Red sox and Devers discussing a 7 year deal?

Petagine in a Bottle

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Of course the team would want a deal that ends earlier than the player, but do we really think Devers will sign a long term deal without an opt out? It’s the best of both worlds for the player- basically a lifetime deal if they want it, but also the option to get out and make more if the market changes.

Sox would love a deal that ends after 8 years, but can’t the player get one that lasts 10-12 with an opt out or two along the way?

I know the org was at one point not willing to give out opt outs but it’s isn’t realistic now (and they of course had to give them to X, Price, Sale, etc.)
 

StuckOnYouk

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This doesnt really seem economic. Are you really saying that years 9 and 10 arent worth a total of $20M? Assuming they give him the deal this offseason that would be his age 34 and 35 seasons. He could easily be worth that as a DH. We arent talking late 30 years here.
Years 9 and 10 would cost you 60 million if you gave him 10/300. I’d rather be out from under it and apply that 30 mil per elsewhere in exchange for that 5 million per year “tax” when presumably his best years are covered.
Throw in an opt out after four years that’s fine if he wants to hit the open market again when he’s 30.
 

Daniel_Son

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I think that we're on the same page here because at some point the current Red Sox front office is going to have to sign someone and it's going to be more than they want to sign them for. I'm not opening this box again, but they didn't want to do it with Mookie and that's fine, that's their prerogative. However, they're going to probably have to do it with either Xander or Bogaerts. Will their contracts look good at the end of their run? No. Of course not. None of these contracts ever look great at the end of their term (except for Manny's--aside from his clubhouse issues--dude was still raking eight years in), but that's the tradeoff, right? You played well as a kid getting the bare minimum and because of that we're paying you the money in the future when you may not be worth it. The idea is that this pattern keeps occurring over and over where you have young guys coming up, hitting and pitching well, but you don't have to pay a lot until they get to their arbitration years. By that point Devers (or whomever) will be just about done with his big contract.

I mean, this is professional sports. You're not going to get the best possible value on every single deal. And if you keep trying to, then you're going to lose stars.
They don't have to do anything - teams like Atlanta have shown that there's an alternative to paying top-dollar for talent in free agency. And if they sign X, Devers, or both to a mega-contract, what do they do if Mayer, Casas, Blaze, Romero, or [insert your favorite minor leaguer] becomes a free agent? There are a lot of ways to build a successful team.
 

Papo The Snow Tiger

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They don't have to do anything - teams like Atlanta have shown that there's an alternative to paying top-dollar for talent in free agency. And if they sign X, Devers, or both to a mega-contract, what do they do if Mayer, Casas, Blaze, Romero, or [insert your favorite minor leaguer] becomes a free agent? There are a lot of ways to build a successful team.
What happens if X and Devers are both allowed to walk, and Mayer, Casas, Blaze or Romero turn out to be this generations Adam Everett, Sam Travis, Jose Malave or Wilton Veras? While it's nice to project good things for the minor leaguers, X and Devers have proven they can play major league baseball at an elite level. Eventually you have to make a commitment.
 

snowmanny

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Here is the thing: a big long contract is likely to be an overpay at some point. So you ask -
1) Is he likely to be good for awhile at least? He's young, seems dedicated, very talented so I would say yes.
2) Does he fill an important role? 3/4 hitter so I would say yes.
3) Are they planning to contend in the next couple of years? Yes I believe so
4) Is there some other player who is a FA or about to be a FA that you would rather outbid all of baseball to sign to a huge contract? Well if they pass on Devers and sign Judge for even more money I think that's risky but OK*. Otherwise I'm not sure who they'd be looking at.

If your answers are anything but yes,yes,yes,no then don't do the 10/300+ contract. But if they are yes,yes,yes,no then I'm with Petagine: what else are you going to do? Sign the guy. Seems like a no-brainer, but they have passed on a couple no-brainers in the past.

*I mean Ok in the sense of OK they think Judge is worth it and Devers is not, that's their call even though it wouldn't be mine. Don't think that's ever happening but who knows.
 
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ElcaballitoMVP

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I think that we're on the same page here because at some point the current Red Sox front office is going to have to sign someone and it's going to be more than they want to sign them for. I'm not opening this box again, but they didn't want to do it with Mookie and that's fine, that's their prerogative. However, they're going to probably have to do it with either Xander or Bogaerts. Will their contracts look good at the end of their run? No. Of course not. None of these contracts ever look great at the end of their term (except for Manny's--aside from his clubhouse issues--dude was still raking eight years in), but that's the tradeoff, right? You played well as a kid getting the bare minimum and because of that we're paying you the money in the future when you may not be worth it. The idea is that this pattern keeps occurring over and over where you have young guys coming up, hitting and pitching well, but you don't have to pay a lot until they get to their arbitration years. By that point Devers (or whomever) will be just about done with his big contract.

I mean, this is professional sports. You're not going to get the best possible value on every single deal. And if you keep trying to, then you're going to lose stars.
Yup, it's the risk you have to take to keep the star players around. And it would be a completely different discussion if the Sox had a replacement on the farm ready to go, but they don't. If the Sox want to remain competitive over the next few years, Devers is a guy you want in your lineup. Not all of the prospects I mentioned are going to pan out, but if you can get 2 or 3 of them to over the next 3-4 years, you can afford a contract like the one Devers is going to get. They've already got cheap players in Bello and Casas. And they've got room in the budget right now to get it done.
 

joe dokes

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I know people probably don't want to lock up a bunch of money at 1B or DH if that's the eventual plan, but my thing is, the Red Sox aren't signing Devers for his defense. They're signing him for his bat.

You either think he's going to be a $30M bat and resign him or you trade him at the deadline as possibly the most impactful bat being dealt. I'm in the camp of resign him and find other positions to save money on down the line.

