Mookie BBetts - 2019 Campaign

Pitt the Elder

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Sep 7, 2013
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Rather than glom onto last year's Mookie thread, I thought it would be helpful to have a new one so that we could discuss Mookie's 2019 season. First, some stats to get us started:

YearRHRSBTBfWARbWAR
20159218212864.85.9
201612231263598.39.7
201710124262885.36.4
2018129323033310.410.9
20194285891.62.3
Projected12824152724.97.0

YearWRC+PAAvgOBPSLGOPSISO
20151206540.2910.3410.4790.8200.188
20161367300.3180.3630.5340.8970.216
20171067120.2640.3440.4590.8030.194
20181856140.3460.4380.641.0780.294
20191342220.2900.4050.4860.8910.197

The immediate take is that Mookie is either regressing to his true talent level or he's having an MVP hangover - and possibly a little bit of both. So far, his 2019 more closely resembles his 2017 - a very good season just shy of being great. But when you dig a little deeper, this season is very much unlike his previous campaigns. For starters, Mookie is walking more than he every has in his career:

Yearbb%kk%O-Swing %Z-Swing %Swing %O-Contact %Z-contact %SwSt %
20157.0%12.5%25.3%55.7%40.2%72.9%93.1%5.4%
20166.7%11.0%25.5%58.4%41.2%71.6%94.8%5.2%
201710.8%11.1%22.1%53.8%36.0%72.6%92.7%5.0%
201813.2%14.8%19.8%57.0%35.6%70.7%93.0%5.0%
201915.8%14.9%18.1%59.1%35.9%78.4%93.0%4.0%

This data suggests that he's being much more selective - or is being pitched to much more carefully - than previous seasons. He's swinging a pitches out of the zone less often but, when he does, he's making contact at a higher rate. His swinging strike rate is also the lowest it's been by a large margin. So that explains the jump in walks but what happens when he makes contact?

Yearbarrel %exit velocitylaunch angleXBAXSLGHARD %
20155.9%89.915.00.290.45437.4%
20165.3%89.712.50.2890.45739.6%
20174.5%88.414.10.2790.44437.9%
201814.1%92.218.30.3140.51050.2%
201910.5%90.017.20.2690.48644.4%

The quality of his contact isn't as good as it was last year, but it's still better than his previous highs. His barrel %, exit velocity, launch angle, hard hit % are all 2nd best of his career, which would imply that this year is shaping up to be one of his bests. But, what are his fWAR and bWAR projections so much lower than last years's? In short, his base running and defense hasn't been good, at least on paper:

YearBsRSprint SpeedHP to 1stDefOAACatch % Added
20157.928.7-0.5--
201610.627.9-1465
20179.227.94.2114.3204
20186.928.14.1811.674
2019-0.727.84.32-0.853

Mookie's BsR and Def metrics on Fangraphs are the lowest of his career and his speed metrics, though not that far off his previous seasons, show that he's a tad slower. He's made some uncharacteristically bone head plays on the bases and in the outfield early in the season, which could be weighing everything down, but it does seem like Mookie's operating at a gear or two below what he was doing last year.

So what say ye, SoSH? Is Mookie still shaking off the post-MVP doldrums, as his performance over the past month might suggest? Or is this closer to his true talent level?
 

Average Game James

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The immediate question that jumps to mind for me is what does the batted ball profile looks like when he swings at pitches in the zone and how does that compare to last year? In other words, is his greater O-contact% suppressing overall contact quality stats? Or is he also making weaker contact with pitches in the strike zone? On mobile, so won’t fight with the Fangraphs splits tool right now, but something to look into later...
 

SemperFidelisSox

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A career .905 OPS vs left handed pitchers down to .519 this season. Zero homeruns vs left handed pitchers either. His performance has taken a stark turn.
 

Byrdbrain

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A career .905 OPS vs left handed pitchers down to .519 this season. Zero homeruns vs left handed pitchers either. His performance has taken a stark turn.
Which of those numbers do you think is the outlier? Which of those numbers do you suspect he'll be closer to from now to the end of the season?
 

