Might as well start talking about 2021

Danny_Darwin

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It seems like the discussion in a few of the other threads that are theoretically about this year's team have already taken a turn towards next year's team. So I decided to start a new thread about it.

I said this already, but to me the first question is whether they embark upon a more extensive rebuild or just try to add a few veteran pieces and "reload" in such a way that they try to compete next year. Personally, I think the former is probably the right call, and I am inclined to think that the front office has already decided on this. But I could see arguments in the other direction!

Where do we they go from here? Is it still In Bloom We Trust? Does JD stick around? How would you fix this team?
 

sean1562

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I am firmly in the In Bloom We Trust camp. The guy was given an order to trade Betts, get under the luxury tax, and try to remake the org after that. He probably had very little leeway to do anything in the FA market last season. I don't think it is fair to lose confidence in the guy before he has had any opportunity to actually implement a comprehensive strategy.

I also do not think they should blow up the team and trade off every player to maybe get a few guys that will turn into major league players in a few years. They should try and sign SP depth and run out this offense next year to try and compete for a WC spot. Are we assuming that none of the players in the minors are gonna improve at all? At the very least they will have the opportunity to physically develop. Some of the guys in the low minors now could emerge as legit prospects next season.
 

DJnVa

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Is it still In Bloom We Trust?
I mean, does anyone seriously think we would or should bump Bloom? Of course he gets the time to rebuild. That's the point. And starting with a likely top 3 pick will be a nice way to get rolling.
 

sean1562

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Also this lineup is still really good next season. I imagine Jeter Downs gets the opportunity to start the season at 2b and he may be significantly better than the guys we are throwing out there now. I dont see the logic of tearing down the entire team when we really just need SP depth. Sign two or three guys like DeSclafani, Gausman, and maybe Robbie Ray and see what happens.
 

E5 Yaz

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I mean, does anyone seriously think we would or should bump Bloom? Of course he gets the time to rebuild. That's the point.
It's almost as though people don't understand what "rebuilding" means.
 

Sin Duda

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What does the board think of Jonathan Arauz? Sox Prospects profiles him as "Utility man potential" but with "developmental opportunities" who "needs to add strength". Could he actually challenge for the starting 2B role in 2021 or '22?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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What does the board think of Jonathan Arauz? Sox Prospects profiles him as "Utility man potential" but with "developmental opportunities" who "needs to add strength". Could he actually challenge for the starting 2B role in 2021 or '22?
All he needs to do is stick on the big league roster for the rest of this year, and then they can stash him in the minors for more seasoning. I think he provides solid depth and flexibility, but I don't think the ceiling is all that high for him.
 

BaseballJones

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All he needs to do is stick on the big league roster for the rest of this year, and then they can stash him in the minors for more seasoning. I think he provides solid depth and flexibility, but I don't think the ceiling is all that high for him.
Probably at best he can be a cheap, but solid, utility guy. And there's nothing at all wrong with that. Every team needs someone like that.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Without rehashing my posts in other threads, one thing for the "blow it up" contingent to grapple with is that there is little evidence that doing so is more likely to result in a better team long-term than not doing so and just trying to muddle along and improve the farm system while still keeping the major league team as competitive as possible. The only truly successful "blow it up" approach was the Astros - KC was a short-term success, and maybe that's good enough for them since they got a WS out of it, but they're back to being mediocre now.

And for every Astros and KC example, we have teams like the Orioles, Pirates, Marlins, and Tigers who have been "rebuilding" for years with nothing to show for it. The Sox's chances of a successful rebuild are better than those teams because of their increased payroll but still far from assured.
 

BaseballJones

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The Orioles made the playoffs in 2016. They had three terrible rebuilding years in a row, but now sit at 12-10.
 

OurF'ingCity

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The Orioles made the playoffs in 2016. They had three terrible rebuilding years in a row, but now sit at 12-10.
Putting stock in records in this crazy year is iffy as a general principle but especially for the Orioles who are way outperforming their expected record and whose success is more just a bunch of guys getting hot than it is any prospects they acquired during the rebuild making waves (it's more 2013 Red Sox than 2017 Astros).

