The off-season

simplicio

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Why are we still talking starting pitching? We have six great to decent starters already, a hole for an eighth inning reliever and temporary need for one of DH/1b/3b. I believe DD has said as much.
 

jasvlm

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After the year he just had, if Detroit puts Verlander up for serious trade consideration he'll be this off-season's most prized piece.

Unlike some earlier wishful thinking here, I can actually see the barren starting pitching market playing heavily in Detroit's favor there. An offer of Devers and Swihart doesn't even get that conversation started imo.
You may well be right about the price, but given that Detroit is asking to get salary relief in the process, having 2 large value contracts off their books should reasonably drop the asking price. If we were talking about Verlander alone, I would believe the price would be higher, but given Victor's contract, and the likelihood that it is largely untradable (he's AL only as a DH, and the list of teams who need a DH and could absorb that salary is very short), the price has to drop.
Verlander's making big money on a per year basis (28m per season for the next 3). That's not chump change. Verlander is coming off a 5 WAR season, his best since 2012. Most projections have him as a 4.5 WAR guy in 2017, and with some decline because of age-he's 34 at the start of next year-one could peg his likely WAR from 2017-2019 as 4.5, 4.0, 3.5, for a total of 12 WAR over the span of his contract. If the cost per WAR figure is around 7.5-8 mil/WAR, that's 96 mil of value on a contract that costs 84 for those 3 years. That's not a lot of surplus value compared to the contracts that Sale and Quintana have now, and if Verlander were to slip back into his 2014-2015 versions, he's at 2.9 WAR/season, below his contract cost. The Tigers might want to sell high on Verlander coming off such a strong season, and hope to get a group of young players that represent a chance at impact pieces on their next contending team. Both Swihart and Devers are position players with the potential to be cheap and productive within the next 2 seasons, and while I might underestimate the bidding war on a guy like Verlander, the ability to take Victor's contract really does represent a value add to the Tigers. Victor can still hit, but that's all he brings to the table, and Fangraphs had him as being worth less than a full win in 2016, after having negative value in 2015 when his knee was ailing. His contract carries no surplus value, so being willing to take that on has to lower the asking price on Verlander.
I'm not saying that this deal will happen, but it could, and the value wouldn't be wrong, in my opinion. I'm willing to be ridiculed in terms of underestimating the market for starting pitching this offseason, but teams who can take on these types of salaries are not plentiful, nor are they usually willing to add players at this stage of their careers. I guess we'll see.
 

MikeM

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You may well be right about the price, but given that Detroit is asking to get salary relief in the process, having 2 large value contracts off their books should reasonably drop the asking price. If we were talking about Verlander alone, I would believe the price would be higher, but given Victor's contract, and the likelihood that it is largely untradable (he's AL only as a DH, and the list of teams who need a DH and could absorb that salary is very short), the price has to drop.
If Detroit really wanted to go that route there is nothing stopping them from making 2 separate trades though, which would then negate any need to compromise the otherwise very healthy return due on Verlander. Now granted Martinez's deal might not be looking all that great atm when put next to the one Morales just signed, but he's still a far cry from being "largely untradeable" imo. Unlike a guy like Sandoval, Detroit could probably eat a few million on Martinez and find a dump spot.

That said, I still have a hard time seeing Detroit even doing that. Speculative smoke aside, it's just too much of a complicated situation they have going on with their ownership and current roster construction. So while I personally agree that right now is the perfect time for them to sell high on Verlander, I don't see that or a half effort dynamite job actually happening over a likelihood that they completely run it into the ground first.
 

MikeM

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Why are we still talking starting pitching? We have six great to decent starters already, a hole for an eighth inning reliever and temporary need for one of DH/1b/3b. I believe DD has said as much.
In all fairness I'm guessing a lot of people are waiting to see exactly how we go about both replacing Ortiz and filling that 8th inning hole before they revisit the debate on DD's call to stand pat on the starting pitching.

I also think calling it a full 6 there is a stretch. 5.5 maybe, since before even factoring in any potential injuries elsewhere you arguably already have to account for the 6th guy inevitably stepping in for Buchholz at some point next season.
 

