What does 2023 look like?

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I don't think Sale should be penciled into the rotation. We need 5 starters not named Sale.
I think writing it with an easily erasable marking implement is probably the perfect thing to use for him.
Pencil him in. But Eovaldi, Wacha, Hill and Paxton all need graphite usage too. The only one you can really use ink on is Pivetta.
Whitlock and Bello maybe too?
 

chawson

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Odd maybe but an easy no for the Sox.
Agree, yeah. I was on the fence about the Sox side of the $6M option but $12 doesn’t work. Weird that the original reporting was so off and remained uncorrected for six months.
 

nvalvo

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Agree, yeah. I was on the fence about the Sox side of the $6M option but $12 doesn’t work. Weird that the original reporting was so off and remained uncorrected for six months.
The Cincinnati baseball press may not be quite as thorough as we're used to.
 

walt in maryland

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Depends how long the long term deal is, but most likely. The team is also loaded with MI prospects and is sparse in OF. They might think a better use of financial resources is the OF and maybe pitching. They have well documented pitching depth in AAA but outside of Bello, it's more quantity than quality. Mata and Walter being the best of that quantity. Walter was shut down earlier this year and will need time to get back up to par and Mata is at least another half season away. You can also never have too much pitching.

For the OF, they have Abreu and Rafaela who ended the season in AA and will start next year in AAA. They are also at least half a season away. Outside of that, you have to down to Miguel Bleis in the FCL to get to the next OF prospect. At least he's a really good one.

For the IF, there's Mayer, Rafaela (again), Lugo, Paulino, Yorke, Romero, Coffey, Bonaci, Encarnacion, Alcantara, Ravelo and more. Some of them will be moved to other positions (Paulino's been playing some CF) but there's just so many. I guess that's what happens when you are signing 16-18 year olds though. The best players play SS.

On Sox prospects, the Sox have 9 OFs in their top 60, 4 in the top 30 (Bleis 5, Rafaela 6, Anthony 11, Abreu 26).
Should have included Koss on your IF list. He'll probably be Worcester's starting SS in April
 

Daniel_Son

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With Milwaukee's season all but over, I wonder if they'd explore a trade for one of their starting pitchers this offseason. Those guys are going to start getting expensive.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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With Milwaukee's season all but over, I wonder if they'd explore a trade for one of their starting pitchers this offseason. Those guys are going to start getting expensive.
Sure seems like that’s the team to target and trying to get one of Burnes / Woodruff. A mid market team that has to be disappointed to miss the playoffs seems likely to be potentially interested in shaking things up. That being said, have to imagine the price tag would be pretty high.
 

chrisfont9

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There is around another $19M for benefits and 40 man roster that counts against the CBT, as well as paying out $8M for JBJ's option. And there is no way Hosmer is back as the DH next year. I don't think there will be any issue with spending up to the first threshold.
No, JBJ's option got accelerated and they paid it already. D'accord on the other expenses.


Here's the thing about giving the QO to both Eovaldi and Wacha...you start to run out of ways to get the payroll to 230 mil next year. Here's what I have right now if they offer both, I'm including 25 million in both SS at 3B:

1B Casas $715,000
2B Story $23,333,333
SS Xander $25,000,000
3B Devers $25,000,000
...
Total $177,701,333


Over 50 million to spend on a RF and the bullpen. Now, maybe they just send Hosmer on his way and sign someone else to DH, but even then, unless Judge is playing RF you have a tough time getting there unless you spend big for two bullpen guys.

This is why I see them going after Verlander or DeGrom. It's *hard* to spend that kind of money without giving out long term deals, and those two will provide bang for the buck without being dead weight on the payroll when Casas and Bello (hopefully) hit their prime.
That blank space in RF seems like it's crying out for some of that remaining budget. $25m for each of Devers and X might be a bit low, although I think if they give them both long term deals, they would be wise to pay less in 2023 and more further out, including 2024, when they know they will have another big chunk of space cleared. Personally I would rather see them go after Rodon than the two bigger names.
 
