Poll: Grade the Xander to San Diego Contract

Would you have matched (or exceeded) the San Diego contract (11 years, $280M)?


  • Total voters
    464
  • Poll closed .

Yaz4Ever

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I'm all about the lower AAV, but no way do I match this. Very happy for X, but happier we refrained.
 

Yaz4Ever

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We're gonna win the payroll efficiency championship, guys! Sensible flavored seltzers for everyone!
That's one way to look at it and I won't mock you for it. I believe, perhaps incorrectly, that the Yankees and Padres will both regret both of these deals in 6-7 years. Wish we had locked him up sooner and avoided this, but it is what it is at this point.
 

Ferm Sheller

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A few years goes by fast and I have a feeling that that contract is going to suck in a few years -- and keep sucking for another 7-8 thereafter.
 

Kliq

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IDK about match, but certainly could come closer than within $100 million, which is how close they allegedly came.
 

Buck Showalter

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I'm all about the lower AAV, but no way do I match this. Very happy for X, but happier we refrained.
True...but it didn't have to get to this point.

We should have had the foresight (we certainly have the resources) to lock this player up before a scenario like this would take place.

If you wait / delay...it's a prophecy that will self-fulfil. The player won't be worth the contract that one 'village idiot' is willing to bestow.
 

AlNipper49

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IDK about match, but certainly could come closer than within $100 million, which is how close they allegedly came.
Total value is useless without the context of AAV. It also (indirectly) presumes that the Sox and the Padres were the only two teams in the negotiation.
 

Yaz4Ever

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True...but it didn't have to get to this point.

We should have had the foresight (we certainly have the resources) to lock this player up before a scenario like this would take place.

If you wait / delay...it's a prophecy that will self-fulfil. The player won't be worth the contract that one 'village idiot' is willing to bestow.
I definitely don't disagree with this. The Spring offer we've heard about was insulting. Shouldn't have been made. That said, they should've wrapped him up long-term 6-7 years before Opening Day and chose not to, for whatever reason.
 

Yaz4Ever

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Total value is useless without the context of AAV. It also (indirectly) presumes that the Sox and the Padres were the only two teams in the negotiation.
Plus, we're all dealing with rumors. Who knows what the real conversation was all along? I'm assuming we lowballed X and he and his team were disappointed/upset, but I think we could've and should've made an offer that resolved all this before Opening Day. I have no idea how close or far apart we were at the end, none of us really do, so I choose to just be happy for him and hope for some other big moves to surprise us all over the coming days/weeks.
 

ngruz25

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In 8 years the Padres will send half of the remaining Bogaerts contract to Pittsburgh so that the Pirates can meet the salary floor imposed by the latest CBA.

In other words... who knows what the future holds? The Padres are gambling that the next 5ish years of productivity at an AAV discount will be worth the fallout at the end of the contract. Maybe $25 million of dead money won't be that bad in 10 years. Maybe the new CBA will let them restructure the remaining years to lessen the AAV hit. Maybe Xander will remain productive in LF at age 40. It's not my money, so I can't fault them for this strategy.
 

Buck Showalter

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I definitely don't disagree with this. The Spring offer we've heard about was insulting. Shouldn't have been made. That said, they should've wrapped him up long-term 6-7 years before Opening Day and chose not to, for whatever reason.
Which is also what we should have done with Devers.

Every half-brained Red Sox fan could see the kid could rake. Two years ago, he should have been offered 10/$150M, last year 10/$200M.

Do you have any doubt that in the next Winter Meeting - some 'village idiot' is going to offer 10/$400M for a guy that is subpar defensively?

I don't.

And "that" is where Bloom (and ownership) has effed-up the core of this organization. And it's the reason why I find myself agreeing with Shank and Mazz for the first time in a decade about the direction of this franchise.

Bloom (and his bosses) deserve to get skewered. They deserve every single (!!!) criticism coming their way.

And anyone willing to defend these nerds and their algorithms - and this business approach (where the mature asset of the Boston Red Sox is funding growth for the assets to be scaled up - such as the Pittsburgh Penguins and soccer franchises) is totally off the rails and schillin' for ownership...either directly or indirectly.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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IDK about match, but certainly could come closer than within $100 million, which is how close they allegedly came.
True. Their Last Offer may have been $100 million less. But was that their Best Offer? We'll never know if they were prepared to go up $50 million to match another offer but saw the Padres numbers and wished Xander well instead of throwing out a figure that wouldn't have been accepted
 

InstaFace

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That's one way to look at it and I won't mock you for it. I believe, perhaps incorrectly, that the Yankees and Padres will both regret both of these deals in 6-7 years. Wish we had locked him up sooner and avoided this, but it is what it is at this point.
Yeah I likewise have sympathy for the point of view that it's an overpay, so my mockery was overstated and I apologize for that. But what I've realized over the years is that:

1) The accelerating economics of baseball mean that something that looks like an overpay will look sensible in 5 years and cheap in 10
2) You have to evaluate these decisions in terms of opportunity cost. Who else could we get with that money? Are we in fact going after them? Where are the undervalued (pre-FA) assets and how much do we buy into them?

