ 3:17 pm
Drink Kool-aid much?
De la Rosa will never be a #2 starter because of durability issues. He’ll be a good closer, but he won’t have a very long career as a SP due to his mechanics.
Sands and De Jesus are bench players at best. Sands reminds of Billy Ashley in how he can’t hit a curveball.
Right now, of all the massive free agent deals that have been done over the past 5 years or so, the only one of them that I don’t think the team would like to un-do is the CC Sabathia deal(s) (alright, and Joey Votto, but that’s a bit different). If I were a team owner, the Evan Longoria model is the only one I would follow: enjoy the player’s prime years, then let the Red Sox/Yankees/Dodgers/Giants/Angels/Rangers/Tigers/Nationals gleefully pay him for past services rendered.
I think he was referring to BoSox fans who think they actually won the trade.
It’s hard to make that case given the value the Dodgers are getting. The Dodgers are going to get much more now in ROI on their television deal, so the bloated contracts are kind of a drop in the bucket for them.
Dodgers won in that sense, BoSox fans will have to wait another 3-5 years for a contender, esp. given how thin the FA markets will be.
You are right. Colletti cannot produce winners with a McCourt budget, which he spent most of his tenure under. He can buy some good, consistent players with the right, which is what he has now and A-Gon fits that bill. But trying to build a championship team with someone like Casey Blake did not cut it.
So you are correct in saying his track record is overpaying for medicore vetrans.
When you are trying to add $5-10 billion to the value of the TV rights by fielding a championship team, $0.5 billion in contract obligations doesn’t sound like much.
Before the trade, TV rights in the LA market was estimated at $10 billion. Leveraging the $2 billion to buy the Dodgers and spending a little extra to grow value of the Dodger’s most valuable asset makes these contracts a drop in the bucket.
First, “they traded from a position of depth” is wrong. No major league team ever has enough enough depth, especially in the minors.TINSTAPP, attrition, injury… whatever. Shhh happens. Now, depth is may be a problem in a sense…but as Marlo likes to say in the Wire…a good problem. 29 other major league teams would board up bodies in abandoned houses for the dilemma the Rangers have with Profar and Andrus.
Second, just because they didn’t “pay” market value (based on WAR) for the best, safest closer not named Mariano Rivera… doesn’t mean they didn’t “pay” this offseason for a closer. They did pay for two, but in young, ML-ready, cost-controlled talent. And that’s why those deals were indefensible from the start. The Sox, of all teams, should know that bullpen arms are largely fungible! In fact, they DO know this as evidenced by the mashup cast of characters (that *didn’t* cost Jed Lowrie and Josh Reddick) currently employed in their bullpen. Their bullpen–without anything from melancon and bailey–has been terrific!
Finally, there is nothing “fluky” about Andrew Bailey’s injury history. There is an espn fantasy study from June or July that says the accumulation of injuries is predictive of future injuries. In other words, we shouldn’t be surprised anymore when Bailey or Street hit the DL each year.
Comment by cable fixer — August 25, 2012 @ 3:46 pm
People who drive a Bentley don’t worry about how it costs to fill it up, but people who drive a Corolla do.
Know why? Some people have a lot of money to burn, and others don’t. Both cars do the same thing, but one performs better than the other.
Moral: Boston is full of poor, trailer trash who won’t have a contending team for another 3-5 years.
Is MLB turning into NBA?. With only a few teams controling market share? ..this last week the dodgers had momentum heading into the giants series, which brought out many hollywood stars, only to wittness how great pitching will defeat good hitting any day the week, and now this?.how much motavation do you think Kevin Brown and Jason schmitt, JD (DL) Drew, EricDavis had, the list just goes on and on ..its a great day in red sox nation ..you get a 2nd chance,.
1. Josh Beckett is a year removed from posting an ERA under 3 and a 4.3fWAR season, correct?
Sure he’s overpaid but he’s on pace for a 2-2.5 WAR year. That’s certainly not worth 17mil, but it’s worth at least 10mil. If he rebounds at all (maybe not to the 4 win level, but say 3 WAR) is that really that bad of a contract for 2 years? I could easily see Beckett posting 3 WAR/yr in the NL West.
2. The Adrian Gonzalez contract is still a good one no? Even in a ‘down’ year he’s on pace for ~4WAR (which is close to what he’s getting paid). The previous 3 years he’s average ~6WAR.
