Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Baseball Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous baseball thoughts and observations.

Gil Meche retired yesterday and some people are praising him for putting his family happiness ahead of the $12 million remaining on his contract. I think my family would have been happier if I took the $12 million... The Red Sox signed Jonathan Papelbon and Jacoby Ellsbury to one-year deals yesterday to avoid arbitration. Papelbon got $12 million and the consensus is that this will be his last season with the Red Sox. I would agree but not for the same reasons many think. The Sox have positioned Daniel Bard to be the closer in waiting with Bobby Jenks as insurance. Next year the Red Sox won't want to pay Papelbon what he'll think he's worth so they will let him walk. They will also covet the draft picks that will come for him as a Type A free agent. They will rid themselves of him and not the other way around... When you look at the stats - Gil Meche was basically same pitcher as Matt Clement except Meche was 30 pounds heavier and $10 million richer. Gil Meche was also basically the same as Kris Benson - 84-83 with a 4.49 ERA for Meche vs Kris Benson's 70-75 with a 4.42 ERA. Benson was the same player who just got less fanfare when he announced his retirement last week... To illustrate why those draft picks (a 1st and a sandwich) would be so important to the Red Sox if they were to let Papelbon walk next season consider Jacoby Ellsbury who signed a $2.4 million deal with the Red Sox yesterday was drafted in 2005 with a pick that was compensation for losing Orlando Cabrera to the Angels. Jed Lowrie, who could be the starting shortstop this year, was also compensation in 2005 for Anaheim signing Orlando Cabrera. Lowrie was the sandwich pick... LAPD confirms Milton Bradley was arrested for violating California penal code section 422 - making a "criminal threat". The Royals may have saved $12 million in 2011 with Meche retiring and now the Mariners may have just saved $12 million too with Milton Bradley being Milton Bradley... I can't believe this is true but I read yesterday that the Twins offered Francisco Liriano $5 million and he countered with $3.6 million. I wonder if this guy was Liriano's agent.

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