Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Sox Therapy > Discussion
Sox Therapy
— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Friday, October 07, 2022

Responding to Failure

Let’s start with a couple of things.  First an apology I had to step away earlier in the year (and frankly probably won’t post as much going forward) for a variety of reasons.  Ironically I stepped away just as the Sox got hot, alas it didn’t last.

Second, please join me in wishing everyone in the Sox’ spring training home of Fort Myers and surrounding areas the best as they recover from the devastation of Hurricane Ian.  As many of you know from my regular trips my parents have a condo in Naples just south and so far the news is very positive.  They were up here during the storm so everyone is safe.

Now, on with the off-season post.  I would argue this is the most important off-season the organization has had since 2003/2004.  This feels like a real tipping point for a lot of people.  If they let Xander walk the PR repercussions will be catastrophic.  As a practical matter there are some really good reasons to let him go; wrong side of 30, questionable defense particularly going forward, somewhat disappointing season (though that’s more a function of league wide issues)...but the Sox have put themselves in this position.  As David Ortiz said yesterday Bogaerts and the Sox are playing poker and Bogaerts has the high hand.  All year I’ve felt that the Sox would have an All Star shortstop next year but I wasn’t sure it would be Bogaerts (I was candidly thinking Dansby Swanson).  Now? Now I think they’ll sign Xander because quite frankly they have to and they know it.

But what I want to look back on is what they’ve done after disappointing seasons.  For all the hubbub about the Sox being cheap (despite being over the Luxury Tax limit) and the last place finishes they’ve won four World Series titles, five division titles and been to seven American League Championship Series under this ownership group.  Say what you want but the last twenty years are by any reasonable measure the most successful for the club in the last century.  A big part of that is how they’ve dealt with disappointment and how they’ve dealt with that is decisiveness (often read as “spending like drunken sailors at a brothel”).

2003/2004: The JWH group suffered its first real disappointment in the disastrous ending to the 2003 ALCS.  They did not sit idly by.  Needing another reliable rotation arm they landed Curt Schilling (R-RI) and needing to address the unsuccessful “closer by committee” they signed free agent and future post-season God Keith Foulke.  This worked well.

2006/2007: After breaking the curse in 2004 and finishing tied with the Yankees atop the division in 2005 the 2006 season went poorly.  The team went in the tank in the second half, the trade deadline was a disaster with the Sox doing virtually nothing and then watching a host of injuries drag them down (this all feels familiar).  Working around Theo Epstein’s wedding they addressed the loss of Trot Nixon by signing JD Drew, filled the hole in the rotation by adding the much ballyhooed Daisuke Matsuzaka and solidified the infield by adding Julio Lugo.  Like the 2003/2004 off-season this was a rousing success with the Sox winning a World Series title.

2009/2010: A third straight post-season appearance was not enough for a greedy fan base who saw it as a step back and frankly the direction was wrong; World Series title-ALCS participant-ALDS participant.  The Sox got after it addressing the rotation issues with John Lackey looked to improve some shoddy defense by adding Mike Cameron to the outfield and took a flier on free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre.  Beltre tried to kill Jacoby Ellsbury in the first week of the season chasing a pop up and Lackey underwhelmed and the Sox came up short.

2010/2011: A bit of a run of disappointment here folks, strap in.  The Sox were not satisfied with adding “not making playoffs” to the end of the World Series title-ALCS participant-ALDS participant chain.  The Sox got after it in a big way.  They signed free agent Carl Crawford to give what had become a plodding team some athleticism and traded for superstar first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.  Good times were ahead!

2011/2012: Or not.  We will not discuss the 2011 season and just move to the off-season.  The Sox were still not going in the right direction so they got busy in off-field matters.  General Manager Theo Epstein was poached by the Chicago Cubs and manager Terry Francona was let go and replaced by another manager.  OK, things should straighten out now.

2012/2013: The following off-season the Sox looked to address the mistakes of the previous years.  Rather than a seeming determination to “win the off-season” the Sox focused on rebuilding the club culture.  The Sox spent money but they spent it in the second tier of free agents signing Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino and Stephen Drew among others and added Manager John Farrell who they got without any tampering whatsoever from the Blue Jays.  The Sox rolled through a season that was unforgettable for so many reasons and won one of the more improbable World Series titles in recent memory.

2014/2015: The good fortune that smiled on the Sox in 2013 was long gone and hard to find in 2014.  The Sox needed to energize the fanbase and refresh the team with obvious holes at third base and in the outfield.  Hey I know! Let’s sign two third basemen!  Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez were added at great expense.  Ramirez was injured early in the year in an unfamiliar position and never really got going though he would sparkle in 2016’s division run.  Sandoval who had been benched as a rookie for being a fat tub o’ goo (h/t David Letterman re: Terry Forester) surprisingly responded to being given a metric #### ton of guaranteed money by becoming even fatter and more useless.

2015/2016: The Sox were done messing around with the “everyone’s the Ace” nonsense and spent all the money on the reigning Cy Young Award winner David Price.  Price had an up and down tenure with the Sox but he was certainly co-MVP at least of the World Series in 2018 and the Sox won three division titles in his first three seasons with Price showing a willingness to be a team player on a number of occasions ceding the game one ALCS start to Rick Porcello and moving to the bullpen after injury in 2017.

2019/2020: This is the big one that has the Sox where they are PR wise.  After a real comedown after 2018’s highs the Sox looked at the state of the farm system and the long term outlook of the club and made the difficult (and let’s face facts, mistaken) decision to deal superduperstar Mookie Betts to try and reset the organization.  There is no way to spin this as a good decision but it was a bold one.

