Lou Merloni: Mookie asking price is 12 years, $420 million.

Would you give Mookie a 12 years, $420 million contract?

  • Yes

  • No


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jon abbey

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t would be really interesting to see whether Betts could exceed, for example, Bryce Harper's total contract if he opted for 3 year deals (and he could certainly afford a massive insurance policy to cover injury).
Maybe I'm missing your point but he's almost certainly going to exceed Harper's deal (13/330) without doing that.
 

Yo La Tengo

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Maybe I'm missing your point but he's almost certainly going to exceed Harper's deal (13/330) without doing that.
I was wondering if he could top that dollar amount while taking short term deals in order to keep options/leverage.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I was wondering if he could top that dollar amount while taking short term deals in order to keep options/leverage.
it is hard to imagine a player looking at 300 to 400 million choosing an option that does not involve 300 to 400 million.
 

Rough Carrigan

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I have a theory about this.

Small position players are often middle infielders. Before they changed the rules — and even after, as Pedroia's sad example amply demonstrates — those positions were particularly dangerous. Guys take knocks, and those add up.

And on the pitching side, there are so many examples of slight pitchers (a Pedro Martinez, say, or a Tim Lincecum) who are unable to maintain their velocity as deep into their careers as a guy built like Jon Lester might be able to. (Pedro obviously was better able to transition from dependence on velocity than Lincecum was.)
There are also a ton of examples of much more physically imposing guys who broke down too. It's not that simple.
 

Yo La Tengo

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it is hard to imagine a player looking at 300 to 400 million choosing an option that does not involve 300 to 400 million.
That's why I brought up Leonard- as I understand it, he could have signed a $220 million deal, or a $190 million deal, or a $142 million deal but he opted for the shorter option. We'll get to see how his future earnings are impacted.
 

high cheese

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I love Mookie but guys who want to set contract records, get the most they can "for the benefit of the guys coming behind us", etc usually don't work out long term.

Additionally it's hard to watch players leave the teams where they built their success to chase the dollar. It seems like with so many millions involved anyhow that there would be more value on staying home.
 

Muppet

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Say the Red Sox do end up paying the full 12/420.

We might only get five or six great years out of Mookie of course, but what if someone like Pedroia got hired to manage a team like the Marlins.

Maybe he might do us a solid and help us out?

Nah, that would never happen.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Say the Red Sox do end up paying the full 12/420.

We might only get five or six great years out of Mookie of course, but what if someone like Pedroia got hired to manage a team like the Marlins.

Maybe he might do us a solid and help us out?

Nah, that would never happen.
Even if it did, managers don't trade for players so how would he do us a solid?
 

Muppet

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Even if it did, managers don't trade for players so how would he do us a solid?
By "manager": I meant GM, Chief of Baseball Ops, Head of Baseball Operations etc.
By "doing us a solid": I meant he might make what appears to be a very one sided trade against his team which looks like it benefits his former team.
By saying it has never happened, I mean that it had happened (Stanton)
 

OCD SS

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Additionally it's hard to watch players leave the teams where they built their success to chase the dollar. It seems like with so many millions involved anyhow that there would be more value on staying home.
I think we forget that “home” to these players probably isn’t the city where they play. It might become one for awhile, but that’s out of necessity.

I really appreciate players who spend their whole careers with a single team, especially in the free agent era, but that connection is still born from a system of indentured servitude for the first 6 years or more of their career. Anything that would do more to keep players with the same teams (even only “special” ones) would do so at the cost of limiting free agency, and ultimately benefitting the owners and their profits.
 

BigMike

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10/350 and wouldn't bat an eye
12/420 and do it pinching one nostril only,,not the whole nose
This is probably where I am. I'd probably try to start why CPT has it here, and then try to see if 10/375 would get it done, but if it took 12/420, then so be it. I do not let him leave
 

keninten

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I think we forget that “home” to these players probably isn’t the city where they play. It might become one for awhile, but that’s out of necessity.

I really appreciate players who spend their whole careers with a single team, especially in the free agent era, but that connection is still born from a system of indentured servitude for the first 6 years or more of their career. Anything that would do more to keep players with the same teams (even only “special” ones) would do so at the cost of limiting free agency, and ultimately benefitting the owners and their profits.
I`ve always thought if say 10% of a home grown players salary did not count against the cap. That is only helping the richer teams.
 

OurF'ingCity

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I`ve always thought if say 10% of a home grown players salary did not count against the cap. That is only helping the richer teams.
It's not a crazy idea given that basketball does something very similar with Bird rights. It was never really an issue in baseball before because there was no salary cap, but now with the CBT thresholds I agree I'd like to see something like that implemented.
 

Dewey'sCannon

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I`ve always thought if say 10% of a home grown players salary did not count against the cap. That is only helping the richer teams.
Adding a"Larry Bird" exemption?

I don't think the MLBPA properly assessed the ramifications of increasing the penalties for going over the CBT thresholds (the escalating draft prick penalties and the escalating tax rate for repeat offenders), in addition to not properly indexing or increasing the thresholds based on increases in revenues since the last CBA had been negotiated.

