One of two choices: Blow it up or build it back up?

Blow it up or build it back up?

  • Blow it up -- rip that Band-Aid off and I'll have awesome cheap seats in Sept!

    Votes: 61 26.6%
  • Build it back up -- we're closer than you think, these are but flesh wounds!

    Votes: 168 73.4%

  • Total voters
    229

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
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Apr 12, 2001
22,263
I've been trying to think of a way to put this question in the proper light, because while I don't think Bloom feels this way, I sorta think that the Sox are at a point where the Sox are stuck in position where they're too good to blow the team up and aren't good enough to win a World Series*.

* Yes, I understand that just two seasons ago they were two wins away from the World Series. But I think that Sox team, while fun (and a little frustrating), caught lightning in a bottle and got hot in October at the right time. Does that diminish what that team did? No. Those three weeks in October were fun as hell, but I don't think that you can point to that team and say, "they did it once, they can do it again" with a similar roster.

The fact is Boston has a ton of holes (outfield, healthy starting pitching, bullpen and maybe shortstop) that's going to make assembling a championship caliber Major League team difficult.

True, the Red Sox have a lot of money coming off the books this offseason and can spend in the free agency market. However, this is a pretty top-heavy and a shallow free agent pool and while Aaron Judge would solve some of their problems (very good outfielder and middle of the line up bopper), it might not be prudent to spend all of the money Boston has on him. Trades are another way to improve the team, but do we have the prospects or the depth to trade for good, young ML players that will make a difference? Would Bloom even want to do that (I still can't get a proper read on him and his deal making techniques)?

So the question that I have is, would you rather just completely bottom out and trade anything that has any value (Devers, Story, etc), not sign any major free agents (ie save the money) and just keep building towards 2024 or 2025. Or is the better idea to bring back Bogaerts (or a comparable SS), pay for some arms, start spending that minor league capital now and completely overhaul the team? I really don't know, TBH. I think that if Bloom had his druthers, he'd get trade everybody and continue down that complete roster rebuild road. Keep acquiring high-ceiling minor leaguers, keep getting high draft picks and save that money for when this team turns the proverbial corner and needs one or two free agents instead of a boatload.

But realistically, that's not going to work in Boston where the ticket prices are the highest in the league, concessions are the highest in the league and for better or worse the expectation is that you must contend year after year after year.

I don't think that the hybrid model works and I think that he's going to have to choose a path sooner rather than later.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Mar 11, 2007
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I've been trying to think of a way to put this question in the proper light, because while I don't think Bloom feels this way, I sorta think that the Sox are at a point where the Sox are stuck in position where they're too good to blow the team up and aren't good enough to win a World Series*.

* Yes, I understand that just two seasons ago they were two wins away from the World Series. But I think that Sox team, while fun (and a little frustrating), caught lightning in a bottle and got hot in October at the right time. Does that diminish what that team did? No. Those three weeks in October were fun as hell, but I don't think that you can point to that team and say, "they did it once, they can do it again" with a similar roster.

The fact is Boston has a ton of holes (outfield, healthy starting pitching, bullpen and maybe shortstop) that's going to make assembling a championship caliber Major League team difficult.

True, the Red Sox have a lot of money coming off the books this offseason and can spend in the free agency market. However, this is a pretty top-heavy and a shallow free agent pool and while Aaron Judge would solve some of their problems (very good outfielder and middle of the line up bopper), it might not be prudent to spend all of the money Boston has on him. Trades are another way to improve the team, but do we have the prospects or the depth to trade for good, young ML players that will make a difference? Would Bloom even want to do that (I still can't get a proper read on him and his deal making techniques)?

So the question that I have is, would you rather just completely bottom out and trade anything that has any value (Devers, Story, etc), not sign any major free agents (ie save the money) and just keep building towards 2024 or 2025. Or is the better idea to bring back Bogaerts (or a comparable SS), pay for some arms, start spending that minor league capital now and completely overhaul the team? I really don't know, TBH. I think that if Bloom had his druthers, he'd get trade everybody and continue down that complete roster rebuild road. Keep acquiring high-ceiling minor leaguers, keep getting high draft picks and save that money for when this team turns the proverbial corner and needs one or two free agents instead of a boatload.

But realistically, that's not going to work in Boston where the ticket prices are the highest in the league, concessions are the highest in the league and for better or worse the expectation is that you must contend year after year after year.

