Poll: Rate Your Faith in the Red Sox Front Office

Rate Your Faith in the Red Sox Front Office


  • Total voters
    595

Archer1979

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To be honest, I really don't know how confident I feel. It really depends on the overall timeline that the front-office is working to in order to turn this around to be the developmental machine that we've been looking forward to since the Theo-years. If I'm reading the tea leaves correctly, the overall objective is to build a good cost-controlled core that can be built around and, perhaps, add free agents to complement or get the team over the hump so that they can be perennial contenders. You know, same as every other team the last twenty years. The caveat in all of this is do not get too attached to the great players as they expense themselves off the team so there will be player turnover. Kind of the Tampa Bay way except Tampa actually gets something to feed the farm system instead of just letting the talent walk. It was somewhat tough as the Sox played themselves into contention at the trade deadline in 2022, but they were somewhat handcuffed by X's full no-trade clause. This is why I'm fairly certain that Devers is bound to be traded. This isn't going to be popular with us since we're used to players who stick out their whole careers here (Yaz, Rice, almost Dewey, Varitek, and Pedey). But I have to think that this is the philosophy. If it is, then the onus is going to be on Bloom to get GOOD, if not excellent young players in return. The haul for Betts was, in hindsight, a let down. But I'm not sure if that was really Bloom's fault as anyone that could type ESPN.COM could tell that the Sox were trading Betts out of desperation instead of from a position of strength. When we see what the Sox can get for Devers is going to be the true test of if Bloom is up to this.

The other aspect is that the Sox organization has to be a development machine. I'm not sold that they have the framework in place in their minor league system to take a good prospect and turn him into a good major league player. I'm seen more misses than hits graduating out of the minors (Durran, Dalbec, Downs) that I'm pessimistic that they are in a good spot organizationally to develop what they trade for and draft. Granted that there is always risk in prospects and I don't really know if its coaching, organizational philosophy, both, or neither. It just seems like we're not getting an appropriate return on the investment and given the "new" approach, building the young, churnable core is critical.





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Auger34

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I’d say the difference between now and then is the amount of misinformation that gets circulated by unsourced, non-reporter “influencer” media (like Carrabis, who occasionally talks to people, or that dumb Boston Strong twitter account that just dangles engagement bait).

A lot of that misinfo ends up reaching escape velocity and becomes part of the official story. Trying to correct the record is damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t, but it’s better to err on the side of honesty.
Not to pile on, since @8slim already addressed it, but this is pretty ridiculous. The Boston sports media has always been negative and always dogged front offices. I’d argue that print media has actually got more positive over the years.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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The other aspect is that the Sox organization has to be a development machine. I'm not sold that they have the framework in place in their minor league system to take a good prospect and turn him into a good major league player. I'm seen more misses than hits graduating out of the minors (Durran, Dalbec, Downs) that I'm pessimistic that they are in a good spot organizationally to develop what they trade for and draft. Granted that there is always risk in prospects and I don't really know if its coaching, organizational philosophy, both, or neither. It just seems like we're not getting an appropriate return on the investment and given the "new" approach, building the young, churnable core is critical.
I think Bloom is trying to make the Sox into a developmental machine but one thing that people may not be taken into consideration is how much harder it is to build a team than it used to be. In Theo's day, he could pay overslot until the cows came home to build up the farm system. These days, with the draft cap, it's a lot more difficult to draft impact talent. Also, I think GMs are smarter about trading their top prospects as they understand how much "excess value" a top tier prospect is going to provide until FA.

One thing Chaim has done to try to build up the farm system is to obtain a bunch of lottery tickets. Not sure things but lottery tickets. He knew he was going to miss on a lot of them; he was just hoping for a few to pop. We're all hoping for a few to pop. Right now, these lottery tickets don't look very good but really just takes a couple to explode to change the narrative in a hurry.

That said, my post was meant as a rant, and 75 was hardly precise. I could have written 81. I think they are not even close to being a contender. And that's why I vote 0%. Not the particular number of wins.
If BOS wins 75 games next year, I doubt you'll have Chaim to kick around anymore.
 

scottyno

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Dec 7, 2008
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Yes. This team will be missing one of its most productive bats. The pen clearly looks stronger and Yoshida might be a player. But the rotation now has lots of holes.

