Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Runs are runs.
John Lackey isn't the sexy name you'd like to hear connected with the phrase "is finalizing a deal with the Red Sox." You'd rather it were Roy Halliday, or Albert Pujols (ha!), or . . . you know, somebody big.
But 175 innings of pitching that's 15 - 20% better than average -- which is what you can expect from Lackey -- is nothing to be sneered at, especially given the rotation the Sox started with.
If we sign Mike Cameron to play left and/or Adrian Beltre to play third, the story will be much the same. I'd hate to overpay for either of those guys (even though Cameron has been a sentimental favorite of mine for many years), but if we understand that they represent adequate bats with super gloves and pay accordingly, we'll be fine.
Here's the thing: runs are runs, and it counts just as much to keep a run off the board for the opponent as it does to tally a run for the good guys. Impact bats are few and far between -- if not completely absent -- in the current free-agent market, so there's no way the Sox can replicate the Scary Monsters lineup of 2004 - 2007. It makes sense, in that setting, to push the run differential in the right direction using the other levers available.