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Building a Bullpen, 2019 edition

Discussion in 'Red Sox Forum' started by Danny_Darwin, Oct 30, 2018.

  1. Red(s)HawksFan

    Red(s)HawksFan Member SoSH Member

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    WS Game 5 - 8th inning against 8-9-1 (0 outs, 1 on, up 4)
    WS Game 4 - 7th inning against 9-1-2-3 (down 1), stayed for 8th against 4-5-6-7-8 (tie game)
    WS Game 3 - 6th inning against 2-3-4-5 (down 1)
    WS Game 2 - 7th inning against 7-8-9 (up 2)
    WS Game 1 - 6th inning against 6-7-8 (up 2)
    ALCS Game 4 - 5th inning against 4-5-6 (tie game)
    ALCS Game 3 - 8th inning against 8 hitter (2 out, 1 on, up 6)
    ALCS Game 1 - 5th inning against 9-1-2 (down 2), stayed for 6th against 3-4-5-6-7 (HBP, error, single leads to run, takes the loss)
    ALDS Game 2 - 2nd inning against 2 hitter (2 out, 2 on, down 3), stayed for 3rd against 3-4-5-6, stayed for 4th against 7-8-9 (one hit, no runs allowed)

    So he started his post-season as the first out of the pen after Price flamed out, continued as mostly a bottom of the order guy until about halfway through the World Series.
     
  2. chrisfont9

    chrisfont9 Member SoSH Member

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    4,189
    Here’s the earlier post. Do these machinations call for a particular style of pitching? I guess the swing-and-miss guys play well in these circumstances but I’m not sure it rules out others. Maybe the sinker-heavy ground ball-reliant pitchers?

    I’d add, with Barnes and Brasier pitching in a World Series, they’ve been through some pretty high-leverage experiences now. If you think their stuff plays well in the type of baseball Gray Eagle describes, they’ve been tested now too.
     
  3. Dewey'sCannon

    Dewey'sCannon Well-Known Member Silver Supporter

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    555
    The question is - how much is DD willing to pay for insurance? I think it's clear that they have some level of comfort with the in-house options with Barnes and Brasier, and maybe seeing Lakins and Feltman on the horizon. So it may not just be a question of AAV, but years, and not wanting to commit salary dollars for 2020 and 2021 when he knows that he has higher priorities (X in '19 and Betts in '20, for example).

    MLBTR projected Robertson and Britton to each get 3/33, Ottavino at 3/30 and Miller at 3/27 (which is where they also had Kelly). So it might not be just whether DD is willing to spend $9-11m for someone with "closer" experience - it might also be that he doesn't want to go three years. He might be more willing to spend a little more to see if someone will take a one-year deal, which would give more time to assess the in-house options. But I don't know that any of these four would likely bite at a one-year deal (especially given their ages) - at least not now, until they know they can't get what they want on a multi-year deal; Britton might be most likely, since a healthy year as a closer might bump his value back up significantly.

    But I think all of this plays into why DD is taking a patient approach to this. I don't think he feels desperate enough too jump in at the current asking prices, and maybe he doesn't see a lot of difference between these FA options, so he's content to see if the price (in dollars or years) falls.
     
  4. Pozo the Clown

    Pozo the Clown lurker

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    656
    Per the article linked below:
    According to a major league source, Los Angeles out-bid the Red Sox by a significant margin, with Boston never willing to go past two years for the 30-year-old reliever. The Dodgers deal ultimately landed at three years, $25 million. The annual average value of the two years proposed by the Sox also isn't believed to reach the level of Los Angeles' commitment.

    https://weei.radio.com/blogs/rob-bradford/red-sox-offer-joe-kelly-comes-focus
     
  5. HangingW/ScottCooper

    HangingW/ScottCooper Member SoSH Member

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    1,925
    Joe Kelly was borderline for the post season roster. Cora acknowledged that but ultimately said, "I don't want to leave 100 mph in the clubhouse".
     
