Red Sox in season discussion

Lose Remerswaal

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Impossible to know for sure; but passing on Hill, Paxton, and Bradley is more than enough to pay Rodon. Skipping out on Hill and Paxton frees up enough to get Jansen and keep Whitlock or Houck in the rotation. Lots of different things they could have done, theoretically at least. 100 innings at a 87 ERA+ is fine but not sure what it really did for the team.
Sure, but they needed multiple slots filled. And they were forced to relinquish their Pre-cogs due to the 1997 ruling.
 

TheYellowDart5

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Sure, but they needed multiple slots filled. And they were forced to relinquish their Pre-cogs due to the 1997 ruling.
They needed multiple slots filled, yes, but tasking Hill and Paxton to do that is a curious choice given that neither has ever been the picture of good health.

$5 million for 100 roughly average innings isn't a miserable overpay or something, but the ceiling on Hill was very low with plenty of risk, and that's what you get when you go dumpster diving. Bloom et al can't see the future and they're clearly trying to avoid big money expenditures, but his low cost targets don't seem to offer much upside anyway; there has to be a better balance struck between reclamation projects and established above-average starters.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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The obvious retort will be “what about Wacha” which is fair, but I think you have to lump all of Wacha, Hill, Richards, Perez, Paxton, etc together- Wacha represents the upper range of what can go right on a deal like that. Of course, he still missed a lot of time and with a one year deal, needs to be replaced or re-upped at a much greatest cost.
 

AB in DC

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100 innings at a 87 ERA+ is fine but not sure what it really did for the team.
If Sale hadn't gotten hurt, Hill probably would have been a fine middle reliever/spot starter and his IP workload would have been half that. He did good for a while, but at his age not surprising that he's running out of steam at this point.
 

AB in DC

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After last night's performance, Hill's ERA+ stands at 87 (his worst showing since 2013) and his WAR is 0.1. He's not a JBJ-level waste of money, but do we still think he was a shrewd signing by Bloom?
And BTW his fWAR is 1.2 which is pretty good for $5 million.

(I hate that there are two different statistics that go by the same name. One of them needs to change.)
 

chawson

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Rich Hill is fine. We re-upped Wakefield at $5 million a year (worth much more than that now) for more than half a decade, and he was mostly worse than what Hill has given us this year and required a specialized catcher. There wasn't a year between 2004 and his retirement in 2011 that Wakefield had a lower FIP than Hill does this year (4.11). That's true even if you take Wakefield's numbers twice through the order, which is basically how Hill is used.

Time will run out for him sooner or later but he's an asset. Let's not staff a whole rotation with them, but I don't think we should discount cheap, league-average pitchers who want to be here.
 

simplicio

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They needed multiple slots filled, yes, but tasking Hill and Paxton to do that is a curious choice given that neither has ever been the picture of good health.
The Paxton signing was never about this year, it was about next, and it's always looked to me like a hedge on the lockout having eaten a major chunk of the season to bring his deal into bargain territory.
 

mikcou

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Rich Hill is fine. We re-upped Wakefield at $5 million a year (worth much more than that now) for more than half a decade, and he was mostly worse than what Hill has given us this year and required a specialized catcher. There wasn't a year between 2004 and his retirement in 2011 that Wakefield had a lower FIP than Hill does this year (4.11). That's true even if you take Wakefield's numbers twice through the order, which is basically how Hill is used.

Time will run out for him sooner or later but he's an asset. Let's not staff a whole rotation with them, but I don't think we should discount cheap, league-average pitchers who want to be here.
Spending $5M on Hill is fine, but in what world was Hill better than Wake? Using FIP for Wake creates strange contextual differences due to offensive environment. In that stretch (04-'11) - every year through '09 he had an ERA+ above 100. It wasnt until he was truly fried that he had years consistent with Hill this year ('10 and '11). Half of those years he also threw 180+ innings and was never below 125. The first half of that stretch he was a huge value to the team on the $5M a year - 100+ ERA+ pitchers who consistently threw 180 innings didnt grow on trees then either. He didnt have any of his '95 or '02 years in that stretch where he was dominant, but he was basically the exact definition of a quality mid rotation guy for all but the tail end of it.