Anyway, the Orioles just kind of prove my point, since as a Sox fan I can't say I'd be particularly thrilled if you told me the next three years for the Sox would see them being historically, epically bad for two of those years and being a feel-good, probably unsustainable fringe contender with a slightly above .500 record in the 3rd year, with the next few seasons far from certain either. With the payroll available to the Red Sox, not fielding a truly competitive team until 2024 or 2025 would be a travesty.
 

rlsb

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There were rebuilds in the 1930s, 1940s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and finally the ultimate rebuild from the signing of Trot Nixon to the fruition of 2004 and 2007. One more rebuild? Take your time.
 

rlsb

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Nixon was a first round draft pick. But maybe that's what you mean?
Yes, and the fact that the rebuild starting with that signing that took place on the last day of August 1993 until the championship some 134 months later was a long process. Yes, he was part of the 1999 and 2003 playoff teams, but the emphasis of rebuilds is time. I don't believe it will be 11 years, but now is the time to do it. Quick fixes are lightning in a bottle, at best. (As we know).
 

sean1562

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I’m assuming the idea is to let downs get the spot. It isn’t like Arauz has tons of upper level minor league experience either.
 

johnnywayback

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I just don't think the prospect-for-veteran exchange rate is quite what it used to be. The returns for guys like Machado haven't been overwhelming, and I doubt we'd get a big prospect haul for Martinez, let alone our relievers. Eovaldi has some value but is on a market contract. Rodriguez has some value but is missing a year and about to hit free agency. Vazquez has some value but we have zero catching depth. Hard to imagine wanting to trade Devers -- a team with our budget should never be in THAT big of a rebuild. We just don't have the kind of above-average players on below-market contracts that bring in top 100 prospects.

The two things I wonder are:
1) Do you trade Bogaerts? He's going to opt out after 2022 and I doubt we're going to want to re-sign him when we don't have the option of moving him to 3B as he ages. Trade him NOW and you can get in the market for Lindor/Story/Correa and all the other SS about to hit FA.
2) Do you trade Benintendi? I have no idea what his value is at this point, but if you could get an equally interesting/frustrating young pitcher, it might be worth thinking about.

On top of that, I think you keep looking to make smart low-risk signings like Perez, try to make the right decision on your next big free-agent signing (Springer? Story?), and patiently build your depth for a big run in 2022 and beyond?
 

j-man

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I just don't think the prospect-for-veteran exchange rate is quite what it used to be. The returns for guys like Machado haven't been overwhelming, and I doubt we'd get a big prospect haul for Martinez, let alone our relievers. Eovaldi has some value but is on a market contract. Rodriguez has some value but is missing a year and about to hit free agency. Vazquez has some value but we have zero catching depth. Hard to imagine wanting to trade Devers -- a team with our budget should never be in THAT big of a rebuild. We just don't have the kind of above-average players on below-market contracts that bring in top 100 prospects.

The two things I wonder are:
1) Do you trade Bogaerts? He's going to opt out after 2022 and I doubt we're going to want to re-sign him when we don't have the option of moving him to 3B as he ages. Trade him NOW and you can get in the market for Lindor/Story/Correa and all the other SS about to hit FA.
2) Do you trade Benintendi? I have no idea what his value is at this point, but if you could get an equally interesting/frustrating young pitcher, it might be worth thinking about.

On top of that, I think you keep looking to make smart low-risk signings like Perez, try to make the right decision on your next big free-agent signing (Springer? Story?), and patiently build your depth for a big run in 2022 and beyond?
yes to both i wouild move sale to a goose gossale type closer role use him for 2-3 inn every 3 days
 

chawson

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It's a drag that a Myers/Campusano/Quantrill deal didn't happen -- and not only because Wil Myers would be the best hitter on our team. Bloom needs to trade, and with scarce current assets and other teams' minor league systems not very public-facing due to COVID, he's kind of handicapped. The Sox should find a way to get Musgrove and/or Taillon from the rebuilding Pirates, maybe taking on dead salary (Polanco, Vazquez, Bell?) and shipping Chavis, one of his old draft picks, back to Cherington.

