Let's Lay Off That Throttle

MikeM

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Boston is not undesirable for players. You guys who think that are insane.
It doesn't boil there to a matter of the Boston being "undesirable". That is just a face value sticking point most of the opposing bubble logic gets stuck at and seemingly refuses to move past.

My prom analogy from months ago still adequately applies months latter btw. This stuff always has and always will boil down to whether you end up being the most desirable guy in the room all wanting to score a date with the same girl.

Not scoring the date over somebody else doesn't directly make you "undesirable". It just makes a case for you being less desirable at face value then the guy who did. Which big picture just circles back to the expected probability outcome reality of wanting to score that date at face value, and what the odds of that actually end up being when the women in question might rank you outside the 10 most attractive men showing up on that list of potential 30 suitors.

I mean why is it that nowhere in the 5 pages of pushback do i see any of those takes making a direct counter case on why they felt Boston would/should of been a better pick for Montgomery then Arizona. Much less try to better nail down what "we should've/could've offered him more money to change his mind" would even reasonably project to look like on a guy signing a pillow contract in hopes of parlaying his 2024 seasonal output into a much larger contract next winter.

Tacking on a few million to the backend of the deal wasn't reasonably changing this outcome in Boston's favor imo.
 

uncannymanny

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I mean why is it that nowhere in the 5 pages of pushback do i see any of those takes making a direct counter case on why they felt Boston would/should of been a better pick for Montgomery then Arizona. Much less try to better nail down what "we should've/could've offered him more money to change his mind" would even reasonably project to look like on a guy signing a pillow contract in hopes of parlaying his 2024 seasonal output into a much larger contract next winter.
How does one reasonably push back on a made up story? Unless someone has talked to JM that I missed.
 

MikeM

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How does one reasonably push back on a made up story? Unless someone has talked to JM that I missed.
I was referring to people pushing back on any acknowledgement that the 2024 Red Sox are simply not as an attractive of a player destination as they once were in years past when they were one of better annual playoff team bets every season.

If you fall into that category and being a stat heavy board I'd suggest you start there. Maybe by comparing the projection performance advantages one team's park may have over the other's for a higher end FA on a pillow contract.
 

Auger34

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Apr 23, 2010
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I was referring to people pushing back on any acknowledgement that the 2024 Red Sox are simply not as an attractive of a player destination as they once were in years past when they were one of better annual playoff team bets every season.

If you fall into that category and being a stat heavy board I'd suggest you start there. Maybe by comparing the projection performance advantages one team's park may have over the other's for a higher end FA on a pillow contract.
Doesn’t the second paragraph directly contradict your “prom analogy”?

Most of the reporting says that Boston wasnt interested in Montgomery. We have no idea how attractive or not attractive Boston is to free agents. Everything stating otherwise is just conjecture
 

HfxBob

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Nov 13, 2005
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I was referring to people pushing back on any acknowledgement that the 2024 Red Sox are simply not as an attractive of a player destination as they once were in years past when they were one of better annual playoff team bets every season.

If you fall into that category and being a stat heavy board I'd suggest you start there. Maybe by comparing the projection performance advantages one team's park may have over the other's for a higher end FA on a pillow contract.
What is the evidence that park factors have impacted any decisions? We're in an age where statistical adjustments for these things are commonplace. We're hearing that the big mark against Montgomery was his stuff, which has little to do with where he pitches.
 

nvalvo

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Doesn’t the second paragraph directly contradict your “prom analogy”?

Most of the reporting says that Boston wasnt interested in Montgomery. We have no idea how attractive or not attractive Boston is to free agents. Everything stating otherwise is just conjecture
Is that what most of the reporting says? Merloni just told us a few days ago that the Sox had a “standing offer” out to JM for months.

I’m not saying that one is true and the other isn’t; I’m saying I don’t think there’s a ton of clarity.
 

MikeM

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What is the evidence that park factors have impacted any decisions? We're in an age where statistical adjustments for these things are commonplace. We're hearing that the big mark against Montgomery was his stuff, which has little to do with where he pitches.
I mean I would think park factors indeed factoring in kinda boils down to pillow contract common sense. Especially for a guy coming off taking a pretty big L in free agency.
 

richgedman'sghost

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This is the worst offseason I can remember. Perhaps the worst since 1986-87. The only silver lining is getting Bailey.
Worst off-season since they let a young player named Willie Mays try out and did not sign him. Cut it out with the hyperbole. We get it. You don't particularly like the lack of signings. I do think however that Grissom once he comes back will be an improvement at second base and O ' Neil will be a good slugger. Plus Whitlock, Houck and Bello will improve under Bailey's tutiledge.
 

