Sox talking Mookie trade with Dodgers, Padres - News & Discussion

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Rovin Romine

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I don't think many athletes think this way, but a lot comes down to quality of life, once you're a multi, multi, multi millionaire. Seems like many of them are brainwashed into going for the biggest payday, because it's the biggest payday.
 

nvalvo

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Actually, the key question is whether the $9M per WAR valuation is even remotely realistic.

That figure gets thrown around like it's holy writ, and yet no one seems to know (or is able to explain) what it's based on and whether it has any relevance in contract negotiations.
I thought I did pretty well here.
 

BaseballJones

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I don't think many athletes think this way, but a lot comes down to quality of life, once you're a multi, multi, multi millionaire. Seems like many of them are brainwashed into going for the biggest payday, because it's the biggest payday.
I wonder how much pressure these guys get from the union to pursue and take the biggest offer? Obviously one reason why Mookie can get an insane amount of money is because players before him got insane amounts of money, and there's some sense of responsibility he may have to other players (that's the argument the union will make). But shouldn't the player's preference win out? What if the player is ok taking less in order to be in a place he prefers? But man, I bet the union makes it hard to make that kind of decision.
 

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I thought I did pretty well here.
That's a very good analysis, and you touch on some of what bothers me about how we "value" WAR.

The price teams are willing to pay for expected WAR is an expense. To apply that retrospectively and label it as "value" leads to the logical conclusion that teams are underpaying all but the most awful performers. Which, in turn, makes it easy to justify destructive contracts. (IMO, of course.)

That doesn't mean it's not a good tool to put things in perspective. But, as you state, it's important to remember that what teams are really looking for isn't to spend $9m per win. It's to blend your spending so that you grudgingly pay one or two players at the $9m per win level, a few at the $85K per win level (like the Sox did with Devers last year) and the majority somewhere in the middle.

That's a long way of saying that from the team's perspective, the value of a win is a linear expression of what they expect from their total payroll, not what the top end of the market is expressing. And this is why all but a few free agent contracts end up being seen as overspending on the team's part.

I love Mookie, but I think a 12/420 contract for him would cripple the Sox and I want no part of it.
 

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Sorry if this has already been discussed, but Alex Verdugo has been dealing with a somewhat mysterious back issue since last summer, and it's not clear 1) exactly what the issue is and 2) whether he will be ready for the season.

 

DeadlySplitter

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Heyman just respews the obvious sometimes with no sources. Everyone expects it now of course, but so much of this could be a smokescreen to try to get one of the Dodgers/Padres to give up one of the "untouchables", and if they don't we'll just keep him.

actions speak louder than words...
 

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I wonder how much pressure these guys get from the union to pursue and take the biggest offer? Obviously one reason why Mookie can get an insane amount of money is because players before him got insane amounts of money, and there's some sense of responsibility he may have to other players (that's the argument the union will make). But shouldn't the player's preference win out? What if the player is ok taking less in order to be in a place he prefers? But man, I bet the union makes it hard to make that kind of decision.
I mean, this happens more than it doesn’t. Players are always signing deals like Xander did last season.
And frankly, I don’t most of these guys spend much time worrying about the union.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I don't think many athletes think this way, but a lot comes down to quality of life, once you're a multi, multi, multi millionaire. Seems like many of them are brainwashed into going for the biggest payday, because it's the biggest payday.
It's about "pride" and being paid more than the other guys. Betts is arguably the 2nd best player in baseball so he wants to be paid as such.
 

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With all the reporting focused on Padres and Dodgers, fully expecting at least one reporter to suggest a “mystery team” has entered the mix in the coming days.
 

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It's about "pride" and being paid more than the other guys. Betts is arguably the 2nd best player in baseball so he wants to be paid as such.
Occam's Razor might suggest that he simply wants to be paid what he thinks he's worth. He's testing the job market in the same way that most of us do at some point or another in our careers, and his career earnings of $60M to date allow him to take on a fair bit of risk while doing so. The numbers are obviously bigger, but so are the employer's resources to make a market for him.
 

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With all the reporting focused on Padres and Dodgers, fully expecting at least one reporter to suggest a “mystery team” has entered the mix in the coming days.
Beat me to it. Almost malpractice if Bloom doesn't get that somehow out into the ether.
 

reggiecleveland

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It's about "pride" and being paid more than the other guys. Betts is arguably the 2nd best player in baseball so he wants to be paid as such.
It really is. Bill Russell had a contract to be highest paid player. What ever Wilt got he got a dollar more.

