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Thursday, November 03, 2016

Time To Make Decisions

So congrats to the Cubs.  Certainly as Sox fans we know the experience of breaking a long drought and I hope Cub fans enjoy it as much as we did twelve years ago.

But now it’s on to important things and that of course means the Red Sox.  The Sox return the vast majority of the team from last year but that doesn’t mean there are no decisions or moves to make this winter.  Dave Dombrowski has some work to do and it will be interesting to see how he does it.  Here are my thoughts on what I would like to see from the Sox;

1. Replace David Ortiz - Job one is replacing the five win season David Ortiz had.  The most obvious path to this one is to sign an Edwin Encarnacion but it is not the only path.  The Sox could also target run prevention rather than run production by adding a starting pitcher.  The free agent market for pitching is ghastly and if the Sox want to go that route a trade is almost certainly the way to do it.  Personally I would like to see the Sox sign EE but there are other ways to deal with this.  I will say that the Sox don’t really have a team where it makes sense to rotate the DH.  It is a young roster and there is not really a bat that they need to squeeze into the lineup.  Travis Shaw or Brock Holt is probably the best hitter not penciled in for a lineup slot and while I like both guys I am not feeling like the Sox need to find a place for them in the everyday lineup.

2. Fix the Bullpen - Given some of the internal options and the variance of relievers year to year I don’t think this is as bad a situation as it appears.  With Matt Barnes and Joe Kelly the Sox could have some pretty devastating set up options in front of Craig Kimbrel.  They need some depth but they should also be looking at some mid-season help with Carson Smith at the All Star Break (if not a bit sooner) and maybe a guy like Chandler Shepherd or Michael Kopech maybe on the radar.  On top of that I would not be shocked to see one or both of Koji Uehara and Brad Ziegler re-signed though I suspect Koji will retire and someone will overpay Ziegler.  With Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen on the free agent market Dombrowski could elect to target a big time reliever with the Ortiz money also.

3. Explore the Trade Market - The Sox have chips to deal and Jackie Bradley may be the best one.  I would not be surprised to see JBJ on the move but I think the Sox should tread carefully here.  While JBJ can be frustrating I think he has put to rest the questions about whether or not he can hit enough to be a regular and the Sox don’t really have outfield depth in the system.  Dealing Bradley would open a hole that needs some fixin’.  One guy I hope is NOT traded is Blake Swihart though I suspect he will be.  I think the Sox really blew it with him.  He should be the every day catcher in my opinion and let him work out the defensive kinks but I suspect he will be doing that elsewhere.

4. Pick Up Clay Buchholz’ Option - No reason to wait on this.  As they say it’s only money and it is not keeping the Sox from doing anything else.  Buchholz is a solid pitcher and revealed himself to be a good teammate with the way he handled his demotion to the bullpen then his yo-yo act before re-establishing himself in the rotation.

5. Address Third Base - The Sox have a decision to make at third base and lots of options, all of which are not very exciting.  Personally if I were going for an in-house option I would hand the job to Travis Shaw again.  Even if he is just the low average/high power guy we saw in 2016 I am fine with that.  I’d like a bit more than he was but a 2.2 WAR season is not anything to sneeze at and I think he has the best likelihood of being better than that among the options.  I don’t trust Pablo Sandoval one bit and Brock Holt is not an every day player.  Yoan Moncada is probably the long term option but as we saw in September he has some development left to do in Pawtucket.  I won’t be surprised if he helps the club in the second half.  I’d be surprised if the Sox made any sort of major move to bring someone into the organization to fill this spot.

Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: November 03, 2016 at 08:42 AM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John DiFool2 Posted: November 03, 2016 at 10:32 AM (#5345053)
If you put in the proper more up to date adjustments from a Fangraph article from a year or two ago (long story short he argues that DH's should be on par 1B as far as positional adjustments go), then it is a 6 win season for Papi.

   2. Nasty Nate Posted: November 03, 2016 at 10:38 AM (#5345060)
Does Clay have 5/10 no-trade rights? He's appeared in 10 seasons, but I don't know if it's service time that counts.
   3. Textbook Editor Posted: November 03, 2016 at 10:45 AM (#5345067)
NN--I think it's service time, not # of seasons, that counts.

