Might as well start talking about 2021

chawson

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I trust Bloom's ability to build a bullpen from twigs so I'm not worried there, but so many FA relievers are good fits that one is bound to fall to us, maybe two. McGee, Drake (if healthy), Peacock, Wilson, Clippard, Watson, Melancon, Tepera, Bedrosian, Shreve, Hirano and Hughes can all get righties out, our biggest need. Honestly I wouldn't be surprised if some repurposed org fodder like Dylan Covey was somehow our 4th best reliever in 2021.

I think we may be in on Ozuna more than we realize. There was so much smoke around moving Benintendi that there had to be a plan to add another big outfielder. If JBJ's been asking 4-5 years, I'm highly doubtful that it's him, or that Bloom would be motivated enough to clear Beni in order to give JBJ that. Maybe the ship has sailed on the Beni trade, and maybe the incoming outfielder was a Myers or Upton-type deal that didn't come to pass. But I'd love a 4-year deal for Ozuna and think he can handle left for a couple years.

More broadly, my sense is that the org will need to add a serious RHB masher the next couple years to make up for the loss of Mookie, JDM's (expected) decline and X's potential departure. The most obvious fits to me are Ozuna and Story, and the latter costs prospects (or a draft pick, unless he's traded midseason) and is trickier to finagle with the defensive shuffle on that side of the infield.
 

allmanbro

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Jay Jaffe just published a summary of remaining FA hitters on Fangraphs, which got me thinking about some players I hadn't considered before.

If JBJ is gone, there are a bunch of defensive-replacement-type CFs available, and the team could reasonably take the same attitude towards them as Chawson advocates for RPs in the post directly above: just wait and see who falls to them. I kind of liked the idea of Hernandez in CF, but the buzz all seems to have him at 2B, so it seems unlikely.

For IF, I wonder if Cozart can be signed for little enough to be worth trying as a backup. He's mostly a SS, but has some experience at 3b and 2b. Even setting aside his great 2017, he's been perfectly serviceable except for last year when he was atrocious. If he returns to career average level, he'd bee a very good backup, and could even have some trade value if it comes to that. So the question is whether he's toast at 35, or last year was a Covid-season anomaly.
 

chawson

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Jay Jaffe just published a summary of remaining FA hitters on Fangraphs, which got me thinking about some players I hadn't considered before.

If JBJ is gone, there are a bunch of defensive-replacement-type CFs available, and the team could reasonably take the same attitude towards them as Chawson advocates for RPs in the post directly above: just wait and see who falls to them. I kind of liked the idea of Hernandez in CF, but the buzz all seems to have him at 2B, so it seems unlikely.

For IF, I wonder if Cozart can be signed for little enough to be worth trying as a backup. He's mostly a SS, but has some experience at 3b and 2b. Even setting aside his great 2017, he's been perfectly serviceable except for last year when he was atrocious. If he returns to career average level, he'd bee a very good backup, and could even have some trade value if it comes to that. So the question is whether he's toast at 35, or last year was a Covid-season anomaly.
I don't know what happened to Cozart, but I think he'd be a redundant reclamation project to the one we've taken on in Arroyo, who's already an odd fit on a roster that contains Chavis. The guy I like most for this role, Danny Santana, didn't make Jaffe's piece, and he's probably right that Villar can grab a starting gig somewhere. That leads us back to Marwin, who was more unlucky than bad last year and I think is a good fit splitting time with Arroyo, Dalbec and Renfroe.

Personally, I don't buy that Hernandez is our starting 2B next year. It just makes so much more sense to play him in CF rather than sign a glove-only guy with no trade value like Dyson, Marisnick or Almora. I could be wrong about that, but the ongoing reports of our interest in Marwin seem to confirm that. The only other way Marwin fits is for a full-time LF job, which I don't think has the upside worth selling low on Beni for.
 

allmanbro

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I don't know what happened to Cozart, but I think he'd be a redundant reclamation project to the one we've taken on in Arroyo, who's already an odd fit on a roster that contains Chavis. The guy I like most for this role, Danny Santana, didn't make Jaffe's piece, and he's probably right that Villar can grab a starting gig somewhere. That leads us back to Marwin, who was more unlucky than bad last year and I think is a good fit splitting time with Arroyo, Dalbec and Renfroe.

