How do you feel about the past 20 years of John Henry and Tom Werner owning the team?

dynomite

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Personally, if I had to guess, I'd say they put this year in the "likely to make the post-season but not go deep" bucket. That it was supposed to be a develop-but-compete year ...

So yeah, a YY or a Burns would have been nice. . .but there's also a decent chance you're wasting a year. Maybe you just sign/acquire someone like that when you actually need them because you know you've got most of the rotation locked down. Maximize those control years or early contract years. Just a guess though.
I guess this is the crux of the debate right here. I don't remember a lot of "develop-but-hopefully compete" years from 2002-2018. And I think it's asking a LOT of this fanbase to finish dead last in the AL East the last two seasons and go into another year more interested in developing for the future than competing in the present.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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And I think it's asking a LOT of this fanbase to finish dead last in the AL East the last two seasons and go into another year more interested in developing for the future than competing in the present.
This is where I'm sitting too. And not only that but the messaging from the Front Office is that things aren't really going to be great until TAM arrive, which might be next year or 2026. All three of them won't hit the Majors like a house afire, so we're going to have to watch them mature. Which can be fun, but by that time we're in year what? eight? nine? of a rebuild. And that's assuming that they do turn into stars.

It sucks that Bloom was such a disaster, but those years of wheel spinning count. Breslow gets a blank slate, but man ... Henry is expecting a lot. People say that they love the Sox, but for a vast majority it's not unconditionally. Results are expected.
 

sezwho

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I guess this is the crux of the debate right here. I don't remember a lot of "develop-but-hopefully compete" years from 2002-2018. And I think it's asking a LOT of this fanbase to finish dead last in the AL East the last two seasons and go into another year more interested in developing for the future than competing in the present.
Pretty much sums it up for me. It seems like John Henry is saving a lot of money now in advance of saving even more money long-term. For the first time in I’m not even sure how long, they hold almost no interest in watching.

Transparently though, feels like the Red Sox organizationally engage me as if they think I’m an idiot. Henry explicitly states his perception of fans cognitive abilities, so it’s not hard to see where it comes from, but I loathe being lied to and patronized (aka ‘The Kennedy Treatment’). Loathe it, and it’s definitely shaped my feelings about their ownership.
 

HfxBob

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Nov 13, 2005
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If I had to guess, here’s what I think ‘1 in 30’ comes from.

Henry is envious of where BAL is currently (loaded team/tiny payroll) and he can’t stop thinking about how BOS could have gone in that direction with Bloom from day 1, but everyone told him ‘BOS fans will never put up with a full rebuild’. That’s it.
To me that's overthinking it a bit. I believe Henry meant exactly what he said, and that it was basically his response to all the tumult about full throttle and the team's payroll.

I think what he said would have come across much better if he added a little nuance to it. He spoke in such absolute terms about "fans" as a class of human beings or something. And the 1 in 30 thing - as if the third wealthiest team has no advantage. It was incredibly reductive. Made him sound like he was yelling at clouds. I don't understand why these guys keep saying stuff they should know will not be well received.
 

simplicio

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And yet... the Sox finished in 5th place the last two seasons and tinkered around the margins last offseason.
I'd counter that bringing in Breslow and his new coaches (majors and minors) was, in hindsight, the most radical organizational shift since at least the Mookie trade and not remotely marginal. It just wasn't the same sort of easily visible move as "we signed a guy to hit a million home runs" to get the endorphins flowing.
 

sezwho

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I'd counter that bringing in Breslow and his new coaches (majors and minors) was, in hindsight, the most radical organizational shift since at least the Mookie trade and not remotely marginal. It just wasn't the same sort of easily visible move as "we signed a guy to hit a million home runs" to get the endorphins flowing.
Even while grumbling in my basement I fully agree here, and am a big Breslow believer. In this fan's eyes he's violently adjusted the trajectory for Red Sox pitching up (SP in particular) and the position side was already in a good place and should continue to reflect development of the yoots. Finding a place to insert the missing monster RH bat can be solved with money. fwiw - they'll pull me back when they are showing $ commitment to winning or actually winning (meaning threating divisions not threating a winning record).
 

Rovin Romine

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I guess this is the crux of the debate right here. I don't remember a lot of "develop-but-hopefully compete" years from 2002-2018. And I think it's asking a LOT of this fanbase to finish dead last in the AL East the last two seasons and go into another year more interested in developing for the future than competing in the present.
Is it asking a lot though? The 2022 and 2023 teams competed until derailed by injuries. I was there. I saw it happen.

Most of their young-player gambles have paid off this year (thusfar) in terms of showing skills that seem to play at the MLB level. But suppose they had the same injury luck. Do you really think a year of Corbin Burnes would make a difference? Or that the cost wouldn't be equivalent to what BAL paid?

Burnes is a FA after this year. He is the prototype of a GFIN acquisition, which Baltimore can and should do - as of next year they'll have 4 FAs and 16 or so players in their arb years. So while they'll clear some salary, their budget is going nowhere but up. And maybe they spend that on Burnes if he wants to stay, or maybe he goes elsewhere. But he cost a rookie SP with full control and a rookie 3B with full control who is putting up a 138 OPS+.

Let's try a thought experiment. We trade for Burns. Call the talent cost Fitts, Abreu, and a sweetener, because just those two that's probably not enough. Mata? And we'll pretend the CWS are interested in those players anyway.

What if we also traded for a big bat? How about Soto? He can slide into Abreu's vacant spot. Perfect. RSN has a twitter-gasm. Many Jerseys are printed and sold to adoring little leaguers. It is So! Fucking! On!

But he cost the NYYs 4 pitchers and their backup catcher. King, who started 13 games this year for the Padres and is a FA in 2026. Brito, an effective pre-arb reliever. Thorpe, a legit SP prospect with full control. Vazquez a legit longman type with full control. So, call it, McGuire, Crawford, Winckowski, Campbell - probably need someone else given Winckowski's bone chips. . .Criswell? Slaten? I may be guilty of trading some nickels for dimes here, because who really knew about Slaten or Criswell going into the season, but maybe that's the "actual" talent cost.

And hey, presto, holes open. . .but we can fill them. Barely.

Our Rotation is Burns, Pivetta, Houck, Bello, and Anderson replacing Whitlock. But there's nobody in the high minors and no one who can covert into a starter. So we'll lose every 5th game and have no real replacements for the stretches Bello and Pivetta were injured beyond Uwasawa. If anyone is injured, we're just screwed.​
Our Pen is Jansen, Martin, Bernardino, Weissart, Booser, Kelly, Joely and Jacques? And nobody immediately available beyond that. Keep in mind Jansen and Martin have both missed games and/or gone on the IL. So the next guys down are Uwasawa or a pickup the quality of Keller. So we'll blow a lot of games, but maybe we develop/promote an arm or Hendricks comes back after the ASB. But there are no long men, so wear and tear will be something. And we really have no young and ready players to trade for relief arms - certainly not top shelf ones. What do we think Dalbec would fetch?​
Our Lineup is Casas Smith, Grissom Valdez, Story Hamilton, Devers, Soto, Duran, Rafaela, Yoshida, Wong/Heineman. (I assume we don't trade our MiL players for O'Neill.) Which means for 1/3rd of the games the bottom of the order would be: Hamilton/Smith/Valdez/Heineman/Rafaela. But in reality, we'd probably have grabbed Cooper first since he had the better track record recently and during this season. Hamilton/Cooper/Valdez/Heineman/Rafaela.​

So, still a club with a lot of warts. And zero depth. Really zero. Maybe we compete and make the post-season, or maybe we're still within a handful of games of .500, but with zero safety-net unless we're willing to trade out of the AA prospect group. Because we'd be all in. Why?

Well, looking forward to 2025, we have mortgaged the future for the now, the FAs are: Burns, Soto, Pivetta, Jansen, Martin, Anderson, Refsnyder.

-For the rotation, we have Houck, Bello, Whitlock (who hasn't pitched), and nobody but FA options - no high minors depth.​
-For the pen, we have Hendricks, Bernardino, Weissart, Booser, and Kelly - but assume 1 or 2 arms are found/developed.​
-For the lineup it's Casas, Grissom, Story, Devers, Duran, Rafaela, Yoshida. We'll have some moderate depth in the high minors for the IF, but need two OFs, at least for 2025. Probably a catcher if Teel isn't ready. So we'll have to find people willing to take 1 year contracts or be stuck with them for longer.​

And that's exactly how you mortgage the future. You're back on the 2022/2023 "Signing short term FA starters" bus.
 

jon abbey

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I completely agree with the point, but want to add that I think BOS would have had to send even more in both a Burnes and a Soto deal.
 