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chrisfont9

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Daniel_Son

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Sure seems like that’s the team to target and trying to get one of Burnes / Woodruff. A mid market team that has to be disappointed to miss the playoffs seems likely to be potentially interested in shaking things up. That being said, have to imagine the price tag would be pretty high.
Woodruff's probably a more realistic target given his age. The closest trade comp I can think of is the Paxton trade to the Yankees - Paxton was also 29 years old with a couple years of control left. Seattle netted the Yankees' no. 1, no. 22, and a 5th-round pick in High A. I don't think we'd need to (or should) give up Mayer, but maybe a package headlined by Yorke moves the needle?
 

dhappy42

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No, JBJ's option got accelerated and they paid it already. D'accord on the other expenses.




That blank space in RF seems like it's crying out for some of that remaining budget. $25m for each of Devers and X might be a bit low, although I think if they give them both long term deals, they would be wise to pay less in 2023 and more further out, including 2024, when they know they will have another big chunk of space cleared. Personally I would rather see them go after Rodon than the two bigger names.
The two bigger names being deGrom and ...?

The Red Sox don't have to extend Devers in the offseason, so you could pencil him in for considerably less than $25 million. (He's at $11.2 million now.) But X will probably get > $30 million so we're still looking at $50 million for the two.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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No, JBJ's option got accelerated and they paid it already. D'accord on the other expenses.




That blank space in RF seems like it's crying out for some of that remaining budget. $25m for each of Devers and X might be a bit low, although I think if they give them both long term deals, they would be wise to pay less in 2023 and more further out, including 2024, when they know they will have another big chunk of space cleared. Personally I would rather see them go after Rodon than the two bigger names.
The payment to JBJ was paid early due to the release, but his option buyout was already accounted for in his AAV in 2022 (and 2021 for that matter). He'd have been off the books as far as the luxury tax goes regardless.

In that same vein, it doesn't matter how their contracts are structured as far as Devers and Bogaerts are concerned. If they're both on new long term contracts, the only value that matters is the AAV. Whether the deal pays him $15M in 2023 then $32.5M for the next six years after that or he gets exactly $30M a year for seven years, the luxury tax number for Devers next year would be $30M.
 

teddywingman

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They're not going to win more games than the Blue Jays or Yankees.

Plan accordingly. And as much as I love Devers, I'd like to see if he doesn't break down again next year.
 

moondog80

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Personally I would rather see them go after Rodon than the two bigger names.
I could see it, but Rondon will want more years. Verlander/DeGrom just makes a ton of sense for team with a) lots of money to spend, b) many holes already filled, c) an aversion to long term deals that is not absolute but perhaps a bit higher than other teams in their spending bracket, and d) some non-baseball forces in the front office likely calling for a "splashy" move. Bloom isn't going to do anything stupid just to address point D, but if he can satisfy it while still hitting the other points, that's a nice bonus.
 

chawson

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I could see it, but Rondon will want more years. Verlander/DeGrom just makes a ton of sense for team with a) lots of money to spend, b) many holes already filled, c) an aversion to long term deals that is not absolute but perhaps a bit higher than other teams in their spending bracket, and d) some non-baseball forces in the front office likely calling for a "splashy" move. Bloom isn't going to do anything stupid just to address point D, but if he can satisfy it while still hitting the other points, that's a nice bonus.
Wasn't it reported that Bloom offered Verlander a contract last offseason? I'd love both of these pitchers on my team of course, but I don't know why Verlander would leave the sweet deal he's got in Houston. I'd assume the AL East isn't ideal if he's chasing 300 wins (not that he'd need it for the Hall). deGrom seems a bit likelier, but maybe it depends how the Mets' postseason goes. I agree both are likelier than Rodón.
 

moondog80

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Wasn't it reported that Bloom offered Verlander a contract last offseason? I'd love both of these pitchers on my team of course, but I don't know why Verlander would leave the sweet deal he's got in Houston. I'd assume the AL East isn't ideal if he's chasing 300 wins (not that he'd need it for the Hall). deGrom seems a bit likelier, but maybe it depends how the Mets' postseason goes. I agree both are likelier than Rodón.
Everybody's got a price, and the Astros aren't the Rays but they do need to be a little more frugal than the Red Sox.
 

