Hot Stove Wishes

xjack

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Steve22 said:
 
I mean, you're asking for indisputable metrics on a 23-year-old right fielder that is pretty much universally held to have generational power. Potential is a massive portion of his value. He's got 100+ HR before his age 24 season and I'm not sure I've ever seen someone question his potential so seriously before I rose the point on this board. It's natural to over-value your own system and devalue other team's stars, but come on. 
 
Again, I'm not saying Stanton is not a legit All-Star. He's just not yet proven himself to be one of the elite players of the game. If you're going to trade your most valuable prospects, you better be sure that what you're getting in return is a great player—not a really good player who, if he overcomes the injury bug, cuts way down on his strikeouts and improves his defense, will become a great player.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The Best Catch in 100 Years said:
Depends on your definition of first-division I guess. Carp's career wRC+ of 117 is better than the offensive production most teams got out of 1B last year. Also worthy of consideration are the facts that he's coming off a 139 wRC+ year, during which he had a wRC+ of 144 vs. RHP. If he were platooned with a guy who shreds RHP (Hassan's career minor league line vs. them is .299/.426/.511, and .323/.430/.600 in Pawtucket last year), I would not be surprised to see well-above-average production out of the 1B slot.
 
Edit: Napoli, meanwhile, is a good five years older than either guy and has a career wRC+ of 129 along with a degenerative hip condition. I'd be happy to have him back for a year or two at similar money to his last contract, and wouldn't think twice about giving him a QO, but I also wouldn't feel compelled to match a longer-term contract, given our in-house options and the other guys on the market.
 
I think the issue with Carp/Hassan (aside from the fact that Hassan has yet to prove he can carry his LHP-killing propensities into the big leagues) is defense. Carp looks like a mediocre but not disastrous defensive 1B; we don't know yet what Hassan would translate to.
 
Also, if we platoon at 1B we probably have to give up the platoon in LF; with a four-man bench we can't platoon at multiple positions unless it's a 3-guys-for-two-spots kind of platoon where one guy plays every day and moves around, and I don't see that kind of situation emerging with the Sox at LF or 1B given the players we have.
 

kwa1430

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xjack said:
 
Again, I'm not saying Stanton is not a legit All-Star. He's just not yet proven himself to be one of the elite players of the game. If you're going to trade your most valuable prospects, you better be sure that what you're getting in return is a great player—not a really good player who, if he overcomes the injury bug, cuts way down on his strikeouts and improves his defense, will become a great player.
 
I think this is a great point about Stanton and they concern about trading for him.  You will need to trade a number top prospects (probably 2-3 best pitching prospects) if you plan on holding onto Bogaerts. Then, you will need to throw a ton of cash to keep him long term.  Are they not better to hold onto the prospects, add some key pieces and build a team with better depth?  Bogaerts has potential to be special and a middle of the order bat.  Will he hit with the power of Stanton, no?  However, how many players will?
 
Rather see us keep the pitchers (Barnes, Ranaudo, Ball, Owens, Webster, DLR) with hope at one or two turn into mid to top rotation starters.
 

The Best Catch in 100 Years

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Savin Hillbilly said:
 
I think the issue with Carp/Hassan (aside from the fact that Hassan has yet to prove he can carry his LHP-killing propensities into the big leagues) is defense. Carp looks like a mediocre but not disastrous defensive 1B; we don't know yet what Hassan would translate to.
 
Also, if we platoon at 1B we probably have to give up the platoon in LF; with a four-man bench we can't platoon at multiple positions unless it's a 3-guys-for-two-spots kind of platoon where one guy plays every day and moves around, and I don't see that kind of situation emerging with the Sox at LF or 1B given the players we have.
Good point, hadn't really thought about that. If the Red Sox decided one of these guys could handle being the primary backup SS, I wouldn't be opposed to seeing them make a deal for Trevor Plouffe or Logan Forsythe and having them be the short end of the 1B platoon (both are lefty-mashers) as well as filling the utility infielder role.
 

nvalvo

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I've been thinking a lot about the 2005 Red Sox in the last few days.
 
After the euphoria of 2004, Theo famously broke up the band, turning departing stars into excellent draft position, netting MLB regulars Ellsbury, Buchholz and Lowrie among their first five picks. The farm system was already primed with top prospects, like Ramirez, Pedroia, Youkilis, Papelbon, Sanchez and Lester. 
 
