Sox sign Garrett Richards to a 1 year, $10 million deal

DeadlySplitter

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No Odorrizi then I'd think, they have about 14M left against the CBT.

If that's all guaranteed that's a pretty big bet.
 

BigSoxFan

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Hasn’t had a healthy season in forever. That’s a great deal...for Richards.
 

curly2

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That's a lot to lay out for a guy who hasn't pitched more than 76.1 innings in a season since 2015. Someone in the organization must be really high on him.
 

BillMuellerFanClub

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Best case scenario is Richards pitches extraordinarily well and is flipped for a nice haul at the deadline. The second year option would allow Boston to get a bit more considering he may not be a rental for the acquiring team, provided it is a team option.
 

allmanbro

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I wonder if they gave him more in one year just to avoid giving him two years. I guess this is the kind of upside move I've been asking for, in a way, but really, I think I'm more excited to see Pivetta and Houk pitch. I suppose they can flip him at the deadline if he's good.

Edit: what BillMueller said
 

Deweys New Stance

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That's a lot to lay out for a guy who hasn't pitched more than 76.1 innings in a season since 2015. Someone in the organization must be really high on him.
The 76.1 innings were in 2018, but your point still holds. Looks like a rich contract for such a speculative bet.
 

BigSoxFan

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He was healthy last season. Yeah, it was a short year, but he pitched the whole season and was pretty good.
ERA+ of 106 so he was slightly better than league average by that metric. The odds of him pitching 150+ innings this year seem pretty remote based on his recent history. Hopefully he can pitch well and be dealt for prospects in the summer.
 

Rovin Romine

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That's a lot to lay out for a guy who hasn't pitched more than 76.1 innings in a season since 2015. Someone in the organization must be really high on him.
He had TJ surgery in 2019 - and that injury in one form or another sidelined him for the seasons prior to that. (He opted for stem-cell treatment which obviously didn't work.)

2020 was his first post-TJ season.

I don't have very high expectations for him, but I'd expect a decent workload and reasonable ERA.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Best case scenario is Richards pitches extraordinarily well and is flipped for a nice haul at the deadline. The second year option would allow Boston to get a bit more considering he may not be a rental for the acquiring team, provided it is a team option.
Isn't the best case scenario that he pitches extraordinarily well for us for the next two years?
 

Clears Cleaver

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this is just a guy who if he's healthy they can trade at the deadline, right. I mean what's the point? Just admit you're punting and move on.
 

HangingW/ScottCooper

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Is this what we have to look forward to under Bloom? Over paying for mediocrity as opposed to over paying for excellence?

I have nothing against Richards, but this guy hasn't been healthy in 5 years, and no last year doesn't count.
 

chawson

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I don’t get the pessimism here. Isn’t the whole point of having a GM like Bloom, or any good GM, is that they bring in guys who have a good chance at exceeding expectations?

I put Richards at a slight notch below Kluber for 2021 and way better than Odorizzi at his rumored cost of 3/$39M. He could easily be better. He’s vulnerable to LHB, but mows down good RHB, and there’s a disproportionate amount of those in the AL. I think he’ll be very good with proper usage.

I think this also means we’ll have a 6-man rotation once Sale returns.
 
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nvalvo

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Yeah, that's extraordinary in what is supposed to a distressed market.
I don’t think the early offseason expectations that the FA market would be lower than prior years have actually materialized. It’s been slow, but most of the deals that have been signed have been comparable to prior years.
 

staz

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He had TJ surgery in 2019 - and that injury in one form or another sidelined him for the seasons prior to that. (He opted for stem-cell treatment which obviously didn't work.)

2020 was his first post-TJ season.

I don't have very high expectations for him, but I'd expect a decent workload and reasonable ERA.
His breakout 2014 season was cut short after tearing his left patellar tendon at Fenway:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_A4pBgPpYk

Injury history (viewer discretion advised):
http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/profile.asp?ID=24522&View=Tranx
 
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nvalvo

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Is this what we have to look forward to under Bloom? Over paying for mediocrity as opposed to over paying for excellence?

I have nothing against Richards, but this guy hasn't been healthy in 5 years, and no last year doesn't count.
Why wouldn't last year count? He... was healthy, throwing 95, and it seems significant that it is the most recent of those seasons.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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For comparison’s sake, SD signed him to a 2 yr/$15.5M deal knowing he would be rehabbing from TJS in year one. So they thought $15.5M for one season - not knowing how soon or well he would return from rehab - was nevertheless worth it.