That said, my post was meant as a rant, and 75 was hardly precise. I could have written 81. I think they are not even close to being a contender. And that's why I vote 0%. Not the particular number of wins.
If they're projected to win 81 games when preseason projections come out in March, which seems pretty likely that they'll be around there, then by definition they aren't far from being a contender with expanded playoffs.
 

bosox188

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If they're projected to win 81 games when preseason projections come out in March, which seems pretty likely that they'll be around there, then by definition they aren't far from being a contender with expanded playoffs.
I'll preface this by saying I've been reserving final judgment on anything until the offseason is actually completed.

But one of the reasons I absolutely hated the owners pushing for, and getting, expanded playoffs is it allows them to settle for mediocrity instead of paying anyone. And then they can justify it by claiming they're a playoff contender by virtue of being a .500 ballclub.
 

BigSoxFan

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I'll preface this by saying I've been reserving final judgment on anything until the offseason is actually completed.

But one of the reasons I absolutely hated the owners pushing for, and getting, expanded playoffs is it allows them to settle for mediocrity instead of paying anyone. And then they can justify it by claiming they're a playoff contender by virtue of being a .500 ballclub.
Agreed. There is absolutely nothing special about a team like the Red Sox with its financial advantage over most of the league being a constant “contender” by virtue of this expanded and diluted playoff format.
 

8slim

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If BOS wins 75 games next year, I doubt you'll have Chaim to kick around anymore.
But why? This really interests me. If Bloom is here to completely rebuild the Sox approach then another down year in 2023 shouldn’t be make or break, right?

By all accounts the Sox are at least a year or two away from the “developmental machine” putting guys in the majors. If ownership isn’t willing to wait it out until then, I really question what the heck is going on.
 

derekson

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But why? This really interests me. If Bloom is here to completely rebuild the Sox approach then another down year in 2023 shouldn’t be make or break, right?

By all accounts the Sox are at least a year or two away from the “developmental machine” putting guys in the majors. If ownership isn’t willing to wait it out until then, I really question what the heck is going on.
Why do you spend serious money on a closer if that's the timeline?
 

ehaz

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Why do you spend serious money on a closer if that's the timeline?
It costs nothing but $$ on short years and you're still under the luxury tax, you don't want to totally alienate your guys.

And it's not totally outside the realm of possibility that Kenley has a hot start ala Craig Kimbrel 2021 and you hoodwink a team into giving up a top 50 prospect in July.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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But why? This really interests me. If Bloom is here to completely rebuild the Sox approach then another down year in 2023 shouldn’t be make or break, right?

By all accounts the Sox are at least a year or two away from the “developmental machine” putting guys in the majors. If ownership isn’t willing to wait it out until then, I really question what the heck is going on.
Sure it depends on how the season is playing out but if the Sox are eliminated by August and none of their young players are showing anything, how much longer will Chaim get? 2 years? 1 year? A few weeks into next season?

When teams tank, they slash their payroll because they know that losing kills revenues. If the Red Sox are a 75 win team next year, I'd have to think they'd be losing $ hand over fist, and at that point, ownership generally moves to shake things up.
 

8slim

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Sure it depends on how the season is playing out but if the Sox are eliminated by August and none of their young players are showing anything, how much longer will Chaim get? 2 years? 1 year? A few weeks into next season?

When teams tank, they slash their payroll because they know that losing kills revenues. If the Red Sox are a 75 win team next year, I'd have to think they'd be losing $ hand over fist, and at that point, ownership generally moves to shake things up.
I get it. It just confuses me. It really seems like the club is gearing towards 2024 or 2025. Not that they want to suck in 2023, but it sure doesn’t seem like they’re trying to be a playoff team either. At least not yet, there’s still a lot of off-season to go.
 

8slim

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Why do you spend serious money on a closer if that's the timeline?
Well, they signed him for 2 years so that’d fit the 2024 timeline. But I do get your point, and it’s why I’m pretty baffled at how things are going, to be honest.

3 months of offseason to go, admitted. But is our lineup and rotation in a place where we’d think ownership is shooting for a title in 2023?
 

E5 Yaz

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I get it. It just confuses me. It really seems like the club is gearing towards 2024 or 2025. Not that they want to suck in 2023, but it sure doesn’t seem like they’re trying to be a playoff team either. At least not yet, there’s still a lot of off-season to go.
The only thing that says to me that they might not be a last-place team again is that Baltimore hasn't done anything yet either, and they might take a step back after last season's surprise.
But the AL East is definitely three tiers now: the Yankees, then the Blue Jays and Rays, then the Orioles and Red Sox
 

E5 Yaz

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Why do you spend serious money on a closer if that's the timeline?
Why trade Vasquez at the deadline, but keep JD? They seem to be trying to give the impression that they're rebooting while their rebuilding, but it just comes off as confused
 

cannonball 1729

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I get it. It just confuses me. It really seems like the club is gearing towards 2024 or 2025. Not that they want to suck in 2023, but it sure doesn’t seem like they’re trying to be a playoff team either. At least not yet, there’s still a lot of off-season to go.
I'm not entirely sure that's intentional, though. Last week, they were talking about signing seven-to-nine players, and they've already upgraded the bullpen and found a left fielder. Then X walked and seemingly shot the plan to hell. Now they're stuck trying to find a way to fill another 5-WAR hole.