Back to Hill, in isolation Hill and to some extent all of the deals made sense. The problem is the combination of three guys none of whom have shown a recent ability to throw significant innings had a significant risk of all of them to be hurt at the same time (especially since Paxton was never going to be available before mid July at the earliest).
 

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After last night's performance, Hill's ERA+ stands at 87 (his worst showing since 2013) and his WAR is 0.1. He's not a JBJ-level waste of money, but do we still think he was a shrewd signing by Bloom?
Yes.

The opening day rotation was: Eovaldi, Pivetta, Wacha, Houck, Hill. Hill was supposed to be a bridge to Sale/Paxton. Bloom needed a credible placeholder starter for half-a-year or less - a starter that wasn't expensive, and who could be released or transitioned to something else without fuss.

In the first half, as the fifth starter, Hill made 15 starts (70 innings), went 4-4, and had a 4.02 ERA.

Next pointless question: Since JD has cratered, and Hill has done zip -I mean absolutely zero- as a DH replacement, do we still think both were shrewd signings by Bloom?
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Yes.

The opening day rotation was: Eovaldi, Pivetta, Wacha, Houck, Hill. Hill was supposed to be a bridge to Sale/Paxton. Bloom needed a credible placeholder starter for half-a-year or less - a starter that wasn't expensive, and who could be released or transitioned to something else without fuss.

In the first half, as the fifth starter, Hill made 15 starts (70 innings), went 4-4, and had a 4.02 ERA.

Next pointless question: Since JD has cratered, and Hill has done zip -I mean absolutely zero- as a DH replacement, do we still think both were shrewd signings by Bloom?
I said the same thing up thread. His signing was depth. Sale was INKED not pencilled in as a starter in Spring Training and then he hurt himself and came back. Hill more than admirably filled in during his absence.
 

BravesField

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Yes.

The opening day rotation was: Eovaldi, Pivetta, Wacha, Houck, Hill. Hill was supposed to be a bridge to Sale/Paxton. Bloom needed a credible placeholder starter for half-a-year or less - a starter that wasn't expensive, and who could be released or transitioned to something else without fuss.

In the first half, as the fifth starter, Hill made 15 starts (70 innings), went 4-4, and had a 4.02 ERA.

Next pointless question: Since JD has cratered, and Hill has done zip -I mean absolutely zero- as a DH replacement, do we still think both were shrewd signings by Bloom?
I missed that. Did Bloom sign JD? (Wacha was a good signing)
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Not that it matters, but I can't think of any reason why any Sox pitcher is giving Judge anything to hit.

Throw it either a foot outside or at his earhole. Do not *checks notes* throw a cripple slider that breaks right over the plate.

This is pretty basic stuff.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Not that it matters, but I can't think of any reason why any pitcher is giving Judge anything to hit.

Throw it either a foot outside or at his earhole. Do not *checks notes* throw a cripple slider that breaks right over the plate.

This is pretty basic stuff.
FTFY and for every other manager. No one should be pitching to him at all except in blowouts
 

Max Power

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Not that it matters, but I can't think of any reason why any Sox pitcher is giving Judge anything to hit.

Throw it either a foot outside or at his earhole. Do not *checks notes* throw a cripple slider that breaks right over the plate.

This is pretty basic stuff.
It was Whitlock out of the pen. You've assured us that in that role he's the greatest pitcher of all time and can single-handedly turn any season around. Why should he be afraid of Aaron Judge?
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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It was Whitlock out of the pen. You've assured us that in that role he's the greatest pitcher of all time and can single-handedly turn any season around. Why should he be afraid of Aaron Judge?
Because right now no one is getting Judge out, and the rest of the NYY lineup is uninspiring.

Whitlock threw him a meatball. Just a terrible pitch and a terrible decision to pitch to him. Throw it at his earhole the next time.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Because right now no one is getting Judge out, and the rest of the NYY lineup is uninspiring.

