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Yankees-Red Sox Free Agent Swap: Damon to the Yanks, Flaherty off to Boston
Thursday, December 22, 2005
What’s a team to do when their all-star free agent accepts a deal with their perennial rivals? If you’re Boston, you make a half-assed attempt to recoup your loss and sign a free agent from said rival team.

John Flaherty
, who acted as Jorge Posada’s second banana since 2003, was passed on by the Yanks this year when his contract ended. He hit just .228 during his tenure in the Bronx, and while he caught well and actually served as Randy Johnson’s personal catcher he didn’t perform well enough to justify offering him another contract. Boston, however, was apparently in the market for an aging catcher whose OBP hasn’t topped .300 in six years and snapped up the opportunity to add Flaherty to their roster. Flaherty’s one-year deal is reportedly worth $650,000.

Perhaps Flaherty's signing has nothing to do with Damon becoming a Bomber, but personally I think it's fun to believe that this was Boston's meager way to take something back from New York.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Thursday, December 22, 2005  
  • At 12:11 AM, Anonymous metsrtehsux0r said…

    Meh...I really meant to talk about this when the Kelly signing was announced, but never got around to it. Heck, better late than never...

    Kelly Stinnett is a Yankee today because Randy asked the Boss to bring him in. Why would the boss agree? I think to really understand what it means to catch Randy Johnson you have to have a deep understanding of baseball.

    The way he varies his arm angles, and the fact that the slider comes at 93, the fastball comes at 97, they both have a ton of movement, etc...etc... (I don't want to bore people) means it takes a special type of catcher to handle him. I'm not ragging on Posada's defense, because we all know what he means to the Yanks, but it takes extra time to prepare to catch Randy, and it just makes sense that Randy should have his own catcher.

    Everyone thought Flaherty could handle the job, and 34 of his 45 games catching were Randy. So, how did he do? Well, Randy's ERA was higher than his career average by half a run, and higher than it had been at any time he was healthy in the last decade.

    With Flaherty last year...
    17-8 with a 3.79 ERA and 8.44 K/9

    With Stinnett in 99 and 00...
    17-9 with a 2.48 ERA and 12.09 K/9
    19-7 with a 2.64 ERA and 12.62 K/9

    The fact is by bringing Kelly in you get the Randy you're paying for...and I sincerely don't believe there is another catcher in baseball today who can get this out of Randy. I don't think there is another catcher in baseball that Randy trusts and listens to as much as Kelly, who many scouts have described as having a pitching coach on the field...

  • At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sure, those are sparkling ERAs and K/9 rates, but...it's (at the very least) arguable that those numbers come from his being five years younger, not from a personal catcher.

  • At 10:35 AM, Anonymous metsrtehsux0r said…

    You could make that argument but Randy hasn't lost a great deal of velocity, and his control is better in 2006 than it was in 2000.

    When you add to that the fact that he was coming back to the American League he should have been abusing hitters who hadn't spent as much time with him.

    There were several people I've read who felt like Flaherty was sort of tipping the pitches unintentionally. I haven't gone back and watched video because I haven't had the time, but it might be a fun exercise for my vacation to see if Flaherty was unintentionally letting hitters know where the pitch was coming to.

  • At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    yaa boii!! love the blog!!

    -Will DeBrowt

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