Personally, I don't buy that Hernandez is our starting 2B next year. It just makes so much more sense to play him in CF rather than sign a glove-only guy with no trade value like Dyson, Marisnick or Almora. I could be wrong about that, but the ongoing reports of our interest in Marwin seem to confirm that. The only other way Marwin fits is for a full-time LF job, which I don't think has the upside worth selling low on Beni for.
A defense-only CF makes sense if Hernandez is at 2b, you want to spend most of the rest of the cap room in the bullpen, and you want to hedge against the possibility that Beni/Verdugo are awful in center. All of these seem reasonable enough, even if I tend to agree with you on Hernandez in CF.

I still think, if that is the basic scheme, the best role for Chavis might be spelling Renfroe and Dalbec against RHPs. Then he wouldn't spend much time at 2b. I suppose adding a backup CF along with Arroyo gets you to 13 hitters, and that's already a bit of a logjam. So they might only want Cozart if he'd take a minor league deal, which, really, it might come to for him.
 
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BaseballJones

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I get that he’s versatile, but I’m not sure Gonzalez is actually, you know, good. And I’d hate it if it was paired with a Beni trade.
Gonzalez seems pretty much to be the definition of average. But he's versatile. So does that make him a little above-average? I don't know.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Gonzalez seems pretty much to be the definition of average. But he's versatile. So does that make him a little above-average? I don't know.
I don’t know either, and if he’s dirt cheap, then ok, I guess. More of a known quantity than guys like Arrauz and Arroyo. But he’s been trending in the wrong direction since his trash can aided 2017. And his defense while in MN has looked pretty mediocre at every position, including in the OF, where he might be better than, say, Ozuna, but significantly worse than our current 3 starters.
 

chawson

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I get that he’s versatile, but I’m not sure Gonzalez is actually, you know, good. And I’d hate it if it was paired with a Beni trade.
He's more fine than good and I agree shouldn't displace Beni, but he's probably underrated given two unlucky seasons and his membership in Houston's bang-on-a-can collective. Advanced hitting metrics say he's about Eddie Rosario-good, or a tick above JBJ, over the last two years. I like that he's unequivocally apologized for the Astros thing, that he and Cora are tight and that he seems to be well liked.

A defense-only CF makes sense if Hernandez is at 2b, you want to spend most of the rest of the cap room in the bullpen, and you want to hedge against the possibility that Beni/Verdugo are awful in center. All of these seem reasonable enough, even if I tend to agree with you on Hernandez in CF.

I still think, if that is the basic scheme, the best role for Chavis might be spelling Renfroe and Dalbec against RHPs. Then he wouldn't spend much time at 2b. I suppose adding a backup CF along with Arroyo gets you to 12 hitters, so there wouldn't really be room to add more. I suppose they might only want Cozart if he'd take a minor league deal, which, really, it might come to for him.
Agreed. What I'm seeing is that second base has slid down the defensive spectrum, especially in an American League which is why guys like Moustakas and Chavis can pass there, while 3B has moved up. So if you've got a dude equally good at 2B and CF and the FA market has more 2B stopgaps available and you've already got two post-hype prospects in hand (Arroyo and Chavis) whose bats you hope to build some value from, then I don't know why that dude isn't your center fielder.
 

grimshaw

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His outlier season (4 fwar) was in 2017 - the first year the Astros were known to be sign stealing so I'm very skeptical of his ability to be an above average hitter. The only reason I can see of looking at him is because Hernandez was told he wouldn't have to bounce around, so Marwin would fill the utility guy role better. There's really no reason to pay anyone more than minor league deals since Downs is almost ready and they are covered internally.

I would want the price to be very right (almost nothing) and spend the rest on the pen.
 
