Let's Lay Off That Throttle

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Please try to avoid speculative fiction. If you're going to try to make points like this, have something to back it up with
Aside from your point as well as CR67's, the "well the player didn't want to play here" defense is silly. Maybe Boston isn't a player's first choice but the Sox can make it really difficult for people to turn them down. They can employ a truly time tested strategy and by the sounds of it, the Sox will have to engage in it to attract *any* free agents because there are always objections about the environment, the roster etc.

In fact, beyond baseball, businesses of all types - not just professional sports either - somehow manage to convince even reluctant people to move for a job. What am I missing that prevents the Sox from paying a free agent a premium to play in Boston?
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

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I can't believe this bears repeating in SOSH, but again:
There's no such thing as a Free Agent Store where teams simply buy their needs off a rack. It's a PLAYER'S, repeat, PLAYER'S decision where to sign. For all we know the Sox made multiple offers and Montgomery simply wasn't interested in playing in Boston. There's a laundry list of reasons why Boston is a shitty place to play. Crying "why didn't they offer more!!!!" shows a severe lack of understanding the free agency process.
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

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Aside from your point as well as CR67's, the "well the player didn't want to play here" defense is silly. Maybe Boston isn't a player's first choice but the Sox can make it really difficult for people to turn them down. They can employ a truly time tested strategy and by the sounds of it, the Sox will have to engage in it to attract *any* free agents because there are always objections about the environment, the roster etc.

In fact, beyond baseball, businesses of all types - not just professional sports either - somehow manage to convince even reluctant people to move for a job. What am I missing that prevents the Sox from paying a free agent a premium to play in Boston?
Montgomery is worth a premium?
 

8slim

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No, I'm not the "optimism guy". I'm just the "sky is not falling" guy.

I stand by the talent comment. They need to keep developing a lot of it, and hope for better injury luck, and maybe that one of them doesn't take a line drive off the face. And if someone told you Anderson was our starter depth, they're full of shit. Our starter depth is Criswell, Winck, and Anderson is at best 8th on the depth chart. And yeah, things aren't great, but if things are as bad as you and countless others say, Monty wouldn't have moved the needle this year anyway.

In any case I'm done in here, fuck this offseason with a rusty garden rake. Let's play ball and see what the boys can do.
I literally said I don’t think not signing Montgomery is the end of the world.

I stand by my comment as well, though. Houck wasn’t particularly good before he took that liner off the face. He threw 6 or more innings in just 6 of his 21 starts.

Crawford was fine. Pivetta was Jekyll and Hyde. I mean, every MLB rotation has “talent” in the broad sense.

And we don’t have depth beyond those 5, he have a couple mediocre-at-best guys in the deep pen, and a couple AAA guys who were bad last year.

Look, I’m hoping this team begins a miraculous run starting on Thursday. But as tired as you are of people being “negative”, it can be just as tedious to constantly read the “nah nah nah I can’t hear you the season starts soon” refrain too.
 

8slim

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I can't believe this bears repeating in SOSH, but again:
There's no such thing as a Free Agent Store where teams simply buy their needs off a rack. It's a PLAYER'S, repeat, PLAYER'S decision where to sign. For all we know the Sox made multiple offers and Montgomery simply wasn't interested in playing in Boston. There's a laundry list of reasons why Boston is a shitty place to play. Crying "why didn't they offer more!!!!" shows a severe lack of understanding the free agency process.
Here we go!
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Montgomery is worth a premium?
Apologies - I am not opining on the value of Montgomery's contract (always an interesting exercise here on SoSH where we try to figure out market structure with a few random paragraphs, vague tweets and the wisdom contained in our respective mom's basements).

