Napoli Hunt

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benhogan

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Green Monster said:
Yeah, but now Detroit needs a first baseman.  Although they might want to go a cheaper route depending on how much cash they are stuffing in Fielders pockets on the way out of town.
Detroit has a a first basemen playing 3rd at the moment.
 
 
 
beaten to the punch by sox hop
 

Green Monster

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soxhop411 said:
UH…. they have a 1B, who moved to third for prince
Good point....I totally missed that.  Cabrera back to 1B, better spot for him anyway.  Maybe they bring Peralta back to play 3B.  Either way their not in on Napoli
 

JimD

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I would think the Tigers will use their newfound money to pay Scherzer instead of making a free agent splash.
 

soxhop411

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Jen Royle says the Sox need to offer him 3 years… Isn't she buddy buddy with Napoli?
 
Anyway I would be fine with 2 years and an option year for year 3 if he meets certain thresholds
 

Sprowl

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CaskNFappin said:
Just throwing it out there.....Moreland if Napoli bolts? I know, I know.
 
If Napoli bolts, Carp has earned the lead half of a platoon: getting out of Safeco has shown his quality. Complementary right-handed hitting first basemen are not hard to find. Turtle teaches us: don't spend big money on a first baseman (medium-term medium money for an injury-hedged Napoli would be OK): 2 years, small raise over 2013. With Bogaerts, Bradley and Carp, the Red Sox are in a good position to see their Qualifying Offers fly away. Set them free.
 

Drek717

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Sprowl said:
 
If Napoli bolts, Carp has earned the lead half of a platoon: getting out of Safeco has shown his quality. Complementary right-handed hitting first basemen are not hard to find. Turtle teaches us: don't spend big money on a first baseman (medium-term medium money for an injury-hedged Napoli would be OK): 2 years, small raise over 2013. With Bogaerts, Bradley and Carp, the Red Sox are in a good position to see their Qualifying Offers fly away. Set them free.
That would make for a very interesting draft.  Given the new compensation system MLB isn't actually adding any new picks, just replacing signing teams' 1st and 2nd rounders with sandwich picks.  So unless some top 10 drafting team signs two QO FAs, or a team outside the top 10 signs three, the Red Sox would have five picks in top 61 (due to Toronto's comp pick for not signing their first last year).  Last year the Red Sox flexed some draft muscle due to being a top 10 picking team but if this occurs they could have even more significant flexibility in the 2014 draft.
 
Only the Yankees are in line for three comp picks, and that hinges on Cano and Kuroda signing elsewhere.  If the former leaves they're a non-contender, while the later has made it clear he will either retire, go back to Japan, or stay with the Yankees so he's unlikely to give a pick.  In reality they're only probably looking at a pick from Granderson.
 
So the Sox could come off a World Series win with twice as many picks before the start of the second round as anyone else, worst case they would have picks 30, 41, 42, 43.  Best case, if the other 9 FAs (ignoring Kuroda) all sign with new teams outside the top 10, could see them picking at 21, 31, 32, 33.
 
Now re-signing Napoli only costs one of these picks, but he also assures that another team is giving up a pick, improving draft slot for one of those picks or at a minimum moving the second rounder up.  So is Napoli + his contract enough of an upgrade over Carp + Hassan/Castellanos?  Is he enough of an upgrade over Hart + his contract demand?  The math doesn't seem to lean very much in Napoli's favor on anything more than a two year deal.
 

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JimD said:
I would think the Tigers will use their newfound money to pay Scherzer instead of making a free agent splash.
 
Well, if that's their plan, they have an issue. He's a Boras client. They'd better be prepared to have him go to free agency after 2014 and then outbid some other team.
 

BosRedSox5

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Sprowl said:
 
If Napoli bolts, Carp has earned the lead half of a platoon: getting out of Safeco has shown his quality. Complementary right-handed hitting first basemen are not hard to find. Turtle teaches us: don't spend big money on a first baseman (medium-term medium money for an injury-hedged Napoli would be OK): 2 years, small raise over 2013. With Bogaerts, Bradley and Carp, the Red Sox are in a good position to see their Qualifying Offers fly away. Set them free.
 
I wonder about this. Some guys are late bloomers and there's a stigma against them. Once they've graduated from prospect status they're either seen as starters or bench guys and it's hard to get a second chance to prove you can start. Happens all the time. Carp's obviously got talent, and... in his career has actually hit LHP better than RHP. Giving him an increased role, either as a starter or as part of a platoon could be risky... but would it be worth the savings and the extra draft pick?
 