Whitlock threw him a meatball. Just a terrible pitch and a terrible decision to pitch to him. Throw it at his earhole the next time.
Sox aren’t going anywhere, true. But they have a chance to knock the Yankees out of first place? Play to win. Don’t pitch to Juge
 

soxhop411

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View: https://twitter.com/MacCerullo/status/1570243954590842885

Alex Cora on J.D. missing first: "That kind of sums up our season right there, just short. He was hustling and just missed it. ... We are who we are, we're short in certain areas and we haven't been able to finish games."
View: https://twitter.com/NESN/status/1570244048404848640

"Arroyo was late to be the cutoff guy. He got there late."

Alex Cora discussed how the Red Sox defense broke down in the 5th inning during their 5-3 loss to the Yankees.
 

tbb345

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The team stinks. I have no idea why Bloom chose to do half measures in rebuilding when the clear and obvious plan was to blow it up and prepare for the future. Hopefully they lose every game from here on out to get a better draft pick
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Two good things- Pivetta has been looking good again. He’s not as good as he was during his awesome ace-caliber 6 game stretch. He’s also not as bad as he was during his first few games.
He’s a horse though that will give you 6 innings plus every fifth game and end up somewhere around a 4.3 ERA. That’s tremendously valuable…. If he can time out those dominant stretches at the right time (‘21 playoffs for instance) he’ll be the difference maker.
Bello also looked good again. This time his 5th inning problem wasn’t either his own owner, or poor umpiring but shoddy defense. He deserves a rotation spot in ‘23 right out of the gate.
 

wilked

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I was at the game. Holy crap....that error. It was so bad, all the fans around me were just stunned. And then to have a rally going, fans into it, and killed due to JD not stepping on 1st base (although granted the real killer was the infield chopper instead of a nice double or something). All in all, tough times as a fan...
 

AB in DC

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The whole not-stepping-on-first thing was embarrassing, but the truth is the throw flat-out beat him. He was at least a foot short of the bag when the putout was made. The fact that his foot was on the ground rather than still in the air (and about to step on the bag a half-second later) didn't really matter.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Fundamentals should be at the top of a list of things to stress throughout Spring Training 2023. Dear God.
This has been the biggest disappointment with '22. Just dumb baseball. And to me, this is mostly on Cora. He was a below average player that got by on his smarts, supposedly. How this team hasn't been able to show they know basic fundamental baseball skills has to be put on the coaches.
 

TheYellowDart5

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Worth wondering the divide between players with bad fundamentals (Verdugo comes immediately to mind) and players who are making mistakes because they're put in positions they're not used to playing (Cordero at first base, Arroyo anywhere but the middle infield, etc.) or are just bad at (Duran in center, Dalbec at first). Cora's particular style is also going to be error-heavy at times; he's a manager who prizes pushing the tempo and going for broke. I don't think that changes or goes away, but better roster construction would go a long way toward eliminating some of the more confounding and embarrassing mistakes seen this season.
 

Rovin Romine

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This has been the biggest disappointment with '22. Just dumb baseball. And to me, this is mostly on Cora. He was a below average player that got by on his smarts, supposedly. How this team hasn't been able to show they know basic fundamental baseball skills has to be put on the coaches.
No. . .I don't think you can put that on Cora.

He had no say in Arroyo playing 1B, or the fact that their best CF (and defensive OF in general) simply refused to move from 2B to CF late in the game.

Also, JD Martinez looks surprisingly lifelike for a corpse. That's a mistake anyone can make.
 

brandonchristensen

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This has been the biggest disappointment with '22. Just dumb baseball. And to me, this is mostly on Cora. He was a below average player that got by on his smarts, supposedly. How this team hasn't been able to show they know basic fundamental baseball skills has to be put on the coaches.
I feel like they’ve been bad at fundamentals for several years now. Mental errors everywhere.
 

dhappy42

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No. . .I don't think you can put that on Cora.

He had no say in Arroyo playing 1B, or the fact that their best CF (and defensive OF in general) simply refused to move from 2B to CF late in the game.