We’re paying significantly less, and getting a 2d year option, for the same guy who is, at least currently, healthy. On its own merits, this is a good deal.

In the larger roster-building context, it seems pretty clear that Bloom’s approach has been to keep deals short, find flexibility where he can, and raise the floors of the 26- and 40-man rosters. Contention will depend on numerous factors, including the return to health and productivity of our existing players (Sale, E-Rod, JDM, maybe Beni....).
 

natpastime162

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this is just a guy who if he's healthy they can trade at the deadline, right. I mean what's the point? Just admit you're punting and move on.
That’s sounds a little defeatist. If he’s pitching well enough to demand value at the deadline, then perhaps others are as well. In order to compete, Sox essentially need to do what they did in 2003, sign a bunch of guys to short-term deals and hope to catch lightning in a bottle. Obviously the core rosters are not comparable, and it’s possible the money is better allotted elsewhere, but options are limited with a thin farm system and being unable/refusing to sign long term deals with elite free agents.
 

mauf

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Especially with pitchers, you pay a premium to avoid a multiyear commitment. You’re not going to do much better than 1/10 for someone who’s a lock to make your rotation if he’s healthy. With the club option for 2022, I like this deal a lot — it’s not transformational, but it’s a solid effort to make the club better, and it has a chance to turn out to be a real bargain.
 

Harry Hooper

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Short-duration deals are the order of the day. The extent to which interest in MLB may not get rekindled in the coming years remains to be seen.
 

PedroKsBambino

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A bit surpirsed at the dollars, but like the signing. He's much more likely to be an impact guy than Odorizzi or (imo) Kluber factoring in health. Getting the option is also valuable, and I expect $2 mil or so of the 2020 salary was the cost of locking in that option.

I understand the value of innings-eaters and the Sox probably need an Odorizzi type as well, but it's a lot of money to commit to a guy with his profile. For me, a guy who has shown he can be a frontline guy--even if only occasionally---is a better gamble given where the Sox are overall. I like it, especially since I'm not sure the couple mil extra salary makes any difference in roster construction
 

JBJ_HOF

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Basically the same as Kluber got. He's younger, but seems like a worse bet to pitch well.
Why? Richards has never pitched poorly besides his rookie season. The last 8 years his xFIP has been better than league average.
 

chawson

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Why wouldn't last year count? He... was healthy, throwing 95, and it seems significant that it is the most recent of those seasons.
I don't get this either. Especially since the case for Odorizzi, who threw 13 innings last year, is that he's the paragon of durability.

Everyone will be on an innings count in 2021, so having a volume of decent starters is a pretty good plan.

I wonder if Richards could stand to add a cutter to his arsenal to help with his relative struggles vs. LHB. Doesn't look like he's ever thrown one, but Red Sox pitchers threw the second-most cutters in baseball over the last two years (behind the Cubs) and they've really helped guys like Price, Eovaldi and Perez over the years.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Richards is going to be 33 in May. He last threw 100 innings in a season 6 years ago.
BBRef projection is 123 IP, 4.46 ERA. Fangraphs projections are similar.

Our rotation is looking like they could really contend for the 2015 postseason.
 

nvalvo

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I like it. He always had a good arm, he seems to have recovered from his TJS, and he's striking guys out. I'd much rather have him on this deal than Odorizzi for 3/$39M.
I don't get this either. Especially since the case for Odorizzi, who threw 13 innings last year, is that he's the paragon of durability.

Everyone will be on an innings count in 2021, so having a volume of decent starters is a pretty good plan.

I wonder if Richards could stand to add a cutter to his arsenal to help with his relative struggles vs. LHB. Doesn't look like he's ever thrown one, but Red Sox pitchers threw the second-most cutters in baseball over the last two years (behind the Cubs) and they've really helped guys like Price, Eovaldi and Perez over the years.
For me, the more relevant comparison is Quintana at 1/$8m, which I think I would have beaten. But Quintana didn't throw much last season either, due to a dishwashing accident and then a pectoral strain.

Still, I predicted in the other thread that we would add two starters, one at a $10-15m AAV and the other at a $4-8m AAV. We have Richards at $10m+option/buyout and Perez at 1/$4.5m+option/buyout.

This leaves us the following pitching staff. WAR projections are from ZIPS.

