Offseason rumors

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Petagine in a Bottle

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Trading an asset for Walker when you can just sign Montgomery seems like really overthinking things.
I guess that depends on how much of an asset Jansen is (right now, probably not much of one), and how much Montgomery wants. Swapping Jansen’s salary slot for a SP is a good idea, in theory. If they could get the Phils to take Jansen and most of his contract for little in return, than they could theoretically sign Montgomery. For whatever reason, though, it doesn’t sound like they have the payroll flexibility to just add a FA SP without losing Jansen’s salary.
 

YTF

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I guess that depends on how much of an asset Jansen is (right now, probably not much of one), and how much Montgomery wants. Swapping Jansen’s salary slot for a SP is a good idea, in theory. If they could get the Phils to take Jansen and most of his contract for little in return, than they could theoretically sign Montgomery. For whatever reason, though, it doesn’t sound like they have the payroll flexibility to just add a FA SP without losing Jansen’s salary.
The difficult part in all of this for me is the question of what exactly is payroll flexibility when it comes to this team. We have a rough idea of where they stand vs the first tax threshold and we've been told that they will probably/possibly/likely (pick one), but not definitely come in below last season's payroll. IMO, flexibility means leaving yourself a bit of wiggle and that's fine, but it's hard to comment when we have no idea of the parameters.
 

8slim

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The Sox are subsidizing Sale’s salary and they got Grissom, solving a years long problem at second base. Was there an announcement that they were trading Sale to improve the team by using his money to sign another starting pitcher as opposed to just getting better?
We haven’t solved the 2B problem yet. We acquired a young guy with loads of potential. But he actually has to deliver on that and be a good major league second baseman for the position to actually be solved.
 

jimbeaux

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It’s been a long what my wife calls the pot belly stove league of checking Major League Trade rumors multiple times a day before looking at this board to see if in fact there are really any rumors. Maybe it’s about to happen though I’ve steeled myself to no Monty or trade. My wife did notice a tear with the Theo news. Still hoping.
 

simplicio

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I'd love Duran to prove me wrong about him, I'd just rather he attempt to do so for someone else after being traded for someone closer to a position of need like pitching.
 

Quatchie

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Would love if they could find a way to deal for Kim (I know its not happening) and then spin off Grissom in a package for a SP.
 

BravesField

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We haven’t solved the 2B problem yet. We acquired a young guy with loads of potential. But he actually has to deliver on that and be a good major league second baseman for the position to actually be solved.
I have more faith in Grissom in the field than Devers fielding 3B.

But I have so little faith in this year's squad that, to me, it doesn't matter so much. In a year or so, Story will be most likely playing 2B anyway.
 

RS2004foreever

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Wishin' and hopin' and thinkin' and prayin'
The 2024 Boston Red Sox offseason in a nutshell - and maybe the worst song ever.
What is interesting is how little substance there is to ANY rumor at this point. The last Soler rumor from a SF reporter was 4 days ago. There is nothing active WRT to Duran. About the only talks that appear active are about Jansen.
Pitchers and Catchers Report next Wednesday.
 

Dewey'sCannon

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Add me to those reluctant to trade Duran. He's been making steady improvement both at the plate and in the field and I see Ellsbury-like upside. So not sure I'd trade him for one of the young SD SP prospects, even if offered.

If the Sox are sold on Anthony as the CF of the future, I'd probably be more inclined to move Rafaela, recognizing that he wouldn't bring as much so you'd have to find a package that works for the Padres while also recognizing that a deal really only makes sense for us if we're getting a SP or SP prospect back. (FWIW, I do really like Rafaela - he could be a Mike Cameron-type player if he hits his ceiling.)
 

chawson

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People are not blindly stomping their feet. They are discussing the offseason based on information that has been provided from A) The Team B)The Team's actions and C) Reporters who do this for a living.

