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OCD SS

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The owner you describe is only slightly less mythical than the unicorn.

If John Henry gets tired of being a local punching bag and decides in the next year or two 'I'm out', the likely next majority owner will be Redbird Capital. Bonus points to anyone who can tell me who Redbird's managing partner is without Googling him. When doing my own two-minute Internet search on Redbird, I came across this nugget in their Wikipedia entry:



Is this what you want for the future of the Red Sox? Do people think that a faceless VC firm or an Arab oil sheik is going to be more responsive and transparent than FSG? But, hey, maybe using the Red Sox brand to sportswash a regime's questionable human rights record is a worthwhile trade if we can go after those big-time free agents, amirite?

Be careful what you wish for, indeed.
Say it with me: there is no ethical consumption under capitalism.

Again JWH & FSG are responsible for how they run the team. That another owner might be worse doesn’t absolve them of their choices, and fear of them selling shouldn’t lead to fears of abandonment.
 

Dewey'sCannon

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So I was thinking this morning about why Montgomery isn't signed, and pondered the possibility that maybe the Red Sox don't really want him - and that maybe this is not really because of ownership, but is a decision being made by Breslow for "baseball reasons."

Now I think everyone would agree that Montgomery would make the team better in '24, or at least unless he's injured he's very likely to be better than the guy who otherwise ends up as the 5th starter. But maybe they don't think the difference in '24 performance is significant enough to make a material difference in their chances of making the playoffs in '24, and that they think this difference will shrink or be eliminated over the term of a Montgomery contract (which could be 5 years, or more).

What this may boil down to is how confident Breslow and the Run Prevention Unit are in getting two reliable SPs out of Crawford, Houck, Whitlock and Winc (or one of the latter three if you think Crawford is already there). If they are reasonably confident in that, then I can understand why they are not necessarily anxious to go sign Montgomery for five years or more. Yes, a Montgomery signing would also give them security in the rotation going forward, since at this point both Pivetta and Giolitto could be FAs after this year, but maybe they already have some idea about what it would take to extend these guys.

I think we;d all agree that the goal is to develop SPs within the organization so that they don't have to spend top dollar on FA SPs over the age of 30. It seems possible to me that Breslow and the RPU think the current candidates have enough of a chance that it's better to see what they have then spend 10% or more of the total salary budget on a FA SP over 30.

I know many here would question whether this is wise because you don't have much confidence in Crawford, Houck, Whitlock and Winc as developing into reliable SPs. But Breslow and the RPU have a bit more expertise and experience in this area, so I would be willing to trust their judgment if this is, in fact, what they've decided.

So I think we should at least consider the possibility that the decision on whether or not to sign Montgomery (or at what cost) are not being driven by ownership, but by Breslow.( For the record, up to now, I've been an advocate for signing him if they could get him on a four-year deal with a 5th year option. )
 

HfxBob

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Nov 13, 2005
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So I think we should at least consider the possibility that the decision on whether or not to sign Montgomery (or at what cost) are not being driven by ownership, but by Breslow.( For the record, up to now, I've been an advocate for signing him if they could get him on a four-year deal with a 5th year option. )
That could certainly be the case. Mind you if they don't sign him, we'll never know the real reasons or who made the final call.
 

sezwho

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So I was thinking this morning about why Montgomery isn't signed, and pondered the possibility that maybe the Red Sox don't really want him - and that maybe this is not really because of ownership, but is a decision being made by Breslow for "baseball reasons."

Now I think everyone would agree that Montgomery would make the team better in '24, or at least unless he's injured he's very likely to be better than the guy who otherwise ends up as the 5th starter. But maybe they don't think the difference in '24 performance is significant enough to make a material difference in their chances of making the playoffs in '24, and that they think this difference will shrink or be eliminated over the term of a Montgomery contract (which could be 5 years, or more).

What this may boil down to is how confident Breslow and the Run Prevention Unit are in getting two reliable SPs out of Crawford, Houck, Whitlock and Winc (or one of the latter three if you think Crawford is already there). If they are reasonably confident in that, then I can understand why they are not necessarily anxious to go sign Montgomery for five years or more. Yes, a Montgomery signing would also give them security in the rotation going forward, since at this point both Pivetta and Giolitto could be FAs after this year, but maybe they already have some idea about what it would take to extend these guys.

I think we;d all agree that the goal is to develop SPs within the organization so that they don't have to spend top dollar on FA SPs over the age of 30. It seems possible to me that Breslow and the RPU think the current candidates have enough of a chance that it's better to see what they have then spend 10% or more of the total salary budget on a FA SP over 30.

I know many here would question whether this is wise because you don't have much confidence in Crawford, Houck, Whitlock and Winc as developing into reliable SPs. But Breslow and the RPU have a bit more expertise and experience in this area, so I would be willing to trust their judgment if this is, in fact, what they've decided.

So I think we should at least consider the possibility that the decision on whether or not to sign Montgomery (or at what cost) are not being driven by ownership, but by Breslow.( For the record, up to now, I've been an advocate for signing him if they could get him on a four-year deal with a 5th year option. )
Along these lines I’m trying, fitfully, to let go of a least some cynicism around the RS and their bullet catching shill.

What I’m holding on to is the fact that smart businesses have budgets and investment strategies that exist across a single fiscal year (aka season).

Now this could also just mean that they (continue to) starve team payroll of FSG revenue for years and invest in another mini-mall around Fenway, or some such similar bullshit.