  6. Savin Hillbilly

    Savin Hillbilly loves the secret sauce SoSH Member

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    I'm not sure I disagree with his points, but I might question their significance relative to the basic job of getting outs. And anyway, saying the 9th inning is harder than the 8th or 7th is not the same as saying that you need to have pitched the 9th before to do it well now. Every closer (well, presumably nearly every closer) was once something else -- either a starting pitcher or a non-closing reliever.
     
  7. effectivelywild

    effectivelywild Member SoSH Member

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    Wrong. Craig Kimbrel sprang from his mother's womb holding a baseball with a knuckle curve grip, demanding to be instituted as a closer. The delivery doctor wisely noted that he was tipping his pitches.
     
  8. Mike F

    Mike F Mayor of Fort Myers Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Would it be politically incorrect to ask how did he get that baseball?
     
  9. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

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    Marciano assures is one ball is filled with pee and one with semen, so maybe dad had three?
     
  10. Plympton91

    Plympton91 bubble burster SoSH Member

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    i Was looking at Brad Brach. Had a really good finish after escaping Baltimore, he might end up a bargain. M

    There was an interview with DD last week on mlb radio where he effectively said what DeweysCannon posted above. The see more quality relievers than there are teams looking for closers, and so they are comfortable waiting for the music to stop and see who got left out.
     
  11. uncannymanny

    uncannymanny Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    5,730
    The type of pitcher this team should be looking for short term should maximize their coverage and overall talent in the outfield. Doubly so considering the IF personnel for the near future. HR/FB, LD%, XBH% seem like good indicators to look at for a pitcher on this roster.
     
  12. chawson

    chawson Well-Known Member Bronze Supporter

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    Brach would suit me fine. He had an absurdly unlucky first half and high BABIP from an awful O’s team. Still throws 95. Seems like he’d fill the Carson Smith void exactly.
     
  13. Savin Hillbilly

    Savin Hillbilly loves the secret sauce SoSH Member

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    I can't say I'm in love with the fact that Brach's K rate has gone down and walk rate his gone up for two straight years. OTOH, if MLBTR is right that he can be had for 2/$12M, that's not an unreasonable price for a guy with late-inning experience.
     
  14. Smiling Joe Hesketh

    Smiling Joe Hesketh All Hail King Boron Dope

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    BAL's defense was historically terrible this year; it's hardly a surprise that Brach's hit rate dropped from 11.5 to 8.4 once traded to Atlanta in July.
     
  15. bosox0192

    bosox0192 lurker

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    Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that Erasmo Ramirez is nearing a minor league deal with the Red Sox.
     
  16. chawson

    chawson Well-Known Member Bronze Supporter

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    Erasmo has been quietly effective in the past and is not old, and the cutter he added in 2017 makes him slightly more interesting. Not a terrible depth move if his shoulder's healthy again and he can recover the 2-3 mph of velocity he lost.

    It might also presage something happening with Brian Johnson or Velazquez. They seem like redundant parts.
     
    #316 chawson, Dec 18, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
  17. Tyrone Biggums

    Tyrone Biggums nfl meets tri-annually at a secret country mansion SoSH Member

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    I've always liked Ramirez's stuff. Lets see if this is the team where he can finally put it all together. He was pretty useful in 2017-2018. If nothing else he should push Hembree off this roster.
     
  18. Savin Hillbilly

    Savin Hillbilly loves the secret sauce SoSH Member

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    Are we looking at the same person? I'm looking at a guy who was pretty mediocre in 2017 and a walking disaster in 2018. He doesn't throw hard, doesn't strike people out, and gives up bombs (2.76 HR/9 this past year, which admittedly is off the charts even for him, but he's been in the mid-1s for most of his career). How on earth does he push Hembree off the roster? Hembree's been better at nearly everything the past few years (the one important exception being BB rate).
     
  19. Tyrone Biggums

    Tyrone Biggums nfl meets tri-annually at a secret country mansion SoSH Member

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    He added a cutter in Tampa thats been pretty effective when he's healthy. Meant to put 2016-17 on that. BB rate is important. Not saying the other numbers for Ramirez are anything to write home about. Just that if you're getting the Tampa version of him he's not a bad pen depth guy.
     
