Hot Stove Rumors - The Fenway Edition

Rough Carrigan

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E5 Yaz said:
Conceivably, I'd like a reserve outfielder that has some defensive value. Nava in RF in Fenway for any long stretch of time, if such a case arose, does not seem ideal.
 
Meanwhile, I'll ask because I simply don't know, is Quintin Berry worth bring back as a fifth outfielder?
I think they play it right by not wanting to carry a guy like that for 162 games but wanting him around for a tight postseason series.
 

TOleary25

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BCsMightyJoeYoung said:
 
Have they completely given up on Justin Smoak? I know he's been viewed as a disappointment so fay but he's still only 27.
 
I really hope Jack Z is on Ben's speed dial 
 
I'm assuming one of LoMo/Hart is playing the outfield and the other is the DH. I would guess LoMo is the guy going to the outfield since Hart's coming off an injury.
 

kazuneko

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BCsMightyJoeYoung said:
 
People just won't let go of this "platoon partner for JBJ" binky
 
The FO has stated rather clearly that they want JBJ to be the full time CF - and they don't need a backup as Vic is available for that role.
 
That's not to say they wouldn't upgrade LF given an opportunistic deal - hence the kicking of tires on Choo, Beltran and Kemp. I think they really like Nava's present - but haven't made the Troy Oleary mistake of falling in love with his future.
 
And it's also not to say they wouldn't like to see a AAA CF who could come up when needed and not completely suck. 

 
A) The front office could be posturing as they may still be in trade discussions for a CF,  and B) even if they are comfortable going all-in on JBJ, it's perfectly reasonable to question that decision.
I mean come on, you really think it's good roster construction to carry two defensively challenged OF/1B types (Nava and Carp)  instead of filling the extra spot with an Eric Chavez (i.e. a  guy who can play 1b/3b and hits LH) or a Chris Denorfia ( i.e. a guy who could be a reasonable back-up plan at CF who can also platoon with JBJ)? 
 

Bigpupp

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TOleary25 said:
 
I'm assuming one of LoMo/Hart is playing the outfield and the other is the DH. I would guess LoMo is the guy going to the outfield since Hart's coming off an injury.
But they also have Montero. Someone has to be the odd guy out.
 

BCsMightyJoeYoung

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kazuneko said:
A) The front office could be posturing as they may still be in trade discussions for a CF,  and B) even if they are comfortable going all-in on JBJ, it's perfectly reasonable to question that decision.
I mean come on, you really think it's good roster construction to carry two defensively challenged OF/1B types (Nava and Carp)  instead of filling the extra spot with an Eric Chavez (i.e. a  guy who can play 1b/3b and hits LH) or a Chris Denorfia ( i.e. a guy who could be a reasonable back-up plan at CF who can also platoon with JBJ)?
I think Mike Carp has a lot more value than Eric Chavez or Chris Denorfia going forward. He's Napoli/Papi insurance and could very well be Papi's ultimate replacement. As such I don't want to sell low just for an incredibly small marginal upgrade those guys might provide. I can see an argument for a backup RH CF .. (Not as a platoon partner) .. But not at Carp's expense.

First, I don't see any evidence that JBJ needs to be platooned in the first place. Secondly, I think the best way to break in a rookie is as a full time player .. He's not going to learn how to hit left handers sitting on the bench. This is about developing JBJ as good major league player and not about gaining .2 of a Win
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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kazuneko said:
I mean come on, you really think it's good roster construction to carry two defensively challenged OF/1B types (Nava and Carp)  instead of filling the extra spot with an Eric Chavez (i.e. a  guy who can play 1b/3b and hits LH) or a Chris Denorfia ( i.e. a guy who could be a reasonable back-up plan at CF who can also platoon with JBJ)? 
 
They did exactly that for the entire 2013 season and it worked out all right.
 
Not to say that they shouldn't be looking for at least one more outfielder who can cover CF sufficiently, but that player can be one who spends most of the year stashed in Pawtucket in the same way JBJ was this past season.  They don't necessarily need a platoon partner for a player who has not exhibited a significant platoon split in his minor league career.
 

