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The Rebuilding Project


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#1 ScubaSteveAvery


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 09:26 AM

There are threads on filling individual holes in the lineup, but I figured there could be one general one where we discuss the short and long-term outlook of the Sox' rebuilding project. This trade is probably one of the most incredible trades in franchise history, as overnight it completely changed the future trajectory of the Red Sox from cash strapped team with underperforming veterans to a medium-sized payroll team with lots of holes for prospects and organizational filler to fill. I don't think that Cherington is finished yet with just this trade. Plus, the new financial flexibility allows Cherington to get really creative too, plus there are so few players under long-term contracts. The Sox only have 1 player with 3 years or more left on their contract, and that is Buchholz, who with 2 club options can be under club control for another 5 years. Here is a table of the returning players under contract:

Players Returning Under Contract
Player Age on Opening Day Position Years left on Contract Cost per year (AAV)
John Lackey 34 SP 2 years, plus 2015 club option and MLB min. $16.5 million
Dustin Pedroia 29 2B 2 years, plus $11 million club option in 2015 $6.75 million
Jon Lester 29 SP 1 year, plus $13 million club option for 2014 $6 million
Clay Buchholz 28 SP 3 years, plus 2 club options at AAV of $13.25 million $7.49 million
Jose Iglesias 23 SS 1 year $2.06 million


Here is a list of players who are arbitration eligible:

Arbitration Eligible
Player Age on Opening Day Position Arb year 2012 Salary
Scott Atchison 37 RP Super Two $0.510 million
Rich Hill 33 RP 2nd Arb year eligibility $0.725 million
Craig Breslow 32 RP 2nd Arb year eligibility $1.795 million
Mike Aviles 32 SS 1st Arb year eligibility $1.2 million
Alfredo Aceves 30 RP 1st Arb year eligibility $1.2 million
Jacoby Ellsbury 29 CF 2nd Arb year eligibility $8.05 million
Ryan Sweeney 28 OF 2nd Arb year eligibility $1.750 million
Andrew Bailey 28 CP 1st Arb year eligibility $3.9 million
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 27 C 2nd Arb year eligibility $2.5 million
Andrew Miller 27 RP 1st Arb year eligibility $1.04 million
Daniel Bard 27 SP/RP? Super Two $1.612 million
Franklin Morales 27 SP/RP? 1st Arb year eligibility $0.850 million


And here is a list of Pre-Arb players with the potential to break with the team out of Spring Training (sorry if the Arb dates are off, I still don't full understand the potential for when a player is eligible for arbitration):

Pre-Arb Players with a Chance to Make 25 Man Roster
Player Age on Opening Day Position 1st year of Arb Eligibilty Potential
Daniel Nava 30 OF 2015
Mark Melancon 28 RP 2014
Mauro Gomez 28 1B 2016(?)
Clayton Mortenson 28 RP 2015
Pedro Ciriaco 27 MI 2015
Chris Carpenter 27 RP 2015
Junichi Tazawa 26 SP/RP? 2013
Zach Stewart 26 RP 2015
Felix Doubront 25 SP 2015
Ryan Lavarnway 25 C 2015
Ryan Kalish 25 RF 2015
Will Middlebrooks 24 3B 2015
Rubby De la Rosa 24 SP 2015


I think some players are still going to be on the trading block. Since Jon Lester has regained his form the second half the season, I don't see a reason to trade him, unless the team can net a younger centerpiece and some major league ready complimentary pieces. The same goes for Pedroia. The Sox just do not have enough MLB ready depth to ship off those two stars. I think Ellsbury has to be on the block, although given his mediocre return, he may not have a lot of trade value. I think this may be an offseason where there is not a lot of activity because the Sox really don't have a lot to sell anymore. And those they can sell, are not at their peak value, but more likely the lower end of their value spectrum.

The Sox should absolutely bring Ortiz back on a 2 year deal now, and I think Ross on a 2 year deal with an option would be doable. However, given how he's played this year, I think he can easily fetch 3 years elsewhere. The Sox have some nice OF prospects that might be knocking on the door at the end of next season, so the Sox don't need to block them with Ross if he gets too expensive this off season. Padilla is another guy I would consider bringing back considering the Sox lack of MLB ready bullpen talent. Stewart and Mortenson don't inspire a lot of confidence.

The Sox just got a new lease on life with this trade, but its important that they develop a plan and not sign aging players to expensive contracts again. I would be OK with a couple seasons of Orioles-like baseball if it means the team is strategically set up for the next 5-8 years.

What does everyone think the short, medium, and long-term strategies should be for the Sox going forward? Is there enough on the roster to do some more selling to put together compelling packages for more younger prospects? What would you like to see happen?

Edited by ScubaSteveAvery, 25 August 2012 - 02:07 PM.


#2 SoxScout


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 09:47 AM

I wouldn’t hesitate to look at trading more stars. Ellsbury definitely needs to go on the block, I know people got all excited over now having funds to re-sign him, but I still think the best course of action is offering him around the league. Same of Lester, I don’t expect a quick fix and when the time comes to contend, we will be facing giving a >30 SP a huge contract. Teams will fall over themselves for Lester and I would investigate those options accordingly (KC). I would listen on Buchholz but you would need to just be floored by an offer.

edit: I think the previous post's formatting is screwing this up

Edited by SoxScout, 25 August 2012 - 09:48 AM.


#3 koufax32


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 10:10 AM

If Cherrington can find a taker for Lackey and move Ellsbury in the next week or this offseason it would make for an amazingly successful renovation. While he's at it he should look to get a return on Salty as well.

As crazy as it sounds I think Lackey would have some trade value to an NL team. That league minimum last year could be very enticing. I don't doubt that money would have to go with him, but if he can be dumped for 15-20 mil. you do that in a heartbeat.

A big market team like Boston should not be afraid of spending big on excellence. I can't help but wonder if Ben will circle back to Theo's King Felix wet dream this offseason.

#4 yecul


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 10:12 AM

Agree with SS on those points. Ellsbury has to be on the block and I'd absolutely shop Lester. The focus should not be on 2013. Add Bailey to the list. He's into arb and a non-contender paying a closer big bucks is pointless.

#5 koufax32


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 10:20 AM

Agree with SS on those points. Ellsbury has to be on the block and I'd absolutely shop Lester. The focus should not be on 2013. Add Bailey to the list. He's into arb and a non-contender paying a closer big bucks is pointless.


