Tagged: Nick Johnson

It’s All Over

Jason Bay

Finally, everything’s finished. I can finally start relaxing thanks to the end of the
Christmas holidays! The family has gone home. The cooking and baking is done.
The shopping is over (including all the boxing-week shopping I plan on doing). The
house is quiet The decorations are put away.

Today also marks the end of a weekend without Internet access. It was a terribly
boring weekend without the pleasures of Twitter, MLBlogs, and the like. However, I
still had my BlackBerry (thankfully) to keep me remotely sane … Seems Windows 7
isn’t infallible after all. Drat. Hopefully I can find the time this week to catch up on
what I missed with all of you around here.

Lastly, if the rumors from MLB Trade
Rumors
are accurate, today also marks the end of the Jason Bay fiasco:

1:13pm: WFAN’s Mike Francesa says the Mets will announce a Jason Bay
signing early next week, if his physical checks out.

1:20pm: SI’s Jon Heyman confirms that the Mets have an agreement with
Bay. MetsBlog’s Matthew Cerrone expects a four-year deal for about $66MM. If
that’s accurate, Bay left Boston for an additional $6MM. As compensation, the Red
Sox will receive the Mets’ second-round pick (currently #50) as well as a
supplemental pick.

1:42pm: Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes that Bay has a four-year,
$66MM agreement with an easy fifth-year vesting option. The 2014 vesting option
appears to be worth more than $14MM, as ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweets that Bay’s
deal could be worth “slightly more than $80MM over five years.” Sherman cautions
that Bay’s physical “might not be a formality.”

Finally, the charade is over, and the rumors of Boston reuniting with Bay can finally
cease and desist. Not that I wouldn’t have loved to see Bay in LF in 2010,
even if it meant the potential of Buchholz and Ellsbury going to San Diego, but at
least we can move on and try to focus on other, more important things. Time to go
find a corner infielder. With Mark DeRosa going to San Francisco, and
Nick Johnson joining the Yankees, we’re running out of options.

Jason Bay

Not that it’s a big deal. We could put Kotchman at First or keep Lowell at Third and
still survive.

Okay, so the sarcasm didn’t come through. We might be able to survive. We
just lost our biggest RBI man and slugger. That’s a big blow. Thankfully, he went to
the NL, but still, it is a big blow. I can’t help but wonder if Epstein offered a vesting
option of his own for a 5th year, or if the 4 years / $60MM was as far as he was
willing to go. If it was, perhaps an optional year and $6MM (plus a couple million for
the luxury tax) was the only thing keeping Bay away from us. A pity, really.

Furthermore, we only get a second round draft pick from the Mets (50th overall), as
their first-round draft pick is protected, thanks to their poor performance last year.
So, we lose our best slugger, AND we don’t even get our first round pick for it.

Good luck in New York, Jason. I wish you all the best. I may have spoken ill of you in
the past, but I see now that you just wanted that last year you felt you deserved.
Oftentimes the needs of a business don’t agree with the needs of the individual, and
I am deeply sorrowed that it didn’t work out for you. I always saw you as the man that
changed Boston’s view on great Canadian baseball players. After Eric Gagne’s
failure, I felt it was going to be hard for you to win over the Fenway faithful, but you
were a fan favorite immediately, while filling the biggest shoes possible, and even
when you were slumping in 2009, everyone loved you. I guess strike outs don’t
matter when you knock in over 100 runs and blast over 30 HR. Let me be the first to
say that we’ll all miss #44 in front of the monster, quite dearly. Thanks for all the
great memories! No hard feelings?

P.S. Can I get a farewell hug? Maybe a little peck on the cheek before you move
your life to Manhattan? No? Oh well … I guess dreams really don’t come true, after
all. Then again, mayeb Epstein will do with Bay what Cashman did with Teixeira did
last year. Now THAT would be a dream come true!

The Money Debate

Money

Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.

– Benjamin Franklin

I’m sick and tired of all this arguing, so I’m going to set everyone straight, right here,
right now. Ever since last off-season when the Yankees committed $423.5MM to
three players, Red Sox Nation has continuously complained about the Yankees
“buying a World Series”, followed by Yankee Nation complaining about those
accusations. Before you know it, the steroid issue comes up, you start hearing about
the ‘good ol’ days’ before any of us were born, the owners and GM’s get shot at while
we all know they’re doing a great job, blood gets spilled, tears fall, Babe Ruth turns in
his grave, a baby heard crying in the distance. It’s messy, to say the least – and it
makes us all look like idiots. If we’re complaining about each other spending or not
spending, what does the rest of the fan base for the 28 other teams think of our poor
behavior? It can’t be good.

