What does 2023 look like?

simplicio

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Looking at that 2013 roster, how the heck did Jonny Gomes manage a 142 ops+ in 2012? Devers was only at 141 last year.
 

jbupstate

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Just looking back at the standings last season.
On July 4 the Sox were 10 games over .500 at 45-35 after 80 games. Second in the division and maybe first in WC. At a similar pace to the 92 win 2021 season. Trailing the white hot Yankees by 12 games.

Sale was within weeks of coming back, Paxton was moving closer in his recovery and Casas was close. Duran had an OPS of .881, Devers .962 and Xander .852. Crawford just pitched a gem in relief of opener in TB. The team hasd some good players trying to figure it out JDM and Story. JBJ trade was an obvious mistake at the MLB level and Dalbec regressed. The starting pitching was outstanding. First have team pitching had an OPS+ against of 89. Held the opposition to a .240 batting average and OPS of .704. That was a good team that had an impact pitcher coming back. Bloom was threading the needle. Keeping the Sox competitive with some low cost moves that were great while others did not work.
Things were looking bright until —

The. Wheels. Fell. Off. Too much to list…

The thing for me is Bloom had the team within two games of the WS in 2021. He had the team at mid season 2022 positioned to compete. The financial reset and barren high minors left the team without depth. Just a little less injury luck and the team has Sale for the 2nd half, Casas at 1B (not Dalbec/Franchy) and Story on another heater. I’ll also throw in having someone on the team (PR, Cora, quiet team leaders) help Duran answer for the pop up. They probably make the playoffs.

Didn’t happen. We are where we are. Time to develop some kids at the MLB level.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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Just looking back at the standings last season.
On July 4 the Sox were 10 games over .500 at 45-35 after 80 games. Second in the division and maybe first in WC. At a similar pace to the 92 win 2021 season. Trailing the white hot Yankees by 12 games.

Sale was within weeks of coming back, Paxton was moving closer in his recovery and Casas was close. Duran had an OPS of .881, Devers .962 and Xander .852. Crawford just pitched a gem in relief of opener in TB. The team hasd some good players trying to figure it out JDM and Story. JBJ trade was an obvious mistake at the MLB level and Dalbec regressed. The starting pitching was outstanding. First have team pitching had an OPS+ against of 89. Held the opposition to a .240 batting average and OPS of .704. That was a good team that had an impact pitcher coming back. Bloom was threading the needle. Keeping the Sox competitive with some low cost moves that were great while others did not work.
Things were looking bright until —

The. Wheels. Fell. Off. Too much to list…

The thing for me is Bloom had the team within two games of the WS in 2021. He had the team at mid season 2022 positioned to compete. The financial reset and barren high minors left the team without depth. Just a little less injury luck and the team has Sale for the 2nd half, Casas at 1B (not Dalbec/Franchy) and Story on another heater. I’ll also throw in having someone on the team (PR, Cora, quiet team leaders) help Duran answer for the pop up. They probably make the playoffs.

Didn’t happen. We are where we are. Time to develop some kids at the MLB level.
I hope this doesn’t come across as being said at you directly, because that isn’t my intent. Citing the Sox being 2 games out of the WC and everyone coming from back from injury is a common refrain to give context for Bloom deciding not to sell.

However, also the team was in that position because of an awesome month (June) where we went 12-2 against Cincinnati, Oakland, LAA and Detroit in that month. July started off with series losses against the Cubs and Rays before finally splitting a series against the Yankees. That split was the first “not lost” series against an AL East team of the season.

By the time games finished on July 31st (trade deadline was Aug 2nd), the squad was 4 games out of the last WC in the loss column, had gone 0-11-1 against AL East opponents and we were in last place in the division. We not only were behind, but there were 4 teams we’d have to jump to get the last WC. Choosing not to sell was a horrible decision, in terms of draft pick position, not acquiring more prospects for the apparent plan of building from the farm, and in terms of the luxury tax.

Oh, and people also point to “should the Phillies have sold”, which is not at all comparable. At the time the Phillies were “in” the playoffs, and had two stud pitchers actually pitching at the top of their rotation (Nola and Wheeler) and they’d shown an ability to hang inntheir own division - as opposed to not being able to win a single of 12 series.

