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Monday's Saber-Links

Here's Monday's edition of Saber-Links:

Nick Fleder of the Hardball Times discusses the three teams left AL East race, as well as, the Red Sox incredible salary dump: The state of the AL East: stretch run

-Kudos to Ben Cherington for killing two birds with one stone. The prevailing attitude is that the Sox took advantage of, if not robbed, a free-spending Dodgers squad desperate to win, and I’m apt to agree. Carl Crawford is hardly a league-average player this year and just had major surgery. Adrian Gonzalez was involved in one too many locker room dramas for my taste, and I wouldn’t call his contract anything close to a steal. Josh Beckett, too, didn’t add a crucial piece of leadership to the clubhouse and wasn’t carrying his load every fifth day. Not even close. So Cherington parlayed that roadmap for failure into considerable salary relief and high-ceiling prospects. And all this time, I was thinking he’d made a series of poor moves from the big suite. Maybe he got lucky...

Eric Seidman of FanGraphs analyzes Kyle Lohse's surprisingly impressive performances and the potential money he could make this offseason:Lohse Headed For Free Agency | FanGraphs Baseball

Simply put, Lohse has been far nastier in these two years than at any point in his career. The last time he hit free agency, Lohse and agent Scott Boras overshot the market, and the 33-year old righty had to settle on a one-year deal with the Cardinals. His solid performance during the 2008 season led to a scrutinized four-year, $44 million contract that is about to expire. With Cole Hamels and Matt Cain locked up, and Zack Greinke in another contractual hemisphere, Lohse could very well sign another lucrative, mid-level contract this offseason.

Tom Tango is again running his defensive scouting ballot, please take sometime to fill out a ballot: THE BOOK--Playing The Percentages In Baseball

Please take a few minutes to follow the instructions and fill out the ballot of your favorite team. This is the tenth annual ballot, and its success is entirely dependent on your participation. So, please spread the word around in your blogs, tweets, and facebook accounts. Thank you!

Russell A. Carlton of Baseball Prospectus does the math, and discovers that teams with good one-run records probably got lucky: Baseball Prospectus | Baseball Therapy: One-Run Winners: Good or Lucky?

This suggests that the one-run records of most teams are not stable. If we gave the Orioles another 29 one-run games, they are not likely to go 23-6 again. Sorry, Orioles fans, those orange uniforms are probably going to turn back into pumpkins...Based on this, I wouldn't recommend reading much into a team's one-run record

Maury Brown, also of BP, looks at what the Dodgers/Red Sox blockbuster trade means, financially: Baseball Prospectus | Bizball: The Priciest Trade Ever Made

For 2013, player payroll will explode for the Dodgers. If the club were to exercise all of their club options for Juan Rivera, Todd Coffey, and Matt Treanor, adding them to the $58.25 million in salary they just took on in Gonzalez ($21 million), Crawford ($20 million), Beckett ($15.75 million), and Punto ($1.5 million), payroll next season would be $241.7 million. Throw in dead money from Manny Ramirez ($8.333 million) and Andruw Jones ($3.2 million), and you get a staggering $253,233,333. Oh, and that won’t count any money doled out to players in salary arbitration or contracts for club-controlled players with one-to-three years of major league service time. Even without those players, the Dodgers would still find themselves $75,233,333 over the $178 million luxury tax threshold for next season (for those keeping score, that would be enough to cover the entire Padres player payroll for 2012 with $19.6 million to spare). And just think: none of this addresses whether the club tries to re-sign some of the other players acquired this season. Joe Blanton, Shane Victorino, Brandon League, and Randy Choate are all free agents this winter.

Saber-Links will return tomorrow, but at 1 PM EST. Enjoy your Monday, folks!