Poll: Rate Your Faith in the Red Sox Front Office

Rate Your Faith in the Red Sox Front Office


  • Total voters
    595

chrisfont9

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The Boston Red Sox are one of the Cadillac franchises
Are they? What does that mean anymore? The actual players coming up now or coming from overseas don't care about baseball history. The Sox have no more or less money or power than a good 2/3 of the league. TV money is practically everywhere and what matters most, particularly under the current CBA. Their fans are more into it than most groups, but that doesn't give the Sox any real advantage. Having fans in Anaheim doesn't add 2mph onto Sale's four seamer. I can appreciate that we generally do care about the history and the team's connection to New Englanders but as far as the on field product, none of that means shit anymore, and the sooner we stop assuming that the Sox have greater leverage to get players and win games than just about any other team, the better.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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While I personally disagree since you've had respected writers floating that he would have seriously considered it, lets operate under the assumption that you're totally correct and Boras would not have let Bogaerts take that deal.

A) If that was the case, and the best offer they were prepared to make was - in essence - 4 years at $90m then shouldn't Bloom have thus known there was no chance Bogaerts would accept that and also that there was no way he was going to be re-signed in the offseason? Or is he horrible at reading a market in 2022 and again in 2023?

B) If the idea is that Bogaerts is a sub par defensive shortstop whom would age off the position and thus not be worth a long term deal in the first place, so they didn't really want him and that's why they signed Story, shouldn't there have been much more of a plan in place to replace him as a middle of the order bat. Losing your 3rd or 4th hitter in the line up (his two most occupied positions) is kind of a problem that should be addressed. I like the Yoshida signing, but you're relying on a guy coming over from Japan, an old DH on a one year deal and a guy whom has shown no ability to hit LHP in the minors to replace a guy that has been a ~ 130 wRC+ player for the past 5 years and, at least ostensibly, another middle of the order bat (Devers) as well.

C) Lets assume there WERE plans in place to replace that production that haven't come to fruition, doesn't that speak to Bloom not being able to execute his plans, which would be problematic. I of course allow that "its not even MLK day yet" and that we need to continue to see what the off-season holds - but the pattern to present doesn't make me think a massive trade (or Devers extension) is on the horizon.

D) As the last point, since optics shouldn't be a huge role, but wouldn't it have been a far better look - having offered him more than you just gave Story and having Bogaerts turn it down. That would have been a serious attempt to keep a star franchise player, by saying we value you MORE than the guy we just gave this deal to, and close to the top of the (2022) free agent class. Yes, the media and fans will always find something to complain about, but that is a lot more difficult to poke holes in. Now, I personally don't believe that the Front Office really cares about public perception (and I think this should come pretty far down the list in terms of making choices anyway) but it keeps being brought up, so it would have been a much easier sell to the fan base of - we really wanted this player here and we made an offer higher than one of the top FA middle infielders just signed for, but he wants to test free agency and that is something he's earned.


As much as I like Bogaerts as a player and for the intangibles that came with it, my biggest problem isn't in letting him go, but it's in what they've done / not done around the roster to build a better baseball team instead of committing the money to one player.

Has the team improved from where they were at the end of last year - I don't think that's certain based on the current roster, but it's certainly possible, with some very large error bands - so lets assume they have. The question isn't are they better than the 2022 Red Sox, the question is have they done enough to improve to a greater extent than the 2023 Orioles, Rays, Blue Jays and Yankees, and I think that is a very likely no.

With the players they've acquired, they also haven't done anything to improve the farm system or the 2024-27 window that many people keep pointing too, and seem to be prioritizing 2023 (looking more and more like a lame duck season from Devers with every passing day and every bit of "information" we receive) than that 2024-27 window, which is what gives me so little faith in what Bloom is doing.
I'm not sure if you're addressing the obvious situation where elite and "top talent" (I'd put X in the "top talent" category, not elite... same as Devers, and it applies here) see themselves.

If you enter the league at age 22 say, the team has your under contract for 6 years with escalations, etc, up to your age 28 season. That's a great time to hit Free Agency and if you're elite (or you and your agent believe you are) then you can likely get a contract for 12 years for say $360million, yeah? But if you think you're great, why wouldn't you want to get an opt-out that takes you to an age where someone still might want to sign you for another 10-12 years for even more money in 3 years when you're still likely to be producing at an elite level. So you'll make $90 million for 3 years and then can possibly sign a 10 year deal for $360M.
If you sign a contract for 6 years when you hit FA at age 28 for $200M (way more than should be considered) with no opt-outs, that'll take you up to your age 34 season. Chances are you're only going to get limited offers at that point. You're very likely not very good any longer and likely spending more time on the DL.

I don't see where Bloom didn't see this as what the situation was at all..... Xander was not taking any offer that didn't absolutely maximize his earnings into his late 30's and early 40's. But Bloom had to offer him something and talk to the press and make nice and everything but does anyone here... at all... think it's a good idea to have a player like X at 36? 37? 35..... maybe.... but would X want to hit FA at age 35?
I actually think Bloom played this as well as he could, likely knowing exactly what X was going to look for a loooooong term contract that didn't make sense.

It'll be the same situation with Devers... he'll want (and should get) an opt-out that will take him to at absolutely the latest, 32 years old where he possibly could get another 8 year contract. If he doesn't want an opt-out, then the contract will likely be a 12 year deal.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Are they? What does that mean anymore? The actual players coming up now or coming from overseas don't care about baseball history. The Sox have no more or less money or power than a good 2/3 of the league. TV money is practically everywhere and what matters most, particularly under the current CBA. Their fans are more into it than most groups, but that doesn't give the Sox any real advantage. Having fans in Anaheim doesn't add 2mph onto Sale's four seamer. I can appreciate that we generally do care about the history and the team's connection to New Englanders but as far as the on field product, none of that means shit anymore, and the sooner we stop assuming that the Sox have greater leverage to get players and win games than just about any other team, the better.
I don’t think you get what I mean. It has nothing to do with the players and their perception of the franchise, the region or the history. What I mean is that the Sox are one of the most valuable teams in the league (Top 3 at best, but no worse than Top 5).

The Sox have not been acting like this since Bloom was hired, in terms of spending on new free agents (and their own) in regards to their revenue. They signed Story, but he was at a bargain. They threw up their hands and said things were too expensive when it came to paying Betts and Bogaerts. Other than that, it’s been dumpster diving and trying to get the best deals (like an Oakland or a Tampa Bay).

It’s been my contention that the Sox shouldn’t act like this. They shouldn’t have a PoBO who seems dumbfounded at where the market is going. “Gawsh, Xander hit what? Guys … give me a moment here.”

For 20 or so years, the Red Sox have been one of the leaders of MLB both in terms of the front office and putting together a team. Now, they’re just mid.
 

chrisfont9

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I don’t think you get what I mean. It has nothing to do with the players and their perception of the franchise, the region or the history. What I mean is that the Sox are one of the most valuable teams in the league (Top 3 at best, but no worse than Top 5).

The Sox have not been acting like this since Bloom was hired, in terms of spending on new free agents (and their own) in regards to their revenue. They signed Story, but he was at a bargain. They threw up their hands and said things were too expensive when it came to paying Betts and Bogaerts. Other than that, it’s been dumpster diving and trying to get the best deals (like an Oakland or a Tampa Bay).

