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Catch as Catch Can...

Discussion in 'Red Sox Forum' started by Pozo the Clown, Mar 2, 2019.

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Which Catcher Will Not Be Carried on the 25-Man Roster?

  1. Blake Swihart

    32.0%
  2. Sandy Leon

    29.8%
  3. Christian Vazquez

    8.4%
  4. All 3 will be carried just like last year

    29.8%
  1. Plympton91

    Plympton91 bubble burster SoSH Member

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    That’s a really good point. Catcher is far and away the weakest position in the organization. That was one reason they gave for keeping all 3 last year. Nothing has really changed there.
     
  2. nvalvo

    nvalvo Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    Exactly.

    Austin Rei was just okay in Portland as a 24 year old, and Kole Cottam is a long way away, and only barely a prospect. There are a few other fringe-y guys in the organization: Juan Centeno, Jhon Nunez, Oscar Hernandez, Roldani Baldwin, Nick Sciortino. None of these guys are really prospects.

    Our optionable catching depth is so thin, I think we actually need three on the 25-man.
     
  3. YTF

    YTF Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    Due to recent developments, it might be time for DD to see if he might be able to swing something including a catcher for a decent bullpen piece.
     
  4. Red(s)HawksFan

    Red(s)HawksFan Member SoSH Member

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    This assumes that such a deal has been available/possible before and only hasn't happened because Dombrowski think it necessary. I hardly think the difference between trading a catcher for a "decent" bullpen piece and not was the presence of Steven Wright.
     
  5. YTF

    YTF Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    It actually doesn't assume anything other than the the need MAY be greater than it was a couple of days ago. This really has little to do with the fact that it's Steven Wright. A roster spot has opened, in a sense a decision has been made for the team and early accounts (yes it's still early) isn't showing a lot of promise out of a bullpen that went into ST with more than a few question marks. The catching core has limited value, but if Swihart seems to be the odd man out he may hold some value to someone in a utility role. Perhaps there is something else of value to another team in the Sox system that they can pair him up with to bring back a piece.
     
  6. Red(s)HawksFan

    Red(s)HawksFan Member SoSH Member

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    If one of the cachers had enough value to return a decent reliever, even paired with a prospect or a lottery ticket from the system, Dombrowski would have pulled the trigger months ago. The sudden need to replace whatever they may have been counting on Wright to deliver doesn't change that math. That's the only point I'm making.
     
  7. YTF

    YTF Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    And my point being that the Sox now know with 100% certainty that they will be getting absolutely no contribution from Wright for at least half of the season and his roster spot is open. That wasn't the case months ago.
     
  8. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    Funny thing is, I think the Wright news makes it more likely the Sox carry 3 catchers because now they do have the roster spot. As you said, no one hasn't shown much promise out of the bullpen, so why carry an extra arm? Especially in the early going. Maybe that's not the case this year, but usually in April you don't need your 5th starter for the first couple weeks.

    I also think all of our catchers have 0 trade value but would all be easy to trade away for salary relief. Maybe you could get some 18 year old flier in the DSL for Swihart. I think at least one team would give him the chance to fail at catcher. If his splits are real and he is a fringe average bat vs RH, even if he doesn't stick at catcher, he probably has enough value to stick around as a Brock Holt type. He can arguably play every position outside of SS (and has) and can act as a pinch runner. I predicted him to be the next home grown Redsox prospect to be a much better base stealer (based off of trends) at the major league level and he's proven me right so far. The only prospect who has gotten worse stealing bases is Mookie Betts (and Lin, but it's 72 games), but I think that's because he was the only one getting serious volume in the minors. I don't know if this is a player skill, team skill or combination of both. I'm guessing the latter.. Since Swihart is actually pretty fast, I could see his SB totals being significantly higher than they were in the minors.

    Devers: 26/39 SB/SBA, .667 SB% in milb, 5/7, .714 in MLB. (406 ml games, 179 MLB games)
    Bogaerts: 17/33, .515 milb, 49/61, .803 in MLB. (379 , 759)
    Bradley: 35/58, .603 milb, 47/53, .887 in MLB (305, 671)
    Ben10: 26/38, .684 milb, 42/50 .840 in MLB (151, 331)
    Vazquez: 15/25, .600 milb, 11/14 .786 in MLB (546, 291)
    Swihart: 27/40, .675 milb, 10/14 .714 in MLB (421, 191) He was 6/7 in 2018 though.
    Total w/o B: 146/233, .627 milb, 159/192, .828 in MLB (2208, 2422)

    Betts: 92/107, .860 milb, 110/132 .833 in MLB (299, 644)


    It's kind of amazing, really.
     