I've gotta think that Ben is looking for some more sure things in the lineup with WMB and Xander occupying starting spots... but I'm intrigued by the idea. 
 

Sampo Gida

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JimD said:
I would think the Tigers will use their newfound money to pay Scherzer instead of making a free agent splash.
 
They actually only saved about 8 million AAV, maybe less depending on how that 30 million is counted.  They have 26 million coming off the books next year in V-Mart and Hunter, so some of that will be available to Scherzer. 
 
Anyways, they could sign Napoli, keep Cabrera at 3B for another year and then move Cabrera to DH in 2015 if they let V-Mart go.   They have to keep some money available to bolster their bullpen.  No idea what their budget is, but they have plenty of room before they hit the tax threshold.  Next year is probably their best shot at a title if they lose Scherzer, and seeing how Boras is his agent, that seems very possible.  So they might splurge a bit this year to make another  run.
 

BCsMightyJoeYoung

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Sampo Gida said:
They actually only saved about 8 million AAV, maybe less depending on how that 30 million is counted.  They have 26 million coming off the books next year in V-Mart and Hunter, so some of that will be available to Scherzer. 
 
Anyways, they could sign Napoli, keep Cabrera at 3B for another year and then move Cabrera to DH in 2015 if they let V-Mart go.   They have to keep some money available to bolster their bullpen.  No idea what their budget is, but they have plenty of room before they hit the tax threshold.  Next year is probably their best shot at a title if they lose Scherzer, and seeing how Boras is his agent, that seems very possible.  So they might splurge a bit this year to make another  run.
I would imagine a lot of the motivation for the trade came from the desire to get Cabrera off of third and back to First where he's , at least, respectable. I can't see them repeating the Fielder mistake all over again.
 

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67WasBest said:
I think he meant this year.  Tigers were rumored to be shopping him because of budget issues.
 
Then they have to be in GFIN mode, because Boras clients tend not to sign extensions a year away from FA, then they go to the highest bidder (after the price is pumped up by the Mystery Team(tm)).
 

nattysez

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Jay Jaffe:
 
Thus, I think it’s reasonable to expect Napoli to match that annual value and bring home something in the neighborhood of four years and $68 million. In the unlikely event he finds a taker for five years, I’d expect to see a drop in average annual value, but I expect his hip condition, dormant as it may be, will prevent that from happening. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be surprised if he returns to Boston on a three-year deal at a slight premium above $17 million, with some kind of vesting option to go to a fourth year. Like any bopper in this limited market, he’s going to get paid.
 
 
So 3/$54 with a vesting option based on a combination of average games played and total games played in years 3?  That seems like a LOT to pay for a guy who the Sox couldn't stomach paying 3/$39 a year ago.
 

YTF

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I'd like to see Napoli back, but not at 17M per year. Starting to think that you might want to see what it takes to sign Corey Hart for a year, maybe two. He takes Napoli's spot on the roster and allows some added flexibility especially if JBJ isn't ready, or even if he is. Pending other FA pick ups or trades, you go into the season with Hart/Carp/Nava at first, Gova/Carp in left, Victorino/Hart/Nava in right, and JBJ/Victorino/Nava in center.
 

koufax37

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I love Napoli, but I think his value over what we can replace him with (not replacement player) is a little suspect.  I have some doubts (Verlander 1-0 win and awesome beard creation mojo aside) about whether Napoli is better against RHP than Carp right now.
 
Granted as a part time player Carp has the insulation factor of primarily playing against favorable matchups, and I'm not sure he can be expected to perform so well over 500 PA (I think a similar thing hits David Ross in his career numbers against RHP...McCann played when there was a severe platoon split RHP, and Ross would play when there was a less of a split), but I question how significant the dropoff would be, and if that improvement is worth significant dollars or years.
 
What you end up needing to measure is how much do Napoli's 220-ish PAs against LHP matter vs who would replace him in the lineup in those ABs (not Carp).  We know those ABs wouldn't go to Nava given his splits, but what is the value over Lavarnway, one year free agent option, etc.?
 
I want Napoli back, but avoiding a 3/54 and getting a pick seems the wiser resource allocation.  I think Napoli wants to be back as well, and he won't let his agent or dollars rule all.  But if his market doesn't make sense, I think there are alternatives for the LHP at bats.  I like the Hart possibility and others YTF outlines, and also think we should be in on Choo until another team spends too many Boras Dollars.
 

