By Nick DiBattista

The Red Sox seemingly have interest amongst the industry in Gio Gonzalez, the young Oakland A starter, and rightfully so.  For 2012, the Sox have 2 pitching openings and very little confidence in the two pitchers who vacated those positions for Tommy John surgery in the first place.  Expect to hear the Sox name dropped in on almost every trade candidate this winter.  That being said, what does Gonzalez bring to the table, and should the Sox really be interested in him?  More after the jump.

Is it time to trade that yellow shirt in for some Red Sox?

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Bobby Valentine

It’s all but official now. According to a source near the Red Sox Bobby Valentine will be named the manager of the Red Sox soon.

61 year old Valentine was previously an ESPN commentator. According to sources Valentine was offered the managerial position today and immediately accepted it. It is unclear on when the press conference will be.

Valentine has managed the Rangers, the Marines in Japan, and the Mets. He has a career 1,117-1,072 record as a major league manager and has been to the World Series once. He owns his own sports bar and somehow is the director of public safety in the city of Stamford, Connecticut. Valentine also played major league baseball with a career .260 average in the bigs. To say the least he is a “renaissance” man.

Currently Bobby Valentine is in Japan and is expected to fly back at midnight on Wednesday. Earlier today sources said that Gene Lamont, the current third base coach of the Tigers, was no longer a candidate. This news made it very clear that Valentine was going to be named manager as reports had come out that the race had been narrowed down to Valentine and Lamont.

By Nick DiBattista

I’ve had some time to think about this mind-blowing, record-setting closer deal that the Phillies signed Jonathan Papelbon to.  Now don’t get me wrong, I completely understand why they bailed on Madson’s alleged 4-yr, $44 million deal in favor of this 4-yr, $50 million with a vesting 5th year option for Papelbon.  Just look at the track records.  Papelbon has been closing for 6 years, and has logged 30 or more saves in each season, posting a career ERA of 2.33 and career WHIP of 1.02.  Not too shabby for a guy Sox fans have always felt “likes to make things interesting” before shutting the door down.  Madson, while very good this season, only has one full season of closing experience (two part time seasons as well), and his numbers this year compare to Papelbon’s career numbers (2.37 ERA and 1.15 WHIP), but if that’s the case, wouldn’t you pay the extra $6 million to get the guy with a much higher sample size?  You get a better indication of Papelbon’s future performance based on his lengthy track record; Madson invokes a lot more risk.  That being said, the purpose of this article is confusion—I’m entirely confused to why either of them is getting paid this obnoxious amount of money.  The value of finishing a game just is not worth as much money as relievers as a whole are being paid.

 

Let’s break down Papelbon’s contract a little—he’s being paid $50 million dollars over four years.  As the Red Sox closer, Papelbon averaged approximately 66 innings per season.  Extrapolate that by the four seasons on his contract, that’s 264 innings that he’s going to throw for that $50 million salary.  That comes out to 5.28 innings per million dollars earned.  That’s not even a quality start!  Now you can turn around and say that he’s pitching the most important inning and finishing games in pressure situations, but so are setup men, and until recently (Rafael Soriano) they weren’t getting overly expensive contracts either.

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At last the Red Sox long winding managerial search is almost over. After a month of searching and interviewing, the Red Sox seem to have the field narrowed to two; Bobby Valentine and Gene Lamont.

While neither option is stellar, like it or not one of these two men will be managing the Red Sox win 2012, barring any major surprises.  The biggest question is, who should get the job?

My opinion is that if the final two candidates are indeed Valentine and Lamont, Valentine should absolutely get the job. He impressed in his “press conference” and has much more major league managing experience than Lamont. A big plus in Valentine’s favor is that he seems much more inclined to be a stats guy, something that the Red Sox front office loves. On the other hand it is well-known that Lamont is far less a numbers guy, and more of a “hunch” guy, a lot like Grady Little.

Lamont is also older (albeit not by much) than Valentine, and never really enjoyed much success as a manager. He had two first place finishes, but other than that he didn’t enjoy much success at all. Continue reading »

Here at BloodySox, we are a very grateful bunch.

We are thankful for Dustin Pedroia. We are thankful for Jacoby Ellsbury. We are thankful for Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis. We are thankful for Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Daniel Bard, Alfredo Aceves and Josh Beckett. We are thankful for Ben Cherington and a promising front office. We are thankful for owners who have been committed to providing Boston with a great baseball team.

We are thankful for our families. For our friends. For those who serve our country.

We are thankful for Baseball.

Happy Thanksgiving!

