Devers : No talks after season begins (Speier report)

What should the Red Sox do with Devers?


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walt in maryland

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Fair, and a couple of reasons:
1 - Each of the GMs that inked those deals had won a(t least one world series), so I trust them more. What can I say. I'm a sucker for a World Series title giving some cachet.

2- Because I think there is a large difference between betting on a 26 year old whom has shown an ability to produce in Boston as opposed to Crawford (29), Gonzalez (29), Ramirez (31), Sandoval (28), Price (30), JD Martinez (30) whom hadn't.

2a - Sale, started to show signs of breaking down in 2018 when he missed 5 (or 6) turns through the rotation and was then pretty awful in the playoffs. He was going to be 30 when the extension started and doesn't have a body type or delivery that one would bank on. That said, I liked the Price singing (not the Sale extension) so call those a "wash", if you will.

3 - Because I think you need core pieces, the only one we have is Trevor Story and I'd like Devers to be a second. To my point above, I think you need top of the roster talent to win a world series. Sure, the Royals managed without any in 2014. But the Rays / As model has gotten beat in the playoffs before raising a flag each time. To reiterate, though it happened once (KC) I think it's almost impossible to win a World Series without high end roster talent, and the only one we have right now that is even a moderately safe bet to play a full season effectively is Trevor Story.

4 - This in conjecture, but I don't think Boston is seen in a positive light at all right now by young MLB players or the industry in general, and I'd like to change that.
Show them the money and see how fast that perception changes
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Devers either should be looking for an extension that would take him to the end of his career (age 40-ish) with an opt out at age 30 (to see if he can get another 10 year at more AAV) or just a 4 year deal where he can hit FA again. The hand-wringing over X is crazy to me... there was no way that Boras was going to allow an extension that put him past that age threshold when mind-melting deals get signed and it's absolutely no reason to fault Bloom on that.
Devers absolutely needs to get offered something similar to X that would allow him to opt-out before he crosses that threshold. If he sucks before then, then the Sox are stuck obviously, but at age 30-31 it really makes the most sense to hope those players actually do opt-out.
Offer him a 12/$360 yesterday with an opt out in 4 years.
 

8slim

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Sadly, there are an almost limitless number of people like me who rarely get back to New England and will still buy tickets this summer (tentative plans to go). I have a number of friends here in North Carolina who say they'd love to visit Fenway and this might be there chance. Ownership really isn't going to feel the pinch of lost ticket sales, imho. People who couldn't afford to go before will scoop up any discounts even to see a flailing team play in the shrine known as Fenway. Heck, most of them don't even like the Sox, they just want to see Fenway once in their lifetime and will happily make the pilgrimage.
That segment of the fan base exists (I'm one of them, I go to 1-2 games a year) but demand is already far lower than it was just a few years ago. And it can easily decline more.

The last couple times I've gone to Fenway I grabbed good seats (field box level, 5-6 rows from the IF) for *under face value* on StubHub. That was an impossibility a few years ago. The Sox are emailing me 2-3 times a week as we speak trying to entice me into buying Sox pack tickets for 2023. There's no way I'm doing that with the product they currently have, and I'm sure I'm not alone.

I suspect there are going to be thousands of cheap tickets available for every game this season unless something radically changes with the roster.
 

Murderer's Crow

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I agree, but there's a baseball argument to be made that giving 10 years to Devers is too risky. If the Sox believe that, trade him before the season for the best package you can get and move on.
What makes Devers more risky than any other player getting a mega deal? He's less injury prone than Correa and Judge and he's younger than many of the players getting these big contracts.

Stop making excuses for ownership. They have no other big contracts on the books and have steered so clear of major commitments that there's essentially no reason to not take on some risk with a franchise home grown fan favorite player. I think we can agree they probably aren't sitting and waiting for Shohei, right? I can't imagine they prefer Machado to Devers.
 

geoflin

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I agree with what a few posters said above. Offer 10 years for $300 million and see where that goes. Negotiate and if they end up somewhere near those numbers sign him, if he still wants more trade him now.
 

8slim

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Almost zero long term deals work out. Ever. Arod. Pujols. Vlad Sr. Etc. And all these guys were significantly better than Devers.

I am not saying don’t sign him, but just because the Mets are handing out a billion dollars doesn’t mean that is the correct path to follow.

Honestly, I’m not even sure 10/300 is wise and also at the same time I am not sure that would get it done. I’d say offer that and if he declines just move on.

There are very few players I’d say to sign at all costs, and while I love Raffy, I just don’t think he’s one of those type players.
There's an analysis on the MLB forum that shows how many long terms deals have "worked out". There's a bunch. And honestly I feel like defining a deal as working out is very subjective anyway. Sure, it's likely that Devers ain't the player at 35 that he is today. But there is value in having a position locked down for a long stretch, even if there is some amount of "overpay" in the last couple years of a deal. Plus, I love watching Devers play baseball. And there are increasingly fewer of those guys on the Sox, which sucks.
 

