Napoli Hunt

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twothousandone

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Max Power said:
If the Red Sox have to exceed the offer, he really doesn't want to stay here.
If the Red Sox don't at least match the best offer on the table, they really don't want him back here. 
 
 
Rudy Pemberton said:
Yep, given this market. . . 
 
What the heck should the Sox do here?
Hopefully, they have found a way to quickly adjust their value equation as new contracts are signed. (Was it just) Two years ago, Crawford and Werth were outliers and/or the top end of the market. Now Ellsbury has pushed the top end for OFs, and Granderson makes it clear those guys are no longer outliers. In retrospect, it makes the 3/$39 million offers to Victorino, Napoli, and (who am I forgetting from last year?) look downright prescient.  
Napoli isn't a great use case because of that hip issue, but Kendrys Morales is worth more now than he was in October, even though Prince Fielder is no longer a $24 million guy. The money that got moved takes his value down a notch, but the recent signings push Morales' value higher. 
I'm figuring there's some program or spreadsheet where the Sox can input the new numbers and get a reset on the "theoretical" market value of their current players under contract and the projections for any number of free agents. Mix. Match. Recompute. See if you have a winning team for the right price.
Of course, this is what free agency was intended to do all those years ago -- increase value and salaries for every player for each new contract. Market value of signing Xander Bogaerts just went up notably.
 

twothousandone

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twothousandone said:
If the Red Sox don't at least match the best offer on the table, they really don't want him back here. 
 
 
Hopefully, they have found a way to quickly adjust their value equation as new contracts are signed. (Was it just) Two years ago, Crawford and Werth were outliers and/or the top end of the market. Now Ellsbury has pushed the top end for OFs, and Granderson makes it clear those guys are no longer outliers. In retrospect, it makes the 3/$39 million offers to Victorino, Napoli, and (who am I forgetting from last year?) look downright prescient.  
Napoli isn't a great use case because of that hip issue, but Kendrys Morales is worth more now than he was in October, even though Prince Fielder is no longer a $24 million guy. The money that got moved takes his value down a notch, but the recent signings push Morales' value higher. 
I'm figuring there's some program or spreadsheet where the Sox can input the new numbers and get a reset on the "theoretical" market value of their current players under contract and the projections for any number of free agents. Mix. Match. Recompute. See if you have a winning team for the right price. Do the new math on Napoli, and then adjust if for hip risk.
Of course, this is what free agency was intended to do all those years ago -- increase value and salaries for every player for each new contract. Market value of signing Xander Bogaerts just went up notably.
 

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It's one thing to not overpay by millions to keep Ellsbury, but if they don't stretch a little to keep Napoli what are they saving the cash for?  If they're holding back because of something bigger down the road, fine.  And while I like the idea of showing discipline, at some point they're going to have to pay someone whatever the going rate is, which seems to keep rising.  Even if it takes four years, he could become the DH in year three or four or whenever Ortiz retires.  I hope they don't let him walk for a relatively small amount of money.
 

RedOctober3829

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glennhoffmania said:
It's one thing to not overpay by millions to keep Ellsbury, but if they don't stretch a little to keep Napoli what are they saving the cash for?  If they're holding back because of something bigger down the road, fine.  And while I like the idea of showing discipline, at some point they're going to have to pay someone whatever the going rate is, which seems to keep rising.  Even if it takes four years, he could become the DH in year three or four or whenever Ortiz retires.  I hope they don't let him walk for a relatively small amount of money.
This is exactly how I feel.  How are they going to spend the money budgeted towards Ellsbury if they don't use some of it to sign Napoli who is a priority that they keep?
 

SaveBooFerriss

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KillerBs said:
So much hinges on how good you think Carp is. I am thinking pretty good...
 
If not Napoli, there is also the option of a Trumbo deal, which would cost us Felix +? probably...
 
Can't we stop the fantasy that Trumbo is good enough to trade significant assets for?  His OBP is .294.  Please stop.  
 

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I'm ok with letting Napoli walk if they have already talked to Hart's agent.  Perfect platoon partner for Carp, should be cheap, can cover LF if something happens to Gomes.  I would prefer if one of these platoon players could cover CF/RF for roster flexibility, but Berry can cover that short term, and we probably don't need to roster Kalish at this point.
 

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SaveBooFerriss said:
 
Can't we stop the fantasy that Trumbo is good enough to trade significant assets for?  His OBP is .294.  Please stop.  
 
Thank you.  And while we're at it, can we not keep trying to justify paying a player a couple extra million because "what else are they going to spend it on?"
 

rodderick

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KillerBs said:
So much hinges on how good you think Carp is. I am thinking pretty good...
 