HfxBob

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I mean I would think park factors indeed factoring in kinda boils down to pillow contract common sense. Especially for a guy coming off taking a pretty big L in free agency.
I'm not even sure you can call Montgomery's deal a pillow contract. He's coming off a career season. A pillow contract profile is usually a guy like Giolito.

Montgomery just basically got screwed, for reasons that aren't clear. If it was just him it'd be one thing, but it's 4 Boras guys that it happened to.
 

chrisfont9

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I mean I would think park factors indeed factoring in kinda boils down to pillow contract common sense. Especially for a guy coming off taking a pretty big L in free agency.
Hm, well Fenway would logically be bad for a LHP who has a high % of FB outs, but he's pretty average in his GB/FB splits. Although interestingly in Texas his #s switched and FB% went up, which may explain why the Sox weren't excited to give him whatever he wanted?

But! His spray chart suggests that his air outs are quite frequently to RF, so Fenway might not have been a bad fit at all.

https://www.fangraphs.com/players/jordan-montgomery/16511/spray-charts?position=P&type=battedball
 

MikeM

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Doesn’t the second paragraph directly contradict your “prom analogy”?

Most of the reporting says that Boston wasnt interested in Montgomery. We have no idea how attractive or not attractive Boston is to free agents. Everything stating otherwise is just conjecture
No? If anything I was more pointing out yet another potential factor strike we have going against us when we want to come out ahead in any face value comparison.

The Red Sox are now operating out of reality where one has to acknowledge that the Arizona Diamondbacks are the cuter option then we are. If one refuses to do that then it really isn't all that surprising when the bigger picture problem in play keeps flying over people's heads in a lot of these post-rants (imo). I mean it's a pretty simple and straightforward base concept people keep seemingly rejecting because that leads to what is ultimately "undesirable" here:

The higher probability odds you have of ending up the most attractive guy in the interest room the more higher end dating opportunities you can expect to see, and the more opportunist scenarios (like guys choosing you on pillow contracts) you can expect to fall into your lap. The lower the probability you end up the most attractive guy in the interest room the less higher end opportunities you can expect to see, and the less opportunist scenarios you can expect to fall into your lap.

Being the 10th-15th most attractive guy in a field of 30 potential suitors has never nor will ever be a great spot to try and score dates from with the hotter girls attracting outside attention.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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To continue with the prom metaphor: You can get a lot hotter if you show up to the prom with a haircut, nice tux and a Porsche. In other words, the Sox don’t have the cache of pointing to a date and saying, “you” and expecting him/her to drop everything and go with them. They have to put in the extra work (money) and they can get anyone they want.

The Red Sox are Ronald Miller before Cindy Mancini spilled the wine on her mom’s shade jacket. The are now at a point where they can buy the telescope or get the girl.
 

TheYellowDart5

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You don't need to quote or look up advanced stats to figure out why Montgomery (theoretically) wouldn't be interested in coming to Boston; it's way easier to point to three last-place finishes in four years and an offseason spent doing zero. Boston cannot and will not be a desirable landing spot for free agents until and unless the team performs better and the ownership commits to handing out market contracts instead of aiming low.
 

HfxBob

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Nov 13, 2005
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No? If anything I was more pointing out yet another potential factor strike we have going against us when we want to come out ahead in any face value comparison.

The Red Sox are now operating out of reality where one has to acknowledge that the Arizona Diamondbacks are the cuter option then we are. If one refuses to do that then it really isn't all that surprising when the bigger picture problem in play keeps flying over people's heads in a lot of these post-rants (imo). I mean it's a pretty simple and straightforward base concept people keep seemingly rejecting because that leads to what is ultimately "undesirable" here:

The higher probability odds you have of ending up the most attractive guy in the interest room the more higher end dating opportunities you can expect to see, and the more opportunist scenarios (like guys choosing you on pillow contracts) you can expect to fall into your lap. The lower the probability you end up the most attractive guy in the interest room the less higher end opportunities you can expect to see, and the less opportunist scenarios you can expect to fall into your lap.

Being the 10th-15th most attractive guy in a field of 30 potential suitors has never nor will ever be a great spot to try and score dates from with the hotter girls attracting outside attention.
What if the 15th most attractive guy is the one with the most money, and especially likes to spend it on the ladies? That doesn't improve his chances?
 

