Red Sox Trade Deadline 2022

bosockboy

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Figured it was time to get a thread going.

Pitching wise, it’s hard to gauge needs until we see what we have in Sale and Paxton but it seems obvious at least one late inning reliever is needed. If Whitlock slides back to closing, a setup trio of Houck/Schreiber/acquisition shores things up pretty well.

Offensively, would really love to get Mancini. Casas doesn’t seem likely to contribute this year and he’d be a solid upgrade at 1B and can be a RHH corner outfield bat as well. Steve Pearce redux.
 

Beale13

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Figured it was time to get a thread going.

Pitching wise, it’s hard to gauge needs until we see what we have in Sale and Paxton but it seems obvious at least one late inning reliever is needed. If Whitlock slides back to closing, a setup trio of Houck/Schreiber/acquisition shores things up pretty well.

Offensively, would really love to get Mancini. Casas doesn’t seem likely to contribute this year and he’d be a solid upgrade at 1B and can be a RHH corner outfield bat as well. Steve Pearce redux.
Could a foundation of Schreiber/Strahm/Whitlock/Houck/Taylor/Davis, with slightly less consistently effective Diekman and Robles filling it out, be good enough? I feel like it could be, but so much depends on Sale turning into a reliable rotation foundation, which is a huge ask.
 

Coachster

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Figured it was time to get a thread going.

Pitching wise, it’s hard to gauge needs until we see what we have in Sale and Paxton but it seems obvious at least one late inning reliever is needed. If Whitlock slides back to closing, a setup trio of Houck/Schreiber/acquisition shores things up pretty well.

Offensively, would really love to get Mancini. Casas doesn’t seem likely to contribute this year and he’d be a solid upgrade at 1B and can be a RHH corner outfield bat as well. Steve Pearce redux.
I had no idea how cheap Mancini was ($7.5 mil). He's a free agent in '23, and would probably cost us a fortune, but would be a really nice addition.
 

Ganthem

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Austin Davis has an XERA of 4.56 a FIP of 3.66 and an XFIP of 4.44
He also has an insanely low hr rate which he won't be able to keep forever. Davis is not one of the reliable bullpen arms. Cora has to cross his fingers and go with the hot hand in order to not burn out Schrieber, Strahm and Houck. When Sale and Whitlock come off the DL we will see what Cora has in mind. Either Hill or Whitlock is going to the pen and hopefully they can be that reliable arm. This means the Sox need one more reliable arm in the bullpen.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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RH relief has to be the priority, although it’s less of one of Whitlock goes back to the pen.

As far as targets…Dillon Tate, Alex Lange, Will Vest, Michael Fullmer, Scott Barlow, Paul Sewald, Penn Murfee, Diego Castillo, Anthony Bass, Wil Crowe, Dave Robertson, Alexis Diaz, and Daniel Bard are among those I think seem possible.

1b seems like an area of need, as well as RH OF off the bench.

Feels like Dalbec, Downs, Seabold, Groome, are among the players on the 40-man that could be included in deals.
 

YTF

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Figured it was time to get a thread going.

Pitching wise, it’s hard to gauge needs until we see what we have in Sale and Paxton but it seems obvious at least one late inning reliever is needed. If Whitlock slides back to closing, a setup trio of Houck/Schreiber/acquisition shores things up pretty well.

Offensively, would really love to get Mancini. Casas doesn’t seem likely to contribute this year and he’d be a solid upgrade at 1B and can be a RHH corner outfield bat as well. Steve Pearce redux.
I think the team likes Whiltock as a starter and that his future is in the rotation, but he may slide back into the pen in an effort to limit his innings leading into that transition full time next season. IMO, if that happens Houck should remain the closer unless he proves that he can't do the job. Whitlock will likely need time to get to where he can pitch two or more games in a row and if Houck has found his groove in the closer role there is no need to jerk him around.
 

RedOctober3829

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They need a bona fide closer in order to slot their role guys into their proper usage. If Whitlock and Winckowski are moved out of the pen for Sale and Paxton(with somebody like Austin Davis/Brasier/Sawamura) going out the door for Winckowski), the pen would be a strength if they just add a closer. My primary targets would be Daniel Bard and Gregory Soto. When Josh Taylor is ready, he can slide in for Diekman or Danish.