The Sox are in a really good and potentially dangerous position for the rest of baseball.  The farm system is suddenly looking stocked, they have huge amounts of money at their disposal and despite some errors this year I have confidence in Chaim Bloom.  But none of it is going to matter, none of it, if they let Xander Bogaerts walk.  As someone noted the other day, if you let Xander walk what’s the point of trading Mookie? 

I hope everyone is well.  My apologies again for my absence and lack of commenting both past and future.  Darren I saw your note and I’ll throw a minor league thread up soon too (over the weekend if I want an excuse not to mow my lawn).

Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: October 07, 2022 at 10:43 AM | 70 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Related News:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: October 07, 2022 at 01:12 PM (#6099580)
Jose,
First it is always a pleasure to see your writing, and I hope all is well. I agree that this is a big off-season, in the sense that if the team's actions this winter communicate, "We are playing the long game, be patient for a few more years," the fan base is going to get really upset. Actually, it might be worse: The fan base might become indifferent. The old saying is that the best thing is to be loved, the second-best thing is to be hated, and the worst thing is to be irrelevant. The Red Sox were irrelevant in 2022 - there was no interest in this team during the second half of the season.

The first problem with the 2022 Red Sox was that they were a luxury tax payroll with a sub-luxury tax active roster. Between Sale, Paxton, and Price, a quarter of their total payroll didn't play for the team this year. Then you add in Eovaldi's 109 innings, total, and it meant the team paid $66 million in 2022 for 115 innings of 110 ERA+ starting pitching. It is their own fault (they signed these guys for that money), but they didn't have a $241m payroll this year on the field...right out of the shoot, they had about $175m payroll.

Then they paid $10m for Jackie Bradley; $8m for Matt Barnes; $8m for Hernandez, who didn't play much of the year, and wasn't very good when he did play. $40m for Story and JD Martinez, who were both kinda "eh". A lot of this money comes off the books this winter, but unless you spend that freed-up money on legit talent, it doesn't matter.

The second problem is that the farm system, while vastly improved, was unable to help the team where it needed it most until the end of the year...if at all. You could argue the Red Sox desperately needed four things entering 2022:
1) a first baseman
2) outfielders (at least two of them)
3) a front-line starting pitcher
4) a few more reliable bullpen arms

By the end of the season, two of these needs began to be met by the farm system: Casas and Bello. Both are works in progress, but both showed blue-chip prospect status.

The system remains devoid of outfield help in the upper minors - it is a massive blind spot of the management right now. Ceddanne Rafaela may be able to fill a spot in 2023 at some point, as a premium defensive center fielder with speed and some pop, but a low OBP and a lot of strikeouts (Gary Pettis?). If the other two outfielders are good, that's a fine, cost-controlled starting outfielder. If the other two OFs are Verdugo and Hernandez, that's not so great. There are no other outfielders above low-A entering 2023 who you can see being major league starting outfielder. They can only address this glaring hole with trades or free agent signings.

The system does have a lot of starting pitching/swingman depth. Kutter Crawford was a pleasant surprise this year; Seabold and Winckowski give them options for a #5 starter/innings eater role, and Winckowski may have a role as a 6th/7th inning guy going forward.

The team has over $100m in 2023 salary they can spend on guys not currently on the roster. If they resign Bogaerts and sign Devers to a long-term extension, that would probably eat a good $50m of it - but then keep two premium positions solved. They need to find a legit outfielder, they need a reliable front-end starting pitcher, and they need a couple of legit bullpen arms. Can they do that for ~$50m in 2023 salary? Probably not.

This is where the Sale contract is such an albatross. They are paying $30m for a #1 starter - he just isn't pitching for them very often. If they didn't have that commitment, this would be a fiscal no-brainer: Take the $27.5m from Sale, and $17m from Eovaldi, and go get a legit ace. AS noted above, this is how they got Schilling, Beckett, Pedro, Sale - make the big trade, then sign the pitcher to legit money. That's the way to get this done. Sale has two more years on the contract - they have to figure out how to get a trade like this done, and then sign that new ace to a legit deal, while carrying Sale's money, or else the next two years are going to look a lot like the last two years: If things go right, they make the playoffs without an ace; if things don't go right, they are more like a .500 team.

It's a good thing flags fly forever - because Sale's contract feels like it is hanging around forever, too!
   2. jmurph Posted: October 07, 2022 at 01:42 PM (#6099591)
Can't remember if I posted asking about it or not, but your absence was noted and I hope everything is okay with you Jose!


   3. Darren Posted: October 07, 2022 at 02:30 PM (#6099616)
Great write-up. I too have come to believe that they will almost certainly sign Bogaerts. My main fear on that front is that the Phillies are rumored to be interested, and Dave Dombrowski runs the Phillies. As we recall, he's not exactly known for his subtlety so I could see him offering him a huge deal that Red Sox won't match.

The Sox do have $100 mil. to spend but I think they're quite wary of ending up with a ton of long-term deals after just getting out from under that. I imagine they'll sign Bogaerts, a #1/2 starter, and maybe one other hitter long term for large money, then fill in the rest with 1-2 year deals.
   4. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: October 07, 2022 at 03:40 PM (#6099658)
jmurph - Thanks all is well. Just had to switch off social media a bit. I went about a month without checking BTF, Twitter, Facebook, anything. The world could be better. Doing alright now but still trying to limit myself a bit. I let myself get dragged down rabbit holes on a few things that I didn't need to do.
   5. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 11, 2022 at 10:39 AM (#6100385)
My main fear on that front is that the Phillies are rumored to be interested, and Dave Dombrowski runs the Phillies. As we recall, he's not exactly known for his subtlety so I could see him offering him a huge deal that Red Sox won't match.


