Mookie details Boston exit

Van Everyman

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I just don't get the mindset of continuing to be a miserable Red Sox fan in 2022. They have been the most successful franchise in MLB for nearly two decades. I get that they have not dominated this era the way the Pats did and have instead been boom or bust -- I think that's a function of Henry's investment mindset TBH, but admit it can be a little unsatisfying as a fan. Even still, there is zero indication that they are going to change their approach and become uncompetitive, regardless of "oh no's they might not resign Xandevers." It just feels like miserablism for the sake of miserablism.
 

BaseballJones

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I just don't get the mindset of continuing to be a miserable Red Sox fan in 2022. They have been the most successful franchise in MLB for nearly two decades. I get that they have not dominated this era the way the Pats did and have instead been boom or bust -- I think that's a function of Henry's investment mindset TBH, but admit it can be a little unsatisfying as a fan. Even still, there is zero indication that they are going to change their approach and become uncompetitive, regardless of "oh no's they might not resign Xandevers." It just feels like miserablism for the sake of miserablism.
It’s privilege. Before 2004 literally every Red Sox fan alive begged for just one World Series title. If we win one, we said, we will never complain again. Just give us one. This ownership has given us four. Not one. Four. And now that we have tasted this kind of success, there is this expectation that the Red Sox will somehow by right always field a championship team.

Don’t misunderstand. I am not saying we should just be satisfied with what has happened since 2004 and not care if the Red Sox field losing teams from here on out. What I am saying though, is that we need a little perspective check. This team has done things beyond my wildest dreams as a fan. And I expect them to win more as the years go on. But I recognize that rebuilding organizations almost always take time and that is exactly what’s happening here. Of course this organization makes mistakes. Plenty of them. Some of them are of the incomprehensible variety. But they are raising up a new generation of homegrown talent the likes of which we haven’t seen in quite a while.

I will not be happy if Devers is not re-signed. I love homegrown elite talent. Not happy at all. But I also know that there is a plethora of new homegrown talent coming up the organization and one day soon we might see a ton of them playing in Fenway and winning another Sox championship.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I just don't get the mindset of continuing to be a miserable Red Sox fan in 2022. They have been the most successful franchise in MLB for nearly two decades. I get that they have not dominated this era the way the Pats did and have instead been boom or bust -- I think that's a function of Henry's investment mindset TBH, but admit it can be a little unsatisfying as a fan. Even still, there is zero indication that they are going to change their approach and become uncompetitive, regardless of "oh no's they might not resign Xandevers." It just feels like miserablism for the sake of miserablism.
It's not.

The Sox have spent more than $200 million this year to put out a last place team that's below .500. They made a bet, in public, that they didn't need their superstar right fielder going forward and acted like his contract would be an anchor on their future success, so they traded him. This trade was shocking at the time and national commentary continues to express disbelief that they would do such a thing.

Since then, Mookie's new team has won a World Series title, and has won 106 and now 98 games in consecutive years while he has continued to play like a superstar, while his old one has recorded two last place finishes in three years while the players they acquired in return for Mookie have come nowhere close to his production.

When you decide to trade a player of Mookie's caliber, you are essentially having an argument in public about what wins baseball games and titles. Do you spend a lot of money on a bona fide superstar, or do you spend similar or lesser money on multiple lesser players? It's essentially a discussion about how to win. Take all emotion out of it: how do you win baseball games? The Sox are Dodgers are both absurdly rich teams, so that removes the teams like the Royals and Rays which have to trade their stars. This was a choice. The Sox argued that they could better use Mookie's money elsewhere and still win. So far that argument has largely fallen flat.

The Sox are about to make the very same argument in regards to X and Devers too.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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My understanding at the time was that ownership had the extensions of X and Devers as priorities over Mookie. Right or wrong move aside, that’s vaguely how they sold it.
 

Orel Miraculous

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Don’t misunderstand. I am not saying we should just be satisfied with what has happened since 2004 and not care if the Red Sox field losing teams from here on out. What I am saying though, is that we need a little perspective check. This team has done things beyond my wildest dreams as a fan. And I expect them to win more as the years go on. But I recognize that rebuilding organizations almost always take time and that is exactly what’s happening here. Of course this organization makes mistakes. Plenty of them. Some of them are of the incomprehensible variety. But they are raising up a new generation of homegrown talent the likes of which we haven’t seen in quite a while.

I will not be happy if Devers is not re-signed. I love homegrown elite talent. Not happy at all. But I also know that there is a plethora of new homegrown talent coming up the organization and one day soon we might see a ton of them playing in Fenway and winning another Sox championship.
Speaking for myself, my principal issue is the bolded. The Red Sox were not in any way, shape, or form, a rebuilding organization, and it's ridiculous to suggest so. They were one year removed from their greatest season in team history, with a team filled with with homegrown stars just entering their primes. Having the privilege to root for a team like that is the single best reason to become a fan in the first place. It's the single best reason to own a baseball team in the first place. And then they tore it down, because, despite the fact that an MLB team is a guaranteed money-maker, partially funded by tax-payer dollars, that exponentially increases in value without the need for ownership to invest one single cent of its own capital, they didn't feel like paying the luxury tax.

Bloom and Henry chose to become a rebuilding organization when they traded Mookie. It was a deliberate choice, and their choice alone.
 

Comfortably Lomb

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This thread is a reflection of our times. Wildly incompatible world views clashing. I look at the Red Sox and think this team is awesome and basically couldn't be happier with the past 20-25 years. Are there a few things that I wish went differently? Sure, but that's baseball. The success has been obscene though, beyond anything I could have hoped for in the 90s, and that's what matters. Then you have people who look at all of the triumphs of the Red Sox and whine and hate. And they're loud and chirp endlessly. There's no reconciling this.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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My understanding at the time was that ownership had the extensions of X and Devers as priorities over Mookie. Right or wrong move aside, that’s vaguely how they sold it.
If that is the case, then that's a reasonable one to make. If they extend X and Devers then many of my criticisms over trading Mookie will be lessened, although they will never go away.

Already we're seeing huge doubt as to their willingness to sign either or both players, but we'll give them the chance to take action and then react accordingly.
 

Van Everyman

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It's not.

The Sox have spent more than $200 million this year to put out a last place team that's below .500. They made a bet, in public, that they didn't need their superstar right fielder going forward and acted like his contract would be an anchor on their future success, so they traded him. This trade was shocking at the time and national commentary continues to express disbelief that they would do such a thing.

