July: Red Sox discussion, observations and trend tracking...AKA It's not all about the Benjamins

Yelling At Clouds

Post-darwinian
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Digging back a little deeper, since his return he is 284/368/567 in 25 games. After going 230/360/527 for 20 games in Worcester.

Here is what the Red Sox have for middle infield in AA prospects or higher:

Story
Mayer
Grissom
Hamilton
Valdez
Yorke
Meidroth
Campbell

That's 7 guys who are probably worthy of being on a MLB roster next April. And the 8th (Campbell) is starting to crash top 100 prospect lists. Except for Story, all are cheap with many years of club control.

Where do they all fit in? If I had to guess, next year we start the season with Mayer at SS, Story at 2B, and one of the others as a backup. No matter how you shake it, that leaves 4 of those guys back to Worcester.

The obvious solution is a trade. But do we delude ourselves on the trade value of the Valdez/Yorke tier?
I’m increasingly convinced that the move is to trade Grissom. It’s clear that they can get by with the current group holding down the MI in some combination, and he’s probably got the highest trade value out of everyone other than the prospects. Would be kind of unfortunate to watch him succeed elsewhere, but if Detroit is offering Jack Flaherty, I’d probably strongly consider it.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Digging back a little deeper, since his return he is 284/368/567 in 25 games. After going 230/360/527 for 20 games in Worcester.

Here is what the Red Sox have for middle infield in AA prospects or higher:

Story
Mayer
Grissom
Hamilton
Valdez
Yorke
Meidroth
Campbell

That's 7 guys who are probably worthy of being on a MLB roster next April. And the 8th (Campbell) is starting to crash top 100 prospect lists. Except for Story, all are cheap with many years of club control.

Where do they all fit in? If I had to guess, next year we start the season with Mayer at SS, Story at 2B, and one of the others as a backup. No matter how you shake it, that leaves 4 of those guys back to Worcester.

The obvious solution is a trade. But do we delude ourselves on the trade value of the Valdez/Yorke tier?
Glad I don't have to make this call and the liklihood of it being the "wrong" decision is pretty high... but Breslow has to make some decisions, which I think was one of Bloom's Tampa hoarding instincts gone awry.

Story--- kinda stuck with him at SS to start '25
Mayer--- future of the franchise. Likely will start '25 in AAA and first to bump up to SS in case of injury to either Story or Grissom (see below) with Story to 2B if it's Grissom
Grissom--- likely to be given extra AAA time when he's healthy again and will need an injury to Valdez or Hamilton to make it back up. Likely to be handed the starting '25 2B with a short lease...
Hamilton--- Between him and Rafaela they both should be on the '25 opening day roster as backups. But.... I can imagine Hamilton possibly bringing a good return
Valdez--- trade.... although he's been generally pretty damned good since his return and his defense is.... well... improved over last seasons
Yorke--- keep hitting like he is at AAA. Trade.
Meidroth---- he's the toughest as I think his floor is pretty high. Low ceiling but a potential leadoff guy that could just always be on base. I don't see him returning much in value. AAA guy, injury depth.
Campbell
 

Cassvt2023

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I’m increasingly convinced that the move is to trade Grissom. It’s clear that they can get by with the current group holding down the MI in some combination, and he’s probably got the highest trade value out of everyone other than the prospects. Would be kind of unfortunate to watch him succeed elsewhere, but if Detroit is offering Jack Flaherty, I’d probably strongly consider it.
Could his trade value possibly be any lower than it is right now though?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Digging back a little deeper, since his return he is 284/368/567 in 25 games. After going 230/360/527 for 20 games in Worcester.

Here is what the Red Sox have for middle infield in AA prospects or higher:

Story
Mayer
Grissom
Hamilton
Valdez
Yorke
Meidroth
Campbell

That's 7 guys who are probably worthy of being on a MLB roster next April. And the 8th (Campbell) is starting to crash top 100 prospect lists. Except for Story, all are cheap with many years of club control.

Where do they all fit in? If I had to guess, next year we start the season with Mayer at SS, Story at 2B, and one of the others as a backup. No matter how you shake it, that leaves 4 of those guys back to Worcester.

The obvious solution is a trade. But do we delude ourselves on the trade value of the Valdez/Yorke tier?
I'm curious what the delusion of their trade value would be? I would hope nobody's expecting to flip Valdez or Yorke as the center of a deal for a front line/elite pitcher or anything like that. But as a piece of a deal that brings in a starting pitcher with more than one year of control seems to me to be the pie in the sky ideal. Frankly I'd be okay with any deal that takes from a deep position and supplements a less deep spot (specifically pitching but RHH pop of any kind works too).

