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

lexrageorge

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Blowing it up would reset the clock another 5 years or so. Teams that have blown it up have taken even longer to get back into contention; sometimes draft picks get hurt or flame out. Seems highly unlikely that John Henry is going to want to wait 5 years on this team.

Take the hybrid approach and build upon the base they have is the best approach.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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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.
Thanks for doing the work I’m too lazy to do. Reading this though- I’m interested in who the posters want and/or wanted Bloom to bring on board. $45m combined for two injured starters already doesn’t allow much flexibility for adding a Scherzer…. Or really even a Rodon. And while the latter wasn’t injured in ‘22- he has a history of it AND cost significantly more than Wacha.
I think it’s an entitled and frankly, a silly demand. The only way to deal with that is to either have a deep farm system with high quality guys at the AAA level- Bello is there, Crawford, Mata is borderline on quality or readiness- but ‘22 was to early. So the alternative is to find bargains that have concerns- injury or ineffectiveness- that you think/hope can be worked around.
 

Super Nomario

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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.
My problem with the bottoming out idea is ... how are you going to build towards 2024 or 2025 trading two of your best players? Devers is going to be 27 in the 2024 season, Story is signed through 2027; what are you going to get in return that's going to accelerate that process? Aren't you better off keeping good players and building around them?

Tanking has some merit in the NBA where the right #1 overall pick can immediately change the course of your franchise. That's not true by any means in baseball, and even high level prospects closer to the majors have uncertain futures.

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?
To be clear, I wouldn't mess with Casas, Bello, Mayer, and probably not even some of the next tier guys like Rafaela and Bleis. But there's no reason they can't trade some of the C level prospects for guys that can help and spend some money, both to fix short term holes and to add long term pieces (like Story) they can build around.

One advantage the Red Sox have is that the stuff they sucked at this year, they sucked hard. It's difficult (and expensive) to go from average to good. But improving on what they got out of the bullpen, 1B, OF, and the back end of the rotation, is a short hurdle to clear. They have some holes this year they didn't have last year (DH, C, SS) to address too, so it might take more than one offseason to fix everything, but it's not like they're loaded with expensive mediocrities they can't upgrade. They don't need superstars, just competence.

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.
What you call "the hybrid model," I see as the job of GM. It's easy to say "we're going to sell off everything that's not screwed down" for prospects that hypothetical provide some return in some nebulous future. It's hard to decide which pieces to sell off, which to keep, which big contracts are worth signing and which aren't, who are the trade targets we may not even be aware of, which prospects are future stars to build around and which are trade chips. But that's the job.
 

8slim

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What you call "the hybrid model," I see as the job of GM. It's easy to say "we're going to sell off everything that's not screwed down" for prospects that hypothetical provide some return in some nebulous future. It's hard to decide which pieces to sell off, which to keep, which big contracts are worth signing and which aren't, who are the trade targets we may not even be aware of, which prospects are future stars to build around and which are trade chips. But that's the job.
Agree 100%. The Sox haven't "tanked" or "blown it up" in my baseball-following lifetime, which goes back to the early 80s. In that span they've won 4 World Series titles, been in 9 ALCS, and made the playoffs 14 times. I stridently disagree that there's some mystical "one true way" to build a consistently competitive club, because the Sox have really only had one stretch since the mid-80s where they weren't a plausible playoff contender. Pittsburgh is welcome to "blow it up", we don't need to do that in Boston.
 

8slim

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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.
I was too young to follow the team in '79, I just saw that they won 91 games, which I took as being plausibly in playoff contention. I didn't experience it so I could certainly be wrong.

The Sox haven't gone more than 3 years without a playoff appearance since 1986 (it likely would have happened in '94 but we know how that season ended). Hence why I think the notion of intentionally bottoming out and launching a multi-year rebuilding process makes no sense whatsoever. They've never had to take this approach before, so I don't understand why now would be the time to do so.
 

Toe Nash

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The issue is that bottoming out isn't really guaranteed to help you that much. Teams like the Orioles did it but the big thing they got out of that are multiple top draft picks and flexibility to roll through a bunch of different castoffs and prospects. That's not guaranteed to work especially when you have multiple other teams trying to do the same thing (or who just suck).

The big thing is you have to hit on your draft picks and international amateur signings. If you do that you can rebuild on the fly. You can find stars anywhere in the draft, not just at the top.

If you haven't done that, you can trade veterans for prospects but it's hard to get great value there. Teams are valuing their own prospects and they're better at evaluating them than they used to be, so a Heathcliff Slocumb for Varitek and Lowe deal is tough to find. We know about the free agent market. it is what it is.

