Let's Lay Off That Throttle

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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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.

Just to get it on the record early:

A) You're totally right.

B) Doesn't matter - I think they will be under the luxury tax again next year.

C) Hopefully not by $30m.

D) Hopefully not with a similar rotation.
 

curly2

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Jul 8, 2003
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Spoken like someone who's from Boston and refuses to acknowledge its shortcomings compared to other destinations.
I am also not from Boston, and have never lived closer than two hours from Fenway. But as to you points about why people don't want to play there.

The ballpark: You've got something there. Fenway is probably the least comfortable park in the majors for players. But all the renovations have maximized every inch of space they have, and the clubhouse is much nicer than it used to be.

Rabid fans: That's a personal preference, but I think a lot of people would want to play in a place where fans really care. I'm old, so I remember when Bruce Hurst left the Sox. He was a quiet guy from Utah who was kind of thrown but how much baseball means to Sox fans. And after he left and went to San Diego, he said how much he missed the atmosphere in Boston, and whenever he is back in Fenway for some event, talks about how much he loves the fans.

The media: I think this has always been used as a bit of a boogeyman by some people here. It IS tough, but I think far less so these days. One, because the decline of newspapers means there are far fewer outlets covering the team, so there are a lot fewer people to deal with. And two, with social media, the most toxic stuff can come from anywhere, not just from a reporter you don't like.

The weather: Most players don't live year-round in the city where they play. A lot of families are generally in their home during the school year and are with the players only in the summer. Boston weather can be crap in April. It generally gets really nice by May and stays so the rest of the season. In June, July and August, I would much rather be in Boston than in Phoenix. When it's 110 degrees, the fact that it's a "dry heat" means nothing.

State taxes: You're right on that one. That's why the Sox will have to pay a little more if they're competing against a team in a low-tax state.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Between this value, the terrible, horrible weather (it's why San Diego has 17 rightfielders, everyone signs there), the mean old press and the unhinged rabid fans, it's a wonder that the Red Sox haven't been contracted yet. Personally, I'm pumped for another fun year of financial flexibility--watching John Henry's EBITDA soar is better than waking up and checking the league standings.

Honestly, it's okay to say the ownership doesn't care about 2024 and are punting for reasons. It's really obvious to anyone paying even a bit of attention to this off season and it makes a lot more sense than saying that it's literally everyone else's fault. It's the guy writing (or in this case not writing) the checks. It's not because of Dan Shaughnessy's one column per week. It's not because April is sorta rainy and cold in Boston. It's not because of the fan base--which if we're being completely honest is dwindling by the day.

It's because John Henry didn't want to spend $26m to improve the pitching staff. And we're going to go with "kids" (Whitlock, Crawford and Houck are all going to be 28 this year) who showed that they were league average (at best) last year. Their offense will probably be fine, their defense will be better and their bullpen will be good until the inevitable starting pitching breakdown occurs in June/July. Then the Sox will have to rely on them for a long time, burn out their arms and they'll flounder in August and September, right in time for no one to give a shit about them. Again.
 
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Yelling At Clouds

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Jul 19, 2005
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Didn’t Montgomery live in Boston this past winter? Entirely possible he just wasn’t feeling the city for whatever reason. Also, though, if you have a choice between the literal defending NL Champs and a last-place team in a tough division… I don’t think it’s a tough call on his part. (I don’t think it was between those two teams, though.)
 

Bigpupp

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FWIW, Cotillo had like half a dozen quotes from (probably) agents this off-season that said the Sox were acting like a small market team. He didn't have a single quote from anyone saying the Sox were making good offers but the players just weren't interested in playing in Boston.
 

LogansDad

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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.
Honestly, why is it "less forgivable"?

When we look at the Fangraphs projections that abs posted over the last two days, outside of catcher (where they are really hurting), they have 4 positions projected in or around the top quarter of the league, and every other position is a stone's throw from "league average" on their projections. Spending money is great, but spending it just because you have it is often a fool's game, especially in sports, so if they were going to get closer to the CBT threshold, they need to do it in a way that adds tangible value to the actual team on the field.

This year's free agent class was.... not good. You had a couple high end players who were never going to come to Boston (or at least would have cost exorbitant sums of money) in Ohtani and Yamamoto, Bellinger is a former MVP but also spent two plus years being awful, so who knows what he really is going forward. The other pitchers were not even close to "Aces" and also old, so who knows how long they are going to hold up and pitch well (none of them are in the class of players like Verlander/Scherzer who pitched effectively well into their late 30's). Chapman wasn't an upgrade in any way other than defensively and would have cost them putting a worse fielder in at a different position.

