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Thursday, March 10, 2022

The Lockout Files - Rostering

With the players and owners finally in some sort of agreement on a new CBA (162 game season, 12 team playoff) the Hot Stove League is about to become a spectacular sprint.  With that in mind I thought it would be useful to step back and take a quick look at where the hell the Red Sox stand roster wise as of today.

1B - Bobby Dalbec
2B - Christian Arroyo
3B - Rafael Devers
SS - Xander Bogaerts
LF - Jarren Duran
CF - Kiké Hernandez
RF - Alex Verdugo
C - Christian Vazquez
DH - JD Martinez

IF - Jonathan Arauz
OF - Jackie Bradley Jr.
C - Kevin Plawecki
IF - ???

OK so the lineup is mostly set.  I think we can all agree one more bat either as a left fielder or as a DH (with JDM sliding to left) is necessary.  The Sox have some flexibility with Hernandez’ ability to play second base but he looked SO good in center last year I’d rather keep him there.  It is possible that JBJ is going to get set as the starter in the outfield which would push Duran or Arroyo to bench duty.

Jose says: Sign Schwarber, sign a utility infielder better than Jonathan Arauz

SP - Chris Sale, Nathan Eovaldi, Nick Pivetta, Rich Hill, Michael Wacha

BULLPEN - Matt Barnes, Garrett Whitlock, Tanner Houck, Darwinzon Hernandez, Ryan Brasier, Hirokazu Sawamura, Josh Taylor, Austin Davis

So this is not the most inspiring Boston Red Sox pitching staff I’ve seen in my lifetime but y’know what? I don’t hate it either.  Assuming some decline from Eovaldi that will probably be compensated for by Sale who should be expected to be good, not great.  Houck and/or Whitlock is still an option for the rotation and potentially James Paxton will have a role late in the season similar to Sale last year.  Frankly the way the game is played today Houck and Whitlock in the bullpen may actually be for the best.  Let them throw a couple innings every few days rather than being a once or twice through the order starter.

Jose says: Don’t overthink this.  If you can add an arm you do it.  Remember, you can never ever under any circumstances have “too much pitching.”

OK, now let’s go!!!  And someone find out about Spring Training.  I’m in Florida until Friday.

Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: March 10, 2022 at 03:43 PM | 73 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. villageidiom Posted: March 10, 2022 at 08:10 PM (#6067310)
The uninspiring part of the bullpen is the mystery that is Matt Barnes. If he were first-half pre-contract Barnes, that's a solid enough bullpen. If he's second-half post-signing Barnes it gets ugly a lot faster.

And someone find out about Spring Training.  I’m in Florida until Friday.
Spring training voluntary reporting starts tomorrow. Mandatory reporting is Sunday. Games start March 18. Sorry.
   2. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 10, 2022 at 08:29 PM (#6067317)
that's a solid enough bullpen.


Well considering it's going to be throwing nearly 50% of the innings, you'd better hope it's solid. I'd try to grab another SP as the back end of that rotation is uninspiring and you need a guy who will hopefully throw 160+ innings.

The left side of the infield could use an upgrade

It is possible that JBJ is going to get set as the starter in the outfield


JBJ can't hit. He doesn't seem to have the good streaky bits any more and of course he is a year older, a little slower and the otherworldly fielding is probably long gone.

In spite of all that I am really looking forward to the Bain Capital Bianchi's Pizza Red Sox getting in the full 162(though I would not have been fussed if they cut it down to 154)
   3. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: March 10, 2022 at 09:34 PM (#6067335)
The addition of a 6th playoff team in each league makes me wonder if teams will increasingly see the job of building a roster as "put together a team that is good enough to 'make the tournament'", as compared to "let's try to build a team that can win the World Series".

In the case of the Red Sox, it is altogether possible that the 4th-place team in the AL East could win enough games to be the final wild card team. (In fact, in 2021, the Blue Jays would have been the 6th team in the AL playoffs.)

Because the home-field advantage is less pronounced in baseball than in the NFL or NBA, the advantage to seeding in an ever-expanding playoff system is just not that big a deal. Soit may well be that the goal is not so much to win the most games...it is to win enough games. How that might impact roster building...we shall see.

