2018-19 Offseason Thread

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I might be crazy but I'd rather prioritize Betts, JD, and even JBJ over Xander for an extension. I don't think Xander signs anything team friendly (Boras) and I think he's least likely to bring back value over what would easily be a $100M++ contract. Loopy swing, injuries, average defense. Focus #1 on Betts and convincing JD to forgo is opt-out in exchange for tacking on years. Lock down an all-time great defensive CF for reasonable money.
I wouldn't do a thing with JD. As great as he is, I'm not convinced his market will be overly robust when he's two years older, two years more a DH.

I think Xander will be a very interesting situation in that I'm not sure what his market will be. There are a lot of great shortstops around the league.
 

E5 Yaz

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I wouldn't do a thing with JD. As great as he is, I'm not convinced his market will be overly robust when he's two years older, two years more a DH.
Agreed. The guy is under contract; there's nothing he or Boras can do about that, except opt-out in two years ... and, by that age, that might not be so bad for the Red Sox
 

Nevermore

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I wonder if there's a way to sell high on a couple World Series heroes, get a little younger, and extend the "window" past next year? As much as I love Xander, this offseason seems to be the perfect time to shop him. Could he bring back an impact arm to replace Evoldi and a decent prospect or two? If so, would the downgrade to Nunez/Lin be significant?

I'd sacrifice Bogarts to keep the outfield together for a few more years, let Leon and Kimbrel walk, and only agree to a team-friendly deal with Kelly.
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

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I wonder if there's a way to sell high on a couple World Series heroes, get a little younger, and extend the "window" past next year? As much as I love Xander, this offseason seems to be the perfect time to shop him. Could he bring back an impact arm to replace Evoldi and a decent prospect or two? If so, would the downgrade to Nunez/Lin be significant?

I'd sacrifice Bogarts to keep the outfield together for a few more years, let Leon and Kimbrel walk, and only agree to a team-friendly deal with Kelly.
The only teams that would trade something of value for Xander in his walk year are teams in a GFIN mode. How many of those teams need a shortstop?
 

In my lifetime

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As much as I love Xander, this offseason seems to be the perfect time to shop him. Could he bring back an impact arm to replace Evoldi and a decent prospect or two? If so, would the downgrade to Nunez/Lin be significant?

I'd sacrifice Bogarts to keep the outfield together for a few more years, let Leon and Kimbrel walk, and only agree to a team-friendly deal with Kelly.
Would the downgrade from X to Lin (can't hit) or Nunez (can't field) be significant? That can't be a serious question.
 

LesterFan

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It would be downright shocking if Dombrowski traded one of his young, core position players, especially for an arm, at a position where there's no clear replacement. Not his style at all. Bogaerts is 26 coming off his best season in terms of WAR (4.9) and power (.234 ISO).
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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I’ve no idea how one would prioritize JBJ over X. Yes the latter will cost more but there’s a reason. They need a SS and don’t have one in system. They have 3 CFs.
 

ehaz

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I’ve no idea how one would prioritize JBJ over X. Yes the latter will cost more but there’s a reason. They need a SS and don’t have one in system. They have 3 CFs.
I just don't think he ages well. I'd rather punt the position with a glove first SS than give Xander $180M. It's a matter of prioritizing and you can't have $450M dedicated to two positions if you decide to make Betts the franchise player.
 

Apisith

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So we basically have around $35m to spend.

I’d go Kelly for 2/$14m, Eovaldi for 5/$80m, Pom for a 1/$3m and Andrew Miller for 1/$7m.

Something like this fills out the team and also gives us payroll flexibility. We don’t want to lock up anyone long term on big money because we’ll need to resign our homegrown players come 2020.
 

Apisith

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Not sure who’s going to pay Miller much more than that. Maybe he’d get an extra year but I think the AAV shouldn’t be too much more. His velocity is down, strikeout rate down, walk rate up and he was injured for a big portion of the year.

Pomeranz had a ridiculously bad year. He’ll be on some pillow contract for sure.
 

Apisith

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Eovaldi over his last 15 starts for us (regular season + playoffs) has a FIP below 3. That’s almost half a season. Is it a legit improvement?

Basically from the end of June until the end of the regular season he pitched 80 something innings with an ERA of 3.40. He pitched a further 22 innings with an ERA of 1.61 in the playoffs. Even taking into account that reliever ERA is generally lower than a starter, that’s half a season of being a really good pitcher. Can we discount his first 5 starts of the year as being rusty from TJ surgery?

