Let's Lay Off That Throttle

YTF

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Exactly.

To be in charge of an organization for 4 seasons and have added 1 starter still here at the MLB level (Pivetta) and your pitching acquisitions / development consist of one top 20 prospect (number 20) and two relief pitchers is I think some pretty compelling evidence that both the process and implementation / development of said process leave a lot to be desired.

People like ragging on DDski for his farm system, and I get it. But if KAT end up being another Casas and Duran, that would be a massive success.

Much less getting another Bello and Crawford (or even Houck) from Persles and Gonzalez. All of whom were added under DDski’s watch.


Which - again - is why I think anyone saying Breslow is just another Bloom is asinine. In three months Breslow has added more to the pitching pipeline than Bloom added since the start of the 2021 season.
I might be picking nits here, but ATM I'm not sure I'm ready to place the Duran egg in that basket. He was miles better last season than he was previously, but there was a huge drop off in August. Part of that is likely due to the turf toe issues that led to him being shut down, but there are also some mental health issues that he's been open about.
 

grepal

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Yes. Its honestly the best quote I have seen since 2019. Here is our plan and we are going to really build this thing out. The problem with ownership and Chaim is they never really said things this specific in nature.

I do think if this is the route, not extending Casas would be devasting. Trade Martin, Jansen, Pivetta, for a much AA/AAA starting pitching as possible and or right handed power. Put Rafaela in center. Play Grissom religiously at second.
I would trade Yoshi too. Not sure he has any market since most execs thought Sox overpaid for him.
 

8slim

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Man, I’m a very different kind of fan that most of you apparently. We’ve largely been uncompetitive for 5 years (aside from a couple months in 2021). And most seem cool to continue that for another 2-3 seasons? Hey, if that floats your boat, I’m kinda jealous. Seriously.

I’m honestly stunned that the Boston Red Sox seem content with going 7+ years without committing to being a championship caliber ball club.

I don’t get it. Life is too short. I guess I’ll be watching a lot of Netflix the next couple summers.
 

NickEsasky

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If you can’t teach a teenager command, how do we have any MLB pitchers with command? I mean I get that it’s hard to teach a four year college player command if they don’t already have it, but if you can’t teach a 17 year old, maybe it’s time to reconsider the quality of your development staff. That was one of my biggest problems with Bloom, I get that Dombrowski had let the instructional staff implode, but that was part of what Bloom was hired for, to rebuild the instructional/developmental staff. He did a good job with the hitting instruction, but the pitching instruction seriously lagged.
Because it’s a skill related to hand eye coordination that can’t just be taught successfully to everyone. It’s not like there are guys throwing 100 with arm side run and a lack of vertical drop who were just never properly told to “just throw it on the corners” or something. It’s more nature vs nurture.
 

nighthob

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Because it’s a skill related to hand eye coordination that can’t just be taught successfully to everyone. It’s not like there are guys throwing 100 with arm side run and a lack of vertical drop who were just never properly told to “just throw it on the corners” or something. It’s more nature vs nurture.
We’re still back to “How does anyone have command?” because baseball players, pretty universally, have excellent hand to eye coordination. At some point pitchers learn it. Again, I get where maybe it’s tough when you’re drafting guys aged 21-23. But guys signed at 16? They should be teachable.
 

Rovin Romine

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Man, I’m a very different kind of fan that most of you apparently. We’ve largely been uncompetitive for 5 years (aside from a couple months in 2021). And most seem cool to continue that for another 2-3 seasons? Hey, if that floats your boat, I’m kinda jealous. Seriously.

I’m honestly stunned that the Boston Red Sox seem content with going 7+ years without committing to being a championship caliber ball club.

I don’t get it. Life is too short. I guess I’ll be watching a lot of Netflix the next couple summers.
We'll PM you when they're worth watching again.
 

NickEsasky

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We’re still back to “How does anyone have command?” because baseball players, pretty universally, have excellent hand to eye coordination. At some point pitchers learn it. Again, I get where maybe it’s tough when you’re drafting guys aged 21-23. But guys signed at 16? They should be teachable.
It’s like asking how is anyone able to throw 95? It’s mostly genetics and talent. I’m not saying things can’t be done to improve someone’s command. Working on balance, flexibility, and being able to consistently repeat a delivery helps a lot. But some guys will never get there because they just don’t have the natural ability to put something where they are aiming it consistently. And sure hitters have excellent hand eye coordination but not all pitchers do.
 

grepal

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Serious question that is not aimed solely at you. How much money are we willing to pay players on other teams for players we are going to wait to develope?
None for him, if it is 1 years of Jansen and 2-3 million I can live with that. Part of me thinks we should hold off until the trade deadline and see if we are out of it or close but unwilling to be buyers again, we should see what we can get as sellers. I don't think anyone wants to repeat the deadline errors of 222.
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

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Was it really very weak? The Red Sox primary area of need was starting pitching, and some of the top starting pitchers for the 2023 season were available, including a Cy Young winner and a Cy Young runnerup.

