2018-19 Offseason Thread

chrisfont9

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At the right price, I think the Sox would be perfectly happy to bring Kimbrel back to close. The notion of giving Barnes his chance isn't going to stop them.

Besides, I think that absent bringing back Kimbrel, they may be inclined to eschew the "traditional" closer role for more of a committee. Barnes likely would be central to that strategy, but he wouldn't be locked into pitching the 9th. Much as, in the playoffs, he wasn't locked into pitching the 8th. He was brought into a tight spot or for a particular part of the opponent's order whether it came up in the 6th or the 8th.
Yeah I can see that. Cora has so much credibility that he'll get buy-in as long as it's not too chaotic a plan.
 

Dewey'sCannon

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Is this because you think Kimbrel isn't nearly as good as Chapman, or because you think he's fragile, or because you think the Chapman deal was an egregious overpay?
It could be "none of the above." Kimbrel could be considered to be "worth" the same as Chapman, but as I posted earlier, this isn't the only consideration. The other part is the level of demand in the market for his services - if there are no teams than need a closer that are willing to spend $15-17M for one for 4-5 years, then he won't get that much. As we are seeing, given the supply of high-end relievers on the market, teams that have a need are opting for lower-cost options. Players have to be careful that there's still a chair available when the music stops.
 

MikeM

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Are we sure they want him as their closer? If they think Barnes is ready, then bringing Kimbrel back means Barnes has to wait for the job -- not sure Kimbrel would accept setup duties. I'm not entirely sure the team would prefer that.
My guess is DD would like him back. If the money is right and not too potentially damning going forward, of course.

I mean at the end of the day we already have a lot of GFIN appeal invested into this season, and not much of a reality based fallback plan in the event the whole "subtract 2 of your best guys and THEN run with a new situational bullpen approach" gets exposed for not having enough overall quality early.
 
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Mike F

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Didn't see this posted anywhere yet, but apparently the Sox have signed minor leaguer Ryan Weber (RHP). He's 28 and threw 115 IP last year for Tampa Bay's AAA team in Durham. Seems like a pure rotation depth move.

I shouldn't rush to judgement. Being old and not having a lot of years left to enjoy Sox championships, I sometimes jump the gun and celebrate terrific news too soon.
I stopped reading The Filthy Ones post above after seeing that Weber threw 115 last year. Shoulda finished the Report.
 
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Al Zarilla

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Now imagine having Kimbrel without the likes of AB in LF. Scary, huh?
But, both BBREF and Fangraphs will tell you Benintendi is not a plus fielder. Luckily, our other two outfielders are way plus. Sometimes, the more modern stats produce results that, to me, just don’t seem to align with the player. Case in point, Benintendi’s fielding.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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But, both BBREF and Fangraphs will tell you Benintendi is not a plus fielder. Luckily, our other two outfielders are way plus. Sometimes, the more modern stats produce results that, to me, just don’t seem to align with the player. Case in point, Benintendi’s fielding.
Not sure how you're defining "plus" here, but:

2018 UZR in LF: 5.2
2018 DRS in LF: 4

It's true that his numbers are worse in CF, and the amount of time he spent in center this year pulled his overall BBref dWAR slightly below the 0 mark, but the advanced metrics definitely agree that he's an above average left fielder.
 

bosox79

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Not sure how you're defining "plus" here, but:

2018 UZR in LF: 5.2
2018 DRS in LF: 4

It's true that his numbers are worse in CF, and the amount of time he spent in center this year pulled his overall BBref dWAR slightly below the 0 mark, but the advanced metrics definitely agree that he's an above average left fielder.
Doesn't Fenway screw with that too or did they fix those issues?
 

bosockboy

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In the context of the game situation and it ultimately leading to a championship, is Benintendi’s catch the best defensive play in Red Sox history?
 
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Al Zarilla

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Not sure how you're defining "plus" here, but:

2018 UZR in LF: 5.2
2018 DRS in LF: 4

It's true that his numbers are worse in CF, and the amount of time he spent in center this year pulled his overall BBref dWAR slightly below the 0 mark, but the advanced metrics definitely agree that he's an above average left fielder.
That’s what I meant, i.e, his overall defensive metric is negative with both BBREF and Fangraphs. You’re right that he did break into the black in 2018 in UZR and DRS for left field. Eye test also, he is a good left fielder to my eyes.
 

bosockboy

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You mean it surpasses Dwight Evans’ catch off Joe Morgan because the Red Sox didn’t win game 7 in 1975?
Partially yes, and also that it was a definitive win or lose catch. 21% catch probability....
has anyone seen any numbers applied to Dewey’s? Would be interesting to compare.
 