I don't think that the hybrid model works and I think that he's going to have to choose a path sooner rather than later.
I don't know... I think the hybrid model is the ideal in every way shape and possible form. But it takes a certain depth in the minor league system that wasn't there the past 3-5 years. Perhaps the did "luck out" in '21 and got pretty close. But I think the Phillies really lucked out and got even closer this past season.
I'm actually excited about the starting pitching situation right now. It has the minor league depth to go start to finish with quality starters assuming a normal amount of injuries and time on the DL- I would even say right now it's looking like they can insure against more than a "normal amount", but obviously not an inordinate amount.
The offense needs help... but based off of RS from last season, not as much as it seemed, assuming that they just retain the status quo from last year. If they can't hold X or replace him with Correa, or similar, then I'd be preparing to burn it all down by mid-season.... but there's plenty of ways to tinker around the edges if they can retain him and get a better and more consistent offense than '22.
 

chawson

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Aug 1, 2006
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This is an interesting question. Personally, I don't think the Sox have to commit to a full "blow it up"-style rebuild. Knock on wood, but unless we have more terrible injury luck, it should be pretty doable for them to get into the postseason with the expanded playoff seeds and next year's scheduling tweaks, which reduces our looks at AL East teams in favor of other less competitive ones.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Sep 9, 2008
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Baseball season is too long for sucking. It's also the only game in town for a long summer.

Mailing in a football season? Whatever. It's a fast season with only a few games anyway. But mailing in a full baseball summer is just too much. I need to have some hope that we can beat the Yankees every year and even if a world series is unlikely, to have reasons to get excited in August.
 

The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa

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Build Back Better ®

I don't see anything that Bloom can do that would improve the club enough to be competitive in 2023, short of completely selling the farm and investing in an uneven FA crop (and even that may not be enough). I think the hybrid model works for now, buying good players like Story when the opportunity presents itself, selling parts like Vazquez that no longer fit, acquiring free assets like Hosmer, doing (or not doing) better than replacement-level Pham-like trades depending on if there is any significant cost in talent and/or dollars and/or years, extending players like Devers where there are no likely replacements in the pipeline (in this model, Xander is expendable, alas), and preparing to pay market rates on key FA talent starting in 2024. Oh, and finding someone to better evaluate pitching.
 
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sezwho

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Voted build.

A well executed off season should get us over 500 into playoff and I’m not even confident the burn it down scenario moves the needle much on the rebuild/reconstruction/paradigm shift.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Voted build.

A well executed off season should get us over 500 into playoff and I’m not even confident the burn it down scenario moves the needle much on the rebuild/reconstruction/paradigm shift.
Doing what Houston did requires a looooong time in the wilderness that I don't believe the Sox fanbase would accept, and it requires a pretty good amount of luck that shouldn't be counted on. There's really no reason the hybrid method won't work but it does require a few years like the last 4-5 that have left a lot of the fanbase punching the air and demanding heads on spikes. The Sox haven't been in a "full rebuild" mode... ever really. It's not the same game it was since the mid 90's and they just haven't. They've had a few shitty years but it's been a quick replenishing rather than what Houston did. But Astros fans are pretty fair weather based. It's all college football here- if the pro-baseball teams are doing well, that's just great... but if not, meh. Who cares. Sox fans would destroy the city and the surrounding suburbs if Henry and Bloom put them through the same.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Baseball season is too long for sucking. It's also the only game in town for a long summer.

Mailing in a football season? Whatever. It's a fast season with only a few games anyway. But mailing in a full baseball summer is just too much. I need to have some hope that we can beat the Yankees every year and even if a world series is unlikely, to have reasons to get excited in August.
Yes, this. I'd add that the prices that the Sox charge for everything also rule out a Houston style tear down.

The obsession with "Win the championship and nothing matters" thinking is so destructive. Even if you make the playoffs now, there's still basically a single digit percentage chance that you win the World Series. I'd rather see 90+ wins most years, have memorable baseball most Septembers and maybe occasionally strike lightning in a bottle, than stink for five years to increase the odds of winning in the post season to low double digits for some window of time.

Sports is entertainment. You can still be entertained without winning a championship. I'm a NY Giants fan. This year has arguably been destructive to their odds of winning a Super Bowl because they're not going to be able to draft a franchise QB now, but I'm still enjoying a rare winning season from these guys.
 
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Petagine in a Bottle

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They have money and prospects, should be able to build a competitive team for next year even if it’s not likely to be championship caliber. Competitive baseball is fun, so I will go with that.
 

Brianish

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I voted "Build," but I think the X factor is how strong the in-division competition is right now. We were almost a .500 team and in a fairly decisive last place this season. Two of the three AL wild cards came from the East. We're not that far out in the abstract, but your answer to this question has to hinge on how real you think the Jays/Rays/Orioles trifecta is.
 

nvalvo

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Build. We're on the upswing. I don't know that I think the 2023 Sox are title contenders with any probable offseason, but with steady management and a little development luck, the 2024 or 2025 teams very well could be. The farm is more interesting than it's been in years.
 