If the plan is to eventually move him to 1B or DH, by that time hopefully you have guys on the MLB roster making the league minimum like Mayer, Blaze, Romero, Anthony, Paulino, etc
I think is right. And the last line, to the extent people sleep better knowing what CHAIM'S PLAN IS, DAMMIT!!!!!!!, is Chaim's plan. Pick the right 9-figure contracts for now; have a few 6-figure contracts; extend the right 6-figure guys into 9-figure guys later..
 

joe dokes

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They don't have to do anything - teams like Atlanta have shown that there's an alternative to paying top-dollar for talent in free agency. And if they sign X, Devers, or both to a mega-contract, what do they do if Mayer, Casas, Blaze, Romero, or [insert your favorite minor leaguer] becomes a free agent? There are a lot of ways to build a successful team.
Yup, it's the risk you have to take to keep the star players around. And it would be a completely different discussion if the Sox had a replacement on the farm ready to go, but they don't. If the Sox want to remain competitive over the next few years, Devers is a guy you want in your lineup. Not all of the prospects I mentioned are going to pan out, but if you can get 2 or 3 of them to over the next 3-4 years, you can afford a contract like the one Devers is going to get. They've already got cheap players in Bello and Casas. And they've got room in the budget right now to get it done.
Atlanta has a head start in the "lock up the young guys early" camp because the guys they have signed long term have shown something in the majors. The problem for the Sox right now is that the alignment between Devers and Bogaerts reaching FA and the potential future stars showing something in MLB isn't quite there yet. I dont know why it didn't happen, but signing Devers long-term 2 years ago would've fit this script.

And arguably, Tatis, Jr. is the cautionary tale. That story has yet to be written. (maybe the moral is dont sign them to those deals at 20?)
 

NoXInNixon

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What happens if X and Devers are both allowed to walk, and Mayer, Casas, Blaze or Romero turn out to be this generations Adam Everett, Sam Travis, Jose Malave or Wilton Veras? While it's nice to project good things for the minor leaguers, X and Devers have proven they can play major league baseball at an elite level. Eventually you have to make a commitment.
Without good, young, cheap, talent, it's nearly impossible to put together a great team. Nobody has enough dollars to buy a 100% free agent team, certainly not the Red Sox. So if none of their prospects pan out, they're screwed with or without X and Devers.

But if the prospects do pan out, it's very possible to sign free agents from other teams to fair market deals. If X and Devers go to other teams, the Sox can easily find other free agents to sign for the same amounts they would have given to them, who also have long track records and have proven they can play at the major league level.

In other words, free agents are largely fungible. If a team has a certain amount of money to spend, it doesn't matter if they sign their own players at market rates, or other team's players at market rates.
 

Daniel_Son

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What happens if X and Devers are both allowed to walk, and Mayer, Casas, Blaze or Romero turn out to be this generations Adam Everett, Sam Travis, Jose Malave or Wilton Veras? While it's nice to project good things for the minor leaguers, X and Devers have proven they can play major league baseball at an elite level. Eventually you have to make a commitment.
Sure, but we've seen the scenario that I suggested happen as recently as 2019 with Price, Sale, and Mookie. I really don't want debate the merits and downsides of the trade itself for the 1,000th time on this board, but to me, the #1 reason why they were put in a position to deal him was because they were hamstrung by high-priced talent that didn't perform as expected. Now obviously, they needed pitching that didn't exist in the organization, but those signings led directly to us getting rid of a generation talent in his prime because we couldn't field a competitive team. To the posters who are ready to break the bank for Devers and Xander, I ask - why is it going to be any different this time around?
 

joe dokes

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Sure, but we've seen the scenario that I suggested happen as recently as 2019 with Price, Sale, and Mookie. I really don't want debate the merits and downsides of the trade itself for the 1,000th time on this board, but to me, the #1 reason why they were put in a position to deal him was because they were hamstrung by high-priced talent that didn't perform as expected. Now obviously, they needed pitching that didn't exist in the organization, but those signings led directly to us getting rid of a generation talent in his prime because we couldn't field a competitive team. To the posters who are ready to break the bank for Devers and Xander, I ask - why is it going to be any different this time around?
I *think* one reason why it has a chance to be different is that there was no farm system to speak of to augment the high-expense guys. And I doubt if Bloom *ever* locks up a pitcher for as long as Price got.
 

Jimbodandy

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Sure, but we've seen the scenario that I suggested happen as recently as 2019 with Price, Sale, and Mookie. I really don't want debate the merits and downsides of the trade itself for the 1,000th time on this board, but to me, the #1 reason why they were put in a position to deal him was because they were hamstrung by high-priced talent that didn't perform as expected. Now obviously, they needed pitching that didn't exist in the organization, but those signings led directly to us getting rid of a generation talent in his prime because we couldn't field a competitive team. To the posters who are ready to break the bank for Devers and Xander, I ask - why is it going to be any different this time around?
<Pretty obvious "because 30yo pitchers are more likely to fall apart than hitters" reply/>

The question is not whether the last couple of years of megadeals are sunk cost. They almost always are. The question is whether the first few years of the megadeals are a mess. Barring some unforeseen injury, I don't think that anyone can make a case that long-term deals for Devers or Bogaerts would look gross in years 1-3.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Sure, but we've seen the scenario that I suggested happen as recently as 2019 with Price, Sale, and Mookie. I really don't want debate the merits and downsides of the trade itself for the 1,000th time on this board, but to me, the #1 reason why they were put in a position to deal him was because they were hamstrung by high-priced talent that didn't perform as expected. Now obviously, they needed pitching that didn't exist in the organization, but those signings led directly to us getting rid of a generation talent in his prime because we couldn't field a competitive team. To the posters who are ready to break the bank for Devers and Xander, I ask - why is it going to be any different this time around?
So your suggestion boils down to: just keep churning out good young talent that won't cost a lot?

