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Monday, November 21, 2016

Back In The Saddle

So after a bit of vacation (and returning to the first snow fall of the year last night) I am back with some thoughts on what has been a fairly quiet off-season so far.  Last year at this time the Sox had traded for Craig Kimbrel and the year before the Sox had signed Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval.  So far the Sox do seem to be living up to the reports that suggested they would take a more low-key approach to things.  That does not meant that nothing is happening or nothing will happen.  With the winter meetings a couple weeks away I wanted to weigh in on some things that are happening;

Good news from Arizona - By all accounts Michael Kopech and Mauricio Dubon both impressed folks watching the AFL.  Dubon’s numbers were fairly unimpressive but that didn’t stop people from being upbeat about where he is developmentally.  Kopech blew threw the AFL (2.01 ERA) and showed better control than he did in the regular season.  I got to see him pitch in the All Star game and was impressed with his pace.  He does the Wade Miley thing of never turning his back on the catcher, count me as a fan of that approach.  The only downer was Yoan Moncada having to leave the AFL due to injury after just six games.

Wait and See - If the Sox do go for a big move there is a lot of expectation that that move would be Edwin Encarnacion.  Just a hunch here but I think EE may not sign early.  The Red Sox and Yankees are both being linked to him but neither team seems especially eager to go and spend a lot of money and years on the big slugger.  Personally I would do it but I understand the hesitancy.  It’s possible this could be a guy who winds up being a relative bargain when all is said and done.

The Ex-Royals - Two ex-Royals seem to be in Dave Dombrowski eyeline, one makes sense to me and one does not.  The one that does make sense is Greg Holland.  If Holland is healthy, and reports seem good, he fits the bullpen really well.  Presumably he could pick up an incentive laden contract and would hopefully cost some money by meeting some targets.  The one that does not make sense to me is Carlos Beltran.  Beltran had a nice year in 2016 but if the Sox want to fill the DH spot, go after EE, if they want to maintain some flexibility I would rather invest in a genuine 5th outfielder or corner infielder.  The 40 year old Beltran looks like a good bet to decline heavily in 2017 to me.

Take A Gamble - I would not mind seeing the Sox roll the dice and offer a two year deal to former Yankee and Marlin Nathan Eovaldi.  Eovaldi is not a great pitcher but neither is he a bad pitcher.  He will still only be 28 years old when he returns in 2018 and could be a live arm to help give the pitching staff some depth at that time.

Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: November 21, 2016 at 11:04 AM | 5 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. villageidiom Posted: November 21, 2016 at 04:57 PM (#5356400)
How much of the slow free agency approach Boston has had so far is being driven by preference, and how much is driven by the new CBA, with the new luxury tax threshold, still being up in the air?
   2. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: November 21, 2016 at 09:28 PM (#5356555)
That's a good question. I don't think it's an issue because LT is likely to go up and if the Sox aren't going to spend big then the increase shouldn't matter. I think they are just waiting for the relief market to get set.
   3. Meatwad needs baseball Posted: November 21, 2016 at 10:14 PM (#5356577)
I think the CBA is holding up most of the FA market, there could be a lot of changes to the roster.
   4. Eddie Hart Posted: November 22, 2016 at 08:20 AM (#5356643)
I don't think it's an issue because LT is likely to go up and if the Sox aren't going to spend big then the increase shouldn't matter.

I would think one possibility is that the Sox DO intend to go big, and are sandbagging to keep their competitors guessing. Alternatively, agents are holding their wards back, with the expectation they will get more money after it's announced where the ceiling is.
   5. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: November 22, 2016 at 08:23 AM (#5356645)
I think agents are holding some players back (and Encarnacion definitely fits the bill) to wait until things clear up. If you accept that the Sox truly are going to be on the low end of the FA market I don't think there is any reason for the CBA to hold them back. If anything it's going to be an extra roster spot so signing a Holland or some other reliever isn't a problem.

But I may be wildly wrong.

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