Jump to content


Yo! You're not logged in. Why am I seeing this ad?

Photo

2011 Team Outlook


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
13 replies to this topic

#1 BosRedSox5


  • Stuart Smalley devotee


  • 1,260 posts

Posted 18 July 2010 - 10:28 AM

Part of me thought this might be too early since the deadline is two weeks away, but with a 168 million dollar payroll this year, and being over the CBT threshold it seems appropriate. Every move Theo makes will be geared towards making sense now, and for the future, so I wanted to talk about:

1.) How the CBT tax will effect the team next season.
2.) How much payroll flexibility the team will have to add talent next year.
3.) What will be our needs both this season and next.
4.) Who the likely targets are to fill those needs.

Catcher
We don't have a catcher signed for next year. Coming off a year making 7.7 million if we re-sign Victor Martinez it will be at a significant salary increase. He's 31, and using Posada's contract as a rough guide I would hope for just a little over 4 years and 10-11 million a year could get it done.

Jason Varitek is 38, but it's still unsure if he'll retire or try to hang on as a reserve for another year. Dusty Brown and others are in the minors so it seems that we could be set for a reserve either way at a low cost.

First Base

Kevin Youkilis- 12.25 million

Youkilis is a perennial MVP candidate and 1B has plenty of organizational depth. Barring a trade Anthony Rizzo and Lars Anderson are there as possible replacements, VMart can spell Youkilis on occasion and 1B who can hit are among the easiest things to acquire in baseball. I see this as a serious strength for the Sox.


Second Base

Dustin Pedroia- 5.75 million

Like Youkilis, Pedroia is a star player but unlike first base organizational depth is very weak here. Hopefully we can count on Jed Lowrie next season as a supersub, but I would hope Theo stays on the lookout next season for middle infield help in AAA.


Third Base

Adrian Beltre- 10 million (Player Option)

Scott Boras rarely advises his clients to take a player option and after an all-star season like this with good defense and his best season in 6 years it seams so unlikely. Next year's 3B crop is pretty ugly, so I see this as a big question mark for 2011.


Short Stop

Marco Scutaro- 5.5 million

Marco is steady, but he's regressed to the norm. He currently holds a 88 OPS+ which represents his 2008 and 2007 numbers. (Though to be fair he's been forced to lead off for much of the season.) He plays steady defense, and some have suggested he could go back to a supersub kind of roll. Jose Iglesias is still in AA (and coming off an injury) but he has a major league contract worth 2.063. Hopefully he can be ready soon. Organizational depth here seems okay, especially if we can count on Lowrie for some production.


Left Field

Jacoby Ellsbury- Arbitration Eligable

I don't know what Ellsbury will make in arbitration with his numbers the last couple of years, but it should be VERY reasonable. When healthy he's the fastest player on the team, plays good defense in left field and adequate defense in center and right. One would hope Ells can blossom into a better hitter, and one who shows more power... and I think at the cost, and years of control the Red Sox have left, they'll give him every opportunity to contribute.

Jeremy Hermida is arbitration eligible also, and with Nava, Riddick and Kalish we would hope to have sufficient organizational depth.

Center Field

Mike Cameron- 7.75 million

Cameron has had terrible luck this season, and he's turning 38 next year. Even at 75% though, he's been playing at a decent level. Hopefully with the recovery and rehab time Cameron will be able to have one last hurrah next season.

Riddick and Kalish can both play CF, as can Ellsbury and Drew in a pinch so one would think we're okay here.

Right Field

J.D. Drew- 14 million

2011 is the final year of Drew's deal, and hopefully Kalish can hit well enough to take the torch. Drew's been steady if unspectacular. He plays good defense, is an excellent baserunner and he's come up with some clutch hits in the past.

Designated Hitter

David Ortiz- 12.5 million (Club Option)

With the way the DH market has suffered I don't see us picking up that option under any circumstances. I am sure the Red Sox will try and negotiate Ortiz down to about half that option price... they could even try to drive him away with a bad offer and get someone like Adam Dunn /pipedream. When all the dust settles though, Ortiz and the Red Sox mean too much to each other and I think we'll negotiate a possible 3 year extension. Somewhere between 18-21 million overall.

