2019-20 Offseason Discussion

johnnywayback

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Upgrade from Poyner? The thrill of turning another teams trash into our treasure remains a mystery to me. Role players and retreads help but you’ve got to have bona fide players to win.

Especially in Boston.

Moneyball works for the Rays and the A’s to compete but never going to work for the Red Sox to win rings.
We have "bona fide players," lots of them. Last year, we also had terrible, replacement-or-below players getting a ton of playing time. Hector Velasquez and Ryan Weber starting games. Gorkys Hernandez as our fourth outfielder. Sam Travis starting at first base. The ghost of Ryan Brasier pitching high-leverage innings. That's why the bona fide players weren't enough to get us into the playoffs. We don't need (and, not coincidentally, cannot afford) more "bona fide players." We need fewer bad players.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Upgrade from Poyner? The thrill of turning another teams trash into our treasure remains a mystery to me. Role players and retreads help but you’ve got to have bona fide players to win.

Especially in Boston.

Moneyball works for the Rays and the A’s to compete but never going to work for the Red Sox to win rings.
This team lacks in "bona fide players"? Since when?

Sale, Price, Rodriguez, Eovaldi, Betts, Martinez, Devers, Bogaerts, Benintendi, Vazquez, Bradley, Barnes, Workman...

Can't have all stars at every position. An upgrade to any spot on the 40-man roster is still an upgrade, even if it's marginal.
 

Rough Carrigan

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Upgrade from Poyner? The thrill of turning another teams trash into our treasure remains a mystery to me. Role players and retreads help but you’ve got to have bona fide players to win.

Especially in Boston.

Moneyball works for the Rays and the A’s to compete but never going to work for the Red Sox to win rings.
Yes it does and it has. The '07, '13 and '18 champs were all aided by having "trash" be adequate or good for a short time. You had guys like Kyle Snyder on the '07 team, Daniel Nava on the '13 team and the Steve Pearces of the world on the '18 team.

One of the most common failures of organizations is to surround their stars with adequate supporting players and sometimes those adequate supporting players, however briefly, are guys discarded by the previous teams as worthless.

One of the first things I read by Bill James that impressed me was his explanation of why the 1982 Expos couldn't go anywhere despite a few terrific players like Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Tim Raines and Steve Rogers. And the answer was that they had guys like Doug Flynn playing second and sucking so bad that they canceled out the positive value of the stars.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
One of the first things I read by Bill James that impressed me was his explanation of why the 1982 Expos couldn't go anywhere despite a few terrific players like Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Tim Raines and Steve Rogers. And the answer was that they had guys like Doug Flynn playing second and sucking so bad that they canceled out the positive value of the stars.
Yes. I still remember that essay. I forget the exact quote that struck me, but it was something like "pennants are lost every year because of teams' failure to fill roster positions with average players".

Of course when we talk about people like Poyner and Springs, we've descended a ways below the "average" level, but the point still holds: good organizations maximize the potential productivity of every spot on their 40-man roster, right down to #40. Even if, as DanoooME suggested, the main difference between the two is the number of options, that could make a difference in 2021.
 

JimD

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Upgrade from Poyner? The thrill of turning another teams trash into our treasure remains a mystery to me. Role players and retreads help but you’ve got to have bona fide players to win.

Especially in Boston.

Moneyball works for the Rays and the A’s to compete but never going to work for the Red Sox to win rings.
 

sean1562

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Bloom's talent is finding diamonds in the rough. Also, with all this talk of the 2013 team getting production from retreads, surprised nobody has brought up our man Carp.

 

The Gray Eagle

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Hall is another LH reliever. At 26, he's older than Nunez, and has already pitched in the majors, with a sweet career ERA of 9.48 in 31.1 IP. 32 K, but 18 walks and 5 HRs.

I don't see why we'd rather have this guy than Nunez, who plays a position where we have no depth at all. Seems odd.
 

Green Monster

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Hall is another LH reliever. At 26, he's older than Nunez, and has already pitched in the majors, with a sweet career ERA of 9.48 in 31.1 IP. 32 K, but 18 walks and 5 HRs.

I don't see why we'd rather have this guy than Nunez, who plays a position where we have no depth at all. Seems odd.
......but he has a great spin rate!!
 

JimD

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Bloom was part of the Tampa team that unearthed numerous gems to compete in the AL East with a small payroll - he more than deserves the benefit of the doubt on these moves for now.
 

DanoooME

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I guess Buster Olney has chimed in on the demands for Mookie. MLB.com evidently has a subscription to ESPN+

Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom may still be exploring trades for Betts, but ESPN's Buster Olney reports in an article for ESPN+ (subscription required) that some rival evaluators view the team's asking price as overly steep.

Per Olney, any deal for Betts must include David Price, with the acquiring team taking on most or all of the $96 million still owed to the left-hander over the next three seasons. And that's not all. The Red Sox also are asking for two high-end prospects.
If that's the price, I can't see anyone paying it, even the Dodgers.
 

joe dokes

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I guess Buster Olney has chimed in on the demands for Mookie. MLB.com evidently has a subscription to ESPN+
If that's the price, I can't see anyone paying it, even the Dodgers.
But Im glad thats what he's asking. Either take a shot at winning this year with them, or make damn sure a trade sets things up past this year.
 

lexrageorge

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The asking price for Mookie should absolutely be steep.

