"This too shall pass" ---- righting the ship for 2016

geoduck no quahog

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ArgentinaSOXfan said:
Four players I would look to trade away if I were the Sox GM (yeah, dont reply saying "thank God you are not"):
Hanley
Sandoval
Rusney Castillo
Owens
 
Dombrowski would be lucky to get rid of two of Hanley/Sandoval/Castillo.
 
In the interests of quality - I recommend the following:
 
Every team in the majors has a half dozen under-contract players that the fans don't like - under performing and/or overpaid. Unless those players fill a specific need for another team, assuming a trade brings value to all parties is just wishful thinking.
 
I'm growing tired of the "trade Pablo", "dump Hanley", "kill Porcello" theme that doesn't include examples of viable trades and identify who's filling the hole created by the dump. 
 
Now it's apparently Castillo. Fine.
 
Who is he traded for and how much of the salary do the Red Sox need to eat? Who is the 3rd/4th outfielder? RH or LH?
 

MikeM

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Savin Hillbilly said:
 
The only thing hefty about Castillo's deal is its length. The AAV is so modest that he'd have to be quite bad not to earn it as a full-time OF, and he could conceivably earn it with a strong year as a 4th OF. If he's a league-average player, he's a bargain.
 
Bargain and earning it based on what, fWARconomics suggesting that as long as he posts a defensive heavy 1 WAR we did ok with our money? Not everybody is buying into that. 
 
Given our current roster makeup and the other financial commitments we are locked into, I'm failing to see any real world "bargain" in the Red Sox paying $11m for 2015 Castillo to man a corner OF spot over the next 5 years. Might not be a "bad" scenario per se as a starter, but it's far from ideal or worthy of some preservation status. It certainly makes no sense to pay him that as a 4th outfielder. 
 
Unlike Hanley or Panda right now, just because Castillo is already in house doesn't mean we have to marry ourselves to the option. It also didn't take September's crash for me to maintain a belief that upgrading the stability factor in next year's lineup ends up being a high priority for DD this winter (especially if we do indeed dump a chunk of money on a free agent starter). If the upgrade opportunity is there i see him jumping on it, even if it means cashing out our chips at face value on Castillo's potential to outplay that contract.
 

MikeM

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geoduck no quahog said:
 
In the interests of quality - I recommend the following:
 
Every team in the majors has a half dozen under-contract players that the fans don't like - under performing and/or overpaid. Unless those players fill a specific need for another team, assuming a trade brings value to all parties is just wishful thinking.
 
I'm growing tired of the "trade Pablo", "dump Hanley", "kill Porcello" theme that doesn't include examples of viable trades and identify who's filling the hole created by the dump. 
 
Now it's apparently Castillo. Fine.
 
Who is he traded for and how much of the salary do the Red Sox need to eat? Who is the 3rd/4th outfielder? RH or LH?
 
As some have already suggested in the past, the first call you make is to Colorado to see if there is any face value and direct replacement to trading CarGo interest. If there is you put Owens on the table as well and maybe go from there with smaller pieces (granted this would really be a best case type scenario imo). 
 
From there you lean a little bit on the security of still having 2 capable CFs/Holt and end up settling on a cheaper value/flyer sign for 4th outfielder. Probably RH with the potential lineup suck existing against LHP, although Bradley and Shaw's reverse splits kinda make that debatable i guess. Shaw sees a little more work in LF this spring. If injury or Bradley busting out forces the need to make a mid-season acquisition then so be it. 
 
Of course there is always the dark horse option on the table that Henry/DD get a little crazy this winter and sign a replacement (on top of a starter) straight out of free agency. Not my preference choice by any means as I'll probably end up hating the contracts involved, but both Upton and Heyward do fall into that certain age bracket appeal that might have been more then just a Ben thing.
 

keninten

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Trade Castillo and Buchholz for salary relief(24mil) for some RP and they could afford an ace. Still would have to get a couple OFers (LF,4th) Maybe Shaw, Cecchini, Brentz, Coyle. These guys need to either get a shot or let go to clear paths for guys like Margot and Benintendi. 
 