Bench

Catcher's a little bit of a toss up, and I would suspect the Red Sox look for a Ty Wigginton type to fill in at the corners. At second and short we could try and retain Bill Hall (who has a 11 million dollar player option that will obviously be declined, but he could be re-signed at a lower price. Also we'll hopefully have Jed Lowrie who can play all over the infield. In the outfield Hermida is arbitration eligible and we'll have a decent stock in the minors. Theo usually has a strong bench, I think we'll be alright here, especially after a season like this.

-----

Starting Pitcher

Josh Beckett- 17 million
John Lackey- 15.95 million
Daisuke Matsuzaka- 10.333 million
(L) Jon Lester- 5.75 million
Tim Wakefield- 1.5 million
Junichi Tazawa- 1.150 million
Clay Buchholz- League Minimum

The Beckett and Lackey deals are not looking like great bargains lately but they both have plenty of time to redeem themselves. Dice-K is a candidate to possibly be traded in the offseason to a National League team (where I think he would thrive.) Lester and Buchholz look like future (current) stars and Wake is always a mixed bag. He might even retire. Tazawa will be coming back from Tommy John surgery and pitchers often come back better and stronger after that. I think our depth is okay and we have plenty of time this offseason to iron it out.

Bullpen

Jonathan Papelbon- Arbitration Eligable
(L) Hideki Okajima- Arbitration Eligable
Manny Delcarmen- Arbitration Eligable
Daniel Bard- League Minimum
Michael Bowden- League Minimum

Papelbon will get upwards of 10 million and the rest of the guys should get a lot less, around 3-4 million. This is the one place I expect Theo to either make a trade or sign someone next year. The pen represents a huge need for the Sox.

-----

Even with losing some dead weight in payroll, the Red Sox still have, at this time 100 million dollars committed to the 2011 payroll. They're obviously a wealthy franchise... but I think we will see them slow down spending.

#2 Rasputin


  • Will outlive SeanBerry


  • 26,278 posts

Posted 18 July 2010 - 10:45 AM

Even with losing some dead weight in payroll, the Red Sox still have, at this time 100 million dollars committed to the 2011 payroll. They're obviously a wealthy franchise... but I think we will see them slow down spending.


I'm not sure where the conclusion comes from. Generally when a team has a lot of money to spend, a history of spending money, and a lot of money committed to a potential championship team they aren't going into penny pinching mode. I can see a lower total salary next year and I think the economy certainly can have an impact but it should impact the Sox a lot less than say the Tigers or Twins.

What we have in place for next season is a championship caliber team sans third base and catcher. They're gonna try to fill those spots with good to great players. The team will be good. How good is up to a billion factors.

#3 BosRedSox5


  • Stuart Smalley devotee


  • 1,260 posts

Posted 18 July 2010 - 11:11 AM

Right, and by a slowdown in spending I don't mean they're going to hold it close to 100 mil. We'll still spend the second most in baseball, I just expect us to get it under 168 million, by a lot. Also, I don't see us adding significant payroll because we're pretty good all around the diamond. Where would we add talent? The bullpen is the biggest need and even an elite bullpen arm is relatively cheap compared to other positions.

#4 bombdiggz

  • 990 posts

Posted 18 July 2010 - 12:20 PM

Right, and by a slowdown in spending I don't mean they're going to hold it close to 100 mil. We'll still spend the second most in baseball, I just expect us to get it under 168 million, by a lot. Also, I don't see us adding significant payroll because we're pretty good all around the diamond. Where would we add talent? The bullpen is the biggest need and even an elite bullpen arm is relatively cheap compared to other positions.


With all the talk about the CBT recently, something that I don't hear mentioned often is that while the CBT number this year is 170M it goes up to 178M next year. The Sox have many of contracts trending upwards (Pedroia, Lester, Youks, Paps), but between the weight leaving and the increase in the CBT it becomes less of a challenge to get under the cap in 2011. They at least have 20M (Lugo, Lowell, increase in CBT- raises) to work with.

