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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IpswichSox

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Any David Kaiser post.
I do criticize Henry for a seemingly zig-zagging philosophy when it comes to baseball operations over the last 15 years. That's been hard to keep up with and understand.

But I would never criticize Henry for a lack of commitment to the team or unwillingness to spend on the team. That's absurd and easily disproved by even a causal review of the facts.

Long live John Henry!
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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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.
The problem with that list is that a bunch of those players, while good, are at positions that the Red Sox don't need to fill (unless there's a huge problem):

Lindor, Seager and Correa are shortstops, we have a really good one who signed a long-term deal last year.
Arenado and Bryant play the same position as Rafael Devers, who's pretty good himself.
Yelich's contract runs through the 2022 season, and that's his year 30-season. BTW, his similarity score on bbref is Mookie, so why not keep the guy you have?
Stanton has an option, but if he does well, I don't see the Yankees letting him leave. If he does poorly, why would we want him. Plus that is his year 30 season, and he's already snake-bitten enough. I don't think his body type ages well.
Blackmon has a player option after the 2022 season, when he'll be in his year 35 season. No thanks.
Martinez is signed through 2023 with two team options.
Baez, I'm not big on him, but I could be talked into him. But not at Mookie money. Plus, he's a free agent after the 2020 season and it looks like he might be the best of the bunch, do you want to get into a bidding war over Javy Baez?
Sydergaard is pretty good, no doubt. I'd be okay with him.

So out of that list, I'd realistically be happy with one of those players. The others are either superfluous or old or are fine. Would you swap Mookie for Thor? I don't think that I would, TBH.

As far as your bolded, there are other players that you can trade so that you don't end up in luxury tax jail. It seems to me that Bloom is probably running into a brick wall trying to trade Price and Eovaldi and JBJ, but I don't think that it makes a lot of sense to trade Mookie, get under the tax threshold and then sign someone 75% of his worth but at an inflated price. That's how we got into this mess in the first place. The Sox aren't great about finding a lane and staying in it, which makes them interesting but also infuriating.

Twelve months ago, it was damn the torpedos, sign everyone, who gives a shit about the luxury tax threshold! Now it's, whoa, whoa, whoa. What is this all about? We NEED to get under the luxury tax threshold otherwise, Mr. Henry will have to sell his 43rd yacht! (Hyperbole, but bare with me). In 2012, we had to dump all of salary on the Dodgers, build from within and sign smart free agents. Which we did and we won a World Series. BUT a season later, there's no sizzle to this steak. We need to sign Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval and David Price.

I don't know about you, but I'm getting whiplash.

If you want to be cheap, be cheap. If you want to spend like a drunken sailor, spend like a drunken sailor. I don't care, just please be consistent. And for god's sakes, when you're in the middle of your manic phases, the answer isn't getting rid of the best player that your organization has developed since 1961. JFC, these guys don't come around every single year.

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.
They did not have to sign Chris Sale. I like Chris Sale a bunch, but one of the things that I don't like about Chris Sale is how he fades in August and September. He's done that for the last three years that he's been a member of the Red Sox. And the 2018 season, he was babied and he still didn't pitch great in the post season. Chris Sale is the type of player that you don't commit long-term to. Would I have been pissed if Sale walked? Maybe for a day or two. But I mean, Chris Sale is signed through his age 36 season. Those last few years are going to be rough.

To frame it another way, I expect Chris Sale to spend more time on the DL than I do 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.
Snark aside (from above) I've come down from the ledge that John Henry is cheap. He isn't cheap, obviously. He's spent a lot of money on the Red Sox and Fenway Park, but I'd argue that he's also reaped his investment many times over. Henry isn't stupid. But, like I've said, Henry has a way of going down one road (we're going to be frugal!) and then doubling back and going down the opposite road, lavishing money on the wrong players. I don't think that Mookie is the wrong player, YMMV, but to me, he seems like a guy that you sign at most costs. Because they're going to sign someone in the next two or three years, and it could be a lot worse.

All that being said, I think that Mookie is probably going to be traded and I think that this could all have been avoided. That's what's so frustrating about this entire offseason. AND even if they keep Mookie, I don't see the Sox doing much this year. Especially since they don't really have a second baseman and they haven't done anything to address the bullpen. IDK, maybe you just blow up the entire year, trade every one with a pulse, hope that people don't mind a few bridge years and stick to one road.
 

Cesar Crespo

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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.
Every team in baseball would have jumped on a 29 year old Chris Sale at 5/145. The deal may not end up the way we wanted it to but it was worth the risk. Eovaldi I agree with you. Signing Betts will also put them in a position where they'll have to let go of some players you don't want them to. In a world where FA get $9 mil/WAR, it's impossible to keep all your own guys. The Sox got lucky in that they had a bunch of top prospects all at once and a very high % of them happened to develop into pretty good baseball players. The bad side of that luck is you now have to pay them all, and you can't.

