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Let's get reasonable (moderate improvements to the roster)

Discussion in 'Red Sox Forum' started by Snodgrass'Muff, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. Snodgrass'Muff

    Snodgrass'Muff oppresses WARmongers Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    Sure, it's more fun to speculate on the big improvements that might happen in the winter, but Dombrowski has also shown he is fairly adept at bringing in more moderate additions to the roster (Brad Ziegler, Addison Reed, Doug Fister, Mitch Moreland, Chris Young, Rajai Davis, Eduardo Nunez, Fernando Abad, Aaron Hill).

    So absent, or even ancillary to the big moves we are expecting (hoping for) this winter, what kinds of less exciting but still important acquisitions are we expecting to see? 1B, 2B and the bullpen seem like the most obvious areas for these kinds of deals. Maybe the OF, too.

    First Base:

    There were some suggestions in the crazy thread for names like Logan Morrison. Morrison likely just had a career year, but if the price is reasonable he'd be a fine Moreland replacement if they can't or won't slot in a significant upgrade. Most of his production came in the first half, but he hit 38 HR. Expecting 20 HR, a .330 OBP and a .450 SLG is probably reasonable going forward. So maybe a league average player overall, with decent pop.

    Speaking of Moreland, could he be had for another 1/5 deal? His awful July probably shot his free agent value in the foot (yeah, that pun is intended. I'm hilarious).

    Lucas Duda would probably be an improvement over Moreland, but will certainly cost more. Still, shouldn't be too bad of a contract. Same with Carlos Santana. Duda is 1B/DH only. Santana played a few games in RF last year, so maybe he could back up LF in 2018? He's obviously not going to spend any more time at 3B in his career.

    Mike Napoli should be cheap but even with his 28 HR, he hit significantly worse than Moreland overall. Probably not a real option.

    Second Base:

    Eduardo Nunez seems like a great target if he's healthy. He appears to be built to hit in Fenway and would provide a replacement for Holt who would offer less defensive capability but much more offensive upside. He's likely getting something in the neighborhood of 10M AAV over multiple years, though, so this might depend on what big moves are made first.

    Howie Kendrick might be too expensive as Pedroia insurance (and an early replacement), and he might not be willing to sign somewhere he isn't guaranteed a starting job.

    Chase Utley would probably sign such a deal and wouldn't be too expensive. He's a league average hitter at this point, and doesn't play exceptional defense. My personal objection to him aside, he might be a good fit for the roster.

    Neil Walker is only going to be 32 next year but is likely looking for a full time role. He's played a tiny bit of 3B and 1B in his career, but he's not really a Holt or Nunez type, so I don't think he makes sense for that kind of role, even if he can be promised 500 PAs.

    Bullpen:

    Bryan Shaw could also have had a career year, but could also be a legitimate breakout. His improvement isn't as dramatic as Morrison's, relative to the rest of his career, though it is significant. Again, if the price isn't too gaudy, and it shouldn't be, he might make for a fine Reed replacement, assuming he won't resign.

    Speaking of Addison Reed, what would he cost to retain? He's coming off of a 1 year 7.75M deal and has had two strong seasons (at least in results) in a row. Maybe 2/10? Probably more than they'd spend to keep him.

    Sergio Romo might be a decent addition as a middle reliever. He's obviously lost a tick, but he shouldn't be too expensive. Just came off of a 1/3M deal.

    Anthony Swarzak had an excellent year and has been good in 2 of the last 3 seasons. He might be available for a contract like Abad's (1/2M).

    There's not a lot on the reliever market to get excited about, though. And the pen has plenty of MR options, so they might not be too active here.

    Outfield:

    The addition of Bryce Brentz to the 40 man opens the door for him replacing Chris Young, though he's more likely going to be trade bait. Even still, at league minimum and having legit 30 HR power, he could be a solid 4th outfielder. He's not likely to be better than league average at the plate overall at the major league level, but if he can be Moreland with more home run pop, that's not bad.

    Nori Aoki is a league average bat, but there is no home run power there. He still swipes a few bags, though. His platoon split was stronger against right handed pitchers last year, though for his career he's dead even at 105 wRC+ against both. His contract last year was 1/5.5M.

    Curtis Granderson is a league average bat but can still go deep at least as well as Moreland did last year. he's coming off of a 4/60M deal, but won't get paid like that again. Maybe 2/20?

    Jon Jay is another league average bat with defensive versatility (can play anywhere in the outfield), but with no power or speed left, and three players capable of playing CF on the roster already, he probably isn't even worth a modest contract to the Sox.

