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   1. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 29, 2011 at 02:23 AM (#4024777)
I bet, by the numbers, that Ryan Sweeney projects as a better player than Josh Reddick next year. He'll cost an extra million bucks or so, which makes a difference, but he's been a reasonable platoon RF for a couple seasons and he's young enough to have a little upside left. Sweeney can replace Reddick just about perfectly in the 2012 plan - he can compete with Kalish for the job, and can be cut or dealt reasonably easily if Kalish earns a starting role at any point. Reddick is a much toolsier talent - I don't think Sweeney has any true plus aspects to his game - so the Sox gave up a lot of upside and two cost-controlled years, but Sweeney for Reddick evens out most of the what the Sox lost in near-term value. That makes me more positive on the trade.

It still all depends on Reddick's skill development and Bailey's health and the capacity of Bard to be a good starter. As I said, this was a risky, unconventional plan.
   2. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 29, 2011 at 03:24 AM (#4024808)
One aspect of this that I like is that there is a certain boldness to it. Rather than waiting til spring and seeing which of Reddick or Kalish works out the Sox are taking what amounts to a surplus (albeit a surplus of questionably abled young outfielders) and filling a hole.

I'm not worried about Baileys talent, he'll pitch well, it's just a matter of how much.
   3. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: December 29, 2011 at 07:44 AM (#4024934)
I like this trade for the Sox. Reddick and Kalish were redundant so might as well cash in the one you don't like as much. Bailey under control for 3 years and Melancon for 5 -- but with no long term guarantees -- is pretty sweet. There's probably another trade or two coming with the 40 man now full. Bowden, Doubront, or Anderson are reasonable candidates to get moved.

I think swapping Reddick for Sweeney means the righty OF needs to be more than just the short end of a platoon -- Andruw Jones would be perfect.

Good start by Cherington, now he just needs to turn some of the third base depth (Middlebrooks, Bogaerts, Cecchini, Vitek) into a pony. Could Boston handle Hanley being Hanley?
   4. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 29, 2011 at 03:34 PM (#4025003)
This leaves the Sox with something like $5-8M remaining under the salary cap.
This is wrong. I had a typo in the spreadsheet which failed to count Marco Scutaro's salary. Given my various arbitration projections, the Red Sox are now basically at the luxury tax limit. Any further additions to the payroll will cost the Sox an additional 30% in luxury tax on top of the player's salary.

This probably makes it less likely that the Sox will be players for the 1/10 guys like Kuroda and Oswalt. I still think they need another starter, but it will probably be a bit more a bargain contract guy.
   5. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 29, 2011 at 03:48 PM (#4025020)
MCoA - The way the LT works if the Sox stay under it this year then next year if they exceed it the rate is much lower, is that right?
   6. stanmvp48 Posted: December 29, 2011 at 03:58 PM (#4025027)
Cromulent? Help me out folks.
   7. The District Attorney Posted: December 29, 2011 at 04:07 PM (#4025031)
Cromulent? Help me out folks.
Sounds like you need to embiggen your vocabulary.
   8. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 29, 2011 at 04:08 PM (#4025033)
Stan - here ya go.

Jose - I can't find the rules summarized anywhere and I don't feel like reading the CBA, but my understanding is that avoiding the tax in year n cuts your tax rate in year n+1 in some form. I don't think, though, that that's what's going on here. The Sox never go over the tax much - their $3.4M bill last year was the highest in club history, so even if they reduced the rate by half they'd save less than $2M. Further, the Sox are really unlikely to get under the tax this year. I think the issue is simply the payment of the tax, that adding 30% on to the expected salary of an above average starter embiggens the cost beyond the value they'd get out of it.
   9. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 29, 2011 at 04:10 PM (#4025035)
I don't feel like reading the CBA


Well what the hell am I paying you for? Oh wait, I don't pay you. Carry on.

If you're right, that seems a bit shortsighted. It's easy for me to say but if I'm the Sox I think a guy like Oswalt increases my playoff likelihood by enough to generate that additional $3-5 million in revenues.
   10. villageidiom Posted: December 29, 2011 at 06:44 PM (#4025172)
Jose - I can't find the rules summarized anywhere and I don't feel like reading the CBA, but my understanding is that avoiding the tax in year n cuts your tax rate in year n+1 in some form.
AFAICT the new CBA has not yet been published. Maury would have it for sure if it were available.

According to the expiring CBA, simply going under the tax threshold in one year (after being over the prior year) only drops you down one bracket if you were in the 40% bracket the prior year. Teams above the 22.5% rate can't get back down to 22.5% until they've avoided the tax for two consecutive years.

Of course, if you're under the threshold you're paying no tax, in which case the tax rate for that year is moot.
   11. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: December 30, 2011 at 02:49 PM (#4025690)
I can't find the link, but reports I saw said that if you're under for one year the tax resets and you "only" have to pay 17.5% the next time.
   12. Ron J Posted: December 30, 2011 at 03:23 PM (#4025698)
#10 It's not published because they're at the memorandum of understanding stage. They know what the deal is, it's just that getting all of those little details on paper takes time.
   13. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 30, 2011 at 03:36 PM (#4025701)
I believe the Luxury Tax penalty involves being forced to pay Carl Crawford to suck for six more years.

Carl Crawford is a walking, breathing version of "No Taxation Without Representation!"

Sorry - it's been about a month since I've written a line about my disdain for Carl Crawford.
   14. Mattbert Posted: December 30, 2011 at 04:02 PM (#4025710)
So it seems Ryan Kalish had labrum surgery last month and will be out until the middle of next year. Splendid.

Is there anything this medical staff can't completely f**k up? Kalish had that injury in April! Cheese and rice...