The thing I fear is the Sox signing Betts to 12/420 and soon after, a new CBA comes out shorting team control to 4 years and players reaching arbitration after 2. If players like Devers and Benintendi are getting paid what they deserve, Betts isn't getting close to $40 million a year.
 

sean1562

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I think they may have expected Benintendi to become more than a league average player. If Andrew replicates last season this season, is he really the long term answer in LF?
 

jon abbey

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Every team in baseball would have jumped on a 29 year old Chris Sale at 5/145.
Whether this was the right move for BOS at the time can be debated, but the above statement is absurd hyperbole. The majority of MLB teams have never signed anyone to a $145M deal, and the majority of them absolutely would not have signed this deal, regardless of whether it was a solid value or not.
 

tims4wins

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Whether this was the right move for BOS at the time can be debated, but the above statement is absurd hyperbole. The majority of MLB teams have never signed anyone to a $145M deal, and the majority of them absolutely would not have signed this deal, regardless of whether it was a solid value or not.
Right. 2-3 years ago I would bet nearly every team would have wanted 29 YO Sale at those terms. But as of when they signed the deal? I’d bet less than 1/3 of teams would have done it.
 

E5 Yaz

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Whether this was the right move for BOS at the time can be debated, but the above statement is absurd hyperbole. The majority of MLB teams have never signed anyone to a $145M deal, and the majority of them absolutely would not have signed this deal, regardless of whether it was a solid value or not.
Any post that claims "Every team in baseball ..." would have done something should be dismissed immediately
 

Cesar Crespo

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Whether this was the right move for BOS at the time can be debated, but the above statement is absurd hyperbole. The majority of MLB teams have never signed anyone to a $145M deal, and the majority of them absolutely would not have signed this deal, regardless of whether it was a solid value or not.
Didn't think anyone would take it 100% literally but obviously teams like the Orioles aren't signing him. I wouldn't call it short sighted though. I'm sure if Chris Sale was a FA after 2018, he would have beat 5/145. A year later, he wouldn't.

Mostly because it's 5 years but looking more into it, it's more like a 6 year commitment which makes it a bit worse.
 

BaseballJones

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The Sale signing *at the time it was signed* was....a terrible decision. And most of us here recognized that in the moment. We were happy to have him but we all thought...holy crap that's a lot of money for a guy who didn't last the year. We all saw red or at least big yellow flags with Sale the previous year, and he still had another year under contract. I think most of us saw right away that this could (and might very likely) be a major problem for them in the not-too-distant future.
 

Cesar Crespo

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The Sale signing *at the time it was signed* was....a terrible decision. And most of us here recognized that in the moment. We were happy to have him but we all thought...holy crap that's a lot of money for a guy who didn't last the year. We all saw red or at least big yellow flags with Sale the previous year, and he still had another year under contract. I think most of us saw right away that this could (and might very likely) be a major problem for them in the not-too-distant future.
https://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?threads/rosenthal-sale-extension-5-years-145-million.26631/

You didn't even give an opinion on the signing.
 

Max Power

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The thing I fear is the Sox signing Betts to 12/420 and soon after, a new CBA comes out shorting team control to 4 years and players reaching arbitration after 2. If players like Devers and Benintendi are getting paid what they deserve, Betts isn't getting close to $40 million a year.
I was thinking the same thing right up until this offseason. Suddenly the owners are throwing around $30 million a year contracts to whoever wants one. I can't imagine you'd give Anthony Rendon $35 million a year if you thought the basic economics of the game were changing any time soon.
 

Patek's 3 Dingers

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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.
I don't believe you understand the nuance of Don Corleone's "offer he can't refuse". The one he made to Jack Woltz included having Woltz wake up with his expensive horse's head in his bed.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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“Soccer is more exciting than baseball”.

i am going to let that one sink in a minute.
.
.
.

I think if JWH was looking for exciting sports, he wouldn’t be looking at soccer. Or baseball.
Yeah, maybe he should consider something like NASCAR...

Back to JWH‘s commitment, I understand those who are confused by the lack of a clear and consistent approach, but hey, 4 titles suggests that a one-approach-fits-all philosophy maybe isn’t the best way to go.
 

RedOctober3829

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The problem with that list is that a bunch of those players, while good, are at positions that the Red Sox don't need to fill (unless there's a huge problem):

Lindor, Seager and Correa are shortstops, we have a really good one who signed a long-term deal last year.
Arenado and Bryant play the same position as Rafael Devers, who's pretty good himself.
Yelich's contract runs through the 2022 season, and that's his year 30-season. BTW, his similarity score on bbref is Mookie, so why not keep the guy you have?
Stanton has an option, but if he does well, I don't see the Yankees letting him leave. If he does poorly, why would we want him. Plus that is his year 30 season, and he's already snake-bitten enough. I don't think his body type ages well.
Blackmon has a player option after the 2022 season, when he'll be in his year 35 season. No thanks.
Martinez is signed through 2023 with two team options.
Baez, I'm not big on him, but I could be talked into him. But not at Mookie money. Plus, he's a free agent after the 2020 season and it looks like he might be the best of the bunch, do you want to get into a bidding war over Javy Baez?
Sydergaard is pretty good, no doubt. I'd be okay with him.

