Let's Lay Off That Throttle

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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.
Because 150+ innings from a starter with a 4.17 ERA is more valuable than a multi-inning power reliever (70-80 innings?) with a 2.65 ERA. Houck posted his highest fWAR in 2021 (2.3) and 2023 (1.2). The thing those two seasons have in common is he started in 34 of his 39 appearances in those two seasons. In 2022, he relieved far more than he started (0.7 WAR).
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Because 150+ innings from a starter with a 4.17 ERA is more valuable than a multi-inning power reliever (70-80 innings?) with a 2.65 ERA. Houck posted his highest fWAR in 2021 (2.3) and 2023 (1.2). The thing those two seasons have in common is he started in 34 of his 39 appearances in those two seasons. In 2022, he relieved far more than he started (0.7 WAR).
And yet we have seen a role where he is much better.

Houck I can at least see a debate about it, although to me he needs to be in the pen. Whitlock, there's no argument to be had.
 

simplicio

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We have Houck for 4 more years and Whitlock for 5. Turning them into good starters through their age 31/32 seasons is simply more valuable than having them be great relievers. If Bailey can fix the issues Bloom's team couldn't, that's great news. If not, stick them back in the pen next year and hit the market again.
 

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We have Houck for 4 more years and Whitlock for 5. Turning them into good starters through their age 31/32 seasons is simply more valuable than having them be great relievers. If Bailey can fix the issues Bloom's team couldn't, that's great news. If not, stick them back in the pen next year and hit the market again.
They've been trying to turn them into good starters for 2 or 3 years already and they have been ineffective or hurt or both. There is not giving up, and then there is madness.
 

moondog80

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Speier just did a great Q&A on Reddit, the whole thing is worth reading but this quote on Whitlock seems relevant:

Whitlock thinking is that this is his first healthy offseason since 2018, and the work he did in the offseason put him in what looks like incredible shape. You're right to wonder if he can remain physically intact for a full season, but he's never had a better chance of doing so than he does now -- and the Sox believe there's a lot of value in finding out.
He also said the Sox (and the rest of MLB) were unimpressed by Montgomery's stuff.

Full chat here:
https://www.reddit.com/r/redsox/comments/1boo41k/ama_im_alex_speier_a_sports_reporter_for_the/
 

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And yet we have seen a role where he is much better.

Houck I can at least see a debate about it, although to me he needs to be in the pen. Whitlock, there's no argument to be had.
Again, I'll point out that nearly every pitcher tends to be better as a reliever than a starter, so I don't find it to be a persuasive argument that Whitlock's 130 relief innings are more instructive than the 90 innings thrown as a starter.
 

TheYellowDart5

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I mean it seems understandable if not prudent for a new POBO with a pitching background and a new pitching coach to see if Whitlock and Houck can hack it as starters. I think that if Bloom had hung on and not puked on himself we would've seen Whitlock and Houck become long-term multi-inning relief guys ala the way the Rays do things, but it's also an open question as to how valuable that approach is, and that strategy also requires building up lots of pitching depth, which Bloom failed at miserably. There's also the possibility that the Rays approach leads to a ton of arm injuries, but there's no definitive proof there one way or the other. That said, given the fact that Whitlock is seemingly not a guy that Bloom or Cora wanted to use on back-to-back days, I question whether there was any possibility of him repeating his rookie season as a shutdown high-leverage guy. Houck is a more open question and, for what it's worth, I assume that he'll shuttle back to the bullpen eventually unless he figures out a third pitch/left-handed hitters.

This offseason has largely sucked and it's clear that ownership has no interest in long-term deals anymore but letting Whitlock and Houck get one more crack at starting doesn't strike me as malpractice. The problem is that the rotation depth is thin and that their one major addition in that department had his elbow explode, so there's zero room for error and no viable solutions if the guys who have struggled to produce and stay healthy struggle to produce or stay healthy. For whatever reason (and I'm guessing it's largely financial), the Breslow FO has eschewed adding starters, and I think come July/August, they're going to be wishing they had (even if the options available in free agency largely were risky or not all that appealing).
 

