The Beltran Option

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SaveBooFerriss

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DrewDawg said:
 
Why does the Sox interest in Beltran make no sense to you?
 
Beltran makes sense to me in theory on a 2 year $28-30M deal.  I would not go more years or much more money and I can't see him leaving St. Louis for that.  
 

PrometheusWakefield

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Says to me that the Red Sox are looking to do the same thing they did last offseason - take the best players available who don't require a long term contract.

Not an encouraging sign for those of us who want Ells back.
 

PrometheusWakefield

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SaveBooFerriss said:
 
Beltran makes sense to me in theory on a 2 year $28-30M deal.  I would not go more years or much more money and I can't see him leaving St. Louis for that.  
Why? With his defense cratering this year, Holliday locked in left and Oscar Tavares presumably taking over one of the OF spots I wouldn't be surprised if the Cardinals are hoping he declines the QO.
 

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glennhoffmania said:
 
Same here.  Victorino, JBJ, Gomes, Nava, Carp.  Why do they need another OF even if Ellsbury leaves?
 
What if Beltran if essentially Napoli's replacement with Nava, Carp and Gomes getting time at 1b while Beltran starts at LF? What sounds better Beltran at 2/$28M or Napoli at 3/39M?  
 
Just food for thought.  
 

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Beltran only makes sense to me if you're going to move Victorino to CF, and in that case you're significantly downgrading the defense at two positions, or if you're going to bench the Nava/Gomes platoon over which it's not clear that a 37 year old Beltran, whose past two seasons are merely good, represents a $10 million per year upgrade.
 

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I like the idea of Beltran.  A top 4 OF of Beltran, Victorino, JBJ, and Gomes/Nava (with Carp presumably kept around in the same role as this year) would be strong with a lot of positional flexibility especially if they keep Nava not Gomes.  I think Nava brings more in the trade market, and I fear that all the intangibles that had Gomes starting in the playoffs over Nava may tip the scales to him over Nava for the 4th OF.  But if the fears of some posters that Gomes' happiness to be the 4th OF may disappear now that he has a ring might mean that he would-be the better trade candidate.
 
EDIT:  TO elaborate . . . I could see Beltran being brought in to offset the loss in Ellsbury's production.  Primary OF lineup would be Beltran in left, JBJ in center, and Victor in right.  But the fact that Beltran can play left or right, (I'm pretty sure his days in CF are long gone), that Victorino can cover center or right, and that JBJ can handle all three, means that the 4th OF, whether it be Nava or Gomes (or even Carp), can slide in safely to LF where their reduced defensive skills can be minimized, especially at Home.
 

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glennhoffmania said:
 
Same here.  Victorino, JBJ, Gomes, Nava, Carp.  Why do they need another OF even if Ellsbury leaves?
 
Well, for starters, Carp isn't a an OF. JBJ is still an unknown part and depending on him for any kind of production would be silly. So you're left with Vic in CF, Gomes in LF, and Nava in RF. I'd much rather have Beltran in RF with Gomes and Nava splitting time in LF and Nava backing up RF. And do we trust Nava to put up a gaudy BABIP again? I don't.
 
Carlos Beltran is a stud. 
 

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PrometheusWakefield said:
Says to me that the Red Sox are looking to do the same thing they did last offseason - take the best players available who don't require a long term contract.

Not an encouraging sign for those of us who want Ells back.
 
There is almost no chance Ellsbury is back. Want all you want, but prepare for him to be gone.
 
I think this likely says more about the front office's views on Nava repeating his performance than anything else.
 
Also, as mentioned, it's a hedge against Bradley having a terrible transition to the bigs.
 
And you know what would be hilarious? Watching Brad Ausmus try to figure out who to pitch to in the LCS.
 

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rembrat said:
 
Well, for starters, Carp isn't a an OF. JBJ is still an unknown part and depending on him for any kind of production would be silly. So you're left with Vic in CF, Gomes in LF, and Nava in RF. I'd much rather have Beltran in RF with Gomes and Nava splitting time in LF and Nava backing up RF. And do we trust Nava to put up a gaudy BABIP again? I don't.
 
Carlos Beltran is a stud. 
 
