Extreme Makeover: The Jarren Duran Edition

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Duran's current rankings in MLB:

OPS: 18th overall, 7th among OF
WAR: 4th overall, 2nd among OF
SB: 6th overall, 1st among OF
3b: 1st overall, 1st among OF
2b: 2nd overall, 1st among OF
H: 4th overall, 1st among OF
R: 8th overall, 3rd among OF
DWAR: 4th among OF

So he's among the best OF in baseball offensively, among the best OF in baseball defensively, and among the best OF in baseball on the base paths.

He's become...absolutely elite.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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Duran's current rankings in MLB:

OPS: 18th overall, 7th among OF
WAR: 4th overall, 2nd among OF
SB: 6th overall, 1st among OF
3b: 1st overall, 1st among OF
2b: 2nd overall, 1st among OF
H: 4th overall, 1st among OF
R: 8th overall, 3rd among OF
DWAR: 4th among OF

So he's among the best OF in baseball offensively, among the best OF in baseball defensively, and among the best OF in baseball on the base paths.

He's become...absolutely elite.
Also:
PA: 1st/1st
TB: 6th/3rd
RC: 7th/4th
XBH: 4th/2nd
Times on Base: 9th/4th
WPA: 5th/4th
 

GrandSlamPozo

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He's currently leading the AL in doubles and triples. Last player to lead their league in both categories in the same season was Cesar Tovar believe it or not, back in 1970.
 

Sin Duda

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He's currently leading the AL in doubles and triples. Last player to lead their league in both categories in the same season was Cesar Tovar believe it or not, back in 1970.
I hope he keeps going. Jim Rice led the league in triples (15) and home runs (46) in 1986. Not trying to compare the two, just pointing out a truly noteworthy season.

Fake edit...and as I look at categories he led the league in that year (G, PA, AB, H, 3B, HR, RBI, SLG, OPS, OPS+, & Total Bases) it's no wonder he won MVP. But I can't get past the Games Played because it was 163.
 

moondog80

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Can someone who watched the game last night explain "Duran doubled to third" from the game log? Sharp grounder that bounced off the 3B into that part of the LF stands that sticks out?
 

The Gray Eagle

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Duran always hustles his ass off every time he puts the ball in play. That adds even more pressure on the other team's defense, because he never seems to take a play off. There's lots of fast guys but not many hustle as much as he does.
 

Sin Duda

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Was a trivia question on the Starkville podcast this week - Stark and Doug Glanville failed to come up with Jim Ed as the right answer.
A quick hijack... looking at Jim Rice's stats in light of Big Papi's first ballot HoF election, I now more firmly believe Rice belongs too (there was plenty of chatter that he was a borderline case, even on this board). His career didn't have the same high level at the end that Ortiz's did, but he had similar peak seasons. And if we think of him more as a DH entry, he fits. JimRiceHof ... might be a good screen name ;-).
 

Rovin Romine

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Even under traditional sports-writer metrics, Lynn led by a lot in BA, slightly in RBI and was slightly behind in HR. And the sports-writers still knew CFers were more important than LFers. With 7 more games, Rice might have had 23 HR and 106 RBI to Lynn's 21 and 105. I just don't buy that it was neck and neck but the injury took him out. Lynn was the nearly unanimous MVP!
I didn't say they were neck and neck. I said that by even the most traditional (and uninformed) metrics, Lynn wins.
 

Al Zarilla

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Great blog entry about Duran by Sam Miller, who was the EIC at Baseball Prospectus. His stuff on Substack is really good.

