Building a Bullpen, 2019 edition

sean1562

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 17, 2011
2,644
I’m surprised free agents don’t give lifestyle issues more priority and turn down high bidders to accept marginally lower offers from teams with good reputations, to play for great managers, with friends or in cities near their families. Maybe they do and we just don’t hear about it very often.
I imagine that is why the no trade clauses are built into premier FAs contracts, and and the MLBPA fought for 10-5 rights. Dustin Pedroia signed a somewhat team friendly deal so he could stay in Boston and be a Red Sox legend. It really is too bad that he missed this entire magical year. Man imagine this year's team with even a marginal Pedroia at 2b. His 2017 would have been significantly better than anything we got from 2b this year. I really hope the guy comes back and strings together even a few just somewhat decent/mediocre years, so he can get his numbers closer to HoF territory.
 

Lose Remerswaal

Leaves after the 8th inning
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Just read an article on The Athletic about Robertson.It was mostly about how he has declined to hire an agent, and will negotiate his FA contract on his own. But it also mentioned that he just moved his family into a house in RI - they had previously lived wherever he played, but are now moving into a permanent/year-round home. So maybe proximity to home will be an advantage for the Sox if they go after him. Which I would - him or Britton.
His wife is from here, I used to work with her brother. Lifelong Sox fan who had to become a Yankee fan due to family.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
11,100
Maine
I thought right out of spring training Kimbrel was off ...
I wonder how much of that had to do with the fact that he didn't have much of a spring training due to his daughter's health issues. In fact, his whole off-season was probably out of whack with what she was going through.

Not that that means the Sox should pay what he's likely to get for as long as it is going to take to lock him down, but I'm not ready to dismiss him out of hand or declare him "in decline" solely based on his 2018 season.
 

OCD SS

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Curious, who do you have in mind here? I also like Ottavino as a target, but I can only think of Pomeranz and maybe Huston Street as guys who fit this definition over the last decade or so.
If the Sox are willing to spend the money, I prefer Ottavino to Kimbrel as Ottavino is happy to pitch any inning as a relief ace as long as he gets a bit of notice.

Ottavino is probably looking for Wade Davis (edit - thanks PP) money, so I doubt he’s a cheap option, but I’d like to see the Sox get away from a dogmatic 9th inning = closer.
 
Last edited:

Papelbon's Poutine

Homeland Security
SoSH Member
Dec 4, 2005
17,782
Portsmouth, NH
If the Sox are willing to spend the money, I prefer Ottavino to Kimbrel as Ottavino is happy to pitch any inning as a relief ace as long as he gets a bit of notice.

Ottavino is probably looking for Wade Miley money, so I doubt he’s a cheap option, but I’d like to see the Sox get away from a dogmatic 9th inning = closer.
I think you mean Wade Davis.
 

Savin Hillbilly

loves the secret sauce
SoSH Member
Jul 10, 2007
18,397
The wrong side of the bridge....
If the Sox are willing to spend the money, I prefer Ottavino to Kimbrel as Ottavino is happy to pitch any inning as a relief ace as long as he gets a bit of notice.

Ottavino is probably looking for Wade Miley money, so I doubt he’s a cheap option, but I’d like to see the Sox get away from a dogmatic 9th inning = closer.
Here are some 2018 rate stats for two pitchers:

K%: 36.3%, 36.2%
BB%: 11.7%, 11.7%
HR/9: 0.58, 0.73
FIP: 2.74, 2.71
xFIP: 3.13, 2.83
SIERA: 2.82, 2.78
LOB%: 76.3%, 75.3%

The first guy is Ottavino. The second is Matt Barnes.

Now, their ERAs were much more disparate--2.43 to 3.65--but it's tricky to compare two non-closers' ERAs, because non-closers don't get to clean up their own messes. Barnes' closer allowed 31% of inherited runners to score; Ottavino's, just 13%.