I really don't think there were many free agents this year who were good fits for the Red Sox as currently constructed, and most of them would have been marginal upgrades at best. Any other player they sign would have blocked somebody, whether it be Grissom at 2B or Rafaela in CF, and at some point the team needs to be able to give as many at bats as possible to the players who should be moving from "prospect" status to "everyday player" status, or they will never develop. They added two RHB that they are confident in in O'Neill and Grissom, added defense in Grissom, got Story fully healed (hopefully). Other than starting pitching (which they actually put a pretty large chunk of money into addressing, it just didn't work out), what would the money they spent toward the cap just to say "Hey we got closer to the cap <shrug>" be spent on?

Now they go into a season with a team with a lot of upside and expecting improvement over last year at nearly every position, they didn't give up any of their prospect capital, they have a ton of room to work with so if they start the season and things aren't working out, or a specific need arises (there really isn't a specific "need" right now, other than "accounting for the likely even of an injury"), they can use that prospect capital and budget room to fix it in season.
 

SouthernBoSox

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FWIW, Cotillo had like half a dozen quotes from (probably) agents this off-season that said the Sox were acting like a small market team. He didn't have a single quote from anyone saying the Sox were making good offers but the players just weren't interested in playing in Boston.
Bingo. No one wants to believe it.

There is no evidence, zero, that the Red Sox were serious in free agency. They were completely unserious.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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FWIW, Cotillo had like half a dozen quotes from (probably) agents this off-season that said the Sox were acting like a small market team. He didn't have a single quote from anyone saying the Sox were making good offers but the players just weren't interested in playing in Boston.
Yeah. If there were literally one reporter out there saying "The Red Sox offered Montgomery 4/$100m and he chose 1/$25m from Arizona" I'd believe it and totally chalk it up to the player not wanting to be here. (Without rehashing it, like we heard from Merloni about the $300m offer to Betts but never heard anything about an offer to Bogaerts - or in this case Montgomery. If I could have literally thought of a player other than Betts I would have used that example. I just can't off the top of my head). Totally different scenario when you have anyone out there saying that a player chose a far less lucrative offer / turned down something entirely reasonable and getting crickets about them making high offers but lots of (possibly anecdotal or circumstantial) reports about them operating like a mid market team.

Anyway, now we move on.

When do we get to start a 2024 trade deadline thread so that I can begin begging for trades of Jansen, Martin, Pivetta, O'Neill (though he'll be injured by that point) and various prospects for Logan Gilbert again.


Though not worthy of it's own post, I agree totally @Salem's Lot. It'd just be nice to know what that budget is for those of us that do enjoy talking about how we'd build a team. Until we have even speculative evidence of them being willing to go over it, I'm going with Cotillo's (I think) $225m number. If and when they go over that, I'll amend it up.
 

Salem's Lot

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Everyone here just has to get used to ownership mandating that they stay at a set budget that’s well below the luxury tax.

It sucks, but it’s either that or stop following the team, because those are the choices.

The page after page of debate on why they didn’t sign any big free agents this year is just wasting bandwidth.
 

Yo La Tengo

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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.
Yes, but those penalties are not really that big of a deal in comparison to the total payroll.

If the Sox had a CBT payroll of $256 million payroll this year, the penalty would a payment of $3.8 million. Next year, if they had a payroll of $260 million, the penalty would go up but so would the threshold, so the penalty as a 2nd time offender would be $5.7 million. In 2026, with a payroll of $263 million, the penalty would be $9.5 million.

If they went crazy and had a $277 million payroll this year the penalty would be $12.8 million and they likely would be able to reset next year.

Those penalties should not have stopped significant spending this year and I see no reason to be at $216 million when there were viable ways to improve the team without creating long term contractual burdens. The window of contention could have been opened up this year.
 
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SouthernBoSox

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Honestly, why is it "less forgivable"?

When we look at the Fangraphs projections that abs posted over the last two days, outside of catcher (where they are really hurting), they have 4 positions projected in or around the top quarter of the league, and every other position is a stone's throw from "league average" on their projections. Spending money is great, but spending it just because you have it is often a fool's game, especially in sports, so if they were going to get closer to the CBT threshold, they need to do it in a way that adds tangible value to the actual team on the field.

This year's free agent class was.... not good. You had a couple high end players who were never going to come to Boston (or at least would have cost exorbitant sums of money) in Ohtani and Yamamoto, Bellinger is a former MVP but also spent two plus years being awful, so who knows what he really is going forward. The other pitchers were not even close to "Aces" and also old, so who knows how long they are going to hold up and pitch well (none of them are in the class of players like Verlander/Scherzer who pitched effectively well into their late 30's). Chapman wasn't an upgrade in any way other than defensively and would have cost them putting a worse fielder in at a different position.