I am simply pointing out that if some person from somewhere else doesn't want to play in Boston because the locals talk funny, eat too many donuts and all the highrises have rats scurrying across their balconies, the Sox can opt to pay some extra money to incentivize them to sign. In fact, given the state of the roster, the next big free agent they court will likely demand a premium to be the first outside impact player to make the leap. If the Sox want to contend, they should be fine paying the premium - even if it upsets those here who think they understand the dollar value of whatever WAR measure you choose down to the penny.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I can't believe this bears repeating in SOSH, but again:
There's no such thing as a Free Agent Store where teams simply buy their needs off a rack. It's a PLAYER'S, repeat, PLAYER'S decision where to sign. For all we know the Sox made multiple offers and Montgomery simply wasn't interested in playing in Boston. There's a laundry list of reasons why Boston is a shitty place to play. Crying "why didn't they offer more!!!!" shows a severe lack of understanding the free agency process.
How do other businesses convince people to move around the globe, including to undesirable destinations, for a job? What resources do other industries have the the Sox don't?
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

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How do other businesses convince people to move around the globe, including to undesirable destinations, for a job? What resources do other industries have the the Sox don't?
The "other industries" have better weather, better home parks, less demanding fans, reasonable media, and a laundry list of other enticements that Boston doesn't.
 

DeadlySplitter

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The reason I am ultimately trusting Cotillo, and revived this thread with his comments on tonight's signing, is he is almost always first on in-season roster moves, etc. - he has legit sources in the organization. He's been on Henry setting a very cheap line from day 1 it started becoming a thing. It seems to be 205-210 mil, based on where they are now.

The FO knows this starting rotation is below average in projected advanced stats (Fangraphs has the Sox at 20th/30 in SP WAR for 2024). No way this was plan A. Somewhere between plan A and B was probably a package of Duran/Rafaela + Yorke + interesting 3rd piece for a solid #3-4 starter, but that deal never came together.

All that said, I assume Breslow knew the parameters before signing on. I'd like to think others like Brandon Gomes, Derek Falvey didn't turn us down due to it... but it could be so.
 

nvalvo

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Apologies - I am not opining on the value of Montgomery's contract (always an interesting exercise here on SoSH where we try to figure out market structure with a few random paragraphs, vague tweets and the wisdom contained in our respective mom's basements).

I am simply pointing out that if some person from somewhere else doesn't want to play in Boston because the locals talk funny, eat too many donuts and all the highrises have rats scurrying across their balconies, the Sox can opt to pay some extra money to incentivize them to sign. In fact, given the state of the roster, the next big free agent they court will likely demand a premium to be the first outside impact player to make the leap. If the Sox want to contend, they should be fine paying the premium - even if it upsets those here who think they understand the dollar value of whatever WAR measure you choose down to the penny.
I think this is right. One thing about the rebuilding/retooling path we've been on is that at some point you need to reestablish your credibility. It's possible to do that if the homegrown players take biiiig steps such that we start to look really credible, but sometimes it takes a crazy FA signing like Duquette gave Manny or the Nationals gave Jayson Werth. That contract wasn't really "worth it" — 9 WAR total for 7/$122m is expensive, but it announced to the league that they meant business, and sure enough they were pretty good over the next decade.
 

CR67dream

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the Sox can make it really difficult for people to turn them down.
I can't believe I bit, but beyond the fact that dollars have gotten so crazy that prioritizing locale over very top dollar is not uncommon, we have no idea if Breslow liked Monty enough to pay a premium regardless of budget. Edit: And Monty made it clear in the press that he would be more comfortable signing in a smaller market, so why we're singling out Boston here as a specific city he avoided is kind of puzzling, since that's just what he did. He's not in NY or any other big market either. Not even in small market Houston.... ;)

I literally said I don’t think not signing Montgomery is the end of the world.

I stand by my comment as well, though. Houck wasn’t particularly good before he took that liner off the face. He threw 6 or more innings in just 6 of his 21 starts.

Crawford was fine. Pivetta was Jekyll and Hyde. I mean, every MLB rotation has “talent” in the broad sense.

And we don’t have depth beyond those 5, he have a couple mediocre-at-best guys in the deep pen, and a couple AAA guys who were bad last year.

Look, I’m hoping this team begins a miraculous run starting on Thursday. But as tired as you are of people being “negative”, it can be just as tedious to constantly read the “nah nah nah I can’t hear you the season starts soon” refrain too.
Have you even paid attention to the product that's been on the field this spring? It's been a hell of a fun team to watch. The development of the pitching staff is obvious and ongoing, I've watched it happening in front of my eyes daily, and it looks very real. I expect that development to continue.