I don't see a whole lot of evidence that Ottavino is a significant upgrade over Barnes. The main difference between them is that one of them will cost us first-year arb money, and the other will cost quite a bit more than that.
 

Adrian's Dome

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 6, 2010
4,424
Here are some 2018 rate stats for two pitchers:

K%: 36.3%, 36.2%
BB%: 11.7%, 11.7%
HR/9: 0.58, 0.73
FIP: 2.74, 2.71
xFIP: 3.13, 2.83
SIERA: 2.82, 2.78
LOB%: 76.3%, 75.3%

The first guy is Ottavino. The second is Matt Barnes.

Now, their ERAs were much more disparate--2.43 to 3.65--but it's tricky to compare two non-closers' ERAs, because non-closers don't get to clean up their own messes. Barnes' closer allowed 31% of inherited runners to score; Ottavino's, just 13%.

I don't see a whole lot of evidence that Ottavino is a significant upgrade over Barnes. The main difference between them is that one of them will cost us first-year arb money, and the other will cost quite a bit more than that.
All valid points up to the "Ottavino being a significant upgrade over Barnes" part. Ottavino wouldn't be replacing Barnes so there's no reason to compare them in that manner.

The real questions are:

1. How does Ottavino compare to Kimbrel if he walks?
2. Do you buy into Ottavino's success? Relievers are volatile and Kimbrel has a longer track record.
3. Do you think Kimbrel's relative struggles are signs of decline, correctable mechanical issues, or statistical noise?
4. Given the above, is the savings from Kimbrel to Ottavino worth the risk?

Personally, I think Ottavino is going to get a pretty heavy contract and I don't know if he's worth it even though he admittedly was very good last year. I think I'd rather roll the dice on a Miller or Britton (need a lefty down there anyway) for a lesser commitment while monitoring what kind of offers Kimbrel is getting.
 

Devizier

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 3, 2000
10,412
Somewhere
I wonder if it's not worth looking into some low tier starters who might benefit from a bullpen conversion. Maybe someone like Tyson Ross? He's a two pitch guy (essentially) anyways and he's not going to go back to the player he was as a Padre.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2007
2,472
How much available money is there to throw at the pen? Considering salary increases.... the Sox REALLY only have a need for a starter and at least one major bullpen addition. The platoon with Moreland doesn't totally seem necessary to me as much as the other two priorities. I'd list them in this order:
1. Bullpen addition ($7 million available for '19?)
2. Starter addition ($15 million available for '19?)
3. 1st base platoon ($6 million available for '19?)

Obviously I'm guessing at these numbers.... but basing it loosely on available totals from Kimbrell, Hanley leaving....
 

Savin Hillbilly

loves the secret sauce
SoSH Member
Jul 10, 2007
18,397
The wrong side of the bridge....
All valid points up to the "Ottavino being a significant upgrade over Barnes" part. Ottavino wouldn't be replacing Barnes so there's no reason to compare them in that manner.
I think there is. We are only contemplating signing someone like Ottavino, Britton or Miller because the back end of the bullpen is a perceived weakness with Kimbrel and Kelly leaving. What if this weakness is exaggerated? What if it's a viable strategy to replace Kimbrel from within, add a less expensive, solid but unspectacular reliever who won't require a multiyear contract, and wait for in-season reinforcements in the form of Feltman, Lakins and Hernandez? All without adding a double-figures-ish AAV commitment for the next 2-3 years that will make it harder for us to spend on the things we will really need after 2019?
 

shaggydog2000

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 5, 2007
6,231
I wonder if it's not worth looking into some low tier starters who might benefit from a bullpen conversion. Maybe someone like Tyson Ross? He's a two pitch guy (essentially) anyways and he's not going to go back to the player he was as a Padre.
Low tier starters still make more than non-elite relievers, don't they?
 

chawson

Member
Aug 1, 2006
1,634
I wonder if it's not worth looking into some low tier starters who might benefit from a bullpen conversion. Maybe someone like Tyson Ross? He's a two pitch guy (essentially) anyways and he's not going to go back to the player he was as a Padre.
This is a decent idea if he's ready for it. He's absolutely brutal on RHH.
 