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Ale Xander

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I got the town hall email too late.

Can anyone share the gist, important tidbits etc?
 

nvalvo

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Luis Alexander Basabe (the good one) was just DFA'd by San Francisco, and IMO we should be all over that. He's a switch hitting center fielder.

For those who don't remember, Basabe was a Sox farmhand who went to Chicago in the Sale trade. After destroying the low minors, the power sort of stalled out in AA, although he got 18 PA in San Francisco last year. We have basically no high minors outfielders behind Duran, and Basabe's still only 24. The Worcester OF is going to be Duran, Marcus Wilson, and... minor league free agent Michael Gettys? Michael Chavis? Jeisson Rosario, who we got in the Moreland deal should probably be in AA.

What I'm saying is that there's room on that roster for Basabe to get PAs, and we have a high waiver claim position.
 

chawson

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Luis Alexander Basabe (the good one) was just DFA'd by San Francisco, and IMO we should be all over that. He's a switch hitting center fielder.

For those who don't remember, Basabe was a Sox farmhand who went to Chicago in the Sale trade. After destroying the low minors, the power sort of stalled out in AA, although he got 18 PA in San Francisco last year. We have basically no high minors outfielders behind Duran, and Basabe's still only 24. The Worcester OF is going to be Duran, Marcus Wilson, and... minor league free agent Michael Gettys? Michael Chavis? Jeisson Rosario, who we got in the Moreland deal should probably be in AA.

What I'm saying is that there's room on that roster for Basabe to get PAs, and we have a high waiver claim position.
Interesting. Basabe is out of options I think, so getting him on a waiver claim means we'd have to keep him up at the MLB level, right? Someone correct me if that's inaccurate, but that would line him up to be a sort of 5th outfielder for us, which doesn't look like what he needs right now.

Looks like he's had a hard time staying healthy. Maybe he'll clear waivers and want to get back on track with his original org anyway.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Interesting. Basabe is out of options I think, so getting him on a waiver claim means we'd have to keep him up at the MLB level, right? Someone correct me if that's inaccurate, but that would line him up to be a sort of 5th outfielder for us, which doesn't look like what he needs right now.

Looks like he's had a hard time staying healthy. Maybe he'll clear waivers and want to get back on track with his original org anyway.
You are correct. He's out of options so claiming him on waivers means he has to stay on the 26-man roster if they want to keep him (unless they DFA him themselves and hope they can outright him). Best case scenario for bringing him back to Boston is probably that he clears waivers now and they sign him to a minor league deal.
 

Saints Rest

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He's more fine than good and I agree shouldn't displace Beni, but he's probably underrated given two unlucky seasons and his membership in Houston's bang-on-a-can collective. Advanced hitting metrics say he's about Eddie Rosario-good, or a tick above JBJ, over the last two years. I like that he's unequivocally apologized for the Astros thing, that he and Cora are tight and that he seems to be well liked.



Agreed. What I'm seeing is that second base has slid down the defensive spectrum, especially in an American League which is why guys like Moustakas and Chavis can pass there, while 3B has moved up. So if you've got a dude equally good at 2B and CF and the FA market has more 2B stopgaps available and you've already got two post-hype prospects in hand (Arroyo and Chavis) whose bats you hope to build some value from, then I don't know why that dude isn't your center fielder.
I wonder if this is due to the large number of plays in the shift, where it would seem that 2B defense is easier/less critical?
 

Dewey'sCannon

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Regarding JBJ, I think the deal for Ottavino, and taking on $8.25m of his salary, was a pretty clear signal that they weren't going to sign Jackie (absent an unexpected change in their willingness to incur the luxury tax in a year when their chances are iffy). The indication that Jackie's looking for a long-term deal probably contributed to this, since it seems that they want to give Duran a chance (at a much lower salary, of course) within the next couple of years.

The statements from Bloom that they're still checking in on him are probably just an indication of due diligence, since they probably are still considering bringing in a strong defensive CF on a short-term deal, just in case Jackie is willing to consider a one or two year deal. But I don't think they expect that to be the case.