Because we're going to be in the same position 8-10 years from now when Jordan, Mayer, etc all become expensive. What's the point of being a big market team with deep pockets, if you're turning over your roster every year? You develop players like Bogaerts and Devers so that you're set for 10-15 years. The always-rely-on-youngsters is a very romantic notion but it's not sustainable. At some point, the front office is going to have a couple fallow years in a row, then what do you do? And of course, the above is based on the remote possibility that Jordan, Mayer, etc all hit big time. We know that that isn't a good gamble.

Why are we so concerned about John Henry's checkbook? Honestly. We all know that he can afford Dever and Bogaerts, why are we so sure that signing those two won't allow us "to field a competitive team"? This is absolute madness to me.

Edit: it's not just John Henry, ALL MLB owners could afford their stars. Because of licensing and TV deals, just about every team begins each season with $100M. That's before one ticket, one beer, one hot dog is sold. The idea that any team is operating in the red is ridiculous. For most owners, having a MLB team is a side hustle and they're rolling in cash.
 
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mikcou

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Years 9 and 10 would cost you 60 million if you gave him 10/300. I’d rather be out from under it and apply that 30 mil per elsewhere in exchange for that 5 million per year “tax” when presumably his best years are covered.
Throw in an opt out after four years that’s fine if he wants to hit the open market again when he’s 30.
No if you pay him $280 for 8 or $300 for 10, the incremental for years 9 and 10 is only $20M. The rest is just when you pay him the money. In reality the cost is probably less than that as the deferral of the $40M of salary into years 9 and 10 has some material non-zero value.

Looking at it the way you are looking at it is letting tax charge wag the valuation dog. There may be times to do that especially with fringe roster guys, but on a contract for one of your probably three or four core guys for the next decade is certainly not it. And certainly not when there is a very good likelihood that the player will provide substantially more value than the incremental cost.
 

Manramsclan

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Why are we so concerned about John Henry's checkbook? Honestly. We all know that he can afford Dever and Bogaerts, why are we so sure that signing those two won't allow us "to field a competitive team"? This is absolute madness to me.
Can we please stop with this argument? No one is "concerned about John Henry's checkbook".

People are concerned about building a winning team and a healthy organization that contends more often than not. The current CBA penalties are more than just monetary, and the penalties get worse the longer they are over the limit. Throwing money around because they have it is not a good organizational strategy. Neither is being parsimonious when it comes to stars either but no one here is worried about John Henry, who is very rich. We all want to watch a good team, with good players that we like, and hopefully to keep the best players the Sox develop. Spending without the consideration of the consequences to later years has gotten us this fallow period.
 

Papo The Snow Tiger

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Without good, young, cheap, talent, it's nearly impossible to put together a great team. Nobody has enough dollars to buy a 100% free agent team, certainly not the Red Sox. So if none of their prospects pan out, they're screwed with or without X and Devers.

But if the prospects do pan out, it's very possible to sign free agents from other teams to fair market deals. If X and Devers go to other teams, the Sox can easily find other free agents to sign for the same amounts they would have given to them, who also have long track records and have proven they can play at the major league level.

In other words, free agents are largely fungible. If a team has a certain amount of money to spend, it doesn't matter if they sign their own players at market rates, or other team's players at market rates.
I agree that nobody has enough dollars to field a 100% free agent team, but I don't agree that free agents are 100% fungible. Boston isn't an easy place to play major league baseball. The expectations are high, and the magnifying glass is large. Throw in early season cold weather and factors like Massachusetts state taxes and some guys would simply choose and other place to play. Xander has expressed a desire to stay with the Red Sox, and Devers at least isn't opposed to the idea. They've both shown they can handle the pressures of playing in Boston.
 

Ganthem

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So your suggestion boils down to: just keep churning out good young talent that won't cost a lot?

Because we're going to be in the same position 8-10 years from now when Jordan, Mayer, etc all become expensive. What's the point of being a big market team with deep pockets, if you're turning over your roster every year? You develop players like Bogaerts and Devers so that you're set for 10-15 years. The always-rely-on-youngsters is a very romantic notion but it's not sustainable. At some point, the front office is going to have a couple fallow years in a row, then what do you do? And of course, the above is based on the remote possibility that Jordan, Mayer, etc all hit big time. We know that that isn't a good gamble.

Why are we so concerned about John Henry's checkbook? Honestly. We all know that he can afford Dever and Bogaerts, why are we so sure that signing those two won't allow us "to field a competitive team"? This is absolute madness to me.

Edit: it's not just John Henry, ALL MLB owners could afford their stars. Because of licensing and TV deals, just about every team begins each season with $100M. That's before one ticket, one beer, one hot dog is sold. The idea that any team is operating in the red is ridiculous. For most owners, having a MLB team is a side hustle and they're rolling in cash.
Your post have been and continue to be disingenuous. The Story signing is an example of Bloom and company willing to spend for what they deem to be the right player. Whenever Bloom and company don't sign a certain player, some fans, throw temper tantrums and start throwing around the words cheap and doesn't spend, which is hilarious given that we have almost twenty years of evidence that says otherwise. To build a team that can get in the playoffs year and year out, depends on there being a certain harmony amongst minor league players, players acquired via trade and free agent signings. Achieving this harmony can be very difficult as Henry has found out. If Bogearts and Devers are not brought back, the money will be spent elsewhere. The problem isn't they aren't willing to spend. The problem is they might have some legitimate doubts about spending the money on Devers and Bogey given the defensive issues that prior to this year have plagued them. Further, as other posters have noted, spending over the luxury tax comes with other penalties that might not be desirable to Bloom or Henry given where the team is in its current build. Lastly do we know for sure how much Henry can afford to spend before he is not making a profit on this team? The Red Sox are a business. If Henry routinely has to cannibalize his own wallet or the profits of his other businesses then the Red Sox would not be a very desirable team to own. At that point he might as well sell it and the next owner might not be as passionate about winning as Henry is.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Can we please stop with this argument? No one is "concerned about John Henry's checkbook".