So you may as well keep trying to compete and just make sure you know what you're doing with amateur scouting. If you could trade for draft picks it might be a different calculus but you can't yet.
 

Ganthem

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Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't the Cubs and Astros have a few trade chips to help them get started on a rebuild? Other then one year of Devers I am not sure if the Sox have anything to trade that can help them get a jump start on a full tear down. I also am bullish on the Sox next year. I like how there rotation is shaking out.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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My problem with the bottoming out idea is ... how are you going to build towards 2024 or 2025 trading two of your best players? Devers is going to be 27 in the 2024 season, Story is signed through 2027; what are you going to get in return that's going to accelerate that process? Aren't you better off keeping good players and building around them?

Tanking has some merit in the NBA where the right #1 overall pick can immediately change the course of your franchise. That's not true by any means in baseball, and even high level prospects closer to the majors have uncertain futures.


To be clear, I wouldn't mess with Casas, Bello, Mayer, and probably not even some of the next tier guys like Rafaela and Bleis. But there's no reason they can't trade some of the C level prospects for guys that can help and spend some money, both to fix short term holes and to add long term pieces (like Story) they can build around.

One advantage the Red Sox have is that the stuff they sucked at this year, they sucked hard. It's difficult (and expensive) to go from average to good. But improving on what they got out of the bullpen, 1B, OF, and the back end of the rotation, is a short hurdle to clear. They have some holes this year they didn't have last year (DH, C, SS) to address too, so it might take more than one offseason to fix everything, but it's not like they're loaded with expensive mediocrities they can't upgrade. They don't need superstars, just competence.



What you call "the hybrid model," I see as the job of GM. It's easy to say "we're going to sell off everything that's not screwed down" for prospects that hypothetical provide some return in some nebulous future. It's hard to decide which pieces to sell off, which to keep, which big contracts are worth signing and which aren't, who are the trade targets we may not even be aware of, which prospects are future stars to build around and which are trade chips. But that's the job.
I think whether you blow this team up now or keep adding to it is dependent on a couple of things, the first two being: how much better will the Sox be next year against its division and where they sit in the division hierarchy.

I think we can all agree that the Sox aren’t going to have the same record against the AL East next year. For one thing, there won’t be as many games against their rivals and for another, they simply can’t be that bad against these teams. But how much better?

As far as the division itself, on November 15, the Red Sox are clearly the fifth best team in the league. They aren’t the worst team in the AL and if they were in the Central it would be a different discussion, but they’re not. It sucks to say but they are clearly the fifth best team and they have a lot of holes. As everyone has said, this off-season is really important because they have a chance to fix these holes. That’s a known.

That belies the next question: are there too many holes on this team to see any real improvement? Because yes, the Red Sox will get better. But so won’t the Jays, Rays, Yanks and the Os—and they have less problems to fix.

So the Sox are already starting this off-season behind the eight ball. Assuming that they bring Bogaerts back (and this isn’t a slam dunk, there are four star shortstops on the market. The previous teams who’ve employed these shortstops will need new ones and the Phillies also need a SS. That means someone is going into Spring Training unhappy.) add to this problem is that the Red Sox also have to address their outfield, bullpen and starters.

There are some folks on this board who are happy with the starters (especially if they bring Eovaldi back). I’m not one of those. I’m intrigued by the staff’s potential but I’m not willing to bet the farm that a majority don’t end up on IL by July. This is a very high risk/reward staff. I expect Bloom to add to it (other than Eovaldi) but I’m not sure whom.

The bullpen is a hard thing to create. Even Theo had a tough time doing it. I expect Bloom to sign a crapload of guys and see what sticks. Again, high risk/high reward. Also their best reliever of the last two seasons (Whitlock) is going to start. So that’s subtraction by subtraction in terms of the bullpen.

In terms of the offense, the outfield was pretty terrible last year, especially in the power department so they have to find a player or two to remake the OF (and Refsnyder is not that dude.) Not only that but they also have to find a DH to also supply the lineup with more power.

If Bogaerts comes back, the infield should be fine (though assuming Casas is just going to rake from game one might be overly optimistic but I think that Hosmer is a decent Plan B — he’s better than Travis Shaw). Catching is okay, I’m not worried about that as much.

This is a lot to do in three months. And it’s going to take money (which they have) and resources (ditto) to turn a sub 500 team into a plus 500 team. The final question is: is it worth it? Is it worth the money and prospects that you need to spend in order to be pretty good? I expect them to be better in 2023 than they were in 2022. But at the same time I think that they have too many holes to be great or even really good. (And yes, a 2013 season could happen, but are you willing to bet the mortgage that it will? I’m not.)