Average Reds

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PrometheusWakefield said:
If Jaffe is right, Napoli is gone.  No way that Napoli is worth that much especially given the draft pick we get if he leaves.
 
Jaffe is dreaming if he thinks someone is going to offer Napoli and his degenerative hips 4 years and $68 million guaranteed. 
 
In the unlikely event that he does get this sort of offer, I'll just comfort myself by remembering the months of unproductive at bats (in between his blisteringly hot stretches) while watching him in another uniform next year.  Because I cannot imagine the Sox will offer that kind of contract to him.
 

selahsean

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Does the Peralta signing have any correlation on the market for Napoli?  4/$53 seems like an overpay to me, but the Cardinals aren't exactly known for overpaying.  If Peralta (a terrible defender) can get 4/$53 I would think Napoli could get that much if not more.  Something like 3/$45 with a 4th year based on plate appearances seems totally reasonable in this market.
 

gammoseditor

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selahsean said:
Does the Peralta signing have any correlation on the market for Napoli?  4/$53 seems like an overpay to me, but the Cardinals aren't exactly known for overpaying.  If Peralta (a terrible defender) can get 4/$53 I would think Napoli could get that much if not more.  Something like 3/$45 with a 4th year based on plate appearances seems totally reasonable in this market.
 
I don't see the Peralta contract having an impact on Napoli other than it supports the fact that teams have tons of money to spend, but we already knew that.  Peralta might be a terrible defender, but he's a terrible defender at SS.  He also had no draft pick compensation attached and doesn't haev the injury concerns Napoli does.  If someone overpays for Napoli it's because they think he's the best 1B option out there and they need a 1B.  I'd argue that the fact that Napoli hasn't signed yet indicates no teams have designated him as plan A, but that's also wishful thinking this early in the offseason. 
 

jimbobim

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The Cardinals had some money to splash on Peralta. I hardly think that excess is indicative of Napoli's market. 4 years and the forfeiture of a pick is just an insane amount of risk for another team to take on(unless its a team with a protected pick, but still a fourth year would be my red line). I'd give a two year deal with a third year mutual option . 15-16 mill a year with a option that has a high buyout. I think he's already has the Sox offer or the range and he's shopping around which the Sox understand. I'd be surprised if he's not back by Thanksgiving. I would imagine the Sox matching any 2 year 32 with an option year that could take it to 45-48. I wouldn't be surprised if Napoli and Beltran get similar contracts even if Beltran is a more consistent hitter. 
 

ivanvamp

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PrometheusWakefield said:
If Jaffe is right, Napoli is gone.  No way that Napoli is worth that much especially given the draft pick we get if he leaves.
 
I just read Jaffe's column and was going to post it until I looked upthread and saw that it had already been done.  So my reaction was:  No way in hell should the Sox go 4/68 on Napoli.  I mean, not a chance in the world.  I know there isn't a ton out there to be had, but surely they can find a better value than that.  Heck, a Carp/someone in-house platoon would be better than Nap at that figure.
 
EDIT:  In fact, I hope that the Sox are in serious talks with Corey Hart because I think it's quite likely that he alone could pretty much replicate Napoli's numbers at nowhere near that price tag.
 

ji oh

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PrometheusWakefield said:
If Jaffe is right, Napoli is gone.  No way that Napoli is worth that much especially given the draft pick we get if he leaves.
 
He's using a weighted three-average for Napoli, so even with the weighting the 2011 320/414/641/1046 may account for some of his optimism, right?
 

BosRedSox5

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Sure, I wouldn't give Napoli that much money, but I think his defense is a game changer. 

We all knew Napoli could hit, but no one really knew how strong of a defensive first baseman he was. I like Corey Hart but he missed all of last season and has only ever played 1B in two professional seasons (2006, 2012) for a total of 857.1 innings. It's not a position he's especially familiar with, and it'd be tough for him to replace Napoli. Sure, he might put up similar offensive numbers, but as a total package? It's tough to say. Sure, 1B ranks pretty low on the defensive spectrum, but apart from the catcher and the pitcher they're involved in the most plays on defense. I think people underestimate how much value a sure handed 1B can bring. 

If Napoli is gone, Hart wouldn't be a bad consolation prize, but I'd like to see the Sox make a reasonable effort to retain Napoli. Sure, a draft pick would be nice, but Nap surpassed all of our expectations this season.
 