Yaz4Ever

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Blow it up. I really don't see parts to build around for the next year or two to remain competitive without overpaying in trades. This year's FA market is unspectacular outside of Judge (who I would not want to sign for the 7+ years it'll take, let alone the AAV of $37-40M), Correa (who is going to want too long a commitment to justify with Mayer only 2-3 years away), and Turner. If we can't lock down Xander and Devers soon (like by Christmas), move on. Trade Devers for an eye-popping package of prospects and cost-controlled youngsters, walk away from trying to sign Eovaldi or Wacha (both of whom I'd love back if we extend X and Raffy soon), etc. Run out a team that gets us below the tax threshold for a couple of years, lower ticket prices (lol, I'm obviously kidding about that), and keep an eye toward the future.

Then again, I haven't eaten today and I'm on my second Dragon's Milk, so what do I know?

Plan A is, obviously, to extend X and Raffy and build around them. I don't see Plan A happening, so I'm resigning myself to a mediocre Plan B.
 

Traut

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I'm 42 and the life expectancy charts don't lie - I've seen more seasons than I'm likely to see. I would really like to minimize the amount of time spent watching terrible teams. If I wanted to root for a terrible team, I would become an Orioles fan. I root for the Boston Red Sox. The Boston Red Sox should be one of the best teams each and every year. I don't want to see Mookie a Dodger. I don't care about John Henry's money. Go out and get Judge, Ohtani, Verlander, and DeGrom and let's go.
 

CoolPapaBellhorn

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I don't think that the hybrid model works and I think that he's going to have to choose a path sooner rather than later.
This is it for me. Ownership is asking Bloom to rebuild with one hand tied behind his back, which leads to flawed moves in the face of unrealistic expectations (see the 2022 and 2014 trade deadlines). Sometimes this is the right play, but the business model is never to admit defeat and always paint the rosiest possible picture for your customers, which is bound to have some expensive disappointments. Plus, as a customer, it's insulting.

That said, the time for the full rebuild was three years ago. The division will be a gauntlet, but everyone makes the playoffs now and the young talent is finally on its way, so the play is to go for it.
 

Yaz4Ever

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I'm 42 and the life expectancy charts don't lie - I've seen more seasons than I'm likely to see. I would really like to minimize the amount of time spent watching terrible teams. If I wanted to root for a terrible team, I would become an Orioles fan. I root for the Boston Red Sox. The Boston Red Sox should be one of the best teams each and every year. I don't want to see Mookie a Dodger. I don't care about John Henry's money. Go out and get Judge, Ohtani, Verlander, and DeGrom and let's go.
Sadly, they're better than us now and have a superior farm system.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
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This is it for me. Ownership is asking Bloom to rebuild with one hand tied behind his back, which leads to flawed moves in the face of unrealistic expectations (see the 2022 and 2014 trade deadlines). Sometimes this is the right play, but the business model is never to admit defeat and always paint the rosiest possible picture for your customers, which is bound to have some expensive disappointments. Plus, as a customer, it's insulting.

That said, the time for the full rebuild was three years ago. The division will be a gauntlet, but everyone makes the playoffs now and the young talent is finally on its way, so the play is to go for it.
I'm in the same boat here. I think that Ownership gave Bloom a very difficult task: make our farm system better, trade the best player we've developed in a generation and make sure the big league team continues to win. I think that requests one and three are diametrically opposed to one another. You can do the first request either one of two ways: through the draft (which would mean not surrendering picks to sign good free agents to bolster your MLB team) or trade ML assets for good minor league talent, which means you a. definitely have to hit on those transactions (see request two) and b. lessen your talent at the ML level.

It seems to me that Bloom is trying to do both which is why you get bipolar deadlines like the one that just passed by and dumpster diving (I know, Story was not a dumpster dive, I get it).

I am usually on team Go For It because watching bad baseball for a season, let alone two or three, just sucks. It's so depressing--and it doesn't always work (see, Pirates, Pittsburgh). But if the FO brought Bloom in here to completely reshape the franchise and they believe in him and his plan, maybe they ought to let him do it; critics (like me) be damned. Because like some posters have pointed out, our division now has three really good and one potentially really good team. The Sox are a legit fifth out of five and it doesn't look like that's going to change any time soon. Maybe our team will resurface when the boom-bust Rays and Jays crap out?
 

