Boston Red Sox sign Matt Andriese to $2.1 million, 1-year deal

Mugsy's Jock

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Obligatory Mugsy's Jock "Former Cotuit Kettleer, so that's something" post.
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mauidano

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Probably more of a long man in the bullpen. Meh. Dime a dozen kind of guy.
 

DeadlySplitter

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More like #6 swing man Johnson/Velazquez type. Although he said he signed with us for a chance to start.
 

chawson

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Andriese gained some spin movement on his fastball and brought back a cutter last year that he hadn’t thrown since 2015-16 with the Rays. Mixing those in with his heavy changeup usage helped him make great strides against RHH, which is a good tool in Fenway.

Here are his 2020 splits compared with another guy we were just talking about (SSS).

Player A: .244 wOBA vs. RHH, .324 wOBA vs. LHH (70 IP)
Luis Castillo
Player B: .223 wOBA vs. RHH, .324 wOBA vs. LHH (32 IP)
Matt Andriese

If his gains against RHH stick and Fenway keeps the other stuff in the yard, he should have a nice year. Maybe he can be a Yusmeiro Petit type?
 

The Gray Eagle

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I didn't realize how old this guy is. He's already 31, older than Eovaldi or Martin Perez. He's never had an ERA under 4.00 in any season. Depth Charts and Steamer both project him to have a 4.98 ERA and 4.94 FIP this year.

https://www.fangraphs.com/players/matt-andriese/12022/stats?position=P
Not impressive, and he's clearly guaranteed a roster spot. This looks like a lot of Bloom's pitching choices last year. I hope he turns out better than that collection.
 

chawson

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Andriese is exactly the kind of smart signing that Bloom should be getting credit for.

Here’s a list of the 36 pitchers who have fared best against RHH in 2019-20 (min. 1500 pitches, per Statcast):
Hendriks (.198 expected hitter wOBA), Maeda, Hader, deGrom, Scherzer, Cole, Woodruff, Luis Castillo, Darvish, Lugo, Glasnow, Clevinger, Syndergaard, Flaherty, Eflin, Verlander, Morton, Elieser Hernandez, Houser, Strasburg, Urias, Workman, Bauer, Neris, Lynn, Scott Barlow, Edwin Diaz, Snell, Peacock, Pablo Lopez, Lamet, Sonny Gray, Miguel Castro, Green, Andriese .279, Bieber
Those are the best starters in baseball, a few stud relievers with heavy workloads made it past the minimum innings filter...and Matt Andriese.

Who knows how predictive that is, but near-elite levels of effectiveness against righties and slightly better than average effectiveness against lefties (.313 xwOBA, 102 among 211 qualified multi-inning pitchers) is a good pitcher. The difference is that Andriese did it over 1-3 inning stints, not 6-7 inning ones.

We’ll see, but it’s a great pickup at $1.85M. Andriese looks like 40 percent of Wheeler, Lynn or Paddack’s innings at about 8-10 percent of the cost.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Andriese is exactly the kind of smart signing that Bloom should be getting credit for.

Here’s a list of the 36 pitchers who have fared best against RHH in 2019-20 (min. 1500 pitches, per Statcast):
Hendriks (.198 expected hitter wOBA), Maeda, Hader, deGrom, Scherzer, Cole, Woodruff, Luis Castillo, Darvish, Lugo, Glasnow, Clevinger, Syndergaard, Flaherty, Eflin, Verlander, Morton, Elieser Hernandez, Houser, Strasburg, Urias, Workman, Bauer, Neris, Lynn, Scott Barlow, Edwin Diaz, Snell, Peacock, Pablo Lopez, Lamet, Sonny Gray, Miguel Castro, Green, Andriese .279, Bieber
Those are the best starters in baseball, a few stud relievers with heavy workloads made it past the minimum innings filter...and Matt Andriese.

