Papi got his dough!
So…I guess he can stop whining? Love Big Papi, but his contract talk over the years has been tiresome. As for the contract? Ugh. I was on the side of giving him an extra year…at as much as 20 mil. ‘Roids or no roids, the guy had earned it. Even if he proceeds to hit a buck-fifty with 6 dongs in 2015. Who cares? Parting gift. For all he has contributed throughout the years, I had no problem giving him one more year in 2015. Not like the Sox don’t have the money. They can just sell a few more bricks.
But the option years? Not sure those were necessary. Not to mention that they will be fairly easy to attain as well. 425 plate appearances? Not really a lot. What happens if he is hitting .220 in 2015 towards the end of the year…and has around 400 plate appearances in mid-September? THAT will be interesting. Ortiz most assuredly will think he deserves the 2016 option regardless of what he does in 2015. So he will start squawking then. And can you even imagine the chirping if he sucks in 2015 and they bench him at the end of the year so he doesn’t meet the requirements? That could get ugly. Club options with him in the past haven’t been so smooth, as everyone undoubtedly remembers.
Should have just given him the one year extension and called it a day. After that he will be 40 and he would have to just deal with going year-to-year. It’s not like anyone would overspend to get him then. If they did? Really wouldn’t matter.
Speaking of contracts, the whole Jonny Lester situation is an interesting one. Lester had a good year in 2013, capped by a tremendous postseason. He has, by and large, been a pretty good pitcher throughout his career of course. If not an ace, at least a #2 guy. Pitches in a tough division, gives you 30 plus starts and 200 plus innings every year. Always being on a good team has helped. Nice pitcher to have on your staff. But people forget how brutal he was in 2012. I guess the whole team was that year, so it’s easy to dismiss. But the fact of the matter is that he isn’t a shutdown ace. He just isn’t. So him asking for 25 mil a year for 6 years makes me kind of shudder. Not much of a “hometown discount”, as he claims he would be willing to take.
That kind of coin for a guy like Lester is silly. Fans also get caught up in the fact that he has pitched for the Sox for his entire career. They want to spend extra dough on keeping him because of this, and he has been part of two World Series championships and all that crap. They are not thinking rationally about giving a 6 year deal to a 30 year old pitcher. For ace money, typically a guy with a mid-2 ERA (Lester’s career low ERA? 3.21 in 2008, his first full season).
That all being said? I’d still consider giving that kind of deal to him…but hopefully no more than over 5 years. For one, as stated above, the Sox ain’t hurting for dough. For two, there are some contracts coming off the books over the next few years, so there’s room. For three, presumably the kids from the “ripe” farm system will take those open roster spots, at significantly less dollars. So there will be more room.
But the most important thing to look at is the pitching staff overall, as it is currently constituted. Lackey and Peavy are old and average at best. And both probably gone within 2 years. Dempster is already gone. Buchholz can’t ever stay healthy and Doubront is inconsistent, making them both unreliable. Capuano? Haha! And then you have the seven kids that are on the cusp: Workman, Britton, Barnes, Ranaudo, Webster, de la Rosa and Owens. Not all of these guys will be in the Sox rotation going forward of course. Some will go to the bullpen (de la Rosa? Workman?), some will be part of trades and some will just flat out suck and not make it. They could sign a big name free agent, but that may be a trick or treat option. May not be able to handle the AL East or primarily the heat that comes with pitching in Boston.
So who is left? A guy that has been here for a while, stayed healthy, been pretty consistent over the years, always takes the ball and has had great postseason success. This may be the best reason to give him the dough. We may find out within the next week.
Posted on March 26, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged Barnes, Big Papi, Britton, Buchholz, Capuano, de la Rosa, Dempster, Doubront, Lackey, Lester, Ortiz, Owens, Papi, Peavy, Ranaudo, Webster, Workman. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.