Tag Archives: Josh Beckett

Trade Retrospective – Josh Beckett to the Red Sox


On November 24, 2005, the Red Sox acquired SP Josh Beckett, 3B Mike Lowell, and RP Guillermo Mota from the Marlins for P Jesus Delgado, P Harvey Garcia, SS Hanley Ramirez, and SP Anibal Sanchez.

The Background

Josh Beckett had his best season to the point prior to the trade in the 2005 season, going 15-8 with a 3.38 ERA and 166 strikeouts in 178 2/3 innings pitched. However, he was entering his 5th full season, and would be eligible for free agency after the 2007 season. Mike Lowell, however, was the main reason for the potential trades being floated. The Marlins were desperately looking to slash payroll, and Lowell was due $9 million in 2006.

The Red Sox had won the AL Wild Card in 2005 with a 95-67 record, but were needing a solid pitcher to slot in behind Curt Schilling and Tim Wakefield. Current 3B Bill Mueller was also going to be a free agent, and the organization did not necessarily want to hand over the job to the young Kevin Youkilis.

The Moving Pieces

In Boston, Beckett slotted into the front end of their starting rotation, and Lowell as their starting 3B.

In Florida, Hanley Ramirez was installed as the starting shortstop, and Anibal Sanchez was sent to the Marlins AA affiliate.

What Happened Next

The return for the Red Sox in the 2006 was a bit of a mixed bag, as Beckett went 16-11 over 204 innings, but posted a 5.01 ERA. Lowell had a solid season, hitting 20 home runs, driving in 80 runs, and posting a .284 batting average. The team itself however, did not make that playoff push that they had grown accustomed to. They went 86-76, and finished 3rd behind the Blue Jays in the AL East.

The Marlins were extremely happy with the players they got in return, specifically Hanley Ramirez. He won the 2006 NL Rookie of the Year award behind a stellar season: .292, 17 HR, 59 RBI, 51 SB, and 119 runs scored. Anibal Sanchez came up and gave the team a shot in the arm as well, posting a 10-3 record with a 2.83 ERA in 17 starts.

The Net Moves

Red Sox – First Level

  • Josh Beckett remains with the team, signing a contract extension first through the 2010 season, and now through the 2014 season. He has been a bit up and down overall, posting a 69-37 record with a 4.29 ERA in 880 2/3 innings pitched. He has 804 strikeouts and 232 walks, and has represented the Red Sox twice in the All-Star game.
  • Mike Lowell is also still with the team, despite their best efforts to move him in the past 2 seasons. He has posted a .291/.347/.472 line with 79 HR and 368 RBI, and was an All-Star once.
  • Guillermo Mota spent approximately 1 month with the team, before being traded on 1/27/2006 to the Indians with Andy Marte and Kelly Shoppach for C Josh Bard, OF Coco Crisp, and P David Riske.

Marlins – First Level

  • Hanley Ramirez has developed into the NL’s best shortstop, and one of the top fantasy players overall. In 737 games, he has hit .313/.384/519 with 119 HR, 375 RBI and 190 steals. He has made 3 All-Star appearances, and has won 2 Silver Slugger Awards. In addition, the Marlins have signed him to contract extension through 2014.
  • Anibal Sanchez has seen some rough patches, mostly due to injuries and inconsistency, but still pitches for the Marlins. He has a 28-25 record with a 3.62 ERA in 430 1/3 innings pitched. He’s struck out 323 and walked 190.
  • Jesus Delgado pitched 2 innings in the Majors with the Marlins, and was selected off waivers by the Mariners on 3/15/2009. He appears to be out of organized baseball at this point.
  • Harvey Garcia threw a few more innings (12 1/3), but was released by the Marlins on 3/16/2009. Must have been roster clearing time that week.

Red Sox – Second Level

  • Josh Bard appeared in 7 games for the Sox, and was used primarily as the personal catcher for knuckleball pitcher Tim Wakefield. It became clear very quickly however that he was not well suited for the task, and was traded by the end of April to the Padres with P Cla Meredith for C Doug Mirabelli.
  • Coco Crisp was with the Red Sox through the 2008 season. He hit .271/.330/.390 with 21 homeruns and 70 stolen bases during his time there, but was traded when it became clear that prospect Jacoby Ellsbury was ready to man center field. Crisp was traded to the Royals for RP Ramon Ramirez on November 19, 2008
  • David Riske made 8 appearances with the Red Sox in 2006 before being traded to the White Sox for P Javier Lopez.