I think the improvement is legitimate and he can give us a lot of good years at great value. Next season will be his age 29 season, so he’s still young.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Eovaldi over his last 15 starts for us (regular season + playoffs) has a FIP below 3. That’s almost half a season. Is it a legit improvement?

Basically from the end of June until the end of the regular season he pitched 80 something innings with an ERA of 3.40. He pitched a further 22 innings with an ERA of 1.61 in the playoffs. Even taking into account that reliever ERA is generally lower than a starter, that’s half a season of being a really good pitcher. Can we discount his first 5 starts of the year as being rusty from TJ surgery?

I think the improvement is legitimate and he can give us a lot of good years at great value. Next season will be his age 29 season, so he’s still young.
I don’t think age is the issue so much as health. He’s had two TJ surgeries and pitched over 155 innings in a season exactly once in his career. Giving him more than a three year contract - at most - seems crazy to me. But he has also made relatively little money (about 15M) during his career so he’s very likely to sign the biggest deal he can find.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Eo is going to be in demand. Every team needs pitching, and he has an elite arm, despite his injury history. He’ll be near or at the top of the market, especially if Kershaw and Price stay put. I could see plenty of teams preferring him to Corbin.

If the Sox want him, they should offer him early, while he’s still basking in the Cora-induced World Series glow. They won’t want to win a bidding war.
 

Tyrone Biggums

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Eo is going to be in demand. Every team needs pitching, and he has an elite arm, despite his injury history. He’ll be near or at the top of the market, especially if Kershaw and Price stay put. I could see plenty of teams preferring him to Corbin.

If the Sox want him, they should offer him early, while he’s still basking in the Cora-induced World Series glow. They won’t want to win a bidding war.
I agree to an extent. Corbin will have a more top end market. But Eovaldi will have more suitors as a cheaper option. I would be shocked if DD didn’t make a good effort to keep him.
 

sheamonu

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All indications (admittedly from the press, who are not front office) are that Eo is now in line for a big payday. While GM's are generally more sober someone will likely make a run at him so I can't see us overpaying. I think the balance of the pitching market will develop quickly and the everyday market will be even slower than last year to flesh out (royally pissing off the Players Association). It might be useful to use that fact to time making a run at Ramos or (ducking) Grandal? There is an offensive black hole at catcher right now and, while it didn't matter that much this year when you had Mookie and JDM firing on all cylinders you can't hide that forever.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I agree to an extent. Corbin will have a more top end market. But Eovaldi will have more suitors as a cheaper option. I would be shocked if DD didn’t make a good effort to keep him.
If Eovaldi has numerous suitors, he's not going to stay cheap for long. Of course it depends on what your definition of "cheap" is, but generally speaking the only guys who go for cheap are ones who aren't that much in demand.
 

YTF

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What kind of money do people think Kelly is going to get?
This is a good question. Kelly has been so inconsistent in his time with Boston. Good Joe Kelly has been great, bad Joe Kelly not so much and it's not just a subtle difference between the two. His performance this post season will definitely be a factor in the offers that he receives, but what will also help drive up the cost of signing Kelly is the trend that we're seeing in baseball where more and more teams seem to be trying to build their pens around guys that throw 100 MPH.
 

Dahabenzapple2

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How is he a below average offensive player? He may be on the decline, but he's still a pretty good hitter. 123 OPS+ last year, 118 OPS+ this year. I'd rather they keep the current OF in tact but McCutchen isn't a bad hitter. Just the opposite.
He's a 3 WAR guy now whose main asset in 2018 was his 95 BB's which gave him a 100 point split in BA. VS. OBA. We can hope he's a modern day Toby Harrah (who also lost much of his power but was able to reatin strong value through his batting eye) but I think most guys with decreasing power (SA ~ .420 of the last 3 years) and now three years in a row with a BA ~ 0.255 (well one year @ .279 but you get my point).

Yes the overall numbers may say slightly above average for a LF but why on earth would anyone want to spend 14 million on a guy like this who is only going to decline further?
 

ehaz

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This is a good question. Kelly has been so inconsistent in his time with Boston. Good Joe Kelly has been great, bad Joe Kelly not so much and it's not just a subtle difference between the two. His performance this post season will definitely be a factor in the offers that he receives, but what will also help drive up the cost of signing Kelly is the trend that we're seeing in baseball where more and more teams seem to be trying to build their pens around guys that throw 100 MPH.
I like the idea of offering a contract with an opt-out after the first year or a one year deal with a player option. Come into camp, win the job, get those saves, and re-enter the market as a proven closer. If it doesn't work out, you're still protected and if it does, Kelly can chase those closer salaries. Might be more appealing than signing for 3/30 to be a set-up man.
 