I’m the last person who’d say the Sox need to punt because the Boston RedSox should never even think about it. Ever. But, I think that this roster is such a mess and I don’t see an easy way out of it that it’s probably the only answer right now. Punt, save your resources and regroup in 2024.

But do I trust the guy/FO who got us into this mess to get us out? No, not really. But it doesn’t matter, it’s what we have right now.
 
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AlNipper49

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I like JMOH’s premise of asking this in binary terms because it’s way more fun answering in theoreticals.

My simple answer is that blowing it up looks different than it did even five years ago. The Sox can exercise some financial powers without the previous(somewhat?) severe penalties.

We have a decent pipeline in the works. Very strong consensus we are better off now than we were three years ago.

Blowing it up to me means not trading away a pile of prospects and by avoiding long term contracts. Even the best GMs are hit or miss on long term contracts and they can cripple the org for years.

- Don’t trade away a big batch of young players when what they bring back will likely not bridge the gap that exists between the Sox and Astros in 2024
- Don’t commit to long term contracts that will inhabit financial flexibility when the outlook is a bit better.
- Massively overlay for superstars who are willing to take shorter term contracts.

Example: I’d sign Verlander to a 2/$85m contract without batting an eyelash. I’d bat an eyelash to signing Rodon for more than four years.
 

jmcc5400

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I was too young to follow the team in '79, I just saw that they won 91 games, which I took as being plausibly in playoff contention. I didn't experience it so I could certainly be wrong.

The Sox haven't gone more than 3 years without a playoff appearance since 1986 (it likely would have happened in '94 but we know how that season ended). Hence why I think the notion of intentionally bottoming out and launching a multi-year rebuilding process makes no sense whatsoever. They've never had to take this approach before, so I don't understand why now would be the time to do so.
The '79 team was 30 games over .500 in mid-August before the wheels came off. They definitely fall into the plausible contender category - monster seasons from Lynn (.333/.423/.637) and Rice (.325/.381/.596) to boot. (For what it's worth, the '81 (59-49) and '82 (89-73) teams were fringey contenders as well.)
 

moondog80

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I like JMOH’s premise of asking this in binary terms because it’s way more fun answering in theoreticals.

My simple answer is that blowing it up looks different than it did even five years ago. The Sox can exercise some financial powers without the previous(somewhat?) severe penalties.

We have a decent pipeline in the works. Very strong consensus we are better off now than we were three years ago.

Blowing it up to me means not trading away a pile of prospects and by avoiding long term contracts. Even the best GMs are hit or miss on long term contracts and they can cripple the org for years.

- Don’t trade away a big batch of young players when what they bring back will likely not bridge the gap that exists between the Sox and Astros in 2024
- Don’t commit to long term contracts that will inhabit financial flexibility when the outlook is a bit better.
- Massively overlay for superstars who are willing to take shorter term contracts.

Example: I’d sign Verlander to a 2/$85m contract without batting an eyelash. I’d bat an eyelash to signing Rodon for more than four years.

I know the choice is one or the other, but that is not close to what I think of as "blowing it up", which I think of as trading Devers, Pivetta, Verdugo, and anything else that can bring in young, cheap talent.

What you are describing is what I call "modestly going for it". Trying to win now but not at the expense of the future (beyond the opportunity cost of not trading Devers et. al). It's the correct approach IMO, and the path expect them to roughly follow.
 

E5 Yaz

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Team Blow Up

Seriously, the starting pitching is in flux and the bullpen was a Dumpster fire. The outfield needs upgrading, they need to figure out how to proceed at DH, the shortstop could be out the door and the catching tandem is a question mark. If all that doesn't shout "Blow it up," I'm not sure what does.

I like Nip's three-prong approach above; it's the modern way of rebuilding for a team with financial commitment. Think of it this way: Would you rather trade high-level prospects for a Sean Murphy type -- an upgrade but not a game-changer -- or trade Devers for a package including prospects closer to ready than what the Sox have in the mid to lower minors?

I think tinkering with the "flesh wounds" is more likely to produce a cycle of mediocrity with outlier seasons on either side -- particularly in a division where there's little margin for error.
 

OCD SS

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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.
Which may point to a the way the Sox have been operating with their pitching signings and not spending big on FA arms. You could argue that they're also more willing to move arms in deals if they're young (thinking as far back as dealing Espinoza). If pitchers are inherently more risky, both of injury & changing roles as SP become RP, then spending big on FA arms becomes less appealing if you don't really know the arms (which I guess might help explain Sale?).

The issue is that bottoming out isn't really guaranteed to help you that much. Teams like the Orioles did it but the big thing they got out of that are multiple top draft picks and flexibility to roll through a bunch of different castoffs and prospects. That's not guaranteed to work especially when you have multiple other teams trying to do the same thing (or who just suck).