Red Sox – Third Level

  • Doug Mirabelli became the personal catcher for Tim Wakefield again, and spent both the 2006 and 2007 seasons in that role before retiring.
  • Ramon Ramirez spent the 2009 and part of the 2010 seasons with the Sox, posting a 7-7 record with a 3.46 ERA out of the bullpen. He was traded on July 31, 2010 to the Giants for minor leaguer Daniel Turpen.
  • Javier Lopez was in the Red Sox bullpen from 2006-2009, and posted a 5-3 record with a 3.30 ERA, primarily as a LOOGY reliever. He left the Red Sox as a free agent after the 2009 season.

Overall Reactions

I think that this is another one of those trades that worked out well for both teams. The Red Sox, led by the performances of Beckett and Lowell, won their 2nd World Series in 4 seasons in 2007. Whether or not they come to regret the extension that they gave to Josh Beckett recently in the same way that they regret the one that they gave to Lowell remains to be seen, but as I’ve said before, flags fly forever. They also got some decent production out of Crisp while he was in Boston, and got a solid reliever in return for him.

The winner, if I had to pick one, would have to be the Marlins though. Ramirez has become a perennial MVP-caliber player, who routinely is at the top of the batting average charts as well as the stolen base leader boards. They were able to sign him to a team-friendly contract extension through 2014, and Ramirez remains the franchise player for a team that was in desperate need of one when the team traded 1B Miguel Cabrera and P Dontrelle Willis. I am not sure he will be able to stay at shortstop once that contract expires, as his fielding is less than amazing at a high-defense position. But time will tell on that one, and in the mean time the Marlins are enjoying every bit of production he provides.

Week in Review – July 19 to July 25


If the Playoffs Started Today

Tampa Bay Rays (59-38) vs. Texas Rangers (58-41)
Chicago White Sox (53-44) vs. New York Yankees (62-35)

San Francisco Giants (56-43) vs. Atlanta Braves (57-41)
St. Louis Cardinals (55-44) vs. San Diego Padres (58-39)

League Leaders

Batting Average – Josh Hamilton (TEX) .357
Runs – Mark Teixeira (NYY) 75
Home Runs – Jose Bautista (TOR) 27
Runs Batted In – Miguel Cabrera (DET) 88
Stolen Bases – Juan Pierre (CHW) 35

Wins – Ubaldo Jimenez (COL) 15
Saves – Heath Bell (SD) and Brian Wilson (SF) 29
ERA – Josh Johnson (FLA) 1.61
Strikeouts – Jered Weaver (LAA) 147
WHIP – Cliff Lee (TEX) 0.92

Roster Movement

To the Disabled List: Ben Sheets, Aaron Laffey, Luis Atilano, David DeJesus, Ryan Doumit, Manny Ramirez, Andy Pettitte, Dustin Nippert, Scott Kazmir, Ryan Sweeney, Orlando Hudson, Carlos Guillen, Magglio Ordonez,

Return from the Disabled List: Mat Latos, Ryan Ludwick, Sergio Mitre, Brian Roberts, Josh Beckett, Asdrubal Cabrera, Shin-Soo Choo, Yovani Gallardo, Ramon Hernandez, Kevin Millwood, Nate McLouth, Jed Lowrie, Will Venable, Mike Gonzalez, Oliver Perez, Clay Buchholz, Luis Castillo, Luke Scott, Maicer Izturis, Matt Wieters,

To the Minors: Jhoulys Chacin, Andrew Oliver

Called Up: Cedrick Bowers, Alex Gordon, Jose Arredondo, Scott Sizemore, Armando Galarraga

Trades:

Top Stories and Weekly Links

  • The Hall of Fame induction ceremonies were held on Sunday afternoon in Cooperstown, with Andre Dawson and Whitey Herzog being enshrined for their performances. Back in December, I wrote up my thoughts on whether Dawson was a Hall of Famer or not. (I thought he was)
  • Alex Rodriguez hit his 599th homerun of his career this week, and will earn $6 million extra when he hits #600 due to a clause in his contract. Good for him.
  • The Mariners are really looking like a mess, and I am thinking it is probably going to cost manager Don Wakamatsu his job before the end of the season. On Friday night, he got into a shouting argument in the dugout with Chone Figgins over Figgins’ lack of effort on a play in the 5th inning of that night’s game. I actually agree that Wakamatsu did the right thing by yanking Figgins from the game, but teams don’t fire players very often for this kind of stuff.
  • The Moneyball movie has begun shooting finally, with Brad Pitt set to play GM Billy Beane, Jonah Hill to play Paul De Podesta, and Philip Seymour Hoffman playing manager Art Howe. Having been through the 2002 season as an A’s fan, and having read the book, this one’s going to be interesting. I’m wondering if the movie reopens the stats vs. scouts argument wounds again.
  • Major League Baseball, very quietly, announced that minor leaguers will now be tested for HGH in addition to all the other things they are already tested for. I’d be shocked if the next collective bargaining agreement doesn’t have this test in it for Major Leaguers as well.
  • The Angels made the big moves this week with acquiring 3B Alberto Callaspo first in the week and then making the huge splash with acquiring SP Dan Haren from the Diamondbacks for 4 prospects. Really like the trade for the Angels, hate it for every other team in the division (including my A’s).