And, FWIW, I would try to keep Houck and Whitlock in the bullpen, and tell them they are generally going to pitch 2-3 times a week, 2-3 innings per appearance. That is the future of building pitching staffs, and the Red Sox are pretty lucky: They have sort of stumbled into two prototypical examples for this type of role.
   4. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: March 10, 2022 at 09:45 PM (#6067337)
I actually will be here all day Friday, it’s my last full day so I’m going to try and go I think.
   5. SandyRiver Posted: March 11, 2022 at 08:40 AM (#6067376)
The left side of the infield could use an upgrade

Did you mean the "other" left? (Or was it the view from the bleachers?) I see an upgrade from Arroyo/Dalbec as a bigger need than from Bogaerts/Devers.
   6. Nasty Nate Posted: March 11, 2022 at 10:50 AM (#6067387)
Fangraphs has an article up about Sox prospects: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/boston-red-sox-top-51-prospects-2022/
   7. Jay Seaver Posted: March 11, 2022 at 03:01 PM (#6067421)
Apparently Seiya Suzuki is still an option for the outfield, which shocks me - I would have expected him to return to Hiroshima once spring training started.
   8. Darren Posted: March 11, 2022 at 04:42 PM (#6067439)
I think Hugh meant that defensively, the left side needs help. I hope they get a SS but it's going to be really tricky trying to move two of your most popular players around.
   9. Darren Posted: March 11, 2022 at 04:43 PM (#6067440)
Sox are reportedly interested in McHugh, who would be a nice addition to the pen/back of the rotation.
   10. Textbook Editor Posted: March 11, 2022 at 10:55 PM (#6067506)
I am legitimately curious about the JBJ trade. Either they think he'll naturally hit better in Fenway than MIL, or they are willing to accept an all-glove OF... but why?

I can sort of squint and see where JBJ allows for Hernandez to maybe play X games at 2B while not having a defensive drop-off in CF... But I'm struggling to think of how he really slots in, as given his streakiness, it's possible in a weird way that 80 games of JBJ would be way worse than 130 games (because he'll never have a couple 3-week hot stretches if he's only playing every other day).

I suspect deeper, versatile staffs will be key in April/May with starters taking a while to get up to speed.

I'm happy to be wrong about losing the whole season, but this whole lockout thing seemed exceedingly weird. I canceled the auto-renewal on the MLB.tv and will likely have a long think on it before signing on again. Of course, I'll do that and the Sox will be like 45-15 after 2 months and I'll come crawling back...
   11. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: March 11, 2022 at 11:02 PM (#6067507)
The JBJ trade seemed to be more about the kids than JBJ himself. Maybe I’m wrong but I think they felt they could add some depth and will be able to sign someone who is equivalent if not superior to Renfroe.
   12. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 11, 2022 at 11:42 PM (#6067514)
Sorry, I was at work and posted too quickly, as Darren mentioned I forgot to add an upgrade defensively for the left side.

   13. SandyRiver Posted: March 12, 2022 at 08:49 AM (#6067528)
#8, #12: That makes sense.
   14. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 15, 2022 at 03:28 PM (#6067885)
Supposedly the Sox are interested in Freeman, which I really don't get if he's sticking to his 6 year contract request. He'd either block Casas or push him to DH, a position probably better reserved for Devers a few years down the road.

I'd much rather see them go for Schwarber with the intent on moving him to DH next year (or Dalbec if he can continue to show improvement).
   15. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: March 15, 2022 at 04:47 PM (#6067895)
The Sox are kicking the tires all over the place. Honestly the Sox stuff reads like Freeman’s agent trying to get the Yankees to up their ask.
   16. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 16, 2022 at 02:12 PM (#6067993)
No Seiya Suzuki - he signed with the Cubs.

And the Yankees signed Rizzo, so I can't imagine they are also going after Freeman.
   17. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 16, 2022 at 02:22 PM (#6067997)
####, Shwarber signed too (with the Phillies). I am very underwhelmed by the Sox OF.
   18. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: March 16, 2022 at 03:05 PM (#6068005)
I think the off season has been a bit of a downer so far. I trust Bloom but at the same time, meh. I don’t think we are better than we were. There are still some guys out there that would change things. Story, Freeman, Bryant. Correa, hell if a Xander and/or Devers extension gets done.

