2021 and beyond

allmanbro

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SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
122
Portland, Maine
I thought it was worth starting a thread looking forward a bit more than existing threads. Not because I am giving up on 2020, but because I want to think a bit more concretely about the positive side of the Mookie trade: where it leaves them for 2021 and beyond. The idea is to think about how the team can set itself up for longer term success with the moves it makes over the next calendar year (spring training, during the season, next offseason, whenever).

Needs:
SP
Bullpen
1B
CF
Any holes created by other moves

Trade chips:
One of Benintendi/Verdugo
Chavis
Maybe Peraza (if he can return to 2018 from and Downs progresses quickly)
Maybe JBJ
Workman
Barnes
One of Casas/Dalbec

Salary dump candidates:
JDM
Eovaldi

There is a lot that's still wide open, but this leaves me optimistic about the team's future. I think it's not hard to see how this team could return to something like a 93-win level in 2021, and stay there for a few years. They have some flexibility in how they do that too. They have a good enough offensive core that they can get by with below average offense from 1B/DH in the next few years. Pitching is the bigger problem, but that hinges a lot on what Sale can do. Before the trade, they really had little option but to try and constantly restock through FA, which would not have played out well even if they ignored the cap.


Here is what I see as an ideal plan. This is where things get totally speculative of course, since it's not clear whether any of these are actually options:

- Try to trade/dump JDM, or hope he opts out. With him off the books, they would have a ton of money to work with.
- Use that money to sign Mookie. This particular move has been discussed elsewhere ad nauseum, but I think Mookie is the kind of premium talent you pay for, and if the rest of this plan works out (or something like it) they may be able to sign him and stay under the cap with a complete and competitive team.
- Look to trade for a #2/3 SP or on a team-friendly deal, arb, or a comparable ML ready prospect. A package based around one of Benintendi/Verdugo along with maybe Chavis and/or (if you have to) Dalbec/Casas should be able to get someone worthwhile.
- Fill CF; resign JBJ or find a way to approximate his production for less money.
- Shop in the scrap heap for 1B/DH, 6th/7th SPs with some upside, bench spots, and bullpen arms.
- Just hope Sale returns to form, Eovaldi can stay on the mound as a serviceable 4/5, and Perez pitches well enough that his option looks like a good deal. Not really anything else you can do here.
- Look into extending Erod and Devers
- Trade Workman/JBJ/other free agents for low-level lottery tickets at the deadline if they aren't competing. Fill in the farm a little. If they are buyers at the deadline, buy players fitting this basic plan rather than rentals.
- Tweak around the margins based on details.
 

sean1562

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Sep 17, 2011
2,766
Our farm needs to produce some major league talent in the next three years. We really need to get better at developing starting pitching internally. Hopefully Groome pans out and can be a 3/4 starter someday. If Dalbec hits consistently in the minors I think we should try and trade him for some pitching.
 

Mighty Joe Young

The North remembers
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Sep 14, 2002
5,332
Halifax, Nova Scotia , Canada
I would be shocked if they are still below the LT a year from now. The Sox have never been shy about exceeding it in the past .. and it’s going to be incredibly difficult to compete at the highest levels AND staying under.
 

nighthob

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Jul 15, 2005
8,299
Mookie isn’t coming back and draining the farm system to prepare for his return is the quickest way to get right back into the hole they’re starting to dig their way out of. Just let the dream go. Their stars going forward are X and Raffi and they are going to need above averagish guys like Benintendi or Verdugo to fill out the roster economically.
 

JimD

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Nov 29, 2001
6,932
I don't see JDM as a salary dump candidate, especially with his annual salary dropping to $19,350,000 for 2021 and 2022. I see him as providing good value if he stays, although I wouldn't be surprised he does decide to opt out if he has another solid year this season and try for one more big payday.
 

allmanbro

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Jul 19, 2005
122
Portland, Maine
Mookie isn’t coming back and draining the farm system to prepare for his return is the quickest way to get right back into the hole they’re starting to dig their way out of. Just let the dream go. Their stars going forward are X and Raffi and they are going to need above averagish guys like Benintendi or Verdugo to fill out the roster economically.
Even just ignoring Mookie, they need pitching. They are currently projected on fangraphs to be in the 2nd tier muddle with CLE, TB, LAA, and OAK, basically tied with OAK for 5th best in the league. If they just try to stock the pitching staff through FA, they are looking at people like Bauer, Robbie Ray, Paxton this coming year. It's hard for me to see how signing guys like that would allow them to get out of that group, and easy to see how those would be contracts they quickly regret.

