Mookie Betts 2020 FA Watch

NomarsFool

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Putting aside the question of whether it makes sense to invest $400 million in any one player, this thread is dedicated to reading the tea leaves on where Mookie will sign as a free agent towards the end of this year.

In analyzing the Sox' ~$300 million offer to Mookie Betts, I see three possible scenarios:

1) CYA (this is probably the most likely and most cynical): The Red Sox made Mookie an offer that is both incredibly large (any way you slice it, $300 million is a lot of money) and had 0% chance of being accepted. As it would look bad to ship Mookie out of town without ever making him an offer, they made an offer that they knew he would never accept. This would be consistent with a narrative that they have no intention of pursuing him next offseason.

2) Tank for Betts (Prioritize Mookie): The Red Sox made Mookie an offer that they felt would represent such a good value for the club, that they'd be willing to tear down other parts of the team to get under the LT threshold. In other words, assuming that they still want to be under the LT, they'd be willing to make even tougher choices to get under the salary cap after signing Mookie to such an extension.

3) LT be damned: The offer that the Red Sox made Mookie represents their total willingness to pay (salary + tax). This is probably the least likely scenario, but the most interesting (I think). If Mookie would have accepted that $30 million/year offer, it would have cost the team an additional 45?% on top of that. That would mean they were willing to invest almost $44 million a year in Mookie (sort of assumes they'd be over the LT for the entirety of the deal, which maybe isn't fair). If that's the case, the Sox could be serious contenders for Mookie next winter. Wouldn't that be interesting?
 

johnnywayback

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I think explaining the offer entails some combination of 2) and 3). The Red Sox have an internal valuation system that says Mookie is worth X. If he was willing to sign for X (whether that's $300 million or some slightly higher, less-than-Trout, sum he could have asked for in response), they would have signed him and then figured out how to deal with the 2020 luxury tax situation. I don't know if there would have been a way to do it via trading Price and JBJ -- it seems like the market there was predictably weak -- and I suspect they would have wound up just going over (which accounts for the "it's a goal, not a mandate" language).

That said, I think the Sox suspected that at least one other team would value Mookie higher than X, and so did he, and they're both right. I guess it's possible that the Red Sox valuation changes between now and November, but I doubt it. So my guess is that they once again make a strong offer for around X -- hoping that he takes it, but knowing that some other team is likely to value him higher and offer him more. And that's probably what will happen.

In terms of WHICH team, the three that come to mind are the Dodgers, the Braves, and the White Sox, but you really can't rule out anybody.
 

Earthbound64

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The offer that the Red Sox made Mookie represents their total willingness to pay (salary + tax). This is probably the least likely scenario, but the most interesting (I think). If Mookie would have accepted that $30 million/year offer, it would have cost the team an additional 45?% on top of that. That would mean they were willing to invest almost $44 million a year in Mookie
That's definitely an interesting way to look at it.
 

czar

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3) LT be damned: The offer that the Red Sox made Mookie represents their total willingness to pay (salary + tax). This is probably the least likely scenario, but the most interesting (I think). If Mookie would have accepted that $30 million/year offer, it would have cost the team an additional 45?% on top of that. That would mean they were willing to invest almost $44 million a year in Mookie (sort of assumes they'd be over the LT for the entirety of the deal, which maybe isn't fair). If that's the case, the Sox could be serious contenders for Mookie next winter. Wouldn't that be interesting?
I am too lazy to do the math, but this is some of the undercurrent of the Stark piece (Athletic) bouncing around the Twitterverse.

However, I find it highly unlikely the Sox viewed $30m/pp as full tax freight. If Mookie signs the rumored offer, I'm very confident that other moves would have cascaded (non-tendering JBJ, perhaps moving someone like Beni to subsidize Price, etc.) to get under the LT (or at least mitigate penalties). It wasn't a binary "sign Betts and stand pat or ditch Betts and shed $$$" outcome.

I don't disagree that the Sox *could* be contendors for Betts in the off-season (although the cynic in me thinks this whole ordeal has done a decent amount of damage) but I wouldn't extrapolate hypothetical contract offers to ballpark the Sox evaluation of him.
 