Like I said to a friend the other day, I expect someone who isn’t on the roster tomorrow for the first spring game will be in the opening day starting lineup.
   19. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 16, 2022 at 04:31 PM (#6068014)
Bryant would seem to fit well with the team. Gives them a LF in '22 and the option to shift Devers to DH if desired in '23.
   20. Bad Fish Posted: March 16, 2022 at 05:09 PM (#6068020)
Correa is the only big deal signing that makes sense, maybe Story if he is the value play, after that Bryant seems like a smart money signing, probably cheaper and shorter contract than Freeman for almost similar performance and more versatility, plus he is younger. Freeman at anything close to 5/150 makes absolutely no sense for the RS for at least three different reasons that I doubt they are serious contenders.
   21. John DiFool2 Posted: March 16, 2022 at 05:39 PM (#6068026)
Schwarber to the Phils. Yeah, with JR no real position for him, but his bat will be missed.

Sale with rib fracture, may not pitch until after May 1st.
   22. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 16, 2022 at 05:43 PM (#6068028)
Sale with rib fracture, may not pitch until after May 1st.


And on the same day the Royals sign Greinke to 1/$13. I would not have minded that. He still throws quite a bit of innings and the pure entertainment value alone is nearly worth the money.
   23. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 16, 2022 at 06:31 PM (#6068042)
Bryant is gone. To the Rockies

Kris Bryant on a seven-year, $182MM
   24. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: March 16, 2022 at 08:02 PM (#6068059)
I’m heading up to the game tomorrow. I’m hoping to get there early enough to check out the minor league guys a bit. Anything you want checked on let me know.
   25. John DiFool2 Posted: March 16, 2022 at 08:04 PM (#6068060)
Bryant is gone. To the Rockies

Kris Bryant on a seven-year, $182MM


Wonder if Coors will help or hurt his HoF case. Walker and Helton may be good signs, IF KB can still outhit the environment.
   26. Darren Posted: March 16, 2022 at 08:32 PM (#6068072)
Really bummed about Suzuki--I had talked myself into him being a big difference maker and the Sox signing him.

There are still some excellent players out there, but they are signing quickly. Hopefully we'll see another impact signing or two soon.
   27. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 16, 2022 at 10:08 PM (#6068082)
Wonder if Coors will help or hurt his HoF case. Walker and Helton may be good signs, IF KB can still outhit the environment.


Should be pretty evident in this next year or two - Bryant is only at 29 WAR, unless he stays good for a long time he's got to have a monster season or two to get him on track.
   28. Bad Fish Posted: March 16, 2022 at 10:34 PM (#6068088)
That seems like huge money for Bryant, good for him. Glad we are not paying that. I don't get these contracts where you are absolutely certain you will be paying big cash for 0 WAR at some point during the contract. I guess tomorrow is just some other day.
   29. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 17, 2022 at 12:27 AM (#6068102)
And Freeman is off the board, Dodgers 6/162
   30. pikepredator Posted: March 17, 2022 at 11:01 AM (#6068136)
we have a line-up!

Duran . . . Dalbec . . . Downs . . . killer D's? Doesn't have the same wring. D-squad? That's the wrong direction . . .

D-stroyers? Now we're getting somewhere . . .

50+ here in VT. Baseball is beginning. I'm gonna let that fill my heart and mind.
   31. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 17, 2022 at 11:15 AM (#6068139)
Duran . . . Dalbec . . . Downs . . .


If the Sox role out this line up, things have either gone incredibly well and guys are flourishing or incredibly bad and there was a major sell off.
   32. pikepredator Posted: March 17, 2022 at 11:43 AM (#6068142)
Yeah I'm fine with it in March 17th. May 17th . . . maybe not so much.
   33. Jay Seaver Posted: March 17, 2022 at 03:46 PM (#6068193)
Watching the game and I'd completely forgotten that Franchy Cordero was still in the system, so I'm trying to give myself some hope that his 2021 triple-A numbers are more indicative than his winter league ones as free agents come off the board.

Youk is proving enjoyable in the "booth" (looks like they're in the underground bunker for Spring Training, at least).

