Red Sox in season discussion

joe dokes

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He'll hit FA a year younger than Mookie did. Does it really make that much of a difference? Signing a 26 year old to a 10-12 year deal doesn't seem all that different than signing a 27 year old to one. Unless you think Betts is going to age worse than Devers for some reason. There's also the chance Devers has to move to 1b.
I can't really explain it, tbh.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Can't a team with the resources the Red Sox have do both? Can't they have a couple of star players with lengthy contracts while also drafting well and have a good amount of cost-controlled young talent?
There's another side to the sign up young stars early equation, and that's the player being wiling to sign such a deal. In the 20 years of this ownership, we've seen young star players signed early to lengthy contracts: Pedroia, Youkilis, Lester, Buchholz, even Bogaerts all signed less than market deals that extended into their first few years of free agency (Pedroia did it twice). At the same time, those players had teammates who chose to go year-to-year and ultimately ended up leaving: Papelbon, Ellsbury, Betts. Seems to me that the Sox have always taken a pragmatic approach to their young players, committing to them when it was financially mutually beneficial and also being willing to go year to year and getting little to no savings (relative to what you expect to pay to 1st/2nd/3rd year arb-eligibles).

I think it would be short-sighted to determine an organizational philosophy by ownership or a GM based on any individual player's contract. You have to look at the whole body of work. And right now, we've got 2.5 years of a GM and 20 years of ownership to go by. My assessment is they can and do both.
 
I'd argue they already do both. They just aren't willing to go to 10 years to keep their stars or sign stars. I tend to agree with them.

What happens if Devers falls apart after 7 years and is signed for another 3? How do the Sox continue to have a few star players on lengthy contracts when they have vastly overpaid players on expensive, lengthy contracts? Should they always have a few star players on lengthy deals or should they just always have a few lengthy deals? Are you ok with resets like 2020s?

The Sox chose to pay Chris Sale. Some argue that costs them Mookie Betts. Signing Devers to 10/320 might cost the team the next Mookie Betts or Rafael Devers 6 or 7 years from now.

Payroll flexibility and 10+ year deals go together like milk and soda. This is especially true when homegrown players get paid a premium for playing in places like Boston or NY, and not a hometown discount.
I'm generally inclined to agree with you, and I've consistently preached caution against long contracts for exactly the reasons you articulated. That said, I'm coming around to the idea that it's reasonable to consider splashing for this kind of signing to a limited extent.

Consider the entire system. There are two main resources that constrain teams: money and roster space. There are lots of ways to gain efficiency, but it's very possible that over-emphasizing one resource will lead to problems. If you over-emphasize converting cash into wins, you're likely to end up with a stars-and-scrubs roster. If you over-emphasize converting roster space into wins, you'll have a lot of year-over-year variability and perhaps a roster that is less well suited to postseason success. I'm not entirely convinced that the Oakland/Tampa formula doesn't work in the post-season, but I'll agree that it's completely possible.

When you have a luxury tax level payroll, it's very hard to turn money into wins without running out of roster space unless you carry some big contracts. There is of course a lot of risk involved there - you might not have the cash to sign the next big thing if you've already spent it on the current big thing, as you say. But there is risk in every approach. If you sign a bunch of lower tier guys looking for Shane Victorino/Mike Napoli/etc. in '13, Kike /Renfroe in '21 or Wacha '22 then some years you are going to just miss and your team will be really bad.

I think ideally you want a balance. You want your analytics, scouting, development, and whatever you call the people that try to convince people to sign with you departments to be maximizing your chances of developing young talent, finding diamonds in the rough, and identifying players that have the best chance to be viable over the long term. And then you want to have a roster that balances a few cornerstone talents that you've spent cash on with short term efficiencies. That way when the short term players don't pan out, you can lean on your big talent. And when the big talent reaches the end of their useful career, your efficient players can help close the gap.