So far this offseason summary for the Red Sox is...
  • Signed Lucas Giolito to a 1 year deal and Cooper Criswell.
  • Failed to sign several shorter term upgrades
  • Lowered payroll with trades (Verdugo and Sale)
  • Kennedy says he expects lower payroll
  • Alex Speier has reported they are not currently interested in long term deals
  • Chris Cotillo has reported they have not been serious bidders on many intriguing free agents
  • Chris Cotillo has reported they have said they need to cut payroll in order to pursue free agents
  • All reports indicate they are actively feeling out the trade market of their most expensive relief pitcher (Jansen)
Given the above, the burden of proof is not on the fans for "stomping their feet."
Genuinely not aiming to be combative here but I think this is inaccurate in several ways. You’ve itemized this tidily so I’ll answer in that format.
  • Signed Lucas Giolito to a 1 year deal and Cooper Criswell.
  • Failed to sign several shorter term upgrades (Upgrades to what? Failed to sign who? Sonny Gray? Seth Lugo? How do you know that they weren't after Lugo for the #3-4 starter role they signed Giolito for? Otherwise, did we fail to sign a position player upgrade somewhere? Have we failed to sign Soler or J.D. Martinez yet?)
  • Lowered payroll with trades (Verdugo and Sale) (These are just trades. They're not salary dumps, no matter how much Cotillo and McAdam rile people up. Every team makes trades of guys with one year of control left, and these two players in particular had a lot of specific baggage. Sure, they probably show that the team values future more than 2024, but we all knew that anyway. They’re just good, smart trades.)
  • Kennedy says he expects lower payroll (He did not. He said, when asked at a fan event, that it would "probably" be lower, but he doesn't know, and they "don't talk about specific payroll numbers.")
  • Alex Speier has reported they are not currently interested in long term deals (He did not. Speier has reported that "sources continue to characterize the Sox as unlikely to make the sort of deep-end, long-term plunge needed to land lefthanders Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery, the top two free agent starters left on the market." Any guesses who his source is? What exactly characterizes a “deep-end, long-term plunge”? In any case, there’s a lot of hedging going on in this writing. All respect to Speier, who is great, but this isn’t a firm report. It’s a snapshot at best.)
  • Chris Cotillo has reported they have not been serious bidders on many intriguing free agents (I think you're paraphrasing here, but how many intriguing free agents can we fit on the 26-man roster? What are the roster spots that require serious upgrades? We have a surplus of outfielders we're looking to deal from, and star-level incumbents at 1B, 3B, SS. If Boras is telling Cotillo that the Sox are “not a serious bidder” on Montgomery because they’re offering, say, 4/$110, what does that mean? It seems abundantly clear that the Red Sox are not giving Chris Cotillo play by play updates on negotiations.)
  • Chris Cotillo has reported they have said they need to cut payroll in order to pursue free agents. (He did not. Cotillo had reported that an industry source said that they said they needed to cut payroll — not a direct quote — before they pursue a free agent. The fact that Cotillo did not report that as a direct quote is significant. He’s quoted people anonymously before, which is kind of a journalistic gray area. But he did not do so there, which means he’s summarizing. It’s also a journalistic gray area, in weightier subjects, to publish hearsay — this person said that this person said — though sports coverage of course has lower standards for rumor. Anyway, if this secondhand report is accurate, it is entirely possible that A) Breslow was saying, in diplomatic terms, that the asking price for said FA was too high, or B) that Breslow was conveying, diplomatically, that an incumbent position player with a salary would need to be moved before the Sox pursued said FA. Also, ask yourself this. Why would Breslow say this? Why would Breslow tell anyone — Boras, A.J. Preller, anyone — that the Sox needed to cut payroll before pursuing their free agent? It seems to me abundantly more likely that this is some kind of telephone-type thing rather than a direct report of Breslow’s intentions.
  • All reports indicate they are actively feeling out the trade market of their most expensive relief pitcher (Jansen) (So? The Cubs’ saves leader last year was a guy who pitched 13 innings the year prior and was a Houck-caliber starter the year before. The Cubs’ saves leader in 2022 was traded midseason. We're pretty used to the Sox letting someone grow into a closer role rather than acquiring an established one. Jansen’s great, but do you really think that the only reason he’s being shopped is to cut payroll? I do not.)
 