People are concerned about building a winning team and a healthy organization that contends more often than not. The current CBA penalties are more than just monetary, and the penalties get worse the longer they are over the limit. Throwing money around because they have it is not a good organizational strategy. Neither is being parsimonious when it comes to stars either but no one here is worried about John Henry, who is very rich. We all want to watch a good team, with good players that we like, and hopefully to keep the best players the Sox develop. Spending without the consideration of the consequences to later years has gotten us this fallow period.
Okay. Then how are they going to build a winning team without star players? You don't want Betts? Fine. Let him go. You don't want Bogaerts or Devers? Fine. So long. You don't want Judge (he's too expensive, too old, too brittle)? Okay. People don't want Rondon? Who do you expect to man this team? Having a roster of players who make $10-15m a year is fine, but they're not going to win.

You don't have to be over the cap every year, but at some point you have to sign a player for big money if you want to compete. If it's not Betts or Bogaerts or Devers, then who is going to be? Who is this magic unicorn that you think should be signed?

If it's not money (which is directly tied to John Henry and his checkbook) then what is the problem here?

Every team has a contract that they'd rather not have. Some have a couple, but they make it work. And this isn't new, it's been like this for decades. There is no perfect player, every big contract has a downside, it's just whether you can get enough value out of that player before their decline hits. Because I'm telling you no really good ballplayer is going to take short years and short dough so that the team doesn't go over the salary cap. It's not happening. Bloom has to make a decision on one (hopefully more) to stick his neck out and say, "Yes. This player is worth $30M a year for x amount of years." Because if he doesn't, the Red Sox are going to be in trouble.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Lastly do we know for sure how much Henry can afford to spend before he is not making a profit on this team? The Red Sox are a business. If Henry routinely has to cannibalize his own wallet or the profits of his other businesses then the Red Sox would not be a very desirable team to own. At that point he might as well sell it and the next owner might not be as passionate about winning as Henry is.
Are you joking with this? And you say I'm being disingenuous? I'm sure John Henry is frantically searching his couch right now for dropped quarters so that he can make Red Sox payroll.
 

amfox1

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What happens if X and Devers are both allowed to walk, and Mayer, Casas, Blaze or Romero turn out to be this generations Adam Everett, Sam Travis, Jose Malave or Wilton Veras? While it's nice to project good things for the minor leaguers, X and Devers have proven they can play major league baseball at an elite level. Eventually you have to make a commitment.
The organization has made long-term commitments to plenty of players over time (Sale, Bogaerts, Story, Martinez and Eovaldi on 21-22 roster alone). The issue is not whether the organization makes commitments - it's what happens when those players don't perform and the team has to decide whether to exceed its budget and/or the luxury tax thresholds to fill out the roster.

An organization's job is to assess its internal talent and balance that with potential external talent sources (trades, free agency, etc) in order to field the most competitive team within the team's internal budget limits. Your point on the minor leaguers may prove to be correct, or it may not. Likely, it will be somewhere in-between. Your point on Bogaerts/Devers is correct but incomplete. Yes, they can play at an elite level today, but at what price and for how long. Sure, we love Bogaerts, but that doesn't mean the team should pay him $30mm/year for eight years or necessarily pay Devers 10 years, $32.5mm/year. If the team's assessment on those contracts is wrong, the organization is screwed for a decade, as the two contracts combined would comprise 30% of the amount under the luxury tax threshold. The injury issues for Sale and David Price's ineffectiveness seriously hamstrung this team since 2018.

The organization has approx $85mm to spend this offseason, so it can clearly resign both Bogaerts and Devers, but it might not be able to patch the rest of the holes with star players.
 

Daniel_Son

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Okay. Then how are they going to build a winning team without star players? You don't want Betts? Fine. Let him go. You don't want Bogaerts or Devers? Fine. So long. You don't want Judge (he's too expensive, too old, too brittle)? Okay. People don't want Rondon? Who do you expect to man this team? Having a roster of players who make $10-15m a year is fine, but they're not going to win.

You don't have to be over the cap every year, but at some point you have to sign a player for big money if you want to compete. If it's not Betts or Bogaerts or Devers, then who is going to be? Who is this magic unicorn that you think should be signed?

If it's not money (which is directly tied to John Henry and his checkbook) then what is the problem here?

Every team has a contract that they'd rather not have. Some have a couple, but they make it work. And this isn't new, it's been like this for decades. There is no perfect player, every big contract has a downside, it's just whether you can get enough value out of that player before their decline hits. Because I'm telling you no really good ballplayer is going to take short years and short dough so that the team doesn't go over the salary cap. It's not happening. Bloom has to make a decision on one (hopefully more) to stick his neck out and say, "Yes. This player is worth $30M a year for x amount of years." Because if he doesn't, the Red Sox are going to be in trouble.
There are plenty of examples of teams getting absolutely screwed by big contracts.

I'd love it if JHW just said "damn the costs" and filled the roster with premium talent every single year, no matter the expense. But that's not how he's chosen to run the team, same as nearly every single other owner in baseball (except Moreno, I guess, but there's your cautionary tale). So I care about JHW's checkbook because it has a direct effect on how my favorite team operates. The team's primary focus should be churning out (or finding) good, young talent, like you said. I don't think that's an unrealistic goal - we've seen that in Atlanta, Houston, New York, LA, and Tampa, just to name a few.

