2018-19 Offseason Thread

bosox79

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If you go to 32 teams you follow the NFL model with 4 divisions and 2 wild cards in each league.
So 2 teams get a bye and then 4 teams play each other in win or lose games? They aren't going to extend the season further into the year and I doubt they are going to change the regular season from 162 games.
 

bosox79

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Or go to just the 4 (8) division winners (each division has 4 teams, go win your division). Or go to 4 8 team divisions and have the top 2 from each. Lots of options, this isn't a stumbling block.
Are they really willing to sacrifice the 1 game playoff?
 

lexrageorge

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I cannot figure out why baseball cannot work in Miami. It's the 7th largest metropolitan area in the nation, has a number of businesses with large offices there, and lots of people that actually like baseball. All it should require is reasonably competent ownership.

Tampa probably could work as well, but that well is probably poisoned for good at this point.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I cannot figure out why baseball cannot work in Miami. It's the 7th largest metropolitan area in the nation, has a number of businesses with large offices there, and lots of people that actually like baseball. All it should require is reasonably competent ownership.

Tampa probably could work as well, but that well is probably poisoned for good at this point.
Baseball CAN work in Miami. You hit the nail on the head...all it requires is reasonably competent ownership.

First owner spent money, won a title, then immediately tore the team apart. Second owner did okay and built up a winner but before it could come to fruition he bolted for greener pastures. That stuck the city with owner #3 who won a title with the old owner's leavings, then mismanaged his way through a few seasons until he got a taxpayer-financed stadium, in return for which he tanked a couple years and pissed everyone off all over again. Then he eventually sold a moderately decent roster to owner #4 who promptly sold it all off.

Honestly, I can't blame the baseball fans of south Florida for being a bit gunshy about supporting the Marlins.

As for Tampa, I think the current ownership might have burned some bridges by demanding way too much for a new stadium. Billionaires crying poor to get taxpayers to fund a billion dollar ballpark complex are never going to come off well. But there's a fan-base for that team. In a better, more accessible ballpark, they'd do very well staying in that market.
 

BaseballJones

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Or go to just the 4 (8) division winners (each division has 4 teams, go win your division). Or go to 4 8 team divisions and have the top 2 from each. Lots of options, this isn't a stumbling block.
Or go to two divisions of 16 teams each. Have the division winners plus the two wild card teams make the four-team playoff.

OR

Four divisions. Division winners plus two wild-card teams. The top two teams (record-wise) get to move into the league semis. The other four have one-game playoffs. Then they are re-seeded and you have a four-team playoff in each league from there. Best 3 of 5 for the league semis. Best 4 of 7 for the league championship. Best 4 of 7 for the World Series.
 

Danny_Darwin

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Maybe we can get a relocation/realignment/expansion thread? Or maybe an “actual news only” thread?
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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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 (if you’re talking Maine as I assume) isn’t anywhere close to being big enough to support a team and the entire state is Sox fans from birth, no new team is stealing them away.

To your earlier point, I disagree that this is the time to consider expansion. With the seeming decline in parents and athletes moving away from football, I think we see an influx of premiere athletes into baseball - who otherwise would have defaulted for the immediate money, but are now seeing the health concerns - I think we’ll start to see it shift.

I’m also not sure I want to see a four division per league setup and otherwise you’re in an uneven stack again.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Ok, just because it's been that kind of day, I have to quibble with this: "San Antonio - farther from Houston than Charlotte from Atlanta"

SA-HOU is 190 miles (197 driving).
CHA-ATL is 226 miles (244 driving).

Carry on… ;)
 

Plympton91

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Of course I picked the two worst teams, that's how you show the league isn't ready for expansion.

MOVE the Florida two teams before you start adding teams. Make sure those next two markets can support teams before we start adding more and digging deeper
Are the Florida teams not profitable? Did Derek Jeter pay $1 billion for the promise of a future move? It’s not at all credible that Miami can’t support a baseball team. The fan base there has been repeatedly mugged by shitty owners. Put a strong committed ownership in place and they’ll be fine, which is what I imagine Jeter’s group plans to be.

You’re right that attendance in Tampa is awful, but their TV ratings are fine. The problem is the stadium sucks and is in a sucky place to get to, not that no one cares about the team. Baseball could use the expansion fees to built the Rays a ballpark on the Tampa waterfront and they’d instantly be rich.