If they are going to keep some form of CBT/luxury tax, then the PA should work to eliminate the draft pick penalties, and have any tax revenue devoted to a fund that goes to subsidize low revenue temas, but subject to explicit, defined conditions requiring these teams to spend this money on player salaries. They should also look to negotiate that if overall salaries do not equal at least x% of revenues, then any shortfall gets put into a fund for distribution to the players (pro rata?) or as additional funding for their retirement and/or medical plans.
 

williams_482

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Man, I read through these posts and it's like we've never gone through this kind of analysis before. Top 3 player for 8 more years? And then maybe 10-15 for the next 4?

I think people should go back and look at the Pujols and Cabrera contracts. Pujols was coming off a 5.3 WAR (b-ref) season in 2011, good for a 5th place finish in the MVP voting, despite that being the lowest WAR he'd put up in his 11 year career. People still gulped when LAAA signed him to that 10 year/$240M deal (with all the extra trimmings), but what do people here think the team was thinking? One of the best RHH of all time, surely he could keep up the MVP-level mashing for another 4-5 years, then move to DH if/when necessary to continue with 3-4 more All-Star caliber seasons. Maybe the last year or two would be a farewell tour, but think of those championship flags that will all be flying by then...

Pujols has not had a single 5 WAR season with the Angels, and only 2 have been worth over 3 WAR. Last season? .4 WAR. There are two years left on the deal.

As for Miggy, most thought his deal was even worse at the signing than Albert's (Detroilet still had the 30 yo signed for two years when they tacked on an 8 yr, $248M extension and 2 option years at $30M each). Coming off back-to-back MVP, 7+ WAR seasons, Miggy's performance also began to fall, if more gradually. Two 5+ WAR seasons, then 4.7, then... the bottom fell out. Aggregate WAR for the past 3 seasons? -.1. Yeah. Good news, though. Only 4 years left on that contract (plus the possible options).

Is Mookie a better athlete than those two? Yes. Also younger. Better overall player? Debatable. Better fielder and baserunner but not as good a hitter.
We can play the "pick one or two comps of varying degrees of relevance and point to how they did" game all day. If you signed 27 year old Adrian Beltre to the 2006 equivalent of 12/$240M, you'd have gotten your investment back plus a ~$75M profit by the time he retired.

Betts needs to put up roughly 46 WAR over 12 years to make that contract worthwhile if we ballpark $9M per win as an appropriate weighted average (something I believe is quite low for this timeframe). Looking at the age 27 through 38 seasons of every player since 1970 (chosen arbitrarily, feel free to pick your own) we get 36 players who hit that mark. Beltre, who we established as a very good outcome, ranks 12th on that list.

But hey, lets backtrack a bit and get a more reasonable list of comps, at least in terms of general talent. Same years, now ages 21 to 26. There's Mookie at #9, with 23 guys who aren't Barry Bonds within 10 WAR of him. As a group, the not-Betts-but-close cohort averaged 32.9 WAR, solidly under Betts' 37.2.

Here are those same guys from ages 27 to 38. Five of them hit 46 WAR, and Pujols has an increasingly narrow shot at being the 6th. One Guy (Sizemore) was in the negatives, three more (Nomar, Hanley, and Cesar Cedeno) put up less than 20. The mean WAR of this group is 33.2, a total that comes incredibly close to the 32.9 this cohort put up from ages 21 to 26, would definitely get Betts into the Hall of Fame, and will rise slightly as McCutchen and Longoria continue to be disappointingly adequate.

If Betts put up 37 WAR from 27 through 38, the offered contract would likely be a modest overpay, depending on how front or back loaded those wins are and what the free agent market looks like in 12 years. How much we like Betts' chances based on his skillset, body type, modern medicine, and whatever else is up for debate, but this should at least give a reasonable sense for the shape of how his futures will likely go.
 

williams_482

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One other note about trading Mookie: Other teams are not stupid. They know how much Mookie is worth, and they know how much to weigh his present value against the future value they would give up for him. The teams most willing to give up value for Mookie are going to be teams in the fat part of the win curve, somewhere in the mid to high 80s range where Mookie's six or seven wins would make a substantial difference on their chances of making the playoffs or winning their division. Sound familiar?
 

Manramsclan

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One other note about trading Mookie: Other teams are not stupid. They know how much Mookie is worth, and they know how much to weigh his present value against the future value they would give up for him. The teams most willing to give up value for Mookie are going to be teams in the fat part of the win curve, somewhere in the mid to high 80s range where Mookie's six or seven wins would make a substantial difference on their chances of making the playoffs or winning their division. Sound familiar?
This is a salient point.
This is what I hate about the bolded though. It sounds like the Red Sox without Mookie.

