Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Sick Man and the Old Man Come to Boston

You can keep your Mark Teixeiras and your C. C. Sabathias and your A. J. Burnetts (seriously, though: that guy will mess up your team), because we've got results where it really counts: The Rocket from Woonsocket, coming to Boston to be the fourth outfielder/minor medical case. And look! Baldelli is excited to be here:
"I would be just fine playing there," he said in an interview with the Journal last November. "I don't have strong feelings one way or another about playing there."

Ok, that was a little out of context. I was going to a clever OPS+ comparison between Boston's 2008 utility crew and Baldelli to compare their relative value, but I see that Rocco only played 28 games, lagging far behind the contributions of The Mayor and Alex Cora. He did match Kotsay's output, though...ok, so Kotsay played 22 games in Boston after the trading deadline, finishing the year with an OPS+ of 65 and proving that he really is not a very good second-half player. Baldelli played 28 games all year, but his OPS+ was a more respectable 113. I think we can call that an upgrade.

And we've got John Smoltz, too, biatches. Sure, he's 41, he's coming back from shoulder surgery and he's never pitched in the AL, but his ERA+ hasn't dropped below 127 since 1994, so he's got a long, long (long) streak of good pitching coming into 2009. Plus, it's not like the Sox can ever have too much pitching coming into a new season...