I think ultimately that's going to be the best way for a team like the Red Sox to spend their money. Obviously when you get the chance to lock up a star player for a team friendly deal you do it. But that won't always be possible, and if things line up such that you have a lot of unallocated $$$ and you have the opportunity to sign a player long term that has a relatively high likelihood of contributing over the majority of that term you have to seriously consider doing it. If the money isn't spent it's not going to benefit the team at all, and you can only sign a certain number of low $ short term deals before you run out of roster space. And in many ways the medium term, medium to high $ contracts can be just as crippling as the megadeal. The Crawford/Sandoval era is a great example of that. You're using up multiple roster spots while still exposing yourself to significant downside risk of players falling off a cliff.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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A 10-12 year deal for anyone isn’t ideal, but given Devers age and the Sox revenues, you can probably bite the bullet and do it. But what if he’s looking for multiple player opt outs, which seems to be all the rage, these days, what then? I don’t think you can go into any negotiation thinking you have to sign a player; there’s always a limit. And facts largely how Bloom has approached the market, be flexible and open minded and try to not assume a ton of long term deals. Certainly he’s been much more patient than me, and it’s largely paid off.
 

snowmanny

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Whuch is a long way of saying that if they lose Xander and maybe even Raffy, I completely expect they will sign or trade for guys who give us most of what they provide – without a $300-400 million price tag.
You might very well be right. Of course, this is not an ownership that has ever been cheap and they have signed plenty of players to big contracts, including the then record-setting contract for a pitcher. They have four $20 Million dollar players right now and I expect that they always will have a few.
 

Cesar Crespo

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You might very well be right. Of course, this is not an ownership that has ever been cheap and they have signed plenty of players to big contracts, including the then record-setting contract for a pitcher. They have four $20 Million dollar players right now and I expect that they always will have a few.
Yeah, I don't think annual amount is really the issue. It's length.

I honestly wouldn't want to go longer than 6-7 years on any player. Teams have control of players for 6 years, so if you want payroll flexibility, keeping contracts to 6-7 years in length seems logical. The current big thing would become a FA the same year the next big thing is.

Or get creative. I have no idea if any player would bite for 7/240 with 3 team options that could take the deal to more than 10/300 over a guaranteed 10/300.
 

Sin Duda

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In comparison, how do you expect the Yankees to react to Judge's play out to free agency? If you're a Yankees fan, which of these works for you? 10 yrs $300M, 8 yrs $270M, or 6 yrs $240M? I imagine he'll get one of those. Wurld you offer him any of those? (Admittedly a blatant attempt to pull Jon Abbey into the conversation).
 

scottyno

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Before Story, the biggest FA contract he gave out was Hernandez so it's not like he's been that aggressive in adding payroll. Now, mind you he inherited a big payroll so he hasn't really had to add many big pieces. This trade deadline and subsequent offseason will tell us how aggressive ownership will let Bloom be. It's just interesting to see if ownership's stance has changed.
Ownership is spending almost 400m between 2021 and 2022, I think it's fair to say that ownership's stance on spending money has not changed. If it were almost every big contract guy they have was easily movable over the last 2 years.

There's 0 reason to think they won't keep running out one of the highest payrolls in the league for years to come.
 

jon abbey

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In comparison, how do you expect the Yankees to react to Judge's play out to free agency? If you're a Yankees fan, which of these works for you? 10 yrs $300M, 8 yrs $270M, or 6 yrs $240M? I imagine he'll get one of those. Wurld you offer him any of those? (Admittedly a blatant attempt to pull Jon Abbey into the conversation).
I was thinking about this earlier today, but there are so many unknowns. Gerrit Cole makes $36M per season, Trout makes $37M, so maybe I'd offer 8x36, 8/288, maybe add on a couple of cheaper years at the end to lower the AAV (I think it's possible that NY may stop caring about tax levels if an international draft is instituted, this is one of the big unknowns).

I said it when Cano was approaching free agency and it is even more true for NY and Judge and probably for Bogarts and Devers too, either you sign the guy and it likely hurts you long-term or you let them go and it likely hurts you short-term. It is a very bad system.
 

jon abbey

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I do think that part of the reason that Cashman traded for Stanton was for just this, as a preemptive replacement if and when Judge got a huge offer elsewhere, similar to the Bogaerts/Story situation but with a longer lead time. Of course both teams have room for both players, they do right now, but also both teams are more protected if the star does leave.
 

jon abbey

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Yeah, my Judge offer is 8/288 followed by 2/24, totalling 10/312. That's almost $100M more than NY offered in the spring, and the AAV is about the same, here it is $31.2M, but 10 years instead of 7.
 

