Red Sox sign James Paxton- 1/$10m+ 2yr club option

Mueller Lite

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This doesn't preclude another starting pitcher acquisition. I think it's obvious that this isn't the E-Rod replacement. This is Eovaldi/Sale insurance for 2023-2024 with a "mid season acquisition" boost to the staff that they don't need to worry about acquiring for 2022.

Best case scenario- The Sox get a very reasonably priced #3 starter for 2023-2024.

Worst case scenario- He never pitches and 10 mil is taken up on the payroll. 10 mil seems like a lot to people but this has become pretty much the minimum amount for a starter.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Yes, Sale can opt out after this year. He would have 2/$55 left. Seems quite likely that if he’s healthy, he would opt out given the direction the market is headed.

The only Red Sox players under contract for 2023 are Sale and Bogaerts (who can both opt out), Matt Barnes and Hirokazu Sawamura. (Obviously many others are controlled via arb, pre arb, etc).
 

chawson

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I mean, it seems like #1 and #2 are irrelevant if you think Houck's a multi-inning reliever. And #3, the idea that Whitlock may start, just undermines the argument. So I guess you're leaning on your #4, the idea that we have a surfeit of those multi-inning relief ace guys. And that's just not true. Seabold looks awful in his return from injury, Bello and Winckowski need time at AAA, Mata won't be available until late in the season and Ward is probably going to miss the entire season. I would bet against any of those guys pitching high-leverage innings in 2022.

And really, after what we saw from Whitlock last year, I don't understand how anyone could see Houck as expendable when he could be the best guy to play that exact role this year.
My mistake, that’s a typo on #4. I meant to say I see those multi-inning guys being ready to help in 2023, not this year (though it looks like Winckowski and Crawford could be up at some point).

2022: Sale, Eovaldi, (Stroman), Pivetta, Whitlock, Wacha, Paxton
2023: Sale (if he stays), Paxton, (Eovaldi/Stroman), Pivetta, Whitlock

My basic point is that I don’t see Houck as a starter, but recognize others do. I think he’s better used as a trade chip, where he’d be pretty valuable. I could totally be wrong, we can carry on.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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I always remember the late Duquette teams as having pretty good pitching and average hitting once park factors were considered. Obviously having Pedro was a huge part of the former, but the reclamation guys definitely held the back half of the rotation together. Where that approach failed was when you needed to rely on Bret Saberhagen to be healthy at the end of the season.
Yes, exactly. Saberhagen was pretty good when he was able to pitch but you never knew what you were going to get out of him. It's obviously true that lots of pitchers end up missing some time, but building a rotation around pitchers almost guaranteed to get hurt is not a way to succeed over the course of a six month season with another month at the end if you want to win a championship.

Paxton has a pretty high ceiling if it works out.
But Paxton is the definition of a player who has never reached his ceiling. He's never thrown more than 160 innings. He's had significant injuries that caused him to miss time in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. I see a pattern there. He's 33 years old and coming off a major injury. He's suddenly going to be able to make 30+ starts and then pitch effectively in October in 2023 and 2024?

It helps eats up the margin for this year. Seems like they overpay for spare parts every year then are somewhat hands-tied when it comes to picking up a mid-season guy with salary.
They apparently didn't want to pay Erod $77 million for 5 years. Would they have settled for $67 million over $5 years? Why not take that $10 million and use it to help sign a guy who's actually going to pitch in 2022 and is likely to still be effective in 2023 and 2024. I understand that $10 million isn't what it used to be in baseball, but, presuming that they have a budget, it seems like a waste to spend it on players who are not likely to perform at a championship level.

They will pay $17 million to Paxton and Wacha in 2022. Detroit will pay Rodriguez $14 million ($15.4 million for luxury tax purposes). It seems extremely likely that Detroit gets more quality innings out of Erod in 2022 than Boston does out of Paxton and Wacha, and I'd bets the odds are pretty good that Erod outperforms the combination thereafter.
 

Devizier

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Yes, exactly. Saberhagen was pretty good when he was able to pitch but you never knew what you were going to get out of him. It's obviously true that lots of pitchers end up missing some time, but building a rotation around pitchers almost guaranteed to get hurt is not a way to succeed over the course of a six month season with another month at the end if you want to win a championship.
Right. But the way pitching is handled these days is so different that I'm not sure the comparison applies (exactly). I have to admit that I've given up second guessing decisions that the Red Sox make, largely in recognition of their massive advantage in resources and willingness to use them. Obviously that doesn't mean that they won't eff up from time to time.
 