HfxBob

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Nov 13, 2005
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You don't need to quote or look up advanced stats to figure out why Montgomery (theoretically) wouldn't be interested in coming to Boston; it's way easier to point to three last-place finishes in four years and an offseason spent doing zero. Boston cannot and will not be a desirable landing spot for free agents until and unless the team performs better and the ownership commits to handing out market contracts instead of aiming low.
But if they had spent more and spent it well the team would perform better. So it's the chicken and egg thing.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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You don't need to quote or look up advanced stats to figure out why Montgomery (theoretically) wouldn't be interested in coming to Boston; it's way easier to point to three last-place finishes in four years and an offseason spent doing zero. Boston cannot and will not be a desirable landing spot for free agents until and unless the team performs better and the ownership commits to handing out market contracts instead of aiming low.
I can see the 3 last place finish thing, but the second is kinda paradoxical, no? The act of signing him would be the opposite of spending the off-season "doing zero." Of course, zero is subjective considering they traded for O'Neil, Campbell, and Grissom among others. They didn't literally do zero.
 

MikeM

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What if the 15th most attractive guy is the one with the most money, and especially likes to spend it on the ladies? That doesn't improve his chances?
It obviously does. But again big picture wise that still leaves you as a franchise falling back into a scenario of having to make additionally bad and worse risk bets to try and compensate for the fact you ain't the backend top 5 looker you were the first 15 years or so of the Henry run.

I just feel we have reached a point where a majority of this expectation speculation needs to be a lot more openly acceptive of the fact that this team is no longer in a position to expect favorable opportunity outcomes to come out of competitive level free agency. I also believe that there is no easy answer to this problem for the record. But whatever that successful turn around answer does end up being I'm super skeptical it would involve trying to be the Mets, or see us making a habit of paying out the "not sexy enough" risk tax on contracts like the concession we made within Giolito's.
 

HfxBob

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I can see the 3 last place finish thing, but the second is kinda paradoxical, no? The act of signing him would be the opposite of spending the off-season "doing zero." Of course, zero is subjective considering they traded for O'Neil, Campbell, and Grissom among others. They didn't literally do zero.
Breslow has probably done a really good job this offseason considering the constraints he was working under and being new to the job.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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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.
Good info. Yes, I was discounting the $500k player pool ding because (1) frankly I'd forgotten about it, but (2) perhaps forgot about it because it's a pretty rare circumstance and not a huge deal. But you're right that it's not just about money, even at the first tier.
 

DeadlySplitter

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Montgomery just basically got screwed, for reasons that aren't clear. If it was just him it'd be one thing, but it's 4 Boras guys that it happened to.
Not clear? Every team is smart now (except the Rockies) and are not buying Boras' bullshit.
 

Yo La Tengo

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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.
Worth noting that the Sox braintrust was definitely not interested in playing out this experiment when they signed Giolito. Which is significant when assessing their expectations for this staff and as a point of comparison with potentially signing Montgomery, since Breslow and Co. decided they needed something more than the current five.

Giolito has thrown 178, 161, and 184 innings the last three years (523 total). Montgomery 157, 178, 188 (523 total). That's a cool coincidence.
Giolito has fWAR of 4.1, 1.8, 1.0 over the last three years (6.9 total). Montgomery is at 3.2, 2.7, 4.3 (11.2 total).
Giolito has an xFIP of 3.75, 3.66, 4.45 (3.95 average). Montgomery is at 3.93, 3.43, 4.01 (3.79 average).
Giolito will turn 30 in July. Montgomery will be 31 all year.

The Sox signed Giolito to a 2 year contract with an option for a 3rd year at a luxury tax figure of $19.25 million a year and an opt out after the first year.
Montgomery signed a 2 year contract at a luxury tax figure of $25 million a year and an opt out after the first year with some qualifiers.

I am struggling to see a baseball argument that Giolito's contract was a good idea and Montgomery's was not. And there is no viable economic argument that the Sox would be negatively impacted by paying both over the next two years. We have no idea whether Montgomery would have signed the same deal in Boston as he did with Arizona and the fact that the latter are NL Champs while the Sox have finished last 3 of the last 4 years weighs heavy on that decision. But the Sox had better have offered that deal to Montgomery and significantly more, based on their own evaluation of the current pitching staff. If they wanted Giolito at 19.25 for two years with a 1 year opt out they should have been willing to pay Montgomery A LOT MORE than that for the same term.

[Preemptive strike- the Sox are the third most valuable MLB team and have provided more value to the owners than any other financial tool available since their purchase. Plus it appears the Sox brought in more than twice the revenue than player contract expenses last year. The team could comfortably afford to pay both Montgomery and Giolito for two years under the current luxury tax rules even if neither threw a pitch for the team.]
 
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chrisfont9

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It obviously does. But again big picture wise that still leaves you as a franchise falling back into a scenario of having to make additionally bad and worse risk bets to try and compensate for the fact you ain't the backend top 5 looker you were the first 15 years or so of the Henry run.