RedOctober3829

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Given what happened last night, is it still the right move to have Houck in the closers role? If you can’t rely on him to be available in Toronto should he be the guy? There’s a decent shot they could play the Jays in Toronto in the WC round.
 

joe dokes

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Given what happened last night, is it still the right move to have Houck in the closers role? If you can’t rely on him to be available in Toronto should he be the guy? There’s a decent shot they could play the Jays in Toronto in the WC round.
Leave him where he is. What they need is another good RH reliever or two, so that when Houck is out on research sabbatical, the remaining options are better than Robles.
 

Van Everyman

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They do need pen help. I just wonder how the team feels about Houck(and Duran) putting personal beliefs ahead of the team.
I don't. They fucking hate it, but there's literally nothing they can do about it.

More pen arms are always important. I trust they'll get some. I suspect it won't be Bard tho, both due to cost and the fact that he's had multiple mental health challenges over the years.
 

Max Power

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Given what happened last night, is it still the right move to have Houck in the closers role? If you can’t rely on him to be available in Toronto should he be the guy? There’s a decent shot they could play the Jays in Toronto in the WC round.
The playoffs are always a little different anyway. You go with starters on their days off or whoever the hot hand out the bullpen happens to be. There's a decent chance Houck wouldn't see the 9th in the playoffs even if he were vaccinated.
 

grimshaw

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The Woo Sox rotation is going to be crazy once Mata is back in AAA and Eovaldi and/or Sale are back.
-Bello, Seabold, Chris Murphy, Winckowski (Crawford).

Someone could get a look in the pen in a bulk role. There comes a point where their internal options may be better than going out and acquiring a Robles type. Maybe Winckowski is that guy, or Mata.
 

Cesar Crespo

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The Woo Sox rotation is going to be crazy once Mata is back in AAA and Eovaldi and/or Sale are back.
-Bello, Seabold, Chris Murphy, Winckowski (Crawford).

Someone could get a look in the pen in a bulk role. There comes a point where their internal options may be better than going out and acquiring a Robles type. Maybe Winckowski is that guy, or Mata.
That Walter guy is pretty good too. He's probably the one who ends up in the pen though.

edit: Speaking of... he hasn't pitched since the 8th. Went on the DL on 6/24 with a neck sprain. Missed that.
 

grimshaw

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That Walter guy is pretty good too. He's probably the one who ends up in the pen though.

edit: Speaking of... he hasn't pitched since the 8th. Went on the DL on 6/24 with a neck sprain. Missed that.
Forgot about him too. The last time they even had any rotation depth like that was arguably when Brian Rose and Michael Bowden roamed the streets and Buchholz was right behind.
 

grimshaw

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I was thinking Ranaudo, but Bowden was already gone. Rose and "The Dominican Mystery Man" Robinson Checo overlapped and Jeff Suppan was right around then as well.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Brian Rose is inextricably linked to Carl Pavano in my memory. He stuck around and ultimately flopped for the Sox while Pavano was moved for Pedro and ended up with the better overall career.
 

scottyno

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Brian Rose is inextricably linked to Carl Pavano in my memory. He stuck around and ultimately flopped for the Sox while Pavano was moved for Pedro and ended up with the better overall career.
If Pavano wasn't moved then maybe the Yankees don't end up overpaying him in 2005 and instead of him they have an actual functioning stater in 2007 which might have won them the division over Boston. Sox were just playing the long game.
 

YTF

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Given what happened last night, is it still the right move to have Houck in the closers role? If you can’t rely on him to be available in Toronto should he be the guy? There’s a decent shot they could play the Jays in Toronto in the WC round.
If the goal is to win baseball games are you going to remove the guy who is the most capable of doing the job? Yes it sucks that he's made a choice that most of us don't agree with and it sucks even more that his and Duran's status made them unavailable for this series in Toronto and MAY effect the outcomes of these games. I hate it just as much as the rest of you, but going forward are you advocating that the team now voluntarily do something that's not exactly the same, but similar? We were pissed off about Houck not being available to close out games in Toronto and now you want him to not close games anywhere? What about Duran? Just as he's seemingly locked down the lead off spot at a time when the team desperately needed one, do you advocate the return to a lesser option?
 

soxhop411

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This is kind of insane given the 2018 team
View: https://twitter.com/RSNStats/status/1542349119443742720

