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

YTF

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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.
This type of post is why you get a fair amount of blow back here.

46913
 
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Like.......

Bring something to the table, dude.
Unless they’re aren’t done, Stroman? The Paxton deal could turn out to be a bargain if he returns to form late in the season and we get him for the option years. We need a qood, quality starter to start the season. Unless Bloom is content with reclamation projects to fill innings.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Unless they’re aren’t done, Stroman? The Paxton deal could turn out to be a bargain if he returns to form late in the season and we get him for the option years. We need a qood, quality starter to start the season.
Why do you think they are done? Many posts in this and other threads say he is in the discussion.

You can't just drop replies like this in the thread without reading the thread.
 

nvalvo

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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.
The most puzzling thing about your position in this thread is the month in which it is happening. Others have mentioned this.

But the next most puzzling thing: Isn't the example of the 2021 San Francisco Giants a pretty vivid datapoint against the kinds of signings you're proposing? Go take a spin through that roster and what moves they made during the previous off-season. Where were the recent bluechip signings on that roster? The biggest deals they gave out in the 20-21 offseason were a 3/$19m deal to superutilityman Tommy La Stella and Kevin Gausman's acceptance of a one-year QO. Two of their starting pitchers were signed as FA with guarantees below $6m.

They hit on those signings, clearly. But the reason that team was great was that three of their declining veterans, extended long ago by a prior regime, turned into All Star-type players all at once. Getting OPS+es of 160 from Belt, 141 from Crawford, 140 from Posey, and 124 from Longoria were why that team had the best record in baseball. That was a group that you would have forecasted preseason to be worth, what, 6 or 7 WAR all together? Brandon Crawford alone posted 6 WAR, picking up a meaningful MVP votes, finishing 4th.

It's hard to translate this outcome for the 2022 Red Sox, because we have very few remaining old guys languishing on the roster, but I guess it would be like if we won the pennant because Chris Sale finished near the top of the Cy Young voting, JD Martínez had a 180 OPS+, and Dustin Pedroia came out of retirement to have a good season at 2B. But the point is that Farhan Zaidi didn't build that team by splashing out for big FA targets.
 

joe dokes

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Why don’t we use the money on Paxton and Wacha to get a legit, healthy starter?
Because buying food at the supermarket doesn't preclude me from buying gas for my car to get there.

If people want to argue that Wacha sucks or that Paxton is done, go for it. Those are debateable points. But the underlying assumption of questions like the one above and similar observations has to be: "well, I guess they're done trying to make the team better;" or an assessment of Bloom's MO that suggests he still thinks he's with TB. Those are both baseless . Is there some other premise underlying the sentiment that I'm missing?
 

scottyno

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Why don’t we use the money on Paxton and Wacha to get a legit, healthy starter?
Have you seen what those guys are signing for? Guys with slightly above average era+s are signing 100m+ contracts

Pretty sure if Bloom could have signed one of them for the combined money that Paxton and Wacha got he would have
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Really silly to see some of the "we are the Rays" comments around the Twitterverse and such. Andrew Friedman was the Rays too. Dodgers Friedman is clearly the model, but it takes time to build the kind of farm system with elite, affordable talent that lets you empty the coffers on 2nd/3rd contract guys. You have to do some Rays Friedman moves before it makes sense to do Dodgers Friedman stuff.
 

chrisfont9

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Unless they’re aren’t done, Stroman? The Paxton deal could turn out to be a bargain if he returns to form late in the season and we get him for the option years. We need a qood, quality starter to start the season. Unless Bloom is content with reclamation projects to fill innings.
Is Stroman open to a one or two year deal? Because if not, then no, they have not used Stroman's money to sign Wacha and Paxton.
 

YTF

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Is Stroman open to a one or two year deal? Because if not, then no, they have not used Stroman's money to sign Wacha and Paxton.
It's mind boggling that people can't wrap their heads around the fact that Boston used Richard's and Perez's money to sign Wacha and Paxton. They spent 17M to replace roughly 14-15M. Those signings should have zero affect on whether or not the sign Stroman or any other starter.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Well if the assumption is that they don’t want to go over the tax threshold… which is still debatable- we haven’t heard they WILL and their recent season suggests they want to stay under….then it’s a fine critique. They don’t have the remaining money to sign Stroman….or anyone other than maybe another Paxton or Wacha. That seems fair, no?
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Well if the assumption is that they don’t want to go over the tax threshold… which is still debatable- we haven’t heard they WILL and their recent season suggests they want to stay under….then it’s a fine critique. They don’t have the remaining money to sign Stroman….or anyone other than maybe another Paxton or Wacha. That seems fair, no?
No. It’s a baseless assumption at this point. And it is December first. With a lockout likely tomorrow.