I also think they'll win more than they'll lose, and if things break right, who knows? I'm also well aware of their flaws, and that there is a real possibility it goes south if things break wrong. It is what it is. I assure you I understand the volatility.

A Pollyanna I ain't, but when I see people predicting win totals in the 60's and all manner of hysterical, irrational bullshit is posted around here, I'm going to push back on the idiocy displayed by a total lack of reasonable analysis.

That's not what you're doing, but it's why I may seem to be an unmitigated optimist to some. I'm not, but I've said it before, why should I get worked up and be miserable before I have to? They play the games for a reason. I've also said that the only reason I want to be right is because if I am, it means good things for the team. If I'm wrong, I'll own it. Big deal. It's better for my mental health that way, YMMV.

I assure you that I hear and understand your and others concerns, and share a lot of them, but there is also a lot to like about this team, especially if the expectation this year isn't the Duckboats or Bust. I wish things were further along like everyone else, but I see a lot of good signs for the future. Unfortunately, the future is not right now, and I get that it pisses people off. I'm just not interested in spinning my wheels arguing about it any more, and I think if we weren't jerked around by Werner et al's bullshit comments at the beginning of the offseason, attitudes may not be so salty overall. Fucking Werner.

Feel free to have the last word, I'm out for real this time.

Play Ball, and Go Sox.
 
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8slim

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Yeah, there I go, making sense again!
You’re making excuses. We all know that the Sox can’t just buy a FA. However, we’re talking about a guy that was linked, repeatedly, for 5 months, to the team. A guy who literally lived in the city of Boston recently.

According to your rationalizations, no one would ever sign here ever. Because Boston is like the pit of Hell or something. And yet FAs sign here literally every year.
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

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You’re making excuses. We all know that the Sox can’t just buy a FA. However, we’re talking about a guy that was linked, repeatedly, for 5 months, to the team. A guy who literally lived in the city of Boston recently.

According to your rationalizations, no one would ever sign here ever. Because Boston is like the pit of Hell or something. And yet FAs sign here literally every year.
And maybe he, or his wife, found that Boston wasn't to his liking. He's from South Carolina, it could be that he doesn't care for the weather, the media, anything. Would you want to sign in Boston after listening to all the whining this off-season?
I never said that free agents won't sign here. But you have to pay premium dollars, so you better make sure that it's a premium player. Manny Ramirez and David Price were premium players. Jordan Montgomery? Not so much.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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The "other industries" have better weather, better home parks, less demanding fans, reasonable media, and a laundry list of other enticements that Boston doesn't.
That isn't in question.

It seems we are at an impasse based on how we each understand economics to work. I believe most, but not all, players will play for any franchise if they can meet their asking price. I fully understand that there are exceptions and people make trade-offs all the time that favor lifestyle over money.

However teams can make these tradeoffs difficult enough to bring players in who may have been reluctant to leave their original clubs or may not like the ballpark or the weather or the new team's control freaky grooming standards.
 

Murderer's Crow

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Boston is not undesirable for players. You guys who think that are insane. On the other hand, if I’m not getting the money I want and would like to take a no pressure contract that maybe sets me up to retest the market, I’m avoiding New York and Boston unless they pay me a good amount more.

Even still, the answer that is most simple is probably the right one. Arizona gave him the best contract.
 

Sin Duda

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I can't believe I bit, but beyond the fact that dollars have gotten so crazy that prioritizing locale over very top dollar is not uncommon, we have no idea if Breslow liked Monty enough to pay a premium regardless of budget. Edit: And Monty made it clear in the press that he would be more comfortable signing in a smaller market, so why we're singling out Boston here as a specific city he avoided is kind of puzzling, since that's just what he did. He's not in NY or any other big market either. Not even in small market Houston.... ;)



Have you even paid attention to the product that's been on the field this spring? It's been a hell of a fun team to watch. The development of the pitching staff is obvious and ongoing, I've watched it happening in front of my eyes daily, and it looks very real. I expect that development to continue.

I also think they'll win more than they'll lose, and if things break right, who knows? I'm also well aware of their flaws, and that there is a real possibility it goes south if things break wrong. It is what it is. I assure you I understand the volatility.

A Pollyanna I ain't, but when I see people predicting win totals in the 60's and all manner of hysterical, irrational bullshit is posted around here, I'm going to push back on the idiocy displayed by a total lack of reasonable analysis.