sezwho

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Genuinely not aiming to be combative here but I think this is inaccurate in several ways. You’ve itemized this tidily so I’ll answer in that format.
  • Signed Lucas Giolito to a 1 year deal and Cooper Criswell.
  • Failed to sign several shorter term upgrades (Upgrades to what? Failed to sign who? Sonny Gray? Seth Lugo? How do you know that they weren't after Lugo for the #3-4 starter role they signed Giolito for? Otherwise, did we fail to sign a position player upgrade somewhere? Have we failed to sign Soler or J.D. Martinez yet?)
  • Lowered payroll with trades (Verdugo and Sale) (These are just trades. They're not salary dumps, no matter how much Cotillo and McAdam rile people up. Every team makes trades of guys with one year of control left, and these two players in particular had a lot of specific baggage. Sure, they probably show that the team values future more than 2024, but we all knew that anyway. They’re just good, smart trades.)
  • Kennedy says he expects lower payroll (He did not. He said, when asked at a fan event, that it would "probably" be lower, but he doesn't know, and they "don't talk about specific payroll numbers.")
  • Alex Speier has reported they are not currently interested in long term deals (He did not. Speier has reported that "sources continue to characterize the Sox as unlikely to make the sort of deep-end, long-term plunge needed to land lefthanders Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery, the top two free agent starters left on the market." Any guesses who his source is? What exactly characterizes a “deep-end, long-term plunge”? In any case, there’s a lot of hedging going on in this writing. All respect to Speier, who is great, but this isn’t a firm report. It’s a snapshot at best.)
  • Chris Cotillo has reported they have not been serious bidders on many intriguing free agents (I think you're paraphrasing here, but how many intriguing free agents can we fit on the 26-man roster? What are the roster spots that require serious upgrades? We have a surplus of outfielders we're looking to deal from, and star-level incumbents at 1B, 3B, SS. If Boras is telling Cotillo that the Sox are “not a serious bidder” on Montgomery because they’re offering, say, 4/$110, what does that mean? It seems abundantly clear that the Red Sox are not giving Chris Cotillo play by play updates on negotiations.)
  • Chris Cotillo has reported they have said they need to cut payroll in order to pursue free agents. (He did not. Cotillo had reported that an industry source said that they said they needed to cut payroll — not a direct quote — before they pursue a free agent. The fact that Cotillo did not report that as a direct quote is significant. He’s quoted people anonymously before, which is kind of a journalistic gray area. But he did not do so there, which means he’s summarizing. It’s also a journalistic gray area, in weightier subjects, to publish hearsay — this person said that this person said — though sports coverage of course has lower standards for rumor. Anyway, if this secondhand report is accurate, it is entirely possible that A) Breslow was saying, in diplomatic terms, that the asking price for said FA was too high, or B) that Breslow was conveying, diplomatically, that an incumbent position player with a salary would need to be moved before the Sox pursued said FA. Also, ask yourself this. Why would Breslow say this? Why would Breslow tell anyone — Boras, A.J. Preller, anyone — that the Sox needed to cut payroll before pursuing their free agent? It seems to me abundantly more likely that this is some kind of telephone-type thing rather than a direct report of Breslow’s intentions.
  • All reports indicate they are actively feeling out the trade market of their most expensive relief pitcher (Jansen) (So? The Cubs’ saves leader last year was a guy who pitched 13 innings the year prior and was a Houck-caliber starter the year before. The Cubs’ saves leader in 2022 was traded midseason. We're pretty used to the Sox letting someone grow into a closer role rather than acquiring an established one. Jansen’s great, but do you really think that the only reason he’s being shopped is to cut payroll? I do not.)
Ya know you’re right, it’s basically indistinguishable from the Dodgers offseason: I can barely see the difference.

Full throttle!!!

Seriously though, if they dump payroll (and of course that, plus available worse backup options, is the reason he’s shopped) and (edit) sign Monty then they’d be better off but you could have both.

Out of curiosity, what 3D chess move has them trading Jansen that isn’t salary related? Everything they are doing now is purely salary related.
 
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simplicio

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Out of curiosity, what 3D chess move has them trading Jansen that isn’t salary related? Everything they are doing now is purely salary related.
Was trading Verdugo purely salary related? That seemed like it was about adding pitchers to the system for the last year of a guy.
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

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Out of curiosity, what 3D chess move has them trading Jansen that isn’t salary related? Everything they are doing now is purely salary related.
I’m not claiming 3D anything, but if they trade Jansen while paying some of his salary and get future assets in return, it can be part of a build, much like Sale/Grissom.
 

sezwho

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Was trading Verdugo purely salary related? That seemed like it was about adding pitchers to the system for the last year of a guy.
That’s true I think it was more about talent then dump, I exaggerated, but it was still a dump no?

