Red Sox in season discussion

chawson

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There’s almost no chance JDM is on this team next year and Schwarber isn’t. He’ll opt out, I think, because the trade market for one year of an elite hitter at $20m is very good, and should include all sorts of fringe contenders eager to flip him for prospects at the deadline if they’re out of it.

It’s possible he’ll opt in we’ll keep both, but I doubt it. But Schwarber is here to stay, I think. He’s virtually the same hitting asset as JDM, with similar if not better mentorship and clubhouse skills, plus a little extra defensive value — and he’s extremely psyched to be here. It’s like going back and doing the JDM deal again, which is a no brainer, except this time the guy’s a year younger and isn’t repped by Boras.
 
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cantor44

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Getting back to the need for "speed," or at least the ability to run the bases well.

Schwarber is slow
Keekay can move
Devers is about average
X is about average
JDM is slow
Verdugo can run, although his judgement can be off
Renfroe is average for the type of player he is
Arroyo is slow
Vazquez/Plawecki are slow
Dalbec is also slow

Even if their batting approach would modify to emphasize contact along with power, this isn't a lineup that could take advantage of that change. They're not a first-to-third offense. They lead or are near the top in doubles, because Red Sox teams always are due to the ballpark, not stretching hits to the gap.

This athletic shortcoming also shows up on defense, examples of which we all can remember.

It really comes down to what sort of lineup the organization wants to field. But saying we'd want Arroyo and/or Schwarber back basically leads them into the same direction they are now.
this is a smart post, and something I overlooked in mine. Team needs more speed and athleticism ....
 

RG33

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There’s almost no chance JDM is on this team next year and Schwarber isn’t. He’ll opt out, I think, because the trade market for one year of an elite hitter at $20m is very good, and should include all sorts of fringe contenders eager to flip him for prospects at the deadline if they’re out of it.

It’s possible he’ll opt in we’ll keep both, but I doubt it. But Schwarber is here to stay, I think. He’s virtually the same hitting asset as JDM, with similar if not better mentorship and clubhouse skills, plus a little extra defensive value — and he’s extremely psyched to be here. It’s like going back and doing the JDM deal again, which is a no brainer, except this time the guy’s a year younger and isn’t repped by Boras.
While Schwarber is trending the right way and hitting the peak of his career, JD Martinez has been a significantly better hitter in his career.

JD at .290/.353/.881 for an OPS+ of 134 (OPS+ of 143 if you take out the early Detroit years)
Scwharbs at .237/.343/.834 for an OPS+ of 119 with last year being by far his best year.

I hope you are right and we re-sign Schwarber and he becomes as good as JD has been, but JD Martinez has been a much better hitter in his career thus far.
 

nighthob

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While I know there are no sure things, the surest things the Red Sox have in the minors are Casas, Yorke, and Meyer. And their best young major leaguer is Devers. Doesn't give a lot of room on the infield for long term signings:

Casas up late 2022 or certainly early 2023.
Yorke might well be blazing his way through the minors a la Devers/X/Betts, and be up mid 2023.
Meyer, less intel, but if the scouting is correct, could be 2025 or sooner.
Blaze Jordan doesn’t have Yorke’s elite bat to ball skills, but jesus does he drive the ball. Especially for someone that’s still 18 (he’s younger than Mayer). Yorke I’ll expect to carve through Greenville next year and end the season in Portland. But probably the promotion to Portland comes before that and he (as you noted) arrives in mid ‘23. Mayer and Jordan won’t be far behind.

The best part of this talent making its way to Boston is that it makes Dalbec and (hopefully) Downs available for a major pitching upgrade as young cost-controlled performers.
 

IpswichSox

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There’s almost no chance JDM is on this team next year and Schwarber isn’t. He’ll opt out, I think, because the trade market for one year of an elite hitter at $20m is very good, and should include all sorts of fringe contenders eager to flip him for prospects at the deadline if they’re out of it.
In addition to JD wanting more years, our likelihood of trading JD has to be a major consideration for him in choosing whether to stay. He would get to choose his own team versus the risk that we trade him this offseason or even next season before the deadline. He's been on several teams and maybe he doesn't care about moving around, but that uncertainty and inability to control your own destiny doesn't seem obviously appealing. JD may not have liked the process signing here with Dombrowski and the market then, but he's demonstrated a willingness to go deep in the offseason before signing, and we know that's Boras' strategy.

Unless there's a discussion of an extension here, I think all signs point to JD opting out. While Bloom may miss the bat, I'm sure he also would like the salary and positional flexibility as he maps out 2022 and beyond.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I’m probably over analyzing it but I thought Schwarber’s “I could see myself wanting to stay here” comment the other day was oddly phrased.