Lot sof NHL guys around here in the off season, and believe me contract is way bigger sign of status than anything else, other than when a guy wins the Cup. Even guys playing in places where they pay more taxes, and the net is lower feel superior if their gross is higher. In fact guys joke, but only seems a but of a joke about taking a multi year deal at higher number then tanking to get traded out of the high tax zone.
 

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Occam's Razor might suggest that he simply wants to be paid what he thinks he's worth. He's testing the job market in the same way that most of us do at some point or another in our careers, and his career earnings of $60M to date allow him to take on a fair bit of risk while doing so. The numbers are obviously bigger, but so are the employer's resources to make a market for him.
I would also add that for some players, the simple fact that after being under team control for so many years, being FREE to make your own choices out from under that team's umbrella may offer attractions that go beyond the monetary. Mookie may simply want to take a breath as a free man before HE decides where he is going to play.
 

ehaz

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If the deal is centered on Verdugo + prospects and/or other minimum salary guys like Gonsolin, the Red Sox can afford to pay a lot of Price's contract and still be under the luxury threshold. I hope they are not set on getting completely out of his deal at the expense of talent.

Current payroll estimate: ~$232M (from this article + Moreland's $3M contract)
Luxury tax threshold: $208M
Mookie at $27M and Price at $32M = -$59M

That's about ~$31M of room if you assume two players coming from LAD making pre-arb dollars replace Mookie and Price on the roster.
 

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Sorry if this has already been discussed, but Alex Verdugo has been dealing with a somewhat mysterious back issue since last summer, and it's not clear 1) exactly what the issue is and 2) whether he will be ready for the season.

Hmmmm, that is worrisome -- and explains why the Dodgers seem so ready to deal a guy who looks like his ceiling is Benintendi-plus.

How likely is it that an injury like this could have long-term repercussions? Do backs go south and never come back?
 

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Mattingly among others didn't fare well with back woes.
 
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BaseballJones

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If Bloom has the same fortune of trading away high priced studs and receiving back prospect-type talent here as he had in Tampa, watch the Sox deal away Betts and Price, get under the luxury tax, and have the guys they've added turn out to be really frigging good.

Watch Brice be a legit bullpen arm.
Watch Plawecki be a terrific backstop.
Watch Perez put it together and be as good as Price in 2020.
Watch Peraza be a useful player.
Watch Verdugo be an all-star caliber player.

I've been pretty down on these acquisitions but damn if Bloom doesn't seem to find guys who end up being really good.
 

edoug

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Hmmmm, that is worrisome -- and explains why the Dodgers seem so ready to deal a guy who looks like his ceiling is Benintendi-plus.

How likely is it that an injury like this could have long-term repercussions? Do backs go south and never come back?
My thinking as well. All the travel doesn't help and it's a mysterious back problem. Not very comforting.
 

jon abbey

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Hmmmm, that is worrisome -- and explains why the Dodgers seem so ready to deal a guy who looks like his ceiling is Benintendi-plus.

How likely is it that an injury like this could have long-term repercussions? Do backs go south and never come back?
23 is really young to have a chronic back issue, but Don Mattingly first hurt his back at 26 and was never the same.
 
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Price may add

My thinking as well. All the travel doesn't help and it's a mysterious back problem. Not very comforting.
Verdugo is still going to have to pass a physical. I really like his future. I'm thinking that the Dodgers will probably regret in the long run trading him off. I can't stress enough that his arm in the outfield is pretty damn good. Get a package of Verdugo and good prospects. I like Jeter Downs a lot but he's not going to headline a prospect haul. He's more of a second piece. If the Sox are trading Price and Mookie you better get a better return than Verdugo and Downs. Get Gonsolin and Ruiz in addition.
 
