January 12, 2006

Red Sox Sign Julian Tavarez

The Red Sox signed the (probably) unstable but talented righthander Julian Tavarez to a two-year deal worth $6.7 million, after being unable to trade David Wells to Los Angeles for Yhency Brazoban.

With a mid-90s sinker and a hard slider, Tavarez has posted ERA+ of 116, 176 and 125 since returning to the bullpen in 2002. He's a righty killer, holding them to a .611 OPS (including a .318 SLG) from 2003-05 (righties did slightly better, with a .753 OPS). Over the last three years, he has held all batters to .253/.317/.342.

His OPS Against stats were a bit higher than that average in 2005, though: .727 vs RH and .823 vs LH.

And he and Manny Ramirez were close in Cleveland. From an article in Newsday from May 16, 1995:
A couple years ago, Ramirez and teammate Julian Tavarez asked a sportswriter if they could borrow $70,000 so they could buy a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. "That's just Manny being Manny," Hargrove said.
Plus, we learn that the expression "Manny being Manny" is nearly 11 years old.

Right now, we have a pretty solid staff:
Schilling, Beckett, Clement, Wells, Wakefield
Foulke, Timlin, Mota, Seanez, Tavarez, Papelbon, Arroyo
(with Hansen, Delcarmen, DiNardo and others down the road in Pawtucket). However, I have to assume the club is not done and someone -- Wells, Arroyo, and/or Mota -- will be gone by April.

Also: Kevin Millar agreed to a $2.1 million, one-year contract with the Orioles.


BlackJack said...

He's slightly worse against lefties.

I love this signing. Even if the Sox trade 2 of wells/clement/arroyo the staff will be much improved over last year. With the wealth of young arms at Pawtucket this could be the start of a dominant era for Sox pitching.

Man does it feel strange to write those words and actually believe them!

Jack Marshall said...

Boy, I sure hope Millar is wrong in his prediction that Sox fans will boo him upon his return to the Fens. My guess is that he'll get a standing O...he deserves it. Not so much for his on-field performance, though he did put Dave Roberts at first by drawing a BB, but in the clubhouse and in the karma. He had to go, of course...Tito stuck with him waaay too long, and his production last year was generally pathetic. But he'll be remembered as one of those intangible sparkplugs that make teams special, and Boston owes him some applause for lots of good quotes, lots of passion, some laughs, and a fun three years.

Sean O said...

There is no freaking chance that Millar gets booed on his return. Petey? possibly, but Millar, Cabrera, Lowe, Roberts, etc. have all punched their ticket for a free standing O in Boston for the rest of their careers.

When I see the O's vs. the Sox on April 8th at Camden, I know I (and about 15,000 other sox fans) will cheer El Bencho. Hell, I may go to the Padres / Phils game just to cheer Roberts.

redsock said...

Good luck to Kentucky Fried Kevin! Those two walks -- as well as the "Don't let us win tonight." line -- forever sealed his place in Red Sox history.

Pedro booed? ... Man, if that happens, any fan doing so should be branded so as to never be allowed back into Fenway Park ... or maybe something drastic should be done.

Jack Marshall said...

Redsock: I wouldn't boo Pedro, but I could understand the impulse. His comments upon leaving Boston were graceless and petty, and his bolt to the Mets was the worst kind of greed and ego driven disrepect. I admire Pedro, think he's probably the best pitcher I've ever seen pitch, wish him the best...but I don't like him very much as a person,and respect his integrity a whole lot less than I once did. No athlete deserves to be booed as long as he isn't dogging it on the field. But Pedro was treated awfully well in Boston, and was totally ungrateful.

Sean O said...

That's the absolute truth Jack, if Boston treated Pedro like they treat, oh, Manny I could understand it. But there was nothing but absolute awe at seeing him in a uniform every fifth day.

I mean, seriously, after 3 years, even if he was regressing to mid 4.0-ERAs, does anyone doubt he'd get the same treatment that Wakes is getting now? The open invitation contract for Wakefield is about as respectful a move a team can make.

There's no doubt in my mind that he's the best pitcher in baseball history, and it's a shame he had such a paranoid complex.