Monday, January 26, 2009

What Everybody is Talking About? Kind of...

I'm going to chime in on two topics du jour. As Pricing Boy said, kind of slow times around these parts. Oh, and for the record - and as I have told numerous people in person - I will not be hopping on the Bruins bandwagon until they actually win a playoff series. Remember that in 2004 they were the 1 seed in their Conference also and that did not turn out too well. Who am I kidding though, the Bruins loss in that series effected me about as much as a Sox loss to the Royals in May so I shouldn't make like it actually was crushing or anything. As I have said many times before, my Bruins patronage left with Cam Neely and it will take a lot to get me even to the point where I check their box scores or the NHL standings more than once every couple of weeks.

With that, what I came here to discuss...

Varitek


Wow, what an annoying offseason for the Red Sox. No, not annoying in the sense of the moves they are making - I like most of the signings, even if they still need another bat - but rather in the storylines. First, there was the annoying Mark Teixeira saga and now we get this Varitek stuff. I'd call it a mess, but it really is not a mess. Jason Varitek and Scott Boras brought all of this on themselves when they passed on arbitration so really, it's only a mess on their end. For the Sox, this could not be playing out any better. They either get Varitek at a relatively cut-rate salary for a short commitment, or let him walk to find that big money contract he and his agent delusionally believe is out there and then gobble up the compensatory draft pick. The worst case scenario for the Sox I guess is if Varitek and Boras decide to sit out a year to shake the Type A free agent tag from him and have him go back at the market next year. This is only bad because the Sox would then lose the aforementioned draft pick. Beyond that, no biggie. Of course the chances of him finding a home beyond the Red Sox this year seem to be about 0% because is a team really going to surrender a first round pick AND a contract on a catcher who will be 37 a week after opening day? Doubtful.

So how do I hope it pans out? Well, the pragmatist in me thinks that if the Sox can get him for dirt cheap and only play him maybe three times a week then that is a good move for them. However, the evil part of me wants more than anything for Boras and Varitek to sit out this season and hit the market next year as a completely unrestricted free agent with no pesky "Type A" tag to hold them back. I want this mainly because I want to see them pretend to be indignant when teams will only offer the guy an un-guaranteed roster spot/spring training invite in 2010 when he will be 38, two years removed from a brutal offensive season and one year removed from NOT PLAYING BASEBALL AT ALL. The whole situation is just way too preposterous and comical to even imagine and honestly I have no idea what Varitek and Boras are thinking right now. To me, it just shows that despite what everybody else loves to say about 'Tek, at his soul he is just another Boras lackey. If he wasn't then wouldn't he have signed by now?

Oh, and this just in, Varitek is mulling the Sox current offer but does not like the fact that he will not get rewarded if he bounces back with a strong 2009. Sounds like a fair beef at face value, but then you step back and think, "well if you had a 'strong' 2008 you would not be in this spot in the first place". Furthermore, as Buster Olney noted in his blog the other day, Varitek finished 21 out of 25 in OPS of catchers with 300+ at bats last year meaning the fact that a contract for multiple years and millions is even on the table right now is a minor miracle in and of itself and he should be grateful just for that. At some point, this guy needs to realize that his only shot at somewhat saving face is to take the Red Sox money and be done with it instead of continuing to drag these discussions out, making himself look worse and worse.

Matt Cassell

OK, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Chances are, the Pats aren't really going to know what to do about the Brady/Cassell situation until August at the earliest. Therefore any talk of trying to parlay him into draft picks this year is ridiculously premature. With that being said, if you want a natural fit for a trade with the Patriots involving draft picks then the Vikings have to be it.

Why? Well, the Vikings need a QB and they are also picking in the later regions (22nd overall) of the first round where Bill Belichek likes to do his damage. Sure, having a gaudy first round pick at the top of the draft would be nice, but what we learned last year is that Belichek actually values the later first round picks more simply because he does not have to pay them the money of the top guys. Therefore, don't think a Cassell to Detroit for the first overall pick is something that would ever happen. However, Cassell to Minnesota for a first and a third and maybe a future first day pick as well? Now that is something that seems right in the Patriots wheelhouse.

So for fun, let's pretend this happens. All of a sudden the Pats have six or seven picks on the first day of the draft (an extra third rounder could come from Asante leaving). What could they do? How about two linebackers, a tight end, an O-lineman, a safety, and a cornerback all on the first day of the draft?

1 comment:

bcgroup said...

On Tek - Give me $5m and I can save a lot of face. BTW glad to see you working so hard in the middle of the day Neil.