Offseason rumors

SouthernBoSox

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Jul 23, 2005
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according to Sportrack - the Sox payroll is around 159M. That gives them around $61 million to play with, even after assuming around $10 million in arb-eligible salary increases. If this is accurate --- they can pay Monty without breathing on the salary tax limit.

https://www.spotrac.com/mlb/boston-red-sox//payroll
This is wildly inaccurate. It’s around 201 according to Red Sox Payroll
 

YTF

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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 gotta tell you I think many of us get the gist of what you're saying, but when I look at this list I see a fair amount of hair spitting and in the case of your last point you seem to be making an argument against what is a very simple and true fact. I've been fairly supportive of Bloom and this ownership group in general, admittedly less so in the past year. I'm hopeful that the Breslow years can help right the course for this team and applaud much of what he's done so far, but let's call a spade a spade and recognize that TO DATE the team isn't yet where many hope that it might be. I think that when we hear the word "probably" it's fair to assume what we all know probably to be. Very likely, almost certain, without much doubt etc... If the statement was "We'll probably spend up to or over the first tax threshold" What would your expectations be? I like you, I think you're a valuable poster here, but these past few weeks you seem to be all like this guy with some of your stances.

77934
 
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RHS

New Member
Dec 14, 2006
4
For what it’s worth, when I say probably, a lot of times I mean “that’s how it looks right now.” Seems to me Kennedy was saying salary will probably be lower because, the way it looked at the time, there were no deals available (trades or free agents) that Breslow thought were worth doing at the price (either free agent $$$ or assets to be traded) or contract length on offer. Breslow said pretty clearly in his interviews with Bradford and Cotillo/McAdam that the strategy/vision should dictate the payroll and not the reverse.
 

BigSoxFan

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May 31, 2007
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For what it’s worth, when I say probably, a lot of times I mean “that’s how it looks right now.” Seems to me Kennedy was saying salary will probably be lower because, the way it looked at the time, there were no deals available (trades or free agents) that Breslow thought were worth doing at the price (either free agent $$$ or assets to be traded) or contract length on offer. Breslow said pretty clearly in his interviews with Bradford and Cotillo/McAdam that the strategy/vision should dictate the payroll and not the reverse.
End of the day, all this parsing of words is pointless. Let’s just look at the team on the field. FA is almost over and we have the same team that we did 6 weeks ago. And that team wasn’t very exciting. Maybe we’ll have a late surprise in Montgomery to change the outlook but right now the roster feels pretty set outside of some Duvall type moves on the margins.

If someone had told me last October that the offseason would basically consist of trading Verdugo for pitching depth, signing Giolito to a 1-2 year deal, and trading Sale for Grissom, I don’t think I would have been too pleased.

If this team is as mediocre as the roster suggests, I just hope that Breslow learns the Bloom lesson and fully commits to the youth movement in 2025 and beyond.
 

MFYankees

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Jul 20, 2017
496
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.
Bolded part is spot on. There's still a bit of time, but the action we've seen so far has not been sufficiently encouraging.
 

HfxBob

New Member
Nov 13, 2005
326
Did you have Chinese food last night? ;)
I was going to say "but when action is snoozing" and go more for humor-which as Sam would say, "probably" would be better.

I was prompted to say that by seeing the word "parse" one too many times. :p
 

Fishy1

Head Mason
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Nov 10, 2006
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Not for nothing but it is crazy to me how many free agents are still out there on the market, and how many of them are very good. Snell, Bellinger, Montgomery, Chapman, and a host of other positive contributors who fit our needs. We'll see what happens, obviously, but it seems like there's going to be a pretty heady week of musical chairs. Wouldn't be surprised to see the Sox still make several moves -- trades, signings both.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Mar 11, 2007
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Not for nothing but it is crazy to me how many free agents are still out there on the market, and how many of them are very good. Snell, Bellinger, Montgomery, Chapman, and a host of other positive contributors who fit our needs. We'll see what happens, obviously, but it seems like there's going to be a pretty heady week of musical chairs. Wouldn't be surprised to see the Sox still make several moves -- trades, signings both.
I think I was around 75% that Montgomery was going to be signed by the Sox around a month ago and if I take a breath and think about the situation I’m still about that confident. The way that it’s been dragging out does create a sense of pending doom though and it’s hard to be rational about the situation.
 

Cassvt2023

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Jan 17, 2023
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I just saw Dave Dombrowski walk thru Philadelphia airport and was tempted to ask him how close they were to a deal with Jansen because the Sox needed to clear that payroll in order to sign JM and then put Houck into the closer role. Even though it probably would‘ve gotten a chuckle out of him due to his deep familiarity with Sox ownership, in addition to knowing he’s a decent guy (I sat near him at a ST game a few years ago) its not my style to pester someone in public like that. It would’ve been a blast to hear his true feelings though.
 