It's very easy to call everything an overpay, and then run out there with scrubs and kids and get waxed in the AL East. The hard part is biting the bullet and admitting that it's better to overpay by 10-20%, or even more than that, in order to keep the wins at an acceptable baseline.
 

Rovin Romine

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True...but it didn't have to get to this point.

We should have had the foresight (we certainly have the resources) to lock this player up before a scenario like this would take place.

If you wait / delay...it's a prophecy that will self-fulfil. The player won't be worth the contract that one 'village idiot' is willing to bestow.
That would mean what in practical terms? Go to Scott Boras when, and with what offer? I'm not just making this point pedantically.

Think it through - in order to buy out a "village idiot" free agency scenario, you actually have to buy it out. You have to give the player something of value to forgo free agency. Usually, that's the certainty of a large contract earlier in their career, less money than the FA market, but a hedge against injury or a (very very unlikely) downturn in the market. So, how much earlier and what exactly do you offer? (Assuming the player is even interested in that kind of thing.)

It seems to me that the Sox already did exactly that.

They agreed to a six-year, $120 million extension in 2019, with the then-26 year old Bogaerts. So they had some control for his age 27-33 seasons. One of the conditions (set by Bogaerts) was an opt-out after 2022, for his age 30 seasons onward, where his viability as a 30+ SS would likely have been established (or not.) If he was injured, or had to move off the position, he'd be getting $20M per year for his early 30s with the Sox. But if he wasn't, he'd have the option to become a FA and see what was out there. He might resign, or he might take the high offer in the market.

And Xander did that. He exercised his option. He saw what was out there. The village idiot came forward, and there's simply no way to avoid that scenario.

Edit - he would have originally been a FA after the 2020 season, so the Sox got 2 more prime years at a very fair value. Mission already accomplished.
 
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Ale Xander

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I would have went up to 9/$301 or 11/$325 but my username may imply that I'm a little biased (or inebriated).

I think 8/$250 would have gotten it done, and hearing the max RS offer under $200 is disappointing.
 

P'tucket rhymes with...

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True. Their Last Offer may have been $100 million less. But was that their Best Offer? We'll never know if they were prepared to go up $50 million to match another offer but saw the Padres numbers and wished Xander well instead of throwing out a figure that wouldn't have been accepted
Do we know if they ever got the chance to match? The reporting so far suggests that they were so far behind the field that X didn't see a point in taking it back to them. 6/160 might have been a negotiating position, but it was a poor choice with so many other sharks in the water.
 

Van Everyman

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The Bogaerts contract is not an outlier; it is a reflection that the market for free agent talent has changed.
Agreed -- but I think one question is whether the Red Sox FO/ownership think that they need to compete in that market to win.

In the abstract, it makes zero sense to give guys--even the best Mookie-quality guys--11 or 12 year deals where the back 2/3 of the contract will be bad/abject disaster. Does Bloom think we can compete by developing guys and signing Story's and Kike's? It's an interesting question, but I'm not entirely sure how long it will be before we know the answer.
 

moondog80

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Speier said they indicated a willingness to sweeten the offer but the gap was just too large.
 

Buck Showalter

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That would mean what in practical terms? Go to Scott Boras when, and with what offer? I'm not just making this point pedantically.

Think it through - in order to buy out a "village idiot" free agency scenario, you actually have to buy it out. You have to give the player something of value to forgo free agency. Usually, that's the certainty of a large contract earlier in their career, less money than the FA market, but a hedge against injury or a (very very unlikely) downturn in the market. So, how much earlier and what exactly do you offer? (Assuming the player is even interested in that kind of thing.)

It seems to me that the Sox already did exactly that.

They agreed to a six-year, $120 million extension in 2019, with the then-26 year old Bogaerts. So they had some control for his age 27-33 seasons. One of the conditions (set by Bogaerts) was an opt-out after 2022, for his age 30 seasons onward, where his viability as a 30+ SS would likely have been established (or not.) If he was injured, or had to move off the position, he'd be getting $20M per year for his early 30s with the Sox. But if he wasn't, he'd have the option to become a FA and see what was out there. He might resign, or he might take the high offer in the market.

And Xander did that. He exercised his option. He saw what was out there. The village idiot came forward, and there's simply no way to avoid that scenario.

But the Sox did get 3 more prime years at a fair value. Mission already accomplished.
Thanks for the thoughtful post.

If I concede that the scenario - pertaining to Xander - was unavoidable (and correctly strategized)...

