AL East Notes: Orioles, Red Sox, Francona

The Yankees and Rays are in the playoffs but the rest of the AL East is in offseason mode…

  • Under John Henry's ownership, the Red Sox have fired three managers and each move seemed to work out for the club, writes Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald.  General Manager Theo Epstein says that he plans to use the same process as he did when hiring Terry Francona eight years ago.
  • The Orioles have lots of needs but finding a starter seems to be their top priority, writes Roch Kubatko of  Kubatko asked manager Buck Showalter if the club might go against their grow-the-arms philosophy and sign a pricey free agent starter and the skipper left the door open to the possibility.
  • Speaking of Francona and the Orioles, don't expect the skipper to land in Baltimore, says Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun.  The O's will have a managerial spot open if Andy MacPhail leaves his position as president of baseball operations and Showalter moves up to that post.
  • After giving lucrative deals to John Lackey and Carl Crawford, the BoSox are committed to getting them to turn things around in 2012, writes Michael Vega of the Boston Globe.  Lackey signed a five-year, $82.5MM deal in 2010 while Crawford inked a seven-year, $142 million deal last December.

22 Responses to AL East Notes: Orioles, Red Sox, Francona Leave a Reply

  1. dc21892 4 years ago

    It’s going to take a lot of work to get Lackey back on track. He’s fallen quite far since signing with Boston. Crawford still works as hard as anyone so why he played so poorly during the season is beyond me. Hopefully they can get their new manager and rest of their staff straightened out early so they can get to work on time at getting these things fixed.

    • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      I still say give Lackey one more season before taking out a life insurance policy on him and then throwing him in the Charles while tied to an anvil. I’m hoping his real problem this year was all the distractions off field. As for Crawford, I’m hoping it was just him getting used to playing in Boston.

      • dc21892 4 years ago

        I’m willing to give Lackey a chance every season I was just saying he has fallen quite far. He had it all going for him up until he came to Boston. Hope he can be turned around though.

    • Minorityfanbasewannabe 4 years ago

      I’m much more hopeful about Crawford than Lackey. Crawford like you said, admitted to his bad season and seems determined to show RSN what he can do. Lackey on the other hand just seems to have a bad attitude. I’ve defended him before but now i just can’t when it seems likely that he was part of the clubhouse problem. 

    • patschamps 4 years ago

      Crawford never worked hard in Tampa, so I don’t know what your defintion of working hard.  I was so happy to see him leave Tampa and the evilempirebos spend so much money on him

  2. Orioles need to sign a pricey veteran free-agent to show their young arms how to properly develop.  Their entire rotation, with the exception of maybe Guthrie was not seasoned enough in the minors.

    • Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

      With the way the whole team plays, I’d say all of them need seasoning, excluding Brian Roberts of course.

  3. stadiumnut 4 years ago

    Crawford should bounce back.  The Red Sox do NOT need to go out and sign Albert, OR Jose Reyes (an injury waiting to happen).  Let Iglesias play.. offense is not what they need. FUNDAMENTALS in fielding, hitting the cutoff man etc.  They do need a right handed bat for the outfield (RF).  Someone needs to kick Lackey in the A** and get rid of his sour personality.  He needs to GROW UP and stop being a primadonna.  They need to blow up the bullpen and get that straightened out, find a 4th starter (to me, Lackey is an expensive 5th starter now), and either a backup or decent starting catcher.  I am on the fence about resigning Papi, but I hope they resign Paps.  He has been a very good closer for Boston.  If they don’t resign Papi, then look to either trade or FA for a right handed bat.  I saw this coming in April.. they were TOO left handed heavy in the lineup. 

    • StanelyHudson 4 years ago

      I pretty much agree with everything you said except for the pen needing to be blown up. In my opinion, the pen was pretty good. In fact, Jenks was the only real disappointment. Pap, Bard, and Aceves were money pretty much all season. Morales was a nice addition, although he was a little wild at times(his pick off was filthy too) Albers was terrific in the first half but kinda trailed off a little in the second half. But, personally, I think he’s worth keeping around. And Wheeler could have been better he was was affective at times, bad at others. So I’m not saying the pen couldn’t use improvement, I’m just saying it isn’t a extremely pressing need. Certainly doesn’t need to be “blown up”. Just resign Pap and get an arm or two. Joel Peralta or Madson would be welcomed although they’re type A. Mike MacDougal could be a good sign as well.