I just feel we have reached a point where a majority of this expectation speculation needs to be a lot more openly acceptive of the fact that this team is no longer in a position to expect favorable opportunity outcomes to come out of competitive level free agency. I also believe that there is no easy answer to this problem for the record. But whatever that successful turn around answer does end up being I'm super skeptical it would involve trying to be the Mets, or see us making a habit of paying out the "not sexy enough" risk tax on contracts like the concession we made within Giolito's.
The good news is that signing free agent SPs weren’t all that prone to favorable outcomes before. We just need to hit on one here and there, and get the development machine going. We don’t need famous people to prevent runs. So I don’t think the loss of clout in the FA market is such a big problem.

also when did the Sox ever have any clout in signing pitchers? Between Mike Torrez and David Price, it was a ton of disappointment. All our best acquisitions of veteran SPs were by trade.

The FA market is a lot more reliable for position players, but the Sox seem to always find those guys regardless. I think the playing field is more level when it comes to retaining their guys, some risk like most teams but nothing great. So maybe their financial clout will look like how Atlanta uses theirs.
 
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simplicio

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Worth noting that the Sox braintrust was definitely not interested in playing out this experiment when they signed Giolito. Which is significant when assessing their expectations for this staff and as a point of comparison with potentially signing Montgomery, since Breslow and Co. decided they needed something more than the current five.

Giolito has thrown 178, 161, and 184 innings the last three years (523 total). Montgomery 157, 178, 188 (523 total). That's a cool coincidence.
Giolito has fWAR of 4.1, 1.8, 1.0 over the last three years (6.9 total). Montgomery is at 3.2, 2.7, 4.3 (11.2 total).
Giolito has an xFIP of 3.75, 3.66, 4.45 (3.95 average). Montgomery is at 3.93, 3.43, 4.01 (3.79 average).
Giolito will turn 30 in July. Montgomery will be 31 all year.

The Sox signed Giolito to a 2 year contract with an option for a 3rd year at a luxury tax figure of $19.25 million a year and an opt out after the first year.
Montgomery signed a 2 year contract at a luxury tax figure of $25 million a year and an opt out after the first year with some qualifiers.

I am struggling to see a baseball argument that Giolito's contract was a good idea and Montgomery's was not. And there is no viable economic argument that the Sox would be negatively impacted by paying both over the next two years. We have no idea whether Montgomery would have signed the same deal in Boston as he did with Arizona and the fact that the latter are NL Champs while the Sox have finished last 3 of the last 4 years weighs heavy on that decision. But the Sox had better have offered that deal to Montgomery and significantly more, based on their own evaluation of the current pitching staff. If they wanted Giolito at 19.25 for two years with a 1 year opt out they should have been willing to pay Montgomery A LOT MORE than that for the same term.

[Preemptive strike- the Sox are the third most valuable MLB team and have provided more value to the owners than any other financial tool available since their purchase. Plus it appears the Sox brought in more than twice the revenue than player contract expenses last year. The team could comfortably afford to pay both Montgomery and Giolito for two years under the current luxury tax rules even if neither threw a pitch for the team.]
The baseball argument is they liked Giolito's (potential) stuff better. I like Montgomery a lot but he's not exactly a stuff+ darling. Of 44 qualified starters he was 30th by stuff+, 26th by location+ and 40th by pitching+, and that's consistent with his profile. Giolito's year wasn't great either, but he's shown in the past that he was capable of much nastier pitches and there was plenty of reporting this winter about them working to get him back there.

It's petty clear there's substantial buy-in to driveline philosophies at play here (including hiring driveline guys). For an in-house example, look at Bernardino, who by more conventional metrics was maybe our second best reliever last year, and had a 0 ERA on 0.75 WHIP this spring. But by pitching+ he was 197th/198 (relievers, min 40 IP), and now he's in AAA.
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

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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.
Yeah, it's kind of odd a) how much my posts trigger you b) you simply can't comprehend why Boston likely isn't high on a lot of free agents' choices for a slew of reasons.
 
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HfxBob

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Nov 13, 2005
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… chief among them being the Sox don’t extend competitive contract offers for them to play in Boston.
Yeah, for some crazy reason the Red Sox failure to offer the most money is negatively impacting their attractiveness as a destination. :D
 

HfxBob

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So the Yankees were hindered in their efforts to sign Montgomery because they're now in the 110% tax bracket where a $20 million salary actually costs you $42 million. Yes, I can see that. The Red Sox had no such issue, of course.