Daniel_Son

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I'm struggling to think of what would signify "tearing it down." Devers is really the only guy who's young/good enough to net elite talent in a trade, and he's a year away from free agency so even those returns would be minimal.

I think, for better or worse, we keep building on Bloom's foundation and see where we are next year.
 

Shaky Walton

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My fear is that anything Chaim does will amount to a blow up. But I think he sucks badly at his job.

I also think it's kind of a false binary. They don't have to tear all down to achieve the objective of getting a lot better. We have seen lots of teams turn their fortunes around relatively quickly and I do think that the Sox have enough ingredients to be one of them without lighting a fire to the operation.

If only the guy running the show had the wherewithal to do this. But I digress.
 

Sausage in Section 17

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I'm struggling to think of what would signify "tearing it down." Devers is really the only guy who's young/good enough to net elite talent in a trade, and he's a year away from free agency so even those returns would be minimal.

I think, for better or worse, we keep building on Bloom's foundation and see where we are next year.
It might be they inadvertently "tear it down" if they sign both Xander and Raffy to market level contracts, but most people would consider that rebuilding.
 

scottyno

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Dec 7, 2008
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Saying they aren't good enough to win a world series is a bit odd when we just saw an 87 win team nearly win it all. You don't have to be a great team to win a ring.
 

JM3

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I love a good tear down as much as the next guy...but I really don't see a point here.

If you're sure you can't resign Devers for a contract you are willing to pay? I'd see if there's a good enough offer out there to make it worthwhile to pull the trigger, but otherwise staying the course seems appropriate.
 

buttons

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Jul 18, 2005
14
2 wins from a World Series spot in 2021 and people are
taliking about “blowing it up “
did not we go from last to first in one year recently?
I want to start EVERY season thinking we are in the hunt.
 

The Gray Eagle

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With the amount of money we have coming off the books, it'd be quite possible to to do a 2012-type of mid-level free agent binge this offseason that could really improve the team for next year without locking us into a lot of long term contracts, costing any QO compensation, or trading any prospects.

Here is a hypothetical plan, with the contracts estimated by MLB Trade Rumors:
https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2022/11/mlb-trade-rumors-top-50-free-agents-predictions-2022-23.html
(it won't be thee exact names or contracts, obviously; switch some around to similar players you like better):

Extend Xander: 7/190 (27m AAV)
Re-sign Eovaldi: 2/34 (17m AAV)
Sign Senga 5/75 (15m AAV)
Sign starting OF bat: Conforto, 1/15 (15m AAV) or Haniger, 3/39 (13m AAV)
Sign Drury 2/18 (9m AAV)
Sign 2 RPs:
Taylor Rogers LHP: 3/30 (10m AAV)
Chris Martin RHP: 2/14 (7m AAV)

Total AAV added: around 100m.

Rotation (listing 6 starters because injuries):
Sale
Eovaldi
Senga
Pivetta
Bello
Paxton

Bullpen:
Houck, Rogers, Whitlock, Schreiber, Martin, Barnes, Crawford

AAA pitching depth:
German, Mata, Kelly, Winckowski, Seabold, Walter, Murphy, etc.

Lineup:
Kike, CF
Xander, SS
Devers, 3B
Story, 2B
Casas, 1B
Drury, DH
Conforto, RF
Verdugo, LF
McGuire, C

Bench: Wong, Arroyo, Refsnyder, Dalbec or Hosmer

AAA position depth:
Dalbec, Duran, Valdez, Franchy, Rafaela, R. Hernandez

To me that looks like a playoff team that could possibly do damage in the postseason.
 

moondog80

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It's a dimmer switch, not a toggle. I expect this offseason to be like the last, with the dial turned maybe a bit more toward "win now". They will spend to the tax but go fairly heavy on short term deals.
 

8slim

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The Sox had a run where they were a perennial playoff contender from 1998 to 2011. Thirteen years where the roster was turned over over several times. It's entirely feasible to tweak and improve over the course of years. We've seen that approach work here repeatedly. I don't believe in baseball "tear downs" for big market teams. It's unnecessary.
 

Yaz4Ever

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2 wins from a World Series spot in 2021 and people are
taliking about “blowing it up “
did not we go from last to first in one year recently?
I want to start EVERY season thinking we are in the hunt.
I fully understand what you're saying. That said, many of us lived through very lean years and have seen multiple championships recently, so it softens the blow and makes it easier (for me, at least) to blow it up for a couple of years and add to the kids we have in the farm system that look very promising so we can have a run of 5-10 years of serious competitiveness. I've seen people discussing trading Mayer et al to go for it now. Pre-2004, I'd understand that (and I remember far too many Blake Swihart can't miss guys who missed), but I'm older and less anxious now.
 

mikcou

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Saying they aren't good enough to win a world series is a bit odd when we just saw an 87 win team nearly win it all. You don't have to be a great team to win a ring.
There is the whole thing that they were pretty far away from 87 wins last year and are unlikely to have one of their top two players from last season.

