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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Red Sox: "But Why's The RUM Gone?"    

The Yankee fan stole my thunder by posting first. But I'll throw this all out there anyway.

I still think this is a bad idea, but I'm better about it now. For several reasons: 1) the initial sticker shock has worn off, 2) I'm exhausted from fighting about Drew in particular, 3) I'm not the guy paying for this douchebag, and 4) they're clearly serious about trading Manny. If they're really gonna go through with a Manny trade, then I agree that you have to get this guy.

I'm actually pretty pleased about this.

Believe me, nobody's more surprised than I am. A week ago, I was all ready to jump all over this deal, solely on the grounds that Lugo is a sucky defender. That was my opinion as a casual non-observer of the Devil Rays. But apparently I was quite mistaken. This MLB Trade Rumors post mentioning the deal says that Lugo "defends well," which I read as "defends adequately," and the Lugo thread on SoSH treats him as "average" defensively. Considering that the premier offensive shortstops (Jeter, Tejada) tend to be not even adequate, I will take that as a command from the people who know baseball to STFU about Lugo. So I will, because it's a lot healthier than getting all outraged about it.

Besides, nobody can argue about the guy's offensive talent. And he takes all the pressure off of Coco Crisp, who can now be a Trot Nixon-style offensive afterthought... if he hits, fine, and if not, fine.

Also of interest is the page 3 of the Lugo SoSH thread, where Lugo is described as "underrated by OPS." I find that intriguing, along with the fact that he only had five GIDP in 2005.

Even more good rumors! Nothing set in stone here, but this makes tons of sense to me. Closers are disposable, so Gagne for a year or two is an affordable gamble. The expectations are significantly lower, because he's a medical case. And you're not going all-in, like with the Drew deal. We'll see if it actually happens, but given that they're interested, that they have been making friends with Scott Boras, and they won't be undersold, I bet we see Gagne before the meetings end.

I am officially nervous. Can we just sign the guy, please? Part of me thinks the Sox are signing every Boras client on the market just to clear up his schedule and give him no choice but to talk Matsuzaka-san.


They're the same as the Yankees.

You know what? Good! What I learned from last season is that the Red Sox have absolutely, positively no chance at the division unless they spend toe-to-toe with Steinbrenner (responsibly, anyway). It's a situation where spending doesn't imply winning, but not spending most definitely implies not winning.

So, drunken sailors or not, I have decided to let 'em go batshit with the contracts. I officially drop my objection to the Drew contract on its own. I still protest the ejection of Manny on financial grounds, and continue to protest the hypocrisy of going insane with the contracts now despite having spent the last 4-5 years complaining about the Manny contract. But it's none of my concern how the Sox pay their employees.

And you know what else? Anyone who wants to cry hypocrisy can show me a salary cap plan that MLB owners will go along with. I'll sign the goddamn thing myself. Any plan with a level playing field is OK by me. In lieu of that, open that checkbook.


  • I agree with just about everything you've said here. Also, while I know you don't like defensive stats, Lugo has been doing pretty well on them. That may be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it:

    1) SOSH supporters may be saying he's good ONLY because of them, which I imagine strikes terror into your heart. Or,

    2) He may be genuinely good and suffering from a few highly publicized gaffs, which we know happens.

    David Pinto's Probabalistic Model of Range is generally considered the best of the defensive statistics publically available (UZR is the real favorite, but it's the intellectual property of the Cardinals now, I think). And it has Lugo ranked 6th in baseball. That's almost certainly too high, but it can only be encouraging, right?

    By Blogger Jesse, at 4:15 PM  

  • With Cabrera getting $8 mil per year from the Angels in a much more restrained market, Lugo's contract looks pretty sane to me. Of course, I still get to be bitter about Hanley.

    By Blogger chas, at 4:50 PM  

  • I am skeptical of the defensive numbers. But as Chas said, Lugo a 9 is SO much better than O-Cab at 8.

    Given some time to consider, I'm pretty impressed by the talent they've landed for the numbers. There's no "Gil Meche for 4/44" deal. Drew could be, but as Jesse says, at least Drew's got a resume.

    And I don't see much point in Hanley bitterness until the book is closed on Beckett. If Beckett gains some consistency, some maturity, or whatever it is that's missing from his pea-brain, I think maybe you still make that deal.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 5:06 PM  

  • Saw an interesting quote here:

    “There’s a big difference if he were coming into town to be ‘the guy’ or coming here to be a very important part of the team. We have leaders on this team, we have outspoken leaders on the team. We want someone who can come in, play great outfield defense, get on base and do no harm in that clubhouse.”

    Although you could skewer Epstein for the "very important" comment (if he's so unimportant, why did you say on the previous page that he fills two of the team's bigger needs and why are you paying him $70 million?), it's nothing really new. Still, I thought the "no harm" comment was interesting. Does that mean he's an average teammate and the rumors about him were overblown? He has zero personality and can be alright when he's not expected to be a star by teammates or the local media? That his problems in LA were due to specific conflicts with specific teammates that aren't likely to be repeated? Or is this just some bullshit that sounded good to Theo beforehand? Still alright with the deal, but this sounds a little odd, right?

    By Blogger chas, at 12:57 AM  

  • Eh, I like that Epstein quote. He'll probably be a dick but not an overly assertive one, and it won't matter because Tek and Schilling will keep him in line. I buy that. But he is being paid to hit, and he will (as long as he's healthy). He's probably just trying to downplay the signing a bit because it has the chance to be controversial.

    By Blogger Jesse, at 1:04 PM  

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