However, cynicism aside, it’s entirely possible they roll the 25m they had set aside for pitching into next year (to the posters submission that Monty just ain’t all that and they want a year to see what they really have in system under their dev program)…and exceed LT.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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So I was thinking this morning about why Montgomery isn't signed, and pondered the possibility that maybe the Red Sox don't really want him - and that maybe this is not really because of ownership, but is a decision being made by Breslow for "baseball reasons."

Now I think everyone would agree that Montgomery would make the team better in '24, or at least unless he's injured he's very likely to be better than the guy who otherwise ends up as the 5th starter. But maybe they don't think the difference in '24 performance is significant enough to make a material difference in their chances of making the playoffs in '24, and that they think this difference will shrink or be eliminated over the term of a Montgomery contract (which could be 5 years, or more).

What this may boil down to is how confident Breslow and the Run Prevention Unit are in getting two reliable SPs out of Crawford, Houck, Whitlock and Winc (or one of the latter three if you think Crawford is already there). If they are reasonably confident in that, then I can understand why they are not necessarily anxious to go sign Montgomery for five years or more. Yes, a Montgomery signing would also give them security in the rotation going forward, since at this point both Pivetta and Giolitto could be FAs after this year, but maybe they already have some idea about what it would take to extend these guys.

I think we;d all agree that the goal is to develop SPs within the organization so that they don't have to spend top dollar on FA SPs over the age of 30. It seems possible to me that Breslow and the RPU think the current candidates have enough of a chance that it's better to see what they have then spend 10% or more of the total salary budget on a FA SP over 30.

I know many here would question whether this is wise because you don't have much confidence in Crawford, Houck, Whitlock and Winc as developing into reliable SPs. But Breslow and the RPU have a bit more expertise and experience in this area, so I would be willing to trust their judgment if this is, in fact, what they've decided.

So I think we should at least consider the possibility that the decision on whether or not to sign Montgomery (or at what cost) are not being driven by ownership, but by Breslow.( For the record, up to now, I've been an advocate for signing him if they could get him on a four-year deal with a 5th year option. )
I think rolling the dice on hitting with at least 2 of the Crawford, Houck, Whitlock and Winchowski is a higher risk than rolling the dice on Montgomery. And honestly I don't see how it would even be a situation where it has to be one or the other. I don't think Whitlock should be sniffing the rotation right now- and I'm saying this as someone that was 100% moving him to the rotation last season to find out what they had, and the answer was: likely injured. If they DON'T sign JM, and only one of those 4 guys looks like they can stick as a rotation guy that puts them in a really shitty situation after '24 with basically only 3 starters. Maybe Fitts or Wikelman are outfitted to do the same thing after '24 then?
Anyhow.... my feeling is that Montgomery and Snell both sign by the end of this weekend. Snell with SF and Montgomery with Boston.
 

loneredseat

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Dec 8, 2023
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It's also possible that the red sox currently have the highest bid on the table for montgomery, and they know it. But I also agree with what Dewey's Cannon is saying here.
 

loneredseat

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Dec 8, 2023
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Also sorta an "mlb".
I remember I went to a game there in 2001. The whole city looked like it had been invaded by Boston fans. Hideo Nomo pitched (and got a hit!).
 
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cannonball 1729

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It's also possible that the red sox currently have the highest bid on the table for montgomery, and they know it.
I think this is a strong possibility. If nothing else, it seems that they've at least made a highly competitive offer and think they have a strong chance of landing him once he stops messing around.
Say it with me: there is no ethical consumption under capitalism.
Meh - I think there are options between "I will only root for an ethical owner" Pollyannaism and "whatever, nobody's ethical" nihilist resignation. I'll say that although there's a baseline level of unethicalness in capitalism, there's still a level of ownership bad behavior beyond which I'd stop supporting the Red Sox. (Although I hope to never find out what that level is.)
 

Papo The Snow Tiger

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I couldn’t igure out their hats. I mean, was it an ‘M’ or were they trying to spell out Expos?
It was actually a three in one design. The overall shape was supposed to represent an "M" for Montreal, the red at the left end of the logo was a lower case "e" for Expos and the blue, lower case "b" at the right end was for baseball. Put together it was "Montreal Expos Baseball". It was all tilted towards the right to represent forward movement. For the record, I really liked their tri-color hats.
https://www.bing.com/ck/a?!&&p=c684549dcc199767JmltdHM9MTcwOTI1MTIwMCZpZ3VpZD0wYmViNjkyZi01MWNlLTY3YjYtMmYwYS03YWU2NTAxYTY2MzcmaW5zaWQ9NTIyNA&ptn=3&ver=2&hsh=3&fclid=0beb692f-51ce-67b6-2f0a-7ae6501a6637&psq=montreal+expos+logo+explained&u=a1aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cudG9kZHJhZG9tLmNvbS9ibG9nL3Nwb3J0cy1sb2dvLWNhc2Utc3R1ZHktMS1tb250cmVhbC1leHBvcw&ntb=1
 