Except they have Mookie for $27 M (plus whatever financial penalties being over the threshold but that can't be pinned entirely onto Mookie). Take the penalties, try one more time with this group and if you can't sign him/can't shed salaries other ways after 2020 in order to sign him, then reset.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Except they have Mookie for $27 M (plus whatever financial penalties being over the threshold but that can't be pinned entirely onto Mookie). Take the penalties, try one more time with this group and if you can't sign him/can't shed salaries other ways after 2020 in order to sign him, then reset.
This is basically where I am, too - Mookie's marginal value is probably higher to the Red Sox than almost any other team because they are right in that might-make-the-playoffs-but-its-not-a-certainty category. If the Sox were definitely going to be utter garbage this year, or if they were as stacked as the Yankees (or even Astros) are, I'd feel a lot different about Mookie leaving but as it stands now I'm not convinced the value they would get from prospects + getting under luxury tax is greater than whatever Mookie can provide this year, when he may very well be at his peak or close to it.

Plus, if the Sox do end up being sellers at the trade deadline, they can trade Mookie then - admittedly the return would be substantially less, but if I understand the luxury tax rules correctly that (plus some other cost-saving moves which wouldn't be too hard if they are truly full-on sellers at the deadline) would at least still allow them to reset the penalties and potentially try to re-sign Mookie in the offseason.
 

JM3

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$9m for a win seems like a bad idea. I don't want to pay $729m to finish .500.

Kinda shows how important cost-controlled talent is, doesn't it?
 

moondog80

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$9m for a win seems like a bad idea. I don't want to pay $729m to finish .500.

Kinda shows how important cost-controlled talent is, doesn't it?
Win above replacement. A replacement-level team starts with a baseline level of wins -- I forget if it's 40 or 50 or whatever, but it's not zero.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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We can play the "pick one or two comps of varying degrees of relevance and point to how they did" game all day. If you signed 27 year old Adrian Beltre to the 2006 equivalent of 12/$240M, you'd have gotten your investment back plus a ~$75M profit by the time he retired.

Betts needs to put up roughly 46 WAR over 12 years to make that contract worthwhile if we ballpark $9M per win as an appropriate weighted average (something I believe is quite low for this timeframe). Looking at the age 27 through 38 seasons of every player since 1970 (chosen arbitrarily, feel free to pick your own) we get 36 players who hit that mark. Beltre, who we established as a very good outcome, ranks 12th on that list.

But hey, lets backtrack a bit and get a more reasonable list of comps, at least in terms of general talent. Same years, now ages 21 to 26. There's Mookie at #9, with 23 guys who aren't Barry Bonds within 10 WAR of him. As a group, the not-Betts-but-close cohort averaged 32.9 WAR, solidly under Betts' 37.2.

Here are those same guys from ages 27 to 38. Five of them hit 46 WAR, and Pujols has an increasingly narrow shot at being the 6th. One Guy (Sizemore) was in the negatives, three more (Nomar, Hanley, and Cesar Cedeno) put up less than 20. The mean WAR of this group is 33.2, a total that comes incredibly close to the 32.9 this cohort put up from ages 21 to 26, would definitely get Betts into the Hall of Fame, and will rise slightly as McCutchen and Longoria continue to be disappointingly adequate.

If Betts put up 37 WAR from 27 through 38, the offered contract would likely be a modest overpay, depending on how front or back loaded those wins are and what the free agent market looks like in 12 years. How much we like Betts' chances based on his skillset, body type, modern medicine, and whatever else is up for debate, but this should at least give a reasonable sense for the shape of how his futures will likely go.
This is good work, thanks. I have some quibbles and comments.

Your $9m WAR figure might be right, or not. Let’s use it. But as we’ve discussed, WAR free agent “value” is somewhat questionable. It at least depends on a payroll system that assumes the ability to underpay pre-arb and arb players. So if we’re just trying to compare Mookie’s value/cost to other FAs, ok, but if we’re trying to divine some real cost/value, then the calculation fails.

To illustrate: Let’s put aside actual contracts and say a prospect-challenged team like the Sox shooting for 95 wins could put 6 pre-arb players on the 2016 roster, and 5 arb players, and 14 FA players whom they want to average 2 WAR each, and Mookie at $35M. What’s the cost? Pre-arb guys, about $3m. Arb? Let’s say a mediocre group would cost $2m each, or $10m. Then 14 FA guys of 2 WAR quality at your $9m per WAR cost ($18m each) = $252m total (see how much that FA WAR valuation adds up?). Total with Mookie? $300 million. There isn’t a team that will near that total next year, or likely over the next half dozen years.

But let’s look at your results. You found 36 guys hitting the 46 WAR total (technically, $420m/9 WAR = 46.67 WAR, which would knock out 5 from your list, but ok). That’s out of 1,509 guys, or just under 2.5%. Pretty slim odds. But of course, most of those guys were never going to be a 4 WAR guy, even in 1 season, so of course they wouldn’t return value on a Mookie type deal.

Which is why you looked at guys who were more comparable to Betts ages 21-26. (Thanks.). But that list doesn‘t really inspire confidence, does it? 23 guys, only 5 of whom hit the 46 WAR level from age 27-38. 22%? That’s not super inspiring, is it? And as you suggest, none of this considers the issue of front loading the value - that Mookie could be really good for 5 years but then drop off precipitously and be a liability in the second half of the contract. How do we value that?