BeantownIdaho

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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.
Because I am conceited. And...for Monty specifically I think it points in that direction, although not with everyone we have been "in on"
 

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Speier just did a great Q&A on Reddit, the whole thing is worth reading but this quote on Whitlock seems relevant:



He also said the Sox (and the rest of MLB) were unimpressed by Montgomery's stuff.

Full chat here:
https://www.reddit.com/r/redsox/comments/1boo41k/ama_im_alex_speier_a_sports_reporter_for_the/
So Whitlock is in "the best shape of his life?" Sounds like the usual offseason pablum to me. But we'll see since they are insisting on making him a starter come hell or high water.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Again, I'll point out that nearly every pitcher tends to be better as a reliever than a starter, so I don't find it to be a persuasive argument that Whitlock's 130 relief innings are more instructive than the 90 innings thrown as a starter.
2 runs better per 9 is huge difference.

We're both repeating ourselves so I will drop it. The Sox had better be right, that's all I'll say.
 

simplicio

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They've been trying to turn them into good starters for 2 or 3 years already and they have been ineffective or hurt or both. There is not giving up, and then there is madness.
Like I said, under the old pitching group I'd agree with you. But have you been watching Whitlock this month? He looks like a different guy out there, truly.
 

CR67dream

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The Drek Lowe comparison
I laughed. Not sure if intentional, or how the hell we didn't call him that on bad days back in the day. :)

Your arguments have merit, and are worth talking about. It's probably because I've already resigned myself to an entertaining developmental season with no expectations of post-season glory absent lightning in a bottle, but I've come around to the idea of seeing what these guys can do as starters once and for all.

https://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?threads/2024-rotation-and-bullpen-what-we-actually-have-no-trade-speculation.41289/post-6041515

And I just don't think the new pitching program can be discounted in the equation. They know their stuff and they are thorough. They could also be dead wrong, but I don't blame them for taking advantage of low expectations and the Giolito injury to find out.
 

Cassvt2023

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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?
1) developing pitching takes time. Breslow and Bailey have both been employed here for less than 6 months. Both have successful track records of doing it for their last teams. The trades for Fitts, Sandlin, Campbell, Slaten, Weissert and signing of Hendricks, Fullmer, and Giolito in a short time show that they are building it.

2) Identifying which prospects to hold onto and which ones to trade will be an ongoing process throughout the 1st part of this season. Just because you say none of them are good enough to bring back a controllable starter doesn't mean its true. You have no clue what goes on in those talks and neither do I.

3) I'm fine spending on starting pitchers in FA, it's a matter of which ones I want to spend on, not just overpaying for the best guy available at the time.
 

TomRicardo

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Because 150+ innings from a starter with a 4.17 ERA is more valuable than a multi-inning power reliever (70-80 innings?) with a 2.65 ERA. Houck posted his highest fWAR in 2021 (2.3) and 2023 (1.2). The thing those two seasons have in common is he started in 34 of his 39 appearances in those two seasons. In 2022, he relieved far more than he started (0.7 WAR).
If you pitch 150+ innings in a single season. If you can't get there and pitch 120 over a season you are not only below average in your starts but you are killing the bullpen.

The Red Sox love swimming up stream with Whitlock because they gave him a contract that only has real value if he starts. It is not a bad contract for a reliver of his caliber but it is not great.
 

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Like I said, under the old pitching group I'd agree with you. But have you been watching Whitlock this month? He looks like a different guy out there, truly.
Oh sure, and Red Sox Stats noted some of the same things. But: it's spring training. I'm old and have heard this type of hype going back a long, long time. Jeff Sellers was gonna be great too, etc.

I'm just very skeptical of early spring reports. If Whitlock can pitch effectively as a starter all season I'd be both very impressed and extremely surprised. We'll see.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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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.
Right. If we're going to use the CBT to justify or criticize ownership it does seem important to understand how it works.

The stripped down version is that there are two important levels. At the first level, the only thing you're talking about is money, and frankly, not that much relatively speaking. Even when you have multiple years in a row of exceeding the cap, the financial penalties means you're having to write a check that's less than the cost of a decent free agent. It's only when you get to the second level that it becomes about competition.