Again, I don’t want that to come across as directed only at you, certainly that is not my intent.
 
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Nacl

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And two games away from finishing fourth in the division and missing the playoffs entirely.

I remember a Rockford Files episode where Rocky is looking at a fight cut on Jim's face and says "an inch to left and you would have lost your eye", Jim responds, "an inch to the right and they would missed completely".
 

Rasputin

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And two games away from finishing fourth in the division and missing the playoffs entirely.
That's what happens when you're a fairly mediocre team. You either make the playoffs by a small number of games or miss the playoffs by a small number of games. I mean, last year when the Sox were the worst of the mediocre teams, we finished eight games out of the playoffs. A small improvement, and we've got a legit chance at the wild card right up until the last couple weeks.
 

Bread of Yaz

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Mar 12, 2019
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Crossposting here, but who says no to this?

LAA gets: Sale, Verdugo, Pivetta, Dalbec, Duran
BOS gets: Ward, Detmers, Adell, Suarez* (or Canning/Silseth/Rodriguez), Rendon (with $60-80 million paid down, which would leave roughly 4/$75-95M left on that deal)

The Angels hang up quickly IMHO. Pivetta, Dalbec and Duran are fungible/less than fungible. They would have to give up a 23 year rising rotation fixture in Reid Detmers. Ward is under team control until 2027 and put up a 4.0 oWAR season last year. Suarez also under control through 2027 and put up a very nice age 24 season with a 3.96 ERA but an xERA of 3.67.
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

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I hope this doesn’t come across as being said at you directly, because that isn’t my intent. Citing the Sox being 2 games out of the WC and everyone coming from back from injury is a common refrain to give context for Bloom deciding not to sell.

However, also the team was in that position because of an awesome month (June) where we went 12-2 against Cincinnati, Oakland, LAA and Detroit in that month. July started off with series losses against the Cubs and Rays before finally splitting a series against the Yankees. That split was the first “not lost” series against an AL East team of the season.

By the time games finished on July 31st (trade deadline was Aug 2nd), the squad was 4 games out of the last WC in the loss column, had gone 0-11-1 against AL East opponents and we were in last place in the division. We not only were behind, but there were 4 teams we’d have to jump to get the last WC. Choosing not to sell was a horrible decision, in terms of draft pick position, not acquiring more prospects for the apparent plan of building from the farm, and in terms of the luxury tax.

Oh, and people also point to “should the Phillies have sold”, which is not at all comparable. At the time the Phillies were “in” the playoffs, and had two stud pitchers actually pitching at the top of their rotation (Nola and Wheeler) and they’d shown an ability to hang inntheir own division - as opposed to not being able to win a single of 12 series.

Again, I don’t want that to come across as directed only at you, certainly that is not my intent.
The Phillies "hung in their own division" because after June 12, they had 35 of their 99 remaining games against the awful Nationals and Marlins. They went 28-7 in those games. If the Sox were playing over a third of their stretch schedule against two teams that combined for 200 losses, they'd likely have been in a different, better position come the end of July. You'd be crying "buy, buy, buy!". The strength of the competition matters.
 

jbupstate

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Maybe I didn’t make my point clearly. I’ll try to add on a little. Not a challenge Post btw.

The 2019 Red Sox finished with 84 wins with a large portion of the WS team intact. The 2021 team won 92 games without Betts, Benintendi, JBJ, Price , Porcello and most of Sale.

Bloom has been working under major constraints brought on by spending major financial and development capital to win in 2018. He’s made some moves that have paid off spectacularly and blown up in his face

My point is Bloom is working on the razors edge of keeping the team competitive AND building up the system. Under the circumstances he’s done a good (maybe great) job of threading the needle.

This team could win 86 games this year if just a few players stay healthy. But they are in a rebuild. They should not be in a GFIN spend mode like the Mets, Padres, Phillies, Yankees or Toronto. They should not be a team that loses 90+ games.

I think Bloom should be credited with a smart 2020 tank job. That season was a shit show. That leave 1.5 seasons of 90+ win baseball and .5 season of complete injury luck induced crap. Lower farm is getting better. Financial constraints are easing. More rope required.
 
