Wacha or Eovaldi?

Bring him back?

  • Eovaldi

    Votes: 16 8.4%
  • Wacha

    Votes: 61 32.1%
  • Other

    Votes: 10 5.3%
  • Why not both?

    Votes: 103 54.2%

  • Total voters
    190

Petagine in a Bottle

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Jan 13, 2021
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Any of the top guys are going to cost a ton, and none of them have clean bills of health. I think it’s tough to bring aboard another one of those guys when you’ve already got Sale making close to $30M. Ideally, you’d trade for someone (maybe the Brewers move one of their guys? Would the Dbacks move Gallen? Lopez from the Marlins?) but do the Sox have the chips to make a deal like that and are in they right stage of contention? Feels like another year of seeing who will sign a short term deal and hope to find more Wacha’s than Richards’ may be the way to go. And if Bello is the real deal and you can get something from Whitlock / Houck, etc, it could work out.

All these moves have their own levels of risk.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Is the plan for next year just bringing back the same guys, but paying them more money? QO’s to Wacha and Eovaldi would cost about $38M, right? So that’s like +$14M in salary over what they got this year.

Sale 27.5
Eovaldi 19.0
Wacha 19.0
Pivetta 6.0
Whitlock 1.2
Bello 0.7


Thats a pretty pricey rotation. I don’t think Eovaldi and Wacha at the QO really works.
The 2022 rotation expenditures (AAV for luxury tax purposes because that's the key figure):
Sale 25.6
Eovaldi 17.0
Paxton 10.0
Wacha 7.0
Hill 6.0
Pivetta 2.6
and a bunch of minimum wage guys including Whitlock, Houck, Bello, Winckowski, etc

Call it 70M

Next year if they go the QO route with Eovaldi and Wacha:
Sale 25.6
Eovaldi 19.0
Wacha 19.0
Pivetta 5.0 (est)
Whitlock 4.8
Bello 0.7
throw in a few more minimum guys like Winckowski, Crawford, etc

Call it 78M


Not really seeing where that rotation is significantly more expensive. Add in the $15M they paid for Price to pitch in LA this year and it's not an increase at all.
 

chrisfont9

Member
SoSH Member
Is the plan for next year just bringing back the same guys, but paying them more money? QO’s to Wacha and Eovaldi would cost about $38M, right? So that’s like +$14M in salary over what they got this year.

Sale 27.5
Eovaldi 19.0
Wacha 19.0
Pivetta 6.0
Whitlock 1.2
Bello 0.7


Thats a pretty pricey rotation. I don’t think Eovaldi and Wacha at the QO really works.
Those two QO figures are roughly equivalent to what the Sox will no longer have to spend on David Price, JBJ and a smattering of other disappearing contracts. Sort of like winning $100k in the lottery and buying a Porsche, where you can question whether the expense is the best way to spend it, all things considered, but at least you'll get a good ride out of it.
 

chrisfont9

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SoSH Member
We are tossing around several possibilities here for the pitching staff, so allow me to try my hand at a quick summary of the team's payroll flexibility:

The Sox' 2023 payroll is at about $116m using the Fangraphs summary of guaranteed contracts and payments. Then (by my estimation) add in about $6m for pre-arb guys, and maybe $25m for arb awards (assuming they keep everyone and don't rise much). Now you are at maybe $147m-- call it $150 to be conservative. LT threshold is $250m for next season. $100m to spend. So you can...
1. Sign Devers long term, his $12m arb goes up to... $30? [They could hit a bigger AAV number but not necessarily in year 1]
2. Extend Bogaerts, which bumps from $20m to maybe $32? That's a $30m net total increase in 2023 for the two cornerstone guys. Got $70m left.
3. If you give the QO to both Wacha and Eovaldi, then you are down to maybe $32m left. If you pick up Paxton's option, now you are down to $19m.
4. At this point you are saying bye to JDM and Hill, among regulars. You also haven't signed Strahm, who you either need to bring back or add him to the list of guys you still haven't replaced. So you have $19m to pick up another relatively important bat and a few more arms for the pen.