A #2/strong #3 could differentiate them, and a trade could get them a player who is controllable and affordable. I also don't think trading Benintendi/Chavis/Dalbec is draining the farm, especially if the player you get back is controllable. I picked those guys because they seem redundant, but someone has to be available to get some pitching.
 

allmanbro

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Jul 19, 2005
122
Portland, Maine
I don't see JDM as a salary dump candidate, especially with his annual salary dropping to $19,350,000 for 2021 and 2022. I see him as providing good value if he stays, although I wouldn't be surprised he does decide to opt out if he has another solid year this season and try for one more big payday.
Fair point, especially if the aren't worried about payroll in 2021. But if they do need to free up money for whatever reason, that is one place to look. It's the curse of DHs that you can have great offensive numbers like he did in 2019 and still only be worth 3.2 fWAR. All the more amazing that he put up 5.9 fWAR in 2018.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Aug 1, 2001
13,148
Even just ignoring Mookie, they need pitching. They are currently projected on fangraphs to be in the 2nd tier muddle with CLE, TB, LAA, and OAK, basically tied with OAK for 5th best in the league. If they just try to stock the pitching staff through FA, they are looking at people like Bauer, Robbie Ray, Paxton this coming year. It's hard for me to see how signing guys like that would allow them to get out of that group, and easy to see how those would be contracts they quickly regret.

A #2/strong #3 could differentiate them, and a trade could get them a player who is controllable and affordable. I also don't think trading Benintendi/Chavis/Dalbec is draining the farm, especially if the player you get back is controllable. I picked those guys because they seem redundant, but someone has to be available to get some pitching.
This is another reason why I was disappointed in Verdugo being a big part of the big trade. We got no pitching back in that deal, when that should have been our number 1 goal in terms of return. This organization is desperate for young pitching, and that was our best opportunity to get some.
 

RobertsSteal

lurker
Jul 15, 2005
13
Northampon, MA
If they just try to stock the pitching staff through FA, they are looking at people like Bauer, Robbie Ray, Paxton this coming year. It's hard for me to see how signing guys like that would allow them to get out of that group, and easy to see how those would be contracts they quickly regret.
I agree that none of those guys is likely to be a difference maker, though each presumably would be an upgrade over the PuPu platter that will be the back end of the 2020 rotation.

Minor consideration: I do seem to recall that Bauer said he’s gonna sign one year deals the rest of his career. So he could be a target to get a short term upgrade, ie, one whose contract wouldn’t become an albatross.
 

chawson

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Aug 1, 2006
1,855
Great thread, great analysis.

- I think the Mookie saga has left JDM slightly underrated. Now that we’re under the threshold, there’s no reason at all to “dump” an elite hitter at perfectly reasonable rates, especially considering the ancillary benefits of his reported mentorship of younger players.

- I also think Mookie’s gone for good, sadly.

- With the Verdugo stress fracture news, I’ll make my requisite plug to sign Puig, a potential stud Fenway hitter and valuable trade chip, here.

- It still pains me to imagine what could have been had we traded Benintendi after 2018 and signed one of the many suitable outfield replacements, passing on Eovaldi. But I agree that a package of he and Chavis is probably the best method to get a pitcher. Chavis for Jon Gray or Matt Boyd might become an option midseason.

- I’d say the Mets are still a good team to deal with. Benintendi is an instant Nimmo replacement if he’s still hurt, and/or Chavis could slot in at third when McNeil moves to the outfield, plus spell Cano for his inevitable injuries.

- I would also deal Chavis for J.D. Davis right now, even though it doesn’t solve the pitching issue, and have an elite hitting first baseman locked in until Casas.