3. Crawford is obviously the key – if he’s a 1 WAR player than they have problems. If Ethier also disappoints than the Dodgers have 2 long term OF contracts that are anchors. But do people really see Crawford as a below average player now? Just 2 years ago folks and writers on this site were talking about how this was a good or decent contract and how he would age well. Is he now a 1-2 WAR player or a 3-3.5 WAR player?
While I think the Dodgers should have given up just de la Rosa or Webster (not both) or gotten more money back, I’m not sure this deal is as one sided as people are making it out to be.
Jerry Sands is a product of his environment..Alberquerque..is a hitter’s paradise, one of the best in organized baseball. On Keith Law’s twitter feed, he states that ABQ is about a +30% boost to offense, Fenway +8%.
That sounds highly optimistic, or perhaps a defeatist “sunk costs are sunk” approach.
Reality is you had three expensive players showing signs of deterioration. The previous year could be thrown off as an aberration (imagine all the drama that wold have been avoided with the new wild card system), but clearly it has gotten worse rather than better.
Lalaland is clearly trying to recreate the Mannywood experiment.
Billingsley (11MM), Kershaw (11MM), Lilly (12MM), Capuano (6MM) and Harang (7MM) were already signed for 2013 at a combined 47 Million – Beckett is another 15.75 (each season) on top of that to force one of the other 5 to the pen. Can he produce better then some of the others? Maybe, maybe not – none of the 5 have an FIP over 4, where Beckett has been 4.25-4.50 in 2 of the last three seasons. Luckily he will give up less dingers in LA, but even then you are looking at a 3.5-4.0 xFIP which is only marginally better then what Harang has been doing the last couples seasons, and worse then the other 4. Its all but guaranteed to be an overpay to at least some extent, and its on a pitcher they might not even really need once Lilly returns.
Gonzalez makes 21-21.5 MM every year for the next 6 years, his age 31-36 seasons. He can probably be worth it for the first 2 or 3, but after that, he is likely going to provide less value then his salary. He will probably stay pretty close to value overall, but 127 million is still a whole heck of a lot of money at 1B for a 31+ year old player. Even if you call it market value, they gave up 4 solid prospects for the chance to pay Adrian market value.
Carl Crawford makes 102.5 over the next 5 years. At 20.5 MM a year average, he is going to need to average WARs above 5.0 to be worth the cash. Yet in his 10year career, he has only done it twice – back to back years in 09-10 when he peaked with the glove and saw big BAbip marks. If he is a 3-3.5 WAR player like you suggest (and is reasonable), then they are paying 1/3 to 1/2 too much.
Simply taking the 3 salaries of the 3 guys who pretty much cleared waivers is already arguably pretty equal value for the two teams. The Dodgers simultaneously giving up 4 solid prospects for the chance to pay 3 players market to way above market for years to come though…
Comment by blahblahblah — August 25, 2012 @ 5:28 pm
Yes, because the people who pay $200 to see a game at Fenway want to wait 3 years to see if they have a good team. High revenue teams like the Redsox and Yankees shouldn’t be putting their fans through the long rebuilding process with the resources available to them. Not to mention unrealistic expectations for their prospects. Middlebrooks and Kalish will give league average production at low cost, neither will be stars. You’re not going to win a world series with Will Middlebrooks as the model.
You’re not blocking Swihart, because he’s still years away. Lavarnway still has plenty to prove in the big leagues and could benefit from having some days off behind the plate while still getting MLB at-bats.
With no promising 1B prospects, Napoli could easily fit into the roster, much like Victor Martinez did not too long back. The Red Sox probably don’t him at first too often, but there’s also the DH spot, as you mentioned.
The point is that the Red Sox should be able to match the production traded away without paying nearly as much salary for the replacements, even if they do opt to spend big.
Comment by cthabeerman — August 25, 2012 @ 5:50 pm
1 WAR =/= 4 mil
Gonzalez and Crawford will need to average ~4WAR each (probably a little less depending on inflation) I don’t think Crawford will do this, but I also don’t think it will be the complete disaster it has been in Boston.
Also you need to look at xFIP, not FIP; with the exception of this year, Beckett has been under 4 the previous 5 years. You can’t compare FIPs given the park differences. At least look at WAR…last 3 years:
Lily – 4WAR
Harang – 2.9WAR
Capuano – 4.8 WAR
Beckett – 7.6 WAR
Not an upgrade? Marginally better the last few seasons?
Harang, Lilly = xFIP over 4.70 this year. Harang has been under 4 once in the last 4 years, Lilly twice in his entire career.