Since then, Mookie's new team has won a World Series title, and has won 106 and now 98 games in consecutive years while he has continued to play like a superstar, while his old one has recorded two last place finishes in three years while the players they acquired in return for Mookie have come nowhere close to his production.

When you decide to trade a player of Mookie's caliber, you are essentially having an argument in public about what wins baseball games and titles. Do you spend a lot of money on a bona fide superstar, or do you spend similar or lesser money on multiple lesser players? It's essentially a discussion about how to win. Take all emotion out of it: how do you win baseball games? The Sox are Dodgers are both absurdly rich teams, so that removes the teams like the Royals and Rays which have to trade their stars. This was a choice. The Sox argued that they could better use Mookie's money elsewhere and still win. So far that argument has largely fallen flat.

The Sox are about to make the very same argument in regards to X and Devers too.
You say “2 last place finishes in three years” but don’t mention what happens in the third year. I’m sorry, but last year is not somehow less meaningful or exciting because your favorite player wasn’t on it.

You are also drawing this absurdly emotional take that they made some grand for announcement “in public” that they “didn’t need” their superstar right fielder. No one said that or even suggested that. And no, you can’t derive that from the fact that they traded him to another team.There are 1 million reasons that could’ve gone in to that that have been discussed to death that go well beyond hubris and entitlement.

Listen, I appreciate how passionate and knowledgeable you are when it comes to the Red Sox. But you are making some rather wild accusations about motivations and decisions that are pretty complicated.

Here is why I am I bothering to rehash this for the 6000th time:

Given how intense the media scrutiny was this year on Chaim Bloom and the front office particularly with respect to the long-term plan, I’m actually a little worried that they are now going to deviate from the 2020 plan and sign both Xander and Devers to absurdly long contracts to appease the likes of some posters on this board who think that locking up homegrown talent at any price at for no matter how long it takes. I think these double digit year contracts are a disaster waiting to happen and, as much as I want to retain both those players, I would have serious doubts about offering either of those guys a contract at that length much less both of them.
 

snowmanny

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I mostly agree with SJH. You decided against keeping someone who would likely have ended up being seen as one of the few greatest players in Red Sox history because you had a plan to be better without his salary hit. OK, let's see it. Because I'd rather have mediocrity with a couple of great players to enjoy (e.g.there are some Boggs/Clemens years that were bad standings wise but OK from a fan perspective because they were there, and neither of them had the added bonus of being as likable as Mookie) than just run of the mill mediocrity. That doesn't mean I don't appreciate the championships and the other great seasons. I think it was a weird and disappointing choice, but we will see how it turns out. I don't think I will really complain about the team unless they still suck in 2024. edit- also I think they could have figured out how to work around Mookie's salary and be great. I think it would have been easier than this other plan but they are the professionals. Let's see.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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You are also drawing this absurdly emotional take that they made some grand for announcement “in public” that they “didn’t need” their superstar right fielder. No one said that or even suggested that. And no, you can’t derive that from the fact that they traded him to another team.There are 1 million reasons that could’ve gone in to that that have been discussed to death that go well beyond hubris and entitlement.
Of course they did. By trading their RFer they told the world they didn't need him for future success. It's the most basic and elemental message to take from it. "We don't think he's worth the money he will get on his next contract, so we're trading him because we feel we can win without him, and with the players and savings we'll get from trading him." There's nothing remotely controversial in that in the slightest. Or emotional, for that matter, that's a straight baseball argument.

They didn't want to pay him what he'd get in his next contract, so they dealt him. By doing so, they made a wager. They wagered they could continue to have success on the field by flipping him for different assets. The Dodgers also made a wager: that trading assets for him and then extending his deal they could continue to win and achieve on-field success.

Based on those very obvious statements, which team do you think has gotten the better of the deal?

2021 was pretty fun as a Sox fan but here we are in 2022, there's been no momentum built off of an ALCS appearance and they're mired in last place again, irrelevant to the larger baseball stories of the year and staring down the barrel of losing two more of their best and most popular players. So I'd say the 2021 good feelings and success were extremely fleeting.
 

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Speaking for myself, my principal issue is the bolded. The Red Sox were not in any way, shape, or form, a rebuilding organization, and it's ridiculous to suggest so. They were one year removed from their greatest season in team history, with a team filled with with homegrown stars just entering their primes.
What happened during that one year with a team filled with homegrown stars? Every single rehashing of the Mookie deal pretends 2019 never happened. They were a mediocre team with him, he was only under control for one more year, and they felt like they needed a shake-up.
 

jezza1918

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Of course they did. By trading their RFer they told the world they didn't need him for future success. It's the most basic and elemental message to take from it. "We don't think he's worth the money he will get on his next contract, so we're trading him because we feel we can win without him, and with the players and savings we'll get from trading him." There's nothing remotely controversial in that in the slightest. Or emotional, for that matter, that's a straight baseball argument.

They didn't want to pay him what he'd get in his next contract, so they dealt him. By doing so, they made a wager. They wagered they could continue to have success on the field by flipping him for different assets. The Dodgers also made a wager: that trading assets for him and then extending his deal they could continue to win and achieve on-field success.

Based on those very obvious statements, which team do you think has gotten the better of the deal?

2021 was pretty fun as a Sox fan but here we are in 2022, there's been no momentum built off of an ALCS appearance and they're mired in last place again, irrelevant to the larger baseball stories of the year and staring down the barrel of losing two more of their best and most popular players. So I'd say the 2021 good feelings and success were extremely fleeting.
I'm mostly on 'your side' so to speak because I didnt want them to trade Betts. But as your bolded can't I sub in 2018/2019 and say the same thing? When Mookie was on the team, and they finished 84-78 and 19 games behind the yankees.

edit: you must've hit submit about 4 seconds before I did @Max Power
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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What happened during that one year with a team filled with homegrown stars? Every single rehashing of the Mookie deal pretends 2019 never happened. They were a mediocre team with him, he was only under control for one more year, and they felt like they needed a shake-up.
Mookie led the team in WAR in 2019. Trading your best player for a mere shake-up seems extreme. Frankly even I don't think that's why they did it.

They stunk in 2019 because the pitching all went to hell at once due to injuries, and they got regression from several key lineup players. They never got untracked all season. It was a weird year. I have some other thoughts about why they never did anything in 2019 but they are best kept to V&N.
 

Orel Miraculous

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Mookie led the team in WAR in 2019. Trading your best player for a mere shake-up seems extreme. Frankly even I don't think that's why they did it.

