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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Friday, January 13, 2023

Updates

Jose’s life got crazy and he hasn’t posted a thread. My life got crazy and I haven’t posted a thread. Meanwhile Boston’s roster got crazy and there’s no thread. Let’s correct one of those, and give some updates.

(No, you’re not getting our personal situations. Updates about the Red Sox, silly.)

Let’s go all the way back to the end of the season. Soxprospects.com has been good enough to preserve a snapshot of the 40-man roster at that time. Here’s what happened between then and early December:

Free agent: Bogaerts (opt out), Eovaldi, Chang (non-tendered), Hill, JDM, Pham (declined option), Strahm, Wacha
DFA, then free agent: Almonte, Bazardo, Danish
Traded: Easton McGee (who was on the 40-man for like a month)
Outrighted: Ronaldo Hernandez
Added from IL: Houck, Paxton, Sale, Taylor
Added from minors: Wilyer Abreu, David Hamilton, Chris Murphy, Ceddanne Rafaela, Enmanuel Valdez, Brandon Walter
Signed: Joely Rodríguez
Traded for: Hoy Park
Here then gone: Caleb Hamilton (claimed from MIN, outrighted to AAA), Franchy Cordero (activated from 60-day IL, non-tendered), Jake Reed (claimed from BAL, claimed by LAD)

That’s 13 dropped, 12 added, and 3 added-then-dropped. This was the prelude to the Rule 5 draft, in which they lost 3 players in the major-league phase, and added none despite having left a vacant spot on the 40-man roster. Since then…

Signed Chris Martin.
Signed Kenley Jansen / traded Hoy Park for PTBNL
Signed Masataka Yoshida / DFA Jeter Downs
Traded for Wyatt Mills / released Eric Hosmer
Signed Justin Turner / traded Darwinzon Hernandez for cash
Signed Corey Kluber / DFA Connor Seabold

Taken as a whole I think this latter set of transactions is a net gain, most of that on the back of Yoshida. Even granting that they mostly gained old players on short-term deals and lost prospects I suspect we’ve already seen the ceilings of Seabold, Downs, and Hernandez. I oddly like the Turner signing, as I’m getting a 2013 Shane Victorino vibe from the level of positivity the rest of the team expressed when he was acquired. That means nothing of course, but I’ll dream nonetheless.

I’d been assuming for a while that Story was the new SS and likely Arroyo was the new starting 2B unless an obviously better player came along. With Story being out until midseason, then back for a month before missing the rest of 2023 and all of 2024 with the Tommy John surgery they are hoping this procedure will avoid - I mean, that’s how this preventive surgery usually goes for Boston - I assume they will be more desperate to find someone. I’m wondering if Verdugo is suffering from Millar Syndrome (the tendency to play well only when his job might be at risk) and could use a platoon partner plan. Greg Allen is on a minor-league deal and might provide enough of a threat. Too, Refsnyder will have plenty of opportunity for playing time given the other absences.

That aside, the rotation looks miserable. Sale needs to be healthy, and if he’s back to his old production it will only underscore just how much the rest of the staff is lacking. Not that any of the remaining players are horrible, mind you. It’s just… uninspiring? The bullpen is actually solid, but the fact that the bullpen is the only solid part of the team is itself uninspiring.

They still have a notable redundancy in Bobby Dalbec, and I’d assume he’ll be traded before the month is out. I doubt such a trade would address the issues with middle infield or the rotation. They also have a completely full 40-man, so if they want to add anyone then someone must be dropped to allow it.

villageidiom Posted: January 13, 2023 at 02:40 PM | 92 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 16, 2023 at 12:20 PM (#6113348)
Here's my position break down - assuming the Sox are rolling with their current, shitty roster.

1B - praying Casas is legit, no clue how he will actually do
2B - Hernandez - I'd rather see him here than in CF - average 2B
SS - Arroyo - yuck, will break, will not maintain a >.700 OPS
3B - Devers - good.
RF - Verdugo - average RF
CF - Rafaela - #### it, try him out, no reason not to
LF - Yoshida - could be above average, maybe all-star territory, low ceiling, high floor
C - McGuire - better stay healthy and hitting, cause he's it
DH - Turner - ok bat I guess, nothing against him personally, just not very overwhelming, could be a beneficial team leader

utility IF - no clue, Dalbec I guess
corner OF/PH - Refsnyder - surprised last year, no reason to think he will continue to do so, fully expecting him to revert to his <.700 OPS.
back up CF/designated speedy person - Duran - probably down to his last chance to show he can contribute

SP#1 - Sale - HAH!
SP#2 - Paxton - HAH!
SP#3 - Kluber - eh....
SP#4 - Pivetta - fine as a 4th starter, but he's not going to be #4, he's going to be #1B
SP#5 - Whitlock - good, should jump over Pivetta
SP#6 - Bello - could be decent
SP#7 - Winckowski - needs to be better, because he's going to be starting at least 20 games

RP - I don't care, I have no idea who is going to be good, and who isn't. There will be good surprises. There will be lamenting, gnashing of teeth, and rending of garments.
Closer - Jansen - why waste money on him? So the Sox can win 2 more games than using pretty much any other random relief pitcher other than Hansel Robles - that guy sucked and I have no idea why he pitched as much as he did

All in all, the Sox are thin on top end talent, with Devers being the only one, they are very thin on depth, with Casas and *maybe* Rafaela the only minor league guys (non-pitcher editions) able to contribute, their rotation is a mess, and the bullpen is an opportunity to waste millions of dollars. They are $30M under the tax line though, so I do think they'll sign a 2B/SS to replace Story.
   2. John DiFool2 Posted: January 16, 2023 at 12:52 PM (#6113352)
1B - praying Casas is legit, no clue how he will actually do


I keep getting a weird mantra in my mind when I think of him: "Lars...Lars...Lars..."
   3. Darren Posted: January 16, 2023 at 07:28 PM (#6113386)
Hooray!
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 16, 2023 at 09:04 PM (#6113396)
I keep getting a weird mantra in my mind when I think of him: "Lars...Lars...Lars..."

Casas was good in the minors, but not superlative. 130-135 wRC+, heavily dependent on BB%. BA is going to be the major worry. It's really hard to be good if you hit .200.
   5. villageidiom Posted: January 16, 2023 at 11:03 PM (#6113420)
They are $30M under the tax line though, so I do think they'll sign a 2B/SS to replace Story.
I think this is correct. If they can plug in Andrus at SS - which won't be great but shouldn't be awful - then everyone slides back to their prior roles and things unworsen. I fear they will value Profar's versatility and overlook the fact that he really isn't a SS.
   6. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: January 17, 2023 at 08:31 AM (#6113439)
In terms of Casas:
The good news is, his game doesn't require a high batting average for him to be valuable. The bad news is, because he is a first baseman on a team lacking plus-offense at SS, 2B, C, and at least two outfield spots, and maybe even DH...they kind of need Casas to be really, really good.