And that's not even getting into the fact that this year's team was a goddamn mess. Spotrac is projecting the Sox at $146 million for 2023 - let's assume the deal they sign X to adds another $5 million to the $20 we already owe him, and they add $10 million to the $17 that they project Devers gets in arbitration. Those are both very conservative estimates, and they're already at $161 million. That gives them around $70 million to add a corner outfielder, a high-end reliever or two, a designated hitter, another SP (maybe 2), and rebuild the bench. And that's assuming JHW wants to meet the luxury tax.

The current iteration of the Sox have much bigger problems than locking up Devers and X.
 

Ganthem

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Are you joking with this? And you say I'm being disingenuous? I'm sure John Henry is frantically searching his couch right now for dropped quarters so that he can make Red Sox payroll.
Perhaps someone who knows business can correct me if I am wrong here, but I am pretty sure you can't just spend willy nilly. If Hypothetically the Red Sox pull in 350 million a year and yet they spend 240 million on payroll, plus whatever they spend on the managers and front office staff, plus maintenance for Fenway and Jetblue, plus all the various support personal, plus a couple things I have probably forgotten and they go past the 350 million then the team is operating at a loss. One of the issues in determining for a fact which teams are cheap and which are not is that we don't know the total expenditures for each team. So yeah your argument is disingenuous or perhaps just ignorant. But either way, it makes no sense at Henry and company to throw money at a team only for it to under perform. There needs to be a balance as mentioned before in order to build a competitive team.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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The current iteration of the Sox have much bigger problems than locking up Devers and X.
I absolutely agree with this. If they bring back X and Devers, we’re basically at the status quo as we were last year. They have to add more players, most notably an outfielder, a starting pitcher and a bullpen arm.

Those cost money. That’s why I am completely flummoxed as to what Bloom is going to this off-season. Because if he loses X and replaces him with Turner (for example) that’s a lateral move that does nothing to solve his other three problems. And now he’s blown a bunch of cash.

Perhaps someone who knows business can correct me if I am wrong here, but I am pretty sure you can't just spend willy nilly. If Hypothetically the Red Sox pull in 350 million a year and yet they spend 240 million on payroll, plus whatever they spend on the managers and front office staff, plus maintenance for Fenway and Jetblue, plus all the various support personal, plus a couple things I have probably forgotten and they go past the 350 million then the team is operating at a loss. One of the issues in determining for a fact which teams are cheap and which are not is that we don't know the total expenditures for each team. So yeah your argument is disingenuous or perhaps just ignorant. But either way, it makes no sense at Henry and company to throw money at a team only for it to under perform. There needs to be a balance as mentioned before in order to build a competitive team.
Here’s what we know:

John Henry is a great business man
John Henry had owned the Red Sox for 20+ years
If John Henry was losing money, even a dollar, he wouldn’t still own the Red Sox. That’s not how wealthy people operate. JH does not see the Sox as a public trust and he’s not running a charity (nor should he).

John Henry is making oodles and oodles (*real financial term) of money on the Boston Red Sox.
 

mauidano

Mai Tais for everyone!
SoSH Member
Aug 21, 2006
32,899
Maui
I absolutely agree with this. If they bring back X and Devers, we’re basically at the status quo as we were last year. They have to add more players, most notably an outfielder, a starting pitcher and a bullpen arm.

Those cost money. That’s why I am completely flummoxed as to what Bloom is going to this off-season. Because if he loses X and replaces him with Turner (for example) that’s a lateral move that does nothing to solve his other three problems. And now he’s blown a bunch of cash.



Here’s what we know:

John Henry is a great business man
John Henry had owned the Red Sox for 20+ years
If John Henry was losing money, even a dollar, he wouldn’t still own the Red Sox. That’s not how wealthy people operate. JH does not see the Sox as a public trust and he’s not running a charity (nor should he).

John Henry is making oodles and oodles (*real financial term) of money on the Boston Red Sox.
This is it right here. It's a business with emotions attached for those of us on the outside. John Henry has more dollars than you can fantasize about. I trust he will continue to make good business decisions.
 

Ganthem

a ray of sunshine
SoSH Member
Apr 7, 2022
826
I absolutely agree with this. If they bring back X and Devers, we’re basically at the status quo as we were last year. They have to add more players, most notably an outfielder, a starting pitcher and a bullpen arm.

Those cost money. That’s why I am completely flummoxed as to what Bloom is going to this off-season. Because if he loses X and replaces him with Turner (for example) that’s a lateral move that does nothing to solve his other three problems. And now he’s blown a bunch of cash.



Here’s what we know:

John Henry is a great business man
John Henry had owned the Red Sox for 20+ years
If John Henry was losing money, even a dollar, he wouldn’t still own the Red Sox. That’s not how wealthy people operate. JH does not see the Sox as a public trust and he’s not running a charity (nor should he).

John Henry is making oodles and oodles (*real financial term) of money on the Boston Red Sox.
I agree with you. If John Henry was losing money he would not own the Red Sox. What I am saying and what you seem to have a hard time grasping, is that we don't know how much the Sox pull in. So advocating throwing money around does not work without that information. Constantly referring to Henry's wallet or bank account is meaningless without us knowing how much the Sox make each year and how much of that goes to operational expenses.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
Apr 12, 2001
22,263
I agree with you. If John Henry was losing money he would not own the Red Sox. What I am saying and what you seem to have a hard time grasping, is that we don't know how much the Sox pull in. So advocating throwing money around does not work without that information. Constantly referring to Henry's wallet or bank account is meaningless without us knowing how much the Sox make each year and how much of that goes to operational expenses.
No. The Red Sox were bought for $380m and are now worth $3.9 billion. FSG is worth $10 billion plus.