They stunk in 2019 because the pitching all went to hell at once due to injuries, and they got regression from several key lineup players. They never got untracked all season. It was a weird year. I have some other thoughts about why they never did anything in 2019 but they are best kept to V&N.
And they didn't even really stink! They were an 87-win team by the pythag, which is a hell of a lot better than where they'll end up this year. It was a World Series hangover that met some bad injury luck. It happens. It's insane to think that the 2019 season was proof that the Sox needed to initiate a rebuild and trade of the best homegrown player the team had seen in 50 years.
 

Max Power

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Mookie led the team in WAR in 2019. Trading your best player for a mere shake-up seems extreme. Frankly even I don't think that's why they did it.
Because he was their most valuable trade chip and he was only under control for one more year and they wanted to avoid luxury tax draft penalties. The fact that they fired the GM made it clear they wanted a shake-up.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Because he was their most valuable trade chip and he was only under control for one more year and they wanted to avoid luxury tax draft penalties. The fact that they fired the GM made it clear they wanted a shake-up.
I'd say he was going to be their most expensive player and they wanted to avoid the luxury tax. A shake-up would imply needing a change for the sake of change, I don't think that's what they were going for.

I'd like to think they fired the GM because after he gave up the idiotic extension to Sale they realized he wasn't the guy to get them under the luxury tax. But the decision to get under the luxury tax was ownership-driven.
 

BaseballJones

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Speaking for myself, my principal issue is the bolded. The Red Sox were not in any way, shape, or form, a rebuilding organization, and it's ridiculous to suggest so. They were one year removed from their greatest season in team history, with a team filled with with homegrown stars just entering their primes. Having the privilege to root for a team like that is the single best reason to become a fan in the first place. It's the single best reason to own a baseball team in the first place. And then they tore it down, because, despite the fact that an MLB team is a guaranteed money-maker, partially funded by tax-payer dollars, that exponentially increases in value without the need for ownership to invest one single cent of its own capital, they didn't feel like paying the luxury tax.

Bloom and Henry chose to become a rebuilding organization when they traded Mookie. It was a deliberate choice, and their choice alone.
After the incredible 2018 season, the Sox decided to "keep the band together" by re-signing Eovaldi (4/68) and Pearce (1/6.25) and picking up Sale's option. They then signed a bunch of guys to one-year deals to avoid arbitration (including Mookie). Then in March of 2019, they extended Sale (5/145). They clearly were trying to keep the team together for one more run, at least. They made an evaluation that Chris Sale was worth the extension, and not only worth it, was a crucial piece moving forward. The cons of that extension were that Sale had declined in September in previous years, and only pitched in 27 games in 2018, clearly dealing with injury issues. The pros of that extension were that Sale had put up these numbers while with Boston in two seasons: 29-12, 2.56 era, 2.25 fip, 175 era+, 0.92 whip, 13.2 k/9, and had helped them win a World Series, and had just turned 29 (so not like signing a 34 year old guy).

They made a judgment that Sale was integral to the future of the team and they wanted to lock him up NOW.

It was a questionable decision, due to the cons I just listed above. But it was defensible, given his on-field performance. Obviously that extension has NOT been a good one, but we didn't know all THIS would happen.

Anyway, they kept the band together for 2019 but that 2019 season was a disaster, compared to 2018. Sale put up a 4.40 era. Mookie went from being otherworldly to merely being really really good. JD's performance dropped. Porcello fell off a cliff. The one key 2018 cog that wasn't re-signed was Kimbrel, but Workman filled in admirably (10 w, 16 sv, 1.88 era, 13.1 k/9).

And then Mookie's contract was up, and what was the team to do? They were up agains the luxury tax. Whether we like it or not, that WAS a consideration for Boston. Just like it is for virtually every team. The Sox owed the largest luxury tax bill in MLB history for the 2019 season, and clearly were reluctant to get hit with another luxury tax bill for 2020, when instead of paying 30% tax, it would go up to 50%. Plus draft pick penalties. Even the Yankees needed (or chose to enter into) a luxury tax reset recently.

From: https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2021/10/after-resetting-their-luxury-tax-penalty-are-the-yankees-ready-to-spend-bigger-this-winter.html

"Exceeding the threshold for a third straight season would’ve put the Yankees in line for the maximum repeater penalty (a 50% tax on every dollar spent over $210MM), and that was a price that the team was simply not willing to pay. With this in mind, the Yankees still did well to acquire the likes of Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo in midseason trades while staying under the CBT threshold, yet the idea of the big-budget Yankees operating under self-imposed spending restrictions didn’t sit well in the Big Apple.

The Yankees also dipped under the tax line in 2018 in order to reset their penalty status, and then were back to their usual higher-spending selves in both 2019 and 2020. On paper, this could mean the Bronx Bombers will be ready and willing to throw some cash around this winter, particularly since the CBT rules could be changed altogether depending on how baseball’s next collective bargaining agreement shakes out."

Even the Dodgers have reset their luxury tax penalties.

From: https://dodgersway.com/2018/09/14/dodgers-luxury-tax-goal/

"The Dodgers had two goals they set out to accomplish in 2018. The first one is to win the World Series, which remains a work in progress with approximately two weeks left in the regular season. Their second goal was to stay under the luxury tax threshold of $197 million to reset their penalties for consecutive years above the threshold before this year’s mega free agent class.

It appears that the Dodgers have accomplished their secondary goal for this season as they are currently at about $182 million dollars and while that number will go up when players meet incentives, it will not go up more than fifteen million dollars. One of those players is Kenta Maeda who will meet at least one of his innings completed incentives.

MLB’s luxury tax threshold does increase each season and next year is the biggest jump for a while as the threshold increases from $197 million to $206 million. So why did the Dodgers care so much about resetting their tax penalties? After three consecutive seasons exceeding the threshold, the Dodgers would have to pay a 50% tax for every dollar they are over the tax threshold.

By resetting their penalties this season, that number will now be a 20% tax for the Dodgers if they go over the luxury tax threshold next season. It basically buys the Dodgers a few seasons they can go over the the threshold without paying a whopping 50% tax and there were rumors that MLB mandated the Dodgers to comply with the tax threshold.

The other penalty for exceeding the tax threshold by $40 million or more this season is the loss of draft pick position. The Dodgers’ front office is all about keeping a strong farm system and developing their own talent rather than always spending big bucks and possibly running into free agent busts. They would rather pay money than lose draft pick position, but by cutting their payroll, they won’t have to worry about any draft pick issues next year."