I really don't think there were many free agents this year who were good fits for the Red Sox as currently constructed, and most of them would have been marginal upgrades at best. Any other player they sign would have blocked somebody, whether it be Grissom at 2B or Rafaela in CF, and at some point the team needs to be able to give as many at bats as possible to the players who should be moving from "prospect" status to "everyday player" status, or they will never develop. They added two RHB that they are confident in in O'Neill and Grissom, added defense in Grissom, got Story fully healed (hopefully). Other than starting pitching (which they actually put a pretty large chunk of money into addressing, it just didn't work out), what would the money they spent toward the cap just to say "Hey we got closer to the cap <shrug>" be spent on?

Now they go into a season with a team with a lot of upside and expecting improvement over last year at nearly every position, they didn't give up any of their prospect capital, they have a ton of room to work with so if they start the season and things aren't working out, or a specific need arises (there really isn't a specific "need" right now, other than "accounting for the likely even of an injury"), they can use that prospect capital and budget room to fix it in season.
"Other than starting pitching" might be the single craziest qualifier I've read on this board.

This team is one injury away from the Cooper Criswell experience. We are one injury away and one underperformer away from Chase Anderson.

So yea, other than starting pitching...
 

LogansDad

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"Other than starting pitching" might be the single craziest qualifier I've read on this board.

This team is one injury away from the Cooper Criswell experience. We are one injury away and one underperformer away from Chase Anderson.

So yea, other than starting pitching...
Nice of you to totally skip the qualifier literally right after it, though.
 

Cassvt2023

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This is really quite simple. Exactly one team was willing to give Montgomery $25m a year, and it was on a one year deal with a games started clause and it took until two days before the regular season to start and it likely was triggered by the uncertainty of the extent of E-Rod's injury. Why in the world would you offer him 6/150 or 4/110 or whatever craziness i've read in posts above?? You would have been totally overpaying, bidding against yourself and likely regretting that contract after about a year and a half. Let's face facts: Boras completely, totally, misread the market for him and none of the teams who were supposedly "in on him", could afford him, or had the need for him took the bait because EVERY OTHER TEAM decided he wasn't worth that. Not just the Red Sox.
 

catomatic

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Bingo. No one wants to believe it.

There is no evidence, zero, that the Red Sox were serious in free agency. They were completely unserious.
At this point, with the benefit of high-acuity hindsight, it appears undeniable that they weren’t serious bidders for significant FA additions. The waters were chummed just enough with reports on the Sox as “Interested in,” certain key players, or “Keeping tabs on” so and so, but these have all taken on a mirage-like quality for me.

I’m actually eager to hear from some of the stubbornnest FO defenders in here, who refused to decipher what was pretty obviously unfolding before their eyes. No names necessary but I’m keen to hear what recognitions have been made by some of these folks, and how they read the landscape now.

The flag flying over Fenway’s Press/Luxury boxes, this opening day should be no color but white, and JWH should be made to visibly pull the halyard that raises it. His golden goose, at the very least, has a fever, and other worrisome symptoms.
 

Pat Spillane

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Feb 12, 2021
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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.

Pivetta and Houck are very frustrating. They seem to have as good stuff in ways as any ace but lack consistency and some nuance. On certain days they do pitch like an ace, in Houcks case the first two times through the lineup. I keep thinking they will put it togehter but am starting to give up now
 

BeantownIdaho

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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.
And Montgomery going for 1 year 25 million with a 20 million option....and still have 5 million and assets for the trade deadline.
 

moondog80

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Honestly, why is it "less forgivable"?

When we look at the Fangraphs projections that abs posted over the last two days, outside of catcher (where they are really hurting), they have 4 positions projected in or around the top quarter of the league, and every other position is a stone's throw from "league average" on their projections. Spending money is great, but spending it just because you have it is often a fool's game, especially in sports, so if they were going to get closer to the CBT threshold, they need to do it in a way that adds tangible value to the actual team on the field.

This year's free agent class was.... not good. You had a couple high end players who were never going to come to Boston (or at least would have cost exorbitant sums of money) in Ohtani and Yamamoto, Bellinger is a former MVP but also spent two plus years being awful, so who knows what he really is going forward. The other pitchers were not even close to "Aces" and also old, so who knows how long they are going to hold up and pitch well (none of them are in the class of players like Verlander/Scherzer who pitched effectively well into their late 30's). Chapman wasn't an upgrade in any way other than defensively and would have cost them putting a worse fielder in at a different position.

I really don't think there were many free agents this year who were good fits for the Red Sox as currently constructed, and most of them would have been marginal upgrades at best. Any other player they sign would have blocked somebody, whether it be Grissom at 2B or Rafaela in CF, and at some point the team needs to be able to give as many at bats as possible to the players who should be moving from "prospect" status to "everyday player" status, or they will never develop. They added two RHB that they are confident in in O'Neill and Grissom, added defense in Grissom, got Story fully healed (hopefully). Other than starting pitching (which they actually put a pretty large chunk of money into addressing, it just didn't work out), what would the money they spent toward the cap just to say "Hey we got closer to the cap <shrug>" be spent on?