Bard/Soto CL
Whitlock RHP relief ace
Strahm RHP 7th/8th inning guy
Schreiber RHP hi-lev situational
Houck RHP hi-lev situational
Winckowski RHP multi-inning/long man
Diekman LHP low leverage guy
Danish RHP low leverage guy
 
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YTF

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Could a foundation of Schreiber/Strahm/Whitlock/Houck/Taylor/Davis, with slightly less consistently effective Diekman and Robles filling it out, be good enough? I feel like it could be, but so much depends on Sale turning into a reliable rotation foundation, which is a huge ask.
I see this group as you do, the issue is going to be who rounds it out. You've got 4 LH and 2 RH. Ideally I'd like to see the other slots filled by righties. None of the other RH options on the team have been dependable including Matt Barnes who BTW says hello. If Paxton eventually joins Sale in the rotation another starter will be displaced. ATM it seems like that would be Hill, another lefty. Perhaps he gets moved for a RH bullpen piece.
 

joe dokes

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They need a bona fide closer in order to slot their role guys into their proper usage. If Whitlock and Winckowski are moved out of the pen for Sale and Paxton(with somebody like Austin Davis/Brasier/Sawamura) going out the door for Winckowski), the pen would be a strength if they just add a closer. My primary targets would be Daniel Bard and Gregory Soto. When Josh Taylor is ready, he can slide in for Diekman or Danish.

Bard/Soto CL
Whitlock RHP relief ace
Strahm RHP 7th/8th inning guy
Schreiber LHP hi-lev situational
Houck RHP hi-lev situational
Winckowski RHP multi-inning/long man
Diekman LHP low leverage guy
Danish RHP low leverage guy
"bona fide closers" is agent talk. And even if its not, what makes Bard one?
Putting aside job descriptions, he and Soto both seem to walk an unsustainable amount of hitters.
 

brs3

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Could Sale be a closer for the rest of the season? Would it be easier/less costly to find some solid middle relief/long guy?
 

LogansDad

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Not going to lie, I think Houck looks great in the closer role, from what little I've been able to see. I know they want his future to be in the rotation, but I feel like building around him for the rest of this season might be the best way to maximize his development and the chances of staying in this thing.

And who knows, maybe he loves it and become a mini Papelbon for the next few years.
 

E5 Yaz

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Could Sale be a closer for the rest of the season?
"Could" he be? Sure, if they want to want to try that route. The risk is that you take a guy who hasn't had that role in the majors since 2011 and expect that he'll be able to do it again, on top of pitching him more often after he's had a series of injuries.

I think it's one of those that looks "logical" on paper, but might not be the wisest course of action
 

BigSoxFan

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You never know with the Rockies but Bard and Cron are interesting possibilities.
Cron has a .654 OPS outside of Coors and 1.100 OPS at home (.412 BABIP). He's mashing the ball but seems like the Coors effect at play here. I'd definitely take him if the cost weren't too prohibitive though. Has always had tons of power.
 

Just a bit outside

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Cron has a .654 OPS outside of Coors and 1.100 OPS at home (.412 BABIP). He's mashing the ball but seems like the Coors effect at play here. I'd definitely take him if the cost weren't too prohibitive though. Has always had tons of power.
He is not great but has been an above average hitter most years. I am a little afraid of a mid season trade for Rockies as it may take a bit for the “Coors effect” to even out. It would certainly depend on the asking price.
 

InsideTheParker

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I see this group as you do, the issue is going to be who rounds it out. You've got 4 LH and 2 RH. Ideally I'd like to see the other slots filled by righties. None of the other RH options on the team have been dependable including Matt Barnes who BTW says hello. If Paxton eventually joins Sale in the rotation another starter will be displaced. ATM it seems like that would be Hill, another lefty. Perhaps he gets moved for a RH bullpen piece.
I would hate to see him moved, b/c I think he'd be fabulous out of the pen, for more than one inning. He gets righties out, why do you need a RH bullpen piece?
 

RedOctober3829

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Could Sale be a closer for the rest of the season? Would it be easier/less costly to find some solid middle relief/long guy?
I don't want Sale coming out of the bullpen in a traditional reliever-type scenario. With his arm troubles, it is not good for him to warm up/sit down multiple times a game. He either needs to start or piggy-back off of a starter like Hill so he go through his usual warm up.
 

RedOctober3829

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"bona fide closers" is agent talk. And even if its not, what makes Bard one?
Putting aside job descriptions, he and Soto both seem to walk an unsustainable amount of hitters.
The closer role is not agent talk. You need one in order to win a World Series. Teams like the '18 Red Sox that win without one are an anomoly. There are other options besides the ones I listed, but they look to be unattainable due to salary(R. Iglesias) or on teams in contention.
 