PedroKsBambino

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It's an interesting contract, and agree with those who see it as both a midseason acquisition this year and purchasing an option if he is healthy. A guy who throws fewer innings, but reliably good innings, is worth more in a Tampa-style pitching staff than a traditional one. Guessing that is the vision they have for Paxton

I personally would have preferred Alex Cobb on his deal to this, but just a question of different risks and assessments of quality...
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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PJF, I totally agree. The organization seems adamant about not signing a pitcher to a multiple year deal…but seems ok with singing a series of one year deals that are not likely to pay off. I guess this a temporary thing until the system is producing pitchers but it’s hard to hit on these deals esp. when you are trying to pull them off each and every year.
 

Trlicek's Whip

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I think the problem is is viewing $10M as a "huge investment". In baseball terms, $10M is not huge at all.
Exactly. Other "problems" include:
• Viewing this sign as purely 2022 value. They'll see how he's doing this year and decide on the option for 2023 when more MLB business (CBA, salary cap) is sorted.
• Viewing this as getting a 6+ IP starter in the majors. Pitching usage is still evolving and it's never coming back to when every SP could throw a default 6-7 innings on purpose. He may be just as valuable throwing less innings, which is where the market's correcting.
• Even viewing this as "Paxton starting in his 35+ years." He can become the next guy up after an opener, or a bridge guy to the bullpen. If he's got velocity and is back to pre-TJS form, he's valuable any way they can get innings out of him and it will depend on what the 2023-2024 rotation looks like, which we don't really know.

For $10 million 2022 pre-CBA and cap dollars that's not a terrible deal at all.
 

JM3

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The big difference between the Paxton deal & the ERod deal is the reverse optionality.

The Tigers get all the risk & none of the future reward whereas the Red Sox take on limited risk with all the potential future surplus value.

I think this is a foundational aspect of Bloom's roster management & a large reason we're "overpaying" for certain players but not paying others.

If you give a player an option, he'll only stick around if the option is at or above market value, whereas with a team option you only exercise it if it's at or below market value. I know it's a super simple concept to be harping on, but the more players on your roster who are performing at or above their salary level, the better your team will be.

Paying full retail price for established players is not a great way to get surplus value & that's why Bloom has been picking at the margins in order to get things long-term sustainable.

Regarding Paxton specifically, he has a career 3.59 ERA, 3.31 FIP, & hasn't had less than 10.3 k/9 since 2016. When healthy his fastball sits around 96 & during a 4 year stretch from 2016-2019 he was worth at least 3.5 WAR each year.

Overpaying in straight cash in year 1 for a player who is very capable of pitching high-leverage post season innings, & is very capable of providing large surplus value for '23 & '24 is great. & if he doesn't get back close to his pre-pandemic form? There is no long-term detriment.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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The problem here is that the pool of players who are willing to consider these short term deals is limited- you are choosing from the Wacha’s, Heaney’s, and Paxton’s of the world- and these guys all have serious flaws, either in terms is recent performance, age, health, or all of the above. Paxton was really good…in 2019, when he was 30 and before he had TJ.

There is no risk of being stuck with a bad contract for a long time- but there’s also no potential reward of having a guy over-perform his contract for an extended time.

Let’s say Wacha has a mediocre year, so you be cut bait and try again next year. If he’s great, what do you do? I’m assuming cut bait and try again as he will suddenly want a Gausman / E-Rod / Ray type deal. So you are in this constant cycle of trying to hit on these guys and in this pool of players, what is the success rate? So far it doesn’t seem great.

Granted the market seems crazy and a lot of these decisions are the result of decisions made long before Bloom arrived.
 
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PrometheusWakefield

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Yes, exactly. Saberhagen was pretty good when he was able to pitch but you never knew what you were going to get out of him. It's obviously true that lots of pitchers end up missing some time, but building a rotation around pitchers almost guaranteed to get hurt is not a way to succeed over the course of a six month season with another month at the end if you want to win a championship.


But Paxton is the definition of a player who has never reached his ceiling. He's never thrown more than 160 innings. He's had significant injuries that caused him to miss time in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. I see a pattern there. He's 33 years old and coming off a major injury. He's suddenly going to be able to make 30+ starts and then pitch effectively in October in 2023 and 2024?
3.5 WAR or above for four consecutive seasons before he went down for TJ. Consistent 10+ k/9 with command. If he can come close to that over the next three he's the biggest steal of the off-season We dont need him to go more than 160 innings or make 30+ starts.
 