Who knows how predictive that is, but near-elite levels of effectiveness against righties and slightly better than average effectiveness against lefties (.313 xwOBA, 102 among 211 qualified multi-inning pitchers) is a good pitcher. The difference is that Andriese did it over 1-3 inning stints, not 6-7 inning ones.

We’ll see, but it’s a great pickup at $1.85M. Andriese looks like 40 percent of Wheeler, Lynn or Paddack’s innings at about 8-10 percent of the cost.
The bolded part is the key thing here. Is he a reliever or a starter? If he's supposed to fill a Heath Hembree type role, this should turn out to be a solid signing. If he's supposed to be a part of the rotation, I think it's wishful thinking that he can maintain that effectiveness.

I'm assuming he's ticketed for the pen. The early talk seems to be that he's going to get a shot to start. I'm assuming that idea will die in spring training.
 

joe dokes

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I didn't realize how old this guy is. He's already 31, older than Eovaldi or Martin Perez. He's never had an ERA under 4.00 in any season. Depth Charts and Steamer both project him to have a 4.98 ERA and 4.94 FIP this year.

https://www.fangraphs.com/players/matt-andriese/12022/stats?position=P
Not impressive, and he's clearly guaranteed a roster spot. This looks like a lot of Bloom's pitching choices last year. I hope he turns out better than that collection.
I dont know how useful Andriese will be, but I am pretty confident that Bloom will not keep a guy around solely because he signed him to a 2.1M contract. If he's no good, he'll be gone.
 

The Gray Eagle

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He is absolutely making the team out of spring training. He will have a roster spot unless he is on the DL.
 

nvalvo

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Even if we have “enough” pitching on paper, no one’s throwing a 180 IP workload after a half season, especially given our personnel. So we need some guys in the pen who can make some spot starts/bulk appearances. I think that’s a good role for Andriese.

35 G, 8 starts, 100 IP, something like that: a bunch of middle relief innings, and the second through fifth innings of some getaway days when the rotation needs an off day we don’t have.
 

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Even if we have “enough” pitching on paper, no one’s throwing a 180 IP workload after a half season, especially given our personnel. So we need some guys in the pen who can make some spot starts/bulk appearances. I think that’s a good role for Andriese.

35 G, 8 starts, 100 IP, something like that: a bunch of middle relief innings, and the second through fifth innings of some getaway days when the rotation needs an off day we don’t have.
Agreed. I think this team is looking for role/positional flexibility.

But I’d probably say 40-45 games with 8 starts (assuming a 140+ game season).
 

Manramsclan

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Doesn't this guy have opener written all over him?
That is "starting". Maybe he gets a chance to see if he can pitch effectively beyond a second or third inning and if his effectiveness declines the second time through the order they just start yanking him when they find where that threshold is. Maybe he routinely makes it through the order twice without major issues and if he is efficient enough maybe he qualifies for a win.
Seems like the right guy to try this out with. Not much to lose.
 

Rich Garces Belly

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Doesn't this guy have opener written all over him?
That is "starting". Maybe he gets a chance to see if he can pitch effectively beyond a second or third inning and if his effectiveness declines the second time through the order they just start yanking him when they find where that threshold is. Maybe he routinely makes it through the order twice without major issues and if he is efficient enough maybe he qualifies for a win.
Seems like the right guy to try this out with. Not much to lose.
I could see him as the bulk guy but not the opener. He has bulk guy written all over him in my opinion. The opener pitches through the lineup once then the bulk guy comes in and gets you to the 7th/8th inning.
 

DJnVa

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This appears to be the almost annual "How come every player we sign isn't a multi-time all-star?" thread.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Gee, I thought this is the "Why are all the additions to our pitching staff replacement level players?" thread that began last year.
 

oumbi

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I could see him as the bulk guy but not the opener. He has bulk guy written all over him in my opinion. The opener pitches through the lineup once then the bulk guy comes in and gets you to the 7th/8th inning.
I am not all that clear on your point on why Andriese can not be an opener. As an opener he would go once through the lineup, give or take a few batters. This usually means 3 to 4 innings.

