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Discussion in 'Red Sox Forum' started by Danny_Darwin, Oct 30, 2018.
Yeah, that's a big nothingburger unless there is more to the tweet. He didn't even mention the Sox.
He tweet was quoting the mlbtraderumors tweet the Sox signed Mejia
But either way, I can see his point. Even if he isn't mad or whatever, I assume there are a few other FA relievers possibly feeling the same way right now
This is why he needs to stay in the rotation. He's our best chance of producing a post-Sale ace.
I think his likely ceiling is more of a 2-3 type — awesome! — but he just posted a 3 bWAR/2.3 fWAR season in which he only threw 130 IP. His FIPs have tended to be better than his ERAs, anecdotally because he has trouble staying away from the big inning.
If he can stay healthy for 30 starts and improve his in-game consistency just a touch, he could be a 200 IP, 230 K, low 3s ERA SP. That's a Jon Lester-type season.
Duke signed with Cincy today. Still hoping for Sipp or Vincent paired with Kimbrel.
Yeah, I think his ceiling is a solid #2, but he has a real chance of getting there. When you look at his ERA+ and FIP and compare it to LHP with 4 seasons through age 25 over the past 50 years, here are the people he ranks closest to:
ERA+: Within 1 of Edro's 107 in either direction: Sid Fernandez, Noah Lowry, Steve Trout, CC Sabathia, Randy Wolf, Chris Nabholz, Patrick Corbin.
FIP: Within 0.10 of Edro's 3.97 in either direction: Bruce Ruffin, Shawn Estes, Allan Anderson, Tom Glavine, Floyd Bannister, Dan Schatzeder, CC Sabathia, Gio Gonzalez, Justin Thompson, Mark Buehrle.
That's pretty good company. Sabathia seems like his ceiling, but not an unrealistic ceiling. That's not a guy you move to the bullpen.
I haven't even heard this name.
Chris CotilloVerified account @ChrisCotillo 55m55 minutes ago
Red Sox are signing ex-Giants lefty Dan Runzler to a minor-league deal. Another reliever with major-league experience in the fold.
Great test for the guys who analyzed Eovaldi's delivery and tweaked it to improve his results. Can you get Runzler's walks down into the 3's per 9?
Alex Speier @alexspeier 1h1 hour ago
Red Sox signed 28-year-old RHP Brian Ellington to a minor league deal. He’s battled command issues throughout his career but K’d more than a batter per inning in the majors with the Marlins in 2017.
The Brasier Effect
I thought this was pretty interesting, a deep dive into the full impact of being where BOS currently is in payroll:
This line from the piece is pretty eye-popping: "Viewed through that lens, Boston would effectively be on the hook for a stunning $29,036,835 in 2019 if they were to sign Kimbrel at the record rate he’s quite likely eyeing."
Ellington melted down in 2017, but prior to that, he looked like Joe Kelly v. 2.0 in the making.
Seems clear that the Brasier find has emboldened DD to go get 6-8 more similar candidates and find the next one.
On another note, with the caveat that it only takes one, I think Kimbrel is in trouble. The gravy train for expensive closer contracts is over.
Both Runzler and Ellington seem to be good strikeout/stuff, questionable walk/command guys, and that sorta dovetails with what we saw in the playoffs. Sox pitchers seemed to be less concerned about giving up a walk and more focused on preventing hard contact and XBHs. I have a vague memory of an article or interview with Cora semi-confiming this?
OTOH, Cora got pretty pissed at Eduardo Rodriguez in a post game presser over ERod late in the season because he nibbled too much. “Has to do better than that.”
I don't think that was about nibbling so much as giving up rockets. The full quote:
"Not good," Cora said when asked about Rodriguez's outing. "The lefties-- (Brett) Gardner hits a line drive to left, Didi (Gregorius) hits a missile up the middle, (Greg) Bird stays on a pitch and hits it off the wall. He needs to be better. Tried to go up on (Gleyber) Torres, left it over the plate. We need him to be better. He's part of this. Whatever role it is, it's your role and you have to go after it. Today wasn't good."
Maybe. Is this any different than any other year or are we just paying more attention to it? I honestly don't know.
No relief pitcher got a contract longer than 3 years last off-season
I think once Harper/Machado finally finishes, one of the NL East teams will sign Kimbrel for something like 3/45 or 3/50, maybe ATL (I know they've been quoted otherwise but too good of a fit with his past history there IMO).
I meant as far as signing bullpen arms to minor league contracts. Are the Sox signing significantly more this year?
And just imagine all the warmup music possibilities!
Ellington's intriguing. He's got righteous heat -- he averaged 99 in 2016, and 98.5 in 2017 -- and though control has never been a strong suit, it's only in the past couple of years that the wheels have really fallen off in that respect.
Looking at his splits and his Brooks zone profile, it looks like his main problem has been how to attack LHH. He has tended to work them almost entirely off the plate away, with resulting low swing rates and high walk rates. Maybe they think there's a fix there -- adding a new pitch or tweaking an existing one.