A lot of fans up here are penciling Casas in as a stud in the middle of the lineup, and he will be helpful this year. But "helpful" may be .230/.350/.450 with good defense at 1B. That'd be a nice upgrade over the last several years at 1B.




   7. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 17, 2023 at 10:15 AM (#6113444)
A lot of fans up here are penciling Casas in as a stud in the middle of the lineup, and he will be helpful this year. But "helpful" may be .230/.350/.450 with good defense at 1B. That'd be a nice upgrade over the last several years at 1B.


That's pretty much Mitch Moreland. Yay!
   8. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 17, 2023 at 10:26 AM (#6113445)
I think this is correct. If they can plug in Andrus at SS - which won't be great but shouldn't be awful - then everyone slides back to their prior roles and things unworsen. I fear they will value Profar's versatility and overlook the fact that he really isn't a SS.


I've said it before - I think the Sox should put Hernandez at 2B permanently. He hits decidedly better there (.270 .340 .453) than CF (.222 .298 .385), his D in CF is so heavily predicated on '21, I've got a lot more faith in the offensive numbers than the defensive.

Sign a SS stop gap , either roll with Duran and Rafaela in CF or sign a CF stop gap, and keep Arroyo as the utility player. 2B, SS, CF, utility aren't really all that good, but they'd at least be in a position to succeed. The current team, not so much.
   9. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: January 17, 2023 at 10:37 AM (#6113447)
That's pretty much Mitch Moreland. Yay!


Perhaps, but:

1) Even that would be a ton better than most of what we've had there for the last several years.
2) That is his floor - he could also be more like .260/.380/.500, and that would be a damned good player.
3) He is extremely cheap for a while, so the team theoretically should be able to redeploy money elsewhere for the next several years.

#3 is also part of the argument for being aggressive with Rafaela in center field. If we think Hernandez can play a solid 2B, we know Rafaela can play an excellent defensive CF - which would help Verdugo and Yoshida in the corner OF positions. My problem with Duran is that there is not a lot of evidence that he can hit well enough to carry his poor defense...or that he can field well enough to carry his poor offense. And it is not like Duran is 23 or something. He'll be 27 this September - we are close to the point of saying "he is what he is".

Rafaela will be 23 this coming September, and even if he doesn't hit, is an outstanding defender. The floor is a Gary Pettis-type player. The floor for Duran? I mean, aren't we already seeing it?

   10. Darren Posted: January 17, 2023 at 04:05 PM (#6113494)
I've said it before - I think the Sox should put Hernandez at 2B permanently. He hits decidedly better there (.270 .340 .453) than CF (.222 .298 .385), his D in CF is so heavily predicated on '21, I've got a lot more faith in the offensive numbers than the defensive.


How much do the hitting splits rely on 2021? Overall I wouldn't put too much stock in how a player hits at a certain position except for catcher (wear and tear) and DH (where it's harder). His CF defensive numbers look good in every year that he's played there except 2020, when he played only 20 innings. With all that said, if they find a better match for CF, I'm good with Hernandez at 2B or SS (if they think he can hack).



   11. Darren Posted: January 17, 2023 at 04:11 PM (#6113496)
Perhaps, but:

1) Even that would be a ton better than most of what we've had there for the last several years.
2) That is his floor - he could also be more like .260/.380/.500, and that would be a damned good player.
3) He is extremely cheap for a while, so the team theoretically should be able to redeploy money elsewhere for the next several years.


I don't think it's his floor. Steamer and ZIPS both have it as about his projection for next year. There are reasons to think he might be better, I guess, but it's about what I expect of him. As much as I don't want to see any more of Dalbec, I guess he fits on this team as a platoon partner for Casas.

Edit: I also don't think Rafaela's floor is a Pettis, a six-time gold glover whose peak included a couple of 4-5 WAR seasons. Unless we're starting CFBPS early this year. :)





   12. Darren Posted: January 17, 2023 at 04:27 PM (#6113501)
I know I've sort of defended the team's weird offseason a bit, but taking a step back and looking at it, the overall picture is pretty ugly:


--They come into the offseason with about $90 mil in room under the tax threshold. So they have at least that much to spend, likely more.
--They lose SS Bogaerts, their best or second best player.
--They know Story, whose arm is already questionable at SS, might need surgery.
--They watch several SS, of various costs and abilities, come off the board and don't sign one.
--They don't sign the very reasonably priced CF Nimmo, who could have freed up Hernandez to play 2B/SS.
--They spend a total of about $60 mil in free agency, of which $27 mil is on the bullpen.

So now they have $30 mil left, not many options to spend it, and don't look to have added any top-tier talent with the possible exception of Yoshida. It just seems like it would have been easy to sign the following:

--Rodon $27 mil
--Swanson $25 mil
--Nimmo $20 mil or Yoshida $19 mil
--Martin $8.5 mil
--Rodriguez $2 mil
--Some DH (Cruz $1 mil?)






   13. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 17, 2023 at 04:28 PM (#6113502)
"I don't think it's his floor. Steamer and ZIPS both have it as about his projection for next year. There are reasons to think he might be better, I guess, but it's about what I expect of him. As much as I don't want to see any more of Dalbec, I guess he fits on this team as a platoon partner for Casas."

FWIW, Davenport has Casas' 10th percentile as .220/.290/.341. So basically a little bit better than 2022 Spencer Torkelson.
   14. Darren Posted: January 17, 2023 at 05:55 PM (#6113512)
ZIPS includes 20th and 80th percentile:

20th .229 .327 .388
80th .286 .377 .495

   15. Jay Seaver Posted: January 17, 2023 at 06:08 PM (#6113513)
Seeing reports on Twitter that the Sox are close to signing Adam Duvall to a two-year deal to play center, presumably pushing Kiké to short. Kind of a "sure, why not, I guess" move; as a fan I'd rather see respectability than disaster on the field, and that gets us a little closer, but doesn't exactly create much hope of being much more than a .500 team if things break right.

   16. Darren Posted: January 18, 2023 at 10:36 AM (#6113554)
They signed Duvall!!! Hooray!!! Now our dream of Duvall in center, Hernandez at SS, and the occasionally healthy Arroyo at 2B can become a reality! I love the smell of replacement level in the morning!
   17. Darren Posted: January 18, 2023 at 10:36 AM (#6113555)
--Rodon $27 mil
--Swanson $25 mil
--Nimmo $20 mil or Yoshida $19 mil
--Martin $8.5 mil
--Rodriguez $2 mil
--Some DH (Cruz $1 mil?)


Even in addition to what they've done, they still could have added Rodon, Swanson, or Nimmo and still been under.
   18. Darren Posted: January 18, 2023 at 10:47 AM (#6113557)
The Red Sox have now signed 7 players to Major League contracts, putting them in the 7-9 range that Bloom set out. Here's a breakdown.