Also, how is Duran the 19th ranked AL outfielder in All Star voting?

https://pebblehunting.substack.com/p/baseballs-second-best-watch

EDIT: looks like this become subscriber only after 1/3 of the entry, but still worth reading. Also, Duran does run like a lizard.
I'm sure it's because a lot of people still look at BA, HR and RBI primarily, rather than WAR, BSR, defensive runs saved and all the other newer stats that make his WAR so high. Also Duran did just go on a tear recently and most voters haven't noticed, and fans from everywhere but Boston still hardly know about him. Maybe he'll get in on player vote or that last one out of three or five vote thingy.
 

shaggydog2000

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I'm sure it's because a lot of people still look at BA, HR and RBI primarily, rather than WAR, BSR, defensive runs saved and all the other newer stats that make his WAR so high. Also Duran did just go on a tear recently and most voters haven't noticed, and fans from everywhere but Boston still hardly know about him. Maybe he'll get in on player vote or that last one out of three or five vote thingy.
Name recognition does matter a lot in All Star voting. It is a fan service event and not a stat geek validation weekend, the people get who they want to see.
 

TomRicardo

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Duran's current rankings in MLB:

OPS: 18th overall, 7th among OF
WAR: 4th overall, 2nd among OF
SB: 6th overall, 1st among OF
3b: 1st overall, 1st among OF
2b: 2nd overall, 1st among OF
H: 4th overall, 1st among OF
R: 8th overall, 3rd among OF
DWAR: 4th among OF

So he's among the best OF in baseball offensively, among the best OF in baseball defensively, and among the best OF in baseball on the base paths.

He's become...absolutely elite.
Can't wait to trade him to the Dodgers for a couple of back up infielders.
 

Cassvt2023

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Along with 90% of the board only about 3 months ago.
I'm happy to say that i'm in the 10% (in your rough estimation) not only didn't I not want to trade him, but was also pulling hard for Rafaela to make the team. I stated before spring training that the new rules were going to reward athleticism and that base stealing would continue to be a focus that was almost lost for around 20 years. But I could've never predicted we'd be talking about him in MVP conversations halfway thru.
 

sezwho

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I'm happy to say that i'm in the 10% (in your rough estimation) not only didn't I not want to trade him, but was also pulling hard for Rafaela to make the team. I stated before spring training that the new rules were going to reward athleticism and that base stealing would continue to be a focus that was almost lost for around 20 years. But I could've never predicted we'd be talking about him in MVP conversations halfway thru.
Me too. He was electricity on the basepaths last year and seemed to change the team energy at the plate and was fine on D. Keeper (I am wrong about a mind numbing amount of crap so enjoying this little victory:))
 

Fishy1

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Before @TomRicardo with his irrepressible need to troll turns this into yet another Mookie thread, let's get back to Duran.

It was kind of hard to imagine him improving his performance last year to some of us (myself included) because I didn't think he'd improve the K rate enough or sustain the BABIP. Instead, he's made a leap as a fielder, his launch angle is better, he's barreling the ball way more, he's chasing less and walking more. His BABIP is .354 and yet he's only outperforming his xBA by 3 points. On pace for nearly 6.9 fWAR (nice). Just a stunning performance. And he's not going to be a free agent until 2029, when he's 32.

Would be delighted to see the Sox and him try to work toward an extension. The value to the Sox would be obvious, given he's a top ten player in baseball right now, and for Duran, who might see some of his value decrease as he gets closer to his 30's, the opportunity to get a safety net would be huge. I wouldn't expect it to be cheap, of course.

8495384954
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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To me, the most impressive thing is that he was able to acknowledge and address his anxiety issues from last year. To go from the player who gave up on a play after misplaying a fly ball to one of the best players in the entire league is an incredibly impressive feat, and he deserves immense credit for that.
 

Fishy1

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To me, the most impressive thing is that he was able to acknowledge and address his anxiety issues from last year. To go from the player who gave up on a play after misplaying a fly ball to one of the best players in the entire league is an incredibly impressive feat, and he deserves immense credit for that.
100%. He's been very vocal about it, which has helped a lot. When you finally speak up about what you're feeling or struggling with and see that everyone has your back, it can be a huge jolt of courage for someone struggling with anxiety or depression.

He's just made so much progress, and all of it due to his own willingness to change and work on new skills. It's amazing to see live.
 