The only premium free agent I think we'll be in on this winter is Springer, whose price tag might be down after trash can questions and a thusfar unlucky 2020. Boston's not an attractive place for pitchers to sign pillow contracts, especially when our team is dreadful and overtaxed, so I suspect it could be hard to ink a solid rebound candidate like DeSclafani, Minor or Chatwood. I think C.J. Cron is our first baseman next year. We'll need a good defensive center fielder to help our bad pitching staff, so maybe Bradley will be back. It doesn't help that two of his very few trade chips -- Benintendi and E-Rod -- are worthless at the moment and might not regain value until April 2021. Pillar, Workman, and Moreland should all be flipped in two weeks. Vaz had a nice two-homer game, but besides that he's back to one of the worst catchers in the league again. Barnes should have been traded last winter -- there's really no precedent for a guy snapping off 85 m.p.h. curveballs for more than half of his pitches and he'll be lucky to make it through the season without a serious arm injury. I'm not sure I see the point of Chavis, but I'm hoping he catches fire for a month, limiting the K's to only 1 every 3 PAs, so we can flip him too. I don't think you trade Verdugo for two years of Clevinger. The situation mirrors the question of trading Beni after 2018, except Verdugo is a better player and there's no real contention window to prop up.

In the short term, I wonder if Bloom will be interested in old friend Daniel Robertson, just DFA'd by the Rays. Only 26, under control through 2023, and a decent bet as anyone to be our next Brock Holt.
 

OurF'ingCity

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1) Do you trade Bogaerts? He's going to opt out after 2022 and I doubt we're going to want to re-sign him when we don't have the option of moving him to 3B as he ages. Trade him NOW and you can get in the market for Lindor/Story/Correa and all the other SS about to hit FA.
Why would we trade our cost-controlled, very good shortstop to make way for a very much not cost-controlled, slightly better shortstop that might not even make it to free agency? Even he does opt out in 2022, I'd rather re-sign X at a somewhat reasonable rate than pay the inevitably huge price it would take to sign any of the above three if they make it to free agency. I also don't think we can just assume Bogaerts will opt out in 2022, especially given the pretty unclear financial picture moving forward.

2) Do you trade Benintendi? I have no idea what his value is at this point, but if you could get an equally interesting/frustrating young pitcher, it might be worth thinking about.
I certainly don't think Bloom would hang up the phone if someone called to ask, but trading Benintendi now would seem to be a textbook case of selling low. Benintendi almost literally can't get any worse than he is playing now, why not give it another year to see if he improves back to his above-replacement-level career norms? At that point, maybe they'd be able to get more back for him in trade, or maybe they'd want to hold on to him depending on how the team is doing, what the other options are for LF, etc.

I continue to think that the Sox's best strategy going forward is to largely stand pat, trade off dispensable players that have some value and are soon to hit free agency, and make a bunch of short-term, lower-key signings over the offseason.
 

sean1562

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So are we still terrified of the other teams in our division moving forward? The Yankees are floundering and will be over the luxury tax the next few years it seems. Their farm system isn't incredibly deep either right? The Blue Jays have tons of young hitting talent but very little pitching(they do have Nate Pearson though). BaseballRef shows the Rays payroll going from 59.3 mil this season to 89.9 next season and then 173.5 in 2022(assuming because of tons of players hitting arbitration?).

I dont see why the Sox can't be reasonably competitive in this division next year with a few smart FA signings. How much do you think Tanaka or Paxton will cost? Looking a little more closely at their payroll for next season, it does seem like they will have some room under the tax if they don't exercise Gardner's option and if Happ's doesnt vest. When will the Rays be forced to start shipping out players like Snell?
 
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Red(s)HawksFan

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So are we still terrified of the other teams in our division moving forward? The Yankees are floundering and will be over the luxury tax the next few years it seems. Their farm system isn't incredibly deep either right? The Blue Jays have tons of young hitting talent but very little pitching(they do have Nate Pearson though). BaseballRef shows the Rays payroll going from 59.3 mil this season to 89.9 next season and then 173.5 in 2022(assuming because of tons of players hitting arbitration?).