The big thing is you have to hit on your draft picks and international amateur signings. If you do that you can rebuild on the fly. You can find stars anywhere in the draft, not just at the top.

If you haven't done that, you can trade veterans for prospects but it's hard to get great value there. Teams are valuing their own prospects and they're better at evaluating them than they used to be, so a Heathcliff Slocumb for Varitek and Lowe deal is tough to find. We know about the free agent market. it is what it is.

So you may as well keep trying to compete and just make sure you know what you're doing with amateur scouting. If you could trade for draft picks it might be a different calculus but you can't yet.
I think a lot of this is going to come down to being able to develop the talent you I.D., not just spotting and signing it. I think the Eduardo Rodriguez trade is probably a more recent high point to aim at; but it comes down to the player turning into a stud, rather than obviously being one. The downside is that as we look at the teams that used to get fleeced in these deals, they're not operating nearly so dumbly anymore...
 

Super Nomario

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I think whether you blow this team up now or keep adding to it is dependent on a couple of things, the first two being: how much better will the Sox be next year against its division and where they sit in the division hierarchy.

I think we can all agree that the Sox aren’t going to have the same record against the AL East next year. For one thing, there won’t be as many games against their rivals and for another, they simply can’t be that bad against these teams. But how much better?

As far as the division itself, on November 15, the Red Sox are clearly the fifth best team in the league. They aren’t the worst team in the AL and if they were in the Central it would be a different discussion, but they’re not. It sucks to say but they are clearly the fifth best team and they have a lot of holes. As everyone has said, this off-season is really important because they have a chance to fix these holes. That’s a known.

That belies the next question: are there too many holes on this team to see any real improvement? Because yes, the Red Sox will get better. But so won’t the Jays, Rays, Yanks and the Os—and they have less problems to fix.

So the Sox are already starting this off-season behind the eight ball. Assuming that they bring Bogaerts back (and this isn’t a slam dunk, there are four star shortstops on the market. The previous teams who’ve employed these shortstops will need new ones and the Phillies also need a SS. That means someone is going into Spring Training unhappy.) add to this problem is that the Red Sox also have to address their outfield, bullpen and starters.

There are some folks on this board who are happy with the starters (especially if they bring Eovaldi back). I’m not one of those. I’m intrigued by the staff’s potential but I’m not willing to bet the farm that a majority don’t end up on IL by July. This is a very high risk/reward staff. I expect Bloom to add to it (other than Eovaldi) but I’m not sure whom.

The bullpen is a hard thing to create. Even Theo had a tough time doing it. I expect Bloom to sign a crapload of guys and see what sticks. Again, high risk/high reward. Also their best reliever of the last two seasons (Whitlock) is going to start. So that’s subtraction by subtraction in terms of the bullpen.

In terms of the offense, the outfield was pretty terrible last year, especially in the power department so they have to find a player or two to remake the OF (and Refsnyder is not that dude.) Not only that but they also have to find a DH to also supply the lineup with more power.

If Bogaerts comes back, the infield should be fine (though assuming Casas is just going to rake from game one might be overly optimistic but I think that Hosmer is a decent Plan B — he’s better than Travis Shaw). Catching is okay, I’m not worried about that as much.

This is a lot to do in three months. And it’s going to take money (which they have) and resources (ditto) to turn a sub 500 team into a plus 500 team. The final question is: is it worth it? Is it worth the money and prospects that you need to spend in order to be pretty good? I expect them to be better in 2023 than they were in 2022. But at the same time I think that they have too many holes to be great or even really good. (And yes, a 2013 season could happen, but are you willing to bet the mortgage that it will? I’m not.)
I agree with basically all this up to this point (though you're probably selling short how much year-to-year variation in results there is).

I’m the last person who’d say the Sox need to punt because the Boston RedSox should never even think about it. Ever. But, I think that this roster is such a mess and I don’t see an easy way out of it that it’s probably the only answer right now. Punt, save your resources and regroup in 2024.
... but I don't see how saving the resources is a solution here. If they have, let's say, 7 or 8 holes now and they trade Devers and Story and let Xander walk and don't do much of anything to add, they'll have 12(ish) holes come next offseason - and sure, they'll have a lot of money to play with, but they'll have very little in the way of quality assets to build upon. And they'll be even farther back, most likely. If you're going by the logic you outlined here when the Sox finished 5 back of Baltimore and 8 back of Tampa, how are you going to justify spending next offseason if they drop to, say, 12 back and 20 back?

