Should the Red Sox sign Dansby Swanson?

Should the Red Sox sign Dansby Swanson?

  • Yes

    Votes: 109 35.5%
  • No

    Votes: 198 64.5%

  • Total voters
    307
  • Poll closed .

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Mar 11, 2007
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The Red Sox middle infield hasn't been playing well. Like, at all.

Red Sox middle infielders are 24th in the league in OPS, 24th in wOBA, and, 26th in wRC+. Defensively, Red Sox shortstops lead the league in errors and are 24th in outs above average, while the second basemen are 2nd in errors and 20th in OAA.

How anyone could suggest that Bloom did a good job with this middle infield is . . . wow.
He has a competent ML infield after getting all the way down to expected 6th? 7th option??
Most teams would be this lucky….
 
Mar 30, 2023
215
Bloom did a good job with the middle infield.

The middle infield is a stopgap until Story returns. He'll be paired with Arroyo or Mondesi or whomever looks best.

As of today, Sox 2B are by bWAR in the middle of the AL pack with a slightly negative value (identical to NYY and DET). Meanwhile, we're lower at SS than average, 11th out of 15th, mostly due to Enrique Hernandez. And there one has to shrug. If he upticks to his healthy career-average-ish self at the plate, he'll bring more value to the SS position.

For a stopgap, MI, that's pretty good. (Especially considering this is something of a stopgap for a stopgap, given Yu Chang's and Arroyo's injuries.)
It's only a in a stopgap state because of the front office's own failures which put them in the position of needing a stopgap solution.

Let's run through the plans that fell through, using @simplicio's list above:

1. Xander
If we take them at their word that re-signing Xander truly was their #1 priority, then they messed up first by not offering an extension he would actually consider signing when he was still a year away from free agency, and then by massively misreading the market once he was a free agent. If Plan A is to resign a guy whose market value is way more than you're willing to pay, then that's a bad plan.

2. Story
The only reason they even got Story on a reasonable deal was because every team in the league knew that his elbow was a ticking time bomb and his health would prevent him form playing short. If Plan B is to sign a guy with a bad arm, and then that bad arm subsequently takes him off the field, then that's a bad plan.

3. Kiké
Kiké is career .296 OBP hitter who had played just 100 games at shortstop over a 9-year MLB career. If Plan C is to rely on a guy who is a below league-average hitter with an unproven glove to play shortstop, and then that guy continues to be a below league-average hitter while also proving that he doest not have the glove to handle shortstop, then that's a bad plan.

4. Arroyo
Christian Arroyo has never been able to stay healthy and has only played 31 total games at shortstop, never proving himself to be all that valuable a player. If Plan D is to rely on a guy who can't stay healthy and isn't all that good to begin with, and then that guy subsequently plays poorly and gets hurt, then that's a bad plan.

5. Mondesi
Mondesi was hurt when they signed him, as he has been his entire career. If Plan E is to rely on a guy who has never been able to stay on the field and wasn't even healthy when you signed him, and then that guy is subsequently unable to get on the field, then that's a bad plan.

Red Sox middle infield production on both sides of the ball has been awful -- arguably the very worst in the entire league. Not even Bloom himself would say they've done a good job.

Saying they've done a good job with a "stopgap solution" that isn't performing well and is only necessary because they didn't plan well in the first place is like saying you did a good job keeping yourself dry by holding a stick over your head after you deliberately left the house without your umbrella in the middle of a rainstorm.



Edit: also, where are you even getting those bWAR numbers from? Red Sox second basemen are 23rd in bWAR, with -0.4. Shortstops are 26th with the same number. Numbers here.
 
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Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Mar 11, 2007
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It's only a in a stopgap state because of the front office's own failures which put them in the position of needing a stopgap solution.

Let's run through the plans that fell through, using @simplicio's list above:

1. Xander
If we take them at their word that re-signing Xander truly was their #1 priority, then they messed up first by not offering an extension he would actually consider signing when he was still a year away from free agency, and then by massively misreading the market once he was a free agent. If Plan A is to resign a guy whose market value is way more than you're willing to pay, then that's a bad plan.

2. Story
The only reason they even got Story on a reasonable deal was because every team in the league knew that his elbow was a ticking time bomb and his health would prevent him form playing short. If Plan B is to sign a guy with a bad arm, and then that bad arm subsequently takes him off the field, then that's a bad plan.

3. Kiké
Kiké is career .296 OBP hitter who had played just 100 games at shortstop over a 9-year MLB career. If Plan C is to rely on a guy who is a below league-average hitter with an unproven glove to play shortstop, and then that guy continues to be a below league-average hitter while also proving that he doest not have the glove to handle shortstop, then that's a bad plan.