You do know about the whole “resetting the tax” thing that has been discussed here to death, right? And why that means one year under means the next year is a whole ‘neither ballgame?
 

YTF

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Well if the assumption is that they don’t want to go over the tax threshold… which is still debatable- we haven’t heard they WILL and their recent season suggests they want to stay under….then it’s a fine critique. They don’t have the remaining money to sign Stroman….or anyone other than maybe another Paxton or Wacha. That seems fair, no?
Let me offer this. Much in the way that I see Wacha and Paxton's contracts mostly covered by the departure of Richards and Perez I see roughly 16M made available by the departures of Rodriguez and Ottavino. With no other moves considered that puts the Sox in the ball park of last year's payroll. How much more than that 16M will it take to sign Stroman or if the Sox are willing to meet his demands remain to be seen, but I refuse to accept that Paxton and Wacha prevent the signing of Stroman or anyone else.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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It doesn’t really work that way though. While some money is freed up with the loss of players, there are also some increases due to arbitration awards and new contracts (like Barnes). As of now, the team is about $15M under last years CBT threshold when factoring in expected arb awards. But that’s not relevant this year, since the CBA has expired. Presumably the team has a budget, but who knows what it is.

But no one can say whether they are likely to go above or below the threshold, we have no idea what the # is!
 
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Sandy Leon Trotsky

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No. It’s a baseless assumption at this point. And it is December first. With a lockout likely tomorrow.

You do know about the whole “resetting the tax” thing that has been discussed here to death, right? And why that means one year under means the next year is a whole ‘neither ballgame?
I tentatively agree that they are likely going over for these reasons. I just don’t think it’s a baseless assumption. Enough base to put them possibly on with a tough sliding double even, to me.
At this point I don’t see any outright explicit suggestion either way- we’re all making assumptions until we either hear or see otherwise.
The Paxton-Wacha = Perez-Richards is fine.
As is the ERod- Ottavino= $17m still available parallel.
But that assumes that IF that’s it for spending, then that might be only room for a Devers extension. A Boegarts extension? Others here want Eovaldi extended.
Maybe they can do all that…. Maybe not. But they still have some ceiling even if they are blowing past the luxury tax, no?
 

joe dokes

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I tentatively agree that they are likely going over for these reasons. I just don’t think it’s a baseless assumption. Enough base to put them possibly on with a tough sliding double even, to me.
At this point I don’t see any outright explicit suggestion either way- we’re all making assumptions until we either hear or see otherwise.
Maybe it's nit-picking, but some are making assumptions, others are making no assumptions other than some baseline level of confidence in Bloom's competence..
 
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Petagine in a Bottle

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Think we can put a pin in the idea that the Sox are going to sign a high profile starting pitcher. Granted, there won’t be any signings for awhile, but it’s basically down to Rodon, Kershaw and Greinke; and then dregs like Smyly, Hill, Pineda, Richards, Perez, Bundy, Kikuchi, etc. Kenley Jansen also out there but haven’t heard any rumors linking the Sox to relievers.
 

chawson

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Think we can put a pin in the idea that the Sox are going to sign a high profile starting pitcher. Granted, there won’t be any signings for awhile, but it’s basically down to Rodon, Kershaw and Greinke; and then dregs like Smyly, Hill, Pineda, Richards, Perez, Bundy, Kikuchi, etc. Kenley Jansen also out there but haven’t heard any rumors linking the Sox to relievers.
They were, and are, never likely to, for reasons I offered here. Stroman seemed like a better shot than most and definitely would have helped, but the Sox acquire starters through trade and I expect they’ll go that route again.
 

mauf

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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.
The Tigers got the better player because they took a much bigger risk. Of course “the odds are pretty good that E-Rod outperforms [Paxton and Wacha]” (if anything, this is understated), but the Tigers will be holding the bag to the tune of $45m if that doesn’t work out. If Paxton busts, the Sox move on. And Wacha is just a flier — limited upside if it works out, limited downside if it doesn’t.

It’s fine to like E-Rod and not Paxton/Wacha, but aside from 2022 CBT impact, they couldn’t be more different.
 

scottyno

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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?
Paxton was worth between 27 and 36m a year in value per fangraphs war each year between 2016 and 2019. Pretty sure the Sox would be perfectly happy with him being the guy who makes 20-30 starts with a good to very good era and fip for 2023 and 2024.
 

mauf

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The left side of my brain loves the Paxton deal because the 2023-24 club option is a steal if he’s healthy and pitches anything like his pre-2020 self. The right side of my brain hates it, because it feels like Paxton is betting against himself. I guess I like it on balance, because it’s only Garrett Richards money if he sucks.
 

