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Monday, February 17, 2020

How will the Red Sox market a Mookie-less team? - The Boston Globe

A lot of bullshit coming out of Fenway.

The demand for tickets is a lot softer than the following suggests. The secondary market was extremely soft last year. I got a lot of tickets far under the marked price. This fact wasn’t lost on a lot of my friends and the people I sat near at games who have season tickets. Ushers I talked to shared that a lot of season ticket holders weren’t too happy to be paying full price and then having people sit next to them at half the cost.

Outside of Betts and Price’s images being scrubbed from the Red Sox website’s ticketing ads, the details of a marketing plan are still fuzzy. One was in the works before the trade, given the reality of what happened in 2019 and over the offseason. Kennedy said last fall that attendance over 79 games at Fenway Park last season was down 0.7 percent, while NESN ratings dropped 23 percent.

Then they shared some baloney.

Both Henry and Kennedy wanted to alter, by almost 180 degrees, the prevailing and understandable perception that the Betts trade was made for purely financial reasons. It’s a line of reasoning that was launched last September by Henry himself when he told reporters “This year we need to be under the [competitive balance tax].”

Henry downplayed the notion that financial tailwinds steered the trade.

“You’re hung up on CBT,” Henry said. “You see this and I think the media, too, to some extent, ever since we mentioned that clubs have a tendency to get below CBT once in a while. It’s surprising that anyone would think we would outspend every other team in baseball every single year. To me, that’s a little surprising. Clubs have to make difficult decisions, and one of the biggest decisions they have to make is, ‘Do we potentially let a great player walk away for very little compensation?’ That’s one of the decisions that you have to make irrespective of CBT – it has nothing to do with CBT.”

Ownership is 100% responsible for losing Mookie. It’s all about short-term planning. Cherington shouldn’t have been sacked. Price should have never been signed. The Red Sox had an opportunity to be Dodgers East. They squandered the chance. Losing the best player since Yaz (whose personality comes nowhere near Mookie’s) is something a lot of fans are extremely angry about.

Henry said the CBT was only “an element,” and not the reason for making the Betts trade.

The notion that the top of the Red Sox corporate ladder bears responsibility for making decisions that put it in the payroll jam is one both Henry and Kennedy were willing to accept.

“In management, we’ve made a lot of bad, wrong decisions in our 19 years here,” Kennedy said.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 17, 2020 at 10:50 AM | 80 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox

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   1. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: February 17, 2020 at 11:10 AM (#5924855)
“Marketing” a baseball team is pretty basic. If they win they will draw, if they don’t, they won’t. Tickets were cheap last year because they went 84-78. The year before tickets were a lot pricier because they went 108-54. This isn’t complicated.
   2. bfan Posted: February 17, 2020 at 11:52 AM (#5924862)
It isn't as if the team lacks stars. Bogaerts; Martinez; and Sale are all stars, and what the heck, how about a rising talent who is only 23 by the name of Alex Verdugo?
   3. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 17, 2020 at 12:11 PM (#5924865)
and what the heck, how about a rising talent who is only 23 by the name of Alex Verdugo?


I think the rape story that came back into the public eye last week may have dampened his marketability somewhat.
   4. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 17, 2020 at 12:25 PM (#5924869)
The Red Sox had an opportunity to the Dodgers East. They squandered the chance.


Come on, now. The Red Sox' recent history is much stronger than the Dodgers'. There isn't a team in baseball that wouldn't trade their last two decades for that of the Red Sox.

   5. bfan Posted: February 17, 2020 at 12:38 PM (#5924874)
I think the rape story that came back into the public eye last week may have dampened his marketability somewhat.


good point; that same sort of story really killed the Kobe Bryant tributes these last 2 weeks.
   6. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: February 17, 2020 at 01:03 PM (#5924879)
‘Do we potentially let a great player walk away for very little compensation?’ That’s one of the decisions that you have to make irrespective of CBT – it has nothing to do with CBT.”
Such a load of bullshit. Which he acknowledges shortly after by saying that the CBT was, in fact, "an element." (And of course we know it was much, much more than that.)

And the reason it's such obvious bullshit is that Price's contract was offloaded at the same time. If your concern was primarily "letting a great player walk away for very little compensation", you would have just dangled Mookie alone, where the package you got would have (obviously) been better.

#### them.
   7. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 17, 2020 at 01:45 PM (#5924888)
season ticket holders weren’t too happy to be paying full price and then having people sit next to them at half the cost.


Yet weren't complaining the year before(or 2013/08/04) when the team was rolling on its way to the title and were NOT paying over $1000 per tix like the schlubs who did not have season tickets.

They've won 4 titles since 2004 and have a tiny stadium, some really good players and if all goes well, and will still win over 90 games. That will sell tickets and keep the prices high. If they stink, the tickets will be cheap by August.

This.is.not.rocket.science.
   8. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 17, 2020 at 01:51 PM (#5924890)
good point; that same sort of story really killed the Kobe Bryant tributes these last 2 weeks.


Kobe's dead as ####, so they can all be reasonably certain that he won't rape anybody else. It's a lot easier to give tributes to a problem figure once you know that they won't keep doing problematic things (see also: Michael Jackson).
   9. bobm Posted: February 17, 2020 at 02:06 PM (#5924892)
How will the Red Sox market a Mookie-less team?


"The 2020 Red Sox - Place Your Betts!"

:)
   10. Do Not Touch Fancy Pants Socially Distanced Handle Posted: February 17, 2020 at 02:13 PM (#5924894)
“Marketing” a baseball team is pretty basic. If they win they will draw, if they don’t, they won’t. Tickets were cheap last year because they went 84-78. The year before tickets were a lot pricier because they went 108-54. This isn’t complicated.

Not me. I am checked out. They don't care about winning, so I don't care about watching the team. If they have success, it will primarily be due to luck, and not because they are actually trying to win. So success doesn't change anything for me. If they somehow luck their way into 108 wins, and another WS title, I still won't watch a single PA.

I genuinely had a dream 2 nights ago, where I was watching opening day in Fenway. And I genuinely felt dirty about it, when I woke up. Fuck this team with a wire brush.
   11. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: February 17, 2020 at 03:39 PM (#5924908)
I’ll admitI feel differently about the Red Sox than I ever have in my life today. This move pisses me off to a spectacular degree. I also now I’m a Red Sox addict* and no matter what I say I’m emotionally incapable of staying away.

* seriously, whether the Sox win or lose genuinely affects my mood and I need to know what is happening at all times, it’s not healthy.

Having said all of that from a logical standpoint I think Fancy’s argument that they don’t care about winning is wrong. They are still spending a #### ton of money, it’s not like they’ve become the Rays and as noted by bfan there is a hell of a lot of talent here still. I’d bet on the Sox being a division contender in 2021 or 2022 at the latest. This organization is smart** and has shown a willingness to spend money. “Only” a $200 million payroll with smart management is going to give you consistently good to great teams.