NomarsFool

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There are certainly numerous other posts around alternatives to get under the LT threshold, but I think that with Betts on the roster (and his $27 million) this season it is pretty hard to do. Yes, as you point out, they could've non-tendered JBJ. But, you still need someone to play CF. So, maybe you don't pay the CF $11 million, but only $2 million - which saves you $9 million, but you've still got a lot more to go. Beni is only costing them $5 million, so maybe you get that down to $2 million to save you another $3 million. I think they could've gotten rid of half (or near half) of Price' contract another way. But, you still aren't there.

I think #1 (they had no intention of signing Mookie) is the easiest explanation, but I think bringing Mookie back would be an awesome story. The Yankees traded away a player recently and signed him back, right?
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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It is very hard in baseball to win by paying players what they are worth.

One way to pay players less than they are worth is to leverage their desire to get life changing money without risking year to year injury or regression during their control/arb years. Like Alex Bregman.

One can really lose focus on the big picture when looking at the $300 million and $420 million dollar numbers that get thrown around. However the bidding went or what the numbers might mentally reflect to those who were discussing them, $300 million was apparently enough to figure out that Mookie was not going to leverage anything and was not going to sign a contract that paid him anything significant less than his perceived value.

Now that they are under the CBT cap, the Sox have the luxury of being able to pay for players who are worth about what they are being paid, and also to stand a chance at being competitive. That may be Mookie or it may be other FAs. I love Mookie. I'm glad they are going to be in the running.
 

sodenj5

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We all love Mookie. We love that he was an MVP caliber player and by all accounts a great person off the field as well.

Count me among those that doesn’t want to be paying a 38 year old Mookie Betts 37 million dollars. No it’s not my money, blah, blah, blah. These long term deals have yet to be anything but an albatross by the back end. Mookie’s game is so heavily reliant on speed, hyper athleticism, and being lightning quick. It won’t take much erosion of that quick twitch athleticism for Mookie to decline in his 30’s.

Yes you’ll get an elite player in his prime for the first several seasons. Then what do you have? I’m happy we got to root for prime Mookie Betts, but will also be happy when someone else is paying him the money he rightfully deserves.
 

JimD

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I think explaining the offer entails some combination of 2) and 3). The Red Sox have an internal valuation system that says Mookie is worth X. If he was willing to sign for X (whether that's $300 million or some slightly higher, less-than-Trout, sum he could have asked for in response), they would have signed him and then figured out how to deal with the 2020 luxury tax situation. I don't know if there would have been a way to do it via trading Price and JBJ -- it seems like the market there was predictably weak -- and I suspect they would have wound up just going over (which accounts for the "it's a goal, not a mandate" language).
I think you're on the right track here, and that the 10/$300 offer was an attempt to see if Mookie and his agents would be willing to negotiate and end up at some contract number in the low to mid $300's. When they came back with 12/$420, it was pretty obvious that the sides were too far apart. I'm assuming that this was done before the Sale and Eovaldi contracts, and had Mookie agreed to a deal one or both of those pitcher contracts don't get done.
 

Pitt the Elder

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At the risk of rehashing several other threads, I think it's instructive to analyze this from Mookie's perspective. To maximize how much you get in any negotiation, you have to do a few things.
  • The first is to anchor the negotiation at a high number against which all future negotiations can be compared against. I think Mookie's camp did this pretty well by floating the 12/$420 mega-deal that has roundly horrified this board.
  • The second is that you need to have a reservation price that is the minimum you are willing to accept. We do not know what this exact number is, but we do know that it is between 10/$300 and below 12/$420. This number should not be confused with the 12/$420 number; it is almost certainly meaningfully lower.
  • The third is that Betts needs to have clear alternatives. This is arguably the biggest reason he wanted to test free agency; he needs credible competition to drive the price up. By the way, this also means that it would be smart of Betts to keep the Sox in play in FA, if only because they are one of a small handful of players that can keep other teams honest.
  • The fourth is to factor in non-monetary factors, such as city, team, community, family, marketing opportunities, etc, that Mookie values as part of his next contract. We have no idea what these are. The Sox probably have no idea what these are. But, whatever they are, they are the one thing that could bring Mookie back to Boston even if the Sox aren't the highest bidder.
Honestly, I don't think enough players consider the 4th point element, at a certain point, other things are more important than money. It is possible, even if it's not probable, that Mookie's entire endgame has been to maximize how much he can earn while staying in Boston for intangible reasons related to the community, team, his legacy, etc. It's also very possible, and even probable, that those intangible motivations are now gone and that Mookie's current goal, if it wasn't before, is simply to earn as much money as he can.