So it's perfectly "normal" even for a big-spending team like Boston to want to reset their financials for luxury tax purposes. Their choice to spend on Chris Sale - and some dead money on previous bad deals - put them in a position to make a tough decision regarding Betts. And we don't need to rehash the fact that Betts had made it clear he was going to free agency (but we will anyway), which meant that the Sox' efforts to re-sign him to an expensive but not ludicrous deal weren't going to work. They'd have to pay full free agent prices to keep him (or, technically, bring him back once he hit free agency).

In fact, even the Dodgers knew he was going to hit free agency, but were willing to make the splash for 2020 anyway. Of course, nobody saw the pandemic coming. Look at this article from a Dodgers' perspective in 2020:

See: http://dodgersdigest.com/2020/03/27/mookie-betts-was-always-going-to-be-a-free-agent-and-the-dodgers-were-always-going-to-have-to-pay-to-keep-him/

"You may have heard that MLB and the MLBPA came to an agreementregarding, among other things, service time for players this season. With the season realistically in doubt, something had to be done.

This agreement gives players a full year of service time, regardless of how long the 2020 season is. There could be no games and players would get a full year of service time. This is different for fringe-roster players who may shuttle between the minors and majors, but that certainly doesn’t pertain to Mookie Betts, which is what Dodger fans are truly wondering about.

There’s a real chance Betts doesn’t suit up for the Dodgers in a regular season game before hitting free agency this winter, and folks are concerned that the Dodgers gave up Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs and Connor Wongfor almost nothing — they still got David Price for half of his remaining contract, while also landing Brusdar Graterol and a draft pick in the upcoming abbreviated draft for Kenta Maeda. After all, the Dodgers would be in line to end up with minimal value from Betts, as they would be in line to collect just a compensatory draft pick that would come after the fourth round of (a loaded) 2021 MLB Draft.

But there was always a nearly 100 percent chance Betts was going to be a free agent next offseason. The only thing that has changed — and it’s a biggie — is that we’re dealing with a pandemic that has altered out way of life for the foreseeable future."

The pandemic comes and everything changes, and Betts decides to accept the Dodgers' offer of an extension instead of testing the now-uncertain waters of free agency. That makes the Sox look really, really bad though, because hey, why couldn't THEY have extended Betts? Why not? Because when he was still with them, there was no pandemic, and Betts was looking at a Mike Trout kind of contract, which - as I just outlined above - the Sox weren't willing to do. Not even the Dodgers saw the pandemic coming, with its massive impact on baseball (among other things, obviously). They took a chance to trade for him even knowing that he was going to free agency. It was the pandemic that allowed them to extend him for a reasonable price. Betts was never taking THAT extension from Boston.

So yeah, long, long story short, they WERE rebuilding after the 2019 season. Big time. They had traded a lot of prospects. They had signed some guys to big contracts, but also some guys were gone. They had tough decisions to make, partly as a price to pay for trying to keep the band together, partly due to the desire/need to get under the luxury tax, and partly because some of the decisions they made with other guys turned out to be pretty bad ones.

It was a perfect storm - including the timing of it all - of suck. But yeah, they were rebuilding. Absolutely they were rebuilding. From top to bottom in the organization, they were rebuilding.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Not mentioned is that it REALLY seems apparent that Mookie both wanted to test free agency AND wanted to play elsewhere. I think he was gone after ‘20 one way or another.
They got a great prospect that flamed out. A good outfielder (Verdugo has been one of the few bright spots since his shitty April and May) and another prospect that appears to be headed towards starting behind the dish in ‘23 and should be pretty good.
Add in the value of Price’s contract and Bloom did good. Not great.. but good IMO.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Not mentioned is that it REALLY seems apparent that Mookie both wanted to test free agency AND wanted to play elsewhere. I think he was gone after ‘20 one way or another.
They got a great prospect that flamed out. A good outfielder (Verdugo has been one of the few bright spots since his shitty April and May) and another prospect that appears to be headed towards starting behind the dish in ‘23 and should be pretty good.
Add in the value of Price’s contract and Bloom did good. Not great.. but good IMO.
Verdugo plays hard and has a great attitude but he's simply a pretty OK MLB player nothing more. WARs of 2.1, 2.2, and 1.2 in his three years in Boston. He's not an All-Star. I never expected a superstar in return for the trade but I was hoping for a player that could develop into a higher level than Verdugo has shown so far. Maybe he'll surprise us, but I expect what we've seen is what we'll get from now on.

I don't hate watching him, he seems like a team leader and his effort has always been exemplary.

I won't discount getting Price's contact off the books but again it's what the team does with the savings that counts.
 
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Kliq

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It’s privilege. Before 2004 literally every Red Sox fan alive begged for just one World Series title. If we win one, we said, we will never complain again. Just give us one. This ownership has given us four. Not one. Four. And now that we have tasted this kind of success, there is this expectation that the Red Sox will somehow by right always field a championship team.

Don’t misunderstand. I am not saying we should just be satisfied with what has happened since 2004 and not care if the Red Sox field losing teams from here on out. What I am saying though, is that we need a little perspective check. This team has done things beyond my wildest dreams as a fan. And I expect them to win more as the years go on. But I recognize that rebuilding organizations almost always take time and that is exactly what’s happening here. Of course this organization makes mistakes. Plenty of them. Some of them are of the incomprehensible variety. But they are raising up a new generation of homegrown talent the likes of which we haven’t seen in quite a while.

I will not be happy if Devers is not re-signed. I love homegrown elite talent. Not happy at all. But I also know that there is a plethora of new homegrown talent coming up the organization and one day soon we might see a ton of them playing in Fenway and winning another Sox championship.
I'm going to go in the opposite direction on this take. It is privilege, but not in the way you are talking about it. The reason the Red Sox didn't resign Mookie was because the front office did not believe it would be the best move to win baseball games over the long-term. Plenty of people here were in agreement that was the case, given the size of Mookie's deal, and will still argue today that it was the right move. That is not the issue here.

So why does the move hurt so much? Because having won so much in recent years, as a sports fan I (and I assume many others) are not as thirsty for a title as we once were. We aren't willing to sell our souls just to marginally increase the odds of winning a championship. Not giving Mookie a $375 million contract gives the Red Sox more salary flexibility and avoids having a declining player making huge money on the roster, and can be considered a reasonable move. That's cool, but at this point not all fans care about raising the championship odds. What we were robbed of was seeing a generationally talented player, someone who would light up summer nights 162 times a year with his play at the plate, in the field and on the base paths. At some point, that kind of experience is more valuable as a fan than just being slightly more competitive each year, because the Mookie money can be spent on a solid corner outfielder, a #3 pitcher and a bullpen arm.