Yo La Tengo

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Woodruff's probably a more realistic target given his age. The closest trade comp I can think of is the Paxton trade to the Yankees - Paxton was also 29 years old with a couple years of control left. Seattle netted the Yankees' no. 1, no. 22, and a 5th-round pick in High A. I don't think we'd need to (or should) give up Mayer, but maybe a package headlined by Yorke moves the needle?

I tried to get a conversation started about a trade for Woodruff or Burnes and taking on Yelich to avoid having to give up top prospects, but it got derailed by the Franchy debate:

Time to flex that financial advantage: trade for Corbin Burnes or Brandon Woodruff and take back Christian Yelich as part of the deal (moving Verdugo to RF).

Burnes and Woodruff are both arbitration eligible through the 2024 season. Burnes is turning 28 and Woodruff is turning 30. Yelich is turning 31 this offseason and is signed through his age 36 season at $22 million per year (with a bunch of deferred money).

Burnes and Woodruff are both REALLY good. Yelich had a bad 2020 after a spectacular 2018 and 2019. He's been good this year but is overpaid while his underlying offensive numbers look pretty good (89% exit velocity, 91% hard hit, 77% xwOBA). Defensively, he appears to struggle on jumps and coming in on the ball, which might make Fenway a good LF for hiding his flaws.

Burnes is already complaining that Milwaukee hasn't made any effort to extend him, and I'm guessing that front office wants to move Yelich. They might even want Verdugo as part of the deal. Could the Sox pull this off while protecting their top prospects?
 

moondog80

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I tried to get a conversation started about a trade for Woodruff or Burnes and taking on Yelich to avoid having to give up top prospects, but it got derailed by the Franchy debate:
Yelich's deal is pretty bad -- 6 more years at 26 mil and then a 6 mil buyout for a guy to play subpar LF that has been a 106 OPS+ hitter the past 3 years. I'm not sure Yelich + Burnes isn't negative value.

That said -- as a lefty, maybe Yelich will benefit from the new rules on the shift? This offseason will definitely be a chance to score if you can correctly anticipate guys whose values will rise/fall based on those changes.
 

Daniel_Son

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Yelich's deal is pretty bad -- 6 more years at 26 mil and then a 6 mil buyout for a guy to play subpar LF that has been a 106 OPS+ hitter the past 3 years. I'm not sure Yelich + Burnes isn't negative value.

That said -- as a lefty, maybe Yelich will benefit from the new rules on the shift? This offseason will definitely be a chance to score if you can correctly anticipate guys whose values will rise/fall based on those changes.
That's a good point - one of Yelich's biggest problems is his inability to put the ball into the air. He still hits the ball hard, so you figure with some of those grounders would become singles with the new defensive constraints. I don't think he's got another All-Star season in him, but you figure a few more singles and maintaining his walk rate puts him in the 110-115 OPS+ range for another 2-3 years.

But like you said, he's been pretty bad defensively and he's signed for 6 more years at a high cost. Can the Sox become serious competitors in 2023-2024 to maximize the value they'd get from Burnes or Woodruff? That'd make the back end of the Yelich contract a lot more palatable.
 

chawson

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Like I posted in the RF thread, there’s a little whiff of suspicion around Yelich’s good years from some sign-stealing accusations against the Brewers (from other MLB players).

Like @Daniel_Son said, the ground ball rate is high but the banned shift could mitigate the damage there a bit. He still hits the ball plenty hard, so more of those batted balls would find their way through the infield than other lefties.

If it’s something like Burnes and Yelich with Milwaukee sending $30 million, and we give them Hosmer and like, Murphy, that could be interesting. That’d effectively be Yelich on a 6/$126M contract (with a $6.5M buyout). Not great, but certainly doable if he keeps up a 15% walk rate. And if the prize is maybe the best pitcher in baseball, it’s a lot more palatable.

Depends whether the Sox FO might think Burnes is worth extending. It’s hard to see them giving out a 5+ year contract to any pitcher anytime soon.
 