I think if, on December 13, we had been looking at a team that had signed Martin, Jansen, Rodriguez, Yoshida, and Bogaerts, we would think that there was a plan in place for 2023 - fix the bullpen, shore up the infield, maybe grab a starter, fill some of the black holes in the lineup with replacement-level players, hope Story's healthy, perhaps hope that Sale is ready, go to war. Whether it's a good plan or no is up for debate, but there's at least a way to talk oneself into the idea that that's a roster that could win 88 games and grab a playoff spot. The Padres throwing desperation money after Xander changed the facts on the ground, but I'm not sure it changed the Sox overarching goal of actually competing next year. To put it bluntly, I would be very surprised if ownership has any interest in spending up to the cap for another last-place team this year.
 

simplicio

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Why trade Vasquez at the deadline, but keep JD? They seem to be trying to give the impression that they're rebooting while their rebuilding, but it just comes off as confused
JD started to seriously suck before the deadline and they couldn't find a buyer.
 

OCD SS

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I get it. It just confuses me. It really seems like the club is gearing towards 2024 or 2025. Not that they want to suck in 2023, but it sure doesn’t seem like they’re trying to be a playoff team either. At least not yet, there’s still a lot of off-season to go.
They’re just going to keep telling us they’re going to build a team that can compete for a championship in 2023. It’s just that they’re going to do so in such a fashion that we're left rooting for good luck in year to year variance and winning the player health sweepstakes.
 

Rovin Romine

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They’re just going to keep telling us they’re going to build a team that can compete for a championship in 2023. It’s just that they’re going to do so in such a fashion that we're left rooting for good luck in year to year variance and winning the player health sweepstakes.
Unless you have a fantastically deep team, you're always going to be rooting for good luck in year to year variance, and winning the player health sweepstakes.

Case in point - Chis Sale. Never has so much angst been generated by an Aaron Hicks line drive.
 

tims4wins

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I really think there is a difference between having faith in the Front Office (Baseball Ops) and in Ownership (FSG). Ownership can make good and bad choices on whom to have running their operations department just like a GM can make good and bad choices on players (I mean, I think we all hold Theo in extremely high regard, but he did sign Carl Crawford, trade Rizzo for Gonzalez, etc, etc).

My guess is they thought that Bloom would be another in the line of Theo Epstein and Ben Cherington as opposed to Dave Dombrowski. I can absolutely see why they thought that, I for one was thrilled when Bloom was hired, and if nothing else, I thought he was in that vein.

In no way shape or form did I think that after 3 years on the job the only valuable MLB assets we'd have on the roster who seem to in any way be part of the "core" would be a second basement coming off a slightly above average offensive season, a slightly above average left fielder, whom we're going to ask to play right field, a good prospect at 1b (whom hasn't shown an ability to hit same handed pitching in even the high minors) and two pitchers whom have combined to start 20 MLB games in their career, yet here we are.

Henry and FSG, generally speaking, give their baseball OPS department around $225m (luxury tax threshold) in salary and let them spend it. Generally, we think of good owners as cutting the check and getting out of the way, and then hopefully making changes when one appears to need to be made. I really do believe that if the 2023 season plays out on the field that we it appears on paper, you're going to see significant changes in the front office, and I have faith that FSG will do just that.

*To be clear, I WANT Bloom to be right and 2023 to be more like 2021 or even 2013 and less like 2020 and 2022. I don't think it will be, but that's what I hope happens.
I think this is a very astute post and I'm in full agreement. Chaim doesn't seem to be a successful hire. But I'm confident that FSG will figure that out sooner rather than later and make a move for the next guy.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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With these absurdly long contracts, how many will teams take on? Phillies now have two expensive AAV and long term contracts. Will this basically remove them from being able to extend a good young player? Will the Padres be able to add Soto? I can see two of these per big spender type teams…. Which I guess Henry has decided is not worth it to him… but that means it really will remove certain teams for competing in certain FA markets and extending homegrown players.
If say, the Sox have Devers at 30 and have extended Mayer at 25 per… how can they offer Casas and Rafaela that?
I’m not arguing for or against these particular guys… just using near term somewhat hypotheticals
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I think this is a very astute post and I'm in full agreement. Chaim doesn't seem to be a successful hire. But I'm confident that FSG will figure that out sooner rather than later and make a move for the next guy.
This is funny as I think Chaim is doing absolutely exactly what he was brought in to do…
Edit- the only strike against him being the JBJ/Renfroe/Binelas. And I can squint to see how from Henry’s POV it was successful
 

