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Sunday, November 26, 2017

Options Are Few

Boston has two 25-man roster spots open, but several more than two to fill.

In preparation for the Rule 5 draft Boston recently filled up their 40-man roster. In most years this means a bunch of prospects with no service time can’t make another team’s 25-man roster via Rule 5 immediately, but will have the clock ticking as Boston will need to start burning options to keep them in the minors. This year’s crop, though, included one player who is already out of options: Bryce Brentz. As you’ll recall, Boston already burned through all his options before outrighting him back in March. Doing so removed him from the 40-man roster. While Boston has now protected him from being taken in Rule 5, they must carry him on the 25-man roster. Unless they actually want him there, that’s one more constraint they have to resolve this offseason.

But wait! That’s not all. Going through the 40-man it seems there are 23 roster spots already taken, either by players who are out of options, or who have options but are unlikely to be sent down.

Options remaining, won’t be exercised (12): Pedroia, Holt, Bradley, Bogaerts, Betts, Kimbrel, Price, Smith, Benintendi, Thornburg, Sale, Devers

No options remaining (11): Wright, Vazquez, Hembree, Swihart, Hanley, Porcello, Marrero, Johnson, Leon, Pomeranz, Brentz.

Those players produce this roster:

DH: Hanley
C: Vazquez, Leon, Swihart
1B:
2B: Pedroia, Marrero
SS: Bogaerts,
3B: Devers, Holt
LF: Benintendi, Brentz
CF: Bradley
RF: Betts

SP: Sale, Price, Porcello, Wright, Pomeranz
RP: Kimbrel, Smith, Thornburg, Hembree, Johnson

Let’s go with the assumption that they will have 5 starting pitchers, 7 relievers, 9 starting lineup, 2 backup infielders, 1 backup outfielder, and 1 backup catcher. With that, then they have the following issues:

1. Two vacancies in the bullpen and one at 1B. If you believe in Sam Travis, then all of these can be filled with the existing 40-man roster. Joe Kelly and Matt Barnes would be assumed as the bullpen candidates.

2. They have to remove one of the 23 people listed above to fill those spots. OK, they really don’t. Hanley could play 1B and Swihart could become the DH, leaving Travis in Pawtucket. But…

3. Is this really the collection of players they want on the roster? I mean, Eduardo “Don’t Call Me Edgar” Rodriguez is in AAA in the above scenario. So are Brandon Workman and Robby Scott. Meanwhile Brian Johnson is in the Boston bullpen. Deven Marrero is on the Boston roster; Tzu-Wei Lin (personal fave) is not. The thing is, every one of these switches requires removing one of those 23 guys on the MLB roster who don’t have options or who are unlikely to be sent to AAA. 

So while I thought this would be a quiet offseason, maybe with signing a free agent 1B and renewing some of their own free agents (Reed? Nunez?), it looks like they are lacking roster flexibility to set things the best way. I count maybe 3 roster moves involving the 23 non-option players, in addition to filling the other 2 spots.

How would you handle the roster crunch?

villageidiom Posted: November 26, 2017 at 12:02 PM | 46 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: November 26, 2017 at 04:15 PM (#5581173)
- I think it's a near certainty that they make a Big Move™. Hosmer, Martinez, Stanton...someone of that ilk is coming to Boston. There is a need, a desire and a willingness so I think that happens. My gut says it's Martinez as DH with Hanley moving to first base. That buys you a year of Travis in AAA to try and establish himself. I liked what I saw of him but his year was up and down to be sure.

- They've said Brentz is the fourth outfielder and I'll believe it when I see it. There is no harm saying that now but in the end I won't be surprised if they make a move. It won't be Young but I won't be at all surprised if a Proven Veteran™ is added. Does Cora try to bring Astro buddy Cameron Maybin?

- I expect a reliever acquisition (no way that can go wrong) but between the rotation and the bullpen I think injury will set up the roster without having to lose anyone we want. If the Sox are forced to send NotEdgar to Pawtucket that means everyone is healthy and ready to rock and roll. I wouldn't be entirely stunned to see a 6 man rotation in that case as well to save some wear and tear. Every year every contending team goes through this exercise "what if everyone is healthy?" It won't happen and if it does, GOOD! Too many good players is not a problem.