So out of that list, I'd realistically be happy with one of those players. The others are either superfluous or old or are fine. Would you swap Mookie for Thor? I don't think that I would, TBH.

As far as your bolded, there are other players that you can trade so that you don't end up in luxury tax jail. It seems to me that Bloom is probably running into a brick wall trying to trade Price and Eovaldi and JBJ, but I don't think that it makes a lot of sense to trade Mookie, get under the tax threshold and then sign someone 75% of his worth but at an inflated price. That's how we got into this mess in the first place. The Sox aren't great about finding a lane and staying in it, which makes them interesting but also infuriating.

Twelve months ago, it was damn the torpedos, sign everyone, who gives a shit about the luxury tax threshold! Now it's, whoa, whoa, whoa. What is this all about? We NEED to get under the luxury tax threshold otherwise, Mr. Henry will have to sell his 43rd yacht! (Hyperbole, but bare with me). In 2012, we had to dump all of salary on the Dodgers, build from within and sign smart free agents. Which we did and we won a World Series. BUT a season later, there's no sizzle to this steak. We need to sign Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval and David Price.

I don't know about you, but I'm getting whiplash.

If you want to be cheap, be cheap. If you want to spend like a drunken sailor, spend like a drunken sailor. I don't care, just please be consistent. And for god's sakes, when you're in the middle of your manic phases, the answer isn't getting rid of the best player that your organization has developed since 1961. JFC, these guys don't come around every single year.



They did not have to sign Chris Sale. I like Chris Sale a bunch, but one of the things that I don't like about Chris Sale is how he fades in August and September. He's done that for the last three years that he's been a member of the Red Sox. And the 2018 season, he was babied and he still didn't pitch great in the post season. Chris Sale is the type of player that you don't commit long-term to. Would I have been pissed if Sale walked? Maybe for a day or two. But I mean, Chris Sale is signed through his age 36 season. Those last few years are going to be rough.

To frame it another way, I expect Chris Sale to spend more time on the DL than I do Mookie Betts.



Snark aside (from above) I've come down from the ledge that John Henry is cheap. He isn't cheap, obviously. He's spent a lot of money on the Red Sox and Fenway Park, but I'd argue that he's also reaped his investment many times over. Henry isn't stupid. But, like I've said, Henry has a way of going down one road (we're going to be frugal!) and then doubling back and going down the opposite road, lavishing money on the wrong players. I don't think that Mookie is the wrong player, YMMV, but to me, he seems like a guy that you sign at most costs. Because they're going to sign someone in the next two or three years, and it could be a lot worse.

All that being said, I think that Mookie is probably going to be traded and I think that this could all have been avoided. That's what's so frustrating about this entire offseason. AND even if they keep Mookie, I don't see the Sox doing much this year. Especially since they don't really have a second baseman and they haven't done anything to address the bullpen. IDK, maybe you just blow up the entire year, trade every one with a pulse, hope that people don't mind a few bridge years and stick to one road.
You could move Devers to 1st and play Arenado at 3rd or sign Bryant to play 1st. All of the above are better defensive SS than Xander and could move Bogaerts back to 3rd base where he was less terrible in the field in the short time he played it albeit 5 years ago. My overall point is that while I'm not happy that this is where they are that it's not going to signal that they are all of a sudden not going to contend for the next 5 years or anything like that. There will be players on the market(some that aren't foreseen ala Stanton a couple years ago and Arenado this year) that will make the Red Sox a better team. I love Betts, but signing him to a 10-12 year deal to take him to his late 30's is a huge risk as well. Your last paragraph is why they should trade Betts. Even with him, are they going to win 95 games and contend for a playoff spot? Maybe, maybe not. But financially, getting some cost controlled young pieces back for him is the right play. I was sign Betts at all costs earlier in the offseason and my posts reflect that. But after taking some time to reflect on some of the reasons why to do it it just made sense.

I will agree with you on JBJ. I would have rather had Bloom non-tender him and save that $11 million. That would have helped as well.
 

Ale Xander

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“Soccer is more exciting than baseball”.

i am going to let that one sink in a minute.

.

.

.

I think if JWH was looking for exciting sports, he wouldn’t be looking at soccer. Or baseball.
I think the argument is 1 stoppage v. 16 or 17
 

In my lifetime

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I didn't post in that thread at the time. Doesn't mean I didn't have issues with it. Most of the threads that exist in SOSH I don't post in. But it's not about me. Seemed like most SOSH people were wary of the signing.
I know there have been many now critical of the Sale signing. Personally, at the time, I thought it was a great signing for the RS at a very fair price. So I looked back to review other's thoughts in the 1st week of the signing specifically as it refers to money spent in the thread. This is by no means scientific, but BaseballJones was one of two people who had what I refer to as a neutral outlook. Opposed to 17 who had a very positive. I could not find a single negative response to the signing. Of course, I am sure that changed as Spring training progressed, but all these posters who claim the Sale deal was unwise are viewing it in hindsight.