Overall, I’m concerned about what we’re expecting of a player we hope to be worth on average less than 4 WAR/season ($420m at $9m WAR = <3.9 WAR per season). What players/OFs were approximately 3.8 guys this year? Max Kepler and Brett Gardner were at 4. Ramon Laureano was at 3.8 in less than a full season. Are those guys $35M players in SOSH’s collective mind? Ehhh...

Anyway, I might actually be stating your case, I‘m not sure. But I’m still in the $420m for Mookie is waaay too risky camp.
 
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David Kaiser

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The trade of Mookie Betts, in my opinion, will mean the end of the Red Sox as serious contenders for the foreseeable future. Until now John Henry has always been willing to spend his money to make them as competitive as possible (and in fact has wasted a good deal.) Now he is going to give up a certain Hall of Famer to save money. That is not what great organizations do.

Over the past four years, according to the methodology I developed for my book, Baseball Greatness, Betts has 6, 3.9, 8.1, and 5.3 Wins Above Average (WAA). The 8.1 in 2018 ties with Mike Trout in the same year as the highest figures for anyone in the Millennial generation. You need some one with at least 4 WAA every year to win the pennant, as I documented in my book, and Betts is the only player on the Sox who consistently scores over that figure. He can certainly be expected to do so for several more years. And the chances of them getting some one as good in a trade can't be better than 1/100. He's the second-best player in the league and maybe in baseball right now. Without Betts's 5.3 WAA last year the team would have finished below .500. He is certainly not comparable to Fred Lynn, as Dan Shaughnessy suggested months ago. The odds are that he's going to have a better lifetime record than any Red Sox offensive player since Williams except perhaps Boggs and Yaz. He has outperformed Yaz at this age so far.

I agree that baseball's salary structure is out of control and that free agents of Betts' calibre get contracts that will not pay off in the long run because he isn't going to be as good as he is now in 10 years, let's say. But he could still be a star (2-3.9 WAA) then and that gives them a long time to find another superstar. Rather than trade him, Henry should sell the team to some one who still wants to win. For obvious reasons, none of the Globe writers is likely to make that case. I was excited when Chaim Bloom came in because I would love to see what a small-market specialist like him could do to eliminate the Sox's weak spots (of which there is never a shortage) while maintaining their star base. But that isn't going to happen, it seems.

David Kaiser
 

nvalvo

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Replacement level is 52 wins, so .500 is only $261m.
Right: this is why teams generally can't afford to build a winner out of market-rate Free Agents. Rafael Devers' $/WAR last season was literally 1/100 the FA average, at ~90k. Cody Bellinger might be the top $/WAR player.

I've said this before, but there's a pretty interesting $/WAR argument to be made about the upside to paying players like Trout and Betts.

FA $/WAR has been studied a bunch of times, and — although this may be changing in the most recent seasons — generally it's a linear relationship. Players who project to be worth 1 WAR average out to the average $/WAR, and players who project to be worth 4 WAR average out to the same average $/WAR. In one key respect, this doesn't make sense: teams have limited roster spots (and PA and IP) to dole out, so it is more valuable to have one FA accrue 4 WAR in one roster spot than four FA accruing 4 WAR in four roster spots. But the 4 WAR free agent doesn't get a premium in $/WAR terms. The logic seems clear that he should, but that's not how the market has worked for whatever reason. The $/WAR rate is linear up the scale, from the platoon first basemen to the ace pitchers.

But where this argument breaks down is at the highest of the high end. Mike Trout projects to be worth 9 WAR next season. But his paycheck is comparable, if a bit higher, to players who project to be worth 5-6 WAR: Cole, Rendon, Machado. He "should" be earning 50% more than they do, but he doesn't: contracts don't go that high. So the curve bends the opposite way at the high end.

Betts isn't so rock-solidly projectable to be a top-two player in the game in a given season as Trout. But he's had an 8+ season and a 10+ season in his first six. If healthy, he's a very a good bet to produce enough wins even at 12/$420m to beat the $/WAR average of $9m or whatever — which is what Minneapolis Millers just argued very clearly above. He needs to produce 47 wins to break even at that price, which means averaging 4 WAR over the period of the deal.

The problem is the risk of a lost decade for the club if *knock on wood* he has a Sizemore-type health situation.
 

David Kaiser

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"David, what were Verdugo and Gonsolin worth last year, and what do you see them worth next year? "

Verdugo earned 0.7 WAA in 277 plate appearances which would project out to a little over 1.5 for a full season. Gonsolin wasn't in the majors enough to show meaningful statistics and I have no method for judging minor league performance. If either of them was in any danger of being the next Mookie Betts I'm sure we would know about it.
 
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P'tucket rhymes with...

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The trade of Mookie Betts, in my opinion, will mean the end of the Red Sox as serious contenders for the foreseeable future. Until now John Henry has always been willing to spend his money to make them as competitive as possible (and in fact has wasted a good deal.) Now he is going to give up a certain Hall of Famer to save money. That is not what great organizations do.