tims4wins

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This is funny as I think Chaim is doing absolutely exactly what he was brought in to do…
Edit- the only strike against him being the JBJ/Renfroe/Binelas. And I can squint to see how from Henry’s POV it was successful
In the sense that he is executing on the plan to reset the tax threshold and try to build a minor league system, I agree, he is executing on that. The problem is that he is not successfully executing on it. The acquisitions, on both the major league and minor league side, have been meh. So I don't expect the major league team to truly contend in the next 2-3 years, at which point Bloom will have been here for 5-6 years, and they'll have to move on.
 

OCD SS

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Unless you have a fantastically deep team, you're always going to be rooting for good luck in year to year variance, and winning the player health sweepstakes.

Case in point - Chis Sale. Never has so much angst been generated by an Aaron Hicks line drive.
Sure, but is that the entire plan to make your team competitive, or have you also acquired the players needed to do so?
 

BringBackMo

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I realize that the mood in the room isn’t exactly welcoming to defenses of the organization right now, but I’ll take two minutes to point out that whatever anyone may *feel* about the state of the minor league system and the Sox abilities with player development, there’s an entire industry out there that tracks such things without any rooting interest, and the consensus of this industry is that in the past couple of years, the Sox have gone from the bottom of minor league systems to nosing into the top ten. That‘s really not arguable or debatable, unless the debate is about whether that *feels* right to you. Did Mayer fall to them, and was he therefore a lucky acquisition? Without question. But Yorke was a highly controversial choice at the time that still has a decent chance of paying dividends, and the same can be said about Romero last year. Those were bold moves made by an organization that seems to have a sense of what it’s doing in this area.

Further, to ding the Sox because Duran and Dalbec haven’t panned out as everyday players is completely unfair. They are each flawed players who could still wind up as useful major league bench players, and especially with Duran, you could argue that Sox player development helped get them as far as they’ve already gone. Similarly, the development of Casas, Bello, Rafaela, and Mata has been impressive. The Sox also had some of the strongest teams in the DSL and FCL, and Bleis, Perales, and to some degree Anthony are all young players with extremely high ceilings. At every level of the system, in other words, the organization’s investment in its minor league system is starting to bear fruit. Judging the entire Red Sox minor league system by fact that some of its best prospects are still a couple of years away, or by the failures of a few lottery ticket-ish prospects who came back in fairly minor trades seems hardly a useful approach.

Bloom seriously fucked up the X situation, which resulted in the departure of a franchise player who wanted to stay. And that came on the heels of a bad season in which the Sox had bad injury luck and came in last place in the toughest division in baseball. Together, these things have created an impression that the organization is adrift or, worse, that it’s a sinking ship. I don’t think that’s accurate at all.

There is work to be done, and it has to be done under the most trying of circumstances. On that Bradford podcast that someone linked to, Bloom said the AL East next year will be the best division in the history of baseball. I don’t know whether the Sox will eventually decide that attempting to simultaneously compete and rebuild in such a loaded division is a fool’s errand. Perhaps they will, and will trade Devers and Story and go full rebuild for two years. But we’re only one season removed from a datapoint that indicates they might be able to pull off both, especially with the third wildcard. Whatever happens, I continue to believe that these “zero percent” takes are out of proportion to what’s actually going on with this team. If Bloom had done the right thing and locked up Xander last offseason, I think a lot of posters would be looking at the exact same collection of moves by the Sox so far *this* offseason with excitement about what signings and trades come next.
 