I dont see why the Sox can't be reasonably competitive in this division next year with a few smart FA signings.
I know the Yankees are struggling, but isn't part of that attributable to their schedule (and some key injuries)? 16 games in the last 13 days, in which they've gone 5-11. Meanwhile both Judge and Stanton are on the IL, as well as Paxton and Urschela. Assuming a "normal" schedule in 2021, I think the Yankees are going to be a force.

That said, I don't disagree that the Sox can be competitive sooner rather than later with, as you say, some smart signings. 2013-type moves, if you will. No guarantee of 2013-type results, but maybe an 85ish win squad.
 

sean1562

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Their rotation next year will be what? Cole, Severino(same timeline as Sale or will he get back earlier?), and then I am not 100% sure. Montgomery? I feel like re-signing either one of Paxton or Tanaka will push them over the lux tax, something that they may be embracing the next two years. Will Stanton always be this injury prone or will he come back around eventually? The team just has so many DH players. Is Andujar still a valuable trade asset?

They will definitely still be a good to great team but I think the "unstoppable juggernaut" years were this year and last year and their luck just isnt playing out for them. They will eventually need to get back under the tax threshold which, looking at their future payroll projections, seems pretty difficult while carrying those Stanton and Cole contracts. Judge seems like such a NYY guy but would they let him walk after his years of control are up if they need to get back under the threshold? Granted, this all could change after the new CBA but any changes that let the Yanks take on more payroll consequence free would ostensibly work in our favor as well.

I really think this team just needs to be smart with some SP FA types next season and we will be looking at a much different season. Downs at 2b, Chavis/Dalbec at 1B, Durran in CF could either push us into solid WC territory or solid 80 win territory depending on how well they perform.

For all the talk of the Red Sox being cheap and not committed to a winning team, the Rays continuously run into that payroll problem and need to hamstring their payroll once their guys ht arbitration, which will be pretty soon. The Rays seem to max out around $80 mil, which they will approach next season, before resetting and selling off assets.
 

jon abbey

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2021 rotation should be Cole, Severino, German, Montgomery, Garcia, Schmidt, maybe Tanaka if he gives them a very good deal to stay.
 

sean1562

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2021 rotation should be Cole, Severino, German, Montgomery, Garcia, Schmidt, maybe Tanaka if he gives them a very good deal to stay.
Thanks! I forgot all about German. If the Sox can sign some back end guys I don't think the gap between the Yankees rotation and ours is that astronomical IF Sale and ERod can come back. Sale/Erod/Perez/Eovaldi and two guys that can be 4/5 pitchers in a ML rotation would help bridge that gap.
 

nattysez

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Without rehashing my posts in other threads, one thing for the "blow it up" contingent to grapple with is that there is little evidence that doing so is more likely to result in a better team long-term than not doing so and just trying to muddle along and improve the farm system while still keeping the major league team as competitive as possible. The only truly successful "blow it up" approach was the Astros - KC was a short-term success, and maybe that's good enough for them since they got a WS out of it, but they're back to being mediocre now.
You left out the Cubs. Theo blew them up for 3 years (continuing the work of his predecessors) and they've been contenders every year since.

And for every Astros and KC example, we have teams like the Orioles, Pirates, Marlins, and Tigers who have been "rebuilding" for years with nothing to show for it. The Sox's chances of a successful rebuild are better than those teams because of their increased payroll but still far from assured.
The Tigers are still paying the price of the DD approach to team-building. Hopefully the Bloom hiring ensures that the Sox don't suffer the same fate.
I'd argue that the owners of the Marlins and Pirates are not that interested in winning -- they just want to maximize income -- and are not good models for rebuilding.
And the Orioles are just incompetent.
 

Jimbodandy

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Clearly the farm needs to be rebuilt. And that can be done with a solid draft and international strategy. I trust Bloom to do that, and it should be the top priority.

That said, doing the above does nothing to preclude the team from signing quality players for the MLB roster. Now that the tax is reset, it would be crazy to dismantle the team further unless an obvious trade win is there. Talk of moving Xander, for example, is craziness imo.
 

billy ashley

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Xander now has a full no trade, we no longer have control of his destiny. He has all the cards.

