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Sunday, March 24, 2019

Camp is Broken

The World Champion Red Sox broke camp this weekend and headed to Arizona for a bit of a tune up with the Cubs before heading to Seattle to open the season against the Mariners.  There is news being reported in various places of some interest;

Chris Sale is a rich man.

Sale wasn’t exactly going through the couch cushions to get T-pass money before but he’s a lot richer now.  I had said earlier this winter that Sale was a bit lower on my priority list.  However this deal is a lot more reasonable in terms of years than I anticipated and I think it’s a great move by the Sox.  I suspect this means Rick Porcello is gone (sorry Scott) and while there is still work to be done on re-signing players locking up Sale is a good bit of business.  Even with the injury history and second half track record he is SO good when he’s right that he is worth the money.

Blake Swihart yes, Sandy Leon maybe?

The Sox have placed Sandy Leon on waivers though as of this moment that may mean only that he is going to be traded and potentially he may find himself sent to Pawtucket if he clears.  This means of course that Swihart is the backup catcher to start 2019.  It will be interesting to see how Swihart is used as his versatility can be helpful. Swihart played a lot better last year when he started getting regular playing time so I think it would behoove Alex Cora to make sure he is getting into games regularly.

The Bullpen is set (for now).

OK, so the Sox are opening the year with eight nominal relievers;

Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier, Heath Hembree, Tyler Thornburg, Colton Brewer, Hector Velazquez, Brian Johnson, Brandon Workman.

Be prepared to read me blathering about Workman a LOT this year.  I love the dude.  Apparently Cora has said that Velazquez is ticketed for a start during the 11 game/11 day west coast trip that opens the season.  He did great work last year in a largely thankless role.  While he has options I am pleased he has been given an Opening Day spot.

The next few days are likely to have some intrigue but the Sox seem to have solidified the roster that they will start the year with.  Of course as we know that roster will probably change by Patriots’ Day if not sooner.

Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: March 24, 2019 at 08:50 PM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: March 25, 2019 at 02:12 PM (#5825137)
I have officially Bought The Hype. I think this bullpen is going to be a lot better than people expect.

Psyched to see if we'll finally get to see something out of Swihart, too.
   2. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: March 25, 2019 at 08:12 PM (#5825238)
The way it’s being reported it looks like Leon is going to clear waivers. Apparently he then has the option of refusing an assignment to Pawtucket. I’ll be curious to see what he does. Once his full contract no longer would impact a team he might have some appeal. At the same time the Sox should be contending again and I can’t imagine there won’t be opportunities for Leon to play.

As for Swihart well I’ll acknowledge I’m not entirely objective on this matter but once Vazquez got hurt last year and Swihart started playing regularly he hit .261/.311/.414. That’s not Piazza or even Varitek but it’s pretty solid for a backup catcher/utility player.
   3. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: March 26, 2019 at 07:56 AM (#5825288)
I suspect this means Rick Porcello is gone (sorry Scott) and while there is still work to be done on re-signing players locking up Sale is a good bit of business


ONLY ONE MORE SEASON WITH THE BUM!

I'm very happy with that Sale deal. Sure he might not end up being worth it due to injury, but he's so good when he's right that you gotta take the chance and the deal is short and cheap enough that it can't actually hurt the Sox. I'd love to see Xander get re-signed, but that doesn't seem super likely prior to free agency when he'll be one of the best players on the market.

Also, I'm not sold on that bullpen, but that's something they can fix midseason with either money or not a ton of cost in prospects. As opposed to C, which still looks like a problem, and possibly 2B. Still, they got to 108 wins last season despite both Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez missing a month or more, merely an average season from JBJ, below average results from 1B and 3B, and getting less than nothing out of 2B and C. So even though Mookie (probably) won't put up another 10 WAR season there's enough slack to pick up to offset that. And even if they win 10 fewer games from their pythag record, they'll still have 93 wins.
   4. villageidiom Posted: March 26, 2019 at 08:32 AM (#5825295)
If Porcello has an OK-or-slightly-better innings-eater season, he'll be back on a 3-year $50 million deal. If he has a great season he won't be back.
   5. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: March 26, 2019 at 09:33 AM (#5825320)
Steve Pearce will open the season on the IL (that's going to take some getting used to) and Sam Travis will be on the Opening Day roster. Pearce isn't likely to miss too much time.
   6. jmurph Posted: March 26, 2019 at 09:44 AM (#5825326)
If Porcello has an OK-or-slightly-better innings-eater season, he'll be back on a 3-year $50 million deal. If he has a great season he won't be back.

Agree, and I would probably favor both of these outcomes.
   7. Nasty Nate Posted: March 26, 2019 at 09:52 AM (#5825330)
It might be in the sweet spot of an accepted QO.
   8. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 26, 2019 at 11:38 AM (#5825396)

It might be in the sweet spot of an accepted QO.


Not sure I can imagine a scenario where it would make sense for Porcello to accept a QO. If he is good enough to warrant that kind of $, then surely he'd be good enough to get a multi-year deal. If there were long term concern due to injury I would envision a deal like Eovaldi just got from the Rays - 2 years, low money, gets paid to rehab and prove he's healthy and can still pitch.
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: March 26, 2019 at 11:50 AM (#5825408)
Not sure I can imagine a scenario where it would make sense for Porcello to accept a QO. If he is good enough to warrant that kind of $, then surely he'd be good enough to get a multi-year deal.
If he's just barely good enough to warrant them offering it and he wants to stay on the team, he might accept. For example, if his market value is roughly 1/$19-2/$32m-3/$43m, he might be OK with not switching teams and betting on himself to have a good year and go back into free agency. It's possible that preserving his 10/5 no trade rights also would have some value for him.

Granted, it's a narrow range, because if he's better he will decline the QO, and if he's worse they won't offer it.
   10. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 26, 2019 at 12:36 PM (#5825424)
Let's say he repeats his 2018 season. 33 GS, 190+ IP, 102 ERA+, 4.01 FIP, which also happens to be pretty much his career numbers. What sort of offer does he get? Is he demonstrably better than Gio Gonzalez or Dallas Keuchel? Healthier I guess, but stuff-wise they are ahead of Porcello.
   11. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: March 26, 2019 at 09:42 PM (#5825619)
David Price has been fight8ng an illness so he is getting pushed back. He will pitch the fifth game of the year in Oakland but evidently is available out of the bullpen for the first two games.
   12. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: March 26, 2019 at 11:18 PM (#5825634)
I will eat my hat if he matches his 2018 season. He had a RA9 of 4.56 coming off an RA9 of 5.53. I'd trade him for flotsam OR jetsam. And unlike KM and David Ortiz, I'm right.
   13. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 26, 2019 at 11:52 PM (#5825641)
If he's just barely good enough to warrant them offering it and he wants to stay on the team, he might accept.

It seems unlikely that a player would actually want to stay with a team that undervalues his performance.
   14. Nasty Nate Posted: March 27, 2019 at 08:19 AM (#5825662)
Ha ha. Why stop there? Maybe after insulting him horribly by, uh, offering him a QO, the future Sox also trash him through their puppets in the press. This could be a real problem for the 2018 Sox. Thanks for your concern.
   15. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: March 27, 2019 at 08:36 AM (#5825665)
From WEEI.com;

Q. The Red Sox player most likely to surprise us in 2019 will be?

@bradfo: Rick Porcello is going to be better than his Cy Young year. Put it in the books.
   16. jmurph Posted: March 27, 2019 at 08:57 AM (#5825669)
@bradfo: Rick Porcello is going to be better than his Cy Young year. Put it in the books.

Love it. I remain irrationally confident in Porcello every time he starts.

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