Van Everyman

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What evidence does anyone here have that the Sox are considering Carp for anything more than the bench role he had last year? His glove seems suspect, and, if you put any stock in this sort of thing, he disappeared during the playoffs.

Carp strikes me as a Ben flier that worked out very well in a sub role – not someone who the team has ever envisioned as a long-term starter.
 

ivanvamp

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BosRedSox5 said:
Sure, I wouldn't give Napoli that much money, but I think his defense is a game changer. 

We all knew Napoli could hit, but no one really knew how strong of a defensive first baseman he was. I like Corey Hart but he missed all of last season and has only ever played 1B in two professional seasons (2006, 2012) for a total of 857.1 innings. It's not a position he's especially familiar with, and it'd be tough for him to replace Napoli. Sure, he might put up similar offensive numbers, but as a total package? It's tough to say. Sure, 1B ranks pretty low on the defensive spectrum, but apart from the catcher and the pitcher they're involved in the most plays on defense. I think people underestimate how much value a sure handed 1B can bring. 

If Napoli is gone, Hart wouldn't be a bad consolation prize, but I'd like to see the Sox make a reasonable effort to retain Napoli. Sure, a draft pick would be nice, but Nap surpassed all of our expectations this season.
 
All things being equal, yes, I'd prefer to have Napoli over Hart.  Better defense, similar power, we know he can play in Boston, etc.  But if the two deals are Napoli at 4/68 and Hart at 1/8 or 2/14, to me that's a no-brainer for Hart.
 

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Van Everyman said:
What evidence does anyone here have that the Sox are considering Carp for anything more than the bench role he had last year? His glove seems suspect, and, if you put any stock in this sort of thing, he disappeared during the playoffs.

Carp strikes me as a Ben flier that worked out very well in a sub role – not someone who the team has ever envisioned as a long-term starter.
 
Disappeared in the playoffs?  He had 8 plate appearances in 16 games.  Not only can you not make any conclusions about his performance from that miniscule sample size, it looks about right for a guy who was, as you say, a bench player.  He got one start in the post-season against the AL Cy Young award winner, going 0 for 3 against him while his teammates were a collective 2 for 20 with two walks in 7 innings.  It's hardly anything to be concerned about.
 
There's no evidence that the Sox are considering Carp for a bigger role except that, at the moment, were the season to start now, he'd be penciled in as the starting 1B.  That certainly can change between now and Opening Day.  It's not as though the Red Sox are going to tip their hand at this point regardless of what they're thinking about him or any other 1B options.
 
I don't think anyone, including the Red Sox, envisions him as a long-term starter.  He is simply a serviceable option should the free agent market for 1B go bonkers and guys become overpriced (and the Napoli at $17M per for multiple years rumor is the definition of bonkers and overpriced).
 

JFS7

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Ken Rosenthal: "If the Mariners offer Napoli three years or more, the risk-averse Red Sox might turn away."
 

Minneapolis Millers

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As stupid as we all think it would be, it's not very hard to see a team like Seattle throw 3 years at Napoli.  They know he has good power.  They know he plays good defense at 1B.  They know (or at least can be pretty confident) he's a good teammate.  The big risk is the potential for a career-ending injury.  That's real and substantial, but (a) it's not clear how big a risk it is over the next 3 years, and (b) it's not a clearly worse risk than betting on a guy coming back from two actual injuries (Hart), a guy with a long injury history and diminishing production (Morneau), or a safer but significantly less skilled guy (Loney et al).  Particularly in a market that gives big money plus 5+ years to McCann and 4 years to PEDralta.
 

seantoo

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Minneapolis Millers said:
Well, fine, then you can be shocked if this happens.  Personally, I understand how scarcity + desperation = 3 years, in Nap's case.  Maybe because teams take seemingly unnecessary risks every single offseason. 
You missed/glossed over where it was noted by others that Napoli settled on a 1 year $5 Million dollar deal after he had gone back to the market, albeit late in the process. His bat was not the question it was his hip. Nothing has changed. If a team was not desperate late in the process last season why would one be desperate early in the process this season. Your rational does not hold water here.
 