The 2005 team made the playoffs, but hardly convincingly. But the step backward laid the groundwork for a much stronger club between 2007 and 2013 — The Age of Ellsbury, we might call it — in which the team made three ACLSes and won two World Series. Some of the prospects were dealt for veteran contributors, but this era of the club was built around a young core, and with better health (Ellsbury's ribs and collarbone, Pedroia's foot, Buchholz' shoulder/neck, Youkilis' back, Lowrie's everything, let alone Kalish and Westmoreland...) might well have made another deep playoff run in 2010-11. They probably lost 25+ WAR to injury between 2010-2012. 
 
I think 2014 is another 2005. Cherington was right to retool rather than rebuilding last offseason, to get one more run out of this core, but that doesn't mean that is always the right move. This offseason he needs to avoid longterm commitments to aging veterans, and move towards a younger club. We have 9 or 10 potential top-100 prospects on the farm, and while not all of them will pan out, that looks like the basis for a young core that could keep this team reliably contending every year 2015-2020. A ton of them are pitchers. That's a good recipe: compare to what the Cardinals have done since their championship in 2011; they let Pujols walk, went young, and reached the NLCS and the WS in 2012 and 2013. Not bad. And with all of the young pitching coming up, they should contend for years. 
 

CaskNFappin

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Brian Wilson seems like a great clubhouse guy worth taking a flier on.  Another beard.  Was throwing 97 in the playoffs....I know he's not durable, but when has that stopped us in the past.  
 

lxt

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The Best Catch in 100 Years said:
I've said this before, but I really don't understand why everyone thinks it's a fait accompli that the Marlins will deal Stanton. They have one of the better collections of young talent in baseball, almost all over the diamond (catcher being the one black hole) and could become a very interesting team over the next couple years. I also don't get slagging them for being stupid at all--unlike the low-payroll teams who always get a lot of credit for how smart they are (i.e., the A's and the Rays), the Marlins have actually won a couple titles.
They need a 3B ... I can't see sending Middlebrooks there for some arms. Marlins would be better off going after Headley in SD and picking up Phillips from the Reds. The Money the Reds save, say 1/2 the $50million remaining, they can sign Choo. S.D. loves pitching and could benefit from a OF or two.
 

The Best Catch in 100 Years

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lxt said:
They need a 3B ... I can't see sending Middlebrooks there for some arms. Marlins would be better off going after Headley in SD and picking up Phillips from the Reds. The Money the Reds save, say 1/2 the $50million remaining, they can sign Choo. S.D. loves pitching and could benefit from a OF or two.
It's worth considering that the Marlins have a fairly highly-regarded 3B prospect who is a year or two away in Colin Moran. If they want to compete in the near term they might need some kind of stopgap at that position, but I wouldn't say it's nearly as big an organizational hole as their catching situation.
 

soxfan121

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nvalvo said:
 The 2005 team made the playoffs, but hardly convincingly. But the step backward laid the groundwork for a much stronger club between 2007 and 2013 — The Age of Ellsbury, we might call it — in which the team made three ACLSes and won two World Series. 
 
Very good post but I quibble with one small thing - this is The Age Of Pedroia. Maybe the The Age of Lester.
 
This isn't the age of the love boat. 
 

smastroyin

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The 2005 team took a step back not because Theo broke up the band, but because the guys he retained on the band fell apart.  
 
Bellhorn was a 3.7 fWAR player in 2004 and a 0.5 fWAR player in 2005
Foulke was a 3.5 fWAR player in 2004 and a -0.2 fWAR player in 2005
Schilling was a 7.9 fWAR player in 2004 and a 0.4 fWAR player in 2005
 
Disclaimer 1:  I don't think WAR does the perfect job of capturing value the way many others do (especially with the pitchers and most especially relievers), this is just faster than pulling a bunch of other statistics.
Disclaimer 2:  I know all about Schilling and Foulke's injuries, and sure you could argue that maybe Theo should have as well, but in a sense he did plan for it.
 
Now, this isn't about blame or anything like that, but despite the performances of those three guys, the 2005 Sox won 95 games, 3 less than the year before.
 
Part of the point here is that you can actually kind of do both things if you are smart, you don't need to say "I'm accepting a 10 game drop in performance next year because I want to set up for the future."  So we'll see how Cherington does.
 

nvalvo

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soxfan121 said:
 
Very good post but I quibble with one small thing - this is The Age Of Pedroia. Maybe the The Age of Lester.
 
This isn't the age of the love boat. 
 
Nah. Pedroia's still here, but we're transitioning to a new young core. 
 
smastroyin said:
The 2005 team took a step back not because Theo broke up the band, but because the guys he retained on the band fell apart.  
 