Also, NESN's advertising that at least some games are going to be in 4K HDR, which I'm guessing is more than my Comcast cable box handles. Anyone know if their Roku app supports it?
   34. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 17, 2022 at 05:58 PM (#6068211)
I get not wanting to sign bad contracts, but geez, the Sox have not done anything so far. Heck I would've been happy if they'd thrown Greinke 1/13 just to have another guy to eat innings somewhat effectively and with a high level of entertainment.

I hoping they'll swing a trade with the A's for some pitching as it looks as if the line-up is set.
   35. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: March 18, 2022 at 08:48 AM (#6068235)
It's all happening!

Well, Travis Shaw is back on a ml deal. Correa and Story to follow, no doubt.
   36. Bad Fish Posted: March 20, 2022 at 02:23 PM (#6068411)
Wow, on paper, the Story signing looks like the best longer-term contract of the year. His offensive value over the last 5 years is comparable to anyone else getting a long term contract and he is a more valuable defensive asset.
   37. villageidiom Posted: March 20, 2022 at 03:46 PM (#6068417)
I think the off season has been a bit of a downer so far.
I did what I could not to jump on this comment at the time with "It's only been a week!" And I'm sure your opinion of the offseason has changed in the last 24 hours. But before you get a chance to comment on it let me check your punch list:

1. Sign an OF bat (specifically Schwarber, but I'll generalize).
2. Get a better utility infielder than Arauz.
3. Get more pitching.

In this offseason they've done the following:

1. No OF bat, unless we want to consider JBJ a bat. (We've never done so before, so why start now?) That aside, they just signed Trevor Story for 2B and possibly future SS, substantially upgrading the lineup and locking Hernandez into the outfield. This doesn't meet your specific requirement, but it is a lineup upgrade.

2. They have also substantially upgraded the utility infielder role, by locking into Christian Arroyo. Arroyo can handle 2B/3B, and if Bogaerts is out Story would slide to SS and Arroyo would fill in at 2B. Any of these are better than Arauz.

3. Jake Diekman and Matt Strahm might not seem like what you were thinking of when you asked for more pitching. But they are reasonably capable relievers. Having said that, they can never truly accomplish a goal of "you can never have enough pitching", so it's hard to proclaim mission accomplished or whatever here.

The main issue for Boston is that while these are improvements to the roster from a couple weeks ago, several other teams have improved more.
   38. Darren Posted: March 20, 2022 at 04:55 PM (#6068426)
Crossposting from the main thread:

As for this signing, I'm really happy about it. First and foremost, it's something happening, which is fun to read about and talk about! But digging slightly deeper than that, Story seems like a really good fit for Bloom's plans for the Sox. He presumably will improve their infield defense and adds to their flexibility. He slots in as the starter at 2B, and since he can cover short when Xander's out, this allows Arroyo to back up 2B, 3B, and SS (when he's healthy). He also provides insurance in case they are unable to sign Xander to an extension. (I know others think this means that Xander's gone, but I am optimistic that they want to keep him around. And given the deals that Story and Baez got, there's a chance Xander won't be expecting $300 million.)

The contract structure itself is also pretty great from the team's perspective. I am not sure how to calculate this, exactly, but I think the team option sort of cancels out the player option in terms of value.

And now that they're over the first tax threshold and will have to give up a pick, I'm hoping this means that Conforto is next.
   39. Darren Posted: March 20, 2022 at 04:56 PM (#6068427)
One thing I'm pretty confident in: Bloom didn't just sign Story as a last resort to "do something." I feel like Bloom specifically and the team as a whole has demonstrated that they are willing to take a PR hit to do what they think is best. If they are signing this deal, it's because they think Story's well worth it.
   40. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 20, 2022 at 05:38 PM (#6068433)
If they are signing this deal, it's because they think Story's well worth it.


This. It's definitely not the "big" signing I considered, but when you really look at it, it does make a ton of sense. He's a good fielder, can easily cover 2B and SS, and does give you that longer term option if they can't work out anything with Xander.