I guess the question is what exactly does this tear down/rebuild mean? I can't imagine it being a full blown, Florida Marlins style type that takes 3-4 years. I imagine some bigger name FA's would be part of it. That said, I agree that 2013 shouldn't have any effect on decisions going forward. This should be about 2014 and beyond.

#6 czar


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 10:22 AM

I agree that you need to listen on everyone, but that's just because you always should be listening on everyone (the idea of players being "untouchable" is laughable).

That said, I think the team as constructed can still be quasi-competitive for a wild card spot next year as well as 2014. Trading Lester, Ellsbury, and/or Buchholz significantly hurts those chances, even if it's technically the "optimal" move for 2015 and beyond (which might not be the case but that's not the argument).

And remember, the Sox are not the Florida Marlins, but rather a top 5 market team. Given what they've done to keep the sellout streak alive, you can't imagine that they'd green light a total rebuild that would keep them out of the playoff hunt until 2015-2016.

#7 yecul


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 10:41 AM

What does it mean?

The team, as constructed, was not going to "grow up" nor compete. Sticking with the roster would have meant more of the same. The opportunity for making roster changes and fixing problems were not there.

This represents not only a roster reboot, but a change in philosophy. Many, including myself, were harsh toward BC, but IMO that was unfair. When he was hired he said this was how he wanted to build his team. With that mess of a roster it was not possible.

Now, that's just my take on it. Ignoring all that what this represented was an unprecedented opportunity. New owners wanting to make a splash in the midst of a playoff run who had money to burn (presumably). One dynamically valuable asset that could be coupled with more serious problems on the way out. There are lots of Gonzalez fans. There are some who saw a super awesome 100 win roster here. But no one saw a super awesome Beckett or a valuable good deal in Crawford. Sometimes when you're faced with a one step back, two (eventual) steps forward type of move you have to take it.

While there was a shot at 2013 success I think it was going to get a lot more thin after that. But the payroll and options were not going to allow for big improvements. This was 1 year vs 3-5 years.

#8 ScubaSteveAvery


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 10:43 AM

Outside of the pitching depth and catcher, the starting depth on this team is awful. Aviles is pretty bad and I think he's useless. Ciriaco is worth keeping around because he's versatile and dynamic. Daniel Nava is not an everyday player. The infield is particularly frightening. Loney probably won't stick around after this year. Iglesias is a giant question mark at the plate and there isn't a serviceable backup if he flops. The same goes for third base. Middlebrooks is an everyday player, but if he gets injured there is only Danny Valencia to step in (yikes). Free agents are in red.

Major League Depth Chart
Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
SP Jon Lester (L) Clay Buchholz John Lackey Felix Doubront (L) Franklin Morales (L) Rubby De la Rosa Daisuke Matsuzaka Aaron Cook
RP Alfredo Aceves Mark Melancon Andrew Miller (L) Craig Breslow (L) Clayton Mortenson Rich Hill (L) Junichi Tazawa Daniel Bard
CP Andrew Bailey
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia Ryan Lavarnway
1B James Loney Mauro Gomez
2B Dustin Pedroia Pedro Ciriaco
3B Will Middlebrooks Mike Aviles Pedro Ciriaco
SS Jose Iglesias Mike Aviles Pedro Ciriaco
LF Daniel Nava Scott Posednik
CF Jacoby Ellsbury Scott Posednik Ryan Kalish
RF Cody Ross Ryan Kalish Ryan Sweeney
DH David Ortiz


The MLB depth chart is not that useful to look at when determining the short, medium, and long term strategy of the Red Sox without looking at what they have in the minors. I put together a MiLB depth chart. It may need to be altered to add names and move some people around. Let me know if I need to add or change anything (the players are not ranked in any particular order per position):

MiLB Depth Chart
Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
SP Matt Barnes (A+) Brandon Workman (AA) Allen Webster (AAA) Drake Britton (AA) Stolmy Pimentel (AA) Anthony Ranaudo (AA) Steven Wright (AAA) Henry Owens (A)
RP Alex Wilson (AAA) Chris Carpenter (AAA) Chris Balcom-Miller (AA) Josh Fields (AA)
C Blake Swihart (A) Adalberto Ibarra (A+)
1B Travis Shaw (AA) David Renfroe (A+)
2B Ivan DeJesus (AAA) Sean Coyle (A+)
3B Garin Ceccini (A) Kolbrin Vitek (AA) Derek Gibson (AA) Michael Almanazar (A+) Danny Valencia (AAA)
SS Xander Bogaerts (AA) Devon Marrero (A-) Jose Vinicio (A)
LF Jerry Sands (AAA) Che-Hsuan Lin (AAA) Brandon Jacobs (A+)
CF Jackie Bradley, Jr. (AA) Pete Hissey (AA) Keury De La Cruz (A)
RF J.C. Linares (AAA) Bryce Brentz (AA) Alex Hassan (AAA)


I think its possible that DeJesus takes the place of Aviles next year and that Sands may likely replace Posednik. J.C. Linares may be able to beat out Nava for the LF position. Depending on how Brentz and Bradley, Jr. play to start next year, its possible that one of them may be called up to help out the outfield.

What is great is that the Sox have some pretty incredible starting pitching depth, especially after the trade. If the Sox want to make a deal to add a major addition, they have some pitching prospects to use, or if they trade Lester, they can always try and throw out Webster, Wright, or even Chris Hernandez in the #5 spot to eat innings. Barnes is at least a year and a half away. I think Workman and Britton are probably a year away at least.

Another question is Bogaerts, who is destroying AA pitching this year. Will Cherington be aggressive and start him in Pawtucket next year? Is there a chance that he makes the jump in the second half of next year to the MLB team? There is also the question of where he plays. The scouting consensus is that he is probably not going to stick at SS. With Middlebrooks at 3B, Bogaerts is blocked there. I'd be interested to know if the FO is thinking about a transition to RF?

Hopefully these charts provide some context when thinking about who to trade, and who can step in given the weak depth at the starting club.

Edited by ScubaSteveAvery, 25 August 2012 - 11:05 AM.


#9 The Boomer

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 10:50 AM

Lester, a Washington State native, would love to return home. His career would be revitalized by that cavernous ballpark in Seattle. If you are looking to build team chemistry, this trio of former college teammates would be what I would want (admitting my UVA/Charlottesville bias):

The Seattle Mariners must really love the Virginia baseball team.
One day after Seattle took UVa ace Danny Hultzen with the second overall pick in the major league amateur draft, the team picked UVa catcher John Hicks in the fourth round and UVa third baseman Steven Proscia in the seventh round Tuesday.
"It's awesome that all three of us got drafted by the same team," Proscia said. "We get to, hopefully if things all work out, maybe spend our minor league days together."

