Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Red Sox Still Have Money to Burn

ESTIMATED 2013 TOTAL COMMITMENTS: $138 MILLION (AS MEASURED FOR LUXURY TAX PURPOSES)

That still leaves more than $40 million for the Red Sox to spend without reaching the luxury tax threshold. If the team trades the arbitration-eligible Jacoby Ellsbury, then that freedom would grow to something more like $50 million.

That, in turn, means the Sox can still consider anyone on the market. In the unlikely event, for instance, that Anibal Sanchez might be open to a four-year deal, the Sox could outbid anyone for him. If a starter loses the game of musical chairs and is left to look for the best one-year deal at the end of the winter, the Sox can outbid anyone. Indeed, the Sox could still add a starter and, if he’s available on a one-year deal, someone like Stephen Drew without reaching the luxury tax threshold.

Moreover, the team has yet to give up any prospects or sacrifice any draft picks this offseason. All of that underscores the notion that, to date, the Sox haven’t done anything to impede any other moves they want to make.

Alex Speier with what looks like a pretty thorough update on where the Sox are financially right now.  Long story short, the money is there for another significant signing. (I still hate the Victorino deal though)

Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 05, 2012 at 11:25 AM | 46 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: free agency, hot stove, red sox

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Mayor Blomberg Posted: December 05, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4317790)
TFA's list of salary commitments does not agree with, and is in most cases lower than, BBref's/Cot's numbers; does that reflect luxury tax computations?
   2. zonk Posted: December 05, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4317802)
Why, oh why are there no job listings for "Open Flame"?
   3. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 05, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4317809)
Obvious joke: they've already done a good job of burning the money they have.
   4. villageidiom Posted: December 05, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4317810)
TFA's list of salary commitments does not agree with, and is in most cases lower than, BBref's/Cot's numbers; does that reflect luxury tax computations?
Haven't checked, but probably. IIRC luxury tax computations are based on original AAV, not remaining AAV; and they include incentives (and possibly options?) in the calculation as well.
   5. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 05, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4317812)
TFA's list of salary commitments does not agree with, and is in most cases lower than, BBref's/Cot's numbers; does that reflect luxury tax computations?


Looking at a few guys it appears that BBRef's numbers are actual payout numbers and Speier is using luxury tax numbers. A couple of forinstances;

Lackey - $82.5 for 5 = 16.5/year (TFA), actual salary $15.25 (BBRef)
Ortiz - $26 for 2 = 13/year (TFA), actual salary $14 (BBRef)
Pedroia - $40.5 for 6 = 6.75/year (TFA 6.8), actual salary $10 (BBRef)
   6. jmurph Posted: December 05, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4317819)
Long story short, the money is there for another significant signing. (I still hate the Victorino deal though)


That is marginally positive; on the other hand, they need a starting shortstop, starting leftfielder (I don't accept that Gomes is that guy), and at least one very good starting pitcher (I'd prefer two). I guess the implication is that at least one of those slots can be filled through trade, which makes sense.
   7. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 05, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4317834)
starting leftfielder (I don't accept that Gomes is that guy),


The starting left fielder could conceivably be Kalish with Gomes as the platoon partner couldn't he?
   8. dave h Posted: December 05, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4317853)
I think the outfield is done, barring a trade of Ellsbury. Gomes/Kalish/Ellsbury/Victorino. The LF platoon might be a negative, but if they're not going all out to be a contender in 2013 then it's the sort of hole you leave. That means they really just need a SS and to move one of their million catchers. I will be very disappointed if they don't sign a real SP though (or two).
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: December 05, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4317867)
I think the OF is done, not including some small-money reserve acquisition. I would guess that Sands is used as a 4th outfielder and 1B backup.

Isn't it a possibility that they don't trade any catchers? Lavarnway could be stashed in Rhode Island, right?
   10. villageidiom Posted: December 05, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4317870)
At the start of the offseason they had to find:

- DH
- 1B
- LF
- RF
- SP

And would be nice if they could find improvements for:

- SS
- C
- SP (another)
- Closer

And would also be good if they solved for expiring contracts for:

- CF

So far, they've filled 4 of the 5 must-solves, all effectively for just cash. They've also done it in a way that allows trade flexibility for CF and C to get others in return, possibly a SP. If they succeed in this, it will open a hole in CF/RF. And that's where the biggest free agent would fit best.