One thing to keep in mind though is Meidroth and Campbell don't need to be added to the 40-man anytime soon, nor does Mayer. So it's not as though the clock is running short with them. While they all might be bordering on ready for MLB by April, that doesn't mean they're all going to need to be in MLB in April. If they force the issue, great (by which I mean clearly outperform the incumbents on the MLB roster, whoever they may be). If not, they can continue to play in the minors and be injury depth for a little while longer.
 

nvalvo

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Let's talk about Nick Yorke for a minute. In 22 games since his promotion to Worcester, he is slashing .437/.551/.987 with 10 XB hits, a 13.6% BB rate and 20.4% K rate. Throw in 5 SB, 0 CS and 21 runs scored and he is a RHH. Wouldn't he be more help to the big league team right now than Valdez?
I don't see it. The RHH LF/DH PA are being covered by O'Neill and Refsnyder; the RHH infield PA are being covered by González and Rafaela. Yorke is too short to play 1B (especially on a team with some poor-throwing infielders) and adds too little defensive value to leapfrog any of those other guys.

I don't think you're wrong that (with Hamilton's emergence) Manu Váldez has the smallest role on the team. His role is as a LHH 2B/PH complementary to González and Rafaela. He starts in the infield against (some) RHP, and facilitates the middle-inning line changes that Cora's been doing. Wilyer Abreu's return eats into that.

I've been down on Yorke, but I'm positively delighted that he's hitting again. But I'd say that his job right now is to keep his AAA OPS over .950 until the trade deadline.

He's the kind of high-floor, moderate-ceiling player a team starting a rebuild should really value. He's probably not a member of the next great White Sox, Rockies, or Angels team, but if you give him a two or three seasons of playing time while you're scuffling, you might hit on a trade asset that can accelerate a rebuild.
 

Fishy1

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I like the idea of acquiring Flaherty, but I don't see why it would cost as much as Grissom. Flaherty is on an expiring, after all. I think we only got a prospect as good as Grissom back for Sale because it was a full season and we also sent them 17 million dollars and because he was so obviously blocked for Atlanta.

Jordan Montgomery went for a couple arb years Harrison Bader, who's a 1-2 WAR player generally speaking, and two lottery tickets and a decent if unremarkable relief pitcher the next. We're talking about years and years of control of Grissom, who's minor league track record is mind-bogglingly good, for half a year of Jack Flaherty, who is having a career year after walking nearly 5 per 9 last year.

I think at the end of the day they'll be seeing what they can get for any of them for any pitching they can get. But I wouldn't surprised if all it took was a poo poo platter to get half a year of Flaherty. And I'd much rather see Valdez go than Grissom.
 

nvalvo

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I’m increasingly convinced that the move is to trade Grissom. It’s clear that they can get by with the current group holding down the MI in some combination, and he’s probably got the highest trade value out of everyone other than the prospects. Would be kind of unfortunate to watch him succeed elsewhere, but if Detroit is offering Jack Flaherty, I’d probably strongly consider it.
Turning one subsidized year and an affordable club option of Chris Sale into three months of Jack Flaherty is pretty grim IMO.

Since the beginning of 2021, Flaherty has thrown only ~100 IP more than Sale has, at a FIP ~ 1 run higher. If Grissom was worth Sale six months ago, it's hard to imagine that Flaherty is worth Grissom now.
 

Yelling At Clouds

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I like the idea of acquiring Flaherty, but I don't see why it would cost as much as Grissom. Flaherty is on an expiring, after all. I think we only got a prospect as good as Grissom back for Sale because it was a full season and we also sent them 17 million dollars and because he was so obviously blocked for Atlanta.

Jordan Montgomery went for a couple arb years Harrison Bader, who's a 1-2 WAR player generally speaking, and two lottery tickets and a decent if unremarkable relief pitcher the next. We're talking about years and years of control of Grissom, who's minor league track record is mind-bogglingly good, for half a year of Jack Flaherty, who is having a career year after walking nearly 5 per 9 last year.

I think at the end of the day they'll be seeing what they can get for any of them for any pitching they can get. But I wouldn't surprised if all it took was a poo poo platter to get half a year of Flaherty. And I'd much rather see Valdez go than Grissom.
Turning one subsidized year and an affordable club option of Chris Sale into three months of Jack Flaherty is pretty grim IMO.