DJnVa

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Just looking at his numbers---he LED THE LEAGUE with 2 CGs in 2018. 2.

Crazy.

I file this signing under "Not my money".
 

Minneapolis Millers

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The big difference between the Paxton deal & the ERod deal is the reverse optionality.

The Tigers get all the risk & none of the future reward whereas the Red Sox take on limited risk with all the potential future surplus value.

I think this is a foundational aspect of Bloom's roster management & a large reason we're "overpaying" for certain players but not paying others.

If you give a player an option, he'll only stick around if the option is at or above market value, whereas with a team option you only exercise it if it's at or below market value. I know it's a super simple concept to be harping on, but the more players on your roster who are performing at or above their salary level, the better your team will be.

Paying full retail price for established players is not a great way to get surplus value & that's why Bloom has been picking at the margins in order to get things long-term sustainable.

Regarding Paxton specifically, he has a career 3.59 ERA, 3.31 FIP, & hasn't had less than 10.3 k/9 since 2016. When healthy his fastball sits around 96 & during a 4 year stretch from 2016-2019 he was worth at least 3.5 WAR each year.

Overpaying in straight cash in year 1 for a player who is very capable of pitching high-leverage post season innings, & is very capable of providing large surplus value for '23 & '24 is great. & if he doesn't get back close to his pre-pandemic form? There is no long-term detriment.
I think this is exactly right, and it's how Tampa has been able to stay so competitive despite having no payroll flexibility. They've been consistently good swapping out present for future value and at knowing which dumpsters to dive into. Bloom doesn't seem to want to give out longer term deals to proven guys (like, say, a John Lackey) or hand over control to the player (through player options) if he can avoid it. He'd rather take fliers on guys with upside that maybe only insiders can see, and buy team options/control. As long as he also has foundational players upon which the team is built, then the approach can be really good, from both a performance and value perspective.

I think the Paxton deal is pretty creative and future looking. My main concern is Paxton's proven inability to stay healthy. He's good - when he pitches. Let's see how they use him. This year, maybe he's a multi-inning reliever who pitches on a fairly set schedule - Whitlock's kind of role. Maybe he ends up strictly a 4-5 inning guy who gets a break every month or so, with the overall plan to get, say, 125 high quality innings out of him in '23/'24.
 
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OCD SS

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There is no risk of being stuck with a bad contract for a long time- but there’s also no potential reward of having a guy over-perform his contract for an extended time.
...
Unfortunately the way the market is going no FA is signing a long term deal where they would over-preform for an extended period of time. Almost any such contract would have an opt out that the player can use to convert their surplus value into a new deal. The only ways I can see to lock in that surplus value is to either A) lock up your own pre-arb/ arb players to an extension, or B) play around at the margins and bounce from short term deal to short term deal...
 

JM3

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Compare Paxton to Matz for example.

Matz got 4/$44m, Paxton got either 1/$10, or 3/$35m.

Matz just had his career high in WAR at 2.8, & in the 4 years prior his combined WAR was 2.1. He has a career 4.24 ERA & 4.34 FIP. He fairly consistently averages around 8.6 K/9.

He is never going to be a + post-season pitcher even at his best, & you would be paying him based on hoping he would repeat his 1st decent season since 2016.

Obviously there's limited upside to a Wacha deal, but also no downside. Over his career he has been a very similar pitcher to Matz statistically & they are the same age & the change in pitch repertoire could be a real thing.

There are no perfect solutions, either in free agency or via trade, but I without a doubt trust Bloom to make the right types of moves to help the franchise, even if obviously they won't all work out.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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They will pay $17 million to Paxton and Wacha in 2022. Detroit will pay Rodriguez $14 million ($15.4 million for luxury tax purposes). It seems extremely likely that Detroit gets more quality innings out of Erod in 2022 than Boston does out of Paxton and Wacha, and I'd bets the odds are pretty good that Erod outperforms the combination thereafter.
Yes, it's pretty likely that DET will get more value out of ERod this year than Paxton/Wacha, but if Paxton is on the roster in 2023 and 2024, I bet BOS gets more excess value out of him alone than DET will get out of ERod during the same time period.