Sin Duda

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Is it asking a lot though? The 2022 and 2023 teams competed until derailed by injuries. I was there. I saw it happen.

Most of their young-player gambles have paid off this year (thusfar) in terms of showing skills that seem to play at the MLB level. But suppose they had the same injury luck. Do you really think a year of Corbin Burnes would make a difference? Or that the cost wouldn't be equivalent to what BAL paid?

Burnes is a FA after this year. He is the prototype of a GFIN acquisition, which Baltimore can and should do - as of next year they'll have 4 FAs and 16 or so players in their arb years. So while they'll clear some salary, their budget is going nowhere but up. And maybe they spend that on Burnes if he wants to stay, or maybe he goes elsewhere. But he cost a rookie SP with full control and a rookie 3B with full control who is putting up a 138 OPS+.

Let's try a thought experiment. We trade for Burns. Call the talent cost Fitts, Abreu, and a sweetener, because just those two that's probably not enough. Mata? And we'll pretend the CWS are interested in those players anyway.

What if we also traded for a big bat? How about Soto? He can slide into Abreu's vacant spot. Perfect. RSN has a twitter-gasm. Many Jerseys are printed and sold to adoring little leaguers. It is So! Fucking! On!

But he cost the NYYs 4 pitchers and their backup catcher. King, who started 13 games this year for the Padres and is a FA in 2026. Brito, an effective pre-arb reliever. Thorpe, a legit SP prospect with full control. Vazquez a legit longman type with full control. So, call it, McGuire, Crawford, Winckowski, Campbell - probably need someone else given Winckowski's bone chips. . .Criswell? Slaten? I may be guilty of trading some nickels for dimes here, because who really knew about Slaten or Criswell going into the season, but maybe that's the "actual" talent cost.

And hey, presto, holes open. . .but we can fill them. Barely.

Our Rotation is Burns, Pivetta, Houck, Bello, and Anderson replacing Whitlock. But there's nobody in the high minors and no one who can covert into a starter. So we'll lose every 5th game and have no real replacements for the stretches Bello and Pivetta were injured beyond Uwasawa. If anyone is injured, we're just screwed.​
Our Pen is Jansen, Martin, Bernardino, Weissart, Booser, Kelly, Joely and Jacques? And nobody immediately available beyond that. Keep in mind Jansen and Martin have both missed games and/or gone on the IL. So the next guys down are Uwasawa or a pickup the quality of Keller. So we'll blow a lot of games, but maybe we develop/promote an arm or Hendricks comes back after the ASB. But there are no long men, so wear and tear will be something. And we really have no young and ready players to trade for relief arms - certainly not top shelf ones. What do we think Dalbec would fetch?​
Our Lineup is Casas Smith, Grissom Valdez, Story Hamilton, Devers, Soto, Duran, Rafaela, Yoshida, Wong/Heineman. (I assume we don't trade our MiL players for O'Neill.) Which means for 1/3rd of the games the bottom of the order would be: Hamilton/Smith/Valdez/Heineman/Rafaela. But in reality, we'd probably have grabbed Cooper first since he had the better track record recently and during this season. Hamilton/Cooper/Valdez/Heineman/Rafaela.​

So, still a club with a lot of warts. And zero depth. Really zero. Maybe we compete and make the post-season, or maybe we're still within a handful of games of .500, but with zero safety-net unless we're willing to trade out of the AA prospect group. Because we'd be all in. Why?

Well, looking forward to 2025, we have mortgaged the future for the now, the FAs are: Burns, Soto, Pivetta, Jansen, Martin, Anderson, Refsnyder.

-For the rotation, we have Houck, Bello, Whitlock (who hasn't pitched), and nobody but FA options - no high minors depth.​
-For the pen, we have Hendricks, Bernardino, Weissart, Booser, and Kelly - but assume 1 or 2 arms are found/developed.​
-For the lineup it's Casas, Grissom, Story, Devers, Duran, Rafaela, Yoshida. We'll have some moderate depth in the high minors for the IF, but need two OFs, at least for 2025. Probably a catcher if Teel isn't ready. So we'll have to find people willing to take 1 year contracts or be stuck with them for longer.​

And that's exactly how you mortgage the future. You're back on the 2022/2023 "Signing short term FA starters" bus.
Wow, that is really well thought out, RR. Thanks for that (sincerely). I'm willing to wait but I can see why Johnny from Burger King cannot.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I believe it was the Brewers who traded Burnes, and not the CWS, but your point remains- the Red Sox were never going to be able to trade for the top players available last offseason because no matter how good folks said the farm system was- it didn’t have pitching and the Sox weren’t willing to trade their top few prospects. I guess we can be thankful that there wasn’t much of a market for Duran, who the Sox clearly seemed to want to move.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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JWH made the comments referenced here as a seasoned sports owner and professional investor. Its safe to assume that he chose his own words and knew they could be interpreted widely - this isn't his first rodeo. We also have the team's budget and actual record. Everything beyond that is spin depending on whatever axe someone has.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Why would you trade for both in this scenario when each are free agents this winter? Trade for one, my preference would be Soto, and try to sign Burnes in December.

I’m not that worried about depth in the minor leagues. They have a ton of guys that are Rule V eligible that need to be moved. Plus there’s a draft every year. Replenishing a farm system can be done.
 

8slim

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I continue to be baffled by what ownership expects of its fan base.

Does Henry expect that Fenway will be sold out every game (by Sox fans) with a robust secondary market, merch will fly off the shelves and TV ratings will be akin to 2004, while the team scuffles along at .500?

Does he expect high-fives and huzzahs for a 389-386 record since 2019?

We debate all the particulars of why and how this has been a .502 franchise for 5 years, and we debate how a title-contending team should be built. And that's all well and good.

But the bottom line is that the Sox have been the very definition of mediocre for half a decade now, and I have no clue why Henry is taking subtle shots at his customers. As if we're the problem.
 

Sox Pride

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Nov 25, 2005
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How do I feel about the last 20 years of team ownership?
Fantastic? Elated? Hard to come up with a good enough superlative really. They got the job done. Repeatedly. Compared to the 27 years prior (my fandom), it was phenomenal.
Four titles, rejuvenation of Fenway, so much good community outreach.

There's a lot of angst out there about two years of finishing six games below .500. But I like the product they're putting on the field now. I like rooting for younger players. I think we're heading in the right direction.
 

dynomite

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Is it asking a lot though?

[snipped long, thought out post]
Thanks for taking the time to type this up. I think you lay out your position well. It's clearer now why you and some others feel comfortable with the direction of the team. I won't respond to every point you make, I'll try to just give a few responses to the places I see the most disagreement.

Most of all, while again I respect the work you put in here, I think you are setting up a false dichotomy between "mortgaging the future" and what we're currently seeing. As @John Marzano Olympic Hero says, you laid out a hypothetical based upon the most extreme "go for it now" proposal: the Red Sox trading substantial assets from both the farm system and the major league roster to get not one but two 1-year rental stars in Burnes and Soto (which as @jon abbey notes would potentially have required even more assets from the Sox).

I can't recall anyone on SoSH ever advocating for this? Even during the earlier era of the Henry ownership, the one many of us are pining for, the Sox never really did this as far as I can remember. When the Sox traded for Schilling, they extended him. When they traded for Beckett, he had two years left on his deal (and they extended him early in the '06 season). When they traded for Chris Sale, he had three years left (two of them club options).

I assume you mentioned Burnes because above I said that if the Sox had signed Yamamoto or traded for Burnes I thought the conversation on here would be different. I still feel that way, putting aside the wisdom of trading for Burnes (especially after trading away Sale). If they had traded for Jesus Luzardo, or signed Shota Imanaga or Sonny Gray, or traded for Brent Rooker, I also think the conversation on here would be different.

And even to play with your Burnes/Soto hypothetical for a moment -- which again, is a pretty wild hypothetical I cannot picture -- what if they ended up winning the World Series in 2024 in this alternate reality after depriving the Orioles & Yankees of these two, or extending Soto after he ends up loving it in Boston? Would that make the jerseys "sold to adoring little leaguers" more palatable?

The 2022 and 2023 teams competed until derailed by injuries. I was there. I saw it happen.
...
And that's exactly how you mortgage the future. You're back on the 2022/2023 "Signing short term FA starters" bus.
Again, I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle here. I simply refuse to believe that doing more than what the Red Sox have done since 2021 would have to mean "mortgaging the future."

Again, the Henry ownership group knows far better than I do how to make it work. They were able to deal for Josh Beckett -- and traded away a legitimate budding superstar in Hanley -- without "mortgaging the future" (retaining Pedroia, Ellsbury, Lester, etc.) They were able to deal for Chris Sale -- and traded away a consensus top prospect in MLB in Moncada -- without "mortgaging the future" (retaining Devers and Benintendi).
 