BosRedSox5

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Minneapolis Millers said:
As stupid as we all think it would be, it's not very hard to see a team like Seattle throw 3 years at Napoli.  They know he has good power.  They know he plays good defense at 1B.  They know (or at least can be pretty confident) he's a good teammate.  The big risk is the potential for a career-ending injury.  That's real and substantial, but (a) it's not clear how big a risk it is over the next 3 years, and (b) it's not a clearly worse risk than betting on a guy coming back from two actual injuries (Hart), a guy with a long injury history and diminishing production (Morneau), or a safer but significantly less skilled guy (Loney et al).  Particularly in a market that gives big money plus 5+ years to McCann and 4 years to PEDralta.
 
I don't think it would be stupid. Seattle is sitting on a good farm system, and a lot more money than people realize. They need to start attracting top free agents to supplement their young players who are coming through the system. I think taking a risk on a guy like Napoli makes a lot of sense for the Mariners, for all the reasons you mentioned. He's a good teammate, plays good D and he's a decent hitter. Sure, his hip condition is a concern, but for a team like Seattle that needs to show their franchise as a viable destination for free agents, it's a risk they should probably take. 
 

Drek717

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BosRedSox5 said:
 
I don't think it would be stupid. Seattle is sitting on a good farm system, and a lot more money than people realize. They need to start attracting top free agents to supplement their young players who are coming through the system. I think taking a risk on a guy like Napoli makes a lot of sense for the Mariners, for all the reasons you mentioned. He's a good teammate, plays good D and he's a decent hitter. Sure, his hip condition is a concern, but for a team like Seattle that needs to show their franchise as a viable destination for free agents, it's a risk they should probably take. 
Pretty good summation.  Any FA deal is a risk and what is a bad deal for one team might be a good one for another.  The reality is that for the Red Sox there's a lot of benefits attached to passing on QO FAs, including their own, this year.  They'll net a nice cache of draft picks and can use their financial muscle, attractive hitter's park, and history of being a prime pillow destination (Beltre, Ross, likely Drew and Napoli as well if he doesn't return) to lure the Corey Harts of the world to Boston.  This allows them to have less risk than most teams can take on knowing that they're turning those pillow deals into draft picks and can always be the high bidder on the next guy looking for a make right deal.
 
Add some strong in-house options and a contract normally chalked up as the cost of doing business in the FA market for most teams starts looking like a prohibitive expense for the Red Sox.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Seantoo:
I disagree.  Plenty has changed.  First, Napoli has shown not only the ability to play first, but to play it very well.  You don't think that's a factor in teams' valuation of him as a player?  I do.  Second, when the player is available absolutely makes a difference in the number of teams around that still have the available money to pay him.  They haven't filled roster spots and spent that money on other players yet.  Basic supply and demand.
 

FFCI

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In a sport where you can not trade to acquire draft picks - choosing to only resign Napoli on a team-friendly deal is the only way I want to see him back.
 
I loved rooting for him and loved the beards and the 2013 season - but if you could trade Napoli for a late first round pick - it would be worth it.  I realize that draft picks are risky - and most won't become what Napoli has been - but if you end up with 3 picks in a draft - you have significantly increased your odds (as well as your signing pool) to have a better draft and build a better franchise.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Drek:
Exactly.  Teams legitimately value players differently, given their roster needs, market, etc.  That's been my overarching concern with Napoli - that the Sox have a limit on what they understandably see as his value to THEM, which could easily be significantly less than the value he offers to Seattle or some other differently situated club.  Which means we could easily lose him, and that stinks imo, because I personally like what he brings to the Sox.  But it's perfectly understandable.
 

chrisfont9

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BosRedSox5 said:
 
I don't think it would be stupid. Seattle is sitting on a good farm system, and a lot more money than people realize. They need to start attracting top free agents to supplement their young players who are coming through the system. I think taking a risk on a guy like Napoli makes a lot of sense for the Mariners, for all the reasons you mentioned. He's a good teammate, plays good D and he's a decent hitter. Sure, his hip condition is a concern, but for a team like Seattle that needs to show their franchise as a viable destination for free agents, it's a risk they should probably take. 
Plus they're #6 in the draft order, so Nap will only cost them their second round pick. Seattle's difficulties getting people to take their money are well documented. [Less well-documented: how lucky the Mariners are in this regard. See Fielder, Prince.] But Napoli's unknowable health risk might scare off most of the suitors who'd have to surrender a first-rounder as well. That leaves top ten teams, and teams who've already blown their #1. Furthermore, surely Napoli has serious concerns about how many years his hip will hold up, so if the Ms come in with four years (plus options) and nobody else tops three, he has to take that very seriously. Someone without his health concern might be able to rationalize a shorter/higher AAV deal, counting on a subsequent contract. Nap has to regard this as his last contract.
 