Pitt the Elder

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A career .905 OPS vs left handed pitchers down to .519 this season. Zero homeruns vs left handed pitchers either. His performance has taken a stark turn.
that's really interesting and seems to explain almost all of the drop in his offensive output. his numbers vs RHP are almost identical to last year:
  • OBP: .447 vs .427
  • SLG: .570 vs .610
  • OPS: 1.017 vs 1.013
  • wRC+: 168 vs 178
  • BB%: 18.2% vs 11.8% (big uptick here)
  • K%: 15.3 vs 15.3%
now let's look at those same numbers vs LHP:
  • OBP: .269 vs.471
  • SLG: .250 vs .736
  • OPS: .519 vs 1.207
  • wRC+: 19 vs 212
  • BB%: 7.7% vs 17.4%
  • K%: 13.5% vs 13.5%
he basically went from murdering LHP to being very weak against them while maintaining great numbers against RHP. as Byrdbrain suggests, there's probably some mean regression coming and in a good way. Mookie only has 58 PA against LHP this season and, so far in May, the numbers are starting to get better after an atrocious April. April-19 (34 PA) vs May-19 (18 PA) vs LHP:
  • OPB: .265 vs .278
  • SLG: .167 vs .389
  • OPS: .431 vs .667
  • wRC+: -10 vs 70
  • BB%: 0.0% vs 11.8%
  • K%: 8.8% vs 22.2%
the drop in BB% and spike in K% suggests that Mookie is still searching...seems like he's getting more aggressive with marginally better results, but it has yet snapped back to his career norms.
 

billy ashley

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why the disparity between Baseball Reference and Fangraphs? Is it all driven by UZR versus DRS?

If so couldn't we just chalk up the "decline" to the fact to UZR SSS issues? Like, I don't think anyone expected him to be the best offensive player in the league again. But if he's a 30% better than league average as he is now (and likely trending upward a bit) with elite defense, that's still a 6-7 win player. Which is a MVP candidate in world in which there are no Mike Trouts.
 

bosox79

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I don't think this is his true hitting talent level but I don't think last year was either. If last year was his true hitting ability, coupled with everything else, he's be one of the 5 best players to have ever played the game. I'd guess his true hitting level is right around .300/.400/.500.

I actually looked up his average performance from 2016-now, and it's .304/.380/.530, OPS+ of 138. Add in his defense and he's a threat to win MVP on any given year. There's a lot of room between his 2018 OPS+ of 186 and his 2019 OPS+ of 122.

Another thing besides his performance vs L
BAbip
2014: .327
2015: .310
2016: .322
2017: .268
2018: .368
2019: .295

Someone mentioned his career vs L but I figured more context would be good.
vs R: 2463 PA, .300/.370/.511, .315 BAbip, 9.5% BB rate, 13.0% K rate
vs L: 734 PA, .302/.375/.522, .308 BAbip, 10.9% BB rate, 11.2% K rate

Yeah, basically no split whatsoever.

2019 vs R: 204 PA, .305/.422/.539, .323 BAbip, 16.2% BB rate, 14.7% K rate
2019 vs L: 70 PA, .194/.286/.242, .226 BAbip, 11.4% BB rate, 12.9% K rate

He's hit for no power vs L this year, but he's also only put the ball in play 53 times and has been pretty unlucky. He's also been kinda meh on the road.

Career Home Split: 1539 PA, .319/.385/.533, .334 BAbip
Career Road Split: 1658 PA, .283/.358/.495, .293 BAbip

2019 Home: 120 PA, .310/.417/.500, .329 BAbip
2019 Road: 154 PA, .248/.364/.426, .267 BAbip

I think it's all SSS noise but those are the results to date, luck or not.
 

reggiecleveland

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Whenever I read one of these articles all I can do is wonder what Wade Boggs could be today.
I wonder about greats that don't fit the profile too. Would Tony Gwynn be coaching high school because he didn't get enough "barrels" in AA? Would Wilt Chamberlain be setting countless ballscreens, watching his team mates shoot 3s?
 