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Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
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It was actually a three in one design. The overall shape was supposed to represent an "M" for Montreal, the red at the left end of the logo was a lower case "e" for Expos and the blue, lower case "b" at the right end was for baseball. Put together it was "Montreal Expos Baseball". It was all tilted towards the right to represent forward movement. For the record, I really liked their tri-color hats.
https://www.bing.com/ck/a?!&&p=c684549dcc199767JmltdHM9MTcwOTI1MTIwMCZpZ3VpZD0wYmViNjkyZi01MWNlLTY3YjYtMmYwYS03YWU2NTAxYTY2MzcmaW5zaWQ9NTIyNA&ptn=3&ver=2&hsh=3&fclid=0beb692f-51ce-67b6-2f0a-7ae6501a6637&psq=montreal+expos+logo+explained&u=a1aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cudG9kZHJhZG9tLmNvbS9ibG9nL3Nwb3J0cy1sb2dvLWNhc2Utc3R1ZHktMS1tb250cmVhbC1leHBvcw&ntb=1
I thought it was another one of those designer-smuggles-in-a-phallus things.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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It was actually a three in one design. The overall shape was supposed to represent an "M" for Montreal, the red at the left end of the logo was a lower case "e" for Expos and the blue, lower case "b" at the right end was for baseball. Put together it was "Montreal Expos Baseball". It was all tilted towards the right to represent forward movement. For the record, I really liked their tri-color hats.
https://www.bing.com/ck/a?!&&p=c684549dcc199767JmltdHM9MTcwOTI1MTIwMCZpZ3VpZD0wYmViNjkyZi01MWNlLTY3YjYtMmYwYS03YWU2NTAxYTY2MzcmaW5zaWQ9NTIyNA&ptn=3&ver=2&hsh=3&fclid=0beb692f-51ce-67b6-2f0a-7ae6501a6637&psq=montreal+expos+logo+explained&u=a1aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cudG9kZHJhZG9tLmNvbS9ibG9nL3Nwb3J0cy1sb2dvLWNhc2Utc3R1ZHktMS1tb250cmVhbC1leHBvcw&ntb=1
I think I was maybe 4 years old and went to a game with my Old Man. We had front row seats at CF and in between innings he noticed that there was a baseball right at the base of the wall so he lowered me down onto the actual field to pick it up. A security guard ran over and I got scared so just started running across the outfield to who the fuck knows where. Anyhow... hilarity ensued. I was caught and my father, my brother and I got escorted out of the game without the ball.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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So I was thinking this morning about why Montgomery isn't signed, and pondered the possibility that maybe the Red Sox don't really want him - and that maybe this is not really because of ownership, but is a decision being made by Breslow for "baseball reasons."
For the record, I think everything you posted is entirely possible, with the way that Breslow views the roster. Entirely possible.

I also think it's possible he looks at the roster the way Bill James apparently does (his Tweet about the roster being 18 players short) through the lens of what Theo always talked about with the goal to be above average at every position.

C - Wong and McGuire fine as a stop gap until Teel comes, let's say slightly above average because of Wong.
1b - Casas is a stud.
2b - Grissom is a good young prospect. I'll put him in the above average camp.
3b - Devers. Stud.
SS - Story. Overpaid, but above average.\
The entire OF (Duran, Abreu, Refsnyder, Yoshida) - AAAA players and an over paid DH. Tried trading them all winter and nobody was interested.

Bello - solid top half of the rotation starter.
Gio - reclamation project since Sale was moved.
Pivetta, Crawford, Whitlock, Houck, Winckowski - should all be bullpen arms.

Farm system - 3 really good prospects and a bunch of guys he tried all winter to trade and nobody was interested in.



IF he views the team like that (which would also be entirely possible) then you'd be looking at a very long term rebuild and signing Monty (or anyone else around 30) would make zero sense.

The truth (or at least his view) is probably most likely between the two. I'm just saying the above is certainly possible too. If nothing else, Bill James seems to think that...
 

YTF

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For the record, I think everything you posted is entirely possible, with the way that Breslow views the roster. Entirely possible.

I also think it's possible he looks at the roster the way Bill James apparently does (his Tweet about the roster being 18 players short) through the lens of what Theo always talked about with the goal to be above average at every position.

C - Wong and McGuire fine as a stop gap until Teel comes, let's say slightly above average because of Wong.
1b - Casas is a stud.
2b - Grissom is a good young prospect. I'll put him in the above average camp.
3b - Devers. Stud.
SS - Story. Overpaid, but above average.\
The entire OF (Duran, Abreu, Refsnyder, Yoshida) - AAAA players and an over paid DH. Tried trading them all winter and nobody was interested.

Bello - solid top half of the rotation starter.
Gio - reclamation project since Sale was moved.
Pivetta, Crawford, Whitlock, Houck, Winckowski - should all be bullpen arms.

Farm system - 3 really good prospects and a bunch of guys he tried all winter to trade and nobody was interested in.



IF he views the team like that (which would also be entirely possible) then you'd be looking at a very long term rebuild and signing Monty (or anyone else around 30) would make zero sense.

The truth (or at least his view) is probably most likely between the two. I'm just saying the above is certainly possible too. If nothing else, Bill James seems to think that...
I'll push back a bit on the OF comment. Do you have inside info?
 

Yo La Tengo

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The entire OF (Duran, Abreu, Refsnyder, Yoshida) - AAAA players and an over paid DH. Tried trading them all winter and nobody was interested.

Bello - solid top half of the rotation starter.
Gio - reclamation project since Sale was moved.
Pivetta, Crawford, Whitlock, Houck, Winckowski - should all be bullpen arms.
I think the catchers are likely below average. But, I have a hard time seeing the OF assessment as being a possible perspective, as each of those players (plus O'neill) could/should be average or above if deployed properly. As for the rotation, if Crawford or Pivetta were on the Mariners, we'd be clamoring for a trade, so I again think your potential perspective is too pessimistic to be a plausible belief by Breslow.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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I'll push back a bit on the OF comment. Do you have inside info?
I didn't mean this in any way to come off as having any inside information, sorry if it came off as such. I was responding to the post from @Dewey'sCannon (which again is totally plausible) about the optimistic side of the coin and why it might make sense not to sign Monty or similar. I was merely providing another (yes, pessimistic) viewpoint of why it also might make sense not to sign Monty (or similar).