Also, JD Martinez looks surprisingly lifelike for a corpse. That's a mistake anyone can make.
Kike refused to play CF?
 

moondog80

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Positive developments -- Bello's ERA is ugly (5.10), but his FIP of 2.76 suggests he's been massively unlucky. He's given up zero HR in 42.1 IP, and while obviously he won't continue with that rate, his minor league career is only 0.6 HR per 9 innings, an excellent number, so it's not a 100% fluke. He's done enough to be penciled in to the rotation next year, right? If he and Casas can be just league average next year, that's going to go a long way and allow to them to spend more in other spots.

And Reese McGuire now has the same WAR with the 2022 Red Sox that Christian Vazquez does, in 244 fewer PA. He's not going to have an OPS+ of 150 next year, not even close. But the defense has always been there, and catchers developing their bat late is a thing...he's 279/325/405 for his career against RHP in 507 PA (171/209/260 the other way). That's pretty damn good for an above average defender at catcher. I know teams like to have pitchers always throw to the same catcher (i.e., not used in a classic platoon), but it's not hard to see him turning into a really useful guy if deployed correctly.
 

chawson

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That’s interesting, but I am not really buying Duran as the major driver behind that- wouldn’t you want to look at who was pitching those innings during each of those periods of time? It’s not as if Duran playing CF was the only variable that changed. A lot of mediocre pitchers were getting innings during that time, hence the really high ERA to begin with.
(moving this conversation from the Mookie thread)

Here's how Sox pitchers fared during the Duran-in-CF era (June 15 to Aug 26). Eovaldi, Bello, Pivetta, Hill, Schreiber, Ort, Seabold, Brasier, Davis and Robles all had BABIPs far higher than they did the rest of the season. Ryan Brasier, for example, had a 7.24 ERA in 27 IP, despite giving up only two home runs and a 27/8 K/BB ratio.

The Duran era saw a lot more innings from Winckowski (mediocre) and Crawford (generally good) and there was no Houck, but Pivetta, Wacha and Hill still threw a lot, and all of the bad Robles/Barnes innings were replaced by very good ones from Schreiber.

I wouldn't say it's all on Duran. The Cordero/Dalbec experience at first base certainly didn't help. But it really can't be overemphasized how vast a gap there is between Kiké and Duran's defense in center.
 

RobertS975

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I was perusing the MLB standings a few moments ago and noticed something that I thought was striking, the AL runs scored vs. runs allowed. There are only 2 teams in the league which have scored more runs than the Red Sox, the Yankees and Toronto. But there's only one team in the AL which has allowed more runs than Boston, the KC Royals.

So despite the turmoil in the outfield and at 1B for most of the year, the injury to Kike, the mostly down year of JD and depressed HR production, the injury to Story and the loss of Renfroe and Schwarber, it nonetheless appears that run production was not high on the list for the reasons behind this failure of a season.

The major flaw in the team this season was run prevention, pitching and defense.
 

jon abbey

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I was perusing the MLB standings a few moments ago and noticed something that I thought was striking, the AL runs scored vs. runs allowed. There are only 2 teams in the league which have scored more runs than the Red Sox, the Yankees and Toronto. But there's only one team in the AL which has allowed more runs than Boston, the KC Royals.

So despite the turmoil in the outfield and at 1B for most of the year, the injury to Kike, the mostly down year of JD and depressed HR production, the injury to Story and the loss of Renfroe and Schwarber, it nonetheless appears that run production was not high on the list for the reasons behind this failure of a season.

The major flaw in the team this season was run prevention, pitching and defense.
A chunk of that is Fenway, probably on both sides. BOS has a team .764 OPS at home and .698 on the road.
 

Harry Hooper

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McAdam with an interesting observation [bolded] from last night:

On a single to right by Glyber Torres, the Sox should have had the theme from Benny Hill blaring in the background as their soundtrack. First, first baseman-in-training Christian Arroyo failed to properly position himself as the cut-off man in the infield, with a throw from outfielder Alex Verdugo trickling all the way to the plate. Wong, spying Torres having taken too wide a turn at first, fired there, with second baseman Hernandez smartly covering. But Wong's throw was way wide of its intended target, and ended up rolling down the right field line.

"We had Gleyber there, he was a dead duck, and (Wong) threw the ball away,'' lamented Alex Cora.