I mean the thought proces is this:

(1) Worse case scenario: Paxton shows enough promise later this year that BOS picks up the 2-year option but then flames out. That's a risk that can hopefully be mitigated to some degree.

(2) if Paxton flames out, it's only $10M in presumably pre-new CBA dollars and that's manageable.

(3) Paxton gets his option picked up and pitches like an average pitcher; contract has fair to both sides.

(4) Paxton gets his option picked up and pitches above-average or better. At that point, this is all the excess value goes to BOS.

I would think that someone has studied it but my impression is that long-term free agent contracts for pitchers rarely produce excess value. Typically, a club will be well-off if it is basically even. Bloom is trying to find excess value, which unless a team is burning through the luxury tax every year, is necessary to win.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I don't understand this one at all. Having wasted $10 million on Garrett Richards to pitch badly, we're now going to waste another $10 million on a guy who probably can't pitch at all? Seems like a huge investment to buy an option on "how does the post-surgery recovery go for a guy on the wrong side of 30 who has never been all that healthy in the first place?"

Somebody said a few days ago that it feels like we're back in the Duquette era of trying to find cheap reclamation projects. At least when we signed the Saberhagens and Averys of the world, it was with the expectation that they'd actually be able to play for us.
Where does the “probably not pitch at all” come from? Using Sale as a timeframe expectancy is flawed in that our financial investment in him along with our staff doing fine at the time had us handle him with kid gloves. Many TJ participants were back on the mound in a year…..Strasburg, Wainwright, Rich Hill, etc. Even if he doesn’t return in 12 month there isn’t much reason not to expect him back by June.
 

Mystic Merlin

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The problem here is that the pool of players who are willing to consider these short term deals is limited- you are choosing from the Wacha’s, Heaney’s, and Paxton’s of the world- and these guys all have serious flaws, either in terms is recent performance, age, health, or all of the above. Paxton was really good…in 2019, when he was 30 and before he had TJ.

There is no risk of being stuck with a bad contract for a long time- but there’s also no potential reward of having a guy over-perform his contract for an extended time.

Let’s say Wacha has a mediocre year, so you be cut bait and try again next year. If he’s great, what do you do? I’m assuming cut bait and try again as he will suddenly want a Gausman / E-Rod / Ray type deal. So you are in this constant cycle of trying to hit on these guys and in this pool of players, what is the success rate? So far it doesn’t seem great.

Granted the market seems crazy and a lot of these decisions are the result of decisions made long before Bloom arrived.
How many of these guys outperform their FA contracts? Like who thinks ERod will?
 

Average Reds

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The big difference between the Paxton deal & the ERod deal is the reverse optionality.
At the risk of reopening a discussion that I have grown tired of, this is precisely right.

Options are valuable only to those who hold the option. This is why players will accept less total $$$ in order to obtain player options within their contract and teams will overpay short money for the benefit of team options for future years.

The Paxton deal indicates that the Sox think he will be an effective pitcher for the second half of the season (which tells me they believe he's probably farther along in his recovery than Sale was at the equivalent time) and they are willing to pay a premium for that partial season in exchange for the right to have him under control for two additional years if he looks like a future ace.
 

lexrageorge

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Where does the “probably not pitch at all” come from? Using Sale as a timeframe expectancy is flawed in that our financial investment in him along with our staff doing fine at the time had us handle him with kid gloves. Many TJ participants were back on the mound in a year…..Strasburg, Wainwright, Rich Hill, etc. Even if he doesn’t return in 12 month there isn’t much reason not to expect him back by June.
Sale had a known setback in his rehab assignment, including a bout of CoVid, which delayed his return about 2 months IIRC.

Also, part of the consternation is that a number of pitchers that had TJ surgery around the same time as Sale also had delayed returns:

Andres Munoz: held out until final game of 2021 season.
Luis Severino: Pitched all of 6 innings in 2021, and has essentially missed 3 entire seasons.
Matt Festa: Spent the season in AAA
Tyler Beede: Pitched an inning for the Giants in July, and was horrible in AAA all season (but he's probably AAAA player anyway)
Noah Syndergaard: Made 2 single inning appearances as an opener for the Mets at the end of the season.

Sale by far had the best outcome of all in terms of returning from Tommy John among those that underwent the surgery in the spring of 2020. In one case (Munoz), the team may have been treating their young prospect with kid gloves. But still was a pretty dismal time to undergo TJ.

