Saturday, December 16, 2006

Red Sox add Relievers Donnelly and Romero

Yesterday, the Red Sox added a couple of additional arms to their bullpen trading for veteran Brenden Donnelly and signing JC Romero.

Romero, signed a 1 year deal for $1.5m, and Donnelly was acquired from the Angels for minor league veteran Phil Siebel. Siebel is actually a some what interesting arm. One year off of TJ surgery he locked very good in the minors, and his CHONE projections aren't bad. He is an interesting guy to have stashed, and with the Angels track record for finding arms out of no where he might end up as something. Donnelly is likely a better and safer bet though, for a team like the Red Sox who have major issues with their pen.

Here is the Red Sox projected bullpen and CHONE projections:

K Rate +BB Rate +HR Rate +Hit Rate +

Brendan Donnelly107%92%104%96%

JC Romero113%131%80%94%

Mike Timlin80%70%75%110%

Manny Delcarmen118%119%77%101%

Julian Taverez83%94%86%109%

Nick DebarrRule 5 - No Projection

Hideki OjajimaImport - No Projection

Devern Hansack97%93%101%105%

Craig Breslow113%108%80%96%

Craig Hansen98%126%77%103%

Now, pitcher projections aren't great, and the fact that these all of these pitchers are relievers, and all of them have limited MLB experience so they are being translated, makes the error bars even larger. But none the less that is an ugly set of projections, so it makes sense that the Sox are adding pitchers. Though I'm not sure if Romero is the right guy to add unless he is used strictly as a Looguy. Donnelly is a good addition to this pen, but it makes sense for the Angels to drop him for a guy with options who has some upside, since their pen is much better defined than the RedSox pen.

Geeknote: The pitcher stats listed are K+, BB+, HR+, Hit+, are projected stats based on Chone Smiths projection system called Chone and adjusted and expressed as a percent of league average. So you want K+ numbers above 100% and BB+, HR+, and Hit+ numbers below 100%. They are not park adjusted.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

More Matsuzaka

This article on fox sports puts the payout structure of the Matsuzaka deal at:

Matsuzaka gets a $2 million signing bonus, $6 million next year, $8 million in each of the following three seasons and $10 million in each of the final two years.

Using the good old HP12c calculator which has gotten me through many tough nights has puts the NPV at $92m.

More projections:
Dan Szymborski's ZiPS system checks him in at: 186 innings, 3.44 ERA.
Nate Silver's Pecota system checks him in at: 187 innings, and 4.01 ERA.
Chone Smiths's Chone systen checks him in at: 187 innings, 3.46 ERA.

Dan and Chone's projections are damn close. Even Nate has the innings the same, but the ERA is half a run higher. However, keep in mind Pecota is generally more conservative on pitchers AND he estimates Boston, in the AL, in 2007 is a pretty tough place to hit. For example - Nate also projected these star pitchers in Fenway, in the AL in 2007 and came up with these ERA's:

Chris Carpenter, 3.95
Carlos Zambrano, 4.08
Roy Oswalt, 4.20
Barry Zito, 4.96

Also, former major league 3b Mike Pagliarulo, who runs a scouting service specifically dealing with Far East talent said this in a Boston Globe article today:

"In the end the Red Sox have given Matsuzaka a very fair contract," Pagliarulo said. "The Red Sox probably could have saved themselves some money, but I think their offer was a fair gesture of good will given the quality of the player.

"And that's not to disrespect Scott Boras because I respect what he's done for players so much. It's not that Mr. Boras had no leverage. He had the leverage of having a very good player and talent that the Red Sox really wanted to sign. I wasn't privy to any of the negotiations so I don't know what took place. But in the end I think common sense prevailed based on what's in place for a posted player."

Pagliarulo has watched Matsuzaka closely the past few years. "I only scouted him when the proper matchups were in place," he said. "If you're scouting him haphazardly against any hitter or team, you're wasting your time. I wanted to see how he reacted against top hitters and I analyzed his strikes in the strike zone. The thing about him is he wants the baseball. He wants to pitch in the biggest stage and in the biggest game.

"If you beat him, he's not fazed by that. He comes right back at the next hitter. He's a winner. He's tough kid on the mound and I think that should translate very well to the majors."

But will he struggle at first?

"He's a rookie," Pagliarulo said. "He's going to go through his growth spurts. But this is a kid who adjusts very quickly. The major leagues is different than the Japanese leagues, but he has command of his pitches and that should get hitters out anywhere."

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Matsuzaka: Done Deal

Jon Heyman from is reporting that the Daisuke Matsuzaka negotiations are complete, and he will pitch for the Boston Redsox next six seasons for $52m, which brings the total cost to the RedSox for 6 years equal to $103m.

What does $103m dollars buy you? According to Chone - the 4th best starting pitcher in baseball for next year:

Pitcher Team IP* H* HR* BB* SO* ERA RSAA

Santana,Johan MIN 212 166 23 42 233 2.76 42.94

Carpenter,Chris SLN 204 187 20 43 168 3.26 29.99

Peavy,Jake SDN 196 168 21 57 219 3.35 26.85

Matsuzaka, Daisuke BOS 187 177 15 52 171 3.46 23.34

Zambrano,Carlos CHN 205 173 21 87 196 3.6 22.39

Sheets,Ben MIL 158 143 17 29 167 3.31 22.35

Clemens,Roger FREE 172 157 14 54 134 3.46 21.46

Oswalt,Roy HOU 210 214 20 43 163 3.68 21.07

Webb,Brandon ARI 210 204 19 61 158 3.69 20.84

Smoltz,John ATL 191 185 19 46 153 3.62 20.44

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