** I think Chaim Bloom deserves a ton of credit here. Placed in the impossible position of trading Mookie and Price and the whole world knowing it he got a pretty good return. If you HAVE to trade Mookie and Price I think getting Verdugo, Downs and Wong is a pretty darned good return.
   12. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: February 17, 2020 at 03:40 PM (#5924910)
To be clear I’m not criticizing Fancy for his opinion. I completely respect feeling that way and if I were in the Sox front office I’d be VERY concerned about a longtime passionate member of the fan base feeling like that.
   13. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: February 17, 2020 at 03:44 PM (#5924912)
if I were in the Sox front office I’d be VERY concerned about a longtime passionate member of the fan base feeling like that.

Make that two longtime passionate members of the fan base feeling like that.
   14. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 17, 2020 at 03:46 PM (#5924913)
If they somehow luck their way into 108 wins, and another WS title, I still won't watch a single PA.

This is a really absurd take on sports fandom. You seem more of a fan on how the front office operates than the actual baseball team playing baseball games.

I get that trading away Mookie is a terrible move. But don't cut off your nose to spite your face.
   15. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: February 17, 2020 at 03:53 PM (#5924917)
13 - Yeah, it’s a lot more than two. My best friend and I just had a 20 minute conversation and we are both pissed off. We are not mild, laid back fans, we’re a couple of lunatics. The Sox have a LOT of work to do.

I feel bad for Roenicke and for Verdugo. Those guys are going to get roasted for things that aren’t their fault if this goes badly (Verdugo will also get roasted for stuff that is his fault of course).

Hockey fans may remember a guy named Jimmy Carson. Carson was a superstar in the making in the late 80s. At the ages of 18-20 playing for the LA Kings he scored 141 goals in his first three seasons. Carson was the centerpiece of the trade that sent Wayne Gretzky to the Kings and he collapsed under the weight of expectations scoring 134 goals in his remaining seven seasons.
   16. Do Not Touch Fancy Pants Socially Distanced Handle Posted: February 17, 2020 at 03:54 PM (#5924918)
Having said all of that from a logical standpoint I think Fancy’s argument that they don’t care about winning is wrong. They are still spending a #### ton of money, it’s not like they’ve become the Rays

The Rays are better. They have a #### market, and are playing within their means. It is not reasonable to expect them to spend them same amount on payroll that the Red Sox do. The correct analogy for what the Red Sox are doing here, is the Marlins. Who clearly will not even spend within their means to try and win games, and would rather pocket money, than try and be competitive. Anybody still a fan of the Marlins has only themselves to blame, and should have checked out a long time ago.

The Red Sox should have been competitive this season, and now they are not. I can accept not putting the best team on the field, when you genuinely have a need to rebuild. I can accept not spending genuinely beyond your means, even to keep a great team together. The Red Sox are not doing any of that here. They had a genuine chance of being contenders, while having a payroll that was well within their means, and they chose to be cheap instead, and punt the season. They went into the offseason, with oddsmakers putting them at 94.5 wins, and 11/1 to win the World Series. Now they are at 85.5 wins, and 11/1 to win the AL East. Congratufuckinglations. The Boston Marlins can #### off.

I’ll admitI feel differently about the Red Sox than I ever have in my life today. This move pisses me off to a spectacular degree. I also now I’m a Red Sox addict* and no matter what I say I’m emotionally incapable of staying away.

I will just note, that the most significant part of me deciding to check out, is precisely because I know that I have such a severe emotional investment in the Red Sox. I know myself well enough to know, that there is almost no scenario, under which I could watch this team, and gain any enjoyment from it. I would watch every single game being seething, fuming, angry, disgusted mess. With a lump in my throat that I can't swallow, and a pit in my stomach. If they are on course to win 93 games, I will just be furious that they could have easily gone for 100. It's a no win scenario. And the team clearly doesn't care, so why should I put myself through that?
   17. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: February 17, 2020 at 03:56 PM (#5924919)
Make that two longtime passionate members of the fan base feeling like that.
Three.

I've been through periods pre-2004 when the time was mediocre or bad when I paid less attention. I've been through periods when they I've been frustrated at an inexplicable collapse or what seemed like poor decisions. I've never before in my life experienced the feeling of--not even not caring--but feeling like I actively hope they do poorly. I've never been literally angry at the Red Sox. Until now.

It's not a comfortable feeling, but it's real.

EDIT:

The Red Sox should have been competitive this season, and now they are not. I can accept not putting the best team on the field, when you genuinely have a need to rebuild. I can accept not spending genuinely beyond your means, even to keep a great team together. The Red Sox are not doing any of that here. They had a genuine chance of being contenders, while having a payroll that was well within their means, and they chose to be cheap instead, and punt the season. They went into the offseason, with oddsmakers putting them at 94.5 wins, and 11/1 to win the World Series. Now they are at 85.5 wins, and 11/1 to win the AL East. Congratufuckinglations. The Boston Marlins can #### off.
Cosign this in its entirety, encapsulates exactly why I'm pissed. And John ####### Henry understands that perfectly well even if he will never admit it.
   18. Nasty Nate Posted: February 17, 2020 at 04:01 PM (#5924922)
The correct analogy for what the Red Sox are doing here, is the Marlins.
I've read most of the threads about the Red Sox this offseason and this is probably the stupidest sentence in the whole lot.
   19. Walt Davis Posted: February 17, 2020 at 04:02 PM (#5924923)
The intro's Dodgers analogy is an odd one.

If the Red Sox shouldn't have signed Price, then the Dodgers shouldn't have extended Kershaw.

The Red Sox shouldn't be focused on getting below CBT -- that was job one for Friedman in LA. He cut almost $90 M over 3 years to get below it and stayed below it last year. He tried to trade off a bunch of 2020 payroll for little return as a consequence of the Betts deal (the Angels deal fell through).

Presumably the Sox should have bowled Mookie over with an extension offer. The Dodgers have so far refused to do this for anybody. Not Machado; the offer they reportedly made to Harper was few years for big AAV; Bellinger is not yet extended; even Seager is not yet extended. Price and Betts are now 2 of the 3 highest paid Dodgers by AAV (Kershaw) ... the next most expensive Dodger is Turner making $20 in the last year of his 4/$64 then Jansen at 5/$80. Their only FA move this year was signning Treinen for 1 year. They have a lot of arb guys but their guaranteed payroll for 2021 currently stands around $110.

So it looks like the Red Sox are trying to be the Dodgers East. Get back to me when the Dodgers give Mookie $400 M or sign Bellinger through age 37.
   20. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 17, 2020 at 04:18 PM (#5924930)
I've read most of the threads about the Red Sox this offseason and this is probably the stupidest sentence in the whole lot.


Eh, it's not entirely without merit, given that Henry used to own the Marlins.
   21. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: February 17, 2020 at 04:24 PM (#5924936)
I've never before in my life experienced the feeling of--not even not caring--but feeling like I actively hope they do poorly. I've never been literally angry at the Red Sox. Until now.

Agreed, and they've been my favorite team since I was 10 years old in....... 1978. 1978, 1986, and 2003 crushed my soul but never made me mad. So did letting my favorite player Dwight Evans go play for Baltimore. The losing seasons are part of the ups and downs of being a fan. But for a franchise with Boston's immense revenues to intentionally and needlessly make itself several games worse over money...... nope. Not acceptable. At all.
   22. Do Not Touch Fancy Pants Socially Distanced Handle Posted: February 17, 2020 at 04:41 PM (#5924940)
I've read most of the threads about the Red Sox this offseason and this is probably the stupidest sentence in the whole lot.