Over the past four years, according to the methodology I developed for my book, Baseball Greatness, Betts has 6, 3.9, 8.1, and 5.3 Wins Above Average (WAA). The 8.1 in 2018 ties with Mike Trout in the same year as the highest figures for anyone in the Millennial generation. You need some one with at least 4 WAA every year to win the pennant, as I documented in my book, and Betts is the only player on the Sox who consistently scores over that figure. He can certainly be expected to do so for several more years. And the chances of them getting some one as good in a trade can't be better than 1/100. He's the second-best player in the league and maybe in baseball right now. Without Betts's 5.3 WAA last year the team would have finished below .500. He is certainly not comparable to Fred Lynn, as Dan Shaughnessy suggested months ago. The odds are that he's going to have a better lifetime record than any Red Sox offensive player since Williams except perhaps Boggs and Yaz. He has outperformed Yaz at this age so far.

I agree that baseball's salary structure is out of control and that free agents of Betts' calibre get contracts that will not pay off in the long run because he isn't going to be as good as he is now in 10 years, let's say. But he could still be a star (2-3.9 WAA) then and that gives them a long time to find another superstar. Rather than trade him, Henry should sell the team to some one who still wants to win. For obvious reasons, none of the Globe writers is likely to make that case. I was excited when Chaim Bloom came in because I would love to see what a small-market specialist like him could do to eliminate the Sox's weak spots (of which there is never a shortage) while maintaining their star base. But that isn't going to happen, it seems.

David Kaiser
 

williams_482

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I should note that I dropped Bonds from the sample for obvious reasons, but he's both one of the better comps (same position, same incredibly diverse skillset, better by only 1.7 WAR 21-26) and one of the slam dunk wins in the sample even completely ignoring the Roid Rage years. Bonds had blown past our 46 number as early as 1997, totalling 51.9 WAR from 27 to 32, and got all the way up to 71.3 from 27 to 35, cutting the sample just before his numbers go totally bananas.

So if you want to be sold on a best case with some striking similarities, pre-roid Bonds fits the bill almost perfectly.
 

P'tucket rhymes with...

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The trade of Mookie Betts, in my opinion, will mean the end of the Red Sox as serious contenders for the foreseeable future. Until now John Henry has always been willing to spend his money to make them as competitive as possible (and in fact has wasted a good deal.) Now he is going to give up a certain Hall of Famer to save money. That is not what great organizations do.

I agree that baseball's salary structure is out of control and that free agents of Betts' calibre get contracts that will not pay off in the long run because he isn't going to be as good as he is now in 10 years, let's say. But he could still be a star (2-3.9 WAA) then and that gives them a long time to find another superstar. Rather than trade him, Henry should sell the team to some one who still wants to win. For obvious reasons, none of the Globe writers is likely to make that case. I was excited when Chaim Bloom came in because I would love to see what a small-market specialist like him could do to eliminate the Sox's weak spots (of which there is never a shortage) while maintaining their star base. But that isn't going to happen, it seems.

David Kaiser
Honestly, this entire response reeks of condescension. It's little more than an eloquent tantrum arguing that unless Henry spends out the wazoo to correct past mistakes, he does not "want to win."
 

tims4wins

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Honestly, this entire response reeks of condescension. It's little more than an eloquent tantrum arguing that unless Henry spends out the wazoo to correct past mistakes, he does not "want to win."
I completely agree with this take. 4 titles in the last 15 years after 86 effing years without one, including the greatest season in franchise history... but Henry doesn't want to win. Yeah ok.

Edit: did the Yankees "not want to win" when they were trying to get under the luxury tax threshold, and let a great, homegrown player in Cano sign elsewhere?
 

21st Century Sox

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The trade of Mookie Betts, in my opinion, will mean the end of the Red Sox as serious contenders for the foreseeable future. Until now John Henry has always been willing to spend his money to make them as competitive as possible (and in fact has wasted a good deal.) Now he is going to give up a certain Hall of Famer to save money. That is not what great organizations do.

Over the past four years, according to the methodology I developed for my book, Baseball Greatness, Betts has 6, 3.9, 8.1, and 5.3 Wins Above Average (WAA). The 8.1 in 2018 ties with Mike Trout in the same year as the highest figures for anyone in the Millennial generation. You need some one with at least 4 WAA every year to win the pennant, as I documented in my book, and Betts is the only player on the Sox who consistently scores over that figure. He can certainly be expected to do so for several more years. And the chances of them getting some one as good in a trade can't be better than 1/100. He's the second-best player in the league and maybe in baseball right now. Without Betts's 5.3 WAA last year the team would have finished below .500. He is certainly not comparable to Fred Lynn, as Dan Shaughnessy suggested months ago. The odds are that he's going to have a better lifetime record than any Red Sox offensive player since Williams except perhaps Boggs and Yaz. He has outperformed Yaz at this age so far.

I agree that baseball's salary structure is out of control and that free agents of Betts' calibre get contracts that will not pay off in the long run because he isn't going to be as good as he is now in 10 years, let's say. But he could still be a star (2-3.9 WAA) then and that gives them a long time to find another superstar. Rather than trade him, Henry should sell the team to some one who still wants to win. For obvious reasons, none of the Globe writers is likely to make that case. I was excited when Chaim Bloom came in because I would love to see what a small-market specialist like him could do to eliminate the Sox's weak spots (of which there is never a shortage) while maintaining their star base. But that isn't going to happen, it seems.