I’m not claiming 3D anything, but if they trade Jansen while paying some of his salary and get future assets in return, it can be part of a build, much like Sale/Grissom.
If they pay the freight, as they did with Grissom, then yep.

I’ve stopped whistling past the graveyard though, and don’t need to spin everything around a hopesicle with copium sprinkles. They aren’t spending, still hope to be wrong and look stupid(er)!
 

SouthernBoSox

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Genuinely not aiming to be combative here but I think this is inaccurate in several ways. You’ve itemized this tidily so I’ll answer in that format.
  • Signed Lucas Giolito to a 1 year deal and Cooper Criswell.
  • Failed to sign several shorter term upgrades (Upgrades to what? Failed to sign who? Sonny Gray? Seth Lugo? How do you know that they weren't after Lugo for the #3-4 starter role they signed Giolito for? Otherwise, did we fail to sign a position player upgrade somewhere? Have we failed to sign Soler or J.D. Martinez yet?)
  • Lowered payroll with trades (Verdugo and Sale) (These are just trades. They're not salary dumps, no matter how much Cotillo and McAdam rile people up. Every team makes trades of guys with one year of control left, and these two players in particular had a lot of specific baggage. Sure, they probably show that the team values future more than 2024, but we all knew that anyway. They’re just good, smart trades.)
  • Kennedy says he expects lower payroll (He did not. He said, when asked at a fan event, that it would "probably" be lower, but he doesn't know, and they "don't talk about specific payroll numbers.")
  • Alex Speier has reported they are not currently interested in long term deals (He did not. Speier has reported that "sources continue to characterize the Sox as unlikely to make the sort of deep-end, long-term plunge needed to land lefthanders Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery, the top two free agent starters left on the market." Any guesses who his source is? What exactly characterizes a “deep-end, long-term plunge”? In any case, there’s a lot of hedging going on in this writing. All respect to Speier, who is great, but this isn’t a firm report. It’s a snapshot at best.)
  • Chris Cotillo has reported they have not been serious bidders on many intriguing free agents (I think you're paraphrasing here, but how many intriguing free agents can we fit on the 26-man roster? What are the roster spots that require serious upgrades? We have a surplus of outfielders we're looking to deal from, and star-level incumbents at 1B, 3B, SS. If Boras is telling Cotillo that the Sox are “not a serious bidder” on Montgomery because they’re offering, say, 4/$110, what does that mean? It seems abundantly clear that the Red Sox are not giving Chris Cotillo play by play updates on negotiations.)
  • Chris Cotillo has reported they have said they need to cut payroll in order to pursue free agents. (He did not. Cotillo had reported that an industry source said that they said they needed to cut payroll — not a direct quote — before they pursue a free agent. The fact that Cotillo did not report that as a direct quote is significant. He’s quoted people anonymously before, which is kind of a journalistic gray area. But he did not do so there, which means he’s summarizing. It’s also a journalistic gray area, in weightier subjects, to publish hearsay — this person said that this person said — though sports coverage of course has lower standards for rumor. Anyway, if this secondhand report is accurate, it is entirely possible that A) Breslow was saying, in diplomatic terms, that the asking price for said FA was too high, or B) that Breslow was conveying, diplomatically, that an incumbent position player with a salary would need to be moved before the Sox pursued said FA. Also, ask yourself this. Why would Breslow say this? Why would Breslow tell anyone — Boras, A.J. Preller, anyone — that the Sox needed to cut payroll before pursuing their free agent? It seems to me abundantly more likely that this is some kind of telephone-type thing rather than a direct report of Breslow’s intentions.
  • All reports indicate they are actively feeling out the trade market of their most expensive relief pitcher (Jansen) (So? The Cubs’ saves leader last year was a guy who pitched 13 innings the year prior and was a Houck-caliber starter the year before. The Cubs’ saves leader in 2022 was traded midseason. We're pretty used to the Sox letting someone grow into a closer role rather than acquiring an established one. Jansen’s great, but do you really think that the only reason he’s being shopped is to cut payroll? I do not.)
I don’t have time right now to go through this but I linked every article in the previous post.

