Might as well start talking about 2021

KingChre

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That would be his upside, but as a minor league invitee, sure, the expectations are limited.
I think it was a good move myself. I was surprised to see he was available (perhaps I shouldn't have been based on his 2020), as I recall his breakout from two years ago.

I think the versatility they've accumulated is absolutely a plus. I would like to do a deeper dive to find some data to corroborate this, but I believe that in the age of openers having more options and flexibility would be a good thing.

Theoretically having multiple players who can play multiple positions would give Cora the ability to aggressively attack opponents.
 

The Gray Eagle

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I understand the logic behind it, but how effective is a lineup full of platoon guys in the age of openers? Your platoon advantages get blown up by the second half of the game.
Santana's not a platoon guy. He's a switch hitter with no big split. If he's in the lineup he actually helps to defeat any opener/reliever platoon advantage.
There's really no downside at all to this signing. I wouldn't have been in favor of giving him a big contract and a guaranteed spot in the lineup, but that's not what this is. He's not even taking up a roster spot yet. He can be stashed in the minors. He costs very little. If he sucks he can be cut with no penalty.
 

BaseballJones

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Boy, looking at Santana's b-ref page....his career is weird. Really nice rookie year in 2014. Then four straight awful seasons (55 ops+ over that span). Then a breakout year at age 28 in 2019 (112 ops+), then the waste of a 2020 season when he hit .145 with an ops+ of 39 in just 55 AB.

I have NO idea if this guy is any good or not. But it's a minor-league signing so yeah, totally worth a shot.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Heyman doesn't specify when the opt-out goes into effect, whether it's the start of the season or later in the year.
Other vets have had opt-outs that go into effect if they aren't promoted by a certain point in the season.
 

vadertime

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Boy, looking at Santana's b-ref page....his career is weird. Really nice rookie year in 2014. Then four straight awful seasons (55 ops+ over that span). Then a breakout year at age 28 in 2019 (112 ops+), then the waste of a 2020 season when he hit .145 with an ops+ of 39 in just 55 AB.

I have NO idea if this guy is any good or not. But it's a minor-league signing so yeah, totally worth a shot.
I lean more towards not good. Had a nice rookie year, league figured him out and he didn't make adjustments. So I look at 2019 as an outlier. But as a depth signing on the cheap I'm fine with it.
 

nvalvo

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I understand the logic behind it, but how effective is a lineup full of platoon guys in the age of openers? Your platoon advantages get blown up by the second half of the game.
If these were one-position type players who hit righties or lefties well with the aim of putting together stacked RHH-heavy or LHH-heavy lineups against starters, then I would agree: openers undermine the platoon strategy.

But Santana and Marwin are seven-position switch hitters with tiny splits. They make us less brittle. Like, the whole point of Marwin Gonzalez is that he has a league average bat (99 career OPS+, a bit better some years, a bit worse others), no appreciable platoon split, and he can play acceptable defense at any position. If Santana pans out, he'd be the same way. That's the opposite of a specialist strategy.

We're likely to have a bench that will put Cora in a strong position to reorganize on the fly in more subtle ways. You could, say, bat Arroyo for Franchy against a tough lefty with runners on, and then move Kiké from second to the outfield and leave Arroyo at second. Marwin and Santana are both true switch hitters; they could sub in for Renfroe or Dalbec against tough righties. It's also worth noting that we are also likely to have one of Franchy, Dalbec, or Renfroe on the bench most games. That's a lot of power, and being able to PH a hitter with that kind of pop could really help in situations when we're down by a few runs but have runners on. Then we can use our positional flexibility to rearrange an effective defense afterwards.
 

jon abbey

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Also let's not overstate 'the age of openers'. I couldn't find numbers but if they are used in even 10 percent of games, I'd be quite surprised, and even when they are, it's usually just for an inning or maybe two. Guys batting in the bottom third of the lineup often don't even see the opener.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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There’s an extremely important difference between platoon players on offense and versatile players on defense. The guys Bloom is getting aren’t platoon players due to being unable to hit pitchers of a certain handedness, they’re just guys that can play several positions on defense, so the openers argument is irrelevant to them. That said, I agree w Jon abbey that openers are still rarely used
 

chrisfont9

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Boy, looking at Santana's b-ref page....his career is weird. Really nice rookie year in 2014. Then four straight awful seasons (55 ops+ over that span). Then a breakout year at age 28 in 2019 (112 ops+), then the waste of a 2020 season when he hit .145 with an ops+ of 39 in just 55 AB.

I have NO idea if this guy is any good or not. But it's a minor-league signing so yeah, totally worth a shot.
Gotta read the Fangraphs piece about his anxiety. Then it makes sense.
 

Hendu Candu

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Baseball Prospectus says he underwent a "modified" Tommy John surgery in September, "where an internal brace was used to repair and connect ligaments as opposed to human tendons." It says, in theory, he could be back by March ...
 

azsoxpatsfan

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Baseball Prospectus says he underwent a "modified" Tommy John surgery in September, "where an internal brace was used to repair and connect ligaments as opposed to human tendons." It says, in theory, he could be back by March ...
Who?
 

staz

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So ERod (4ip/4h/1er/1bb/6k) was good on Thursday, Richards cruised (4ip/0er/1h/3bb/7k) yesterday, Perez pitched with control and confidence today (4ip/0er/2h/1bb/5k). Pivetta (3ip/1er/3h/3k) didn't pitch badly Tuesday, I worry the least about Eovaldi, and Sale by June/July... I mean, if you squint...
 

geoduck no quahog

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Is anyone else concerned about the quality of infield defense on this team? Or defense, period? "Versatility" is a code word for "Not really good enough to anchor a single position...?"