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Heating up in the bullpen

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Yelich's deal is pretty bad -- 6 more years at 26 mil and then a 6 mil buyout for a guy to play subpar LF that has been a 106 OPS+ hitter the past 3 years. I'm not sure Yelich + Burnes isn't negative value.

That said -- as a lefty, maybe Yelich will benefit from the new rules on the shift? This offseason will definitely be a chance to score if you can correctly anticipate guys whose values will rise/fall based on those changes.
BTV says Yelich + Burnes is negative value. They have Yelich's contract as the third worst in MLB, at -121.0 value, behind only Strasburg (-138.2) and Rendon (-129.5). Even with Burnes at +94.1, the Brewers' side of the deal is a -27.
For comparison, they've got three Red Sox contracts underwater: Story at -28.0, Sale at -23.6, and Barnes at -10.6.
 

sean1562

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Trading Burnes and Yelich would seem to be the beginnings of a firesale. Burnes has two years left before FA and won the Cy Young last year. Wouldn't it make more sense for them to ship Burnes, Adames, and Woodruff off for the best prospects they can get rather than strap Yelich's contract to one of them? The Reds just got an absolute haul of prospects for Luis Castillo, who had a year and a half left before FA when he was dealt. Trading one of their aces is essentially punting on their future to start a rebuild, no?

Trading their recent MVP candidate and their recent Cy Young winner to the Red Sox for a bag of balls doesn't seem like a move that would go over well with their fanbase.

edit: Also, if we are willing to take Yelich's underwater contract of 6 years and 156 million to get the two expensive arb years of an elite pitcher, why not just sign a FA pitcher with that cash instead?

Also, why would the Brewers do this? Are we just basing this on expenses? The NL Central will be bad next season. The Cardinals are a good team but they are not a juggernaut in that division. Trading one of their best pitchers and Yelich immediately takes them from playoff contender to mediocre team with no playoff chance.
 
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Daniel_Son

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Trading Burnes and Yelich would seem to be the beginnings of a firesale. Burnes has two years left before FA and won the Cy Young last year. Wouldn't it make more sense for them to ship Burnes, Adames, and Woodruff off for the best prospects they can get rather than strap Yelich's contract to one of them? The Reds just got an absolute haul of prospects for Luis Castillo, who had a year and a half left before FA when he was dealt. Trading one of their aces is essentially punting on their future to start a rebuild, no?

Trading their recent MVP candidate and their recent Cy Young winner to the Red Sox for a bag of balls doesn't seem like a move that would go over well with their fanbase.

edit: Also, if we are willing to take Yelich's underwater contract of 6 years and 156 million to get the two expensive arb years of an elite pitcher, why not just sign a FA pitcher with that cash instead?

Also, why would the Brewers do this? Are we just basing this on expenses? The NL Central will be bad next season. The Cardinals are a good team but they are not a juggernaut in that division. Trading one of their best pitchers and Yelich immediately takes them from playoff contender to mediocre team with no playoff chance.
It's largely based on expenses, yeah. They're at 142 million this year, which is pricy for a mid-market team. Burnes and Woodruff will likely garner significant raises. Trading both would mean a firesale, but trading one for a package highlighted by near-MLB talent would give them more bites at the apple, to quote David Stearns.
 

simplicio

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If they receive and accept QO’s, the rotation is basically done.

Sale, Eovaldi, Wacha, Pivetta, Bello

With Whitlock, Houck, Crawford, potentially Paxton if he opts in (which seems unlikely if he’s healthy), etc. as depth.
Paxton has a player option? I was under the impression that it's a team one for '23 and '24 combined.
 

scottyno

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JD has hit well enough in September/October to convince me that he must have been fighting through some sort of injury in July and August and isn't just cooked. I still wouldn't give him a QO, but if he would take something like 1-10, possibly with some sort of 2nd year option, I'd probably give him that to be the DH next season.
 