It's really not. The Marlins have around $200m a year in revenue. They have had a 40-man payroll well over 100m in 3 of the last 4 seasons. But Cots has them at 80m for this season, so let's go with that. That is still 40% of revenue.

The Red Sox have over $500m in revenue a season. Cot's has them at 191m... 38% of revenue. On top of that, they have a franchise value, that is appreciating at astronomical rates, and is now worth many times what they originally paid for it. Most people would kill for an ROI on their investment at that rate, even without the astronomical profits each season. They could absolutely afford the payroll. They are just being fucking cheap. And it is ok to point that out.

(Arguably, comparing them to the Marlins is a low blow... to the Marlins. At least them being cheap only makes a difference in whether they will win 64 games, or 72. In the case of the Red Sox, it has a huge likelihood of being the difference between making the playoffs and not.)
   23. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: February 17, 2020 at 05:01 PM (#5924945)
So Betts has a great season in LA, goes to FA and wants 400 million and nobody offers 400 million. Do the Red Sox make the offer they claim they did at 300 million for whatever years? And if it's the best offer does Betts take it? So the Red Sox trade a season of no Betts and the risk of no playoffs to end up getting Betts and the guys they got in the trade.

That would be......................kind of interesting.
   24. Dock Ellis Posted: February 17, 2020 at 06:16 PM (#5924955)
Another lifelong fan also pissed off enough to not gaf how well the red sox do. Yeah it's a business and blah blah blah but I don't see the point of rooting for a billionaire to save a few million dollars.

And the Boston Globe can go kick rocks. John Henry owns the paper, which means all their Red Sox writers will continue to jump thru hoops to justify the Mookie trade. If the investigation finds that the Red Sox cheated as egregiously as the Astros, and Red Sox players start performing crazyass mental gymnastics to deny any wrongdoing, will Alex Speier and Pete Abraham be as publicly outraged about their boss's team as they are about the Astros rn?

This is all a fcuking clusterfcuk.
   25. Bad Fish Posted: February 17, 2020 at 06:28 PM (#5924961)
Mookie is great, he is on an inner circle trajectory, but he is also an outfielder who derives a lot of his value from his speed and athleticism, and as Marsellus Wallace implied, those things don't age like fine wine.

The reality is that he was as much a one year rental for us as he is for the LAD. Continuing to stay over the threshold was imposing long term competitive disadavantages to the team. They were literally mining the future. I imagine that if they had managed to find a 10/$350 mid point compromise for Mookie they would have signed him. However, they would have still slashed payroll to try to get under the threshold also undermining 2020 competitiveness. This is the hangover for getting it in 2018 and going for it in 2019. The decision might not feel good, but it is practical. This is still a very good team. If the pieces fall into place they will be competitive. If the pieces don't fall into place, well, see 2019, and those facts apply to everyone, Mookie or not.
   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 17, 2020 at 06:51 PM (#5924966)
The reality is that he was as much a one year rental for us as he is for the LAD. Continuing to stay over the threshold was imposing long term competitive disadavantages to the team.

Not really, no. As long as they stay below ~$250M it's just money.
   27. base ball chick Posted: February 17, 2020 at 06:58 PM (#5924968)
i have a lot of sympathy for the really angry guys who are basically packing in their fanhood

i went through this when the astros FIRST went to the dark side 8 years ago. divorces are painful. they went from The Good Guys to the Trying To Lose On Purpose (to let ownership earn a zillion a year) Guys to The Cheaters.

really sad

   28. Proo Posted: February 17, 2020 at 06:58 PM (#5924969)
Another anecdote: The barbecue restaurant I go to employs a Boston native who's a huge Sawx fan. Every time I eat there we wind up talking about baseball -- sometimes for 10-15 minutes if it's slow. We were there last night, and he told me that, between this and the sign-stealing stuff, for the first time since moving here he was thinking about not buying the MLB.tv package. He didn't even want to talk beyond that because he was so pi$$ed off.
   29. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: February 17, 2020 at 07:07 PM (#5924971)
I doubt that the Betts trade will have a significant impact on Boston fan interest. They have a strong brand and a well-heeled fanbase, with four recent titles. What will, as noted, is how the team performs, and they certainly can win 90-95 games and be in the postseason mix.

That said, a team with Boston's financial profile and history bailing on Betts is the kind of thing you might do in OOTP--not as much in the real world.

those things don't age like fine wine.


Actually, multidimensional guys with very good and great speed often do age very well. Looking back in recent history, we see Yount, Raines, Henderson, Morgan, Larkin, Winfield.
   30. Dock Ellis Posted: February 17, 2020 at 07:07 PM (#5924972)
you sure did, lisa. and it sure is.
   31. Jay Seaver Posted: February 17, 2020 at 07:10 PM (#5924973)
John Henry owns the paper, which means all their Red Sox writers will continue to jump thru hoops to justify the Mookie trade.


To be fair, Chad Finn has been offended by the very concept of this from the start and hasn't seemed to hold back since the trade. He's a bit more pragmatic than some fans in that this is still going to be his job, so disengaging isn't an option, but Henry's allowing for at least a little editorial independence here.

I'm kind of in the same boat as that - I'm not just going to put the 15 tickets I bought for the upcoming season on StubHub, and I suspect that I'm still going to enjoy going to Fenway and watching baseball. Will I still be tuning into NESN every night or will I be more likely to get stuff down from the wall-o-Blu-rays than I have been in previous years? I have no idea as yet.
   32. SoSH U at work Posted: February 17, 2020 at 07:26 PM (#5924976)

Another anecdote: The barbecue restaurant I go to employs a Boston native who's a huge Sawx fan. Every time I eat there we wind up talking about baseball -- sometimes for 10-15 minutes if it's slow. We were there last night, and he told me that, between this and the sign-stealing stuff, for the first time since moving here he was thinking about not buying the MLB.tv package. He didn't even want to talk beyond that because he was so pi$$ed off.



For me, it's this with the Sox, but it's also MLB as a whole. The minor league threat, the no slowdown on the complete move toward TTO and Manfred's unwillingness to take on the single most obvious problem with the game (time between pitches) while dicking around on the edges that has taken my interest in MLB far lower than it's ever been. It's a good thing my son has a year of HS left, so I can focus most of my baseball attention there during the spring. I don't know what I'll do after that.
   33. Walt Davis Posted: February 17, 2020 at 07:31 PM (#5924980)
If Betts has a great season in LA (if he can show that 2018's offense wasn't a fluke), he will easily get an offer at least the equivalent of Cole's, almost surely substantially more.** Now if Betts has a season where he combines 2017's offensive performance with something along the lines of 2019's running/defense and maybe has an owie that limits him to, say, 520 PA (i.e. about a 4-WAR season) then some warning bells go off and teams might shy away enough to drop him into Harper/Machado territory.