I'm not sure what team out there would be willing to give him a four or five yer deal. The Mets? Maybe, but I suspect the answer is no if they sign Bauer. Houston could be a possibility, even after bringing Brantley back. SF is also a possibility. But I don't see that anyone has a strong "need" for him. So it will be interesting to see how it plays out with him, especially with Boras as his agent.
 

chawson

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Dewey'sCannon

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If the price is right, I'd love to see Ozuna signed by the Red Sox - put him in LF for a couple of years, then DH when JD leaves. He'd make a meaningful difference in the lineup (take cover in the Monster Seats!) and would be worth paying the luxury tax.
 

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View: https://twitter.com/craigmish/status/1357729258051956739?s=21


Looks like Ozuna will sign soon.

I dunno, Ozuna’s at worst a top 15 right-handed bat in baseball whose now-elite exit velocities have increased each of the last five seasons, and he's only 30. If we get outbid by the Rays on a 3-4 year deal with no draft pick compensation, I’m gonna be pretty confused about our long-term plan.

(From Statcast, RHB xwOBA 2019-20)

View attachment 38524
Can't call it being "outbid" if they don't bid at all.
 

chrisfont9

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His outlier season (4 fwar) was in 2017 - the first year the Astros were known to be sign stealing so I'm very skeptical of his ability to be an above average hitter. The only reason I can see of looking at him is because Hernandez was told he wouldn't have to bounce around, so Marwin would fill the utility guy role better. There's really no reason to pay anyone more than minor league deals since Downs is almost ready and they are covered internally.

I would want the price to be very right (almost nothing) and spend the rest on the pen.
Marwin is only worth signing if you're resigned to "just a guy" out there or you think Fenway will jack up his doubles total and move his OPS+ back into more intriguing territory. His spray charts have the usual long outs to left, like practically everyone, so maybe, but he's not a massive pull hitter.
 

Dewey'sCannon

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So Ozuna is now off the board, and with that the last chance for a meaningful upgrade. 4/64 (with a fifth year option at the same AAV) seems like a pretty reasonable price. If they weren't at least in on the bidding at this price, then I doubt that they'd be a serious bidder for JBJ either. With the Mets having missed out on Bauer and still having room under the cap, that's probably my bet on where he ends up. Although that leaves the mets with a crowded OF if there's no DH - wonder if we could make a deal for Nimmo or Smith (potentials platoon with Renfroe).
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Mets signing Almora. There don’t seem to be many chairs left for JBJ. Houston, I guess. If Boras has overplayed his hand here (rare, but it happens), there’s a non-zero chance we get #19 back on a pillow deal.
 

Clears Cleaver

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What's the point of signing a JBJ to a pillow deal? Unless you plan to trade him t the deadline? PR? I mean he isn't going to make difference this year...
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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What's the point of signing a JBJ to a pillow deal? Unless you plan to trade him t the deadline? PR? I mean he isn't going to make difference this year...
Somebody has to play center field.

And how would he not make a difference? I'd rather he get playing time over Renfroe against RHP. This team has a shot at a wildcard spot if things break right with the pitching (basically staying healthy). JBJ's glove in center helps the pitching.

What's the harm in signing him to a team-friendly, short-term deal?
 

Clears Cleaver

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he could be Mike Trout and they are not contending. Why spend it on someone who isn't going to help you when you might be a contender? They have only a few dollars left under the salary penalty. Unless you think you can trade him for a prospect at the deadline. Rarely do defensive OFers warrant a big return at the deadline (versus say a mediocre pitcher like Perez).
 

nvalvo

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he could be Mike Trout and they are not contending. Why spend it on someone who isn't going to help you when you might be a contender? They have only a few dollars left under the salary penalty. Unless you think you can trade him for a prospect at the deadline. Rarely do defensive OFers warrant a big return at the deadline (versus say a mediocre pitcher like Perez).
I get that it's hyperbole, but the current roster projects to ~88 wins, well behind NY and a few wins behind Toronto, but even with TB. If we added an 8 WAR CF, we would vault up the paper standings to the second best slot in the AL behind NY.