I agree there's no easy way to catch their division mates. There is only the hard way - adding quality players, at below-market rates if they can, making savvy trades, giving up on some veterans a year too early and keeping / extending others, deciding which prospects are cornerstones and which they can part with, making the occasional strategic big splash move and a lot of smaller ones.

Think of it this way: Would you rather trade high-level prospects for a Sean Murphy type -- an upgrade but not a game-changer -- or trade Devers for a package including prospects closer to ready than what the Sox have in the mid to lower minors?
Is "neither" a choice here? I don't like either of these tbh.
 

mauf

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Depends on what the budget is.

When Bloom took over, I figured the farm wouldn’t contribute materially to the big club until mid-decade. That still looks correct.

I also figured that by 2023, they wouldn’t have any cheap talent left, and that anyone left on the roster would either be mediocre or earning sticker price. That was before they traded to Verdugo, but I think the observation is still broadly correct.

One reason I was ok with the 2020-21 “reset” was because I figured the Sox would need to spend big in 2023-24 to field a competitive team, and I understood the repeater penalties would be obscene if that spending spree wasn’t preceded by a period of relative austerity, at least by the standards of a team that’s normally in the top 5 for payroll.

So we are exactly where I thought we’d be. If Bloom has the money to spend, he should spend it — this team is only one year removed from a division title. But if he needs to get under the tax threshold again in 2023 or 2024, then I’m not sure he can build a winning team in the near term. I voted “build” because the Trevor Story signing was epically stupid if ownership isn’t willing to spend big these next few years, and while I think the jury is still out on Bloom, he hasn’t done anything flat-out stupid.
 

E5 Yaz

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Is "neither" a choice here? I don't like either of these tbh.
Neither do I, but I made it either/or in the spirit of the thread. What made me think of it was reading somewhere this week that Oakland would want Bello+ for Murphy, which I consider a non-starter
 

Rasputin

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The only way blowing it up makes any sense is if both Bogaerts and Devers have indicated they have no intention of coming back.

I don't think that's the case.
 

mikcou

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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.
40? That would be 31-32 for Eovaldi and high single digits for Paxton. Sale is the same age as Paxton and made 9 starts in 2021 after coming off surgery that was done 6-7 weeks earlier than Paxtons. That's before bringing up that Paxton has had an extensive history of arm injries.

Eovaldi has been a major league starter for 10 years, hes made 30 starts twice. Theres been one other year hes made 25 starts so 30% of the time he hits 25 starts; 70% he doesnt. Hes had two UCL replacements - getting hurt is what he does. If models were expecting high 20s in the starts for him, then thats a serious problem with models given his career history. Since 2018 (was ready at the beginning of the year after a 2016 TJS) when he came back from his second TJS, hes made:
2018 - 21
2019 - 23
2020 - 9 (COVID shortened obviously)
2021 - 32
2022 - 20.

There's an outlier, but it aint 2022. In 2/3 pre-2022 post TJS full years, he failed to make 25 starts. 30 total starts from the two of them would have been a good outcome, 40 would have been a 95th percentile outcome. If models were expecting more than 25 thats when you have to heavily question the output of the model or at least have an understanding of the distribution of likely outcomes as compared to a weighted mean outcome because the most common outcome for Eovaldi over his career has been a low 20s start season. In other words, the statistical mean projection might be 27-30 starts as he has had some history of being above 30, but the mode and median is likely in the low 20s.

They may have lost some starts from that combo as well as Sale, but you cant just look at underperformance of certain players without looking at overperformance elsewhere if youre going to blame the entire bad season (rather than being in the playoffs) on being incredibly unlucky. Hill threw almost 125 innings of average pitching at 42. Wacha had the second best season of his career after being pretty poor for numerous years mostly on smoke and mirrors - lower K% and same BB% rate as prior years but measurably better results (and likely was way better than what a 33 year old Paxton who hadnt pitched in years would be).

Since this came from a comment about what they needed to do to reasonably project to be a playoff team, what do you think they would need to add to reasonably project a high 80s win total with a reasonable level of confidence (say more than 65-70%)?
 

scottyno

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They may have lost some starts from that combo as well as Sale, but you cant just look at underperformance of certain players without looking at overperformance elsewhere if youre going to blame the entire bad season (rather than being in the playoffs) on being incredibly unlucky. Hill threw almost 125 innings of average pitching at 42. Wacha had the second best season of his career after being pretty poor for numerous years mostly on smoke and mirrors - lower K% and same BB% rate as prior years but measurably better results (and likely was way better than what a 33 year old Paxton who hadnt pitched in years would be).