Lose Remerswaal

Leaves after the 8th inning
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
I think there is. We are only contemplating signing someone like Ottavino, Britton or Miller because the back end of the bullpen is a perceived weakness with Kimbrel and Kelly leaving. What if this weakness is exaggerated? What if it's a viable strategy to replace Kimbrel from within, add a less expensive, solid but unspectacular reliever who won't require a multiyear contract, and wait for in-season reinforcements in the form of Feltman, Lakins and Hernandez? All without adding a double-figures-ish AAV commitment for the next 2-3 years that will make it harder for us to spend on the things we will really need after 2019?
Which of Feltman, Hernandez or Lakins are you projecting to jump all the way to the majors, effectively, in 2019?????
 

Savin Hillbilly

loves the secret sauce
SoSH Member
Jul 10, 2007
18,397
The wrong side of the bridge....
Which of Feltman, Hernandez or Lakins are you projecting to jump all the way to the majors, effectively, in 2019?????
Lakins will be 25 in July and posted impressive numbers in AA and AAA in his first season as a reliever. I assume he's a near-lock to make the 40-man (he's Rule 5 eligible), and I'll be surprised if he doesn't get some innings in a Boston uniform next year. "Effectively" is another question, of course, but we won't know that till he gets his shot.

Feltman is also a reasonable bet to make the team at some point in 2019, though as a 22-year-old-to-be with no experience beyond high-A he obviously has more hurdles to jump. SoxProspects gives him a late 2019 ETA, FWIW.

Hernandez is more of a long shot, I'll admit.
 

chawson

Member
Aug 1, 2006
1,634
But we were told TOS pitchers don't ever come back...
Well, he's definitely not back to his 2014-15 level, which was roughly a top-20 starter in MLB, and seeing that he's only 31 it seems likelier that that's a result of injury than attrition. But he held RHH to a .243 wOBA last year, which was Scherzer-good.
 

Savin Hillbilly

loves the secret sauce
SoSH Member
Jul 10, 2007
18,397
The wrong side of the bridge....
Apparently I'm not the only person who thinks we may be selling Barnes short and overrating the need for an FA closer as a result:

Matt Barnes, his curveball, and a case for him to be Red Sox’ closer in 2019

Of course, the fact that the Red Sox have the luxury of considering Barnes as a successor to Kimbrel doesn’t mean that they can stand pat with their bullpen. If, for instance, Barnes becomes the closer, then the club would have to account for his absence — and perhaps that of free agent Joe Kelly — from the middle innings.

Nonetheless, even as the Red Sox are confronted with the potential task of restructuring their bullpen post-Kimbrel, Barnes gives them a solid foundation from which to work.
 

rhswanzey

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 17, 2017
88
Monmouth, ME
The Rangers non-tendered Ricardo Rodriguez, and it's not especially clear why. I would love to see us get this guy on a minors deal. He TJ'd in 2016, came back with a much stronger K rate than before, and has always run strong BB and HR rates. 95 MPH FB + SL type. Only MLB trial so far came with 18 total innings at AA/AAA. He has options remaining and less than one year of service time. He'll be 26 next year.

Rodriguez was signed as an international free agent in December 2010 and steadily improved through three seasons of rookie ball. He began 2015, his age 22 season, by bizarrely skipping two levels to make a couple AAA appearances a month apart from each other before returning to repeat low A. Now a full time reliever, he had thrown 102.2 innings of 3.07 ERA (4.07 FIP) the previous season, split across 12 starts and 17 relief appearances.

Then he tore his UCL and missed the last several weeks of 2015 and all of 2016. Once back on the mound in 2017, Rodriguez looked like a different pitcher and potential future relief ace, racking up 17 saves across high A and AA en route to earning a call to the big leagues shortly before his 24th birthday, skipping AAA entirely.