SP - $10 mil total
Kluber $10 mil

RP - $26.5 mil total
Jansen $16 mil
Martin $8.5 mil
Rodriguez $2 mil

Position Players - $35.5 mil total
Yoshida $18 mil
Turner $10.5 mil
Duval $7 mil


Are they done?
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 18, 2023 at 11:01 AM (#6113560)
Jansen $16 mil
Martin $8.5 mil


This is the part I don't understand. If you're shooting for .500, why waste money on old relievers.

As has been stated by others, that $24M could have gotten you a good position player.
   20. Textbook Editor Posted: January 18, 2023 at 11:10 AM (#6113563)
Jansen $16 mil


I'm not sure I agree with the philosophy here, but I sort of suspect that this is all about have a valuable, flippable asset at the trade deadline, and that Bloom figures either (a) he's not going to wind up paying all of that, or can use that payment to pry valuable assets from teams at the trade deadline, or (b) Great news! Jansen closes out playoff wins!

I don't think teams are giving up a lot these days for lights-out relievers at the trade deadline (even if you pay the full cost) but admittedly I have not looked up the history of such deals in the last 5 years or so.

I'd be curious who they were bidding against for Duval that it took $7 million to get it done. Signing Duval certainly seems some sort of statement on the value of Duran going forward.

Sorry--it still seems quite the mess.
   21. Jay Seaver Posted: January 18, 2023 at 11:20 AM (#6113564)
I'd probably feel a bit better if they could get Iglesias to take $1-2M, just because 2B/SS/CF is going to see some time lost to injury and it would give Cora some options to mix and match.

Someone posted a spray chart which showed that a whole bunch of Duvall's batted balls would be on/over the Monster, so it could be a pretty decent stopgap.
   22. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 18, 2023 at 11:22 AM (#6113565)
How much do the hitting splits rely on 2021?


'21 is not an outlier. Pretty much every season Hernandez has hit better when not in CF.

close to signing Adam Duvall to a two-year deal

one year deal, $7M with $3M in potential bonuses. Good, they need someone else in the OF, but does nothing for the long term outlook of the team.

That's what I don't get about a lot of these signings, outside of maybe Martin there are really no flier type deals that could really benefit them in '24 or beyond. Wacha, Hill, and Strahm were varying degrees of good signings last year, but they do nothing for the team now. What are Jansen, Turner, Kluber, and Duval going to do for the team the next time they are in contention (I am assuming they are mediocre at best next year as well)? What is Chaim's long term strategy?

   23. Nasty Nate Posted: January 18, 2023 at 11:37 AM (#6113568)
the team the next time they are in contention (I am assuming they are mediocre at best next year as well)
I would disagree with that being the assumption. And I definitely don't want them team building under the framework that they have no chance for 3 years (2022-2024).

What is Chaim's long term strategy?
This is the million dollar question. And it doesn't seem like there is answer that is clear or good. But why are you examining short-term deals looking for an answer about long-term plans? A move that attempts to fill a hole in 2023 simply attempts to fill a hole in 2023.
   24. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: January 18, 2023 at 12:05 PM (#6113572)
I think the strategy is to place-hold for the next two years, clear salary, bring up Mayer, and spend spend spend on C, SP, and OF and 2B.
   25. Jay Seaver Posted: January 18, 2023 at 12:23 PM (#6113574)
What are Jansen, Turner, Kluber, and Duval going to do for the team the next time they are in contention (I am assuming they are mediocre at best next year as well)?


I think people can get into analyzing the long-term plans so much that they miss the fact that the team has tickets and TV ads to sell and being a little more likely to win a game on a given night helps with that. Turner, Kluber, and Duval are probably better than what's in the minors right now the way Wacha and Hill were last year, and their shortish deals won't create a roster crunch when the folks in the minors do become upgrades.

Besides, the next time the Red Sox are in contention could be this year. It's unlikely, but some overperformances here, some underperformances elsewhere in the AL, and a large playoff field, and the Red Sox are a wild card team that could get hot in the playoffs. I wouldn't bet on it, but I'm more likely to give the team my attention if the possibility is there.
   26. Darren Posted: January 18, 2023 at 01:11 PM (#6113578)
I think people can get into analyzing the long-term plans so much that they miss the fact that the team has tickets and TV ads to sell and being a little more likely to win a game on a given night helps with that.


The timing of the Yoshida deal made me think it might be, at least partially, for this reason. On the day that you lose out on Bogaerts, you sign Yoshida, on the first day he is available, for a much larger deal than anticipated. I like Yoshida a lot, and I think they like him too, but that timing really made me think twice.

For the record, I think the Sox are trying to at least be near contention this year.
   27. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 18, 2023 at 01:55 PM (#6113586)
Let's take a quick look at 2024, assuming a lot goes right for the Sox this year:

1B - Casas
2B - Story
SS - Mayer
3B - Devers
C - McGuire
DH - Turner
Utility - Arroyo

LF - Yoshida
CF - TBD (Rafaela?)
RF - Verdugo

SP - Sale
SP - Kluber
SP - Whitlock
SP - Pivetta
SP - Bello/Winckowski/Houk

RP - Jansen/Marten/Barnes et al.

That is *heavily* reliant on Casas, Mayer, McGuire, and Rafaela proving they can handle starting every day in the field, and the starting pitching is still a huge question mark. To me that's a very unproven IF, an average at best OF, and unless Sale returns to form, a bad rotation. Could they compete for a WC? Sure, but I wouldn't project them for more than 84 wins or so.

As #24 said - they would most likely have to spend on C, SP, & OF. Great, better in '24, but then they lose Turner, Kluber, & Jansen+ in the pen, so they'd need to spend on a DH, SP, & RP in '25. That's a lot of signing to do, something they have not done all that much recently.


   28. Darren Posted: January 19, 2023 at 04:34 PM (#6113691)
Sox apparently have five guys in the BA top 100, including Yoshida at 87. That's pretty nice at least.

   29. Darren Posted: January 19, 2023 at 04:48 PM (#6113693)
Other fun news:

Verdugo played the first two months of last season with a broken toe. Source? Verdugo's brother on Twitter, who's also revealed that: Verdugo bulked up to hit for more power but got screwed by the new ball and Verdugo was one of the unluckiest hitters in baseball last year. This offseason, he's working on agility so that he will be... get ready... here it comes... in the best shape of his life this spring!

Seriously, if he had a broken toe, that could help explain his lousy start and terrible defensive numbers. His post-June 1 line of .302/.355/.434 line aligns a lot better with his recent track record than his ugly overall line did. A reason for hope!