Blowing it up as a big market team in baseball is idiotic, but they have a ton of work to put together a roster that has a chance at the playoffs.
 

scottyno

late Bloomer
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There is the whole thing that they were pretty far away from 87 wins last year and are unlikely to have one of their top two players from last season.

Blowing it up as a big market team in baseball is idiotic, but they have a ton of work to put together a roster that has a chance at the playoffs.
They really weren't though. They won 78 games despite an insane number of injuries, preseason the roster they had was projected to be right around 87. They could make a ton of moves that everyone loves, and then if half the team including nearly the entire pitching staff gets injured at once again those moves won't get them to 87 wins.
 

mikcou

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They really weren't though. They won 78 games despite an insane number of injuries, preseason the roster they had was projected to be right around 87. They could make a ton of moves that everyone loves, and then if half the team including nearly the entire pitching staff gets injured at once again those moves won't get them to 87 wins.
Projections arent always accurate. Injuries happen to all teams (Harper only played in 100 games) - expecting perfect health is silly especially when the injuries are to guys coming off TJS in their mid 30s. Wacha (127 - consistent with most of his career) and Hill (124 - 5th most of his career at 42) both threw as much (or more in the case of HIll) innings than anyone should reasonably have expected them to. Eovaldi generally gets hurt at some point during the year - hes thrown over 150 innings three times since he became an established MLB starter close to a decade ago.

If they count on Sale and Paxton to combine for 200 innings, theyll likely be sub 80 wins again. That profile just doesnt project well. If they bring back Eovaldi and dont do much else, theyll be bad. The roster just doesnt have much talent - theres nothing in the outfield right now, only two guys who are clearly above average hitters (and that might be generous for Story who has been barely above average since the beginning of 2021) and a bunch of injury questions, mediocrity, and talented (at least in the case of Bello), but unproven youth in the rotation. All the other teams in the East have more talent than that and that roster probably projects as a 75ish win team. They can improve, but there's a lot of work to be done.
 

j-man

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u can win big next year

Balt is a 500 team at best
the yanks are overrated 88-92 win team
the rays will not spend 90-94 wins
the jays need a bullpen 87-91 wins

let assume the red sox are a 500 team right now
how can they get from 81-94 wins it's easy bullpen bullpen bullpen
 

8slim

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I fully understand what you're saying. That said, many of us lived through very lean years and have seen multiple championships recently, so it softens the blow and makes it easier (for me, at least) to blow it up for a couple of years and add to the kids we have in the farm system that look very promising so we can have a run of 5-10 years of serious competitiveness. I've seen people discussing trading Mayer et al to go for it now. Pre-2004, I'd understand that (and I remember far too many Blake Swihart can't miss guys who missed), but I'm older and less anxious now.
By lean years are you referring to pre-1967? Because honestly since then there really hasn’t been a particularly long stretch of lean years. That is, if we’re talking about years where the team wasn’t a plausible playoff contender.

Off the top of my head, I’d say that covers 1980-85, 1991-94, 2012, 2014-15, 2020. Really only a couple of significant stretches and a few singular lousy years.
 

scottyno

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Projections arent always accurate. Injuries happen to all teams (Harper only played in 100 games) - expecting perfect health is silly especially when the injuries are to guys coming off TJS in their mid 30s. Wacha (127 - consistent with most of his career) and Hill (124 - 5th most of his career at 42) both threw as much (or more in the case of HIll) innings than anyone should reasonably have expected them to. Eovaldi generally gets hurt at some point during the year - hes thrown over 150 innings three times since he became an established MLB starter close to a decade ago.

If they count on Sale and Paxton to combine for 200 innings, theyll likely be sub 80 wins again. That profile just doesnt project well. If they bring back Eovaldi and dont do much else, theyll be bad. The roster just doesnt have much talent - theres nothing in the outfield right now, only two guys who are clearly above average hitters (and that might be generous for Story who has been barely above average since the beginning of 2021) and a bunch of injury questions, mediocrity, and talented (at least in the case of Bello), but unproven youth in the rotation. All the other teams in the East have more talent than that and that roster probably projects as a 75ish win team. They can improve, but there's a lot of work to be done.
Great, not sure who was expecting perfect health, just not an entire rotation going down at once along with several very important position players. The fact that they won 78 with all those injuries shows that the projections were pretty close actually.

