Hot Stove Rumors - The Fenway Edition

JimD

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glennhoffmania said:
 
Link
 
There's no way they're not going after Tanaka simply because they currently have 6 starters, which is what I inferred from this article.
 
As usual since Ben took over, the information is gleaned from 'industry sources' and not the Red Sox organization itself. 
 
If the team is indeed out of the Tanaka sweepstakes, it could be that the price has already gotten past the point that they are comfortable paying should they end up in the lead.
 

ItOnceWasMyLife

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Rudy Pemberton said:
he is likely to return the most, and the expected performance of all these guys if fairly similar.
Really?  We are expecting Lackey to be no better than Peavy and Dempster?
 

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Rudy Pemberton said:
Lackey is mentioned as a potential to be traded because of the Lackey / Peavy / Dempster triumverate; he is likely to return the most, and the expected performance of all these guys if fairly similar.
 
This is true if you look at the Steamer and Oliver projections, but these seem wildly optimistic about Dempster and unreasonably pessimistic about Lackey, respectively. As long as he remains healthy, Lackey is a much better pitcher than Dempster, while Peavy is somewhere in between--he's the toughest of the three to project, I think.
 
Certainly I think calling them a "triumvirate" is soft-pedaling the differences too much. You could more reasonably refer to a Lester/Buchholz/Lackey triumvirate.
 

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10 was free, I thought he'd get that.  Although I suppose there's a rule against Roman numerals.
 

jimbobim

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Red Sox writers on the Tanaka front have been very insistent about the no intrest/out of the running. I would chalk this more up to the Sox brass not leaking plans to their beat guys especially about Tanaka. Fact is they sent scouts out their early in the year to get a better read on him past the hype, it fits their model of trying to get players on the right side of 30, no prospect cost from their insanely deep system and it can easily be argued the two missing pieces from this team are either a legitimate thumper in the middle of the order or an ace type given the ups and downs of Clay and Lester respectively over the last couple of seasons. (Hence their off and on reported interest in Cliff Lee or Kemp) 
 
Clay(with his insane start) Lackey(with his consistency throughout the year) and Lester(down the stretch) combined to make up for the lack of another high end pitcher. Perhaps they'll be able to get another combination of those peaks, but I think it's realistic to expect some type of regression. Now they might choose to bide their time with their financial flexibility and wait on the Phillies to suck midyear, Kemp to look healthy and worth some type of prospect price and his contract or my dream would be David Price( I know the in division thing is an obstacle, but it cuts both ways the Sox would eventually have to face the prospects they send to TB though I imagine it would cost something like Owens(the hardest to give up for sure),Swihart, One of Barnes/Renaudo which would absolutely necessitate an extension  period before the deal gets done) 
 

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Savin Hillbilly said:
 
This is true if you look at the Steamer and Oliver projections, but these seem wildly optimistic about Dempster and unreasonably pessimistic about Lackey, respectively. As long as he remains healthy, Lackey is a much better pitcher than Dempster, while Peavy is somewhere in between--he's the toughest of the three to project, I think.
 
Certainly I think calling them a "triumvirate" is soft-pedaling the differences too much. You could more reasonably refer to a Lester/Buchholz/Lackey triumvirate.
 
The projection systems don't really have a built in way of dealing with the fact that Lackey was seriously injured in 2011 and likely having some elbow trouble (initial fraying of the ligament/wearing down of joint) in 2010 as well.  I'm not predicting Lackey will repeat his 2013 or go back to the guy he was early in his west coast career, but I agree he's likely significantly better than Peavy or Dempster.
 

Mike F

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I suspect that "X" would cause quite a stir in today's oh so PC world.
 

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Rudy Pemberton said:
Lackey is mentioned as a potential to be traded because of the Lackey / Peavy / Dempster triumverate; he is likely to return the most, and the expected performance of all these guys if fairly similar.
[/QUOTE] 
There is no Lackey/Peavy/Dempster triumvirate, and the expected performance of them isn't remotely similar.
 
There are good pitchers we want to have to help us win the World Series. Their names are Lester, Lackey, Buchholz, and Doubront. There are fungible fifth starters. Their names are Peavy and Dempster.
 
 
Rudy Pemberton said:
Look at it this way; if Lackey could return a good prospect or a piece that helps and you don't have to subsidize (clearing ton of payroll to make another move) or you have to pay half of Dempster's contract to move him, don't you at least have to consider moving Lackey?
 