EDIT: Corrected the mega-deal value to 12/$420. Also clarity.
 
Oct 17, 2018
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We all love Mookie. We love that he was an MVP caliber player and by all accounts a great person off the field as well.

Count me among those that doesn’t want to be paying a 38 year old Mookie Betts 37 million dollars. No it’s not my money, blah, blah, blah. These long term deals have yet to be anything but an albatross by the back end. Mookie’s game is so heavily reliant on speed, hyper athleticism, and being lightning quick. It won’t take much erosion of that quick twitch athleticism for Mookie to decline in his 30’s.

Yes you’ll get an elite player in his prime for the first several seasons. Then what do you have? I’m happy we got to root for prime Mookie Betts, but will also be happy when someone else is paying him the money he rightfully deserves.
What do you have? An elite (top 3) player in his prime for several seasons. The entire career of the best homegrown player the Red Sox have had since Yaz.

Maybe this is slightly off the topic, but what strategy gives us as fans the greatest enjoyment from the team? I'd argue one which makes an occasional exception to sign one in a generation talents to secure their prime years. Maybe the optimal way to sustainably run a franchise in perpetuity is to churn through pre-arb talent, sign role players, and never lock up stars to market value deals (Rays/Indians) but that doesn't build iconic players that develop franchise mystique/identity. Sure, sometimes players will sign under-value extentions (Pedroia/Xander) but they weren't generational talents.

I guess the point is that, IMO, signing Mookie to a market value deal is my preferred path not because it's optimal for future team building strategy, but because it's the path to maximize my enjoyment as a Red Sox fan. I'm OK with enduring some pain on the back end of the deal to secure the best Red Sox position player I've ever seen remain here for life. I mean, we're getting the bad part of the Sandoval deal now without any of the massive upsides mentioned above, and it's recoverable if the rest of the roster is well-managed.

Reasonable people may disagree. Maybe it's the 4 rings in 16 years talking.
 

DeadlySplitter

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I was wondering what Pete Abe was on saying Mookie has a real chance to sign with the Dodgers pre-FA. He goes into it more in his Sunday notes... and really, it's just one giant hunch of his with perceived lifestyle/hobby alignment in LA. no one knows what Mookie's thinking.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/redsox/2020/02/15/trading-stars-helped-mike-hazen-rebuild-diamondbacks/adBJi7u2Hlk7sOdcklgDGM/story.html
The Red Sox had Mookie Betts in their organization for 9½ years and never succeeded in signing him to a long-term contract.

The Dodgers now have Betts for 8½ months before he can become a free agent.

It’s the nightmare scenario for the Sox, the Dodgers finding a way to retain Betts after they failed in that endeavor then gave up and traded him.

When the Dodgers traded for Betts, a significant part of his value is that they have exclusive rights to negotiate with him until after the World Series. His vow to go to free agency will be tested, you can be sure of that.

Money is no issue. The Dodgers have only $44.5 million in guaranteed contracts for 2022 and can easily accommodate a large contract. They also have organizational stability in team president Stan Kasten, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, and manager Dave Roberts. Compare that with the revolving door of Red Sox GMs and managers.

The Dodgers are set up to compete for years to come with their loaded farm system. They also can offer Betts great weather, far nicer facilities at their stadium, and the Southern California lifestyle for his young family.

Kasten didn’t want to go into details other than to say, “I think being with the Dodgers, with this organization, with these fans, in this city, is the greatest thrill of my career. And I think there are many players who would agree.”

