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The 2013 OF Polls


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Poll: If you're Ben ... (174 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you trade Ellsbury this winter?

  1. Almost certainly (17 votes [9.77%])

    Percentage of vote: 9.77%

  2. Probably (28 votes [16.09%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.09%

  3. Maybe, depends (63 votes [36.21%])

    Percentage of vote: 36.21%

  4. Probably not (43 votes [24.71%])

    Percentage of vote: 24.71%

  5. Almost certainly not (23 votes [13.22%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.22%

Do you re-sign Cody Ross?

  1. Almost certainly (47 votes [27.01%])

    Percentage of vote: 27.01%

  2. Probably (76 votes [43.68%])

    Percentage of vote: 43.68%

  3. Maybe, depends (40 votes [22.99%])

    Percentage of vote: 22.99%

  4. Probably not (10 votes [5.75%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.75%

  5. Almost certainly not (1 votes [0.57%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.57%

Do you acquire a second corner OF (along with Ross or alternative)?

  1. Almost certainly (56 votes [32.18%])

    Percentage of vote: 32.18%

  2. Probably (67 votes [38.51%])

    Percentage of vote: 38.51%

  3. Maybe, depends (37 votes [21.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.26%

  4. Probably not (11 votes [6.32%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.32%

  5. Almost certainly not (3 votes [1.72%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.72%

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#1 Eric Van


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Posted 08 October 2012 - 01:02 AM

Answers are all: considering what you think the market will be, what you think the cost is likely to be, and who you think might be the other players involved, when appropriate (i.e., who they might acquire to replace JE, acquire instead of Ross, or acquire to complement Ross or his alternative).

In the "second corner OF" question, answering "no" means going with Kalish, Sweeney, Sands, Nava, Brentz. You can assume that the acquisition might be a 1-year rental like Choo.

Edited by Eric Van, 08 October 2012 - 01:03 AM.


#2 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 09 October 2012 - 07:51 AM

I found it interesting that a majority were in favor of keeping Ross *and* acquiring another corner OF, while being lukewarm at best on dealing Ellsbury this winter. That represents a pretty strong vote of no confidence in our current OF contingent aside from Ellsbury and Ross: Kalish, Nava, Lin, Podsednik, Sweeney, Sands. Apparently not that many of us think there's even a viable platoon combination lurking in that group.

#3 JMDurron

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 11:29 AM

The key, to me, is that Cody Ross struck me as a ideal LF candidate, defensively, and as a major asset as a RHH in Fenway Park. That makes me want to keep him, but keep him in LF over the course of however long his contract runs (preferably 3 years or less, hence my selection of "probably"). If Ross is in LF, then the suitability of the remaining candidates changes significantly. Nava is out due to defense. Lin, Podsednik, Sweeney, and Kalish all strike me as far too likely to be offensively worthless to pencil in as a starting RF. I believe that Sands is expected to be a potentially serviceable LF, not a Fenway RF candidate. An acquisition like Choo would be necessary for RF in this scenario.

#4 JakeRae


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Posted 09 October 2012 - 11:57 AM

The key, to me, is that Cody Ross struck me as a ideal LF candidate, defensively, and as a major asset as a RHH in Fenway Park. That makes me want to keep him, but keep him in LF over the course of however long his contract runs (preferably 3 years or less, hence my selection of "probably"). If Ross is in LF, then the suitability of the remaining candidates changes significantly. Nava is out due to defense. Lin, Podsednik, Sweeney, and Kalish all strike me as far too likely to be offensively worthless to pencil in as a starting RF. I believe that Sands is expected to be a potentially serviceable LF, not a Fenway RF candidate. An acquisition like Choo would be necessary for RF in this scenario.

What is wrong with Cody Ross in RF? For his career, it has been his best defensive position in the OF and he has been slightly above average there (UZR).

I like the idea of a Sands/Nava LF platoon, so I'm really only looking to fill RF this offseason. I would only trade Ellsbury if another team overpayed significantly. In the event that happens, I would push hard for Upton or both Choo and Ross (RF platoon plus CF insurance). If Ellsbury out and Upton in can be done in a reasonably cost neutral manner, that puts the organization in a better long term position from the perspective of the organization's strengths. Keeping Ross makes more sense in this scenario as he provides CF insurance in case neither Kalish nor Bradley is ready. Assuming that no one is willing to give up that sort of value for Ellsbury, I probably look to hang onto Ross, kick the tires on Choo and jump if the price is reasonable, and call it an offseason.