Is it really going to be better next year?
You say "available" like the front office just can sign anyone they want at a Free Agent Store at any time. Of the Top 11 starters on the market:
- Ohtani, Yamamoto, and ERod had zero chance of signing here
- Nola quickly re-upped with Philly
- Gray took short money to play in St Louis near his home
That left:
- Kershaw with all his injury history and age
- Imanaga, who carries all the uncertainty of a non-superstar Japanese pitcher (his market cratered for unknown reasons)
- Snell and Montgomery, who are Boras guys and he'll likely diddlefuck around until spring training to get them every last dollar

So of those "available" guys, as of December, Giolito and Stroman were the only two who a) might be convinced to sign here b) didn't have significant red flags attached. I'm not sure what more you wanted the front office to do in terms of free agent starting pitchers.
 

TomRicardo

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If you can’t teach a teenager command, how do we have any MLB pitchers with command? I mean I get that it’s hard to teach a four year college player command if they don’t already have it, but if you can’t teach a 17 year old, maybe it’s time to reconsider the quality of your development staff. That was one of my biggest problems with Bloom, I get that Dombrowski had let the instructional staff implode, but that was part of what Bloom was hired for, to rebuild the instructional/developmental staff. He did a good job with the hitting instruction, but the pitching instruction seriously lagged.
Do you realize incredible difference between the pitches of a potential major leaguer and some high school aged kid? These guys are throwing secondary pitches that can drop over a yard while coming out at 80+ mph while pinning it in a zone about the size of lawn chair? Do you realize how difficult that is? All the while trying to keep a consistent release so the guy who had the reaction time of Top Gun pilot doesn't turn on the pitch and launch it at over 100 mph out of a ball park. The precision needed to pull this off is ridiculous.

Not everyone is able to develop it consistently. There isn't magic way to teach someone to be able to do after four to five years of instruction. What you need to do, is invest in people with the potential, then teach them how consistently deliver the ball the same way, and hope they are able to pull it off. Bloom's failure is that he didn't bother to get people that could possibly do it. It is a bit of a lottery ticket in on its own.

Edit - What makes it insane, is with major league teams leaning away from this investment it would have had a greater ROI to lean into grabbing pitchers. Bloom was trying to do what everyone else was doing but only cheaper. The Great Temu GM

Looking at the best rotations it is the teams that lean into grabbing as much talent in minors.
 

jbupstate

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I would trade Yoshi too. Not sure he has any market since most execs thought Sox overpaid for him.
Didn’t we just hear that other clubs were asking the Sox about Yoshida?

From article in The Athletic….

Several teams have inquired about Yoshida, and while the Red Sox do not appear to be actively shopping him, they are open to virtually any idea as they seek to build a better roster.

Doesn’t feel like they would have to subsidize salary to move him.

General question not directed at you….

And why the “overpay” push back on Yoshida when we want the Sox to identify a target and outspend to acquire?
 
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moondog80

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You say "available" like the front office just can sign anyone they want at a Free Agent Store at any time. Of the Top 11 starters on the market:
- Ohtani, Yamamoto, and ERod had zero chance of signing here
- Nola quickly re-upped with Philly
- Gray took short money to play in St Louis near his home
That left:
- Kershaw with all his injury history and age
- Imanaga, who carries all the uncertainty of a non-superstar Japanese pitcher (his market cratered for unknown reasons)
- Snell and Montgomery, who are Boras guys and he'll likely diddlefuck around until spring training to get them every last dollar

So of those "available" guys, as of December, Giolito and Stroman were the only two who a) might be convinced to sign here b) didn't have significant red flags attached. I'm not sure what more you wanted the front office to do in terms of free agent starting pitchers.
If E-Rod had zero chance of signing here, why did the Red Sox meet with him?
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

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If E-Rod had zero chance of signing here, why did the Red Sox meet with him?
The Sox might have been interested in him, the reports were that E-Rod didn't want to play for Cora again. So no real reason for the Sox not to take a meeting.

Or maybe just old teammates showing each other some mutual respect?
 

nighthob

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Do you realize incredible difference between the pitches of a potential major leaguer and some high school aged kid? These guys are throwing secondary pitches that can drop over a yard while coming out at 80+ mph while pinning it in a zone about the size of lawn chair?
In fact I do. And in the IFA market you’re signing high school aged kids and developing them. The fact is that Boston has done a good job of finding the 16 year olds with live arms, they have them throughout the system (Perales, Gonzalez, Yordanny Monegro, Jedixson Paez, et al). Paez seems to have developed great command. But it’s been a problem otherwise. Apparently the FSG people seem to agree as they chose a pitching guru to be their DBO.
 

moondog80

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The Sox might have been interested in him, the reports were that E-Rod didn't want to play for Cora again. So no real reason for the Sox not to take a meeting.

Or maybe just old teammates showing each other some mutual respect?
Or maybe the chance wasn't zero?

Additionally, "top 11" seems like a carefully selected cutpoint. It leaves off Seth Lugo, Michael Wacha, Kenta Maeda, Nick Martinez, Kyle Gibson, Frankie Montas, Jack Flaherty, Sean Manea, and Luis Severino.

But I will concede that other than signing one of those 9 guys, or E-Rod or Marcus Stroman or Shota Imanaga, there is simply nothing the Red Sox could have done on the FA market to address their starting pitching. When they kept talking about needing to address that in the lead up to the offseason, what they meant was "trade one of our starters and replace him with a guy who is (maybe) a little better, other than it's the same guys".
 
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nighthob

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But I will concede that other than signing one of those 9 guys, or E-Rod or Marcus Stroman or Shota Imanaga, there is simply nothing the Red Sox could have done on the FA market to address their starting pitching.
They definitely seem to have become gunshy about signing older pitchers to long term deals. We may need to learn to live with that fact.
 