tims4wins

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I realize that the mood in the room isn’t exactly welcoming to defenses of the organization right now, but I’ll take two minutes to point out that whatever anyone may *feel* about the state of the minor league system and the Sox abilities with player development, there’s an entire industry out there that tracks such things without any rooting interest, and the consensus of this industry is that in the past couple of years, the Sox have gone from the bottom of minor league systems to nosing into the top ten. That‘s really not arguable or debatable, unless the debate is about whether that *feels* right to you. Did Mayer fall to them, and was he therefore a lucky acquisition? Without question.
Honest question: without Mayer, where would the Sox minor league system rank? I "credit" the team with bottoming out and therefore acquiring him - that's not really the issue. I don't care if it was luck or not. What I question is whether the rest of the system is actually any good. If Mayer turns into a perennial all star, that's great, but it doesn't really mean anything for the rest of the system. One prospect does not make a system.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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The only thing that says to me that they might not be a last-place team again is that Baltimore hasn't done anything yet either, and they might take a step back after last season's surprise.
The Orioles will likely be good; they have a deep and talented farm system and they've stopped tanking. Last year may have been a year too early but they are primed to be really good for the next few years at minimum.
I get it. It just confuses me. It really seems like the club is gearing towards 2024 or 2025. Not that they want to suck in 2023, but it sure doesn’t seem like they’re trying to be a playoff team either. At least not yet, there’s still a lot of off-season to go.
I think they are trying to be a playoff team. Didn't Sam Kennedy say at one point that the team was built to make the playoffs?

I don't think they are seriously trying to win a championship and I don't think they are seriously trying to tank either, which is why I think Chaim will be on the very hot seat if the Sox come in last place this year, which is in the realistic realm of possibilities at this point.
 

jon abbey

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Honest question: without Mayer, where would the Sox minor league system rank? I "credit" the team with bottoming out and therefore acquiring him - that's not really the issue. I don't care if it was luck or not. What I question is whether the rest of the system is actually any good. If Mayer turns into a perennial all star, that's great, but it doesn't really mean anything for the rest of the system. One prospect does not make a system.
It looks like the answer for Fangraphs is that BOS is 9th with Mayer currently, 15th without him (or without Casas). It's also worth noting that FG deems 61 BOS prospects currently worth rating, 3rd in MLB. The issue is that 33 of those 61 are rated at 35+, the lowest level, so they'll need a bunch of those guys to take steps forward.

https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2022-in-season-prospect-list/farm-ranking?sort=2,1&type=100&filter=&pos=&team=
 

BringBackMo

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Honest question: without Mayer, where would the Sox minor league system rank? I "credit" the team with bottoming out and therefore acquiring him - that's not really the issue. I don't care if it was luck or not. What I question is whether the rest of the system is actually any good. If Mayer turns into a perennial all star, that's great, but it doesn't really mean anything for the rest of the system. One prospect does not make a system.
Well, we can’t answer your question until we know who the Sox selected instead of him. Which is another way of saying, as you pointed out, they made the decision in 2020 to effectively tank once they lost Sale and ERod. That was part of a strategy to get the best pick they could. They appear to have now done well in the first round in three straight drafts, so I’m inclined to believe that they would have gotten someone really good with the fourth pick in 2020 if Mayer wasn’t there.

I agree that Mayer helps the current ranking a lot. But most good systems that aren’t top three or four probably owe a lot of their ranking to their best prospect. Having said that, there really are a number of very intriguing prospects working their way up the ladder for the Sox now.
 

tims4wins

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It looks like the answer for Fangraphs is that BOS is 9th with Mayer currently, 15th without him (or without Casas). It's also worth noting that FG deems 61 BOS prospects currently worth rating, 3rd in MLB. The issue is that 33 of those 61 are rated at 35+, the lowest level, so they'll need a bunch of those guys to take steps forward.

https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2022-in-season-prospect-list/farm-ranking?sort=2,1&type=100&filter=&pos=&team=
Thanks. I'm not convinced they are building some great system, and the data you provided doesn't give me the warm and fuzzies.
 

BringBackMo

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It looks like the answer for Fangraphs is that BOS is 9th with Mayer currently, 15th without him (or without Casas). It's also worth noting that FG deems 61 BOS prospects currently worth rating, 3rd in MLB. The issue is that 33 of those 61 are rated at 35+, the lowest level, so they'll need a bunch of those guys to take steps forward.

https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2022-in-season-prospect-list/farm-ranking?sort=2,1&type=100&filter=&pos=&team=
Good context and I think a very fair reading of what it will take for the Sox to get to the next level. Just restating that I think we need to credit the Sox with adding someone else good if they don’t have the chance to select Mayer.
 

BringBackMo

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Thanks. I'm not convinced they are building some great system, and the data you provided doesn't give me the warm and fuzzies.
Can you explain why you feel this way? Right now it feels a lot like this applies
the consensus of this industry is that in the past couple of years, the Sox have gone from the bottom of minor league systems to nosing into the top ten. That‘s really not arguable or debatable, unless the debate is about whether that *feels* right to you.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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The lack of pitching in the system is a concern for me; Bello looks really good but beyond that, it’s not great. Think the lack of high end pitching makes it especially difficult to pull off trades.