- Everyone is saying pretty things about this guy Quiroz they picked up from the Mexican League. Velazquez performed a service last year so maybe DD or someone on his staff has an in there. I suspect his role is 26th man to give cover for Marrero, Holt, etc....(I share your fandom of Lin).

- I'll be stunned if Reed even gets a phone call. Nunez I suspect they want back but I wonder if his injury issues might scare them off a bit. I haven't read anything that says how he is doing.

- Don't forget Pedroia isn't an option until after Memorial Day at best. For all the Stanton chatter I hope they are talking to the Marlins about supposedly available Dee Gordon.

- Brock Holt is so ####### important in my opinion. A healthy Holt becomes a fill in at all sorts of spots, becomes a caddy in case Devers does a Bogaerts/Bradley 2014 and just generally gives Alex Cora all kinds of options.

Lots of words but they mean this I think;

IF - Hanley, Holt, Devers, Bogaerts, Marrero, Quiroz/Lin/Someone else
OF - Betts, Bradley, Benintendi, Brentz/Other
C - Vazquez, Swihart (just a hunch)
DH - Martinez (or Hanley with Hosmer at 1st)
SP - Sale, Price, Porcello, Wright, Rodriguez (Pomeranz DL to start (someone will be)
RP - Kimbrel, Kelly, Smith, Scott, Johnson, Workman, New Guy (Hembree gone, Thornburg DL, think there is more there to deal with) Honestly, more than one of these guys will be on the DL in all likelihood. There is a reason Ben Taylor was on the Opening Day roster last year and someone like that (or even Taylor again) will be there.
   2. villageidiom Posted: November 27, 2017 at 11:10 AM (#5581416)
So, just for the record, you'd see Leon and Hembree as the candidates for removal.
   3. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: November 27, 2017 at 02:11 PM (#5581542)
Yes. I think on a more practical level one of Leon/Swihart will no longer be a member of the organization come the Ides of March.

I just realized I neglected Matt Barnes in my list of relievers so someone else has to go on the DL, I'll throw Workman there. I wouldn't be shocked if they did some shuttling of relievers as camp rolls up. If Taylor and Chandler Shepherd do enough in Spring Training I can see the Sox moving a couple of Workman, Hembree and Johnson to free up space for guys with options. Trading Workman for a single A arm somewhere could happen.
   4. villageidiom Posted: November 28, 2017 at 10:26 PM (#5582383)
One thing to keep in mind with all these DL moves is that players have been known to come off the DL at some point. That will need roster moves of some kind, and it's unlikely that it would involve trading the players coming off the DL. I mean, you're right, not everyone will be healthy to start the year; but the DL dodge is just deferring the decisions and making them potentially more complicated.

So let's say only one of these guys you've DL'ed actually goes on the DL. Pick any one. What are the other moves?
   5. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: November 29, 2017 at 08:51 AM (#5582493)
I think you understate how likely it is that players are going to be on the DL. The amount of time the Sox are going to have their preferred 25 man roster available is pretty low.

Still, it's a fair question. Ultimately a large portion of the bullpen is pretty fungible; Johnson, Hembree, Workman and Scott are all guys that the Sox should be able to replace (in order of ease). Likewise I think the Sox simply need to make a decision between Leon and Swihart given the absence of options on both. Similarly as much as I've liked Brentz over the years let's not overrate him. If you get someone to fill his spot you just punt him into the ether.

On the infield I think Marrero is someone who might be on the cusp. Lin has options so again Marrero is a guy you can let walk and if Holt doesn't bounce back you don't ride him too long.

The tl;dr version of this is I don't feel any rush for the Sox to be making moves. Ultimately there are maybe 15-16 guys (OK, it's 19) I really worry about; Hanley, Devers, Bogaerts, Betts, Bradley, Benintendi, Vazquez, Martinez/Hosmer, Sale, Price, Porcello, Pomeranz, Rodriguez, Kimbrel, Kelly, Smith, Barnes, Thornburg, New Guy. Everyone else is pretty fungible.