4. Arroyo
Christian Arroyo has never been able to stay healthy and has only played 31 total games at shortstop, never proving himself to be all that valuable a player. If Plan D is to rely on a guy who can't stay healthy and isn't all that good to begin with, and then that guy subsequently plays poorly and gets hurt, then that's a bad plan.

5. Mondesi
Mondesi was hurt when they signed him, as he has been his entire career. If Plan E is to rely on a guy who has never been able to stay on the field and wasn't even healthy when you signed him, and then that guy is subsequently unable to get on the field, then that's a bad plan.

Red Sox middle infield production on both sides of the ball has been awful -- arguably the very worst in the entire league. Not even Bloom himself would say they've done a good job.

Saying they've done a good job with a "stopgap solution" that isn't performing well and is only necessary because they didn't plan well in the first place is like saying you did a good job keeping yourself dry by holding a stick over your head after you deliberately left the house without your umbrella in the middle of a rainstorm.

Not debating this point by point since I’m on my phone…. But you do know that the Sox top prospect is a SS? That’s the long term plan. The SHORT term plan is to cobble something together for the next 1.5-2 seasons without handcuffing the team to an expensive aging middle infielder for 6- 8 years.

Edit- if you like Mayer as a future SS then you need to say what you would do short term there…. If you don’t, then state that- trade him… and then what?
The way I read it, Bloom has done a very good job with a long view and putting together an affordable MI
 

Rovin Romine

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Edit: also, where are you even getting those bWAR numbers from? Red Sox second basemen are 23rd in bWAR, with -0.4. Shortstops are 26th with the same number. Numbers here.
Same place. Sort for AL. You can look at all sorts of nifty stats. . .and the bottom line is despite injuries and setbacks, they've done pretty well to get the production they did out of the middle infield.

Red Sox middle infield production on both sides of the ball has been awful -- arguably the very worst in the entire league.
An argument that abjectly fails - you can cherry pick all day, but it's kind of silly: By OPS, the Sox 2B are 5th in the AL. SS is much worse at 13. How can that be the very worst in the league?

FWIW, don't bother goalpost shifting to another argument. I'm done with this.

Not debating this point by point since I’m on my phone…. But you do know that the Sox top prospect is a SS? That’s the long term plan. The SHORT term plan is to cobble something together for the next 1.5-2 seasons without handcuffing the team to an expensive aging middle infielder for 6- 8 years.

Edit- if you like Mayer as a future SS then you need to say what you would do short term there…. If you don’t, then state that- trade him… and then what?
The way I read it, Bloom has done a very good job with a long view and putting together an affordable MI
Yep. Also, it's almost like the MI is part of a greater team of other players. By bWAR Sox position players are 4th in the AL. Starting pitching remains the weak area on the club.
 
Mar 30, 2023
215
An argument that abjectly fails - you can cherry pick all day, but it's kind of silly: By OPS, the Sox 2B are 5th in the AL. SS is much worse at 13. How can that be the very worst in the league?
It can be the very worst in the league because I made that statement about middle infield production on the whole, on both sides of the ball, not simply about the OPS at 2B. If you take the drastic action of looking at more than one stat, you get a very ugly picture. How ugly? Well, Red Sox 2B are 21st in WAR and SS are 26th. There are only two teams in baseball who appear lower than the Red Sox on both lists: the A's and the White Sox. If you want to argue that they're middle infield production isn't arguably the worst in the league and, in defense of your position, you cite nothing more than 2B OPS, then I'm not sure I'm the one doing the cherry picking here.
 

manny

New Member
Jul 24, 2005
268
Since this is turning into the MI thread, what's the story with David Hamilton? Seems to be having as good of a season as possible in the minors. Why is he not getting a chance over, say, Pablo Reyes? Apologies if I am missing something, just his stat line is really good right now
 

AlNipper49

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Why is Story a bad stop gap? Above average offensively. Have you flexibility to play both second and short - short term. If he did end up at short, as he likely will, it’s the position where the Sox have both the most and best talent organizationally.

Mayer has done nothing to doubt his status. Rafaela and Romero also look good. They’re obviously lottery tickets, but the good $10 kind.
 

shaggydog2000

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Apr 5, 2007
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Since this is turning into the MI thread, what's the story with David Hamilton? Seems to be having as good of a season as possible in the minors. Why is he not getting a chance over, say, Pablo Reyes? Apologies if I am missing something, just his stat line is really good right now
It could be because they don't think his defense will play in the majors at either position. That is the big knock against him I believe.
 