Savin Hillbilly

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MikeM said:
 
Bargain and earning it based on what, fWARconomics suggesting that as long as he posts a defensive heavy 1 WAR we did ok with our money? Not everybody is buying into that. 
 
Given our current roster makeup and the other financial commitments we are locked into, I'm failing to see any real world "bargain" in the Red Sox paying $11m for 2015 Castillo to man a corner OF spot over the next 5 years. Might not be a "bad" scenario per se as a starter, but it's far from ideal or worthy of some preservation status. It certainly makes no sense to pay him that as a 4th outfielder. 
 
The imprecision of short-term WAR numbers is one thing; the market value of a win is another. Just because we may not be able to say with much confidence whether a player did or didn't earn his money in any given year, that doesn't mean we don't have a pretty solid idea of what it would take, in terms of on-field value, to do that. The market value of a win is an empirical thing. Yes, it's in constant flux, and people using different methods to calculate it arrive at slightly different numbers, but that doesn't mean it's a matter of speculation.  
 
The current market value of a win is roughly $7M. That means that at $10.5M a year, we are paying Rusney to be a 1.5-win, i.e., slightly below-average player. Does that mean the Sox would be satisfied with a below-average player in their lineup? Of course not. The point is just that $10.5M isn't a lot of money anymore. For a full-time position player acquired as a free agent, it's cheap. If you have an average player in your lineup, and you're paying him that, you're getting more than your money's worth. The Sox are clearly hoping Rusney can be an average-or-better player. If he is, they've filled a roster spot for several years at a nice discount. If not, they didn't risk a huge amount of money, and unless he's really awful, they may be able to move at least some of the contract.
 
So, to your point about "as long as he posts a defensive heavy 1 WAR we did OK with our money?" I think we're all on board now with the reality that WAR isn't precise enough to say that just because a guy "posts 1 WAR", we can assume that he was really a 1-win player. But if he really was a 1-win player--or more accurately, a 1.5-win player--then yes, we did OK with our money. That doesn't mean we did OK with our roster construction. If we have a 1.5-win player manning a full-time outfield spot, we have a problem. But at $10.5M a year, the problem is not that we're overpaying him.
 

Shane

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keninten said:
Trade Castillo and Buchholz for salary relief(24mil) for some RP and they could afford an ace. Still would have to get a couple OFers (LF,4th) Maybe Shaw, Cecchini, Brentz, Coyle. These guys need to either get a shot or let go to clear paths for guys like Margot and Benintendi. 
Don't you think they could afford an ace just based off of losing the contracts of Napoli, Victorino, Masterson, De Aza, and Breslow? I don't see why they should have to trade Buchholz, he's shown that when healthy he's one of the best in the game.
 

nvalvo

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With Castillo, we need to consider upside. He's a tools monster, and he's clearly spent a lot of time shaking off rust and learning the American game. 
 
So far, he hasn't been able to consistently get his power to play in games. The skeptics clearly believe he won't. But what if he does?
 

In my lifetime

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keninten said:
Trade Castillo and Buchholz for salary relief(24mil) for some RP and they could afford an ace. Still would have to get a couple OFers (LF,4th) Maybe Shaw, Cecchini, Brentz, Coyle. These guys need to either get a shot or let go to clear paths for guys like Margot and Benintendi. 
 
How does this clear enough salary to get an ace? You have to pay for a new starting outfielder unless you are suggesting that the RS go into the season with an OF of Betts, JBJ, Holt, and a collection of players with no major league experience (are you really suggesting Shaw as one of the 4 outfielders??), which is unlikely to work out well. 
 

flymrfreakjar

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Price does seem to have a skill set best suited to aging gracefully. He has impeccable control and good movement and though he still has a big fastball, I don't think he relies on it to blow it by hitters. Also, aside from his incomplete rookie season, he's only failed to hit 200IP once, and even then it was 27 starts and 186 innings. If there's a pitcher you're going to take the (always dumb) risk on signing to a big contract, he's the type you target... Of course, every team is thinking the same thing.
 

chrisfont9

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nvalvo said:
With Castillo, we need to consider upside. He's a tools monster, and he's clearly spent a lot of time shaking off rust and learning the American game. 
 