From the Twitter Followers and Friends

If you aren’t yet, you can follow me over at Twitter here. These are some of the better reads I found from the previous week.

From the Hall of Very Good: HOVG posted a series of articles looking at the next group of players to be eligible for the Hall of Fame voting in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 (so far). Excellent reads from all of them.

From the Daily Something: Bill had a guest post from Jeff Polman which went ahead and played out the remainder of the 1994 season via Strat-o-Matic baseball. It’s a really interesting read, and Strat-o-Matic is something I keep reminding myself that I might enjoy when I have some more time.

Upcoming Posts This Week:

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: A series I had not finished up from earlier in the month, the Original Draft Series, is a group of posts where I look at what an organization’s major league team could have looked like had they held onto every player that they either drafted or signed to their first professional contract. There may be 3 posts this week on this, or there may be 6 if I am feeling ambitious.

Friday:  Trade Retrospective of Johan Santana to the Mets. This one’s a bit newer than a lot of the trades I have reviewed previously, but the players in the deal have pretty much finalized what their value in the trade is going to be, so it’s ready to be looked at I believe.

One Other Thing

Lastly, I wanted to bring up a charity that the Baseball Bloggers Alliance has taken up. Here’s the official word, and what you can do:

Pitch In For Baseball is delighted to have been selected to participate in State Farm’s ‘Go To Bat’ campaign.  Now we need your
help!

‘Go To Bat’ was launched nationally during the State Farm Home Run Derby.  ‘Go To Bat’ gives entrants a chance to win tickets to the upcoming World Series and selected charity partners the chance to receive significant financial support.

Here’s how to play and how to help Pitch In For Baseball:

* Go to  www.statefarm.com/gotobat to register for your chance to win World Series tickets.
* As you register, you will get a chance to designate a charity that could win up to $25,000/week.
* To designate Pitch In For Baseball as your charity, select PUBLIC GOOD as the charity category and then choose Pitch In For
Baseball from the drop down list.
* Revisit www.statefarm.com/gotobat each day and play the ‘Go To Bat’ online game to increase your chances for tickets and Pitch In For
Baseball’s chance at financial support

Thanks to all the readers who help out with this. You can find a lot more information about Pitch In For Baseball at their website

Fun with Old Copies of BA’s Almanac (2003 edition) – Part 4


Part 4 of the 2003 BA Almanac Series takes a look at their 2002 Top 100 Prospects list. The list in the book is just that: A list, with each player listed, and the highest level that they reached in the 2002 season. It’s actually really interesting to me to look at it, as it can give further perspective on the level of risk involved with any prospect.

My Thoughts on the List

Out of the top 100, 32 were what I would consider to be solid Major Leaguers. These are, in my mind’s eye, players who started in the Major Leagues, and would have for a lot of teams had they been with them instead. The interesting thing to note is how many of them did this with teams they were not listed with. These include:

Looking at the top 5, all 5 of them had at least some large amount of playing time in the Majors, but they’ve all had some interesting paths in their careers:

1. Josh Beckett (FLA) – Beckett helped pitch the Marlins to a World Series victory in 2003, and provided solid seasons for the team through 2005 before being traded to the Red Sox in part to acquire future face-of-the-franchise Hanley Ramirez.

2. Mark Prior (CHC) – Prior burst onto the scene in 2002 with 147 strikeouts in only 116 innings pitched, and went even further in 2003 with an 18-6 record and 243 strikeouts in 211 innings pitched to help lead the Cubs to the NLCS. Sadly, the pitcher who supposedly had “the perfect mechanics” apparently still could get injured. Baseball Reference kind of puts the perfect line to it unfortunately, as it says that his last game was on August 10, 2006. He is still trying to comeback, but at this point it remains to be seen if he will ever be able to get on a team again.

3. Hank Blalock (TEX) – Blalock was an All-Star in his second and third seasons with the Rangers, and hit 25 or more homeruns in 3 straight seasons during that time. Unfortunately for him, injuries also derailed his career to some extent, as he has missed time in each of the last 4 seasons. He did rebound nicely in 2009 with 25 homeruns in only 123 games, but hit just .234 in that time. He was recently released by the Rays, and is still looking for a job.