It’s been my contention that the Sox shouldn’t act like this. They shouldn’t have a PoBO who seems dumbfounded at where the market is going. “Gawsh, Xander hit what? Guys … give me a moment here.”

For 20 or so years, the Red Sox have been one of the leaders of MLB both in terms of the front office and putting together a team. Now, they’re just mid.
Ah, OK thanks. Yes, their resale value and revenue are unique, to the point that they could choose to blow past the LT like the Dodgers. That has its share of pros and cons as far as results, but yeah, that's possible.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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I'm not sure if you're addressing the obvious situation where elite and "top talent" (I'd put X in the "top talent" category, not elite... same as Devers, and it applies here) see themselves.

But Bloom had to offer him something and talk to the press and make nice and everything but does anyone here... at all... think it's a good idea to have a player like X at 36? 37? 35..... maybe.... but would X want to hit FA at age 35?
I actually think Bloom played this as well as he could, likely knowing exactly what X was going to look for a loooooong term contract that didn't make sense.

It'll be the same situation with Devers... he'll want (and should get) an opt-out that will take him to at absolutely the latest, 32 years old where he possibly could get another 8 year contract. If he doesn't want an opt-out, then the contract will likely be a 12 year deal.
I pared this down for ease of quoting, so please forgive me if I take anything out of context. That is not my intent and correct me if I do...

To the "top talent see themselves" argument, I agree completely. Here are last year's largest FA contracts in terms of total dollars (https://boardroom.tv/biggest-contracts-2022-mlb-offseason/). If we'd made Bogaerts the literal exact same offer Kris Bryant got (also a Boras client) do we think he and Boras turn that down? Bryant signed that before his age 30 season, taking him through his age 36 season, which would have been exactly the same for Bogaerts. Now, maybe he turns that down - but there is nobody out there accusing Bloom / the Sox of being cheap, misreading the market, not trying to retain their top talent if we had made him the second highest FA offer.

That would have been a completely reasonable $26m AAV and went exactly one year past when you'd said "maybe" to. As someone who said over and over he wanted to stay in Boston you probably could have started with something like Semien got (7/$175m) or even something like the Braves gave Olson. That is a totally different scenario being painted than offering him 4/$90m. If the report had been we offered him that and he said "nope", I think even those of us whom have been spending no shortage of time on here bashing Bloom's approach would have said "we offered him top of the FA market money BEFORE he was a free agent and he said no; he didn't want to be here that badly."

So if you know he's not going to accept it based on the reasons you laid out, what is the danger in making that offer? There shouldn't be any. Unless...

The team didn't want the player - even at something like Olson's contract - to begin with. Which is fine. I disagree, but I'd understand the rationale.

So then if you've determined you're not signing Bogaerts, have a plan to replace the middle of the order bat that isn't completely dependent on two non proven players (Yoshida and Casas) and a 38 year old on a one year deal.

But these moves are fine, because we're building to a 2024-27 core with financial flexibility, right? So maybe, and I know this is crazy talk - actually decided to prioritize the 2025-27 window you're apparently building for at the expense of a team with a 67% chance to not make the playoffs with no MLB core for the 2023 and 2024 seasons. If you're prioritizing the 2025-27 window, prioritize it. I think the vast majority of people on here with no faith in the Front Office would at least understand that and give Bloom more benefit of the doubt - at least I would.


Case in point - I'm not upset about the Devers negotiations because "we haven't signed him, and therefore Bloom sucks, BLAH!" I'm upset because we always hear he wants around $300m and we're "galaxies" apart. Lets assume Correa gets done, and the Red Sox offer Devers the exact deal of 12yrs / $315m he apparently agreed to with the Mets. Does Devers say yes? (I think so). If he says "no" does anyone really accuse the Sox of lowballing the player. Same thing if we go 11/ $300m (Turner deal). It's the idea that - at least based on all reports from pretty much all writers - we're not coming anywhere close to that, and are apparently again going to let him play out this year as a lame duck, prioritizing the one year vs the apparent window we keep hearing Bloom is building as a master tactician.
 

scottyno

late Bloomer
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Dec 7, 2008
11,450
Scotty I’ve explained my thoughts on this to you on a weekly basis for months. I’m not getting into with you again. Sorry.

Either you get what I’m saying or you don’t. But I don’t have the strength to keep typing the same stuff to you again.
My apologies, you were completely right. Henry decided not to spend anymore.
 

WheresDewey

New Member
Nov 18, 2007
145
Taiwan
My vote of tepid support of 60% feels more vindicated now. At this point, Bloom should do what he's best at, wait out the free agent market looking for bargains. Hopefully he can find someone to play RF and either SS or 2B.
 

richgedman'sghost

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May 13, 2006
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I don’t think you get what I mean. It has nothing to do with the players and their perception of the franchise, the region or the history. What I mean is that the Sox are one of the most valuable teams in the league (Top 3 at best, but no worse than Top 5).

The Sox have not been acting like this since Bloom was hired, in terms of spending on new free agents (and their own) in regards to their revenue. They signed Story, but he was at a bargain. They threw up their hands and said things were too expensive when it came to paying Betts and Bogaerts. Other than that, it’s been dumpster diving and trying to get the best deals (like an Oakland or a Tampa Bay).

It’s been my contention that the Sox shouldn’t act like this. They shouldn’t have a PoBO who seems dumbfounded at where the market is going. “Gawsh, Xander hit what? Guys … give me a moment here.”

For 20 or so years, the Red Sox have been one of the leaders of MLB both in terms of the front office and putting together a team. Now, they’re just mid.
Whats your opinion of Red Sox ownership now that they have signed Devers to his 11 year extension? Do you still think Henry is a cheap owner and Chaim wants to act like the Red Sox are the Rays?
 

Yo La Tengo

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Nov 21, 2005
997
My vote of tepid support of 60% feels more vindicated now. At this point, Bloom should do what he's best at, wait out the free agent market looking for bargains. Hopefully he can find someone to play RF and either SS or 2B.
Immense patience and no leaks. Those are Bloom's key traits. He waited to get this Devers deal done and very well may end up with the best big contract of the offseason. Now he can look at free agency and trades in order to fill CF, RF, SS, or 2B. That's a lot of flexibility. I bet we'll be surprised by the next move.


EDIT: This also sets up the Sox to get under the luxury tax this year (assuming we can't convince Correa to sign a 2 year/$100 million deal) and then be in position to extend young players next off season and/or go big after Ohtani (other than a few big pitchers, next year's free agent options are not very interesting).
 
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simplicio

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Apr 11, 2012
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Yeah, it seems like it's very much their intention to stay under the threshold this year to reset, go over next year with the Devers + Sale money and then they'll have latitude in 2025 (Jansen/Barnes gone at that point) for the Sale option and/or extensions.
 

chawson

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Aug 1, 2006
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Immense patience and no leaks. Those are Bloom's key traits. He waited to get this Devers deal done and very well may end up with the best big contract of the offseason. Now he can look at free agency and trades in order to fill CF, RF, SS, or 2B. That's a lot of flexibility. I bet we'll be surprised by the next move.