Rodriguez appeared in 16 MLB games in 2017, and despite a 6.23 ERA (4.81 xFIP), he pumped the zone with 95 MPH fastballs, sliders and the occasional curveball across thirteen innings and held his own. Rodriguez allowed three home runs in his first 13 MLB innings, which is almost entirely responsible for his high ERA, demonstrated by the nearly 1.5 run gap between his ERA and xFIP. In 263.1 career minor league innings up to this point, he had only allowed 10 home runs, a fantastic rate.

Let’s get back to what earned him this ahead-of-schedule promotion. Combining his two stops, across 47 innings he allowed only 24 hits and 10 walks while striking out an impressive 61 batters. Rodriguez hadn’t run double digit K/9 rates since rookie ball, and the young reliever who shows skill in limiting walks and home runs with swing-and-miss stuff is the setup arm of tomorrow. He allowed a run in only three of his thirty five appearances.

Similar to Beckham, Rodriguez dealt with a March 2018 injury but hit the disabled list for his, missing the first two months with a biceps issue. Once healthy, he showed 2017 was no fluke and thrived in his first meaningful AAA exposure. Across 25.2 innings at a 2.45 ERA (3.53 xFIP), Rodriguez posted a 9.47 K/9 and a 1.4 BB/9, and he surrendered only a single home run.

Rodriguez earned two brief stints in the majors to cover for injuries, but he only appeared in four games, despite the fact that Texas’ season was over almost as soon as it began. The team lost 95 games, finished 36 games out of first place, and it declined to tender a contract to Rodriguez after declining to give him an extended look during an especially pointless September.

A player’s most recent team knows more about the given player than any other team would be privy to, presumably, but the handling of Rodriguez is confusing. A player with such limited major league exposure requires only the league minimum salary if rostered, and Texas surrendered control of the pitcher through as long as 2023. A team signing Rodriguez would still be able to option him to the minors this season, since only two of his three options have been used since first being added to Texas’ 40-man roster in 2017.

Rodriguez has struck out batters at a far greater rate since returning from his 2015 Tommy John surgery without hurting his ability to suppress walks and home runs. He has the mid-90s heat and low-80s slider that can comfortably project into a stable middle reliever, and the best of those work the 7th and 8th innings of tomorrow. He has shown signs of being able to corral MLB hitters in limited trials with little high minors experience, and he is ready for an extended look in middle relief.
LINK
 
Last edited:

ConigsCorner

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 22, 2001
557
Denver, CO
Probably, maybe scenario, how about this?:

Robertson-you cheap %&$#%$@!

Miller-return of the traitor, the very rich traitor

Barnes-better than many perceptions of him

Brasier-please don't revert to a pumpkin, and what's with
the crooked-neck-stare thing?

Hembree-useful during the season, forget October, except to clean up

Wright-hopefully, his landing knee won't buckle, and he is the long man/spot starter

Poyner-what can I say? I like the kid
 

BornToRun

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 4, 2011
12,451
Probably, maybe scenario, how about this?:

Robertson-you cheap %&$#%$@!

Miller-return of the traitor, the very rich traitor

Barnes-better than many perceptions of him

Brasier-please don't revert to a pumpkin, and what's with
the crooked-neck-stare thing?

Hembree-useful during the season, forget October, except to clean up

Wright-hopefully, his landing knee won't buckle, and he is the long man/spot starter

Poyner-what can I say? I like the kid
Brasier’s head tilt creates the proper angle for him to stare into the souls of his enemies before telling them to get in the fucking box and vanquishing them to Hades with 97mph heat.

And to add to your list,
Kimbrel- Baby come back.
 