So maybe I will be wrong twice
Sale's deal at the time I thought was a very team-friendly deal.
Betts - 12 yrs at 420 M is excessive in my opinion and is unlikely to be a worthwhile contract (then again if as reported this is his ask, we might assume he would sign for something less). 10/350 or 12/370 is the absolute most I think the RS should consider. At this point, I think he is gone and depending on the return, a trade would be a good move for the RS. Since he has stated repeatedly for years that he was planning on testing the free agent market, nothing is preventing the RS from being top bidder next year. In that case, they would have sacrificed 1 year of Betts, while gaining 27 million + whatever return he brings + saving 50% on at least the first year of his contract and likely 30% and 20% thereafter after the luxury tax reset. To me it just makes a lot of sense to trade him before the season starts. Then see how things play out in next year's free agent market.
 

BaseballJones

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I know there have been many now critical of the Sale signing. Personally, at the time, I thought it was a great signing for the RS at a very fair price. So I looked back to review other's thoughts in the 1st week of the signing specifically as it refers to money spent in the thread. This is by no means scientific, but BaseballJones was one of two people who had what I refer to as a neutral outlook. Opposed to 17 who had a very positive. I could not find a single negative response to the signing. Of course, I am sure that changed as Spring training progressed, but all these posters who claim the Sale deal was unwise are viewing it in hindsight.

So maybe I will be wrong twice
Sale's deal at the time I thought was a very team-friendly deal.
Betts - 12 yrs at 420 M is excessive in my opinion and is unlikely to be a worthwhile contract (then again if as reported this is his ask, we might assume he would sign for something less). 10/350 or 12/370 is the absolute most I think the RS should consider. At this point, I think he is gone and depending on the return, a trade would be a good move for the RS. Since he has stated repeatedly for years that he was planning on testing the free agent market, nothing is preventing the RS from being top bidder next year. In that case, they would have sacrificed 1 year of Betts, while gaining 27 million + whatever return he brings + saving 50% on at least the first year of his contract and likely 30% and 20% thereafter after the luxury tax reset. To me it just makes a lot of sense to trade him before the season starts. Then see how things play out in next year's free agent market.
Ok maybe I'm totally misremembering - entirely possible. I thought we all loved Sale, but that a lot of people felt like...(1) why this much money now, and (2) wary of this given how he didn't really finish the previous season strong or healthy.

But yeah, maybe I'm totally wrong and everyone was positive.
 

nvalvo

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That thread was pretty exuberant, largely because of how affordable the deal turned out to be, but a bunch of the others had concerns that a Sale that was willing to sign a reasonable extension was a Sale worried about his shoulder.
 

Plympton91

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The Sale signing *at the time it was signed* was....a terrible decision. And most of us here recognized that in the moment. We were happy to have him but we all thought...holy crap that's a lot of money for a guy who didn't last the year. We all saw red or at least big yellow flags with Sale the previous year, and he still had another year under contract. I think most of us saw right away that this could (and might very likely) be a major problem for them in the not-too-distant future.
this^

signing Chris Sale last winter to a $29 million a year extension was a gigantic, completely unnecessary risk.

I am shocked that Henry agreed to it. But when it blew up, I would not be surprised if Henry reconsidered and fired Dombrowski solely for his role in pushing for the signing.
 

nighthob

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Trading Betts, Price and also JBJ (really don’t know why they gave him 11million) will be good for the future of this franchise.
Because if Bradley is smacking the ball around this July he’ll be a valuable trade chip at the deadline due to his smallish remaining salary. It’s a low risk wager to add talent to the minor league system.

One thing that Cashman has been good at in New York is selling off surplus prospects for toolsy A ball guys. Tampa similarly has en entire organizational philosophy of selling off guys after four or five seasons for more prospects to add to their pipeline. Boston is getting on that train now.

I will hate seeing Betts play for another team and hate it even more when he’s enshrined in Cooperstown as a Dodger. But I understand, you can’t build a team around FA acquisitions because the WAR cost is just too frigging high and the escalating penalties make it too hard to maintain a developmental pipeline.
 

moondog80

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So it would be a $360 million payroll just to finish 90-72. The original point stands.
No, because that is the cost of a win in free agency. There's also cost-controlled talent, which -- obviously -- is the most valuable thing in the game.
 

Cesar Crespo

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No, because that is the cost of a win in free agency. There's also cost-controlled talent, which -- obviously -- is the most valuable thing in the game.
Is there any data on the cost of $ per 1 WAR on re-signing guys? I'd guess it's considerably lower than $9 million but if a guy isn't willing to re-sign, it doesn't matter much. Bogaerts is amazing value at $20 million a year. I think in a system where players get paid what they are worth, Betts is worth around his arbitration figure of $27 million. I know that's going to get some push back but this assumes guys like Benny and Devers would be getting paid $10-12 mil this season. Benny as a year 4 player and in year 2 of arbitration and Devers a 3 year player in year 1 of arbitration. In an ideal world, Mookie would have been paid peanuts in 2014, 15 and 16 (14 being half a year, I'm not sure what to do about that issue), $15 million in 2017, $20 million in 2018 and a FA going into 2019.