JCizzle

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They definitely seem to have become gunshy about signing older pitchers to long term deals. We may need to learn to live with that fact.
I'll be more OK with that fact when they actually lock-in one of the rare young arms to come up through the system! Bello is affordable. Until he's not.
 

chawson

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It is significant that Trevor Story will play shortstop over Kiké and the group we had last year. It's fine to want more pitching and we should acquire some, but more people should take that into account when they're grousing about our rotation.

You say "available" like the front office just can sign anyone they want at a Free Agent Store at any time. Of the Top 11 starters on the market:
- Ohtani, Yamamoto, and ERod had zero chance of signing here
- Nola quickly re-upped with Philly
- Gray took short money to play in St Louis near his home
That left:
- Kershaw with all his injury history and age
- Imanaga, who carries all the uncertainty of a non-superstar Japanese pitcher (his market cratered for unknown reasons)
- Snell and Montgomery, who are Boras guys and he'll likely diddlefuck around until spring training to get them every last dollar

So of those "available" guys, as of December, Giolito and Stroman were the only two who a) might be convinced to sign here b) didn't have significant red flags attached. I'm not sure what more you wanted the front office to do in terms of free agent starting pitchers.
Thank you. It is mind-blowing how few people are capable of considering this, apparently.

Or maybe the chance wasn't zero?

Additionally, "top 11" seems like a carefully selected cutpoint. It leaves off Seth Lugo, Michael Wacha, Kenta Maeda, Nick Martinez, Kyle Gibson, Frankie Montas, Jack Flaherty, Sean Manea, and Luis Severino.
Which one of those guys do you like better as our fifth starter than Tanner Houck?

Houck, one of the heaviest ground ball starters in MLB, had a 5.05 ERA and 3.82 xFIP before his injury. He came back and really struggled with command vs. lefties (7.6 BB% pre-injury, 14.7 BB% afterward) and finished with a 5.01 and a 4.07 xFIP.

He’s projected to throw 145 innings at a 4.27 ERA next year, good for 1.9 fWAR. Here are those other guys’ projections (with ages):

Houck (28) - 145 IP, 4.27 ERA, 1.9 fWAR
Lugo (34) - 156 IP, 4.36 ERA, 2.1 fWAR
Wacha (32) - 156 IP, 4.67 ERA, 1.7 fWAR
Maeda (35) - 144 IP, 4.10 ERA, 2.1 fWAR
Martinez (32) - 119 IP, 4.67 ERA, 1.2 fWAR
Gibson (36) - 178 IP, 4.31 ERA, 2.1 fWAR
Montas (31) - 150 IP, 4.42 ERA, 2.1 fWAR
Flaherty (28) - 155 IP, 4.41 ERA, 1.5 fWAR
Manaea (32) - 148 IP, 3.99 ERA, 2.0 fWAR
Severino (30) - 144 IP, 4.28 ERA, 1.6 fWAR

I know it would have tamed a lot of people’s ire if we had given $50 million to Seth Lugo, but how much better does that make us?

It’s also true that Andrew Bailey has direct experience tweaking and improving Giants pitchers pretty much with Houck’s exact repertoire, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they were optimistic.
 

JCizzle

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Thank you. It is mind-blowing how few people are capable of considering this, apparently.
I disagree only in the sense that I think the Red Sox could have overpaid to get YY, as they did with Yoshida. Is LA worth an extra $10M? $50M? There’s no dollar value to offset Southern California? Would the fan base at large be pissed if the Sox went to $375M?
 
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chawson

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I disagree only in the sense that I think the Red Sox could have overpaid to get YY, as they did with Yoshida. Is LA worth an extra $10M? $50M? There’s no dollar value to offset Southern California? Would the fan base at large be pissed if the Sox went to $375M?
Theoretically not impossible but we know he wanted to be in Los Angeles and we know from reports that Yamamoto’s process included deciding on location before talking $ and terms.

But let’s say you're 43-year-old Craig Breslow and you just accepted your first GM/CBO gig of your career, presumably a field one you want to stay in awhile. Would you want your legacy immediately defined by signing a 5’10” pitcher who’s never played in the majors — and who evidently prefers to live on a different coast — to a contract that (excepting Ohtani, a two-way player) far exceeds the record-highest free agent contract of all time?
 
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CalSoxGal

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I disagree only in the sense that I think the Red Sox could have overpaid to get YY, as they did with Yoshida. Is LA worth an extra $10M? $50M? There’s no dollar value to offset Southern California? Would the fan base at large be pissed if the Sox went to $375M?
The Dodgers are already paying YY $375M ($325M over 12 years plus $50M signing bonus). So the Red Sox would have had to beat that. The question is by how much.

We've had pages and pages of discussion here about why Boston is currently a less desirable location for free agents, especially one from Japan. So the Sox' bid would have had to be $375M PLUS whatever premium to overcome the "undesirable" factor, PLUS whatever premium on top of that to ensure a bid that the Dodgers would not simply turn around and match.