If I have one concern on this team it's the same one as last year, the lack of outfield depth. If any of the starters get hurt then there is not a lot behind them.
   6. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: November 29, 2017 at 08:58 AM (#5582496)
To be clear, I'm not disagreeing with your general point that the Sox have decisions to make. They almost certainly will. But the "problem" exists when they have a full roster of healthy, productive players. If that happens, that's not a problem, that's an objective.
   7. villageidiom Posted: November 29, 2017 at 09:57 AM (#5582520)
Oh, yeah, I'm in complete agreement with you about roster health. I'm just thinking that they have roster gaps that they can fill with the optionless players, but shouldn't. If they can, they should trade some of these guys in minor moves rather than keep them until they have to make a move.

Let's take Leon for example. I think at this point Boston is good with Vazquez/Swihart, but ideally they'd have a 3rd guy with options who is on the bubble for MLB and can be stashed in Pawtucket until needed. Looking around I see... The Twins. They have Castro, but their backup was Giminez and he's a free agent. They have Mitch Garver in AAA, who was described last year as follows: "He’s a solid defensive catcher with average raw-power and hit-tool projection. He’s either a high-end backup or fringey regular." That's kind of what Boston needs stashed away if something goes wrong. Garver also can play 1B and OF, which fits the roster-flexibility mindset Boston loves (and hoped they could have had with Swihart). The Twins were briefly a playoff team this year, and might be interested in swapping out Garver for someone further along in development. I don't know what else would be needed in such a trade to balance it out, but swapping Leon for Garver is one way to clear the logjam, by picking up someone who has options who can ostensibly replace what Boston would want from a 3rd catcher.

And that's just thinking unimaginatively, swapping a catcher for a catcher on one of the first teams I looked at. It's not like they can't sign Dan Butler or Brayan Pena as a minor-league FA to sit in AAA, and swap Leon for someone at a different position. But you get the gist. I'd move some of the players they have now for players a little further behind in development.
   8. Textbook Editor Posted: November 29, 2017 at 10:08 AM (#5582525)
I sort of suspect that one of the OF B's will be moving on this winter to get a power OF bat (prob not Stanton, but someone). JBJ being the most obvious option, given where he is in arb years/performance (you'd slide Betts to CF and sacrifice the RF defense to get a RF bat, or flip Benintendi to CF and keep Betts in RF).

I don't agree with the idea that they need a power bat/need to move one of the starting OFs; I just suspect that's how this will play out.

Thought: offering Betts+low-A building block pieces for Stanton... good, bad, meh? Not saying I'd do it (or want to do it), but was curious what people thought. I have my doubts Betts will be here once his arbitration is up (which is the only reason why I'd suggest moving him).

   9. Nasty Nate Posted: November 29, 2017 at 10:20 AM (#5582533)
Thought: offering Betts+low-A building block pieces for Stanton... good, bad, meh?
I need a 4th choice - below "bad."

   10. Textbook Editor Posted: November 29, 2017 at 10:24 AM (#5582537)
#9--hee hee... I figured someone would say something like that. To be clear--that's NOT what I would do... but if the "goal" of Dombrowski is "get Stanton" (and I don't know that it is), I was trying to imagine what the package would be that would also free up an OF spot, be seen as a good offer, etc.
   11. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: November 29, 2017 at 10:30 AM (#5582546)
I sort of suspect that one of the OF B's will be moving on this winter to get a power OF bat (prob not Stanton, but someone). JBJ being the most obvious option, given where he is in arb years/performance (you'd slide Betts to CF and sacrifice the RF defense to get a RF bat, or flip Benintendi to CF and keep Betts in RF).


I don't think you're wrong about this. I just think that there seems to be a desire to move JBJ that I think makes no sense (and I realize you are saying what you think will happen, not what you would do). JBJ is a perfect guy to keep around until he reaches free agency then just let him walk. Yeah if you can move him to improve the team you do it but he's a 3-4 win player at a low cost. If you move him you have to replace him which isn't easy to do.
   12. jmurph Posted: November 29, 2017 at 10:34 AM (#5582549)
I need a 4th choice - below "bad."