If not Napoli, there is also the option of a Trumbo deal, which would cost us Felix +? probably...
How about they get Corey Hart? Why on earth would you give up Felix Doubront+ for a less athletic Will Middlebrooks?
 

RedOctober3829

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Red(s)HawksFan said:
 
Thank you.  And while we're at it, can we not keep trying to justify paying a player a couple extra million because "what else are they going to spend it on?"
If we are talking within $5 million, yes I will justify it this way.  If it's a huge gap, then yes let Napoli move on.
 

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pokey_reese said:
I'm ok with letting Napoli walk if they have already talked to Hart's agent.  Perfect platoon partner for Carp, should be cheap, can cover LF if something happens to Gomes.  I would prefer if one of these platoon players could cover CF/RF for roster flexibility, but Berry can cover that short term, and we probably don't need to roster Kalish at this point.
 
Yes, this is where I am too.  Plus we get another draft pick for letting Napoli walk.  So we have 4 picks (and the draft pool) in the top 40ish.  This is after winning the World Series, with a top 5 farm system, and another legit shot to compete next year. 
 

koufax37

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My first choice is to have Napoli back.  Great beard, great mojo, great power, mashes LHP, good defense, not going to take a lot of years whatever the dollars are, and not a lot of big options out there for the middle of our order without an imaginative trade (which I am open to, but can't pretend are realistic options until one is worked out).
 
However, if we sign Kendry Morales and lose Napoli, we would lose our #30 pick and get a sandwich pick back, so mostly a wash right?  And on the playing side they are fairly similar bats, Morales is an unimportant year younger, but a worse fielder.  We become a little stronger against RHP and a little weaker against LHP.
 
I think Morales is likely to be an inferior total player over the next couple years and likely to demand a higher contract, and cost us a few slots with the draft pick shuffle, while not offering mojo.  But he is likely close enough to explore the details on, while we also kick the tires at a Hosmer or Trumbo like trade.  The thing is any trade should give up the Dempsters or Lars Anderson-style prospects, and not downgrade our 2014 roster or give up future stars.  I don't see that kind of trade bringing us back a better than Napoli 1B.  Right now we need to make up for some runs Ellsbury > JBJ costs us and likely regression from Papi and Nava and the catching platoon, and taking a step back at 1B offense isn't wise.  Also if we are starting rookies at SS and CF, having an extra returning veteran bat will increase the stability.
 
So keep kicking the tires on different options, but right now we have a talented guy who wants to be here and won't break the bank to do so, so I look forward to reading that Napoli has re-signed pretty soon.
 
Edit: Interesting link breaking down the options a little today http://www.replacementlevelredsox.com/2013/12/06/a-man-and-his-plan-first-base/
 

KillerBs

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SaveBooFerriss said:
 
Can't we stop the fantasy that Trumbo is good enough to trade significant assets for?  His OBP is .294.  Please stop.  
I wasn't suggesting they SHOULD do this, only that it was an option.
 
Napoli was about 10 runs better offensively than Trumbo last year, Trumbo about 10 better the year before. Trumbo is not my kind of player, but if you are looking for RH power at 1b to replace Napoli, there isn't much else out there. He is youngish, cheap, and has the advantage of being able to play some 3b/LF too.
 
As for Hart, I suppose that is a possibility, but I still question why he would want to come here to be a the short half of a platoon and I would rather have Carp than him as a FT player. Also, signing Hart means if you want to sit JBJ vs some lefties, your only option is Nava to RF.  
 

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If Napoli goes I think they go hard after Choo or Beltran or explore a trade for a big time hitter (Kemp?) . .Too much uncertainty otherwise
 
Question marks abound:
 
X
Middlebrooks
Nava
Carp
Bradley 
 
That's too much I think for this FO to stomach. Middlebrooks and X are acceptable risks . But adding in Bradley and Carp plus an expected (?) decline from Nava .. ???
 

SaveBooFerriss

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KillerBs said:
I wasn't suggesting they SHOULD do this, only that it was an option.
 
Napoli was about 10 runs better offensively than Trumbo last year, Trumbo about 10 better the year before. Trumbo is not my kind of player, but if you are looking for RH power at 1b to replace Napoli, there isn't much else out there. He is youngish, cheap, and has the advantage of being able to play some 3b/LF too.
 
As for Hart, I suppose that is a possibility, but I still question why he would want to come here to be a the short half of a platoon and I would rather have Carp than him as a FT player. Also, signing Hart means if you want to sit JBJ vs some lefties, your only option is Nava to RF.  
 
I think you can sign Hart and Rajai Davis and call it an offseason.  
 
