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Shortstop in 2013 and beyond.


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#1 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 21 October 2012 - 05:15 PM

If the rumors are true, Mike Aviles is on his way to Toronto as compensation for prying John Farrell away. If this is true, the Red Sox have a big hole at short stop. If it turns out to be untrue, they still have a long term question there and could look to address it this winter, so let's look at the options beyond Aviles.

In house we have Jose Iglesias, Ivan De Jesus and Pedro Ciriaco. None of those names inspire much confidence so if Aviles really is on his way out, the front office may well be planning to look to the free agent or trade markets. The free agent and potential free agent crop is as follows:

Jason Bartlett (33)
Yuniesky Betancourt (31)
Brian Bixler (30)
Ronny Cedeno (30)
Stephen Drew (30) - $10MM mutual option with a $1.35MM buyout
Alberto Gonzalez (30)
Alex Gonzalez (35) - $4MM vesting option. Details here.
Cesar Izturis (33)
Jhonny Peralta (31) - $6MM club option with a $500K buyout
Marco Scutaro (37)

Then there is the farm system which touts Xander Bogaerts, Deven Marrero, Jose Vinicio and Tzu-Wei Lin among the top forty ranked by soxprospects.com. The only one of those names who is anywhere near ready to take a shot at the majors is Bogaerts and the Sox have every incentive to be cautious with their top prospect. They could certainly throw him to the wolves and let him sink or swim but I imagine they'd be very hesitant to do that meaning the answer for 2013 is not likely to come from the farm. Bogaerts could get promoted later in the year if he continues to murder the ball in Portland, skipping Pawtucket entirely, but to start the season the Sox will either need to accept an awful hitter in Iglesias or take a risk with Ciriaco if they want to stay in house.

So I'm leaning toward bringing in an asset from outside the organization. A short term contract with a free agent makes more sense to me since trading for a short stop seems a poor use of resources short term with Bogaerts so close to major league ready. I realize he's going to have to move off of the position at some point, but I haven't seen any reports that suggest it needs to happen right now. If the Sox can get three or four years out of him at short before moving him to another position, why wouldn't they try to do that?

I'd guess we'll see the team looking into a free agent option this winter. Johnny Peralta (2.6 fWAR) is the best option by fWAR but seems unlikely to have his team option declined. Same goes for Stephen Drew which leaves a pretty poor group of players to choose from. Marco Scutaro had 2.5 fWAR but is 37 years old. Would he sign a one year deal? Will he be offered 2 years from someone else?

The possibility of a trade for Andrus seems remote at this point, considering the rumor of Ellsbury for Holland. Is it worth depleting the farm system for the fifth highest fWAR in baseball at the SS position in 2012? I'm not so sure, but apparently the cost would not be insignificant. It's obviously worth picking up the phone for (and I'm sure Ben has already done so), but I'm not convinced the price will be worth paying unless the organization is convinced that Bogaerts will never play a day at short in his major league career.

I'm left undecided on what the proper course of action might be. It seems that there's a pretty significant chance that the short stop position will be a weakness for the Sox in 2013.

Edited by Snodgrass'Muff, 21 October 2012 - 05:19 PM.


#2 SoxScout


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Posted 21 October 2012 - 05:28 PM

I'm fine with Iglesias at this point. We will not do anything without pitching, so at this point, anything to help them first and foremost is fine with me. The options available are all awful and I'd rather let Iglesias shit or get off the pot and see what happens with his BABIP and CT%.

FWIW, Bradford was all over Ellsbury for Andrus on the radio this morning.

#3 SoxFanPJ


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Posted 21 October 2012 - 05:43 PM

Baring a major trade for a SS (like Andrus), giving Iglesias the chance to succeed or more likely fail is the best option. Internally if the Red Sox think Xander can stick at SS for the early part of his career, then 2013 may be Iglesias only chance to establish himself as an everyday SS (with the Red Sox) at the MLB level. If Iglesias fails then he fails, but if he succeeds then you have an asset to deal before 2014 or the option of moving Xander to another position.

Realistically it makes no sense to go into the SS FA market unless you are signing someone for 1 year. 2013 is the year you lay a foundation for the future.

#4 JimBoSox9


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Posted 21 October 2012 - 05:48 PM

I'm driving the Ells-for-Andrus bandwagon, but I think the constraints of Iglesias' contract (covered in another thread) means they are likely to hand him the job in 2013 (although likely making a show of a 'competition' in ST), even though the numbers suggest he should play all of next year in Pawtucket.

#5 MHead81

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 06:15 PM

Ellsbury+ for Andrus, sign Angel Pagan for CF. Andrus ranks 3rd in fWAR for SS over the past 2 seasons and 6th since he became a regular in 2009. Who knows how realistic Texas dealing him is (I have read they may just move Kinsler to OF and either Profar or Andrus to 2B), but he'd be a perfect addition. Since he's only under contract through 2014 ($4.8M for 2013 and $6.475M for 2014), he'd give the front office 2 more years to decide if Boegarts can stick at SS or not. If Boegarts can't stay there, you'd be fine re-signing Andrus to a mulit-year deal at that point when he'd be entering only his age-26 season.

#6 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 21 October 2012 - 06:33 PM

Aviles was never in the plans; there's a reason why he didn't play in the last month. I think they're committed to Iglesias. He can't hit, but we know that. But, Aviles couldn't really either, and none of the FA's really seem worth it. Give him a go and see what happens, I guess.