Now they go into a season with a team with a lot of upside and expecting improvement over last year at nearly every position, they didn't give up any of their prospect capital, they have a ton of room to work with so if they start the season and things aren't working out, or a specific need arises (there really isn't a specific "need" right now, other than "accounting for the likely even of an injury"), they can use that prospect capital and budget room to fix it in season.

I don't want them to use the salary space just to use it. I want them to use it to improve the team, either short or long term.

There were obvious ways to improve the starting pitching on short term deals that would have not harmed the long term picture. I'm excited to see Whitlock and Houck, but their respective career highs in IP are 78 and 106. And in the damn-near-certain scenario that we don't get 32 starts from everyone in our rotation, plans F and G are Cooper Criswell and Chase Anderson. And the rest of the team isn't the Oakland A's -- it's a group that can make a playoff run if enough things break right.

Failing that, they also could have made a JBJ-style deal, netting a few prospects while taking on a bad contract.

Payroll space is an asset, one that turns into a pumpkin if you don't use it.
 

MetSox1

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I'll say this - unused cap space has value. Other teams are up against their own caps and the tax cap as well. If the Sox use this unused space during the season to pickup salary from teams looking to dump at the deadline, and have them staple B tier prospects to the deal rather than D tier, then this is actually a good use of the space this year.

But if they go all year without using that "free" (see "untaxed") cash then theyve had something of value and wasted it. And that would make me seriously question their desire to win in both the short and long term. Which would obviously be a huge issue.

Edit: Apparently I fully agree with @moondog80
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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This is really quite simple. Exactly one team was willing to give Montgomery $25m a year, and it was on a one year deal with a games started clause and it took until two days before the regular season to start and it likely was triggered by the uncertainty of the extent of E-Rod's injury. Why in the world would you offer him 6/150 or 4/110 or whatever craziness i've read in posts above?? You would have been totally overpaying, bidding against yourself and likely regretting that contract after about a year and a half. Let's face facts: Boras completely, totally, misread the market for him and none of the teams who were supposedly "in on him", could afford him, or had the need for him took the bait because EVERY OTHER TEAM decided he wasn't worth that. Not just the Red Sox.
As - I think - the only one that's suggested numbers like that today at least...

1) I think the starting pitching for MLB is incredibly unproven. Is there talent - sure. Do I think it's talent at all like Lester, Papelbon and Buchholz (even from which you got 1 dependable long term starter, a very mercurial SP and an excellent closer). No, I don't think it's anywhere close - which means I think you'll likely get far less from this group than we did that group.

2) I think the pitching in the minors is not at all good, so you need to do something to bridge the amount of time it will take for Breslow to acquire and develop guys in the minors to support the pitching staff.

3) I think there is literally no chance they're giving big deals to Burnes or Fried if they reach FA, Wheeler is of course already off the market.

4) I don't think their prospects are fetching what was hoped for in the trade market.


That is "why in the world" I would have offered him that. I think so little of the pitching in the organization (not JUST for 2024 but for 2024-2026) that I'd have done it. I could very well be wrong, but I wanted to answer the question.
 
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DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Yes, but those penalties are not really that big of a deal in comparison to the total payroll.

If the Sox had a CBT payroll of $256 million payroll this year, the penalty would a payment of $3.8 million. Next year, if they had a payroll of $260 million, the penalty would go up but so would the threshold, so the penalty as a 2nd time offender would be $5.7 million. In 2026, with a payroll of $263 million, the penalty would be $9.5 million.

If they went crazy and had a $277 million payroll this year the penalty would be $12.8 million and they likely would be able to reset next year.

Those penalties should not have stopped significant spending this year and I see no reason to be at $216 million when there were viable ways to improve the team without creating long term contractual burdens. The window of contention could have been opened up this year.
Thank you. Its amazing how sports owners are able to get fans to support decisions that prioritize shareholder economics over trying to compete.

$12.8 million is a lot of money but its a relative pittance for a highly valued MLB franchise in 2024. Why are we so concerned about FSG's ROI? And why is saving +/- $10mm a year 5d chess all of a sudden?
 

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That is "why in the world" I would have offered him that. I think so little of the pitching in the organization that I'd have done it. I could very well be wrong, but I wanted to answer the question.
This is a really good point. The reason why you offer Montgomery a contract to pitch for your team now (and hopefully in the future) is because you think that he's better than the options you have right now and down the line. If Bello takes a big leap, which is a huge if, Montgomery would be at the very worst, your second best starter. He'd even be your second best pitcher if Giolito was able to throw this year. It was imperative that the Red Sox sign at least one good starting pitcher. They didn't do it and now all they have is a bunch of not really all that young arms who have never thrown more than 140 innings in a season before and a pile of money.

