Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Schilling Deal

It's hard to argue with this one. The Red Sox maintain their pitching depth, which was a key to their 2007 success and 2006 failure, at anywhere from a $0 to $5 million discount. If Schilling loses weight and reports to camp in shape, he'll probably stay healthier throughout the year. If he stays healthy, he'll probably easily make $4-$5 million more in incentives, and the Red Sox will probably get their money's worth. Even if he gives 160 or so innings and a 4.20 ERA... that's a bargain for a one-year commitment. Would you feel more confident that you'll get that out of Schilling or Carlos Silva next year? I rest my case.

Personally, I have to say that I'm thrilled that Schill is coming back. Not only does he seem to have a great relationship with Beckett, but he's emerged as a leader of the team, and he truly loves playing in Boston. Oh, and you know, he won two World Series. You can't really ask for much more - he's the kind of guy that you love to have on your side.

The funny thing is, just before the season started, Ross thought for sure that Schilling would leave when the Sox didn't extend him in spring training, and I thought they would still have a shot at keeping him. At the same time, Ross has always thought that A-Rod would re-sign with the Yankees, while I thought Boras would opt him out and the Yankees would stay firm on their stance not to pursue him. So the next time either one of us tries to say "I'm not biased..." well, you'll know better.

Right now, the Red Sox have six guys (seven, if you count Tavarez, which I don't) for five rotation spots:


There's been talk of using a six-man rotation, but I don't buy it. I think they start the season with Lester and the four vets in the rotation, and Buchholz in the bullpen. Once one of the starters has to miss a start, then Buchholz can fill in. But I'd rather start him in the 'pen and limit his innings so you could potentially save him for the playoffs.

Tavarez seems to be a square peg at this point, and I imagine they'll explore trading him once we get closer to the start of the season. Once teams go after and miss out on the Josh Foggs, Jason Jenningses, and Brett Tomkos of the world, Tavarez at less than $4 million would seem like a pretty good deal. Just a hunch, but I think it makes sense.

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