   30. villageidiom Posted: January 19, 2023 at 06:38 PM (#6113703)
I don't think teams are giving up a lot these days for lights-out relievers at the trade deadline (even if you pay the full cost) but admittedly I have not looked up the history of such deals in the last 5 years or so.
Nick Pivetta was acquired by trading away half-decent relievers at the trade deadline.
   31. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 19, 2023 at 08:18 PM (#6113713)
Nick Pivetta was acquired by trading away half-decent relievers at the trade deadline.


Our lord and savior!

In all seriousness, I kid, the trade for Pivetta was great, and if the Sox can get another #4/#5 starter for Jansen that would be fantastic.

To be clear, I do not think that is going to happen.
   32. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: January 20, 2023 at 08:43 AM (#6113727)
Two points:

1) Another nice acquisition at the deadline involving a reliever was the Jake Diekman trade to the White Sox for Reese McGuire. Diekman wasn't even very good, and McGuire is a solid starting catcher.

2) However, as it involves Jansen, nobody is going to want to trade for him this deadline, because they are going to owe him the rest of 2023 (at the deadline, that would be over $5m), plus all of 2024's $16m. As the Red Sox learned in the Mookie trade, sometimes the team receiving the veteran player believes the primary return for that player should simply be the willingness to take on the salary. With Betts, the biggest return might have been the eating of a big chunk of David Price's remaining salary.
   33. villageidiom Posted: January 20, 2023 at 10:48 AM (#6113739)
I think one thing I've overlooked in this whole discussion has been the 6 - 4 - 3 sighting in #13. I don't think I've seen that handle around here in a long time. Maybe I just need to get out of Sox Therapy more often? Either way, good to have you around.

However, as it involves Jansen, nobody is going to want to trade for him this deadline, because they are going to owe him the rest of 2023 (at the deadline, that would be over $5m), plus all of 2024's $16m.
Bloom is IMO perfectly fine with trading money for prospects. If the right deal came along (and Boston weren't in contention) I'm sure he'd trade Jansen plus cash to someone.

But while I'm on the subject of Bloom trading cash... Let's update the books regarding the Betts trade:

2020 Betts: +3.6 WAR
2020-22 Price: +1.3 WAR

2020-22 Verdugo: +5.5 WAR
2020-22 Wong: +0.2 WAR
2020-22 Downs: -0.6 WAR

2023-24 Verdugo: ?
2023-28 Wong: ?
2023-28 Downs: ? (with Nationals now, but that's a separate transaction)

Right now it's about a wash, except on the financial side - with Boston not having to pay Betts' final arb year and a portion of Price's remaining salary. Betts' original contract expired in 2020, and Price's contract just expired, so their production in the time Boston would have had them is locked in; and from a WAR perspective it's essentially the same in the most bean-counting of senses. (The shape of that production is clearly not the same.) To whatever degree the three players received do *anything* of value from here onward until free agency, the trade is a bean-counting win for Boston. We don't root for bean-counting, so none of that will really matter to fans, nor should it. But, I mean, if they're going to trade players I prefer they don't lose those trades. They got the same production value, for lower cost, and still have potential value coming.
   34. Darren Posted: January 20, 2023 at 01:06 PM (#6113750)
Are we overthinking the Jansen signing? I have a hard time believing they signed him to that contract with the intention of flipping him and possibly eating money. (Even if they did have that plan, they'd have to believe he's a really good reliever who will perform well enough that teams want to trade for him.)

I could it being a part of the calculation: sign him thinking he'll be a good addition but also knowing that if things go poorly he can be flipped. And maybe that's what you're all talking about. In which case, I can buy it.
   35. Darren Posted: January 20, 2023 at 01:19 PM (#6113753)
As the Red Sox learned in the Mookie trade, sometimes the team receiving the veteran player believes the primary return for that player should simply be the willingness to take on the salary. With Betts, the biggest return might have been the eating of a big chunk of David Price's remaining salary.


VI addressed the results as they played out, but I think we should also look at the package going to the Red Sox at the time of the trade. For Mookie + Price, they got back:

Verdugo -- 24 year old, former top 50 prospect, 24, who had just put up 3.0 WAR in 377 PA, 5 years of control.
Downs -- 20 years old, top 50-100 prospect
Wong -- fringe prospect/non-prospect

Remember, also, that top 50ish prospect Graterol was originally part of the deal in place of Downs/Wong. So yes, part of the benefit to the Sox was unloading half of Price's deal, but it was a small part compared to the package of talent they got.
   36. Nasty Nate Posted: January 20, 2023 at 01:29 PM (#6113754)
Are we overthinking the Jansen signing?
Yes we are. The hope from the team is that he is a good pitcher and the team wins games. Teams with median-or-higher payrolls have been paying retail for supposedly elite relievers for decades, I don't know why this particular one is mystifying people. Maybe it's because of Bloom, who didn't acquire expensive relievers in Tampa.
   37. Darren Posted: January 20, 2023 at 01:37 PM (#6113755)
In all seriousness, I kid, the trade for Pivetta was great, and if the Sox can get another #4/#5 starter for Jansen that would be fantastic.


I know I'm in the minority, but it always amazes me how different my perception of what a #1/#2/#3/#4/#5 starter is from what others think. To me, since there are 30 teams, the average #1 starter is like the 15th or so best starter in the league, the average #2 is around 45th, etc. So where does Pivetta fall? In the past 2 years, Pivetta has pitched 333.2 IP (28th), put up 3.6 fWAR (73rd), and 5.2 bWAR (not sure where that ranks, would be 45th in fWAR).

Looking at those numbers, I can't really see Pivetta as worse than a solid #3. Maybe even a little better.

   38. Nasty Nate Posted: January 20, 2023 at 01:50 PM (#6113757)
I think using counting stats for exactly 2 years is a little over-generous to Pivetta.
   39. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 20, 2023 at 02:49 PM (#6113766)
Looking at those numbers, I can't really see Pivetta as worse than a solid #3. Maybe even a little better.


I'd argue Pivetta was 3rd best in '21 on the Sox (I'd put him behind E-Rod based on FIP - 3.32 vs 4.28) and was 4th on the team in '22 (I guess you could say he was more valuable to the team than Hill based on IP), so maybe I'm underrating him, we'll see going forward I guess.
   40. villageidiom Posted: January 20, 2023 at 03:03 PM (#6113770)
I could it being a part of the calculation: sign him thinking he'll be a good addition but also knowing that if things go poorly he can be flipped. And maybe that's what you're all talking about. In which case, I can buy it.
That's what I'm talking about.
Looking at those numbers, I can't really see Pivetta as worse than a solid #3. Maybe even a little better.
I think of him as a #3 starter. Maybe #4. I think of it much the same way you do, except noting that due to injury you might not rate highly enough a pitcher who was injured in that span when using counting stats. Chris Sale probably wouldn't even be a #5 starter. And that might be appropriate, since showing up is a skill you need from your starters. So Pivetta is maybe a 4 on stuff, and a 1 on showing up, which puts him at 3 in terms of value produced. That's still good, and in most years there will be enough injured pitchers in the league that #3 is appropriate as a long-term view of him.