I think it’s clear JD will opt out. If they do attempt to resign Schwarber, where does he play long term? I think bringing him back makes it much more difficult to improve the team defensively.
 

tims4wins

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I’m probably over analyzing it but I thought Schwarber’s “I could see myself wanting to stay here” comment the other day was oddly phrased.

I think it’s clear JD will opt out. If they do attempt to resign Schwarber, where does he play long term? I think bringing him back makes it much more difficult to improve the team defensively.
It wasn’t oddly phrased, it was a purposeful statement meant to mean no hometown discount.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I’m probably over analyzing it but I thought Schwarber’s “I could see myself wanting to stay here” comment the other day was oddly phrased.

I think it’s clear JD will opt out. If they do attempt to resign Schwarber, where does he play long term? I think bringing him back makes it much more difficult to improve the team defensively.
Schwarber's comment reads to me like "I want to stay but it has to be for the right price" which is what any smart free agent to be should say about their current team.

As for where he fits if he stays, a year of platooning at 1B with Dalbec mixed with some starts in LF and DH (assuming JD stays) followed by full time DH duty with some occasional starts at 1B or LF is likely a best case scenario for him to stay in Boston.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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The obvious caveat there is that in the unlikely event JD opts in, you only have to commit to him for a year, while a long term deal for Schwarber is likely 5-6 years. Is this a guy you want to be locking up long term? Think there’s reasonable arguments on both sides of this one.
 

BaseballJones

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A huge key moving forward for this team will be the ongoing development of Houck and Whitlock. They are young and haven't hit their primes yet (though it's hard to imagine Whitlock performing better in his "prime" than he did this year). When I think about the young position players coming up through the ranks, it's hard to be anything but incredibly optimistic. I don't know how long X and Devers will be here, but Jordan, Yorke, Casas, and Mayer are all super exciting prospects. Downs a little less so coming off this season but still, a nice prospect. But by the time they arrive, the current veterans on the pitching staff will likely be on the way out. So who will fill those roles? Well, Houck and Whitlock should hopefully be two big guns in the rotation of the future.

In light of those guys arriving, I don't see the Sox doing much with the infield this offseason. Dalbec is fine as a temporary, inexpensive 1b option. Devers at 3b and Xander at SS for 2022. That leaves 2b, but with all these guys making their way through the system, they don't need a long-term answer there right now.

In the OF, Kiké, Verdugo, and Renfroe are set and that forms a solid group that hardly costs any money at all (by MLB standards).

The big question is JD and Schwarber. I think pretty clearly they'll have one and not the other, whichever way it shakes out, based on JD's decision coming up soon.

They really should consider catcher, and it's imperative that they have better depth. When your top PH options in the playoffs are Santana and Shaw, that's a problem. But I don't know what's out there. Is Wong a possibility?

Starting pitching is in decent shape, especially if they transition Houck and Whitlock to the rotation. Sale (in his first full year post-TJ surgery) should be solid, though I don't ever expect him to return to being CHRIS SALE. He should still be solid. Eovaldi is solid. Pivetta is dirt cheap and isn't even eligible for arbitration until 2023. Those three plus Houck and Whitlock would make for a very nice rotation.

But it's the bullpen that needs a lot of work. I'd re-sign Robles. Barnes is here whether we like it or not given his price tag, unless they can trade him to a team that thinks they can rehabilitate him. Darwinzon is going to be here and the hope is that at some point in his career he can harness his stuff. He actually was pretty effective in the regular season - 3.38 era, 12.2 k/9, so you can live with his walks in the regular season. Postseason...more iffy, obviously. But a useful bullpen piece for the regular season grind. Taylor was solid and will be here. Sawamura will likely be here as well, since he's still under contract (at not much money). Brasier is under control but should get a bump in pay via arbitration.

So:

Rotation: Sale, Eovaldi, Pivetta, Houck, Whitlock
Bullpen: Sawamura, Hernandez, Barnes, Taylor, Brasier

That leaves a few bullpen spots open. From the minors, some possibilities include:

- Feltman (AA - 3.29 era, 1.21 whip, 12.2 k/9; AAA - 2.59 era, 0.90 whip, 9.2 k/9)
- Winckowski (AA - 4.14 era, 1.30 whip, 7.9 k/9; AAA - 2.25 era, 0.67 whip, 9.8 k/9)
- Crawford (AA - 3.30 era, 0.82 whip, 12.4 k/9)
- Olson (AA - 2.61 era, 1.23 whip, 10.7 k/9) - Olson at 32 y.o. isn't a prospect but has decent MLB numbers (3.83 era, 9.0 k/9)
- Ort (AAA - 2.98 era, 1.32 whip, 12.3 k/9)

So I'd like to think that there are a couple of guys in that group who could make the jump to the majors. Maybe add another solid veteran arm. They'll need someone to close out games though, and right now that guy wouldn't be on the roster IF they put Whitlock in the rotation. If they leave Whitlock in the bullpen, then there is an opening in the rotation. So who knows which direction they'll go.