So if this becomes { Ellsbury and Lavarnway and Webster } for { Felix } followed by { sign Hamilton }, or something along those lines, this will have been a pretty big offseason.

Having said that, I'm still doubtful they sign Hamilton. I think it's more likely they trade for OF help than sign the biggest free agent. But that's just generic speculation... There hasn't been much talk about Hamilton suitors quite yet.
   11. Dale Sams Posted: December 05, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4317918)
I'm still doubtful they sign Hamilton


It would be nice to have one superstar who will still be a star when the farm starts yielding them. Not that Hamilton might be that guy by then.
   12. karlmagnus Posted: December 05, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4317960)
Anibal Sanchez. Nearest this year to 1997 Pedro (who had had only one PEDRO season at that stage.) Not all that close to an all-time great, but closer and cheaper than Hamilton.
   13. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 05, 2012 at 05:28 PM (#4318073)
Anibal Sanchez. Nearest this year to 1997 Pedro (who had had only one PEDRO season at that stage.) Not all that close to an all-time great, but closer and cheaper than Hamilton.
I know this karl talking so grain (shaker) of salt, etc. etc. but does anyone really think Sanchez is primed for some kind of great run? I thought the consensus was that he's a good, maybe very good pitcher, and perhaps the best on the market.

And now, because I can't help myself:

Pedro, through age 28: 125-68, 2.68 (168 ERA+), 10.4 K/9
Sanchez, through age 28: 48-51, 3.75 ERA (110 ERA+), 7.6 K/9
   14. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 05, 2012 at 05:31 PM (#4318076)
I thought the consensus was that he's a good, maybe very good pitcher, and perhaps the best on the market.


I would agree with everything there except "best on the market" (Greinke). But yeah "it's karl" is the best reaction. Sanchez really is a perfect fit for the team but mentioning Pedro in connection to Sanchez is beyond silly.
   15. Nasty Nate Posted: December 05, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4318087)
I wonder if it would have been possible to sign him for cheaper if he had never been traded to Detroit. I guess everyone was already aware of him, but an impressive postseason performance might have attracted attention from any teams who put importance in the "big stage / big spot" stuff.
   16. karlmagnus Posted: December 05, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4318124)
RB in NYC, the point is not Pedro at 28, which included 1999-2000, but Pedro when Duquette gave him a record contract for 7 years at the end of 1997. At that point, his record was 65-39, about 141 ERA+, 9.6 K/9. Still superb, but with only one truly god-like year. Sanchez has had injuries, and is better than his stats show. Not Pedro, but not far off Greinke and with AFAIK no hangups about playing in Boston.
   17. Srul Itza Posted: December 05, 2012 at 06:22 PM (#4318133)
Pedro, through age 28: 125-68, 2.68 (168 ERA+), 10.4 K/9
Sanchez, through age 28: 48-51, 3.75 ERA (110 ERA+), 7.6 K/9


Randy Johnson, through Age 28: 49-48, 3.95 ERA (101 ERA+), 9 K/9.

Yaneverknow.
   18. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 05, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4318136)
Maybe they can find some more 33-year-old outfielders coming off the worst seasons of their careers. That'd be a good idea.
   19. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: December 05, 2012 at 06:37 PM (#4318152)
I don't understand the pursuit of Sanchez, at ALL. He is just not that good. His postseason performance was superficially impressive, I guess, but qualitatively - admittedly based mostly on the one WS game against SF - he looked very average to me. Which confirms what I've always thought about him, which is that he's pretty average. Which is also what his career performance seems to say.

However much money he's going to sign for this offseason is going to be a massive, massive overpay. I'd rather give Greinke $200MM than $80MM to Sanchez.
   20. tfbg9 Posted: December 05, 2012 at 06:39 PM (#4318155)
If Buch and Lester can do 200 IP at 110 ERA+, then we might
actually have ourselves a team.
   21. Nasty Nate Posted: December 05, 2012 at 06:41 PM (#4318158)
I don't understand the pursuit of Sanchez, at ALL. He is just not that good. His postseason performance was superficially impressive, I guess, but qualitatively - admittedly based mostly on the one WS game against SF - he looked very average to me. Which confirms what I've always thought about him, which is that he's pretty average. Which is also what his career performance seems to say.