PrometheusWakefield

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I'm not sure if I've ever seen an offseason where I wanted the Red Sox to do almost nothing before, but here we are. Resign Koji, maybe add a reliever or two, look to extend the young stars, and that's it. Papi's offense can be replaced internally and there's way too much coming in the farm system and way too little available in free agency to bother with trades or FA signings.
 

jasvlm

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If Detroit really wanted to go that route there is nothing stopping them from making 2 separate trades though, which would then negate any need to compromise the otherwise very healthy return due on Verlander. Now granted Martinez's deal might not be looking all that great atm when put next to the one Morales just signed, but he's still a far cry from being "largely untradeable" imo. Unlike a guy like Sandoval, Detroit could probably eat a few million on Martinez and find a dump spot.

That said, I still have a hard time seeing Detroit even doing that. Speculative smoke aside, it's just too much of a complicated situation they have going on with their ownership and current roster construction. So while I personally agree that right now is the perfect time for them to sell high on Verlander, I don't see that or a half effort dynamite job actually happening over a likelihood that they completely run it into the ground first.
If nothing else, Detroit's early indication move: moving Maybin, who fills a need for them in CF, and who had a very strong season this past year, should signal their intentions. If they truly wanted to crank it up for yet another run for Illitch, exercising Maybin's very reasonable 9 mil option and keeping him to play CF for them would have been a no brainer. They have no other viable CF on the roster (they are talking about using Gose, Collins or rookie JaCoby Jones out there), and the value on that contract was strong. They flipped it to the Angels for an Angels "prospect", a likely middle reliever in 2018 if everything breaks right. They are going to tear that team down to the screws, and shedding payroll is going to be the driving force behind the moves they make. They may well retain Miggy, but aside from him, everyone is fair game. Detroit has already announced their intentions with the Maybin move, and with public statements about moving in a different direction, and that's probably the right thing to do given their roster and their farm system limitations. The Indians are the only AL Central team who figures to be trying to compete and win in 2017, depending on how the Royals offseason goes. The Twins, White Sox and Tigers are all going to be moving towards younger, cheaper rosters, selling off their expensive contracts when the market is starved for that kind of talent.
 

MikeM

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If nothing else, Detroit's early indication move: moving Maybin, who fills a need for them in CF, and who had a very strong season this past year, should signal their intentions. If they truly wanted to crank it up for yet another run for Illitch, exercising Maybin's very reasonable 9 mil option and keeping him to play CF for them would have been a no brainer. They have no other viable CF on the roster (they are talking about using Gose, Collins or rookie JaCoby Jones out there), and the value on that contract was strong. They flipped it to the Angels for an Angels "prospect", a likely middle reliever in 2018 if everything breaks right. They are going to tear that team down to the screws, and shedding payroll is going to be the driving force behind the moves they make. They may well retain Miggy, but aside from him, everyone is fair game. Detroit has already announced their intentions with the Maybin move, and with public statements about moving in a different direction, and that's probably the right thing to do given their roster and their farm system limitations. The Indians are the only AL Central team who figures to be trying to compete and win in 2017, depending on how the Royals offseason goes. The Twins, White Sox and Tigers are all going to be moving towards younger, cheaper rosters, selling off their expensive contracts when the market is starved for that kind of talent.
Maybin could also simply be budget reality noise showing it's ugly head. Detroit's payroll has spiked heavily upwards over the last 3 seasons, and Cots already has them at $179m before even going into arby. Spending $198m last year doesn't necessarily translate into it being a full time comfort zone thing, but it doesn't mean they now need to go out and slice payroll to shreds either. A team can cut payroll without waving the white flag in the process.

Plus it is not just Miggy you likely end up stuck with in a full tear down. Both the $100m+ guys (Upton/Zimmerman) they just went out and signed last winter would be rough sells right now, as well that remaining $21m on Sanchez. So yeah, I'd still personally need to see a bigger domino then Maybin fall before i really bought in to a fire sale probability there.
 

jasvlm

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Maybin could also simply be budget reality noise showing it's ugly head. Detroit's payroll has spiked heavily upwards over the last 3 seasons, and Cots already has them at $179m before even going into arby. Spending $198m last year doesn't necessarily translate into it being a full time comfort zone thing, but it doesn't mean they now need to go out and slice payroll to shreds either. A team can cut payroll without waving the white flag in the process.