Your characterization of the articles can only be described is extremely favorable to the Red Sox. I posted a quick snippet of the reports and you are being so unbelievably picky of my words that it’s kinda proving the point.

The Verdugo and Sale trades lowered payroll. That doesn’t make them bad moves. But they did in fact lower payroll. It’s a point of fact.

I liked both moves a lot, but it is a data point in the overall conversation.
 

tims4wins

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@chawson this is getting exhausting. When someone says that something will probably happen, it means they expect it to happen.


  • Kennedy says he expects lower payroll (He did not. He said, when asked at a fan event, that it would "probably" be lower, but he doesn't know, and they "don't talk about specific payroll numbers.")
 

allmanbro

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We haven’t solved the 2B problem yet. We acquired a young guy with loads of potential. But he actually has to deliver on that and be a good major league second baseman for the position to actually be solved.
This is true, as far as actually getting production out of 2b. Grissom is not a sure thing. But I do think it's fair to say that 2b is "solved" in the sense that it's not an area in need of being addressed anymore. Between Grissom and Valdez with Yorke possibly coming up, and one or two of Story/Rafaela/eventually Mayer possibly rotating over from SS, I think the team is in pretty good shape for 2b in the short and long term. Of course it could all fall apart, but that's just how team building is.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I will be shocked if he doesn't get a look somewhere. If he sucks the team can unceremoniously disappear him and if he's good fans will rationalize the winning.
 

HfxBob

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Of course they have, but so what?
So while we don't know what the final 2024 payroll number will be, it matters.greatly to a large chunk of Red Sox fandom and media. It says a lot about the team's intentions and priorities.
 

sezwho

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I honestly also think he and Cora clashed and that was also a factor.
Agree he was off next years roster and I’m glad it was for lottery arms.

No, trading Verdugo was about swapping him and O'Neill, who hits righty and has more power. It was a better fit for the roster.
Well I’m glad where it landed, doubly so if one of those ex-Yankee arms come through - if wishing could make it so! Maybe it was all triangulated ahead of time, certainly possible.

Fwiw I’m not saying everything they’ve ever done is dump, but “Everything they are doing now is purely salary related.” Something genuinely feels like it shifted, and I believe reports they can’t add without subtracting first. Not everyone does.
 

chawson

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I don’t have time right now to go through this but I linked every article in the previous post.
Maybe I’m misreading you but I’m not seeing any links in your previous post.

Your characterization of the articles can only be described is extremely favorable to the Red Sox. I posted a quick snippet of the reports and you are being so unbelievably picky of my words that it’s kinda proving the point.
I’m aiming for precision of language. I’m sorry if it seems picky. I’m homing in on your characterizations in that bulleted list of yours because they are interpretive. There’s a lot of inference and story-building in sports reporting and that’s fine — it’s entertainment — but the way these reporters are phrasing these reports matters a lot.

The Verdugo and Sale trades lowered payroll. That doesn’t make them bad moves. But they did in fact lower payroll. It’s a point of fact.
You’re absolutely right. No argument there. The spirit of your posts, however, strongly suggests that these moves were made because they wanted to lower payroll. That A) is unsubstantiated, B) is directly contradicted by Breslow and ownership’s statements, and C) doesn’t make sense when you look at the substance of those trades.

I have no reason to be “extremely favorable to the Red Sox.” I think they should spend up to and beyond $270 million, on the right players. If I have a bias here, it’s that I don’t like sensationalist reporting.

The tell, for me, was when Cotillo and McAdam breathlessly reported, like it was some bombshell, that the team “went into the winter last offseason with a mandated budget of $225 million, which was significantly under the CBT threshold of $233 million,” citing “baseball sources.” That’s a story designed to rile casual fans up. We already knew they were going to dip under the tax last year. That kind of cushion for midseason acquisitions is standard, for anyone who has paid attention, not “significant.” And of course, it’s at odds with the report that the Sox discussed a trade for Verlander last year. Masslive offered no context at all around this, preferring instead to let those numbers themselves spark outrage.