Plympton91

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Red(s)HawksFan said:
 
They did exactly that for the entire 2013 season and it worked out all right.
 
Not to say that they shouldn't be looking for at least one more outfielder who can cover CF sufficiently, but that player can be one who spends most of the year stashed in Pawtucket in the same way JBJ was this past season.  They don't necessarily need a platoon partner for a player who has not exhibited a significant platoon split in his minor league career.
 
It doesn't really need to be a true CF, because they have Victorino, but it does need to be someone who you wouldn't mind playing in RF in Fenway for a month if necessary.  Neither Carp nor Nava is that player.
 

kazuneko

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BCsMightyJoeYoung said:
I think Mike Carp has a lot more value than Eric Chavez or Chris Denorfia going forward. He's Napoli/Papi insurance and could very well be Papi's ultimate replacement. As such I don't want to sell low just for an incredibly small marginal upgrade those guys might provide. I can see an argument for a backup RH CF .. (Not as a platoon partner) .. But not at Carp's expense.

 
 
It's not clear the Sox would be "selling low" on Carp at all. He did put up some big numbers last season but he also had a completely unsustainable .385 BABIP and is the type of player that needs to hit at a high level to compensate for his poor defense. In fact, you could easily argue that in an offseason when multiple teams are looking for a 1B, there may be no better time to get value in a Carp trade. 
 
 
 
First, I don't see any evidence that JBJ needs to be platooned in the first place. 
 
In 2013, JBJ's AAA  OPS was .107 points lower against LHP. In the majors, the primary reason his overall numbers ended up looking so bad is that he hit like a pitcher against LHP (.327 OPS in what admittedly was a very small sample). 
 
 
 
Secondly, I think the best way to break in a rookie is as a full time player .. He's not going to learn how to hit left handers sitting on the bench. This is about developing JBJ as good major league player and not about gaining .2 of a Win
 
As a LHB he would still get the vast majority of CF ABs.
I get it that your primary concern is the team's longterm success, but this is a championship team with a chance to repeat - maximizing the competitiveness of next year's roster does matter. 
 

Clears Cleaver

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When was the last time the Sox went through the winter meetings and did not have at least one transaction?
 

kazuneko

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Red(s)HawksFan said:
 
They did exactly that for the entire 2013 season and it worked out all right.
 
 
Last year their starter in CF was an all-star. Not sure this year is that comparable...
 

MoGator71

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I'm definitely on board with it being the smart move to replace one of our corner bat types with somebody who could play CF/RF if necessary, but I don't see why we're limiting it to Carp/Nava. I'd much rather move the guy who can barely play LF, can't play any other position, can't hit RHP, and thinks he's an everyday player. And is more expensive than the other 2 combined. Defensively, a Carp/Gomes platoon in LF is pretty brutal, so Nava stays. And if Napoli goes down Carp is your 1B, because if Carp goes and you need Nava at 1B then you're stuck with Gomes playing every day which means crappy D and crappy hitting 2/3 of the time. No thanks. Either stand pat and trust JBJ, or replace Gomes with somebody who can play RF/CF and ideally hit righty so he can play LF vs. lefties. 
 
2012 Cody Ross would be perfect...somebody like that.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Nava played 69 games in RF this past season and we did okay. He played more innings in RF last year than he did in LF.
 
It's not like we're in trouble if he has to play 15 games in right while someone goes on the DL.
 
Fielding Bible has Nava as about an average OF last year (which is surprising, especially considering he played a lot of LF in Fenway, where their numbers aren't adjusted enough for the Wall IMO.)
 
In LF last year they have him as -1 in 469 innings. In RF they have him as -3 last year in 493 innings and +1 in 2012 in only 20.1 innings. He's not as bad as everyone seems to fear.
 