Pitt the Elder

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Baseball Savant isn't super easy to get splits for, but here's what I managed to tease out:

vs RHP:
YearExit VelocityLaunch AngleBarrel %Hard Hit %XBAXSLGXWOBA
201589.9145.9%37.0%0.2710.4340.330
201689.8124.6%39.8%0.2800.4340.336
201788.3154.8%38.1%0.2750.4370.344
201892.12013.2%49.2%0.3080.5910.424
201991.21713.8%49.3%0.2870.5550.414

YearGB%LD% FB%PU%
201539.6%25.2%28.0%7.2%
201642.7%25.3%22.4%9.5%
201740.0%24.9%22.4%12.8%
201833.2%26.8%32.6%7.4%
201937.7%23.9%27.5%10.9%

vs LHP:
YearExit VelocityLaunch AngleBarrel %Hard Hit %XBAXSLGXWOBA
201590175.9%40.0%0.3130.4780.361
201689.2158.5%41.0%0.2900.5000.358
201788.7123.6%37.5%0.2830.4450.361
201892.51516.8%53.3%0.3280.6720.461
201988.1213.8%26.4%0.2220.3320.267

YearGB%LD% FB%PU%
201536.3%26.7%26.7%10.4%
201637.6%23.1%27.4%12.0%
201744.6%23.2%19.6%12.5%
201836.4%26.2%29.0%8.4%
201932.1%20.8%43.4%3.8%

What stands out to me is the big spike in Mookie's launch angle and FB% in 2019, which correlates to a drop in barrel %. Is it possible that Mookie is getting a little too launch angle happy against LHP and is hitting too many catchable fly balls to the outfield? The pitch profile against him doesn't seem very different than it was last year, so my guess is that Mookie should be able to make an adjustment to sacrifice some launch angle to drive the ball better.
 

Hawk68

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https://slate.com/culture/2019/06/mvp-machine-excerpt-mookie-betts-better-swing.html

Here’s an interesting article on changes to Betts’ swing brought on by a specialist.
Thank you for pointing this out. The shift in hitting philosophy back to Williams method, the advances in baseball bat construction, the use of data to drive decisions have driven the game to it's current state.

It is not the game I played and loved. But it is the game the professionals earn world class entertainment incomes playing.

Times change and we all must face that fact.
Respectfully,
Hawk
 
Jul 5, 2018
221
Thank you for pointing this out. The shift in hitting philosophy back to Williams method, the advances in baseball bat construction, the use of data to drive decisions have driven the game to it's current state.

It is not the game I played and loved. But it is the game the professionals earn world class entertainment incomes playing.

Times change and we all must face that fact.
Respectfully,
Hawk
The way I see hitting is that you have a fraction of a second to identify pitch type and location. To do this, great eye sight, reflexes, hand eye coordination, bat speed and reps are needed. Besides the reps, success is due to natural ability.

What changed in pitching, besides the countless guys coming out of the bullpen that throw 95+mph, has necessitated radical changes in the approach to hitting? I don't believe using data is going to help anyone hit better against Sale.
 
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shaggydog2000

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The way I see hitting is that you have a fraction of a second to identify pitch type and location. To do this, great eye sight, reflexes, hand eye coordination, bat speed and reps are needed. Besides the reps, success is due to natural ability.

What changes in pitching, besides the countless guys coming out of the bullpen that throw 95+mph, has necessitated radical changes in the approach to hitting? I don't believe using data is going to help anyone hit better against Sale.
Different pitches with different movement go in and out of style. The changes in how the strike zone is called make high and low strikes more or less likely to be thrown, and therefore encourage different swing paths. Advanced scouting gives an advantage to hitters who are better able to internalize the information and put it into use during those high stress fractions of a second.
 

soxhop411

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in his last 8 games (including todays game) he has 3 Hits in his last 30 AB's....


not including today's game, in his last 15 games, he is batting .203 with 12 Hits in 59 AB's.

The entire team, AB, Mookie etc, are all struggling at the same time
 

Al Zarilla

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in his last 8 games (including todays game) he has 3 Hits in his last 30 AB's....


not including today's game, in his last 15 games, he is batting .203 with 12 Hits in 59 AB's.