Plus it is not just Miggy you likely end up stuck with in a full tear down. Both the $100m+ guys (Upton/Zimmerman) they just went out and signed last winter would be rough sells right now, as well that remaining $21m on Sanchez. So yeah, I'd still personally need to see a bigger domino then Maybin fall before i really bought in to a fire sale probability there.
For the reasons you note (the recently signed contracts for Upton and Zimmerman), Detroit almost has to drop payroll and find a way to get younger and cheaper. Upton and Zimmerman have very little, if any, surplus value on their contracts, and the length of both deals probably precludes them from being able to trade them. Sanchez is in the same boat, but I bet they try to find a taker there as well. The Red Sox match up well with their needs (Verlander meets a lot of teams' needs), so a speculative play to acquire Verlander with Victor seemed plausible. Based on all the comments made by the Tigers brass thus far in the offseason, it would seem to indicate a desire to be very aggressive in moving expensive pieces, not just saving 9 mil to get under the luxury tax threshold. I guess we'll find out, but I still stand by my position that the Tigers will be sellers this offseason, and that Verlander and Victor are reasonable targets for the Red Sox given the likely cost.

It would appear that the days of Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch gladly opening up his pocketbook to reel in big name free agents are gone. In his year-end media session, Tigers general manager Al Avila told fans three simple words: “Changes are coming.” That phrase, along with the rest of a stunner of a press conference, turned what was supposed to be a quiet and uneventful offseason into a winter soon to be filled with anticipation and trepidation.

Now, the Tigers face the unenviable task of putting their payroll on a diet. Avila stressed that the Tigers have been “operating above their means for some time” and that changes must be made to get “younger and more efficient”. The time to do so is upon us, apparently, and this offseason looks to be the first of many where the Tigers will look to transition from a $200 million payroll on the fringe of contention to a sleek and efficient machine that fields churns out young players and keeps the dream of the postseason alive every year.
 

jimbobim

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A lot of good takes re the Tigers and their payroll situation. Upton and Zimm are basically underwater already. Avila has made it clear he's going to unload people.

I agree with those saying Victor and Verlander are both basically signed to market rate deals. I also agree with those saying that with the Twins, White Sox, entering rebuild/tank mode for next year I find it hard to believe Illitch would greenlight blowing the whole thing up considering the pitching isn't awful.

The guy I'm sure DET would love to offload is very difficult to gauge his value. Miggy. His contract is beyond nuts. I disagree with the piece in that if they do find a suitor ,say the Astros, they won't be getting a lot of prospects in return.

I kind of like Holliday as a buy low and can see them pairing him with Beltran. Wouldn't be the worst idea in the world IMHO

http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/story/red-sox-trade-rumor-miguel-cabrera-is-possible-but-probable-111416?cmpid=feed:-sports-CQ-RSS-Feed
 

MikeM

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I'm not sure how I feel about the buzz surrounding our interest in Holland. It's not even like he took a year off for injury after a stellar season. That last seen 2015 looks pretty meh imo.

Paying out a multi year deal there in hopes the 2014 version shows up, in combination with once again banking on Buchholz, seems like a fairly throw caution (and depth concern) to the wind approach to our off-season tweak plan.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I'm not sure how I feel about the buzz surrounding our interest in Holland. It's not even like he took a year off for injury after a stellar season. That last seen 2015 looks pretty meh imo.

Paying out a multi year deal there in hopes the 2014 version shows up, in combination with once again banking on Buchholz, seems like a fairly throw caution (and depth concern) to the wind approach to our off-season tweak plan.
Think John Lackey in 2011 when considering Holland's 2015 season. He was probably "pretty meh" because he was pitching through an elbow injury that required the TJ surgery that kept him out all of 2016.

I'm prepared to cut him some slack. To me, the more concerning thing is simply the volatility of relievers even when they're presumably healthy. That his off-year had a cause to pin-point and that cause had been corrected is reason for optimism.