I would be bummed if this happened, because I like watching and rooting for Bogaerts, but after a certain point I would be fine with it. Say Dombrowski really does come out firing and offers an Anthony Rendon $245 for 7 year deal, ehhhh, I am fine with the Sox not matching. But if X signs somewhere for a contract similar to Story's I am going to be pissed.

Also - thanks for the new post Jose! The Predictions thread was just too depressing.
   6. jmurph Posted: October 11, 2022 at 12:08 PM (#6100394)
I'm all over the place on the Bogaerts situation because I feel like there's a strong case on the merits to let him walk, and yet I think you guys make good points that they basically have to retain him.
   7. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 12, 2022 at 12:22 PM (#6100566)
I'm all over the place on the Bogaerts situation because I feel like there's a strong case on the merits to let him walk,


What is the strong case to let him walk? Too much $ to re-sign?
   8. Where have you gone Brady Anderson? Posted: October 12, 2022 at 12:33 PM (#6100567)
It’s always about too much money to resign. If Xander would sign for super cheap, bringing him back is an easy decision. With that said, the case for letting Xander walk:
1. He’s turning 30, any long term contract will include his decline phase
2. His defense isn’t great, he’ll probably need to move down the defensive spectrum sooner rather than later
3. With Devers and Story, there isn’t a logical place for him to move, and if Casas is manning first, you can’t move Devers there. You could move Devers to DH, but that means you have a full time DH which limits your flexibility.
4. Xander is a great player, but he’s not a superstar. He’s a five war player who is entering his decline phase

Of course the money is the main factor. I would be okay signing Xander to a high cost, short term deal. I would be wary of anything that involved paying him significant money into his late 30’s.
   9. Textbook Editor Posted: October 12, 2022 at 12:36 PM (#6100568)
Jose--just wanted to say it's good to read your writing again, and that I have definitely appreciated all of the words you have written in the past on this site to help frame the conversation(s) around the team. Thank you. Hope things continue to be OK on your end.

C hasn't been mentioned anywhere (maybe because there's an assumption/hope that Vasquez re-signs on reasonable terms), but that's another unsettled place going forward.

I'm not sure what the OF solution is, although it seems likely Duran isn't going to be a part of it. This is where having Martinez this year hampered the desire to sign Schwarber to a long-term deal, and you could have stuck him out in LF or at DH and he'd be perfectly fine, even at the $ he was signed at. I mean, there just isn't that much FA OF help out there I can see the Red Sox going in on (they're not going to try to sign Judge, for example). I mean, personally I'd bring back Pham if a decent deal could be had, but that's more a Victorino-in-2013 type move than a major one. The OF help seems more likely to come via a trade than FA.

For P help, again, maybe it's because it's assumed someone will throw insane money at him, but I'd certainly try to re-sign Wacha, and maybe even entertain Hill's half-season signing idea if reasonable. Obviously if Wacha wants 4/$80 or something that's a non-starter, but something shorter-term I'd be fine with. Hell, assuming the Red Sox think he's now healthy, I'd be OK with re-signing Eovaldi to a 1-2 year deal too. But again, I'm not really sure there are guys I'd make a 6- or 7-year offer to on that FA P list.

It's going to be a tough off-season, and I'm guessing it'll feel underwhelming even if X and Devers are signed to long-term deals, because my assumption is that those two (possible) deals aside, there's not going to be any sexy, big-name acquisitions made--but who knows, I may be wrong...
   10. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: October 13, 2022 at 08:58 AM (#6100697)
I am assuming that any major addition to the 2023 team will come from a trade, rather than a free agent signing. The ways a trade could go, IMO, would fall into one of three categories:

1) By far the most likely is where Bloom decides the farm system has sufficiently improved and deepened that he can take several prospects and cash them in for a big time bat or arm. I would imagine the only prospects who would be untouchable would be Mayer and Bleis (I'm not really counting Casas or Bello as prospects at this point - they are part of the 2023 team). Nick Yorke might be off the table, as well, partially because not long ago he was an elite bat-first prospect, and partially because injuries lowered his value at this moment, so Bloom wouldn't get the kind of value for him he'd be seeking. Mata and Romero would probably be the two best prospects they'd trade...come to think of it, if they could get a legit #1 starter (like when they got Pedro, or Beckett, or Schilling), maybe they do have to trade Bleis.

2) Trade Verdugo. I feel I've been in the minority on this site, but I find Verdugo's value to be "eh", and likely heading downhill from here. He is going to start making money now, and he is a slightly-above-average hitter and an average fielder with average speed...if he's your third-best starting OF, I guess that's fine, but right now he is their best outfielder. Maybe some teams evaluate him more highly? This assumes the Sox would find additional outfielders this winter...maybe too big an assumption.

3) The team decides it cannot sign Devers long-term and trades him in a move that would feel sudden and shocking to the fan base. In this scenario, the team gets back multiple elite prospects, then flips those prospects as part of a trade for a #1 starter, or an elite outfielder, etc. Remember when the Red Sox traded Renteria for Andy Marte, then turned Marte immediately into Coco Crisp? It'd be like an upper-level version of that.