#5 ScubaSteveAvery


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Posted 09 October 2012 - 12:16 PM

I like a platoon with Sands, but I'm not sure Nava is the other part of the platoon. I'd like to see an in-house competition for the other side of the platoon between Nava, Linares, and Kalish. If Sands beats them out by hitting decent against righties, then give him the position to open the year.

#6 JakeRae


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Posted 09 October 2012 - 12:24 PM

I like a platoon with Sands, but I'm not sure Nava is the other part of the platoon. I'd like to see an in-house competition for the other side of the platoon between Nava, Linares, and Kalish. If Sands beats them out by hitting decent against righties, then give him the position to open the year.

Linares is RH.

#7 ScubaSteveAvery


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Posted 09 October 2012 - 12:35 PM

Linares is RH.


True, although still an .864 hitter against righties last year in AA & AAA. Not ideal, and would be an odd platoon, but probably better than Sands against RHPs.

Edited by ScubaSteveAvery, 09 October 2012 - 12:36 PM.


#8 JMDurron

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 07:20 AM

What is wrong with Cody Ross in RF? For his career, it has been his best defensive position in the OF and he has been slightly above average there (UZR).


Before this year's team drove me to the "fuck it all, I'm out" point sometime in August, watching Ross in RF left me distinctly unimpressed with his range. I don't expect that range to improve with age from 32-34, again assuming a 3-year deal. He had something of a "Trot Nixon 2004" lumbering about him with balls that he just barely couldn't seem to reach laterally. I'm less interested in his career numbers (which seem to fluctuate wildly from year to year) than in his projected capability going forward, and I think I'd prefer to take him as an above average defensive LF than as a average and declining RF, particularly in Fenway.

#9 ScubaSteveAvery


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Posted 10 October 2012 - 01:20 PM

One of the things that worries most about Ross is how much of his value is derived from playing at Fenway Park. He is a completely different player there than on the road. This year his OPS .921 at Fenway, compared to .684 on the road (in nearly the same amount of plate appearances). His swing is made for Fenway, and it shows. And while that is not necessarily a bad thing, I wouldn't want to give somebody a starting job for multiple years at a higher salary, when they are only good half of the time.

#10 maufman


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Posted 10 October 2012 - 04:20 PM

I'm a "maybe" on Ross. I still think he gets 3/21, and if that's the case I hope he gets it elsewhere. On the other hand, if Ross only commands the 2/10 that most folks here think he'll get, I'm fully on board with bringing him back.

I found it interesting that a majority were in favor of keeping Ross *and* acquiring another corner OF, while being lukewarm at best on dealing Ellsbury this winter. That represents a pretty strong vote of no confidence in our current OF contingent aside from Ellsbury and Ross: Kalish, Nava, Lin, Podsednik, Sweeney, Sands. Apparently not that many of us think there's even a viable platoon combination lurking in that group.


I see one contributor in that group -- either Nava or Sweeney. You can take Sweeney for his glove and positional flexibility, or Nava for his bat and his youth, but I don't see room for two LHH corner OFs who must be platooned. I think the money and upside tilt the balance in Nava's favor, but reasonable opinion can differ.

Podsednik is no more than a 5th OF -- adequate defensively in CF, good pinch-runner, not enough offense to be even replacement level in the corners.

Sands struck out 106 times vs. 59 BBs in 522 PAs at Triple-A Albuquerque, and his 900 OPS there doesn't translate to adequate production at sea level in The Show.
Kalish hit 261/336/414 at Pawtucket. He can't be part of the big club's 2013 roster construction calculus.
Lin hit 247/323/316 at Pawtucket, which is substantially in line with what he did in AAA in 2011. Not a serious option.

Even if Ross re-signs and Ellsbury isn't traded, you at least need a RHH outfielder to platoon with Nava. If Ross or Ellsbury doesn't return, or if you don't think Nava deserves to play 100+ games, you need to make a significant acquisition.

#11 judyb

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 05:01 PM

Nava's 2 years older than Sweeney.

#12 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 10 October 2012 - 05:02 PM

Nava is two years older than Sweeney, FWIW. I don't see any reason to bring Sweeney back, especially at ~2M or so he'll he in arbitration. A corner outfielder with absolutely no power or speed? Where's the upside? Nava can at least get on base and is cheap so he probably sticks around until there's a better option.