With Jonathon Papelbon donning a Phillies uniform next year, Red Sox nation is well aware that restructuring the bullpen is an area of concern this off-season. Some thought Joe Nathan was a prime target to fill the closer void, but he is now off to Texas. So, this leaves the Red Sox with some questions to answer: Is Daniel Bard ready to take over? Will Bobby Jenks be ready to go by the time spring training rolls around? Does the front office look outside the organization for its next closer? Well, here are some possible free agent relievers you could see in Boston next season.

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“If I’m the Red Sox plan B and I get the job I would feel like it was Christmas and I was Plan A.”

That’s what Bobby Valentine had to say after his interview with the Red Sox earlier today. In the matter of a couple of days, Valentine has become the front runner for the Red Sox managerial opening. General Manager Ben Cherington stated that Bobby V has met with all three of the Red Sox majority owners in the past two weeks.

Possibly the best news of the day was that if Valentine got the position, he inferred that he would welcome the front office’s input and statistical analysis as a possible ‘growth experience’. Bobby Valentine is usually viewed as a highly opinionated, old school manager.

According to the Boston Globe, Sandy Alomar Jr. is no longer under consideration for the manager’s job, however they have not ruled out Tony Lovullo or Gene Lamont, the latter of which is reportedly meeting with ownership later in the week.

Jacoby came up short in the MVP race.

Jacoby Ellsbury received 4 first place votes and 13 second place votes as part of 240 total points, which placed him 2nd in the MVP voting. Ellsbury hit .321/.376/.552  with 32 homeruns, 39 stolen bases, a 146 OPS+, 15.6 UZR  and a 9.4 WAR (1st in the MLB).

Verlander received 13 first place votes, though one voter left him off the ballot entirely. Verlander led the league in Wins (24), ERA (2.40), strikeouts (250) and innings pitched (251), though C.C. Sabathia had a better FIP and higher WAR. Verlander won the the AL Cy Young as well.

Jose Bautista, received 5 first place votes, came in third.

The results do make you wonder “How did Pedro Martinez NOT win the award in 1999 when he had the best season by a pitcher in decades??” Justin Verlander is the first pitcher to win MVP since Roger Clemens won with the Red Sox in 1986.

 

Well, the Cubs have “stolen” Dale Sveum from the Red Sox and will name him as their next skipper on Friday.  Count me as one of the people not running to go buy a box of tissues because he won’tDale Sveum become the next fearless leader of the Sox.

I may end up being completely wrong next year at this time; however I don’t think I will be.

When Sveum was the Red Sox 3rd base Coach from 2004-2005, he wasn’t exactly worshiped by the fans or the media. As I recall he was known as “Send em in Sveum”, and it wasn’t because we he was fantastic at his job. I understand that everybody is up in arms that the Sox have not named a Manager yet, and it seems as though the Cherington may be clashing with Lucchino and Henry.  Yet I don’t feel its time to get worried or panic at all. Francona was not named Manager until December the year he was hired (2003) and that worked out pretty well didn’t it?

Personally I have been pulling for Sandy Alomar Jr to get the gig.  However I wouldn’t mind seeing the Sox make a run at Ryne Sandberg or Bobby V. Either way, learning that Sveum is going to Chicago did not put a damper on my day.  Out of all the potential candidates mentioned to be the next Bo Sox Skipper, he was the person I was least excited about.

The Brewers had an opening for Manager while he was on the Staff, and even after he managed them at the end of 2009, they still decided that Ken Macha was a better choice.  Red Flag anyone?

I’m not trying to sound like a jerk, I am just being honest. I don’t think Sveum is ready to manage a team like the Red Sox, coming off a season like they just did, in a media market as frenzied as Beantown. I’m sure the Sox will have somebody in place very soon.  It is not time to fret, get worried or cry.  That is unless somebody brings up Heidi Watney!

She’s leaving? Say it aint so Hedi, say it aint so?

Multiple sources are reporting that Bobby Valentine will meet with the Red Sox to discuss the vacant manager position before the week is over. Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reported that both Ben Cherington and Larry Lucchino already met with Valentine earlier in the process, and that one of the owners has also spoken with Valentine this offseason. Earlier today, when asked if he had any interest in the position, Valentine responded “No comment.”

The Red Sox front office has stated that they are valuing previous experience very highly while searching for the next manager and Bobby Valentine certainly fits the bill; he has 15 years of experience managing in the MLB and also managed in Japan for 6 years.

The timing of these reports are rather suspicious after Cherington stated earlier that the front office would take a break from the manager search while he is away in the Dominican. If the Red Sox meet with Valentine before the end of the week, the meeting would happen in the absence of Ben Cherington. ESPN’s Keith Law agreed that it certainly seems as though the owners are operating over the new GM’s head.

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