JM3

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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 ....
That depends, right? The Rays don't win many titles because their surplus value is on top of a small payroll.

If you have the same amount of surplus value over a payroll 2x the size, you should be pretty hard to beat, right? No matter how you got to that payroll level.
 

Niastri

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The left side of my brain loves the Paxton deal because the 2023-24 club option is a steal if he’s healthy and pitches anything like his pre-2020 self. The right side of my brain hates it, because it feels like Paxton is betting against himself. I guess I like it on balance, because it’s only Garrett Richards money if he sucks.
Paxton is being that it's better to make $10 million rehabbing than none.

Some guess don't like uncertainty and Tommy John recovery and a lockout might have been tough to take.

Now he knows exactly what to expect for the next year. And his one year take-home pay is more than most people hope to accumulate their entire lives.

The price he had to pay for this security was slightly under market pay if he recovers.

When I was 24 I took a job largely because I could play video games on the clock for roughly half my time at work... I definitely could have found better paying employment, but that wasn't my highest priority. Paxton is already rich, of course, unlike the dumbass 24 year old me.
 

scottyno

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So basically unless Paxton really really sucks or gets reinjured then the Sox are only on the hook for 6m if they want to be, that's even better.
 

DeadlySplitter

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According to Speier the AAV for this year is 5.8 million, so that's the amount against the CBT? That's some wizardry right there.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/12/01/sports/red-sox-reacquire-jackie-bradley-jr-two-prospects-exchange-hunter-renfroe/

Paxton joins the Sox on a complicated one-year, $6 million deal that includes a two-year, $26 million team option with performance bonuses and escalators that could increase the total value of the deal to $35 million over three years. If the Sox decline the option, Paxton will have a $4 million player option for the 2023 season. The deal is calculated as having an average annual value of $5.8 million for 2022.
 

scottyno

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According to Speier the AAV for this year is 5.8 million, so that's the amount against the CBT? That's some wizardry right there.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/12/01/sports/red-sox-reacquire-jackie-bradley-jr-two-prospects-exchange-hunter-renfroe/
For this year yes, a team option is treated as 2 separate deals. So it would count as 5.8 this year, or maybe even 5 since he has the player option, not sure how it works with having 2 different options.

Then if they pick up the team option it would be like he just signed a new contract with a CBT of between 13 and 14.5 depending on the incentives.

edit: I suppose all of this is pending the new CBA and if anything changes in how they calculate options
 
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mauf

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Paxton is being that it's better to make $10 million rehabbing than none.

Some guess don't like uncertainty and Tommy John recovery and a lockout might have been tough to take.

Now he knows exactly what to expect for the next year. And his one year take-home pay is more than most people hope to accumulate their entire lives.

The price he had to pay for this security was slightly under market pay if he recovers.

When I was 24 I took a job largely because I could play video games on the clock for roughly half my time at work... I definitely could have found better paying employment, but that wasn't my highest priority. Paxton is already rich, of course, unlike the dumbass 24 year old me.
There was no scenario where Paxton was getting $0 to rehab. He could’ve signed a 1-year deal that made him a free agent again next year. If the uncertainty bothered him, I’m sure he could’ve signed that deal before the lockout. Of course, he presumably would’ve earned less than $10m — maybe a lot less.

If he’s healthy and pitches anything like his 2017-19 self, 2/25 for 2023-24 won’t be “slightly under market pay”; it will be dramatically under market.

I don’t judge Paxton for taking more near-term money. But his willingness to take it suggests that he isn’t supremely confident about returning to form. That’s my reservation about the deal as a Sox fan. Pro athletes, and pitchers in particular, generally have preternatural confidence. It’s a big part of why they are doing what they do, and why people like you and me are not.

Again, I’m still good with the deal on balance, because the downside if he busts is low.

Edit: I suppose it’s possible that Paxton completely defers to his agent on these matters, in which case the lack of confidence would be on the agent’s part — which is not nothing, but matters a whole lot less.
 
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Have you seen what those guys are signing for? Guys with slightly above average era+s are signing 100m+ contracts

Pretty sure if Bloom could have signed one of them for the combined money that Paxton and Wacha got he would have
Yes, but I don’t see a future ace in the farm system, do you? If he’s content with Sale and Nate being the top two starters then we really need an excellent bullpen again. Perhaps Bloom sees more risk in signing a starter to a $100 million contract than mixing and matching guys. It will be interesting to see what Bloom does after the lockout for sure. Maybe the market will correct a little.
 