So, yeah, turning the twilight-of-their-careers Workman and Hembree into several years' control of a #3 starter and a lottery ticket (Seabold) is pretty damn good deadline work.
   41. Darren Posted: January 20, 2023 at 03:43 PM (#6113778)
I think using counting stats for exactly 2 years is a little over-generous to Pivetta.


Because it's cherry picking his best performance? Fair enough. FWIW, I was using his time with the Red Sox (not including 2 starts in 2020, where he was even better) because that's what the Red Sox got in the trade. I see your point though.
   42. Jay Seaver Posted: January 20, 2023 at 08:06 PM (#6113808)
From what I'm reading on Twitter, Henry and Bloom are having a fantastic time meeting the fans at the Winter Weekend event.
   43. Darren Posted: January 21, 2023 at 05:33 PM (#6113855)
Yeah, ouch, doesn't sound like they were warmly received. They raised ticket prices again, which will only stop happening when demand drops. It really seems like that might happen this year.
   44. Darren Posted: January 22, 2023 at 07:26 PM (#6113972)
Seeing the Arraez trade to the Marlins made me think:

--Was this similar to the package offered for Casas?
--Would the Sox have done it if they signed Abreu?
--Should they have?
   45. villageidiom Posted: January 23, 2023 at 04:17 PM (#6114055)
I suppose it's worth noting that Adam Duvall is not yet officially signed, because they need to clear space on the 40-man for him. I think they're now roughly at the point where they're unlikely to DFA someone. That means a trade would be necessary. Who are the candidates?

NOPE (14)
Devers, Story, Pivetta, Whitlock, Hernandez, Casas, McGuire, Paxton, any of the FA signings this offseason.

PROBABLY NOT (12)
Houck, Taylor, Brasier, Arroyo, Bello, Winckowski, Refsnyder, Rafaela, Schreiber, Wong, Sale, Verdugo. The latter three *might* be considered as part of a larger trade that also brings in their replacement, but not simply a roster-clearing trade to make room for Duvall. (Make no mistake, Duvall is not an improvement on Verdugo.)

Mills - I doubt they would trade for him if they didn't want him. OTOH, to get him they traded away Hoy Park, for whom they had just traded a few weeks earlier. Still, I think he is - or should be - higher on the depth chart than several of the miscellaneous arms on the roster.

MAYBE (7)
Barnes. I don't know how much they trust him. They *should* trust him IMO, but I understand if they've lost patience.

Mata, Walter, Murphy, Abreu, Kelly, German. I doubt they want to part with any of them, but now we're in the neighborhood of players who could bring back prospects (off the 40-man) in return. Provided they find the right deal they might be OK with trading one of them.

PROBABLY (6)
Dalbec - A man without a country.

Duran - If they thought he could handle a MLB outfield role they might not have acquired Duvall in the first place.

Crawford - Honestly I think he's below too many pitchers on the depth chart at this point.

Ort - Same.

Hamilton - Has anyone made a compelling case yet why he's here?

Valdez - I think in the Vazquez trade they really wanted Abreu, and took this guy because he was a piece they could trade away for something not worthless. It's his moment?
   46. Nasty Nate Posted: January 23, 2023 at 04:27 PM (#6114057)
I wouldn't have thought Brasier's spot was secure, but they would have simply non-tendered him if they didn't want him I suppose.
   47. villageidiom Posted: January 23, 2023 at 05:25 PM (#6114064)
Right. I'm taking the sign that they repeatedly go out of their way to keep him that they don't want to lose him. Dude has a career FIP around 3.75, which for $2m is not a bad thing to have. This is his last year before free agency, so I imagine it will be his last year in Boston. But I'm pretty confident he will be with Boston. More specific to the point I was making, they aren't likely to trade him just to free up a spot for Duvall.

   48. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 23, 2023 at 06:32 PM (#6114076)
Ort - Same.


If removing Ort from the 40-man causes any sort of angst...I mean, talk about someone who should be eminently replaceable. He's a 31 year old with 28.2 career IP, all except .1 of them coming last year. And they weren't a good 28.1 innings either, he managed to be below replacement value.
   49. Darren Posted: January 23, 2023 at 07:04 PM (#6114082)
I think the case for Hamilton is that speed is more valuable now. I guess?
   50. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: January 23, 2023 at 08:22 PM (#6114090)
Ort is pretty clearly the next guy to get DFA'ed, if a trade is not made.

As for Hamilton, I suspect he was the key to the Renfroe-for-JBJ dumpster fire of a trade last off-season. Bloom must think Hamilton has legit upside. Besides, the second he gives up on Hamilton, the second he effectively admits it was an awful trade.
   51. Darren Posted: January 23, 2023 at 08:48 PM (#6114104)
As for Hamilton, I suspect he was the key to the Renfroe-for-JBJ dumpster fire of a trade last off-season. Bloom must think Hamilton has legit upside. Besides, the second he gives up on Hamilton, the second he effectively admits it was an awful trade.


Hate to admit it but that may be part of it. FWIW, here are Hamilton's projections:

ZIPS 493 PA, 1.0 WAR
Steamer 119 PA, 0.3 WAR

Both are useful players if unexciting.

   52. Textbook Editor Posted: January 23, 2023 at 10:36 PM (#6114121)
Ort is pretty clearly the next guy to get DFA'ed, if a trade is not made.


I was going to say I had no idea he was still on the 40-man, so he'd be the next to go for me from the rest of that list.
   53. Textbook Editor Posted: January 23, 2023 at 10:39 PM (#6114122)
The Red Sox played in 18 extra-inning games in 2022. I suppose Hamilton would be a good person to start at 2B as the ghost runner if you wanted to try to end those games as quickly as possible, so that's ~18 appearances you could pencil him in for were he to make the roster.
   54. villageidiom Posted: January 24, 2023 at 02:59 PM (#6114218)
Hello Adalberto Mondesi, goodbye Josh Taylor. (Separate thread.) That still doesn't answer the question of how they'll get Duvall on the roster, but I think it moves Matt Barnes into the "probably not" section. Not that losing a LH reliever improves the prospects for a RH reliever, but the bullpen depth is different now than it was when I put Barnes where I did. (That doesn't affect Ort, IMO.)
   55. Nasty Nate Posted: January 24, 2023 at 07:09 PM (#6114280)
MAYBE (7)
Barnes. I don't know how much they trust him. They *should* trust him IMO, but I understand if they've lost patience.
He's the one.
   56. Bad Fish Posted: January 24, 2023 at 07:56 PM (#6114292)
It seems that Bloom is still astride his unicorn on his quixotic journey to Whoville in search of the magic pumpkin patch where rainbows terminate and leprechaun with pots of later day Sidd Finches reside.
   57. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 24, 2023 at 09:22 PM (#6114308)
Does the DFA nullify the $2.25M team option buy out for 2024? That's the only way this makes sense to me.
   58. Textbook Editor Posted: January 24, 2023 at 09:31 PM (#6114311)
So... Am I understanding this right? The Red Sox DFA Barnes, and unless someone picks him up, he is off the 40-man roster but the Red Sox are still on the hook for all of his remaining salary, correct?