By no means does that mean DD should put all his bullpen eggs in the Holland basket, but he is a perfect reasonable piece with a good deal of upside if he can regain his prior form. I'd only be concerned if he was the only addition made to the pen, which I very much doubt he would be.
 

E5 Yaz

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The guy I'm sure DET would love to offload is very difficult to gauge his value. Miggy. His contract is beyond nuts. I disagree with the piece in that if they do find a suitor ,say the Astros, they won't be getting a lot of prospects in return.
Indeed

  • 17:$28M, 18-21:$30M annually, 22-23:$32M annually, 24:$30M club option ($8M buyout), 25:$30M club option
  • 2024-25 options guaranteed with top 10 finish in previous year’s MVP vote
/cot's

He will be 34 on April 18
 

PapaSox

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Indeed

  • 17:$28M, 18-21:$30M annually, 22-23:$32M annually, 24:$30M club option ($8M buyout), 25:$30M club option
  • 2024-25 options guaranteed with top 10 finish in previous year’s MVP vote
/cot's

He will be 34 on April 18
Man that is a lot of money to pay for a DH. I can't see him pushing many off of 1B. Detroit has got to eat a lot of that to move him. That's $242 million. I love what Miggy has been able to do but $242 million is just a tad on the insane side. His contract runs through 41. Ortiz had a majestic season which few will come close to reproducing. I don't think Miggy has it in him.
 

E5 Yaz

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Man that is a lot of money to pay for a DH. I can't see him pushing many off of 1B. Detroit has got to eat a lot of that to move him. That's $242 million. I love what Miggy has been able to do but $242 million is just a tad on the insane side. His contract runs through 41. Ortiz had a majestic season which few will come close to reproducing. I don't think Miggy has it in him.
Hanley being Manny
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Surely the only type of person crazy enough to take on that kind of money is the kind of person who would give it to him in the first place...
Any contract DD signed in Detroit has to be viewed through an Ilitch filter. There were too many stupid deals doled out and enough rumors that it's hard to blame DD solely for it. And when boss says jump, you jump.
 

TonyPenaNeverJuiced

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Any contract DD signed in Detroit has to be viewed through an Ilitch filter. There were too many stupid deals doled out and enough rumors that it's hard to blame DD solely for it. And when boss says jump, you jump.
100%, but I think the statement still stands.

(Side note: Is Ilitch the only owner with professional playing experience?)
 

MikeM

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I agree with Bradford that sometimes you do indeed have to go into a free agent signing forgetting about exactly how much money a guy will be making. In fact, that was a large part of my logic when I spent the better half of a year championing the David Price type signing our roster was all but screaming out for. But in this particular instance he's still missing the main point here imo, which can't simply be justified by taking the one easily singled out exception to the general rule (Cruz) and then highlighting that as some beacon of hope.

EE turns 34 in April, and at the end of the day you pay players for what you think they can do for you going forward...not for what they've done for somebody else in the past. If EE was turning 29 or even 30 DD would probably be all over this long term possibly. He's not though, so we shouldn't be. Beyond the whole "we are saving a spot for this or that prospect who might never amount to anything" stuff, which I don't even believe would hold as much overall weight in the decision otherwise, it really does boil down to being that simple atm/imo.

He's too old to be out there paying the FA premium on a first baseman. Period.
 
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rembrat

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If DD doesn't go after EE hard I think it'll be one of his biggest blunders to date. This is why you have a shit ton of young kids making peanuts - to go after proven players that will fill a hole. (I do believe the hole exists and it's not going to get plugged by rotating in x,y,z)
 

chrisfont9

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I agree with Bradford that sometimes you do indeed have to go into a free agent signing forgetting about exactly how much money a guy will be making. In fact, that was a large part of my logic when I spent the better half of a year championing the David Price type signing our roster was all but screaming out for. But in this particular instance he's still missing the main point here imo, which can't simply be justified by taking the one easily singled out exception to the general rule (Cruz) and then highlighting that as some beacon of hope.