That would be a heart breaker for me. Watching Stanton hit infinity home runs would be fun, don't get me wrong, but I love the Mookie experience. I want him to be there forever.
   13. Nasty Nate Posted: November 29, 2017 at 10:37 AM (#5582551)
but if the "goal" of Dombrowski is "get Stanton" (and I don't know that it is), I was trying to imagine what the package would be that would also free up an OF spot, be seen as a good offer, etc.
There was this story yesterday ... which is a summary of another story, in which Rosental says that the Sox are one of 3 teams (w/ the Cards and Giants) in talks with the Marlins. It doesn't talk about trade specifics, but I have been assuming that the way to free up the OF spot was having JBJ be part of the trade.

http://www.weei.com/blogs/rob-bradford/red-sox-reportedly-engaged-giancarlo-stanton-trade-talks
   14. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: November 29, 2017 at 10:46 AM (#5582560)
What's a trade that could land Stanton?

JBJ/Devers/Groome/random minor league guy

Benintendi/Groome/couple of better random minor league guys

I just don't see it happening. I'm sure some Yankee/other team fan will read this and explain how the Marlins won't do it for less than Mookie and Bogaerts or something but it seems that most of these types of deals have been two top 50 prospects plus two more guys give or take. I don't love either of those deals from the Sox perspective. I'd rather spend money on Martinez/Hosmer than give up players and money on Stanton (though god would I love having Stanton).
   15. Nasty Nate Posted: November 29, 2017 at 10:50 AM (#5582565)
most of these types of deals have been two top 50 prospects plus two more guys give or take.
Given his contract, there aren't many of these deals to compare with, right? In some sense, the A-Rod trade is one.
   16. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: November 29, 2017 at 10:53 AM (#5582573)
Yeah, I'm thinking the big star deals; Gonzalez, Cabrera, Teixeira, etc... You're right that the contract is a different animal here. A-Rod is a good comp.
   17. Nasty Nate Posted: November 29, 2017 at 11:00 AM (#5582580)
I was trying to think of stars traded in/near their primes, but towards the start of big near-FA-level long contracts. Gonzalez to LA fits, although the context of that trade probably doesn't give us much information as a precedent.
   18. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: November 29, 2017 at 11:07 AM (#5582589)
Yeah I was actually thinking of Gonzalez to Boston but you're right about the Punto trade.
   19. Textbook Editor Posted: November 29, 2017 at 11:09 AM (#5582592)
What's a trade that could land Stanton?

JBJ/Devers/Groome/random minor league guy

Benintendi/Groome/couple of better random minor league guys


I really, really, really don't want to lose Devers. I don't, frankly, want to lose anybody. But if the choice is JBJ/Devers/Groome vs. Benintendi/Groome--and again, assuming I MUST get Stanton for one of the two packages--then I'd pick the Benintendi/Groome option instead.

I mean... if there's an alternate universe where Betts moves back to 2B, Pedroia plays some 2B/DH for 100 games to stay healthy, Stanton/JBJ/Bradley is the OF, and Holt/Marrero take over 3B (because Devers+Groome go in the Stanton trade)... That's a universe where I'd be OK with losing Devers. But that's like a fanboy fiction version of reality--there's no way Betts moves back to 2B.

I should have also said that if Betts was the piece moving I'd assume either we got $ back in return or that the rest of the package was basically lottery ticket-type players, considering the salaries, etc.
   20. jmurph Posted: November 29, 2017 at 11:10 AM (#5582594)
Can't find it, but I saw a thing with quotes from unnamed front office types suggesting that most teams saw Stanton's deal as being roughly fair value, implying that no one would be terribly excited to empty their roster of young stars for the right to properly pay him. I hope Dombrowski feels the same way.
   21. Textbook Editor Posted: November 29, 2017 at 11:13 AM (#5582598)
I can also see why LA doesn't want/need Stanton (and why Stanton wants to go to LA), but often in these things it's all a negotiating ploy, and I have a hard time believing that if LA wanted Stanton they wouldn't wind up with him if they were also Stanton's first choice. Money is basically no object to LA--their only limitation is really that they have only 25 roster spots at once to use.