Obviously the Red Sox analytics believe his bat is going to work well in Fenway and at this stage, I've just got to with their analysis as I'm pretty confident Fenway sports and Bloom know a little more about this then some random, old dudes on a baseball nerd site.
   41. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: March 20, 2022 at 09:10 PM (#6068442)
I agree with #37 that one of the benefits of specifically signing Story is that his positional flexibility helps address several weaknesses at once:

- Arroyo is a value (and inexpensive) player to have who can play multiple infield positions - the bench got a lot better today.
- It improves the team's position after the 2022 season as it relates to Bogaerts' free agency.
- It also opens the door a little wider to scenarios where Xander sticks around after 2022, but moves off of SS to 3B or 2B. This allows the team to think about where Devers fits in the long-term plan in a more flexible way. I love Devers, and by all accounts, he has worked hard to improve his defense, but he is not somebody I think you want at 3B defensively, long-term.
- This also provides flexibility in assessing the minor-league system's deepest prospects pool - middle infield. Besides Casas, three of the team's four next-best prospects are 2B or SS (or in Downs' case, either). It is not crazy that if Nick Yorke has a 2022 as exciting as his 2021 was, he could be ready to start at 2B by late 2023. Mayer is further down the line, but one of the most promising players in the entire minor leagues. Story allows the team to more easily let the minor-league talent rise to the top, and decide in due time who they need to keep, and who they can trade for major league talent (probably a star outfielder, at the right time).
- Their best defense has Kike in CF, and Story at 2B or SS. Anything that keeps Hernandez out of the infield, and out in CF, is worth some defensive runs saved.

I'm a little nervous about Story's bat, but the power, speed, and defense will all be above-average for a second baseman, and his strikeout rate was down a lot in 2021...and I trust Bloom.
   42. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 21, 2022 at 06:20 AM (#6068456)
My worry with Hernandez in CF is he has hit markedly worse as an outfielder than an infielder (.697 in CF vs .806 as 2B). Probably largely a sample size thing, but it's something to watch if he is installed in CF and he gets off to a slow start at the plate. The options behind him are pretty much non-existant, I am really hoping the Sox sign someone who can hit for LF.
   43. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: March 21, 2022 at 08:37 AM (#6068458)
Jesus, spend 24 hours driving back from Naples and all hell breaks loose. I'll have more thoughts but I think generally I'm in agreement with 36-42, especially 36. Story's contract looks pretty darned good to me.
   44. Nasty Nate Posted: March 21, 2022 at 08:41 AM (#6068459)
, but it's something to watch if he is installed in CF and he gets off to a slow start at the plate. The options behind him are pretty much non-existant
What do you mean? JBJ, Duran, and Verdugo can all play CF. Or are you talking about the overall OF depth?
   45. villageidiom Posted: March 21, 2022 at 09:17 AM (#6068462)
I assume he means the offensive options.
   46. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 21, 2022 at 09:28 AM (#6068464)
What do you mean? JBJ, Duran, and Verdugo can all play CF. Or are you talking about the overall OF depth?


The overall outfield appears to be a potential #### show at the plate. Verdugo appears to be the best bat, by a fair bit, and he's got an .802 OPS (111 OPS+) over the last three years. Hernandez certainly can work in CF as his defense makes up for an average at best bat, JBJ we know *can* hit...it's the *when* that's an issue, and Duran is...fast?

The potential is there for Verdugo and Hernandez, JBJ could be a valuable 4th OF, but unless he takes a big step forward Duran is not the answer in LF.

And what happens when Verdugo gets his little injury for the season and misses a few games? If that coincides with Sale and/or Eovaldi missing starts then the OF of Duran/Hernandez/JBJ + the #5/#6 guys in the rotation is a recipe for a losing streak.

Not to throw too much water on the party, the IF looks great, and there is some excitement in the minors again, I just am a bit worried the high from last year is going to come crashing down quickly.
   47. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: March 21, 2022 at 09:31 AM (#6068465)
#44: I think the lack of confidence in Duran's ability to be a major-league hitter, combined with defense that didn't match initial high expectations, have really changed the way the team can look at the outfield the next year or two. There really aren't a lot of outfield prospects that generate a lot of excitement. For example, there are only three outfielders in SoxProspects.com's top 20 rankings right now:

4. Jarren Duran
9. Gilberto Jimenez
15. Miguel Bleis

Jimenez and Blais are years from potentially contributing, and far, far from sure things to ever make it to the majors. There are many more infield prospects, and perhaps one or more of them will be moved to the OF if their bat can support it. This makes keeping Kike out in CF even more crucial.
   48. Nasty Nate Posted: March 21, 2022 at 10:23 AM (#6068469)
In terms of OF depth, they also have Martinez who can at least stand out there some of the time. And dare I mention Franchy?