EDIT: This also sets up the Sox to get under the luxury tax this year (assuming we can't convince Correa to sign a 2 year/$100 million deal) and then be in position to extend young players next off season and/or go big after Ohtani (other than a few big pitchers, next year's free agent options are not very interesting).
Next year's free agent options aren't (besides Ohtani) but 2025's very much are.

Seems like the plan is to try to sneak into the expanded playoffs the next two seasons and contend for the division for the back half of the decade or more. And then get swallowed up by the seas.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Whats your opinion of Red Sox ownership now that they have signed Devers to his 11 year extension? Do you still think Henry is a cheap owner and Chaim wants to act like the Red Sox are the Rays?
I love it. I’m a fan of the Red Sox, why wouldn’t I like it? That’s a strange question to ask to a person who’s been on a Red Sox message board for over 21 years.

I’m not going to rain on this parade, but they still lost their best hitter and two best pitchers from last year without replacing them with anyone so very good job for doing the absolute bare minimum John Henry and company.
 

ehaz

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Sep 30, 2007
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Next year's free agent options aren't (besides Ohtani) but 2025's very much are.

Seems like the plan is to try to sneak into the expanded playoffs the next two seasons and contend for the division for the back half of the decade or more. And then get swallowed up by the seas.
The hitters sans Machado and Ohtani are not very interesting but next year's starting pitching class has a lot of interesting names with high ceilings.
  • Yu Darvish (37)
  • Julio Urias (27!)
  • Jack Flaherty (28)
  • Lucas Giolito (29)
  • Aaron Nola (31)
  • Tyler Mahle (29)
  • Luis Severino (30)
  • Blake Snell (31)
 

chawson

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Are they spending money? Sure. Are they spending as much compared to a) their peers and b) their past selves? A cursory look at the data makes clear that the answer to both questions is no. In 2012, the Sox payroll was higher than the mean of the top 5 payrolls in the game (mean was 164.5, Sox were at 173). In 2022, the top 5 mean was 240.6, while the Sox spent 201. The gap between them and the top tier of spenders is only going to widen this year. Another way of looking at this: In 2012, the Yanks had the highest payroll, which, adjusted for 2022 dollars, now amounts to 252. Meanwhile, the 2012 Sox payroll, in 2022 dollars, amounts to 220. The 2022 Sox spent 91% of what the 2012 Sox spent, inflation-adjusted, while the 2022 Yanks spent 95% of what the 2012 Yanks spent, inflation adjusted.

And of course we don't know how 2023 will shake out yet, but the spending gap between the Sox and its large-market peers is almost certainly going to grow, and the level of spending will likely be dwarfed by what was spent a decade ago.

So yes--there is indeed a reality of the situation in which they are reducing spending.
The Sox are now currently 8th in 2023 luxury tax payroll with $224 million, beyond the Mets (1st), Yankees, Padres, Phillies, Braves, Blue Jays and Dodgers.

They now have $135 million in 2024 commitments, which is fifth in MLB (Mets, Yankees, Phillies, Rangers). They have $77 million in 2025 commitments, which is tenth in MLB, behind the Yankees (1st), Phillies, Mets, Padres, Braves, Rangers, Angels, Mariners and Blue Jays.
 

OurF'ingCity

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I love it. I’m a fan of the Red Sox, why wouldn’t I like it? That’s a strange question to ask to a person who’s been on a Red Sox message board for over 21 years.

I’m not going to rain on this parade, but they still lost their best hitter and two best pitchers from last year without replacing them with anyone so very good job for doing the absolute bare minimum John Henry and company.
At least with regard to hitters this is blatantly untrue given that they signed Yoshida. If you want to argue Yoshida isn’t as valuable as X, fine, obviously the market suggests he isn’t, but it’s not true to suggest that they haven’t taken steps to at least partially offset the loss of Bogaerts.

Regarding pitching, obviously the hope is that Sale, Paxton, and Kluber will replace some of what was lost in Eovaldi and others - not sure who you think their second best pitcher was, but I’d take Sale/Paxton/Kluber over Eovaldi/Wacha/Hill any day, even factoring in injury history.

All that said, they sucked last year, so I’m not saying they are a WS contender now or anything. But overall I’d describe this as a “fine” off-season, and they still have moves to make, of course.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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At least with regard to hitters this is blatantly untrue given that they signed Yoshida. If you want to argue Yoshida isn’t as valuable as X, fine, obviously the market suggests he isn’t, but it’s not true to suggest that they haven’t taken steps to at least partially offset the loss of Bogaerts.

Regarding pitching, obviously the hope is that Sale, Paxton, and Kluber will replace some of what was lost in Eovaldi and others - not sure who you think their second best pitcher was, but I’d take Sale/Paxton/Kluber over Eovaldi/Wacha/Hill any day, even factoring in injury history.

All that said, they sucked last year, so I’m not saying they are a WS contender now or anything. But overall I’d describe this as a “fine” off-season, and they still have moves to make, of course.
I consider Yoshida an upgrade over JBJ/Pham. But the jury is out whether he can replace Bogaerts.

But the Devers signing is a good starting point.
 

simplicio

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With Xander's move to petco, my guess is Yoshida puts up better the better offense of the two this year. Obviously doesn't play short of course.
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

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I’m not going to rain on this parade, but they still lost their best hitter and two best pitchers from last year without replacing them with anyone so very good job for doing the absolute bare minimum John Henry and company.
Damn, I'd hate to see what your definition of actually raining on the parade looks like.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Damn, I'd hate to see what your definition of actually raining on the parade looks like.
I said I really liked the move, in fact I said I love it, so I’m not sure why a couple of Bloomers wanted to zing me on a good day. As if I was going to be against the Red Sox signing a really good player to a long-term deal.

But the complete and total devotion to Chaim Bloom and his glorious reign over the last three plus seasons is a many splendored thing.
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

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I said I really liked the move, in fact I said I love it, so I’m not sure why a couple of Bloomers wanted to zing me on a good day. As if I was going to be against the Red Sox signing a really good player to a long-term deal.

But the complete and total devotion to Chaim Bloom and his glorious reign over the last three plus seasons is a many splendored thing.
I mean, you said you weren't going to rain on the parade and proceeded to do just that. Or I guess you would call that zinging Bloom and Henry. It's okay to lighten up every now and then, it was actually pretty funny. Which was the only reason for my comment.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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None of the “notes” fit how I feel, still, but this one (gigantic) deviation from what we’ve seen makes me want to change my vote from “closer to 0% than 20%” to somewhere around “80% to 90%.”

I still don’t think the 2023 team is a contender for much beyond hanging around for the last wild card, but my feelings on the 2024-27 window changed dramatically.

We now see the idea that Sale will roll off the books, but that we’ll spend to replace him with elite talent and not only a hodgepodge of mediocrity that ends up still being a $225m team.

I wanted the team this off-season to show a serious commitment toward building the next core, and we did that today. There are a lot more ways to build a really good line up when you have two established, in their prime, middle of the order core pieces to anchor the lineup, and with Story and Devers, those places are in place.