However, I will say that we have seen some snippets of people more closely associated with the Theo tree (like Breslow is) dropping nuggets about the "view" of the organization changing. Paraphrased (but all were here in this thread) remarks from Gammon's about the team "not being as good as they think"; Billy James and his quip about the team being in a good spot going into ST, minus the last 18 or so spots on the roster.

We also of course had the comments from Breslow about looking to make trades from and people needing to get comfortable with the idea and then having nothing come to fruition.

Now - could he have been offered any number of deals and people were VERY interested in the OFs - yes, of course. We don't know either way.


I'm just saying the pessimistic take is equally plausible / possible. And this is JUST my personal take as someone that doesn't like the roster Bloom built and thinks the farm is overrated - better - but overrated. Well, maybe properly rated now as most publications have them kind of in the 10-15 range, which I think is a lot more accurate than FG having them 2nd or wherever it was last year.

I think the catchers are likely below average. But, I have a hard time seeing the OF assessment as being a possible perspective, as each of those players (plus O'neill) could/should be average or above if deployed properly. As for the rotation, if Crawford or Pivetta were on the Mariners, we'd be clamoring for a trade, so I again think your potential perspective is too pessimistic to be a plausible belief by Breslow.
Crawford sure. Pivetta no way (and to be clear as a starter I like Pivetta more than Crawford, Houck, Whitlock or Winckowski and it's not particularly close. I want him extended yesterday, personally). That said, I have literally zero interest in one year pitching. Pivetta has one year left. I'd have no interest in trading for him (or anyone on a one year deal) whatsoever. I have no interest in signing a one year contract either.

Also - I just want to be clear - I'm not down on the job Breslow is doing. I actually really like what he's doing. I just think what he inherited is far worse than a lot of other people on the board seem to think he inherited. Which is fine. Debate is fun - and I HOPE that people that are more optimistic are right and get to throw it in my face all season long!
 
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Rovin Romine

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I'm just saying the pessimistic take is equally plausible / possible.
Is it? I mean, beyond the variance of health?

There are certainly unknowns re: players like Abreu, but a guy like O'Neill has an established ML track record and should be a plus, with league average RH offense being a floor, and good defense. Likewise, Pivetta has an established track record, and should provide a league average ERA+ as a starter who goes relatively deep into games. Crawford also has enough of a body of ML work to make reasonable projections for.

***

I don't wish to attempt to argue you off the Tobin Bridge here (although I do wish you weren't on it in the first place.) But if you just want to go beyond your feelings, you should take a look at the players we have and what they're reasonably likely to do. I'm not saying that adds up to a powerhouse team, but we really don't have a starting OF of AAAA players. And I'm not sure it helps anyone to assert that we do.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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Is it? I mean, beyond the variance of health?

There are certainly unknowns re: players like Abreu, but a guy like O'Neill has an established ML track record and should be a plus, with league average RH offense being a floor, and good defense. Likewise, Pivetta has an established track record, and should provide a league average ERA+ as a starter who goes relatively deep into games. Crawford also has enough of a body of ML work to make reasonable projections for.

***

I don't wish to attempt to argue you off the Tobin Bridge here (although I do wish you weren't on it in the first place.) But if you just want to go beyond your feelings, you should take a look at the players we have and what they're reasonably likely to do. I'm not saying that adds up to a powerhouse team, but we really don't have a starting OF of AAAA players. And I'm not sure it helps anyone to assert that we do.
I think so.

O'Neill's established track record is 1) to get injured but even if one doesn't want to say that then 2) in 4 of 6 season's he's been below average (offensively at least) according to OPS+. His track record is to be injured or slightly below average offensively, at least around 70% of the time. 30% of the time he's a monster, I bet on the 70% more than the 30% though.

Pivetta, I tend to agree. Crawford, I'm not as sure on. Keep in mind, I think he deserves a spot in the rotation and I'm not saying other wise. I'm also saying I'm more apt to bank on him with total conviction than I am Bryce Miller, just to use an example.



I'm actually not at all discouraged about the direction of the team, to be clear. In fact, I'm more optimistic on it than I've been at any point since the end of the 2021 season (I wasn't posting but I didn't love the way the 2021-22 offseason shaped up because of the lack of focus on "medium" to long term SP).

But being bullish on the direction Breslow is going (long term) and very bearish on the 2024 (and 2025) seasons as the roster is currently constructed aren't mutually exclusive - but for now I'll focus just on 2024 to be clear. I just think it's possible (if the team DOES NOT invest heavily in medium term to long term starting pitching) we're looking at a longer rebuild / turn around than a lot of people.

Which is why I think the ideas of moving Verdugo for Fitts and Schrieber for Sandlin and getting (in my opinion) the 1st and 3rd best SP prospects in the system as well as the Sale for Grissom trade was brilliant. I'm glad that's what is happening. I think it'd be great if similar moves could be made paying full freight on Jansen and Martin the way that happened with Schrieber, to be clear. If Pivetta isn't extended (which I want him to be), I'd hope for the same there. Though I realize that those are highly unlikely to happen before July.
 