Dude has been a pleasure to watch develop. Here's hoping he doesn't opt out in a few years (he'd be nuts not to, he's super underpaid).
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Xander now has a full no trade, we no longer have control of his destiny. He has all the cards.

Dude has been a pleasure to watch develop. Here's hoping he doesn't opt out in a few years (he'd be nuts not to, he's super underpaid).
He may not be all that underpaid once the dust settles from COVID and we see a new landscape. With that and the CBA, the sport is likely looking at one cost correction.
 

grimshaw

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I kind of want the Sox to lay low another off season rather than throw money at guys like Realmuto, Ozuna etc. I don't think they'll be ready to pounce until at least 2022. Sale and E-Rod are just so unknown that I don't want to risk anything until you know what you have there.

I think Enrique Hernandez is a perfect fit for this team. He can play anywhere so you can stick him at 2b until Downs is ready, he can play CF if they don't resign JBJ or can complement Durran and fill in at 1st (terrible 1b free agent market).

Not great at baseball but obvious bridge guys are maybe Jake Lamb or Jason Kipnis.

I'd try and sign Martin Perez for sure since he is very flippable if they are awful again and useful if they look ok in 2022. Not sure what his market is but I'd go up to 3 years. Maybe Robbie Ray on a pillow contract. Plawecki seems like a no-brainer to try and re-sign.

I wouldn't bother much on bullpen spending until the team looks pseudo competitive.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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You left out the Cubs. Theo blew them up for 3 years (continuing the work of his predecessors) and they've been contenders every year since.



The Tigers are still paying the price of the DD approach to team-building. Hopefully the Bloom hiring ensures that the Sox don't suffer the same fate.
I'd argue that the owners of the Marlins and Pirates are not that interested in winning -- they just want to maximize income -- and are not good models for rebuilding.
And the Orioles are just incompetent.
Call it picking nits if you want, but I’m not sure I’d label them contenders last year. Five games out of last wild card spot, two teams ahead of them for that and third in division.
 

pdub

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2) Do you trade Benintendi? I have no idea what his value is at this point, but if you could get an equally interesting/frustrating young pitcher, it might be worth thinking about.
I know you posted this weeks ago, but I think this question is even more relevant now. Benintendi has had a very bad year, apparently the team is even shutting him down. I'm thinking he'll have pretty low trade value so it makes sense to hold on to him and see if he can regain his form next season.
 

nvalvo

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Is Dalbec... good?

As of right now, his line is a pretty goofy .214/.290/.643 — yup, that's a .429 Isolated Power!

His PA since coming up: K HR K 1B K K K K K GO FO K K LO K BB K GO GO HR 1B FO K PU HR BB K K BB GO HR... and he's due up next inning — yup, that's a 45% K rate!

I have no idea what to make of this kid.
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

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Is Dalbec... good?

As of right now, his line is a pretty goofy .214/.290/.643 — yup, that's a .429 Isolated Power!

His PA since coming up: K HR K 1B K K K K K GO FO K K LO K BB K GO GO HR 1B FO K PU HR BB K K BB GO HR... and he's due up next inning — yup, that's a 45% K rate!

I have no idea what to make of this kid.
Could he be Mark Reynolds II?
 

Humphrey

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I agree, but they also need a closer or a couple of them.
I would have thought w/him still there we'd be talking about 25-35 for a 60 game season at best. It wasn't exactly lights out in September last year with a makeshift roster (didn't they have something like 15-20 pitchers active? A tryout camp like it is now).
 

sean1562

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The competition for last place in the league looks to be pretty fierce. So while am dreaming of Kumar, here are some other guys we might be able to snatch up


After Kumar and Leiter, the top pitchers are high school guys years away
 

Sin Duda

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So many new faces that it's tough to keep track without a scorecard. Christian Arroyo is little bit intriguing lately. He is now on his 5th organization. Boston claimed him off waivers from the Indians, then put him on waivers themselves to send him to Pawtucket. Now he's up with the big club and being given a chance to show what he can do at 2B, where the Sox have an obvious need. I found this on Tampa Rays site DRB:

"Contact, and loads of it, Strong arm, Soft hands, Raw power that could be developed further without increasing SO significantly. Grades for ‘18: Hit: 60 | Pwr: 45 | Run: 40 | Arm: 55 | Fld: 55 | Overall: 55. Abilities notes: Versatility and hitting ability will carry Arroyo in MLB initially, but the ceiling may be higher than some believe. He has a big enough frame and strength to add power down the road, something that would take his already impressive profile up a notch."