Eh, agree to disagree.  I wouldn't call him a stud.  His OBP has gone down the last two years to .339 in 2013.  He's been a below average defender since 2008 according to FG.  So if they put him in LF and Gomes/Nava/Carp at 1B you could weaken both LF and 1B defense.  Carp is fine as a 5th OF in my opinion.  Giving Beltran around $30m and losing a pick doesn't thrill me.
 

ivanvamp

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FWIW, here's a quick comparison between the Sox' LF (combined) and Beltran, 2013 numbers:
 
Sox:  594 ab, 18 hr, 101 rbi, .278/.356/.434/.790
Beltran:  554 ab, 24 hr, 84 rbi, .296/.339/.491/.830
 
Also, the cost:
 
Nava/Gomes:  $5.5 million
Beltran:  $13 million
 
So better production at more than twice the cost.  Worth it?  Not if money is tight, but probably yes if money isn't tight - which is what will likely be the case for Boston.
 

jackno

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SaveBooFerriss said:
 
What if Beltran if essentially Napoli's replacement with Nava, Carp and Gomes getting time at 1b while Beltran starts at LF? What sounds better Beltran at 2/$28M or Napoli at 3/39M?  
 
Just food for thought.  
Thinking the same thing.  Perhaps even trying Beltran at 1B.
 

rembrat

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jackno said:
Thinking the same thing.  Perhaps even trying Beltran at 1B.
 
And at DH in case Ortiz has to miss time. Beltran gives you a lot of options and lengthens a lineup. Dave Cameron suggested the Sox would go after Beltran during Game 6 of the WS. It's really a no brainer.
 
I wouldn't be too worried about his BB% going down. It seems like he is swinging more than he did when he had a higher walk rate and if that's the case it shouldn't be too hard to revert back to the OBA machine he was especially coming into an organization that preaches wearing down pitchers. 
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Beltran makes a lot of sense to me.
 
Regardless of how much we like JBJ, there is no certainty that he comes in and produces. Beltran at 2 years is great insurance if JBJ can't hack it. And, while he does hit lefties better than righties, he still has a career .281/.360/.487 against right handed pitching, which is light years better than Victorino/Gomes. We saw a few good righties mow down the Sox in the playoffs this year, and Beltran can handle himself well against them.
 
He had (another) great year at the plate this year, and having 4 good OF to play with should help keep his legs fresh throughout the season.
 

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ivanvamp said:
FWIW, here's a quick comparison between the Sox' LF (combined) and Beltran, 2013 numbers:
 
Sox:  594 ab, 18 hr, 101 rbi, .278/.356/.434/.790
Beltran:  554 ab, 24 hr, 84 rbi, .296/.339/.491/.830
 
Also, the cost:
 
Nava/Gomes:  $5.5 million
Beltran:  $13 million
 
So better production at more than twice the cost.  Worth it?  Not if money is tight, but probably yes if money isn't tight - which is what will likely be the case for Boston
It would be foolish to count on Nava (who accounts for the vast majority of those ABs) coming close to his numbers from last year though. He's a useful player, but I wouldn't count on a .350+ BABIP from him ever again. I'd expect some improvement from Gomes (his game seems pretty well suited to Fenway, but he struggled there last year), but over the next two years my money would be firmly on Beltran to outproduce the Gomes/Nava platoon, especially once you take defense into account (which the numbers quoted above do not).
 

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Carlos Beltran has been underwater defensively since 2008 and at his age I do not believe he is a realistic option for right field in Fenway.  Not only does he not give you more flexibility, he does the opposite - whereas an outfield of Ellsbury-JBJ-Victorino gives you high quality defense at all three positions and the ability to use any of those guys at any of the outfield spots, Beltran becomes cemented in left field with Papi preventing any option to DH him if that becomes necessary.  I'm not really convinced that Ellsbury is that much better defensively than Victorino or JBJ, so I'm less worried about our (first order) defense in center and right, but it does mean that if Victorino or JBJ gets hurt next year, or if JBJ sucks so bad we need to send him down, then our second order outfield defense becomes a problem.
 