Last edited:
May 2, 2019
35
I’d really consider starting the year off with a 6-man rotation given the fragility and uncertainty of the elder statesmen in the rotation. What harm could be done by easing Sale and Paxton back into the swing-of-things while giving them an extra day off in between starts? If everyone remains healthy(seems unlikely)Houck or Whitlock could be dropped back into the pen.

1. Chris Sale
2. Nick Pivetta
3. James Paxton
4. Garret Whitlock
5. Brayan Bello
6. Tanner Houck
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I’d really consider starting the year off with a 6-man rotation given the fragility and uncertainty of the elder statesmen in the rotation. What harm could be done by easing Sale and Paxton back into the swing-of-things while giving them an extra day off in between starts? If everyone remains healthy(seems unlikely)Houck or Whitlock could be dropped back into the pen.

1. Chris Sale
2. Nick Pivetta
3. James Paxton
4. Garret Whitlock
5. Brayan Bello
6. Tanner Houck
Normally I’m anti-6-man-rotation because it means your shittiest pitcher is getting as many starts as your best pitcher. But in this scenario I honestly don’t see the difference between Sale and Pivetta being enough to make a difference in 2,3?starts over the whole time this happens. You might get a better Sale even.
im down
 

nvalvo

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Maybe I didn’t make my point clearly. I’ll try to add on a little. Not a challenge Post btw.

The 2019 Red Sox finished with 84 wins with a large portion of the WS team intact. The 2021 team won 92 games without Betts, Benintendi, JBJ, Price , Porcello and most of Sale.

Bloom has been working under major constraints brought on by spending major financial and development capital to win in 2018. He’s made some moves that have paid off spectacularly and blown up in his face

My point is Bloom is working on the razors edge of keeping the team competitive AND building up the system. Under the circumstances he’s done a good (maybe great) job of threading the needle.

This team could win 86 games this year if just a few players stay healthy. But they are in a rebuild. They should not be in a GFIN spend mode like the Mets, Padres, Phillies, Yankees or Toronto. They should not be a team that loses 90+ games.

I think Bloom should be credited with a smart 2020 tank job. That season was a shit show. That leave 1.5 seasons of 90+ win baseball and .5 season of complete injury luck induced crap. Lower farm is getting better. Financial constraints are easing. More rope required.
This is very similar to how I feel. He’s put together some fairly brittle, risky teams while he’s tried to restock the farm and wait out some expiring contracts. In 2021, that worked out pretty well; in 2022, it worked out well until it didn’t; in 2023, I think we should end up with a roster with a higher floor when all is said and done, but we’ll see. Losing Bogaerts hurts there.

In 2024, we should be in position to have more certainty and confidence, and in 2025 we should be legitimate title contenders.
 

bosockboy

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Normally I’m anti-6-man-rotation because it means your shittiest pitcher is getting as many starts as your best pitcher. But in this scenario I honestly don’t see the difference between Sale and Pivetta being enough to make a difference in 2,3?starts over the whole time this happens. You might get a better Sale even.
im down
And a fresher SP every game you play. It’s one way to find an advantage. It fits with this group of Sox starters.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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This is very similar to how I feel. He’s put together some fairly brittle, risky teams while he’s tried to restock the farm and wait out some expiring contracts. In 2021, that worked out pretty well; in 2022, it worked out well until it didn’t; in 2023, I think we should end up with a roster with a higher floor when all is said and done, but we’ll see. Losing Bogaerts hurts there.

In 2024, we should be in position to have more certainty and confidence, and in 2025 we should be legitimate title contenders.
Why, though? Who is on the 2025 team that you see as legit title contenders? I hope you are right but the only current big leaguers under control then are Story, Sale, Yoshida, and Whitlock, right? With pre-arb/arb guys like Houck, Casas, and Bello?

I feel like there’s always this idea that the team will be really good a few years down the road but imagine that idea is not unique to Sox fans.
 

mikcou

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Why, though? Who is on the 2025 team that you see as legit title contenders? I hope you are right but the only current big leaguers under control then are Story, Sale, Yoshida, and Whitlock, right? With pre-arb/arb guys like Houck, Casas, and Bello?

I feel like there’s always this idea that the team will be really good a few years down the road but imagine that idea is not unique to Sox fans.
Agreed, with the minor quibble that Sale is only an option. Unless he produces markedly more than he has recently, he wont be on the team in 2025.