4. Sean Burroughs (SD) – Burroughs was best known for playing in the Little League World Series coming into his Major League career, and unfortunately that accomplishment could still be his crowning baseball achievement. He did hit for a nice average a couple of times, but never really developed the power that it was thought he would. He was out of baseball by 2007.

5. Carlos Pena (OAK) – Pena was traded during the 2002 season by the Athletics after getting off to a slow start. He was with Detroit for a couple of seasons, who (along with the Boston Red Sox) both chose to release Pena at one point or another. These moves have been Tampa’s gain, as he went to Tampa and immediately became an MVP candidate (2 top 10 finishes in a row), and has hit 30 homeruns or more in each of the 3 full seasons there.

It is interesting to me to see how some of them were such colossal misses. With prospects, it’s bound to happen, and there are some pretty stunning examples of players who just never lived up to the hype:

  • 9 – Drew Henson (NYY)
  • 14 – Ryan Anderson (SEA)
  • 16 – Nick Neugebauer (MIL)
  • 25 – Ty Howington (CIN)
  • 32 – Corwin Malone (CHW)

I have to be honest with you, I’ve never heard of either Howington or Malone. Looking at their profiles on Baseball Reference can help to explain that a bit – they never played a day in the Major Leagues.

Original Draft Series – Team # 21 – Florida Marlins


For those that missed the guidelines I am using for this series of posts, you can find them here.

Team #21: Florida Marlins

General Managers(since 1994)

Dave Dombrowski (1994-2001): 563-666
Larry Beinfest (2002-2007): 406-325
Mike Hill (2008-Current): 171-162

Team Performance

Playoffs Division Finish
WC League Playoff App 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
2 2 2 0 3 5 4 4

The Marlins are an interesting example for this project. They only started their franchise in 1993 really, but have already had 2 World Championships, only to dismantle the team in its entirety after the first one. Realistically, they dismantled a fair amount of the team after the 2003 championship as well, but appear to have gotten a better set of returns that time around. All information is drawn from Baseball Reference.

Position Name Acquired Years with Org.
Stats with Organization
Left?
C Brett Hayes 2005 – 2nd Rd 5 21 gm, .226/.314/.387, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 5 R Currently with Org.
1B Adrian Gonzalez 2000 – 1st Rd (1) 3 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to TEX – 7/11/03
2B Luis Castillo Int’l FA – 1992 13 3 All Star Appearances, 3 Gold Gloves
1128 gm, .293/.370/.356, 20 HR, 271 RBI, 281 SB, 675 R
Free Agency – 11/6/03
3B Miguel Cabrera Int’l FA – 1999 8 4 All Star Appearances, 2 Silver Sluggers
720 gm, .313/.388/.542, 138 HR, 523 RBI, 17 SB, 449 R
Traded to DET – 12/4/07
SS Edgar Renteria Int’l FA – 1992 6 1 All Star Appearance
393 gm, .288/.342,/.357, 12 HR, 114 RBi, 89 SB, 237 R
Traded to STL – 12/14/98
LF Chris Coghlan 2006 – 1st Rd (36) 4 2009 NL Rookie of the Year
194 gm, .305/.372/.439, 13 HR, 71 RBI, 15 SB, 127 R
Currently with Org.
CF Mark Kotsay 1996 – 1st Rd (9) 5 468 gm, .280/.322/.411, 31 HR, 179 RBI, 39 SB, 221 R Traded to SD – 3/28/01
RF Jeremy Hermida 2002 – 1st Rd (11) 7 516 gm, .265/.344/.425, 62 HR, 237 RBI, 21 SB, 235 R Traded to BOS – 11/5/09
SP Josh Beckett 1999 – 1st Rd (2) 6 2003 World Series MVP
66-35, 4.22 ERA, 763 K, 222 BB, 837.2 IP, 1.230 WHIP
Traded to BOS – 11/24/05
SP Josh Johnson 2002 – 4th Rd 8 1 All Star Appearance
42-18, 3.13 ERA, 523 K, 201 BB, 581.1 IP, 1.240 WHIP
Currently with Org.
SP Chris Volstad 2005 – 1st Rd (16) 5 19-23, 4.40 ERA, 212 K, 129 BB, 327.1 IP, 1.390 WHIP Currently with Org.
SP Nate Robertson 1999 – 5th Rd 3+1 5-6, 5.18 ERA, 52 K, 35 BB, 83.1 IP, 1.524 WHIP Traded to DET – 1/11/03
SP Livan Hernandez Int’l FA – 1996 3 24-24, 4.39 ERA, 333 K, 199 BB, 469.2 IP, 1.510 WHIP Traded to SF – 7/25/99
RP Chris Leroux 2005 – 7th Rd 5 0-0, 19 gm, 7.89 ERA, 19 K, 13 BB, 21.2 IP, 1.985 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Jeff Fulchino 2001 – 8th Rd 6 1 gm, 0.1 IP, 1 BB, 3.000 WHIP Free Agency – 10/29/07
RP Claudio Vargas Int’l FA – 1995 7 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to MON – 7/11/02
RP Ronald Belisario Int’l FA – 1999 7 No Major League Appearances with Org. Free Agency – 10/15/06
RP Rick Vandenhurk Int’l FA – 2002 8 8-9, 5.96 ERA, 152 K, 80 BB, 155.2 IP, 1.632 WHIP Currently with Org.
CL Taylor Tankersley 2004 – 1st (27) 6 8-3, 4 SV, 4.19 ERA, 113 K, 67 BB, 111.2 IP, 1.513 WHIP Currently with Org.
BN Randy Winn (OF) 1995 – 3rd Rd 2 No Major League Appearances with Org. Expansion Draft – TB – 11/18/97
BN Gaby Sanchez (1B) 2005 – 4th Rd 5 93 gm, .291/.359/.469, 9 HR, 35 RBI, 3 SB, 37 R Currently with Org.
BN Alex Gonzalez (SS) Int’l FA – 1994 11 1 All-Star Appearance
896 gm, .245/.291/.391, 81 HR, 375 RBI, 23 SB, 363 R
Free Agency – 10/27/05
BN Mike Stanton (OF) 2007 – 2nd Rd 3 12 gm, .250/.308/375, HR, 9 RBI, 3 SB, 8 R Currently with Org.
BN Brett Carroll (OF) 2004 – 10th Rd 6 173 gm, .205/.284/.325, 5 HR, 28 RBI, 2 SB, 46 R Currently with Org.
BN Josh Willingham (C/OF) 2000 – 17th Rd 8 416 gm, .266/.361/.472, 63 HR, 219 RBI, 13 SB, 196 R Traded to WAS – 11/10/08

