A guy on the Red Sox subreddit went a little overboard on his love of Josh Reddick and Papelbon a while back. In looking through some old comments I found the thread and my response. While I didn’t get the upvotes I’d have liked, I kind of liked what I had to say…
Please hear me out on this one as I am FUMING over Andrew Baileys 3rd fuckup this week and praying to god that the Heat lose this game 7. Lets get started. So the Red Sox A couple years ago had a decision to make. Resign Pabelbon for big bucks after an unfortunate ending to 2011 or find a replacement and a new closer. They made a decision (which, I agreed with at the time) to replace Pabelbon. On December 14th the Sox went out and signed Mark Melancon as a closer. Fine great lets move on from there. But no they decided to acquire Andrew Bailey. For who but JOSH REDDICK. Gold Glover last year and a young product of our farm system who hit .280 with 28 RBI’S in 87 games his rookie year. (Which featured TWO walk offs against the yankees in the SAME WEEK!). Reddick went on to hit 29 doubles, and 32 homeruns in his first full season in the Majors in 2012. He was awared a gold glove and finished 16th in the MVP voting. Dude is legit. Not to mention he is STILL ON HIS ROOKIE CONTRACT. He is an above average to great outfielder making $550,000 a year. In 15 innings pitched in 2012 before being put on the DL ALL YEAR. He let up 21 hits, 8 walks, and 8 runs as a closer.
If all this wasn’t enough to want to pull your eyeballs out over lets consider the moves made this offseason. Remember how we didnt want to give Pap’s his money after becoming the all time save leader in Red Sox history? Oh we signed an aging, injury prone Shane Victorino to a 2 year contract worth 13 million a year.
Basically, with the benefit of hindsight, the Sox should of Re signed Pap, kept Reddick,and not singed Victorino. Thanks for hearing me out, and please dont bash me for spelling and formatting.
The team had no wiggle room when it came time to Papelbon. Remember last year when they shed about $200 mil on the Punto trade? Also, the Sox did want to resign Paps but he didn’t wait for them to negotiate, he took the first big deal he got. Fuck, he even said he’d have gone to the Yankees if they offered him the money he wanted and ultimately got from the Phillies.
Closers by default are a fickle bunch and not reliable from year to year, is Paps an above average closer? Yes. Is he an elite closer like Rivera? He could be, his ego got in the way though. As for Bailey, he looked to be a Papelbon lite and has just never lived up to the hype. He had averaged 25 saves a season before he came to the Red Sox but Oakland doesn’t always do things the way the rest of the league does, they use more than one closer in a season. I still think that Bailey can and probably will turn it around, I mean if anyone can get him to get his shit together it’s John Farrell. Would I rather have Papelbon back? Not really, his personality doesn’t fit this years’ Red Sox. He has a Beckett-like personality. It was always about “Cinco Ocho” and what can Boston do for Paps as opposed to what can Paps do for you.
As for Reddick, look I love the guy, I was sad when he was gone but it was more based on his personality than his numbers. The Red Sox were able to go spend a little more money this year on other players like Victorino because they had finally shed all that Crawford/Gonzalez/Beckett/Punto money. Cherington did the ol’ “they get on base” thing this season. Victorino has done that. Has he been on the DL? Yep, but so has Reddick and stats wise? Victorino is coming out smelling like a damned rose above Reddick right now. Victorino gets on base at a .353 clip compared to Reddick’s .299 this year. Fangraphs also has Victorino with a WAR of 2.1 whereas Reddick is a whopping 0.7. To say that Reddick is an elite outfielder is out of line, could he be? I suppose so, but not at his strikeout rate. Total he’s only played nearly 2 years compared to Victorino’s 10. Is The Flying Hawaiian elite? No, but he’s outperforming expectations right now. He’s Cody Ross lite, better AVG but less power but an awesome clubhouse presence. Reddick is as well but to say he’s propelling the A’s to winning right now isn’t accurate. Reddick had exactly one good full season thus far but he’s 26, I suppose he has time to develop a little more but he really should’ve in his minor league career.
End result, it was better to experiment with Bailey than to keep a selfish, arrogant Papelbon, who had clearly soured on Boston. It was worth giving up Reddick. Cost controlled? Yeah. But he’s getting about what he’s worth right now. Victorino is as well. Can he maintain it? Who knows but he’s fairly fun to watch and he’s a solid guy who does exactly what he’s paid to do, get on base, score runs, and play above average defense. There’s a reason why managers and GM’s don’t just rely on “gut instinct” anymore which is what it seems you’re doing, in assuming that Reddick will always perform like his 2012 season when all signs point to the opposite.