Edit: That said, I would prefer Napoli back.   
 

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SaveBooFerriss said:
 
I think you can sign Hart and Rajai Davis and call it an offseason.  
 
Edit: That said, I would prefer Napoli back.   
 
If you sign Hart and Davis where does Bradley play ? Pawtucket?
 
Bradley replaces Ellsbury
Hart replaces Napoli with Carp to 1B
Davis replaces one of Gomes/Nava ?
 
There's no room for another OF AND another 1B
 

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Based on some of the rumors out there, if this deal could be in the 4-year territory at perhaps $15 million per year, I have a hard time seeing the Red Sox going there.  
 
I think a Hart deal could be good for both sides. Even with Carp/Nava/Gomes in the picture, Hart should get enough at bats to show he is healthy.  If he flops, then Carp gets more at bats.
 

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Posted this in a different thread, but perhaps as appropriate if not more appropriate here.......
 
While many here are happy about the departure of Cano, the price of poker just went up because the Yankees are going to be looking for an impact bat to take his place in the line up and have all of that money that they didn't spend on Cano.  I think the Sox need to present Napoli with their best take it or leave it offer soon and see if the two sides can agree to terms or move on because I think teams are going to begin scrambling. I'm not suggesting that the Sox panic, but I think other teams may and they need to see where they stand with Napoli so they can figure where to go if he's not in the picture. With the price of FAs escalating, this COULD be a good thing for the Sox. Some teams may feel they no longer can be players in the market and may turn towards looking at teams with healthy minor league systems as trade partners. The Sox may be in a good position to move some young talent for a proven bat.
 

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Take the money they were thinking about giving Napoli and use it as part of a bid for Tanaka. If that doesn't work, we look for trades as the free agent market winds down. We take a few months to see what Carp can do, we pocket another high draft pick. That sets us up way better in the long run than giving Napoli 3 or god forbid 4 years. He's in his 30's, slow, and has a huge potential health issue. That does not sound like a guy who is going to age well. He played good defense last year and has good hands, but that does not mean he's going to keep being that good with the glove as he gets older and slower.
 
If he can get 4 years or even 3 from the Marlins then I hope he takes it and has a blast down there with Salty. And we get another high draft pick, who might be getting close to the majors while some other team is paying Napoli $15 million to not play on his ruined hip.
 
Young cheap players are the way to go, along with quality veteran role players and whatever superstars you can possibly get. Napoli is no superstar and he is going to get paid too much for too long to be a veteran role player. We need to keep our flexibility and go for Tanaka or some other younger guy with top potential with our big money.
 
If Hart wants to come here for one year and be one of those solid veteran role players for a year, bring him on. If not, that's fine too. We stay flexible and make smart moves for good players instead of overpaying for guys in their 30s.
 
It's not easy or fun to stay disciplined, but we should do it.
 

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YTF said:
Posted this in a different thread, but perhaps as appropriate if not more appropriate here.......
 
While many here are happy about the departure of Cano, the price of poker just went up because the Yankees are going to be looking for an impact bat to take his place in the line up and have all of that money that they didn't spend on Cano.  I think the Sox need to present Napoli with their best take it or leave it offer soon and see if the two sides can agree to terms or move on because I think teams are going to begin scrambling. I'm not suggesting that the Sox panic, but I think other teams may and they need to see where they stand with Napoli so they can figure where to go if he's not in the picture. With the price of FAs escalating, this COULD be a good thing for the Sox. Some teams may feel they no longer can be players in the market and may turn towards looking at teams with healthy minor league systems as trade partners. The Sox may be in a good position to move some young talent for a proven bat.
 
I have to give some credit to Ben Cherington that he is not in a position to get desperate on the free agent market, with plausible alternatives already on the roster. I'm sure they aren't done, but they weren't in the position where they had no leverage at any of these positions (CF, SS, 1B, C), which is fortunate given this year's free agent market.
 

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rembrat said:
 
1B is one of the easiest positions to replace though. The Sox don't have to do anything drastic here but find a platoon partner for Carp. Steady as she goes.
 
 
IF all you're looking to do is replace the position.  I've never been one of those guys who says you HAVE to get a set amount of production from certain positions. I really don't care where the production comes from, but it does have to come from somewhere and I worry that Carp & platoon partner may not give what Napoli or Hart would potentially give.  
 

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BCsMightyJoeYoung said:
 
If you sign Hart and Davis where does Bradley play ? Pawtucket?
 
Bradley replaces Ellsbury
Hart replaces Napoli with Carp to 1B
Davis replaces one of Gomes/Nava ?
 