David Kaiser
Why is it only a trade that can have someone on the Red Sox be a 4 WAA player? Could there be a FA signing? Could a current player....say like Devers, start to regularly deliver 4WAA?

Also, you are losing me with Henry. Henry ownership has SPENT for years. Let's say we do trade Mookie, let's say other moves are made to get under the cap. Are you saying that once under, you expect the organization to just stay under? History certainly predicts otherwise.
 

Plympton91

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Win above replacement. A replacement-level team starts with a baseline level of wins -- I forget if it's 40 or 50 or whatever, but it's not zero.
So it would be a $360 million payroll just to finish 90-72. The original point stands.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Honestly, this entire response reeks of condescension. It's little more than an eloquent tantrum arguing that unless Henry spends out the wazoo to correct past mistakes, he does not "want to win."
He is going to spend out the wazoo, but it’s not going to be for Mookie. In a year or two, when ratings are down and the Sox need “star power”, he’s going to tell Bloom to spend out of his ass for a free agent.

Who that FA will be, I’m not sure. But I’m pretty sure he won’t be as good as Mookie Betts. So why are we going through this dance?

And like I said in another thread, the Red Sox are the number twoteam in this town. With the Pats dynasty in a sunset and Brady (probably) leaving, It’s not a great business move to get rid of the player that’s arguably the second most popular athlete in town and is one that most fans adore. If the Sox want to reclaim Boston as a baseball town, move one is NOT trading Mookie Betts.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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The trade of Mookie Betts, in my opinion, will mean the end of the Red Sox as serious contenders for the foreseeable future. Until now John Henry has always been willing to spend his money to make them as competitive as possible (and in fact has wasted a good deal.) Now he is going to give up a certain Hall of Famer to save money. That is not what great organizations do.

Over the past four years, according to the methodology I developed for my book, Baseball Greatness, Betts has 6, 3.9, 8.1, and 5.3 Wins Above Average (WAA). The 8.1 in 2018 ties with Mike Trout in the same year as the highest figures for anyone in the Millennial generation. You need some one with at least 4 WAA every year to win the pennant, as I documented in my book, and Betts is the only player on the Sox who consistently scores over that figure. He can certainly be expected to do so for several more years. And the chances of them getting some one as good in a trade can't be better than 1/100. He's the second-best player in the league and maybe in baseball right now. Without Betts's 5.3 WAA last year the team would have finished below .500. He is certainly not comparable to Fred Lynn, as Dan Shaughnessy suggested months ago. The odds are that he's going to have a better lifetime record than any Red Sox offensive player since Williams except perhaps Boggs and Yaz. He has outperformed Yaz at this age so far.

I agree that baseball's salary structure is out of control and that free agents of Betts' calibre get contracts that will not pay off in the long run because he isn't going to be as good as he is now in 10 years, let's say. But he could still be a star (2-3.9 WAA) then and that gives them a long time to find another superstar. Rather than trade him, Henry should sell the team to some one who still wants to win. For obvious reasons, none of the Globe writers is likely to make that case. I was excited when Chaim Bloom came in because I would love to see what a small-market specialist like him could do to eliminate the Sox's weak spots (of which there is never a shortage) while maintaining their star base. But that isn't going to happen, it seems.

David Kaiser
This discussion misses the fact that the Red Sox are only in control of what Mookie does this year.

They can not control anything past that if Mookie wants to be a free agent. Which apparently he does.

The argument seems to be pay him Mike Trout money now. Why? If they want to pay Mike Trout money they will get him next year. The cost of not doing it now is that he doesnt play for the team in 2020 and a risk that he is bluffing and will sign an extension with his new team. The benefit of doing it next year is that they may get a prospect, they may get under the cap so they can add more pieces around him, and they will get another year of information.

It takes two to tango. From all reports, Mookie will only extend for pretty much his best case free agency deal anyway, give or take a few million. What are the Sox supposed to do with that? It sucks, but that makes it easy.

Do people just not believe him? The whole discussion reminds me of the people who keep asking whether Tom Brady will retire before 45 or whether Gronk would return last year.
 

BaseballJones

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It kind of would be "interesting"...

Red Sox, 1903-1918: 5 WS titles
Red Sox, 1920: trades Babe Ruth for financial reasons

Red Sox, 2004-2018: 4 WS titles
Red Sox, 2020: trades Mookie Betts for financial reasons
 

RedOctober3829

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He is going to spend out the wazoo, but it’s not going to be for Mookie. In a year or two, when ratings are down and the Sox need “star power”, he’s going to tell Bloom to spend out of his ass for a free agent.

Who that FA will be, I’m not sure. But I’m pretty sure he won’t be as good as Mookie Betts. So why are we going through this dance?

