Saturday, January 10, 2009

Because That Worked Out So Well the First Time: Red Sox Sign Another Dodger Closer

So long, Sammy: Former Dodger closer Takashi Saito is joining the Red Sox in a one-year deal that guarantees "between $1.5 million and $2.5 million" and could escalate to $7 million.

Strangely, the Dodgers "were only willing to take as much risk as a $2.5 million contract plus incentives," according to Ken Gurnick at, but we're guessing those incentives weren't in Boston's $7 million range.

Also, never underestimate the perception of disrespect when your old team offers only a token raise during tough negotiations. $2.5 million and "we want you" (Red Sox) is more appealing than $2.5 million and "we'll take you" (Dodgers).

It hasn't been a particularly rewarding MLB career for Saito; after proving he can compete in the majors by earning 81 saves over three years for the Dodgers, he's back to one-year contracts and will never sniff Eric Gagne money.

Meanwhile, Ned Colletti rids himself of a reliever who will soon be 39 years old with what will be a minimum of fuss from Dodgers fans. The only way this move bites Colletti in the ass is if Saito has an amazing season for Boston. And that could never happen...right?

photo by Ben Liebenberg/


Alex Cora said...

I will truly miss strikeout sammy. When he put people away in the ninth to close a game, he would get this smile like he was a little league player at the sandlot. Best of luck to him.

Orel said...

At least being on the same team as Matsuzaka will raise his profile in Japan. That's gotta be worth something.

Steve Sax said...

Yeah, about $4.5M.

Orel said...

a.k.a. Dice-K's per diem

StolenMonkey86 said...

Boston felt like taking on some injury risk pitchers with Saito and Smoltz. Given that both ended the year with significant arm injuries, this might not have been a wise move. But if they're healthy, Boston's bullpen gets that much better, particularly if Smoltz isn't put in the rotation.