Hultzen:

http://www.baseballa...ers/cards/33992

Hicks:

http://www.baseballa...ers/cards/33683

Proscia:

http://www.baseballa...ers/cards/37757

Hultzen is close to untouchable but, to make this work, the Sox can now afford to pick up much of Lester's salary.

#10 czar


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 12:45 PM

I like Hultzen a lot (ignoring his control issues this year), but there are tons of scouts who think his ceiling is probably about what Lester's pretty much been for 75% of the season (suckage in the immediate vicinity of the ASB aside).

I have no clue why Seattle would make that trade, either, even if the Sox picked up a ton of Lester's tab.

Unless the Sox get bowled over with an offer for Ellsbury or Lester, I think the "plan" is probably to gradually use the surplus cash to develop both young talent from within and to trade/sign other guys they are interested in -- all the while keeping the team >= .500 (hopefully) going forward -- even if their playoff odds in 2013 aren't going to be favorable.

Ideally what the Red Sox would do is adopt the strategy that has served them well with Youkilis, Pedroia, Lester, and Buchholz which is find guys with 2-3 years of service time -- buy out all their arb years at a slight hike at a discount for their first 2-3 years of FA. This cycle keeps your farm system fresh and sharp while also providing you the best odds for extracting value by locking guys up within +/- 5 years of their statistical peak.

Extending Middlebrooks either late next season or early 2014 (if he continues to be above-average at 3B) would fit this mold.

#11 Rasputin


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 12:56 PM

I think the rush to trade everyone else on the roster is...what's the word...fucking stupid.

Why the hell would you trade Ellsbury when he's coming off an injured season where he didn't produce?

On the same note, why the hell would you sign him to an extension?

You don't know what you have in this guy. Bring him back, let him play, hopefully a fully healthy season, let JBJ get another year under his belt and go from there.

#12 yecul


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 01:03 PM

I think the rush to trade everyone else on the roster is...what's the word...fucking stupid.

Why the hell would you trade Ellsbury when he's coming off an injured season where he didn't produce?

On the same note, why the hell would you sign him to an extension?

You don't know what you have in this guy. Bring him back, let him play, hopefully a fully healthy season, let JBJ get another year under his belt and go from there.


And then what?

#13 JimBoSox9


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 01:07 PM

And then what?


You try to sign Ells to a team-friendly contract. If you get Boras'd, you trade him at the deadline. How JBJ performs in AAA determines how far above your initial offer you go to sign Ells, or (best-case) you stop trying to sign him and sell high.

#14 Rasputin


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 01:08 PM

And then what?


What do you mean "And then what?"

And then you make a decision based on what has transpired. Is Ellsbury knocking the snot out of the ball? Has JBJ made a smooth transition to AAA? Have they not?

That's the whole fucking point. You've got a lot more information at the end of July 2013 than you do now.

#15 yecul


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 01:30 PM

Should he perform well you would be interested in signing him to a, say, 7 year deal? Is there an expectation he will take a hometown discount or only look for 4-5 years?

I don't think this is terribly worthwhile, but I do want to get a better understanding of your mindset.

#16 Rasputin


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 02:04 PM

Should he perform well you would be interested in signing him to a, say, 7 year deal? Is there an expectation he will take a hometown discount or only look for 4-5 years?

I don't think this is terribly worthwhile, but I do want to get a better understanding of your mindset.


It's not that difficult a concept.

You trade him now you get squat. He performs well, you explore a contract extension and look at the other options like JBJ and make a determination. Maybe you sign Ellsbury long term because Bradley has completely blown up. Maybe you sign Ellsbury and plan to play Bradley in right. Maybe you trade Ellsbury for a passel of prospects, it all depends on umpteen million variables.

If someone comes to you and says they'll trade you value now based on their assumption that the 2011 Ellsbury is the real one then sure, go for it, but that's not realistic.

#17 Rasputin


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 02:17 PM

I'm fuzzy on the new rules, is there any way we can get a pick for letting Dice K walk?

If so, I think that's a decent gamble. Make whatever the minimum offer to him is and worst case scenario, he's your fifth starter.

I think we're actually not all that unsettled as far as pitching goes.

Lester, Buchholz, Lackey, are locks for the rotation and Doubront is only a half a step behind. De la rosa, Morales, and a relatively fungible veteran can add depth. That's not terrible if we assume Lackey can give us something in the neighborhood of league average.

Meanwhile in the bullpen, I assume Bailey will be back to be the closer, Bard will be back, Morales will be back if he loses the starter job, Beslow will be back as will Tazawa. Stick Aceves in the long role and I'm okay with that pen.

Edited by Rasputin, 25 August 2012 - 02:24 PM.


#18 Carroll Hardy


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 02:57 PM

Going even a step further: despite their assertions to the contrary, Seattle cannot continue to pay Felix Hernandez. We now have the ability to assume their bad contracts (Chone Figgins), subsidize the contracts of local area All Stars (Jon Lester, Jacoby Ellsbury), and provide them with cheap, everyday players who are ready to breakthrough (Will Middlebrooks, Ryan Kalish, Jackie Bradley, Jr, and Xander Bogaerts). Not all of them go in the deal - some of them are off-limits - but we could certainly get their attention (before the bait-and switch). And I believe it would be irresistible to their management, especially if they could get at least one of Lester and Ellsbury.

Put King Felix in a Red Sox rotation with Clay Buchholz, Doubront, Morales, and a healthy Lackey would turn things around pretty quickly.

#19 Eric Van


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 02:58 PM

I think the rush to trade everyone else on the roster is...what's the word...fucking stupid.

Why the hell would you trade Ellsbury when he's coming off an injured season where he didn't produce?


There is a real danger that he'll ruin your rebuilding season by putting up another 9 WAR season and almost single-handedly turning you into not just a W/C contender, but a first-place team. (He'll need some help from unlikely sources, like Dustin Pedroia and Jon Lester performing like they have every other year but this one, and the team having the same frequency of injuries experienced by 27 or 28 clubs in any given season.) That's clearly unacceptable if you're intent on rebuilding.

#20 SoxScout


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 02:59 PM

I'm fuzzy on the new rules, is there any way we can get a pick for letting Dice K walk?


Yea, if we offer him $13M for next year and he refuses.

#21 Rasputin


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 03:37 PM

Yea, if we offer him $13M for next year and he refuses.