There's no room for another OF AND another 1B
Regardless of whether or not they sign Hart or Napoli I think that this might be a year when the team needs to consider carrying a 5th outfielder as they need to sign a veteran backup to insure against a JBJ collapse. I personally think Davis is that player.
So how would he be used here? As the right handed side of a Bradley platoon (last year JBJ was abysmal against LHP in the majors and .100 points of OPS worse against them in the minors). Against LHP Rajai Davis is an Ellsbury clone* - while against RHP, the man is a flee-footed Kevin Cash. This in part explains why he is 33 years old and has only one season of 500 ABs or more.
Of course you'd probably have to do a Gomes-like overpay to get him to come here (as he would know that barring a complete collapse by JBJ he isn't going to be a full-time player) but this team has the money.
Hart, on the other hand, would need to be given the full-time job - at least until injury or ineptitude allows the team to justify starting Carp. He has never been a back-up and would be coming here to rebuild his career (which isn't possible as a platooning RHB). That said, I think he's worth it. If he goes back to career norms he can come close to replacing Napoli's production last year.  If he struggles, the team can switch to Carp.
 
*in the last three years he's put on OPS of .819, with 44 SB (against only 8 CS) against LHP
 

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kazuneko said:
Regardless of whether or not they sign Hart or Napoli I think that this might be a year when the team needs to consider carrying a 5th outfielder as they need to sign a veteran backup to insure against a JBJ collapse. I personally think Davis is that player.
So how would he be used here? As the right handed side of a Bradley platoon (last year JBJ was abysmal against LHP in the majors and .100 points of OPS worse against them in the minors). Against LHP Rajai Davis is an Ellsbury clone* - while against RHP, the man is a flee-footed Kevin Cash. This in part explains why he is 33 years old and has only one season of 500 ABs or more.
Of course you'd probably have to do a Gomes-like overpay to get him to come here (as he would know that barring a complete collapse by JBJ he isn't going to be a full-time player) but this team has the money.
Hart, on the other hand, would need to be given the full-time job - at least until injury or ineptitude allows the team to justify starting Carp. He has never been a back-up and would be coming here to rebuild his career (which isn't possible as a platooning RHB). That said, I think he's worth it. If he goes back to career norms he can come close to replacing Napoli's production last year.  If he struggles, the team can switch to Carp.
 
*in the last three years he's put on OPS of .819, with 44 SB (against only 8 CS) against LHP
 
The point is that if you want Rajai Davis, Bradley, and Hart all on the roster then you have to get rid of Carp, Nava or Gomes. You can't have all 6, unless you carry only 11 pitchers, which seems unlikely.
 

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Cherington is not some crappy roto player who's going to overreact to other teams' aggressive bidding.  I seriously doubt that he'll suddenly decide that he has to sign Napoli to a 3 or 4 year deal for $13M or more just because Seattle has gone insane, or Texas desperately decides that they have to do something.  I'm sure he has run through all reasonably possible scenarios, including each of the 4 FAs getting larger offers than the Sox think are rational.  Smart teams draw lines and move on to options B and C and D.  We might not know what those options are, and we might not end up liking them, but the Sox are not the Rockies pinballing from one bizarre move to another.
 

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Minneapolis Millers said:
Cherington is not some crappy roto player who's going to overreact to other teams' aggressive bidding.  I seriously doubt that he'll suddenly decide that he has to sign Napoli to a 3 or 4 year deal for $13M or more just because Seattle has gone insane, or Texas desperately decides that they have to do something.  I'm sure he has run through all reasonably possible scenarios, including each of the 4 FAs getting larger offers than the Sox think are rational.  Smart teams draw lines and move on to options B and C and D.  We might not know what those options are, and we might not end up liking them, but the Sox are not the Rockies pinballing from one bizarre move to another.
 
Unfortunately "rational decisions" are based on preconceived market forces. If the market changes then you have to change those preconceptions.
 
Of course Cano's or Ellsbury's or Grandersons deals all seem irrational compared to prior seasons .. but those deals SET the new market - so the FO has to adjust their thinking.
 

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Plympton91 said:
 
The point is that if you want Rajai Davis, Bradley, and Hart all on the roster then you have to get rid of Carp, Nava or Gomes. You can't have all 6, unless you carry only 11 pitchers, which seems unlikely.
Yep. Same goes if you want Davis (or other RH CF) AND Bradley AND Napoli too. That is, if you want ML JBJ insurance (which I do think is close to required), a massive undersell on Nava or Carp very well could be the price to pay for re-signing Napoli or signing Hart.
 