Sounds a bit like how they adjusted Eovaldi.
I really like this approach. Not only does it give us a 33-50 percent chance of at least one "ace-like" pitcher (i.e. a reliever who pitches like a top-rate closer), such a pitcher would be invaluable for helping to restock the farm in 2020.
I hate this approach because 1) we need more than one, and b) 33-50% isn't high enough.
33-50% also seems wildly optimistic if the goal is an “ace-like” reliever from a group of cast-offs. I’d guess it’s more like 3.3 to 5%, if even that high.
Show your work Eric. Out of all the relievers with prior major league experience who were released by their previous teams after 2017 and signed as minor league free agents for the 2018 season, how many became “ace-like” relievers. Do the same for 2016-17 and 2015-16.
People should do the same exercise with Feltman. What fraction of major college relievers drafted in the 3rd - 5th rounds become “ace-like” relievers the year after they’re drafted. Note, I’m not asking for the outlier success stories. It’s certainly possible. I’m asking for a realistic and probabilistic assessment based on historical frequency.
And you can do the same thing for Lakins.
I’d recommend anyone who likes this kind of stuff to read the book “Superforecasters.” It really does have a ton of ways to keep from fooling yourself by wishcasting rather than forecasting. Take Feltman as an example: The sum of the probabilities you assign to all these outcomes, must equal 100:
Feltman gets hurt and misses large chunks of 2019 delaying his development
Feltman is ineffective in a return to A+
Feltman is again effective in A+, but not ready for AA
Feltman is moderately effective after promotion to AA, but not ready for AAA
Feltman is moderately effective after promotion to AAA, but not ready for the majors
Feltman is promoted to majors and a decent mop up man
Feltman is a decent middle reliever
Feltman is a relief ace.
Feltman is a good middle reliever or relief ace but gets hurt and misses the playoffs.
Once you constrain yourself to putting a reasonable nonzero number in each possible outcome, you see how quickly the chance of him helping in 2019 drops precipitously. Now, if you sign a Zach Britton, all of the minor league entries drop to 0, freeing up lots of probability mass to be reassigned to the major league outcomes.
And also agreeing with Rasputin, the Red Sox need 2 such relievers, not one.
Do the same thing for MRs who sign big contracts and see how many of them ended up being worth close to the money or as good as they were prior to signing.
There's a very real chance Britton pitches 20 innings next year and sucks.
Better yet, name all the MR you wanted to sign and we'll check your hit rate at the end of the year. I bet it's worse than 25%.
Yep. That line of thinking is actually more in line with with the Sox are doing. Not the other way around.
There is literally not a reliever in baseball for whom there isn't a very real chance of producing 20 innings of suck next year. That's why I wanted to sign guys who were more like 60% to be really good than 25%.
Take any list of the top 10-15 free agent relievers available and I wanted to sign three of them. Didn't really care all that much which ones.
The argument is pretty simple.
1) A chance to repeat as champions for the first time since the MFY
2) Potentially a huge talent dropoff after the season
3) Virtually no chance to stay under the cap
Spend the money to win in 2019. If the talent dropoff before 2020 is such that you don't think you can win, trade those relievers either in the offseason or at the deadline to recoup money and/or get some prospects.
They decided to go a different direction. I hope it works out.
Truck Day is tomorrow.
You better hope that the Red Sox hit on more than 25% of Brazier, Workman, Hembree, and Brewer.
By middle relievers, do I get to include Britton and Ottavino, because that’s what they signed as.
Also, define “hit rate.” What constitutes success? For anyone signed by the Red Sox to a minor league contract, or Lakins, and Feltman, success would be collecting a day of major league meal money regardless of outcome.
You’re clearly very emotionally invested in this strategy, whereas I’m using statistics and reason. So, it’s not really a productive conversation. I hope for the sake of your mindset, John henry’s bottom line, and future Red Sox draft position the team hits this bullpen lottery they’re playing. The odds are somewhat better than powerball, though how much isn’t clear.
One thing it will do is help set them up to have a cheaper bullpen in 2020. They can identify some minimum salary folks to replace Workman, Hembree, and his mediocre ilk at their 5th year arb salaries. which might be a good thing if it means they can sign one of their big free agents.
I consider closers to be middle relievers so include Kimbrel if you want. And a hit would be being worth the money they signed for.
Signing 3 guys with a 60% chance to be good has a lower success rate than signing 8 guys with a 25% chance.
edit: Of course, they could always do both. So moot point.
I should've clarified my earlier position: I like the approach of not signing ML relievers in 2019. Signing minor league deals is not mutually exclusive with signing such ML relievers.
The bolded is my primary concern. Signing ML relievers would also shift our draft position back by a bit, which may further delay rebuild/reloading in 2020. We just won the WS with, arguably, the worst performing bullpen out of the division winners and NYY. I don't think this means that our bullpen was better than people thought, rather I think it speaks to the inherent volatility of relievers themselves.