As for Duran, of course there is uncertainty. But we all want them to develop and play young players, and this is part of the process: the terrible few hundred PA's, the timeline uncertainty, the risk of a bust, etc. At the moment he still counts as depth and an asset, and the cold heartless projections systems have him at .250/.310/.405ish, which is not a nightmare.

If they need a spare outfielder during the season or even in the next 2 weeks, they grow on trees basically.
   49. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 21, 2022 at 11:52 AM (#6068483)
If they need a spare outfielder during the season or even in the next 2 weeks, they grow on trees basically.


They do? With a lot breaking right for the Sox last year as a team they put up .698/.678/.803 OPS from LF/CF/RF. Ronfroe's 544 PA in RF at .824 is gone. Schwarber's 65 PA in LF at .851 is gone. Those two have been replaced JBJ who had a .497 OPS last year. Yes, Martinez *can* play LF, but he's pretty statuesque. After him is Cordero and then Rob Refsnyder, who has been below replacement value every year except for his 1st.
   50. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: March 21, 2022 at 12:35 PM (#6068487)
I would bet Arroyo gets some time out there this spring and they've talked about giving Dalbec some reps too. With that said they are pretty ill-equipped to handle a significant injury, at least in the first half of the season. By mid-season in ideal world the alignment of;

Casas-1B
Dalbec-DH
Martinez-LF

Is not unreasonable to expect (and move that around with Dalbec at third and Devers at DH or whatever you prefer). But to start the year they need one of Bradley or Duran to play well. That's not an unreasonable bet but it's not great either.
   51. Nasty Nate Posted: March 21, 2022 at 02:03 PM (#6068494)
Would Tommy Pham solve the OF depth problem (as long as he accepts a potentially reduced role from recent season)? He is still a free agent.
   52. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: March 21, 2022 at 02:20 PM (#6068499)
I don't know, he looks like a guy who is kinda toasty. Worth a flyer I guess but he hasn't hit for a couple of years (albeit playing in San Diego and of course COVID) and he's 34. The Sox could do worse though. He's probably better than Refsnyder or Yolmer Sanchez. I don't know what the #### to make of Franchy. Those minor league numbers play but he's got a not insignificant amount of MLB time where the numbers definitely do not.
   53. Darren Posted: March 21, 2022 at 04:05 PM (#6068522)
I want Conforto, but Pham is a good cheap flyer option if that's how they go.

I know Bloom had specifically mentioned adding a right-handed bat before he got Story, but is this team now a little too right-handed?

Best to Worst (basically)
SS Xander R
3B Devers L
DH Martinez R
2B Story R
OF Hernandez R
OF Verdugo L
1B Dalbec R
OF Bradley/Duran L
C Vazquez R

Only 1 lefthanded hitter among our best 4-5 hitters. A good lefty bat in the OF would be great.

   54. Darren Posted: March 21, 2022 at 04:07 PM (#6068523)
Posed this in the thread on the main board as well: Story gets to his opt-out after 4 good years--does he even opt out? If he does, he risks getting another single year added to his deal. If he doesn't, he can be a FA in 2 instead.
   55. Nasty Nate Posted: March 21, 2022 at 04:22 PM (#6068525)
Posed this in the thread on the main board as well: Story gets to his opt-out after 4 good years--does he even opt out? If he does, he risks getting another single year added to his deal. If he doesn't, he can be a FA in 2 instead.
It's a good question. I think there is only a narrow range in which he opts out, depending on his risk appetite.
   56. Nasty Nate Posted: March 21, 2022 at 04:46 PM (#6068530)
Like if he estimates he could get 3/$70m or 4/$85m etc on the open market, he would opt out to force the Sox to guarantee the money, if I am thinking about it correctly. But if he estimates that he would get significantly less he wouldn't opt out, and if he estimates that he could get significantly more he would probably also not opt out.
   57. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 22, 2022 at 06:32 AM (#6068599)
OF Hernandez R
OF Verdugo L


Only 1 lefthanded hitter among our best 4-5 hitters. A good lefty bat in the OF would be great