YTF

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I didn't mean this in any way to come off as having any inside information, sorry if it came off as such. I was responding to the post from @Dewey'sCannon (which again is totally plausible) about the optimistic side of the coin and why it might make sense not to sign Monty or similar. I was merely providing another (yes, pessimistic) viewpoint of why it also might make sense not to sign Monty (or similar).

However, I will say that we have seen some snippets of people more closely associated with the Theo tree (like Breslow is) dropping nuggets about the "view" of the organization changing. Paraphrased (but all were here in this thread) remarks from Gammon's about the team "not being as good as they think"; Billy James and his quip about the team being in a good spot going into ST, minus the last 18 or so spots on the roster.

We also of course had the comments from Breslow about looking to make trades from and people needing to get comfortable with the idea and then having nothing come to fruition.

Now - could he have been offered any number of deals and people were VERY interested in the OFs - yes, of course. We don't know either way.


I'm just saying the pessimistic take is equally plausible / possible. And this is JUST my personal take as someone that doesn't like the roster Bloom built and thinks the farm is overrated - better - but overrated. Well, maybe properly rated now as most publications have them kind of in the 10-15 range, which I think is a lot more accurate than FG having them 2nd or wherever it was last year.



Crawford sure. Pivetta no way (and to be clear as a starter I like Pivetta more than Crawford, Houck, Whitlock or Winckowski and it's not particularly close. I want him extended yesterday, personally). That said, I have literally zero interest in one year pitching. Pivetta has one year left. I'd have no interest in trading for him (or anyone on a one year deal) whatsoever. I have no interest in signing a one year contract either.

Also - I just want to be clear - I'm not down on the job Breslow is doing. I actually really like what he's doing. I just think what he inherited is far worse than a lot of other people on the board seem to think he inherited. Which is fine. Debate is fun - and I HOPE that people that are more optimistic are right and get to throw it in my face all season long!
No apologies necessary, but now that I have a moment I'll just clarify what/why I was asking. I think Breslow's on record as saying he'll entertain offers on most players. I'm not sure that means that he's been trying to trade these guys, but it's certainly a possibility. That's why I was wondering if you knew something more than what the rest of us might. It was the other bit about the entire OF being a :"AAAA players and an over paid DH". That really got my attention. I suppose everyone's MMV to some extent concerning the definition of a AAAA player, but to me it's a guy who has had a good deal of success in the MiL and despite several opportunities could never put it all together as a major leaguer. I think the best current example we have may be Dalbec, but his story's not quite complete. Abreau's rookie status is still intact and while I personally am not 100% sold on Duran yet he was for a period of time by far the most exciting player on the team. I'll grant you that might be a low bar, but he cleared it quite handly. At this point I think that it might be short sighted to write of either of those players as AAAA.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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No apologies necessary, but now that I have a moment I'll just clarify what/why I was asking. I think Breslow's on record as saying he'll entertain offers on most players. I'm not sure that means that he's been trying to trade these guys, but it's certainly a possibility. That's why I was wondering if you knew something more than what the rest of us might. It was the other bit about the entire OF being a :"AAAA players and an over paid DH". That really got my attention. I suppose everyone's MMV to some extent concerning the definition of a AAAA player, but to me it's a guy who has had a good deal of success in the MiL and despite several opportunities could never put it all together as a major leaguer. I think the best current example we have may be Dalbec, but his story's not quite complete. Abreau's rookie status is still intact and while I personally am not 100% sold on Duran yet he was for a period of time by far the most exciting player on the team. I'll grant you that might be a low bar, but he cleared it quite handly. At this point I think that it might be short sighted to write of either of those players as AAAA.
Just to be clear, even I‘m not quite that bearish on the players I mentioned. I like Duran. I think from Crawford, Houck, Winckowski and Whitlock you’re going to get one long term (back half) of the rotation starter and some high leverage bullpen arms. I really like Rafaela.

However, you look at the Gammons’ line (team that isnt as good as they think) as kind of “throw away”. But then you look at the only Bill James tweet I’ve read posted on this board in years that says they just need to find 18 or so pieces, and that really stood out to me. It could be snark. It could be piling on. Maybe John Henry‘s limo took up four spots in front of his house all winter. Who knows. But that to me was kind of a “wow - does someone THAT smart really think the team is THAT bad. If so, maybe I should reevaluate what I think…”

Then you look at the inaction this year when almost the entire board agreed starting pitching was absolutely imperative to add to and it’s been a net neutral (Sale and Paxton’s combined 35 starts replaced with Giolito‘s 31), and start to look for the “why.”

Believing you have in house solutions is a totally plausible reason not to invest in two additions. No question.

If you believe the team really only has 8 good pieces (Bill James) and is so lacking in MLB talent that you would need to upgrade let’s even say 12 spots on the roster (2/3 of his 18 quip), then you also wouldn’t invest in anyone over 30 because the team is that far away.

It’s equally plausible is really all I’m saying.
 
No apologies necessary, but now that I have a moment I'll just clarify what/why I was asking. I think Breslow's on record as saying he'll entertain offers on most players. I'm not sure that means that he's been trying to trade these guys, but it's certainly a possibility. That's why I was wondering if you knew something more than what the rest of us might. It was the other bit about the entire OF being a :"AAAA players and an over paid DH". That really got my attention. I suppose everyone's MMV to some extent concerning the definition of a AAAA player, but to me it's a guy who has had a good deal of success in the MiL and despite several opportunities could never put it all together as a major leaguer. I think the best current example we have may be Dalbec, but his story's not quite complete. Abreau's rookie status is still intact and while I personally am not 100% sold on Duran yet he was for a period of time by far the most exciting player on the team. I'll grant you that might be a low bar, but he cleared it quite handly. At this point I think that it might be short sighted to write of either of those players as AAAA.
I'm with you here on Duran. He has a lot to prove, but writing him off as AAAA seems like a clear mistake for someone who just put up ~350 PA at a 3.5-4 WAR/600 PA rate. Depending on if you are looking at a minimum of 400 PA or qualified OF, by fWAR a slightly above average MLB OF is around 2.1-2.3 WAR.