June Amateur Draft

The Marlins have actually done reasonably well in the draft, with Josh Beckett and Josh Johnson being two of the best examples of their development system. Unfortunately, some of the best players that have gone through the system, like Adrian Gonzalez, never made a single appearance with the organization. They have really only missed on 5 of their first round picks to this point, but have only had 21 picks in that time frame. There have also been 4 players who have made a negligible impact in the Majors that were drafted in the first round. Overall, their success in the draft has been reasonable, with quite a few players still incomplete due to a lack of time at the Major League level.

International Free Agency

The Marlins are probably the first team I have reviewed that has been reasonably active in the international markets. Clearly, Miguel Cabrera, Luis Castillo, and Edgar Renteria were all victories for the development system. Unfortunately, the return on these players when they left wasn’t quite the most amazing group of players we have ever seen. But with Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller both still in the system, and 2 World Championships, they’ve done reasonably well with the few players that they have had.

Overall Grade

C. There are some elite players here, one of the first teams with multiple of them. Developing players like Josh Beckett, Josh Johnson, and Miguel Cabrera is good for the overall system ranking, but the bullpen is pretty weak overall, and there are a few players who turned out to play very well, just not for the Marlins themselves.

Fantasy Preview – Starting Pitchers Part 1


A note about my rankings: I am assuming a standard scoring league (5×5) with the following categories:

R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, W, SV, ERA, K, WHIP

Also, I have done a lot of statistical analysis in the past, but I’m not ready to start calculating my own projections statistically. So for me, a lot of this is based entirely on gut feel (which of these 2 players would I want), and looking at previous performance. All statistics are from the 2009 season.

My top 25 Starting Pitchers

1. Tim Lincecum – SF
W ERA IP K WHIP
15 2.48 225.1 261 1.047
Lincecum is coming off back-to-back Cy Young Awards, and is still extremely young. The unorthodox delivery will always be of some concern, but he has had success with it to this point, and in staying healthy while using it. He really should have won more than 15 games last season, but you’re not really looking for wins specifically at this point. To me, Lincecum is far and away the best starting pitcher at the start of the season, and could very well end up with a repeat of his 2009 season again in 2010.


2. Roy Halladay – PHI
W ERA IP K WHIP
17 2.79 239 208 1.126
After all the speculation that Halladay would be moved during the 2009 season, it was a small surprise to see him actually moved during the offseason. But I really like what this does for his value for 2010. His lineup is going to provide him with a ton of runs, and Halladay also gets the bonus of getting to face the Nationals and the rest of the National League as opposed to having to face the juggernauts in New York and Boston a half-dozen times. I think he could actually improve on these numbers, and I think he’s going to give Lincecum a run for the money for the Cy Young Award this season.