The entire team, AB, Mookie etc, are all struggling at the same time
Mookie hit the ball very hard on two ABs (the grounders) and pretty well to right into the wind in his leadoff AB. Could have had two hits. If he can keep up today’s swings, the hits will come.
 

flymrfreakjar

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I wonder if he is nursing a leg injury of some kind. Not trying to steal much, bad numbers on the bases in general, and some shockingly bad defensive metrics (especially considering he’s usually a super elite defender by the numbers)
 

richgedman'sghost

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Just addressing Mookie's lack of steals...For most of the year, he was batting second with JD batting third. It stands to reason that Mookie would be less inclined to steal with JD batting directly behind him than with Andrew batting behind him.
 

Pitt the Elder

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A quick update on Mookie's recent performance. Superficially, his numbers in June have been down, but it looks like that is being driven by a .232 BABIP (.267 for LHP and .222 vs RHP). His underlying batted ball stats are actually trending slightly higher, especially vs LHP:

vs RHP:
MonthExit VelocityLaunch AngleBarrel %Hard Hit %XBAXSLGXWOBA
Mar/Apr89.41611.9%47.8%0.2840.5550.403
May91.21814.5%53.2%0.2990.5620.434
June91.12015.8%42.1%0.2670.5520.402

MonthGB%LD% FB%PU%
Mar/Apr43.3%19.0%26.9%10.4%
May33.9%29.0%27.4%9.7%
June31.6%22.8%36.8%8.8%

vs LHP:
MonthExit VelocityLaunch AngleBarrel %Hard Hit %XBAXSLGXWOBA
Mar/Apr87.4173.7%29.6%0.2540.3730.287
May88.5254.2%20.8%0.2110.3180.255
June89.5236.3%43.8%0.2540.4290.287

MonthGB%LD% FB%PU%
Mar/Apr37.0%22.2%37.0%3.7%
May29.2%20.8%45.8%4.2%
June37.5%18.8%25.0%18.8%

In short, Mookie's batted ball performance vs RHP continues to be very strong, with his exit velocity holding steady at 91.1 mph and his barrel % climbing to a very strong 15.8%. Versus LHP, there are some signs of life. Mookie's exit velocity has climbed to 89.5 mph and his barrel %, while still low, is trending in the right direction, up to 6.3%, with a big jump in his hard hit % (43.8% in June vs 29.6% and 20.8% in Apr and May) and XSLG. HIs PA vs LHP in each month is still very small (34, 32, 24 by month) so small samples still apply.

I dug into some other interesting stats in Baseball Savant. The first was a SweetSpot % (SwSp%) that I can't find on Mookie's player card but which is included in the batted ball leader boards. The SwSp% is all batted balls with launch angles between 8 and 32 degrees. Mookies 5-year progression starting in 2015: 34.2%, 32.2%, 32.5%, 39.4%, 34.6%. I couldn't find a way to break that down by pitcher handedness, but my guess is that he's hitting the sweet spot far less than usual vs LHP. Similarly, I found these values interesting from Mookie's batted ball profile:

YearWeakToppedUnderFlare/BurnerSolidBarrel
20152.70%28.60%30.00%28.60%4.20%5.90%
20162.00%36.10%26.70%23.20%6.70%5.30%
20173.80%31.90%29.40%23.30%7%4.50%
20182.10%21.90%27.60%26.30%8.10%14.10%
20191.60%27.10%32.70%22.30%5.20%11.20%

Mookie is hitting more balls that are "topped" or "under" than last year by quite a bit. Again, I'd like to see how this is broken down by handedness and I wonder if this is a reflection of how pitchers are pitching him differently this year. LHP are pitching him more breaking balls this year than last (22.3% vs 17.3%) and are throwing less offspeed stuff (16% vs 21.9%). What's very telling is that Mookie has barreled up 0% of breaking and off-speed pitches vs LHP this year after barreling them up at an 18.4% (off-speed) and 21.4% (breaking) last year. Interestingly, his FB% on breaking balls has spiked as well, suggesting that he's getting under these pitches too much.

