Red Sox Offseason News and Notes

Snodgrass'Muff

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If they are going to sign a QO free agent like Santana and punt on the draft and IFA period next year, might as well go all the way and make sure they land either Stanton or JD Martinez too.
 

MikeM

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If they are going to sign a QO free agent like Santana and punt on the draft and IFA period next year, might as well go all the way and make sure they land either Stanton or JD Martinez too.
Which would also require extending that all-in factor there to us spending a whole heck of a lot more total $$$ on payroll then we have in the past though. If anything these early target rumors seem to be offering a surface impression that a willingness to do that, at least on the grander scale, might not exist. More so (imo) then they are the possibility that's he's already viewing a Martinez/Stanton acquisition as some given and is simply shopping around for an accompanying move first.

At this point I really just hope this all means that he's focusing on the more conservative value path there, and that the one lineup addition he does make doesn't progress into being Hosmer on an overly risky deal. Based primary around the selling point that it still leaves us in a safer position under a second tier LT hit then signing Martinez would.
 
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jasvlm

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Is it possible that the Red Sox are planning on making a legitimate bid for Otani? If so, they may be factoring that into their initial offseason efforts, knowing that they want to at least leave a DH slot open to entice Otani to hit as a DH between starts. Their reported interest in both Morrision and Santana would seem to run counter to that position, but I just wanted to throw it out there for general consideration. Sorry if this has been speculated on elsewhere.
 

RedOctober3829

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Is it possible that the Red Sox are planning on making a legitimate bid for Otani? If so, they may be factoring that into their initial offseason efforts, knowing that they want to at least leave a DH slot open to entice Otani to hit as a DH between starts. Their reported interest in both Morrision and Santana would seem to run counter to that position, but I just wanted to throw it out there for general consideration. Sorry if this has been speculated on elsewhere.
They only have less than $500,000 to offer Otani in bonus money. Others can offer in the $3.5 million range. Unless he specifically wants to come here and will take less money, the odds of him coming here are extremely low.
 

jasvlm

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They only have less than $500,000 to offer Otani in bonus money. Others can offer in the $3.5 million range. Unless he specifically wants to come here and will take less money, the odds of him coming here are extremely low.

I don't know that the difference in the contract the Red Sox could offer (or any other team, for that matter) will be the driving force behind where Otani decides to play. I believe that 3-5 mil is the max ANY team could offer Otani, and that pales in comparison to what he's actually worth, and will eventually be able to demand when he's free of the international free agency fetters. Otani is going to go to a situation that fits him best, and the $ he's offered won't be the ONLY factor that drives his decision. Ostensibly he would want to go to a team that is going to be competitive, and has a real shot to make the playoffs every year. Having Japanese players on the current roster is probably a bit of a bonus, but a team with a history of being friendly to Japanese stars should help. I think he sees Darvish as a mentor/idol type, and where Darvish ultimately signs might influence his choice as much or more than any of these other factors. I doubt the Red Sox will chase Darvish, but I still think Otani is a reasonable guy to chase from the Sox perspective.
 

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Sources: Red Sox meeting Logan Morrison’s reps today in addition to Carlos Santana’s reps. Bat search off ground on Day 1 at GM meetings. Healthy Morrison hit career-high 38 home runs in ’17
I cannot get enthused about bringing another Rays player to Boston.
 

simplicio

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They only have less than $500,000 to offer Otani in bonus money. Others can offer in the $3.5 million range. Unless he specifically wants to come here and will take less money, the odds of him coming here are extremely low.
One wonders if having personal access to Papi, Pedro, Sale, Price and Porcello might help him specifically want to come here.
 

sean1562

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A lot of teams have great MLB players as well. I doubt that particularly collection of them would be exceptionally appealing to him. The Yankees have Tanaka, a plethora of Yankees greats, and probably CC Sabathia. Tanaka alone would probably be more influential than any of the guys the Sox have
 

StuckOnYouk

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I know the Sox were in on him super early but I just can’t imagine a scenario where he picks Boston over NY...unless he grew up a big Sox fan during Dice-K’s years as a kid and has an affinity for Fenway, Boston etc.
NY has more money and a Japanese starting pitcher already on the team. What advantage do the Sox provide?
 

Pedroia's Itchy Nose

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I think maybe we should avoid making assumptions about what motivates Otani. It's easy to assume that having other Japanese stars on the roster might be attractive to a prospective Japanese transfer to the MLB, but that might not be the case. It's perfectly possible that Otani would be more motivated to compete against Tanaka than to play with him. It's also possible that his impression and relationship with the coaching staff might be more important to him than teammates. Or the reverse might be true.
 