Yankees

To all you Yankee fans, stop complaining about the unfortunate Red Sox souls. We
don’t know how it feels to be part of a dynasty … we’re bitter. Please, try to ignore
us. But don’t think you guys are getting off scott free. Stop complaining about
Lackey and Halladay “selling out”, among others. Sabathia didn’t sell out? How
about Texeira? Does A-Rod need $275MM to survive? You’re only complaining
about Lackey and Halladay because you didn’t get the chance to sign them. Your
team is the only team in the majors over the last year that were over the $170MM
luxury cap barrier. The closest team to that mark were the Mets at $139MM. Also,
look at the highest-garnished contracts in the history of the game. The top 5 are all
Yankees (even though A-Rod’s 2001-10 contract wasn’t signed with Cashman, he
fronted the majority of the bill). If the Yankee players aren’t selling out, then no one
is. Not that I’m complaining. If you’ve got the money to spend, you might as well
spend it. As for the players, if you can squeeze a large contract out of ownership,
then kudos to you.

Red Sox

Now, to Red Sox Nation: We’ve never had the right to complain about Yankee
spending habits. Looking back at the highest garnished contracts in MLB history, #6
happens to belong to Manny Ramirez, which the Sox paid a substantial portion of.
As for our payroll, it has been consistently over $100MM/year since 2004. The
World Series championship team in 2007 was paid a total of $143MM. That’s hardly
a bargain price. You may complain about John Henry and Theo Epstein being frugal
with the money they spend and the agents they sign, but since John Henry and Theo
Epstein came to town in 2002, they’ve been on a shopping spree that’s never really
ended.

You don’t believe me? Take a look at the Yankee signings from 2008 until now:

Alex Rodriguez

2008:

  • Alex Rodriguez – $275MM / 10 Years
  • Jorge Posada – $52.4MM / 4 Years
  • Mariano Rivera – $45MM / 3 Years
  • Robinson Cano – $30MM / 4 Years

Total money dedicated in 2008: $402.4MM.

2009:

  • Mark Teixeira – $180MM / 8 Years
  • C.C. Sabathia – $161MM / 7 Years
  • A.J. Burnett – $82.5MM / 5 Years
  • Damaso Marte – $12MM / 3 Years

Mark Teixeira

Total money dedicated in 2009: $435.5MM. Why did we only start
seriously complaining about the money this year? Maybe it’s because they won the
‘Series. Maybe it’s because they outbid us for Teixeira. Maybe it’s just sour grapes.

2010:

  • Curtis Granderson – $30.25MM – 3 Years (remainder of contract)
  • Nick Johnson – $12MM – 1 Year
  • Andy Pettitte – $11.75MM – 1 Year

Total money dedicated so far in 2010: $54MM.

Total dedicated over the last three years – $891.9MM.

Now, for the Red Sox spending over the last couple years:

Daisuke Matsuzaka

2007:

  • J.D. Drew – $70MM / 5 Years
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka – $52MM / 6 Years
  • David Ortiz – $52MM / 4 Years
  • Matsuzaka Blind Bid – $51.1MM
  • Josh Beckett – $30MM / 3 Years

Total money dedicated in 2007: $255.1MM.

2008/2009:

  • Kevin Youkilis – $41.125MM / 4 Years
  • Dustin Pedroia – $40.5MM / 6 Years
  • Mike Lowell – $37.5MM / 3 Years
  • Jon Lester – $30MM / 5 Years
  • Jason Varitek – $8MM / 2 Years
  • Jonathan Papelbon – $6.25MM / 1 Year

John Lackey

Total money dedicated in 2008 & 2009: $181.025MM.

2010:

  • John Lackey – $82.5MM – 5 Years
  • Mike Cameron – $15.5MM – 2 Years
  • Marco Scutaro – $12.5MM – 2 Years
  • Victor Martinez – $7.7MM – 1 Year

Total money dedicated so far in 2010: $118.2MM.

Total dedicated over the last four years – $554.325MM.

Okay, sure. The Red Sox have spent significantly less over the last 4 years than the
Yankees have spent over the last 3, but those numbers are all relative. Upon
examination of those numbers, you see that most of the Yankee contracts are
long-term whereas a majority of the Red Sox contracts are of a shorter length. As a
good example of that, the Red Sox have about $20MM locked up in 2013, while the
Yankees have around $95MM locked up in 2013. In the near future, the Yankees
have players locked up for the long-haul, while Epstein will have to deal with players
leaving in the next couple years. The most obvious at the moment is the potential
losses of Varitek, Ortiz, Beckett, Martinez and Lowell. The Yankees on the other
hand only need worry about big names Jeter and Rivera. The Red Sox are going to
be the second team this year, along with the Yankees, that will either exceed or
seriously flirt with the luxury tax barrier of $170MM. What are we complaining about?

Terry Francona

Everything in baseball is relative, folks. Now, don’t get me wrong … Last year’s
Yankees were a team that my 2 year-old niece could have managed to a World
Series trophy (not that I’m demeaning Girardi as a manager. He did a great job).
You can’t just buy a World Series, or else more managers would be doing it.
You still have to survive the 162-day injury-plagued season to be able to contend.
The money doesn’t hurt, though.

Red Sox Nation, just be lucky you’re fans of a team that has money, and isn’t afraid
to spent it when the chips are on the table.