Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Hanging Red Sox

It is officially Christmas time. So while families everywhere are buying gifts, decorating their house and setting up their trees, we are thinking about those red sox. Not the ones hanging from the mantle stuffed with baseball cards, obnoxious amounts of gum, tic-tacs, Pez, deodorant, gift cards, golf balls and what ever else one may find in their stocking. We are thinking about the Red Sox that just two years ago were untouchable. The Red Sox that everyone gave a 5 year grace period. The Red Sox that would never buy a drink again in this town. The Red Sox that inspired more books than one could read. Remember that? Now people are saying that Theo won with Dukes team (Ortiz, Schilling, Mueller, Roberts, and Foulke say hello) and he has to produce this year or else. Now people are livid about not offering Damon more. I want to talk about those Sox.

Within the last 12 hours Drew and Lugo are officially part of the Club, Jon Lester is returning to Fort Myers cancer free, and Manny is most likely sticking around. That would potentially give the Sox a line up that looks something like:

(numbers from last season/career)

1. Youks .381/.379 108/107
2. Drew .393/.393 123/133
3. Papi .431/.374 164/135 *increased in both categories every year since 2001
4. Manny .439/.411 168/157 *MVP caliber season last year
5. Lowell .339/.339 106/109
6. Tek .325/.348 85/105 *Teks drop comes right at that age one would expect
7. Lugo .341/.340 94/92 *Could be high up, but a nice OBP at the bottom of the order
8. Pedroia (tiny sample size
9. Coco .317/.329 80/97

-If Wily Mo Pena is in the lineup, you put his .900+ OPS 5th. In that case you sit either Lowell or Coco. I love having a high OBP guy in the two spot and a Youks/Drew combo at the top would give the two headed monster that is Manny/Papi a lot of ducks to drive in. That being said, I bet Tito goes with a Youks, Lugo, Papi, Manny, Drew lineup. Last note on the lineup, a poster over at SoSH makes a point that Manny should bat second. He says this because "very piece of optimal lineup research I've seen suggests that you should bat your best hitter 2nd."

A rotation of:



*Paying 2.7M of Renteria's contract as well

The Cost

Without Matsuzaka the Sox have $137M tied up in payroll for next year. If he does sign for 10 per year, they would be $1 million under the cap and going into arbitration with Foulke. They also would be short a back up catcher and another bench player. I am guessing they are going to move someone soon to get back under the tax threshold.

So what contracts do the Sox no longer want to pay?
-Clement at 9.5
-Lowell at 9
-Manny at 18 (looks like he is staying)
-Coco or Wily Mo both at 3.5 (3.5 mill is a lot for 4th man out there)

Machon's Thoughts
-I am excited about the possibility of having the top four batters in the line up crack the .400 OBP mark. It would be very tough, but is not outside the realm of possibility. Lester battled his way through cancer in record time and will be reporting to camp. In my opinion, this is the best news of the off season. Trading Manny would have been nice if they saw a Peavy like player coming back, but only 10 people tops can give you what Manny does at the plate and if Drew has a year like 2004, he is one of them. Now I just hope they get the Matsuzaka deal done.


Anonymous said...

Red Sox Suck!

Machon said...

Wow, thanks for the heads up. I can't believe I have wasted my life rooting for a team that sucks.

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