So far, he hasn't been able to consistently get his power to play in games. The skeptics clearly believe he won't. But what if he does?
Yeah at least we can say we're looking at his probable floor. It might also be his ceiling, but more likely the floor.
 
Also I'm curious whether there are any metrics to account for Castillo's fit defensively. In hockey you have +/- and enough data to compare the performance of others with and without the individual, but not so much in baseball defensive metrics. Instead you have zone rating, etc., which doesn't really account for having three athletic defenders and how maybe the whole is superior to the sum of the individual parts. I also wonder whether having the three out there has a much bigger influence on how pitchers pitch. It's one thing to feel comfortable knowing balls hit to left will probably be caught, but what does it mean to know that balls hit anywhere are probably getting caught?
 
I guess I'm happy with him as part of an organizational plan, even if the individual stats aren't terribly exciting so far.
 

kieckeredinthehead

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Savin Hillbilly said:
 
The imprecision of short-term WAR numbers is one thing; the market value of a win is another. Just because we may not be able to say with much confidence whether a player did or didn't earn his money in any given year, that doesn't mean we don't have a pretty solid idea of what it would take, in terms of on-field value, to do that. The market value of a win is an empirical thing. Yes, it's in constant flux, and people using different methods to calculate it arrive at slightly different numbers, but that doesn't mean it's a matter of speculation.  
 
The current market value of a win is roughly $7M. That means that at $10.5M a year, we are paying Rusney to be a 1.5-win, i.e., slightly below-average player. Does that mean the Sox would be satisfied with a below-average player in their lineup? Of course not. The point is just that $10.5M isn't a lot of money anymore. For a full-time position player acquired as a free agent, it's cheap. If you have an average player in your lineup, and you're paying him that, you're getting more than your money's worth. The Sox are clearly hoping Rusney can be an average-or-better player. If he is, they've filled a roster spot for several years at a nice discount. If not, they didn't risk a huge amount of money, and unless he's really awful, they may be able to move at least some of the contract.
 
So, to your point about "as long as he posts a defensive heavy 1 WAR we did OK with our money?" I think we're all on board now with the reality that WAR isn't precise enough to say that just because a guy "posts 1 WAR", we can assume that he was really a 1-win player. But if he really was a 1-win player--or more accurately, a 1.5-win player--then yes, we did OK with our money. That doesn't mean we did OK with our roster construction. If we have a 1.5-win player manning a full-time outfield spot, we have a problem. But at $10.5M a year, the problem is not that we're overpaying him.
 
As I'm trying to bring up in the fwarconomics thread, paying market rate is an unsustainable way to build a team. The Red Sox can not afford to pay market rate at every position. So how else do you decide if Castillo is worth his salary? 
 

Shane

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flymrfreakjar said:
Price does seem to have a skill set best suited to aging gracefully. He has impeccable control and good movement and though he still has a big fastball, I don't think he relies on it to blow it by hitters. Also, aside from his incomplete rookie season, he's only failed to hit 200IP once, and even then it was 27 starts and 186 innings. If there's a pitcher you're going to take the (always dumb) risk on signing to a big contract, he's the type you target... Of course, every team is thinking the same thing.
Don't we have enough money to afford him too with Napoli, Victorino, Masterson, De Aza, and Breslow all coming off the books? That wouldn't stop them from trading for a young cheap ace too (Sale, Gray, Carrasco, Ross etc). Imagine having that rotation for the next five years.
 

alwyn96

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kieckeredinthehead said:
 
As I'm trying to bring up in the fwarconomics thread, paying market rate is an unsustainable way to build a team. The Red Sox can not afford to pay market rate at every position. So how else do you decide if Castillo is worth his salary? 
 
It's tough to build a championship team with all market-rate players (although the Yankees and Dodgers are getting close), but it's tough to build a championship team with all home-grown, pre-arb players too. That often requires several years of sucking more or less on purpose plus some decent draft luck. Fortunately, no one is suggesting either option. With some nice young stars, the Red Sox don't have to pay market rate at every position, but one of the nice things about supporting a team with a wealthy owner is that at a position where they don't have a obviously good cheap player, they can afford to pay market rates. They can't do it too much, obviously, but it seems like the alternative is to play an inferior player, or spend additional money/talent to acquire a better one. If Dombrowski can get a better, cheaper player, obviously he should do it, but the goal is to maximize overall wins, not just $/WAR. Getting players with a low $/WAR is an important tool towards reaching a win goal, not a goal in and of itself. There's a balance, and of course we can disagree on the specifics of how that balance should cash out. I suspect we'll all spend the next 4 months hashing that out.
 