I don't think #2 or #3 are going to happen; frankly, I'm not confident #1 is going to happen, in part because the farm system is still probably a year away from being able to absorb that kind of trade and not fall back quite a bit as a system. But the 2023 answers do not reside in the upper levels of the minors, except for maybe help from Rafaela or Mata - they reside either on the big league club already, and will play better (Casas, Bello, a healthy Sale lol, a healthy Whitlock and Houck, an improved Story, etc.), or they would come via a big trade. I'm not optimistic.
3)
   11. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: October 13, 2022 at 09:39 AM (#6100701)
- I don't remember where I saw it but one of the season retrospectives had Bloom saying (in his opaque Bloomspeak) that the Sox were in a position where they could trade from the system to bolster the big league roster.

- Bogaerts is a 30 year old shortstop who isn't an elite defender already. Letting him walk is almost certainly the "right" call based on the idea of letting a guy go a year too early than a year too late. His contract (like Judge's and most free agents) is going to be an albatross at some point. The Sox have to eat that though.

- I think the Sox (and Jose) are OK with Maguire/Wong as a catcher combo going into 2023. I wouldn't hate an upgrade but I think they can approximate something on the order of "not terrible" which is kind of the bar for catcher. If you can bring back Vazquez or get Contreras or something like that, yeah do it, but if I'm in Bloom's shoes catcher is pretty low on my priority list which is Bogaerts-Pitching-Devers.

- Whether or not you can truly predict a surprise, I think the Sox have one coming this winter. I am expecting that someone in the outfield or on the pitching staff is going to be here that isn't being talked about a lot. If I had to put a name as a guess I'd say Edwin Diaz but maybe he's too obvious a fit. Someone we aren't thinking about it is in play for this team.
   12. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 13, 2022 at 10:24 AM (#6100706)
3. With Devers and Story, there isn’t a logical place for him to move, and if Casas is manning first, you can’t move Devers there. You could move Devers to DH, but that means you have a full time DH which limits your flexibility.


If Devers is extended (as he should be) and if X is signed (as he should be) then to me this is a completely logical and inevitable move. 2024 rolls around and Bogaerts - Mayer - Story - Casas - Devers is your $80M 16 WAR infield.

Plus I can't stand it when teams punt on DH. The Sox have clearly benefited by having a very good DH - why not simply lock that position down with Devers?



I find Verdugo's value to be "eh", and likely heading downhill from here. He is going to start making money now, and he is a slightly-above-average hitter and an average fielder with average speed...

You keep saying this, and I agree with you on Verdugo's skills, but anybody you replace him with is going to get more $ than Verdugo will. I think you are vastly underestimating the cost of a decent OF. Tommy Pham costs $6M, Benintendi is going to be at least twice that, and Verdugo will probably be around $6.5 in arb, for someone clearly better than Pham, and what, 80% of Benintendi? If Verdugo is traded it's to be a placeholder for a team giving up a superior OF, in which case legit minor league talent is going with Verdugo, or he gets hot mid-way through the season and the Sox are out of it. He's not the centerpiece of an offseason trade.
   13. Nasty Nate Posted: October 13, 2022 at 10:51 AM (#6100710)
Yeah, it's a no-brainer for Verdugo to be a set it and forget it situation right now. He's 26 and not even close to blocking someone (internal or external).
   14. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 13, 2022 at 12:23 PM (#6100713)
Correa just opted out. Be interesting to see the order of SS signings this off-season. Got to be pretty dependent on how the post season goes, and if Judge gets signed quickly I'd think.

Does anyone know what happened with Elvis Andrus's vesting option? Was that erased when he was released? Could be a decent pick up if Bogaerts does go elsewhere.
   15. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: October 13, 2022 at 01:37 PM (#6100726)
From what I saw out of Devers this year I wouldn't be surprised if the right play in a long term situation would be Bogaerts to DH. Devers defense seemed to improve dramatically this year. If we are talking long term solutions, Bogie doing a Robin Yount and moving to the outfield (left rather than center probably) is a reasonable solution. But I think this is a "problem" you worry about when you need to worry about it. If the Sox reach a situation where they have Casas-Devers-Story-Bogaerts-Mayer all in the Majors and playing at an elite level you can figure it out. "Too much talent" is not a problem.
   16. Darren Posted: October 13, 2022 at 04:59 PM (#6100775)
I may be trusting my eyes too much but it looked to me like Devers was out of shape late in the season. From what I'm remembering, the metrics had his defense as above average early in the year but he ended up a bit below. I'm at the point now that, despite their age difference, I might prefer Bogaerts long term. And if it's something like Bogaerts for 7/200 vs Raffy for 10/300, I'm definitely leaning hard to Bogaerts.
   17. Jay Seaver Posted: October 13, 2022 at 05:56 PM (#6100787)
There was a lot of talk on NESN about Devers playing through some nagging injury, IIRC, with Eck often pointing out that he seemed to be walking/running fairly gingerly at points. If that was the case, then I imagine it was dragging his defense down as well.
   18. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: October 13, 2022 at 06:07 PM (#6100789)
I like the idea of Bogaerts in the OF. They need a good bat out there.
   19. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 15, 2022 at 09:42 AM (#6100852)
I like the idea of Bogaerts in the OF. They need a good bat out there.


They also need a good bat at SS. Doesn't really matter to the lineup what position he's playing.
   20. pikepredator Posted: October 15, 2022 at 12:03 PM (#6100864)
Just had to switch off social media a bit. I went about a month without checking BTF, Twitter, Facebook, anything. The world could be better. Doing alright now but still trying to limit myself a bit. I let myself get dragged down rabbit holes on a few things that I didn't need to do.