The best part of Boston winning all the titles in my lifetime (and I was born in 1994, so it's been a truly charmed existence) is that they won a bunch of titles. But the second best part is the lack of pressure/trauma that other fan bases have experienced. There isn't a huge thirst for winning titles at this point, I have the luxury to root for my teams to win in a way that I find pleasurable as a fan. That was why I was against trading Jaylen for Durant; sure Durant is a better player than Jaylen Brown, but having witnessed so much success as a fan, I want the Celtics to win the title with the homegrown players I've grown to love, not some prickly mercenary who I don't like.

I don't think everyone agrees with me on that; some fans will view any increase in the odds of winning a title as the correct move. If Boston had never won a title in my lifetime I'd probably agree; but sports mean more to me than just titles. It's the nightly experience of watching people you really care about and feel blessed to see wearing the uniform of your favorite team.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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I'm going to go in the opposite direction on this take. It is privilege, but not in the way you are talking about it. The reason the Red Sox didn't resign Mookie was because the front office did not believe it would be the best move to win baseball games over the long-term. Plenty of people here were in agreement that was the case, given the size of Mookie's deal, and will still argue today that it was the right move. That is not the issue here.

So why does the move hurt so much? Because having won so much in recent years, as a sports fan I (and I assume many others) are not as thirsty for a title as we once were. We aren't willing to sell our souls just to marginally increase the odds of winning a championship. Not giving Mookie a $375 million contract gives the Red Sox more salary flexibility and avoids having a declining player making huge money on the roster, and can be considered a reasonable move. That's cool, but at this point not all fans care about raising the championship odds. What we were robbed of was seeing a generationally talented player, someone who would light up summer nights 162 times a year with his play at the plate, in the field and on the base paths. At some point, that kind of experience is more valuable as a fan than just being slightly more competitive each year, because the Mookie money can be spent on a solid corner outfielder, a #3 pitcher and a bullpen arm.

The best part of Boston winning all the titles in my lifetime (and I was born in 1994, so it's been a truly charmed existence) is that they won a bunch of titles. But the second best part is the lack of pressure/trauma that other fan bases have experienced. There isn't a huge thirst for winning titles at this point, I have the luxury to root for my teams to win in a way that I find pleasurable as a fan. That was why I was against trading Jaylen for Durant; sure Durant is a better player than Jaylen Brown, but having witnessed so much success as a fan, I want the Celtics to win the title with the homegrown players I've grown to love, not some prickly mercenary who I don't like.

I don't think everyone agrees with me on that; some fans will view any increase in the odds of winning a title as the correct move. If Boston had never won a title in my lifetime I'd probably agree; but sports mean more to me than just titles. It's the nightly experience of watching people you really care about and feel blessed to see wearing the uniform of your favorite team.
I think that's a really interesting perspective and helpful post. Thanks.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Kliq that is a tremendous post and I agree 100%.

I'm getting to the age where moving players around like trading cards to get a 0.9182124% higher chance of winning starts to feels soulless, and detracts from the larger experience. It's privilege but of a different kind.

I would urge folks to read Rethinking Fandom, by Craig Calcaterra. It's peels back the layers of fandom and gives a great account of how fans' behavior has and can change.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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But still.... I mean.... You guys want to WIN, right? If they kept X and Devers by paying them humongous deals, and thus couldn't afford to put a winning team around them, would you be happy?
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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But still.... I mean.... You guys want to WIN, right? If they kept X and Devers by paying them humongous deals, and thus couldn't afford to put a winning team around them, would you be happy?
I honestly, respectfully, believe this is a false equivalency. The Red Sox can easily afford to put a winning team around their home-grown superstars.

If this were KC or TB I'd feel differently.

Also.....they traded their superstar and aren't winning. The worst of both worlds.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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I honestly, respectfully, believe this is a false equivalency. The Red Sox can easily afford to put a winning team around their home-grown superstars.

If this were KC or TB I'd feel differently.

Also.....they traded their superstar and aren't winning. The worst of both worlds.
For SURE we are experiencing the worst of both worlds. No doubt about that. Losing sucks. And losing with having lost your favorite players (as fans) sucks worse.

Maybe they can win by giving Devers and (what will be a declining) X huge contracts. I'm not sure about that. And don't forget....they've got a ton of homegrown talent coming up. So if they let X go and in 2 years Mayer steps in...I mean....he is ALSO a home grown product that will likely be a huge fan favorite. And you can't have all three of Devers, X, and Mayer at the same time. Never mind Yorke and Jordan, etc.

Anyway, the guy they REALLY need to keep is Devers, IMO.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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For SURE we are experiencing the worst of both worlds. No doubt about that. Losing sucks. And losing with having lost your favorite players (as fans) sucks worse.

Maybe they can win by giving Devers and (what will be a declining) X huge contracts. I'm not sure about that. And don't forget....they've got a ton of homegrown talent coming up. So if they let X go and in 2 years Mayer steps in...I mean....he is ALSO a home grown product that will likely be a huge fan favorite. And you can't have all three of Devers, X, and Mayer at the same time. Never mind Yorke and Jordan, etc.

Anyway, the guy they REALLY need to keep is Devers, IMO.
I think my issue with this projection is assuming Mayer is stepping in during a certain timeline. Or at all.

I think we always over-assume the talent coming through the minors. It's one of the biggest misconceptions in looking at teams IMO.

Devers is a superstar right now. X is not quite at that level, but still a star. Mayer will be extremely lucky to have a major league career 1/2 as good as X's. It's the old Anderson Espinosa question, really.
 

Kliq

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Baseball in particular I think relies on having identifiable star players from a fan interest perspective. Basketball it is more important to winning, but in baseball, because it is every day and even the best teams are going to lose 60+ times a year, the typical fan can't be consumed only by winning. Having players you have grown to love over the years and seeing them play well is going to get you through the marathon of the baseball season.

Not to wax on too much about Mookie, but also what made him special was because he didn't need to get a hit every day to stand out. Watching him take the extra base, or play a ball down the line perfectly in right field was enough to give you a moment during the game where you think about how great it is that you get to see him play for you.