Marciano490

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Devers has a body type prone to some baby fat, but he’s also a pro athlete and has access to everything, so as long as he keeps that in check as he ages, I see nothing making him more injury prone.
 

JimD

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While I get your point, does the evidence really support that?

All I mean is, people said that when they didn't sign guys after Manny Ramirez (prior ownership group), and then we had the Crawford and Gonzalez deals. People said that after the Punto Trade and subsequent off-season, and then we had the Hanley Ramirez and Sandoval deals. People said that after those failures rolled off the books, and then you had Price, JD Martinez and the Chris Sale extension. So at least the anecdotal evidence shows they're willing to sign them - IF the current front office pushes them for it.

Speier said in essence the same thing on the KLaw podcast. Basically that FSG will give the big deals if the front office / baseball ops outlines why it's a good move. They did it for Epstein, Cherington (or Lucchino if you prefer to say as such) and Dombrowski. If Bloom had come to them and said "Xander Bogaerts is how I want to allocated $27m for the next 11 years", he'd be here and not in San Diego. When Story came in at a discount (ie far below what Seager, Semien, Bryant, Correra's AAV, etc got), they did it for Bloom too. They then held those people accountable.


At least that is what Speier intoned, and I believe him. If someone doesn't believe Speier is a credible source, that is their choice. I think he's the most reliable in town.

Will Bloom ask to spend whatever it takes to sign Devers or "budget" that in his $Luxury Tax Threshold "allowance"? I think all signs with Bloom point toward "no." If Devers tears his ACL in spring training, I think we're a lot more likely to sign him (he'd be at a discount) than it is we extend him before camp starts.
You've repeated this 'The ownership gives the GM/PoBO a budget and it's up to them how they spend it' idea in a few threads, with an obvious implication that Bloom decided not to go big for Mookie, X, etc., but while that may be true, it hardly lets Henry, Werner and Co. off the hook. The bottom line is, they had a generational talent in Mookie Betts and they allowed a budgetary and/or tax situation to develop where they were all but forced to trade him away. Now, you could say that they indeed held Dave Dombrowski accountable by dismissing him less than a year after the 2018 title was won, but that hardly feels satisfactory. They should have been collectively looking at every major player transaction from 2016 onward with an eye towards how they could pay a market-rate contract to Mookie when the time came and still potentially build a winner around him. They could have ordered Dombrowski to blow Mookie away with a ridiculous contract before 2020 but chose not. The fact that they let DD give that contract to Sale and effectively seal the deal to put the team in luxury tax hell if they gave Mookie the contract he deserved smacks of negligence on ownership's part. I respect Alex Speier tremendously, but I think he was being used to promote a narrative that clearly deflects blame away from Red Sox ownership for growing fan discontent.

To put it another way - do you believe that Chaim Bloom really wanted to trade away Mookie Betts, if ownership had been willing to subsidize the luxury tax penalties while still allowing Bloom's front office to take the necessary steps to build competitive 'bridge' teams while transforming the team over the long term to Dodgers East? It's pretty clear to me that Chaim only traded Betts because he knew that retaining him would not have allowed a competitive team to be built around him because Henry and company weren't going to let that luxury tax situation go on for very long.
 

jon abbey

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What makes Devers more risky than any other player getting a mega deal? He's less injury prone than Correa and Judge and he's younger than many of the players getting these big contracts.
He's a subpar defender and that generally only gets worse. He can move down the defensive spectrum but that puts more pressure on his offense to create value. It's hard to give one of these massive deals to anyone, but IMO it is even harder to give one to someone who is already a proven subpar defender.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Devers has a body type prone to some baby fat, but he’s also a pro athlete and has access to everything, so as long as he keeps that in check as he ages, I see nothing making him more injury prone.
This is probably stupid and maybe not even worthy of the main board but there's kind of a thing that's nagging at me. It was that whole thing where Cora had to bribe him with taco bell not to be such a free swinger.

I mean it's a silly and stupid thing. And he was just a kid. But he hasn't really had a big pay day yet. The $17 million this year is more than his career earnings. He has been in the mode to get the big contract for pretty much his whole career -- probably since he was 10 years old and the scouts in the DR treated him as special because of how hard he hits the ball.

What happens when he gets a contract and is set for life? There's no real reason to think he won't do what most guys in that situation do -- continue to strive to the best and to play in all star games and win championships and make the hall of fame. But I have a nagging concern that to the extent he is a little prone to bad habits at the plate, when you're making 20x what your manager is making, maybe there's some regression.
 

Max Power

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Bob Horner is the cautionary tale here. He was a third baseman who could hit at a young age, but didn't stay in shape. The Braves put a weight clause in his contract, but he was still out of the league by age 31.

That said, I'd bet on Devers still being a good player from ages 34-36 versus Correa at 38-40.
 