Bellhorn was a 3.7 fWAR player in 2004 and a 0.5 fWAR player in 2005
Foulke was a 3.5 fWAR player in 2004 and a -0.2 fWAR player in 2005
Schilling was a 7.9 fWAR player in 2004 and a 0.4 fWAR player in 2005
 
Disclaimer 1:  I don't think WAR does the perfect job of capturing value the way many others do (especially with the pitchers and most especially relievers), this is just faster than pulling a bunch of other statistics.
Disclaimer 2:  I know all about Schilling and Foulke's injuries, and sure you could argue that maybe Theo should have as well, but in a sense he did plan for it.
 
Now, this isn't about blame or anything like that, but despite the performances of those three guys, the 2005 Sox won 95 games, 3 less than the year before.
 
Part of the point here is that you can actually kind of do both things if you are smart, you don't need to say "I'm accepting a 10 game drop in performance next year because I want to set up for the future."  So we'll see how Cherington does.
 
I agree totally — totally. Theo absolutely intended to compete in '05, and sure enough, they took the Wild Card. I deleted some discussion of this from my previous post that I thought distracted from the main point. It would have been possible to assemble a team with a more competitive starting rotation (i.e., one not built around Matt Clement and David Wells and injured Schilling), likely by trading prospects. 
 
That's not the path the FO took, at least initially. Eventually they did, during Theo's Gorilla Period. But I imagine the initial plan was that Papelbon and Lester would come up and replace Pedro and displace the Boomer — in the role now played by Ryan Dempster, in 2006. But Pap replaced Foulke, instead, and cancer delayed Jon Lester's apotheosis, while Hanley and Anibal were dealt for Beckett and Lowell. Meanwhile, Matt Clement's shoulder disintegrated. But by 2007, it had all worked out. 
 
The point I was making was that it's tricky to compromise between the transition to the new core and continued contention, and it involves acceptance of a certain amount of risk. 
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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nvalvo said:
The point I was making was that it's tricky to compromise between the transition to the new core and continued contention, and it involves acceptance of a certain amount of risk.
This is a somewhat different point but I think its worth making and its getting lost in various threads around the board: The 2004 team was built to be the best team in baseball and win the World Series that year, without a huge amount of prioritization (at that point) of a longer term rebuilding project. The 2013 team, in contrast, was built to regain competitiveness while not jeopardizing a longer term vision and turned into a very, very, very pleasant surprise. When we talk about compromising between short and long term objectives, we have to base that conversation around the idea that for some time the front office has been developing a longer term strategy aimed at building a perennial contender and that it makes little sense to substantially deviate from that strategy just because we won the World Series. If the plan for a long time has been to hand CF over to JBJ, for example, then its totally non-sensical to throw out that plan at the last minute and resign Ellsbury for a gazillion years and a gazillion dollars just because we can't bear the thought of short term regression from the game's highest summit. I think the same is basically true for the Salty situation, although the decision not to give him a QO still confuses me a bit.

In short, I hope Ben sticks with the basic principles of the plan he's been developing since the Punto trade and everything that we've seen so far this offseason - lukewarm sentiment on Ellsbury, no QO to Salty, etc - suggests to me that this will be the case.
 

reggiecleveland

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smastroyin said:
The 2005 team took a step back not because Theo broke up the band, but because the guys he retained on the band fell apart.  
 
Bellhorn was a 3.7 fWAR player in 2004 and a 0.5 fWAR player in 2005
Foulke was a 3.5 fWAR player in 2004 and a -0.2 fWAR player in 2005
Schilling was a 7.9 fWAR player in 2004 and a 0.4 fWAR player in 2005
 
Disclaimer 1:  I don't think WAR does the perfect job of capturing value the way many others do (especially with the pitchers and most especially relievers), this is just faster than pulling a bunch of other statistics.
Disclaimer 2:  I know all about Schilling and Foulke's injuries, and sure you could argue that maybe Theo should have as well, but in a sense he did plan for it.
 
Now, this isn't about blame or anything like that, but despite the performances of those three guys, the 2005 Sox won 95 games, 3 less than the year before.
 
Part of the point here is that you can actually kind of do both things if you are smart, you don't need to say "I'm accepting a 10 game drop in performance next year because I want to set up for the future."  So we'll see how Cherington does.
 
Counting on the performances of retained players to be the same as the year before is a common fallacy on this board. It lead to the 100 win predictions when "all we do is replace Lackey" two years ago.
 

