Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I couldn't do a better job than Alex Speier of WEEI in analyzing Jon Lester's new contract. As he states that it is very similar to Ervin Santana's deal. And in my mind, Lester and Santana are comparable pitchers. Both appeared to make great strides in fulfilling their promise as top of the rotation starters this past year, after two rocky ones. LAA set the market with Santana and the Sox paid Lester that rate.
Unlike position players, the Olde Towne Team should lock up talented club controlled hurlers at the going rate. According to some, teams have historically overpaid for starters relative to their contribution in the win column. To a certain extent, it is rationale for a club to overextend for top notch pitchers. Since each starter just moves down a peg - the old #2 becomes the new #3 and so on - and with pitchers being more of a health risk than hitters creates a near limitless demand for hurlers.
Assuming a top starting pitcher will go to the highest bidder, the MFY and Sox decision making process and business models do not change, the hurler will always be wearing pinstripes at a winter press conference in the Bronx. The Sox are unlikely to ever sign a Mike Mussina or C.C. Sabathia. Hence, the Olde Towne Team will need to develop talent to trade for pitching (Josh Beckett), sign talented starters prior to free agency (Lester), and take advantage of quasi-free markets (Dice-K/the posting process and the amateur draft) to keep up with the MFY in the arms race.