Look at it this way. Lackey is a very good pitcher on a team with a chance to win the World Series. If you're going to  trade him, you're going to have to improve at a position as much or more than you're downgrading from him to Dempster. Since Lackey is on a short contract, he'll be going to a team that thinks it can win now. That means you'd likely have to have a threeway, and as fun as they are, they're pretty rare.
 

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Rudy Pemberton said:
There's nothing in those projections that suggest Lackey's projections are significantly worse because he was hurt a few years ago. Hell, those Steamer projections are better than what he did this past year- and would be his best season since 2009.

Furthermore, Rasputin's claim was that the expected performance of the three pitchers isn't similar, I'm just curious as to where he's getting that. Even if you think the Oliver one is too high, which it might be, it's still not as if lackey is expected to be much better than the other two- which is the entire point. If you can get a lot of value for lackey, but can't give dempster away, it's worth considering.

Obviously not worth doing unless blown away since the team doesn't have to do anything.
 
The Oliver projection definitely suffers from that problem. The Steamer projection seems to pretty heavily weight last season. It's worth noting that his FIP projection falls squarely between his xFIP and FIP from last year. That makes sense since his HR/FB last year was one of the highest of his career.
 
It's also worth noting that Steamer expects Dempster to make 30 appearances as a reliever and 10 as a starter. That means that his projection is not really comparable to the other starters, who are projected as such. Dempster does not project as a 3.80 FIP starter. (The Oliver projection is for Dempster as a starter, so this problem does not exist there.)
 
Peavy's projections don't really have any noteworthy highlights and seem reasonable. It is worth bearing in mind that neither system thinks he is likely to make more than 26 starts though. 
 
Overall, I can buy that there isn't a big difference between Peavy, Lackey, and Doubront. Dempster is pretty clearly an inferior pitcher though. That's not to say he's a bad pitcher. It seems reasonable to expect his control to bounce back toward his late-career norms next season, which would make him a 4.00 ERA/FIP type pitcher, which is basically what he's being paid to be. Given the volatility of pitchers, I'd probably bet on him outperforming one of the other 3 next season despite my previous statement that he is clearly the inferior player.
 

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Well we can argue their projections but I'm pretty sure that in John Farrell's mind John Lackey is a whole lot better than Ryan Dempster since the former was his #2 starter in the post-season and the latter was gifted one-inning appearances in each round when the scores were, respectively, 12-2, 7-0 and 8-0.  I'd be shocked if they traded Lackey for anything, and I presume that unless they get a great offer for Peavy or a ridiculous offer for Doubront that Dempster will be shuffled away before June.
 

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Or some injury sidelines one of the top 5.
 

JakeRae

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Mike F said:
Or some injury sidelines one of the top 5.
 
Yes, but, to some degree, that's not a bad thing for the Red Sox, who have a bevy of AAA pitchers that they need to get MLB experience. If all 6 starters are kept, that significantly decreases the number of starts that will be available for Workman, Webster, De La Rosa, Barnes, and Ranaudo. (Listed in some approximation of depth chart ordering.)
 
Dempster is probably better than any of the prospects, Workman included. But, he doesn't project as that much better than Workman and the fact that there are so many interesting AAA arms increases the odds of one breaking out next year and being able to perform at or above Dempster's expected level. Thus, there is a pretty good chance that unloading Dempster has a minimal or even positive impact on win expectancy and it is not overly likely to have a substantially negative impact. And, it is almost certainly better developmentally because the prospects have to pitch in MLB eventually.
 

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Rudy Pemberton said:
There's nothing in those projections that suggest Lackey's projections are significantly worse because he was hurt a few years ago. Hell, those Steamer projections are better than what he did this past year- and would be his best season since 2009.
 
Do you think they pull those projections out of their ass? Since 2009, Lackey has had one injured season, one drastically injured season, one season completely missed due to injury, and one healthy season. There isn't a projection system in the world that wouldn't have a significantly better projection for him if he'd been healthy for those three seasons.
 
Rudy Pemberton said:
Furthermore, Rasputin's claim was that the expected performance of the three pitchers isn't similar, I'm just curious as to where he's getting that. Even if you think the Oliver one is too high, which it might be, it's still not as if lackey is expected to be much better than the other two- which is the entire point. If you can get a lot of value for lackey, but can't give dempster away, it's worth considering.
 