Last year's team was awful, but any team looks awful when it loses its two best SP from an already thin rotation to injury after trading another starter, and then loses two of its better relievers. If Sale and Rodriguez are actually healthy, we're really not far away from contention.

But I still agree with you that unless it's *really* cheap, Bradley doesn't make much sense for us. I could see him ending up in Houston or Philadelphia or San Francisco, though. And word is that NYM isn't actually out on Bradley, even though they signed Almora.
 

Yo La Tengo

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I found this info: 32 years old, 862 innings in his NPB career with a 2.77 ERA with 8.1 K/9 against 2.7 BB/9. The right-hander has a fastball that can reach 97 mph, a low-90s splitter that functions as his primary out pitch, and a slider.
 

nvalvo

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He gets kind of roughed up in this one, but that breaking pitch looks fun.

edit: Looking again, I see three pitches. The four seam fastball at 158/98, the split at 140/87, and then a curve/slurve/slider thing at like 135/83. He's not going to be able to succeed throwing four seamers at the knees in MLB, I can tell you that.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12AdSL7EqS0
 
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OCD SS

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What's the point of signing a JBJ to a pillow deal? Unless you plan to trade him t the deadline? PR? I mean he isn't going to make difference this year...
Part of the reason I assume they decided to pay Ottavino over JBJ is because relievers will be easier to flip for a prospect in-season. How many teams are going to be looking for a new CFer? And that assumes that JBJ has hit well enough to be worth anything (whereas the inherent variability of and inevitable for relievers making Ottavino a better bet).
 

Niastri

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Part of the reason I assume they decided to pay Ottavino over JBJ is because relievers will be easier to flip for a prospect in-season. How many teams are going to be looking for a new CFer? And that assumes that JBJ has hit well enough to be worth anything (whereas the inherent variability of and inevitable for relievers making Ottavino a better bet).
The mid season trade possibilities and the prospect the Yankees sent made Ottavino a solid trade.

Aside from being closer to the cap, what makes you think he and JBJ were an either/or situation?
 

OCD SS

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The mid season trade possibilities and the prospect the Yankees sent made Ottavino a solid trade.

Aside from being closer to the cap, what makes you think he and JBJ were an either/or situation?
The salary space under the CBT threshold; granted we don't know what JBJ is currently looking for, but the signing for similar players put him around $8 - 10 M. Since then the idea that he's looking for 4 years + could easily mean that he's priced himself out of most team's estimation of him and they'll move on until he comes down.
 
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I don't see Scott Bezos dropping the price on JBJ. They will wait it out and make a nice deal in the end. I think the Mets are most likely to grab him at the end of the day. They have missed out on several big signings.
 

chawson

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They don't need to outperform anything, if the staff pitches to career averages and sale comes back healthy midseason this team has a great shot at making the playoffs, which is why fangraphs currently has them as the 2nd wild card in its projections.
Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projected standings are out. The Sox are 9th in the AL as of Feb. 7 with an 80-82 record. Fangraphs’ projected standings here put them 5th in the AL in terms of overall record, as cited above, and elsewhere 7th by projected fWAR.

I still feel like there’s a big move to come, but I’m likely wrong about that at this point. I think Andriese, Hernández, Renfroe and Richards were all smart signings and represent marginal upgrades, but I really thought Bloom would have been more active on the trade market. I was also convinced the plan all along was to sign Ozuna, who I think will age like Nelson Cruz and could have become a legend here. Maybe he wanted to re-sign with Atlanta all along, but 4/$65M seems like a steal.