    They could bring Rajai Davis back on the cheap, but as a speed only weapon (can't really hit anymore) at the plate, they're better off picking up someone like him (or him again) at the deadline for the stretch run and the playoffs.

    Michael Brantley may be available and willing to sign a "I'm healthy!" deal. His talent is undeniable. His ability to stay on the field is not.

    I'm sure there are plenty of other options on the free agent market, and there are probably plenty of trade targets who fit this mode of thinking as well.
     
  2. BJBossman

    BJBossman lurker

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    I like Bradley and Moreland at 1B and DH.

    Keeps the D, doesn't cost an arm and a leg, high upside (with Brantley) and gives you a good shot at Hanley's option not vesting.

    I'd love to bring Reed back.
     
  3. Minneapolis Millers

    Minneapolis Millers Member SoSH Member

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    A status quo offseason of resigning Moreland (another 1 year deal) and Nunez (pillow/get&stay healthy deal) wouldn't be so bad. I like keeping Hanley off first and value Nunez's versatility and well-rounded offensive game.

    If they want to try to upgrade on Moreland, that's fine. I like Santana. Don't like LoMo, who's unlikely to repeat last year's numbers and doesn't have the best clubhouse rep.

    I'd love taking a flyer on Bradley but I don't know where we'd play him enough for him to sign with us.

    I'd like another BP arm. Reed will get more than 2/$10 - somebody will sign him to close and give him more like $8-10M per year to do it.
     
  4. BJBossman

    BJBossman lurker

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    yeah, he'd have to be willing to DH to fit with us.

    But I agree with you on both Santana and Brantley.
     
  5. DrewDawg

    DrewDawg Dorito Dink SoSH Member

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    Do you mean 2 at $10m each? Or do you think he’d take less than the 7.75 he just made?

    I read 2/10 has 10 total.
     
  6. johnnywayback

    johnnywayback Member SoSH Member

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    Pretty good rundown. The one thing I'd add is that, as you note, they have a ton of middle relievers -- but very little LH depth. Scott is okay, Abad was decent in low-leverage situations, Ross may be gone, and that's really it.

    Tony Watson is a free agent, as is Jake McGee, if you're looking for a guy who's had some high-leverage experience. You could also look at Brian Duensing. If you wanted someone who could potentially start, you might see if Francisco Liriano fails to get a guaranteed starting spot somewhere and make a play for him.

    But the guy I want is Mike Minor, who just declined his option in Kansas City. He was a promising starter in Atlanta until he got hurt and missed two years. Then he came back as a reliever with the Royals and was fantastic -- 9th among all relievers in WAR, and held lefties to a 163/228/196 line.

    MLB Trade Rumors says he'll get 4/$28m, which might put him out of our price range. But if we have some cash left over after buying a bat, he'd be a great guy to pair with Smith and Kelly in the 7th/8th inning mix.
     
  7. simplicio

    simplicio Well-Known Member Gold Supporter

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    Given the lack of LHR past Scott (Jerez? Anyone else?), seems like Mike Minor could fill a hole.

    Edit: well now I feel redundant.
     
  8. pinkunicornsox

    pinkunicornsox lurker

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    I am wondering if Kelly might be gone in order to save more money for that big bat. While he put up a decent era, his fip and xfip both suggest he is more of a middle reliever, which as noted above the Sox have a ton of. Further while his k rate is decent his walk rate is high. Austin Maddox is one guy who can step into Kelly's role at a fraction of the price. He only pitched 17 innings last season and he is unlikely to ever become a high leverage reliever, but I could see him be a decent middle reliever going forward.

    Should note he only pitched 17 innings in the majors.
     
  9. grimshaw

    grimshaw the new rudy SoSH Member

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    I was on the Santana bandwagon earlier because he was having a down year. He figured things out in the second half, so he won't be quite as cheap, but I think he's the smartest and safest choice.

    I don't want to spend more than a few million on the pen, because they are one of the few teams with depth, but I'd take a shot on Romo again. He was great after coming over to the Rays and won't get a long term deal. They can always get help at the deadline if need be.

    If Kendrick slips through the cracks and is less than Nunez I think I'd prefer him since he probably wouldn't get 3 years.

    I'm done with Moreland. 1b is the easiest position and greatest need to upgrade - so. . . upgrade.
     
