Sunday, October 5, 2014

Is Value Overvalued?

Many of us credit the 2001 Patriots for contributing to the 2004 Red Sox World Championship. They proved that a team full of quality could win a title. It didn't take three stars and a bunch of scrubs. There's a feeling that their success allowed Theo Epstein the freedom to construct a team the way he wanted to. Well-balanced, and efficient. As the Sox enter a very important off-season, here's hoping that they don't adhere to one Patriot mantra.


Sure, I understand getting good value. Nobody wants to pay too much for something. If I'm at a game, I don't want to hear that the person sitting in front of me paid less for their ticket than I did. Or, that I paid twice as much as the person sitting the row behind me. I want to know that I got good value for my money. The same way that the Patriots want to be sure that they get good value for their offensive linemen. But, that can be carried too far. Lets say I was looking at ticket prices. I see a ticket for sale that I can afford, but see that one previously sold in the row in front of me for less than I would need to pay. I can tell that I'm not going to get good value if I buy the ticket. So, I could pass. I wouldn't have overspent. But, I won't be going to the game either. That's the trade off.

The Red Sox did something similar with Jacoby Ellsbury this last off-season. He was overpaid. I know it. You know it. The Yankees know it. Heck, even Ellsbury probably knows it. So, the Sox let him go to New York. He'll never be worth the contract in five years. Nobody ever talked about whether he was worth the contract this year. This year they needed to go on without their lead-off hitter. The same thing happened when Pedro left. Everyone rightly said the contract was too big. There wasn't value there. But, he was still darn good that next year. One time the Sox didn't get value in their move was with the JD Drew signing. He was overpaid. But, he was the best option out there. He put up great numbers for the Sox. If they didn't have him, who knows what they would have been forced to play in right field. They didn't have value. They had an all-star.

This off-season the Sox have some holes to fill. They also seem to have some organizational rules they're trying to follow. Rules about value. No long term contracts for pitchers, or old players, or old pitchers. There's not good value there. We can't give Jon Lester a five year contract. There won't be value there. Maybe. I guess they'd know. After all the Sox have some experience with pitchers on long contracts. That Lackey guy just carried them through the playoffs, winning the decisive game in the World Series in the fourth year of a five year (becoming six) contract. There wasn't value there.

Just a World Championship.

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