We're really jus talking about a few million for a billionaire. I mean, obviously easy to spend someone else's money, but staying under the cap is really not something that fans should care much about unless they have a very cost-conscious owner. Unfortunately, this is the place we find ourselves. The second cap level is a whole nother kettle of fish.
 

TomRicardo

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It looks like the Red Sox have no real intention of being competitive which is fine.

Couple of things they should focus on:

Play Pivetta and O'Neill as much as possible in hopes to dump them in at the deadline. There is absolutely no reason to have O'Neill, Chris Martin, or Jansen on this team August 1st. Pivetta probably should be gone by August 1st as well. Hell I would be shopping the living crap out of Trevor Story or Yoshida if they stays healthy through July.

Give Whitlock and/or Houck through July to start. I migh shift Whitlock to bullpen faster but this is it. If they are still awful or get injured, just bring up the next guy from Pawtucket and hope they catch another pitch like Kutter (please Fitts get a third pitch).

Valdez, Dalbec, McGuiire, and Reyes are fungible pieces that you should feel free to eject especially if you want to give Teel, Mayer, and/or Anthony a taste of MLB in August/September. Their place on the 40 should be seen as place holders.
 

SouthernBoSox

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Nice of you to totally skip the qualifier literally right after it, though.
You believe that trading Chris Sale and saving 8mm AAV followed by signing Giolito to 19mm AAV qualifies as a large chunk of money?

Let's just agree to disagree there.
 

TheYellowDart5

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It looks like the Red Sox have no real intention of being competitive which is fine.

Couple of things they should focus on:

Play Pivetta and O'Neill as much as possible in hopes to dump them in at the deadline. There is absolutely no reason to have O'Neill, Chris Martin, or Jansen on this team August 1st. Pivetta probably should be gone by August 1st as well. Hell I would be shopping the living crap out of Trevor Story or Yoshida if they stays healthy through July.

Give Whitlock and/or Houck through July to start. I migh shift Whitlock to bullpen faster but this is it. If they are still awful or get injured, just bring up the next guy from Pawtucket and hope they catch another pitch like Kutter (please Fitts get a third pitch).

Valdez, Dalbec, McGuiire, and Reyes are fungible pieces that you should feel free to eject especially if you want to give Teel, Mayer, and/or Anthony a taste of MLB in August/September. Their place on the 40 should be seen as place holders.
No quibbles with any of this though I would expect that if Pivetta is pitching well and it looks sustainable (i.e. the new cutter/sweeper is legit or the overall command has visibly improved) the FO will approach him about an extension. This team is so woefully short on MLB-caliber pitching that locking in 150+ average to above-average innings at reasonable money is definitely worth exploring, especially if Whitlock and/or Houck both struggle. Right now the 2025 rotation is Bello, Crawford and nothing else, and after the way this offseason played out, I don't expect free agency to be an avenue to get help.
 

TomRicardo

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No quibbles with any of this though I would expect that if Pivetta is pitching well and it looks sustainable (i.e. the new cutter/sweeper is legit or the overall command has visibly improved) the FO will approach him about an extension. This team is so woefully short on MLB-caliber pitching that locking in 150+ average to above-average innings at reasonable money is definitely worth exploring, especially if Whitlock and/or Houck both struggle. Right now the 2025 rotation is Bello, Crawford and nothing else, and after the way this offseason played out, I don't expect free agency to be an avenue to get help.
Oh they should but I think we have seen enough to know they won't.

Edit - I think we are exactly on the same page except I don't think the Red Sox will give Pivetta a market level contract.
 

TheYellowDart5

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Oh they should but I think we have seen enough to know they won't.

Edit - I think we are exactly on the same page except I don't think the Red Sox will give Pivetta a market level contract.
If nothing else it would be really funny if after not pursuing Snell they turn around and give a big deal to the right-handed worse version of Snell
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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1) developing pitching takes time. Breslow and Bailey have both been employed here for less than 6 months. Both have successful track records of doing it for their last teams. The trades for Fitts, Sandlin, Campbell, Slaten, Weissert and signing of Hendricks, Fullmer, and Giolito in a short time show that they are building it.