Given that YY's reported priorities were to win now, to win into the future, and be in a large market---only one of which the Red Sox could potentially offer--how high would they have had to go? Theoretically, everyone has their price. Maybe eleventy-billion dollars would have done it. Or maybe YY would have said $375M is more than I and my grandchildren can ever spend in a lifetime, so I'll settle for that and go where I really want to go.
 

jon abbey

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The Dodgers are already paying YY $375M ($325M over 12 years plus $50M signing bonus). So the Red Sox would have had to beat that. The question is by how much.

We've had pages and pages of discussion here about why Boston is currently a less desirable location for free agents, especially one from Japan. So the Sox' bid would have had to be $375M PLUS whatever premium to overcome the "undesirable" factor, PLUS whatever premium on top of that to ensure a bid that the Dodgers would not simply turn around and match.

Given that YY's reported priorities were to win now, to win into the future, and be in a large market---only one of which the Red Sox could potentially offer--how high would they have had to go? Theoretically, everyone has their price. Maybe eleventy-billion dollars would have done it. Or maybe YY would have said $375M is more than I and my grandchildren can ever spend in a lifetime, so I'll settle for that and go where I really want to go.
The signing bonus is included in the $325M (there is an additional posting fee of around $50M) but I agree that the Dodgers would have paid what they needed to get him and he basically wasn’t obtainable for other teams regardless of what they offered (realistically).
 

trs

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Given all this talk about rotations, I just wonder if we are beginning to see the end of rotations as we used to know them.

There are far fewer pitchers, as others have said, that throw more than 150 innings over the course of the year than before -- about 60 of them last year. I pick 150, as that is roughly 5 innings per start over 30 starts -- the bare minimum for an uninjured starter to earn wins over the course of a year. If, on average, each team will only have 2 "starters" capable of getting "wins" from their rotation over the course of an entire season, then perhaps a rethinking of how rotations function is in order.

We've already seen "openers," and while using your entire bullpen to get through a game is not feasible everyday, there might be ways to do that so that you don't burn the bullpen every time you don't plan on one pitcher going 5+ innings.

As many have said, currently the Red Sox have 2-3 pitchers right now that could be reasonably counted on to make 30 starts of 5+ innings without significant injury. That leaves about 1000 innings left to cover. So, perhaps, rather than paying scrounging for other pitchers that could handle the same workload effectively, which is essentially getting into a 3rd trip through a lineup, why not fill some innings with tweeners (for that lack of a better word)? We do seem to have some arms that thrive on one trip through a lineup, with maybe a few extra batters thrown in. So, keep Bello, Pivetta (maybe), and Giolito in a "rotation," pitching every 5 days as usual. Then twice a rotation you have a tweener start. Theoretically, if you're throwing only 40-60 pitches, you don't need 5 days off and could perhaps go twice a rotation. The hope would be that three tweener pitchers do the job of two starters. Throw Houck, Crawford, and Winckowski out there every 2-3 days with the idea they pitch 2-3 innings each. Without injury, you end up with each throwing about 100-150 innings, but not every 5 days, instead every 2-3 days. You could manage it such that if one throws pitches on a given tweener start, they do less the next time out. Your relief core would function the same way as always, as these "tweener" starts would have the same expectations as a normal starter, meaning, get us into the 6th or 7th and we're happy!

Again, all injury-dependent, this would give you 450 innings from your 3-man regular rotation, and about 300-400 innings from your tweeners, leaving about half of your innings to the relievers.

Of course, I'm sure Houck, Crawford, and Winckowski would all rather start, and that wish might scuttle the whole thing, but maybe you try one of them out for 5+ innings periodically and then boom, you rotate them in to the 3 man rotation or you make a 4 man rotation because you suddenly have 4 guys able to do that job and you just need 1 "tweener" start.

With 13-man pitching staffs, having 6 people in a rotation PLUS tweener duty is feasible, I would think.

This could all also be crazy talk.
 

moondog80

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I know it would have tamed a lot of people’s ire if we had given $50 million to Seth Lugo, but how much better does that make us?
If they already had 5 starters better than Lugo, why did they meet with him and extend him an offer?

But yes, failing to get someone from the Lugo-class is not the great sin of the offseason. It's the zeroburger from the Imanaga/Stroman/E-Rod group. Because while you can come up with "yeah, but" explanations for anyone, the bottom line is we are sitting here on January 18 with the rotation -- the one that everyone swore needed to drastically improve -- in more or less the same shape as it was to end the season, and the payroll is 30 million dollars under the tax threshold. That's a tragic waste of resources for a team with very realistic postseason hopes, and it's many, many magnitudes worse that say, Chaim Bloom letting 2nd round compensation picks turn into 5th rounders by failing to get under the tax in 2022 (in an attempt to win games and make the postseason).

And yes, I know the offseason isn't over. But at this point any improvements to the rotation will likely come at a great cost to the future, either in the way of key prospects or long-term contracts. The chance to thread the needle of helping now without hurting tomorrow has passed.
 

OCD SS

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Given all this talk about rotations, I just wonder if we are beginning to see the end of rotations as we used to know them.

There are far fewer pitchers, as others have said, that throw more than 150 innings over the course of the year than before -- about 60 of them last year. I pick 150, as that is roughly 5 innings per start over 30 starts -- the bare minimum for an uninjured starter to earn wins over the course of a year. If, on average, each team will only have 2 "starters" capable of getting "wins" from their rotation over the course of an entire season, then perhaps a rethinking of how rotations function is in order.

