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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Shelley Duncan signs with the Indians

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 04, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Look out Cleveland. The storm is coming through. And it’s running right up on you.

Turns out, The Band had it right all along.

Shelley Duncan has signed with the Cleveland Indians. Their depth chart lists two young players — Trevor Crowe and Michael Brantley — as the top left fielders, and those two have combined for 35 home runs in their careers.

Duncan hit 30 last year alone.

At the very least, he brings a different look into the Indians outfield mix. It seems like a good spot for him. Best of luck, Shelley.

• Adrian Beltre has signed with the Red Sox. It’s a one-year deal worth $9 million, plus an option for a second year. With Beltre in the mix, the Red Sox might not have given up on trading Mike Lowell. Jerry Crasnick says they’ve talked to the Mets about a Lowell-for-Castillo swap.

• Matt Holliday seems to be moving closer and closer to a deal with St. Louis.

• Ken Rosenthal reports that Chien-Ming Wang’s latest check up was positive. He could throw off a mound in six to eight weeks.

• Here’s an Atlanta report wondering if Johnny Damon might end up with the Braves. David O’Brien writes that Damon is asking for a two-year deal and was never looking for a four-year contract.

Comments

comments

 

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242 Responses to “Shelley Duncan signs with the Indians”

  1. jennifer January 4th, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    When pitchers get to spring training aren’t they usually throwing off a mound already? That still puts Wang behind other pitchers and that is assuming he won’t have any setbacks.

  2. Greg F. January 4th, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Is that a major league deal for Shelly?

  3. Mike from NC January 4th, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Best of luck to Shelley, always liked him. And hmmm.. Lowell for Castillo doesn’t make much sense, where would he play? Maybe they then try to move him to another team, thinking he’s less of a deadweight than Lowell? I don’t know. The Red Sox have had a strange offseason.

  4. Chad Jennings January 4th, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    No, I’m pretty sure it’s a minor league contract.

    And yes, Wang is still well behind everyone else.

  5. mick January 4th, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    The Band were fantastic!

  6. scoopemup January 4th, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    we gotta checkmate Boston on Beltre,gotta go more than Reed Johnson.Alex Rios maybe?

  7. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day January 4th, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    I just don’t see how Damon can get away with playing LF in the NL and I don’t get why the Braves would take the chance. Silly.

  8. Uncle Ellsworth (Expert textpert choking smokers, don't you think the joker laughs at you) January 4th, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Uncle Ellsworth (Expert textpert choking smokers, don’t you think the joker laughs at you)
    January 4th, 2010 at 8:55 pm
    Someone once told me that Fios takes long to load though. That deterred me.

    Fios – ain’t that great

    and it does take long to load – still have not gotten used to it
    When you switch channels with cable it is immediate I miss that.

  9. Erica - always OPPC - Bring Johnny Back!!! January 4th, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    • Here’s an Atlanta report wondering if Johnny Damon might end up with the Braves. David O’Brien writes that Damon is asking for a two-year deal and was never looking for a four-year contract.
    *********

    Psssssssst- MPB Johnny Damon will be returning to the Yankees

  10. Rob Thompson January 4th, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    Come on home, Johnny. You should sign a 2 year deal with us and end your career as a Yankee.

  11. Erica - always OPPC - Bring Johnny Back!!! January 4th, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Uncle Ellsworth (Expert textpert choking smokers, don’t you think the joker laughs at you)

    Fios – ain’t that great

    and it does take long to load – still have not gotten used to it
    When you switch channels with cable it is immediate I miss that.
    **********

    Thats what I thought. Patience is a virtue I was not born with.

  12. Phil the Thrill January 4th, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Adrian Beltre is already checkmated his name is Alex Rodriguez.

  13. Uncle Ellsworth (Expert textpert choking smokers, don't you think the joker laughs at you) January 4th, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    “Thats what I thought. Patience is a virtue I was not born with.”

    seems so minor but it is a big deal.

    Cable Cos. should use that in marketing

  14. Nick in SF January 4th, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    I think Johnny will enjoy Atlanta.

  15. mick January 4th, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    mick January 4th, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    player option for 5m for Beltre in 2nd year

  16. mick January 4th, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Rob Thompson January 4th, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    Come on home, Johnny. You should sign a 2 year deal with us and end your career as a Yankee.
    =====================================
    He would if he could get it.

  17. Triple short of a Cycle January 4th, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Does anyone know why nearly every host on WFAN is a Met and Jet fan?

    Before you answer with they are the home of the Mets they are also the home of the Giants

  18. Erica - always OPPC - Bring Johnny Back!!! January 4th, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Nick in SF
    January 4th, 2010 at 9:00 pm
    I think Johnny will enjoy Atlanta.

    **********

    HISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

  19. Pokey January 4th, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Alex Rios?

    You should be banned from the comment section.

  20. David in Cal January 4th, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    As I understand it, the Yanks originally hoped to sign Damon to play DH and occassionally LF. If we now sign him, should he be the regular left fielder or should Nick Johnson be traded so that Damon could play DH, as per the original plan?

  21. Sonny Cahill January 4th, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    I don’t know whether this question has already been addressed, but I’m really curious to know why Shelly Duncan didn’t work out in NY. He’s a very durable, likable guy, and I wish him well.

  22. Rich in NJ January 4th, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    “Damon “was never looking for a four-year deal.”

    I guess that depends on what the meaning of looking is.

  23. Nick in SF January 4th, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Was that HISSSS magnefied or demagnified?

    Go Boise State!

  24. crawdaddy January 4th, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    So basically, Beltre gets a 10M deal for one year because he’ll turned down his player option for next season and take the 1M buyout.

  25. Pat M. January 4th, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    Nick in SF…I’m on Boise State + 7

  26. blake January 4th, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    The Red Sox need a catcher that can throw somebody out.

  27. Nick in SF January 4th, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Looking good, Pat M… I got 8 points at my book, I’m loving it. My brother is on the over, he’s going nuts.

  28. Rich in NJ January 4th, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    “The Red Sox need a catcher that can throw somebody out.”

    Why?

  29. Rich in NJ January 4th, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    “I don’t know whether this question has already been addressed, but I’m really curious to know why Shelly Duncan didn’t work out in NY.”

    They probably think of him as a AAAA player.

  30. randy l. January 4th, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    why would any team pay adrian beltre 9 million dollars ?

    he’s all the red sox could come up with?

    pathetic.

    something is really weird in boston.

  31. Pat M. January 4th, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Nick in SF, 8 was the early line and I didn’t move fast enough…..I need to get well, however I have been picking up a few Grants & Benji’s after the Duck disaster

  32. Nick D. January 4th, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Checkmate the Beltre deal with Alex Rios?

    Sign Damon and then trade Nick Johnson?

    Is this it? Has the comment section finally lost it’s mind?

  33. blake January 4th, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Rich, cause they don’t have one. VMart really should be playing 1B and Varitek is beyond washed up. I think they are hoping and praying to they can get Mauer.

  34. Rich in NJ January 4th, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    “why would any team pay adrian beltre 9 million dollars ?”

    I think it’s a good move for them. Even last season as a 2.4 WAR player, he was worth that money, and his WAR has been higher in recent seasons. Also, Fenway could boost his offense a bit.

  35. Pat M. January 4th, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Sonny Cahill……Can’t hit the hook, you’ll only get a quick look

  36. Rich in NJ January 4th, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    blake

    I was being sarcastic. Sorry for not making that clearer.

  37. Pat M. January 4th, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    Rich in NJ…You’re right about Beltre in Fenway, however The BoSox will still have issues on the road….

  38. Rose January 4th, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    Mike from NC

    If the Mets make that trade, Lowell would have to play 1st base. 3rd base belongs to David Wright.

  39. CR9 January 4th, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    “The scroll of mindless violence, from a clerk killed in JP to three shot after a hotel knife fight…Arenas must be a banned example. Life
    2:45 AM Jan 3rd from web ”

    Boy, this Peter Gammons is a hypocrite! He forgot about Red Sox Manny throwing down an old man. He never said anything when David Ortiz, Trot Nixon and Gabe Kapler (all users) were pummeling Tanyon Sturtze. He never said anything about Pedro throwing down an old man.

    The 2 old man examples should be “banned”

    As for Lowell for Castillo, do not know what Castillo’s contract is, but it is a joke if the Mets take on any of Lowell’s salary, given they have no leverage re: Lowell.

  40. Boston Dave - XXVII January 4th, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Sox could end up with 1-2 1st round picks when Beltre leaves as a free agent.

    It’s a pretty good deal for them. Not a major upgrade but nonetheless, they improved a bit tonight.