There's some minor league talent, but not that much that can be reasonably be projected to be average or above major leaguers by 2025 (basically Casas, Bello, Mayer, and may be guys like Rafaela and Mata). The system is fringe top 10, but the current talent on the roster that's a few years out outside of the top few prospects that people talk about is horrid. A good minor league system with a solid core of major league talent is a strong contender, without the core of major league talent, its just another team.
 

Daniel_Son

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I’d really consider starting the year off with a 6-man rotation given the fragility and uncertainty of the elder statesmen in the rotation. What harm could be done by easing Sale and Paxton back into the swing-of-things while giving them an extra day off in between starts? If everyone remains healthy(seems unlikely)Houck or Whitlock could be dropped back into the pen.

1. Chris Sale
2. Nick Pivetta
3. James Paxton
4. Garret Whitlock
5. Brayan Bello
6. Tanner Houck
I guess the only downside is that they'd have a shorter bench, right? If Casas or Yoshida struggle out of the gate, or if McGuire's bat reverts back to anemic, that doesn't leave them with many options.
 

Apisith

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I’d really consider starting the year off with a 6-man rotation given the fragility and uncertainty of the elder statesmen in the rotation. What harm could be done by easing Sale and Paxton back into the swing-of-things while giving them an extra day off in between starts? If everyone remains healthy(seems unlikely)Houck or Whitlock could be dropped back into the pen.

1. Chris Sale
2. Nick Pivetta
3. James Paxton
4. Garret Whitlock
5. Brayan Bello
6. Tanner Houck
Sign me up for this. Houck gets a season to see if he can get through the lineup a third time, Whitlock gets to show he’s durable enough to start, Bello to show his progression to an ace and Paxton for whether he deserves a QO next offseason. Sale gets more rest between starts. If the season goes well, he’ll be healthier come playoff time. Pivetta doesn’t need the extra rest but IMO he has the least upside of all 6 so we’re probably better off if he gets 27 starts instead of 33.
 

Rovin Romine

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I guess the only downside is that they'd have a shorter bench, right? If Casas or Yoshida struggle out of the gate, or if McGuire's bat reverts back to anemic, that doesn't leave them with many options.
Plus there's the starter-strech-out factor. They'd have to go deeper into games if you shortening available innings from the bullpen.

Seems like there are fewer off-days early on this year - but the competition isn't that stiff to start the season. https://www.mlb.com/redsox/schedule/2023-04

Hopefully Cora will grab games early, instead of passing wins to weaker competition in the name of "seeing what he has" in players.
 

JM3

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If the season started today (& Paxton was ready to go), I would rather a 5-man rotation with one of those 6 + Crawford available as bulk relievers/fill-in starters if we wanted to give someone extra rest.
 

Max Power

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Why, though? Who is on the 2025 team that you see as legit title contenders? I hope you are right but the only current big leaguers under control then are Story, Sale, Yoshida, and Whitlock, right? With pre-arb/arb guys like Houck, Casas, and Bello?

I feel like there’s always this idea that the team will be really good a few years down the road but imagine that idea is not unique to Sox fans.
This is why I don't understand the "blow it up" idea. If there's a bit of luck, the team could be decent this year and next. Why guarantee they're going to be bad in the near term for some unknown chance to be better in a few years?
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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Maybe I didn’t make my point clearly. I’ll try to add on a little. Not a challenge Post btw.

The 2019 Red Sox finished with 84 wins with a large portion of the WS team intact. The 2021 team won 92 games without Betts, Benintendi, JBJ, Price , Porcello and most of Sale.

Bloom has been working under major constraints brought on by spending major financial and development capital to win in 2018. He’s made some moves that have paid off spectacularly and blown up in his face

My point is Bloom is working on the razors edge of keeping the team competitive AND building up the system. Under the circumstances he’s done a good (maybe great) job of threading the needle.

This team could win 86 games this year if just a few players stay healthy. But they are in a rebuild. They should not be in a GFIN spend mode like the Mets, Padres, Phillies, Yankees or Toronto. They should not be a team that loses 90+ games.