EE turns 34 in April, and at the end of the day you pay players for what you think they can do for you going forward...not for what they've done for somebody else in the past. If EE was turning 29 or even 30 DD would probably be all over this long term possibly. He's not though, so we shouldn't be. Beyond the whole "we are saving a spot for this or that prospect who might never amount to anything" stuff, which I don't even believe would hold as much overall weight in the decision otherwise, it really does boil down to being that simple atm/imo.

He's too old to be out there paying the FA premium on a first baseman. Period.
Yup. And we'd lose a draft pick.

If DD doesn't go after EE hard I think it'll be one of his biggest blunders to date. This is why you have a shit ton of young kids making peanuts - to go after proven players that will fill a hole. (I do believe the hole exists and it's not going to get plugged by rotating in x,y,z)
Um, but he'd cost us a draft pick.

The downside on EE are the out-years of any possible contract, which everyone seems to think will be 4x$20+mil. So you could have an aging EE, tailing off but eating up salary, and one less first round pick on the way to help. Maybe he'll be great all four years, but I personally am more than a bit concerned to see a guy who never struck out more than 98 times in a season suddenly jump to 138 at age 33. The risk associated with a declining, grossly overpaid EE, losing a draft pick in the process, all so we fill the DH roll this way as opposed to literally dozens of other ways... seems like a lot of risk.
 

PapaSox

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The more I think about it the more I like the idea of adding Greg Holland to a year or two incentive laden contract. I don't feel a big DH bat is needed with the likes of Young, Swihart, Panda, Travis and Holt ready to step in and take some AB. The offense already has Peddy, Betts, Bogaerts, Hanley & JBJ. We still have not seen what Benintendi can do through a full season. Panda may return to something of the player he use to be, although; with greater DH exposure. Travis may shake of his "sophomore blues" and come back with a stronger performance.Holland with Kimbrel, Kelly, Barnes, RR Jr., Hembree & the sixth starter with the potential return of Carson Smith is a solid if not start studded pen. Maybe add a "experiment" starter with a minor league contract with incentives if they make the ML roster would make some sense.But, to add a DH type just does not seem necessary imo.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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If 4/$80 gets it done, then yes, I'd be disappointed if the Sox weren't the ones to sign EE. Maybe the NL opts out, and AL teams all go anti DH. Color me sceptical. I think EE gets 5/$120 or $4/$100. At that cost, given our roster, needs, and assets, I'd pass. Get a good platoon partner for Young and open the DH spot for multi-uses. Spend money elsewhere (pen, extensions).
 

Mighty Joe Young

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If 4/$80 gets it done, then yes, I'd be disappointed if the Sox weren't the ones to sign EE. Maybe the NL opts out, and AL teams all go anti DH. Color me sceptical. I think EE gets 5/$120 or $4/$100. At that cost, given our roster, needs, and assets, I'd pass. Get a good platoon partner for Young and open the DH spot for multi-uses. Spend money elsewhere (pen, extensions).
I'm a little confused by the "platoon partner for Young" request. He's going to be the 4th OF with Benentendi the starter.
 

chrisfont9

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If you believe Benentendi is an everyday player you can grab a platoon player with Young at DH.
Well if "reports" are to be believed, the Sox' first preference is Carlos Beltran (who I like, FWIW), but I don't know if that leaves Young getting ABs at DH. In 2016 Beltran was much better against LHPs, though in the previous few seasons he'd been consistently better against RHPs. Not sure if there's anything going on, e.g. a physical thing that has hurt him vs RHP, or if that's just statistical noise and in fact he's a perfect solution to pair with Young?
 

Just a bit outside

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Well if "reports" are to be believed, the Sox' first preference is Carlos Beltran (who I like, FWIW), but I don't know if that leaves Young getting ABs at DH. In 2016 Beltran was much better against LHPs, though in the previous few seasons he'd been consistently better against RHPs. Not sure if there's anything going on, e.g. a physical thing that has hurt him vs RHP, or if that's just statistical noise and in fact he's a perfect solution to pair with Young?
I agree that if they sign Beltran it is to be the everyday DH. I was just commenting that another way to go is to sign a player like Matt Joyce who could platoon with Young at DH.

I wonder what it would take to get Luis Valbuena. He could platoon at DH and potentially play some third if Sandoval can't contribute or give Hanley some time at DH while Valbuena plays first. I think he would be an upgrade on Shaw in that spot.
 