#7 TheYellowDart5


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Posted 21 October 2012 - 07:40 PM

It's unlikely the starting SS will be anyone but Iglesias. I doubt more time in Pawtucket would make any difference for him, and contract-wise, the FO has to find out whether or not he's worth keeping around after his deal expires. The other MLB roster in-house options aren't viable starters, Bogaerts is at least half a season, and more likely a full season, away from being ready, and the FA options are decidedly pathetic. Andrus in a trade is a possibility, but I'm still skeptical that happens, and even if it does, the talent cost would be high.

What'll be interesting to watch is how the FO goes about preparing a backup plan in case Iglesias can't hack it. There's a really good chance we get to Memorial Day and Iglesias' OPS is hovering somewhere south of 600. I can't imagine the FO would stick with that all season long.

So Iglesias will start, barring an Andrus trade. The FO's real challenge will be to find a competent backup SS who can take the reins should Iglesias falter. Whether they do that in free agency or via trade, it's something they're going to need.

And this would probably be a separate thread, but I'd love to know what the breaking point is, essentially, for offense vs. defense when it comes to this team and to Iglesias in particular. If, in fact, his noodle bat turns out to be extra soggy but his defense is top-notch, does the team suck it up, plug him in the no. 9 spot, take the three-four automatic outs every night and just roll with him? Iglesias is going to be a really interesting case study in just how good one's defense has to be to make up for a lack of offense.

#8 koufax32


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Posted 21 October 2012 - 08:34 PM

I'm in the trade Iglesias camp. I just don't see him ever getting near a .730 or so ops. So you can see my hesitancy in getting onto the playing him this year bandwagon.
To directly answer the question I'm a big fan of the trade for Andrus option if it is indeed available.

#9 bosockboy


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Posted 21 October 2012 - 08:37 PM

Ellsbury+ for Andrus, sign Angel Pagan for CF. Andrus ranks 3rd in fWAR for SS over the past 2 seasons and 6th since he became a regular in 2009. Who knows how realistic Texas dealing him is (I have read they may just move Kinsler to OF and either Profar or Andrus to 2B), but he'd be a perfect addition. Since he's only under contract through 2014 ($4.8M for 2013 and $6.475M for 2014), he'd give the front office 2 more years to decide if Boegarts can stick at SS or not. If Boegarts can't stay there, you'd be fine re-signing Andrus to a mulit-year deal at that point when he'd be entering only his age-26 season.


Love the concept....including signing Pagan. I have doubts that Ellsbury is enough to get Andrus though.

#10 MHead81

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 08:42 PM

I have doubts that Ellsbury is enough to get Andrus though.

That's why I said "Ellsbury+," sorry if it wasn't more clearly stated. I don't know exactly how much "+" would be, but I am sure that Ellsbury for Andrus one-for-one isn't enough.

#11 bosockboy


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Posted 21 October 2012 - 08:49 PM

That's why I said "Ellsbury+," sorry if it wasn't more clearly stated. I don't know exactly how much "+" would be, but I am sure that Ellsbury for Andrus one-for-one isn't enough.


Nope my bad....I missed your +. Ellsbury/Brentz/Bard....too much?

#12 David Laurila


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Posted 21 October 2012 - 09:00 PM

I'm in the trade Iglesias camp. I just don't see him ever getting near a .730 or so ops.


A reminder to all that Iglesias is 22 years old and arguably the best defensive shortstop in baseball. As for his bat, here are the OPS numbers of three notable players in their first four MLB seasons, with their age 23 years bolded:

Ozzie Smith: .623, .522, .589, .549
Omar Vizquel: .534, .593, .595, .692
Alan Trammell: .675, .691, .779, .669

#13 maufman


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Posted 21 October 2012 - 09:11 PM

Sending Aviles to Toronto signals the FO is at least open to the possibility of letting Iglesias and Ciriaco compete for the starting SS job. Those guys had identical OBPs last year at Pawtucket (though Ciriaco slugged 100 points better), so I agree that Iglesias would have the inside track in such a competition.

Being open to the possibility of Iglesias or Ciriaco doesn't mean that one of them is certain, or even likely, to win the starting job. Of the guys on Snod's list, only Peralta and Drew are likely to get two-year deals (if Peralta is even available), and it wouldn't surprise me if both seek one-year "challenge" contracts to re-establish their value. If the Sox lack confidence in the internal options, they won't be wanting for options that wouldn't risk blocking Bogaerts or burdening the team with financial commitments in 2014 and beyond.

#14 maufman


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Posted 21 October 2012 - 09:20 PM

A reminder to all that Iglesias is 22 years old and arguably the best defensive shortstop in baseball. As for his bat, here are the OPS numbers of three notable players in their first four MLB seasons, with their age 23 years bolded:

Ozzie Smith: .623, .522, .589, .549
Omar Vizquel: .534, .593, .595, .692
Alan Trammell: .675, .691, .779, .669


Ozzie Smith was rushed from Low-A to The Show.

Alan Trammell posted a 779 OPS in AA at age 19.

Vizquel is a decent comp, and I'd set the over/under for Iglesias next year somewhere around Vizquel's 534 rookie line. If Aviles's 610 OPS after the ASB is what he'll produce going forward, Iglesias's glove makes him an upgrade -- but that's an awfully low bar to clear.

#15 P'tucket, rhymes with...


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Posted 21 October 2012 - 09:22 PM

A reminder to all that Iglesias is 22 years old and arguably the best defensive shortstop in baseball. As for his bat, here are the OPS numbers of three notable players in their first four MLB seasons, with their age 23 years bolded:

Ozzie Smith: .623, .522, .589, .549
Omar Vizquel: .534, .593, .595, .692
Alan Trammell: .675, .691, .779, .669


Trammell really doesn't belong in your comparison. His OBP during his age 22 season was .376, and it was .342 for his age 23 season. We'll all die of exhaustion from fapping if Iglesias approaches those numbers next year.