I think Verdugo is very clearly a better hitter than Hernandez, doesn't really change your overall point, but I think the team is hoping for more out of him, whereas if they get a 107 OPS+ out of Hernandez again they've got to be pretty happy.
   58. Nasty Nate Posted: March 22, 2022 at 09:14 AM (#6068604)
I know Bloom had specifically mentioned adding a right-handed bat before he got Story, but is this team now a little too right-handed?
...
Only 1 lefthanded hitter among our best 4-5 hitters
I guess I don't understand the idea that a lineup's handedness is only determined by its best hitters?
   59. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 22, 2022 at 11:25 AM (#6068617)
I guess I don't understand the idea that a lineup's handedness is only determined by its best hitters?


Do opposing managers really need to worry about their relief pitchers handedness when pitching to Duran or Vazquez? Probably a bit more thought is put in when it comes time to try and get through Devers and Martinez.
   60. Nasty Nate Posted: March 22, 2022 at 11:37 AM (#6068618)
Do opposing managers really need to worry about their relief pitchers handedness when pitching to Duran or Vazquez?
I don't know the answer to this question. Sometimes in late innings against the star hitters, opposing managers will just use their best set-up guy regardless of handedness.

Also, lineup handedness is a factor when facing starting pitchers too.
   61. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: March 22, 2022 at 01:04 PM (#6068626)
On the whole outfielder thing, can I back up a step? I 100% supported the idea of trading Renfroe this off-season, in part because it was an example of "selling high", and in part because he was going to start costing money if they wanted to keep him for very long.

But I was very surprised at the trade Bloom made. It seems like a "I'll take a year of your bad contract for two pretty good prospects" kind of deal, sort of like the Ottavino trade last off-season.

I assumed at the time that this was part of a bigger plan, but with only a few weeks until the season begins, I increasingly think that this...sort of is the plan. There is no other major shoe to drop. If so, that seems like a pretty "meh" outfield. Am I missing something? Do you think Bloom had a plan, but something happened (a failed signing or trade, etc.) that blew up the plan? Maybe the extended lockout helped blow up a plan? Does he have a hunch that Bradley will rebound some as a hitter? Duran is readier than it seems? What do people here think?
   62. Nasty Nate Posted: March 22, 2022 at 02:20 PM (#6068637)
Maybe the plan changed when Story's price fell and he was willing to play 2B.
   63. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: March 22, 2022 at 02:43 PM (#6068641)
Bloom, like Theo, seems to generally have a plan. Sometimes I agree with it sometimes I don't but I feel like you can always see what he's doing.

That said the JBJ/Renfroe deal was a bit "off" to me. I think it's pretty certain that the focus was augmenting the system, not getting JBJ back. But still that leaves a hole in the outfield. However I suspect Bloom is thinking that between JBJ and Duran one of them should do the job. Much was made of hte defense last year and simply swapping JBJ and Renfroe should be an improvement.

I do kind of wonder if the lockout blew up the plan a little bit. I kind of think they felt like they had the inside track on Schwarber but when the lockout lingered AND the universal DH happened I think that blew up on him a bit.
   64. Darren Posted: March 22, 2022 at 03:44 PM (#6068654)
From what he's said and the fact that Red Sox have been linked to so many different kinds of players, I don't think Bloom has a set plan. I think he has a several possible paths that he might follow if the opportunity arises. This may have blown up one of those paths but it's probably a central part of another.

I too remain a little confused about the Renfroe trade. I would have thought we'd be getting another OF after that deal. Seems that Bloom must have confidence in Bradley to bounce back and/or really likes the two prospects.
   65. villageidiom Posted: March 22, 2022 at 05:29 PM (#6068676)
From what he's said and the fact that Red Sox have been linked to so many different kinds of players, I don't think Bloom has a set plan. I think he has a several possible paths that he might follow if the opportunity arises. This may have blown up one of those paths but it's probably a central part of another.
This is basically where I am. Like, I think Bloom wanted another bat, and didn't care (to a degree) whether it was Schwarber, or Freeman, or Story, or Castellanos, or whatever.
I too remain a little confused about the Renfroe trade. I would have thought we'd be getting another OF after that deal. Seems that Bloom must have confidence in Bradley to bounce back and/or really likes the two prospects.
I believe the Renfroe trade was as SBPT and Jose said: selling high and getting prospects. What I also believe is that Bloom believes (to a degree) in Duran.
   66. Darren Posted: March 22, 2022 at 08:49 PM (#6068693)
I believe the Renfroe trade was as SBPT and Jose said: selling high and getting prospects.