I‘m not going to pretend to like spending on the bullpen committee (this is specifically omitting Jansen, because I think spending on a closer makes sense) or feel great about the rotation THIS YEAR. But the idea of spending this off-season making sure you’ve locked up 4 pieces of your 1-5 core in the line up (Yoshida, Story, Devers and Casas) while seeing what you have in Whitlock, Bello and Houck is a legitimate plan that I’d like to think most of us can get behind and agree is totally sound - whether it works or not.

I‘ve long maintained my faith in FSG, and this move gives me more faith in Bloom (the FO) than I’ve had in him at any point in his tenure. He ”landed” an elite talent by paying what was necessary (money or prospects) to get that player. I still would have preferred retaining Bogaerts or doing more to help the rotation than some of the other ancillary moves, but that is more a debate on the allocation of resources in the short term than a fundamental disagreement on roster building as a whole.

I have zero problems admitting when I’m wrong, and I am thrilled to have been wrong.
 

JM3

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Dec 14, 2019
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I‘m not going to pretend to like spending on the bullpen committee (this is specifically omitting Jansen, because I think spending on a closer makes sense)
I'm going to push back on this a bit (& snip the rest because "I told you so" posts are lame & we're all rooting for the same things in the long run).

Teams have moved away from closer by committee approach. I believe mostly due to the human element of routine & set roles more so than it being optimal in a vacuum to have your purported best pitcher not necessarily face the opponents best hitters any given night. But there's still no real reason to believe 65 closer innings are significantly more valuable than 65 similarly effective setup man innings.

I think Martin will be a better pitcher than Kenley this reason for several reasons, & he makes significantly less $, so I think he's going to be the more valuable addition of the 2.

I think Martin really figured something out with his pitch mix when he was traded to the Dodgers & began throwing his much better pitches more & his worse pitches less...genius level stuff.

He has been effective with ridiculously high BABIPs due to really excellent strikeout & walk rates, & he seems to be trending in the right direction.

Kenley is one of the slowest pitchers in baseball & has trouble controlling the running game. These are potential issues with the new rules. I hope this is something the Red Sox vetted with him. His stuff has diminished some as well, & he seems to be trending, slowly, in the wrong direction.

I think he'll be a ~fine signing, but I don't really agree with the glorification of the closer & justifying any spending on that while marginalizing the importance of shut down middle relievers.

I'm also fairly high on Joely for "I think he's discovered" something reasons. & a 1 year $2m contract with a club option in case they're right, is a pretty solid thing & worth the extra $1.2m spend over rando-reliever Z imo.
 

Farty Barrett

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Nov 4, 2012
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Extending Devers helps me feel safely cradled in the benevolence of Bloom’s plan.

I still think Bloom is exciting and love the idea of him building around Devers. He was the youngest of the Bloom options and it makes sense enough. Faith doesn’t require the most concrete of evidence to work. I can definitely nod along to 11/331 and hope it all really lands when it needs to.

If I’m going to believe in this ownership group, I don’t need to know the whole plan; but acts of grace, mixed with a few miracles, help me believe it’s good.

Sure, the 2023 roster needs work. Bloom and his team are on it. But FSG definitely needs to rectify the Orsillo/Remy/Eck loss or I’ll always be a little skeptical of whether or not they even exist. Why would you create something like that just to take it all away?
 

streeter88

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Apr 2, 2006
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I still don’t think the 2023 team is a contender for much beyond hanging around for the last wild card, but my feelings on the 2024-27 window changed dramatically.

We now see the idea that Sale will roll off the books, but that we’ll spend to replace him with elite talent and not only a hodgepodge of mediocrity that ends up still being a $225m team.

I wanted the team this off-season to show a serious commitment toward building the next core, and we did that today. There are a lot more ways to build a really good line up when you have two established, in their prime, middle of the order core pieces to anchor the lineup, and with Story and Devers, those places are in place.

I‘m not going to pretend to like spending on the bullpen committee (this is specifically omitting Jansen, because I think spending on a closer makes sense) or feel great about the rotation THIS YEAR. But the idea of spending this off-season making sure you’ve locked up 4 pieces of your 1-5 core in the line up (Yoshida, Story, Devers and Casas) while seeing what you have in Whitlock, Bello and Houck is a legitimate plan that I’d like to think most of us can get behind and agree is totally sound - whether it works or not.
As has become usual over the past few months, BPMS has captured the essence of this deal - and what it means after 2023 - for me. If I combine with some of BPMS' other posts especially the ones that mention that the 2023 team's fortunes will really depend on the upside (especially the starting pitching upsides of Sale, Paxton, and others) and think about the holes in the lineup that remain, I am still not on board with the plan. BPMS mentions the next core is now in place, but I think that core as currently conceived is 1-2 players light, and as well it has 2 players (Yoshida and Casas) who still need to establish themselves as major leaguers.

I am hoping that in the time remaining before spring training, the core is enhanced by the addition at the very least of a viable starting SS as well as a power hitting RF (and sorry I don't have any ideas on who that should be - but I hope Bloom does). In addition to the starting pitching (if I squint maybe this is fixed) and bullpen issues (yep, addressed), last year's team suffered from a very visible power deficit, and as BPMS stated, this team may have gotten better, but not better enough to really contend yet.

In summary, Bloom still has a few pieces to add - both for 2023 and beyond.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2022
1,253
I'm going to push back on this a bit (& snip the rest because "I told you so" posts are lame & we're all rooting for the same things in the long run).

Teams have moved away from closer by committee approach. I believe mostly due to the human element of routine & set roles more so than it being optimal in a vacuum to have your purported best pitcher not necessarily face the opponents best hitters any given night. But there's still no real reason to believe 65 closer innings are significantly more valuable than 65 similarly effective setup man innings.

I think Martin will be a better pitcher than Kenley this reason for several reasons, & he makes significantly less $, so I think he's going to be the more valuable addition of the 2.

I think Martin really figured something out with his pitch mix when he was traded to the Dodgers & began throwing his much better pitches more & his worse pitches less...genius level stuff.

He has been effective with ridiculously high BABIPs due to really excellent strikeout & walk rates, & he seems to be trending in the right direction.

Kenley is one of the slowest pitchers in baseball & has trouble controlling the running game. These are potential issues with the new rules. I hope this is something the Red Sox vetted with him. His stuff has diminished some as well, & he seems to be trending, slowly, in the wrong direction.

I think he'll be a ~fine signing, but I don't really agree with the glorification of the closer & justifying any spending on that while marginalizing the importance of shut down middle relievers.

I'm also fairly high on Joely for "I think he's discovered" something reasons. & a 1 year $2m contract with a club option in case they're right, is a pretty solid thing & worth the extra $1.2m spend over rando-reliever Z imo.
Fair enough, I think we both put a lot of belief in the “intangible” value of having a closer, if that makes sense. Or maybe “difficult to quantify” is a better way of saying it. There are certain things one can point to such as a manager knowing the pitcher they’re going to, and then feeling confident to mix and match accordingly; allowing pitchers a sense of routine in knowing their roles, etc, and I totally agree with paying a premium for that.