The team's first responsibility should be to set a price that works for the Red Sox both short and long term, not what other teams would supposedly accept. A year of Mookie followed by the compensatory pick is a better outcome than some of the proposals that were being thrown around.
 

bosockboy

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So for the Dodgers that’s taking Price plus sending back May +. That’s probably not happening without Pollock coming back but that’s what it should be, steep.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Guessing Chavis for a few weeks until Dalbec doesn’t cost them a year of service time. Or Moreland really cheap.
The longer he sits out there on the free agent market, the more I think Moreland comes back for relatively cheap. Of the available first baseman, he's arguably the best of the bunch. Or at least had the best 2019 of the bunch.
 

bosockboy

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The longer he sits out there on the free agent market, the more I think Moreland comes back for relatively cheap. Of the available first baseman, he's arguably the best of the bunch. Or at least had the best 2019 of the bunch.
Yep. Getting him for maybe 2 million and platooning him and Chavis would be ideal.
 

YTF

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The longer he sits out there on the free agent market, the more I think Moreland comes back for relatively cheap. Of the available first baseman, he's arguably the best of the bunch. Or at least had the best 2019 of the bunch.
He's going to have to be ridiculously cheap with no one else biting because outside of a few flyers on sub million dollar players it's becoming more and more clear that what you now see is what The Sox are going to be heading south with unless/until some payroll is moved.
 

nvalvo

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That proposed deal requires an acquiring team to see the on-field value of Betts and Price as somewhere around 20 WAR, with Betts accruing his share in one year, and Price over three, or place a very strong emphasis on 2020 over future seasons. "Top" prospects (50 FV) have a projected surplus value of ~$20-30m per Fangraphs. Price is owed $96m, and Betts just signed for $27m. So that's an outlay of like $160-180m.

For that to be close to worth it, you'd need to get something like a 10+ WAR season out of Betts (he's done it, but that's optimistic for anyone) and maybe 8 WAR from Price over the next three seasons (plausible). If they get those seasons out of Betts and Price, the Red Sox are likely contenders in 2020, too, and the return on trading away a contending season should be pretty high.

So I'm glad Bloom was asking for that, and I'm not at all surprised no one bit. It would really have to be the Dodgers, the Cardinals or possibly the Twins.
 

Harry Hooper

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He's going to have to be ridiculously cheap with no one else biting because outside of a few flyers on sub million dollar players it's becoming more and more clear that what you now see is what The Sox are going to be heading south with unless/until some payroll is moved.
Maybe the Sox make a pitch to him along the lines of we'll either be contenders or deal you to a contender in July. Moreland did get praise from an array of players last year as a team leader.
 

YTF

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Maybe the Sox make a pitch to him along the lines of we'll either be contenders or deal you to a contender in July. Moreland did get praise from an array of players last year as a team leader.
That would probably go without saying. A veteran presence like Moreland on a cheap/expiring contract would likely be of interest to a few teams looking to improve down the stretch. I don't think that sort of agreement sways him, I think at the moment Moreland as well as the other first basemen who have already been grabbed comes at a price that the Sox aren't willing to pay at the moment. Bloom may also have his eye on someone in a potential Betts/Price trade. The Dodger do have a few different guys with first base experience.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Maybe the Sox make a pitch to him along the lines of we'll either be contenders or deal you to a contender in July. Moreland did get praise from an array of players last year as a team leader.
I'm confused as to whether such an offer is an incentive or a disincentive to re-sign with Boston. It's not as though he's in demand enough to force any team into making promises. It's mid-January and he's still unemployed. My guess is that if the Sox remain interested in him, they have a standing offer on the table and are just waiting for him to come to the realization that it's the best he's going to do. And it's probably a drop in salary from what he's gotten the last 2-3 years. If he can do better, more power to him.
 

bosockboy

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I'm confused as to whether such an offer is an incentive or a disincentive to re-sign with Boston. It's not as though he's in demand enough to force any team into making promises. It's mid-January and he's still unemployed. My guess is that if the Sox remain interested in him, they have a standing offer on the table and are just waiting for him to come to the realization that it's the best he's going to do. And it's probably a drop in salary from what he's gotten the last 2-3 years. If he can do better, more power to him.
Yep clearly his door isn’t being beaten down and it’s 3 weeks until pitchers and catchers.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I wonder what he's looking to get. I don't think he sniffs the 6.5 he got the past two seasons, but I'm sure he wants as close to it as he can get.
Some of his comps who've already signed this off-season:
Cron = 1/$6.1M
Smoak = 1/$5M
Thames = 1/$5M
Shaw = 1/$4M

Problem is at this point is the available spots are drying up. Who else is in the market for a starting (full time or platoon) first baseman?
 