Since when do Sox beat writers do horse race reporting on the team’s payroll? Certainly willing to admit the team stoked it by saying the words full throttle, or by trading you know who. They have had a bad half decade — in a half decade where a lot of us could really use uplifting — partly because the Rays, Jays, and O’s have caught up. People are mad, no question, and I think a good part of that anger is justified. And it may even turn out to be true that — despite many direct statements from many people — there is some lower payroll mandate, I don’t know! But what I’m saying is that this “connecting the dots” and “reading the tea leaves” style of coverage should be seen for what it is.
 
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simplicio

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So while we don't know what the final 2024 payroll number will be, it matters.greatly to a large chunk of Red Sox fandom and media. It says a lot about the team's intentions and priorities.
Why does it matter though? Swapping Verdugo for O'Neill isn't a downgrade because O'Neill's making less money, is it?
 

chawson

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You essentially said the word "probably" doesn't mean probably.
If Kennedy has to give an answer there, what he said is probably the safest thing because it reflects the current reality. If he says payroll would be equal or greater to last year, he’s throwing Breslow under a bus.

I’ve never heard the tone or context of the exchange, only seen it in writing, but it seems more like a non-answer to me than most people. It’s also questionable why we are interpreting it as a directive — Kennedy expects — and not simply an observation, especially given the clarifying statement he followed it with.

What’s being eclipsed, however, is the likelihood that Breslow simply doesn’t think Snell or Montgomery are worth contracts in the range of 5-8 years and $175-270 million, or whatever Boras is asking. That seems extremely likely to me, and pretty sensible.

Instead, the entire conversation has been trained on what our payroll is relative to last year’s, and surmising that there’s some insidious decree at play. That narrative — that there is something wrong with the Red Sox if they don’t spend this money right now — is *extremely beneficial* to Scott Boras and his clients.

I’m saying it’s more nuanced than that. The Sox like Montgomery, a good-not-great pitcher, but not $175 million more than they like Houck, a younger and still promising pitcher who projects to be about 0.25 runs per game worse next year than Monty, and who’d (likely) be sent to the pen (or possibly traded). Houck’s repertoire is a lot like the Giants pitchers that Bailey has worked with, and I imagine he’s an interesting project.

The Red Sox have about $100 million off the books from last year in traded or non-returning players (so far). That could increase if we trade Jansen. They’ve added Giolito ($19.3), O’Neill (5.9) and Criswell (1), and seen a few arb increases — roughly $30-32 million. It doesn’t seem like a conspiracy or “theft” if they don’t immediately reallocate the rest to players this offseason, given the players available. They were in on Yamamoto, it didn’t work out. But it seems to me that spending that money immediately, for the sake of it, is a bad idea for team-building reasons, because then you’re stuck with a Blake Snell on your team from 2027-2032. So, it does seem like “probably” is an accurate answer there, especially because it’s where the payroll actually stood on the day he said it.

I think they’ll spend on the right players soon enough, and on extensions.
 

tims4wins

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Will you eat dinner tonight? Probably.

Do you expect to? No.

Wut.

I am all for positivity. But we don’t need someone trying to gaslight us into thinking that he didn’t say what he said. Or that he meant something different than what he said. Or that he didn’t really believe what he said.
 

HfxBob

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Maybe we're not giving quite enough credit to just how strange Kennedy's answer was. He said probably but then he immediately backtracked. All he had to say was the last part about the payroll not being set. "Probably" has now been repeated just about as often as "full throttle".

Surely he knew that kind of question might be coming and had given some thought about how to answer. Maybe "probably" jumped out of his mouth before he could stop it. Or maybe he's just not very good at the public speaking part of his job.
 

tims4wins

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Maybe we're not giving quite enough credit to just how strange Kennedy's answer was. He said probably but then he immediately backtracked. All he had to say was the last part about the payroll not being set. "Probably" has now been repeated just about as often as "full throttle".

Surely he knew that kind of question might be coming and had given some thought about how to answer. Maybe "probably" jumped out of his mouth before he could stop it. Or maybe he's just not very good at the public speaking part of his job.
He could have simply said “we don’t know yet”. It would still cause some negativity from the fan base, but it would have been a better response.
 

