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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Defining the path to the ‘next great Red Sox team’

“[Kasten] made an unusual phone call—‘Larry, I can’t believe I’m making this phone call; in all my years of baseball, I’ve never made a phone call like this, but we have money to spend and we’re looking to take on some high-priced, high-quality players, so if you’re thinking of moving any of yours, don’t forget us,’ ” recalled Lucchino. “That prompted a specific review of that alternative.”
...
The Red Sox went on a nine-game, nine-day West Coast swing following the Dodgers blockbuster. With team principal owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner and Lucchino parachuting in, a sense prevailed that the ax could fall on manager Bobby Valentine at any point. In fact, the owners were joining baseball operations officials on a fact-finding mission meant to gain a better sense of the ills plaguing the team and to determine a path forward.
...
“If you talk to people who participated in the process, starting with Ben Cherington, I think you will find a high degree of satisfaction as the offseason unfolded,” said Lucchino. We were able to improve in a number of areas, including the bullpen, which was an important part for us, and yet not give away prized prospects or future draft picks. I think that was the great accomplishment in this offseason. [Cherington] was able to have one eye on the present and never took the other eye off the longer-term future. I think we have a better, stronger team in ‘13. We have the capacity to have outstanding teams in ‘14 and ‘15.”

Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 12, 2013 at 12:35 PM | 59 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: February 12, 2013 at 01:49 PM (#4367953)
Magic 8 Ball sez: path is cloudy.
   2. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: February 12, 2013 at 01:56 PM (#4367963)
It's not cloudy; it's quite clear: Sign the next Babe Ruth. Sell him to the Yankees. Win 86 years later.
   3. Dale Sams Posted: February 12, 2013 at 02:44 PM (#4368010)
Remember kids, when Theo says 'bridge year', you burn down the village to make room for all of Larry's kool-aid stands.
   4. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:15 PM (#4368054)
Right now the Red Sox are a bad team run poorly that hasn't used the savings from the Dodgers deal wisely.

It's going to take some time, and I don't think Cherington is up to the job.
   5. John DiFool2 Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:17 PM (#4368056)
Not only do elite players seem less available as FA's, they seem less available for trade, and on top of that, with the Juiced Ball era over (yeah, whatever its cause), there appear to be fewer elite players to begin with. Not sure how to quantify the first two tho.
   6. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:22 PM (#4368064)
I think 2013 will be the year the Red Sox make the transition from "disappointing would-be contender" to "bad team."
   7. Nasty Nate Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:22 PM (#4368066)
Not only do elite players seem less available as FA's, they seem less available for trade


Less than when?

If more stars don't ever reach free agency, there are more of them that are available via trade (e.g. A-Gon, Dickey, Upton).
   8. Nasty Nate Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:24 PM (#4368071)
I think 2013 will be the year the Red Sox make the transition from "disappointing would-be contender" to "bad team."


Already happened. In 2011 they were a disappointing would-be contender and in 2012 they finished in last place.
   9. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:24 PM (#4368073)
I think 2013 will be the year the Red Sox make the transition from "disappointing would-be contender" to "bad team."


I agree. But a lot of people seem to be in denial.
   10. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:32 PM (#4368083)
In 2011 they were a disappointing would-be contender and in 2012 they finished in last place.


They were an actual contender in 2011. Most people expected them to be contenders in 2012 as well.
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:36 PM (#4368089)
I agree. But a lot of people seem to be in denial.


Really? My perception is that it has swung the other way and some of that old school irrational Soxland negativity/pessimism has seeped back in.
   12. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:37 PM (#4368090)
I don't think they'll be bad but I also don't think they will be particularly good. The next couple of years look like the '82-'85 team to me; 78-84 wins each year.

I think Ray is right about Cherington. In a division with some smart guys running teams he's pretty clearly fifth out of the five.
   13. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:42 PM (#4368098)
(1) Fire Ben Cherington.