You're acting like you haven't watched much baseball before. Their performance is going to be somewhat similar since none of them should be terrible and none of them should be aces, but Lackey should be substantially better than average, with stretches of ace-like performance. Peavy and Dempster don't.
 
If Lester, Buchholz, and Doubront are starting the first three games of a playoff series that starts tomorrow, who's your pick for Game 4, and is it even close? Because it shouldn't be.
 
Also, the notion that not being able to give Dempster away is remotely likely is ridiculous. He's likely to pitch 25+ games of near average innings and there's no way in hell the Sox are unable to get some value from that. It won't be a lot of value, and there might be some contract eating, but someone will give up something for Dempster.
 

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Or some injury sidelines one of the top 5.


The injury would have to come in spring training or April, I would think, in order for Dempster to take their spot in the rotation. At some point, he will have sat in the pen long enough to not be sufficiently stretched out for a starting role. At least, he'd need a few turns before he could get up to an 80-100 pitch count. Whereas they could bring up a Workman or Webster from Pawtucket who is already prepared to throw 100 pitches first time out.

I don't think that effect is limited to his value to the rotation either. The more Dempster is out of a starting role as the season progresses, the less trade value he'll retain.
 

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Sorry, I should have phrased it better. An injury to any contenders top five would somewhat increase Dempster's value.
 

joe dokes

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JimD said:
Calling Peavy's gem against the Dodgers a turning point is probably overstating things, but it's frustrating to see how some folks appear to be retroactively dismissing his contributions to the team.  Do we really need to keep bringing up the spectre of September 2011 to get people to appreciate the value of a solid number 4 or 5 starter?  If Theo had been able to find a guy with Peavy's skills at the 2011 deadline, that team would have made the playoffs comfortably and likely been challenging the Yankees for the division lead.
 
Maybe not a turning point, but yet another performance that kept things from going south and thus *requiring* a turning point. Peavy's overall body of work screamed "toast" to me, at least insofar as getting a full season out of him.  He seemed to bust a gut just to throw a 91MPH fastball, and if that fastball wasn't right on the black, he got hit. But while he faltered down the stretch, he pitched well in several games *exactly* when the Sox needed someone to pitch well (or well enough), as Buchholz was out and Dempster and Doubront were scuffling.
 
Peavy is 32. Maybe his injury past is taking a final toll. Or maybe he's hit the age where pitchers really have to do some serious working out (in and out of season) to allow the rest of their body to make up for their naturally decreasing arm. If he's the same guy that finished last year, though, i dont see him as being likely to be much better than Dempster.  But, that does not take away from the fact that he made 6 starts in August and was nails in 5 of them. Who knows if they'd have won without him, but its hard to overstate his contribution.
 

soxhop411

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“@JohnSheaHey: I hear Masahiro Tanaka's three preferred spots going in are LA, NY and Boston, so five teams. #dodgers #angels #yankees #mets #redsox”
 

jimbobim

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mlbtraderumors 3:07pm: John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle hears that Tanaka's initial preferred cities are Los Angeles, New York and Boston (Twitter link).
 
soxhop411 beat me to it but nevertheless count me in the camp that thinks getting Tanaka would be an enormous coup and worth the pile of money it would take. Listening to Ben on WEEI yesterday he sounded coy but very intrigued and confident in previous scouting. 
 
I also think they've been so quiet because it directly begs the question are they going to commit long term for Lester on the other side of 30 ? Bound to be a ton more rumors. 
 

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Saw a comment earlier on Twitter that the Dodgers "would not be outbid" for Tanaka...if I have time to find it I will
 

JimD

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I wouldn't get my hopes up - I think it's going to come down to the Dodgers and Yankees.
 

koufax32

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The BOS preference may simply be to drive up the price for NY too. In fact, the inclusion of LAAAAAA and NYM as well seems to be for the purpose of creating a massive bidding war between LA and NYY.
 

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JimD said:
I wouldn't get my hopes up - I think it's going to come down to the Dodgers and Yankees.
 
Now is the big test to see if the Yankees will really come in under the luxury tax threshold of 189M.
Even with an ARod suspension, signing Tanaka will put them over.
 