  10. Doooweeeey!

    Doooweeeey! Well-Known Member Bronze Supporter SoSH Member

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    Good points @johnnywayback. With Scott having had elbow surgery, I think it makes sense to look at adding some depth there. There's a decent amount of risk that Scott doesn't return to his level of value.

    That said, with Sale and Pom and Eddie pitching from the same side, I don't think the team has to be extremely deep from the LH side in relief. Probably need just a "reliable loogy," right?
     
  11. MikeM

    MikeM Member SoSH Member

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    Brantley is potentially interesting as LF only option, but really only in a scenario that has a lot of moving pieces around it and sees one of Beni/Bradley get traded. Otherwise he's simply not offering enough help towards the overall need to add more power imo. I mean even in the more simplified down lineup tweak where DD might decide that our lineup just isn't strong enough to risk carrying Jackie's too streaky bat again, Brantley really isn't the fill-in type that would support that.

    Logan Morrison is another potential option I'm pretty skeptical on. His 2017 just looks too fluky, and the fall from a "reasonable 3/$36m" now to what essentially will be dead money nobody would trade for latter is probably a rather fast and short one once any notably amount of regression hits.

    Duda probably ends up being interesting in the conservative approach this winter if/when he comes cheap. Or at least I like his offensive upside over Moreland, and the accompanying possibility that it pushes Hanley out of a full time DH role (where you might as well just be exercising his 2019 option now).
     
  12. ehaz

    ehaz Member SoSH Member

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    Huston Street was just released by the Angels. Has missed a ton of time the last two seasons but could be a low cost, high upside signing.
     
  13. Ale Xander

    Ale Xander Member SoSH Member

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    A great hitting coach will be the best reasonable move at improvement. And Roenicke is a great hire at bench.

    Farrell to Cora is a great move too.

    All inexpensive ways to improve

    The roster is very solid even now. At least after June 1, for sure.

    As has been said, 1B is the easiest position to fill.
     
  14. MikeM

    MikeM Member SoSH Member

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    Jay Bruce is probably another name worth listing under outfield too, given he might not be a slam dunk to see a great market.

    It's not a super sexy upgrade, and the people in love with our outfield defense probably wouldn't like it, but it is fitting the bill as a visible option that adds more power to our lineup.
     
  15. BJBossman

    BJBossman lurker

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    MLBTR reporting that Brantley's option was picked up.

    I'm sad, but not devastated.
     
  16. plucy

    plucy Member SoSH Member

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    Brandon Belt is supposedly available as SF has soured on him due to injuries and Buster dislikes him (Fangraphs ran a story earlier on the year about Posey glaring at him on the field). He missed about a third of the season due to concussion but has been cleared by doctors now). He is due 4/64 with about a $14.5 AAV. Primarily a CF-RF hitter.
    Belt has put up three 4+ fWAR seasons in the last six, has changed his approach to emphasize FBs (over 46% in 17). He's never hit over 18 HRs, but AT&T will do that to LHHs. He's a good fielder, great discipline, good hitter.
    As for a trade it will depend how SF values Belt. SF needs a CF, but JBJ straight up is too much. Maybe we include Marrero for Panik in the deal, or Kelly for Crick to save some cash.
    I like the Bruce idea to platoon with Brentz, maybe even Castillo.
     
  17. ehaz

    ehaz Member SoSH Member

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    I don’t think JBJ straight up is that much of an overpay. Outside of this year, Brandon Belt has been a better player than Hosmer and Eric Hosmer will easily double the $64M owed to Belt in FA. Imagine if you could get SF to take Hanley’s contract to free up some cash for a certain RHH OF/DH...
     
  18. pinkunicornsox

    pinkunicornsox lurker

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    I floated the idea of a JBJ for Belt trade to my Giants friend in June. The Giants need a center fielder and they need to get younger. JBJ would accomplish both of those. That being said, Belt finished the season on the DL due to concussions and he has had four of them. I don't want to touch Belt unless he is fully healthy and there is no way to know that unless he plays baseball.
     
  19. johnnywayback

    johnnywayback Member SoSH Member

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    Belt seems like a really bad fit. Not a lot of power, and his power is to the exact part of the ballpark that swallows fly balls in Fenway. Are we sure he’s any better than the guys we could get for much less money and no players?
     
  20. Red(s)HawksFan

    Red(s)HawksFan Member SoSH Member

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    Easy now, this is the moderate thread. I think any notion of getting a team to take Hanley without subsidy firmly belongs in the crazy thread. :)

    Admittedly I don't follow the goings-on in San Francisco very closely, but where can one find these rumors about a Posey-Belt rift and are they legitimate? Because one incident of one glaring at the other doesn't necessarily mean that one has to go. Short of a wholesale rebuild (which is possible but not necessary for the Giants), I don't see why they would trade Belt this winter. There are already rumors that they'll be in on the Stanton sweepstakes, which doesn't sound like something a rebuilding team would do.