ShaneTrot

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One would hope that the team would be more competitive in the AL East next year. 26-50 in the division is shocking even with all the pitching injuries and lack of power this year.
 

jon abbey

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One would hope that the team would be more competitive in the AL East next year. 26-50 in the division is shocking even with all the pitching injuries and lack of power this year.
But don't forget there are only 52 division games starting next year (13 per team), down from 76 (19 per).
 

nvalvo

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But don't forget there are only 52 division games starting next year (13 per team), down from 76 (19 per).
Joe Castiglione related a conversation the other day he had with Toronto coach who speculated that the new schedule might produce an outcome where the entire AL East finishes above .500.

The Sox had lopsided winning records against the three non-AL East playoff teams: 6-1 against Seattle, 5-2 against Cleveland, and a more modest 4-2 against Houston. And then 3-16 against Toronto, 6-12 against TBR, and 6-13 against NYY. Just madness. I sincerely don't think I've seen anything like it.
 

JM3

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Dumb Theory:

Red Sox will focus more on left handed pitching this off season.

Dumb Logic:

The shift ban is going to really bolster the #s for left handed hitters, causing more managers to eventually play more lhb's than usual, making pitchers who can do well against lhb's more important. Most people who are good at that are lhp, although some are obviously good split righties.

Also, the new rules are going to lead to more base stealing & increase the importance of handling the running game. Harder to steal bases on lefties (& catchers who aren't Plawecki).

I assume the dumbest teams will take at least a season to figure out what's up. I expect the smartest teams probably already started this transition & I didn't notice.
 

chawson

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Dumb Theory:

Red Sox will focus more on left handed pitching this off season.

Dumb Logic:

The shift ban is going to really bolster the #s for left handed hitters, causing more managers to eventually play more lhb's than usual, making pitchers who can do well against lhb's more important. Most people who are good at that are lhp, although some are obviously good split righties.

Also, the new rules are going to lead to more base stealing & increase the importance of handling the running game. Harder to steal bases on lefties (& catchers who aren't Plawecki).

I assume the dumbest teams will take at least a season to figure out what's up. I expect the smartest teams probably already started this transition & I didn't notice.
It's going to be interesting how this plays out. I think your basic framework here makes sense, with left-handed hitters getting a bit of a boost again.

The share of total MLB plate appearance made by left-handed batters has slowly declined in the last 10 years. Left-handed batters occupied 44.7% of total plate appearances in 2013 (excluding PAs made by pitchers). That number has steadily dropped each year (with a blip in 2020), and in 2022, they occupied 39.5% of total PAs. I'd imagine that trend could start reversing itself next year.

If anything, it seems like another point in the modest case for bringing Rich Hill back.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Joe Castiglione related a conversation the other day he had with Toronto coach who speculated that the new schedule might produce an outcome where the entire AL East finishes above .500.

The Sox had lopsided winning records against the three non-AL East playoff teams: 6-1 against Seattle, 5-2 against Cleveland, and a more modest 4-2 against Houston. And then 3-16 against Toronto, 6-12 against TBR, and 6-13 against NYY. Just madness. I sincerely don't think I've seen anything like it.
52-34 outside the division.

26-50 within the division. And even that is heavily skewed by going 6-1 against a mailing it in BAL and TB teams in the last two weeks of the season.

It's a disgrace, honestly. It's unaccpetable to play that poorly within the division and the team has to really take a look at their self-scouting procedures. This should never, ever happen. The other teams in the division aren't THAT good.

That is by far the most pressing thing the org needs to address for 2023. If they don't figure this out then next year will be a waste as well.
 

moondog80

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More likely scenario:

1. The Red Sox scouting procedures were inherently well suited to evaluate the NL, AL West, and AL Central, but completely fell apart against the AL East.
2. The disparate record in and out of the AL East is a function of the quality of teams within the division, the timing of key injuries coinciding with divisional matchups on the schedule, and pure randomness?
 

BaseballJones

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52-34 outside the division.

26-50 within the division. And even that is heavily skewed by going 6-1 against a mailing it in BAL and TB teams in the last two weeks of the season.

It's a disgrace, honestly. It's unaccpetable to play that poorly within the division and the team has to really take a look at their self-scouting procedures. This should never, ever happen. The other teams in the division aren't THAT good.