Why do you continue to posit that Henry is running the Red Sox on a razor thin margin and barely eking by? Because that’s definitely not true.

MLB baseball teams are no longer a mom-and-pop organization. JH is making so much money which is why the Red Sox are still worth owning. The minute that they’re not, he’s gone.

Why are you fantasizing that JH and the Sox are broke? That’s weird.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
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Jul 15, 2005
64,751
I'm not sure why the same fundamental financial points need to be gone over so frequently, but year to year earnings or losses are only one part of the equation. John Henry paid $380M in 2002 for the Red Sox, and the franchise is now valued at $2.7B. This is the main way owning a sports team is financially lucrative, the asset appreciation, not the year to year profit/loss.

Edit: I was using old numbers, JMOH makes my point even better than I did, even though I was largely answering him.
 

chawson

Member
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Aug 1, 2006
3,257
Can we please stop with this argument? No one is "concerned about John Henry's checkbook".

People are concerned about building a winning team and a healthy organization that contends more often than not. The current CBA penalties are more than just monetary, and the penalties get worse the longer they are over the limit. Throwing money around because they have it is not a good organizational strategy. Neither is being parsimonious when it comes to stars either but no one here is worried about John Henry, who is very rich. We all want to watch a good team, with good players that we like, and hopefully to keep the best players the Sox develop. Spending without the consideration of the consequences to later years has gotten us this fallow period.
I think JMOH's argument is perfectly legitimate and I agree with him. The current CBA penalties are far less onerous from a team-building perspective than the previous CBA, and I don't think the average fan has caught up with just how much higher the LT thresholds are relative to what they were, or to expectations going into that lockout.

For a lot of complex reasons, there's a tendency for fans to identify with management and not with players in these kinds of negotiations. I read JMOH's statement as a kind of metonymy for that tendency, and of course he's right. We all strategize about how to craft a sports team, less so how to maximize a player's earnings after they spent six years turning someone else a tremendous profit.

But on the other hand, John Henry is one of the spendiest owners in baseball. He was reportedly one of the (minority) group of owners most conciliatory to the players' union last winter. I don't think there's some sudden organizational hardline shift against spending money. I think there's just some strategy about it (and maybe a heightened caution to give starting pitchers $100M+ contracts), and Bloom has held back because the supporting cast hasn't been there.

I think there's probably a lot of baked-in macro volatility in the world over the next 10 years or so that could make big-ticket investments risky, but in baseball terms I think the consequences of spending are a little overstated. Is any of us projecting that the Sox will push a $300M payroll? No. The basic assumption by most posters on this board is that the first luxury tax threshold should be treated as a cap and not exceeded. But should we be? Because there's precedent, and the team our FO keeps making a point of likening us to — one that has the exact same franchise valuation as ours — is probably spending that much two out of every three years for the foreseeable future.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
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The current CBA penalties are far less onerous from a team-building perspective than the previous CBA
Do you have a link to this? I know there are still draft pick consequences, but I'd love to see the specifics spelled out but I can never find it when I hunt, thanks.
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
3,257
Do you have a link to this? I know there are still draft pick consequences, but I'd love to see the specifics spelled out but I can never find it when I hunt, thanks.
They're surprisingly tough to find. I've got to run but I'll look for one in a few hours. I remember reading it some months ago, and the consensus was that the penalties were less burdensome than the last CBA, but it would help to do a sharp side-by-side comparison.
 

mikcou

Member
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May 13, 2007
635
Boston
I agree with you. If John Henry was losing money he would not own the Red Sox. What I am saying and what you seem to have a hard time grasping, is that we don't know how much the Sox pull in. So advocating throwing money around does not work without that information. Constantly referring to Henry's wallet or bank account is meaningless without us knowing how much the Sox make each year and how much of that goes to operational expenses.
You're way off by an order of magnitude. We have a decent idea of the basement of what they bring in because we know what revenue sharing is, how it is computed, and what their net payment is into the fund. Admittedly, its not perfect as revenue sharing doesnt really capture the value of affiliated sports networks so the net payment the Sox make isnt really reflective of their true revenues. That said, we can make reasonable approximations based on what is known in the public domain.

They could spend like the Dodgers are still be cash flow positive. Rough approximation is $500M annually; not $350M. These numbers are from 2019 so presumably there should be some significant growth from the below as the sport is up 15-20% top line since then.

The math is: 1) National revenues: each team receives ~90M from national TV deals and sponsorships.
2) Revenue sharing: Each team receives ~125M from sharing from local markets - this is effectively 48% of all local revenues. Red Sox pay out ~60M on a net basis to the fund which implies 48% of local revenues is $185M
3) Local revenue: $200M, net of revenue sharing above. 52% retained piece.
4) NESN (regional sports networks arent in the revenue sharing computation): Estimate 75M net. This is admittedly a guess, but even relatively small markets are getting $40-$50M in local deals. It would be pretty shocking if NESN didnt generate significantly more net than small market teams receive.

$90M + $125M + 200M + 75M = ~500M ($490M to be exact but given NESN uncertainty were probably looking at $475M (basement based on small market local deals) to $550M). As a check on this, the Braves report as a segment in Liberty Media's financials - they reported $568M in 2021 so if anything were probably low here likely due to using 2019 numbers.