Since the beginning of 2021, Flaherty has thrown only ~100 IP more than Sale has, at a FIP ~ 1 run higher. If Grissom was worth Sale six months ago, it's hard to imagine that Flaherty is worth Grissom now.
Tbh, I was just trying to think of a team who needs a 2B and they were the first who came to mind (I’ve read that Detroit’s current guy should probably play third instead).
 

nvalvo

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Tbh, I was just trying to think of a team who needs a 2B and they were the first who came to mind (I’ve read that Detroit’s current guy should probably play third instead).
Fair! If we're trading position players to the Tigers for Flaherty, do we think there's a chance they're ready to give up on Torkelson? He has an option remaining after this season and is only 24.

I'm still hunting for 2025–28 RHH power prospects.
 

grimshaw

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I like the idea of acquiring Flaherty, but I don't see why it would cost as much as Grissom. Flaherty is on an expiring, after all. I think we only got a prospect as good as Grissom back for Sale because it was a full season and we also sent them 17 million dollars and because he was so obviously blocked for Atlanta.
I agree. Plus Sale had been more recently effective despite both guys' numerous injuries and has been the far superior pitcher career wise. And pitching is at less of a premium this season since scoring is down.
29 starters had ERA's under 4 last season. This season it's 55.

I think the bats will get more this deadline - particularly right handed hitters.
 

moondog80

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Turning one subsidized year and an affordable club option of Chris Sale into three months of Jack Flaherty is pretty grim IMO.

Since the beginning of 2021, Flaherty has thrown only ~100 IP more than Sale has, at a FIP ~ 1 run higher. If Grissom was worth Sale six months ago, it's hard to imagine that Flaherty is worth Grissom now.
Just to remind, a year ago half this board would have been fine DFAing Sale.

If that's an exaggeration, it's not by much. But I don't think a year of Sale, even with the Sox footing some of the bill, had particularly high trade value. And Flaherty has been quite good this year, if not as good as Sale.

Which is to say, I don't think anyone on that list other than Mayer and maybe Campbell gets you a whole lot more than 3 months of Jack Flaherty.
 

grimshaw

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Tbh, I was just trying to think of a team who needs a 2B and they were the first who came to mind (I’ve read that Detroit’s current guy should probably play third instead).
The Sox can definitely make hay in the near future by moving second baseman. I mean, 2 of the top 5 2b hitters are Jonathan India, and Isiah Falafel right now.
 

Fishy1

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Just to remind, a year ago half this board would have been fine DFAing Sale.

If that's an exaggeration, it's not by much. But I don't think a year of Sale, even with the Sox footing some of the bill, had particularly high trade value. And Flaherty has been quite good this year, if not s good as Sale.

Which is to say, I don't think anyone on that list other than Mayer and maybe Campbell gets you a whole lot more than 3 months of Jack Flaherty.
This is hilarious. I love your posts, dude, but there's NO way 3 months of Flaherty costs Mayer. Also, what half this board thinks would have been best is often very, very silly. Sale was worth 2.1 fWAR in a shortened season last year, and had an excellent xERA and a track record of being one of the best pitchers of all time. Jack Flaherty is having a very good year. He also pitched to a 4.99 ERA last year. And again, it's just three months.

I think if you look at the history of 3 month rentals, you'll find those deals often don't entail very much actually getting moved. I outlined what Montgomery went for last year, which wasn't very much at all. Two lottery tickets and a relief pitcher. Verlander got moved last year for two prospects, only one of whom was top-100 ranked. And that wasn't for three months, it was for a year and a half. And that was for Verlander, who's like, one of the best pitchers of his generation. Not Jack Flaherty.

Look back at the Sale deal. Moncada, Kopech, and some lottery tickets got us three years of Sale before we had to sign an extension.
 

moondog80

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This is hilarious. I love your posts, dude, but there's NO way 3 months of Flaherty costs Mayer. Also, what half this board thinks would have been best is often very, very silly. Sale was worth 2.1 fWAR in a shortened season last year, and had an excellent xERA and a track record of being one of the best pitchers of all time. Jack Flaherty is having a very good year. He also pitched to a 4.99 ERA last year. And again, it's just three months.

I think if you look at the history of 3 month rentals, you'll find those deals often don't entail very much actually getting moved. I outlined what Montgomery went for last year, which wasn't very much at all. Two lottery tickets and a relief pitcher. Verlander got moved last year for two prospects, only one of whom was top-100 ranked. And that wasn't for three months, it was for a year and a half. And that was for Verlander, who's like, one of the best pitchers of his generation. Not Jack Flaherty.
Either you read it wrong or I wrote it wrong.

Mayer gets you way more than 3 months of Flaherty. Of course.

Campbell maybe gets you more.

Everyone else on the list, Flaherty is a reasonable return.
 

Fishy1

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Either you read it wrong or I wrote it wrong.

Mayer gets you way more than 3 months of Flaherty. Of course.