#RedSox finish June at 20-6 (.769). Is team's 2nd highest win percentage for June in franchise history. Only better was a 20-5 (.800) record in the inaugural 1901 season.
Top #RedSox Win %
Month of June
All-Time:

1. 1901, 20-5 (.800)
2. 2022, 20-6 (.769)
3. 1948, 18-6 (.750)
4. 1942, 19-7 (.731)
4. 1903, 19-7 (.731)

Team's worst June was when they went 4-24 for a .143 record in 1927

View: https://twitter.com/RSNStats/status/1542349646286139392
 

Van Everyman

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If the goal is to win baseball games are you going to remove the guy who is the most capable of doing the job? Yes it sucks that he's made a choice that most of us don't agree with and it sucks even more that his and Duran's status made them unavailable for this series in Toronto and MAY effect the outcomes of these games. I hate it just as much as the rest of you, but going forward are you advocating that the team now voluntarily do something that's not exactly the same, but similar? We were pissed off about Houck not being available to close out games in Toronto and now you want him to not close games anywhere? What about Duran? Just as he's seemingly locked down the lead off spot at a time when the team desperately needed one, do you advocate the return to a lesser option?
I don’t believe they’ve said it but I would think part of the thinking behind moving Whitlock back to the bullpen would be to ensure they have his arm on the back end of games where Houck may not be available.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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This is kind of insane given the 2018 team
View: https://twitter.com/RSNStats/status/1542349119443742720

#RedSox finish June at 20-6 (.769). Is team's 2nd highest win percentage for June in franchise history. Only better was a 20-5 (.800) record in the inaugural 1901 season.
Top #RedSox Win %
Month of June
All-Time:

1. 1901, 20-5 (.800)
2. 2022, 20-6 (.769)
3. 1948, 18-6 (.750)
4. 1942, 19-7 (.731)
4. 1903, 19-7 (.731)

Team's worst June was when they went 4-24 for a .143 record in 1927

View: https://twitter.com/RSNStats/status/1542349646286139392
Remember the board in June, 1927? All the “look what Ruth is doing with the MFY, the Sox just never keep their good players” cries?

of course they were right, then.
 

joe dokes

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I don’t believe they’ve said it but I would think part of the thinking behind moving Whitlock back to the bullpen would be to ensure they have his arm on the back end of games where Houck may not be available.
Expanding in that, it's also that Whitlock was lights out in relief, but less lights out as a starter (may be injury related or maybe they want to protect him from injury?), and they are confident in Sale being effective, Eovaldi returning and none of Pivetta, hill or Wacha are particularly bullpen suited.
There are pages of threads dedicated to "who goes to the pen" and "they need another reliable rh reliever."
Whitlock to the pen checks a lot of boxes for this team right now.
 

joe dokes

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I'd rather they won 2 of 3 than 1 of 3, but they answered the important (to me) question of whether they can "play with Toronto." They can.
The Sox are a good and confident team. They didnt fold either in game or in series when they fell behind or got kicked in the teeth.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Expanding in that, it's also that Whitlock was lights out in relief, but less lights out as a starter (may be injury related or maybe they want to protect him from injury?), and they are confident in Sale being effective, Eovaldi returning and none of Pivetta, hill or Wacha are particularly bullpen suited.
There are pages of threads dedicated to "who goes to the pen" and "they need another reliable rh reliever."
Whitlock to the pen checks a lot of boxes for this team right now.
One little side benefit of injuries is they have now gotten the chance to see both Seabold and Winckowski get starts. Maybe they feel they can cobble together enough decent innings with one or both of them since some of the big guns are close to returning.

Long-term I am Team Starter when it comes to Whitlock, but I don’t think returning him to his previous role hurts that goal too much. I guess you could also try the prospects in relief but that would be entirely new for them (I think probably a change they’d prefer to make preseason).

The only reliever on the 40-man we haven’t seen yet is Bracho. Some roster machinations would be required to get a look at the abundance of RH relievers in Pawtucket. Whitlock solves a few things and helps you piece things together from there.

I’m skeptical of outside bp acquisitions in general because you pay a big price for a small amount of innings and at the end of the day the guy could easily end up no better than a guy picked up off the street or a starter moved to the pen. To me, the latter is how I would approach the problem long-term. The current abundance of good but not overwhelming pitching prospects are the exact kind of guys who could potentially develop into great relievers if their stuff plays up.
 
