Thursday, November 4, 2010

Actually Insulting

Here's a weekend project for the Red Sox: Why don't you go ahead and sign Victor Martinez? I mean, I'm sure there's plenty of improvements you need to blueprint out over at Anfield, but if the Red Sox' front office wants to focus on setting their baseball team up for being good the next couple of years, Victor Martinez might be a good choice.

They started off this negotiation on the wrong foot. Big time. During the season, the team decided, in the middle of the period in which it was tanking in the pennant race, to offer Victor a two-year deal. What free agent at the age of 32 would conceivably consider taking an offer like that? That's like the team giving a five-year deal to a 35-year-old DH off the juice and off his game until May 15th. It makes absolutely no sense.

Especially if the 32-year-old free agent has hit .313 since moving to the team's ballpark, plays a difficult position and can be moved logically to first base and DH for the end of the contract, and has been an ultimate company guy. Offering the player a 2-year deal is insulting. It actually is. They just gave David Ortiz a $12.5 million contract until he's 36. But they won't pay Martinez, who is more than a 1-tool player, a similar amount until he's 36? Nice. Not to mention that the player has hit .300 in 5 of the last 6 years, and that he has both an eye and the ability to hit 60 extra-base hits a year. So he fits the Red Sox' model - and also happens to be a good baseball player.

The player fits into the team's plans on several different levels. He can catch for a while, and even if he has a broken hand, he can put some cement in his baseball glove to make sure he can still catch like he did this year. When he doesn't catch, Saltalamacchia can catch. He can play first base. When he doesn't play first base, Lars Anderson can play first base as part of an ongoing showcase so he can be the next David Murphy for another team. Remember, the 2011 team isn't going to try to win. So why not use VMart for 150 games between those two positions and use those other two guys for the rest of the time? Hey, maybe they can win using that configuration.

Let's assume Youkilis stays at third because Beltre's not coming back. He stays there for a while. VMart catches for a year or two, then steps aside for Saltalamacchia. He moves to first until Anthony Rizzo or another prospect steps in there. Then he can move to DH. That would be part of the four-year plan. It's better than Sid's Five Year Plan in the movie Big Daddy.

But so far, all the team's given him is a two-year offer. That's insulting. And if they want the veteran presence - and some incidental freaking production in the way, which distinguishes him from Varisuck - when the team is young and capable of winning again, they better start changing their mind. Got some work to do in the United States. Might want to start getting on it.


Anonymous said...


I really like the idea of having Victor Martinez come back, maybe on a four year deal. He can catch until he can't and then he can DH because Ortiz is up after 2011. Same thing with Beltre. Why can't he get a four year deal? I mean, maybe he wants more than that and that's the breaking point, but shouldn't it at least be offered? I mean, if you offer 31 year old's John Lackey and JD Drew five year deals (and we all know how those have worked out thus far) can't you offer more accomplished players who are clearly better fits four year deals?

Really, if the Sox brought back Martinez and Beltre and signed Carl Crawford, wouldn't that be an awesome team? The line-up would look like this:

Crawford LF
Pedroia 2B
Martinez C
Youkilis 1B
Ortiz DH
Beltre 3B
Drew RF
Scutaro SS
Ellsbury CF

That's a pretty good line-up right there AND it's got great L/R balance.

The thing about putting together that roster is that it doesn't require prospects (like getting a guy like Adrian Gonzalez or trading for Miguel Cabrera). All it takes is money. If you're the Oakland A's, that's a ridiculous statement--they don't have the money to make those plays. But the Red Sox do. If it's only a money issue, especially if the owner just spent $500 million on a soccer team, then it should be something that gets done.

--the Gunn

TimC said...

Great line-up, but it only happens if ownership sees the value. Liverpool, whatever anyone may think of the club or of the sport, was purchased solely due to the club being undervalued at the purchase price. The same thinking will apply with building the 2011 Sox.

On that topic, I think this blog feels VMart represents more value than Ortiz. Agreed. Not sure what the Sox are trying to do here.

However, DV, I do have to say that as a long-time Sandler guy we have no real information on the 'five-year plan'. Maybe it was a really good plan and was derailed by some bad stroke of luck, the equivalent being if VMart broke his arm next year or something. He could be at first/DH for a while if that happens, the equivalent of working at Hooters. I just think more details on the 'five-year plan' are needed before we start declaring it to be some poor planning on Sid's part.

Anonymous said...

In other news. Ross Kaplan passed the New York bar exam.

Buckle your seatbelts.