3. Felix Hernandez – SEA
W ERA IP K WHIP
19 2.49 238.2 217 1.135
Hernandez really put it all together last season, finishing 2nd in the AL Cy Young voting to Greinke. The Mariners have made a concerted effort to improve the defense behind their pitching staff for 2010, adding Casey Kotchman at 1B and Chone Figgins at 3B. I think that Hernandez can actually see slight improvements in his numbers this season. My only concern for King Felix would be that he may not necessarily get as many wins, but you really shouldn’t be chasing wins to begin with.


4. C.C. Sabathia – NYY
W ERA IP K WHIP
19 3.37 230 197 1.148
Sabathia is simply a true pitcher. He’s going to be out there for as long as they will allow him, throwing as many pitches as he needs to get through a start. I actually think that the win total could also have the potential to be even higher this season, and the strikeouts higher as well. He’s always going to have a pretty good amount of run support, and his ERA and WHIP should stay in a similar range to last year.


5. Zack Greinke – KC
W ERA IP K WHIP
16 2.16 229.1 242 1.073
Greinke won the AL Cy Young Award last season, edging out Hernandez and Sabathia both. I think he’s going to see a slight regression, as the ERA and WHIP were amazingly low. But we’re still talking about a pitcher who will end up with a sub-3 ERA and a WHIP around 1.15 or less. Oh, and the strikeout per inning is always a good thing too. Greinke really appears to have conquered his demons regarding the spotlight, and seems like a pretty safe bet to have another great season.


6. Dan Haren – ARI
W ERA IP K WHIP
14 3.14 229.1 223 1.003
Haren really seems to be a tale of two pitchers: He always has a very good first half, and a not-as-great second half. Just keep that thought in the back of your mind when drafting him. The fact that despite poorer performance in the second half, these were the numbers he posted, tells you how good the numbers were in the first half. Haren is also about as steady as it comes also, having posted excellent performances overall for each of the last 4 seasons.


7. Adam Wainwright – STL
W ERA IP K WHIP
19 2.63 233 212 1.210
Wainwright posted an excellent season last year, narrowly losing out on the NL Cy Young award last season. His peripheral numbers (.309 BABIP, 0.66 HR/9) indicate to me that there’s a very good chance he’ll repeat these numbers again in 2010.


8. Justin Verlander – DET
W ERA IP K WHIP
19 3.45 240 269 1.175
Verlander definitely announced his presence again in 2009, and my only question about him is this: Will he be able to repeat what he did in 2009, or will he regress back to the 2008 version? I think he’s a lot more likely to stay at the 2009 level, and could end up as a top-5 pitcher potentially.


9. Jon Lester – BOS
W ERA IP K WHIP
15 3.41 203.1 225 1.230
Lester’s personal story is a very good one, but the fantasy implications of his 2009 season are much more interesting for my purposes. I think that there is a reasonable chance he will actually improve on his numbers, both the ERA and WHIP. The Red Sox have done a very good job of improving their defense, and have managed to keep their offense in solid shape as well. Even his health concerns from the beginning of the 2009 season have been put to rest, and he should help lead the Red Sox for many years to come.


10. Chris Carpenter – STL
W ERA IP K WHIP
17 2.24 192.2 144 1.007
The only concern I have with Carpenter is the same one that he has nearly every season: health. Carpenter only pitched 192 innings last season, and I think it is unlikely he will get much past 200 IP this season as well. The strikeout rate seems to have dropped some, but his ERA and WHIP have been low enough that the fact that he’s “only” struck out around 7 per 9 innings is not really that relevant to me. But do remember that Carpenter is not without risk.


11. Josh Johnson – FLA
W ERA IP K WHIP
15 3.23 209 191 1.158
With a freshly signed contract extension, Johnson knows he’s going to be pitching in Florida’s spacious stadium until they move to the new one. 2009 was the first season really able to stay healthy for the full season. The value is definitely there with Johnson, as even when he was not healthy, his numbers were in line with what he accomplished last season. But he’s another pitcher that I would say has a slightly more than average risk for injury.


12. Matt Cain – SF
W ERA IP K WHIP
14 2.89 217.2 171 1.181
Cain, very quietly, had a very good season last year. And even though he didn’t show it in the win totals for a second straight season, his components indicate that he’s definitely for real. He may see some regression with regard to his ERA, but he should still be around 3.50 or so.


13. Johan Santana – NYM
W ERA IP K WHIP
13 3.13 166.2 146 1.212
Santana was one of the few bright spots on an otherwise very poor Mets team in 2009. I think that there is a very distinct possibility that Santana pitches a full season this year, and vaults back into the top-10 of starting pitchers. The only number I don’t think improves is his win total, but that is more to do with what I think of the Mets than anything.