FA is weird because it's pretty clear when you do the math, $9 mil per 1 WAR is a terrible investment. I think the limited roster spots argument only goes so far because they also have limited resources. Paying Mookie may mean going cheap at another position or two. Having a 6-7 WAR player isn't all that beneficial when it causes you to field 1.5-2 WAR players at other positions because you can't afford to field a team.

I get there are reasons beyond JD Martinez for this, but I think most people would be happy to trade him and he's most likely going to offer surplus value. He could have a 2.5 WAR season in 2020, opt in both years and not play a game and still be worth his $9 mil per WAR. I don't really know how to articulate what I want to say but the game's finances are so ridiculously broken. Most of the time, FA is a losing proposition even if it ends up well. Can anyone here say with a straight face that JD Martinez could miss the next 2 years and that would be ok because the Redsox got 1 WAR per $9 million? Pedroia was worth his contract in 3 seasons. I think most people would now consider that contract a bad deal even though at the time it was a complete steal. Imagine if he didn't sign a hometown discount? I'm pretty sure he could have gotten a considerably bigger contract.

I also think there are some people who would be on board with trading JD Martinez even if finances really weren't that much of an issue, or at least wouldn't be extremely opposed to the idea depending on the return. If finances weren't an issue, I don't think anyone would be on board with trading Mookie Betts unless the return was Mike Trout.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Lindor, Seager and Correa are shortstops, we have a really good one who signed a long-term deal last year.
Arenado and Bryant play the same position as Rafael Devers, who's pretty good himself.
Yelich's contract runs through the 2022 season, and that's his year 30-season. BTW, his similarity score on bbref is Mookie, so why not keep the guy you have?
Stanton has an option, but if he does well, I don't see the Yankees letting him leave. If he does poorly, why would we want him. Plus that is his year 30 season, and he's already snake-bitten enough. I don't think his body type ages well.
Blackmon has a player option after the 2022 season, when he'll be in his year 35 season. No thanks.
Martinez is signed through 2023 with two team options.
Baez, I'm not big on him, but I could be talked into him. But not at Mookie money. Plus, he's a free agent after the 2020 season and it looks like he might be the best of the bunch, do you want to get into a bidding war over Javy Baez?
Sydergaard is pretty good, no doubt. I'd be okay with him.
@RedOctober3829 addressed how Arenado or Bryant might fit. As to the reason you go after Yelich after sending away Mookie, it’d be because in 2022 when you could make a move for Yelich, you’d have reset the cap and could build a better team around the core.

I‘m increasingly getting used to the idea of taking a reset year in 2020. The Sox won the WS in 2018...I’m cool giving them a coup,e years to reload and prep for the “Devers in his prime” run. Wasn’t interested in the Padres offer, but the reported Dodgers prospect has some legit prospects.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
Apr 12, 2001
20,557
@RedOctober3829 addressed how Arenado or Bryant might fit. As to the reason you go after Yelich after sending away Mookie, it’d be because in 2022 when you could make a move for Yelich, you’d have reset the cap and could build a better team around the core.

I‘m increasingly getting used to the idea of taking a reset year in 2020. The Sox won the WS in 2018...I’m cool giving them a coup,e years to reload and prep for the “Devers in his prime” run. Wasn’t interested in the Padres offer, but the reported Dodgers prospect has some legit prospects.
The problem with that solution is that you already have very good players playing at positions that don’t need fixing. But you’re still stuck with a Mookie-sized home in right field.

The delta between Bogaerts and Lindor/Correa isn’t great, but you’ll end up paying a lot to improve very little. Bryant/Arenado to Devers is more now, but what’s that gap like in two years when Devers is still ascending and the other two are declining?

I know that we think that these guys are fungible and plug and play, but many times, they aren’t. Is it coincidence that Bogaerts declined a bit when he spent most of the year at third when Stephen Drew returned? If you sign a SS thenyou’re moving two players around the infield.

I could be making a bigger deal than this is worth, but baseball players are a persnickety lot and don’t like to be moved around when a new comet shows up.

Put it this way, when Betts moves, Bogaerts will probably be the face of the franchise. He deserves it, he’s been part of two WS winners, he signed a deal beneficial to the team and now is being told to vacate his position because a new guy is coming along. How does that look?

All I’m saying is that Bogaerts wears number two for a reason. How did Jeter react when ARod came to town? I’m not saying that Bogaerts is selfish but he’s human and I’m not sure he’ll dig playing third. And with his resume, I wouldn’t blame him.
 

Savin Hillbilly

loves the secret sauce
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Jul 10, 2007
18,781
The wrong side of the bridge....
The problem with that solution is that you already have very good players playing at positions that don’t need fixing. But you’re still stuck with a Mookie-sized home in right field.