Think it’s kind of early to assess the Yorke and Romero picks, either way, at this point. We’ll know a lot more after this year.

Ultimately, it’s nice to have a better system, but hopefully it’s not as the expense of the big league club.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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I have a question that I'm hoping someone can answer, and I think this is the best thread for it - but I could be wrong, so someone feel free to move if not.

How is Eric Hosmer treated for Luxury Tax purposes with the rest of his salary moving forward? I know San Diego is paying the "actual" money, so to speak. But are we on the hook for his luxury tax calculation AAV? In many ways, this is more important than the actual dollars spent. SportTrac (which just happens to be what I like to use) shows his Luxury Tax salary as $5.72m. Cots (on their 2023-27 spreadsheet) lists him as $18M on their Competitive Balance Tax breakdown.

As mentioned, I happen to use SportTrac (just because it's easier to see from their website) but have seen Cots mentioned as a reliable source, and the numbers are wildly different.

Do we (does anyone on here) know what his Luxury Tax number actually is for the Red Sox?
 
Last edited:

jon abbey

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I have a question that I'm hoping someone can answer, and I think this is the best thread for it - but I could be wrong, so someone feel free to move if not.

How is Eric Hosmer treated for Luxury Tax purposes with the rest of his salary moving forward? I know San Diego is paying the "actual" money, so to speak. But are we on the hook for his luxury tax calculation AAV? In many ways, this is more important than the actual dollars spent. SportTrac (which just happens to be what I like to use) shows his Luxury Tax salary as $5.72m. Cots (on their 2023-27 spreadsheet) lists him as $18M on their Competitive Balance Tax breakdown.

Do we know what his Luxury Tax number actually is for the Red Sox?
SportTrac is correct, if you look more closely at Cots, they have a subtraction for what the Padres pay at the bottom, ending up as the same number.

View: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1WWRsQNsGZkWuJZwlY8--xVBXMJGjh230D45KiHTHuvY/edit#gid=1520401900
 

BringBackMo

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The lack of pitching in the system is a concern for me; Bello looks really good but beyond that, it’s not great. Think the lack of high end pitching makes it especially difficult to pull off trades.

Think it’s kind of early to assess the Yorke and Romero picks, either way, at this point. We’ll know a lot more after this year.

Ultimately, it’s nice to have a better system, but hopefully it’s not as the expense of the big league club.
You’ve pretty much perfectly described a top ten system in the game rather than a top 5. Given that the Sox were somewhere near the bottom three years ago, I’d say things are trending in the right direction. Let’s see how things look a year from now.
 

simplicio

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So SD pays 12.28 of his 13m, but since the AAV is 18 we get stuck with a 5m lux tax hit? That's weird and dumb.
 

tims4wins

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Can you explain why you feel this way? Right now it feels a lot like this applies
It's all in @jon abbey 's post. 9th with Mayer, 15th without. A ton of meh prospects driving up their ranking of 3rd most rate-able prospects. Remember back in the 2005 range when the Sox were winning the division and also had guys like Papelbon, Lester, Anibal, Hanley in the system? This... doesn't feel like anything close to that.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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You’ve pretty much perfectly described a top ten system in the game rather than a top 5. Given that the Sox were somewhere near the bottom three years ago, I’d say things are trending in the right direction. Let’s see how things look a year from now.
I don’t disagree, but the major league talent level isn’t exactly trending positively. So it’s kind a pendulum, when you are lacking in big league talent you need a better system. Ideally, we’d have a loaded system and a stellar big league club. Hopefully we are getting there. But the totality of talent under control across all levels - majors and minors- doesn’t seem terribly impressive, especially in context with the rest of the division. The promise was that the Sox had the cash to improve quickly, hopefully that happens a bit more in the coming months.
 

BringBackMo

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It's all in @jon abbey 's post. 9th with Mayer, 15th without. A ton of meh prospects driving up their ranking of 3rd most rate-able prospects. Remember back in the 2005 range when the Sox were winning the division and also had guys like Papelbon, Lester, Anibal, Hanley in the system? This... doesn't feel like anything close to that.
So the Sox either have Mayer fall to them or they don’t get to pick anyone? Do they get to add someone if they don’t get to add him? Also, they DO have Mayer. Finally, that is by mo means a list of meh prospects. That’s ridiculous. They’re just far away right now and a lot can go wrong along the way. Fortunately, there’s an awful lot of them. I mean, if this is how you’re trying to do it, compete and rebuild, this is how you have to rebuild a system. You’re not trading away good players to get prospects, so you’re building almost exclusively through the draft and IFA. That means the players have a long way to go. Everyone wants to WIN! And everyone wants a top three system NOW! It’s nuts.
 

