Sox to re-sign Breslow

MakMan44

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Not a fan bringing him back, but you can't argue with the contract.
 

koufax32

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67WasBest said:
Saw that coming. One year deal is outstanding
It will be even more outstanding if he rediscovers the magic of that two seamer. As long as expectations are for him to be a notch above LOOGY I think he can be a great signing. If he rediscovers that pitch he can be a great 7th inning guy again.
 

Hee Sox Choi

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Why oh why?
 
5.13 xFIP last year
4.37 xFIP in '13 (his 1.81 ERA was a mirage)
3.72 xFIP in '12 (1/2 time in Oaktown)
 
See where that's trending?  Lifetime 4.39 xFIP.  Watching him pitch last year was the worst part of the season.  Maybe I'll get a urinary catheter to stick in me when he's pitching so I have something that's less painful to distract me from his 1/3 of an inning.  
 

curly2

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Somewhere between the outstanding Breslow of 2013 and the godawful Breslow of 2014 is the real Craig Breslow. I think that's the guy who will pitch in 2015 and if so, he'll earn his $2 million.
 
And if he looks cooked in spring training, they can jump cut him if he doesn't want to pitch in Pawtucket.
 

67WasBest

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I may obsess on the 2016 roster, and financials, but that intense review pointed to the two deals that happened today.  BC had to build the 2015 bullpen with no financial commitments in 2016.  He's done that quite effectively with the only commitment arb. eligible guys who could be dealt for prospects if that need were required.  He can now make a play for the big starter knowing he can fit the contract in the money available.
 
Some deals aren't strictly about the player on the field, and in this case, it's as much about the contract as anything.  I suspect they believe, as I do, that Breslow gave so much in 2013 he never recovered.
 

mauidano

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67WasBest said:
Saw that coming. One year deal is outstanding
With you on this. Minimal money for a LOOGY with a relatively known commodity.  No big deal.
 
Nov 30, 2006
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Ugh. First move of this hot stove I just don't like. For the basic reasons above: he hasn't been particularly effective since his flukey '13, and the trends are not encouraging.
 

P'tucket rhymes with...

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Hee Sox Choi said:
Why oh why?
 
5.13 xFIP last year
4.37 xFIP in '13 (his 1.81 ERA was a mirage)
3.72 xFIP in '12 (1/2 time in Oaktown)
 
See where that's trending?  Lifetime 4.39 xFIP.  Watching him pitch last year was the worst part of the season.  Maybe I'll get a urinary catheter to stick in me when he's pitching so I have something that's less painful to distract me from his 1/3 of an inning.  
You might want to look at the bigger picture.  He's been a steady 4-4.5 xFIP throughout his career; '12 was an outlier in the right direction, '14 was an outlier in the wrong direction.  I would imagine BC knows who he's signing.
 
Enjoy your catheter.
 

nattysez

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I had no interest in seeing this happen, but at $2mm he can be cut without much hue and cry if he is bad again. I'm curious whether the Sox outbid the Cubs or Breslow just wanted to stay in the Boston area.
 

grimshaw

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Not a fan.  He hasn't been good at getting lefties or righties out and he's not really a multiple innings guy.  Even if he bounces back somewhere between 2013 and 2014,  I don't see how he's any better than what they have in the AAA crew. 
 
My one small criticism of this great off-season so far is not really upgrading the pen (on paper at least) though I'm sure they may not be done tinkering.  
 

Toe Nash

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Seems like they could try multiple people for the league minimum in spring training who are likely to be as good or better. Uninspired move but not much money so whatever. Hopefully it's not enough to keep him around if at age 34 he doesn't have anything left.
 

soxhop411

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“@bradfo: Also of note regarding Breslow deal: no incentives; Red Sox likely won’t announce until after Dec. 28 due to 40 man moves”
 

E5 Yaz

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When you're talking about middle relief arms, one season is not necessarily going to duplicate the last. Breslow had a bad 2014, after string of solid seasons. For $2M, it's worth the chance that he returns to his previous form.
 

ivanvamp

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Yeah, not really in love with this move.  Very grateful for his contributions to the Red Sox, but I don't think he's very good at this point.
 

Mike F

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HSC don't do the catheter thing, instead just announce you have to take a leak. No pain and
out from the TV.
 

Wallball Tingle

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Seems reasonable enough. Don't understand why anyone would really be upset about this. He might recover form. If he sucks, the expenditure is minimal. I guess you could think this is a lost opportunity for someone in AAA, but I don't think anyone's beating the door down at the moment; they could use some options.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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mauidano said:
With you on this. Minimal money for a LOOGY with a relatively known commodity.  No big deal.
 
He's not a LOOGY. He's not even within spitting distance of a LOOGY. He's barely better vs. LHH than RHH at all, let alone enough to justify a specialist role.
 
This deal mystifies me. I'm a fan of Craig Breslow the person, and what he did for the 2013 team was awesome and great fun to watch. But he's 34, and took a big step backward last year, and he was always kind of doing it with mirrors anyway, and I just seriously doubt this will end well.
 