E5 Yaz

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The Coors Effect regarding Cron isn't an issue at all for two reasons. He's been around long enough with multiple teams that the Red Sox know what kind of hitter he is. And one of those teams was the Rays while Bloom was senior management, so he deftly would know what kind of fit Cron would be.
 

Just a bit outside

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The Coors Effect regarding Cron isn't an issue at all for two reasons. He's been around long enough with multiple teams that the Red Sox know what kind of hitter he is. And one of those teams was the Rays while Bloom was senior management, so he deftly would know what kind of fit Cron would be.
I didn’t explain that well enough. What I meant is that while I think the Coors effect is overblown and hitters even out their home and road splits when they move on from the Rockies. I do wonder if moving from Coors mid season takes a little while for the hitter to adjust to hitting at sea level all the time and the road splits are more telling for a few months.
 

E5 Yaz

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I didn’t explain that well enough. What I meant is that while I think the Coors effect is overblown and hitters even out their home and road splits when they move on from the Rockies. I do wonder if moving from Coors mid season takes a little while for the hitter to adjust to hitting at sea level all the time and the road splits are more telling for a few months.
I don't know the numbers, but I suspect this concern is more likely for players who have never played anywhere else. Cron's been around.
 

joe dokes

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The closer role is not agent talk. You need one in order to win a World Series. Teams like the '18 Red Sox that win without one are an anomoly. There are other options besides the ones I listed, but they look to be unattainable due to salary(R. Iglesias) or on teams in contention.
You need one only to the extent that someone has to pitch the 9th inning. But what is a "bona fide" closer? Liam Hendriks was 30 and had pitched in roughly 200 games in relief before he started racking up saves for a 95 win A's team. When did he become bona fide? Koji was just another reliever until Hanrahan and Bailey blew out their elbows. Given the number of "closers" that were good pitchers, I'm not convinced that its a skill set, rather than a job description.

Get more good relief pitching. Some guy who has closed before is no more likely to be an improvement over Houck than some other good reliever without the "closer" premium attached.
 
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joe dokes

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Someone that has the closer role on a team currently and is successful at it. What else do you think it means? Do you not think they need someone in that role? Doesn't seem to have worked out very well for them up to this point.
I think its a virtually meaningless term. It suggests that some guy pitching effectively in not-the-9th inning is somehow unsuited for the 9th, as opposed to some other guy who only pitches the 9th.

What didn't work out - when it wasn't working out -- was that they had too many relievers pitching like shit. It wasn't because they lacked a "closer."™
 

RedOctober3829

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I think its a virtually meaningless term. It suggests that some guy pitching effectively in not-the-9th inning is somehow unsuited for the 9th, as opposed to some other guy who only pitches the 9th.

What didn't work out - when it wasn't working out -- was that they had too many relievers pitching like shit. It wasn't because they lacked a "closer."™
Whether you think it's meaningless or not, it cost them a good number of close games earlier in the season. If it was meaningless, why would teams have the same guy pitch in that role every time it comes up? I guess I don't understand why you would call it meaningless when teams feel differently.
 

joe dokes

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Whether you think it's meaningless or not, it cost them a good number of close games earlier in the season. If it was meaningless, why would teams have the same guy pitch in that role every time it comes up? I guess I don't understand why you would call it meaningless when teams feel differently.
What's meaningless to me is the term "bona fide closer." As in "we have to get a 'bona fide closer.'"
 

cornwalls@6

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I think the team likes Whiltock as a starter and that his future is in the rotation, but he may slide back into the pen in an effort to limit his innings leading into that transition full time next season. IMO, if that happens Houck should remain the closer unless he proves that he can't do the job. Whitlock will likely need time to get to where he can pitch two or more games in a row and if Houck has found his groove in the closer role there is no need to jerk him around.
I agree with this. I don't think Whitlock's returning to the pen, unless they make it to the post season, advance to ALDS, and start mixing and matching. Seems like starter has been the long term plan for a while now. Houck seems like a good fit to continue to close(despite the issue of not being able to play in Toronto), so a RH pen arm feels like priority number one for the trade deadline. Beyond that, right handed pop, ether in the form of an outfielder or 1B would be on my wish list.
 

soxhop411

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Whether you think it's meaningless or not, it cost them a good number of close games earlier in the season. If it was meaningless, why would teams have the same guy pitch in that role every time it comes up? I guess I don't understand why you would call it meaningless when teams feel differently.
I have said this before and will continue to say it.... The closer "position" is so damn volatile from one season to the next, a "proven" closer one year can be out of baseball the next

See Kimbrel

Or see the 2013 Red Sox

they traded for Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey prior to the season.. Both were "proven" closers before being traded to the sox that year....