Heyman weighs in a bit snarkily on the 'stuff' thing:

Yankees analytics people (and apparently other analytics people around the league) carried the very same issue with Montgomery that led them to trade him for defensive outfielder Harrison Bader a year and a half ago. That is that he doesn’t “miss enough bats.” Which seems like a lame complaint for the guy who destroyed these Yankee-killing Astros in the ALCS only last October.
 

Yo La Tengo

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The baseball argument is they liked Giolito's (potential) stuff better. I like Montgomery a lot but he's not exactly a stuff+ darling. Of 44 qualified starters he was 30th by stuff+, 26th by location+ and 40th by pitching+, and that's consistent with his profile. Giolito's year wasn't great either, but he's shown in the past that he was capable of much nastier pitches and there was plenty of reporting this winter about them working to get him back there.

It's petty clear there's substantial buy-in to driveline philosophies at play here (including hiring driveline guys). For an in-house example, look at Bernardino, who by more conventional metrics was maybe our second best reliever last year, and had a 0 ERA on 0.75 WHIP this spring. But by pitching+ he was 197th/198 (relievers, min 40 IP), and now he's in AAA.
I think that is likely why the Sox, and other teams, were hesitant to offer a 6 year deal. But do they think he's going to not perform this year, at age 31, after putting up very consistent stats over the last three years? And their pitching mojo/tweeks/program would work on Giolito but not Montgomery?

And, big picture, when it is March and the team's biggest need is starting pitching... I believe the technical term I'm looking for is losers-can't-be-choosers.
 

OCD SS

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This article doesn’t mention the Sox at all, so how is it relevant?

In fact it notes that the Yankees never made an official offer as the sides couldn’t come together on a framework. As @HfxBob notes, the the Yankees were looking at avoid the CBT/ Cohen tax, so it is interesting how that’s affecting spending on team payrolls across the league and in our own division (by a team supposedly “hellbent on winning a championship.)”
 

BaseballJones

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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.
Except in rare cases when a player takes less to play in a certain favored city, virtually every free agent signing is a case where the team with the winning bid gives the player a deal that no other team in the league was willing to. That's why they're the highest bidder.
 

HfxBob

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The baseball argument is they liked Giolito's (potential) stuff better. I like Montgomery a lot but he's not exactly a stuff+ darling. Of 44 qualified starters he was 30th by stuff+, 26th by location+ and 40th by pitching+, and that's consistent with his profile. Giolito's year wasn't great either, but he's shown in the past that he was capable of much nastier pitches and there was plenty of reporting this winter about them working to get him back there.
It's kind of amazing that the analytics seem to have no room for a guy like Montgomery, who has somehow been doing a superior job of accumulating innings and getting guys out for the last 3.4 seasons (the .4 being 2020). Will the word "crafty" have to be expunged from the baseball pitching lexicon?

Meanwhile there's another thread here about pitchers getting injured at a frightening rate and much of it being attributed to throwing everything with max effort .
 

simplicio

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I think that is likely why the Sox, and other teams, were hesitant to offer a 6 year deal. But do they think he's going to not perform this year, at age 31, after putting up very consistent stats over the last three years? And their pitching mojo/tweeks/program would work on Giolito but not Montgomery?

And, big picture, when it is March and the team's biggest need is starting pitching... I believe the technical term I'm looking for is losers-can't-be-choosers.
As I mentioned, the Giolito of pre-2022 had good pitch shapes, whereas Monty has never demonstrated that as part of his arsenal. Bailey and Breslow do seem like they're working within a plan of targeting certain mechanical profiles with eyes on improvement and being pretty decisive in that pursuit. Whether that's the optimal path forward is of course up for debate, but the picture Speier painted earlier this week was that they simply didn't think he was worth the price, and they're keeping the powder dry for someone like Burnes (a stuff+ stud).

Possibly of note: Sale also wasn't good by these measures last year. 78th/127 by pitching+ (min 100 IP) with all individual pitches grading out below average.
 

cantor44

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Worth noting that the Sox braintrust was definitely not interested in playing out this experiment when they signed Giolito. Which is significant when assessing their expectations for this staff and as a point of comparison with potentially signing Montgomery, since Breslow and Co. decided they needed something more than the current five.

Giolito has thrown 178, 161, and 184 innings the last three years (523 total). Montgomery 157, 178, 188 (523 total). That's a cool coincidence.
Giolito has fWAR of 4.1, 1.8, 1.0 over the last three years (6.9 total). Montgomery is at 3.2, 2.7, 4.3 (11.2 total).
Giolito has an xFIP of 3.75, 3.66, 4.45 (3.95 average). Montgomery is at 3.93, 3.43, 4.01 (3.79 average).
Giolito will turn 30 in July. Montgomery will be 31 all year.