I think maybe we should avoid making assumptions about what motivates Otani. It's easy to assume that having other Japanese stars on the roster might be attractive to a prospective Japanese transfer to the MLB, but that might not be the case. It's perfectly possible that Otani would be more motivated to compete against Tanaka than to play with him. It's also possible that his impression and relationship with the coaching staff might be more important to him than teammates. Or the reverse might be true.
Nobody made any assumptions. Re-read the above. They use words like "might", "can't imagine" or "probably." Nobody said anything was definite.
 

Dewey'sCannon

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They only have less than $500,000 to offer Otani in bonus money. Others can offer in the $3.5 million range. Unless he specifically wants to come here and will take less money, the odds of him coming here are extremely low.
Isn't there at least a chance that, under the circumstances, MLB will re-credit the bonus money the Sox paid to Daniel Flores back to the bonus pool (for bonus pool calculation only - the family obviously gets to keep the money)? I've read some speculation to this effect.
 

MikeM

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Sources: Red Sox meeting Logan Morrison’s reps today in addition to Carlos Santana’s reps. Bat search off ground on Day 1 at GM meetings. Healthy Morrison hit career-high 38 home runs in ’17
I'm hating this possibility the more I think about it. Better case reality scenario Morrison picks back up hitting at his second half rate of .231/.333/.452, maybe gives us a couple more HR then we got out of Moreland, and we still basically end up right back where we started next winter. Just with some extra and likely to be untradeable salary baggage to go along with that Hanley option that this essentially helped push across.

I mean I get it's probably better then rolling the dice on a much more expensive Hosmer contract....but otherwise it's a big pass imo. DD should just sign Duda to DH for less if $$$ is tight and he wants to go the cheap/conservative route.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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So .. interesting scenario if they get Otani .. he's a DH on days he doesn't pitch. But what if he's a reliever? He starts the game as DH and goes in to pitch in , let's say the 7th. I assume this means the Sox forfeit the DH when , or if Otani leaves the game?

It could be a little messy getting him warmed up in time. Not saying they should use him that way .. just they could. This also opens an extra roster spot.
 

Rice4HOF

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So .. interesting scenario if they get Otani .. he's a DH on days he doesn't pitch. But what if he's a reliever? He starts the game as DH and goes in to pitch in , let's say the 7th. I assume this means the Sox forfeit the DH when , or if Otani leaves the game?

It could be a little messy getting him warmed up in time. Not saying they should use him that way .. just they could. This also opens an extra roster spot.
They'd actually lose the DH as soon as he came in to pitch. The pitcher (obviously himself while in the game) would need to bat in the lineup spot of the DH. If he pitches the 7th and then Carson Smith comes in the 8th, you're going to need to burn bench players every time the pitcher's spot is due up. (NL style baseball)
 

BigPapiMPD34

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Lots of interesting quotes from Dombrowski in these two articles. I like to collect quotes from GMs/Managers because when you gather them all as a whole, it becomes quite easy to envision their depth chart. Below are my bullets summarizing key points.

- Brian Johnson and Roenis Elias will start Spring Training out of the bullpen, but will still serve as part of the starting pitching depth. No requirement to add more SPs this offseason, but open-minded. Current depth (9): Sale, Price, Pomeranz, Porcello, Rodriguez, Wright, Johnson, Velazquez, Elias

- Steven Wright is expected to be ready for Spring Training, with Eduardo Rodriguez "not far behind." Wright/Johnson are out of options, so that could be your #5 SP and long-reliever to start the season.

- Tyler Thornburg is expected to be ready for Spring Training, assuming no setbacks from his "major" surgery (thoratic outlet syndrome).

- Dombrowski/Cora agree that Hanley Ramirez will be able to play 1B. However, if they acquire a DH-type (not a 1B) this offseason, they would want to protect themselves with insurance on the roster. Blake Swihart (Dominican League) and Michael Chavis (Arizona Fall League) have been playing 1B this offseason. Dombrowski doesn't think that Chavis is "quite ready," so Swihart seems to have a good chance to make the roster as he is out of options.