But there are very real possibilities such that we should expect this team to be pretty good in 2022.
 

cantor44

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Blaze Jordan doesn’t have Yorke’s elite bat to ball skills, but jesus does he drive the ball. Especially for someone that’s still 18 (he’s younger than Mayer). Yorke I’ll expect to carve through Greenville next year and end the season in Portland. But probably the promotion to Portland comes before that and he (as you noted) arrives in mid ‘23. Mayer and Jordan won’t be far behind.

The best part of this talent making its way to Boston is that it makes Dalbec and (hopefully) Downs available for a major pitching upgrade as young cost-controlled performers.
Let's hope people still regard Downs as a top prospect. He couldn't hit .200 in a full season at AAA ....
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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If JD opts in, then yeah.... some sort of trade makes sense IF they can sign Schwarber. JD has been elite throughout his career but he's clearly trending downward. He will still have some stretches of transcendent AB's no doubt that will make a lot of Sox fans wish he stuck around. Schwarber is trending in the better direction and likely will be elite for 3-4 more seasons. If I was going to put some cash down on who will have the better '22 I might pick JD but from '23-'25 I would pick Schwarber.
I think I'd like to see X extended for 6 more years. Part of me just wants a career Sox player. He can likely stick at SS for another 3 years then figure out an OF spot for him as (hopefully) Mayer is ready to take over.

As far as Yorke though... from what I've read he doesn't have great defensive skills. Should he be pushed into RF/LF?

I realize the following is pure silliness, but just doing this as an exercise.... could this be possible by '24?

1b- Casas/Devers
2b- Downs
SS- Mayer
3B- Devers/X/Jordan
LF-X/Devers/Jordan
CF-Jiminez/Duran
RF-Yorke/Duran
DH-Schwarber/Casas/Devers/X/Jordan (more rotational)
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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A huge key moving forward for this team will be the ongoing development of Houck and Whitlock. They are young and haven't hit their primes yet (though it's hard to imagine Whitlock performing better in his "prime" than he did this year). When I think about the young position players coming up through the ranks, it's hard to be anything but incredibly optimistic. I don't know how long X and Devers will be here, but Jordan, Yorke, Casas, and Mayer are all super exciting prospects. Downs a little less so coming off this season but still, a nice prospect. But by the time they arrive, the current veterans on the pitching staff will likely be on the way out. So who will fill those roles? Well, Houck and Whitlock should hopefully be two big guns in the rotation of the future.

In light of those guys arriving, I don't see the Sox doing much with the infield this offseason. Dalbec is fine as a temporary, inexpensive 1b option. Devers at 3b and Xander at SS for 2022. That leaves 2b, but with all these guys making their way through the system, they don't need a long-term answer there right now.

In the OF, Kiké, Verdugo, and Renfroe are set and that forms a solid group that hardly costs any money at all (by MLB standards).

The big question is JD and Schwarber. I think pretty clearly they'll have one and not the other, whichever way it shakes out, based on JD's decision coming up soon.

They really should consider catcher, and it's imperative that they have better depth. When your top PH options in the playoffs are Santana and Shaw, that's a problem. But I don't know what's out there. Is Wong a possibility?

Starting pitching is in decent shape, especially if they transition Houck and Whitlock to the rotation. Sale (in his first full year post-TJ surgery) should be solid, though I don't ever expect him to return to being CHRIS SALE. He should still be solid. Eovaldi is solid. Pivetta is dirt cheap and isn't even eligible for arbitration until 2023. Those three plus Houck and Whitlock would make for a very nice rotation.

But it's the bullpen that needs a lot of work. I'd re-sign Robles. Barnes is here whether we like it or not given his price tag, unless they can trade him to a team that thinks they can rehabilitate him. Darwinzon is going to be here and the hope is that at some point in his career he can harness his stuff. He actually was pretty effective in the regular season - 3.38 era, 12.2 k/9, so you can live with his walks in the regular season. Postseason...more iffy, obviously. But a useful bullpen piece for the regular season grind. Taylor was solid and will be here. Sawamura will likely be here as well, since he's still under contract (at not much money). Brasier is under control but should get a bump in pay via arbitration.

