OK, maybe Sox fans shouldn’t worry that much about Josh Beckett after all

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Yesterday I linked John Tomase’s dire warning about what the future may hold for Josh Beckett.  Today Bill at The Platoon Advantage picks Tomase’s analysis apart. Setting aside the notion that Tomase could have used more refined metrics with which to analyze Beckett, Bill observes that Tomase unwittingly stacked the deck against him:

Even assuming plain old unadjusted ERA is the way to go, though, Tomase went about it all wrong.  His cutoffs were 125 IP, 5.75 ERA, and age 30-39; Beckett had a 5.78 ERA, 127.2 IP and was 30 years old. By creating a set with lower limits at almost exactly Beckett’s numbers and with no upper limit, you’re capturing only a few who are Beckett’s age, almost none who were as good as Beckett and many who were much, much worse and/or much, much older.  What happened to Jack Morris at age 39, David Cone at 38 and Dave Stewart at 38 — and those three guys are actually mentioned in Tomase’s article — has absolutely no bearing at all on what’s going to happen to Beckett at age 31, even if their previous seasons’ numbers were superficially similar.

Unless you’re really happy with the notion that Beckett is going to crash and burn next year, you should read Bill’s entire analysis.

And remember, kids: stats are dangerous things, so be careful with them. With my family history and tendencies for abuse, I never touch the stuff.

The Orioles seem pretty serious about moving Manny Machado

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will become a free agent after the 2018 season and there has been no suggestion that the O’s and their young star have worked on a contract extension, strongly suggesting that Machado will test the open market next offseason.

While the Orioles have not said much about keeping him or trading him, yesterday considerable chatter filtered out here at the Winter Meetings suggests that they are serious about trading him now in order to get more than a draft pick in return when he eventually leaves Baltimore.

Jon Heyman reported yesterday that the Cardinals were a possible landing spot, and others have speculated that, at the moment, they’re the frontrunners for his services. Buster Olney, in a development that would make people go insane, I suspect, that the Yankees have expressed interest. It seems highly unlikely, though, that the Orioles would trade Machado within the division. Even if they did, they’d likely expect a premium from the Yankees that they would be unwilling to pay, especially given that they could easily wait Machado out until he was a free agent next year and give up nothing but cash for him. A couple of days ago we noted that the Phillies had expressed interest and the Orioles were doing their due diligence with respect to their farm system.

As far as the possible parameters of a deal, Ken Rosenthal reported that the O’s hope to acquire at least two controllable young starters in return. That’s a high price for a one-year Machado rental, but it makes sense for the Orioles to ask it. For Machado’s part, he reportedly wants to return to his original position, shortstop. He does not have no-trade protection, of course, so that may be a wish that is not fulfilled.

Machado had a down 2017, hitting .259/.310/.471, but still hit 33 homers and drove in 95 runs. In the two years prior, however, he posted OPSs of .876 and .861, and he’s still just 25. All of which is to say that the price for a team to acquire him will be high, even if he’s entering his walk year.