RS2004foreever

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Dec 15, 2022
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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
Boras, key master.
 

Whoop-La White

used to be zougwa
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I imagine all 30 teams are looking for potential "rotation depth options." Meanwhile players and their agents might be holding out until Spring Training, when teams find that someone who had been penciled in for a rotation slot shows up with a tired arm or for whatever other reason looks like they won't be ready by April.
 

chawson

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Aug 1, 2006
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Such a long off-season. I'm ready to play ball, tired of writers coming up with, "here is a trade that makes sense for (insert name of team)", as if Breslow, Cashman, and Dombrowski are listening!!
Teams can put injured players on their 60-day IL this Wednesday, and the Rangers have four of them (deGrom, Scherzer, Mahle, Coleman). Between that and the TV thing that got temporarily resolved last week, I can't imagine there are any other non-financial obstacles to them signing Montgomery, if they're gonna.
 
Feb 9, 2024
10
I want the Sox to make a splash. I try to convince myself that maybe we get Montgomery. He has connections to Boston because of his wife, so why not? Then I instantly get pessimistic because with all the Rangers long term injuries, their need for pitching, and coming off a WS Championship, why wouldn't they want him back? My guess is that as soon as the 60 day IL becomes available and the Rangers shuffle around their roster, they will make Montgomery a fair offer.
 

simplicio

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Apr 11, 2012
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Wednesday doesn't have much bearing on anything at this point; I think some people who made deals last week still haven't been officially announced yet due to that. It's not like the Rangers can't agree to terms with Montgomery until they've officially stashed Scherzer.
 

PrometheusWakefield

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Then I instantly get pessimistic because with all the Rangers long term injuries, their need for pitching, and coming off a WS Championship, why wouldn't they want him back?
Because they are right up against the $237M luxury tax so as a second time offender they would have to pay a 30% extra on the whole contract, plus they would probably end up paying the additional surcharge for being $20M over the tax, plus it would put them at about $170M-$180M in contract commitments for 8 players in 2025 and beyond?
 

SouthernBoSox

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Jul 23, 2005
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Because they are right up against the $237M luxury tax so as a second time offender they would have to pay a 30% extra on the whole contract, plus they would probably end up paying the additional surcharge for being $20M over the tax, plus it would put them at about $170M-$180M in contract commitments for 8 players in 2025 and beyond?
Bradford recently reported that he doesn’t even believe the Rangers are in serious contact with Montgomery.

The market for Montgomery at the $150mm number is obviously zero. I am still eyeing the Phillies as a team that will jump in as his number softens.
 

RS2004foreever

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Dec 15, 2022
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Bradford recently reported that he doesn’t even believe the Rangers are in serious contact with Montgomery.

The market for Montgomery at the $150mm number is obviously zero. I am still eyeing the Phillies as a team that will jump in as his number softens.
There was a rumor over on Friday (forgot who and it may have been speculation) that the Phillies would trade Walker for Jansen and then go after Montgomery.
I cannot believe the Red Sox would be that stupid - but there you go.
 

chawson

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Bradford recently reported that he doesn’t even believe the Rangers are in serious contact with Montgomery.

The market for Montgomery at the $150mm number is obviously zero. I am still eyeing the Phillies as a team that will jump in as his number softens.
Boras seems really intent on getting the Phillies involved but I have a hard time seeing it. They're set to be over the CBT a third straight year, so he'd cost them 50% more. Always a chance Boras restructures something to make that more palatable this year, but they've got a decision on Wheeler coming up and I imagine they'll want to keep him too.
 

TomRicardo

rusty cohlebone
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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.
It was a bit of a weird offseason for Sox. I think Breslow made some really good moves and still didn't address any of the real gaps on this team. The Giolito contract was a flyer on a guy, that at best given the team as built today, gives you someone to trade at the deadline. You still have Story and Yoshida both of who you would love to get rid of but probably aren't going to be find a home for in the near term. They aren't terrible players but they are negative value contracts.

Almost everything they did to the gaps on the team were short term which doesn't make a ton of sense with team as built, which means they will begin the next offseason with the same problems minus possibly a starting catcher with Teel possibly ready to move up.

At the end of the day we are still the worst team in the division with the 3rd/4th best system in division, and they need almost everything to break their way to get a chance at a wild card with a team that even in a best case scenario is not well built for the playoffs.
 
Feb 9, 2024
10
Because they are right up against the $237M luxury tax so as a second time offender they would have to pay a 30% extra on the whole contract, plus they would probably end up paying the additional surcharge for being $20M over the tax, plus it would put them at about $170M-$180M in contract commitments for 8 players in 2025 and beyond?
That is a great point. It really would cost them significantly more than just the "sticker price". If the Rangers are truly out because of this, and the Sox are at all serious about winning, then this should be a no-brainer.
 

chrisfont9

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At the end of the day we are still the worst team in the division with the 3rd/4th best system in division, and they need almost everything to break their way to get a chance at a wild card with a team that even in a best case scenario is not well built for the playoffs.
Do you have the Rays' system ranked over the Sox? I don't see anyone saying that. Fangraphs has the Sox #2 in MLB.
 