I’m not saying this is a great trade for the Dodgers by any stretch, but the reaction appears to be unmitigated disaster. While a lot will depend on Crawford, I don’t think this is nearly as bad as people are making it out to be.
Salary dump is a baseball move, just like cut lose is a financial move. You brought Crawford in at 20mil/per and now he worth maybe 7m/per. You somehow found someone willing to take his off your hand at 20/per, then you absolutely should do it.
As a fan, I want to see quality baseball games, not clubhouse drama. You somehow can get rid of the drama queen in Beckett, a dude never fitted in from day one in Crawford, an aging and underachieving 1b in Gonzalez, and freed up 250mil so they can (hopefully) bring in new, quality players, then why you are not excited?
Even redsox have unlimited money, what you want them to do? Keep Beckett and Crawford and let the clubhouse woe to continue? Or sign more high priced players so there are more dramas? I don’t know what is not “sell low” to you. You think you can get mike trout and Harper for them?
Be realistic, redsox is doing great here.
Comment by Winthrop sox fan — August 25, 2012 @ 7:27 pm
1 – and he’s two years removed from a 5.7 era season. You can’t just cherry pick shit. You have to understand that he’s equally as likely to have a 3 WAR season as a 1 WAR season if he’s projected for 2 WAR, otherwise you’re grossly misusing regression.
Do a simple marcel projection, weight this year as 1, last year as .8, the year before as .6, factor in the .5 war deterioration because of age and he projects to be a 4.6 era pitcher (under the same circumstances) next year. Yeah, moving out of Fenway, the second best hitters park in baseball will help, to a pitcher’s park. As will facing pitchers, and no longer facing the Yankees. And he still projects to have an above 4 era, at or below league average (2 WAR per year, around $10 mil free agent value). So immediately the Dodgers are losing 7 million dollars on an extremely common commodity (there are something like 80 starting pitchers on pace for that projection this year).
2 – Gonzalez is still obviously good, an all-star first baseman and one of the better first basemen in baseball, but no, his contract is a significant overpay as well. He projects to around a 4 WAR player next season, which would mean his true talent level is around 4.5 this season, which I think everyone would agree is reasonable. $5 million per war, 5% inflation, and he’s worth around 92 million over his contract while still being owed 132 million over the next 6 years. Yes, Gonzalez is good, but his contract at this point in his career (because his two most cost efficient seasons are passed, and because the contract was an optimistic overpay to begin with) is also a large liability. As good as he is, for that price tag any team in baseball can increase their WAR by more for less money. And this is the best part of the deal for the Dodgers!
3 – Crawford’s deal is really the ugliest part. if you project him for 2 WAR next year, then he projects to be worth about $29 million at a cost of $106. Let’s go a little crazy and be really optimistic on Crawford, and project him to be above average at around 3 WAR next year (which would mean he’s a 3.5 WAR player this year). That puts him at $54 million, just over half his salary.
Everyone arguing “the point is to win, not be efficient” is not understanding the magnitude of the blunder here, vastly overestimating the positive effect it will have this year (probably only an additional 15% to make the 5 game series, and a fraction for each successive round) and how that attitude will actually cause the Dodgers to win LESS than they should over any stretch of time beyond this year.
Fangraphs says 1WAR = 4.5MM, so your math is wrong… Both Gonzalez and Crawford make over $20MM a year, meaning they both need ~5WAR/YR to even break even, not ~4WAR. (and based off recent signings, the value is still about right in this economy)
As far as your pitching analysis, its idiotically flawed. First, Capuano was a reliever in 2010, Lilly has been injured most all of this year – counting WAR is instantly meaningless. Second, you try and dismiss Lilly and Harang off one seasons xFIP but oddly ignore the fact that Beckett is sitting with a 4.40 xFIP himself while making nearly as much as both of them combined!
Now, you apparently want to hang your hat on the ’11 season and consider Beckett a sure-fire plus-value pitcher. In two of the last 3 though, he has been a 4.3-4.5 FIP and 3.9-4.4 xFIP pitcher – worse then both Lilly (when healthy) and Capuano and only arguably better then Harang’s western resurgence when you focus exclusively on Aarons 2012 xFIP.. Worse then that? This season has seen Beckett lose between 1-3 MPH off every single pitch across the board, while the value of each pitch has tanked completely – but you oddly ignore that
Or even put it this way
3.64 ERA, 4.13 FIP, 4.45 xFIP, 6.77 K/9, 3.59 BB/9
5.23 ERA, 4.27 FIP, 4.39 xFIP, 6.64 K/9, 2.69 BB/9
that is Harang over his Western Resurgence against Beckett with his new, easy-to-hit arsenal this season. You really see an upgrade there, do you?