TomRicardo

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Before @TomRicardo with his irrepressible need to troll turns this into yet another Mookie thread, let's get back to Duran.

Would be delighted to see the Sox and him try to work toward an extension. The value to the Sox would be obvious, given he's a top ten player in baseball right now, and for Duran, who might see some of his value decrease as he gets closer to his 30's, the opportunity to get a safety net would be huge. I wouldn't expect it to be cheap, of course.
Why would the Red Sox suddenly change their policy of not paying top dollars for free agents in their 30s after on great year with Duran? It is not trolling. The team thinks paying top money for people on the wrong side of 30 doesn't make sense. The fact that after they have said this over and over and you think they somehow are going to change their position means you need to start paying attention. But not it is trolling to point this out.

Now if Duran trips over himself next year and becomes a depreciated asset, they will be all over extending him.

Unless the Duran takes a huge discount to stay, he is going to get ~ 200+/8 from someone, the Red Sox will not do that. If Duran was younger, they would have engaged.
 

nvalvo

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See, I no longer think Duran is a great candidate for an extension, unless he'll sign something that he shouldn't. At least not now. He's already 27 and under control through 2028—i.e., we already have him through his age-31 season—and he's already broken out.

[EDIT: AAAAH! Mixed up the math because I forgot about super-two! Revising...]

2024 27 | Prearb
2025 28 | Arb 1
2026 29 | Arb 2
2027 30 | Arb 3
2028 31 | Arb 4 — he's super two!
[FREE AGENCY]
2029 32 | FA
etc.

He goes to arbitration next year. He's on pace for like 8 WAR. who's his best arb comp now: McCutchen? So let's say his arb awards are like $10m, $15m, $20m, and $25m — 40, 60, and 80 percent of the $25m salary in FA for a player like him. (Feel free to quibble with that estimate; FYI, the record first-year arb award is Bellinger's $11.5m coming off an MVP season.) So he is essentially on a non-guaranteed 4/$70m deal now.

So while I'd offer it to him, I don't think he signs, say, 6/$125m. Why should he? It's much more valuable to him to be a 31-year-old FA. I wouldn't want the Sox to offer a 27-year-old three years from FA an 8/$160m (through age 35) or 10/$200m (through age 37) deal, which is probably where we'd need to go to make it interesting to him.

Maybe you could get him to bite on an insurance policy of sorts: offer him a back-loaded 6/$130m deal with a voidable opt-out structure with the timing lining up with his current FA year: $12.5m, $12.5, $12.5, $12.5 — opt out — $30, $30, where the Sox could void the opt out by tacking on another two years at $30m each. This way, he can lock in tens of millions — attractive! — without giving up too much upside. Such a deal has one of three states:
  • Duran opts out, and the Sox don't void it: 4/$50m. Sox come out ahead (of the current arb projections that I made up)!
  • Duran opts out, and the Sox do void it. 8/$170m. I'd say the Sox probably come out ahead. In effect this means that he's been good enough on the 4/$50m portion that we want to keep him around into his 30s, and if that happens, 4/$120m is probably pretty sensible — perhaps it's a mild overpay to compensate him for the underpayment in his late-20s.
  • Duran opts in. 6/$110m. This is a team-friendly outcome ex ante, but it very likely only happens if Duran doesn't come close to repeating this season over the next three for whatever reason.
I think TR is right that if he goes to FA, even at 31, playing like he is (big if), someone will give him $200m (or likely more) to play until he's 40. So I don't know that he accepts our insurance offer.

So this goes back to some of the arguments people are having about Bello and Rafaela's extensions. If you wait to extend until after the player breaks out, the team is no longer in position to get a bargain. Getting a team-friendly deal means taking on risk.
 
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BaseballJones

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Duran is under team control through 2028, at which point he will have just turned 32 years of age. I'm not sure at that point that signing him to a huge contract is the wisest thing. Maybe it would be. Maybe not. I'd look to see if they can extend him sooner than later and grab two more seasons to take him through his 34th birthday, and then let him explore free agency.