  41. blake January 4th, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Rich, my bad. I think the beltre signing is fine for them but I don’t think he makes them significantly better. He really doesn’t address any of their weaknesses and his signing means victor is gonna have to catch a lot next year..

  42. crawdaddy January 4th, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    “I think it’s a good move for them. Even last season as a 2.4 WAR player, he was worth that money, and his WAR has been higher in recent seasons. Also, Fenway could boost his offense a bit.”

    Yet, I still want to see how well these changes the Red Sox made translate on the field.

  43. CB January 4th, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    “why would any team pay adrian beltre 9 million dollars ?”

    Because otherwise you’d have to give at bats to Casey Kotchman?

    Kidding aside it’s a good move for the Sox given their roster construction.

    Beltre-Youkilis is better by a fair bit over Kotchman-Youkilis and it’s a one year deal.

    The Sox defense was terrible last year. It will be much, much better this year given that they’ve gotten rid of Bay, Lowell (he’s not going to play or be on the team…), and in theory the revolving door at SS.

    Sox really have a lot of free agent signings on their roster now.

  44. crawdaddy January 4th, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    “Sox could end up with 1-2 1st round picks when Beltre leaves as a free agent.

    It’s a pretty good deal for them. Not a major upgrade but nonetheless, they improved a bit tonight.”

    They’ll be lucky to get one pick for him.

  45. Rob Thompson January 4th, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Have to wonder what is going on in with the Redsux. The problem with alot of the players they are signing is most of them are bench players and really have no business starting on ANY mlb roster. The margin between us and them has increased greatly from the end of last year. I’m really more worried about Tampa at this point.

  46. blake January 4th, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Watching prime 9 (most clutch hitters of all time). #7 pujols #6 Jeter.. #4. David Ortiz……..ugh. Vomit.

  47. blake January 4th, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Gerhig was #3..man Lou had a nice swing..

  48. MTU January 4th, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Blake-

    Who signs Chapman ?

  49. Tom in N.J. January 4th, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    CB, how much will Mike Cameron’s defense help the Sox? Leftfield in Fenway doesn’t seem to have that much room to for him create extra outs.

  50. MTU January 4th, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Where will Nady land ?

  51. crawdaddy January 4th, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    The Red Sox have improved their defense, but maybe at the expense of adding three more career below average OBP players. Like I said, it’s going to be interesting to see how much of an improvement on the field this new mix of players provide the Red Sox in 2010. They’ve gone from trying to slug with the Yankees to trying to out pitch and defense them.

    I’m pretty sure that that baseball’s MSM will eat it up and say the Red Sox are now the favorites with their pitching and defense.

  52. Erica - always OPPC - Bring Johnny Back!!! January 4th, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Nick in SF
    January 4th, 2010 at 9:17 pm
    Was that HISSSS magnefied or demagnified?
    *********

    Magnified and Magnetized!

  53. Nick in SF January 4th, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Pat M, I will be very curious to se what the line is Wednesday night when the UCLA Bruins visit the Bears in Berkeley…if it’s reasonable, I would pound it…I think the Bears will be happy to run it up vs the Bruins while they can…they did vs Stanfurd two days ago.

  54. Drive 4- 5 January 4th, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Beltre’s numbers at Fenway in 122 at bats: .257 ba, .314 obp,.394 slug %,.709 ops. About 10% lower than his career averages. His glove is excellent. But his bat hasnt been nearly the same since they increased drug testing.

  55. Boston Dave - XXVII January 4th, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Whether or not you think the new Sox players are all-stars isn’t that important.

    What is important is whether or not they are better than they were in 2009 and it seems quite clear that they are at a minimum several wins better on paper.

    The Yanks are likely still better but that doesn’t mean the Sox can’t make the playoffs.

    In the playoffs, Lester, Beckett, and Lackey could be enough to win. You just never know…

  56. blake January 4th, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    MTU, I’d like to say the Yankees will. Unless the bidding just goes through the roof I just can’t see them letting that arm get away. I could be wrong.

  57. MTU January 4th, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    Blake-

    What’s it gonna take ?

  58. CB January 4th, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    Tom,

    It depends on whether or not he plays center. If he plays center he could help them quite a bit. Less so in LF. Nonetheless Cameron’s addition should help them either way defensively because he’s directly or indirectly replacing a bad defensive player rather than simply an average one.

    Overall, the important thing for them in terms of LF defense was simply getting rid of Bay. He really isn’t a good defensive player.

    It’s analagous to the yankees getting rid of Abreu. The upgrade in defense in RF in 2009 was much more due to having “not Abreu” than it was having Swisher. Swisher wasn’t great defensively, but he was still a huge upgrade, mostly because when you’re replacing a player who was as bad as Abreu was defensively in 2008 there only one direction to go for the most part.

    So getting rid of Bay is the primary thing. By that alone they are better off.

    Were Cameron to play LF, then some of his potential will go to waste in Fenway so it’s not maximizing his skill set but he will be much better than Bay.

    This is more an issue of them possibly getting a better hitting LF. You can hide a below average LF in Fenway and it’s probably advantageous to do so if he’s got a good bat.

    I think the Sox couldn’t find an outfield bat that was a difference maker for what they wanted to spend (or for that matter an infield corner bat) so they are trying to maximize defensive value.

    Also, if Cameron does play center we’ll have to see how Ellsbury learns to play the wall.

  59. joeman January 4th, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    just from my point of view the Sox pickup was a good one and if they can move Lowell for some need would add to it

  60. Boston Dave - XXVII January 4th, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    Drive 4-5,

    no doubt about that but he’s still capable of replacing Mike Lowell’s production on offense and defense.

    That’s about how I see this, give or take a little bit…

  61. Steinbrenner's Teeth January 4th, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    Duncan was a good kid. Not too bright, but a good kid. Playing for Cleveland is better than doing construction, so I wish him well. Time for my medication.

  62. GrouchoNYY January 4th, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    The upgrade offensively over Lowell won’t be much. If teams wait them out, Lowell could be essentially free for some team. Their defense improves, but they’re still short on offense unless Papi comes back from the near dead.

  63. Pat M. January 4th, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Nick in SF….Betting vs. The Bruins of UCLA ( basketball ) is like me wagering vs. The Yanks, well almost…..The Bruins are very young with great talent, however The Cal Berkley Bears I thought would be the Pac 10′s top team…..And they still may prove that now that we’re into Conference play……They’ll be well motivated to hammer the Bruins

  64. blake January 4th, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    MTU, probably around 20 Million I’d say.

  65. crawdaddy January 4th, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    “What is important is whether or not they are better than they were in 2009 and it seems quite clear that they are at a minimum several wins better on paper.”

    They won 95 games last season so now you’re saying they can win more games than the 103 games the Yankees won in 2009? If so, I don’t agree with your opinion and I want to see how this team really plays next season.

  66. Boston Dave - XXVII January 4th, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    CB,

    from the games I saw, the Sox were able to “hide” Bay in LF.

    He made the routine plays, nothing spectacular, and played the wall very well.

    I mean, they got away with Manny out there for years.

    Cameron is clearly an upgrade but not as much in LF because of Fenway.

  67. RS January 4th, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    When I think of the Red Sox current team, I just picture that four game series last August at Yankee Stadium where Lester and Beckett pitched brilliantly but their offense was completely shut down.

    That’s how I feel like the 2010 Red Sox will be. They will have games where they score a bunch of runs. But I still see them being extremely vulnerable on the road, with their low OBP and high strikeout rate.

  68. CB January 4th, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    BD,

    They are a better team but they are also in some ways a less diverse team than they have been in the past.

    They really don’t have a great offense. If Youkilis or Drew get hurt or if Papi continues to decline it will be difficult for them to absorb.

    In a sense I think they are better on paper but also carry more risk and are an older team than they were last year (which is again, part of their increased risk).

  69. Boston Dave - XXVII January 4th, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    crawdaddy,

    I said several wins better – not more than 8

    I also said I think the yanks are better.

    But the sox are def improving and in the playoffs the Sox could certainly win. They may not be the best team in baseball but their pitching is capable for sure.

  70. Rich in NJ January 4th, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Manny may have been awful defensively, but it seemed like he always found a way to make a couple of great plays v. the Yankees every season.

  71. joeman January 4th, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    get someone to play LF that is better than Gardner,and leave him to do his thing….pinch run and play a little D as the 4th OFer

  72. Nick in SF January 4th, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    The Bruins are an old enemy…now even more despicable due to the craptabulous performances in December… kick them while they’re down and the commence stomping.

  73. Joe January 4th, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    way to go Shelley

  74. Boston Dave - XXVII January 4th, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    CB,

    sure but a full season of VMart helps too.