I think Bloom should be credited with a smart 2020 tank job. That season was a shit show. That leave 1.5 seasons of 90+ win baseball and .5 season of complete injury luck induced crap. Lower farm is getting better. Financial constraints are easing. More rope required.
I actually agree totally on crediting Bloom for 2020; it’s also why I criticize him for not doing the same last year. I don’t share the same optimism on what the team looks like in 2024 and 2025 based on some of the high profile misses Bloom has had in evaluating minor league talent (Cordero, Winckowski, Downs, Hamilton, Binelas) vs the high profile win (Whitlock).

We can respectfully agree to disagree there - while I hope you’re right!

You'd be crying "buy, buy, buy!". The strength of the competition matters.
I agree on strength of competition. Which is why I site the Red Sox being 0-11-1 in series against the AL East AND having to overtake each of the other teams to make the second wild card as reasons that they clearly should have sold. Especially when the entire argument of why Bloom should be given more rope is his success in building the player development machine.

Not for nothing, but I also would not have been saying “buy, buy, buy.” I think that decision is more nuanced than games out of a playoff spot.

For example, lets say this July we are hovering around .500, 2 games out of the last wild card, and we’re there because an unextended Devers is putting up a “Judge 2022 in a walk year”, James Paxton, Chris Sale, Justin Turner, and one year deal Corey Kluber are all awesome - but the kids are all struggling and there is no momentum on extending Devers. I’d sell each of those “won’t be here long term” assets. No question I’d be screaming “sell, sell, sell.”

Now, let’s say this July and we’re around .500, and 2 games out of the last wild card. However we’re there because even though Paxton and Sale have combined for 8 starts and a 5.95ERA, Bello and Hock look good as starters, Whitlock looks like Papelbon in the bullpen, Rafael Devers with a nice 10yr/$300m extension and Trevor Story look like your middle of the line up core for half a decade, and Yoshida and Casas look like the lead off and 5 hitter of the future. Then I’d absolutely be saying “buy, buy, buy”.

(Obviously an extreme either way also indicates buying or selling, but I trust that is obvious to everyone.)

As I said, I think it’s a more nuanced calculation than “games out” that should determine buying or selling.
 

nvalvo

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Why, though? Who is on the 2025 team that you see as legit title contenders? I hope you are right but the only current big leaguers under control then are Story, Sale, Yoshida, and Whitlock, right? With pre-arb/arb guys like Houck, Casas, and Bello?

I feel like there’s always this idea that the team will be really good a few years down the road but imagine that idea is not unique to Sox fans.
Add Mayer, Rafaela, and Bleis to that group, trade a few of the other high-ceiling middle infielders, and sign a few from the excellent FAs expected to hit the market between now and then: Soto, Ohtani, Corbin Burnes, etc., etc. Maybe one of the young SPs pops, like Luis Perales.

Look, it was evident in 2014 that we would have a title contention window starting in 2017 or so. Yet the only players on the 2014 team who were important in 2018 were Bogaerts, Bradley and (in tiny cameo) Betts.

Now, the farm isn’t *that* good. I don’t expect 2025 or 2026 team to be the best in the history of the franchise. But we have some similarly high ceiling talent. And if you’d looked at the 2014 Sox, seen Will Middlebrooks, Jonny Gomes, and late-career Grady Sizemore and asked how this team would win a title within five years, you’d have been missing the forest for the trees, right?

The 2025 Sox could be:

DH Yoshida
SS Mayer
3B Devers
LF Soto
RF Bleis
1B Casas
2B Story
C Wong
CF Rafaela

With Bello, Woodruff, Whitlock, and Perales in the rotation. Or whatever. The point isn’t the details.
 

Rovin Romine

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Why, though? Who is on the 2025 team that you see as legit title contenders? I hope you are right but the only current big leaguers under control then are Story, Sale, Yoshida, and Whitlock, right? With pre-arb/arb guys like Houck, Casas, and Bello?

I feel like there’s always this idea that the team will be really good a few years down the road but imagine that idea is not unique to Sox fans.
Trivia Question Time!

1) Of the starting 9 in 2018. . .how many were starters in in 2016?
(As opposed to opening/final day rosters, I used bRef which uses (AFAIK) games played at the position by the end of the year.)