chrisfont9

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All indications (admittedly from the press, who are not front office) are that Eo is now in line for a big payday. While GM's are generally more sober someone will likely make a run at him so I can't see us overpaying. I think the balance of the pitching market will develop quickly and the everyday market will be even slower than last year to flesh out (royally pissing off the Players Association). It might be useful to use that fact to time making a run at Ramos or (ducking) Grandal? There is an offensive black hole at catcher right now and, while it didn't matter that much this year when you had Mookie and JDM firing on all cylinders you can't hide that forever.
I dunno, I'd think after this postseason run the rotation is a far higher priority. If they think Eovaldi's arm is sound, and he's just turned a corner at 28, this is where you put all your efforts. Porcello and Sale both have a year left, Price has options, and the rest of the rotation has constant injury concerns.
 

lexrageorge

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I refused to enter this thread yesterday; needed at least a day to enjoy the Title. Still somewhat hesitant given that the Duck Boats are still getting cleaned, but I'll just say that there are 3 certainties with regards to this offseason:

1.) Betts, Bogaerts, Benintendi will be back. (Was going to put JBJ on that list as well, but he still seems mostly likely to be traded among the Killer B's).

2.) The team will exercise Sale's option.

3.) At least 2 of Kelly, Kimbrel, and Eovaldi will be offered ridiculous contracts and leave as a result. And there will be some nashing of teeth, just like there was when Ellsbury got his ridiculous deal after the Duck Boats were put back in storage in 2013.
 

Bdanahy14

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While history has proven this ownership is willing to pay the luxury tax and incur the annual increase that comes with consecutive offenses. it has also shown that A/ they don't like to surpass the 2nd tax surcharge level and B/ tend to get back under the cap fairly quickly to reset the escalator.

As much as I'd like them to lock Xander up this off-season, I am not sure they will be comfortable doing that until a Mookie deal is worked out given how poor their cap situation is over the next couple years. After exceeding both penalty thresholds this year, they enter 2019 very likely to surpass the highest tax threshold ($246M in 2019), but as a second time offender.

With regards to Betts, I would assume his camp will wait until Harper/Machado sign their deals and set a new baseline. However, I feel like there is a chance those contracts will be much less than some of the original chatter. I just don't see $400M... and believe the final number will be closer to $340-$350M. There could be value for Mookie in signing first, so Red Sox don't have those contracts as leverage if it goes that way.

Either way, I hope the Sox make a quick and aggressive move for the his extension at 26 years old, stay away from the impending "Trout to get $500M" PR cycle, and plow forward with that line item booked.
 

MikeM

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Re-signing Pearce on a 1 year deal strikes me as a waiting-to-happen on both sides given. Whether or not Kimbrel gets a QO is likely surrounded by a lot more projection uncertainty though imo.

Also guessing that it's too early to predict the overall market. Other then an expectation that last winter's collusion talk will probably pick right back up where it left off, and then some, after a couple select guys cash in early.
 

Van Everyman

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Eovaldi: Definitely want to keep him. But I don't know what the price tag will be.
Whoever thinks that Eovaldi might be re-signing with the Sox didn't see Dombrowski's post game interview with Pedro.

After Pedro pushed him on what he was going to do and Dombrowski said, "Can't we just enjoy this?" DD then said Eovaldi is "going to make a lot of money." He was joking to some extent obviously -- but for a number of reasons, it convinced me that money is not coming from us. DD knows the market for these sorts of things and how execs make decisions based on that kind of performance and potential. He's great--and I think Eovaldi would be a killler closer for us--but he's out of our range.

Kelly is the guy I'd target. All summer, I said that I believed he was avoiding his four-seamer to work on his secondary stuff so it would play in the playoffs and it did. The guy loves playing for this team, he's a reliever and his sample size for success is a little smaller. I think he'll be gettable for much less and will value playing for Cora/Levangie.
 

DeadlySplitter

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Sale's option is for 15mil due to Cy Young incentives. Not sure if that was in Cots' sheet or not, but that's an extra 1.5mil from base.
 

chawson

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Re-signing Pearce on a 1 year deal strikes me as a waiting-to-happen on both sides given. Whether or not Kimbrel gets a QO is likely surrounded by a lot more projection uncertainty though imo.

