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Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Tomase: Why this John Henry quote about Bogaerts is infuriating

John Henry weighed in on the state of the Red Sox with the trade deadline three weeks away, and one quote caught my eye, not to mention my ire.J

When asked by Alex Speier of The Boston Globe about reaching contract extensions with Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers, Henry sounded a familiar refrain.

“It takes two to make a deal,” he said. “I think it’s clear both of them want to be here. We want them here. We made efforts in the past to try to sign players that we weren’t able to sign.

“It’s not 100 percent our fault when we don’t end up signing a player. We’ve signed players where it’s really worked out. We’ve signed others that, it’s our job to try to sign the right players. Frankly, over the last 20 years, we haven’t done it [every time], so we’ve had to break teams up.

“The key thing I think with a long-term deal is to make it with the right players. For us at this point, both Raffy and Xander are two players we would love to have. In Xander’s case, it could be till the end of his career. But players have rights and you have to respect that.”

For Henry to say it takes two to make a deal is pretty rich considering the unilateral nature of their lowball offer to Bogaerts this spring. As a reminder, with the shortstop market exploding to tune of $300-plus million contracts for Fernando Tatis Jr., Corey Seager, and Francisco Lindor, the Red Sox reportedly offered Bogaerts what amounted to a one-year, $30 million extension that was consistently mischaracterized as four years and $90 million. Honoring the three years and $60 million remaining on his current deal, provided he doesn’t opt out in the fall, doesn’t count!

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 13, 2022 at 02:33 PM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox, xander bogaerts

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: July 13, 2022 at 03:44 PM (#6086533)
X is a tough guy to value I think. He's younger than I thought, still only 29 so he'll be looking for a 6-7 year deal. Over the last 5 years, the bat has been consistently excellent and I'd rather bet on a bat than a glove. The glove though is not particularly good (DRS and statcast agree) although he's been average this year (both agree). Jeter aside, he's the sort of guy who's usually moved off of SS around age 30 ... and quite probably should be in favor of Story.

But then you get this strange dichotomy in the market. Arenado, Rendon, Machado, Donaldson, Bregman, Bryant (no longer a 3B even) are among the very top position player salaries ... but name me a high-priced 2B. Ketel Marte got 5/$76; there's Altuve at 7/$163; LeMahieu 6/$90 and of course Story for 6/$140. I'm not sure it really matters where X plays going forward but MLB teams might disagree.

So I'm not sure if X is looking for something along the lines of Bryant 7/$182 or Story/Baez 6/$140 or Seager AAV around 7/$220. If he's happy around 6/$140 then I extend him today; if he wants Seager money, I think I let him walk. (Well, if I had the Red Sox money I'd just sign everybody to crazy contracts and be fired as GM tomorrow.)

I wasn't thinking of Marte as a comp originally but ...

KM 25-28: 137 OPS+, 5.1 WAR/650, 30 Rbat/650 (1515 PA 2019-22, did miss about half of 2021)
XB 25-28: 133 OPS+, 5.4 WAR/650, 29 Rbat/650 (2106 PA 2018-21)

Marte's 5/$76 deal starts NEXT year and they're all FA years ... he might want to have a chat with his agent.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: July 13, 2022 at 05:01 PM (#6086553)
And aren't most billionaire quotes infuriating?
   3. A triple short of the cycle Posted: July 13, 2022 at 05:56 PM (#6086564)
name me a high-priced 2B
Marcus Semien?
   4. cardsfanboy Posted: July 13, 2022 at 07:50 PM (#6086581)
But then you get this strange dichotomy in the market. Arenado, Rendon, Machado, Donaldson, Bregman, Bryant (no longer a 3B even) are among the very top position player salaries ... but name me a high-priced 2B. Ketel Marte got 5/$76; there's Altuve at 7/$163; LeMahieu 6/$90 and of course Story for 6/$140. I'm not sure it really matters where X plays going forward but MLB teams might disagree.


I honestly think that front offices view second base as an inferior position for 'reasons'. There is no reason to think that every position should be equally valuable, in theory if everything is judged accurately, there is a possibility that every position produces the same value, but in reality it doesn't have to be the case. Second base (along with right field) seems to be the position where mistake in evaluating player overall value is acceptable, you underrate both the offensive necessity and defensive necessity of the position in an attempt to balance the two. (Third base also falls under this umbrella potentially though) so one team might err on the side of defensive value while another team might err on the side of offensive value meaning that 'true' value is never accurately recognized by the aggregate.


   5. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 13, 2022 at 10:14 PM (#6086614)
I suspect the bright boys in Boston may have concluded that long-term contracts for $30M+ per year just aren’t worth the risk, at least for a team enjoying high attendance & a big bucks TV deal. If that’s not it, I’m at a loss to explain the lack of effort to retain Betts or extend Bogaerts. Perhaps this off-season will provide a more definitive answer.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: July 14, 2022 at 04:21 AM (#6086651)
#3: Oh yeah, forgot about him. Looks like he may have woken up. After going 0-6 with 3 Ks on June 1 he has hit 295/340/571 with 11 HR. It's not BABIP driven and the K-rate is <16%. OPS+ is up to 97, 1.9 WAR, 0.8 WAA ... not what they're paying for but not disastrous (yet). He's had seasons like that before. And still the AAV on that deal is $25 M.
   7. Nasty Nate Posted: July 14, 2022 at 08:35 AM (#6086655)
the Red Sox reportedly offered Bogaerts what amounted to a one-year, $30 million extension that was consistently mischaracterized as four years and $90 million. Honoring the three years and $60 million remaining on his current deal, provided he doesn’t opt out in the fall, doesn’t count!
To me, characterizing it as a biggish 1-year extension several years in advance sounds more flattering to the Sox front office, rather than the opposite.