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Rovin Romine

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Thanks for taking the time to type this up. I think you lay out your position well. It's clearer now why you and some others feel comfortable with the direction of the team. I won't respond to every point you make, I'll try to just give a few responses to the places I see the most disagreement.

Most of all, while again I respect the work you put in here, I think you are setting up a false dichotomy between "mortgaging the future" and what we're currently seeing. As @John Marzano Olympic Hero says, you laid out a hypothetical based upon the most extreme "go for it now" proposal: the Red Sox trading substantial assets from both the farm system and the major league roster to get not one but two 1-year rental stars in Burnes and Soto (which as @jon abbey notes would potentially have required even more assets from the Sox).

I can't recall anyone on SoSH ever advocating for this? Even during the earlier era of the Henry ownership, the one many of us are pining for, the Sox never really did this as far as I can remember. When the Sox traded for Schilling, they extended him. When they traded for Beckett, he had two years left on his deal (and they extended him early in the '06 season). When they traded for Chris Sale, he had three years left (two of them club options).

I assume you mentioned Burnes because above I said that if the Sox had signed Yamamoto or traded for Burnes I thought the conversation on here would be different. I still feel that way, putting aside the wisdom of trading for Burnes (especially after trading away Sale). If they had traded for Jesus Luzardo, or signed Shota Imanaga or Sonny Gray, or traded for Brent Rooker, I also think the conversation on here would be different.

And even to play with your Burnes/Soto hypothetical for a moment -- which again, is a pretty wild hypothetical I cannot picture -- what if they ended up winning the World Series in 2024 in this alternate reality after depriving the Orioles & Yankees of these two, or extending Soto after he ends up loving it in Boston? Would that make the jerseys "sold to adoring little leaguers" more palatable?



Again, I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle here. I simply refuse to believe that doing more than what the Red Sox have done since 2021 would have to mean "mortgaging the future."

Again, the Henry ownership group knows far better than I do how to make it work. They were able to deal for Josh Beckett -- and traded away a legitimate budding superstar in Hanley -- without "mortgaging the future" (retaining Pedroia, Ellsbury, Lester, etc.) They were able to deal for Chris Sale -- and traded away a consensus top prospect in MLB in Moncada -- without "mortgaging the future" (retaining Devers and Benintendi).
Thanks for the thoughtful response.

Sure, I used an extreme example to make a point. But that overall point remains - if you're shipping out talent to get talent, you usually pay more in future cost-controlled years for a more established player with less control. (Case in point - Sale for Grissom.)

I think some fans (I wouldn't want to say "sides" since there's a spectrum here) want to compete right now. So they publicly advocate for trading long-term assets for short term ones, in the classic GFIN strategy. I think at some points in any given competition cycle, pretty much every team has to do that. You don't want to lose the kingdom for want of a horse - or even a #5 starter. I would hope we agree on these points thusfar, because they're pretty obvious.

The question is really the cost of that GFIN strategy.

Anyway, that's what I think some of the "compete now" fans are having trouble processing - the actual cost of trading for players in the 2023-24 environment. It's high. Maybe even very high. (Case in point - Abreu and Valdez for Vazquez.) I think it's high because of the fact more teams are in the playoff hunt. More buyers, fewer sellers - you do the math.

The Sox farm system is still. . .well, I wouldn't call it "thin" but it's pitching-light and key-prospect heavy. We also just don't have a lot of high-minors guys who may be capable of starting in the majors for other clubs. (Well, beyond the ones that are already there or who are injured.) I'm thinking of pitchers in particular who might be 2023 Murphy types - maybe starters, but with enough viable ML-quality pitches to maybe make a bullpen impact. We also don't have any clusters of ML ready position-players to deal out of (like ATL did with Grissom). I mean maybe if Story/Grissom weren't injured, we'd have surplus 2B prospects in Hamilton/Valdez/Yorke. But that's all I can think of. We don't have a ML ready catcher now bumped by Teel, or a ML ready SS now bumped by Mayer, or a ML ready OF now bumped by Anthony. Those guys aren't even in AAA yet.

So we're still kind of suffering from a high-minors talent gap - guys either hold roles on the ML club (Rafaela, Abreu) or are in AA. Breslow has tried to address it in various ways - Criswell, Fitts, etc. And good that he did with the injuries we suffered.

What we do have are a lot of guys who are current MLB players who have long term control. Houck, Bello, Casas, Wickowski, etc. And I'm really not sure who of them you realistically trade - and for what? (I mean fan-fantasy trades aside.) Those are the players other teams would be interested in, apart from the MBTA prospects. So those are the ones I used in the trade scenarios. And they pretty closely parallel what the cost of talent acquisition actually was. In the real world.

So that's really the trade aspect of it. We have little or nothing in AAA. So we can move Abreu/Rafaela/Whitlock and open up holes, or we can trade the AA players and open holes there. But then we'd have no ML talent in AAA and AA. And we wouldn't be trading to replenish it because that would involve shipping good-short-term-control players to other MLB competing clubs. Unless we did some step-forward-step-back trades like Bloom did in 2022. (And weren't those calmly well-received by everyone here?) We'd be in GFIN mode. We're not dealing guys we just dealt for.

I'm more agnostic on the FA acquisition prong. Sure, they could have signed some guys. (But not Burnes or Soto.) But each signing displaces someone. Each signing is also normally for an older player who may or may not be worth it by the end of the contract.

For example, it's really not worth throwing a tantrum over whether they signed Teoscar Hernandez or traded for O'Neill to be the RF/OF depth/Abreu insurance. It worked, and I don't want Teoscar's terrible fielding creating another issue for the next couple years. Or even just this year, given that he signed a one year contract. Abreu appears to be able to handle RF and MLB pitching. RF problem solved. Could they have signed Teoscar and maybe traded him for prospects if they fell out of competition, then restocked in the FA market if Abreu had sucked? Sure. But you know what? They can to that with O'Neill just as well. So I really don't see what the problem is.

Anyway, sorry if that's repetitive, but I didn't really emphasize what the Sox have to work with and the roster structure in the first post.

TLDR: They just don't have enough depth to trade out of their stock of MLB-ready players without coming up dry next year, and getting back on the stop-gap FA cycle. (Which apparently most of the current belly-achers absolutely fucking hated with the fury of a white hot sun - see reactions to 2022 and 2023.)



The other caution I'd add is that almost any team can be made demonstrably better with 20/20 hind-sight. You know which players will be injured or will suck. You know which FAs will be good and which are dogs. But when you're constructing the team in the off-season, you always end up rolling the dice on some level. You can't cover all injury and underperformance options with ML ready backups stashed away in some magical place.

Even so, I don't think "fairly" redrawing the off-season gets us out of the injury box. The bottom of the lineup is still staffed with replacement players. Even swapping a no-cost magically-acquired Soto for O'Neill would not change that. So I don't think your 2024 WS hypo really works. Or if it did, it would likely happen if these Sox were healthy (Giolito/Story/Casas/Grissom/etc.)
 

simplicio

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Again, I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle here. I simply refuse to believe that doing more than what the Red Sox have done since 2021 would have to mean "mortgaging the future."

Again, the Henry ownership group knows far better than I do how to make it work. They were able to deal for Josh Beckett -- and traded away a legitimate budding superstar in Hanley -- without "mortgaging the future" (retaining Pedroia, Ellsbury, Lester, etc.) They were able to deal for Chris Sale -- and traded away a consensus top prospect in MLB in Moncada -- without "mortgaging the future" (retaining Devers and Benintendi).
They made those big trades in moments where we already had a solid core in place. In 2014 they had Mookie, X and JBJ up but not yet performing at peak, and they were staying away from big FA (lol Ellsbury) and selling at the deadline; they didn't start buying until Price in 2016 and Sale in 2017.

I think that's fairly analogous to this season. We could make pretty reasonable assumptions about Devers and Story (and maybe Casas) performing well this winter (much like Pedey and Papi in 2014), but the whole rotation, whole outfield, 2B, C and DH all came with very real question marks attached. To their credit we've seen many of these new players answering those questions commendably, but going after major trades pre-season would have been an enormous (in my view unwise) gamble.
 

chrisfont9

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I look at the last few years as the game changing talent-wise at a moment where they were falling behind. the old reloading system worked for two decades and then stopped. Nothing works forever; they need time to adjust to the new world. I don't assign them any ill will. Frankly i would say they are ahead of schedule.
 