  20. Red(s)HawksFan

    Red(s)HawksFan Member SoSH Member

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    A veteran player signing a minor league deal with an invitation to camp should never be viewed as a presage to something happening with a guy on the major league roster. Ever. It's adding depth by flinging stuff at the wall to see what might stick and nothing more.

    It was silly when it was suggested last week (not by you, I don't think) that signing Gorkys Hernandez to a minor league deal portended a JBJ trade, and it's silly now to think that signing Ramirez is anything more than a simple depth signing making zero implications about the existing roster.
     
  21. chawson

    chawson Well-Known Member Bronze Supporter

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    Gorkys is 32 next year and no threat to replace an existing fourth OF (which we don't have), let alone a first-division center fielder. Erasmo is the same age as Johnson and younger than Velazquez, two swingmen on the 40-man that his production would replicate if he's healthy (possibly three if you include Wright). None of those guys is a late inning reliever, and we're not going to carry four swingmen on the 40-man. Because Johnson and Velazquez have multiple years of team control, they may have some actual trade value. Johnson is also out of options.

    I'm not saying it will happen, but it could, and he's young enough to take a shot. If he doesn't recover the velocity after his shoulder injury, his career is probably over.
     
    #321 chawson, Dec 18, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
  22. Red(s)HawksFan

    Red(s)HawksFan Member SoSH Member

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    If he was signed to the 40-man roster, I'd agree that he might be redundant with Johnson and Velazquez. But on a minor league deal, he can start the year in Pawtucket, perhaps even in their rotation. His only impact on Johnson and Velazquez would be if he a) is fully healthy and b) significantly out-performs them in spring training. Yes it could happen, but I don't think it's anything to consider at this stage.
     
  23. chawson

    chawson Well-Known Member Bronze Supporter

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    1,324
    I basically agree with this. I think I'm looking at DD's moves the last year or so with an eye toward asset-building, since he's handicapped by the LT and a lack of valuable prospects. I think that's what he tried to do by extending Vazquez while doggedly keeping Swihart all season— if Vaz could have built on his strong second half of 2017 last year, he's a good trade chip this offseason, probably fetching more than Yan Gomes did for Cleveland.

    I don't see the Sox carrying Wright, Hembree, Johnson, and Workman — all back-end out-of-options relievers — on the 25-man roster all year. I think among that set, Brian Johnson's five years of team control and *squints* league average ERA- is probably the most attractive to an NL team (and least playable in the AL East), though I doubt he'd fetch much on his own.
     
    #323 chawson, Dec 18, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
  24. charlieoscar

    charlieoscar Member

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    1,204
    Hembree and Sox avoid arbitration: $1,312,500.
     
  25. simplicio

    simplicio Well-Known Member Gold Supporter

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  26. Al Zarilla

    Al Zarilla Member SoSH Member

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    48,030
    I kinda liked it better when each team was a dictatorship (you’ll play for this amount and like it). Chapman isn’t worth that and Kimbrel shouldn’t be looking for it either. I hope DD finds a way for the big lug to fit in the overall payroll though. He is one of the most exciting players in sports to watch. I think they can figure out and reduce his wildness patches. Hope?
     
  27. OCD SS

    OCD SS Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    That's pretty steep. I think the Sox could probably land Ottavino for closer to the Cardinals' commitment to Miller.

    If Kimbrel's deal will push them through the 2nd CBT Threshold again, wouldn't a safer use of resources be to sign Ottavino & Robertson instead?

    (Edit: Ottavino, not Miller - his contract just serves as a reference for the reliever market)
     
    #327 OCD SS, Dec 23, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
  28. Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat

    Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat has big, douchey shoulders Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    31,070
    Miller signed with the Cards and Miller + Robertson will cost more than Kimbrel. Am I missing something?
     
  29. Red(s)HawksFan

    Red(s)HawksFan Member SoSH Member

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    I think what he's saying is if they're willing to spend past the cap to bring back Kimbrel, they might as well go for a two-fer and really bolster the pen. I imagine including Miller was just a faux pas.
     