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23 is really young to have a chronic back issue, but Don Mattingly first hurt his back at 26 and was never the same.
I would hope that there have been medical advances since the 1980s regarding back issues. I genuinely don't know. But I'm thinking that comparing the same injury to players that played 30 years apart would be apples to oranges.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I would hope that there have been medical advances since the 1980s regarding back issues. I genuinely don't know. But I'm thinking that comparing the same injury to players that played 30 years apart would be apples to oranges.
Is it the same injury or just the same body part? "Back issues" could mean anything.
 

jon abbey

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I would hope that there have been medical advances since the 1980s regarding back issues. I genuinely don't know. But I'm thinking that comparing the same injury to players that played 30 years apart would be apples to oranges.
I mean, comparing any two things without deeper knowledge is problematic, but David Wright had a degenerative back issue that forced him to retire early just a few years ago, if that more recent case works better for you. I was specifically answering "Do backs go south and never come back?" and the answer is pretty clearly sometimes they do.

====================

“Some people just have early breakdown of the disk spaces and that’s mostly based on genetics.”

 
Jan 31, 2020
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I mean, comparing any two things without deeper knowledge is problematic, but David Wright had a degenerative back issue that forced him to retire early just a few years ago, if that more recent case works better for you. I was specifically answering "Do backs go south and never come back?" and the answer is pretty clearly sometimes they do.

====================

“Some people just have early breakdown of the disk spaces and that’s mostly based on genetics.”

This is true. Everyone's body works differently. From what I've read Verdugos is just something he tweaked and needed rest. But the article the other day is concerning. But not concerning enough to pass on someone who might end up becoming a 4-5 WAR player in his prime.
 

edoug

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Verdugo is still going to have to pass a physical. I really like his future. I'm thinking that the Dodgers will probably regret in the long run trading him off. I can't stress enough that his arm in the outfield is pretty damn good. Get a package of Verdugo and good prospects. I like Jeter Downs a lot but he's not going to headline a prospect haul. He's more of a second piece. If the Sox are trading Price and Mookie you better get a better return than Verdugo and Downs. Get Gonsolin and Ruiz in addition.
Whether he is traded to the Sox or not, may he fully recover. I agree with you about Price. I think he could flourish in LA.
 

YTF

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Verdugo is still going to have to pass a physical. I really like his future. I'm thinking that the Dodgers will probably regret in the long run trading him off. I can't stress enough that his arm in the outfield is pretty damn good. Get a package of Verdugo and good prospects. I like Jeter Downs a lot but he's not going to headline a prospect haul. He's more of a second piece. If the Sox are trading Price and Mookie you better get a better return than Verdugo and Downs. Get Gonsolin and Ruiz in addition.
You have to understand that part of the "return" is the amount of salary that the other team takes on. It's not the only aspect, but it is a large consideration in who comes back to the Sox and any potential deal involving Betts/Price/Eovaldi/Sale etc...
 

jon abbey

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From what I've read Verdugos is just something he tweaked and needed rest.
Maybe, I don't know anything more than anyone else, but he hurt it on September 2 in a rehab game and now it's five months later and as of the last report I've seen, he has yet to start baseball-related activities.
 
Jan 31, 2020
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You have to understand that part of the "return" is the amount of salary that the other team takes on. It's not the only aspect, but it is a large consideration in who comes back to the Sox and any potential deal involving Betts/Price/Eovaldi/Sale etc...
I get that. However, it's not logical to use your best player in a salary dump to get under the 208 tax. Lots of people do things that have zero logic attached to them so it wouldn't be a shock if this was just a straight dump. The Red Sox should be thinking long and hard about this and really not use Mookie as a way to get a "bad" contract off the books. This isn't like them telling the Dodgers to take Pedroia. David Price as unpopular as he is here is a good pitcher. Before he had the wrist issues last year he was the Sox best one.
 

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I get that. However, it's not logical to use your best player in a salary dump to get under the 208 tax. Lots of people do things that have zero logic attached to them so it wouldn't be a shock if this was just a straight dump. The Red Sox should be thinking long and hard about this and really not use Mookie as a way to get a "bad" contract off the books. This isn't like them telling the Dodgers to take Pedroia. David Price as unpopular as he is here is a good pitcher. Before he had the wrist issues last year he was the Sox best one.
It's your best player who is walking at the end of the season. It's a less logical to let him walk and get nothing. It won't be a straight dump, if it was it would have already happened. Also one other thought in relation to Price. He started just 22 games last season and had off season surgery to remove a cyst on his wrist. maybe not a huge deal, but in 2017 he only started 11 games dues to various injuries. All of a sudden there is concern for Verdugo's back (and rightly so), but should the Dodgers have some concerns over Price? Doesn't that become a sticking point in any negotiation? You have to face facts that you're not going to get everything in this deal. (Not directed just at you)
 