Since this came from a comment about what they needed to do to reasonably project to be a playoff team, what do you think they would need to add to reasonably project a high 80s win total with a reasonable level of confidence (say more than 65-70%)?
Eovaldi is currently projected for 28 starts next year a year older, so expecting 25-30 from him is pretty reasonable. Paxton was more unclear because we already knew he was injured and weren't sure exactly when he would be back, but expecting 5-10 from him coming into the year doesn't seem unreasonable.

Hill threw 160 innings of league average pitching at age 41, so I'm not sure how throwing 125 league average innings at age 42 is overpeformance.

As for your other question, I think they need a borderline 1/2 starting pitcher (could be Eovaldi), 2 very good hitters to replace X and JD (or could include X obviously), and a couple good relievers, at least one a lefty
 

AlNipper49

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Remember how pissed off we were during the winter of 2012 when the postseason ended with just basically just Napoli (who had a big contract issue where he was assumed to be heading into the year with an injury) and Victorino along with no extension on Ellsbury? Coming off basically one of the worst seasons in Red Sox history?

Basically can be a fun game when we good stuff happens.
 

Max Power

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Tradeable assets on the current team are...

Devers
Whitlock
Pivetta
Verdugo
Casas
Bello
Houck
Heavily subsidized Story
100% subsidized Sale
Schreiber

I'd assume you'd want to keep Casas and Bello since they'll still be under control in 5 seasons. You could probably get some decent prospects for the rest, but nobody who's a can't-miss type. So there's a chance that they trade away all the good players, end up with a bunch of prospects who flame out, and are terrible for 6 years instead of 3.

I'd rather just run the current roster back with a couple extra bats and bullpen arms in 2023 and see if they catch lightning in a bottle.
 

mikcou

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Eovaldi is currently projected for 28 starts next year a year older, so expecting 25-30 from him is pretty reasonable. Paxton was more unclear because we already knew he was injured and weren't sure exactly when he would be back, but expecting 5-10 from him coming into the year doesn't seem unreasonable.

Hill threw 160 innings of league average pitching at age 41, so I'm not sure how throwing 125 league average innings at age 42 is overpeformance.

As for your other question, I think they need a borderline 1/2 starting pitcher (could be Eovaldi), 2 very good hitters to replace X and JD (or could include X obviously), and a couple good relievers, at least one a lefty
If a model is projecting a starter to have more starts than 80% of his 10+ season long career, you might want to take it with a massive grain of salt. That was my point above - a good part of my life is spent in models - there is never one "correct" answer - especially when applied to a specific instance from a model that is used to for a number of different instances. Professionals typically use their judgement to determine whether the output of the model is reasonable. That is objectively not. I suspect Steamer and the like have no realistic ability to model likely health and that they effectively spit out garbage. Pitcher injuries are not random and they compound over careers so it ,to be completely fair, is not something that is easy to reduce to a model because its inherently much more variable than say player improvement/regression from aging. That, however, just goes back to the point that if the output of the model makes no sense in the context of the player's career, it should be questioned whether its a valid projection at all. If sportsbook has that as an O/U for '23, I'd hammer the under.

For Hill, he was 42 om 2022 and the 160 innings were the second most of his 20 year career. He's a bizarre outlier, but looking at an incredible outlier year (hes thrown over 150 innings twice in 20 years), isnt a great method to project forward. FWIW, the projection models have Hill at 90 innings for next year.

I guess youre way more bullish on the talent on the roster right now. I see one legitimately plus player (Devers), one above average player (Story) and a bunch of mediocre or bad players. As others have said in this thread, they have the least talent of any AL East team so its a pretty uphill battle.
 

scottyno

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I guess youre way more bullish on the talent on the roster right now. I see one legitimately plus player (Devers), one above average player (Story) and a bunch of mediocre or bad players. As others have said in this thread, they have the least talent of any AL East team so its a pretty uphill battle.
If looking at the entire roster that's currently signed you can't find more than 2 above average players then yeah I and probably almost everyone else in baseball is way more bullish than you are
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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If looking at the entire roster that's currently signed you can't find more than 2 above average players then yeah I and probably almost everyone else in baseball is way more bullish than you are
Can you clue us in? Last years team had a grand total of five players who were worth more than 2 bWAR; Bogaerts, Devers, Wacha, Schreiber, and Pivetta. Offensively, Devers is way above average; Story maybe is…the others range from maybe / some years (Verdugo / Kike) to hopefully (Casas), but it’s hardly a controversial statement. The current roster is not all that talented.
 
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mikcou

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If looking at the entire roster that's currently signed you can't find more than 2 above average players then yeah I and probably almost everyone else in baseball is way more bullish than you are
2 WAR is the definition of a league average starter. The only players who recorded more than 2 fWAR last season were:
1) Xander
2) Devers
3) Story

What definition are you using?
 