PrometheusWakefield

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Would it be crazy to consider Youkilis as the right side of the platoon with Carp?  He's still only 35, he kicked ass against LHP as recently as 2012 and they say he's healthy.  Could even be a decent backup option at third with a bounce back season.  
 

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Van Everyman said:
What evidence does anyone here have that the Sox are considering Carp for anything more than the bench role he had last year? His glove seems suspect, and, if you put any stock in this sort of thing, he disappeared during the playoffs.

Carp strikes me as a Ben flier that worked out very well in a sub role – not someone who the team has ever envisioned as a long-term starter.
 
Why do you say 'suspect'? I would have said 'average' and 'competent' in the field at the least important fielding position -- not great range, but solid instincts and good pickups on throws in the dirt. His 'disappearance' was because Farrell had Napoli and Ortiz ahead of him on the depth chart, and he was relegated to pinch-hitting.
 
Carp looks to me like an excellent hitter for both average and power, and not merely a Fenway creation or a platoon option -- his batting numbers were better on the road in 2013, and over his career he has hit LHP well. I would be quite comfortable going into 2014 with Carp pencilled in as the starter, with Nava and Lavarnway available to back him up. Signing a veteran backup RHB 1B on short money (eg, Konerko or another ageing slugger) might be a useful precaution.
 
edit: Safeco won't help Napoli's power numbers, although some of his home runs are out of any ballpark anywhere. It's clear that Seattle has plenty of money to play with if the Mariners think that they are ready to make a splash. Maybe they are ready to cut bait on Smoak, in which case the Red Sox may be able to turn another Safeco refugee into a cheap pickup. Don't spend big money on first basemen.
 

alwyn96

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PrometheusWakefield said:
Would it be crazy to consider Youkilis as the right side of the platoon with Carp?  He's still only 35, he kicked ass against LHP as recently as 2012 and they say he's healthy.  Could even be a decent backup option at third with a bounce back season.  
 
I'd love to see Youkilis and Carp split time at 1B, but I think that ship has probably sailed. If a player who had the same skillset and situation as Youkilis was available, I think he'd be great for the Sox. I don't think Youkilis the person is in a big hurry to get back to Boston, and I'm not sure the FO would be that excited about having him around either. That said, I bet he'll be a nice pickup for some lucky team if he can play mostly at 1B/DH. His body just can't handle 3B anymore.
 

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alwyn96 said:
 
I'd love to see Youkilis and Carp split time at 1B, but I think that ship has probably sailed. If a player who had the same skillset and situation as Youkilis was available, I think he'd be great for the Sox. I don't think Youkilis the person is in a big hurry to get back to Boston, and I'm not sure the FO would be that excited about having him around either. That said, I bet he'll be a nice pickup for some lucky team if he can play mostly at 1B/DH. His body just can't handle 3B anymore.
 
Was the breakup really that ugly?  As I recall, Youk didn't get along with the manager, he was in decline (and in denial about it), and wasn't all that thrilled about becoming a part-time player behind a rookie on a hot streak.  The front office dealt him away for basically nothing to diffuse what could have been a difficult situation in a season filled with difficult situations.
 
IF (big if) Youkilis can't find a team willing to give him assurances of more or less full-time playing time, I could see him returning to Boston in a part-time capacity.  The manager he had the beef with is long gone.  The GM that traded him is gone.
 
All that said, I don't think it's plan A, B, or C for either side, and it probably won't happen, but I don't think it's an impossibility either.
 

Devizier

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The Mariners are a strange case; they are in excellent shape in some of the hardest positions to fill (Hernandez and Iwakuma at the front of the rotation, and Seager and Miller make an excellent tandem on the left side of their infield). They were a freakin' disaster at all the positions on the left side of the defensive spectrum, though. I think it was somewhat miraculous that Morales turned down their qualifying offer, effectively saving themselves from themselves. I don't love Napoli in Safeco, but he would represent a huge upgrade over Smoak, offensively and defensively. They need outfielders in the worst way, especially if they give Ackley another shot at second base. This is why Ellsbury makes so much damn sense for them. Maybe Abraham Almonte turns out to be a credible center fielder, or maybe Michael Saunders finally fulfills his potential. If the Mariners believed that, though, I think they would have moved Ackley to left in place of Ibanez.
 