EDIT: I submitted a link for this story to the Newsblog.
   15. Nasty Nate Posted: December 30, 2011 at 04:22 PM (#4025720)
That's a bummer. I'll try to put a positive spin on it: even if they go cheapo and patchwork in RF this year, it will probably be better than last year when they got a batting line of .233 .299 .353 from the position at a cost north of $14 million.

...plus this opens the door for a Youkilis/Buccholz/Kalish for Justin Upton trade...
   16. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 30, 2011 at 04:23 PM (#4025721)
It's such a classic case of bad management. Kalish hurt his shoulder, where he had previously-incurred labrum damage, but was cleared to return after rest and rehab. He wasn't actually healthy yet, and playing in August with an injured shoulder caused a neck injury. Only near the end of the season did the Sox medical staff choose surgery. Then after Kalish recovered from neck surgery, they determined that the labrum injury - the cause of everything from the beginning - should be handled via surgical intervention now, too. It's a humongous fustercluck.

Also, Kalish is having surgery on the labrum of his throwing shoulder. Whether he's a right fielder at all when he returns is probably up in the air.
   17. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: December 30, 2011 at 04:40 PM (#4025737)
Well, the date of Kalish's surgery was November 8 and the medical staff shakeup was reported around November 16. Might the handling of Kalish have been the trigger? Or the straw that broke the camel's back? Or was that a last-ditch effort to stave off the shakeup? Or was it the new medical team's call?

What if this is part of a plan to make Carl Crawford play right? Whatever they do with CC, this makes the Reddick trade a little more ballsy, but also (I hope) means that they have a plan in place for what to do without Kalish. In the case that Sweeney is the man and the plan, Sheehan likes him as a defender and his ZiPS offensive and defensive projections are higher than Kalish (98 OPS+ to 91 OPS+, and VG for Sweeney, Average for Kalish). Right now Sweeney looks like a good upgrade in right over the once heretofore assumed #1 option (Kalish).
   18. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 30, 2011 at 11:12 PM (#4026000)
Per MLBTR, the Yankees have re-signed Andruw Jones for one season, just $2M guaranteed. I think the Sox should have been in on that.
   19. Something Other Posted: December 31, 2011 at 12:32 AM (#4026023)
@18: Huh--definitely seems low for a Boras client; even if the incentives are easy to reach it's 3.4m for roughly one win. Good deal for the Yankees. I wonder if Andruw was willing to give up a few bucks for the sake of a little stability.
   20. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: January 03, 2012 at 07:48 PM (#4028201)
Red Sox sign Carlos Silva to a minor league deal. Meh.
   21. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 04, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4028858)
This is probably as good a place for this as any.

it appears the Red Sox will likely pass on the huge dollars it may take to sign Cespedes and bid for (Jorge) Soler instead, according to a major league source.

Soler, 19, is a 6-3 slender right-handed hitting centerfielder, who needs more seasoning


Long story short it doesn't sound the like the Sox are too keen on Cespedes.
   22. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: January 04, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4028926)
Makes sense. They're kind of stuck with the LF they've got for a little while.
   23. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 05, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4029450)
From today's Globe;


Red Sox reliever Bobby Jenks recently had a second spinal decompression procedure after experiencing discomfort following the first procedure in mid-December...

The normal recovery time for the procedure is eight weeks, which would mean Jenks is back in the flow the first or second week of March.


For some reason I feel like counting on Bobby Jenks may be unwise.
   24. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: January 09, 2012 at 03:35 AM (#4031987)
And now they sign Aaron Cook to a minor league deal. Can't complain too much about minor league deals, but it is starting to look like the Sox may not be going after a Garza or any impact arms for the rotation. Maybe a best 2 out of Bard/Aceves/Silva/Cook/Other?
   25. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 09, 2012 at 08:06 AM (#4032019)
I think that Ben is just using a slightly odd resource at his disposal - the empty Pawtucket rotation. Alex Wilson and maybe Junichi Tazawa are the only pitchers in the organization worth a damn who have a claim to a job in Pawtucket. Silva and Cook (and probably one more low-end lottery ticket arm) can take the remaining spots, and maybe you find your Bartolo Colon.

I don't think the signings of Cook and Silva should necessarily be taken as evidence that there won't be a better pitcher acquired. These are moves designed more, I think, to take advantage of a minor opportunity and to guard against another disaster like September '11.
   26. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: January 10, 2012 at 01:34 AM (#4032885)
I don't think the signings of Cook and Silva should necessarily be taken as evidence that there won't be a better pitcher acquired. These are moves designed more, I think, to take advantage of a minor opportunity and to guard against another disaster like September '11.


I'm taking them as small pieces of evidence. That, coupled with the steady stream of rumors saying the Red Sox aren't planning on spending much more money, leads me to believe that while they may still acquire a better pitcher, that it's probably not going to be somebody much better than these dudes. It currently looks like we're headed for someone as inspiring as a Jeff Francis or a Livan Hernandez. I wouldn't be surprised to see Bruce Chen taking the mound for the Red Sox next year. Webb or Sheets seem like they'd be the typical injured/high risk/high upside type guys Theo would sign, but I have no idea what kind of contract demands they'd have, or whether would even be worth it. Like you say, there isn't a ton of depth in AAA.
   27. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 11, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4034429)
Chen signed a two year deal with KC early in the off-season.

There are enough guys of reasonable ability still out there (Kuroda, Saunders, Oswalt, Jackson) that I think the Sox have a pretty good shot of landing on a reasonable deal. I wouldn't be surprised if one of the factors at work is the uncertainty of Ortiz. I think if the Sox could get him to agree to a 2/24 type deal rather than risking an arb award of 16-17 million they would view the AAV gain of $5 million as money to be spent on one of those guys.

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