BringBackMo

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I don’t disagree, but the major league talent level isn’t exactly trending positively. So it’s kind a pendulum, when you are lacking in big league talent you need a better system. Ideally, we’d have a loaded system and a stellar big league club. Hopefully we are getting there. But the totality of talent under control across all levels - majors and minors- doesn’t seem terribly impressive, especially in context with the rest of the division. The promise was that the Sox had the cash to improve quickly, hopefully that happens a bit more in the coming months.
Please tell me what you would like the Sox to do to to more quickly get a “loaded system and a stellar big league club.” Every team that has that today except the Dodgers and Yankees have endured prolonged stretches of tanking to rebuild. This is literally the process. How would you like the Sox to speed it up?
 

Fishercat

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The poll is worse faith than the level of faith I have in the Sox front office at the least.

I'm working from a set of assumptions here that others can disagree with of course, namely that

  • There was some sort of obligation, from very high up, that Betts had been given a reasonable offer and declined, so the ownership wanted him traded for value. This has been discussed ad nauseum - and I personally think the Dodgers deal is a good one, but I also think the reality of COVID played a lot into Betts locking up a deal at that point whereas he may have tested the market in a regular universe. If you think Betts would have taken the Dodgers deal from the Sox without COVID causing a ton of uncertainty, I totally get a different feeling. I'm don't think he does.
  • That very few fans want the Sox to match X's deal with San Diego and that it would be a bad idea, long term, to do so. This isn't to say the Sox shouldn't have been more aggressive up front to try and get him before his FA value was realized but namely that once FA hit, the Sox trying to match SD's offer would be a bad team decision.
  • That Dombrowski's extensions put the Sox in, at least, a short term very difficult position in terms of having a ton of cash tied up in unproductive players that likely couldn't be moved easily.
  • 2020 sucked but was in such a weird environment that I don't assign a ton of value to it in evaluation.

So, on the good side, I think that Bloom's team is at least reasonably good at identifying players who may be undervalued or prime to deliver performances beyond that the numbers have bared out and getting them in on shorter, reasonable deals. Maybe not tot the degree Tampa pulled off in the past but Tampa like. Not fool proof, as no one is, but in 2021 and 2022 you had Hernandez (2021), Whitlock (2021-2022), Pivetta (2021-22), Renfroe (2021), Wacha (2022), Schreiber (2022), and Refsnyder (2022) deliver 1 WAR+ (or so) on relatively cheap contracts or as minimal cost pickups, as well as some legitimately useful guys lower on the list. I think there also should be some early credit, albeit nothing in stone, on the farm system elements. The Dombrowski era IFA classes combined with Bloom's draft and trade classes, has added some much needed depth in the farm. I totally agree with detractors that the one biggest prospect is a pick any of us could make and we probably won't know a lot of this for years (some of the Dombrowski IFAs are just rising now), but it's at least looking better than it did and we've seen some of the issue with getting limited system help in the past couple years. It's probably worth noting that at least for Soxprospects, a ton of those late-Dombo era prospects littering the 5-20 ranks were not there in ranking just before the end of the season and it can take a while for draft classes to really start shuffling out what may represent longer term value - that half of them are 2020-2022 pickups is pretty nice IMO.

I also think that we as a fan base may be expecting a bit much, if I'm being honest. The discourse in the thread makes it seem like the team won 55 games with a 300m payroll last year and I'm not gonna pretend it felt good but the 26 man payroll by the end of the year was just a tick above league average due to the huge amount of cash on injured and departed players. Even including Story I don't think they'd hit Top 10. There was still a TON of cash in low value assets - something like 80m for 2.7 WAR between Price, Sale, JDM, and Eo is going to hamper most teams and none of those really fall under the current FO. I still think they should've been better than they were last year even with that but a team without farm contributions and that huge glut of cash doing nothing is gonna have a hard time producing unless they are spending an even larger pile of cash or have a ton of high quality, underpaid assets.