Having said that, I suppose it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to give Iglesias the starting spot next year--my expectations for the team is that they probably won't be playing for much (which, by the way, made it easier for Oz's and Omar's teams to see what they could do). If he breaks through to even a Vizquelian OBP of .300ish, great. If not, at least you got as much data as you could before having to decide on re-signing him.

Edit--what Maufman said.

Edited by P'tucket, rhymes with..., 21 October 2012 - 09:26 PM.


#16 P'tucket, rhymes with...


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Posted 21 October 2012 - 09:25 PM

double post

Edited by P'tucket, rhymes with..., 21 October 2012 - 09:25 PM.


#17 Super Nomario


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Posted 21 October 2012 - 09:33 PM

A reminder to all that Iglesias is 22 years old and arguably the best defensive shortstop in baseball. As for his bat, here are the OPS numbers of three notable players in their first four MLB seasons, with their age 23 years bolded:

Ozzie Smith: .623, .522, .589, .549
Omar Vizquel: .534, .593, .595, .692
Alan Trammell: .675, .691, .779, .669

What does a guy like Alan Trammell, who as you noted put up a .779 OPS in the majors at age 22, have to do with Iglesias, who put up a .624 OPS at Pawtucket at the same age?

And of course, for each of the Ozzie Smiths and Omar Vizquels of the world who learned to hit competently, there are probably a few Rafael Belliards and John McDonalds and Adam Everetts (Deivi Cruz, Yuniesky Betancourt, Pat Meares, Gary Disarcina, etc.).

I'm not suggesting the Red Sox cut Iglesias, but I'm not sure why they'd hand him the starting SS job without showing them more bat in the minors first.

#18 The Boomer

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 09:35 PM

A reminder to all that Iglesias is 22 years old and arguably the best defensive shortstop in baseball. As for his bat, here are the OPS numbers of three notable players in their first four MLB seasons, with their age 23 years bolded:

Ozzie Smith: .623, .522, .589, .549
Omar Vizquel: .534, .593, .595, .692
Alan Trammell: .675, .691, .779, .669


Somebody should look up Mark Belanger's numbers too. His noodle bat didn't prevent those great 60's and 70's Orioles teams from almost yearly championship contention.

#19 TheYellowDart5


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Posted 21 October 2012 - 09:40 PM

A reminder to all that Iglesias is 22 years old and arguably the best defensive shortstop in baseball. As for his bat, here are the OPS numbers of three notable players in their first four MLB seasons, with their age 23 years bolded:

Ozzie Smith: .623, .522, .589, .549
Omar Vizquel: .534, .593, .595, .692
Alan Trammell: .675, .691, .779, .669


So you picked three relatively no-hit, all-glove SS who were able to improve their offense as they went along, and ignored the dozens upon dozens of no-hit, all-glove SS who never developed any offensive ability as they progressed, and that's somehow a fair comparison?

Who cares what Smith, Trammell and Vizquel did when they were young? Unless you have some study that shows that Iglesias is a carbon copy of one of those three, it's irrelevant.

Sending Aviles to Toronto signals the FO is at least open to the possibility of letting Iglesias and Ciriaco compete for the starting SS job. Those guys had identical OBPs last year at Pawtucket (though Ciriaco slugged 100 points better), so I agree that Iglesias would have the inside track in such a competition.


If the Red Sox are determined to start a shortstop who's going to struggle to break .300 in OBP, can they at least make it the young guy with the slick glove and a possible future? I really don't understand what Ciriaco did, other than benefit from some BABIP luck and stroke a few ultimately meaningless hits against the Yankees, that's made people so enamored of him. He's the definition of a replacement-level utility infielder, no more and no less. Making him the starter is pretty much announcing to the league that the Sox are aiming for 75 wins.

#20 The Boomer

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 09:43 PM

Pittsfield's Blade managed a .580 OPS over his 6600 major league plate appearances over 18 years. Shortstop defense is often underrated and light hitting from that position at the bottom of a batting order isn't fatal. Here are Belanger's career stats:

http://www.baseball-...belanma01.shtml

#21 DanoooME


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Posted 21 October 2012 - 10:12 PM

If Yuniesky Betancourt ends up on this team at all, let alone with any kind of money, this FO didn't learn anything from the Punto signing. Betancourt is a much lesser glove and at bat makes Mike Aviles look like A Rod in his early 20s.

How much worse can it be? Aviles was a SLG heavy .663 OPS this past year. The MLB average SS was at .688. Boston as a team was at .642, which ranked 24th in MLB. 4 teams had an OPS under .600 OPS at SS, with Seattle trailing the field by far at .543. Is that the floor? They certainly aren't going to lose a lot relative to all of MLB. It's worth a gamble, because if he's Bogaerts is as good as his copy, the Sox might be starting him at SS in 2014, and then they'd know if Iglesias can be a starting SS, a decent utility man or the second coming of John McDonald.

#22 bob burda

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 10:18 PM

Shortstop defense wasn't underrated in the 60s and 70s - there were lots of good field/no hit guys like Belanger, some were better (Roger Metzger,Dal Maxvil) than others (Enzo Hernadez or the infamous Mario Mendoza). It was taken for granted that your shortstop needed sure handedness,great range, and a cannon arm. If you could get any offense at all out of him it was a huge plus. These guys would hover between a 55-80 OPS. If you look at them, you'd see they didn't last quite as long as Belanger. I imagine that as soon as they lost a step defensively or the arm weakened at all, you'd bring in another guy to take his place (like Belanger's replacement, the great Kiko Garcia). Iglesias would be a throwback to these days.