What is the likelihood, if he stays healthy, that he can compete for 2B in '21 and win the job? Could he be at least league average? Maybe a bridge to Downs in '22?
 

nvalvo

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Jeff Passan says that his league sources think it is "highly likely" that 2020 record will determine 2021 draft order.

The idea of blending these records with 2020 records to determine draft order, he suggests, was a contingency in case we ended up with a fifteen game season or something like that. So that is excellent news, and makes a lot of sense. If you say, as commissioner, that the season was long enough to seed a playoff tournament, then it is strange to turn around and say it isn't long enough to determine draft order.

We are likely to end up with a top-5 pick. If the season ended today, we are behind only Pittsburgh and Texas. We (20-34) have a small chance of slipping behind Texas (19-35), but we're not catching Pittsburgh: they are sitting at a truly eye-opening 15-39. I expect us to land on the 3rd or 4th pick, somewhere in the mix with Arizona (20-34; we hold the tiebreaker "over" them by virtue of finishing a game behind them in 2019), Washington (21-32; we hold the tiebreaker here, too, obviously, against the reigning Champs), and Baltimore (23-31).

But the "problem" is that we've actually been playing pretty well: a game below .500 since September 1, a stretch that included series against very good teams like ATL, TBR, and NYY. Once Devers and Bradley started hitting, Dalbec and Arroyo came up and contributed .900ish OPSes, and the pitching stabilized somewhat, this stopped being a terrible team, and settled in as merely the mediocre one we all expected in the Spring. (The staff's 5.33 ERA in September is bad, but most of a run better than their August ERA of 6.26)

Losing some of our head to head games against Baltimore would really help.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Separate Q/topic: which FAs should the team target? I’d be ok with getting Keith Foulk-, er, Liam Hendriks, from the A’s. Need another dependable SP, too. Ideas?
 

RedOctober3829

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Gammons with a notes column this morning on the Red Sox future. Some major parts of it are below.
--He thinks they will try to re-sign JBJ
--Red Sox executives think both Casas and Durran are going to be stars.
--Development staff is high on Jeter Downs, Connor Wong, and Christian Arroyo
--They expect Durran to be in the lineup next year
--If JBJ leaves, they might take a run at Springer.
--They like Pivetta, but the pitcher they most wanted in the deal was Connor Seabold.
--He thinks Noah Song coming back from the Navy would be the equivalent to getting Rocker or Leiter.
--Bryan Mata may be in the rotation by June 2021.
--Jay Groome impressed and is in the mix for 2022.
--"If, when the new normal is established by 2023, they have Mata, Groome, Song, Seabold and Hernández in their rotation, all in their mid-20s, they will again be back to spending on the free agent they believe has star power."

 

Pablo's TB Lover

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--"If, when the new normal is established by 2023, they have Mata, Groome, Song, Seabold and Hernández in their rotation, all in their mid-20s, they will again be back to spending on the free agent they believe has star power."

Great to aspire to that, but...
34387
 

pdub

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Curious about the George Springer bit. He's 31 and a good player, but his age does not seem to mesh with our current team trajectory. Plus, although he is better overall than JBJ, he will also cost more. Not to mention the potential money they allocate towards Springer will give them that much less to upgrade the rotation.
 

shaggydog2000

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Some things are so comfortable in life. Reliable reminders of your childhood, like hot cocoa under a warm blanket in the winter, sitting on a porch on a warm summer night staring at the stars, and reading Gammons relentlessly promoting every Sox prospect as a surefire star.