Thanks. This is a decent gamble for the Sox, I think. Worst case is, he accepts and you pay him thirteen million to be your fungible veteran starter rather than paying six million to fungible veteran X.

#22 Rasputin


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 03:39 PM

There is a real danger that he'll ruin your rebuilding season by putting up another 9 WAR season and almost single-handedly turning you into not just a W/C contender, but a first-place team. (He'll need some help from unlikely sources, like Dustin Pedroia and Jon Lester performing like they have every other year but this one, and the team having the same frequency of injuries experienced by 27 or 28 clubs in any given season.) That's clearly unacceptable if you're intent on rebuilding.


Sometimes shit don't work, y'know?

#23 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 03:47 PM

What? 13M for a guy who hasn't been a good pitcher since 2008, and can't stay on the field? I don't see how you can offer Matsuzaka arbitration. He'd be a fool to reject that.

#24 Buzzkill Pauley


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 04:02 PM

There is a real danger that he'll ruin your rebuilding season by putting up another 9 WAR season and almost single-handedly turning you into not just a W/C contender, but a first-place team. (He'll need some help from unlikely sources, like Dustin Pedroia and Jon Lester performing like they have every other year but this one, and the team having the same frequency of injuries experienced by 27 or 28 clubs in any given season.) That's clearly unacceptable if you're intent on rebuilding.


I don't understand where the problem occurs in this line of thinking. I see three options:
  • If Ellsbury produces his average season in 2013, give him a qualifying offer and take the picks when he walks away.
  • If Ellsbury produces his MVP season in 2013, either trade him midseason (if the rest of the team sucks) or see (1) above.
  • If Ellsbury underproduces, play him or Sweeney in CF until either (1) or (2) above becomes the clearly preferred action.
There's really no downside to keeping Ellsbury on for his last year of club control, in spite of the Sox FO's curious predilection for trading away players at the absolute nadir of their value. If the Sox can play better than .500 baseball next season, then it's all gravy.

I think there's a much more compelling case for trading Salty before next April, as far as the arb-3 roster guys go.

#25 SoxScout


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 04:04 PM

When you make a qualifying offer and the player walks you only get 1 pick now, in-between the 1st and 2nd round.

#26 Buzzkill Pauley


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 04:14 PM

That's right, of course. Only one pick under the new CBA.

But it still doesn't change the calculus. Nobody in their right mind should expect more than one legit prospect in exchange for Ellsbury's last year of arb and the chance to pay him $10-11MM, anyway.

#27 yecul


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 05:37 PM

If the trade market this offseason be dry, then the decision is made for you. They are not in a position to dump him. I expect his trade value to be greater than the value of the pick he'd net.

As for how to approach 2013, while it's possible the stars align, I don't think they are formulating a plan based on such a low percentage probability. It could happen, but if they thought it was the most likely scenario then this trade doesn't happen IMO.

#28 ScubaSteveAvery


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Posted 25 August 2012 - 11:33 PM

I'm interested to see what they do with Lester. I'm positive that they will pick up his option, but what about a long-term deal? By 2014, only Buchholz and Doubront will remain as a SPs under contract. And, by 2014 its entirely possible that the Sox will have a ton of pitchers knocking on the door, such as Workman, Britton, Barnes, Webster, Hernandez, Pimentel, and maybe even Owens. Heck, if Ranaudo puts it back together, he may be competing as a career #4 or 5 guy. That is a lot of young, good arms. And not just competing for 2015, but for 2016 and beyond. Furthermore, by 2014 De la Cruz is likely to be playing some permanent role in the rotation.

Let's say that this year for Lester is an aberration (he's certain pitched much better as of late, and was pitching better in June before his awful July), and he puts up something slightly less than his career norms the next two years, say 115-120 ERA+ with an average of 190IP, do you try and resign him? He'll be 32 on opening day 2015 and probably looking for a 4 or 5 year deal. There are potentially 8 to 9 potential prospect starters who could contribute (I'm not even counting Brian Johnson, Noe Ramirez, or Ty Buttrey). Even if we assume a flameout rate of over 50% (Pimentel, Ranaudo, Hernandez are questionable) that is still a crowded rotation. Workman, Britton, Webster, and Hernandez have all had success in AA, which is usually a good barometer of make it or break it. I'm assuming that Barnes will struggle for a little making the jump, but he looks like the real deal. That is 4-5 guys, at least, competing for potentially 2-3 rotation slots.

I wonder if between this off season and July 2013 the Sox try and grab a top position player with some of the starting pitching excess? Or maybe try and convert Britton into a closer or relief ace? The flexibility they have with MiLB pitchers is really nice to see. I guess another, more risky option, is to hope that Lester finishes the last month of the season strong and back to normal with the hopes of shopping him, especially if you don't want to resign him. He'll be more valuable with a year left on his deal (his option is voided if traded), instead of with a half year left if you deal him next trade deadline.

Edited by ScubaSteveAvery, 25 August 2012 - 11:44 PM.


#29 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 26 August 2012 - 12:02 AM

After the trade we're looking at finishing 2012 with a roster like this:

C: Salty
1B: Loney
2B: Pedroia
3B: Ciriaco
SS: Aviles
LF: Podsednick
CF: Ellsbury
RF: Ross
DH: Ortiz
BN: Lin
BN: Iglesias
BN: Gomez
BN: Lavarnway
SP: Lester, Buchholz, Doubront, Moralez, Cook
RP: Bailey, Aceves, Melancon, Miller, Mortensen, Padilla, Tazawa/Breslow

For 2013 we're looking at needing to fill a few positions, but not as many as it may seem. This team should be looking to fill in the 2014 roster with young, cost controlled players then supplementing with free agents.

I was originally in favor of letting Ortiz walk if he didn't want to accept arb, but I'm leaning toward a 2 year offer now. I also think Ross is worth a 2 year offer, and maybe even a 3 year deal if that's not enough. This team could be a darkhorse contender for a wild card spot next year without much more and should be able to start a multi-year run of being a playoff contender from 2014 on with the infusion of some minor league talent.

2013: Use Lavarnway as a 1B/C/DH with Gomez as the back up first baseman. Ciriaco becomes a super sub while Iglesias keeps developing in the minors. Sweeney takes LF for a year but only a year, Kalish stars the year in AAA with the plan of replacing Sweeney or Ellsbury depending on how the season shakes out.