That said, what Beltran would do is replace Ellsbury's bat at the top of the order, turning us from the speed and OBP first top 4 this year into a more traditional top 4 of Victorino-Pedroia-Ortiz-Beltran.  Basically, swapping Ells for Beltran is maybe an offensive wash, maybe a bit of an improvement for the Sox, while Beltran's poor defense gets hid in the snug confines of Fenway's left field.  It makes sense, assuming that the Red Sox are ready to hand one of the OF spots to JBJ for next year.  
 
I don't think Nava starts opening day in RF no matter what and he and Gomes seem like the guys who lose playing time to Beltran (not JBJ).
 

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Beltran makes a lot of sense, protecting you from JBJ sputtering or Ortiz going down with an injury.
 

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Kenny F'ing Powers said:
Beltran makes a lot of sense to me.
 
Regardless of how much we like JBJ, there is no certainty that he comes in and produces. Beltran at 2 years is great insurance if JBJ can't hack it. And, while he does hit lefties better than righties, he still has a career .281/.360/.487 against right handed pitching, which is light years better than Victorino/Gomes. We saw a few good righties mow down the Sox in the playoffs this year, and Beltran can handle himself well against them.
 
He had (another) great year at the plate this year, and having 4 good OF to play with should help keep his legs fresh throughout the season.
 
Wasn't Victorino the insurance in case JBJ couldn't come in and immediately replace Ellsbury?  I seem to recall his signing being framed that way in some circles, with the fact that he could probably play a hell of a defensive right field in the meantime being almost an afterthought.  What has changed in that regard?
 
Beltran is a below average defender in RF.  I'm not seeing how he's markedly better or worse than Nava at this point.  If JBJ falters, I'm just as comfortable going with Nava in RF as I would be with Beltran.  Offensively, I don't see a ton of difference either (2013...Nava .366 wOBA,  Beltran .359 wOBA).  Beltran seems like a waste of money for not a lot of upgrade.
 

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DrewDawg said:
 
Why does the Sox interest in Beltran make no sense to you?
 
As has already been suggested, Beltran makes no sense to me because he can't play CF any more, but for the price he would cost, we'd need to start him, presumably in LF. So we've just put Gomes and Nava out of a job and we still don't have a backup CF. Just seems like the wrong guy at the wrong price for our current real-world needs. If we were a fantasy team, that would be a different story.
 

ericz2324

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Kenny F'ing Powers said:
Beltran makes a lot of sense to me.
 
Regardless of how much we like JBJ, there is no certainty that he comes in and produces. Beltran at 2 years is great insurance if JBJ can't hack it. And, while he does hit lefties better than righties, he still has a career .281/.360/.487 against right handed pitching, which is light years better than Victorino/Gomes. We saw a few good righties mow down the Sox in the playoffs this year, and Beltran can handle himself well against them.
 
He had (another) great year at the plate this year, and having 4 good OF to play with should help keep his legs fresh throughout the season.
That's some seriously expensive insurance. If he's signed for 2 years at 28-30 million, which is about what I'd imagine his market to be, he's not here as insurance, he's here to play. Could mean one of two things: Ben and John don't want to do a left field platoon of Gomes and nava, or they don't view jbj as ready to be a full-time major leaguer. My concern is that it's the latter of those two options. There's little doubt that Beltran can help out next seasons squad. If the powers to be are concerned about jbj, then I like the move. If it's only to replace the current left field platoon, then I don't like the move.
 

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The Best Catch in 100 Years said:
It would be foolish to count on Nava (who accounts for the vast majority of those ABs) coming close to his numbers from last year though. He's a useful player, but I wouldn't count on a .350+ BABIP from him ever again. I'd expect some improvement from Gomes (his game seems pretty well suited to Fenway, but he struggled there last year), but over the next two years my money would be firmly on Beltran to outproduce the Gomes/Nava platoon, especially once you take defense into account (which the numbers quoted above do not).
 
Is Beltran better defensively than Gomes/Nava?  I haven't seen anything that suggests that.
 

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I respect Beltran's career, but his numbers show a slight decline. I don't expect a resurgence at the age of 37. He had a 2/26 contract with the Cards. Why would he get an increase? Someone will overpay, why should it be the Sox? 
 