Plympton91

bubble burster
SoSH Member
Oct 19, 2008
12,090
Probably, maybe scenario, how about this?:

Robertson-you cheap %&$#%$@!
Miller-return of the traitor, the very rich traitor
Barnes-better than many perceptions of him
Brasier-please don't revert to a pumpkin, and what's with
the crooked-neck-stare thing?
Hembree-useful during the season, forget October, except to clean up
Wright-hopefully, his landing knee won't buckle, and he is the long man/spot starter
Poyner-what can I say? I like the kid
Your post really highlights the lack of depth in the bullpen. They have to sign someone better than Barnes, and a second someone who is much better than Hembree. There are no internal replacements for Kimbrel and Kelly. If you promote Barnes and Brasier to those roles, then the 3rd and 4th reliever spots are incredibly weak. And that means if Barnes and Brasier have bad years or get hurt, you’re screwed.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2007
2,472
Your post really highlights the lack of depth in the bullpen. They have to sign someone better than Barnes, and a second someone who is much better than Hembree. There are no internal replacements for Kimbrel and Kelly. If you promote Barnes and Brasier to those roles, then the 3rd and 4th reliever spots are incredibly weak. And that means if Barnes and Brasier have bad years or get hurt, you’re screwed.
I think there's a little more depth in AAA then you're giving credit for here... but a lot of it is young and hopeful and unproven. I'd still like to add one more good reliever from FA (please no trades for relievers!!!!) though.
 

Tyrone Biggums

nfl meets tri-annually at a secret country mansion
SoSH Member
Aug 15, 2006
6,213
Apparently I'm not the only person who thinks we may be selling Barnes short and overrating the need for an FA closer as a result:

Matt Barnes, his curveball, and a case for him to be Red Sox’ closer in 2019
I understand Barnes had a good couple weeks at the end. But until then he routinely showed that he couldn’t handle the moment. Not to say that he isn’t capable of handling closer duties now as the narrative has changed but the Sox should be looking for a Robertson or Britton or even a Miller for this pen. Whether it’s one of them or a combination of 2. Make him win the job in camp.

Workman isn’t that good. Brasier came out of nowhere and shouldn’t be relied to have a big role on the pen unless he can show that last year wasn’t a fluke. Hembree is a fringe guy at best.
 

mfried

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 23, 2005
1,535
All of the preceding posts make clear that we should sign Kelly. He’s inconsistent, but his good moments count more.
 

Dewey'sCannon

lurker
Jul 18, 2005
640
Maryland
I agree that we need at least one of Robertson, Miller or Britton - or Kimbrel, but I don't see that happening given the $$/years he's apparently looking for. And I'm optimistic that help is on the way from the farm - Lakins, Feltman, Brewer (or Shawaryn, although I'm still hopeful on him as a starter) to shore up the back end.
 
Last edited:

Rasputin

Will outlive SeanBerry
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 4, 2001
29,156
Not here
I understand Barnes had a good couple weeks at the end. But until then he routinely showed that he couldn’t handle the moment
Not really sure I buy this. August and September were his worst months and he had an 18 day vacation. Also, he pitched a grand total of 6 times in the ninth with a better OBP against than in other innings, and the only reason his SLG against looks bad is because he happened to allow one of the five homers on the season in the ninth.

The problem with Barnes as the closer isn't that Barnes can't handle being the closer, it's that it sidesteps the point that we need 2-3 really good arms in the bullpen.
 

rhswanzey

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 17, 2017
88
Monmouth, ME
All of the preceding posts make clear that we should sign Kelly. He’s inconsistent, but his good moments count more. but he'll cost a lot less than Big Recognizable Name
Remember Kelly showing up in the OF seats after telling Tyler Austin he's a 4A player? I know talking about intangibles has been illegal for quite a while, but I get the sense that we'd get a lot more of Good Kelly if we treated Barnes as the nominal relief ace and gave Kelly the ninth. I'm not sure he could possibly be any scarier than Kimbrel was in the first two rounds.