Choices:
* You could go for Rodón but at a minimum that precludes bringing back Paxton, which makes sense anyway. By swapping Paxton's $13m for Rodón at maybe $22m, you would have $10m left for everything else.
* You could reduce those two QO numbers by offering multi-year deals, so maybe 2x$17? (or 3 or 4 years...) -- anyway that adds in a couple mil for the 2023 LT. Now you have maybe $14m left to spend.
* If you want to get in on Judge, that means no Rodón, no Paxton, and at least one less QO. Subtracting Paxton and a QO puts you at $51m left to spend. You could sign Judge at maybe $40m? And then have around $10m for everything else you want to do.
* That is to say, for ~ the same $ you could have either Judge or Rodón + (one of Eo or Wacha)

The point is not to offer a comprehensive guide to the offseason, but just to get a quick sense of how much payroll flexibility they have. It's pretty substantial, and then the LT goes up to $270m and $290m in years when the Sox' present commitments will drop another $20m(ish) for each year. Maybe Henry won't spend to the LT, but if they wanted to, they could add Judge and Rodón, extend Bogey and Devers, and keep nearly all of the players they care about, with just a bit of creativity, and stay under the LT every year. Or they could give the QO to both Eovaldi and Wacha, sign either Judge or Rodón, and sail on. They could even sign Judge and Rodón, give both QOs, extend Bogey and Devers, etc. -- full GFIN mode -- and probably pay a tax in just 2023, then be below it for a few years after.
 
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Petagine in a Bottle

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Those two QO figures are roughly equivalent to what the Sox will no longer have to spend on David Price, JBJ and a smattering of other disappearing contracts. Sort of like winning $100k in the lottery and buying a Porsche, where you can question whether the expense is the best way to spend it, all things considered, but at least you'll get a good ride out of it.
They have a $8M buyout for JBJ on the books for next year, don’t they? And likely $4M for Pham?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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They have a $8M buyout for JBJ on the books for next year, don’t they? And likely $4M for Pham?
The buyouts are already factored into this year's tax calculations. They don't carry forward

And for what it's worth, JBJ's 2023 real world buyout money is deferred so it won't even be paid out until 2024 ($1M) and 2025 ($7M).
 

Ganthem

a ray of sunshine
SoSH Member
Apr 7, 2022
726
Is the plan for next year just bringing back the same guys, but paying them more money? QO’s to Wacha and Eovaldi would cost about $38M, right? So that’s like +$14M in salary over what they got this year.

Sale 27.5
Eovaldi 19.0
Wacha 19.0
Pivetta 6.0
Whitlock 1.2
Bello 0.7


Thats a pretty pricey rotation. I don’t think Eovaldi and Wacha at the QO really works.
I think a lot depends on what moves are available to Bloom. Degrom and Rendon both are interesting, but as has been noted, they have lengthy injury histories. As for trading for a starter, the Sox might not have the prospect depth yet to trade for a mid rotation to top of rotation starter. The best course of action might be to buy time. Though a QO to Evoldi and Wacha is expensive and will add to an already expensive rotation, it might be worth it given that it is just a year. Also isn't Paxton able to opt in for one year four million? I don't think it is a lock he will reject that.
 

chawson

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SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
3,087
We are tossing around several possibilities here for the pitching staff, so allow me to try my hand at a quick summary of the team's payroll flexibility:

The Sox' 2023 payroll is at about $116m using the Fangraphs summary of guaranteed contracts and payments. Then (by my estimation) add in about $6m for pre-arb guys, and maybe $25m for arb awards (assuming they keep everyone and don't rise much). Now you are at maybe $147m-- call it $150 to be conservative. LT threshold is $250m for next season. $100m to spend. So you can...
1. Sign Devers long term, his $12m arb goes up to... $30? [They could hit a bigger AAV number but not necessarily in year 1]
2. Extend Bogaerts, which bumps from $20m to maybe $32? That's a $30m net total increase in 2023 for the two cornerstone guys. Got $70m left.
3. If you give the QO to both Wacha and Eovaldi, then you are down to maybe $32m left. If you pick up Paxton's option, now you are down to $19m.
4. At this point you are saying bye to JDM and Hill, among regulars. You also haven't signed Strahm, who you either need to bring back or add him to the list of guys you still haven't replaced. So you have $19m to pick up another relatively important bat and a few more arms for the pen.

