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Thursday, December 03, 2020

Love Me Tender

With yesterday’s tender/non-tender deadline in the rearview mirror I thought it might be worth a quick look at some guys the Sox probably should be kicking the tires on.  I have to admit I was bummed to see Corey Knebel dealt to the Dodgers at the last minute.  That was such a great move by the Dodgers in my opinion (good organization makes good move, film at 11).  The Sox didn’t really do anything surprising in striking deals with Eduardo Rodriguez, Kevin Plawecki, Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier and tendering a contract to Rafael Devers.  It’s not a perfect measure but across the board the Sox deals with the four guys that signed were at or below the forecasts that FanGraphs had put out.  It is also mildly interesting that details of the offer to Devers were not released which suggests that maybe there is some kind of extension being discussed but that is wild speculation on my part.  Chris Hatfield of SoxProspects also suggested that the EdRod deal is actually a placeholder and the Sox may reach an agreement on a longer deal.

Anyway, a few guys the Sox might consider;

Hanser Alberto - IF - Alberto is a utility man though his experience is more second and third base than shortstop (just 22 games, none since 2018).  On a roster that seems to be crying out for someone a bit more experienced in that role he could fill a void.

Travis Shaw - IF - 2019 was a complete disaster for the Mayor of Ding Dong City (I love that nickname) but if he can still play second base with some regularity he’d fit there and his versatility would be a good fit for the Sox.

Adam Duvall - OF - Here is a guy who should be one of Chaim Bloom’s first phone calls.  Regardless of what move gets made to deal with center field the Sox are going to have a need for a fourth outfielder and that player being a righty slugger fits the bill really well.  Jonny Gomes, Chris Young, Steve Pearce, the successful Sox teams of recent vintage have had someone filling that role and Duvall would be perfect.

Eddie Rosario/Kyle Schwarber - OF - I’m putting these guys together because I think they are effectively the same player and one of them is plenty.  Both guys come with some flaws but a scenario where one of them is in left while Andrew Benintendi is in right is a scenario I don’t hate.  I’d rather the George Springer in center scenario but failing that this could work.  Adding Rosario and Duvall is kind of appealing to me.  You let them platoon in left and get Duvall some extra PT giving Alex Verdugo and Benny the occasional rest.

Nomar Mazara - OF - Here’s the deal, you sign Mazara, play half the season then trade him.  Statistically it is a FACT that EVERY SINGLE TIME THE RED SOX HAVE TRADED A PLAYER NAMED NOMAR THEY’VE WON THE WORLD SERIES THAT YEAR.  You can’t argue with facts.  Seriously though, he’s a name that a few friends were mentioning to me yesterday but I’m not keen on Mazara.  He’s over 2,000 PA in the Majors and really hasn’t done anything.  He’s been a consistent 95 OPS+/1 WAR player in four full big league seasons.  I won’t be shocked if at some point he puts it together (he’s only 26) but this isn’t a guy who hasn’t had the opportunities to play or has played in bad parks for his style.

Carlos Rodon - SP - Pitchers are weird creatures.  Rodon was highly touted but hasn’t quite put it together yet and injuries have been a problem.  Still, it’s not like the Sox are loaded with pitching so see if maybe the change of scenery (and that’s the phrase when it comes to Rodon) would pay off.

Jose Urena - SP/RP? - Dominican Joe Kelly.  Sign him, stick him in the bullpen and tell him to air out that high 90s fastball.

Archie Bradley - RP - As relievers go Bradley has been a pretty consistent performer.  He had a great year in 2017, throws strikes and has a spectacular beard.

Keynan Middleton - RP - It started well for Middleton in Anaheim but injuries have waylaid him.  Presumably the Angels know his medical situation better than most so it’s a bit troubling that they’ve decided a 27 year old reliever with a career 125 ERA+ isn’t worth what is presumably not a huge contract.  But hey, have you seen the Red Sox bullpen?  Pretty sure he’ll be better than Kyle Hart.

This is hardly a comprehensive list.  It seems like every year a bunch of guys find success after being non-tendered.  David Ortiz is the greatest success story of course (side note: despite my pessimism Mazara is the guy I’d say is most likely to go full Papi) but you can always find someone who can help and the Sox certainly need help.  The one bit of frustration here is the lack (in my opinion) of useful infielders.  Second base is wide open and a utility guy wouldn’t go amiss depending on how confident you are in Christian Arroyo and perhaps CJ Chatham or Jeter Downs contributing this year.

Anyway, I hope all Therapudians are well and safe and had as good a Thanksgiving as is possible in the current climate.

Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: December 03, 2020 at 08:14 AM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. villageidiom Posted: December 04, 2020 at 10:09 AM (#5992406)
Rodon was highly touted but hasn’t quite put it together yet and injuries have been a problem.  Still, it’s not like the Sox are loaded with pitching so see if maybe the change of scenery (and that’s the phrase when it comes to Rodon) would pay off.
The scenery of Boston does not have a storied history of turning around a pitcher's injury problems. The best I can say is that if Boston picks up a pitcher he's bound to get injured, so they might as well buy low instead of buy high for that eventuality.

I share your concern on infielders. It's about time for my annual lament that with Pedroia on the roster and trying to recover you can't really fill the 2B role long term, but you can't get a quality player for short term. 2021 being Pedroia's final year under contract, and the team reportedly working with him to basically end his career now, they might finally be able to fill the position more meaningfully. I have zero thoughts on who that should be, nor on what the options are.
   2. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: December 04, 2020 at 10:53 AM (#5992416)
I think last year the Sox went in not planning on Pedroia and they are clearly doing so this year. He's on the roster in name only. I think the bigger issue at second base is just finding someone to fill the spot. It seems like they are high on Arroyo (higher than I would be) and are willing to keep the runway clear for Downs.

I don't think the Sox are particularly bad about keeping pitchers healthy. Pitchers break, it's just what happens.

From what I've seen the last couple of days it seems like the Sox are being fairly aggressive on Rosario.
   3. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: December 09, 2020 at 11:41 AM (#5993321)
It just wouldn't be a Sox team without one tire fire in the infield. Since 2014 the Sox have had at least one position in the IF that ranked 25th or worse by WAA. Used to be 3rd, but 2nd has been the spot of late.
   4. The Mighty Quintana Posted: December 09, 2020 at 01:29 PM (#5993358)
Any reports on EdRod's recovery from his COVID-related heart issues?

Yes, Duvall or Rosario would be fun to watch in Fenway, could see a Cody Ross type of year for either.
   5. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: December 09, 2020 at 01:36 PM (#5993360)
Any reports on EdRod's recovery from his COVID-related heart issues?

Seems to be doing well. Couple weeks ago they said he was ready to go forward and NESN actually had a story this morning saying the expectation was his spring training should be normal.
   6. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: December 14, 2020 at 02:16 PM (#5994087)
I guess Hunter Renfroe fits the "someone like Duvall" role pretty well. Doesn't have to be perfect but should be a good fit.
   7. villageidiom Posted: January 09, 2021 at 08:38 PM (#5998729)
Rusney Castillo is not walking through that door. Or, uh... He walked through that door but in the other direction. He signed with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles.

Good for him.
   8. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: January 09, 2021 at 10:50 PM (#5998750)
Every report has talked about how hard he worked at Pawtucket. Gotta give him credit for that. Dude had every reason to shutdown and he didn’t. Sounds like he was great with everyone there.

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