rickyISking

October's Over: The 2014-15 MLB off-season thread.

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What I don't get about Lester is that negotiations during spring training, the sox wouldn't break the $100 million barrier or the 5th year. And now he gets an offer of 6/$120? I hope he gets his money though he is a sox at heart but something doesn't add up.

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What I don't get about Lester is that negotiations during spring training, the sox wouldn't break the $100 million barrier or the 5th year. And now he gets an offer of 6/$120? I hope he gets his money though he is a sox at heart but something doesn't add up.

That was also before Lester posted career bests in ERA, Innings pitched and strikeout to walk ratio.

What really struck me about his 2014 season was that basically went from being a five pitch pitcher to a four pitch one. Conventional wisdom would say if your going to cut a pitch it should be either the sinker or the cutter. Why have three of your four pitches be fastballs? But the pitch he decided to cut was the changeup, meaning he only has one breaking pitch he throws roughly 15%. More then 80% of the time your seeing a fastball from Jon Lester.

You would think that would make him one of the easiest pitchers in baseball to scout. And it may very well be true. But what it is also seemed to do was allow him to focus more on his three fastball pitches and give him a lot more confidence to throw any of the three in any situation. It doesn't matter that all three pitchers are similar to each other. As long as they're good and mixed together it doesn't matter.

In a lot of ways it reminds me of Cliff Lee. His breakout year in '08 was the same year he basically gave up on trying to throw a slider.

I think the similarities between the two stop there as Lee has far more complex repertoire then Lester ever will, but like Lester the problem with him was that he was too focused on trying to develop different pitches rather then good pitches.

I don't think Lester has the quality of stuff at this stage of his career to ever get into the same category as guys like Clayton Kershaw or Felix Hernandez. He just doesn't have the quality of stuff those guys possess at this point in his career. But making one little change to his game might have just added another four or five years onto his career if not more.

If Lester was this type of pitcher when he got started, he probably would have a Cy Young or two to his name. But better late then never and I think its possible we could be looking back at 2014 as the year Jon Lester finally became a pitcher.

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Sandoval, too!

https://twitter.com/JonHeymanCBS/status/536861534237229056

Sandoval has agreement to go to the red sox for 5 years, close to 100M

And I keep seeing this will have no effect on their ability to sign Lester. Seems that Cespedes is as good as gone in a trade for a SP.

Wow

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I bet this sets up Xander Bogaerts to be traded along with Cespedes.

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This is awful. AWFUL.

Okay, I get Pablo Sandoval, production at third base was possibly one of the worst on record in the history of baseball. So fine, dish out the money to him. I still think he's overrated outside of his postseason play, but I digress.

Now Hanley Ramirez is such a classic Red Sox signing that I want to throw up. The guy is on the wrong side of 30, has missed significant time in 3 of the past 4 seasons, has attitude problems, hates Jon Lester, did I mention he's 31?? 5 years! FIVE. I would honestly rather see a combination of Stevie Strike Out Looking Drew and Xander than an injury prone over the hill short stop.

2015 Boston Red Sox: "Big contracts for ratings, and maybe the playoffs!

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I actually feel the exact opposite. I've already elaborated on Hanley a couple pages back as to why I wouldn't expect him to be what he was in Florida ever again, but I sure thought he would get more than five years. That seemed like an obvious 6-7 contract with nine digits. It kinda tells me that he really wanted to go to Boston.

EDIT (1:04) - boy, I really should have finished the point I was making, shouldn't I have? I said I feel the opposite because I feel like the Sandoval deal, which apparently is not finished but whatever, lets just presume it will be for the purposes of this post, is the one that looks foolish to me. He's coming off a pair of sub-.760 OPS seasons the last two seasons. I know AT&T Park kinda sucks for hitters and everything but I feel like I would expect my $20M third baseman to have done better than that in order to earn that contract. Panda's entire resume is based on two, admittedly, awesome postseason performances, but we all know how quickly things can turn in small sample sizes. Playoff success in San Francisco for him doesn't guarantee future playoff success in Boston, provided he were to ever be on a Red Sox postseason roster.

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Haha, enjoy getting absolutely BBQed by idiot Boston fans when you're in one of your typical 1 for 35 slumps in May, Fatass.

I honestly don't know who I'm more upset with. The Giants or Pablo. If he left because Boston offered him $5 million more, then there is something SERIOUSLY wrong with the situation. I always thought that was an insane amount of money to give a player like Pablo, but that's such a miniscule amount in terms of baseball contracts.

This is either the smartest decision the Giants could have made, or the absolute worst.

The Giants signing Yasmany Thomas and (Maybe... BIG maybe) Jon Lester would make me feel a lot better about this.

I will say this much, though. If the Red Sox bring in Pablo, Hanley, AND Jon Lester in the same off season, Red Sox fans may as well just start wearing pinstripes because they're pretty much the Yankees now.

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I've been saying "Panda" in a Boston accent for the last half hour. It sounds as annoying as you'd think.

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I actually feel the exact opposite. I've already elaborated on Hanley a couple pages back as to why I wouldn't expect him to be what he was in Florida ever again, but I sure thought he would get more than five years. That seemed like an obvious 6-7 contract with nine digits. It kinda tells me that he really wanted to go to Boston.