That is by far the most pressing thing the org needs to address for 2023. If they don't figure this out then next year will be a waste as well.
I mean....how do you figure this out? How do you construct a team with Tor/NY/TB specifically in mind, as compared to the rest of baseball? If those teams, say, had a preponderance of lefty mashers and the Sox trotted out only RHP all year, then yeah, that's kind of an easy adjustment. But Tampa plays a completely different brand of baseball from New York. And Toronto is a completely different thing altogether.

So let's say you're Bloom. How do you "figure this out" with respect to the AL East? Or do you just try to build as good a team as you possibly can and trust that 2022 was just a bizarre anomaly in divisional games?
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I mean....how do you figure this out? How do you construct a team with Tor/NY/TB specifically in mind, as compared to the rest of baseball? If those teams, say, had a preponderance of lefty mashers and the Sox trotted out only RHP all year, then yeah, that's kind of an easy adjustment. But Tampa plays a completely different brand of baseball from New York. And Toronto is a completely different thing altogether.

So let's say you're Bloom. How do you "figure this out" with respect to the AL East? Or do you just try to build as good a team as you possibly can and trust that 2022 was just a bizarre anomaly in divisional games?
26-50 is no anomaly. You don't bad luck into a record like that. You're fundamentally lacking in skills and matchups and talent to get your assess beaten that badly in the division. They sucked against the division all year: pre-injuries, post-injuries, and all the times in between. It was trips to Toronto that sent them into multiple skids this year, for example.

You figure it out by scouting the hell out of your own team and the divisional opponents. Do they have power pitchers that our hitters struggle with? Do they pound RHP? Do they have speed that takes advantage of our weak-throwing catchers? Etc etc etc.

There's no easy work here. It's going to take an immense amount of grinding and research and planning and work to make sure that something like this doesn't happen again in 2023. If Bloom doesn't want to do that then he shouldn't be holding this job.

What they cannot do is throw up their hands and ascribe it to bad luck. They need to acknowledge the problem and address it. It certainly wasn't random.
 

Trlicek's Whip

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1 year at 4 mil is a very small gamble, if he's got a (relatively) clean bill of health going forward someone will go higher than that.
Agreed. Lots of teams are doing cheap flyers on the Hill/Paxton/Pivetta reclamation model now: Martin Perez, Johnny Cueto, Zack Grienke, Dylan Bundy, etc etc. Especially since getting to a "team innings pitched" with openers and guys who throw 200 IP is going the way of the dinosaur. Paxton at 1 yr for 4 million would be a great pickup for any team in the league.
 

moondog80

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26-50 is no anomaly. You don't bad luck into a record like that. You're fundamentally lacking in skills and matchups and talent to get your assess beaten that badly in the division. They sucked against the division all year: pre-injuries, post-injuries, and all the times in between. It was trips to Toronto that sent them into multiple skids this year, for example.

You figure it out by scouting the hell out of your own team and the divisional opponents. Do they have power pitchers that our hitters struggle with? Do they pound RHP? Do they have speed that takes advantage of our weak-throwing catchers? Etc etc etc.

There's no easy work here. It's going to take an immense amount of grinding and research and planning and work to make sure that something like this doesn't happen again in 2023. If Bloom doesn't want to do that then he shouldn't be holding this job.

What they cannot do is throw up their hands and ascribe it to bad luck.
So was the scouting spectacularly good against the non-AL East teams?
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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So was the scouting spectacularly good against the non-AL East teams?
Lack of familiarity might have worked in their favor.

Look, it's pretty simple: the teams that saw them the most kicked the everloving shit out of them. Do we at least acknowledge that this is a major problem? Because if we can't do that there's nothing to talk about here.

The season was a disaster because they got destroyed by divisional teams. And it's not like they were all 115 win clubs: TOR won 92 games, TB won 86, BAL 83. They weren't great, just pretty decent. There's no reason the Sox should have been THAT BAD in the division.

The organization has to address that this offseason as their number one priority. Because if they cannot figure this out then 2023 will be a waste and a lot of the FO should be looking for other jobs. And given that the attendance at the park this year was the lowest it's been in a non-pandemic year since 2001, the team might be facing a major loss of interest if they can't figure this out.
 
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