And, of course, former wonder prospect Anderson Espinoza has pitched in the minor leagues for the first time in 5 seasons in 2021.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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I like it, especially through the lens of Paxton as a Richards replacement.

a.) Paxton was a really good pitcher before the injury. Upside is way more than Garrett Richards or Martin Perez. #4 starter with #3 upside.
b.) There aren't a ton of options currently on the market that seem like a better way to spend $10M to improve the starting rotation. Stroman certainly is one, and if this impedes the opportunity to pursue him that'd be a shame... but after him a Bloom flotsam-and-jetsam strategy seems like it could be in the cards for 2022 anyway. Put another way, three months of a Bloom rando and three months of Paxton feels like an upgrade over six months of Richards/Perez.
c.) Seems to me entirely possible that the 2022 season could be curtailed, which would mitigate the "wasted" time waiting for Paxton to recover.
d.) The two-year option at reasonable cost is a boon.

That said, I wish the two year option had a buyout after the first year. Maybe it does.
 

Apisith

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The big difference between the Paxton deal & the ERod deal is the reverse optionality.

The Tigers get all the risk & none of the future reward whereas the Red Sox take on limited risk with all the potential future surplus value.

I think this is a foundational aspect of Bloom's roster management & a large reason we're "overpaying" for certain players but not paying others.

If you give a player an option, he'll only stick around if the option is at or above market value, whereas with a team option you only exercise it if it's at or below market value. I know it's a super simple concept to be harping on, but the more players on your roster who are performing at or above their salary level, the better your team will be.

Paying full retail price for established players is not a great way to get surplus value & that's why Bloom has been picking at the margins in order to get things long-term sustainable.

Regarding Paxton specifically, he has a career 3.59 ERA, 3.31 FIP, & hasn't had less than 10.3 k/9 since 2016. When healthy his fastball sits around 96 & during a 4 year stretch from 2016-2019 he was worth at least 3.5 WAR each year.

Overpaying in straight cash in year 1 for a player who is very capable of pitching high-leverage post season innings, & is very capable of providing large surplus value for '23 & '24 is great. & if he doesn't get back close to his pre-pandemic form? There is no long-term detriment.
This is a really good post. Like Bloom has said, it’s all about surplus value.

Resigning E-Rod would have also cost us a pick (~$5m). A second round pick is expected to produce ~3 WAR over their first 6 years.

It’s clear that Bloom is fine with spending money today, but not okay with giving up future value. I think all of these moves make sense given where we are in our contending window (1-2 years remaining, at best). If our window is closing and our farm system isn’t good enough to replenish the core, you can’t give up draft picks because when the window is shut, we’ll have to go through a long rebuild (which Bloom wouldn’t survive through). If we were at the beginning of our window, giving up a pick would be fine because there’d be time to replenish the farm. Being at the end of our window and the status of the farm (ranked 9th by fangraphs) dictates our strategy.
 

Rovin Romine

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They apparently didn't want to pay Erod $77 million for 5 years. Would they have settled for $67 million over $5 years? Why not take that $10 million and use it to help sign a guy who's actually going to pitch in 2022 and is likely to still be effective in 2023 and 2024. I understand that $10 million isn't what it used to be in baseball, but, presuming that they have a budget, it seems like a waste to spend it on players who are not likely to perform at a championship level.

They will pay $17 million to Paxton and Wacha in 2022. Detroit will pay Rodriguez $14 million ($15.4 million for luxury tax purposes). It seems extremely likely that Detroit gets more quality innings out of Erod in 2022 than Boston does out of Paxton and Wacha, and I'd bets the odds are pretty good that Erod outperforms the combination thereafter.
I meant to use Erod as an example, not as an either/or choice. Erod's recent track record is league average results with upside, and some minor health risk. I don't know that I commit to that sort of guy for 5 years at $15.4 per, or even at 13.4. They are, however, the age 29-34 seasons, and he had a year off on his arm due to 2020.

It's really the option years on Paxton we ought to be thinking about (as others have pointed out in thread). Paxton will eventually have to be put on the 40, then the 26, then rehab pitched until he was ready. It seems we have a reasonable post-surgery window to determine whether to exercise it, whether or not he contributes at the ML level this year. The worst case scenario is a bunch of setbacks during rehab so the Sox can't establish a basis for whether or not to pick up the option. But even in such a case, he'd likely be looking for a short "prove it" deal anyway. So maybe the Sox decline the option and make him a one-year deal offer for 2023?
 

