Friday, December 24, 2004

Hot Stove 5: Moneyball

I think this happened before my last post, but I would be remiss if I didn't put it up here: Dave Roberts has been traded to the Padres for outfielder Jay Payton, infielder Ramon Vasquez and pitching prospect David Pauley. Presumably this was a smart deal inof itself (I'm in a Theo-can-do-no-wrong mood right now), but it was also a classy move on the part of the Sox - Roberts will get to play every day now. Of course, since this was the guy who, with a steal, saved the ALCS from being a sweep (and then the next day, got so much into Tom Gordon's head that he was able to score the tying run AGAIN), he departs from Boston with god-like status forever and I wish him all kinds of well.

The other reason I'm posting, though, is because of the Sox signing of pitcher Wade Miller out from under the Astros with a 1 year, 1.5 million dollar deal. Miller was hurt this past season with a frayed rotator cuff that closed him out after June 29, but instead of getting surgery, he elected to go through rehabilitation. The doctors have given him a clean bill of health and he plans to be at Spring training. Now, since this was a guy who won 45 games from '01 - '03, if he's healthy, he's an incredible deal. And if it turns out he's not, with the number of pitchers the Sox have picked up and his cheap signing price, he's no big loss. This is classic Moneyball - even more since, as Peter Gammons pointed out, the signings of Mantei, Wells, Miller, Clement and Halama have cost the Sox less than the $17.5 million Pedro earned last year. And now there'll be some interesting competition for the five starting spots come March.

According to rumors on and news slightly more substantiated on, Jason Varitek is back for another four years! At the cost of $40 million to the Red Sox (but no no-trade clause), the team leader is coming back for more. The deal is expected to be announced tomorrow. I love this team so much...and I'm really psyched for another year of baseball now. GO SOX!!!