That's not what you're doing, but it's why I may seem to be an unmitigated optimist to some. I'm not, but I've said it before, why should I get worked up and be miserable before I have to? They play the games for a reason. I've also said that the only reason I want to be right is because if I am, it means good things for the team. If I'm wrong, I'll own it. Big deal. It's better for my mental health that way, YMMV.

I assure you that I hear and understand your and others concerns, and share a lot of them, but there is also a lot to like about this team, especially if the expectation this year isn't the Duckboats or Bust. I wish things were further along like everyone else, but I see a lot of good signs for the future. Unfortunately, the future is not right now, and I get that it pisses people off. I'm just not interested in spinning my wheels arguing about it any more, and I think if we weren't jerked around by Werner et al's bullshit comments at the beginning of the offseason, attitudes may not be so salty overall. Fucking Werner.

Feel free to have the last word, I'm out for real this time.

Play Ball, and Go Sox.
I had a chance to see the Sox play at Texas with my son Monday and it was awesome! We were mesmerized by Whitlock's changeup, his pace (he catches and pitches well before the pitch clock is anywhere near zero), he threw a high percentage of strikes (unlike last year), and we were joking that Cora might let him pitch a complete game in spring training (because they wanted him to get to 90 pitches and he was averaging 10-11 pitches thru 6). His stuff was filthy. Also, Tyler O'Neil is listed at 5'11" and looks more like 5'7". We found that hysterical. But he hit a laser for a HR. Story looked dialed in. Raffy made a stupid error then an amazing play the next inning. Baseball is back! Let's go!
 

103mph Screwball

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We heard you the first time. You know who had great offseasons last year? The Padres and the Mets. How are they liking them offseason trophies? And I'm pretty confident Bailey is going to pay huge dividends, so that's not nothing.

This offseason sucked. It is undeniable. The season still holds promise, and I can't fucking wait until Thursday night.

It. Is. ON.
Thank you for posting this. Simple, yet really makes a great point. I'm as down as anyone on the team they're putting out there to start the season, but it's not like it's the A's roster. I get frustrated and disappointed about the moves this team does and doesn't make more often than I'd like. Then I remember this:
unnamed.jpg
 

simplicio

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How do other businesses convince people to move around the globe, including to undesirable destinations, for a job? What resources do other industries have the the Sox don't?
A desperate candidate pool that needs money to survive and eventually retire.

Jordan Montgomery already has about $30m in career earnings. This contract is about luxury and generational wealth (and ego), not necessity.
 

HfxBob

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Having slept on it, with no inside info, the structure of the deal (length + triggering option) make it seem like his medicals must be terrible. He's being paid like someone teams think whose arm might explode..
Not sure that's the issue, considering the contracts Snell and the other top Boras guys had to settle for. Possible though.
 

RS2004foreever

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You’re making excuses. We all know that the Sox can’t just buy a FA. However, we’re talking about a guy that was linked, repeatedly, for 5 months, to the team. A guy who literally lived in the city of Boston recently.

According to your rationalizations, no one would ever sign here ever. Because Boston is like the pit of Hell or something. And yet FAs sign here literally every year.
The truth is this was about more than Montgomery. The starting rotation was an obvious issue. In the end it is worse than it was. Taken as a whole the lack of moves to address the team's biggest weakness is stunning. And for a team with close to the highest ticket prices in baseball its pretty indefensible.

The simple truth is Costillo was right - and management cut payroll to maximize profit. That's it. There is no great plan to cut payroll now in order to spend later when a supposed window opens up. The Red Sox are 14th in payroll according to COTS. Get used to it.

The Red Sox do not suck. They have some interesting young positional players, and while I am skeptical about a number of them this team could easily contend for the playoffs. Which makes the failure to do anything meaningful to address the team's biggest weakness even more mystifying. So maybe Houck figures out how to get through an order the third time, Whitlock makes 30 starts, Pivetta is the guy we saw in the second half and Crawford takes the next step forward. With the possible exception of Crawford, I think we already know who Whitlock, Houck and Pivetta are - and that is that they aren't very good.

But play ball.
 