    I still think they are well positioned for a run at the playoffs… and would be capable of beating any team in the playoffs due to their front 3 starters.

    That, of course, doesn’t mean the Yanks couldn’t beat them or aren’t the favorites. But their pitching and D can’t just be discarded because they wont score 900 runs

  75. randy l. January 4th, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    with beltre, i see a player who likely abused steroids who is having tendon and shoulder issues as he ages.

    i see an ops last year of .683 in a walk year .

    it appears that the red sox and other sabermetric thinkers like beltre at 10 million a year.

    good.

    we’ll have another thing to check back next year on the blog to see how it works out.

  76. randy l. January 4th, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    with beltre, i see a player who likely abused steroids who is having tendon and shoulder issues as he ages.

    i see an ops last year of .683 in a walk year .

    it appears that the red sox and other sabermetric thinkers like beltre at 10 million a year.

    good.

    we’ll have another thing to check back next year on the blog to see how it works out.

  77. Tom in N.J. January 4th, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Thanks, CB.

    Good stuff.

  78. CB January 4th, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    “with beltre, i see a player who likely abused steroids who is having tendon and shoulder issues as he ages.”

    This is part of what I meant about the Sox getting riskier.

    I think they are betting a lot on the idea that Beltre’s offense was depressed playing in Safeco and due to injuries

    That and the fact that it’s only a one year deal.

    The Sox are becoming a better team on paper but also a more homogeneous one and that narrows how they can beat teams.

    Plus defense, especially in the outfield, is one thing when you’re the mariners and play half your games at Safeco and another one when you play at Fenway. Difficult to run up marginal advantage defensively vs. the opposition in an OF where only one section is particularly challenging to play.

  79. Drive 4- 5 January 4th, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    The infield surface in Fenway is notoriously bad. Beltre better have learned his lesson and dont forget to wear his cup. His injury last year was beyond painful to watch.

    He’s a terrific fielder. But offensively he’s less than Melvin Mora. I really don’t see how at a minimum of $10mil ( $9mil + $1mil buyout) for 1 year he’s a bargain. If Beltre is worth $10 mil then Johnny Damon is worth one year at $12 mil.

  80. Boston Dave - XXVII January 4th, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Randy l,

    good point – I still think it was worth the risk for the Sox given the short-term deal and their needs (also their new defensive philosophy.)

    But you could very well be right.

  81. RS January 4th, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    I wonder if the Beltre deal has any effect on Damon. Surely Damon can argue that he’s worth $9 mil per year if that’s what Beltre is getting.

  82. Pat M. January 4th, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    Randy I ( The Original Tin Cup )..I expect to see a long looping uppercut swing by June from Mr. Beltre….Will all be commenting on his back shoulder drop as he swings for The Mass. Pike

  83. CB January 4th, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    “Will all be commenting on his back shoulder drop as he swings for The Mass. Pike”

    Pat,

    That’s an interesting point. It’s very likely that Beltre signed this deal believing that his power numbers will go up in a park that plays very small for RH hitters and then he’ll be able to go back out on the market with relatively inflated numbers.

    But Beltre’s not a big pull hitter either. He’s not Jason Bay or Mike Lowell.

    So Beltre may need to adjust his swing to take advantage of Fenway.

  84. Boston Dave - XXVII January 4th, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    Drive 4/5,

    hard to argue that except that teams, esp NL for obvious reasons, are really putting a premium on defense.

    Damon would have signed for 2 years long ago if he was considered a safe bet to be at least an average LF over that time.

    But IMO, he’s still worth a comparable deal to what Beltre got. There just aren’t enough AL teams who need him.

  85. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day January 4th, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Boston Dave, I’m sure the Sox improved, but the Yankees were a far better team than they were last year and the Yanks are also better. IMO, the Sox are always a playoff team and are always dangerous, so nothing they do surprises me. Just like the Yanks last year (though not as bad), they had to make moves………The Yankees are still better and I’m not sure it’s THAT close.

  86. Tarheelyank January 4th, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    I haven’t heard much talk about Vladimir Guerrero. Anybody no the scoop on Mr.Vlad. Can he play the field or is he DH only? Yankees could sure use a big RH bat.

  87. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day January 4th, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    So the Sox are doing what the Yankees used to do except they get to do it without being killed by the media. Sheesh.

  88. Pat M. January 4th, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    CB, I thionk we can expect a re-invented Beltre, much like The Giambino, who changed his entire approach to hitting once he landed in the Bronx……

  89. Boston Dave - XXVII January 4th, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Betsy,

    I would never dispute that.

    But making the playoffs is always goal #1.

    At that point, any team can get hot and more likely, a good pitching staff can go on a run.

    I’m just saying, IMO, that the Sox are giving themselves a better shot st the playoffs with these moves. After that, it would fall on Lester, Beckett, and lackey.

  90. Rich in NJ January 4th, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    The RS will be good because of their pitching. If Ortiz doesn’t hit, they’ll probably add a bat by the deadline.

  91. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day January 4th, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    The Yankees and Sox are in a constant chess match (either that, or they are completely paranoid about the other team)…….it makes for great drama.

  92. paul c January 4th, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Supposedly Mets will play Ltowell at 1st.

  93. Pat M. January 4th, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Tarheelyank…..All I hear out here in So. Cal, is that he has been working very hard this offseason with a trainer…..He wants some time with the glove as well, as that will enhance his luster….He can still hit and his bat speed doesn’t appear to be an issue at all….However, his knees and his lower back are very suspect……He’ll sign a one year deal and post some impressive numbers…The dollar numbers will be interesting though

  94. Boston Dave - XXVII January 4th, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Rich,

    I agree. I think the Sox have to be considered the favorites for the wildcard, among those who correctly feel that the Yanks are the favorites for the division.

    Thats all….

  95. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day January 4th, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    BD, I always expect the Sox to make the playoffs and be dangerous. I would be more concerned if the Yankees weren’t as strong as they are.

  96. cameron January 4th, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Yankees will be good because of their whole Team!

  97. CR9 January 4th, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    CB

    Someone else had a question about Vlad.

    I am curious as to what you’re opinion is of him.

    I do not think that guy can run to first base, let alone play the OF. Frankenstein can run better than Vlad.

    And IMO, his bat has slowed quite a bit.

  98. Drive 4- 5 January 4th, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Also, don’t forget that Boston isnt just paying Beltre a minimum of $10 mil, they also are paying Mike Lowell $12 mil. They are spending $21 mil on their 3rd basemen this year. That’s ok if the 3rd baseman’s name is A Rod. Not so much if his name is Adrian Beltre. A Rod’s $27 mil doesnt look so bad now.

  99. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day January 4th, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    The AL East is seriously ridiculous. Forget the Sox and Yanks, but the Rays are ultra-talented and will likely bounce back. The O’s and Jays also have terrific young talent (the Jays always have good young pitching)……….

  100. Boston Dave - XXVII January 4th, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    Are there any teams in the AL that remotely scare you guys right now?

    Angels? Not too much.

    Rays? Not yet, anyway.

    Twins/WhiteSox?? Nope.

    Mariners? Not yet but maybe.

    Did I forget anyone?

    It’s still Yanks/Sox right now with the Yanks as the favorites.

  101. CB January 4th, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    “If Ortiz doesn’t hit, they’ll probably add a bat by the deadline.”

    Sure. They could. But by then more than half of all games will be gone and the marginal impact that acquired player will be limited.

    The trade market isn’t particularly liquid until the trade deadline and by then there are far fewer opportunities to benefit from the talent acquired afterwards.

    This past season the Sox picked up Martinez while at the same time losing ground to the yankees. They would have been much better off if they had martinez for the whole season.

    Instead they waited until the season started to pick up Martinez.

    Martinez only played in 35% of all the Sox games last year. That’s the issue with the trade deadline. You get the player after the majority of games have been played.

  102. Drive 4- 5 January 4th, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    No one has improved more than the Mariners IMO. With the moves Seattle has made they could be 12 games better than last year. That puts them at 97 wins and in clear contention for the Wild Card, if not their Division.

  103. Rich in NJ January 4th, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    What “scares” (or at least concerns) me are the unknowables: injuries, age-related declines, seasonal variations in performances. So I take nothing for granted.

  104. Boston Dave - XXVII January 4th, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Drive 4-5,

    you’re on a roll!

    No other way to look at it. $21M.

    The Sox are spending quite a bit considering the amount of complaining either they’ve done or the Boston media has done over payroll in recent years.

  105. randy l. January 4th, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    “The Sox are becoming a better team on paper but also a more homogeneous one and that narrows how they can beat teams.”