I mean I could sort of see someone taking a flier on Barnes, but with the buyout he's owed $9.75 million so that seems unlikely.
   59. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 25, 2023 at 06:52 AM (#6114349)
So... Am I understanding this right? The Red Sox DFA Barnes, and unless someone picks him up, he is off the 40-man roster but the Red Sox are still on the hook for all of his remaining salary, correct?

I mean I could sort of see someone taking a flier on Barnes, but with the buyout he's owed $9.75 million so that seems unlikely.


Whoever signs Barnes, they will only owe him the league minimum. That gets subtracted from Boston's bill and Boston pays the rest. So yes, the Sox just threw $8+ million in the trash and kept Kaleb Ort. Who knows, maybe Barnes is completely toasty, figured they could at least drag him through spring training and April/May to determine that though.
   60. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: January 25, 2023 at 07:41 AM (#6114352)
Barnes being the DFA is pretty surprising. I don't know if Barnes is toast, but I know the following:

1) Once he came back from two months off last year, he pitched 22.2 innings in 24 games, with a 1.59 ERA, 19 hits, 20 Ks (9 BBs, though), .226/.314/.274 against him. That's not Mariano Rivera, but it is at least hopeful. You're paying the guy, anyway - do you really feel that much better about, say, Kaleb Ort?

2) This is sort of a pet peeve I have with Bloom: When the team traded Christian Vazquez to Houston at the deadline, they got back two prospects, Enmanuel Valdez and Wilyer Abreu. It is pretty clear neither project to be part of the big league team this year, although I think Valdez could hit enough to be the right-handed part of a DH platoon. They didn't go that way, signing Turner, instead.

Both Valdez and Abreu are on the 40-man roster. As recent events are showing, those 40-man slots themselves have some value, especially once a team starts picking itself off the floor on a rebuild and begins to actually have, you know, 40 guys worth protecting. But Bloom continues to make trades for prospects who appear to have a limited ceiling, but because of their years of service, require being on the 40-man:

German
Wong
Valdez
Abreu
Hamilton
Winckowski

Then there are Duran and Dalbec, who certainly don't seem to be a legit part of the plan going forward. They are both also old enough, with enough of a failed track record, that you can't call them prospects or anything.

Bloom doesn't seem to identify as a cost the use of a 40-man spot on these marginal prospects he acquires. If you're going to trade Vazquez, then either get prospects who are more of a lottery ticket in the lower minors - but do not require 40-man spots; or get somebody that you can project competing for a major-league roster spot in 2023.
   61. Textbook Editor Posted: January 25, 2023 at 11:44 AM (#6114383)
Whoever signs Barnes, they will only owe him the league minimum. That gets subtracted from Boston's bill and Boston pays the rest. So yes, the Sox just threw $8+ million in the trash and kept Kaleb Ort. Who knows, maybe Barnes is completely toasty, figured they could at least drag him through spring training and April/May to determine that though.


Digging around trying to sort out the difference between a DFA and an outright release... It SEEMS like unless Barnes was sent down before (and I don't recall if he was before now), that he COULD agree to being placed on the minor league roster (and be off the 40-man) if he clears waivers. He's still be paid by the Red Sox, of course, but he may well not agree to it and that would be that. But maybe there's some other shoe to drop here, I don't know. I can't figure out if the option becomes the responsibility of any team picking him up (I imagine it would, but am not sure).

So this seems somewhat different than just releasing him outright, I think, and might mean some further machinations are in place (or the Red Sox hope will happen).

Still... A strange move--you aren't clearing salary this way (not really), so if it's just the 40-man spot, it would be hard to believe Barnes is less valued for the slot than Ort is.

What's odd about cluttering up the 40-man is that I thought most teams generally had pretty full 40-man rosters, so it's not like 2-3 guys from the 40-man who are surplus to needs can easily be thrown into a deal involving 1 team, unless the other team has room.
   62. villageidiom Posted: January 25, 2023 at 12:13 PM (#6114392)
The Red Sox DFA Barnes, and unless someone picks him up, he is off the 40-man roster but the Red Sox are still on the hook for all of his remaining salary, correct?
Yes, minus the minimum. But I want to emphasize something here: the likelihood of someone picking him up in the next 10 days via trade.

As I said above, I think Barnes can still be trusted but I understand if the team isn't going to wait to find out. Focusing on the former part of that sentence, if teams think he can be trusted and are interested in picking him up, then here are their options:

1. Wait 10 days until he's released, then pick him up for league minimum.

The catch with this is that you're not guaranteed to get him even if he gets released. He could sign with anyone. If there's another team interested in him - a divisional rival, perhaps - then by trying to go the cheapest route possible you might lose out. Especially if another team decides to...

2. Trade for him in the next 10 days.

Again, you're still not guaranteed to get him because another team might outbid you. But now it depends on what prospects you'd offer Boston and/or how much of his contract you're willing to pick up. In that sense your ability to acquire him is more within your control.

To me, Barnes *is* worth a flier. Everyone needs bullpen help, and maybe all he needs is a change of scenery. He has great stuff. So it really comes down to who will offer the best package to Boston in the next 10 days. Don't get your hopes up... the package will not be worth much. But it could be Boston gets a lower prospect and sheds maybe one-third of the contract cost for Barnes. Boston only really needs two teams interested enough in Barnes to want to acquire him, which IMO isn't unreasonable.

So although the question is what happens if nobody works out a deal for him, I think someone will work out a deal for him.
   63. Darren Posted: January 25, 2023 at 01:10 PM (#6114412)
I agree with VI. I think the Sox DFA'd him because they have a deal worked out for him or think they can work one out. They may end up eating most or all of his salary, but someone out there would probably be interested in getting him for 2023, see how he does, then have an option for 2024.
   64. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 25, 2023 at 01:12 PM (#6114413)
Yes, minus the minimum. But I want to emphasize something here: the likelihood of someone picking him up in the next 10 days via trade.