2) Identifying which prospects to hold onto and which ones to trade will be an ongoing process throughout the 1st part of this season. Just because you say none of them are good enough to bring back a controllable starter doesn't mean its true. You have no clue what goes on in those talks and neither do I.

3) I'm fine spending on starting pitchers in FA, it's a matter of which ones I want to spend on, not just overpaying for the best guy available at the time.
1. Of course developing pitching takes time--the Sox literally haven't developed a good starting pitcher in what, 10 years now (aside from Bello). You need starting pitching in order to win, right? The Sox can't pause season(s) because they need to develop starters. Saying developing starting pitching is hard and not getting starting pitching through the other two channels (free agency and trades) is just excuse making. I know it's hard. The Red Sox know it's hard. The Yankees know it's hard. Every team in the league knows it's hard.

But you still have to do it.

2.If you're talking the three youngish starters in terms of prospects, Houck, Crawford and Whitlock are not prospects. They're all going to be 28 years old this season and are entering their fifth, fourth and fourth major league seasons respectively. All questions of these players have been pretty much asked and answered. Is there a chance that they will be better than they have been in recent years? Of course. But are you really willing to bet the entire season on all three of them being better? How many times has this happened in MLB history? (Legit question, I have no idea but I suspect zero times)

If you're talking about prospects that are still in the minors, it doesn't matter what I have to say about them. What matters is what the industry has to say, and if we believe Breslow from what he said at his press conference about dangling prospects for established arms, no one bit. So take that for what it's worth.

3. So you want a deal on the best guy available in free agency? Congratulations, you're like literally every single person who follows baseball. Montgomery wasn't the best guy available, but he was the best guy for this staff. And he cost Arizona $25M for a year, or $6M more than Giolito. The prices are the prices, the Sox can afford them. I'm not sure what the fetish is for not spending money on deserving players.
 

Yo La Tengo

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Right. If we're going to use the CBT to justify or criticize ownership it does seem important to understand how it works.

The stripped down version is that there are two important levels. At the first level, the only thing you're talking about is money, and frankly, not that much relatively speaking. Even when you have multiple years in a row of exceeding the cap, the financial penalties means you're having to write a check that's less than the cost of a decent free agent. It's only when you get to the second level that it becomes about competition.

We're really jus talking about a few million for a billionaire. I mean, obviously easy to spend someone else's money, but staying under the cap is really not something that fans should care much about unless they have a very cost-conscious owner. Unfortunately, this is the place we find ourselves. The second cap level is a whole nother kettle of fish.
A couple of relevant details. Any team that is over the initial luxury tax threshold and signs a free agent who turned down a a qualifying offer will lose $1 million from their international signing pool while a team that is not over the luxury tax would only lose $500,000. In addition, a team over the initial luxury tax threshold who loses a player from their roster who turned down a qualifying offer has their compensation pick dropped to the 4th round.

So there are potential additional penalties at play when a team goes over the initial threshold ($237 million this year). Then, once a team goes more than $40 million over that threshold ($277 million this year), their first round pick in the next draft gets dropped 10 spots.

NOTABLY: signing Jordan Montgomery would have triggered none of those non-monetary penalties because he did not receive a QO. If he had signed with the Sox for $25 million per year, payroll this year would have increased to roughly $241 million, and the CBT penalty is 20% of anything over $237 million. So... a penalty of $800,000.
 

Diamond Don Aase

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Valdez, Dalbec, McGuiire, and Reyes are fungible pieces that you should feel free to eject especially if you want to give Teel, Mayer, and/or Anthony a taste of MLB in August/September. Their place on the 40 should be seen as place holders.
Fully fungible like Chase Anderson. And Brennan Bernardino. And Cooper Criswell. And Romy Gonzalez. And David Hamilton. And Tyler Heineman. And Joe Jacques. And Zack Kelly. And Rob Refsnyder. And Brandon Walter.

Having more than one-third of your 40-man roster occupied by placeholders seems sub-optimal to me but I suppose it is good enough when significant swaths of your fanbase are satisfied by vague gestures toward an ambiguous future.
 

nvalvo

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So, one way of salvaging this situation would be giving extensions to—or even just buying out the arb years of—Casas and a few other younger players in a way that shifted AAV onto this season from future seasons.
 

