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Wednesday, February 05, 2020

2020 Vision - Version 2.0

Well, now that the Sox have made their big move it’s worth taking a look at what the 2020 Boston Red Sox now look like with some notes about the changes from version 1 (https://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/sox_therapy/discussion/2020_vision)

Infield: Mitch Moreland, Michael Chavis, Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, Jose Peraza, Tzu-Wei Lin

Changes from Version 1:
Drop Sam Travis, Marco Hernandez
Add Moreland, Peraza,

Adding Moreland is a nice little move that I think fits well.  He’s good enough to do his Mitch Moreland things that are perfectly useful but not so good that if Bobby Dalbec can make progress you can’t punt him and let Dalbec seize the day.  Peraza and Lin give the Sox a nice bit of a flexibility.

Outfield: Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr., Alex Verdugo, Marcus Wilson

Changes from Version 1:
Drop Vacant, Mookie Betts
Add Wilson, Verdugo

Sigh.  OK, let’s talk about Verdugo for a moment. The soon to be 24 year old (May 15) blossomed in a 2019 call up after a couple of rough tries in 2017 and 2018.  The former top 40 prospect looks like a bit of a Victorino type.  He’s a center fielder by trade who will play right (presumably though Bradley could shift) and showed decent power with a .181 ISO in 2019.  The lefty has hit .306/.333/.452 against LHP in his 133 PA in his MLB career.

Wilson is more athlete than baseball player.  The best thing he has going for him is that he is right handed which obviously makes him a nice fit for this roster.  Ideally the Sox will find a way to get someone a bit more reliable for this slot.

Catchers: Christian Vazquez, Kevin Plawecki

Changes from Version 1:
Drop: Vacant
Add: Plawecki

Not a lot happening here.  Plawecki looks like your garden variety backup backstop and should be able to imitate Sandy Leon to a reasonable degree.

DH: J.D. Martinez

No Changes

It is what it is.  One thing about JD is that he is an important player in multiple ways.  On one hand he’s the centerpiece of the lineup still and on the other hand if the Sox fall out of contention he’s a pretty substantial trade chip.

Rotation: Chris Sale, Eduardo Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi, Martin Perez, Hector Velazquez (I guess?)

Changes from Version 1:
Drop: David Price
Add: Martin Perez

I like the Perez pick up.  He looks pretty durable as pitchers go and while he is not a stud or anything he is a perfectly corpulent back of the rotation guy.  A lot hinges on Eovaldi with the Price trade.  I’m bullish on Sale so for me it’s Eovaldi.  If he can make 25 starts I like the Sox situation.

Bullpen: Brandon Workman, Matt Barnes, Darwinzon Hernandez, Brusador Graterol, Ryan Brasier, Josh Taylor, Heath Hembree, Colton Brewer

Changes from Version 1:
Drop: Bobby Poyner, Ryan Weber
Add: Graterol, Brewer

I’m actually a fan of this bullpen.  I love Workman and while I think he was a bit fortunate in some ways last year he is a good pitcher.  Where Workman was maybe a bit lucky Barnes was a bit unlucky and I expect a better year from him.  Hernandez for me is the guy.  I think he’s a potential shutdown stud.

Graterol makes the trade worthwhile just to hear Jerry Remy say “Brusador Graterol.” Actually, if we can get Bob Cousy to spring training to do a game with Remy that would really be great.  I think Brasier is likely to be somewhere between the 2018 version and the 2019 version and I like Taylor a lot. 

My only concern with this bullpen is it feels thin.  I feel better about the back three of Hernandez, Barnes and Workman and Taylor and Brasier fill that in well.  But with the rotation thinning out they are going to need to eat some innings. Tanner Houck may be a key player in that bullpen before the year is out.

Anyway, that’s what I see.  Hopefully this team can come together the way the 1999 Red Sox did when Mo Vaughn left.  That season remains one of my all time favorites.

Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: February 05, 2020 at 10:52 AM | 33 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. villageidiom Posted: February 05, 2020 at 12:19 PM (#5921954)
One thing about JD is that he is an important player in multiple ways.  On one hand he’s the centerpiece of the lineup still and on the other hand if the Sox fall out of contention he’s a pretty substantial trade chip.
This is an important point. I've said often that JDM doesn't have great trade value because of the uncertainty surrounding his opt-out. At the deadline there should be much less uncertainty because it will be easier to forecast his decision.
   2. Nasty Nate Posted: February 05, 2020 at 12:22 PM (#5921957)
They might as well use Bruiser Gatorade as a starter, right?