E5 Yaz

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The Benintendi catch is being overrated by the AP.

We don't know what would have happened to the ball had he not caught it. It's possible it gets by him and three runs score. It's also possible that he gets enough of it to keep it in front of him ... and only the tying runs score.

In that scenario, the Red Sox still could have won that game. Heck, even if they lose Game 4, they could still have won the series.

Great play at a key moment, sure; but compared to the twin buzzer-beaters by the Notre Dame women's basketball player, it's not in the same league
 

jon abbey

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The Benintendi catch is being overrated by the AP.

We don't know what would have happened to the ball had he not caught it. It's possible it gets by him and three runs score. It's also possible that he gets enough of it to keep it in front of him ... and only the tying runs score.

In that scenario, the Red Sox still could have won that game. Heck, even if they lose Game 4, they could still have won the series.

Great play at a key moment, sure; but compared to the twin buzzer-beaters by the Notre Dame women's basketball player, it's not in the same league
I was with you until the end, but both the Notre Dame games were tied so those weren’t win or lose plays either.
 

Ed Hillel

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In the context of the game situation and it ultimately leading to a championship, is Benintendi’s catch the best defensive play in Red Sox history?
Nunez and Pearce’s play in game 4 against the Yankees was arguably better, and probably would have led to an elimination game.
 

DeadlySplitter

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According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the Red Sox believe David Robertson isn’t likely to sign with them. Boston was very interested in the former Yankees reliever and current free agent, who many believe is looking for a three-year deal with clubs wanting to keep it at two. The Phillies have also shown an interest in Robertson, who prefers to remain in the Northeast. The Yankees also are looking for two relievers.
https://nypost.com/2018/12/21/manny-machado-wont-make-free-agent-decision-until-new-year/

Mark Feinsand‏Verified account @Feinsand 2h2 hours ago
According to sources, the Red Sox are still in the mix for free-agent reliever David Robertson. There’s mutual interest, though several teams remain in contention for the RHP.
 
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chawson

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Feinsand reporting that the Diamondbacks are floating Archie Bradley packaged with Greinke in an effort to move the latter's contract.

The D-Backs are in fire sale mode and have four other players that would fit very well with our roster needs — Ahmed, Avila, Bradley, and Chafin. There are reasons to be wary of Greinke (age, velocity), but I'm not worried about his old anxiety stuff from 10 years ago. He's extremely costly annually but it's short years, and if Ahmed/Bradley/Chafin are attached (or some combination and $) it gets kinda interesting.
 

InsideTheParker

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Nunez and Pearce’s play in game 4 against the Yankees was arguably better, and probably would have led to an elimination game.
I was reviewing some of the post-season games today on mlb.tv, and that one was not only amazing, but a real tension breaker to end one of Kimbrel's excruciating post-season outings. Heart-attack city!
 

pdub

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Is Kelvin Herrera going to be playing at all this upcoming season? Could be a decent recovery project for 2019.

Feinsand reporting that the Diamondbacks are floating Archie Bradley packaged with Greinke in an effort to move the latter's contract.

The D-Backs are in fire sale mode and have four other players that would fit very well with our roster needs — Ahmed, Avila, Bradley, and Chafin. There are reasons to be wary of Greinke (age, velocity), but I'm not worried about his old anxiety stuff from 10 years ago. He's extremely costly annually but it's short years, and if Ahmed/Bradley/Chafin are attached (or some combination and $) it gets kinda interesting.
I can't see this happening because we have other players who will require extensions soon. Its a solid idea but I assume the front office wants to free up money for potential Betts, Sale, and/or Bogaerts extensions. But I think getting Grienke as your #3 or #4 would be a solid win now move (if not quite expensive).
 

BornToRun

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My guesses are Sale, Beni, or Eddie. I’d be thrilled with an extension for any member of our core so this is exciting news no matter what.
 