As the "bulk guy" in your post, he would pitcher until innings 7 to 8, which is once through the lineup, give or take a few batters. This usually means 3 to 4 innings, as you mentioned.
 

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I am not all that clear on your point on why Andriese can not be an opener. As an opener he would go once through the lineup, give or take a few batters. This usually means 3 to 4 innings.

As the "bulk guy" in your post, he would pitcher until innings 7 to 8, which is once through the lineup, give or take a few batters. This usually means 3 to 4 innings, as you mentioned.
Openers are generally 1-2 inning pitchers. Basically short relievers used at the start of the game instead of late. If you're giving a guy 3-4 innings, which unless he's perfect means he's going to go a decent way through the order a second time, you might as well call him a traditional starter and let him go for 100ish pitches and 5-6+ innings.
 

Rich Garces Belly

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I am not all that clear on your point on why Andriese can not be an opener. As an opener he would go once through the lineup, give or take a few batters. This usually means 3 to 4 innings.

As the "bulk guy" in your post, he would pitcher until innings 7 to 8, which is once through the lineup, give or take a few batters. This usually means 3 to 4 innings, as you mentioned.
No, you are mistaken. An opener goes through the lineup once so that’s about two innings. Then the bulk guy comes in and pitches until hopefully the 8th.

Note: the explanation above mine is much better than mine.
 

nvalvo

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The opener still being a new-ish thing, it seems to me that we're going to need to iron out some terminology.

As I understand the terms, the idea is that the ideal opener is a good pitcher, a setup type, to whom you assign the first time through the top hitters in the order, either 1–3 or more depending on stamina. Then you can start your bulk guy, who is a 4/5/6 type starter, but by the use of the opener gets the advantage of beginning in either the middle or the bottom of the order. This allows him to get deeper into the game without facing the opponents' best hitters a third time.

Let's look at an example. Here's the box score for a Rays-Blue Jays game from 2019.

Diego Castillo, often used as a late inning reliever (he got 8 saves in 2019), started for the Rays and got the top of the Blue Jays lineup in order — Biggio, Guerrero, Gurriel. Then Ryan Yarbrough, often used as a starting pitcher, "relieved" and threw 5.1 IP, allowing four hits and one run. So then, having gotten into the seventh using two pitchers, the Rays led 3-1 and could bring in Roe to wrap around against the top of the order and then Poche to close against 4–6. What pitching Castillo before Yarbrough buys them is the certainty that they will have an opportunity to use one of their best relievers in Castillo against the Jays' best hitters in a game situation where the Rays are either tied or ahead, the bottom of the first. It costs them nothing except muddling all of our stats.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jays start Waguespack, who pitches 5+, and predictably concedes one run when he sees the top of the Rays order the second time (Meadows triples in Pham), and two more when he sees them a third time (d'Arnaud singles in Adames and Choi with the bases loaded), and was only saved from further trouble when d'Arnaud made the third out on the bases stretching a single.

I am not all that clear on your point on why Andriese can not be an opener. As an opener he would go once through the lineup, give or take a few batters. This usually means 3 to 4 innings.

As the "bulk guy" in your post, he would pitcher until innings 7 to 8, which is once through the lineup, give or take a few batters. This usually means 3 to 4 innings, as you mentioned.
If you think about it, you can't get through the order once in 4 innings. If you get 9 outs and thus 3 IP out of the first time through, you've been perfect. The league-wide OBP in 2020 was .322, so — if I did the algebra right — it takes an average of 13 (and change) hitters to record 9 outs. The modal fourth inning starts with the fifth-place hitter. If it starts instead with the leadoff man, you're having a good defensive night.

The point is to hand things off to your bulk guy at the bottom of the order, to lower his average leverage index. You know that the top of the first will start tied, or that the bottom of the first you will either be tied or ahead. Those are the kinds of high leverage spots when you want your good strikeout relievers to pitch against the opponents' best hitters. Later in the game, you can sometimes engineer those situations, and sometimes can't.