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Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I'd rather they won 2 of 3 than 1 of 3, but they answered the important (to me) question of whether they can "play with Toronto." They can.
The Sox are a good and confident team. They didnt fold either in game or in series when they fell behind or got kicked in the teeth.
Absolutely. They were one vaccinated player away from taking 2/3… and while Seabold wasn’t great- he had some really positive peripheral results. I’m still pretty bullish on him as a mid rotation starter4.2-ish ERA. He misses bats. Apparently David Price called up Cora after watching him pitch and had some pretty positive insights on Seabold.
 

Coachster

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They've got some interesting decisions ahead. Obviously on Friday Duran and Houck are reinstated and Bracho and Yolmer are returned to Worcester. That part is easy.

I'm fascinated by the eventual return of Kike, because somebody is going to have to go. Refsnyder has been terrific, and we haven't even used his positional versatility yet. Do we really return a hot hitting, good fielding Refsnyder and keep JBJ because laundry? Is it time to let JBJ go? He's currently in one of his brutal down-cycles. We've rode them out before, but does Refsnyder, capable of playing RF in Fenway make it less necessary to do so?

(Refsnyder has 36 MLB games at 1B. If we send Dalbec away for bullpen help, is he the RHH platoon with Franchy? Kike has 15 MLB games at 1B. Another choice?)

And how do we use Kike with Duran around? Is Kike better suited for the role he had with the Dodgers, a BrockHolt-like swiss-army knife? And what does that mean for Christian Arroyo, who has been used in that role?

I don't even want to think about what pitching looks like when Eovldi and Whitlock return. Some guys are going to be exiting the pen. Sale? Sure. It'll happen when it happens.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Remember the board in June, 1927? All the “look what Ruth is doing with the MFY, the Sox just never keep their good players” cries?

of course they were right, then.
Wasn't there a thread warning about rampant speculation in stocks and too many people taking out loans to purchase stuff? I can't find it but I thought I saw one.
 

joe dokes

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They've got some interesting decisions ahead. Obviously on Friday Duran and Houck are reinstated and Bracho and Yolmer are returned to Worcester. That part is easy.

I'm fascinated by the eventual return of Kike, because somebody is going to have to go. Refsnyder has been terrific, and we haven't even used his positional versatility yet. Do we really return a hot hitting, good fielding Refsnyder and keep JBJ because laundry? Is it time to let JBJ go? He's currently in one of his brutal down-cycles. We've rode them out before, but does Refsnyder, capable of playing RF in Fenway make it less necessary to do so?

(Refsnyder has 36 MLB games at 1B. If we send Dalbec away for bullpen help, is he the RHH platoon with Franchy? Kike has 15 MLB games at 1B. Another choice?)

And how do we use Kike with Duran around? Is Kike better suited for the role he had with the Dodgers, a BrockHolt-like swiss-army knife? And what does that mean for Christian Arroyo, who has been used in that role?

I don't even want to think about what pitching looks like when Eovldi and Whitlock return. Some guys are going to be exiting the pen. Sale? Sure. It'll happen when it happens.
I think that one of the overarching considerations here is defense. Kikè and JBJ is superior to Duran and Refsnyder. But at current levels, the difference in their respective offenses probably makes up for it. Kikè and Refsnyder have the craved positional versatility.
I dont think the team is beholden to JBJ in the laundry sense. Its a combination JBJ's defense + the hot streaks vs. "will Refsnyder regress" + "what if this is it for JBJ's bat". The fact that JBJ is mashing at home may be the only thing that makes this a tough call. But that would be a "sad to see him go, but I get it" moves.
 

joe dokes

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Remember the board in June, 1927? All the “look what Ruth is doing with the MFY, the Sox just never keep their good players” cries?

of course they were right, then.
1901? who cares. That was back before FDR, when the months were shorter.*

*I am about 86% confident that one could make that comment with a straight face on any one of several sportsblab programs and no one will immediately say, "wtf are you talking about"?
 

trekfan55

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I'd argue they already do both. They just aren't willing to go to 10 years to keep their stars or sign stars. I tend to agree with them.

What happens if Devers falls apart after 7 years and is signed for another 3? How do the Sox continue to have a few star players on lengthy contracts when they have vastly overpaid players on expensive, lengthy contracts? Should they always have a few star players on lengthy deals or should they just always have a few lengthy deals? Are you ok with resets like 2020s?