Is it too much to dream that we could go with 11 pitchers next year? I read somewhere recently about Bill James decrying the move to 4 man benches. Something along the lines of teams going too far trying to get the platoon advanatage with the pitcher and not the batter. With Workman and Dempster in the pen (maybe working 90-100 IPs each) you would think we could survive with 6 relievers. 
 

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Minneapolis Millers said:
Cherington is not some crappy roto player who's going to overreact to other teams' aggressive bidding.  I seriously doubt that he'll suddenly decide that he has to sign Napoli to a 3 or 4 year deal for $13M or more just because Seattle has gone insane, or Texas desperately decides that they have to do something.  I'm sure he has run through all reasonably possible scenarios, including each of the 4 FAs getting larger offers than the Sox think are rational.  Smart teams draw lines and move on to options B and C and D.  We might not know what those options are, and we might not end up liking them, but the Sox are not the Rockies pinballing from one bizarre move to another.
I don't think overreaction is the reason he needs to sign Napoli at a slightly higher price.  Again, nobody is advocating signing him to a 4/$60 million deal.  But, if 3 years is in play I'd like to see Ben keep him even if he has to go a couple of million over his price.  1B is not a position that the Sox are flush in.  Carp and Napoli worked to be a perfect combination last year.  If the years and price get out of hand, then move on.
 

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BCsMightyJoeYoung said:
 
Unfortunately "rational decisions" are based on preconceived market forces. If the market changes then you have to change those preconceptions.
 
Of course Cano's or Ellsbury's or Grandersons deals all seem irrational compared to prior seasons .. but those deals SET the new market - so the FO has to adjust their thinking.
 
Their deals may set the new market, but by suggesting the FO has to adjust their thinking, you're assuming that Cherington didn't see this new market coming in the first place.  We as fans may be blind-sided by the contracts getting thrown around, but that doesn't mean those in the industry (Cherington and the Red Sox included) have been blind-sided.
 
New market or not, the team still has a budget that isn't magically going to rise because everything's "suddenly" getting more expensive.  We have to assume that there is a limit to what they're willing to spend.  We presume that limit is likely tied into wanting to stay under the luxury tax threshold.  That figure doesn't change because Cano or Ellsbury or Granderson got paid big(ger) money.
 

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glennhoffmania said:
It's one thing to not overpay by millions to keep Ellsbury, but if they don't stretch a little to keep Napoli what are they saving the cash for?  
 
I agree with this.  The Sox seem to still have $30 million or so to play with, give or take, for next year, with the ability to free up more by moving Dempster or Peavy.  If they are working toward something significant to use those resources, that's one thing.  But if not, Napoi seems like the right place to spend some of that.
 
At the risk of being mocked, I'm actually starting to worry about having too much flexibility.  This team is going to have a ton of work to do next year.  Commitments for the year after next are minascule -- and of the free agent eligible players on the team at the moment, the only ones under contract are Pedrioa and Victorino, with the option for Lackey as well. Just looking at this year's free agent market, it's becoming apparent that it's very very hard to do too much in free agency at multiple positions -- they are overpriced and very few big ticket guys don't seem to get to the market unless represented by Boras.   Smaller teams are getting smarter and locking guys up earlier -- in years past, you could rely on guys like Paul Goldschmidt getting to free agency because of the clubs they play for, but that's not really true any more.  Is going into 2015 with a half dozen free agent holes really what we want?  
 
Napoli can play here.  He's a signficant need now.  We watched him play 170 games or so, and we know from the eye test that his defensive improvement is not just a statistical mirage -- he was just under gold glove caliber at the position last year.  They have the money.  Having given him the QO, I expect we've suppressed his market a little bit, to keep competitors at a reasonable amount.  Standing firm on not going three years strikes me as maybe just a bit too inflexible.  It's not like he's 35 -- he's only 31.  It's not exactly like 2016 is looking to be a problematic year for salary either.  I may be mistaken, but as far as I can tell, the list of contract commitments for 2016 not named Pedroia, give or take, is $0.
 

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Red(s)HawksFan said:
 
Thank you.  And while we're at it, can we not keep trying to justify paying a player a couple extra million because "what else are they going to spend it on?"
 
It's not as simple as "what else are they going to spend it on" though.  We all have our opinions about what the limit should be to sign player X.  Yet salaries are increasing.  Just because we think someone with Napoli's value is worth, say, 3/39 max doesn't make it correct.  It's one thing to set a reasonable limit and not increase it.  It's another to stick to your guns simply for the sake of trying to look responsible, while a bunch of other teams pick up the guys you need to improve your team.  And we're not talking about giving out potentially crippling contracts.  If you overpay Napoli by $10m or so over 4 years that's not going to prevent other moves.
 