#13 maufman


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Posted 10 October 2012 - 05:13 PM

Nava is two years older than Sweeney, FWIW. I don't see any reason to bring Sweeney back, especially at ~2M or so he'll he in arbitration. A corner outfielder with absolutely no power or speed? Where's the upside? Nava can at least get on base and is cheap so he probably sticks around until there's a better option.


Thanks for the correction, guys. I knew Nava wasn't truly "young," but I thought he was younger than he is.

I guess that makes me incline further toward acquiring someone to play LF. A Nava/TBD (or Nava/Sands) platoon is ugly enough if the strong side has upside; if he doesn't, then it's nothing but a cost-cutting move. Given the Sox' free cash and the dearth of attractive big-money targets, I don't see why we'd live with such a poor situation there.

#14 Papelbon's Poutine


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Posted 10 October 2012 - 07:49 PM

I found it interesting that a majority were in favor of keeping Ross *and* acquiring another corner OF, while being lukewarm at best on dealing Ellsbury this winter. That represents a pretty strong vote of no confidence in our current OF contingent aside from Ellsbury and Ross: Kalish, Nava, Lin, Podsednik, Sweeney, Sands. Apparently not that many of us think there's even a viable platoon combination lurking in that group.


At least for me, in part, it's that I don't see a need to go with a questionable platoon given the payroll room the Sox have. Why take the risk if you can acquire a veteran on a short deal that you know will produce? Personally, the only one you listed that I think is even worth potentially a full time roll is Kalish and I think he needs another year at AAA.

If the Sox want to actually be in contention next year, there's few easy spots to improve and OF offers the best opportunity in different ways. For instance, is the following too crazy to consider?:

Trade Ellsbury to Texas for Andrus.
Resign Ross.
Trade with MIN for Morneau and Willingham.
Sign Victorino for one year to wait on Bradley.

None of that puts a huge hit on the farm and you're essentially good to go use your assets to address SP. Or move Ells to get that SP and stay the course at SS. I think it's at least 90% certain that the Sox won't (or at least shouldn't) be the team to give Ells his mega deal. So move him and make up for the drop in production on the corners where this is available, moderately priced options.

#15 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 11 October 2012 - 07:34 AM

Trade Ellsbury to Texas for Andrus.
Resign Ross.
Trade with MIN for Morneau and Willingham.
Sign Victorino for one year to wait on Bradley.


Resulting in an OF of Willingham/Victorino/Ross. I'm not sure I like the relentless righthandedness (yes, I know Victorino's a switch-hitter, but he's a SHINO; he's always hit worse against RHP, and this trend has accelerated in recent years). The combined line of those three vs. RHP this year was .251/.323/.416.

#16 BigMike


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Posted 11 October 2012 - 12:05 PM

At least for me, in part, it's that I don't see a need to go with a questionable platoon given the payroll room the Sox have. Why take the risk if you can acquire a veteran on a short deal that you know will produce? Personally, the only one you listed that I think is even worth potentially a full time roll is Kalish and I think he needs another year at AAA.

If the Sox want to actually be in contention next year, there's few easy spots to improve and OF offers the best opportunity in different ways. For instance, is the following too crazy to consider?:

Trade Ellsbury to Texas for Andrus.
Resign Ross.
Trade with MIN for Morneau and Willingham.
Sign Victorino for one year to wait on Bradley.

None of that puts a huge hit on the farm and you're essentially good to go use your assets to address SP. Or move Ells to get that SP and stay the course at SS. I think it's at least 90% certain that the Sox won't (or at least shouldn't) be the team to give Ells his mega deal. So move him and make up for the drop in production on the corners where this is available, moderately priced options.


See I don't know if Ellsbury's value is that high.

Honestly, I think Ellsbury might be the hardest player in baseball to put a value on at this point. The only solid piece of information we know is any team looking to acquire him HAS to view him as a 1 year rental. He was incredible, hall of fame season in 2010, but he hasn't flashed that level of talent in any other season. And he has been hurt, and flat sucked when he did play in 2 of the past 3 years.

I know Texas has Profar coming, and maybe they want to make room, but still a lot to give up

#17 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 11 October 2012 - 12:16 PM

I'm with Mike. A team acquiring Ellsbury gets a guy with a career line of 297 / 349 / 442, who is never healthy, and the right to pay him $10M for a year.I think Andrus, with 3 years / $14M left on his deal could fetch a lot more than that.

I'm also not sure I understand Minnesota's motivation for dumping Morneau and WIllingham. There's so little FA talent at those positions that those guys available via trade will cost a lot.