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He's a subpar defender and that generally only gets worse. He can move down the defensive spectrum but that puts more pressure on his offense to create value. It's hard to give one of these massive deals to anyone, but IMO it is even harder to give one to someone who is already a proven subpar defender.
I think about Ortiz a lot. He was an incredible hitter, but only a DH. And I don’t think he was ever in the top 20 for annual salary. If Devers is a DH in a few years, will he be as good, for as long, as Papi was? Putting a value on the defense complicates this, in my opinion, but has to be a part of the equation.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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On the one hand, Devers is young. The next 4-5 years of his remaining prime have serious value, so finding a way to keep him for those seasons should be of greater importance than, say, keeping X in his likely decline phase. But at what cost?

Raffy offers little if any value in his defense and running; it almost all rests on his hitting. And as good as he is, he’s not mid-to-late 20s Miguel Cabrera. Some of the proposed contracts being thrown around here - 12/$360M?? - would be a pretty clear overpay, imo. $360 would tie Judge for third largest ever. $30M per year would only be a top 25 contract, so that AAV is reasonable, but only three guys have hit that AAV for that long: Trout, Betts, and Judge. Those guys are MVPs with 10 WAR seasons, a level no one should expect Raffy to reach.

I’ve suggested something in the 11 or 12 year, $300M range, with an opt out after 4 years if that’s needed to seal a deal. But beyond that level, the Sox might as well explore trades.
 

8slim

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The resale market doesn't have an immediate effect on the team. It is the nonrenewals and empty seats not buying food and gear that will hurt
Understood. To that point though, it's hard for me to imagine they won't see a meaningful decline in season ticket sales, and single game sales, for 2023. I have to believe the softness of the re-sale market is an indicator of more problems to come.
 

E5 Yaz

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I’ve suggested something in the 11 or 12 year, $300M range, with an opt out after 4 years if that’s needed to seal a deal. But beyond that level, the Sox might as well explore trades.
In the current market, this seems extremely logical. My thought is that he's more likely to accept it than the Red Sox are to offer it
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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In the current market, this seems extremely logical. My thought is that he's more likely to accept it than the Red Sox are to offer it
I agree we probably won't offer it. But I also think he would not take it.

Like it or not, the Soto thing hangs over everything here. We can argue until we're blue in the face about differences between the players. But the only thing that matters is what's going on in the minds of Devers and his agent. Well over $400 million and the Nats would have given up three years of control. I'm sure that's what in their heads.

Possibly there's a number south of $360 that gets this done but I don't think it's very much less. It's silly season.
 

Jack Rabbit Slim

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Fair, and a couple of reasons:
1 - Each of the GMs that inked those deals had won a(t least one world series), so I trust them more. What can I say. I'm a sucker for a World Series title giving some cachet.
Just to pick on you a little bit – so you would trust Bloom to sign the big money deals, but not until after he wins a World Series? Which is “almost impossible” without signing them?

For the record, I am not against extending Devers in the 10/300 range and I hope they get something worked out. A big market team should not avoid top of the market deals all together, but there are only specific times when it makes sense.
  1. As the finishing piece(s) to an already good team to make them WS favorites (Price/JD) – The 2017/2018 Red Sox are a prime example of this. They already had a position player pool full of great players on artificially depressed contracts, freeing up money to splurge on top shelf pitching and an expensive DH. Despite Price ultimately being a pretty bad value contract, I still believe it was “worth” it because he was integral in winning a title. The real mistake was trying to extend the window with the Sale and Eovaldi contracts despite knowing those artificially depressed contracts for the position player core were coming to an end. This is also why myself and others argue now is not the time to splurge on 30 year old FA contracts since the top prospects are not in position yet.
  2. Players young enough that you are still getting multiple prime years (Devers) – At 26, the Sox would still get 4-5 years of Devers prime, where as Xander is on the way out of his. I wouldn’t offer him 14 years, but 10/11 seems like a reasonable risk to get his prime years.
  3. Generational talent (Betts) – In a vacuum, a player of Betts caliber (on and off the field) should almost always be re-signed. Having hall-of-famers is important to a franchise and fans. I personally believe he would have been re-signed if they didn’t also have a massive quagmire of bloated starting pitching contracts with no real hope of fixing it with the farm system (see point 1). As an aside – I never see it mentioned, but JD putting up two phenomenal, injury free seasons and then not opting out is the second biggest reason Betts is no longer playing in Boston. Oh how things could look so different right now.
 
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I don't think Devers will accept anything short of a massive offer. This may be his one chance to take advantage of the free agent market, which has been crazy.
 

E5 Yaz

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I agree we probably won't offer it. But I also think he would not take it.

Like it or not, the Soto thing hangs over everything here. We can argue until we're blue in the face about differences between the players. But the only thing that matters is what's going on in the minds of Devers and his agent. Well over $400 million and the Nats would have given up three years of control. I'm sure that's what in their heads.