The Boomer

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Morgan's Magic Snowplow said:
This is a somewhat different point but I think its worth making and its getting lost in various threads around the board: The 2004 team was built to be the best team in baseball and win the World Series that year, without a huge amount of prioritization (at that point) of a longer term rebuilding project. The 2013 team, in contrast, was built to regain competitiveness while not jeopardizing a longer term vision and turned into a very, very, very pleasant surprise. When we talk about compromising between short and long term objectives, we have to base that conversation around the idea that for some time the front office has been developing a longer term strategy aimed at building a perennial contender and that it makes little sense to substantially deviate from that strategy just because we won the World Series. If the plan for a long time has been to hand CF over to JBJ, for example, then its totally non-sensical to throw out that plan at the last minute and resign Ellsbury for a gazillion years and a gazillion dollars just because we can't bear the thought of short term regression from the game's highest summit. I think the same is basically true for the Salty situation, although the decision not to give him a QO still confuses me a bit.

In short, I hope Ben sticks with the basic principles of the plan he's been developing since the Punto trade and everything that we've seen so far this offseason - lukewarm sentiment on Ellsbury, no QO to Salty, etc - suggests to me that this will be the case.
 
I agree with this.  While fans are still on their honeymoon in 2014 with the remnants of their 2013 sweetheart (way better looking than anyone expected in this arranged marriage), giving extended tryouts to Middlebrooks, Lavarnway and JBJ in the majors is consistent with their plan for next season even if their 2013 mate had instead turned out to be a lot uglier.
 

bosockboy

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The Boomer said:
 
I agree with this.  While fans are still on their honeymoon in 2014 with the remnants of their 2013 sweetheart (way better looking than anyone expected in this arranged marriage), giving extended tryouts to Middlebrooks, Lavarnway and JBJ in the majors is consistent with their plan for next season even if their 2013 mate had instead turned out to be a lot uglier.
 
Yes to an extent.  Cherington successfully threaded the needle in 2013, winning a title without ditching the long term plan.
 
You also have to consider they have 2-3 prime years left of the greatest postseason weapon ever in Papi; it's there job to maximize those years and not waste them.
 
They will add a significant piece or two IMO.
 

lxt

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The Best Catch in 100 Years said:
It's worth considering that the Marlins have a fairly highly-regarded 3B prospect who is a year or two away in Colin Moran. If they want to compete in the near term they might need some kind of stopgap at that position, but I wouldn't say it's nearly as big an organizational hole as their catching situation.
Don't want us going off on a Marlins Wish tangent, I was just trying to say Middlebrooks should stay put and not be considered trade bait unless a real strong option comes up. I don't see the Marlins trading Stanton and asking about Middlebrooks should be a none starter without his name being in the discussion.
 

KillerBs

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I wonder how many of us would be OK with a starting line up as follows come April 2014:
 
Bradley 8
Victorino 9
Pedroia 4
Ortiz
Carp 3
Bogaerts 6
Nava/Gomes 7
Middlebrooks 5
Lavarnway/Ross 2
 
Looks like a fun team to root for to me, especially with the veteran staff and the more kids knocking on the door.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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bosockboy said:
 
Yes to an extent.  Cherington successfully threaded the needle in 2013, winning a title without ditching the long term plan.
 
You also have to consider they have 2-3 prime years left of the greatest postseason weapon ever in Papi; it's there job to maximize those years and not waste them.
 
They will add a significant piece or two IMO.
 
I'm not sure I'd describe it as "2-3 prime years" though.  He'll be 38 next year.  He may still be the best DH in the game.  He may merely be a productive bat who no longer anchors the lineup.  He may fall off a cliff.  He's at an age where planning around 2-3 years of production from him is foolish.  You take what you get from him, and hopefully what you get is consistent with what you've been given recently, but Papi's presence on the roster should not impact a single move beyond short term patches and Peavy-style improvements if the team is in contention again next year.  And even then, that has more to do with the roster as whole than Papi specifically.
 

lxt

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KillerBs said:
I wonder how many of us would be OK with a starting line up as follows come April 2014:
 
Bradley 8
Victorino 9
Pedroia 4
Ortiz
Carp 3
Bogaerts 6
Nava/Gomes 7
Middlebrooks 5
Lavarnway/Ross 2
 
Looks like a fun team to root for to me, especially with the veteran staff and the more kids knocking on the door.
I think it lacks a bat to protect Ortiz. There is no one in the lineup, unless Middlebrooks returns to his 2012 level, to protect Ortiz which means they just walk him. Not sure Bradley is ready to hold the lead off spot. I'd be concerned about Lavarnway as he has not shown me he's ready to play consistently at the MLB level. Does Carp offer enough to hold down 1B through an entire season.
 