4 6 3 DP

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It takes incredible mental gymnastics and a complete rejection of Occam's razor to parse Kennedy's statement as anything other than an expectation from ownership that payroll will be lower.

That being said, lower payroll doesn't equal a worse team. Grissom could easily be more effective than sale would have been and obviously that would be at a lesser price point.

My only hope is that today's decisions aren't being made assuming best case scenarios for the big 3 prospects and instead are driven by the idea that they have a real plan for when they intend to spend on free agents (and I believe breslow does).
 

allmanbro

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I'm game for a bit of semantics, even when it seems to (somehow) be so fraught: "I expect it to X" does carry different implications than "it will probably X". It's a much more definitive statement, and people really don't use these words in real life in ways that fit Bayesian calculus or whatever (as in, "each of these corresponds to credence .51 or higher"). "Probably" is a word that gets thrown around all over the place in sloppy ways, and especially given the way he walked it back, that seems like a reasonable interpretation here. It doesn't seem like it necessarily indicates an actual plan to lower payroll.

That said, I do personally have credence greater than .51 that the team will open 2024 with a lower payroll than 2023. Just not very much more.
 

RedOctober3829

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deep inside Guido territory
If Kennedy has to give an answer there, what he said is probably the safest thing because it reflects the current reality. If he says payroll would be equal or greater to last year, he’s throwing Breslow under a bus.

I’ve never heard the tone or context of the exchange, only seen it in writing, but it seems more like a non-answer to me than most people. It’s also questionable why we are interpreting it as a directive — Kennedy expects — and not simply an observation, especially given the clarifying statement he followed it with.

What’s being eclipsed, however, is the likelihood that Breslow simply doesn’t think Snell or Montgomery are worth contracts in the range of 5-8 years and $175-270 million, or whatever Boras is asking. That seems extremely likely to me, and pretty sensible.

Instead, the entire conversation has been trained on what our payroll is relative to last year’s, and surmising that there’s some insidious decree at play. That narrative — that there is something wrong with the Red Sox if they don’t spend this money right now — is *extremely beneficial* to Scott Boras and his clients.

I’m saying it’s more nuanced than that. The Sox like Montgomery, a good-not-great pitcher, but not $175 million more than they like Houck, a younger and still promising pitcher who projects to be about 0.25 runs per game worse next year than Monty, and who’d (likely) be sent to the pen (or possibly traded). Houck’s repertoire is a lot like the Giants pitchers that Bailey has worked with, and I imagine he’s an interesting project.

The Red Sox have about $100 million off the books from last year in traded or non-returning players (so far). That could increase if we trade Jansen. They’ve added Giolito ($19.3), O’Neill (5.9) and Criswell (1), and seen a few arb increases — roughly $30-32 million. It doesn’t seem like a conspiracy or “theft” if they don’t immediately reallocate the rest to players this offseason, given the players available. They were in on Yamamoto, it didn’t work out. But it seems to me that spending that money immediately, for the sake of it, is a bad idea for team-building reasons, because then you’re stuck with a Blake Snell on your team from 2027-2032. So, it does seem like “probably” is an accurate answer there, especially because it’s where the payroll actually stood on the day he said it.

I think they’ll spend on the right players soon enough, and on extensions.
At this point, these kinds of responses are performance art.
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
4,675
It takes incredible mental gymnastics and a complete rejection of Occam's razor to parse Kennedy's statement as anything other than an expectation from ownership that payroll will be lower.
What is Occam's razor, the explanation with the fewest assumptions, for this statement about the payroll, given at a press gaggle with reporters:

"It probably will be lower than it was in 2023. I don’t know that for sure. We don’t talk about specific payroll numbers. But I want to be clear that the build that we’re engaged in and have been engaged in will dictate the spend. We were engaged with some long-term, high-profile free-agent discussions that we didn’t match up on. And we’re going to stay disciplined with this approach to make sure that we have this growing core of young players. And that’s really important, because we think that’s going to position us for the best chance to be successful for the long term.”
Assuming everything said here is true, don't you have to make a pretty big assumption that ownership has mandated that payroll be lower? That seems to me a bigger assumptive leap.