Ellsbury roams CF and is shopped at the trade deadline. If he's had a great season and can bring back a mint, you pull the trigger. I was for trading Ellsbury before this trade, I'm still for trading him now since my reasons weren't swirling around what he was going to cost so much as how old he is entering his first major contract. He'll still be too old for me to be comfortable with him being paid as a superstar in the last three or four years of that deal. JBJ is looking like as good a bet as the Sox have had in a while to take over in CF in 2014. Try to cash in on Ells while you can. If you trade him, Kalish takes over in CF. If not, he eventually displaces Nava on the roster and puts Sweeney on the bench. Maybe he takes right and Ross heads to left, but hopefully he's a better outfielder than Sweeney at that point.

I like Moralez better than Doubront, but either is a good option to start the season and I imagine there will be plenty of innings available to both of them between any innings limits either might have and injuries. Lester and Buchholz are the anchors. De La Rosa is given the chance to break in and Lackey comes back from TJ surgery and hopefully is primed to prove he's not cooked. You hope Barnes forces the issue of his promotion by the end of the season, but don't force it if he needs more polish.

The lineup looks something like Ellsbury, Pedroia, Ortiz, Ross, Middlebrooks, Salty, Lavarnway, Aviles, Sweeney. That team can compete and might be able to sneak into the second wild card.

C: Salty
1B: Lavarnway
2B: Pedroia
3B: Middlebrooks
SS: Aviles
LF: Sweeney
CF: Ellsbury
RF: Ross
DH: Ortiz
BN: Nava
BN: Ciriaco
BN: Gomez
BN: Sands
SP: Lester, Buchholz, Doubront/Moralez, De La Rosa Lackey
RP: Bailey, Aceves, Melancon, Miller, Mortensen, Tazawa, Breslow

2014: Offer Lester a 3 year deal with a vesting 4th year based on starts made. Bogaerts will need to move off of SS eventually, but for 2014 and possibly 2015 he could work out there nicely, bridging the gap to either Iglesias or Marrero. Aviles becomes a super utility player and probably bumps Ciriaco from the ML roster at that point. Maybe Webster makes a case for a rotation spot over Moralez (or Doubront), or slots in if Lester can't be brought back for less than 4 years (max).

Re-sign Salty to a 3 year deal to give Swihart a chance to finish developing. Brentz is hopefully ready by then and either he or Kalish ends up the starter with the other as a bench outfielder. JBJ should be ready to take over in CF by 2014 and hopefully for the long haul. At this point Middlebrooks is a vet and the team has Salty, Pedroia, Ross and Papi also providing veteran leadership. The rest of the roster is young, athletic and has some really nice upside. This team should have a good chance to make the playoffs.

C: Salty
1B: Lavarnway
2B: Pedroia
3B: Middlebrooks
SS: Bogaerts
LF: Ross
CF: Bradley Jr.
RF: Kalish
DH: Ortiz
BN: Brentz
BN: Aviles
BN: Gomez
BN: Sands
SP: Lester, Buchholz, Moralez, Barnes, De La Rosa
RP: Bailey, Melancon, Tazawa (too much turn over year to year to predict this far out)

Long term you're probably looking at Bogaerts in the outfield with Kalish, Brentz and JBJ. Lavarnway will shift to DH/C and the team will need to invest in another 1st baseman. The free agent crop in 2013 and 2014 is pretty thin at first. So hopefully they're able to target someone in a trade or will be able to bring in a prospect through the Ellsbury trade.

They'll have a fairly consistent stream of minor league talent moving through the system to keep filling in for players who don't work out, aren't retained, or are traded. Marrero or Iglesias should be ready to step in a short by 2015 hopefully. Swihart at catcher, perhaps. Cecchini could pan out as SS or eventual Pedroia replacement.

And the team should be keeping an eye on the trade market for starting pitching upgrades while continuing to draft high upside arms.

The big downside to the trade that reset the roster is that they don't have a great option at first base now or in the forseeable future. Gonzalez was a great value, but you have to give value to get value. And the salary relief plus Webster, De La Rosa and Sands is definitely value. Lavarnway in the short term should be able to handle the position and provide solid offensive value, but finding a big bat who can provide solid or better defense anywhere near what Gonzalez provided is going to be tough, if not impossible.

That said, the flexibility created allows the team to get younger and more athletic (and presumably more healthy) at many other positions. The framework for a long run of playoff caliber teams is there, in the organization, right now. They'll need to supplement the roster with some free agents pick ups, no doubt. Some of the players I've listed here won't work out as well as hoped... the bullpen will be a fluid thing from year to year (as it always is), and some of the vets could decline before we might be planning on. But I really think the bones of this team are already there.

Edited by Snodgrass'Muff, 26 August 2012 - 12:11 AM.


#30 PrometheusWakefield


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Posted 26 August 2012 - 12:14 AM

I think it's wrong to assume that this deal suggests a commitment to some kind of long term rebuilding process. I doubt the front office is thinking about punting 2013, I suspect this is an offseason where they will retool and come back in 2013 with a team they can credibly say can compete for a championship. I bet they go hard for Felix Hernandez, for example.

It's the big market version of rebuilding. Dump your overpaid 32+ stars of yesterday on some other big market chump then open up the store for the 27 year old who can actually deliver superstar performance for superstar pay.

#31 DeJesus Built My Hotrod


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Posted 26 August 2012 - 02:40 AM

There is a real danger that he'll ruin your rebuilding season by putting up another 9 WAR season and almost single-handedly turning you into not just a W/C contender, but a first-place team. (He'll need some help from unlikely sources, like Dustin Pedroia and Jon Lester performing like they have every other year but this one, and the team having the same frequency of injuries experienced by 27 or 28 clubs in any given season.) That's clearly unacceptable if you're intent on rebuilding.


I am not sure what argument you are trying to make here but your unbridled optimism is irrational. And I know you can show me your work (we can all create scenarios where the Sox are a first place team in 2013) but the reality is, they aren't likely to even compete for a W/C spot.

Seriously, you need to step away from the keyboard and assess whether your love of the Boston Red Sox is affecting your ability to think logically. This is Fossum and Lugo wishcasting all over again.

Back on topic, I don't think anyone would suggest that the Sox simply move Ellsbury. But if you can obtain players that fit with the new plan, especially if they are under control for a few more seasons, you have to consider it.

In fact, the Sox need to look at what Pedroia might bring back too. It would have to be a lot but he may be a FA before the Sox sniff serious contention again. To be clear, I am not suggesting they just dump him but if the Sox could obtain a package of young ML-ready pitching plus an everyday player, they should consider it.

Rebuilding isn't easy or fun. But if they are truly going to do it, they have to consider all options.

