January 31, 2006

Wells Staying For Now; Gonzalez at SS

If David Wells is traded, it won't happen until after spring training begins.

Theo Epstein has apparently told Padres GM Kevin Towers that he wants to first talk to Wells in Fort Myers before pursuing a deal. Wells's agent Gregg Clifton says the fat lefty will report to camp regardless: "David has always been the consummate professional."

Uh, yeah -- this is the same David Wells who weasled out of hand-shake deal with the Diamondbacks when it suited his selfish purposes.

Alex Gonzalez signed a one-year for $3 million. It's a nice pickup for 2006 -- great glove, nerf bat -- then it'll likely be Pedroia-time.

From the Journal's Sox Talk with Sean McAdam:
I think Clement will stay. He only would have gone in a deal to get them a CF, and now that and SS have been filled, there are no more obvious holes. ... I'm not sure there are going to be any roster spots up for grabs [this spring]. ... The decisions will come at backup catcher, fourth outfielder and maybe the 11th pitching spot. ... DiNardo is a good bet to make the team as the long man/spot starter. I think he impressed them in the final month or so of the season. ...

If Foulke isn't effective, the Red Sox are in trouble -- period. They won't ask Timlin to do what he did last year, and I don't think Tavarez is the answer ... In my view, they would do one of three things: try Papelbon; trade for a veteran closer; or rush Hansen.
If Foulke can't get it done right away, I could see Papelbon as the closer in April. He was impressive last season and the front office has said he'll likely start the year in the pen, anyway.

But even if that doesn't happen, there is no reason why the club would have to go get a "veteran closer". It goes against their current philosophy and, in fact, none of their moves this spring have shown that type of sensibility. Maybe 2006 is the year to finally try the closer-by-committee approach the right way (God knows Gump never figured it out).


Jack Marshall said...

Glad you mentioned that last part, RS, because it drove me nuts. And why the Sox would mandate a bullpen-by-committe when the guy in charge doesn't get it has always bewildered me. Sadly, I can't believe ol' Terry gets it much better.
I idolize Bill James, but this is one of his theories that makes more sense on paper than in real life. His idea is that you use your closer as a "stopper," bringing him in to end those big innings in which games are lost whether they occur in the 6th, 7th, 8th or even earlier, and not hold on to him for meaningless one inning saves with three run leads. But the problem is identifying those "game-losing innings" in time to get the closer/stopper warmed up. "He Who Must Not Be Named" as Dan S. calls him actually had a great pen for BPBC...Embree while he could still pitch; Timlin, who had closed, Chad Fox, who closed well while healthy, and Brandon Lyon, who closed well last year.

Robin said...

The Wells thing kinda bothers me. There is a starting pitcher GLUT on the team right now but Wells ISN'T the guy to dump. Yeah he's big, a jerk, and old... but he can put up 15 wins. Thats HUGE. So what that he doesn't want to be here... that doesn't seem to bother Manny.

The guy to move is Clement. Big contract + mental weakness = NEW HOME. Trade him for some prospects, some bullpen depth(lefty please) or a back up outfeilder. .90 cents on the dollar is fine... hell .50 cents on the dollar will do.

Jack Marshall said...

Robin: That's a pretty funny comment. 15 wins is HUGE but 13-6 (Clement's record) is crap? When Wells was Clement's age he was just as wild as Clement. Trade Clement and keep a malcontent with virtually the same record who is 10 years older??? What earthly sense does that make?

Sean O said...

Wells' BB/9 at 29: 2.0
Clement's BB/9 at 29: 3.8

Wells BB/9 at 30: 1.2
Clement's BB/9 at 30: 3.4

Wells didn't have a breakdown last year, and doesn't freak out every time a ball is put into play. I wish the best for Clement, but I'm afraid he's toast.

Jack Marshall said...

Sean: Thanks for the stats...I thought Boomer took longer to find the strike zone. I stand corrected, but it doesn't change my assessment of their relative value one bit. Wells won't get better, and will definitely hit a wall soon. Clement is about as valuable even in his current irritating state, and he is the kind of "stuff" pitcher who sometimes turns into a 20 game winner in his 30s. If they trade him it will have to be for value. He's going to stay

Why don't the Sox trade Wells for Doug Mirabelli, who has been screwed out of his chance at a starting job by the arrival of Piazza in SD?