Rovin Romine

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They made those big trades in moments where we already had a solid core in place. In 2014 they had Mookie, X and JBJ up but not yet performing at peak, and they were staying away from big FA (lol Ellsbury) and selling at the deadline; they didn't start buying until Price in 2016 and Sale in 2017.

I think that's fairly analogous to this season. We could make pretty reasonable assumptions about Devers and Story (and maybe Casas) performing well this winter (much like Pedey and Papi in 2014), but the whole rotation, whole outfield, 2B, C and DH all came with very real question marks attached. To their credit we've seen many of these new players answering those questions commendably, but going after major trades pre-season would have been an enormous (in my view unwise) gamble.
Let's do the walkthrough, because this is really what they're trying to avoid here:

2014 - finished 5th in the AL East.
It was a fire sale year as key pieces from 2013 underperformed.
S.Drew, Lester, Lackey, Gomes and Miller went out - bringing back E-Rod, Allen Craig, Joe Kelly and Cespedes.
As you noted Xander, JBJ, and Mookie were up and their FA clocks were running.

That off-season we traded Cespedes, Ruby De La Rosa, and Allen Webster for Porcello and Wade Miley. We also signed Sandoval and Ramirez.


2015 - we finished 5th in the AL East, but there wasn't a significant fire sale. The deadline was quiet.
E-rod, Swihart, and Holt were promoted and did well. Rusney not so well.

In the 2015 off season we traded Margot and Miley for Kimbrel and Carson Smith. We also signed Dave Price.


2016 was a competitive year. Basically the first year of the window. The young core had 1 or 2 years under their belt. We got to the post season with good hitting (despite Sandoval and Hanley). Price and Good Porcello anchored the staff and Kimbrel closed. Benintendi came up and Vazquez came back. We grabbed Pomeranz, Zeigler, and Hill mid-season.

In the 2016 off-season we traded lots for Sale and Thornburg.

While DD was a master at not giving up too much, at this point the upper levels of the farm were barren. The only top 20 prospect who would ever contribute in a meaningful way, here or elsewhere, was Devers (and Beeks, who was traded.)

2017 was a competitive year. Second year of the window. We had our young/established core in place:
C - Vazquez (FA 2021)​
SS - Xander (FA 2020)​
3B - Devers (FA 2022)​
LF - Benni (FA 2022)​
CF - JBJ (FA 2021)​
RF - Betts (FA 2021)​
SP - E-Rod (FA 2022)​
SP - Pomeranz (FA 2019)​
RP - Kelly (FA 2020)​

Yet many of them were hitting Arb already. And much of our payroll was split between productive FAs and not so productive ones: Price and Sale v. Hanley, Bad Porcello, Sandoval, Injured Pedrioa, Chris Young, and Old Moreland.

Probably could have gone deeper into the post season without the ball and chain of some of those guys.

(As an aside, DD, butcher of farm-systems, did well this year, drafting/signing Houck, Crawford, Rafaela, Bello.)

In the 2017 off-season we signed JD Martinez.


2018 we win it all. A lot of people thought it was the beginning of a dynasty, but we were three years in and the window was already closing.

During the year, we traded Beeks and Buttrey for Eovaldi and Kinsler, and that was it for the high minors. We drafted Casas and Duran that year, and had Houck, Bello, Crawford, etc. but only Houck and Dalbec would get a cup of coffee in 2020, coming up full-time in 21.

There's now a huge a talent gap at AAA and AA. Since Devers in 2017, we had promoted no one of note. So that's essentially a 5 year gap - all your young/cost-controlled players will hit FA in 2021 or before. So to retain them or replace them you have to go onto the FA market. And we were already #1 in payroll in 2018.

In the 2018 off season there is no significant turn over, but Eovaldi is resigned and Sale will soon be extended.


2019 - a chance to win pissed away as we fail to make the post-season.

Even so we are buyers at the trade deadline - Andrew Cashner.

I won't discuss the offseason but to say that they were on the hook for $32M for a gimpy Price, $30M a gimpy Sale, and their core was approaching FA. Xander was a FA that off-season (extended $20M). Betts and JBJ were up in 2021. The only guys of note not already in arb were Beni and Devers.

Their rotation was literally Price (injured), Sale (injured), E-rod (FA in 2022) and Eovaldi (FA in 2023), and nobody.

They had no internal options to promote or trade with, unless they were going to package their more advanced guys (Houck, Dalbec, Groome) to get ML talent. Which'd just widen the gap.

So at the highest payroll in baseball, they had to augment their entirely FA rotation with a FA starter. Then acquire a FA 1B, a FA SS (Xander extension), and shore up a bullpen of headed by Barnes and Brasier.

Did I mention they had no one to promote? And that's not just because DD traded guys. It's because they weren't trading for MiL players or young cost controlled guys since 2015 or earlier. E-Rod and Kelley in 2014, and Pomeranz probably counts - but he was FA at the end of 2018. Talent goes out of the system when it hits FA.
 

dynomite

Member
SoSH Member
they didn't start buying until Price in 2016 and Sale in 2017.
2014 -
That off-season we traded Cespedes, Ruby De La Rosa, and Allen Webster for Porcello and Wade Miley. We also signed Sandoval and Ramirez.

In the 2015 off season we traded Margot and Miley for Kimbrel and Carson Smith. We also signed Dave Price.

2016 was a competitive year. Basically the first year of the window. …

2018 we win it all. A lot of people thought it was the beginning of a dynasty, but we were three years in and the window was already closing.
There’s a lot of interesting and factual discussion in this thread. It’s probably some of the most reasonable discussion of the past decade I’ve seen in a while. Thanks to RR and others again for that.

That said… I look at the same facts as you two on this and come to the opposite conclusions.

And I think for people who have been so rational about these decisions, talk of “windows” opening and closing is a little bit squirrelly.

1) It’s simply not true that the Sox “didn’t start buying until 2016.” After 2014 they spent $180M signing Hanley and Sandoval to 4 and 5 year deals, and traded for two of the best starting pitchers available in Porcello and Miley. (And as you say, they followed that up after 2015 when they traded for an All Star closer in Kimbrel and signed David Price to a record setting 7 year, $217M deal, one of the largest in history to that point for a pitcher.)

The 2015 and 2016 Red Sox weren’t good, but it wasn’t because the front office was writing off those seasons.

2) RR’s point about the 2018 team being almost the “end of the window” as opposed to the “start of the dynasty” (not even getting into the infuriating decision not to extend a certain RF) should offer a sober cautionary tale to anyone who is hand waving away competing in 2024 and 2025 because they’re planning to cash in on the ATM window :cool: . If we wait until 2027 or later to “buy” or “go all in” or whatever term people find appropriate, I worry the Sox may have sacrificed most of a decade waiting for a mystical “window” to open, only to remember that such things have a habit of slamming shut before you know it — prospects don’t pan out, they tear rib cartilage swinging a bat, etc.
 
Last edited:
Mar 30, 2023
216
I think the fundamental difference between supporters of FSG plan and critics is that the former group thinks the window closed in 2018 and it was inevitable that it would, whereas the latter group thinks the window was slammed shut by Henry when it could've been left open.

I'll say it again: the Red Sox and Yankees were essentially in the same place as organizations from 2016-2021. In fact, you could argue that the Red Sox were actually much better positioned than the Yankees for future success (that was certainly the consensus view at the time). The Sox had the better MLB team (though it was close) and they had comparable farm systems.

But, but, the Red Sox had the worst farm system in the game in 2019!!! No, they actually didn't. Farm system rankings aren't real. They are guesses. And looking back on the 2019 farm five years later shows that it was actually fine.

Here's a list of the players who were ranked as top 30 prospects for the Red Sox and Yankees in 2019 who have subsequently produced positive bWAR's as Major Leaguers. Only 5 bWAR separates the two systems and, ironically, Garrett Whitlock accounts for that difference:

Red Sox
Tanner Houck 8.8
Jarren Duran: 4.9
Kutter Crawford: 4.0
Brayan Bello: 3.5
Triston Casas: 2.5
Colten Brewer: 0.6
Darwinzon Hernandez: 0.5
Michael Chavis: 0.2
Total: 25

Yankees:

Michael King: 6.6
Garett Whitlock: 5.9
Thairo Estrada: 5.0
Jonathan Loaisiga: 4
Luis Gil: 3.3
Clark Schmidt: 2.8
Trevor Stephan: 1.7
Roansy Contreres: 1.1
Total: 30.4


The two organizations were essentially in the same place. The Yankees rejected the idea of a "competitive window" entirely and instead just kept adding talent to the big league team. Today they have the second-best odds to win the World Series. The Red Sox decided to let the MLB team deteriorate to focus on the farm system and wait for another "competitive window" to open sometime in the future. Today they are at risk of finishing under .500 three years in a row for only the second time since 1967 while Fenway Park has been turned into Citizens Bank Ballpark North. But hey, it's a pretty safe bet that FSG have banked more profit since 2021 than the Steinbrenners have.