It's not bad if the Sox had to stay put and did not have the money to look elsewhere.
 

Rough Carrigan

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lxt said:
I think it lacks a bat to protect Ortiz. There is no one in the lineup, unless Middlebrooks returns to his 2012 level, to protect Ortiz which means they just walk him. Not sure Bradley is ready to hold the lead off spot. I'd be concerned about Lavarnway as he has not shown me he's ready to play consistently at the MLB level. Does Carp offer enough to hold down 1B through an entire season.
 
It's not bad if the Sox had to stay put and did not have the money to look elsewhere.
I think it'd be nearly as good an offensive lineup as last year but I don't think we really want to see 160 games of Carp playing first base, do we?  Napoli turned out to be surprisingly good. 
 

The Boomer

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KillerBs said:
I wonder how many of us would be OK with a starting line up as follows come April 2014:
 
Bradley 8
Victorino 9
Pedroia 4
Ortiz
Carp 3
Bogaerts 6
Nava/Gomes 7
Middlebrooks 5
Lavarnway/Ross 2
 
Looks like a fun team to root for to me, especially with the veteran staff and the more kids knocking on the door.
 
This, in part, explains why Napoli is the most likely player to come back in free agency.  Young, or someone like him, would also provide injury protection for a hard charging Victorino, platoon protection for Bradley and additional depth in LF.  Ellsbury is irreplaceable with a single player but JBJ and Young could foreseeably combine to provide a reasonable facsimile.  Carp as a backup 1B/DH gives some reasonable protection against the injury and age risk at those positions.  The 2012 version of Middlebrooks (if his production comes back) and Bogaerts should combine to exceed the production of 2013 Middlebrooks and Drew.  Without making the most glamorous moves last winter, Cherington made the best series of moves after last season in retrospect.  With the transition to emerging prospects underway, just a few moves to plug the fewer number of lineup holes this winter will be needed.  The Sox projectably will have similar contention productivity without at all standing pat.  Bringing everyone back almost never works out. Some dynamic change is a better formula for maintaining the highest level of performance possible.
 

ehaz

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I think signing Ellsbury is a must, easy for me to say - but make the best offer.  If that means losing Salty to some team offering 4/45 that's fine with me.  I would not go over two years with Napoli unless the contract featured some vesting options or an extensive injury clause, Corey Hart on a Drew/Beltre type contract remains an option and he can play right field in a pinch. The starting pitching depth allows them to get a little creative, I'd explore that but plan for camp with everyone.
 
On that note, what would you say to a Clay Buchholz for Eric Hosmer proposal?
 

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smastroyin said:
I think we should see what we would have to add to get Jose Fernandez thrown into the Stanton deal.
 
Mallett
 

Rasputin

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ehaz said:
On that note, what would you say to a Clay Buchholz for Eric Hosmer proposal?
That the Royals were tenth in runs scored and first in fewest runs allowed.

Also, we need Buchholz more than we need Hosmer.

Also also why are you trying to take simple stuff and complicate it?
 

Mighty Joe Young

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Lots of folks have mentioned Chris Young as a possible backup OF in the (likely) event Ellsbury leaves and is replaced by Bradley. - which, in a vacuum makes all kinds of sense. But the team can't carry 5 OFs AND Carp. There's only  4 bench spots and two of them have to be a C and middle IF.
 
I agree that Young makes more sense on the bench than Gomes - but I don't think they will mess with the whole chemistry experiment. And , with the QO offer to Drew they have to account for the possibility of him returning as well.
 
If both Drew and Napoli return it's going to be pretty crowded.
 
You have an infield of X, Drew , Pedroia and Napoli -- WMB is the only backup (or he gets traded or , even unlikelier, spends the summer in AAA) - they have no real backup at 2b.
You have an OF consisting of  Nava, Bradley and Vic with Gomes and Carp as spare OFs. Carp doubles as backup 1B 
 
There's just no room for a guy like Young without a trade.  
 

ivanvamp

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Why are people so high (relatively speaking, I guess) on Chris Young?  He's been in the majors since 2006, and only twice has he had an ops+ of over 98:  2010 (108), and 2011 (103) - so even then it isn't like he went crazy.
 
Yes, he has some power and decent speed.  I suppose you could do worse as a backup than Young.  But I don't think I'd want him getting significant playing time at all.
 

Clears Cleaver

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well, Carp would likely be gone if Young were signed as WMB could be backup 1B. But, ideally that guy would be able to hit LH. so I agree young is not a perfect fit.
 