2) How many of the 2018 starters were new to the org. since 2016?
(Meaning they weren't on the club or in the Sox minor-league-system in 2016.)

3) Of the starting 9 in 2013. . .how many started in 2011?

4) How many of the 2013 starters were new to the org. since 2011?

Trickier Bonus - Do the same for the top 3 SP and top two RP.
(It's a bit more subjective, but I went bWAR for the 3 highest starters and 2 best relievers, rather than "roles.")

Bold indicates starter changed over. (I did not do this with pitchers.)
Italics indicates player not in the org (majors or miniors) 2 years prior.

2018 from 2016 - 5 new starters, 3 from outside the org. At the end of 2015, Devers and Beni were both in A ball, but could fairly be called top 5 prospects in the Sox system.

C: Leon - Leon
1B: Moreland - Ramirez
2B: Nunez - Pedroia
SS: Bogaerts - Bogaerts
3B: Devers - Shaw
LF: Benintendi - Holt/Young
CF: JBJ - JBJ
RF: Betts - Betts
DH: JD Martinez - Ortiz

SP: Sale - Porcello
SP: Price - Price
SP: Rodriguez/Porcello - Wright
RP: Kimbrel - Ziegler
RP: Brasier - Ross

2013 from 2011 - 5 new starters, with 4 from outside the org. At the end of 2011, Middlebrooks had a good season at AA, but struggled in a short promotion to AAA. At the time he was also likely a top 5 prospect. Nava was stashed in AAA for the 2011 season, but had been on the club for 2010.

C: Saltalamacchia - Saltalamacchia
1B: Napoli - Gonzalez
2B: Pedrioa - Pedroia
SS: S.Drew - Scutaro
3B: Middlebrooks - Youkilis
LF: Gomes/Nava - Crawford
CF: Ellsbury - Ellsbury
RF: Victorino - JD Drew
DH: Ortiz - Ortiz

SP: Buchholz -Beckett
SP: Lackey - Lester
SP: Lester - Buchholz
RP: Uehara - Aceves
RP: Breslow - Papelbon
 
Last edited:

E5 Yaz

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The 2025 Sox could be:

DH Yoshida
SS Mayer
3B Devers
LF Soto

RF Bleis
1B Casas
2B Story
C Wong
CF Rafaela

With Bello, Woodruff, Whitlock, and Perales in the rotation. Or whatever. The point isn’t the details.
I honestly do appreciate your optimism but, in this scenario, after extending Devers for what it's likely to take to get him to agree, I just don't think they'd double-down and do another massive deal for Soto
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Sure, that all seems like pretty compelling evidence that we have almost no idea who will be on the team in a few years, and thus, very little idea whether they will be championship contenders or not, though we all certainly hope so. Frankly, you can probably map out a scenarios where almost any team in baseball is really good in two to three years- especially if those involve adding players like Devers, Soto, and Burnes (or sorry, Woodruff).
 

SouthernBoSox

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I think the positional flexibility of Hernandez allows the Red Sox to basically look everywhere in replacing Bogaerts bat. Short, Second, Center, and right are all possibilities in getting a productive bat into the line up.
 

nvalvo

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I honestly do appreciate your optimism but, in this scenario, after extending Devers for what it's likely to take to get him to agree, I just don't think they'd double-down and do another massive deal for Soto
Sale will be done, and there should be a lot of homegrown talent. They’d be able to.
 

jbupstate

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Sale will be done, and there should be a lot of homegrown talent. They’d be able to.
If we’re not looking towards 24/25… what was the alternative this year? There just wasn’t an easy path to WS contention. Same star players from last year, same injury concerns for SP and no players from AAA that move the needle on the big team.

Lots can change before 2025. No guarantees either way. N
 

nvalvo

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If we’re not looking towards 24/25… what was the alternative this year? There just wasn’t an easy path to WS contention. Same star players from last year, same injury concerns for SP and no players from AAA that move the needle on the big team.

Lots can change before 2025. No guarantees either way. N
I think 2021-2023 were always going to be high-variance seasons. Instead of rebuilding in terms of expected wins, we were rebuilding in terms of the standard error, as it were. So 2021 and 22 were similar clubs, but one panned out pretty well and the other quite badly. It was like the projection was 80 wins plus or minus fifteen: a huge spread between best and worst outcomes.

