2023 Offseason Moves

Rice4HOF

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Jan 21, 2002
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Last time we signed someone out of Indy ball, all he did was hit a grand slam on the first pitch he saw in the majors. And a game winning home run at a Fenway opener, and the winning home run in the first game played after that Patriot's Day game, so.....
 

JM3

often quoted
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Dec 14, 2019
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Maybe they think they can fix him...

Booser turns 31 in May & was pretty bad in AA last season.

19 games, 25 innings, 26 hits, 22 walks. 6.42 ERA kind of miraculous with a 1.92 WHIP. 30 strikeouts in 25 innings, but so many baserunners to the point that isn't even a great strikeout rate.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=booser000cam

Also, can't see the Athletic article, but I assume it references this as part of why he quit baseball to take up carpentry?

NEW YORK -- New York Yankees right-hander Matt Marsh and Minnesota Twins left-hander Cam Booser have each been suspended for 50 games under baseball's minor league drug program following second positive tests for a drug of abuse.
https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/19683025/new-york-yankees-matt-marsh-twins-cam-booser-suspended-50-games-each
 

joe dokes

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Jul 18, 2005
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Maybe they think they can fix him...

Booser turns 31 in May & was pretty bad in AA last season.

19 games, 25 innings, 26 hits, 22 walks. 6.42 ERA kind of miraculous with a 1.92 WHIP. 30 strikeouts in 25 innings, but so many baserunners to the point that isn't even a great strikeout rate.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=booser000cam

Also, can't see the Athletic article, but I assume it references this as part of why he quit baseball to take up carpentry?



https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/19683025/new-york-yankees-matt-marsh-twins-cam-booser-suspended-50-games-each
He hasn't really been good anywhere, except for a short trip in independent ball in 2021. Someone doing someone a solid.
 

grimshaw

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May 16, 2007
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I am not understanding why they protected David Hamilton instead of Thaddeus Ward at this point if they are signing AAAA guys like Chang and Goodrum instead.

I'd much rather have Ward now.
 

moondog80

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Sep 20, 2005
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I am not understanding why they protected David Hamilton instead of Thaddeus Ward at this point if they are signing AAAA guys like Chang and Goodrum instead.

I'd much rather have Ward now.
1. With or without Hamilton, they had little depth in minors as far guys who can handle 2B/SS in a pinch at the MLB level. You need guys like Goodrum and Chang (neither of whom take up a spot on the 40 man roster).
2. With the new pickoff rules and larger bases, Hamilton's stolen base ability gives him some added value.
 

Ale Xander

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Oct 31, 2013
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I am not understanding why they protected David Hamilton instead of Thaddeus Ward at this point if they are signing AAAA guys like Chang and Goodrum instead.

I'd much rather have Ward now.
Ward didn’t show that he was scrappy and hungry enough, plus he wasn’t as young.
 

Shaky Walton

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Nov 20, 2019
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I know he's unlikely to be much of a factor but damn, what motivates Bloom to sign another guy whose numbers look so wanting and seemingly has such limited upside?
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Jan 13, 2021
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1. With or without Hamilton, they had little depth in minors as far guys who can handle 2B/SS in a pinch at the MLB level. You need guys like Goodrum and Chang (neither of whom take up a spot on the 40 man roster).
2. With the new pickoff rules and larger bases, Hamilton's stolen base ability gives him some added value.
Agree, but Chang is on the 40-man.

Had they kept Ward, they would have had to DFA him (or someone like him) at some point to add another utility infielder.

Why Ward over Ort could be an argument, but they seem to really like the latter, and heck, there’s a good chance they get Ward back and / or he isn’t a big loss anyways. Guys like him, German, etc don’t seem to have loads of value.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Oct 23, 2001
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Ward's OBP must have been too high for Chaim's liking. Chang with his lifetime .279 major league number fits right in with many of our other signings.
 

moondog80

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Sep 20, 2005
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Ward's OBP must have been too high for Chaim's liking. Chang with his lifetime .279 major league number fits right in with many of our other signings.
He should have gotten a .400 OBP guy to sign a one year deal after spring training has started that gives him maybe a 50% shot at being a backup infielder on the big league roster.
 

nvalvo

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Jul 16, 2005
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I like it. Plays all over the infield at a league average or better level, has some intriguing exit velocity metrics that suggest there might be more in there offensively.

It isn't expensive. I guess Mondesí provides the high ceiling and Chang holds up the floor.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Oct 23, 2001
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He should have gotten a .400 OBP guy to sign a one year deal after spring training has started that gives him maybe a 50% shot at being a backup infielder on the big league roster.
Haha, yes that would be wonderful. Maybe he should also sign the .279 career OBP journeyman to a minor league deal or give him a spring training invite instead of wasting a 40 man roster spot on him?

Seriously, was there so much competition for Chang that we had to give him a space on the 40 man roster?
 

grimshaw

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May 16, 2007
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1. With or without Hamilton, they had little depth in minors as far guys who can handle 2B/SS in a pinch at the MLB level. You need guys like Goodrum and Chang (neither of whom take up a spot on the 40 man roster).
2. With the new pickoff rules and larger bases, Hamilton's stolen base ability gives him some added value.
I'm saying if Hamilton could be that guy, why are they signing another guy to a major league deal? Wouldn't Chang still be available in a few weeks after some spring training games?
 

moondog80

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Sep 20, 2005
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Seriously, was there so much competition for Chang that we had to give him a space on the 40 man roster?
Maybe? The Dodgers gave up a prospect for a guy who had a .283 OBP last year as a 33 year old, and gave him a two year contract extension.
 