The Sox signed Giolito to a 2 year contract with an option for a 3rd year at a luxury tax figure of $19.25 million a year and an opt out after the first year.
Montgomery signed a 2 year contract at a luxury tax figure of $25 million a year and an opt out after the first year with some qualifiers.

I am struggling to see a baseball argument that Giolito's contract was a good idea and Montgomery's was not. And there is no viable economic argument that the Sox would be negatively impacted by paying both over the next two years. We have no idea whether Montgomery would have signed the same deal in Boston as he did with Arizona and the fact that the latter are NL Champs while the Sox have finished last 3 of the last 4 years weighs heavy on that decision. But the Sox had better have offered that deal to Montgomery and significantly more, based on their own evaluation of the current pitching staff. If they wanted Giolito at 19.25 for two years with a 1 year opt out they should have been willing to pay Montgomery A LOT MORE than that for the same term.

[Preemptive strike- the Sox are the third most valuable MLB team and have provided more value to the owners than any other financial tool available since their purchase. Plus it appears the Sox brought in more than twice the revenue than player contract expenses last year. The team could comfortably afford to pay both Montgomery and Giolito for two years under the current luxury tax rules even if neither threw a pitch for the team.]
This is so dead on. Forgive me for not adding much to the conversation beyond "what Yo La Tengo said," expect to say that this argument reveals something really off about the how the Red Sox are run right now. Some kind of dysfunction/lack of logic. Every move Brad Stevens makes, you see the logic. Even if the outcome is uncertain of a particular move, its logic is always sound. The Red Sox? A kind of fixation on broken parts, on making the thrifty move, so much so, that they fail to make an obviously better move that wouldn't really cost them much more. Seems like noses are being cut off at this point.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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Heyman weighs in a bit snarkily on the 'stuff' thing:

Yankees analytics people (and apparently other analytics people around the league) carried the very same issue with Montgomery that led them to trade him for defensive outfielder Harrison Bader a year and a half ago. That is that he doesn’t “miss enough bats.” Which seems like a lame complaint for the guy who destroyed these Yankee-killing Astros in the ALCS only last October.
Obvious caveats of 1) Heyman is basically a Boras employee; 2) I'm glad to see Boras get a little of a comeuppance; 3) yes contracts - and revenue - have gotten way out of hand, etc, etc; 4) we have NO IDEA what Monty was offered or turned down.

In this one specific snarky opinion, I agree totally with Heyman. When Sonny Gray gets 3/$75m, Eduardo Rodriguez gets 4/$80m and Tyler Glasnow gets 4/$110m (or however one wants to look at his guaranteed $130m ish dollars), I think it's absolute lunacy that Montgomery didn't get at least 4/$90m or something similar. Could he have been offered that and turned it down - sure, I suppose. But I don't look at the Gray and Rodriguez deals and think "what the eff are those teams doing" (I do with Glasnow, I think that's going to age very poorly for LAD, or at least would for any team that isn't LAD since they apparently have no budget at all).

I look at the Red Sox probably not offering Montgomery something like 4/$90m (if they had, I think we'd have heard about it) and think "what the eff is that team doing?"

Or - put another way - I think analytics are good and helpful as a tool, but I do think the game has gone a bit too far into the "what should have happened" as opposed to focusing on the actual results. Especially when one realizes that Monty and Glasnow are basically the same age (Monty is about 8 months older). It's like the game went from analytics not mattering at all (call it pre-Moneyball) to results not mattering at all (call it the last 3 to 4 seasons). Or as Theo put it, examples of "intellectualism gone too far in the game."

https://nypost.com/2023/03/17/theo-epstein-intellectualism-went-too-far-in-baseball/

Referencing an interview with Epstein behind the Athletic paywall.
 
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bernie carb 33

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What I can't get my mind around this off-season is the second (?) trade they made. Sale for a 2B/SS type player. First Sox traded their icon/fan favorite pitcher, in the rotation they had little depth. Sure he had an injury history. Then they got a 2B, which is a redundant position throughout the system. Surely they could have spared a couple of the six IF's they have or a couple of the OF's they have to get a mid-rotation pitcher.