BringBackMo

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PJF, I totally agree. The organization seems adamant about not signing a pitcher to a multiple year deal…but seems ok with singing a series of one year deals that are not likely to pay off. I guess this a temporary thing until the system is producing pitchers but it’s hard to hit on these deals esp. when you are trying to pull them off each and every year.
The problem here is that the pool of players who are willing to consider these short term deals is limited- you are choosing from the Wacha’s, Heaney’s, and Paxton’s of the world- and these guys all have serious flaws, either in terms is recent performance, age, health, or all of the above. Paxton was really good…in 2019, when he was 30 and before he had TJ.
I mean, you yourself point out that "this is a temporary thing." So if you accept that it's a temporary strategy, the next question is, why would the Sox be pursuing it right now? Short of publishing an ad in the Globe in which they announce that their short-term strategy is to compete for a playoff spot but not go all-in yet for a championship, the Sox could not be clearer about their current approach. They are quite clearly avoiding risky signings that have even the potential to eat up *future* salary cap space with bad contracts. All indications are that they want to begin going all-in for a championship in '23 at the earliest (I'd been assuming '22, but I was obviously wrong), so the strategy is quite obviously to keep contracts with even the potential to be bad off the cap during this planned-for championship window. So Bloom is paying a smallish premium for players who have the potential to be good AND who are on contracts that minimize longer-term risk. In other words, he's not *stuck* with players like Wacha, Heaney, and Paxton...he is seeking them out. You're right--these players also have the potential to be bad. And that's why my guess is that you are going to see additional rolls of the dice this off-season on low-floor, high-ceiling arms. It doesn't matter which of them hit and which of them miss, only that, collectively, they add positive value. Perhaps you'll be right and none of them will, but Bloom has so far demonstrated an ability to acquire players that, in the aggregate, provide surplus value.
 

YTF

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The problem here is that the pool of players who are willing to consider these short term deals is limited- you are choosing from the Wacha’s, Heaney’s, and Paxton’s of the world- and these guys all have serious flaws, either in terms is recent performance, age, health, or all of the above. Paxton was really good…in 2019, when he was 30 and before he had TJ.

There is no risk of being stuck with a bad contract for a long time- but there’s also no potential reward of having a guy over-perform his contract for an extended time.

Let’s say Wacha has a mediocre year, so you be cut bait and try again next year. If he’s great, what do you do? I’m assuming cut bait and try again as he will suddenly want a Gausman / E-Rod / Ray type deal. So you are in this constant cycle of trying to hit on these guys and in this pool of players, what is the success rate? So far it doesn’t seem great.

Granted the market seems crazy and a lot of these decisions are the result of decisions made long before Bloom arrived.
But doesn't every team do this to some extent? The question is are you packing your roster with these types or are you rounding out your roster? ATM I would say that in Boston's case it's the latter.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Yeah, that’s fair. I guess the question is how the approach evolves in the next year as the current core is eligible for free agency and needs to be extended, traded, or replaced. Eventually you have to sign some deals that probably entail a lot of risk to keep or acquire top shelf talent. Should be interesting, lot of different directions to go in.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Yeah, that’s fair. I guess the question is how the approach evolves in the next year as the current core is eligible for free agency and needs to be extended, traded, or replaced. Eventually you have to sign some deals that probably entail a lot of risk to keep or acquire top shelf talent. Should be interesting, lot of different directions to go in.
I think Bloom is going to keep going the "surplus value" route. I just saw this Athletic article (subscription required) from late October that details how Bloom (and TB) really looks for deals that have the potential to generate "surplus value": https://theathletic.com/2898387/2021/10/21/chaim-bloom-the-red-sox-return-to-contention-and-the-hunt-for-surplus-value/. Here's one small bit:

In the time since [Bloom was hired by the Sox], the Sox have been geared toward something Bloom’s old club, Tampa Bay, excelled at: casting a wide net to find value.
“Weighing all types of upgrades, whether it’s marginal upgrades, big upgrades, deepening the roster any way we can,” said O’Halloran, the Sox’ general manager, of the team’s strategy. “Whether that’s the Rule 5 draft, the minor-league free-agent market, major league free-agent market, trades, released players. In every market, we have to look.”
But the strategy isn’t built specifically around options, or versatility, not alone. All of those elements contribute to a bottom line. A former colleague of Bloom’s described the m.o. in more pragmatic, if not blunt terms.
“The reason the Rays had success is they’re primarily focused on future value, and if you’re focused on future value, you’ll usually, quote-unquote, win the deals,” the former colleague said. “So when you’re talking about a guy that has an extra year of control, or an extra option — or, if you’re doing trades, you’re trading (Andrew) Benintendi for four or five young players — you’re most likely going to win that deal long term in terms of surplus value. Everything’s done as a calculation of expected surplus value.”
Expected surplus value, the colleague said, could be defined as “almost purely a statistical comparison of all skills. Surplus value is when the expected player value over total control years is greater than their expected cost over that time.”
 