Benj4ever

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Nov 21, 2022
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It can be the very worst in the league because I made that statement about middle infield production on the whole, on both sides of the ball, not simply about the OPS at 2B. If you take the drastic action of looking at more than one stat, you get a very ugly picture. How ugly? Well, Red Sox 2B are 21st in WAR and SS are 26th. There are only two teams in baseball who appear lower than the Red Sox on both lists: the A's and the White Sox. If you want to argue that they're middle U
infield production isn't arguably the worst in the league and, in defense of your position, you cite nothing more than 2B OPS, then I'm not sure I'm the one doing the cherry picking here.
If you take the more drastic action of looking at the offense as a whole, or even looking at the Sox record, which is better than many expected, you'll find that things are going right according to plan. Now, you may not like the plan, but that's a different story entirely.

You might just want to re-think this, though. After all, the two dominant teams in the AL East, the Rays and the Orioles, have gotten where they are due to following a plan similar to the one the Red Sox have crafted. They've been at it longer, though, but don't have as much revenue as the Sox - the effect of the former likely dominating the latter. Consider also those big spenders, the Padres and the Phillies. They offer further proof that throwing money at a problem is not the same thing as finding a solution.

But, hey, the middle infield situation is in flux. It's true. But it's also true that the cheap guys, Reyes and Valdez, are outperforming their more expensive counterparts. Not only that, but only one of these guys, at most, will still be starters after their injured counterparts get back.

So, yeah, focusing on cumulative middle-infield play to this point really is cherry-picking...if your goal is to criticize Bloom, that is.
 
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Rovin Romine

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It can be the very worst in the league because I made that statement about middle infield production on the whole, on both sides of the ball, not simply about the OPS at 2B. If you take the drastic action of looking at more than one stat, you get a very ugly picture. How ugly? Well, Red Sox 2B are 21st in WAR and SS are 26th. There are only two teams in baseball who appear lower than the Red Sox on both lists: the A's and the White Sox. If you want to argue that they're middle infield production isn't arguably the worst in the league and, in defense of your position, you cite nothing more than 2B OPS, then I'm not sure I'm the one doing the cherry picking here.
Dude - what's wrong with you? You said the RS middle infield is "arguably the very worst in the league." Then you cited two other teams in the league who are worse. By a lot.
 

Daniel_Son

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If you take the more drastic action of looking at the offense as a whole, or even looking at the Sox record, which is better than many expected, you'll find that things are going right according to plan. Now, you may not like the plan, but that's a whole different story entirely.

You might just want to re-think this, though. After all, the two dominant teams in the AL East, the Rays and the Orioles, have gotten where they are due to following a plan similar to the one the Red Sox have crafted. They've been at it longer, though, but don't have as much revenue as the Sox - the effect of the former likely dominating the latter. Consider also those big spenders, the Padres and the Phillies. They offer further proof that throwing money at a problem is not the same thing as finding a solution.

But, hey, the middle infield situation is in flux. It's true. But it's also true that the cheap guys, Reyes and Valdez, are outperforming their more expensive counterparts. Not only that, but only one of these guys, at most, will still be starters after their injured counterparts get back.

So, yeah, focusing on cumulative middle-infield play to this point really is cherry-picking...if your goal is to criticize Bloom, that is.
Here's where we rank in the league right now by bWAR:
  • All Pitching = 10th
  • Starting Pitching: 12th
  • Relief Pitching = 4th
____________________________________
  • Non-Pitching = 4th
  • Catcher = 6th
  • 1B = 12th
  • 2B = 8th
  • SS = 12th
  • 3B = 3rd
  • LF = 3rd
  • CF = 3rd
  • RF = 1st
  • OF (all) = 1st
  • DH = 4th
  • PH = 4th
Up and down the board, I'll take that offensive production any day of the week.
 

johnlos

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Aug 22, 2014
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Seems like y'all are largely talking past each other. Three things can simultaneously be true:
1) The Sox are overachieving expectations due to unexpectedly great OF play (way to go Verdugo; love you Jarren!; Yoshida you're the king we dreamed of! Miss you Duvall :_( )
2) The middle infield "plan" has not worked with a combination of both bad hitting *and* bad fielding, as evidenced by the WAR stats. I'm fine if we want to just say SS since Story got hurt and I think Valdez should have gotten a shot at 2b out of the spring anyway.
3) The Sox could be a few games up in the standings if they had Dansby Swanson.

Will he be bad in years 5-7 of his contract? Maybe! But the point is he'd have helped the team this year and signed for relatively reasonable money compared to X. If we use that money on "better" things, great. But we have not yet done so and the payroll is currently sitting at 15th. With our fanbase I'd argue we could certainly do better...
 

