Monday, December 21, 2009

Digging Out From The Weekend

Good morning Fackers. Hopefully you have managed to shovel yourself out from the storm that buried much of the East Coast throughout the day on Saturday and into Sunday morning. Since it was the last weekend for people to roam the malls in search of Christmas gifts, retailers are predictably acting like they were just held up at gunpoint.

The Bears and Ravens ended up playing in Baltimore despite the fact that the Bears were stuck in Chicago until late Saturday night and M&T Bank Stadium being covered with almost two feet of the white stuff. The Ravens claimed it cost them almost $500,000 to remove all of it. According to the Redskins they've employed 1,200 workers to relocate the 25 million pounds of snow on FedEx Field before the Giants and Redskins play tonight.

Unfortunately, the storm didn't manage to put a damper on the opening weekend for that movie with the blue people that I refuse to name, which has been annoying us with their contrived promotions for two fucking months. Is there no justice in this world?

In baseball news, after waiting more than a week for Mike Lowell to take a physical for the Rangers, the Red Sox saw the trade that would have sent him and $9M to Texas in exchange for catching prospect Max Ramirez fall through. Lowell failed that physical because it indicated that the third baseman will need surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb. Recovery time is supposed to be 6-8 weeks and he should be ready for Spring Training in some capacity, but D.J. Short over at Circling the Bases thinks the Red Sox are pissed at Lowell, even if they aren't saying it:
...You have to understand how frustrated the Red Sox are with Lowell for not having the problem addressed sooner. Not only because of the nixed trade, but what might have happened had the Red Sox stayed with the status quo. Lowell likely wouldn't have had the thumb examined during the offseason at all had Texas not tentatively agreed to a trade. They have every reason to be be furious with Lowell, even if they will say otherwise publicly.
Lowell's injury also devastates his trade value when the Sox are finally able to move him. Even if the Sox are willing to eat $9M of his contract, almost every team is going to have committed to another option at third base by then. Furthermore, although the injury isn't assumed to be very serious, teams are likely to be skeptical that he will make a full recovery.

This turn of events has left the Sox in a very difficult spot. The easiest thing to do would be penciling in the Youkstah at 3B and allowing Casey Kotchman to man first. But over the past three years, Kotchman has been only league average at first base, hitting .279/.346/.421 (101 OPS+) in 1521 plate appearances. They could venture into the free agent market to find another third baseman, but it falls steeply after Adrian Beltre to guys like Joe Crede, Melvin Mora and Mike Lamb. Do they overspend to cover their asses for this year, or take their chances that Lowell can be productive at the plate and his defense will rebound from last year? Neither of those are very appealing options.

Lowell was signed for $37.5M over 3 years after his World Series MVP and hasn't played more than 120 games or been significantly better than league average offensively in either of the first two seasons of the deal. The third one doesn't look a whole lot better.


  1. This is a good lesson regarding re-signing your World Series MVP despite age, injury history, etc. Looks like the Yankees were paying attention.

  2. The difference is that length and size of the deal aren't comparable, though. Signing Matsui would have been a relatively small mistake if it didn't work out, but there were a hell of a lot more warning signs. Cashman came right out and said that how players performed in the postseason wasn't going to change his opinion on how to proceed during the offseason, and it seems as though he was dead serious about that.

    The closest comparison on the Yankees for Lowell would probably be Posada, who the Yanks signed coming off a career year at age 36 and has been somewhat limited since. I think both teams knew they were taking a flyer on an older player but they didn't have much of a choice since other teams were right behind them with similar offers.

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