Chris Sale 2020 - TJ Bound and Down

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
His new contract hasn't even started yet, he'd have to be close to replacement level for 5 years to be worse than any of those 4
Castillo: $72.5M paid, $7.2M value. Net -$65.3M. Percentage return: 10%
Sandoval: $94M paid, -$17.3M value. Net -$111.3M. Percentage return: -18.4%
Crawford: $31M paid (?), $1.9M value. Net -$29.1M. Percentage return: 6%
Hanley: $88M paid, $6.9M value. Net -$81.1M. Percentage return: 7.8%

Obviously one of these is not like the others; there will (hopefully) never be another Panda.

In order for the Sale deal to approach the folly of the winter-of-2015 deals, his comeback from TJ would have to be pretty much a dead loss. That's possible, but what seems like a more rational-pessimist scenario is that he comes back with significantly reduced effectiveness, throws a couple of years as a fringe-average starter, then gets put in the pen where his remaining stuff plays up better for the remainder of the contract. In that scenario the Sox get maybe 30% of the contract's value.
 

YTF

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Some people above are saying that Sale was still under contract this season. That’s false. He would have been a free agent. 2020 is the first year of the extension. If he has TJ, the first 1-1/2 years of a 5 year contract are are a big fat zero.

Some are saying that people criticize everything. That’s true, but it’s not the same people criticizing everything. There are hundreds of posters here and they aren’t a monolith, so sure there’ll be some pro and some con and some wait and see on every move. That’s what makes this worthwhile.

And, because the internet is forever, we can go back and see who said what in real time when it mattered. So, we can call out those who really are Monday Morning Quarterbacking. With the Sale extension, you can go back to my earliest posts on the topic. It was a bad idea. Classic “Lemons Problem” in Economics where the buyer (team) is at a severe disadvantage due to the information advantage of the seller (Sale).

Final point, I’m not sure why folks are wishcasting that Bloom “sees something” in Perez. In all likelihood they just see a reasonably good 5th starter who can take the ball 30 times and not fully suck out loud every time. He is what he is, and that’s what they paid for.
Guilty as charged I took 2025 to be the final year of a 5 year extension, when in fact it is $20 million vesting option.
 

Rwillh11

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And, because the internet is forever, we can go back and see who said what in real time when it mattered. So, we can call out those who really are Monday Morning Quarterbacking. With the Sale extension, you can go back to my earliest posts on the topic. It was a bad idea. Classic “Lemons Problem” in Economics where the buyer (team) is at a severe disadvantage due to the information advantage of the seller (Sale).
You've definitely been consistent on this point, and I totally agree the Sale extension was risky at the time and I had mixed feelings about it. Since I very rarely bother to post here, I'm not on the record either way.

I'm curious why you think it is a "Lemon Problem". In the lemon problem, the seller has some private information about the good/service they are selling, and the buyer does not have access to it. But given medical technology, it's really hard to think what information Sale would have about his own health that the Sox would have access to. It seems unlikely that he could "feel" that his Elbow was going to break down in a few years (assuming that is indeed what has happened). I think the Lemon problem is really useful when thinking about trades, especially of prospects. Teams tend to know have a fair amount of private information on their prospects. But it's really hard for me to think that players are going to have any private info about their own health - if anything, I would expect teams to have a more thorough understanding of a player's health and the associated risk than the player does.
 

Salem's Lot

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Red Sox team doctors: "He needs TJ.
Andrews: "He needs TJ".
ElAttreche: "He needs TJ"

I can see how this is going to play out.
If his guy (Andrews) was telling him surgery, wouldn’t he just have it? Isn’t it more likely that the team has been pushing for surgery since last August, he obviously wants to avoid surgery unless it’s 100% necessary, and Andrews is telling him that it’s less than 100% necessary, so they are going to a 3rd (extremely highly regarded) surgeon to give a deciding opinion?
 

Rovin Romine

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Maybe, just maybe.....(snip) If so, that's a quality top 3 pitchers.
If you put one top flight pitcher in front of them, that's a decent chance at a good staff, with the post season perhaps relying on how many losses are suffered by your #5.