The goal of a government subsided entity like MLB shouldn’t be allowed to be profit maximization of existing ownership groups either.

As for locations, if the league were maximizing its joint profits, one of the expansion teams should be placed in Manhattan and the other one in Los Angeles. Though that would never happen.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Are the Florida teams not profitable? Did Derek Jeter pay $1 billion for the promise of a future move? It’s not at all credible that Miami can’t support a baseball team. The fan base there has been repeatedly mugged by shitty owners. Put a strong committed ownership in place and they’ll be fine, which is what I imagine Jeter’s group plans to be.

You’re right that attendance in Tampa is awful, but their TV ratings are fine. The problem is the stadium sucks and is in a sucky place to get to, not that no one cares about the team. Baseball could use the expansion fees to built the Rays a ballpark on the Tampa waterfront and they’d instantly be rich.

The goal of a government subsided entity like MLB shouldn’t be allowed to be profit maximization of existing ownership groups either.

As for locations, if the league were maximizing its joint profits, one of the expansion teams should be placed in Manhattan and the other one in Los Angeles. Though that would never happen.
In what world do you think Jeter was the money behind that purchase? He's not even worth quarter of that. He was a figure head . But sure, let's put a third team in LA in Ny, that's even more reasonable.
 

moondog80

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In what world do you think Jeter was the money behind that purchase? He's not even worth quarter of that. He was a figure head . But sure, let's put a third team in LA in Ny, that's even more reasonable.
It’s perfectly reasonable in terms of population; I saw an analysis once that said NY should have like 5 teams. It will never happen though, the Yanks and Mets would be way too protective of their turf. Same with the Sox and another team in New England.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Would like to see that if you have a link. I think it’s kind of foolish to go solely off of population. Yes the people are there but they’re already fans of the other two teams. There’s no effing way NY could have five teams, I’m not buying it.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I don't know about 5 teams, but this article suggests New York could support one or two more major sports franchises (not necessarily baseball). It also suggests there is a population to support a sports team in the Bridgeport/Stamford/Norwalk area of CT, which is more or less NYC north.

Of course that's strictly a financial/economic measure and does not take into account fan allegiances that already exist and probably can't be changed.
 

OCD SS

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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?
I’m sure anything they would work out would be better than needing to have 1 interleauge series going at all times during the regular season because of an odd number of teams in each league.

I think the Caribbean is a better option. At least Puerto Rico, if not also DR.

Wouldn't Cuba be something? A hoot.
As baseball faces an uphill struggle to recruit younger fans, it would make a ton of sense to expand into Latin America, where the fan base is already very intense. However I suspect some of MLB’s methods for extracting capital from local communities, such as with stadium subsidies and high ticket prices, would not work as well there, so we can expect to see them aim to carve up smaller & more affluent (white) markets in the USA.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Are the Florida teams not profitable? Did Derek Jeter pay $1 billion for the promise of a future move? It’s not at all credible that Miami can’t support a baseball team. The fan base there has been repeatedly mugged by shitty owners. Put a strong committed ownership in place and they’ll be fine, which is what I imagine Jeter’s group plans to be.

You’re right that attendance in Tampa is awful, but their TV ratings are fine. The problem is the stadium sucks and is in a sucky place to get to, not that no one cares about the team. Baseball could use the expansion fees to built the Rays a ballpark on the Tampa waterfront and they’d instantly be rich.

The goal of a government subsided entity like MLB shouldn’t be allowed to be profit maximization of existing ownership groups either.

As for locations, if the league were maximizing its joint profits, one of the expansion teams should be placed in Manhattan and the other one in Los Angeles. Though that would never happen.
Anyone would make money owning a MLB team (except maybe this guy I know in DC).
 

MikeM

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I cannot figure out why baseball cannot work in Miami. It's the 7th largest metropolitan area in the nation, has a number of businesses with large offices there, and lots of people that actually like baseball. All it should require is reasonably competent ownership.

Tampa probably could work as well, but that well is probably poisoned for good at this point.
Speaking as a Floridian it tends to look a look bleaker in person and outside that surface theory. Doesn't help the location of both parks are basically set up to fail too (imo). At least in terms that not many in the near vicinity are likely to be shelling out the big bucks regularly to go.