But if they can't extend him, they've still got him during his prime for four more seasons after this. That's a long time in baseball.
 

YTF

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To me, the most impressive thing is that he was able to acknowledge and address his anxiety issues from last year. To go from the player who gave up on a play after misplaying a fly ball to one of the best players in the entire league is an incredibly impressive feat, and he deserves immense credit for that.
+1 Many of us (myself included) were very critical of Duran after that play. I think there were a few other lesser moments where he seemed to lack focus which in hindsight are now better understood. After Duran spoke about his mental health issues I think most of us looked at him differently. All of that said, I was still hoping that the Sox might have found a trade partner who was interested in Duran. Early last season his defense seemed to be improved, he looked to be getting better reads and taking better routes to the ball, but as the season wore on that seemed to unravel and then in August he had the the toe injury that shut him down for the rest of the season. It was far from a sell high situation, but given his mental health issues and the scrutiny of the Boston media and fan base I thought he was a prime candidate for one of those "change of scenery" deals. In hindsight the Sox would have sold incredibly low on Duran and I am happy to admit that I could not have been more wrong and even happier that Duran is riding high as he continues to work on being well.
 

Yelling At Clouds

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If 31-year-old Jarren Duran is still good enough to return a starting OF, a consensus top-100 MI prospect, and a throw-in who turns out to be a starting catcher, then I think we will all be pleased with that outcome.
 

simplicio

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I was in the sell camp this winter (obviously wrong, didn't expect the tremendous defensive leap) for the same reason I still oppose an extension: too much of his identity is based on speed, and the drop-off there going into his thirties is just inevitable. I'm very happy to enjoy what he's giving us now and I hope he gets the max possible arbitration, but I don't see him as a good long term investment.
 

Manuel Aristides

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To me, the most impressive thing is that he was able to acknowledge and address his anxiety issues from last year. To go from the player who gave up on a play after misplaying a fly ball to one of the best players in the entire league is an incredibly impressive feat, and he deserves immense credit for that.
Full agree; it also makes it a little easier to buy into this improvement being real/sustainable. Sample size is such an issue in baseball, but here we have extrinsic evidence to believe that a still-relatively-small-sample is backed by actual change and therefore may not be mere statistical noise/luck. Still a bit of once-bitten twice-shy with Jarren, but, personally, starting to relax into the idea that he is at least capable of being this guy going forward.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Also adding myself to the "Go year to year" with him. He's definitely a type that could lose a step and turn into a replacement level type. They have him locked into his most productive seasons on an incredible value. And yeah.... if suddenly Bleis looks unstoppable (which I'm skeptical about happening), Anthony continues to tear up the minors and Abreu, Lugo, Campbell can all keep raking then there is the opportunity to trade him in 2 seasons. I'm not advocating for this, just pointing it out
 

Fishy1

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Why would the Red Sox suddenly change their policy of not paying top dollars for free agents in their 30s after on great year with Duran? It is not trolling. The team thinks paying top money for people on the wrong side of 30 doesn't make sense. The fact that after they have said this over and over and you think they somehow are going to change their position means you need to start paying attention. But not it is trolling to point this out.

Now if Duran trips over himself next year and becomes a depreciated asset, they will be all over extending him.

Unless the Duran takes a huge discount to stay, he is going to get ~ 200+/8 from someone, the Red Sox will not do that. If Duran was younger, they would have engaged.
Ignoring your typical salvo, saying this over and over again vehemntly doesn't make it true. They locked up Devers until he's nearly 37. They signed Story till he was 34. They doled out 85 million for Yoshida till he's 35. And there's of course a long history of other deals: Pedroia, JD Drew, Ortiz, Manny. Bogaerts and Mookie have really been the exceptions, I think. No, the Story deals and Yoshida were not "top dollar," but they spent the money, nonetheless. Those deals are shaping up to be disasters, of course.