Sprowl

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Breslow is all about the fastball command -- if he can keep the pitch high and tight against the Will Myers of the world and low and away against everybody else, he'll be serviceable again, even at 89 velocity. He's not a LOOGY, as Savin says, but a good option against LRL sequences. One thing about Breslow -- you can always count on him not giving a dangerous hitter anything good to hit. When he wants to throw a ball, it stays a ball: he's never wild in the strike zone.

Also, Bulldog Bulldog
 

Stanley Steamer

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I've seen enough of Breslow over the years to believe he still might offer value to the team in such a limited contract. As mentioned above, there's not a lot of risk involved. If he tanks, he tanks. But if he harnesses enough command as Sprowl suggests, his deception and knowledge of how to set hitters up could give the team many important innings and outs.
Furthermore, if they can find a better pitcher in upcoming months, it's not like they'd hesitate to sink the cost of him.
Another BC move that is solid, if unspectacular.
 

Toe Nash

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brs3 said:
Jeez. Guys, we're talking about $2 million of someone else's money. It's not like that money was re-signing Lester. 
Yeah, everyone knows this. But it's also a place on the 40-man and the opportunity cost of not trying out someone else. 
 
I don't think anyone is really that upset about the move but it's perfectly fair to say "I don't get it."
 
We're all just typing words into the internet here, how dare we express an opinion.
 

phenweigh

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Hee Sox Choi said:
Why oh why?
 
5.13 xFIP last year
4.37 xFIP in '13 (his 1.81 ERA was a mirage)
3.72 xFIP in '12 (1/2 time in Oaktown)
 
See where that's trending?  Lifetime 4.39 xFIP.  Watching him pitch last year was the worst part of the season.  Maybe I'll get a urinary catheter to stick in me when he's pitching so I have something that's less painful to distract me from his 1/3 of an inning.  
Props for making your point in a colorful manner!
 
The only way this makes sense to me is that the Sox have zero faith in Britton.  If a spot needs to open up on the 40-man before this signing becomes official, Britton may be the odd man out.  I think Butler has more value as early season injury insurance before they are ready to bring up Swihart.  With all the recent RP moves, Britton is way down on the depth chart and has no options left.
 

Rough Carrigan

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I agree with Hee Sox Choi.  His 2013 was a BABIP bestowed fluke.  There was a stretch there in the 2013 playoffs after a few good, perhaps lucky innings where they were using him like he was 2014 Andrew Miller and it terrified me.  But even though he progressively fell apart through the rest of the playoffs he didn't kill them.  I don't like this, especially if they somehow like him so much that he's allowed to puke up another year like last year and stay on the roster all year long.  They don't have Miller any more.  Uehara's a year older.  If this guy is allowed to toss 50 some odd shitty innings because he's smart and nice and white it will hurt their bullpen badly unless everything else comes together incredibly well in the pen.
 

Stan Papi Was Framed

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Smiling Joe Hesketh said:
It's 1/2 million. If he stinks they'll cut him. This isn't hard to figure.

He also came into camp with a sore shoulder last year, so they may believe with rest/rehab he'll be healthy and more effective.
exactly.  don't see much risk here--but there is upside.  If the Red Sox are right and Breslow was worn out by 2013 (as he himself has suggested), then they could get a serviceable (or perhaps better than serviceable) lefty in a pen that was short on lefties before this deal. If he can't rebound, they will hardly notice the cost if they have to DFA him.  and what are the other options when thinking about lefties for the pen?  I guess they could trade for someone, but that would mean giving up something of course.  They could also try Britton (can can still give him a look in spring training), but I can understand why they are not super optimistic about Britton.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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Stan Papi Was Framed said:
exactly.  don't see much risk here--but there is upside.  If the Red Sox are right and Breslow was worn out by 2013 (as he himself has suggested), then they could get a serviceable (or perhaps better than serviceable) lefty in a pen that was short on lefties before this deal. If he can't rebound, they will hardly notice the cost if they have to DFA him.  and what are the other options when thinking about lefties for the pen?  I guess they could trade for someone, but that would mean giving up something of course.  They could also try Britton (can can still give him a look in spring training), but I can understand why they are not super optimistic about Britton.
 
The problem with this logic is that Breslow isn't really a lefty in any meaningful sense. I mean, yeah, he throws with his left arm, but that's pretty much where it ends. 
 
Among 40 LH relief pitchers with at least 150 relief appearances over the past five years, Breslow is 4th worst in OPS allowed to LHH, at .717. That OPS would rank him in the bottom third of right-handed relief pitchers in this split. He actually has a better OPS allowed vs. RHH (.704) over that five-year span.
 
In order for this move to make sense, the Sox must think Breslow is the best available reliever, regardless of handedness. Signing him because you need a lefty would be like signing Daniel Nava because you need a switch-hitter.
 
Nov 30, 2006
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I'm asking myself "would Breslow even be on BC's radar had he not pitched previously for Boston?" Savin's right. They still need a real lefty for the '15 bullpen. This guy aint it.
 

Hee Sox Choi

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I'm sure Breslow blowing some early April and May games won't matter, just like in 2011...
 
y-Tampa Bay   91   71    6
Boston             90   72    7
 

sackamano

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Do you have some information that would prove Craig Breslow was blowing leads for the Red Sox in 2011, while he was pitching for the Oakland A's?
 