To be clear - and I admittedly should have done a better job on this - I’m not saying the 65 set up innings aren’t important. It’s more that I think when your operating in a budget constraint, those pieces can be found quite cheaply (I listed out Tampa’s ‘pen the past two years; Cleveland does this well) by good analytics departments, and a team can cycle out bunches of these guys through the season.

If we had the Braves or Astros core, with money below the tax to burn, sure, go nuts. Same in seasons where we determine the luxury tax is irrelevant. If you’re trying to reset the tax / stay under the tax, I think it’s a lot more difficult to find high level starting pitching or core line up pieces on the cheap - bullpen arms are much easier to obtain for relatively nothing.

If you believe FSG (Henry) gives the FO (Bloom) an annual budget of $Luxury Tax Threshold each season as a standard operating procedure - which I do - and you have really big question marks at several rotation and line up spots, you’re better served spending money there than in the “bullpen” (ex closer).

Put a different way, I’d have a much better feeling about 2023 if we had allocated ~10% of that “budget” (call it $25m) with $9m on Kevin Kiermaier - moving Hernandez to SS and leaving Story at 2b and let’s say $10m to Michael Wacha then finding our own versions of “Jason Adam, Shawn Armstrong, Luke Bard, and Ralph Garza” to compliment kids coming up from Worcester that aren’t likely good enough to start in the AL East but have one or two decent pitches or really good splits their first time through the order.

Who knows, maybe we trade for Adames and Brandon Woodruff this month and blow over the tax, but operating under the constraints of $233m, I think that would have been a better plan to retain financial flexibility for the long term AND contend in 2023.

Though again - to reiterate - FAR more confident in Bloom’s ability to execute the plan today than yesterday, and thrilled to be wrong.
 

JM3

often quoted
SoSH Member
Dec 14, 2019
17,422
Fair enough, I think we both put a lot of belief in the “intangible” value of having a closer, if that makes sense. Or maybe “difficult to quantify” is a better way of saying it. There are certain things one can point to such as a manager knowing the pitcher they’re going to, and then feeling confident to mix and match accordingly; allowing pitchers a sense of routine in knowing their roles, etc, and I totally agree with paying a premium for that.

To be clear - and I admittedly should have done a better job on this - I’m not saying the 65 set up innings aren’t important. It’s more that I think when your operating in a budget constraint, those pieces can be found quite cheaply (I listed out Tampa’s ‘pen the past two years; Cleveland does this well) by good analytics departments, and a team can cycle out bunches of these guys through the season.

If we had the Braves or Astros core, with money below the tax to burn, sure, go nuts. Same in seasons where we determine the luxury tax is irrelevant. If you’re trying to reset the tax / stay under the tax, I think it’s a lot more difficult to find high level starting pitching or core line up pieces on the cheap - bullpen arms are much easier to obtain for relatively nothing.

If you believe FSG (Henry) gives the FO (Bloom) an annual budget of $Luxury Tax Threshold each season as a standard operating procedure - which I do - and you have really big question marks at several rotation and line up spots, you’re better served spending money there than in the “bullpen” (ex closer).

Put a different way, I’d have a much better feeling about 2023 if we had allocated ~10% of that “budget” (call it $25m) with $9m on Kevin Kiermaier - moving Hernandez to SS and leaving Story at 2b and let’s say $10m to Michael Wacha then finding our own versions of “Jason Adam, Shawn Armstrong, Luke Bard, and Ralph Garza” to compliment kids coming up from Worcester that aren’t likely good enough to start in the AL East but have one or two decent pitches or really good splits their first time through the order.

Who knows, maybe we trade for Adames and Brandon Woodruff this month and blow over the tax, but operating under the constraints of $233m, I think that would have been a better plan to retain financial flexibility for the long term AND contend in 2023.

Though again - to reiterate - FAR more confident in Bloom’s ability to execute the plan today than yesterday, and thrilled to be wrong.
The problems with that approach are a few fold. The Indians mostly developed those guys over time, & I think the Red Sox will have some in the pipeline before too long.

& the Rays have more spots for the churn & seem to treat all their players as super disposable.

But Bloom has picked up some super legit "free" relievers like Schreiber & Whitlock, & given time I expect that not to be an area they particularly need to spend on.

Most of the short term deals given out are to paper over areas of the organization that haven't been built up yet - Martin/Turner, etc. These are short term deals to patch over the spots before the cheap reinforcements come.

Kiermaier is coming off a 90 wRC+ season & is a career 97 wRC+ hitter. He also walks very rarely, strikes out a lot & will be 33. I'd rather throw Rafaela out there if we want a defense only outfielder because at least there is some offensive upside there.

I think Hernandez at short would be suboptimal, too. & Wacha is still available. I'm hoping they sign him if the price is right & trade Pivetta still.
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
4,692
Put a different way, I’d have a much better feeling about 2023 if we had allocated ~10% of that “budget” (call it $25m) with $9m on Kevin Kiermaier - moving Hernandez to SS and leaving Story at 2b and let’s say $10m to Michael Wacha then finding our own versions of “Jason Adam, Shawn Armstrong, Luke Bard, and Ralph Garza” to compliment kids coming up from Worcester that aren’t likely good enough to start in the AL East but have one or two decent pitches or really good splits their first time through the order.
Don’t the Sox already do this to some extent, though?

Adam, Armstrong, Bard and Garza, 2022:
159.2 IP, 3.57 FIP, 23.7 K%, 8.1 BB%

Brasier, Schreiber, Strahm and Valdez, 2022:
188.1 IP, 3.28 FIP, 25.9 K%, 7.1 BB%

Davis, Richards (as RP), Robles and Taylor, 2021:
115.2, 3.13 FIP, 27.3 K%, 10.9 BB%

The Rays’ success comes less from finding good arms as is than tweaking with castaway pitchers’ pitch mix. Adam revamped his slider and change last year and dumped his curveball. Armstrong picked up a sinker. Bard added a curveball and a cutter and Garza remade his cutter and change. The Sox don’t do that quite so often, from what I see, but they do tend to grab guys with high spin rates who limit hard contact (Ottavino, Davis, Schreiber, Kelly, Valdez, Strahm, Whitlock).
 
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jteders1

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 5, 2022
136
None of the “notes” fit how I feel, still, but this one (gigantic) deviation from what we’ve seen makes me want to change my vote from “closer to 0% than 20%” to somewhere around “80% to 90%.”

I still don’t think the 2023 team is a contender for much beyond hanging around for the last wild card, but my feelings on the 2024-27 window changed dramatically.

We now see the idea that Sale will roll off the books, but that we’ll spend to replace him with elite talent and not only a hodgepodge of mediocrity that ends up still being a $225m team.

I wanted the team this off-season to show a serious commitment toward building the next core, and we did that today. There are a lot more ways to build a really good line up when you have two established, in their prime, middle of the order core pieces to anchor the lineup, and with Story and Devers, those places are in place.

I‘m not going to pretend to like spending on the bullpen committee (this is specifically omitting Jansen, because I think spending on a closer makes sense) or feel great about the rotation THIS YEAR. But the idea of spending this off-season making sure you’ve locked up 4 pieces of your 1-5 core in the line up (Yoshida, Story, Devers and Casas) while seeing what you have in Whitlock, Bello and Houck is a legitimate plan that I’d like to think most of us can get behind and agree is totally sound - whether it works or not.