Of course the same could be said about the Yankees (assuming Stanton would go there)... Would the Yankees trade Judge for Stanton? An interesting thought experiment. I suppose it depends on how much regression you see in Judge's future (and Stanton's, tbf).
   22. Textbook Editor Posted: November 29, 2017 at 11:18 AM (#5582600)
Can't find it, but I saw a thing with quotes from unnamed front office types suggesting that most teams saw Stanton's deal as being roughly fair value, implying that no one would be terribly excited to empty their roster of young stars for the right to properly pay him. I hope Dombrowski feels the same way.


Yeah, this is why I think it's either a package of upside A-AA players or maybe 1 sort-of MLB "star" + filler that gets the deal done. Unless you're a dumb GM--or one who literally has dozens of quality minors guys + is 1 missing bat from what you think is otherwise a WS-quality team--I don't think a deal here costs you a whole bunch. You have to--as a GM--assume the opt-out is NOT happening, and that you're on the hook for the full amount.

Which is why to be honest I think even a Devers/Groome+ package is sort of an overpay here, but if that was enough to get a deal done, I'm also not sure how the hell you configure the OF unless Stanton moves to DH (mostly) and a 4th OF type to give guys days off 1-2 times a week (50 OF starts, 100 DH starts).
   23. jmurph Posted: November 29, 2017 at 11:39 AM (#5582625)
The Red Sox are among the organizations “in active talks” with the White Sox regarding veteran slugger Jose Abreu, according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (via Twitter). It is not clear at the moment which other teams might be involved or how far talks might have progressed.

Well, that's interesting.
   24. Nasty Nate Posted: November 29, 2017 at 12:23 PM (#5582675)
The Red Sox are among the organizations “in active talks” with the White Sox regarding veteran slugger Jose Abreu, according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (via Twitter). It is not clear at the moment which other teams might be involved or how far talks might have progressed.
Well, that's interesting.
Betts
Benintendi
Bogaerts
Abreu
Devers
Ramirez
Bradley
Vasquez
Scrubby McFill-in

that would be nice
   25. jmurph Posted: November 29, 2017 at 12:29 PM (#5582678)
I wonder what he would cost in a trade. He's arb-eligible this year so clearly he's going to get a raise of some kind.
   26. Nasty Nate Posted: November 29, 2017 at 12:34 PM (#5582683)
He's arb-eligible this year so clearly he's going to get a raise of some kind.

Check out this thread. The linked article estimates $17.9 million for this year; Walt Davis suggests slightly lower.

Either way he definitely has positive trade value in a vacuum. And the White Sox have very few payroll commitments, and they hung onto him all of last offseason and at the trade deadline, so presumably they have the leverage to extract a lot.
   27. villageidiom Posted: November 29, 2017 at 01:02 PM (#5582709)
Betts
Benintendi
Bogaerts
Abreu
Devers
Ramirez
Bradley
Vasquez
Scrubby McFill-in

that would be nice

I like the new nickname for Pedroia.
   28. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: November 29, 2017 at 01:48 PM (#5582748)
Check out this thread. The linked article estimates $17.9 million for this year; Walt Davis suggests slightly lower.


I read this as Wade Davis and couldn't figure out why he would have an opinion of Jose Abreu's arbitration price.
   29. Bad Fish Posted: November 29, 2017 at 09:05 PM (#5583096)
I wouldn't accept the risk of Stanton's full contract unless they were also sending some high level prospects in exchange for the jack-o-lantern on my front porch. Checking out guys like Pujols, Cabrera and AGon I'm not sure I'd pay any of those guys $30M a year for their age 28-37 years knowing what they did - maybe Albert, but he was a much, much better hitter at 27 than Stanton is. All of them fell off a cliff at 33 or 34. Pujols was still an ok hitter for a while because his floor is so high, but not $30M good, he stunk this year, which would be the last year on Stanton's contract. Cabrera might get a dead cat bounce, but the old Miggy is not walking through the door and he will only be 35 next year. AGon isn't as good a hitter as Stanton, but he is done at 35. The depreciation on these kinds of contracts isn't worth the gain.
   30. madvillain Posted: November 30, 2017 at 03:29 PM (#5583627)
From Heyman today:


The White Sox are said by one source to have made a request that included at least one young player currently on Boston’s major-league roster, and apparently the request either halted talks or at least appears to have left the sides thinking a deal won’t be easy.