Or I'll put it another way.  How many wins do you think Napoli will be worth over the next 3 or 4 years, and how much are you willing to pay per win?
 

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DennyDoyle'sBoil said:
 
I agree with this.  The Sox seem to still have $30 million or so to play with, give or take, for next year, with the ability to free up more by moving Dempster or Peavy.  If they are working toward something significant to use those resources, that's one thing.  But if not, Napoi seems like the right place to spend some of that.
 
 
Based on this Speier article the Sox had about $32M to spend going into the offseason:
 
http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/alex-speier/2013/11/08/how-much-can-red-sox-spend-winter-2014-payroll
 
After signing Pierzynski and Mujica, the Sox probably have around $19-20M left to spend. Although I think it's likely one of Dempster/Peavy/Lackey gets moved so they still would have a ways to go to get close to $189M
 

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DennyDoyle'sBoil said:
 
I agree with this.  The Sox seem to still have $30 million or so to play with, give or take, for next year,
I get about 17mm (assuming they started with ~32, like Speier reported/guessed).  They spent $2mm on Badenhop, $8mm on AJP, $4.75mm on Mujica.  They can increase that by going over 189, or by trading Dempster/Peavy/etc., but its roughly 1/2 of $30mm.
 

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If Napoli were to walk....would a 1 year probably really low $/low-risk deal for Youkilis be something worth kicking around as a deep fallback? Assuming he is healthy of course. Clearly his best days are behind him, the precipitous OBP decline is indeed disconcerting, and I would certainly prefer better, but I know he wants to come back and would probably sign a very team-friendly contract.
 

pjr

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My guess is Seattle made Napoli a three-year offer. This is gonna get interesting.
 

Sprowl

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TOleary25 said:
 
Based on this Speier article the Sox had about $32M to spend going into the offseason:
 
http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/alex-speier/2013/11/08/how-much-can-red-sox-spend-winter-2014-payroll
 
After signing Pierzynski and Mujica, the Sox probably have around $19-20M left to spend. Although I think it's likely one of Dempster/Peavy/Lackey gets moved so they still would have a ways to go to get close to $189M
 
During the summer of 2013, Cherington added two expensive pitchers in Peavy and Thornton to add depth to rotation and bullpen that seemed vulnerable to injury. As it turned out, neither one was very effective, and the rest of the staff did just fine, but the flexibility to take on salary during the trading and waiver seasons is an important asset.
 
In my view, they shouldn't spend more than $15m, and right now it could be Napoli or Drew, or a combination of value signings like Pierzynski and Mujica. Carp-Pedroia-Drew-Bogaerts might be a better infield than Napoli-Pedroia-Bogaerts-Middlebrooks, and neither infield is a great deal better than Carp-Pedroia-Bogaerts-Middlebrooks.
 

jimbobim

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I realize there are emotional and numbers reasons that support Carp as the primary first option with a possible platoon with WMB if they bring Drew back, but I think its too rosy of an outlook. 
 
I wouldn't want to change what Carp does at all. I feel he could be exposed if he's in the lineup too much and this is coming from someone who wanted him in more when Napoli was cold. I also have a lower view of WMB right now because of his inability to draw a walk or work a count. 
 
I think the Red Sox would do well to not try and get cute with Napoli. Spier brought up Lowell as his comparison and the risks admittedly are comparable. However, i find it hard to believe there is not some way to structure the contract where the third year and the possible flaming out of the hip is accounted for. Maybe escalators based on easily achieved games played for that 3rd year ? 
 

YTF

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jimbobim said:
I realize there are emotional and numbers reasons that support Carp as the primary first option with a possible platoon with WMB if they bring Drew back, but I think its too rosy of an outlook. 
 
I wouldn't want to change what Carp does at all. I feel he could be exposed if he's in the lineup too much and this is coming from someone who wanted him in more when Napoli was cold. I also have a lower view of WMB right now because of his inability to draw a walk or work a count. 
 
I think the Red Sox would do well to not try and get cute with Napoli. Spier brought up Lowell as his comparison and the risks admittedly are comparable. However, i find it hard to believe there is not some way to structure the contract where the third year and the possible flaming out of the hip is accounted for. Maybe escalators based on easily achieved games played for that 3rd year
 
 
This doesn't really work well if you're not the only suitor.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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jimbobim said:
I think the Red Sox would do well to not try and get cute with Napoli. Spier brought up Lowell as his comparison and the risks admittedly are comparable. However, i find it hard to believe there is not some way to structure the contract where the third year and the possible flaming out of the hip is accounted for. Maybe escalators based on easily achieved games played for that 3rd year ? 
 