However much money he's going to sign for this offseason is going to be a massive, massive overpay. I'd rather give Greinke $200MM than $80MM to Sanchez.


If Sanchez is only average based on career performance, Greinke is only slightly above average.
   22. tfbg9 Posted: December 05, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4318163)
And Lackey's gonna be an anchor.

Seriously. The team should score runs...especially if Papi can stay in the lineup. The 'pen looks good to me. Average defense? I guess. So we're down to the starters. Lester/Buch/Aquired Guy/Dubront/Lackey/etc.

I'm lookin' at Lester and Bucholz. I think they're the main question I have.
   23. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: December 05, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4318165)
I know I'm not as good as you guys are at things like 'numbers' and 'analysis' but isn't Greinke's 2012 better than anything Sanchez has EVER done? I'm willing to endpoint in a way that makes Sanchez look pretty good - say, call 2010-present his 'established level of production' and grant that his BB/9 has gone in the right direction throughout that three-year span, so allow some room for minor improvement.

He STILL looks average. And that time frame hurts Greinke the most because it ignores his ridiculous 2009. Greinke STILL looks a little bit better.

So I guess you're right, in a way, that looking at the numbers a certain way paints Sanchez as 'average' and Greinke as 'only slightly above average.' I stand by my previous post.


On another topic, since I'm here - the Sox 'still have money to burn' and yet they keep getting beat on the small signings. If we should be optimistic about Gomes/Napoli/Victorino because a team has to have 2-3 WAR guys or whatever, they all can's be superstars, fine. Eric Chavez just signed for 1/$3MM. I think he'd fit great on this team. The Rangers signed Soria for 2/$8MM. And they actually HAVE a closer.
   24. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: December 05, 2012 at 07:08 PM (#4318181)
However much money he's going to sign for this offseason is going to be a massive, massive overpay.

The lesson I relearn every year about this time is that on the open market even average is super-expensive.
   25. karlmagnus Posted: December 05, 2012 at 07:13 PM (#4318184)
Sanchez is nowhere near average; a 110EPA+ for a pitcher with decent durability is far above average.
   26. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 05, 2012 at 07:47 PM (#4318208)
Maybe they can find some more 33-year-old outfielders coming off the worst seasons of their careers.

Though we get the sarcasm, I think the one positive way to look at this is that they definitely seem to be buying low. If both Victorino and Napoli had anything close to career years, they would have each got something like 4/60 minimum. Sure, I'm grasping at the one straw of positivity, but hey at least I'm trying. Now if they don't get 2 starters, then I'll say this again...79 wins, here we come!
   27. Nasty Nate Posted: December 05, 2012 at 08:05 PM (#4318226)
Though we get the sarcasm, I think the one positive way to look at this is that they definitely seem to be buying low. If both Victorino and Napoli had anything close to career years, they would have each got something like 4/60 minimum. Sure, I'm grasping at the one straw of positivity, but hey at least I'm trying.


Another sliiightly positive way to look at it is by using his real age (32) instead of 33. If I may help you grasp at positivity, that is the same age as Damon when he signed his (longer) deal with the Yankees.
   28. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 05, 2012 at 08:16 PM (#4318232)
I enjoy these threads and what the Red Sox have done in this century, but don't keep close track of the team. After the Victorino and Napoli signings is there any consensus prediction for the number of wins the team is likely to end up with in 2013? Are they close enough to contending that it makes sense to go for it next year?
   29. jmurph Posted: December 05, 2012 at 08:55 PM (#4318252)
Are they close enough to contending that it makes sense to go for it next year?