    Belt would be a decent get (though I think Fenway could be just as detrimental to his HR numbers as AT&T), but if the Giants are moving him as part of a rebuild, I think they'll be looking for prospects rather than MLB players which might rule the Red Sox out of the bidding.

    Ultimately, I think I come down on the side of going reasonable at 1B with re-signing Moreland or going after Duda if the bidding doesn't get too crazy. It's not a spot where the big ticket guys represent a good value.
     
  21. PapaSox

    PapaSox lurker

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    For 1B I'd like to bring back Moreland for 1/$8-10, sign Nunez (2B/3B) if the knee is actually okay, possible J.J. Hardy (2B/SS), Austin Jackson (OF) and Alex Cobb as we can use another proven AL East arm in the rotation - cover loss of ERod and be around when Porcello's contract ends or Price walks.

    Edit: Pen has plenty of arms with some major returns from injury (Smith and later Thornburg)
     
  22. simplicio

    simplicio Well-Known Member Gold Supporter

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    The JJ Hardy that hasn't had a WRC+ of 100 or more since 2011, and has been at 50 and 51 two of the last three seasons? We already have the better version of that in Deven Marrero.
     
  23. plucy

    plucy Member SoSH Member

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  24. Red(s)HawksFan

    Red(s)HawksFan Member SoSH Member

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    Ok, so that blog quotes a long time Giants beat writer who lists a couple incidents between the two but also says "I do not think this is a big deal". Hardly seems like things are untenable and a trade is needed. It's a couple teammates with different personalities...every roster has those.
     
  25. plucy

    plucy Member SoSH Member

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    Maybe not untenable but a clubhouse culture effect. SFG went from WS champions to dregs in three years. Most of it was roster construction from FAs and aging, and lack of prospect growth (hmm, sounds familiar).
     
  26. Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat

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

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    What sounds familiar?
     
  27. E5 Yaz

    E5 Yaz Transcends message boarding Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Sounds like the Red Sox, currently suffering the dregs of back-to-back division titles
     
  28. plucy

    plucy Member SoSH Member

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    I was thinking about the Sox from 14 to midseason 15. WS victory, then injured veterans, prospects struggled. Quick fall from grace for a champion. SF took a little longer, but surprised me (in Giants' territory).
     
  29. Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat

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

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    And the fact that they haven't had a prospect pan out in years.
     
  30. Snodgrass'Muff

    Snodgrass'Muff oppresses WARmongers Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    2013 really screwed with people's perceptions.
     
  31. Tyrone Biggums

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

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    I’ll take Minor and Hosmer. With Edro not being ready until the middle of the year you can perhaps get him cheaper by signing him with the understanding he can compete for a rotation spot. Hosmer it’s self explanatory. Team needs a 1B. Hosmer is good and he’s 28.
     
  32. jon abbey

    jon abbey Shanghai Warrior Dope SoSH Member

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    You know Minor was a reliever this year, right? He hasn't started a big league game since getting hurt in 2014 and he threw 78 innings this year, I don't think he's a rotation option.
     
  33. Tyrone Biggums

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

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    Been speculated that he wants to start again
     
  34. jon abbey

    jon abbey Shanghai Warrior Dope SoSH Member

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  35. tonyarmasjr

    tonyarmasjr Member SoSH Member

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    Santana is the only 1B option I'd be interested in spending any money on. That's assuming he gets significantly less than Hosmer. Aside from him, I'd prefer they wait out that market and sign one of the guys (Moreland, Duda, Morrison, Alonso, Frazier) who doesn't land a bigger deal. I don't think any of them are a great bet to out-produce the others, so sign one on the cheap. Bryce Brentz makes for a conveniently cheap replacement for Young. I'd like to see them spend that money to bring Nunez back. Brentz was reportedly taking reps at 1B the second half of last year. The two of them along with Gonzalez/Marrero/Holt could make for quite a versatile bench with a couple guys who could actually hit a baseball. I mean, the 2017 Sox gave 1000+ PAs to a group of guys who topped out at a .667 OPS with a combined 15 HRs (though Leon's 301 PA/.644 OPS/7 HR line may not be going anywhere). Giving a couple hundred of those PAs to Nunez is the easiest way to moderately upgrade the offense via personnel changes. It not only improves the stat line, but effectively stretches out the lineup by filling a black hole. With Pedroia's injury, finding another utility player or 2B who can provide some offense could make some sense. I don't believe any of Gonzalez/Holt/Marrero can be expected to be that.
     