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It's your best player who is walking at the end of the season. It's a less logical to let him walk and get nothing. It won't be a straight dump, if it was it would have already happened. Also one other thought in relation to Price. He started just 22 games last season and had off season surgery to remove a cyst on his wrist. maybe not a huge deal, but in 2017 he only started 11 games dues to various injuries. All of a sudden there is concern for Verdugo's back (and rightly so), but should the Dodgers have some concerns over Price? Doesn't that become a sticking point in any negotiation? You have to face facts that you're not going to get everything in this deal. (Not directed just at you)
The Red Sox currently have no one playing second base and are going into the season with a bullpen that has not improved at all from last year (and last year's pen wasn't great to begin with). They are now trading their best player and their second best (though I might argue best) pitcher for a bunch of players -- the pick of which may (or may not) have significant back issues.

Not only that, but it's eight days until Spring Training and there's no manager.

The Red Sox will be lucky to finish in third place this year. This sucks.
 

DeadlySplitter

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The Red Sox currently have no one playing second base and are going into the season with a bullpen that has not improved at all from last year (and last year's pen wasn't great to begin with). They are now trading their best player and their second best (though I might argue best) pitcher for a bunch of players -- the pick of which may (or may not) have significant back issues.

Not only that, but it's eight days until Spring Training and there's no manager.

The Red Sox will be lucky to finish in third place this year. This sucks.
despite everything I dont' think Toronto surpasses us this year. all bets are off in 2021 though.
 

nvalvo

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That's a very good analysis, and you touch on some of what bothers me about how we "value" WAR.

The price teams are willing to pay for expected WAR is an expense. To apply that retrospectively and label it as "value" leads to the logical conclusion that teams are underpaying all but the most awful performers. Which, in turn, makes it easy to justify destructive contracts. (IMO, of course.)

That doesn't mean it's not a good tool to put things in perspective. But, as you state, it's important to remember that what teams are really looking for isn't to spend $9m per win. It's to blend your spending so that you grudgingly pay one or two players at the $9m per win level, a few at the $85K per win level (like the Sox did with Devers last year) and the majority somewhere in the middle.

That's a long way of saying that from the team's perspective, the value of a win is a linear expression of what they expect from their total payroll, not what the top end of the market is expressing. And this is why all but a few free agent contracts end up being seen as overspending on the team's part.

I love Mookie, but I think a 12/420 contract for him would cripple the Sox and I want no part of it.
I think we basically agree.

Obviously, teams want to hold down their $/WAR. You don't want to pay retail if you can avoid it, for all kinds of reasons: keeping costs down and keeping flexibility up. But that doesn't mean that the observed market price of a win in FA isn't an important consideration in understanding how the different, intersecting markets for talent work and interact: the anti-competitive market for homegrown talent (a.k.a. the draft, draft-slotting, and arbitration system), the IFA market, the trade market, and the actual FA market.

You seem to be proposing that we instead use $/WAR of the entire market as our benchmark, and I see why you might do that. This narrows the argument to thinking about to different ways of expressing the delta between the value of a pre-arb player and the value of a FA player. The Fangraphs way has us price players' projections in terms of the FA $/WAR, and then subtract their actual paycheck to determine a surplus value figure that you can compare to another player to determine relative trade values that roughly correspond with observed values. You seem to be proposing instead that we give each player both a projection and a $/WAR unit price, as it were, and use that to measure surplus value.

It's not a terrible idea. But the problem is that because that includes sections of the market that are — ahem — over-regulated, those prices don't actually contain a lot of information. So you end up blending the signal of your FA market in with a bunch of noise from the pre-arb tranche of the market, in which players of widely divergent quality all earn roughly the same salary. Rafael Devers makes the same money as Matt Chapman, who is probably a better player than he is — but both guys also make the same money as Joey Wendle, Rio Ruiz, David Bote, and Mike Freeman. No offense to those guys, but they aren't in that same tier.

I'm worried that you get a less-sensitive measure of the cost of a win. You also get a measure that requires a bit more math to make effective trade comparisons for different lengths of team control.
 

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It's going to be one of those years.

Sox re-build.
Milwaukee/Lakers.
Pats possibly without Brady.

Time to enjoy sports for being sports.
 
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