What would "you" have done last year or this year in the current Devers scenario (which is sure to play out the same way --- if we have the same strategy)?
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Sure. Why not? It's not my money. Teams give out bad contracts all the time. I'd rather pay through the nose for someone that I like watching play, seems like a decent guy who gets Boston, reap the rewards for a number of years, then for the Sox to get spooked by how pissed the fans* are (and they are) overreact and sign someone of lesser value and franchise importance to a crazy high deal to "prove" that they'll spend money too.

* Presuming that the Front Office/Ownership gives a shit--and I'm not sure they do.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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And anyone willing to defend these nerds and their algorithms - and this business approach (where the mature asset of the Boston Red Sox is funding growth for the assets to be scaled up - such as the Pittsburgh Penguins and soccer franchises) is totally off the rails and schillin' for ownership...either directly or indirectly.
Doesn't this business model more or less depend on the Red Sox to, like, win?

Frankly, if the owners really are using the Red Sox to fund growth of other teams, it might have been a better decision to sign X - keep the Beloved Player; win 86 games; and keep the fans coming through the gates but never really compete for a championship. (I call this the "Washington Wizards" model of running a sports team.)

Foregoing established stars for lesser talent (but with more "potential excess value") has way more downside risk, which one would think the owners would forego if they weren't trying to win it all.

YMMV.
 

Buck Showalter

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Sure. Why not? It's not my money. Teams give out bad contracts all the time. I'd rather pay through the nose for someone that I like watching play, seems like a decent guy who gets Boston, reap the rewards for a number of years, then for the Sox to get spooked by how pissed the fans* are (and they are) overreact and sign someone of lesser value and franchise importance to a crazy high deal to "prove" that they'll spend money too.

* Presuming that the Front Office/Ownership gives a shit--and I'm not sure they do.
The last sentence is the key...

Appears kinda' obvious (at least to me) that Bloom is the (willing) sacrificial lamb for the business approach of the JHG.
 

Buck Showalter

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Doesn't this business model more or less depend on the Red Sox to, like, win?

Frankly, if the owners really are using the Red Sox to fund growth of other teams, it might have been a better decision to sign X - keep the Beloved Player; win 86 games; and keep the fans coming through the gates but never really compete for a championship. (I call this the "Washington Wizards" model of running a sports team.)

Foregoing established stars for lesser talent (but with more "potential excess value") has way more downside risk, which one would think the owners would forego if they weren't trying to win it all.

YMMV.
No - I totally disagree.

To a great extent, I think they're thinking that the fan interest and revenues via the Red Sox franchise will be vibrant irrespective of X being in Boston or San Diego.

Therefore, it "does" become a business decision.
 

Papo The Snow Tiger

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Which is also what we should have done with Devers.

Every half-brained Red Sox fan could see the kid could rake. Two years ago, he should have been offered 10/$150M, last year 10/$200M.

Do you have any doubt that in the next Winter Meeting - some 'village idiot' is going to offer 10/$400M for a guy that is subpar defensively?

I don't.

And "that" is where Bloom (and ownership) has effed-up the core of this organization. And it's the reason why I find myself agreeing with Shank and Mazz for the first time in a decade about the direction of this franchise.

Bloom (and his bosses) deserve to get skewered. They deserve every single (!!!) criticism coming their way.

And anyone willing to defend these nerds and their algorithms - and this business approach (where the mature asset of the Boston Red Sox is funding growth for the assets to be scaled up - such as the Pittsburgh Penguins and soccer franchises) is totally off the rails and schillin' for ownership...either directly or indirectly.
This may be ownership's and Bloom's WTF/the emperor has no clothes moment. All that empty talk of "Signing Xander is our top priority" proved to be only so much bullshit. And eventually people get wise to bullshit. Will anyone ever believe a word that Sam Kennedy says again? And all that happy talk of an improved minor league system and prospects wears thin when every home-grown star is either traded or is allowed to walk away. The group occupying the offices on Jersey Street has lost all credibility.
 

johnnywayback

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This may be ownership's and Bloom's WTF/the emperor has no clothes moment. All that empty talk of "Signing Xander is our top priority" proved to be only so much bullshit. And eventually people get wise to bullshit. Will anyone ever believe a word that Sam Kennedy says again? And all that happy talk of an improved minor league system and prospects wears thin when every home-grown star is either traded or is allowed to walk away. The group occupying the offices on Jersey Street has lost all credibility.
I don't know, I think signing Xander was clearly their top priority, because they were deeply involved in negotiations. They made what they considered to be (and what the general SoSH consensus seemed to be) a market-value offer, and signaled a willingness to improve on it. Then another team came in and made a completely insane offer that, per the results of this poll, we agree represented a massive and unwise overpay.

You can argue, if you like, that the team should have been more aggressive in trying to extend him before he hit free agency, even if it meant paying a premium because Boras rarely guides his clients in that direction. But I don't see how this goes to their credibility.
 