What they've shown a true reluctance to do is give pitchers on the wrong side of 30 big deals, a strategy which I think makes a lot o fsense. Nonetheless, I see the argument @nvalvo is making: unless Duran is feeling particularly risk-averse, the best thing to do is probably to bet on himself. I wasn't envisioning a megadeal through age 38, I was imagining buying out a couple of years of free agency at a premium along with an opt-out, as @nvalvo outlined. But if he doesn't want to do something like that, and he wants to go to free agency, and he's going to command 7/250, I think that yeah, the Red Sox will probably be inclined to pass (and they should).

But contrary to what others are saying, Duran's value is not tied derived only from his speed. His speed is a huge boon, but he also hits the ball tremendously hard. He's not Hamilton, with a 30-35% HH%: he's got nearly 700 straight plate appearances of a HH% in the upper quartile of players. He's on pace for nearly 20 home runs. His defense is helped by his speed but his jumps are also much improved.

Is it true that athletic players age more poorly than unathletic ones? I would think athletic players age better than the slow-footed ones. Jacoby is a sad example of a guy who fell off a cliff, but Johnny Damon was 2.5-4 win player well into his 30's. Jose Altuve is still on pace for 20 stolen bases in his mid 30's, as is Starling Marte.
 

TomRicardo

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Ignoring your typical salvo, saying this over and over again vehemntly doesn't make it true. They locked up Devers until he's nearly 37. They signed Story till he was 34. They doled out 85 million for Yoshida till he's 35. And there's of course a long history of other deals: Pedroia, JD Drew, Ortiz, Manny. Bogaerts and Mookie have really been the exceptions, I think. No, the Story deals and Yoshida were not "top dollar," but they spent the money, nonetheless. Those deals are shaping up to be disasters, of course.

What they've shown a true reluctance to do is give pitchers on the wrong side of 30 big deals, a strategy which I think makes a lot o fsense. Nonetheless, I see the argument @nvalvo is making: unless Duran is feeling particularly risk-averse, the best thing to do is probably to bet on himself. I wasn't envisioning a megadeal through age 38, I was imagining buying out a couple of years of free agency at a premium along with an opt-out, as @nvalvo outlined. But if he doesn't want to do something like that, and he wants to go to free agency, and he's going to command 7/250, I think that yeah, the Red Sox will probably be inclined to pass (and they should).

But contrary to what others are saying, Duran's value is not tied derived only from his speed. His speed is a huge boon, but he also hits the ball tremendously hard. He's not Hamilton, with a 30-35% HH%: he's got nearly 700 straight plate appearances of a HH% in the upper quartile of players. He's on pace for nearly 20 home runs. His defense is helped by his speed but his jumps are also much improved.

Is it true that athletic players age more poorly than unathletic ones? I would think athletic players age better than the slow-footed ones. Jacoby is a sad example of a guy who fell off a cliff, but Johnny Damon was 2.5-4 win player well into his 30's. Jose Altuve is still on pace for 20 stolen bases in his mid 30's, as is Starling Marte.
Salvo? Despite you coming at me twice I haven't said anything about you because frankly I don't know you.

Do you think Yoshida and Story were paying for premium talent? Do you understand what premium talent makes in the MLB today? 85/5 will get you outside the top 75 players in AAV. Bloom saw both players as distress assets that represented market inefficiencies. In theory there was a logic to each. In reality they were not and that is why Bloom no longer has a job.

Also I am not saying Duran is not worth a contract, I am saying the Red Sox are not going to pay 25 million a year over 4 plus years some team will offer Duran. Personally I think the way he is playing someone will give him over 200 million. I never said he wasn't worth money in fact comparing it to Mookie (even jokingly) says something. So why are you writing paragraphs trying to argue with me that Duran is going to hold up?