  9. Lose Remerswaal

    Lose Remerswaal Leaves after the 8th inning Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    You may want to take a moment and look at the early season schedule. You might be surprised by the load!
    If anything, the team will likely carry an extra pitcher, especially with multi inning Steve not available
     
  10. Plympton91

    Plympton91 bubble burster SoSH Member

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    As someone else has been pointing out, one problem with our bullpen was that everyone slated for the pen was out of options and had to either be kept in the majors or cut (except the 2 best remaining relievers). Thus, any reliever added was essentially being acquired in a trade for the one of Johnson/Workman etc who would have to be jettisoned. So independent of Wright’s quality, his absence does free up a space for someone else without options, if that was one reason why they hadn’t signed or traded for somebody like that.
     
  11. nvalvo

    nvalvo Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    I read that it has, and that he's close to baseball activities, but the team wants him in AAA for the year. Fingers crossed.
     
  12. jon abbey

    jon abbey Shanghai Warrior Dope SoSH Member

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    Maldonado signs with KC for 1/2.5 (having turned down a 2/12 deal elsewhere earlier this winter, good job Boras!).
     
  13. YTF

    YTF Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    That elsewhere turns out to be The Houston Astros. Jesus H., from 12 million for two years on a team that will be a serious contender for a world championship to a year at K.C. for 2.5. Nicely done!!!
     
  14. Sprowl

    Sprowl Emile de Becque Dope

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    30,684
    I expect all three catchers to be kept, after an injury comes to the rescue. Regular season opener is weeks away, and no team stays healthy that long (even if it means getting a case of the Hellenic flu).
     
  15. Mueller's Twin Grannies

    Mueller's Twin Grannies Member SoSH Member

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    With the new rules for rosters going into effect this season, I wonder if it changes the discussion on keeping all three. That 26th spot could be an out for not making a trade right away and seeing how the bullpen shakes out early, especially if the pitcher limit is set to 13 or even 12.
     
  16. Ford Frick's Asterisk

    Ford Frick's Asterisk Member SoSH Member

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    There are no new roster rules going into effect this season. 26-man rosters won't be a thing until the 2020 season. The owners would have never allowed such an immediate change to payroll budgets.

    *
     
  17. Mueller's Twin Grannies

    Mueller's Twin Grannies Member SoSH Member

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    Ah, misread the article (what I get for trying to work and read at the same time) and jumped the gun. Thanks.
     
  18. Lose Remerswaal

    Lose Remerswaal Leaves after the 8th inning Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    How much do you think the 26th player is going to add to payroll budgets?
     
  19. YTF

    YTF Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    In theory it's most likely to be an extra bench position or bullpen depth guy, so not much. I'm curious what the plan is (if there is one) to adjust LT thresholds as that will determine this, yes?
     
  20. Lose Remerswaal

    Lose Remerswaal Leaves after the 8th inning Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Good question about luxury tax.

    For the Sox, if the 26th man was the 3rd catcher, it would add about $2 million to the payroll. For other teams I doubt it would be that much
     
  21. Ford Frick's Asterisk

    Ford Frick's Asterisk Member SoSH Member

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    I think it will add an MLB minimum in nearly every case, but if you think that the owners of small market teams or ones toeing a luxury tax or self-imposed budget threshold wouldn't balk at that change just a few weeks before opening day, you're being naive. Other owners would probably also want a larger pool of NRI type free agents to still choose from than what's available at this point. We know whose side the commissioner's office is on... this rule change was never going to be considered for 2019.

    *
     
  22. Plympton91

    Plympton91 bubble burster SoSH Member

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    Taken literally, it’s almost certainly the case that the extra slot will be a minimum slot.

    But I think it’s not that simple. Take the Sox bullpen for instance. Before Wright went down, the Sox had nobody with any options in the pen. So, signing a veteran reliever, say, e.g., Sipp, to a $3 million contract would have meant cutting someone else. Essentially a trade of, say, Workman for Sipp. With a 26th roster spot though, maybe the Sox get an extra veteran reliever.
     
  23. Pozo the Clown

    Pozo the Clown lurker

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    FWIW, from Chad Jennings article in The Athletic:

    "Christian Vazquez – The Red Sox keep talking about three catchers for two spots on the roster, but do we really believe that? This time last year, the team locked Vazquez into a three-year contract extension through the 2021 season, and he responded with the worst offensive season of his career. Can’t imagine that his trade value is high, nor is the Red Sox desire to simply walk away from their commitment. Logically, it seems Vazquez is set. He might be splitting time, but he’s the one catcher I feel confident will be on the roster 10 days from now.