Ultimately, it’s a financial decision. But Betts has interests that range from music (he DJs at parties), to fashion (he wears custom suits from an English tailor) and the NBA.

There are a lot of buttons the Dodgers can press.

It’s only a matter of time before you see video of Betts sitting courtside at the Staples Center bumping fists with fellow Nike endorsers LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
 

bluefenderstrat

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How is this a "nightmare scenario" for the Sox? Because the 5% chance that Mookie would re-sign here in the offseason officially becomes 0% when he gets his 10/400 from the Dodgers at the All-Star break instead of November? If the "L.A. lifestyle" is what Mookie wants, the Sox did the right thing getting some value back.
 

JimD

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Andrew Friedman and the Dodgers have not been ones to blow away any free agent, at least thus far. He tried to resign Zack Greinke but was ultimately $46 million off from Arizona's winning offer and neglected to match when given the opportunity by Greinkle's agent. They offered less total dollars this winter to Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon and both deals included deferred payments out into the future. If Mookie is insisting on finding out what the market thinks he's worth, it's quite likely that another team besides will have the biggest offer.
 

Yelling At Clouds

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If not the Dodgers, who?

Houston’s reputation is too toxic right now. I assume the Yankees will focus on replacing/re-signing Paxton and Tanaka. Cubs and Cardinals are pleading poverty. Phillies... maybe, but they also have other holes. Angels would have to move someone. It’s not really the Braves’ style. Texas seems like a possibility, I guess. Nationals might offer him the Nats Special with like $200 million in deferrals. Not sure if the Padres can keep offering big deals after the last couple of years. The Mets maybe could of they get their ownership situation sorted out. The White Sox seem like a legit possibility. San Francisco could. And weirdly I think Toronto might go for it as the “we’re ready to compete now” move a la the Phillies signing Harper. But that would be wildly out of character. I’m probably dismissing a few teams for no good reason like the Reds and Twins.

I don’t think it’s going to be Boston, personally.
 
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How is this a "nightmare scenario" for the Sox? Because the 5% chance that Mookie would re-sign here in the offseason officially becomes 0% when he gets his 10/400 from the Dodgers at the All-Star break instead of November? If the "L.A. lifestyle" is what Mookie wants, the Sox did the right thing getting some value back.
I don't believe the "L.A" lifestyle will have anything to do with Mookie's decision. He spends his off-season in Tennessee, so after subtracting spring training and road trips, he will be spending a grand total of 3 months in L.A. He will be working just about every day so he won't have much time to take up surfing.
 

jon abbey

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The Dodgers I think have to be very strong favorites, assuming this year goes well. Not only are they one of the highest revenue teams, but they have so much cost-controlled talent that they can afford to give Mookie what he wants and still be in really good shape going forward. Right now they have only $36M on the books for 2022 (half of Price, Pollock, Muncy) and their farm system continues to spit out serious prospects.
 

bosockboy

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The Dodgers I think have to be very strong favorites, assuming this year goes well. Not only are they one of the highest revenue teams, but they have so much cost-controlled talent that they can afford to give Mookie what he wants and still be in really good shape going forward. Right now they have only $36M on the books for 2022 (half of Price, Pollock, Muncy) and their farm system continues to spit out serious prospects.
Dodgers or Braves.
 

bankshot1

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I think only the impact of climate change and other natural disasters: helllacious fires, drought, searing heat, rising seas threatening the coastal areas and earthquakes in the next 6 months, basically old-school Biblical stuff, hitting southern California might knock-off the Dodgers from the favorite to sign Mookie. It might take locust too.
 

JimD

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Assuming that the Red Sox stay below the luxury-tax threshold this season, they will be ideally situated as well to go big on Mookie. If JDM opts out after his salary drops $4 million next offseason (as I expect he will), payroll commitments will be just under $98 million for 2021 and $73 million for 2022 before dropping to $37.5 million in 2023 when only X's and Sale's contracts are left on the books. I don't expect Chaim to make the same mistake as Dombrowski made when he overpaid on Price but I fully expect the team to surprise many of the Negative Nancy's in Boston by how much they offer Betts next fall.
 