Rovin Romine

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Thanks for the thoughtful post.

If I concede that the scenario - pertaining to Xander - was unavoidable (and correctly strategized)...

What would "you" have done last year or this year in the current Devers scenario (which is sure to play out the same way --- if we have the same strategy)?
Thanks for "the village idiot" - that's perfect.

IMO, dealing with Devers, like everyone, is a two-way street.

So, let's put aside the specific money for a moment and look at the context an offer to extend gets made in.

There's one bucket where effectively no offer will get it done. Regardless of the press releases and semi-public leaked club/agent dance, Devers will test the FA market no matter what, and the Sox will only be able to resign him for the highest offer, which may or may not be a fair value in terms of what they'll get from Devers as a player. (Or like Judge, for something close to the highest offer, factoring in any ties Devers has to Boston, the city or to the club.)

There's another bucket where Devers is actually open to an extension. And in that bucket, it ranges from him being open to:
a) only something that's close to a village idiot offer.
b) something that's close to a "second tier FA offer" which'd be all those clustered under the village idiot outlier. Or the best guess at such.
c) something like the Xander compromise, that locks him up for a few years but gives him an option to court the village idiot before he's too old to do so effectively.
d) a genuine home-town discount contract - in AAV, or prime-years only, or club options.

I tend to think "d" centers on a lot of intangibles - not all of which are controlled by the club. Personal circumstances and connections in the city. The expectation of family and agents and peers and friends. All that jazz. Some guys really don't want to change everything, while others are more than happy to. I don't know all that much about Devers personally, but (AFAIK) he does not live year-round in Boston, does not have family in the area, and he's not an English-first speaker?

Now the Sox are a good org, and I'm sure they do what they can. But if an org that's as good comes along with a village idiot offer. . .there's not much you can do. I mean, what if Devers had the option of playing closer to home, with a Spanish speaking market, crazy money, good coaches, and a winning tradition? There's no exact match out there (thanks to the general incompetence and/or cheapness of the FL clubs), but I would think those sorts of factors weigh heavily, even IF the player were open to an extension.

So I think the Sox would be open to "b" "c" and "d."

With his hamstring and inconsistent performance, I wouldn't be surprised if the Sox led with "c" - get a couple fair years with an opt-out, balanced by an insurance-package like extension. Or if they had something on the lower end of "b."

To answer your question, I'd probably do the same "myself." Baseball contracts can't really effectively take injury/decline into account.

However, I wouldn't be surprised if regardless of the hamstring, Devers was fishing on the high side of "b" getting close to "a."

So you've got a factor that caps one party but not the other. My guess is that's what we're seeing here.
 
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johnnywayback

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Sure. Why not? It's not my money. Teams give out bad contracts all the time. I'd rather pay through the nose for someone that I like watching play, seems like a decent guy who gets Boston, reap the rewards for a number of years, then for the Sox to get spooked by how pissed the fans* are (and they are) overreact and sign someone of lesser value and franchise importance to a crazy high deal to "prove" that they'll spend money too.

* Presuming that the Front Office/Ownership gives a shit--and I'm not sure they do.
It may not be your money, but it's not an infinite pool of money, either. The league has a soft cap, and only one out of 30 teams seems willing to ignore it. If you want to argue that the Red Sox should be the second, I'll sign that petition. But until that happens, Sure, why not? is a self-defeating approach to budgeting.
 

Yaz4Ever

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Yeah I likewise have sympathy for the point of view that it's an overpay, so my mockery was overstated and I apologize for that. But what I've realized over the years is that:

1) The accelerating economics of baseball mean that something that looks like an overpay will look sensible in 5 years and cheap in 10
2) You have to evaluate these decisions in terms of opportunity cost. Who else could we get with that money? Are we in fact going after them? Where are the undervalued (pre-FA) assets and how much do we buy into them?

It's very easy to call everything an overpay, and then run out there with scrubs and kids and get waxed in the AL East. The hard part is biting the bullet and admitting that it's better to overpay by 10-20%, or even more than that, in order to keep the wins at an acceptable baseline.
I completely agree with point number 1 - deals signed for big dollars just a few years ago look respectable now, so these AAVs should look much better in a few years. I also think number 2 is important to keep in mind. Unless the FO is looking to shed payroll and sell the team (possible, but I don't think so), they'll likely take that money and put it into other more reasonably priced players. Then again, they may choose to hoard the money and put out replacement level players. We won't know for at least a few weeks and we can get upset at that time.
 

Archer1979

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I voted no.

The reasoning comes down to these questions...

How long before X starts to decline from being a very good shortstop?
How soon before the Sox are reasonably expected to seriously contend?
How soon before the Sox have a player in the development pipeline who is ready to play at the major league level (obvious candidate now is Mayer)?

