Floyd would help a lot. Alex Wilson is not a 3 mustketeer but we can't count on more than we got last year from Wieland from him. He's almost defintely a future pen guy. I think Bedard was a quality option. We are not going to improve on what we got from him from those guys we have now. These guys make the aging Penny and Smoltz options look like superstars at this point. I do like Doubront as depth but we need more.
Floyd would allow Bard and/or Aceves to stay in the pen, making the Bailey/Melancon pick-ups more valuable, because of less stress and expectations.
I'm not saying we are in the tank and can't contend but I don't disagree with our power ratings of #7 or so either. On paper, we are no longer option A.
The Yanks beat us pretty badly last year and they just got significantly better IMO. Another year of development under the belt of their 2 top pitching prospects. Adding Kuroda and Pineda. They should be better.
Do we think we are going to be better without Bedard, Papelbon, Reddick, Lowrie etc...while adding Melancon, Bailey, Sweeney and a bunch of near nobodies? A bunch of almost "replacement" level guys?
But, you keep omitting the return of Buch. You count "another year of their top pitching prospects" for the Yanks, but fail to mention the same possibilities for some of our guys like Doubront, Morales, Bowden, Tazawa, and others.
Yes, we lost Papelbon and Bedard from our staff, but that was only 102 IP. I share your concern about Bailey & Melancon replacing Paps, especially if they also have to replce Bard and/or Aceves as well, however, I see potential for great gains on our staff in a much larger area than 102 IP:
IP ER H+BB
Lackey 160 114 241
Wake 155 110 210
Miller 65 40 118
Wheel 49 24 55
Weiland 25 21 41
Oki 8 4 12
Williams 8 6 15
Hottovy 4 3 7
TOTAL: 474 322 699 ERA: 6.11 WHIP: 1.475
This is over 4 times the IP lost by Bedard and Papelbon, and I see the innings replaced by some huge question marks for sure, but also some solid guys. Plus, beatin 6.11/1.475 is not a lot to ask of even guys like Cook and Silva.
Here's how these innings might be replaced:
80-100 more by Buch
70-90 more by Doubront
50-70 more by Bard
30-50 more by Aceves
30-50 more by Tazawa
20-40 more by Morales
10-30 more by Atchison
10-30 more by R Hill
We could see 230-310 IP eaten up by 4 pretty good pitchers:
Buch, Bard, Aceves & Doub.
Another 70-150 by Taz, Morales, Atch & Hill.
That's somewhere between 300 and 460 of the 474 IP needed to replace. The rest will be taken by Bowden, Miller, Silva, Cook, Wilson, or others.
I agree that Theo messed up big time with the Crawford deal. Unbelievably bad contract and even a bad fit IMO. He was going to profile as a super defender in our LF? Was Theo watching the same games I saw? Crawford always had trouble with the wall. He was not worth anywhere near $140 mil.
You know I was with you from day one on this one. As I said from day one:
The deal will (has) crippled us.
He's not even a good fielder on the road.
He's a glorified platoon player that even if he gives us 6 years of his career or 2010 numbers is still being overpaid by $50+M.
I can't believe we are now in such an intractable position where we can't respond to FA opportunities at all any more. We lost Drew's $14 mil plus Papelbon's $10 mil plus and had an opportunity to lose Ortiz's projected $14 mil and now look where we are...we can't add even a Kuroda on a $10 mil, 1 year deal?
We added AGon and Buch's money in April.
It didn't count on the 2011 taz limit budget, but in a sense, that's where Paps & Drew's money went.
We had an opportunity to add Lavarnway's bat to the mix and save a ton of money but we misread Ortiz's intentions. I'd rather have Kuroda at $10 mil, rather than Ortiz at near $14 mil. Ortiz is a major wild card. He may be worthless next year. It's only a matter of time before he tanks completely. I'm not willing to risk that. Not at a $14 mil cost. And he seems to me to be a guy who mainly fattens up his numbers now from mediocre pitching. He's not the same guy he was 4 years ago. He probably puts up good numbers but at a cost of twice what any other DH is paid and he is the most likely guy to fade next year.
I don't like our short term direction. We messed up.
I agree, boom. Without CC and Papi's deals right now, we'd be set up nicely, but I really do not see spending that money on Kuroda as wise, but the one year deal would have made it bearable. I didn't like Cuddyer and most other FAs this year either, but we certainly could have done better than CC and Papi. One could easily throw in Scutaro and Lackey's deals as well into the mix and we're talking about $55M for 2012!
Arbitration awards alone should put us over the luxury tax threshold. It's not good. Ellsbury is going to get a huge raise. Bard, and several others are going to get decent raises. We blew our wad last year and now are trying to deleverage. I don't see any way around it and now is the time we should be putting our foot on the gas pedal. We just don't want to spend the cash any more and that is certainly understandable considering recent history. Ownership may not be happy with what they paid for last year.
I think the arb awards (or actually the signings before arb) will not be as big as you may think. I think we will come out just under the tax limit threshhold. To stay under and make any kind of move, we'll have to trade some salary. Nobody is going to take Jenks, Dice-K, Lackey, or CC unless we eat much of the money. I guess we could go that route, but to me, the most likely salary players to trade are:
Scutaro ($6M) We'd go with Aviles/Iggy/Punto
Youkilis ($10.3M) We'd go with Scutaro/Aviles/Punto/Emaus/Middlebrooks
Papi ($12-14M): We'd probably have to pay $2-4M.
Iggy ($2.1M): We wouldn't notice this at all in 2012.
Salty (arb~$2-4M): We might improve at C with Lava/Shopp.
Beckett ($17M): But nobody to take his place, unless we are bridging to 2013.
Ellsbury (arb???) Who plays CF?
Sweeney (arb ~$2M) Who plays RF?