TomRicardo

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If nothing else it would be really funny if after not pursuing Snell they turn around and give a big deal to the right-handed worse version of Snell
Once again, we are on the same page.

Oh man is the 40 man filled with fungible pieces, which is a function of being a non competitive team. I think Refsnyder is not a bad piece and some of those guys have options but they are bad.
 

curly2

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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.
I realize you said “right now” in your post, but I don’t think Boston has changed much in 17 years. That’s when J.D. Drew, an avid hunter and devout Christian from Valdosta, Ga., chose to sign with the Sox. He’s a guy who specifically didn’t want to play in Philly and seemingly doesn’t love being on camera, but he came to Boston.

At times, pundits questioned his toughness and talk-show idiots called him “Nancy” when he missed time with nagging injuries.

Did he tell his brother, “Don’t sign with Boston. You’ll hate it.” Apparently not, and thankfully so, since Stephen Drew was very good for the 2013 champs.

Some players DO have a geographic preference, but for the most part, the Sox should be in the running if their contract offers are in the ballpark.
 

TomRicardo

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So, one way of salvaging this situation would be giving extensions to—or even just buying out the arb years of—Casas and a few other younger players in a way that shifted AAV onto this season from future seasons.
They should definitely try with Kutter, Grissom, and Casas. I don't think anyone else would be worth it.
 

TheYellowDart5

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Once again, we are on the same page.

Oh man is the 40 man filled with fungible pieces, which is a function of being a non competitive team. I think Refsnyder is not a bad piece and some of those guys have options but they are bad.
Yeah like a solid third of this roster is what could be charitably described as "Pirates adjacent" (if not the end product). They've struck out badly the last ~5 years in terms of finding roster depth that's either viable long-term or has some kind of ceiling (or both)
 

TheYellowDart5

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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.
I think a lot of this is true but at the same time, these guys are spending half the season on the road anyway, and they can choose to live wherever they want in the offseason (and spend all spring in Florida). I don't buy that Boston's particular living situation issues are pushing dudes away aside from the most MAGA-pilled doofuses. But all that being said, it's incumbent on ownership to understand the hurdles they face in convincing players to choose Boston over New York or Los Angeles or anywhere else, and that means A) opening the wallet and B) building the best roster possible to appeal to what 95% of players care about first and foremost: winning. No one's signing with a bad team just because they're in a cool city or are located close to good hunting grounds.
 

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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, it is kinda odd that this rabid media that tortures Sox players hasn’t come up with a slew of even off-the-record sources that show how the Sox made a bunch of strong offers to FAs but were rebuffed because players have no interest in playing in Boston.
 

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NOTABLY: signing Jordan Montgomery would have triggered none of those non-monetary penalties because he did not receive a QO. If he had signed with the Sox for $25 million per year, payroll this year would have increased to roughly $241 million, and the CBT penalty is 20% of anything over $237 million. So... a penalty of $800,000.
And then 2024 would count as a year over the threshold. . .

But regardless of the margin, going right up to but not over the CBT limit would tie their hands if they did find themselves in WC contention and wanted to trade for salaried players, or had the opportunity to take on dead salary for prospects (perhaps helping another team go under the CBT limit.)

If you expect to be non-contending sellers, there's some argument for going close to the CBT up to it, but it's still money - you're paying most of, what? $20m in contracts for whatever you get at the trade deadline. And maybe you don't even trade that player because they're injured or whatever. Otherwise you have to play that player to establish value, which takes a potential development slot away from a prospect.

I'm sure sometimes it's worth it, but there's this sort of persistent idea that spending right up to the line is the smart move no matter what your roster looks like. And I think we have guys for potential trade deadline deals anyway.
 

uncannymanny

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Yeah, it is kinda odd that this rabid media that tortures Sox players hasn’t come up with a slew of even off-the-record sources that show how the Sox made a bunch of strong offers to FAs but were rebuffed because players have no interest in playing in Boston.
But it’s true, also let me tell you what John Henry is actually thinking…
 

8slim

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But it’s true, also let me tell you what John Henry is actually thinking…
Right. And it’s not like the Sox have two alumni who are the most popular and influential players to come out of the DR. Two guys who are on TV constantly pumping up their old team.