Also, if the intangibles truly are BS, no problem, but I don't think we want to step on free agent landmines here, as a lot of the big names have been ridden hard and are on the wrong side of 30. If he had been a free agent last offseason (and there had been cap space left), a lot of us would've given Andrew Miller a ton of money to have shoulder problems for us all year. Coming off (2014-2017) 2.3, 2.0, 3.0 and 2.3 win seasons, paying for his age 33 season onward.

Joe Kelly's numbers in hi lev situations last year, FWIW: 17 IP, 12 H (0 HR), 6 BB, 19 K. Batters hit .191/.282/.250 against him in these spots... and he somehow managed to get charged with 12 ER.
 

Marciano490

Urological Expert
SoSH Member
Nov 4, 2007
38,125
His wife is from here, I used to work with her brother. Lifelong Sox fan who had to become a Yankee fan due to family.
I know her well. They have a couple of kids and loved the Chicago suburbs. I can see her pushing for a return to New England; pretty positive they met when he was pitching in Cape Cod.
 

effectivelywild

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
239
Any thoughts of trying to grab Alex Wilson? No, he's not a particularly sexy guy and he won't fix our need for either a closer or highly skilled relief guys, but he's been effective and durable. I know he won't fix our holes but he could be a dependable middle-to-end of bullpen piece.
 

nvalvo

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
16,711
Rogers Park
Any thoughts of trying to grab Alex Wilson? No, he's not a particularly sexy guy and he won't fix our need for either a closer or highly skilled relief guys, but he's been effective and durable. I know he won't fix our holes but he could be a dependable middle-to-end of bullpen piece.
I also had that thought, so yes.

He doesn't get many strike outs or ground balls, which means his results really track with his BABIP and HR rate. Ideally, he'd be like our eighth or ninth best reliever. If he's at a career stage where a minor league deal with a contender is appealing, sure.
 

Plympton91

bubble burster
SoSH Member
Oct 19, 2008
12,090
How different is Wilson’s profile to Workman or Hembree? Is there anything in advanced metrics that suggest he’d be more effective going forward?
 

effectivelywild

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
239
Strikes out fewer batters, but also walks fewer and tends to have consistently pretty low HR rates the last few years. He's not someone I would build a bullpen on, but given the volatility of relievers, it never hurts to have multiple low-end guys in case one catches lightning in a bottle or the reverse happens.
 

doc

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
3,975
Brasier’s head tilt creates the proper angle for him to stare into the souls of his enemies before telling them to get in the fucking box and vanquishing them to Hades with 97mph heat.
Sounds like a line from a Tenacious D song
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
6,368
Ok so at the moment, what do the Sox have in the bullpen? I'm counting Johnson and Velazquez as AAA depth, and Wright is a question mark due to injury. Still, I'll put Wright on the list.

Barnes
Thornburg
Brasier
Workman
Hembree
Wright
Brewer
Poyner
Scott
Walden

If the season were to start today, I'd assume Barnes, Thornburg, Brasier, Workman, Hembree, Brewer, and maybe Poyner (?) were the relievers. They definitely need one, most likely two, more quality arms.
 

Saints Rest

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
I wonder if it's not worth looking into some low tier starters who might benefit from a bullpen conversion. Maybe someone like Tyson Ross? He's a two pitch guy (essentially) anyways and he's not going to go back to the player he was as a Padre.
Low tier starters still make more than non-elite relievers, don't they?
Some, but I'd guess most low tier starters wouldn't accept any bullpen offers anyway until they knew they couldn't land a starting job.
This is a decent idea if he's ready for it. He's absolutely brutal on RHH.
Is it really all about money? (I mean, 99 times out of 100, it is, regardless of the question.)
If so, why did Eck and Smoltz agree to the switch? Were they both injury-related?
In the case of Smoltz, he was well on his way to a HOF career as a starter when he missed the 2000 season due to injury. Then he spent one partial season transitioning from SP to RP, before 3 standout seasons as closer. Then he returned to starting!
As for Eck, he made the change when he went to OAK, a year after a pretty poor (ERA+ 88) season with the Cubs at age 31. His career up to that point was up-and-down with 9 seasons of ERA+ >100 and 5 seasons below 100. Probably not HOF track at that point. Then 11 seasons in OAK and STL racking up 320 Saves and writing his ticket to Cooperstown.
So why don't more SPs try to follow Eck's footsteps?
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
13,470
Does anyone else think Andrew Miller is broken and not worth counting on for an entire season?
 