Choices:
* You could go for Rodón but at a minimum that precludes bringing back Paxton, which makes sense anyway. By swapping Paxton's $13m for Rodón at maybe $22m, you would have $10m left for everything else.
* You could reduce those two QO numbers by offering multi-year deals, so maybe 2x$17? (or 3 or 4 years...) -- anyway that adds in a couple mil for the 2023 LT. Now you have maybe $14m left to spend.
* If you want to get in on Judge, that means no Rodón, no Paxton, and at least one less QO. Subtracting Paxton and a QO puts you at $51m left to spend. You could sign Judge at maybe $40m? And then have around $10m for everything else you want to do.
* That is to say, for ~ the same $ you could have either Judge or Rodón + (one of Eo or Wacha)

The point is not to offer a comprehensive guide to the offseason, but just to get a quick sense of how much payroll flexibility they have. It's pretty substantial, and then the LT goes up to $270m and $290m in years when the Sox' present commitments will drop another $20m(ish) for each year. Maybe Henry won't spend to the LT, but if they wanted to, they could add Judge and Rodón, extend Bogey and Devers, and keep nearly all of the players they care about, with just a bit of creativity, and stay under the LT every year. Or they could give the QO to both Eovaldi and Wacha, sign either Judge or Rodón, and sail on. They could even sign Judge and Rodón, give both QOs, extend Bogey and Devers, etc. -- full GFIN mode -- and probably pay a tax in just 2023, then be below it for a few years after.
In general, why are we assuming they won’t exceed the tax threshold next year? In a scenario where we QO Wacha and Eovaldi and they accept, that would be an additional $60-65 million coming off the books (again) in 2024 (those two plus Kiké, Barnes, Brasier, JBJ buyout and maybe Pham).

The non-monetary penalties for exceeding the threshold only affect them if they have a departing free agent who declines a QO, IIRC. If they extend Devers, they don’t have that issue.
 

chrisfont9

Member
SoSH Member
In general, why are we assuming they won’t exceed the tax threshold next year? In a scenario where we QO Wacha and Eovaldi and they accept, that would be an additional $60-65 million coming off the books (again) in 2024 (those two plus Kiké, Barnes, Brasier, JBJ buyout and maybe Pham).

The non-monetary penalties for exceeding the threshold only affect them if they have a departing free agent who declines a QO, IIRC. If they extend Devers, they don’t have that issue.
I'm with you, they could exceed it with just the one-time overage 20% tax, if there were a compelling enough reason (like a post-2022 fan revolt).
 

Ganthem

a ray of sunshine
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Apr 7, 2022
726
I'm with you, they could exceed it with just the one-time overage 20% tax, if there were a compelling enough reason (like a post-2022 fan revolt).
I very much hope Bloom doesn't give a shit what the fans think one way or another. The fact is the minute the 23 club starts winning, butts will be in the seats and Fenway will sell out. If 23 goes to shit then the minute they start winning in 24 butts will be in the seats and Fenway will sell out.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
18,144
Ray is at least a reliable innings eater. Healthy Rodón is spectacular, but the flipside is his history which includes TJ surgery and a shoulder problem before that. I guess the shoulder has been fine for several years now? And TJ is what it is, lots of guys are just fine for years to come. But for $22Mx6 or whatever, you'd want a pretty clean MRI.
To back up the gist of @Rovin Romine here.... imagine if the Sox sign Rodon to a hefty contract and then he gets injured like Sale. The pundits and fanbase will heap mountains of abuse for stupidly signing another "injury prone" guy to a huge deal that hamstrings the club.
 

chawson

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Aug 1, 2006
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To back up the gist of @Rovin Romine here.... imagine if the Sox sign Rodon to a hefty contract and then he gets injured like Sale. The pundits and fanbase will heap mountains of abuse for stupidly signing another "injury prone" guy to a huge deal that hamstrings the club.
Agreed, I think they won’t do those kinds of deals for pitchers of any stripe for awhile. Their non-interest in Gausman, a much likelier candidate to stay healthy than Rodón (imo), strongly suggests that.

I wonder if a deGrom deal with shorter years, higher AAV could be an exception, but I doubt it for the same reason you point out.

The flipside of that, I don’t know why they’d decline from attempting to sign above average starting pitchers to one-year QO deals in an exclusive window. If they somehow end up with a surplus and Eovaldi’s back to his 2021 form, he’s a very good trade asset.
 

curly2

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Jul 8, 2003
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Because it's "just money" and the fanbase would never, ever sink to making disingenuous distinctions or engaging in revisionist history via a cottage industry centered around entitled-whining and calling for you to be fired. Totes pinky swear on that one.