    CB-

    i find it interesting what “on paper means”.

    sabermetric “on paper” is different than baseball common sense “on paper” or intuitive”on paper”.

    the red sox have lost an offensive force at fenway in bay. lowell last year had an above .800 ops.

    i look at two positions where the red sox have gone backwards offensively or at best sideways.

    defensive improvement may be the in thing this year in the sabermetric world, but on the field do the metrics really hold up?

    i know that what the red sox are doing is trendy, but that might be all it is.

    the trendy idea may simply be no big deal and may even be wrong.

    that’s what my intuition and baseball common sense says is likely.

    theo has always played a probability game where he makes a series of bets and figures if enough come out in his favor the red sox will come out ahead. he did it with penny and smoltz last year.

    his bets obviously don’t always work out. beltre and cameron could work out, but i think the probability is that they won’t.

  106. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day January 4th, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    BD, it’s always about the Sox and Yanks, isn’t it? I have such confidence in the future of this team because it’s in the hands of a very capable GM/Owner tandem. I’m crossing my fingers that 2010 is a good year for our prospects…..

  107. austinmac January 4th, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    The Red Sox have improved. Hopefully, the Yankees have too. Next year will be a tough race. It usually is. I wonder if the yankees are done. I suspect not.

  108. CB January 4th, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Vlad’s swing last year was very disconnected from his body. It became very “army” and in some ways even longer than it usually is.

    He was also wildly guessing at pitches to hit. When a guy with legendary plate coverage (historically great plate coverage…) starts cheating like that it’s a bad sign. In the past Vlad could do thing like wait for the pitch to travel deep into the hitting zone before swinging and do so regardless of where the ball was thrown. He simply couldn’t do that last year nearly as well.

    It was strange to watch him swing a bat. And that was because his base simply betrayed him. His legs and back couldn’t support the kind of torque needed to hit a baseball efficiently.

    And defensively he looked completely done last year.

    I could see him winding up in Texas as he will be able to put up numbers in Arlington.

  109. Drive 4- 5 January 4th, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Boston Dave – XXVII

    They are also spending over $15 mil on shortstops this year. SCutaro will be paid $6 mil and Lugo will cost them $9.5mil to play for the Cardinals. So, in ordr to have Marcos Scutaro as their shortstop, it’s going to cost them $15.5 mil. How does Derek Jeter’s $18.5 mil look in comparison? Pretty good, I’d say.

  110. Rich in NJ January 4th, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    “his bets obviously don’t always work out. beltre and cameron could work out, but i think the probability is that they won’t.”

    If Cameron plays CF, all he has to do to “work out” is be better than Ellsbury offense/defense. That shouldn’t be hard.

  111. pat January 4th, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    Woody Johnson’s wild child daughter Casey found dead. RIP.

  112. Tarheelyank January 4th, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Thanks Pat m.

    I think one reason Matsui went to the Angels is he feels he can get some LF playing time. It would be interesting if there was a swap. I am sure the goods guys are keeping a close eye on the situation. If he can play, the 5 hole would sure look good on Vladdy.

  113. Go Johnny please! January 4th, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    randy l.

    With Holliday I see a player who abuses steroids. The Cardinals will feel the effects deeper in his contract, when he starts to break down.

  114. Rob Thompson January 4th, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    21Million for slop at 3B. Seriously, that is embarassing. With all of these Free agents there payroll is close to ours and yet I wouldn’t want one single player of theirs over ours. My focus is on the Rays. They’ve got a closer now and I look for a huge bounce back year from them with all of their young talent having another year to develop.

  115. Western Slope January 4th, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    “Igawa is Igawa”

    OK, I know, he flamed out at the major league level and was sent to the minors. There, I believe, he became Scranton’s winningest pitcher ever. Why is it that he is so easily dismissed as a viable major league pitcher? I honestly would like to know the answer. Surely there are plenty of examples of great major leaguers who did nothing when first called up, went back down, and had long productive (if not illustrious) careers.
    What is it about this guy??

  116. Rob Thompson January 4th, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    I am really, really going to miss Shelley. Saw alot of SWB games this year and I loved the fact that he was in the organization. No doubt he’ll make the big club in Cleveland.

  117. pat January 4th, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    SI_JonHeyman when i called #redsox most improved, i totally forgot #mariners. gimme the E on that one. boston is 2nd, #yanks 3rd
    23 minutes ago from web

    I’m gonna interpret that as the Yanks had less room for improvement rather than be annoyed by Heyman.

  118. Tarheelyank January 4th, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    Western Slope

    Go see Igawa pitch. Then you will have your answer.

  119. CR9 January 4th, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    Well, with that analysis of Vlad, I’m not sure why any Yankees fan would want this guy.

  120. Boston Dave - XXVII January 4th, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    Drive 4-5,

    exactly.

    add another 500k for Alex Gonzalez that is owed in 2010.

    And $1M for Billy Wagner.

  121. CB January 4th, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    “i know that what the red sox are doing is trendy, but that might be all it is.”

    randy,

    I personally don’t like what they are doing. Just a gut sense but I do think they are being much too “data driven.”

    To me it is extremely important to be able to beat the opposition in multiple ways – especially if you are playing in the same division as the yankees.

    I just don’t like the risk profile of the sox and the narrowness developing on their roster.

    In this regard I think the sox are putting too much emphasis on quantitative factors and not enough on qualitative factors.

    If in fact Matt Holliday signs a 6 yr/ 99M deal with the Cards, I really won’t understand what in the world Theo is doing.

    If Holliday signs that deal in some ways yankee fans should be thrilled because the Sox will have let a huge opportunity pass through their hands.

    The Sox needed to add offense and improve their defense. Holliday would have allowed them to do both. And they passed. I really don’t get it.

    They signed a pitcher with a bad elbow for $83M and passed on Holliday for 16M more when he was the greater need?

    They gave JD Drew $70M and they won’t give Holliday $99M? Especially when all of their decent OF prospects are in the low minors?

    They are becoming a less multi-dimensional team and an older one.

    I didn’t like their mix of moves last off season. This off season has been better than last but I still don’t like it.

  122. Boston Dave - XXVII January 4th, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    “Vlad’s swing last year was very disconnected from his body. It became very “army” and in some ways even longer than it usually is.”

    ————

    and that’s why Papelbon’s 0-2 fastball right down the middle to Vlad was one of the funniest moments of 2009

    :)

  123. Boston Dave - XXVII January 4th, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    “They signed a pitcher with a bad elbow for $83M and passed on Holliday for 16M more when he was the greater need?”

    ———-

    interesting take, especially considering the AAV is basically the same.

    It seemed quite possible to me that they were positioning themselves to make a very serious run at Adrian Gonzalez, but it’s obviously not wise to devise your team based on a potential trade (especially when potential doesn’t mean anything close to “likely” at the time.)

    I think the Sox still realize they need a big bat. they are just being awfully patient in acquiring it.

  124. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day January 4th, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Pat, I HATE seeing the Sox listed as the “most” or “best” anything, but you’re probably right. The WS team improving themselves is not a good thing for the Sox or other teams in the AL.

  125. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day January 4th, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    BD, where do the Sox have room now for a bat? Only the OF, and only if they make a trade……..

  126. Rich in NJ January 4th, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Igawa:

    2009

    GB rate: 33.8%
    FB rate: 40.6%
    LD rate: 23.2%

    These are pretty bad numbers.

  127. blake January 4th, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    CB,
    I don’t understand either why the Sox didn’t go after Holliday at that price either. I said earlier that I thought 6/99 for Holliday was a pretty good deal and that he would have a good chance to outplay that contract…nobody else seems to agree.

  128. Boston Dave - XXVII January 4th, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    I think Heyman measures improvement based on the # of Boras clients signed. Boston just got Beltre.

    if the Yanks want to move back into the #2 seat ahead of Boston, they just need to sign Damon :)

  129. Rich in NJ January 4th, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    The RS signed Lackey so that they can afford to trade Bucholz in a package for Gonzalez (not that I think they’ll get him).

  130. Brian (Red Sox Fan) January 4th, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    HI Randy, CB …..

    A few things on the Sox and third base.

    You can’t know what a liability Lowell had become:
    (1) He couldn’t field at all;
    (2) He couldn’t run the bases at all;
    (3) He couldn’t hit on the road;
    (4) He was a double play machine;
    (5) He wasn’t durable.

    Think how the Yankees insisted on sending Jason Giambi to first base every day rather than eat the last year of the contract. I giggled every time that happened, and am thrilled that the Sox aren’t going to make the same mistake with Lowell (or Lugo, for that matter). Let’s cut bait.

    For all of Beltre’s risk (minimzed by the short term deal), I assume he will look less like a slow pitch softball player than Lowell. I like Lowell, but he has become Tedy Bruschi (in his last two years) – time to move on.