(Alex Cora's bullpen management, that most of the Boston sports press annoyingly persists in misdescribing, is another way to get at this: using his best late-inning relievers not by inning, but by which hitters he wants them to face the last time through the order. So your best pitcher doesn't pitch the ninth; he pitches against the opponents' best hitters when they come up in innings 7 through 9.)

But yeah: Andriese doesn't really have the strikeout rate you'd want in an opener, but if he has the rubber arm to serve a kind of swing role as a middle reliever/bulk guy, that could be a big help. His innings will be just a tic above replacement level, but when you consider how many below-replacement innings our pitchers' threw in 2020, that could be a considerable improvement.
 

DJnVa

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Gee, I thought this is the "Why are all the additions to our pitching staff replacement level players?" thread that began last year.
Are you asking why most signings are basically league average kind of guys, +/- a bit? I'd say it's because most players are league average kind of guys.

Who were you thinking we would sign? Who did this signing preclude the signing of?
 

oumbi

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Openers are generally 1-2 inning pitchers. Basically short relievers used at the start of the game instead of late. If you're giving a guy 3-4 innings, which unless he's perfect means he's going to go a decent way through the order a second time, you might as well call him a traditional starter and let him go for 100ish pitches and 5-6+ innings.
Thanks for clarifying this for me.
 

Earthbound64

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Are you asking why most signings are basically league average kind of guys, +/- a bit? I'd say it's because most players are league average kind of guys.

Who were you thinking we would sign? Who did this signing preclude the signing of?
Didn't take your sarcasm meter for its annual tune-up?


EDIT: I stand corrected.
 
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Philip Jeff Frye

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Are you asking why most signings are basically league average kind of guys, +/- a bit? I'd say it's because most players are league average kind of guys.
No, I'm asking why they are replacement level. 31 year old Matt Andriese and his career ERA+ of 91 aspire to be league average.

Who were you thinking we would sign? Who did this signing preclude the signing of?
Obviously, this signing doesn't preclude us from singing anybody else. I'm just saying I'm not looking forward to watching this guy pitch this year. I guess he'll be better than the riff-raff who pitched for last year, but that's an awfully low bar. This team used to aspire to more.
 

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No, I'm asking why they are replacement level. 31 year old Matt Andriese and his career ERA+ of 91 aspire to be league average.


Obviously, this signing doesn't preclude us from singing anybody else. I'm just saying I'm not looking forward to watching this guy pitch this year. I guess he'll be better than the riff-raff who pitched for last year, but that's an awfully low bar. This team used to aspire to more.
Not every signing is going to be an all star. They need the replacement level and league average guys too. Can't really read into what the team aspires to based on a couple signings in a sluggish market. Andriese really only gets a thread here because a) we're fans who pay attention to every move the team makes and b) nothing else is going on at all.
 

chawson

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No, I'm asking why they are replacement level. 31 year old Matt Andriese and his career ERA+ of 91 aspire to be league average.


Obviously, this signing doesn't preclude us from singing anybody else. I'm just saying I'm not looking forward to watching this guy pitch this year. I guess he'll be better than the riff-raff who pitched for last year, but that's an awfully low bar. This team used to aspire to more.
But he’s not replacement level. He’s better. Since he added pitches in 2019, Matt Andriese has an FIP of 3.90. That’s better than Trevor Bauer over that same period and about as good as E-Rod was in 2019. Against right handed-hitters, Andriese’s 2.92 FIP was better than Shane Bieber, Jack Flaherty and Dinelson Lamet. His expected numbers are even better, because he was really unlucky in 2019, allowing a .332 BABIP despite a high groundball rate.

He’s said he wants to start and I think he’s a decent bet for a Gausman or Lynn-style late breakout, though his upside is limited at 31 and he may not be a rotation staple in the traditional sense, so fewer innings. The point is, he’s good, and should be especially useful against righty-heavy lineups like NYY, TOR, OAK, CHW and LAA.
 

