Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part I
posted at 11/10/2013 2:04 PM EST
In response to moonslav59's comment:
I say we get that 4m a year over the next 3 years back (and more) by trading Dempster for Ethier.
Ethier and 4m for Dempster in '14 is a salary wash. Ethier and 4m a year for the 3 years after that gives us the guy at the same 3/39 we just paid for Victorino ages 32-34 for Ethier age 33-35 years. Ethier is the slightly better player and far healthier player. Shane's 3 years before his 2012 disaster, ages 28-30, he was a .280/.345/.800 guy with 15 HR's a year.
Ethier last 3 years ages 29-31 was a .285/.360/.800 guy who was VERY durable, avg 510 AB's a year, was a 15 HR/30 2B guy in a pitchers park and is versatile enough to play all 3 OF spots like Victorino. He is also one of Dusty's best friends from ASU.
If ages 32-35 he drops down to a .270/.345/.785 guy, who keeps the same power #'s b/c of Fenway, I am fine with that in our 7-8 hole as LA picks up some of the tab.
Trading for Ethier does allow for Victorino to stay in RF and probably means JBJ gets traded, but what concerns me most about him is the splits:
vs RHPs: .309/.388/.518/.906 Excellent numbers!
vs LHPs: .235/.294/.351/.644 Not worthy of starting on the Sox in 2014!
His away splits are a bit concerning as well: .276/.354/.435/.789
Just like I said with Crawford, Ethier appears to be a "glorified platoon player".
Well Nava and Drew are worse vs. lefties than that. Since Gomes and Shane CRUSH them:
Gomes (.277/.387/.881) Victorino (.316/.391/.916)
I guess you have one black hole there who plays well. Shane is the 2 hitter vs. lefties and 8-9 hitter vs. righties and Ethier the opposite. or we promote JBJ and trade Nava. Have an Ethier/Gomes platoon in LF with JBJ not exactly handed the job full-time.
Still rather have Ethier and his abiliity to play CF for about 40 million over the next 4 years over Dempster (13m) and paying someone like Beltran 35 million for 2 years, forcing Shane and JBJ into CF, weakening corner OF spots on D AND making us unable to afford Napoli and Salty or McCann.
This lineup in 2014 would make me VERY happy:
2B - Pedroia
* begrudgingly takes leadoff spot, agrees to post .400 OBP's for remainder of extension;-)
CF - Ethier
* loves leaving a pitcher's park for a hitter's one, Pedy is a close friend from ASU. hits 9th vs. lefties and Shane plays here.
3B - Middlebrooks
* Put the potential 30 HR guy whose weakness is chasing bad pitches in front of the teams best power hitter in order to get him lots of strike zone pitches
DH - Ortiz
* 'Pop' is still there
1B - Napoli
* A 2 year deal guarantee of the 26m he would have made, + up to 4m in incentives per year and THEN a player option for 2 more years at around 13m a year (if health incentives reached in '14/'15) to 1B/DH when Papi reties
C - McCann
* Pay a lot upfront for a guy who will be an elite catcher the next 2-3 years, then less on the backend as he moves to DH duties after Papi leaves and mentors the young (cheap) catchers/pitchers we will have coming up like his buddy Ross did
SS - Xander
* Rookie of the year? .285/.385 with 20 HR's?
LF - Nava/Gomes
* platoon worked out pretty well for us this year. Ethier moves here in '15 when JBJ takes over CF
RF - Victorino
* Not asking him to replace Ells in CF or in setting the table with a high OBP (never his thing) is very wise and will make for another successful .285/.345 15 HR season. Hits 2nd vs. lefties.