Possibly there's a number south of $360 that gets this done but I don't think it's very much less. It's silly season.
Totally agree ... which is why they have to play to the extremes at this point. Either jump in the deep end of the pool with the other big kids -- which they can afford, but haven't shown a willingness to do, or wade in the shallow water while doing a complete rebuild. Paddling about in the middle and hoping for a miracle run as a wild card team seems less appealing the further the big kids separate themselves from the pack
 

kartvelo

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I think it's insane to be offering anyone, whoever they are, 10-12 years. I guess it's a good thing I don't own a club.
 

ehaz

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Totally agree ... which is why they have to play to the extremes at this point. Either jump in the deep end of the pool with the other big kids -- which they can afford, but haven't shown a willingness to do, or wade in the shallow water while doing a complete rebuild. Paddling about in the middle and hoping for a miracle run as a wild card team seems less appealing the further the big kids separate themselves from the pack
And yet the bolded appears to be exactly what the Sox are doing.

View: https://twitter.com/alexspeier/status/1605263209836978191?s=20&t=4H68anoAKMTeeM5ghAKaqQ
 

buttons

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Some people think that the future of the franchise hinges on signing Raffy no matter
what the cost. Obviously he’s a great offensive player,but he reminds me a lot of
the Panda and I fear that is where he will end up 5 years down the road. To me the question is how much do we want to pay for those 5 years.
 

jwbasham84

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Some people think that the future of the franchise hinges on signing Raffy no matter
what the cost. Obviously he’s a great offensive player,but he reminds me a lot of
the Panda and I fear that is where he will end up 5 years down the road. To me the question is how much do we want to pay for those 5 years.
This is my exact fear with Devers as well. I love him and would not be unhappy if the Sox signed him tomorrow, but I can easily see a 30 yr old Devers very much looking like Panda. Panda was only 28 when we signed him. Both are bat first third basemen, though Sandoval could catch a little too. Both had struggled with their weight previously in their careers. I mean it's definitely worst-case scenario, but sure seems to me to be something that has a solid chance of happening.
 

bosox188

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Sandoval was a really big guy for most of his career, he was big when I was watching him play for the (at the time) CT Defenders in AA. Devers has never been close to Sandoval's weight, and in the grand scheme it's not very common for modern day pro athletes to let themselves get completely out of shape during their playing careers. Any team trying to use that angle to offer less money (and I do not believe the Red Sox would do so) is going to watch someone else sign him and most likely enjoy at least another 5+ years of great production at the plate.
 

mikcou

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That segment of the fan base exists (I'm one of them, I go to 1-2 games a year) but demand is already far lower than it was just a few years ago. And it can easily decline more.

The last couple times I've gone to Fenway I grabbed good seats (field box level, 5-6 rows from the IF) for *under face value* on StubHub. That was an impossibility a few years ago. The Sox are emailing me 2-3 times a week as we speak trying to entice me into buying Sox pack tickets for 2023. There's no way I'm doing that with the product they currently have, and I'm sure I'm not alone.

I suspect there are going to be thousands of cheap tickets available for every game this season unless something radically changes with the roster.
Agree. I used to go to a couple games a year. I went to 2 in 2021; didnt bother last year and certainly am not buying tickets before the season starts for 2023. The prices are insanely high and the talent is poor. Not worth it.

I am not only getting emails, but calls and voice mails every other week. Their renewals are clearly not going well.

Understood. To that point though, it's hard for me to imagine they won't see a meaningful decline in season ticket sales, and single game sales, for 2023. I have to believe the softness of the re-sale market is an indicator of more problems to come.
Part of the demand for large packages (half season and season) is obviously the ability to sell tickets you aren't going to use. People who are taking losses on those tickets are effectively paying more for the product. There are (or at least were) a lot of groups that would split seasons into 10-12 games. A couple people drop out probably kills those renewals.

I expect ticket sales to be down significantly as well as ratings.
 

ehaz

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This is my exact fear with Devers as well. I love him and would not be unhappy if the Sox signed him tomorrow, but I can easily see a 30 yr old Devers very much looking like Panda. Panda was only 28 when we signed him. Both are bat first third basemen, though Sandoval could catch a little too. Both had struggled with their weight previously in their careers. I mean it's definitely worst-case scenario, but sure seems to me to be something that has a solid chance of happening.
Sandoval was a really big guy for most of his career, he was big when I was watching him play for the (at the time) CT Defenders in AA. Devers has never been close to Sandoval's weight, and in the grand scheme it's not very common for modern day pro athletes to let themselves get completely out of shape during their playing careers. Any team trying to use that angle to offer less money (and I do not believe the Red Sox would do so) is going to watch someone else sign him and most likely enjoy at least another 5+ years of great production at the plate.
Sandoval played his age 22 season at like 5'10 280 before he slimmed down a little bit. They're not in the same stratosphere.

Not to mention Sandoval's bat was already in decline at the time Boston signed him. 131 OPS+ in his first three full seasons with SF and a 116 OPS+ in his last three seasons before free agency.