I'm not sure why anyone would be against signing Montgomery--it would just cost the Red Sox money (which they have).

And why is saving +/- $10mm a year 5d chess all of a sudden?
Because it's more pleasing to the brain to think that all of a sudden this ownership is going to start spending money again, rather than look at the last five years of evidence and see that their dips into free agency are now an anomaly. They aren't going to sign anyone unless they get a deal or the player isn't very good.
 

Auger34

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FWIW, Cotillo had like half a dozen quotes from (probably) agents this off-season that said the Sox were acting like a small market team. He didn't have a single quote from anyone saying the Sox were making good offers but the players just weren't interested in playing in Boston.
I was just about to post something similar.

If the Sox made Montgomery a competitive offer and he just didn't want to be on the East Coast, someone in the media would have written or tweeted something to that effect.

When Paxton signed with the Dodgers, Rob Bradford tweeted out shortly after that the Sox were in on him with a competitive offer but he preferred the West Coast.

We've yet to see anything like that with Montgomery. Most writers are either explaining why they wouldn't want Montgomery at this point in their rebuild or wondering why they weren't more interested in him.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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And Montgomery going for 1 year 25 million with a 20 million option....and still have 5 million and assets for the trade deadline.
Assuming Montgomery comes to Boston for exactly the same deal as he agreed to with the D-Backs, of course. And I don't mean that in a "no one wants to come to Boston" way. I mean that in a "why are we conceited enough to think that all the Sox have to do is make the same offer" way.
 

Max Power

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This is a really good point. The reason why you offer Montgomery a contract to pitch for your team now (and hopefully in the future) is because you think that he's better than the options you have right now and down the line. If Bello takes a big leap, which is a huge if, Montgomery would be at the very worst, your second best starter. He'd even be your second best pitcher if Giolito was able to throw this year. It was imperative that the Red Sox sign at least one good starting pitcher. They didn't do it and now all they have is a bunch of not really all that young arms who have never thrown more than 140 innings in a season before and a pile of money.

I'm not sure why anyone would be against signing Montgomery--it would just cost the Red Sox money (which they have).
If you're more interested in what both Whitlock and Houck can do as starters when they're in that role from the very beginning of spring training, you don't want to see Montgomery signed to take one of their spots.
 

RS2004foreever

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Between this value, the terrible, horrible weather (it's why San Diego has 17 rightfielders, everyone signs there), the mean old press and the unhinged rabid fans, it's a wonder that the Red Sox haven't been contracted yet. Personally, I'm pumped for another fun year of financial flexibility--watching John Henry's EBITDA soar is better than waking up and checking the league standings.
That made me laugh. Thank you.

Everyone here just has to get used to ownership mandating that they stay at a set budget that’s well below the luxury tax.

It sucks, but it’s either that or stop following the team, because those are the choices.

The page after page of debate on why they didn’t sign any big free agents this year is just wasting bandwidth.
I don't think we really knew - or were in denial about - the Red Sox looking to maximize profit at the expense of the on the field product to the degree that they are.
This is capitalism - and he who owns the capital makes the rules - so to your point we need to accept that this is the reality and stop making excuses about saving payroll for when a window opens up.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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This is a really good point. The reason why you offer Montgomery a contract to pitch for your team now (and hopefully in the future) is because you think that he's better than the options you have right now and down the line. If Bello takes a big leap, which is a huge if, Montgomery would be at the very worst, your second best starter. He'd even be your second best pitcher if Giolito was able to throw this year. It was imperative that the Red Sox sign at least one good starting pitcher. They didn't do it and now all they have is a bunch of not really all that young arms who have never thrown more than 140 innings in a season before and a pile of money.

I'm not sure why anyone would be against signing Montgomery--it would just cost the Red Sox money (which they have).



Because it's more pleasing to the brain to think that all of a sudden this ownership is going to start spending money again, rather than look at the last five years of evidence and see that their dips into free agency are now an anomaly. They aren't going to sign anyone unless they get a deal or the player isn't very good.
Exactly.

Now, might they think that the guys they have in house are going to be a world series title contending rotation in 2024, 2025 and 2026. Sure, it's possible. I can't imagine they think that, but they could. But if that was the case - why not make other additions to address other needs if you thought the team was that close...

Maybe they believe that the in house options for the line up are so good they don't need to add those pieces either - in which case - why fire Bloom - he'd have (in that scenario) done a good job and built a team you felt was capable of contending for the World Series titles they ostensibly say they're competing for. (Or to paraphrase Daniel Kaffee - why the second order, colonel?)




All of which is why I am moving more and more to the side of really thinking Breslow (and Henry) looks at the organization on the whole and says: We're not at all close, and are basically starting from a position of Devers, Bello, Casas, Anthony, Teel, Mayer and a bunch of 'who the hell knows - but it's highly unlikely that a large enough percentage of the "who the hell knows" ends up being first division caliber that investing in someone over 30 makes no sense. Sure, he's better than what we'd have in 2024, 2025 and 2026 but we're so far off that it doesn't matter.