Verdugo, perhaps making baseball history, then had a chance to throw home from right field for the second time on the same play. Alas, it was too late to nab Torres, who scored on a single, but in reality, more closely resembled your basic "Little League home run.'' Thus, were the Yankees gifted a 3-0 lead.
 

LogansDad

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The team stinks. I have no idea why Bloom chose to do half measures in rebuilding when the clear and obvious plan was to blow it up and prepare for the future. Hopefully they lose every game from here on out to get a better draft pick
Look at the way people react to a mediocre season. Then, imagine what a full rebuild looks like.

To be clear, I am 100% with you, and i think that trying to remain "competitive" this year has set the team back another year or two, but there's just no way the Shaughnessy's and their ilk of the region (let alone the fans) will let this team do a full rebuild without trying to ruin people's careers. So instead you get a half assed reset in which next year still doesn't look that much better than this year.

On top of that, I think it would have been tough for Bloom to really go all in on a rebuild because all of their tradeable assets this year (outside of Bogaerts) are a part of that rebuild. There's wasn't really anything he could move to bolster next year's team or the high minors of the system. Nobody wanted JD (for good reason) and they probably get more in return by QO'ing Eovaldi regardless of whether he agrees to it or not. And that was basically it. I think this team will be in a much better place in 2 years, but next year is going to be painful.
 

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To be clear, I am 100% with you, and i think that trying to remain "competitive" this year has set the team back another year or two, but there's just no way the Shaughnessy's and their ilk of the region (let alone the fans) will let this team do a full rebuild without trying to ruin people's careers. So instead you get a half assed reset in which next year still doesn't look that much better than this year.

On top of that, I think it would have been tough for Bloom to really go all in on a rebuild because all of their tradeable assets this year (outside of Bogaerts) are a part of that rebuild. There's wasn't really anything he could move to bolster next year's team or the high minors of the system. Nobody wanted JD (for good reason) and they probably get more in return by QO'ing Eovaldi regardless of whether he agrees to it or not. And that was basically it. I think this team will be in a much better place in 2 years, but next year is going to be painful.
I don’t understand how these two paragraphs play together. Not going for a full rebuild set the team back a year or two….but there really was no way to do a full rebuild because all of the tradeable assets(outside of Bogaerts) are a part of the rebuild.

So I’m genuinely curious what you think should have been done so as not to “set the team back a year or two.”
Personally, I don’t see how this year set them back in their big picture plan at all.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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To be clear, I am 100% with you, and i think that trying to remain "competitive" this year has set the team back another year or two, but there's just no way the Shaughnessy's and their ilk of the region (let alone the fans) will let this team do a full rebuild without trying to ruin people's careers. So instead you get a half assed reset in which next year still doesn't look that much better than this year.
if only the Sox could DO something about Shaugnessy, like get him reassigned to transit matters or obituaries or the North Korean desk . . .
 

LogansDad

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I don’t understand how these two paragraphs play together. Not going for a full rebuild set the team back a year or two….but there really was no way to do a full rebuild because all of the tradeable assets(outside of Bogaerts) are a part of the rebuild.

So I’m genuinely curious what you think should have been done so as not to “set the team back a year or two.”
Personally, I don’t see how this year set them back in their big picture plan at all.
That's a valid question, and I totally get how my statements conflict with each other. My simple answer is, "I don't really know." I am sure the team felt they could be competitive out of the gate, but I think there were plenty of people who had a feeling this season would be a bit of a mess.

I still enjoy watching this team play and I am VERY excited for the future of this organization. I think they may have been better served not necessarily by "tanking" this year, but by not making moves that would destine them for mediocrity (read: I wish they were getting a higher draft pick out of the frustration of this season). I hope that they can turn it around quick enough that Bloom can keep his job, because I love where the organization is heading.... I just hope the fans/media/ownership will have the patience to allow him to get there. I doubt that they will.
 

Daniel_Son

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That's a valid question, and I totally get how my statements conflict with each other. My simple answer is, "I don't really know." I am sure the team felt they could be competitive out of the gate, but I think there were plenty of people who had a feeling this season would be a bit of a mess.