Randy Red Sox

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I didn't realize how old this guy is. He's already 31, older than Eovaldi or Martin Perez. He's never had an ERA under 4.00 in any season. Depth Charts and Steamer both project him to have a 4.98 ERA and 4.94 FIP this year.

https://www.fangraphs.com/players/matt-andriese/12022/stats?position=P
Not impressive, and he's clearly guaranteed a roster spot. This looks like a lot of Bloom's pitching choices last year. I hope he turns out better than that collection.
I think it is clear that Bloom has been placed on a very tight budget by John Henry. Red Sox reset their cap in 2020 but it doesn't appear it is going to make any difference in the calibre of signings for 2021
 

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I think it is clear that Bloom has been placed on a very tight budget by John Henry. Red Sox reset their cap in 2020 but it doesn't appear it is going to make any difference in the calibre of signings for 2021
Has that budget been placed on most of the rest of the league too? Aside from the Padres trading for all the aces, no one is really making much of a splash this winter. Saw a tweet from I think Jon Heyman yesterday that said something to the effect of 85% of potential free agents (players with a reasonable chance to play if they sign) are still available including nearly all the big ticket guys. Expectation is that we're going to see a flurry of activity once it's more clear what the 2021 season is going to look like...as in will it start on time, will it be a full season, will there be fans, etc. Now is not the time to judge anything any team (except, again, the Padres) is planning.
 

allmanbro

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I also really doubt we see a single big splash move. I bet payroll goes up, but mostly by stockpiling small improvements, depth, and/or upside plays. This seems fine to me -none of the top FAs this year feel like can't miss guys to me, and no matter what they do, they'll need to get really lucky to compete in 2021.

Most likely, the biggest FA deal the Sox make is in the Bradley/Wong range, and hopefully the biggest deal they give out is a Devers extension. There may be an opportunistic big trade along the lines of the Davish and Snell deals, but that is impossible to predict.
 

nvalvo

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I think it is clear that Bloom has been placed on a very tight budget by John Henry. Red Sox reset their cap in 2020 but it doesn't appear it is going to make any difference in the calibre of signings for 2021
I don't see why you think that is clear.

If Bloom and co. haven't shopped from the Sugano/Quintana/Tanaka/Paxton/Hill/Kluber/Hamels/Odorizzi/Happ tier of starters by Spring Training — or haven't added pitching in trade — then it makes sense to ask that question. It's clear that we need a starter or preferably two; if they don't get it, it's fair to ask why.

There are still like 9 good-to-decent FA starting pitchers out there, of various profiles. I'd expect them to avoid anyone attached to a draft penalty, but that only rules out Bauer. (Gausman and Stroman accepted QOs.) Of the half dozen starting pitchers who have signed so far from FA, Charlie Morton and maybe Drew Smyly or Mike Minor are the only ones who looked like a fit for Boston.

Sugano would make a lot of sense as a target, so I wouldn't be surprised if things will come into focus following his decision: if we sign Sugano, he's the new number 3 with upside, and then we want Quintana as a stable back of the rotation source of reliable innings. But if Sugano signs elsewhere, then we fall back to Hill/Kluber and Odorizzi.

Has that budget been placed on most of the rest of the league too? Aside from the Padres trading for all the aces, no one is really making much of a splash this winter. Saw a tweet from I think Jon Heyman yesterday that said something to the effect of 85% of potential free agents (players with a reasonable chance to play if they sign) are still available including nearly all the big ticket guys. Expectation is that we're going to see a flurry of activity once it's more clear what the 2021 season is going to look like...as in will it start on time, will it be a full season, will there be fans, etc. Now is not the time to judge anything any team (except, again, the Padres) is planning.
This came in while I was typing, and yeah: what R(s)HF said. The only thing I'd add is that I wouldn't exclude the Padres from the budget crunch, necessarily. We may still see a good-prospect-stapled-to-Wil-Myers type trade to allow SD to compensate for some of the payroll they've taken on, and given all the high-end pitching they added. While that wouldn't be a blue chip like Mackenzie Gore or Luis Patino, it's certainly conceivable that it could be (a reach) Adrian Morejón, or one of their post-TJ prospects in Reggie Lawson or Pedro Avila. They've traded so many people, but the system remains deep, and they will be facing a massive 40 man roster crunch sooner rather than later that should motivate them to cash in their chips.
 