The Sox chose to pay Chris Sale. Some argue that costs them Mookie Betts. Signing Devers to 10/320 might cost the team the next Mookie Betts or Rafael Devers 6 or 7 years from now.

Payroll flexibility and 10+ year deals go together like milk and soda. This is especially true when homegrown players get paid a premium for playing in places like Boston or NY, and not a hometown discount.
The issue here is that baseball curremtly works like that.

Having control of a player for 6 years before he hits free agency means most star quality players will want the 10 year deal.

While I understand the Sox's decision to trade Betts I still do not like it. It's obviously not my money, but the return was not really worth it and you stick with him and negotiate a good deal (or let him go if another team beats you). As it happens, the pandemic might have helped the Sox out.

Betts in particular is the generational talent you do sign for 10 years and then see what happens when there are 3 years to go and he is worn down. Devers may be too. (Not sure they could have both). The Sox, of all teams, have the revenue to do this.

The fix could have happened in the last CBA but we know it would not.
 

Ganthem

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JBJ should be gone when Kike is ready, but Kike should be batting no high then 8th when he comes back. I think Whitlock's ultimate destination is the starting rotation, but due to need and innings limit I think he should be back in the pen. I would DFA Robles when Whitlock comes back. When Evoldi is ready I would send either Sawamura or Braiser down and when Sale is ready I would send the survivor down. Winchowski should be moved to the pen to see if he can be a decent bulk inning guy for the pen.
 

CR67dream

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JBJ should be gone when Kike is ready, but Kike should be batting no high then 8th when he comes back. I think Whitlock's ultimate destination is the starting rotation, but due to need and innings limit I think he should be back in the pen. I would DFA Robles when Whitlock comes back. When Evoldi is ready I would send either Sawamura or Braiser down and when Sale is ready I would send the survivor down. Winchowski should be moved to the pen to see if he can be a decent bulk inning guy for the pen.
JBJ should be gone how? I can see a trade, but a DFA, no way that’s going to or should happen. And you would cut bait with Robles before Sawamura? I wouldn’t, though I’d love to see both replaced by the deadline. Whitlock is going to be starting anyway.

Winchowski in the pen is a bit intriguing, I don’t think it will improve the overall product in a meaningful way, but it’s worth a shot I guess.
 

Ganthem

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JBJ should be gone how? I can see a trade, but a DFA, no way that’s going to or should happen. And you would cut bait with Robles before Sawamura? I wouldn’t, though I’d love to see both replaced by the deadline. Whitlock is going to be starting anyway.

Winchowski in the pen is a bit intriguing, I don’t think it will improve the overall product in a meaningful way, but it’s worth a shot I guess.
I think Cora said they are leaning towards having Whitlock in the pen. Sawamura by Fip, Xfip, Xera and War is more valuable then Robles. Maybe instead of DFA Robles, they send Danish down. That being said Robles is pretty useless and should be one of the last men out of the pen. As for JBJ who is going to trade for him? Refsnyder is not going to stay this hot, but he seems useful as a bench piece, Durran should be an everyday player, Verdugo's bat has woken up and Kike is going to be given another shot. The odd man out seems to be JBJ.
 

Jimbodandy

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JBJ should be gone how? I can see a trade, but a DFA, no way that’s going to or should happen. And you would cut bait with Robles before Sawamura? I wouldn’t, though I’d love to see both replaced by the deadline. Whitlock is going to be starting anyway.

Winchowski in the pen is a bit intriguing, I don’t think it will improve the overall product in a meaningful way, but it’s worth a shot I guess.
Robles stands out (also Brasier, though not as much) because of the size of the gaffes. His WPA is mind-bogglingly bad (-1.29 in 23IP takes some work). It's an emotional decision. Don't get me wrong--his FIP and other peripherals are no good either, but his bad play in key moments is driving some of the desire to cut bait. Sawamura's numbers and WPA aren't nearly as bad.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
17,768
I think they're going to have quite a roster crunch, both on the big league squad and on the 40-man roster. This is going to require some work. Let's say everyone is healthy (fat chance but....). Here's the list of guys who could potentially (and somewhat realistically) be on the MLB club:

C (3) - Vazquez, Plawecki, Wong
IF (8) - Dalbec, Cordero, Arroyo, Story, Bogaerts, Devers, Sanchez, Downs
OF (6) - JBJ, Kiké, JD, Verdugo, Refsnyder, Duran

SP (9) - Eovaldi, Paxton, Pivetta, Hill, Winckowski, Wacha, Sale, Crawford, Seabold
RP (15) - Brasier, Diekman, Barnes, Davis, Strahm, Sawamura, Schreiber, Danish, Taylor, Houck, Whitlock, Valdez, Robles, Bello, Walter

That's a total of 41 guys, for 16 spots. Obviously some of these guys are long shots or at the far end of the likelihood spectrum, like Downs, Wong, and Walter. I think Bello probably will wait til 2023 to come up, but the guy is *electric* and I could see him coming up to be a stud relief arm at the end of the year. But who knows. Anyway, this is a lot of guys for not that many spots. So I think a lot of it is going to come down to which players have options. They're not looking to just let decent MLB players go for nothing, so either option them or trade them. And I could see Boston trading both ways - trading some established vets for prospects, and then trading other prospects for MLB help.

Here's what I'd like to see for a roster, again, assuming these guys are healthy...

C (2) - Vazquez, Plawecki (man I want a better backup, but that's not a huge priority)
IF (5) - Story, Bogaerts, Devers, Arroyo, Cordero
OF (6)- Kiké, JD, Verdugo, Duran, JBJ, Refsnyder

This roster means that they've got several guys with lots of positional flexibility: Arroyo, Cordero, Kiké, and Refsnyder. They can put out there a terrific defensive team if they want with Kiké, JBJ, Refsnyder in the OF. They can go LHB heavy with Duran, Verdugo, JBJ, and Cordero, or they could go RHB heavy with Arroyo, Kiké, and Refsnyder.

SP (5) - Sale, Eovaldi, Pivetta, Paxton, Hill
RP (8) - Whitlock, Houck, Schreiber, Strahm, Diekman, Taylor, Davis, and another stud RHP, or, if they can't swing a good deal for that, bring up Bello to pitch out of the bullpen

Trades I'd like to see:
- Dalbec and a lesser prospect for CJ Cron. Dalbec could hit 35-40 homers for Colorado, and he's dirt cheap. Plus they get another prospect. For Boston, Cron isn't too expensive (just $7m a year) and is signed through 2023, so they have a little more time to ease Casas into the mix. Cron has proven he can hit outside Coors as well (30 hr for TB in 2018, 25 hr for Min in 2019). He'd be a nice short term trade pickup.

- Trade Wacha for a prospect. I still, even halfway through the season, think he's done it with smoke and mirrors, but his numbers are very very good and to another team in playoff contention, a guy like him - veteran, not making much, pitching very well this year - is probably worth something pretty good from their farm system.

- Trade prospects for Bard. Bard would be ideal for this team in the bullpen. Hard throwing, has been very good this year. Love his story. Wouldn't cost much either. Maybe a separate deal for Colorado, or you make it one big deal: Dalbec and a few prospects for Cron and Bard.

These deals would essentially reduce the 40-man crunch by a few spots, which is great. And it improves the team in two key areas: 1b and RP. And if you really wanted Bello still up here (like I might...we'll see) for the stretch run to pitch out of the bullpen, it's rather easy to just option Davis and go with a bullpen of Whitlock, Houck, Schreiber, Bard, Bello, Strahm, Diekman, and Taylor. That would be fine with me. And if Hill or Paxton falters, you can bring up Bello to the rotation or slide Houck or Whitlock back in there, or use Seabold or Kutter if necessary. Though the best option probably would just be to go with Winckowski.

I don't think any of the moves I suggest are really that challenging to pull off. We aren't talking about trading for Ohtani or anything like that obviously.
 

chawson

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Aug 1, 2006
2,998
JBJ should be gone how? I can see a trade, but a DFA, no way that’s going to or should happen. And you would cut bait with Robles before Sawamura? I wouldn’t, though I’d love to see both replaced by the deadline. Whitlock is going to be starting anyway.

Winchowski in the pen is a bit intriguing, I don’t think it will improve the overall product in a meaningful way, but it’s worth a shot I guess.
Sawamura’s one of the best options in the pen for getting a ground ball and has been terrific against RHB this year (.271/.323/.271). He’s basically been 2004 Mike Timlin. Robles has mostly been a nightmare.