The delta between Bogaerts and Lindor/Correa isn’t great, but you’ll end up paying a lot to improve very little. Bryant/Arenado to Devers is more now, but what’s that gap like in two years when Devers is still ascending and the other two are declining?

I know that we think that these guys are fungible and plug and play, but many times, they aren’t. Is it coincidence that Bogaerts declined a bit when he spent most of the year at third when Stephen Drew returned? If you sign a SS thenyou’re moving two players around the infield.

I could be making a bigger deal than this is worth, but baseball players are a persnickety lot and don’t like to be moved around when a new comet shows up.

Put it this way, when Betts moves, Bogaerts will probably be the face of the franchise. He deserves it, he’s been part of two WS winners, he signed a deal beneficial to the team and now is being told to vacate his position because a new guy is coming along. How does that look?

All I’m saying is that Bogaerts wears number two for a reason. How did Jeter react when ARod came to town? I’m not saying that Bogaerts is selfish but he’s human and I’m not sure he’ll dig playing third. And with his resume, I wouldn’t blame him.
This argument assumes that Bogaerts "vacating his position" is not already a foregone conclusion, with the only questions being "when," "for whom," and "to where".

Bogaerts is, at best, a fringe-average defensive shortstop. And at 27, with six seasons under his belt, he's not likely to get better. He can carry his weight at the position for a few more years, but I seriously doubt he'll still be there by 2023, let alone finishing his contract there.

Meanwhile, as you point out, we have a gaping hole (or rather, two holes) emerging in the outfield.

Put those two things together, and the solution seems obvious. I have thought almost from day one, watching him play, that Bogaerts' ultimate destiny is in the outfield. The current situation makes that seem like an obvious move. Certainly if the Sox have an opportunity to acquire an All-Star caliber shortstop who's a better defender than Xander, it's a move they shouldn't hesitate to make.
 

Danny_Darwin

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
1,758
The problem with that list is that a bunch of those players, while good, are at positions that the Red Sox don't need to fill (unless there's a huge problem):

Lindor, Seager and Correa are shortstops, we have a really good one who signed a long-term deal last year.
Arenado and Bryant play the same position as Rafael Devers, who's pretty good himself.
Yelich's contract runs through the 2022 season, and that's his year 30-season. BTW, his similarity score on bbref is Mookie, so why not keep the guy you have?
Stanton has an option, but if he does well, I don't see the Yankees letting him leave. If he does poorly, why would we want him. Plus that is his year 30 season, and he's already snake-bitten enough. I don't think his body type ages well.
Blackmon has a player option after the 2022 season, when he'll be in his year 35 season. No thanks.
Martinez is signed through 2023 with two team options.
Baez, I'm not big on him, but I could be talked into him. But not at Mookie money. Plus, he's a free agent after the 2020 season and it looks like he might be the best of the bunch, do you want to get into a bidding war over Javy Baez?
Sydergaard is pretty good, no doubt. I'd be okay with him.
FWIW, Bryant has played a decent amount of outfield. I can't comment on his skill there, but he could probably handle Fenway's LF on a full-time basis. And the Red Sox OF will go from strength to weakness in a hurry once Betts and Bradley depart and they're left with nothing but SoSH non-favorite Andrew Benintendi.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Dec 28, 2000
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Bi-Coastal, for the time being
The problem with that solution is that you already have very good players playing at positions that don’t need fixing. But you’re still stuck with a Mookie-sized home in right field.

The delta between Bogaerts and Lindor/Correa isn’t great, but you’ll end up paying a lot to improve very little. Bryant/Arenado to Devers is more now, but what’s that gap like in two years when Devers is still ascending and the other two are declining?

I know that we think that these guys are fungible and plug and play, but many times, they aren’t. Is it coincidence that Bogaerts declined a bit when he spent most of the year at third when Stephen Drew returned? If you sign a SS thenyou’re moving two players around the infield.

I could be making a bigger deal than this is worth, but baseball players are a persnickety lot and don’t like to be moved around when a new comet shows up.

Put it this way, when Betts moves, Bogaerts will probably be the face of the franchise. He deserves it, he’s been part of two WS winners, he signed a deal beneficial to the team and now is being told to vacate his position because a new guy is coming along. How does that look?

All I’m saying is that Bogaerts wears number two for a reason. How did Jeter react when ARod came to town? I’m not saying that Bogaerts is selfish but he’s human and I’m not sure he’ll dig playing third. And with his resume, I wouldn’t blame him.
I agree with you on Correia/Lindor vs. Bogaerts... I'd put resources other places than "improving" SS. [Unless X raises his hand and volunteers to move to 3B, as he did in favor of Andrelton Simmons for Dutch team in WCS.] At some point I'd expect Bogaerts' game will deteriorate to the point it would hurt the team to continue to run him out at SS, but that's not likely in the next 5 years.

Derek Jeter certainly could've/should've made the move once A-Rod arrived... along the lines of @Savin Hillbilly 's comment above, Jeter almost certainly would've made a great center fielder if he cared more about the team than about himself. Jerk.