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Savin Hillbilly said:
 
As has already been suggested, Beltran makes no sense to me because he can't play CF any more, but for the price he would cost, we'd need to start him, presumably in LF. So we've just put Gomes and Nava out of a job and we still don't have a backup CF. Just seems like the wrong guy at the wrong price for our current real-world needs. If we were a fantasy team, that would be a different story.
What we don't know is the nature of the discussions with Ellsbury and Napoli.  Does Beltran make no sense even if it's clear that Ells is looking for $23M+/yr and 7+ years?   And what if Napoli is looking for 3 years guaranteed, with no hip concessions?   Beltran makes a ton of sense - quality bat, playable glove, affordable $ and years.  And he's CLUTCH!
 

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Savin Hillbilly said:
 
As has already been suggested, Beltran makes no sense to me because he can't play CF any more, but for the price he would cost, we'd need to start him, presumably in LF. So we've just put Gomes and Nava out of a job and we still don't have a backup CF. Just seems like the wrong guy at the wrong price for our current real-world needs. If we were a fantasy team, that would be a different story.
 
You have 2 CF in Victorino and JBJ. And Beltran is your RF with Gomes and Nava splitting time in LF and Nava backing up Beltran (-18.7 UZR/150) would only be slightly worse than Nava (-15 UZR/150) was in RF.
 

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rembrat said:
 
You have 2 CF in Victorino and JBJ. And Beltran is your RF with Gomes and Nava splitting time in LF and Nava backing up Beltran (-18.7 UZR/150) would only be slightly worse than Nava (-15 UZR/150) was in RF.
 
Beltran was a liability in RF for the Cards .. after enjoying Vic's expertise last year  I can't see the Sox going with that significant a downgrade in the OF defense.
 
Makes much better sense in LF - I think he's the fall back position if Napoli leaves. Carp moves to 1B and splits time with Nava. Nava and Gomes are the backup OFs.
 

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Nava didn't even play one third of a season in RF. Why post his UZR/150? Granted, neither Beltran or Nava are a good option in right, but his UZR/150 numbers are useless.
 

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someoneanywhere said:
This ain't happening. What you have is an agent trying to drum up interest in his client not in Boston, but in Baltimore and especially New York.  
 
Funny how this wasn't leaked -- I say leaked; I mean "planted" -- in one of the Boston media outlets.
 
Somehow my post got lost when everything got moved out of the other thread, but this was my reaction too.  Somebody from the Beltran camp gave this to George King in order to prod the Yankees into action.
 

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absintheofmalaise said:
Nava didn't even play one third of a season in RF. Why post his UZR/150? Granted, neither Beltran or Nava are a good option in right, but his UZR/150 numbers are useless.
 
Apologies. I assumed UZR/150 took UZR and extrapolated for a full season.
 

absintheofmalaise

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rembrat said:
 
Apologies. I assumed UZR/150 took UZR and extrapolated for a full season.
It does, but that doesn't mean it's useful. You need at least three years of data, especially for a corner OF, to get any sense of what his UZR might be in the future, and that is still doubtful.
 

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rembrat said:
 
Well, for starters, Carp isn't a an OF. JBJ is still an unknown part and depending on him for any kind of production would be silly. So you're left with Vic in CF, Gomes in LF, and Nava in RF. I'd much rather have Beltran in RF with Gomes and Nava splitting time in LF and Nava backing up RF. And do we trust Nava to put up a gaudy BABIP again? I don't.

Carlos Beltran is a stud.
 
Well, offensively, he has been for the past few seasons. Not sure about the overall package, though. Both baseball reference and fangraphs have some unkind reviews of his defense of late. It seems that a lot of people think his future may be as a designated hitter in the AL, and the Sox have a similarly-aged player occupying that position for the forseeable future.
 
I think its strange that there's public concern about dead money on the back end of Ellsbury's contract, when he'll still be younger than Beltran is now.
 

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Papelbon's Poutine said:
This makes me think they are going hard after McCann. I can't see Ben giving up the first round pick for a guy that's only going to be around for two years. If they've already spent that pick on McCann, a 2nd is easier to do. They may be looking at them as a package of sorts.
 
The value of their first round pick isn't what it was last year.  They will have either the last pick or the second to last pick in the first round in June.  I'm not quite sure how they handle the tie breaker with St. Louis.  The Red Sox had the better interleague record, so I'm guessing they pick last.  Anyway, with picks coming in for Ellsbury and likely Drew at least, they are going to see their first pick drop by a few slots, and nothing more.  That's a small cost for picking up the best players available, whomever they deem those to be.  I expect we'll see a departure from last year's model, at least as far as protecting picks goes.
 