Right now, the only "red flag" is that he's not a great _hitter_. He is a great _player_ because he adds 20 to maybe even 40 runs through running/defense. That probably won't last into his 30s (it may already be in decline) at which point he probably fades to excellent to very good to good by 36. (Note, that is still a projection that would fall along the range of Brian Giles at 40 WAR to, say, Larry Walker at 46 WAR for 28-36 ... Cano, Zobrist, Jose Cruz, Utley, Beltran all seem reasonable comps for a "diminished" Mookie.)

Beltran only made it to 39 WAR for 28-36 due to injuries -- so less than 8 "full" seasons of PAs. On a per 650 basis, he was still a 5-WAR player in those years. But he shifted from an elite baserunner through 27 to a very good one through 31 to a league average one after that. His defense was very good through 31, then below-average in CF, then the move to RF where he was only average. (Current Mookie pretty clearly would be a good CF.) But he was still good for an average 24 Rbat per 650 on a 129 OPS+.

You don't really find many good Mookie comps below that 38 WAR (or if there were, they didn't make it to 4000 PA or so). Jeter at 36 WAR, Mantle at 36, Puckett at 35 (despite not playing at 36) ... even Damon and Hunter made it to 34-35 WAR. Willie Davis 33, Grich 33, Reggie Smith 33, Bernie 32, Winfield 31, Cameron 31, Yount 30, Dawson 30 would seem to be "non-injury worst-case" scenarios and of course Mookie has a good case for being better than all of them.

So with a near-guarantee of 30 WAR, probably an expectation around 40-45 and a real chance at 50+ (Rose, Henderson, Carew at 50) -- how much would you pay for his age 28-36 seasons? Looks like an absolute minimum of $320 to me and more likely $350. (that's over 9 years) Then it's just a matter of the deferment structure, opt-outs, etc.

The only other thing I'll add is that people are rightfully skeptical about things like Jason Heyward posting Rfields in the mid-20s ... yet somehow this skepticism doesn't seem to get applied to Mookie. He's credited with 83 Rfield, 7.3 dWAR over 2016-18. Over the ages 23-25, that is the 2nd most Rfield ever at any position (Andrelton #1) and by dWAR it's 15th. That's about 20 more Rfield and 2 more dWAR than Heyward at the same ages. That is all completely possible of course -- Betts' dWAr is similar to Blair's, not much better than Barry Bonds, much worse on a rate basis than Kiermaier -- but why doubt Andruw at 8 or Heyward at 5.4 or Inciarte at 6.7 but have faith in Mookie's 7.3? Not that docking him even 30 runs on defense in those years would make any real difference to an assessment of his current greatness. Still, taking those at face value, he put up about 16 WAR over 2016-17 and more than half of that is running and defense, about 80% of his RAA. For his career, he has added the same with his legs as with his bat. That is what makes him _great_ and that is what he is most likely to lose as he ages. (To be clear, even if you zeroed out all that stuff, which would be silly, he's still been a 5 WAR player.)

** I wasn't expecting the 3 big FAs this year to get AAVs that high so I suppose it's possible that teams will retrench. Not expecting it though. Also the CBA negotiations aren't far away and those might affect things in odd ways. I suspect the main "restriction" is that teams will be able to argue "c'mon, we can't pay you a higher AAV than Trout." Anyway, relative to whatever the "true" 2021 market turns out to be, Betts after a great season will get a massive contract.
   34. Dock Ellis Posted: February 17, 2020 at 07:44 PM (#5924986)
good for Chad Finn but it's going to be hard to take the Globe guys seriously going forward. which is a shame because I like Speier a lot
   35. JJ1986 Posted: February 17, 2020 at 08:14 PM (#5924993)
I'm going to be pretty disappointed if the Mets don't make Betts a huge offer in free agency. They've got a lot of money coming off the books, mostly guys they won't need to replace.
   36. karlmagnus Posted: February 17, 2020 at 08:14 PM (#5924994)
I'm sort of the opposite way round to many of you guys. My Sox-love was dinged by the new ownership's poor treatment of Duquette in 2002, and even more by losing both Pedro and Nomar in 2004, World Series or no World Series. Then I liked the Cherington approach of going all-in on developing young guys, and therefore took a huge lurch downwards when they fired Cherington for Dombrowski, where I didn't like his approach because he would trade long-term excellence for short-term. Which he did, winning in 2018.

Now they've traded Mookie, who I always thought overrated by WaR, especially in his early years, and therefore would not have given a long-term contract except at a discount to the numbers you guys have been talking (8/250 probably my top limit.) So I'm somewhat more interested, as they've dodged a financial bullet, unloaded Price's back-end, and have some chance to compete this year and a better one in 2021-24.

I'm quite certain there are more fans like you guys than like me. But there must be a few others who are slightly more interested in the post-Mookie Sox, and a lot who are OK with the new Sox and will support if they do a decent job.
   37. villageidiom Posted: February 17, 2020 at 09:31 PM (#5925007)
Kobe's dead as ####, so they can all be reasonably certain that he won't rape anybody else.
In the last week Kobe Bryant has raped exactly as many people Alex Verdugo has been accused of raping in his entire life.
   38. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: February 17, 2020 at 09:42 PM (#5925009)
I decided to look up the Verdugo stuff; what he has been accused of, apparently is being "present" during a sexual assault and beating of a 17-year-old. Link below is from a fan-based Boston blog:

link
   39. villageidiom Posted: February 17, 2020 at 09:52 PM (#5925010)
I get where y'all are coming from. At the same time... I went to zero games last year. I rarely watched a full game on TV. I bought no team merch. That's been me for a while now. If I were to walk away out of spite or disgust it would be much as things were last year, except this time with spite and disgust. So I won't bother with that approach.

But here's the thing, and there's no getting around it. They have Rafael Devers and Eduardo Rodriguez, both of whom took big steps forward last year and were a joy to watch. They have Xander Bogaerts, who is awesome. They have JBJ, making the impossible look routine in CF. They have Andrew Benintendi. They have JD Martinez. They have Chris Sale. They might only win 84 games this year, but there are a lot of reasons to root for them.

John Henry didn't make anyone not root for Rafael Devers. He made people not want to root for John Henry. You know what? I already wasn't rooting for John Henry anyway.
   40. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 17, 2020 at 09:56 PM (#5925012)
I decided to look up the Verdugo stuff; what he has been accused of, apparently is being "present" during a sexual assault and beating of a 17-year-old. Link below is from a fan-based Boston blog:


And an assault and battery. Accessory before the fact for two felonies is quite serious.
   41. Dock Ellis Posted: February 17, 2020 at 10:16 PM (#5925017)
and he may or may not have posted video of it on social media.

it's just another thing that makes the Red Sox that much more unrootable for me. Not only were they willing to trade Mookie, they are willing to further jeopardize the brand by trading him for a guy who has a history of terrible behavior. but cool that he makes the league minimum!
   42. Dock Ellis Posted: February 17, 2020 at 10:52 PM (#5925024)
as an added bonus, the meme-able Jeter Downs can give the Red Sox marketing machine a shtload of opportunity to create even more social media content that can help drown out any future possible Verdugo stories!
   43. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 18, 2020 at 12:02 AM (#5925029)
And an assault and battery. Accessory before the fact for two felonies is quite serious.
So serious there were no charges. Jumping to conclusions while misstating the law seems to be a BBTF thing.
   44. Walt Davis Posted: February 18, 2020 at 01:10 AM (#5925031)
Actually, multidimensional guys with very good and great speed often do age very well. Looking back in recent history, we see Yount, Raines, Henderson, Morgan, Larkin, Winfield.

