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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Bryce Brentz hung in there and the Red Sox hung in there with him — until they didn’t

I’ve seen enough of Bryce Brentz to believe he can be a serviceable major leaguer in the Jonny Gomes mode. I’m sure he’ll be able to catch on with another team. 

Among other things in the piece, the Commissioner speaks:

Q. Are the rumors about the new Marlins ownership slashing payroll by 50 percent true, and are you concerned by that?

A. “I talked to [new Marlins owner] Bruce Sherman this morning. I think that the Marlins, the new ownership, once they are approved, are intent on putting a competitive product on the field and improving the financial performance of that club in the market. I don’t think there has been any predetermination that they are going to X, Y, or Z payroll level. And in fact, Mr. Sherman told me he had no idea where those press reports were emanating from, and that it was not reflective of any discussion that he had internally with his group.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 10, 2017 at 08:27 AM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bryce brentz, notes, red sox

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Rough Carrigan Posted: September 10, 2017 at 01:31 PM (#5529295)
I know it's semantics but one might easily infer that he's more concerned with the team's financial performance than it's success on the field
   2. The Duke Posted: September 10, 2017 at 06:27 PM (#5529413)
He should be happy. If he really is that good, some team like the Giants will snap him up. The Royals had a guy named Jose Martinez who toiled for years in their system, got passed up in their W S year even though he won the league batting title and then was dropped. He's now OPSs 900+ in a reasonable number of ABs and will get a multi-year deal next season.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: September 10, 2017 at 08:15 PM (#5529446)
I know it's semantics but one might easily infer that he's more concerned with the team's financial performance than it's success on the field

It's a standard non-committal committal or non-denial denial that he'd say about any team. You can drive a truck through "competitive" and of course he will always use a phrase like "improve financial performance" (or "financially stable" or "financially sustainable" or similar) rather than "cut payroll."

EDIT: And props to Sloane Stephens. Asked the moronic question of whether winning the US Open would inspire her to keep working to the be the best (or some such), she responded "Are you kidding me? Did you see the size of that check they just handed me? Of course I am."
   4. cardsfanboy Posted: September 10, 2017 at 09:41 PM (#5529465)
He should be happy. If he really is that good, some team like the Giants will snap him up. The Royals had a guy named Jose Martinez who toiled for years in their system, got passed up in their W S year even though he won the league batting title and then was dropped. He's now OPSs 900+ in a reasonable number of ABs and will get a multi-year deal next season.


Why would he get a multi-year deal, when he's 28 years old and is two years away from arbitration? What team would be stupid enough to give him a multi-year deal?
   5. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 10, 2017 at 10:23 PM (#5529469)
Jim is right about Brentz. I've always liked him. I think if he hadn't shot himself in 2013 it might have played out differently. He missed about half the year and I don't think exactly endeared himself to the organization with that one. Between that and other injuries his career really stalled at Pawtucket.

The power is real and he's a got a very strong arm as well. I hope he gets a shot and can throw up a year or two like Brandon Moss had.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: September 10, 2017 at 10:23 PM (#5529470)
I've never seen a second of Bryce Brentz but I don't see any evidence to suggest he can be remotely like Jonny Gomes. Gomes had many flaws but could hit -- 106 OPS+ career including half-seasons of 142, 140 and 128. Brentz has a career line at AAA of 254/317/462 with a 24% K-rate. I can believe that maybe his power will translate reasonably to MLB (though it's been totally absent in his 90 PAs) but that BA is gonna stink. Strictly a corner OF and a RHB -- so at best seviceable on a team with a couple of LHB starting corners. He's probably less useful than Matt Szczur who's below replacement for his career.

Of course if Brentz ends up on the Cardinals then he will become a quality part-timer cuz they're the Cardinals.

Why would he get a multi-year deal, when he's 28 years old and is two years away from arbitration? What team would be stupid enough to give him a multi-year deal?

Well, you guys have to do something with all that money you saved on Pujols -- sign the kid for 6/$150 already.
   7. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 10, 2017 at 10:32 PM (#5529473)
Walt - I've seen quite a bit of Brentz, always liked him, and I suspect you are right about him.
   8. Textbook Editor Posted: September 11, 2017 at 12:48 AM (#5529490)
Brentz is a guy a team like the Phillies should be all over the second he's available. There are way worse 4th/5th OF options out there, and he'd be dirt cheap for several years still.