Basically, I thought this winter would lay some foundation for the long-term direction of the team. I don’t think that happened. The acquisitions are decent upgrades and of course we’ll be better than last year, but I personally don’t see the point of going into a season as a .500 team. Seems like the plan for 2021 is to make a good faith effort and then sell at the deadline, though the (hopefully) midsummer addition of Sale seems like it would complicate that plan.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projected standings are out. The Sox are 9th in the AL as of Feb. 7 with an 80-82 record. Fangraphs’ projected standings here put them 5th in the AL in terms of overall record, as cited above, and elsewhere 7th by projected fWAR.

I still feel like there’s a big move to come, but I’m likely wrong about that at this point. I think Andriese, Hernández, Renfroe and Richards were all smart signings and represent marginal upgrades, but I really thought Bloom would have been more active on the trade market. I was also convinced the plan all along was to sign Ozuna, who I think will age like Nelson Cruz and could have become a legend here. Maybe he wanted to re-sign with Atlanta all along, but 4/$65M seems like a steal.

Basically, I thought this winter would lay some foundation for the long-term direction of the team. I don’t think that happened. The acquisitions are decent upgrades and of course we’ll be better than last year, but I personally don’t see the point of going into a season as a .500 team. Seems like the plan for 2021 is to make a good faith effort and then sell at the deadline, though the (hopefully) midsummer addition of Sale seems like it would complicate that plan.
I don't see how a long-term foundation can be laid via the free agent or trade market, unless it involves a massive prospect haul or a generational talent slipping through the cracks (like, say, David Ortiz did). I didn't expect anything earth-shattering in the trade market from Bloom. He doesn't really have the farm system to acquire proven talent and he doesn't have the veterans to unload for prospects...at least not ones that don't have big health question marks (Sale, Eovaldi) or are still young enough to be a big part of the future (Devers, Bogaerts).

This off-season has gone about how I expected...filling out the roster with cost-effective role players and high ceiling fliers. The notion of building a team that on paper is expected to be a strong contender for the division was always far-fetched. That's not to say they're not trying to contend, but more to say they're aiming for 80-85 wins with the upside potential of 90+ if everything breaks their way (a la 2013). Never thought for a moment they'd be players for any of the high end free agents, except maybe throwing a big 1-year deal at Bauer. I think Bloom has his eye on next winter's market and is wisely keeping his powder dry for that.
 

chawson

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I don't see how a long-term foundation can be laid via the free agent or trade market, unless it involves a massive prospect haul or a generational talent slipping through the cracks (like, say, David Ortiz did). I didn't expect anything earth-shattering in the trade market from Bloom. He doesn't really have the farm system to acquire proven talent and he doesn't have the veterans to unload for prospects...at least not ones that don't have big health question marks (Sale, Eovaldi) or are still young enough to be a big part of the future (Devers, Bogaerts).

This off-season has gone about how I expected...filling out the roster with cost-effective role players and high ceiling fliers. The notion of building a team that on paper is expected to be a strong contender for the division was always far-fetched. That's not to say they're not trying to contend, but more to say they're aiming for 80-85 wins with the upside potential of 90+ if everything breaks their way (a la 2013). Never thought for a moment they'd be players for any of the high end free agents, except maybe throwing a big 1-year deal at Bauer. I think Bloom has his eye on next winter's market and is wisely keeping his powder dry for that.
I'm with you about free agency, much less so with trades. Andrew Friedman made an extraordinary amount of trades in his first few years steering the Dodgers, who were not great on the field. Of course, we rarely know what possible deals are being discussed and this is a particularly hard season to plan for, but I’ll be kind of shocked if the only trade Bloom made this offseason was with the Yankees for a 35-year-old ROOGY and the team’s #25th best prospect.

Next winter's free agent market is key to the long-term plan if we're getting a franchise shortstop (Story, Seager or maybe Correa -- I'm considering Lindor effectively off the market). That's great, but considering our best players are already on the left side of the infield, adding a shortstop seems like an odd foundation to build on. E-Rod aside, I can't make a strong case for anyone else in next winter's free agent market as strong fits besides Syndergaard if he comes back healthy.
 