YTF

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Some of his comps who've already signed this off-season:
Cron = 1/$6.1M
Smoak = 1/$5M
Thames = 1/$5M
Shaw = 1/$4M

Problem is at this point is the available spots are drying up. Who else is in the market for a starting (full time or platoon) first baseman?
That's one thing in this scenario that works in Boston's favor. I see that the Yanks signed Bird for 1.2. I thought Bloom might take a flyer on him when he was DFAed.
 

Harry Hooper

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I wasn't suggesting anything terribly revelatory. In general, players like to be on contending squads. Players on a 1-year deal really like being on a contender to gain some added exposure via a playoff drive for their next contract. Chaim tells him that the plan is to contend, but if the starting pitching breaks down again he'll likely be sold off to a contender mid-season. Moreland gets, say 1.5 bites at the playoff apple, instead of just one, with a team he likes playing for.
 

jon abbey

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That's one thing in this scenario that works in Boston's favor. I see that the Yanks signed Bird for 1.2. I thought Bloom might take a flyer on him when he was DFAed.
Where did you see that? Pretty sure Bird is still an unsigned FA, NY has plenty of 1B depth without him.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Where did you see that? Pretty sure Bird is still an unsigned FA, NY has plenty of 1B depth without him.
Bird has definitely not re-signed with the Yankees. Perhaps YTF saw something about Bird's 2019 salary (which was 1.2M) and mistakenly thought it was a new deal?
 

YTF

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Bird has definitely not re-signed with the Yankees. Perhaps YTF saw something about Bird's 2019 salary (which was 1.2M) and mistakenly thought it was a new deal?
BINGO has been called. Took a quick look to see what his status was and saw a couple of articles citing the 1.2 agreement. Both January 10, 2019 I'll catch up eventually. FWIW I wasn't necessarily advocating the signing of Bird, but given the current payroll restrictions I could see Bloom having some level of interest in a 27 year old, left handed bat with power who may not have yet realized his potential.
 
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chrisfont9

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Upgrade from Poyner? The thrill of turning another teams trash into our treasure remains a mystery to me. Role players and retreads help but you’ve got to have bona fide players to win.

Especially in Boston.

Moneyball works for the Rays and the A’s to compete but never going to work for the Red Sox to win rings.
I guess Koji Uehara, aging Shane Victorino, Johnny Gomes, Mike Napoli, Mike Carp, Daniel Nava and so on are bona fide players?

If you meant to say that the media environment isn't for everyone, that may be true, but having enough thick-skinned personalities, e.g. veterans, should get it done. On the field they can clearly win with bargain-basement talent. 2003 was another classic case which more or less set up 2004.
 
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high cheese

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I guess Koji Uehara, aging Shane Victorino, Johnny Gomes, Mike Napoli, Mike Carp, Daniel Nava and so on are bona fide players?
I'd say half of that group were, yes. But that wasn't my point - and I wasn't clear at all. Two points to my commentary: 1. Poyner was decent out of the pen, don't see the upgrade at all 2. Pre-Cora Firing the off-season was already a disaster with rumors of our best player(s) being on the block and pick ups like these as our moves to "improve" - while other teams are adding "bona fides" with the intent to get better and win.

I'm definitely good with rounding out the roster but none of the players we added are really that valuable - they're basically fliers.
 

chawson

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Dominos are obviously yet to fall, but here’s the Sox depth chart as of this second:

C - Vaz, Plawecki
1B - Moreland, Chavis, (Dalbec)
2B - Peraza, Chavis, Arauz, Lin
3B - Devers, Chavis, Arauz, Lin
SS - Bogaerts, Arauz, Lin
LF - Benintendi, Chavis, Martinez
CF - Bradley, Benintendi, Lin(?)
RF - Betts, Bradley, Martinez, Andreoli(?)
DH - Martinez

Strengths:
- Lots of versatility among INF utility men
- Catching defense

Weaknesses:
- Lack of outfield depth (JDM is a disaster and injury risk out there)
- Vulnerability to LHP
- Redundant utility infielders without options
- 1B platoon

Notes:

- Bloom intimated that Chavis could be the team’s super utility guy. It seems like posturing to me, Chavis is hardly the defensive player Holt is, and two of his positions (3B/LF) are manned by regulars. But we’ll see.
- Chavis had trouble with LHP last year and makes an awkward platoon with Moreland at first base, though maybe Dalbec solves that in the spring.
- Speaking of vulnerability to southpaws, that distinction was true to some extent of Devers, Moreland, Bradley, and Chavis last year. Benintendi improved against them last year but was average overall.
- I doubt John Andreoli will get any meaningful time in 2020, but no one else on the team but Bradley can handle right field for the Red Sox in the case of a Betts trade, and putting Bradley there opens a hole in center that it doesn’t seem Benny can fill. JDM hits like Bonds when he plays the outfield (1.150 OPS) and only like Bonilla when he’s DH-ing (.900 OPS), but he’s a disaster and injury risk.
- Unless they sign one of the few remaining FA outfielders (Puig, Pillar, Dyson, Zobrist, Holt) or somehow have a separate deal lined up, a Betts trade would almost have to bring back a credible right fielder (Verdugo, Fowler, ) or center fielder (Margot, Cordero). Whoever it is probably shouldn’t need to be platooned against LHP.