*Note, also, that only 3 of the Yankees prospects are still in the organization because, even though the 2019 Yankees system was mediocre like the Sox' system, Cashman aggressively used it to improve the big league team, using King to get Juan Soto (currently on pace for ~9 bWAR this year) and Contreres to get Taillon (3.7 bWAR in two NYY seasons).
 
Last edited:

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
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Jul 14, 2005
25,961
Miami (oh, Miami!)
There’s a lot of interesting and factual discussion in this thread. It’s probably some of the most reasonable discussion of the past decade I’ve seen in a while. Thanks to RR and others again for that.

That said… I look at the same facts as you two on this and come to the opposite conclusions.

And I think for people who have been so rational about these decisions, talk of “windows” opening and closing is a little bit squirrelly.

1) It’s simply not true that the Sox “didn’t start buying until 2016.” After 2014 they spent $180M signing Hanley and Sandoval to 4 and 5 year deals, and traded for two of the best starting pitchers available in Porcello and Miley. After 2015, they traded for an All Star closer in Kimbrel and signed David Price to a record setting 7 year, $217M deal, one of the largest in history to that point for a pitcher.

The 2015 and 2016 Red Sox weren’t good, but it wasn’t because the front office was writing off those seasons.

2) RR’s point about the 2018 team being almost the “end of the window” as opposed to the “start of the dynasty” (not even getting into the infuriating decision not to extend a certain RF) should offer a sober cautionary tale to anyone who is hand waving away competing in 2024 and 2025 because they’re planning to cash in on the ATM window :)cool:). If we wait until 2027 or later to “buy” or “go all in” or whatever term people find appropriate, I worry the Sox may have sacrificed most of a decade waiting for a mystical “window” to open, only to remember that such things have a habit of slamming shut before you know it — prospects don’t pan out, they tear rib cartilage swinging a bat, etc.
I'm not saying that they should wait till 2027. I'm saying the opposite. With the jumps forward of their younger players, the window is opening now. ("Window" here stands simply for a block of talent under control that will let you compete.)

The Sox have control their core of younger talented guys from now until 2027/2028. They won't cost a ton until then (or unless some are extended.) That gives them 2025/2026/2027 to compete by adding appropriate FAs where they need to.

That window is going to be augmented/extended past 2027 if the MBTA prospects make it all the way down the green line, and if they keep the pipeline from the MiLs going. (Pitching is still thin.)

I'm sure if the Sox could magically jettison Story and Yoshida at no cost they would love to do so. Which is not saying they might not be very useful players in 2025 (I hope they will be). But it is saying out that just signing someone to sign them because you have some surplus money isn't often wise. They may not be the best fit in the near future - and you're still stuck with the contracts.

I think a semi-valid question is: "Could the Sox have competed this year and so been more aggressive on the FA market to plug holes?" Only semi-valid because I think they actually did that. I think they trusted their younger players to take a step forward and signed/acquired complimentary or short term pieces (like Grissom/Giolito/O'Neill.)

But I think the 2024 Sox approach of favoring younger players whenever possible isn't GFIN-ish. Because I think they didn't know which younger players would stick and which wouldn't. So a develop/compete strategy.

Personally, I don't want them to have another pure GFIN period like what led up to 2018. Because that actually shut off 2019/20/21/22 in terms of talent flow. I want them to be responsible and develop and retain a flow of younger talent, because I think that will make them more competitive year in and year out.

That said, if Story rips his hip this off-season, and Mayer isn't ready, and Grissom has some other issue - well, then I want them to use their unspent budget or trade chips to acquire a ML SS for 2025. That's how you use FA money wisely, as opposed to throwing a boatload at Jordan Montgomery or signing Teoscar Hernandez to a 2 or 3 year deal and dealing with 2025/6 when it rolls around. (Ahem Carl Crawford, Pablo Sandoval, and Hanley Ramirez.)

Or let's say Casas develops a permanent injury and is out of baseball, but Grissom shines and Hamilton continues to steady. Then you know what to do with your FA slush fund and/or Nick Yorke.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2007
6,866
I'm not saying that they should wait till 2027. I'm saying the opposite. With the jumps forward of their younger players, the window is opening now. ("Window" here stands simply for a block of talent under control that will let you compete.)

The Sox have control their core of younger talented guys from now until 2027/2028. They won't cost a ton until then (or unless some are extended.) That gives them 2025/2026/2027 to compete by adding appropriate FAs where they need to.

That window is going to be augmented/extended past 2027 if the MBTA prospects make it all the way down the green line, and if they keep the pipeline from the MiLs going. (Pitching is still thin.)

I'm sure if the Sox could magically jettison Story and Yoshida at no cost they would love to do so. Which is not saying they might not be very useful players in 2025 (I hope they will be). But it is saying out that just signing someone to sign them because you have some surplus money isn't often wise. They may not be the best fit in the near future - and you're still stuck with the contracts.

I think a semi-valid question is: "Could the Sox have competed this year and so been more aggressive on the FA market to plug holes?" Only semi-valid because I think they actually did that. I think they trusted their younger players to take a step forward and signed/acquired complimentary or short term pieces (like Grissom/Giolito/O'Neill.)

But I think the 2024 Sox approach of favoring younger players whenever possible isn't GFIN-ish. Because I think they didn't know which younger players would stick and which wouldn't. So a develop/compete strategy.

Personally, I don't want them to have another pure GFIN period like what led up to 2018. Because that actually shut off 2019/20/21/22 in terms of talent flow. I want them to be responsible and develop and retain a flow of younger talent, because I think that will make them more competitive year in and year out.

That said, if Story rips his hip this off-season, and Mayer isn't ready, and Grissom has some other issue - well, then I want them to use their unspent budget or trade chips to acquire a ML SS for 2025. That's how you use FA money wisely, as opposed to throwing a boatload at Jordan Montgomery or signing Teoscar Hernandez to a 2 or 3 year deal and dealing with 2025/6 when it rolls around. (Ahem Carl Crawford, Pablo Sandoval, and Hanley Ramirez.)

Or let's say Casas develops a permanent injury and is out of baseball, but Grissom shines and Hamilton continues to steady. Then you know what to do with your FA slush fund and/or Nick Yorke.
How far off is Zanatello? Generally really liking what he's doing. I was pretty skeptical of him sticking as a middle infielder but defensive reports are pretty encouraging and his offense looks like it'll continue to play- good plate discipline and batting skills. Power should develop. Definitely someone to possibly leverage into a great deal if he can continue this through AA when that ehem... .uh.... "magic window" should still be open.
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
25,961
Miami (oh, Miami!)
I think the fundamental difference between supporters of FSG plan and critics is that the former group thinks the window closed in 2018 and it was inevitable that it would, whereas the latter group thinks the window was slammed shut by Henry when it could've been left open.

I'll say it again: the Red Sox and Yankees were essentially in the same place as organizations from 2016-2021. In fact, you could argue that the Red Sox were actually much better positioned than the Yankees for future success (that was certainly the consensus view at the time). The Sox had the better MLB team (though it was close) and they had comparable farm systems.

But, but, the Red Sox had the worst farm system in the game in 2019!!! No, they actually didn't. Farm system rankings aren't real. They are guesses. And looking back on the 2019 farm five years later shows that it was actually fine.

Here's a list of the players who were ranked as top 30 prospects for the Red Sox and Yankees in 2019 who have subsequently produced positive bWAR's as Major Leaguers. Only 5 bWAR separates the two systems and, ironically, Garrett Whitlock accounts for that difference:

Red Sox
Tanner Houck 8.8
Jarren Duran: 4.9
Kutter Crawford: 4.0
Brayan Bello: 3.5
Triston Casas: 2.5
Colten Brewer: 0.6
Darwinzon Hernandez: 0.5
Michael Chavis: 0.2
Total: 25

Yankees:

Michael King: 6.6
Garett Whitlock: 5.9
Thairo Estrada: 5.0
Jonathan Loaisiga: 4
Luis Gil: 3.3
Clark Schmidt: 2.8
Trevor Stephan: 1.7
Roansy Contrares: 1.1
Total: 30.4

The two organizations were essentially in the same place. The Yankees rejected the idea of a "competitive window" entirely and instead just kept adding talent to the big league team. Today they have the second-best odds to win the World Series. The Red Sox decided to let the MLB team deteriorate to focus on the farm system and wait for another "competitive window" to open sometime in the future. Today they are at risk of finishing under .500 three years in a row for only the second time since 1967 while Fenway Park has been turned into Citizens Bank Ballpark North. But hey, it's a pretty safe bet that FSG have banked more profit since 2021 than the Steinbrenners have.
This is one of the sillier things I've read here.