(2) Hire somebody who knows his ass from a hole in the ground.
   14. Dale Sams Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:51 PM (#4368112)
I'm not a fan of this 'we arn't going to give long contracts anynmore' propaganda...but I can't criticize it too harshly until I see them actually pass on a legit superstar while saying "No, this is what got us into trouble in the first place' (Never mind that isn't really true)* I don't think Joe Mauer quite qualifies (IF he was being shopped) and really can't blame the Sox for not wanting to overpay that much.

*The Sox haven't been burnt by long contracts. They were burnt by underperformers, injuries, bad trades and bad luck. Take away the players manager and sub in Valentine, add a toxic clubhouse=72 win team (69 when after they made The Punto Trade.) In fact 'long contracts' is probably around the bottom of the list.

   15. Dale Sams Posted: February 12, 2013 at 03:53 PM (#4368115)
My perception is that it has swung the other way and some of that old school irrational Soxland negativity/pessimism has seeped back in.


"Some"..."Irrational"? This is the team who had the GREATEST SEPTEMBER COLLAPSE in history. Who went from a 90 win team to a 69 win team with pretty much the same team. I don't think there's anything irrational about thinking this is a team who finds ways to lose.

Regardless, Jose's 78-84 wins sounds about right.
   16. Nasty Nate Posted: February 12, 2013 at 04:08 PM (#4368131)
Regardless, Jose's 78-84 wins sounds about right.


thus contradicting every single post of yours about the Sox in the last 6 months....
   17. Dale Sams Posted: February 12, 2013 at 04:42 PM (#4368176)
thus contradicting every single post of yours about the Sox in the last 6 months....


Well time does happen, and things do change. But I still am willing to take the under on 80 wins if anyone wants a B-ref bet.
   18. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: February 12, 2013 at 05:34 PM (#4368237)
Even odds, $25 cap, 80's a push? I'll take you up on that.
   19. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 12, 2013 at 05:51 PM (#4368267)
Uninspiring. The off season moves were uninspiring. The team looks uninspiring on paper. The team will uninspire their way to 79 wins.
The guys on this board that are showing a more positive attitude I think are just squinting real hard to see something that has a very slight(5%) possibility(86-89 wins). Hey, I can be as positive as the next guy, but the reality here is the team is just isn't that good.
   20. Dale Sams Posted: February 12, 2013 at 06:00 PM (#4368275)
Done Petunia. Bookmarking now.
   21. jmurph Posted: February 12, 2013 at 06:05 PM (#4368280)
I haven't loved any of the moves this winter (well I liked the Drew signing), but I don't think the team is necessarily worse on paper than Baltimore or Tampa. And I think they could easily be as good or better than NYY. Other than Toronto, everyone either took a step back or stayed the same.

So I guess I'm saying nothing between 2nd and 4th would shock me.
   22. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 12, 2013 at 06:13 PM (#4368288)
Uninspiring. The off season moves were uninspiring. The team looks uninspiring on paper. The team will uninspire their way to 79 wins.


I agree with this. I think 79 might be a little light but not enough to argue. I think "uninspiring" is the right word for this off-season.
   23. Nasty Nate Posted: February 12, 2013 at 06:18 PM (#4368291)
The team looks uninspiring on paper.


See, I think "on paper" is where the team looks best (relative to thinking about the Sox in other ways, not relative to other teams in the league). If this team wasn't coming off of the choke of 2011 and the failure of 2012, the assembled team on paper would not generate the pessimism such as this:

...something that has a very slight(5%) possibility(86-89 wins)


edit: or it's pessimistic to think they only have a 5% chance at 86+ wins (not exactly 86-89 wins).
   24. dave h Posted: February 12, 2013 at 06:18 PM (#4368292)
The offseason has been uninspiring because it was basically impossible to effectively spend the money they shed last year. The reason for optimism despite this is that they have several players who have been much better in the not-to-distant past than they were last year. Looking at the ZIPS post, it seems that the Sox are projected to have 38 WAR (assuming I added right). I think a replacement team is somewhere around 46 wins, so that's an 84-win projection. That includes bounceback, but not spectacular, years from guys like Lester. To build on #21, nothing from first to last would shock me.
   25. Walt Davis Posted: February 12, 2013 at 06:36 PM (#4368300)
Even odds, $25 cap, 80's a push? I'll take you up on that.