  30. OCD SS

    OCD SS Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Yes, Sorry, I was thinking about Ottavino there.
     
  31. Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat

    Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat has big, douchey shoulders Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    31,070
  32. Plympton91

    Plympton91 bubble burster SoSH Member

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    11,587
    Exciting is one way to describe his appearances during the second half of 2018 and playoffs. Run away. Far away from Kimbrel.
     
  33. Yo La Tengo

    Yo La Tengo Member SoSH Member

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    At this point I see four to six+ teams in the market for a "top" closer: Sox, Angels, Twins, Braves, Cardinals (if they don't see Miller or Hicks in that role), Phillies (supplementing or bumping Dominguez down), plus I wouldn't be surprised to see the Nationals and/or Yankees jump in if there are deals to be had.

    Available options include Ottavino, Robertson, Kimbrel, and Britton followed by Cody Allen, Kelvin Herrera, and Greg Holland. I'd prefer the Sox get one of the first four but they don’t jump in on the top relievers I’d like to see them take a flier on one of those latter guys.

    All this is to say that the Sox should keep waiting it out.
     
  34. BornToRun

    BornToRun Member SoSH Member

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    When the offseason started I figured that the likelihood of Craig coming back stood at around 10%. Now, I’m inching closer to 50/50 with us and the Phillies as the only teams that seem to be showing any real interest.

    I want him back more than anybody and I could live with 4/70, hell you’d probably get me to bite on 5/80~ but that’s more because I’m a total fanboy for the dude. I know he gave us a collective heart attack during October but he looked a lot better after getting the pitch tipping issue sorted . His 2018 was very good, if rocky at times, and you have to remember that he didn’t really have a spring and was managing some off the field concerns as well. It was only just a year ago that he was virtually untouchable and won AL reliever of the year.
     
    #334 BornToRun, Dec 23, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
  35. bosockboy

    bosockboy Member SoSH Member

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    When the dust settles Kimbrel might fall to around 4/50. If you could get two of Ottavino/Robertson/Britton for 3/30 each I’d rather go with two.
     
  36. OCD SS

    OCD SS Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Here’s another idea based on a discussion I had with a friend: is it viable to sign a reliever to longer term contract at higher guaranteed money, but ultimately with a lower AAV?

    Hypothetically signing Ottavino to something like $50M/ 6 years is still less than they’re talking about paying Kimbrel, with money left over to throw at Robertson, however I don’t think it’s enough AAV savings to keep them under the second tier of the CBT.
     
  37. Murby

    Murby lurker

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    317
    The whole BJ Ryan experiment has scarred me and I'm not an O's fan. I always take two quality over one very good, unless the very good is elite. Kimbrel would be worth taking that chance on, but given the loss of Kelly, I would rather split that over two arms.
     
  38. Red(s)HawksFan

    Red(s)HawksFan Member SoSH Member

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    It really only works from the perspective of staying under the CBT. If you're a GM (or a team owner), other than squeezing under the CBT, committing to a player for that long is a bigger risk than paying a little more on a short term deal. I suppose if they front-load the deal so that the bulk of the actual salary is paid out in the first half of the contract, it might be viable. Something like spacing out the $50M as 12-10-10-8-6-4 would make it easier to eat or trade the back end so long as the receiving team isn't concerned about the AAV. That could be something the players' union might object to though.

    From the player's perspective, it really only works if they're not confident of staying at a high level for the length of the deal. If you're Ottavino, you'd have to see something like that as the last contract you'll ever sign so $50M over 6 years isn't that different than $50M over, say, four years plus what he might conceivably earn in years 5 and 6 at age 37/38. But in general, players seem willing to bet they've got one more good contract in them unless they're signing through age 40+.
     
  39. OCD SS

    OCD SS Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I don’t see it that way. The total risk is equivalent to the total guaranteed money owed the player. Spreading that money out distributes the risk over more years, assuming it’s the same; now my scenario complicates that by offering more total money, but the extra money is less than the market rate overall. Likewise, there is no reason to front load the contract to make it more palatable to move; it’s always better for the team to hold the money in its own coffers for as long as possible (OTOH it could conceivably be an incentive to the player, encouraging them to sign, but that’s not relevant here). Assuming it’s a lifetime
    contract, the team can just as easily cut the player at the end or subsidize his salary in a trade; as with most FA contracts they have to hope they got enough surplus on the front end (except perhaps more so).