You are not accounting for time.

The Sox had the clock running out on core control in 21/22 and nobody to bring up besides Houck/Dalbec. (That's because they promoted much of their young talent in a cluster around 2014/5, with Beni/Devers being the last in 2017, then traded out of the farm system without replenishing it.)

Meanwhile the Yankees had developed a steady flow of ML-ready players they brought up (or traded) a ton of guys after 2017 - and so had longer control over them because their FA clocks started ticking later.

You can go to Cots and compare the key players the NYYs had under control -and for how long- at the start of 2019 with the Sox. It's a completely different picture.
 

simplicio

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2012
6,384
There’s a lot of interesting and factual discussion in this thread. It’s probably some of the most reasonable discussion of the past decade I’ve seen in a while. Thanks to RR and others again for that.

That said… I look at the same facts as you two on this and come to the opposite conclusions.

And I think for people who have been so rational about these decisions, talk of “windows” opening and closing is a little bit squirrelly.

1) It’s simply not true that the Sox “didn’t start buying until 2016.” After 2014 they spent $180M signing Hanley and Sandoval to 4 and 5 year deals, and traded for two of the best starting pitchers available in Porcello and Miley. (And as you say, they followed that up after 2015 when they traded for an All Star closer in Kimbrel and signed David Price to a record setting 7 year, $217M deal, one of the largest in history to that point for a pitcher.)

The 2015 and 2016 Red Sox weren’t good, but it wasn’t because the front office was writing off those seasons.

2) RR’s point about the 2018 team being almost the “end of the window” as opposed to the “start of the dynasty” (not even getting into the infuriating decision not to extend a certain RF) should offer a sober cautionary tale to anyone who is hand waving away competing in 2024 and 2025 because they’re planning to cash in on the ATM window :cool: . If we wait until 2027 or later to “buy” or “go all in” or whatever term people find appropriate, I worry the Sox may have sacrificed most of a decade waiting for a mystical “window” to open, only to remember that such things have a habit of slamming shut before you know it — prospects don’t pan out, they tear rib cartilage swinging a bat, etc.
I'd classify HanRam/Panda/Porcello/Miley as more mid-market than top (I'd probably put the Story, Yoshida, Martin and Kenley acquisitions in the same bucket), but fine, we can say they started buying after 2014. That doesn't change the fact that they waited to see what they had in their new young core for a year (while selling at the deadline) and I think the comparison to this year still holds.

I think the fundamental difference between supporters of FSG plan and critics is that the former group thinks the window closed in 2018 and it was inevitable that it would, whereas the latter group thinks the window was slammed shut by Henry when it could've been left open.

I'll say it again: the Red Sox and Yankees were essentially in the same place as organizations from 2016-2021. In fact, you could argue that the Red Sox were actually much better positioned than the Yankees for future success (that was certainly the consensus view at the time). The Sox had the better MLB team (though it was close) and they had comparable farm systems.

But, but, the Red Sox had the worst farm system in the game in 2019!!! No, they actually didn't. Farm system rankings aren't real. They are guesses. And looking back on the 2019 farm five years later shows that it was actually fine.

Here's a list of the players who were ranked as top 30 prospects for the Red Sox and Yankees in 2019 who have subsequently produced positive bWAR's as Major Leaguers. Only 5 bWAR separates the two systems and, ironically, Garrett Whitlock accounts for that difference:

Red Sox
Tanner Houck 8.8
Jarren Duran: 4.9
Kutter Crawford: 4.0
Brayan Bello: 3.5
Triston Casas: 2.5
Colten Brewer: 0.6
Darwinzon Hernandez: 0.5
Michael Chavis: 0.2
Total: 25

Yankees:

Michael King: 6.6
Garett Whitlock: 5.9
Thairo Estrada: 5.0
Jonathan Loaisiga: 4
Luis Gil: 3.3
Clark Schmidt: 2.8
Trevor Stephan: 1.7
Roansy Contrares: 1.1
Total: 30.4

The two organizations were essentially in the same place. The Yankees rejected the idea of a "competitive window" entirely and instead just kept adding talent to the big league team. Today they have the second-best odds to win the World Series. The Red Sox decided to let the MLB team deteriorate to focus on the farm system and wait for another "competitive window" to open sometime in the future. Today they are at risk of finishing under .500 three years in a row for only the second time since 1967 while Fenway Park has been turned into Citizens Bank Ballpark North. But hey, it's a pretty safe bet that FSG have banked more profit since 2021 than the Steinbrenners have.
This is ignoring a lot of factors, starting with the fact that the 2017-21 CBA completely changed how baseball did business. 2018 saw LAD drop under the CBT for the first time in 6 years, and NYY for the first time this century. That's how onerous being a third time offender was, and why they went to such great lengths to avoid it after 2019.
View: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vRp2lEfZR_fsUGh6vQpiVCVZKQWuFIF2Gxo7GdYLY5zMAc4MCa3ZLSRzgelHZHrsw/pubhtml


There's also no question that the Yankees have been more successful in recent years at developing pitching talent, and more aggressive in trading it away for MLB assets. Hopefully Breslow will prove more effective than Bloom in both areas. But until then, it's hard to sell what you ain't got, and that doesn't have a thing to do with Henry being cheap or whatever.
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
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Jul 14, 2005
25,961
Miami (oh, Miami!)
How far off is Zanatello? Generally really liking what he's doing. I was pretty skeptical of him sticking as a middle infielder but defensive reports are pretty encouraging and his offense looks like it'll continue to play- good plate discipline and batting skills. Power should develop. Definitely someone to possibly leverage into a great deal if he can continue this through AA when that ehem... .uh.... "magic window" should still be open.
It's about having a flow of talent you can use (promote/trade).

If you go by Sox Prospects:

Later in 2024: Fitts, L. Guerrero, Hickey.​
Some time in 2025: Mayer, Teel, Anthony, Meidroth, Lugo, Yorke, Jordan, Penrod, Dobbins.​
2026: Bleis, Sandlin, Perales, Castro, Campbell, Paulino, Wikelman, Monegro, Romero.​
2027: Zanetello, Y. Cespedes, E.Rodriguez, Bastardo.​
2028: Jonfran Garcia, Arias,​

The usual uncertainty abounds: guys may stall or take off. They might get promoted sooner or later due to injury.
They're not all going to stick, and it's pitching light. So I'd expect some trades.

But this seems more promising than the state of the system in April 2018, per soxprospects:

April 5, 2018
1 Jay Groome
2 Michael Chavis
3 Bryan Mata
4 Tanner Houck (at Salem)
5 Sam Travis
6 Mike Shawaryn
7 Darwinzon Hernandez (at Salem)
8 Alex Scherff
9 Josh Ockimey
10 Bobby Dalbec (at Salem)
11 Roniel Raudes
12 Cole Brannen
13 Jalen Beeks
14 Danny Diaz
15 Jake Thompson
16 Pedro Castellanos
17 CJ Chatham
18 Brian Johnson
19 Travis Lakins
20 Joan Martinez
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
13,331
Who, exactly? The 2019 Yankees, for example, were a really old team. They didn’t have any significant contributors under the age of 26. They only had one starter under the age of 30 (Domingo German).

They had cost controlled guys like Mike Tauchman, Gio Urshela, Clint Frazier,and Gary Sanchez.

But the Yankees have continued to be a pretty old team; Torres and Volpe being the exceptions and examples of young guys who have been key to their recent success.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
13,331
It's about having a flow of talent you can use (promote/trade).

If you go by Sox Prospects:

Later in 2024: Fitts, L. Guerrero, Hickey.​
Some time in 2025: Mayer, Teel, Anthony, Meidroth, Lugo, Yorke, Jordan, Penrod, Dobbins.​
2026: Bleis, Sandlin, Perales, Castro, Campbell, Paulino, Wikelman, Monegro, Romero.​
2027: Zanetello, Y. Cespedes, E.Rodriguez, Bastardo.​
2028: Jonfran Garcia, Arias,​

The usual uncertainty abounds: guys may stall or take off. They might get promoted sooner or later due to injury.
They're not all going to stick, and it's pitching light. So I'd expect some trades.