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scottyno

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Basically, I thought this winter would lay some foundation for the long-term direction of the team. I don’t think that happened. The acquisitions are decent upgrades and of course we’ll be better than last year, but I personally don’t see the point of going into a season as a .500 team. Seems like the plan for 2021 is to make a good faith effort and then sell at the deadline, though the (hopefully) midsummer addition of Sale seems like it would complicate that plan.
Going into the season as a borderline wild card team made perfect sense, it means they can go for it if they're in the mix at the deadline, and if they aren't then all the new additions are easily tradable. Making a big move this offseason really never made much sense, especially with a much stronger free agent class next offseason, and because there was no single move they could have made that would have increased their postseason odds all that much. Add Ozuna and they're still in about the same spot as they are right now, especially if adding him meant not adding a couple of the other guys they added so they could stay under the tax number.
 

nvalvo

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Fangraphs projects Boston at 87.0 wins, a fraction behind the Blue Jays, and at 50.4% to make the postseason.

This explains a lot, I think, about our ambivalence in how we're seeing this team. The line between ".500ish" and "Wildcard contender" is pretty narrow. If we fall short of that projection by three games, we're .500ish at 84-78, and likely in fourth place in what should be a strong division; if we exceed it by three, we're at 90 wins and a likely wildcard team.
 

Dewey'sCannon

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After they traded Mookie last year, I thought for sure that they'd try to sign Springer this offseason. Why didn't they? Part of it might be that they didn't want to go over the CBT threshold in a year they don't think they can win the division (given the uncertainties with the starting rotation), but Springer would obviously provide benefits beyond just this year, so I don't think that's the complete reason. I think part of it has to be that they really think that Duran can at least be a solid regular (although probably not at Springer's level). Or if Duran doesn't pan out, they have Jimenez coming up behind him (although he's still a few years away).

In terms of 2021, the only other big move I thought they might pursue is a trade for a young SP. When I heard the rumors about Castillo maybe being available, and packaged with Moustakis or Castellanos, I thought that might be something they'd be on even if it meant giving up several of their top prospects. But that was probably a pipe dream, and obviously didn't pan out. I did think that they'd a least add one more significant piece to the bullpen (one more than just Ottavino).

So it seems that they probably view themselves as an 80-something win team - they can compete for a wild card if things shake out the right way, but the chances are not high enough to bet on it by going over the CBT for anything that's not a building block piece.

Moving forward, it seems like they want to see if they can add Duran, Downs and Casas to Xander, Raffy and Verdugo (and maybe Benny and Vaz) to be the core of the next great Red Sox team. On the pitching side, they have Sale for the next several years, and I think they'll try to extend Eduardo, and then see if they can get 2 or 3 of the group of Pivetta, Houck, Mata, Song, Groome, Ward and Seabold to pan out as solid rotation pieces. And then look to add to that as necessary through free agency or trades, although the hope is that won't be all that necessary. Looking at it, I think this is probably a pretty good plan.
 

ramfan

lurker
Jul 19, 2005
44
After they traded Mookie last year, I thought for sure that they'd try to sign Springer this offseason. Why didn't they? Part of it might be that they didn't want to go over the CBT threshold in a year they don't think they can win the division (given the uncertainties with the starting rotation), but Springer would obviously provide benefits beyond just this year, so I don't think that's the complete reason. I think part of it has to be that they really think that Duran can at least be a solid regular (although probably not at Springer's level). Or if Duran doesn't pan out, they have Jimenez coming up behind him (although he's still a few years away).

In terms of 2021, the only other big move I thought they might pursue is a trade for a young SP. When I heard the rumors about Castillo maybe being available, and packaged with Moustakis or Castellanos, I thought that might be something they'd be on even if it meant giving up several of their top prospects. But that was probably a pipe dream, and obviously didn't pan out. I did think that they'd a least add one more significant piece to the bullpen (one more than just Ottavino).

So it seems that they probably view themselves as an 80-something win team - they can compete for a wild card if things shake out the right way, but the chances are not high enough to bet on it by going over the CBT for anything that's not a building block piece.