If he's getting a third year guaranteed somewhere, and indications are that he is, I think the idea of putting incentives and escalators in for year 3 is the very definition of getting "cute".
 

Pumpsie

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The Ellsbury and Salty situations were fairly easy to sort through.  There are straightforward alternatives.  It seems that the consensus is that we can all live with their choices there. The Napoli and Drew situations are much more complex and have a lot of ramifications for other players.  "Who's on first?" is an especially big question for the Sox to answer soon.  These will be the toughest and most interesting decisions that Cherington and the team will have to make this offseason.  Let's hope they make the right ones.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Sprowl said:
 
During the summer of 2013, Cherington added two expensive pitchers in Peavy and Thornton to add depth to rotation and bullpen that seemed vulnerable to injury. As it turned out, neither one was very effective, and the rest of the staff did just fine, but the flexibility to take on salary during the trading and waiver seasons is an important asset.
 
In my view, they shouldn't spend more than $15m, and right now it could be Napoli or Drew, or a combination of value signings like Pierzynski and Mujica. Carp-Pedroia-Drew-Bogaerts might be a better infield than Napoli-Pedroia-Bogaerts-Middlebrooks, and neither infield is a great deal better than Carp-Pedroia-Bogaerts-Middlebrooks.
 
It took me like 30 minutes to figure out why I was getting numbers that were different from Speier, but I finally figured it out -- he actually added in $9 million for trades and depth call ups.  Anyway, backing that out, it looks like the Sox as they currently stand, using Speier's estimates, have about $25.4 million left for everything, which is still lower than I thought.
 
1) Current contracts (Lackey, Ortiz, Peavy, Dempster, Vic, Lester, Pedrioa, AJP, Buchholz, Gomes, Uehara, Breslow, Ross, Mujica) $138m
 
2) Speier's arb estimates without Bailey $7m
 
3) Speier's team control estimates $2.7m
 
4) Money to Dodgers $3.9m
 
5) Speier's benefits estimate $10.8m
 
6) Speier's minor league 40 estimate $1.2m
 
Total $163.6, or $25.4m under the cap..
 
Last year, the Sox started the year with salaries for the lineup at $154,500,000 (which includes the $3.9 owed to the Dodgers last year).  If you look at current commitments to the opening day line up right now (so back out the 40-man expenses and the benefits), the Sox are presently at $151.6m.  With the $10 million increase in the salary cap, what that means is that if they want to start the year with the exact same room under the cap as they had last year, they actually only have $12.9 million to spend at this moment.
 
I'm not sure they need quite as much headroom as they had last year, but this is closer than I thought.  If they want to do something else significant in the off season, it looks like they either need to restructure Lackey (to spread around some of the big savings next year) or dump Peavy or Lackey.
 
Edit:  Or dump Peavy or Dempster, that should say.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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Pumpsie said:
The Ellsbury and Salty situations were fairly easy to sort through.  There are straightforward alternatives.  It seems that the consensus is that we can all live with their choices there. The Napoli and Drew situations are much more complex and have a lot of ramifications for other players.
 
I'm not sure I understand why we can say there were "straightforward alternatives" to Ellsbury and Salty but not to Napoli and Drew--particularly the latter.
 

someoneanywhere

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And I don't know why anyone would worry about why an alternative has to be straightforward. If there is anything we have come to know about this GM, it is that the methodical way of operation is methodical precisely because there is a plan B for the plan A, and a plan C for the plan B. The man is quiet but downright thorough.
 

Punchado

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Anyone else getting a Mike Lowell 2008 offseason vibe about this?  Napoli for three years is pretty insane considering how spooked they were last year when they saw the carnage that was his hip.   
 

circus catch

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Nov 6, 2009
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I don't see the three years as a big deal.  In the end, if Napoli gets hurt in year 2, its a year and a half salary we have to eat.  This is nothing like being married to Crawford, or even Beckett. The Sox don't have to be averse to all risk.  We're still one of the wealthier teams. At the beginning of these pages, I threw out 2 years for 30 to get it over quick and there was no support.  Looks optimistic now. 
 
Having said all that, at some point I'm more comfortable packing one of our current starters and one or two of all those AAA arms and seeing what kind of firstbaseman we can get via trade.  Don't what it would be, but every contract signed prior to this off-season is looking more reasonable, and we have ridiculous depth. 
 