2019 xwOBA
1. Trout - .455
2-7: Bellinger, Yelich, Kendrick, Cruz, Rendon, Alvarez)
8. Betts - .408
9-10: Soto, Judge
11. JDM - .400
12-20: Springer, Freeman, Soler, Rizzo, Donaldson, Harper, Olson, Acuña, Muncy)
21: J.D. Davis - .383
 

bibajesus

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Jul 15, 2005
565
I don't have anything to add, but the title of this thread combined with the OPs avatar made me think this thread was about Sealab. Guess I should have noticed the subforum.
 

chawson

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Aug 1, 2006
1,855
Not sure why the Mets would do that. Chavis is not a 3b. Not a very good one, anyway.
Not sure what you mean here. He came up a third baseman and made a credible attempt to climb up the defensive spectrum, not down, by playing a passable second base. He’d also, fwiw, be one of the shorter first basemen in the league. If he has a true position, it’s third.

Davis is an established very good hitter, but has virtually no defensive value anywhere but first, so he’s a bad fit on a team whose first baseman just won rookie of the year.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
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Dec 22, 2002
11,135
Not sure what you mean here. He came up a third baseman and made a credible attempt to climb up the defensive spectrum, not down, by playing a passable second base. He’d also, fwiw, be one of the shorter first basemen in the league. If he has a true position, it’s third.

Davis is an established very good hitter, but has virtually no defensive value anywhere but first, so he’s a bad fit on a team whose first baseman just won rookie of the year.
I always thought he was better fit to play 2b. Besides that, every scouting report out there says he projects to be a pretty meh 3b. He doesn't have a true position. So why would the Mets want him?
 

allmanbro

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
122
Portland, Maine
I also assume they'll consider taking a bad contract back in any deal for a pitcher, especially if Mookie is gone.

I do seem to recall that Bauer said he’s gonna sign one year deals the rest of his career. So he could be a target to get a short term upgrade, ie, one whose contract wouldn’t become an albatross.
Bauer on a one year deal could definitely be an interesting upside move. There are other possibly interesting options like Teheran and Desclafani, but I'd really be a lot more comfortable with those guys as #4/5 than the #2/3 I think they need. You can add both, of course, especially if Eovaldi moves to the bullpen.

I don't have anything to add, but the title of this thread combined with the OPs avatar made me think this thread was about Sealab. Guess I should have noticed the subforum.
Holy crap, I didn't even realize! That's amazing! I've had this avatar for years.
 
Last edited:

CR67dream

Dope
Dope
SoSH Member
Oct 4, 2001
4,984
I'm going home
I thought it was worth starting a thread looking forward a bit more than existing threads. Not because I am giving up on 2020, but because I want to think a bit more concretely about the positive side of the Mookie trade: where it leaves them for 2021 and beyond. The idea is to think about how the team can set itself up for longer term success with the moves it makes over the next calendar year (spring training, during the season, next offseason, whenever).

Needs:
SP
Bullpen
1B
CF
Any holes created by other moves

Trade chips:
One of Benintendi/Verdugo
Chavis
Maybe Peraza (if he can return to 2018 from and Downs progresses quickly)
Maybe JBJ
Workman
Barnes
One of Casas/Dalbec

Salary dump candidates:
JDM
Eovaldi

There is a lot that's still wide open, but this leaves me optimistic about the team's future. I think it's not hard to see how this team could return to something like a 93-win level in 2021, and stay there for a few years. They have some flexibility in how they do that too. They have a good enough offensive core that they can get by with below average offense from 1B/DH in the next few years. Pitching is the bigger problem, but that hinges a lot on what Sale can do. Before the trade, they really had little option but to try and constantly restock through FA, which would not have played out well even if they ignored the cap.


Here is what I see as an ideal plan. This is where things get totally speculative of course, since it's not clear whether any of these are actually options:

- Try to trade/dump JDM, or hope he opts out. With him off the books, they would have a ton of money to work with.
- Use that money to sign Mookie. This particular move has been discussed elsewhere ad nauseum, but I think Mookie is the kind of premium talent you pay for, and if the rest of this plan works out (or something like it) they may be able to sign him and stay under the cap with a complete and competitive team.
- Look to trade for a #2/3 SP or on a team-friendly deal, arb, or a comparable ML ready prospect. A package based around one of Benintendi/Verdugo along with maybe Chavis and/or (if you have to) Dalbec/Casas should be able to get someone worthwhile.
- Fill CF; resign JBJ or find a way to approximate his production for less money.
- Shop in the scrap heap for 1B/DH, 6th/7th SPs with some upside, bench spots, and bullpen arms.
- Just hope Sale returns to form, Eovaldi can stay on the mound as a serviceable 4/5, and Perez pitches well enough that his option looks like a good deal. Not really anything else you can do here.
- Look into extending Erod and Devers
- Trade Workman/JBJ/other free agents for low-level lottery tickets at the deadline if they aren't competing. Fill in the farm a little. If they are buyers at the deadline, buy players fitting this basic plan rather than rentals.
- Tweak around the margins based on details.
Thank you for starting this thread. In the midst of a whole lot of craziness, this is just the kind of discussion this place needed.