However I am encouraged by some of the young arms they have picked up in Fitts, Slaten and Sandlin. We'll have to wait for them to emerge from AA/AAA.
 

simplicio

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This is so dead on. Forgive me for not adding much to the conversation beyond "what Yo La Tengo said," expect to say that this argument reveals something really off about the how the Red Sox are run right now. Some kind of dysfunction/lack of logic. Every move Brad Stevens makes, you see the logic. Even if the outcome is uncertain of a particular move, its logic is always sound. The Red Sox? A kind of fixation on broken parts, on making the thrifty move, so much so, that they fail to make an obviously better move that wouldn't really cost them much more. Seems like noses are being cut off at this point.
If you can't find the logic, maybe that's on you? Do you think Breslow is just throwing darts at a corkboard full of pitchers?
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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If you can't find the logic, maybe that's on you? Do you think Breslow is just throwing darts at a corkboard full of pitchers?
For the record, I don't think this. However, I do think Breslow is limited by what he inherited, which I don't think is particularly good (though admittedly more like "lemonade from lemons" than "chicken salad from chicken s**t").

Which is why I keep coming back to my personal belief that he simply looked at the entire organization and said: it isn't close to good enough, so we have to basically make 2024 (and possibly 2025) a try out at the MLB, AAA and AA levels to see what pieces are first division caliber, and get rid of anything that won't be here past 2025 if we can get some value for it.

*No - this should never be the case with the Boston Red Sox, but honestly I don't think the way they were run the last 4 seasons should have ever been the case with the Boston Red Sox either, and it takes time to clean up massive baseball malpractice.*


If looked at through that lens, literally every move made (or not made) this off-season is logical and makes total sense.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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If you can't find the logic, maybe that's on you? Do you think Breslow is just throwing darts at a corkboard full of pitchers?
Given their results the past few seasons as well as the context of all the winter comments etc., its entirely fair to question the front office's approach. Nobody is saying that the sky is falling and it's a new season so anything can happen.

Meanwhile it feels like the only people here who seem certain of anything are those defending the FO/ownership. It feels like most Sox fans want and would welcome a "grand plan" for this team so its not like people are rejecting it. It simply doesn't exist at present or not in any concrete form, no matter how you contort to see one.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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It’s weird how quickly the narrative on JM changed. Now, it’s supposedly clear that the Sox weren’t even interested because of his “pitch shape”? Ok.
 

cantor44

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If you can't find the logic, maybe that's on you? Do you think Breslow is just throwing darts at a corkboard full of pitchers?
I really can't see the logic of signing Giolito to his contract and not signing Montgomery, no. I can't see the logic of passing on a few very good RHH power hitters who got modest contracts. It's seems pretty clear that those decisions are likely mandated from above.
I can see the logic of the Grissom trade and like it a lot. I like the Breslow hiring, generally, though it appears his hands are needlessly tied behind his back.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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Given their results the past few seasons as well as the context of all the winter comments etc., its entirely fair to question the front office's approach. Nobody is saying that the sky is falling and it's a new season so anything can happen.

Meanwhile it feels like the only people here who seem certain of anything are those defending the FO/ownership. It feels like most Sox fans want and would welcome a "grand plan" for this team so its not like people are rejecting it. It simply doesn't exist at present or not in any concrete form, no matter how you contort to see one.
For what it's worth, I DO think Breslow is doing this.

The grand plan just doesn't involve contending this year (or next).

However, every chance he's gotten, Breslow has made moves designed toward 2025 and beyond.

Urias for Campbell (under control through 2029).
Verdugo for Fitts (6 years of MLB control).
Giolito on a short term deal (probably planned to be moved, oh well).
Trading nothing of consequence for O'Neil (ostensibly to trade him as well).
Sale for Grissom (under control through 2029).
Schrieber for Sandlin (6 years of MLB control).
Bello extension.
Trying to extend Casas.
Ostensibly at least trying to (or at worst listening on) Jansen and Martin.

I think Breslow has a grand plan. I think it's a good one. I think in a very short time he's doing a better job executing said grand plan than his predecessor. Unfortunately, it probably means stinking in 2024 and possibly 2025, but that is what happens when you inherit a bad MLB roster and a farm system that is improved but more like "good" than "elite."


Edit - not worthy of it's own post, but what you said below @Sandy Leon Trotsky is certainly feasible. Though I'm sure that if the Sox had in fact offered Montgomery something like 4/$100m and he turned it down, then we'd have heard about it from somewhere. Case in point, we heard that the Sox had an offer out to Imanaga and he chose Chicago.
 
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Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Obvious caveats of 1) Heyman is basically a Boras employee; 2) I'm glad to see Boras get a little of a comeuppance; 3) yes contracts - and revenue - have gotten way out of hand, etc, etc; 4) we have NO IDEA what Monty was offered or turned down.