Witness the amazing love we see on a daily basis here for Chris Sale and David Price.
Come on, you know there was big pushback here on both those signings when they happened. People were leery of Price because of the cost -- outbidding the Cardinals by $30 million -- and length of the deal and wondering how he would do under scrutiny in Boston since he had displayed a rather thin skin at times, like his beefs with Papi. People also questioned his postseason track record. Of course he turned in to a postseason hero in 2018.

With Sale, the injury he suffered in 2018 was a major red flag for a lot of us here. People asked why commit to the extension before he proved he was truly healthy.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Come on, you know there was big pushback here on both those signings when they happened. People were leery of Price because of the cost -- outbidding the Cardinals by $30 million -- and length of the deal and wondering how he would do under scrutiny in Boston since he had displayed a rather thin skin at times, like his beefs with Papi. People also questioned his postseason track record. Of course he turned in to a postseason hero in 2018.

With Sale, the injury he suffered in 2018 was a major red flag for a lot of us here. People asked why commit to the extension before he proved he was truly healthy.
I don't think RR is saying that there wasn't some pushback on those deals at the time. I think he was pointing out the contradictory nature of deriding those deals (media in particular) while also deriding the approach that leads the team to sign the Wachas and Hills instead of the Rodons of the free agent market.
 

chrisfont9

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I very much hope Bloom doesn't give a shit what the fans think one way or another. The fact is the minute the 23 club starts winning, butts will be in the seats and Fenway will sell out. If 23 goes to shit then the minute they start winning in 24 butts will be in the seats and Fenway will sell out.
I wouldn't go quite that far, since he's going around saying how much better he expects the team to be next year. That's partly for the fans. But he's not going to make moves that violate his principles to pander to fans, sure.
 

chrisfont9

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To back up the gist of @Rovin Romine here.... imagine if the Sox sign Rodon to a hefty contract and then he gets injured like Sale. The pundits and fanbase will heap mountains of abuse for stupidly signing another "injury prone" guy to a huge deal that hamstrings the club.
Sure, of course. I suspect they won't do this for that reason. But, what if Rodón isn't actually "injury-prone?" He's probably less of an actual risk than Eovaldi or Price were, and they both turned out OK injury-wise (although Price was past his peak pretty quickly). He's nothing like Sale, where just about all of us here were saying that extension was a terrible idea when it was signed.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Sure, of course. I suspect they won't do this for that reason. But, what if Rodón isn't actually "injury-prone?" He's probably less of an actual risk than Eovaldi or Price were, and they both turned out OK injury-wise (although Price was past his peak pretty quickly). He's nothing like Sale, where just about all of us here were saying that extension was a terrible idea when it was signed.
He might actually be not much of an injury risk. But there's enough there in his history such that if he DID get injured, there would be howls of "how could you sign an injury risk to such a massive deal?"
 

curly2

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I don't think RR is saying that there wasn't some pushback on those deals at the time. I think he was pointing out the contradictory nature of deriding those deals (media in particular) while also deriding the approach that leads the team to sign the Wachas and Hills instead of the Rodons of the free agent market.
I think people on this board pay too much attention to what media types say or write.

I also took RR's word "here" as meaning SOSH, not the wider Red Sox fandom.
 

sean1562

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Sep 17, 2011
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I think there is also a large difference between the type of deal Rodon will sign and the type of deal Price got. A lot of the figures I am seeing quoted are around 6/120-130 which is basically just taking JDM's contract and giving it to Rodon. Price signed a 7 year $218 million in 2016. If Rodon is looking at a Chris Sale like contract of 5/145 I would be pretty nervous about signing him but 6/120 isn't a crazy deal that would hamstring this team moving forward, especially if Whitlock, Bello, and Pivetta can be the 3/4/5 guys in our rotation after Sale and Rodon.
 

chawson

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In this piece on Eovaldi’s pending FA today in The Athletic, he still emphatically wants to stay. Planning to come back for two more starts and expects his velocity to return. I’m gonna pull out a few meaty bits.

On staying in Boston: “Absolutely,” Eovaldi said. “I love being here. It’s the front office, it’s the coaching staff, the training staff. Here, they all want to win. When you’re a player, that’s what you want to be a part of is an organization that’s going to do whatever it takes to win and put the best team out there to win ballgames.”

He also said that nothing about this season, including the Plawecki trade, has changed his desire to return or “caused him to question the team’s commitment to winning.”

Says he “feels better than he did entering free agency four years ago.” Also: “I’ve got confidence that the fastball velo is going to be back to normal,” Eovaldi said. “It’ll be even better when I get out there, because I’ll have the usage of the off-speed pitches still.”

