Red Sox acquire Adam Ottavino and RHP prospect Frank German from Yankees for PTBNL

StuckOnYouk

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Jun 26, 2006
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I believe that he took the better deal with us only because the Sox were willing to accept the lesser prospect... The rest is GM speak.

What's he going to say "We dumped a guy that's completely cooked, and conned our biggest rival into taking him off our hands by throwing in a prospect that has no shot of ever amounting to anything! Muhahaha!"

Hopefully Bloom scouted them a bit before dumping 8 million.
If the Sox aren't in the hunt for a playoff spot and Ottavino is having a good season (which he should - again he had one atrocious appearance last year that super-inflated his numbers), then Ottavino will be traded at the deadline for another 1-2 prospects.

So in essence this is Bloom using money - somewhere between 7 and 11 million (which includes that 3 mil appendage) - to acquire anywhere from 1-3 prospects to continue to supplement the farm system.

I will say one thing, I can't wait for minor league baseball to start so we can start tracking our players in the system again.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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I believe that he took the better deal with us only because the Sox were willing to accept the lesser prospect... The rest is GM speak.

What's he going to say "We dumped a guy that's completely cooked, and conned our biggest rival into taking him off our hands by throwing in a prospect that has no shot of ever amounting to anything! Muhahaha!"

Hopefully Bloom scouted them a bit before dumping 8 million.
I would have expected no statement. It’s pretty rare for a GM to lead a Lessons Learned session after a trade.
 

benhogan

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Cashman clearly feels the Red Sox aren't a rival/threat in 2021 and figures Ottavino won't move the needle.
Let's make him pay.
 

bosockboy

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The interesting part of this deal for me is that with everyone treating the $210M cap number as a hard ceiling, the Ottavino move seems like it takes JBJ out of consideration for BOS, which I know Yankee hitters would be happy about (as would I). Maybe Bloom was never going to sign JBJ anyway, maybe he still will anyway, but that part is one thing I will be keeping an eye on.
My guess is they are trying to get the best deal between JBJ and Wong. Whoever they get Kike fills the opposite, 2B or CF.
 

chawson

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Here’s my thing with Wong. He’s an elite defensive 2B in an era where those just aren’t as valuable.

For better or worse, batters don’t hit as many balls to second basemen as they used to, so all-glove, no bat players like Wong tend to be overrated in today’s game.

Here’s the number of “balls in zone” hit to AL second basemen per 9 innings since 2010 (per Fangraphs):

2010 - 2.640
2011 - 2.643
2012 - 2.533
2013 - 2.534
2014 - 2.488
2015 - 2.404
2016 - 2.224
2017 - 2.127
2018 - 1.966
2019 - 1.968
2020 - 1.821

There are better ways to measure what I’m going for, but if my quick math is right, AL second basemen have almost one-third fewer fielding opportunities than they did a decade ago.

Wong is still a good player (and FWIW, I agree that these developments make the game less enjoyable), but combined with his soft contact rates, he’s just not as valuable in today’s game.
 
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EvilEmpire

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The problem I have with infield defensive stats right now is that I don't know how well they account for shifting. Does an good defensive 2B play out of position better (than an average player) in a shift? How well can that be measured? If it can be measured, how valuable is it?
 

allmanbro

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Jul 19, 2005
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Here’s my thing with Wong. He’s an elite defensive 2B in an era where those just aren’t as valuable.

For better or worse, batters don’t hit as many balls to second basemen as they used to, so all-glove, no bat players like Wong tend to be overrated in today’s game.

Here’s the number of balls in zone hit to AL second basemen per 9 innings since 2010 (per Fangraphs):

2010 - 2.640
2011 - 2.643
2012 - 2.533
2013 - 2.534
2014 - 2.488
2015 - 2.404
2016 - 2.224
2017 - 2.127
2018 - 1.966
2019 - 1.968
2020 - 1.821

There are better ways to measure what I’m going for, but if my quick math is right, AL second basemen have almost one-third fewer fielding opportunities than they did a decade ago.

Wong is still a good player (and FWIW, I agree that these developments make the game less enjoyable), but combined with his soft contact rates, he’s just not as valuable in today’s game.
I don't think it's totally fair to call Wong "no bat". All the projections peg him for roughly a .345 OBP/.390 SLG (compare to JBJs roughly .320/.405 projections). Over the past three years, Wong has put up 7.8 total fWAR and 9.7 total bWAR (compare to JBJ 5.7 total fWAR and 6.2 total bWAR). If the team thinks Hernandez can play center, I kind of like the "whichever of Wong or JBJ you can get cheaper" plan.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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The problem I have with infield defensive stats right now is that I don't know how well they account for shifting. Does an good defensive 2B play out of position better (than an average player) in a shift? How well can that be measured? If it can be measured, how valuable is it?
I was thinking similarly. I also wonder how much shifting affects those balls in zone numbers chawson posted. Does the zone change based on where the second baseman sets up more often due to shifting, or is it fixed? Is it possible that batters aren't hitting into the zone as often either to avoid the shift or because pitchers are pitching differently resulting in a different spray pattern?

Does having a rangy second baseman like Wong affect how much and how often you do shift compared to an average 2B?
 

chawson

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My sense is that shifts were built into the Balls in Zone numbers (which I pulled from here, divided by AL innings and multiplied by 27).

The decrease appears to be some mutually reinforcing leaguewide changes including infield shifts, increased K’s and more batters swinging for the fences. I’d also argue that the Red Sox have even less need for a strong defensive 2B because A) our pitching staff gets above average strikeouts, B) aren’t otherwise especially ground ball inducing (Pérez had been, but wasn’t last year), and C) there are fewer left-handed batters in the AL East relative to other divisions.