And if they add Eovaldi and don't do much else then their payroll will be far far below what it was last season, I think it's safe to say that isn't a realistic roster, so not sure the point in projecting a roster that won't exist.
 

moondog80

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By lean years are you referring to pre-1967? Because honestly since then there really hasn’t been a particularly long stretch of lean years. That is, if we’re talking about years where the team wasn’t a plausible playoff contender.

Off the top of my head, I’d say that covers 1980-85, 1991-94, 2012, 2014-15, 2020. Really only a couple of significant stretches and a few singular lousy years.
Even in those recent years you mention, the end results were not good, but I don’t think they went into the season with a roster unfit to contend. I’d say the last time that happened was the early 90s.
 

BaseballJones

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Of course RIGHT NOW they're not good enough to win the World Series. But they have tons of money and financial flexibility, and a bunch of young studs making their way to the majors.

It wouldn't take TOO much for them to become a playoff team again, and then, as we saw with Philly, all you gotta do is get into the tournament and (almost) anything can happen.

So yeah, you don't blow it up. You keep doing what they're doing - build a monster farm system to give you cheap, excellent talent on a regular basis, and then spend on big-time players as you are able.
 

AlNipper49

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This is more fun when you vote in binary terms rather than hedging your bets.

Blow it up.

Devers is a great player but has never finished in the top ten of MVP voting. X will be on a clear downswing by the time the improved farm is in harvest season. You could make a case that Sale and Eovoldi (resigning in a hypothetical build) are the highest ceiling pitchers. I’m a 48 year old piece of shit and I may have a healthier arm than either of them do.

There are certainly the pieces there for a build versus blow it up but if I, in theory, had only two buttons to push - without being able to dictate the future - I’m blowing it up.

if you blow it up you are getting atleast one too 30 prospect for Devers from someone. If Sale comes back and pitches like Sale of old (I know, I know) he’s getting a top 30 at the deadline. Verdugo will get you two very high upside lottery tickets (Lugo types).
 

Yaz4Ever

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By lean years are you referring to pre-1967? Because honestly since then there really hasn’t been a particularly long stretch of lean years. That is, if we’re talking about years where the team wasn’t a plausible playoff contender.

Off the top of my head, I’d say that covers 1980-85, 1991-94, 2012, 2014-15, 2020. Really only a couple of significant stretches and a few singular lousy years.
I’d add 1979, as well, but that’s still a lot of not winning. 78 broke my heart, as did 86. 75 was a great team and one of the best World Series of all time. We should’ve won that one as well.

“Lean” may have been pushing it a bit, but there were several years in which a less-committed fan might have just walked away. I also view the team through the lens of my Dad, who was born in 1938. I’m ecstatic he saw them win, but I think I may have conflated some of my years with some of the years we discussed in depth that were before my time.
 

mikcou

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May 13, 2007
635
Boston
Great, not sure who was expecting perfect health, just not an entire rotation going down at once along with several very important position players. The fact that they won 78 with all those injuries shows that the projections were pretty close actually.

And if they add Eovaldi and don't do much else then their payroll will be far far below what it was last season, I think it's safe to say that isn't a realistic roster, so not sure the point in projecting a roster that won't exist.
If thats the message you took from that post, I guess we dont have much to discuss. The point is when you collect a bunch of injury prone pitchers, they get hurt - portraying 2022 as some ridiculously unlucky event is a complete mischaracterization of what occurred. Wacha and Hill produced more than should be expected; Eovaldi and Paxton a bit below. Sale is the only guy you can really look at in the rotation and think that there was some massive gap. If you were to say a more reasonably health would get them to 80 wins or, that would be a reasonable position. High 80s wins is incredibly difficult to see absent incredible health.

I'm sure they'll sign some other guys, but I dont think its any thing close to a given that they spend to the threshold or even close to the threshold. Sure if they resign Xander, sign Nimmo, resign Eovaldi, and bring in another good starter, they'd be a good team, but that comes back to exactly the point - thats a ton of work in an offseason and would be a lot of long term deals to hand out by a FO that seems very hesitant to do so.

Its funny to see this come back 10 years later, but "payroll flexibility" and "cap space" is great and all, but there actually need to be targets worth using the money on - this FA class is pretty poor outside of Judge and the shortstops - its a good thing to remember when everyone is trying to draw lines on Devers.
 

chawson

Member
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Aug 1, 2006
3,257
The time to blow it up was July 2021, when Xander could still be traded. (Not that I think they should’ve.)