And an interesting quote from Cora: “I remember (when he arrived) his outings were (all) cutters,” manager Alex Cora said. “Only cutters the whole time, right? Just cutter heavy and 101 (mph). Now it’s a lot of pitches: the slider, the curveball and the fastball. And he’s evolved. Obviously, he knows his body. He came here with a lot of red flags … but when he goes out there and he performs, he gives his best. Sometimes he looks great — like most of them — and sometimes he grinds. He’s been awesome in the clubhouse. Awesome, like I always said, in the training room, structure wise. This is a guy that we really like.”
 

chrisfont9

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SoSH Member
In this piece on Eovaldi’s pending FA today in The Athletic, he still emphatically wants to stay. Planning to come back for two more starts and expects his velocity to return. I’m gonna pull out a few meaty bits.

On staying in Boston: “Absolutely,” Eovaldi said. “I love being here. It’s the front office, it’s the coaching staff, the training staff. Here, they all want to win. When you’re a player, that’s what you want to be a part of is an organization that’s going to do whatever it takes to win and put the best team out there to win ballgames.”

He also said that nothing about this season, including the Plawecki trade, has changed his desire to return or “caused him to question the team’s commitment to winning.”

Says he “feels better than he did entering free agency four years ago.” Also: “I’ve got confidence that the fastball velo is going to be back to normal,” Eovaldi said. “It’ll be even better when I get out there, because I’ll have the usage of the off-speed pitches still.”

And an interesting quote from Cora: “I remember (when he arrived) his outings were (all) cutters,” manager Alex Cora said. “Only cutters the whole time, right? Just cutter heavy and 101 (mph). Now it’s a lot of pitches: the slider, the curveball and the fastball. And he’s evolved. Obviously, he knows his body. He came here with a lot of red flags … but when he goes out there and he performs, he gives his best. Sometimes he looks great — like most of them — and sometimes he grinds. He’s been awesome in the clubhouse. Awesome, like I always said, in the training room, structure wise. This is a guy that we really like.”
Sounds like a guy who is coming back, unless Chaim really doesn't want him.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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Dec 19, 2009
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He's been the ace of the staff, somewhat by default, since signing that extention. Unless they think his arm is going to fall off in the next couple seasons, then I don't see why he can't come back as at least a number two or three in the rotation.
 

chawson

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If I were to guess right now, I'd say there's a pretty good chance both Wacha and Eovaldi stay and it's Pivetta on the move.

The Sox rebuilt Pivetta into an average starter and a healthy one. He's got two more seasons, and is not someone I'd think is a long-term piece. He'd also likely to improve by getting out of the AL East.

'22 vs. BAL, NYY, TB, TOR: 6.65 ERA, 5.23 FIP in 65 IP
'22 vs. all else: 2.86 ERA, 3.56 FIP in 100.2 IP

Pivetta's a quick worker with the bases empty, but he's also quite slow to the plate with runners on. He's also very easy to steal on. Opponents have stolen 18 bases against Pivetta, the third-highest stolen-base totals among 2022 MLB starters (Syndergaard, Alcantara). This stuff would stand to worsen next year with the pitch clock and bigger bases. (For reference, Wacha has 4 stolen bases against and Eovaldi has had 5).

To play out how that would go, I'd QO or re-sign Eovaldi and Wacha. If Paxton doesn't exercise his 1/$4M club option, I'd re-up Hill's 1/$5 million deal. Deal Pivetta, maybe to the Twins for Max Kepler (1/$8.5M, with a $10M option in 2024). Then I'd see if I could pry Brady Singer (FA '26) from the Royals, maybe taking back Hunter Dozier (2/$16.8M) and maybe Adalberto Mondesi (1/$4M) in a deal. Maybe something like Mata, Lugo and Duran? That fills a few holes (an excellent defensive right fielder; a RHB 1B/RF platoon; a possible lottery ticket DH in Mondesi?) before we even get into free agency. And here's the rotation:

Sale
Eovaldi
Singer
Wacha
Whitlock
Bello
Paxton/Hill
Worcester: Crawford/Seabold/Winckowski/Walter/Murphy

Upside, injury protection, and plenty of opportunity for everyone besides Singer to show they belong in the 2024 rotation. If one of the youngsters is forcing the issue and everyone is healthy, consider dealing one of Wacha, Eovaldi or Paxton/Hill at the deadline.
 
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