In this one specific snarky opinion, I agree totally with Heyman. When Sonny Gray gets 3/$75m, Eduardo Rodriguez gets 4/$80m and Tyler Glasnow gets 4/$110m (or however one wants to look at his guaranteed $130m ish dollars), I think it's absolute lunacy that Montgomery didn't get at least 4/$90m or something similar. Could he have been offered that and turned it down - sure, I suppose. But I don't look at the Gray and Rodriguez deals and think "what the eff are those teams doing" (I do with Glasnow, I think that's going to age very poorly for LAD, or at least would for any team that isn't LAD since they apparently have no budget at all).

I look at the Red Sox probably not offering Montgomery something like 4/$90m (if they had, I think we'd have heard about it) and think "what the eff is that team doing?"

Or - put another way - I think analytics are good and helpful as a tool, but I do think the game has gone a bit too far into the "what should have happened" as opposed to focusing on the actual results. Especially when one realizes that Monty and Glasnow are basically the same age (Monty is about 8 months older). It's like the game went from analytics not mattering at all (call it pre-Moneyball) to results not mattering at all (call it the last 3 to 4 seasons). Or as Theo put it, examples of "intellectualism gone too far in the game."

https://nypost.com/2023/03/17/theo-epstein-intellectualism-went-too-far-in-baseball/

Referencing an interview with Epstein behind the Athletic paywall.
I'm absolutely sure what happened here is that he probably got a 4/100 offer tops (from places like Boston, NY, SF).... Boras was demanding more, Montgomery wanted to play in a place like St. Louis, Texas, KC, etc..... "smaller markets" (whatever that means... probably read as "not coastal atheists") and those "smaller markets" moved in ways that they couldn't accomodate an equal or better offer. The larger markets moved in other directions (either budgetary or other players) and he was left taking what he could get as close to where he wanted to be.
 

TomRicardo

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If you can't find the logic, maybe that's on you? Do you think Breslow is just throwing darts at a corkboard full of pitchers?
No he is just running back the flawed rotation he had last year without Chris Sale. He tried to replace Sale with Giolito a possibly solid move. The issue is the back end of your rotation are two guys who probably on a competitive team would be in the bullpen. And you have two guys at the top of you rotation who simply haven't been able to give a ton of innings (they are young so it is not unexpected). So now you have 4/5 of a rotation that is suspect to giving you the innings you need, and a weak bullpen with very little depth suppose to sponge up innings. It is extremely clear you aren't get a ton of innings from this rotation and your bullpen is two guys in their late 30s and MLB cabinet of misfit toys.

Edit - Breslow has done a good job underneath a bad ownership group.
 

Yo La Tengo

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If you can't find the logic, maybe that's on you? Do you think Breslow is just throwing darts at a corkboard full of pitchers?
Here's my speculative take: Breslow and crew agree with your position on Montgomery's "stuff" and decided early on that he was not going to be a target, especially considering the anticipated cost. Plus, no long term deals for pitchers over 30 (which I agree with!). They targeted Giolito (again, I think this is a good move!) and then the budget was set. I think there was likely hope to make a trade for another pitcher, but it didn't happen and the pitching staff as a whole has looked good this spring (I'm assuming the underlying metrics are ok to encouraging as well). Maybe they even warmed to some of the players that were going to be potentially moved in a deal.

Then, Giolito was injured and Montgomery's price tanked. My speculation/worry is that the brain trust failed to take advantage of that market to fill an obvious, acknowledged need. That may be because they refused to move off of their "stuff" concerns and it may be because they could not convince those able to adjust the budget (which, as I've argued repeatedly, is a ridiculous position to take based on revenue and the current CBT thresholds). If this is really about lukewarm "stuff" then it is a painful example of letting perfection be the enemy of the good. Montgomery has performed better than Giolito for the past three seasons and, presumably, his "stuff" could be improved by all the smart guys who have joined the Sox this season. So, my logic is that the Sox failed to be flexible/assertive enough when an obvious opportunity to improve the team (without hamstringing the team) became available.

[Big caveat- maybe they offered Montgomery the same deal as Snell and he declined, in which case I'm way off base.]
 

moondog80

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I really can't see the logic of signing Giolito to his contract and not signing Montgomery, no. I can't see the logic of passing on a few very good RHH power hitters who got modest contracts. It's seems pretty clear that those decisions are likely mandated from above.
I can see the logic of the Grissom trade and like it a lot. I like the Breslow hiring, generally, though it appears his hands are needlessly tied behind his back.
I think they didn't sign Monty for financial reasons. If, in December, they could have either signed Monty or Giolito to their respective deals, I'd guess they would have picked Monty. But it's plausible that, despite the results the past couple of years, they saw better stuff and more potential in Giolito.