So to get that ‘arguably better then Harang’ and take your chances on Becketts diminished arsenal, you add 15.75 MM to the roster and regulate the 7 MM you are already spending to the bullpen. This is a smart business move to you? Or is it more realistically a huge, expensive, gamble that may or may not even produce any better then what you are currently paying anyways?
Based off the WAR you wanted to use above, we probably get our answer
2012 Harang – 1.4 WAR for $6.3 so far verses $7 million 2013 contract
2012 Beckett – 1.8 WAR for $8.2 so far verses $22.75 cost in 2013 (his salary, plus the eaten cost of Harang being wasted)
But even beyond that, the stupidity of the trade on the Dodgers end can be seen merely by asking if one would sign the contracts if they were FAs today
– Gonzalez at 6 years, 127 MM? – Probably. Arguably around market value (although, no one else claimed it…)
– Crawford at 5 years, 102.5 MM? – Zero chance. More like a 1 year rebound deal at maybe 10.
– Beckett at 2 years, 31.5 MM? – Zero chance with his new diminished stuff off such a poor season. More realistically 2/24, but even that is a no imo with the current rotation set.
Unfortunately it is already a massive overpay for the players without even factoring in the 4 solid prospects the Dodgers included for God only knows why reason. Straight idiotic move for LA
Comment by blahblahblah — August 25, 2012 @ 9:04 pm
Home Run Gonzalez…
remember when the Red Sox traded Manny?
Comment by Uncle Remus — August 25, 2012 @ 9:57 pm
Assuming that the contract is getting done this year and the general population, it’s entirely probable that having a big name like A-Gon is worth more to the guys with the TV Contracts then “oh, we’ll have a championship team soon!”.
Comment by Ruki Motomiya — August 25, 2012 @ 10:49 pm
I’m actually a Blue Jays fan, heheh. Just thought the Dodgers side of the deal was defendable and overall good for them, so I figured I’d discuss it out with you guys.
Comment by Ruki Motomiya — August 25, 2012 @ 10:51 pm
Isn’t an additional 15% a lot this year? Not factoring in any future potential gains.
Also, wouldn’t Gonzalez contract be worth it in the timeframe they are looking for, the first three years? The Dodgers aren’t going to be competitive past three years from now anyway, so…
The thing about the efficiency on A-Gon is I still wonder how you turn that money into another First Baseman with that much WAR. The only one I’ve seen suggested that seems reasonable is Morneau, who comes with an injury risk.
Comment by Ruki Motomiya — August 25, 2012 @ 10:57 pm
Is that you, Nate Schierholtz?
Comment by Shaun Catron — August 26, 2012 @ 12:37 am
In a just world, the Red Sox die and Johnny Pesky skips their funeral.
Comment by Shaun Catron — August 26, 2012 @ 12:41 am
The Red Sox didn’t just change their team, they changed management. This was Cherington’s first week free of Lucchino, and he was spectacular.
The man who got this done is not going to bring on any Hamiltons or free agent aces. He is not even going to do another 14 million dollar legacy signing with an old DH who may or may not be able to walk the bases next year. New era. Andrew Friedman has been rubbed in their faces until it began rubbing off.
Not all Sox fans are morons, it just seems that way. Quite a number have been sick of this team and its style for years.
Comment by james wilson — August 26, 2012 @ 1:11 am
You masquerade throughout this thread as an objective baseball observer and try to project prospects like Webster and De La Rosa, and you finally put your full ignorance on the table, for all to see. How many message boards/comment sections are you going to fill with fanboy Red Sox hate under that same moniker before you become an adult?
Redsox management is doing great here. They’ve got money coming in from their network, the ballpark and all the books they sell (Fenway 100!). The Redsox ballclub is not doing great here. My guess is that Redsox fans want to see their team competitive and are rooting for positive on-field results, not rooting for more money to go to John Henry so he can help buff his nascar and soccer teams. The clubhouse woe talk is garbage. Winning teams don’t have clubhouse problems.
Clearly saying harper or trout for Crawford or Beckett is ridiculous. But if the team was willing to take back salary instead of just dumping it, they’d get better players back and not just guys who’s most likely outcome is as relievers. You even just said 2 conflicting things 1) that they saved money to bring in “new, quality players”, and then 2) “they sign more high priced players so there are more dramas”. Which do you want? And who are these phantom quality players who will want to play for a team that will blame you for it’s failures if it underperforms expectations and then ship you out of town?