I didn't expect to come around to this way of thinking entering this off-season, but sure, it's possible. Toronto obviously got a lot better, but the Rays and Yankees are probably getting worse. And I think it's fair to expect Baltimore to fall off at least a bit from last year's pace. The talent is out there, they have money, and no one is running away with the division next year.
   30. karlmagnus Posted: December 05, 2012 at 09:02 PM (#4318255)
They were unlucky and badly managed last year; if they'd kept their original team they'd have been an 80-82 win operation. After the LA trade, they were more like a 72 win operation. Now they're maybe 75-77, and maybe 82 again if they get Anibal. But they'll need either a lot of luck or great production by new talent from the minors to compete properly I think.
   31. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 05, 2012 at 09:59 PM (#4318276)
Are they close enough to contending that it makes sense to go for it next year?

Not right now. They need an additional 2 good SP. Right now it's a 79 win team.
   32. Darren Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:05 PM (#4318278)
Let's look at this in terms of MCOA's excellent analysis of the Sox available payroll coming into 2013.

--C: He had Salty at $4M so Ross at that price is a wash (assuming they trade Salty).
--LF: Ross he had around $7M, so Gomes is a $2M savings.
--DH: Ortiz was supposed to cost $15M, so there's another $2M in savings.

With his original assumptions, he settled in at around $70M to spend. These deals moved that up to $74M. With that, the big Napoli and Victorino signings shave $26M off, putting them at $48M to spend, or very close to where Speier has them.

I have to say, I feel like they've made good use of their money, even if the players aren't as exciting as I'd like. I would love to see them try to work out a trade for a young SS (Andrus and Cabrera are both rumored to be available), sign a young pitcher (Anibel?), and find some way to add another good starter. They should have plenty of cash to accomplish that and still have some left over.
   33. RJ in TO Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:29 PM (#4318285)
They were unlucky and badly managed last year

Farrell won't do much to help with the badly managed part of things.
   34. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:37 PM (#4318290)
Thanks very much, gents. Good to know.
   35. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 05, 2012 at 11:10 PM (#4318302)
Are they close enough to contending that it makes sense to go for it next year?

Not right now. They need an additional 2 good SP. Right now it's a 79 win team.


Here's the beauty of Wild Card Play-In Baseball: The reality is that there will be years where being the fourth-place team in the AL East might be good enough to sneak in as the second wild card. 87 wins might be enough some years to "make the tournament". This team could win 87 games in 2013. They could also win 75.

Middlebrooks could hit .290 with 25 HRs, good defense at third. He could be in Pawtucket in June.

Napoli could look like 2011, and abuse The Wall. He could be done.

Victorino, in my opinion, could stink...or he could really stink.

Jon Lester could be awesome. He could suck.

Ellsbury? I have no ####ing idea.

Is Kalish finally healthy? If he is, can he play?

You get the idea. I don't see 90 wins out of this team under any circumstances, but they could be above .500 - and if they are, that'll keep them interesting into at least early September.
   36. Nasty Nate Posted: December 05, 2012 at 11:25 PM (#4318309)
You get the idea. I don't see 90 wins out of this team under any circumstances, but they could be above .500


But you just listed some of the circumstances that could result in a 90-win team...
   37. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 05, 2012 at 11:27 PM (#4318311)
that'll keep them interesting into at least early September.

Well they were very interesting in September 2011! Not so much last year....

As for the rest of your post, the most likely scenario is that a lot of those things occur at about 90%..

Middlebrooks hits .260 with around 22 HRs and is competent at defense.

Napoli will OPS+ 112.

Victorino will OPS+ 100.

Lester will ERA+ 110

Ellsbury will hopefully be traded for pitching and they will sign both Hamilton and Sanchez for about $38 mil per AND still have $10 mil leftover to get a SS who, well you know, can actually hit the ball out of the infield.
   38. villageidiom Posted: December 06, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4318507)
Ellsbury will hopefully be traded for pitching and they will sign both Hamilton and Sanchez for about $38 mil per AND still have $10 mil leftover to get a SS who, well you know, can actually hit the ball out of the infield.
I just want a SS who won't kick the ball out of the infield.
   39. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 06, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4318521)
Ellsbury will hopefully be traded for pitching and they will sign both Hamilton and Sanchez for about $38 mil per AND still have $10 mil leftover to get a SS who, well you know, can actually hit the ball out of the infield.