I just want to say that I'm mostly a lurker here but I enjoy your writing and analysis tremendously. And while part of me feels regret for not participating more, I have experienced a similar evolution in my on-line status over the last few years and I am healthier for it. I'm down to a couple of forums, checked maybe once/day Even then, I can find myself occasionally getting sucked into unhealthy pockets. If I could X out threads here on BBTF, I'd be here more.

As it is, I mostly post pictures of sunrises and my garden and reels of my kid playing field hockey to Instagram and leave it at that. So what I'm saying is that I am grateful for your content but support you moving away from doing so.

As to the Sox. Pitching has been luck-and-duct tape for too many years, I'd be happy with them trading some talent to get a rotation mainstay or two. It's fun watching Pivetta be unexpectedly good and Eovaldi stay healthy for random stretches, but I can never breathe easily that it will remain that way. I felt like they were on the verge of a quality hybrid model by potentially using Houck and Whitlock creatively, but that didn't come to pass.

I want them to keep their stars and move them across the defensive spectrum to make sure they maintain value as they age.

And I want them to bring up young players! It brings energy and fun when they do so.
   21. Darren Posted: October 26, 2022 at 03:26 PM (#6102712)
Some weird happenings on Twitter as a reporter in the Dominican is saying that Sox officials are having ongoing discussions with Devers on an extension and the local Boston guys cannot get any confirmation that this is the case. ???
   22. Darren Posted: November 01, 2022 at 08:47 AM (#6103492)
If the Red Sox don't come to terms with Devers, and that is looking increasingly likely to me, he seems like the perfect kind of trade target for Dave Dombrowski. I could see him dealing Bohm+ and then locking up Devers long term.
   23. Nasty Nate Posted: November 01, 2022 at 09:20 AM (#6103498)
If the Red Sox don't come to terms with Devers, and that is looking increasingly likely to me, he seems like the perfect kind of trade target for Dave Dombrowski. I could see him dealing Bohm+ and then locking up Devers long term.
Please lose your password to this site.

Just kidding, but if they can't agree on an extension, the Sox should just try to win a bunch of games with him in 2023. I find this to be obvious.
   24. Darren Posted: November 01, 2022 at 09:40 AM (#6103499)
I'm just the messenger! Please don't shadow ban me! :)

   25. Nasty Nate Posted: November 10, 2022 at 05:18 PM (#6105054)
They have put forth the QO to Eovaldi. Am I crazy, or isn't there a chance he accepts it?
   26. Textbook Editor Posted: November 10, 2022 at 07:59 PM (#6105065)
#25--I'd have to think he takes it. It's not a terrible contract and, naturally, if the Red Sox are out of it and he's pitching well it's a pretty reasonable contract to flip at the trade deadline (though it won't get you much, I would think).

What are the rules regarding trading someone who accepts the QO? I assume it means you can't trade that person before opening day...
   27. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: November 10, 2022 at 08:46 PM (#6105073)
If Eovaldi takes the one-year QO (pretty good chance he will, IMO), then I guess that's fine, but:

1) It communicates to me that Bloom doesn't think the 2023 Red Sox are likely going to be ready for prime-time. It's another stop-gap move while the farm system continues to recover from the Dombrowski years, etc.

2) It is another step towards relying on an awful lot of pitchers who get hurt a lot...not getting hurt a lot. Sale, Paxton, and Eovaldi are all very unlikely to give the team a full season in 2023. Today, the team suggested that Whitlock and perhaps Houck would be part of the rotation in 2023. If you include Bello, then perhaps they envision a rotation that is some combination of whatever oft-injured guys are actually healthy, combined with the young guns of Bello/Whitlock/Houck.

   28. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 10, 2022 at 10:12 PM (#6105084)
Sale, Paxton, and Eovaldi are all very unlikely to give the team a full season in 2023


I have to disagree as I think it's pretty obvious that all 3 of them combined have a great chance to give the team a full season!
   29. Buck Coats Posted: November 10, 2022 at 10:53 PM (#6105089)
Paxton picked up his $4 mil player option right? That would imply to me that he's unlikely to pitch much at all in 2023...
   30. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: November 11, 2022 at 08:31 AM (#6105105)
Well played, Hugh!

If the over/under on the combined total innings pitched in 2023 by Sale, Paxton and Eovaldi for the Red Sox is 162, do you take the over, or the under?

I think it's the under, right?
   31. Nasty Nate Posted: November 11, 2022 at 08:52 AM (#6105106)
162 is a good number for that over/under! I don't know which way I'd pick if forced to gamble some money.
   32. Textbook Editor Posted: November 11, 2022 at 04:44 PM (#6105163)
Not saying it'll be worth the $, but should Sale, Paxton, and Eovaldi (combined) give you at least league average performance over 160 innings, well, I'd take that. It wouldn't be worth the ~$50 million we'd be paying for it, but it would be a fair bit better than nothing, and the $ is sunk already.

I'd be somewhat surprised if the Red Sox didn't at least try to get a #2 starter signed as a FA at some point, but who knows. The absolute upside of health for, Eovaldi/Sale combined is probably 200 IP from those two combined, right? (I could see Eovaldi maybe getting to 125, but who knows.) Anything beyond that is gravy.

(Of course, in an ideal world, both Sale and Eovaldi give you 150 IP of league-average SP, which at least keeps you in games, but that seems farfetched to hope for at this point.)