So:

Rotation: Sale, Eovaldi, Pivetta, Houck, Whitlock
Bullpen: Sawamura, Hernandez, Barnes, Taylor, Brasier

That leaves a few bullpen spots open. From the minors, some possibilities include:

- Feltman (AA - 3.29 era, 1.21 whip, 12.2 k/9; AAA - 2.59 era, 0.90 whip, 9.2 k/9)
- Winckowski (AA - 4.14 era, 1.30 whip, 7.9 k/9; AAA - 2.25 era, 0.67 whip, 9.8 k/9)
- Crawford (AA - 3.30 era, 0.82 whip, 12.4 k/9)
- Olson (AA - 2.61 era, 1.23 whip, 10.7 k/9) - Olson at 32 y.o. isn't a prospect but has decent MLB numbers (3.83 era, 9.0 k/9)
- Ort (AAA - 2.98 era, 1.32 whip, 12.3 k/9)


So I'd like to think that there are a couple of guys in that group who could make the jump to the majors. Maybe add another solid veteran arm. They'll need someone to close out games though, and right now that guy wouldn't be on the roster IF they put Whitlock in the rotation. If they leave Whitlock in the bullpen, then there is an opening in the rotation. So who knows which direction they'll go.

But there are very real possibilities such that we should expect this team to be pretty good in 2022.
Someone maybe yesterday brought up adding Seabold to the bullpen in the "Whitlock" role. Someone who can give you multiple innings in the pen at various times. It'd be hard to truly be as successful as Whitlock was in that role, but I like that role for young pitchers that they want to have in the future starting rotation. After '22 Eovaldi is gone and it'd be great to have confidence in someone that developed in the system as a replacement... like I am with Whitlock/Houck replacing ERod.
 

Apisith

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I'm just not sure about committing to Schwarber even if JD opts out. We can't pencil him in at 1B because Dalbec's serviceable and Casas in coming in 2023 at the latest. Schwarber had a great year but it would suck to pay for a career year. He doesn't have the same track record that JD did when we signed him. JD had four years of elite hitting before he signed, while this is Schwarber's first year. I would rather pay Semien for four years and get defensive versatility as well.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Someone maybe yesterday brought up adding Seabold to the bullpen in the "Whitlock" role. Someone who can give you multiple innings in the pen at various times. It'd be hard to truly be as successful as Whitlock was in that role, but I like that role for young pitchers that they want to have in the future starting rotation. After '22 Eovaldi is gone and it'd be great to have confidence in someone that developed in the system as a replacement... like I am with Whitlock/Houck replacing ERod.
It's the old Earl Weaver approach to developing pitching. And with pitching trending toward shorter outings and more reliance on bullpen depth, putting a prospect in the pen isn't "giving up" on the pitcher as a starter the way it used to be.

That said, I expect that Houck, Whitlock, and Seabold will all be given a chance to start in spring training, with the odd men out come Opening Day splitting time between the Worcester rotation and the Boston bullpen to keep them both rested and stretched out over the course of the season. I'd like to see a vet brought in for a Whitlock-esque role as well. Garrett Richards seemed to excel when he was put in that situation, but not at $10M. If they could decline his option and bring him back cheaper (like they did with Perez last winter), he might be a good fit. If not him, perhaps another starter with not so great numbers who has stuff that could play up in a more limited role.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Minor point- but Pivetta is first year arb eligible this year. Expected to get around $3M, so still fantastic deal.

One thing to think about- is Whitlock more valuable to the team in the pen or the rotation? I guess it depends on how he is projected as a starter but this year he provided more value to the team than Pivetta did, despite far less innings.

The pen was already mediocre; to make Whitlock and Houck starters makes it even worse. Granted, you should be able to find relievers cheaper than starters so it makes sense. Bringing in a few more swing man types seems ideal….Andriese was a good idea even if he didn’t make sense.
 

chawson

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While Schwarber is trending the right way and hitting the peak of his career, JD Martinez has been a significantly better hitter in his career.

JD at .290/.353/.881 for an OPS+ of 134 (OPS+ of 143 if you take out the early Detroit years)
Scwharbs at .237/.343/.834 for an OPS+ of 119 with last year being by far his best year.

I hope you are right and we re-sign Schwarber and he becomes as good as JD has been, but JD Martinez has been a much better hitter in his career thus far.
I'm just not sure about committing to Schwarber even if JD opts out. We can't pencil him in at 1B because Dalbec's serviceable and Casas in coming in 2023 at the latest. Schwarber had a great year but it would suck to pay for a career year. He doesn't have the same track record that JD did when we signed him. JD had four years of elite hitting before he signed, while this is Schwarber's first year. I would rather pay Semien for four years and get defensive versatility as well.
JDM debuted at age 24 and had about 1000 PAs before it clicked in his age-26 season. Schwarber debuted at age 22 and had about 1275 PAs before it clicked in his age-26 season.