X is a very good shortstop. No question, but he is 31. He hasn't really been in any discussion as an MVP. He's not on a HOF trajectory. SD is basically paying him for his past performance in my estimation. Even then, it's too high.

In the article below, X is getting the 7th largest contract for a free agent in MLB history. No way that the Sox should have come close to that. The hindsight call is to try to get something for him at the trade deadline (but he had a no trade clause). Also could have tried to lock him up prior to testing free agency (but he has Boras as an agent). In answer to my first question, I'm thinking two... maybe three years before he starts to decline and become a league-average shortstop.

https://www.masslive.com/redsox/2022/12/xander-bogaerts-contract-is-7th-largest-for-free-agent-ever-would-have-set-red-sox-record.html

The relevance of my second question is that they came in last with X, they can come in last without him. They've added some interesting pieces in the last few days that should make improve the overall record. I'm skeptical that they are a play-off contender even with those added pieces and with X. They've improved the bullpen. The starting pitching is tenuous at best. So why pay X elite money on a rebuilding team only to overpay for ordinary performance when their window opens back up?

Especially since... and here is where question number three comes in, if Mayer does pan out and the speculation is that his ceiling might be the same or higher than X's, why pay that much money for the second best SS on the team?

It's crappy that the Sox now have a need at shortstop. I'd still stay away from the high priced options (Correa) as that is just crazy long-term money flying around out there. Initially, it seems like we're missing out, but at some point, some of these franchises are going to have to wake up with a hangover. JWHIII and Co. have already had their share of benders but got bailed out by the Punto trade, but not so much with the Panda and Sale contracts. With X, I think they learned their lesson.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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It may not be your money, but it's not an infinite pool of money, either. The league has a soft cap, and only one out of 30 teams seems willing to ignore it. If you want to argue that the Red Sox should be the second, I'll sign that petition. But until that happens, Sure, why not? is a self-defeating approach to budgeting.
Right. But it's a soft cap where most of the penalties are financial. John Henry, multi-billionaire, can afford those penalties. He did it all the time in the past and now he's not. I don't know why, but it would be interesting to know what changed.

But he hasn't given an interview to a reporter in years, so who the hell knows.

Edit: I get that Bogaerts is close to being on the other side of 30 and that's when the body starts doing wonky stuff. And maybe you don't fill your entire team with 30+-year-old players with $25m+ contracts. But surely there is an exception to be made for one or two of these players. And if you're as bullish on your farm system as you claim, you should be able to carry Bogaerts and Mayer (who will probably make the minimum for most of X's contract) at the same time. This is the way that baseball finances should work: rookies in their first six years don't make a ton, veterans make a lot. Then the veterans retire, those younger guys take their salary spot and a new crop of rooks come up to take that old, league min salary spot.

I have no doubt that the Padres contract will probably be pretty sucky in 2031, but we're going into the 2023 season in three months. Who knows where this ownership is going to be in five years, never mind ten.

I liked watching Xander Bogaerts play baseball and wanted to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Not having to pay his salary in 7-10 years is not much of a silver lining to me. At all. YMMV.
 
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E5 Yaz

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I voted no ... but only because last night I predicted such a poll would hit 99% No and I wanted to help get it there
 

johnnywayback

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Right. But it's a soft cap where most of the penalties are financial. John Henry, multi-billionaire, can afford those penalties. He did it all the time in the past and now he's not. I don't know why, but it would be interesting to know what changed.

But he hasn't given an interview to a reporter in years, so who the hell knows.
Well, most of the penalties are financial, but they eventually include taking away draft picks, and the financial penalties are harsh enough that 28 out of the other 29 owners, many of them also multi-billionaires, refuse to incur them.

I agree that it would be nice if the Red Sox didn't have to play by everyone else's rules (and I agree that it would be nice if Henry gave an occasional interview), but that's not the world we live in and I don't know what's to be gained or learned from pretending otherwise.
 

soxhop411

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Right. But it's a soft cap where most of the penalties are financial. John Henry, multi-billionaire, can afford those penalties. He did it all the time in the past and now he's not. I don't know why, but it would be interesting to know what changed.

But he hasn't given an interview to a reporter in years, so who the hell knows.
He did it in the past because you could spend (in FA and the draft) to your hearts desire without repercussions) once the CBA added those caps, notice that both the sox and yankees stoped having FA bidding wars like in the past.

i mean remember when you could spend whatever the hell you wanted in the draft? Then they added hard caps in the draft.

same with the international FA market.
 

Buck Showalter

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Thanks for "the village idiot" - that's perfect.

IMO, dealing with Devers, like everyone, is a two-way street.

So, let's put aside the specific money for a moment and look at the context an offer to extend gets made in.