Rovin Romine

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Would I get the same blow back if I could do that with my legs? (cuz I can ...) ...(in my dreams) ...(once)
As a Red Sox fan it all begins with learning to cross your fingers.


1 year $6M with a 2year $26M team option which if declined gives Paxton a 1 year $4M option. Escalators and bonuses could take it to 3/35M total
OK - I was warming up to it before, but the above means I'm now 100% onboard with this. This is clever.

Paxton gets a two year rehab window with a $10M paycheck in his personal worst case scenario. If he preforms brilliantly he'll be underpaid for 2.X years of work, but on a competitive club. Then he's a FA at age 36.

The Sox worst case is they pay $6M/$4M over two years for a guy who won't contribute at the ML level. (But they can always DFA him if there's a 40 man problem.) Best case is they get an above average starter at a Radon price for 2.X years.

There are some possible paths where the Sox lose value (e.g., cutting him early to have him roar back for another team.) But that's not really an inherent flaw of the deal itself - and of course, no deal is risk free. But this is nicely balanced.

It's interesting to speculate: the deal may indicate Paxton's prognosis might be less than sterling, or maybe he's sold on the Sox Org. as a place to rehab and he's aware you can never know what might happen to an elbow like his. I say that because his career earnings are $37M. He's going to take $10M to rehab, with his best outcome 3/35, FA at age 36. If he 100% thought he'd be in peak form by this season's end, he might have held out for a 1 year crazy-low money "show me" contract from any club (as he somewhat did last year with SEA.) He could then hit the FA market in 2023, at age 34.
 

Jack Rabbit Slim

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For this year yes, a team option is treated as 2 separate deals. So it would count as 5.8 this year, or maybe even 5 since he has the player option, not sure how it works with having 2 different options.

Then if they pick up the team option it would be like he just signed a new contract with a CBT of between 13 and 14.5 depending on the incentives.

edit: I suppose all of this is pending the new CBA and if anything changes in how they calculate options
I am confused as to how this ends up as less than $6M aav. The options, both player and team, are treated as completely separate deals from this years correct? And there hasn't been any mention of bonuses or buyouts for the first year, so then wouldn't this year be a straight 1/$6? How do you get 5.8?
 

scottyno

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I am confused as to how this ends up as less than $6M aav. The options, both player and team, are treated as completely separate deals from this years correct? And there hasn't been any mention of bonuses or buyouts for the first year, so then wouldn't this year be a straight 1/$6? How do you get 5.8?
The 5.8 is just going by what Speier wrote, who presumably knows all the contract details, maybe it has something to do with the option or maybe there's some sort of incentive and it's not actually 6 gtd.

A team option is treated as seperate contracts, a player option is treated as a single contract. So if he had signed a normal deal for 6m with a 4m player option then it would be treated as 2-10 for 5 a year towards the CBT. Since this deal has both a team option and then, if declined, a player option, I'm not sure if the player option does something weird to the CBT or if it's just ignored since it doesn't even come into play unless the team option is declined first.
 

dynomite

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"Sox are enthused about the progress James Paxton is making with his TJ rehab. He’s ahead of schedule. Throwing short bullpens already. "
Hmm, short bullpens now, 11.5 months from TJS is good! Any suggested timetables?

If all goes well and no setbacks, the progression goes long bullpen -> sim games -> 3-5 minor league rehab starts? Is that right? So best case that's what, Memorial Day? And more realistically some time in June?
 

streeter88

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It’s the 3rd of April, there’s no baseball yet, and we are already reduced to wondering which of two long term injured starters (who really weren't that good recently when healthy) is going to return before Memorial Day.

Wow. Hard to remember a recent season that started as bleakly as this.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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It’s the 3rd of April, there’s no baseball yet, and we are already reduced to wondering which of two long term injured starters (who really weren't that good recently when healthy) is going to return before Memorial Day.

Wow. Hard to remember a recent season that started as bleakly as this.
Uh, two years ago?
 

jmcc5400

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It’s the 3rd of April, there’s no baseball yet, and we are already reduced to wondering which of two long term injured starters (who really weren't that good recently when healthy) is going to return before Memorial Day.

Wow. Hard to remember a recent season that started as bleakly as this.
Hindsight is 2020.
 

bluefenderstrat

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Fair. The pandemic was awful, all the way around - and not over yet by far.

But I think the basic point still stands. The 2022 edition of the Res Sox starting pitching staff is an impending tire fire.

(Edited)
I don’t think the point stands in an era where a “#1 starter” might pitch 180 innings.