I haven't paid attention, but Daniel Nava's had a nice little season for the Phillies. I don't recall how Cot's works... It lists him at 5.024 years, but was that at the START of the season, or is it AS OF RIGHT NOW? Anyone know? If he is a FA at the end of the season, Nava would also be a nice little pickup for someone, though I'm not sure how adequate he is in the OF anymore. He is 34, so what you see is what you get, but there's no reason he couldn't be a PH/OF/1B type for an NL team for a few more years, and given where he started from... it's a hell of a story. One of my favorites from 2013; he just seemed so damn happy after Game 6, and it all seemed 100% genuine--like a little kid who couldn't believe his good luck, and that it had all happened TO HIM.

   9. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: September 11, 2017 at 12:57 AM (#5529492)
I hope he gets a shot

Isn't getting shot once enough?
   10. Mike Webber Posted: September 11, 2017 at 09:44 AM (#5529535)
The Royals had a guy named Jose Martinez who toiled for years in their system, got passed up in their W S year even though he won the league batting title and then was dropped. He's now OPSs 900+ in a reasonable number of ABs and will get a multi-year deal next season.


This didn't sound right to me, because it isn't. He was in the system for a year. A really good year, sure. A year where his batting average was 60 points higher than any non-Indy league season he ever had. But by the time he could have been a September call up for the Royals, he'd toiled in the system 8 months.

From his BB Ref page.
Transactions
February 16, 2006: Signed by the Chicago White Sox as an amateur free agent.

November 3, 2012: Granted Free Agency.

November 13, 2012: Signed as a Free Agent with the Atlanta Braves.

November 5, 2013: Granted Free Agency.

June 20, 2014: Signed as a Free Agent with the Atlanta Braves.

November 4, 2014: Granted Free Agency.

January 28, 2015: Signed as a Free Agent with the Kansas City Royals.

May 25, 2016: Purchased by the St. Louis Cardinals from the Kansas City Royals.
   11. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 11, 2017 at 10:53 AM (#5529568)
Brentz is a guy a team like the Phillies should be all over the second he's available.


Probably not the Phillies, specifically - they have a bunch of young OF on the roster and in the upper minors.
   12. geonose Posted: September 11, 2017 at 01:57 PM (#5529755)
He's now OPSs 900+ in a reasonable number of ABs

266 career PAs is not enough to hang your hat on.
   13. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: September 11, 2017 at 02:00 PM (#5529758)
I know it's semantics but one might easily infer that he's more concerned with the team's financial performance than it's success on the field


If you just invested a couple billion dollars in a business, would you be concerned with its financial performance? The key for new ownership is to recognize the basic truth of sports entertainment franchises: financial performance, in the long term, is a function of the team's success on the field (or court, or pitch.)
   14. JJ1986 Posted: September 11, 2017 at 02:28 PM (#5529771)
One-sided isn't necessarily bad, but the Brentz stuff is really one-sided. From the team's point of view, they have 3 regular outfielders, plus Chris Young, plus Rajai Davis (who is riding the pine), plus Eduardo Nunez can play OF, plus a regular DH, plus a right-handed bat/platoon 1B in Sam Travis. It'd be nice for Brentz to come up and get 2 PAs in September, but I don't see how that helps the Red Sox.
   15. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 11, 2017 at 02:34 PM (#5529777)
One-sided isn't necessarily bad, but the Brentz stuff is really one-sided. From the team's point of view, they have 3 regular outfielders, plus Chris Young, plus Rajai Davis (who is riding the pine), plus Eduardo Nunez can play OF, plus a regular DH, plus a right-handed bat/platoon 1B in Sam Travis. It'd be nice for Brentz to come up and get 2 PAs in September, but I don't see how that helps the Red Sox.


I think there is a chance he is better than Chris Young who has been all but worthless this year. For a team that has really struggled against left-handed pitching a guy like Brentz is worth a gander. If I were running the Sox I'd much rather have Brentz in Boston and maybe popping a couple of homers against LHP than a guy like Roenis Elias or Deven Marrero.
   16. PreservedFish Posted: September 11, 2017 at 02:41 PM (#5529785)
And props to Sloane Stephens. Asked the moronic question of whether winning the US Open would inspire her to keep working to the be the best (or some such), she responded "Are you kidding me? Did you see the size of that check they just handed me? Of course I am."