Also, you're a good man Jose to have the stomach to make this post now.
   3. villageidiom Posted: February 05, 2020 at 01:17 PM (#5921986)
One other point to make is that right now, per Cot's tracker - which is a wonderful thing - they are now $20 million under the tax threshold for 2020. This means they could do other trades or signings to bolster the roster. Granted, it's February, so the free agents out there are very limited. If they want to take a 2B flier - I've not been impressed with Chavis' glove at the position - there are a few options. Not only is fan favorite Brock Holt still out there, but so is the original Brock Holt: Ben Zobrist, who spent most of 2019 on the restricted list while he endured a difficult divorce. He's entering his age-39 season, but he's not far removed from a 3-win full season in 2018.

Not that any player signed as a FA is meant to be a replacement for Betts. I'm just saying they actually have some capacity to fill some holes now.
   4. Darren Posted: February 05, 2020 at 02:50 PM (#5922034)
I'm assuming Holt will be back now and they may try to grab another starter (Vargas, Sanchez, Salazar, McHugh?), as well as a 4th OF (though maybe that's Holt as well). If you're looking for a starting 2b, Dozier's still out there.

And I agree with Nate that Brutus will be used as a starter, possibly starting the year in the minors.
   5. Chip Posted: February 05, 2020 at 02:59 PM (#5922037)
These are also the sorts of transactions Bloom is familiar with, too—getting maximum productivity out of the back end of the roster at relatively low cost.
   6. PreservedFish Posted: February 05, 2020 at 03:15 PM (#5922039)
OK, let’s talk about Verdugo for a moment... The former top 40 prospect looks like a bit of a Victorino type. He’s a center fielder by trade who will play right (presumably though Bradley could shift)


Have you watched him play? He's not physically similar to Victorino at all, and probably won't remain a CF for long. He's not slow but he's not lithe and will probably slow down. Cannon arm. Seems like a fluid fielder though, so he could be a plus in RF for years.

I think Michael Brantley is a good comparison. Golden line drive swing that scouts have always loved. Josh Reddick, maybe, but should hit for better averages.
   7. The Mighty Quintana Posted: February 05, 2020 at 05:09 PM (#5922086)
Yeah, that swing is textbook. He runs well now, but a little heavy-legged so that probably won't last too long. The arm is solid...good outfielder, probably won't win Gold Gloves. But that swing is built for Fenway...kinda looking forward to seeing how many doubles he can rack up.
   8. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: February 05, 2020 at 05:18 PM (#5922088)
6 - I should have said "statistically he looks a bit like a Victorino type." I haven't seen much of him but he seems that good mix of speed, a bit of pop and defense.

2 - The Sox Prospects guy were saying on their podcast that Gaterol might be a starter this year. That surprises me. His profile screams reliever but if he can be a starter that would be nifty. I saw some clips of the slider and main Gott in himmel that thing is something else. Of course Allen Webster's sinker gave me the same warm fuzzy feelings in my nether regions so do with that what you will.
   9. Darren Posted: February 05, 2020 at 06:41 PM (#5922106)
Victorino wasn't exactly lithe. He was short and he was fast but he was pretty solid.


The Sox Prospects guy were saying on their podcast that Gaterol might be a starter this year. That surprises me.


I'd be surprised if the Sox traded for him if they didn't think he was a starter.
   10. villageidiom Posted: February 05, 2020 at 11:31 PM (#5922162)
as well as a 4th OF
I'm testing new material. Which response is going to get more stuff thrown at me:

4th OF? I hear Jacoby Ellsbury is available.

...or...

4th OF? I hear Blake Swihart is available.
   11. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 06, 2020 at 01:05 AM (#5922170)
I'd be surprised if the Sox traded for him if they didn't think he was a starter.
Medical clearance for Graterol is still pending, according to Ken Rosenthal:
Rosenthal writes that the Red Sox do have some concerns over the hard-throwing Graterol, whom they now regard as more of a reliever than a starter after looking at his medical records. Notably, Graterol’s a past Tommy John surgery patient who has also dealt with other injuries. The 21-year-old missed two months last season with shoulder issues that limited him to a combined 70 2/3 innings at four different levels (including 9 2/3 in the bigs). While it still seems that Boston will acquire Graterol if the trade does occur, Rosenthal notes the club may also require another player and/or cash considerations from either the Dodgers or Twins to push it over the goal line.
   12. Darren Posted: February 06, 2020 at 07:56 AM (#5922187)
5th starter, I hear Clay Buccholz is available.
   13. Darren Posted: February 06, 2020 at 08:40 AM (#5922190)
It's cool that Clapper is around to keep us informed!

I for one am shocked that the 21 year old pitcher who weights 390 pounds and has already had arm troubles appears to have some health concerns. It's.... it's crazy!

Another thing I saw said Rosenthal reported that the medicals make the Red Sox see Graterol as a reliever. That's really bad IMHO. It's the kind of thing where I'd consider undoing the whole deal if they don't add something major or replace him.
   14. Nasty Nate Posted: February 06, 2020 at 09:12 AM (#5922201)
It's cool that Clapper is around to keep us informed!
We would be ungrateful if we didn't reciprocate.