Edited by DeJesus Built My Hotrod, 26 August 2012 - 02:40 AM.


#32 Drek717

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 05:54 AM

I am not sure what argument you are trying to make here but your unbridled optimism is irrational. And I know you can show me your work (we can all create scenarios where the Sox are a first place team in 2013) but the reality is, they aren't likely to even compete for a W/C spot.

Seriously, you need to step away from the keyboard and assess whether your love of the Boston Red Sox is affecting your ability to think logically. This is Fossum and Lugo wishcasting all over again.

Back on topic, I don't think anyone would suggest that the Sox simply move Ellsbury. But if you can obtain players that fit with the new plan, especially if they are under control for a few more seasons, you have to consider it.

In fact, the Sox need to look at what Pedroia might bring back too. It would have to be a lot but he may be a FA before the Sox sniff serious contention again. To be clear, I am not suggesting they just dump him but if the Sox could obtain a package of young ML-ready pitching plus an everyday player, they should consider it.

Rebuilding isn't easy or fun. But if they are truly going to do it, they have to consider all options.


You act like this team just shipped out the three best players on the roster.

The fact is, they shipped out one guy who was a real star. The other two have given questionable contributions of late at best.

Replacing Gonzalez' 0.900 OPS and great D at 1B will be a challenge, but it's 1B. The low end of production there is probably a 0.800 OPS with solid defense, so its not like we might have an absolute black hole at 1B.

Crawford's last full season he was a sub-0.700 OPS LF. That was a season when the Red Sox spent most of the year looking like the best team in baseball. That should be an obvious upgrade.

Beckett was a stud for the majority of 2011, but we also played without Buchholz for much of that year.

This team's distance from contending for first place is simply the delta between the roster right now and the roster as of mid-summer 2011. The three above are the obvious places that need resolution, but lets consider the rest of it:

C - Salty for both, but now with a young, high upside #2 in Lavarnway, who I'm betting can out-hit 'Tek's .723 OPS in 2011.

2B - Pedroia is still on the under side of 30 and has been crushing recently since finally getting healthy. I don't see why we would be anything but optimistic on him going into 2013.

SS - Scutaro was a surprisingly solid bat with ok defense in 2011. We could either look to replace that with something similar, like Jhonny Peralta if the Tigers decline his option, or we could go with our in house defensive stud at SS and let his glove carry him. The net value to replace here isn't impossible by any means.

3B - Middlebrooks is already looking like a solid replacement for 2011 Youk. He plays better defense and has given a similar OPS this season, just one more fueled by contact and power hitting as opposed to OBP. He's a solid 1:1 replacement even if he doesn't mature further. If he does then we could have a real asset at 3B going forward.

RF - About 1/3rd of the games played were by Reddick in 2011, where he was streaky but tallied the strongest OPS of the group with a .784 mark. Menawhile Drew, Cameron, and McDonald took the rest of the games and were collectively horrible, with respective OPS numbers of .617, .477, and .704. In comparison Ross is putting up an .859 OPS this year and is defensively is at least as good as anyone from the 2011 group.

SP - Lester could still be Lester, that will have to wait and see. As said previously, Buchholz could fill the shoes of 2011 Josh Beckett quite well, he's been performing at that level since early June. Behind them we had Lackey, Wakefield, and a mix of starts from Matsuzaka, Weiland, Bedard, etc.. Doubront is 25 and is easily out-pitching all of our #3-5 guys from 2011. The same could be said for Morales who is only 26. So the starting rotation is basically: Can Lester get back to what he was in 2011 and can Lackey acquit himself better in 2013 post-TJ than he did in 2011? I'd think that's a reasonable bet to take on.

RP - No Papelbon/Bard 1/2 punch but the rest of the bullpen is deeper. If Bard gets back to relief ace status he and Bailey could make a similar tandem as well. This is of course before even talking about FA acquisitions.

So if Ellsbury does get healthy and put up another MVP level season in 2013 why is it so hard to believe that this team won't be capable of matching the best months of the 2011 club and seriously compete for first place?

Hell, even if Ellsbury is just healthy and a step below his 2011 pace this team should be very competitive, assuming they find any kind of worthwhile stop gaps to fill in at 1B and LF.

#33 Joe D Reid

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 07:19 AM

I think they will be active on the trade market this offseason, but as buyers, not sellers. The talent level on the team does not need to drop any further, so this is not going to be a multiyear punt.

I expect them to try to spin a chunk of what they just got from the Dodgers for Justin Upton, who is younger than the guys they shipped out and signed through the nice middle distance of '15. Lester, Ells, etc. will all stick around. The team will try to cobble together some kind of platoon at 1b, settle on one of their existing util guys, and go see what happens.

#34 OttoC


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Posted 26 August 2012 - 07:29 AM

...
I expect them to try to spin a chunk of what they just got from the Dodgers...


One of the problems with their minor-league system is the lack of pitching depth, especially in the upper levels. I suspect that they would want to take a close look at Webster and De La Rosa before shipping them off.

#35 LeoCarrillo


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Posted 26 August 2012 - 08:35 AM

The Dice-K compensation question could get intriguing if he has a good September.

He's pitching Monday against KC, but assuming health he'd get a half-dozen starts against the likes of Oak, MFY, TB and Balt., all playoff contenders fielding legit lineups. That's his audition for 2013.

Anything of the mixed-bag variety (i.e., Dice-K to date) and he'd leap at a $13M qualifying offer and use 2013 with the Sox to showcase for a multi-year deal. But (BIG IF) he's excellent in September, maybe it's worth making the offer.

1. At 32 next season, maybe he declines thinking he can get a three- or four-year deal somewhere he'd rather play than Boston and a total package of more like $24M?
2. If he accepts, he could actually help us. Granted, it's an overpay but we're absurdly flush at the moment.

Edited by LeoCarrillo, 26 August 2012 - 11:20 AM.


#36 P'tucket, rhymes with...


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Posted 26 August 2012 - 08:56 AM

There is a real danger that he'll ruin your rebuilding season by putting up another 9 WAR season and almost single-handedly turning you into not just a W/C contender, but a first-place team. (He'll need some help from unlikely sources, like Dustin Pedroia and Jon Lester performing like they have every other year but this one, and the team having the same frequency of injuries experienced by 27 or 28 clubs in any given season.) That's clearly unacceptable if you're intent on rebuilding.


I'm going to assume this is snark. If not, I'm pretty sure the FO would much rather be faced with the outcome you're proposing than selling rock bottom on a guy who then proceeds to put up a 9 WAR season for another team.