Yes ... or at least sorta. Some examples:

Larkin: for ages 24-31, he added 23 runs per 650 PA through base, dp, field and pos. (He also presumably had some speed singles, stretched singles into doubles, etc. that are captured in Rbat but I'm not going to worry about separating those out). From 32 to 37, he added about 18 per 650 so he indeed aged very well. He also actually slightly bumped up his Rbat from 20 to 24. All told from 6.3 WAR to 5.6 -- outstanding.

Winfield: Rfield was never really very high on him -- good not great. Anyway, for 23-29 he average just +2 per 650; from 30 to 36, the speed seems to have dropped off substantially and he averaged -10 (not bad for a RF). But again, the Rbat didn't budge (27 in both periods) -- 5 WAR to 3.5 WAR. (So by bWAR, never quite in Mookie's class to begin with.)

Yount was a weirdo with that early debut but ... 21 to 28, 22 runs from athleticism, 20 from the bat, 6.2 WAR ... to -3, 14, 3.1 WAR. This would be at the low end of a Mookie expectation.

And because I know how much he tailed off, here's Beltran ... +19, +22, 5.8 WAR for 24-31 ... to -7, +22, 3.4 WAR for 32-37. For near-completeness:

Rickey ... +19, +33, 7.1 WAR for 23-29 ... +7, +40, 6.0 WAR for 30-36.

Raines ... +11, +29, 6.1 WAR for 23-28 ... +2, +15, 3.8 WAR for 29-35.

That's the thing with Mookie. Rbase + Rdp + Rfield + Rpos:

2015: 17
2016: 39
2017: 35
2018: 21
2017: 15

If he follows the Beltran/Yount path then he'll be around 0 runs on those measures around age 32 ... but probably still at least a +20 hitter to maybe still a +30 hitter so a 4-5 WAR player for ages 32-36, very nice. Raines and Yount are the only two here who suffered major offensive decline (and Raines a slight speed decline).

Anyway of those nominated, Larkin and Rickey barely fell off at all in terms of WAR/650 -- call it one win. (Larkin did fall off in playing time.) The other guys (non-Morgan) fell off by about 2-2.5 WAR -- which of course is not so bad when you're starting at 6. Mookie may be starting at 7.

I skipped Morgan because his ages 28-32 are just nuts by any standard including his own younger and older self. As measured by bWAR, his hitting, running and defensive peaks were all in those seasons and by rather a lot. If Mookie is about to improve in all three areas then we're talking 2018's offense with 2016-17's peripherals and a guy even better than Trout. That's possible but there's no point comping him to that.

Anyway, back to athleticism -- without question all of the guys mentioned remained at least good players. I think all of them except Raines showed up in my rough comp list (and maybe he was there too) and are in that 30-45 WAR range for 28-36. (OK, Raines at 28 WAR). That's aging "well" in my book but obviously you want confidence the guy is more likely in that 40-45 range than the 30-35 range before you plunk down 9/$350+.

And of course whether the 6 WAR "athletic" player ages better than the 6 WAR "non-athletic" player isn't clear. Thome was neither athletic (though not un-fit) nor a 6-WAR player in his mid-20s but still average 4.8 WAR/650 from 28-36. He actually only gave up 10-11 runs a year on base/defense/pos while adding 40 with the bat. Miggy looked like later Thome in his younger day (40 bat runs, -13 others) and, recent collapse included, he's average 38 bat runs and -14 others since then (4.4 WAR to 4.7 WAR -- his peak was ages 27-30). Of course other big guys (and the athletic Griffey Jr) did not fare so well.

By the way, yes the various age ranges are "cherry-picked" based on an eyeball of when their running/defense seemed to decline. The age 28-36 list earlier provides some less cherry-picked comps.

   45. Walt Davis Posted: February 18, 2020 at 01:28 AM (#5925034)
By the way -- 5-7 WAR/650, good dWAR, not so good running when young is pretty much limited to big SS (Ripken, Nomar, Tulo), 3Bs (many), some athletic Cs (Bench, Pudge II, Mauer). The most Mookie-ish guys I notice are Lemon, Lynn and maybe Yaz. Lemon peaked at 28-29, averaged 4.4 WAR/650 for 28-35 but was basically done at 34 and his decline was all hitting. Lynn tumbled from about 6 WAR to 3.5 WAR, losing about 2 WAR on speed/defense. Yaz didn't decline much at all, with most of that small decline on running /defense (roughly similar to Larkin/Rickey).

Only 13 guys with negative dWAR made this "young WAR stud" list and it's pretty much star hitters. Bagwell was quite athletic, Murcer was pretty athletic, probably only Miggy, Frank Thomas, Manny and Staub could be considered oafish at this age. Thome, the 2 Clarks, Murray round out the "non-athletic" bunch and they all aged reasonably well. He faded a bit early but even Murray put up 3.8 WAR/650 for ages 28-36.

Among these negative dWAR "oafs", Bagwell is way ahead for 28-36 with 51 WAR followed by Manny at 41 and Thome at 39. Miggy, Murray and Thomas are in the 34-37 range. Then it's a big drop to Will Clark at the median with 26, Jack Clark at 25, Rice at 21. Mattingly got hurt, Staub was pretty average, Murcer cratered. (Freddie Freeman has two very good seasons under his belt and you'd guess will at least reach Rice-Clark territory.) That doesn't seem nearly so promising as Mookie's comps but then none of these guys were quite that good anyway except maybe Bagwell who is the most athletic and aged great.
   46. Ron J Posted: February 18, 2020 at 07:46 AM (#5925043)
#1 I haven't run a detailed look at the factors impacting revenue/attendance in some time but I doubt they have changed much.

And general perception of team quality is roughly twice as important as actual team quality in explaining revenue. Likely because it takes a while for the real team quality to reach the casual fans and they are what matters in explaining marginal revenue.

As a general rule, perceived salary dumps cost more than the money saved. It sends a very negative signal to the fans.

Add in the issue that the Red Sox are coming off a down year by their recent standards (plus the strength of their competition) and it's pretty likely that it'll be a rough year for revenue -- at least by their standards. Yes, a lot of teams would sign for an off year of Red Sox revenue.
   47. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 18, 2020 at 09:02 AM (#5925047)
In my own fandom the player whose loss I was most angry about was the Cubs losing Greg Maddux. He even left in free agency, not in a trade, but I was so unhappy with the outcome that from 1993-1995 I was probably as much a Braves fan as a Cubs fan.
   48. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 18, 2020 at 09:04 AM (#5925049)
So serious there were no charges. Jumping to conclusions while misstating the law seems to be a BBTF thing.

Seriously, WTF cares? This isn't a court of law. A large majority of sex crimes aren't prosecuted. There's a pretty credible accusation against him. The story doesn't sound made up at all.