I don't think we're going to be using a roster spot on a backup CF this year, at least not at the start. But we really need a decent guy in AAA who can come up and play the position. Right now, we really don't have anyone in that spot. Hazelbaker's gone, Linares got dropped to AA last year, Brentz and Hassan are corner OFs. Sox Prospects has an organizational depth chart, and we look really solidly deep everywhere on the field except CF and SS.
 
We can't go into the season with Shannon Wilkerson as the #2 CF on the depth chart (he's behind Victorino there too obviously, but right now he is the presumptive starter in Pawtucket.) Wilkerson's going to be 26 this year and the highest OBP he's ever managed in the pros is .322 in A ball. We don't want to see him playing for the Red Sox this year and frankly I don't even want him to be the regular CF for Pawtucket.
 
We need someone who will start the year as Pawtucket's CF who can ride the shuttle and has a chance of not being terrible if he played for the big club for a couple weeks. (The Yankees added a guy like that with a minor league deal to Antoan Richardson, who will never be a regular in the majors but who could be useful when stashed at AAA.)
 
Similar deal at SS, where Marrero will only be starting AA ball this year. In that spot, we should carry someone on the 25-man who can play SS for a couple weeks if Bogaerts or Middlebrooks is hurt or playing badly for a long time. A guy like that who is primarily a SS (and who can play solid defense there) gives you depth for both positions. I think Munenori Kawasaki  would be a decent choice for that spot. He would cost virtually nothing to acquire (might even take a minor league deal) plays about a league average SS defensively, can play 2B, gets on base decently for a SS (.326 OBP last year) can run a little bit. Solid utility IF who can play SS for a couple weeks if needed and not kill us.
 
I'm fine with shooting higher than that, but it's got to be a guy who can play solid SS defensively for that role IMO. There aren't many around who aren't terrible with the bat.
 

curly2

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Nicolino's numbers were very underwhelming as a 21-year-old last year. I would rather they really work with Middlebrooks to improve his approach than trade him for a lefty who seems more of a "pitchability" guy then a pitcher with great stuff.
 

ivanvamp

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BoSoxFink said:
No more Drew please, give WMB another shot, it's so damn hard to come by power bats
Agree, agree, agree. Especially since I think X has more value to the team as a SS.

But then again, the more quality young pitching they assemble, the more ammo they have, perhaps, to get a real masher in another trade. (No idea who that might be, though)
 

nattysez

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Where is this Nicolino rumor coming from beyond a single tweet that cites no sources?  Trading WMB for anyone at this point is a mistake unless the Sox think he's not very good.  The Drew stuff is already being discussed at length in the Drew 2.0 thread, but I'll add here that signing Drew does not necessarily mean that WMB is gone.  If he's willing, Drew could serve as the utility INF. 
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Can we put this Drew utility thing to bed please? From last offseason:
 
“The Yankees wanted me to go play third, play a role, go to short, second, whatever,” said Drew. “First of all, I haven’t been a platoon player. That’s asking a lot of an everyday player to go play somewhere different. You never know how the year would pan out, but the Red Sox needed a shortstop, and for me it’s been a blessing coming over here and playing with this team that’s got a lot of life. I feel like I’m a good fit here.”
link
 

Ananti

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If Trumbo coming off a .234 .294 .453 .747 year (with 34 HR) can get you Tyler Skaggs, you'd think WMB (.254 .294 .462 .756 with 32 HR in 169 games) can get you better than Nicolino.
 

jimbobim

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The problem with walking down the "signing Drew" road is it effectively kills the usefulness of WMB on this team unless you deal Carp or WMB magically learns how to play 2B. I personally think WMB could get a lot on the trade market. I'd be interested in a young outfielder or in my dreams Price (I doubt the Rays would consider this without X, Bradley, or Owens so pretty much impossible) . 
 

Savin Hillbilly

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BeantownIdaho said:
It seems like we already have several Nicolinos in our farm system...doesn't seem like that rumor has any legs unless it involves other moving parts
 
Agreed. He sounds like a poor man's Owens, or maybe a rich man's Brian Johnson. A potentially useful guy, but not a guy you give up 30-HR power for one-up if you can help it.
 