What do you think is more likely? The Red Sox extend Duran at a below market 150/6 or the Red Sox will trade Duran this offseason for some pitching and go with Abreu, Rafaela, and Anthony going forward?
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Salvo? Despite you coming at me twice I haven't said anything about you because frankly I don't know you.

Do you think Yoshida and Story were paying for premium talent? Do you understand what premium talent makes in the MLB today? 85/5 will get you outside the top 75 players in AAV. Bloom saw both players as distress assets that represented market inefficiencies. In theory there was a logic to each. In reality they were not and that is why Bloom no longer has a job.

Also I am not saying Duran is not worth a contract, I am saying the Red Sox are not going to pay 25 million a year over 4 plus years some team will offer Duran. Personally I think the way he is playing someone will give him over 200 million. I never said he wasn't worth money in fact comparing it to Mookie (even jokingly) says something. So why are you writing paragraphs trying to argue with me that Duran is going to hold up?

What do you think is more likely? The Red Sox extend Duran at a below market 150/6 or the Red Sox will trade Duran this offseason for some pitching and go with Abreu, Rafaela, and Anthony going forward?
This is a total thread hijack by you but what evidence do you have of this as it's some sort of standard operating procedure? They aren't the Rays or the A's. They screwed up with- in my memory- Mookie and Lester. Everyone else that they traded or let go after the 6 year rookie contract or FA contract or extension ended up for the most part being a good decision. I'm sure that there's some that we could argue about either way but for the most part they've made good calls.

But as for your last question.... I'd vote for neither on this and it's not an either/or question. It's not even a multiple choice. There's plenty of other options.
 

Fishy1

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Salvo? Despite you coming at me twice I haven't said anything about you because frankly I don't know you.

Do you think Yoshida and Story were paying for premium talent? Do you understand what premium talent makes in the MLB today? 85/5 will get you outside the top 75 players in AAV. Bloom saw both players as distress assets that represented market inefficiencies. In theory there was a logic to each. In reality they were not and that is why Bloom no longer has a job.

Also I am not saying Duran is not worth a contract, I am saying the Red Sox are not going to pay 25 million a year over 4 plus years some team will offer Duran. Personally I think the way he is playing someone will give him over 200 million. I never said he wasn't worth money in fact comparing it to Mookie (even jokingly) says something. So why are you writing paragraphs trying to argue with me that Duran is going to hold up?

What do you think is more likely? The Red Sox extend Duran at a below market 150/6 or the Red Sox will trade Duran this offseason for some pitching and go with Abreu, Rafaela, and Anthony going forward?
I'm not really even sure what you're arguing anymore. I've never said they should try to buy him at 7/200 when he hits free agency--as far as I can tell that's a strawman you've invented. I do find it plausible that someone would offer that to him in free agency if he keeps playing the way he has, but I don't think the Sox should pay him if he gets that offer. Why would they want to pay him 7/200 million for his age 33-40 seasons? We're... not in disagreement there. I'm not sure how you got the impression that we were.

And yes, I know what premium talent makes, and yes, I understand the logic to the Story and Yoshida deals, and yes, I know that's why Bloom was fired? Furthermore, Duran is not premium talent in the way Xander or Mookie or Devers were, at least not yet: he's had about one full season of top ten at ages 26-27. For that reason he might be open to an extension in this offseason or next.

As for comparing him to Story... if they were willing to buy Story at 6/140, why wouldn't they try to extend Duran at 150/6? They extended Xander for a deal that was pretty similar to what we're discussing, with an opt-out. Xander took 6/120 (in an admittedly different market) despite having a much longer track record of success.

I just don't get why you think it's so certain the Sox won't pay try for a pre-arb extension to Duran if they can get him to consider a pre-arb/arb extension. I don't see why that's such a crazy position. The argument against it is that he's only had one season of really great play, and that's a reasonable argument.