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ESPN.com had a thing in which Hal Steinbrenner said he would not be outbid for Tanaka.  The Dodgers are now basically saying the same thing.  He included Boston, imho, due to two facts - they'd give him a shot at a WS ring right away and they've got deep pockets.  I'm hoping Magic's group outbids Steinbrenner, but if Steinbrenner outbids LAD I'll also be happy that they invested a shit ton of money in a guy that I can now hope underperforms (hate to hope for injuries).
 

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jimbobim said:
I also think they've been so quiet because it directly begs the question are they going to commit long term for Lester on the other side of 30 ? Bound to be a ton more rumors. 
 
 
You mean "raises the question" not "begs the question."
 
And I don't think a serious pursuit would have much impact on what the club does with Lester.  It's far more likely to impact their decisions about Peavy, Lackey and Dempster.
 

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I'm sticking with my Dodgers prediction. Entertainment capital and these guys are just freakin' silly with their money.
 

Dick Pole Upside

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I'm certain you guys are correct in terms of big markets = bidding war, but I also think there's a (tiny) bit of goodwill in the Red Sox' favor given their comfort (and vice versa) with Japanese pitchers and their assimilation.

Nomo, Matzusaka, Okajima, Tazawa, Saito, Uehara, and now Watanabe (for whatever he's worth) is a pretty strong pipeline over the past decade or so...
 

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koufax32 said:
The BOS preference may simply be to drive up the price for NY too. In fact, the inclusion of LAAAAAA and NYM as well seems to be for the purpose of creating a massive bidding war between LA and NYY.
 
It could also be to send a message to Seattle and Chicago that they need to come up with more money than LA, NY or BOS to have a shot since all else being equal he goes with one of his preferences.  The inclusion of Boston may be as much for Theos benefit as NY and LA. 
 
Boston is pretty close to 189 though and signing Tanaka would put them over 189 and cost them the revenue sharing rebates in 2014,  Tax is probably not a huge issue at 17%.  However, in 2015 they have over 40 million coming off the books for Lackey, Dempster and Peavy so they probably get back under.
 
Tanakas preferences take into account the impact of the team and city on his endorsement opportunities in Japan.  Playing for a good team like Boston is a plus in that regards, while playing for the Cubs or Mariners is perhaps a negative.  OTOH, a smaller park and the AL East make it harder to perform well which also affects his endorsements in Japan, which are negatives for both NY and Bos.  
 
Also,  the Red Sox don't get the same revenue boost from Tanaka as other teams since the number of seats they have for sale will be minimal.  Teams like NY, Seattle and LA could possibly expect an extra 5000-8000 fans per game that Tanaka pitches (unless he stinks), which could  get them up to 10 million a year just from tickets and merchandise sales (at least for the first couple of years), and this possibility could lead those teams to make a larger offer.
 
The Dodgers are now looking at higher tax rates and have the Kershaw and Ramirez extensions to consider.  They do have Becketts 17 million coming off the books after 2014 though. 
 
I think Seattle probably has the best chance to get him if they can convince Tanaka they plan to compete, and Cano helps in that regard.  Seattle perhaps has more to gain revenue wise (on a pct basis)  and no worries on the luxury tax front.  Pitchers have to like SAFECO.  As a GB pitcher Tanaka has to be scared to death of Jeter as his SS, and that small porch in RF can seem intimidating to RHP'ers, even GB pitchers.
 

jimbobim

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http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/marlins-mlb-revenue-sharing-syste/ (very good breakdown of the cost/benefit analysis of going over the threshold.)
 
This is the most meaningful paragraph I think. 
A team that exceeds the luxury tax threshold for at least two consecutive years  forfeits a percentage of the refund it would otherwise receive as a big-market club. A luxury tax offender for two years forfeits 25% of the refund; a three-year offender forfeits 50% of the refund; a four-year offender forfeits 75% of the refund; and a five-year offender forfeits the entire refund.
 
Seeing as the Sox were below last year they reset their clock. Shouldn't be an issue in a Tanaka sweepstakes. 
 

Savin Hillbilly

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cannonball 1729 said:
 
Or, he could mean "begs the question."
 
Just because the online Merriam-Webster is willing to give up the Sudetenland, that doesn't mean we all must turn appeasers.
 