There's one bucket where effectively no offer will get it done. Regardless of the press releases and semi-public leaked club/agent dance, Devers will test the FA market no matter what, and the Sox will only be able to resign him for the highest offer, which may or may not be a fair value in terms of what they'll get from Devers as a player. (Or like Judge, for something close to the highest offer, factoring in any ties Devers has to Boston, the city or to the club.)

There's another bucket where Devers is actually open to an extension. And in that bucket, it ranges from him being open to:
a) only something that's close to a village idiot offer.
b) something that's close to a "second tier FA offer" which'd be all those clustered under the village idiot outlier. Or the best guess at such.
c) something like the Xander compromise, that locks him up for a few years but gives him an option to court the village idiot before he's too old to do so effectively.
d) a genuine home-town discount contract - in AAV, or prime-years only, or club options.

I tend to think "d" centers on a lot of intangibles - not all of which are controlled by the club. Personal circumstances and connections in the city. The expectation of family and agents and peers and friends. All that jazz. Some guys really don't want to change everything, while others are more than happy to. I don't know all that much about Devers personally, but (AFAIK) he does not live year-round in Boston, does not have family in the area, and he's not an English-first speaker?

Now the Sox are a good org, and I'm sure they do what they can. But if an org that's as good comes along with a village idiot offer. . .there's not much you can do. I mean, what if Devers had the option of playing closer to home, with a Spanish speaking market, crazy money, good coaches, and a winning tradition? There's no exact match out there (thanks to the general incompetence and/or cheapness of the FL clubs), but I would think those sorts of factors weigh heavily, even IF the player were open to an extension.

So I think the Sox would be open to "b" "c" and "d."

With his hamstring and inconsistent performance, I wouldn't be surprised if the Sox led with "c" - get a couple fair years with an opt-out, balanced by an insurance-package like extension. Or if they had something on the lower end of "b."

To answer your question, I'd probably do the same "myself." Baseball contracts can't really effectively take injury/decline into account.

However, I wouldn't be surprised if regardless of the hamstring, Devers was fishing on the high side of "b" getting close to "a."

So you've got a factor that caps one party but not the other. My guess is that's what we're seeing here.
Awesome reply...it's posts like this that make me better / more informed. Really appreciate it.

I agree with you --- if I'm the Sox, I go to Raffy and his agent right now and say: "8/$300M (with an opt-out after 5)--- what do you say?"....

This is just under the AAV of a current (winter of '22) 'village idiot' offer and provides stability for both parties.

If I'm the Sox --- I also go public with the offer.

If he turns "that" down, I have some leverage and credibility with the fandom / media that 'I mean business'.

If I'm Raffy...I'd be rolling the dice for '23 (and a subsequent free agent scenario) where my numbers don't suffer from a lack of protection in the lineup, my hamstrings provide me with 600+ plate appearances, and I avoid any other major injuries.

"That" is how the Red Sox should be approaching the Devers situation.

Because if we fail to offer something akin to the 8/$300M right now...and are leaning toward figuring this out at the next winter meetings, well then the last few days was a 'dress rehearsal' for Shank, Mazz, and the Boston fandom. And Bloom will deserve to get launched on a rocket, returning to some mid-market franchise where his algorithms will provide an efficient cost-per-win metric.
 
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Minneapolis Millers

Wants you to please think of the Twins fans!
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Jul 15, 2005
4,470
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Do we know if they ever got the chance to match? The reporting so far suggests that they were so far behind the field that X didn't see a point in taking it back to them. 6/160 might have been a negotiating position, but it was a poor choice with so many other sharks in the water.
Yeah. Even if they failed to predict how aggressive this market would be (which it kinda feels they did), they certainly had enough data by yesterday to know that 6/$160 wouldn’t be close to adequate. That it was likely to represent at least a 25-30% discount. So if they were actually willing to go to $200-220, then they should have already had that offer on the table if X truly was their top priority. That might still have fallen short, but (a) the last thing you want in negotiations is to lose knowing you didn’t make your best offer, and (b) maybe $210 gets X to say, “add $20 and it’s a deal.”
 

CaptainLaddie

dj paul pfieffer
SoSH Member
Sep 6, 2004
34,193
where the darn libs live
Nope. I love X and I'll appreciate everything he did for this franchise but 11/280 is insane.

I wish they had offered him something like 8/210 or something before the season but here we are.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
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Sep 9, 2008
36,018
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I think matching or coming really close would have been a mistake and I really fear that the biggest danger right now is letting the lingering disappointment over the Mookie situation force the team into making a suboptimal decision. They didn't do that with Xander and I'm glad. But the pressure now gets even more ratcheted up.

They all have to be viewed as independent. It's kind of like how many people get married in their next relationship after a major break up. Losing Mookie and Xander has put the team in a precarious spot where it could end up making a really bad decision. Don't get me wrong, I'm ok with an overpay for Devers if that's what it takes to keep a homegrown guy, but we can't lose all sense of reason. The Red Sox seem ripe for the plucking right now as the chorus of "they are cheap" gets louder and louder and as fans look at the Aaron Judge situation. They really need block out the noise and look at each situation that presents itself on its own merits and ask what's best for the club, and not overreact in an environment where it's easy to overreact.
 