But moving Devers to 1B (in favor of Arenado) or Devers or Bryant to 1B certainly seem like they should be on the table to me.
 

sean1562

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Sep 17, 2011
2,909
i think this is probably why Verdugo is such a big part of the trade package. He is Mookie's replacement and then we can spend some money on SP in a year or two. ERod is going to have to be re-signed at some point
 

edoug

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Jul 15, 2005
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How are the Sox getting Arenado or Bryant without giving up Devers?
 

Danny_Darwin

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Jul 19, 2005
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But moving Devers to 1B (in favor of Arenado) or Devers or Bryant to 1B certainly seem like they should be on the table to me.
After all this talk about the barrenness of the farm, you want to block the best prospect they’ve had in years?
 

jon abbey

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Jul 15, 2005
50,989
And by just about the time he is ready, we'll have a DH slot opening up, so blockage should not be an issue even if all goes well.
If JDM has another strong season, good chance he opts out next offseason with only 2/39 remaining on his deal.
 

Dewey'sCannon

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Jul 18, 2005
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Assuming they trade Mookie and Price and get under the tax threshold in 2020, then (as many as speculated) they cn make an offer to Mookie when he's a FA next year. But I think a Plan B could be to go after George Springer, who's also a FA after this year. I hadn't't seen anyone speculate on this option, so thought I'd throw it out there.
 

uncannymanny

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Jan 12, 2007
7,466
Hard to say anything about Astro FA-to-bes right now without at least this full season’s data in the books. One man’s trash can might not be another’s treasure.
 

nvalvo

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Maybe, although he might find a limited number of suitors willing to go 3+ years in that kind of price bracket for a 33-year-old DH, no matter how good a hitter he is.
Maybe. There are reports that the next CBA negotiations may add the DH to the NL, which would open up JD's market considerably.
 

joe dokes

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Jul 18, 2005
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Hard to say anything about Astro FA-to-bes right now without at least this full season’s data in the books. One man’s trash can might not be another’s treasure.
That's an angle I hadn't really thought about -- the impact of Astor-taint on individual FAs.
 

Plympton91

bubble burster
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Oct 19, 2008
12,408
Assuming they trade Mookie and Price and get under the tax threshold in 2020, then (as many as speculated) they cn make an offer to Mookie when he's a FA next year. But I think a Plan B could be to go after George Springer, who's also a FA after this year. I hadn't't seen anyone speculate on this option, so thought I'd throw it out there.
let’s see what happens to his K rate now that he won’t be getting the pitch signaled in advance.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
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Oct 1, 2015
9,451
There is going to be a ton of pressure on the Astros' hitters this year, especially when they're at home. If they see their numbers drop at home this year, everyone is going to be saying that the only reason they've been as good as they've been is because of the illegal sign stealing.
 

JimD

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Nov 29, 2001
7,479
Since the popular narrative of 'They won't pay Mookie his money, but they gave stupid deals to Sale and Eovaldi' is rapidly becoming accepted wisdom among a majority of Sox fans, it’s worth exploring what an alternate history might have looked like.

First, we have to consider the issue of resetting the luxury tax. Some folks do believe that this is a red herring and that John Henry the billionaire should not let artificial limits like this one inhibit his spending. I believe that there is a valid argument that the Red Sox are best served by being a well-run organization, which can mean a. Not giving out $150 million deals to pitchers with injury concerns, while also b. Periodically get the payroll below the threshold (as the Yankees and Dodgers have successfully done) to remove taxes that effectively make every contract they sign more expensive, as well as restrictions that harm their ability to replenish talent through the draft and international player system.

So, in our alternate world, the Red Sox and Mookie’s agents hammered out a deal in early 2019. Let’s say they end up past the midpoint of the reported deals a little closer to Team Mookie’s side, signing a 12 year, $384 million contract. This pays Betts for luxury tax purposes $32 million per year.

In this new timeline, the Red Sox do not sign Nathan Eovaldi to a 4/$68 contract, nor do they extend Chris Sale in 2019. They blew past last season’s actual luxury tax threshold by $35 million, so foregoing Eovaldi doesn’t come close to resetting the tax last year, nor does, say, refusing to sign 2018 postseason hero Steve Pearce to his $6 million deal. There is no way the Sox realistically could have reset the tax in 2019, nor would it have been a good look to do so coming off a record year. How Dave Dombrowski replaced Eovaldi in the rotation can only be guessed at, of course - maybe finds the right guy to sign on a one or two-year make-good deal, but it’s hard to imagine that a 12-win gap with Oakland would have been made up.

(One can also imagine that word eventually gets out that ownership is tying DD’s hands in a desire to get under the cap, which probably evokes a minor sh*tshow in the Boston media about how those cheap owners are failing to take advantage of a championship window.)