CGSO

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Apr 5, 2012
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TOleary25 said:
 
Based on this Speier article the Sox had about $32M to spend going into the offseason:
 
http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/alex-speier/2013/11/08/how-much-can-red-sox-spend-winter-2014-payroll
 
After signing Pierzynski and Mujica, the Sox probably have around $19-20M left to spend. Although I think it's likely one of Dempster/Peavy/Lackey gets moved so they still would have a ways to go to get close to $189M
 
Why are we working with such a small budget? It feels like we're pinching pennies when we don't have to. Giving out big contracts is a bad idea, I agree, but that doesn't mean don't spend money.
 

knucklecup

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Jun 26, 2006
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Overpaying for Napoli means caving to a figure you don't believe he will perform to while also losing the opportunity to acquire a draft pick. While there's no clear cut replacement for Napoli, there's a pretty big incentive to letting him go.
 

Yaz4Ever

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Punchado said:
Anyone else getting a Mike Lowell 2008 offseason vibe about this?  Napoli for three years is pretty insane considering how spooked they were last year when they saw the carnage that was his hip.   
I agree with Punchado here.  Regardless of circus catch's feeling that being stuck with Napoli's contract for a year and a half not being a big deal, I think it is to this regime's approach toward payroll right now.  Plus, I'd be concerned something blew out in year one, not year two.  His hip xrays were apparently pretty scary last year for things to morph as they did.  Can't imagine another year of playing professional ball (even if not behind the plate) did anything to improve that situation.  
 
Marlins are looking to move Logan Morrison - that's but one example of a player we should kick the tires on before going 3 years guaranteed to Napoli, no matter how much we all grew to love him in 2013.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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DennyDoyle'sBoil said:
It took me like 30 minutes to figure out why I was getting numbers that were different from Speier, but I finally figured it out -- he actually added in $9 million for trades and depth call ups.  Anyway, backing that out, it looks like the Sox as they currently stand, using Speier's estimates, have about $25.4 million left for everything, which is still lower than I thought.
 
1) Current contracts (Lackey, Ortiz, Peavy, Dempster, Vic, Lester, Pedrioa, AJP, Buchholz, Gomes, Uehara, Breslow, Ross, Mujica) $138m
 
2) Speier's arb estimates without Bailey $7m
 
3) Speier's team control estimates $2.7m
 
4) Money to Dodgers $3.9m
 
5) Speier's benefits estimate $10.8m
 
6) Speier's minor league 40 estimate $1.2m
 
Total $163.6, or $25.4m under the cap..
 
Last year, the Sox started the year with salaries for the lineup at $154,500,000 (which includes the $3.9 owed to the Dodgers last year).  If you look at current commitments to the opening day line up right now (so back out the 40-man expenses and the benefits), the Sox are presently at $151.6m.  With the $10 million increase in the salary cap, what that means is that if they want to start the year with the exact same room under the cap as they had last year, they actually only have $12.9 million to spend at this moment.
 
I'm not sure they need quite as much headroom as they had last year, but this is closer than I thought.  If they want to do something else significant in the off season, it looks like they either need to restructure Lackey (to spread around some of the big savings next year) or dump Peavy or Lackey.
 
Edit:  Or dump Peavy or Dempster, that should say.
That's really useful and I'm willing to bet its a closer approximation to how the FO actually thinks than a thought process just based on staying under $189M.

I think I let Napoli walk rather than going to three years, for the following reasons:

1. There may be bargain hunting values later in the off-season, at 1B and elsewhere, and I don't want to tie our hands too early. Recent years have shown that a lot of savvy acquisitions can be made later in the off-season.

2. First base is a relatively easy position to replace, if not in the offseason then during the season.

3. Napoli has huge amounts of risk attached to him: Its not just the hip condition and all that entails, its also his career high BABIP in 2013, his career worst K% in 2013 (a borderline unsustainable 32%), and real questions about whether his defensive performance, which accounted for a good chunk of his value, is likely to be repeated.

4. I like high draft picks.
 

Bosox4416

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Yaz4Ever said:
I agree with Punchado here.  Regardless of circus catch's feeling that being stuck with Napoli's contract for a year and a half not being a big deal, I think it is to this regime's approach toward payroll right now.  Plus, I'd be concerned something blew out in year one, not year two.  His hip xrays were apparently pretty scary last year for things to morph as they did.  Can't imagine another year of playing professional ball (even if not behind the plate) did anything to improve that situation.  
 
Marlins are looking to move Logan Morrison - that's but one example of a player we should kick the tires on before going 3 years guaranteed to Napoli, no matter how much we all grew to love him in 2013.
 
Redsox checked in: Sources: Red Sox and Brewers among teams that have checked in with Marlins about Logan Morrison. - Morosi
 
https://twitter.com/jonmorosi/status/409091860762611712
 
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