Regarding the odds I posted, I'll show my work later, I'm a bit busy right now. You're probably right in that I overestimated, but I don't think it is 3-5 percent either. Feel free to remind me.
Why do you care so much about John Henry’s profit margin?
I don’t define it that way. I would have signed whichever of Ottavino, Miller, Britton, or Robertson took the smallest contract. We’ll never know who that would have been.
I agree. Except the Red Sox have signed 8 guys with less than a 5% chance to be what they need.
I came off too pissy with that request. I’d love to see what the numbers actually are. If you or some other smart person around here ever has time.
I’ll be retiring some time in the next 10 years. . Then I’ll do it myself.
I don't, but those are the constraints we are working under. Signing one of those guys could mean losing X or JBJ or whoever. It'd be nice if he just spent $300 mil a year but he's not going to.
I'd rather they spend money elsewhere than the bullpen. Spending money on bullpen arms is a bad use of resources.
This was exactly what I expected to happen too but pretty clearly they’re treating $246M as a hard cap, just as the rest of baseball is, the Yankees, the Dodgers, the Cubs, everyone. They went over last year (the only team to do so as you know) and won a title, but it seems like they refuse to do so again, certainly not until midseason. But if you accept that they are abiding by the same top line as everyone else currently (unless I missed the joint Machado/Harper to NY press conference at halftime), then they really have had no choices this offseason, Pearce and Eovaldi are both essential against NY and then they were back to $237M.
And people like to cite revenues and profit margins but sometimes the part a team decides they can’t ‘afford’ is the loss of opportunity to restock young talent because of the penalties. Going from #33 to #43 in the MLB draft doesn’t actually seem like a big deterrent, but you also lose around 500K from your draft pool and that hurts. Did you read the piece I linked from mlbtraderumors above (#810)?That helped me to understand a bit better.
If he’s not willing to go over $246 he’s going to lose a ton of talent after this season and be an also ran in 2020 anyway though. They gave up on 2020 when they traded 11 prospects for Sale and Kimbrel and Thornburg. No sense worrying about that in 2019. Win it all this year, then trade everyone next offseason to restock the farm and get under the $206 number for a year. Then start again in 2021.
Not really certain that an effective way to build a MLB team is to select a group of free agents from a given position and just simply sign the one who'll take the least amount of money. Not effective, not even remotely realistic.
The notion of this plan is pretty absurd.
"Hey Zach, DD here, Adam is willing to sign with us for X amount of dollars. But we really like you more for our team, so will you take less than X and sign with us?"
Also absurd is thinking you can fire sale everyone on the roster just to reset the farm.
That is what the numbers tell you to do. In reality you can’t fuck up the culture of your organization and engender bad feelings with the human beings that are the players.
Good thing there are actually effective ways people smarter than you have devised to conduct price discovery then.
Yeah, the Astros and Cubs are a total mess right now. Nobody wants to play for them.
Well, if by "start again in 2021" you mean suck and finish 20+ games out for 5 straight years, then the Astros and Cubs would be good examples of rebuilds.
If sucking for 5 straight years didn’t prevent them from being an attractive destination for free agents when they became competitive and willing to pay, why would the Red Sox trading off assets with limited years of control and not resigning free agents after 2019 and then retooling for 2021 be any different?
Did stripping the team of all its talent at the all star break in 2014 have any lasting repercussions? Castillo, Ramirez and Sandoval were very willing to take their money within months after they decided John Lester wasn’t good enough for them.
Given the market for free agents, it wouldn’t even be guaranteed they couldn’t cobble together a wild card contender for less than $206 million in 2020 anyway. They’d still have Benintendi, Devers, and Price to build around. Hell, it’s February and still might be possible for some team to do that for 2019 if they cared to. Moustakis, Harrison, and Iglesias is the start of a solid infield. Gattis to catch and hit HR, Adam Jones in CF. Platoon Mark Reynolds and Logan Morrison at 1B, Brad Miller as a utility guy. Pitching and corner outfield is largely off the board, but it’s February.
I think this reflect's the front office thinking, which I agree with. The issue is not so much about spending and the cap in 2019 - I don't think the 246 is a hard cap for 2019. I think it's more that they didn't want to give multi-year deals to the top tier RPs because they'd rather spend that money to retain at least some of the FAs who come up in the next two offseasons.
And I don't think it's so easy to just sign some of these guys and then trade them next offseason so that you can reallocate your spending - while there may be a market for them if they pitch well and are worth their FA contracts, there's a significant risk that they won't be worth that contract and will be hard to deal.
Oliver Drake needs a home. Local guy, 9.9 K/9, 3.63 xFIP, minimum salary, some AL East experience and set a record for number of teams played for last season.
He cleared waivers and is back with Tampa:
Kimbrel, Machado, Harper, etc., still aren't signed. Is it safe to say at this point that Kimbrel is NOT going to be a member of the 2019 Boston Red Sox? Just want to manage expectations here.
Why would we rule it out? DD has struck late before, Kimbrel has to sign somewhere. I’d say the Sox are on a relatively small list of possibilities.