Moving forward, it seems like they want to see if they can add Duran, Downs and Casas to Xander, Raffy and Verdugo (and maybe Benny and Vaz) to be the core of the next great Red Sox team. On the pitching side, they have Sale for the next several years, and I think they'll try to extend Eduardo, and then see if they can get 2 or 3 of the group of Pivetta, Houck, Mata, Song, Groome, Ward and Seabold to pan out as solid rotation pieces. And then look to add to that as necessary through free agency or trades, although the hope is that won't be all that necessary. Looking at it, I think this is probably a pretty good plan.
Wouldn't signing Springer cost an early 2nd round pick this year? i think if they go over the luxury tax this year, it would also cost a 2nd and a 5th round pick in 2022 and $1 million in international signing money. Is that correct?
 

allmanbro

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
229
Portland, Maine
I'm with you about free agency, much less so with trades. Andrew Friedman made an extraordinary amount of trades in his first few years steering the Dodgers, who were not great on the field. Of course, we rarely know what possible deals are being discussed and this is a particularly hard season to plan for, but I’ll be kind of shocked if the only trade Bloom made this offseason was with the Yankees for a 35-year-old ROOGY and the team’s #25th best prospect.

Next winter's free agent market is key to the long-term plan if we're getting a franchise shortstop (Story, Seager or maybe Correa -- I'm considering Lindor effectively off the market). That's great, but considering our best players are already on the left side of the infield, adding a shortstop seems like an odd foundation to build on. E-Rod aside, I can't make a strong case for anyone else in next winter's free agent market as strong fits besides Syndergaard if he comes back healthy.
We talked a little about this earlier, and I think I expected less than you in terms of big moves, but I still thought there would be a way that they could pick up a near-MLB-ready B+ SP prospect (or some approximation of that) by taking on a bad contract. My bet is that this was the goal of the Benintendi talks, and it just never materialized. So I am also a bit disappointed by the offseason because I don't think their 2022 and beyond pitching situation has materially changed since October, which had to be a major goal. It doesn't make me question whether there is a plan - I think the bottom line is that other teams were not as desperate to dump salary as that plan required.

Now, if we get really lucky with Richards/Ottavino/Whitlock/etc. and/or pull off some good trade deadline deals, my assessment of the offseason could change pretty fast. Ultimately, I think that's fine: high risk, high reward was always going to be the play for the short term, and I think it's the right one.
 

JBJ_HOF

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 5, 2014
419
Wouldn't signing Springer cost an early 2nd round pick this year?
Yes, #40, $1.9M in draft bonus pool money.
I think if they go over the luxury tax this year, it would also cost a 2nd and a 5th round pick in 2022 and $1 million in international signing money. Is that correct?
No.
 

allmanbro

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
229
Portland, Maine
Even if you don't think Cordero (or Renfroe for that matter) is likely to breakout in a sustained way, he is definitely a candidate to go on a 3 month tear that makes him look really attractive to someone. That's attributing some 4d chess to Bloom. I don't think it's the plan, but if that's where it ends up, it's a very good outcome.
 

Minneapolis Millers

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
2,711
Twin Cities
I love how we all use terms like “4D chess” to describe clever front office moves, when chess by itself is grossly overstating their complexity! Any of the guys we’ve acquired (as well as others) could be flipped if we’re not in contention. That’s pretty basic GMing.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming...
 

allmanbro

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
229
Portland, Maine
I love how we all use terms like “4D chess” to describe clever front office moves, when chess by itself is grossly overstating their complexity! Any of the guys we’ve acquired (as well as others) could be flipped if we’re not in contention. That’s pretty basic GMing.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming...
Ha! Well, I was using mockingly, as in "the plan is so ornate that it has little connection to reality." I generally read it that way when others say it too, but that just might be me. In the post above, the idea was "if the plan here is not to keep Cordero but to try and flip him", then that is too ornate and specific.

Clearly the plan right now is to continue building depth and flexibility, and then later leverage that along with the Red Sox finances to put together a winning team.