No pushes! The important thing about these bets is that b-r wins no matter what. If it's 80 wins, you each toss in $12.50 for a b-r sponsorship.

   26. Sean Forman Posted: February 12, 2013 at 06:48 PM (#4368310)
Well time does happen, and things do change. But I still am willing to take the under on 80 wins if anyone wants a B-ref bet.


I'll take that at any dollar amount.
   27. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 12, 2013 at 06:59 PM (#4368321)
or it's pessimistic to think they only have a 5% chance at 86+ wins


This is where we differ on the language. I think it's realistic to state they only have a 5% chance at 86+ wins. I think it's pessimistic to say they will repeat last years sterling effort of 69 wins. I'm being optimistic in projecting them to improve by 10 wins!
   28. Nasty Nate Posted: February 12, 2013 at 07:13 PM (#4368331)
I'm being optimistic in projecting them to improve by 10 wins!


Well, this goes back to the "on paper" thing. When looking at a team on paper, you don't look at the team's previous year's record. E.G. if you are strictly using the "on paper" approach, you wouldn't expect Felix Doubront's pitching performance in 2013 to depend upon the team's win-loss record in 2012.
   29. Austin Posted: February 12, 2013 at 07:24 PM (#4368339)
#27: Pooh-pooh them if you wish, but CAIRO projects the team for 83 wins and PECOTA for 86. Ask me to pick between the computer and my bias-addled judgment, and I'll pick the computer every time, thank you very much.
   30. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: February 12, 2013 at 09:51 PM (#4368414)
No pushes! The important thing about these bets is that b-r wins no matter what. If it's 80 wins, you each toss in $12.50 for a b-r sponsorship.

I'll agree to that if Dale will.

Unfair, Sean! 'Any dollar amount' of bb-ref sponsorship is free to you!

The offseason has been uninspiring because it was basically impossible to effectively spend the money they shed last year

I agree with this. The one and only reason for my optimism - such as it is - at this point is that most of the options I was expecting were worse than what they did do. I expected them to back the truck up for Hamilton or Greinke or even Swisher or somebody else. The fact that they signed some journeymen to 3-year deals is uninspiring, to be sure, but it's a good sign for the future because what I was expecting was Lackey reredux, and we didn't get that, and that is good.
   31. puck Posted: February 12, 2013 at 10:17 PM (#4368428)
Looking at the ZIPS post, it seems that the Sox are projected to have 38 WAR (assuming I added right). I think a replacement team is somewhere around 46 wins, so that's an 84-win projection.

Using this method, Zips really likes the Angels (51 WAR).
   32. ptodd Posted: February 12, 2013 at 10:27 PM (#4368429)
The Sox haven't been burnt by long contracts.


On the contrary, it was long term contracts to Manny and Pedro that led to the great teams in 2003-2004, and played a role in 2007.

What hurt the Red Sox most recently was their arbitrary decision to not spend more than the luxury tax threshold to compensate for 2 underperforming contracts in Lackey and Crawford, due to injuries coupled by a farm system which produced very little after 2008. What the farm system did produce was traded away for high salaried players like Gonzalez and relievers who did not perform.

The hiring of Bobby V and the performance of the medical staff have been icing on the cake. The guy responsible for this should be gone.

   33. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: February 12, 2013 at 10:37 PM (#4368436)
The guy responsible for this should be gone.

