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Saturday, December 10, 2022

Red Sox’s Chaim Bloom on losing Xander Bogaerts: ‘It got to a point we weren’t going to’ -

Here’s a great interview and article by Chris Cotillo.

I’ve been hammering Red Sox ownership and giving Bloom a break because owners make the call on big contracts. After reading the article, I wonder how much responsibility Bloom has for some of the decisions. Although most people didn’t properly forecast this off-season market, the Red Sox offered Bogaerts a decidedly undermarket contract (as the market was perceived) during last off-season. For Bloom to say the Red Sox had a high priority to keep Bogaerts, while offering such a contract, is either a blatant lie or an incompetent estimate of Bogaets market value. In either case, Bloom and the Red Sox don’t look good.

Going forward the team needs to do a better job in both evaluation and explaining to fans just what they are trying to do. Or, they can continue to get HAMMERED by their fans, while becoming a less attractive option for free agents.

Bloom said the Red Sox truly considered Bogaerts its top priority for the last few weeks and tried to back it up with actions, even if the final offer came well short of what the shortstop took from San Diego.

“We wouldn’t have said that if we didn’t mean it,” Bloom said. “I think it became clear to us as things went on that this was going to go to a point that we just weren’t, irrespective of how we prioritize things, it just wasn’t something that we should do. It’s hard because of how much we love him. But it’s just the reality of the situation.”

jimfurtado Posted: December 10, 2022 at 08:49 AM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: chaim bloom, red sox

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Rough Carrigan Posted: December 10, 2022 at 01:50 PM (#6109005)
From a poster at Sons of Sam Horn, some Bogaerts stats over the last 4 years:

1 HR in every X AB:
2019: 1 in every 18.6 ab
2020: 1 in every 18.5 ab
2021: 1 in every 23.0 ab
2022: 1 in every 37.1 ab

2019: .246
2020: .202
2021: .198
2022: .149

Hard Hit Rate:
2019: 47.3%
2020: 37.0%
2021: 43.1%
2022: 39.6%

Avg. Exit Velo:
2019: 91.1 mph
2020: 89.0 mph
2021: 89.6 mph
2022: 88.1 mph

As for the increase in OBP, look at his BABIP:
2019: .338
2020: .329
2021: .333
2022: .362 - an abnormally high BAPIP, despite a big drop in hard hit rate

K rate:
2019: 17.5%
2020: 18.2%
2021: 18.7%
2022: 18.7%

BB rate:
2019: 10.9%
2020: 9.3%
2021: 10.3%
2022: 9.0%
   2. alilisd Posted: December 10, 2022 at 02:18 PM (#6109013)
WAR per PA:
2019: .00903
2020: .00711
2021: .00813
2022: .00919

Is he declining? Certainly looks that way. But it also is somewhat exaggerated by choosing 2019 as a starting point given it was his best season ever with the bat. Will he continue to decline? Certainly, but how steeply remains to be seen. Is he going to drop from a 5 WAR per season player to a 2 WAR per season player in one year? Seems unlikely, but the drop in power may be exacerbated by moving to Petco, or it's possible enough of those doubles off the wall will turn into HR to mitigate. I'm very curious to see how he plays over the next few seasons. Hopefully he can help the Padres advance into the post season.
   3. Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: December 10, 2022 at 02:26 PM (#6109016)
As has been noted in many places, the mistake was not in December, it was last winter when they could have gotten him for a very reasonable price.

I won’t be shocked if this goes Fred Lynn on the Padres. A little decline, a little aging, a little park effect and I expect this not to be a great deal. And the Sox still should have signed him. The last few years the Sox have stopped being bold.
   4. jimfurtado Posted: December 10, 2022 at 02:37 PM (#6109021)
Just moving to SD will impact his numbers. They will certainly go down. The contract he signed with SD will certainly be a disappointment.

So, I don't have a problem with the Red Sox not matching the offer. I do have a problem with the team not locking up Betts early and not addressing Bogaerts last off-season when they could have signed him to a reasonable contract.

There is some value to locking up a player like Bogaerts to keep him on your team for his entire career. Fans are typically much more forgiving of the downside of such deals because the player (and team) have built up goodwill in the player's more productive years. I remember watching Yaz finish out his career. He was no longer a superstar but was still a productive contributor. Bogaerts, although not the same talent as Yaz, has been a consistent performer and fan favorite for some time, he certainly will age but I would have been good with it.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: December 11, 2022 at 12:28 AM (#6109096)
312/375/497 H career
271/338/420 R

The gap in ISO appears to be equally split between doubles and HRs. Most hitters are better at home, but I don't think it's near that extreme.

Offense was down overall so I'm not sure how much concern there should be in those trends.
   6. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 11, 2022 at 11:28 AM (#6109098)
I am certainly among those Red Sox fans who are less upset that the team didn't match SD's offer...and much more upset that it got anywhere near this moment.

However - especially when you consider Bogaerts' agent is Scott Boras - it must be kept in mind that the closer a player gets to free agency, the less likely any deal is going to be struck prior to testing the market. Last winter was already almost certainly too late for Boston to avoid free agency for Bogaerts, because at that point, the player only has one year worth of injury risk (or other cause of performance decline) to weigh against the benefits of getting to free agency.