DanoooME

above replacement level
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Mar 16, 2008
18,788
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I voted no.

The reasoning comes down to these questions...

How long before X starts to decline from being a very good shortstop?
How soon before the Sox are reasonably expected to seriously contend?
How soon before the Sox have a player in the development pipeline who is ready to play at the major league level (obvious candidate now is Mayer)?

X is a very good shortstop. No question, but he is 31. He hasn't really been in any discussion as an MVP. He's not on a HOF trajectory. SD is basically paying him for his past performance in my estimation. Even then, it's too high.

In the article below, X is getting the 7th largest contract for a free agent in MLB history. No way that the Sox should have come close to that. The hindsight call is to try to get something for him at the trade deadline (but he had a no trade clause). Also could have tried to lock him up prior to testing free agency (but he has Boras as an agent). In answer to my first question, I'm thinking two... maybe three years before he starts to decline and become a league-average shortstop.

https://www.masslive.com/redsox/2022/12/xander-bogaerts-contract-is-7th-largest-for-free-agent-ever-would-have-set-red-sox-record.html

The relevance of my second question is that they came in last with X, they can come in last without him. They've added some interesting pieces in the last few days that should make improve the overall record. I'm skeptical that they are a play-off contender even with those added pieces and with X. They've improved the bullpen. The starting pitching is tenuous at best. So why pay X elite money on a rebuilding team only to overpay for ordinary performance when their window opens back up?

Especially since... and here is where question number three comes in, if Mayer does pan out and the speculation is that his ceiling might be the same or higher than X's, why pay that much money for the second best SS on the team?

It's crappy that the Sox now have a need at shortstop. I'd still stay away from the high priced options (Correa) as that is just crazy long-term money flying around out there. Initially, it seems like we're missing out, but at some point, some of these franchises are going to have to wake up with a hangover. JWHIII and Co. have already had their share of benders but got bailed out by the Punto trade, but not so much with the Panda and Sale contracts. With X, I think they learned their lesson.
This post is in line with my thinking.

Here's another thing to think about relative to the bolded above: Is Xander even the 7th best player in baseball right now, let alone ever? Is he even a top 7 shortstop right now? You can at least argue that he is a top 7 SS, no way you can say he's in the top 7 of all players. You pay that kind of money (and more) for top 7-10 players in all of baseball, not someone who's the next tier down (or 2). That's how teams get bogged down in losing status, overpaying for less than top talent. The opportunity cost is too large.

I understand that there are factors involved like salaries being artificially reduced based on seniority (pre-FA) and a bidding war that generates these high numbers because of low supply/high demand issues. I think he's definitely overpaid even compared only to his competition today, let alone historically. As much as I liked having him on the Sox, there's no way to justify matching that deal and all you can do is wish him well.
 
I'm sure none of you are surprised that my vote in this poll was a resounding no. I like X, but between his age, declining statcast metrics, and likely defensive regression with the shift ban he isn't the player I'd give a megadeal to. If the team is going to blow a ton of money on a player I'd much rather go after Ohtani or Soto. I'd also make a real effort to resign Devers. Ironically the way that these offers have unfolded over the offseason I'd be more inclined to go after Devers than I was before.

@Buck Showalter -- I wouldn't offer Devers something like 8/300. That would take him to his age 36 season, and honestly there's a very high likelihood that he won't be able to command much money beyond that age. There's a chance he would, but it's a real gamble. So instead, offer him something in the 300-350/15 range. That pays him until he is 41 like many of these other contracts do and keeps the AAV very manageable. It's likely to be dead money in the latter half to third of the contract, but by that point 20m is probably not going to be a ton of money.

Package the offer like this: we want you to be the next David Ortiz, only we want to give you a third of a billion dollars to do it. That's a great sell, and there is actually some upside for the team there too if Devers takes that career trajectory.
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
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Jul 14, 2005
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Awesome reply...it's posts like this that make me better / more informed. Really appreciate it.

I agree with you --- if I'm the Sox, I go to Raffy and his agent right now and say: "8/$300M (with an opt-out after 5)--- what do you say?"....

This is just under the AAV of a current (winter of '22) 'village idiot' offer and provides stability for both parties.

If I'm the Sox --- I also go public with the offer.

If he turns "that" down, I have some leverage and credibility with the fandom / media that 'I mean business'.

If I'm Raffy...I'd be rolling the dice for '23 (and a subsequent free agent scenario) where my numbers don't suffer from a lack of protection in the lineup, my hamstrings provide me with 600+ plate appearances, and I avoid any other major injuries.

"That" is how the Red Sox should be approaching the Devers situation.