On the bad side of what Bloom and the FO on the whole can control, I think that as good as he has been on swapping low level assets and getting value back, the trades involving bigger names have been pretty disastrous. The Renfroe and Benintendi trades had some logic at the time that doesn't seem to have worked out and involved relying on some pretty flawed assets to be something they couldn't be. The Betts deal is a whole different thing but even with the caveats I think you want more than one of those three pieces to end up being useful even moderate term. I also worry on a larger scale about the Sox continuing to go hyper conservative on pre-FA extension offers. The Braves experience or the Julio or Wander signings are very different beasts, but I think lowball extension offers to long-standing team talent only a year prior to FA isn't just not working and it's causing a lot of sour feelings that are playing out. I am personally very hesitant to accept the Betts or X post-mortem interviews (or of their mouthpieces) at honest value as they do have incentive (both them and their agents) to make themselves look good as well even to the fans of the team they are leaving, but there's no reason to dismiss it out of hand either. To the point of others, you generally need star players to win titles or you need guys who can be star players in runs even if they aren't all the time. I am hoping that when the right player comes up, that they won't hesitate to throw out an inflated, long-term deal if that player can bring a championship to Boston - we just don't know yet and I don't personally think that giving Xander SD Money would be good for the Sox...though getting Xander on a beefed up Story-esque deal two years ago absolutely would've been if possible. I suspect, and worry, the Devers* experience will give us some clarity on this.

To wbcd's point, it does all come down to talent evaluation in the end though. Either Bloom's FO will identify enough players to put together a winning team or he won't - you hope for more Pivettas and Whitlocks and Refsnyders and fewer Franchys and 2022 JBJs. I'm at a solid mid point right now but it's incomplete and really could go anywhere.

* I don't think Devers or late-game X are comparable to the Braves or Julio/Wander experience as I think there are legitimate long-term concerns on both players whereas the other teams are buying out a ton of arbitration years and 20s years for these players.
 

nvalvo

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Honest question: without Mayer, where would the Sox minor league system rank? I "credit" the team with bottoming out and therefore acquiring him - that's not really the issue. I don't care if it was luck or not. What I question is whether the rest of the system is actually any good. If Mayer turns into a perennial all star, that's great, but it doesn't really mean anything for the rest of the system. One prospect does not make a system.
Fangraphs is useful here.

And what it suggests is that without Mayer, Boston would slide down to the middle of the pack, into the 13-19 tier of teams with basically comparable systems.

This is not a one-man farm system. We have four top-100 guys!
 

pedro1999mvp

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Dec 9, 2022
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I am not a Bloom fan. Anyone that inherits an in their prime core of Bogey, Mookie, Benintendi, and Devers and 3 years later only has Verdugo, Wong, and Devers left to show from it, and Devers could easily be out the door soon...sorry, there is no excuse for that at all. However, I will give credit where credit is due and he has improved our minor league system from nearly dead last to just outside the top 10. But the reason I'm not overly excited about this is 1. Lack of talent that is near MLB ready, and most disappointing is 2. Lack of high end pitching. The pitching depth in the minors hasn't really improved at all. Bello is great, and maybe Mata bounces back post surgery, but most of the arms called up from Worcestor were very underwhelming.
 

tims4wins

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So the Sox either have Mayer fall to them or they don’t get to pick anyone? Do they get to add someone if they don’t get to add him? Also, they DO have Mayer. Finally, that is by mo means a list of meh prospects. That’s ridiculous. They’re just far away right now and a lot can go wrong along the way. Fortunately, there’s an awful lot of them. I mean, if this is how you’re trying to do it, compete and rebuild, this is how you have to rebuild a system. You’re not trading away good players to get prospects, so you’re building almost exclusively through the draft and IFA. That means the players have a long way to go. Everyone wants to WIN! And everyone wants a top three system NOW! It’s nuts.
No of course they could/would have someone in place of Mayer. That's not my point. My point is it feels like the system is currently Mayer plus a bunch of meh. Replace Mayer with another stud prospect and it's the same. Maybe my characterization of the rest of the system is off.

I don't care about both winning and having a top 3 system right now. If I thought they had a top 3 system, I'd be ok with where the major league team is right now. But it feels more like they have both a mediocre major league team, and a mediocre system. It's hard to see a path to contention in the next couple years.
 

BigSoxFan

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May 31, 2007
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Fangraphs is useful here.

And what it suggests is that without Mayer, Boston would slide down to the middle of the pack, into the 13-19 tier of teams with basically comparable systems.

This is not a one-man farm system. We have four top-100 guys!
How many of those top 100 guys are Bloom’s? Mayer? And I guess we can give him credit for a clear tank season. But where is the evidence that Bloom’s guys are driving this resurgence? I’d say it’s too early to draw either a positive or negative inference at this point.