OCD SS

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I have a hard time seeing the team looking to extend Sale given his health concerns as he finished the season.

Extending Benni would represent a change in strategy from the other core players (Mookie, X, JBJ - although that could just be a matter of the Boras factor). Locking Bennie up increases his guaranteed money and probably pushing the Sox over the second CBT limit in the short term, but maybe limiting their exposure down the road. I still don’t see him as a better option in CF than JBJ or Mookie
 

nvalvo

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With all the Daniel Bard talk, I’ve been thinking about the 2011 Red Sox.

Assuming that the team is going over the top CBT threshold, should the Red Sox sign Jed Lowrie and jettison Núñez?

The thinking would be that we need quality depth at 3B and especially 2B, and Lowrie could bolster that depth. He's a switch hitter, and he's a good hitter, and after a long and storied injury history that I don't need to remind anyone here about, he has more than 1300 PA in the last two seasons. Those seasons have yielded identical .347 wOBAs. That level would best Eduardo Núñez’ most recent level of production by .055 — a ton — and generally lengthen the lineup.

He’s not great at SS, and has mostly played at 2B in the last few seasons, where he’s bounced around league average. +5 last year, -5 the year before.

He earned $6m in 2018 as the team option on the back of a 3/$23m deal. I’d think he could be had on a one year deal at a value under $10. At 34, he’s not getting any younger.
 

Scoops Bolling

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There is no chance in hell that Jed Lowrie, coming off a 4.9 WAR season a year after putting up 3.6 WAR, would sign with anyone to be a "depth" player, let alone for less than $10 million. That is batshit insanity that belongs on an ESPN comment thread, not SoSH.

EDIT: MLBTR has Lowrie seeking 3/30, and notes "industry experts" expecting a 2/18 or 2/20. So that AAV may be right, but the chance of a one year deal remains minimal, particularly given the fact that the Brewers and Nationals are both reportedly interested.
 

jon abbey

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I also think a one year deal for Lowrie is unlikely, but on the other hand, there are going to be a lot of guys left standing around hoping for opportunities when the music stops, and a ton of them are second basemen. Lowrie is probably the best of the bunch though, so unlikely he will have to settle for a one year deal as Scoops said.
 

crow216

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I also think a one year deal for Lowrie is unlikely, but on the other hand, there are going to be a lot of guys left standing around hoping for opportunities when the music stops, and a ton of them are second basemen. Lowrie is probably the best of the bunch though, so unlikely he will have to settle for a one year deal as Scoops said.
MLB expansion is needed
 

nvalvo

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There is no chance in hell that Jed Lowrie, coming off a 4.9 WAR season a year after putting up 3.6 WAR, would sign with anyone to be a "depth" player, let alone for less than $10 million. That is batshit insanity that belongs on an ESPN comment thread, not SoSH.

EDIT: MLBTR has Lowrie seeking 3/30, and notes "industry experts" expecting a 2/18 or 2/20. So that AAV may be right, but the chance of a one year deal remains minimal, particularly given the fact that the Brewers and Nationals are both reportedly interested.
You're totally right; sorry if that seemed like way-out low-balling. I was responding to some media speculation that his market seemed not to be materializing, which I didn't mention but probably should have.

My comment was intended more in the spirit of:
  1. Lowrie's market seems to be slipping; it's not really clear who is both contending and thus in the market to acquire high-priced veteran players, and also has a need at one of his positions.
  2. Basically, NYY, NYM, CLE, HOU, ARI, OAK, LAD, CHI, STL, ATL, CIN, TB, MIN, SF, and SD all have or have recently acquired established incumbents. That group contains pretty much all of the contenders. MIL should take a look at him. WAS is another possibility, depending on how they feel abut Difo. Maybe Anaheim's a landing spot?
  3. Pedroia's health is a real question mark, so we probably have at least a significant role for a bench MI. If Pedroia is actually going to play 130 games, we could trade him.
  4. Lowrie's an excellent player; more pointedly, he's likely to be a much better player than any of Núñez, Holt, Lin, Hernandez, et al. are likely to be.
  5. He's had a long and successful career and made tens of millions of dollars, but doesn't have a ring.
  6. We're likely headed over the top CBT threshold after we sign a reliever; if and when we do that, we should be trying to maximize the 2019 25-man roster in any way that doesn't impact the 2020 and 2021 teams. Adding a 5 win player to our IF depth definitely helps with that.
  7. He probably knows Alex Cora pretty well. Although they were not teammates, I don't think, they overlapped for a few Spring Trainings.
  8. The Junior Investment Banker jokes we used to make in the game threads were fun.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Lowrie is not going to sign with the Red Sox, even on a one year deal. They don't have a role for him. Yes, Pedroia is a question mark but he is expected to play this year. Lowrie isn't going to sign somewhere where he is a contingency plan in case the other guy might possibly be hurt enough to not play full time. He's not that desperate for a job. If he reaches that point, the A's will bring him back. In fact, that's exactly where I expect him to land.
 