In related news, allmanbro is a lurker no more.
 

allmanbro

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Jul 19, 2005
122
Portland, Maine
Thank you for starting this thread. In the midst of a whole lot of craziness, this is just the kind of discussion this place needed.

In related news, allmanbro is a lurker no more.
Thanks! I have long appreciated the quality of the discussion on this board, and the work the dopes do. I am happy to be a member!
 

nvalvo

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Jul 16, 2005
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Rogers Park
This is another reason why I was disappointed in Verdugo being a big part of the big trade. We got no pitching back in that deal, when that should have been our number 1 goal in terms of return. This organization is desperate for young pitching, and that was our best opportunity to get some.
This is why I was so excited about Graterol, but it was not to be.
 

DeadlySplitter

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Oct 20, 2015
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there's something to be said to get a replacement for Mookie right away that has a good chance of providing plenty of that juicy "excess value". Or if Mookie returns, JBJ's replacement.

while pitching is the #1 need, the next great Red Sox outfield and a promising 2B prospect were not far behind.
 

JimD

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Nov 29, 2001
6,932
This is another reason why I was disappointed in Verdugo being a big part of the big trade. We got no pitching back in that deal, when that should have been our number 1 goal in terms of return. This organization is desperate for young pitching, and that was our best opportunity to get some.
I think it's instructive that the best pitcher they could acquire after weeks (months?) leading up to the trade was Graterol, a guy who had questions about whether he would be a starter or reliever long term even before the Sox had questions about his medicals. Once he was deemed unacceptable, neither the Dodgers or the Twins could supply an equivalent young MLB starter or high-end prospect, at least judging by what Bloom and company eventually accepted. I'm sure the Sox could have accepted some lower-level pitching prospects but decided that the availability of a premium prospect like Downs was worth more. I also think that removing Verdugo from the deal was a non-starter - I see him as a classic Bloom buy-low acquisition and believe that the Sox front office is pretty high on him.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I think it's instructive that the best pitcher they could acquire after weeks (months?) leading up to the trade was Graterol, a guy who had questions about whether he would be a starter or reliever long term even before the Sox had questions about his medicals. Once he was deemed unacceptable, neither the Dodgers or the Twins could supply an equivalent young MLB starter or high-end prospect, at least judging by what Bloom and company eventually accepted. I'm sure the Sox could have accepted some lower-level pitching prospects but decided that the availability of a premium prospect like Downs was worth more. I also think that removing Verdugo from the deal was a non-starter - I see him as a classic Bloom buy-low acquisition and believe that the Sox front office is pretty high on him.
Great post (as usual). I'm always a bit confused (and amused) by folks who assume that after a trade goes down, the team didn't get player X because they weren't trying to get player X. As if it couldn't possibly be that no team was willing to part with player X for what the Sox were offering, whether player X was a specific player or a specific type of player.
 

Savin Hillbilly

loves the secret sauce
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Jul 10, 2007
18,664
The wrong side of the bridge....
I think it's instructive that the best pitcher they could acquire after weeks (months?) leading up to the trade was Graterol, a guy who had questions about whether he would be a starter or reliever long term even before the Sox had questions about his medicals. Once he was deemed unacceptable, neither the Dodgers or the Twins could supply an equivalent young MLB starter or high-end prospect, at least judging by what Bloom and company eventually accepted. I'm sure the Sox could have accepted some lower-level pitching prospects but decided that the availability of a premium prospect like Downs was worth more. I also think that removing Verdugo from the deal was a non-starter - I see him as a classic Bloom buy-low acquisition and believe that the Sox front office is pretty high on him.
It's also a reminder of how expensive future starting pitching tends to be on the trade market, which underlines that the single most important thing Bloom can do for the Sox is to make the organization better at developing homegrown pitchers.