I get the skeptics who think there's a chance Duran never does that again, but I don't understand having a high degree of confidence that he won't given that he has already significantly exceeded that mark once.

EDIT: just want to say that I get your thought experiment @Big Papi's Mango Salsa and this isn't directed at you specifically.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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Noted, but thanks @Pedroia's Itchy Nose.

To be entirely clear, I am NOT writing off Duran (or Abreu) as AAAA players.

I really like Duran (and Rafaela) in the OF, to be clear. I also think you’re going to get one reliable starter and some good bullpen arms from Crawford, Whitlock, Houck and Winckowski.

However (quoting previous)…

I also think it's possible he looks at the roster the way Bill James apparently does (his Tweet about the roster being 18 players short) through the lens of what Theo always talked about with the goal to be above average at every position…

The entire OF (Duran, Abreu, Refsnyder, Yoshida) - AAAA players and an over paid DH. Tried trading them all winter and nobody was interested.

…IF he views the team like that (which would also be entirely possible) then you'd be looking at a very long term rebuild and signing Monty (or anyone else around 30) would make zero sense.

The truth (or at least his view) is probably most likely between the two. I'm just saying the above is certainly possible too. If nothing else, Bill James seems to think that...

Breslow could think the team is now built to contend for the World Series for all I know, and thus believes there is no reason to make significant additions. Entirely possible and entirely rational if so.



All I’m saying is that IF someone thinks the team is as much of a mess as Bill James does, that would also be reason not to bother making one (or two) additions of guys like Hernandez or Monty. We’re not exactly talking prime Manny and Pedro here.

They’re both good players that I think would have taken a 77win team (my prediction) to a high 80s win team. Which is why I wanted both signed. But if you look at the team and see 70 wins, it’s not really worth spending to get up to like an 82-80 season either.

We have no idea what Breslow actually thinks, good or bad. We probably never will - and really shouldn’t.
 
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LogansDad

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If this is true (and it may be) the messaging and messengers surrounding this off season have been shit. Just when you think that there are no more rakes to step on someone from ownership/management steps up to the mic. I'll love this team until the day that I die, but if our differences can't be reconciled I might start seeing other teams.
All I’m saying is that IF someone thinks the team is as much of a mess as Bill James does, that would also be reason not to bother making one (or two) additions of guys like Hernandez or Monty. We’re not exactly talking prime Manny and Pedro here.
The James quote is kind of a head scratcher for sure, but I also think he has an axe to grind with the organization for some reason that I don't really know. From his Wikiepedia:

On October 24, 2019, James announced his retirement from the Red Sox, saying that he had "fallen out of step with the organization" and added that he hadn't earned his paycheck with the Red Sox for the last couple of years.
I don't think the James quote is a nothingburger, necessarily, and while I am not nearly the expert he is (nor are any of us), I see as roster that is middle of the pack in MLB at worst, and has a lot of upside to go with that. I think the "needing 18 people to fill the roster" quote is an absolutely ridiculous take from a guy who is way smarter than to need to resort to histrionics. I will grant that "middle of the pack in MLB" is a rough place to be in the AL East right now, but I don't think there were many moves that could have been made this offseason to move them into the "top 5 in baseball" level, or whatever it is everyone seems to think they need to get to in order to "compete". Montgomery would make them better, but I don't think he makes them 10 or more teams better in the grand scheme of things.

I know you call the OF's AAAA players, but I really don't agree (especially if Rafaela's spring plate discipline isn't just a mirage... I am skeptical, but hopeful on that front). There are far worse outfields in MLB than a Duran (LF), Rafaela (CF) and an Abreu/O'Neill platoon. O'Neill is such a good fit for this team if he stays healthy and trading out Verdugo for him and getting actual pitching prospects is a coup, in my opinion (and I like Verdugo a lot).

The starting pitching has a ton of variance, in my opinion. The advanced metrics we saw from Crawford's first spring outing were just eye popping, and I remain hopeful (even after one bad start) that Giolito will be fine, though not necessarily an ace. The bullpen is deeper, and they added a few guys in Sandlin and Fitts who I think can advance quickly to fill in ranks next year, or even late this season if need be.

I want meaningful baseball in September every year, even if they fall short of making the playoffs. I just want as many games to cheer for as possible, and I prefer fun players to watch, and I think this team has an abundance of fun players. Watching 10 minute videos of Duran and O'Neill in camp has been awesome, Casas is a blast, Bello is a pleasure to watch pitch even if he is apparently a vampire, there aren't many SS's in the league I would rather watch play defense than Trevor Story, etc. Like the pitching staff, I see it as a high variance team, and they could be out of it in June if literally everything goes wrong. But they are a definite playoff contender if more things go right than wrong, and I don't think the scales need to move too much in that direction for it to happen.
 

EyeBob

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Still scratching my head about what the Jays are (not) doing this offseason. I thought Chapman was a good fit going back there.
 

Farty Barrett

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Signing Chapman makes the 30 year old righty JD Davis redundant in SF.