Devers' last three full seasons (not including COVID shortened 2020):
- 132 OPS+
- 134 OPS+
- 141 OPS+
 

Marciano490

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The Sandoval comparisons are way off. Devers is a bit of an endomorph and came up a bit chipmunk cheeked, Sandoval had a propensity to get massive.
 

Max Power

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Agree. I used to go to a couple games a year. I went to 2 in 2021; didnt bother last year and certainly am not buying tickets before the season starts for 2023. The prices are insanely high and the talent is poor. Not worth it.

I am not only getting emails, but calls and voice mails every other week. Their renewals are clearly not going well.



Part of the demand for large packages (half season and season) is obviously the ability to sell tickets you aren't going to use. People who are taking losses on those tickets are effectively paying more for the product. There are (or at least were) a lot of groups that would split seasons into 10-12 games. A couple people drop out probably kills those renewals.

I expect ticket sales to be down significantly as well as ratings.
The only reason I'm keeping my season ticket plan is that it's not offered anymore. It's weekends, opening day, and Patriots Day with a full strip of playoff tickets available to purchase in the bleachers. I know for sure I'm taking a loss on any games I can't attend this year.
 

mikcou

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The Sandoval comparisons are way off. Devers is a bit of an endomorph and came up a bit chipmunk cheeked, Sandoval had a propensity to get massive.
Agreed. Just look at a picture of each of them - they dont look anything a like. Sandoval was significantly overweight at his best moments and one of the most overweight players in league history at his worst.

Sandoval weighed about 30 pounds more than Devers at his best and 60-70 pounds more than at his worst. All at generous 5'10" rather than 6'0.

I dont understand the comparison at all - their listed numbers arent similar, they dont look similar - just sounds like a concern to make up a concern to me.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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You've repeated this 'The ownership gives the GM/PoBO a budget and it's up to them how they spend it' idea in a few threads, with an obvious implication that Bloom decided not to go big for Mookie, X, etc., but while that may be true, it hardly lets Henry, Werner and Co. off the hook. The bottom line is, they had a generational talent in Mookie Betts and they allowed a budgetary and/or tax situation to develop where they were all but forced to trade him away. Now, you could say that they indeed held Dave Dombrowski accountable by dismissing him less than a year after the 2018 title was won, but that hardly feels satisfactory. They should have been collectively looking at every major player transaction from 2016 onward with an eye towards how they could pay a market-rate contract to Mookie when the time came and still potentially build a winner around him. They could have ordered Dombrowski to blow Mookie away with a ridiculous contract before 2020 but chose not. The fact that they let DD give that contract to Sale and effectively seal the deal to put the team in luxury tax hell if they gave Mookie the contract he deserved smacks of negligence on ownership's part. I respect Alex Speier tremendously, but I think he was being used to promote a narrative that clearly deflects blame away from Red Sox ownership for growing fan discontent.

To put it another way - do you believe that Chaim Bloom really wanted to trade away Mookie Betts, if ownership had been willing to subsidize the luxury tax penalties while still allowing Bloom's front office to take the necessary steps to build competitive 'bridge' teams while transforming the team over the long term to Dodgers East? It's pretty clear to me that Chaim only traded Betts because he knew that retaining him would not have allowed a competitive team to be built around him because Henry and company weren't going to let that luxury tax situation go on for very long.

Totally fair, but isn't that also the same kind of "meddling in front office operations" that generally sinks a team in any sport? The owner hires the person they believe to be the best choice because that person knows more about a particular subject than you do, and then get out of the way? Maybe that doesn't work in the "real world" with billionaire egos and the like, but I think of that as a smart choice, generally speaking.

I suppose the counter balance is - well then they should fire Bloom if they think he's not handling the job the right way, and they haven't. Thus, do they agree with the way he's spending because they haven't fired him yet and he's demonstrated a track record of not spending on elite talent and his still being here is tacit approval? Since I'm not there, I don't know - but to your point I'd have fired him several times if I were in charge, and they haven't, so I'll agree that part is negligence - hopefully the negligence stops (ie, they fire Bloom) before it's too late. Since we've lost Betts, Benintedni, Bogaerts and are on the cusp of losing Devers for a combined return of Alex Verdugo, it might already be too late...

However yes, I believe Bloom really wanted to trade Betts. The Tampa / Oakland model is basically to move everyone and I think Bloom truly believes he can win a world series with a bunch of platoon match ups, openers and multiple arm slots from the bullpen. People on this site have done a very good job convincing me that Bloom didn't want to sign Bogaerts at all. At a certain level, I think he wants to trade Devers. That is basically how he's built the entire team is depth and analytics, no elite talent - I think the great teams use BOTH (Theo).