I'm not saying he should be banned from MLB, just that's he's probably a bad person. Heck 25% of the world are probably bad people, and 99% of them manage to go through life without a felony accusation.
   49. Nasty Nate Posted: February 18, 2020 at 09:27 AM (#5925051)
They've won 4 titles since 2004 and have a tiny stadium, some really good players and if all goes well, and will still win over 90 games. That will sell tickets and keep the prices high. If they stink, the tickets will be cheap by August.
I think early season will actually be the time when cheap tickets will be the easiest to get. After that, the warm weather and tourists (and possibly good on-field performance) will increase demand.
   50. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: February 18, 2020 at 10:08 AM (#5925065)
And general perception of team quality is roughly twice as important as actual team quality in explaining revenue. Likely because it takes a while for the real team quality to reach the casual fans and they are what matters in explaining marginal revenue.

That makes sense. There was a lot of talk last winter about whether signing Harper would boost the Phillies' attendance. While their win total inched up from 80 to 81, they enjoyed the league's biggest attendance bump over 2018 (569K, finished with 2.7 million). Fans perceived the team getting better with that signing and responded in kind.
   51. jmurph Posted: February 18, 2020 at 11:19 AM (#5925082)
Right now, the only "red flag" is that he's not a great _hitter_. He is a great _player_ because he adds 20 to maybe even 40 runs through running/defense.

We get one of these like every third day and it remains untrue. Over the last two seasons Betts was one of the best 5 hitters in baseball. Over the last three it's more like 10-12. He is currently among the game's great hitters. If "great" only means "all-time great" then sure, but I don't understand why one would use the term that way.
   52. jmurph Posted: February 18, 2020 at 11:26 AM (#5925086)
More on topic, I'm at least as angry about this as SoSH and Jose and Fancy Pants et al, but god help me if I'm not already excited about the upcoming season. They still have a really competitive team but, beyond that, I don't know any better. The heart wants what the heart wants.

(I'm actually genuinely impressed by people who can turn it off, my life would be improved!)
   53. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 18, 2020 at 02:44 PM (#5925152)
So serious there were no charges. Jumping to conclusions while misstating the law seems to be a BBTF thing.
Seriously, WTF cares? This isn't a court of law. A large majority of sex crimes aren't prosecuted. There's a pretty credible accusation against him. The story doesn't sound made up at all.
I don’t think anyone here knows anything about the credibility of the allegations. The article linked here in a prior thread was more than a little vague as to the specifics. Unless someone has more detailed information, which wasn’t produced the last time I inquired, we don’t know much more than Verdugo was at a party. One of the woman present apparently drank to excess and vomited on a bed, which caused the other ladies present to beat her up. She left, and sometime later (one of the vague things) made an allegation that she was groped by one of the players (which one is another one of the vague things). Now Verdugo may not deserve any medals, but the statement that he was “an accessory before the fact for two felonies” is utter nonsense. Bystanders have no duty to break up fights. Making a “moral” judgement based on a single uncorroborated allegation which was never subject to investigation or cross-examination is just picking sides based on whim.
   54. Karl from NY Posted: February 18, 2020 at 03:45 PM (#5925167)
The correct analogy for what the Red Sox are doing here, is the Marlins.

I've read most of the threads about the Red Sox this offseason and this is probably the stupidest sentence in the whole lot.

Outsider here (Mets fan). I agree with the latter. This isn't a team outright blowing off any semblance of intent to compete. They're still projecting to be over .500 and well within playoff contention. They're not deliberately being the worst team in the league. They're making an entirely rational decision to step down from top-5 to top-10 to avoid a huge financial penalty. The luxury tax line isn't supposed to be "challenge accepted" to blow past it, even for the rich clubs; it's a deterrent to rein in the wild excesses compared to the rest of the league.
   55. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 18, 2020 at 04:58 PM (#5925189)
Outsider here (Mets fan). I agree with the latter. This isn't a team outright blowing off any semblance of intent to compete. They're still projecting to be over .500 and well within playoff contention. They're not deliberately being the worst team in the league.

True.

They're making an entirely rational decision to step down from top-5 to top-10 to avoid a huge financial penalty.

Not true. The penalty for being at $220M this year vs. $208M is <$10M.

The luxury tax line isn't supposed to be "challenge accepted" to blow past it, even for the rich clubs; it's a deterrent to rein in the wild excesses compared to the rest of the league.

Rich teams (Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, Cubs, etc.) can live at just below the third threshold ($248M this year) forever, and not suffer any serious consequences. This is 100% about juicing profits from the massive to the obscene.
   56. Nasty Nate Posted: February 18, 2020 at 05:03 PM (#5925192)
Rich teams (Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, Cubs, etc.) can live at just below the third threshold ($248M this year) forever, and not suffer any serious consequences.
Why don't they?
   57. Nakagura775 Posted: February 18, 2020 at 05:10 PM (#5925195)
There are an awful lot of Red Sox related stories on this site. There are other teams out there.
   58. Do Not Touch Fancy Pants Socially Distanced Handle Posted: February 18, 2020 at 05:30 PM (#5925198)
Rich teams (Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, Cubs, etc.) can live at just below the third threshold ($248M this year) forever, and not suffer any serious consequences.
Why don't they?

That was answered in the following sentence:
This is 100% about juicing profits from the massive to the obscene.
   59. Walt Davis Posted: February 18, 2020 at 05:46 PM (#5925201)
Over the last two seasons Betts was one of the best 5 hitters in baseball. Over the last three it's more like 10-12. He is currently among the game's great hitters. If "great" only means "all-time great" then sure, but I don't understand why one would use the term that way.

No, in 2018 he was one of the game's best hitters.

2015: 48th by Rbat
2016: 12th
2017: 126th
2018: 1st
2019: 20th

Now if Mookie comes out and puts up a couple of 150-160 OPS+ years (say 45 Rbat) then we can discuss

2017-19: 6th .... but note he has 300 more PA with fewer Rbat than Trout, 200 more than JDM, 100 more than Yelich, 400 more than Judge ... behind him, 100 more than Freeman, 300 more than Cruz, 200 more than Rendon, Altuve and Bellinger. By Rbat/650, he appears to be 11th. (He's durable so far for sure). JDM averages 48 Rbat per 650; Mookie averages 32 ... that's including his massive season (also his worst season) ... those aren't close. Judge averages 45; Yelich 43 so Mookie a full win or more behind those guys with the bat. It's many fewer PA but Justin Turner (who I did count), Max Muncy and Jeff McNeil (who I didn't) have had higher Rbat/650.

But yes, #10 is one of the best hitters in the game at the time, it is not generally a great hitter. Or you have too low a threshold for "great" if it includes Justin Turner. This matters for projections because great hitters tend to stay great through their mid-30s while less than great hitters tend to decline. Now as an athletic player, Mookie may not decline as a hitter, still doesn't make him a great hitter. If Mookie's defense and baserunning decline substantially (and they may already be declining) then, at that point, Mookie will probably be only as valuable a player as JDM or Nelson Cruz or Freddie Freeman currently are and nobody is considering paying them $35 M a year.