I have to believe that you could win championships with guys like this back then because almost everybody did it, and you were not giving away a big competitive advantage by playing them regularly.

#23 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 21 October 2012 - 11:12 PM

So you picked three relatively no-hit, all-glove SS who were able to improve their offense as they went along, and ignored the dozens upon dozens of no-hit, all-glove SS who never developed any offensive ability as they progressed, and that's somehow a fair comparison?


Beyond that, in the case of all of DL's comps (as well as Belanger), the noodle bat was compensated for by a respectable walk rate. Ozzie Smith had a 10% career walk rate. Vizquel had a >10% walk rate in the minors and an 8.6 in the majors. Belanger and Trammell (who of course became a pretty good overall hitter), same deal. Another example: Bud Harrelson. A brilliant (though not quite Belanger-level) defensive SS who couldn't hit for shit, but was able to draw walks at a high enough rate to make him something more than a black hole.

Iglesias has shown no sign of that kind of plate discipline--in fact, for the past two years he has shown no sign of any offensive talent whatsoever. Right now, the default assumption is that if the Sox start him in 2013, they're playing by NL rules while their opponents play by AL rules (except in road interleague play, where the Sox will feature not one but two pitchers in the lineup).

I think we should give Iglesias one more year in AAA to show some sign of offensive development, and in the meantime, go after a make-good deal for Drew if the A's don't pick up his option, which seems like at least a 50-50 chance. Let Iglesias and Bogaerts fight for the job in 2014, when there's a much better chance that at least one of them will be ready for it.

A deal for Andrus would be my second choice. If that doesn't pan out either, well, give it to Iglesias and cross your fingers, I guess.

#24 The Gray Eagle


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Posted 22 October 2012 - 09:50 AM

We need to trade for a SS, IMO. I like Iglesias, but he's not ready to even put up a .280 OBP in the majors. He needs to start in AAA while get a veteran to play SS for this season. Let Iglesias try to win playing time by showing some offense. If we have too many shortstops all of a sudden, that is a great thing, not a problem. I just don't think you can hand him the job at this point.

Here are some SS who reportedly might be available in trades:
(I used Fielding Bible numbers for defense mostly because everyone can easily access UZR numbers, but FB numbers aren't so easy to find, and might offer some different info from the usual UZR take. I mostly used OBP for offense, because we are looking for a guy who can get on base decently, to not be an automatic out so that the lineup is deeper and turns around quickly. If we wanted a SLG-heavy SS, we just gave one away for a manager. OBP is what we should be looking at IMO.)

Tulowitzki: his contract basically runs forever: $10 million in 2013, followed by $16 million in 2014, then $20 million every year from 2015 through 2019, then $14 million in 2020. He's had injury problems too. Great player when healthy, but that contract, yeesh. Fielding Bible has him at +17, +8 and -8 runs over the past three seasons. Not a promising direction with that contract.

Hanley Ramirez: Gets $15.5 million in 2013, then $16 million in 2014. Is he available? The money doesn't seem to be a problem at all for the Dodgers. But they do have Dee Gordon coming back at SS and Luis Cruz who can play SS and 3B as well. (Cruz moved from SS to 3B with Hanley playing SS after the trade.) So they might be willing to move Hanley, but they don't need to dump salary, so they'd want something good in return. Fielding Bible has him at -21, -16 and -6 (500 innings) the past three seasons, so he's not good with the glove, but he's not so bad he can't play there either. The Dodgers acquired him and Randy Choate for young starter Nate Eovaldi and minor league right-hander Scott McGough. So if they were to move him, they would presumably want a better package than they gave up. MAybe we give them back Webster and some more parts?

Maybe Gordon would be someone worth looking into-- he was terrible last year, but had a .324 OBP in 2011 and is still 24. He was their SS of the future a year ago. If the Dodgers are keeping Hanley, then either Gordon or Cruz might be available. Gordon was -2, -14 in Fielding Bible +/- the past two seasons but is supposed to have great range and defensive potential. Cruz is more of a utility IF, but was an even 0 in +/- last year in 205 innings at SS, and +11 at 3B in 427 innings. Cruz came out of nowhere this year to put up a 106 OPS+ in 296 PAs. He turns 29 before the season. I just found out a sickening fact: we traded this guy for Cesar Goddamn Crespo in 2002. He might be a total flash in the pan, but it sounds like he's going to be in the Dodgers plans now.

Might be worth finding out what the Dodgers plan to do and how much they might want for their prospective shortstops.

Jose Reyes: Another godawful contract: $10 million in 2013, $16 million in 2014, but then $22 million a year from 2015 through 2018. Fielding Bible has him at -5, -18 and -18 over the past three seasons, really not a good thing with that contract. Avoid. I wouldn't even trade Lackey for that contract. They'd have to give us Reyes and Josh Johnson or something to even consider taking on that Crawford-like albatross deal.

Andrus: Makes $4.8 million in 2013, then $6.5 million in 2014. FB +/- says -6, +7 and +12 the past three seasons. He's good and young but will cost a lot in a trade.

Yunel Escobar: The Jays want to dump him because of his moronic eye-black scandal. That was appallingly stupid on his part. So there would no doubt be a PR hit from acquiring him. But he was +10, +10 and +22 with the glove the past three years, will make $5 million in 2013, with club options for 2014 and 2015. He's got a career .353 OBP and turns 30 in November. According to Heyman's twittering, they are looking to dump him, "but it won't be easy." Maybe one of the first things Cherington should talk to Farrell about is Escobar-- what the hell the real deal was with the eyeblack, how he would do in Boston, etc. If he gives the thumbs up on this guy, he could be a great pickup to buy low on.