MikeM

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Given the previous 3 years it looks like noise to me, although looking at career #'s I'm not seeing Young playing out to be a platoon partner there as long as Beltran is at his best swinging the bat. Probably wouldn't even sign here if that was going to be the case anyway.

Young makes for a nice insurance policy if Beltran's vs LHP split does drop back off though.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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I agree that if they sign Beltran it is to be the everyday DH. I was just commenting that another way to go is to sign a player like Matt Joyce who could platoon with Young at DH.

I wonder what it would take to get Luis Valbuena. He could platoon at DH and potentially play some third if Sandoval can't contribute or give Hanley some time at DH while Valbuena plays first. I think he would be an upgrade on Shaw in that spot.
This is where I'm at and what I was suggesting - Young gets ABs at DH v LHP when not subbing for an OF, and "platoons" with a LHB that we pick up as a cheaper FA alternative. Of course, even if they do get Beltran, Young could split time against LHP by subbing for an OF and subbing for Beltran. (Basically, Young should always be in the lineup v. LHP.)

I also mentioned Valbuena upstream. I agree he'd be a flexible asset, either as a 3B starter or an infield supersub along with Holt. He's played 3B, 1B and 2B and has decent power.
 

chrisfont9

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This is where I'm at and what I was suggesting - Young gets ABs at DH v LHP when not subbing for an OF, and "platoons" with a LHB that we pick up as a cheaper FA alternative. Of course, even if they do get Beltran, Young could split time against LHP by subbing for an OF and subbing for Beltran. (Basically, Young should always be in the lineup v. LHP.)
Well he could take some starts away from Benintendi and JBJ, at least against tough lefties, which they probably see once or twice a week. Benintendi hasn't played anything close to 162 games in a season yet, and Bradley sitting on occasion could have some bearing (hopefully positive?) on his tendency toward prolonged slumps. Just a guess there, really.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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They may already have their platoon partner for Young at DH in the person of Sandoval. The one thing he was not abjectly terrible at in 2015 was hitting RHPs. True, his .744 OPS was meh, but any kind of substantial rebound could put him near his career mark of .835, which is a good deal less meh. Paying a guy +/-$20M to be a just-OK part-time DH is bad, but arguably not as bad as paying him that to be a terrible full-time 3B.

Of course the viability of this strategy depends on other dominoes like Shaw and/or Moncada.
 

jimbobim

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Just my two cents but depending on Shaw for anything seems like folly. He fell off a cliff offensively and eye test wise he was below average at 3b. Almost Nava or WMB esque. A AAAA player who played well but in reality is't very good.

Also I think the Sox booth set a record with outlining his inability to hit hard stuff up and it was simply a matter of if the opposing pitcher executed that gameplan
 

grimshaw

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In a vacuum, I think Shaw makes a good bench guy, but I think he minds himself as a bench guy based on his minor bleating towards the end of the season, so don't believe it is worthwhile keeping him around unless he can suck it up.

If they sign Beltran, I think the bench is: Holt, Vazquez, Young and Hernandez, maybe even Dubon, or Sam Travis though less likely. None are really ideal back up 1B, but certainly Holt can play in a pinch. Maybe Beltran can take grounders in spring training as a potential option as well.

Swihart is probably the only other potentially left handed 1B option in the system and he hasn't really demonstrated an elite enough bat to stick there, and that's assuming he can even play major league infield since he hasn't done it since college.
 
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Snodgrass'Muff

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Swihart is probably the only other potentially left handed 1B option in the system and he hasn't really demonstrated an elite enough bat to stick there, and that's assuming he can even play major league infield since he hasn't done it since college.
This is a really strange statement to make. First, they've said he's going back to catching full time. Second, he's routinely described as having excellent athleticism, so moving down the defensive spectrum shouldn't be a big worry if they changed their minds about him catching. And third, at age 23, after being rushed due to injuries he managed to finish the season (August 1st on) with a 125 wRC+.

Is he an established surefire commodity at the plate? No. But there are plenty of reasons to think he should be at least an average 1st baseman with the stick if it comes to it.