As for JBJ, I’m less certain. He’s a solid defensive replacement but I’m afraid his bat is truly done. I don’t think Bloom wants to do him wrong and he deserves a proper farewell, but we need the roster spot when Kiké returns, and Duran/Refsnyder/Cordero can handle his spot.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Jan 13, 2021
5,250
Yeah, seems to me that JBJ is no longer needed when Kiki is back- he has a miserable track record as a part time player and a backup who is a LH doesn’t make sense, so I imagine they try to move him to a situation that works for him. His bat has not come back this year; it’s time to conclude that this just might be who he is now.

I think it’s also likely that Dalbec, Groome, Downs, and perhaps Seabold are the guys they look to move to open up spots on the 40-man.

Now, if every one of the pitchers is healthy when Sale returns, I’m not sure what you do with Rich Hill. Is he flipped to an NL team in need of a starter, perhaps?

Good problem to have, if it comes to that.
 

dynomite

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SoSH Member
I think Cora said they are leaning towards having Whitlock in the pen. Sawamura by Fip, Xfip, Xera and War is more valuable then Robles. Maybe instead of DFA Robles, they send Danish down. That being said Robles is pretty useless and should be one of the last men out of the pen. As for JBJ who is going to trade for him? Refsnyder is not going to stay this hot, but he seems useful as a bench piece, Durran should be an everyday player, Verdugo's bat has woken up and Kike is going to be given another shot. The odd man out seems to be JBJ.
Yeah, this makes me sad because in his prime, I have never loved watching a CF more than JBJ -- I used to be excited when balls would be hit to that part of the stadium.

But at this point JBJ has been a negative WAR player since 2020 -- sadly he's finally aged to the point that his defense (for the first time this year a net 0 according to Fangraphs) doesn't overcome his inability to hit. Once Kiké is healthy, the best OF is probably Verdugo, Kiké, a platoon of Duran and Ref, and Arroyo as our all purpose utility guy in the INF and OF and Franchy as yet another RF sub.

Once the team called up Duran and Ref and they started hitting, a JBJ DFA became a live possibility.
 

Ganthem

a ray of sunshine
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Apr 7, 2022
699
I am not sure why anyone thinks Dalbec has any trade value. He has been a below average hitter against both righties and lefties this year. The lesser prospect to obtain Cron is probably going to have to be somewhat decent since Dalbec brings nothing to the table.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
17,768
I am not sure why anyone thinks Dalbec has any trade value. He has been a below average hitter against both righties and lefties this year. The lesser prospect to obtain Cron is probably going to have to be somewhat decent since Dalbec brings nothing to the table.
Dalbec is cheap. And he can play 3b or 1b. And he has good power. And he has a career ops+ of 102, which isn't exactly Lou Gehrig at first, but it's about average.

Cron is a solid MLB first baseman on a relatively inexpensive contract (though much much higher than Dalbec's), which is why the Sox would have to add in something to make that work. And if it's a decent prospect, I'm fine with that too.
 

Ganthem

a ray of sunshine
SoSH Member
Apr 7, 2022
699
Dalbec is cheap. And he can play 3b or 1b. And he has good power. And he has a career ops+ of 102, which isn't exactly Lou Gehrig at first, but it's about average.

Cron is a solid MLB first baseman on a relatively inexpensive contract (though much much higher than Dalbec's), which is why the Sox would have to add in something to make that work. And if it's a decent prospect, I'm fine with that too.
That career ops+ was driven by a hot couple months last season. I also think that Franchy should keep the first base job. Given the renewed patience and how hard he has been hitting the ball I think by the end of the year the slash line will match up.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
17,768
That career ops+ was driven by a hot couple months last season. I also think that Franchy should keep the first base job. Given the renewed patience and how hard he has been hitting the ball I think by the end of the year the slash line will match up.
Driven by a great couple of months in 2021, plus his 2020 season, which was obviously short, but in which he had a 149 ops+. He's super duper streaky, we all get that. But he's capable of producing at a MLB level, and he costs virtually nothing, and he can play both corner positions fairly well at this point. That's not worth nothing. It's not worth a ton, which is why Boston would need to add something to him to get Cron, but it's not worth nothing.