This seems like the Sox just tanked Barnes' value for no reason though. If they kept him on the roster they could always trade him in spring training when some other team has injuries, or see what you have for a month or two then trade him. But DFA'ing him now, with no real reason to do so, signals to other teams that Barnes is done. So yeah, they very well could end up getting *someone* back, but it just seems like the Sox made the incredibly zero-risk play. Hold on to him in case he is decent, then trade and get something better than now. If he sucks, then DFA him and get nothing. I'd much rather the former than latter considering where the org is at the moment.
   65. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 25, 2023 at 01:20 PM (#6114418)

I agree with VI. I think the Sox DFA'd him because they have a deal worked out for him or think they can work one out. They may end up eating most or all of his salary, but someone out there would probably be interested in getting him for 2023, see how he does, then have an option for 2024.


If the Sox had a deal ahead of time, then why didn't they just pull the ####### trigger, instead of being cute, DFA'ing him, and saving Kaleb ####### Ort?! This feels like another too-cute, 'I win the trade' move from Bloom.
   66. Nasty Nate Posted: January 25, 2023 at 01:33 PM (#6114422)
I don't think there's any trade in place (or close). I predict the 10 days will elapse and he'll be a free agent. I wouldn't be surprised if he's currently hurt, too.
   67. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 25, 2023 at 01:36 PM (#6114423)
I wouldn't be surprised if he's currently hurt, too.


If he's hurt he could be moved to the 60-day IL and be removed from the 40 man roster.
   68. Nasty Nate Posted: January 25, 2023 at 01:45 PM (#6114425)
I was under the impression that there is no 60-day IL during the offseason.
   69. villageidiom Posted: January 25, 2023 at 02:02 PM (#6114431)
I was under the impression that there is no 60-day IL during the offseason.
Correct.

But DFA'ing him now, with no real reason to do so, signals to other teams that Barnes is done.
I mean, it signals that he's done in Boston. We don't really know if teams have inquired about Barnes and designating him is Boston's way of saying "you have 10 days we'll take the best offer we get", or if nobody is interested in Barnes and he's simply done, or anything. We don't know what they know.

What we do know is he was still on Boston's roster - meaning that nobody felt compelled to make an offer that Boston would have accepted before the DFA - and that he has a pretty damn good track record including after returning from injury last fall, and Boston will dump him in 10 days or less. There are a LOT of possibilities based on what we know.
   70. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 25, 2023 at 02:15 PM (#6114433)
I was under the impression that there is no 60-day IL during the offseason.

Correct.



Well ####, I stand corrected. Did not know that.
   71. villageidiom Posted: January 25, 2023 at 05:08 PM (#6114485)
FWIW, with the removal of Barnes there are only four players whose tenure on Boston's 40-man overlapped with Mookie Betts: Sale, Devers, Brasier, and Dalbec. In the case of Dalbec he overlaps only by a couple months, as he was added to the 40-man ahead of the 2019 Rule 5 draft in November, and Mookie was traded in early 2020.
   72. villageidiom Posted: January 25, 2023 at 05:56 PM (#6114491)
What's odd about cluttering up the 40-man is that I thought most teams generally had pretty full 40-man rosters, so it's not like 2-3 guys from the 40-man who are surplus to needs can easily be thrown into a deal involving 1 team, unless the other team has room.
At the time of the Rule 5 draft eleven teams had space on their 40-man roster but elected not to take anyone. Many of them might no longer have space - for example, one of those teams was Boston - but I assume there's still some capacity out there. That aside, between the Rule 5 draftees (14 players, 13 of them active) and the 2-3 miscellaneous flotsam each team has, I doubt there are no teams that would make roster space for Barnes.
   73. Textbook Editor Posted: January 25, 2023 at 10:01 PM (#6114541)
I'm sure the churn is somewhat typical (i.e., the # of players on a team's 40-man roster 4 years on from X date is probably always a bit low), but it still seems unreal there are only 3 players left from the 2018 WS team--a team that was considered kinda young!

Of course, this probably just means that hoping for some sort of long-term, homegrown core to stick around for 6+ years is an insane idea given the realities of MLB in 2023.
   74. villageidiom Posted: January 26, 2023 at 09:23 AM (#6114557)
Of course, this probably just means that hoping for some sort of long-term, homegrown core to stick around for 6+ years is an insane idea given the realities of MLB in 2023.
Notwithstanding that the realities of MLB in 2023 are ten-year contracts, I think we can expect Bloom's plan is to continually swap out players, every six years or so basically changing the majority of the roster. And that's not a bad thing per se. I mean, Boston had a great decade from 2004 to 2013 but if we look at the 40-man roster at the end of 2010 the only players remaining from the 2004 team - an all-time great Red Sox team - were Wakefield, Varitek, Oritz, and Youkilis. It was good turnover - Beckett, Lackey, JD Drew, Pedroia, Papelbon - but at the same time that 2010 roster also had Stolmy Pimentel and Michael McKenry on it.
   75. Darren Posted: January 26, 2023 at 10:20 AM (#6114565)
I think the Sox DFA'd him because they have a deal worked out for him or think they can work one out.


You guys are right that I was wrong about them possibly already having a deal worked out. If they did, they would just have done the deal. More likely that they're working on something and may be close.
   76. Darren Posted: January 26, 2023 at 10:23 AM (#6114567)
I like the Mondesi deal but just realized something: it would have made just as much sense to do it if they had already signed Bogaerts or another SS. So it's a good deal but doesn't really excuse, even a little, not getting a starting SS.
   77. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 26, 2023 at 11:26 AM (#6114576)
I'm sure the churn is somewhat typical (i.e., the # of players on a team's 40-man roster 4 years on from X date is probably always a bit low), but it still seems unreal there are only 3 players left from the 2018 WS team--a team that was considered kinda young!


Looking at that team though, is there anyone outside of Betts that you would love to have on the roster, with their current contract? It seems like the consensus is that Xander is overpaid, would you be all in on any of the Eovaldi, Benintendi, Kimbrel, E-Rod, Vazquez, Pomeranz, or JD Martinez contracts?

ETA: I agree with #76. Mondesi and Arroyo give the team some nice flexibility and depth, they shouldn't be relied on to lock down a position.
   78. villageidiom Posted: January 26, 2023 at 02:53 PM (#6114624)
Mondesi and Arroyo give the team some nice flexibility and depth, they shouldn't be relied on to lock down a position.
I assume a substantial amount of this is the inability to stay healthy. On that note... Jed Lowrie is available!
   79. villageidiom Posted: January 27, 2023 at 03:22 PM (#6114803)
I've posted a separate thread on the MLB Pipeline Top 100 prospect list. All else equal each team should have 3-4 in the list, and the Bostons are in that spot:

9 Marcelo Mayer
23 Triston Casas
86 Ceddanne Rafaela
93 Miguel Bleis

For those unfamiliar with him - shame! - Bleis was signed as an international FA two years ago. He's an 18-year-old power-hitting CF with plus speed. Soxprospects.com has him ranked ahead of Rafaela, but that might be splitting hairs.