The way I see it (literally - eyeballs), the team has a sub par 3B, a league average SS and 2B and a rookie 1B (who was a good 3B) and no glove-centic backups. They no longer have a gold glove caliber 1B to capture errant throws. The outfeld has gone from possibly the best (certainly CF/RF) defensive outfield to ???? (Cordero, Renfroe, Verdugo).

Two advertised (offensive) super subs in Gonzales and Hernandez.

With the Red Sox in the same tranche as Baltimore, it looks to me like offense is the desired way to try and climb into the Jays/Rays/Yankees category.

For someone who likes to watch defense, that makes for a tricky season.

Is (non-pitching) defense over-rated as a key to success?
 

JBJ_HOF

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You are underselling Hernandez and Renfroe, and giving too much credit to Bogaerts.
 

DeadlySplitter

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I'll repost something I put in the gamethread on Saturday when I saw the starting OF.

Really worried about the outfield defense. Probably going to be this exact outfield (Gonzalez-Renfroe-Verdugo) on Opening Day. Cordero, delayed by his COVID list, I guess is ready in mid-April, but he's not a defensive wizard or anything. Duran is below average out there currently.

All this mixing and matching of parts can work to an extent of being a bit better than the sum of their parts, but there are going to be some quirky Fenway hits that Beni, JBJ and Mookie would have prevented the extra base on, or got an outfield assist on a great play, that this group is going to give up that extra base on.

Outfield continuity is just so important at Fenway, and that has been completely lost as the outfield now completely turns over. It's going to be rocky.
 

joe dokes

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I'll repost something I put in the gamethread on Saturday when I saw the starting OF.
I agree there's going to be a noticeable dropoff that will make us wistful at times. At best, there's going to be a dropoff from "rescuing the pitchers on multiple occasions" to "not letting them down too frequently." OTOH--better quality of pitchers might help offset this a bit (but see chickens and eggs).
 

soxhop411

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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.
Lindor may be on the market if this is his actual contract demands
View: https://twitter.com/AnthonyDiComo/status/1376720098724040710?s=20

View: https://twitter.com/DeeshaThosar/status/1376719157673201669?s=20
As others have reported, the Mets have offered Francisco Lindor a 10-year deal worth $325 million. It is their final offer. A source says Lindor's camp is still seeking $385 million over 12 years.
Francisco Lindor wants more like 12 years close to $400 million, according to a source. The Mets offered 10 years at $325 million, which is their “best and final offer.”
 

Al Zarilla

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Eh, good for him for pushing to get every dollar he can. The Mets cannot afford to let him walk, not after what they traded and not when you consider how valuable he is to the franchise as a Puerto Rican star playing in NYC.
On the other hand, maybe he and his agent should consider the extra money he can make being a Puerto Rican star playing in NYC from commercials, restaurants, etc. Hmmm, maybe (probably) that isn't even a thing anymore with salaries out in the Kuiper Belt.
 

BaseballJones

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Sox' TV question.... I don't have NESN, because I use YoutubeTV. I know a while back they discontinued NESN, but I was hoping that they'd actually iron something out. Now that we're on the verge of opening day, does anyone have any news or hear any rumors about YoutubeTV picking up NESN again, or am I completely out of luck on that score?
 

ehaz

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Eh, good for him for pushing to get every dollar he can. The Mets cannot afford to let him walk, not after what they traded and not when you consider how valuable he is to the franchise as a Puerto Rican star playing in NYC.
I'm sure the Mets feel pressure to keep him, but how many teams have the ability to spend $300M + on a SS? Correa, Seager, and Story will be available and Lindor might come back to the table after testing the market.
 

staz

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Yeah, Duran, Dalbec and Downs might be the killer Ds.

So with ERod missing his start, looks like it's Houck on Saturday? If he pitches like he did against the Braves' regular line up the other day, he'll have the Oriole hitters in fits.
 

A Bad Man

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What do we think the hope/plan is with Duran? Have we heard anything specific about what the team wants him to work on or improve? Is it now just a matter of seeing him produce in games in the high minors?

I’m hoping he’s up by mid-season and starting in CF for us. Is that realistic?
Consensus, it seems, is route development in CF and testing the swing against AA+ pitching. Chaim will not rush him; I think late-season. Start in AA in May, AAA in July, Fenway Sept 1.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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What do we think the hope/plan is with Duran? Have we heard anything specific about what the team wants him to work on or improve? Is it now just a matter of seeing him produce in games in the high minors?

I’m hoping he’s up by mid-season and starting in CF for us. Is that realistic?
I think it's the defensive side of things where there's more concern with him. He's a converted infielder who is still at a stage where he uses his speed to cover mistakes and poor reactions. So improvement there is a key. Also, his improvements at the plate are attributed to a change in his swing last year, so proving that change is going to hold up long term is also important. He might get called up as an injury fill in during the season, but I don't think he'll be up with an expectation of staying permanently until late this year, if not next season.