Also, I don't know what your definition of "ideal backup at 1B" but Sam Travis probably exceeds it. Maybe that's what you meant and that he'd be more valuable to another team as a starter than to the Sox as a backup, but if that's the case, they aren't hurting for backup options.
 

grimshaw

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This is a really strange statement to make. First, they've said he's going back to catching full time. Second, he's routinely described as having excellent athleticism, so moving down the defensive spectrum shouldn't be a big worry if they changed their minds about him catching. And third, at age 23, after being rushed due to injuries he managed to finish the season (August 1st on) with a 125 wRC+.

Is he an established surefire commodity at the plate? No. But there are plenty of reasons to think he should be at least an average 1st baseman with the stick if it comes to it.

Also, I don't know what your definition of "ideal backup at 1B" but Sam Travis probably exceeds it. Maybe that's what you meant and that he'd be more valuable to another team as a starter than to the Sox as a backup, but if that's the case, they aren't hurting for backup options.
a) Ya, I know he's going to catch. But they put him out in LF and he has taken grounders at 1B so it's not like that would be impossible if there were injuries.
b) I mentioned him as a possibility, but athleticism doesn't always necessarily translate to being effective at a new position. Probably yes, but not a lock.
c) Don't you kill people about small sample sizes? 2 months doesn't mean a whole lot, especially not carrying over to April the next year. And the overall is under wRC+ of 100.

Travis I meant as a starter yes.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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c) Don't you kill people about small sample sizes? 2 months doesn't mean a whole lot, especially not carrying over to April the next year. And the overall is under wRC+ of 100.
If he had not shown the ability to hit at other levels, and wasn't projected to be an above average major league bat throughout his career, sure, that 2 month sample wouldn't mean anything. But for anyone who was actually watching him day in and day out in 2015, it was very clear he was progressing as a hitter and given the circumstances (called up really early, showing that growth against the best pitchers in the world), that is extremely encouraging.
 

nvalvo

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Just my two cents but depending on Shaw for anything seems like folly. He fell off a cliff offensively and eye test wise he was below average at 3b. Almost Nava or WMB esque. A AAAA player who played well but in reality is't very good.

Also I think the Sox booth set a record with outlining his inability to hit hard stuff up and it was simply a matter of if the opposing pitcher executed that gameplan
He's not even a AAAA player. AAAA players were good in the minors, where Shaw was merely okay. The classic AAAA players are guys like Brandon Wood: .970 OPS in AAA as a 23 year old, .500ish OPS in his career in MLB. Shaw, in contrast, has a career .715 OPS in AAA (668 PA) and a .754 OPS (778 PA) in MLB.

(Nava had a much more impressive minor league career than Shaw, but WMB was like Shaw except for the one torrid hot streak.)

I'm glad he's been fairly successful in the big leagues, but for the reasons you outline (and more) he just doesn't seem all that likely to maintain it. I think he's pretty valuable as optionable depth, but I don't think we want him at the top of any depth charts come Spring Training, and I think Yoan Moncada and Sam Travis will pass him on the corner IF depth chart by the end of next season anyway.

If he has any trade value, DD should cash it in.
 

Cesar Crespo

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If he had not shown the ability to hit at other levels, and wasn't projected to be an above average major league bat throughout his career, sure, that 2 month sample wouldn't mean anything. But for anyone who was actually watching him day in and day out in 2015, it was very clear he was progressing as a hitter and given the circumstances (called up really early, showing that growth against the best pitchers in the world), that is extremely encouraging.
Swihart gets lost in the shuffle but going into 2015 he was a top 20 prospect in all of baseball. He improved year over year in the minors, and started to show some serious power in Portland during his 2014 season. He was rushed to the Majors in 2015 and surprisingly held his own and got better as the season went along. In his seriously limited 2016 campaign, he had a 14.6% walk rate in AAA+MLB, his MLB rate at 14.9% before getting injured. Granted that isn't going to stick, but prior to 2016, his career walk rate was 7.4%. If he really has improved his eye, and the power continues to improve, I don't see why he wouldn't be considered a candidate to be an above average at bat regardless of position.
 