I was at the US Open for one day this year (I saw Nadal murder his opponent, and I watched John and Pat McEnroe hitting together on the practice court. Regrettable celebrity sighting: Dick Vitale).

Anyway, I was hoping to see Nick Kyrgios, the young Australian ######### of immense talent. Unfortunately he flamed out in a previous round, in classic fashion, yelling at the umpire, breaking rackets, making a scene. Apparently he's basically stated that he has no interest in practicing enough to become the world #1 - he doesn't want to be the next Federer, but the next Gael Monfils. Monfils is a "mercurial" French player usually ranked in the teens. I saw him play against Djokovic last year - halfway through the match he apparently concluded that he probably could not win and so began to play in a weird annoying manner, repeatedly hitting extreme slice shots and drop shots and deep lobs when regular forehands were available to him. Never seen anything quite like it. It didn't work, and he got booed. But he's also earned $13 million on the tour, and hey, maybe if he's not practicing as hard as the other guys he's enjoying his time off.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: September 11, 2017 at 06:12 PM (#5529888)
#8 ... service time at b-r and Cot's is beginning of the year and, for anybody who doesn't know, is expressed as years.days (so 5 years and 24 days of service in Nava's case). He will be FA at the end of the year. But he's apparently been regularly non-tendered and has been an FA each of the last two years. Huh, looks like he was an undrafted FA at the very start too. He's cobbled together a nice little career and earned about $6 M ... possibly I chose the wrong profession.
   18. villageidiom Posted: September 11, 2017 at 06:35 PM (#5529897)
Huh, looks like he was an undrafted FA at the very start too.
He was playing independent ball, and the Red Sox purchased his contract for $1.
   19. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: September 11, 2017 at 07:26 PM (#5529913)
Anyway, I was hoping to see Nick Kyrgios


Well he is pretty much loathed here in Aus., so if he decides to defect somewhere he won't be missed. Being a "lazy" professional athlete doesn't really sit well with the Australian public who really like to see their own to work hard and possibly reach heights way above their talent level(see Lleyton Hewitt).

Kyrgios, like Monfils, it just so incredibly gifted, people here just see it as a total waste of talent. Personally, I don't really care and cannot honestly say if that I had that much talent I'd put in as much work as someone like Djokovic to reach the top 5. Being in your early 20's making millions a year and banging anyone you want without too much effort seems like a path many of us would choose.

Of course when you get to be my age, over 50, then you might look back and wish you'd worked a bit harder.
   20. Textbook Editor Posted: September 11, 2017 at 07:40 PM (#5529919)
#17--Thanks, for the explanation, Walt.

Jose--I think the sticking with Chris Young thing is a "stick with the veteran" thing the Red Sox often do... Possibly because to figure out if Brentz "has it" now, it basically means dropping Young completely and handing ~30 ABs to Brentz, seeing if he can hack it, and then putting him on a playoff roster over Young. All indications are Youngs a good guy, etc. My sense is if this were next May (and both Young and Brentz were under contract next May--which of course they aren't, but bear with me...) that maybe they'd consider doing this, but--at this specific point in the season--they feel like it would be a bigger clubhouse distraction than benefit, etc. Now... you could argue this past June they should have considered such a move (and maybe you'd be right), but I think at the time they had bigger fish to fry...

Bill James just recently (IIRC) in his "Hey Bill" addressed the situation about going with a rookie over a veteran and basically "how do you know when it's time to cut bait?" Paraphrasing--he basically said the problem is that once you give up on a veteran, he's basically a sunk cost, because you can't get him back again (I think he meant mentally though perhaps both mentally and performance wise), so a team has to be very careful when making that move because if you try to ride it out, you still have a Plan A (veteran) and Plan B (rookie); the minute you decide to hand the rookie the job, you basically are down to just Plan B, because Plan A is no longer a viable one... (I think his whole answer may well have been a not-so-subtle way of explaining the way the Sandoval/Devers decision went down, but I could be reading too much into it.)

Young will be on the postseason roster; I doubt their fortunes will rely on him, though obviously a Gomes-type moment in a WS game would be nice to get out of his roster spot...
   21. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 12, 2017 at 08:57 AM (#5530042)
He was playing independent ball, and the Red Sox purchased his contract for $1.


And then he hit a grand slam on his first major league pitch when he got called up 2 years later. Not bad.

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