Mayer will likely be #3 or #4 overall in a few months as several of the players ahead of him on the list will shed "prospect" status, much as we'd expect Casas to do.
   80. villageidiom Posted: January 27, 2023 at 04:10 PM (#6114809)
...and I guess this is what bothers me a bit. The rotation is what worries me the most about this team. Their best pitching prospect (either Mata or Walter, whichever you prefer) projects as a #5 starter. Like, we can see Mayer coming in the next 1-2 years and Story either opts out or shifts to 2nd, Bleis takes CF in another year with Yoshida and FITB in the corners. I can see a plan, or a path, whatever. The rotation needs someone, and right now they have - as I called them in another thread - a committee of Porcellos; and the horizon features prospects that would be a downgrade from that. When we talk about the longer-term plan, that's the part where I don't see a plan.
   81. Darren Posted: January 28, 2023 at 04:06 PM (#6114904)
The consensus among scouts was that Mayer was both the best hitter and best defender in his Draft class, a potential combination of Corey Seager's bat and Brandon Crawford's glove.


As I said in the other thread, I know this says "potential" but golly that's a really fun combination to dream about.

Also asked over there, but do they include players coming over from Japan as prospects? I don't see Yoshida or Senga listed, so I guess not?
   82. Darren Posted: January 28, 2023 at 04:39 PM (#6114910)
he rotation needs someone, and right now they have - as I called them in another thread - a committee of Porcellos; and the horizon features prospects that would be a downgrade from that. When we talk about the longer-term plan, that's the part where I don't see a plan.


'Committee of Porcellos' is gold.

As for developing pitching, it's long been a challenge for this organization for whatever reason. They've graduated Bello and he looks to be at least solid, so that's a good start. Same for Houck, though your mileage may vary on whether you think he's a solid starter. They don't get credit for developing Whitlock but he does give another solid rotation member going forward.

As for what's coming up through the system now? There are a couple of things at work. First, it seems really rare for pitchers to project to be #1 or #2 starters. It seems like most #1s and #2s project to be good-ish, then take a step up into the upper echelon (this is purely anecdotal and I'm ready to be shown I'm wrong). Secondly, I think Sox Prospects and other prospect raters have the same conservative approach to labeling #3/#4/#5 starters that I mentioned above in this thread. Take Walter for example. Here are his projections for next year:



Steamer 3.70 ERA, 3.54 FIP
ZIPS 4.28 ERA, 4.14 FIP, 95 ERA-

Is that a #5 starter? I'd say no. Drew Smyly threw 106.1 IP last year with a 4.23 FIP and 107 FIP-. Where do you think he ranked? He was #99 among starters by fWAR with 1.3 WAR. He was right ahead of Jake Odorizzi who had 106.1 IP, 4.28 FIP, 109 FIP-, 1.3 WAR. That is what an above average #4 starter looks like. How about a #3 starter? Kyle Gibson: 167.2 IP, 4.28 FIP, 105 FIP-, 1.8 fWAR.

Walter looks to me like he has a good shot to fit right in between those groups. SP calls him a 4.5--bench/utility player, which I guess would be a swing man? Fangraphs has him as a borderline starter.

Or look at Bello. In mid-2021, he had dominated A+ ball and was promoted to AA. FG had him as a 40+ and a future impact reliever. A year later he was a 50 but still seen as a high-leverage reliever. Now he's something like a #3 starter or maybe better?


   83. villageidiom Posted: January 30, 2023 at 01:16 PM (#6115158)
That's fair. I guess when I think of the pitchers who we'd consider legit #1's in the league - guys who would be a #1 starter on any staff, almost without regard to who else was on the team - I don't recall any of them who were projected as anything but #1 or #2 after maybe a year in the minors. There's probably a selection bias going on here, where maybe the guys who developed a lot in the minors aren't coming to mind when I think of #1's.

And, like, I'm not saying the players we have won't develop, nor that if they don't develop they won't be useful. I just don't see a plan, other than maybe the Committee of Porcellos.
   84. Nasty Nate Posted: January 30, 2023 at 05:04 PM (#6115191)
66. Nasty Nate Posted: January 25, 2023 at 01:33 PM (#6114422)
I don't think there's any trade in place (or close). I predict the 10 days will elapse and he'll be a free agent. I wouldn't be surprised if he's currently hurt, too.
Well, all my predictions were wrong as they traded Barnes for Richard Bleier. Does that mean again they need to jettison someone from the 40-man?
   85. villageidiom Posted: January 30, 2023 at 05:25 PM (#6115194)
Yes it does. Duvall is already on the 40-man. There's another shoe to drop.

Bleier is an interesting one. His fastball isn't fast, but his sinker works well to induce weak contact. His leftiness will hopefully help, because everything else I just said makes it seem like any baserunner would otherwise run on him in the reduced-pickoff 2023 season.

I'd like to get my hopes up for Bleier but until they announce who is being discarded from the team to make room on the 40-man roster it remains a possibility it will be Bleier himself.
   86. Nasty Nate Posted: January 30, 2023 at 05:30 PM (#6115196)
it's Franklin German, who apparently is not the same guy as I remember from the Oak/Nyy/Det trade from 20 years ago.
   87. villageidiom Posted: January 30, 2023 at 06:02 PM (#6115197)
I thought there was a decent chance one of my "maybes" would have been removed for Duvall, but I didn't expect two.
   88. Darren Posted: January 31, 2023 at 09:37 AM (#6115254)
So I guess we can deduce that the Barnes move was unrelated to clearing a spot on the 40. They just DFAed him to give them more time to make another move.


That makes more sense given that Barnes seems to still have something to offer. I have to say, though, a trade between the Red Sox and Mark's in which the Red Sox are offering patron is a rarity.
   89. Nasty Nate Posted: January 31, 2023 at 10:30 AM (#6115261)
They can keep making DFA-then-trade transactions to get a 41st spot until spring training begins and they can use the 60-day IL again - genius!
   90. villageidiom Posted: January 31, 2023 at 03:18 PM (#6115305)
DFA is the new market inefficiency.

So I guess we can deduce that the Barnes move was unrelated to clearing a spot on the 40. They just DFAed him to give them more time to make another move.
It's entirely possible that they had already been working on trading Barnes beforehand, and that among all the transactions they were working on his was the closest to completion, so they DFA'd him to handle the immediate roster crunch. I guess it could serve as a warning/reminder that the sudden change from "on the roster" to "DFA" is not a sudden change in direction by the team or something done on a whim.
   91. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 31, 2023 at 04:07 PM (#6115320)
I guess it could serve as a warning/reminder that the sudden change from "on the roster" to "DFA" is not a sudden change in direction by the team or something done on a whim.


I guess I still don't understand why the team doesn't just suddenly realize that Ort has sucked, and will continue to suck, and all traces of him being on the Sox should be retroactively DFA'd.
   92. Nasty Nate Posted: January 31, 2023 at 05:09 PM (#6115328)
Ort rly?

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