If you put that in front of two putrid #5s, they won't sniff the post season.

IMO, we need to be considering the depth behind those 3.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
If his guy (Andrews) was telling him surgery, wouldn’t he just have it? Isn’t it more likely that the team has been pushing for surgery since last August, he obviously wants to avoid surgery unless it’s 100% necessary, and Andrews is telling him that it’s less than 100% necessary, so they are going to a 3rd (extremely highly regarded) surgeon to give a deciding opinion?
Why is this more likely than that Andrews told him surgery was necessary and he doesn't want to accept it without a confirming opinion, because "he obviously...." etc.?
 

Teachdad46

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Why is this more likely than that Andrews told him surgery was necessary and he doesn't want to accept it without a confirming opinion, because "he obviously...." etc.?
My guess is that it's just not a clear decision. The team docs and Andrews saw partial tears or some level of inflammation that is typical wear-and-tear on a 30 year old MLB pitcher's elbow. He could pitch at X% effectiveness for Y period of time, ...perhaps. Surgery means no effectiveness for 18 months and then unpredictable effectiveness from there on out for the remainder of the contract.
Black or white she not. Another opinion might clarify.
 

Harry Hooper

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I think the Lemon problem is really useful when thinking about trades, especially of prospects. Teams tend to know have a fair amount of private information on their prospects. But it's really hard for me to think that players are going to have any private info about their own health - if anything, I would expect teams to have a more thorough understanding of a player's health and the associated risk than the player does.
Not a trade scenario, but we have the experiences of guys like Carl Crawford, who apparently gritted his teeth and played effectively through a wrist injury in Tampa before signing his megabucks deal with the Sox.
 

Plympton91

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You've definitely been consistent on this point, and I totally agree the Sale extension was risky at the time and I had mixed feelings about it. Since I very rarely bother to post here, I'm not on the record either way.

I'm curious why you think it is a "Lemon Problem". In the lemon problem, the seller has some private information about the good/service they are selling, and the buyer does not have access to it. But given medical technology, it's really hard to think what information Sale would have about his own health that the Sox would have access to. It seems unlikely that he could "feel" that his Elbow was going to break down in a few years (assuming that is indeed what has happened). I think the Lemon problem is really useful when thinking about trades, especially of prospects. Teams tend to know have a fair amount of private information on their prospects. But it's really hard for me to think that players are going to have any private info about their own health - if anything, I would expect teams to have a more thorough understanding of a player's health and the associated risk than the player does.
Thats a fair point. I think we’re seeing that there are shades of gray in what MRIs can tell a team and so the player could still hide information and not say, “No doc, this thing is really barking.” Admittedly, the biggest publicly known concern for Sale when he signed was his shoulder, and this is an elbow problem.
 

nvalvo

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I don't think it's at all obvious what this need for a third opinion means. Remember, just in the last few weeks, Severino's injury was tough to diagnose and the various doctors differed on how to read Graterol's charts. I think many of these injuries are just not clear cut.

I'd love to hear from our resident orthopedist, but it seems likely from where I sit that this could be some soreness and inflammation as he works back up from months without throwing — remember Lackey's apparent injury in April after coming back from surgery? — or it could be serious tear that requires surgery. There's a huge range of outcomes, and I imagine that it's pretty challenging to distinguish among them on the MRI.
 

Green Monster

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Wouldn't it seem most likely that the Red Sox doctors and Andrews have different opinions/recommendations and the third opinion is intended to break the tie?
 