14. Javier Vazquez – NYY
W ERA IP K WHIP
15 2.87 219.1 238 1.026
So Vazquez is back in New York, and I think that this is going to adversely affect the numbers he will provide for fantasy owners. He’s still likely to strikeout around a batter per inning, but it concerns me that he’s not going to be able to face the Nats and the other National League lineups. I think he still posts an ERA around 3.50 and a WHIP around 1.2, which will both be excellent. But don’t let yourself get caught bidding on Vazquez on the assumption that he’s going to duplicated 2009, because I just don’t see that happening.


15. Josh Beckett – BOS
W ERA IP K WHIP
17 3.86 212.1 199 1.192
Beckett seems poised to repeat the success he had in 2009, and should provide you with some solid value in all categories. I don’t think there is a lot of upside from the numbers he posted last year though, and even a chance of some regression in WHIP as well.


16. Wandy Rodriguez – HOU
W ERA IP K WHIP
14 3.02 205.2 193 1.240
The numbers appear to be, for the most part, real. The ERA could possibly go up from last year, but the WHIP and strikeouts appear legit. The other thing that I was thinking with Wandy was the fact that it seems unlikely he will win more than the 14 games he did last season. The Astros don’t look particularly good, and that will affect his final numbers slightly.


17. Ubaldo Jimenez – COL
W ERA IP K WHIP
15 3.47 218 198 1.229
Jimenez’s 2009 season was an improvement on 2008, mostly due to him cutting down his walk rate from 4.67 per 9 to 3.51 per 9 innings in 2009. If he can continue that lower walk rate, I don’t see any reason why he can’t perform to the same level in 2010.


18. Cliff Lee – SEA
W ERA IP K WHIP
14 3.22 231.2 181 1.243
Lee has had a whirlwind couple of seasons, having now been traded twice in the span of 5 months. His numbers could see some improvement by moving from Philadelphia to Seattle (mostly due to improved defense and ballpark), but the fact that he will be facing AL lineups again drops him from being a top-10 pitcher in my opinion. He’s still going to be an excellent pitcher, and he’s still going to provide solid numbers across the board. But I think I would rather have some other pitchers first.


19. Jake Peavy – CHW
W ERA IP K WHIP
9 3.45 101.2 110 1.121
Peavy came back late in the season from his injuries and pitched extremely well. He is another pitcher who could very well end up as a top-10 pitcher if he pitches a full season in 2010. But the fact that it took a majority of 2009 to recover from these injuries concerns me, as well as his adaption to pitching outside of Petco. I believe that he’s going to be solid as long as he’s healthy, and potentially elite also. He is not a product of Petco Park, but the place certainly didn’t hurt him as a pitcher.


20. Clayton Kershaw – LAD
W ERA IP K WHIP
8 2.79 171 185 1.228
Kershaw put it all together last season, and still has a lot of room for growth. He’s only going to be 22 years old this season, and should hopefully see him top 200 innings this year. The win total should improve as well, as he pitched a lot better than only getting 8 wins. My only real concern with Kershaw is how he will adjust to trying to throw that many innings. The potential dropoff is still well worth the risk in my opinion, as the upside for Kershaw remains huge.


21. Yovani Gallardo – MIL
W ERA IP K WHIP
13 3.73 185.2 204 1.314
Gallardo pitched the majority of the season last year for the first time, and posted some excellent numbers as a result. I think that he can approach 200 innings this season, but could potentially see a slight regression in ERA and WHIP due to a slightly lower BABIP (.288). The strikeouts are legit, and I could see the wins potentially improving as well. Gallardo is the unquestioned ace of the Brewers staff at this point.


22. Ricky Nolasco – FLA
W ERA IP K WHIP
13 5.06 185 195 1.254
Nolasco’s ERA really appears to be an outlier. Both his BABIP (.336) and FIP (3.35) indicate that the ERA was extremely unlucky. You’re looking at a pitcher who will approach 200 innings, and post excellent numbers in strikeouts, WHIP, and ERA this time around.


23. Matt Garza – TAM
W ERA IP K WHIP
8 3.95 203 189 1.261
Garza appears extremely unlucky in terms of wins. He did post a career high in strikeouts, which was more in-line with his minor league stats. His ERA may be a bit higher this year, but I think he still is right around 4.00.


24. Tommy Hanson – ATL
W ERA IP K WHIP
11 2.89 127.2 116 1.185
The only thing that is keeping me from ranking Hanson higher is the fact that he has not yet done it over a full season. But he’s going to be really good, and will probably post an ERA closer to 3.75 than the 2.89 he posted last season. A lot of upside here though to be sure.


