Monday, February 25, 2008
Had the Sox made this deal three years ago, it would have been very exciting. But now it's as thrilling as acquiring David Wells.
The Red Sox signed former Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon to a minor league deal.
The word "insurance" is being used to describe this deal. To me, that word implies some sort of reliability. Sean Casey, for instance, was insurance, because we know what we'll get from him. Bartolo Colon is not insurance. At least, he isn't very good insurance.
Colon is listed at 250 pounds, which might be a tad generous. He's coming off two straight seasons plagued by injury. Last year, it was his right lat, then his right elbow. He's only made 28 starts in the past two years because of these injuries.
And it isn't as if Colon has pitched well in those 28 starts, either. In '06 and '07, he combined for a record of 7-13. His ERA was 5.90 the past two seasons. He averaged 5.6 innings per start.
Don't get me wrong, I like this signing. The Sox can't lose much in this deal. If Colon isn't healthy, or isn't effective; the Sox lose a little bit of money. If he is effective and somewhat healthy, then the Sox gain a solid 4th or 5th starter.
But don't think of this as insurance. Think of it more as hedging a bet. It's like flipping a coin twice, instead of once. You're more likely to get the coin to come up tails one time if you flip it twice. It's also like putting money on different numbers in roulette. It increases the likelihood of hitting.
Colon joins adds an upside down and right side up question mark to a rotation bursting with that punctuation. He, Tim Wakefield, and Curt Schilling are falling apart at the seems. Meanwhile, younger and healthier guys like Matsuzaka, Bucholz, and Lester have yet to prove that they're reliable starting pitchers.
Manny Ramirez summed up this deal perfectly. When asked about it, he said "I don't know. I'm not a pitching coach."
For the record, Johan Santana weighs 195 pounds.
The Red Sox and Terry francona agreed to terms on a contract that would keep him in Red Sox uniform (remember, he now HAS to wear a uniform) until 2011 and perhaps beyond. The deal is worth $4M per season, and the Red Sox have the option to extend it two more years.
Francona, who has led the Sox to two World Series Championships, three playoff berths, and an AL East title, is arguably the best skipper in Red Sox history. The only other manager in team history to have two World Series rings is Billy Carrigan. If anybody who was around in 1915 wants to make an argument for Billy being the best Red Sox manager ever, go right ahead.
Francona's 279 wins as manager is good for 11th all-time in club history. If the Sox win 90 games this year (very likely), he will be 5th on the list.
Free pizza at Papa Gino's for everyone!