JimD

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If Sale ends up getting TJ surgery, I just hope that Henry and Werner give Bloom the green light to do whatever he sees fit. If Chaim believes that the next realistic window will open in 2022, so be it.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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First know that this entire post isn't directed at you. As for the highlighted, I understand the sentiment here and I hope you're right. If Rodriquez and Eovaldi can come close to what you're hoping for with ERA, if Perez can go out there every 5th day and keep it a touch under 4.00 and if all three can keep their WHIP below league average I think that's the best we can hope for considering all of those ifs. As we have seen for quite a few years now, with pitch limits wins are often at the mercy of the bullpen so getting through 6 innings as often as possible and hopefully into the 7th before hitting that magic pitch count is going to be crucial. That's something Rodriguez was slightly better at last season, but he's going have to go a step better this year. Eovaldi is likely to have his innings/pitch count managed to some extent. Hopefully the team can afford him some early leads to help lessen the work load and Perez is going to have to be more than any of us dreamed he could be. Then there are the other starter/opener positions to address. And you're right not to see the season as a punt. The team will field the best that it has to offer and we'll see where that leads. I certainly expect struggles, but the games have to be played and the team will assess and reassess where they stand at various points of the season. I'm looking forward to the start of the season. The team is far from the odds on favorites to win a wild card slot, much less the division or the World Series, but I want to see how they perform given the expectations or lack there of. I want to see who steps up to fill the voids left by Mookie, Price and possibly Sale. I want to see how the bullpen performs this season and if the Sox can employ the opener with any level of success. I want to see if Vazquez can continue what he did offensively in 2019 and what a catching tandem of Vazquez and a healthy Lucroy might lend to this team. I want to see if Chavis can improve on last season, if Peraza can return to his 2018 form and what Kevin Pillar can contribute. Oh and there's the matter of Alex Verdugo. I'm anxious for him to start his career as a Red Sox and find out what the kid has. Yeah it sucks that this season has so many question marks and I wish Sale was healthy, but this is where they're at and I want to see what this team can do. It's not like we're rooting for Baltimore or some other bottom feeder.
Are we already writing off Plawecki?
 

radsoxfan

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Red Sox team doctors: "He needs TJ.
Andrews: "He needs TJ".
ElAttreche: "He needs TJ"

I can see how this is going to play out.
Maybe, though honestly if it was a slam dunk "you need TJ", the Red Sox team doc and Andrews would probably be sufficient. I very much doubt his UCL is fully torn and just flapping in the breeze.

My guess is that his UCL is abnormal though the severity is somewhat in question. The current imaging has to be combined with his physical exam, how his UCL has looked on previous MRIs, and the fact that he has already tried (and presumably not done too well) with a more conservative approach. Lots of factors at play.

To be honest, there are only a handful of orthos and radiologists in the world that have enough experience with super high end MLB pitchers that can even make that call. It's not just knowing the anatomy or knowing what a UCL tear usually looks like. Need LOTS of very specific experience to read through the typical background chronic findings MLB pitchers have, and also know how pitchers with MRIs similar to Sale tend to do with both TJ or conservative management. It's both art and science.

I'm glad they are getting 3 opinions, most pitchers probably should in this situation. If I had to bet, reading between the lines, he will end up with TJ but I don't think it's 100%.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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IF he needs TJ, this season has to be a punt - and really, since he may lose half of next season, perhaps the time for a more complete overhaul is now?
 

Teachdad46

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Wouldn't it seem most likely that the Red Sox doctors and Andrews have different opinions/recommendations and the third opinion is intended to break the tie?
I dunno. Isn't it just as likely that both parties felt that surgery was an option but not necessarily a clear cut one? They might both have laid out similar fork in the road scenarios and left the team and Sale to choose which road to take.
 

RedOctober3829

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Maybe, though honestly if it was a slam dunk "you need TJ", the Red Sox team doc and Andrews would probably be sufficient. I very much doubt his UCL is fully torn and just flapping in the breeze.

My guess is that his UCL is abnormal though the severity is somewhat in question. The current imaging has to be combined with his physical exam, how his UCL has looked on previous MRIs, and the fact that he has already tried (and presumably not done too well) with a more conservative approach. Lots of factors at play.

To be honest, there are only a handful of orthos and radiologists in the world that have enough experience with super high end MLB pitchers that can even make that call. It's not just knowing the anatomy or knowing what a UCL tear usually looks like. Need LOTS of very specific experience to read through the typical background chronic findings MLB pitchers have, and also know how pitchers with MRIs similar to Sale tend to do with both TJ or conservative management. It's both art and science.