    Now as to why a player would do this, we are talking about a reliever just hitting FA who realizes that they only have so many bullets, and is looking to secure more guaranteed money now. It’s the same incentive as buying out FA years in an arb contract, just applied to the back end of a deal. A lifetime contract like this offer would set the player for life and allow him the peace of mind that he wouldn’t have to deal with going through another job search.

    Again, this is hypothetical. It could present a way to bring down AAVs in an area the team needs to address, but I’m not sure the extra money is worth it since it doesn’t get them under the CBT threshold.
     
  40. In my lifetime

    In my lifetime Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    And actually in the RS case a long term deal which provides dead money in several years is the exact thing they are looking to avoid. This coming year they will be a 2nd time offender. However, sometime from 2020 -2022, the RS are going to want to reset the penalty to avoid the largest penalties or at the very least minimize how far they go over, so the greater % penalty is on much less money. It is much less expensive to go over every other year by 20 MM then by 10 MM every year. Teams can't perfectly game this, but it does provide a team incentive for larger one year contracts vs. long contracts where there is likely to be a good deal of dead money at the end.
     
  41. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    BJ Ryan was as close to elite as you can get for 3 years and the Orioles weren't the ones who paid him. Toronto gave him the big contract. Elite for 1 year, good for 1 year and shit the other 2.
     
  42. Van Everyman

    Van Everyman Member SoSH Member

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    And released for the last one? It was 5/$55M IIRC.
     
  43. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    5/47 and yes.
     
  44. Van Everyman

    Van Everyman Member SoSH Member

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    16,994
    Thanks, it’s been awhile.
     
  45. reggiecleveland

    reggiecleveland sublime Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    JP Ricciardi was in the NESN booth when BJ first got hurt. He ran out on Don and Jerry to see if he was okay (he wasn't). I remember Jerry saying he would not want to be JP if BJ Ryan was going to miss the year. Funny looking back JP signed Aj Burnett, Benji Molina, and Ryan who all did about as well as expected, including Ryan being good for only two years and to this day those signings are touted as to why JP needed to get fired.
     
  46. Danny_Darwin

    Danny_Darwin Member SoSH Member

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  47. ehaz

    ehaz Member SoSH Member

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    Well, there was also that atrocious Vernon Wells extension.
     
  48. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

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    In fairness, he did an impressive job of unloading that on the Angels.
     
  49. BornToRun

    BornToRun Member SoSH Member

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    So I’m starting to lean towards Craig coming back being more likely than not. Here’s my thinking and I’m curious as to how others see things. It seems as though us and the Phillies are the only teams that have showed any legitimate interest in our bird-posed, bearded warrior of the 9th as his market never quite seemed to develop.

    Initial asks of 6/100+ gave way to the 5/90~ range with speculation that the Red Sox would be interested in a reunion at somewhere around 4/70. My concern, as Craig’s chief cheerleader, was that the Phillies losing out on Machado, which it appears they’re going to, would lead to a re-allocation of funds towards Dirty Craig in an offer that Boston couldn’t match or beat.

    Now here’s why my opinion has slipped into “I think him coming back is more likely than not.” territory for the first time this offseason:

    The Phillies are being linked to Dallas Keuchel but are apparently unwilling to go 5 years. My guess is that if they’re not willing to go 5 years for the best starter left on the market then they’re not going to go that far for a closer. I think any offers made by us and the Phils are likely to be close and, at that point, I think the advantage lies with the team he’s played the last three seasons and just won a ring with.

    My prediction: Craig Kimbrel returns to the Red Sox on a 4 year, 70-75 million dollar deal that has some sort of vesting option that could push it to 5/85-90.
     
  50. Danny_Darwin

    Danny_Darwin Member SoSH Member

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    It wasn't him. AA was the GM by then.
     

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