Cesar Crespo

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(Nava had a much more impressive minor league career than Shaw, but WMB was like Shaw except for the one torrid hot streak.)

.
WMB was nothing like Shaw, was playing at a more advanced age younger than Shaw, only spent part of 1 year in Portland instead of 3, walked way less and profiled to be a much better defensive player. WMB was supposed to actually have a major league career and be a potential GG winner. Travis Shaw was an afterthought. Both players are incredibly streaky though. I doubt they could get much for Shaw at all. He's a platoon player and he's not a particularly good one.
 

MikeM

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I'm starting to buy more into the idea that i may be overestimating what EE gets on the open market. Not enough that I'll then like him as a 4 year guy making $23m/per, but wrapping my head around the idea that the market will give him 3x (or more) what Morales got is getting harder.

Assuming (or hoping i guess) DD steers clear there, it will be interesting to see where we go if we get outbid on Beltran. Looking over the list and not accounting for a trade possibility, I think I then might like the surface idea of Reddick the most if he'd be open to spending a fair share of time at DH. Costs more then a guy like Moss, but he's better imo and it's not like at $3/$36 you are stuck paying the FA premium on a guy that is then a probability nightmare to move latter in the event you want to go in a different direction. Plus it leaves us better protected depth wise in the event Buchholz and injuries end up cornering DD into making a higher end trade on a starting pitcher.

Reddick is of course a better fit elsewhere though. I'm really gonna like the Jays offseason from a value standpoint if they snag him up (at that price tag) on top of Morales.
 

jimbobim

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Perusing through the batting stats over lunch and Fowler and his OBP career high ( but consistently between 340-360) make for an interesting idea.

Fowler v EE

30 v 34 age
Both cost the draft pick
EE more Power
Fowler switch hitter who actually hits lefties better but even platoon splits last year ( 250 obp lower but not awful vs RHP since coors last 3 years)

Now the issue is unlikely that Fowler signs to DH and he's not a great fit with Young. You dig a little deeper and he's actually put up 260 avrg 340- 360 obp consistently.Some of that you could credit to coors but 3 years away from Coors and he's doing the same makes me think it's legit and sustainable.

I could see a scenario where the following makes sense.Sign Fowler. Move AB to CF and shop JBJ for say a guy like T Walker from Seattle or for Frazier/Abreu package of some sort ( Frazier big K guy but power and Abreu was average last couple years but Sox have loved him for while. JBJ straight up for both prob doesn't work but I could see something working. Also you kinda have to do it simultaneously for leverage purposes) .

The biggest thing on Fowler is making it a 5 year deal around 70/80 mill as opposed to his comps on http://www.spotrac.com/mlb/chicago-cubs/dexter-fowler-5231/market-value/
Def not Choo Ells contracts and perhaps not the caliber of Pence especially with the draft pick weight.

Creates a lineup of say
1)Pedroia 2b
2)FowlerLF
3)BettsRF
4)Hanley DH/1b
5)Benny CF
6)Abreu/Frazier(1b/3b)
7)X SS
8) Pablo ( somewhere 3b 1b )
9) Swihart C

Replaces Papi with whatever value JBJ has on the market( theoretically should be high even if streaky) and upgrades from JBJ to Fowler at the plate to fill hole of Ortiz OBP and AVG wise. Think it may better avenue than pure power of EE as DH/1b or Beltran/etc. Also lineup balance is better though that's not big for a ton of people.

Also depends on where luxury tax comes in with new CBA.
 

the moops

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I also mentioned Valbuena upstream. I agree he'd be a flexible asset, either as a 3B starter or an infield supersub along with Holt. He's played 3B, 1B and 2B and has decent power.
Obviously Heyman is just guessing, but if a 1 year, 5 million dollar contract is anywhere close to what he will get, I sure hope the Sox take a hard look at him.
 

chrisfont9

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Looking over the list and not accounting for a trade possibility, I think I then might like the surface idea of Reddick the most if he'd be open to spending a fair share of time at DH.
Reddick to Astros. And the Yankees' trade of McCann (also to Houston) and the cost savings that goes with it increases the chance that they go after Beltran in earnest. We've seen that movie before. Next?