Though - where I hold FSG responsible is that they haven't fired him. If the idea is they like (or have ordered) the way he spends because they haven't fired him yet, and thus it's what they want to do, I get that and won't argue the point because until he's fired there is only evidence (if circumstantial) that they agree with him. If that is your point (not trying to put words in your mouth) I totally get it and there is no basis to argue it - until they fire him, hopefully soon.



Just to pick on you a little bit – so you would trust Bloom to sign the big money deals, but not until after he wins a World Series? Which is “almost impossible” without signing them?

For the record, I am not against extending Devers in the 10/300 range and I hope they get something worked out. A big market team should not avoid top of the market deals all together, but there are only specific times when it makes sense.
  1. As the finishing piece(s) to an already good team to make them WS favorites (Price/JD) – The 2017/2018 Red Sox are a prime example of this. They already had a position player pool full of great players on artificially depressed contracts, freeing up money to splurge on top shelf pitching and an expensive DH. Despite Price ultimately being a pretty bad value contract, I still believe it was “worth” it because he was integral in winning a title. The real mistake was trying to extend the window with the Sale and Eovaldi contracts despite knowing those artificially depressed contracts for the position player core were coming to an end. This is also why myself and others argue now is not the time to splurge on 30 year old FA contracts since the top prospects are not in position yet.
  2. Players young enough that you are still getting multiple prime years (Devers) – At 26, the Sox would still get 4-5 years of Devers prime, where as Xander is on the way out of his. I wouldn’t offer him 14 years, but 10/11 seems like a reasonable risk to get his prime years.
  3. Generational talent (Betts) – In a vacuum, a player of Betts caliber (on and off the field) should almost always be re-signed. Having hall-of-famers is important to a franchise and fans. I personally believe he would have been re-signed if they didn’t also have a massive quagmire of bloated starting pitching contracts with no real hope of fixing it with the farm system (see point 1). As an aside – I never see it mentioned, but JD putting up two phenomenal, injury free seasons and then not opting out is the second biggest reason Betts is no longer playing in Boston. Oh how things could look so different right now.

Well played.

I meant more, even though I disagree a great deal with how Bloom has been building the team, if he'd won a World Series in 2021 and sat up there saying "openers, a deep bench and multiple arm slots in the bullpen is the way to win a World Series" I'd look at the scoreboard and say "fine, he's got me there" and not complain about it, even though that goes against everything I believe for baseball.

I think we agree more than disagree, because I agree exactly with how you lined it out. I will add:

4. Keep the "all star" players whom want to play here, it won't always work out (Pedroia) but I think the alternative (Lester, Bogaerts) is far worse.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Understood. To that point though, it's hard for me to imagine they won't see a meaningful decline in season ticket sales, and single game sales, for 2023. I have to believe the softness of the re-sale market is an indicator of more problems to come.
Totally agree. And they know that will happen if they don't do something big before 2023 renewals are sent out
The only reason I'm keeping my season ticket plan is that it's not offered anymore. It's weekends, opening day, and Patriots Day with a full strip of playoff tickets available to purchase in the bleachers. I know for sure I'm taking a loss on any games I can't attend this year.
I shared a similar plan, but Sundays, opening day and Patriots day. I gave up my share and my buddy ate alot of tix last year
 

Max Power

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Totally agree. And they know that will happen if they don't do something big before 2023 renewals are sent out
Renewals went out in November. You have two choices in paying for the tickets, 5 monthly installments starting in November or a lump sum payment in January. I don't know what percentage of ticket holders choose each option, but they probably have a very good idea about how many people are not renewing their packages already.
 

OCD SS

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2 details to add regarding a long term extension:

1. Raffy is a bad defender, but that is not because he lacks range or is sedentary. It’s that his footwork and throws can be erratic. He also put in a lot of work on his defense last off-season and improved, so the question remains how real is that and will it stick? Unless Casas flames out Raffy’s slide down the defensive spectrum probably bumps him right to DH.

2. Speier (on the KLaw podcast that ought to be required listening) said that one thing the Sox track that they think is a skill that will age very well is hard hit % and things like barrels. It’s a bit counterintuitive, but where someone who relies on using all his tools might see his value evaporate as he slides down the defensive spectrum while his bat simultaneously declines, if the player has elite bat speed and can hit, he’s probably at least likely to produce some value in his late years (even if he’s overpaid).
 

Jack Rabbit Slim

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4. Keep the "all star" players whom want to play here, it won't always work out (Pedroia) but I think the alternative (Lester, Bogaerts) is far worse.
Eh, this is essentially weighing sentimentality over future production. It makes sense if the player is willing to give a hometown discount, like Pedroia, but not at FA prices.

Bogaerts may have been able to be re-signed at what ended up being a discount (I believe he said he would have taken 6/150 in the spring, but maybe Boras talks him out of it), but once he hit the market it no longer made sense to pay what it took to keep him. The Sox just aren't in a good enough position with the rest of the team/organization and Bogaerts isn't a special enough or young enough player. I think his contract will look pretty bad in 2 years but the Padres are pot committed at this point so it makes more sense for them.