That would at least to me do a better job of rationalizing the inaction across the board compounded with the moves they did make - WHICH I THINK MAKE A TON OF SENSE IF YOU BELIEVE THAT (ie trading 1 yr of Sale for 6 of Grissom; trading Urias for Campbell; trading Verdugo for Fitts; trading Schrieber for Sandlin).

Now it's time to hope that Jansen, Martin, Pivetta and O'Neill are good enough and healthy enough to trade for something hopefully as good as Grissom more likely in the realm of Sandlin as the team gets into July.
 

moondog80

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If you're more interested in what both Whitlock and Houck can do as starters when they're in that role from the very beginning of spring training, you don't want to see Montgomery signed to take one of their spots.
There were perfectly fine with one of their spots being taken before Giolito got hurt. Moreover, in a world where they sign Monty, what are the chances that Monty/Bello/Pivetta/Crawford/5th guy make it through the season unscathed? Whoever would get left out between Houck and Whitlock would still get his, eventually.
 
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John Marzano Olympic Hero

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If you're more interested in what both Whitlock and Houck can do as starters when they're in that role from the very beginning of spring training, you don't want to see Montgomery signed to take one of their spots.
Right I get that. But the Red Sox aren’t a try out team. If you want to see how they’d do as a starter send them to the Winter League, see how they’d do in the minors.

They’ve started in the Majors in the past and are average pitchers. They’re not going to all of a sudden blossom into Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz.

Why are we punting a whole season(and paying premium prices to watch this experiment) to see how three 28-year-olds will do as starters? Isn’t this why the Sox employ scouts and coaches?

I can see giving one person a role to see how he’d do with a longer look. But three? Maybe I can get a looksee in right field. Maybe you can play shortstop when Story gets injured?

This will be a fun new money making opportunity for FSG.
 

Max Power

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There were perfectly fine with one of their spots being taken before Giolito got hurt.
Who? JMOH asked why a fan would be okay with the team not signing Montgomery. A fan might be more interested in watching those other pitchers.

Red Sox management signed Giolito in the winter. The plan was likely to trade one of Houck, Crawford, or Whitlock plus something else for another better starter. Those deals never came together, so the plan in spring was to have Whitlock, Houck, and Winckowski compete for the 5th spot. After Giolito went down, they let those three compete for 2 spots instead of 1 and kept their options open for signing someone else in case two of them fell on their faces. It turned out Whitlock and Houck both pitched really well, so they didn't feel the need to acquire someone to bump one of them.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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If you're more interested in what both Whitlock and Houck can do as starters when they're in that role from the very beginning of spring training, you don't want to see Montgomery signed to take one of their spots.
I don't see why everyone is so desperate to see Whitlock and Houck in the rotation. Neither have been effective and/or injury-free as starters. Neither are particularly young any more. Both pitch better in a bullpen role.
 

Cassvt2023

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Just because JM is "better than what we have now" is not a reason to give him a deal that literally NO OTHER TEAM in the league was willing to. I think some on here are overvaluing him even more than Scott Boras. He wasn't even really a thing at this time last year, certainly not a guy you'd be handing $100 million to. I'm going to believe that all the executives in MLB know a bit more about his worth than us. I get it that we are super thin on pitching, both majors and minors. I get it that its been a super weird and frustrating off season. But Breslow has only been in this job for a few months. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt for now.
 

moondog80

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Red Sox management signed Giolito in the winter. The plan was likely to trade one of Houck, Crawford, or Whitlock plus something else for another better starter. Those deals never came together, so the plan in spring was to have Whitlock, Houck, and Winckowski compete for the 5th spot. After Giolito went down, they let those three compete for 2 spots instead of 1 and kept their options open for signing someone else in case two of them fell on their faces. It turned out Whitlock and Houck both pitched really well, so they didn't feel the need to acquire someone to bump one of them.
I'm hesitant to draw conclusions form spring training, but they did look impressive, as did the rest of the staff. I hope you're right, but I still say the loser of Houck/Whit would have eventually found his way to the rotation, so signing Monty would not really have harmed anyone's development.
 

GB5

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I am currently more interested in a question that can’t or won’t be answered right now and that is what is the flexibility with this budget as far as this year goes?

if the Sox play above expectations and are say around 10 games over .500 at the deadline, and have a solid deal in place to acquire a needed piece but it adds 5-10 mill to the payroll will ownership sign off?

On the other end of the season goes south and you are at the deadline and you have a nice deal in place that would allow you to upgrade from day a B prospect to an A- prospect but you have to eat a contract that is going to cost you 5-10 mill for the remainder of the year, will ownership green light it?
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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So somewhere Chaim Bloom is laughing?

