Red Sox Offseason discussion

OCD SS

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Before 2021, this was also basically true of Correa (played in >110 games once), and I’d be pretty happy if we gave him $300 million. Paul Molitor’s another top 3 draft pick who had extremely bad injury luck through his age-27 season.

Buxton’s injuries seem flukey to me. A couple years-old concussions from a HBP and collision, a HBP fractured hand, a HBP wrist contusion, a fractured toe. The only one that seems worrisome is his 2019 left shoulder subluxation, which clearly hasn’t affected his hitting since (.288/.326/.622 for a 152 wRC+, the same wRC+ Shohei Ohtani posted last year).
Molitor is axiomatic to injury prone players coming into free agency the same way Joe Morgan is for short 2Bmen: if your argument requires that the compared player in question follow a HOF career path, the sheer unlikeliness of that outcome is an argument against it as an outcome, rather than for it IMO. Just because somebody wins the Powerball jackpot is no reason to argue that it's likely to be a specific person.

Are there any other players who had such a reputation for poor health and then corrected later in their careers? In this regard how close do you think Molitor is Buxton? I think it's probably worth pointing out that Molitor's reputation for health is set against standards for earlier eras; if you compare games played and PA (1st 7 seasons):
  • Molitor: 765 G/ 3479 PA
  • Correa: 752 G/ 3223 PA
  • Buxton: 493 G/ 1758 PA
Granted 2020 mucks this up a bit, depending on how you want to look at how you want to look at Correa playing in 58 out of 60 games and Buxton playing in only 39, and you have Buxton not getting a full season in 2015, but in the end given the comparison you've set up I don't think it's reasonable to expect that Buxton was going to get healthy and close that gap. (If you just chuck each players 2 worst years the games played is still 688/ 519/ 380).

The bottom line isn't that anyone is arguing that Buxton isn't as talented as anyone in the game when he's on the field, it's that he's just not on the field often enough. I'll leave aside being happy about the Sox giving Correa $300M; I suspect that is going to be subject to a wide variance across the board and I don't think you can use that as a crux for an argument in favor of Buxton. That Buxton's injuries may seem largely flukey also doesn't really matter IMO. These are the sorts of things that happen when one plays baseball, which is what he's going to be expected to do. These things happen to every player and it doesn't necessarily keep them off the field...

A team that is going to sign Buxton to a large contract is not only going to have to try to keep him healthy, they're also going to have to have a plan for what to do when he inevitably isn't. The opportunity cost with Buxton isn't just tying up the money, it's also the roster spot and machinations to get another player on the field in his place, and I'm not sure I can see how to do that.
 

chawson

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Aug 1, 2006
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Molitor is axiomatic to injury prone players coming into free agency the same way Joe Morgan is for short 2Bmen: if your argument requires that the compared player in question follow a HOF career path, the sheer unlikeliness of that outcome is an argument against it as an outcome, rather than for it IMO. Just because somebody wins the Powerball jackpot is no reason to argue that it's likely to be a specific person.

Are there any other players who had such a reputation for poor health and then corrected later in their careers? In this regard how close do you think Molitor is Buxton? I think it's probably worth pointing out that Molitor's reputation for health is set against standards for earlier eras; if you compare games played and PA (1st 7 seasons):
  • Molitor: 765 G/ 3479 PA
  • Correa: 752 G/ 3223 PA
  • Buxton: 493 G/ 1758 PA
Granted 2020 mucks this up a bit, depending on how you want to look at how you want to look at Correa playing in 58 out of 60 games and Buxton playing in only 39, and you have Buxton not getting a full season in 2015, but in the end given the comparison you've set up I don't think it's reasonable to expect that Buxton was going to get healthy and close that gap. (If you just chuck each players 2 worst years the games played is still 688/ 519/ 380).

The bottom line isn't that anyone is arguing that Buxton isn't as talented as anyone in the game when he's on the field, it's that he's just not on the field often enough. I'll leave aside being happy about the Sox giving Correa $300M; I suspect that is going to be subject to a wide variance across the board and I don't think you can use that as a crux for an argument in favor of Buxton. That Buxton's injuries may seem largely flukey also doesn't really matter IMO. These are the sorts of things that happen when one plays baseball, which is what he's going to be expected to do. These things happen to every player and it doesn't necessarily keep them off the field...

A team that is going to sign Buxton to a large contract is not only going to have to try to keep him healthy, they're also going to have to have a plan for what to do when he inevitably isn't. The opportunity cost with Buxton isn't just tying up the money, it's also the roster spot and machinations to get another player on the field in his place, and I'm not sure I can see how to do that.
These are good points. I don’t mean to say that Molitor rebounded from an early injury bug 35 years ago to have a long career, ergo Buxton will. I’m trying to say that all it takes is one healthy year for Buxton to change the narrative.

The question is whether he’s worth the risk. If he were Steven Souza or Devon Travis, to name two relatively promising young players who couldn’t stay healthy, it wouldn’t matter. But Buxton is a superstar. His 4.5 bWAR in 2021 was well worth the annual money he’d be getting in a rumored 7/$125m extension even despite missing 100 games. If he wanted $30 million a year, I’d also balk. But I don’t think an annual salary of $15-18 million is all that much of a gamble, or that crippling to us if it doesn’t work out.

Corey Seager’s another guy who has largely bucked his injury-prone reputation, and he’s gonna land a pretty impressive contract any day now. Buxton’s missed 252 days to injury since 2018, and Seager’s missed 259 days (per Spotrac). I don’t think we’re players for Seager, but I don’t see people looking at him with the same degree of caution.

To your last point, I agree: the team should have a capable back-up CF in place. Kiké is perfect for that in 2022 (and a good extension candidate) and can easily slot into 2B/RF otherwise, but I’m not sure who it’d be going forward.
 
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Minneapolis Millers

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Jul 15, 2005
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This discussion about Buxton is why I think the Twins are screwed, Buxton will get paid, and it won't be by Boston. Some other team willing and needing to take the high risk/reward gamble will expend the resources necessary to do it. (But as a hedge, I just bought a Buxton shirt at the Twins Target Field store on a Black Friday sale for $13!)
 

Twilight

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Nov 17, 2006
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That Buxton's injuries may seem largely flukey also doesn't really matter IMO.
Further, it's possible they're not. There are lots of HBPs in the injury list upthread. Is that flukey or does it have something to do with his stance or approach?
 

YTF

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If the Sox decide to pursue an outfielder there's a CF out there that I wouldn't mind seeing the Sox pick up. I'm wondering what it takes to sign Starling Marte. Four man rotation with Kike', Verdugo and Renfroe. Marte's a good on base guy, has some speed, 3x GG OF and has played nearly 600 games in LF. This also lengthens the bench with one of these guys or Arroyo available off the bench everyday.
Well, the Met's got Marte. Not sure if Chaim was interested or not, but I'm sure that 4 years at $78M wasn't doable here.