I believe it's worth holding out for the traditional meaning of "begs the question" because I don't know of any other way to express that meaning concisely. And "raises" or "prompts" or "suggests" or "provokes" the question works just fine for the disputed meaning.
 

JimD

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MoGator71 said:
But it would really suck to face him in a playoff series. They can have Dempster.
 
If all Ben is looking for is a salary dump, then yes.  I'm sure he'd kick the tires on a Lackey trade, though, given that he'd probably bring the Sox a more useful piece than Dempster would.
 

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Is the presumption here that Daniels would only be looking to replace Holland's innings temporarily and thus would prefer a one-year deal like Dempster, Peavy and Lackey have rather than go after Jiminez or Garza or Santana on a multi-year deal?  Why wouldn't he pursue someone like Bronson Arroyo in that case?  Same age as Dempster, same track record of being an innings-eater (in the NL), and all he'd cost is money.
 
Guess I'm not seeing why Holland's injury means the Rangers are going to be dialing Cherington's number.
 

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There's a good chance all Dempster will cost is money. The Red Sox are not going to get a mentionable prospect in return unless they pay most of Dempster's salary, and even then it's not likely to be a very good one, so why bother? If the Sox can get someone to pick up most or all of his salary, they'll be thrilled with a bag of balls in return.
 

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Dick Pole Upside said:
I'm certain you guys are correct in terms of big markets = bidding war, but I also think there's a (tiny) bit of goodwill in the Red Sox' favor given their comfort (and vice versa) with Japanese pitchers and their assimilation.

Nomo, Matzusaka, Okajima, Tazawa, Saito, Uehara, and now Watanabe (for whatever he's worth) is a pretty strong pipeline over the past decade or so...
 
+ Tomo Ohka
 

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JimD said:
 
If all Ben is looking for is a salary dump, then yes.  I'm sure he'd kick the tires on a Lackey trade, though, given that he'd probably bring the Sox a more useful piece than Dempster would.
 
Obviously, but what sort of piece would that be that would be more useful than a front end (or at least middle) of the rotation starter? Or do you think that one of the youngsters is ready to step up that much?
 

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NoXInNixon said:
There's a good chance all Dempster will cost is money. The Red Sox are not going to get a mentionable prospect in return unless they pay most of Dempster's salary, and even then it's not likely to be a very good one, so why bother? If the Sox can get someone to pick up most or all of his salary, they'll be thrilled with a bag of balls in return.
Not to compare the future worth of Dempster's to Mike Lowell's history with the Sox but in one not so long ago ST I remember that very same "bag o'balls" suggestion.
 

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JimD said:
 
If all Ben is looking for is a salary dump, then yes.  I'm sure he'd kick the tires on a Lackey trade, though, given that he'd probably bring the Sox a more useful piece than Dempster would.
That's almost definitely true, but would trading Lackey bring back a more useful piece than Lackey? I know the projections don't seem to indicate a big difference between Lackey, Dempster, and Peavy in 2014 but I still don't see a scenario where they keep Dempster over Lackey short of getting a crazy overpay of an offer like TB did for Shields.
 

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No, Dempster doesn't have a serious hip ailment but one would assume in the vernacular of some posters that he suffers from "gross suckitude"
Thereby rendering him worthless but to some club that would take his salary off the Sox hands
For that bag...
 

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I can't see Ben even considering trading SP inventory until he sees how
Buchholz is holding up after his first 8-10 starts. These pitchers will be more valuable once other teams see what they have as well.
 

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Absolutely, or maybe more "what they need" after a few weeks of ST. Especially after a starter somewhere breaks down.
 

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He's dealing from a position of strength. Make an offer for any one of the 6 starters and he'll talk. If all 6 of them remain healthy, Cherington's leverage will increase as we approach opening day.

Has there been a credible rumor concerning a Sox starter since the duckboats were parked?
 

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Doctor G said:
I can't see Ben even considering trading SP inventory until he sees how
Buchholz is holding up after his first 8-10 starts. These pitchers will be more valuable once other teams see what they have as well.
 
So is Dempster going to start the year in the bullpen then? Or will it be Doubront? It's not like any of these guys can be optioned.
 

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Savin Hillbilly said:
 
So is Dempster going to start the year in the bullpen then? Or will it be Doubront? It's not like any of these guys can be optioned.
 
I mean how often do the Red Sox start the season with their five best starters healthy?