And no, I don't see them trading Duran for some pitching this offseason because pitching is an even more volatile commodity than fast outfielders, Roman Anthony is by no means a sure thing (he is having a decent but unremarkable time in AA right now), and Duran is on his way to 7 fWAR season after great production last year. And while I'd like to see them try to extend Duran, I don't know if it will happen because I can't see the future.

And I'd like to apologize for being rude, because I can see I was. Also, can I get some reality testing from an independent party? Am I acting insane?
 

radsoxfan

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Is it true that athletic players age more poorly than unathletic ones? I would think athletic players age better than the slow-footed ones. Jacoby is a sad example of a guy who fell off a cliff, but Johnny Damon was 2.5-4 win player well into his 30's. Jose Altuve is still on pace for 20 stolen bases in his mid 30's, as is Starling Marte.
Wasn’t the talk around the time of the Carl Crawford signing that more athletic players tend to age better? Is that theory reversed now?

Obviously there will be plenty of anecdotal examples of every possibility, but not sure where the overall data leans.

I’d echo most here that given his current age and amount of control left, going to year to year probably makes sense.

Now if he is particularly risk averse, I’m sure there is a discount the Red Sox should entertain that guaranteed his arb years and maybe extends a couple seasons into FA (preferably with team option(s) at the end).

It could still be a lot of guaranteed $ for someone who was looking like a fringe major leaguer for awhile. Duran may just want to get something done and I wouldn’t blame him.
 

nvalvo

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Wasn’t the talk around the time of the Carl Crawford signing that more athletic players tend to age better? Is that theory reversed now?
That’s what Bill James said. His interpretation was that players with “young-player skills” like speed *learn* the “old-player skills” like power and swing decisions which help them overcome the effects of age, while the guys who come up with “old-player skills” just age without any compensatory benefit. They lose a touch of bat speed or and they’re out of the league, unless they’re signed to a Chris Davis-sized contract, in which case they linger painfully.

The big question IMO is whether the signal James was picking up in his analysis was just… steroids and HGH. I mean, Barry Bonds is the best example of James’ argument (other than Rickey): super-athletic phenom ages into the best patience and power hitter… ever? But we know he had pharmacological assistance that helped him extend his career to make that transition possible.
 

Fishy1

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Nov 10, 2006
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Wasn’t the talk around the time of the Carl Crawford signing that more athletic players tend to age better? Is that theory reversed now?

Obviously there will be plenty of anecdotal examples of every possibility, but not sure where the overall data leans.

I’d echo most here that given his current age and amount of control left, going to year to year probably makes sense.

Now if he is particularly risk averse, I’m sure there is a discount the Red Sox should entertain that guaranteed his arb years and maybe extends a couple seasons into FA (preferably with team option(s) at the end).

It could still be a lot of guaranteed $ for someone who was looking like a fringe major leaguer for awhile. Duran may just want to get something done and I wouldn’t blame him.
All of this makes a lot of sense to me. I could see why Duran might jump at a deal like that or defer and go through arbitration.

That’s what Bill James said. His interpretation was that players with “young-player skills” like speed *learn* the “old-player skills” like power and swing decisions which help them overcome the effects of age, while the guys who come up with “old-player skills” just age without any compensatory benefit. They lose a touch of bat speed or and they’re out of the league, unless they’re signed to a Chris Davis-sized contract, in which case they linger painfully.

The big question IMO is whether the signal James was picking up in his analysis was just… steroids and HGH. I mean, Barry Bonds is the best example of James’ argument (other than Rickey): super-athletic phenom ages into the best patience and power hitter… ever? But we know he had pharmacological assistance that helped him extend his career to make that transition possible.
Yeah, it's an interesting question. Altuve is a good example of this. Walk rates around 5-6% when he came up, climbing to 8-11% after some exposure to the big leagues.

But I'd add that it's not only that they have more time to learn other skills because they have a carrying skill. It's that when their athleticism falls off, it turns them into an average athlete rather than an awful one. When Duran slows down he'll be, like, 75th percentile speed. When someone like Abreu slows down, he'll be 30th percentile, and his defense will suffer as a result. Duran might still be a plus defender if he's a little slower.