While it might not be right to try and acquire him, I can’t see SF keeping him with Chapman, Flores and Wade Jr.

He costs 6.9 million this year and is a FA in ‘25. He’s better than Dalbec and would be used similarly.
 
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OCD SS

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Signing Chapman makes the 30 year old righty JD Davis redundant in SF.

While it might not be right to try and acquire him, I can’t see SF keeping him with Chapman, Flores and Wade Jr.

He costs 6.9 million this year and is a FA in ‘25. He’s better than Dalbec and would be used similarly.
But should the Sox spend $6.9M on the Dalbec roll? Normally I’d say “it’s only money” given their proximity to the LT threshold, but with a much more limited payroll it might actually be tight and I think they have to wait to see how Monty shakes out before making any expensive depth moves for the back end of the bench (that would’ve been no brainers in early years).
 

jon abbey

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Still scratching my head about what the Jays are (not) doing this offseason. I thought Chapman was a good fit going back there.
Chapman/Boras evidently turned down twice that amount for him earlier and TOR moved on.
 

Farty Barrett

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But should the Sox spend $6.9M on the Dalbec roll? Normally I’d say “it’s only money” given their proximity to the LT threshold, but with a much more limited payroll it might actually be tight and I think they have to wait to see how Monty shakes out before making any expensive depth moves for the back end of the bench (that would’ve been no brainers in early years).
I am just a cage in search of a bird.

Hayden Birdsong to be specific.
I was quick to think Davis is a $7 mil SF burden we could relieve and somehow creatively end up with an upside arm again!

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Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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The James quote is kind of a head scratcher for sure, but I also think he has an axe to grind with the organization for some reason that I don't really know. From his Wikiepedia:



I don't think the James quote is a nothingburger, necessarily, and while I am not nearly the expert he is (nor are any of us), I see as roster that is middle of the pack in MLB at worst, and has a lot of upside to go with that. I think the "needing 18 people to fill the roster" quote is an absolutely ridiculous take from a guy who is way smarter than to need to resort to histrionics. I will grant that "middle of the pack in MLB" is a rough place to be in the AL East right now, but I don't think there were many moves that could have been made this offseason to move them into the "top 5 in baseball" level, or whatever it is everyone seems to think they need to get to in order to "compete". Montgomery would make them better, but I don't think he makes them 10 or more teams better in the grand scheme of things.

I know you call the OF's AAAA players, but I really don't agree (especially if Rafaela's spring plate discipline isn't just a mirage... I am skeptical, but hopeful on that front). There are far worse outfields in MLB than a Duran (LF), Rafaela (CF) and an Abreu/O'Neill platoon. O'Neill is such a good fit for this team if he stays healthy and trading out Verdugo for him and getting actual pitching prospects is a coup, in my opinion (and I like Verdugo a lot).
Interestingly enough, James retired literally the day before Bloom was hired. It‘s entirely plausible that Bloom wasn’t going to continue to utilize his insights, and someone that had been with the organization for over 15 years and 4 titles was given the chance to “retire.” That would give him a big axe to grind against Bloom and would likely color his opinion of the roster Bloom put together that Breslow took over. Entirely plausible scenario for him having an axe to grind and a somewhat extreme opinion.

(It’s also possible James was encouraged to retire based on some of his tweets about the relative lack of importance of specific players that a poster pointed out to me in a note - and I thank that poster for it. I only follow Twitter vías things posted on this board…)

Also, I just want to address this one more time - I DO NOT THINK ALL THE OFS ARE AAAA LEVEL. I’m saying two things 1) Bill James knows more about baseball than I ever will and he apparently thinks roughly 3/4 of the roster isn’t deserving of a roster spot and 2) IF the Red Sox hired someone that agreed with that assessment, it would make total sense NOT to invest heavily in someone like Monty or Snell.

I’m trying to detach what I personally believe (I’m bullish on Casas, Grissom, Devers, Story, Duran and Rafaela onnthe offense. On the pitching side I happen to be very bullish on Bello, and I genuinely like having Gio and Pivetta - but hate that it’s only one year of control. I think Jansen and Martin are good. I think you’ll get one starter from Crawford, Houck, Whitlock and Winckowski. So I personally think (ish) 20 of the 26 man roster is pretty well set, and think if they added a top half of the rotation starter and a middle of the order, core, RH bat, they’d be a real contender for all 3 wild cards.

Which is why I’ve been begging them to sign Monty (and I’d give him 6/$126m right now and be thrilled).

Like @Dewey'sCannon alluded to, if someone thinks the pitching is fine, then it makes no sense to spend big on Monty.

I‘m saying another plausible reason not to is if someone shares the Bill James perspective. If someone thinks 3/4 of the roster isn’t good, then it would make no sense to sign Monty either. Because you’d believe the team was so far away his addition wouldn’t matter.

My personal stance is between these two, for the record. I’m trying critical thinking of challenging my own belief and thinking how someone with a different perspective may act, as @Pedroia's Itchy Nose alluded to.





To the “rumors” aspect; the Chapman deal is weird for SF. I cannot imagine giving up a 2nd rounder for one year of almost any player on a team that wasn’t a Houston / Atlanta / Philly level contender.

Though it means my take on the market was very wrong, I also think it’s awesome to see Boras get fed some crow.
 

NeckDownAllStar

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I enjoyed this post and indeed it seems very reasonable that teams who don't have to replace starts by their best pitcher with starts by their eighth-best pitcher will tend to do well.