I’m sure none of their fellow country men would ever want to sign with Boston. Because the weather is kinda overcast for 3 weeks in April, and the locker room is small.
 

Yo La Tengo

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And then 2024 would count as a year over the threshold. . .

But regardless of the margin, going right up to but not over the CBT limit would tie their hands if they did find themselves in WC contention and wanted to trade for salaried players, or had the opportunity to take on dead salary for prospects (perhaps helping another team go under the CBT limit.)

If you expect to be non-contending sellers, there's some argument for going close to the CBT up to it, but it's still money - you're paying most of, what? $20m in contracts for whatever you get at the trade deadline. And maybe you don't even trade that player because they're injured or whatever. Otherwise you have to play that player to establish value, which takes a potential development slot away from a prospect.

I'm sure sometimes it's worth it, but there's this sort of persistent idea that spending right up to the line is the smart move no matter what your roster looks like. And I think we have guys for potential trade deadline deals anyway.
The Sox have more than enough resources to easily cover any of the monetary penalties that could be levied for a payroll well over that initial line. Considering the Sox are currently $95 million under the initial penalty threshold for 2025, they have a ton of room to maneuver and could likely reset next year if they wanted (not that there would be any need to based on the numbers).

If the Sox are were less than $40 million over the first threshold, the most important issue is signing or losing players with a Qualifying Offer, since those penalties impact the drafts and the internation signing bonus budget.
 

Cassvt2023

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Jan 17, 2023
533
No quibbles with any of this though I would expect that if Pivetta is pitching well and it looks sustainable (i.e. the new cutter/sweeper is legit or the overall command has visibly improved) the FO will approach him about an extension. This team is so woefully short on MLB-caliber pitching that locking in 150+ average to above-average innings at reasonable money is definitely worth exploring, especially if Whitlock and/or Houck both struggle. Right now the 2025 rotation is Bello, Crawford and nothing else, and after the way this offseason played out, I don't expect free agency to be an avenue to get help.
Michael Fulmer could be in the 2025 rotation mix. Has virtually the same career WAR as Jordan Montgomery in 100 less IP and they're the same age.
 

simplicio

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Apr 11, 2012
5,130
Michael Fulmer could be in the 2025 rotation mix. Has virtually the same career WAR as Jordan Montgomery in 100 less IP and they're the same age.
He could, but he hasn't really been a starter since 2018. Feels like that's a long shot.
 

TheYellowDart5

Hustle and bustle
SoSH Member
Apr 16, 2003
9,293
NYC
Michael Fulmer could be in the 2025 rotation mix. Has virtually the same career WAR as Jordan Montgomery in 100 less IP and they're the same age.
I wouldn't expect Fulmer to return to starting at this point, he hasn't thrown more than 100 innings since 2018 and he's now recovering from his second TJ surgery, plus he'll be 32 next season. The only starters under contract for 2025 as it stands right now are Bello, Crawford, Whitlock and Houck, plus Winckowski and Walter who are both still on pre-arb deals. Barring an enormous 2024 from guys like Wikelman Gonzalez or Luis Perales, they're going to have to add pitching one way or the other next winter (or this season).

FWIW, here are the UFAs for next offseason besides Pivetta:

Corbin Burnes
Max Fried
Walker Buehler
Max Scherzer
Jack Flaherty
Shane Bieber
Jose Quintana
Luis Severino
Kyle Hendricks
Andrew Heaney
Ross Stripling
Anthony DiSclafani
Yusei Kikuchi
Alex Cobb
Martin Perez
Alex Wood
John Means
James Paxton

Plus a bunch of dudes who can opt out of their deals: Cole, Snell, Robbie Ray, Wacha, Sean Manaea
 

nvalvo

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They should definitely try with Kutter, Grissom, and Casas. I don't think anyone else would be worth it.
You don’t necessarily need to want to make a huge investment in the player for this to make sense. For example, Duran is slated for FA in 2029. If we estimate that he will earn $700k this year and next, and then $4m, $7m, and $10m in arb, we should consider offering him 5/$20m, a touch less than the projection in exchange for the commitment. That raises his AAV this year and next year, but lowers it considerably for the out years, when the team should be better, and it offers him some security.