And like I said in another thread, the Red Sox are the number twoteam in this town. With the Pats dynasty in a sunset and Brady (probably) leaving, It’s not a great business move to get rid of the player that’s arguably the second most popular athlete in town and is one that most fans adore. If the Sox want to reclaim Boston as a baseball town, move one is NOT trading Mookie Betts.
The dance is getting under the luxury tax threshold and it's an important one. According to Cot's they are about $8,000 from incuring a 62% tax(50% plus the 12% surtax for being more than $20 million over). Any team that has lived above it like the Red Sox have had to reset the tax and then they are able to spend more with less penalty. They will spend money again and it's not because of "ratings". The FA class after the 2021 season could include players like Lindor, Yelich, Arenado, Stanton, Freeman, Blackmon, Carlos Martinez, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Syndergaard, Corey Seager, and Carlos Correa. Get under the tax for one season and they will be able to spend again.

I hate that they have to do this, but it's necessary if they don't want to hamstring themselves in luxury taxes for years to come. No big salaries are scheduled to come off the books until after the 2022 season so if you don't do it now you risk not being able to add to the team for a while.
 

P'tucket rhymes with...

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He is going to spend out the wazoo, but it’s not going to be for Mookie. In a year or two, when ratings are down and the Sox need “star power”, he’s going to tell Bloom to spend out of his ass for a free agent.

Who that FA will be, I’m not sure. But I’m pretty sure he won’t be as good as Mookie Betts. So why are we going through this dance?

And like I said in another thread, the Red Sox are the number twoteam in this town. With the Pats dynasty in a sunset and Brady (probably) leaving, It’s not a great business move to get rid of the player that’s arguably the second most popular athlete in town and is one that most fans adore. If the Sox want to reclaim Boston as a baseball town, move one is NOT trading Mookie Betts.
That's fair, but there's spending out the wazoo and then there's spending out the wazoo. Even if they offload Mookie this year, JH is spending out the wazoo because they're still going to be up against the edge of the tax threshold, and the reset (ASSUMPTION WARNING) is so that they can continue spending well over the threshold next year--and who knows, maybe it's Mookie they spend it on. There's no evidence to suggest that the ownership group has plans to cheap out in the future.

I suppose there's an argument that they should back up the truck and make a Godfather offer now (or keep him this year and make the Godfather offer next year), which implicitly means the luxury tax should not be a factor in their decision making. I just don't see the point in going down that road, since it ignores the reality of the situation. And arguing that the ownership group is not committed to winning because they won't do that is logically flawed and ignores history.
 

JCizzle

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The dance is getting under the luxury tax threshold and it's an important one. According to Cot's they are about $8,000 from incuring a 62% tax(50% plus the 12% surtax for being more than $20 million over). Any team that has lived above it like the Red Sox have had to reset the tax and then they are able to spend more with less penalty. They will spend money again and it's not because of "ratings". The FA class after the 2021 season could include players like Lindor, Yelich, Arenado, Stanton, Freeman, Blackmon, Carlos Martinez, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Syndergaard, Corey Seager, and Carlos Correa. Get under the tax for one season and they will be able to spend again.

I hate that they have to do this, but it's necessary if they don't want to hamstring themselves in luxury taxes for years to come. No big salaries are scheduled to come off the books until after the 2022 season so if you don't do it now you risk not being able to add to the team for a while.
It's just incredibly frustrating that they're in the position of needing to trade the second best player in baseball because they were short-sighted and signed Eovaldi and Sale to those deals. I understand the reality of the situation they're in now, but they should have known better than to put themselves in this position. Losing the pleasure of watching Mookie play in order to enjoy those guys on the DL from June to August is a tough pill to swallow. I'll always respect the hell out of those guys for winning us a ring, but not at the long-term expense of losing Mookie.
 

E5 Yaz

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I was excited when Chaim Bloom came in because I would love to see what a small-market specialist like him could do to eliminate the Sox's weak spots (of which there is never a shortage) while maintaining their star base. But that isn't going to happen, it seems.
We haven't even gone through a full off-season yet. Bloom's impact on how the Red Sox will operate under his "small-market specialist" philosophy can't possibly be determined for at least 2-3 years.
 

RedOctober3829

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It's just incredibly frustrating that they're in the position of needing to trade the second best player in baseball because they were short-sighted and signed Eovaldi and Sale to those deals. I understand the reality of the situation they're in now, but they should have known better than to put themselves in this position. Losing the pleasure of watching Mookie play in order to enjoy those guys on the DL from June to August is a tough pill to swallow. I'll always respect the hell out of those guys for winning us a ring, but not at the long-term expense of losing Mookie.
This time last year, would you have complained that Henry "didn't want to win" or were short-sighted for letting Sale go? At the time, the deal was lauded as a steal for one of the best pitchers in the game and that he took less to stay in Boston. Eovaldi I get the revisionist history, but they had to sign Sale.
 

David Kaiser

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Certainly for much of his tenure as owner John Henry wanted to win very badly and spent whatever he had to to do so. I'm saying the decision to trade Betts indicates that that era is over. Why, I can only speculate. Henry isn't getting any younger. More importantly, he now owns Liverpool, which is the biggest soccer club in the world right now, which means it's the biggest sports team in the world right now. I don't know how owning Liverpool is affecting his finances, but it's certainly providing him with more year in, year out excitement and adulation than the Red Sox are, so, he might be feeling, why should a dump tens of millions on the Sox every year now? I don't see how the Sox are going to compete with the Yankees and especially the Astros without Betts.
 