I'm guessing that player is either JBJ or Benitenndi. White Sox are asking for a lot, naturally. Red Sox are hesitant to give up young, productive MLB talent, naturally. And a deal is highly unlikely given all that.

We'll see, I'm not familiar enough with the Red Sox' farm system to know if they have anything Hahn would consider equivalent to JBJ or Benitenndi given enough talking with Dombrowski. These two GMs do have a history of trades together, which you'd think would help grease a deal.
   31. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: November 30, 2017 at 03:44 PM (#5583644)
The "problem" the Sox have is they don't have a lot of high end talent in the system. I put scare quotes around problem because the promotions and trades have led to consecutive division titles and a terrific core for the next 2-3 seasons. Still, there just isn't much in the system I'd trade Abreu for if I was Chicago. Maybe Jason Groome but I wouldn't be enthusiastic.

From the Red Sox perspective I think I'd be hard pressed not to move Bradley for Abreu if that was doable. Make that move, shift Benny to center and sign Martinez to play left and that's a hell of a ballclub right there.

I just don't really see the Sox making a big trade this winter for that reason though. The system isn't bad; Chavis, Groome, Dalbec, Ockimey, Houck...they all are intriguing but there is no sure thing in there and of course the #5 prospect (Daniel Flores) passed away a few weeks ago.

Your point about DD and Hahn having a history is one that I think is important. Maybe I'm wrong but it certainly seems like certain pairings just keep dealing with each other and I'd have to think both sides are pretty pleased with the state of the Sale/Moncada deal so there would presumably be some built in trust.
   32. Textbook Editor Posted: November 30, 2017 at 05:03 PM (#5583723)
My main concern is basically it's an all-in move (trading JBJ or Benintendi for Abreu), because Abreu you only have control of for 2 more years (granted at arb prices) and then it's probably 90% certain he's gone.

Now, maybe you think JBJ is also gone when his arb years are up--he's a Boras client, it's easy to see Boras spinning him into a "better" version of Hayward (when Hayward was a FA) and trying to get a 6/$120 deal or something even crazier, and I'm not sure the Red Sox would want to do that deal... In which case do you want the next two years of JBJ or Abreu? Abreu sort of solves your 1B/DH problem, allows you to ease Hanley out (perhaps making sure he doesn't hit those PA targets), and also the deal would free up an OF spot for Martinez or even (long shot) Stanton.

I suppose I'd be OK with the guy moving to be JBJ, but far less OK with it being Benintendi (who we still have control of for 4 years, I think).

From the Red Sox perspective I think I'd be hard pressed not to move Bradley for Abreu if that was doable. Make that move, shift Benny to center and sign Martinez to play left and that's a hell of a ballclub right there.


Yeah, that's perhaps the play I'd make too. Then try to lock up the remaining B's to longer-term deals to bridge past the next 2 seasons... But NOT making any moves for a starting P could wind up biting them in the ass. I know--in theory--they have an abundance of SP options but... I feel like this gets said every year and then Doug Fister's starting 20+ games for you...
   33. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: November 30, 2017 at 05:13 PM (#5583726)
I suppose I'd be OK with the guy moving to be JBJ, but far less OK with it being Benintendi (who we still have control of for 4 years, I think).


Pretty sure it's 5 years of Benintendi, this was his rookie year.

JBJ is a good not great player who will be entering his age 31 season when he becomes a free agent. I have no interest in pushing him out the door but I also see no reason to lock him up beyond his club control years.


But NOT making any moves for a starting P could wind up biting them in the ass. I know--in theory--they have an abundance of SP options but... I feel like this gets said every year and then Doug Fister's starting 20+ games for you...