For Boston to have convinced Bogaerts (and Boras) to put off free agency, Boston had to make a convincing offer far earlier in Bogaerts' career. Of course, they already bought out a few years of free agency with a $20m/yr extension.

The problem for Boston? The opt-out after 2020 which everybody knew he was going to exercise. That is a Boras trademark - he wanted Bogaerts to have the security of a long-term deal if his client got hurt or became ineffective...but he also wanted his client to be able to test free agency for a peak-timing payday if Bogaerts had a good last few years...which he did.

There was 0% chance Boston could get Bogaerts to sign a 10-year deal a few years ago, unless either it a) was a much higher AAV, and/or 2) it was going to include some kind of opt-out by about 2024.

The reason the Rays and Braves have been able to get these long-term deals done with their homegrown prospects, generally, is because they make deals with players extremely early in their big-league careers, buying out arbitration years and a few years of free agency in exchange. (The Red Sox did this with Whitlock last year BTW...)

Those are great deals - when they work - because the young player gets protection against injury or ineffectiveness, while the team gets cost certainty during the arb years, and typically 1-2 years of delay in free agency.

But that's not what is happening here. This is a 30-year-old player who has been on the big league team for about a decade, who has already signed an extension before, and now sees the mega-payday within reach. This would never have been completed last off-season (unless the team offered mega-money); it could have been done three or four years ago...maybe.
   7. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 11, 2022 at 12:31 PM (#6109100)
Last winter was already almost certainly too late for Boston to avoid free agency for Bogaerts, because at that point, the player only has one year worth of injury risk (or other cause of performance decline) to weigh against the benefits of getting to free agency.
That might be generally true for players a season away from free agency, but didn’t Bogaerts approach the Red Sox on an extension during Spring Training, only to be rebuffed with a well below market value offer to tack one $30M year on to his existing contract? Seems like he may have had more interest in staying than the Red Sox.
   8. Darren Posted: December 11, 2022 at 06:40 PM (#6109117)
Just moving to SD will impact his numbers. They will certainly go down. The contract he signed with SD will certainly be a disappointment.

His raw numbers will probably decline but according to his ZIPS projection, Bogaerts will be more valuable in SD than in Boston (4.0 WAR in Boston vs. 4.5 in SD). The ZIPS projection for him is pretty rosy overall, seeing him as improving at age 31 to 4.7 WAR, and amassing 30 WAR for the life of the contract. I have a hard time believing that.

   9. Darren Posted: December 11, 2022 at 06:53 PM (#6109118)
X's power did drop off this year and that's a concern but there are a couple of factors I'd consider as mitigating:

--Power was down around the league in 2022, with ISOs down about 17 percent vs. the average of 2019-2021. Bogaerts was still down a bit more than that.

--He was reportedly dealing with a nagging back injury after a collision on May 21. Now being injured isn't a good thing, but it was sort of a fluke. And he wasn't really hitting for much power before that either. But it did seem in watching him that Bogaerts was not more focused on going the other way, beating the shift, and taking what the defense gave him this year. (I know that's pretty anecdotal.)

Bogaerts being able to still put up almost exactly the same overall offensive production by shifting his approach (if that's what's happened here) would be very impressive and a great sign for him as he ages.

   10. baxter Posted: December 11, 2022 at 11:07 PM (#6109126)
8; yes who expects a 30 year old player to improve? His last name's not Beltre.
   11. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 11, 2022 at 11:47 PM (#6109127)
why did his DRS numbers go from consistently bad to suddenly very good? Was he used differently in shifts or something?
   12. villageidiom Posted: December 12, 2022 at 08:49 AM (#6109140)
why did his DRS numbers go from consistently bad to suddenly very good? Was he used differently in shifts or something?
Maybe. Fielding Bible has him improving by 8 runs in 2022 from team positioning on shifts. Otherwise it looks like his improvement was on throws. He was -10 runs saved on throws in 2021, +3 in 2022. The former is closer to his typical year; if you throw out 2013 (52 innings at SS) and 2020 (short season) his median DRS on throws is -7. I'm actually surprised he was that good on throws in 2022, considering how often he was throwing to Franchy Cordero who was an absolute butcher at 1B.

It wouldn't surprise me if the presence of Story made Bogaerts look better. There are fewer missed plays up the middle if Story is ranging there; likewise, there are fewer balls through the 3B/SS hole if Bogaerts can position closer to it given he has Story to his left. DRS has always given Story high marks for his range. But, like, Bogaerts improved on throws. Unless it's on throws to second - which admittedly would have a big impact on runs saved if that's where the improvement was - I don't see how that would do it.
   13. Darren Posted: December 12, 2022 at 09:12 AM (#6109142)
8; yes who expects a 30 year old player to improve? His last name's not Beltre.

Maybe he doesn't like his head to be touched?
   14. Rough Carrigan Posted: December 13, 2022 at 06:27 AM (#6109307)
#11, on one of the Boston tv stations about a week ago, in talking about whether Bogaerts would be signed or not a local tv sports guy casually said that Bogaerts had specifically trained this past offseason to try to improve his first step quickness.

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