I think Napoli is brought back. they likely would have gone harder after Abreu if not. the 2015/16 proposed lineups are really lacking power
 

smastroyin

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Under the presumption that the team does not retain Ellsbury, Young is attractive because:
 
- He plays all three OF positions
- He hits lefties, which protects the weak side of JBJ's platoon
- He probably comes pretty cheap
 
You could probably live with Victorino/Nava/JBJ/Gomes/Young for your outfield.
 
But, he doesn't feel like a "wishlist" guy to me so much as a "pragmatic backup plan"
 

ivanvamp

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smastroyin said:
Under the presumption that the team does not retain Ellsbury, Young is attractive because:
 
- He plays all three OF positions
- He hits lefties, which protects the weak side of JBJ's platoon
- He probably comes pretty cheap
 
You could probably live with Victorino/Nava/JBJ/Gomes/Young for your outfield.
 
But, he doesn't feel like a "wishlist" guy to me so much as a "pragmatic backup plan"
 
Yeah I guess that's my feeling.  He's not a terrible guy to have on your team for the reasons you cite, but there are major downsides to him - more than enough to cross him off my "wish list".  I wouldn't cry if he was here as a backup, and he probably would provide some good moments, but normally backups aren't the kinds of guys you long for.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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ivanvamp said:
Why are people so high (relatively speaking, I guess) on Chris Young?  He's been in the majors since 2006, and only twice has he had an ops+ of over 98:  2010 (108), and 2011 (103) - so even then it isn't like he went crazy.
 
Yes, he has some power and decent speed.  I suppose you could do worse as a backup than Young.  But I don't think I'd want him getting significant playing time at all.
 
Until last year (when his game broke down in the Coliseum), he had never been used as a platoon player. His career OPS+ vs. LHP is 125, vs. RHP, 90. We would be using him (mostly) as a platoon player, ergo he'd be an offensive plus.
 
But the main reason why he's attractive is because the current presumptive roster has only two better-than-mediocre defensive outfielders. True, we managed to win a championship this year with that same flaw. But it becomes even more glaring with Victorino a year older and CF manned by a rookie. Young would provide a good deal of Gomes' offense vs. LHP, but with significantly better defense, which is pretty obviously needed.
 

SaveBooFerriss

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KillerBs said:
I wonder how many of us would be OK with a starting line up as follows come April 2014:
 
Bradley 8
Victorino 9
Pedroia 4
Ortiz
Carp 3
Bogaerts 6
Nava/Gomes 7
Middlebrooks 5
Lavarnway/Ross 2
 
Looks like a fun team to root for to me, especially with the veteran staff and the more kids knocking on the door.
 
While I could live with that line up, the Red Sox obviously aren't going to do nothing, so even if you the Sox let their FAs leave and do not sign any high priced FAs (McCann, Choo, etc.), I still expect quality depth moves like C. Young (CF), Suzuki (C), a RH 1b,, a SS option, etc.  
 

KillerBs

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SaveBooFerriss said:
 
While I could live with that line up, the Red Sox obviously aren't going to do nothing, so even if you the Sox let their FAs leave and do not sign any high priced FAs (McCann, Choo, etc.), I still expect quality depth moves like C. Young (CF), Suzuki (C), a RH 1b,, a SS option, etc.  
Absolutely, you could start all those kids in that lineup opening day, supplemented with some additional bench depth.
 
That being said, I am not sure there is room for Young on the 25 man as currently constructed, and if you sign a FA catcher, that would seem to foreclose Lavarnway, at least for the first part of the season.
 
I am certainly not suggesting that there aren't moves (incl free agent moves) that could be made to improve that lineup. My point was that even if we lose all 4 of our FA guys, and sign no one to replace them for the starting lineup, we could still field an appealing team, which I expect the fan base would be generally happy with, especially as we are coming off an unexpected WS triumph.
 

Doctor G

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I would give the Angels a call and see if they were interested in swapping Trumbo and Bourjos for Buchholz and WMB. This reunites WMB with DeSarcina  and gives them pitching they need. If you are committed to Bogaerts at short you can sign Juan Uribe to play third. If you like Bogaerts at third you can then resign Drew to play short.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Doctor G said:
I would give the Angels a call and see if they were interested in swapping Trumbo and Bourjos for Buchholz and WMB. This reunites WMB with DeSarcina  and gives them pitching they need. If you are committed to Bogaerts at short you can sign Juan Uribe to play third. If you like Bogaerts at third you can then resign Drew to play short.
 