   33. Nasty Nate Posted: November 15, 2022 at 04:23 PM (#6105662)
Eovaldi declines the QO. So it seems like it was a good idea to offer it to him.
   34. Textbook Editor Posted: November 15, 2022 at 04:43 PM (#6105667)
#33--Wow. That's fairly surprising to me. I'm sure there's a multi-year deal out there, but is it 2/$39 or better? I kind of find that hard to believe, but then maybe we're headed for crazy town w/r/t salaries this off-season.
   35. Buck Coats Posted: November 15, 2022 at 07:09 PM (#6105695)
Tyler Anderson turned his down for only 3/39
   36. Darren Posted: November 15, 2022 at 11:03 PM (#6105728)
Why would it have to be 2/39 or better? Anything from 2/30 is arguably preferable. As Buck points out, Anderson just took 3/39 instead.
   37. Darren Posted: November 16, 2022 at 09:55 AM (#6105754)
To elaborate, even going strictly by the numbers, a 2/30ish deal is a reasonable step up from 1/19.5. Assuming abou $8 mil per win, $19.5 mil should buy you something like 2.4 WAR. Indeed, Steamer projects Eovaldi for just that. As a 33 year old, you'd expect Eovaldi to drop off in the following year by something like 0.7 WAR (a guess, admittedly, but that appears to be about the rate at that age). So for year 2 of the deal, you're looking at about 1.7 WAR, which comes out to $13.6 mil. So a two year deal, strictly by these numbers, would be about 2/$33 mil. Three years: 3/$41 mil. That last number is pretty close to what Anderson got after rejecting the QO.
   38. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: November 17, 2022 at 07:43 AM (#6105896)
Yesterday was the deadline for teams protecting players from the Rule V draft by putting them on the 40-man roster. It seems the two players that are the most interesting from that process are probably:

Thaddeus Ward not being added to the 40-man, while David Hamilton being was added.

Ward's got a great arm, but he can't stay healthy; Hamilton is probably the best base stealer in the minor leagues (70/8 SB/CS last year!), but he was a 24-year-old in AA last year with a .338 OBP, and his defense is average. He came over as part of that Renfroe-for-JBJ trade last off-season.

My guess is that Bloom really, really likes him - enough to make that trade last year, and enough to leave Ward exposed to the Rule V.

One of the advantages baseball has on other sports, IMO, is that there are an almost countless number of small subplots to your favorite team's season you can follow, even if the big league team isn't in the middle of a World Series run. In 2023, one of those subplots David Hamilton.


   39. Nasty Nate Posted: November 17, 2022 at 08:43 AM (#6105898)
They also added Cedanne Rafaela and someone named Wilyer Abreu, who apparently walked 114(!) times last year and stole 30 bases. I have no idea what his OF defense is like.
   40. Darren Posted: November 17, 2022 at 09:13 AM (#6105900)
Not sure about the decision on Walter, but Hamilton seems like a good candidate for a rule 5 pick. Although Sox Prospects doesn't seem very high on him (ceiling of emergency up and down type), Fangraphs is a lot more positive, saying he has a floor of nice bench player. FWIW, Steamer projects him at 1.6 WAR/600 PA as well. Given that Bloom traded for him, it seems likely he leans closer to the Fangraphs take.
   41. Darren Posted: November 17, 2022 at 09:15 AM (#6105904)
Abreu was one of the guys they got in the Christian Vazquez trade.
   42. Nasty Nate Posted: November 17, 2022 at 09:35 AM (#6105905)
Abreu was one of the guys they got in the Christian Vazquez trade.
Speaking of Vazquez, he was the DH in the clinching game of the World Series. I'd guess he is one of the most unlikely guys to be DH in such a situation for an AL team, historically.
   43. Darren Posted: November 17, 2022 at 09:40 AM (#6105906)
Old friend Eric M Van points out over on Sox Prospects that the new rule limiting pickoff attempts will likely make Hamilton's base stealing abilities even more valuable.
   44. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: November 17, 2022 at 11:02 AM (#6105913)
Speaking of Vazquez, he was the DH in the clinching game of the World Series. I'd guess he is one of the most unlikely guys to be DH in such a situation for an AL team, historically.


How about a reliever getting his first at bat in game 3 of a World Series?
   45. Nasty Nate Posted: November 17, 2022 at 11:30 AM (#6105917)
How about a reliever getting his first at bat in game 3 of a World Series?
Mariano Rivera in 1996!

But assuming you mean Workman, his situation of a tied game in the 9th inning probably takes the cake.
   46. Darren Posted: November 22, 2022 at 12:09 PM (#6106448)
According to Twitter, the Red Sox offered Raffy $240 mil, but he wants $300 mil. I'm skeptical, both of the report and of paying him that much.
   47. Darren Posted: November 22, 2022 at 03:40 PM (#6106489)
Payroll question: What is Hosmer's salary impact on the tax threshold in 2023? Spotrac has it has $5.72 mil and Cots has $13 mil. I thought one big appeal of this trade was that the Sox would only pay him the minimum and it wouldn't hit their tax number.
   48. Darren Posted: November 22, 2022 at 03:46 PM (#6106490)
The Sportac number appears to be about the difference between his AAV ($18 mil) and his actual salary ($13 mil). If this is how it works, then this deal looks a lot worse for the Red Sox.
   49. Bad Fish Posted: November 22, 2022 at 07:05 PM (#6106512)
I always assumed that Hosmer was going to only have league minimum tax implications, and in that context think that Hosmer is a great pickup. If the RS are responsible from a tax perspective for millions of salary, be it $5M or $13M for the next three years, it quickly becomes a very shitty money grabbing deal from a competitive point of view that is more expected from the Miami and Pittsburgh's of the world.