Which makes sense, but taking back Bradley in that deal seems a bit much given that these aren't such hot prospects. I'm sure there's plenty we don't know from the outside, of course.
   67. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 23, 2022 at 10:15 AM (#6068736)
Was checking COTS to see if the Sox are getting salary relief on Bradley and noticed the Sox will drop $67 million in payroll next year just from Price, Martinez, Eovaldi, and JBJ. That's a lot of cash to spend on a #2 starter, a 4th OF, and if need be a DH (internal options for DH very much still a potential in '23). Obviously Devers needs to be signed, but say he goes for $22M/per that still leaves them with $56M coming off the books.
   68. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: March 23, 2022 at 11:22 AM (#6068760)
It may well be that Bloom - who seems secure enough in his position that he will stick to a long-term plan if he thinks it is the right thing to do - looks at 2022 as the final year of a three-year rebuilding process. In that context, unless somebody is going to be an important part of that post-rebuild plan, he doesn't want to commit very many post-2022 dollars to the problem.

For example, they clearly like Story, and like that his defense, speed, and power is good enough to play at 2B or SS for the next 4-6 years, at a price point that will probably look pretty reasonable in the out years...because he is part of the "rebuilt" plan. If Xander stays in town after 2022, Story is the 2B, and they groom Downs to be the backup middle infielder, and they move Yorke to the outfield if he keeps hitting in 2022. If Xander leaves, Story goes to SS, and if Yorke keeps progressing, they keep 2Bwarm until Yorke is ready in late 2023/Spring Training 2024.

They clearly don't want to spend a lot of money at 1B, because they: 1) Like Dalbec enough that they want him to get the ABs needs to see if his second-half progress was real; and 2) Casas is going to be here soon, solving that problem at very low dollars.

In the OF, I suspect a lot of the freed up money identified in #67 will be going to get at least one premium OF next off-season. Just the combined 2022 salaries of JBJ and Kike go a long way towards paying one premium outfielder in 2023, for example.

The rotation is the hardest one to project. They're on the hook for at least three more years with Sale, who will probably be very good...when healthy. Eovaldi's contract is up after 2022. The rest of them, though? Wacha, Paxton, Pivetta, Hill...there's no commitment after 2022. It's pretty crazy how little money is locked into starting pitching beyond 2022 - or really almost anybody not named Sale or Story.
   69. Nasty Nate Posted: March 23, 2022 at 11:50 AM (#6068764)
If Xander stays in town after 2022, Story is the 2B, and they groom Downs to be the backup middle infielder, and they move Yorke to the outfield if he keeps hitting in 2022.
I think there is also a possibility for 2023 (and beyond) alignment of:
SS - Story
3B - Bogaerts
1B and/or DH - Devers
   70. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: March 23, 2022 at 04:40 PM (#6068806)
FWIW I vaguely remember some chatter about tension between Cora and Renfroe -- a baseball IQ issue? But a cursory google turns up nothing so maybe I'm misremembering a BS rumor.
   71. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: March 23, 2022 at 08:48 PM (#6068834)
70 - I don't remember reading that but I can see it. Renfroe was a strange one, he would make some truly great plays in the outfield but then he would do some incredibly boneheaded stuff too. Cora of course was an incredibly cerebral player, coach and now manager. But like I said, I don't recall ever hearing anything like that.
   72. Darren Posted: March 24, 2022 at 03:37 PM (#6068932)
Wouldn't it be crazy if the Red Sox made Bogaerts an offer, and he countered, thinking that they would also counter? But then they didn't counter, and instead went about trying to acquire another star shortstop? And then once the season started, they realized they couldn't live with Bogaerts' defense, not to mention the tension in the clubhouse? And so at the deadline they traded him for seemingly less talented players. But those players went on to contribute to the team and help them to a world championship?

Nahhh, that's too crazy.
   73. Nasty Nate Posted: March 24, 2022 at 05:46 PM (#6068955)
I admit you had me at first!

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