E5 Yaz

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Certainly for much of his tenure as owner John Henry wanted to win very badly and spent whatever he had to to do so. I'm saying the decision to trade Betts indicates that that era is over. Why, I can only speculate. Henry isn't getting any younger. More importantly, he now owns Liverpool, which is the biggest soccer club in the world right now, which means it's the biggest sports team in the world right now. I don't know how owning Liverpool is affecting his finances, but it's certainly providing him with more year in, year out excitement and adulation than the Red Sox are, so, he might be feeling, why should a dump tens of millions on the Sox every year now? I don't see how the Sox are going to compete with the Yankees and especially the Astros without Betts.
He bought Liverpool in 2010. They have won two World Series since, and signed multiple players to big contracts.
 

RedOctober3829

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Certainly for much of his tenure as owner John Henry wanted to win very badly and spent whatever he had to to do so. I'm saying the decision to trade Betts indicates that that era is over. Why, I can only speculate. Henry isn't getting any younger. More importantly, he now owns Liverpool, which is the biggest soccer club in the world right now, which means it's the biggest sports team in the world right now. I don't know how owning Liverpool is affecting his finances, but it's certainly providing him with more year in, year out excitement and adulation than the Red Sox are, so, he might be feeling, why should a dump tens of millions on the Sox every year now? I don't see how the Sox are going to compete with the Yankees and especially the Astros without Betts.
Why do you think he will suddenly turn the Red Sox into a mid-market team? Don't make it out to be more than this is which is a 1-year reset of the luxury tax and then they'll spend over the tax again. Christ, people are getting mad at Henry for "not spending" when the payroll is still going to be over $200 million even if they trade Betts.
 

jon abbey

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No team in MLB has spent over the top tax limit under the new CBA except BOS in 2018 (and looking like NYY in 2020). Either all 30 owners are 'cheap' or the non-financial punitive penalties for being over the tax lines are more impactful than most fans seem to want to understand/admit.
 

patoaflac

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Certainly for much of his tenure as owner John Henry wanted to win very badly and spent whatever he had to to do so. I'm saying the decision to trade Betts indicates that that era is over. Why, I can only speculate. Henry isn't getting any younger. More importantly, he now owns Liverpool, which is the biggest soccer club in the world right now, which means it's the biggest sports team in the world right now. I don't know how owning Liverpool is affecting his finances, but it's certainly providing him with more year in, year out excitement and adulation than the Red Sox are, so, he might be feeling, why should a dump tens of millions on the Sox every year now? I don't see how the Sox are going to compete with the Yankees and especially the Astros without Betts.
Liverpool won the Champions tournament, but it is not the biggest soccer club in the world. Even in England it’s value is behind other teams. https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikeozanian/2019/05/29/the-worlds-most-valuable-soccer-teams-2019/#689d1e1740d6
Regarding the Sox I find it difficult to criticize Henry for what he is done. Besides, I don’t understand why some of you do not understand how good and rich baseball teams operate the LT. Maybe the Sox won’t compete with the MFY and the Astros for the next 3 years, but how many WS titles do these teams have in this century?
Trading Betts, Price and also JBJ (really don’t know why they gave him 11million) will be good for the future of this franchise.
 

nvalvo

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So it would be a $360 million payroll just to finish 90-72. The original point stands.
We've been through this merry-go-round like seven times: the original point does not stand, or rather, it's uninterestingly true. All it means is that you can't build a winner through free agency alone, and that to build a team that can win sustainably (as opposed to a 2013 Red Sox-style fluke) you need to get a lot of value from players you've developed, either by playing them or through trade. I think it's safe to say that we knew that already.

The more interesting question is whether it makes sense to allocate the FA portion of a budget to a handful of huge contracts for players we hope will be superstars, filling in around them with pre-Arb and Arb players. Are we a better team with Mookie Betts for $35m AAV and a couple young players making the minimum, or with a $15m AAV FA and two $12m AAV FAs? Each scenario comes with different kinds of risk. We have to make a huge decade-long commitment to Betts, which carries a ton of health risk, but perhaps less performance risk (at least in one roster spot: this also how you end up with Jose Peraza, starting second baseman) than spreading the money around to lower-tier FAs whom we can acquire with shorter commitments.

If we are going to spend, say, $150m on FA, filling in around them with cheaper players, how many players should we try to include? Right now, we have ~$130m in AAV committed to Price (31), Sale (26), Bogaerts (20), JDM (21), Eovaldi (17), and Pedroia (14). In the best realistic scenario, I imagine we get 20 WAR from that group in 2020: 3 from Price, 5 from Sale, 6 from Bogaerts, 4 from JDM, 2 from Eovaldi, and 0 from Pedroia. A worse realistic scenario would be closer to 12 wins, and of course we could imagine some real disasters [*knocks wood*]. Would a $35m AAV to Betts help us improve that ROI or hurt it?