DarthAvershen

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Assuming that the Red Sox stay below the luxury-tax threshold this season, they will be ideally situated as well to go big on Mookie. If JDM opts out after his salary drops $4 million next offseason (as I expect he will), payroll commitments will be just under $98 million for 2021 and $73 million for 2022 before dropping to $37.5 million in 2023 when only X's and Sale's contracts are left on the books. I don't expect Chaim to make the same mistake as Dombrowski made when he overpaid on Price but I fully expect the team to surprise many of the Negative Nancy's in Boston by how much they offer Betts next fall.
I love this outlook especially with the owed money going down! If this team can start drafting and developing minor league pitching then I really think they can go after Mookie! Otherwise we will need to use resources(prospects or money) to get pitching!
 

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Assuming that the Red Sox stay below the luxury-tax threshold this season, they will be ideally situated as well to go big on Mookie. If JDM opts out after his salary drops $4 million next offseason (as I expect he will), payroll commitments will be just under $98 million for 2021 and $73 million for 2022 before dropping to $37.5 million in 2023 when only X's and Sale's contracts are left on the books. I don't expect Chaim to make the same mistake as Dombrowski made when he overpaid on Price but I fully expect the team to surprise many of the Negative Nancy's in Boston by how much they offer Betts next fall.
I don't understand your last sentence. If the Sox offer Betts anything close to what he's supposedly looking for(and more than the $300 million they already supposedly offered him), Chaim would be doing exactly what Dombrowski did. Probably worse.
 

JimD

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I don't understand your last sentence. If the Sox offer Betts anything close to what he's supposedly looking for(and more than the $300 million they already supposedly offered him), Chaim would be doing exactly what Dombrowski did. Probably worse.
To explain - Dombrowski countered Price's likely signing with St. Louis by reportedly offering $30 million more. I would hope that if Bloom makes a strong push for Mookie, he reads the market better than his predecessor did.

I do agree with your overall point, but I expect John Henry to want to make a big push for Mookie if interest in the team falls off this year as badly as it already seems to be doing (based on the sparse crowds in the early days at Fort Myers compared to previous years).
 
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but I expect John Henry to want to make a big push for Mookie if interest in the team falls off this year as badly as it already seems to be doing (based on the sparse crowds in the early days at Fort Myers compared to previous years).
Devers will be eligible for arbitration in 2021 and could well get over $10M, Bogaerts salary is going up to $20M, they still are paying $16M for Price, plus the team might need some starters, so they are liable to be right back above the tax point (albeit at a lower figure). Sticking $40+ million for Betts onto this won't make it easy.
 

IpswichSox

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Assuming that the Red Sox stay below the luxury-tax threshold this season, they will be ideally situated as well to go big on Mookie. If JDM opts out after his salary drops $4 million next offseason (as I expect he will), payroll commitments will be just under $98 million for 2021 and $73 million for 2022 before dropping to $37.5 million in 2023 when only X's and Sale's contracts are left on the books. I don't expect Chaim to make the same mistake as Dombrowski made when he overpaid on Price but I fully expect the team to surprise many of the Negative Nancy's in Boston by how much they offer Betts next fall.
Sorry but how are you calculating $98 million in payroll commitments for 2021?

Red Sox Payroll, cited in this thread, has our payroll at $158.29 million in 2021 ($134.54 million if JD opts out). But neither of those figures include 2021 arbitration for E-Rod (likely more than $10 million), Matt Barnes (likely at least $5 million), plus Devers' first arb year and arbitration for at least five other players (admittedly some of whom may be non-tendered or off the 40-man roster after the 2020 season).

I wish our payroll commitments were only $98 million for 2021, but I'm not seeing that in the numbers.
 
Last edited:
Jan 31, 2020
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If not the Dodgers, who?