Given that, Beltran makes sense if they are already assuming Ellsbury is gone.  A 2 year deal works for me as it gives them some Victorino insurance.  We know Shane will spend time hurt in the next two years.  He's going to get banged up at the least, and may end up on the DL more than once.  Beltran in right with JBJ in center is a lot better than JBJ in center and Nava in right.  There will be plenty of at bats to get JBJ, Shane, Beltran, Nava and Gomes into the lineup and they can minimize the drop in defense by going JBJ in center, Shane in right and Beltran in left as their primary alignment with Gomes and Nava backing up the corners as well as taking turns at first along with Mike Carp.  And if Ortiz spends any time on the DL, that opens up even more at bats.  We got lucky that Papi played in 137 games last year.  I think assuming he will stay that healthy again at his age is a bad idea.
 
If they also go after McCann, the roster could get a bit crowded, but they'll work it out.  They're going to put the best team they can on the field, and I don't think draft pick compensation is going to slow them down this year.
 
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Beltran does fit in nicely with the "good clubhouse guy" philosophy that the front office employed with last winter's free agent acquisitions.  And he's hungry for a ring.  There may be some fire behind the smoke.
 

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Papelbon's Poutine said:
This makes me think they are going hard after McCann. I can't see Ben giving up the first round pick for a guy that's only going to be around for two years. If they've already spent that pick on McCann, a 2nd is easier to do. They may be looking at them as a package of sorts.
 
For clarification purposes, if we sign two QO'd FAs, as you're suggesting, we lose our two highest draft picks -- not our 1st and 2nd rounder. Which would be much less of a temptation for Cherington.
 
In other words, we'd lose our first rounder and our first QO-compensation pick, so it'd be something like the No. 21 pick and the No. 30 pick (estimates using a first round reduced by the number of QO-signee eliminations, and then with those QO-signee compensations tacked back on.)
 
 
From the CBA (just throwing it in because I bothered to look it up):
 
(c) Signing Club.
i. A Club that signs one Qualified Free Agent who is subject
to compensation shall forfeit its highest available selection in the
next Rule 4 Draft. A Club that signs more than one Qualified Free
Agent subject to compensation shall forfeit its highest remaining
selection in the next Rule 4 Draft for each additional Qualified
Free Agent it signs. 
 

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Thanks for the clarification, Leo.  I'd say that minimizes the chances they'll sign more than one player who received a QO, but I would argue Beltran is the better target than McCann, for the positional flexibility he offers and the fact that they can get him on a much shorter deal.
 

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Devizier said:
 
 
I think its strange that there's public concern about dead money on the back end of Ellsbury's contract, when he'll still be younger than Beltran is now.
 
I think this is why some of us want to sign neither.
 
If Beltran was looking for a one year deal for $12m or so I'd be somewhat interested.  But I'm reading this thread and trying to understand the wisdom of tying up a roster spot for two years and $28m for a 37 year old with declining offense and defense.  If the choice is between Beltran at 2/28 and Napoli at 3/39 it's a no brainer in my opinion.
 

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Snodgrass'Muff said:
 
The value of their first round pick isn't what it was last year.  They will have either the last pick or the second to last pick in the first round in June.  I'm not quite sure how they handle the tie breaker with St. Louis.  The Red Sox had the better interleague record, so I'm guessing they pick last.  Anyway, with picks coming in for Ellsbury and likely Drew at least, they are going to see their first pick drop by a few slots, and nothing more.  That's a small cost for picking up the best players available, whomever they deem those to be.  I expect we'll see a departure from last year's model, at least as far as protecting picks goes.
 
 
Snod, I've seen somewhere fairly legit (Bleacher Report maybe?) that we pick ahead of St. Louis, at No. 30 to the the Cardinals No. 31. Toronto gets an extra pick because they didn't sign their first-rounder last year, so that's why there are 31 picks in the first round. So, while we're not sitting on the glorious No. 7 pick again, we're also going to be picking well higher than No. 30.
 