- Cora wants Sam Travis to get some work in with the new hitting coach, hoping it can add some power to his swing. Sam Travis has gotten some exposure to LF in winter ball, which suggests they could view him as competition for the RHH 4th OF spot in addition to backup 1B. Bryce Brentz was added to the 40-man roster, conveniently shortly after Cora was named manager. One of the beat writers claims Dombrowski attributed this transaction directly to the change from Farrell to Cora. Cora also mentioned Bradley and Bogaerts as players he wants to see hit for more power. (from various other articles)

http://www.weei.com/blogs/rob-bradford/can-hanley-ramirez-actually-return-first-base-dave-dombrowski-thinks-so
http://www.weei.com/blogs/rob-bradford/red-sox-notes-dombrowski-no-rush-deal-major-leaguers
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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Isn't there at least a chance that, under the circumstances, MLB will re-credit the bonus money the Sox paid to Daniel Flores back to the bonus pool (for bonus pool calculation only - the family obviously gets to keep the money)? I've read some speculation to this effect.
I don't think there's any chance. How can mlb set that precedent? Yes this situation is incredibly tragic and probably wasn't possible to foresee, but if I'm a team with a big chunk of my IFA pool left and the Red Sox are credited the $3.1M and then win the bidding on Otani with it, I'm going to lose my shit over it.
 

Sampo Gida

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I think people understate the Red Sox resources to go after Ohtani

International bonus money of course is not an important factor now as we are talking 1-2 million difference between teams.

Here is where the real money is coming from IMO at least before arbitration and/or FA

1. Endorsements. This requires a large market as well as a successful team. Dollars will flow for US and Japan companies. In Japan he will now be a national product instead of a local/regional product.
Boston is a large market, perhaps not on par with NY but I suspect the differences can be bridged.

2. He will likely want to discuss parameters for salary increases in his pre-arb years and possibly extension with numbers thrown around based on various performance scenarios. For example 7 years ago Harper got a MLB contract after only 39 AzFl PA for 5 yrs (2 minor and first 3 MLB seasons). Thats easily bumped to 15 million due to payroll inflation. Since Ohtani is expected to skip the minors I could see him getting a 3 yr 15 million deal around May next year (perhaps minimum for year 1 but a 5 million signing bonus). Then he heads to arbitration after that unless he commits to arb years in his deal

Remember, there is nothing in the CBA preventing a player making well above the minimum. Before FA star players would get raises that were multiples of the minimum after a great rookie or sophomore season.

One point in the Red Sox favor is their sizeable raise to Betts which was rejected but still paid out (unlike the Yankees who withdrew a much smaller raise to Betances upon rejection).

So basically the team will need to show Ohtani he will be rewarded for being good his first 3 years at least and also commit to getting him a certain number of PA offensively. The team will of course counter and discuss what it will take for Ohtani to do to have that commitment revoked (eg extended period of below replacement level offensive numbers). The Red Sox farm system offers less competition at DH going forward than the Yankees which could allow them to lower the bar at that spot to get him the PA he desires. No idea about his spray charts so dont know which parks helps him most.

I suppose they can also show how much they could offer as an extension based on various levels of performance in his first 2-3 years. While not binding contractually teams dont generally want the word getting out that they go back on their word.


Other factors will be at play of course, modern facilities, cosmopolitan population, direct flights to Japan, the teams following in Japan, previous Japanese player success with team, good team, Park factors, etc.

I'd have to say the Yankees are probably front runners but the Red Sox could surprise everyone
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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I think people understate the Red Sox resources to go after Ohtani

International bonus money of course is not an important factor now as we are talking 1-2 million difference between teams.
I don't think this is true. If I'm him, choosing to leave a ~200M contract on the table by coming over now instead of 2 years from now doesn't mean the bonus pool money isn't important at all. In fact, I'm probably ruling out anyone who can't offer at least two million. If he's made between 3 and 4 million in Japan, an additional 2-3 million in the signing bonus is about as good a hedge against flameout or injury getting in the way of a big contract as he's gonna get. You can live comfortably in a lot of places on $6M. Not quite as easy to do on 3.

I take the biggest bonus I can get now (or at least narrow it down to the three or four larges offers) and pick the best situation out of those teams.

I think the chances of the Red Sox landing him are effectively zero.
 

E5 Yaz

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(Sale's) work ethic was a model for other Red Sox pitchers, then after the playoffs he took his responsibility to another level. He called scouting director Mike Rikard and asked about Jason Groome, the 19-year old lefthanded pitcher who was Boston’s first pick in the 2016 draft, but went through an up-and-down season in 2017 because of injuries and a trial that sent his father to jail.