We've already seen "openers," and while using your entire bullpen to get through a game is not feasible everyday, there might be ways to do that so that you don't burn the bullpen every time you don't plan on one pitcher going 5+ innings.

As many have said, currently the Red Sox have 2-3 pitchers right now that could be reasonably counted on to make 30 starts of 5+ innings without significant injury. That leaves about 1000 innings left to cover. So, perhaps, rather than paying scrounging for other pitchers that could handle the same workload effectively, which is essentially getting into a 3rd trip through a lineup, why not fill some innings with tweeners (for that lack of a better word)? We do seem to have some arms that thrive on one trip through a lineup, with maybe a few extra batters thrown in. So, keep Bello, Pivetta (maybe), and Giolito in a "rotation," pitching every 5 days as usual. Then twice a rotation you have a tweener start. Theoretically, if you're throwing only 40-60 pitches, you don't need 5 days off and could perhaps go twice a rotation. The hope would be that three tweener pitchers do the job of two starters. Throw Houck, Crawford, and Winckowski out there every 2-3 days with the idea they pitch 2-3 innings each. Without injury, you end up with each throwing about 100-150 innings, but not every 5 days, instead every 2-3 days. You could manage it such that if one throws pitches on a given tweener start, they do less the next time out. Your relief core would function the same way as always, as these "tweener" starts would have the same expectations as a normal starter, meaning, get us into the 6th or 7th and we're happy!

Again, all injury-dependent, this would give you 450 innings from your 3-man regular rotation, and about 300-400 innings from your tweeners, leaving about half of your innings to the relievers.

Of course, I'm sure Houck, Crawford, and Winckowski would all rather start, and that wish might scuttle the whole thing, but maybe you try one of them out for 5+ innings periodically and then boom, you rotate them in to the 3 man rotation or you make a 4 man rotation because you suddenly have 4 guys able to do that job and you just need 1 "tweener" start.

With 13-man pitching staffs, having 6 people in a rotation PLUS tweener duty is feasible, I would think.

This could all also be crazy talk.
I posted something like this in the pitching thread: if you add Whitlock to the mix you have 4 starters, all of whom are not likely to go deep in games. Is it possible to to set up tandem starters where you can plan for 7-8 innings from 2 guys every 5 days…

edit: Nice avatar by the way…
 
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Manuel Aristides

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I posted something like this in the pitching thread: if you add Whitlock to the mix you have 4 starters, all of whom are not likely to go deep in games. Is it possible to to set up tandem starters where you can plan for 7-8 innings from 2 guys every 5 days…
I third the idea that we are mid-way through a full-on reimagining of what a pitching staff is and that Big Ideas like this could be more realistic than they were just five years ago. I have no opinion on if it's likely to work but I do think this kind of thing is worth trying: we've seen TBR turn out a ton of all-but-free pitching production by embracing the opener. If the Sox aren't going to spend big money on the staff, I would love to see them throw big ideas at it. Particularly if we're in another "bridge year," why not use it as a laboratory?
 

RS2004foreever

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If they already had 5 starters better than Lugo, why did they meet with him and extend him an offer?

But yes, failing to get someone from the Lugo-class is not the great sin of the offseason. It's the zeroburger from the Imanaga/Stroman/E-Rod group. Because while you can come up with "yeah, but" explanations for anyone, the bottom line is we are sitting here on January 18 with the rotation -- the one that everyone swore needed to drastically improve -- in more or less the same shape as it was to end the season, and the payroll is 30 million dollars under the tax threshold. That's a tragic waste of resources for a team with very realistic postseason hopes, and it's many, many magnitudes worse that say, Chaim Bloom letting 2nd round compensation picks turn into 5th rounders by failing to get under the tax in 2022 (in an attempt to win games and make the postseason).

And yes, I know the offseason isn't over. But at this point any improvements to the rotation will likely come at a great cost to the future, either in the way of key prospects or long-term contracts. The chance to thread the needle of helping now without hurting tomorrow has passed.
And with no obvious way to improve the rotation without Free Agents or via trade for the foreseeable future - there is no cavalry waiting in the minors. Doing nothing now kicks the can forward.
 

bosockboy

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The signing bonus is included in the $325M (there is an additional posting fee of around $50M) but I agree that the Dodgers would have paid what they needed to get him and he basically wasn’t obtainable for other teams regardless of what they offered (realistically).
After the Ohtani deferral it was gonna happen.
 

HfxBob

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Nov 13, 2005
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The Sox might have been interested in him, the reports were that E-Rod didn't want to play for Cora again. So no real reason for the Sox not to take a meeting.

Or maybe just old teammates showing each other some mutual respect?
Where did those reports come from? I can't find anything on it.
 

sezwho

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The signing bonus is included in the $325M (there is an additional posting fee of around $50M) but I agree that the Dodgers would have paid what they needed to get him and he basically wasn’t obtainable for other teams regardless of what they offered (realistically).
I’m convinced they could have done more, and still should, but the YY case is pretty unique (I qualify because maybe he and Ohtani had the same situation).

I actually think, with no hard info, that they used the market to squeeze out everything LA was willing to give. The Mets were seemingly willing to go higher, but they called off the bidding and went to the dodgers…because otherwise they were out and he was not going to Mets.

100% still need to do more and they need to crack the wallets open.
 

