Friday, October 29, 2004


Good news Sox fans

Well, good news besides the obvious. Yesterday was the day after the World Series, which means it is the first day players can file for free agency. The Red Sox have 17 players (most in the majors) eligible for free agency. Only one filed yesterday, and that was Gabe Kapler. They do not have to file immediately or anything and I am sure they will get to it. Within these 17 free agents, the Sox have a few guys with club options for 2005. Curtis Leskanic has a club option, and Bill Mueller's option was picked up by the Sox today. Mueller hit .283/.365.446 for the year, and plays a very good defensive third base since his knee surgery (minus the cold weather errors, not really his fault).

First, the pitching free agents:

Terry Adams
Pedro Astacio
Derek Lowe
Pedro Martinez
Ramiro Mendoza
Mike Myers
Scott Williamson

Let Adams walk. Anyone who makes me nervous when they get on the mound is not worth keeping. I am not really sure how Pedro Astacio is doing. The one time I actually saw him come in and pitch he got tossed for hitting someone against New York. He used to be effective, but is an injury concern now. Mendoza should be resigned if we cannot find anyone else to pitch his innings for him. I guess the Sox should keep Mike Myers so we do not end up in the situation I laughed at the Angels and Yankees for being in, and that is not having a lefty to get out lefties. Notice Ortiz's dominance. Williamson is a keeper if he is healthy; if not he is not worth the risk...unless you can sign him dirt cheap with incentives of course.

Derek Lowe...winner of the clinching game of every series as well as the staying alive Game 4 at Boston. It was a nice run Derek...52 games in 3 years with many key postseason appearances, but your time is up here. Now that your a playoff hero I am sure your agent is going to try and get you money you didn't even think you could get. Scott Boras (his agent) is Satan's right hand man, and acts the part very well. The Sox would rather invest their money elsewhere, and they should. No offense to Lowe though. Hey the money isn't coming out of your pocket ok?

Pedro Martinez is another issue. Someone asked me how much I think he is worth, and I said $12 million a season max, maybe a 2 year deal. Then I see the exact same thing somewhere else, except with an option for a third year. I'm not congratulating myself for that, I am just saying that it is pretty obvious what the Sox are probably going to do. If Pedro wants more years or more cash he is going to end up in Anaheim or Baltimore, where owners like to throw money in odd places. Plus, Arte Moreno, Anaheim's owner, loves Latin players if you didn't notice.

Pedro would be excellent to have back, but if he gets too pricey then the Sox are apparently at the top of Cy Young Award ballotee Carl Pavano, who oddly enough was traded for Pedro from the Sox back in 1997. He'd fit nicely I say...of course if you get Pedro for $12 million then get Pavano and lose Lowe I can deal with that too. Hey I can dream.

As for the hitters:

Ellis Burks
Orlando Cabrera
Ricky Gutierrez
Gabe Kapler
Dave McCarty
Doug Mirabelli
Pokey Reese
Jason Varitek

Burks is probably done anyways, if not he'll head elsewhere. Gutierrez might be signed back if we lose Reese, which according to Reese we will. He wants to go back to the Reds and start at short or second since Barry Larkin is not coming back. Kapler filed for free agency, I am not sure what he plans to do. Getting him would be nice. I am not sure how much anyone else in baseball thinks of Dave McCarty. Lets just say that if we don't sign him he'll end up on the Brewers.

The Sox are not ready to let Mirabelli catch everyday, but Mirabelli might be ready to catch everyday elsewhere. Lets hope the Sox can keep him so that we have a knuckleball catcher. Here are his hitting stats in 160 At-Bats: .281/.368/.525

Pretty good for a backup catcher. In fact Mirabelli should be starting somewhere else. Which is why we should keep him.

Varitek doesn't need me to tell you how important he is to the Sox. If the Sox let him go it is Scott Boras' fault for raising the pricetag of a 33 year old catcher way beyond what it should be. The Sox have Mirabelli (if they sign him) and prospect Kelly Shoppach to fall back on. That is not a road I want to travel, but if Boras wants to push some points then I am sure the Sox will too.

Orlando Cabrera should be resigned unless his price tag rises. Peter Gammons said the Sox would then pursue Omar Vizquel and Barry Larkin for one year deals before handing over SS to highly touted prospect Hanley Ramirez in 2006. That would work for the short term, as long as Ramirez comes ready to play in 2006 (Maybe even starting in 2005, who knows.)

Edgar Renteria is another option at shortstop, and will probably get around the same money as Cabrera, which is what I am afraid of. In 2003 Renteria was one of the best hitting shortstops in baseball, but in 2004 he was merely good. He is a gold glover as well as Cabrera though. I myself prefer Cabrera considering what I know he can do in Fenway...then again he has already hit his peak (as has Renteria) and I would rather have the decline from Renteria than more of a decline from Cabrera. Dustin Pedroia where are you!

This analysis is not really in depth; I will get to that in time. For now enjoy our championship.

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