Free agent:
Stephen Drew: He's got a club option for next year for $10 million, with a $1.35 million buyout. If Oakland doesn't want to pay him $10 million and we did, we could send them a nothing prospect for the contract, and save them the $1.35 million. But since Oakland just traded Pennington, maybe they are planning on keeping Drew. We could also wait on it and see if he hits the free agent market, but with shortstops scarce, he could land a two-year deal from someone. He's been -5, +1 and -8 at SS the past three years according to FB. Drew is a lefty batter who turns 30 in March. He's got a career .328 OBP. For his career, he has an OPS+ of 106 against RHP but 84 vs. lefties. So maybe he could split time for us at SS this year with Iglesias, or start the season at SS for us while Iglesias tries to show some offense in AAA. Probably not a great pickup at $10 million, but then again, if you don't have to commit to more than one year, it might be worth it. If Oakland wants him back, then he won't be available.

minor league contract/backup IF type of free agent:
Jason Bartlett: Bartlett went on the DL back in May I think, then got released by SD later in the year. He was awful at the plate this season. The past three seasons, he was +2, -11 and -3 in +/- (with the -3 this year in only 233 innings.) He'll turn 33 in a week. He could be washed up. But he wouldn't cost anything to bring in and see if he can still field the position. He's got a .336 career OBP, was at .324 in 2010 in the AL East, then .308 at Petco last year. Has zero power (though it seemed like every home run he ever hit was against the Red Sox.) Since he might be washed up, you don't give him any big guarantee, but maybe bring him in to spring training to show what he can do and to fight for PT and to offer insurance if Iglesias continues to hit worse than a pitcher.

Edited by The Gray Eagle, 22 October 2012 - 10:59 AM.


#25 xjack


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Posted 22 October 2012 - 10:32 AM

Why is the consensus that it would take more than Ellsbury to land Andrus? Most of Andrus's value comes from defensive metrics that seem unreliable. The guy was a league-average SS just two years ago.

Personally, I'd rather get one last year and a draft pick out of Ellsbury than trade him (or sign him to a long-term deal). It seems like Boras clients perform well during contract years, and given the lack of offensive talent in this year's free agent market (I don't consider Hamilton a real option), keeping Ellsbury seems like the only way to have any hope of contending in 2013. If they fall out of contention and then someone wants to overpay -- like the Giants did with Beltran and Zack Wheeler -- they can trade him at next year's deadline.

#26 redsoxstiff


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Posted 22 October 2012 - 10:37 AM

A reminder to all that Iglesias is 22 years old and arguably the best defensive shortstop in baseball. As for his bat, here are the OPS numbers of three notable players in their first four MLB seasons, with their age 23 years bolded:

Ozzie Smith: .623, .522, .589, .549
Omar Vizquel: .534, .593, .595, .692
Alan Trammell: .675, .691, .779, .669

IIRC...When in the Seattle Org....Sweet Lou ran out an 18 tear old SS -Arod...When asked about his youthful SS...Pinella said he's got to learn sometime ...By no stretch do I see Iglesias becoming an A-Rod ...

There is ,Imho, a reason why great defensive players who can't hit are not played and covered the way hitters who can't field are... Pitchers too...Defense is undervalued and lightly supported ...

Probably Defense doesn't draw asses to seats...

Edited by redsoxstiff, 22 October 2012 - 10:52 AM.


#27 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 22 October 2012 - 11:16 AM

Why is the consensus that it would take more than Ellsbury to land Andrus? Most of Andrus's value comes from defensive metrics that seem unreliable. The guy was a league-average SS just two years ago.


Probably because the current rumor is Ellsbury for Holland and Holland looks like a far less valuable asset than Andrus.

Personally, I'd rather get one last year and a draft pick out of Ellsbury than trade him (or sign him to a long-term deal). It seems like Boras clients perform well during contract years, and given the lack of offensive talent in this year's free agent market (I don't consider Hamilton a real option), keeping Ellsbury seems like the only way to have any hope of contending in 2013. If they fall out of contention and then someone wants to overpay -- like the Giants did with Beltran and Zack Wheeler -- they can trade him at next year's deadline.


This is a good approach if you think the team can realistically contend next year. Many here do not. Of course, we're all jumping the gun just a tad (or a lot) since there's an entire off season between now and spring training, so the team could look radically different in February making it much more likely that they will be in the playoff mix. I wouldn't be surprised if Ellsbury is not traded until later in the winter to give the front office a chance to see how the roster is shaking out before making a decision on what's best for the franchise both in the short term and long term future.

#28 Paradigm


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Posted 22 October 2012 - 12:11 PM

This team does not need any replacement-level stop-gap veterans. That player does not add more value to the team than an unproven prospect does. All of the players mentioned in this thread (Drew, Bartlett, Escobar) are terrible, terrible players. Tulowitzki is expensive, and this team does not need to lay out that kind of financial commitment until they are sure that Bogaerts is not playing shortstop.


Iglesias. Bank the money, trot the leather out there every day. See what you can do. This team is not making the playoffs next year barring an Orioles-esque miracle. They just don't have the pitching.

And this idea:

I'm not suggesting the Red Sox cut Iglesias, but I'm not sure why they'd hand him the starting SS job without showing them more bat in the minors first.


Ain't happening. Not how shortstop works nowadays. Look at Andrelton Simmons. Plus, the book is out on Iglesias. He's not suddenly going to develop if he has another year at Triple-A. The team isn't going to compete. Break him in against real breaking pitches, not John Halama junk.