Hopefully we’re coming out of that, and this year’s team will be more like 86 wins plus or minus seven or eight. And next years’ will be 89 plus or minus five, etc. That’s what building depth gives you: not counting on Duran to start in center or Winckowski making fifteen starts if plan A goes wrong.
 

Rasputin

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Not here
If we’re not looking towards 24/25… what was the alternative this year? There just wasn’t an easy path to WS contention. Same star players from last year, same injury concerns for SP and no players from AAA that move the needle on the big team.

Lots can change before 2025. No guarantees either way. N
Take the same team as last year. Get a better bullpen and some health and that's a team that takes a wild card and who knows what can happen at that point.
 

AB in DC

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I’d really consider starting the year off with a 6-man rotation given the fragility and uncertainty of the elder statesmen in the rotation. What harm could be done by easing Sale and Paxton back into the swing-of-things while giving them an extra day off in between starts? If everyone remains healthy(seems unlikely)Houck or Whitlock could be dropped back into the pen.

1. Chris Sale
2. Nick Pivetta
3. James Paxton
4. Garret Whitlock
5. Brayan Bello
6. Tanner Houck
The odds that all six of them will be healthy at the same time are somewhere between slim and none.

I'm still baffled by everyone counting on Paxton to be a solid contributor this year. If he makes 10 starts this year I'll be stunned. Decent chance he's already pitched his last MLB game.
 

Rovin Romine

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I'm still baffled by everyone counting on Paxton to be a solid contributor this year. If he makes 10 starts this year I'll be stunned. Decent chance he's already pitched his last MLB game.
Well, the Sox declined the 2 year option, and he exercised his one year option, so I doubt the Sox think he's ready to throw 33 starts without a hitch.

And yet, they haven't signed another FA starter yet. . .which makes the starting 5 awfully thin if they think Paxton is 100% a no-go. Maybe they think Paxton is actually doing well at this point and they're going to give him a flier, and if he fails maybe they think Crawford is their #5. Who knows?

But right now, he's kind of penciled in to start. I don't think they can easily trade him at the moment. They're not going to use him in the pen. And they're not going to dump him and eat $4M (modest though it might seem in their overall budget) if there's a chance he really can give them some quality starts.
 

E5 Yaz

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Well, the Sox declined the 2 year option, and he exercised his one year option, so I doubt the Sox think he's ready to throw 33 starts without a hitch.

And yet, they haven't signed another FA starter yet. . .which makes the starting 5 awfully thin if they think Paxton is 100% a no-go. Maybe they think Paxton is actually doing well at this point and they're going to give him a flier, and if he fails maybe they think Crawford is their #5. Who knows?

But right now, he's kind of penciled in to start. I don't think they can easily trade him at the moment. They're not going to use him in the pen. And they're not going to dump him and eat $4M (modest though it might seem in their overall budget) if there's a chance he really can give them some quality starts.
Which makes one believe that they'd want Eovaldi back. But ...

According to multiple major league sources, teams known to be in pursuit of Eovaldi are the Angels, Padres, and at least one other club. It is believed that one of the additional interested parties is an American League East club.
The Red Sox do not appear to be front-runners for the services of the righty after offering Eovaldi the $19.65 million qualifying offer (which he declined).
https://www.audacy.com/weei/sports/red-sox/nathan-eovaldis-market-seems-to-be-heating-up?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
 

LogansDad

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Assuming same years and cost… would people here rather have Soto or Ohtani?
I’m personally not sure.
If the deal is somewhere in the (unrealistic, obviously) 3-5 year range, I probably lean toward Ohtani.

More than that, and I go Soto, and I'm not sure it's particularly close for me, assuming he rebounds from his pretty bad 2022 second half(only a .398 OBP after the ASG???!! YUCK /sarcasm). If the next two years look similar to that, though, the calculus changes a bit.
 

buttons

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Jul 18, 2005
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If the deal is somewhere in the (unrealistic, obviously) 3-5 year range, I probably lean toward Ohtani.