Both failed at the closer role that year, which caused the Sox to give the job to Koji

Koji was not as "proven" as a closer as the former two were, and the stats he put up that after being handed the role, especially at his age are unheard of and something we may not see again

Koji Uehara was a special pitcher. He made his Major League debut in 2009 at the spry, young age of 34. After nine seasons with the NPB’s Yomiuri Giants, he came to the United States to join the Orioles. Koji was a starter for the Orioles in his first season. He was successful in this role, posting a 113 ERA+ over 66.2 innings while appearing in 12 games, all as the starter. He never started another game in the big leagues, as he was transitioned into a bullpen role for the 2010 season. He was even given some closing opportunities, as in his 43 appearances, he finished 22 games and earned 13 saves. Koji had established himself as a quality Major League pitcher.
In 74.1 innings, Koji posted a 1.09 ERA, 21 saves, and struck out 101 batters. This gave him an ERA+ of 379, which is outstanding. It would be outstanding for any pitcher in any sized body of work, but both of these things work against Koji here. As mentioned, he threw 74.1 innings that year. This was the 18th highest total among all relievers in 2013. He was also 38 years old. A thirty-eight year old man prevented runs at a historic rate in an abundant work load. Such dominance at such an advanced age is unheard of. Here is a list of players to post an ERA+ of 200 or more in their age 38 season or older, sorted by most innings pitched.
While Koji is not at the top of this list, his ERA+ blows everyone above him out of the water. No pitcher in the history of major league baseball has been as dominant at run prevention while being as old as Koji Uehara in 2013. Such a mark stands out among all pitchers, regardless of age. Below is a list of players with an ERA+ of 350 or greater, again sorted by innings pitched.
Read more about Koji's Historical performance below
https://diamond-digest.com/2020/02/04/koji-uehara-the-2013-red-sox-a-year-of-unexpected-dominance/
What? You don't want the second coming of Eric Gagne?
 

joe dokes

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My point of the first post I had in this thread before this whole conversation got derailed was that if you get a good closer to anchor the back end then they have enough setup/situational arms in house to have a pretty good bullpen.
And my point is that getting a "good closer" -- as opposed to a "good relief pitcher" -- is an unnecessarily self-limiting exercise. There are far more "good relief pitchers" than there are "good 'closers'" There is no such thing, (IMO, of course), as "set-up/situational arms" (except for platoon issues), or "closer arms," other than their deployment. Good arms are good arms. What if Houck continues to dominate the 9th over the next 20-30 games? Is that bona-fide enough?
 

Van Everyman

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I don't want Sale coming out of the bullpen in a traditional reliever-type scenario. With his arm troubles, it is not good for him to warm up/sit down multiple times a game. He either needs to start or piggy-back off of a starter like Hill so he go through his usual warm up.
Since when do closers get up and down multiple times a game? I’m not advocating for Sale to get this role per se but I don’t see this particular concern to matter at all with respect to him.
 

Max Power

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Will Smith is really the only "proven closer" who performed as such for the last 6 teams that won the World Series. In 2020 the Dodgers didn't really trust Jansen. In 2019 the Nats stayed away from Doolittle, same with the 2018 Red Sox and Kimbrel. And in 2017 Ken Giles gave up 10 runs in 7 and 2/3. The Koji/Papelbon/Rivera experience is actually the outlier.
 

RedOctober3829

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And my point is that getting a "good closer" -- as opposed to a "good relief pitcher" -- is an unnecessarily self-limiting exercise. There are far more "good relief pitchers" than there are "good 'closers'" There is no such thing, (IMO, of course), as "set-up/situational arms" (except for platoon issues), or "closer arms," other than their deployment. Good arms are good arms. What if Houck continues to dominate the 9th over the next 20-30 games? Is that bona-fide enough?
All I'm talking about their deployment. If Houck can excel in the closer role, even better. Then they don't get one. I just would like the bullpen guys to settle in to defined roles. You may disagree, but I think it's pretty important for a player to know when to expect to pitch so they can get their routines down as major league pitchers that I know who have been pen arms say that is very important to them.
 

joe dokes

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All I'm talking about their deployment. If Houck can excel in the closer role, even better. Then they don't get one. I just would like the bullpen guys to settle in to defined roles. You may disagree, but I think it's pretty important for a player to know when to expect to pitch so they can get their routines down as major league pitchers that I know who have been pen arms say that is very important to them.
I have come around a bit on the importance of defined roles, "know when they're pitching", etc. At least for the long-haul of a regular season. My only gripe is with the (not just your) focus on acquiring an "established closer," which is where all this started.
 