   50. Darren Posted: November 23, 2022 at 11:46 AM (#6106597)
It would also mean that his salary helped push them over the threshold in 2022.
   51. Darren Posted: November 23, 2022 at 11:48 AM (#6106598)
The big Thanksgiving move is here: Red Sox Joely Rodriguez, one year with an option, $2 mil guaranteed!
   52. Darren Posted: November 23, 2022 at 02:22 PM (#6106636)
ZIPS Absurdly Preliminary Standings are up. They have the Red Sox at 82-80, in part because, "ZiPS already liked Boston better than their 2022 record and a few of the guys on the edge of the roster (Ceddanne Rafaela, Enmanuel Valdez) have fairly solid projections."

Obviously, you wouldn't want to put too much stock in this, but if the Red Sox are starting out at anywhere near a .500 team before filling out their roster, that's very encouraging. FWIW, Steamer has them at 38.1 WAR, which looks pretty similar. Unfortunately, the latter projects 260 IP from Sale and Paxton combined.
   53. Darren Posted: November 24, 2022 at 03:50 PM (#6106703)
If the Red Sox and Devers are really ~$50 million apart as reported, I'm fairly optimistic they can get things done. Perhaps with some creative use of opt-outs/options (similar to Story's deal):

--10 year/$250 mil contract starting in 2023. First 4 years are $17 mil/$35 mil/$35 mil/$35 mil--total of $122 mil. Devers can then opt out of the final 6 years/$128 mil. If he does, the Red Sox can exercise a 7 year/$203 mil. option. If Devers is right about his value, he opts out and can possibly make $300 mil+. Even if the Red Sox exercise the option, he gets 11/$325 mil.

-or-

--10 year/$250 mil contract starting in 2023. First 5 years are $17 mil/$32 mil/$32 mil/$32 mil/$32 mil--total of $145 mil. Devers can then opt out of the final 5 years/$105 mil. If he does, the Red Sox can exercise a 6 year/$180 mil. option. If Devers is right about his value, he opts out and can possibly make $300 mil+. Even if the Red Sox exercise the option, he gets 11/$325 mil.

Or maybe they meet somewhere in the middle of $250 mil and $300 mil. I wasn't thrilled about locking up Devers for more than about $240 mil, but I'm coming around to it, even if he ends up getting $300 mil or something, it will be nice having a homegrown star for a long time.

   54. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: November 25, 2022 at 09:55 AM (#6106736)
Payroll question: What is Hosmer's salary impact on the tax threshold in 2023? Spotrac has it has $5.72 mil and Cots has $13 mil. I thought one big appeal of this trade was that the Sox would only pay him the minimum and it wouldn't hit their tax number.


Cots shows $5.72 for the comp tax as well - AAV of $18M minus the $12.28M from the Padres. I really disliked the move at the time, and hate it even more now. He sucks and he's overrated.
   55. Darren Posted: November 28, 2022 at 02:10 PM (#6107045)
The Red Sox are the first team in the ZIPS projections this year! Woo-hoo! See them here.

   56. Darren Posted: November 28, 2022 at 03:08 PM (#6107059)
Regarding Hosmer's luxury tax hit, I just remembered this piece by Ben Clemens about a mostly overlooked portion of the new CBA:

From the FG newsletter quoted in the piece:
“However, under the new CBA, a traded contract is recalculated to reflect the remaining actual dollars. That means contracts that are backloaded will be harder to trade (if the acquiring team is concerned about the luxury tax threshold).”


Clemens:
With all that said: we should probably call this the Eric Hosmer rule.... He signed an eight-year, $144 million deal with the Padres, which works out to $18 million per year. The shape of the contract was novel: $21 million in each of the first five years, followed by an opt out, followed by $13 million in salary for each of the last three years....Under these new rules, an acquiring team would be on the hook for $5 million less in tax hit if San Diego traded him after this season. If the Padres were willing to chip in some of the salary Hosmer is owed, his new club might incur a seven-figure tax charge, or roughly half what the Padres are on the hook for at the moment.


It seems clear that if he's right, the tax hit of the contract is $13 mil, with SD absorbing all but $720K. The only concerning thing here is that he specifically mentions trading Hosmer after the 2022 season. However, I think he only does so because 2023 is when his salary drops from $21 mil to $13 mil. So in conclusion, I think Cots and Sportac have it wrong.
   57. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: November 29, 2022 at 09:48 AM (#6107130)
#56 -

Since Hosmer was traded in '22 wouldn't his annual tax hit change to $14.75M? (20+13+13+13)/4 = 14.75 total hit - $12.26 from the Pads (actually 12.28, 12.26, then 12.24 in '23, 24', '25) = $2.49M tax hit for the Sox. Certainly better, but still a waste.
   58. Darren Posted: November 29, 2022 at 11:03 AM (#6107143)
Good point, however I think it should be $21 mil for 2022. So 21+13+13+13=60 divided by 4 = $15 mil. With the Padres paying all but the minimum, that would be about $2.75 mil. I agree that it's still not optimal.

Edit: FWIW, both ZIPS and Steamer have Hosmer worth 0.6 WAR in ~500 PA. It's possible that the Sox think they could use him in a way that he'd be worth the payroll hit (they also got Corey Rosier and Max Ferguson in the deal).
   59. Nasty Nate Posted: November 29, 2022 at 12:24 PM (#6107160)
What are the best case and worst case roster outcomes for this offseason? If we restrict it to the mostly plausible, something like this?