“No bat” is harsh for Wong, allmanbro is right. But his value isn’t wrapped up in his bat. If for some reason Manfred decides to ban shifts for 2021, he’s a great add. But I think the Sox could plug in a better bat there the way the game is going. By the same token, it makes more sense to me to use Hernández in CF where his good defense gets a lot of action.
 
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bosockboy

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My sense is that shifts were built into the Balls in Zone numbers (which I pulled from here, divided by AL innings and multiplied by 9 — though maybe that should be 27? Either way the decline is real).

The decrease appears to be some mutually reinforcing leaguewide changes including infield shifts, increased K’s and more batters swinging for the fences. I’d also argue that the Red Sox have even less need for a strong defensive 2B because A) our pitching staff gets above average strikeouts, B) aren’t otherwise especially ground ball inducing (Pérez had been, but wasn’t last year), and C) there are fewer left-handed batters in the AL East relative to other divisions.

“No bat” is harsh for Wong, allmanbro is right. But his value isn’t wrapped up in his bat. If for some reason Manfred decides to ban shifts for 2021, he’s a great add. But I think the Sox could plug in a better bat there the way the game is going. By the same token, it makes more sense to me to use Hernández in CF where his good defense gets a lot of action.
Then Schoop makes sense at 2B also.
 

Coachster

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Here’s my thing with Wong. He’s an elite defensive 2B in an era where those just aren’t as valuable.

For better or worse, batters don’t hit as many balls to second basemen as they used to, so all-glove, no bat players like Wong tend to be overrated in today’s game.

Here’s the number of “balls in zone” hit to AL second basemen per 9 innings since 2010 (per Fangraphs):

2010 - 2.640
2011 - 2.643
2012 - 2.533
2013 - 2.534
2014 - 2.488
2015 - 2.404
2016 - 2.224
2017 - 2.127
2018 - 1.966
2019 - 1.968
2020 - 1.821

There are better ways to measure what I’m going for, but if my quick math is right, AL second basemen have almost one-third fewer fielding opportunities than they did a decade ago.

Wong is still a good player (and FWIW, I agree that these developments make the game less enjoyable), but combined with his soft contact rates, he’s just not as valuable in today’s game.
Number of balls hit to second basemen declines? Jacoby Ellsbury retires? I don’t think it’s a coincidence.
 
Jul 16, 2005
5
That's probably it. A midseason trade is way different because often when those trades were made the outcome had already been decided to a certain extent.

That 86 DH swap was the trade of that decade between the two teams. Was the Sparky Lyle-Danny Cater trade during the season too? Or also spring?
I remember reading many years ago that the Red Sox offered the Yankees Bill Lee for Cater. NY countered with Lyle. Lee was a middle reliever at that point. Awful deal either way.
 

mwonow

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I remember reading many years ago that the Red Sox offered the Yankees Bill Lee for Cater. NY countered with Lyle. Lee was a middle reliever at that point. Awful deal either way.
Left-handed pitching with upside AND ML experience for a no-bat first baseman. The Sox were definitely on to a unique strategy!
 

mwonow

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Hey, they also got Mario Guerrero in that deal. LOL
Thanks, I had completely overlooked Mario! A very well-balanced player - in his 'big' year with the Sox (1974) he had an OBP of .282 AND SLG of .282.

He did bring back Jim Willoughby, who 'racked up' 20 saves (total) with the Sox from '75-'77.

In Cater's first year with Boston, his OPS was .642 - which probably didn't catch the 'braintrust' in Boston by surprise, since the previous year with the MFYs, he OPSed .672 (in 121 games! What were they thinking?)

Bah. Nearly 50 years on, I'm STILL angry about that!
 
Dec 28, 2015
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Bah. Nearly 50 years on, I'm STILL angry about that!

And there's more. They acquired Cater because they had traded away George Scott, and Cecil Cooper was deemed not ready. Scott went on to arguably the best seasons of his career in Milwaukee with a WAR of 22.6 over five years. THEN when Cooper was finally ready after a 5.2 WAR in parts of six seasons, they traded him to Milwaukee for Scott (and Bernie Carbo) who had little left. Cooper gave Milwaukee a 30 WAR over the next seven seasons while Scott produced a WAR of 2 in Boston over the next two seasons. On top of this disaster Lyle's WAR with New York was 15 in seven years.

The subtraction of Scott and Lyle probably cost Boston divisional titles - and who knows what else - in 1972, 1977 and 1978. In 1981 and 1982 the weakened Red Sox were strangely competitive. If they had Cooper, they conceivably might have made the post season both years.

There's a lot to be angry about in those years and beyond. T.G. for the balm of the John Henry era.
 

Niastri

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I'm glad I was born in '75. The years of angst I suffered were plenty to make the breaking of the curse one of the biggest moments in my life. I definitely didn't need the extra 30 years my dad and his contemporaries suffered... Much less his dad who never saw a Red Sox title, but definitely saw every one of those self destructive moves.
 

Dewey'sCannon

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Jul 18, 2005
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I was in HS and college in the 70's, and those were some frustrating years - some great players and great teams, but always came up just a little bit short. And some of these dumb trades certainly added to the frustration, and probably to coming up short. When they traded Lyle for Cater, I was just baffled. But when they traded Cecil Cooper, I was really pissed - I thought it was pretty clear he was going to be a solid player, at the very least, and I'd already started calling him "Cece the Beast."

I hated Dick O'Connell. And don't get me started on Heywood Sullivan.
 

h8mfy

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In 1975 the Sox played in the HoF game at Cooperstown and I was lucky enough to get tickets. After the game, Cecil Cooper opened the windows on the bus and signed autographs (he was the only one to do so) and won a fan for life (I was 11). I was really bummed when he was traded.