Injured List
Sale (L) 3.4 zWAR

Rotation
Rodriguez (L) 3.0 zWAR
Eovaldi (R) 1.2 zWAR
Richards (R) 1.1 zWAR
Perez (L) 1.3 zWAR
Pivetta (R) 1.2 zWAR

Swingmen/Long relief
Andriese (R) 0.8 zWAR
Whitlock (R) 0.9 zWAR

Short Relievers
Barnes (R) 0.7 zWAR
Hernandez (L) 0.1 zWAR
Brazier (R) 0.6 zWAR
Valdez (R) 0.2 zWAR
Brice (R) 0.1 zWAR
Taylor (L) 0.4 zWAR

AAA SP
Mata 0.9 zWAR
Houck 0.5 zWAR
Seabold 1.2 zWAR (!)
Payamps 0.9 zWAR
Mazza 0.6 zWAR

I would like to replace Brice or more likely (options) Taylor with a higher-upside late-inning reliever, but that's a pretty acceptable pitching staff. What particularly stands out to me is ZIPS' optimism about the rotation depth of swingmen and AAA SPs, which is good given the health questions about, well, all of our four top starting pitchers. Now, hopefully Connor Seabold isn't throwing 95 innings for the 2021 Red Sox, but it's good to see that a projection system thinks he could do alright if it came to that.
 

BaseballJones

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The rotation is ok. The bullpen is in rough shape. I’m not super optimistic about many of the relievers. But who knows.
 

chawson

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For me, the more relevant comparison is Quintana at 1/$8m, which I think I would have beaten. But Quintana didn't throw much last season either, due to a dishwashing accident and then a pectoral strain.

Still, I predicted in the other thread that we would add two starters, one at a $10-15m AAV and the other at a $4-8m AAV. We have Richards at $10m+option/buyout and Perez at 1/$4.5m+option/buyout.

This leaves us the following pitching staff. WAR projections are from ZIPS.

Injured List
Sale (L) 3.4 zWAR

Rotation
Rodriguez (L) 3.0 zWAR
Eovaldi (R) 1.2 zWAR
Richards (R) 1.1 zWAR
Perez (L) 1.3 zWAR
Pivetta (R) 1.2 zWAR

Swingmen/Long relief
Andriese (R) 0.8 zWAR
Whitlock (R) 0.9 zWAR

Short Relievers
Barnes (R) 0.7 zWAR
Hernandez (L) 0.1 zWAR
Brazier (R) 0.6 zWAR
Valdez (R) 0.2 zWAR
Brice (R) 0.1 zWAR
Taylor (L) 0.4 zWAR

AAA SP
Mata 0.9 zWAR
Houck 0.5 zWAR
Seabold 1.2 zWAR (!)
Payamps 0.9 zWAR
Mazza 0.6 zWAR

I would like to replace Brice or more likely (options) Taylor with a higher-upside late-inning reliever, but that's a pretty acceptable pitching staff. What particularly stands out to me is ZIPS' optimism about the rotation depth of swingmen and AAA SPs, which is good given the health questions about, well, all of our four top starting pitchers. Now, hopefully Connor Seabold isn't throwing 95 innings for the 2021 Red Sox, but it's good to see that a projection system thinks he could do alright if it came to that.
Nice tally here. Didn’t know about Quintana’s dishwashing injury but I’m wary of soft-tossing lefties in Fenway anyway. Still like a cheap deal for Rich Hill to bolster your swingman crop though.

I think there’s still moves coming. I could see Barnes moved to SD if we do a Myers-type deal and I think Bloom would trade Eovaldi if there’s interest. An underrated vet like Tyler Clippard would have be a nice add too.
 

Ale Xander

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They really didn’t like Kluber’s workout, huh
Yeah, I'm in the camp of preferring Kluber, if going after someone with an injury history. I'd even have gone $12 or $13
Still better than the Evoo deal, based on lower risk.

Is it a team or player option? And is the option also for $10?
Twitterers not doing a good job of being specific.
 
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BillMuellerFanClub

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Isn't the best case scenario that he pitches extraordinarily well for us for the next two years?
Considering his age, the duration of the contract, and the general standing of the rest of the roster, I personally don’t believe that Richards performing to his career lines for the first half of the season is enough to catapult this team into a perennial contender - which is Bloom’s goal, is it not? Sure, if he and the rest of the question marks in the rotation all realize their 90th percentile projections and stay healthy, this team could contend this season. I don’t believe Chaim is banking on that.