They can realistically spend whatever the hell they want without a ton of concern about somehow not making money. Its all a question as to how low theyre willing the margin to go.
 

absintheofmalaise

too many flowers
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Mar 16, 2005
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The gran facenda
Link to the 2017 - 2021 agreement. The CBT information starts on page 106.
57029
(c) Rule 4 Draft Selection Penalty for Exceeding Second Surcharge Threshold

Beginning in the 2018 Contract Year and continuing thereafter, any Club with an Actual Club Payroll at or above the applicable Second Surcharge Threshold in that Contract Year shall have its highest available selection in the next Rule 4 Draft moved back ten places in the Draft order. This penalty will apply in each Contract Year in which the Club exceeds the Second Surcharge Threshold, regardless of whether the Club is a First-, Second-, or Third-Time CBT Payor or whether the Club has incurred the same penalty for exceeding the Second Surcharge Threshold in a prior year. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a Club shall not have its highest available selection moved back in the Draft if that selection is in the top six selections of the first round of the Draft (not including supplemental selections awarded pursuant to Major League Rule 4(c)(2)), but rather shall have its second highest selection moved back ten places.

For purposes of this section, a Club’s highest available selection or second-highest available selection in the next Rule 4 Amount Actual Club Payroll Exceeds Base First-Time Second-Time Third-Time+ Tax Threshold ($M) CBT Payor CBT Payor CBT Payor <$20 (Base Tax Rate) 20% 30% 50% $20-$40 (Base Tax + 1st Surcharge Rate) 32% 42% 62% >$40 (Base Tax + 2nd Surcharge Rate) 62.5% 75% 95% 110 Draft, whichever is applicable, shall be determined after accounting for any selections received or forfeited pursuant to Article XX(B)(4) or Major League Rules 3(c)(4)(B), 4(c)(2), or 4(k); or selections acquired via assignment.
 

HangingW/ScottCooper

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Nov 10, 2006
2,152
Scituate, MA
12/360 with an opt out after years 4/8 seems likely the kind of deal that gets it done. A ton of money and risky, but, what else do you do?
12/360 w/opt out after 8 is the approach I'd take. 24 mil for 2023, 32 mil each of the next 7 years, 28 mil for years 9-12.

I absolutely agree with this. If they bring back X and Devers, we’re basically at the status quo as we were last year. They have to add more players, most notably an outfielder, a starting pitcher and a bullpen arm.

Those cost money. That’s why I am completely flummoxed as to what Bloom is going to this off-season. Because if he loses X and replaces him with Turner (for example) that’s a lateral move that does nothing to solve his other three problems. And now he’s blown a bunch of cash.
I think Bloom has already done some of his offseason planning. I think Pham, Hosmer and to a lesser extent Paxton were 2023 decisions at the outset.

That being said, even with resigning Xander and Bogaerts they'll need two starters a bullpen and probably another bat. Without some bargain hunting it will be hard to do that under the luxury cap and field a competitive team.
 
Last edited:

HangingW/ScottCooper

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 10, 2006
2,152
Scituate, MA
I think if you add $5M per year, you'd get somewhere. He's going to want/expect more than $32M AAV during his prime FA years.
You may be right, but the counter argument is, "fine we'll give you a higher AAV during those prime years but shorten the overall deal". In this deal he'd be getting paid $28 mil a year in his age 38 season.
 

E5 Yaz

Transcends message boarding
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Players and agents have read the tea leaves in terms of how teams view players reaching the mid-30s. An opt-out in ages 33-35 will be useful to only a select few, and no one involved knows which players that will turn out to be.
Players of Devers caliber should want to get an opt-out no later than age 30 to get a realistic second shot at the apple
 

Yaz4Ever

stumps for Trump
Lifetime Member
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You may be right, but the counter argument is, "fine we'll give you a higher AAV during those prime years but shorten the overall deal". In this deal he'd be getting paid $28 mil a year in his age 38 season.
Don't disagree at all. Just don't see them signing for less than some of the other $32M and above people are getting.

@E5 Yaz is spot on with the opt-outs. I despise them for this reason. If I were a player, I'd love them.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
You're way off by an order of magnitude. We have a decent idea of the basement of what they bring in because we know what revenue sharing is, how it is computed, and what their net payment is into the fund. Admittedly, its not perfect as revenue sharing doesnt really capture the value of affiliated sports networks so the net payment the Sox make isnt really reflective of their true revenues. That said, we can make reasonable approximations based on what is known in the public domain.

They could spend like the Dodgers are still be cash flow positive. Rough approximation is $500M annually; not $350M. These numbers are from 2019 so presumably there should be some significant growth from the below as the sport is up 15-20% top line since then.

The math is: 1) National revenues: each team receives ~90M from national TV deals and sponsorships.
2) Revenue sharing: Each team receives ~125M from sharing from local markets - this is effectively 48% of all local revenues. Red Sox pay out ~60M on a net basis to the fund which implies 48% of local revenues is $185M
3) Local revenue: $200M, net of revenue sharing above. 52% retained piece.
4) NESN (regional sports networks arent in the revenue sharing computation): Estimate 75M net. This is admittedly a guess, but even relatively small markets are getting $40-$50M in local deals. It would be pretty shocking if NESN didnt generate significantly more net than small market teams receive.

$90M + $125M + 200M + 75M = ~500M ($490M to be exact but given NESN uncertainty were probably looking at $475M (basement based on small market local deals) to $550M). As a check on this, the Braves report as a segment in Liberty Media's financials - they reported $568M in 2021 so if anything were probably low here likely due to using 2019 numbers.