#37 j44thor

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 09:15 AM

I'm interested to see what they do with Lester. I'm positive that they will pick up his option, but what about a long-term deal? By 2014, only Buchholz and Doubront will remain as a SPs under contract. And, by 2014 its entirely possible that the Sox will have a ton of pitchers knocking on the door, such as Workman, Britton, Barnes, Webster, Hernandez, Pimentel, and maybe even Owens. Heck, if Ranaudo puts it back together, he may be competing as a career #4 or 5 guy. That is a lot of young, good arms. And not just competing for 2015, but for 2016 and beyond. Furthermore, by 2014 De la Cruz is likely to be playing some permanent role in the rotation.

Let's say that this year for Lester is an aberration (he's certain pitched much better as of late, and was pitching better in June before his awful July), and he puts up something slightly less than his career norms the next two years, say 115-120 ERA+ with an average of 190IP, do you try and resign him? He'll be 32 on opening day 2015 and probably looking for a 4 or 5 year deal. There are potentially 8 to 9 potential prospect starters who could contribute (I'm not even counting Brian Johnson, Noe Ramirez, or Ty Buttrey). Even if we assume a flameout rate of over 50% (Pimentel, Ranaudo, Hernandez are questionable) that is still a crowded rotation. Workman, Britton, Webster, and Hernandez have all had success in AA, which is usually a good barometer of make it or break it. I'm assuming that Barnes will struggle for a little making the jump, but he looks like the real deal. That is 4-5 guys, at least, competing for potentially 2-3 rotation slots.

I wonder if between this off season and July 2013 the Sox try and grab a top position player with some of the starting pitching excess? Or maybe try and convert Britton into a closer or relief ace? The flexibility they have with MiLB pitchers is really nice to see. I guess another, more risky option, is to hope that Lester finishes the last month of the season strong and back to normal with the hopes of shopping him, especially if you don't want to resign him. He'll be more valuable with a year left on his deal (his option is voided if traded), instead of with a half year left if you deal him next trade deadline.


You do realize the odds of getting more than 2 league average pitchers out of the entire lot right now is not very good.
Perhaps in 4-5 years we have another arm or two contributing but that is probably best case.
Soxprospects.com recently released a scouting report and out of all the pitchers listed they came away thinking that Barnes has probably the only realistic shot at being a SP and likely a #3 with #2 upside.

http://news.soxprosp...ating-arms.html

I'd argue they don't have anyone even in the Masterson prospect class let alone Clay,Lester,Paps when they were all in the system.

#38 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 26 August 2012 - 11:01 AM

I expect them to try to spin a chunk of what they just got from the Dodgers for Justin Upton, who is younger than the guys they shipped out and signed through the nice middle distance of '15.


I'm not sure why the Dbacks would really want to trade him now, though. His contract doesn't kick up into the $14M AAV range until 2014, and he's coming off a down year and an injury, so I can't imagine the D'backs would be in a hurry to deal him this offseason. If he comes back strong next year, he'll be a hotter commodity at the deadline. Even after 2014 he's a pretty good deal -- Arizona might well decide not to shop him until the 2014 deadline, or even the 2014-15 offseason.

#39 knucklecup


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Posted 26 August 2012 - 11:18 AM

I was thinking Justin Upton as well. While signing brother BJ for reasonable money at the same time this offseason.

That OF would be remarkable both offensively and defensively.

#40 bosockboy


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Posted 26 August 2012 - 11:41 AM

Concur on Upton....I think he's the impact bat target with LF available now. In light of Keith Law's recent blurb that Bogaerts might stick at SS....that would even make more sense.

#41 The Boomer

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 11:57 AM

Concur on Upton....I think he's the impact bat target with LF available now. In light of Keith Law's recent blurb that Bogaerts might stick at SS....that would even make more sense.


Much more cost effective in terms of likely prospects required and price for production, Chase Headley escaping the San Diego pitcher's park could help to bolster their corner infield just as he reaches his prime.

#42 DeJesus Built My Hotrod


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Posted 26 August 2012 - 11:59 AM

You act like this team just shipped out the three best players on the roster.

The fact is, they shipped out one guy who was a real star. The other two have given questionable contributions of late at best.

[snip]

So if Ellsbury does get healthy and put up another MVP level season in 2013 why is it so hard to believe that this team won't be capable of matching the best months of the 2011 club and seriously compete for first place?

Hell, even if Ellsbury is just healthy and a step below his 2011 pace this team should be very competitive, assuming they find any kind of worthwhile stop gaps to fill in at 1B and LF.


The Red Sox, pre-trade, were playing .472 baseball. That is including the contributions of Gonzalez, Beckett and (to some degree) Crawford. If you count last September, they have played .434 baseball with Gonzalez and Beckett - and by counting those games you get essentially a full season sample size.

Let's assume away injuries because apparently they are bad luck/karma when it happens in Boston. Frankly, I think you need to account for major injuries in your analysis because they do actually happen but lets put that aside.

They do need to replace Gonzalez' production and getting a >.900 OPS from that position is going to be highly unlikely given what is on the roster as well as what is available via free agency. Its a large hole to fill.

Also, in my analysis, I wonder if the Sox will continue to get a .859 OPS from the likes of Cody Ross. I suspect he may regress toward his more mid-to-high .700 OPS, which is more around his career norm, going forward.

You can also assume sky-high contributions from the kids but its also just as likely (if not more so) that Iglesias struggles mightily and that even Lavarnway et al aren't beasts straight out of the gates.

And then there is the pitching. As j44thor above notes they don't have much in the pipeline and you can say "Lester will be Lester" but what does that mean? The fact is that he has declined for three consecutive seasons - ERA+, K/9, WHIP, velocity - whatever measure you'd like.

You can concoct scenarios where Buchholz also takes a step forward but I would counter it by saying that he has had a hard time staying healthy in his career. He has also never come close to 200 IP in a season yet.

The Red Sox can certainly make some roster moves during the offseason that work incredibly well. They may also get lucky with the development of some of their youngsters. But assuming they are going to be a contender involves a lot of hope. Unfortunately, hope isn't really a great strategy for building a winning baseball team.

#43 bosockboy


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Posted 26 August 2012 - 12:07 PM

Much more cost effective in terms of likely prospects required and price for production, Chase Headley escaping the San Diego pitcher's park could help to bolster their corner infield just as he reaches his prime.


Good point.....Headley would presumably be a competent Fenway LF.