Byrdbrain

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Why this many posts on a tweet the starts with "Speculation but ...". Doesn't even seem worth discussing.
 
Edit: Well I guess it is the rumor thread, carry on.
 

YTF

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soxhop411 said:
 
Red Sox Stats ‏@redsoxstats2h
Speculation but it seems to be shaping up along the lines of: Dempster traded for salary relief, Sox re-sign Drew, WMB to MIA for Nicolino.
 
 
OK so WMB for Nicolino is a bit curious. One thing no one has mentioned yet....IF  this has any legs at all could it be part of a larger deal? Other players OR perhaps a third team involved looking to add Dempster as a #4 or #5 guy?
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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Must be part of a Stanton deal, right? Please?

But seriously, I really hope they don't move wmb for nicolino, and and up resigning Drew.
 

JimD

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pjr said:
Who is this? Reliable source or a red sox fan dreaming?
 
I doubt it's a reliable source - leaks of actual Sox deals while they were in the works have been relatively rare since Ben has been GM.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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One part of the calculus in a hypothetical scenario where the Sox sign Drew and trade Wombat for Nicolino is the opportunity cost of the lost supplementary draft pick.  Seems to me like Nicolino isn't all that much more valuable than that draft pick, and plays a position that's a far less pressing need for the Sox system than WMB.
 
In other words, if the Sox were to let Drew go and collect the pick they'd be getting a Nicolino-sized asset "for free".  Of course they'd need to find a player for the left side of the infield to replace Drew, but a good-fielding SS/3B seems like a much easier hole to plug than a young, cost-controlled, reasonable-fielding 3B prospect with very good power potential.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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Mugsys Jock said:
One part of the calculus in a hypothetical scenario where the Sox sign Drew and trade Wombat for Nicolino is the opportunity cost of the lost supplementary draft pick. 
 
Yes, and for this reason I suspect that the Sox are only going to go that route if both of these conditions are true:
 
1) The market for Drew has collapsed to the point where there are no plausible candidates to give up a pick to sign him, and the supplementary pick has therefore become, in essence, a sunk cost.
2) They are convinced that WMB will not be able to adjust to ML pitching long-term and that the time to cash in is this winter while he still has any value at all.
 
(1) sounds far more likely than (2), but if only (1) and not (2) is true, there's no reason to be in a hurry to sign Drew. OTOH, if you are trying to move WMB now, then securing Drew becomes a priority.
 

Drek717

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pjr said:
Who is this? Reliable source or a red sox fan dreaming?
I wouldn't call that a dream.  Would strike me as a real sell low.  Nicolino has some decent upside, but I don't think he's a substantially better prospect than Brian Johnson and I definitely don't think he's on the level of an Owens.  He's a command pitcher with solid but not blow you away stuff who saw his K rate drop pretty sharply with the jump up to A+ last year, then saw his WHIP jump sharply with the move to AA.  Command is nice but I'd have legitimate concern that his stuff can play at the higher levels given how 2013 went for him.  
 
He'd fill a gap in the Sox' pitching depth as a AA guy next year, since most of the depth is either in AAA or the low minors, and that'll be important if the Sox want to rely on the farm for pitching depth in 2015/2016, but he's not the guy you trade someone with Middelbrooks' ceiling for, especially when the next 3B option for the Sox, Cecchini, might get promoted faster than his defensive development can keep up due to a great bat.
 

joe dokes

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Savin Hillbilly said:
 
Yes, and for this reason I suspect that the Sox are only going to go that route if both of these conditions are true:
 
1) The market for Drew has collapsed to the point where there are no plausible candidates to give up a pick to sign him, and the supplementary pick has therefore become, in essence, a sunk cost.
2) They are convinced that WMB will not be able to adjust to ML pitching long-term and that the time to cash in is this winter while he still has any value at all.
 