    P.S. Happy New Year (baseball excepted).

  131. Boston Dave - XXVII January 4th, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Betsy,

    very true.

    I always suspected they’d move Ellsbury as part of a larger package in any blockbuster type trade.

    I know we see Ellsbury as nothing special, but the Sox only need to find one GM out of 30 who really likes him.

    Still, you’re right. With Beltre and Youkilis, there isn’t much room for another corner IF.

    If the Padres actually wanted to pull the trigger on a deal with the Sox though, I suspect Boston would make room for a star like Gonzalez.

    To CB’s point, it does seem like the easiest “out” for the Sox was to resign Bay or sign Holliday.

    If they hadn’t been stuck with Lowell at $12M, Lugo at $9M, etc, that may have been the difference.

  132. Boston Dave - XXVII January 4th, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    “6/99 for Holliday was a pretty good deal”

    ————

    it quite possibly is a good deal and among the better risks out there.

    but it’s harder to say that in this current market

    damon was very good last season and can’t get more than 1yr/$6M right now.

    The Sox did make an effort for Holliday (5/85) but as usual, they weren’t willing to go the extra mile.

  133. Boston Dave - XXVII January 4th, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    interesting

    ” According to the Boston Herald’s John Tomase, Beltre turned down both a three-year and four-year deal in order to sign with the Red Sox.”

  134. CB January 4th, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    Brian,

    Good evening. Hope things are well with you. On the whole I agree with you on Lowell and Beltre. You may not have seen my earlier posts but I commented a couple of times on how I liked Beltre given the context of the Sox roster and the one year deal.

    It was truly painful to watch Lowell play last year – especially defensively.

    I never took all the talking up of Kotchman seriously in any way.

    I’m more commenting on how Beltre fits in the overall scheme of their recent moves and direction.

    Like I’ve said I think the sox are improved on paper but are a much less multi-dimensional team than they have been in the past.

    Defense is great – but it’s impact may be very limited if it comes at the cost of offense. And that’s the trade off Theo keeps making.

    That’s not a trade off the 2007 or 2008 Red Sox made, for instance. Those teams were both very good offensively and defensively.

    You yourself have voiced concerns IIRC about the “run prevention” mantra the Sox FO is espousing.

    If everything breaks right it very well could work. But when you have to beat the opposition largely by a narrow set of methods, that can quickly become a major problem.

  135. alexm January 4th, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    check out this duzzy of a comment from our old friend Pete Abe on the Boston Extra Bases Blog:

    “…Outside of possibly Evan Longoria, I’m not sure there there is a better (defensive) third baseman in the American League…”

    hey Pete, you must have fogotten your favorite, Alex Rodriguez!!!

  136. randy l. January 4th, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    “I personally don’t like what they are doing. Just a gut sense but I do think they are being much too “data driven.”

    CB-

    that’s my feeling too.

    the games will have to be played on the field and there are a lot of variables with injuries being the biggest, but i just think the yankees are a much stronger team that will be more adaptable to the variables that playing a season brings.

    i think the red sox are still chasing the sabathia/teixeira signings that cashman made last year.

    it seems like those signings have taking the red sox out of their game.

  137. CR9 January 4th, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    MLBTR

    11:12pm: According to the Boston Herald’s John Tomase, Beltre turned down both a three-year and four-year deal in order to sign with the Red Sox.

    Without knowing how much money was involved, I say…

    Again!! Somebody takes a discount in years or dollars to play for the Sox, while we get stuck paying premiums.

  138. Rich in NJ January 4th, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    “hey Pete, you must have fogotten your favorite, Alex Rodriguez!!!”

    Not the last two seasons because of the hip. He needs to show he has fully recovered his lateral movement.

  139. Nick in SF January 4th, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    All along it was a Bridge to Beltre.

    Devious!! :mad:

  140. CB January 4th, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    ” According to the Boston Herald’s John Tomase, Beltre turned down both a three-year and four-year deal in order to sign with the Red Sox.”

    The other team with reported strong interest in Beltre was the A’s.

    I bet they gave him a low ball 4 year offer for $20-24M. There’s no way boras is leaving good money on the table.

    He didn’t have many other suitors once the M’s signed figgins.

  141. Pat M. January 4th, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    All I know was when I was sitting in Angel Stadium for Game 3, Vladdy turned on a inside cutter from Pettite and but into orbit…..CB is right about his legs & lower back causing him grief when he came off the DL last season….He’s mostly arms and he does guess more than ever before…That being said, if he really is busting this winter and gets strength in core, watch out…..He still has great bat speed and still has a very fine eye for anything waist down….Last season you could sneak high cheese by him though….

  142. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day January 4th, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    Nick Johnson turned down mult-year offers(well, at least one) and the chance to play 1B to return to the Yanks

  143. Frank January 4th, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    “hey Pete, you must have fogotten your favorite, Alex Rodriguez!!!”

    Arod’s not better at 3rd than Beltre or Longoria.

    Beltre turned down 3-4 year deals? Have to wonder if that isn’t a little Boras-speak. Like Damon turning down the non-existent 5 year deal when he signed with the Yankees. If they existed, one can only assume they were short money deals AAV-wise and Boras suggested to his client he get in a hitters park, have a decent year and hit the market again. Not sure that makes sense though.

  144. EricNS January 4th, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    Didn’t Damon want a three -year deal – for two he can still come back

  145. CR9 January 4th, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    CB is probably right about the money.

    There is a difference between Beltre and NJ.

    Beltre has no ties or loyalty to Boston.

    NJ has ties and a sense of loyalty to the Yankees.

  146. timo January 4th, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    “and that’s why Papelbon’s 0-2 fastball right down the middle to Vlad was one of the funniest moments of 2009″

    _____________________________________________
    If you’re referring to the at bat that ended the season for Papelbon and the Red Sox, that was a first pitch down the middle to Vlad. The 0-2 mistake in that inning was to Aybar, which got things going.

  147. Frank January 4th, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    “Again!! Somebody takes a discount in years or dollars to play for the Sox, while we get stuck paying premiums”

    Beltre aside, and I assume a method to Boras’ madness on that one, who has been taking below market deals in Boston?

  148. Brian (Red Sox Fan) January 4th, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    CB – I still think that the Sox will play a lot of low scoring games (especially on the road) that will be decided after their starting pitcher is out of the game. I don’t see that ending well for them.

    But I can’t be emphatic enough on how terrible Lowell has become. And, overall, he has become a lousy offensive player as well (for the reasons stated above). I wasn’t buying the Kochman/Youkilis scenario, but it would have been preferable to any strategy involving Lowell (even as a DH – no one …. NO ONE …. in MLB is slower).

  149. Nick in SF January 4th, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    Beltre also reportedly turned down an offer to be Sultan of Brunei in order to pepper the Monstah.

  150. CB January 4th, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    “i think the red sox are still chasing the sabathia/teixeira signings that cashman made last year.”

    That’s clearly a big factor. But an underlying issue is that their farm system simply isn’t producing hasn’t produced many good young players since pedroia. And that’s particularly true of power hitting players.

    I also think they are making mistakes on their pursuit of free agents to fill that void. Maybe they just don’t like Holliday that much. I just don’t see how they could not sign him in this market.

    And last year if they had signed CC they would have had the capacity to create a dynasty. But they never made a run. Instead they waited until this year and spent money on Lackey. It’s a lot less money but Lackey is older, more injury prone and not nearly as good.

    Finally, the yankees have closed the gap in terms of player development and without that marginal benefit the Sox will need to step up their performance in terms of trades and free agent signing and that hasn’t happened.

  151. CR9 January 4th, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Frank, everyone on their team. Okay, that is exaggerating.

    Scutaro left a year on the table from someone else.

    Papi took an under market deal.

    The Lohud bloggers have gone over this before, I do not feel like repeating what others and I have said in the past.

    If anyone else wants to, they are more than welcome to.

  152. Tarheelyank January 4th, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Pat M
    I hear you. If healthy and the market is 6.5mil, he sure would plug some holes.

  153. Boston Dave - XXVII January 4th, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    timo,

    yes you’re right, thank you. got those 2 mixed up.

    but the first pitch to Vlad was still pretty funny.

  154. Tarheelyank January 4th, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Frank

    Wakefield
    B. Arroyo

    Are two that come mind without much thought. I know there are more.

  155. CB January 4th, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    “Last season you could sneak high cheese by him though….”

    Pat M.

    You’re right on the pitch he tattooed off of Andy – but I also know you’re very aware of the fact that he just blatantly guessed on that pitch and swung from his heels on it.

    The point you bring up about the high fastball was the most eye opening thing on Vlad. It was just amazing to see. This is a guy who you could not throw any pitch past – never mind a fastball and he literally was being overpowered by high hard stuff. Just remarkable to see that player unable to handle that pitch.