Campbell maybe gets you more.

Everyone else on the list, Flaherty is a reasonable return.
I read it a few times, but it wouldn't have been the first time I displayed borderline illiteracy. My apologies if so!
 

simplicio

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To pump the brakes on Flaherty a bit, it's possible he's had the easiest schedule of any starter in baseball this year. 14 of his 15 starts have been vs sub-.500 teams (except May 6th vs CLE, where he pitched well but still lost).

Compare to Kikuchi, who's already faced NYY 3x, BAL 2x, CLE, MIL, SEA, LAD, KC and MIN after they stopped being bad.
 

Cassvt2023

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To pump the brakes on Flaherty a bit, it's possible he's had the easiest schedule of any starter in baseball this year. 14 of his 15 starts have been vs sub-.500 teams (except May 6th vs CLE, where he pitched well but still lost).

Compare to Kikuchi, who's already faced NYY 3x, BAL 2x, CLE, MIL, SEA, LAD, KC and MIN after they stopped being bad.
What would be a reasonable package for Kikuchi?
 

simplicio

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Kind of depends on his next month. He's hit a bit of a rough patch vs us, CLE and NYY his last three starts. Prior to that I was saying a trade for Yorke seemed about in line with what Lorenzen got as a rental last year. Maybe it's a little less now?
 

chrisfont9

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Biggest question for me right now is does the starting pitching right the ship.

Pivetta, Bello, and Houck are all coming off bad starts. Kutter has been able to avoid disaster, but he's been pitching mostly 6ip-3ER kind of starts. Winck has been great since his call-up. Pivetta has been about what you'd expect, but Bello really needs to right the ship, and I'm looking for Houck to get back to excellence with his next start.
This is my concern, the obvious hit the wall stuff, but the good news is the schedule breaks could help all but Houck (assuming he goes to the ASG). Winck gives them that sixth starter and maybe a swingman if guys arent getting length in their starts. Fungible starter acquisition should be on their radar.
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

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To pump the brakes on Flaherty a bit, it's possible he's had the easiest schedule of any starter in baseball this year. 14 of his 15 starts have been vs sub-.500 teams (except May 6th vs CLE, where he pitched well but still lost).

Compare to Kikuchi, who's already faced NYY 3x, BAL 2x, CLE, MIL, SEA, LAD, KC and MIN after they stopped being bad.
That's not entirely true. He's had two starts against the Twins, two against the Astros, and one against the Red Sox - all of whom are playoff contenders as of today. AT THE TIME those teams may have been below .500, but that doesn't mean they're bad in the context of a 162 game season.
 

Coachster

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To pump the brakes on Flaherty a bit, it's possible he's had the easiest schedule of any starter in baseball this year. 14 of his 15 starts have been vs sub-.500 teams (except May 6th vs CLE, where he pitched well but still lost).

Compare to Kikuchi, who's already faced NYY 3x, BAL 2x, CLE, MIL, SEA, LAD, KC and MIN after they stopped being bad.
Let's pump thre brakes HARD on Flaherty. He has back issues and is missing his next start...
https://www.freep.com/story/sports/mlb/tigers/2024/07/02/detroit-tigers-jack-flaherty-to-miss-wednesday-start-in-minnesota/74285400007/
 

Yelling At Clouds

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Fungible starter acquisition should be on their radar.
Frankie Montas might be an okay choice in this regard, assuming the physicals are okay - he’s got an almost precisely league-average pitching line. Although if there’s ever a team who didn’t need to trade for a young MI brimming with potential…

I’ll take the blame on jinxing Flaherty, sorry everyone!
 

simplicio

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That's not entirely true. He's had two starts against the Twins, two against the Astros, and one against the Red Sox - all of whom are playoff contenders as of today. AT THE TIME those teams may have been below .500, but that doesn't mean they're bad in the context of a 162 game season.
That's true, but when he saw them they were playing bad baseball. When he first saw the Twins on 4/14 they were 6-7, then when he caught them again later that same week they were 6-11. Last time he saw Houston they were 32-38. I guess we were .500 going into our game, but we also had Cooper and Grissom on the right side of the infield, not exactly frightening.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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Focus on Seattle because Houston will win the west.
Looks like you're onto something!
Sox record today (46-39) is better than the Mariners (47-41). Houston is only two games back of them (44-42) having made up 5 games in the standings over the past ten (8-2 for Astros, 3-7 for Ms).
Sox 1.5 back of Minn for 2nd WC, .5 back of KC for 3rd WC.

Dating back to beginning of June, Sox have lost just one series, with one 3-0 sweep, three 2-1 series wins, and four splits. This Marlins series is another win, whether 2-1 or 3-0 tbd today.