Why in the hell would the Sox want to part with Buchholz?  Especially for that middling talent?  If this team is shopping Buchholz, they're going to be looking for a lot more than Trumbo and Bourjos.
 

Doctor G

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Red(s)HawksFan said:
 
Why in the hell would the Sox want to part with Buchholz?  Especially for that middling talent?  If this team is shopping Buchholz, they're going to be looking for a lot more than Trumbo and Bourjos.
 If Clay could actually give you more than 180 innings you probably could get more. Trumbo is a 27 year old who will give you 30+ home runs  and 90+ RBIs. Slightly more than middling talent.
 

Devizier

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Doctor G said:
 If Clay could actually give you more than 180 innings you probably could get more. Trumbo is a 27 year old who will give you 30+ home runs  and 90+ RBIs. Slightly more than middling talent.
 
Mark Trumbo is the kind of player you'd get if Tony Batista had Adam Dunn's strikeout rates. I'd rather have Middlebrooks, straight up.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Doctor G said:
 If Clay could actually give you more than 180 innings you probably could get more. Trumbo is a 27 year old who will give you 30+ home runs  and 90+ RBIs. Slightly more than middling talent.
 
And a career OBP of .299...a total package they could get from Middlebrooks over a full season.
 

SaveBooFerriss

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Buchholz is pretty tough to trade.  I can't see another team giving up close to full value for him and I can't see the Red Sox taking 50 cents on the dollar for him with his upside and team friendly contract.  We also don't know if he could pass a physical right now.  
 

chawson

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Middlebrooks for Bourjos straight up would interest me, but it digs a bit of a different hole for the Sox.
 
Unless of course they're just posturing on Bogaerts and truly believe he's a third basemen, in which case Rosenthal's musings on the Rangers' middle infield become interesting. Does Texas feel like tossing us the career of Elvis Andrus at $15m per year?
 

SaveBooFerriss

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chawson said:
Middlebrooks for Bourjos straight up would interest me, but it digs a bit of a different hole for the Sox.
 
Unless of course they're just posturing on Bogaerts and truly believe he's a third basemen, in which case Rosenthal's musings on the Rangers' middle infield become interesting. Does Texas feel like tossing us the career of Elvis Andrus at $15m per year?
 
Don't we have a younger, and potentially better, version of Bourjos in Bradley, Jr.?  I don't see why the Sox would trade for Bourjos if Bradley is around.  
 

seantoo

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ehaz said:
I think signing Ellsbury is a must, easy for me to say - but make the best offer.  If that means losing Salty to some team offering 4/45 that's fine with me.  I would not go over two years with Napoli unless the contract featured some vesting options or an extensive injury clause, Corey Hart on a Drew/Beltre type contract remains an option and he can play right field in a pinch. The starting pitching depth allows them to get a little creative, I'd explore that but plan for camp with everyone.
 
On that note, what would you say to a Clay Buchholz for Eric Hosmer proposal?
I like alot of the ideas you proposed as well as exploring Buchholz (or any one of our starting pitchers) for a legitimate bat at first (an org. weakness). One problem though is that we do not match up well with KC. They had the best pitching in the AL but their offense stumbled. They finished with only 648 runs (ahead of only CHW, Hou, Min & Sea.) while the AL average was 702 runs scored. They allowed the fewest runs in the AL with 601 runs allowed and the AL average was 696. Hosmer may be their most valuable offensive player right now considering they own his rights for 3 to 4 years and he's making close to league minimum yet his OPS+ was 118. Butler with only 1 year left on his deal @ $8M (and a club option for 2015 @ $12.5) would be more realistic except the match-up of team strengths and weaknesses do not match up well.
 
Edit: FIrst time mispelling Clay's name
 

Savin Hillbilly

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Red(s)HawksFan said:
 
And a career OBP of .299...a total package they could get from Middlebrooks over a full season.
 
Truth. Here are the two's career 162-game averages for HR, RBI, BB, K, and slash line. You tell me which is which:
 
31, 99, 32, 161, .254/.294/.462
33, 100, 41, 164, .250/.299/.469
 
They're almost literally the same player, except that one is three years younger and can play defense.
 

nvalvo

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Trading Buchholz is a bad idea, I think — barring a return far beyond what I think he'd get them at present. One of the major sources of potential upside for this team as presently constructed is getting more than 110 innings from Buchholz. 
 

ivanvamp

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Savin Hillbilly said:
 
Truth. Here are the two's career 162-game averages for HR, RBI, BB, K, and slash line. You tell me which is which:
 
31, 99, 32, 161, .254/.294/.462
33, 100, 41, 164, .250/.299/.469
 
They're almost literally the same player, except that one is three years younger and can play defense.
 
