Links for Thursday…
- Rays infielder Elliot Johnson is the latest out of options player to hit the waiver wire, reports Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.
- Lefty James Paxton signed with the American Association's Grand Prairie AirHogs in advance of re-entering the draft, reports Baseball America's J.J. Cooper. Cooper says the AirHogs' schedule should allow for three weeks of playing time for Paxton before the draft. The Blue Jays drafted the Scott Boras client 37th overall as an A.J. Burnett compensation pick, but were not able to sign him. Paxton was involved in some drama with the NCAA and eventually decided to withdraw from the University of Kentucky.
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along a clarification from Yu Darvish, who says his recent comments did not refer to moving to MLB.
- Forced to make a pick, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports takes the White Sox as his World Series champions.
- Rosenthal says that with Brandon Webb's return date uncertain, the Diamondbacks are trying to trade for a starter.
- Aaron Gleeman suggests the Twins' new stat guy might have a hard time having his voice heard.
- WEEI's Alex Speier notes that a Josh Beckett extension would give the Red Sox four pitchers with contracts of at least four years, more than any other team. Still, Jon Lester's contract is quite team-friendly.
- The Red Sox are positioned as long-term contenders, writes Tony Massarotti of the Boston Globe.
- Baseball Prospectus' Jeff Euston looks at the concept of contract renewals for zero-to-three players. Tom Tango responds, saying "the inequity in the front-end helps to drive the salaries on the back-end in free agency."
- Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press feels that Ben Revere would be the most expendable Twins' prospect if they are to go after Padres closer Heath Bell.
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel tweets that the Brewers released outfielder Tike Redman.
Come on Byrnes, no more 5th starter/long-relief types…
I think If Beckett signed today, we would have the best long term pitching success on paper yes, but i disagree on the entire team. The Sox need to solidify their power to say that they will be contenders for years to come and Im sure some fans are going to be very bored with some of these games this season with the lack of fire power. If a Beckett extension leads to a Buchholz trade, then Im sure that would get us the missing power piece they are missing
Ever get the sense that Theo is overstepping his perceived “defense is undervalued” angle?
Yes, we all recognize defense has much more impact on wins/losses than the market has valued it for years. But it seems like Theo is going all-in on that front, and more aggressively than perhaps he should. After all, this isn’t football; you still need to score SOME points with your offense (and reliably so) to win.
Seattle may be the fashionable example of “Defense Wins!”, but they also fell far short of being a real contender last year, because their offense lacked a power bat.
Once again; Red Sox are projected to score 846 runs this year. Is that down from last year? Yes, by 26 RUNS. That’s about 1 run per week of baseball. Guess what guys; 840+ runs is pretty damn good, by any standard. For comparison, you mention Seattle as an example of “Defense wins”. Guess what; they scored 640 runs last year, and while I don’t know their projections, I’m sure they’re not any better. That’s good enough for LAST in the AL, and 28th in MLB. Even when they’ve got the best defense by FAR, that’s not going to get you places. So lets review: The Red Sox are going to have, again, a top three offense. Maybe top five, if some national league teams step it up. They will also have one of the best rotations. In nearly every discussion I hear of best rotations, Boston comes in at least top five, usually top three. I might even go so far to say that no rotation in baseball as as few weaknesses as Boston. Maybe the Giants; my only concern for them would be the number five slot (if Wellemeyer is the likely starter there). Their defense has gone from one of the worst last year to the 6th best (last I checked projections at least). How does that make it look like he’s going all-in on defense, I ask you?
You should read Rosenthal’s latest piece; he’s cynical of projections.
Does Ortiz project to slump for 6 weeks again? Does Scutaro project to repeat on a career season?
I’d say you come into 2010 looking less potent than 2009 on offense, and one bad break (injury, Ortiz slump, etc) away from being substantially less potent than 2009. Was the defense really upgraded enough to compensate for this? I think it’s a fair question; Theo sure seems to be going all-in that it does.
No worries though, it’ll be fun watching it play out!
No, I read his piece. I’m not too hot on projections either. But did anyone last year project Ortiz failing for 6 weeks? Or the fact the we had not a single shortstop that deserved mlb time? Again, those things ACTUALLY happened last year. And they STILL had the third best offense in terms of runs scored. I think it’ll take more than one major injury to throw the offense off. Plus, as he said, if the offense slumps, Boston is one of those teams you can depend on to make the mid-season offensive upgrade.
That’s a great point. If (when?) Boston’s reduced offense results in too many 3-2 losses for Theo’s liking, he’s going to make an impact move. No question.
I wonder what would’ve happened if you actually KEPT Hanley Ramirez.
Hah. Yeah. My guess is we would either still not have won the World Series, or maybe only one, and we’d have a better offense but much weaker pitching.
No Beckett & Lowell = No 2007 ring.
Yes, thanks, for some reason I was thinking the trade happened before 04. Man this cold is really getting to me…
The Sox still have a very potent lineup from top to bottom. Sure Ortiz isn’t what he was before, but I have faith that he can put up some decent numbers this year. The Sox gave up some offense when they let Bay walk, but they are still an offensive force to be reckoned with, and with that they improved their defense and rotation. Frankly, I’m not worried at all about the offense, and as others have said if they do start to falter Epstein will not hesitate to find someone who will help with the bat.
WHITE SOX!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOO YEAH!
man i’d take revere for bell….BUT i’d rather keep bell.
Ben Revere is one of the most underrated prospects in the game. How did the guy go from the 2nd best Twins prospect in 2009 to the 5th best this season. Is it because he batted .311 instead of an insane .379, which is almost impossible to repeat. Hes much better than Aaron Hicks in my opinion, who is considered the Twins best prospect and one of the best in the game.
Revere doesn’t have as high of a ceiling as Hicks and Morales which is why he’d probably be considered expendable given the Twins OF depth in the minor leagues. The main knocks on Revere is the fact that he’ll likely never hit for much power and he doesn’t have a strong arm, he can be a solid player for a team but will likely never be a star.
Well if the Twins do trade him whoever gets him could get a steal. I agree he likely wont be a star but possibly a damn good hitter. I think Hicks will be good but also dont think he will ever be a star. Revere reminds me a lot of Juan Pierre.
I think Pierre is a solid comparison, the fact that the Twins already have a young leadoff hitter in Spann also makes Revere a little more expendable. I like Hick, his numbers wont wow you from last year but his approach at the plate is far beyond his years, he’s a patient hitter who should develop plenty of pop.
Overall I am not saying the Twins shouldnt trade Revere, because there isnt any real sense in having two really good CF in the minors and one really good one in the majors. I just think Revere is very underrated.
Psst, diamondbacks, talk to Jarrod Washburn.
I’m sure Washburn would find some reason to not want to pitch for Arizona
i wonder what it would take to get revere and ramos??? highly unlikely but just a thought…
Would Elliot Johnson be a better fit on the Pirates as opposed to Vasquez? Just throwing that out there.