That would be an eminently tradable contract.
 

simplicio

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From Speier's AMA, this is the closest I've seen to a "they're just not that into him" re: Montgomery:
I'd been told since the beginning of spring training that Montgomery was very unlikely. I don't think they loved him from a stuff standpoint (that was an issue for his market around the league), and ... well, you saw what he signed for.
Speier mentioned Burnes several times throughout the session.
 

Auger34

used to be tbb
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Apr 23, 2010
9,422
Right. And it’s not like the Sox have two alumni who are the most popular and influential players to come out of the DR. Two guys who are on TV constantly pumping up their old team.

I’m sure none of their fellow country men would ever want to sign with Boston. Because the weather is kinda overcast for 3 weeks in April, and the locker room is small.
Apparently you don’t recognize the MassLive cabal that is around solely for the purpose of torturing Sox players and writing negative things?
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Mar 11, 2007
6,409
I think a lot of this is true but at the same time, these guys are spending half the season on the road anyway, and they can choose to live wherever they want in the offseason (and spend all spring in Florida). I don't buy that Boston's particular living situation issues are pushing dudes away aside from the most MAGA-pilled doofuses. But all that being said, it's incumbent on ownership to understand the hurdles they face in convincing players to choose Boston over New York or Los Angeles or anywhere else, and that means A) opening the wallet and B) building the best roster possible to appeal to what 95% of players care about first and foremost: winning. No one's signing with a bad team just because they're in a cool city or are located close to good hunting grounds.
Also true, but a lot of these guys may have kids and a family. They may have already rooted somewhere and would prefer to be closer to the extended family. That uprooted family would still be in "Boston" for roughly 165 days..... probably longer if they are in school otherwise they're what? Moving during the middle of the semesters (or whatever they call the school years in elementary, middle, high-schools). Their wives (assuming most of these guys are straight) and kids are in THAT town. They want to see presumably every night after a game and in the mornings before going to their "jobs...."
I don't think anyone is signing with Miami, correct? That's a fantastic world class multi-cultural city but can't put together a long term sustaining winning team and pay premiums. If the Dodgers suddenly started turning their payroll into Miami's, it'd be a problem. Again, it's not an extreme issue here. The Dodgers I'd bet could significantly cut back their payroll to something closer to Boston's and they'd still be able to get a few premium FA's.... obviously nothing close to what they're doing now. But enough so that they could continue to compete and win and the city itself and it's culture is something that would attract certain types they may take a paycut to play there over Kansas City.
 

HfxBob

New Member
Nov 13, 2005
602
From Speier's AMA, this is the closest I've seen to a "they're just not that into him" re: Montgomery:


Speier mentioned Burnes several times throughout the session.
But the "well you saw what he signed for" part would also apply to Snell, who does have big stuff, so this doesn't really work...
 

CR67dream

blue devils forevah!
Dope
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Oct 4, 2001
7,553
I'm going home
Exactly, politics is the art of the possible, the attainable ... it has no place in a conversation about the 2024 Red Sox.
Sigh. Just so everyone understands, it is an edict from the top that politics is not to be discussed in any forum but V&N. The policy and whatever results from it are above my pay grade.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
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Jul 15, 2005
37,323
Hingham, MA
Did anyone actually just discuss politics? Or just say that a known MAGA signed in a blue state? Is that really discussing politics? Asking so we can all be clear.
 

CR67dream

blue devils forevah!
Dope
SoSH Member
Oct 4, 2001
7,553
I'm going home
Did anyone actually just discuss politics? Or just say that a known MAGA signed in a blue state? Is that really discussing politics? Asking so we can all be clear.
As I said, there's one final arbiter of this stuff, but I would say that what I deleted qualifies as politics as I understand it. MAGA/Blue State/Red State=politics. All I can say is err on the line of caution. There are ways to question cultural issues/differences other than going there.

Please, no more of this here.