I don't know if the Mariners are ready to make the leap. If their once highly regarded position player prospects (Ackley, Saunders, Franklin) fulfill their potential like Kyle Seager did, then they could put together a pretty strong team. But that's a big if. Their offense has been *horrible* for what seems like forever, and the pipeline has run dry. Pretty much all their top prospects - and they have some great ones - are pitchers. Maybe they can trade for the help they need. It wouldn't hurt the Mariners to look into the Dodgers' outfield situation, that's for sure.
 
Long story short, the Mariners have some pretty great pieces and a pile of money to build a strong team. They probably should be able to do that, so long as Jack Z doesn't eff it up. I'll take the under on that one.
 

alwyn96

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Sprowl said:
 
Why do you say 'suspect'? I would have said 'average' and 'competent' in the field at the least important fielding position -- not great range, but solid instincts and good pickups on throws in the dirt. His 'disappearance' was because Farrell had Napoli and Ortiz ahead of him on the depth chart, and he was relegated to pinch-hitting.
 
Carp looks to me like an excellent hitter for both average and power, and not merely a Fenway creation or a platoon option -- his batting numbers were better on the road in 2013, and over his career he has hit LHP well. I would be quite comfortable going into 2014 with Carp pencilled in as the starter, with Nava and Lavarnway available to back him up. Signing a veteran backup RHB 1B on short money (eg, Konerko or another ageing slugger) might be a useful precaution.
 
edit: Safeco won't help Napoli's power numbers, although some of his home runs are out of any ballpark anywhere. It's clear that Seattle has plenty of money to play with if the Mariners think that they are ready to make a splash. Maybe they are ready to cut bait on Smoak, in which case the Red Sox may be able to turn another Safeco refugee into a cheap pickup. Don't spend big money on first basemen.
 
Carp's crazy BABIP really inflates his 2013 numbers. I'd guess he's more like what Steamer projects him to be: 261/329/441 with mediocre defense at 1B. That's not a bad player (hell, Napoli's projected at 239/342/456), and he might be a starting 1B on a non-contending team, but his lack of athleticism and positional flexibility really hurts him. Carp's not gonna kill you at 1B, but the Red Sox should be able to do better. 
 

alwyn96

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Red(s)HawksFan said:
 
Was the breakup really that ugly?  As I recall, Youk didn't get along with the manager, he was in decline (and in denial about it), and wasn't all that thrilled about becoming a part-time player behind a rookie on a hot streak.  The front office dealt him away for basically nothing to diffuse what could have been a difficult situation in a season filled with difficult situations.
 
IF (big if) Youkilis can't find a team willing to give him assurances of more or less full-time playing time, I could see him returning to Boston in a part-time capacity.  The manager he had the beef with is long gone.  The GM that traded him is gone.
 
All that said, I don't think it's plan A, B, or C for either side, and it probably won't happen, but I don't think it's an impossibility either.
 
Oh, I don't think it was that ugly and it's not impossible - I just think Youkilis could find a better job than the short side of a 1B platoon (or at least that job in a friendlier media market closer to home), and the FO wants to put 2012 as far in the rearview mirror as they can. 
 
I'm pretty sure it was Cherington that traded him, right? See? We've forgotten 2012 already! :)
 

Devizier

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Carp's past season isn't too far off from the season he put together two years ago, with one notable exception: his platoon split. It's probably just a small sample issue, but the disparity is pretty striking. A conventional split this year, and a reverse split two years ago. Those years cancel out to his career averages, which reveal no split whatsoever.
 

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chrisfont9 said:
Plus they're #6 in the draft order, so Nap will only cost them their second round pick. Seattle's difficulties getting people to take their money are well documented. [Less well-documented: how lucky the Mariners are in this regard. See Fielder, Prince.] But Napoli's unknowable health risk might scare off most of the suitors who'd have to surrender a first-rounder as well. That leaves top ten teams, and teams who've already blown their #1. Furthermore, surely Napoli has serious concerns about how many years his hip will hold up, so if the Ms come in with four years (plus options) and nobody else tops three, he has to take that very seriously. Someone without his health concern might be able to rationalize a shorter/higher AAV deal, counting on a subsequent contract. Nap has to regard this as his last contract.
 
They're not always lucky. See Richie Sexson (who finished out his M's contract in a Yankees uniform after the M's released him).
 
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