TomRicardo

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Do you have the Rays' system ranked over the Sox? I don't see anyone saying that. Fangraphs has the Sox #2 in MLB.
ESPN has Tampa Bay a bit better with Junior Caminero. Yankees and Orioles have a better system than the Sox and Tampa Bay is around the same value. Fangraphs system rankings severely overvalues marginal talent (because they put monetary value on every player neglecting there is only 26 roster spots on every team).
 

jon abbey

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Fangraphs has the Sox #2 in MLB.
The Fangraphs farm system rankings are way behind reality since McDaniel left to go to ESPN. If you look at the individual team rankings, the last time FG updated the BOS system was June 12, 8 months ago today. The other sites are sometimes flawed (the mlb.com ones are generally pretty bad) but they're much more up to date.
 

Jimbodandy

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around the way
ESPN has Tampa Bay a bit better with Junior Caminero. Yankees and Orioles have a better system than the Sox and Tampa Bay is around the same value. Fangraphs system rankings severely overvalues marginal talent (because they put monetary value on every player neglecting there is only 26 roster spots on every team).
Law's just came out:

1 Baltimore
7 NYY
8 Boston
12 Tampa
20 Toronto

Considering where these systems were a year ago and two years ago, this is a pretty vast improvement. And that's factoring in how hitter-heavy it is, per Law.
 

jbupstate

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Top 8 per Law, while heavy on hitters, is good to see. Great if the top three make it to Fenway as productive, inexpensive players in prime up the middle positions or can be utilized in a mythical trade for a young SP.

The development of the next grouping of hitters (shortstops - Romero, Cespedes and Zanetello) hopefully leads to more trade ammunition.
 

moondog80

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Sep 20, 2005
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Except there is a non-zero chance that Jansen continues to slide towards the cliff and has less or no value at the trading deadline.
True. But I don't his value is especially high right now, given his salary, and the team does have a chance to win a WC spot if enough things break right, so for the time being I think he has more value in our bullpen than as a trade chip.

Now, if a GM is desperate and/or the Sox are willing to pay his salary and it results in a significant return, I'm open to changing my mind.
 
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TomRicardo

rusty cohlebone
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Except there is a non-zero chance that Jansen continues to slide towards the cliff and has less or no value at the trading deadline.
Players have more trade value at the deadline than in the offseason if all things are equally with the player's talent because there are only limited players available and more needs especially with pitchers because of injuries.
 

SJMDownunder

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Feb 13, 2014
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I gotta tell you I think many of us get the gist of what you're saying, but when I look at this list I see a fair amount of hair spitting and in the case of your last point you seem to be making an argument against what is a very simple and true fact. I've been fairly supportive of Bloom and this ownership group in general, admittedly less so in the past year. I'm hopeful that the Breslow years can help right the course for this team and applaud much of what he's done so far, but let's call a spade a spade and recognize that TO DATE the team isn't yet where many hope that it might be. I think that when we hear the word "probably" it's fair to assume what we all know probably to be. Very likely, almost certain, without much doubt etc... If the statement was "We'll probably spend up to or over the first tax threshold" What would your expectations be? I like you, I think you're a valuable poster here, but these past few weeks you seem to be all like this guy with some of your stances.

View attachment 77934
Stop calling a spade a spade. Do you actually know what it means? It’s worse than than the N word.
 

jon abbey

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Jul 15, 2005
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Stop calling a spade a spade. Do you actually know what it means? It’s worse than than the N word.
Incorrect on the expression:

""Call a spade a spade" is a figurative expression. It refers to calling something "as it is"[1]—that is, by its right or proper name, without "beating about the bush", but rather speaking truthfully, frankly, and directly about a topic, even to the point of bluntness or rudeness, and even if the subject is considered coarse, impolite, or unpleasant.

The idiom originates in the classical Greek of Plutarch's Apophthegmata Laconica, and was introduced into the English language in 1542 in Nicolas Udall's translation of the Apophthegmes, where Erasmus had seemingly replaced Plutarch's images of "trough" and "fig" with the more familiar "spade". It has appeared in many literary and popular works, including those of Oscar Wilde, Charles Dickens, Ralph Waldo Emerson, W. Somerset Maugham, and Jonathan Swift."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_a_spade_a_spade
 

Otis Foster

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Jul 18, 2005
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Abbey nailed the genesis of the term. It has another, nasty racist meaning, ,but clearly, given context, the usage here was proper and on point.