25. Brandon Webb – ARI
W ERA IP K WHIP
0 13.5 4 2 2.00
Talk about a lost season. Webb pitched 4 innings in his first start, and never made it back to the team during the season. But the upside of Webb is a definite top 10 pitcher who could post 200 IP with a sub 3.50 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP, and 175 strikeouts. The risk of injury is the only thing keeping him from being higher up.

Tomorrow I will continue on with my team previews, as I review the American League West this week, starting with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Team Preview – Boston Red Sox


Roster Makeup
Lineup Pitching Staff
Pos Name Role Name
C Victor Martinez SP 1 Josh Beckett
1B Kevin Youkilis SP 2 Jon Lester
2B Dustin Pedroia SP 3 John Lackey
3B Adrian Beltre SP 4 Daisuke Matsuzaka
SS Marco Scutaro SP 5 Clay Buchholz
LF Mike Cameron Bullpen
CF Jacoby Ellsbury CL Jonathan Papelbon
RF J.D. Drew RP Hideki Okajima
DH David Ortiz RP Daniel Bard
Bench RP Ramon Ramirez
IF Mike Lowell RP Manny Delcarmen
C Jason Varitek RP Tim Wakefield

Additional roster information can be found at MLB Depth Charts.

Off-Season Transactions
Key Additions Key Losses
Pos Name How Pos Name How
SP John Lackey Free Agency OF Jason Bay Free Agency
SS Marco Scutaro Free Agency 1B Casey Kotchman Trade (SEA)
3B Adrian Beltre Free Agency RP Billy Wagner Free Agency
OF Mike Cameron Free Agency

Top Prospects: Casey Kelly (P), Ryan Westmoreland (OF), Lars Anderson (1B), Jose Iglesias (SS)

2009 Review

The Red Sox finished 2009 with a 95-67 record, good for 2nd place in the AL East, and the Wild Card bid for the American League. The offense was led by LF Jason Bay (36 HR, 119 RBI), CF Jacoby Ellsbury (.301, 70 SB), and 1B/3B Kevin Youkilis (.305, 27 HR, 94 RBI), while the pitching staff was anchored by Jon Lester (15-8, 3.41 ERA) and Josh Beckett (17-6, 3.86 ERA). GM Theo Epstein was extremely busy during the season, acquiring C Victor Martinez from the Indians for a package of players, and also acquiring 1B Casey Kotchman while trading away SP Brad Penny, SP John Smoltz, 1B Adam LaRoche, and SS Julio Lugo.

The Red Sox season really appeared to be a tale of two halves, as the Red Sox were in first place as late as July 20th. However, once the Yankees got on a roll, the Sox were relegated to chasing after the wild card. In the playoffs, they drew the Angels in the first round, and were summarily swept in 3 games by the Angels.

The thing that I really found interesting about the Red Sox is that they were able to take some high-risk players, and when they didn’t work, still were able to make moves to allow them to recover. Penny and Smoltz both didn’t pitch particularly well for the Red Sox, but all they really cost the Sox was money. In spite of giving up quite a few players to acquire Victor Martinez, the farm system still remains extremely deep.

Team Outlook for 2010

The Red Sox are expected to compete for a playoff spot again this year, and would be on the short list of World Series contenders as well. They’ve improved at 3 positions where they were weak at the start of the 2009 season (C, 3B, SS), while losing some offensive production in LF. However, they’ve added excellent defenders at both 3B and LF, who should help make up some of that production. Their pitching staff is extremely deep, with Beckett, Lester and free agent signee John Lackey penciled in at the top of a rotation which still includes Daisuke Matsuzaka, a more experienced Clay Buchholz, and Tim Wakefield to fill in with solid innings in either long-relief or as a spot-starter.

I’m not really sure where the weakness would be on the Red Sox as of yet. J.D. Drew is always a risk to get injured, and DH David Ortiz was a bit of a mixed bag last season. The bullpen is still extremely strong, with Jonathan Papelbon slotted in as the closer yet again. Even the bench is fairly strong, with 3B Mike Lowell, C Jason Varitek, and 3B/OF Bill Hall among the players manager Terry Francona can call on to give the starters a rest.

Fantasy Outlook for 2010

Lots of players to like here, with C Victor Martinez, 1B/3B Kevin Youkilis, 2B Dustin Pedroia, SS Marco Scutaro, CF Jacoby Ellsbury, CL Jonathan Papelbon, and SPs Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and John Lackey all being owned in standard 10-team leagues. If I were looking for a player with some upside, LF Mike Cameron could potentially hit better this season with a full home schedule of the Green Monster.

Prediction for 2010

The Red Sox, barring any unusual injuries, should be right at the top of the AL East again. I think that they’re going to be extremely competitive, and should be in the playoffs come October.

94-68, 2nd in the AL East
Wild Card winner for the AL