    Sandy Leon – When Salvador Perez got hurt, the Royals actually seemed like the kind of team that might want to trade for a glove-first catcher like Leon. Instead, they signed Martin Maldonado. The fact this winter proved to be a pretty difficult market for catchers — Matt Wieters settled for a minor league deal – probably doesn’t bode well for Leon’s value. Hard to tell if the Red Sox significantly value his defense ahead of…

    Blake Swihart – He’s one of the most popular guys in camp, and one the Red Sox always seem to talk up without actually trusting him to do much of anything. Swihart’s a good athlete who’s having a really nice camp — his .865 OPS ranks behind only Devers and Bradley in terms of big league regulars — but it’s always difficult to tell how much that matters. I’ve started to think Swihart will be the one to make the team instead of Leon, but I can’t articulate why. Just a vague gut feeling that probably means nothing."

    .
     
  24. Lose Remerswaal

    Lose Remerswaal Leaves after the 8th inning Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I expect one of them won't play for 3-4 days in a row near the start of the season and will go in the IL with tendonitis.
     
  25. nvalvo

    nvalvo Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    So Fangraphs has just included a new look at catcher defense in a revaluation of WAR, which has impacts for how they value pitchers.

    They have all three of our catchers as above average in Framing Runs in 2018.
    • Leon was a superlative +13.2 runs in 685 1/3 IP, although that's the best season of his career by the measure.
    • Vazquez had +10.2 runs in 604 IP, and that's in line with his career norms.
    • Swihart was +0.8 runs in 154 IP, which is solid in a small sample.
    If these numbers are meaningful, they confirm for me that Vaz needs to make the team. He has great throwing numbers, great framing numbers, and enough offensive upside that he looks like a lock. We'd have to believe that Swihart was worth a win more than Leon offensively to prefer him, which I think is plausible.

    But as I've already said in this thread, my preference is to keep them all. We don't have the depth to let any of them go.

    (The new look at WAR makes Brian McCann and especially Buster Posey look like probable HOFers FWIW.)
     
  26. chawson

    chawson Well-Known Member Bronze Supporter

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    Some pretty significant realignments here. According to this, Russell Martin has a better HoF case than Yadi Molina, Salvador Perez has had a less valuable career than Martin Maldonado, and poor Ryan Doumit is one of the five worst baseball players of all time.

    In Sox lore terms, I was surprised to see a good chunk of value apportioned to Jarrod Saltalamacchia over 2011-13, though his pitch framing completely fell off the map once he got to Miami in 2014. And it really does seem like Sox brass thought Lester's 2013-14 bounce back was heavily aided by personal catcher David Ross.
     
  27. Al Zarilla

    Al Zarilla Member SoSH Member

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    Posey was well on his way to the Hall of Fame anyway (barring a horrible injury).
     
  28. nvalvo

    nvalvo Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    Thinking more about this, Fangraphs just found ~24 runs of value in the 2018 Sox that had been previously unaccounted for.

    We thought we had a 108 win team with the stats of a 103-ish win team. Well, if this is right, the ++ receiving numbers we got from our catching corps just cut that gap in half.

    Unless I'm confused, and it actually just reallocates that value from the pitchers to the catchers? Help me out.
     
  29. Red(s)HawksFan

    Red(s)HawksFan Member SoSH Member

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  30. teddywingman

    teddywingman Looks like Zach Galifianakis SoSH Member

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    It's a tough, yet admirable situation for the Sox. If it was feasible to carry all three, as they did last season, then that would be my preference. But since the roster is going to be constructed differently, and it seems one needs to go, honestly I wish that guy could be Vazquez.

    Leon's defense in the post season was phenomenal, and I think catching is sometimes underrated for how much value it can add to the pitching staff.

    Swihart is the most athletic and versatile of the three, and his second half was promising. He definitely has the most break out potential.

    I'm not really down on Vazquez either though. Solid defense and occasional random power, but god damn he hit a mountain of weak fly balls last year. I hope he can improve his swing, since he is the one with a contract that aint going anywhere.
     
  31. geoduck no quahog

    geoduck no quahog Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I too am a fan of Leon...specifically due to the praise heaped on him by the pitching staff.

    I also agree that he's no physical specimen and may never hit his weight. Thing is...what has Vazquez proven? That's not a rhetorical question.

    We know he's a better hitter, and faster...but is the difference really substantial? Is he better at preventing stolen bases? Does he have the work ethic, discipline and brains to learn the hitters or recognize a pitcher's problem?

    In short, I agree with Teddy and Leon/Swihart is my preferred platoon.
     
  32. Mueller's Twin Grannies

    Mueller's Twin Grannies Member SoSH Member

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    Leon's under contract through 2021, so his value has to be better than that of a free agent with a severe injury on his resume.