LogansDad

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But if they signed Dansby (or Bogaerts), then guys who may not or probably don't get signed include: Justin Turner, Yoshida, Jansen, Chris Martin, and/or Adam Duvall, all of whom have contributed to the aforementioned "exceeding of expectations". Not to mention, it may or may not have left them in a position to sign the Devers extension.

Skipping out on the big name free agent in order to fill multiple shorter term holes, knowing that you are confident that your minor league work is going to start paying dividends in two years or so, is a "plan". Instead of filling one hole with a "star" (and a hole which I believe they are VERY confident will be filled in short order for many years), they filled 5 holes with solid players who can contribute to the team.

That was the plan.

People saying there is no plan, or they are on plan G or M or 653 are completely missing the point of those plans.
 

johnlos

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Aug 22, 2014
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But if they signed Dansby (or Bogaerts), then guys who may not or probably don't get signed include: Justin Turner, Yoshida, Jansen, Chris Martin, and/or Adam Duvall, all of whom have contributed to the aforementioned "exceeding of expectations". Not to mention, it may or may not have left them in a position to sign the Devers extension.

Skipping out on the big name free agent in order to fill multiple shorter term holes, knowing that you are confident that your minor league work is going to start paying dividends in two years or so, is a "plan". Instead of filling one hole with a "star" (and a hole which I believe they are VERY confident will be filled in short order for many years), they filled 5 holes with solid players who can contribute to the team.

That was the plan.

People saying there is no plan, or they are on plan G or M or 653 are completely missing the point of those plans.
We could have signed all those guys and Swanson and still be only 9th in payroll. Maybe it's not worth it for 2 wins with Mayer coming up the pipe, but what's the evidence that we "probably don't" sign them? We were 4th, 6th, and 6th in payroll the last 3 years.
 

jon abbey

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We could have signed all those guys and Swanson and still be only 9th in payroll. Maybe it's not worth it for 2 wins with Mayer coming up the pipe, but what's the evidence that we "probably don't" sign them? We were 4th, 6th, and 6th in payroll the last 3 years.
It's not about this year solely. It's about longer term commitments, smart GMs try to limit those to ones that are crucial because they too often backfire and leave a team with dead money for years.
 

LogansDad

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We could have signed all those guys and Swanson and still be only 9th in payroll. Maybe it's not worth it for 2 wins with Mayer coming up the pipe, but what's the evidence that we "probably don't" sign them? We were 4th, 6th, and 6th in payroll the last 3 years.
Sure, and also spend another year over the luxury tax limit, something they very clearly wanted to avoid this year.

And, also, what Jon Abbey said. Huge contracts are not just money sinks much of the time, they also require you to tack on prospects to move them, so let's say in 2025 you have Mayer at SS, and both Swanson and Story signed for multiple more years. Now you are dipping into your farm system to move an extraneous contract, something that I think Bloom is loathe to do right when the farm should be bearing fruit.
 

JM3

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We could have signed all those guys and Swanson and still be only 9th in payroll. Maybe it's not worth it for 2 wins with Mayer coming up the pipe, but what's the evidence that we "probably don't" sign them? We were 4th, 6th, and 6th in payroll the last 3 years.
& then we'd be over the tax line this year & our teams would be much more expensive over the next few years as a result of repeater taxes, not even considering all the $ tied up with Swanson.

The payroll #s also are probably a bit skewed by the # of incentive based contracts, but they have left themselves a bit of space to make additions toward the deadline & still remain under the threshold, which seems like a clear organizational directive.

It's kind of funny that of the top 4 payrolls, only the Yankees have a winning record.
 

johnlos

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Aug 22, 2014
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Sure, and also spend another year over the luxury tax limit, something they very clearly wanted to avoid this year.

And, also, what Jon Abbey said. Huge contracts are not just money sinks much of the time, they also require you to tack on prospects to move them, so let's say in 2025 you have Mayer at SS, and both Swanson and Story signed for multiple more years. Now you are dipping into your farm system to move an extraneous contract, something that I think Bloom is loathe to do right when the farm should be bearing fruit.
Yeah I buy the argument with the Story contract we can't tack on Dansby as well (especially consider luxury tax as last three posts rightly pointed out). Then again, if X had agreed to 7/$200 (a bit more than Swanson's 7/$177), very few people would be questioning the decision and we don't think about Mayer for a year or two until he's knocking at the door.

Edit: I'll add that, personally, I think Swanson was a bargain compared to the other big names like X. I'd say it's 50/50 he outperforms X's WAR rest of career, given that he's over a year younger and has a higher defensive floor.