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John Lackey and Kevin Millwood


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Back in 2006, Kevin Millwood signed a 5/60 deal with the Rangers...His first season in Texas, Millwood was 31 years old.

When Millwood came into Texas, he had spent all but one year in the NL...He had 4 seasons of 200+ IP, one season 190 IP and another of 174 IP..He also had 2 injury plagued seasons.

Since he has been a Ranger, he has thrown 200 innings once, is close to that number this year and averaged 170 in the other 2 years...In his one season in Cleveland, he threw 192 IP.

Since he has been in Texas, according to fangraphs, Millwood has been worth 55 million over the course of 4 seasons...In those 4 seasons, he has averaged just over 186 IP and has an ERA of 4.59.

Prior to coming to Texas, Millwood had a combined K rate of 7.38 and a walk rate of 2.73..K/BB of 2.70...His HR rate was .91.

Now, this brings me to Lackey.....

Just like when Millwood came to Texas, 2010 will be Lackey's 31 y/o season.

Just like Millwood, prior to his FA year, he has 4 seasons of 200+ IP, 1 season of 198 IP and 2 seasons that fall a little short because of injuries, although still many more innings than Millwood threw in his 2 injury years.

Lackey has a career K rate of 7.20...His career walk rate is 2.65 and his K/BB rate is 2.72...His career HR rate is .90...Compare that to Millwood...Its practically identical.

If you look at their batted ball data, its almost identical...GB rate, FB rate, LD%, etc...

Lackey has a career FIP of 3.82...Millwood 3.92.

Millwood is 6'4". 240lbs...Lackey is 6'6", 245lbs..Both right handed pitchers obviously.

It is really amazing how nearly identical these guys are...i am not sure if Millwood is Lackey's top PECOTA comp or not but if not, he should be near the top.

Now, this brings me to my point....Let's say Millwood is worth 10 million next year, which would make him worth 65 million over the course of his contract...or 5 million more than he is being paid.

So, if you knew right now that Lackey would have the same numbers...Get you a 4.5ish ERA and average close to 200 IP a year, would you sign him to a 5/75 deal?

I know this isn't an exact science and just because Millwood did this, doesn't mean Lackey will...Now, Millwood accumulated most of his numbers in the NL prior to coming to Texas(one year in Cleveland), so that has to be taken into account...Millwood has also been in a great hitters park in Texas...Lackey would be coming to the AL East...If lackey were here, I would expect the same IP on average as Millwood has given Texas but perhaps a slightly better ERA since Lackey has already proven it against the AL...maybe his ERA is 4.30 instead of 4.60..Not talking a huge difference but a difference nonetheless.

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5/$75M is a tough commitment, its really big and very few pitchers that sign deals at age 31 are any good by the end of the deal.

And, even with Lackey, we're not winning anything next year besides maybe a few more than 81 games. In 2011 he could definitely help us, but him helping us in 2012-2014 gets less likely each year.

I would sign him I think, largely because I expect our payroll to stay reasonable for most of that time.

But, I don't think its fair or accurate to say that signing him to that type of deal is a no-brainer or that thinking he isn't worth that type of contract and risk is a mistake.

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For me, it is as much about avoiding a 90 loss season next year or two as it is adding a component that will help us compete/contend. If we don't add some reliable starter to our lineup for next season, and it can easily be argued whether Lackey is that guy or not, and we go into 2010 relying only on the guys we have, there is as much of a chance to go 70-92 as there is going 80-82. I think a 70-92 season in 2010 would be horrible for this organization.

I wouldn't be against adding 2 pitchers that meet that definition.

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Lackey has the potential to have a much greater impact than Millwood, I would give it to him.

The question remains will the Red Sox/ Yankees give him more? I think the Red Sox will be big players for Lackey and the question in my mind hasn't been would we spend money, but would we/ could we spend more than the Sox if they went after him hard?

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Lackey has the potential to have a much greater impact than Millwood, I would give it to him.

The question remains will the Red Sox/ Yankees give him more? I think the Red Sox will be big players for Lackey and the question in my mind hasn't been would we spend money, but would we/ could we spend more than the Sox if they went after him hard?

Do you think how Lackey performs against the Sox in the playoffs would have much effect? If he pitches poorly, perhaps their interest drops a little, but if he goes 2-0 (7 games series now?) with sub 3.00 ERA I think that seals it for them.

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For me, it is as much about avoiding a 90 loss season next year or two as it is adding a component that will help us compete/contend.
I don't like this logic at all.

Why would you sign someone for us to "avoid 90 losses" next year if that guy is gonna make it harder for us to contend in 2013 and 2014.

I'm not worried about Lackey for the next 2-3 years, but I think its unlikely that he's a particularly valuable guy to have around for $15-18M a year in 2013 and 2014. His presence will make it much more difficult for us to go out and spend big bucks to fill any holes that we have at that time.

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For me, it is as much about avoiding a 90 loss season next year or two as it is adding a component that will help us compete/contend. If we don't add some reliable starter to our lineup for next season, and it can easily be argued whether Lackey is that guy or not, and we go into 2010 relying only on the guys we have, there is as much of a chance to go 70-92 as there is going 80-82. I think a 70-92 season in 2010 would be horrible for this organization.