There also just isn't enough of those "lots of people who like baseball" to sustain any real roots in the long term. Brand new franchise or shiny new ballpark to go check out factor aside, Baseball is and will always remain a bottom of the barrel sporting interest down here. The best ownership possible isn't going to change that.
 

Oppo

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Additionally, the majority are from other parts of the country and have other rooting interests. Lots of transplants from the northeast, even a generation removed still share rooting interests of their fathers before them. Might go to 1-2 games a year.
 

lexrageorge

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I have difficulty believing that Florida is that much different from the rest of the country that people there would not support a baseball team. I agree that neither ballpark is well situated, although Marlins park is not that far from downtown Miami and South Beach. The Marlins have had horrible ownership, and that has to be taken into account when judging fan interest. Even the Red Sox would have trouble drawing if they had similar ownership problems impacting the team's competitiveness.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Yasmani Grradnal to Brewers for 1 year, 18.25 mil, thus ending my hope that somehow the Sox would find a way to upgrade one of the worst positional situations in baseball.

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/25725308/yasmani-grandal-milwaukee-brewers-agree-1-year-1825-million-deal
The Red Sox sure seem to value catcher defense way more than catcher offense. Based on the season they just produced, waltzing to the division title and romping past 3 very good teams in the postseason, I am very much inclined to agree with their apparent view of the position.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Brand new franchise or shiny new ballpark to go check out factor aside, Baseball is and will always remain a bottom of the barrel sporting interest down here.
Worse than hockey?

I know that baseball isn't the NFL or college football, but I think that if the Rays got their shit together they could have as passionate a fanbase as the Lightning. Same thing with the Marlins and the Heat.

It seems to me that MLB, the NHL and the NBA are fighting for third place in the hearts of Floridians. I don't see why a well-run franchise in either TB or Miami couldn't be bigger than the other franchises that are there now.
 

SydneySox

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Also, it’s as likely the Sox did all that despite the catching, not because of it. The outcome doesn’t justify every aspect of the journey.
 

Plympton91

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I googled but couldn’t find the tracker site with projections, it seems less than I’d expect given how good he was in limited time. How does that compare to what Cots estimated?
 

DanoooME

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I googled but couldn’t find the tracker site with projections, it seems less than I’d expect given how good he was in limited time. How does that compare to what Cots estimated?
It was MLBTR that has projections for arb. They estimated $1.4M for Wright and $1.2M for Hembree.
 

MikeM

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Worse than hockey?

I know that baseball isn't the NFL or college football, but I think that if the Rays got their shit together they could have as passionate a fanbase as the Lightning. Same thing with the Marlins and the Heat.

It seems to me that MLB, the NHL and the NBA are fighting for third place in the hearts of Floridians. I don't see why a well-run franchise in either TB or Miami couldn't be bigger than the other franchises that are there now.
Yeah I'd rank it below Hockey, and even think the Lightning are pretty decent supporting example of that.

You also forgot to add Nascar in the what baseball isn't category down here btw ;)
 

nattysez

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I'm ecstatic that they didn't force him to go to a hearing again. That was idiotic last year.

Multiple writers tweeted out after this that Mookie could be the first $400m or $500m contract when he hits FA. Of course, this is the same thing they said about Machado and Harper -- I'm not sure those contracts will ever happen.

Edit:
 
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RedOctober3829

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Alex Speier has it on Twitter too.

$20 million is still a bargain for what Mookie's production projects to be. I agree with the fact that he won't be getting the $400 or $500 million. Betts will be 28 years old at FA. If Harper and Machado who are younger don't get the 10 year deals at $300 plus million, then Betts won't get more than them. That doesn't mean Betts won't go to the open market and see if he can top those 2. One thing is true: he won't be giving the Red Sox any type of discount.
 

Rasputin

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$20 million is still a bargain for what Mookie's production projects to be. I agree with the fact that he won't be getting the $400 or $500 million. Betts will be 28 years old at FA. If Harper and Machado who are younger don't get the 10 year deals at $300 plus million, then Betts won't get more than them. That doesn't mean Betts won't go to the open market and see if he can top those 2. One thing is true: he won't be giving the Red Sox any type of discount.
If I'm the Red Sox, I offer him an extension at a little more than whichever of these clowns gets the most and I do it like a day later.
 