For ages 22-26, expansion era, Mookie is a solid 24th in Rbat. But he again has more PA (sometimes quite a bit) than most of the players ahead of and behind him. Those ahead of him by 10 runs or less includes the less-impressive examples of Fielder, Hanley, Harper and Jeter; among those within 10 runs behind are McCutchen, Cepeda, Staub, J Clark, and Nomar. Clark is pretty much go-to guy for this sort of hitter. Clark is just 3 Rbat but 600 PA behind Mookie for these ages but loses a whopping 167 runs to Mookie on base/dp/field/pos ... what makes Mookie a great player to date is combining excellent hitting with great peripherals. To contradict that statement, you have to make the case that Jack Clark was a "great" hitter in which case I simply think your definition of great is useless.

Anyway, over that period, Clark averaged 33 Rbat/650 and for the rest of his career (through age 36) averaged 31. Over these ages, Mookie has averaged 28.5 per 650 and there's no strong reason to expect him to out-perform Clark from here (in rate terms at least). So no, that's not great.

The main argument he might out-perform Clark is that massive 2018 season that Clark didn't match. But prior to 27, Clark did have two seasons at 150 OPS+ and he did later have one full season at 176 and two partial seasons at 176 and 167 so he had his moments. Mookie might well have another monster season in him but I wouldn't count on him doing so regularly. You never know but one has to sensibly downweight 2018 ...

career: 134 OPS+
22-26: 134
23-26: 139
24-26: 141
26: 135

It's only if you let 2018 constitute about half of his history that he looks like a great hitter. Even if we take age 24-26 as his true talent (which is reasonable) for ages 24-26 that's the 45th best of the expansion era. It's just behind Abreu, Zisk and Longoria. Behind Olerud, Prince, Raines and Staub. It's the same as Leon Durham, just ahead of Hanley, Tartabull, Barfield, Willie Horton and Wynn. As I noted before, Chet Lemon and Roy White sit at 138. The one REALLY immpressive guy is Miggy who didn't really turn into Miggy until age 27 and from 27-33 put up a 169 OPS+. Obviously that could happen for Mookie. The other REALLY impressive guy is Manny, a bit ahead of Mookie at this stage, who also became Manny at 27 and put up a 166 OPS+ from 27-34.

Note #33 to #68 on this OPS+ age 24-26 list covers a mere 8 points of OPS+. This also argues in favor of "not great" -- every other year we see a hitter better than this group, every other year we see a hitter in this group. Some of them last, some of them fade and some just get injured so we never really know. In terms of "hitter history" he is hurt by the position he plays -- he hits like a great 3B not a great RF.

The question of course is at what age will Mookie's speed and defense abandon him ... along with what are the chances he's one of the ones whose bat drops off. He'll still be a very good player as long as he retains at least one of those. He's very very likely to still be outstanding, even great, through age 32 or so ... but you don't get to sign him through age 32.
   60. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: February 18, 2020 at 06:07 PM (#5925205)
Rich teams (Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, Cubs, etc.) can live at just below the third threshold ($248M this year) forever, and not suffer any serious consequences. This is 100% about juicing profits from the massive to the obscene.

We usually just talk about the tax here, but repeaters also lose part of the revenue sharing refund too. It's hard to find the exact amounts, but it's touched on here and this blog post tries to guess why the Cubs want to get under this year.

That doesn't change your overall point - it's just money and while it's a little more than the tax amount, it's still pretty small compared to overall revenue/cash flow/valuation. The draft pick penalties are pretty minor.
   61. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: February 18, 2020 at 06:08 PM (#5925206)
There are an awful lot of Red Sox related stories on this site. There are other teams out there.

I think there's more Astros stuff than Red Sox now.
   62. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: February 18, 2020 at 07:29 PM (#5925225)
57 - Please feel free to submit stories regarding other teams. More diversity is a good thing.
   63. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 18, 2020 at 07:32 PM (#5925226)
This isn't a team outright blowing off any semblance of intent to compete. They're still projecting to be over .500 and well within playoff contention. They're not deliberately being the worst team in the league.
Reportedly, the Red Sox are still negotiating a Will Myers swap with the Padres. That seems a bit tankish.
   64. Do Not Touch Fancy Pants Socially Distanced Handle Posted: February 18, 2020 at 08:10 PM (#5925232)
Wil Myers is a cromulent 1B. His last 3 seasons as a 1B, he put up 2.0, 2.4, and 3.5 WAR. That's fine. The 1B the Red Sox currently employ has been in the league for 10 seasons, and has never topped 2.3 WAR in any of them. He is an atrocious OFer, and should never be allowed to step foot on the field anywhere more than about 50 feet from the first base bag. Why the Padres felt the need to pay $144m to a worse first baseman, and push Myers to the OF is a question that is unanswerable. But I firmly believe drugs may have been involved.

The real issue is, if you are going to swing a trade for a new 1B, you should never have committed 6m to Mitch Lessland, when you apparently have a massive budget crunch.

BTW, Wil Myers spells his name with one 'l'.
   65. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: February 18, 2020 at 08:42 PM (#5925240)
Not that it’s huge money but they only committed 3 million to Mitchy Two Bags.
   66. Karl from NY Posted: February 19, 2020 at 10:03 AM (#5925305)
Not true. The penalty for being at $220M this year vs. $208M is <$10M.

That's this year - but there are more penalties for repeat offenders, right? Saving several years of penalties for giving up one year of Betts would seem a reasonable tradeoff.
   67. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 19, 2020 at 10:28 AM (#5925311)
That's this year - but there are more penalties for repeat offenders, right? Saving several years of penalties for giving up one year of Betts would seem a reasonable tradeoff.

Maybe, but there has been plenty of discussion of how they could have gotten under $208M without ttrading Betts. They spent over $20M on FA this year.
   68. Do Not Touch Fancy Pants Socially Distanced Handle Posted: February 19, 2020 at 11:02 AM (#5925328)
That's this year - but there are more penalties for repeat offenders, right? Saving several years of penalties for giving up one year of Betts would seem a reasonable tradeoff.

The Sox are already repeat offenders, and are at the maximum rate, which is 50% of the overage. The penalty for a 220m payroll would be 6m. Or in other words, less than one Martin Perez (and yes Jose, I got the Perez and Mitchy No Bags salaries mixed up earlier). Do you think Red Sox fans would have been ok with the trade, if the Dodgers had thrown in one free season of Martin Perez into the deal? Cause that is literally what you are buying.

Their penalties are not going to get worse, unless they go over 248m, which is where the draft penalties kick in.

Now it does reset to the lowest rate of 20%, if they get under it (for one season, if they plan on staying over the tax, they will be right back up at 50 in 2 seasons). But that just reduces the penalty from ashtray money to pocket change, as far as the Red Sox are concerned. Throwing away a year in which they should have been a serious WS contender for that, is malpractice.
   69. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: February 19, 2020 at 11:20 AM (#5925342)
The Sox are already repeat offenders, and are at the maximum rate, which is 50% of the overage. The penalty for a 220m payroll would be 6m. Or in other words, less than one Martin Perez (and yes Jose, I got the Perez and Mitchy No Bags salaries mixed up earlier). Do you think Red Sox fans would have been ok with the trade, if the Dodgers had thrown in one free season of Martin Perez into the deal? Cause that is literally what you are buying.