But this seems more promising than the state of the system in April 2018, per soxprospects:

April 5, 2018
1 Jay Groome
2 Michael Chavis
3 Bryan Mata
4 Tanner Houck (at Salem)
5 Sam Travis
6 Mike Shawaryn
7 Darwinzon Hernandez (at Salem)
8 Alex Scherff
9 Josh Ockimey
10 Bobby Dalbec (at Salem)
11 Roniel Raudes
12 Cole Brannen
13 Jalen Beeks
14 Danny Diaz
15 Jake Thompson
16 Pedro Castellanos
17 CJ Chatham
18 Brian Johnson
19 Travis Lakins
20 Joan Martinez
Of course that seems more promising than going back five+ years, you already know how many of those guys from the past have busted while we can continue to dream on the 189 prospects the Sox have now.
 

HfxBob

New Member
Nov 13, 2005
831
This is ignoring a lot of factors, starting with the fact that the 2017-21 CBA completely changed how baseball did business. 2018 saw LAD drop under the CBT for the first time in 6 years, and NYY for the first time this century. That's how onerous being a third time offender was, and why they went to such great lengths to avoid it after 2019.
But now the Dodgers are in their fourth year in a row paying tax, and the Yankees, Mets, Padres and Phillies are also in their third or fourth year in a row. And this is after even higher tax rates (the "Cohen tax") came in in the last CBT.
 
Mar 30, 2023
216
This is one of the sillier things I've read here.

You are not accounting for time.

The Sox had the clock running out on core control in 21/22 and nobody to bring up besides Houck/Dalbec. (That's because they promoted much of their young talent in a cluster around 2014/5, with Beni/Devers being the last in 2017, then traded out of the farm system without replenishing it.)

Meanwhile the Yankees had developed a steady flow of ML-ready players they brought up (or traded) a ton of guys after 2017 - and so had longer control over them because their FA clocks started ticking later.

You can go to Cots and compare the key players the NYYs had under control -and for how long- at the start of 2019 with the Sox. It's a completely different picture.
No, it's actually not a completely different picture at all.

The 2019 Yankees 40-man roster featured 16 players who would still be under team control through 2022. The 2019 Red Sox 40-man roster featured 14 such players. Over the next three seasons, those 16 Yankees produced 47.2 total bWAR compared to the Red Sox' 44.8. So even if you just added Mookie's 2020 season, the Red Sox contingent of players would've outperformed the Yankees contingent.


Giancarlo Stanton: 4.4
Aaron Hicks: 1.9
Luis Severino: 2
Aaron Judge: 17.7
Gary Sanchez: 1.2
Miguel Andujar: -.5
Chad Green: 2.7
Jordan Montgomery: 4.5
Luis Cessa: 2.3
Domingo German: 2
Jake Barrett: 0
Gio Urshela: 5.6
Clint Frazier: .5
Tyler Wade: .4
Thairo Estrada: 2.4
Jonathan Holder: .1
Total: 47.2

David Price: 1.4
Nate Eovaldi: 7.1
JD Martinez: 3.5
Chris Sale: .9
Xander Bogaerts: 12.5
Christian Vazquez: 4.2
Andrew Benintendi: 5.0
Rafael Devers: 8.9
Ryan Brasier: -.1
Marco Hernandez: 0
Juan Centeno: 0
Josh Smith: .2
Ryan Weber: 1.2
Brian Johnson: 0
Total: 44.8

So, again, in 2019 the Red Sox and Yankees had essentially the same amount of cost-controlled talent on the MLB roster and the same amount of future talent waiting in the minors.
 
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DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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But now the Dodgers are in their fourth year in a row paying tax, and the Yankees, Mets, Padres and Phillies are also in their third or fourth year in a row. And this is after even higher tax rates (the "Cohen tax") came in in the last CBT.
It should also be noted that the overall tax exists to level the playing field for not just Cohen but pretty much all of these exact clubs. If these teams are just paying the bill, the system isn't working as it should.
 

jon abbey

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So, again, in 2019 the Red Sox and Yankees had essentially the same amount of cost-controlled talent on the MLB roster and the same amount of future talent waiting in the minors.
Well, there is a lot more in a farm system than who is on the 40 man. Nestor Cortes Jr was in the system but not on the 40 man, Jasson Dominguez got signed that summer, JP Sears was in NY's system, those are just the first three guys I looked up.

Also not sure why the 'still in the system' part matters, Michael King was in NY's system in 2019 (after an inspired trade by Cashman), he ended up as the main chip for Juan Soto.
 

Rovin Romine

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Who, exactly? The 2019 Yankees, for example, were a really old team. They didn’t have any significant contributors under the age of 26. They only had one starter under the age of 30 (Domingo German).

They had cost controlled guys like Mike Tauchman, Gio Urshela, Clint Frazier,and Gary Sanchez.

But the Yankees have continued to be a pretty old team; Torres and Volpe being the exceptions and examples of young guys who have been key to their recent success.
I can only explain it so many times. So I've linked the spreadsheets here.

Boston had bad long contracts: Price, Sale.​
Boston had key, previously-cost controlled players hitting FA: Xander '20; Betts, JBJ '21; E-Rod '22.​
Boston had these pre: arb players of note: Devers, Benintendi. (This, by the way, is a stand in for control - arb players are usually 3 years or less.)​
From 2018 to 2021, Boston would promote or trade no MiL players of note, although Bloom did restock the system, I can't recall him trading a young, cost-controlled ML ready player for prospects.​

Compare:
NY had bad contracts, but they were short.​
NY only had Severino '21 approaching FA.​
NY had these pre: arb players of note: Judge, Sanches, Torres, Montgomery, Germain.​
Are you telling the thread that from 2018 to 2021 NY promoted or traded no MiL players of note? That they had no effective MiL capital?​
Because a quick skim shows they traded for Luis Gil, Zach Britton, J.A. Happ, Luke Voit, Lance Lynn, Andrew McClutchen, James Paxton, Edwin Encarnacion and others.​
I'm also pretty sure they promoted effective pitchers - King, Loaisiga and Cortes spring to mind.​
In 2019, these are in no way even moderately similiar clubs.

View: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1l9hPh7ITusWGngIWJdPqwN_kL5e9ci_ygCsg9ng02LM/edit?gid=573401688#gid=573401688


View: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ne8CBETgtUjCB6rK329z-g1Cf9PEnmDmH0KxreBb1DI/edit?gid=732207824#gid=732207824
 
Mar 30, 2023
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Well, there is a lot more in a farm system than who is on the 40 man. Nestor Cortes Jr was in the system but not on the 40 man, Jasson Dominguez got signed that summer, JP Sears was in NY's system, those are just the first three guys I looked up.

Also not sure why the 'still in the system' part matters, Michael King was in NY's system in 2019 (after an inspired trade by Cashman), he ended up as the main chip for Juan Soto.
Yes, I'm aware that there's a lot more in a farm system than who is on the 40 man. . . which is why I looked at both the 40 man and the list of the two team's top 30 prospects.

And no, the "still in the system part" doesn't matter . . . which is why I put both Michael King's and Garrett Whitlock's total career WAR in the Yankees column, even though they're now accumulating WAR on another team, and why I specifically noted that King ended up as the main chip for Juan Soto. Did you read the posts?
 

Rovin Romine

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Of course that seems more promising than going back five+ years, you already know how many of those guys from the past have busted while we can continue to dream on the 189 prospects the Sox have now.
Sure. So identify for me the sure-fire prospects in the system as of 2017/18/19 that were due to come up in 2018/19/20/21 and how they would have bolstered the team. Or any ML team, were they traded.

Like, for example, Jay Groome:
2017 - a 6.90 ERA in A ball.​
2018-19 - injured DNP.​

The Sox are really going expect that he'll come up and bolster the rotation in 2020, or 2021 - to the point where the Sox don't have to commit to another FA starter?

I'm listening.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I’m saying that there were many options and directions that the Red Sox organization could have taken after the injury riddled and bad luck 2019 campaign. They obviously did what they felt they had to do, but it’s not like they were destined to be mediocre for a long time and had to tear it up. Hell, the fact that they were pretty good in 2021 proves that.
 

jon abbey

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I'm not sure I understand the arguments here but maybe the biggest difference between the NY and BOS organizations currently is that NY installed their version of Bailey 4 years earlier, Matt Blake in late 2019. I wrote about that a bit at the time:

https://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?threads/hiring-all-the-kids-nys-coaching-youth-wave.29282/#post-6030218

NY has traded something like 20 prospect pitchers in the last couple of years, that is a lot of ammunition that BOS did not have. If they had hired Bailey in 2019, would things be different now? Probably.
 

Rovin Romine

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No, it's actually not a completely different picture at all.

The 2019 Yankees 40-man roster featured 16 players who would still be under team control through 2022. The 2019 Red Sox 40-man roster featured 14 such players. Over the next three seasons, those 16 Yankees produced 47.2 total bWAR compared to the Red Sox' 44.8. So even if you just added Mookie's 2020 season, the Red Sox contingent of players would've outperformed the Yankees contingent.