Edited by Paradigm, 22 October 2012 - 12:14 PM.


#29 Super Nomario


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Posted 22 October 2012 - 01:42 PM

Ain't happening. Not how shortstop works nowadays. Look at Andrelton Simmons. Plus, the book is out on Iglesias. He's not suddenly going to develop if he has another year at Triple-A. The team isn't going to compete. Break him in against real breaking pitches, not John Halama junk.

If Iglesias isn't going to suddenly develop in another year at AAA, why is he suddenly going to develop in the majors?

#30 TheYellowDart5


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Posted 22 October 2012 - 01:47 PM

If Iglesias isn't going to suddenly develop in another year at AAA, why is he suddenly going to develop in the majors?


If he's not going to develop in Triple-A, why send him back down there?

At some point, the Red Sox need to learn what they have in Iglesias and whether he can be a competent Major Leaguer. And the options they have in his place—barring a trade for Andrus—are pretty awful.

Note: I'm not saying Iglesias should be the starter. I think this is less him earning the job than him getting the job by default. But I do think it's worth a shot to see if he can be a starter.

#31 wutang112878


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Posted 22 October 2012 - 01:54 PM

I think keeping Iglesias in the minors is in the organizations best interest. We all realize he is probably going to struggle to his big league pitching right now. Making him the everyday SS could ruin his confidence [that whole dont bring a guy up too early theory], and could quickly destroy his value as a 'prospect' that the RedSox could use in a trade.

#32 Paradigm


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Posted 22 October 2012 - 02:03 PM

If Iglesias isn't going to suddenly develop in another year at AAA, why is he suddenly going to develop in the majors?


Because his best tool is his glove, and it's major league ready. His bat might never come around, but teams can win the World Series with glove-only shortstops.

#33 OttoC


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Posted 22 October 2012 - 02:07 PM

Because his best tool is his glove, and it's major league ready. His bat might never come around, but teams can win the World Series with glove-only shortstops.


So, instead of just having the pitcher bat in away World Series games, the Red Sox would essentially have two pitchers batting. The rest of the lineup needs to be rather potent and/or the pitching staff needs to be of a shut-down nature.

#34 Paul M


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Posted 22 October 2012 - 02:11 PM

I think his value to other clubs is already pretty low.. HIs last two years he's under well under .600 OPS at AA, AAA, and MLB.

Teams have won with weak hitting shortstops, catchers, etc. but generally those teams don't also have other gaping holes. The Sox would be featuring a shortstop that would be hitting like a pitcher most likely.

If they really are using 2013 to figure things out, then maybe it's a defensible move but if not, I think it's a problem.

#35 Paradigm


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Posted 22 October 2012 - 02:18 PM

So, instead of just having the pitcher bat in away World Series games, the Red Sox would essentially have two pitchers batting. The rest of the lineup needs to be rather potent and/or the pitching staff needs to be of a shut-down nature.


I'm pretty sure to get to the World Series the offense needs to be "rather potent" or the pitching needs to be "of a shut-down nature," don't you? San Francisco has a pathetic offense, and they're a game from the dance. The offense in the American League playoffs was abysmal this year. I completely respect your forward operating strategy here, but if the Sox get to away games of the World Series, however they've constructed their roster, they've done something right.

Teams have won with weak hitting shortstops, catchers, etc. but generally those teams don't also have other gaping holes. The Sox would be featuring a shortstop that would be hitting like a pitcher most likely.

If they really are using 2013 to figure things out, then maybe it's a defensible move but if not, I think it's a problem.


I'm in this camp. I wouldn't expect Iglesias to ever be one of many offensive weak spots in the lineup; I fully expect this team to always field a lineup of serious hitters at every position, but you can get away with it at shortstop if the glove is elite.

It's been ten years since this team has gone into a season with low expectations. The focus is always on winning, but it might be winning over a longer term horizon. That means that you can slot Iglesias into the lineup in 2013 and see how he performs. If he's ever going to hit, he might as well get the chance during a year when he can afford to fail. But critically, I don't see any better options out there. If there were a better option on a one-year free agent deal or a trade, I'd say go for it, but nobody has presented one because there isn't one available at the position except
a reasonable trade for Elvis Andrus, and that might not make strategic sense until the Sox are positive Xander can't play there.

Shortstop is a bear market. There aren't 30 starting-caliber shortstops in the majors. One of Brandon Crawford or Peter Kozma will be starting at shortstop in the World Series. We have an internal candidate with an elite glove. Let him go for it in 2013. Go up there, learn to take pitches, learn what a big-league curveball is all about. Learn to bunt or advance runners in key situations when talented relievers and elite starters are bearing down at you. Pawtucket can't teach him that.

#36 Paul M


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Posted 22 October 2012 - 02:37 PM

Hold on a second, San Francisco's offense was 7% above average. the 2007 Red Sox offense was also 7% above average.

Not saying weak htting teams haven't won, but the goal is to win 95+ games and you don't build teams with a negative value player embedded.

#37 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 22 October 2012 - 02:42 PM

Somebody should look up Mark Belanger's numbers too. His noodle bat didn't prevent those great 60's and 70's Orioles teams from almost yearly championship contention.


Go right ahead and compare the run scoring environments in the 70s to today.

#38 jacklamabe65


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Posted 22 October 2012 - 02:53 PM

NM

Edited by jacklamabe65, 22 October 2012 - 02:54 PM.


#39 xjack


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Posted 22 October 2012 - 02:54 PM

At some point, the Red Sox need to learn what they have in Iglesias and whether he can be a competent Major Leaguer. And the options they have in his place—barring a trade for Andrus—are pretty awful.