HfxBob

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But let’s say you're 43-year-old Craig Breslow and you just accepted your first GM/CBO gig of your career, presumably a field one you want to stay in awhile. Would you want your legacy immediately defined by signing a 5’10” pitcher who’s never played in the majors — and who evidently prefers to live on a different coast — to a contract that (excepting Ohtani, a two-way player) far exceeds the record-highest major league contract of all time?
The statement about Yamamoto's contract isn't correct. Maybe you left something out there.
 

CR67dream

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Where did those reports come from? I can't find anything on it.
https://nesn.com/2023/12/why-red-sox-reportedly-didnt-make-offer-to-eduardo-rodriguez/

“It’s worth noting that the Sox met with free agent lefthander Eduardo Rodriguez, a longtime pitcher in Boston, during the recent Winter Meetings in Nashville,” Speier wrote. “However, the team suggested it was focused elsewhere — (Yoshinobu) Yamamoto and others — and not prepared to bid at that time, but might circle back.”
 

HfxBob

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https://nesn.com/2023/12/why-red-sox-reportedly-didnt-make-offer-to-eduardo-rodriguez/

“It’s worth noting that the Sox met with free agent lefthander Eduardo Rodriguez, a longtime pitcher in Boston, during the recent Winter Meetings in Nashville,” Speier wrote. “However, the team suggested it was focused elsewhere — (Yoshinobu) Yamamoto and others — and not prepared to bid at that time, but might circle back.”
Nothing to do with Cora here, just about being "focused elsewhere".
 

CR67dream

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Nothing to do with Cora here, just about being "focused elsewhere".
I thought you asked where the reports that they actually met were coming from. I will concede that if you were asking about the rift with Cora specifically, my response was lacking. And I think most of that talk was tweets and such, with writers speculating based on the history between the two.

If you are claiming there's a chance that it's just noise, I'm not going to argue the point. It's the same with every single bored writer tweet/story out there. I also would think Speir would be the last guy to go to the personal/gossip angle if he weren't 100% sure.

I actually see logic in the approach the Sox took here. That's what's really important to me.
 

trs

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I posted something like this in the pitching thread: if you add Whitlock to the mix you have 4 starters, all of whom are not likely to go deep in games. Is it possible to to set up tandem starters where you can plan for 7-8 innings from 2 guys every 5 days…
Ah, ok, sorry I missed it! Also thanks for cross-posting this to the other thread, and I had left out Whitlock, you're right, which would allow you to work tandems or still use 3 and give one of those guys an extra bit of rest if pitch counts/high stress innings piled up.

edit: Nice avatar by the way…
Ha thanks, glad all that hunting for a gif didn't go to waste.
 

Max Power

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Given all this talk about rotations, I just wonder if we are beginning to see the end of rotations as we used to know them.

There are far fewer pitchers, as others have said, that throw more than 150 innings over the course of the year than before -- about 60 of them last year. I pick 150, as that is roughly 5 innings per start over 30 starts -- the bare minimum for an uninjured starter to earn wins over the course of a year. If, on average, each team will only have 2 "starters" capable of getting "wins" from their rotation over the course of an entire season, then perhaps a rethinking of how rotations function is in order.

We've already seen "openers," and while using your entire bullpen to get through a game is not feasible everyday, there might be ways to do that so that you don't burn the bullpen every time you don't plan on one pitcher going 5+ innings.

As many have said, currently the Red Sox have 2-3 pitchers right now that could be reasonably counted on to make 30 starts of 5+ innings without significant injury. That leaves about 1000 innings left to cover. So, perhaps, rather than paying scrounging for other pitchers that could handle the same workload effectively, which is essentially getting into a 3rd trip through a lineup, why not fill some innings with tweeners (for that lack of a better word)? We do seem to have some arms that thrive on one trip through a lineup, with maybe a few extra batters thrown in. So, keep Bello, Pivetta (maybe), and Giolito in a "rotation," pitching every 5 days as usual. Then twice a rotation you have a tweener start. Theoretically, if you're throwing only 40-60 pitches, you don't need 5 days off and could perhaps go twice a rotation. The hope would be that three tweener pitchers do the job of two starters. Throw Houck, Crawford, and Winckowski out there every 2-3 days with the idea they pitch 2-3 innings each. Without injury, you end up with each throwing about 100-150 innings, but not every 5 days, instead every 2-3 days. You could manage it such that if one throws pitches on a given tweener start, they do less the next time out. Your relief core would function the same way as always, as these "tweener" starts would have the same expectations as a normal starter, meaning, get us into the 6th or 7th and we're happy!

Again, all injury-dependent, this would give you 450 innings from your 3-man regular rotation, and about 300-400 innings from your tweeners, leaving about half of your innings to the relievers.

Of course, I'm sure Houck, Crawford, and Winckowski would all rather start, and that wish might scuttle the whole thing, but maybe you try one of them out for 5+ innings periodically and then boom, you rotate them in to the 3 man rotation or you make a 4 man rotation because you suddenly have 4 guys able to do that job and you just need 1 "tweener" start.

With 13-man pitching staffs, having 6 people in a rotation PLUS tweener duty is feasible, I would think.

This could all also be crazy talk.
The lack of pitchers going 150 innings is a result of league-wide injuries. Teams would love to have more than two handling that workload, but the velocity and spin rate arms race that constantly blows out elbows makes it very difficult. Going into a season planning on only having 2 guys throw that many innings if everyone stays healthy is most likely to result in nobody throwing 150 innings and the entire pitching staff collapsing.
 