    If he strengthens his core maybe he can revert to form. Time is not on his side.

    Like matsui years of playing on very bad turf have taken their toll.

  156. stuckey January 4th, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    blake, not to beat a dead horse, but….

    “When I said that I thought he would “outplay that contact” that is only comparing him to the worth of his deal. ”

    Q: Worth of his deal in comparison to what?? A: the deals other players have.

    $18m for 5 (just for example) means NOTHING by itself. It only gets modified in comparison to the contracts of OTHER players.

  157. Tarheelyank January 4th, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    “If he strengthens his core maybe he can revert to form. Time is not on his side.”

    75% of prime Vladdy is way better than 100% Gardner.

  158. Pat M. January 4th, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    CB,I think Vladdy has 1 more good season left before he rides off to Cooperstown…..He’ll want to kick around for awhile because he loves the game..However, with all the work he’s putting in this winter gets very hard when your odometer hits 37….Especially for a big man who played all those years in the Big O

  159. CR9 January 4th, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    Nice to see though, once again, the Boston loving media was hush hush on the Beltre deal until just hours after the deal was done.

    The day started out with Boston stinksniffer Michael Silverman lying through his teeth that the Red Sox were not in it for Beltre.

  160. CB January 4th, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    Tarheelyank,

    I hear you. Vlad is just in a strange spot. His swing in terms of his hand speed looks ok. But his knees and back are so bad they kill his hand speed very frequently.

    He might be worth a shot if he’s feeling ok.

    I do agree they need to upgrade LF.

  161. Frank January 4th, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    “Papi took an under market deal”

    I don’t really consider guys signing long term deals before they hit free agency as under market. Hard to be under market when you’re not on it. Their existing deals with Ortiz, Beckett, Lester, Pedroia, and Youkilis were all signed before the players were free agents. Similar deals have been signed by others such as Cano, Longoria and David Wright.

    Not too many FA’s take under market. Maddux did to stay in Atlanta. Bernie Williams did to stay a Yankee and Pavano took a little less to be a Yankee, but in general, especially among the high end guys, everybody is getting every buck they can.

  162. timo January 4th, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    No prob, Boston D. I checked the play-by-play to confirm my memory and another funny tidbit is that the Angels’ win probability with 2 out, no one on, Aybar up was all of 1%.

  163. CR9 January 4th, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    ****test

  164. pat January 4th, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    “The day started out with Boston stinksniffer Michael Silverman lying through his teeth that the Red Sox were not in it for Beltre.”

    He sounds a litle hurt that he was misled…..

    MikeSilvermanBB Source: “Adjustments” happened in A.Beltre-#Red Sox talks today. Let me be first to add a big ”ya think?” to that. #really? #notinthemix
    about 1 hour ago from web

  165. Tarheelyank January 4th, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    CB
    I also understand your point completely. I think it’s strange that there has been so little talk of him (good or bad) so far.

  166. Frank January 4th, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    Tarheel:

    Yeah, Wakefield for sure.

    Arroyo only had 2 big league seasons in when he signed his Boston deal, so he was never on the market. That deal was just buying out his arbitration years. Again, you can’t be below market if you’re not on the market.

  167. CR9 January 4th, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    Frank

    I see what you’re saying. But when you’re 6 months from Free Agency, you have not been outed yet as a Steroid user, and you are among the Top 5 Clutch hitters of all time…

    aside from him being a DH, he would have commanded a higher salary than $13 or $14 million AAV he took.

  168. Frank January 4th, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    “The day started out with Boston stinksniffer Michael Silverman lying through his teeth that the Red Sox were not in it for Beltre”

    More likely he was lied to, no? Being THAT wrong isn’t much of a career move.

  169. Boston Dave - XXVII January 4th, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    Arroyo’s deal was still under-market.

    Arroyo and the Sox pretty much admitted to it. Arroyo had said he was fine with that because he liked Boston.

    Of course, the Sox used that to their advantage by trading him for the future hall of famer, Wily Mo Pena.

  170. Tarheelyank January 4th, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    Frank
    The thing about Arroyo was that he gave them a “hometown” discount. Of course, they turned around and promptly traded him away.

  171. Frank January 5th, 2010 at 12:07 am

    “aside from him being a DH, he would have commanded a higher salary than $13 or $14 million AAV he took.”

    Not so sure about that. Vlad Guerrero, back when he was still Vlad, was in the middle of a deal paying $14M AAV. His deal was also pretty comparable with what Jim Thome was getting at the time to DH in Chicago (again $14 AAV). Also worth noting that Boston tore up a contract went thru ’07 (he would have been paid a little less than $8M for ’07) in favor of the $13M AAV deal. Seems like a fair deal.

  172. stuckey January 5th, 2010 at 12:10 am

    MTU – following up…

    “1 I am not at all convinced that GGBG is perfectly adequate meal in the 9 hole. Compared to whom, or which food ?”

    Just looked up the OPS of the worst hitters (with over 300 ABS) of the 7 other play-off teams, and just for fun, the two runner-ups in the AL wildcard race and the Rays as well.

    And when you look over this list, bear in mind the 300 AB qualifier didn’t distort the results. Most team had multiple players with 300 ABs and even over 400 and more with comparable or worse OPS than Gardner.

    Brett Gardner – .724

    Pedro Feliz .694
    Gary Matthews Jr. .697
    Russell Martin – .680
    Jason Varitek – .703
    Nick Punto – .621
    Rick Ankiel – .672
    Garret Atkins – .650

    Elvis Andrus – .702
    Adam Everett – .613
    Dioner Navarro – .583

    I’ll reiterate. Gardner could possibly be one of the best “worst” hitters of any team in the post-season hunt.

    If V-Mart cuts Varitek’s AB’s down significantly, then Boston MIGHT wind up with the best worst hitter, though one needs to remember Marco Scutaro has a .721 career OPS, which was below .700 in both 2008 and 2007.

    And given there are 11 teams represented here, it’s unlikely this was a one year fluke. The data suggests MOST major league teams (including play-off contenders) carry >.700 OPS players in their starting line-ups on a regular basis.

  173. Frank January 5th, 2010 at 12:13 am

    “Arroyo and the Sox pretty much admitted to it. Arroyo had said he was fine with that because he liked Boston”

    Yeah, looking at that deal, Arroyo did cost himself some money in ’08, his 3rd arb year. That probably would have been a $6M season for him.

  174. Pat M. January 5th, 2010 at 12:20 am

    stuckey, You’re still peddling Gardner I see….Hope you’re right about him….If he could bunt his way on base for 30 hits this summer then we have something to talk about….Other than that I still can’t imagine he’ll be patrolling leftfield in 2010

  175. akamgkrebs January 5th, 2010 at 12:23 am

    I’ll reiterate. Gardner could possibly be one of the best “worst” hitters of any team in the post-season hunt.
    =======================================================

    What then, would you make of Melky’s .752 OPS in 2009, unworldly?

  176. stuckey January 5th, 2010 at 12:31 am

    “You’re still peddling Gardner I see….Hope you’re right about him…”

    Not peddling him at all. I’d be happy for a REAL upgrade it available, but bearing in mind even a $5m player will be making 10x Gardner, he’d need to a REAL upgrade.

    My only point is, we can discuss replacing Gardner all we want, but it HELPS to have the discussion IN PERSPECTIVE.

    If he doesn’t fall off the table, and he gets significant playing time in LF, he’ll likely be one of the major’s more productive 9 hitters.

    Like him or not, EVERYONE should be able to acknowledge that simple fact.

  177. Boston Dave - XXVII January 5th, 2010 at 12:31 am

    I agree with stuckey.

    The Yanks could do far better than Gardner. But they could do far worse.

    I don’t think he’s being given enough credit considering this team just steamrolled it’s way to a title with Gardner/Melky playing everyday.

    If they upgrade, great. If not, they’ll be ok.

  178. stuckey January 5th, 2010 at 12:32 am

    “What then, would you make of Melky’s .752 OPS in 2009, unworldly?”

    Above average.

    Are you arguing with any of the figures I provided?

  179. Boston Dave - XXVII January 5th, 2010 at 12:34 am

    I think many of us are becoming resigned to the idea of a LF platoon with Gardy getting 300-400AB’s.

    I’m ok with that – for now.

    If Damon returns, great. Otherwise, let’s give Gardy a handful of AB’s.

  180. Rich in NJ January 5th, 2010 at 12:35 am

    There is no harm in giving Gardner two to two and a half months to sink or swim.

  181. Nick in SF January 5th, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Pat M, congrats on the Boise win. Points shmoints, who needs ‘em?