I dug into the elite company this version of Schwarber keeps here. The reason I think it sticks is because of the elite plate discipline, which tends to normalize very quickly, and the barrel rate. He’s in the top 5 percent of MLB in swinging at fewest pitches outside of the zone (with guys like Soto, Muncy, Betts) and top 5 percent of the league in barreling the balls he hits.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Minor point- but Pivetta is first year arb eligible this year. Expected to get around $3M, so still fantastic deal.

One thing to think about- is Whitlock more valuable to the team in the pen or the rotation? I guess it depends on how he is projected as a starter but this year he provided more value to the team than Pivetta did, despite far less innings.

The pen was already mediocre; to make Whitlock and Houck starters makes it even worse. Granted, you should be able to find relievers cheaper than starters so it makes sense. Bringing in a few more swing man types seems ideal….Andriese was a good idea even if he didn’t make sense.
I think the idea is that an easy way to make your bullpen better is by asking less of it. If Whitlock can pitch 150 innings next year as a starter and give you similar quality performance, that's one less "Whitlock" you need in the bullpen at all. Same with Houck.
 

grimshaw

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Looking back at it, the Sox really have tried to improve the defense since Chaim took over. The guys they added (Hernandez, Arroyo, Marwin, and Renfroe ( to a lesser extent) are all plus defenders. Iglesias helped at 2nd. Marwin had a good reputation too. Verdugo is above average in left but stretched too far elsewhere.
Bloom still has a mess to deal with on the left side of the infield, and I have no idea what he'll do. I'd ride it out a year, though you have to listen if/when teams ask about Devers.

I would:
-Move Dalbec. He was a great story. He mashed and was a big part of why they stuck around in the second half. They could not use him during the playoffs because of his flaws as a full time player, and the crunch which isn't going away (JDM isn't going anywhere, sorry). It would take a lot more than Dalbec to get one of the Marlins guys, but I hope they address pitching via trade rather than free agency.

-Arroyo is a fine alternative to Downs if Jetes doesn't work out. I'd try him out at other positions in spring training. He really needs to add versatility.

-QO Rodriguez. He did enough down the stretch to make himself expensive but not absurdly so. The Sox tried to sign him when he was performing poorly but he didn't bite.

-Bring the catching back, and find a god damn way to draft and develop the position.

Free agents:
-Syndergaard would be fascinating on a high AAV short term deal but who knows what offers he'll get. I'm team Bryant, but someone would have to go. Love Stroman too, but he'll make good money. Not sure where Schwarber fits. He's not displacing anyone at first, or Verdugo, and it's hard to believe he'd agree to be a full time DH if JDM is gone.


Ultimately I think they'll trade for a good starter, add some bullpen guys (Roark as a bulk guy perhaps, Knebel, Tepera, Givens, Yates etc) give Casas the job, and hope JDM walks so they can up their flexibility.
 
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EricFeczko

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While Schwarber is trending the right way and hitting the peak of his career, JD Martinez has been a significantly better hitter in his career.

JD at .290/.353/.881 for an OPS+ of 134 (OPS+ of 143 if you take out the early Detroit years)
Scwharbs at .237/.343/.834 for an OPS+ of 119 with last year being by far his best year.

I hope you are right and we re-sign Schwarber and he becomes as good as JD has been, but JD Martinez has been a much better hitter in his career thus far.
The flaw of averages is exactly what led to the Chris Sale signing. I hope JDM opts out and gets a nice payday from another team.

This is JDM's 30 game rolling average from 2013 to 2021. He's trending towards a league average hitter at this point in his career.
45772

This is Schwarber''s:
45773

I suspect @Ale Xander is right, and JDM re-ups, which means Kyle may be gone.
 

burstnbloom

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Let's hope people still regard Downs as a top prospect. He couldn't hit .200 in a full season at AAA ....
there is reason for optimism though. He ended the year quite well and is tearing up the AFL. He leads the league with a 1.500 ops. They won’t trade him this off-season because his value has sunk significantly but if he’s figured something out and plays well in Worcester next spring, we might have our prospect back.
 

Max Power

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The word "elite" is getting thrown around a little too liberally here. When I hear that word, I think MVP level of hitting, not just an average All Star. A 34 year old JD Martinez is not an elite hitter and doesn't have positive trade value at $20 million for a single season. You might be able to grab a decent prospect for him if you sent along $10 million. Kyle Schwarber is a streaky hitter who has never been elite over a full season. Even this year where his bat may reach that level, he didn't play 120 games.