I still enjoy watching this team play and I am VERY excited for the future of this organization. I think they may have been better served not necessarily by "tanking" this year, but by not making moves that would destine them for mediocrity (read: I wish they were getting a higher draft pick out of the frustration of this season). I hope that they can turn it around quick enough that Bloom can keep his job, because I love where the organization is heading.... I just hope the fans/media/ownership will have the patience to allow him to get there. I doubt that they will.
I think the team's success in 2021 also threw a bit of a wrench in Bloom's long-term plan. I'm not saying that he wanted the team to be worse, but I could totally see a scenario where the short-term signings (Hernandez, Richards, Renfroe) were flipped at the deadline for cost-controlled, future-focused assets. I guess that's just the nature of partial rebuilding.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I think the team's success in 2021 also threw a bit of a wrench in Bloom's long-term plan. I'm not saying that he wanted the team to be worse, but I could totally see a scenario where the short-term signings (Hernandez, Richards, Renfroe) were flipped at the deadline for cost-controlled, future-focused assets. I guess that's just the nature of partial rebuilding.
I can't imagine Bloom was pinning any plans on flipping those guys mid-season last year. At most, I expect the prospect of trading any of them at last year's deadline was a worst-case scenario silver lining. In other words, they were signed with the full expectation of helping the 2021 team succeed, and if that didn't happen, maybe they could be used to accelerate the rebuild/restock of the farm system. That's a contingency plan that Bloom was more than happy not to have to execute.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I can't imagine Bloom was pinning any plans on flipping those guys mid-season last year. At most, I expect the prospect of trading any of them at last year's deadline was a worst-case scenario silver lining. In other words, they were signed with the full expectation of helping the 2021 team succeed, and if that didn't happen, maybe they could be used to accelerate the rebuild/restock of the farm system. That's a contingency plan that Bloom was more than happy not to have to execute.
Both '21 and '22 are, I believe, perfect reflections of the "compete and rebuild-for-long-success" strategies, that I think are the marching orders of ownership. It means that a "rebuild" with long sustained competitiveness will be longer, but won't look like the Houston version. It means that the "compete" part of that strategy will hinge on luck and health of veterans and older players. In '21 it worked out incredibly well (not to perfection however) while this year it was a disaster on the "compete" part.... but we've definitely got a sneak preview of the "sustained competitiveness" part too.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Both '21 and '22 are, I believe, perfect reflections of the "compete and rebuild-for-long-success" strategies, that I think are the marching orders of ownership. It means that a "rebuild" with long sustained competitiveness will be longer, but won't look like the Houston version. It means that the "compete" part of that strategy will hinge on luck and health of veterans and older players. In '21 it worked out incredibly well (not to perfection however) while this year it was a disaster on the "compete" part.... but we've definitely got a sneak preview of the "sustained competitiveness" part too.
No arguments here. It's not unlike the strategy that I believe they set forth when Cherington took the job. A strategy that yielded a few last place finishes sandwiched around a World title, but eventually yielded a really solid foundation for one of the best teams in franchise history. Only thing that remains to be seen now is whether they'll trust Bloom to see the whole thing through or get impatient again and bring in a Dombrowski type to reap the benefits of the rebuild/reload.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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No arguments here. It's not unlike the strategy that I believe they set forth when Cherington took the job. A strategy that yielded a few last place finishes sandwiched around a World title, but eventually yielded a really solid foundation for one of the best teams in franchise history. Only thing that remains to be seen now is whether they'll trust Bloom to see the whole thing through or get impatient again and bring in a Dombrowski type to reap the benefits of the rebuild/reload.
One thing that's puzzling and I'm not sure if it's a culture around the Sox or just the luck of players they pick end up wanting to go to Free Agency... but they haven't had much luck in finding the budding stars on their team that will accept a big contract that buys out their arb years. Perhaps the Sox never offered it (okay... the one to Xander was, but it had those opt-outs) to Betts, Devers but I hope that they will seriously explore this with some of their younger guys if they develop how they hope. Getting long term contracts of guys for 8 years up to their age 32-34 seasons seems ideal.