Because if we fail to offer something akin to the 8/$300M right now...and are leaning toward figuring this out at the next winter meetings, well then the last few days was a 'dress rehearsal' for Shank, Mazz, and the Boston fandom. And Bloom will deserve to get launched on a rocket, returning to some mid-market franchise where his algorithms will provide an efficient cost-per-win metric.
That scans for me.

One thing I think the Sox could do with young talent (regardless of the contract issue) is to really try to entangle them. Like with Boston-specific things, or through a development program. AFAIK, most guys have a kind of private "get ready over the winter" program - but that seems to encourage a bit of a mercenary mentality. . .which probably carries over from before they were drafted and/or unsigned. The goal would be to push back against that. To make the org. less fungible for the players inside it.

On the other hand we have situations like Lester's. We couldn't hear enough about how fantastic Boston was when he was going through cancer treatments, or how much he loved the city, etc. You would think that, plus being on the 2007 and 2013 clubs, plus making millions, would lead to something that's close to a lock. Successfully entangled. As close to a "Boston guy" you can get for a Washingtonian. Yet at the very end of the day, supposedly the Sox finally offered him what he was looking for but it was "too late."

That says something to me about the process, about how these things are conducted.

I don't mean the WEEI "respect" type dickering back-and-forth analysis. . .and yet also I do. Without knowing the fine details, I think we can pretty confidently say that if an organization and city means that much to you, the process itself fails if there's a "too late" caveat. I don't put any particular blame on Lester or the Sox for that particular situation, since I'm not privy to the facts. But it suggests the negotiating and valuing process itself isn't as clean or smooth or transparent as one might think. In fact, given the standard contract that's at the core of each signing, the process seems remarkably drawn-out and complex, and leads to pretty surprising outcomes. It's likely poorly incentivized to produce a lot of meaningless noise as opposed to real progress toward a meeting of the minds, or to explore whatever creative options might be out there.

It may just be an entrenched cultural thing in baseball, not just on the Sox.
 

8slim

Member
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Nov 6, 2001
20,739
Unreal America
Sports media should take a look at these poll results before assuming how Red Sox feel about this unfortunate situation.
This site has always been sympathetic to ownership. It’s not representative. I also suspect there’s a lot of “no” votes that are still pissed off, or at least deeply disappointed and more pessimistic about the future, today.
 

Sausage in Section 17

Poker Champ
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Mar 17, 2004
1,626
That would mean what in practical terms? Go to Scott Boras when, and with what offer? I'm not just making this point pedantically.

Think it through - in order to buy out a "village idiot" free agency scenario, you actually have to buy it out. You have to give the player something of value to forgo free agency. Usually, that's the certainty of a large contract earlier in their career, less money than the FA market, but a hedge against injury or a (very very unlikely) downturn in the market. So, how much earlier and what exactly do you offer? (Assuming the player is even interested in that kind of thing.)

It seems to me that the Sox already did exactly that.

They agreed to a six-year, $120 million extension in 2019, with the then-26 year old Bogaerts. So they had some control for his age 27-33 seasons. One of the conditions (set by Bogaerts) was an opt-out after 2022, for his age 30 seasons onward, where his viability as a 30+ SS would likely have been established (or not.) If he was injured, or had to move off the position, he'd be getting $20M per year for his early 30s with the Sox. But if he wasn't, he'd have the option to become a FA and see what was out there. He might resign, or he might take the high offer in the market.

And Xander did that. He exercised his option. He saw what was out there. The village idiot came forward, and there's simply no way to avoid that scenario.

Edit - he would have originally been a FA after the 2020 season, so the Sox got 2 more prime years at a very fair value. Mission already accomplished.

I think this is exactly right. What could the Sox really have done differently? Boras is a master at maneuvering his clients on to the square where they get the best offers and he extracts maximum dollars. We've already seen a few free agents choose less money for a preferred location, but that is apparently not the higher priority for Xander. The player we've had in Bogaerts may maintain for another 2-3 years, but 11 years!!?? It's just insane. Will Bogaerts even finish that contract? I don't mind taking on some inefficiency in the payroll for sentimentality, but not if it could literally sink the team for years if he falls off a cliff.

Upthread, someone else noted this is the 7th largest total value contract in MLB history. Is Xander even the 7th best player in RS history? Or has he ever been the 7th best player in the league? He's a great player, and I will miss him, but this contract is really out of whack with his true value. Better to offer that money to a better player, even if it isn't this year.
 

Was (Not Wasdin)

family crest has godzilla
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Jul 26, 2007
3,248
The Short Bus
I voted no. I think in the short term it would be ok, and at the end, if salaries keep increasing, could be ok if X ages reasonably well (i.e. 10 years from now 25M per might no be too bad for a guy hitting .280/.350/.425).

But I think those middle years, say from 4-9, are going to be difficult.