I‘ve long maintained my faith in FSG, and this move gives me more faith in Bloom (the FO) than I’ve had in him at any point in his tenure. He ”landed” an elite talent by paying what was necessary (money or prospects) to get that player. I still would have preferred retaining Bogaerts or doing more to help the rotation than some of the other ancillary moves, but that is more a debate on the allocation of resources in the short term than a fundamental disagreement on roster building as a whole.

I have zero problems admitting when I’m wrong, and I am thrilled to have been wrong.
This sums up my thoughts well. I would move my faith rating up from 20% to 50% so not quite as bullish, but definitely feeling better.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
Extending Devers helps me feel safely cradled in the benevolence of Bloom’s plan.

I still think Bloom is exciting and love the idea of him building around Devers. He was the youngest of the Bloom options and it makes sense enough. Faith doesn’t require the most concrete of evidence to work. I can definitely nod along to 11/331 and hope it all really lands when it needs to.

If I’m going to believe in this ownership group, I don’t need to know the whole plan; but acts of grace, mixed with a few miracles, help me believe it’s good.

Sure, the 2023 roster needs work. Bloom and his team are on it. But FSG definitely needs to rectify the Orsillo/Remy/Eck loss or I’ll always be a little skeptical of whether or not they even exist. Why would you create something like that just to take it all away?
Re-read your last sentence and see if it reads as foolish to you as it does to me.
 

Farty Barrett

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 4, 2012
51
There's no reason to see yourself out. Your routine was fine until your dismount ruined it. To quote you, "Why would you create something like that just to take it all away?"
There’s no wrong way to grieve.
But I thank you for your honesty, and the criticism is noted. You could have ignored but instead what me to edit better. I respect that.
Last sentence sucks. There’s no going back

excelsior
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
There’s no wrong way to grieve.
But I thank you for your honesty, and the criticism is noted. You could have ignored but instead what me to edit better. I respect that.
Last sentence sucks. There’s no going back

excelsior
Very few of us came in here as great posters, myself included. I was never the best or brightest that SoSH has to offer nor will I ever be but have learned that self editing here can be your friend. Be well and continue to contribute.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
38,895
Hingham, MA
My original vote was for 20% - the plan isn't working.

I don't like the verbiage on 40% - "though it's hard to decipher, there must be a plan".

I'm still not sure that there is a clear cut plan.

That being said, my faith is higher today than it was when the poll was created. But I'm still under 50%.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2022
1,253
They pretty much did @chawson - and Schrieber and Valdez are kind of the point I'm alluding to. Yes, there are ways you can put together a bullpen via different pitch types, arm slots, spin rates, etc, etc. It's important to have pieces that compliment each other. I just don't think that this is something you need to PAY for.

I'll just use the Red Sox last year (I'm not including Whitlock because I don't expect to find that level of success on the scrap heap consistently) with our top 8 as an example, in terms of bWAR from the bullpen and guys we paid pretty much nothing for:

Schreiber was the best (2.7) and we found him on the scrap heap.

Sawamura was next at .7 and I believe his cost was $1m.

Bazardo was third at .3 and we released him (not sure why relative to Brasier, Taylor, etc, etc, to be totally honest).

Crawford and Kelly were both .2 and both were minor league promotions.

Of the guys we paid for in Diekman (.3), Strahm (.3) and Barnes (.2) we paid approximately $15m for production we got from two minor leaguers and a guy we released. Philosophically, I don't think paying for the bullpen (ex closer) is a good use of resources due to their volatility and the "bang for your buck."

Does this matter if you have the Braves or Astros core and are plenty below the tax - no. Does it matter if you're going to be the Mets or Yankees and go way over consistently - again, no. But if you're going to operate under the guidelines of somewhat adhering to the tax (which I think we agree the Sox are) there are much more impactful and consistent ways to spend the money.



@JM3 - I guess what I'm saying is in that circumstance, I agree totally with the Rays, I think all those guys in the bullpen (ex closer) ARE super disposable. Cycle them out year to year, quarter to quarter or month to month. I don't think the return you get for the money you spend is a good investment.

For what it's worth, I just picked Kiermaier and Wacha as short term deals. JUST for 2023, I think any roster where you've got question marks at 1b (youth), middle infield (wherever Story doesn't play), LF (will Yoshida translate), CF (Hernandez has more years of being bad offensively than good and is coming off injury), RF (can Verdugo play the position), SP1 (Sale durability), SP2 (youth), SP3 (youth), SP4 (Kluber is a fine signing, but he did have a 5.05ERA away from the Trop) and sp6 (Paxton's durability) is "sub-optimal." I'm not saying they're all "bad bets" but the error bars are very high.

I'd rather take risks at the bullpen to more greatly solidify a couple of those places.


I wanted to specifically say that relative to 2023. It's nice just discussing one season as opposed to having no faith in the direction the Red Sox are headed. So to your point @tims4wins, at least with the Devers signing, I think you can absolutely see the outline of a plan.

The 2025-27 team now has a lot more paths to a window than we did yesterday. Yes, there are questions to Yoshida, but I think looking at him as something between Verdugo and Benintendi offensively as a "baseline" is pretty fair, which means you have a line up of LF - Yoshida, MI1 - Story, 3b - Devers, which is a solid core, because you have those two middle of the order slots to build out from. Having "hits" like we got with Betts, Bogaerts, Devers and Benintendi is unlikely, but I think looking at Casas, Mayer, Rafaela, Yorke and Valdez and saying two will combined to give a 5.5 - 6.0bWAR (maybe that's 4.0 and 2.0, maybe it's both 3.0, whatever) and three will bust and be worthless is a very conservative baseline. With locking up Devers, Story and Yoshida, you can go a lot of ways there.

If Casas is never capable of hitting LHPs but Valdez can be a 2.0 bWAR player and Mayer is your "all star" you could go 1b - Devers, 2b - Story, 3b - Valdez, SS - Mayer. If Casas is a 3.0 bWAR guys, Mayer flames out and Yorke is a 2.5 bWAR player, you could go 1b - Casas, 2b - Yorke, 3b - Devers, SS - Story, etc, etc - and I won't list out all the permutations but I think those illustrate the point. Locking up those two key infield pieces AND middle of the line up pieces gives you so much more margin for error. Not to mention trade possibilities.

It also is a huge deal because it makes you think that when Sale rolls off the books (2025) we'll actually spend the money on elite talent (even if that means extending one of our own SPs) to replace him. Seeing Betts and Bogaerts leave with the possibility of Devers exit looming made that seem a lot less likely yesterday than it does today.
 
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Pozo the Clown

New Member
Sep 13, 2006
745
In a recent (pre-Story elbow surgery) Chad Jennings article from The Athletic (link below), Chad grades the Red Sox front office in 10 different categories on the results of their offseason objectives to date. Here are the grades and some excerpts:

1. Re-sign Xander Bogaerts - Grade: F

...the Red Sox openly and repeatedly declared their love for their shortstop. They intended to keep Bogaerts...[t]he front office called it a priority. It’s easy to see why it didn’t happen...but that doesn’t dull the sting, or erase the feeling that a Bogaerts extension never should have been left to the whims of the open market...without this piece, the Red Sox are unmistakably incomplete.