chawson

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I also really doubt we see a single big splash move. I bet payroll goes up, but mostly by stockpiling small improvements, depth, and/or upside plays. This seems fine to me -none of the top FAs this year feel like can't miss guys to me, and no matter what they do, they'll need to get really lucky to compete in 2021.

Most likely, the biggest FA deal the Sox make is in the Bradley/Wong range, and hopefully the biggest deal they give out is a Devers extension. There may be an opportunistic big trade along the lines of the Davish and Snell deals, but that is impossible to predict.
I bet we'll see more than one big splash move, and that the Sox will end up one of the most active teams this winter.

Remember, this is the Yankees' tax reset year. There are a lot of teams looking to shedding payroll in Wil Myers-style salary dump deals and we're the obvious target for those, especially ones where the commitment is only 1-2 years.

Bloom has already alluded to the fact that he can't count on free agents to prefer Boston "when it comes down to what they value in a situation more than money." Trading for pitching is safer. And he's already said that he's looking at deals that "could impact us more in future years than they could in 2021. That suggests taking on salary or trading someone that seems like a step backward, like Verdugo.

I think Bloom is waiting for A) Sugano to sign somewhere (1/5) B) Cashman to sign LeMahieu (could be any day now), C) clarity on JBJ's decision and to some extent D) Kluber's workout ("sometime in January," per latest reports -- they'll want an open rotation spot to offer him if he looks good). Then he'll pull the trigger on one or more deals where the parameters are already in place. The Padres, Pirates, Rockies, Brewers, Angels, Reds, Clevelanders, Tigers, D-backs and Rangers and maybe others are all potential partners here.
 

Randy Red Sox

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I don't see why you think that is clear.

If Bloom and co. haven't shopped from the Sugano/Quintana/Tanaka/Paxton/Hill/Kluber/Hamels/Odorizzi/Happ tier of starters by Spring Training — or haven't added pitching in trade — then it makes sense to ask that question. It's clear that we need a starter or preferably two; if they don't get it, it's fair to ask why.

There are still like 9 good-to-decent FA starting pitchers out there, of various profiles. I'd expect them to avoid anyone attached to a draft penalty, but that only rules out Bauer. (Gausman and Stroman accepted QOs.) Of the half dozen starting pitchers who have signed so far from FA, Charlie Morton and maybe Drew Smyly or Mike Minor are the only ones who looked like a fit for Boston.

Sugano would make a lot of sense as a target, so I wouldn't be surprised if things will come into focus following his decision: if we sign Sugano, he's the new number 3 with upside, and then we want Quintana as a stable back of the rotation source of reliable innings. But if Sugano signs elsewhere, then we fall back to Hill/Kluber and Odorizzi.



This came in while I was typing, and yeah: what R(s)HF said. The only thing I'd add is that I wouldn't exclude the Padres from the budget crunch, necessarily. We may still see a good-prospect-stapled-to-Wil-Myers type trade to allow SD to compensate for some of the payroll they've taken on, and given all the high-end pitching they added. While that wouldn't be a blue chip like Mackenzie Gore or Luis Patino, it's certainly conceivable that it could be (a reach) Adrian Morejón, or one of their post-TJ prospects in Reggie Lawson or Pedro Avila. They've traded so many people, but the system remains deep, and they will be facing a massive 40 man roster crunch sooner rather than later that should motivate them to cash in their chips.
Didn't Patino already go in the Snell trade?? I agree with Heyman's article that many of the teams are waiting to see what the 2021 season will look like before the activity picks up.