It also depends on how they approach their 30's. Guys like Bonds and Hanley Ramirez opted to bulk up. Other guys opt to stay lean.

But again, Duran isn't a great player right now because of his speed alone. He's a great player because he changed the way he swings and approaches at-bats, and because he changed the way he played defense. The guy has shown a tremendous ability to make adjustments. That alone gives me a lot of faith in him going forward.
 

TomRicardo

rusty cohlebone
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Feb 6, 2006
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I just don't get why you think it's so certain the Sox won't pay try for a pre-arb extension to Duran if they can get him to consider a pre-arb/arb extension. I don't see why that's such a crazy position. The argument against it is that he's only had one season of really great play, and that's a reasonable argument.
Because it doesn't make sense to? They are already in arb this year because he was a super 2. You have four years of arb which will get you through his prime. Arb is suppose to price a player at sizable fraction of their worth until the last season. I don't think it makes sense for Duran to sign an extension for one or two more years unless you are going to spread the contract value over the years. It might make a ton of sense to trade Duran his last year under control because you do have Anthony, Abreu, and Rafaela to fill another hole. I joked about Mookie but Duran would be way more defendable to trade away. Lets say the White Sox said they would Roberts for Duran straight up, you would do that now. Even though they are both under the same control and Roberts has an injury history, Roberts offers you RHB and a set price for the rest of his contract.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Mar 11, 2007
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Because it doesn't make sense to? They are already in arb this year because he was a super 2. You have four years of arb which will get you through his prime. Arb is suppose to price a player at sizable fraction of their worth until the last season. I don't think it makes sense for Duran to sign an extension for one or two more years unless you are going to spread the contract value over the years. It might make a ton of sense to trade Duran his last year under control because you do have Anthony, Abreu, and Rafaela to fill another hole. I joked about Mookie but Duran would be way more defendable to trade away. Lets say the White Sox said they would Roberts for Duran straight up, you would do that now. Even though they are both under the same control and Roberts has an injury history, Roberts offers you RHB and a set price for the rest of his contract.
This is weird. You're quoting me but I didn't write that......
 

simplicio

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Apr 11, 2012
6,294
Is it true that athletic players age more poorly than unathletic ones? I would think athletic players age better than the slow-footed ones. Jacoby is a sad example of a guy who fell off a cliff, but Johnny Damon was 2.5-4 win player well into his 30's. Jose Altuve is still on pace for 20 stolen bases in his mid 30's, as is Starling Marte.
For reference, there were only 42 hitters in baseball that put up 2+ fWAR their age 34 season from 2013-23, and most of them were far better hitters in their twenties than Duran has been. The odds are extremely long.
 

Van Everyman

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Apr 30, 2009
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To me, the most impressive thing is that he was able to acknowledge and address his anxiety issues from last year. To go from the player who gave up on a play after misplaying a fly ball to one of the best players in the entire league is an incredibly impressive feat, and he deserves immense credit for that.
100% agree. This video isn’t amazing but it does a nice job showing what he has gone through to get to this spot. Also, it reminded me that Duran actually had some buzz when he came to the organization:
View: https://youtu.be/DxBe-rMH2Ss?si=5hbKbzK5F0Y-VlWR
 

bringbackburks

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Jul 21, 2005
71
The leverage is mostly with the Red Sox right now because they've got Duran's most productive years locked up for low money. Most of the time clubs want to buy out the 28-31 years by using the low cost of the early years as leverage but the Sox already have those. Any contact or extension past 31 is buying years 32-35 and there's correspondingly less reason for the Sox to do this because they're not getting any typically elite years. That's not to say that Duran won't be good from 32-35, but not elite. The odds that any club wants to give Duran elite money for years 32-38 is not terribly high. The Sox should be looking at something like 8-180. That feels close to an appropriate risk for both sides.