RedOctober3829

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Will Smith is really the only "proven closer" who performed as such for the last 6 teams that won the World Series. In 2020 the Dodgers didn't really trust Jansen. In 2019 the Nats stayed away from Doolittle, same with the 2018 Red Sox and Kimbrel. And in 2017 Ken Giles gave up 10 runs in 7 and 2/3. The Koji/Papelbon/Rivera experience is actually the outlier.
I’m sure those teams would have rather not have had to scramble to get through those situations.
 

YTF

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I have come around a bit on the importance of defined roles, "know when they're pitching", etc. At least for the long-haul of a regular season. My only gripe is with the (not just your) focus on acquiring an "established closer," which is where all this started.
In a different scenario a late inning combo such as Houck and Whitlock mixing and matching in the setup/closer role depending on circumstances might be a perfectly fine alternative to the "established closer".
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I agree with this. I don't think Whitlock's returning to the pen, unless they make it to the post season, advance to ALDS, and start mixing and matching. Seems like starter has been the long term plan for a while now. Houck seems like a good fit to continue to close(despite the issue of not being able to play in Toronto), so a RH pen arm feels like priority number one for the trade deadline. Beyond that, right handed pop, ether in the form of an outfielder or 1B would be on my wish list.
I disagree with you on this. I think it's clear that long term they do want him to be a full time starter but I think they mostly want to manage his innings. Maybe this "downtime" will help that but I think in order to build him up to a full starter's work load, they can't just bump him back to starting the rest of the season.
Obviously a lot will depend on Sale when he returns... on Eovaldi when he returns... on Paxton... but I think the ideal situation is that Eovaldi returns soon. Whitlock returns and they boot Crawford and Wincowksi (who has pitched pretty damned well!) back to AAA. Whitlock makes a few more starts then when Sale returns I can see Whitlock moving to "spotting" Sale until he can build up more innings and then when he does, he'll finish the season as the BP "ace" with Houck as the closer.
But I expect to see him full time rotation in '23
 

chrisfont9

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Whether you think it's meaningless or not, it cost them a good number of close games earlier in the season. If it was meaningless, why would teams have the same guy pitch in that role every time it comes up? I guess I don't understand why you would call it meaningless when teams feel differently.
It's a fact that all outs mean the same... just like it's a fact that guys like knowing their roles, and that they experience more pressure in the 9th inning.

Houck looks like a guy with a good 9th inning makeup, seems unflappable. And he has two very strong pitches, minimum.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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It's a fact that all outs mean the same... just like it's a fact that guys like knowing their roles, and that they experience more pressure in the 9th inning.
Are these facts? Managers treat getting out of a jam in the 3rd inning - getting the third out - the same as the 8th? 9th inning up 3 no one on is more pressure than 7th inning up 1 bases loaded? And guys like knowing their roles is a fact? What if their role is super utility guy or high leverage reliever?
 

deythur

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Would Josh Bell be an option for first? He's on a 1 year 10mm deal. Switch hitter with some pop. Nationals helped us out last year with Schwarber and Bell shouldn't cost much of anything.
Is he not worth the money for a marginal upgrade and with Franchy earning some more playing time?
 

effectivelywild

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Are these facts? Managers treat getting out of a jam in the 3rd inning - getting the third out - the same as the 8th? 9th inning up 3 no one on is more pressure than 7th inning up 1 bases loaded? And guys like knowing their roles is a fact? What if their role is super utility guy or high leverage reliever?
I don't think its as straightforward as every team needs a capital-C Closer but I also don't think that it doesn't matter what "role" a reliever is in across the board. I think there are probably some guys that their "title" has an effect on them and other guys that you could plug into the game at any time and they wouldn't care. Anecdotally, I feel like we've all seen relievers that seem to do worse in "save" situations as well as "closers" who don't pitch as well in non-save situations, though these are going to be, almost by definition, small sample sizes. I do think that given that a lot of performance variability happens on the margins, so if a guy feels a little anxious about a "save" situation and it impacts his mechanics or his focus, even a little, that it can have a noticeable effect. I can't imagine its true for all relievers but in the same way that some hitters prefer their "spot" in the lineup---"Professional" Bill Mueller comes to mind---settling into a bullpen role probably has importance for some of the guys out there. That doesn't mean that mangers should be beholden to the Almighty Closer but it also doesn't mean it should be completely disregarded. Hell, we're ok with some starters preferring their own "personal catcher."
 