Surgery for James Paxton: https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/28641913/back-surgery-sidelines-starter-james-paxton-3-4-months-yankees-spring-training-nears . Could be concerning.
   15. Dock Ellis Posted: February 06, 2020 at 09:29 AM (#5922204)
So much goddam drama that it never occurred to me it wasn't a done deal.
   16. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: February 06, 2020 at 09:39 AM (#5922205)
It’s a done deal. There will be some adjustment by the Twins and it is done.

With a bit of luck though this will scupper the entire deal.
   17. Darren Posted: February 06, 2020 at 10:05 AM (#5922221)
Not sure if anyone saw this but Gammons (I know) and also Olney (I think) said there were already likely more pieces involved than the original report.
   18. Dock Ellis Posted: February 06, 2020 at 10:07 AM (#5922222)
How done do you mean by "done deal?" It's not on the mlb.com transaction page.
   19. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: February 06, 2020 at 10:12 AM (#5922224)
Sorry, I meant to say “done deal” in that it will get done. Any hopes that this would blow it up are unfounded.
   20. Dock Ellis Posted: February 06, 2020 at 10:18 AM (#5922226)
Thanks. I'm not hoping it will blow up so much as I want this to be completely over with so we can all move on.
   21. pikepredator Posted: February 06, 2020 at 10:27 AM (#5922232)
Hope springs eternal! Dodgers just need to toss in May and I’ll feel better about things.
   22. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: February 06, 2020 at 10:30 AM (#5922233)

4th OF? I hear Blake Swihart is available.


He appears to have signed a minor league contract with Texas.

4th OF? I hear Jacoby Ellsbury is available.


I'd be happy if the Sox signed Ellsbury - theoretically it would only have to be for the minimum, and if he broke camp with them I've got to imagine that would hugely bolster Ellsbury's case against the Yankees. See if he can manage backup 1B & 4th OF.
   23. Do Not Touch Fancy Pants Socially Distanced Handle Posted: February 06, 2020 at 10:34 AM (#5922235)
   24. villageidiom Posted: February 06, 2020 at 10:37 AM (#5922236)
In hindsight we should have known Graterol was injured because he's a pitcher Boston traded for. And I have it on good authority that hindsight is 2020.
   25. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: February 06, 2020 at 11:44 AM (#5922273)

5th starter, I hear Clay Buccholz is available.


He's as good a shot to pitch a few decent games as any 5th starter isn't he? Last year he signed with the Blue Jays for only $3M, offer him the same, see what happens. Two years ago he was pretty good for Arizona (yes, yes, until he got hurt, surprise, surprise). The Sox could do much worse, like relying on Martin Perez to be their 4th starter.
   26. The Mighty Quintana Posted: February 06, 2020 at 01:19 PM (#5922322)
Jeez - If all it took was Luis Rengifo, why didn't they Sox add someone like Chatham to the deal and just get Pederson, too?

I'd like Pederson-Benintendi-Verdugo with Bradley as 4th OF a lot better than current situation.

   27. pikepredator Posted: February 06, 2020 at 04:19 PM (#5922467)
One thing that gives me hope is Eduardo Rodriguez continued ascendance to staff ace last year. He has been on a continual upward trend and if he provides another year of 200Ks in 200 innings that will be huge. Sale and E-rod as co-aces would be fantastic.
   28. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: February 06, 2020 at 04:35 PM (#5922473)
Jeez - If all it took was Luis Rengifo, why didn't they Sox add someone like Chatham to the deal and just get Pederson, too?


Along those same lines while Graterol is pretty well regarded though the injury issue is not insignificant of course but I would rather the Sox just kept the Twins out of it and simply took Maeda. He's incredibly cheap, pretty good and under contract through 2023.
   29. Darren Posted: February 11, 2020 at 08:57 PM (#5923723)
Sox are apparently close to signing Pillar. Good fit.
   30. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: February 11, 2020 at 09:24 PM (#5923728)
Yeah, he’s a nice get. He’s nothing great but as a fourth outfielder he seems perfectly solid.
   31. Nasty Nate Posted: February 11, 2020 at 09:49 PM (#5923738)
Am i being cynical to think that JBJ will be cut loose when Pillar signs?
   32. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: February 11, 2020 at 09:55 PM (#5923741)
I don’t think anything is cynical at this point but I don’t think it’s likely. I can see a scenario where they deal JBJ in the spring for a starter but the more likely scenario is he’s a deadline deal.
   33. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: February 21, 2020 at 09:50 AM (#5925819)
1pm today, Sox and Northeastern take the field for actual baseball!!!

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