Ribeye

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After last night's game, David Price's postseason record is 0-6 with a 5.23 ERA.  Although adding him to our rotation would greatly increase our chances of making the places, perhaps of even winning the AL East, I'd be concerned that he might turn into a pumpkin in the playoffs.  I understand that the playoffs represent a SSS, but man, some pitchers seem to excel in that same SSS during the playoffs (e.g. MadBum).
 
Given the way the team finished off the last two months of the season, I think there's a reasonable chance that we can make the playoffs without adding Price to our rotation (and payroll).  And I'm not confident that adding him makes our chances of advancing in the playoffs much better.  While I'd love to have him in our rotation, I'd be much more nervous when he takes the mound in Game 1 of any series than when it was Lester (or of course, Schilling or Pedro).
 

flymrfreakjar

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Ribeye said:
After last night's game, David Price's postseason record is 0-6 with a 5.23 ERA.  Although adding him to our rotation would greatly increase our chances of making the places, perhaps of even winning the AL East, I'd be concerned that he might turn into a pumpkin in the playoffs.  I understand that the playoffs represent a SSS, but man, some pitchers seem to excel in that same SSS during the playoffs (e.g. MadBum).
 
Given the way the team finished off the last two months of the season, I think there's a reasonable chance that we can make the playoffs without adding Price to our rotation (and payroll).  And I'm not confident that adding him makes our chances of advancing in the playoffs much better.  While I'd love to have him in our rotation, I'd be much more nervous when he takes the mound in Game 1 of any series than when it was Lester (or of course, Schilling or Pedro).
 
How about that Kershaw guy? His okay effort last night finally brought his postseason ERA down under 5.00 to 4.99 over even more innings. Would you turn down a reasonable trade for him based on that? Price has been a reliably great ace averaging 216 IP of elite pitching over the last 6 seasons. He relies on control over velocity, though he has it, and has won plenty of big games during the season. It just feels crazy to me to value ~45 poor innings over the 1300 great ones he's pitched the last six years...
 

Toe Nash

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Ribeye said:
After last night's game, David Price's postseason record is 0-6 with a 5.23 ERA.  Although adding him to our rotation would greatly increase our chances of making the places, perhaps of even winning the AL East, I'd be concerned that he might turn into a pumpkin in the playoffs.  I understand that the playoffs represent a SSS, but man, some pitchers seem to excel in that same SSS during the playoffs (e.g. MadBum).
 
This is the whole point of noting that it's a SSS. The variance is higher so some players will look like they excel and some look like they struggle but it means little going forward.
 
From April 22 to May 21 this year Price threw 37 IP with a 5.06 ERA. You could probably find a stretch like this for every good pitcher every year. It doesn't mean anything except that good teams make the playoffs.
 

Ribeye

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Yeah, I agree with the arguments that both of you guys make.  The rational side of me agrees at least.  I get it.
 
The case of Kershaw is interesting because in the last three playoff games of his that I've watched (last night and the last two games he pitched against the Cardinals in the 2014 NLDS) he seems to be cruising for six innings and then all of a sudden gives up runs in the seventh or so.  Some folks in LA think this is due to Mattingly's BP usage, ie, he keeps Kershaw in an inning too long, or perhaps is forced to because he doesn't trust his middle relief.
 
Of course adding Price would help the team.  And if he is on our team, he's no doubt gonna start game one of the playoffs if we make it.  And I guess I'm a tool for not being able to make decisions based on cold hard facts and stats.  But if I had to pick a pitcher to win ONE playoff game, I'd rather have a playoff stud like Lackey (he was en fuego last night, and man what he did to Detroit in 2013!) or Lester than David Price.
 