With the exception of Valentine - the hiring of whom is difficult for us to lay at the doorstep of any one particular actor - he is.
   34. dave h Posted: February 12, 2013 at 11:42 PM (#4368464)
#31, I assume you're right that this isn't valid because ZIPS doesn't project playing time, but I was just going off the projected starters. So, presumably they'd lose some wins if starters had poorer health than projected, but it's not like they're going to run out of ABs and innings to get those WAR. And it seems that other projection systems are in the same neighborhood.
   35. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: February 13, 2013 at 12:10 AM (#4368476)
And I think they could easily be as good or better than NYY.
Really? I've seen this mentioned a couple of other places--not here, mostly--and it frankly seems nuts to me. The Yankees were 26 games better than the Red Sox last year (21 by Pythag, to be fair.) I think the Yankees have probably taken a step back, and Boston a small step forward, but that's a huge gap to make up a single season, let one that could be characterized as "easily."

(And both CAIRO and PECOTA have the Yankees as 4-6 games better, I just now notice.)
   36. Dale Sams Posted: February 13, 2013 at 12:20 AM (#4368477)
I'll take that at any dollar amount.


Here's the deal Sean...I win, you have to change the wording on one of the many sponsorships saying this:

"Fans of the 28 teams not named Red Sox (or Yanks) sponsor(s) this page.

Congratulations, Boston. You couldn't win a title, so you bought TWO - just like the Yanks. Open the wallet for Curt, Keith, and Johnny - end 86 years of frustration. 175M reasons never to whine about NYY. PS 2007: Open wallet for Beckett, Daisuke, Lowell"

It always drove me crazy since Beckett and Lowell were trades.

And Petunia, that 1/2 and 1/2 push rule is fine with me.
   37. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 13, 2013 at 12:50 AM (#4368487)
#27: Pooh-pooh them if you wish, but CAIRO projects the team for 83 wins and PECOTA for 86. Ask me to pick between the computer and my bias-addled judgment, and I'll pick the computer every time, thank you very much.


Bah, I admit to becoming jaded by the great collapse of 2011 and the utter failure of 2012, that I have little faith in your fancy, schmancy projections to be accurate. Besides most of the those projections are generally +/- 3 wins so CAIRO is near enough to my 79 win prediction. The WAR prediction is for 84 wins, margin of error could see this as low as 81. I am the harbinger of doom.

Please let me state that I would be most happy to be proven wrong and have the Sox give 88 wins a nudge.
   38. Jittery McFrog Posted: February 13, 2013 at 02:22 AM (#4368505)
I haven't loved any of the moves this winter (well I liked the Drew signing), but I don't think the team is necessarily worse on paper than Baltimore or Tampa.


In a vacuum, my reactions to this offseason's moves so far would be, in emoticon form,

Signed Napoli : /

Re-signed Papi: : D

Signed Gomes : X

Signed Victorino : L

Signed Uehara ; )

Signed Dempster : J

Signed Drew : )

Traded Melancon et al for Hanrahan and Brock Holt! : |

Signed David Ross : 1


I actually quite like the Uehara signing, and I'm glad they re-signed Papi. The Drew signing makes ample sense, and the Dempster signing seems decent enough to me.

The problem I have, which I've belabored elsewhere so I won't here, is the strategy. This was far too conservative an approach for a team with a wad of $ and a bad ML roster.

Unless ... (my conspiracy theory) ... they are pulling a sneaky rebuild. If their record sucks near the trade deadline, I could see any of Uehara, Hanrahan, Napoli, Gomes, maybe even Drew or Ross, being trade bait. Plus Ellsbury, Salty if he's still around, Bailey if he's still around. All guys who could be useful additions to a contender and whose remaining contracts are reasonably short and tradeable.
   39. ptodd Posted: February 13, 2013 at 03:50 AM (#4368517)
The problem I have, which I've belabored elsewhere so I won't here, is the strategy. This was far too conservative an approach for a team with a wad of $ and a bad ML roster.