To a lesser extent, JBJ had a similar vibe because of his defensive reputation. During the game any ball hit to centerfield made you as a fan feel good because JBJ was out there to either catch it or make the right play if it lands. Even a routine flyball to center would give you a quick dopamine rush because it would make you think "God damn, it's great that we have JBJ out there to handle everything." Those little things add up during a season and keep you invested as a fan, and it's harder to do with unfamiliar players.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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And it stands out that Mookie was great at the small things like defensive positioning and play, and taking the extra base, and generally being a very smart player, and his replacement Verdugo is noticably bad at the percentage plays. He hustles, but he's not a smart player in the choices he makes.

Agreed about JBJ. And frankly Coco before that.
 

Max Power

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The best part of Boston winning all the titles in my lifetime (and I was born in 1994, so it's been a truly charmed existence) is that they won a bunch of titles. But the second best part is the lack of pressure/trauma that other fan bases have experienced. There isn't a huge thirst for winning titles at this point, I have the luxury to root for my teams to win in a way that I find pleasurable as a fan. That was why I was against trading Jaylen for Durant; sure Durant is a better player than Jaylen Brown, but having witnessed so much success as a fan, I want the Celtics to win the title with the homegrown players I've grown to love, not some prickly mercenary who I don't like.
The only part I'll push back on is that players don't have to be homegrown for me to love them. My favorite two Red Sox players ever are Manny and Pedro. One was a trade and the other was a huge free agent signing, and neither was in Boston for much longer than Mookie was. As long as they continue to have fun players to watch on the roster for some of the best years of their career, I can live with it when they leave.
 

moondog80

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Sep 20, 2005
6,789
I don't think everyone agrees with me on that; some fans will view any increase in the odds of winning a title as the correct move. If Boston had never won a title in my lifetime I'd probably agree; but sports mean more to me than just titles. It's the nightly experience of watching people you really care about and feel blessed to see wearing the uniform of your favorite team.
As long as they are producing at a high level, right? In the parallel universe where the Sox sign Mookie through 2032 and he follows the Andrew McCutchen aging curve, are you feeling fortunate to be able to watch him come to the plate every night for the next 10 years?
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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As long as they are producing at a high level, right? In the parallel universe where the Sox sign Mookie through 2032 and he follows the Andrew McCutchen aging curve, are you feeling fortunate to be able to watch him come to the plate every night for the next 10 years?
Sure. He was a lesser player but I read a lot of folks saying the same about Varitek as he creaked to the end of his career here.
 

themactavish

lurker
Aug 4, 2010
57
St. Cloud, MN
This thread is a reflection of our times. Wildly incompatible world views clashing. I look at the Red Sox and think this team is awesome and basically couldn't be happier with the past 20-25 years. Are there a few things that I wish went differently? Sure, but that's baseball. The success has been obscene though, beyond anything I could have hoped for in the 90s, and that's what matters. Then you have people who look at all of the triumphs of the Red Sox and whine and hate. And they're loud and chirp endlessly. There's no reconciling this.
I think this thread is a reflection of life more generally. If you come from nothing, then even a little something can feel like big stuff. I grew up poor in NYC and went off to college in Maine. Wealthy kids thought the digs and food were meager. I thought I was in heaven. Likewise, I grew up hanging on Yastrzemski and friends, so 2004 felt like heaven to me. Everything after that would be gravy. But that doesn't mean to say that you stop wanting stuff, just because you got beyond a certain threshold. I loved everything about Mookie Betts. It felt like a shame to see him go. I could live with it, given where I'd come from, psychologically. But living with it and liking it are two different things. Were I 20 or 30 years younger, someone who didn't grow up disappointed by the Sox at so many turns in my youth, then 2004 would have been great, but it would surely have set me up for much more of the same. So I understand the frustration of folks who want more and better most of the time. Coming where I came from, I can't be too hard on the Sox, even if I don't like some of the moves, and for that matter, some of the entire years. But for those who didn't suffer through the lean times, I can't expect them to have my perspective. As my Irish mother used to say, "Hunger is good sauce." If you haven't eaten lately, any food is likely to taste good. If you're well-fed, then poor food won't cut it. I get both perspectives. They're different, and irreconcilable in the sense that you can't be both at once, but I get them both.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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The only part I'll push back on is that players don't have to be homegrown for me to love them. My favorite two Red Sox players ever are Manny and Pedro. One was a trade and the other was a huge free agent signing, and neither was in Boston for much longer than Mookie was. As long as they continue to have fun players to watch on the roster for some of the best years of their career, I can live with it when they leave.
I don't disagree with this (and I think that Kliq's posts were spot on), Manny and Pedro were among my favorite players ever and they came from elsewhere. The problem is that as a fan you hope that you're lucky enough for your team to get a star player. The Red Sox not only had that in Mookie Betts, but they had a generational superstar and they traded him. We can quibble about the reasons, but the bottom line is he's gone because he was "too expensive" to keep and the Sox needed financial flexibility. Those aren't facts, the Red Sox have said this over and over again.

Which is their prerogative.

But we all know how much the Boston Red Sox and John Henry is worth. We know what Mookie Betts' worth is. For the Red Sox to say that they couldn't afford to properly pay Betts what he's worth doesn't jive with what we know. How would we--as a collective fanbase--feel if the Red Sox traded Ted Williams in 1943? Or Yaz in 1969? Or Jim Rice in 1980? Or Clemens in 1988? I think we'd be pretty pissed and frankly, we'd be robbed of some pretty special seasons. The reasons why I chose those years are obvious, they're a year or two after their greatest seasons. But just because Yaz was 1967 YAZ going forward or Jim Rice wasn't 1978 JIM RICE, doesn't mean they sucked or that they provided negative value. Having a player continue his career year after year with the same club has some intrinsic value. No, it's not one that you quantify on a stat sheet, but it goes a long way in developing new fans and keeping the old ones.

We've had legion of these threads and in every one of them a different poster will say something like, "My uncle (or friend or grandmother or son) was a huge Sox fan and stopped caring after Mookie left" and a lot of people are quick to say, "Tough shit, your uncle (or friend or grandmother or son) are just bandwagon fans and who needs them?" But you know who needs them? The Boston Red Sox. When you strip away the identity of your franchise and you leave nothing but anonymous AAAAers and low-watt stars, people turn away. Yes, last year was fun, but like SJH said, where's the momentum? The Sox are a distant fourth in the consciousness of Boston sports fans today. That's what happens when you trade a Mookie Betts. You keep doing it enough (like with Xander or Devers) and it's going to take a long time to climb out of that hole.
 

soxhop411

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42,642
I honestly, respectfully, believe this is a false equivalency. The Red Sox can easily afford to put a winning team around their home-grown superstars.