Meanwhile, we should keep in mind that the statement was made during a protracted courtship with Jordan Montgomery, which many national reporters have corroborated.

I mean, I would say it probably will be lower. We could sign Montgomery and Soler tomorrow and trade Jansen — all smart moves — and it would probably be lower. Yamamoto aside, there aren't a lot of plausible moves we could have made this offseason where it would be higher, once we'd swapped out Sale for future value. The question is about the interpretive leap that Kennedy's statement is tantamount to an instruction.

At this point, these kinds of responses are performance art.
Sorry, would it be better if just retweeted INTEREST KINGS!!1! again and again?
 

Yaz4Ever

MemBer
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 10, 2004
11,282
MA-CA-RI-AZ-NC
For the love of God, please make some moves Threslow! I’m literally sitting beside my dying mother in a hospital for the third straight week and I’m desperately seeking a positive distraction. Mommy and Daddy message board fighting isn’t helping.
 

Auger34

used to be tbb
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
9,404
Meanwhile, we should keep in mind that the statement was made during a protracted courtship with Jordan Montgomery, which many national reporters have corroborated.
At this point, it’s pretty clear that who the reporter is doesn’t matter to you, if it’s national or local is immaterial. The only thing that matters is if it’s positive about the Red Sox and then you will post about it as if it’s somehow better sourced reporting than anything somewhat negative. It’s all really tiring to read
 

RS2004foreever

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2022
548
This thread has become, for understandable reasons, an exercise in semantics.
I spent a whole semester in law school studying what the word "reasonable" and what a "prudent man" would do.
In a week we will know our answer.
 

8slim

has trust issues
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2001
24,879
Unreal America
This is true, as far as actually getting production out of 2b. Grissom is not a sure thing. But I do think it's fair to say that 2b is "solved" in the sense that it's not an area in need of being addressed anymore. Between Grissom and Valdez with Yorke possibly coming up, and one or two of Story/Rafaela/eventually Mayer possibly rotating over from SS, I think the team is in pretty good shape for 2b in the short and long term. Of course it could all fall apart, but that's just how team building is.
I get it, but I’m really only interested in the “actually getting production” part.

I’ve been saying for two years now that we need to be judging things on outcomes, not theoreticals and process.

Theoretically the Sale trade was good. But if Grissom is a bust then that’ not good. It’ll be another failure of player evaluation.

I do applaud Breslow for at least trying. That’s more than Bloom did for a year with 2B.
 

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
55,418
deep inside Guido territory
What is Occam's razor, the explanation with the fewest assumptions, for this statement about the payroll, given at a press gaggle with reporters:



Assuming everything said here is true, don't you have to make a pretty big assumption that ownership has mandated that payroll be lower? That seems to me a bigger assumptive leap.

Meanwhile, we should keep in mind that the statement was made during a protracted courtship with Jordan Montgomery, which many national reporters have corroborated.

I mean, I would say it probably will be lower. We could sign Montgomery and Soler tomorrow and trade Jansen — all smart moves — and it would probably be lower. Yamamoto aside, there aren't a lot of plausible moves we could have made this offseason where it would be higher, once we'd swapped out Sale for future value. The question is about the interpretive leap that Kennedy's statement is tantamount to an instruction.



Sorry, would it be better if just retweeted INTEREST KINGS!!1! again and again?
I don't care if the payroll is higher than last year or not. The fact (and what everybody is pissed about) is that the weaknesses on this team in October are still the weaknesses today which means they haven't done what is necessary to get better. Go out and make the moves necessary to fix the starting pitching and RHH power issues and I guarantee you that the complaining ends.

Parsing words and doing mental gymnastics to defend what they're (not) doing is a fool's errand. Until they go out and sign or trade for a pitcher that is capable of being a top of the rotation starter, interest kings will rule the day.
 

HfxBob

New Member
Nov 13, 2005
597
Action speaks louder than words. But when there's no action, all we have to discuss is the words.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2007
6,391
The offseason used to be full of hope and exciting. It's not over yet, but it's getting late.
I don’t think it dragged out as long. Teams all made their big moves in December and then they all prepared for Spring Training.
I think Boras has really been the driving force behind dragging off-season into late January and February and it’s cascaded to other agents
 
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