  36. Red(s)HawksFan

    Red(s)HawksFan Member SoSH Member

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    According to Pete Abraham, when the Red Sox announced he'd not be pitching for six months, they meant pitching in big league games in six months. He's expected back in April, not mid-season.

     
  37. Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat

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

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    Okay, I'll bite. Should I know who Gonzalez is?
     
  38. Tyrone Biggums

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

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  39. keninten

    keninten lurker

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    Hernandez I`ll bet
     
  40. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

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    I’m assuming he meant Marco Hernandez.
     
  41. Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat

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

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    25,187
  42. Buzzkill Pauley

    Buzzkill Pauley Member SoSH Member

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    C’mon, man. They all look the same. Gonzalez, Hernandez, Ramirez, Nunez...who can really keep track?

    They all end in ‘z’ for criminey sake!
     
  43. MikeM

    MikeM Member SoSH Member

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    If we are going to fill the depth need at 2B through free agency, I don't think we are left with much choice other then a wait and see approach at who struggles to land a full year starting gig elsewhere. Which definitely eliminates Nunez right off the bat, and I guess has us hoping that guy is either Kendrick or Walker on short money. If neither of them fall I'm not sure somebody like Utley is really worth it over praying to catch lightning in a bottle with what we already have.

    I have my doubts that we can retain Reed without paying too high a market price, but I wouldn't be against paying a little extra there (on the reasonable side) with Kimbrel due to walk for stupid $$$ I want no part of paying out after the season.
     
  44. tonyarmasjr

    tonyarmasjr Member SoSH Member

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    Hmmm...Gonzalez would be the Marco I've called multiple times this week for work. I guess it doesn't go away at 5:00...my mistake.
     
  45. soxeast

    soxeast lurker

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    Just two players on the OP list I'm interested with. The best being Santana. He's a good player.

    Also- this is more of a question - what about Neil Walker? Can he play 1b? If not how much to get him to be a 2b and possibly part-time dh? Hits rh pitching pretty well.
     
  46. Savin Hillbilly

    Savin Hillbilly loves the secret sauce SoSH Member

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    I think JBJ for Belt would be a solid deal for the Sox if they sign Martinez. Yes, Fenway would suppress Belt's power a bit, though not as much as AT&T. So he's still probably just a low-20s HR hitter in a Sox uniform. But thanks to high walk rates, BABIPs and doubles totals (not surprising when you look at his batted-ball numbers), he has had wRC+ numbers of 132, 137 and (in an injury year) 119 in the past three years despite HR numbers in the teens. He's just a flat-out good hitter. On top of that, he's a very good defender both by reputation and by the numbers (DRS of 8, 9, 11 for the past three years). He's a significantly better player than Hosmer, and at least as good as (and two years younger than) Santana.

    If MLBTR is right that Santana can be had for as little as 3/45, then that's probably the way to go, but that seems like a serious underpay for a consistently above-average, two-way player, and if Santana winds up getting something more like 4/70 and we create an OF logjam by signing Martinez, then JBJ-for-Belt would work beautifully.
     
  47. pdub

    pdub Member SoSH Member

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    I'd prefer we either re-sign Moreland for one year, or go for Santana at 3-4 years. I'm adamant we should avoid Hosmer, he had a career year and a fluky BABIP. I'm not convinced we should throw $150M+ at him or whatever its going to take. If we're doing that, I'd rather go for JD Martinez; at least you know he's an elite power hitter.
     
  48. PapaSox

    PapaSox lurker

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    Your correct but I was looking at Marrero as a backup at 3rd. J.J. was nothing more than a filler if Nunez's knee was as bad as it looked and Holt is unable to play like he has in the past. J.J. would hold down 2B while we wait on Pedroia.
     
  49. MikeM

    MikeM Member SoSH Member

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    Santana's market is kind of a hard one to predict (I could see anywhere from 3-5 years), but I'm left guessing the lower end 3 year prediction there is based around the condition that he wants to stay in Cleveland.
     
  50. sean1562

    sean1562 lurker

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    Why do so many people like Santana that much more than Moreland? I def see him as an upgrade but a multiyear deal at $15 mil per year for years 32, 33 and 34 of Carlos Santana?
     

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