For what it's worth, fis numbers vs fastballs have dropped a bit, but his 2019 numbers (8.8%) aren't that much lower than 2018 (14.5%). Also, Mookie is not seeing the same drop vs RHP from 2018 to 2019 (Fastballs: 15.1% vs 14.8%; breaking: 10.1% vs 16.7%; 7.4% vs 4.2%).

So is the answer to the question "What's wrong with Mookie?" that he's simply struggling to barrel up offspeed and breaking pitches from LHP? A quick look at the numbers suggests he had a similar problem in 2017 after hitting those pitches well in 2016.
 
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Soxfan in Fla

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Manramsclan

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I don't have Pitt the Elder's skills, but since his last post on June 25th, 1 month ago, and not including tonights 3 homer game Mookie is 33/98 with 16 walks, 30 runs, and slashing .337/.422/.510.
He's raking.
 

Pedroia's Itchy Nose

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According to Fangraphs from 6/26 through 7/26 he's at 36/99 and slashing .364/.444./.636 on a BABIP of .388. Staggering 48.2% hard hit.

It's an incredible month, but even more incredible that he did basically the same thing for the entire year last year (.346/.438/.640) on a BABIP of .368.

EDIT: assuming I didn't flub the math the Red Sox are scoring 7.4 runs per game during that stretch. If Mookie sustains this level and JDM can regain his 2018 form this is going to be one very special offense.
 
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RedOctober3829

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Jon Morosi:
--There is a belief that the Red Sox will at least listen to trade offers for Mookie Betts.

--The reasoning is that they have a lot of big ticket guys signed long-term and this would be the way to get young, cost-controlled pitching to improve their staff in order to compete with the Yankees and Rays. Says that he's turned down 8 years and $200 million.

--Mentions one team that would be of interest to the Red Sox to consider a deal with is Atlanta. If they offered the Sox Ian Anderson and OF prospect Cristian Pache the Red Sox would have to stop and consider it.

View: https://twitter.com/MLBONFOX/status/1159882688293003266
 

E5 Yaz

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Jon Morosi:
--There is a belief that the Red Sox will at least listen to trade offers for Mookie Betts.

--The reasoning is that they have a lot of big ticket guys signed long-term and this would be the way to get young, cost-controlled pitching to improve their staff in order to compete with the Yankees and Rays. Says that he's turned down 8 years and $200 million.

--Mentions one team that would be of interest to the Red Sox to consider a deal with is Atlanta. If they offered the Sox Ian Anderson and OF prospect Cristian Pache the Red Sox would have to stop and consider it.

View: https://twitter.com/MLBONFOX/status/1159882688293003266
In essence, losing Mookie would be the cost of paying Sale and Price $186M from 2020-2022.

And leave them with what in the outfield? Benintendi off a down year and a JBJ who might not even be back next season
 

joe dokes

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Jon Morosi:
--There is a belief that the Red Sox will at least listen to trade offers for Mookie Betts.

--The reasoning is that they have a lot of big ticket guys signed long-term and this would be the way to get young, cost-controlled pitching to improve their staff in order to compete with the Yankees and Rays. Says that he's turned down 8 years and $200 million.

--Mentions one team that would be of interest to the Red Sox to consider a deal with is Atlanta. If they offered the Sox Ian Anderson and OF prospect Cristian Pache the Red Sox would have to stop and consider it.

View: https://twitter.com/MLBONFOX/status/1159882688293003266

Presumably, they will "at least listen" to trade offers for anybody. At least I hope so. Hanging up the phone when another GM is mid-sentence is bad form.
 

nattysez

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And leave them with what in the outfield? Benintendi off a down year and a JBJ who might not even be back next season
I don't know that I trust DD to pull this off, or if it can really even be replicated, but the Giants remade their entire OF during the season by raiding the scrapheap and throwing guys out there until three guys stuck. In a worst-case scenario, JDM plays LF, Benintendi slides to center and the Sox audition RF and backup LF until someone impresses them.