Team seasons with four starters around 29+ starts are not that rare (2003 and 2005 Red Sox also did it, for example) but I'd be curious how many team seasons have had five starters in that range, so that your starting five really have almost every start, at least in the last 30 years or so. 2013 Tigers were one: 34, 32, 32, 29, 29 for 156 starts by five guys.
I have doubled back on this discussion and played with some historical data. I now think that, although his comment was timely in the spring of 2004, Schilling’s opinion about starters’ health was somewhat over stated.

I used 30 starts as a benchmark instead of 29 – but it is scripted so I can play with other options without too much work. There have been nine teams between 1950 and 2022 that had five guys start 30 or more games – the 1977 Dodgers, 1980 Athletics, 1993 Dodgers, 2003 Mariners, 2005 Indians, 2005 Cardinals, 2006 White Sox, 2012 Reds, and the 2012 Giants.

The 1977 Dodgers won the Pennant and only the 2012 Giants won the World Series. Five of the teams did not win their division. After the Wild Card format was introduced in 1996, none of these teams were even a wild card winner. The 1980 Athletics won 83 games and the 1993 Dodgers finished at 81-81.

On the two weakest teams on that list, the five pitchers with 30 or more starts on the 1980 Athletics combined for a career record of 275 wins, 357 losses with an ERA of 5.99. Bad teams just keep sending bad pitchers out to the mound. The Dodgers field better teams and their 1977 team’s big five were 761 and 684 with an ERA of 3.90 for their careers.

When I looked at teams since 1950 with at least four 30-start pitchers there were 137 teams total (so, 128 plus the 9 I just discussed). Of those 128 teams, 29 won the Pennant, 13 won the World Series, and 27 finished at .500 or below – with the 1965 Red Sox having the worst record in the list when they lost 100 games.

Eleven of those 128 teams were Wild Card winners, with the 2004 Red Sox and the 2011 Cardinals winning the World Series.
 

The Gray Eagle

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On the two weakest teams on that list, the five pitchers with 30 or more starts on the 1980 Athletics combined for a career record of 275 wins, 357 losses with an ERA of 5.99. Bad teams just keep sending bad pitchers out to the mound.
There's a lot of context needed for the 1980 A's, they were kind of a special case.
They were coming off a miserable season (54-108) and hired Billy Martin as manager. Martin didn't think the bullpen was any good, so he left his young starters in the game as long as possible.
From wikipedia:
Many in baseball were surprised to find the A's only 2½ games behind the heavily favored Kansas City Royals at the end of May. The A's finished second in the AL West with an 83–79 record. Although they were 14 games behind the Royals, the 29-game improvement was enough to garner Martin a Manager of the Year award.
In 1980 the pitching staff threw 94 complete games–far and away the most in the American League–in part because Martin did not trust his untested bullpen.
Martin's heavy use of the starters worked well in 1981(possibly helped by the 2-month-long strike in the middle of the season, which gave the starters an unusual long break to recharge.)

The 1981 A's were at 20–3 (.870) in early May, Martin appeared on the cover of Time magazine, and the five-man rotation was on the cover of Sports Illustrated.[158] Mike Norris, Rick Langford, Matt Keough, Steve McCatty, and Brian Kingman had a cumulative ERA of 1.42 at that point.
The Oakland momentum was finally checked by the 1981 Major League Baseball strike, which shut down baseball for nearly two months midseason. The season was split into two halves, the division leaders at the time of the strike (in the AL West, the A's) to play the second-half winners (the Royals) in a special division series.
The A's had the best record in the league and made the playoffs f or the first time in 6 tears, reaching the ALCS. Their main 5 starters completed 60 the 109 games they started.

Things did not go well in 1982:
Expectations were high for the A's in 1982. However, the season did not go well for the A's, who never got much over .500. They had a 17–14 (.548) record after a win on May 10,[161] then cooled down. By the All-Star break in mid-July, they were 38–50 (.432), twelve games back in sixth place,[162] well out of the pennant race.[160] None of the starting pitchers would match their 1981 form, and none ever would, leading to accusations from baseball historians and statisticians that Martin abbreviated their careers by overusing them in 1981.[163] In 2006, Rob Neyer estimated that the four top starters from the 1981 team threw anywhere from 120 to 140 pitches per complete game—a heavy workload for pitchers as young as the A's rotation had been in 1981.[160] The A's finished at 68–94 (.420), fifth in the AL West, easily the worst full-season record of Martin's managerial career.
Martin basically abused his talented young starters in 1980 and 1981 and it worked great for a little while before the whole thing crashed in 1982.
From The Athletic:
“They just were not the same after they came back from the strike of 1981 and that long layoff,” said Glenn Schwarz, who was covering the A’s for the San Francisco Examiner at the time. “And then Billy is just encouraging them to just go out and throw more complete games, and they just weren’t ready for it after taking almost two months off.”
The careers of five pitchers who once held so much promise seemed to be over — or close to over. Keough suffered shoulder pain in 1981. McCatty and Norris both went on the injured list in June of 1982 with shoulder soreness. Langford dealt with elbow tenderness in September of that season.
Kingman was out of the big leagues by 1983; McCatty by 1985; Langford and Keough by 1986. Norris — after a seven-season hiatus — returned in 1990, but only for 14 games.
 

ShaneTrot

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With Snell and Montgomery still unsigned, I don’t know if MLB teams are getting smarter because these guys are basically good number two/three starters and the owners don’t want to overvalue them, or they want to stick it to Boras, or they are colluding which would not be the first time.
 
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