  4. NomarGarciaparra 4 years ago

    Sox needs to sign another top starter like CJ Wilson or CC Sabathia. Despite having Beckett, Lester, Buchholz, Matsuzaka, and Lackey in the fold already, the last 2 are just absolute question marks. And Dice-K is almost guaranteed to miss plenty of time in any given season anyways.

    At this point, seeing as Wilson is a second-tier top starter, I’d rather put more money out there to go after Sabathia. After seeing Burnett and Lackey struggle, it really appears that second-tier starter are just not as predictable as a top notch starter like Sabathia or Halladay. So rather than pay $18M for a second-tier, why not shell out a few more millions (~$5-7M extra) for a top notch one?

    Resign Scutaro to a 2-year deal. I’ve always believed Scutaro to be one of Theo’s best signing in Boston. In his two years in Boston, he’s been worth the money he’s paid, and he plays hard.

    I’m not too decided on Big Papi yet. This decision will depend on whether Lavarnway is ready (is he?), and whether the Sox may need that DH spot for another play (Youkilis). Youkilis is no doubt aging, and at the same time moving to a more demanding position, so if it turns out that he’ll need some time DHing, then the Scutaro signing works out even better. Scutaro can take 3B while giving room for Iglesias to play short. If Youk can regain his offense with a move to the DH spot, that would be well worth it, and he can replace Papi. Apparently Iglesias’ bat isn’t quite ready, but offense isn’t really the major problem (as long as Iglesias doesn’t become an automatic out, and Salty can hit at the level he did this season). Losing Papi will no doubt leave the offense a bit weaker, but given that the Red Sox were one of the top offensive teams this year, that likely won’t be a problem.

    In the bullpen, a big name closer definitely needs to come in, whether that’s Papelbon or someone else. I’m guessing it’ll be Paps back on a $36M/3 contract, as I’m sure the FO will be more comfortable with Paps. Another reason is that Paps is apparently fitting into a leadership role in the clubhouse and bullpen, and in a time where clubhouse chemistry is going downhill, the FO may want a Sox veteran like Paps back.

    • MaineSox 4 years ago

      Dice-K is definitely guaranteed to miss a ton of time next year (he had Tommy John, so probably like all of it).

    • Bob_Laublaw 4 years ago

      Bidding against the Yankees for their own ace? Sure, if you wanna drive up the price like they did for Crawford it makes sense. But to land him it would take so much money and so many years it couldn’t possibly end well. What about a swap of bad contracts? I would think the Mets might take Lackey for Bay in a move that potentially fills a strong need for both teams, and with Bays option year the money is a wash. I think Bay has a better chance of rebounding away from Citifield than Lackey has of bouncing back at Citi but these are two players who clearly are not good fits with their current club

      • NomarGarciaparra 4 years ago

        Yeah I know what you mean about Sabathia. I’m talking about in general about top notch starters vs. second-tier starters. But I guess after Sabathia, the next top starter is Wilson. But after seeing Lackey and Burnett, I’m somewhat worried about giving Wilson another lengthy and expensive contract. I think the Red Sox will make Sabathia a legitimate and competitive offer similar to what the Yankees will make, but Sabathia will head back to the Yankees after all.

        Lackey for Bay sounds interesting actually. Bay was a great fit in Boston when he was here. However, if Kalish or Reddick takes over successfully in RF, then we don’t really have a use for Bay. At least Lackey can provide pitching depth, and as the last 2 seasons have shown, there’s no such thing as having enough pitching. Even if he turns out to be crap like he was this year, we can use his out of the bullpen to eat up innings (during blowouts). But on the other hand, if Kalish and Reddick are not ready for the bigs, Bay could be valuable if he can return to his 09 form (maybe the Monster can help net him more HRs).

        Do you think the Sox will go after Beltran though? He’s be more expensive, require a multi-year contract, has an injury history, AND worst of all, Boras as his agent. Theo doesn’t like going after aging FA, but in this desperate time (and if Kalish/Reddick are obviously not ready), what can he do?