If they move Ellsbury for a pitcher AND add Sanchez AND add Hamilton they will look pretty good for 2013 in my opinion;

Victorino
Pedroia
Hamilton
Napoli
Ortiz
Middlebrooks
Saltalamacchia
Kalish/Gomes
Iglesias

Lester-Buchholz-Sanchez-Good Pitcher-Doubront/Lackey

I'd run with that.
   40. Nasty Nate Posted: December 06, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4318577)
Supposedly Cherington and Farrell met with Hamilton on Monday night. And then Victorino signing was announced Tuesday. Make of that what you will.
   41. jmurph Posted: December 06, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4318624)
While I'm not opposed to trading Ellsbury in theory, I can't imagine getting a good deal for him right now. On the one hand, lots of teams appear to be in the market for center fielders. On the other, he's not really very cheap anymore and he was useless last year. What kind of deal does that translate to? I can't imagine it would land a better pitcher than Sanchez, but I'm obviously just speculating.
   42. JJ1986 Posted: December 06, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4318630)
While I'm not opposed to trading Ellsbury in theory, I can't imagine getting a good deal for him right now. On the one hand, lots of teams appear to be in the market for center fielders. On the other, he's not really very cheap anymore and he was useless last year. What kind of deal does that translate to?


Maybe Cliff Lee? I wouldn't do it as Philadelphia, but they seem willing to trade him.
   43. Darren Posted: December 06, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4318701)
I thought Philly was dead set on keeping Lee.
   44. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: December 06, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4318760)
And now they signed Koji Uehara.
   45. veer bender Posted: December 06, 2012 at 02:03 PM (#4318780)
I'm bummed out by the Victorino signing even though I think it's probably a good deal. I was one of apparently very few fans who had hopes they could contend next year, but this deal is a pretty clear signal the front office plans to play it a little safer (which I completely understand).

Starting from where the team was, to contend next year would require spending a lot on FAs/trades, AND lots of good luck, which is easier to come by when you keep the high-variance, disappointing-last-year, potential superstars already on the roster. In short, regarding this signing, it means signing Hamilton and having Ellsbury be 80% of his 2011, and Victorino means one of those guys won't be here next year. Victorino might be a safer bet to be useful, but he's never gonna pull off a 2011 Ellsbury, or anything close.
   46. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 06, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4318786)
That's a nice little pickup. Presumably he's not enough money to care about and bullpen arms are good.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
BDC
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: Politics, October 2014: Sunshine, Baseball, and Etch A Sketch: How Politicians Use Analogies
(3404 - 6:19am, Oct 24)
Last: The Id of SugarBear Blanks

NewsblogWhat's Buster Posey's best trait as a catcher? Here's what his pitchers had to say - Giants Extra
(5 - 5:47am, Oct 24)
Last: Morty Causa

NewsblogAJC: Hart says ‘yes’ to Braves, will head baseball operations
(15 - 5:31am, Oct 24)
Last: Morty Causa

NewsblogGleeman: Royals may bench Norichika Aoki for Game 3
(21 - 3:00am, Oct 24)
Last: PreservedFish

Newsblog9 reasons Hunter Pence is the most interesting man in the World (Series) | For The Win
(8 - 2:52am, Oct 24)
Last: mex4173

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - October 2014
(368 - 2:12am, Oct 24)
Last: RollingWave

NewsblogKey question GMs have to weigh with top World Series free agents | New York Post
(28 - 12:50am, Oct 24)
Last: Dale Sams

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(867 - 12:47am, Oct 24)
Last: Poster Nutbag

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-23-2014
(13 - 11:36pm, Oct 23)
Last: EddieA

NewsblogDealing or dueling – what’s a manager to do? | MGL on Baseball
(44 - 11:31pm, Oct 23)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogRoyals are not the future of baseball | FOX Sports
(39 - 11:25pm, Oct 23)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(8370 - 11:22pm, Oct 23)
Last: Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee

NewsblogI hope this doesn't get me fired. | FOX Sports
(23 - 11:17pm, Oct 23)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogGold Glove Awards finalists revealed | MLB.com
(53 - 11:07pm, Oct 23)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread, September 2014
(904 - 10:56pm, Oct 23)
Last: frannyzoo

Page rendered in 0.5143 seconds
52 querie(s) executed