HfxBob

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I thought you asked where the reports that they actually met were coming from. I will concede that if you were asking about the rift with Cora specifically, my response was lacking. And I think most of that talk was tweets and such, with writers speculating based on the history between the two.
What history though? This is what I'm trying to get at. When E-Rod turned down the trade to the Dodgers, Cora said he was proud of him. To me Cora seemed to have a close, almost fatherly relationship with him.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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I might be picking nits here, but ATM I'm not sure I'm ready to place the Duran egg in that basket. He was miles better last season than he was previously, but there was a huge drop off in August. Part of that is likely due to the turf toe issues that led to him being shut down, but there are also some mental health issues that he's been open about.
I wasn't trying to equate Duran and Casas as in the same level, that should have been more clear.

I was tiering them.

Casas is one level of success. Duran is another level of "success". So more that of KAT if you get another at the level of Casas (looks like a certain building block and middle of the line up fixture) and one at the level of Duran (2 bWAR player) then that has been about as best as can realistically be projected. Just to remove the Sox but use another example, the Ms had Kelenic, Julio R and Taylor Trammell as their top 3 position prospects heading into 2021 and they got a stud, someone they could at least staple to move salary and nothing.

But yes, failing to get someone from the Lugo-class is not the great sin of the offseason. It's the zeroburger from the Imanaga/Stroman/E-Rod group. Because while you can come up with "yeah, but" explanations for anyone, the bottom line is we are sitting here on January 18 with the rotation -- the one that everyone swore needed to drastically improve -- in more or less the same shape as it was to end the season, and the payroll is 30 million dollars under the tax threshold. That's a tragic waste of resources for a team with very realistic postseason hopes, and it's many, many magnitudes worse that say, Chaim Bloom letting 2nd round compensation picks turn into 5th rounders by failing to get under the tax in 2022 (in an attempt to win games and make the postseason).
As someone that has spent all manner of time (and will continue to) bashing Bloom for the 2022 and 2023 deadlines, specifically, this is a fair stance to hold, for sure.

I'd respectfully disagree that it's many, many magnitudes worse. Mostly because 1) many of us are just assuming the rotation will lead to a nothing of a season (self-included) as opposed to having 2/3 of a season to point to and say "it's a nothing of a season"; 2) because you've already made the moves to jettison the two most valuable one year players for long term control in areas of need (Verdugo for anything resembling a starting pitcher; Sale for Grissom) and 3) because at least the money not spent would - ostensibly at least - be there in the future whereas Wacha, Hill, Strahm and JDM weren't going to be here in the future, so you truly just wasted an asset that wouldn't be around, whereas the $30m should be.

However, that's just my nuanced take because I think it was an interesting thought exercise of "which is the bigger waste." I'm still leaning 2022 (mostly because of how inspired the Sale for Grissom deal was and the balls it took to move a player to the Yankees) but I can totally understand why someone else might feel otherwise.


However, I'll edge more toward it being a "similar" waste if Jansen and Martin are still on the roster opening the season AND Pivetta is still on the roster without being extended.
 

catomatic

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What history though? This is what I'm trying to get at. When E-Rod turned down the trade to the Dodgers, Cora said he was proud of him. To me Cora seemed to have a close relationship with him.
The actual article/tweet will be hard to locate, I’m sure, but prominently featured in it was the episode against the Astros in the ‘21 ALCS when ERod, exiting after 6+ high-caliber innings, gives Correa a taste of his own “My Time” gesture, pointing to his watch. Cora was instantly furious. This was presented as either a fulcrum in their relationship or evidence of its already worm-eaten condition. I can’t remember which.
 

CR67dream

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What history though? This is what I'm trying to get at. When E-Rod turned down the trade to the Dodgers, Cora said he was proud of him. To me Cora seemed to have a close, almost fatherly relationship with him.
Again, it's gossip, and as likely bullshit as not. It's not unique in that regard. I couldn't give a shit.

That said, google it, you'll see the history that may have stirred the pot. It's just not worth any more of my time. As I said, I see the logic of what the Sox did and what actually happened. That's what I find important.

This ain't TMZ.
 

HfxBob

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Nov 13, 2005
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The actual article/tweet will be hard to locate, I’m sure, but prominently featured in it was the episode against the Astros in the ‘21 ALCS when ERod, exiting after 6+ high-caliber innings, gives Correa a taste of his own “My Time” gesture, pointing to his watch. Cora was instantly furious. This was presented as either a fulcrum in their relationship or evidence of its already worm-eaten condition. I can’t remember which.
So Cora didn't like E-Rod showing up another player. But where's the evidence that E-Rod was angry at Cora about it?
 

HfxBob

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Again, it's gossip, and as likely bullshit as not. It's not unique in that regard. I couldn't give a shit.

That said, google it, you'll see the history that may have stirred the pot. It's just not worth any more of my time. As I said, I see the logic of what the Sox did and what actually happened. That's what I find important.

This ain't TMZ.
It's not TMZ, but more than one poster has stated that Cora and E-Rod had a damaged relationship and 'there was no way E-Rod was coming back to Boston' and that's why the Sox made little effort to sign him. The report you found says something completely different. That's all.
 