Houston’s reputation is too toxic right now. I assume the Yankees will focus on replacing/re-signing Paxton and Tanaka. Cubs and Cardinals are pleading poverty. Phillies... maybe, but they also have other holes. Angels would have to move someone. It’s not really the Braves’ style. Texas seems like a possibility, I guess. Nationals might offer him the Nats Special with like $200 million in deferrals. Not sure if the Padres can keep offering big deals after the last couple of years. The Mets maybe could of they get their ownership situation sorted out. The White Sox seem like a legit possibility. San Francisco could. And weirdly I think Toronto might go for it as the “we’re ready to compete now” move a la the Phillies signing Harper. But that would be wildly out of character. I’m probably dismissing a few teams for no good reason like the Reds and Twins.

I don’t think it’s going to be Boston, personally.
It's going to be between Boston and the Dodgers. At the same time, I'm not sure the Dodgers extend themselves for Mookie. Giving a big money, long term contract for a free agent is not really Andrew Friedmans MO. Perhaps that changed this off season when they offered a ton of money to Cole and Rendon. I would think that other teams could emerge throughout the season. Maybe the Padres are able to shed Wil Myers? Maybe the Reds decide to go for it?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Devers will be eligible for arbitration in 2021 and could well get over $10M, Bogaerts salary is going up to $20M, they still are paying $16M for Price, plus the team might need some starters, so they are liable to be right back above the tax point (albeit at a lower figure). Sticking $40+ million for Betts onto this won't make it easy.
The idea of getting under the cap this year is to reset the penalties associated with being over, not to get under and then stay under forever. So I don't think we can assume that the team is never going to go over the cap again. I think we should assume that they're willing to exceed the cap for a couple years at a time as long as they do the occasional reset of the penalties.

I very much doubt that Betts' cap figure will get to $40M+. Even his reported counter of 12/$420M that most deem unreasonable doesn't yield that. So let's hypothetically call it $36M because that eclipses Trout's mark. They sign him for that, and in the process let JBJ walk (making the OF Benintendi, Verdugo, and Betts). That nets out to only $25M added to the payroll which shouldn't put the team in any danger of finding the most severe penalties. In 2022, Pedroia is off the payroll. In 2023 they drop Price's subsidy, Eovaldi and JDM (assuming he doesn't opt out sooner). So they should have the flexibility to absorb the standard raises of the younger guys like Devers and Verdugo while carrying Betts' salary (and Sale and Bogaerts and perhaps other free agents).

I think there's certainly going to be a number where Bloom and the Red Sox draw the line and pass on Betts, but I don't think it will be due to a fear of going over the luxury tax threshold.
 

nighthob

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The bigger problem is the developmental penalties an organization faces for going over, and Boston’s farm system is still pretty barren. So, no, they’re not hopping right back into the pit they’re trying to dig themselves out of when the system’s pitching is still barren and high cost of pitching on the trade and FA markets.

The idea isn’t to get under and stay under, it’s to get under, rebuild the farm system, and build around Xander and Rafi.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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The bigger problem is the developmental penalties an organization faces for going over, and Boston’s farm system is still pretty barren. So, no, they’re not hopping right back into the pit they’re trying to dig themselves out of when the system’s pitching is still barren and high cost of pitching on the trade and FA markets.

The idea isn’t to get under and stay under, it’s to get under, rebuild the farm system, and build around Xander and Rafi.
The developmental penalties (dropping spots in the draft) only kick in if they exceed the cap by $40M or more (as they did in 2018). Simply being over the cap by, say, $15M only incurs financial penalties. The only other potential developmental penalties tied to luxury tax come with players who have qualifying offers. Teams signing players who have rejected QOs lose draft picks and international signing bonus money.

I suppose there's a case to be made there against signing Betts if it's going to cost them draft picks and bonus pool money. Because it's a safe bet that the Dodgers will tender him a QO next winter.
 

BaseballJones

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The idea isn’t to get under and stay under, it’s to get under, rebuild the farm system, and build around Xander and Rafi.
This may deserve its own thread, but I'd love to talk about the core building blocks for the future: Bogaerts, Devers, Rodriguez, Benintendi, and Verdugo. That's how I see it anyway. Other guys who could be key parts of the future but who aren't there yet would be Downs, Chavis, and Dalbec most likely.