AlNipper49

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They sucked last year and have a ton of money to spend. Spending on the open market is the least efficient way to build a team. They have quite the kerfluffle on their hands for the next few years. With that said I’d bet that the Sox capture the over on 2 WAR players on 2023z. Admittedly a low bar. If they achieve that at the expense of building a machine that’ll be dumb and everyone should be fired.
 

scottyno

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2 WAR is the definition of a league average starter. The only players who recorded more than 2 fWAR last season were:
1) Xander
2) Devers
3) Story

What definition are you using?
They had 3 of the better relievers in baseball last year when healthy, pretty sure all of them would count as above average. Your 2 war definition only works with players who actually played a full season and doesn't work at all with relievers.

If we're talking about 2023 then Eovaldi (if he counts), and Sale would be expected to be above average, and you could easily make a case for any of Bello, Pivetta, Barnes, and Kike being above average
 

Toe Nash

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There were only 64 batters and 32 pitchers in the AL that had 2 or more fWAR last year. That the Red Sox had 3 batters well over 2 WAR and then a number of pitchers who were close is not that bad. Measured that way they are about an average team especially if Kiké or Casas play better for a full year as seems possible.

A bigger problem is that they gave 1754 PA to a combination of players (mostly Dalbec and the horror show in the outfield) who were all below replacement level (according to fWAR). If you can add two or three players who are just 1 WAR guys to fill those spots you would improve by 5-6 WAR over last year. That should be the kind of thing Bloom is good at but he struck out last year.
 

chawson

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What do people here think has changed in the last 24 months to have so negatively affected our long-term outlook that it would make sense to change course now and blow it up?

Here are a few I can think of:
- Sale's injury persistence
- The failure of a half-dozen of our 45/45+ FV prospects to stick at the major-league level (Duran, Dalbec, Seabold, Chavis, Darwinzon, Downs, Song*)
- Verdugo stalling/plateauing as a 2-win player
- The FO and Devers not (yet) being able to agree to a below-market extension

But they seem to be offset by the unexpected positive developments:
- Getting Whitlock for free and signing him to an extremely favorable long-term deal
- Houck, Bello overcoming early projections
- Acquiring useful medium to long-term assets in Pivetta, Arroyo, Schreiber and McGuire basically for free
- Lucking out on Mayer

Among external factors, the Orioles have gotten better, so that's a strike against us. But the Sox also disproportionately benefit from the new schedule and the higher-than-expected luxury tax threshold in the new CBA.
 

pdub

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I would rather go all in, we have the payroll and I think we're a few smart decisions away from contending again. That said, if both Devers and Bogaerts aren't coming back, I hope we have a plan. That is a lot of star power to lose.
 

Benj4ever

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Nov 21, 2022
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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 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.
The hybrid model succeeds when you have that core of young, controllable talent. Not only does the minor league pitching depth need to come through, but the young guys like Casas and Rafaela need to shine as well. IF this happens, then I like our chances without having to blow anything up. If not...well, I'd rather not go there.
 

jasail

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I voted Team Blow Up. Although, I'm not entirely sure what that entails given they don't have much to blow up. Frankly, it's a lot of spare parts - nice guys to have on a playoff team, but without the core pieces that make them a contender. I'm not sure how you fix that immediately. Best they can probably hope to do is trim the fat, give opportunities to guys they think can break through, and bank some capital to spend on the next core.
 

Rasputin

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I voted Team Blow Up. Although, I'm not entirely sure what that entails given they don't have much to blow up. Frankly, it's a lot of spare parts - nice guys to have on a playoff team, but without the core pieces that make them a contender. I'm not sure how you fix that immediately. Best they can probably hope to do is trim the fat, give opportunities to guys they think can break through, and bank some capital to spend on the next core.
This seems to assume that Bogaerts and Devers are both gone, and that Sale is toast. That's certainly possible, but I don't think it's remotely the most likely outcome.
 
Sep 12, 2022
24
I think build it back up. They had 78 wins without Sale, and Story missing a huge chunk of games, plus not to mention how bad their firstbasemen and rightfielder were below average. I think this team is close. Of course that's with me thinking Xander and Devers will be re-signed. Should be a very interesting off-season.
Respectfully, Ron
 
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jasail

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This seems to assume that Bogaerts and Devers are both gone, and that Sale is toast. That's certainly possible, but I don't think it's remotely the most likely outcome.
I'm assuming - at a minimum - that one out of three of these things is true (Sale is toast), and more likely than not, at least two of them are true (Bogaerts is gone). Even still, while Rafi and/or X may be components of a championship core, they alone or together do not constitute one. Those two guys plus the spare parts they have gets about 75-85 wins. They need to build a more robust core, and with the roster and budget they currently have, I don't think they can do that without an approach that more closely resembles a blow up.