Since they decided not to do that, and there have been no catastrophic developmental setbacks to spoil whatever long-term plan they had 16 months ago, it would be absurd to deviate from that plan now.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
64,751
Few jobs I would want less than being the public face of decision making for one of the AL East teams these days, reading about the Orioles pipeline is frightening.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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Nov 24, 2007
762
Pittsboro NC
Sadly, they're better than us now and have a superior farm system.
OK, to begin, I acknowledge that being better than the Orioles isn't exactly shooting for the moon. That's not really what this post is about anyway. It's just that the bolded words stuck in my craw, and I think we can look at the Orioles of 2022 as an example.

In the chart below (if it makes it through to the post), we're looking at the Orioles top WAR performers for 2022 and what those players's and pitchers' WAR projections were before the season (all from FanGraphs). As you can see, several of their top WAR hitters had unexpectedly good seasons -- Mateo, Urias, Santander. Rutschman was also 2.0 WAR better than expected. Henderson and McKenna produced slightly more than expected,. but both in about one-third the PAs as projected; if their WAR rates per PA held up in the projected number of PAs, Henderson would have had 2.8 and McKenna 2.0. Among the pitchers, they got 8.8 WAR from seven pitchers that were expected to produce a total of -1.0 (Kremer, Lyles, Bautista, Baker, Perez, Tyler Wells, and Watkins).

BAL Player
Projected WAR
Projected PA
Actual WAR
Actual PA
Rutschman
3.3​
556​
5.3​
470​
Mullins
3.6​
658​
3.4​
672​
Mancini
1.7​
626​
1.3​
401​
Mateo
0.3​
435​
2.8​
533​
Urias
1.0​
407​
2.6​
445​
Santander
1.1​
530​
2.5​
647​
Mountcastle
1.3​
585​
1.6​
609​
Hayes
1.3​
524​
1.5​
582​
McKenna
0.5​
440​
0.8​
172​
Henderson
0.5​
468​
0.8​
132​
Odor
0.8​
456​
0.4​
472​
BAL Pitcher
Projected WAR
Projected IP
Actual WAR
Actual IP
Kremer
0.1​
112​
1.8​
125​
Lyles
0.0​
150​
1.4​
179​
Bautista
-0.5​
37​
1.4​
66​
Baker
-0.2​
42​
1.4​
70​
Voth
Trade​
Trade​
1.0​
83​
Perez
0.2​
60​
1.0​
57​
Wells, Tyler
0.2​
60​
0.9​
104​
Watkins
-0.8​
97​
0.9​
105​
Lopez
0.6​
115​
0.9​
48​
Bradish
0.9​
102​
0.7​
118​
Means
2.3​
147​
0.3​
8​
Rodriguez, Grayson
1.2​
98​
AAA​
AAA​


The point is, I don't really buy the bolded comment, that the Orioles are better than us now. They had a better season in 2022, yes. But are they really better?

And the larger point, which relates to the poll question, is that team performance fluctuates all the time. As fans of the Red Sox we should know that by now. Last in the division in 2012, World Series champs in 2013, then last in the division again in 2014. World Series champs in 2018, middle of the pack 2019, abysmal 2020, two wins short of AL champs in 2021, last in the division in 2022. Cycles, waves, whatever you want to call it. Some teams overperform (Orioles 2022), some teams underperform, some teams manage to survive injuries, some teams succumb to injuries. Shit happens. Go get 'em next year.

So I voted for Build it up. 2023 will be a better year.
 

GB5

lurker
Aug 26, 2013
438
Can you really blow it up here. Say you offload Devers/X, and maybe pay down part of Sale to get rid of him.
You are going to be left with some version of

C: Maguire/Wong(near minimum salary
1B: Casas/Dalbec(near minimum salary)
2B/SS: Story(20 Mill) other say 5-10 mill)
3B: minimum salary
OF: Dugo/Kike/??/Refsnyder/Duran

P: Bello, Houck, Whitlock, 1/2 Sale salary, Paxton, maybe Hill, Barnes, assorted bullpen pieces.

Do we really think the Sox are going to float a payroll out there around 100 mill, with the highest ticket prices, cost of game in the league.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
64,751
The point is, I don't really buy the bolded comment, that the Orioles are better than us now. They had a better season in 2022, yes. But are they really better?
That was their window opening early, they are only going to get better. Gunnar Henderson barely played, Rutschman already might be the best player in the division with Judge as a FA, they have four 55 or higher prospects (Fangraphs rating) which is more than any other team in MLB:

Gunnar Henderson: #1 overall
Grayson Rodriguez: #7 overall
Jackson Holliday: #17 overall (not close though)
DL Hall: #30 overall

And they have basically no payroll commitments and have said they will start spending this winter.
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

Member
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Jun 12, 2019
75
There is the whole thing that they were pretty far away from 87 wins last year and are unlikely to have one of their top two players from last season.