The 2011 squad is mostly set. As you point out the main question marks are C and 3B. I think plan A is to make a strong effort to resign both VMart and Beltre. Sure it is going to take more than the 16.5 M they are getting paid this year, but they do have enough cash. The alternatives don't look great. John Buck heads the FA catcher class and there is no notable 3B available in FA. You would almost have to look at trades which will wind up costing talent. This is a deep draft coming up and certainly at some point it makes sense not to bring back a FA, but my preference would to use cash to bring these guys back. I think it goes without saying that as bad as Theo has been in using FA to try to find a reliever, he has to add at least another top flight bullpen arm to next years team.

Much more so than there being a payroll number that the Sox can't support, I think they just find it bad business to pay $1.20 for a commodity that has a market value of $1, especially when that $.20 overpay goes back to your competitors. I'm sure paying $1.30 is that much more unappeasing. They will certainly try to get under the cap in 2011, but I don't think it is going to be by a lot.

I think this thread is interesting (fantastic OP) and I love talking about the Sox finances. Personally though, I just don't buy all of the media reports recently that say the Sox wouldn't be willing to add salary. For an organization that plays many moves close to the vest, I have a feeling that if they really couldn't spend money we wouldn't be hearing about it. This organization knew that to stay competitive in 2010-2011 it was going to take a short term influx of cash until prospects were going to be able to significantly contribute to the team in 2011-2012. This years payroll is not a surprise. The recent leaks seem strategic.

Edited by bombdiggz, 18 July 2010 - 12:21 PM.


#5 SoxFanPJ


  • call me Chester


  • 3,857 posts

Posted 18 July 2010 - 02:21 PM

Third Base and Catcher are the obvious question marks, but they aren't the only ones. I don't think you can go into next season without looking for another OF as well and move Cameron to the 4th OF/trade bait role.

I also think you move heaven and earth to try to trade Matsuzaka somewhere and get value back.

I can see a likely scenario where neither Beltre or Martinez are back next season. I can see the team trading for a younger catcher and finding a fill in at 3B. Theo isn't stupid, is it a coincidence Beltre's two best seasons are both his free agent seasons and that these are significantly better then his normal seasons and who will be 32 at the start of next year. Theo isn't giving Beltre 4 years at Boras money. I would also have serious concerns about age and the ability to stay at catcher for Martinez in any long term deal.

Team options:

David Ortiz 11:$12.5M club option (no buyout). Do the Sox simply pick up the option or do they decline and try to work out a lower salary based on the recent trend in the DH market?

Bill Hall 11:$9.25M club option ($0.5M buyout). Hall is going to be bought out, but does the team bring him back as a utility man at $2-3M?

Tricky Arbitration cases:

Papelbon: $9.35M in 2010, gotta figure at least $10.5-11M if he goes to arbitration. Do they try to flip him or do they hang onto him and let him walk as a free agent or try to workout a long term deal?

Hermida: $3.345M in 2010. I can't see offering Hermida arbitration. Cost/performance just wouldn't seem to justify it.

Okajima: $2.75M in 2010. Age, injury, regressing performance. There has to at least be a question of whether he is back.

Ramon Ramirez: $1.155M in 2010. Bye.

Delcarmen: $.905M in 2010. Unless he is traded, he should still be affordable next year even through arbitration. Hasn't been as bad as 2009, but not exactly good either.

#6 bosockboy


  • SoSH Member


  • 7,040 posts

Posted 18 July 2010 - 07:19 PM

I've said for a good while that Dice-K for Russell Martin is the perfect trade this coming winter. Both desperately need a change of scenery and fill a giant need for each team.

#7 Eric Van


  • Kid-tested, mother-approved


  • 10,990 posts

Posted 18 July 2010 - 08:52 PM

Third Base and Catcher are the obvious question marks, but they aren't the only ones. I don't think you can go into next season without looking for another OF as well and move Cameron to the 4th OF/trade bait role.

At what point does this thread turn into "Can We Afford Jayson Werth?" It probably ought to.

I also think you move heaven and earth to try to trade Matsuzaka somewhere and get value back.

That puts Doubront or Bowden in the rotation and makes the other the 6th starter ... there's a lot of evidence that says that's a downgrade to both the rotation and to its depth (check out Doubront vs. Dice-K numbers in the pitching stat thread and also look at Doubront's MLE numbers in the similar thread in the ml forum. He's not even as good as Wakefield right now, never mind Dice-K).