crow216

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Yes, because the Rays and Marlins are doing so well. And attendance was under 70 million for the first time in 15 years.

It is because there are too many good players.

That's a new one, at least!
You intentionally chose two poor baseball markets which have always struggled to be successful. I'm all for moving one or both of the teams out of Florida to cities that could better support a major league fan base.

My argument for 2 more teams isn't simply that there is enough talent to fill out the rosters, it's that the sport should be growing into new markets.Teams are profitable, the sport is doing well, and there is mostly competitive balance. If there's a time to do it, it's now. CBA issues notwithstanding.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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Yes, because the Rays and Marlins are doing so well. And attendance was under 70 million for the first time in 15 years.

It is because there are too many good players.

That's a new one, at least!
The Rockies had over 3M attendance last year, and Arizona was over 2M, ranking them 7th and 16th in the majors, respectively.

MLB topped $10B in revenue for the first time ever in 2018.

Miami topped 2M of road attendance, as did Tampa. The only team below 2M of road attendance was Kansas City (who was also below 2M of home attendance). I mention road attendance because the teams need someone to play against.
 

crow216

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Total sidebar meant for another thread, but would New England ever support another baseball team? I don't think Portland is farfetched being so far from Boston.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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Total sidebar meant for another thread, but would New England ever support another baseball team? I don't think Portland is farfetched being so far from Boston.
Portland is ranked as the 105th largest MSA:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_metropolitan_statistical_areas

You're better off talking about Hartford, stealing from both the Boston & NY metro areas.

Edit: The entire population of NE is around 14M people, 2/3 of the NYC MSA and slightly larger than the LA MSA. Hartford is splitting 34M people 4 ways, essentially, while Portland is taking half a million people.
 
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Devizier

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Total sidebar meant for another thread, but would New England ever support another baseball team? I don't think Portland is farfetched being so far from Boston.
Portland, Oregon is a few thousand miles away and would almost certainly be one of the top choices for an expansion franchise.
 

bosox79

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Wouldn’t expansion likely be into Canada (a return to Montreal) or Mexico?

Getting to 32 teams would set up into 2 16 team divisions would be nice.
And what would you do about the playoffs? Three teams with the best record get in, and 4th and 5th play it out?
 

moondog80

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And what would you do about the playoffs? Three teams with the best record get in, and 4th and 5th play it out?
If you go to 32 teams you follow the NFL model with 4 divisions and 2 wild cards in each league.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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Options, some of which are totally unrealistic due to territory & such:
  1. Hartford - population & wealth to share between NY & BOS
  2. Newark - population & wealth to share between NY & NJ
  3. Charlotte - 22nd largest MSA, largest without a team, supports other major league sports. Braves territory.
  4. San Antonio - farther from Houston than Charlotte from Atlanta or Portland from Seattle, 24th largest MSA, Austin closer to here than Houston
  5. Portland - the common suggestion, 25th MSA
  6. Vegas - 28th MSA, NHL worked surprisingly well, no MLB team within 4 hours
  7. Montreal, duh
  8. Nashville - 36th largest MSA, 14% growth since 2010, 3.5+ hours from nearest MLB team(s)
Others that I don't think make much sense, but are on the periphery of large enough and have impressive growth rates:

  1. Jacksonville - 40th MSA, 12% growth
  2. OKC - 41st, 10%
  3. Raleigh - 43rd, 18%
  4. Salt Lake City - 48th, 11%