2. Sign Rafael Devers to an extension - Grade: A

...the end result is that Red Sox ownership has signed the sixth-largest contract in Major League history...while managing to avoid a commitment to Devers beyond his age-36 season when a meaningful decline seems inevitable. A big moment for the player and the franchise.

3. Add two starting pitchers - Grade: C-

The Red Sox never really suggested they were going after the very top of the rotation market...but after failed attempts to sign Nathan Eovaldi, Zach Eflin, and Andrew Heaney...the one-year agreement with 37-year-old Corey Kluber was an obvious consolation prize...the result is still a rotation that’s heavy on possibility and light on certainty.

4. New plan: Add a closer - Grade: B

As the mid-rotation market got a little more expensive than expected...the Red Sox changed course...they more fully embraced the possibility of Houck in the rotation by signing Kenley Jansen. One person familiar with the team’s thinking said Red Sox had not necessarily planned to sign a closer, but another said they’d done plenty of homework on Jansen to prepare for that possibility. After missing out on Eflin, and growing discouraged about Eovaldi, they switched gears to fortify from the back end instead of the front.

5. Find a corner outfielder - Grade: B+

A five-year, $90-million deal with Japanese standout Masataka Yoshida has to be viewed through the lens of the free-agent alternatives. The Red Sox clearly needed a corner outfielder...but the market was basically Aaron Judge and then a bunch of flawed possibilities...the Red Sox went with the one they felt had the greatest upside. The Red Sox had him at the top of their list, paid handsomely, and they got him.

6. Replace J.D. Martinez at designated hitter - Grade: B-

The Red Sox now have lefty hitters at all four corners and behind the plate. They needed a right-handed bat. They settled on Justin Turner... The Red Sox, one team source said,...value his clubhouse presence. That said, José Abreu probably would have been the best fit for this job, and the Red Sox fell short of signing him.

7. Improve late-inning stability - Grade: B

The Red Sox’s first free agent signing was lefty Joely Rodríguez, a complementary piece... Their second addition...was Chris Martin, one of the best strike-throwers in the game... For added depth, the Red Sox made a minor trade with the Royals for reliever Wyatt Mills. Given the alternatives, Jansen and Martin were a pretty good pair of headliners to add on top of Matt Barnes, John Schreiber and Josh Taylor.

8. Maintain versatility and athleticism - Grade: C-

Depth and versatility have always been priorities for Bloom and Alex Cora, and with the new rules affecting shifts and base running, athleticism has become an even greater priority for Cora (and probably for the front office, too)... The Red Sox did protect David Hamilton and Ceddanne Rafaela from the Rule 5 draft, and they still have Jarren Duran, but of those three, only Duran seems to have even a vague chance of making the Opening Day roster. The Red Sox still have at least one up-for-grabs spot on their bench.

9. Make the most of a crowded 40-man - Grade: D

The Red Sox liked Thaddeus Ward quite a bit, and the fact he was exposed to the Rule 5 draft...was a reflection of the crowded 40-man more than anything else. The team used some open 40-man spots at the start of the offseason to make minor additions in hopes of passing them through waivers eventually — it worked with catcher Caleb Hamilton — but the 40-man crunch has otherwise gone unresolved. ...they still have to open 40-man spots for Turner and Kluber (and anyone else they might acquire) and there are no easy cuts remaining. There’s also no clear role for Bobby Dalbec, who remains on the roster.

10. New priority: Improve the roster via trade - Grade: Incomplete

There are still ways for free agency to improve the Red Sox at the margins. But the Red Sox began the offseason with a priority of re-signing Bogaerts, and without him, they still need impact...it’s going to have to come through the trade market. Ideally, the Red Sox could trade for an up-the-middle bat to replace Bogaerts, but there just aren’t many hitters like that available. Especially not ones the Red Sox can get without surrendering important young pieces of their big league roster... The trick might be doing a deal without losing Triston Casas or Brayan Bello, each of whom the Red Sox plan to have in key big league roles this season.


























https://theathletic.com/4061050/2023/01/06/red-sox-offseason-to-do-list/
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
4,692
In a recent (pre-Story elbow surgery) Chad Jennings article from The Athletic (link below), Chad grades the Red Sox front office in 10 different categories on the results of their offseason objectives to date. Here are the grades and some excerpts:

1. Re-sign Xander Bogaerts - Grade: F

...the Red Sox openly and repeatedly declared their love for their shortstop. They intended to keep Bogaerts...[t]he front office called it a priority. It’s easy to see why it didn’t happen...but that doesn’t dull the sting, or erase the feeling that a Bogaerts extension never should have been left to the whims of the open market...without this piece, the Red Sox are unmistakably incomplete.

2. Sign Rafael Devers to an extension - Grade: A

...the end result is that Red Sox ownership has signed the sixth-largest contract in Major League history...while managing to avoid a commitment to Devers beyond his age-36 season when a meaningful decline seems inevitable. A big moment for the player and the franchise.

3. Add two starting pitchers - Grade: C-

The Red Sox never really suggested they were going after the very top of the rotation market...but after failed attempts to sign Nathan Eovaldi, Zach Eflin, and Andrew Heaney...the one-year agreement with 37-year-old Corey Kluber was an obvious consolation prize...the result is still a rotation that’s heavy on possibility and light on certainty.

4. New plan: Add a closer - Grade: B

As the mid-rotation market got a little more expensive than expected...the Red Sox changed course...they more fully embraced the possibility of Houck in the rotation by signing Kenley Jansen. One person familiar with the team’s thinking said Red Sox had not necessarily planned to sign a closer, but another said they’d done plenty of homework on Jansen to prepare for that possibility. After missing out on Eflin, and growing discouraged about Eovaldi, they switched gears to fortify from the back end instead of the front.

5. Find a corner outfielder - Grade: B+

A five-year, $90-million deal with Japanese standout Masataka Yoshida has to be viewed through the lens of the free-agent alternatives. The Red Sox clearly needed a corner outfielder...but the market was basically Aaron Judge and then a bunch of flawed possibilities...the Red Sox went with the one they felt had the greatest upside. The Red Sox had him at the top of their list, paid handsomely, and they got him.

6. Replace J.D. Martinez at designated hitter - Grade: B-

The Red Sox now have lefty hitters at all four corners and behind the plate. They needed a right-handed bat. They settled on Justin Turner... The Red Sox, one team source said,...value his clubhouse presence. That said, José Abreu probably would have been the best fit for this job, and the Red Sox fell short of signing him.

7. Improve late-inning stability - Grade: B

The Red Sox’s first free agent signing was lefty Joely Rodríguez, a complementary piece... Their second addition...was Chris Martin, one of the best strike-throwers in the game... For added depth, the Red Sox made a minor trade with the Royals for reliever Wyatt Mills. Given the alternatives, Jansen and Martin were a pretty good pair of headliners to add on top of Matt Barnes, John Schreiber and Josh Taylor.