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HfxBob

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I can't believe this bears repeating in SOSH, but again:
There's no such thing as a Free Agent Store where teams simply buy their needs off a rack. It's a PLAYER'S, repeat, PLAYER'S decision where to sign. For all we know the Sox made multiple offers and Montgomery simply wasn't interested in playing in Boston. There's a laundry list of reasons why Boston is a shitty place to play. Crying "why didn't they offer more!!!!" shows a severe lack of understanding the free agency process.
Ridiculous. The Red Sox have signed a ton of free agents over the years, big names, medium names, small names, with very few of them clearly being paid a premium to play in Boston.

What exactly is your evidence of players not being interested in playing in Boston?
 
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Rovin Romine

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Ridiculous. The Red Sox have signed a ton of free agents over the years, big names, medium names, small names, with very few of them clearly being paid a premium to play in Boston.

What exactly is your evidence of players not being interested in playing in Boston?
(Other than every player that's ever taken a home-town discount to play in a region or in a specific state or city other than Boston.)
 

GB5

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How much of the old school narrative about the Boston baseball experience still stands today?

“demanding fans”.. I don’t see it anymore. Not like the early 2000’s and before. The Sox have finished last in 3 of the previous 4 seasons. I don’t recall any significant booing of the players or the manager. Nothing like would have happened 20 years ago.

“Rabid media”…there is a lot of media that covers the team, but I woukdnt consider any of them rabid. Shaughnessy writes something once per month, but the traveling scribes are very fair in my estimation. Any criticism now seems directed away from the players to the front office and ownership.
 

The Red Industry

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The "other industries" have better weather, better home parks, less demanding fans, reasonable media, and a laundry list of other enticements that Boston doesn't.
This seems absolutely unhinged. Do people actually believe this? Let's say the media sucks and the fans are whiny. Let's say the park is a dump. Ok. You think the weather in Chicago is so much better, the weather in Houston? What about the weather in NYC, San Fran? Somehow they are able to attract players. As far as the rest of the laundry list Boston ranks as one of the best cities in the world by many metrics including quality of life, education, safety and so on. And you can seriously go on and on. It's a great place to live and raise a family. I have to think some players care about those things too and not just who writes a meany sports column for the local rag thats been dying on the vine for years and years.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Age of Extremes.
It’s possible and likely even that SOME players just won’t play in Boston for $x million more per season while others will…. And some players will in fact take discounts.
Is this that fucking hard to see???
We’re not talking about one of us working schmucks getting a good offer that could be difference making- this is 20x in one season what I’m lucky to see in my lifetime. A few million more might not move the scale for certain types. Buuuut…. It might for certain other types.

And I’m leaning towards thinking that a lot of white religious southern types may not be that enthralled with Boston. But perhaps some are. I suspect JM REALLY didn’t want to be in the northeast or western coast.

But the guys here that think the Sox only need to add a few million more than other teams to get whoever they want are being pretty dull. While it’s probably correct for a lot of players I don’t think it’s always correct. Some will possibly take less even to play for a superstar team like LA or NYY’s even knowing that local/state taxes will make that pay even less.
 
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DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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A desperate candidate pool that needs money to survive and eventually retire.

Jordan Montgomery already has about $30m in career earnings. This contract is about luxury and generational wealth (and ego), not necessity.
Perhaps but you don't know this, right? Its your conjecture.

Most people, including athletes who may already have generational wealth, take the highest offer.

Unlike some here, I have no firm view on Montgomery's value and I am not arguing that this player is worth a premium. However the argument that the Sox can't induce a reluctant free age with extra money/incentives flies in the face of how MLB free agency and most businesses operate.
 

HfxBob

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(Other than every player that's ever taken a home-town discount to play in a region or in a specific state or city other than Boston.)
Just for reference, can you pull up that list of players the Red Sox had the highest bid on but signed elsewhere? It would be really useful to this discussion.
 

8slim

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And maybe he, or his wife, found that Boston wasn't to his liking. He's from South Carolina, it could be that he doesn't care for the weather, the media, anything. Would you want to sign in Boston after listening to all the whining this off-season?
I never said that free agents won't sign here. But you have to pay premium dollars, so you better make sure that it's a premium player. Manny Ramirez and David Price were premium players. Jordan Montgomery? Not so much.
Yep, that's possible. It's also possible that the Sox never made an offer that met what he was looking for. Anything is possible, Kevin Garnet was right.