Just a note- there's not one good reason a player would ever, ever say to the media that he DOESN'T want to play in a particular place. You'd just invite an avalanche. They'll say real nice hedging things about what a nice place it is and how after it all came down to it, they made the best decision for themselves and their family and LET'S GO CARDINALS!!! (or some other place).

Boston has it's charms, plenty of them.... but maybe not for everyone. You're fooling yourselves if you think Boston STILL doesn't have a reputation as an insanely racist place... right or wrong. It's still a joke told at least once a day everywhere with some joker taking on a "southie" accent and saying some horrifying racist shit. Other cities may be better.... or worse.... but the reputation Boston has still sticks. Which, honestly is sad, because I don't think it accurately reflects Boston these days. When I go back there it's such a different place than the town I grew up knowing (what the hell happened to all those white skinhead irish thugs that literally were roaming all over the place???). I'm 100% certain that black athletes STILL have to think twice before signing to play in Boston. Cities like Baltimore, NYC, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, LA.... the black population in those cities has a noticeable impact on the city. It STILL doesn't in Boston. Same with Latino culture.

Boston I think right now is a desired destination for moderate types that don't lean towards a hunting/fishing "rural" culture with strong christian roots. There's lots of white players that want to be closer to their values and Boston (and some of the cities mentioned above) may not be attractive to them. Again, other players want the big lights, billboards, media and fan frenzy and close approximation to insanely beautiful women (no offense, Boston.... but NY and LA is where that's all at). When the offer is a stupidly high amount of money, there's lots of players that are fine with $50M rather than $75M. That delta isn't enough to move the needle

I don't understand the denial of this. I also don't think Boston is a shithole whatsoever. It's lovely. First class. Small but with an international highly educated culture. I do think it's always going to be challenging for the Sox to attract pitchers, more than positional players- a lot of that is park related too.
 

moondog80

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I don't see why everyone is so desperate to see Whitlock and Houck in the rotation. Neither have been effective and/or injury-free as starters.
Not yet anyway. I'm willing to give the Breslow/Bailey program a chance. Kevin Gausman never put it together until he went to SF. But they could have done that and also made a run at one of Snell/Montgomery.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I don't see why everyone is so desperate to see Whitlock and Houck in the rotation. Neither have been effective and/or injury-free as starters. Neither are particularly young any more. Both pitch better in a bullpen role.
Pretty much every pitcher pitches better in a bullpen role. That's not really enough incentive to put guys in the bullpen when they have the potential to be effective starters (which clearly the Sox believe they have). And these guys have gotten hurt relieving too, so moving them to the bullpen wouldn't really guarantee good health.
 

mikcou

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He's trying to shift the goalposts from the general premise that money isn't the determining factor for where a FA signs. That's disproven by anyone taking a hometown discount anywhere.
Its only disproving that its not true for everyone. We know from the numerous deals over the last 20+ years that normally the top bid gets the player. The fact that some players do not does not invalidate a general tendency. I dont think anyone has ever said that EVERYONE WILL TAKE THE TOP DEAL because well thats just obviously not the case. That doesnt mkae the more moderate statement "Typically the high bid wins" incorrect.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Pretty much every pitcher pitches better in a bullpen role. That's not really enough incentive to put guys in the bullpen when they have the potential to be effective starters (which clearly the Sox believe they have). And these guys have gotten hurt relieving too, so moving them to the bullpen wouldn't really guarantee good health.
Why do people keep saying this?

Whitlock is 4.76, 1.290 in 90 IP as a starter. He is 2.65, 1.048 in 133 IP as a reliever. He'll be 28 in June.
Houck is 4.17, 1.250 in 198 IP as a starter. He is 2.68, 1.127 in 53 IP as a reliever. He'll also be 28 in June.

There is nearly a 2 run difference in ERA for these guys being in the pen as opposed to the rotation. Houck has been pretty average at best as a starter, Whitlock has been terrible. Whitlock is a dominant reliever. Houck is a good reliever.

I'm so incredibly frustrated with the Sox' insistence on forcing these square pegs into round holes.
 

tims4wins

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Right I get that. But the Red Sox aren’t a try out team. If you want to see how they’d do as a starter send them to the Winter League, see how they’d do in the minors.

They’ve started in the Majors in the past and are average pitchers. They’re not going to all of a sudden blossom into Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz.

Why are we punting a whole season(and paying premium prices to watch this experiment) to see how three 28-year-olds will do as starters? Isn’t this why the Sox employ scouts and coaches?

I can see giving one person a role to see how he’d do with a longer look. But three? Maybe I can get a looksee in right field. Maybe you can play shortstop when Story gets injured?