Yankees, since they hit their season high water mark of +28 with the win in the first game vs the Sox on 6/14, have lost five of their last six series, the one non-loss a split with the Jays. They've gone 5-12 since the start of the Sox series. They've been outscored 111-84 in that time, giving up 8 runs or more eight times in those 17 games (they've scored 8 or more four times).

Not saying anything else for fear of a jinx.
 

Salem's Lot

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So this is probably the biggest series for this organization in a few years right? If they sweep the MFY (who are playing like shit at the moment) the Red Sox would only be 2.5 games back of the wildcard and need to buy at the deadline right?
 

tims4wins

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I can’t believe the Sox are only 4 back in the L column on July 5. Hope that number is even smaller come Monday.
 

Rovin Romine

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So this is probably the biggest series for this organization in a few years right? If they sweep the MFY (who are playing like shit at the moment) the Red Sox would only be 2.5 games back of the wildcard and need to buy at the deadline right?
As noted, they're still have the WC #3 spot.

As for buying at the deadline, generally yes, but it depends very much on what's going on with the rest of the roster and what their soft spots are going forward. If Yoshida, Bello, Pivetta, and Crawford have righted their respective ships, it's not so clear as to shat they should be buying.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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I really hope they are buyers at the deadline. Are they sure fire WS contenders? Absolutely not - but could they make an interesting run like 2021? I feel like this team is much better than that team and really could be a dangerous/fun playoff team.
 

LoLsapien

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I'm not saying we're gonna sweep the Yankees. But I'm also not saying that we're not going to sweep the Yankees. I do, however, feel pretty fucking strongly that we are going to sweep the Yankees this weekend and I am so, so pumped for it.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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They’re a better team than last year’s Diamondbacks. But so were/are the Dodgers, Yankees, Astros, etc….
At this point it’s pretty clear what their weaknesses are but Smith has played well. 2B since Valdez returned has been good. SS- Hamilton/Rafaela has been good. On any given night, the first 5 in the lineup all have an OPS above .800 (is there another team like that?) with the lower half of the order all hitting incredibly well since early June.
Yoshida (still a square peg) has been looking better…. It’s just a good lineup and it’s deep. I don’t worry when almost anyone takes a day.
The rotation could use an insurance arm.
I think the pen could use a fire baller type. Those are easy buys
 

Yelling At Clouds

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Kind of depends on his next month. He's hit a bit of a rough patch vs us, CLE and NYY his last three starts. Prior to that I was saying a trade for Yorke seemed about in line with what Lorenzen got as a rental last year. Maybe it's a little less now?
How about Lorenzen himself? He's pitching decently well for a falling-out-of-the-race Texas team, and I can't imagine he'll cost much.

(I will note the awkwardness of trading for someone like Lorenzen, Flaherty, or Montas who were all available for just money a few months ago.)
 

simplicio

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Lorenzen's ERA is a shiny 3.4 but his FIP is a worrisome 5.07. Not sure he's the best target given our infield struggles.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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How about Lorenzen himself? He's pitching decently well for a falling-out-of-the-race Texas team, and I can't imagine he'll cost much.

(I will note the awkwardness of trading for someone like Lorenzen, Flaherty, or Montas who were all available for just money a few months ago.)
Is it awkward, though? Flaherty and Montas were signed before Giolito got hurt and Lorenzen was signed before Whitlock got hurt. Even without those two guys the Sox have gotten good starting pitching out of the six guys they've used. So they had depth (even if we fans might not have been sold on it at the time) I don't think trading for any of them now is some kind of tacit admission that they should have signed them during the winter. It's more an acknowledgement that the team is performing well enough to invest in depth for the second half.
 

The_Dali

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Would Quantrill be a target? Not a fireballer, but has a history of decent bulk innings.
 

YTF

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Would Quantrill be a target? Not a fireballer, but has a history of decent bulk innings.
I was thinking of him earlier today. Not a pure rental as he'll be entering his last arbitration season and a FA in '26. Colorado's going nowhere (are they ever?), but they weren't last year and their reluctance to move players at the deadline was puzzling. I wonder what their needs are.
 

simplicio

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The Rockies actually line up pretty well with our "too many 2B guys" problem. They've gotten bad production there from Brendan Rogers, and while their top prospect Amiel Amador will look to eventually take it over, they pulled him up straight from AA when Rogers went down last month and he was clearly far from ready.

But: Quantrill is not a good pitching+ guy (disclaimer: I have no idea how pitching in Colorado effects stuff+ metrics) and as such I'm not sure how likely a target he is.