The notion that we have to pay "premium dollars" for FAs is incorrect though. We do have to pay going market rates, however. And we wouldn't do that. Not for a 5 year deal, and not for a 2 year deal.

It has just become abundantly clear that this franchise never had any real intention of addressing it's glaring needs this offseason. We'll see how it goes.
 

Rovin Romine

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Just for reference, can you pull up that list of players the Red Sox had the highest bid on but signed elsewhere? It would be really useful to this discussion.
If you really can't think of a player that's taken a home-town discount, in Boston or elsewhere, you might be out of your depth here.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Is there any evidence that the Red Sox made an offer to JM; that he rejected Boston? I know it’s a convenient way to excuse the organizations lack of action, but is it based on any kind of reality?

Breslow was very specific about how he planned to address the teams starting pitching deficiencies, and in the end, didn’t execute on that stated plan.

If part of that was because players rejected the organization or city for some non-monetary reason, I would imagine someone would report on it.
 

moondog80

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I'm pretty unhappy with the offseason. It's clear that unnecessary financial limitations prevented them from improving the team's chances for this year, forgoing short term deals for high-ish level talent that aren't normally there. Bobby Dalbec is on the team. But the season starts tomorrow, and there is a lot to be optimistic about. If the Trevor Story we've seen this spring is the guy we are going to get for 140 games, that's a 5 game improvement form last year all by himself. I'm onto Seattle.
 

HfxBob

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If you really can't think of a player that's taken a home-town discount, in Boston or elsewhere, you might be out of your depth here.
The simple question is this: in the history of free agency, which players did Boston have the highest bid on but signed elsewhere? Any names or not? Just rattling on about home-town discounts doesn't answer the question.
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

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This seems absolutely unhinged. Do people actually believe this? Let's say the media sucks and the fans are whiny. Let's say the park is a dump. Ok. You think the weather in Chicago is so much better, the weather in Houston? What about the weather in NYC, San Fran? Somehow they are able to attract players. As far as the rest of the laundry list Boston ranks as one of the best cities in the world by many metrics including quality of life, education, safety and so on. And you can seriously go on and on. It's a great place to live and raise a family. I have to think some players care about those things too and not just who writes a meany sports column for the local rag thats been dying on the vine for years and years.
Spoken like someone who's from Boston and refuses to acknowledge its shortcomings compared to other destinations.
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

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Age of Extremes.
It’s possible and likely even that SOME players just won’t play in Boston for $x million more per season while others will…. And some players will in fact take discounts.
Is this that fucking hard to see???
We’re not talking about one of us working schmucks getting a good offer that could be difference making- this is 20x in one season what I’m lucky to see in my lifetime. A few million more might not move the scale for certain types. Buuuut…. It might for certain other types.

And I’m leaning towards thinking that a lot of white religious southern types may not be that enthralled with Boston. But perhaps some are. I suspect JM REALLY didn’t want to be in the northeast or western coast.

But the guys here that think the Sox only need to add a few million more than other teams to get whoever they want are being pretty dull. While it’s probably correct for a lot of players I don’t think it’s always correct. Some will possibly take less even to play for a superstar team like LA or NYY’s even knowing that local/state taxes will make that pay even less.
+1
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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As someone that advocated giving him (I think, I don't want to go back and look) 6/$150m around Thanksgiving, I'm really upset the Sox didn't sign him for that.

I really would have preferred @CR67dream suggested deal of something like 4/$110m or whatever the number was, even more than my own suggestion, and am upset the Sox didn't give him that.

I'm not in the least bit upset they didn't give him the exact same deal Arizona gave him with like a $2m bump. Zero interest whatsoever in anyone on a one year deal, and Monty is no exception.

Of course, we don't know if he would have taken 6/$150m (or 4/$110m) from Boston, but it'd be nice to hear it was offered. If it was and he chose not to take it - nothing you can do and he just didn't want to be in Boston. If nothing close to like that was offered, I put it on the FO. I will say that I think if something such as 4/$110m WAS out there and Monty turned it down, we'd have heard about it from some source.