The current roster has opportunities for improvement at DH, first base, catcher, second base, and fourth outfielder. They'll probably stick with Arroyo and Arauz at second. The lack of catching options in baseball has been discussed elsewhere. I think the best solution for the other spots going forward is to let both JD and Schwarber go and try to sign Bryant. He can play corner infield and corner outfield, letting you use Raffy or Dalbec at DH sometimes, let Verdugo or Renfroe sit against tough lefties/righties respectively, or even give Xander a day off from the field and plug in Arauz at short.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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JD’s OPS was top 30 in the league; higher than guys like Alonso, Betts, Correa, Altuve, Bryant, Gurriel, Abreu, Machado, etc. I get that he’s best used as a DH and isn’t what he was but that people don’t want him back on a 1-year deal seems absurd to me. He’s still a really good hitter.
 

EricFeczko

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The Red Sox have big decisions and changes to be made... in 2023. For 2022, I expect Bloom will follow through on the long-term plan based on an improving farm system.

The Red Sox have long-term answers at 1B and 2B in Casas and Downs, so they will probably make due with Dalbec and Arroyo for 2022, either full-time or as halves of a platoon. Bogaerts and Devers hold down SS and 3B for one more year before Bogaerts can opt out and the big calls need to be made. Cora obviously trusts Vazquez, so I think the club will pick up Vazquez' option. Plawecki is a cromulent backup, and won't cost much. LF Verdugo, CF Hernandez and RF Renfroe are all cheap and locked in for 2022.

Martinez will probably opt out, and not be re-signed. I suspect that Bloom and Cora would prefer to rotated position players through the DH spot rather than signing a full-time DH.

Farewell to Santana and Shaw.

Starting rotation: Eovaldi, Sale, Pivetta, Whitlock and Houck. Edro's return depends on the asking price. Farewell to Richards and Perez.

Bullpen: Barnes, Brasier, Sawamura, Hernandez, Taylor and Davis return. Valdez rides the shuttle again. Farewell to Ottavino and Robles, who will cost more than Bloom wants to pay relievers.

Needs:

1) LHB for 1B. Schwarber improved in the field with time, so if he is interested in returning as a DH-1B-LF, Bloom will probably make a strong bid.

2) a utility infielder and platoon partner for Arroyo. Iglesias might sign on for old times' sake. He obviously loves playing in Boston, the city loves him in return, and he won't cost much. Still, Bloom doesn't strike me as the sentimental type, and he can probably find a LHB 2B to platoon with Arroyo. Arauz will ride the shuttle for one more year.

3) 2 starting pitchers for depth, possibly including Seabold.

4) 2 high-quality relievers. Bullpen was the weak spot of the 2021 Red Sox, and all of Bloom's dealing never quite fixed that.
This seems like the best balanced plan for next year. I would also kick the tires on a Devers extension to plan for Devers needs, or just to see if Bloom gets lucky and can lock Devers up long term.

#4 is critical. I'm not sure if Whitlock and Houck are effective the third time through the order -- they may only be able to last 5 innings requiring an effective bullpen.


EDIT: An interesting platoon partner on the cheap might be someone like Leury Garcia -- he's light hitting but far more patient against righties than lefties last year. Brad Miller might also be an interesting fit, but he's not as flexible defensively.
 
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Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Ultimately I think they'll trade for a good starter, add some bullpen guys (Roark as a bulk guy perhaps, Knebel, Tepera, Givens, Yates etc) give Casas the job, and hope JDM walks so they can up their flexibility.
I like the idea of bringing in a few guys like Roark also in potential bulk bullpen/swingman/spot starter role. But I do hope a lot of the slightly older mL arms gets an extended look in ST to contribute to the pen- Winckowski, Murphy and Walter in particular. The organization doesn't really seem to have them pegged as possible impact starters (Gonzalez, Groome, Mata, Bello) so if those guys were in Tampa I could imagine them moving into the ML pen.

Darwinzon and Sawamura both could be released without me worrying about some other team reaping their potential. Hernandez has enticing stuff but I don't think he's ever going to control it.
 

EricFeczko

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The word "elite" is getting thrown around a little too liberally here. When I hear that word, I think MVP level of hitting, not just an average All Star. A 34 year old JD Martinez is not an elite hitter and doesn't have positive trade value at $20 million for a single season. You might be able to grab a decent prospect for him if you sent along $10 million. Kyle Schwarber is a streaky hitter who has never been elite over a full season. Even this year where his bat may reach that level, he didn't play 120 games.