So I think this is a year premature. Keep the rotation, put Doubront in the Wakefield long man / 6th starter role, keep Bowden in the bullpen if it turns out to be a good fit for him. Find out how good the two of them are and let Kelly, Weiland, Fife, and Wilson make another year of progress towards MLB. Then you might be in a position to trade Dice-K with one year left on his contract.

Theo isn't stupid, is it a coincidence Beltre's two best seasons are both his free agent seasons and that these are significantly better then his normal seasons.

Actually, no: Beltre's had three free agent years and one was unimaginably awful (last year).

What actually defines the two great years is that they're the most recent years that he didn't play half his games in Seattle. Ballpark, weather, hitting coaches, strength of surrounding lineup all very different.

#8 BosRedSox5


  • Stuart Smalley devotee


  • 1,260 posts

Posted 18 July 2010 - 09:09 PM

I've said for a good while that Dice-K for Russell Martin is the perfect trade this coming winter. Both desperately need a change of scenery and fill a giant need for each team.


I like that idea a lot. Not only would that fill a role for both teams, but it would put both players in a MUCH better situation. Dice-K would go to a team that has a heavy Japanese population, not to mention Hideo Nomo's first team. I know if I lived abroad I'd feel much more comfortable in a town filled with ex-pats. Also, in the National League he'd be much more effective. You could count on him especially against the strikeout happy DBacks.

As far as Martin goes, it's been said that he's kind of a partier... and I've heard a lot of people think it would be much better for his career if he got out of Hollywoodland. Boston is a city where baseball is priority one and while, it's a nice place and all... the Bunker Hill Pavilion and Harvard Yard aren't exactly going to keep him out past curfew. He's a great defensive catcher and he's shown the ability to hit in the past.

I think that idea makes a lot of sense and he'll only be 28 next season.

#9 URI


  • stands for life, liberty and the uturian way of life


  • 10,218 posts

Posted 18 July 2010 - 09:34 PM

I'm shocked that Russell Martin is now a great defensive catcher, despite years of him being an awful one that can't throw.

But you're right about the partying. Being in one of the biggest college towns in the country...one that almost destroyed Derek Lowe's career...is certainly free of temptation.

#10 MHead81

  • 529 posts

Posted 18 July 2010 - 10:35 PM

I don't see why Theo would want Martin over Martinez. Martin's numbers have declined since 2008 and he has a bad reputation as a guy who doesn't really care about the game. Meanwhile we have one of the most productive offensive catchers in all of baseball, and with him in there as the everyday starter this year, this team had the best record over the stretch between once they got past their bad first few weeks and when the injuries began.

There's a reason this team leads the league in runs scored: consistent offense at catcher is one of the most difficult things to acquire in all of baseball, let alone above-average offense. Now I won't pretend that on April 20th I, too, wasn't skeptical that Martinez could catch for us since the team was on pace to shatter the record for stolen bases allowed in a season, but the fact is that this team played excellent baseball from late April until the injury nuke went off, and that was with Martinez behind the plate. It's no coincidence.

If I was to guess I'd say that he's re-signed IF he's willing to accept a fair contract that compensates for the fact that once (if) Ibarra is ready, Martinez may become the DH and backup C/1B in the last year or so of the deal. 4/$40-ish million seems reasonable and it seems like something Victor might accept considering that he has made it known that he wants to stay here for a long time.

"I don't want to be jumping around, I don't want to go somewhere else," Martinez told the Herald, who interviewed him at his home in Orlando. "First, I didn't want to go out of the Indians organization. Then I'm out, and now I'm here. I came to the place where a lot of players dream to come and a lot of players wish to play here in Boston. So I'm here. I do really want to stay here and hopefully end my career in Boston."

http://sports.espn.g...tory?id=4915460

I think people are forgetting how valuable it is to not only have an above average-hitting catcher, but to have one who you can put in the top 5 of your lineup. (Edit: The point being that many of the alternatives being thrown out there are mostly bottom-3rd guys.) Everything he does at the plate is what this organization loves. He sees a ton of pitches per plate appearance, he gets on base, he has decent power and he has versatility being a switch-hitter and being able to play 2 positions. And that's not even factoring in his off-the-field stuff. You have never heard a bad word about this guy and from all accounts he's an excellent teammate. Given that he has admitted to wanting to remain here and the fact that they've played great baseball with him as our starting catcher, I think he comes back.