Plus less of a revenue sharing refund, which could be another $10 or $20 or $30 mil, we don't know. Again, still just money, but it is a little more than just the tax:

(i) Tier 1: A Revenue Sharing Payor Club shall receive 100% of its Market Disqualification Refund if it is a CBT Payor Club during the Contract Year at issue but was not a CBT Payor Club in the immediately preceding Contract Year.
(ii) Tier 2: A Revenue Sharing Payor Club shall forfeit 25% of its Market Disqualification Refund if, during the Contract Year at issue, it is a CBT Payor Club for a second consecutive Contract Year.
(iii) Tier 3: A Revenue Sharing Payor Club shall forfeit 50% of its Market Disqualification Refund if, during the Contract Year at issue, it is a CBT Payor Club for a third consecutive Contract Year.
(iv) Tier 4: A Revenue Sharing Payor Club shall forfeit 75% of its Market Disqualification Refund if, during the Contract Year at issue, it is a CBT Payor Club for a fourth consecutive Contract Year.
(v) Tier 5: A Revenue Sharing Payor Club shall forfeit 100% of its Market Disqualification Refund if, during the Contract Year at issue, it is a CBT Payor Club for a fifth (or more) consecutive Contract Year.
   70. jmurph Posted: February 19, 2020 at 01:01 PM (#5925390)
Walt/59, I uhhhhh appreciate the lengthy disagreement for at least the second time in a couple weeks, but I don't see anything in there to contradict the very short post you responded to:
Over the last two seasons Betts was one of the best 5 hitters in baseball. Over the last three it's more like 10-12. He is currently among the game's great hitters. If "great" only means "all-time great" then sure, but I don't understand why one would use the term that way.

We appear to be disagreeing on how one should use the word "great." Which is fine! But we do disagree.
   71. DCA Posted: February 19, 2020 at 04:09 PM (#5925430)
Now it does reset to the lowest rate of 20%, if they get under it (for one season, if they plan on staying over the tax, they will be right back up at 50 in 2 seasons). But that just reduces the penalty from ashtray money to pocket change, as far as the Red Sox are concerned. Throwing away a year in which they should have been a serious WS contender for that, is malpractice.

But they didn't throw away a year of serious contention.

(1) The Red Sox still might contend. Losing MVP Betts from the 2018 championship team, they still win 100 games and based on how they cruised through the playoffs, probably still win the title. Certainly the odds of serious contention are lower without Betts, but if they were 100% they are still significant and if they are now 0% they were pretty low to begin with.

(2) At worst, they didn't "throw away" anything. They traded it for 4 years of Verdugo + 6 years of Downs in the future, when those two (who project to be very good) will presumably contribute significantly to the Red Sox.

Reportedly, the Red Sox are still negotiating a Will Myers swap with the Padres. That seems a bit tankish.


Myers is not terrible, and if the Padres attach a prospect and/or a young SP like Lucchessi to dump his contract, the Sox should be interested. Asset accumulation to improve the team in 2021 and onward.
   72. DCA Posted: February 19, 2020 at 04:13 PM (#5925431)
I should say that among Arenado, Lindor, and Betts, it's pretty shocking that it's Betts on the move.

The Reds and Indians need to hurry up and pull the trigger on Senzel + something for Lindor already. I can't understand why this hasn't been done yet.
   73. Do Not Touch Fancy Pants Socially Distanced Handle Posted: February 19, 2020 at 04:26 PM (#5925436)
(1) The Red Sox still might contend. Losing MVP Betts from the 2018 championship team, they still win 100 games and based on how they cruised through the playoffs, probably still win the title. Certainly the odds of serious contention are lower without Betts, but if they were 100% they are still significant and if they are now 0% they were pretty low to begin with.

I have cited the opening and current betting lines several times here. I think those are a significantly better starting point, than randomly pulling numbers out of your ass.

They opened at 94.5 wins, and 11/1 to win the WS. Now they are at around 85 wins, and 11/1 to win the AL East. Between 33/1 to 40/1 to win the WS. That is going from a serious contender, to a fringe contender at best.
   74. base ball chick Posted: February 19, 2020 at 09:06 PM (#5925476)
Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: February 18, 2020 at 06:08 PM (#5925206)
There are an awful lot of Red Sox related stories on this site. There are other teams out there.

I think there's more Astros stuff than Red Sox now


- why oh WHY couldn't this have been true back when i was blogging and they were The Good Guys and couldn't hardly get no attention on 04 and 05?????

- one of my baseball friends refuses to drop his astros fanhood - says - well, suppose your kid went to prison for robbery. you'd b ashamed of him, but you'd still love him anyhow
   75. Ron J Posted: February 20, 2020 at 07:27 AM (#5925497)
#73 There's no way the Betts trade cost them 9.5 wins. It's a classic example of over-reaction. And to be clear, not a fan of the deal and if it only costs them a few wins, well they're in that sweet spot where every win is likely to matter.

That said, this sums up the likely impact on marginal revenue.
   76. JJ1986 Posted: February 20, 2020 at 07:43 AM (#5925502)
#73 There's no way the Betts trade cost them 9.5 wins.
I think it might be close be if Price is projected to be worth a few wins and their current fifth starter is Brian Johnson or Hector Velazquez.
   77. Do Not Touch Fancy Pants Socially Distanced Handle Posted: February 20, 2020 at 10:01 AM (#5925530)
#73 There's no way the Betts trade cost them 9.5 wins. It's a classic example of over-reaction. And to be clear, not a fan of the deal and if it only costs them a few wins, well they're in that sweet spot where every win is likely to matter.

That said, this sums up the likely impact on marginal revenue.

I got to about 7.5 when I did the math. If Verdugo is seriously hurt, and they have no real RF to replace Betts, that obviously gets worse.

But that is only measuring the direct effect of the trade. There are domino effects that are accounted for in the line. The Red Sox now are presumably much more likely to be out of contention before the trade deadline. And are less likely to make further moves to improve the team, and more likely to make further salary dumps, or trades for the "future."
   78. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 20, 2020 at 10:08 AM (#5925533)
I got to about 7.5 when I did the math. If Verdugo is seriously hurt, and they have no real RF to replace Betts, that obviously gets worse.

But that is only measuring the direct effect of the trade. There are domino effects that are accounted for in the line. The Red Sox now are presumably much more likely to be out of contention before the trade deadline. And are less likely to make further moves to improve the team, and more likely to make further salary dumps, or trades for the "future."


That seems fair. They've clearly signaled they're not going to spend this year, so a deadline SP add is off the table.
   79. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: February 20, 2020 at 11:19 AM (#5925561)
If Verdugo is seriously hurt, and they have no real RF to replace Betts

Over on the trash fire that is the Red Sox Facebook group, the mouthbreathing "real fans" there are all lining up to sing the praises of Kevin "Career .296 OBP" Pillar as a great pickup for the team.
   80. villageidiom Posted: February 20, 2020 at 12:31 PM (#5925597)
Over on the trash fire that is the Red Sox Facebook group, the mouthbreathing "real fans" there are all lining up to sing the praises of Kevin "Career .296 OBP" Pillar as a great pickup for the team.
They think that Kevin Pillar is the same as Kevin Millar except with good defense.

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