Sale was told Groome lives at a condo in Ft. Myers and works out at the Red Sox complex. Sale lives in the next town to Ft. Myers, got Groome’s number from Rikard and now is working out with the teenage pitcher, overseeing his offseason conditioning program.
http://www.gammonsdaily.com/peter-gammons-mvps-cys-otani-swihart-the-orioles-and-more-november-notes/
 

nighthob

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I don't think there's any chance. How can mlb set that precedent? Yes this situation is incredibly tragic and probably wasn't possible to foresee, but if I'm a team with a big chunk of my IFA pool left and the Red Sox are credited the $3.1M and then win the bidding on Otani with it, I'm going to lose my shit over it.
Maybe compromise and allow Boston to sell off prospects to get the money back?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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International players who already signed and those who WERE thinking of signing here would love this idea huh? Sox would never be able to sign anyone else. Why would you come here knowing it's only until someone the Sox want more is available then they sell you off?
Yeah, because the idea of selling and trading prospects is such an alien concept. Never happened before in the history of baseball.

I don't think nighthob was suggesting what amounts to reneging on other international signings so much as perhaps lifting or making an exception to the limitation on how much additional international bonus money a team can trade for. The Sox made two trades in July exclusively for more bonus money (Nick Longhi to the Reds, Imeldo Diaz and Stanley Espinal to the Cardinals) and pretty much maxed out how much they had to spend on international free agents.

I think nighthob is suggesting they be allowed to exceed the existing cap to acquire the equivalent of Flores's bonus from other teams (if there's enough out there to acquire). Wouldn't require trading any of their international signings necessarily. It could be other minor leaguers or even players off the 40-man roster if they saw fit. Doubt it will happen but it's not all that outlandish a proposal.
 
Yeah, because the idea of selling and trading prospects is such an alien concept. Never happened before in the history of baseball.

I don't think nighthob was suggesting what amounts to reneging on other international signings so much as perhaps lifting or making an exception to the limitation on how much additional international bonus money a team can trade for. The Sox made two trades in July exclusively for more bonus money (Nick Longhi to the Reds, Imeldo Diaz and Stanley Espinal to the Cardinals) and pretty much maxed out how much they had to spend on international free agents.

I think nighthob is suggesting they be allowed to exceed the existing cap to acquire the equivalent of Flores's bonus from other teams (if there's enough out there to acquire). Wouldn't require trading any of their international signings necessarily. It could be other minor leaguers or even players off the 40-man roster if they saw fit. Doubt it will happen but it's not all that outlandish a proposal.
I misunderstood what he meant. I thought he meant selling off the signings to recoup that money.

My bad. I apologize.
 

curly2

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I don't think there's any chance. How can mlb set that precedent? Yes this situation is incredibly tragic and probably wasn't possible to foresee, but if I'm a team with a big chunk of my IFA pool left and the Red Sox are credited the $3.1M and then win the bidding on Otani with it, I'm going to lose my shit over it.
I see your point, but the Sox should seek a remedy. Maybe you get SOMETHING from MLB, even if you get half of it back, and it's spread out over three years. It wouldn't make a difference with Otani, but adding an extra half-million to the pool for each of the next three years gets you a extra player or two or three.
 

nighthob

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International players who already signed and those who WERE thinking of signing here would love this idea huh? Sox would never be able to sign anyone else. Why would you come here knowing it's only until someone the Sox want more is available then they sell you off?
The current international signing rules allow teams to buy up to 75% of their total. Boston had previously done this selling off prospects to Cincinnati and St. Louis for extra money to devote to international signings. So I don’t really see why allowing Boston to trade for the cap space used to sign the player that died would prevent them from ever signing anyone again.

EDIT: What RedHawksFan said.
 
The current international signing rules allow teams to buy up to 75% of their total. Boston had previously done this selling off prospects to Cincinnati and St. Louis for extra money to devote to international signings. So I don’t really see why allowing Boston to trade for the cap space used to sign the player that died would prevent them from ever signing anyone again.

EDIT: What RedHawksFan said.
It wouldn't prevent them. I already said I was wrong, and misunderstood what you said. I thought when you said "to get back the money" you meant the money you paid to the International prospect who just signed here and you just sold off "to get back the money". You were talking about getting back the Flores money when you said that.
 

Dewey'sCannon

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FWIW, I was reading a Keith Law chat a couple of weeks ago, right after Flores passed, and someone asked about this - KLaw seemed to think it would be reasonable for MLB to grant the Sox a waiver and restore the cap money under these circumstances.
 

grimshaw

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Man - talk about serious dead time this time of year, though this is somewhat expected given the Boras factor, Jetes taking his time on Stanton and it being pre December meetings.

Interesting note from Gammons on Swihart potentially learning 2B. I'm reading that to mean that Nunez may be pricing himself out, since they have only mentioned internal Pedey replacement options so far.
http://www.rotoworld.com/player/mlb/6689/blake-swihart

I kind of want that to be an area they skimp on so they can use that money on offense and maybe the one bullpen piece.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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Man - talk about serious dead time this time of year, though this is somewhat expected given the Boras factor, Jetes taking his time on Stanton and it being pre December meetings.