#44 nothumb

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 12:11 PM

I've got thoughts scattered across a couple different threads at this point, but I'll chime in here.

I agree with the general perspective that this will be a "big market rebuild" which means the FO will probably put a team on the field in 2013 that projects around .500 but could always get lucky. This means short-money FA deals to veterans who might do well in Fenway, giving some young guys a chance and keeping our ears open in the trade market.

It COULD also mean trading for young guys who are becoming too expensive for their current clubs, who are young enough to project into the "core" of a homegrown contender in 2014-2017, i.e. Felix, Upton, Headley, et al. This and the above are not mutually exclusive - both are sustainable options that allocate resources efficiently. I would just add the caveat that I would not want to empty out the pitching in the farm system for any of these guys, even Felix, because they are not really that deep right now and will need to be if the new approach is going to work.

What does this mean for current players?

Lackey: Moving him makes zero sense at this point. I know we're all so used to wishing he'd get hit by a bus, I think we're forgetting that the last few years are a sunk cost at this point and he now fits much more realistically into this team for the next couple years. His remaining contract is not that bad with the minimum year option added, and we are no longer in a payroll crunch. I would not pay a cent of his contract to move him at this point unless I was getting something good back, and you aren't, so you put him on the field and see what he does. Lackey could easily end up being a steady, reasonably priced mid-rotation veteran the next 2-3 years, which is a valuable asset to this team. If we suck next year and he's off to a great start, you listen to offers.

Ellsbury: As others have said here and I've said elsewhere, I don't see getting a proper return for him in the offseason, so you play him and see what happens. The two most likely options are flipping him at the deadline or keeping him all season. If he has a monster year (something tells me he will) there will be tremendous pressure to extend him. I think that's probably a bad idea BUT depending on how the team looks next year, an Ellsbury contract could be more palatable if it was front-loaded, so the bulk of the "overpay" comes in the years where we have the most flexibility.

Ortiz: This is a big-market rebuild which means they keep him around. Pink hats, etc. I see a 2 year deal with a mutual option.

Ross: Something about this whole turn of events (and last night's debacle) tells me that it just got harder to re-sign Cody Ross. I may be wrong. But if they can get him for 2 or 3 years in the 6-9MM AAV range, I think they should and they will. Big Market Rebuild .

Lester: You listen to offers but you need to be getting back some big pieces. He could be part of a Felix deal, otherwise I think he probably stays and his option gets picked up.

Pedey: Not going anywhere.

Overall, there is no real urgency to move your costly veterans (Bailey, Salty, Lackey, etc) because you have so much flexibility at this point. But you consider it if the price is right. If they do end up swinging a trade for a Felix type or extending Ellsbury, these guys are much more likely to go.

My biggest regret in this whole saga is that Reddick got moved in a deal that Cherington never makes if his payroll isn't fucked.

#45 Eric Van


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Posted 26 August 2012 - 12:11 PM

I'm going to assume this [concern that Ellsbury would "ruin" our rebuilding year by leading us into the WS] is snark. If not, I'm pretty sure the FO would much rather be faced with the outcome you're proposing than selling rock bottom on a guy who then proceeds to put up a 9 WAR season for another team.


Since we traded for Steven Wright, I thought some deadpan was appropriate. But there are people on this board who seem adamant about us needing to suck for a year or more, as if it were some sort of penance we needed to pay. It's actually less desirable than being real good, however.

#46 foulkehampshire


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Posted 26 August 2012 - 12:28 PM

Good point.....Headley would presumably be a competent Fenway LF.


He's a .900 OPS hitter away from Petco. Positional flexibility, switch hitter. Good baserunner, great batting eye.

Might cost a bit.

#47 SoxScout


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Posted 26 August 2012 - 12:40 PM

Judging by what the O's and Padres talked about, a package for Headley would probably be something like Doubront, Jacobs, Vinicio

#48 The Boomer

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 01:00 PM

He's a .900 OPS hitter away from Petco. Positional flexibility, switch hitter. Good baserunner, great batting eye.

Might cost a bit.


True, but what's not to like? Since they couldn't trade him at the regular deadline, his trade value has only increased because he has been hot this last month. The Sox are now in a position to acquire him or Upton or someone of that caliber in a trade because they are set up both in terms of prospects and finances. This will be the best way to add young veteran talent because free agency has generally proven to be so wasteful except if they shop from the bargain bin (e.g. Ross and going back in history Ortiz and Mueller). Fanciful trades for superstars are pure wishful thinking. I would prefer to see a list generated of younger players who are realistic trade targets because their current teams can't or won't keep them.

#49 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 26 August 2012 - 01:09 PM

I'm honestly not sure if I'm comfortable with the idea of trading for King Felix. He may be 26 years old, but he's got 7 full seasons of wear and tear on his arm. So he's an old 26, if that makes any sense. There aren't many signs that his arm is wearing down just yet as his k/9, bb/9 and even his hr/9 have remained consistent but his four seam fastball velocity has dropped 2.1 mph in the last two seasons. Could be random fluctuation and two points form a line not a pattern, but it's enough that when I consider the likely cost of acquiring him through a trade I get a bit nervous.

The team has Lester in house, Buchholz locked up through 2017 and Barnes is looking really promising. With the additions of De La Rosa and Webster, the emergence of Doubront as a quality major league starter and Moralez looking very promising this year, I'm not sure they need to target someone like Hernandez. The farm is currently primed to infuse the major league roster with a lot of quality players over the next few years. If they want to avoid a bloated major league roster full of under performing or oft injured players, they need to take advantage of the opportunity to build from within.

Buchholz looks like a top of the rotation starter again. Lester has been one in the past and still looks like one on the road this year. We don't need the next Pedro Martinez to compete for a title. We just need a solid rotation and they can absolutely build one without emptying the farm for someone like King Felix.

Plus, anyone who things we're going to be able to include someone like Lester to a trade for him is fooling themselves. Why wouldn't they look to get young players with tons of upside instead of a guy who is 2 years older and not as good? Even if they accept Lester as part of a deal, it's still going to cost a boat load of prospects.

Edited by Snodgrass'Muff, 26 August 2012 - 01:11 PM.


#50 SoxScout


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Posted 26 August 2012 - 01:30 PM

I think Shin-Soo Choo is going to be a target this offseason. He didn't rebound to his 09-10 levels, but he is 14th in the AL in OBP, 19th in PIT/PA. He has 1 year left at about $7M, then you either sign him or offer him a qualifying offer and have him for $13M or get a pick. The Indians are open to trading him (and Masterson) according to Heyman.