If he leaves after 10 years and 2 championships, so be it. It won't be an egregious gaffe for the team like choosing to send Mookie away a year (at least) early.
   8. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 14, 2022 at 09:26 AM (#6086657)
I think it is pretty obvious the Red Sox signed Story for multiple reasons:

1) For 2022, he provides elite defense at 2B, and the team (recent problems notwithstanding) went into 2022 wanting to improve the defense, which was arguably the weak point of their 2021 ALCS team.

2) It provides a legit hedge against Bogaerts leaving after 2022: If he leaves, they can move Story to SS, get excellent defense there, and find a 2B. Or they can keep Story at 2B, and sign a SS. If they re-sign Bogaerts, that's great, too.

3) For a team that had a pretty dreadful farm system as recently as 2020, things have improved in a big way quickly. Two of their four best prospects are a SS (Marcelo Mayer, who at 19 will be moving up the system very quickly) and 2B (Nick Yorke, who has been dealing with injuries this season, but is one of the fastest-rising prospects in baseball). I think the team is looking at 2024 and 2025, and seeing an infield with Casas at 1B, Yorke at 2B, Mayer at SS, and Devers (or even Bogaerts, if they re-sign him and eventually move him over) at 3B, and want to set that up.

A lot of talk radio and Twitter in New England is grumpy at John Henry for suggesting that 2022 isn't a "go for it" year, but let's get real: 2021 wasn't supposed to be a playoff team. Most of the veterans they signed short-term played near the top of their game, Whitlock was a revelation, Eovaldi stayed healthy, and the team got a little lucky. It was a really fun ride, and probably set too high a set of expectations for 2022.

This 2022 team is not that good - it is an 85-win team, which may still be good enough to get a wild card slot. Devers is amazing, Bogaerts is excellent, Martinez continues to hit...and the rest of the offense is pretty forgettable. The pitching staff has been good enough against inferior competition, but the good teams of the AL East have exposed the weak bullpen and the inexperience of the young starters forced into action because of injuries.

Henry is basically right. 2022 is a big step forward in trying to remain competitive while integrating a lot of young pitching. For a stretch, the rotation was Nick Pivetta and four rookies (Bello, Winckowski, Seabold, and Crawford), and the bullpen is going to be led by a pair of second-year guys (Houck and Whitlock). When Sale, Eovaldi, and Whitlock are all back shortly, I could see putting Bello in the bullpen for the rest of the season, and then your pitching staff looks like this:

Sale
Eovaldi
Pivetta
Winckowski
Crawford/Wacha/Hill

Bullpen:
Houck
Whitlock
Bello
Schreiber
Davis
Strahm
Sawamura
*Bulk innings guy

That's what Henry means: A 2022 pitching staff with a lot of promising young talent helping now - while getting ready to be part of a much better team in 2023 and beyond.
   9. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 14, 2022 at 10:35 AM (#6086668)
The guy is signed thru 2025/2026. They shouldn't even entertain the idea of signing an extension right now.
   10. Mayor Blomberg Posted: July 14, 2022 at 12:58 PM (#6086685)
# 9: he's signed that long if he doesn't opt out at year's end.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 14, 2022 at 01:04 PM (#6086687)
# 9: he's signed that long if he doesn't opt out at year's end.

Right, so he's not signed. He has a player option at 3/60.
   12. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 14, 2022 at 02:12 PM (#6086700)
Right, so he's not signed. He has a player option at 3/60.
Boston’s ‘extension’ offer is for Bogaerts to forgo free agency for $90M/4 years. That doesn’t seem close to fair market value. Once inflation is factored in, it’s less than the $20M per year Bogaerts signed for back in 2019, before he had fully demonstrated his value. Not a serious effort to sign him, which is somewhat puzzling.
   13. Nasty Nate Posted: July 14, 2022 at 03:07 PM (#6086707)
Once inflation is factored in, it’s less than the $20M per year Bogaerts signed for back in 2019, before he had fully demonstrated his value.
That's some twisting - the $20m per year for 2023, 2024, and 2025 that he signed for back in 2019 are also subject to inflation.
Not a serious effort to sign him, which is somewhat puzzling.
Not only puzzling, it might even be concerning!
   14. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 14, 2022 at 03:28 PM (#6086710)
That's some twisting - the $20m per year for 2023, 2024, and 2025 that he signed for back in 2019 are also subject to inflation.
Isn’t it obvious that the $20M/year 2019 price is less attractive now because of the high current & continuing inflation? The opt-out let’s Bogaerts reset the 2023-25 years to reflect his improved play, inflation, and potential free agent leverage. Boston’s ‘extension’ offer appears to have ignored all that.
   15. Nasty Nate Posted: July 14, 2022 at 03:40 PM (#6086714)
I know, it's hard to explain that they offered the exact same 3/$60m and nothing else. Puzzling!
   16. Walt Davis Posted: July 17, 2022 at 05:23 PM (#6087088)
The AAV on 4/$90 is fine. It's the years that are "puzzling." Story signed for 6/$140 through age 34; Baez signed for 6/$140 through age 34. This is Bogaerts' level -- he's a better hitter and a worse fielder. They're all the same age so a 5/$115-120 deal for XB now would be the same as the Baez and Story deals, taking him through age 34.

XB 18 WAR 2018-21
JB 18 WAR 2018-21
TS 20 WAR 2018-21

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