The current roster has opportunities for improvement at DH, first base, catcher, second base, and fourth outfielder. They'll probably stick with Arroyo and Arauz at second. The lack of catching options in baseball has been discussed elsewhere. I think the best solution for the other spots going forward is to let both JD and Schwarber go and try to sign Bryant. He can play corner infield and corner outfield, letting you use Raffy or Dalbec at DH sometimes, let Verdugo or Renfroe sit against tough lefties/righties respectively, or even give Xander a day off from the field and plug in Arauz at short.
Kris Bryant is a streakier hitter than Schwarber, with multiple 30 game running average peaks of 200+ wRC+ and troughs of 50 wRC+ -- on average he has been better, but he ended the year extremely poorly. The knock on Schwarber is that he's rarely been healthy. The problem with Kris is that he might be too expensive (30/150), though so might Schwarber.


45775
 

jmcc5400

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Enrique’s contract is one of the best deals in baseball. Among the myriad issues on Chaim’s plate, I hope he is considering trying to lock Hernandez up for a few more years.
 

YTF

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Kaleb Ort, what do the Sox do with him? He's shown some flashes of brilliance during an inconsistent AAA season. He's 29, has never appeared in an MLB game and couldn't even get a sniff during the worst stretches of the Sox rotation including the rash of covid infections. He's not on the 40 man roster and becomes rule 5 eligible in December. I'd love to see him get a shot to make the team during spring training, but I don't think the team has a roster spot to invest in him. Considering the team has bullpen needs, I hate to see this potential late bloomer who is already in house slip through the cracks and move on without bringing something in return. If they can't find room for him on the 40 man I'm thinking he has to be included in some sort of trade before another team is able to just claim him.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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He did get into one game during the COVID struggles. 1/3 of an inning, I think? He’s old and his struggles against lefties make him difficult to use with the new minimums. Don’t think he’s part of any future here.
 

chrisfont9

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JD’s OPS was top 30 in the league; higher than guys like Alonso, Betts, Correa, Altuve, Bryant, Gurriel, Abreu, Machado, etc. I get that he’s best used as a DH and isn’t what he was but that people don’t want him back on a 1-year deal seems absurd to me. He’s still a really good hitter.
Agree, and if you believe all that stuff about him coaching up other hitters, all the better. That story gets trotted out a bit too much for my taste, but who knows. I do think that him on a short deal helps the club not put too much on Casas and Dalbec right away. Ease Casas in over the summer. Play Dalbec but not against everyone. Getting Shaw off the street is the kind of cheap backup you'd like, although one who's got a bit more going on than Shaw does right now would be nice.

Schwarber was a great rental but there has to be zero chance of Bloom locking him in for the length and $ he will get.
 

dhappy42

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Whatever happened to Jarren Duran? If he can hit at JBJ-level, Kike can move back to 2B, and then the Red Sox infield is set, with Dalbec at first.

Then, if JD opts out, (I think he will,) the Sox can focus on obtaining a DH bat: Schwarber, Rizzo or Bryant (moving Devers to DH) and pitching.

Pitching, more than anything else, needs improvement.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Whatever happened to Jarren Duran? If he can hit at JBJ-level, Kike can move back to 2B, and then the Red Sox infield is set, with Dalbec at first.

Then, if JD opts out, (I think he will,) the Sox can focus on obtaining a DH bat: Schwarber, Rizzo or Bryant (moving Devers to DH) and pitching.

Pitching, more than anything else, needs improvement.
Duran will have to hit better than JBJ-level to stick as an everyday player, IMO (I think he can, too). If the regular infield/outfield is the same, I'd prefer Arroyo at 2B and Kike in CF over "JBJ-level hitter" Duran in CF and Kike at 2B.
 

scottyno

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Whatever happened to Jarren Duran? If he can hit at JBJ-level, Kike can move back to 2B, and then the Red Sox infield is set, with Dalbec at first.
He'll presumably get better defensively, but if he'd hit like JBJ this year he still would have been terrible. His defense sucked, -5 DRS in center in only 215 innings. He isn't even close to the answer in CF right now either with the bat or the glove.
 

YTF

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Duran will have to hit better than JBJ-level to stick as an everyday player, IMO (I think he can, too). If the regular infield/outfield is the same, I'd prefer Arroyo at 2B and Kike in CF over "JBJ-level hitter" Duran in CF and Kike at 2B.
Agreed. IMO with the 40 man as currently constructed, Arroyo at 2B and Kike' in CF is you best offensive and defensive option. JBJ level hitting won't cut it out of Duran, especially if he's not playing JBJ level defense.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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If you are going in to the season with Kiki in CF and Arroyo at 2B, I think you at least need solid back up options at both spots- less we end up with a lot playing time to Duran and Arauz before they are ready. Balance is not wanting to block those guys if they force the issue. Arroyo especially seems to always be hurt, I wouldn’t mind pushing him to a utility role and upgrading the starter at 2b. Signing Chris Taylor seems like a great idea. He’s another Kiki.
 