        • Guest 4 years ago

          You can take Sabathia off your list, buddy. And if you really think that the Sox will be involved, you’re delusional. Plus CC has zero desire to go to Boston. Why would he go? What is the incentive to move? Serious question.

          • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

            Money is always an incentive.

            That said, point is moot. My bet is Sabathia only threatens to opt out in order to get a contract extension. Probably an additional 3-4 years around his current yearly salary, possibly some signing bonus, possibly some reworking of his salary. Regardless, the odds of Sabathia being anywhere but with the yanks next year is pretty much negligible. Odds are Cashman and Sabathia’s agent already have had at least a phone call about this.

          • Guest 4 years ago

            Money is an incentive when the next best option is $40mm or $50mm less. So no, no chance Boston goes in for $180mm for a pitcher. Carl Crawford is a perfect example of “money being an incentive” while uprooting your life (something CC certainly wouldn’t do under the circumstances.) Crawfords next best option was $40mm (the better option) and as we can see “incentive” doesn’t always work out. 

            My guess; CC re-ups for a total of 5 years and $125mm-$130mm. That’s 1 additional guaranteed year and about a $4mm raise per year. The same contract if not slightly better than what Lee got. For CC’s sake, I don’t see him looking for more years. And I agree, I’m guessing the logistics are already worked out to an extent. 
            If Sabathia went anywhere it would be, as previously reported, the Dodgers (no chance with their issues) or the Angels (they have to sure up their offense first) and they just extended Weaver.

      • RedSoxDynasty 4 years ago

        I’ve been saying the same thing about a Bay-Lackey swap and move Crawford to rf to take advantage of his speed. And if the Sox do go after a FA it should 100pct be Sabathia. Forget value, sign the sure thing. I also think they need to set sail disgruntled self-centered vets like Tek and Wake and if Papi wants more than one guaranteed year, goodbye to him too! Lastly look into unloading the biggest fraud on the team in Beckett. Lazy,fat,out of shape skirt chasers aren’t needed on this team. Get pitching or prospects back for him!

        • buddaley 4 years ago

          It would be unusual to put a weak armed outfielder (Crawford) in RF.

  5. coolstorybro222 4 years ago

    Wow. that 5 year contract to Lackey makes me feel better about the Lowe contract. 

  6. johnsilver 4 years ago

    Some ways worth a shot and in some ways hanging with lackey is better.

    bay is not a very good defensive LF and one would not see him as a poor defensive RF, especially at Fenway, then would be forced to move probably crawford to RF who is a good defensive LF to cover for him and hope he can learn the position. Then the money difference owed between the 2 that Boston would have to send to the Mets more than likely, the ability to use Lackey at least in mop up duty and spot starter spots if nothing else, while hard to hide someone like Bay if his struggles continued.. Defensive liability and offensive struggles of the last 2 seasons, plus having to send the Mets 10-12m to get the deal done.

    It might just not be enough positive possibilities to make the deal plausible.

  7. BoSoxSam 4 years ago

    He blew two late games, and only ONE other game. Most of his ERA is inflated from a few bad games. Papelbon was by far one of the most dominant closers this year, and I think it would be really good for Boston to resign him. Plus as Francona has said, they’re reluctant to put Bard in the closer role, because then who can reliably take his place as set-up? Paps will be pricey, but worth it.

    I don’t really see why Boston should feel it needs to make any big moves offensively. Even with a left-heavy lineup and with some big failures, with Crawford and Drew, they were easily one of the most potent offenses in the game this year. Pitching was the problem; you’re not going to win many games in September if your starters are giving up 5-6 runs on a daily basis, however good your lineup is. I agree about getting a right-handed OF, but I think going for Reyes is way too risky to be worth it. Reyes has a huge injury history; imagine if they give him a big contract and he gets injured, giving us yet another huge failed contract. With Lackey and Crawford not working out, there’s no way I see Boston making a serious bid for Reyes and risk doing that all over again.

    Oh, you’re going to cite Johan Santana for the Mets as a reason for Boston making a big move? How’d that work out for New York, anyway?

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