It sucks, but IMO, they absolutely bungled their window with their most recent core and it may be time to start looking towards building for the next core. As currently composed - and even if X returns - they strike me as a team in purgatory. I'm usually an optimist, but I'm having a hard time polishing this one.
 

tbb345

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I'm assuming - at a minimum - that one out of three of these things is true (Sale is toast), and more likely than not, at least two of them are true (Bogaerts is gone). Even still, while Rafi and/or X may be components of a championship core, they alone or together do not constitute one. Those two guys plus the spare parts they have gets about 75-85 wins. They need to build a more robust core, and with the roster and budget they currently have, I don't think they can do that without an approach that more closely resembles a blow up.

It sucks, but IMO, they absolutely bungled their window with their most recent core and it may be time to start looking towards building for the next core. As currently composed - and even if X returns - they strike me as a team in purgatory. I'm usually an optimist, but I'm having a hard time polishing this one.
It seems like the Chris Sale contract was the straw that broke the camel’s back (a very big straw),
It’s still very odd to me that ownership approved that contract when Dombrowski was about to be shown the door.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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It seems like the Chris Sale contract was the straw that broke the camel’s back (a very big straw),
It’s still very odd to me that ownership approved that contract when Dombrowski was about to be shown the door.
Isn’t it likely that he was shown the door because the initial returns on his post WS deals were so poor? If Sale, Price, and Eovaldi stay healthy and the 19 Sox win 95 games, I’m guessing the urgency to rebuild is lessened.
 

chawson

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If X leaves without a similarly productive replacement and the FO trades Devers, then I don't know why Bloom wouldn't trade Kiké, Verdugo, Hosmer, Pivetta, Barnes, Paxton, Story and Arroyo in the next six months once they reestablish value. That would be the right thing to do, but then I think it would be a massive organizational failure not to have traded Bogaerts and Devers a year and a half ago, and I think the fallout among the fanbase would be so catastrophic as to be genuinely damaging to the franchise.

That's why I don't expect think blowing it up is an option, and I don't think it'll happen. If Xander and/or Devers walk, we're probably signing Correa and trading for Burnes/Yelich or Ohtani/Rendon. There would need to be a clear new superstar-driven direction for the franchise, like immediately.
 

Rasputin

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I'm assuming - at a minimum - that one out of three of these things is true (Sale is toast), and more likely than not, at least two of them are true (Bogaerts is gone). Even still, while Rafi and/or X may be components of a championship core, they alone or together do not constitute one. Those two guys plus the spare parts they have gets about 75-85 wins. They need to build a more robust core, and with the roster and budget they currently have, I don't think they can do that without an approach that more closely resembles a blow up.

It sucks, but IMO, they absolutely bungled their window with their most recent core and it may be time to start looking towards building for the next core. As currently composed - and even if X returns - they strike me as a team in purgatory. I'm usually an optimist, but I'm having a hard time polishing this one.
First off, we all want the team to be better, and to be the best team in baseball. Second off, we know that the Phillies just went to the World Series with an 87 win team and the 2021 Braves won the year before with an 88 win team.

Third off, hey bungled their most recent core so hard they had the greatest season in the history of the franchise.

I will never understand why people think Sale is toast. He's had a number of unrelated injuries, but the time he's spent pitching he's pitched pretty well. Expecting him to be peak Sale is probably silly, but expecting him to be a good pitcher is not.

I think you're radically underselling Triston Casas and Brayan Bello by calling them spare parts. They've both shown an ability to excel in the majors over a short period and they have the pedigree to suggest it's not a mirage. Sure, they're probably never going to win Cy Young or MVP, but they are likely to be a big part of the core for the next five years.

Schreiber, Whitlock, Houck, and Barnes make for the start of a pretty damn good bullpen, so even if Whitlock flames out as a starter, he's got what it takes to be a big contributor to a World Series contender.

There's plenty of holes as we sit here before December even starts, but if we fill them with competent but not great players (and bring X back), we're a playoff team. Not the best team in baseball, but a playoff team. Given all the shit that has happened since the end of 2018, that's pretty good.

Also, the prospect situation is vastly superior to what it was just a couple years ago. Bello and Casas already look like they're part of the next core. Mayer looks like a potential franchise player. Mata looks like he's going to be up sometime in 2023 with the ability to be a high end reliever.

Now if Xander really doesn't want anything to do with us, and Devers doesn't look interested in signing an extension, then by all means, blow it up, but when you're blowing it up, there's a bunch of guys you're keeping because the next core is not that far away.