Sandoval will get every chance to at least be a platoon job-share at 3B with Shaw, unless some stud 3B drops in their lap via a trade (which I don't see happening).

I hope they don't trade JBJ. I'd love to see a full season with Benintendi-JBJ-Betts as the OF.

   4. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: November 03, 2016 at 12:06 PM (#5345151)
I think they need starting pitching depth. Johnson and Owens didn't look good last year, Kelly seems to be a reliever, and there are no other pitching options in the high minors. I don't know how to fix it outside of just hoping you can find some guy on a minor league contract that turns out to be better than expected.
   5. Nasty Nate Posted: November 03, 2016 at 12:28 PM (#5345171)
NN--I think it's service time, not # of seasons, that counts.
If so, I think they should trade him - even while I acknowledge that the net return would be tiny and that Mr. Cumstein is right in #4 that they need SP depth.
   6. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: November 03, 2016 at 01:21 PM (#5345273)
Some starting depth would be good but the good news is there are six starters under contract that I feel good about (Price, EdRod, Buchholz, Porcello, Wright, Pomeranz) in varying degrees. They'll need more than that but some kind AAA filler (e.g. Sean O'Sullivan) is probably sufficient.
   7. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: November 03, 2016 at 05:20 PM (#5345513)
The Buchholz option was officially picked up today.
   8. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: November 05, 2016 at 09:18 PM (#5346651)
Watched Kopech in the AFL all star game. Good movement and location on his pitches and he was mixing it up well, al, hard of course. He worked very quickly which I like. He does the Wade Miley thing where he never turns his back on the catcher.
   9. Dock Ellis Posted: November 06, 2016 at 12:35 AM (#5346707)
Who can they realistically trade for though? Honestly, their best shot at significantly upgrading the starting pitching passed away.
   10. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: November 06, 2016 at 10:36 AM (#5346746)
I think Greinke can probably be had. Sonny Gray would be expensive and risky but is probably available. Tampa supposedly is open to trading Cobb or Archer.

All of these options will be costly, JBJ and a top prospect opens the bidding, and all co e with risks of varying degrees. Whether or not these are good options is definitely a dispute but if the Sox want to make a splash for a top starter they have options.
   11. esturminator_CT Posted: November 06, 2016 at 10:19 PM (#5347021)
Any chance the Cubs would consider trading Kyle Schwarber to the Red Sox for JBJ and a low level prospect. I am prone to believe that such a deal might help pick up a few WAR points offensively with perhaps relatively little cost defensively due to the ability of either Betts or Benintendi to move to CF. I think Schwarber's bat might play very well in Fenway and heck, we could perhaps reunite Schwarber and Sam Travis in the near future.
   12. karlmagnus Posted: November 07, 2016 at 08:31 PM (#5347722)
Do we want Hellickson? Looks worth a flyer if he's not too costly.
   13. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: November 07, 2016 at 09:54 PM (#5347770)
I suspect Hellickson would cost more than we want to spend on him.
   14. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: November 07, 2016 at 09:55 PM (#5347771)
Schwarber is intriguing no but I don't think it makes sense. All we are doing there is filling one hole by creating another I think.
   15. Dan Posted: November 16, 2016 at 08:03 PM (#5354276)
I really doubt you could get Schwarber for JBJ. You'd probably need to at least add someone like Kopech or Groome plus some kind of lower end prospect.

It could still be worth it in theory but I tend to think not, especially when we can just go sign EncarnaciĆ³n for just money.
   16. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 16, 2016 at 08:41 PM (#5354289)
Who can they realistically trade for though? Honestly, their best shot at significantly upgrading the starting pitching passed away.

And 11 days later the pale house are having a fire sale and both Quintana and Sale are available. And as discussed previously, I am sure Greinke can be had from the snakes.
That's 3 pretty darn good hurlers who would look good slotting in around Price and the Cy Young award winning Rick Porcello.

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