If this were KC or TB I'd feel differently.

Also.....they traded their superstar and aren't winning. The worst of both worlds.
Sure. He was a lesser player but I read a lot of folks saying the same about Varitek as he creaked to the end of his career here.
but there is a big difference between them, (the contacts they were playing under as well as the CBA's they played under)


I mean, the days of a 2009 FA signee spree like what the yankees did are gone for good,

Having many players with albatros contracts playing together cant be brushed aside like it could under older agreements as under previous CBA, teams like the Yankees and Red sox could spend as much as they wanted in FA, the international Market and the draft as there were no punishments for going over any sort of threshold
 

Kliq

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As long as they are producing at a high level, right? In the parallel universe where the Sox sign Mookie through 2032 and he follows the Andrew McCutchen aging curve, are you feeling fortunate to be able to watch him come to the plate every night for the next 10 years?
Sure, especially if they have a decade-plus legacy of producing at a star level. And McCutcheon has been a serviceable player during his aging years, he isn't out there embarrassing himself.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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But we all know how much the Boston Red Sox and John Henry is worth. We know what Mookie Betts' worth is. For the Red Sox to say that they couldn't afford to properly pay Betts what he's worth doesn't jive with what we know. How would we--as a collective fanbase--feel if the Red Sox traded Ted Williams in 1943? Or Yaz in 1969? Or Jim Rice in 1980? Or Clemens in 1988? I think we'd be pretty pissed and frankly, we'd be robbed of some pretty special seasons. The reasons why I chose those years are obvious, they're a year or two after their greatest seasons. But just because Yaz was 1967 YAZ going forward or Jim Rice wasn't 1978 JIM RICE, doesn't mean they sucked or that they provided negative value. Having a player continue his career year after year with the same club has some intrinsic value. No, it's not one that you quantify on a stat sheet, but it goes a long way in developing new fans and keeping the old ones.

We've had legion of these threads and in every one of them a different poster will say something like, "My uncle (or friend or grandmother or son) was a huge Sox fan and stopped caring after Mookie left" and a lot of people are quick to say, "Tough shit, your uncle (or friend or grandmother or son) are just bandwagon fans and who needs them?" But you know who needs them? The Boston Red Sox. When you strip away the identity of your franchise and you leave nothing but anonymous AAAAers and low-watt stars, people turn away. Yes, last year was fun, but like SJH said, where's the momentum? The Sox are a distant fourth in the consciousness of Boston sports fans today. That's what happens when you trade a Mookie Betts. You keep doing it enough (like with Xander or Devers) and it's going to take a long time to climb out of that hole.
I think the trouble with this perspective, particularly the what-ifs about trading past franchise players, is that the environment has changed. There was no need to trade Yaz in 1969 or Rice in 1980 or Clemens in 1988 because there were no limitations on salary and no imminent threat of them leaving as there was in Mookie's case. Trading those players would have been baldly about not spending money, and try as one might, the Mookie case is a lot more complicated than the Sox didn't want to pay him.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Trading those players would have been baldly about not spending money, and try as one might, the Mookie case is a lot more complicated than the Sox didn't want to pay him.
Then what was it about if it wasn't about money?

From everything I've read about Mookie he produced on the field, didn't say anything incendiary in the press, was a terrific teammate and did a lot for the community. In short, he was the kind of brand ambassador that a team like the Boston Red Sox should want to have. Unless there's a scandal that I don't know about or I'm forgetting about, I think that money is the answer.
 

tims4wins

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Sure, especially if they have a decade-plus legacy of producing at a star level. And McCutcheon has been a serviceable player during his aging years, he isn't out there embarrassing himself.
Just re-posting this from yesterday.

McCutcheon, beginning with his age 30 season, through this season (age 35). Six total seasons.

.252 / .348 / .441 / .789 / 113 OPS+ / ~2900 PA / 112 HR / 127 2B / 7 3B / 45 SB / 358 BB / 600 K

OPS+ by age year:
30: 123
31: 120
32: 116
33: 102
34: 109
35: 101

So on the "Mookie timeline", this is Mookie's age 29 season. He has 10 more years left on his contract. So, he would have 4 more years left after the next 6 years. If he were to put up a 113 OPS+ for the next 6 years, with 4 years left to go on the contract, how happy would we be with that? I honestly don't know. If Mookie puts up similar OPS+ from age 30-35 as McCutcheon, I think we'd see that as an albatross of a contract - to only get 3 pretty good offensive years, followed by 3 average offensive years, with 4 years still left to go and further decline expected.
 

mauf

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To the extent ownership’s decision was money-driven (as opposed to being driven by a belief that Mookie was intent on leaving as a free agent), the jury is still out. No way the 2021 Sox would’ve won anything with Mookie and Price on the payroll, and the 2020 and 2022 teams were both flawed enough that one player wouldn’t have been a difference-maker.
 

Jungleland

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I'm going to go in the opposite direction on this take. It is privilege, but not in the way you are talking about it. The reason the Red Sox didn't resign Mookie was because the front office did not believe it would be the best move to win baseball games over the long-term. Plenty of people here were in agreement that was the case, given the size of Mookie's deal, and will still argue today that it was the right move. That is not the issue here.

So why does the move hurt so much? Because having won so much in recent years, as a sports fan I (and I assume many others) are not as thirsty for a title as we once were. We aren't willing to sell our souls just to marginally increase the odds of winning a championship. Not giving Mookie a $375 million contract gives the Red Sox more salary flexibility and avoids having a declining player making huge money on the roster, and can be considered a reasonable move. That's cool, but at this point not all fans care about raising the championship odds. What we were robbed of was seeing a generationally talented player, someone who would light up summer nights 162 times a year with his play at the plate, in the field and on the base paths. At some point, that kind of experience is more valuable as a fan than just being slightly more competitive each year, because the Mookie money can be spent on a solid corner outfielder, a #3 pitcher and a bullpen arm.

The best part of Boston winning all the titles in my lifetime (and I was born in 1994, so it's been a truly charmed existence) is that they won a bunch of titles. But the second best part is the lack of pressure/trauma that other fan bases have experienced. There isn't a huge thirst for winning titles at this point, I have the luxury to root for my teams to win in a way that I find pleasurable as a fan. That was why I was against trading Jaylen for Durant; sure Durant is a better player than Jaylen Brown, but having witnessed so much success as a fan, I want the Celtics to win the title with the homegrown players I've grown to love, not some prickly mercenary who I don't like.