Hee Sox Choi

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sackamano said:
Do you have some information that would prove Craig Breslow was blowing leads for the Red Sox in 2011, while he was pitching for the Oakland A's?
Jesus, I knew someone was going to write that.  It's not that hard to see what my point was ---> blowing games and getting losses in April or May is just as damaging as doing it in September. In 2011 we missed the playoffs by 1 game.  If Bobby Jenks or Kyle Weiland don't blow 1 game earlier in the year, we at least tie or beat TB.  
 

P'tucket rhymes with...

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Hee Sox Choi said:
Jesus, I knew someone was going to write that.  It's not that hard to see what my point was ---> blowing games and getting losses in April or May is just as damaging as doing it in September. In 2011 we missed the playoffs by 1 game.  If Bobby Jenks or Kyle Weiland don't blow 1 game earlier in the year, we at least tie or beat TB.  
…ergo, never sign a pitcher who might blow a game in April.
 
Get it done, Ben.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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I'd like every FA signing to be awe-inspiring. Every roster slot brimming with huge upside. But, you know, reality.

They know him. He's the cheapest FA signed by us. For 60% of what he made last year. It's fine.
 

judyb

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Jesus, I knew someone was going to write that.  It's not that hard to see what my point was ---> blowing games and getting losses in April or May is just as damaging as doing it in September. In 2011 we missed the playoffs by 1 game.  If Bobby Jenks or Kyle Weiland don't blow 1 game earlier in the year, we at least tie or beat TB.
Some players who were good last year are going to stink next year, some players who stunk last year are going to be good next year. They'll never get any bargains if they refuse to take chances on players coming off bad years. Hopefully, there will be enough better options in the pen that they either won't need to use him in close games or he will earn his way back to being trusted in them.
 

sackamano

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Jesus, I knew someone was going to write that.  It's not that hard to see what my point was ---> blowing games and getting losses in April or May is just as damaging as doing it in September. In 2011 we missed the playoffs by 1 game.  If Bobby Jenks or Kyle Weiland don't blow 1 game earlier in the year, we at least tie or beat TB.
Kyle Weiland didn't pitch in a game for the Red Sox in 2011 until July.

Bobby Jenks was supposed to be the #2 man in the bullpen (obviously, that never materialized). Craig Breslow's role is in all likelihood, not going to be that of the #2 man in the bullpen. The connections you're making aren't making any sense ... at all.
 

mauf

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So if Gustave (Rule 5 pick) sticks and Workman is converted to relief, the bullpen looks like:

Uehara
Tazawa
Mujica
Workman
Breslow
Gustave
Varvaro

I would rather have seen a true situational lefty than Breslow, but I don't know what the options were or what they would've cost.
 

Plympton91

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judyb said:
Some players who were good last year are going to stink next year, some players who stunk last year are going to be good next year. They'll never get any bargains if they refuse to take chances on players coming off bad years. Hopefully, there will be enough better options in the pen that they either won't need to use him in close games or he will earn his way back to being trusted in them.
Exactly. This is the flip side of, "Relievers are [supposedly] inherently volatile, so you should never give Andrew Miller a market-rate long-term contract." If relievers are [supposedly] inherently volatile, then you should always sign a few guys who had good track records and then a bad year, on the theory that the bad year may have been a small sample size fluke.

Of course, part of discerning that is looking at more advanced pitching metrics, which in Breslow's case show that his good years were lucky and last year was right in line with the peripherals. The one hopeful sign is that his walk rate ballooned last year, and if that was fatigue or injury-related he could go back to being a low-4 FIP pitcher, which isn't terrible for 2 million at the back of the bullpen.

Hopefully they don't end up losing Britton to find out though.
 

Stan Papi Was Framed

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Savin Hillbilly said:
 
The problem with this logic is that Breslow isn't really a lefty in any meaningful sense. I mean, yeah, he throws with his left arm, but that's pretty much where it ends. 
 
Among 40 LH relief pitchers with at least 150 relief appearances over the past five years, Breslow is 4th worst in OPS allowed to LHH, at .717. That OPS would rank him in the bottom third of right-handed relief pitchers in this split. He actually has a better OPS allowed vs. RHH (.704) over that five-year span.
 
In order for this move to make sense, the Sox must think Breslow is the best available reliever, regardless of handedness. Signing him because you need a lefty would be like signing Daniel Nava because you need a switch-hitter.
interesting point.  I didn't realize his numbers were so uninspiring against lefties.  perhaps some of that is because he was just bad against everyone last year, but I see he wasn't tough on lefties in 2013 either.  I still don't mind this deal based on the possibility he is a serviceable reliever coming in at a low cost. But I guess it doesn't really address the lefty in the pen issue.  Relying on Layne or Britton is not inspiring.
 

sackamano

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Hopefully they don't end up losing Britton to find out though.
Drake Britton was worse for Pawtucket last year than Craig Breslow was for Boston.

So using your reverse theory of whatever, Britton should be good this year, I guess.