Blowing it up as a big market team in baseball is idiotic, but they have a ton of work to put together a roster that has a chance at the playoffs.
But they weren't far from 87 wins at all.
A) The Sox had a ridiculous amount of injuries
B) The Phillies "resurgence" had nothing to do with playing better or a manager change or DD making moves and everything to do with a favorable schedule. From June 13 on they played the Nationals and Marlins 35 times and went 28-7 in those games.
If the Sox were racking up 35 games against two teams that combined for 200 losses and had even a modicum of luck health wise, chances are good they would have won nine more games, yes?
 

scottyno

late Bloomer
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
10,377
If thats the message you took from that post, I guess we dont have much to discuss. The point is when you collect a bunch of injury prone pitchers, they get hurt - portraying 2022 as some ridiculously unlucky event is a complete mischaracterization of what occurred. Wacha and Hill produced more than should be expected; Eovaldi and Paxton a bit below. Sale is the only guy you can really look at in the rotation and think that there was some massive gap. If you were to say a more reasonably health would get them to 80 wins or, that would be a reasonable position. High 80s wins is incredibly difficult to see absent incredible health.
The expectations for Eovaldi and Paxton combined would have been 30-40 starts and they got 20, not sure how that's only a bit below. Combine that with getting nearly nothing from Sale when in the off-season expectations were 25-30 starts, and then after his return mid-season expectations would have been 10-15 starts and that goes a long way to getting them to 87 wins.

And that's ignoring that the biggest problem wasn't that they got hurt, it was that they all got hurt at the same time. The rotation was one of the best in baseball for 3 months even without Sale or Paxton, they could have dealt with 1 injury at a time, they couldn't deal with 4.
 
Last edited:

Red(s)HawksFan

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Jan 23, 2009
17,570
Maine
The time to blow it up was July 2021, when Xander could still be traded. (Not that I think they should’ve.)

Since they decided not to do that, and there have been no catastrophic developmental setbacks to spoil whatever long-term plan they had 16 months ago, it would be absurd to deviate from that plan now.
The time to truly blow it up and start from scratch was actually the '19-'20 off-season IMO. I mean, why stop at Betts and Price? Trade Bogaerts and Devers and Martinez and Eovaldi and Vazquez and Benintendi and Barnes and ERod right then too. Probably the only vet that was unmovable at that moment was Sale. Dump them all, Marlins-style, and really start over.

But they didn't, and at this point the hardest part is arguably over. They've cleared a bunch of money off the books and the farm is starting to produce viable players again. Is there an obvious path to make the 2023 Red Sox a 2018-esque juggernaut? Probably not. But things didn't exactly look rosy in November 2012 and the season that followed worked out fairly well. Similar things could be said about November 2020 and the season that followed. Stay the course seems to me to be the only reasonable option.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Mar 11, 2007
4,624
I keep reading complaints about Bloom collecting “injury prone pitchers”. So he was handed two of those that collectively took up $45M of payroll.
Who were two affordable, good and not injury prone pitchers he could have signed that would not destroy the budget? Who???
There’s only one guy- good (not close to great), affordable and not injury prone- that luckily Bloom had on the roster…. And half this board wants to trade him.

Edit- guys that had surprising non- injury seasons don’t count. Rodon is, in fact…. Injury prone. More if not as as Eovaldi since 2015
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
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Jan 23, 2009
17,570
Maine
I keep reading complaints about Bloom collecting “injury prone pitchers”. So he was handed two of those that collectively took up $45M of payroll.
Who were two affordable, good and not injury prone pitchers he could have signed that would not destroy the budget? Who???
There’s only one guy- good (not close to great), affordable and not injury prone- that luckily Bloom had on the roster…. And half this board wants to trade him.

Edit- guys that had surprising non- injury seasons don’t count. Rodon is, in fact…. Injury prone. More if not as as Eovaldi since 2015
I did a bit of research a couple months ago about free agent starting pitchers that were signed last winter, and I found that nearly all of them spent some time on the IL this season. Some were down just a couple weeks with minor things, some were out for significant portions of the season, but they all missed time somewhere along the way (Sox signees obviously included). There is no such thing as a "not injury prone" pitcher, at least in the sense that you can get a guy who is a lock to make every scheduled start and throw 180+ innings. Doesn't matter if you pay top dollar for a Scherzer (missed ~6 weeks) or sign cost-efficient fliers like Hill and Wacha.