It was a pretty weak FA market. They have a pretty good core in Pedroia, Papi, Ellsbury. WMB, Lester and Buchholz. Just needed to fill some holes which they have done nicely.

They will have a better idea of long term needs after another year development of their prospects. Market may be a bit better.
   40. jmurph Posted: February 13, 2013 at 10:05 AM (#4368576)
Really? I've seen this mentioned a couple of other places--not here, mostly--and it frankly seems nuts to me. The Yankees were 26 games better than the Red Sox last year (21 by Pythag, to be fair.) I think the Yankees have probably taken a step back, and Boston a small step forward, but that's a huge gap to make up a single season, let one that could be characterized as "easily."

(And both CAIRO and PECOTA have the Yankees as 4-6 games better, I just now notice.)


1. I think the Yankees are probably going to be a little better.
2. It doesn't seem very difficult to imagine the Yankees coming in around 81 wins if several things go against them: Tex continues his slide, ARod misses the year, Granderson remembers he's not really good enough to hit 40 homeruns, etc.
   41. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 13, 2013 at 10:18 AM (#4368581)
I think the Yankees have probably taken a step back, and Boston a small step forward, but that's a huge gap to make up a single season, let one that could be characterized as "easily."
I think the Yankees clearly project to be the better team.

But the Red Sox have taken a very large step forward in projections. The Sox underperformed Pyth by five games. ZiPS projects an improvement in starting pitching of about 50 runs prevented. (Just look at this pitching staff.) That's ten games already. They've also upgraded the bullpen and the starting lineup. The Sox aren't great, but they project to be way better than they were last year.
   42. dave h Posted: February 13, 2013 at 10:52 AM (#4368603)
If I read that correctly, Atchison and Tazawa led the staff with 1.7 WAR. At least four players expected to be contributors were negative. Ouch.
   43. Nasty Nate Posted: February 13, 2013 at 11:12 AM (#4368626)
I was watching some baseball show last night, and Farrell was on there saying that right now Aceves and Morales were preparing as starters (not relievers). This makes sense considering delays with Buccholz and Doubront. I'm guessing the pecking order for an open spot in the rotation is De La Rosa - Morales - Aceves, but I'm not sure.
   44. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 13, 2013 at 11:16 AM (#4368630)
De La Rosa has options, though. Morales doesn't, and optioning Aceves doesn't seem prudent given the man in question. De La Rosa could pitch his way into a rotation slot, but I'd expect he's ticketed for Pawtucket absent a very impressive spring.
   45. villageidiom Posted: February 13, 2013 at 11:33 AM (#4368657)
I think Ray is right about Cherington. In a division with some smart guys running teams he's pretty clearly fifth out of the five.
What should he have done this offseason to move up in the rankings?
   46. Nasty Nate Posted: February 13, 2013 at 11:44 AM (#4368674)
De La Rosa could pitch his way into a rotation slot, but I'd expect he's ticketed for Pawtucket absent a very impressive spring.


You are probably right, also considering he barely pitched in games last year.

On the other hand, the chilly weather in April has been known to give players the Fenway Flu. Aceves or Morales could catch a case of it if the roster gets crunched.
   47. philly Posted: February 13, 2013 at 11:59 AM (#4368689)
De La Rosa has options, though. Morales doesn't, and optioning Aceves doesn't seem prudent given the man in question. De La Rosa could pitch his way into a rotation slot, but I'd expect he's ticketed for Pawtucket absent a very impressive spring.


I'm not sure it will (or should matter), but De La Rosa's service time could be a factor. He soaked up a significant chunk on the DL so despite barely losing his prospect eligibility he currently has 1 yr, 97 days of service time. If he gets ~3 months in Boston this year then they'll only control his right for four more years after this one.

I'd say with an already injured pitcher you should probably worry more about getting MLB productivity out of his healthy innings in 2013 than whether or not he'll be free agent eligible in 2018.