    I am also warming to the gritty track star of pallor. What else is there to do?

  182. aaron January 5th, 2010 at 12:39 am

    Gardner blows

  183. Pat M. January 5th, 2010 at 12:39 am

    stuckey, I respect your opinions and you know the game, but man Gardner looks bad and lost sometimes at the plate…Not certain if the scouting reports are dialed in on him, or he’s still trying to find his way at this level…..I just wish he had better skills with a bat in his hands….Maybe the job is his to lose until the All-Star break….

  184. Pat M. January 5th, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Nick in SF….I had originally toyed with the money line about a week ago, but after Duck soup Saturday, a conservative approach is the rule

  185. DaSaint007 January 5th, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Theo is copying Cashman’s new mantra on flexibility. I like the Beltre signing as he’s still one of the best defensive 3B in baseball. But Youk can also play 1B and 3B, which is where they really want him. Lowell will be traded as he’s no longer needed. He can still hit, but he’s not mobile, and will most likely be relegaed to DH or 1B duties for the remainder of his career.

    Cameron is still an excellent defensive CF, but he’ll play LF while Elisbury is still around. But he too is no longer needed. He’s relatively talented, fast, young, and affordable. Once moved, Cameron and return to patrolling CF.

    VMart can catch, but he’s no defensive gem. He’s better suited to occasional duties behind the plate, and being a DH. Especially good as Ortiz seems to be on the decline.

    If I were Theo, I’d offer Lowell, Elisbury, and Bucholz for Miguel Cabrera to play 1B. Lowell takes over 1B in Detroit, Ellisbury CF moving Austin Jackson to LF, and Bucholz joins the rotation. Detroit loses the albatross of Cabrera’s contract, takes on some cash in Lowell, and adds 2 more young, cheap, talented players.

  186. Rich in NJ January 5th, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Gardner has gone through a period of adjustment at every new level he has reached.

    He does need to stop uppercutting the freakin’ ball though.

  187. akamgkrebs January 5th, 2010 at 12:43 am

    Above average.
    ============================================================
    you wouldn’t describe the 2009 Yankees as merely “above average”, rather “the best” as compared to other major league teams. Why then do you merely describe Melky as “above average” rather than “the best’ when compared to the other number 9 hitters.

  188. Rich in NJ January 5th, 2010 at 12:44 am

    “Cameron is still an excellent defensive CF, but he’ll play LF while Elisbury is still around”

    I don’t believe it.

  189. stuckey January 5th, 2010 at 12:46 am

    “stuckey, I respect your opinions and you know the game, but man Gardner looks bad and lost sometimes at the plate…Not certain if the scouting reports are dialed in on him, or he’s still trying to find his way at this level…..I just wish he had better skills with a bat in his hands….Maybe the job is his to lose until the All-Star break…”

    This is the point I think a lot of people need to wrap their head around… he clearly has holes and limitations, but a decent % of major leaguers have holes just as big and bigger.

    Yankees will not only not suffer with him in the line-up in comparison to other teams, they’ll be ahead of the game.

    In other words, he might suck, but most to all other teams have STARTING players that suck worse.

    People can dislike Gardner all you like, but if they can also acknowledge he’s above average for what they’ll ask hgim to do (play D, run, hit in the 9 hole) then it’s all good.

  190. DaSaint007 January 5th, 2010 at 12:47 am

    Don’t believe that Cameron is still an excellent defensive CF, or that he’ll play LF while Elisbury is still around?

  191. Nick in SF January 5th, 2010 at 12:48 am

    Unless the Sox pay 110% of his salary, who is really going to take Lowell?

    Another team with a bad salary they want to unload, I guess. Trade him to NBC for Jay Leno?

  192. stuckey January 5th, 2010 at 12:49 am

    “you wouldn’t describe the 2009 Yankees as merely “above average”, rather “the best” as compared to other major league teams. Why then do you merely describe Melky as “above average” rather than “the best’ when compared to the other number 9 hitters.”

    Not sure of your point. I was responding specifically to someone trying to put a specific superlative in my mouth.

    Mekly Gardner was likely one of, and possibly THE BEST 9 hitter (when he was batting there) in baseball in 2009.

    Your point is?

  193. akamgkrebs January 5th, 2010 at 12:51 am

    Mekly Gardner was likely one of, and possibly THE BEST 9 hitter
    ????

  194. stuckey January 5th, 2010 at 12:53 am

    You didn’t understand I meant Melky Cabrera?

    That is the best response you could come up with?

  195. akamgkrebs January 5th, 2010 at 12:56 am

    You didn’t understand I meant Melky Cabrera?

    That is the best response you could come up with?
    =======================================
    Sorry, I didn’t understand it; I thought you might have wanted to reply that the combo of Melky/Gardner was the best. Enough said.

  196. Phil the Thrill January 5th, 2010 at 12:58 am

    Beltre and Beltran both roided way up last time they were going into free agency. Their heads were enormous down the stretch that year, and you remember that Beltran became Mickey Mantle in the postseason.

  197. Buddy Biancalana January 5th, 2010 at 1:03 am

    The Castillo-Lowell makes zero sense, where would Castillo play? Bench warmer?

  198. Buddy Biancalana January 5th, 2010 at 1:04 am

    *deal*

  199. CR9 January 5th, 2010 at 1:11 am

    Buddy

    Where will Castillo play?

    Whereever the Red Sox trade him to, as they spin him for more minor leaguers that Buster Rosenthal Gammons Stark Callis can get their greasy hands on and make into upper echelon prospects.

  200. DaSaint007 January 5th, 2010 at 1:34 am

    Jan will be a fun month. We’ll get to see who backs up ARod. Will Hoffmann even make it to ST? Opening Day? Do any one of Jerry, Xavier or Eric return? Can we trade for, or sign an experienced lefty for the pen?

    Where will Jose Molina or former Met Ramon Castro end up as backup catchers? And finally, will JD return?

  201. Rich in NJ January 5th, 2010 at 2:05 am

    “Don’t believe that Cameron is still an excellent defensive CF, or that he’ll play LF while Elisbury is still around?”

    I think Cameron will play CF.

  202. m January 5th, 2010 at 3:56 am

    “But Epstein is nothing if not adaptable, and when he determined that Matt Holliday would be too expensive to sign and Bay was going to take more money from the Mets, the Red Sox general manager decided to take the club in another direction, signing the Angels’ No. 1 pitcher, John Lackey, for the money Holliday turned down, and building an impregnable defense around him.

    At least that’s the plan, although Marco Scutaro became an every-day shortstop for the first time this past season after years as a utility guy; new center fielder Mike Cameron is 37, Beltre had left shoulder surgery as well as the previously referenced severely bruised testicle; and the new catcher, Victor Martinez, is known primarily for his offense.”

    Edes gloating about another Red Sox steal. Was Scutaro really a utility guy all these years? And what’s he talking about Holliday for? Did the Sox make an offer to Holliday?

    http://sports.espn.go.com/bost.....id=4796790

    I agree with CB, something is different about the Red Sox team of the last two years.

    I hope none of these low-risk gambles pay off big.

  203. joeman January 5th, 2010 at 6:24 am

    Stop this Gardner talk about LF…he’s good at what he does pinch run play a little D & being a #4 OFer. If there were other options right now nobody is talking about Gardner

  204. Boston Dave - XXVII January 5th, 2010 at 6:34 am

    joeman,

    that’s what they all said about Melky too

  205. Tarheelyank January 5th, 2010 at 7:51 am

    When Gardner was named the starter last year I wasn’t “thrilled” I am even less thrilled this year. There is just no depth to back him up. Last year we had Melky(IMO a better choice anyway) and Swish. This year Hoffmann?Against lefties this year Swish, Grandy, and Gardner is going to be interesting. It could be work, or it go south real quick. Gardner is low man on the pole.

    And I do not “hate” Gardner. I would love for him to get those 30 infield hits that Pat M and GB and others have talked about. It would be great for the team.

  206. hideki balboni January 5th, 2010 at 7:52 am

    I’ve never understood the fascination with Duncan. He’s a classic AAAA player.

  207. jpb1973 January 5th, 2010 at 7:53 am

    Beltre signs with Boston for $10 million. Ah, it does my heart good to know that the Red Sox will join the Yankees in paying some luxury tax.

  208. blake January 5th, 2010 at 7:54 am

    Stuckey, you ARE beating a dead horse. A player’s production has value attached to it. Nick swisher produces more than he is paid for example which makes it a good contract. Jason Giambi produced below what he was paid, therefore bad contract. There is no real way to quantify that but you know by watching them play whether they are worth the money or not. All I’m saying is that I think Holliday has a good chance to produce more than he’s paid in that deal, making it a good contract. I am beggining to think that all you want to do is argue.