Actually, I don't think Ivan De Jesus at SS is an awful option. All the scouting reports put him as an above-average defender who can hit a little. While his OBP in AAA last year was just OK (.343), he put up a .389 in AAA in 2011 and a .419 in AA in 2009.

As for Iglesias, I don't really like the Omar Vizquel or Ozzie Smith comparisons because neither were players you wanted in your lineup during the first three or four years of their careers -- which is why their original teams traded them. In Ozzie Smith's second full season in the majors, 1979, he had a .522 OPS and an 0.8 WAR. That's worse than Bucky Dent.... Do we really expect the Red Sox to stick with Iglesias until he maybe breaks out in 2016 or 2017?

#40 The Boomer

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 02:59 PM

Go right ahead and compare the run scoring environments in the 70s to today.


I did look it up but even in that era of diminished offense, the Blade's offense stood out as particularly awful in any era. The only name I saw mentioned in a trade that I would consider adding (assuming Andrus is unobtainable) would be Dee Gordon if the Dodgers choose to keep and pay Hanley Ramirez. If Brandon Crawford or Kozma can play SS in a World Series, then Iglesias can play shortstop. Us old timers who remember baseball history actually recall that the Orioles traded the best shortsop of his era, Luis Aparacio (who spent part of his dotage with the Sox), to open up SS for Belanger. If the Orioles could jettison an All Star shortstop for defense only Belanger, then it's not too much of a stretch for the Sox to dump journeyman Aviles to make room for Iglesias. While you wouldn't want to throw Iglesias into the middle of a pennant race, next season is the perfect oppotunity to break him in to see if he can be the long term answer.

Edited by The Boomer, 22 October 2012 - 03:00 PM.


#41 ScubaSteveAvery


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Posted 22 October 2012 - 03:18 PM

I looked at all teams from 1980 to 2012 who had a player play at least 51% of his games at SS with an OPS of under .600 (what we'd expect Iglesias to put up), and who would qualify for the batting title. This was the closest I could get at BBref to a starting player who played more games at SS than not.

There were 37 teams that had a player that qualified during that time period, and only 13 of those 37 posted winning records. Out of those 13, only two were playoff teams (the 1983 Dodgers and the 1982 Angels), although the 1985 Mets and 1985 Yankees would both have easily qualified for the playoffs using the contemporary system. The '85 Mets put had 98 wins, and the '85 Yankees had 97 wins).

Out of those 13 with winning records, 9 played in the 1980s, 3 in the 1990s, and 1 in the 2000s. The three teams in the 90s were the 1990 Dodgers (Alfredo Griffin at SS), the 1997 Angels (Gary Discarcina at SS), and the 1998 Mets (Rey Ordonez at SS). The 2000s team was the 2003 Dodgers with Cesary Izturis at SS.

No team past the 1983 Dodgers (or the 1985 Mets or Yankees if you want to count them) made the playoffs. Suffice to say, teams that want to be in contention simply do not play seriously sub par shortstops.

Edit: Also, if we broke the 13 teams with winning records by league, 8 were NL teams, and 5 were AL teams. Of those 5 AL teams, 3 were from 1985 and before (1985 Yankees, 1982 Angels, and 1982 Red Sox - Glenn Hoffman!). The 2 other AL teams were the 1988 Yankees, and 1997 Angels. So really, in the American League, only one team in the past 21 years has had a SS with an OPS under .600 and a winning record.

Edited by ScubaSteveAvery, 22 October 2012 - 03:31 PM.


#42 ThatsMyPeskyPole

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 03:22 PM

I looked at all teams from 1980 to 2012 who had a player play at least 51% of his games at SS with an OPS of under .600 (what we'd expect Iglesias to put up), and who would qualify for the batting title. This was the closest I could get at BBref to a starting player who played more games at SS than not.

There were 37 teams that had a player that qualified during that time period, and only 13 of those 37 posted winning records. Out of those 13, only two were playoff teams (the 1983 Dodgers and the 1982 Angels), although the 1985 Mets and 1985 Yankees would both have easily qualified for the playoffs using the contemporary system. The '85 Mets put had 98 wins, and the '85 Yankees had 97 wins).

Out of those 13 with winning records, 9 played in the 1980s, 3 in the 1990s, and 1 in the 2000s. The three teams in the 90s were the 1990 Dodgers (Alfredo Griffin at SS), the 1997 Angels (Gary Discarcina at SS), and the 1998 Mets (Rey Ordonez at SS). The 2000s team was the 2003 Dodgers with Cesary Izturis at SS.

No team past the 1983 Dodgers (or the 1985 Mets or Yankees if you want to count them) made the playoffs. Suffice to say, teams that want to be in contention simply do not play seriously sub par shortstops.

You seem to have hit the nail on the head. his hitting just won't be good enough.

#43 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 22 October 2012 - 03:26 PM

Us old timers who remember baseball history actually recall that the Orioles traded the best shortsop of his era, Luis Aparacio (who spent part of his dotage with the Sox), to open up SS for Belanger. If the Orioles could jettison an All Star shortstop for defense only Belanger, then it's not too much of a stretch for the Sox to dump journeyman Aviles to make room for Iglesias.


This is ignoring the fact that Aparicio, too, was essentially a "defense only" shortstop. He was grossly overrated as an offensive player in his time because of the steals, but really, he was only modestly more useful on offense than Belanger. Slightly better OBP, significantly better but still weak SLG.

Getting rid of Aparicio for Belanger was not defense over offense; it was youth over age. Aparicio kind of proved them wrong by playing through age 39, but trading your 34-year-old SS to make room for a guy 10 years younger is generally a smart thing to do.

