In Flighto-Saito (To Boston)

     According to Mike, via my blog’s comment section, the Red Sox have signed Takashi Saito.  Hadn’t been aware of that, and actually had to do a little more research then I normally do just to find confirmation.  Another low risk, high reward signing…and I like it.  I feel that I must defend my position on these signings though, as they do not seem like much to the naked eye, or casual fan, or whatever.  But I definitely believe that these moves collectively, are good moves.  Saito in three seasons in the Majors, has 245 K’s in 189 innings pitched, versus only 52 walks.  Saito is going to be 39, so maybe it is better to look a little more at last season, which was his worst, but he was still pretty good, and note as well that he too, is coming off an injury.  No one is asking him to step in and shut down 45 games this season, they are simply hoping that Saito can give some effective innings out of the pen. 

     The overall age of the team may be going up, yet they aren’t getting any older in their long term plans.  The Red Sox brought in four players, on one year deals, for only money, and no draft picks.  What they get out of these players is in question.  But even if they all fail, and give the team little to nothing, then 2010 rolls around and all of them are gone.  That’s the thing, it isn’t always about the money, it is a lot of times, about the years.  Especially when dealing with players in there late thirties.  This is why I believe it was a mistake to not offer arbitration to Pat Burrell, Adam Dunn, and Bobby Abreu.  And those three names came from the mouth of Keith Law, but I agreed before and after I read what he said (Just nice to have “experts” agree I guess, because if I am the only one in the world that believes something, it may not be right  🙂 . 

     Only 2 of 24 players accepted arbitration this season, and each one of those guys were probably going to seek something with a longer commitment then what they would have received with one year of arbitration, had they accepted.  And look at the moves since then:  Wouldn’t Philly have been much better off with Burrell for one year rather than the aging Ibanez for three?  And had Burrell left, a draft pick would have been compensation.  Don’t the Diamondbacks need Adam Dunn’s bat for 2009?  Yes, indeed, they do.  And if Dunn left, the Diamondbacks receive a draft pick.  Bobby Abreu, maybe a little different, because the Yankees didn’t need him, but rather than offsetting the draft pick that they lost, they lost each of their first three picks next season.  And the likelihood that any one of them would have accepted wasn’t all that high.  And if any one of them actually did accept, each orgainzation would have been retaining an above average player.

     The point is that a one year deal is very low risk.  So bringing in four older, injury prone players (or ones coming off injury), and adding to the depth in the clubhouse is wise.  The Red Sox want to rely on pitching from within, and pitching from outside the organization, on short term contracts, because signing a pitcher long term is so risky (especially when they have their core).  They probably would have little problem locking up a position player long term if A) the player is good-great B)  there is not an appealing solution from within.  Because as we know, the likelihood that a position player blows something out and is finished for a few years, isn’t as likely. 

     In sum, the Red Sox are making low risk moves to give themselves a better chance in an incredibly tough division.

     NFL Divisional Playoff Picks:

     Tennessee 19 Baltimore 16
     Carolina 31 Arizona 20


     Steelers 24 Chargers 19 



  1. mikeeff

    are you effing kidding me? you’re still singing the it would have been a good idea to offer bobby abreu arbitration? there is NO doubt that he would have accepted it and received at LEAST 17 million bucks. that would have put a major kink into the Yankees financial plans for this off-season. i realize that you pay more attention to the red sox –and i do the same with the yankees, but c’mon joe bobby abreu hasn’t gotten a bite from another team. in this financial climate there are more players than not that would have taken arb…i betcha mr varitek wishes he could have stayed for a year at a little bit more than last year’s salary.

    on your other points i agree. you’re not giving anything up except a small amount of cash for the collection of wreckage they signed.

  2. joefromnewhampshire

    But Varitek wishes, but didn’t accept. And Abreu had a better chance receiving a three year contract than Varitek did on the open market. The markek is terrible now, but it didn’t look THIS bad at the beginning. Most people decline arbitration, looking back now Abreu would have accepted. But Abreu at the time of arbitration didn’t know that he would still be waiting around for a contract at this time, neither did any of these OF’s, I am pretty sure at least. Players don’t usually accept arbitration, especially if they are Type A. I guess we disagree, but only two players accepted arbitration. TWO.

  3. mikeeff

    yeah we can always agree to disagree-no problem there joe!

    i have a feeling that the ravens may well pull out a V today-we’ll see

    may the best team win tomorrow.

  4. juliasrants

    I agree that offering one year deals is low risk, I am just concerned with the number of players we are signing who have had serious injuries of late. Either Theo will once again be the genius of Baseball or this could all come back to haunt him. I hope it’s the former.


  5. xcicix

    Regardless of whether we “needed” Dunn’s bat, we couldn’t afford him. Dunn’s a s0-so player, and though he’s patient at the plate (sometimes) we already have Mark Reynolds to strike out for us at a considerably lower price, and since no one seems to want him he would have taken arbitration. Hence no second baseman. I really don’t see why we had to trade Owings for him. So what if his arm was having trouble? We could have turned him into an outfielder, he certainly fields (and hits and runs) better than Dunn, not to mention is waaay younger and cheaper…but I’ve done this rant a million times before.
    But I totally agree with you on Saito, I’m glad he’s with the Sox, even if it is just for a year. I hope he pitches superbly with a negative ERA (if that’s possible) and that the Dodgers want him back next year but he signs with the Sox again.
    Abreu and Burrell are great, and the Yanks and Phils were very foolish to let them go. I’d certainly take Abreu over Johnny Damon any day.

  6. joefromnewhampshire

    Trading for Dunn and then not offering him arbitration, for a team that needs its draft picks more than say the Yankees or Red Sox just doesn’t make much sense to me. We may value Dunn a little differently too. And I don’t think that these OF’s knew the market was going to be THIS bad for them. We are looking at it now that they all would have accepted arbitration, but it wasn’t the same, they seemed to think that they could get more on the market then they appear as if they are NOW going to get.

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