Best Case - Reach extension agreement with Devers. Sign Bogaerts. Sign Willson Contreras. Trade for Alexis Diaz. Acquire Bloom-style starting pitchers and outfielder.

Worst Case - Trade Devers and ... I don't really care what else.
   60. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: November 29, 2022 at 01:42 PM (#6107175)
Bloom-style starting pitchers and outfielder.


What exactly is your definition of a "Bloom-style" player? Aging, overpayed player in decline that comes with two shitty 'lottery ticket' prospects that you can acquire for a younger, better player?
   61. Nasty Nate Posted: November 29, 2022 at 02:11 PM (#6107182)
What exactly is your definition of a "Bloom-style" player?
Schwarber
JBJ (washed up version)
Refsnyder
Danny Santana
Tommy Pham
Franchy

Wacha
Hill
Paxton
Martin Perez
Winckowski
Pivetta
   62. Darren Posted: November 29, 2022 at 05:02 PM (#6107240)
What are the best case and worst case roster outcomes for this offseason? If we restrict it to the mostly plausible, something like this?


To me, the best case scenario (within reason, knowing this team/FO/ownership):

--Sign Bogaerts
--Sign Nimmo
--Sign Senga
--Fill in gaps with other Bloom types.

Worst:
--Fill in all gaps with Bloom types, including Segura at 2B, moving Story to SS.
   63. The Mighty Quintana Posted: November 29, 2022 at 05:33 PM (#6107248)
One guy that could help with outfield depth is Tyrone Taylor of the Brewers. He might come cheap...a little power, a little speed, good defense. I am rooting for him because I used to work with his older cousin and he was a great guy and a mentor to Tyrone, so I assume in regards to clubhouse/character he would also be a plus.
   64. Darren Posted: December 04, 2022 at 12:40 PM (#6107875)
“However, under the new CBA, a traded contract is recalculated to reflect the remaining actual dollars. That means contracts that are backloaded will be harder to trade (if the acquiring team is concerned about the luxury tax threshold).



Rereading this yet again, I think our calculations in #57 and 58 are wrong. The Padres are paying all but the minimum in 2022, as well as 2023-2025. The Red Sox are paying the minimum in those years, so that is their tax hit. (Stay tuned and in a couple days I'll come back and change my mind again.)
   65. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: December 05, 2022 at 03:56 PM (#6108118)
Turner to Philly, so at least that's one team off the X-train.
   66. Darren Posted: December 05, 2022 at 04:34 PM (#6108131)
On the other hand, Turner is 30 years old and just got 11 years/$300 mil. So the tickets for the X-train just went up.
   67. Textbook Editor Posted: December 05, 2022 at 10:45 PM (#6108173)
There's no way the Red Sox give Xander a Turner deal--or at the very least they aren't doing TWO Turner-sized deals for Xander AND Devers, so I'm going to assume Xander's gone now, and just hold out hope they sign Devers, but am at the acceptance phase that they're both likely gone now. Ah well.
   68. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: December 06, 2022 at 07:26 AM (#6108199)

There's no way the Red Sox give Xander a Turner deal--or at the very least they aren't doing TWO Turner-sized deals for Xander AND Devers, so I'm going to assume Xander's gone now, and just hold out hope they sign Devers, but am at the acceptance phase that they're both likely gone now. Ah well.


Why not two? The only long term commitments the Sox have right now are Story and Sale, and Sale could be off the books after '24. It would be out of character for the team to NOT have 3-4 >$20M contracts and another in the high teens. And don't forget, the team has been going into each season with $15-$30 million in dead money - that all is finally done with (I am being generous with Sale and assuming he pitches). Payroll is around $155M right now (including a $16.5M hold for Devers), even $30M for X leaves them $45M to play with, just to get to the cap.
   69. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 06, 2022 at 08:31 AM (#6108204)
I agree with #68: The hiring of Bloom was advertised as "Tampa's moneyball success with Boston's money!", but the team is not acting - at least, in the ways fans would anticipate - like they have the Yankees/Dodgers/Phillies/Mets kind of money I'm pretty confident they have.

So far, the team's moves have largely been somewhat-overpaying for relievers. I'm not automatically against giving Chris Martin 2/$17m, but it is kind of an overpay for a 36-year-old reliever, and I don't want to hear Bloom say next week that they simply couldn't afford to match whatever offer Bogaerts got to go to another team.

Also, isn't giving Chris Martin $8.5 a year decidedly not what the Rays would ever do? They find pitchers by the wheelbarrow sitting around, turn them into useful pieces, and then get rid of them when they start making money.

Whitlock was more like what I envisioned - good scouting, smart acquisition, then lock him down by buying out a few arb and/or FA years.

Red Sox fans want this:
1) Sign Bogaerts; extend Devers.
2) Get an outfielder - a legit one who is better than what we've been putting out there lately.
3) Then do whatever you want.

   70. Darren Posted: December 06, 2022 at 09:31 AM (#6108210)
Apparently Bloom said in his most recent interview that they plan to sign 7 to 9 players this off-season. He's also said that if they cant sign Bogaerts, they have good inhouse options for SS, though they still hope to sign him.

Doesn't sound like he'll be following the kind of plan we are hoping for.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
BDC
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Page rendered in 0.6606 seconds
55 querie(s) executed