Shaky Walton

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Nov 20, 2019
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He can play lots of positions. That continues to be something the Sox organization seems to value.
Versatility is great. And so are players who can get on base. Chang hit .207 last year and will likley be challenged at the plate no matter where he plays in the field or how much flexibility he offers them.

I get that not many guys will sign up for what he did. This is perhaps somewhat similar to what the Celtics are facing when trying to sign a veteran who has been bought out for the 15th spot on the roster; better players hold out for better opportunities. (Hopefully, for the Cs, the difference is that someone useful will view the opportunity much like Blake Griffin has.)

But Chang looks like several of Chaim's other signings in that he's so challenged offensively. Yep, maybe it's temporary and in no world is he pivotal or a game changer for the Sox. Just kind of a head scratcher and part of a troubling pattern in my view.
 

JM3

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Dec 14, 2019
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If Chang can actually hit breaking balls, he becomes a really useful player - he had 2 hits in 47 at bats against breaking balls last year.

Plus defense at 1B, 2B & 3B in his career, pretty neutral at SS, & due to the underlying #s, his wRC+ is projected between 86-98 in most systems. & playing for 4 teams in 1 season can't be easy. Seems like really good insurance against Mondesi injury & Valdez not being ready.
 

nvalvo

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Jul 16, 2005
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Yeah. The hope here is that Chang plays two times a week until Mondesí is ready to go, and then if everyone is healthy, Chang gets traded to the Athletics for cash considerations. If he plays really well in that opportunity, maybe the return is a AA reliever from the Brewers.

So for April, we'd be looking at something like:

Duvall CF
Kiké SS
Arroyo 2B
Chang MI bench depth

If things are going smoothly, by May, we'd like to see:

Kiké CF/SS/2B
Duvall OF
Mondesí SS
Arroyo 2B/MI bench depth
Chang traded

And then:

Kiké CF
Duvall OF
Mondesí SS
Story 2B
Arroyo 2B/MI bench depth

If everyone is healthy when expected, Chang gets maybe 50 PA for the Red Sox. But the four guys ahead of him on the depth chart are Story, Mondesí, Arroyo, and Hernández, so there's plenty of potential for everyone not to be healthy when expected, and it's nice to have a guy with some upside when that happens. And hopefully Valdez and Hamilton are playing well at AAA by mid-season, making us feel more confident in the middle infield depth on the forty man roster.

Look, I wanted to deal Houck and Duran and Dalbec (or whatever) for Kim. But I can see a case that:

Houck
Mondesí
Chang
Duran
Dalbec

is a better situation than

Taylor
Kim

with less optionable depth. And maybe the asking price for Kim was higher than that.
 

chawson

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Aug 1, 2006
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It wasn't long ago that Yu Chang was a 50 FV prospect just outside the Top 100. Fangraphs prospect guys had him last the #103 prospect in 2019, saying "He does have power though, and he’s a viable defensive third baseman who’d be capable of moonlighting at short or second base if Cleveland needed him to. We like him as a versatile, bat-first prospect who can play all over the place."

If anything, he seems like another guy whose career the pandemic may have derailed. The guy has had 550 professional PAs in the last three years.

2023 ZIPS projection (FWIW):
Andrus: .241/.292/.350, 88 wRC+
Chang: .239/.303/.397, 94 wRC+
Iglesias: .294/.329/.411, 94 wRC+
 

Sad Sam Jones

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May 5, 2017
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The pandemic had nothing to do with his inability to ever make enough contact to succeed at higher levels. I never understood his prospect status when he was constantly walking back to the dugout having failed to put a ball in play, and that was in AA & AAA 5-6 years ago. As a Guardians fan, there was a lot to cheer about as they won their first playoff series in six years, but finally releasing Chang might still be a top 5 moment for me in 2022.
 

chawson

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Aug 1, 2006
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The pandemic had nothing to do with his inability to ever make enough contact to succeed at higher levels. I never understood his prospect status when he was constantly walking back to the dugout having failed to put a ball in play, and that was in AA & AAA 5-6 years ago. As a Guardians fan, there was a lot to cheer about as they won their first playoff series in six years, but finally releasing Chang might still be a top 5 moment for me in 2022.
Seems harsh! The Guardians finished 12-15 games above projections (Fangraphs, BP) last year and nearly beat the Yankees in the ALDS. I'd think there would be many more exciting moments! I can't speak for your frustration with his mL strike out rate, but Chang hit more than twice as many homers as the next-highest shortstop prospect (Andrew Velasquez and Nick Gordon) in AA in 2017. Maybe a few extra strikeouts are a decent tradeoff for a middle infielder who gets extra-base hits?

Chang seems like a Christian Arroyo who swings a bit harder and a bit less. Arroyo can get into trouble sometimes making chasing and making poor contact on pitches out of the zone, and Chang is a little more patient (at the cost of working behind in counts a bit more). Maybe you're right and Chang would have stayed on the same development arc without the pandemic, but Arroyo has made considerable strides over the same span with more consistent instruction and playing time, and they're the same age.

He's not a very exciting signing, but gets pretty good quality contact for what he does hit, and can play a decent shortstop. Andrus is seven years older and projects worse at the plate and in the field, and probably costs at least 10x what Chang just signed for, yet there'd be a ton of Sox fans (not saying you necessarily) who would be thrilled if we got him.