StuckOnYouk

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I love this kind of deal and the financial flexibility/payoff it provides over the next few years.
I wonder what Stroman asking price is right now. Even if you have to overpay, our payroll commitments in a couple years are pretty barren.
Eovaldi
Sale
Stroman
Pivetta
Houck/Whitlock
Paxton (Aug/Sept)
 

chawson

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I love this kind of deal and the financial flexibility/payoff it provides over the next few years.
I wonder what Stroman asking price is right now. Even if you have to overpay, our payroll commitments in a couple years are pretty barren.
Eovaldi
Sale
Stroman
Pivetta
Houck/Whitlock
Paxton (Aug/Sept)
Teams interested in Stroman 5-6 days ago were the Giants, Angels, Mets, Mariners, Cubs and us.

The Giants have since signed Cobb, Wood and DeSclafani. The Angels have signed Syndergaard, Lorenzen, Iglesias and Loup. The Mets signed Scherzer, the Mariners Ray. He seems to have ruled out signing with the Yankees and Astros, and the Jays have a full and expensive rotation (Berrios, Gausman, Ryu Manoah, Stripling/Pearson). Pundits have also floated that the Braves, Padres, White Sox and Cardinals might be interested, but they have full ones too.

There’s always the Dodgers and the Mets might not be done, but I’m having trouble seeing his market right now. Or at least, I’d think we have a good shot if we’re still in it.
 

cantor44

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I know it's a super simple concept to be harping on, but the more players on your roster who are performing at or above their salary level, the better your team will be.
Yes, but if too many of those players are merely solid and not great, you may be getting bang for your buck but not necessarily have a great team. The objective is win championships, not to be the smartest shopper. I'm not poopoo-ing Bloom's ability to find value, only saying the goal is not to be the cleverest team, but the best team. That sometimes means securing the unequivocally best players. Pedro and Manny cost a pretty penny, and they were worth it. I guess ... I trust Bloom's creativity, but don't want it to be fetishized. Finding good deals is not self-justifying. Great teams with great players are usually expensive.

Free agent orgy ain't necessary either, but here and there you gotta pony up for some top guys ....
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Yes, but if too many of those players are merely solid and not great, you may be getting bang for your buck but not necessarily have a great team. The objective is win championships, not to be the smartest shopper. I'm not poopoo-ing Bloom's ability to find value, only saying the goal is not to be the cleverest team, but the best team. That sometimes means securing the unequivocally best players. Pedro and Manny cost a pretty penny, and they were worth it. I guess ... I trust Bloom's creativity, but don't want it to be fetishized. Finding good deals is not self-justifying. Great teams with great players are usually expensive.

Free agent orgy ain't necessary either, but here and there you gotta pony up for some top guys ....
How did it work out last year? Let's use actual results and not opinions that we may hold.

Then, if we can, how did it work out for Bloom at his prior job with a different payroll structure?
 

RIrooter09

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Perhaps the Sox are betting on a significant work stoppage shortening the season. If that happens, Paxton will be getting a pro-rated $10M and we'll be paying him for less time when he's injured.
 

moretsyndrome

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Yes, but if too many of those players are merely solid and not great, you may be getting bang for your buck but not necessarily have a great team. The objective is win championships, not to be the smartest shopper. I'm not poopoo-ing Bloom's ability to find value, only saying the goal is not to be the cleverest team, but the best team. That sometimes means securing the unequivocally best players. Pedro and Manny cost a pretty penny, and they were worth it. I guess ... I trust Bloom's creativity, but don't want it to be fetishized. Finding good deals is not self-justifying. Great teams with great players are usually expensive.

Free agent orgy ain't necessary either, but here and there you gotta pony up for some top guys ....
First, I mean, Manny probably isn't out there right now and Pedro definitely isn't. Beyond that, I think it should start to be clear that Bloom is very carefully guarding whatever resources he can in order to be in a position of peak flexibility when it comes time to deal with Bogaerts and especially Devers, while at the same time trying to keep the roster fleshed out and competitive.