RG33

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The flaw of averages is exactly what led to the Chris Sale signing. I hope JDM opts out and gets a nice payday from another team.

This is JDM's 30 game rolling average from 2013 to 2021. He's trending towards a league average hitter at this point in his career.
View attachment 45772

This is Schwarber''s:
View attachment 45773

I suspect @Ale Xander is right, and JDM re-ups, which means Kyle may be gone.
I don’t disagree and hope JD opts out. I was just pointing out that if the Red Sox were to re-sign Schwarber with JD walking, we would be really lucky if we got a JD Martinez 3-4 years out of Schwarber. Thus far, Schwarber has not been near the elite hitter that JD has/was.
 

allmanbro

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A few of us kicked around ideas like this last offseason: if you send Dalbec and take back Hosmer, you could potentially get some significant value back from SD. I'd be interested in what's going on with MacKenzie Gore and whether he could be a buy-low post-hype option. But, at the same time, man is that Hosmer contract bad. He still has 4/59 left on it, as exactly a replacement level player this year. Chaim would likely be open to a deal like that somewhere, but Hosmer might just be too awful. It would require more than Gore anyway.

Interestingly, as I was kicking this around, I saw that the trade value simulator has Dalbec for Gore straight up as a pretty even deal. I'd do that deal in a heartbeat, but I can't imagine SD would. That may be my way of saying I don't buy the valuation.
 

jon abbey

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YTF

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Again, I'm not sure what goes on behind the scenes, but an older, baseball lifer like Wash who is willing and able to play that role should be a welcomed addition to any team. Johnny Pesky was that type of guy for a number of years. Goodwin's out as 1B coach, so I'm wondering how that vacancy is filled. I'm also curious what (if any) other coaching changes might be made. I'm linking a page here in case there are others here unfamiliar withe the entirety of the staff.
https://www.mlb.com/redsox/roster/coaches
 

jmanny24

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The winter meetings are set for Dec 5-9, would they still take place if there is no CBA agreement by then?
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Nope, the CBA expires 12/1. If no deal before then, there will likely be a lockout and there’d be no winter meetings or any kind of deals..

Now, teams could make deals early in the off-season before 12/1, but if history is any guide, the lockout would probably last awhile and we’d have a very short offseason - which is what owners would want and players would not want.
 

jmanny24

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Nope, the CBA expires 12/1. If no deal before then, there will likely be a lockout and there’d be no winter meetings or any kind of deals..

Now, teams could make deals early in the off-season before 12/1, but if history is any guide, the lockout would probably last awhile and we’d have a very short offseason - which is what owners would want and players would not want.
Thanks which is was what I was afraid of...also means some kind of crazy frenzy of action when a CBA does get ratified.
 

RobertS975

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Duran being a complete black hole ended up really hurting the Sox, he would have been the perfect bench piece for this team in the playoffs if he could have hit even a little.
Somehow, I would have preferred Duran to either Santana or Shaw!
 

cantor44

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Again, I'm not sure what goes on behind the scenes, but an older, baseball lifer like Wash who is willing and able to play that role should be a welcomed addition to any team. Johnny Pesky was that type of guy for a number of years. Goodwin's out as 1B coach, so I'm wondering how that vacancy is filled. I'm also curious what (if any) other coaching changes might be made. I'm linking a page here in case there are others here unfamiliar withe the entirety of the staff.
https://www.mlb.com/redsox/roster/coaches
The fact that several players credited Schwarber with helping them with their hitting approach (Dalbec particularly but several guys), to me is a not-so-hot comment on Hyer and by extension Cora. I'd like to see them get a new hitting coach, who can implement a hybrid approach between patient and aggressive. Schwarber worked the count, took his walks, and it was a delight. It helped everyone around him. Doesn't mean they gotta go back to automatic take the first pitch like is was 2003. But - they were overly aggressive, I believe leading the league in swinging at balls outside the zone, and have to become more disciplined.
 

dhappy42

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The fact that several players credited Schwarber with helping them with their hitting approach (Dalbec particularly but several guys), to me is a not-so-hot comment on Hyer and by extension Cora. I'd like to see them get a new hitting coach, who can implement a hybrid approach between patient and aggressive. Schwarber worked the count, took his walks, and it was a delight. It helped everyone around him. Doesn't mean they gotta go back to automatic take the first pitch like is was 2003. But - they were overly aggressive, I believe leading the league in swinging at balls outside the zone, and have to become more disciplined.
The Red Sox had the third highest team OPS in MLB in 2021.

1. Blue Jays .796
2. Astros .784
3. Red Sox .777

The hitting coach isn’t a problem.