I assume they will hunt for a Fister type to add to the organization as the winter goes on. You can never have too much pitching and while I'd love to add Scherzer or Greinke as a practical matter Sale/Price/Porcello/NotGar/Wright/Pomeranz is a very reasonable starting point. If you can add the stud you do it but I'm not too fussed if they don't. As you say they WILL need someone because #### happens with pitchers but I think the Sox are probably in as good a position as any team in baseball right now when it comes to the rotation.
   34. Textbook Editor Posted: November 30, 2017 at 05:29 PM (#5583734)
Jose--I'm probably more worried than most that:

(a) Sale's breaking down at the end of the season will carry over
(b) Porcello is basically replacement level going forward, not a CYA candidate
(c) Price will break down again and may yet need to go under the knife
(d) Wright's injury will leave him a shell of the P he was
(e) EdRod won't overcome his leg problems
(f) Pomeranz just had the best season he'll ever have

I know I'm exceedingly, overwhelmingly negative about basically every SP they have... but all it takes is 2 of those 6 things happening and you have Brian Johnson or [insert fodder here] starting 20+ games... and I think there's a good chance 2 of those 6 things happen.

I think Dombrowski's approach of getting more bats instead of getting a "Phillies 2011" rotation is probably the way to go, given contracts, what's out there, etc... But we don't really have guys behind those 6 (maybe Johnson) who you'd want starting 20+ games, and there's not really much in the pipeline either (Groome, yes, but I didn't think anyone was saying he'd be ready in 2018).

Again, I think I'm just being crankily pessimistic...
   35. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 30, 2017 at 05:54 PM (#5583749)
(a) Sale's breaking down at the end of the season will carry over
(b) Porcello is basically replacement level going forward, not a CYA candidate
(c) Price will break down again and may yet need to go under the knife
(d) Wright's injury will leave him a shell of the P he was
(e) EdRod won't overcome his leg problems
(f) Pomeranz just had the best season he'll ever have


Yes, you are being a bit pessimistic...and that's ok. My version of these events.

(a) the quest for 300Ks, etc. just wore this guy down. This year, with a bit better management on the number of pitches early in the year will see him finish a bit stronger.
(b) Outside of being HR prone, his peripherals were decent, give us 200+ ip at 107 ERA+ or thereabouts
(c) Price will be more healthy this year, again overly managed on innings, should give us 180 ip.
(d) done and dusted, will not give the team anything. I put this one down to the Clay Buchholz school of injuring yourself doing something you shouldn't be doing if you pitch in the AL.
(e) Will twist his knee getting out the uber on the first day of spring training, misses entire season
(f) Will regress a little bit, but should be similar to Porcello; 200 innings 107 ERA+
subnote: As we have our own version of the killer "B's" OF, Drew and Rick and David can form their own version of the "slighty above average "P's" as a pitching trio.

One thing I do hope is that every injured reliever the team has given away position player talent for over the last 3 years will actually be healthy and can make up some of the innings, but yes the team needs another starter.

Trading JBJ for Abreu is not a move I support. There are bucketloads of 3B available this year, heck you'd be better off signing moose tacos to play 1B if you want power or sign Santana and accept a reasonable SLG % in exchange for a sharp batting eye and a high OBP. I like Santana and I think he'll present the best value deal available without locking the team into 5/6 years of Hosmer(aka Jose's fascination)
   36. chisoxcollector Posted: November 30, 2017 at 06:03 PM (#5583758)
I’ll be very sad if Abreu is traded for anything less than a quality young, cheap-ish player with 5+ years of control. It would really have to be Benintendi or Devers, which is almost certainly more than Abreu is worth. I don’t think I want to see him traded for Bradley, unless a decent prospect is included. Which, again, is almost certainly more than Abreu is worth.

Abreu is one of those guys that probably has more value to his current team than to most other teams, so it is difficult to find a trade fair for both sides. I usually scoff when I hear how great somebody is in the clubhouse. As far as I can remember, Abreu is the first ChiSox player for whom I believe the clubhouse presence “hype”. If there is a real chance he can help Moncada, Robert, Jimenez, etc reach their potential, I’d rather keep him than accept a middling return.
   37. chisoxcollector Posted: November 30, 2017 at 06:12 PM (#5583763)
Sale always falters down the stretch. Going into August every year I’d think “This is the year he wins the CY!”. And every year his stats crater. As much as I love Sale, this was the main reason I was only mildly upset to see him traded. Moncada and Kopech didn’t hurt, either!
   38. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: November 30, 2017 at 06:14 PM (#5583764)
Bit late, but I am not sure I would want Stanton's contract for free. That player opt-out is toxic, especially for a player who has struggled to stay in the lineup. And the list of 10 year megacontracts that have worked out is dwarfed by the list of the ones that haven't.