With 13 QOs out around MLB, a lot of those first-round picks will vanish after QO'd FAs sign with new teams. Best-case scenario is our No. 30 pick becomes a No. 17, although that's farfetched. 1.) a couple/few of those QOs will be accepted; 2.) Any team with a protected top-10 pick won't lose it. And there are some money teams among the top 10 this year, too (CWS, Cubs, Phillies, Mets, M's if they spend).
 
So, who knows how many places, the Sox move up, but I'd think about seven spots perhaps, with that No. 30 becoming a No. 23. That would also move up however many QO sandwich picks we're holding onto, as well. To somewhere in the neighborhood of 30.
 
That's why losing, say, Ells and one of Drew/Napoli, and then not signing a QO'd FA like McCann or Beltran would give us essentially three picks in roughly what used to be the first round. 
 

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glennhoffmania said:
 
I think this is why some of us want to sign neither.
 
If Beltran was looking for a one year deal for $12m or so I'd be somewhat interested.  But I'm reading this thread and trying to understand the wisdom of tying up a roster spot for two years and $28m for a 37 year old with declining offense and defense.  If the choice is between Beltran at 2/28 and Napoli at 3/39 it's a no brainer in my opinion.
 
Not to mention the lost draft pick...I don't see how this signing works for Boston unless the framework is in place for a trade of some sort.
 

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Devizier said:
I think its strange that there's public concern about dead money on the back end of Ellsbury's contract, when he'll still be younger than Beltran is now.
 
I think it's strange that someone thinks the two situations are at al analagous. If you could guarantee that Ellbury would have the same general health over the next five years that Beltran had over the last five years, I don't think anyone would be all that concerned.
 
You can't, though, and projecting two years worth of performance that is going to happen six years from now is a lot harder than projecting two years of performance that is going to start next April. I know it feels like forever, but it isn't, actually.
 

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Leo, it's a good point but they're still just dropping six or seven spots most likely, so if they are really high on someone who was offered a QO, I don't think they'll hesitate just because of the pick.  It wouldn't surprise me to see them not sign anyone who was made and offer, but with the loss of Ellsbury, Drew and possibly Napoli, I wouldn't be surprised to see them go in the other direction, either.
 
Edit: Clarified who I was responding to.
 

LeoCarrillo

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Snodgrass'Muff said:
Leo, it's a good point but they're still just dropping six or seven spots most likely, so if they are really high on someone who was offered a QO, I don't think they'll hesitate just because of the pick.  It wouldn't surprise me to see them not sign anyone who was made and offer, but with the loss of Ellsbury, Drew and possibly Napoli, I wouldn't be surprised to see them go in the other direction, either.
 
Edit: Clarified who I was responding to.
 
Oh, absolutely. They could nab a McCann or Beltran and toss the No. 23 knowing they've still got the No. 30 and No. 31 (my estimates on pick position).
 
I just love that Ben's got these cards in his hands. Makes it a "new Moneyball" to find guys on make-good deals, even overpaying them for a year by a couple million, in order to cash in the QO compensation pick when they leave a year later. Of course, if Napoli turns into a 30 pick who becomes a future star it'll be the luckiest necrosis ever.
 

The Best Catch in 100 Years

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glennhoffmania said:
 
Is Beltran better defensively than Gomes/Nava?  I haven't seen anything that suggests that.
Yeah, nothing conclusively points toward that I guess, though Beltran's UZR/150 from 2010-13 is better than that of either Gomes or Nava, over many more innings.
 

Devizier

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Rasputin said:
 
I think it's strange that someone thinks the two situations are at al analagous. If you could guarantee that Ellbury would have the same general health over the next five years that Beltran had over the last five years, I don't think anyone would be all that concerned.
 
You can't, though, and projecting two years worth of performance that is going to happen six years from now is a lot harder than projecting two years of performance that is going to start next April. I know it feels like forever, but it isn't, actually.
 
Beltran played 64, 98, and 44 games before putting together two healthy seasons in St. Louis in that span.
 
Needless to say, you can't guarantee that Beltran will be as healthy in the next two seasons as he was in the last two. I'd say that the odds are much better than Ellsbury will be healthy going forward than Beltran will be. This strikes me as another potential Mike Cameron situation.
 
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