In Flighto-Saito (To Boston)
According to Mike, via my blog’s comment section, the Red Sox have signed Takashi Saito. Hadn’t been aware of that, and actually had to do a little more research then I normally do just to find confirmation. Another low risk, high reward signing…and I like it. I feel that I must defend my position on these signings though, as they do not seem like much to the naked eye, or casual fan, or whatever. But I definitely believe that these moves collectively, are good moves. Saito in three seasons in the Majors, has 245 K’s in 189 innings pitched, versus only 52 walks. Saito is going to be 39, so maybe it is better to look a little more at last season, which was his worst, but he was still pretty good, and note as well that he too, is coming off an injury. No one is asking him to step in and shut down 45 games this season, they are simply hoping that Saito can give some effective innings out of the pen.
The overall age of the team may be going up, yet they aren’t getting any older in their long term plans. The Red Sox brought in four players, on one year deals, for only money, and no draft picks. What they get out of these players is in question. But even if they all fail, and give the team little to nothing, then 2010 rolls around and all of them are gone. That’s the thing, it isn’t always about the money, it is a lot of times, about the years. Especially when dealing with players in there late thirties. This is why I believe it was a mistake to not offer arbitration to Pat Burrell, Adam Dunn, and Bobby Abreu. And those three names came from the mouth of Keith Law, but I agreed before and after I read what he said (Just nice to have “experts” agree I guess, because if I am the only one in the world that believes something, it may not be right :) .
Only 2 of 24 players accepted arbitration this season, and each one of those guys were probably going to seek something with a longer commitment then what they would have received with one year of arbitration, had they accepted. And look at the moves since then: Wouldn’t Philly have been much better off with Burrell for one year rather than the aging Ibanez for three? And had Burrell left, a draft pick would have been compensation. Don’t the Diamondbacks need Adam Dunn’s bat for 2009? Yes, indeed, they do. And if Dunn left, the Diamondbacks receive a draft pick. Bobby Abreu, maybe a little different, because the Yankees didn’t need him, but rather than offsetting the draft pick that they lost, they lost each of their first three picks next season. And the likelihood that any one of them would have accepted wasn’t all that high. And if any one of them actually did accept, each orgainzation would have been retaining an above average player.
The point is that a one year deal is very low risk. So bringing in four older, injury prone players (or ones coming off injury), and adding to the depth in the clubhouse is wise. The Red Sox want to rely on pitching from within, and pitching from outside the organization, on short term contracts, because signing a pitcher long term is so risky (especially when they have their core). They probably would have little problem locking up a position player long term if A) the player is good-great B) there is not an appealing solution from within. Because as we know, the likelihood that a position player blows something out and is finished for a few years, isn’t as likely.
In sum, the Red Sox are making low risk moves to give themselves a better chance in an incredibly tough division.
NFL Divisional Playoff Picks:
Tennessee 19 Baltimore 16
Carolina 31 Arizona 20
Steelers 24 Chargers 19