#44 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 22 October 2012 - 03:36 PM

Iglesias can’t hit a lick, but we know this. If his defensive is truly “generational”, as folks have claimed, shouldn’t he be the guy? I mean, what’s the alternative? Giving $5M+ to Stephen “223 / 309 / 348” Drew?

#45 geoduck no quahog


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Posted 22 October 2012 - 03:38 PM

No team past the 1983 Dodgers (or the 1985 Mets or Yankees if you want to count them) made the playoffs. Suffice to say, teams that want to be in contention simply do not play seriously sub par shortstops.


That's a huge causation leap. You'd have to isolate every other variable to show that it was the "sub par shortstop" that led to that result.

My feeling is that if baseball's all about pitching (which it is), having a defense that can literally lower a team's ERA is something to hang a hat on. Of course you still have to score runs, but - particularly in the AL, a lineup spot that can do the small fundamentals (bunt, work a few pitches, move a runner along, steal a base) is not a zero.

Not a real good comparison, but I recall when Theo sucessfully re-tooled during 2004, one of his desires was to critically improve the defense, specifically at shortstop.

I go with Iglesias as a potential game-changer in the field. It's always about up-the-middle.

#46 ThatsMyPeskyPole

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 03:43 PM

I'm am old timer who remembers hating Belanger's glove and it would be fun to watch Jose play but... His average and /or OBP numbers arent good enough to be on a decent bowling team. But I'm fine with giving him a chance. What will be satisfactory? OPS of 550 to 600.

#47 The Gray Eagle


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Posted 22 October 2012 - 03:44 PM

We have an internal candidate with an elite glove. Let him go for it in 2013. Go up there, learn to take pitches, learn what a big-league curveball is all about. Learn to bunt or advance runners in key situations when talented relievers and elite starters are bearing down at you. Pawtucket can't teach him that.


Iglesias will be 23 this coming season, AAA is age-appropriate for him. He needs to start there or risk having his confidence shattered permanently by being utterly overmatched in the majors, like he was all of September. He wasn't just hitting badly, he was beyond horrible. He's not ready to learn what a big league curveball is all about, because he doesn't know how to handle minor league pitching yet. Rushing him and handing him the starting job when he's clearly not ready will hurt the team and also hurt his chances of ever being a useful player.

If Iglesias was 26 or even 25, then minor league time wouldn't do him much good. But he's not. He needs to hit well in the minors for a couple of months at least before you throw him out there in the big leagues. 266/318/306 in AAA at age 22 isn't good enough to throw someone in the fire in the majors. Let's see him get on base at .350 or better in AAA for a few months and show he might be ready rather than rush him and ruin him AND hurt the big league team.

If we already had a halfway decent SS in place, no one would want to start Iglesias in the majors, he'd be back in the minors where he belongs. Find a halfway decent SS for this year and let the prospects develop the way they are supposed to, instead of throwing them out there when they are clearly not ready. Or better yet, get a good SS for this year and next. Then Iglesias and Bogaerts won't be rushed and the big league team will be better off this year and in the future.

On the field, Yunel Escobar would be exactly what we need. He is probably a total jerk off the field, but most of these guys are. If Farrell says he'd be okay, then we should take him off Toronto's hands and screw the negative publicity.

#48 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 22 October 2012 - 03:46 PM

Esobar had a 253 / 300 / 344 line, though. There aren't many good SS's out there.

#49 RingoOSU


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Posted 22 October 2012 - 03:46 PM

I looked at all teams from 1980 to 2012 who had a player play at least 51% of his games at SS with an OPS of under .600 (what we'd expect Iglesias to put up), and who would qualify for the batting title. This was the closest I could get at BBref to a starting player who played more games at SS than not.

There were 37 teams that had a player that qualified during that time period, and only 13 of those 37 posted winning records. Out of those 13, only two were playoff teams (the 1983 Dodgers and the 1982 Angels), although the 1985 Mets and 1985 Yankees would both have easily qualified for the playoffs using the contemporary system. The '85 Mets put had 98 wins, and the '85 Yankees had 97 wins).

Out of those 13 with winning records, 9 played in the 1980s, 3 in the 1990s, and 1 in the 2000s. The three teams in the 90s were the 1990 Dodgers (Alfredo Griffin at SS), the 1997 Angels (Gary Discarcina at SS), and the 1998 Mets (Rey Ordonez at SS). The 2000s team was the 2003 Dodgers with Cesary Izturis at SS.

No team past the 1983 Dodgers (or the 1985 Mets or Yankees if you want to count them) made the playoffs. Suffice to say, teams that want to be in contention simply do not play seriously sub par shortstops.

Edit: Also, if we broke the 13 teams with winning records by league, 8 were NL teams, and 5 were AL teams. Of those 5 AL teams, 3 were from 1985 and before (1985 Yankees, 1982 Angels, and 1982 Red Sox - Glenn Hoffman!). The 2 other AL teams were the 1988 Yankees, and 1997 Angels. So really, in the American League, only one team in the past 21 years has had a SS with an OPS under .600 and a winning record.

What about teams that don't have a SS even come close to qualifying for the batting title, and the SS who made the most PA had a sub .600 OPS? What do you call them, besides 2004 World Champions?

#50 The Gray Eagle


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Posted 22 October 2012 - 03:48 PM

Esobar had a 253 / 300 / 344 line, though. There aren't many good SS's out there.


His career OBP is over .350 and he was +22 runs defensively last year according to Fielding Bible. He doesn't make any money and he shouldn't cost much to acquire since the Blue Jays want to dump him.