But on a one year deal, I think they're better off just seeing which of the youngish pitchers are going to be good starters (if any) and go from there. I believe from the group you're going to get one good starter and two good bullpen arms, so might as well see who that is rather than waste another year.

Credit to Breslow et al for not bothering with the James Paxtons and Corey Klubers (or Martin Perez and Michael Wachas) of the world. See what you have and then know how many spots you need to fill for the future after this year (could be 4; could be 0, who knows - find out).
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

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Jun 12, 2019
371
Ridiculous. The Red Sox have signed a ton of free agents over the years, big names, medium names, small names, with very few of them clearly being paid a premium to play in Boston.

What exactly is your evidence of players not being interested in playing in Boston?
Snell wanting to stay on the west coast. Gray signing for low dollars to play near his home. Is this a serious question?
 

Yo La Tengo

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Nov 21, 2005
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Is there a refund policy for the hours I have spent tracking Jordan Montgomery this offseason? I am thoroughly frustrated with the failure to add more starting pitching since I think this team is otherwise in a position to compete this year and in the coming years. Plus, being competitive makes it easier to sign future free agents and the Sox young players need to play in meaningful games in order to develop. And waiting to mid-season and having to overpay with prospects for a pitcher would seem to be in direct contrast to the approach this team should be taking at this point.

As for a drum I have banged too many times, there was no reason for the Sox not to spend over the initial luxury tax threshold this year after resetting last year. Doing so and adding starting pitching on mid-term deals would have made it less likely to need to sign a free agent pitcher next year who has rejected a QO, thereby eliminating that potential penalty on the international signing budget. The only remaining pitfall would be if the Sox went over the CBT threshold and put a qualifying offer on a player who rejected it and signed elsewhere, which would bump their compensation pick down to the 4th round. We can speculate about whether any potential free agents on the current roster are likely to get a QO, but, I see no reason the Sox should not have pursued additional free agent starting pitching this offseason. Specifically, I wish they had significantly bettered Arizona's deal for Montgomery (3 years, $80ish million with similar opt out language) and added someone like Lorenzen as well. There would be opportunities for Houck and Whitlock to start games even in that scenario.

Anyway, on a more practical note, I added a post to the pitching thread asking where are the Sox going to find 1400 innings of pitching this year. The Sox have some good pitching talent but so little depth.
 

The Red Industry

New Member
Sep 29, 2017
67
Spoken like someone who's from Boston and refuses to acknowledge its shortcomings compared to other destinations.
I wasn't born in Boston nor do I live there currently, I'm more than 1000 miles away. You sound like someone that refuses to acknowledge that it's actually a great place to live and work, yes even for sports stars. Seriously, remember when Randy Moss refused to play in Boston because of it's shortcomings? Wasn't it great when KG quit basketball entirely instead of playing in that shithole? I personally couldn't believe Pasternak gave up his US citizenship in protest because the Bruins absolutely refused to move the garden out of the city!

Why not just focus on the most likely thing, that the Sox refused to pay up? Unless Montgomery comes out and explicitly says he would never play in Boston because it's on par with Mogadishu in his eyes you can just admit you don't know his reasons.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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Dec 7, 2022
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As for a drum I have banged too many times, there was no reason for the Sox not to spend over the initial luxury tax threshold this year after resetting last year.
I'm similarly frustrated by the lack of addressing the starting rotation for the medium term (and have been for years), for the record.

However, while I agree there is "no reason" not to go over the initial luxury tax, it should really never have been expected they would.

Henry and FSG has owned the team for going on 20 years and they almost never start the season above the $LTT and most of the times that they did were in the DDski era. I've always operated under the assumption that the "budget" for the team is $LTT in a given season. The more damning thing - at least in my opinion - is that the budget seems more likely fixed at something below that number and hasn't increased with the $LTT going up.

I looked it up in a post a while back in one of the locked threads, but they've opened the season at or below the luxury tax in something like 80% of the seasons FSG has owned the team. It's highly unlikely we're going to see them blow past the luxury tax on a consistent basis at any point under FSG. By and large, they have never operated like that (ex DDski). That encompasses multiple heads of baseball ops (Theo, Cherington, DDski, Bloom and now Breslow) so I think it's pretty safe to say that staying below the tax is pretty much an FSG standard operating procedure and should be expected to continue. However long Breslow is here and for whomever his eventual successor is - assuming FSG still owns the team of course.

