December 17, 2009

Lackey, Cameron Deals Announced

The Red Sox held separate press conferences yesterday to announce the signings of right-hander John Lackey (#40) to a 5/82.5 contract and outfielder Mike Cameron (#23) to a 2/15.5 deal.

Theo Epstein:
I think if you look on paper, we'll put our starting five right up there with anybody's. I think our run prevention overall is going to be really solid. We like our lineup. This puts us in a position to have some flexibility if we need to make a move down the road to add some offense.
I'm here to win. That's the bottom line. ... I was always interested in coming here. Winning was definitely my first priority of a team to go to. With this franchise and their history and the way I've seen from the other side of the field -- I've been knocked out of the playoffs a few times by them -- I know I'm going to have a chance to win here, and that means a lot.
When the off-season began, Epstein did not think Lackey had any interest in coming to Boston. Steve Hilliard, Lackey's agent:
When I talked to Theo at the GM Meetings in Chicago and told him John had interest in coming to Boston, he really didn't believe me. ... Not after some of the things over the years, the rivalry and maybe some of the comments that had been made along the way. It took some convincing. At the beginning, Theo was kind of skeptical.
Lackey's contract is the largest given to any free agent during Epstein's seven years as GM. Theo:
A lot of discussion went into it. When you draw up clubs in theory, if you look to build the 2010 Red Sox in a vacuum or design your five-year plan, you can do it a certain way. You can adhere to every element of your personal philosophy. When you've made the playoffs six out of seven years, you're looking a couple of years ahead as what you see as a really good young team, you can find a way to make it work in the meantime.

When you operate in the real world, with imperfections, you have to make choices. The more you looked at it, the more we talked to different agents, and the more we assessed what both the best fit was for now and for the future, which is all I've ever talked about since I've been here, no matter what words I've used, I've talked about being competitive now and in the future, this was clearly the best way for us to go.
I haven't really been this excited about coming somewhere since I first came to the big leagues.
Epstein, on whether the addition of Lackey might mean that Josh Beckett leaves as a free agent after this season:
I sent Josh a text message as we were finalizing John Lackey's deal, and I just told him, "Some might speculate that this means the end for you in Boston." I said, "Don't listen to them. You're a huge part of what we've had going on here, and we'd love it if it worked out that you were a huge part of our future as well. The most important thing is we've got one heck of a pitching staff right now." ... I don't think it impacts Josh nearly to the degree that people are speculating.


Dr. Jeff said...

I agree he's a good pitcher, but I will never be able to watch him without thinking of this, possibly my favorite JOS post ever:

"5. I'll bet your teammates didn't appreciate the pity party you [Lackey] threw on the mound whenever they did something that was not to your liking. Torii Hunter was screaming and celebrating whenever he did anything positive. Figgins practically did a dance on third base after his triple, and your whole fucking team whined and cried for the entire series. You losers could give Kevin Youkilis pointers on bitching."

Joe Gravellese said...

Just figured I'd let you know I'm having a big argument with some idiot on a hockey message board who says that J.D. Drew sucks.

Patrick said...

I remember that post fondly.

Here's to not losing to the Angels next year!

redsock said...

I'm having a big argument with some idiot

Why? If that guy is saying what I imagine him saying, that's like arguing with a Fox News devotee about ... well, anything having to do with reality.

He's using ways of measuring player performance that, while still in use today, were shown to be woefully inadequate way back in the 1880s (see Alan Schwarz, The Numbers Game). He's like a doctor who still uses leeches to treat any common illness.

[A couple of SoSH threads re Drew and Theo's comments re Drew here and here]

Joe Gravellese said...

I realize the argument is pointless, the only reason why I keep up with it is that the guy started by being all high and mighty about how Grant and I must not know anything about baseball if we think J.D. Drew is good. Don't you know that he doesn't have a lot of RBI?

Key quote from Grant: "You claim I'm 'cherry-picking' stats to support my argument, but it's pretty easy to cherry pick them when they almost all support what I'm saying"

L-girl said...

Let's hear it for pointless arguments! Hooray for leeches!

Joe, good on you for trying to educate. Someone might learn something from the thread, even if your hard-headed debate opponent doesn't.

Grant Salzano said...

He's using ways of measuring player performance that, while still in use today, were shown to be woefully inadequate way back in the 1880s (see Alan Schwarz, The Numbers Game). He's like a doctor who still uses leeches to treat any common illness.
It's SCARY how right on you were... hahahahaha