I don't think everyone agrees with me on that; some fans will view any increase in the odds of winning a title as the correct move. If Boston had never won a title in my lifetime I'd probably agree; but sports mean more to me than just titles. It's the nightly experience of watching people you really care about and feel blessed to see wearing the uniform of your favorite team.
1000%, including the Celtics portion. I want to root for players I like, and can afford that luxury with the complete lack of desperation I have to see a championship in the near future. (As a related aside, I would argue that of all Boston teams, this was exceptionally true about the Red Sox in 2019. Most titles in the 21st century, only a year removed from the best season in team history, no Patriots-esque 'maximize Greatest of All Time dynasty' pressure to win as many as possible before turning back into a regular old team.)

It's not that I want to have my favorite players stick around at the expense of winning, but realistically speaking that was never the choice. I'll take a team that I love that's a legitimate playoff contender with good odds over a team that means less to me with slightly better odds, which feels like a realistic way of looking at it. That the team is experiencing a relatively painful bridge period immediately in the aftermath of the trade is all the more evidence that it's a false equivalency - couldn't you argue 2 terrible seasons out of the first 3 probably has the 12 year forecast already on track to be the same or worse than one where an aging, expensive Mookie Betts is a roster anchor 9 years from now?
 

scottyno

late Bloomer
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Dec 7, 2008
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They stunk in 2019 because the pitching all went to hell at once due to injuries, and they got regression from several key lineup players.
You literally just described what also happened in 2022, yet you seem to be holding this year against them.

The 2022 Sox with Betts would still miss the playoffs and possibly finish "in last place". They also miss the playoffs and possibly finish last in 2020 with him, another year you're holding against them.

Ironically, if they had Betts in 2021 and he put up the same year he did, they may have missed the playoffs entirely.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
19,029
I think my issue with this projection is assuming Mayer is stepping in during a certain timeline. Or at all.

I think we always over-assume the talent coming through the minors. It's one of the biggest misconceptions in looking at teams IMO.

Devers is a superstar right now. X is not quite at that level, but still a star. Mayer will be extremely lucky to have a major league career 1/2 as good as X's. It's the old Anderson Espinosa question, really.
Of course we don't know which prospects will boom. But they have enough really good ones to think with reasonable certainty that SOME of them will boom. And then we'll have new homegrown stars.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
19,029
You literally just described what also happened in 2022, yet you seem to be holding this year against them.

The 2022 Sox with Betts would still miss the playoffs and possibly finish "in last place". They also miss the playoffs and possibly finish last in 2020 with him, another year you're holding against them.

Ironically, if they had Betts in 2021 and he put up the same year he did, they may have missed the playoffs entirely.
2021
Betts: .264/.367/.487/.854, 126 ops+, 128 runs created, 4.2 bWAR
Renfroe: .259/.315/.501/.816, 114 ops+, 154 runs created, 2.3 bWAR

I don't know that you're right about that (your bolded statement), but it's possible.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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2021
Betts: .264/.367/.487/.854, 126 ops+, 128 runs created, 4.2 bWAR
Renfroe: .259/.315/.501/.816, 114 ops+, 154 runs created, 2.3 bWAR

I don't know that you're right about that (your bolded statement), but it's possible.
Mookie plays VASTLY better defense and runs bases better than Renfroe, which is reflected in the bWAR.

So, I suppose it's possible, but it's HIGHLY unlikely. Mookie is a better player. Having him on the 2021 Red Sox would have made them a better team.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
19,029
Just re-posting this from yesterday.

McCutcheon, beginning with his age 30 season, through this season (age 35). Six total seasons.

.252 / .348 / .441 / .789 / 113 OPS+ / ~2900 PA / 112 HR / 127 2B / 7 3B / 45 SB / 358 BB / 600 K

OPS+ by age year:
30: 123
31: 120
32: 116
33: 102
34: 109
35: 101

So on the "Mookie timeline", this is Mookie's age 29 season. He has 10 more years left on his contract. So, he would have 4 more years left after the next 6 years. If he were to put up a 113 OPS+ for the next 6 years, with 4 years left to go on the contract, how happy would we be with that? I honestly don't know. If Mookie puts up similar OPS+ from age 30-35 as McCutcheon, I think we'd see that as an albatross of a contract - to only get 3 pretty good offensive years, followed by 3 average offensive years, with 4 years still left to go and further decline expected.
This is why paying Mookie such a monster deal was dangerous, and is a cautionary tale for X. Though you could live with X being merely good instead of awesome. It's also, I think, why they ought to pay Devers (his horrific slump notwithstanding). He's just 25.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
19,029
Mookie plays VASTLY better defense and runs bases better than Renfroe, which is reflected in the bWAR.

So, I suppose it's possible, but it's HIGHLY unlikely. Mookie is a better player. Having him on the 2021 Red Sox would have made them a better team.
I agree with you that Mookie is a much much MUCH better player than Renfroe. But he didn't have THAT much better of a season in 2021 than Renfroe.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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You literally just described what also happened in 2022, yet you seem to be holding this year against them.
Well let's see, one team was coming off a WS win and still managed to win 84 games despite the injuries, and another is coming off an ALCS appearance and yet is going to finish in last place with a sub-.500 record. Gee I wonder why I'm holding 2022 against them?
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

Book Jailer
Dope
May 20, 2003
33,437
Deep inside Muppet Labs
I agree with you that Mookie is a much much MUCH better player than Renfroe. But he didn't have THAT much better of a season in 2021 than Renfroe.
1.9 WAR difference is pretty big, it's the difference between a good player and an All Star. There's more than a Verdugo's difference between those seasons.

Renfroe hit a lot of HRs and had a lot of OF assists. He also had poor range, was generally a lummox on the basepaths, and often displayed very poor baserunning and got thrown out quite a bit. He also never found a hit to RF where he couldn't overthrow the cutoff man.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
19,029
Well let's see, one team was coming off a WS win and still managed to win 84 games despite the injuries, and another is coming off an ALCS appearance and yet is going to finish in last place with a sub-.500 record. Gee I wonder why I'm holding 2022 against them?
If the Sox win 75 games this year (they're on pace for 79), that's a 17 game drop from the previous year. The drop from 2018-2019 was 24 games.