8. Maintain versatility and athleticism - Grade: C-

Depth and versatility have always been priorities for Bloom and Alex Cora, and with the new rules affecting shifts and base running, athleticism has become an even greater priority for Cora (and probably for the front office, too)... The Red Sox did protect David Hamilton and Ceddanne Rafaela from the Rule 5 draft, and they still have Jarren Duran, but of those three, only Duran seems to have even a vague chance of making the Opening Day roster. The Red Sox still have at least one up-for-grabs spot on their bench.

9. Make the most of a crowded 40-man - Grade: D

The Red Sox liked Thaddeus Ward quite a bit, and the fact he was exposed to the Rule 5 draft...was a reflection of the crowded 40-man more than anything else. The team used some open 40-man spots at the start of the offseason to make minor additions in hopes of passing them through waivers eventually — it worked with catcher Caleb Hamilton — but the 40-man crunch has otherwise gone unresolved. ...they still have to open 40-man spots for Turner and Kluber (and anyone else they might acquire) and there are no easy cuts remaining. There’s also no clear role for Bobby Dalbec, who remains on the roster.

10. New priority: Improve the roster via trade - Grade: Incomplete

There are still ways for free agency to improve the Red Sox at the margins. But the Red Sox began the offseason with a priority of re-signing Bogaerts, and without him, they still need impact...it’s going to have to come through the trade market. Ideally, the Red Sox could trade for an up-the-middle bat to replace Bogaerts, but there just aren’t many hitters like that available. Especially not ones the Red Sox can get without surrendering important young pieces of their big league roster... The trick might be doing a deal without losing Triston Casas or Brayan Bello, each of whom the Red Sox plan to have in key big league roles this season.


























https://theathletic.com/4061050/2023/01/06/red-sox-offseason-to-do-list/
This is just a crap piece but man has Jennings has been annoying this offseason. Replacing J.D. Martinez with Justin Turner at DH gets a B-? Why didn't the Sox just go out and trade for Yordan Alvarez?
 

simplicio

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2012
6,312
To be fair to Chad, that's probably a fair grade if you completely forget that Turner is still capable of fielding a position.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
35,734
Not resigning Xander for $280m is an A. Not an F.
But... misreading both the team and the market and failing to trade him last year drags that down.
I'm totally fine with a "We won't pay top of the market rates/years for most of our incumbent players" but you should have a good enough read on the market to know you're not going to be competitive bidders, and trade those guys in that situation. They had Boegarts, JD, and Eovaldi as guys they weren't that interested in paying obviously, those guys could net you a real return last trade deadline, but instead they rode out a last place team, then let them walk, that's bad asset management.
 

scottyno

late Bloomer
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
11,450
But... misreading both the team and the market and failing to trade him last year drags that down.
I'm totally fine with a "We won't pay top of the market rates/years for most of our incumbent players" but you should have a good enough read on the market to know you're not going to be competitive bidders, and trade those guys in that situation. They had Boegarts, JD, and Eovaldi as guys they weren't that interested in paying obviously, those guys could net you a real return last trade deadline, but instead they rode out a last place team, then let them walk, that's bad asset management.
X could have netted no return at all because he wasn't going to accept a trade anywhere
 

JM3

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But... misreading both the team and the market and failing to trade him last year drags that down.
I'm totally fine with a "We won't pay top of the market rates/years for most of our incumbent players" but you should have a good enough read on the market to know you're not going to be competitive bidders, and trade those guys in that situation. They had Boegarts, JD, and Eovaldi as guys they weren't that interested in paying obviously, those guys could net you a real return last trade deadline, but instead they rode out a last place team, then let them walk, that's bad asset management.
Except X had a no-trade & was on the record as not wanting to be traded, JD was a negative asset, & Eo was injured.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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But... misreading both the team and the market and failing to trade him last year drags that down.
I'm totally fine with a "We won't pay top of the market rates/years for most of our incumbent players" but you should have a good enough read on the market to know you're not going to be competitive bidders, and trade those guys in that situation. They had Boegarts, JD, and Eovaldi as guys they weren't that interested in paying obviously, those guys could net you a real return last trade deadline, but instead they rode out a last place team, then let them walk, that's bad asset management.
I agree with you specifically to JD Martinez. There is plenty of credible reporting (I'll go look it up again, but Speier wrote an article on this) about the Red Sox trading Martinez, and nowhere does it imply that they'd need to pay money just to move him. If they weren't going to offer him a QO, then I agree they should have a) traded him to help re-set the tax or b) pay the rest of his freight to increase the return. https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/07/29/sports/last-days-jd-martinez-with-red-sox/

Though I think the better examples are JD Martinez, Wacha, Hill and Strahm. Yes, I know some of those guys were injured, but I think someone out there would have taken them for their version of Aldo Ramirez (what we gave up for an injured Schwarber in 2021) or Corey Rosier (I just picked a random name from Greenville's roster that I hadn't heard of before) and re-setting the tax, getting slightly higher picks (2.5 instead of 4.5) and having around an extra $1m in slot money for the draft.


Anyway, post Devers signing, I'm looking at things in two lenses:

Grade for the open window (2025-27): the off-season gets an A. We resigned Devers. I think Yoshida's realistic floor is something between Verdugo and Benintendi as an offensive player and he has a higher ceiling, but I'd be shocked if he's worse than those players - both of whom I like, by the way. I also give credit (to now) for not dealing any prospects for guys whom would only be here for 2023. If we trade Houck for Miguel Rojas tomorrow, I'll give that an F, but as of now we haven't done anything that short-sighted.

If one is concerned about 2023, I think its a MUCH lower grade, but once it became clear we didn't really care about 2023 and every move was about the 2024+ window, the off-season looks a lot better. I just actually believed the front office about contending for a deep October run as a goal for this year when that was probably just pandering and I should have realized that.
 

JM3

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Rosier was part of the Hosmer trade.

2023 - JD Martinez as a free agent for free $10m after a ~bounceback September & for an entire season.

2022 - 2 months of JD Martinez for $8.1m when he's in the midst of the 2 worst months of his career...totally worth an asset & not a negative contract?

The reporting can be technically correct on some of those terms without countenancing how much salary the Red Sox would have to eat to make it happen.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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Fair enough, he wasn't on the Sox prospects top 60 so I was just randomly picking someone that isn't perceived as overly valuable.

I get your point, I think it's ok to say the chances of making the playoffs wasn't worth it for some people while saying for others it was a worthwhile gamble. It's not an unjustifiable take to say "they should have sold" just like it's not an unjustifiable take to say "they shouldn't have."

Based on the way it played out, the idea of selling "won" in 2022 just like the idea of "buying" won in 2021.
 

JM3

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Fair enough, he wasn't on the Sox prospects top 60 so I was just randomly picking someone that isn't perceived as overly valuable.

I get your point, I think it's ok to say the chances of making the playoffs wasn't worth it for some people while saying for others it was a worthwhile gamble. It's not an unjustifiable take to say "they should have sold" just like it's not an unjustifiable take to say "they shouldn't have."

Based on the way it played out, the idea of selling "won" in 2022 just like the idea of "buying" won in 2021.
The question of whether they could have given JD away for free is basically the most central to the whole buy/sell/hybrid debate.

It's 100% fine to say they should have sold, as long as one has realistic expectations of what that would look like in terms of return.