I was going to suggest they might even throw Rusney out there, but he makes $14m next year. That's probably more than they can afford to spend on an OF.
 

jon abbey

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Well, in that rumored trade, BOS would be getting Pache, the #11 prospect overall in MLB (according to the mlb.com list), a 20 year old elite defensive CF who just got promoted to AAA. So presumably it would be Benintendi in LF, Pache in CF (by June anyway) and it's not hard to find a RF in the FA market, although admittedly playing in Fenway complicates that. Can Benintendi play RF?
 

LesterFan

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I know Morosi is just speculating but it seems extremely unlikely Atlanta would do both Anderson and Pache for one expensive season of Mookie.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Well, in that rumored trade, BOS would be getting Pache, the #11 prospect overall in MLB (according to the mlb.com list), a 20 year old elite defensive CF who just got promoted to AAA. So presumably it would be Benintendi in LF, Pache in CF (by June anyway) and it's not hard to find a RF in the FA market, although admittedly playing in Fenway complicates that. Can Benintendi play RF?
IF the Sox are trading Mookie Betts (and being willing to listen isn't the same as willing to actually pull the trigger), and that's the deal they get for him, re-upping JBJ to play CF or RF is most assuredly on the table. Of course, it's on the table even if they keep Mookie, but my point is that they don't have to scour the FA or trade market for a third outfielder.
 

RedOctober3829

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If there are going to be pie in the sky trade scenarios: which one would be the most intriguing?

Mets for Syndergaard or deGrom?
Braves for Soroka and Pache?
Padres for Mackenzie Gore and Taylor Trammel?
Mariners for Jarred Kelenic and Logan Gilbert?
 

E5 Yaz

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IF the Sox are trading Mookie Betts (and being willing to listen isn't the same as willing to actually pull the trigger), and that's the deal they get for him, re-upping JBJ to play CF or RF is most assuredly on the table. Of course, it's on the table even if they keep Mookie, but my point is that they don't have to scour the FA or trade market for a third outfielder.
This seems true.
 

scottyno

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Depending on when they offered it, 8-200 for Betts is an absolute joke of a non starter offer, of course he turned that down. Offering that this past off-season while Machado got 300 and Harper got 330 would be an embarrassment.
 

Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat

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Depending on when they offered it, 8-200 for Betts is an absolute joke of a non starter offer, of course he turned that down. Offering that this past off-season while Machado got 300 and Harper got 330 would be an embarrassment.
Considering the fact that Machado and Harper were free agents, and Betts was two years away from free agency, it wasn't a joke or an embarrassment. It also wasn't surprising that he said no.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Depending on when they offered it, 8-200 for Betts is an absolute joke of a non starter offer, of course he turned that down. Offering that this past off-season while Machado got 300 and Harper got 330 would be an embarrassment.
Let's assume that it was offered this past winter when he had two full years of arbitration control left. So that's six years of free agency they'd be buying out. He's making $20M now, figure $25-28M in 2020. So now that offer, as a free agent deal, is 6/152-155M...roughly 25.5M a season. Harper is getting ~$25.4M AAV over 13 years. Machado is getting $30M AAV over 10 years. Explain how that offer is a joke of a non-starter in that context.

I'm not the least bit surprised that Mookie would turn it down, but that is not an insulting offer. At all. It's a perfectly reasonable starting point for a guy with two years of team control left.
 

scottyno

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Let's assume that it was offered this past winter when he had two full years of arbitration control left. So that's six years of free agency they'd be buying out. He's making $20M now, figure $25-28M in 2020. So now that offer, as a free agent deal, is 6/152-155M...roughly 25.5M a season. Harper is getting ~$25.4M AAV over 13 years. Machado is getting $30M AAV over 10 years. Explain how that offer is a joke of a non-starter in that context.
Because Betts is way better than Harper and slightly better than Machado. Arenado just got an 8-260 extension with 1 less arb year left and Betts is better than him too.
 

Average Reds

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Because Betts is way better than Harper and slightly better than Machado. Arenado just got an 8-260 extension with 1 less arb year left and Betts is better than him too.
Hey, I love Mookie and want him to be a Red Sox player for life, but let’s not lose touch with reality.