In this group of five, the Red Sox have two elite players in Bogaerts and Devers, one player on the cusp of being elite in Rodriguez, one guy who is already solid and who may be capable of being a fringe all-star in Benintendi, and then a 23 year old guy who could end up being better than Benintendi in Verdugo.

Bogaerts: .309/.384/.555/.939, 140 ops+, 33 hr, 117 rbi, 5.2 bWAR, making $20 million, under control through 2025 (or 2026 with a vesting option). Absolute stud player at age 26, one of the premier overall players in the game, signed to a very very reasonable contract.

Devers: .311/.361/.555/.916, 133 ops+, 32 hr, 115 rbi, 5.3 bWAR, making <$1 million, under control through 2023. Already an absolute stud player at just 22, making virtually nothing. Between him and Xander, the left side of the infield is loaded.

Rodriguez: 19-6, 3.81 era, 126 era+, 1.33 whip, 9.4 k/9, 4.1 bWAR, making $8.3 million, under control through 2021. Last two seasons he's 32-11, with a 3.81 era, and 9.7 k/9. He's not yet elite at age 26 but he's getting there. He will get expensive very soon though. But he's been a stud the last two seasons and should just now be entering his prime.

Benintendi: .266/.343/.431/.774, 100 ops+, 13 hr, 68 rbi, 1.7 bWAR, making $3.4 million, under control through 2022. A down year compared to the season before, but his career numbers overall seem like a pretty good gauge of his true capabilities: .277/.354/.442/.796, 109 ops+. He averages 18 homers per 162 games, so I think he's safely a 15-18 homer guy. Not great power, but not embarrassing either. Overall solid player who could sniff an all-star game or two before it's over. Every team needs quality, non-star players for not a lot of money, and Benintendi sure fits that bill.

Verdugo: .294/.342/.475/.817, 114 ops+, 12 hr, 44 rbi (in just 106 games), 3.1 bWAR, under control through 2024. His off-the-field stuff is well documented here in SOSH but as far as on-field performance, he has the potential to be all-star level. Just 23 years old.

I don't know how many teams have a young core as good as Bogaerts, Devers, and Rodriguez, especially given the money they make, which, combined, is just a tick more than what Mookie Betts is making this year.

This is a long way of saying that the Red Sox' future, being built around these guys, is one that should give us hope.
 

nighthob

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
10,947
The developmental penalties (dropping spots in the draft) only kick in if they exceed the cap by $40M or more (as they did in 2018). Simply being over the cap by, say, $15M only incurs financial penalties. The only other potential developmental penalties tied to luxury tax come with players who have qualifying offers. Teams signing players who have rejected QOs lose draft picks and international signing bonus money.

I suppose there's a case to be made there against signing Betts if it's going to cost them draft picks and bonus pool money. Because it's a safe bet that the Dodgers will tender him a QO next winter.
And how long do you think it stays that way with E-Rod and Raffi on the horizon with the Sale and Eovaldi contracts on the books? I mean, sure, they could just wait to talk to Raffi after four years service time and hope that his agent doesn't tell him, "Dude, you're two years from being a free agent franchise hitter in your mid 20s, we're getting $30 million per year." But that approach didn't work so well with Mookie, did it?

Just let it go. Mookie isn't coming back. For PR purposes the Red Sox will be involved when he hits free agency, but they have absolutely no intentions of winning the bidding war. Boston will have a down year this year, but they'll start where they have to, with a team built around offense because they have those guys on the roster (X, Raffi, JD) and in the pipeline (Casas, Downs, and Dalbec).

As for pitching they'll pray that Sale and Eovaldi are healthy, and that they can patch the rotation south of E-Rod. They'll also pray that Bryan Mata is the real deal, Noah Song can get a deferment, and that Brayan Bello's changeup plays well enough for him to be a starter. But at least two of those are pretty unlikely.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
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Jan 23, 2009
15,582
Maine
And how long do you think it stays that way with E-Rod and Raffi on the horizon with the Sale and Eovaldi contracts on the books? I mean, sure, they could just wait to talk to Raffi after four years service time and hope that his agent doesn't tell him, "Dude, you're two years from being a free agent franchise hitter in your mid 20s, we're getting $30 million per year." But that approach didn't work so well with Mookie, did it?