Given that, and how determined the Marlins seem to be to want to move him to cut salary, and the relative lack of landing spots for him (that Stanton has to ok on top of that)... I would say if you really must try and get him, give the Marlins the Godfather offer: offer nothing. If somebody beats it, so be it. There are plenty of other options available to the Sox.
   39. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: November 30, 2017 at 08:28 PM (#5583829)
But we don't really have guys behind those 6 (maybe Johnson) who you'd want starting 20+ games


In fairness you acknowledge being crankily pessimistic but I want to touch on this. NO ONE has a 7th pitcher they want starting 20+ games. Look, if you can get more pitching, you get more pitching, but at some point you've gotta fill the other spots too. If they get Arrieta let's say, that's great, but then you probably lose Wright. It's just not possible to have that level of depth.

As far as Sale, as chisoxcollector notes, this is his M.O. If the Proper Sox can find a way to get him through a whole season healthy and strong that's great but if he just keeps doing what he's done throughout his career I'm cool with that.
   40. Bad Fish Posted: November 30, 2017 at 08:51 PM (#5583839)
Here is the issue with any big moves this year. If JBJ is traded for Abreu and they sign JDM they will be about $35M over the cap, which is near the top of the first tier penalty. Next year, assuming Hanley doesn't vest they will be about at the Cap - probably over considering the higher arb costs, if Hanley vests they are at the cliff. I just don't think they have much flexibility.

I'm not worried about starting pitching at all. They got great production out of their 6-10 starters last year, you guys are forgetting about Velazquez, who's is a pretty good 7th or 8th man.

I want them to keep the band together. All the offensive biorhythms were in a trough last year. I think we will see significantly more power from simple regression and a full year of Devers. I would prefer to see them fish the down market 1st Base options and ride this horse.
   41. chisoxcollector Posted: November 30, 2017 at 11:17 PM (#5583888)
As far as Sale, as chisoxcollector notes, this is his M.O. If the Proper Sox can find a way to get him through a whole season healthy and strong that's great

I would think the proper Sox have given up trying to fix Sale’s late seasons woes now that they’ve traded him.
   42. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 01, 2017 at 09:23 AM (#5583952)
Well played sir.
   43. Nasty Nate Posted: December 01, 2017 at 09:59 AM (#5583972)
I know I'm exceedingly, overwhelmingly negative about basically every SP they have... but all it takes is 2 of those 6 things happening and you have Brian Johnson or [insert fodder here] starting 20+ games
I don't think it's pessimistic to think it likely that those types of guys start 20ish games. On the other hand, last year it happened (25 GS between Hendrick, Fister, Johnson, Velazquez), and in 2016 (34 GS between Elias, Owens, Sean O'Sullivan, and Wright - who beforehand could probably be considered fodder), and both years they won the division.
   44. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 07, 2017 at 11:08 AM (#5587921)
The Sox have outrighted Henry Owens. I wonder if that means a move is coming that required they free up a 40 man spot.
   45. villageidiom Posted: December 07, 2017 at 11:47 AM (#5587952)
The Sox have outrighted Henry Owens. I wonder if that means a move is coming that required they free up a 40 man spot.
Possibly, but with the Rule 5 draft coming up next week perhaps they want to protect another player (Cosart?), or draft someone from another team. Given everything I said earlier about players having no options I'd be shocked if it's the latter.

Of course this means Owens is now exposed to the Rule 5 draft. I don't think there's much danger of his being selected, although you'd think a non-contender (Detroit?) would be willing to spend the $100k, the min salary, and the roster spot in 2018 to see if they can get him turned around.
   46. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 07, 2017 at 01:06 PM (#5588025)
Yeah, I'd bet on him if I was another team. Try him as a starter and if that doesn't work see if you can make him a LOOGY.

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