He has a very low internal cap on what he's willing to spend on good but not great players like E-Rod and Matz. It's the kind of grinding, quietly competent approach that won't garner many headlines, but is designed to increase the team's chances of overall success, which is all we should want right now.
 

Ale Xander

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How did it work out last year? Let's use actual results and not opinions that we may hold.

Then, if we can, how did it work out for Bloom at his prior job with a different payroll structure?
Cantor44 explicitly said the objective is to win championships. They didn't win one last year; in fact they haven't won one in three years. And Bloom never won one in TB.

/ducks
 

cantor44

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How did it work out last year? Let's use actual results and not opinions that we may hold
It worked out that they lost in the ALCS, and won the ALDS despite being clear underdogs. One more loss in the regular season and they would have been out of the playoffs. They were a very good team (and I thought so at the deadline), but they were not a great team, not as good as any of the Sox Henry-era 4 WS teams. They needed a bit more talent to be great. Being great (2021 LA, SF) doesn't guarantee winning it all of course, but, it increases the odds.

MEANWHILE - there WERE blue chip players on big contracts (all signed pre-Bloom) on the roster. So, the team was a balance of young players, value players, and all-stars being paid ...the question is, with turnover coming and contracts ending after this season, what will Bloom be willing to pay. The proof may or may not be in this year's off season, but it will certainly be in next year's ....

We know this much - so far Bloom has replaced ERod with Paxton/Wacha. If that's the paradigm for how core players will be replaced, it may leave us wanting. We may not be left wanting, I'm not saying I KNOW this or that ... just waiting to see.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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We know this much - so far Bloom has replaced ERod with Paxton/Wacha. If that's the paradigm for how core players will be replaced, it may leave us wanting. We may not be left wanting, I'm not saying I KNOW this or that ... just waiting to see.
It is December 1 in an offseason with a possible work stoppage tomorrow.

I think you should wait just a bit longer to street making proclamations about the makeup of the 2022 Boston Red Sox.
 

chawson

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We know this much - so far Bloom has replaced ERod with Paxton/Wacha. If that's the paradigm for how core players will be replaced, it may leave us wanting. We may not be left wanting, I'm not saying I KNOW this or that ... just waiting to see.
Why are we calling a referendum on the offseason on Dec. 1?

There are 600 innings to fill over last year. Paxton and Wacha have replaced Richards and Pérez, and we’re pretty fortunate to have grabbed them. There’s more to come.

I’m not sure it’s a paradigm shift or anything. If it is, the shift is moving away from trading for our rotation pieces, not signing them. The Giants did this well with Wood and DeSclafani last year. Bloom of course did it with McHugh, who pitched really well for us in the alternate reality timeline of 2020.

Edit: Lose Remerswaal beat me to it
 

joe dokes

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We know this much - so far Bloom has replaced ERod with Paxton/Wacha. If that's the paradigm for how core players will be replaced, it may leave us wanting. We may not be left wanting, I'm not saying I KNOW this or that ... just waiting to see.
He has not "replaced ERod with Paxton/Wacha." He let ERod go and he signed those other two. There's a difference. (At least I'm confident there is in Bloom's mind, since it's unlikely that he considers a guy who may not pitch in 2022 as a "replacement" for a guy who made more than 30 starts in 2021.)
As far as "if that's the paradigm," well, no shit. "If Bloom both sucks and is hamstrung by cheap ownership then the team might not be very good." Gotcha.

They were a very good team (and I thought so at the deadline), but they were not a great team, not as good as any of the Sox Henry-era 4 WS teams
Fortunately, MLB recently changed the rules so that teams are no longer required to face former versions of themselves. Otherwise, it would be cause for concern.
 

YTF

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Why are we calling a referendum on the offseason on Dec. 1?

There are 600 innings to fill over last year
. Paxton and Wacha have replaced Richards and Pérez, and we’re pretty fortunate to have grabbed them. There’s more to come.

I’m not sure it’s a paradigm shift or anything. If it is, the shift is moving away from trading for our rotation pieces, not signing them. The Giants did this well with Wood and DeSclafani last year. Bloom of course did it with McHugh, who pitched really well for us in the alternate reality timeline of 2020.

Edit: Lose Remerswaal beat me to it
If only someone had mentioned this before.