I am willing to wait out the Bloom rebuild for another couple of years, while also appreciating that they are putting (trying anyway) a competitive team on the field. After 4 WS, I would rather watch a decent team try to make the playoffs than gut the team and bottom out for better picks.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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This playbook is getting tiresome. It's mealy-mouthed BS, and we can all practically already predict a future wherein we make a much better offer when he hits FA than the original lowball, but way lower than market value. From the outside it looks like how when you sit at your desk hunched over and staring really hard at the screen and sighing a lot, people perceive you're working very hard. Then when he signs elsewhere, they'll feign helplessness, as if market forces are totally out of their control.

I understand that they want players who represent good value. That is sensible and good, but at a certain point they are going to have to be willing to accept back-end risk. A team like the Red Sox should not be worried about years 7 through 10 for a 26 year old star player. They are unwilling to risk a bad contract hurting the team in the long-term, but willing to risk hurting the team with worse players in the short-term.

It also looks particularly bad right now because—despite talking about it constantly—Bloom has not been able to generate anything on the trade market yet, which is where you can theoretically get your hands on more cost-effective & team-controlled talent.

I say all this as someone who in a vacuum has liked a lot of Chaim's moves, generally more than I have disliked. But it's hard right now, the more time passes the more it seems like the philosophy revolves around waiting for our top prospects to really start contributing so he can target his spending around that. Until then it will feel disjointed. And like E5, if they want to commit to a certain path but are afraid to do so in full, then we are destined to continue floating along.
 

buttons

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Agreed. Just look at a picture of each of them - they dont look anything a like. Sandoval was significantly overweight at his best moments and one of the most overweight players in league history at his worst.

Sandoval weighed about 30 pounds more than Devers at his best and 60-70 pounds more than at his worst. All at generous 5'10" rather than 6'0.

I dont understand the comparison at all - their listed numbers arent similar, they dont look similar - just sounds like a concern to make up a concern to me.
I wasn’t suggesting that they have the same physics but rather a fear that as he ages he will not be as fit. This is not based on any scientific study but a gut feeling by looking at him.
 

Max Power

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I understand that they want players who represent good value. That is sensible and good, but at a certain point they are going to have to be willing to accept back-end risk. A team like the Red Sox should not be worried about years 7 through 10 for a 26 year old star player. They are unwilling to risk a bad contract hurting the team in the long-term, but willing to risk hurting the team with worse players in the short-term.
What about years 8-14 for that star player? We have no idea what the asks and offers are, but if Devers' agents are looking at the 14 year offer to Soto as the framework of a deal, then I can see how the team might have concerns.
 

jbupstate

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Bloom should be on the phone with Devers this morning using Correa's new number as a start to to launch a new offer in the 10/315 range.
I would hope the Sox are at 10/300m for Devers now. That is an overpay but there is potential for an elite bat even if the defense is projected to be average at best. Add another 10% for 12/330 due to Devers leverage. If that doesn’t do it move him asap.

I like Devers but it’s going to turn bad after 6 years. I don’t care if the system is consistently producing MLB players in two or three years. That’s how you handle late years of a now bad contract

I just think people have short memories of how the Hanley, Panda, Rusney and Crawford turned out. Build the farm and find the next Betts and Xanders.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I wasn’t suggesting that they have the same physics but rather a fear that as he ages he will not be as fit. This is not based on any scientific study but a gut feeling by looking at him.
As Billy Beane once said, "we're not selling jeans here." All players have a tougher time staying fit as they age (non-players too). Nothing we've seen from Devers so far suggests he's going to physically deteriorate at a greater rate than a typical player. For all we know, he could follow the David Ortiz path and be productive until he's 40 despite mounting physical ailments.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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Eh, this is essentially weighing sentimentality over future production. It makes sense if the player is willing to give a hometown discount, like Pedroia, but not at FA prices.

Bogaerts may have been able to be re-signed at what ended up being a discount (I believe he said he would have taken 6/150 in the spring, but maybe Boras talks him out of it), but once he hit the market it no longer made sense to pay what it took to keep him. The Sox just aren't in a good enough position with the rest of the team/organization and Bogaerts isn't a special enough or young enough player. I think his contract will look pretty bad in 2 years but the Padres are pot committed at this point so it makes more sense for them.

I am willing to wait out the Bloom rebuild for another couple of years, while also appreciating that they are putting (trying anyway) a competitive team on the field. After 4 WS, I would rather watch a decent team try to make the playoffs than gut the team and bottom out for better picks.
For what it's worth, I absolutely believe Lester would have done that in the off-season before 2014 and I think Bogaerts would have before last year as well. Can I prove that - of course not. I will say if we'd heard something like "Bogaerts turned down a 6/$150m offer in March" I'd be a lot more on Bloom's side; hearing he was offered what ended up being (I think) 4 years and $90m, I agree that not offering Bogaerts what they just paid Story was in fact a "slap in the face" (in the sports world where horrible players make $2m per year...)