Giancarlo Stanton: 4.4
Aaron Hicks: 1.9
Luis Severino: 2
Aaron Judge: 17.7
Gary Sanchez: 1.2
Miguel Andujar: -.5
Chad Green: 2.7
Jordan Montgomery: 4.5
Luis Cessa: 2.3
Domingo German: 2
Jake Barrett: 0
Gio Urshela: 5.6
Clint Frazier: .5
Tyler Wade: .4
Thairo Estrada: 2.4
Jonathan Holder: .1
Total: 47.2

David Price: 1.4
Nate Eovaldi: 7.1
JD Martinez: 3.5
Chris Sale: .9
Xander Bogaerts: 12.5
Christian Vazquez: 4.2
Andrew Benintendi: 5.0
Rafael Devers: 8.9
Ryan Brasier: -.1
Marco Hernandez: 0
Juan Centeno: 0
Josh Smith: .2
Ryan Weber: 1.2
Brian Johnson: 0
Total: 44.8

So, again, in 2019 the Red Sox and Yankees had essentially the same amount of cost-controlled talent on the MLB roster and the same amount of future talent waiting in the minors.
I appreciate you taking an empirical look at this, but as noted you're ignoring the state of the farm system. You are also still not quite capturing time.

I'd suggest looking at the number of cost-controlled (pre FA) players on each team in 2019. Then figure out the total years of control left, and either the overall WAR or WAR per year.

Because the point is that in 2019 Yankees had more control than the Sox did.

And that is not even addressing the money locked into bad contracts or the dearth of talent in the upper minors for the Sox.

If you wanted to address that, add the WAR of any ML players added to the roster by MIL trade between 2019 and 2021. Also, any players that were in the system and promoted between 2019 and 2021.

Because the point is the 2019 Yankees had more MiL assets than the Sox, in the actually promotable or tradable, practical sense.
 
Mar 30, 2023
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I appreciate you taking an empirical look at this, but as noted you're ignoring the state of the farm system.

You are also still not quite capturing time.

I'd suggest looking at the number of cost-controlled (pre FA) players on each team in 2019. Then figure out the total years of control left, and either the overall WAR or WAR per year.

Because the point is that in 2019 Yankees had more control than the Sox did.

And that is not even addressing the money locked into bad contracts or the dearth of talent in the upper minors for the Sox.

If you wanted to address that, add the WAR of any ML players added to the roster by MIL trade between 2019 and 2021. Also, any players that were in the system and promoted between 2019 and 2021.

Because the point is the 2019 Yankees had more MiL assets than the Sox, in the actually promotable or tradable, practical sense.
I literally started by looking at the farm system. You know that, because you already responded to that post.

I started by showing that the farm systems in 2019 were essentially equal in terms of future talent. I then demonstrated that the 2019 40-man rosters were also essentially equal in cost-controlled talent. If you're still somehow convinced that this is wrong, feel free to do some math yourself to show me.
 
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Rovin Romine

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I’m saying that there were many options and directions that the Red Sox organization could have taken after the injury riddled and bad luck 2019 campaign. They obviously did what they felt they had to do, but it’s not like they were destined to be mediocre for a long time and had to tear it up. Hell, the fact that they were pretty good in 2021 proves that.
We could play "what if" all day long, with or without the rose-colored glasses.

But it is not really arguable that the value of the overall Sox system was low at the end of 2019. The ML club had significant injuries and holes. The players were all becoming expensive quite soon. The MiLs had no immediately promotable talent to plug holes or shore up gaps.

That's what they were looking at. Maybe they try to compete in 2020 (without foreknowledge of Covid), but how? Their payroll was already at #1, and they'd have to add who: Garret Cole at 9/325? Rendon at 7/245 and move Devers to 1B? Scoop Strasburg from the nationals at 8/300?

I don't think they had the stomach to do that for essentially a 1 year run - and then watch Betts and JBJ walk in FA (having resigned Xander, we'll assume.)

Because, to return to the point, the farm system was barren. There would be no upcoming players in 2020 to help, or you could trade your 2021 guys (Dalbec/Houck) for mid year hole-plugging. Then there'd be nobody in 2021 to help.

So you'd have to add Betts back at market rates. And JBJ. Or sign another CF. Because you had nothing in the minors. And what if someone gets injured?
 

Rovin Romine

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I literally started by looking at the farm system. You know that, because you already responded to that post.

I started by showing that the farm systems in 2019 were essentially equal in terms of future talent. I then demonstrated that the 2019 40-man rosters were also essentially equal in cost-controlled talent. If you're still somehow convinced that this is wrong, feel free to do some math yourself to show me. Just repeating "but bad contracts!" over and over again doesn't really count as analysis -- particularly in light of the fact that the Yankees had Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, and Jacoby Ellsbury on the books at the time.
But you keep ignoring the point that the farm systems were in different stages of prospect development.

You also didn't show the rosters were equal in terms of cost-controlled talent. From what I understood, you showed that the Sox and Yanks controlled an equal amount of talent out to a given point in time. You ignored (IIRC) the fact that the Yanks controlled their talent for a longer amount of time. Which is more valuable, generally.

If you want a snapshot of the "value" of the clubs in the beginning of 2019, you can parse it a couple of different ways. I'm sure you understand bad contracts at high dollar value for long periods of time are not a good thing to have? It's not really a mystery.

But if you wanted to address my point, I was discussing what would end up being a talent gap for the Sox, in light of their ML roster hitting FA. For a proxy showing the difference between the two clubs, you can look at arb and pre-arb players. Then just compare what the club eventually gets and for how long. The point of comparison would be:

Mookie - 2 years of control, 10.9 fWAR. Because that's the value the Sox had in hand at the beginning of 2019.​
v.​
Judge - 4 years of control, 23.3 fWAR. Because that's the value the Yanks had in hand at the beginning of 2019.​
They are not of equal value.​
 
Mar 30, 2023
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But you keep ignoring the point that the farm systems were in different stages of prospect development.

You also didn't show the rosters were equal in terms of cost-controlled talent. From what I understood, you showed that the Sox and Yanks controlled an equal amount of talent out to a given point in time. You ignored (IIRC) the fact that the Yanks controlled their talent for a longer amount of time. Which is more valuable, generally.

If you want a snapshot of the "value" of the clubs in the beginning of 2019, you can parse it a couple of different ways. I'm sure you understand bad contracts at high dollar value for long periods of time are not a good thing to have? It's not really a mystery.

But if you wanted to address my point, I was discussing what would end up being a talent gap for the Sox, in light of their ML roster hitting FA. For a proxy showing the difference between the two clubs, you can look at arb and pre-arb players. Then just compare what the club eventually gets and for how long. The point of comparison would be:

Mookie - 2 years of control, 10.9 fWAR. Because that's the value the Sox had in hand at the beginning of 2019.​
v.​
Judge - 4 years of control, 23.3 fWAR. Because that's the value the Yanks had in hand at the beginning of 2019.​
They are not of equal value.​
Then by all means, feel free to go through the 2019 rosters, do the math, and show why the Yankees were so much better positioned to just keep signing free agents and remain competitive for the next five years, while the Red Sox had no choice but to take an indefinate break from competing at the big league level. Just repeating "bad contacts!" over and over again doesn't count as analysis, particularly when the (1) the 2019 Yankees had Stanton, Hicks, and Ellsbury on the books, and (b) the whole point of being a big market team is that you can continue to compete despite a few bad contracts. Since I've already done most of the work by digging into the farm systems and 40-mans, it shouldn't take you that long.
 
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Rovin Romine

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Then by all means, feel free to go through the 2019 rosters, do the math, and show why the Yankees were so much better positioned to just keep signing free agents and remain competitive for the next five years, while the Red Sox had no choice but to take an indefinate break from competing at the big league level. Just repeating "bad contacts!" over and over again doesn't count as analysis, particularly when the (1) the 2019 Yankees had Stanton, Hicks, and Ellsbury on the books, and (b) the whole point of being a big market team is that you can continue to compete despite a few bad contracts. Since I've already done most of the work by digging into the farm systems and 40-mans, it shouldn't take you that long.
LOL. Do better. You're asserting the teams were equal when a casual look at the spreadsheets say they're not.
 
Mar 30, 2023
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LOL. Do better. You're asserting the teams were equal when a casual look at the spreadsheets say they're not.
I'm not the one doing the casual look. I'm the one who actually went through both the 40-man rosters and the top-30 prospects and did the math. You're the one going "just look at Cot's!" over and over again.