EDIT (1:04) - boy, I really should have finished the point I was making, shouldn't I have? I said I feel the opposite because I feel like the Sandoval deal, which apparently is not finished but whatever, lets just presume it will be for the purposes of this post, is the one that looks foolish to me. He's coming off a pair of sub-.760 OPS seasons the last two seasons. I know AT&T Park kinda sucks for hitters and everything but I feel like I would expect my $20M third baseman to have done better than that in order to earn that contract. Panda's entire resume is based on two, admittedly, awesome postseason performances, but we all know how quickly things can turn in small sample sizes. Playoff success in San Francisco for him doesn't guarantee future playoff success in Boston, provided he were to ever be on a Red Sox postseason roster.

Don't get me wrong, I think they're both bad. The only rationalization I have for Pablo (who believe me I think is supremely overrated) is the Sox complete inability to put a guy at the hot corner who can play better than Roger Dorn. I'm satisfied with Xander at short even though the organization absolutely hates that idea. It just seems like the better option than to throw 90 million at Hanley. Now, if they don't resign Lester than all of this is just a bit too much. You can't give an absolute stud the kind of money he deserves but you can toss 190 million at two old farts (okay, maybe Pablo isn't that old, but he's not that good so you get it)?

I've been saying "Panda" in a Boston accent for the last half hour. It sounds as annoying as you'd think.

Tough day at the office, eh?

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I've been saying "Panda" in a Boston accent for the last half hour. It sounds as annoying as you'd think.

FACKIN' PANDER, GO EAT ANOTHAH BANANNER, YA LAZY MONKEY

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I've been saying "Panda" in a Boston accent for the last half hour. It sounds as annoying as you'd think.

FACKIN' PANDER, GO EAT ANOTHAH BANANNER, YA LAZY MONKEY

:wacko: They really yell stuff like that ?

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I've been saying "Panda" in a Boston accent for the last half hour. It sounds as annoying as you'd think.

FACKIN' PANDER, GO EAT ANOTHAH BANANNER, YA LAZY MONKEY

:wacko: They really yell stuff like that ?

No, they don't.

As far as Hanley Ramirez, I'm a little surprised at that deal. Considering he's willing to play other positions, the only reason I can think they went after him is because they're likely to move Yoenis Cespedes and they plan to put Ramirez in left field. I admit that five years is a bit of a deal for a 31-year old defensive liability, but considering the projections he was getting, 5 years/$90 million is a bargain for a guy estimated to receive a 6 year/$132 million contract. I think after going through what Ben Cherington went through with the contracts of the likes of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, I doubt he would throw away money at a guy unless he had good reason to. Similar to how a lot of fans thought the contracts Shane Victorino and Johnny Gomes got prior to the 2013 season were outrageous. Considering how little the Red Sox have tied up in future commitments, I'd say the gamble is worth it.

I guess the only good that's come out of this is that Will Middlebrooks is as good as gone from the Red Sox considering the signing of Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval.

UPDATE: Hearing Jon Lester is possibly close to a deal with Boston. Rumors are saying $120-140 million...

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Haha, enjoy getting absolutely BBQed by idiot Boston fans when you're in one of your typical 1 for 35 slumps in May, Fatass.

That fatass just helped the Giants win another World Series, and would have been the MVP again if it weren't for Bumgarner. I guess he's a "trader" now?

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If Cespedes is the odd man out, send him this way.

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Haha, enjoy getting absolutely BBQed by idiot Boston fans when you're in one of your typical 1 for 35 slumps in May, Fatass.

That fatass just helped the Giants win another World Series, and would have been the MVP again if it weren't for Bumgarner. I guess he's a "trader" now?

More like "Just another guy" now. I'll miss having him to watch every game (In all honesty, he was probably my favorite Giant), no doubt about it. But I'd be more inclined to throw the flowery BS Pablo's way had the Giants absolutely lowballed him. But the reports coming out now are that the Giants were actually offering him an option for a sixth year, and the money was nearly identical. If he really didn't wanna be in San Francisco because he thought that Boston was a better than option no matter the money, then cool. But as far as I'm concerned, thanks for the memories Pablo, but you can kick rocks. Hope you enjoy being in a position where you're not getting told how fat you are every five minutes by management (And I genuinely mean that). It's time to move on now.

On to Yasmany Thomas!

Or Jed Lowrie. Whatever.

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Sandoval is a nice player. He's very good (not elite) defensively and had a nice (not great) bat, but he's only getting close to this contract because offense is down so much and because there is a total dearth of 3B in baseball today. His weight is a huge issue, as fat players normally don't hold up well past age 30. So, in a few years after David Ortiz hangs up his syringe, they move Sandoval to DH? His numbers don't look that good at DH, and you're still paying him $20 mil a year. And that's if he even puts up the same numbers he has, and his numbers don't tail off as his body wears down. By year four of this contract, his weight will be higher than his on base percentage.

Add in the contract for the oft-injured Hanley Ramirez, and it's like the Red Sox are being assembled by Playstation GM'ing again. It's crazy to see this just a few years after the Dodgers completely bailed them out for their last crippling spending binge. Boston is not looking like a very good organization.

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They don't have to be as long as they have that sweet NESN money. I believe that teams that pay the freight for their leagues have earned the right to spend their way out of blunders, but baseball is taking that principle to a whole new level that even I can't defend. I guess it's because as a fan of the Chicago Cubs, I now root for a small-market team.

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They don't have to be as long as they have that sweet NESN money. I believe that teams that pay the freight for their leagues have earned the right to spend their way out of blunders, but baseball is taking that principle to a whole new level that even I can't defend. I guess it's because as a fan of the Chicago Cubs, I now root for a small-market team.

My team has won three championships in the last five seasons, and they still get labeled with the "small market" tag.

I don't think baseball needs a cap, but I just hope it doesn't go completely EPL on us.

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