I started to look all this up when I saw the original post on Trumbo/WMB, but then I scanned the rest of the thread and saw that you did it already.  My goodness, that would be a terrible trade.  Not only because we have probably a better version of Trumbo already in Middlebrooks, but also because (1) over the next 5 years he'll cost less, and (2) Trumbo can't play 3b, which is fine, you slide X in there, but then it puts Trumbo at 1b, so you have to say bye-bye to Napoli.  So you're really talking about giving up Buchholz, WMB, *and* Napoli and getting back Bourjos and Trumbo.  
 
Which, of course, would be horrifically bad.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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SaveBooFerriss said:
Buchholz is pretty tough to trade.  I can't see another team giving up close to full value for him and I can't see the Red Sox taking 50 cents on the dollar for him with his upside and team friendly contract.  We also don't know if he could pass a physical right now.  
 
I think there are mid-market teams who'd love to get Buchholz and would deal significant pieces for him - value far exceeding $.50  on the dollar.  Cleveland w/Tito would be one.  Minnesota would be another viable trade partner. 
 
nvalvo said:
Trading Buchholz is a bad idea, I think — barring a return far beyond what I think he'd get them at present. One of the major sources of potential upside for this team as presently constructed is getting more than 110 innings from Buchholz. 
 
I also think this is true.  For the same reason other teams would want Buchholz and would accept the risk/reward he offers, we should want to keep him.  When he's healthy and on, he's elite.
 

SaveBooFerriss

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Minneapolis Millers said:
 
I think there are mid-market teams who'd love to get Buchholz and would deal significant pieces for him - value far exceeding $.50  on the dollar.  Cleveland w/Tito would be one.  Minnesota would be another viable trade partner. 
 
 
I also think this is true.  For the same reason other teams would want Buchholz and would accept the risk/reward he offers, we should want to keep him.  When he's healthy and on, he's elite.
 
Look, I can't predict what every team would do, but I think a lot of GMs would be scared off by Buchholz needing shoulder surgery at some point in the near future to think twice about dealing significant pieces for him.  But, those teams might be willing to take that risk.  But, no team is going to offer the full value of a healthy Buchholz and the Sox probably would decline 80 cents on the dollar.  
 

ivanvamp

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I think an interesting discussion (maybe for another thread?) is what value Buchholz may provide moving forward.  Let's assume two things:
 
(1) That he can only give, at most, about 138 innings a year, and 
(2) He puts up approximately this line:  3.15 era, 1.22 whip, 6.6 k/9, 135 era+ (which is what his averages over the last 4 years have come to).
 
According to b-ref, these last 4 years he's been worth an average of 3.2 WAR a season, over these 138 innings per year.  That's worth about $15+ million per year, if we go by the standard $5 million per WAR.  
 
So if we assume that Clay is only going to give the Sox 138 innings, but they'll be of this exceptional quality, how to get another 75-80 innings out of his slot?  They'd need another SP to fill those innings.  If that other pitcher contributed even a slightly below replacement level performance, it would mean that that spot in the rotation would *still* be pretty good.
 
In other words, it's worth having Clay in the rotation even if he only gives you 138 innings, because those innings are so good.
 

The Best Catch in 100 Years

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seantoo said:
I like alot of the ideas you proposed as well as exploring [I am an Idiot] (or any one of our starting pitchers) for a legitimate bat at first (an org. weakness). One problem though is that we do not match up well with KC. They had the best pitching in the AL but their offense stumbled. They finished with only 648 runs (ahead of only CHW, Hou, Min & Sea.) while the AL average was 702 runs scored. They allowed the fewest runs in the AL with 601 runs allowed and the AL average was 696. Hosmer may be their most valuable offensive player right now considering they own his rights for 3 to 4 years and he's making close to league minimum yet his OPS+ was 118. Butler with only 1 year left on his deal @ $8M (and a club option for 2015 @ $12.5) would be more realistic except the match-up of team strengths and weaknesses do not match up well.
Worth noting is the fact that KC could be about to lose one of their top starters from last season to free agency in Ervin Santana
 

JohntheBaptist

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reggiecleveland said:
 
Counting on the performances of retained players to be the same as the year before is a common fallacy on this board. It lead to the 100 win predictions when "all we do is replace Lackey" two years ago.
 
Assuming the negative as a proof of diligent fandom and intellectual engagement with the team is a common fallacy on this board.  It lead to the 75 win predictions because "those other people are predicting 100 wins" earlier this very year.