I'm glad they are getting 3 opinions, most pitchers probably should in this situation. If I had to bet, reading between the lines, he will end up with TJ but I don't think it's 100%.
And two of them looking at the MRI are the ones you want looking at them. What would be the other outcomes if no surgery? Another PRP injection?
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
IF he needs TJ, this season has to be a punt - and really, since he may lose half of next season, perhaps the time for a more complete overhaul is now?
I think that's overreacting. Even for a full season, replacing a #1 with a #5 starting pitcher costs you maybe four wins, or roughly the difference between a division title and a wildcard slot.

Losing Sale certainly makes this season look more like a punt, but losing a half-year of him for 2021 shouldn't keep the Sox from looking for ways to get right back in it next year.
 

nighthob

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They’re not going to be able to do much during the re-set year, and given the expensive shambles of the pitching staff, with an E-Rod extension looming, I’m not expecting much until 2022. Unless they can move Eovaldi so that only the Price/Sale contracts are weighing the rotation payroll.
 

YTF

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They could also carry 3 catchers with Lucroy being able to play some 1st base.
I thought about that and while Lucroy does have MLB experience at first I see he hasn't played a lot there. I'm wondering if there is enough experience for him at first to justify 2 backup catchers. Though there is an extra bench slot this season I'm not sure many teams will go with three catchers unless one provides some serious flexibility.
 

E5 Yaz

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I think this is good news, right?
It means a year of making sure he doesn't over-do-it and wondering whether each start will be the day he Draveckys himself ... but, yeah
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Amazing the number of doctors that have come out of the woodwork to comment on Sale's elbow, here and elsewhere online. Unless we hear that the doctors said surgery and Sale or the team balked at it, if they say surgery isn't necessary, it isn't fucking necessary.
 

BaseballJones

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Well Tanaka could have gotten TJ surgery and didn't, and he's been solid his whole career. So maybe this will work out well for him.
 

jon abbey

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Amazing the number of doctors that have come out of the woodwork to comment on Sale's elbow, here and elsewhere online. Unless we hear that the doctors said surgery and Sale or the team balked at it, if they say surgery isn't necessary, it isn't fucking necessary.
You're obviously right but good luck getting people to listen, Tanaka didn't have surgery in 2014, he has made around 150 starts since then and still people don't seem to believe they made the right decision there.

Edit: Heh, crosspost with BaseballJones.
 

54thMA

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Stop delaying it.
They shut him down last August after he experienced pain in his elbow, then the first time since that incident he throws live BP, more pain in the elbow.


All him not needing surgery means is it will be an ongoing problem.

That's all sorts of awesome.
 

Manramsclan

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I feel like the "at this point" in Rosenthal's tweet is operative. I've asked a few beat writers retweeting it if they have confirmed his report or if they are just retweeting it.

Ultimately, I think the tweet could be a different version of what Roenicke said regarding timing of decisions rather than that they have opted to postpone surgery.
 

DJnVa

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Push notification from MLB app says Sale "not expected to miss all of 2020".
 

jon abbey

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"Boston Red Sox starter Chris Sale is not expected to undergo Tommy John surgery, a source confirmed to ESPN's Buster Olney on Wednesday.

Sale's elbow injury is still a concern, and it's unknown for how long he'll be sidelined, but the surgery would have ended his season before it began."

 

Detts

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"Boston Red Sox starter Chris Sale is not expected to undergo Tommy John surgery, a source confirmed to ESPN's Buster Olney on Wednesday.

Sale's elbow injury is still a concern, and it's unknown for how long he'll be sidelined, but the surgery would have ended his season before it began."

Pedroia needs a cribbage partner.
 

nattysez

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Not to find the dark lining on the silver cloud, but this is arguably worse than an announcement he needs TJ. He now goes back into some kind of rehab process (similar to what he's been doing since August, one would think) and emerges ready to pitch...eventually? I mean, if he's been rehabbing this injury for 6ish months unsuccessfully, when's it going to be fixed?
 

terrynever

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Well Tanaka could have gotten TJ surgery and didn't, and he's been solid his whole career. So maybe this will work out well for him.
Tanaka put his 98 mph heater into cold storage and became a better pitcher by changing speeds and pitching to location. He gets bombed every so often. But his results have been good. Sale could do the same thing.