    They probably can't get a good arm for the 'pen in the trade (though that should be the starting point of any negotiation), but they need to do better than minor league filler and/or "deep depth" at any OF or IF position. If they need to throw someone from the minors in to get a deal done for an impact player, I hope DD doesn't shy away just because the cupboards are a little bare down on the farm. Leon's defensive prowess and rep for being a bit of a pitcher whisperer should help too, because that's a rare combination in catchers these days and should be valued as such.

    As recently as a couple months ago, there were still teams looking for an upgrade at catcher even before Perez went down. I'm not sure how many still do but Leon would have to be upgrade for at least a couple clubs that don't have immediate plans to contend but might not be far off. The Astros don't have much going at catcher and a lot of ink has been spilled about how many good prospects they've stockpiled. Oakland's catching situation isn't much better but I'm not sure what they have that they'd be willing to part with since they were a playoff team a year ago. Is it possible the Dodgers would like Leon better than Martin or Barnes? Those were the three teams that were most in need of catching help per an article on MLB.com from January but obviously some things have changed since then. Would Miami be interested after trading away Realmuto?

    Who would the Sox want from any of those teams to upgrade the bullpen?
     
  33. OurF'ingCity

    OurF'ingCity Member SoSH Member

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    I suspect the Sox are exploring trades for all three catchers, and are content to take whatever trade returns the highest value.
     
  34. joe dokes

    joe dokes Member SoSH Member

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    Im OK with Vazquez. He did not dispute Cora's comments that last year (paraphrasing) "either the contract went to his head, or he was trying to prove he deserved it or whatever, but he got away from doing the stuff we signed him for." He's acknowledged it as much this spring and seems at least to be saying all the right things.
    Leon may be the best defense-only catcher, but the other two are good, too, are likely to offer more at the plate and might improve.
     
  35. Rasputin

    Rasputin Will outlive SeanBerry Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    We're not going to get anything substantial for any of them. The best we could probably do is package the catcher with another useful-but-not-that-great player like Brock Holt and get a middle reliever candidate that's better than what we have.

    Much more likely is either a low level lottery pick or some regular depth. It's just the way things work at this time of year.
     
  36. Mueller's Twin Grannies

    Mueller's Twin Grannies Member SoSH Member

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    I would settle for that, though I don't think Holt is going anywhere (he seems like a big glue guy and basically the team mascot, non-Wally edition). Maybe Núñez?

    Would anyone be willing to deal Chavis and Leon for a more proven arm or is the former the long-term solution at 2B?
     
  37. Pozo the Clown

    Pozo the Clown lurker

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    This is incorrect. Leon is signed only through 2019 and is arbitration eligible for 2020.

    Vazquez is signed through 2021 with a club option for 2022.
     
  38. Mueller's Twin Grannies

    Mueller's Twin Grannies Member SoSH Member

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    Rotoworld, citing Buster Olney, says otherwise. So does Spotrac. Where is your info from?
     
  39. chawson

    chawson Well-Known Member Bronze Supporter

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    I’m sure there’s a bullpen guy making similar money who’s out of options that makes sense.

    Package him with Workman to a team with a so-so defensive starting catcher for a guy about to be squeezed out making $3-5 mil (maybe Brandon Kintzler?).
     
  40. Pozo the Clown

    Pozo the Clown lurker

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  41. Red(s)HawksFan

    Red(s)HawksFan Member SoSH Member

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    He's under team control (less than 6 years of service) through next season, then hits free agency for 2021. He is only technically under contract for this year ($2.475M). Even spotrac says so.
     
  42. Mueller's Twin Grannies

    Mueller's Twin Grannies Member SoSH Member

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    So the 2021/UFA means he's a free agent for that season?

    If he's arb 4 next year, wouldn't he be arb 5 for 2021?

    It's odd that baseball experts would have that wrong.
     
  43. Red(s)HawksFan

    Red(s)HawksFan Member SoSH Member

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    Players usually only get three arbitration years (and three pre-arb). Arb-4 is unusual, typically reserved for super-2 players who become arbitration eligible in their third season rather than their fourth. With Leon, it was probably the spell he spent off the 40-man roster in 2016.
     
  44. Mueller's Twin Grannies

    Mueller's Twin Grannies Member SoSH Member

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    Ah, okay. Thanks for the explanation. Still a bit confused how one of the big name baseball writers has it wrong, but that does change the equation if it's just for 2 more years (including this one) and not three.
     
  45. DeadlySplitter

    DeadlySplitter Member SoSH Member

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  46. gedman211

    gedman211 Member SoSH Member

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