Now it’s 2020. Having let an injured Chris Sale walk as well as a theoretical Eovaldi one-year replacement, the Sox drop below the $208 million luxury tax by around $12 million (assuming that no new long-term deals were agreed to beyond those we know of like the Bogaerts extension, etc.). The team now has three rotation spots to fill (including Rick Porcello), so maybe they do spend and wait until 2021 to reset. Now we’re at approximately $150 million compared to a $210 million tax threshold, again before any of those new salary commitments are added. At some point though, you are still looking at having to eventually fill three rotation spots and (after 2020) a full-time outfielder (replacing JBJ), plus presumably spending some money along the way to bring in reinforcements to the bullpen. If the team spends to fill those needs to stay in contention and push the resetting to 2022 or beyond, the player development system is hampered to a greater and greater extent, likely leading to a severe dropoff at some point absent ever higher levels of payroll (and CBT penalties paid).

I believe what this exercise shows is that there is not an easy solution - paying Mookie what he ‘deserves’ and keeping him in Boston for another decade (assuming that he’d agree to) would present major challenges in maximizing the window of championship contention during 2019-2021, assuming that John Henry does require his President/GM to reset the tax threshold at some point. It’s hard to see the Red Sox signing a true ace to head up the rotation to replace Sale or signing top relief pitchers to shore up the bullpen during this time period. In my opinion, I don’t think avoiding the Sale and Eovaldi deals mean that we’d have Mookie long-term *and* a no-doubt, top-tier contender right now - the die was largely cast by Dombrowski in building the 2016-18 team.
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
16,296
Since the popular narrative of 'They won't pay Mookie his money, but they gave stupid deals to Sale and Eovaldi' is rapidly becoming accepted wisdom among a majority of Sox fans, it’s worth exploring what an alternate history might have looked like.

First, we have to consider the issue of resetting the luxury tax. Some folks do believe that this is a red herring and that John Henry the billionaire should not let artificial limits like this one inhibit his spending. I believe that there is a valid argument that the Red Sox are best served by being a well-run organization, which can mean a. Not giving out $150 million deals to pitchers with injury concerns, while also b. Periodically get the payroll below the threshold (as the Yankees and Dodgers have successfully done) to remove taxes that effectively make every contract they sign more expensive, as well as restrictions that harm their ability to replenish talent through the draft and international player system.

So, in our alternate world, the Red Sox and Mookie’s agents hammered out a deal in early 2019. Let’s say they end up past the midpoint of the reported deals a little closer to Team Mookie’s side, signing a 12 year, $384 million contract. This pays Betts for luxury tax purposes $32 million per year.

In this new timeline, the Red Sox do not sign Nathan Eovaldi to a 4/$68 contract, nor do they extend Chris Sale in 2019. They blew past last season’s actual luxury tax threshold by $35 million, so foregoing Eovaldi doesn’t come close to resetting the tax last year, nor does, say, refusing to sign 2018 postseason hero Steve Pearce to his $6 million deal. There is no way the Sox realistically could have reset the tax in 2019, nor would it have been a good look to do so coming off a record year. How Dave Dombrowski replaced Eovaldi in the rotation can only be guessed at, of course - maybe finds the right guy to sign on a one or two-year make-good deal, but it’s hard to imagine that a 12-win gap with Oakland would have been made up.

(One can also imagine that word eventually gets out that ownership is tying DD’s hands in a desire to get under the cap, which probably evokes a minor sh*tshow in the Boston media about how those cheap owners are failing to take advantage of a championship window.)

Now it’s 2020. Having let an injured Chris Sale walk as well as a theoretical Eovaldi one-year replacement, the Sox drop below the $208 million luxury tax by around $12 million (assuming that no new long-term deals were agreed to beyond those we know of like the Bogaerts extension, etc.). The team now has three rotation spots to fill (including Rick Porcello), so maybe they do spend and wait until 2021 to reset. Now we’re at approximately $150 million compared to a $210 million tax threshold, again before any of those new salary commitments are added. At some point though, you are still looking at having to eventually fill three rotation spots and (after 2020) a full-time outfielder (replacing JBJ), plus presumably spending some money along the way to bring in reinforcements to the bullpen. If the team spends to fill those needs to stay in contention and push the resetting to 2022 or beyond, the player development system is hampered to a greater and greater extent, likely leading to a severe dropoff at some point absent ever higher levels of payroll (and CBT penalties paid).

I believe what this exercise shows is that there is not an easy solution - paying Mookie what he ‘deserves’ and keeping him in Boston for another decade (assuming that he’d agree to) would present major challenges in maximizing the window of championship contention during 2019-2021, assuming that John Henry does require his President/GM to reset the tax threshold at some point. It’s hard to see the Red Sox signing a true ace to head up the rotation to replace Sale or signing top relief pitchers to shore up the bullpen during this time period. In my opinion, I don’t think avoiding the Sale and Eovaldi deals mean that we’d have Mookie long-term *and* a no-doubt, top-tier contender right now - the die was largely cast by Dombrowski in building the 2016-18 team.
I believe the only "easy" solution is "John Henry should not care one bit about the tax and associated penalties."
(I dont agree with that, as the penalties go beyond the imapct to his wallet).