curly2

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Will Smith is really the only "proven closer" who performed as such for the last 6 teams that won the World Series. In 2020 the Dodgers didn't really trust Jansen. In 2019 the Nats stayed away from Doolittle, same with the 2018 Red Sox and Kimbrel. And in 2017 Ken Giles gave up 10 runs in 7 and 2/3. The Koji/Papelbon/Rivera experience is actually the outlier.
The Sox had six save chances in the 2018 postseason. They used Kimbrel every time and as shaky as he was, he went 6 for 6. He also closed Game 1 of the World Series with a four-run lead, pitched in a tie game in Game 3 and finished the win in Game 4. I think Cora had Sale wrap up the series to give him the "honor" of closing the Series, not because Kimbrel wasn't the closer anymore.
 

Trlicek's Whip

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"bona fide closers" is agent talk. And even if its not, what makes Bard one?
Putting aside job descriptions, he and Soto both seem to walk an unsustainable amount of hitters.
Soto is smoke and mirrors for one of the worst teams in the league. We'd be trading for his regression. It's 2022 and most clubs have multiple mix and match live arms in their BP. Maybe not as liberal a closer by committee as TB, but looking for guys that aren't the 9th inning guys now for bad clubs is what I'd do. Cheaper to acquire since they aren't tabbed "bona fide closer," too.

In this immediate example Will Vest and Lange for DET have better stuff for ROS than Soto. If you want a Soto-esque guy that doesn't know where the ball's going you might as well take a flyer and trade for better upside such as (say) Felix Bautista with BAL, who has titanic stuff if he can harness the walks. Or Josh Staumont, who still isn't The Guy in KC and may never be, but can still hit high-90's. Virtually anyone in the underperforming SEA pen. Or two guys not named Tanner Rainey in WAS with closing experience in Kyle Finnegan and Steve Cishek. Again, not necessarily as 9th inning options, but holds-friendly in the 7/8. (They could go full KC bullpen reunion if they grab Staumont and Finnegan to reunite with Strahm).

If you get a live arm (or two) for less because they aren't the first option at closer for another team right now - and Houck sticks - you have something stronger for 6-8 and can lessen the load for the most reliable guys we already have, or whomever gets hot in the pen. And maybe you get more than one BP arm with the savings of avoiding He's Our Guy In The Ninth™ Guys. If Whitlock gets put back in the pen and can go 1+ innings, that also strengthens the pen.
 

Yelling At Clouds

Post-darwinian
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
2,472
Not to keep harping on this since a few people have made the point already, but the Red Sox very well could lose Vazquez, Hernandez, Bogaerts, Martinez, Bradley, and Eovaldi after the season. Even if the upcoming free agency class were a bonanza - it isn't - it would be a tall order to fill all of those potential holes in the offseason. All of which is to say: half-season rentals might not be the optimal way to go, here.
 

cornwalls@6

Less observant than others
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
4,176
from the wilds of western ma
I disagree with you on this. I think it's clear that long term they do want him to be a full time starter but I think they mostly want to manage his innings. Maybe this "downtime" will help that but I think in order to build him up to a full starter's work load, they can't just bump him back to starting the rest of the season.
Obviously a lot will depend on Sale when he returns... on Eovaldi when he returns... on Paxton... but I think the ideal situation is that Eovaldi returns soon. Whitlock returns and they boot Crawford and Wincowksi (who has pitched pretty damned well!) back to AAA. Whitlock makes a few more starts then when Sale returns I can see Whitlock moving to "spotting" Sale until he can build up more innings and then when he does, he'll finish the season as the BP "ace" with Houck as the closer.
But I expect to see him full time rotation in '23
I don’t think we’re that far apart in terms of how this plays out. I can certainly envision your scenario, but just don’t think he returns being a regular, core part of the pen unless it’s either playoffs or maybe September stretch run, depending on how all the other moving parts in the rotation shake out. Consequently, I do think RHP should be high on Chaim’s shopping list as the deadline gets closer.
 

GB5

lurker
Aug 26, 2013
325
Is it generally agreed on this board that for whatever reason there is a mental hurdle for a not insignificant amount of pitchers when asked to transition from the 8th inning role to the 9th inning role?