It’s funny that people seem to be rooting for the Redsox bottom line and not the on-field production, I didn’t realize John Henry had so many fans. From the comments on this thread- no signing of an elite FA would be worth it if you had to overpay in the last portion of the deal. I guess Billy Beane’s A’s really are the dream team- lots of affordable, slightly above league average production. What a fun team to root for that must be….
Comment by chuff chuff chuff — August 26, 2012 @ 3:55 am
There is a basic rule of thumb in business and that is “when you get yourself into trouble, stop, take a look at where you are and then try and get yourself out of that trouble”. The Red Sox created the mess and although it was costly have taken huge strides to fix it. It doesn’t matter if Beckett, Gonzalez and Crawford go on to be HOF’ers with LA, it wasn’t working in Boston and the Red Sox will better long term.
Second, you are out of your mind if you believe the Dodgers would have traded Rubby for Beckett in the off-season. They did not fight to get Beckett, they took on his contract to get Gonzalez. And are probably hoping they get some value out of him in the process with a change of scenery and coming to the NL. They would not have traded for a pitcher in his decline in the off-season by giving up one of their top prospects. And Rubby, by the way, is not a projected reliever. That is your pessimistic opinion. Rubby is actually projected as a #2 starter by scouts who evaluate for a living. In my own opinion, i believe he can become a reliable #3-4 starting pitcher with an ERA around 4 and a respectable amount of strikeouts in the AL East.
Also, you speak of Crawford as if he is undoubtedly going to return to his previous form. The chance of Crawford returning to All-star form again isn’t guaranteed. I believe it is much, much higher in LA than it was in Boston. He didn’t even like Boston. He has been hurt half the time and has not produced 75% of the time. And if Crawford regains form next year in LA it does not mean he would have in Boston. He wasn’t a good fit. Plus, his contract was ridiculous.
Adrian “Gonzalez” is the player the Dodgers wanted and would have preferred to only obtain him (and give up less prospects). Beckett would not bring much in return in a trade in the offseason. Not anywhere close to rubby and webster. They were in the deal because of Gonzalez. The Red Sox got rid of a ton of money and sacrificed one player they probably had planned on keeping (Gonzalez) in order to rid themselves of an aging Beckett and an unhappy/underperforming/overpaid Crawford. They got, in my opinion, pretty good value with these prospects on top of the money.
They will use this money to buy a top-knotch pitcher in the offseason. I would rather not get Grienke and try for Brandon McCarthy. McCarthy would be a good upgrade from Beckett anyway and has proven he can pitch in the AL. They can also get another bat and another strong piece to the bullpen, possibly someone like Mike Adams.
I will miss Gonzalez, but this was a very good deal. Say all you want, but im telling you now that in a couple years, possibly even next year, you will be asking yourself why you ever criticized this deal.
cjd11, your claims that the Sox will “most likely” sign Bourn 5/90, that the Sox ” don’t have a plan to re-invest it more sensibly”, that the 2 pitchers coming back project to be relievers, that a rebuilding effort will take “many years” are all unsubstantiated.
Cherington emphasized multiple times the need for spending discipline, we have no idea what the plans for reinvestment are one way or the other, the 2 pitcher coming back could very well make the rotation, the rebuilding effort could be complete as soon as 2014.
Completely agree with B N. There is very likely no future scenario where Crawford’s contract has positive value. Letting this opportunity slip by in hopes of a better deal in the future is a recipe for another year of stagnation.
Just an additional note about the one guy with any value – AGone….the guy has needed a fairly inflated .357babip in boston to post a very good but not elite .895ops/136wRC+ line in his time in the AL.
I’m not sure why everyone on this website, especially, has simply turned a blind eye to the .380babip Gonzo needed to support his batting line lsat year. This year, of course, he’s back down to a more typical (for him) .329.
It’s tough, because I finally agree with a fangraphs article about the red sox here.
But you’re right – only when some of their “elite stars” that made them “an unstoppable juggernaut” are actually dumped for peanuts does it seem like red sox fans finally admit that they might not be super-elite players.
The take on this trade is right – this is a good trade for the Red Sox. Probably a very good one.
The problem is that everything written on fangraphs about the unstoppable juggernaut red sox the past couple of years has been rather insanely off. Them being ranked as the #2 franchise coming into this season was laughable.