Also guessing that it's too early to predict the overall market. Other then an expectation that last winter's collusion talk will probably pick right back up where it left off, and then some, after a couple select guys cash in early.
I think Kimbrel's a lock for a QO, right? Would anyone here not want him back at 1/$18ish?
 

timlinin8th

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After Pedro pushed him on what he was going to do and Dombrowski said, "Can't we just enjoy this?" DD then said Eovaldi is "going to make a lot of money." He was joking to some extent obviously -- but for a number of reasons, it convinced me that money is not coming from us. DD knows the market for these sorts of things and how execs make decisions based on that kind of performance and potential. He's great--and I think Eovaldi would be a killler closer for us--but he's out of our range.
I did see that interview, and read it as more that Dombrowski wasn’t about to comment and start bidding against himself just because of a post-WS glow. I’m sure Dombrowski has a number in mind, and I agree its unlikely to be more than what another team would offer, but stranger things have happened. Commenting on it in that venue would have been highly unprofessional though.
 

MikeM

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I think Kimbrel's a lock for a QO, right? Would anyone here not want him back at 1/$18ish?
Gun to my head I honestly would bet on him taking that QO atm. Otherwise he kinda has sitting around come March still waiting on a "reasonable" deal written all over him.

I'm 50/50 on seeing that as something the Sox would want to do though. Depending on their own internal evaluation of his struggles of course, and whether or not they realistically think they can end up doing better overall things with that $$$ while still filling the void it creates.
 

timlinin8th

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Gun to my head I honestly would bet on him taking that QO atm. Otherwise he kinda has sitting around come March still waiting on a "reasonable" deal written all over him.

I'm 50/50 on seeing that as something the Sox would want to do though. Depending on their own internal evaluation of his struggles of course, and whether or not they realistically think they can end up doing better overall things with that $$$ while still filling the void it creates.
IMO there’s a 95% chance he declines the QO. 42 saves, 2.70 ERA, 0.995 WHIP, 160 ERA+ in 2018. Its no safe bet to think he’ll better that in 2019 especially if his decline is real. Its in his best interests to try and maximize his last FA contract with those numbers from 2018 as the foundation as opposed to hitting FA a year later with uncertain numbers.
 

chawson

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To me, it depends on what Price does. If he opts-out (unlikely, I think) being in the mix for Eovaldi makes some sense.

Price has to decide tomorrow, right? Before or after the parade?
Eovaldi or otherwise, I think there's no way a starter won't be brought this offseason regardless of Price's decision, even if it is a "rover"-type.

The Sox gave 22 starts to Pomeranz/Eovaldi last year, 13 to Brian Johnson, and 14 to Velazquez/Wright/Beeks/Cuevas. A full season of health from Sale/EdRod (highly unlikely) takes back about 15-16 of those, but that's still a full fifth-starter role (and then some) that you're giving to Johnson/Velazquez/Wright.

I was feeling pretty good about Johnson in July, but he finished poorly and there's no reason to give him the keys for a full season. He's usable in the role he had last year, but he may be more valuable to a second-division NL team.
 

BaseballJones

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If Eovaldi's arm is sound, what's the market for him? I'd suggest something like 4/80 taking everything into account (his past performance, injury history, and what he did for the Sox this year). If his elbow is sound, I'd seriously consider that if I was Boston. Yes it's a lot of money. But he's just 28, has proven himself in the biggest of spots, was awesome against the Yankees, and clearly a money pitcher (this year anyway). If he truly is putting it all together, 4/80 is a great deal.

And it allows them to let Porcello go after next year. It would give them a phenomenal rotation for 2019 - Sale, Price, Eovaldi, Porcello, Rodriguez. They'd be able to put a quality starter out every single day.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Does anyone know what the second LT threshold is in 2019?
$206M is the initial cap. Cap+$20M for the first level of escalating penalties. Cap+$40M for the high level of escalating penalties that includes draft pick docking.
 

chrisfont9

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I think the only way the Sox make a serious run at Kelly is if they think he is a legitimate candidate to be the closer. And that's the tricky thing. April, May, and October Kelly is a closer. August Kelly is a setup guy. June, July, and September Kelly is just a funny guy to have in the clubhouse.
Well if they see him as the same old Joe Kelly, sure. OTOH if they see him as a guy who they've unlocked and can manage to a season that looks more like Kelly at his best, that's another thing. I guess we'll find out when the offers come in.
 

Bdanahy14

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$206M is the initial cap. Cap+$20M for the first level of escalating penalties. Cap+$40M for the high level of escalating penalties that includes draft pick docking.
And the $40M+ surtax increases to 45% as second time payor. Coupled with the 10% increase in base penalty, the Sox would owe 75 cents on ever dollar spent over $246M.