I don't even want to get into Beltre, but he's another one I don't see why people are so quick to dismiss for 2011. Yes, other teams will have interest, but they'd all have to wonder if his numbers would translate to their parks, something Theo will already have the benefit of knowing for certain once it comes time to consider re-signing him or not.

Edited by MHead81, 18 July 2010 - 11:12 PM.


#11 Quintanariffic

  • 4,419 posts

Posted 18 July 2010 - 11:21 PM

I think people are forgetting how valuable it is to not only have an above average-hitting catcher, but to have one who you can put in the top 5 of your lineup. (Edit: The point being that many of the alternatives being thrown out there are mostly bottom-3rd guys.) Everything he does at the plate is what this organization loves. He sees a ton of pitches per plate appearance, he gets on base, he has decent power and he has versatility being a switch-hitter and being able to play 2 positions. And that's not even factoring in his off-the-field stuff. You have never heard a bad word about this guy and from all accounts he's an excellent teammate. Given that he has admitted to wanting to remain here and the fact that they've played great baseball with him as our starting catcher, I think he comes back.

I don't even want to get into Beltre, but he's another one I don't see why people are so quick to dismiss for 2011. Yes, other teams will have interest, but they'd all have to wonder if his numbers would translate to their parks, something Theo will already have the benefit of knowing for certain once it comes time to consider re-signing him or not.

Agreed. I'd add that one of the beautiful things about Victor is the fact that his positional flexibility allows the Sox to develop one of the legit C prospects on the farm in Wagner, Exposito, Fed-Ex, Ibarra and Lavarnway while keeping everyone's bat in the line-up. For whatever length of contract he could reasonably sign with the Sox, the back end years will surely feature a void at DH. He'll able to rotate freely between C, 1B and DH in the riskier out years based on health and game situations.

#12 JakeRae


  • SoSH Member


  • 5,325 posts

Posted 18 July 2010 - 11:41 PM

My current 2011 25-man roster is below.

Catcher
Youkilis
Pedroia
Scutaro
Third Baseman
Drew
Cameron
Ellsbury
Ortiz

Lowrie
Hermida
Varitek/Wagner/Brown (I don't see them going outside the organization for a backup)
4th bench player

Lester
Beckett
Buchholz
Lackey
Matsuzaka

Papelbon
Bard
Bowden
MDC
Okajima?
Atchison?
Wakefield?

Starting from the bottom, Atchison and Wakefield are question marks due to age. Okajima merits a question mark because he very well might not be worth what he will get in arb next year. Bowden could also get traded. The pen could use an upgrade from Okajima to a more effective lefty. Atchison is plenty good as a mop up guy. I expect Wakefield to be back. So, I'm assuming they'll have 0-2 slots to fill in here. Theo is unlikely to spend big money to upgrade the middle to back of the pen though. If there is a quality lefty at reasonable money, they should jump on him. Guys like Richardson, Coello, and Rice I expect to start in the minors but should provide more depth than the pen had this year.

The starting rotation is set. Wakefield is the long man/spot starter. Doubront is the 6th starter. After that, we are looking at whoever is hot out of this years AA starters. I still don't see a Matsuzaka trade as likely. Depending on Doubront and Kelly's development, I could see it after 2011, but not this coming offseason. Doubront can use another season to work on his secondary stuff.

The bench is pretty much set. The 4th bench slot can be filled by pretty much anyone. If Hermida is out, Nava can easily slide into his spot. I could see Hall or Eric Patterson being held onto. Hall's righty bat fits better with our roster. Outside of that, I don't know who they would target, but it isn't terribly important either.

Ortiz is going to be back. I don't care to rehash previous discussions over his expected earnings, but he will be back.