  209. upstate kate January 5th, 2010 at 7:58 am

    I would be surprised if Gardner is the LF starter on opening day, I don’t think Cash is done yet. I think Damon comes back, and Gardner comes in as a defensive replacement in late innings.

  210. jpb1973 January 5th, 2010 at 8:05 am

    With the addition of Beltre, Cameron, Scutaro, and Lackey; plus continuing to hold onto Ortiz, Wakefield, Drew, Lowell and Varitek the Red Sox are not only a very expensive team…but they are a very old team. Their minor league system better be ready to turn out some superstars or it will be curtains for them in a couple of years.

  211. Rich in NJ January 5th, 2010 at 8:11 am

    I don’t think anything has changed in Boston other than that they know they haven’t replaced the in their prime versions of Manny and Ortiz, and they want to be in a position to be able to do that with Adrian Gonzalez and Mauer if they become available within the next year. With that as a backdrop, they also have big decisions on Beckett and then Papelbon in the offing.

    To that end, as I said above, they signed Lackey to afford them the freedom to trade Bucholz, and similarly, they signed Cameron so they had the ability to trade Ellsbury. Lackey also gives them some degree of insurance against the possibility of Beckett leaving.

    At the same time, those signings further their goal of relying on pitching and defense as they transition to acquiring (and/or developing) a new group of offensive stars.

    But apart from that, they have maintained the same model, rightly or wrongly, that they have for years.

    They set a price that they think a player is worth, and they stick to it. That’s what they did with A-Rod, Teix, and apparently Holliday.

    I don’t think they have the assets that some other franchises do to acquire Gonzalez, but maybe they believe that Hoyer (over)values their young players and prospects. I also doubt that Mauer will reach free agency, but if he does, I think the Yankees will block them.

    But in any event, I think their mindset, while adaptive to the realty of their circumstances, is quite similar to what it has always been.

  212. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day January 5th, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Geez, can Gordon Edes get any giddier about the Red Sox? Theo is “nothing if not adaptable”? I wonder if Cash gets credit for being “adaptable”? An impregnable defense? Oh brother….

    Boston Dave, what exactly does Brett Gardner deserve credit for?

  213. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day January 5th, 2010 at 8:20 am

    I’d be shocked if Cash goes into the season with Gardner as his LF and even more so if he doesn’t acquire depth (he’s already said he’s aware that he needs to rebuild some of that OF depth).

  214. Noreaster January 5th, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Beltre replaces Lowell (plus on defense, minus on offense)
    Cameron replaces Bay (plus on defense, large minus on offense)
    Scutaro (plus on offense)
    Lackey (large plus on run prevention)

    Sox appear to be better this year than last year, but this is not fantasy baseball. They don’t have a number 4 hitter that can anchor the lineup and their bullpen is a bit of a mess right now. They will probably be a killer club at home and have problems scoring on the road again.

    Yanks picked up 11 games on the Sox after the allstar break, Sox will win between 96-98 games, Yankees will win over 105 games next year.

    Yawn, is it time for pitchers and catchers yet?

  215. Noreaster January 5th, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Does anybody know what the Sox gave up for draft picks to sign Beltre?

  216. Frank January 5th, 2010 at 8:28 am

    “With that as a backdrop, they also have big decisions on Beckett and then Papelbon in the offing.”

    I’d guess that Papelbon decision is made. When he gets to free agency, he’s a goner.

  217. Rich in NJ January 5th, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Nothing, Beltre is a Type B FA.

  218. Rich in NJ January 5th, 2010 at 8:31 am

    “I’d guess that Papelbon decision is made. When he gets to free agency, he’s a goner.”

    I think it will depend on other factors, like Bard’s development and health. Alternatively, they could trade him.

  219. Noreaster January 5th, 2010 at 8:31 am

    I agree Frank. Then Theo will adapt to being, “Bullpen by committee” guy again just as he has adapted to being “Run prevention” guy this year. We all know how that turned out last time!

  220. Frank January 5th, 2010 at 8:32 am

    “Does anybody know what the Sox gave up for draft picks to sign Beltre?”

    None at all. Only Type A free agents result in loss of draft picks. Beltre wasn’t a Type A.

  221. Rich in NJ January 5th, 2010 at 8:37 am

    I think Theo’s thought process has been shown to be a lot more tractable than some want to believe.

    The guy is offputting, but he’s smart.

  222. Frank January 5th, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Noreaster:

    Re Beltre: Seattle does get a sandwich pick for losing Beltre, but it doesn’t come from Boston, it’s just slotted between the 1st and 2nd round. It’ll probably be around #40 overall.

  223. Boom January 5th, 2010 at 8:46 am

    This is ridiculous – sign damon for 2 years Cashman! We can’t lose matsui and damon; 2 very clutch lefty hitters and great clubhouse chemistry guys in 2009

  224. Aaron January 5th, 2010 at 8:46 am

    “With the addition of Beltre, Cameron, Scutaro, and Lackey; plus continuing to hold onto Ortiz, Wakefield, Drew, Lowell and Varitek…”

    Except Lackey is the only player on that list who will still be a member of the Red Sox on two years. In one year, provided the Sox don’t move him, Lowell, Ortiz, Drew, and Varitek will all be gone, thus lowering Boston’s payroll by about 80 million, so yes, I don’t think you’re seeing something the Red Sox aren’t. They will have a plethora of money next offseason, and a competitive team this year. They’re doing exactly what they should to with next year’s class of FA’s.

  225. Rich in NJ January 5th, 2010 at 8:48 am

    “This is ridiculous – sign damon for 2 years Cashman! ”

    Actually, that would be ridiculous. The Yankees need as much payroll flexibility as they can get in 2011. It makes less than zero sense to tie up any money in a then 38 year old Damon.

  226. Blackaccord January 5th, 2010 at 9:02 am

    ” David O’Brien writes that Damon is asking for a two-year deal and was never looking for a four-year contract.”

    Seriously, whatsup with these kind of statements?? The agent always says come to me with 3-4 year deals.. and when there is no market for the player they come out and say ‘Well.. I was not looking for a 4 year deal’… bunch of BS… Everyone knows that they were looking for a 3-4 year contract and since they didnt get it, they are changing their tone now..

  227. blake January 5th, 2010 at 9:06 am

    This is just how I see it

    Starting Rotation: 1-3 edge Sox, 1-5 edge Yankees.
    Offense: edge Yankees
    Defense: slight edge to Yankees because Vmart and Vtek couldn’t throw my grandmother out.
    Bullpen: edge Yankees.

    The Sox are better defensively and in their rotation than last year but so are the Yankees. Should be a fun race.

  228. Erin January 5th, 2010 at 9:09 am

    blake
    January 5th, 2010 at 9:06 am
    Defense: slight edge to Yankees because Vmart and Vtek couldn’t throw my grandmother out.

    *******************
    LOL

  229. Rich in NJ January 5th, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Beckett has basically had a good year followed by a less good year pattern to his career. The affect of impending free agency on that should be an interesting subplot to their season.

  230. MTU January 5th, 2010 at 9:15 am

    I wouldn’t sleep on the Rays this coming season.

    They took care of their biggest weakness when they signed Soriano as closer.

    In some ways i might be more concerned about them than the Sox.

  231. Jweav January 5th, 2010 at 9:16 am

    I was watching a 1996 WS game 6 Yankee Classic the other day and the announcers said that Torre turned down the Yankee GM job a week before he was offered the Manager job……wow that would have really changed things. I can’t believe I didn’t remember that.

  232. MTU January 5th, 2010 at 9:17 am

    The Angels really took a hit this off season.

  233. Frank January 5th, 2010 at 9:17 am

    “The affect of impending free agency on that should be an interesting subplot to their season.”

    They do have a lot of guys who will be singing for their supper this year. Beckett, Ortiz, Martinez and now Beltre are all in walk years.

  234. Stan January 5th, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Boston will have their hands full in 2010 just getting by the Rays. Tampa Bay now has a legitimate closer. Crawford is in his contract year. Upton is healthy again. Longoria is the real deal. Still a good young nucleus with more on the way. Their only real problem is finding a way to get rid of Pat Burrell.

  235. MTU January 5th, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Stan-

    And they need an upgrade at catcher.

  236. blake January 5th, 2010 at 9:26 am

    MTU, I agree that the Rays should be a team to watch this year. I have no idea what the Angels are doing this offseason..basically doing nothing I guess. I think they may finish 3rd in that division unless they make some moves.

  237. saucY January 5th, 2010 at 10:23 am

    do the Indians play Philly in interleague this year? cause it would break my heart to go see Shelley play against the Yankees…

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