I wouldn't be against adding 2 pitchers that meet that definition.

I don't agree with this reasoning. 80-82 is hardly more tolerable to me than 70-92. At this point, I'm willing to tolerate losing only if I think the team is making definite strides toward contending, not breaking even.

The problem is that a Lackey-sized salary ties up money that they're going to need to lock up their good young players (and yes they do have good young players). In that sense, it's a step back, and it puts true sustained improvement even farther out of reach.

Spend the money when the realistic chance to contend is out there for the taking. That's worth the commitment. Striving for mediocrity is worth nothing.

Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes.

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I don't like this logic at all.

Why would you sign someone for us to "avoid 90 losses" next year if that guy is gonna make it harder for us to contend in 2013 and 2014.

I'm not worried about Lackey for the next 2-3 years, but I think its unlikely that he's a particularly valuable guy to have around for $15-18M a year in 2013 and 2014. His presence will make it much more difficult for us to go out and spend big bucks to fill any holes that we have at that time.

I don't agree with this reasoning. 80-82 is hardly more tolerable to me than 70-92. At this point, I'm willing to tolerate losing only if I think the team is making definite strides toward contending, not breaking even.

The problem is that a Lackey-sized salary ties up money that they're going to need to lock up their good young players (and yes they do have good young players). In that sense, it's a step back, and it puts true sustained improvement even farther out of reach.

Spend the money when the realistic chance to contend is out there for the taking. That's worth the commitment. Striving for mediocrity is worth nothing.

Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes.

I suppose the difference is how much you value the 2010 season. If you are fine with next season being another year in the rebuilding process as long as most of the primary players improve but it doesn't show up in the W/L column, then I understand. I don't feel that way. Next year has to produce near .500 or above. If you go into next season without adding any reliable starting pitching, then you're already looking at 2011 as the year that matters W/L wise.

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I don't agree with this reasoning. 80-82 is hardly more tolerable to me than 70-92. At this point, I'm willing to tolerate losing only if I think the team is making definite strides toward contending, not breaking even.

The problem is that a Lackey-sized salary ties up money that they're going to need to lock up their good young players (and yes they do have good young players). In that sense, it's a step back, and it puts true sustained improvement even farther out of reach.

Spend the money when the realistic chance to contend is out there for the taking. That's worth the commitment. Striving for mediocrity is worth nothing.

Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes.

If this is the case, then this organization is never going to compete.
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If this is the case, then this organization is never going to compete.

All it takes is any one of BB, Matusz or Tillman to have an injury that keeps them out for any extended period of time, and/or any one of them not improving at the rate everyone here expects, for us to have another horrible season. Winning has to have some value, doesn't it?

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I would have no issue with signing Lackey, but there would be tremendous risk to such a contract regardless of the similarity of their statistics.

It seems that for every Millwood, there is a Dreifort, Chan Ho, Carl Pavano, BJ Ryan, Scott Erickson.

Of course, very few teams are built on player contracts that are all worthwhile. At some point, I believe our GM will have to dip his toe into the risk pool and sign a key free agent to an overpriced contract. My general preference would be that such a signing be a hitter.

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I really don't see Lackey coming here. I hope I am wrong, but why on earth would any free agent come here? I mean I have been a die-hard Orioles fan my entire life, family lives in VA and I am not even sure I would want to play for the Orioles. I think the ONLY chance they would have to sign him is to top any offer on the table by at least $10 million and I am not sure that would get it done. You also have to ask yourself also, do you really want a player that only cares about the money? I really think we are going to have to keep building through the draft, because I don't see any "difference makers" signing here. I say spend the free agent money on locking up the young guys because if we don't they will be out of here as soon as they can also. No need to throw money at the Eaton's, Trachsel's, Payton's, Walker's, Baez's of the world when it could be used to keep our homegrown guys.

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I suppose the difference is how much you value the 2010 season. If you are fine with next season being another year in the rebuilding process as long as most of the primary players improve but it doesn't show up in the W/L column, then I understand. I don't feel that way. Next year has to produce near .500 or above. If you go into next season without adding any reliable starting pitching, then you're already looking at 2011 as the year that matters W/L wise.

The difference is on how much value you put on a 80-82 record as opposed to 72-90. To me the difference is virtually zip.

I'm not saying that they are already doomed to 70-92. I'm taking issue with you reasoning that adding a Lackey would be worth doing if only to turn another disastrous into a merely mediocre season. I think that's a meaningless goal.

The goal should be to contend, period. If you think you're close, then get ready to start writing checks. If not, then don't squander resources in chasing mediocrity.

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I would have no issue with signing Lackey, but there would be tremendous risk to such a contract regardless of the similarity of their statistics.

It seems that for every Millwood, there is a Dreifort, Chan Ho, Carl Pavano, BJ Ryan, Scott Erickson.

Of course, very few teams are built on player contracts that are all worthwhile. At some point, I believe our GM will have to dip his toe into the risk pool and sign a key free agent to an overpriced contract. My general preference would be that such a signing be a hitter.

These are terrible comps though.

You can only go by the info you have...With what we have about Lackey, he is a durable, power pitcher that is showing no signs of decline.

Dreifort and Pavano were injury riddled and/or coming off career years...Chan Ho doesn't have lackey's pedigree...Ryan was a closer.

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