CR67dream

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It's not TMZ, but more than one poster has stated that Cora and E-Rod had a damaged relationship and 'there was no way E-Rod was coming back to Boston' and that's why the Sox made little effort to sign him. The report you found says something completely different. That's all.
Great! We're done here then. Thanks!
 

HfxBob

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Nov 13, 2005
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As far as being focused on Yamamoto is concerned, the question is whether that strategy made sense in view of the Mets and Yankees both being known to be in on the bidding.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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General question not directed at you….

And why the “overpay” push back on Yoshida when we want the Sox to identify a target and outspend to acquire?
Fair question. I'll address this as someone that a) likes Yoshida but b) can see the appeal of trading him.

For me, what it comes down to is the (my opinion) atrocious construction of the roster and the dogmatic approach to basically using all instances of "large capital" to get similar players - outfielders and up the middle position players that we've seen for the past 4 seasons.

Yoshida is a good player. I'm happy enough to have him. He's also very redundant. There are a lot of "left handed hitters that should probably be DHs", both at the MLB level (Yoshida, Devers, possibly Casas, but he's young enough and improved enough through the course of last season to say he's "fine" at 1b, or at least assume he might be). That's also basically exactly what Valdez is and isn't that far off from what Wilyer Abreu is (not sure how to reconcile the Sox prospects take on him profiling as a good defensive RF and Fangraphs grading him as a butcher in both CF and RF - though obviously a small sample size - so I'm calling this a "we don't know.")

So Bloom drastically overshot the market on a player that is a lot like what you already have, and didn't lead to YY choosing Boston (if that was a consideration for Bloom, no idea if it was or was not).


On the second part, this is just for me personally. I want them to identify a target and outspend to acquire in the starting rotation with multiple years of team control (meaning Giolito doesn't count because he is a one year deal, in terms of what the Sox control). For example, Juan Soto is roughly 1,000x better than Yoshida, Abreu or Valdez but I wouldn't have wanted the Red Sox to spend the prospect capital necessary to acquire him because and give him a 10yr, $500m (guessing) extension because they desperately need pitching. Not another (this one is admittedly elite) LHH player that is better suited to DH.

Though I do want them to spend 7/$175m on Montgomery because I think outside of Bello and Crawford the rotation pieces for the medium term are not close to good enough to be starting pitchers in the AL East in 81 games at Fenway Park.


Again - I don't really mind the Yoshida deal - just talking about the difference between overspending on something you have in abundance and something you don't have nearly enough of. So since it appears that Duran and Abreu have no real value on the trade market, if Yoshida does, I would endorse trading redundancy and getting (hopefully) a ton of money and something that might be a starting pitcher - or to use the money ON a starting pitcher, back.
 

CalSoxGal

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Dec 17, 2023
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The signing bonus is included in the $325M (there is an additional posting fee of around $50M) but I agree that the Dodgers would have paid what they needed to get him and he basically wasn’t obtainable for other teams regardless of what they offered (realistically).
Ah, thanks, my bad; I misunderstood that. I stopped paying careful attention once he chose the Dodgers. I completely agree with the rest of your sentence.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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You feel strongly they should trade Jansen and Martin before the season?
If they actually go into camp with a rotation that looks anything like Bello, Giolito, Crawford, any combination of (not extended) Pivetta, Whitlock, Winckowski, Houck, Paxton, Lorenzen, Ryu, whatever, then yes, I certainly do. I would add (not extended Pivetta) to the trade immediately list.

For three reasons.

1) Any permutation of pieces for that rotation is (my opinion) extremely unlikely to be competitive in the AL East in Fenway Park, and you'd be dealing guys that aren't on the 2025+ roster.
2) You eliminate the risk of those players getting hurt.
3) You can replace them easily enough with the ~$35m left to buy more prospects.

I will go into this more deeply in the "moves" thread, but to answer a direct question and my rationale behind it:

Houston, Texas, Chicago, Miami, Philly and LAD are all looking for bullpen / rotation help of some kind.

So the Sox could pay the full freight (to increase return) and reasonably hope to acquire starting pitching prospects (I deleted any names until I do more research, but I stand by the concept).


Then use the remaining ~$35m to sign two one year relief pitchers and a one year starter.

The 2024 team is no worse off BUT you've improved 2025+ with more assets that are starting pitchers and can have the same hope for the three new pieces you do for Jansen, Martin and (NE) Pivetta - that they're all healthy enough and good enough to trade for MORE pitching prospects in July. Not to mention whatever you get from a hopefully fixed Giolito (because I don't think they'll extend him if he's as good as we hope he is as they obviously, and for whatever reason, aren't singing FA pitchers for seasons in their 30's).


*I could be wrong and Jansen, Martin and Pivetta might have literally no value right now. Certainly possible. But there are a lot of teams that are "contenders" that are going to miss out on Josh Hader, Hector Neris and whatever else is on the BP market. I'm hoping that will make those guys more valuable.
 
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Cassvt2023

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I mean it's not like they have a history of misreading the free agent market, just ask Lester or Xander...
I think this is a very fair point. And I believe that this ownership group has an underlying arrogance to them that players will want to stay here or come here for less than market because they are the almighty Boston Red Sox, winners of 4 titles this century. Most passionate fans in baseball. America's most beloved ballpark. They can't simply rely on this outdated narrative any longer.