But they may see it differently, especially if their valuation of him is pretty high. If they think he's got a good shot to be a frontline starter, then blowing 2018 control for an innings limited 2013 season may not make sense.
   48. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 13, 2013 at 12:09 PM (#4368700)
I'll be shocked if DLR opens the year in Boston. I think Nate has the pecking order for the rotation spot backwards, I think it's Aceves-Morales-DLR. Generally it makes sense to stretch out Aceves and Morales though because they may need to start and even if they don't they're the long guys out there so the ability to go multiple innings is a plus.

What should he have done this offseason to move up in the rankings?


I don't know that he could have. I'd prefer to have signed Hamilton than Napoli & Victorino but I can see the argument against. My comment wasn't based solely on this off-season but on his overall performance. I haven't seen anything from him so far that leads me to believe he's a particularly strong GM. I think some things that happened last year (Melancon disaster, Reddick's great year) were probably on the outlier side of results and make him look worse than he is but I'm unimpressed so far.

EDIT: I'll add that he deserves credit for not overreacting to last year and decimating the farm system for a high risk quick fix. I'd like to have seen a strong pursuit of Upton but I think it's a plus that the Sox kept their prospects in house..
   49. Nasty Nate Posted: February 13, 2013 at 12:14 PM (#4368707)
I think it's Aceves-Morales-DLR. Generally it makes sense to stretch out Aceves and Morales though because they may need to start and even if they don't they're the long guys out there so the ability to go multiple innings is a plus.


I put Morales ahead of Aceves because I think it's more likely that Morales actually gets a rotation spot (even temporarily). Aceves hasn't started a game since the first half of 2011, whereas Morales last few appearances last year were starts.

The reason I had De La Rosa ahead of them was simply that he might be the best pitcher of the 3. Although I agree now that it is likely he starts in AAA.
   50. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: February 13, 2013 at 01:51 PM (#4368817)
(Just look at this pitching staff.)

Still makes me mad that of that group, Atchison was the guy they jettisoned.

I agree with Jose and MCOA (going out on a limb here) that DLR is PawSox ace. Morales gets the first crack at an open rotation slot. I'd like to see Aceves return to the role he played in 2011 - swingman/multi-inning fireman... what I think they will do with him is much less clear.
   51. Dale Sams Posted: February 13, 2013 at 03:41 PM (#4368945)
I have no real problem with this offseason (I would have liked Melky, maybe Swisher...and the trade for our new closer is kinda dubious).

No, my problem with the Sox, as usual, is the BS that comes out of the F.O. For all the money they spent on a PR firm, they could go a long ways towards just shutting their mouths.

LARRY: "No no...it's not our fault...it's..CARL'S! It's that big contract we gave AGON!"

HENRY: "My hands are tied! (Takes string, loosely wraps string around his wrists) See! Tied!!"

At least this team is more rootable than last years...I kind of get a feeling that Gomes is going to piss me off at some point though.

   52. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 13, 2013 at 03:45 PM (#4368950)
What should he have done this offseason to move up in the rankings?
I'm not sure, but it's hard to say that building an 84-win team proves his worth. After the disaster in 2011, Cherington's going to need to do a lot more than build a .500 team on a $160M budget to demonstrate his quality. For me, so long as he holds serve this year (meaning the Sox aren't an embarrassment to their fans and their city, the various cromulent free agents are properly cromulent), the real test will be next offseason. A quality GM has a plan in place to build a 92-94 win club for 2014. I'm skeptical, but not without hope.
   53. Sonic Youk Posted: February 13, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4368982)
It's too early to say, but if they are mediocre or worse this year, I don't see what's out there next offseason to get back to being a good team. These 3 year placeholder deals say to me that they're content trying to be a non-embarrassment with an outside shot at contention. Hopefully by 2015 or 16 the prospects will come through or the FA market will improve. I dunno. It's not the least bit inspiring, but I'm not sure there are really alternatives that would improve this team in a hurry.
   54. Nasty Nate Posted: February 13, 2013 at 04:18 PM (#4368986)
For all the money they spent on a PR firm, they could go a long ways towards just shutting their mouths.