This will be a fun new money making opportunity for FSG.
Had to quote this. It's so on point. The Boston Red Sox should never be in a position of throwing literally everything at the wall and seeing what sticks. Obviously every team will have an element of that. But, simply, put, they seem more interested in seeing if there is a path to building a cost-efficient winning team as opposed to simply trying to win because that's the goal of sports. And it's incredibly frustrating. You play - to win - the game.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Had to quote this. It's so on point. The Boston Red Sox should never be in a position of throwing literally everything at the wall and seeing what sticks. Obviously every team will have an element of that. But, simply, put, they seem more interested in seeing if there is a path to building a cost-efficient winning team as opposed to simply trying to win because that's the goal of sports. And it's incredibly frustrating. You play - to win - the game.
They've already done everything but say they are punting this season. I don't know why, or how it could possibly benefit them to just pass on trying to compete this year.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Just because JM is "better than what we have now" is not a reason to give him a deal that literally NO OTHER TEAM in the league was willing to. I think some on here are overvaluing him even more than Scott Boras. He wasn't even really a thing at this time last year, certainly not a guy you'd be handing $100 million to. I'm going to believe that all the executives in MLB know a bit more about his worth than us. I get it that we are super thin on pitching, both majors and minors. I get it that its been a super weird and frustrating off season. But Breslow has only been in this job for a few months. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt for now.
So what's your solution to the starting pitching problem?

We can't develop pitchers. Our prospects aren't good enough to trade for a starting pitcher. And now you don't want to spend in free agency for one.

How do you get good starting pitching minus those three routes?
 

simplicio

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I don't see why everyone is so desperate to see Whitlock and Houck in the rotation. Neither have been effective and/or injury-free as starters. Neither are particularly young any more. Both pitch better in a bullpen role.
If Bloom were still here I'd agree completely. But I'm willing to give the new pitching regime a chance. Whitlock looked fantastic and efficient a couple days ago. (Very) Early returns have been promising. I still expect them to fall apart some later and would have preferred the security of Giolito and/or Montgomery, but I'm also okay with seeing how much we can get from what we've got, especially since success with that project this year means a more stable rotation going forward while the AA gang trickles up.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Why do people keep saying this?

Whitlock is 4.76, 1.290 in 90 IP as a starter. He is 2.65, 1.048 in 133 IP as a reliever. He'll be 28 in June.
Houck is 4.17, 1.250 in 198 IP as a starter. He is 2.68, 1.127 in 53 IP as a reliever. He'll also be 28 in June.

There is nearly a 2 run difference in ERA for these guys being in the pen as opposed to the rotation. Houck has been pretty average at best as a starter, Whitlock has been terrible. Whitlock is a dominant reliever. Houck is a good reliever.

I'm so incredibly frustrated with the Sox' insistence on forcing these square pegs into round holes.
90 innings is barely a half-season's worth of data. Hardly definitive of anything. And 198 innings at a 4.17 ERA would be a pretty solid starting pitcher in today's environment (right around league average).

Derek Lowe was abysmal as a starter (ERA over 5.00) over ~90 innings and great (an All Star) as a reliever (~380 innings) when he made the move to starting at age 28 and put up a Cy Young caliber season immediately. Not saying that either Houck or Whitlock is going to make a Lowe-like leap but there's no reason to write them off as starters because they have posted slightly below average ERAs in that role.
 

HfxBob

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He's trying to shift the goalposts from the general premise that money isn't the determining factor for where a FA signs. That's disproven by anyone taking a hometown discount anywhere.
And what % take a hometown discount, do you figure?
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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If Bloom were still here I'd agree completely. But I'm willing to give the new pitching regime a chance. Whitlock looked fantastic and efficient a couple days ago. (Very) Early returns have been promising. I still expect them to fall apart some later and would have preferred the security of Giolito and/or Montgomery, but I'm also okay with seeing how much we can get from what we've got, especially since success with that project this year means a more stable rotation going forward while the AA gang trickles up.
I would agree with this approach if the two pitchers in question were 22 or 23. Not 27 going on 28.

The Sox have had years of experience seeing these guys thrive in the pen. For some reason they don't wish to benefit from that.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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90 innings is barely a half-season's worth of data. Hardly definitive of anything. And 198 innings at a 4.17 ERA would be a pretty solid starting pitcher in today's environment (right around league average).

Derek Lowe was abysmal as a starter (ERA over 5.00) over ~90 innings and great (an All Star) as a reliever (~380 innings) when he made the move to starting at age 28 and put up a Cy Young caliber season immediately. Not saying that either Houck or Whitlock is going to make a Lowe-like leap but there's no reason to write them off as starters because they have posted slightly below average ERAs in that role.
Again, time is running out on these guys being young. And why take 4.17 ERA when you have have a multi-inning power reliever with 2.65 ERA?

The Drek Lowe comparison really doesn't work considering that was 25 years ago. The league has changed, roles have changed etc.