shaggydog2000

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 5, 2007
6,231
Is it really all about money? (I mean, 99 times out of 100, it is, regardless of the question.)
If so, why did Eck and Smoltz agree to the switch? Were they both injury-related?
In the case of Smoltz, he was well on his way to a HOF career as a starter when he missed the 2000 season due to injury. Then he spent one partial season transitioning from SP to RP, before 3 standout seasons as closer. Then he returned to starting!
As for Eck, he made the change when he went to OAK, a year after a pretty poor (ERA+ 88) season with the Cubs at age 31. His career up to that point was up-and-down with 9 seasons of ERA+ >100 and 5 seasons below 100. Probably not HOF track at that point. Then 11 seasons in OAK and STL racking up 320 Saves and writing his ticket to Cooperstown.
So why don't more SPs try to follow Eck's footsteps?
They were closers, who get paid more. Going from a #4 starter to a 7th inning guy is going to be a big hit in terms of income I would think.
 

Devizier

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 3, 2000
10,412
Somewhere
They were closers, who get paid more. Going from a #4 starter to a 7th inning guy is going to be a big hit in terms of income I would think.
Are we discussing Tyson Ross? Because he is at best a swing starter at this point in his career. The Cardinals picked him up for nothing. And he was a reliever there. I don't think he would balk at a relief signing at this point.
 

bosox79

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
10,456
So why don't more SPs try to follow Eck's footsteps?
A lot do. Tom Gordon comes to mind. But for most, I don't think it's really their choice. There just aren't any teams willing to sign them to start or they are already under contract, so it's either agree or sit/retire/not play.

Up until recently, almost all bullpen arms were failed starters anyway. And as Shaggydog says, there is far more money to be made being a #4 starter than a random bullpen arm. Because of that, pitchers are going to try and start as long as possible. Even in the best case scenario where they end up an elite bullpen arm with a stellar track record, they are looking at Nathan Eovaldi money. Most SP who make the move aren't going to end up as elite relievers, they are going to end up like Joe Kelly. Joe Kelly would be looking at a much bigger payday had me proved to be a competent SP. Instead he'll be getting paid half as much.

The risk/reward just isn't there to willingly make the move. End of the rotation starters make more money than any non elite bullpen arm.
 

bosox79

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
10,456
Are we discussing Tyson Ross? Because he is at best a swing starter at this point in his career. The Cardinals picked him up for nothing. And he was a reliever there. I don't think he would balk at a relief signing at this point.
He wouldn't, but if there was a starting job out there, I'm sure he would chose that.
 

simplicio

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
Apr 11, 2012
1,342
Ok so at the moment, what do the Sox have in the bullpen? I'm counting Johnson and Velazquez as AAA depth, and Wright is a question mark due to injury. Still, I'll put Wright on the list.

Barnes
Thornburg
Brasier
Workman
Hembree
Wright
Brewer
Poyner
Scott
Walden

If the season were to start today, I'd assume Barnes, Thornburg, Brasier, Workman, Hembree, Brewer, and maybe Poyner (?) were the relievers. They definitely need one, most likely two, more quality arms.
Feltman and Hernandez may well get looks in spring training too.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
6,368
Feltman and Hernandez may well get looks in spring training too.
I'm sure they'll get a look but I can't imagine either of them will be ready for the start of the season. Feltman, though, might be ready for August-September. That's possible. Hernandez..I don't see him until 2020, which is totally fine.