With regard to the righting the ship point of this thread, I'm not sure that there are any "playoff studs" available this offseason.  Are there?  Or, perhaps another way of looking at it is (and maybe this is the point you guys would make): there is no such thing as a playoff stud?
 
Here's the game logs for the 2014 Dodgers-Cardinals NLDS:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/postseason/2014_NLDS2.shtml
 

nvalvo

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Ribeye said:
After last night's game, David Price's postseason record is 0-6 with a 5.23 ERA.  Although adding him to our rotation would greatly increase our chances of making the places, perhaps of even winning the AL East, I'd be concerned that he might turn into a pumpkin in the playoffs.  I understand that the playoffs represent a SSS, but man, some pitchers seem to excel in that same SSS during the playoffs (e.g. MadBum).
 
Given the way the team finished off the last two months of the season, I think there's a reasonable chance that we can make the playoffs without adding Price to our rotation (and payroll).  And I'm not confident that adding him makes our chances of advancing in the playoffs much better.  While I'd love to have him in our rotation, I'd be much more nervous when he takes the mound in Game 1 of any series than when it was Lester (or of course, Schilling or Pedro).
 
And Lester imploded on the mound in last year's AL Wild Card game, which we wouldn't have anticipated from his very good postseason statistics through that point. 
 

Mighty Joe Young

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Let's hope it drives his price down. His post season failures might be a big red flag to the media - and the casual fan. But I would expect it would be just another data point - and a completely unimportant one at that - in the decision to give this guy a 200 million dollar contract.
 

LuckyBen

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flymrfreakjar said:
 
How about that Kershaw guy? His okay effort last night finally brought his postseason ERA down under 5.00 to 4.99 over even more innings. Would you turn down a reasonable trade for him based on that? Price has been a reliably great ace averaging 216 IP of elite pitching over the last 6 seasons. He relies on control over velocity, though he has it, and has won plenty of big games during the season. It just feels crazy to me to value ~45 poor innings over the 1300 great ones he's pitched the last six years...
No one is getting Kershaw on a reasonable trade though and Price is not signing a reasonable deal. Some guys just don't cut it in the postseason with Arod being the golden child.

If we had a solid one to pair with Price, I'd feel a lot more comfortable shelling out big bucks for him. Someone is going to sign one of the aces this offseason and end up with a turd, I just hope it's not the Sox.
 

geoduck no quahog

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I'd be more impressed if the analysis of these pitchers (Price, Kershaw, Lester...) included a detailed reading of the game situations, who the opposing batters were, what mistakes (if any) were made (versus luck or world-class hitting or bad fielding placement or pitch selection, etc.). There's also the season-long management of pitchers and how much they have left after 6 months of starting.
 
These sample sizes are small enough, and the games are watched enough, that a reasonable assessment can be made that isn't based on W/L, ERA or something else reliant on large samples. Say, that analysis versus "He sucks in the Post-Season..."
 
I'm not willing to perform that analysis, but I would be willing to take any of those pitchers in a heartbeat.
 
Same goes for hitters who (unless their name is Ortiz) are the same hitters in post season as in regular season, subject to the same burnout as pitchers.
 

swingin val

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LuckyBen said:
Some guys just don't cut it in the postseason with Arod being the golden child.
He certainly isn't the Alex Rodriguez of the regular season, but he has an 822 OPS in the playoffs. And his best performances are in the ALCS (981 OPS) and WS (973 OPS), so it appears that as the "pressure" builds, he performs better.
 

The X Man Cometh

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Regarding the discussion of playoffs versus the regular season: Playoff teams are a stronger pool of competition. So if certain tendencies are typical of playoff competition (i.e. better players), and vice versa, wouldn't players who are equipped to take advantage of those tendencies fare disproportionately better in the playoffs?
 
For example. Pablo Sandoval is a free swinging mofo. Does being very good at hitting a "pitchers pitch", make him disproportionately effective in the playoffs, because the pitchers are better, and a larger proportion of the pitches faced are "pitchers pitches"? Conversely if the "mistake hitter" exists couldn't such a player be expected to struggle disproportionately in the playoffs (when there are fewer mistakes?).
 
This is an impossible idea to address concretely, but I'm curious if there's been any discussion of it before on here.