They can realistically spend whatever the hell they want without a ton of concern about somehow not making money. Its all a question as to how low theyre willing the margin to go.
There is also the consideration that outspending everyone else is no guarantee of a championship. These guys do not enjoy their financial successes for carelessly throwing money at their investments. There has to be a plan and a limit. What those might be is a discussion of it's own, but the membership here playing amateur accountant and speculating that JH and co. can spend well beyond what they spend and still make money is all fine and well, but for how long? These aren't one year deals that we're looking at, so do they open each year with a shit ton of money already on the books for the foreseeable future and keep adding to it? Do they blindly keep upping the ante on the luxury tax every year? Are the collective "we" willing to invest between a 1/4 to 1/2 a billion dollars each year of our own money with no guarantees of a championship? How much money are you willing to increase each season and for how many seasons after a decade or so without results? Would you be cool with the hundreds of millions of dollars above and beyond what might have reasonably spent that was gambled away just because you had the money?
 

mikcou

Member
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May 13, 2007
635
Boston
There is also the consideration that outspending everyone else is no guarantee of a championship. These guys do not enjoy their financial successes for carelessly throwing money at their investments. There has to be a plan and a limit. What those might be is a discussion of it's own, but the membership here playing amateur accountant and speculating that JH and co. can spend well beyond what they spend and still make money is all fine and well, but for how long? These aren't one year deals that we're looking at, so do they open each year with a shit ton of money already on the books for the foreseeable future and keep adding to it? Do they blindly keep upping the ante on the luxury tax every year? Are the collective "we" willing to invest between a 1/4 to 1/2 a billion dollars each year of our own money with no guarantees of a championship? How much money are you willing to increase each season and for how many seasons after a decade or so without results? Would you be cool with the hundreds of millions of dollars above and beyond what might have reasonably spent that was gambled away just because you had the money?
I didnt say any of that. I was responding to be clear that $350M is not an accurate view of revenue. That may be accurate for TB or PIT, but isnt at all accurate for any large market team.

They can support payroll spending at the top of the league; whether they do is entirely their decision, but they and no one else should claim they would be losing money if they did because its just completely false.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
I didnt say any of that. I was responding to be clear that $350M is not an accurate view of revenue. That may be accurate for TB or PIT, but isnt at all accurate for any large market team.

They can support payroll spending at the top of the league; whether they do is entirely their decision, but they and no one else should claim they would be losing money if they did because its just completely false.
While I quoted your post, you weren't targeted. I mentioned "the membership here" as well as the "collective we" as it it's not uncommon to see posts that range from "ownership is cheap" to "the profits are being funneled into other interests" to "they can spend a whole lot more and still make money".
 

ookami7m

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Jul 15, 2005
5,438
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Players and agents have read the tea leaves in terms of how teams view players reaching the mid-30s. An opt-out in ages 33-35 will be useful to only a select few, and no one involved knows which players that will turn out to be.
Players of Devers caliber should want to get an opt-out no later than age 30 to get a realistic second shot at the apple
The bolded is 100% the truth. It doesn't take much digging to see it. Quick look at Fangraphs Free Agent Tracker for the 2021 year (to avoid any strike caused weirdness). The top 7 batters:

Batters:
NAME AGE TERM AAV
Marcel Ozuna 30 4 16.25
DJ LeMahieu 32 6 15
Nelson Cruz 40 1 13
George Springer 31 6 25
JBJ 31 2 12
JT Realmuto 30 5 23.1
Cesar Hernandez 31 1 5


So 4 of the 7 end by the time the player is 35, LeMaheiu and Springer being the outlers and going to 38 and 37 respectively. At those ages, you won't see a lot of big money deals coming. Raffy is going to be 28 coming into free agency - so an opt out at 31 or 32 is likely what we'll see to give him another shot at a contract if he's performing, or he'll have the remainder of the contract if he isn't.

-edit yes it's a very small sample but I'm at work and only had a minute to pull data.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
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2021 revenue for BOS included six home postseason games, wonder how much of that $479M that was.
 

dhappy42

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Oct 27, 2013
14,213
Michigan
2021 revenue for BOS included six home postseason games, wonder how much of that $479M that was.
Dunno, but this link has a little more info, such as operating income, $69 million, and gate receipts, $130 million.
https://www.forbes.com/teams/boston-red-sox/?sh=5463de8c7d42

The Red Sox make a lot of money and spend a lot of money. IOW, the owners aren’t cheap. I don’t think bottom line profit is the primary driver of the team’s decision-making regarding player contracts.
 

chrisfont9

Member
SoSH Member
Can we please stop with this argument? No one is "concerned about John Henry's checkbook".

People are concerned about building a winning team and a healthy organization that contends more often than not. The current CBA penalties are more than just monetary, and the penalties get worse the longer they are over the limit. Throwing money around because they have it is not a good organizational strategy. Neither is being parsimonious when it comes to stars either but no one here is worried about John Henry, who is very rich. We all want to watch a good team, with good players that we like, and hopefully to keep the best players the Sox develop. Spending without the consideration of the consequences to later years has gotten us this fallow period.
Specifically, the things the Sox have done to reduce their international bonus pool money has cost them the opportunity to get guys like the next Rafael Devers. It sounds like the new CBA ties bonus pools to the competitive balance stuff as well as free agent signings, not exceeding the LT, and maybe we will end up with a draft someday. But IMO, the greatest talent on the top teams is coming disproportionally from the international pool, and the Sox should be guarding their pool money jealously. Anything that doesn't affect that, sure, spend Henry's money. He won't even notice.
 

AlNipper49

Huge Member
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Apr 3, 2001
43,062
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I think what the Sox need to do is spend bigger on top line pitching. They have very little depth there organizationally. Organize a team to get to the playoffs where pitching then makes a bigger difference. In the postseason 30% of your pitching probably will not see many quality innings. The most successful teams going forward will do this.

The Sox will be doing a disservice if the resign X and Devers to big money and go bargain hunting on the pitching side. The issue is there isn’t a ton to be had on the market pitching wise so you may need to take a bigger risk than you may want there. Part of that risk may be letting X and/or Devers walk, in part because they have a high degree of risk on their long term contracts as well. Devers was one of the worst hitters in baseball the second half of last season. Unfortunately there are no easy answers out there right now. I don’t envy Bloom’s position. You almost have to build for the long term and hope for the best short term.