Interesting note from Gammons on Swihart potentially learning 2B. I'm reading that to mean that Nunez may be pricing himself out, since they have only mentioned internal Pedey replacement options so far.
http://www.rotoworld.com/player/mlb/6689/blake-swihart

I kind of want that to be an area they skimp on so they can use that money on offense and maybe the one bullpen piece.
Swihart playing 2B may be for the same reason Chavis is apparently going to get some reps there. They want to try and find a way to utilize these players internally to feed some minimum contract production into an otherwise bloated (and about to require extensions) payroll. If they can find a second baseman to eventually replace Pedroia who can be that bounce around the field utility type who happens to have a decent bat internally, that would obviously be preferable to signing a free agent.

And I don't think this precludes a one year deal for a guy like Nunez (or someone else) as Chavis hasn't used any options yet and Swihart could exist in tandem with a Nunez type for a year if he can offer a passable glove at a few positions. Having a bench of something like Leon, Swihart (C, 1B, LF, 2B), Nunez (whole IF and LF) and either a base stealing weapon or a late inning defensive replacement with a light bat would be an interesting way to move into 2018. But only if they think Swihart can hit again.

They could also be planning to break camp with Swihart in a role like that with the intention being to cut him if he's lost at the plate after a month or two.
 

grimshaw

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Swihart playing 2B may be for the same reason Chavis is apparently going to get some reps there. They want to try and find a way to utilize these players internally to feed some minimum contract production into an otherwise bloated (and about to require extensions) payroll. If they can find a second baseman to eventually replace Pedroia who can be that bounce around the field utility type who happens to have a decent bat internally, that would obviously be preferable to signing a free agent.

And I don't think this precludes a one year deal for a guy like Nunez (or someone else) as Chavis hasn't used any options yet and Swihart could exist in tandem with a Nunez type for a year if he can offer a passable glove at a few positions. Having a bench of something like Leon, Swihart (C, 1B, LF, 2B), Nunez (whole IF and LF) and either a base stealing weapon or a late inning defensive replacement with a light bat would be an interesting way to move into 2018. But only if they think Swihart can hit again.

They could also be planning to break camp with Swihart in a role like that with the intention being to cut him if he's lost at the plate after a month or two.
I would think Kendrick would be a lot more likely to accept a part time role than Nunez accepting a one year deal but could be wrong. He would be fine and possibly cheaper.
 

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It's really desperation time for Swihart since he's out of options and they've got a catching tandem they like, so I expect he is going to be tried anywhere they think he can get innings. If they can turn him into a Brandon Inge type (utility guy who can catch), that could be valuable to a team with this kind of payroll. If they find him a position he can defend as well as Inge did at 3B, all the better.
 

nighthob

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Interesting note from Gammons on Swihart potentially learning 2B. I'm reading that to mean that Nunez may be pricing himself out, since they have only mentioned internal Pedey replacement options so far.
Swihart played SS and 3B in high school. If he can transform himself into a general backup IF/C/corner OF he's a really valuable player.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Swihart played SS and 3B in high school. If he can transform himself into a general backup IF/C/corner OF he's a really valuable player.
Maybe he's the next Ben Zobrist (a late-blooming switch hitter who still had just 318 PA and a career slash of .202/.237/.281 on his 27th birthday, which Swihart won't hit till a year from next April).

Hey, we can dream.
 

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Red Sox add LHP Jalen Beeks, RHP Chandler Shepherd, and RHP Ty Buttrey to the 40-man roster. All were eligible for the Rule 5 draft had they not been added. The 40-man roster now stands at a full 40. Trades or DFAs will be necessary to add any acquisitions going forward.

 

chrisfont9

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It's really desperation time for Swihart since he's out of options and they've got a catching tandem they like, so I expect he is going to be tried anywhere they think he can get innings. If they can turn him into a Brandon Inge type (utility guy who can catch), that could be valuable to a team with this kind of payroll. If they find him a position he can defend as well as Inge did at 3B, all the better.
Are we sure they still like Leon? I suppose he qualifies as a good backup, seems well-liked and good defensively, but his offense fell (back) off the cliff. I'm sure they will keep him around and see what happens but Swihart has to be a hedge against Sandy's bat being toast.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Swihart played SS and 3B in high school. If he can transform himself into a general backup IF/C/corner OF he's a really valuable player.
Don't some vastly disproportionate number of players who make it to the majors play shortstop in high school? That wouldn't seem to signal very much in and of itself in Swihart's case.