They need a starting 1b/3b. I think trading Ellsbury to acquire one of those is an option. The organization has tremendous outfield depth. If Kalish finishes the season strong, he could definitely make it easier to let Ellsbury go. Ellsbury as a centerpiece of a 3-way deal to bring back Iannetta is something I would definitely look into. If not, I would probably rather try to trade for Doumit or maybe Snyder than resign Martinez unless he is willing to take a significant home-team discount either in dollars or years. I want no part of a 4/60 contract for Martinez. With Kalish waiting in the wings, I don't see the organization expending resources to sign Werth or Crawford.

Third base is going to be difficult to fill without retaining Beltre. I don't understand the repeated references to the fact that Boras won't let him sign a contract for less than X. Boras will find him the most lucrative deal he can. But, he cannot create a contract for his client. There will be no discounts. Hopefully, GM's remember his Seattle years and continue to fail to appropriately value his defense and he is affordable and can be retained. He also might slip into the danger zone of being a type A having a significant deflationary impact on his salary. That would be great news. Like with Kalish, a strong second half from Lars Anderson could significantly alter this discussion by the time the offseason actually arrives.

As a final point, I do not understand the criticism Scutaro has been getting in greater abundance of late. He is getting paid to be, at best, a league average shortstop. His 1.6 WAR (he is 1.9 via UZR which passes the smell test) means he has already earned his contract. The only player who might replace Scutaro as a starter next year is if Lowrie plays his way into the role. The Scutaro signing was and is a fantastic signing by Theo. Unless people were basing their expectation for Scutaro exclusively on last year, he's been pretty much everything we hoped for when he was signed.

#13 Eric Van


  • Kid-tested, mother-approved


  • 10,990 posts

Posted 19 July 2010 - 03:20 AM

The organization has tremendous outfield depth. If Kalish finishes the season strong, he could definitely make it easier to let Ellsbury go. ... With Kalish waiting in the wings, I don't see the organization expending resources to sign Werth or Crawford.

I don't see this. I see Kalish as the heir to Drew after splittng next year between AAA and MLB as needed because of injuries. There's no one else you can point to as obviously taking over in 2012 in CF or LF (wherever Ellsbury isn't). Hermida hasn't blossomed, Reddick is tanking, Nava is a solid 4th OF but not a guy you'd want to start for an AL East contender. Werth would actually fit very nicely, and if they don't grab some sort of OF this winter (moving Cameron to a super 4th-OF role) they need to have a plan for 2012. Dealing Ellsbury would just give you two positions to fill.

Now, if Ellsbury really has permanently stunk up the clubhouse, you could trade him for Adrian Gonzalez, and sign Crawford instead of re-signing Beltre. That greatly increases payroll, however, without obviously making the team better, and it makes the lineup so LH that signing Werth almost becomes a necessity.

Re the bullpen: Bowden and Atchison are both out of options as of next year. If they don't trade Papelbon or Delcarmen, and assuming one spot is filled by a 6th starter type (Wakefield or Doubront), that leaves just one more spot -- which you need to fill with an Okajima replacement. And of course they need that guy right now.

#14 kazuneko

  • 1,716 posts

Posted 19 July 2010 - 04:19 AM

Now, if Ellsbury really has permanently stunk up the clubhouse, you could trade him for Adrian Gonzalez, and sign Crawford instead of re-signing Beltre. That greatly increases payroll, however, without obviously making the team better, and it makes the lineup so LH that signing Werth almost becomes a necessity.

Would that really "greatly increase payroll"? I mean, potentially it would after next season, but for next season , Beltre, if you kept him, would cost you at least as much if not more than Crawford, but Adrian Gonzalez would still have one year left on his old contract, making him only 5 million or so more than Ellsbury, right? Also, that money also gets you a team that is probably quite a bit better.
Now, I know you are probably questioning that premise because of the defensive differences between a Youks/Beltre and Youks/ Adrian Gonzalez infield, but offensively it would seem pretty unlikely the latter of these two possibilities isn't significantly better than the former and more than makes up for the drop in defense (though, of course, the problem with this statement is that Beltre's offense appears almost impossible to predict. Most likely he will go back to being a solid if unspectacular bat after this season while maintaining his skills with the glove, but if he were to somehow maintain his current level of offensive production than he is clearly a much better free-agent value than Crawford).

Edited by kazuneko, 19 July 2010 - 04:21 AM.