More than that, and I go Soto, and I'm not sure it's particularly close for me, assuming he rebounds from his pretty bad 2022 second half(only a .398 OBP after the ASG???!! YUCK /sarcasm). If the next two years look similar to that, though, the calculus changes a bit.
Ohtani gives us 2 players for the price of 1!
we are still ok if either his hittIng or pitching falls off.
I doubt it will be both.
 

LogansDad

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Ohtani gives us 2 players for the price of 1!
we are still ok if either his hittIng or pitching falls off.
I doubt it will be both.
This is totally fair, but if he gets hurt and has to miss time, you also have to fill two holes.

I also think that a guy whose "down year" at 23 years old puts up an OPS that's 30 points higher than anyone one the Red Sox had last year is on a different level.

I wouldn't blame anyone who would pick Ohtani in this hypothetical, but I think Soto is a generational offensive talent, and is only going to get better.
 

jbupstate

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Soto all day long. Don’t think Ohtani leaves the West Coast and the elite, multi position price factor is going to extremely high. Like $500m.

Let the Dodgers have him and the risk.
 

bloodysox

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Soto all day long. Don’t think Ohtani leaves the West Coast and the elite, multi position price factor is going to extremely high. Like $500m.

Let the Dodgers have him and the risk.
Ya I’d go with Soto without a doubt… although it’s hard to turn down Ohtani but I think Soto will hold up better. Who knows but Ohtani has to be putting on some serious miles on his body by pitching and hitting.

Soto is younger which makes it a no brainer though. If you’re going to give out long term mega deals it should be done for players like Soto and Devers who have both been very consistent (and generally stays on the field). Both are super Young, have serious HR pop, and haven’t even peaked yet. (not to mention Soto is an OBP god)
 

jbupstate

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Soto is by far the superior hitter. Career OPS+ 157 vs 124 for Devers. Add that over the past few years Devers has lost steam in the second half. I worry about how Devers will age physically. $350m+ is a huge number.
 

E5 Yaz

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Soto is by far the superior hitter. Career OPS+ 157 vs 124 for Devers. Add that over the past few years Devers has lost steam in the second half. I worry about how Devers will age physically. $350m+ is a huge number.
Something to think about in this regard: The largest contract ever given out by the Red Sox is the 7/$217M deal David Price signed in 2015. We're closing in on a decade's worth of exploding contracts since then, and the Red Sox have been left on the sidelines in terms of getting involved.
All the anecdotal evidence, via reporting, suggests that they haven't been making offers that go "beyond reason" in line with what's been happening around the sport. The idea that would switch gears for Soto (or, far less likely, Ohtani) seems unlikely ... more so if they extend Devers.
 

Rovin Romine

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Soto is by far the superior hitter. Career OPS+ 157 vs 124 for Devers. Add that over the past few years Devers has lost steam in the second half. I worry about how Devers will age physically. $350m+ is a huge number.
That loss of steam is often connected to injury:

2018 - hamstrings.​
2019 - hamstrings.​
2020 - ankle.​
2021 - quads, back, and right forearm/elbow inflammation (awkward swings in the post season.)​
2022 - low back pain and hamstrings.​

On the plus side (and it's very much a plus), he obviously plays through a lot of nagging or worse injury with passible (or better) performances. He's also always bounced back to excellent hitting form. But it's easier to bounce back at age 25 than 30, and the recurring leg problems are a yellow flag. Maybe he's always going to lose a week or two to the hamstrings, but would anyone be shocked if he lost 6 weeks to 'em next year or the year after?
 

jbupstate

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Something to think about in this regard: The largest contract ever given out by the Red Sox is the 7/$217M deal David Price signed in 2015. We're closing in on a decade's worth of exploding contracts since then, and the Red Sox have been left on the sidelines in terms of getting involved.
All the anecdotal evidence, via reporting, suggests that they haven't been making offers that go "beyond reason" in line with what's been happening around the sport. The idea that would switch gears for Soto (or, far less likely, Ohtani) seems unlikely ... more so if they extend Devers.
I am not convinced FSG is against going beyond reason if the timing is right. Once the system starts producing inexpensive Fenway regulars I could see the Sox investing to lock in production from a young, Soto type position player. I think high priced, sort term mercenary pitchers will also be in play.

Not sure that can happen without a pipeline of MLB ready player or two from the farm. Timing is the key.