Though again - the bigger "knock" for me is that it doesn't seem the budget has increased with the LTT, which I admittedly thought it would.
 

Yo La Tengo

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Nov 21, 2005
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I'm similarly frustrated by the lack of addressing the starting rotation for the medium term (and have been for years), for the record.

However, while I agree there is "no reason" not to go over the initial luxury tax, it should really never have been expected they would.

Henry and FSG has owned the team for going on 20 years and they almost never start the season above the $LTT and most of the times that they did were in the DDski era. I've always operated under the assumption that the "budget" for the team is $LTT in a given season. The more damning thing - at least in my opinion - is that the budget seems more likely fixed at something below that number and hasn't increased with the $LTT going up.

I looked it up in a post a while back in one of the locked threads, but they've opened the season at or below the luxury tax in something like 80% of the seasons FSG has owned the team. It's highly unlikely we're going to see them blow past the luxury tax on a consistent basis at any point under FSG. By and large, they have never operated like that (ex DDski). That encompasses multiple heads of baseball ops (Theo, Cherington, DDski, Bloom and now Breslow) so I think it's pretty safe to say that staying below the tax is pretty much an FSG standard operating procedure and should be expected to continue. However long Breslow is here and for whomever his eventual successor is - assuming FSG still owns the team of course.

Though again - the bigger "knock" for me is that it doesn't seem the budget has increased with the LTT, which I admittedly thought it would.
I don't disagree with your summary, but there were three things that led me to think they'd take a more aggressive approach this year: they reset the tax last year, they have finished in last place 3 of the last 4 years, and they are currently ~$94 million under the first threshold for next year. With the likely influx of young, cheap talent, the team would seem to be in an ideal position to have taken on additional mid-range contracts this offseason. So frustrating.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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I don't disagree with your summary, but there were three things that led me to think they'd take a more aggressive approach this year: they reset the tax last year, they have finished in last place 3 of the last 4 years, and they are currently ~$94 million under the first threshold for next year. With the likely influx of young, cheap talent, the team would seem to be in an ideal position to have taken on additional mid-range contracts this offseason. So frustrating.

Makes sense - and I think that (most of us) are fans of the Red Sox and thus kind of think of it from "if I had eleventy billion dollars like John Henry, what would I do". However I also doubt most of us would have bothered buying Liverpool, the Penguins, trying desperately to get into the NBA, etc, etc.

The odd thing is - by and large I actually agree with the reasons NOT to sign someone like Monty. The history of FA pitchers over the age of 30 and long term deals is not good. He's a good but not great pitcher (he's certainly not Pedro, he isn't Schilling, and he's probably a bit more like but not quite as good as John Lackey - at least in my opinion). He doesn't have elite stuff. Etc, etc.

However, on the other hand, I think the pitching on the MLB team and in the system is so thin, not good and basically non-existent that you had to make a call of either a) biting the bullet and overpaying to sign someone like Montgomery (or Bassitt or Taillon last year, or Stroman, or whatever) or b) accepting that you're not going to be anywhere close to anything beyond fake contention for WC3 for the next several years. I'd have done the former, and hoped they would, but they chose not to.

I agree it's incredibly frustrating - but if nothing else I've kind of convinced myself that Breslow sees the current landscape of the team as much closer to Kansas City than he does Baltimore, and thus is operating entirely on a long term rebuild. At least this way I can rationalize not acquiring any SP of consequence to something with medium term.




*I say "fake contention" because even though I have this team pegged for 74 wins, even that "pace" would probably have them within 5 games of WC3 by the end of July, so you're technically playing meaningful games in August and possibly September, because it's incredibly difficult to be so bad that you've fallen off by that much in 3 months.
 

moondog80

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Sep 20, 2005
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There is a real, tangible advantage to not going over the luxury tax this year; it means the penalties are smaller if they do it next year. That makes sense given that the window of contention probably (hopefully?) opens a bit wider going forward.

Less forgivable is being $30 million under the luxury tax.