I realize that this type of team needs players who bring excellent value, and I concede that a healthy Richards performing at that level is exactly that, but in a 2021 season where Sam Kennedy has already publicly confirmed that they are effectively loading up, this scenario has less value than returning a blue chip prospect or young, undervalued talent with more team control plus quality organizational depth. I would also argue that this kind of move is far more typical of Bloom’s MO than the former.
 
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jon abbey

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Yeah, I'm in the camp of preferring Kluber, if going after someone with a injury history. I'd even have gone $12 or $13
BOS was not mentioned specifically, but it was reported that Kluber turned down some larger offers than 1/11 to be in an environment he felt comfortable (with Cressey/Blake) and with a solid chance for a ring.

Edit: Martino is pretty reliable:

"After Kluber threw a well-attended bullpen session in Florida last week, several teams began bidding aggressively, including a previously unknown suitor: the Toronto Blue Jays. This pushed Kluber’s base salary past what many in the industry expected, considering his recent injury history.

According to league sources, the Yanks actually did not submit the highest offer for Kluber. There were multiple teams willing to pay more than $10 million.

It came down to a desire on the part of Kluber and the Yanks to work together. It couldn’t have hurt that Kluber enjoys working with Eric Cressey, the Yankees’ new director of player health and performance."

https://sny.tv/articles/how-corey-kluber-deal-happened-and-what-it-means-for-yankees-rotation
 

mauf

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Yeah, I'm in the camp of preferring Kluber, if going after someone with a injury history. I'd even have gone $12 or $13
Still better than the Evoo deal, based on lower risk.

Is it a team or player option? And is the option also for $10?
Twitterers not doing a good job of being specific.
Team option for 2022 for $10M, subject to escalators based on 2021 performance. Speier is everyone’s source here, and he hasn’t (so far) provided further details.
 

Rich Garces Belly

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Impressive collection of #4 SPs we have.
I think for 2021 that it might not be a terrible idea to go to a 6 man rotation with Andriese as a swing man filling in for a starter here and there. With starters not throwing much in 2020 and to keep them healthy I think that’s what I would be doing. #4 starters might be even more important in 2021!!!!
 

mauf

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BOS was not mentioned specifically, but it was reported that Kluber turned down some larger offers than 1/11 to be in an environment he felt comfortable (with Cressey/Blake) and with a solid chance for a ring.
I hadn’t seen that, but pitchers like Kluber who are looking for a 1-year deal to rebuild value so they can land a lucrative, long-term deal the next winter are pretty much never going to sign here.
 

E5 Yaz

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I like it. He always had a good arm, he seems to have recovered from his TJS, and he's striking guys out. I'd much rather have him on this deal than Odorizzi for 3/$39M.
You don't get it ... they should sign "best available even if they aren't great" for a big contract to show they aren't trying to be cheap
 

allmanbro

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Richards is the kind of move that I and a lot of others have been thinking is best: he's an upside play. I just didn't really like Richards himself in that role. Others have made cases here that have me warming up to this as a reasonable gamble. I guess I'll make the case against him as the particular choice for that role, to explain my initial reaction (to be clear, I always preferred this over a much bigger Odorizzi deal):

- Richardson is 32, so he's not young, and the odds of a comeback get lower with age.
- It's been 5 years since he threw more than 76 innings, so this is not a single injury or a lost year or two.
- In all of his really good ERA seasons, he's substantially overperformed his SIERRA (and usually also FIP/xFIP). This worries me especially for 2016 and 2017 where his ERAs were in the 2s, but SIERRAs were ~1.5 runs higher, and he threw so few innings I don't expect the ERA to be predictive over SIERRA.

But his velocity is good, and apparently his spin rates were good last year, and he is one more year removed from the surgery compared even to 2020. The fact that it's only a one year commitment is also very nice for the team. On a more personal level, it will also be fun to root for him to pull it together and pitch well. I'll count myself as wary, by hopeful.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Best case scenario is Richards pitches extraordinarily well and is flipped for a nice haul at the deadline. The second year option would allow Boston to get a bit more considering he may not be a rental for the acquiring team, provided it is a team option.
My best case would be that he is healthy and outperforms the $10m price tag so we pick up a cheap $10m option for 2022 on a guy who would otherwise carry a $20m price tag. It’s a $10m bet with the opportunity to have two seasons of value.