DeadlySplitter

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Leon 2.475M


ERod 4.3M

So far, from the projections:

Red Sox (12)

  • Mookie Betts (4.070) – $18.7MM, actual 20MM, +1.3MM
  • Xander Bogaerts (5.042) – $11.9MM
  • Jackie Bradley Jr. (4.150) – $7.9MM
  • Eduardo Rodriguez (3.130) – $4.8MM, actual 4.3MM, -0.5M
  • Brock Holt (5.052) – $3.4MM
  • Tyler Thornburg (5.057) – $2.3MM, actual 1.75MM, -0.55MM
  • Sandy Leon (4.149) – $2.3MM, actual 2.475MM, +0.175MM
  • Matt Barnes (3.110) – $1.5MM
  • Brandon Workman (4.051) – $1.4MM, actual 1.15MM, -0.25MM
  • Steven Wright (4.087) – $1.4MM, actual 1.375MM, -0.025MM
  • Heath Hembree (3.106) – $1.2MM, actual 1.3125MM, +0.1125MM
  • Blake Swihart (2.164) – $1.1MM, actual 0.91MM, -0.19MM
Net difference from projections with 4 players to go: 0.0725MM ($72,500) more than projected
 

The Gray Eagle

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Also, it’s as likely the Sox did all that despite the catching, not because of it. The outcome doesn’t justify every aspect of the journey.
Sure, but there has been no rumor of the Red Sox being interested in improving their catching at all this offseason. The only catching rumors have been whether they might trade Swihart and not carry 3 catchers again.

Seems like if they thought the catching situation was "one of the worst positional situations in baseball" they might try to improve it. Even if they thought that they won last year despite a bad catching situation, seems like there would be rumors of them trying to improve it. There's been plenty written about them trying to improve the bullpen, for example.

If they dump Leon or Vazquez at any point this offseason, then I will agree that they thought the position wasn't good enough. Or even if there are multiple reports talking about how they want to bring in someone better, then sure. I haven't seen anything like that reported (other than some fan speculation, which is pretty much worthless.)

Otherwise, I think they are happy with the catching, and they should be, as catcher defense has a huge impact on pitching and that doesn't come across in BP defensive runs saved or whatever.

I highly doubt that the team thinks their catching situation sucks, even though a lot of fans seem to.
 

DeadlySplitter

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To second the above post, they seem to really like Leon, as I just posted he got higher than projected salary in arbitration
 

TimScribble

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Here are all the numbers:


Mookie Betts - $20m

Xander Bogaerts - $12m

Jackie Bradley - $8.55m

Eduardo Rodriguez - $4.3m

Brock Holt - $3.575m

Sandy Leon - $2.475m

Matt Barnes - $1.6m

Steven Wright - $1.375m

Workman - $1.15m

Swihart - $910k
 

DeadlySplitter

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  • Mookie Betts (4.070) – $18.7MM, actual 20MM, +1.3MM
  • Xander Bogaerts (5.042) – $11.9MM, actual 12MM, +0.1MM
  • Jackie Bradley Jr. (4.150) – $7.9MM, actual $8.55MM, +0.65MM
  • Eduardo Rodriguez (3.130) – $4.8MM, actual 4.3MM, -0.5M
  • Brock Holt (5.052) – $3.4MM, actual 3.575MM, +0.175MM
  • Tyler Thornburg (5.057) – $2.3MM, actual 1.75MM, -0.55MM
  • Sandy Leon (4.149) – $2.3MM, actual 2.475MM, +0.175MM
  • Matt Barnes (3.110) – $1.5MM, actual 1.6MM, +0.1MM
  • Brandon Workman (4.051) – $1.4MM, actual 1.15MM, -0.25MM
  • Steven Wright (4.087) – $1.4MM, actual 1.375MM, -0.025MM
  • Heath Hembree (3.106) – $1.2MM, actual 1.3125MM, +0.1125MM
  • Blake Swihart (2.164) – $1.1MM, actual 0.91MM, -0.19MM
Net difference from projections: 1.0975MM ($1,097,500) more than projected
 

geoflin

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  • Mookie Betts (4.070) – $18.7MM, actual 20MM, +1.3MM
Net difference from projections: 1.0975MM ($1,097,500) more than projected
And that amount is primarily due to the 1.3 million over Mookie's projection which clearly sends him the message that the Sox are serious about making him happy and keeping him long term.