Just let it go. Mookie isn't coming back. For PR purposes the Red Sox will be involved when he hits free agency, but they have absolutely no intentions of winning the bidding war. Boston will have a down year this year, but they'll start where they have to, with a team built around offense because they have those guys on the roster (X, Raffi, JD) and in the pipeline (Casas, Downs, and Dalbec).

As for pitching they'll pray that Sale and Eovaldi are healthy, and that they can patch the rotation south of E-Rod. They'll also pray that Bryan Mata is the real deal, Noah Song can get a deferment, and that Brayan Bello's changeup plays well enough for him to be a starter. But at least two of those are pretty unlikely.
For the record, I'm not advocating for them to re-sign Betts. I'm only saying that if they don't bring him back, it won't be because they're intent on staying below the CBT threshold.
 

nighthob

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
10,947
I'm pointing out that even the organizations with (essentially) unlimited resources don't spend the way the Red Sox have of late. Mookie just doesn't fit their goals. Because they can't sign him to a market rate deal without going back to wrecking the cap and handcuffing the farm system.
 

The Gray Eagle

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2001
15,114
Some recent posts here seem to ignore that a new CBA will be negotiated after the 2021 season, which could change everything about luxury tax limits, penalties, and the entire financial setup of the game. And could lead to a strike or lockout.

And that Xander has an opt-out in his contract after 2022.

There's a lot of uncertainty out there and it's much harder than usual to predict what anything will look like after 2021.
 

bankshot1

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 12, 2003
21,852
where I was last at
Listening to the Henry pc, Shank asking his boss some pretty pointed questions about the Mookie trade as a salary dump.

A lot of skepticism among the 4th estate.

The party line: this was about maximizing future returns.
 

DeadlySplitter

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 20, 2015
26,109
the way this ownership has been fickle with their direction, I can see the results of 2020 (on the field and in ticket sales) greatly affecting their desire to pursue Mookie again or not. check back in in November...
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
17,196
"If Ted Williams was going to hit FA, we probably would have traded him too!" isn't how I would try to sell this thing to the fans.
 

brandonchristensen

bad at game threads
SoSH Member
Feb 4, 2012
33,543
It’s a good message. Baseball is a business. The fastest way to failure is to listen to your fans. I’m sure they will make a token offer for him in the off season, and he will take a mega deal of the likes we have never seen.
 

nighthob

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
10,947
Some recent posts here seem to ignore that a new CBA will be negotiated after the 2021 season, which could change everything about luxury tax limits, penalties, and the entire financial setup of the game. And could lead to a strike or lockout.

And that Xander has an opt-out in his contract after 2022.

There's a lot of uncertainty out there and it's much harder than usual to predict what anything will look like after 2021.
While I know that the Red Sox, Yankees, and Dodgers would loooove to dump the luxury tax, I suspect that they’re going to get a lot of opposition from the small market teams. Who still outnumber them. The MLBPA will side with them on this, but I suspect that the luxury tax is the hill that most of the small market teams are willing to die on, even if they have to give in on earlier free agency and arbitration.
 
Aug 11, 2019
386
The idea of getting under the cap this year is to reset the penalties associated with being over, not to get under and then stay under forever.
I understand the reason for getting under the CBT. According to Spotrac, the Red Sox are just under $13.5 million of going above the threshold. That doesn't leave a lot of room to pick up a starting pitcher without trading someone like Benintendi or Bradley. And if they don't get below the threshold, say just over, they still will be a 4- or 3-time offender (whatever they go up to). Rodriguez got 7.05 rpg support last year. What kind of record will he have this year if they only score 3.90 rpg for him (4.48 or 5.02--the other lowest average run supports for their top five starters)?
 

Le Bastonois

lurker
Jun 16, 2019
81
No need to commiserate for a person who was more than willing to make it cost prohibitive for me to bring my children to Fenway to watch a Sox game. Good riddance.