What the team offered is perhaps at the low end, but not at all “a joke” as an opening offer.

As an aside, if you’re going to defend a position, “because I say so” really isn’t considered supporting evidence.
 
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Red(s)HawksFan

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Because Betts is way better than Harper and slightly better than Machado. Arenado just got an 8-260 extension with 1 less arb year left and Betts is better than him too.
Harper's career numbers are .276/.385/.507/.892, OPS+ 136. Mookie is presently at .299/.372/.513/.885, OPS+ 132. They're the same age. They play the same position (though Mookie is decidedly better defensively). Harper seems like the floor of what Mookie is looking at in free agency. I fail to see how starting there from an AAV standpoint is a joke in the least.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
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Harper's career numbers are .276/.385/.507/.892, OPS+ 136. Mookie is presently at .299/.372/.513/.885, OPS+ 132. They're the same age. They play the same position (though Mookie is decidedly better defensively). Harper seems like the floor of what Mookie is looking at in free agency. I fail to see how starting there from an AAV standpoint is a joke in the least.
Because you gloss over defense and baserunning there, and it's a massive massive difference in this case. Starting with 2015 (Harper's best season), Harper has a total of 18.9 bWAR for the last 4 1/2 seasons and Mookie is at 37.4 bWAR.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Because you gloss over defense and baserunning there, and it's a massive massive difference in this case. Starting with 2015 (Harper's best season), Harper has a total of 18.9 bWAR for the last 4 1/2 seasons and Mookie is at 37.4 bWAR.
I didn't gloss over defense. I acknowledge that Mookie is far superior. My point isn't to say they're the same player or that Harper is better. My point is to say that an offer in line with what one of his positional peers got as a free agent (from an AAV standpoint) is hardly a joke or a non-starter. It seems like a reasonable starting point in terms of trying to sign a player long term two years before they really have to.
 

Seels

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I'll be honest, and this isn't some next level analysis, but if the Sox trade Mookie, not wanting to pay him, after doing the same with Lester, my interest in this team will not recover for a while.

Mookie is a once in a generation player that's a near lock for 80+ career war. An inner circle hall of famer in his prime. I don't care that they can get some 30 ranked prospects. I don't care how close they are to the luxury tax. I don't care if Mookie wants $36x10 and they seem him as a $28*7 player. If Mookie is not the guy you give an elite contract to while the same team has had these albatross of never even seemed like a good idea contracts in Sandoval and Hanley, then it's hard to justify watching them more than casually.

The Lester fiasco had me not watch for a year. It'd be great if they didn't repeat the same mistake 5 years later. Two times isn't a mistake, it's a model.
 

Max Power

thai good. you like shirt?
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I'll be honest, and this isn't some next level analysis, but if the Sox trade Mookie, not wanting to pay him, after doing the same with Lester, my interest in this team will not recover for a while.

Mookie is a once in a generation player that's a near lock for 80+ career war. An inner circle hall of famer in his prime. I don't care that they can get some 30 ranked prospects. I don't care how close they are to the luxury tax. I don't care if Mookie wants $36x10 and they seem him as a $28*7 player. If Mookie is not the guy you give an elite contract to while the same team has had these albatross of never even seemed like a good idea contracts in Sandoval and Hanley, then it's hard to justify watching them more than casually.

The Lester fiasco had me not watch for a year. It'd be great if they didn't repeat the same mistake 5 years later. Two times isn't a mistake, it's a model.
Mookie has been a great player, but will he be in the future? Aside from 2018 he's basically a 130 OPS+ hitter, which is very good, but nowhere close to the league leader. It was his defense and baserunning that have provided a lot of extra value, but both of those have clearly slipped this year. If that's who he is going forward, $360/10 is a ridiculous overpay. If he can get it back, then they can have that conversation. Luckily there's another full season of information coming before both sides have to make that decision.
 