LARRY: "No no...it's not our fault...it's..CARL'S! It's that big contract we gave AGON!"

HENRY: "My hands are tied! (Takes string, loosely wraps string around his wrists) See! Tied!!"


Just to play devil's advocate a little: When they shut their mouths, they get hammered for remaining silent about the terrible season and for not "taking accountability" and for being more focused on other business endeavors, etc.

I understand being irked by whatever Lucchino chooses to spew at any given moment, but what comments are you referring to by Henry implying that his hands are tied?
   55. Nasty Nate Posted: February 13, 2013 at 04:22 PM (#4368987)
It's too early to say, but if they are mediocre or worse this year, I don't see what's out there next offseason to get back to being a good team.


It's too early to know who will be available. For example, in addition to free agents, this offseason lots of talent was moved between teams: Upton, Dickey, Reyes, Shields, etc.
   56. jmurph Posted: February 13, 2013 at 04:54 PM (#4369013)
A quality GM has a plan in place to build a 92-94 win club for 2014. I'm skeptical, but not without hope.


To rehash old discussions a bit, that's what concerns me about all of these 3 year deals to average or slightly better players. When winter 2013-14 rolls around and they have money to spend, there is going to need to be a lot of reshuffling to open up starting spots for better players. Not impossible, surely, but it will take some creativity.

On another note, it turns out from the excerpt above of TFA, Cherington maybe doesn't even deserve credit for The Great Unburdening of last season. That was his one unmitigated positive contribution!
   57. Dale Sams Posted: February 13, 2013 at 05:27 PM (#4369047)
I understand being irked by whatever Lucchino chooses to spew at any given moment, but what comments are you referring to by Henry implying that his hands are tied?


Nothing really, the Henry joke was just for context.
   58. Dale Sams Posted: February 13, 2013 at 05:31 PM (#4369049)
On another note, it turns out from the excerpt above of TFA, Cherington maybe doesn't even deserve credit for The Great Unburdening of last season. That was his one unmitigated positive contribution!


I'm not trying to be negative, really...but the OP makes it sound like that to Kasten, Beckett and Crawford wern't just throw ins to get AGON. Sox got salary relief, and some decent specs. I would hope that Ben explored the possibility of trading just Beckett and Crawford. Cause if they truly believed that signing AGON was a mistake, then I fear for them ever signing a superstar to a long contract.
   59. villageidiom Posted: February 13, 2013 at 06:08 PM (#4369083)
To rehash old discussions a bit, that's what concerns me about all of these 3 year deals to average or slightly better players. When winter 2013-14 rolls around and they have money to spend, there is going to need to be a lot of reshuffling to open up starting spots for better players. Not impossible, surely, but it will take some creativity.
Players with a financial commitment from Boston for 2014:

$15m John Lackey
$13m Ryan Dempster
$13m Shane Victorino
$13m David Ortiz
$10m Dustin Pedroia
$ 8m Clay Buchholz
$ 5m Jonny Gomes
$ 3m Craig Breslow
$ 3m David Ross

I see nothing prohibitive here, except at 2B and DH. There's no reason Gomes can't be made a backup for his final year. Victorino could effectively play any OF position, freeing them up to pursue corner OFers if that's better.

Admittedly, there are a lot of players with options or arb-eligible. But if you're talking about not having the flexibility to shuffle the roster to make room for better players, they most certainly have a lot of flexibility.

And that's in the 2013-14 offseason. Here's the same list, for 2014-15:

$13m Shane Victorino
$12m Clay Buchholz
$ 0m John Lackey (at minimum)

And that's it.

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