Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Not Just a Lackey, but no Halladay

Maybe Roy wasn't available to the Sox. Maybe Bay said privately to Theo that there was no way he would come back to Boston. Maybe we'll never know exactly the reasoning behind all these things. But what we should know as Sox fans is that with these types of moves, you are getting less than you are led to believe.

I've heard the Boston spin that Lackey has post-season experience and that he has 500-less innings on his arm than Halladay. Let's face it, though. He ain't Halladay. I don't even think he's Sabathia or Beckett.

The Sox will reportedly be paying $17MM/year for a guy who will fit into the top 3 in your rotation, but isn't an ace. Will the Sox be formidable with Beckett, Lester, and Lackey? Absolutely. There will probably not be many extended losing streaks. And the Sox might be banking on the "just get to the playoffs" where pitching wins scenario. Would those three in the playoffs be difficult? Again, absolutely.

However, (and I am not falling back into the pre-2004 mind frame here, just reality), there is a team in the Bronx through which other teams must go. I hate to say it but Sabathia is better than any of the Sox top pitchers (Lackey included). Burnett proved he is a strong post-season guy. And Pettitte is ridiculous (and mostly untouchable) in the post-season. Add to this the Yankees lineup, and the Sox are up against it before they start.

This is compounded by their current roster. They've agreed to a contract with Cameron, which pretty much rules out Bay. In Cameron, they've acquired a veteran who is on the wrong side of 35. So here's the projected lineup:


While on paper it isn't bad, there are lots of questions marks and an astounding lack of run producers (especially for the last 4 names in the lineup). It is clear the Sox are focusing on strong pitching and defense, a philosophy that did not work out well for them in the past. In the AL you need pitching, defense, AND offense.

They, of course, might be moving Lowell (if he passes his physical). They aren't getting a guy that will help this year. My overall feeling is that they signed Lackey for beyond this year, not necessarily to make the big splash. By losing Bay and signing Lackey, I feel like the Sox will be as competitive as last year. They will be competitive against good pitching as they'll be able to matchup well up and down the rotation. However, they won't score (much like last year) against good pitching.

Most writers are saying "maybe this isn't a bridge year after all". I disagree.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Granderson to Yanks

It might be just me, but this one just makes me yawn? If Granderson takes Damon's place, frankly, that is a downgrade. Not to mention that Granderson can't hit lefties and has been in a steep two year decline. Okay, so he *might* bounce back playing in that tiny ball park. But he might not. We know what Damon could/did do. so for now, they have downgraded.

That being said, my gut tells me they aren't done. Melky, well, he kind of sucks. So they probably will sign Bay or Holliday and dump Melky for some middle reliever. And they will do it after one of Bay or Holliday has signed somewhere else, leaving the Sox no option and fueling the end of the world discussions in Boston, WEEI, etc.

Put another log on the hot stove Theo. Its about to get real chilly in Boston.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Scutaro. Done deal.

So it looks like I was dead wrong on this one. MLB.com is reporting its official. A two year deal, no financial terms reported yet. It will probably be out there by the time you East Coast guys are up, but nothing now. Two years is better than three. And they supposedly are really high on this 19 year old Dominican kid they signed (Iglesias) and think he could be ready in two years. So I guess it fits. Plus, he can play some other positions in case of injury or the emergence of Lowrie as a stud, Scutaro could then be a super sub. I'm surprised that this one happened so quickly.

I don't love signing a guy off a career year. That said, I don't think the difference between the Sox being good and the Sox being great next year, will come down to who is playing SS and batting 8th or 9th. They need offensive consistency. And need better production in the 3-4 spot in the rotation, whether its Dice-K, Bucholz or getting Halladay or maybe even a guy like Randy Wolf (if they move Clay to get a bat.)