Danny_Darwin

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Jul 19, 2005
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I'll be honest, and this isn't some next level analysis, but if the Sox trade Mookie, not wanting to pay him, after doing the same with Lester, my interest in this team will not recover for a while.

Mookie is a once in a generation player that's a near lock for 80+ career war. An inner circle hall of famer in his prime. I don't care that they can get some 30 ranked prospects. I don't care how close they are to the luxury tax. I don't care if Mookie wants $36x10 and they seem him as a $28*7 player. If Mookie is not the guy you give an elite contract to while the same team has had these albatross of never even seemed like a good idea contracts in Sandoval and Hanley, then it's hard to justify watching them more than casually.

The Lester fiasco had me not watch for a year. It'd be great if they didn't repeat the same mistake 5 years later. Two times isn't a mistake, it's a model.
I get the emotional reaction, but I think the difference between Mookie and Lester is that the former has been pretty open about not really wanting to sign a long-term extension. Maybe there’s a number at which he changes his mind, but if he doesn’t want to sign, there’s not a lot anyone can do about it. (To be clear: I’m not being critical of him!)

As for your “it’s a model” comment and your point about Sandoval/Hanley, let’s not criticize the current FO over the mistakes of the previous one. If anything, DD has made more of a point of extending pending FAs (like Sale and Xander) than Theo/Ben/LL ever did.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Aside from 2018 he's basically a 130 OPS+ hitter
Correction: Including 2018 he's basically a 130 OPS+ hitter (132, to be exact, or 134 if you're using wRC+). Aside from 2018 he's more like a 120 OPS+ hitter (a little better than that, but only a little).

As others have pointed out, Mookie is a superstar because of the total package. He's been a very good hitter from day one, and probably will continue to be for several more years, but only in 2018 has he been a truly elite hitter. As long as the defense and baserunning are outstanding, he's outstanding; when they slip to good-but-ordinary range, he's still a fine player that any team would be glad to have, but no longer a player who belongs in the $300M conversation.
 

bosox79

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Dec 22, 2002
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I'll be honest, and this isn't some next level analysis, but if the Sox trade Mookie, not wanting to pay him, after doing the same with Lester, my interest in this team will not recover for a while.

Mookie is a once in a generation player that's a near lock for 80+ career war. An inner circle hall of famer in his prime. I don't care that they can get some 30 ranked prospects. I don't care how close they are to the luxury tax. I don't care if Mookie wants $36x10 and they seem him as a $28*7 player. If Mookie is not the guy you give an elite contract to while the same team has had these albatross of never even seemed like a good idea contracts in Sandoval and Hanley, then it's hard to justify watching them more than casually.

The Lester fiasco had me not watch for a year. It'd be great if they didn't repeat the same mistake 5 years later. Two times isn't a mistake, it's a model.
I think the secret is not giving elite contracts to anyone, especially pitchers, because then you end up in these types of messes. I think they were right letting Lester walk. They were wrong signing Price, and probably Sale. Of course they had no choice to pay for SP because they haven't really developed any.

Lester in Chicago: 5 seasons, 150 GS, 893.0 ip, 3.48 era, 3.74 FIP, 1.216 WHIP, 8.6 K/9, 2.5 BB/9. ERA+ 120
Price in Boston: 4 seasons, 102 G/97 GS, 586.0 IP, 3.85 era, 3.74 FIP, 1.205 WHIP, 9.3 K/9, 2.4 BB/9. ERA+ 117

Lester's last 3 seasons as a Cub have also been considerably worse than his first 2 seasons. 3.97 ERA/4.22 FIP, 109 ERA+, 21.9% K%, 7.4% BB%, 3.4% HR%. OTOH, His K% rebounded a little this year and he's close to his lowest BB% of his career too.
Price in that same period is at 3.77/3.83/121 ERA+, 25.6% K%, 7.1% BB%, 3.2% HR%. This year, Price is at a career high 28.0% K%.

Back to Mookie, if he wants 10/360, they should trade him. There's hard to see any excess value there and breaking even would be a good outcome. A lot of his value is tied up into defense and unless you think he's going to hit at 2018 levels, I can't see him (or really any player) being worth that much.