(1) sounds far more likely than (2), but if only (1) and not (2) is true, there's no reason to be in a hurry to sign Drew. OTOH, if you are trying to move WMB now, then securing Drew becomes a priority.
 
I think the bolded might be amended to include, "or, if another team has expressed a serious (and potentially rewarding for the Sox) interest in WMB."  Either of the OTOH possibilities, though, require securing Drew.
 

jimbobim

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I think we can all agree WMB is an asset with some good power potential but contact and pitch recognition issues. He's probably the best third base option available. He could also theoretically play first base. If they are quietly shopping him there should be a substantial market. 
 
I wouldn't mind inquiring on Owings or Gregorious(isn't he very similar to Inglesias ?) . Maybe package a Peavy or Lackey with WMB and I think Arizona listens. 
 

Doctor G

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Savin Hillbilly said:
 
Yes, and for this reason I suspect that the Sox are only going to go that route if both of these conditions are true:
 
1) The market for Drew has collapsed to the point where there are no plausible candidates to give up a pick to sign him, and the supplementary pick has therefore become, in essence, a sunk cost.
2) They are convinced that WMB will not be able to adjust to ML pitching long-term and that the time to cash in is this winter while he still has any value at all.
 
(1) sounds far more likely than (2), but if only (1) and not (2) is true, there's no reason to be in a hurry to sign Drew. OTOH, if you are trying to move WMB now, then securing Drew becomes a priority.ith th 
As far as 2) goes I would think their evaluation would also include their long-term prognosis onWMB defense.If they are not confident  his offense is sufficient to make up for defensive liabilities (ie. is he really just another Butch Hobson). 
In this case they might decide to go with Drew or  sign a 3B option like Juan Uribe who could fill in at SS and would probably be cheaper in years and money than Stephen  Drew.
In this scenario you can retain WMB as a trading chip or as a potential UI covering 3B and 2B. The Dodgers and Sox are facing similar evaluation challenges on the left side of the IF.
 

Harry Hooper

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The (unknown to us) condition/prognosis for Will's back also lurks behind any talk of him getting moved by the Sox.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Savin Hillbilly said:
 
Yes, and for this reason I suspect that the Sox are only going to go that route if both of these conditions are true:
 
1) The market for Drew has collapsed to the point where there are no plausible candidates to give up a pick to sign him, and the supplementary pick has therefore become, in essence, a sunk cost.
2) They are convinced that WMB will not be able to adjust to ML pitching long-term and that the time to cash in is this winter while he still has any value at all.
 
(1) sounds far more likely than (2), but if only (1) and not (2) is true, there's no reason to be in a hurry to sign Drew. OTOH, if you are trying to move WMB now, then securing Drew becomes a priority.
 
Is that really possible?  My understanding is that the Sox only lose the supplementary pick if no team signs Draw to a major league contract by the next amateur draft, which seems incredibly unlikely.  As the price gets lower, somebody will sign him.
 

Yaz4Ever

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Eck'sSneakyCheese said:
I hope they stick with WMB, and they let Drew go elsewhere. Dempster gone wouldn't break my heart.
 
 
SoxLegacy said:
I am with you Eck--too soon to give up on Middlebrooks IMHO.
 
 
BoSoxFink said:
No more Drew please, give WMB another shot, it's so damn hard to come by power bats
Fourthed
 

Pilgrim

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Lets recall that the Sox spent a big part of last season with 3 infielders for 2 spots. You could say that it worked out, but they never actually came close to a real system for alotting playing time. Basically they just benched, traded, or sent to the minors whoever happened to be slumping.

Signing Drew might bump their projections a win or two, but I think there's pretty much zero chance the roster actually functions the way people are drawin it up.

Speaking of projections, all the ones I've seen have the Red Sox as the best or second best team in baseball. Not only is it a good time to let the kids play, but it's absolutely necessary for long term success at this point. A 31 year old 2b just got ten years. That's the market were looking at if we want good players and can't grow our own.