Or, using Devers, if I hear we offer him 11/$300m (the Turner deal) and he says no, then I'll give Bloom credit for making a reasonable offer and say "Devers didn't want to be here that badly" - and then I'd endorse trading him and Bloom for drawing a line. Of course if that offer is 5yrs and $110m its a much different set of circumstances.


Fair enough on the last point. I fully admit that "after 4 WS" I'd rather see a team bottom out for better picks and get as many kids as you can on the roster to see who might be the core. I actually find the rotation incredibly interesting and I'm looking forward to watching games started by any of Whitlock, Bello, Houck and Mata. If you want to bring up Murphy or Walter, I'm good there too. I also think the idea of watching Casas, Yoshida, seeing if Verdugo can improve and Valdez at a MI spot is really interesting too. What can I say though, I'd rather watch a team of kids go 60-102 and hope to see some growth for the core vs a team of one / two year rentals go 80-82 and miss the playoffs. (Fully admit I'm in the minority there, just personal preference. I get why many fans don't want that and why the revenue department doesn't want that).
 

Jed Zeppelin

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What about years 8-14 for that star player? We have no idea what the asks and offers are, but if Devers' agents are looking at the 14 year offer to Soto as the framework of a deal, then I can see how the team might have concerns.
That's fine, but if they are not going to sign top of market deals then they should stop acting like they want to keep their best players. Because if they won't even go beyond 6 years, then they aren't serious.
 

snowmanny

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“Has anything changed since Chaim Bloom said the Sox weren't contemplating dealing Devers? Bloom said no. 'He is at the center of everything we’re trying to do' “

I assume this means they are definitely going to sign him. Why else would you go out on a limb like that? You’d look like an ass if you didn’t sign him.
 

jwbasham84

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Jul 26, 2022
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Agreed. Just look at a picture of each of them - they dont look anything a like. Sandoval was significantly overweight at his best moments and one of the most overweight players in league history at his worst.

Sandoval weighed about 30 pounds more than Devers at his best and 60-70 pounds more than at his worst. All at generous 5'10" rather than 6'0.

I dont understand the comparison at all - their listed numbers arent similar, they dont look similar - just sounds like a concern to make up a concern to me.
I wasn’t suggesting that they have the same physics but rather a fear that as he ages he will not be as fit. This is not based on any scientific study but a gut feeling by looking at him.
Exactly my point as well. I am not trying to say they were/are the same player. I was just using a recently painful example for our franchise to show how a player that has had extensively covered issues with their weight can lose focus on their fitness routine and begin a spiral down. I honestly believe this will happen to Raffy especially since his mentor on the team that held him in check is gone and there are slim odds that Cora would still be manager by the end of any contract. I agree it's a worst-case scenario, but it is still my fear.
 

snowmanny

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The only reason I'm keeping my season ticket plan is that it's not offered anymore. It's weekends, opening day, and Patriots Day with a full strip of playoff tickets available to purchase in the bleachers. I know for sure I'm taking a loss on any games I can't attend this year.
I’ve had that plan forever and am dumping it this year. More due to life changes, but I would have likely kept it with a different product on the field.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Renewals went out in November. You have two choices in paying for the tickets, 5 monthly installments starting in November or a lump sum payment in January. I don't know what percentage of ticket holders choose each option, but they probably have a very good idea about how many people are not renewing their packages already.
Either I worded my prior post poorly or I don't know what year it is, but I meant the renewals being sent out IN 2023 for 2024, after another poor year
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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“Has anything changed since Chaim Bloom said the Sox weren't contemplating dealing Devers? Bloom said no. 'He is at the center of everything we’re trying to do' “

I assume this means they are definitely going to sign him. Why else would you go out on a limb like that? You’d look like an ass if you didn’t sign him.
It's all noise. They are going to get him at the price they think he is worth or they are going to hope that someone overpays like with Bogaerts so they have cover. And if it's something in between -- like Mookie -- they will do something to make the park a little more pretty. I don't think they are going to change their M.O. Until it's decided, every single word is part of (1) negotiation, (2) managing the paying customers, or (3) both.
 

radsoxfan

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I think it's insane to be offering anyone, whoever they are, 10-12 years. I guess it's a good thing I don't own a club.
It's not insane if it's a way to take advantage of interest rates/inflation while lowing the luxury tax #s. None of these teams think these 25M-ish AAV contracts are going to be a good or decent deal in 2035, that's not the point.

Instead of offering something like 8/250 you can offer 12/300 and it's probably a similar overall present day value with a lower AAV. It's just a way to make some deferred payments, not dumb owners/GMs that think these guys will be good at age 42.

Red Sox FO needs to get with the times and be willing to structure some of these contracts as 10-12 year deals to increase the total $ so Devers doesn't feel like he's getting short changed. Can still be a total present day value contract that fits how they value him.